India To Launch Major AWACS Project To Counter Pak-China

With Pak­istan and Chi­na slow­ly adding teeth to their spy­ing capa­bil­i­ties with the induc­tion of new AWACS sys­tems, India is tak­ing no chance and is hur­ry­ing up the launch of it’s own full-blown futur­is­tic AWACS pro­gramme.

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Clear­ances are under­way from the Min­istry of Defence to ini­tial­ly devel­op two AWACS air­craft with four more to fol­low at a lat­er stage. The AWACS-India project will be exe­cut­ed by DRDO and Ban­ga­lore based Cen­tre for Air Borne Sys­tems (CABS).

A 360 degree AESA (Active Elec­tron­i­cal­ly Scanned Array) radars will be mount­ed on large air­crafts like the IL-76, Boe­ing or Air­bus. AWACS act as force mul­ti­pli­ers and have changed the nature of mod­ern war­fare. They can detect any incom­ing aer­i­al threat rang­ing from cruise mis­siles to fight­er jets much before ground-based radars.

The sys­tem is used offen­sive­ly to direct fight­ers to their tar­get loca­tions, and defen­sive­ly in order to counter attacks by ene­my forces from both air and ground. Pak­istan pos­sess­es four Sweed­ish Saab-2000 AEW&C air­craft with four more Chi­nese ZDK-03 AWACS in the pipeline. On the oth­er hand, Chi­na has a mix of 20 new and old AWACS sys­tems in it’s inven­to­ry. The IAF how­ev­er has only three AWACS which were recent­ly pur­chased from Israel & Rus­sia under a USD 1.1 bil­lion deal in the face of a grow­ing hos­tile neigh­bour­hood.

The option for India to pur­chase two more Phal­con AWACS from Israel has run into rough weath­er due to sharp cost esca­la­tion.

The DRDO is cur­rent­ly devel­op­ing a mini-AWACS for the IAF which will be mount­ed on the Embraer air­craft which is pur­chased from Brazil. Offi­cials from the DRDO have said that the project com­ple­tion date will be April 2014.

The IAF is wait­ing for the com­ple­tion of the mini-AWACS pro­gramme with crossed fin­gers.

Source:
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