Types of radars developed by DRDO for Indian Armed Forces

In India, Under Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Electronic and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) is the laboratory that comes which is responsible for development of radars. LRDE is committed to the indigenous development of modern radar systems through an effective Quality Management System.

This organisation has met success with various radar systems developed by it being inducted in Indian Armed Forces now in large numbers. This is seen as a step ahead for DRDO which aims to make India self-sufficient in various key military technologies to reduce our import-dependency on foreign military hardware.

With the mission to design and develop Radar systems meeting the current and futuristic requirements of Services, keeping in view the emerging threat and EW scenario and to contribute towards the establishment of indigenous production of our designs through public and private sector and commitment to work towards introduction of the systems into Services. LRDE partners with Bharat Electronics Limited and private companies like Astra micro and Data patterns for production of radars.

Some of these radar systems are being highlighted below –

  • Indra Radar – The Indian Doppler Radar (INDRA) series of 2D radars were developed by India’s DRDO for the Army and Air Force. The INDRA-I is mobile surveillance radar for low level target detection while the INDRA-II is for ground controlled interception of targets.

INDRA-I is 2D mobile surveillance radar for low level target detection. The radar is housed in two wheeled vehicles. Some of the main features are automated Track While Scan (TWS), integrated IFF and high scan rate for high speed target detection. The radar is produced by Bharat Electronics Limited and inducted into service. The INDRA-I was a landmark project for the DRDO, as it was the first large radar system designed by the organization and produced in number for the defence forces. The Indian Air Force operates thirty INDRA-I’s whereas the Indian Army also has several.

INDRA-II is a variant of INDRA radar for ground controlled interception of targets. The radar uses pulse compression for detection of low flying aircraft in heavy ground clutter with high range resolution and ECCM capabilities. The radar has been produced by Bharat Electronics Limited and is used by Indian Air Force and Army. Seven INDRA-IIs have been ordered by the Indian Air Force.

  • RAJENDRA Radar – It is a multifunction electronically scanned phased array Radar which is the heart of Aakash Air Defence System. It is passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar and is used to guide Aakash missile to its target. Mounted on a two wheeled vehicle it fulfils multiple radar functions like surveillance, tracking and guidance. It can track 64 targets and engage 4 targets at a single time. Its range extends up to 80 kilometres and at an altitude of 18 km.
  • Central Acquisition Radar (3D-CAR) – It is a 3D S-Band Radar developed by DRDO for Indian Army and Indian Air Force. Army uses Rohini variant while Air Force uses Revathi variant. It can track targets up to a range more than 180 km and is capable of detecting low-altitude targets, and also supersonic aircraft flying at over Mach 3 speed. The radar features digital receiver, programmable signal processor providing high resolution, accuracy, response and information availability. The radar is packaged on two high mobility TATRA vehicles to meet operational and battlefield mobility requirements.
  • Swathi Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) – It is a C-Band pulse Doppler radar used for locating hostile artillery, mortars and rocket launchers and tracks friendly fire to locate the impact point of artillery fire to issue necessary corrections. It can track 7 targets at a single time and are helpful for Indian Army to locate Pakistani artillery positions across the LOC.
  • Swordfish Radar – Swordfish is an Indian Long range tracking radar specifically developed to counter ballistic missile threat. It will be a part of India’s ballistic missile program. First testing of this radar was in March 2009. Main aim of the test was to validate the capabilities of the indigenously developed Swordfish Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR). “The missile to be hit will be fired from a longer distance than it was in the earlier test. DRDO tested whether the radar could track the incoming missile from that distance or not” said a member of the project.

Swordfish is an acknowledged derivative of the Israeli Green Pine long range radar, which is the critical component of that country’s Arrow missile defence system. However, it differs from the Israeli system as it employs Indian Transmit Receive modules; signal processing, computers and power supplies. It is also more powerful than the base Green Pine system and was developed to meet India’s specific BMD needs.

India had acquired and deployed two Green Pine radars around July 2002 and another one in August 2005. The Swordfish Long Range Tracking Radar of the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation is an acknowledged derivative of the original Green Pine.

The Indian government has sought to purchase the complete Arrow system since 1999, but in early 2002 the U.S. vetoed Israel’s request to sell the Arrow 2 missiles to India, exercising its right as a major funding contributor. U.S. officials argued that the sale would violate the Missile Technology Control Regime.

  • PJT-531 Battle Field Surveillance Radar – It is man portable 2D short-range battlefield and perimeter surveillance radar. This radar has been a boon to Indian forces at LOC. It is used by Indian Army and BSF along with foreign customers like Indonesia and Sudan. It operates in J Band in 21 frequencies, and can detect crawling men, group of men, Armoured Vehicles and Heavy Vehicles at varying distance.

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