Russian Air Force Takes Delivery of first Upgraded A-50U Mainstay AEW&C Aircraft
On October 31, Beriev delivered the first upgraded A-50U Mainstay AEW&C aircraft to the Russian Air Force.
Dave Allport - 1-Nov-2011
Upgraded Russian Air Force Beriev A-50U Mainstay '37 Red' seen during development testing of the aircraft's new systems. Beriev
AFTER COMPLETION of State Joint Tests, Beriev has now delivered the first upgraded A-50U Mainstay airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Russian Air Force. The aircraft was handed-over at Beriev’s facility in Taganrog on October 31 to an Air Force crew prior to being flown out to its operational base. Although the base involved was not officially identified, the 2457th Aviabaza Boevogo Primeneniya Samolotov Dalnego Radiolokatsionnogo Obnaruzheniya (2457th Aviation Base for Combat Operation of Airborne Early Warning Aircraft) at Ivanovo-Severnyi is the only base using the A-50 operationally and this must be where the aircraft was delivered.
Development work on the upgrade commenced some years ago and State Joint Tests commenced on September 10, 2008. Modernisation centres on replacement of the outdated analogue equipment with a new digital avionics suite, supplied by Russia’s Vega Radio Engineering Corporation JSC. More powerful computers provide a faster data processing capability, while the radar and tracking capability is improved, particularly target detection ability in the rear hemisphere. Improved communications and navigation equipment, modernised work stations with cathode ray tubes repalced by LCDs, plus new crew rest, galley and toilet facilities, also form part of the upgrade. As the new equipment is much lighter, the A-50U can now also carry more fuel with the same take-off weight as before, giving an increase in range and endurance.
These upgrades form the basis of the concept of a new production batch of A-50s, which would replace the 16 aircraft currently in service with the Russian Air Force, the first of which entered service in 1984. A proposal for restarting A-50 production to provide these replacement aircraft is expected to be submitted to the Russian Government for approval in 2012.
Filed Under Military Aviation News.
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