India plans to base its indigenous Airborne Early Warning & Control system on the western border, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.
"Yes, we have identified. Work is going to start (on where it would be based)", said the Air Chief Marshal, adding that "it will be in the western border to start with".
He was speaking at a press conference after a function to commemorate arrival of AEW&C India aircraft, which is the fully modified EMB-145 regional jet of Brazil's Embraer aircraft manufacturer. "This (AEW&C) will be used for surveillance and control".
According to DRDO officials, the system would detect, identify and classify threats in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations.
After the operational requirements were firmed up between DRDO and IAF in 2007, the contract for three modified aircraft was finalised in August 2008. The first fully modified aircraft landed in Bangalore from Brazil a month ago.
The second aircraft is slated to arrive in December and the third one next year.
The Air Chief Marshal and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V K Saraswat said all the three aircraft are proposed to be operationalised by the IAF in April 2014.
Saraswat said, "We are (now) going to integrate our radars, our EW (electronic warfare) systems, missile warning system and many other systems (in AEW&C system)".
The Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) is the nodal DRDO laboratory for this Rs 2,157 crore indigenous AEW&C system programme.