Russia has conducted the maiden flight of the first prototype Beriev A-100 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft at the G.M. Beriev Aviation R&D and Production Complex in Taganrog in Rostov Oblast on Nov. 18, the Russian Defence Ministry announced.
The statement from the ministry added that all systems of the aircraft were in normal operation mode and ready for further tests.
The mass production of the aircraft is scheduled from 2020.
Beriev A-100 is a Russian-built airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft based on the Il-76MD-90A (also known as project Il-476 during the design stage) military transport aircraft.
This aircraft is developed to replace the Beriev A-50 in Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) service.
The external shape of the A-100 will be similar to the A-50, with the main radar array housed in a rotating dome mounted on two struts above the fuselage. The aircraft is equipped with new PS-90A-76 turbofan engines that are 15% more powerful than the D-30KP used by the Il-76 (Beriev A-50).
Avionics and configuration will be similar to the A-50U, but with a new Vega Premier Active Phased Array Radar. The new AESA radar in the dome will have electronic steering in elevation while azimuth is controlled by the rotation of the dome. The array will rotate once every 5 seconds, thus improving the radar’s ability to track fast moving targets.