My Take


Trump administration is upping its pressure on India by sending high-level officials from Pentagon and security affairs within weeks of Modi 2.0 government taking over charge of the country and main focus seems to prevent the procurement of Russian S-400 Air defense system by Indian air force which is recently thwarted multiple air intrusion attempts in its western sector with Pakistan where AWACS aircraft flying deeper inside Pakistani air space was coordinating failed strikes inside Indian side of Kashmir.

IAF will be procuring only Two long-range missile system which is part of four missile family of the S-400 Air defense system. IAF will be only getting Very Long range 40N6 (400 km) and the medium range 48N6 (250km) which could come handy on taking down high-value targets flying well within Pakistani air space. On the Eastern sector, 40N6 (400 km) will come handy as deterrence against Chinese air force operating from their Tibetan air space. Continue reading


The raging debate in India off late has been if PAF’s use of F-16 equipped with AIM-120-C5 AMRAAM beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) was a turning point at why IAF was not capable of engaging its framed Russian supplied R-77 BVRAAMs against the intruding jets and had to rely on its R-73 Close Combat Missile fired from an old Mig-21Bis at a close distance of less than 10km. PAF F-16s fired their AIM-120-C5 missiles at long range, probably at distance in excess of 60km which was easily dodged by India’s Ace Sukhoi-Su-30MKI fighter jet, which never got the firing clearance from the missile system, not due to any glitch but due to facts that Su-30MKI was operating at much lower altitude then the F-16s and all missile don’t work as per their advertised range .

Vympel R-77 has a stated range of 100 km against a head-on target at high altitude but at low altitude, it can fire at head-on targets at 20 km, numbers change again when the target engagement is tail-chase and the range falls drastically and at high altitude, it’s just 25km and drops to 5km when the aircraft is flying at low altitude. Continue reading


DRDO recently carried out back to back trials of Akash-1S with the new Ku-band Seeker which vastly improves Kill-probability of the indigenous air defense system which was first conceived in the ’80s. Akash Air Defence system after years of delays has finally been accepted by the Indian Army and Indian Air force as a reliable weapons system to engage aerial intrusions and recently units of the Akash Air Defence system have been moved closer to the Pakistani border in Punjab sector due to the limited range of the missile system.

Indo-Israeli MRSAM Air Defence system which has a range of 70km is facing slow order rates due to the high production cost of the unit, due to which DRDO was commissioned to work on the successor of the Akash Air Defence with better range and which can act as a cheaper supplement to the MRSAM System. Akash-Mk2 has been under development for some few years now and the new missile system will be a modern unit which a range of 40km and will act as a bridge between Akash-1s and MRSAM Air Defence system. Continue reading


In Heat of the moment, Indian Air Force Air Defence unit which was equipped with SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) which is a short and medium-range mobile air defense system developed by Israel, shot down a Mi-17-V Helicopter belonging to the IAF itself in the first case of friendly fire which killed six crew of the ill-fated Helicopter that day but due to secrecy which has been maintained about the investigation which was launched soon after incident, two version or two theories have been floated by the Indian media through their sources, both equally disturbing , yet IAF is yet to clarify and disclose what really happened that day.

Lack of official clarity regarding what happened to the Mi-17 and its Pilots and passengers that day also allowed Pakistani military-backed defense analysts to float their own theory which they are spreading for their own local consumption and are using it has propaganda against India at the International level. Continue reading


The raging debate in the Indian media off late has been, Should India overlook American offer of American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) so that it can give up the purchase of S-400 Long range Aerial defense system from Russia in lieu of THAAD American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach.

While both systems are totally different and it is likely comparing Apples to Oranges but the debate is going around why S-400 might be a game changer weapons system for the Indian air defense units against strategic targets like AWACS, Mid-air refueling aircraft but THAAD actually is the weapon system which has the ability to knockout Nuclear capable Ballistic missiles and holds much better value in a full-scale war then S-400 which will have limited utility . Continue reading


Exactly today, 42 years ago, the first prototype of Sukhoi-Su-27 took off from a remote Soviet air base piloted by Major General Vladimir Sergeyevich Ilyushin who was Chief test pilot working for Sukhoi OKB, which went on to change the course of History in Soviet Aerospace engineering and became the definitive Soviet fighter design coming from a era where it’s derivatives still dominate the skies and still is most feared Soviet-Russian fighter jet in the sky.

Sukhoi-Su-27 was conceived as Soviet union’s answer to American development of F-15 Eagle Air superiority fighter and once in production export variants were quickly offered to India and China in the early ’90s but India was rather later to react and China which had last imported Mig-21 fighter jet and copied it into J-7 variant, leading to a self imposed arms embargo on China But after the fall of Soviet Union which was cash trapped, China was quick to place orders. Continue reading


India’s premier aerospace and defence company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is working on LCA Mk1A is an improved version of LCA with enhanced capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Advanced Missiles, Advanced Electronic Warfare suite, New Mission & Avionics System and more maintenance friendly features, for which development activities are under progress but what Indian Air force wants might not be required by potential customers and to address this issue, HAL is planning to offer two or three customization package.

After interacting with many potential buyers, HAL has learned that many want lesser types of equipment then asked by IAF but it will be difficult to develop customized variants if the order is of small quantity but HAL will be offering plug and play systems which can be added or removed to lower costs so that tender is not lost due to price factor alone. Continue reading


US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin India head Vivek Lall recently said in a interview that if his company wins orders for its F-21 from India then F-21 fighter jet will not be sold to any other country if India places an order for 114 planes. lall also added that if Lockheed wins the contract, it will not only set up a state-of-the-art F-21 manufacturing facility along with the Tata Group but will also help India create an ecosystem for overall growth of the country’s defense manufacturing.

While Lall was asked how F-21 is similar to Lockheed’s F 16 Block 70 combat jet, he said such a view is unfair as there have been significant differences between the two platforms. An example given by Lall was that F-21 will have 12,000 hours of service life airframe compared to 8000 hours previously seen in F-16 Block 70 which is an absolute gimmick because U.S. Air Force had commissioned structural work studies known as service life extension program (SLEP) which will encompass lengthening the lifespan of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft from 8,000 to 12,000 flight hours and is not F-21 Exclusive at all, in fact, will be carried out even on older F-16s so has to keep the fighter jets flying past 2048. Continue reading


The US again has offered to sell India it’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System if it scraps a deal with Russia on procurement of S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system even though weapons offered in question do not supplement each other, yet it stirs up an interesting debate for India and the way forward for military planners.

S-400 is an anti-aircraft weapon system which is capable to shoot down any maneuverable fast moving aircrafts close to a range of 400km and also has capabilities to bring down cruise missile and Ballistic missiles but Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System is a land-based element capable of shooting down a ballistic missile both inside and just outside the atmosphere and has no anti-aircraft capability literally, since interceptor batteries works on hit-to-kill concept against short-, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and have no warheads and minimum effective attitude range are 50-60km which is much higher then any aircrafts fly. Continue reading


IAF at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA took delivery of the first AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian helicopter which is seen as a significant step towards modernization of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet with an option for more 39 helicopters but after a enduring a bitter turf war with Indian Army which funded the procurement .

Next Six AH-64 E (I) helicopter will be part of Army Aviation Corps rather then IAF and IA will continue to push for the transfer of current fleet of 22 Apache back to it but Ministry of Defense (MOD) is keen to avoid duplication of assets and effective use of system and with growing need for Attack helicopters in Army Aviation Corps is it time for to invest in the development of Desi Apache attack helicopters ? Continue reading


In early 2018, ” The Hindu ” had reported that a human Error might have caused considerable damages to India’s first Nuclear ballistic missile submarine which required nearly 10 months of repair work, the report never received any official reaction due to sensitive nature of the program but many Defence analysts raised more questions on this alleged incident and glaring inconsistencies in the report which mentions that water entered Arihant’s propulsion compartment and damaged it, after a hatch on the rear side was left open by mistake.

Defense analysts wondered how a submarine which has Russian double hull design with a sealed nuclear reactor section and no hatches at the rear as mentioned in the report could damage the propulsion compartment ?. Even though the report was highly dubious in nature it was latched on by many armchair defense blogs even though it was never reported by other agencies. Continue reading


‘Dalla’ is a notorious word in India which means a person who works as a mediator between a customer and a call girl, but it became quite a common reference name to many Indian journalists who are part-time arms lobbyists, who are referred to as ” Dalla” by many defense analysts and enthusiasts for promoting import of weapons from certain weapons manufactures who pay them to promote their product.

Some section of Indian Dalla’s are busy trying to paint a very grim picture of Balakot Strikes and even suggesting that casualty figures which IAF believes could be hundreds actually be in close to nothing arguably without much proof or evidence to suggest that strikes failed to meet it their target. Even bigger, distortion of facts has been of repeated questioning of IAF claim that it shot down F-16 in events that followed after failed PAF raid across the line of control. Continue reading


The United Kingdom and India are reportedly working on possible collaboration in design and development of aircraft carrier based on Elizabeth class aircraft carriers operated by Royal Navy according to media reports.HMS Queen Elizabeth has no catapults or arrestor wires and is instead designed to operate V/STOL aircraft like F-35B, which means it won’t be able to operate carrier-based airborne assets like Mig-29k and N-AMCA which requires at least STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) configuration to function.

But the Indian Navy is firm about one thing that it wants a CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) for its New Aircraft carrier which will require considerable design changes to the deck section and British designers have proposed a new design which was initially proposed to Royal Navy but was not selected. As seen above, Elizabeth-class developers had two design in mind when the program was at the design stage and one was a V/STOL configuration which was selected by the Royal Navy and other was the STOBAR configuration which was overlooked. Continue reading


Russian-Indian joint venture Brahmos Aerospace was supposed to work on the development of hypersonic BrahMos 2 cruise missile which was later renamed as BrahMos 2K, K standing in memory for Kalam but the program development which has been in talks from 2011 onwards is yet to see the light of the day, makes many wonder, why the program is yet to take off and remains only to be seen at defense expo.

BrahMos 2K missile was capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5-Mach 7 and according to then BrahMos chief in 2012, they had carried out series of lab tests at the speed of 6.5 Mach and first fully-functional prototype of the missile was supposed to make it debut by 2017-18 which has long gone. Continue reading


Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria today assumed charge as Vice Chief of the Air Staff. Bhadauria who has clocked more than 4050 flying hours on 26 types of Fixed wing fighter jets is an avid supporter of the homegrown LCA-Tejas program and with him being at Top, Defence Analyst back home are expecting fresh orders for 83 more advanced variant of Tejas Mk1A and also steady support for the next-generation Medium Combat Fighter (MCW) program too which is about to go critical, but contenders at the MMRCA 2.0 might be nervous due to his past association with procurement of 36 Rafale by IAF.

Bhadauria was head of the contract negotiation team with France on Rafale Deal and under his watch complex hurdles were overcome, thus paving way for the deal of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France. Rafale made for India have serial number RB and according to Indian media reports RB are initials of Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria but some reports hints it’s not. Continue reading