Monday, 6 August 2012

DRDO to be build next Generation Phalcons AEW&C for IAF

As per sources rising price in procurement of Ilyushin Il-76 platform and steep price rise demanded by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for IAI EL/W-2090 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) radar system and integration of it in Ilyushin Il-76 platform might lead to no further follow up orders of three A-50EI which Indian air force currently operates .

Follow up order was suppose to be of three more aircraft’s with similar radar integrated on Ilyushin Il-76 platform , bringing total to 6 A-50EI based AEW&C aircraft’s , negotiations are still going on but Government is planning to Start Phase II project to India’s own AEW&C Project and DRDO will get the clearance soon on this matter.

Israel has been asking India to consider Gulfstream G550 Eitam aircraft based AEW&C for some time now to reduce cost in platform purchase and integration cost of radar ,Gulfstream G550 based AEW&C are also operated by Israeli air force but IAF is not keen on it. IAF is also happy with the progress made by DRDO in its own AEW&C program and is considering further development if the deal for three more A-50EI based AEW&C fails to materialize .

Under Phase-1 , DRDO will be integrating Locally developed Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) radar system in to Brazilian Embraer aircraft’s and first aircraft which has already taken its first flight in Brazil should be arriving in India soon for system integration in India . next two aircraft’s will be in India next year and whole project will be completed and aircrafts will be handed over to IAF by 2015 as per DRDO plans .

Under Phase-II , DRDO with inputs from Indian air force , will select a new platform with higher operational range and capabilities , and will also be developing a new complete 360 degree surveillance system and radar in par or exceeding in performance of A-50EI.

Sources suggests IAF may suggest Boeing or Airbus based platform , since procuring Ilyushin Il-76 is difficult since Russia has stopped production and current lot are based on Unfinished air frames of soviet era . IAF also operates six Il-78MKI based aerial tankers but has pushing for new Airbus platform for next tanker orders .

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