BENGALURU: Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) on Saturday said that the India Air Force (IAF) used electronic warfare (EW) equipment developed by the firm to trace Pakistani fighter aircraft during the Balakot air strikes India carried out on February 27.
BEL chairman and managing director (CMD) Gowthama MV said, “… At this point of time ,we know for sure that EW sensor supplied by BEL was used and it certainly helped IAF in capturing the electronic signatures of Pakistani aircraft.”
Pointing out the statement made by then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman about India having captured electronic signatures of F-16 (used by Pakistan), Gowthama said, which is only possible with the EW equipment the IAF has and used.
Answering a specific question on radars, he said: “We manufacture doppler radars that certainly see the clouds and measure the water content in that. It all depends on the type of cloud. This is all physics, it is not in the hands of a human being…the situation, etc. I don’t want to comment on what the Prime Minister has said, but I can certainly say that there are radars with the IAF that can certainly see through clouds.”
Further, he said that as part of the offset expected from Dassault under the 36 Rafale aircraft deal, BEL has received orders worth $17 million from Thales, a French firm that makes subsystems used in Rafale.
“Also, BEL has a JV with Thales called BEL-Thales Systems Limited, which has also got orders from Thales. These are all initial orders, there will be more in the coming days. However, I am not sure if rules mandate that any of the systems we supply as part of the offsets needs to necessarily fly in the 36 aircraft India is buying,” he said.