India to develop electronic warfare system soon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BANGALORE - India is developing its own radar-based electronic warfare system (EWS) with two test ranges in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to equip its armed forces for modern wars, a senior defence official said Wednesday.

An indigenously developed radar-based EWS will be ready by 2013, with test ranges at Chitradurga in Karnataka and at Tandur near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief controller Prahlada said here.

Cost of each test range is estimated to be about Rs.200 crore.

Noting that modern day wars cannot be fought and won without EWS, Prahlada said the radar-based sophisticated communication system would use electromagnetic spectrum for attack, protection and warfare support to destroy the combat capabilities of an enemy.

The prowess of electronic warfare system was amply demonstrated by the US armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. A prototype EWS has been integrated with MiG-27 fighter for test flights, Prahlada said at the first India National Electronic Warfare workshop, organised by the India chapter of Association of Old Crows (AOC), based at Virginia in the US.

The Chitradurga aeronautical test range, which will come up by 2012 at the DRDO’s 4,000-acre campus in the state, about 200 km from Bangalore, will be used for communication-based EWS and the Tandur range will be used for non-communication EWS.

The testing centres will be operational by 2012. As per the plan, EWS will be integrated with MiG-29, Jaguar, Sukhoi-MKI-30 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas by 2011, Prahlada told about 300 delegates.

Our goal is to develop the fourth-generation EWS by 2012 because without electronic warfare, you cannot win a war. Once you have it (EW capability), you have to test it, you can’t wait for a war to test it,” Prahlada added.

The fourth-generation EWS is being developed by the state-run Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) and Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DERL).

Once the air version of EWS is integrated and operational, the naval and army versions will be developed simultaneously.

Currently, EW systems are being tested in the IAF range at Gwalior in central India.

Stressing on greater self-reliance in production and procurement, the defence scientist said the country’s defence research and development (R&D) establishments have been able meet about 50 percent of defence requirements indigenously and the target was to scale it up to 70 percent by 2020.

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