Electronics and Radar Development Establishment
Field of research
|Director||S. S. Nagaraj |
C.V. Raman Nagar,
|Website||LRDE Home Page|
Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (ERDE) is a laboratory of the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). Located in C.V. Raman Nagar, Bangalore its primary function is research and development of Radars and related technologies.
LRDE is sometimes mis-abbreviated as "ERDE". To distinguish between "Electrical" and "Electronic", the latter is abbreviated with the first letter of its Latin root (lektra). The same approach is used with for the DLRL. The LRDE is India's premier Radar design and development establishment and is deeply involved in Indian radar efforts. Its primary production partners include Bharat Electronics Ltd. and various private firms like Mistral in Bangalore, Astra micro in Hyderabad and Datapatterns in Chennai.
LRDE has a variety of radar systems in production as well as development. The publicly known projects include:
The DRDO has steadily increased its radar development footprint across a range of systems. The result has been substantial progress in India's ability to design and manufacture high power radar systems of its own design and with locally manufactured components and systems. The path began with the development of short range 2D systems (Indra-1) and has now extended to high power 3D systems intended for strategic purposes (LRTR). Several other projects span the gamut of radar applications, from airborne surveillance (AEW & C) to firecontrol radars (land based, and airborne). The DRDO's productionised as well as production ready radar systems include:
- INDRA series of 2D radars meant for Army and Air Force use. This was the first high power radar developed by the DRDO, with the Indra -I radar for the Indian Army, followed by Indra Pulse Compression (PC) version for the Indian Air Force, also known as the Indra-II, which is a low level radar to search and track low flying cruise missiles, helicopters and aircraft. These are basically 2D radars which provide range, and azimuth information, and are meant to be used as gapfillers. The Indra 2 PC has pulse compression providing improved range resolution. The series are used both by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army
- Rajendra fire control radar for the Akash SAM: The Rajendra is stated to be ready. However, it can be expected that further iterative improvements will nonetheless be made. The Rajendra is a high power, Passive electronically scanned array radar (PESA), with the ability able to guide up to 12 Akash SAMs against aircraft flying at low to medium altitudes. The Rajendra has a detection range of 80 km with 18 km height coverage against small fighter sized targets and is able to track 64 targets, engaging 4 simultaneously, with up to 3 missiles per target. The Rajendra features a fully digital high speed signal processing system with adaptive moving target indicator, coherent signal processing, FFTs, and variable pulse repetition frequency. The entire PESA antenna array can swivel 360 degrees on a rotating platform. This allows the radar antenna to be rapidly repositioned, and even conduct all round surveillance.
- Central Acquisition Radar, a state of the art planar array, S Band radar operating on the stacked beam principle. With a range of 180 km against fighter sized targets, it can track while scan 200 of them. Its systems are integrated on high mobility, locally built TATRA trucks for the Army and Air Force; however it is meant to be used by all three services. The Planar array was developed by DRDO, whereas the rest of the hardware and signal processing were done locally. Initially developed for the long-running Akash SAM system, seven were ordered by the Indian Air Force for their radar modernization program, and two of another variant were ordered by the Indian Navy for their P-28 Corvettes. The CAR has been a significant success for radar development in India, with its state of the art signal processing hardware. The ROHINI is the IAF specific variant while the REVATHI is the Indian Navy specific variant. The ROHINI has a more advanced Indian developed antenna in terms of power handling and beamforming technology while the IREVATH adds two axis stabilisation for operation in naval conditions, as well as extra naval modes.
- BFSR-SR, a 2D short range Battle Field Surveillance Radar, meant to be man-portable. Designed and developed by LRDE, the project was a systematic example of concurrent engineering, with the production agency involved through the design and development stage. This enabled the design to be brought into production quickly. The radar continues to progress further in terms of integration, with newer variants being integrated with thermal imagers for visually tracking targets detected by the radar. Up to 10 BFSR-SR can be networked together for network centric operation. It is in use with the Indian Army and the BSF as well as export customers.
- Super Vision-2000, an airborne 3D naval surveillance radar, meant for helicopters and light transport aircraft. The SV-2000 is a lightweight, yet high performance, slotted array radar operating in the X Band. It can detect sea-surface targets such as a periscope or a vessel, against heavy clutter, and can also be used for navigation, weather mapping and beacon detection. The radar can detect a large vessel at over 100 nautical miles (370 km). It is currently under modification to be fitted to the Advanced Light Helicopter, and the Navy's Do-228's. Variants can be fitted to the Navy's Ka-25's as well. The radar has been inducted by the Indian Navy and a more advanced variant of the Super Vision, known as the XV-2004 is now in production. The XV-2004 is also operational, and features an ISAR, SAR Capability.
- Long Range Tracking Radar: The LRTR a 3D AESA was developed with assistance from Elta of Israel, and is similar to Elta's proven GreenPine long range Active Array radar. The DRDO developed the signal processing and software for tracking high speed ballistic missile targets as well as introduced more ruggedization. The radar uses mostly Indian designed and manufactured components such as its critical high power, L Band Transmit-Receive modules plus the other enabling technologies necessary for active phased array radars. The LRTR can track 200 targets and had a range of above 600 kilometres (370 mi) and can detect Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, and that India now had the capability to manufacture these radars on its own. The LRTR would be amongst the key elements of the Indian ABM system; DRDO would provide the technology to private and public manufacturers to make these high power systems.
- 3D Multi Function Control Radar: A substantial project by itself, the MFCR was developed as part of the Indian anti-ballistic missile program in cooperation with Thales of France. The MFCR is an active phased array radar (AESA) and complements the Long Range Tracking Radar, for intercepting ballistic missiles. The MFCR will also serve as the fire control radar for the AAD second tier missile system of the ABM program. The AAD has a supplementary role against aircraft as well, and is to engage missiles and aircraft up to an altitude of 30 km. The MFCR fills out the final part of the DRDO's radar development spectrum, and allows India to manufacture long range 3D radars that can act as the nodes of an Air Defence Ground Environment system. As with the LRTR, the MFCR was used successfully in BMD interception effort.
- 2D Low Level Lightweight Radar (LLLR) "Bharani" for the Army, which require many of these units for gapfilling in mountainous terrain. The Indian Air Force will also acquire the same for key airbases. The LLLR is a 2D radar with a range of 40 km against a 2 target, intended as a gapfiller to plug detection gaps versus low level aircraft in an integrated Air Defence Ground network. The LLLR makes use of Indra-2 technology, namely a similar antenna array, but has roughly half the range and is much smaller and a far more portable unit. The LLLR can track while scan 100 targets and provide details about their speed, azimuth and range to the operator. The LLLR makes use of the BFSR-SR experience and many of the subsystem providers are the same. Multiple LLLRs can be networked together. The LLLR is meant to detect low level intruders, and will alert Army Air Defence fire control units to cue their weapon systems. A 3D LLLR was also revealed in 2008, with the designation "Aslesha".
- 3D Short Range Radar for the Indian Air Force - ASLESHA: The ASLESHA radars are now in production and have a range of approximately 50 km against small fighter-sized targets and will be able to determine their range, speed, azimuth and height. This radar will enable the Indian Air Force Air Defence units to accurately track low level intruders. The radar is a semi-active phased array with a 1 meter square aperture. The DRDO was in discussions with the Indian Navy to mount these systems on small ships.
- BEL Weapon Locating Radar: passive electronically scanned array to detect multiple targets for fire correction and weapon location. The system has been developed and demonstrated to the Army and orders have been placed In terms of performance, the WLR is stated to be superior to the AN/TPQ-37, several of which were imported by India as an interim system while the WLR got ready.
- 3D Tactical Control Radar: a new program, in production for the Army's Air Defence Corps, the TCR is an approximately 90 km ranged system. A derivative of the Rohini system. A highly mobile unit, it utilizes two vehicles for the radar and power system, as versus the 3 vehicle configuration of the more powerful Rohini series.
- Multi-mode radar, a 3D radar is a HAL project of which DRDO's LRDE is a subsystem provider, this project to develop an advanced, lightweight Multimode fire control radar for the LCA Tejas fighter, has faced stiff challenges and been struck by delay. It has now been completed with Elta's (Israel) assistance. The multimode radar is a greater than 100 km range (detection of a small fighter target), 10 target track, two target engage, lightweight system. It has been revealed that an all new combined signal and data processor had been developed, replacing the original separate units. The new unit is much more powerful and makes use of contemporary ADSP processors. The other radar critical hardware has also been developed and validated, however work remains on the software front. The software for the air-to-air mode has been developed considerably (including search and track while scan in both look up and look down modes) but air-to-ground modes are being still worked upon. The radar development was shown to be considerably more mature than previously thought. At Aero India 2009, it was revealed that the 3D MMR project has been superseded by the new 3D AESA FCR project led by LRDE. The MMR has been completed with Elta Israel's assistance and now involved Elta EL/M-2032 technology for Air to Ground mapping and targeting. This "hybrid" MMR has successfully undergone trials, and will be supplied for the initial LCA Tejas fighters of which 2 Squadrons have been ordered.
- DRDO has indigenised components and improved subsystems of various other license produced radars manufactured at BEL, India, with the help of BEL scientists and other researchers. These improvements include new radar data processors for license produced Signaal radars as well as local radar assemblies replacing the earlier imported ones. Several of these items have better performance than the original systems that they replaced.
Apart from the above, the DRDO has also several other radar systems currently under development or in trials. The systems on which publicly available information is available include:
- Active Phased Array radar: Uttam AESA is an indigenously developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radar. It is being developed for the LCA Mk2 and Mk1 (presumably Mk1s will be upgraded with the system) and also other aircraft upgrades such as the IAF's Jaguars and MiG-29Ks. Hardware has already been realized for this radar which has a range of 100 km against small fighter sized targets and rooftop testing is underway. Though the Uttam AESA currently weighs 120 kg which is some 40 kg more than the current MMR, there will be no problem in integrating it with the LCA Mk-II which can easily carry a radar of this weight. It is a 3D radar for fighters, a MMR follow on, the APAR project aims to field a fully fledged operational AESA fire control radar for the expected Mark-2 version of the Light Combat Aircraft. This will be the second airborne AESA program after the AEW&C project and intends to transfer the success DRDO has achieved in the Ground based radar segment to airborne systems. The overall airborne APAR program aims to prevent this technology gap from developing, with a broad based program to bring DRDO up to par with international developers in airborne systems:both fire control and surveillance.
- Synthetic Aperture & Inverse Synthetic Aperture radars: the DRDO's LRDE is currently working on both SAR and ISAR radars for target detection and classification. These lightweight payloads are intended for both conventional fixed wing, as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle applications. As of 2014 end, the DRDO had developed and trialed its SAR payload and was in the process of finalizing its design.
- Airborne Warning and Control: Ready for delivery as of 2015. A new radar based on Active Electronically Scanned Array technology. The aim of the project is to develop inhouse capability for high power AEW&C systems, with the system covering the development of a S Band AESA array. The aircraft will also have datalinks to link fighters plus communicate with the IAF's C3I infrastructure, as well as a local SATCOM (satellite communication system), along with other onboard ESM and COMINT systems. By 2014 end, the radar had demonstrated all air-to-air modes, with air-to-sea under trials, hence achieving a Total Readiness Level of 8/10 and was ready for delivery to the IAF. The IAF was in the process of training crew to operate the system and was expected to commence induction of the system in first quarter 2015.
- 4D Medium Power Radar: Status as of 2014. In trials with the Air Force which intends to induct 8 of the system as a start. Named "Arudhra". 4D refers to determining the range, azimuth, height and also the velocity vector. In trials with the IAF in 2014. A spinoff of the experience gained via the 3D MFCR project, the Medium Power Radar project is intended to field a radar with a range of approximately 300 km against small fighter sized targets. Intended for the Indian Air Force, the radar is an active phased array, and will be transportable. It will play a significant role being used as part of the nodes of the Indian Air Force's enhanced Air Defence Ground Environment System. As of 2014, the MPR had been developed and a unit in trials with the IAF at Kasauli.
- 4D Low Level Transportable Radar: Status as of 2014. In trials with the Air Force which intends to induct 18 of the system to begin with. Named "Ashwini". 4D refers to determining the range, azimuth, height and also the velocity vector. In trials with the IAF in 2014. A spinoff of the experience gained via the 3D MFCR project, the LLTR project is intended to field a radar with a range of approximately 200 km against small fighter sized targets. Intended for the Indian Air Force, the radar is an active phased array, and will be transportable. It is the next Generation version of the proven Rohini system and is intended to be rapidly deployable.
- Multi Mode Surveillance Radar: A 3D multi function radar with air surveillance and weapon locating functions being developed for the Indian Army and in an advanced stage of development. Will be packaged on a high mobility truck. As of 2014 end, design had been completed and prototype construction had commenced.
- Air Defence Fire Control Radar: "Atulya". A sophisticated 3D Air Defence FCR for the Indian Army to replace obsolete Super Fledermaus type systems, of which large numbers are in service. As of end 2014, it was in an advanced stage of development. Will be packaged on a high mobility truck. Tendering for work packages was underway by 2014 end for the ADFCR.
- Radar for Air Defence ship: A long range radar for the Navy's Air Defence Ship/IAC. Details not released bar project existence.
- Long Range Tracking Radar Mk2: The original LRTR a 3D AESA was developed with assistance from Elta of Israel. The original LRTR can track 200 targets and had a range of above 600 kilometres (370 mi) and can detect Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles, and that India now had the capability to manufacture these radars on its own. The Mk2 program (official designation unknown) intends to build radars with double the range (1200-1400km) for longer range BMD interceptors.
- Medium Range Battlefield Surveillance Radar: Project likely cancelled. In 2009, the LRDE (DRDO) noted that it was working on a Long range Battlefield surveillance radar. It is possible that the BFSR-LR project has replaced the earlier this project and the Indian Army will utilize the BEL built ELTA designed BFSR-MR's for Medium Range surveillance while using the LRDE designed systems for Long Range surveillance. The 2D radar will track ground targets and provide key intelligence to the Indian Army's artillery units, with the resultant information available on various tactical networks. As of 2015, no further updates have been provided about this radar, indicating the project has not been taken ahead and LRDE has moved onto higher priority programs as India is making the Israeli Elta BFSR-MR locally and that may be sufficient for its present needs.
Several other projects have been delivered including LCA subsystems and radar C3I for the IAF. There are several other programs underway as well including, Through the Wall Surveillance systems, Ground Penetration/Monitoring Radars and Coastal Surveillance Systems.
- Rajendra Radar
- Central Acquisition Radar (3D-CAR) - 3D radar for Akash missile
- Indra series
- BEL Battle Field Surveillance Radar (Short Range)
- BEL Weapon Locating Radar
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