India’s indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System made its maiden flight onboard the first fully modified aircraft on Sunday (Dec. 06). The system integrated on an Embraer aircraft took to skies from Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil with about 1000 mission system components developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).These include Active Electronic Scanning Antenna (AESA), Radar Antenna developed by DRDO.
“The flight puts India into a select club of countries capable of developing and delivering such complex Airborne System,” said Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Director General of DRDO in New Delhi.
The aircraft will now undergo full certification process over the next two years and ground integration and evaluation at the southern Bangalore based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).
Two of these systems will be delivered to Indian Air Force after detailed tests and evaluation by the end of 2003, said a spokesman of DRDO in New Delhi. It will act as ‘eyes in the sky’ of the IAF and redefine battle surveillance capabilities of Indian Armed Forces.
Airborne Warning and Control System can detect any enemy aircraft or UAVs and relay information to the ground bases.