Test pilots at defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) flew for the first time an upgraded Jaguar fighter aircraft fitted with an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. The Jaguar Darin III, which HAL is upgrading for the Indian Air Force (IAF), will now boast of the state-of-the-art AESA radar and improved features like multi target tracking frequency agility, higher bandwidth of operation, interleaved modes of operation, higher accuracies and resolution. HAL and Israeli firm ELTA, whose radar the defence PSU has fitted the Jaguar with, had completed the ground trials in February. Apart from the AESA radar, the aircraft will also be equipped with 28 new sensors, among other things. With all the new features, the Jaguar Darin III is expected to serve the IAF for at least another decade. The IAF, which has been struggling to keep up its fighter plane strength at the desired level was satisfied with the initial upgrade plan and the aircraft had received the IOC (initial operational clearance) in November 2016. “The upgrade incorporates new state-of-the-art avionics architecture including the Open System Architecture Mission Computer (OSAMC), Engine and Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Fire Control Radar, Inertial Navigation System with GPS and Geodetic height correction, et al,” HAL said. It added that the plane will also boast of Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR), Smart Multi-Function Display (SMD), Radio Altimeter with 20,000 ft range, Autopilot with Alt Select and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF).