Eye on the Sky: Phalcon Airborne control
Phalcon is the short name of Indian Airborne control and Early warning Plane, after a year long deal, Israel finally dispatched the world's finest AEWCS plane to India, by 2009, where the deal signed early 2004, earlier the US shows resistant towards the most advanced radar sale to India and China, because of most of the Israeli defense companies has large investments from US, at first the Israeli's nearly signed a deal with China, However The US asked the Israeli's not to sale any such modern technologies to other Countries, in early 2000 Israel cancels the Phalcon sale to China,
India approached the Israeli's by 2003, However America not interested in the deal, the Indian Israeli officials assured about the safeguard of critical technology of the Radar, and US gives authorization to sell the system to India only, and so far India is the only Nation who operates the most advanced powerful AEWCS in the world outside US, even the Israeli's moves into smaller platform with two side looking EL/W-2085 Radar's.
The IAF Phalcon comes with three side looking EL/W-2090 Radar's which is mounted above the IL 76 platform, the Radar contentiously rotate to scan the Air space for hostile activity, the advantage of the rotating dome has less false rate where each targets being tracked by three radar's in a quick refresh rate. that's the rotating speed, nowadays those Radar's has zero false alarm rate that's why the fixed Radar's on the side of the Planes.
The A 50 is not only just a Airborne control center, It can perform multiple operations, even it can be assigned with maritime attack role, since rival forces has capability to launch Long range cruise missiles from it's surface ships, however this can be now being tracked by the IAF's advanced P 8 and Tu 142 fitted with Israeli maritime Radars,
Primary Mission of the Phalcon is the Long Range Air surveillance, It's believed that the Range of Surveillance and multi mode tracking is reported more than 300 kilometers, however it's not the official figure, since the actual range is classified, the Phalcon has three Active Electronic steered array, each module can transmit and receive data at the L Band frequency, the unique L band works on a wavelength of 15-30 cm and a frequency of 1-2 GHz, the actual T/R module numbers not available, however it's estimated it's have more than 6000 T/R modules, the advanced F 22 Raptor has only 1956 T/R modules, the more modules, the more tracking numbers, currently the L Band radar is noted best for detection and tracking airborne systems,
The Phalcon can act as a Airborne command Control Communication and Intelligence system, easily denoted as C4I, mainly to carryout attack Run in enemy air space and uncontrolled Indian Airspace, when Fighters move from friendly Airspace they have to rely on their own Radar systems, Here Coming with a Phalcon will help the Fighters even in Enemy airspace and guide the fighters to carryout the Attack, the AEWCS transmission between fighters can't be intercepted which is work on a secure high power communication link, usually such missions are needed for control enemy airspace, In the Yemeni Interventions the Saudi E 3 AEWCS gets full control of Yemeni Airspace,
The Phalcon can also act as a Network centric systems, which can direct and command Naval Air and Ground forces to co ordinate with each other, as likely scenario, if friendly forces operating inside the Phalcon's umbrella but outside Indian territory, if they calls Friendly Air strike or Missile strike to a designated point, the Phalcon can guide the missile or Fighter to strike the enemy position with pin point accuracy,
In Air warfare, if a Long Range Air to Air missile launched from an fighter Jet, The Phalcon can guide the missile from mid way to attack the enemy Fighter or Cruise missile, the same called by mid course guidance, such guidance can be done from most front line Aircraft's too, However this is a new technology comes with AESA and Phased array radar only, earlier MMR radar has not such technology.
Phalcon also have the capability to Jam and Intercept enemy communications and data link's, currently most missiles works with data links for precession strike, from Radar or satellites, if Phalcon comes between or identifies the enemy missile with the data link, the missile surely hits the false targets or fell down, and communication could be done by using satellites, the Phalcon can easily intercepts the communication link and decode it and alert the friendly forces, even has the capability to intercept the military Radio sets, the Phalcon has twelve operators which allows each of them can work on different sections like Air surveillance, C4I, mission alert, Support mission etc.
The Phalcon's primary defensive sensor suites has Radar warning Receiver and Missile approaching receiver both are couple with decoy's like Chaff and Flares, the RWR can alert the Phalcon if it was under any enemy scanner, that makes the Phalcon to move away or fly higher to evade, the MAWS allows the crew about the incoming missile information where the CFD can automatically launch countermeasures at correct distance,
The Phalcon has the credible IFF features, the Friend or Foe system allows the unidentified fighter either Friendly or Hostile Aircraft, if it was inside communication denied environment, the IFF system in Phalcon has high reliability compared to all other systems,
So far India operates three Phalcon system, all of them based near Delhi Agra, India earlier planned to add additional two more systems, however the high cost put that order on shelves, as recently a year or ago finance ministry allocates the fund for additional Phalcon AEWCS and it's reported Israel already bought the IL 76 planes from Russia, and it's believed they were in Israel and the modification Programs going on, and if all things go clear IAF might get those new Phalcons by coming 2016 or later, however it's not mentioned what such additional options and Radar can be installed in the new Phalcon AEWCS.