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Approval for AWACS Project
Apr 02, 2015

The Centre sanctioned Rs. 5,113-crore project to develop a next-generation Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS), which will act as a 360-degree Eye in the Sky, and also approved purchase of two Airbus A330 aircraft for the same. 

  • Airbus was the only bidder in the AWACS programme and the approval for purchase of the aircraft is the first deal in a single-vendor situation that has been sanctioned by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

  • AWACS has the capability to penetrate longer distances within enemy territory by way of radars and electronic warfare systems without venturing into the region physically. 

  • AWACS is different from an ongoing Embraer-based Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS)

  • It is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and will initially be for two aircraft with the aim being to have six such in total. 

  • AWACS is a heavier and high endurance system which can give 360-degree coverage as against the AEW&C, which is about 270-degree coverage. 

  • Compared to AEW&C, AWACS flies at a higher altitude and can penetrate deeper into enemy territory, not physically, but by way of radars and EW (electronic warfare) systems

  • It can remain in the sky for larger duration and enables better visibility. 

  • The DAC also approved the purchase of 1,512 mine ploughs for T90 tanks for Rs. 710 crore and 30 weapon-locating radar for Rs. 1,605 crore. 

  • No decision was taken on the multi-crore Avro replacement programme in which an Airbus-Tata consortium is the only bidder. 

  • A fresh request for proposal for 220 Truck-Mounted Lifting Device was also approved by DAC at a cost of Rs. 24 crore. 

 


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