India Is Developing It’s Own Infrared Tracking System For Su-30MKI


To detect ultra-stealthy aircraft like the F-22 and Chengdu J-20, India needed to strengthen the capabilities of the Su-30MKI and now the country has decided to design and develop a long-range dual-band infrared imaging search and track system i.e., IRST. The system will enable Sukhoi with additional capabilities.

The need was felt more when India find it difficult to detect China operationalized the J-20 fighter jets which are made up of radar-absorbing materials last year.


Indian Defence Ministry issued a statement, “The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval for undertaking design and development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI aircraft under the ‘Make II’ sub-category and subsequently, for procurement of at least 100 IRSTs under ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ category. The system will be able to operate in day and night conditions and will substantially enhance the capabilities of the aircraft.” Also, design and development of IRST for SU-30 MKI has been approved by DAC.

The DAC also approved design and development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI. These systems will operate in day & night conditions and significantly boost the operational capabilities of SU-30 MKI aircraft. @PIB_India—Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) May 28, 2018

The IRST system will be integrated into India’s frontline aircraft without making any structural changes and the 40% domestically-produced content will be used in the system. While checking its technical requirement, IAF had asked 30 questions before the prospective vendors.


The questions included, “Will be equipment be single dome configuration? Will the equipment have stowing capability? Can the equipment be matched with aircraft mission computer software? What are the ICD requirements of the equipment to ensure full exploitation of capabilities of the equipment?”

The system which will mostly develop domestically is an important part of the advanced fifth-generation aircraft that is capable of detecting, locating and destroying enemy targets in the radar prevented environment.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister of India

On Monday, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also the head of the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) granted approval for the system. The procurement of thermal imaging (TI) night sights for the rocket launcher also got approved.

Ti sight will be operated in the operation so that the exact and continuous engagement of the destructive and stable enemy targets and the destruction of the field fortifications (bunker) can be facilitated throughout the dark hours.

In the statement released by Defence Ministry, “The sight will enable our troops to detect and recognize enemy tanks and soldiers’ movement during the night and engage them with greater efficiency. Furthermore, the effect of camouflage and concealment will be drastically reduced as rocket launcher detachments will be able to ascertain the location of the enemy taking cover behind foliage and thin-walled constructions with greater ease.”