In accordance with a decision during the recently held commanders' conference at the headquarters of South Western Air Command (SWAC) in Gandhinagar, the first medium-power radar Arudhra was inducted at the Naliya air force station of Gujarat Sector in June 2011.
Consequently, to further enhance its air defense capabilities, IAF is inducting the indigenous radar at air bases in Rajasthan and Gujarat near the Pakistan border. The medium-power radar was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with support from Israel.
According to defense officials, the radar is being inducted to strengthen air defense capabilities in the Saurashtara-Kutch region as part of IAF's radar upgrade and is an important component of the force's plan to achieve network-centric operations. The IAF has significantly improved its air defense capabilities by acquiring the Integrated Air Command and Control Systems and connecting all of its modern and legacy radars under one single grid.
Source said the new radar will help in extending security to many strategically and economically important installations and the nation as a whole. India has been upgrading its air defense capabilities along its frontiers with both China and Pakistan.
Sources said Arudhra is a 4D medium power radar (MPR) which can act as a sophisticated multi-mode sensor for fast changing modern battle fields. MPR uses advanced active array technology, digital processing technologies - Digital Beam Forming and Programmable Signal Processing - to meet operational requirements of air space surveillance covering 100 m to 30 km altitude. The S-band solid state active aperture radar can detect and track any airborne targets up to 100 km. The radar has a rotating phased array antenna covering 360°. It also has steering mode with electronic scanning in azimuth and elevation providing range, direction, height and Doppler velocity information of the tracked aerial targets.
Initially, only eight of these indigenous radars have been inducted by the IAF and subsequently most of the forward and strategic air bases like Utarlai, Jodhpur,Jaisalmer, Phalodi ,Suratgarh and Nal (Bikaner)in Rajasthan region likely have Arudhra to meet the operational requirements.
"This radar has been developed by the Electronic & Radar Development Organisation of DRDO. It has been inducted to replace the ageing TRS-2215 and PSM-33 radars on the inventory of IAF. The radar is a state-of- art technology capable of detecting targets at ranges greater than 300 km and it is an important component in IAF plans to achieve net centric operations. The radar would strengthen air defence in the Saurashtra-Kutch region," defence spokesperson S D Goswami said.