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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Airbus-321 fleet has commenced frequent sorties to calibrate the equipment being installed on the aircraft as part of the Netra Mk2 program. The program involves converting six Air India A321 commercial planes into Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.

The Airbus-321 fleet has already been stripped out of its commercial avionics and upgraded to military-grade. The aircraft will start receiving airborne sensors along with the main AESA radar from DRDO from next year.

The IAF’s Airbus-321 fleet crew has been seen wearing an A321 patch, which suggests that the aircraft are already operational. The frequent sorties being conducted are a crucial step in ensuring the operational readiness of the aircraft.

The Netra Mk2 program is expected to significantly enhance the IAF’s AEW&C capabilities. The new aircraft will provide the IAF with enhanced surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, allowing it to better monitor air activity in the region.

The program is expected to be completed by 2027. The IAF is also planning to procure more AEW&C aircraft in the future to further strengthen its surveillance capabilities.

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