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Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships

Source : Indian Defence Ananlysis

Japan to export stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships
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Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships

Post the QUAD submit in May 2022, the Japanese government has allowed the export of fighter jets, missiles to India and other countries. However, the agreement for the same was signed way back in 2015 between Japan and India. But this has gained momentum in as US and its allies want to reduce the dependency of Indian on Russia for defence import.

The India’s Department of Defence Production and Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on collaboration for UNICORN during 7th IndiaJapan Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment & Technology Cooperation. Indian Navy wants to develop Indigenous Integrated Mast (IIM) with BEL in a two-phase project. In phase-I, the IIM will have R-ESM, COMINT, V/UHF communication, and Data Link Antenna on a single mast without a Radome. In phase-II these sensors will be integrated on a single mast with a Radome.

the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar made an official visit to Japan for the second India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Meeting on 7-10 September 2022.  During this meeting Japan and India agreed to cooperate on the transfer of the Unicorn system. Following the meeting, Rajnath Singh also visited the Japanese Navy’s Yokosuka base. There are reports that the defence minister has also inspected the Unicorn system mounted on the new destroyer, Kumano, and was likely briefed on its capabilities.

JS Kumano (FFM-2): Mogami-class frigate

The JS Kumano (FFM-2) is the second ship of the Mogami-class frigate of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) which you are seeing on your screen. Just like Unicorn’s horn, you can see a horn shaped antenna mounted atop the pyramidal structure. If you compare this structure with Indian Navy’s warship you will find the Pyramidal structure which mounts the Israeli origin MF-STAR Radar, but the horn-shaped unicorn is missing. The image what you are seeing in front of your screen is a Japanese frigate but without unicorn.

UNIted COmbined Radio aNtenna (UNICORN)

Now, let’s try to understand UNICORN or UNIted COmbined Radio aNtenna (UNICORN) in more detail. It is also called the NORA-50 integration mast. It has a bar-shaped dome that houses the antennas for tactical data link, TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation System), and communications. The shape of UNICORN has been designed to reduce the radar cross section (RCS) and reduce the reflection of enemy radio waves, thereby further improving the stealth characteristic of warship. The unicorn can be integrated with Indian Navy’s warship such as existing Nilgiri class frigates Next generation frigates and destroyers. Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships  Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships Japan working on export of stealthy UNICORN radar mast to India for future Indian Navy warships IgMp

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