The OLS, a new development from space technologies, incorporates a helmet-mounted target designation system providing targeting solutions for both ground and air targets in the forward and aft hemispheres of the aircraft. The most vital difference from the previous IRST sensor is that the new device provides not only a better operation range but also offers manually switchable display options of IR view, TV mode or a mix of both that significantly improves man-machine coordination. The OLS on the nose serves as the IRST while the OLS under the right air intake serves as the ground strike designator.
In air combat, the optronic suite allows:
- Detection of non-afterburning targets at 45 km range and more;
- Identification of those targets at 8 to 10 km range; and
- Estimates of aerial target range at up to 15 km.
For ground targets, the suite allows:
- A tank-effective detection range up to 15 km, and aircraft carrier detection at 60 to 80 km;
- Identification of the tank type on the 8 to 10 km range, and of an aircraft carrier at 40 to 60 km; and
- Estimates of ground target range of up to 20 km.
The defensive system equipment consists of radar reconnaissance, electronic countermeasures, and optical systems — notably the laser emission detector on each wingtip — which are able to detect and evaluate the approaching danger and operate decoy dispensers to counteract the approaching threat in the radar and infrared ranges.