Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System),Indian AirForce
India was late in entering the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) scene, but the entry of India was bang with the most advanced AWACS in the world.Phalcon AWACS(Airborne Warning AND Control Systems) is the India First AWACS which is capable of detecting any aerial threats more effectively than ground-based radars.It is also capable to defend the IAF against cruise missiles and hostile aircraft more efficiently.
In January 2004, India and Israel signed a $1.1 billion contract for 3 Phalcon airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, as part of a $1.5 billion tripartite agreement with Russia. With the arrival of its first IL-76 Phalcon, India joined the global ranks of AWACS operators. The aircraft has to monitor huge swathes of Indian airspace, intercept communications and log radar frequencies, add some ground surveillance, and help command IAF responses. By 2012 India announced that it wanted to follow up on that procurement with native capabilities.
In 2004, India ordered three AWACS (A-50EI variants) developed on the basis of the Russian Il-76MD military transport plane and fitted with the Israeli-made Phalcon radar system. The A-50 AWACS is based on the Russian-made llyushin Il-76MD military transport aircraft and these are already in service with the Indian air force (IAF). The primary tasks of the A-50 AWACS are to detect and identify airborne objects, determine their coordinates and flight path data and transfer the information to command posts. It also acts as a control centre, guiding fighter-interceptors and tactical air force aircraft to combat areas in order to attack ground targets at low altitudes. The A-50 is fitted with an aerial refueling system and electronic warfare equipment and can detect targets up to 400 kilometers away.
Features and Capabilities-Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System),Indian AirForce
The Phalcon AWACS consists of an Israeli Elta EL/W-2090 radar mounted on a Russian II-76 aircraft. This radar is a 360 ° Active electronically Scanning Array (AESA) which is mounted inside a dome on top of the Il-76. The speciality of the radar is that it is stationary as its beams are electronically steered as well, which eliminates the need for the radar to be steered mechanically. This allows it to track targets 10 times faster when compared to well-known systems like the E-3 Sentry. It has an integrated IFF system, Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) and ECCM suites for self-protection, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) for collecting data about enemy radars and monitoring communications and SatCom systems.
The AWACS also played vital role in Network Centric Operations along with other crucial systems like Operational Data Link (ODL), Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) and the Air Force Net (AFNET) system of the IAF.
The Phalcon AWACS also helps to monitor troop build-up and helps mobilize other activities across the borders.Phalcon System is built around an ELTA EL/M-2075 AESA L-band radar with other communications intelligence (COMINT) gathering capabilities.The system can also receive transmissions from other air and ground stations and uses sensor fusion to provide a complete picture of the battle space out to several hundred kilometers.
DRDO AWACS-Indegenious made AEW&C
India is also developed an indigenous mini-AWACS in a $ 400 million project under which AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) systems developed by DRDO will be mounted on three Embraer-145 jets bought from Brazil. The DRDO-developed homegrown airborne surveillance platforms have a normal radar range of 250-kilometers and 375 kilometers extended one. The AEW&C has a 240-degree coverage and five-hour endurance time. While this project was sanctioned in 2004, the IAF’s three year delay in finalizing the system’s requirements has pushed the estimated end of system development to 2014.It is inducted in Indian AirForce from June 2015.