An IAF Jaguar at Eielson AFB, Alaska during Cooperative Cope Thunder 2004 (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang)
MOD has signed a Rs.3113.02 crore contract with HAL for upgrade of IAF Jaguars by December 2017.
The IAF currently operates 120 Jaguar strike fighters powered by Rolls-Royce Adour-811 turbofan engines. The aircraft, which first entered squadron service in the early 80s, is considered under-powered at medium to high altitudes making it suitable for hostile airspace penetration only at low levels.
Based on a fatigue analysis, the IAF estimates that Jaguars could remain operational till 2030. The service has drawn up an upgrade program under which the aircraft will be re-engined and re-equipped with fourth-generation cockpit and mission avionics, and self protection suite.
Upgraded Jaguars will feature all weather precision attack capability with enhanced weapon load.
The planned upgrade includes
The Darin III avionics upgrade incorporates new avionics architecture including Mission Computer (MC), Engine and Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR) and additional functions in inertial global positioning system (INGPS), autopilot, radar and RWR.
The upgrade covers modern navigation, EW and weapon delivery system with INGPS using primary and reversionary modes, near glass cockpit with two smart multi function display and head-up display.
Integration of autopilot on Jaguar aircraft of the Indian Air Force is underway in two phases. As in August 2012, procurement of autopilot for 55 Jaguar aircraft had been completed and commercial discussions for repeat procurement of additional 95 autopilots were under progress. [via PIB]
Jaguar avionics are being upgraded to employ 'smart' or 'advanced' weapons like the Joint Standoff Weapon, Maverick missile, Paveway precision-guided munition and AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missile.
IAF contracted Raytheon to develop a Munitions Control Unit (MCUs) that would allow its Darin II equipped Jaguars to use the smart weapons with minimal to no modifications to aircraft wiring and the flight or stores management software.
Raytheon developed an MCU measuring 13 by 6 by 3 inches that weighs roughly 6 pounds. It's compact enough to be fitted in a weapons pylon or Jaguar's avionics bay, from where it interfaces between "smart" weapons and the existing software of a legacy aircraft.
Orders are now being placed for the MCUs.
On Monday, October 15, 2012, the IAF issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Honeywell for 270 F-125IN engines to upgrade its Jaguar fleet of 125 aircraft.
The IAF is seeking a two phase contract. In Phase 1, expected to be completed by 2015-16, Honeywell will modify two Jaguar aircraft to use its F-125IN engines.
During Phase 2,expected to be completed by 2023, HAL will re-engine the remaining Jaguars using technology transferred by Honeywell.
The contract was estimated to be worth $700 million in 2011.
In November 2010, the IAF issued an RFP for the supply of 280 turbofans (including 40 spare engines) for re-engining IAF Jaguars.
In response, Rolls-Royce offered its Adour MK-821 engine, an upgraded version of the Adour-811, and Honeywell its F125IN Turbofan engine that currently powers Taiwan's Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation-built Ching-Kuo Indigenous Defense Fighter.
The Honeywell F125IN has a max thrust of 43.8kN, and the Rolls-Royce Adour Mk811, 32.5kN.
According to Honeywell, F125IN is 267.6kg (590lb) lighter than the Adour-811 currently fitted on the Jaguar. The F125IN has 17% and 40% higher thrust that will allow the Jaguar to carry an additional 2-tons.
Rolls-Royce says its Adour Mk-821 will be a lower-risk upgrade that will offer 90% commonality with the Adour Mk951 turbofan fitted on BAE Systems/HAL Hawk Mk132. The upgraded engine will off er 20% increase in thrust
Both engines feature Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
However, Rolls-Royce pulled out of the competition in March 2011 creating a single vendor situation and forcing cancellation of the tender.
On November 28, HAL conducted the maiden flight of a Jaguar aircraft equipped with Darin III upgraded avionics.
“This is significant moment for HAL as the upgrade will result in major operational improvement with regard to all weather air to ground, air to sea and air to air capabilities through incorporation of multi mode radar”, said Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.
Darin III upgrade, with re-engining and change over to higher capacity alternators would make Jaguar a more potent aircraft and extend its useful life-span.
The total design from system requirement capture, specification preparation, software, hardware, electrical, mechanical design and development has been done indigenously by HAL at its Mission & Combat System Research & Design Centre (MCSRDC) and aircraft trial modification is done by HAL’s Overhaul Division. The fleet compliance will also be carried out by HAL.
SDI of IAF is the design partner for display software development and Aircraft System Testing Establishment (ASTE) takes care of system specification preparation, data analysis and flight testing along with Flight Test Centre of HAL.