India Postpones ISTAR Aircraft Purchase From Raytheon


September 1, 2016

NEW DELHI — India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has put on hold the purchase of two intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft from Raytheon of the United States, due to internal wrangling between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) over which of the two should be the technical evaluator, according to a source in the MoD.

The cost for the two aircraft was to be about $1 billion, with payment structured around the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

“The thinking here [of the MoD] is that the two agencies — DRDO and IAF — should sort out the issue and only then we proceed towards purchasing the two ISTAR aircraft,” the source said.

The eventual designated agency will be responsible for deciding which software and other equipment should be used and how to procure it.

“DRDO must certainly be wanting to work on related projects. Blocking any acquisition that is critical to war fighting capability is patently anti-national,” retired IAR Air Marshal Muthumanikam Matheswaran said. “DRDO understands this, and I don’t think they will do this. I think this must be a case of misunderstanding where DRDO must be trying to leverage technologies. That they can and must do anyway, through offsets or [US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative] routes.”

A senior IAF official said the service should have selection authority because it will be the operating agency for the two ISTAR aircraft. The official claimed that DRDO does not have the technical capability or expertise needed to evaluate the aircraft.

DRDO scientists were unavailable for comment.

IAF officials and analysts agree the ISTAR purchase is too important to be put off.

“ISTAR capability is very vital in today’s operational and technologically networked environment,” Matheswaran said. “Given the networked warfare scenario, and our adversaries’ capabilities, the IAF is certainly in dire need of ISTAR capability.”

Last year, the MoD decided not to float a global tender and instead procure two ISTAR aircraft from Raytheon through the FMS route.

Original post


India plans to buy ISTAR aircraft from Raytheon

5 June 2015

India is planning to buy two intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft from Raytheon, a Defence Ministry source has revealed.

Defense News reported that India has made this offer to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who was on a three-day visit in the country.

However, the Defence Ministry’s official release did not mention this offer, the source said that the proposal has been kept low-key.

Raytheon has already briefed the Indian Air Force about the ISTAR aircraft, which is expected to increase the ground-detection capabilities of the force.

The Raytheon ISTAR aircraft is capable of operating in all weather. It features an active electronically scanned array radar, which will be able to scan more than 30,000km in a minute. It has a capacity to analyse the data within ten to 15 minutes to identify targets.

The source added that India has also requested to jointly develop the GE-414 jet engine for use by India’s homemade Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Meanwhile, Carter’s visit also witnessed both the countries signing a strategically important ten-year defence framework pact that is aimed to collaborate on the development and manufacture of defence equipment and technology, The Economic Times reported.

An official statement by the defence ministry stated that this agreement will pave way for high-level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities.


Raytheon Sentinel


The Raytheon Sentinel is an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force. Based on the Bombardier Global Express ultra long range business jet, it was adapted by Raytheon to meet the RAF’s requirements. Originally known as the ASTOR (Airborne STand-Off Radar) programme the aircraft is operated by a RAF squadron manned by both air force and army personnel. The Sentinel is interoperable with other allied systems such as JSTARS and the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system.

The Sentinel cockpit has a centrally housed, pull-down screen capable of displaying a moving map, Link 16 datalink information and defensive aids subsystem (DASS) data. The DASS comprises a towed radar decoy, missile approach warning system and chaff and flare dispensers and can be operated in automatic, semi-automatic or manual mode.

The aircraft normally operates at over 40,000 feet (12,000 m) to ensure a high resolution view of a large battlefield area. It is crewed by a pilot, a co-pilot, an Airborne Mission Commander (AMC) and two image analysts. Mission endurance is approximately nine hours. While the image analysts can analyse the images on board the aircraft it is expected that, unlike the JSTARS, the actual battle management will occur on the ground.


The main radar is a Raytheon Systems/BAE Systems dual-mode Synthetic aperture radar / Moving Target Indication (SAR/MTI) radar known as Sentinel Dual Mode Radar Sensor (DMRS). It uses AESA active electronically scanned array technology.

WAD-UNC-20140213-0092-029g.jpgInside an RAF Sentinel R1 aircraft operated by personnel from No 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Clarke, Crown copyright] – Image

Raytheon claim it could be modified to match the maritime surveillance capability of the cancelled Nimrod MRA4, and the ground stations could be adapted to receive data from Watchkeeper, MQ-9 Reaper and the future Scavenger programme. A contract for the development of a maritime capable software upgrade will be placed in the spring of 2015; Jane’s speculates that this would allow the Sentinel to detect surface vessels and potentially submarine periscopes and that other sensors could be fitted as a ‘low-end’ capability for maritime surveillance to complement a ‘high-end’ platform such as the P-8A Poseidon.


 United Kingdom


Data from Royal Air Force

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 30.3 m (99 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 8.2 m (27 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 94.9 m2 (1022 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 24000 kg (54000 lb)
  • Gross weight: 42400 kg (93500 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce BR710, 65.6 kN (14,750 lbf) thrust each

Rolls-Royce BR710


The BR710 is a 2-shaft, high-bypass-ratio engine with a single-stage low pressure (LP) compressor and 10-stage high pressure (HP) compressor, driven by a 2-stage HP turbine and 2-stage LP turbine respectively. The engine features a single low emissions annular combustor with 20 burners. Long life on wing, low fuel burn and excellent environmental performance contribute to low operating costs with maximum reliability.

Specification BR710
Thrust (lbf) 15,550
Bypass ratio 4.2
Pressure ratio 24
Length (in) 89
Diameter (in) 48
Basic weight (lb) 4,640
Compressor 1LP, 10HP
Turbine 2HP, 2LP
Applications Gulfstream G500 / G550, Bombardier Global 5000 / 6000

*Technical data (ISA SLS)

Rolls-Royce BR710 specification


  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.89
  • Range: 9250 km (5800 miles)
  • Endurance: 9 hours
  • Service ceiling: 14935 m (49000 ft)



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