Weapon Locating Radars Swathi (Plains)

India, like many countries, faces threats from artillery and rocket fire across its borders. To counter this, India developed the Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) Swathi, a mobile artillery-locating, phased array radar system. Recently, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with BEL to procure the WLR Swathi, with a cost of over Rs 990 crore.

Development and Purpose

The WLR Swathi has been jointly developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). Its main purpose is to detect and track incoming artillery rounds, mortar, and rockets, and locate their launchers. It achieves this through a phased array antenna system that scans the sky, searching for incoming rounds. When the radar detects incoming artillery, it calculates the point of origin for counter-battery fire. The WLR Swathi’s secondary role is to provide fire corrections to counter-battery fire by tracking and observe the fall of shot from friendly guns.


The WLR Swathi has an impressive range, with a detection range of up to 30 km for large caliber artillery rounds and up to 40 km for unguided rockets. It can track up to 7 targets simultaneously and is capable of tracking rounds fired at both low and high angles. The radar array has a maximum scanning sector of 90°, and the scanning sector can be changed in response to threats by rotating the whole array by 135° on either side within 30 seconds.

The WLR Swathi can store up to 99 target locations with broad digital map displays. The data-linking feature allows for remote operation and better situational awareness at higher echelons of the command hierarchy. The WLR Swathi’s advanced capabilities make it a vital tool in India’s defense arsenal.



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