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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force will be getting its 11th and probably last C-17 Transport aircraft from Boeing in Oct-November this year but Senior officials of Indian Air Force have already begun scanning for surplus C-17s which can fill the void left for IAF’s desires to procure two more C-17s to make a fleet of 13 aircraft.

With 11 Aircraft fleet of C-17s, IAF will be Second largest fleet operator of C-17s in the world after the United States Air Force (USAF) which has C-17 fleet of over 220 aircraft, but procurement of Surplus C-17s will not easy after closure of the production line by Boeing and many fleet operators are very keen on holding to their Transport Assets that includes USAF.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

In 2012, India and Russia agreed to Jointly develop Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) which Russians Call Il-214 but in 2016, India decided to withdraw from the program after serious difference cropped up due to technical specification of the Transporter forcing IAF to advise its government to back off the program.

MTA/Il-214 was supposed to replace aging An-32 light military transport aircraft which India had procured from soviet Unions in the early ’80s. IAF operates over 100 of them across the breadth of the country and is known as a workhorse of the Indian Air Force which is regularly used to access Strategically placed Airbases in Northeast and other regions for the supply of materials, equipment and for deployment of Troops.

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SOURCE: ABHAY KESARKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

In a surprise announcement, Indian Government confirmed that DRDO and Indian Army are carrying out developmental trials of upgraded Arjun Mark- 1A, which now comes with over 93 modifications have been done over the first version of Arjun Mark-1 variant, which was first inducted from 2011 on wards in Indian Army.

Arjun Mark-1A is actually earlier work which was carried out to develop Mark 2 variant which now is going through further improvements and weight reduction that it is still a few years away from being production ready. After considerable improvement to its Armour and with several modifications and upgrades, the weight of the present tank has ballooned to 68 tonnes from 58 tonnes of that of Mark-1 variant.

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SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s all-weather, subsonic cruise missile ” Nirbhay” went past 2018 without any test flight even though the indigenous program has faced continuous delays and several project extensions that Ministry of Defence are concerned by continuous delays to the program which was initiated nearly decade ago.

The maiden test flight of ‘Nirbhay’ was held on March 12, 2013, and had to be terminated midway due to malfunctions. The second trial in 2014 was a success but in 2015 and 2016 again missile failed to meet its objectives and trials were declared failures. In 2017, Nirbhay was tested successfully again but with a PTAE-7 turbojet engine instead of the Russian turbofan engine borrowed from the Pilotless target aircraft (PTA) Lakshya-II.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

DRDO recently postponed the missile’s maiden test launch due to Cyclone Phethai but region continues to face Inclement weather due to which developmental trials of India’s Pralay Tactical Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) has been hold up and has forced DRDO Scientists to wait for weather gods to present them a launch window.

Pralay, is a tactical Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM) developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under a classified project to meet Indian Army’s firepower requirement in its eastern border with China where PLA also has deployed tactical missile system of similar class towards India.

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SOURCE: PRAVIN DHAUSKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

ADA and HAL are few weeks or even a few days away from finally getting much waited LCA-Tejas Mk1 variant certified with final operational combat status which mark’s clearance of all developmental trials associated with the aircraft’s flight program and standardization of the production line which will further smooth en out assemble line and allow HAL to manufacture more LCA-Tejas per year than its current numbers.

2019 is also the year when HAL will start working on Mk1A variant which will come with new upgraded avionics and sub-systems which were demanded by the customers in recently ordered 83 aircraft. By end of 2019, HAL is expected to start assembly work of the first two Mk1A aircraft which will be ready to make its first flight by end of 2020.

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SOURCE:  PARESH NAIK / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Majority Government, a rare first in last 30 years came to power with promises that it will fix one of the core issues of independent India that it will Terror activities in Kashmir region and also abolish Article 370 which gave residents of the state special rights over other Indians from other states.

Once back in power, Modi was more keen on winning more states rather than working on key issues of India which could have made Modi forever remembered in history books of India has a politician who fixed Kashmir issue permanently for India. No efforts were made for the Abolishment of Article 370 neither in Parliament nor in our Courts which makes many last time voters wonder Why Modi Couldn’t fix the Kashmir Issue? and how he can now even promise to do so, even when he is not likely to come back to power with a brute majority he enjoyed previously?.

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SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

One of the most anticipated and upcoming milestones in India’s LCA-Tejas program will include certification of Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the aircraft after its first flight nearly 18 years ago. Long-delayed and long pending FOC Certification is just a few flights away for the program and till now it had an accident free developmental flight program which deserves great appreciation for the entire team which has been closely working with the program since its day if inception.

Its quite common, while in the development of contemporary fighter jet in recent years,even by advanced countries, aircraft have been lost while going through developmental trials and it’s a rare feat that India’s LCA-Tejas program which will soon achieve final Full Operational Capability certification, never ever faced any crash or major accidents in its entire developmental cycle which is quite impressive since it was only for the second time India was developing a fighter jet on its own in last 70 years of its existence. Continue reading

SOURCE: ABHAY KESARKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Nearly 16 years ago, on 7 March 2003, HAL developed HJT-36 Sitara subsonic intermediate jet trainer aircraft took to air promising to replace aging HAL HJT-16 Kiran as the Stage-2 trainer for Indian Air Force. The project was first sanctioned at with initial funding of Rs.180 crore in 1999, way before even first LCA-Tejas fighter aircraft had first made its flight.

Since then 12 limited series-production HJT-36 plus Two Prototypes were produced over the years but after back to back crashes in 2007 and 2009, the whole project has been under spiral tailspin without any sign of recovery of the project. Continue reading

SOURCE: ANTON NORONHA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India intends to develop a Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) with a seating capacity for 70-90 passengers that could be manufactured in the country in a cost-effective manner. The aircraft will be used to connect cities over 500km apart and CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) has been asked to carry out feasibility studies for the project.

While on the other hand, American Civilian passenger plane manufacture ” Boeing” in its long-term forecast for commercial airplanes in India, projects need for 2,300 new jets worth $320 billion over the next 20 years. as per segment wise bifurcation provided by Boeing, Regional jets with the seating capacity of less 90 makes up only 10, while Narrow-body aircraft with seating capacity of 90 and more are expected to have orders of 1940 aircraft making up the bulk of the orders in Indian Civilian passenger airline market. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

As per industrial sources close to idrw.org, Ministry of Defence is likely to place follow-on orders for more Seven Chinook heavy-lift choppers American aviation giant Boeing and the US government soon to avail price validity of previous deal for 15 Chinook choppers signed earlier in 2015.

A contract for the purchase of CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Boeing had a clause where India can place orders for seven extra Chinooks for the same price, but this clause is time bound and already previous contract has gone through 10 price validity extensions and it will be difficult for Boeing and US government to offer additional helicopters at same price if India is unable to place orders in time. Continue reading

SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

In 2012, IAF was given a Government Clearance to start looking for a replacement aircraft which can replace aging 57 HS 748 AVRO which were in service since its induction from 1962. Airbus C295 Transporter emerged as the winning candidate after going through tender and technical trials some time back. but a final deal still evades IAF due to an unforeseen cold fleet which Government has developed so that it can locally be manufactured in India.

HAL was kept off the Airbus C295 deal by the government on purpose so that this new aircraft could have been manufactured locally in India by a TATA-Airbus Joint-Venture, but due to continued delays in the final agreement , HAL has now proposed IAF and Government that it has found that several Avro aircraft have a lot of residual air-frame life left in them and thus can be upgraded with new all-glass cockpit along with new engines to enable them to be used for next two decades in the force . Continue reading

SOURCE: AMIT PANDEY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

While India might be newcomer to the world of Ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), yet it is not too far away from China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) when it comes to the Nuclear ships and missile it has under its disposal when it comes to direct comparison with regional arch-rival China.

PLAN has JL-2 (CH-SS-N-14) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with a range of around 7500km is currently operational. JL-1 it’s predecessor with a range of 2500km which now has been decommissioned from the service due to technical difficulties and also due to lack of credible launch platform resulting in the development of JL-2 SLBMs which are equipped on 6 Type-094 (Jin-class) nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs). Continue reading

SOURCE: AMIT PANDEY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

After Turkey and Pakistan signed their biggest-ever arms deal, for the supply of 30 T129 ATAK multipurpose helicopters for the Pakistani military for $1.5 billion. US-based manufacturer Honeywell and Britain’s Rolls-Royce has been blocked by US Administration for the supply of LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines which powers the T129 ATAK attack choppers.

US-made parts of the engines that are meant to power the aircraft have been denied export license from the US Department of Defense. Pakistan and Turkey agreed to seek a replacement variant for the engines but it will prolong the deliveries of the T129 ATAK attack choppers since it will need to go through re-certification of the engines. Continue reading

SOURCE: ANITA DESAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has recently gone ahead and has signed a deal with Israeli Company for the supply of 83 ELM-2052 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and ELL-8212/22WB electronic warfare suite (EW suite).

Interestingly DRDO developed Electronic warfare suite (EW suite) onboard Tejas-PV1 light combat aircraft has been performing developmental trials for close to last four years and the program is near completion of its development, Which obviously raised few eyebrows and raised questions why local indigenous Electronic warfare suite (EW suite) was ignored for an imported one. Continue reading