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India to roll out indigenous AEW aircraft by 2012

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The DRDO developed Airborne Early Warning and Control System will be integrated into Brazilian-manufactured Embraer-145 aircraft. An Embraer photo

BANGALORE (PTI): India’s indigenously developed Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&CS) aircraft will be ready for roll out by January next year with its flight trials starting by this year-end, Defence Minister A K Antony has said.

Antony said this while handing over the Initial Operational Clearance certificate for light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas to the Indian Air Force (IAF) here on Monday.

The Centre for Air-Borne Systems (CABS), DRDO, Bangalore, is developing the Airborne Early Warning and Control System which would be integrated into the Brazilian-manufactured Embraer-145 aircraft.

The system, designed to detect and distinguish hostile aircraft, would help in enhancing the surveillance and strike capability of the IAF. It can be used to direct fighters and strike aircraft to their targets and warn them of hostile enemy aircraft in the area from miles away.

The system would provide the IAF with the capability to track missiles and network with ground stations.

It comprises many sub-systems like radar and communication links that are being designed and developed by DRDO. This is a multi-laboratory programme of DRDO coordinated by CABS, Bangalore.

The EMB-145 aircraft is being modified to carry DRDO’s Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU), mounted on top of the aircrafts fuselage, officials associated with the project said.

India and Brazil had inked a deal in 2008 under which Embraer will modify its EMB-145 to carry the AAAU on the aircraft’s fuselage.

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