BENGALURU: Defence Electronic Research Laboratory (DLRL), a DRDO facility in Hyderabad will soon have the country’s first Electronic Warfare (EW) testing facility, including a test range. DRDO was considering Chitradurga in Karnataka for a such range, but the plan was shelved.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an international conference on Electronic Warfare in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, G Satheesh Reddy, said the project to set up the EW test facility is being taken up on priority. The conference is organised by the Association of Old Crows (AOC), an international professional non-profit organisation specializing in EW, tactical information operations and associated disciplines with its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
The DRDO is working on the details and the test range is likely to come up in one year, Reddy said, adding that efforts are being made to reduce import of equipment in the area of EW by developing indigenous radars and other devices. “Development of indigenous seekers and radars is in highly advanced stage, probably we may not require import (of those equipments) in next few years,” Reddy said.
President of AOC India Chapter U K Revankar said the proposed test facility will reduce time taken for testing and integration of EW equipment on airborne and naval platforms. “Currently, in the absence of such a facility, testing is done in labs using simulators. The test range will be of great help as equipment tested at the range will be fit for flying, he said.
Revankar, former Director of DARE (Defence Avionics Research Establishment), a DRDO lab in Bengaluru, said initially there was a proposal to have such a facility at Chitradurga, but it was dropped due to some problems. He did not elaborate on the reasons for the change.
The proposed range, he said, will require around five square km area that will have various equipment land and airborne equipment, all networked for real-time testing of equipment for identifying communication and radar threats that are important components in EW and taking appropriate action.
The four-day conference, attended by EW experts and 350 delegates, will discuss various issues, including future developments in the field at the global level.