India Likely to Order 2 More Israeli Phalcon AEW&C Aircraft

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:47 AM, August 27, 2020
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India Likely to Order 2 More Israeli Phalcon AEW&C Aircraft
Ilyushin Il-76 plane mounted with IAI ELW-2090 AEW&C system

India’s fleet of Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft could increase to five from three, with New Delhi preparing to ink $1 billion-worth contracts with both Israel and Russia.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is expected to give the green-light after extensive inter-ministerial consultations, sources told Times of India Wednesday.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-built Phalcon early-warning radar systems will be mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 A-50 heavy-lift aircraft. The AEW&C, in a nutshell, gives early warning of incoming hostile aircraft and missiles.

While the radar systems come with a price tag of $1 billion, the aircraft will cost another billion dollars. Delivery of the planes will be completed in three years from the date of signing of the contract.

India Likely to Order 2 More Israeli Phalcon AEW&C Aircraft

India already has three of these aircraft it bought in 2004, besides two indigenous “Netra” mini-AEW&C planes (Embraer-145) with a 250km range, in its roster. Indigenous DRDO system is equipped with a 240-degree coverage radar. In contrast, Phalcons provide 360-degree coverage over a 400km range.

Under the tri-partite 2004 agreement between Israel, India and Russia; Israel and India signed a $1.1 billion deal for three IAI AEW&C radar systems, each of which was worth approximately $350 million. Another contract worth $500 million was signed with Russia’s Ilyushin for three Il-76 A-50s.

India’s neighbour China has around 30 such systems including Kong Jing-2000 “Mainring,” KJ-200 “Moth” and KJ-500 aircraft. Pakistan has eight Chinese-made Karakoram Eagle ZDK-03 and Swedish Saab-2000 AEW&C planes and is on course to get more from China.

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