Electronics and computer sciences & Laser Science & Technology Centre
EW systems for the Army
- is India's largest electronic warfare system. It is a land based EW project, consisting of 145 vehicles. The Samyukta consists of ESM and ECM stations for both communication and non-com (radar etc.) systems. The Indian Army has ordered that it's Signal Corps being a prime contributor in the design and development stage, along with the DRDO's DLRL. The scale of this venture is substantial- it comprises COMINT and ELINT stations which monitor different bands for both voice/ data as well as radar transmissions, as well as jam them. In contrast to other systems, many of which perform some of the functions of the Samyukta, the latter is an integrated system, which can perform the most critical battlefield EW tasks in both COM and Non-COM roles. The system will be the first of its type in terms of its magnitude and capability, in the Army. Its individual modules can also be operated independently. A follow on system known as Sauhard is under development.
- The Safari IED suppression system for the army and paramilitary forces, plus the Sujav ESM system meant for high accuracy direction finding and jamming of communication transceivers.
EW systems for the Air Force
- Radar warning receivers for the Indian Air Force of the Tarang (wave) series. These have been selected for most of the Indian Air Force's aircraft such as for the MiG-21 Upgrade (Bison Upgrade), MiG-29, Su-30 MKI, MiG- 27 Upgrade, Jaguar Upgrade as well as self protection upgrades for the transport fleet. The Tranquil RWR for MiG -23s (superseded by the Tarang project) and the Tempest jamming system for the Air Force's MiG's. The latest variant of the Tempest jamming system is capable of noise, barrage, as well as deception jamming as it makes use of DRFM. The DRDO has also developed a High Accuracy Direction Finding system (HADF) for the Indian Air Force's Su-30 MKIs which are fitted in the modular "Siva" pod capable of supersonic carriage. This HADF pod is meant to cue Kh-31 Anti radiation missiles used by the Su-30 MKI for SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences).
- DRDO stated in 2009 that its latest Radar Warning Receiver for the Indian Air Force, the R118, had gone into production. The R118 can also sensor fuse data from different sensors such as the aircraft radar, missile/laser warning systems and present the unified data on the multi-function display. The DRDO also noted that its new Radar Warner Jammer systems (RWJ) were at an advanced stage of development, and would be submitted for trials.The RWJ is capable of detecting all foreseen threats, and jamming multiple targets simultaneously. At the same time, another high accuracy ESM system is being developed by the DRDO for the AEW&C project.
- Other EW projects revealed by the DRDO include the MAWS project (a joint venture by the DRDO and EADS) which leverages EADS hardware and DRDO software to develop MAWS systems for transport, helicopter and fighter fleets. DRDO also has laser warning systems available.
- A DIRCM (Directed Infra Red Countermeasures) project to field a worldclass DIRCM system intended to protect aircraft from infra Red guided weapons.
- The DRDO is also developing an all new ESM project in cooperation with the Indian Air Force's Signals Intelligence Directorate, under the name of "Divya Drishti" (Divine Sight). Divya Drishti will field a range of static as well as mobile ESM stations that can "fingerprint" and track multiple airborne targets for mission analysis purposes. The system will be able to intercept a range of radio frequency emissions, whether radar, navigational, communication or electronic countermeasure signals. The various components of the project will be networked via SATCOM links.
- Additional DRDO EW projects delivered to the Indian Air Force have include the COIN A and COIN B SIGINT stations. DRDO and BEL developed ELINT equipment for the Indian Air Force, installed on the service's Boeing 737s and Hawker Siddeley Avro aircraft. DRDO has also developed a Radar Fingerprinting System for the IAF and the Navy. The Indian Air Force's AEW&C systems currently being developed by the DRDO will also include a comprehensive ESM suite, capable of picking up both radars as well as conduct COMINT (Communications Intelligence).
The DRDO has steadily increased its radar development footprint across a range of systems. The result has been substantial progress in India's ability to design and manufacture high power radar systems of its own design and with locally manufactured components and systems. The path began with the development of short range 2D systems (Indra-1) and has now extended to high power 3D systems intended for strategic purposes (LRTR). Several other projects span the gamut of radar applications, from airborne surveillance (AEW & C) to firecontrol radars (land based, and airborne). The DRDO's productionised as well as production ready radar systems include:
- INDRA series of 2D radars meant for Army and Air Force use. This was the first high power radar developed by the DRDO, with the Indra -I radar for the Indian Army, followed by Indra Pulse Compression (PC) version for the Indian Air Force, also known as the Indra-II, which is a low level radar to search and track low flying cruise missiles, helicopters and aircraft. These are basically 2D radars which provide range, and azimuth information, and are meant to be used as gapfillers. The Indra 2 PC has pulse compression providing improved range resolution. The series are used both by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
- Rajendra fire control radar for the Akash SAM: The Rajendra is stated to be ready. However, it can be expected that further iterative improvements will nonetheless be made. The Rajendra is a high power, Passive electronically scanned array radar (PESA), with the ability able to guide up to 12 Akash SAMs against aircraft flying at low to medium altitudes. The Rajendra has a detection range of 8o km with 18 km height coverage against small fighter sized targets and is able to track 64 targets, engaging 4 simultaneously, with up to 3 missiles per target. The Rajendra features a fully digital high speed signal processing system with adaptive moving target indicator, coherent signal processing, FFTs, and variable pulse repetition frequency.The entire PESA antenna array can swivel 360 degrees on a rotating platform. This allows the radar antenna to be rapidly repositioned, and even conduct all round surveillance.
- Central Acquisition Radar, a state of the art planar array, S Band radar operating on the stacked beam principle. With a range of 180 km against fighter sized targets, it can track while scan 200 of them. Its systems are integrated on high mobility, locally built TATRA trucks for the Army and Air Force; however it is meant to be used by all three services. The Planar array was developed by DRDO, whereas the rest of the hardware and signal processing were done locally. Initially developed for the long-running Akash SAM system, seven were ordered by the Indian Air Force for their radar modernization program, and two of another variant were ordered by the Indian Navy for their P-28 Corvettes. The CAR has been a significant success for radar development in India, with its state of the art signal processing hardware. The ROHINI is the IAF specific variant while the REVATHI is the Indian Navy specific variant. The ROHINI has a more advanced Indian developed antenna in terms of power handling and beamforming technology while the IREVATH adds two axis stabilisation for operation in naval conditions, as well as extra naval modes.
- BFSR-SR, a 2D short range Battle Field Surveillance Radar, meant to be manportable.Designed and developed by LRDE, the project was a systematic example of concurrent engineering, with the production agency involved through the design and development stage. This enabled the design to be brought into production quickly. The radar continues to progress further in terms of integration, with newer variants being integrated with thermal imagers for visually tracking targets detected by the radar. Up to 10 BFSR-SR can be networked together for network centric operation.It is in use with the Indian Army and the BSF as well as export customers.
- Super Vision-2000, an airborne 3D naval surveillance radar, meant for helicopters and light transport aircraft. The SV-2000 is a lightweight, yet high performance, slotted array radar operating in the X Band. It can detect sea-surface targets such as a periscope or a vessel, against heavy clutter, and can also be used for navigation, weather mapping and beacon detection. The radar can detect a large vessel at over 100 nautical miles (370 km).It is currently under modification to be fitted to the Advanced Light Helicopter, and the Navy's Do-228's. Variants can be fitted to the Navy's Ka-25's as well. The radar has been inducted by the Indian Navy and a more advanced variant of the Super Vision, known as the XV-2004 is now in production. The XV-2004 is also operational, and features an ISAR, SAR Capability.
- Long Range Tracking Radar: The LRTR a 3D AESA was developed with assistance from Elta of Israel, and is similar to Elta's proven GreenPine long range Active Array radar. The DRDO developed the signal processing and software for tracking high speed ballistic missile targets as well as introduced more ruggedization. The radar uses mostly Indian designed and manufactured components such as its critical high power, L Band Transmit-Receive modules plus the other enabling technologies necessary for active phased array radars.The LRTR can track 200 targets and had a range of above 500 km and can detect Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, and that India now had the capability to manufacture these radars on its own.The LRTR would be amongst the key elements of the Indian ABM system; DRDO would provide the technology to private and public manufacturers to make these high power systems.
- 3D Multi Function Control Radar: A substantial project by itself, the MFCR was developed as part of the Indian anti-ballistic missile program in cooperation with THALES of France. The MFCR is an active phased array radar and complements the Long Range Tracking Radar, for intercepting ballistic missiles. The MFCR will also serve as the fire control radar for the AAD second tier missile system of the ABM program. The AAD has a supplementary role against aircraft as well, and is to engage missiles and aircraft up to an altitude of 30 km. The MFCR fills out the final part of the DRDO's radar development spectrum, and allows India to manufacture long range 3D radars that can act as the nodes of an Air Defence Ground Environment system. As with the LRTR, the MFCR was used successfully in BMD interception effort.
- 2D Low Level Lightweight Radar (LLLR) for the Army, which require many of these units for gapfilling in mountainous terrain. The Indian Air Force will also acquire the same for key airbases. The LLLR is a 2D radar with a range of 40 km against a 2Sq Mtr target, intended as a gapfiller to plug detection gaps versus low level aircraft in an integrated Air Defence Ground network. The LLLR makes use of Indra-2 technology, namely a similar antenna array, but has roughly half the range and is much smaller and a far more portable unit. The LLLR can track while scan 100 targets and provide details about their speed, azimuth and range to the operator. The LLLR makes use of the BFSR-SR experience and many of the subsystem providers are the same. Multiple LLLRs can be networked together. The LLLR is meant to detect low level intruders, and will alert Army Air Defence fire control units to cue their weapon systems.] A 3D LLLR was also revealed in 2008, with the designation "Aslesha".
- 3D Short Range Radar for the Indian Air Force - ASLESHA: The ASLESHA radars have a range of approximately 50 km against small fighter-sized targets and will be able to determine their range, speed, azimuth and height. This radar will enable the Indian Air Force Air Defence units to accurately track low level intruders. The radar is a semi-active phased array with a 1 meter square aperture. The DRDO was in discussions with the Indian Navy to mount these systems on small ships.
- Multi-mode radar,a 3D radar is a HAL project of which DRDO's LRDE is a subsystem provider, this project to develop an advanced, lightweight Multimode fire control radar for the LCA Tejas fighter, has faced stiff challenges and been struck by delay. It has now been completed with Elta's (Israel) assistance. The multimode radar is a greater than 100 km range (detection of a small fighter target), 10 target track, two target engage, lightweight system. It has been revealed that an all new combined signal and data processor had been developed, replacing the original separate units. The new unit is much more powerful and makes use of contemporary ADSP processors. The other radar critical hardware has also been developed and validated, however work remains on the software front. The software for the air to air mode has been developed considerably (including search and track while scan in both look up and look down modes) but air to ground modes are being still worked upon. The radar development was shown to be considerably more mature than previously thought. At Aero India 2009, it was revealed that the 3D MMR project has been superseded by the new 3D AESA FCR project led by LRDE. The MMR has been completed with Elta Israel's assistance and now involved Elta EL/M-2032 technology for Air to Ground mapping and targeting. This "hybrid" MMR has been trialled, validated and will be supplied for the initial LCA Tejas fighters of which 2 Squadrons have been ordered.
- DRDO has indigenised components and improved subsystems of various other license produced radars manufactured at BEL, India, with the help of BEL scientists and other researchers. These improvements include new radar data processors for license produced Signaal radars as well as local radar assemblies replacing the earlier imported ones. Several of these items have better performance than the original systems that they replaced.
Apart from the above, the DRDO has also several other radar systems currently under development or in trials, these include:
- BEL Weapon Locating Radar: A 3D radar successfully developed from the Rajendra fire control radar for the Akash system, this radar uses a passive electronically scanned array to detect multiple targets for fire correction and weapon location. The system has been developed and demonstrated to the Army and orders have been placed In terms of performance, the WLR is stated to be superior to the AN/TPQ-37, several of which were imported by India as an interim system while the WLR got ready.
- Active Phased Array radar: a 3D radar for fighters, a MMR follow on, the APAR project aims to field a fully fledged operational AESA fire control radar for the expected Mark-2 version of the Light Combat Aircraft. This will be the second airborne AESA program after the AEW&C project and intends to transfer the success DRDO has achieved in the Ground based radar segment to airborne systems.The overall airborne APAR program aims to prevent this technology gap from developing, with a broad based program to bring DRDO up to par with international developers in airborne systems:both fire control and surveillance.
- Synthetic Aperture & Inverse Synthetic Aperture radars: the DRDO's LRDE is currently working on both SAR and ISAR radars for target detection and classification. These lightweight payloads are intended for both conventional fixed wing, as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle applications.
- Airborne Warning and Control: a new radar based on Active Electronically Scanned Array technology.The aim of the project is to develop inhouse capability for high power AEW&C systems, with the system covering the development of a S Band AESA array. The aircraft will also have datalinks to link fighters plus communicate with the IAF's C3I infrastructure, as well as a local SATCOM (satellite communication system), along with other onboard ESM and COMINT systems.
- Medium Range Battlefield Surveillance Radar: in 2009, the LRDE (DRDO) noted that it was working on a Long range Battlefield surveillance radar. It is possible that the BFSR-LR project has replaced the earlier this project and the Indian Army will utilize the BEL built ELTA designed BFSR-MR's for Medium Range surveillance while using the LRDE designed systems for Long Range surveillance. The 2D radar will track ground targets and provide key intelligence to the Indian Army's artillery units, with the resultant information available on various tactical networks.
- 3D Medium Power Radar: a spinoff of the experience gained via the 3D MFCR project, the 3D Medium Power Radar project is intended to field a radar with a range of approximately 300 km against small fighter sized targets. Intended for the Indian Air Force, the radar is an active phased array, and will be transportable. It will play a significant role being used as part of the nodes of the Indian Air Force's enhanced Air Defence Ground Environment System.
- 3D Tactical Control Radar: a new program, the TCR is an approximately 150 km ranged system for use by the Indian Army and Air Force. A highly mobile unit, it will also employ open architecture to provide easy upgrades, and a variety of modes and capabilities depending on the software fit. The aim of the 3D Medium Power Radar and TCR is to offer systems which can be deployed in a variety of roles, from fire control to surveillance, and not be tied to one role alone.
Command and control software and decision-making tools
- Tactical tools for wargaming: Shatranj (Chess) and Sangram for the Army, Sagar for the Navy and air war software for the Air Force. All these systems are operational with the respective services.
- C3I systems: DRDO, in cooperation with BEL and private industry has developed several critical C3I (command, control, communications and intelligence systems) for the services.Under the project "Shakti", the Indian Army aims to spend US$300 million to network all its artillery guns together using the ACCS (Artillery Command and Control System). Developed by DRDO's Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, the system comprises computers and intelligent terminals connected as a wide area network. Its main subsystems are the artillery computer center, battery computer, remote access terminal and a gun display unit. The ACCS is expected to improve the Army's artillery operations by a factor of 10 and by efficiently networking the artillery units, allowing for more rapid and accurate firepower. The ACCS will also improve the ability of commanders to concentrate that firepower where it is most needed.The DRDO and BEL have also developed a Battle Management system for the Indian Armyfor its tanks and tactical units.
Other programs in development for the Army include Corps level information and decision making software and tools, intended to link all units together for effective C3I. These systems are in production at DRDO's production partner, Bharat Electronics Limited. These projects are being driven by the Indian Army Corps of Signals. The Indian Army is also moving towards extensive use of battlefield computers. DRDO has also delivered projects such as the Combat Net Radio for enhancing the Army's communication hardware.
- 'Data management and command and control systems for the Navy have been provided by the DRDO. The Navy is currently engaged in a Naval networking project to network all its ships and shore establishments plus Maritime patrol aircraft and sensors.
- Radar netting and multi-sensor fusion software for linking the Indian Air Force's network of radars and airbases which have been successfully operationalised. Other systems include sophisticated and highly complex mission planning and C3I systems for Missiles, such as the Agni and Prithvi ballistic missiles, to the Brahmos cruise missile. These systems are common to all three services as all of them utilize different variants of these missiles.
- Simulators and training tools: DRDO and private industry have collaborated on manufacturing a range of simulators and training devices for the three services, from entry level tests for prospective entrants to the Indian Air Force, to sophisticated simulators for fighter aircraft, transports and helicopters, tanks to gunnery devices.
DRDO has worked extensively high speed computing given its ramifications for most of its defence projects. These include supercomputers for computational flow dynamics, to dedicated microprocessor designs manufactured in India for flight controllers and the like, to high speed computing boards built around Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) components, similar to the latest trends in the defence industry.
- Supercomputing: DRDO's ANURAG developed the PACE+ Supercomputer for strategic purposes for supporting its various programs. The initial version, as detailed in 1995, had the following specifications: The system delivered a sustained performance of more than 960 Mflops (million floating operations per second) for computational fluid dynamics programs. Pace-Plus included 32 advanced computing nodes, each with 64 megabytes(MB) of memory that can be expanded up to 256MB and a powerful front-end processor which is a hyperSPARC with a speed of 66/90/100 megahertz (MHz). Besides fluid dynamics, these high-speed computer systems were used in areas such as vision, medical imaging, signal processing, molecular modeling, neural networks and finite element analysis. The latest variant of the PACE series is the PACE ++, a 128 node parallel processing system. With a front-end processor, it has a distributed memory and message passing system. Under ProjectChitra, the DRDO is implementing a system with a computational speed of 2-3 Teraflops utilizing commercial off the shelf components and the Open Source Linux Operating System.
- Processors and other critical items: DRDO has developed a range of processors and application specific integrated circuits for its critical projects. Many of these systems are modular, in the sense that they can be reused across different projects. These include "Pythagoras processor" to convert cartesian to polar coordinates, ANUCO, a floating point coprocessor and several others, including the ANUPAMA 32-bit processor, which is being used in several DRDO projects.
- Electronic components: one of the endeavours undertaken by the DRDO has been to create a substantial local design and development capability within India, both in the private and public sectors. This policy has led to several hard to obtain or otherwise denied items, being designed and manufactured in India. These include components such as radar subsystems (product specific travelling wave tubes) to components necessary for electronic warfare and other cutting edge projects. Today, there are a range of firms across India, which design and manufacture key components for DRDO, allowing it to source locally for quite a substantial chunk of its procurement. The DRDO has also endeavoured to use COTS (Commercial off the shelf) processors and technology, and follow Open Architecture standards, wherever possible, in order to pre-empt obsolescence issues and follow industry practise. One significant example is the development of an Open Architecture computer for the Light Combat Aircraft, based on the PowerPC architecture and VME64 standard. The earlier Mission computer utilizing Intel 486 DX chips has already seen success, with variants being present on the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar and MiG-27 Upgrades for the Indian Air Force.
Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC)
NEW DELHI: Move aside Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, DRDO is trying to develop its own set of Laser weapons. From laser dazzlers to control rioting crowds to high-powered lasers to destroy incoming missiles, DRDO is working on a slew of directed energy weapons (DEWs).
"Lasers are weapons of the future. We can, for instance, use laser beams to shoot down an enemy missile in its boost or terminal phase, said DRDO's Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) director Anil Kumar Maini, talking to TOI on Monday.
Incidentally, DRDO chief V K Saraswat himself has identified DEWs, along with space security, cyber-security and hypersonic vehicles, as focus areas in the years ahead. "LASTEC has the mandate to develop DEWs for armed forces, said DRDO's chief controller (electronics & computer sciences) R Sreehari Rao.
While conventional weapons use kinetic or chemical energy of missiles or other projectiles to destroy targets, DEWs decimate them by bombarding with subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves at the speed of light. Apart from the speed-of-light delivery, laser DEWs cause minimal collateral damage.
The defence ministry's recent "technology perspective and capability roadmap identifies DEWs and ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons as thrust areas over the next 15 years, as was first reported by TOI.
The aim is to develop laser-based weapons, deployed on airborne as well as seaborne platforms, which can intercept missiles soon after they are launched towards India in the boost phase itself. These will be part of the fledgling ballistic missile defence system being currently developed by DRDO.
The US, incidentally, is already conducting tests of high-powered laser weapons on a modified 747 jumbo jet, the ALTB (airborne laser testbed), which direct lethal amounts of directed energy to destroy ballistic missiles during their boost phase.
It will, of course, take India several years to even conduct such tests. For now, LASTEC is developing "a 25-kilowatt laser system to hit a missile during its terminal phase at a distance of 5–7 km. "All you need is to heat the missile skin to 200-300 degree and the warhead inside will detonate, said Maini.
LASTEC is also working on a vehicle-mounted "gas dynamic laser-based DEW system, under project Aditya, which should be ready in three years. "But Aditya is just a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology. Ultimately, we have to develop solid-state lasers, said Maini.
Even countries like US have now shifted their focus to the more efficient, smaller and lighter solid-state laser DEWs since chemical (dye and gas) lasers are dogged by size, weight and logistical problems.
-- Hand-held laser dazzler to disorient adversaries, without collateral damage. 50-metre range. Status: Ready.
-- Crowd-control dazzlers mounted on vehicles to dispel rioting mobs. 250-metre range. Status: take 2 years more.
-- Laser-based ordnance disposal system, which can be used to neutralise IEDs and other explosives from a distance. Status: trials begin in 18 months.
-- Air defence dazzlers to take on enemy aircraft and helicopters. 10-km range. Status: take 2 years more.
-- 25-kilowatt laser systems to destroy missiles during their terminal phase. 5 to 7-km range. Status: take five years more.
-- At least 100-kilowatt solid-state laser systems, mounted on aircraft and ships, to destroy missiles in their boost phase itself. Status: will take a decade.