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Indian Air Force confirms plans to acquire Air India A320s

 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:46 am    Post subject: Indian Air Force confirms plans to acquire Air India A320s Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/104980-indian-air-force-confirms-plans-to-acquire-air-india-a320s

Indian Air Force confirms plans to acquire Air India A320s

23.06.2021

The Indian Air Force (IFC, Delhi Int'l) plans to significantly expand its airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) capabilities through the addition of six ex-Air India A320-200s and possibly more modified E145s, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria told technology news website Ele Times.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), a state-run defence company, announced plans to acquire and convert six of Air India's aircraft in December 2020. At that time, the project was estimated to require NR105 billion rupees (USD1.4 billion) in funding. However, even though more than half a year have passed since the initial announcement, the transaction has yet to be finalised and the aircraft inducted into conversion.

However, Bhadauria said that even as the six Airbus aircraft would significantly expand the Indian Air Force's AEW&C capabilities, they would still not suffice in light of growing tensions with China.

It is unclear how many additional E145s the DRDO and the Indian Air Force is planning to add. Bhadauria also did not explain whether the military would seek to order the aircraft directly from the manufacturer or source them from the second-hand market.

India's current AEW&C fleet comprises three EMB-145SMs as its AEW&C platform, although only two are deployed in active service and one remains used as a testbed. The three Embraer regional jets were acquired by the air force directly from the manufacturer and delivered in 2012 (two) and 2015 (one), the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. The air force also has one Il-76A-50EI for electronic warfare.

Air India owns nineteen A320-200s, of which just four remain in service (alongside five units of the type dry leased from CALC).

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/eyes-in-sky-centre-clears-project-worth-rs-11-crore-to-build-6-early-warning-aircraft/articleshow/86083841.cms

Centre clears project worth Rs 11 crore to build 6 'early-warning' aircraft

Sep 10, 2021

The government has given the final nod to the mega Rs 10,990 crore indigenous project to build six AEW&C (airborne early-warning and control) aircraft, which are critical in modern warfare as powerful “eyes in the sky”, to bolster the IAF’s surveillance capability along the borders with China and Pakistan.

Sources said the DRDO project, which will entail mounting indigenous 360-degree coverage AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars on six Airbus-321 passenger aircraft to be acquired from the existing Air India fleet, was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday. Chaired by PM Modi, the CCS had also cleared the long-pending Airbus-Tata project to build 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft at a cost of over Rs 21,000 crore (around $3 billion), as was reported by TOI.

The AEW&C project, which was accorded the initial “acceptance of necessity” by the defence ministry in December last year, is especially crucial because both Pakistan and China are far ahead of India in this arena. Under the project, the first flight trial of the AEW&C aircraft is now expected to take place in four years, with the entire project being completed in seven years.

IAF currently has just three Israeli Phalcon AWACS mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft, with 360-degree radar coverage at a 400-km range. It also has two indigenous ‘Netra’ AEW&C aircraft, with indigenous 240-degree coverage radars with a 250-km range, fitted on smaller Brazilian Embraer-145 jets. “The new AEW&C aircraft will be a major upgrade on the Netra in terms of 360-degree coverage and longer range.

The A-321 planes will be bought from Air India at a much cheaper rate and then modified with the help of Airbus to fit the indigenous radars and other equipment. Their entire maintenance and service will be in India,” said a source.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/107729-india-approves-conversion-of-six-a319s-into-aewc-units


India approves conversion of six A319s into AEW&C units

16.09.2021

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a INR110 billion rupee (USD1.5 billion) programme to build six airborne early warning and command (AEW&C) aircraft based on A319-100s operated by Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l).

While the government committee's approval is the most significant step in the process, the technical steps related to the acquisition and conversion of the aircraft will be managed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is expected to start issuing the appropriate tenders in the near future. The Indian cabinet hopes that as much touch labour as possible will be performed in the country and in-house by the DRDO, although it did not commit to converting the aircraft as a whole in India.

The plan was first announced in December 2020, although, at that time, it was not clear which Air India aircraft would be used.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air India currently operates twenty-one A319-100s, which are 13.2 years old on average. 19 of them are owned by the carrier, with one each leased from Zephyrus Aviation Capital and Avolon.

It is not clear whether the order for the six A319s will lead to the scrapping of Indian Air Force's existing commitment for six A330s ordered by the DRDO from Airbus for conversion into AEW&C aircraft. The air force's existing surveillance fleet comprises three EMB-145SMs and one Il-76A-50EI.

During the same session, the cabinet approved the acquisition of fifty-six CN-295MWs transport turboprops, including 16 due to be delivered to India from Europe and 40 licence-built by Tata Corporation in the country. The aircraft will replace the IAF's ageing BAe 748s.

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