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US firm ready to offer hi-tech radar for Indian fighter jets
Rezaul H Laskar in Paris | June 18, 2007 10:26 IST
US defence major Raytheon is open to offering its sophisticated Active Electronically Scanned Array radar capable of tracking targets in the air and on the ground for India's fighter jet fleet provided the US government approves such a move, a top official of the company has said.
The technology and its applications can be adapted for different platforms, including new aircraft like the Light Combat Aircraft, and retrofitted on older aircraft like the Indian Air Force's existing fleet of jets, said Michael Henchey, director of business development for Raytheon's Tactical Airborne Systems.
"The technology is scalable and we could scale the electronic antenna of the AESA radar to put it in the LCA," Henchey told PTI in Paris on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show.
He, however, made it clear that the transfer of such technology would depend totally on negotiations between the Indian and US governments as well as the level of AESA radar technology that Washington would be willing to share with New Delhi.
"It would all depend on the country to country negotiations," he said adding, the US State Department and the Pentagon would have to give their approval for such a proposal.
Unlike conventional radars, AESA radars can track dozens of targets on the ground and transmit the information to ground stations and other aircraft to provide a near real time picture of the battlefield.
They can also be used in an electronic warfare role. The AESA radar also forms a key part of the US' efforts to pitch the F-16 and F-18 combat jets for India's planned purchase of 126 fighters.
Henchey said the AESA radar had been fitted to the US Air Force's [Images] F-15s in 2000 and the US Navy's F/A-18s would be equipped with it by next year.
"In December last year, US jets equipped with AESA radars made a map of an area and transmitted the file to the ground in less than a tenth of a second," he said.
Raytheon, he said, was also looking to partner Indian defence firms in view of New Delhi's 30 per cent offsets policy for all defence deals worth over Rs 300 crore.
"We have already tied up with Tata Power [Get Quote] and will announce some more partnerships with Indian firms later this year," said Henchey.