Bengaluru: Russia will deliver the first A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft developed on the Il-76MD military transport platform ''soon'', Vice-President of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Viktor Livanov said here on Thursday.
India had ordered three A-50EI variants fitted with the Israeli-made Phalcon radar system in 2001. The first aircraft was scheduled to arrive in 2007-08, but has been delayed.
"The AWACS version of Il-76 will be soon delivered to India,", Livanov said at a news conference during Aero India 2009. The A-50 is comparable to the E-3 Sentry of the US Air Force. It is fitted with an aerial refueling system and electronic warfare equipment, and can detect targets up to 400 km away.
The existing Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation program until 2010 includes up to 200 projects, and is worth about $18 billion. India has also purchased eight Boeing P-81 long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft from the United States, and signed a deal with Brazil to jointly integrate domestically developed AWACS systems onto three Brazilian-made Embraer-145 aircraft, for the Indian Air Force.