After over a year of delay in delivery, the Indian Air Force is likely to receive in May 2009 the first of the three Israeli Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) that will enhance the country's surveillance capability.
The all weather system capable of logging 60 targets simultaneously and having a range of 400 kms, will be mounted on Russia delivered Ilyushin-76 aircraft.
"Indian Air Force officials have been regularly checking the system and final details are being worked out which will enable the delivery of the system by second half of May," defence sources in Jerusalem said.
"The remaining two deliveries are likely to come through by Mid of next year or by the third quarter of 2010 if everything works out on schedule," they said.
As per the deal inked in March 2004 at a whopping cost of $1.1 billion, all the three 'eye in the sky' airborne radar systems should have delivered by the end of this month.
Technical difficulties involved in integrating the whole system is said to have contributed to the delay in delivery.
The system will provide the IAF with intelligence inputs, helping it to maintain air superiority, improve strike capabilities and conduct tactical surveillance deep into neighbouring countries without violating their airspace.