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In a significant milestone, the installation of the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR, a multifunction active electronically scanned array (AESA) naval radar system developed by IAI Elta, has been completed on India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant. This marks a crucial step towards the carrier’s operational deployment, slated for mid-2024.

The MF-STAR radar, also known as the “eyes of the ship,” is a state-of-the-art system that provides the carrier with superior situational awareness and surveillance capabilities. It can detect and track multiple air and surface targets simultaneously, even in challenging weather conditions.

With the radar installation complete, INS Vikrant is now undergoing trials of its onboard MiG-29K fighter jets. These trials are expected to be completed by early 2024, paving the way for the carrier’s operational deployment.

In addition to the radar and fighter jet trials, INS Vikrant has also received the Indo-Israeli developed Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) air defense system during a recent refit at Cochin Shipyard. This advanced air defense system will protect the carrier against aerial threats, including anti-ship missiles and sea-skimming cruise missiles.

The completion of these critical installations and trials brings INS Vikrant closer to its full operational capability. The carrier’s deployment in mid-2024 will significantly bolster India’s naval power and enhance its ability to safeguard its maritime interests in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.

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