In December 2013, the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) decided to develop Autonomous Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (RUAV). The approval for the same came in March 2014 and Rs 10.69 crore was sanctioned for the purpose. September 2015 was fixed as the deadline for the completion of the project.

Interestingly, the ADE did not prepare any outcome realisation plan and there was no user agency in the executive board to monitor the project. Nevertheless, the deadline was missed but two months later in November 2015, it was decided to foreclose the project after incurring an expenditure of Rs 6.53 crore. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking at regaining its edge over its Pakistani counterpart in air-to-air missile capabilities that was “allowed to slip” amid a “struggle” to acquire them in a process that has lasted 15 years, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria said Friday. In a frank conversation on the takeaways from the Balakot air strike and the subsequent dogfight on 27 February 2019, the IAF chief said the force is not just depending on the Rafale aircraft and its weapons to regain the edge but also on other missiles, including indigenous ones.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Air Power Studies. When Pakistan launched Operation Swift Retort, their F16s were armed with the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile — AMRAAM — which has higher capability than that of the R-77 used by the Su 30 MKI and the MICA used by the Mirages. Continue reading


New Delhi still likes Russian technology, but Washington is trying to make a sale and enhance American-Indian ties. If a deal happens, it will further remove India from Russia’s influence. When the Times of India revealed that the Indian air force was revising its single-engine fighter competition to encompass twin-engine jet designs, a collective groan likely rang from New Delhi to Washington—and even Stockholm.

This first appeared in 2018 and is being reposted due to reader interest. The competition was meant to acquire a new generation of short-range jets suitable for defending India’s borders. The Indian air force is gradually retiring its 1950s-era MiG-21 single-engine fighter jets over the next few decades. Currently, it has only thirty-three squadrons of combat aircraft out of a planned forty-four, with ten more squadrons set to retire their aircraft over the coming decade. Continue reading


Pakistan on Thursday expressed concern over the USD 3 billion defence deal between India and the US for the supply of advanced American military helicopters, saying it will further destabilise the already volatile region. During President Donald Trump’s visit, India and the US on Tuesday finalised defence deals under which 30 military helicopters will be procured from two American defence majors for the Indian armed forces.

Under a USD 2.6 billion deal, India will buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin for the Indian Navy. Another contract to acquire six AH-64E Apache helicopters for USD 800 million from aerospace giant Boeing has also been sealed. Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui during her weekly news briefing here said, “This deal will further destabilise the already volatile region. We have alerted the international community many times about India’s aggressive designs not only towards Pakistan but also other countries in the region.” Continue reading


Though US President Donald Trump offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue, POTUS, on his recent visit to India is learnt to have told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he does not intend to do so. According to what Donald Trump has told Prime Minister Modi, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been seeking mediation on the Kashmir issue by the United States. The conversation between Trump and Modi is said to have taken place during the bilateral conversation between the two leaders on Monday and Tuesday.

Imran Khan keeps pressing Donald Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue every time they meet, a government source privy to the discussions has said. Trump, however, has made it clear that he does not intend to do so. Continue reading


Do this math: 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters in 2015 cost $2.1 billion, or Rs 14,910 crore, and six of these in 2020 cost Rs 6,600 crore. In just five years, the cost of one helicopter jumped by 62 per cent. Yes, about Rs 1,100 crore each is what the Army will pay for six iconic pure attack helicopters that come armed with the state-of-the-art weapon system and are a big boost to the military’s firepower.

If one does a basic calculation, then each IAF helicopter in 2015 cost approximately Rs 678 crore while the Army ones in 2020 cost about Rs 1,100 crore. This means that the six new helicopters cost about Rs 2,500 crore more. Before you start outraging over the overpriced helicopters, which is due to the military’s mistake, here’s a caveat. Remember that the price also includes the cost for the simulators, creation of infrastructure and performance-based logistics, which will also take care of spares, besides the training of the initial group of pilots. Continue reading



State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on Thursday offered an indigenous multirole helicopter to the Indian armed forces for replacing its medium lift choppers such as MI-17s, Kamovs and Seakings. “We have apprised Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of the progress made on the design and development of the multirole helicopter for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Navy and Army,” HAL Chairman R. Madhavan said in a statement here.

The city-based defence behemoth displayed a mockup of the multirole helicopter to Rajnath Singh at its helicopter production facility in the city’s eastern suburb. “We hope to develop the new helicopter in the next 8-10 years when the present fleet of medium lift copters are scheduled to be phased out,” said Madhavan. Continue reading


The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the 50th L-40 stage of Geo Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MKII) to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a program recently. This L-40 stage is meant for GSLV MKII- F12 flight planned by ISRO in August 2020. The Aerospace Division of HAL has so far integrated and supplied L-40 stages for 12 flights of GSLV MKII including the GSLV MKII -F10 flight which is planned for the first week of March 2020.

Apart from the Integrated L-40 stages, HAL is also manufacturing the riveted structures, propellant tanks, feedlines of PSLV, GSLV MKII and GSLV MKIII launch vehicles and structures of various satellites for ISRO. Continue reading


There is no space for a war between two-nuclear armed states but Pakistan will respond whenever there is a challenge to the nation’s security and integrity, the Pakistani Army said on Thursday, a year after Indian Air Force jets bombed a terror camp in Balakot. The Indian Air Force jets carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 last year to avenge the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.

Addressing a press briefing here on the first anniversary of ‘Operation Swift Retort’, Pakistan’s military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar said there was no space for a war between two nuclear powers due to its far reaching impact. Continue reading


India, on Thursday, snubbed Pakistan over its vehement attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue at platforms such as the United Nations. Describing Pakistan as a “pernicious cradle of terrorism”, Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva said that Pakistan’s ‘hysterical reactions’ to the Kashmir matter are only an attempt to ‘create a storm in the tea-cup’.

“The international community has abundantly witnessed the subsequent hysterical reactions of Pakistan at various fora, that only attempted to create a storm in the tea-cup, but unwittingly implied that democratic traditions and religious tolerance are not Pakistan’s cup of tea,” Aryan said at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Continue reading


India’s Ambassador to Qatar will attend the signing of the landmark peace deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha on Saturday, official sources said on Thursday.

The deal would allow for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001. Sources said India has been invited by the Qatar government for the ceremony where the deal will be signed and Indian ambassador P Kumaran will attend it. Continue reading


Ahead of the Afghanistan peace deal, and in the just concluded Indo-US summit, India conveyed to the US that it must not fritter away gains made in the past 19 years with a hasty withdrawal. Official sources said that the peace deal which the US is looking to cut with the Taliban should not let Pakistan off the hook in terms of the pressure that has been applied on Islamabad to act against cross-border terrorism in the past few years, official sources said.

Discussing the important outcomes from the visit, these sources said the US was supportive of India’s position that Pakistan can’t hide behind the excuse that cross-border terrorism is perpetrated only by non-state actors. Continue reading


On the first anniversary of the Balakot airstrikes, on Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria speaking to NDTV confirmed that the indigenously developed Astra Mk1 beyond visual range air to air missile (BVRAAM) which has been cleared for production matches in range and performance when compared to the AIM-120C-5 BVRAAMs of the PAF.

Astra has a range of 110km against bigger targets in the head of chase and has a range of 75 against maneuverable targets like fighter jets which makes it fall in the same category as AIM-120C-5 BVRAAMs acquired by PAF for its F-16 fleet. Bhadauria also confirmed that the Astra integration priority has been given to the entire Su-30MKI fleet after successful demonstration of the missile in real-world configuration against all possible scenarios including the day after Balakot airstrikes as per sources close to Continue reading


Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Light Combat Helicopters Production Hangar at Bengaluru. The Defence Minister also took to his official Twitter handle and informed about HAL acquiring many operational clearances for its LCA and LCH platforms.

About Light Combat Helicopters

Designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, LCH is a 5.5-ton class combat helicopter that is powered by two Shakti engines and inherits many technical features of the Advanced Light Helicopter. The features that are unique to LCH are sleek and narrow fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing gear, crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, armour protection and low visibility features which makes it agile and survivable.  LCH has the distinction of being the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4700 meters above sea level with 500kg load. Continue reading


More than a decade ago P Rama Rao Committee in a report to the then defence minister AK Antony in 2008 had asked for a complete overhaul of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the country’s premier research and development agency for the armed forces. Since then, the debate within the armed forces community has been centred on whether the DRDO which has an annual budget running into thousands of crores disappointed the forces or it was able to meet their expectations.

It is in the national interest to empower the DRDO, make it more efficient with indigenous technology. However, year after year, the criticism of DRDO for not meeting the requirement of the armed forces continues to grow. The tales of DRDO’s successes have been lauded by the government in the past but the inefficiency, which has far-reaching consequences for national security, is too glaring to be ignored. Continue reading

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