August 23, 2014

IAF contests Russian A-50 buy claim

The Indian Air Force has deflected claims emerging from senior Russian officials at the three-day Oboronexpo 2014 trade show, which ends today, that India is set to order three more A-50 PHALCON AWACS aircraft from Russia. While the IAF has confirmed that talks are currently on following an offer from the Russians, it has said that no final decision has yet been taken, given that the IAF has been keen on a different aircraft platform for the AWACS role. Reasons being ascribed to the concern chiefly weigh on the low availability rates of the Il-76 platform. The three PHALCON AWACS jets contracted in 2003 are currently operational at Agra. The Indian Air Force has also been promised the first indigenous DRDO-Embraer AEW&C aircraft, followed by two more over the next year, if there are no slippages in the flight test schedule currently on at three locations across the country. The DRDO has also tendered for new aircraft for its revived AWACS programme.


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