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.