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A-50U  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2013
Maiden Flight: 2011
Total Production: ?
Origin: Russia
Corporations: Vega Radio Engineering Corp.
Parent System: A-50
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1982
Maiden Flight: 1978
Total Production: 42
Family Members: A-50
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Description: The A-50, Mainstay NATO codename, is an Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft derived from the Il-76MD military transport aircraft. The radar antenna is mounted on the Il-76 fuselage like the NATO E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The A-50 is intended to detect and identify airborne and sea objects determining its position, bearing and speed. The objects data collected by the A-50 aircraft is transferred to command centers. In addition, this AWACS aircraft is able to direct aircraft to engage airborne and surface targets. The Soviet Union built around 40 such aircraft in the 1980s with no more than 20 remaining in active service with the Russian Air Force by late 2008. The A-50 maiden flight was carried out in 1978 entering service in 1982.

The A-50 is considered as the Soviet counterpart to the proven E-3 Sentry aircraft. However, Western Intelligence alleges that the Russian/Soviet aircraft is not that much sophisticated than the E-3 AWACS. It is powered by four D-30KP engines rated at 26,500-lb each. A crew of 10-man is required to manage the whole airborne warning system, while the A-50 aircraft only requires a flight crew of five-man. These aircraft are equipped with the Shmel radar system with a maximum detection range of 800 kilometers against missile launches and 300 kilometers against fighter sized targets. It can track up to 200 targets while directing interceptors against 30 targets simultaneously.

The A-50U made its maiden flight in 2011 and entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2013. The aircraft features modern avionics supplied by Vega Radio Engineering Corp which have decreased the aircraft overall weight boosting its range and time on station by 15-20% to about 9,000 kilometers and 11.1 hours without refueling. The Shmel II radar system allows tracking of up to 300 targets with the capability of directing interceptors against 40 targets simultaneously. The Shmel II can track a missile launch at 1,000 kilometers of distance and a fighter sized target at a range of 400 kilometers. The A-50U also features higher comfort for the crew, satellite uplink, improved detection performance against low flying targets and a series of devices/countermeasures to protect itself against attacking aircraft. As of June 2016, only three such aircraft have been deployed by Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.

A-50U Specifications

Crew: 15
Engaged Aerial Targets: 40
Number of Engines: 4
Tracked Aerial Targets: 300
Dimensions
Height: 15 meter (49 foot)
Length: 46 meter (151 foot)
Wingspan: 50 meter (164 foot)
Performance
Ceiling: 10,200 meter (33,465 foot)
Max Detection Range: 500 kilometer
Max Instrumented Range: 1,000 kilometer
Max Range: 9,000 kilometer (4,860 nautical mile)
Time
Flight Endurance: 11.1 hour (0.46 day)
Weight
Max Takeoff Thrust: 106,000 pound (48,082 kilogram)
Max Takeoff Weight: 190 ton (418,871 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

Operators & Related Equipment


OperatorsItems
Russia3
YearHoldings
20163
20153
20143
20131

Grand Total 31
Propulsion Systems
D-30KPx4
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