Indian air force soon to get 3 spy planes & 6 mid air refuler aircraft . India is planning to develop three new spy planes that would be capable of keeping a close watch on enemy communications and carry out long-range surveillance missions.
In what would be a significant capability boost for defence forces, India is planning to develop three new spy planes that would be capable of keeping a close watch on enemy communications and carry out long-range surveillance missions.
About this Project
The project would be carried out over indigenously and the majority of the technology and equipment to be used would be made in India.
The proposal for getting three new spy planes also known as signal intelligence and communication jamming system aircraft is at an advanced stage and is expected to get clearance in next week, defence officials told ANI. The project is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory and the IAF where they would be using an Airbus-319 class aircraft, they said.
The project is being carried out by the Centre for Airborne Studies which is working on multiple development projects including the Airborne Early Warning and Control systems which is the next generation of the existing Netra aircraft which would be the AEW&C Netra Mark1A. The air force is likely to get mid-air refuellers that are crucial force multipliers, with the ministry considering a ₹10,000 cr proposal to acquire six of the aircraft.
Plans to acquire three airborne intelligence gathering aircraft under a project that will see the development of indigenous sensor technologies and systems are also likely to move ahead. Currently, the IAF operates a fleet of six Russian IIyushin-78 tankers procured in 2003-04, but at any given time only three to four are serviceable. Their maintenance and serviceability issues were also brought out in an August 2017 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General that studied their operations from 2010 to 2016. The tankers were bought in 2003-2004 at Rs 132 crore per aircraft.
The Indian Air Force also has plans to develop an indigenous Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (I-STAR) aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Mark 1A aircraft on Embraer legacy jet plane platform, AEWC Mark 2 on Airbus 321 jets for the Indian Air Force. CABS is also developing the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance project of the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy.
Indian Coast Guard chief Director General Rakesh Pal had recently stated that the C-295-based maritime surveillance aircraft would give the force a strong indigenous capability to keep an eye on the Indian territory.