Second indigenous airborne radar flight tested
New Delhi: India's second indigenous airborne warning radar built on board a Brazilian Embraer plane has been successfully flight tested, an official said on Thursday.
The test of the Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C), developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), took place at the San Jose dos Campos in Brazil.
AEW&C is a radar fitted on a plane and is called "an eye in the sky" as it provides intelligence on not only enemy aircraft taking off for across the border but also incoming missiles and troop movement on the ground.
It is a force multiplier in the sense it can enable quicker decision making by troop commanders for responding to threats before time.
"Maiden flight of the second fully modified aircraft for the indigenously developed AEW&C was held Thursday in Brazil," the DRDO official said in a statement.
"The necessary mission systems and components, including the dummy AAAU (Active Antena Array Unit) are successfully fitted on board Embraer EMB 145I aircraft," he said
An elated DRDO chief VK Saraswat said: "Good show, well done and congratulations!"
Saraswat credited team work for the success. "Systems integrated with the aircraft have performed very well," he said.
The flight marks an important milestone in the AEW&C programme. The aircraft will be delivered to India in June.
The other mission systems will then be integrated on to the aircraft, and mission system flight trials are likely to commence from November.
DRDO Chief Controller (Avionics) G. Elangovan congratulated the team of Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS) and associated work centres and also the team at Embraer.
CABS director S. Chrishtopher, who is also the programme director for AEW&C, said the system had been indigenously developed in a consortium mode with the help of DRDO and Indian industrial partners.
CABS, a DRDO lab, is the nodal laboratory entrusted with the task of delivering the AEW&C system.
The external mission systems were developed indigenously and fitted on the aircraft. The rest of the internal systems too will be integrated into the aircraft on arrival to India.
DRDO has signed a contract with Embraer to procure three EMB 145I and this aircraft will be the first to be delivered.