The first fully modified aircraft for the indigenously developed Indian Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) undertook its maiden flight in Brazil — taking the country a step forward as it prepares to enter a select club.
The modified Embraer aircraft with the radar took to the skies on Monday at the facilities of the manufacturer at Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil with about 1000 Mission System Components provided by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), an official release said.
These components include the critical item AESA (Active Electronic Scanning Antenna) Radar Antenna — developed by DRDO and certified from ANAC, International FAR Certification Agency.
“The flight is a major milestone towards realising the dream of indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System, which will put India in a select club of countries,” V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and DRDO chief, said congratulating scientists and engineers of his organisation and the manufacturer on the development.
While this aircraft will now undergo full certification process over the next two years, India will receive two aircraft by the middle of next year for integration of mission systems developed by various DRDO labs.
Currently, these systems are undergoing ground integration and evaluation at the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bangalore.
After detailed tests and evaluation, two of these systems will be delivered to the Indian Air Force by 2013, the release said, adding that with this the country is looking forward to joining the league of countries capable of developing and delivering such complex airborne systems to its user.