Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Indian Army set to upgrade its weapon locating radar systems

The Indian Army is in the final stages of accepting for induction a newly developed weapon locating radar (WLR), designed and developed by Bangalore-based Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a senior defence research official said today.

“We have a long border. The product has been developed and is ready for acceptance. Bharat Electronics is ready to roll out the systems in bulk. The radar can look at objects from 30 kms. It can locate rockets and even give the trajectory and give an early warning,” S Varadarajan, director of LRDE, a Defence Research and Development Organisation lab, told reporters.

The Army is likely to place an order for the delivery of 29 WLRs worth Rs 1,500 crore, he said.

The foliage radar is also under development and the LRDE is looking for a collaboration. It is an airborne radar which can detect objects 20-30 kms away and can be deployed for internal security and help in low-intensity conflicts such as those resorted to by terrorists and insurgents, he said.

The radar will be ready for production in 2012, he added.

Varadarajan expects the Army to place orders with the Bharat Electronics Limited for a large number of WLRs.

LRDE is also in the advanced stages of developing a 300-km range radar for air defence applications.

“Gone are the days when radars are for specific purposes. Today a radar has got the capability for multiple functions. By 2012, the radars will be ready for commercial production,” Varadarajan said.

These technologies will be on display at the 7th international radar symposium India (IRSI) 2009 being held here during December 8-11.

The objective of the seminar is to provide a common platform for practicing radar scientists, engineers, manufacturers and users to share their experiences, issues and knowledge to carve out the technology path for better future, he said. Bharat Electronics, LRDE, Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, Bangalore Centre, ISRO, HAL among others are sponsoring the symposium. I V Sarma, director-R&D, BEL said the company is gearing up to manufacture a wide range of radars for both civilian and defence applications. The company presently has orders worth Rs 4,600 crore in hand and for this fiscal, and it plans to deliver radars worth Rs 1,000 crore, a growth of 10 per cent over the last fiscal. He said the country is likely to capture about 10 per cent of the world market for radars in the next 10 years, worth about Rs 40,000 crore. BEL has dedicated three out of 17 strategic business units to manuacture various radars, he said.

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