Beriev Aircraft Company and the Russian Air Force are working on a successor to the Cold War-era Beriev A-50 "Mainstay" Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWACS) platform (detailed elsewhere on this site). The new entry is set to feature a powerful all-new Active Phased Array radar fit (named "Premier") by Vega Radio Engineering among other modern equipment. Like the A-50 before it, the A-100 will be based on an existing fuselage of the four-engined Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft family.
Equipment for the A-100 is being actively tested on an A-100LL "flying laboratory" which, itself, is built atop the framework of the A-50. The new radar sees the large, rotating radome fitted over the dorsal spine of the aft fuselage, ahead of the tail unit, and allows for tracking of both land and maritime targets, giving it a decided advantage over the battlespace. Externally, the A-100 continues the form and function established by the Il-76 series in that its flightdeck is sat over a short nosecone assembly, the wings are mounted high along the fuselage sides and a "T-style" tail unit is featured. The A-100 has a multi-wheeled undercarriage for ground-running and each wing mainplane is swept rearwards while managing the load of a pair of underslung engine nacelles.
The fuselage is taken from the Il-76MD-90A production model. The powerplant arrangement is 4 x Aviadvigatel PS-90A-76 turbofan engine units, each developing up to 32,000lb of thrust. Official specifications include an overall length of 152.9 feet, a wingspan of 165.7 feet and a height of 48.4 feet. Maximum speed is said to be in the 900 kmh range.
The A-100 is expected to reach the Russian Air Force inventory sometime around 2020. A first-flight is tentatively scheduled before the end of 2017 after which point a lengthy, intensive testing phase will commence to trial the mission equipment in an active manner.
The original A-50, currently (2017) in service with Russia and India, was introduced in 1984 during the latter stages of the Cold War and saw production of some forty aircraft from 1978 until 1992. The A-50 was used to succeed the earlier Tupolev Tu-126 "Moss" series (detailed elsewhere on this site).
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November 2017 - A first-flight of an A-100 aircraft was recorded on November 18th, 2017.
None. Special-mission equipment carried as well as countermeasures suite.
A-100 "Premiere" - Base Series Designation; featuring fuselage of the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A production transport; Vega radar fit.
A-100LL - Flying laboratory for equipment testing; based on A-50 Mainstay framework.
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Image from official United Aircraft press release.
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