India has taken delivery of its first EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft under contract from Embraer Defense and Security at Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

Prior to delivery, the aircraft had successfully completed ground and flight tests, and met operational targets set by both Embraer and the Defence Research & Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).

The aircraft will be handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF), following the installation of DRDO-developed missions systems.

Luiz Carlos Aguiar, Embraer Defense and Security president and CEO, said: “The collaboration with DRDO in such a complex programme strengthens the ties between Brazil and India.”

Dr Elangovan, DRDO R&D (Avionics & Aero) chief controller, said the AEW&C features in-flight refuelling system, significant increase in electric and cooling capacity and a comprehensive set of structural changes, which will enable integration of advanced mission systems that are developed by CABS along with its work centres of DRDO.

Dr. Christopher, CABS director and AEW&C programme director, said the programme’s success represents the symbol of cooperation between India and Brazil.

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”The airborne Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) designed and developed by CABS, is now flying on top of this modified Embraer aircraft is one example of such cooperation,” Christopher added.

A total of three AEW&C aircraft were ordered by IAF from Embraer under a $208m deal in July 2008, to help enhance its air defence capability.

The contract also included provision of a comprehensive package for training, technical support, spare parts, as well as ground support equipment.

A derivative of the Embraer ERJ-145 regional jetliner, the EMB-145 features an airborne early warning radar and mission system, reinforced airframe, new navigation and communication systems, enhanced auxiliary power unit (APU) and increased fuel capacity.

The aircraft is also operated by Brazilian, Hellenic, and Mexican air forces.

Image: The Indian Air Force’s first EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft during its flight. Photo: courtesy of Copyright 2011 Embraer SA.