As part of its modernization program, India plans to indigenously develop its own Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
India is currently developing AWACS using the Russian IL-76 platform and the Israeli Phalcon Radar, and has three in service. The Indian Air Force is hoping to induct about 15 AWACS, including the newly-announced indigenous program.
“To leverage the experience and expertise gained in the design and development of Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems, a project proposal for indigenous development of India AWACS by the Defense Research and Development Organization has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security on Feb. 12, 2013,” Defense Minister A.K. Antony was quoted as saying.
“The development of India AWACS is envisaged to be completed in 84 months from the date of formal sanction of the program,” Antony added. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.
In 2012, India took delivery of a new Airborne Early Warning & Control systems mounted on the Embraer aircraft, which will be inducted into service in 2014.
“[India is] a very large country and our interests are extending beyond our borders as well, including Car Nicobar islands and those areas, so we require that number of platforms,” Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne was recently quoted as saying.