IAF to order additional Phalcon AWACS

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is all set to place orders for an additional two Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) systems, over and above the two already in service and the third one due to be inducted soon.

IAF's first AWACSThe Phalcon AWCS system is mounted on Russian Ilyushin-76 aircraft. The IAF has already inducted two of these aircraft into its fleet, one in May last year and another in March this year, and is scheduled to induct the third one in December of this year.

Reports quote the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, as saying that the force had moved forward the case for the addition of two more of these aircraft with authorities.

The Israeli Phalcon AWACS system was contracted for in 2004 under a tripartite agreement involving India, Russia and Israel for $1.1 billion. The Il-76 aircraft frames were sourced from Uzbekistan and have been equipped with improved engines and Russian avionics. 

The first of the AWACS arrived in India in May 2009 after innumerable delays resulting from delayed delivery of aircraft by the Uzbeks and synergising of Russian and Israeli systems.

The second arrived in March 2010 and the third is slated to be inducted by December.