The joint development of an Airborne Early Warning system by Embraer and India’s Defense Research Development Organization for the Indian Air Force is on track.
The first flight of the modified EMB-145 will take place in December or early next year, Orlando Jose Ferreira Neto, executive vice president for defense systems, told Aerospace DAILY.
The first fuselage was joined for India’s early warning aircraft in March for the first of three EMB-145s to be fitted with the Indian-designed antenna.
The Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU), developed by DRDO’s Center for Airborne Systems, will then be integrated into the modified EMB-145 aircraft under the agreement, with certification to follow. Deliveries are expected to start in 2011.
While the challenges of integration have been many, “we are trying to mitigate risks,” Neto says. “Talks are on how we shall integrate. It’s a specific product with a specific objective.
“It’s a new system, a new platform. We’ll see what to do with it next because it is a state-of-the-art product — an update of platforms we have been selling,” Neto adds.
Brazil uses the Ericsson Erieye radar on the EMB-99 or EMB-145. Erieye is a long-range pulse Doppler radar, fitted with fixed active phased array antenna. The 9-meter long, 900-kg. antenna unit is mounted on the upper spine of the fuselage and gives the aircraft its distinctive appearance. Rather than a conventional rotodome antenna system, Erieye has a fixed, dual-sided and electronically scanned antenna mounted on top of the fuselage, placing less demand on aircraft size.
Pakistan took delivery of its second Saab-2000 Erieye aircraft in late April. The Indian Air Force is said to be looking at acquiring 20 more systems.