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Beriev A-50

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The Beriev A-50 Shmel (Template:Lang-ru 'bumble bee'), (NATO reporting name: Mainstay) is a Russian airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport. Developed to replace the Tupolev Tu-126 'Moss', the A-50 first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.

Design and development

File:Beriev A-50 color.jpg
Beriev A-50 Shmel

The mission personnel of the 15-man crew derive data from the large Liana surveillance radar with its antenna in an over-fuselage rotordome, which has a diameter of 29 ft 9 in (9.00 m).

The A-50 can control up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions. The A-50 is capable of flying for 4 hours at a 1000 km from its base at a maximum takeoff weight of 190 tons. The aircraft can be refuelled by Il-78 tankers[1][2], although some sources indicates flight tests showed that aerial refueling was all but impossible because the rotodome would hit turbulence from the tanker, causing severe buffeting.[3]

The radar "Vega-M" is designed by MNIIP, Moscow, and produced by NPO Vega. The "Vega-M" is capable of tracking up to 50 targets simultaneously within 230 kilometers. Large targets, like surface ships, can be tracked at a distance of 400 km.


  • A-50M - Modernized Russian Version fitted with mid-air refueling capability.[4]
  • A-50U - updated Russian variant
  • Izdeliye-676[5] - One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-776[5] - One-off stop-gap telemetry and tracking aircraft.
  • Izdeliye-976 (SKIP)[5] - (СКИП - Самолетный Контрольно-Измерительный Пункт, Airborne Check-Measure-and-Control Center) - Il-76 based Range Control and Missile tracking platform. Initially built to support Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile tests.Has fixed radar cover filled with other equipment and glassed navigator cockpit, (One prototype and five production conversions).
  • Izdeliye-1076[5] - One-off special mission aircraft with unknown duties.
  • A-50I - variant with Israeli Phalcon radar, designed for China but project cancelled under pressure of United States
  • A-50E/I - export version with Russian Shmel or Israeli Phalcon radar
  • KJ-2000 - Chinese variant based on the A-50I airframe



Specifications (A-50)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 15
  • Length: 49.59m (152 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 50.50 m (165 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 300 m² (3,228 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 75,000 kg (165,347 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 170,000 kg (374,786 lb)
  • Powerplant:Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofan, 157 kN (35,200 lbf) each


See also

Related development: Ilyushin Il-76, KJ-2000

Comparable aircraft: E-3 Sentry


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Template:Beriev aircraft

de:Berijew A-50 el:Beriev A-50 ko:A-50 메인스테이 it:Beriev A-50 nl:Beriev A-50 ja:A-50 (航空機) ro:Beriev A-50 ru:А-50 fi:Berijev A-50 sv:A-50 Mainstay tr:Beriev A-50 vi:Ilyushin A-50

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beriev A-50".