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State-of-the-art A-100 ‘Premier’ to come as Russia’s response to US AWACS — expert

A-100 ‘flying radars’ will be capable of conducting flights along the borders "to survey" the situation within a range of several hundred or, perhaps, several thousand kilometers as the radar’s exact characteristics are unknown

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. The state-of-the-art A-100 ‘Premier’ long-range radar surveillance and control aircraft has received advanced equipment that will allow it to conduct reconnaissance within a range of hundreds and thousands of kilometers, without violating state borders, Editor-in-Chief of Independent Military Review Dmitry Litovkin told TASS on Thursday.

It was reported earlier on February 10 that an A-100 ‘Premier’ long-range radar surveillance aircraft performed its debut flight with its onboard radio-technical equipment switched on. The flight tests are due to be completed in 2022. The cutting-edge ‘flying radar’ is set to replace A-50 and A-50U aircraft in Russia’s Aerospace Force.

"The aircraft that have existed in our fleet until now have grown outdated. New equipment is required in the process of developing advanced electronics. Most likely, it is present in this airplane and that is why it is so secret. Until now, the Russian Defense Ministry has been reluctant to disclose that long-range radar surveillance aircraft are being upgraded in our country and that new aircraft will be built. Now we announce that we have next-generation aircraft," the military expert pointed out.

A-100 ‘flying radars’ will be capable of conducting flights along the borders "to survey" the situation within a range of several hundred or, perhaps, several thousand kilometers as the radar’s exact characteristics are unknown, Litovkin said.

The A-100 has received new engines that feature increased thrust and greater fuel efficiency, he stressed.

Specialists of Russia’s Vega Group have wholly upgraded the aircraft: it is outfitted with advanced processors, liquid crystal displays and other state-of-the-art equipment that provides for network centric integration of all combat control elements, the expert presumed.

"The characteristics are classified and unknown but they are, apparently, by a factor better than those of the A-50," he said.

Technological breakthrough

The A-100 ‘Premier’ is a new technological breakthrough after the Tu-214ON air surveillance plane, which "can frighten the US," the chief editor of Independent Military Review stressed.

"One of the reasons why the Americans quit the Open Skies Treaty is the creation of the Tu-214ON aircraft outfitted with electro-optical equipment. By its characteristics, it was considerably more efficient than the technology that it possessed. The US was then frightened that the flights by this aircraft over European territory would uncover all their defense system they were creating. At first, they did not want to certify it, although its parameters fitted into the document’s requirements and then they simply quit the treaty to completely forget about the existence of this aircraft. The A-100 ‘Premier’ is a technological breakthrough of comparable scope," the military expert elaborated.

The next-generation aircraft will transmit the data that it will gather to helicopters, warships and ground-based launchers, he said.

"The main thing is that this aircraft totally ‘sees’ the situation. It informs all command posts of particular sites and developments while a command post, including Russia’s National Defense Management Center, will set specific combat tasks to particular forces depending on the situation," the military expert explained.

The A-100 is Russia’s "response to the US aircraft" outfitted with the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), he said.

"When our Defense Ministry reports that US spy planes make flights along our borders, this means the same thing: these are rivals of our A-50 and A-100 aircraft. They look deep into our territory without crossing the airspace and de jure without violating any international treaties and engage in reconnaissance to spot military facilities and record frequency response characteristics of surface-to-air missile systems and other equipment, Litovkin said.

"The A-100 is Russia’s response to foreign counterparts, the expert pointed out. "And we can see what you have there in Berlin or Paris, without entering the airspace of France and Germany," he explained.

State-of-the-art A-100 ‘Premier’ radar surveillance aircraft

The next-generation A-100 ‘Premier’ airborne system has been developed on the basis of the Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft and features a fairing with a unique antenna system and state-of-the-art radio-technical equipment developed by the Vega Group within the Ruselectronics Holding. The A-100 ‘flying radar’ is capable of detecting and tracking aerial and other targets and participating in command and control of fighter and attack aircraft in directing them towards aerial, ground, and naval targets.

The A-100 aircraft’s radio-technical equipment features technical solutions based on advanced components, high-performance computers, and the latest domestic radio-electronics achievements. These technologies cover both data receiving and processing equipment and operator automated workstations.