Business & Defence

How Will The DRDO’s Chaff Technology Guard India’s Warships And Fighter Jets?

In the sphere of defence, India is taking yet another step toward becoming “atmanirbhar.” The Indian Air Force [IAF] and Indian Navy have partnered with the Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO] to develop the CHAFF system, which will protect warships and planes from missile assaults. After the United States, India is the only country to develop this technology.

As India concentrates on improving its defence capabilities, this discovery is significant. China has boosted its funding and now possesses anti-ship ballistic missiles like the DF-21 in its arsenal. In times like these, India requires the CHAFF technology to safeguard its warships and planes against hostile radar threats.

CHAFF is an important defence system that protects fighter planes and navy ships from hostile radar threats.

The importance of this technology stems from the fact that a small amount of chaff material deployed in the air functions as a decoy, deflecting hostile missiles and ensuring the safety of fighter planes and naval ships. According to The Hindustan Times, CHAFF creates a metal particle cloud around the jet or ship that deflects missiles.

“In today’s electronic warfare, fighter aircraft survivability is of primary importance due to advancements in current radar threats,” the defence ministry stated when CHAFF was inducted, adding that the technology was required to safeguard fighter aircraft.

What is the content of chaff?

Chaff is made out of thin metallized glass or plastic rods, as well as thin metal foil or wire, and is designed to duplicate the wavelength of the enemy radar’s frequency. According to the DRDO, they are utilised in the form of cartridges that are “filled with vast quantities of chaff of various sizes.”

What is the mechanism of the technology?

CHAFF is part of a Counter Measure Dispensing System [CMDS], which uses passive jamming to counter threats such as infrared and radar. CHAFF is designed to resist radar-enabled weaponry, whereas flares are designed to guard against incoming heat-seeking missiles by generating a diversion with a larger heat signature that draws the missile away.

Chaff and flares are “passive” expendable countermeasures [ECMs] that aim to fool hostile systems by “employing confusion reflectors” via chemical or mechanical means, according to the DRDO. ECMs that are ‘active’ work by “transmitting electromagnetic energy.” “such as false jamming or noise jamming

Chaff, according to the DRDO, is a “electronic analogue of’smoke,'” which uses electromagnetic waves to “confuse or deceive an enemy system.” “.. “When injected into the aircraft slipstream, the chaff packages break open… to generate a radar-reflective cloud termed a chaff corridor,” according to the Federation of American Scientists, a non-profit policy research and advocacy organisation. The dropping of chaff “so confuses radars that they are unable to pinpoint the true targets within the chaff cloud,” according to the Pentagon.

According to the DRDO, chaff “appear[s] on adversary radar displays either as a blot concealing the genuine target or as hundreds of fake targets surrounding the real target.”

Short-Range Chaff Rocket [SRCR], Medium-Range Chaff Rocket [MRCR], and Long-Range Chaff Rocket [LRCR] are three varieties of this vital technology developed by Defence Laboratory Jodhpur [DLJ], a DRDO laboratory (LRCR).

It worked on the project with the Pune-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory [HEMRL].

The DRDO has also developed an upgraded CHAFF cartridge-118/I for the Indian Air Force, which has significant improvements over existing CHAFF technology in terms of efficacy against higher frequency radar threats in modern combat. The IAF deemed the performance of the indigenous chaff cartridge-118/I sufficient after rigorous user trials and began the process of integration into the Indian Air Force, according to HT.

Last April, the CHAFF system was created to protect Indian Navy ships from missile assaults.

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