India has received an airborne stand-off radar (ASTOR) aircraft that will enhance the country’s 24-hour surveillance and target acquisition capability.
The ASTOR aircraft, received from the US, is capable of detecting minor variations in surface levels, such as digging and filling of earth in the same place, and draw conclusions about activity.
The system includes an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a dual-mode synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and moving target indicator (MTI).
It can fly over 40,000ft-45,000ft for nine hours at a time, covering a large area, and going beyond the range of most surface-to-air missiles, according to the Hindustan Times.
The system is equipped with three consoles to monitor the ground, two for image analysts and one for the airborne mission commander, pilot and co-pilot.
The system’s self-protection suite puts out flares and chaff to confuse and deflect any threatening missiles.
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Data collected from the aircraft will be fed to the ground stations from where action against hostile targets can be launched.