The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has reportedly approved the purchase of two more Phalcon Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) in defence sales, totalling approximately $3bn, from Israel.
Under the terms of the tripartite agreement with Israel and Russia, the Israeli-made Phalcon radars will be mounted on Russian IL-76 aircraft, reported The Hindu.
The agreement also covers provision for 164 Litening-4 laser-designation pods, 250 advanced Spice 2000 precision stand-off bombs, Sukhoi Su-30MKI and Jaguar combat aircraft, as well as 321 Spike anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems, according to Business Standard.
Additionally, the deal includes four more aerostat radars and a medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) that would replace its aging, Russian-made systems.
The AWACS can simultaneously track flying objects within a radius of 800km and has a ‘look-down capability’ for monitoring movements on the ground or in the sea.
In 2003, India signed a similar agreement with Israel to procure three Phalcon AWACS for $1bn which were inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF)
Currently, the IAF use the AWACS to detect and track troop build-ups or aircraft movements in border areas and enemy territories.
Designed to detect incoming hostile cruise missiles and aircraft in a 400km range, the AWACS additionally direct air defence fighters during combat operations against enemy planes.