Five frontline laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are working to develop the system which would be 85 per cent indigenous, Prahlada, Chief Controller, R & D (Aerospace and Services Interaction), DRDO, told The Hindu here. The Centre for Airborne Systems, Defence Avionics Research Establishment, Defence Electronics Research Laboratory, Defence Electronics Application Laboratory and Electronics and Radar Development Establishment are involved in the prestigious project.
While three of the systems would be integrated on board the Brazilian Embraer EMB 145 jet and delivered by 2014, the aircraft on which the remaining six AWACS would be mounted was yet to be decided. The DRDO received the sanction for developing the six AWACS costing Rs.10,000 crore, he added. The delivery of these AWACS to the IAF would begin from 2015. They would be used for air defence, surveillance and network-centric operations.
With the three services requiring several aerostats, the DRDO would be making two types of military aerostats — the first type to carry military payloads up to an altitude of 1,000 metres and the second up to a height of 5,000 metres.
Already a 1,000-metre aerostat was afloat and its functions were demonstrated to both the Army and Air Force, he added.
Dr. Prahlada said the aerostats would be used for surveillance, jamming of electronic systems, intelligence data gathering and for communication relay.
The radar of the 1,000-metre aerostat would have a coverage of 150 km, while that of the 5,000-metre one would be up to 200 to 250 km.
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