India’s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has set up a Near Field Antenna Test Range (NFTR) near Bangalore to calibrate and test Radars with AESA (Active Electronically Steerable Array) based Antenna arrays.
A BEL statement said it is a critical infrastructure for calibration and testing of Radars and communication antennas.
With most future weapons platforms including aircraft and ships coming with AESA radars, this facility is expected to play an important role in absorbing foreign technology as well as development of indigenous system for AESA radars.
The NFTR facility at Bengaluru is the third such in BEL and the only one in the Defence industry in India. This facility, set up at a cost of Rs. 30 crore (US$ 4.7 million) will, in addition to the AESA radars, help to calibrate antennas for major surface to air missile projects such as QRSAM, MRSAM and LRSAM.
The Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, inaugurated Saturday an Academy for Excellence and two testing facilities — EMC Test facility and Near Field Antenna Test Range at the Bengaluru Unit of Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta Chairman & Managing Director, BEL Shri Gowtama MV and other senior officers of BEL were present.
The Academy of Excellence is envisaged to address the training needs of not only BEL employees, but also its customers, vendors and partners.
The Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) facility is the first of its kind in India having Anechoic Chamber of size 11m x 21m x 30m and can conduct testing of Systems/Platforms weighing up to 70 Tonnes. EMC tests for strategic Defence systems like Battle Tanks, Communication vehicles, Radar systems and Airborne systems including Nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse (NEMP) and High Altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse (HEMP) testing.
It can be used to carry out system level EMC testing for many projects such as AKASH missile, LRSAM, Weapon Locating Radar and Battlefield Management System. The facility will also be open for use to other Indian Defence companies.