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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has awarded a contract for the fabrication of 2 composite Radome to a British-based Meggitt Aerospace Limited. Composite Radome supplied by the company will be used on the first and second pre-production Tejas Mk2 jets, while efforts are being made by ADA to fabricate and develop technologies indigenously that will be used in production variants of the aircraft when it enters service in 2028.

Composite Radome maintain low observability to the enemy and Meggitt Aerospace Limited are specialists in the design, testing, manufacturing, and service of Advanced Composite Radome in the US and UK. According to ADA, Tejas Mk2 will feature 10% smaller Radome to incorporate an infrared search and track (IRST) system when compared to the dimensions of nose cone seen on the Tejas Mk1/1A.

A Smaller Radome on Mk2 will also help in reducing drag by >20% that in turn, will also reduce the frontal Radar cross-section of the aircraft. ADA claims that the frontal RCS of the Tejas Mk2 will be smaller than that of the Tejas Mk1A due to the optimally designed frontal fuselage and reduced nose cone in the aircraft. Mk2 will be using upgraded Uttam AESA Fire Control Radar with 992 arrays of TR modules, that is more than 780 arrays of TR modules that will be packed on the Tejas Mk1A even when it will have a smaller nose cone.

Another British firm Cobham is supplying Quartz Fiber Composite Radome for the Tejas Mk1 jets from LSP-3 onwards and likely will also supply for the Tejas Mk1A jets that are on order by IAF but recent tenders by ADA confirms that the organization is working to fabricate and demonstrate a locally made Quartz Radome Nose cone for the Tejas Mk1A program also. ADA previously had developed composite Radome for the LCA-Tejas program but faced issues with the lightning protection system and also there was rainwater ingress at the Radome-fuselage junction in the current structure due to which it had to procure them from Cobham.

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