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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The project director of the LCA AF-Mk2 had confirmed the development of a new variant of the Uttam active electronically scanned array (AESA) Airborne Fire control radar (FCR) that will have a bigger antenna incorporating 992 arrays of TR modules at the Aero India 2021. As per information provided to idrw.org, LRDE, the makers of the FCR are now planning to start fabrication of three sets of Uttam Mk2 that will be later used on the first LCA AF-Mk2 that will be rolled out in August next year for its first flight in 2023.

Uttam AESA FCR developed for the LCA AF-Mk2 has been found to an ideal candidate that can be also used to replace the existing mechanically scanned, slotted antenna, Zhuk-ME Fire control radar (FCR) found on the 65 upgraded MiG-29UPG fleet already in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Russia on other hand had offered its Phazotron-NIIR’s Zhuk-AME AESA FCR, but IAF seems to be impressed by the performance of the indigenously developed that now it has sanctioned a proposal to develop a bigger version of the Super-Sukhoi Program for the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet.

HAL and LRDE already have decided to have at least half the fleet of the Tejas Mk1A equipped with the Uttam AESA FCR that has 780 TR Modules and a slightly smaller antenna. Uttam AESA FCR has been installed on two Tejas fighters, LSP2 and LSP3 that have completed more than 30 hours of inflight trials. For Super-Sukhoi Program, new feasibility studies were carried out and findings of which have been accepted by the IAF, ones the project is cleared, it will see the development of a new Antenna size that is adapted to aircraft nose limitations of the Sukhoi-30MKI.

Uttam AESA FCR has modular hardware and software that offers it tremendous growth potential so that it can be scaled up or down for meeting the requirements of different fighter jet types. Indigenous radar is also much cheaper and can be easily integrated with indigenously developed air to air and air to surface weapons systems.

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