The Indian Air Force (IAF) has started equipping its fighter jets with advanced chaff technology, developed by the state-funded Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), to safeguard them against hostile missiles.
IAF fighter jets will detect enemy missiles using a radar warning receiver or missile approach and warning system. Once detection is finalised, the chaff system will be activated and create a false signature to divert the direction of enemy missiles.
“The importance of this technology lies in the fact that the low-quantity chaff material deployed in the air acts as a decoy to deflect enemy’s missiles, ensuring the safety of the fighter aircraft. The technology has been given to the industry for production in large quantities to meet the annual rolling requirement of the Indian Air Force,” a statement issued by the Indian defence ministry on Thursday reads.
India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has lauded the DRDO, IAF and the industry for the domestic development of this critical technology, calling it one more DRDO step towards ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliance) in strategic defence technology.
The indigenous technology has high importance for the IAF as it does not possess any stealth fighter jet and for the non-stealthy fourth-generation assets, Chaff – comprised of “millions of tiny aluminum or zinc-coated fibers” are pivotal to the aircraft’s defence. The IAF has a squadron strength of 30 (18 fighters in each) against the sanctioned strength of 42 to counter collusive threats of China and Pakistan.