New Delhi, March 4: The government has approved a proposal for the indigenous development of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft by DRDO and the project is slated to be completed by 2020, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Lok Sabha Monday.
“To leverage the experience and expertise gained in the design and development of Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems, a project proposal for indigenous development of AWACS (India) by DRDO has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Feb 12, 2013. The development of AWACS (India) is envisaged to be completed in 84 months from the date of formal sanction of the Programme,” Antony said during Question Hour.
He said three AWACS aircraft were in use by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the government would procure more such planes.
He said the AWACS were meant as force multipliers for specific area cover and not for surveillance of the entire space of our country.
“All three AWACS are part of Network Centric Operations and are able to provide adequate coverage of specified areas in net Centric Operations. Enhancement of airborne surveillance and command and control capabilities of the IAF is sought to be achieved through procurement of additional AWACS,” he said.
Answering another query, he said modernisation of IAF was a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges, technological changes and available resources.
The minister said the IAF’s modernisation was progressing as per the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP 2012-2027) and Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
He said it takes two to three years to complete various stages of procurement and conclude the contract according to DPP.
Referring to proposed acquisition of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), the minister said contract negotiations were in progress with M/s Dassault Aviation, France.
He said DPP provides an effective framework for expeditious procurement for modernisation and to keep the armed forces in a state of operational readiness to meet any eventuality.