New Delhi: With the third Phalcon AEW&CS aircraft due to join the Indian Air Force fleet by the end of the year, it is becoming evident that the force may order an additional two of these force multipliers soon. Defence sources say that the IAF may eventually opt for a fleet of ten of these airborne early warning and control systems aircraft.
"We have already moved the case for two more AWACS," IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik had said in July.
"Phalcon AWACS are tremendous force-multipliers. We are having an excellent experience with them. They will get their final operational clearance by October-November," said Naik said.
The aircraft are to be deployed in Agra with the IAF's 50 Squadron under the Allahabad-based Central Air Command, but will be assigned tasks directly by Air Headquarters.
A fleet of ten such aircraft will enable the IAF to provide round the clock vigil on all fronts.
India has vast frontiers that extend for thousands of kilometres across the western border, from Jammu & Kashmir to Kutch in Gujarat and the maritime frontiers from the Gulf of Cambay off Gujarat to the waters off the coast of Kerala.