Army scouts for he­li­borne AEW

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

The In­dian Army is look­ing for brand new eyes in the sky, float­ing a re­quire­ment for an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of heli­copter-borne early warn­ing sys­tems. It is un­der­stood that the Army will be look­ing for a sys­tem that can be in­te­grated with the ex­ist­ing ALH Dhruv air­frame, though it is un­clear if this will be an all-new prod­uct on new air­frames, or retro­fit­ted on an ex­ist­ing num­ber of Dhruv units al­ready in ser­vice.

Prin­ci­pally a sen­sor package for full in­te­gra­tion with the Dhruv plat­form, the Army is look­ing for a sys­tem for early warn­ing of air­craft and land units, stand-off sur­veil­lance and in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing. AEW units will give the Army a valu­able tac­ti­cal bat­tle­field as­set, cur­rently miss­ing in its fly­ing in­ven­tory. Smaller he­li­borne early warn­ing units, like the Navy’s Rus­sian-built Ka-31 he­li­copters, will pro­vide huge flex­i­bil­ity for pre­cise ap­pli­ca­tions. It is un­der- stood that the Army would pre­fer an in­dige­nous so­lu­tion, and has al­ready be­gun dis­cus­sions with com­pa­nies in­clud­ing the Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited.

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