Beriev A-50

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A-50 Shmel
Beriev A-50 black white.jpg
RoleAirborne early warning and control
ManufacturerBeriev
First flight19 December 1978
Introduction1984
StatusIn service
Primary usersRussian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Number builtaround 40
Developed fromIlyushin Il-76
 
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A-50 Shmel
Beriev A-50 black white.jpg
RoleAirborne early warning and control
ManufacturerBeriev
First flight19 December 1978
Introduction1984
StatusIn service
Primary usersRussian Air Force
Indian Air Force
Number builtaround 40
Developed fromIlyushin Il-76

The Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name "Mainstay") is a Soviet-built airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport. Developed to replace the Tupolev Tu-126 "Moss", the A-50 first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.

Description[edit]

SKIP-976
Indian Air Force Beriev A-50EI Mainstay

The mission personnel of the 15-man crew derive data from the large Liana surveillance radar with its antenna in an over-fuselage rotordome, which has a diameter of 29 ft 9 in (9.00 m).[citation needed]

The A-50 can control up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions. The A-50 is capable of flying for 4 hours at 1000 km from its base at a maximum takeoff weight of 190 tons. The aircraft can be refuelled by Il-78 tankers.[1][2]

The radar "Vega-M" is designed by MNIIP, Moscow, and produced by NPO Vega. The "Vega-M" is capable of tracking up to 50 targets simultaneously within 230 kilometers. Large targets, like surface ships, can be tracked at a distance of 400 km.[citation needed]

After completing State Joint Tests, Beriev has delivered the first upgraded Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft to the Russian Air Force. The aircraft, '47 Red'/RF-92957 was handed over at Beriev's facility in Taganrog on October 31, 2011.[3] It was accepted by an air crew serving with the 2457th Aviabaza Boevogo Primeneniya Samolotov Dalnego Radiolokatsionnogo Obnaruzheniya (Aviation Base for Combat Operation of Airborne Early Warning Aircraft) at Ivanovo Severny, which is the only base using the A-50 operationally. The 2457th operates 16 aircraft. A second aircraft, '33 Red' is getting upgraded and is due for delivery in 2012. These are the only two production upgrades ordered to date (January 2012), but Beriev anticipates further orders.[4]

Development work on the A-50U commenced some years ago[Specific Time?] and State Tests started on September 10, 2008, using Russian Air Force A-50 '37 Red' as a prototype. The main element of the modernisation involves replacing the outdated analogue equipment with a new, digital avionics suite supplied by Russia's Vega Radio Engineering Corporation JSC. Notable improvements include: faster data processing, enhanced signal tracking and improved target detection. Crew rest, toilet and galley facilities are also included in the upgrade.[4]

These upgrades form the basis of the concept for a new production aircraft, based on the Il-476 airframe (new built Il-76MD with PS-90A76 engines). Configuration will be similar to the A-50U, but with a new Vega Premier active phased array radar.[4]

Variants[edit]

Operators[edit]

 Russia
 Soviet Union
 India

Specifications (A-50)[edit]

Orthographically projected diagram of the Beriev A-50.

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development: Ilyushin Il-76, KJ-2000

Comparable aircraft: E-3 Sentry

References[edit]

External links[edit]