Computers in Air Defence

  • P. V.S. Rao Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay
Keywords: AWACS, Threat Evaluation


With man's mastery over the third dimension - the near atmosphere and space- it has become increasingly necessary to protect oneself not merely from attacks from land and the sea but, more importantly, from attacks from the air. This was recognised even during the World War II and a rudimentary air defence capability was sought to be established; by the manul (visual) surveillance and the anti-aircraft guns. The advent of radar signified a major advance in air defence technology and techniques. Rather than depend on visual observation and the hazards and limitations thereof, it became possible with radar to detect the presence of flying objects at much great distances. The PPI display of a conventional air-surveillance radar permits an operator to scan the sky for several hundreds of kilometers all around. Early radar-based air defence systems were dependent on human observation and decision making for detecting targets, identifying them, deciding on interception strategy and for recovering the interceptor after completion of his mission. This was feasible because, with a radar of between 200 to 400 kilometers and aircraft speeds in the range of 500 kilometers per hour, upto 30 minutes warning was available before the target was overhead.

Author Biography

P. V.S. Rao, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay-400 005
How to Cite
Rao, P. (2014). Computers in Air Defence. Defence Science Journal, 37(4), 507-513.
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