Five years after the first of three “green” Embraer 145 platform was delivered to India, the first Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) in IOC configuration will be handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) during Aero India 2017. The aircraft has already been displayed at previous editions of the show, though without its indigenously developed mission systems.
The AEW&C System – developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in cooperation with the IAF – features a state-of-the art Active Electronically Scanned Radar, Secondary Surveillance Radar, Electronic and Communication Counter Measures, LOS (Line of Sight) and beyond LOS data link, voice communication system and self-protection suite.
Data fusion is used to combine information from the different sensors and generate the air situation picture along with intelligence to handle identification/classification threat assessment. To ensure extended surveillance missions, the aircraft is equipped for inflight refuelling.
The IAF has also decided to purchase heavier airborne early warning platforms. India signed contracts with Israel Aerospace Industries in November for the purchase of two Phalcon/IL-76 Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), in addition to the three it already operates. India also has plans to develop an indigenous AWACS capability based on the A330 platform.