The Indian Air Force (IAF) has informed StratPost the first of three IL-76 platform-based Phalcon AWACS aircraft will arrive in India on Monday.
The aircraft, to be flown in by IAF pilots, will land in Jamnagar and are likely to be inducted in a ceremony tentatively scheduled for Wednesday in New Delhi. The aircraft will ultimately be stationed at IAF Agra.
The IAF statement reads as follows:
Heralding a new chapter, the first Indian Air Force AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platform that altogether sets to alter the dimension of the see-through capability of the IAF beyond conventional visions of ground-based and tethered electromagnetic sensors, will arrive in India on May 25.
On its maiden flight from Israel to India, the veritable flying-giant with an all-pervasive electromagnetic vision will land first at Jamnagar in western Gujarat and arrive at Palam airport the following day. Although slated to operate from Agra, home to the mammoth Ilyushin family in India, an induction ceremony awaits the first AWACS in the National Capital.
The ceremony will be attended by among others the Chief of the Air Staff, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs of the Western and Central Air Command and other senior dignitaries from the Ministry of Defense, Air HQs besides air warriors from the squadron itself.
The AWACS is an airborne mission support system fitted on an IL-76 aircraft with improved engines. With radar that can help detect even a cruise missile or an aircraft at ranges far more than the ranges detected through the present ground-based radars, the AWACS radar, most sophisticated to date, can collate surface information about troop movements and missile launches even while listening to highly confidential communications between enemy front-line units.
Air combats the world over are now envisaged in an ever-increasing electronic surveillance environment where pilots have little liberties for individual maneuvering without endangering their own lives or safety of their aircraft. The IAF AWACS will help pilots find hitherto inconceivable space and room for tactical maneuvers in the air under controlled directions that will give them an edge over their adversaries at all times.
AWACS, a potent force-multiplier, will significantly enhance the effectiveness of both – offensive and defensive operations. The intensity and pace of modern air battle need AWACS for a successful air defence umbrella to be maintained. The swift mobility that the AWACS platform provides will help neutralize any threat as it can be moved anywhere at a very short notice.