My Take


Top American defense manufacturing company Lockheed Martin India’s vice president recently while speaking to media said that they have proposed a “game-changing” partnership with India which will benefit multiple stakeholders not only in India but also in the US and beyond. Lockheed is seen as a front runner to supply 24 MH-60R helicopters to Indian Navy and is also keen to offer Indian Navy it’s S-76D helicopters to meet India Naval Utility Helicopter programme’s requirement for 111 helicopters.

Game Changing aspect which Vivek Lall was referring was India becoming a hub for F-16 production if IAF does select them in the first place and the company is keen on making its Indian manufacturing unit also the only unit which will not only cater to upgrade and modernization of F-16s operated world over, but also will manufacture early 200 jets for export market which Lockheed Martin plans to corner from its current operators. Continue reading


Former Defence Secretary Mohan Kumar recently told media that once the purchase of 126 Dassault Rafale was stalled under UPA government, Modi government had to renegotiate the deal and it was decided to go for 148 aircraft from 126 jets to 148 aircraft through the initial deal was for 36 aircraft in a fly-away status.

112 aircraft could have been made in India under transfer of technology and recent tender for supply of 114 aircraft under new tender suggests the current government is still on track to execute initial plans for the procurement of 148 jets in total. Continue reading


Sukhoi Design Bureau in initial days of MMRCA Tendering process had made an interesting offer to India, which if pursued back then could have saved India not only a lot of foreign exchange but also could have slowed down the fast depletion of the combat fleet of IAF if the offer had been actively pursued said a retired senior ranking employee of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited who doesn’t want to be named but did shed some light on proposal made by Sukhoi officials on development of single-engined Su-30 derivative.

According to the senior retired official, OKB Sukhoi in the ’90s had initiated an S-54 advanced trainer, based on Su-27 aerodynamics but the program never reached production stage but what India was offered was further advanced derivative which could have been an aircraft under Max. takeoff weight of fewer than 20 tonnes nearly half the MTOW of a Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft. Continue reading


Delays and fiasco seen with the LCA-Tejas program in India should come as a lesson for all the stakeholders that for future fighter aircraft programs like Tejas Mk-2 and AMCA, India will require higher participation of private players and better outsourcing of the aircraft equipment and components that can ensure smooth production line without any major delays and hiccups to the program.

Outsourcing of air frame components like the front, the mid and rear section including wings of the Tejas Mk1 to private players already has created a necessary support system which will further come in handy for the supply of critical components for the 83 Tejas Mk1A orders for which are likely to be placed by IAF soon. Continue reading


IAF quest to replace aging Kiran MkII Trainer jet got a major boost in 1999 when Public-sector company HAL was sanctioned 2,989-crore project to develop Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) and a quick turnaround development circle and first flight in 2003 which was followed by the first flight of the second prototype in 2004 seemed like years of hard work on developing LCA-Tejas has finally created an talented resource pool in the country that was up for more challenges until 2007 and 2009 when both Prototypes suffered accidents and were grounded .

Troubled developmental phase not only included crashes but also several technical changes the program had to go through due to aircraft falling short of ASR issued by IAF. From Engine change to weight reduction followed up by wing re-alignments. Over the years, the program made little or very slow progress in the last few years and continued to fail crucial Spin Tests which HAL is still struggling with. Continue reading


Trump administration is almost done with its exit policy from Afghanistan and new truce or tactical withdrawal from the Afghanistan and power shift back to the Taliban is more or less confirmed and for the first time back in India, from Army chief, Ex-National Security advisers to various Defence analysts have now recommended Indian government to open a backdoor level channel for communication with Taliban so that it can protect its interests in Afghanistan.

While the Taliban knows it won’t be back in power in Afghanistan as it did after withdrawing of Soviet army from the country, US Military will stay in reduced numbers and many key countries like Iran, Russia, and India which previously backed Northern alliance in the country against Taliban will take no time to back Anti-Taliban forces if the Taliban starts harming interests of countries who have always played key roles in Afghanistan even when Taliban was in power. Continue reading


India’s ambassador to the United States, Amb. Harsh Vardhan Shringla was handed over first Boeing developed CH-47F Chinook Helicopter for Indian Air Force at transfer ceremony held in Boeing Defense facility in Philadelphia, which was also attended by Air Marshal A Dev, from Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan) and Consul General of India Sandeep Chakravorty including Air Attache Air Cmde Shivanand.

In his address, Ambassador Shringla lauded growing industry partnerships between India and United States & commended Boeing for their commitment to Make In India. Continue reading


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


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


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


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


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