21:26 GMT31 May 2020
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    Russia began development of the Beriev A-100 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in late 2014, with flight testing kicking off in late 2017. The aircraft is based on a heavily modified Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter.

    Russia’s Aerospace Forces will begin taking delivery of the new Beriev A-100 AEW&C planes in 2024, a source in Russia’s military industry has told Sputnik. “Testing is proceeding as scheduled,” the source said.

    The A-100, christened by aircraft enthusiasts as the ‘Flying Radar’, is Russia’s next-generation airborne early warning aircraft, and is expected to complement and eventually replace the existing 20 or so Beriev A-50 and A-50U Shmel (‘Bumblebee’) AEW planes in the Aerospace Forces’ inventory today.

    Built on the basis of an Il-76MD-90A strategic airlifter with improved turbofan engines, the planes will be equipped with a cutting-edge Vega ‘Premier’ active phased array radar, with the rotating dome design mounted on struts over the plane’s fuselage.

    A Beriev A-50
    © RIA Novosti . Ivan Rudnev
    A Beriev A-50

    The aircraft are expected to be able to detect and track as many as 300 air, sea and ground-based targets simultaneously at distances up to 650 km away. They are also expected to be able to assist in the operation of drones, and serve as a mobile airborne command and communications post. In addition to its primary radar, the plane will be able to interact with and receive information from space-based satellites.

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