The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed two contracts worth $448.44m (Rs37bn) with the government-owned aerospace and defence electronics company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

Signed on 23 March, the two contracts will contribute to enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The first contract, which has an estimated value of $339.64m (Rs28bn), requires BEL to supply medium powered radar (MPR) systems, referred as ‘Arudhra’, to the IAF. This MPR system has been designed and developed indigenously by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is being manufactured by BEL. The IAF has already completed associated trials for the radar.

Arudhra is a four-dimensional (4D) multi-function phased array radar that will feature electronic steering in azimuth, which is the angular distance, and elevation to support the surveillance, detection as well as tracking of a wide range of aerial targets. It will offer target identification capabilities with the help of information gathered from the co-located ‘identification friend or foe system’.

Meanwhile, the second contract, valued at $115.23m (Rs9.5bn), will see the delivery of a total of 129 DR-118 radar warning receivers (RWR) for improving the electronic warfare capabilities of the IAF’s Su-30 MKI multi-role fighter aircraft.

According to the Indian MoD, the required DR-118 sub-assemblies and parts will mostly be procured from Indian manufacturers, increasing the number of jobs during the next three and a half years.

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This will further promote more participation from the Indian electronics, defence as well as micro, small and medium enterprises.

Both the contracts have been awarded as part of the Buy Indian-Designed, Developed and Manufactured category to support the Indian government’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.