Russia’s new AWACS plane enters service

By on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

A modernized A-50U airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force on Monday, an AF spokesman said.

The aircraft has an advanced onboard computer, satellite communication and radar systems, Col. Vladimir Drik said.

It now has the capability to detect various types of flying targets, including helicopters, cruise missiles and supersonic aircraft, he said.

The Beriev A-50, based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport, first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.

The A-50 can track up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions.

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