India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) concluded two contracts for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on March 29. BEL will supply Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suites for fighter aircraft. The Instrumented Electronic Warfare Range (IEWR), worth $147 million (₹1109 crore), would also be established and used to test airborne EW equipment and validate their deployment in various operational scenarios.
Overt Defense learns that the advanced EW suite is the D-29 system developed by Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory, for IAF’s MiG-29UPG aircraft. About 42 D-29 systems are to be supplied by BEL, which is the production partner. These EW suites will significantly enhance the survivability of IAF MiG-29 aircraft while undertaking operational missions against ground-based as well as airborne fire control and surveillance radars. The suites are being bought for $264 million (₹1993 crore).
The D-29 is an integrated internal EW system for Radar warning and jamming that encompasses RWR, ECM, ESM functions and uses active phased arrays for selectively jamming the multiple threat radars. It serves primarily as a self-protection jammer, detecting and providing the position of the RF sources illuminating the aircraft and applying the appropriate DFRM based jamming technique between 6-18 GHz. The system mainly consists of Unified Receiver Exciter Processor (UREP), Solid State Transmit / Receive Unit (SSTRU) with Active Array Units (AAU) and a liquid cooling system.
IAF has three squadrons of the MiG-29: No. 28 Squadron, No. 47 Squadron and No. 223 Squadron. The fleet is being converted to UPG standard, with upgrades to be completed by 2022. The first six IAF MiG-29s were upgraded in Russia with another 56 aircraft upgraded at 11 Base Repair Depot in India using kits supplied by Russia. The MiG-29UPG is equipped with a Zhuk-M2E radar, OLS-UEM IRST, cockpit with multi-function displays, a Thales helmet-mounted target designator, a Sagem navigation system, an Israeli ECM station, conformal fuel tanks, inflight refueling and the D-29 suite. The D-29 System has completed flight evaluation from users for ground and airborne emitters in India. Modification of all six aircraft initially upgraded in Russia had been completed for the installation of the system according to DARE.