India to have 'eye in the sky' to spy on Pakistan, China

Published: January 5, 2017

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to induct its first homegrown all-weather airborne early warning and control system (AeW&CS) later this month.

The system’s induction will boost the force’s capability to detect hostile cruise missiles, fighter jets or drones. “The first AeW&Cs is ready for induction while the second one is in the final stages of tests and certification,” a DRDO source told Times of India. Work on the final one is in progress.

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India hopes to match Pakistan and China’s capabilities on the front by inducting the system. The IAF already has three Phalcon systems (AWACS) which use Israeli early-warning radars mounted on IL-76 aircraft.

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The indigenous AeW&CS, developed by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) in Bengaluru and integrated on Brazilian-made Embraer-145 aircraft, is equipped with 240-degree coverage. The system can detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air defence operations.

“It is equipped with multiple communication and data links that can alert and direct fighters against threats while providing recognisable air surveillance pictures to commanders at the ground exploitation stations that are strategically located,” the DRDO stated.

“The Electronic and Communication Support Measures of the system can also intercept and gather electronic and communication intelligence from radar transmissions and communication signals. It is a multi-sensor surveillance system that can perform the following operational roles as defined by the IAF,” a high-ranking functionary said.

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According to TOI, Pakistan has four Swedish Saab-2000 AeW&C aircraft and four Chinese-origin ZDK-03 (KJ-200) AWACS, while China has over 20 AWACS, including the new KJ-500 ones that can track over 60 aircraft at ranges of up to 470km.

This article originally appeared on Times of India.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Zee
    Jan 5, 2017 - 4:41PM

    homegrown? indigenous? sure! Going by arjun & tejas homegrown projects, it will take another 30-40 yrs for india to have anything that even come close to getting airborne for more than 10 mins, let alone having any credible surveillance capabilityes. Most likey yet another Israeli or Russian acquisition painted over with “made in india” tri-colors.Recommend

  • anil sahu
    Jan 5, 2017 - 6:19PM

    @zee like everything made in china painted green in PAKRecommend

  • Tom
    Jan 5, 2017 - 6:57PM

    The chinese and the Swedish AWAC are very inferior to Israeli Phalcons, but pakis have to always chest thump. The chinese themselves tried to buy the Phalcon to which US objected and the sale was dropped by Israel.Recommend

  • quatro
    Jan 5, 2017 - 9:14PM

    I don’t think many view AWAC’s as tools for spying on anyone. They are just mobile radars that are often used as command/control facilities to control air battlefield.Recommend

  • XoF
    Jan 6, 2017 - 4:09AM

    @anil sahu:
    At least they end up being operational and successful in short yearsRecommend

  • D Dash
    Jan 6, 2017 - 9:01AM

    @zee Just look at your JF 17 Fighter & then talk about indigenous manufacturing.Recommend

  • Zee
    Jan 6, 2017 - 12:07PM

    @Dash: this news is about india faking to build a surveillance plane, not about Pakistan. You want to talk about JF17, go find a news article about it and post your comment there.Recommend

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