The IAF inducted its first indigenously developed airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system, mounted on a Brazilian Embraer-145 jet, on Tuesday ramping up its capability to detect enemy aircraft and missiles.
The Netra AEW&C system has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and has a range of around 200 km.
“The aircraft was handed over to the IAF on the opening day of Asia’s largest air show Aero India-2017, more than six years behind schedule. Over 550 defence and aerospace firms, including 279 foreign companies, are taking part in the biennial event being held at the Yelahanka air force base.
The induction of the AEW&C aircraft is the highlight of the airshow for the air force. We need to swiftly scale up our airborne surveillance capabilities,” a senior IAF officer said.
India inked a $208-million contract for three Brazil-built Embraer-145 planes in 2008 as part of a DRDO programme to scale up the IAF’s AEW&C capabilities. The deal was in the news last year due to kickback allegations.