Russia's most advanced airborne early warning and control aircraft, or AWACS, made its maiden flight. According to a Sputnik News report, the A-100 first flight test was aimed at checking its aerodynamic characteristics, the performance of avionics and part of the equipment of the radio-engineering complex.
The Beriev A-100 aircraft, which was constructed on the base of the Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft, is expected to replace the Beriev A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft, which is currently in service of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The aircraft, dubbed "the flying radar," can detect up and track to 300 targets, as well as participate in operating fighter jets and bombers with guidance on air, land and sea targets.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the A-100 is superior to foreign AWACS aircraft as its advanced reconnaissance and control capabilities would enable it to detect new classes of targets and to improve combat management.
Serial deliveries of the A-100 aircraft to the Russian Aerospace Forces is expected to begin in 2020.