Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a defence public sector undertaking, has handed over the first of the 3-dimensional radars 'Rohini' to the Indian Air Force. VVR Sastry, the chairman and managing director, handed over a ceremonial key to the chief of air staff, air chief marshal, Fali Homi Major, at a function marking the induction of the radar into the Indian Air Force.
The state-of-the-art multifunction medium range surveillance radar has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), Bangalore and engineered and produced by BEL.
It is capable of handling multiple targets simultaneously and also precisely calculate the height at which the projectiles are flying.
Mounted on ''Tetra' mobile platform, a heavy duty modified truck built by the public sector Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and supported by an auxiliary mobile power unit, it enables the Rohini to be easily transported to the battlefront.
Speaking on the occasion, air chief marshal Major said the radar would grant the IAF better air surveillance capability, particularly at low altitudes. Operating in a range of up to 170 kilometres and at an altitude of 15 kilometres, the radar can track multiple targets like fighter jets and missiles travelling at supersonic speeds of over 3,000 kms per hour, viz around Mach 3.
The radar employs an array of electronic counter counter measure (ECCM) features including frequency agility and jammer analysis. A secondary surveillance radar, IFF, is integrated with the primary radar Rohini, which distinguishes friendly and hostile aircraft.
Handing over the radar, Sastry said he expects around 100 units would be built, with around 20 radars being manufactured every year.
He also said the army had conducted successful trials of a Rohini variant for detecting and tracking missiles. Another variant, 'Revathi', is being developed for the Navy, he added.
Sastry assured the armed forces that the BEL has surplus capacity to undertake serialized production and its manufacturing facilities were being currently utilized only to an extent of 70 per cent.
For the first time the IAF has also awarded an annual maintenance contract for the Rohini radars to the BEL.
Private sector defence contractors, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Astra Microwave have collaborated with BEL and DRDO to provide ancillary inputs to development of the Rohini radar, which is almost indigenously developed barring minor critical components.
S Varadarajan, director, LRDE, said changes would be incorporated into the radar from time to time based on end user feedback.