Informed that the entirely indigenous DARIN-III navattack system is now integrated with an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar with the Israeli 2052 computer, on a Jaguar. This is great news. The slight uncertainty about the AESA radar is whether this is a product of the DRDO-Israeli collaboration, or purely Israeli equipment. The Indo-Israeli AESAR item was built around the 2032 computer, because our good friend, the US, wouldn’t clear the 2052 for Indian use. In any case, 2052 is more powerful, can track more targets and make for better target definition. Hope the 2052 is driving the indigenous effort and the Indian competence built up in this project in terms of learning the placement of TR (transmitter-receiver) nodes for optimal performance, etc hasn’t ben wasted.
Incidentally, the DARIN system was conceived and put together by the technical/engineering officers of the Indian Air Force. But neither IAF, and even less the MOD, had the wit, when drafting the original contract for the Jaguar DPSA to ensure that any improvements in the original French nav-attack system would be Indian IPR. So the French company has used the Indian reconfiguration without any payment but, mercifully, did not charge the IAF for IAF’s own tech innovation! But then not retaining IPR on technologies suggests IAF and MOD are simply not sensitized to the IPR imperatives. To drive home the point, I’d bring up two other instances of India/IAF/ MOD not benefiting monetarily from IPR from IAF derived technical solutions to difficult problems, both relating to the Jaguars. (1) The Jaguars in Indian employ were detected early on as suffering from the problem of a fuel cutoff in flight. This was rectified by IAF engineers, but this rectification was not patented and brought within IPR ambit. So when the RAF, the supplier company British Aerospace’s host air force, also complained about the same cutoff problem the BAE was unable to solve, the IAF just handed over the solution to the British without any financial recompense! (2) The innovation of the 2 above-wing tip weapon stations is also an IAF technical innovation, which the RAF also adopted.
The larger more emphatic point to make is that the IAF has enormous engineering/technical talent that it has so far used sparingly, and then only in improving its imported aircraft. It is time the IAF marshaled its talented manpower to propel the home-designed and developed Tejas Mk 1A, Mk-2,and AMCA off the ground and flying as service’c commitment to finally and decisively go desi. That, perhaps, will be the finest, most significant thing the IAF could do to raise its own stature and that of the country.
Errata: Informed that the correction of the faulty design was due to the solution provided by an HAL expert for a Jag in flight who, working in tandem with the pilot, safely landed the plane, albeit with the nose wheel not fully extended and locked in place. The more permanent remedy too was owed to HAL experts rectifying the design mistake which, as the following youtube video on this subject indicates BAE would not own up to but incorporated in the British Jags, of course w/o any Indian IPR recognition.
The weapon with the forwardly deployed Indian forces on LAC the PLA is most apprehensive about is the Indo-Russian Brahmos cruise missile, especially the Block-II & Block-III variants capable of near 90-degree dives to targets with the two artillery regiments armed with the Brahmos now on the eastern front. It is an uninterdictable missile homing in at supersonic speeds. If tasked to take out forward and rear area communications and logistics hubs, it can make a mess of the PLA’s best laid offensive plans, including anything they may have in mind to do on the Doklam plateau.
One so wishes the Modi PMO had shown the foresight and the initiative to start 2 or 3 additional production lines — all in the private sector, with only L&T presently having the capability to get the entire production off and running very fast, and to ramp up for exports — because this the one thing every friendly state on China’s periphery is asking for. Leaving it to the Brahmos Aerospace is to, well, consign the Brahmos option to the leisurely, laggardly production pace of a DPSU, and when has that really worked?
Incidentally, the combination of the Brahmos Mk II & Mk IIIs and the air-launched variant fired from the Su-30 would be a one-two punch any prospective PLA onslaught will reel back from. Except the Brahmos ALCM project is limping on — no urgency evident here! It has so far completed two separation tests (the process of the fired missile separating very fast from the Su-30 carrier).