Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

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JTull
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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby JTull » 03 Dec 2019 20:07

I don't think the C295 is long enough aft of the wings to have a Netra type radar. In 2011, IAI displayed an AEW variant with a radome on top.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 03 Dec 2019 23:42

JayS wrote:Sandeep U reported that
- 5 more Netra are being pushed for by the CAS himself.


When ACM Bhadauria talks about Netra

- is he talking about the DRDO array and computing bits independent of platform?
- is he talking about ERJ145 + DRDO array system?

If DRDO fits its planar array on gulfstream or c295W will it be called something else?

What those 5 Netra mean, depends on how the nomenclature is used at IAFHQ

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Atmavik » 04 Dec 2019 00:04

just a wild thought. does the IAF still own the EBJ145 used by the President and the vice president? maybe these can be transferred to back to IAF for conversion to AEW and the president gets a new jet. the Pres is after all the C in C of the armed forces.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby abhik » 04 Dec 2019 00:16

^^^
It is Embraer who makes the structural and other changes that convert a regular jet into the AEW, I don't think we have the capability to do that.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Atmavik » 04 Dec 2019 00:28

abhik wrote:^^^
It is Embraer who makes the structural and other changes that convert a regular jet into the AEW, I don't think we have the capability to do that.


thanks for the clarification. we are our own worst enemy. using a new type like c 295 will take > 5 years and cost a lot.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 04 Dec 2019 00:36

Should not be. C295 already has a AEW version. Structurally it should be fine.

Yes, system integration will be another game altogether.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 04 Dec 2019 02:50

Wedgetail. That thing has couple more consoles than EJ145! Quite small!


In comparison, A330 is supper massive. In passenger config, it has 2+4+2 seating arrangement!

It will one hell of d*** measuring contest on the internet once A330 comes online! Even the chinese will not have such a big AWACS :rotfl:

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 04 Dec 2019 03:10

nam wrote:The four faced antenna design is interesting.

Given the max angle that the beams need is 90 degrees, instead of 120, can two faces generate over lapping beams (at same phase) to increase range & resolution?

Constructive interference ?


Answering my own question, looks like this is the case. The Wedgetail is able to focus in certain areas in very long range scan.. up to 600KM! So it is not a circular scan.

Wedgetail is a 737 platform. Now imagine what range can A330 generate!

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 03:37

Karan M wrote:No, the Phalcon would have much greater range for the same RCS, but even so, it is substantial.


Given the lack of any real strategic depth for Pakistan, a Netra AEW&C could be comfortably far away from the border while getting a pretty good look deep into Pakistani territory. Any fighters taking off from almost all of it's bases could be detected by a Netra while it remains completely out of the reach of any enemy fighters.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 03:49

RKumar wrote:I hope GoI bites the bullet and sign 5 Embraer and done with it. It will be a nightmare to maintain this circus.


Agree. If the IAF wants the Netra AEW&C to enter service soon, the existing platform will have to do. Else the entire process of finding a new platform, making the changes needed for the AEW&C variant and qualifying it will all take several years. Plus, the IAF will have just 2 Embraer equipped Netras and they will get that much more difficult to maintain and get pilots for, given the small size of the fleet. If the number goes up to 7, it is a more easily supportable fleet and all upgrades can be uniformly implemented. Basically, commonality matters a lot.

At a later date, a C-295 based AEW&C can also be built as the AEW&C needs are very large and even having 12 AWACS and AEW&C airplanes is not going to be sufficient given the size of our airspace.

Fingers crossed, with Boeing getting into a JV with Embraer for the C-390 Millennium (which I fully expect will be targeted at the IAF soon), the stink will somewhat wear off of Embraer and it would smell of roses if Boeing markets it in India, given their enviable record in achieving sales to the IAF and IN.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 03:50

tsarkar wrote:
Kartik wrote:5 more Netra AEW&Cs being pushed by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria?! Is he a God send or what?!

ACM Bhaduria did a six turn spin when he flew the HTT-40 some time back.


Yes, reported by Ananth Krishnan and posted on BRF weeks ago. First IAF ACM to fly an HAL prototype.

ACM Bhadauria may just change the way the IAF looks at and works on indigenous programs and platforms. Hope that the men who follow him also share that attitude.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 04:02

JTull wrote:I don't think the C295 is long enough aft of the wings to have a Netra type radar. In 2011, IAI displayed an AEW variant with a radome on top.


Airbus has been promoting a rotodome on top of the C-295 AEW&C variant for a while now. But, DRDO had displayed a C-295 with a Netra style balance beam antenna during Aero India 2019.

Image
Image

Images courtesy Livefist.

As a matter of fact, DRDO was also willing to offer a rotodome style AWACS on a C-295 platform, if the IAF so wished. That would be similar to the AWACS-India rotodome, except for the fact that it would be entirely scaled for the C-295 instead of an A-330.

My only problem with that C-295 Netra would be the fact that it will take at least 3-4 years more than an ERJ-145 Netra. And with a fleet of just 2 ERJ-145s, they will eventually get harder to keep operational as the numbers are too small to make it economical for maintenance, pilot and mechanic training. Or perhaps at a later date they'll be withdrawn from service and the antennae and the systems moved to a new build C-295 rolled out from an Indian assembly line. That might work out well too.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 04:11

From AeroIndia 2019 times

FlightGlobal link

India’s Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to adapt the Airbus Defence & Space C295 tactical transport for special missions should a deal to obtain the type be finalized.

The company displayed two models of the C295 in its pavilion. The Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA) is aimed at the coast guard; the other is an airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) variant for the air force.

Ground tests have taken place on the proposed MMMA’s mission systems, says a DRDO official.

“Once the airframe is available we can put the systems on it,” he says.

The MMMA would include three tactical consoles, an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, identification friend and foe equipment, an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and other equipment consistent with the maritime patrol mission.

Primary MMMA roles would include maritime surveillance, pollution surveillance, and search and rescue. Secondary roles include the transport of people and cargo and air ambulance duties.

The DRDO’s C295 AEW&C concept remains in the initial planning stages and has not been formally proposed to the government. The plan would see the radar developed for New Delhi’s three Embraer EMB-145 AEW&C Netra aircraft integrated with the C295.

...


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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 04 Dec 2019 05:13

Funnily enough, the raked wingtips on the C-295 model displayed at AI-'19 don't seem to match with the wingtips on the latest C-295W that was flown in July for the RCAF. It might just be an inaccurate model on display.

Image

RCAF C-295, first flow in July 2019
Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby JTull » 04 Dec 2019 18:28

So DRDO is proposing to keep the hind legs of Netra radar at a similar spot as IAI radome configuration! This could be better wrt CG, and also it may not require much effort to qualify the aircraft.

But a radome version would require even less effort on the airframe side. Just need a scaled down version of radome proposed for A330. This might be a better development path for de-risking desi AWACS.

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Dec 2019 18:41

nam wrote:
nam wrote:The four faced antenna design is interesting.

Given the max angle that the beams need is 90 degrees, instead of 120, can two faces generate over lapping beams (at same phase) to increase range & resolution?

Constructive interference ?


Answering my own question, looks like this is the case. The Wedgetail is able to focus in certain areas in very long range scan.. up to 600KM! So it is not a circular scan.

Wedgetail is a 737 platform. Now imagine what range can A330 generate!


The E-7 can indeed scan in 360 degrees with the top hat configuration and the size of the AWACS and the SWAP of the sensor is less of a burden on it as it operates in L-Band. Higher frequency sensors would have strained power generation and thermal management and would have likely made the product unaffordable given its intended market as it would have probably forced them to more drastic sensor configurations or up sizing the platform to a widebody.

0:50 onward:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEawZlOLJwc

With an AWACS the most important metric/aspect is how much airspace can one aircraft and crew cover efficiently and for how long. Each station has an assigned airspace sector that it is responsible for for the umpteen tasks an AEW aircraft may be used for - everything to guide intercepts to de-confliction and ATC duties.

With crew rest and refueling you have to be able to go and extend the TOS. In this either you can or you cannot. E-2 crew, for example, does not take the recent Mid Air Refueling upgrade well as it is not a very comfortable platform to be operating for 6-8 hours at a time..hence no one (in the US) bothered with refueling until the Delta variant which has improvements in other areas that can potentially support longer missions. E-7 on the other hand is more than adequate with RAAF having used it for 15+ hour sorties over Syria. Sensor performance is important but it is assumed that the sensor and aircraft combo have earned their way into the concept and product so are adequate for the mission being offered or what an operator needs it for. The E-7 existed in the world where the E-3 already dominated the western AWACS market. As such, it was positioned as a cheaper, more flexible product that could offer nearly all the duties of the bigger E-3 but at a fraction of the cost to own and operate..It does that pretty well hence why it is so popular..
Last edited by brar_w on 04 Dec 2019 21:41, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Mort Walker » 04 Dec 2019 19:55

^^^The Japanese defense forces use the Boeing 767 airframe. Known as the E767 which is essentially the E-3 with the AN/APY-2 radar. Four were delivered in 2000 and they’ve gone through upgrades since.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Dec 2019 21:16

The E-767 never really took off as a concept beyond the single use case of Japan. Once the E-10 was cancelled this meant that that widebody platform would be unaffordable for most users without the EOS that a US order would have brought in. Though cheaper to operate than the E-3, it is probably still a more expensive aircraft compared to something like the E-7 which was one of the first aircraft types that proposed significantly lower procurement and ownership cost, compared to a widebody based aircraft, or something like the E-3, while getting rid of many if not all of the performance compromises that come with much smaller (and cheaper) business jet based platforms which was the other alternative to fulfilling this mission-set around the type the E-7 was in development. You aren't really compromising significantly on crew stations, you have space for crew rest, the airframe can mount ESM and self-defense equipment and you can refuel and get ridiculously high TOS without other limitations (like crew fatigue). In short they were looking for an 80% alternative to the E-3 at significantly lower cost..This was what they were really gunning for..

The requirements to build the Wedgetail were actually quite flexible and allowed different approaches to be used and proposed ranging from a more conventional widebody A-310 based proposal from Raytheon/Elta with a Phalcon radar to even a C-130 based solution from Lockheed which would have mounted the E-2's UHF band radar solving the shortcomings of that platform (TOS and number of consoles). In the end the E-7 (737AEW) was picked as a winner, probably owing to performance which was comparable to best-in-class sensors offered at the time though on a more optimized airframe BUT with a radar configuration that had lots of integration and design challenges yet to be overcome (it took the collective chops from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lincoln labs to eventually get it to spec). The UK program was particularly noteworthy because SAAB in its unsolicited offer did not attempt to propose a E-7 esque set-up on something like an A-320 but instead to propose the safer option of the A-330.


Wedgetail
- Australia's “Pocket AWACS”



The largest proposal is that of the Raytheon Systems Company, based upon the Elta Phalcon radar and the Airbus A310 widebody airframe. This system is "conventional" in configuration, in that it uses a rotodome like, yet fixed radome above the fuselage, which contains the three sided L/D band phased array and IFF antennas. Each array covers a 120 degree sector. The ESM is fitted to wingtip pods.

The proposal marries a minimal risk phased array configuration, with guaranteed high antenna performance through 360 degrees, with a very large and mature airframe for a maximum of onboard systems growth and crew comfort on long endurance missions. Its principal limitation against the other bidders is likely to be in the all up costs, and operating costs, of a large widebody airframe.

The proposal was clearly sized about the requirement for best possible all-azimuth radar performance, with antenna aperture size (determining range and angular resolution for a given level of receiver and transmitter performance) driving the radome size, in turn driving the airframe size, for specified performance.

The most technologically innovative proposal is that of the Boeing led team, built around an evolved variant of the now Northrop-Grumman MESA radar and the Boeing B-737-700 narrowbody airframe. The Boeing/N-G Wedgetail is "unconventional" insofar as it uses a unique antenna design. Sidelooking coverage for two 120 degree sectors is provided by the L/D-band MESA in a dorsal fin structure, while nose and tail coverage over 60 degree sectors is provided by an electronically steered "tophat" end-fire array mounted in a surfboard shaped radome above the MESA arrays. Angular resolution of the "tophat" array varies from several degrees over the nose and tail, improving by a factor of four as the beam is steered to 30 degrees off the antenna boresight. ESM is carried in wingtip pods.

The Boeing/N-G proposal incurs higher risk against the Raytheon/Elta proposal, insofar as it employs a more complex antenna arrangement, which has not been used in any other design. However, the payoff is in a much smaller, lighter and lower drag antenna installation, which allows for a smaller and cheaper narrowbody airframe. With the installed base of 737s, the stretched -700 is about as economically supportable as a narrowbody gets.

The simplest comparison of the configurations of the two phased array based solutions is that one incurs lower risk in antenna integration and complexity at the cost of a bigger and more expensive widebody platform. Determining the scale of the cost vs risk issues is impossible without a deeper evaluation of both proposals, and full access to technical data, neither of which are options for a public discussion.

The third contender is the Lockheed-Martin/Northrop-Grumman team, with the C-130J-30 based proposal, using the AURA solid state transmitter derivative mechanically steered UHF radar, based upon the Yagi array antenna technology of the E-2C APS-125/145. Interesting, marketing literature for the system cites electronic beam steering, which it is safe to assume is being used for ECCM and heightfinding purposes.LINK

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby sajaym » 05 Dec 2019 10:34

JTull wrote:Just need a scaled down version of radome proposed for A330. This might be a better development path for de-risking desi AWACS.


My thoughts as well...We should have a Chapathi for the A330 and a Poori for the C295. Since C295 kam peetha hai we can have more number of them up in the air and spread out as well, since the C295 will have logistic commonality with transport squadrons which operate C295. Unlike the A330s which will have to be based in a single location (so that they can be taken out easily in a single missile strike by Pakis / Chinkis).

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Dec 2019 11:10

nam wrote:
In comparison, A330 is supper massive. In passenger config, it has 2+4+2 seating arrangement!

It will one hell of d*** measuring contest on the internet once A330 comes online! Even the chinese will not have such a big AWACS :rotfl:


It would be a lot bigger than the premier E-3 flown by the Amreekis never mind the chinis!

The A330 carries 250 passengers versus the 150 by the E-3's 707 for a point of reference.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby vera_k » 05 Dec 2019 11:37

Have to appreciate the direction projects are starting to take. There is the gun with the longest range project, and now this project with the largest (most capable?) AWACS.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby nam » 05 Dec 2019 15:09

I wonder what DRDO intends to do with the large cargo bay? May be this is where they plan to put in the fuel tanks, for a secondary tanker role?

If the radar can be easily removed from the craft at IAF bases, it might be quite easily be used for tanker role.

Would be interesting to see if they intend to fuel up and instead switch off the radar in air to act as tanker.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby rkhanna » 05 Dec 2019 15:16

"Would be interesting to see if they intend to fuel up and instead switch off the radar in air to act as tanker"

Won't that be a big no no in terms of Risk Mitigation/Management perspective. A singular Accident/slipup in Combat - you would end up loosing your AWAC as well as your tanker in a flash?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Thakur_B » 05 Dec 2019 17:31

nam wrote:I wonder what DRDO intends to do with the large cargo bay? May be this is where they plan to put in the fuel tanks, for a secondary tanker role?



There's enough space to put in decent sized supercomputer in there.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby JayS » 05 Dec 2019 18:54

nam wrote:I wonder what DRDO intends to do with the large cargo bay? May be this is where they plan to put in the fuel tanks, for a secondary tanker role?

If the radar can be easily removed from the craft at IAF bases, it might be quite easily be used for tanker role.

Would be interesting to see if they intend to fuel up and instead switch off the radar in air to act as tanker.


Tanker role, if at all it comes in the AWACS, it will be from the main fuel tanks. It can carry 110T fuel total in wings. A few 10s T fuel could be used for filling fighters.

It has 45T payload capacity. I dont think much of it would be left once all the intended systems and personnel occupy their positions. Even if space remains available but payload capability may not, not unless you take off with less fuel in the wings. I dont think it will carry additional fuel.

The MRTT, OTOH has this 45T spare payload capability, which it can fill with additional tanks.

As per Sandeep U, A330-200 is the version under consideration. MRTT is also based on the same platform. We should have negotiated a common deal with Airbus.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby srin » 05 Dec 2019 21:08

I vaguely remember we had discussed here a report a year ago that there was a plan to have the A330 AWACS double as refueller. I'll try to find it...


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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby ArjunPandit » 05 Dec 2019 22:57

there was a comment somewhere, 'defence procurements, in general, are either slow or full of corruption. Only in India they're both'. I can understand delays about things we may be developing, but the pace is really glacial

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Indranil » 06 Dec 2019 02:20

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Karan M » 06 Dec 2019 04:07

Nice, this is the one for the Coast Guard by CABS I presume.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Kartik » 06 Dec 2019 04:47

Nice images Indranil. Is this from some DRDO newsletter?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Indranil » 06 Dec 2019 06:53

No. Tender by CABS for scale model at next years DefExpo.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 06 Dec 2019 07:11

do they have one for AEW? and one for MPA with mad boom?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 06 Dec 2019 07:12

Seems like a cushy luxury dornier! Ping pong table in the back for people getting bored?? or perhaps a inflatable motorboat for life saving missions?

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 06 Dec 2019 07:21

The side by side seating is more effective for sharing/hanging at the back of the screen and looking at things for the mission commander and extra people on board during special missions.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby putnanja » 06 Dec 2019 08:19

Isn't there any Boeing 737/Airbus 320 size AEWS? The newer ones have range approaching 4000nm, can fly for 6-7 hours easily, plenty of commonality with large worldwide fleets & bigger than E3 platforms. Can even get cheaper used ones for quick prototyping if required.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby tsarkar » 06 Dec 2019 12:51

Indranil wrote:No. Tender by CABS for scale model at next years DefExpo.

Good part about DRDO systems is front facing workstations like Nethra. The P-8 has side facing workstations that isnt ergonomic in turbulence. Tejas too is extremely ergonomic noted by everyone who has flown it.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby Indranil » 07 Dec 2019 06:00

What's not showed in these images is the aircrafts ability to carry SAR Raft and medical stretchers. It's secondary role is SAR.

However, I prefer the use of the re-engined Avros for this role. They don't need a ramp. They don't need high altitude capability. Put a nice pair of engines and utilize those airframe. For these and for ELINT operations.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby VinodTK » 05 Jan 2020 08:54

Air Force set to get two more warning systems
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) last month cleared a Rs 9,000 crore joint proposal of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Air Force to purchase two Airbus 330s and convert them into 360-degree long-range capability Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), senior officials familiar with the development said on Saturday.

The proposal is now before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and the entire project is estimated to take three years after the apex committee’s clearance.

“The need for more AWACS was acutely felt post the Balakot air strike, with Pakistan being able to deploy its SAAB AWACS 24x7 in the north and south sectors and India being able to cover the two theatres only for 12 hours each day,” one of the officials cited above said.

The DRDO has also decided to hand over a third Embraer-mounted Airborne Early Warning system to the IAF (Indian Air Force) to further enhance Indian capability in battlefield theatre. The IAF already has two Israeli PHALCON radars mounted on a Russian A-50 platform and two DRDO-developed radars mounted on Embraer platforms.


According to the proposal cleared by the DAC, the Airbus AWACS will be a 50:50 joint venture between the DRDO and the IAF. Once the aircraft are purchased, the DRDO will mount a 360-degree rotor dome radar along with state of the art communication capability to guide the IAF fighters and attack helicopters in future war theatres, one of the officials cited above said.

The AWACS not only tracks the aerial threat, be it a fighter or a missile, but also guides the counter-response. Had it not been for PHALCON AWACS, the Indian response to the February 27 Pakistani counter-strike would have been weak and the IAF would never have known that Wing Commander Abhinandan had downed a Pakistan Air Force fighter code-named Red Mike on the radar. Whether Red Mike was an American F-16 sold by Jordan to Pakistan or any other fighter is still not confirmed.

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Re: Airborne Early Warning & Control: News & Discussion

Postby chola » 05 Jan 2020 09:17

^^^ Sort of a non-story. We knew it needs to go to CCS after DAC. We need that decision to have been made by now. What is there to discuss? There is no backup plan unless we are going full bore with Netra but that seems unlikely with the Embraer scandal hanging over it.


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