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Hindustan Aeronautics and Bharat Electronics co-developed and co-produced a long-range dual band infra-red search and track system for Su-30 MKI and will commence developmental trials from mid of 2024 onwards as work is progressing towards a limited scale of production for development testing.

The co-developed IRST system aims to replace the existing Russian-supplied OLS-30 IRST system on the Su-30MKI fleet, with the process expected to commence from 2026 onwards.

Additionally, the newly developed IRST system will also be incorporated into the upcoming Tejas MkII fighter jets, which are set to undergo flight trials in 2025. By integrating the advanced IRST system into both the Su-30MKI and Tejas MkII fleets, India’s fighter aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, enhancing their capabilities for various operational scenarios.

The proposed IRST system boasts an array of impressive features that ensure it stands at the forefront of modern airborne surveillance and tracking capabilities. Notably, it offers a wide field-of-regard (FOR) coverage, enabling the simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple airborne threats over long ranges. This expanded surveillance capability provides crucial situational awareness to pilots and significantly enhances the aircraft’s ability to respond effectively to potential threats.

The system’s selectable Field Of View (FOV) further adds to its versatility, allowing pilots to adjust the range and focus of the sensor as per the operational requirements. This flexibility ensures optimal performance in various mission profiles, ranging from long-range target search to close-in combat situations.

One of the system’s key strengths is its Long Range Target Search Navigation capability, which enables pilots to identify and track potential threats from significant distances, providing ample time for strategic decision-making and engagement planning.

Additionally, the proposed IRST system is designed to facilitate the detection and tracking of a large number of targets concurrently, enhancing the aircraft’s ability to handle multiple threats in dynamic and challenging operational environments.

Another noteworthy feature is the Passive Ranging capability, allowing the system to calculate the distance to detected targets without emitting any active signals, ensuring covert operations and reducing the risk of detection by enemy systems.

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