India will issue a request for information for the acquisition of three additional radar-equipped aerostats to be used by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The IAF, which bought three aerostats from Rafael in 2005, asked the Defence Ministry to prepare a request for information (RFI) last month, according to DefenseNews.

RFIs will be issued to BAE Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rosoboronexport and Thales in the next two to three months.

The aerostats will be able to carry a payload of 2,400kg to 15,000ft for 28 days at a time, and can act as an airborne warning and control system (AWACS).

It will also be able to carry radars that can spot aircraft and missiles up to 300km away.

The systems will also carry air and surface surveillance radars, electronic and communication intelligence gear and V/UHF radio telephony equipment with an identification friend or foe system.

The IAF has plans to integrate the aerostat on three AWACS purchased from Israel.