Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has begun delivering its EL/M-2248 multi-function surveillance and threat alert radar (MF-STAR) for the Indian Navy, which is the launch export customer for this system. The S-band active phased-array MF-STAR, developed by IAI’s ELTA Systems Ltd, will go on board the three Project 15A Kolkata-class 6,700-tonne guided-missile destroyers (DDG) now being built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL), as well as on the four projected Project 15B DDGs and on INS Vikrant, the indigenous aircraft carrier now being built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. It uses pulse-Doppler techniques, multiple beam-forming and advanced high-PRF waveforms to extract stressing and low radar cross-section threats even in conditions of heavy jamming and dense clutter. Key functionalities include three-dimensional volume search, missile horizon search, multi-target tracking, surface surveillance, helicopter detection, gunnery control and splash spotting. The MF-STAR can initiate tracks against sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles at ranges in excess of 25km, and out to more than 250km for a high-flying combat aircraft. On the MF-STAR fibre-optic cables have replaced the earlier-generation waveguide and coax cables, which has substantially reduced the radar’s weight so it can be installed on board warships of varied designs. The MF-STAR uses four 3 x 3-metre fixed-array faces (each weighing 1,500kg) based on a modular tile-array architecture (with each tile containing 16 Gallium Arsenide transmit/receive modules) to allow for scaleability in the size of the antenna aperture. Liquid cooling is used to dissipate heat at the arrays. In-board equipment weighing 900kg is housed within six cabinets--two for processing and four for the power supply. Earlier, ELTA had supplied three S-band EL/M-2282 AD-STAR surveillance and threat alert radars for the Indian Navy’s three MDL-built Project 17 Shivalik-class FFGs, six more for the three Project 16 Godavari-class and three Project 16A Brahmaputra-class FFGs, two more for two Kashin 2-class DDGs, and another one for INS Viraat.
The Barak-2 will make use of a novel nose-mounted dual guidance system: an active phased-array radar for guidance over the final 30km terminal phase of its flight; and a miniaturised, gimbal-mounted imaging infra-red seeker using an indium antimonide staring focal plane array operating in the 3 to 5 micron wavelength band. During the initial fly-out phase of flight, the Barak-2’s seeker window will remain covered with a two-piece clamshell protection shroud. Metal bladders installed in the shroud will be inflated to eject the protective shroud before the combined seekers initiate target acquisition. High agility will be maintained through a tungsten jet-vane system for thrust vector control, combined with advanced electro-pneumatic control actuation systems and electro-pneumatic control actuation systems. The Barak-2 will also have a 60kg pre-fragmented warhead that in turn will use a laser-based digital proximity fuze. Service ceiling of the MR-SAM variant will be 16km, and 24 such missiles will be able to simultaneously engage 12 airborne targets. The Barak-2’s MR-SAM variant for the Indian Army will make use of the motorised EL/M-2084 active phased-array multi-mode radar, while the Barak-2’s LR-SAM variant for the Indian Air Force will use a motorised land-mobile version of the EL/M-2248 MF-STAR. Current plans call for the Indian Navy to procure 500 Barak-2s, with the Army expected to procure up to 1,500 missiles. The IAF will be acquiring about 1,000 LR-SAMs.—Prasun K. Sengupta