A-50 early-warning radar aeroplane crew

A-50 early-warning radar aeroplane crew

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Caption: A-50 early-warning radar aeroplane crew. They are operating the controls of a Russian Beriev A-50 Shmel AWACS (airborne warning and control system) aircraft. It was developed in the 1970s and entered service in 1984. It uses radar (screens seen here) to detect the location of enemy and friendly aircraft, allowing the operators to communicate the information to the pilots taking part in military air operations. This aircraft is operating from an air base near Minsk, Belarus, while taking part in a military air defence exercise involving forces from the CIS (former Soviet states). Photographed on 23 April 2008.

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