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Beriev A-50 Mainstay - Foreign Sales

The Baghdad-1 variant was an Iraqi Il-76MD airframe modified as an AEW platform through the addition of a Thomson-CSF Tigre surveillance radar mounted behind a blister radome in place of the aft clamshell doors, radar system crew included four operators and allowed monitoring a 180 sweep out to 190 nm (350 km); one was converted but deemed unsuccessful due to unspecified problems. The Adnan variant were Iraqi Il-76 airframes modified as AEW aircraft by mounting a 29.5 ft (9 m) diameter rotating radome atop the fuselage; 3 converted but 1 was destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War and the other two fled to Iran where they still remain.

An Il-76M/Candid-B aircraft was delivered to Israel in 1999 to install the Phalcon radar and other avionics systems for China in the A-50I AWACS configuration. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed its Phalcon system for Israeli defence forces and for export. Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control (AEWC&C) systems play a major role on the modern battlefield by providing realtime intelligence command and control needed to achieve and maintain air superiority over the combat area, and to enable surveillance of borders in peacetime. The AWE&C phased array radar replaces the conventional rotodome radar. It is mounted either on the aircraft fuselage, or on top of the aircraft inside a stationary dome, providing full 360 coverage. This electronically steered beam radar, offers a tremendous advantage over mechanical rotating antenna, as it supports the tracking high maneuvering targets. The radar can detect even low flying objects from distances of hundreds of kilometers, day and night, under all weather conditions. Verification beams sent at specific, individual, newly detected targets, eliminate false alarms. Moreover, track initiation is achieved in 2 to 4 seconds as compared to 20 to 40 seconds with a rotodome radar. This system had been sold to Chile, where it is designated as "Condor.

Israel coordinates its defense sales with Washington, which vetoed the sale to China. A diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Israel, followed that veto. The uncompleted aircraft was left in Israel since the deal with China was cancelled in 2000, and eventually delivered to China in 2002 in the original Il-76M/Candid-B configuration.

In September 2000 it was reported that Rosvoorouzhenie, Russia's arms-exporting company, had entered negotiations with China to lease a pair of A-50 aircraft, as a replacement for the Israeli Phalcon. The terms of the lease to China were expected to be finalized as soon as late November or December 2000.

In early April 2000 Russia reached preliminary agreement to lease two A-50 aircraft to the Indian Air Force to step up its aerial surveillance on the border with Pakistan. India conducted trials of the A50 in July 2000, and the results were reportedly satisfactory. Beriev was to produce three A-50E AEW aircraft for India with IAI of Israel providing the aircraft's electronic systems. The A-50E airborne early warning and contol aircraft is intended to perform the following missions: detection, tracking and IFF determination of the air and surface targets, surveilance, command, control and communication functions for both commands posts of automatic control systems, guidance of fighters to air targets and attack aviation to serface targets.

In early 2002, the U.S. requested that Israel postpone the proposed $1.2 billion Phalcon deal, because of increasing tension between India and Pakistan. Since then it had been frozen, waiting for U.S. approval. The Israeli-made Phalcon radar would extend the range of the Indian air force, enabling very long-range identification of targets and control over the weapons aimed at them. There is no American equipment on the Russian planes.

In mid-2003 the US approved the sale of the Israeli produced Phalcon airborne radar system to India. In October 2003 Russia, India and Israel signed an agreement for supply to India 3 A-50 aircraft (based on Ilyushin-76 airplane) for long-distance radiolocation control, detection and guidance. At the request of the Indian party, the aircraft will be equipped with low-noise and fuel-efficient PS-90A-76 engines instead of usually provided D-30KP engines. A part of the revenue obtained from the deal will be received by the manufacturer of the PS-90A-76 engines - Perm Engine Company.

On 25 September 2007 ShipbuildingRu reported that the first of the three A-50EI AWACS planes intended for the delivery to India, would be sent to Israel before the end of 2007 for installing the Falcon radar. General director of the Taganrog Beriev aviation scientific and technical complex Victor Kobzev stated that the assembly works were at the final stage.

On 08 September 2008 Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, said that Russian companies would provide after-sale services for three A-50EI AEW aircraft that have been sold to India. The export version is fitted with the Israeli-made Phalcon radar system. The first aircraft was scheduled to arrive in 2007-08 but delivery has been delayed.

Currently, India has three Russian A-50EI on which Israeli radars installed. The contract for supply of them was signed in 2004, after the execution of the contract, India has expressed a desire to buy a few of these aircraft. At the end of 2016, Russia, India and Israel signed a contract for the supply of two machines in this class. In February 2017 Russia signed a contract to supply India aircraft Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW & C) A 50EI, the president of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Yuri Slusar. "With India, we still AWACS contract," - he said at the Aero India 2017 aerospace show in Bangalore. The head of the KLA did not specify the number of aircraft covered by the contract.

He also noted that Russia is in talks with Algeria and Kazakhstan for the supply to these countries of new modifications of military transport aircraft Il-76.

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Page last modified: 14-02-2017 19:48:13 ZULU