Bangalore: The Government has given approval to the DRDO to develop an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) that can help the IAF keep an eye deep inside enemy territory.
An `in principal` approval was granted to the proposal for developing an indigenous AWACS at the recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, senior DRDO officials said here.
After the approval, the DRDO will now work towards finalising the further details of the programmes and the number of such aircraft that the IAF would require for giving a complete coverage of India`s boundaries, they said.
India already has a fleet of three AWACS aircraft supplied by Israel deployed on the Ilyushin-76 aircraft procured form Russia.
For the indigenous AWACS, the DRDO will look for an alternative aircraft of the size of the IL-76 and deploy its AWACS system on it, they said.
On the difference between the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft being developed by it and the proposed AWACS, they said the AWACS radar gives a 360 degree coverage while the AEW&C gives a covergae of 270 degrees.
AWACS have better capabilities and are mounted on larger aircraft, while AEW&C are mounted on smaller planes.
The Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) of the Defence Ministry envisages deployment of a mix of large AWACS and small Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System aircraft.
Under the AWACS project, the DRDO plans to develop a 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar.
Its current project for the AEW&C systems are based on three Embraer-145 jets.