The Ministry of Defence-owned Defence Research & Development Organisation’s Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) has developed a family of internally-mounted self-protection jammers in cooperation with Italy’s Elettronica for installation on board the upgraded MiG-29UPG and the Tejas Mk1 light combat aircraft. Being part of the integrated defensive aids suite (IDAS), the jammers are lightweight and compact, yet powerful, and are meant to be targetted against continuous wave (CW), pulse and pulse-Doppler emitters. At the heart of the capability is a digital, software reprogrammable radio frequency memory (DRFM) that is used to deceive and jam coherent multimode airborne radars. The DRFM incorporates both the RF and memory sections required for digitising and storing signals of interest, as well as the techniques generator. On the MiG-29UPG, the jamming suite uses Elettronica of Italy’s Virgilius family of directional jammers, which make use of active phased-array transmitters for jamming hostile low-band (E-G) and high-band (G-J) emitters. Other systems features include a wide- and narrow-band signals reception, monopulse amplitude direction-of-arrival, direction-finding, threat identification/classification capabilities, a multi-domain (range, velocity, noise and amplitude) techniques generator, CW and pulse repeater channels, a steerable combined output signal, interfaces for a countermeasures dispensing system, host platform avionics in-flight data recording for post-mission debriefing and maintenance, and field-programmable threat library. The EW suites for both aircraft types receive emitter signals within the 2GHz to 18GHz band and transmit across the 6GHz to 17.5GHz frequency range. The MoD-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is presently series-producing the jamming suites as well as the related radar warning receivers.
For escort jamming purposes, the Tejas Mk1 and MiG-29UPG are expected to be equipped with ELTA Systems’ EL/L-8251 jamming pod, which offers wide frequency coverage between 1GHz and 18GHz.—Prasun K. Sengupta