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Paris Air Show: Raytheon touts AESA radar technology for India's fighter fleet news
23 June 2007
Le Bourget, Paris: US defence major, Raytheon, has come out with yet another India-specific gambit, this time offering technology transfer of sophisticated AESA radars, which it says can be uploaded even on the indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas. Raytheon officials, however, cautioned that such technology transfers would be subject to governmental approvals, given their sensitive nature.

Active electronically scanned array (AESA) are dual mode radars that are capable of tracking targets in the air, as well as on the ground.

"The technology is scalable and we could scale the electronic antenna of the AESA radar to put it in the LCA," Michael Henchey, director of business development for Raytheon's Tactical Airborne Systems, told PTI here on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show.

The technology and its applications can be adapted for different platforms, according to Henchey, including new aircraft like the LCA, and can also be retrofitted on older aircraft like the Indian Air Force's existing fleet of jets.

He, however, cautioned that the transfer of such technology would depend totally on negotiations between the Indian and US governments. This would include the right of the US government to decide on the sophistication level of the AESA radar technology that it would be willing to share with New Delhi.

"It would all depend on the country to country negotiations," he said.

Unlike conventional radars, AESA radars can track targets on the ground and transmit the information to ground stations and other aircraft to provide a near real time picture of the battlefield. They can also be used in an electronic warfare role.

The AESA radar is a key element of the effort by US companies to pitch the F-16 and F-18 combat jets for India's planned purchase of 126 MRCA fighters.

Raytheon, he said, was also looking to partner Indian defence firms in view of New Delhi's 30 per cent offsets policy for all defence deals worth over Rs300 crore. "We have already tied up with Tata Power and will announce some more partnerships with Indian firms later this year," said Henchey.

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Paris Air Show: Raytheon touts AESA radar technology for India's fighter fleet