In a major boost for the indigenous defence industry, India is going to make six new Airborne Early Warning and Control planes to be developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on aircraft from Air India to further improve Air Force's surveillance capabilities along borders with China and Pakistan.


Government sources said that as per the discussions on the AEW&C Block 2 aircraft to be developed by the DRDO under a Rs 10,500 crore project, the six aircraft would be acquired from the Air India fleet and modified to fly with a radar that will give 360-degree surveillance capability to the defence forces.

政府消息人士稱,根據對AEW&C block 2型飛機的討論,這個由DRDO負責的項目耗資1050億盧比,將從印度航空公司機隊購買六架飛機,并進行改裝,搭載一種雷達,為國防部隊提供360度監視能力。

The project to build the AEW&C system on existing aircraft from the Air India fleet may also mean that India may not buy the six Airbus 330 transport aircraft planned to be acquired earlier from the European firm, the sources said.


The Defence Research and Development Organisation had earlier planned to build six Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) on the Airbus 330 aircraft for which some facilities were planned to be created in Bengaluru.


Sources said the project has been planned in a way to promote Make in India in defense and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.


The IAF has three PHALCON AWACS systems bought by it from Israel and Russia under which the radar is provided by the Israelis whereas the platform used is the Russian Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft.


The two NETRA aircraft provided by the DRDO have also performed very well in the recent conflicts where they have flown extensively to keep an eye on the enemy activity.


The six new 'eyes in the sky' would be stationed at different places in the countries for effective surveillance long both the borders, the sources said.