The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) handed over to the Russian Air Forces a modernized A-50U airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft that will help in the detection of aircraft and missiles launched from Ukraine.
On July 3, 2023, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a conference call with officers of the Russian Armed Forces, highlighted the need for expeditious modernization of the A-50.
According to government-controlled RIA Novosti, Shoigu said, “These flying radars are used in special military operations. Timely modernization of the fleet of these aviation complexes will significantly increase the effectiveness of groupings of troops in solving the tasks they face.”
The upgraded A-50U has undergone a comprehensive modernization, enhancing its capabilities significantly. This advanced version boasts the ability to detect and identify new types of aircraft, while simultaneously tracking a greater number of targets, including hostile fighters, compared to its predecessor. The integration of cutting-edge equipment has resulted in a reduction in the aircraft's weight, thereby extending its flight range and mission endurance.
The revamped aircraft features brand-new electronics with improved performance and speed, enabling enhanced functionality in its software. Furthermore, the utilization of larger and higher-resolution LCD monitors has greatly improved the efficiency of the radar display system, enhancing the overall ergonomics of the aircraft to reduce crew fatigue. Notably, the A-50U is now equipped with an advanced flight and navigation system.
Rostec emphasized the vital role of the A-50U long-range radar surveillance and guidance complex in modern combat scenarios. Through this modernization effort, the aircraft has received new technical equipment that significantly boosts its speed and detection range for air, ground, and sea targets, thus enhancing its effectiveness in countering potential threats. This modernization initiative aligns with the state defense order's plan to update the AWACS aircraft fleet.
Concern Vega, operating under Ruselectronics, played a pivotal role in the modernization process, while the United Aircraft Corporation's TANTK also contributed to the effort.
Vyacheslav Mikheev, the general designer of Concern Vega, said plans were afoot to complete the modernization of another A-50 complex in the near future.