The Center for Airborne Systems, DRDO’s Laboratory for Communication, Avionics, and Software Development (CASDIC), has taken a significant step forward in India’s defense capabilities. CASDIC has released an Expression of Interest (EoI) for identifying a Development-cum-Production Partner (DccP) for the much-anticipated Indigenous Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite for the Su-30MKI Upgrade Program.

This EoI kicks start the Super Sukhoi upgrade program formally, which aims to modernize the Su-30MKI fleet with advanced technologies. The development and deployment of the Indigenous EW Suite are integral components of this extensive upgrade, promising to enhance the aircraft’s survivability and operational effectiveness.

Timeline and Process

The timeline for the Design and Development (D&D) phase is approximately 32 months. During this period, the partner will be responsible for manufacturing and obtaining provisional approvals for all components of the EW system. The process includes integration, testing, and acceptance at the laboratory level, followed by integration on the aircraft and completion of successful flight evaluations. Additionally, the partner will be tasked with delivering Test and Trial Generation Equipment (TTGE) and technical publications. Further, 15 to 20 months will be allocated for support activities to ensure the seamless closure of the project.

Potential Partner: HAL

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is anticipated to be the likely partner in this excercise. HAL’s technological hold, experience and expertise in manufacturing Su30 MKI make it a prime candidate for this crucial role. This collaboration aligns with the broader objectives of the Super Sukhoi upgrade program, which includes the integration of an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, the next-generation EW suite, and a host of new weapon systems. The upgrade also encompasses the incorporation of state-of-the-art electronics and avionics, significantly enhancing the aircraft’s capabilities.

Super Sukhoi Upgrade Program

The Super Sukhoi upgrade program is designed to transform the Su-30MKI into a more formidable platform, equipped to meet contemporary and future combat scenarios. The addition of the AESA radar will provide superior detection and tracking capabilities, while the next-generation EW suite will offer enhanced protection against various threats. New weapon systems and upgraded avionics will further augment the aircraft’s combat effectiveness, making it a versatile and powerful asset for the Indian Air Force.

Overall, CASDIC’s release of the EoI for the Indigenous EW Suite is a crucial step towards realizing the ambitious goals of the Super Sukhoi upgrade program. With HAL as a potential partner, this project not only strengthens India’s defense manufacturing capabilities but also underscores the nation’s commitment to self-reliance in defense technology. The successful implementation of this program will significantly bolster the operational prowess of the Su-30MKI fleet, ensuring it remains a key component of India’s aerial defense strategy.

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