Beriev A-50 Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft (AEW&C), Russia

The A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) was developed and manufactured by the Beriev Aircraft Research and Engineering Complex Joint Stock Company based at Taganrog in the Rostov Region of Russia. The A-50 aircraft was developed from the llyushin IL-76MD military transport aircraft manufactured by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Joint Stock Company based in Moscow.

Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A (IL-476): Details

Ilyushin IL-76MD-90A (IL-476)

The aircraft is known in the West by the Nato codename Mainstay. Beriev aircraft normally carry the Russian designation Be- followed by the number, however, the A-50 aircraft retained the well-known A-designation which Beriev allocated to the original prototype.

The A-50 aircraft detects and identifies airborne objects, determines their coordinates and flight path data and transfers the information to command posts. The A-50 also acts as a control centre, guiding fighter-interceptors and tactical air force aircraft to combat areas in order to attack ground targets at low altitudes. The role of the A-50 is comparable to that of the US’s E-3 AEW system developed by Boeing.


A-50 Mainstay programme and development

The A-50 entered service with the Russian Air Force in 1984. Currently, 16 aircraft are operational in the Russian Air Force. The upgraded version, the A-50U was first announced in 1995 but did not enter testing until 2008. It then entered service in 2011. The upgraded A-50Us have extended the aircraft’s the service life to 2020.

A-50U airborne radar warning and guidance system

96da72f613a4d9cd2d0cc9a47c87bb19A-50U airborne radar warning and guidance system

The modernised A-50 aircraft can now take more fuel on board with the same take-off weight, while increasing the range and mission time performance. A satellite navigation system integrated into flight and navigation complex offers a dramatic increase in the navigational accuracy.

Mainstay AEW&C radar system

russian-a-50-mainstay-airborne-warning-and-control-system-awacs-export-china-india-aesa-pesa-7 A-50U airborne radar warning and guidance system

The A-50U airborne radar warning and guidance system is the Schnel-M produced by Vega. It comprises:

  • radar station
  • data reduction system
  • interrogator-responder and signal transmission system
  • digital computer complex
  • identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment
  • command radio link to guide fighters
  • encoding communication system
  • radio communication equipment
  • telemetry / code equipment
  • registering equipment.

The radar and guidance systems have the capacity to track 50 to 60 targets simultaneously and to guide ten to 12 fighter aircraft simultaneously

Development work on the A-50U began some years ago 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.

Russian Air Force A-50 ’37 Red’ prototype

These upgrades form the basis of the concept for Beriev A-100 AEW&C. Configuration will be similar to the A-50U, but with a new VegaPremier active electronically scanned array radar.

All-Seeing Eye: Russia Flies Out Bleeding-Edge A-50U AWACS Aircraft: Here



The A-50U, which made its maiden flight in 2011, is a further derivative of the A-50, which has been in service since 1989. The A-50 can spot targets at a distance of 800 kilometers and has an operational range of 7,500 kilometers.

In contrast with its predecessor, the A-50U is “sharper-sighted,” can transfer data better and fly farther. Its exact characteristics are kept secret.

How Russia Plans to Catch Up With the US in AWACS Capabilities: Here


For example, the analyst pointed out that where the Shmel is capable of detecting a missile launch at 800 km, the Shmel II can do so at a distance of up to 1,000 km. Where the Shmel tracks fighters up to 300 km, the Shmel II does so up to 400 km. In detection of maritime objects, both systems track objects to the horizon. And whereas the old system is capable of simultaneously tracking up to 200 objects, Shmel II can track 300 objects at once, and provide 40 targets for interceptors, instead of 30.

The new system, according to Tuchkov, also has increased capabilities for detecting low-contrast ground-based targets, and has increased radio range (2,000 km in HF and 400 km in UHF); at greater distances the system uses satellite uplink.

Russian AF receive new modernized aircraft Airborne Early Warning and Control A-50U: Here

Beriev A-100

The Beriev A-100 is a Russian-built airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft based on the Il-76MD-90A (Il-476) transport aircraft. This aircraft is developed to replace the Beriev A-50 “Mainstay” in Russian Air Force service. Avionics and configuration will be similar to the A-50U, but with a new Vega Premier Active Phased Array Radar.

Design and development

The A-100 is designated as the izdeliye PM, a project meant to develop a replacement for the A-50 AWACS aircraft. The aircraft is based on the improved Il-476, which has new PS-90A-76 turbofans that are 15% more powerful than the D-30KP used by the Il-76. The external shape of the A-100 will be similar to the A-50, with the main radar array housed in a rotating dome mounted on two struts above the fuselage. The new Vega Premier AESA radar in the dome will have electronic steering in elevation while azimuth is control by the rotation of the dome. The array will rotate once every 5 seconds, thus improving the radar’s ability to track fast moving targets.

Vega Premier AESA radar

Vega Premier AESA radar

Scale model of Russia’s future A-100 AWACS aircraft spotted at Army 2016 exhibition


Pictures of what could be the future A-100 “Premier” AWACS aircraft have been released on the specialized russian website A scale-model of the aircraft has been unveiled by the Russian aircraft manufacturer Beriev during Army 2016 exhibition, being held this week in the Moscow region.  Source

%ce%b1_100aewacWe are expecting to receive the A-100 AWACS on the Ilyushin Il-476 platform powered by the PS-90 engine for extended flight range – Image: redstar.grImage:
OKB Illyshin / OKB Beriev
Four bypass engine, PS-90 A
Thrust, kg
4 x 16.000
Length, m
Height, m
Wing span, m
Wing area, m2
Diametr antenna, m
Maximum take-off, kg
Normal take-off, kg
Maximum speed, km/h
Cruising speed, km/h
Service ceiling, m
Range, km

Beriev A-100 specification


The A-50 is fitted with a self-defence system when flying en-route and over patrol zones. The self-defence system ensures protection from guided and unguided weapons of the enemy’s fighters attacking the aircraft from its front and rear hemispheres. The self-defence system includes an electronic countermeasures system.

The aircraft can also be protected from the enemy’s fighter aircraft via guidance of friendly fighters.

The aircraft radio and electronics systems are robust against hostile jamming and provide good combat performance in dense electronic countermeasures environments.

Flight control and navigation

The aircraft is fitted with the NPK-T flight control and navigation system used to ensure air navigation during all flight stages in all-weather day and night and all-year operations performed at all geographical latitudes. The system also provides flight control and navigation data intended for mission specific systems and equipment.



The A-50 carries out patrol missions at an altitude of 5,000m to 10,000m. The patrol service ceiling is 10km. The maximum flight range of the aircraft is 5,000km and the flight endurance is seven hours 40 minutes. At a range of 2,000km, the A-50 can remain on patrol for up to one hour 25 minutes.

The aircraft is manned by five flight crew and ten mission crew. The maximum take-off weight of the aircraft is 170,000kg. It can travel at a maximum speed of 800km/h.


  • A-50M – Modernized Russian Version fitted with mid-air refueling capability.
  • A-50U – updated Russian variant
  • Izdeliye-676 – One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-776 – One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-976 (SKIP) – (СКИП – Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Center) – Il-76 based Range Control and Missile tracking platform. Initially built to support Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile tests. Has fixed radar cover filled with other equipment and glassed navigator cockpit, (One prototype and five production conversions).

Izdeliye-976 (SKIP)

Izdeliye-976 (SKIP)
  • Izdeliye-1076 – One-off special mission aircraft with unknown duties.
  • A-50I – variant with an Israeli radar, designed for China but project cancelled under pressure of United States
  • A-50E/I – With Aviadvigatel PS-90 A-76 engines, with Israeli EL/W-2090 radar made for the Indian Air Force

A-50E/I Indian Air Force

A-50E/I Indian Air Force

Aviadvigatel PS-90 A-76 engine

A-50E/I with Aviadvigatel PS-90 A-76 engines Indian Air Force

The PS-90A-76 aero engine (PS – Pavel Soloviev) is a modification of the PS-90A turbofan. It extends service life of the large fleet of the IL-76 transport airplanes and raises their efficiency by installation of the PS-90A-76 engine instead of the D-30KP. 

It is a high-bypass-ratio, two-shaft turbofan, with mixed flow and a thrust reverser in a fan duct and noise absorbing system. 

The aero engine is intended to power IL-76 cargo aircraft and its modifications.

The engine was certified in 2003.

In 2004 Perm Engine Company launched the serial production of the engine.

PS-90A-76 engines are currently in service at  three (3) Airlines.


Thrust, kg:
-take-off: TH< +30°C , PH > 730 mm Hg, H=0
-cruise: Н=11 km, М=0.8
Specific fuel consumption (with real nozzle), kg/kgf hour 0.595
Flight altitude, m Up to 13100
Air temperature at sea level (for start and operation), ° С -47…+45
Airfield height (versus sea level), m Up to 3500
Engine length, mm 4964
Fan tip diameter, mm 1900
Dry weight, kg  2950
 Weight as delivered, kg  4 160

Advantages of the PS-90A-76 turbofan engine compared to D-30KP

  • Conformity of ecological parameters on emission and noise to ICAO  regulations
  • Increase of reliability and life
  • Improvement of efficiency
  • Availability of thrust augmentation up to 16000 kg


Operators: Here

Specifications (A-50)


General characteristics

  • Crew: 15
  • Length: 49.59m (152 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 50.50 m (165 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 300 m² (3,228 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 75,000 kg (165,347 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 170,000 kg (374,786 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan, 117,68 kN (26,500 lbf) each

Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan

4 × Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan, 117,68 kN (26,500 lbf) each


  • Maximum speed: 900 km/h (559 mph)
  • Range: 6,400 km (3,977 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,371 ft)

Source: the net

Updated Feb 12, 2017


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s