Embraer has performed the first flight of a heavily modified EMB-145 destined for completion as an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft for the Indian air force.
Pictured during its debut test sortie, flown from the Brazilian company's São José dos Campos site on 6 December, the adapted regional jet will be delivered to India by mid-2012 for the installation of its mission equipment.
Structural enhancements and aerodynamic changes have been made to allow for the installation of a search radar in a fairing above the fuselage, with Embraer also having fitted an inflight refuelling probe and provided additional electrical power and cooling.
"All planned tests were successfully achieved" during the first flight event, said Embraer.
India has three EMB-145s on order for adaptation as AEW&C platforms, with their onboard equipment the result of a programme involving the nation's Defence Research and Development Organisation and Centre for Airborne Systems.
Ten EMB-145-based AEW&C aircraft have previously been produced for Brazil, Greece and Mexico, all equipped with Erieye surveillance radars produced by Saab Microwave Systems.