Naval Air: Long Eyed Helicopters Go South


August 10, 2009: India has ordered another five Ka-31 AEW (Air Early Warning) helicopters. India first ordered some of these unique helicopters ten years ago, and now have nine of them. Originally known as the Ka-29 RLD, the Ka-31 was a development of the Ka-29 ASW/transport helicopter.

The Ka-31 is equipped with E-801 surveillance radar (mounted beneath the fuselage, and extends its "dish" when in the air). This allows for a 360 degree scan once every ten seconds. The radar control software can detect up to 200, and track 20, targets simultaneously. Range of the radar for aircraft is 150 kilometers, and surface targets up to 250 kilometers. The Ka-31 carries a communications system that can handle satellite communications, and automatically transmits radar data to ground and ship-based receivers via an encrypted communications link.

The Ka-31s are operated from land bases, as well as aircraft carriers and larger frigates, like the Talwar class ships.





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