Atmanibhar Bharat boost for India’s security: IAF to get Made in India AEW&C systems; Check details

By Financial Express

Amidst the ongoing standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a growing need is being felt for assets to help in monitoring the enemy movements round the clock on land, air and sea. On Thursday, at the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave approval for various platforms, equipment and systems for the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force at an approximate overall cost of Rs 28,000 crore.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that six of the seven proposals — Rs 27,000 crore of Rs 28,000 crore for which AoN (Acceptance of Necessity) was granted — is expected to be sourced from the Indian industry, and this will give a boost to `Atmanirbhar Bharat and `Make in India’ initiatives.

The approval has been granted for the acquisition of the DRDO designed and developed AEW&C Systems for the Indian Air Force, Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Indian Navy and Modular Bridges for the Indian Army.

What is AWACS?
Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) are eyes in the sky and are used for not only tracking but also helping in detecting the fighter jets, cruise missiles, and drones. And, these are faster than the ground-based radars, can be used in monitoring and tracking the ships out at sea.

What will the services get?
The original plan was to have the AEW&C systems were to be fixed on larger body jets A-330 which were earlier expected to be procured from Airbus. However, this procurement programme was put on hold.

Now, six A-319s and A-321 variants which are expected to be acquired from the Air India Fleet and modified will be having the AEW&C Systems fitted onboard. The indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is going to be mounted on them.

According to sources, the Centre for Airborne Studies Lab (CABS) under DRDO is in the process of executing the Block-2 project. This is expected to be much more advanced than the existing systems.

What do the services have?
As reported earlier by Financial Express Online, the IAF already has the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. These are meant to monitor the airspace deep inside the enemy territory and they operate on secure communication with network-centric warfare capabilities.

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