The Indian Air Force (IAF) is adequately equipped to cater for the threat environment that exists and is ready to meet the role assigned to it. Operational preparedness of IAF is reviewed from time to time based on the threat perception.
The first indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system on board Embraer-145 was inducted into Indian Air Force on 14.02.2017, with Initial Operational Configuration capabilities.
The system enables the armed forces to communicate with fighter jets and other AEW&C assets, while it also allows for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, mission planning as well as record and replay for post mission analysis.
The AEW&C system uses C band data link, Ku band SATCOM and a set of five V/UHF frequencies. The C band and Ku band links form redundant links for air to ground communications.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing three such systems at a cost of Rs 2,425 crore. Augmentation of airborne surveillance capabilities of IAF by way of procurement and indigenous production depends upon national security, strategic objectives and operational requirements of the defence forces and is reviewed by the Government from time to time. This is dynamic and continuous process.
The Airborne Surveillance System is a game changer in air warfare. The AEW&C System is a system of systems populated with state-of-the art Active Electronically Scanned Radar, Secondary Surveillance Radar, Electronic and Communication Counter Measures, LOS (Line of Sight) and beyond LOS data link, voice communication system and self protection suite, built on an Emb-145 platform, having an air to air refueling capability to enhance surveillance time.
A complex tactical software has been developed for fusion of information from the sensors, to provide the air situation picture along with intelligence to handle identification/classification threat assessment. Battle management functions are built in house to work as a network centric system of Integrated Air Command & Control System (IACCS) node.
This system has been developed and evaluated through collaborative efforts between DRDO and the IAF, with coordination for certification clearance and quality assurance by CEMILAC and DGAQA. The AEW&C system has undergone all weather and environmental trials and has been accepted by the IAF for induction.