|Uttam Mk-1 AESA on the nose of Tejas Mk-1 model on display (File Photo)
DRDO/LRDE completes the development trails of UTTAM MK-1 AESA Radar for TEJAS MK-1A. UTTAM MK-2 is also being developed for TEJAS MK-2 fighter jet.
A more powerful variant for Su-30MKI is under development. Better Radars with GaN TRMs for AMCA & TEDBF are also under consideration according to this report.
India’s DRDO has said that TEJAS MK-1A fighters will have the homegrown ‘Uttam’ radar, according to reports. The move is in sync with the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative.
The first batch of TEJAS fighter jets will be equipped with the Uttam radars. Of the 123 Tejas fighters that the Indian Air Force will get, 40 will have Israel’s mechanical radars and 83 will have Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman Sateesh Reddy told Times of India in Feb 2021: “We will have the Uttam radar from the 21st TEJAS MK-1A.” This means 20 of the 83 Tejas will have Israeli AESA radars and the 63 will be equipped with Uttam radars. He said Uttam has performed better than anticipated in the trials.
Produced by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a DRDO lab in Bengaluru, Uttam is a state-of-the-art AESA radar, which can track multiple targets and take high-resolution pictures.
Uttam AESA is a multi mode solid state phased array radar. Considering the size of nose cone in MK-1A, it can accommodate around 750-800 Transmitter/Receiver Gallium Arsenide based module.
As the Uttam is getting the power of 10 KW in TEJAS, we can expect the tracking range of radar is around 150-170 KM for 2m2 object.
It can track 100 target simultaneously and can engaged with 6 target at a time. Within a blink of second the radar can change from Air-to-Air to Air-to-Ground SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) mode or can perform both task at a time.
DRDO is also started working Gallium Nitride module based T/R module for Uttam AESA which will further increase the capability of indigenous system.
HAL is also planning to upgrade the entire fleet of IAF Sukhoi Su-30MKI with integrating an upscaled variant Uttam of AESA. Currently Su-30 is using PESA (Passive Electronically Scanned Array) radar which makes it vulnerable towards jamming.
Upcoming fighter aircraft of India like TEJAS MK-2, TEDBF & AMCA is also going to use Uttam AESA radar. Using indigenous radar in various platforms of IAF will ease the logistics.