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Comparative analysis of radar tech of Pakistan and India

Darth Vader

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by Faran Awais Butt

[Terminal X Analysis]

Radars can be classified into a number of different categories such as application, operating frequency, deployment and technology. This article will fundamentally discuss ground-based radars and analyze a few that are presently in use by two rival South Asian nuclear powers, Pakistan and India.

Radar technology is a domain in which every nation is trying to gain superiority. There has been a rapid increase in the sophistication of weapons in order to tackle the hostility of threats. After World War II, a significant amount of work has been done in the research and development of radars. However, as the technology kept progressing, its countermeasures also started to develop. Radars in the L-band are primarily ground-based and ship-based systems that are used in long range military and air traffic control search operations. Most ground and ship-based medium range radars operate in the S-band. The X-band is used for radar systems where the size of the antenna gets very small. Many of the airborne radars usually fall into this category.

These days, the preferred military radar would be one which is better suited to overcome the effects of electronic countermeasures that an airborne threat imposes on it. If we talk about jammers, they target the operating frequency of the radar and for that, the most effective method is the use of frequency agility in which the radar keeps on changing its operating frequency. This frequency agility is available in the latest GIRAFFE radars that Pakistan has. It refers to the radar’s ability to rapidly change its operating frequency in a pseudo-random fashion to maintain a narrow instantaneous bandwidth over a wide operating bandwidth. Nowadays, the biggest threat to a country can be a stealth target in its vicinity and the technology to counter that is neither available to Pakistan nor to India. Pakistan is especially mindful of this case post the so-called Operation Neptune Spear at Abbottabad.

The Indian Air Force has significantly improved its air defence capabilities by acquiring the Integrated Air Command and Control Systems thus connecting all of its modern and legacy radars under one single grid. The Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) is influxed with a sufficiently good budget and is striving well for a better air defence system for India. Noticeable radars that India has are the Arudhra, Supervision-2000 and Swordfish which are no better than Pakistan’s GIRAFFE, Skyguard and Chinese YLC radars.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed its Arudhra radars in most of the forward and strategic air force stations in Rajasthan and Gujarat along Pakistan’s border. They are also deploying medium power radars along this border which have been developed by the DRDO with the assistance of Israel. The Arudhra is a four-dimensional active array radar which can provide detection till up to 300 km.

Pakistan is equipped with GIRAFFE radars which provide surveillance and air defence command and control systems tailored for operations with medium and short range air defence missile or gun systems or for use as gap-fillers in a larger air defence system. They provide multi-beam three-dimensional air coverage at 5.4 to 5.9 GHz with instrumented ranges of 30 km (19 mi), 60 km (37 mi) and 100 km (62 mi); the altitude coverage is extended from ground-level to 20,000 metres (66,000 ft) with 70-degree elevation coverage. GIRAFFE radars also give automatic hovering helicopter detection, which is an artillery and mortar locating function that allow the radars to detect incoming rounds and give 20 seconds or more of warning before impact. A skilled crew can deploy these radars in around 10 minutes and recover it in around 6 minutes.

Costly machines like radars have a maximum life limit and they require a high level of maintenance and overhauling. It is hence not so easy for them to be operational 24/7. A multistatic radar system can be much effective for situations which require more vigilance.

Pakistan needs to upgrade its airborne radars as well. It’s rival India is spending a lot of money on airborne radars. Pakistan has also included the KLJ-7, an X-band Chinese radar, whose indigenous production has started at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra (PAC Kamra). An Airborne Early Warning & Control system (AEW&C) is an airborne radar system which can detect aircrafts, ships and vehicles from long distances. Modern aircrafts can detect aircrafts from as far as 400 km which makes them a great attraction for scientists and strategists. The PAF has the Saab 2000 ERIEYE AEW&C from Sweden.

Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) are also in Pakistan's possession because in some way, they serve the core purpose of ground-based radars. The PAF has ZDK-03 AWACS planes. The P3C Orion aircraft, which were in possession of the Pakistan Navy, were targeted during an attack on PNS Mehran back in 2011. A similar attack took place at Minhas Air Base in Kamra where a Saab 2000 ERIEYE AEW&C plane was targeted. It is worth reiterating that Pakistan has to prioritize radars and watch out for prevailing threats while its military forces are already engaged in country-wide counterterrorism operations.

The IAF has purchased custom-made Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft fitted with Phalcon radars from Israel. The A-50E/I Phalcon, which India has fitted, has more range and payload to carry but one has to look for the area as well. India is far bigger than Pakistan and its terrain demands such an AWACS. Hence, on an overall, I would rate the surveillance capabilities of India and Pakistan to be of almost equal proportion.

The three-dimensional Central Acquisition Radar (3D-CAR) is a three-dimensional radar developed by the DRDO which is capable of tracking 150 targets. India has further developed its 3D-CAR into the all new and locally-produced Rohini and Revathi variants. The Rohini is the IAF-specific variant whereas the Revathi is for the Indian Navy. They replace the original joint development items such as the planar array antenna with new indigenously-developed ones which are more capable than the original design. A third variant, known as the 3D Tactical Control Radar has been developed for the Indian Army and has cleared trials.

Another interesting radar which the DRDO is developing is Rajendra. It is a multi-function phased array radar capable of engaging low radar cross section targets. Phased arrays provide beam agility and flexibility. They have effective radar resource management (multi-function capability), more over they have the ability to perform adaptive pattern control.

The PAF had acquired TPS-77 radars from Lockheed Martin, which have the unique capability to provide valley coverage and long range detection capabilities. If we compare India’s Rajendra radar with a TPS-77, we can observe that the latter is better in surveillance and engaging of targets. It is a mobile, active phased array, long range, L-band, three-dimensional solid-state radar designed to perform airspace surveillance missions. It also has an advantage of being active in nature unlike the Rajendra which is passive. Furthermore, the TPS-77 radar can be deployed in a single C-130 and by only two medium trucks. It can be operated by a crew of 6 and set up can be done in less than 30 minutes. The radar system provides detection and tracking against targets till a distance of 450 km.

It is interesting to note that India, although jointly collaborating with allied countries in the defence sphere, is working on the latest radar technology completely on its own. Pakistan should look to capitalize the benefits which it can gain from the US-made TPS-77. It can be further divided into units which can somehow wok as a multistatic system. Also, by having independent antennas, it can have a very effective frequency agile system.

Russia’s Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics limited (HAL) are working on a project, the Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF), whose objective is to make the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA); it is expected to be in operation by 2015. India, on the other hand, is also working on an autonomous Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) 'AURA', developed for the IAF by the DRDO. Clearly, the most expected threats for Pakistan are the FGFA and AURA.

Pakistan has a fine air defence system against jamming techniques but there is still a dire need to make efforts in overcoming the threats of stealth. India has been working on stealth in collaboration with Russia. Pakistan had already been a victim of this technology and is also under threat from its western border, besides the eastern. The country should make efforts to bring affordable stealth capabilities to its system, which will certainly take a considerable time to adopt. Instead, it should instead make efforts to build or design counters to these stealth systems. Additionally, Pakistan should also consider using radars operating on the lower side of L-band on the borders to make detection stronger.

Conclusion

Neither Pakistan nor India have any notable superiority over each other as regards radar technology. Those who claim India is better in this field should have a look at the official website of the IAF which states that recent analysis of accidents reveal that the ground infrastructure in terms of surveillance and precision radars, navigational aids, communications and other supporting systems “need to be revamped”.

The writer holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and is currently a lecturer at a renowned private university in Pakistan. His research work on "Radar ECCM Against Deception Jamming" has been filed in the US patent office, funded by Higher Education Commission Pakistan. He is a member of Terminal X and serves the organization as an Electronic Warfare Specialist. He can be reached at faran@terminalx.org or Tweet to @FaRaNawaisbutt
 
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Darth Vader

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@Armstrong Can You change the name of thread to( Comparative Analysis of radar tech of pakistan and india )
 
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Dillinger

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Outdated, considering that one can acquire even detailed patents of Indian X-band, L-band and S-band TRMs, the S-band TRM out of the grouping populates the Indian AEW&C L-STAR sensor. Absent any information on the integrated network utilized by Pakistan leave alone the multi-billion dollar Af-net that is already in operation on this side of the border, has been validated in exercises such as Pralay and feeds into the IACCS. Sparse details on the Erieye's capabilities. Our resident members such as @Oscar, despite the qualifications of the author, can provide a far better analysis along with some technical input from Gambit- if only because they might invest more time and effort into the analysis.
 
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Capt.Popeye

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Outdated, considering that one can acquire even detailed patents of Indian X-band, L-band and S-band TRMs, the S-band TRM out of the grouping populates the Indian AEW&C L-STAR sensor. Absent any information on the integrated network utilized by Pakistan leave alone the multi-billion dolar As-net that is already operation on this side of the border, has been validated in exercises such as Pralay and feeds into the IACCS. Our resident members such as @Oscar can provide a far better analysis along with some technical input from Gambit.
C'mon now; this was Mr.Buttmeister's aka Faran Butt's analisys of the respectective Radar Systems. Did it it appear in any respectable Defence Journal? Ah, it appeared in the blog: Terminal X.
Now is'nt that a blog which spewed some incredible claims earlier, @Dillinger?
 
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Dillinger

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C'mon now; this was Mr.Buttmeister's aka Faran Butt's analisys of the respectective Radar Systems. Did it it appear in any respectable Defence Journal? Ah, it appeared in the blog: Terminal X.
Now is'nt that a blog which spewed some incredible claims earlier, @Dillinger?
I do not know the blog's credentials or credibility. What I do know is that this piece simply provides range and detection figures sans any qualification of the RCS of the target being detected at said range. Does not discriminate between VSR and a FCR, merely mentioning the band of operation and leaves the reader to then connect the dots. Now Oscar or Hype will obviously understand the function of a sensor if it is mentioned to operate in the L-band, the rest might turn out to be woefully ill-equipped. No information on tracking modes, specific conditions which impinge upon detection. Lots of gaps in the middle. Perhaps the author was attempting to provide a very superficial comparison rather than an analysis for the generic audience. Lastly, the author misses the fact that an ADGE depends upon a linked system of numerous sensors, in bare terms how many of said sensors have you dispersed and in what manner.
 
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Armstrong

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Outdated, considering that one can acquire even detailed patents of Indian X-band, L-band and S-band TRMs, the S-band TRM out of the grouping populates the Indian AEW&C L-STAR sensor. Absent any information on the integrated network utilized by Pakistan leave alone the multi-billion dollar Af-net that is already in operation on this side of the border, has been validated in exercises such as Pralay and feeds into the IACCS. Sparse details on the Erieye's capabilities. Our resident members such as @Oscar, despite the qualifications of the author, can provide a far better analysis along with some technical input from Gambit- if only because they might invest more time and effort into the analysis.
Mein neiii kiyaa kahaa haiii ? :what:

He was asking for some MODs & I mentioned the MODs I know ! :unsure:

I didn't even comment on the piece for I wouldn't know the difference between an X-Band & a Rubber-Band ! :undecided:
 
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Capt.Popeye

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I do not know the blog's credentials or credibility. What I do know is that this piece simply provides range and detection figures sans any qualification of the RCS of the target being detected at said range. Does not discriminate between VSR and a FCR, merely mentioning the band of operation and leaves the reader to then connect the dots. Now Oscar or Hype will obviously understand the function of a sensor if it is mentioned to operate in the L-band, the rest might turn out to be woefully ill-equipped. No information on tracking modes, specific conditions which impinge upon detection. Lots of gaps in the middle. Perhaps the author was attempting to provide a very superficial comparison rather than an analysis for the generic audience. Lastly, the author misses the fact that an ADGE depends upon a linked system of numerous sensors, in bare terms how many of said sensors have you dispersed and in what manner.
Which is just exactly why it appeared in a blog: Terminal X and not in JDW............geddit!
 

Dillinger

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Mein neiii kiyaa kahaa haiii ? :what:

He was asking for some MODs & I mentioned the MODs I know ! :unsure:

I didn't even comment on the piece for I wouldn't know the difference between an X-Band & a Rubber-Band ! :undecided:
You underestimate your brother.:butcher: You have often asked questions regarding radars and ADGE, have you forgotten? It is in that context and obviously also a generic comment. Oscar indeed can do better.

Which is just exactly why it appeared in a blog: Terminal X and not in JDW............geddit!
Is there something amiss with Terminal X?
 

SQ8

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Outdated, considering that one can acquire even detailed patents of Indian X-band, L-band and S-band TRMs, the S-band TRM out of the grouping populates the Indian AEW&C L-STAR sensor. Absent any information on the integrated network utilized by Pakistan leave alone the multi-billion dollar Af-net that is already in operation on this side of the border, has been validated in exercises such as Pralay and feeds into the IACCS. Sparse details on the Erieye's capabilities. Our resident members such as @Oscar, despite the qualifications of the author, can provide a far better analysis along with some technical input from Gambit- if only because they might invest more time and effort into the analysis.
I do not know the blog's credentials or credibility. What I do know is that this piece simply provides range and detection figures sans any qualification of the RCS of the target being detected at said range. Does not discriminate between VSR and a FCR, merely mentioning the band of operation and leaves the reader to then connect the dots. Now Oscar or Hype will obviously understand the function of a sensor if it is mentioned to operate in the L-band, the rest might turn out to be woefully ill-equipped. No information on tracking modes, specific conditions which impinge upon detection. Lots of gaps in the middle. Perhaps the author was attempting to provide a very superficial comparison rather than an analysis for the generic audience. Lastly, the author misses the fact that an ADGE depends upon a linked system of numerous sensors, in bare terms how many of said sensors have you dispersed and in what manner.
You underestimate your brother.:butcher: You have often asked questions regarding radars and ADGE, have you forgotten? It is in that context and obviously also a generic comment. Oscar indeed can do better.



Is there something amiss with Terminal X?
I was about to write a reply to this particular piece in the morning before London beckoned. I would like to immediately declare that I am no Radar expert and hence will abstain from writing too much on the comparison of the two systems. I would state however that India has MUCH better coverage across the front in both low level and high level sensors as compared to us. Pakistan's sensor coverage is focused on key areas such as Bases and strategic centers and hence has gaps left open in the desert and a few other areas. To offset this there are fairly good C4I systems which really have been given a lot of attention in terms of both integration and ease of use. An example is this which is optimized for threat tracking from multiple sensors that range from the YLC radar down to the Mark 1 eyeball of the MoU; it can cue targeting data to weapon operators on the click of a button and coordinates with ALL assets.
Network Centric System
 
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Dillinger

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I was about to write a reply to this particular piece in the morning before London beckoned. I would like to immediately declare that I am no Radar expert and hence will abstain from writing too much on the comparison of the two systems. I would state however that India has MUCH better coverage across the front in both low level and high level sensors as compared to us. Pakistan's sensor coverage is focused on key areas such as Bases and strategic centers and hence has gaps left open in the desert and a few other areas. To offset this there are fairly good C4I systems which really have been given a lot of attention in terms of both integration and ease of use. An example is this which is optimized for threat tracking from multiple sensors that range from the YLC radar down to the Mark 1 eyeball of the MoU; it can cue targeting data to weapon operators on the click of a button and coordinates with ALL assets.
Network Centric System
You could put that mind of yours' to the task and easily provide the necessary analysis, if not to the bare bones of the technicalities. My point was that the above article is a simple comparison of basic parameters without any qualification of the details (which are also available if one looks hard enough). After going through @gambit's detailed posts on radar technicalities (we tapped his mind on the ISRO thread) and your posts on the ADGE structure the above article seems like a juvenile's attempt, all the more surprising given the author's stated qualifications.
 
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Capt.Popeye

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You could put that mind of yours' to the task and easily provide the necessary analysis, if not to the bare bones of the technicalities. My point was that the above article is a simple comparison of basic parameters without any qualification of the details (which are also available if one looks hard enough). After going through @gambit's detailed posts on radar technicalities (we tapped his mind on the ISRO thread) and your posts on the ADGE structure the above article seems like a juvenile's attempt, all the more surprising given the author's stated qualifications.
Mr.Buttmeister Faran Butt's "epistle" is relatively a "meaningless piece of drivel" compared to what has already appeared on this forum on the said subject. Just as @Oscar has already quoted re-infoces my statement. Mr.Butt's purported qualifications do not make an iota of difference to the content (or the lack thereof) in his writing.

About Terminal X; it is a blog-site that is not exactly known for its probity; and its been quoted here on PDF enough times which (if re-read) will illustrate that aspect.
Now, is Ahmad Quraishi working as the editor of Terminal X? ;)
Last I heard; he had found employment with the ISPR, did he change jobs again?
 
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Capt.Popeye

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I was about to write a reply to this particular piece in the morning before London beckoned. I would like to immediately declare that I am no Radar expert and hence will abstain from writing too much on the comparison of the two systems. I would state however that India has MUCH better coverage across the front in both low level and high level sensors as compared to us. Pakistan's sensor coverage is focused on key areas such as Bases and strategic centers and hence has gaps left open in the desert and a few other areas. To offset this there are fairly good C4I systems which really have been given a lot of attention in terms of both integration and ease of use. An example is this which is optimized for threat tracking from multiple sensors that range from the YLC radar down to the Mark 1 eyeball of the MoU; it can cue targeting data to weapon operators on the click of a button and coordinates with ALL assets.
Network Centric System
@Oscar; I admire your reticence, but I'm stiil convinced that you can write better than Mr.Faran Butt on the subject and on technical points at least.

Having said that; taking it a little further from what you have written. India does in fact have a MUCH LARGER and MUCH MORE LAYERED system of Sensors in place (N.B. if at all the odious bit of comparison has to be made). Apart from that it is in three dimensions: land based, air-based (both aerostats and AEWACS) and the Space-based segment is a "work in progress".
One limitation earlier in it though was lack of full integration. But that has been attended to by setting up the IACCCS along side operationalisation of the AF-NET. @Dillinger, this has superseded the earlier ADGES that India depended upon. It is a complete
C4I3 infrastructure which is network centric. It has added a new dimension even to the IAF's Communications Network, The older Troposcatter based system is now replaced and has a redundancy back-up role.

Mr.Butt has thrown in a few names of the Indian radars but that is neither complete or even correct in its description or operational status. There are atleast 3 layers of modern radars in use, and most of them are mobile units. Periodically, some information about them have even percolated into open-source. The older Radars most of them East-Bloc; are progressively being replaced while functioning in a 'redundancy role'. In action, they will become sacrificial.

One area that is calling for some attention is Radars for AAD Regts. of the IA. But that program has been embarked upon already. The GroundSmarter and Reporter Radars are being license manufactured in India and have been integrated to both the ZSU-23 and L-70 ack-ack guns currently in use as will be connected to the 35mm AAD project.

Alas, Mr.Butt has written very little about Pakistan's systems (apart from vague banal generalisation). But that is undoubtedly because; there is not much to write about. That part, we can't hold against him; really.
But his "qualifications" cannot really substitute for "content".
Ahh, these "guys with qualifications"! :D
 
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Dillinger

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@Oscar; I admire your reticence, but I'm stiil convinced that you can write better than Mr.Faran Butt on the subject and on technical points at least.

Having said that; taking it a little further from what you have written. India does in fact have a MUCH LARGER and MUCH MORE LAYERED system of Sensors in place (N.B. if at all the odious bit of comparison has to be made). Apart from that it is in three dimensions: land based, air-based (both aerostats and AEWACS) and the Space-based segment is a "work in progress".
One limitation earlier in it though was lack of full integration. But that has been attended to by setting up the IACCCS along side operationalisation of the AF-NET. @Dillinger, this has superseded the earlier ADGES that India depended upon. It is a complete
C4I3 infrastructure which is network centric. It has added a new dimension even to the IAF's Communications Network, The older Troposcatter based system is now replaced and has a redundancy back-up role.

Mr.Butt has thrown in a few names of the Indian radars but that is neither complete or even correct in its description or operational status. There are atleast 3 layers of modern radars in use, and most of them are mobile units. Periodically, some information about them have even percolated into open-source. The older Radars most of them East-Bloc; are progressively being replaced while functioning in a 'redundancy role'. In action, they will become sacrificial.

One area that is calling for some attention is Radars for AAD Regts. of the IA. But that program has been embarked upon already. The GroundSmarter and Reporter Radars are being license manufactured in India and have been integrated to both the ZSU-23 and L-70 ack-ack guns currently in use as will be connected to the 35mm AAD project.

Alas, Mr.Butt has written very little about Pakistan's systems (apart from vague banal generalisation). But that is undoubtedly because; there is not much to write about. That part, we can't hold against him; really.
But his "qualifications" cannot really substitute for "content".
Ahh, these "guys with qualifications"! :D
No doubt the IACCS is a wonder. The IAF was exceedingly pleased with is performance in ex.pralay.

It does what a modern C4I2 is supposed to do. In fact falls somewhere in the middle of C4I2 and C5ISR. The acronyms can really boggle one's mind.

1) Generates real time ASP by integrating tracks from the linked ground based sensors.

2) Multi-radar track fusion including primary, secondary and associated radar tracks.

3) Acquires, stores, processes, integrates, correlates and displays the track data in real time.

4) Receives weapon status, airfield status and weather status from weapon and associated control centers.

5) Continuous identification, threat evaluation and advise to the command on engagement of hostile tracks.

6) Receives and processes flight plans from the concerned agencies/liaison units.

7) Calculates and depicts interception geometrics.

8) Suggests recovery solutions and provides assistance for recovery of friendly aircraft to designated Airbases.

9) Simulates environment comprising of all sensors to present realistic scenario for training

10) Off-line map preparation facility and loading of charts.

11) Flexible system architechture to facilitate addition/deletion of system components.

Now what's left is to integrate precision X-band sensors in future for a prospective TBMD and aerostat based sensors for tracking terrain following LRCM/CM.

The article obviously missed all of this and instead based its data on older sources, not to mention it missed Pakistan's own Command and Control architecture- which is quite advanced btw.
@Oscar Speaking of Pakistan's Command and Control architecture, I believe that it has been updated/upgraded even further with sparse data on said upgrades available, no?
 
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