IAF's first AESA equipped fighter-AESA equipped Jaguar Darin III had its maiden flight

IAF which has been trying to improve its fleet received a good news as Indian Jaguar Darin III fighter equipped with Israeli Elta EL/M 2052 AESA radar. This makes Jaguar the first Indian fighter jet to be equipped with AESA or Active electronically scanned array radar which is a quantum jump in the capabilities.

AESA or Active electronically scanned array radars are much much better than PESA or passive electronically scanned array radars (of same power) in terms of detection range, coverage and reliability. These are also more resistant to jamming. As explained in my post "Why IAF is negotiating for French airforce's 31 JAGUAR jets?" jaguars play a vital role and is amongst one of  the best fighter aircraft in IAF's  inventory and that IAF wants  to operate these atleast till 2030, so IAF has been upgrading our fleet of jaguars to DARIN III configuration with improved avionics and systems and more powerful engines.

The AESA radar allows pilot to detect enemy at longer ranges and the ELTA 2052 can track upto 64 targets. The radar can also guide multiple missiles during combat and can work in simultaneous modes allowing the fighter to perform various modes more capably.

Sources even suggest that HAL has worked alongside Elta on the Israeli developed ELTA 2052 and have upgraded it from original configuration. The Israeli radar has been backed by not just IAF but also HAL has been supporting it.The same radar is also being integrated for use in HAL LCA or Tejas Mk1A variant and till India's own AESA radar Uttam (under testing) is fully developed the Elta 2052 will be the main AESA of IAF. 



  1. Note that the Jaguars with the squared nose, usually brit made ones, are unlikely to get a radar in it : it's an old school laser designation system.
    See (4) on the picture :
    Usually, French ones have a radar in the nose and laser designator is smaller and installed under the nose :
    You can see how the radar and laser designator are placed in the French nose here :
    As French ones are not equipped with these, it might be a good idea to install over-wing pylons for AAMs :
    Having Mica-IR adapted or smth else might be a better idea than 70's Sdewinders-alike.
    The French version hasn't the tail antennas too.

    Note that Elta EL/M 2052 AESA is also suitable for Mirage-2000, Mig-29, Tejas and F-15. Fitting it in the Jaguar's English version clearly means having to build a new nose.

    It's definitively a good idea to get 2nd hand Jaguars, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 and upgrade them as an interim solution as it'll take several years until Teas Mk-1A and Rafale can enter production in India and it took already 16 years to build around 235 of the 272 Su-30MkI ordered while both Mig-21bison and Mig-27 should already be in retirement : both are seen as flying coffins.
    At least, Jaguars and Mig-29 are rugged dual engines machines and Mirage-2000, despite being single engined, are very reliable.
    Moreover, it'll be feasible to transfer the Elta radar and surely other upgraded avionics to Tejas Mk1A.

    In fact, needing such interim solutions can be charged on some politicians that made negotiations on procurements lasting for years and also ever-changing requirements and poor decisionship on Tejas : opting for the SNECMA M88 could have been considered as soon as 2008-2009 when the M88-9 has been fielded by just considering that Rafale-A was fitted with F404 waiting for M88 which is much smaller/lighter, then when M88-9 hit the market with much more thrust than F404, this solution should have been considered due to the too small internal tanks in Tejas Mk1 project.

    #### Seems that what I pointed as serious rumours has been confirmed in the last days in Indian press : a 2nd batch of 36 Rafales and a tender for 56-57 units for INAA are in talks and these to be built in India.
    It also seems Modi is willing having India participate the recently announced French-German 6th generation fighter project.
    IMHO, it's a good idea : fighter-aircraft projects have became too expensive in R&D for a single nation unless you have the GDP of USA or China and well, many of modern weapon systems too. Actually, hadn't the Brits did their habitual shenanigans, forcing France out, the Eurofighter should have been Rafale as a joint effort on 4 countries. BAe already did the same trick for AFVG which became Tornado, then on the Horizon frigates and on the joint French-Brit aircraft carriers that ended with no French one built and the Brit ones costing €4.7bln instead of €2.3bln/unit...
    Even if I can get the pride India can take from domestically cooked systems, it's not always the best solution.
    If you write an article on aircraft carriers, I can clearly point at how, for what was spent into INS Vikrant and Vikramdyta, India would now have about 3-4 STOBAR carriers and 1 CATOBAR or 2 CATOBAR and 1 STOBAR

    1. yes the concern related nose is legit and yes they actually paid attention to it and HAL has developed new nose section which allows the ELTA ELM 2052 to sit inside and work effectively.

      As for 2nd batch of rafale i feel instead of doing 2nd batch alone for iaf we should instead make an order of 50 rafale for navy along with 36 for iaf (if we legitly buy it) this way the number will be about 90 which will be decent for manufacturing in India and tot.


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