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SOURCE: ANITA DESAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to procure 200 Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) fighter jet in near future to replace the whole fleets of Mirage-2000-5 and Mig-29UPG but also has laid down strict guidelines with its developers on what it wants from the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which is the nodal agency of the MWF program.

ADA and IAF have agreed to develop the MWF program with state-of-the-art technology which is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats and since in today’s modern-day warfare a smart aircraft will need not only analyze and handle high volumes of data should also be allowed to operate in the future battle space where 5th generation fighter aircraft will dominate and only a smart 4.5++ Gen will able to survive in this environment.

ADA already has confirmed that MWF will feature a Smart cockpit and MWF brochures in Aero India 2019. MWF Smart cockpit featured two big touch screen panels and one small Multi-function display but it will be replaced by a Wide Area Display (WAD) in the production model so that allows a redundant and intelligent presentation of information across its entire length, with the capacity to receive inputs from multitask keys.

Although the MWF will draw on the experience and technologies developed for the LCA-Tejas Mk-I and the Mk-IA it will also borrow some from the upcoming 5th generation AMCA program. Infra-red search-and-track sensor (IRST) integrated with a UTTAM AESA-based multi-mode radar with a frame less canopy actuation system will come from technologies in development for the AMCA program.

DRDO developed an Electronic warfare suite (EW suite) onboard MWF along with RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) and the Missile approach warning system (MAWS) will allow MWF to operate in high-threat environments such as contested air space. MWF can also carry pods and sensors for reconnaissance and special missions.

ADA has promised that MWF will be equipped with a smart avionics architecture which means it will have very high weapon flexibility. weapon integration of all indigenous weapons along with even BrahMos-NG has been planned. ADA also has worked out how the program will continue to keep at pace with the evolution in the technology and as AMCA program progress more and more technology will be adopted from the AMCA program in later batches.

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