Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 02 Jan 2021 16:31

If we are going with the kitkat, I am hoping Airbus figures out a easy way to put a radar for frontal 60 degree coverage. If we manage 260 degree with the panel like the Wedetail, then frontal arc is 40 degrees.

300 degree coverage will be pretty good.

May be a custom nose...

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 02 Jan 2021 16:37

I notice quite a bit Spanish (language) reporting on our defense stories.

http://galaxiamilitar.es/drdo-de-la-india-desarrollara-un-avion-aew-c-basado-en-la-plataforma-del-airbus-a320/


Taken from the same site, not sure about the accuracy.
Image



Edit: radar photshopped on the A320 MPA

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 02 Jan 2021 16:42

^^^ Where is that illustration originally from? I'm hoping for a disk instead of a balance beam.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby arvin » 02 Jan 2021 22:52

nam wrote:If we are going with the kitkat, I am hoping Airbus figures out a easy way to put a radar for frontal 60 degree coverage. If we manage 260 degree with the panel like the Wedetail, then frontal arc is 40 degrees.

300 degree coverage will be pretty good.

May be a custom nose...


Maybe put a X band like APY-10 just like on P8i. Will be able to target as well.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 02 Jan 2021 23:06

The range won't be good enough. You are talking about 400KM+ range.

S band is a good combination for range and resolution. Longer the range, lower the frequency, larger the antenna..

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 02 Jan 2021 23:07

chola wrote:^^^ Where is that illustration originally from? I'm hoping for a disk instead of a balance beam.


Just a photoshop, based on the rumors that it will be balance beam.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2021 00:13

Indranil wrote:One part of me says, just don't do anything much. Use the same AAAUs and consoles. Just add an extra tank for more fuel and call it good. The other part says, but this is a bigger platform. What are some low hanging fruits to augment beyond current Netra's capabilities?


I have a feeling that the IAF will have to make that call balancing the need for improvement with the operational urgency given everything that is going on. Ideally, they should have an open ended program with multiple iterations and evolution of the design instead of just focusing on one variant and then closing out the program once those aircraft are fielded.

In hindsight an ideal scenario would have been to integrate Phalcon on a new widebody (767 would have been logical since it already has an AWACS variant which takes away integration risk and lots of design work) with the first tranche of 3-4 aircraft delivered as such. They could have then introduced an indigenous sensor after these aircraft were delivered. This should have sanctioned half a decade or more ago and we'd be having aircraft being delivered right now. But instead we had this weird arrangement of linking the tanker with AWACS and even at one point having the AWACS being capable of doing the tanking mission. Which led to the A330 which was the most mature modern tanker (and can offload the most fuel) but had no AWACS variant design work or integration background. And neither went anywhere.

nam wrote:The range won't be good enough. You are talking about 400KM+ range.

S band is a good combination for range and resolution. Longer the range, lower the frequency, larger the antenna..


Actually a large UTTAM based X-band radar opens up other things besides just EW. It could be a handy capability for generating SAR maps, and even tracking cruise missiles more precisely at least in a sector. With more workstations and crew it does open up some possibilities.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 03 Jan 2021 02:24

In those mode yes, X band would be very useful. A compromise b/w function and range.

A GaN based X band would probably make sense in this situation, given the power available on the platform.
Last edited by nam on 03 Jan 2021 02:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2021 02:36

Just scale whatever is going to be entering production with the Uttam program. No need to turn this is into yet another science and technology program given the urgent need and the priority in meeting timelines. A larger antenna with a new radome should be more than plenty if it is required at all (IAF sets the requirements). Otherwise they could use the extra bodies and stations to cover the same mission more efficiently (given it will have greater endurance) and perhaps keep a few extra stations for EW duties. Re-use the Netra sensor and put a few aircraft into service quickly. Then Version 2 can focus on a more capable sensor, additional arrays and other upgrades.

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 03 Jan 2021 11:48

brar_w wrote:Just scale whatever is going to be entering production with the Uttam program. No need to turn this is into yet another science and technology program given the urgent need and the priority in meeting timelines. A larger antenna with a new radome should be more than plenty if it is required at all (IAF sets the requirements). Otherwise they could use the extra bodies and stations to cover the same mission more efficiently (given it will have greater endurance) and perhaps keep a few extra stations for EW duties. Re-use the Netra sensor and put a few aircraft into service quickly. Then Version 2 can focus on a more capable sensor, additional arrays and other upgrades.


You can not scale up the Uttam radar for a 360 degree 3D surveillance radar. Uttam is an X band fire and control radar. Building a radar for adequate VLO LVD requires the use of multiple frequencies with the S and C bands with narrow pulse compression and varying PRF rates. X band is not ideal for this use as it is subject to water vapor attenuation and RCS reduction. The objective will be to have narrow beam width scanning to reduce clutter.

The basis for the IAF AWACS radar comes from operating the IAI EL/W-2090 for the past decade. LDRE and CABS understand this problem very well.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2021 12:09

Mort Walker wrote:You can not scale up the Uttam radar for a 360 degree 3D surveillance radar. Uttam is an X band fire and control radar.


That is not what I said. I was specifically talking about mounting something like that (that is a larger Uttam) in the nose, like the APY-10 brought up in an earlier post. This would obviously not be for the surveillance mission or as the primary sensor for the task as I had clearly mentioned. The primary sensor for the AEW&C would naturally be the NETRA radar or a smaller version of the circular radome developed for the widebody program.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 03 Jan 2021 12:44

^^^It certainly seemed that way.

A platform the size of the A319/A320 can accommodate a wide variety of sensors and comm systems which can be integrated for an effective ABMS. Again, the design strategy would be along the lines of the multi-band EL/W-2090. An X band radar capable of SAR/ISAR in the nose will most likely happen since it would be replacing the existing weather avoidance radar. India has experience operating the Raytheon AN/APY-10(I) radar, but is missing UHR ISAR and SAR capability of 1 and 3 foot imaging. However, there is experience with higher resolution SAR systems from remote sensing capabilities.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2021 13:06

Mort Walker wrote:An X band radar capable of SAR/ISAR in the nose will most likely happen since it would be replacing the existing weather avoidance radar.


Do you have information on the weather avoidance radar replacement that was going into the A-330 AWACS? Perhaps that can be scaled on the A-320.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby arvin » 03 Jan 2021 13:14

brar_w wrote:
Actually a large UTTAM based X-band radar opens up other things besides just EW. It could be a handy capability for generating SAR maps, and even tracking cruise missiles more precisely at least in a sector. With more workstations and crew it does open up some possibilities.


Yes this is exactly what should be done with the space and power available on the platform.
During Ladakh standoff P-8I were flown to ladakh and the sensor most likely used would have been the APY-10 in its SAR mode.
But the ones onboard P-8I is a degraded mode for export. With UTTAM on board we can plug the below gaps.
https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=115057&x=.

Modify APY-10 Radar for Export to India
- Modify Radar navigator to remove accumulated carrier phase and revert to earlier, less sophisticated navigator
- Remove Precision Targeting capability
- Remove UHR ISAR capability
- Remove 1 and 3 foot SAR capability
- Limit performance to meet 30 meter SAR geo-location accuracy


This would be a good oppertunity for IAF to get its own air based SAR imaging capabilities operating alongside AWACS.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 03 Jan 2021 13:49

brar_w wrote:
Mort Walker wrote:An X band radar capable of SAR/ISAR in the nose will most likely happen since it would be replacing the existing weather avoidance radar.


Do you have information on the weather avoidance radar replacement that was going into the A-330 AWACS? Perhaps that can be scaled on the A-320.


No. Just public info on the stock A330 or A320 weather radar. These are made by Rockwell-Collins and have limited capability. ISRO's RISAT-2B variants would be the place to look for capability along with Uttam. There also isn't much information on the IL-76 based AWACS that the IAF has operated. For the most part it has amazingly operated in a shroud of secrecy for the last decade and the enhancements made in recent years by Elta Systems and DRDO.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby rajsunder » 03 Jan 2021 15:12

nam wrote:The range won't be good enough. You are talking about 400KM+ range.

S band is a good combination for range and resolution. Longer the range, lower the frequency, larger the antenna..


Can we not have a Radar in the front similar to what Chilean Phalcon AWACS to improve the coverage to about 300 degrees?
Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 03 Jan 2021 15:56

It really depends on what IAF wants. That nose has a S band antenna, hence it is massive. An X band will be well within the regular nose volume, like our P8I.

May be IAF will go with a chapati and an X band. Who knows.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 03 Jan 2021 21:55

nam wrote:It really depends on what IAF wants. That nose has a S band antenna, hence it is massive. An X band will be well within the regular nose volume, like our P8I.

May be IAF will go with a chapati and an X band. Who knows.


The Chilean Phalcon is an older design of the EL/W-2075 which is two generations behind what the IAF currently operates.

Since the IAF has experience with the IAI Elta EL/W-2090 AWACS on the IL-76, a similar architecture of various sensors would be a reasonable assumption. LDRE has a design of an AESA radar radome. It appears to be S and C band. After India has signed the various alphabet soup treaties with the US, and the export of the MQ-9B Skyguardian/Seaguardian, it *may* be that the AN/APY-10 has been upgraded to full capability via a software and hardware modification. We'll probably never learn that. However, it may be the general concept for SAR/ISAR capability that will go into this AWACS. The signal processing and design capability is already proven with ISRO's deployment of the RISAT-2B series of satellites. Coupling it with the AESA T/R elements designed for Uttam would be the logical conclusion.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 05 Jan 2021 10:29

Indranil wrote:One part of me says, just don't do anything much. Use the same AAAUs and consoles. Just add an extra tank for more fuel and call it good. The other part says, but this is a bigger platform. What are some low hanging fruits to augment beyond current Netra's capabilities?


I actually like this deal quite a bit. The A320 series has enough endurance and room to make a "Super-Netra" without too much risk. But I would argue that just the standard Netra radar and systems buried inside the A320 is good enough as well. Let's not add years of delays in ever-changing enhancements such that the next Balakot comes around and IAF has to borrow R&D vehicles to push to the battlefield.

brar_w wrote:I have a feeling that the IAF will have to make that call balancing the need for improvement with the operational urgency given everything that is going on. Ideally, they should have an open ended program with multiple iterations and evolution of the design instead of just focusing on one variant and then closing out the program once those aircraft are fielded.


That's the hope, isn't it? That the IAF becomes a stakeholder in a program management role rather than as a customer standing on the other side of the counter? The problem is, as we are seeing with the LCA program, this is a mindset that is in short supply.

brar_w wrote:In hindsight an ideal scenario would have been to integrate Phalcon on a new widebody (767 would have been logical since it already has an AWACS variant which takes away integration risk and lots of design work) with the first tranche of 3-4 aircraft delivered as such. They could have then introduced an indigenous sensor after these aircraft were delivered. This should have sanctioned half a decade or more ago and we'd be having aircraft being delivered right now.


I think acquistion and integration costs would have been an issue. Boeing would have charged a pretty penny to do this work.

brar_w wrote:But instead we had this weird arrangement of linking the tanker with AWACS and even at one point having the AWACS being capable of doing the tanking mission. Which led to the A330 which was the most mature modern tanker (and can offload the most fuel) but had no AWACS variant design work or integration background. And neither went anywhere.


Yup. That does sound like something we would do to ourselves. Why make the battle one-sided when we can take down our own programs in this manner. Today we have neither tankers nor AEW aircraft in quantity.

brar_w wrote:Actually a large UTTAM based X-band radar opens up other things besides just EW. It could be a handy capability for generating SAR maps, and even tracking cruise missiles more precisely at least in a sector. With more workstations and crew it does open up some possibilities.


Hopefully they will take 1 of the 6 A320s and put that bird in such an R&D state for DRDO to try implementing these ideas. My concern is that they will delay the other 5 until this first one gets all the uber features.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby arvin » 05 Jan 2021 16:54

We already have the ELM 2060 on Su 30 that takes care of its SAR needs. That and P8i takes care of immediate requirements.
Uttam can be scaled up, refined in parallel and integrated when planes arrive from Airbus.
The elm 2060 official range on iai website is 170 km. For something that is housed in a pod under the aircraft.
With the power and space available on A320, range would be incredible.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 05 Jan 2021 16:57

A super Netra, able to manage the same range as a Phalcon would be great, and ensure these birds are capable against whatever China will field via Pak as well. This development is not going to be an impossible stretch. An issue of scaling and higher power generation. The timeline of 4-7 years to deliver matches this sort of development.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 05 Jan 2021 22:58

I think that DRDO needs to use the third Netra to tinker around and get the hardware for the A320s 100% ready to meet all deadlines. Too much tweaking that makes them miss deadlines can be costly. Additional capability can be built in through upgrades. Priority should be to get the system operational ASAP.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Jan 2021 02:14

Vivek K wrote:I think that DRDO needs to use the third Netra to tinker around and get the hardware for the A320s 100% ready to meet all deadlines. Too much tweaking that makes them miss deadlines can be costly. Additional capability can be built in through upgrades. Priority should be to get the system operational ASAP.


I am pretty sure the Super Netra changes would not be easy to incorporate on an existing Netra even for testing purposes.

Instead, hand over the third Netra in an operational configuration to the IAF and use one of the six A320s to do the new R&D work.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vivek_ahuja » 06 Jan 2021 02:18

Karan M wrote:A super Netra, able to manage the same range as a Phalcon would be great, and ensure these birds are capable against whatever China will field via Pak as well. This development is not going to be an impossible stretch. An issue of scaling and higher power generation.


Exactly. That's why I am starting to love this novel Indian answer to an Indian requirement with the A320 deal. Jugaad FTW.

Karan M wrote:The timeline of 4-7 years to deliver matches this sort of development.


I do hope they don't take as long, though.

As said before on this page: it would be better to get the 5 A320s in the Netra configuration within a few years with modular slots and structural changes for the Super Netra. Then as each electronic hardware enhancement is operationalized, come up with an upgrade program for the older A320s in service and move them from Netra to Super Netra.

Things need to be done in parallel. Sequential steps will prevent any of these aircraft from becoming operational before 2027-2030.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 06 Jan 2021 05:47

Karan M wrote:A super Netra, able to manage the same range as a Phalcon would be great, and ensure these birds are capable against whatever China will field via Pak as well. This development is not going to be an impossible stretch. An issue of scaling and higher power generation. The timeline of 4-7 years to deliver matches this sort of development.


The Phalcon or EL/W-2090 is not about just having extended range capability, but being able to detect different types of targets including those on the ground and maritime operations. A super Netra would primarily be about having more airborne AEW capability, and less on improving detection capability. From the work LDRE and DRDO have and are doing, they are improving the ability for low velocity detection and very low observable aircraft - these being helos, drones and missiles. Before anyone accuses DRDO of not delivering. This is the same organization which has given India its ballistic missile and guided missile program in significant numbers for strategic security. The work they're doing in for AEW and for advanced airborne detection is admirable.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 11 Jan 2021 07:56

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Vivek K » 11 Jan 2021 21:54

Mort Walker wrote:
The Phalcon or EL/W-2090 is not about just having extended range capability, but being able to detect different types of targets including those on the ground and maritime operations. A super Netra would primarily be about having more airborne AEW capability, and less on improving detection capability. From the work LDRE and DRDO have and are doing, they are improving the ability for low velocity detection and very low observable aircraft - these being helos, drones and missiles. Before anyone accuses DRDO of not delivering. This is the same organization which has given India its ballistic missile and guided missile program in significant numbers for strategic security. The work they're doing in for AEW and for advanced airborne detection is admirable.

Are there specs of comparison between the Netra and Erieye available?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 12 Jan 2021 01:23

rajsunder wrote:
nam wrote:The range won't be good enough. You are talking about 400KM+ range.

S band is a good combination for range and resolution. Longer the range, lower the frequency, larger the antenna..


Can we not have a Radar in the front similar to what Chilean Phalcon AWACS to improve the coverage to about 300 degrees?
Image



Front and back have 1/3rd range of the side looking lobes. Mostly useless in the Indian context.

We are going to fly our planes on our territory, we have lots of ground-based radars looking and providing coverage in all directions. AEW needs a first look and a deep look in one direction only, either side. Chappatis not required, dosa beam will do. The beam is wonderful. Increase the number of arrays from ERJ145 and improve electronics and power. Don't change the nose, leave it simple only.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 12 Jan 2021 01:24

Karan M wrote:A super Netra, able to manage the same range as a Phalcon would be great, and ensure these birds are capable against whatever China will field via Pak as well. This development is not going to be an impossible stretch. An issue of scaling and higher power generation. The timeline of 4-7 years to deliver matches this sort of development.


+100

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 12 Jan 2021 01:25

There was a report on the weight of AAAU, does anyone have a link to that? Can't find it.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 12 Jan 2021 01:50

Netra is suppose to have capability to quickly switch over to scan specific areas or cover as possible the blind spot while banking left or right.

Given these are jet engines, they would be faster than propeller AWACS.

If we manage to get 130 degree from each panel(like the wedgetail), you are really not only 50 degree on the front. That effect is only while banking.

Yes 360 degrees allows you to scan, even when you are running away.. So it is a compromise. But I guess there are ways to minimize the drawbacks.
There was a interview on Rajya Sabha TV, with no less than the CABS director himself on the A320 AWACS. No new information was forth coming, than what was in media.

But he did say, they are trying out for formal approval. So A320 is exactly where A330 was. Paper approval :roll:

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby VinodTK » 16 Jan 2021 08:32




Security Scan : Indigenous AWACS

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby sankum » 16 Jan 2021 11:03

Airbus 319/320
36 months after contract modified platform from OEM.
6-12 months for awacs system integration for first two AWACS
In 72-84 months all 6 AWACS @one every 6 months.
GaN
More than 270° coverage Two arrays
No mention of 360° . It seems is enlarged Netra system.
Last edited by sankum on 16 Jan 2021 21:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 16 Jan 2021 11:17

Mort Walker wrote:
Karan M wrote:A super Netra, able to manage the same range as a Phalcon would be great, and ensure these birds are capable against whatever China will field via Pak as well. This development is not going to be an impossible stretch. An issue of scaling and higher power generation. The timeline of 4-7 years to deliver matches this sort of development.


The Phalcon or EL/W-2090 is not about just having extended range capability, but being able to detect different types of targets including those on the ground and maritime operations. A super Netra would primarily be about having more airborne AEW capability, and less on improving detection capability. From the work LDRE and DRDO have and are doing, they are improving the ability for low velocity detection and very low observable aircraft - these being helos, drones and missiles. Before anyone accuses DRDO of not delivering. This is the same organization which has given India its ballistic missile and guided missile program in significant numbers for strategic security. The work they're doing in for AEW and for advanced airborne detection is admirable.


You are mistaken. The Netra has Air to Sea modes. The Phalcon has not been confirmed as having any A2G or A2S modes, though A2S seem likely. The Netra has the same COMINT and ESM capabilities to detect A2G, A2S, A2A targets too. The advantages Phalcon has are its extended range capabilities, its 360 degree capabilities and also the fact that it has more volume, so it carries airborne battle managers, whereas Netra carries fewer, and datalinks data to Ground Exploitation Stations which are also connected to the IACCS.

The reference to extended range capability on a Super Netra directly refers to improving the detection capability. More power plus bigger antenna more ability to face off vs the emerging LO/VLO threats and give extended range vs conventional targets too. Look up SAAB Global Eye for a possible path.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby jamwal » 16 Jan 2021 14:31

Chinese KJ-600/H-600 carrier based AEW&C .

Image

Is there no new Chinese Armed Forces thread?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby fanne » 16 Jan 2021 23:23

The biggest risk I see is that the OEM may ask an exorbitant price to do the conversion, leading to project failure (Same thing Russian did with their IL-78, jacked up the price 3 times). Well France and we are chump right now and though trump is out, French president has time left in office. We should not waste time and go for contract negotiation fast.
The other option (not as good as 319/320) is of course Embraer 145s.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby mmasand » 17 Jan 2021 22:23

fanne wrote:The biggest risk I see is that the OEM may ask an exorbitant price to do the conversion, leading to project failure (Same thing Russian did with their IL-78, jacked up the price 3 times). Well France and we are chump right now and though trump is out, French president has time left in office. We should not waste time and go for contract negotiation fast.
The other option (not as good as 319/320) is of course Embraer 145s.


This is an Airbus conversion, not French G2G.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby fanne » 18 Jan 2021 03:38

mmasand wrote:
This is an Airbus conversion, not French G2G.

Is this good or bad?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kakarat » 31 Jan 2021 22:09

https://twitter.com/ReviewVayu/status/1 ... 1885851650
CABS DRDO and the now official A320 based AEW&C.

Better photos once the booth is set up tomorrow

Image
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby krishna_krishna » 31 Jan 2021 22:35

Awesome so it is a proven netra design with additional nose mounted areas to cover Gaps , so the new awacs can be expected quickly.


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