LCA AF-Mk2 Project director Dr. Madhusudhana Rao speaking to Delhi Defence Review has said that the aircraft will have a nose radome that will be 270mm smaller than that of the Tejas Mk1A nose radome but still will be able to house a Bigger Uttam Radar with the main antenna incorporating 992 arrays of TR modules instead of 780TR modules that is found on the Uttam radar meant for Tejas Mk1A. Rao clarified that radome dimensions have gone down to incorporate IRST and other sensors in the LCA-AFMk2.

Rao confirmed that LCA-AFMk2 will be using Radar observing materials and Radar observing paint extensively so that it will have a radar footprint that will be smaller than that of the Tejas Mk1A while being a bigger aircraft. Uttam Aesa radar has been redesigned for the LCA AF-Mk2 radome and can be used for other bigger aircraft in the IAF fleet but not on the Tejas Mk1A that has a bigger radome due to higher power and cooling requirements needed for the radar, which the present engine on Tejas Mk1A can’t deliver.

For a small comparison on TR modules on modern Aesa Radar alone, Northrop Grumman developed AN/APG-81 dual-mode radar for the F-35 that has 1,200 T/R modules. RBE2 AESA used on Dassault Rafale has 838 T/R modules. EL/M-2052 used on Indian Air Force Jaguar strike fighter has 320 T/R modules. Sh121 X-band AESA radar for Su-57 has 1,552 T/R modules.

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