HomeAatmanirbhar BharatLCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites...

LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers

LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers

The LCA Tejas Mark1A is the most awaited fighter with 83 numbers on order which will be boosting the squadron strength of Indian Air force.

LCA Mk1A is an improved variant of indigenously developed LCA MK1. It has additional features and improvements such as Self Protection Jammer, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) RADAR, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile and maintainability improvements etc.

In its annual report for the year 2022-23, HAL has informed that the LCA Mark1A modification has been completed with integration of AESA Radar, EW Suite, and upgraded Open Architecture Computer (OAC) software. Flight testing commenced of LCA Mark1A has already commenced. In fact, the LCA Mk1A prototype (LCA SP-25 modified for MK1A features) was conducted on 20th May 2022.

Uttam AESA integration with LCA Tejas

Astra Microwave has also confirmed in its financial report for FY 2022-23, that the firm has developed and delivered Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU) For Uttam AESA Radar for LCA Mk1A fighter aircraft. The integration of Uttam AESA radar with LCA Tejas will give it unmatched capability. The Uttam AESA radar integrated with LCA Tejas MK1A has 912 TRMs.

Uttam radar integrated in LCA Tejas 696x464 1
Uttam AESA radar on LCA Tejas nosecone, on display (File Photo)

It is a full solid-state Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) based active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Uttam AESA radar will have 18 modes in Air to Air, Air to Ground and Air to Sea roles. The Uttam radar has been able to track an LCA Tejas Mark1 aircraft from a range of 140KM which is quite significant as LCA is smallest fighter in its category and has good stealth characteristics due to the usage of composite.

The AESA radar has 95% indigenous component with only one imported subsystem. It has the capacity to track 50 targets in the sky at a range in excess of 100km and engage four of them simultaneously.

Astra Mark1 integration

The ground integration activity of Astra Mark-1 missile with LCA Tejas had also commenced last year. The LSP5 was being used for the integration. This involved ground vibration test and structural coupling test which have been completed. The next step is the flight trial of Astra Mark1A from LCA Tejas and preparation for the same should have been in progress.

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Astra Mark 1 Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile on LCA Tejas

LCA Tejas Mark1A is also being upgraded with Improved Radio Altimeter. As per update from a year back, its flight trials were in progress. The LCA Tejas LSP3 is being used for this testing.

EW Component: Digital RWR & ASPJ

In Last financial year, the Aeronautical Development Agency(ADA) has also competed the integration of Digital RWR Next Generation. The digital RWR was also seen in the video shot by aviation wall for LCA Tejas Mark1A during its flight. The LCA Tejas LSP3 was used for the integration and testing of D-RWR. This integration has been successfully completed by ADA.

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The next very important component for LCA Tejas is ASPJ(Advance Self Protection Jamming) pod. The ASPJ pod developed by DRDO is one of the latest and best in its class. The LCA Tejas LSP5 was used for ASPJ integration which has been successfully completed. LSP5 has also been used to test the Self-Protection Pod by Israel firm Elta. The Israel’s ETLA pod was tested to work alongside D-RWR. The flight testing of Israel’s SPJ is also complete. In summary LCA Tejas Mark1A will support 2 jammer pods – ASPJ from DRDO and SPJ from Elta.

Self-Protection Jammer Pod & RWR – works in tandem

The Self Protection Jammer is an ECM (electronic countermeasure) system that jams the signal of hostile radar and thus provides protection to the aircraft. The jammer first detects the radiation of enemy emitters and compares it with its integral threat library. If the transmission either is confirmed to be hostile or is an unknown threat, the jammer radiates and jams the enemy receiver(s) and thus attempts to protect the aircraft.

At the same time, an RWR systems also detects the radio emissions of radar systems, but their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected.

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DRDO has developed indigenous ASPJ (Advance Self Protection Jammer) pod and Dhruti digital RWR for Indian fighter jets. Both these systems are completely indigenous be it hardware or software. The Dhruti RWR detects the hostile RF signal and transfers that data to ASPJ which in turn jams the incoming hostile RF signal. The purpose of the system is to provide protection to the aircraft against ground-based acquisition radars, fire control radars, anti-aircraft artillery and airborne multimode radars.

Advance Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ)

DRDO’s ASPJ is developed on Gallium Nitride based solid-state AESA jammer transmitters. ASPJ is based on Active Phased Array (APA), ultra wide band DRFM(Digital Radio Frequency Memory) and inbuilt cooling system. The DRFM jammers are famous for their capability to severely degrade the adversaries’ radars and missile seekers.

Cooling system is another important component of ASPJ which was earlier imported but now has been developed completely indigenously. The ASPJ pods radiates lot of energy which in turns generate lot of heat internally. In order ensure the proper functioning of the on-board electronics it’s important to cool down these systems which is where cooling systems are used. ASPJ is going to be a single POD.

EW for LCA Mark 1A: Internal Receiver + ASPJ

Indigenous EW Suite developed for LCA Mk1A consists of internal Receiver unit and External Podded Jammer. The internal receiver unit is a new generation EW receiver system which operates in a wide frequency range. It is an internal system and fully digital receiver-based solution with powerful, real-time signal processing using complex and adaptive algorithms. The external podded jammer is going to be the Indigenous Advanced Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ) Pod.

LCA Tejas Mark-1A Delivery

As per contract, HAL is required to deliver the first three aircraft in 2024 and 16 aircraft annually for the next five years. The MoD is also considering order for additional 50 LCA Tejas Mark-1A. This is very critical for Indian Air Force which is losing its fighter jet squadrons at faster pace but not able to replenish them. The IAF is currently down to 31 fighter squadrons as against the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons which is set to dwindle further as the remaining three MIG-21 squadrons are phased out by 2025. The only quick solution at hand for Indian Air Force is the indigenous bird LCA Tejas Mark 1A. HAL now has 3 assembly complexes for LCA which can take its production rate to 24 aircrafts per year. There is no reason why HAL can’t deliver 16 aircrafts per year. LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers LCA Tejas Mark 1A Ready to Roar with indigenous Electronic Warfare suites and Jammers IgMp

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