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09:52 AM, April 4, 2019
DRDO Offers India Netra AEW&C On New Platform
Embraer AWACS aircraft (image: Rushabh P Bafna)

India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation has made an offer to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to equip Airbus C-295 aircraft with upgraded Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system.

On 26 February, India deployed an indigenously-made AEW&C system mounted on an Embraer aircraft in the aerial strike against terror group based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir making it the first time such a system has been used in combat by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The aircraft guided IAF’s  12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets used to bomb multiple camps operated by the terror group.

The C-295 tactical air-lifter will soon be manufactured by Airbus-Tata in India. Airbus C295 Netra on offer to IAF will have same Two radiating planar arrays assembled back-to-back and mounted on top of the fuselage in an active antenna array unit (AAAU) will provide 240° coverage but with improved capabilities, idrw.org reported Wednesday.

Airbus also has an Airborne Early Warning version of C-295 which has a static radar dome to provide a 360 Degrees coverage which DRDO is also ready to offer as a by-product of AWACS INDIA if IAF wants it aircraft in this package.

DRDO already has started testing static radar dome mounted on top of a building to test new radar developed for the AWACS INDIA program.

IAF’s long-pending quest to induct two more AWACS based on Israeli Phalcon early-warning radar systems mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 too has been pending due to the increased price quoted both by Israel and Russia which has forced IAF to solely depend on 3 Phalcon AWACS procured earlier. Second Netra aircraft is yet to be inducted into IAF due to changes and improvements asked by IAF.

DRDO also plans to offer an Airbus C-295 variant for Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions to Indian Navy, the idrw.org report stated further.

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