Thursday, 4 October 2012

An Israeli Radar in India’s Jet Fighter?

India’s air force is seeking to equip its LCA jet fighter with an Israeli-produced radar

Will the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) being developed in India be equipped with an advanced radar system developed in Israel? The chances for that have increased in the recent days. Sources in India have informed that the Indian Air Force which is acquiring the LCA is interested in having it equipped with an AESA radar. Such a radar has been developed and is being produced by Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, which is considered among the most advanced of its kind throughout the world.

While the Indian LCA project is suffering from a 15-year delay beyond the original schedules, it is nevertheless continuing. The 2nd prototype is expected to take flight only next year. The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at India’s Ministry of Defense is developing an electronic scanning radar, but the Indian sources said that the developers will need foreign assistance. The aircraft is equipped with a US engine after the engine developed for it in India did not provide the necessary thrust. At this stage, India ordered 200 LCA MK2 aircraft -  the advanced version of the aircraft -  from the Indian defense industry.

AESA radars are considered the most advanced radars for jet fighters, and they improve the aircraft’s ability to detect aerial targets. In the past, the Ministry of Defense has prevented Elta from offering the new radar for export, but this was changed since several manufacturers, including US manufacturers, are offering them around the world.

According to the sources, the close military procurement relations between Israel and India allow for a good possibility of cooperation in developing the Indian radar that will be installed on the LCA.

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