Wednesday, September 9, 2015

IAF Jaguar Upgrade - The Basics

Jaguar with proposed upgrade engine Honeywell F-125IN at Aero India 2013
The Tribune reported on September 9, 2015 that certain issues "over offset clauses involving HAL" were holding up the contract with Honeywell for upgrade of Jaguar engines; these have now been resolved, paving the way for commercial and technical negotiations to start.

Need for Upgrade

The IAF currently operates around 110 (5 1/2 sqns) Jaguar strike fighters powered by Rolls-Royce Adour-811 turbofan engines. The aircraft, which first entered squadron service in the early 80s, is optimized for strike after low level penetration of contested airspace. At medium altitudes, the Jaguar's  maneuverability and acceleration are poor. As a result, the fighter is not suitable for stand-off close air support using Precision Guided Munition (PGM).

The IAF is making a doctrinal shift from specialized aircraft to multi-role aircraft, Based on fatigue analysis, the IAF estimates that Jaguars could remain operational till 2030. As a result, the IAF is keen to upgrade the Jaguar with more powerful engine, fourth-generation cockpit and mission avionics, and self protection suite so that it better fits IAF doctrinal thinking.

Upgraded Jaguars will feature all weather precision attack capability with enhanced weapon load.

Upgrade Features

The planned upgrade includes

  1. More powerful engines
  2. Higher capacity alternators
  3. Multi-mode radar
  4. Glass cockpit with DARIN-3 navigation and attack avionics suite HOTAS controls and improved HUD
  5. Auto Pilot
  6. Helmet mounted Display

An Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) is being co-developed by the DRDO’s Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) and Cassidian (formerly EADS Defense Electronics). The suite includes DRDO developed Tarang radar warning receiver (RWR).

Engine Upgrade

The Honeywell F125IN has a max thrust of 43.8kN. In comparison, the existing Rolls-Royce Adour Mk811 engine has a thrust of 32.5kN.

The IAF is seeking a two phase contract with Honeywell. In Phase 1, Honeywell will modify two Jaguar aircraft to use its F-125IN engines.

During Phase 2, HAL will re-engine the remaining Jaguars using technology transferred by Honeywell.

The contract was estimated to be worth $700 million in 2011.

IDP Sentinel members can read more details at the link below.

Jaguar Upgrade - IDP Sentinel

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