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By Bulbul Singh

29 Sep 10. India is to buy unspecified numbers of surveillance radars, to be specifically used in the hilly terrain along the border with China. The Indian defence ministry has entered the overseas market to purchase the Long Range Surveillance Radar (LRSR) and High Power Radar (HPR)systems.

Indian defence forces face shortages of a variety of air defence and surveillance radars.

“The radars will be used for Air Defence Surveillance and Command and Control.” said an army official. The equipment of all Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) cleared vendors would be put through a field evaluation at vendor’s premises on a ‘No Cost No Commitment’ basis.

The LRSR and HPR systems should be able to classify large, medium and small aircraft, drones and helicopters at a range of 450 to 600km automatically.

The Indian defence ministry has asked the vendor to specify technology specifications as the Indian Army wants Active Aperture Phased Array Radar based on Solid State Modules. The radar working in 4-D should be able to classify targets as large, medium and small fixed wing aircraft, rotary wing aircraft and UAVs automatically. The radars should have efficient clutter-suppression techniques to locate pick aerial targets over all types of terrain including mountains and sea.

Besides, the radar should have adequate look-down capability and special algorithms for processing the ground clutter from the thick vegetation prevalent in mountainous and hilly regions. Other requirements include state-of-the-art Electronic Counter Counter Measure (ECCM)features.

“The Indian government wants to procure these radars only on technology transfer basis. This will involve a Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) which will include supply of fully finished equipment and manufacture of radar from Semi-knocked Down (SKD) kits, Completely-knocked Down (CKD) kits and indigenous manufacture (IM) phase at a production agency identified by the Indian Air Force.” said a defence ministry official.

There is also a requirement for Long Range Transportable and 3-D Medium Power Radar (MPR) radar systems. The bids for these systems will be floated later. The 3-D MPR systems can detect aerial threats at a height of 2 kilometres and above and have a range of 300 kilometres. In fact there is acute shortage of these radars with the Indian Air Defence system.

The Indian Air Force is presently holding only 65 per cent of its authorized holding of MPRs and these have a technical life of 20 years. Nine of these radars are targeted to be phased out by the end of this year and six by 2015.

A variety of radars will eventually be integrated into the Indian Air Force network centric warfare programme.

Currently, the Indian Air Defence system is made up of the Air Defence Ground Environment System(ADGES), which is an integrated network of surveillance radars, air defence control centres, air and missile bases and anti-aircraft guns. The system was developed in the early 70’s with equipment purchased from the USSR. The ADGES system is still the mainstay of the air defence system with surveillance radars deployed across the country.

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