Aero India show begins: Look for Iron Dome system

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Bangalore, Feb 6: The Iron Dome missile defense system that was in action during recent Israeli war with Hamas militants of Gaza is being shown at the Aero India 2013, which was inaugurated by Defence minister A. K. Antony today. The five-day bi-annual military and aerospace spectacle at the Yelahanka Air Force Station has about 80 organisations and 700 domestic and foreign aerospace manufacturers taking part in the event.

The show commended with a coordinated fly-past of helicopters carrying the flags of the three Services. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, IAF Chief N A K Browne and FICCI chief Naina Lal Kidwai were present. It features prominent international manufacturers such as Rafale, Dassault and United Aircraft Corp, among others.

The Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is displaying its flagship Iron Dome missile system that has been designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 km to 70 km. Israel hopes to increase the range of Iron Dome's interceptions to 250 km and make it more versatile so that it could intercept rockets and shells coming from two directions simultaneously. It is a mobile all-weather air defense system.

Israel uses Iron Dome to protect its communities from the threat of Grad missiles and Qassam rockets fired by Hamas and Gaza's terror groups.

Rafael is also showing the David's Sling system, more commonly known as "Magic Wand," is a medium-to-long-range rocket and cruise missile defense system. Rafael will also display its Spider air defense systems, described as "A quick reaction, low level surface-to-air missile system designed to effectively counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters UAVs and precision guided munitions."

Approval for AWACS

Meanwhile, the Government has given approval to the DRDO to develop an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) that can help the IAF keep an eye deep inside enemy territory.

An 'in principal' approval was granted to the proposal for developing an indigenous AWACS at the recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, senior DRDO officials said on the sidelines of the aeroshow.

After the approval, the DRDO will now work towards finalising the further details of the programmes and the number of such aircraft that the IAF would require for giving a complete coverage of India's boundaries, they said.

India already has a fleet of three AWACS aircraft supplied by Israel deployed on the Ilyushin-76 aircraft procured form Russia. For the indigenous AWACS, the DRDO will look for an alternative aircraft of the size of the IL-76 and deploy its AWACS system on it, they said.

On the difference between the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft being developed by it and the proposed AWACS, they said the AWACS radar gives a 360 degree coverage while the AEW&C gives a covergae of 270 degrees.

AWACS have better capabilities and are mounted on larger aircraft, while AEW&C are mounted on smaller planes.

The Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) of the Defence Ministry envisages deployment of a mix of large AWACS and small Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System aircraft. Under the AWACS project, the DRDO plans to develop a 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar. Its current project for the AEW&C systems are based on three Embraer-145 jets.

Inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base

Defence Minister A K Antony, Civil Aviation Minister IT Singh and Karnataka CM Jagadish Shettar during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

A K Antony and Jitendra Singh take a look

Defence Minister A K Antony and Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh take a look of a light aircraft on static display area during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Fighter aircrafts and others are lined up

Fighter aircrafts and others are lined up at the tarmac during rehearsals during rehearsals for the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The indigeneous LCA

The indigeneous LCA making a mark during a training sortie ahead of Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Defence personnel perform during the Aero India 2013

Defence personnel perform during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Red Bull's Zlin 50LX single-engine and single-seater aircrafts

Red Bull's Zlin 50LX single-engine and single-seater aircrafts perform during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Tejas aircraft performs the Aero India 2013

Tejas aircraft performs during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Red Bull's Zlin 50LX single-engine single-seater aircrafts

Red Bull's Zlin 50LX single-engine single-seater aircrafts performing aerobatic flight during rehearsals for the Aero India 2013 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

"Sarang" performs during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013

Indian Air Force Acrobatics team "Sarang" performs during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

French aircraft Dassault Rafale soars in the sky

French aircraft Dassault Rafale soars in the sky during the inauguration of the Aero India 2013 at Yelhanka Air base in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

OneIdnia News

(With PTI inputs)

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