The IAF has formally inducted the first indigenously built Airborne Early Warning and Control System Netra developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation at the Aero India exhibition in Bengaluru.
These airborne warning systems, capable of long range surveillance, are huge force multipliers. Netra is based on Embraer aircraft and three systems are to be developed.First of these, handed over by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, is in the Initial Operational Configuration.
It is expected to achieve Final Operational Configuration (FOC) by June.By that time, the second system would also be ready, said Dr. J Manjula Director General, Electronics & Communication Systems, DRDO.
DRDO- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Republic of India, charged with the military's research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems.
DRDO is India's largest and most diverse research organisation. The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.
AEWCS Aircraft (Airborne Early Warning and Control System Aircraft)- The AEWACS aircraft will have an active electronically scanned array (AESA) primary radar with IFF. The system will also have ESM (Electronic Support Measures) and CSM (Communications Support Measures) ability.
Data-links to network the AEWACS with fighters, and ground based control systems will also be provided, as will be the SATCOM (Satellite Communication System). The aircraft will also have a comprehensive self- defence suite. The avionics suite will be linked via a data handling system, controlled by Mission computers.