Glitches in LCA radar
Bangalore: Problems detected in the multi-mode radar(MMR) to be fiited on
to the nose cone of the light combat aircraft (LCA) are posing obstacles
to the aircraft's crucial weaponisation phase.
The pulse doppler MMR, being developed through a collaboration between the
Electronic Radar Development establishment (LRDE) and the Hindustan Aeronautics
Limited (HAL), Hyderabad, is aimed at detecting, tracking, terrain-mapping
and delivering guided beyond visual range weapons through a compatible system
that links the radar with the weapon system enabling the pilot to take immediate
action on detecting the enemy.
It is designed to simultaneously keep track of a maximum of 10 targets allowing
multiple-target engagement and can relay messages in real time for the pilot
to take counter measures.
However, scientists working on the radar told Vijay Times the results of
the multimode radar while being tested on an Avro HS748M aircraft were "not
positive" as the performance of several modes being tested fell short of
The radar was scheduled to be fitted into the nose cone of the LCA for combat
evaluation, making way for LCA's weaponisation which would be
compatible with the radar.
The radar has air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities and was tested on
two ground test rigs in Bangalore and Hyderabad, besides the inflight test
on board the Avro.
The real test would be when the radar is flown on the LCA as the scientists
would be able to analyse its performance when exposed to high gravitational
force with the fighter in full flight.
According to scientists, the glitches in the test phase of the radar may
force them to consider similar radars from other countries like the Elta
from the Israeli Aircraft Industries or the AN/APG-67 from Lockheed Martin,
which the Aeronautics Development Agency, the developer of LCA, evaluated
in 1992 and is currently used on US' F-16s.
Which means the radar would follow in the footsteps of the indigenous Kaveri
engine for the LCA in which place the GE404 F2J3 engine of the American General
Electric is being used till the indigenous engine is ready.