Thursday, September 16, 2021

India approves conversion of six A319s into AEW&C units

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security has approved a INR110 billion rupee (USD1.5 billion) programme to build six airborne early warning and command (AEW&C) aircraft based on A319-100s operated by Air India.

While the government committee's approval is the most significant step in the process, the technical steps related to the acquisition and conversion of the aircraft will be managed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is expected to start issuing the appropriate tenders in the near future. The Indian cabinet hopes that as much touch labour as possible will be performed in the country and in-house by the DRDO, although it did not commit to converting the aircraft as a whole in India.

The plan was first announced in December 2020, although, at that time, it was not clear which Air India aircraft would be used.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air India currently operates twenty-one A319-100s, which are 13.2 years old on average. 19 of them are owned by the carrier, with one each leased from Zephyrus Aviation Capital and Avolon.

16/09/21 ch-aviation

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