Off late there has been mounting speculation about the electronic warfare (EW) suites on board the Indian Navy’s (IN) principal surface combatants. This analysis is therefore being presented as a photo-essay to fully explain the principal elements of the respective EW suites now operational with the IN. The IN’s tryst with integrated shipborne EW suites began in the early 1980s when the first three Project 16 Godavari-class guided-missile frigates (FFG) were equipped with the mast-mounted Nettuno 2000 suite supplied by Italy’s Elettronica Spa. The suite comprised ESM and ECM sections, and an offboard countermeasures dispenser, which in India’s case was the PK-10. The ESM section (photo 1) also incorporated an ELINT sub-section (using four monopulse multi-beam DF antenna arrays) and together the section provided 100% intercept probability of radar emitters, and also performed environment synthesis. The section’s automation levels ensured immediate emission identification (based on a comprehensive threat library). Real-time pre-processing was achieved with an advanced multi-microprocessor using customised algorithms. The ESM section could undertake instantaneous and accurate pulse-by-pulse measurements, and achieve frequency and intra-pulse modulation using a digital frequency measurement module. The ECM section (photo 2), using two transmitters, employed coherent jamming techniques to counter pulse-coded threats and achieved high-ERP by using the high-power transmitters and twin stabilised directional antennae (port and starboard). Completing the circuit was the PK-10 decoy dispenser (photo 3).
By the late 1990s, the Defence Research & Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Hyderabad-based Defence R & D laboratory (DRDL), under the auspices of Project Sangraha, had succeeded in developing the Ajanta family of combined ESM/ELINT systems (comprising the Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 variants), while the Bangalore-based Advanced Systems Integration and Evaluation Organisation (ASIEO) had developed a high-power radar reflector antenna designed specifically to jam the active radars of inbound anti-ship cruise missiles. Two such antennae are mounted port and starboard in the main mast just below the topmast-mounted Ajanta. When integrated with a bigger ECM system (housed inside the main mast) and offboard countermeasures dispensers like the Russia-supplied PK-10 or Elbit Systems’ Desceaver), the ECM section came to be known as Ellora. The twin high-power radar reflector antennae can be clearly seen on board the Project 15 Delhi-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG) just above the Orekh illuminating radars (as seen on photos 4 & 5), and on the main masts of the Project 16A FFG (photo 6, on INS Betwa). The Project 25 and Project 25A guided-missile corvettes and all five Kashin II-class DDGs (photo 7) are equipped with the Ajanta ESM/ELINT intercept system integrated with PK-10 countermeasures dispensers and Nettuno ECM-4000 system, while each of the three Project 17 Shivalik-class FFGs and three Project 15A Kolkata-class DDGs will each have on board the Ajanta Mk3 ESM/ELINT section, while the ECM section will comprise the twin high-power radar reflector antennae, as well as Elettronica Spa’s planar phased-array ECM section (see photos 8 & 9). This section is also housed within the main masts of the three Project 15 DDGs--Prasun K. Sengupta