India to Purchase Israeli AWACS Planes
(November 8, 2011)
India will order two advanced Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), or the "formidable eyes in the sky'' capable of detecting hostile aircraft, cruise missiles and other incoming aerial threat far before ground-based radars at a cost of over $800 million soon.
Top Indian defence ministry sources said the "draft contract'' for the two new AWACS "is now finally in the final stages of being examined'' before it's inked as a follow-on order to the $1.1-billion tripartite agreement among India, Israel and Russia in 2004, under which IAF inducted three Phalcon AWACS in 2009-10. The purchase comes at a time when Pakistan is fast snapping at India's heels in this complex military arena, having first inducted four Swedish Saab-2000s and on the verge of getting four Chinese ZDK-03 AWACS.
Apart from detection of incoming cruise missiles and aircraft from over 400-km away in all-weather conditions, and direction of air defence fighters during combat operations, the Phalcons while flying well within Indian airspace can also monitor troop build-ups or activity at airbases and missile silos deep inside Pakistan.
"The Phalcons significantly boost the effectiveness of both offensive and defensive operations. Their enhanced detection and interception capability, connected to fighters and surface-to-air missile systems, are tremendous force-multipliers," said an officer.
Source: Times of India