Two highly-modified special mission Bombardier Global 5000 business jets are now in service with India’s Aviation Research Centre (ARC), which is part of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, under the control of the Cabinet Secretariat. The first had been delivered to the ARC’s base at Palam Air Force Station, New Delhi/Indira Ghandi International Airport, by the end of January and the second arrived there last night, February 12.
Both were modified for their airborne intelligence-gathering (electronic intelligence/signals intelligence) mission by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Global 5000s have been acquired to replace three ageing Indian Air Force Gulfstream III SRA-1 aircraft, specially modified for the same role, that have been in use for over two decades.
The Global 5000s incorporate various multi-mission airborne reconnaissance and surveillance systems, including electro-optical and synthetic aperture radars. Their multi-mission airborne reconnaissance and surveillance systems will be used on missions along India’s borders with China and Pakistan. It is reported that their new equipment will be able to collect electronic and ground intelligence up to 110 miles (180km) inside neighbouring countries’ borders. Alan Warnes