Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has decided to go with A330 as the platform for the Indian AWACS effort, DRDO had issued RFP to Major Aerospace companies for possible supply of 6 Aircraft’s to mount new AWACS radar on larger platform and Airbus emerged sole bidder .

Model of Airbus A330 fitted with a radome was recently displayed at Aero India 2015 and due to the single bidder situation they were doubts if Parrikar will clear the deal. As per tender documents which has gone through, Winning bidder also has to carry out modification to the air frame for sensors and also develop new radome and clear all airworthiness certification before it is delivered to India for Integration of Radar and other sensors.

India will initially order 6 aircrafts which can be further extended to 10 more aircrafts at a later stage.Project funding is already cleared by Government and the first aircraft will be ready to be handed over to Indian air force by 2020 as per DRDO timeline.

Airbus A330 multirole tanker transport which has been selected by IAF also uses the same A330 platform and as per sources deal will be inked by June this year for tankers. DRDO already has developed smaller AEW&C system based on Embraer EMB-145 aircrafts which will be handed over to IAF soon and likely will get IOC by year end.