India will get the second of its three contracted Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), or "eyes in the sky'', from Israel on 25th March - 2010.
The second Phalcon will arrive at Jamnagar City Gujarat India and then proceed to the AWACS home base in Agra to join the first one. "The third one should come before this year ends,'' said an IAF official on Tuesday.
As reported earlier, the IAF is keen to procure another three AWACS, even as DRDO works on a mini-AWACS project to mount indigenously-developed AEW&C radar systems on three Embraer-145 jets ordered from Brazil for $210 million.
Under the $1.1 billion deal signed in March 2004, the Israeli 360-degree Phalcon early-warning radar and communication suite has been mounted on Russian IL-76 heavy-lift military aircraft in a tripartite project among India, Israel and Russia.
There has been quite a bit of delay is their induction since the first Phalcon AWACS was originally scheduled for delivery in December 2007, with the second and third ones following in September 2008 and March 2009.
The Phalcon AWACS have boosted IAF's capabilities to detect and track troop build-ups or aircraft movements, for instance, deep inside Pakistan, much further than ground-based radars, while flying well within Indian airspace.
Primarily used for detection of incoming hostile cruise missiles and aircraft from around 400-km away in all-weather conditions, AWACS are also used to direct air defence fighters during combat operations against enemy jets.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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