India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation has made an offer to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to equip Airbus C-295 aircraft with upgraded Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system.

On 26 February, India deployed an indigenously-made AEW&C system mounted on an Embraer aircraft in the aerial strike against terror group based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir making it the first time such a system has been used in combat by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The aircraft guided IAF’s 12 Mirage-2000 fighter jets used to bomb multiple camps operated by the terror group.

DRDO's NETRA AWACS on a Embraer platform

The C-295 tactical air-lifter will soon be manufactured by Airbus-TATA in India. Airbus C295 Netra on offer to IAF will have same Two radiating planar arrays assembled back-to-back and mounted on top of the fuselage in an active antenna array unit (AAAU) will provide 240° coverage but with improved capabilities.

Airbus also has an Airborne Early Warning version of C-295 which has a static radar dome to provide a 360 Degrees coverage which DRDO is also ready to offer as a by-product of AWACS INDIA if IAF wants it aircraft in this package.

DRDO already has started testing static radar dome mounted on top of a building to test new radar developed for the AWACS INDIA program.

IAF’s long-pending quest to induct two more AWACS based on Israeli Phalcon early-warning radar systems mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 too has been pending due to the increased price quoted both by Israel and Russia which has forced IAF to solely depend on 3 Phalcon AWACS procured earlier.

Second Netra aircraft is yet to be inducted into IAF due to changes and improvements asked by IAF.

DRDO also plans to offer an Airbus C-295 variant for Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions to Indian Navy.