With the aviation sector worldwide switching over to a new generation, highly accurate satellite-based aircraft positioning and tracking system, the Indian Air Force is also modifying some of its transport aircraft with the new navigational aid.
The new equipment, called the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), is a satellite-based system that replaces the current ground-based secondary surveillance radar network. Some countries have already made ADS-B capability mandatory in aircraft now being registered in or operating within their airspace.
A senior Air Force officer said initially the IAF’s fleet of 12 C-130 Super Hercules would be upgraded with the additional avionics package. Besides retrofitting the hardware, processors and antennae, the work would also integrating the ADS-B with the aircraft’s existing navigation suite and mission computer.
ADS-B transponder broadcasts the precise position and location information of an aircraft in real time, giving air traffic control better visibility to track and manage aircraft while enhancing aviation safety by providing aircrew more situational awareness of nearby aircraft.
The IAF’s transport aircraft often fly overseas for various purposes, including humanitarian aid, joint exercises, support of UN peace missions, military diplomacy and logistics tasks.