The Indian Air Force (IAF) will be aiming to induct and operate as many as 15 airborne warning and control systems in the next decade which will include the soon-to-be initiated programme of India Airborne Warning and Control System.
Speaking after an event organised to commemorate the arrival of the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System (EMB 145i) here, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said, “It’s a very large country and our interests are extending beyond our borders as well, including Car Nicobar islands and those areas so we require that number of platforms.”
Browne said that the new AEW&C systems, mounted on Brazilian Embraer aircraft would be based in the Western Border.
“The AEW&C will be inducted into the Indian Air Force in April 2014,” Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) V K Saraswat said.
Adding that the first of the three aircraft landed in Bangalore a month ago, he said the second one would land in December while the third aircraft is currently undergoing various certification trials in Brazil.
India already has Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft under development using the Russian IL-76 platform and the Israeli Phalcon Radar and has proposed an indigenously developed programme India AWACS.
Even though the first of the three aircrafts had already been with the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Saraswat said that the challenging part of the work remains to be completed now by the team.
Director of CABS said that there are more than 60 antennas and sensors as well as modifications to install the CABS developed Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA).
Browne also said that the IAF would complete all negotiations with French Defence major Dassault Aviation on the 126 aircraft Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal.
He also said that the IAF will soon award the contract to either Airbus A330 Multirole tanker transport (MRTT) or IL-78 aircraft for aerial refuelling tankers.