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HAL test flies Jaguar DARIN III with EL/M-2052 AESA radar
September 20, 2017
Indian Air Force (IAF) SEPECAT Jaguars. Photo credit: IAF

HAL test flies Jaguar DARIN III with EL/M-2052 AESA radar

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted the maiden flight of the first SEPECAT Jaguar DARIN III equipped with an Elta EL/M-2052 active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar on August 10.

The DARIN (Display, Attack, Range and Inertial Navigation) III is an upgrade of the SEPECAT Jaguar, which serves as one of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) mainstay strike aircraft.

The DARIN III comprises of upgrades to the Jaguar’s electronics systems. These include open system architecture mission computer, multi-functional displays, engine and flight instrument system, new fire control radar, geodetic height correction system and inertial navigation system with satellite navigation.

Wort $520 million U.S., HAL was to implement DARIN III onto 61 IAF Jaguars by the end of 2017. However, the program is behind schedule and will likely conclude in 2022. The IAF awarded initial operational clearance (IOC) to the Jaguar DARIN III in November 2016.

Already a valuable strike asset, the inclusion of the EL/M-2052 provides the Jaguar DARIN III with improved defensibility against electronic warfare jamming. By virtue of having multiple transceiver modules (TRM), each transmitting in a different radio frequency, the EL/M-2052 also has a lower probability-of-intercept with enemy radar warning receivers. The Jaguar DARIN III would be more difficult to detect and to jam.

Otherwise, EL/M-2052 is an advanced multi-mode radar capable of air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea tracking, targeting and engagement. Elta has not disclosed the radar’s range or the number of targets it can track and simultaneously engage.

The IAF has configured the SEPECAT Jaguar to deploy a wide range of munitions, among them the AIM-132 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile and the CBU-105 Sensor-Fuzed Weapon. The latter is a highly capable anti-armour weapon comprising of a total 40 dual infrared and laser-guided top-attack Skeets. Each Skeet can independently target and engage tanks and other armoured vehicles.

  • Jack

    FM 90 and LY 80 SAM missile systems should be upgraded and continuously kept up to dat with new developments and should be able to protect our armoured vehicles on the move as well as target Su 30 mki and jaguar Darin 3 in any war situation.

    Furthermore Pakistan needs to buy updated HQ 9 SAM as well as more fm 90 and ly 80 systems to ensure we have adequate air defence coverage for our armed forces in reaction of these developments. S400 is expensive ,HQ 9 is mich better option.

    We need to spend more resources on developing our own surface to air missile systems just the way we have developed ballistic and cruise missiles.

    • Manju

      Dude, If HQ9 is a good option then tell me why Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan rejected it when China offered?, Why Iran Chose S300 over HQ9 and Turkey Chose S400 over HQ9. Biggest question of all why China bought S400 from Russia if HQ9 is highly effective and can be mass produced? Yes Chinese would be more happy to sell it rather than use it themselves.

      • Keyser

        Ever heard of politics?

      • Jack

        The simple answer to your comment is China also bought Su 27 and Su 30 mkk from Russia, then came J 11 which was mass produced as a copy of these fighter jets, China also bought Russian short range SAM Buk then came FM 90 as a copy of that, China also bought S 300 then came HQ 9 as a copy of S 300

        Same applies to laptops and smart phones as China can make copies but much better copies and updated ones in comparison to previous versions.

        China is buying S 400 and will make a better copy of S 400 and will mass produce it again like they have done it with j 11 and HQ 9.

        China is using HQ 9 on its south China islands, its extremely effective and even American airforce is vary of the threat it poses to American air power, so your argument of saying China is not using HQ 9 is rubbish.

        Its matter of which countries can afford to buy new systems and which countries prefer to buy old systems but much enhanced versions of it.

        HQ 9 is enhanced version of S300 and if it can put fear in American Airforce fighter jets on flying above South China Sea islands, then its more than enough to put fear in Indian airforce fighter jets.

        Underestimating everything just because its Chinese technology is living in fools paradise.

        If there is a gun that is made to shoot, it will shoot because that’s what it’s meant to do.

      • Steve

        Turkey which is a serious power bought HQ-9 and only backed off under NATO pressure. Your argument does not carry weight, as it ignores political considerations.

  • Steve

    Have we got CBU-105? If not we need a similar weapon. More JF-17 Block III is also the answer. Along with HQ-9.

    • No CBU-105. According to the MoDP there is a “Multi Warhead Bomb” under development, no idea what that is though them aiming for something analogous to the CBU-105 would make sense.

      • Steve

        That’s a serious matter. The weapon was seriously effective against Iraqi tanks and armour.

        • It’s surprising that China hasn’t developed anything like it.

          Interestingly, even the OEM that made the CBU-105 (Textron) has stopped manufacturing the munition.

          Anyways, there are Skeet-like weapons out there, namely Germany and South Korea. Rheinmetall has a artillery shell loaded with two top-attack munitions, while Hanwha Corporation has the ‘Wide Area Denial Munition’, basically an infrared-guided Skeet.

          • Steve

            It’s being used in Yemen don’t know by whom. Probably Americans as there was a news item that America had denied Saudis CBU-105 because of their indiscriminate use against civilian targets…typical Saudis. HRW is making a fuss about that, with good reason. We need a similar weapon for obvious reasons. Thanks Bilal.

          • shakeel ahmed

            Steve and bilal khan, I am really inspired by your knowledge and understanding of Weapons aircraft systems etc, can you suggest me anything to build up my knowledge like you guys. Some stuff for a beginner please.!!!
            Awaiting your reply

          • Steve

            Bilal has got armed forces heritage I think. I’m just an amateur doing this for fun. A genuine interest and reading around helps.

          • Amir Timur

            Given the vulnerabilities posed to us in Sindh and southern regions of the Punjab, I feel Pakistan’s response has been somewhat risky. Armoured thrusts deep into the Cholistan desert by India cannot be responded by TNWs like Nasr etc. This is simply too much dependent on our military perception towards the Indian nuclear threshold. To respond to India’s doctrine of the cold start, our first step should’ve been to upgrade our anti armour capabilities. Guided anti tank custer munitions should’ve been top priority. Saturating areas with such anti armour bomblets is a much wiser decision than nukes. Artillery munitions such as top attack shells also beg considerations. Our current state is almost dismal, even our ATGM arsenal has only one component, the Baktar Shikan, which isn’t as reliable now, considering India’s consistent armour inductions. Also, Bilal, if we intend TNWs to stop Indian armoured advances, can thermobaric weapons of high yield not be used instead? It won’t be as effective in deterring Indian aggression and employing the CSD, that only the Nasr can do well. But in terms of countering thrusts by Indian armoured and mechanized offenses, it could be equally effective. Coupled with the army’s recent acquisitions of attack helicopters, this should suffice.

          • Steve

            I would like to say that if we rely only on TNW that’s dangerous for everyone, and our red lines may be tested. What if they come in only 1-2 km? Do we use TNW? It is a difficult decision. Thermobaric weapons are not really effective against armour but against soft skinned vehicles and infantry. We need to get 500 CBU-105 from US if they will sell and integrate with Block III which will outperform the jags, especially as they will have AESA and ASELPOD. They may sell if we say our TNW threshold will be increased by this, and we will help with an Af settlement. We do need 250+ Block III or higher. Agree that our Bhaktar Shikan though effective historically are SACLOS meaning dated.

          • Jack

            You have completely ignored surface to air missiles.

            Surface to air missiles are the answer.

            We need better sams and a lot of them, battalions of sams, that can protect our armoured vehicles against any air attack.

            Even buying Chinese sams and updating them with western radars should be enough. Short range sams and medium range sams like fm 90 and ly 80 are good but we need South African ones which are also decent.

            HQ 9 is cheap option, China will make an enhanced copy of S400 soon after buying it just like they have made copies of S300 and Su 27 flanker like J 11.

  • Headstrong
    • jigsaw

      A magnifying glass please unless it’s an eye test?

      • GhalibKabir

        you are better off reading airforce-technology or some other journals that cover the same thing. my country’s media are prone to mistakes as they make no effort to even a get a rudimentary understanding of the issue at hand esp. something technical involving ISRO etc.

        @disqus_Tx26fJTtpK:disqus , no offense meant friend, just a personal pet gripe with our country’s notoriously illiterate media

        PS: @disqus_ZIgZRbyw2S:disqus , I enjoy your posts. I have learned a thing or two from your writings. thanks.

        • jigsaw

          Thank you and thank you.

        • Headstrong

          I hear you. And I agree. I would also submit that most literature on this kind of stuff is manipulative and influenced. The trick lies in realizing this fact and keeping the mind open.

      • A little better picture

  • bill

    It should be an eye opener for PAF and Pak Govt. IAF 2nd tier jets even started to be up graded with capable avionics. Meanwhile Pak supposed AESA equipped JF17 block III still passing through design phase meanwhile IAF also progressing in case of Rafael and 5th Gen Jet with Russia.

    PAF should accelerate induction of JF17 block-iiii with capable gadgets on the other hand should immediately sign contract for FC31 to customize it as per Pak requirements.

  • GhalibKabir

    The 2052 is a GaA based radar with 1500 TRMs. This has a range of 290 km in the Air to Sea Mode while in the Air to Air Mode, it is rumored to be between 150 to 200 km for a 1 sq.m RCS.

    The Jaguar Darin 3 land version should be able to fire the Derby BVRAAM while the maritime strike version has fired a Harpoon to a range of 120 km plus.

    • amar

      @GhalibKabir:disqus

      Honestly speaking, I doubt if ELTA-2052 comes equipped with GaN modules. Also a range of 200kms for such an aperature against just 1m^2 target is too fancy. I would suspect a realistic range of 150-170km instead. But not more than that.

      • GhalibKabir

        of course it is GaA only as I mentioned. The range is something I heard from someone who is familiar with the APG 77 and 81 radars intimately and happened to know things about the 2052. I would assume 150 km-170 km would be not strange and would put the 2052 in the same league as the CAESAR and earlier versions of the APG 77 or the current APG 81. Not surprising considering the extent of Israeli involvement in US programs.

        for fighter AESA GaN radar, I think that is something for the future (late 2020s perhaps for a commercial non-US solution to be available). As of now, it is very much a US controlled tech space via the likes of Cree, Triquint etc.

  • jigsaw

    Haha…come on..chill out. Really wanted to get to read it. It’s ok.

    P.S: It’s the same size by downloading also, hence i asked.

    • Headstrong

      No offence taken.
      Works fine where I am. Try opening it with software which helps you zoom in

      • jigsaw

        Not that it matters, but since this ain’t a vector graphics media but a tiny jpeg (400x303px to be exact), that wouldn’t really work. Usually it’s enough to view with bitmaps – here it’s just too few pixels on it.

  • Keyser

    I think you guys are taking the wrong inferences from this report. the question you should be asking is why are they looking at putting AESA on old bomb trucks? Is it to cover a shortfall in other areas?

    The program has hit lots of snags and the engine issues will be problematic as AESA radars and upgraded electronics are power hogs.
    And they still haven’t ordered the engines yet……These aircraft are not new platforms and they are having to pick up old aircraft for spares. This program should have been completed 5 years ago.

    Take what you will from that

    • GhalibKabir

      Some points you raise are true esp. regarding the delay. Some not quite

      1. The Israelis did not sell the AESA for many years and only approved it in 2015 after getting tangible things in return (committed buys, funding support for their R&D etc.)

      2. The Jags will be re-engined to address power issues for the AESA and also the thrust issues the Jags had historically. That will not mean they will not be useful with the current engine. the thrust difference is around 10 kN between the Adour 811 and F125IN proposed engine.

      3. I see nothing wrong in picking old airframes for spares if it is going to save money and is going to be useful.

      lastly between the choice of old avionics+engine jaguar and new avionics plus old engine jaguar , the latter is any day better and represents some progress..

      PS:the Rafales, Tejases, new Su-30 MKIs are all still being inducted and we need numbers, so upgrading Jags is a decent choice.

      I will take that over no progress any day.

  • Saptarshi Dasgupta

    Jaguar Darin 3, Rafale, Su-30 Super 30 upgrades, Tejas MK1A, Rafale and Pak-FA FGFA. Iaf plans to have an all AESA fleet barring Mirage 2000-5 and mig-29k . This is keeping in mind the PLAAF. PAF is never considered a threat by IAF cause an Indian Pakistan war is highly unikely cause both are carrying out proxy wars in kashmir and balochistan, with terror attacks and use of intelligence through RAW and ISI. Real challenge will be China, which is already a super power . Indian Forces do have the geograpgical advantage at india china border but j-20, j-16bs, j-10c and su-35 posted in Tibet can spook any force let alone India so, indian government is planning a rapid air force and naval modification, 1) Aircraft carriers 2) AESA fighters 3)Nuclear submarines 4)stealth desytroyers and frigates 5) Ballistic missile defense systems like indigenous PAD/AAD and Russian S-400 6) tactical ballistic and high speed cruise missiles 7) Anti Cruise missile and 8) anti aircraft systems like ISREALI LRSAAM/MRSAAM/IRON DOME to deter China. Plus USA’s backing. But USA can never be trusted in long run specially when Trump is there, so best way is to create a sleek and strategic force…That is what Indian air force , Navy and Army are doing. Sad part is that this will actually not go down with you Pakistani brothers, you would feel it is against you, but it is not.

    • Steve

      China is building up its forces with USA in mind. I don’t think they consider India a threat. It is still too poor and dependent on Russian and Western help with equipment. If you look at their ORBAT it is all to build up a force to Super power levels and confront America. They have got an economy soon to be No.1 in the world to fund all this.

  • GhalibKabir

    without disputing your the ‘old bomb truck’ assertion (I get what you mean) , let me share some features of the Darin 3 land version,

    1. Around 40+ plus Jags India flies were built between 2002 and 2008, so the airframes per se are not very old.

    2. Besides the AESA, this version also has upgraded ELBIT DASH HMDS, updated computers etc to allow the helmet based cueing of the MBDA ASRAAM/Derby BVRAAM and pilot friendlier than the Darin 2.

    3. It carries a Litening III pod and can carry an Elta 8222 jammer suite (Aden gun removed to make way).

    4. Besides the CBU 105, it can also carry other LGB/LGMs such as the Griffin 3, SPICE 250 LGB and other laser guided 1000 lb bombs in Indian inventory.

    5. As is, unless AGM-88s are purchased the Jaguar will stick to its bomber/DEAD role with Su-30s performing SEAD with the Kh-31 ARMs

    so it could still be a useful ‘truck’ for a while…..

    good day to you!

    • Steve

      Our ROSE upgrade fills a similar philosophy. Good day to you too

    • Steve

      After the ROSE upgrade we have now however moved on to a single backbone fighter, which will be the JF-17 Block III. It will carry on all the strike roles with an AESA radar probably Chinese, and ASELPOD from Turkey. There is a large number of GPS and Laser guided bombs of Pakistani American and Chinese origin in Pakistani inventory which it can use, as well as runway crating bombs like Durundel, long range glide bombs of South African origin, and FAE bombs in its strike role. We will also integrate it with Raad which is a 400 km range air launched cruise missile and can carry a nuclear warhead as well. Two can be carried by one aircraft. It will also have HMCS and and also be our main BVR fighter with SD-10 and A-darter. We believe this will simplify logistics and allow flexibility in our response to situations that may arise in the subcontinent with forward air bases and motorway use for instance. We plan to induct 250+ of these as quantity has a quality of its own as the famous saying goes. The F-16 50/52 or MLU’ed will be the other high end fighter using AMRAAM and AIM-9, before we induct J-31 and work on TF-X as the next generation fighter. We will have probably only 3 main fighter types except for a few squadrons for maritime use probably Russian, though the Block II is integrated with CM-400AKG a supersonic long range antiship missile. A lot of these are plans but we are working towards them seriously as we don’t want too wide a gap to open up with adversaries. The list above is not comprehensive as we have weapons we don’t advertise. Have a nice day.

    • Headstrong

      Don’t forget its strategic role…

  • Salman

    Isnt there a rumor that this 2052 Elta is what the Chinese are deriving from their radar which they’ll fit on the Block 3 of JF-17? The similarity between the two is striking

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