India's HAL flies first AESA radar-upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft


India-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has reportedly announced the successful flight of the first Jaguar fighter aircraft to be upgraded with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The aircraft will be capable of tracking multiple targets and communicating in multiple frequencies via high bandwidth using the AESA radar system.

HAL's Mission & Combat System Research & Design Centre carried out the upgrade to the Indian Air Force's (IAF) fighter plane, The Hindu reported.

Works performed as part of the modernisation included upgrading software and hardware, as well as refurbishing various electrical and mechanical elements of the aircraft.

In addition to AESA radar, the Jaguar DARIN III aircraft is being fitted with 28 new sensors, according to media sources.

"The aircraft will be capable of tracking multiple targets and communicating in multiple frequencies via high bandwidth using the AESA radar system."

The upgrade includes new advanced avionics architecture such as the open system architecture mission computer, an improved engine and flight instrument system, fire-control radar, inertial navigation system with GPS and Geodetic height correction, The Times of India reported.

The aircraft will also feature a solid-state digital video recording system, a solid-state flight data recorder, smart multi-function displays and a radio altimeter with 20,000ft range, as well as autopilot with alt-select and identification of friend or foe capabilities.

A total of 50 Jaguar fighter jets are being upgraded from level DARIN I to DARIN III under the project.

The Jaguar Darin III achieved initial operational clearance in November 2016.


Image: Jaguar of the Indian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of SSGT Mathew Hannen, USAF.