Dr S Christopher, chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday said that indigenous airborne early warning and control system (AEW&C) built by the organisation using modified Brazilian Ebraer jets is low-cost and better than the Swedish systems owned by Pakistan.
Speaking at an event in Gujarat University, in the first i-talk organised by Gujarat Innovation Society (GIS), Christopher talked about how the AEW&C platform called “Netra” was close to his heart since he had been involved with it right from the inception. “In 1985, we thought we should make an AWCAS (airborne warning and control system) because that time the US had brought in their own AWCAS,” he said.
He narrated how the initial programme had crashed in the initial phases. However, soon the project was restarted using a simpler and smaller platform, the Brazilian Embraer-145 jets. Christopher explained that the five-hour endurance of the system was expanded by adding a complex air-to-air refuelling facility.
“Except for the aircraft, all the electronics is ours. So when you compare the cost, it is less than what Pakistan has; the Swedish system. In addition to that, the their aircraft itself is not as good as ours. It is because, ours is a jet and that is a turboprop,” he said.