Delay in AWACS affecting Indian Air Force plan of actions – ZMR Blog
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Delay in AWACS affecting Indian Air Force plan of actions

Delay in AWACS affecting Indian Air Force plan of actions

Exploration aircraft AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) is considered as the army’s eye in the sky, which not only protects the security of the country but also helps to monitor the activities of enemies. India had a deal with Israel and Russia for the purchase of AWACS, which is currently at a halt. On the other hand, the effort to build it at the domestic level is very sluggish. The Indian Air Force has to face the strange situation. In this case, countries like China and Pakistan have overtaken us.

Such aerial surveillance system plays an important role in today’s time. These systems detect enemy drones, fighter aircraft, and cruise missiles swiftly with precision, as compared to radar on the ground. They also guide the air soldiers in the operation against enemy aircraft.

Given the importance of this, Pakistan and China have included it in the preferred military priority. Pakistan has seven such platforms that have been acquired from China in which, Karakorum Eagle ZDK-03 AWACS is the latest. One source said, “Pakistan is preparing to acquire three more such platforms. On the other hand, China has more than 20 volumes of the newest KJ-500.

The Indian Air Force now has only three AWACS, including the Phalcon radar systems from Israel. For Phalcon in 2004, $1.1 Billion was made and was included in the Indian Air Force in 2009–2011.


The Indian Air Force had inducted AEWC (Airborne Early Warning and Control System), developed at the domestic level, in its fleet seven years after the scheduled time in February of this year. While the eye’s range is only 250 km with 240 Degree coverage, while the range of AWACS such as Phalcon is more than 400 km with 360 Degree coverage.

Two more ‘Follow On’ Falcon AWACS, a tripartite deal with Russia and Israel, was stuck with the price. According to the sources, the government is ready to pay $800 Million for the two AWACS, while the demand of its manufacturers is $ 1.3 Billion, or about Rs 8,580 Crore.

One source said, “Russia has increased the price of IL-76, which is not acceptable to the government.”

Though the Ministry of Defense approved the project of Rs 5,113 Crore in March 2015, it is yet to give the contract. Under this project, the indigenous AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars will be installed on the Airbus A330.

Sources say that if the contract is given next year, it will take more 80 Months for two AWACS to be included in the operation.

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