The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the highest executive body that takes a call on defense matters, has cleared the acquisition of two Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platforms, from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at a cost of US$1.1 billion (Rs 7,500 crore).
The acquisition of the AEW mission systems installed on two IL-76 (A-50) aircraft will be processed as a follow-on phase under the tripartite contract with Israel and Russia, under which India bought three such aircraft for the same amount, from Israel and Russia in 2009 and 2010. The Indian Business Standard reported.
The AWACS platform plays significant role in Indian Air Force’s Network-Centric Operations. In addition to the three arrays comprising the ELM-2075 L-band early warning radar located in the static dome, these aircraft have electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT)-gathering capabilities that help intercept signals from enemy areas, in monitoring troop build-up and to detect aerial threats. It can detect aircraft, drones and cruise missiles from a range of 400 km.
The CCS has also cleared a proposal for the induction of the fourth regiment of Brahmos missile and two more of Pinaka rocket-launchers for the Army.