Ghaziabad (U.P.), August 6 : Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a Defence Public Sector Undertaking today handed over the first of the three-dimensional radar 'Rohini' to the Indian Air Force.
V.V.R. Sastry, Chairman-and-Managing Director, BEL handed over a ceremonial key to the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major at a function in BEL, Ghaziabad marking its induction into the IAF.
The state-of-the-art multifunction medium range surveillance radar has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), Bangalore and engineered and produced by BEL.
It is capable of handling multiple targets simultaneously and also precisely calculate the height at which the projectiles are flying.
Mounted on "Tetra' mobile platform, a heavy duty modified truck built by the public sector Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and supported by an auxiliary mobile power unit, it enables the Rohini to be easily transported to the battlefront.
Speaking on the occasion the chief guest Air Chief Marshal Major said the radar would grant the IAF better air surveillance capability, particularly at low altitudes. Operating in a range of up to 170 kilometres and an altitude of 15 kilometres, the radar can track multiple targets like fighter jets and missiles travelling at supersonic speeds of over 3,000 kilometres per hour, viz around Mach 3.
The radar employs an array of Electronic Counter Counter Measure (ECCM) features including frequency agility and jammer analysis.
Secondary Surveillance Radar, IFF, is integrated with the primary radar Rohini, which distinguishes friendly and hostile aircraft.
Handing over the radar, Sastry said he expects around 100 pieces would be built, with around 20 radars being manufactured every year.
He said the army has conducted successful trials of a Rohini variant for detecting and tracking missiles.
Another variant, 'Revathi', is being developed for the Navy, he added.
Sastry assured the forces that the BEL has surplus capacity to undertake serialized production and its manufacturing facilities were being currently utilized only to an extent of 70 per cent.
For the first time the IAF has also awarded an Annual Maintenance Contract for the Rohini radars to the BEL.
M. Natarajan, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Secretary, Defence Rand D, said the Rohini radar is a shining example of the defence-industry synergies, the new age objective of the DRDO.
Private sector pioneers Larsen and Toubro (L and T) and Astra Microwave have collaborated with the BEL and DRDO to provide ancillary inputs to development of the Rohini radar, which is almost indigenously developed barring minor critical components.
S. Varadarajan, Director, LRDE said changes would be incorporated into the radar time-to-time based on end user feedback.