Ministry of Defence, on March 23, 2023, signed two separate contracts with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), at a total cost of over Rs 3,700 crore, to enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force. The first contract, worth over Rs 2,800 crore, pertains to the supply of Medium Power Radars (MPR) ‘Arudhra’ for the Indian Air Force. The second contract, at an overall cost of approx. Rs 950 crore, relates to 129 DR-118 Radar Warning Receivers (RWR). These essentially embody the spirit of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will help facilitate the realisation of the country’s journey to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
The DR-118 Radar Warning Receiver will considerably enhance the Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft. Majority of sub-assemblies and parts will be sourced from indigenous manufacturers. The project will boost and encourage active participation of Indian Electronics and associated industries, including MSMEs. It will generate employment of approx. two lakh man-days over a period of three and half years. The DR-118 RWR is a significant leap forward in developing indigenous EW capabilities and making the country ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.
The Arudhra Medium Power Radars (MPR) has been indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and will be manufactured by BEL. Its successful trials have already been conducted by the Indian Air Force. It is a 4D multi-function phased array radar with electronic steering in both azimuth and elevation for surveillance, detection and tracking of aerial targets. The system will have target identification based on interrogations from co-located Identification Friend or Foe system. The project will act as a catalyst for development of manufacturing capability in the industrial ecosystem.
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is an Indian Government-owned aerospace and defence electronics company. It primarily manufactures advanced electronic products for ground and aerospace applications. BEL is one of nine PSUs under the Ministry of Defence of India. It has been granted Navratna status by the Government of India. Bharat Electronics Limited was founded in Bangalore, Karnataka, India in 1954. Starting with the manufacture of a few communication equipment in 1956, BEL started manufacturing receiving valves in 1961, germanium semiconductors in 1962, and radio transmitters for AIR in 1964 with help from the Soviet Union. In addition, new products and technologies including software defined radios, next generation bulk encryptor and high data tactical radio were also on show.