Tejas LCA

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) built advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite has completed its first flight onboard the Tejas-PV1 light combat aircraft (LCA) in Bengaluru.

The equipment successfully detected radar signals operating in and around the flight path during the test, which was undertaken after the receipt of due flight clearances and certification.

Built by DRDO’s Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) laboratory, the EW suite features a radar warner and jammer, and provides the pilot with an additional capability to nullify the effect of detected radar threat by appropriate mode of jamming.

DRDO director general, Department of Defence R&D secretary and Indian Defence Minister scientific advisor Dr Avinash Chander said: "This warfare suite adds an important capability to our LCA".

"LCA is the first fighter aircraft of India fitted with a radar warner and jammer equipment."

DARE OS and director J Manjula, said: "LCA is the first fighter aircraft of India fitted with a radar warner and jammer equipment with capability for both radar warning and jamming using a unified EW technology.

"Over the coming few months, ADA and DARE will be scheduling further sorties to evaluate the system in various signal scenarios."

The existing EW systems installed on various combat aircraft provide warning to the aircraft pilot in case of detection of a radar threat.

Tejas is jointly manufactured by a consortium of five organisations pooled by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Aeronautical Development Agency. It is a single-seat, lightweight, high-agility supersonic fighter aircraft designed to replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) ageing fleet of MiG 21 and MiG 23 aircraft.

The aircraft is also ordered by the Indian navy. It features eight external hardpoints to carry stores, with three under each wing and a tailless compound delta platform, and can be armed with air-to-air, air-to-ground, and anti-ship missiles, precision-guided munitions, rockets and bombs.

Image: A Tejas light combat aircraft at Aero India 2009. Photo: courtesy of vishak.