The trials of Russian A-100 „eye-in-the-sky“ in-flight equipment are scheduled for spring 2018. The testing will be held in several stages, Izvestia informs. The aircraft’s aerodynamics will be tested in December 2017, its radar and electronic warfare system –  in March 2018.

The Beriev A-100 is an airborne early warning and control aircraft developed by Russia. The aircraft was created on the basis of modernized heavy military plane Ilyushin Il-76 MD-90a. The plane is an upgrade of the A-50 aircraft. The older A-50 planes have been in use in the Russian Air Force since mid-1980s. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, A-100 Premier should replace the previous generation of long-range radar detection aircraft.

One of the most distinguished features of the A-100 Premier is the Vega Premier active-phase array radar. The new Vega Premier AESA radar in the dome will have electronic steering in elevation. The array will rotate once every 5 seconds, thus improving the radar’s ability to track fast-moving targets.  According to experts, the plane can conduct reconnaissance missions and protect itself from air attack. Its onboard computer system is more powerful than the system in the preceding A-50 aircraft. 

The aircraft is designed to target fighters and bombers. A-100 Premier will be able to control the air and sea space within a radius of several hundred miles. It is equipped with a multi-position radar with two phased array antennas, as well as with electronic intelligence and electronic warfare complexes.

The aircraft will transmit information about the targets to the command posts of anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense, ensuring the guidance of anti-aircraft missiles. Presumably, the complex will be able to operate at a distance of up to 372 miles for aerial purposes, and for surface targets, this distance will be 248 miles and will provide information to ground troops and aviation.

Deliveries of the “flying radar” A-100 to the military troops are scheduled to begin in 2020.