Taganrog Aircraft Production Association
Radiolocation surveillance and control aircraft built in late 70's to replace Tupolev Tu-126 for detection of approaching bombers and guidance of the interceptors.
Designed by TANTK (Beriev). Transport aircraft Ilyushin Il-76M airframe (manufactured by TAPO in Uzbekistan) were used to built two prototypes (bort numbers 10 and 20) and Il-76MD to built third prototype and serial aircrafts (30-53).
Radar and electronic equipment was prepared by Moskovskiy Nauchno-Isslyedovatyelskiy Institut Priborostroyeniya (MNIIP, Moskov Scientific-Research Institute for Instrument Engineering; now NPO Vega-M). Radar is named Shmyel (= Bumblee-bee).
In 1998 new Shmyel-2 was prepared for A-50M, abandoned in 90's.
Since 1990 Shmyel-M is developed for A-50U (Uproshchyenniy - Simplified). Now first A-50 is modernised to A-50U standard and undergoing flight test.
Prototype for China (A-50 no 44 with civil registration RA-78740) was built with israeli Phalcon, but contract was not realised. China built a few its own AWACS using Il-76 airframes, named KJ-2000.
In Iraq two Il-76 was rebuilded to experimental AWACS airpanes Adnan (now one of them is in Iran).
Aircraft A-50 was sold in 2007-2008 to Indian Air Force as EI, with israeli radar Phalcon. First prototype in spring 2008 (s.n. KW-3551).
Pattern to serial production.
24 serial machines were built (including third prototype) by TAPO. Are deployed at Siauliau in Lithuania (67 OAE DRLO), then at Beriozovka (144 OAP DRLO), now at Ivanovo-Syevyerniy (= Ivanovo-North) near Moskva (2457 AB BP SRLDN, Avya Baza Bojevogo Primyenyenya SRLDN = Air Base of the Combat Purpose of the Radiolocation Surveillance and Control Aircrafts).In 2008 about 20 in service.
5 machines built for LII (Flight Research Institute) at Zhukovskiy to conduct flight test of missiles and aircrafts. Ilyushin Il-76M transport aircrafts airframes were used. Aircrafts have no military instalation, except Shmyel radar of course.
© 2008-2018 Mariusz Wojciechowski, Słupsk (Poland)