The Jaguar aircraft which has been modernized with DARIN-III Upgrade, received its Final Operational Clearance (FOC) this year in July. The DARIN III Upgrade has rendered Jaguar with multi-role capabilities from the original deep penetrating strike role.
Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “This has significantly improved the operational capabilities of the proven Jaguar aircraft. It has now increased reliability and maintainability.”
The upgrade from DARIN-1 to DARIN-III standard for the avionics onboard is seven years late for the Jaguars. However, what the aircraft actually needs is an engine as the aircraft is losing its thrust factor. Recently, F-125IN engine from the US-based Honeywell was selected by the IAF for the upgrading of the Jaguar, however, due to heavy price tag it has been put on hold.
“The enhancement includes precision Air-to-Surface smart weapons, Smart anti-airfield weapons, Air-to-Air Missile and Air-to-Sea anti-ship missile with advanced multi-Mode AESA RADAR and advanced Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS),” they added.
It now has self-defence EW suite and surveillance with military secured mode, Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (ACMI) for air crew training during flights, ability to transmit and receive the battlefield and strategic photographic/ pictures through recce lite and networking Software Defined Radio (SDR), and all this adds to its lethality.
According to sources, the upgrade also addresses obsolescence and maintenance aspects with the incorporation of the new state-of-the-art avionics systems including an Open System Architecture Mission Computer (JD3MC), Upgraded Multi-mode Radar, Engine and Flight Instrument System (EFIS), etc.
The upgrade and modification were carried out at the Overhaul Division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) covered the whole design and development covering system requirement capture, specification preparation. Also the software, hardware, electrical and mechanical design, and development were carried out indigenously by the company.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has 118 SEPECAT Jaguar IS/IB/IM ground-attack aircraft in an operational state. And due to acute shortage of spare parts, engines, and airframe the modernization and upgrade was getting delayed. According to reports, India received free airframes from France and the UK for the upgrade plan for the Jaguars.
As reported earlier, India had imported 40 aircraft from the UK in 1979, eventually licensed production at the HAL facility. Today, IAF is the only service operating these aircraft while the other users including the UK, France, Ecuador, and Nigeria have decommissioned them.