This is the Phalcon!

I don’t know if anyone’s seen these photos. They were apparently taken in January (not sure if last year or this year, but I suspect, 2007) in Israel where the airplane — the first of three — is undergoing final trial-runs along with an Indian Air Force and IAI joint team. Deliveries of the Ilyushin-76 Phalcon AWACS jets are expected to begin later this year. The three Phalcons are almost definitely to be based out of Agra where a separate squadron is in the process of being carved out by the Central Command. (Photos Courtesy Beriev)

14 thoughts on “This is the Phalcon!”

  1. Brother what is a Phalcon??? and why do we need it and why are we buying it….as if this nation already doesnt have enough aircraft that we need something like this with an umbrella on top…what is for by the way???

  2. Shiv aroor saab,

    i have already seen these photos. What is made for china is being sold to india. Actually phalcons are being fitted on boeing 737(?) for chilean airforce.After US sactions china made its own AWACS, which looks 100% similar to ours. Though on papaer sanctions exist,IAI sold every thing to china,it appears.Large aircrafts with huge radomes are a sitting ducks for AA,GA missiles. Do u need them in these days of military satellites?

  3. what a beauty it is! i definitely have not seen these pix. good job shiv. are there more where these came from? if so, please put any you have of the phalcon. i dont recall seeing any photos of the indian phalcon before. second anon: pl educate yourself.. the chileans bought the phalcon in 1989 on a 707 platform. and i only half agree on your point about the use of awacs in the days of mil satellites. awacs still have a few decades of use left i am sure.

  4. Why the heck is everybody Anonymous? Giving us a name to reference would not kill you guys!

    Anon2: We need planes complementing satellites, as satellites have weaknesses: weather, flexibility, being a sitting target for the Chinese etc etc etc. Mainly flexibility, though – all modern armies move troops in order to “hide” from satellite coverage.

    Also, the AWACS has no replacement in terms of a force multiplier to achieve and maintain air dominance. In a time of net-centric warfare (which the Airforce is aiming for) this is a *vital* piece of kit.

    It is in fact surprising that we could not get our hands on one before, and that we let our indigenous program stop after that horrific crash. But I am sure that is a different story.

    Anon3: Could we have some more info on the type and level of Tech Transfer that the Chinese got from the Israelis, and also about China’s AWACS status. Thanks in advance.

  5. It is not phalcon. It is A50 the Russian awacs. An Il-76 modified by beriev, possibly to land in water. Beriev is known for the amphibian and erkano planes. The famed Caspian sea monster was made by them.

    Phalcon does not have a rotodome. The Russian and American AEWS are mechanically rotating antennas, or rotodomes, mounted on an aircraft. In the Phalcon it is a stationary dome mounted on the aircraft and based on an Active Phased Array Electronic Scanning Technology.

    The Russian A50 till recently was a first generation AEW system but it has gone through a thorough modernization programm

    India made use of Tu-126 Mossi AWACS Aircraft in 1971 Indo-Pak war obtained from Soviet Union.

    Phalcon given below


  6. No Sandy, this is the Il-76 platform, not A-50.

    Another thing, the Phalcon AWACS radar is a customizable array – it can either be a conformal array, like you see on the pictures with the 737 and bulbous nose, or, the three radar arrays can be placed in an over-fuselage radome as shown… the arrays inside do not rotate, but remain fixed.

  7. Himanshu Chauhan

    The Phalcon in IAF would be called as A-50Ehi.. It’s an A-50 platform with the Israeli Phalcon Command and Control platform..

    A-50 is the modified IL-76 platform which is modified by the Berieve Bureau in Russia for their own AWACS platform requirements.

    Indian A-50Ehi are also equipped by the PS-90A engines which give better performance in the High, Hot and Humid conditions in this region

  8. IL-76 platform modified by berieve is called A50.

    why is IL-76 platform modified by beriev? Is that done as to land it on sea, lake etc.

    Sniper I understand the point you made. I did not know about it. Thankyou.


  9. Sandy, though Beriev specialises in the manufacture of amphibious aircraft, the A-50 is anything but. One can’t make an Il-76 land on water without heavily modifying the airframe design.

    If Wikipedia is to be believed, Beriev’s job was to integrate the Shmel radar with the Il-76 airframe.

  10. Picture of the bird on approach taken on 11/29/2007 while that of it taxing taken on 1/20/2008.

    Guys, why on earth would anyone want to land this thing on water?

    Shiv, any idea as to what the new sqn number is?

    FYI, the IAF wants 3 more of these birds and the MoD is moving the case along.

  11. Mihir point taken. A-50 does not look amphibious at all.

    But was curious why Il76 was modified by beriev. Thank you for the clarification.

    We have now a reliable force multiplier in all it’s sense.

  12. First of all Phalcon’s platform is ILyushin and the AWACS planes delivered to us won’t have an is nose-mounted

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