The Indian Air Force (IAF) has another set of eyes in the sky which will allow it to pick up the even the low-level targets in the enemy's airspace.
This is the second of the indigenously designed Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems, which will help in adding more strength to the IAF's network-centric capabilities. The AEW&C system is an indigenously developed & produced airborne surveillance system by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and will be mounted on Brazilian Embraer aircraft.
Developed in India, the AEW&C system comes with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, it has a secondary surveillance radar, electronic and communication countermeasures.
It was formally inducted in the inventory of the IAF earlier this week at Air Force Station Bhisiana in the presence of Air Marshal R Nambiar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command.
According to the IAF, the system is mounted on an Embraer-145 aircraft and has been designed specifically to suit the operational requirements of the IAF. It is a proverbial “Eye in the Sky” and has a state-of-the-art integrated system which has multiple sensors, giving it an ability to pick up low-level targets deep inside the enemy’s airspace. It also has the capability of air-to-air refuelling.
When did IAF get its first AEW&C?
The first was inducted in service in 2017 and since then has been providing Air Defence surveillance and control from different terrains stretching from Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and to the Rann of Kutch.
From the time of its induction, it has participated in all major exercises conducted by the IAF in the last two years including the Ex-Cope India 2018. In Ex-Cope India it was controlling both the Indian and the US fighter aircraft. According to the IAF, this force multiplier has also undertaken the first-ever Air-to-Air refuelling by any transport aircraft.
With the induction of this indigenously built AEW&C aircraft, the IAF gets more potent and helps in its operational capability.