India, Israel in talks on AWACS deal

IAI technology implemented in Russian planes might become Israel's largest ever defense deal.

awacs 224.88 (photo credit: )
awacs 224.88
(photo credit: )
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India are in advanced talks regarding interests in New Delhi to purchase three new Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) from Israel, in what could turn into the biggest defense contract in the country's history. In 2004, Israel signed a $1.1 billion deal with India to supply three Phalcon AWACS, built on Russian Ilyushin-76 airplanes, to the Indian Air Force. The first of the planes, which is currently undergoing flight tests in Russia, is scheduled to be supplied by September. The other two aircraft are set to be supplied in 2009 and 2010. If India orders three new platforms, their delivery would most likely only begin in the next decade. Officials said the price would range from $300 million-$400m. per aircraft. Officials added that the Indian Defense Ministry was currently holding internal debates over the possibility of purchasing three additional aircraft. The new deal would involve the same configuration as the one in 2004 and includes a radar and electronic intelligence system designed and manufactured by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems Group installed in an Ilyushin-76 aircraft supplied by Russia. The Phalcon (phased array L-band conformal radar) was designed and manufactured by Elta. It includes radar, electronic intelligence systems, and communication equipment. It has already sold a similar system to the Chilean air force. The Phalcon will give India a force multiplier by acquiring AWACS that can detect aerial threats and serve as a platform to direct combat jets to targets. It is an all-weather system capable of logging 60 targets simultaneously and has a range of up to 400 km.