India to make 6 new ‘Airborne Early Warning and Control Planes’

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to make six new Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) planes on aircraft from Air India. The control planes would be used to improve the surveillance capabilities of Air Force across its borders with China and Pakistan.

AEW&C planes

  • Making of the plane will boost the indigenous defence industry.
  • DRDO has planned to make this project in order to promote the Make in India in defence and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • The aircrafts would be developed by the DRDO under Rs 10,500 crore.
  • The aircrafts would be acquired from Air India fleet.
  • It will also be modified to fly with a radar that will provide 360-degree surveillance capability in the defence forces. These aircrafts are being called as “Six new eyes in the sky”.
  • These aircrafts will be stationed at different places across the country so as to surveillance effectively along the borders with China and India.
  • These new planes will be highly capable than their predecessor NETRA plane.
  • The planes will provide 360-degree coverage deep inside the enemy territory.
  • These new aircraft will be sent to a European destination to the original equipment manufacturer. It will modify the planes for the installation of the Radar.

Why India decided to built AEW&C system?

India decided to build these AEW&C systems on the existing Air India’s aircraft signals. This would enable India to do away with the plan to buy six Airbus 330 transport aircraft from the European firm.


The Indian Air Force also bought three PHALCON AWACS systems from Israel and Russia. Radar was provided by Israel and Russia provided Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft.

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