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SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force presently is going through its most difficult of the times where it will be retiring more aircraft than what it will be inducting causing imbalance in Squadron strength. Air Force currently operates 35 squadrons even though the sanctioned strength is 42, this will further drop to below 30 Squadrons in the next two years while delays in MMRCA 2.0 means IAF will be inducting only 30 Sukhoi-30MKI and 36 Dassault Rafale in next three years while it retires all its MiG 21 and MiG 27 Squadrons in this period.

Let me first explain the above Chart to understand how still IAF can manage to get back to its sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons by 2030 for the first time in nearly 40 years after reaching its peak in the early ’80s. Original order of Sukhoi-30MKI which was 272-9 (Crashed) + 18 follow up orders will take the Type strength to 281 aircraft which will translate into 15.61 Squadrons. Continue reading

SOURCE:  SHIVA MUDGIL / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

According to a Defence Industrial forecast report for 2019 till 2028, there will be a requirement for 3400 fighter jets in the next decade which is slightly more than last decade due to considerable procurement request by various countries. According to the report, F-35 fighter aircraft variants will be highest produced fighter jet for the next decade due to incremental orders from the United States armed forces and their NATO allies taking the Number one spot of the highest produced fighter aircraft.

Close to 1500 F-35 variants will be produced in the next ten years which make up nearly 45% of the market share of the fighter aircraft manufactured in this period. India if it manages to manufacture around 150 Tejas variants (Tejas Mk1-20/Tejas Mk1A-83, Tejas Mk Trainer-4/Tejas Mk2-43) in this period then it will hold a market share of just over 4% considering only confirmed orders for the platform from the Indian air force is taken into calculations. Continue reading

SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

IAF’s much delayed modernizing plans for its Su-30MKI fleet standardized with the generation 4++ Su-35 fighter and also prolong its service life will get the much-needed boost after Indian Defense Ministry restarted Deep upgrade talks of the fleet with Russia’s Defense Ministry, after Russia shared its road map to upgrade its Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet based on baseline IAF’s Su-30MKI with India.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has decided to Heavily upgrade it’s Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet in line with its Su-35 fighter so has to cut the operating cost of this aircraft by standardizing the airborne weapon systems, onboard equipment and change of engine to AL-41F-1S engines from current AL-31FP engine to bring fleet similarity with Su-35 fleet. Continue reading

SOURCE: KARTIKEYA SEMWAL / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Now that we all know that that by the end of 2019, IAF will be down to just 30- 32 squadrons as against the sanctioned strength of 42; it’s high time that the Govt. of India (GOI) & HAL should focus on addressing the issue of falling fighter squadrons of Indian Air-Force (IAF). HAL that has been tasked with producing the indigenous LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mk-1 & 1A has just produced 16 of the first 40 Tejas Mk-1s. So ironically, HAL has failed to produce even 1 full squadron of Tejas jets despite passage of 1 & ½ years which is very slow.

While our threatening neighbors Pakistan & China are adding new fighters in considerable numbers every year. The latest news about Pakistan was that, it would start getting JF-17 block-III from July-August this year. Similarly, China too is adding J-20 5th generation fighters at a good pace while India lags behind in this race. Now HAL says that it isn’t easy to produce Tejas Mk-1 and later Mk-1As as the first one has to be built from scrap while the 2 nd one is much different in terms of parts, engines & aerodynamics, etc. HAL also blames lack of proper infrastructure to produce the Tejas jets at a faster pace. Continue reading

SOURCE:  LT CDR BHARAT SINGH / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s growing international stature, and as a regional maritime power, is visible from the fact that many foreign navies undertake exercises with the Indian Navy. The joint naval exercises include the Malabar exercise with Japanese and the US Navy, Varuna with French Navy, and INDRA X with Russian Navy, CORPAT with Thailand, Malaysian and Indonesian Navy, AUSINDEX with Australian Navy and SIMBEX with Singaporean Navy.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pampeo’s visit on 26 Jun 2019 coincided with India’s endorsement to non-permanent seat of the UNSC. The fifty-five countries of the Asia-Pacific group have all endorsed India’s candidature for non-permanent seat of the Security Council for a two year term from 2021-2022. Continue reading

SOURCE:  ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

While Pentagon has been tempting India with an offer of its F-35A Stealth fighter aircraft in lieu of India not producing S-400 air defense system from Russia, with a unit flyaway cost of F-35A set to fall below $80 million a unit by 2020 onwards, Russian Defense Ministry have announced their will to induct 76 Su-57s by 2028 and development of Export model of countries like India and China at an attractive price point.

Russian military aircraft industry announced that 10 Su-57 prototypes ordered by Russian air force are going through testing and evaluation phase but serial production of the Su-57 commence soon and production order which will work out $6.34-$7.92 billion will translate into per unit cost of $83-104 million per unit for the Russian air force. Continue reading

SOURCE: NITIN GUPTA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

In Open source Investigation initialed by Indian Twitterati in the hunt for the wreckage site of the F-16B which was shot down by the Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman while flying his Mig-21Bis, have stumbled upon a video uploaded by a Pakistani Occupied Kashmir based video blogger who in his video uploaded in popular video sharing platform ” Youtube” has shared the possible location of the crash site.

POK based video blogger who is obviously scared of the Pakistani military establishments clearly is seen saying that due to privacy issues he won’t be able to show much, but hinted that many locals in the area know what had happened that day and in next clip in the video is seen on top of this house, pointing at a hilltop were alleged wreckage of the F-16B shot down was found. Continue reading

SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

According to Intelligence reports, Pakistan Air Force which was caught unaware of 12 IAF Mirage-2000 breaching its airspace and launching 5 long range Precision guided Bombs at Terror infrastructure in Balakot a town in Mansehra District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, has been inducting and installing long-range surveillance radars near border with India and also has installed air defence system and Aerostat Radar System at Airbases to further strengthening its defense’s against possible second wave of Air Strikes from Indian Air force.

Zero infiltration at the line of control and no terror major terror attacks in the valley against security forces only confirms that Pakistan is focusing on closing its shortfall in its air defense system before it is ready to push more terrorists in the valley and normalize its terror activity in the region. Continue reading

SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

 

According to the latest Indian media report, India has been working on the development of a Single-engined LCA-5th Generation fighter aircraft which has been rumored for some time but never confirmed but not many are convinced that the latest information might have been a misinformation or a miscommunication since only earlier this year India for the first time had showcased its indeed to develop a Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) which was not a stealth design in any aspect.

Scale model of MWF showcased by ADA and DRDO was confirmed to be the almost final design of the proposed which didn’t showcase any stealth element let alone full stealth capabilities as seen in Pure design concepts like F-35 and F-22 but they were enough rumors back then about additional capabilities that MWF might get which includes special stealth characters in the aircraft which leaves some room for doubt. Continue reading

SOURCE:  SAJEEV RT / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Last year India signed a deal worth of around $5.43 billion to procure S-400 missile defense system from Russia, which irked the US who opposing India to do not buy weapons from Russia, the main reason behind the US opposition to the deal is Russian invasion in Ukraine, and its aggression in Azov sea and the partial block of Kerch Straight, which US and West sanctioned Russia to not do business with other nations.

India is one of the major customers to Russian weapons, most of Indian military equipment has the trace of Russian origin, from Assault Rifles to the mammoth nuclear submarines, So It’s hard for India to move away from the Russian weapon market, as spares and engineering support does require Russian assistance. Continue reading

SOURCE:  SHIVA MUDGIL / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

               Picture of ‘Faulty’ MiG-29s returned by Algeria .

Mig-29s are been in news in India off lately after Moscow pitched its excessive MiG-29 Fulcrum aircraft to India and according to multiple local media reports, aircraft on offer range from 21 to 50. According to multiple reports, at least 21 Mig-29 on offer are still in a basic fuselage stage which was in storage all these years in Mikoyan factory outlet and if approved will be getting full internals, new engines, avionics, and Zhuk-ME Radar, engine, weapon control systems at par with Indian MiG-29UPG standard already in use by IAF.

The second lot of 13 Mig-29s offered to India in addition to the 21 basic air frames slated above reportedly were manufactured in 2008 and it is believed by many in India that it was part of the Algerian MiG-export fiasco which was supplied in 2007 and returned by the customer in 2008 after Algeria complained that 15 supplied MiG-29 SMT air superiority jet fighters were of “inferior quality.” Continue reading

SOURCE:  ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Air force Veterans and Senior Aerospace scientists and engineers in the country have again pushed Government of India to prepare a remapped road-map for the continuation of the Kaveri engine and pooling together multiple agencies in the county and their talent pool to make sure the program is a success this time after spending nearly 3000 crores in the program and 30 years without any viable production-grade product at hand.

Chorus in the military and scientific community has been growing for a while now after French Aero-engine maker ” SAFRAN ” cleared the Kaveri engine for flight test and integration into an old retired LCA-Tejas fighter prototype after carrying out a Technical Audit of the program but the program has not seen much progress since then, as Kaveri engine at the current stage, it is not capable to achieve the desired thrust which is required to power 83 Tejas MK-1A fighter jets ordered by the IAF. Continue reading

SOURCE:  MAHESHA M / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

After recent Aerial clash with Pakistan, there is a mad rush to procure next-generation air to air missiles from various countries to arm them on front line fighter jets like Su-30MKI, Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 with Western, Indian and Russian developed even though no such urgency has been shown to expedite development of local indigenous programs in the first place.

IAF till now has placed token order of only 50 Astra Mk1 Beyond visual range missile (BVR) even when there is urgent need to fast track production of the missile system due to dip in the stockpile of air to air missile due to the excessive number of combat air patrol missions along the border with Pakistan recently due to heightened tension. Continue reading

SOURCE:  SHIVA MUDGIL / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The US government has been pushing India to place an order for their soon to be out of production F-21 aircraft also known as an F-16V fighter jet. F-21 has been pushed to India has an low-cost alternative which features F-35 technology in terms of avionics and sensors and will be exclusively Made, locally in India if it gets the deal for 114 units of fighter aircraft from the Indian air force.

While there is no official figure out by the Indian budget for the tender to buy 114 fighter aircraft, but by judging by the recent sale of F-16V to the new customer it is expected that American fighters will have a much more hefty price tag, due to lack of exposure of American jets in IAF fleet. Continue reading

SOURCE:  ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India walked away from a potential deal worth $15 billions for joint development of 5th generation fighter jet jointly with Russia after it was not convinced of the technology on the offer to the country and it was the right decision of the Government and Air force to protect their investments if the technology on the offer was not up to the potential and instead focus on the development of 4.5 generation local fighter jets programs like MWF -Mk2 and Tejas Mk1A .

FGFA budget which was not invested by India didn’t actually benefit India’s own 5th generation AMCA fighter aircraft program yet but it is likely that the program will remain in focus post-2020 once both MWF -Mk2 and Tejas Mk1A is cleared for production in mid-2025. IAF wants MWF-Mk2 to exceed the performance of the Mirage-2000 and wants AMCA to have avionics and electronics which far exceeds the performance of Dassault Rafale in addition to stealth. Continue reading

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