How India kept its Deep Penetration Strike Jaguars up-dated
The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft designed and developed by a joint venture between Breguet of France(Now part of Dassault) and UK based British Aircraft Corporation (BAC).It was built by HAL under licence.It was retired from British Royal Air Force in 2007and from French Armee de I’Air in 2005,But it served its service to INDIAN AIR FORCE till Now.
There are 4 forces that uses SEPECAT Jaguar in their airforce:Royal Air Force(UK),French Air Force(France),Royal Air Force (Oman) and Indian Air Force.From first forces it is retired but it is still in service with the IAF.A total of 543 Jaguars were built as of 2015.RAF replaced the SEPECAT Jaguar with Panavia Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon and French Air force replaced it with Dassault Rafale.Indian plans to replace the Jaguar in future with its upcoming Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which is under development by HAL.
The Jaguar remains an important element of the Indian military as, along with the Mirage 2000, the Jaguar has been described as one of the few aircraft capable of performing the nuclear strike role with reasonable chances of success.
Jaguars were chosen in October 1978 as a part of Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft (DPSA) program to replace its aging fleet of Hawker Hunter and Canberra. Initially an interim batch of ex-RAF jaguars was delivered to IAF in 1979. These aircrafts were fitted with NAVWASS (NAVigation Attack Weapon Aiming Sub-System) from Marconi-Elliot and a Head-Up display (HUD) from Smiths. Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) Bangalore tested NAVWASS on HF-24 Marut and rejected it.
However NAWVASS was the standard equipment on the loaned aircrafts. RAF wanted to upgrade these aircrafts with a new inertial navigation system Ferranti FIN 1024. Indian air force was invited to join the upgrade program and share the development costs. But the Indian air force was offered its export variant FIN 1024E which was inferior to those installed on RAF’s jaguar.
This forced India to consider an indigenous upgrade program.
The upgrade program was named INDRA but was later changed to DARIN which stands for Display Attack Ranging Inertial Navigation. To manage this project, Inertial nav-attack system Integration Organization (IIO) was set up in Bangalore. The major sub system for DARIN were Sagem Inertial Platform, Smiths Industries HUD/WAC, Ferranti Combined Map & Electronics Display (COMED), Crouzet Air Data Package and SFIM Flight Test Instrumentation Package – all to be integrated using dual Mil 1553B standard Digital Data bus. The retrofitted Jaguars received IOC in 1984 and FOC a year later in 1985. Reliability of DARIN was far better than the old one. IIO also retrofitted six Jaguars with DARIN and Thomson CSF Agave radar for maritime attack, this variant was named as Jaguar IM.
A upgrade program called DARIN II was carried out to extend the operational life of Jaguars by another two decades. Improvements on avionic suit were carried out under this project. This upgrade included Sagem’s Ring-Laser gyro integrated with global positioning system (GPS), it provides position accuracy within 100 meters. Twin mission computers installed on DARIN II jaguars were developed by DRDO’s DARE (Defence Avionics Research Establishment). Smith’s HUD found on DARIN was replaced by Israeli Elbit HUD. A single liquid crystal multifunction display (MFD) and a new chaff dispenser were also added.
In recent years , DARIN III also came up , DARIN III upgrade incorporates new state of the art avionics architecture including the Open System Architecture Mission Computer (OSAMC), Engine & Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Fire Control Radar, State of the Art Inertial Navigation System with GPS and Geodetic height correction, Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR), Smart Multi-Function Display (SMD), Radio Altimeter with 20000 ft range, Autopilot with Alt Select & HNAV and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF).
The 60-odd Jaguars with DARIN-II will continue to operate that system, while the other 60 will now be upgraded to DARIN-III. The 120 twin-engine Jaguars will also get new engines supplied by US major, Honeywell, for an estimated $3 billion. Each Honeywell F-125N engine delivers 43.8 KiloNewtons (kN) of thrust, significantly higher than the 32.5 kN of the Jaguar’s current Rolls-Royce engines.
DARIN-III will also have EL/M-2052 AESA radar which will allow pilot to simultaneously track enemy fighters, guide missiles towards them, while also jamming enemy communications and radar.
The Darin III will allows the Jaguar can carry new generation weapon systems like new generation ASRAAM Air to Air missiles more powerful AGM 88 HARM missiles for SEAD role, more powerful LGB/PGM’s with CBU-105 (Censor Fuzed Weapon). The Jaguar comes with RLG inertial navigation and a digital terrain mapping system which is a very good alternative to terrain hugging and avoidance Radar systems.
The Jaguar also comes with Israeli Listening pods for better recon and pin point ground attack missions with using of LGB/PGM. The DARIN III comes with IADS suites which allow the Jaguar escape from any kind of Airborne and Ground threats.
The Maritime version comes with Radar named Agave which can fire Sea Eagle Anti Ship missile, a primary maritime strike aircraft for IAF. This can be upgraded into DARIN III Standard with newer Israeli ELTA Radar, which is capable to fire the new Generation Harpoon Anti Shipping Missiles from Jaguar IM Aircraft. HAL has already completed the DARIN III Upgrade of Jaguars and IAF has accepted its performance and IAF will soon receive the upgraded Jaguar from HAL.
The SFC Jaguars comes with nuclear strike Missions. Currently IAF have only one certified Aircraft which can carry nuclear bombs. More than 20+ Aircraft’s are under SFC control and are capable of carrying out nuclear Gravity bombs.
Termed ‘deep penetration strike aircraft,’ the Jaguar destroys surface targets like terrorist cmps, air bases and warships with its on-board weaponry, including ‘new generation laser guided bombs’; and the lethal Textron CBU-105 ‘sensor fuzed weapons’, bought in 2010 from America.
With enhanced weapons carriage capability (especially precision-guided munitions, or PGM), and also a platform capable of undertaking dedicated suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) missions it can be in IAF service till 2030.
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