On its First Voyage

Issue: 12-2011

The maiden flight of the first of three Embraer EMB 145 AEW&C aircraft for IAF was conducted recently

The maiden flight of the first of three Embraer EMB 145 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft ordered by India was conducted recently. The flight was well performed and all planned tests were successfully achieved. It took place at Embraer’s headquarters in São José do Campos. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2012.

“This flight concludes another important phase in this programme and starts the flight test campaign,” said Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto, Senior Vice President Operations & COO, Embraer Defense and Security. “We are moving towards delivery of the first aircraft during the first half 2012.”

Based on the proven Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, the aircraft features an in-flight refuelling system, satellite communication SATCOM capability, a significant increase in electrical and cooling capacities, and a comprehensive set of aerodynamic and structural changes. These improvements will allow the installation of the advanced electronic systems currently being developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) as the nodal agency.

Currently, four Embraer Legacy 600 jets are operated by the Indian Air Force for the transportation of Indian VIPs and foreign dignitaries and a fifth Embraer Legacy 600 is in service with the Border Security Force.

Its primary extended range AESA radar mounted in a dorsal unit, and avionics, communication systems, SATCOM, electronic and communication support measures will be tested in Bangalore starting June-July if tests in Brazil make good time. Having never had a chance to operate an indigenous airborne radar before the Indian Air Force will be hoping for performance that matches the best in the world. One of the most crucial elements of tests in India will be on the brand new data links developed in great secrecy by DRDO in Dehradun specifically for the AEW&C programme. The IAF hopes to acquire up to 20 aircraft, and has so far indented for four.