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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria who is set to retire by September end, in a meeting with his counterpart, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh recently suggested that the Navy should back the development of Naval AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), which is the fifth generation deck based fighter jet variant over the now proposed Twin-Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) concept that was showcased for the first time at the Aero India 2021 as per informed sources close to idrw.org.

In 2016, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and the Indian Navy had held talks for the development of a deck based 5th gen fighter jet based on the AMCA concept but after flexibility studies and deliberation held after submitting of its findings, it was settled that the Navy will instead go for clean slate 4.5 generation TEDBF program instead of going for the development of deck based variant based on the AMCA.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

HAL chairman and managing director R. Madhavan recently confirmed that the Tejas Mk1A will take to air by March 2022, what was not disclosed was that it won’t be a newly build aircraft but rather will be a Final Operational Configuration (FOC) Tejas Mk1 aircraft that will be used as a Flying Test Bed (FTB) for the Tejas Mk1A Program. idrw.org has been told one of the FOC Tejas Mk1 aircraft will be used as FTB to test the Israeli supplied ELTA-ELM-2052 AESA Fire Control Radar (FCR) and the ELL-8222WB self-protection jammer (SPJ) mounted on an external pod.

IAF will be getting 2 Tejas Mk1A jets by March 2024 and 8 more by March 2025, the rest 63 will be handed over by 2029 with a production rate hitting 21 aircraft per year from 2025-26 onwards and the production line to be vacated for the LCA MkII program from 2029-30 onwards.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Navy is looking to procure a Squadron of the final operational configuration LCA-Navy Mk1 as an ab initio trainer jets for the naval pilots to hone their skills in Deck-based operation from the aircraft carrier before they graduate to flying high-performance deck based fighter jets like Mig-29k and TEDBF. idrw.org has been informed that the Navy is considering HAL’s proposal to procure 18 jets that will be deputed on board both aircraft carriers to serve as an upcoming dedicated carrier training squadron and also has a point air defense interceptor.

The Indian Navy already has inducted 17 Hawk 132, Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft in 2013 that are used for the training of combat pilots in the Navy by bridging the gap between basic flying training and advanced fighter flying, but can’t be used for Deck-based operation from the aircraft carrier . LCA-Navy Mk1 that has demonstrated deck-based operations from the INS Vikramaditya in 2019, that will be used to train advanced stage of training of Pilots before they move to Mig-29K and later to TEDBF Squadrons.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

CUT OUT OF THE KTJ-3200 Turbojet Engine DEVELOPED BY TURKEY

The State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) along with Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) has started manufacturing of Two Technological Demonstrator turbojet engine that has a 3.2kN thrust producing capacity for India’s first Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) Program. The turbojet engine is optimized for use especially on cruise missiles and will likely be seen in the HAL’s CATS Hunter ALCM that was earlier displayed at Aero India 2021 this year and can also be used on unmanned platforms such as target drones, etc as per information provided to idrw.org. 

The Turbojet Engine is planned to have a service life of 17 hours and has a 3.2kN thrust producing capacity that can maintain and sustain in flight duration for 16+min that should give it a range of 300+km at its peak speed of 0.85M. Indigenously designed and produced, Turbojet Engine is 74cm in length, 31cm in diameter, and has a total Dry weight of 44kg. 

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

General Electric Company (GE) of USA and India’s State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently concluded a contract for procurement of 99 more F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engines for the 73 Tejas Mk1A and 10 Tejas Mk1 Trainer jets that were ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) earlier this year at Aero India 2021. HAL also confirmed that it plans to assemble F414-INS6 engines for the LCA-AF MkII program once the program enters the production stage.

In October 2010, General Electric defeated the Eurojet consortium in a contest to provide powerplant for the LCA-AF MkII program. Under the 2010 agreement, GE Aviation was to provide an initial batch of 18 F414-INS6 engines that could come from the US, with the remainder 81 engines to be produced in India. idrw.org has been told, the contract has provision for additional 30 engines but the LCA-AF MkII fleet will be getting an Indigenous 110kN class of thrust engine at a later stage.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The TEDBF (Twin Engine deck Based Fighter) program will soon be taken as a priority mission after Navy decided to drop plans to procure 37 Deck-based fighter jets from an International vendor for operations from aircraft carrier as ADA and Navy are close to finalizing the final design specifications of the proposed 4.5++ Gen Deck based fighter program to be called as TEDBF that will replace Russian Mig-29K from 2035.

ADA has estimated that the TEDBF Research and Development program cost will be around 13000 crores that first needs to be cleared from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) out of which 60% will come from the Government and 40% from the Navy’s Budget for which ADA and Navy need to first agree on minimum order unit of the jet that will go into production. as per information provided to idrw.org, ADA-Navy will settle on 100 units of TEDBF that will be enough for three carrier strike groups (CSG).

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The U.S. Navy under its Undergraduate Jet Training System (UJTS) program plans to replace its aging T-45 Goshawk with a new advanced jet trainer and according to US media reports, the Navy will be soon be deciding on the bids that it has received that includes LCA-Navy Mk1 offered by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) but the biggest challenge seems to be coming from the Boeing that is pitching a version of the T-7A Red Hawk that’s already has been selected as the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation jet trainer.

The other two offers received are from Lockheed Martin that has teamed up with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to offer its T-50A and M-346 that is offered by the Leonardo for the Navy trainer competition. US media reports are giving slim chance to India’s LCA-Navy Mk1 due to cheaper alternatives that will come in form of T-7A Red Hawk and also due to massive orders that USAF already has placed with Boeing for the T-7A .

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India test-launched Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) with a new GTRE developed Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE) that develops a 450 kgf thrust class, while the ITCM flew for very short range since the focus of the latest trial was to gauge the performance of the new engine performance and it has been said that the turbofan engine performed well. ITCM flew only for 150km that is just 15% of its actual range but DRDO has plans to put the ITCM and the STFE through their paces with more trials that have been planned later this year and next year.

idrw.org has been told that two more trials have been planned where the focus will be to validate the turbofan engine performance further. The next trial will be planned will be of its full range and one more will be to demonstrate its ability to fly at Low-level flying while navigating to multiple waypoints. Once STFE performance is validated then it will clear the path for the development trial of the Air launched ITCM that has been planned for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be tested in 2022-23 to supplement supersonic BrahMos-A.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant recently returned after a five-day sea trial with deliveries planned to the Indian Navy in 2022, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) that manufactured Vikrant in association with the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) has offered to construct a sister class ship of the IAC-1 with more than 76% indigenous content since local expertise that has been build while Navy’s plans to construct a bigger 65000 ton IAC-2 was been put on hold due to budget constraints.

Indian Navy wants to operate a fleet of three aircraft carriers so that it can have at least two on active duty while the third one is kept in drydocks to undergo regular maintenance. The Navy earlier was strongly against the construction of a sister ship of the Vikrant is now reconsidering its position due to the rapid construction pace of the Chinese aircraft carriers and their growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) that might see at least one permanent carrier strike group (CSG) deployment in IOR in near future said an Industrial source close to idrw.org.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The Indian Navy will be pursuing the development of a lethal carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft to be operated from India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and what will follow next as the Navy has started the discussion with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the development of an autonomous stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) that can operate from an aircraft carrier.

A carrier-based low observable Unmanned Combat Air System for surveillance, strike, and possibly for other missions has been identified. Special studies and funds could be required to prove that the unmanned aircraft could safely launch and be recovered from an aircraft carrier for which a new program could be initiated that will be independent of the air force unmanned combat air vehicle program that is currently under development.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

State-run aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently announced that Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) has been granted spin certification after it performed ten turn spins and limited serial production is likely to being by end of this year.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) also received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for their Basic Trainers requirement at the Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru on February 04, 2021. The RFP is for 70 HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) with provision for 38 more. IAF has not asked HTT-40 BTA to be provided in Weaponized configuration, but HAL is keen to have a Weaponized Variant considering it requirements in the export market.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hyderabad-based defence PSU, Midhani, has begun supplying the titanium alloy material needed to make a full-scale model of the airframe for the AMCA aircraft. The model, manufactured by the Vem Technologies Private Limited will then move to the Outdoor RCS Test Facility, “ORANGE”, at Dundigal and Kautilya Advanced Research Centre at RCI, Hyderabad later in 2022 for series of tests that are been planned.

AMCA full-scale model initially will be to validate the design and for the measurement of the Radar Cross Section and to verify that the aircraft’s stealth characteristics meet specifications determined by the ADA-DRDO along with IAF. Future test phases will be to validate and measure installed antenna pattern, gain and phase measurements for the AMCA’s Communication, Navigation & Identification (CNI) and Electronic Warfare (EW) systems.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The INS Vikrant, which began trials of the southern state of Kerala on Wednesday will be carrying out series of Sea-based trials for the next few months before it will be cleared to commence the Flight Deck Certification (FDC) trial that will involve Russian developed deck based Mig-29K fighter aircraft along with India’s locally developed LCA-Navy Mk1 fighter jets that will carry out multiple launches and recovery of the aircraft over a week at sea by mid of 2022.

To Certify Vikrant’s flight deck, the ship is required to complete over 100 day and 20-30 night launches and recovery over a short span of days to reach this milestone in Vikrant’s operational readiness. Vikrant’s flight deck will also have to carry out multiple launches of back-to-back deck-based fighter jets and also recover them minutes apart before certification can be awarded.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indigenous 180 hp Diesel turboprop engine

After developing an Indigenous 180 hp Diesel turboprop engine that is suitable for small aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which was extensively tested on the latest prototype of the Tapas medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) is now developing an uprated 220 hp Diesel turboprop engine variant that is further development of the present engine that was in testing from 2017 onwards.

According to Industrial sources close to idrw.org, the previous 180 hp Diesel turboprop engine has full take-off power till service ceiling of 11000 feet, but a new uprated 220 hp Diesel turboprop engine will have full take-off power till service ceiling of 15000 feet that will vastly improve in-flight capabilities of the Tapas UAV that already has demonstrated eight hours of flight at an altitude of 16,000 feet and soon will demonstrate 18 hours flight time at a height of over 27,000 feet.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

State-owned plane-maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is taking steps to convert its present MIG Complex located in Ojhar Township, Nasik (Maharashtra) to be used as an additional production facility for locally developed LCA-Tejas Mk1 and Mk2 program in the next few years and systematically raise the production capacity of the plant that is now idle but was previously used to manufacture Russian supplied Sukhoi-Su-30MKI fighter jets.

Industrial sources close to idrw.org have informed that HAL plans to initially create a production facility for 5 additional Tejas Mk1A/Mk2 per annum over three already commissioned plants that can produce 16 LCAs every year. LCA Division (Plant A) has an annual capacity to manufacture 5 units and HAL’s Aircraft Division another 3 units. Earlier this year a new LCA Division (Plant B) at Doddanekkundi was inaugurated that can manufacture 8 more units per year that will be used to manufacture 16 jets per annum from 2022-23 onwards.

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