Hyderabad: The Defence Electronics and Research Laboratory (DLRL) has embarked upon an ambitious project to develop the next generation intelligence-gathering, electronic warfare (EW) equipment for deployment on satellites, aerostats and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Speaking to the media, DLRL director, R. Sreehari Rao has described it as a ''comprehensive technology development project.''
According to Rao, the infrastructure required for developing advanced versions of EW systems was in place and the new project, which would cover both communications and radar related areas, would be implemented over three years.
UAV-based EW systems offered manifold advantages, such as increased range and flexible deployment for eavesdropping missions on strategic locations. This makes the UAV a ''force multiplier'' in both the strategic and tactical battlefield areas.
The Banglaore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment is developing the medium altitude long endurance UAVs that would carry these systems.
As for aerostats, these are platforms that operate at lower altitudes and are cost effective platforms that allow the carriage of multiple surveillance payloads and ease of operations over all terrains and in all weather conditions. Aerostats are essentially balloons that are tethered to a static post and carry payloads slung in 'baskets' underneath them.
DLRL has also developed the prototype of a unique Radar Fingerprinting System (RFS) with the capability to distinguish two radars operating in the same frequency. The prototype has pleased the concerned user agencies, which have described it as being superior to a similar Israeli system.
The RFS helps in distinguishing radar based on its signature and enables better electronic planning in modern warfare scenarios. Basically an add-on to the overall EW system, each unit is expected to cost Rs3 crore.
The DLRL has already designed and developed EW systems for ground-based, sea and airborne platforms. The Indian Army has received two communication and one non-communication blocks under the 'Samyukta,' integrated EW programme, two more blocks are to be delivered.
The DLRL has also delivered five types of EW systems under the 'Sangraha' for the Indian Navy for use by airborne platforms, submarine and large ships.
Pleased with the performance of the initial version, the Indian Navy has sought an advanced version of the 'Sangraha.'