DRDO CABS and Embraer have unveiled today the new transparent configuration of the ERJ-145 configured by Embraer for India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) Center of Airborne Systems (CABS) indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWE& C) aircraft. While the original concept was to use the standard configuration of ERJ-145 developed for the Brazilian Air Force, which is already in operation with Greece and Mexico, the Indian application required more adaptations, as depicted in the model displayed at Aero-India at CABS.
According to Sergio Bellato, Director of marketing and sales Embraer, the first aircraft is expected to be unveiled at the rollout ceremony in Brazil on February 21, 2011.
This aircraft will fly during the first half of 2011 and is scheduled for delivery to the DRDO for mission systems integration during the second half. The remaining two aircraft will be delivered in 2012. Final integration will be done by the DRDO in Bangalore, India.
The aircraft is configured to carry the Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU), developed by CABS. An ESM system, fully integrated with the AEW&C system is also on board (presumably housed in the bulges seen on the two sides).
The aircraft is equipped with five operating consoles and seven crew seats for resting, provision for aerial refueling probe provides the aircraft with extended mission duration.
The current contract provides for the development and procurement of the first three aircraft. While India has a need for more AEW&C, the air force has not decided yet what mix of aircraft to buy.
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