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Phalcon AWACS inducted into the Indian Air Force

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Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) fitted in Russian plane. Photo credit: PTI

NEW DELHI (PTI): India today joined an elite club of nations when it inducted the first of the three AWACS systems that will help the air force detect incoming missiles and enemy aircraft that may take off from across the border.

Expected to substantially enhance India's capability to keep an eye on enemy activities in air, land and the sea, the AWACS bought from Israel was formally handed over to the IAF's newly-formed Agra-based 50 Squadron at a brief ceremony here.

Symbolically, Defence Minister A K Antony handed over a key to Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major at the Palam air base here.

"This is a historic day for both the Air Force and the country that will enhance the national security apparatus. AWACS have been a long-standing operational requirement and much-needed for the IAF's modernisation process," Antony told a gathering of diplomats, bureaucrats and IAF officers at the induction ceremony here.

AWACS is described as "an eye in the sky" because of its capability to carry out surveillance at about 400-km range under all-weather situation and to lock on to 60 targets simultaneously.

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