Weapon Lo­cat­ing Radar from BEL

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & Inindia -

In 1948, just a year af­ter In­de­pen­dence, the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia en­trusted the task of es­tab­lish­ing a radar and elec­tron­ics fac­tory to the Min­istry of De­fence. It was from this au­thor­ity that Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited ( BEL) was in­sti­tuted in Ban­ga­lore in 1954. BEL is a pioneer in In­dia in the field of radars and has, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with DRDO labs, been de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing land-based, air­borne and ship­borne radars for de­fence and civil­ian ap­pli­ca­tions since 1964.

Some of the im­por­tant radar projects ex­e­cuted by BEL over the years are 2D Low- Level Sur­veil­lance Radar ( INDRA II), 2D Sur­veil­lance Radar El­e­ment (SRE), Fly­catcher Radar, Bat­tle Field Sur­veil­lance Radar Short Range (BFSR-SR), Bat­tle Field Sur­veil­lance Radar Medium Range (BFSRMR), 3D Sur­veil­lance Radar (Ro­hini), 3-D Tac­ti­cal Con­trol Radar, Flight Level Radar and Troop Level Radar for Akash Mis­sile Sys­tem and Dop­pler Weather Radar Mk–II for ISRO and the MET depart­ment. New gen­er­a­tion 3D and 4D Radars with AESA tech­nol­ogy are in the pipe­line.

BEL has added an­other feather to its cap with the de­vel­op­ment and suc­cess­ful tri­als of Weapon Lo­cat­ing Radar (WLR), which is a field ar­tillery radar sys­tem ca­pa­ble of lo­cat­ing en­emy ar­tillery bat­ter­ies or shell-fir­ing guns, mor­tars and rocket launch­ers with great pre­ci­sion and guid­ing own ar­tillery fire to neu­tralise the en­emy tar­gets. The radar sys­tem is con­fig­ured on two Ta­tra ve­hi­cles: Radar Ve­hi­cle and Power Source- cum- BITE Ve­hi­cle. The sys­tem has been de­vel­oped jointly by the Mil­i­tary Radar Strate­gic Busi­ness Unit of BEL’s Ban­ga­lore Com­plex and Elec­tron­ics & Radar De­vel­op­ment Estab­lish­ment (LRDE), a DRDO lab­o­ra­tory based out of Ban­ga­lore.

BEL, along with tech­ni­cal sup­port from LRDE, ini­ti­ated the in­dige­nous de­vel­op­ment of WLR in May 2002 and com­pleted re­al­i­sa­tion of the engi­neered model in 2010, in­cor­po­rat­ing new tech­nolo­gies/tech­niques like flex­i­ble wave­forms through Dig­i­tal Pulse Com­pres­sion, im­prov­ing the av­er­age power of trans­mit­ter for higher (5%) duty cy­cle, soft­ware im­prove­ments for bet­ter clut­ter han­dling and in­cor­po­ra­tion of Power PC-based Pro­gram­mable Sig­nal Pro­cess­ing Unit (PSPU) and weight re­duc­tion. The sys­tem has cleared all the five phases of tri­als, viz., ac­tual fir­ing tri­als in the for­ward ranges of Pokhran and high al­ti­tudes of Sikkim, EMI/EMC eval­u­a­tion by MCE, Mhow, main­tain­abil­ity eval­u­a­tion by MAG and en­vi­ron­men­tal eval­u­a­tion by DGQA in Novem­ber 2011. The project also won the pres­ti­gious Rak­sha Mantri’s Award for ‘Im­port Sub­sti­tu­tion’ in 2011.

Fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions of the Tech­ni­cal Over­sight Com­mit­tee and Con­tract Ne­go­ti­a­tion Com­mit­tee, BEL signed a con­tract for sup­ply­ing of 30 WLR sys­tems: 10 sys­tems con­fig­ured with high al­ti­tude kit for TA­TRA ve­hi­cles to the In­dian Army on 30 De­cem­ber 2015. The First off Pro­duc­tion Model (FoPM) of WLR came out in Jan­uary 2016, with the proac­tive in­volve­ment of DGQA agen­cies, MAG and User Direc­torate. Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Tests for im­proved sub­sys­tems and ac­cep­tance tests of all sub sys­tems were com­pleted, and fir­ing tri­als suc­cess­fully com­pleted in mid-April 2016. The high al­ti­tude ver­sion of WLR and other ver­sions for the plains have been manufactured and are un­der dif­fer­ent stages of in­spec­tion and eval­u­a­tion, pro­duc­tion of the en­tire quan­tity of WLRs to be un­der­taken and supplied as per the terms of the con­tract.

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