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Arie Egozi

The Indian government is about to approve a deal to purchase two additional PHALCON Airborne Early Warning (AEW) systems from Israel. This comes after India purchased three such aircraft in 2004, based on the Russian ILYUSHIN 76, in which Elta installed the radar and other systems.

The proposed deal is estimated at US$1.2bn and will include a more advanced version of the PHALCON, complementing another two smaller AEW systems carried by Embraer 145 business jets. However, the Indian operational needs are for additional long range AEW systems, and this offering is an upgraded version with added capabilities that make the system an “all in one” AEW, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMMINT) integrated system.

The negotiated deal has been accelerated following the incident between India and Pakistan in February, in which the Indian Air Force found itself inferior to the Pakistan Air Force, which is equipped with seven early warning aircraft. Some of the sub systems will be manufactured in India to comply with the “Make in India” policy of the Indian government.