The Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control (AEW&S) aircraft — an example of which is displayed at MAKS-2011 – is planned to be replaced by a more advanced model by 2016. Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Col-Gen Alexander Zelin says a new platform for the A-100, as the future system is to be called, should emerge by 2013-14. The system will be based on Il-476 aircraft, the latest derivative of the Ilyushin Il-76MD (currently used as the A-50 platform) re-engined with Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 engines for extended range.
The A-100 mission equipment is under development at Vega Radio Engineering Corporation, which created the A-50 system. Zelin says the new active phased-array radar will be capable of detecting both aerial and ground targets.
The Russian Air Force currently operates a 26-strong fleet of A-50M AEW&C aircraft built at Taganrog-based Beriev Aircraft Company. The A-50 can operate at speeds of up to 800 km/h and has a maximum range of 7,500 km. Vega and Beriev are jointly running a program to upgrade the A-50M version to A-50U standard by installing an improved radar with an enhanced detection capability.
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