Friday, February 27, 2009

Project Samyukta Detailed

Project Samyukta, a joint software/integration-intensive R & D programme of the DRDO, the TATA Group and the Indian Army’s Corps of Signals, reached fruition last April and was recently showcased by Bharat Electronics Ltd during Aero India 2009. The project, launched in May 1994, had called for the development and deployment of an integrated EW system covering the 1.5MHz–40GHz bandwidth. The system comprises both communications (com) and non-communications (non-com) segments and encompasses 145 wheeled vehicles for housing sensors for electronic surveillance, interception, monitoring, analysis and jamming of all communications and radar signals. The core system was successfully demonstrated to the Indian Army by late 2002 by the DRDO’s Defence Electronics Research Laboratory. The Army subsequently placed an order with state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd for the production of three communications control centre (CC) blocks at a total cost of Rs4.25 billion. Two CC blocks with 46 vehicles were delivered in January 2004 to the Army after successful demonstration and user trials in early 2003. Demonstrations of the non-com core system, comprising a CC, electronic support measures sub-suite, and electronic countermeasures-low and high-frequency entities were successfully conducted in 2005, following which Army HQ ordered the first two non-com CC blocks at a cost of Rs5 billion. Work is now underway on a sub-project of Samyukta, called ‘Samrat’, under which the design and development of indigenous communications EW receivers for search, monitoring, direction-finding (single and multi-channel), analysis and decoding in the HF/VHF and UHF frequency ranges along with associated systems control/applications software development is now being undertaken. Thus far, technologies have been developed for compact low-noise, high-dynamic range HF (0.5-30MHz) and V/UHF (20-3,000MHz) search-cum-monitoring receivers for COMINT suites, as well as for new-generation narrow- band signals classifier, and the demodulator and decoder sub-system.

The com segment’s COMINT/ELINT sensors include those for detecting emissions from pulsed airborne synthetic aperture radars (SAR), from the active radars of air-to-surface precision guided-munitions and from radar altimeters, from airborne early warning & control radars, and from terrain-following radars while they are still 150km away. The three types of active jammers employed include those for wide-band jamming of hostile field artillery radio proximity fuzes over an area of 600,000 square metres, and for simultaneous jamming up to eight hostile X-band airborne radars in azimuth and elevation. SAR radars operating up to 80km away can be jammed, while the X-band monopulse pulse-Doppler airborne radars of combat aircraft can be jammed out to a distance of 50km. The efficient emitting power of the jammer is not less than 580kW. The jammers can be deployed in two patterns: 16 as a battalion, and 6 as a company.
Frequency detection sensitivity is 110-123dB/W, while the frequency measurement accuracy is 1MHz. Bearing accuracy is automatically achieved between 1-3 degrees. The measurement accuracy of temporal pulse parameters 0.05 milli-second at a pulsed length of 0-2-70 milli-seconds. The measurement accuracy of the pulsed repetition period is 0.05 milli-second for a minimal pulse duration of 1 milli-second. Measurement accuracy of the pulse string-repetition period is 0.1 second. The system’s internal database contains frequency libraries of up to 2,000 types of radars. Another type of jammer operates in the 13,333-17,554MHz frequency bandwidthand can process incoming signals like simple-pulse, quasi-continuous wave (CW) and CW, pulsed chirp-modulated, and phase code-shift keyed with pseudo-random frequency-tuning signals. The input sensitivity of a receiver fitted with frequency determination and reproduction sensors is minus 90, while the radiated power is 600 Watt. The frequency-accurate interference signals reproduction is +/-0.5MHz. Spectrum-matching of the reproduced interference signal is fully automated. Jamming signals emitted include MP-1, MP-2, MP-1 + noise, MP-2 + noise, quasi-CW noise, spot jamming in frequency and range deception signals. The system can also jam GPS signals out to a distance of 70km, and multi-frequency autodyne radio proximity fuzes.

The non-com component’s COMINT/ELINT suites can operate autonomously and are also available in man-portable versions with GIS and digital moving map overlays. They can undertake panoramic frequency-band surveillance and produce time-and-frequency analysis in three formats: gain-frequency panorama, time-and-frequency panorama, and frequency-intensity panorama. Frequencies are monitored in the 30-18,000MHz bandwidth, and the direction-finding error is not more than 3 degrees. The suites are thus optimised for providing search, intercept, analysis and monitoring capabilities of hostile communications emissions.--Prasun K. Sengupta

Saturday, February 21, 2009

OSAMC For Aircraft Upgrades

The OSAMC, originally developed by DARE and also known earlier as the core avionics computer, is presently on board the Su-30MKI and upgraded MiG-27Ms and upgraded Jaguar IMs, and will also be an integral part of the DARIN-3 avionics upgrade package for the yet-to-be-upgraded and re-engined Jaguar IS. The IAF's upgraded MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s too will have OSAMC on-board. The OSAMC is also being globally marketed by a joint India-US joint venture.--Prasun K. Sengupta

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Honeywell's Re-Engining Offer For IAF Jaguars

The above-posted brochure is self-explanatory, except for the fact that this re-engining is only one component of the upgrade package for the Jaguar IS/IM, which is being proposed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), and which will include the third-generation DARIN-3 navigation-system system and an integrated defensive aids suite, both of which have been designed and integrated by the DRDO's Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), using several avionics LRUs originally developed for the Tejas LCA. The cockpit, shown at the Aero India 2009 expo, will now feature the same HUD as that on the Tejas LCA, along with three large MFD-55 AMLCDs supplied by THALES-Samtel Display Systems, and HOTAS controls, all utilising a MIL-STD-1553B digital databus. It remains to be seen if these upgraded Jaguars (about 120 in all will be upgraded and will be in service till 2022) will also be equipped with the fly-by-wire flight control system, which was tested out by BAE Systems way back in the mid-1980s on the Jaguar. By the way, these upgraded Jaguars are also due to be fitted with multi-mode monopulse radars for which the EL/M-2052, Captor-E and Seaspray 5000e are being proposed.--Prasun K. Sengupta

Friday, February 6, 2009

Super Hornet Flight Evaluation Schedule

For the uninitiated, the above tableaux give a detailed explanation of the forthcoming flight evaluation process and schedules for the F/A-18F Super Hornet Block 2 that is likely to be conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) sometime this August over a two-week period. Close to 30 sorties lasting 45 flight-hours are expected to be flown, with half the sorties expected to be devoted to the evaluation of the Raytheon-built APG-79 AESA radar. Of all the six contenders for the IAF's M-MRCA requirement, the Super Hornet, the Rafale F-3 and the MiG-35 are expected to be subjected to the most stringent flight evaluations as only these three contenders are being offered with AESA radars. Of these three, only two--the Super Hornet (with the APG-79) and the Rafale F-3 (with the THALES-built RBE-2)--are in operational service. The JAS-39IN Gripen NG on offer to the IAF is also expected to be fitted with the ELTA Systems-built EL/M-2052 AESA radar by the time the IAF evaluation team proceeds to Sweden. The Block 70 F-16IN Super Viper from Lockheed Martin is being proposed with the Northrop Grumman-built APG-80 AESA radar that is also on board the F-16C/D Block 60 of the UAE Air Force, but in the absence of any such in-house available aircraft for the IAF's flight evaluations, Lockheed Martin will reconfigure one of its F-16 Block 60 flight simulators into the Block 70 configuration for the IAF flight evaluation team, a process similar to what Boeing IDS had done for the P-8I LRMR/ASW platform's evaluation process.--Prasun K. Sengupta

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eitam CAEWS At Aero India 2009

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is sending its Gulfstream G-550-based conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) system to the Aero India 2009 expo in Bengaluru. Developed by IAI's ELTA Systems subsidiary, the CAEWS has to date been ordered by Israel and Singapore, with the first Israeli platform being delivered in February 2008 and the second following in May 2008. Singapore has ordered four such platforms that will be delivered through to 2010. The CAEWS is equipped with the ELTA-built EL/W-2085 system, uses AESA antennae at the nose and tail, with large slab-sided arrays on the fuselage sides. Together, these give 360° airspace coverage without the complication and drag of a rotodome above the fuselage. Each CAEWS carries six operators, and also has ESM antennae under the tail and wingtips, and above the nose, with a SATCOM array atop the vertical tail. Radar, ESM and COMINT data is collected and fused to give a fully correlated and synthetic air situation picture. The aircraft’s structural, aerodynamic and power modifications, including two additional generators and a low-drag liquid cooling system, are all installed on the aircraft by Gulfstream Aerospace prior to delivery to ELTA, and the mission sensors/management suite is then installed in country by IAI’s Bedek Aviation Group. The CAEWS offers an unrefuelled mission endurance of 9 hours when operating at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and 185km (100nm) from its home base.—Prasun K. Sengupta