The Indian Army has launched a project to develop an airborne system that can be mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in an attempt to overcome the functional limitations of ground-based electronic intelligence gathering equipment.
Operating height is of great importance as the range and capability of electronic signal capturing equipment, when placed on an elevated platform, enhances manifold when compared to the same equipment operating from the ground.
Termed as an ‘Elevated Platform for Gathering Intelligence through Electronic Support Measures (ESM)’, the project is being executed by the Army’s Military College of Telecommunication Engineering located at Mhow near Indore. ESM gather intelligence through passive “listening” to radio transmissions or electromagnetic radiations and the data so generated can be used to assess the enemy’s tactical activity or develop a library on the signature and capability of the adversary’s equipment.
At present, the electronic warfare systems in the Indian Army are man pack or vehicle based. These systems have the inherent limitations with respect to deployability, flexibility and are severely restricted by various terrain parameters such as line of sight issues in the mountains and vulnerability to enemy aircraft in the plains of deserts, states a request for information (RFI) from the industry floated by the Army this week for the design and development of an elevated platform.
“The proposed system negates the above-mentioned requirements by incorporating an elevated platform. The system will increase flexibility in deployment, reduce deployment time and various limitations imposed by terrain.