Russian aircraft manufacturer, Beriev delivered another modernized A-50U airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to the Russian Air Force.
The radio technical complex of the plane has been sufficiently upgraded and enhanced by the transition to the new element base, said United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) in a statement.
A-50U is an upgraded version of Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name: Mainstay), a Soviet airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 strategic military transport aircraft.
Developed to replace the Tupolev Tu-126 “Moss”, the A-50 first flew in 1978. The existence of the A-50 was initially revealed to the Western Bloc in 1980 by Adolf Tolkachev. The aircraft entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.
The mission personnel of the 15-man crew derive data from the large Liana surveillance radar with its antenna in an over-fuselage rotodome, which has a diameter of 9 m (29 ft 9 in). Detection range is reportedly 650 km for air targets and 300 km for ground targets. The A-50 can control up to ten fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions.
The A-50 is capable of flying four hours to 1000 km from its base at a maximum takeoff weight of 190 tons. The aircraft can be refuelled by Il-78 tankers.