The Russian Beriev company is developing a new Airborne Early Warning () platform to replace the A-50 ‘mainstay’ in service since 1984. The new aircraft designated is expected to become operational in 2017.
The new platform utilize the latest, improved version of the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A military transport plane, also known as Il-476). The first aircraft of this type has recently completed its maiden flight at Ulyanovsk, Russia.
Concern Vega, which is part of the United Instrument Corporation, is developing the powerful surveillance radar to be housed in a rotating dome mounted on the aircraft. T his new-generation Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) provides electronic scanning in elevation while horizontal scanning is provided by the rotation of the antenna, at a constant rate of 12 RPM. The former A-50 radar used mechanical scanning in both elevation and rotation.
Another version of themodified with a static dome is the A-50E/I, operating with the Indian Air Force, carrying the with Israeli EL/W-2090 AESA airborne surveillance and early warning radar developed for the Indian Air Force.
The Il-76MD-90A has been built at Aviastar-JV and will be transferred to A-100 AEW model by the G.M. Beriev Aviation R&D and Production Complex in Taganrog for fitting out and conversion to prototype of A-100.
The radar will be scanning the airspace for hundreds of kilometers, identifying targets and sending complete targeting data to anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems enabling them to shoot down those targets. In addition, the aircraft is equipped to operate as an airborne command post, air, ground and naval task forces.