Pakistan Air Force has inducted the first of the four Saab-2000 Erieye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft in its fleet.
With this acquisition from Sweden, Pakistan on Tuesday became the second country in the region after India to have inducted the sophisticated surveillance aircraft in its air force.
The aircraft is fitted with the latest technology to detect aircraft flying at high and medium altitudes. With state-of-the-art system, it is also capable of detecting objects flying at lower levels over land and sea at extended ranges. The system is also capable of detecting surface targets over sea.
The Erieye system provides 300 degree coverage and has an effective detection range of only 300 km to 350 km. It uses a pulse Doppler radar with a fixed, wedge-shaped antenna.
“By virtue of these features, Pakistan Air Force would be able to boost its operational capability manifold by achieving requisite early warning for efficient and meaningful air defence of its airspace,” an official statement said.
As compared to Pakistan’s AWAC system, the Indian Phalcon system provides tactical surveillance of airborne and surface targets and helps gather signal intelligence. It is also capable of tracking fighter planes, missiles and ground forces from a distance of 400 kilometres and in all weather conditions.
Pakistan also has plans to acquire four larger advanced warning and control aircraft systems from China, according to agency reports. – Brahmand