IMAGE COPYRIGHT : Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review

A Scale model of the Ex-Air India Airbus A320 based AEW&C (airborne early-warning and control) aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF) will be showcased at Aero India 2021, confirming the radar configuration that will continue to use Two radiating planar arrays assembled back-to-back and mounted on top of the fuselage in an active antenna array unit (AAAU) to provide 240° coverage, same as seen on Netra 1.0 based on ERJ-145 aircraft.

Airbus A320 AEW&C also seems to indicate that it will be getting a new AESA Radar that will be replacing its Commercial weather surveillance radar (WSR) but it is yet to be confirmed. if it does get another Aesa radar at the nose than it will be for the first time any AEW&C aircraft could have used such configuration that could increase 240° coverage to 270° to 300° coverage. Scale model also puts to rest rumors of it being a Rotodome based AWACS providing a 360° coverage. AWACS India Program for development of next-generation AESA Radar with Rotodome based on bigger Airbus A330 is in development that will come after A320 Netra 2.0 AEW&C.

The IAF currently has two indigenously-built Netra and three Israeli-Russian-made PHALCON early warning aircraft as part of its arsenal. IAF plans to acquire two more PHALCON AWACS and also operate 6 A320 AEW&C and 6 A330 AWACS in near future.

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