Bengaluru: In a boost to surveillance along the borders, the Indian Air Force will get six new planes which the DRDO will build. 

“As per the plans the six new aircraft would be made in India by the DRDO and would be provided to the Air Force in the Rs 10,500 crore project which is expected to be cleared soon at the topmost level,” government officials were quoted as saying by India Today. 

The new planes would be known as Airborne Early Warning and Control Block 2 planes (AEWCB). These would be better equipped when compared to their predecessors NETRA. The planes would also have a 360 degree coverage, probing deep into the enemy territory. 

The AEWCB will be built on existing Air India Fleet. To facilitate their procurement, India may even forego buying six A330s. 

The website notes that the DRDO had earlier planned to build six Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) on the Airbus 330 aircraft for which a facility was planned to be created in Bengaluru. 

Noting that the project has been planned in a way to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defence sector, the website added that the Block I of the project was delayed beyond the scheduled timelines but with the prior experience under its belt, the Centre for Airborne Studies lab of DRDO is planning to complete this in a shorter timeframe.