International Quality & Productivity
Center (IQPC) Conference opened in in London on 3 Dec at the
Holiday Inn near Victoria. It attracted over 100 delegates from all
over the world under one roof and on 3 Dec there was more AEW
expertise to be shared than any other platform in the world.
The participants included mid level service officers mainly the
hands on experience variety, scientists, commentators and reps of
the Military Industrial Complex that make the hardware and some of
them were ex Air Force or Navy. The representation included 9
Western Countries, Jordan, Australia, three each from India (DRDO),
Pakistan (Air Force), Israel and South America including Brazil.
Early Warning and Control Systems Aircraft (AWACS) have made rapid
advances necessitating corresponding changes in command and control
in net centric warfare also. The early versions of AEW were UAVs,
Aerostats and radars fitted in MR Aircraft like PC3 Orion,
Gulfstream, Astra, and even Dorniers, IL 38 and TU 142 and such.
Duke of Wellington at Waterloo had voiced his predicament by saying
he had spent all his life guessing what was on the other side of the
Hill. This dilemma now appears solved. Today the countries
with true AEW assets can see well over the radar horizon up to 350
miles and more with powerful radar, optical sensors and send down
the data and pictures via appropriate links, so battle space
management becomes easy and SURPRISE, a principle of war, can be
used for missile action and air superiority with devastating
results. This just shows that in the next decade almost every
country will have Air Force AWACS capability and Navies will have
AEW helicopters flying from ships or off aircraft carriers.
is the most happening thing in RMA and today with the Boeing Sentry
2 AWACS, Northrop Grumman E2C Hawkeye 2000, British SEAKING MK 7
with Searchwater in Royal Navy's 849 Squadron (just 13 of them) and
SAAB and EMBRAER 145 and other adaptations like Boeing 737 AEW and
C130 J with APS/ANS 145 radar which are all operational and being
used in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is quest by even smaller nations
like Mexico, India and Greece to quickly get equipped.
AEW Conference in London had many answers regarding frequencies to
be used, heights to be attained and how data can be moved in real
time in peace for recce and surveillance and in war to cripple the
enemy. This is revolutionary.
early 2000, Defence Minister George Fernandes had announced that
four KAMOV Ka 31 helicopters were contracted at $13.95m each from
Russia and they have arrived on the scene. The DRDO had also made an
AVRO 748 with a Rotodome as their version of AWACS but in Jan 2000
it crashed with the test pilots and the
scientists, but that knowledge remains. At present the Phalcon AWACS
has been signed for on three Uzbeck IL 76s for delivery in 2005. So
India too is on its way and the Defence Ministry Annual Report 2001
had said India will get Aerostats, low level radars, UAVs and Air
Surveillance Aircraft. This is happening now and no wonder the IQPC
Conference is a success and those who missed it should
get briefed or get the proceedings.