French defence firm Thales has developed an active array radar to meet the specific needs of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to equip 80 Tejas Mk1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force.
The development was shared by Thales in a statement issued on October 17. To meet the needs of HAL, Thales says it is offering a lightweight, compact active array radar. “The latter is a result of Thales’ unmatched expertise as regards the development and mastery of active array technologies – as demonstrated by the RBE2 radar installed on Rafale,” said Thales in a statement.
The firm said it has successfully completed an initial flight test campaign designed to measure its performance. The tests conducted during mid 2017 at the Cazaux air base in France, on a test bench aircraft, focused on meteorological analyses of the radar performance.
“These test flights proved that the radar is fully operational and perfectly corresponds to the specific requirements of HAL for its combat and air superiority missions. It is therefore ready and able to adapt to the tight schedule imposed by the Mk1A LCA,” said Thales.
The radar is designed for air-to-air superiority and strike missions, based on Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) technology, enabling the radar to achieve long detection ranges and multi-target tracking capabilities. The radar also provides simultaneous modes of operation for air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea operation modes, and weapon deployment, according to Thales.
“In just four months, thanks to our solid, proven experience with the RBE2, we’ve been able to carry out successful flights to test the performance of the key features of the radar we’re offering for the TEJAS Mk1A light fighter. This is a clear guarantee of its extremely high degree of operational reliability and clearly sets us apart from our competitors as regards this call for tender,” said Philippe Duhamel, Executive Vice-President, Defence Mission Systems activities, Thales.
Last year, HAL had issued a tender for AESA radars for Tejas Mk-1A LCAs.