ADA AMCA - Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft

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AMCA flush air data system under testing on LCA drop tank.

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@Gautam are you sure about the frequency range of shared apertures that will be used in AMCA as distributed sensors. Wouldn't they also require wide band FSS.
 

Gautam

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@Gautam are you sure about the frequency range of shared apertures that will be used in AMCA as distributed sensors.
I can only be as sure as the DRDO's publications. So far the frequency range of the TSA antennas meant for the AMCA seem to be consistent in different publications, DefExpo & Aero India shows. Keep in mind there are other TSA antennas being developed for other uses besides the AMCA. The application area of TSA antennas seem to be wide ranging; from jammers to volume scan & targeting radars. It is not known if the other TSA antennas are swappable with the AMCA's antennas.


Besides the TSA there are other antenna architecture being readied for application. For example the suspected Swathi Mk2 radar which is currently under development.


Given the depth of R&D work being done it seems believable that the AMCA's DAS will use ultra-wide band TSA antennas. I think the stealth drones projects like the AURA UCAV & the CATS Warrior will reveal more details along the way directly or indirectly.

Wouldn't they also require wide band FSS.
The entire point behind body flush antennas is they don't need FSS radomes. There are 3 ways of reducing RCS: shaping, RAM/FSS & coatings. Body flush antennas conform to the stealthy shape of the aircraft to reduce their RCS. Thus there is no need for RAM/FSS. Coatings are used on body flush antennas as it is very thin and don't hinder the performance of the antennas. But RAM/FSS will effect the performance, thus if it is not needed it is best avoided.

However, body flush antennas do need some kind of radome. These antennas tend to get heated due to air friction, electronics generally performs poorly once heated. Ceramics are very poor conductors of heat and are thus better for this application than say composites. Thus a ceramic radome having a low dielectric constant & low loss tangent is needed. Silicate materials (like Fused Silica, Quartz or SiAlON) are ideal for such needs.
 

Gautam

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So it's DAS will not be passive I.e based on EO system.
The DAS will have active elements. I believe this is what the AMCA's project director meant when he said that the fighter will have 6th gen technologies so it will be a 5.5 gen fighter. His words not mine.
They were developing dual band detectors so it make sense to utilize it on making MAWS too.
MAWS ? MAWS are based on IR/Visible light sensors. I think you mean RWRs. Those functionalities will be built in on the AMCA's side arrays. Jammers are most effective when they are directed and not broadcasted unidirectionally. The side array jammers will be directed jammers, why else would you need to mount them on the sides ? You can just mount a central jammer and blast EM waves in all directions, but that won't be very effective. For proper direction of jammers there must be EM waves detection and ranging capabilities built in to detect enemy radars/seekers. That is what a RWR does.

How effective the side arrays will be as in RWR role will depend on the speed at which the arrays can detect enemy radars and direct their jamming signals. LDRE has plenty of experience of making quick reacting radars given their work on the BMD and various other AD programs. Can they fit in such functionalities on the small size of a side array remains to be seen. DRDO should probably start working on some advanced chaffs like BriteCloud.

Either way it seems threats from radar guided missiles are well taken care of. It is the IR seeking missiles that worry me. DRDO has made no attempts yet to develop a DIRCM system or advanced flares. As things are now it seems their plan is to continue using a version of the older Phosphorus/Magnesium based flares. IR seekers globally are widening their detection bandwidth to N-IR and VN-IR. Soon enough the older flares wont be enough. However, flare systems are incredibly modular, so they can start work later and can plug new types of flares in older launch cases. So DRDO does have time in hand for the flares, not so for the DIRCM. DIRCMs are not modular, need to be externally mounted and take up significant amount of onboard power. If they chose to get one late it will stall the AMCA project, if they don't get one then the AMCA will have no additional protection from IR seeking missiles or MANPADS.
 

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The DAS will have active elements. I believe this is what the AMCA's project director meant when he said that the fighter will have 6th gen technologies so it will be a 5.5 gen fighter. His words not mine.

MAWS ? MAWS are based on IR/Visible light sensors. I think you mean RWRs. Those functionalities will be built in on the AMCA's side arrays. Jammers are most effective when they are directed and not broadcasted unidirectionally. The side array jammers will be directed jammers, why else would you need to mount them on the sides ? You can just mount a central jammer and blast EM waves in all directions, but that won't be very effective. For proper direction of jammers there must be EM waves detection and ranging capabilities built in to detect enemy radars/seekers. That is what a RWR does.

How effective the side arrays will be as in RWR role will depend on the speed at which the arrays can detect enemy radars and direct their jamming signals. LDRE has plenty of experience of making quick reacting radars given their work on the BMD and various other AD programs. Can they fit in such functionalities on the small size of a side array remains to be seen. DRDO should probably start working on some advanced chaffs like BriteCloud.

Either way it seems threats from radar guided missiles are well taken care of. It is the IR seeking missiles that worry me. DRDO has made no attempts yet to develop a DIRCM system or advanced flares. As things are now it seems their plan is to continue using a version of the older Phosphorus/Magnesium based flares. IR seekers globally are widening their detection bandwidth to N-IR and VN-IR. Soon enough the older flares wont be enough. However, flare systems are incredibly modular, so they can start work later and can plug new types of flares in older launch cases. So DRDO does have time in hand for the flares, not so for the DIRCM. DIRCMs are not modular, need to be externally mounted and take up significant amount of onboard power. If they chose to get one late it will stall the AMCA project, if they don't get one then the AMCA will have no additional protection from IR seeking missiles or MANPADS.
I am talking about f35 type DAS made up of dual band IR detectors since there will be MAWS in AMCA giving 360° coverage so why not make it DAS.
 

Gautam

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I am talking about f35 type DAS made up of dual band IR detectors since there will be MAWS in AMCA giving 360° coverage so why not make it DAS.
AMCA's DAS will probably have 360 coverage. Whether it will be dual band or not remains to be seen. DRDO & VEM Tech have developed some dual band IR sensors for UAVs and seekers. Maybe those sensors can be modified for DAS usage.
 

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AMCA's DAS will probably have 360 coverage. Whether it will be dual band or not remains to be seen. DRDO & VEM Tech have developed some dual band IR sensors for UAVs and seekers. Maybe those sensors can be modified for DAS usage.
So it will have active as well as passive 360° situational awareness.

Regarding side array jammer can't these distributed sensors act as one just like in su 57 or it will be a separate antenna.
 

Gautam

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Regarding side array jammer can't these distributed sensors act as one just like in su 57 or it will be a separate antenna.
Don't know. Depends on the internal space & electric power available for the side arrays. Separate antennas take up a lot of space but is more efficient in terms of power and cooling. Distributed sensors use much less space but are inefficient in power management and cooling.
 
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The DAS will have active elements. I believe this is what the AMCA's project director meant when he said that the fighter will have 6th gen technologies so it will be a 5.5 gen fighter. His words not mine.

MAWS ? MAWS are based on IR/Visible light sensors. I think you mean RWRs. Those functionalities will be built in on the AMCA's side arrays. Jammers are most effective when they are directed and not broadcasted unidirectionally. The side array jammers will be directed jammers, why else would you need to mount them on the sides ? You can just mount a central jammer and blast EM waves in all directions, but that won't be very effective. For proper direction of jammers there must be EM waves detection and ranging capabilities built in to detect enemy radars/seekers. That is what a RWR does.

How effective the side arrays will be as in RWR role will depend on the speed at which the arrays can detect enemy radars and direct their jamming signals. LDRE has plenty of experience of making quick reacting radars given their work on the BMD and various other AD programs. Can they fit in such functionalities on the small size of a side array remains to be seen. DRDO should probably start working on some advanced chaffs like BriteCloud.

Either way it seems threats from radar guided missiles are well taken care of. It is the IR seeking missiles that worry me. DRDO has made no attempts yet to develop a DIRCM system or advanced flares. As things are now it seems their plan is to continue using a version of the older Phosphorus/Magnesium based flares. IR seekers globally are widening their detection bandwidth to N-IR and VN-IR. Soon enough the older flares wont be enough. However, flare systems are incredibly modular, so they can start work later and can plug new types of flares in older launch cases. So DRDO does have time in hand for the flares, not so for the DIRCM. DIRCMs are not modular, need to be externally mounted and take up significant amount of onboard power. If they chose to get one late it will stall the AMCA project, if they don't get one then the AMCA will have no additional protection from IR seeking missiles or MANPADS.
Well they are developing advanced flare.
IMG_20210508_103350.jpg
 

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The DAS will have active elements. I believe this is what the AMCA's project director meant when he said that the fighter will have 6th gen technologies so it will be a 5.5 gen fighter. His words not mine.

MAWS ? MAWS are based on IR/Visible light sensors. I think you mean RWRs. Those functionalities will be built in on the AMCA's side arrays. Jammers are most effective when they are directed and not broadcasted unidirectionally. The side array jammers will be directed jammers, why else would you need to mount them on the sides ? You can just mount a central jammer and blast EM waves in all directions, but that won't be very effective. For proper direction of jammers there must be EM waves detection and ranging capabilities built in to detect enemy radars/seekers. That is what a RWR does.

How effective the side arrays will be as in RWR role will depend on the speed at which the arrays can detect enemy radars and direct their jamming signals. LDRE has plenty of experience of making quick reacting radars given their work on the BMD and various other AD programs. Can they fit in such functionalities on the small size of a side array remains to be seen. DRDO should probably start working on some advanced chaffs like BriteCloud.

Either way it seems threats from radar guided missiles are well taken care of. It is the IR seeking missiles that worry me. DRDO has made no attempts yet to develop a DIRCM system or advanced flares. As things are now it seems their plan is to continue using a version of the older Phosphorus/Magnesium based flares. IR seekers globally are widening their detection bandwidth to N-IR and VN-IR. Soon enough the older flares wont be enough. However, flare systems are incredibly modular, so they can start work later and can plug new types of flares in older launch cases. So DRDO does have time in hand for the flares, not so for the DIRCM. DIRCMs are not modular, need to be externally mounted and take up significant amount of onboard power. If they chose to get one late it will stall the AMCA project, if they don't get one then the AMCA will have no additional protection from IR seeking missiles or MANPADS.
Our current RWR is having detection capability of 2-18 ghz whereas in current 5th gen aircraft 10 such RWR are used thus giving wide coverage even RWR used in rafale also work in wide band upto 40 ghz. Do we any plans for making such RWR.