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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up to strengthen its air defense capabilities with the procurement of advanced medium-range surveillance radars. This initiative emphasizes the IAF’s commitment to staying ahead of evolving threats, including drone warfare.

The IAF prioritizes acquiring these radars from domestic sources. The key requirement is a detection range exceeding that of currently deployed systems. The ideal radar should offer a primary detection range of at least 200 kilometers and a secondary detection range exceeding 300 kilometers.

The IAF seeks a technologically advanced solution. The new radars must be 4th generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) systems. Additionally, they should incorporate an integrated Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) system to ensure real-time battlefield identification. These features will provide a comprehensive and high-quality air situation picture with 360-degree coverage.

The operational environment is a crucial consideration. The IAF demands all-weather functionality, ensuring the radars perform effectively under various weather conditions. Furthermore, they should be deployable at high altitudes exceeding 16,000 feet.

The core radar system will operate on the S-band frequency, adhering to designated defence bands. However, an additional X-band radar co-mounted with the main antenna is mandatory. This dual-frequency configuration enhances the system’s ability to detect and track drones, a growing concern in modern warfare.

The IAF recognizes the importance of mobility. The new radars must be vehicle-mounted and possess high maneuverability across diverse terrains. Furthermore, air transportability using C-17 heavy-lift aircraft is essential for rapid deployment across vast distances.

The IAF’s issuance of a Request for Information (RFI) on April 15th marks the initial step in this crucial acquisition process. The response from domestic radar manufacturers will be keenly watched. The successful development and deployment of these advanced radars will significantly bolster India’s air defense capabilities, safeguarding its airspace against emerging threats.

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