Army scouts for heliborne AEW
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.