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IAF's AWACS to be flight tested in 2012: Official

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Brazil's EMB145 aircraft is being modified to install the AWACS. An Embraer Photo

BANGALORE (PTI): The indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System, integrated onboard the Brazilian aircraft EMB145 as per Indian Air Force’s requirement, would be flight tested in 2012, a key official involved in the project has said.

The AEW&C system (also called AWACS - Airborne Warning and Control System) is being developed by the Bangalore-based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), a lab under the Defence Research and Development Organisation for the IAF.

Under a deal signed between India and Brazil in 2008, Embraer aircraft manufacturer would modify its EMB145 to carry Active Array Antenna Unit by India on the aircraft's fuselage.

Three modified EMB-145 aircraft would be developed under the agreement.

“AEW&C’s flying platform is the modified EMB145, which will take to skies later this year. It is scheduled to be delivered to us in Aug 2011,” CABS Director S Christopher said here.

Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday inaugurated the System Test and Integration Rig (STIR) complex at CABS for testing airborne systems.

Christopher said: “...our mission systems will be ready by this year. It will be tested in this rig in 2011, followed by flight testing in 2012.”

The indigenous AEW&C system would detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations, he said.

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