The first of three Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft being modified for airborne early warning duty with the Indian air force has begun tests flights in Israel.
The other two Phalcon AEW Il-76s will start flying soon and India is considering purchasing three more.
The three aircraft were taken from Russia to Israel by israel Aerospace Industries for modification in a hangar at Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion international airport.
© Rami Mizrahi
The early warning electronic subsystems were designed and manufactured by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, and IAI also made the 11m (36ft) composite radomes in a one-piece design that is cheaper and lighter than multi-piece designs, and is claimed to reduce electrical interference by eliminating overlapping segments.