September 24, 2012
The Indian air force (IAF) plans to deploy nearly 15 airborne warning and control systems during the next 10 years.
“India is planning additional airborne warning and control system projects with radars atop larger aircraft such as the IL-76, Boeing 777 or Airbus 320,” according to a defense ministry official.
The announcement comes on the heels of the arrival of the first of three Embraer 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft from Brazil’s Embraer Defense and Security on Aug. 17.
“India is a very large country and our interests are extending beyond our borders as well, including Car Nicobar islands ... so we require that number of platforms,” Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne says.
The AEW&C system will be based on the country’s western border, Browne says.
“It will be inducted into the IAF in April 2014,” says V.K. Saraswat, chief of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization. Saraswat says the second AEW&C aircraft will land in December, while the third is currently undergoing trials in Brazil.
The IAF currently has three Phalcon AWACS mounted on IL-76 aircraft under a $1.1 billion deal with Israel and Russia signed in 2004.