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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has unveiled its highly anticipated Navachakshu Electronic Warfare (EW) System, marking a significant leap forward in India’s indigenous defense technology. This cutting-edge system promises to bolster the electronic warfare capabilities of two key frontline fighter aircraft: the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk1A and the Sukhoi Su-30MKI.

Navachakshu, meaning “third eye” in Sanskrit, equips these fighters with advanced Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) capabilities. These crucial systems work in tandem to detect, analyze, and identify enemy radar emissions, providing pilots with real-time situational awareness of the electronic battlefield. This enhanced awareness allows them to:

Evade enemy detection and targeting:
 By identifying and jamming hostile radars, pilots can make their aircraft invisible to enemy air defense systems, significantly reducing the risk of being targeted.

Prioritize threats: The system’s ability to classify and categorize radar signals helps pilots prioritize incoming threats, enabling them to take appropriate defensive measures with greater efficiency.

Gain tactical advantage: By understanding the enemy’s radar deployment and capabilities, pilots can exploit vulnerabilities and gain a tactical edge in aerial combat situations.

The unveiling of Navachakshu comes after successful user-assisted flight trials in 2023, where IAF pilots actively tested the system’s ESM and RWR functionalities. This collaborative approach, involving both DRDO scientists and airforce personnel, has ensured that the system is tailor-made to meet the specific operational needs of the IAF.

A closer look at the system reveals its advanced technological features:

  • ADF Antenna: This antenna provides direction-finding capabilities, allowing the system to pinpoint the location of enemy radar sources.
  • SMB Module: The Signal Modulation Board analyzes the characteristics of intercepted radar signals to identify their type and purpose.
  • FEA: The Front-End Amplifier amplifies weak radar signals for accurate analysis by the system.
  • SWaP Optimized Wide Band Receiver: This compact and energy-efficient receiver covers a wide range of radio frequencies, ensuring comprehensive detection of enemy radars.
  • Buffer Amplifier: This component strengthens the amplified signals before they are processed by the system’s analysis modules.

The integration of Navachakshu into the Tejas Mk1A and Su-30MKI significantly enhances the IAF’s electronic warfare capabilities, providing its pilots with a vital edge in the modern aerial battlefield. DRDO’s successful development of this advanced system marks a major milestone in India’s quest for self-reliance in critical defense technologies. As user trials continue and the system undergoes further refinement, the IAF can look forward to even greater situational awareness and tactical advantage in the skies.

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