In a major achievement to the self-reliant production scenario of India, Indian Air Force has got a new entrant into its force, which is produced by Indian engineers. Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEW&C) is another indigenous aircraft manufactured to check the air activities in critical areas nearing the Indian borders, specifically along Pakistan and China borders.
The major function that will be performed by the aircrafts will be to detect and alert the Indian Air Force about the aircrafts and missiles in the Pakistan and Chinese air space to help IAF to intercept and make respective moves. It has Active Electronically Scanned Array that is effective in detecting the activities at long range. The aircraft will give thrust to the indigenous production and will bring more precise information about the cross border activities.
Some key points about AEW&C are
- It is developed by DRDO.
- It is produced on the Embraer 145 platform, a Brazilian aerospace company.
- It has the feature of inflight refuelling.
- Many private firms and segments of DRDO are involved in the production of the aircrafts.
India has also signed a deal with Israel worth Rs $ 1.4 billion for purchasing 2 Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircrafts and 10 heron UAVs. As per the official sources, the delivery of Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) was pending from last 5 years and the recent signing of the deal will accelerate the aircraft procurement in the next few months to a few years. The cost of purchasing 2 AWACS is 1 billion and the cost of 10 herons is 400 million.
The deal for herons was singed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). IAI has also given a proposal to DRDO to jointly develop the UAVs. If possible, the Indian government will opt its joint manufacturing to support Make in Indian. Currently India is using Searcher, Heron and Heop UAVs of Israel for its Armed Forces.
Apart from this, Indian government is all set to retire Mig-21 and Mig 27 aircrafts by 2024. There are 11 squadrons of these two aircrafts in Indian Air Force. The aircrafts will be replaced by more advanced aircrafts as per the requirements of the organisation. LCA Tejas is seen as a good replacement of these aircrafts and the upcoming AMCA and FGFA with 5th generation specifications will be a superb replacement of these aircrafts. Many crash incidents have been reported in MiG aircrafts due to technical failures and this being the top reason for the replacement.
Induction of AEW&C will thrust the indigenous production and it will raise the security level in the forces. The Israeli aircrafts will add muscles to the Indian Air Force and will bring up the defensive power with an active support to the armed forces of India. Israel has been a long time friend of Indian and now further strengthening and cross exchange of technology will raise the relations to new heights. These new warheads will take the security and defence of India.