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My Take

SOURCE:  ANAND SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari since he took office in late September this year has been omitting to mention the planned induction of the LCA MkII that is under development in his interviews with the Indian media. In the latest issue of the SP Aviation Publication, when asked about how he plans to arrest the decline of fighter squadron levels, he again said that IAF plans to induct 114 MRFA, 83 Tejas Mk1A (Four Squadrons), 12 Su-30MKI, 21 Mig-29UPG, and 7 Squadrons of AMCA in the coming year to get squadron levels back to 35.

Chaudhari repeatedly since taking office has been talking and stressing about induction of AMCA but has been deliberately or in his oversight has not been talking about the induction of 7 squadrons of LCA MkII that was planned to play a crucial component of the future IAF fleet that will replace the 3 types of fighter jets in the IAF after it starts getting inducted from 2029 onwards.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

IAF has send Five upgraded Mirage 2000 fighters to take part in the multilateral ‘Blue Flag’ exercise that has been held at an airbase in Israel, which the host country calls the largest and most advanced aerial exercise ever conducted in the region. India has been joined by US, Germany, Italy, the UK, France, and UAE that have also sent their 4.5 Gen fighter jets like Eurofighter Typhoon, F-15, F-16, Rafale but the Israeli air force are for the first time is using its F-35 Adir a heavily modified version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet.

For IAF this is the first instance where it is getting up close in understanding the complex 5th generation fighter jet. Technology leap that comes in the 5th gen platform is what many air force pilots will be keen on studying as India is facing threats of large scale deployment of 5th gen fighter jets coming from the Chinese side.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

IAF Conclave in Bengaluru was a buzz with locally made Drones that were at display all of which were developed by the state-funded companies DRDO and its associate labs that for the first time saw DRDO display Archer an Armed Rustam-1 based UAV that has been under development for the last 5-6 years without much progress or backing by the Indian military force.

Rustam-1 that had its first flight in 2010 has not found any acceptance by the Indian Air force nor the Indian Army. last it was showcasing its capacities to CRPF for Anti-Naxal operations it crashed while it was coming for landing in away sealing its fate. BSF too seems to be not so keen on the Unarmed variant of the Rustam-1 drone now and it’s still not clear who DRDO is pitching Archer drones to when the Anti-Armour missile seen in the Archer that was developed only to arm on UAVs is yet to enter trials let alone enter production.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Tejas-MkII is its direct predecessor of Tejas Mk1/1A and looks externally very similar to its forebears but it’s a very different beast in several ways. Officially the Program is still called MkII but DRDO now calls its LCA AF-MkII even though the aircraft is 1350mm larger than the Mk1/1A and includes a beefed-up fuselage that means it is has a Clean Take off the weight of 4,000 kgs more than that of Tejas Mk1.

The Tejas Mk.II for the Air Force was initially planned to have a higher thrust GE-F414 engine and one of the reasons why it still carries the same name officially. It is now confirmed more or less that the project will again move from the LCAAF-MkII since with MTOW of 17500kg, it can’t be called as Light Weight nor Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) which was used for a while.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Under development since 2015, HAL’s 1200kW Turboshaft engine is been readied for trials soon as per media reports. HTSE-1200 engine would be used as a power plant for 3 to 6-ton category helicopters and recently HAL announced that the first technology demonstrator was developed after the program achieved 100% speed run on the core engine and also competed Sea level trials of core engine successfully.

HTSE-1200 engine developed by HAL Engine Division at Koraput in association with Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) and recently achieved a critical milestone when it developed Single Crystal Blade samples. HAL has also completed the manufacturing of parts and modular assemblies for the Power mode engine.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

ISPR realized a 31-sec video that appears to show FLIR camera footage of a submarine mast what it calls was an Indian submarine that was prevented from Territorial waters while it was inside Pakistani exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as per geo coordinates seen in the video but video examined by editing experts say that it is heavily morphed clip, the footage contains same clips from 2016 & 2019 cut & stitched together.

ISPR Propaganda video as usual has 7 cuts and 3 Inverted footage in the video. Captain DK Sharma, the former spokesperson of the Indian Navy, took to micro-blogging site Twitter to punch holes into Pakistan’s claim. Citing coordinates, he wondered since when have submarines operating in international waters 200NM from Makran coast been blocked and how. He also went on to say that any submarine in the Arabian Sea does not necessarily mean that it is an Indian submarine.

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SOURCE:  JATIN RAM / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Earlier this year Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) showcased a computer-generated rendering of proposed multirole military transport aircraft the company is planning to develop for the South Korean military as well as for export. According to KAI, military transport aircraft will be in the same class as Japan’s C2 and US’s C-17 transport aircraft.
KAI proposed aircraft will be a Medium-size, twin-engined platform with capabilities that include troop/cargo transport, support of special forces operations, and the launch of small satellite-carrying rockets into space.

KAI has no history of license manufacturing transport aircraft let alone develop one locally but this ambitious project seems to display growing confidence of the Korean military complex that it has set a pretty ambitious target for the program. KAI is seeking an investment of $2.7 Billion and plans to have the first aircraft ready in seven years that will be pretty impressive if they can pull this off.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India along with many countries are counting on mixed teams of manned and unmanned combat aircraft to conduct aerial dogfighting autonomously and ground strike in the next few years as Loyal wingman programs are on the rise globally that can help identify and overwhelm enemy air defenses, or draw fires away from crewed aircraft.

India is working on uncrewed low-cost, attritable aircraft Combat Air Teaming System (CATS) Warrior powered by a modified PTE-7 engine of the HAL is looking at 2024-25 for the development and demonstration of the first loyal wingman concept coming out of India. Each CATS Warrior uncrewed CATS Warrior will be paired with a crewed partner /mothership to serve as powerful force multipliers that will both amplify and optimize the advanced capabilities of crewed aircraft.

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SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

India has achieved “complete self-reliance” in missile technology and the most advanced missiles can now be developed in the country had declared DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy and wanted India to be free from import of missiles from 2022 onwards but that is far from the truth. India seems to be one of the major regional power that has failed to build credible low-cost subsonic cruise missile technology in the country.

Nribhay that is now called ITCM continues to be plagued by technical issues and there is still no clarity from the DRDO when it will enter production even after being in development for the last decade. ITCM seems to be the only subsonic cruise missile program for a country like India it’s like putting too many eggs in one basket as it would require India, multiple projects to fulfill all the demands even though the private sector companies are keen to tap Research and Development expertise of the DRDO to offer its range of subsonic cruise missile range.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Based on Haubits FH77B 155 mm x 38 calibre guns manufactured by Bofors designed in the 70s but supplied to India in the 80s, the Dhanush 155 mm x 45 calibre long-range howitzer Program was not only was meant to be an upgraded Bofors based on the original Transfer of Technology (ToT) but also break Indian Army’s long-pending logjam on failure to induct new modern howitzer system in last 30 years but the program that started of with bang is now turning out one of the reasons why the Ordnance Factory Board (“OFB”) had to be broken off into smaller companies to stop constant fall of quality of the products that organization manufactured.

While carrying out Army trials, Dhanush suffered four muzzle hits due to which internal investigation and retrials of the same meant the program was delayed by few years then came the infamous incident when CBI had to file a case against Delhi-based Sidh Sales Syndicate for supplying Chinese parts for Dhanush guns camouflaged as ‘Made in Germany’ while Dhanush was entering production. OFB was criticized for outsourcing components to dubious private sector companies without checking their installed manufacturing capabilities.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

A day before the 13th round of Corps Commander-level talks were to take place at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, Chinese microblogging website Weibo was flooded with fresh pictures and video of the clash that took place between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley last years, where exchange of detained troops was seen happening but showing only one side of reality largely for its domestic audience. Fresh PLA propaganda was unleashed as soon reports of India temporarily detained 200 PLA Troops in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh hit media reports and seems to have been done largely to negate the fresh setbacks to the domestic audience.

It has become a virtual ritual for the PLA to realize fresh videos and pictures that are often multiplied by its 50 cent Army on Weibo and Twitter just before Commander-level talks are to begin or when PLA suffers some level of setback like seen when the Indian Army took over Kailash range coming as an embarrassment to the PLA and it again resorted to propaganda pictures of the clash.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has started work on KSS III Batch II submarine where the submerged displacement of the submarine will go up from 3000t to 4000t while the basic design for a rather larger submarine will remain same but that also means more space for the torpedo tubes as well as VLS (vertical launch system) tubes along with additional systems of Korean origins.

KSS III is the only operational Diesel-electric submarine that has successfully test-fired an SLBM, comes equipped with Air-independent propulsion (AIP) and Lithium-Ion batteries, and High-Temperature Superconductor (HTS) motor technology for an integrated full electric propulsion system.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

After India revoked Kashmir’s special status, Pakistan along with Liberal-infested Western media have accused India of engineering a demographic change in Muslim-inhabited areas of Kashmir. Many reports and articles coming from the Indian side too have sided with the Pakistani narrative for long that today we are seeing Terror groups that have been targeting Kashmir Pandits and other Indians in the valley of late have justified their actions. Kashmir remains 97% predominantly Muslim and the recent issuing of domicile certificates to people who have stayed in the valley for over 15 years has been used as a front by many to attack India of late from all corners.

With narrative at the international media and academic front siding with the Pakistani side and pull out of NATO forces from Afghanistan it was a matter of weeks if not months before Islamic terror raised its ugly head again in the valley. Pakistan seems to have a clear intention to start another exodus of minorities from the valley like it has planned after the pull and later fall of the soviet union from Afghanistan.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Many political parties that come from disturbed regions have often used secessionist ideology in disguise of freedom of speech to garner votes from their core voters. it’s not uncommon to see political parties from Jammu and Kashmir or Northeastern states and even some south Indian state parties that have often demanded separation from India to form separate nations that can increase secessionist behaviors among a small section of people that can often create law and order issues in the state but also security threats to the countries integrity.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is not empowered to deregister a political party if it violates provisions of the Constitution, which includes peddling secessionist ideology to garner votes from certain sections, and several such political parties do exist who continue to peddle narrative of the foreign countries that have gone unchallenged since ECI doesn’t have the power to punish politicians or the political parties in the country where there are over 2698 registered parties, with 7 national parties, 52 state parties, and 2638 unrecognized parties.

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SOURCE: MAHESH SHETTI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force chief VR Chaudhari while taking to Indian media pushed for procurement of 114 jets and didn’t want to be contend just with procurement of an additional 36 Rafale like his predecessor was. Chaudhari was clear with his words and stressed that IAF is happy with Rafale procurement and also said Rafale is not the default front runner in the tender for 114 jets but also added that IAF is not looking to add another fighter type in the fleet in a way IAF Chief inevitable has committed to the procurement of more Rafale fighter jets.

India had placed an order with France in Government to government deal for procurement of 36 Rafale F3R standards with India-specific enchantments for 8.8 billion dollars. Indian-specific enchantments roughly were around 13000 crores that won’t be recurring in future Rafale procurements since it was a one-time cost but the French company Dassault itself is now moving to develop F4-standard development from 2024 onwards that will see a considerable improvement in capabilities and equipment that will see a further rise in the cost of the jets in near future by 10-15%.

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