Swordfish L-band radar Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR)
The Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR), a 3-D AESA radar was developed by DRDO with assistance of ELTA, Israel and is similar to ELTA’s proven Green-Pine long range Active Array Radar. The LRTR can track 200 targets, has a range of around 600km and can detect Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM). It is a key element of India’s ABM system.
Swordfish is an advanced L-band active phased array radar (operating on a wavelength of 15-30 cm and a frequency of 1-2 GHz) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Swordfish Long Range Tracking Radar is more powerful than the base Green Pine system and was developed to meet India's specific BMD needs. Because it is a non-rotating phased array radar, Swordfish provides the required track revisit times to deal with fast, low observable, high diving missile threats.
Swordfish is a derivative of the Israeli Green Pine long range radar, which is the critical component of Israel's Arrow missile defence system. However, it differs from the latter as it employs Indian Transmit Receive modules, signal processing, computers and power supplies. It is also more powerful than the base Green Pine system and was developed to meet India's specific BMD needs. Swordfish long range tracking radar was tested for the first time in the year 2009.
The active Array architecture overcomes the major Passive Array problems viz., low reliability inherent with tube type Radar Transmitters and their attendant high voltage power supplies and modulation, and the losses presented by their reciprocal ferrite PIN diode phase shifters with the associated Passive Array RF manifold. Active Phased Arrays use individual solid-state T/R microwave module element at each of its radiating element (antenna), thus avoiding the distribution and phase shifter losses encountered in the Passive Array design.
For the same radiated power, Active Phased Array Systems have been found to be significantly efficient, smaller and lighter than the conventional Passive Array systems. Need to generate very large power to obtain large power aperture product for long-range surveillance can be satisfied only with Active Phased Array Systems utilising Active Aperture Array techniques. The performance of modern radar systems with Active Phased Array Antennas is mainly driven by the performance of the Transmit/Receive modules utilised in the system.
The performance of Radar system with Active Phase Array Antenna is critically dependent on the availability of compact and minimum weight, low consumption and high reliability microwave Transmit/Receive modules. The major functions of a Transmit/Receive module are the generation of the transmit power, the low noise amplification of the received signals coupled to and received from the respective radiating element, the phase shift in the transmit and receive mode for beam steering, and the variable gain setting for aperture weighting during reception. The Transmit/Receive module architecture is closely related to the functionality required in the Active Apertures of the Array in which it is used.
The Department of Space (DOS) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Multi Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) is an L-Band Active Phased Array Radar designed to track multiple targets. It is a long range skin mode tracking radar capable of tracking 0.25m2 RCS target up to a range of 1000km. MOTR can track more than 10 simultaneous targets using single agile beam.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) Super-Swordfish radar was first unveiled in 2012, it was stated to be twice as powerful as older swordfish radar. The new radar has a range of over 1500km, facilitating early detection of inbound threats. if reports are to be believed, Super-Swordfish is already operational.
The Green Pine radar antenna is covered by a protective tent where it serves nearby batteries of Arrow missiles, as the anti-ballistic missile system is put on rare display to the news media, November 7, 2002 in Palmahim, Israel. Following the failure of the U.S.-built Patriot missiles to successfully intercept the 39 Iraqi scud missiles directed at it during the 1991 Gulf War, Israel developed the $2.2 billion Arrow system, which has been tested to detect, track and destroy a missile in under three minutes at altitudes of more than 30 miles, 50 kilometers.
Two of the Israeli EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar systems were delivered to India in 2002. One is currently sited northeast of Bangalore, with the second being located near Konark on India's northeast coast. The radars are sited in protective domes.
The Ministry of Defense reported that IAF as the lead service for providing BMD protection of Delhi NCR has inducted one Multi Function Fire Control Radar (MFCR) in NCR and is in the process of deploying one Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR). These Radars are being operationalised in coordination with PGAD, DRDO and are being operated and maintained from internal IAF resources till EC/PC sanction for raising two Units is available from PMO.
Induction of two new Units for Very Long Range Tracking Radar (VLRTR) systems were accorded by Government of India under MoU between NTRO and IAF for realizing Missile Monitoring System for detection of space borne threats in aid of Ballistic Missile Defence. Accordingly, first VLRTR Unit was raised in 2017 and the system is operational. The VLRTR project likely refers to Super GreenPines imported specifically for the NTRO.
One fixed operating location is at Gopasandra, Karnataka [13°11'45"N 78°10'28"E], adjacent to the Kolar RAF Airstrip. This was a RAF (Royal Air Force) station used extensively during World War II for bombing raids on Rangoon (Burma). Kolar currently being used by the Defence Research and Development Organization for a variety of test flights. Panchi, the wheeled version of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Nishant, capable of taking off from and landing on small airstrips, had its maiden flight on 24 December 2014 from an airfield at Kolar in Karnataka. The aim of the flight, which lasted 25 minutes, was “to demonstrate that Panchi can take off and land on its wheels. It was a textbook flight,” said Anil Kumar Agarwal, Project Director, Panchi. The flight was preceded by high-speed taxi trials that began at the Kolar airfield on November 22.
A full instrumented TMD test range costing Rs.1,000 crores is to be located near Machilipatnam [16.1783N 81.1362E] in Andhra Pradesh (from where the AAD interceptors will be launched from underground vertical-launch cells). The Machilipatnam-based facility also houses one L-band long-range tracking radar (a licence-built EL/M-2080 Green Pine early warning radar) along with a launch-control center, plus a five-array S-band EL/M-2248 MF-STAR target illumination/engagement active phased-array radar.
DRDO chief V K Saraswat said the organization has resolved issues with the Ministry of Petroleum as the area where the facility is likely to come up falls under Krishna-Godavari basin. “We have intentions to set up a launch site at Machilipatnam. We have done all our initial spade work. We are working with the state government to get the land as required. As far as our working with the Ministry of Petroleum is concerned we have amicably sorted out the issue with them,” Saraswat told reporters 24 November 2012. “As soon as the government clearance comes for land we will start creating infrastructure. It will take three years to set up the centre after the land has been handed over to us. The total investment required would be around Rs 1000 crore,” he added.
In July 2019 The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has granted environment and Coastal Regulatory Zone clearances for setting up Missile Testing Launch Facility on the Bay of Bengal coast and Technical Facility at Gullalamoda village in Krishna district. With this, all necessary clearances to begin the construction work have been obtained by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The DRDO proposed to set up the project on 154.4 hectares in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary [15.7714N 80.9513E] in Krishna district. The technical facility will be developed on 130.15 hectares, while the test facility will come up on the 6.07 hectares.
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