51% of new Tejas fighter jets to have indigenous Uttam radars, says DRDO chairman
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51% of new Tejas fighter jets to have indigenous Uttam radars, says DRDO chairman


Keeping in line with the Indian government’s push for indigenous components in defence equipment, about 51 per cent of the new LCA Tejas fighters to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) would have the locally-developed Uttam radars. The Uttam radars will be replacing Israeli radars that are there in the first batch of these aircraft.
This is being seen as a boost to indigenous defence technologies and would increase the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) role when it comes to Tejas aircraft.
It is to be noted that about 123 Tejas aircraft are going to be inducted into the IAF. The IAF will get around 40 in initial and final operational clearance configurations and 83 Tejas Mark-1A aircraft ordered earlier this month. The first 40 will have Israeli mechanical radars and 83 Mk-1A fighters will get Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.
The Times of India quoted Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Chairman, Sateesh Reddy, as saying, “We will have the Uttam radar from the 21st Tejas Mk-1A to be produced. Uttam has performed better than anticipated in the trials so far.”
Reddy further added that they had signed an MoU with the HAL regarding the same. About 63 of the 83 therefore will be indigenous Uttam radars developed by the DRDO lab, LRDE (Electronics and Radar Development Establishment).
Uttam is an AESA radar that is capable of tracking targets and taking hi-resolution pictures required for reconnaissance missions. The project director of Uttam, Seshagiri P, said that it was being tested on two LCAs and one executive jet.
The Times of India quoted him as saying, “On the LCAs, testing is for air-to-air mode at present. The range of the radar should be almost commensurate to launch a BVR (beyond visual range) weapon; it’s specified to be so. But we’re getting a range that’s better than that. We are a couple of sorties away from starting a joint evaluation. After this, it will be ready for user evaluation.”


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