What exactly IAF have for Electronic Warfare(war without weapons)?
Electronic Warfare is using electromagnetic spectrum to ones advantage and blocking it’s use by the enemy. Electronic Warfare or EW as it is often called consists of Electronic Support or ES and Electronic Attack or ES. These are also called Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). The former does the interception and analysis of threats (Radars or communication systems) whereas the latter takes the counter action against the perceived threat i.e. jams it.
EW is modern warfare’s increasingly crucial fourth dimension, fought over the electromagnetic spectrum using sophisticated detection and jamming equipment. The winner of the physical battle on land, sea and air is being increasingly decided through this unseen battle, where both sides scan each other’s radio, radar and data emissions. This helps them gather intelligence and, at a key moment in battle, cripple the enemy’s electronics with powerful electromagnetic surges, leaving him directionless and blind.
With electronics now ubiquitous in military systems — fighter aircraft, tanks, guns and missiles — a potent EW system degrades the enemy’s capability, breaking his force into isolated, incoherent units. For obvious reasons of security, the military wants EW systems to be designed and built entirely in India.
The USAF doctrine of ‘aerial dominance’ displayed in the Gulf Wars highlighted the need to attack and disable enemy’s C3 system, in the initial stages of war. Destroying the radar network along with communication grid makes the enemy not only ‘deaf and dumb’ but also ‘blind’. For the past few years, the IAF has been on the path to acquire similar capability. Acquisition of better signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability, both ground based and airborne, provides the IAF with a more accurate electronic order of battle (EW ORBAT). The IAF inventory also possesses anti-radiation missiles (ARM) on manned and unmanned platforms, as well as improved ASPJ for protection against the terminal defences. However, most of this capacity build-up has taken place mainly against Pakistan, with not much information on the Chinese EW ORBAT.
It’s back in 2005, Team of DRDO, BEL and Army’s signal corps jointly developed a communication jammer known as Samyukta, Samyukta is designed to perform multiple jamming, such as wide range of communication frequencies, Electromagnet spectrum used in communication and illumination, The system also capable of handling electronic intelligence and communication intelligence.
The Samyukta has less range compared to it’s other counterparts, The range of Samyukta is some 150×70 square kilometers. The Samyukta also act as a direction finder too, by intercepting source of the signal location too. The classic performance of Samyukta is jamming all kind of radio frequencies from High Frequency to milli meter wave frequencies, So Samyukta can jam radar frequencies too.
The DRDO achieved a major breakthrough with the development of Himshakti in a bid to establish a credible Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS). The field evaluation and trials for any EW System prior to induction have been conducted for the first time in the actual area of deployment. In a significant contribution to boost fire power. Himshakti electronic warfare system seems more powerful with set of two vehicles or more, comprising antenna’s and small dish antenna’s. the new system also capable to jam frequencies over 10,000 square kilometers of area.
Indian Army already deployed those system in J&K to effectively counter the signals which can be used by militants, Such as jamming the wireless phones, satellite phones, and radio receivers. However they too jam the mobile communication if the threat level increased.
It is a Track and wheel-based EW system which will provide offensive and defensive capability to the army in battlefield.This EW system has been designed for the mechanized formation.During any conflict its really important that the mechanized army which is responsible for penetrating the line of defense should be protected from electronic attack.Since this EW system is mobile .It will be a force multiplier for army.As it can be used for signal intelligence, surveillance, analysis, interception, direction finding, and position fixing, listing, prioritizing and jamming of all communication and radar signals from HF to MMW. It will also protect our own electronic assets in battle field.Addition of such system will paralyze the enemy and degrade its will to fight the war.
This system can used along with tank formation.Can play crucial role in disrupting tank communication,sensors and its guidance system.It can suppress enemy artillery observation post communication.Where in enemy might see the movement .But cannot provide location coordinates to artillery battery
It will be very crucial in tense situation where it can be deployed near to enemy area or in stand off range for surveillance, analysis, interception, direction finding, and position fixing, listing, prioritising and jamming of all communication and radar signals from HF to MMW.
Since EW systems are highly classified in nature, efforts for indigenous development were given priority from the very beginning. A specialist lab, Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), was set up by the Defence Research and development Organisation (DRDO) in 2001 by renaming the Advanced Systems Integration Organisation (ASIEO) established in 1986, to develop specific electronic as well as avionics projects. DARE followed a collaborative approach with private industry partners such as CMC and Tata Power, as also with select international companies. Over the years, DRDO has become a ‘single window’ supplier of EW systems for the IAF and other two Services. It has developed a static as well as mobile ESM system Divya Drishti (divine eye), capable of ‘fingerprinting’ sensors. It is also upgrading ESM capability of the ground based as well as airborne platforms of the IAF. The airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) Embraer aircraft will also have such capability. In order to cater to the Service specific requirements, DRDO has also developed a comprehensive EW system known as Samyukta for the Army, which can also give useful inputs to the IAF. Along with UAV and aerostat based ELINT and COMMINT payloads, IAF should shortly be in a much better position to glean requisite information on the adversary’s EW ORBAT.