April 6, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
In a bid to boost its aerial surveillance, India will buy six aircraft that can be used for supporting its indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System, according to Aviation Week.
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“A tender has been floated to global vendors for the supply of suitable aircraft with necessary structural modifications, power and endurance adaptations and equipment installation or installation provisions for the Awacs,” says an official at the defense ministry.
Though the type of aircraft hasn’t been specified, India is looking at acquiring a platform that can support an Awacs antenna dome, which is about 10 meters in diameter. The aircraft also should have provisions for the installation of all external and internal elements of the mission systems, the official adds.
Only original aircraft manufacturers are qualified to submit the bids. Also, “the vendors should be willing to support the product for a period not less than 30 years from the date of acceptance of the aircraft,” he says.
According to the defense ministry official, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is developing the radars and sensors, is looking at either the Boeing-767 or Airbus A330 as the new platform. However, vendors such as Ilyushin, Antonov, Sukhoi, Bombardier and Saab could also be in the running.
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