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An A-50U airborne early warning aircraft © Alexander Vilf / Sputnik

An A-50U airborne early warning aircraft © Alexander Vilf / Sputnik

(RT News) ~ Russia’s brand new ‘flying radar’, reportedly capable of detecting enemy targets at ranges of more than 600km, will be flight-tested next March. The A-100 Premier will make her maiden flight by 2018, a defense source told Russian media.

The Beriev A-100 is an airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft currently being developed by Russia, an upgrade of the A-50. The long-awaited addition to the Russian Air Force has already been verified on the ground and are ready for in-flight equipment trials, the source told Izvestia newspaper.

“At the moment, all deadlines have been set up and agreed with the military industry,” the source said.

An older Il-76 version, the MD-90A aircraft – codenamed A-100LL during the flight tests – would be first used as a “flying laboratory” to stress-test all systems in the air. The trial is scheduled for March 2017, the source said.

Once the flight tests are complete, the newest variant of the aircraft called Il-476, which was designated for the new ‘flying radar’, will accommodate the avionics and radar systems, including its distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage.

“If everything goes as planned, the ‘original’ A-100 will make the maiden flight in 2018,” the source said.


Most specifications of the A-100 are classified. The AWACS aircraft is expected to feature a new Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) designed by ‘Vega’ corporation. It is said to be capable of detecting enemy aircraft at ranges of up to 600km (373 miles) and warships at ranges of around 400km (249 miles).

The aircraft is also said to have advanced signal intelligence for greater independence and electronic warfare capabilities for protection. An A-100 reportedly may be used as a fully-fledged flying HQ for the military.

Aircraft of this type are critical to ensure air superiority and improve situation awareness for military commanders in a dynamic combat environment. Long-range AWACS aircraft are operated by only a few countries, including Russia, the US, China and the UK.

The older A-50 ‘Mainstay’ AWACS planes have been in use in the Russian Air Force since mid-1980s. As part of an ongoing re-armament and modernization effort, the Russian Air Force has received several A-50U, an upgraded version of the ‘Mainstay,’ throughout recent years.

Along with extended airspace monitoring capabilities, the A-50U aircraft are said to have sophisticated digital avionics which save more space for crews and improve their in-flight performance.



Iran releases images of
1st self-manufactured missile defense system

Iran Bavar-373 air defense complex

(RT, 21/8/2016) ~ The final version of Iran’s first domestically-built long-range air defense missile system has been unveiled at a Defense expo, alongside other state of the art technologies.

Iran’s Bavar-373 air defense complex is designed to track down and penetrate targets like drones and missiles, as well as combat aircraft at various altitudes.

Pictures of the system were released to the public on Sunday during the exhibition of Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) hosted in the capital Tehran. The event was visited by the country’s president Hassan Rouhani, who was portrayed next to various elements of the weapon alongside other top Iranian officials.

Bavar-373 is the country’s first air defense system, manufactured solely by local specialists. It was commissioned back in 2010 following a suspended deal with Moscow on the delivery of similar S-300 defense systems due to nuclear sanctions adopted by the UN over Iran’s nuclear program.

Last year Moscow re-authorized the delivery of S-300 to Iran shortly before the international community clinched a deal with Tehran on the nuclear program.

“We did not intend to make an Iranian version of the S-300 – we wanted to build an Iranian system, and we built it,” Iran’s Minister of Defense Hossein Dehghan on Saturday as quoted by The Times of Israel. The weapon was first time successfully test-fired in August of 2014.

Pictures posted by Iranian news outlets and people on social media showed the final shape of Bavar launchers.

“Images of the Iranian missile system demonstrate the square shape of the final version of its launchers, as opposed to the initial cylindrical shape,” Tasnim News Agency .

Photos of the fire control radars as well as heavy trucks designed to carry the system were also presented on Sunday. According to AP citing the country’s defense ministry, Bavar is expected to go into production late this year.

During the exhibition Iran also unveiled its first self-constructed turbo engine, with the country’s officials claiming it is capable of flying at the altitude of some 15,000 kilometers (50,000 feet).

“The Islamic Republic is one of eight countries in the world who have mastered the technology to build these engines,” Rouhani said as quoted by the Iran Daily.

The country is also expecting to develop sea-based supersonic cruise missiles, according to the Iran’s Defense Minister, Hossein Dehghan.

“We have had considerable progress in this field,” Denghan said as  by ISNA news agency.

Research on missile defense is not banned by last year’s international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. However, the country is subject to a UN resolution 2231 that urges Tehran to refrain from ballistic missile tests for the next eight years.

Back in April Iran’s President Rouhani announced increase of the military budget.

“If we are able to discuss with world powers around the negotiating table, it is because of our national strength, because of our national unity,” Rouhani said during a televised statement commenting on the move.

RT News
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