Russia’s A-100 Premier AWACS passes test flights with flying colors

Subscribe to Google News

Footage of the new Russian long-range radar detection and control aircraft, the A-100 Premier, has surfaced online during test flights. Reports indicate that an experimental prototype of the A-100 Premier AWACS aircraft is nearing the completion of its tests. 

Photo credit: Twitter

According to these reports, the prototype A-100 Premier AWACS aircraft is entering the final phase of full-scale testing for its airborne long-range radar detection system under near-combat conditions. Once these tests are successfully completed, serial production is expected to commence.

The A-100 Premier, equipped with a new onboard radar station named “Premier,” is based on the modernized Il-76MD-90A. Developed in 2014 by experts from the Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex named after Beriev in collaboration with the NGO “Vega-M,” part of the state corporation “Ruselectronica,” this aircraft is intended to gradually replace the aging A-50 line of AWACS aircraft. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The cutting-edge A-100 radar system, boasting an active phased array antenna, can function in radio-electronic reconnaissance. It comes equipped with terminals that allow it to exchange information with Russian fighters and anti-aircraft missile systems over secure, stable communication lines. This feature is crucial for target designation across air, ground, and surface targets.

Beyond its radar capabilities, the A-100 flying radar can receive data from space satellites and control drones, relaying this information to both ground and airborne weapons. Additionally, it seamlessly interacts with ground reconnaissance systems, such as long-range radar, enhancing overall situational awareness. 

Designed to serve as a versatile airborne command center, the A-100 Premier can simultaneously detect and track up to 350 air, sea, and ground targets at distances reaching up to 650 km. 

The A-100 Premier AWACS boasts an impressive range of about 5,000 kilometers and can stay airborne for over 10 hours without refueling. Let’s dive into some key features of this advanced Russian radar system.

First, the flying laboratory A-100LL, based on the standard A-50 aircraft, made its maiden flight in October 2016. By November 2017, the first prototype of the A-100 Premier took to the skies, developed from the ground up using the Il-76MD-90A. This prototype’s testing was meant to pave the way for its mass production. However, due to various factors, the timeline for completing these tests and starting serial production has been pushed back significantly, now targeted for 2024. 

In 2020, promising news emerged from Taganrog, revealing the ongoing construction of another A-100 aircraft set to join the testing phase. Fast forward to February 2022, Rostec announced a milestone achievement: the first flight of the new A-100 complex equipped with onboard radar technology was successfully conducted.

Looking ahead, we can anticipate the introduction of Russia’s latest AWACS A-100 aircraft with the advanced Premier radar system by the end of the year. This, however, comes despite the absence of any official statements on the matter. 

Additionally, in March, Sergey Chemezov, head of Rostec, mentioned that alongside the A-100 Premier program, they plan to modernize and resume the production of the A-50U long-range radar detection and control aircraft to meet the current needs of the Russian Armed Forces.


Follow us everywhere and at any time. has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical principles

a-100 flying colorsa-100 passes testa-100 premier awacsa-100 test flightsAir systemsAsian Defence NewsDefense Newsrussian a-100Russian Defence News