In this age of active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) and other fancy 3-D radar technology, India is quietly going ahead with expanding its inventory of proven, reliable and upgraded 2-D, mechanically scanned naval radars.
Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) recently awarded follow-on contracts for seven additional Thales LW08 long range L-band volume search radars to Thales Nederland.
The latest contract, signed in April but announced July 2, covers the delivery of components of three LW08 systems to Bharat, which will be installing them on the Indian Navy's 1980s-built Godavari class frigates. Bharat builds the LW08 -- developed in the 1970s -- under a licence agreement with Thales, using Thales-supplied components.
The first of the "new" systems will be delivered by the end of 2009. Thales was awarded earlier contracts for the supply of one LW08 system for the Indian navy's Viraat aircraft carrier and three LW08 systems for the new Kolkata class destroyers. These radars will also be built by BEL.
The Indian Navy has chosen to continue buying LW08 because of the experience it has gained with this system on board of the Brahmaputra class frigates and the Delhi class destroyers, says Thales.
Under earlier licence deals with Thales, BEL has been building Thales LW04, DA08 and ZW06 naval radars and Reporter and Flycatcher Mk 1 ground-based radar systems.
Thales describes the LW08 as a long-range volume search radar that provides target indication to weapon control systems. The system presents a picture of the environment without adding great weight to the ship's superstructure, the company says.
Having been delivered in various configurations, the LW08 is operational in Belgium, Canada, Chile, Germany, Greece, India, the Netherlands, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, Thales says.