DRDO chairman, Sateesh Reddy in a major announcement said that at least 51% of the 123 LCA Tejas fighters that will be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) will have the desi Uttam radar. He said that this will give a significant boost to indigenous defense technologies. It was stated that the first batch of aircraft will be replaced by Israeli radars.
He further mentioned that initially 40 flights will be inducted in final operational clearance (IOC and FOC) configurations which will have mechanical radars and 83 Tejas Mark-1Awill have Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.
The chairman noted that from the 21st Tejas Mk-1A, the Uttam radar will be produced, whose permission is already granted by HAL. Out of 83, 63 radars will be developed by LRDE (Electronics and Radar Development Establishment), a DRDO lab in Bengaluru. He further added that the Centre through this establishment has pushed indigenous content in defense equipment and further enable HAL to increase the same on Tejas from the present 52%. R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said that there has been an intense target to increase indigenous content in Tejas from 62% to 65%, and this step by the government will help to achieve that.
Seshagiri P, project director, Uttam noted that the range of the radar will almost commensurate to launch a beyond visual range weapon and added that there have been continuous efforts to increase the range of the vision. This will also allow the aircraft to boast of a low probability of intercept and non-cooperative target recognition.