BY : Zee News
Indian Air Force fighter pilots may now hit their targets more accurately if some new devices for guided weapons testing, work according to plans. What's more, the tests can be carried out on the weapons just before the fighter aircraft's take-off, thereby saving time, effort and money lost in tests conducted in air-conditioned facilities.
"We have developed and successfully tested our guided weapon testing devices, which help improve the accuracy rate of guided weapons of IAF like Infra-Red Guided Missiles (IRGM) and Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs)," Director of DRDO's Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC), A K Maini told PTI here.
The device matches the weapons' code specifications with their target designators and seekers, and informs the user the likely effectiveness of the attack and target acquisition accuracies.
The matching codes of target designator and seekers in missiles is crucial for the weapon to be accurate, Maini said.
"Missiles drift from their targets because the codes of seekers in missiles do not match with the designators. Our fighter aircraft also face similar problems, as codes in PGMs and laser target designators and seekers tend to shift marginally after some time, which makes the missile drift from its target by a long distance," Maini said.
LASTEC's IRGM tester simulates the jet exhaust signatures of enemy aircraft, which need to match up with those of the infra-red seeker device in the IRGM, which is used against enemy aircraft.
"When the signature and the seeker do not match, the missiles will move away from its target," the scientist from the country's premier defence research agency said.
"If the infra-red seeker device recognises the signature and locks on to it, the missile is performing well. Otherwise, we change the seeker codes to match the enemy aircraft's signatures. This helps the missile to home on accurately to its targets," Maini said.
The LGB tester also carries out the checks in a similar fashion. The LGB tester simulates the codes of the target designator, which direct the LGB to hit its targets after being released from aircraft. If the laser seeking device on LGB is performing well, it will lock on to the target. If not, the codes of the laser target designator are changed to match with the seeker.
IAF can perform the functionality check on its missiles even when they are strapped on to the weapon delivery platform.
"Till now, matching of codes and signatures was done in huge air-conditioned laboratories, which took 15-20 hours to perform the checks. With the LASTEC's devices, it can be done right before the aircraft takes off for a mission," Maini said.
IAF had successfully field tested the LGB and IRGM tester in Gwalior and Pune respectively along with a LASTEC team. IAF has the Russian R-73 and French Magic Matra IRGMs and Paveway LGBs in its inventory.
IAF's fighter aircraft fleet fly with a mixed package of IRGMs and LGBs during missions. IAFs Mirage 2000 aircraft had used its LGBs very effectively against enemy targets on snowy peaks in Operation 'Safed Sagar' during Kargil war in 1999.