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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Airborne Early Warning and Control system: India’s pride, the world’s envy!

Embraer EMB-145ISomewhere in the western sector, an aircraft which could pass off for a business jet except for its extended nose cone and a turret-shaped contraption above the cockpit has been flying scores of sorties before joining the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s fleet, but it has already caught the fancy of several countries—South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia—among others.

The home-grown Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system, the critical ‘Eye-in-the-sky’ developed by DRDO’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru, is only a step away from induction by the IAF, having flown more than 300 test sorties over different cities.

Once airborne, the aircraft can fly continuously for five hours, or double that duration after air-to-air refueling. It can track several hundred targets simultaneously in the air and on the ground, some even 350 km away, thus dramatically enhancing the strike capability of IAF’s fighter jets.

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