Embraer Defense and Security delivered the first of three EMB-145 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the government of India on August 13. The aircraft, fitted with an Indian-developed airborne early warning radar, was delivered at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil.
The active electronically scanned array radar, positioned above the fuselage of the modified regional jet, was developed by the Bangalore-based Center of Airborne Systems (Cabs), a laboratory that forms part of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The research organization said the radar measures 10m by 1m by 0.5m and weighs 1,600 kg (3,527 pounds). The structural radar with dummy electronics is certified for airworthiness by Brazil’s ANAC national civil aviation agency.
Delivery of the first modified aircraft followed the completion of ground and flight tests that met operational targets established by both Embraer and Cabs. The DRDO will integrate mission avionics in India and deliver the aircraft to the Indian Air Force. The aircraft “features major capabilities such as an in-flight refueling system, a significant increase in electric and cooling capacity and a comprehensive set of structural changes that will allow installation of the advanced mission systems,” said G. Elangovan, DRDO chief controller for avionics and aeronautics research.
Embraer is modifying three EMB-145s for the AEW&C mission under an agreement signed between India and Brazil in 2008. The agreement includes training, technical support, parts and ground support equipment. Embraer has also delivered 12 EMB-145s equipped with the Saab Erieye active phased array pulse Doppler radar to detect and track air and surface targets, including five to Brazil, four to Greece and one to Mexico. The aircraft is designated E-99 by the Brazilian Air Force.
The Indian EMB-145s will join four Embraer Legacy 600s operated by the Indian Air Force for the transportation of Indian government officials and foreign dignitaries. A fifth Legacy 600 is operated by the Border Security Force under India’s Home Ministry.