My Take


Jetlease Palm Beach which is the largest private aircraft leasing company in the world is selling 80’s made F-16A/B Fighting Falcon acquired from Jordan for sale at a unit price of $8.5 million per unit, which according to the company has not been demilitarized and is Block 20 Mid-Life-Update jets which can be put back into service if required.

The chatter in the Pakistani defense community is that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) might or already have approached Jetlease Palm Beach to purchase this jet and along with other three similar jets that are with the company and are for sale. Continue reading


Russia and India have agreed to lease an Akula class submarine to the Indian Navy for 10 years to be inducted as Chakra III possibly from 2025 onwards to replace the Chakra II submarine already in service with Indian Navy from 2012. K-322 Kashalot which was commissioned in the pacific fleet of Russia in 1988 is much older submarine than the current Chakra II in service with India but will come equipped with modern systems.

Amur Shipyard will be in charge of overhaul and modernization of the K-322 Kashalot before it is delivered to India in 2025. according to Russian media reports K-322 Kashalot has been in Amur Shipyard from 2014 for a major overhaul but was held up due to lack of funds. Russia had offered India K-322 Kashalot in 2015 to replace Chakra II which will complete its 10-year lease in 2022. Continue reading


Right after India’s Defense Ministries recent procurement of 464 T-90 tanks from Russia in a deal worth over Rs, 13,500 crore comes news that upgraded Arjun Mk1A with vast improvement from its previous version has cleared all Army trials successfully and it is likely, Indian Army will soon issue orders of intent for the second batch of 118 tanks over 124 Mk1 already ordered in 2004.

Previous order for 124 Mk1 came almost 15 years ago and the production line has been lying vacant from 2010 onwards when the last of the Arjun Mk1 Main Battle Tank had left the assembly line from Heavy Vehicles Factory located at Avadi in a southern state of India. Each Arjun tank costs more than twice the amount of Russian T-90 MBT in service with the Indian Army due to small batches of the order placed by the Army. Indian Army was expected to place orders for 118 units of Arjun in 2011 but instead asked for 72 improvements of which 14 were major upgrades specifically requested by the army due to which fresh trials need to be conducted and upgraded Mk1A undergone elaborate field trials all over India before it was finally cleared in 2019. Continue reading


After the consistent and reliable performance of the indigenous Akash Surface to Air Missile (SAM) System, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to place an order for seven more squadrons of the Akash SAM System over six squadrons which were ordered in 2010 but just when DRDO, BDL, and BEL are on verge of getting the biggest order for the missile system, program has been hit by a report which shows missile system in really bad light especially on the units which have been procured by the IAF and those which allegedly are positioned near China border.

As per the report, the missile system remained dysfunctional during 90 percent of the time since their date of commissioning but has per number of missiles fired in Ex- Vayu Shakti 2019 and in Crossbow-18 the report says that Akash Missile System refused to take off in one launch but forgets to mention that it also successfully intercepted and destroyed unmanned aerial targets every time when tested in 11-day Combined Guided Weapon Firing exercise it surpassed all expectations and was judged better than imported SAM missile system also proved its performance capability and reliability while report says ‘Akash missile system can’t be trusted during war’ so can we trust imported SAMs which didn’t perform well too ? Continue reading


Pakistani Deep state has hanged Two individuals for spying for the American CIA. According to media reports, Pakistan Army’s Brigadier Raja Rizwan (retd) along with lead missile Scientist named Wasim Akram of the land-based Shaheen-II and Shaheen-III surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile who worked for Islamabad-based National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) which itself has been based on China supplied M-18 [DF-15].

According to media reports, Wasim Akram who was a metallurgical engineer played a crucial role in the local production of the Chinese M-18 ballistic missile in the county and was also vital in matting of the Pakistani nuclear weapons in the weapon system. He was recruited by Central Intelligence Agency to provide crucial details of both the missile system including details of its classified payload and range. Continue reading


MBDA Missile Systems announced that Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) will be integrated into the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) future KF-X fighter aircraft. MBDA has been awarded the contract for integration and trials campaign by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) which is a nodal agency for the development of a 5th generation fighter jet in Blocks over the years.

According to Hanwha Thales, a local defense firm which won the preferential bidder for the radar development in 2016, announced in 2017 that Israeli firm Elta will be its consultant in the testing of the indigenous radar developed by Hanwha Thales but insisted that ELTA will be limited to provide support to the sophisticated technology to test an AESA radar system and integrate it with aircraft. Continue reading


According to a report prepared by the Delhi Defence Review (DDR), Russian Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 twin-barreled 23 mm autocannon gun which is locally manufactured by Ordnance Factories Board in India will be going through integration trials onboard LSP-7 LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft from early 2020 after gap of 5 years of the first initial ground trials, which were carried out in Nashik in 2015.

DDR reports say that apparently due to lack of ammunition of the gun. trials onboard aircraft was held up which now has been procured by the ADA but other reports had hinted that IAF and ADA had jointly agreed to keep certification of GSh-23 autocannon gun out of the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) phase due to time consuming flight trials which need to be carried out for its certification. Continue reading


According to recorded bird strike data, nearly 75% of bird strikes with an aircraft happens at or below 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and therefore within the airport environment. For every 1,000-foot gain in height above 500 feet AGL, the number of strikes declined by 33% With the airport environment being suspect in the majority of wildlife strikes, this becomes logical to invest in Aircraft Bird strike Avoidance Radar system for real-time detection, tracking and alerting of hazardous bird activity at commercial airports, military airfields, and military training and bombing ranges.

When a Mig-29KUB took off at speed of 400kmp from INS Hansa Naval base, It was hit by a flock of birds at a really low level while it tried to gain height. While Mig-29KUB is a Twin-engine aircraft and could have carried out emergency landing back in the base but to its bad luck it was hit on both the engines and aircraft was rapidly losing altitude before it crashed on Verna plateau near the base. Continue reading


A Twitter user (sarab@sarabpal_singh) has posted an image of a scale model displayed by the DRDO at a local exhibition which could be the first instance of proof of the existence of the 90’s Mythical Surya Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) each with multiple nuclear warheads. CIA in its report on India’s ballistic missile development for the first time had mentioned that India plans to use the lower stage of its PSLV Satttleite launch vehicle to develop an ICBM that will be capable to hit a target over 8000 km in the mid-’90s.

DRDO never confirmed or denied the existence of such ICBM but the Surya ICBM due to media coverage attended mythical status even though over the years Agni missile family created long-range missile which was capable of hitting both target deep in Pakistan and China. Continue reading


Fresh satellite photos have emerged showing Pakistan has deployed Chinese made JY-27 ‘Wide Mat’ long-range early warning radar which China claims to have stealth aircraft detecting capabilities up to 500 km and once even tracked framed American F-22 Stealth fighter while on its ferry flight to South Korea to attend a military airshow.

JY-27 radar deployment in Pakistani side of Punjab at M.M. Alam Air Base which is approx 550 km away from India’s key Ambala air force station where a squadron of Dassault Rafale fighter jets will be based suggests that its deployment is purely an air defense coverage of its own air space since radar is over 300km deep inside Pakistani territory and only in full scan power mode will it breach 200 furthermore inside Indian air space. Continue reading


Indian Navy asked for feasibility report to convert AMCA into a carrier-based fighter jet and according to ADA the nodal design agency for all the fighter jet programs in India it was positive that it can be done but according to many defense analysts both agreed to not to develop a Naval variant of AMCA due to numerous technical issues which can crop up in conversion of airforce variant into a naval variant.

LCA-Navy Mk1 seems to be a learning experience that both ADA and Navy relied on to avoid repeating the same mistakes. It is also recorded fact that airforce to navy conversion is much harder than the vice versa. Su-33 and Mig-29K which were developed from their Air force version still have a long list of issues that simply can’t be fixed and even F-35C stealth fighter developed by the united states for its Navy has many technical issues that limit its performance against F-35A which is its air force version. Continue reading


After waiting for clearance of Six Airbus A330 AWACS from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), IAF has been cleared to procure first two Airbus A330 platform for DRDO to mount its AWACS technology in the aircraft so that IAF’s requirement for 360° AESA Desi eye in the sky with good operational availability and range can be achieved to meet its operational requirements.

Airbus A330 ain’t cheap and IAF will get only first two of them in operational fleet by 2025 and four more will be ordered as part of follow on clause at later stage but it also exposes narrow mindset in the top IAF management which are refusing it fill the gap from other aircrafts even when arch-rival PAF which has less area to defend now has more AWACS assets than it. Continue reading


Fourth fighter program of India to be commenced soon will be Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy after Navy refused to come aboard the LCA-Mk2 program due to concern regarding its single-engine configuration according to a report prepared by the Delhi Defence Review (DDR) which was confirmed to them by ADA which is Nodal design agency for all three different and radical program which will all start in next 5-7 years.

According to the DDR report, TEDBF will be lighter than the proposed 25 tonnes Naval-AMCA, production of which will commence only after 2030 but will more capable than the troublesome Mig-29K operated by the Indian Navy on board INS Vikramaditya which is lone aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. LCA-Mk2 which was for the first time showcased at the Aero India 2019 will remain a concept and stands canceled after the Navy and ADA agreed to develop TEDBF instead. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to procure 200 Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) fighter jet in near future to replace the whole fleets of Mirage-2000-5 and Mig-29UPG but also has laid down strict guidelines with its developers on what it wants from the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which is the nodal agency of the MWF program.

ADA and IAF have agreed to develop the MWF program with state-of-the-art technology which is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats and since in today’s modern-day warfare a smart aircraft will need not only analyze and handle high volumes of data should also be allowed to operate in the future battle space where 5th generation fighter aircraft will dominate and only a smart 4.5++ Gen will able to survive in this environment. Continue reading


India’s indigenously developed Kaveri engine is unlikely to power any fighter jet in the future but India is pinning its hopes on getting its hands on the “hot engine” technology what is known as the crown jewel in jet engine technology in Joint venture form likely winner of the MMRCA tender for the 114 fighter jets which is the biggest fight jet tender in the world.

India has made it a precondition now that foreign vendors competing in the tender process will also require to transfer the “hot engine” technology of the respected fighter aircraft to develop a new power-plant for the AMCA program and also help in the development of the AMCA fighter jet. Continue reading