The Indian Airforce (IAG) has formally inducted the first indigenously built Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) dubbed as NETRA.
The AEW&C NETRA has been indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was unveiled at the 2017 Aero India exhibition held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- AEW&C are airborne radar systems mounted on a carrier jet for airborne surveillance system i.e. to detect and track aircraft, missiles, ships and vehicles and provide command and control to direct friendly forces.
- It consists of active electronically scanned radar, secondary surveillance radar, electronic and communication counter measures, LOS (Line of Sight) and beyond-LOS data link, voice communication system
- AEW&C NETRA system is based on Embraer aircraft (Emb-145 platform). It has self-protection suite and also mid-air refueling capability to enhance surveillance time.
- This system gives 240-degree coverage of airspace. DRDO has developed three NETRA systems and its three aircraft will be based at Bhatinda, facing the Western border.
- With this India, joins group of other countries such as United States, Russia and Israel which have developed the AEW&C system.