The Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has on Wednesday approved a nearly Rs 11,000 crore project of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to develop six new Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
The Committee has also cleared a nearly $3 billion deal for procuring 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the IAF. The C-295MW transport aircraft will replace the ageing fleet of Avro 748 transport aircraft that first flew in 1961.
While the CCS decision on the C-295 was the budgetary clearance for the actual signing of the contract, the Committee has cleared the “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) for the DRDO project, sources in the defence and security establishment said. This means that the DRDO will now be able to issue a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) for further work on the aircraft.
As per sources, the six aircrafts will be taken from the Air India fleet, which means they will be A-319s and A-321 variants. These aircrafts will be modified and the indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar will be mounted on them.