Russia hopes to develop a new airborne warning and control system (AWACS) plane by 2016, Air Force chief Col. Gen Alexander Zelin said on Tuesday.
“We are expecting to receive the A-100 aircraft built on the basis of the Il-476 transport plane with the PS-90 engine and extended flight range,” Zelin told reporters in Moscow.
The new AWACS plane will have an advanced active phase array capable of detecting and tracking airborne and land-based targets.
“We will have the carrier [Il-476] by 2013-2014 and should be able to build this plane by 2016,” Zelin said.
The Russian Air Force has around 20 A-50 Mainstay AWACS planes, based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport.
The A-50 is equipped with the large Liana surveillance radar with its antenna in an over-fuselage rotodome and can control up to ten fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions.