RETROPHOTO: India's Original AEW&C Platform

A rare photograph of one of three specially outfitted Avro HS 748s, the airborne test platforms under India's erstwhile Project Airavat, in flight in the 1990s. The 24-ft diameter rotodome contained a radar developed by DRDO and HAL in the late 1980s under Project Guardian. Airavat (incidentally, now the name of one of the navy's new amphibious assault ships) was suspended indefinitely following a tragic crash in January 1999 during a test-flight, in which all eight crew and scientists on board were killed. It was five years later that the effort was revived, and it is the DRDO AEW&C EMB 145I that we know today.

Photo / DRDO Archives

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