Russia holds preliminary flight trials of Beriev A-100 AEW

In February 2019, the early warning Beriev A-100 EAW aircraft designed by Vega Holding of Roselectronika began preliminary flight trials. The new-generation aircraft has to replace A-50 and A-50U and considerably exceed their capabilities, Rostec said.

Russia holds preliminary flight trials of Beriev A 100 AEW Beriev A-100 EAW (Picture source: Beriev)

The aircraft is based on the improved Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A, which is equipped with new PS-90A-76 turbofan engines that are 15% more powerful than the D-30KP used by the Il-76. The AEW aircraft is often called an air command post. The electronic reconnaissance and control system is designed to detect adversary objects and guide interceptors at them, as well as provide information to the command.

In the late 20th century, a new tactic to break through radar air defense appeared. Low-flying aircraft are difficult to detect for ground radars. New AEW aircraft became necessary to detect low-flying targets. Thus, A-50 AEW appeared. It was based on the most reliable Il-76 Candid airlifter. It has impressive characteristics, the detection range can reach 650 km and the number of tracked targets is up to 300. The aircraft can fly for four hours and air refuelling doubles the time.

In 2011, the Russian military aviation received upgraded A-50U. It was modernized by Vega Concern. The A-50U can track a bigger number of targets and has a greater detection range of various craft. It can operate autonomously, i.e. the command may be transmitted to a fighter jet automatically rather than aired by voice. The workplaces of the crew were upgraded. All the information is displayed on monitors and liquid-crystal indicators.

In March 2019, Vega and the Beriev aircraft plant handed over the sixth A-50U to the Aerospace Forces. The work to create a new AEW aircraft goes parallel to A-50 modernization. A-50U is a transition stage to the new A-100.

The A-100 Premier received a fully digital navigational complex and a digital control system with a ‘glass cockpit’, and an active phased antenna array produced by Vega. It is based on Il-76MD-90A airlifter with new low-noise and more powerful PS-90A-76 engines. The aircraft carries a total of 20 tons of electronic equipment. It allows A-100 to immediately detect, identify and classify targets and transmit the information to command posts for guiding shipborne and ground antiaircraft weapons.

Vega Designer General Vladimir Verba said the new-generation AEW enjoys the results of the most advanced research in radar detection and information technologies. "A-100 uses technical solutions based on modern electronic base, highly productive computers, and the latest achievements of domestic electronics. It concerns both information obtaining means and the processing computer, as well as automatic workplaces of the operators," he said.

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