IMDEX Show News – Bel Tolls for Indian Navy Radio

The INAA’s Dornier Do-228 family aircraft are one of several platforms expected to be equipped with BEL’s SDR Airborne radio. (Indian Navy)

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) expects to commence the installation of its SDR-NC multiband naval radio across the Indian Navy fleet from 2018.

Speaking to during the IMDEX maritime exhibition and conference on 18th May, the company disclosed that testing of its High Frequency (HF), Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio, covering a waveband of three megahertz to three gigahertz, is now complete. A major Indian Navy programme, the SDR-NC will equip almost all of the Indian Navy’s surface combatants and submarines, the company added. Representatives continued that the radio accommodates a total of ten waveforms carrying voice and data traffic with proprietary encryption and frequency hopping communications security. In terms of data rates, the firm stated that rates of 9.6 kilobits-per-second (kbps) were achievable when using the HF radio, although this increases to circa 200kbps when using the VHF radio. The SDR-NC comprises a single HF radio and two VHF transceivers. Given the size of the programme, the company expects deliveries of the SDR-NC to continue until around 2025.

In the airborne domain, the company shared that it is moving towards the third phase of testing for its SDR Airborne product, which is destined to equip the Indian Naval Air Arm (INAA). Representatives from BEL told that the V/UHF transceiver has been undergoing testing on an INAA Dornier Do-228-101/201 turboprop transport. The firm continued that the third test phase is expected to commence by the end of July, prior to the commencement of additional testing with the INAA. Tentatively, BEL expects to commence production in 2020, with the radio scheduled to equip the panoply of the INAA fleet over the coming decade.