Internal Receiver (IR) unit and External Podded Jammer developed by DRDO

One unit of DRDO Advanced Self Protection Jammer is currently undergoing Flight Testing. ASPJ will installed in TEJAS MK-1, MK-1A, MK-2 and Su 30MKI fighters. TEJAS ASPJ will use 16 element Active Transmit Receive Unit (ATRU) and MK-1 one will use 32 element ATRU. Most importantly this ASPJ is possibly based on the advanced solid-state gallium arsenide (GaAs) based active electronically scanned array (AESA) unit technology or gallium nitride (GaN)-based solid-state active electronically scanned array (AESA) jammer transmitters.

The indigenous Electronic Warfare (EW) for TEJAS MK-1A consists of Internal Receiver (IR) unit and External Podded Jammer . Indigenous Wide Band Receiver is a new generation EW receiver system which operates in a wide frequency range. It is an internal system and fully digital Rx based solution with powerful, real-time signal processing using complex and adaptive algorithms.

The indigenous ASPJ Pod is designed for installation on TEJAS and other fighter jets. The purpose of the system is to provide protection to the aircraft against ground based acquisition radars, fire control radars, anti-aircraft artillery and airborne multimode radars. DRDO is also developing a Active Antenna Array Unit (AAAU) which is a combined antenna system for Radar and IFF systems of AEW&C. The antenna unit provides fully Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) for radar and passive electronic scanning antenna for IFF. The array has in built controller unit with multiple units to provide beam steering of the radar and IFF antennas. It supports multiple interfaces.

Advanced Technology Used

The EW suite uses Wideband Digital Receivers and ultra wide band digital radio frequency memories (DRFM) technology. It also uses Active Phased Array (APA) antenna system based on Active Transmit Receive Unit (ATRU), Vivaldi Antenna Array Unit (VAAU) and Air Cycle Machine (ACM) based cooling system.

Incremental Advancement of TEJAS Program

With the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanctioning the development of TEJAS MK-2, a bigger and more capable fighter than the present one, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is setting a target of 2027 to complete the flight testing, according to Defence officials.

The TEJAS MK-2 will be a heavier and much more capable aircraft than the current TEJAS variants and the TEJAS MK-1A that is scheduled to be delivered to the IAF by early 2024, 83 of which have been contracted under a ₹48,000 crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). As per schedule, HAL is expected to deliver first three MK-1A aircraft in 2024 and 16 aircraft per year for subsequent five years.

The MK-2 will be powered by the General Electric GE-414 engine, which will also power the AMCA. A GE-414 produces 98kN thrust compared to 84kN thrust of the GE-404 engine powers the TEJAS MK-1 and MK-1A.

HAL has already set-up a second assembly line to ramp up production from eight aircraft per year to 16 aircraft per year. The order for 83 MK-1A is expected to be completed by 2028-29.