Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is negotiating to buy three IlyushinIl-76 transports to serve as platforms for the Phalcon airborne early warning system to be sold to India.

Fears that the USA would block a deal, as it did with a similar sale to China, have proved unfounded, with Washington recently stating that it has no objection.

The Indian air force favours the Russian Il-76. It already operates the aircraft in the transport role and has tanker versions on order. China also selected the Il-76.

India's Phalcons will be more advanced than the system planned for China, say Israeli sources.

Elta, the IAI subsidiary that builds Phalcon, has almost completed system definition, with Israeli/Indian teams working on the final configuration.

IAI will not release system details, but it is understood that the radar, Phalcon's main sensor, will be capable of detecting and identifying targets at longer ranges. The phased-array radar will have an upgraded antenna with improved transmit/receive modules.

Source: Flight International