The Russian Air Force is set to take delivery of two advanced variants of the Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control system (AWACS), following the announcement of plans by the Defence Ministry to focus more heavily on the development of support capabilities into the early 2020s after a series of major new additions to its combat fleet leading up to 2018. While Russia’s Air Force is still recieving combat aircraft regularly, from dozens of Su-30 air superiority jets to high tech new MiG-35 light fighters, support platforms such as the A-50 are able to act as effective force multipliers for the air fleet as a whole – facilitating better coordination among combat assets while providing valuable information to fighter squadrons using its massive Liana surveillance radar – allowing it to detect airborne targets up to 650km away.

AWACS platforms to be delivered to the Russian Air Force in 2018 are of the A-50U variant, which come with heavily modified electronics. The first aircraft of this variant were inducted into service in 2011, and have been extensively combat te

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