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By Bulbul Singh

14 Apr 08. The Indian Army is on a global hunt for the purchase of 66 Successor to the Flycatcher and Upgraded Super Fledermaus (USFM) radars. The contenders include Rheinmetall of Germany, Thales of France, IAI of Israel, Rosoboronoexport of Russia, Bumar of Poland, Raytheon of U.S. and India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).

The 66 Successor of Flycatcher and USFM radars are to be procured by the Indian Army under a Technology Transfer deal. Under the arrangement the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will have to transfer all the technology to BEL, the designated production agency for the contract estimated to be worth over $300m.

The contract will be governed by the Offset clause under which 30 per cent of the total contract will be met through compulsory offsets from the Indian market.

“The search radar would provide continuous 3-D surveillance of all aircraft in the area of responsibility,” explained a senior Indian Army official. In addition, the radar would be able to detect fighter aircraft, pop-up and hovering helicopters, UAVs, anti-radiation missiles and even cruise missiles.

The radar system will consist of a 3-D search radar, tracking radar, Electro Optical Sensor for passive tracking,a weapon control unit, an integral power supply ystem and high mobility vehicle for the Radar shelter.

The radar must be able to detect low-level targets to a minimum of 30m in altitude. The minimum altitude should not be more than 30m maximum not less than 10 kilometers.

The tracking radar must be able to control the fire of a minimum of two guns and must be able to operate with severe sea, weather and ground clutters. It must be able to detect small low-flying targets in any type of clutter (ground and rain clutters, chaff etc).

“The Tracking Radar must provide the system with 3-D position target measurements and accurate target data to facilitate successful engagements,” added the Indian Army official. “The systems must also cater for transmission of missile guidance signals,” added the official.

The system target tracking data must be available from all sources i.e search radar, tracking radar, Electro Optronic (EO) tracker and tracking with the help of extrapolation.

The radar must be able to operate effectively in hostile Electronic Counter Measures environments, inclusing those caused by ground based and air borne passive, active and deception jammers. The radar will be mounted on a high mobility vehicle and be capable of being transported by air and rail and be able to negotiate contemporary assault bridges. The tracking radar should be able to control the fire of a minimum of two guns.

The maximum speed of the vehicle should not be more than 40kmph on road and should be capable of sustained cross-country movement in deserts and plains.

The Indian Army requires that the Command and Control functions of the radar should provide automatic target threat evaluation including indications regarding priority engagement. In addition, the radar must be able to support the radar operator in the weapon assignment including selection of the weapon ystem i.e. guns or missiles.

The Flycatcher radar in use by the Indian army is produced by BEL consisting of search and track facilities on a moving platform. The search radar is in the X-band and uses a slotted radiator enclosed in a flare. The antenna works in horizontal and circular polarisation. BEL has produced low-band and high-band radars under an MoU with HSA, Holland.

Sources in the Army said Iran had at one time expressed an interest in purchasing USFM radars manufactured by BEL.

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