According to the latest media reports Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria has backed the induction of more ‘NETRA’ Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) in the fleet. IAF already operates Two `Netra’ early warning aircraft mounted on the ERJ 145 airframe and the third one is currently with DRDO which likely will be transferred to IAF after being used as a Technological demonstrator for the AWACS India program.

Air Chief is pushing for induction of 5 more Netra AEW&CS system, which is likely to be mounted on the Airbus C-295 airframe in the same two radiating planar arrays assembled back-to-back and mounted on top of the fuselage to provide 240° coverage. At the Aero India 2019 DRDO’s had showcased its C295 AEW&C concept for the first time and had revealed its plans to integrate the same radar on the new platform.

Airbus recently confirmed that it is close to sealing a deal for the manufacturing of C-295 tactical transport from India to replace the aging Avro Hawker Siddeley HS748 fleet. DRDO will also be working on the development of the Airbus A330 AWACS Platform to provide 360° coverage like seen in the IL-76 Phalcon AWACS operated by the IAF and recently purchase of Two Airbus A330 was cleared by MOD in total six aircraft will be acquired in three phases of two aircrafts each.

IAF has plans to induct Six Airbus A330 AWACS and Five C295 Netra AEW&C which along with 3 L-76 Phalcon AWACS and 3 Netra ERJ 145 AEW&C will take the total of AWACS assets to the 17 while the need is for 20 aircraft.

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