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

Trainer variant of Mirage-2000 belonging to Indian Air Force crashed today near HAL Tejas Division in Bangalore killing it highly decorated and experienced ASTE pilots who are the sole authority in conducting flight testing of aircraft, airborne systems, and weapon stores prior to their induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF). Ill-fated aircraft in question was recently upgraded by state-owned HAL after receiving upgrade kits from French Dassault Aerospace locally and was on an acceptance sortie before it was handed back to IAF.

Initial reports suggest that aircraft developed technical snag right after takeoff and location of the debris in the near vicinity of the HAL complex suggests that pilots had little or no time for making an emergency landing and exact nature of the events leading to the crash might only come after a proper investigation into the matter but it comes as a big blow to sulking image of HAL which recently was lambasted by IAF Chief for being to slow in modernization of Mirage-2000 fleet. Continue reading

SOURCE:  HIMANSU SWAIN / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Vision: 2030, an apparent Road map to build a 40 Squadrons Capable Indian Air Force with various Net Centric Warfare Platforms. Leaving all the mistakes in the past, now the time has come for IAF to work on this road map to field a contingent of 800 Modern Fighter planes by 2030. In a country like India, it takes 30 years to build an indigenous fighter jet while 5 years to procure a Foreign fighter. Therefore, inducting a total 300 fighters in the next 10 years would a big challenge for IAF. But it is not impossible. So, let me go through the Current Scenarios & Deficiencies need to be copious by 2030 so that IAF can fight a Two-front war.

Current Situation & by 2023

IAF has 280 Su-30MKI, 80 Mig-29UPG, 51 Mirage-2000H while 36 Rafale by 2023 & summing it as the availability of only modern 447 fighters by 2030 except Jaguar & Tejas. Continue reading

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

Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been in wrong news off lately and the recent leak of the poor financial condition of the company to push the current government in a corner can seriously backfire in near future if the current government is able to come back to power and agrees to key recommendations which have been made by Indian Air Force (IAF) .

” Cash-cow” that is fighter division of the HAL is drying up and cancellation of FGFA program and fallout of MMRCA deal means that LCA-Tejas has become the sole program which HAL has in its kitty, but recent delays in the final agreement on 83 Tejas Mk1-A and exuberant price quoted by HAL and other compliance issues which IAF has raised might come has final nail in coffin for the Giant which is struggling to stay afloat. Continue reading

SOURCE: PRAVIN DHAUSKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG After India walked away from the Indo-Russian 5th generation FGFA program, It was expected that the IAF and Defense ministry will now fast track development of indigenous AMCA 5th generation stealth fighter program but that doesn’t seem to be the case, while IAF is obsessed with securing further orders of the Dassault Rafale that focus on development of 5th generation program is clearly lacking.

India is already too late to join 5th generation bandwagon and might be the last country to initiate 5th generation program which is still not officially sanctioned even though the program has been on the drawing boards for years now but 2018 was also the year when several countries have announced their development plans of a sixth-generation aircraft which puts India in an awkward position now. Continue reading

SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG According to Manu Pubby, Defence Journalist with Economic Times, India has received a response from the seventh vendor for Request for Information (RFI) which was issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on behalf of Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the procurement of 114 fighter jets under ” Make in India ” initiative after scrapping of the previous MMRCA tender which was keenly fought out by Six vendors.

Sukhoi Design Bureau is the seventh vendor whose has been allowed to submit its response to IAF’s RFI issued last year, marking official entry of Sukhoi Su-35 in what apparently is MMRCA reloaded in India. Su-35 which was developed from its Su-30MK family for export market no doubt is a deadly aircraft and has a vast improvement over IAF’s Su-30MKI but with Mid-life modernization and up-gradation of Su-30s already in plans, entry of Su-35 makes little or no sense rather than circus which UPA 1&2 ran for 10 years and NDA 2 continued for 5 more years and now plans to continue it for 5 more years. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAJIV BHATIA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG Pakistan Airforce has initiated ” Project AZM” under which they plan to commence development of a 5th-generation fighter jet which will go on to replace aging Mirage-III/V and the older lot of F-16 fighter jet from PAF’s fleet. What PAF claimed was supposed to be an indigenous program, basically will be a product designed and developed completely by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) which is a Chinese aerospace conglomerate which previously developed JF-17 fighter jet specifically for Pakistan.

China which has developed J-20 and J-31 Stealth fighter aircraft on its own had offered Pakistan in past , J-31 fighter aircraft which was presumably rejected by the PAF due to the high procurement and maintenance cost of the dual-engine fighter due to which CAC was rather asked to come up with low-cost options which apparently got leaked blowing the cover of PAF’s attempt to brand it as an indigenous program in first place. Continue reading

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

Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) long pending re-engineering program for Jaguar fleet recently received setbacks when lone vendor Honeywell Aerospace jacked up the cost by almost double from its previous quote leaving uncertainty of the whole fleet of Anglo-French Jaguar strike aircraft which IAF wants to keep till 2034 and beyond.

120 Jaguars which are currently powered by twin Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 821 engines, which are now considered under-powered due to considerable upgrades which Jaguar fleet has gone through over the last couple of years which now has started to affect its performance in hot and humid conditions. Without high powered engines, the whole Jaguar fleet will continue to suffer from operational limitations which will reduce the efficiency of the jet even though IAF has been busy of late making sure it has enough spares and support equipment to keep them operational till 2035. Continue reading

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

Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is running against time to achieve production of 7 aircraft in the current financial year, yet only four have made its first flight while the current fiscal year barely has just over two months left for the company to keep up its pace.

SP-10, SP-11,SP-12, and SP-14 have all made its first flight this fiscal year and first three aircraft have already been handed over to the air-force, SP-13 is presently undergoing engine ground run which will be later followed by High-speed taxi trials in about weeks time and SP-15 and SP-16 are already at advanced stages of equipping at HAL’s production line but will they make it ? its the suspense which will continue till end of March. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAJIV BHATIA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG 50 years and counting, Pakistani Air Force’s love affair with French bird doesn’t seem to have completely diminished even when County produces JF-17 fighter jet with help of China, that it is eyeing to procure nearly 30 former Egyptian Mirage-V fighter jet from Cairo which has been long retired from the fleet. Over 170+ jets are still operational which makes up eight different Mirage variants which are carefully maintained at Mirage Rebuild Factory (MRF) at the Kamra complex.

First Inducted in 1967, even with rapid induction of JF-17, PAF plans to hold on to the old Mirage’s for longer than expected due to better range and weapons load capacity than the JF-17 which was supposed to replace them in the first place, It is not clear if the 30 Mirage-V fighter jet from Cairo can be put back in the air or not but it won’t be unusual if PAF does that. Continue reading

SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG Eurofighter Consortium might not like what is happening in India to Dassault Aviation in the purchase of 36 Rafale jet from the company where opposition alleges scam and the present government is now openly saying that corporate rivals who might have cut a deal with the opposition might be actually helping them keep the matter alive after Supreme court of India recently gave clean sheet to the Government on the procurement of 36 jets.

Defence Minister and Finance minister in recent times have made direct reference to Eurofighter Typhoon and hinted at a possible corporate deal with the opposition while hitting back at them. Eurofighter Consortium continues to maintain a deadly silence over the allegation of their involvement in a tug of war which has erupted between current government and opposition but their continued silence can cost them, dear. Continue reading

SOURCE: AMIT PANDEY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

If sale of S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems from Russia to India rang alarm bells in Islamabad then India’s intent to procure NASAMS to secure its capital and also possible purchase of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense system supplemented by India’s own two-layered ballistic missile defense (BMD) to protect is major metros will raise considerable doubts in Islamabad about India’s intention about it’s Nuclear Policies.

Till now, India has maintained a ” No First Strike Nuclear policy ” which allowed Pakistan to escalate any future conventional war into a Nuclear war whenever it feels that conventionally superior Indian military will overwhelm them, but recent chatters in India’s Nuclear circle doesn’t hint at major tweaking which is gonna take place or already is in motion. Continue reading

SOURCE: ARJUN REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Japan has confirmed that it will stop using its local F-35 assembly line which is operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for assembly of F-35 for Japan Air Self-Defense Force due to substantial savings it could incur if there were directly procured from Lockheed Martin instead of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said a latest media report.

Japan has taken the local final assembly and checkout, or FACO, route since 2013 for the final assembly of F-35A for initial orders of the jet, but due to continues fall in the unit cost of F-35A in recent years which is likely to hit below $80 Million per unit after 2020, Japan procured first batch at an average of average $144.2 million per unit and later at $119.7 million each but due to the downward trend of prices from Lockheed Martin due to high volume orders, it was established that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will not be able to match the price and substantially it was decided further 105 F-35s, which will include 42 of the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant will be priced directly from the vendor. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Top Brass of Indian Air Force (IAF) will be soon taking a final call on the proposal made by State-owned HAL in 2018 for the supply of 40 additional Sukhoi-Su-30MKI over orders of 272 units already placed with the HAL in previous contracts. Ministry of Defence (MOD) has asked IAF to seriously consider ordering additional Su-30s due to high-rate of retirement which has been planned from 2019 on wards for the Mig-21 and Mig-27 fleet which will leave an immediate void in the capabilities of the force.

Sources close to idrw.org have informed that Top Brass of Indian Air Force (IAF) are not fully convinced that additional Sukhoi-Su-30MKI fighter jets will actually help gauge fall of the fighter fleet in the force and Senior officials are also worried that IAF is already Top-heavy and actually needs Light and Medium class aircrafts to strike right balance in the force . Continue reading

SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Recently China warned India and the United States from providing any level of technical assistance to Taiwan for development of local Diesel Submarine fleet which no country wants to provide due to Chinese bullying tactics for over a decade now. Germany, France, Japan and Sweden who all can manufacture and sell pretty advance diesel Submarines for over years have backed away under Chinese pressure for the supply of their submarines which forced Taiwan to start an ambitious program to develop submarines locally.

Taiwan has asked world community for the supply of critical technology which will help them assist to develop next-generation Diesel Submarine which will come handy in defense of the island nation against Chinese forces. The United States of America is very keen to help but doesn’t manufacture Diesel Submarines but has encouraged many allies to share technologies related to the submarines with Taiwan but without much support. Continue reading

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

India has started re-designing its initial concept for Tejas’ Mark-2 which now will be classified as Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) and even might get a new name to avoid confusion with the LCA-Tejas Mk1 and Mk1A.  Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has been tasked to upgrade the previous concept of Mark-2 into MWF by end of 2018.

Mark-2 MWF Concept was speculated to break cover at upcoming Aero India 2019 which will begin next month but till now both IAF and ADA has maintained tactical silence on MWF, leading to speculation and confusions if the concept eventually will be unveiled for the first time at India’s premier Airshow exhibition. Continue reading