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.

 EMB-145 AEW Indian - Embraer

© Embraer

"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.

Source: Flight International