The 3rd NETRA Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) that is owned by DRDO but operated with help of IAF crew and used as a Technology demonstrator (TD) for the Program might be on its way to officially being transferred to the IAF in the coming months, later will see induction into service fleet. The IAF currently operates two indigenously-built Netra and three Israeli-Russian-made PHALCON early warning aircraft as part of its arsenal.

NETRA 2.0 AWACS will, reportedly, be fitted on modified Airbus A320 jets operated by the national carrier, Air India. According to informed sources close to, work on the Netra TD is almost over, as the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), now shifts its focus on the development of the NETRA 2.0 AWACS program that was officially approved last year.

DRDO had offered 3rd plane to Indian Air Force (IAF) or was considering to sell them to an International Export Customer but after the Pakistan Air force expanded its Airborne Early Warning and Control System fleet that now stands at 11, double that of IAF, it’s now has been decided to induct them after transferring it from DRDO. IAF unofficially has been using DRDO’s 3rd Netra AWACS to monitor border airspace in different sectors and is keen to keep it that way, instead of letting DRDO sell it off.

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