Thursday, July 25, 2024

Republic Day Parade 2022: DRDO To Display Major Indigenous Tech

By Aritra Banerjee

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will display two tableaux during the forthcoming Republic Day Parade on January 26, 2022. The tableaux are ‘Suite of Indigenously Developed Sensors, Weapons and Electronic Warfare Systems for LCA Tejas’ and ‘Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP)’ developed for the submarines of the Indian Navy.

The first tableau displays an indigenously-developed Advanced Electronically Scanned Array Radar called ‘Uttam’; five different aerial launched weapons and an Electronic Warfare (EW) Jammer to further enhance the capabilities of fourth-generation LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas. The ‘Uttam’ radar is a highly compact and modular state-of-the-art sensor to provide situational awareness to the pilot. The radar was developed by a Bangalore-based electronics laboratory.

The five aerial launched weapons include air-to-air missile ‘Astra’, which is an all-weather, active radar homing missile with beyond visual range striking capabilities; ‘Rudram’, a new generation anti-radiation missile with an ability to destroy adversary’s radar and communication systems; ‘Smart Anti Airfield Weapon, meant to destroy the ground targets and airfields; a long-range guided glide bomb ‘Gaurav’ and ‘Tactical Advanced Range Augmentation’, an advanced precision strike weapon meant for ground targets. These weapons are developed using complex technologies by Hyderabad-based DRDO laboratories.

Tejas is fitted with ‘Advanced Self Protection Jammer’ designed to protect acquisition radars, fire control radars, anti-aircraft artillery and airborne multirole radars. Developed by the electronic laboratory at Hyderabad, it provides the electronic warfare capability for the LCA. Integration of these weapons, radar and EW systems with LCA is an important step towards increasing the indigenous systems’ content and making the LCA mission ready.

The second tableau showcases an indigenously-developed AIP System for underwater propelling the Indian Naval submarines. The AIP System is powered by indigenously-developed fuel cells with a novel onboard hydrogen generator. It is one of the most advanced AIP systems where Fuel Cell Technology is used to generate onboard power. The AIP allows a submarine to be submerged for more extended periods than conventional diesel-electric submarines. It makes the sub-surface platform more efficient by making it quieter than even a nuclear submarine.

At present, the AIP is customised for the P-75 class of submarine. Once fitted, the sub will likely stay underwater for a longer time without frequently surfacing. This will substantially enhance the underwater endurance of the submarine. This niche technology is available only in very few countries in the world. The DRDO has developed this technology with the collaboration of academia and industry.


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