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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The State-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has confirmed the conclusion of the carriage and separation trials of the Astra Mk3 Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile that has a maximum range of 340km and now DRDO is preparing to assemble a fully integrated missile that could be used for the first developmental trials sometime in mid of next year.

Astra Mk3 FT-01 and FT-02 missiles were used for separation trials that took place sometime earlier this year from the frontline Su-30MKI jets. Astra Mk3 will have the same length and dimension as the Meteor missile but will weigh 218kg which is 28kg more than the Meteor missile in its class.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

SCRAPPED INDO-RUSSIAN MTA

State-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) management is trying to draw up support for the development of an indigenous Medium Transport aircraft Program in the country by having talks with many public and private sector players that could be part of the supply chain for yet to be the proposed program.

Last year idrw.org had reported that HAL’s Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan in an interview had said that ” he is confident about the maturity level of indigenous capabilities in the aerospace sector along with private sector partners, India can come up with indigenous offerings not only for military transport aircraft but also for the complete spectrum of civil aircraft “.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

DRDO has been carrying out Research and Development to develop a missile based on the LFRJ (Liquid Fuel Ramjet) Engine for STAR (Supersonic TARget), a target missile capable of hitting Mach 2.5 speed to help surface warship crews practice how to detect and defeat incoming supersonic anti-ship missiles. STAR can be launched from the ground and ships using a Catapult-launched system and has a range of 55-175km with RCS of 0.2-1.9m2 and a shelf life of 10 years.

DRDO also has plans to develop air-launched variants of STAR (Supersonic TARget) that can be used as Anti-AWACS and Anti-Radiation missiles for the entire Tejas Mk1A and Mk2 fleet. idrw.org has been told that the baseline STAR variant is already at prototype stages and likely will be tested later this year.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

A New variant of the American afterburning turbofan engine called F414-GE-400 that can generate 116 kN class of Thrust, which is way more than its current predecessor F414-INS6 (98 kN) will be available from 2024-25 onwards for the United States operated F-18E/F Super Hornet fleet and same will be made available for all the existing operators of the F414 powered jets in plug and play configuration without requiring any changes to the air intake or any need for modification to the lower rear fuselage of the aircraft or its engine bay.

In 2021, GE Sales officials made a presentation on the new engine variant to Indian officials that is currently under development at the request of the US Navy and the same will be offered to all prospective clients. India already had placed orders for 99 414-INS6 (98 kN) engines to be used for the Tejas Mk2 program and had received 12 units initially to be equipped on the first few Tejas Mk2 and prototypes of the AMCA that are to be used for developmental flight trials.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The Philippine air force is looking to procure light multirole fighters that can be used primarily to fight insurgents. The Philippine air force operates FA-50 from South Korea which is classified as light combat aircraft but Manila wants light jets that are much more capable than their recent acquisition and are far more capable fighter aircraft.

The Philippine air force had evaluated Saab Gripen and Lockheed Martin F/16V but then-President Rodrigo Duterte had called F-16 fighter jets “utterly useless” because his Air force needs lighter combat aircraft to fight insurgents which F-16 is not capable of.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

FILE PIC

The Defence Research and Development Organisation recently bagged massive orders for its 110km ranged Astra Mk1 beyond visual range air to air missile and soon has plans to start developmental trials of the Astra Mk2 that will have a range of 160-180km in coming months with Astra Mk3 that has a range over 300km also in the pipeline, DRDO family of air to air missile will not be complete unless it also develops short-ranged air to air missiles, but idrw.org has been told that three new program is in work to meet such requirements.

Astra IR is an interim solution where the basic airframe of the Astra Mk1 will be used to equip it with an imaging infra-red homing seeker to be used as an all-weather, fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile system. Astra IR will have a reduced range than Astra Mk1 but will also have better maneuverability in the terminal phase. Astra IR will be capable of lock-on after launch (LOAL) feature which means the missile can be fired even before the seeker acquires the target at the launch acquisition range. Astra IR will be DRDO’s first Indigenous offering in the short-range air-to-air missile program.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

European multinational developed Eurofighter Typhoon is only jet that along with Dassault Rafale that had cleared technical rounds of trials that were conducted in now scrapped MMRCA tender that Dassault Rafale won based on the L1 tender requirements which made it cheaper than the Eurofighter Typhoon which many claim Eurofighter consortium lost by a small margin.

idrw.org has been told that the Eurofighter consortium plans to respond to the Request for Proposal (RFP) that the Indian Air Force plans to issue by end of this year or early next year with price cuts that might make the jet much cheaper than the Dassault Rafale.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Israel Aerospace Industries(IAI) have joined hands to carry out the Conversion of Pre-Owned B767 into Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) for which both companies have started the process to find suitable used 767 airframes at low cost, then perform the conversion. IAF is onboard this program and has joined HAL to decide on the final configuration for the first six jets that are to be converted as HAL eyes more orders of the same.

The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twinjet airliner that is listed at an average price of just under $90 million per aircraft that have aged for less than 10 years in service and the rate goes down to $65 million if it’s around 20. The low utilization rate of MMTT platforms even on a 20-year platform when compared to commercial passenger aircraft miles will still come with long-term service life in IAF.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has started fabrication of the indigenous Tejas Mark II multirole combat jet featuring a much more powerful engine, greater load-carrying capability, next-generation electronic warfare system and an array of superior avionics that is expected to be rolled out by end of this year with its first high-speed trials will start in 2023 but the approvals for the funds that came from the initial seed amount meant for the original Tejas Mark II program (re-engine Mk1 with F414) is still being used to fabricate the prototype, after which ADA the nodal design agency won’t have money left to fund fabrication of the second prototype.

IDRW.ORG has been told that ADA has some funds to place orders for some of the components but it won’t be enough to place orders for all the components and systems that are required for the fabrication of the second prototype. without sanction of additional funds, purchase order might not be issued in time that could mean delays in the supply leading to further delays in rollout of the second prototype that was planned in 2024-25.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India recently test-fired a new helicopter-launched anti-ship missile “Naval Anti-Ship Missile-Short Range” or NASM-SR which has a range of 55 km and weighs 385 kg. DRDO has plans to carry out more trials soon of the missile system after the first trial validated its flight profile and its propulsion technology.

Trials planned for the later part of the year will involve testing its active/passive IR seeker and its target engagement capabilities. NASM-SR will very effective against smaller vessels like patrol boats and can also cause widespread damage to larger vessels but DRDO already has started work on its extended variant of the missile that will have twice the range and will also be integrated into the frontline warships.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer, Embraer is looking for an industrial partner for the development and further expansion of its C-390 supply chain worldwide sale after the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) reduced its KC-390 order to 22 units from 26 units that are likely will further reduce from the current 22 units to only 15 units after approval from the congress.

idrw.org has been told that Embraer officials have been making a beeline in India to meet top-ranking air force officials and senior defense ministry officials to promote tactical airlifter in the country and also scout for supply chain industrial partners from India.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

UNDERBELLY OF A340

India’s quest to test its Dry Kaveri engine on the Russian IL-76 Flying Test Bed as part of its High altitude Trials received some setbacks recently due to the ongoing war in Ukraine but the prayers of the organization to have its Flying Test Bed might be answered soon if the proposal made is accepted by the Ministry of Defence. It’s been for a decade now that GTRE has been requesting having its IL-76 Transporter be converted into a flying Test Bed for engine trials along with that it wanted one used Mig-29 to be used for final certification trials but both these proposals were immediately put on backburners after the Kaveri program was delinked from the LCA Program in 2008.

GTRE developed the Dry Kaveri engine that is presently generating 46kN of thrust and is now waiting for further High altitude Trials before it can be cleared to be used for experimental flights on the Technological demonstrator of a Stealth Unmanned Strike aircraft program that is under development. GTRE-Safran will be soon jointly be developing a 110kN powerplant for India’s 5th Generation AMCA program for which Safran has proposed to use Dassault-owned Rafale as Flying Test Bed.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

On ongoing Ukraine-Russia war might have delayed Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) plans to commence high altitude trials of the Kaveri Dry engine that is currently generating 46kN of thrust on using a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 transport as a testbed nearly 12 years after its first such trials in 2010 but the redesigned Kaveri engine core that GTRE has now is much more stable engine and has all technical issues related to the noise at high throttle testing and combustion flicker has not only been fixed but have been validated multiple times on the ground rig trials of the engine.

GTRE had planned to complete the initial flight realize (IFR) by end of 2024 which now might be slightly delayed but it’s important that the engine in terms of reliability, safety, and airworthiness is tested on the flying testbed said an informed source close to idrw.org.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The latest Indian media reports indicate that the Indian defense ministry will be cutting down from the tender for 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) to just 57 which will give a big boost to the French Dassault Rafale fighter jet that India already has acquired in its fleet. idrw.org already has reported in the past that Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL), a joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure and Dassault Aviation is been prepared for local manufacturing of license production of Rafale fighter jets in the country.

DRAL will be in charge of the assembly line of Rafale jets in the country where jets will be assembled under kit transfer coming from the french facilities and suppliers that are already engaged in manufacturing the jet and are part of the supply chain.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) a DRDO Lab and French multinational aircraft engine Safran will be concluding a joint venture deal for the development of a new high thurst 110kN engine for the AMCA program by end of this month with a flight-worthy engine likely to be ready by 2028 for trials onboard a Dassault owned Rafale fighter jet that might be used as a Flying Test Bed for the new engine.

Rafale jets that are powered by a 75kN Snecma M88 afterburning turbofan in twin-engine configuration will have one new 110kN engine in one of the engine bays to be used for the Qualification of the basic pre-production engine by end of 2028 and in the same year or early 2029, a production engine might be delivered.

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