BANGALORE: India’s dream of having a plane embedded with home-grown prying technologies finally inched closer to reality when the modified Embraer-built Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) took off on its maiden flight from the Sao Jose dos Campos flight test facilities in Brazil on December 6.
As reported recently, the systems for the EMB-145I aircraft is being developed by Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) facility.
The first aircraft will arrive in Bangalore early June for CABS’ integration and flight trials will be executed by test pilots from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE).
“The first flight concludes another important phase in this programme and starts the flight test campaign. We are moving towards the delivery of the first aircraft during the first half 2012,” says Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto, senior vice-president (Operations), Embraer Defence and Security. The EMB-145I is a member of Embraer’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) family of aircraft and systems, modelled on ERJ 145, one of the most successful regional jet platforms in the world, with more than 1,100 units delivered and 1,918 million hours flown.
The aircraft was piloted by Embraer pilot and co-piloted by Gp Capt N Tiwari, chief test pilot, ASTE.
“The aircraft took off smoothly and flew for more than an hour without any hiccups and followed the simulated prediction closely. This critical milestone will put India in the elite class of countries, which have developed similar systems,” G Elangovan, DRDO chief controller (Avionics) told Express from Brazil.