India Mulls Additional AEW Procurement

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The Indian Air Force is seeking government approval to order two additional Il-76 Phalcon AWACS aircraft at a cost of $800 million, to expand the current fleet of three such aircraft procured by the IAF under the previous US$1.1 billion program. The first aircraft was delivered in 2009 with the second and third scheduled for delivery in the two following years.

India plans to field a parralel AEW capabilities based on a modified Embraer EMB-145 jet converted by Embraer to accomodate the DRDO developed AESA radar which is expected to fly in 2014. The two platforms are designed for different roles, one offers long endurance, long range coverage and the other used mostly on shorter duration, medium range missions.

India also considered fielding the Israeli Gulfstream G550 CAEW version, already employed by the Israel and Singapore air forces, but this platform proved to be off the mark the performance/cost range the Indians were aiming for.