Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft major, contracted to supply three platforms for India's Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) project, has announced that it has successfully conducted the maiden test flight.

The Company has to supply three EMB 145 aircraft, which India has chosen as the platform to build its ambitious surveillance system. A release from Sao Jose do Campos, the company headquarters said “All the planned tests were successful”.

The flight points to the delivery of the first aircraft during the first half of 2012, said Mr Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto, Senior Vice-President Operations-Embraer Defence and Security.

The Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bangalore the nodal lab of the Defence Research & Development Organisation is developing the advanced electronic systems, which will be installed in the aircraft and operated by the Indian Air Force.

India and Brazil had signed a deal in 2008, under which Embraer was to supply the aircraft. The fully integrated AEW&C system would be flight tested in 2012. The indigenous system, originally estimated to cost around Rs 1800 crore would detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations, according to DRDO officials.

The EMB 145 aircraft jet is a member of Embraer's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) family of aircraft and systems. Its primary mission is to detect, track and identify targets in its patrol area and transmit this information to friendly forces, in order to provide them with an accurate and comprehensive operational picture, the release said.

The Brazilian firm has already supplied four jets to the IAF, which are being used for transportation of Indian and foreign dignitaries, and a fifth is in the service with the Border Security Force.

soma@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2011)
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