Successful first flight on the indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System, built by the DRDO's Centre for Airborne Systems - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 7 December 2011

Successful first flight on the indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System, built by the DRDO's Centre for Airborne Systems

The Ministry of Defence press release on this landmark occasion is posted below:


New Delhi: Agrahayana 16, 1933
Thursday, Dec 07, 2011

The first fully modified Aircraft for indigenously developed Indian Airborne Warning and Control System (AEW&C) took to skies yesterday, as part of its first maiden flight in Embraer facilities at Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil with about 1000 Mission System Components provided by CABS, DRDO. These include the critical item – AESA (Active Electronic Scanning Antenna) Radar Antenna developed by DRDO and certified from ANAC, International FAR Certification Agency.

“The flight is a major milestone towards realizing the dream of indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System, which will put India into a select club of countries” said Dr. VK Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri congratulating DRDO Scientists and M/s Embraer Engineers on this achievement.

While this Aircraft will now undergo full certification process over next two years, India will receive two aircrafts by middle of next year. Here, the Mission Systems developed by various DRDO labs will be integrated with these aircrafts. Currently, these systems are undergoing ground integration and evaluation at the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), Bangalore.

Two of these systems will be delivered to IAF after detailed Test and Evaluation by 2013.

With the advent of this, India is looking forward to join the league of countries capable of developing and delivering such complex Airborne System of Systems to its user.


  1. Congrats for new AEW. And congrats for using HINDI DATE; wish u shall continue this practice in future posts as well

  2. I am pleasantly surprised at this development. However, I am still not sure if we have the type of expertise and fabrication technology that allows us to create efficient AESA radars. India can't even make the standard radars so this will amount to quantum leap in technology. Ajai it would be nice if you do a write up on this subject with more deeper information. Has India managed to crack the GaN molecule that makes this possible? Also, compared to American AESA where do we stand? Can this radar be miniaturized to be used in fighters nose cone?
    And finally, did we really make this or this is just a paint job over Israeli system like the green pine radar.

  3. It is truly a landmark occasion.

  4. Good effort by DRDO. I would still praise DRDO if some of the things in this project are not DRDO made / designed. It is still an achievement. Far Far better than doing each and everything on your own and then keep delaying, which would only tarnish DRDO's image.

    -Sudheendra S

  5. If only we could put this atop a proper SARAS

  6. Cautiously happy! An AEW&C is probably the most complex airborne radar system and DRDO has displayed very little success in this segment so far.

  7. Hindi date? what's wrong with Julian calendar?

    what's next?

    hope we spend time in making products Indian than making dates and names Indian and buying foreign maal and naming them like Vijayanta, Bhishma etc..

  8. anon@22:38, its amusing you claim India can't even make standard radars and that the greenpine is painted over israeli tech (what??)when you don't see to have the foggiest idea about this radar or radars in general. the internet is a wonderful thing, ever used google before asking ajai to do your work for you? its not GaN molecule BTW but GaN modules. and no GaN modules are not common yet because of cost, and most AESAs like the DRDO AESA use GaAs modules (Gallium Arsenic). coming to india not making radars, leaving even license produced ones apart, india is currently making 9 radars of its own design. 4 more are in development, and all these 4 happen to be AESAs. at least learn something of what you speak.

  9. Congrats DRDO for this wonderful accomplishment! Hope to see this bird in active duty soon with IAF.

    @Anon 22:38
    You are right. India has acquired the radar from Israel, plane from Brazil & painted them with Chinese paint. This is because we cannot even produce good quality paint. DRDO is of no use & it should be sold to private entities.
    But guess what, DRDO is in such pathetic situation because it's lacking great minds-like you! So please don't limit yourself over the internet and come out in open & join DRDO. From your comment, I can make out that you have complete knowledge of not only RADARs but also different paint jobs.

    However, I will try to answer some of your queries as per my (Indian)knowledge:-
    1) Has India managed to crack the GaN molecule that makes this possible?- We tried, but guess what there was nothing inside. In America, they found out atoms, electrons, etc inside GaN molecule when they cracked it, but our molecule was a fake one(because of corrupt babus)
    2) Compared to American AESA where do we stand? We do not even stand or sit, we are sleeping.
    3) Can this radar be miniaturized to be used in fighters nose cone- No, again because of lack of knowledge (pathetic DRDO). So, we have decided to put that hump over the fuselage(spine) of all our fighter aircrafts. This will free up the nose cone area, where we will fit two AK 47s(not INSAS because they are of no use). Leg space will also increase-better crew comfort!

  10. does anyone even remember the early tech demonstrators based on the avros? which crashed...

    mixed feelings here...


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