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India keen to develop AWACS
India is hoping for a breakthrough in its experiments with Airborne Warning and Control Systems, Awacs, after the project suffered a setback in 2004.

The programme re-started five years after an airborne early warning plane crashed in Tamil Nadu killing eight scientists and the pilot.

"The airborne warning and control system has become an integral part of any air force's operations," said Air Marshall P Rajkumar, former director of Aeronautical Development Agency.

He said, that India is buying three airborne control systems from Israel and added the Indian air force has no experience with Awacs aircraft.

The Indian air force is training with such planes for the first time at the India-US joint air exercises in Kalikunda, according to Rajkumar.

India is keen to have its own Awacs, and scientists admit the crash of the airborne plane slowed efforts.

"Programme was not abandoned [but] it went on like a drip mode or a slow mode," said former director of CABS, DRDO, Dr K Ramchand

It was this time, he added that the Israeli's offered their technology to India, which was accepted.

Ramchand is confident India will make its own airborne warning systems soon.

"In the next ten years India will have a very cost effective AWACS costing less than 20 million dollars".

India's plans don't stop there.

"After the Awacs programme, the next is the Joint Stars programme. The Awacs controls the air battle and the Joint Stars will control the land battle," Ramchand said.

Despite the setbacks, Indian avionics scientists remain passionate and committed to the idea of building an indigenously developed Awacs, which will one day fly in the Indian Air Force.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 4:09 PM


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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
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