Indian Army Inducts Compact Version of WLR ‘Swathi Mountains’

The Indian Army has achieved a notable advancement in enhancing its capabilities for battlefield surveillance and transparency. This achievement comes through the introduction of the SWATHI Mountains, a compact and lighter version of the Weapon Locating Radar (WLR-M). Developed domestically by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru, this cutting-edge radar system is tailor-made for operations in mountainous and high-altitude regions, addressing the distinct challenges presented by such terrains.

What is a Weapon Locating Radar?

The Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) serves as a vital asset for modern armed forces, utilizing advanced signal processing techniques to autonomously detect and track enemy artillery, mortars, and rocket launchers.

  • Notably, it can also track friendly fire trajectories, aiding in accurate calculations for precise artillery strikes.
  • The radar’s sophistication lies in its capability to detect and track small projectiles across the battlefield while accounting for environmental conditions to estimate launch and impact points accurately.
  • The WLR’s standout feature is its high mobility and rapid deployment, enabling quick adaptation to changing operational needs.
  • Its versatile platform enhances agility, allowing the scanning of various areas without the need for physical repositioning.
  • Designed with durability and resistance to electronic warfare measures in mind, the radar remains effective even in hostile environments.
  • Moreover, the WLR acts as a valuable force multiplier by providing critical intelligence on enemy weapon systems, further enhancing the capabilities of friendly forces.

About WLR-M Swathi

The Swathi Mountains WLR is an advanced radar system featuring an electronically scanned phased array technology.

  • It has been purposefully crafted for use in mountainous and high-altitude regions.
  • Developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru, this radar is a compact and highly mobile version, tailored to excel in challenging terrains.
  • Its capabilities encompass the detection of mortar shells, rockets, and projectiles, coupled with precise tracking functionality.
  • Through its sophisticated signal processing, it can differentiate between projectile and non-projectile targets, effectively filtering out unwanted signals like birds, clutter, and aircraft.
  • The radar’s prowess extends to trajectory estimation and the automatic calculation of launch and impact points, even accounting for variations in altitude to enhance accuracy.
  • This system further includes features to store and display trajectory data, while maintaining seamless communication with higher echelons for enhanced coordination on the battlefield.

Difference Between the New Version & the Older Version

The Swathi radar system is available in two distinct versions: the Swathi Plains (WLR) and the Swathi Mountains (WLR-M).

  • The Swathi Plains version is specifically optimized for locating hostile artillery pieces, mortars, and rocket launchers.
  • It performs the essential function of tracking the trajectory of friendly artillery fire, aiding in precise adjustments and corrections.
  • As its name implies, this version is tailored to operate effectively in flat terrains such as plains.

Significance of WLR-M Induction


The SWATHI WLR mountain version is the outcome of a collaborative venture involving Radar House Electronics, Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a prestigious laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and BEL. This joint development initiative was undertaken to address the longstanding requirement of the Indian Army for a cutting-edge radar system optimized for deployment in demanding mountainous settings.

India’s Technological Advancement

The introduction of the SWATHI Mountains marks a significant achievement for India’s defense sector, underscoring the nation’s technological prowess and self-sufficiency in creating advanced defense equipment. The indigenous creation of SWATHI exemplifies India’s dedication to diminishing reliance on foreign defense imports and fortifying its domestic defense capabilities.

The SWATHI WLR boasts advanced functionalities that empower it to accurately detect and trail enemy artillery and mortar positions, providing real-time intelligence to the Indian Army. Designed to operate proficiently in high-altitude and rugged mountain environments, this radar system will bestow a strategic edge upon the Indian armed forces, heightening their situational awareness and response effectiveness.


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