INDIA LOOKS FOR FOREIGN PARTNER TO DEVELOP AEW&CS
By Bulbul Singh
28 Jul 09. India’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS)Bangalore, which is building the airborne early warning and control system (AEW&CS) developed in India, is looking for an overseas partner.
CABS wants help from the foreign partner to help integrate number of systems and sub-systems including the Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU), other antennas onto the three Brazil manufactured Embraer EMB-145 regional jets that India is using as the AEWC&S flying
CABS is likely to finalize the foreign partner in the next two months. The companies which are in the running for the $367 million program include Israel’s Elta, the European consortium EADS, France’s Thales, Sweden’s SAAB Erikson and the United State’s Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.
The radar for the AEWC&S is being manufactured by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment while the overall integration of the systems, mission computer, display and data handling is the responsibility of the Bangalore-based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).
CABS has also tied up with the Hyderabad-based private firm Astra
Microwave Products for development of trans-receiver multimodules.
The primary systems and sub-systems of the AEW&C will comprise
state-of art indigenous radar, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF)
Interrogator, Microwave Data Link, Electronic Support Measures,
Operator Display Consoles with tactical software and air-to-air voice and data channels. It will also have satellite communication links and search and rescue capabilities.
The payload capacity of the platform will be around 3000 kilograms
while the primary and secondary radar, mounted above the fuselage,
together with its associated electronics and support structures would
need around 1000 kilograms. Consequently, around 2000 kilograms will
be left for the cabin, mounted hardware of the radar, IFF
interrogator, Operator Works stations, Electronic Support Measure
[ESM] systems and Mission crew.
However, some parameters of the project are being changed from the conceived plan, due to increase in weight, following new Indian Air Force requirements.
The Indian Air Force now want a new generation phased-array airborne radar and other equipment which can be fitted underneath the aircraft fuselage. The aircraft platform should have higher endurance and can fly above 40,000 feet. The AWACS should also be capable of handling satellite signals and other transmissions.
The Indian government approved a DRDO proposal in 2004 to develop
a homegrown AWACS. The approval followed Pakistan’s deal with
Sweden for mounting Ericsson’s Erieye radar on Sweden’s Saab 2000
aircraft for use as Early Warning Command and Control Aircraft.
India’s state-owned CABS at Bangalore was been designated as the nodal
agency for the development of the homegrown AEWC&C.
The AEW&CS, working alongside the three Phalcon AEWC&C systems that the Air Force is acquiring from Israel, will become a force multiplier, filling gaps in the coverage provided by ground radars.
In 1999, the homegrown AWACS program of DRDO was suspended
following the crash of the homegrown The Indian Airborne
Surveillance Platform (ASP) during test trials.