My Take


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


The India-U.S. Joint Working Group on jet engine cooperation within the framework of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), has been suspended and Joint venture proposals with the French Aero-engine maker SAFRAN after years of talk has been suspended. India’s quest to jointly develop a new generation afterburning turbofan engine for its upcoming 5th generation AMCA MkII fighter program which is all set to take off officially in 2020.

Delays in the selection of Joint venture partner for AMCA specific engine to power India’s first 5th generation fighter program has meant that now India has planned to use less powerful F414-GE-INS6 afterburning engines for the first two squadrons of 40 aircraft. GE Aviation and SAFRAN seem to be India’s first choice of foreign companies with whom India has carried out extensive collaboration talks for years now without any results and India simply cannot continue with talks especially when the program is about to take off officially.  Continue reading


Philippine and Thailand have expressed interest in purchasing Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile for its armed forces, even though nothing has fructified yet but India’s militaries main precision strike and anti-ship weapon across the various service branches falling in hands of regional rival China is also very much possible due to proximity of both the countries is what India needs to be vary off before it strikes export contract.

Philippine Army and Royal Thailand Navy both are interested in acquiring Maritime Mobile Coastal Battery variant of BrahMos to be deployed for defending a large swathe of it’s along the coastline against invading Naval force. BrahMos remains the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation  Continue reading


           Picture of Russian 9K720 Iskander Missile System

Sanctioned in March 2015, DRDO was tasked to develop an Army specific Short-range tactical ballistic missile (SRBM) which weighs around five tonnes can carry a payload of one tonne, which can strike at targets 350 km away. It can travel up to 500 km if the payload is halved can outperform China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander tactical missiles. 

Fast forward into today, Fast track program sanctioned in 2015 has missed several deadlines for its first flight trial. the first experimental trial of Pralay which is a conventional tactical missile system was supposed to take place in December 2018 but was postponed several times due to technical reasons.  Continue reading


HAL and ADA are competing separately to meet the demands of IAF’s fleet requirements and currently, two teams are working parallel on the development of LCA-Tejas Mk1A along with MkII/Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) program. IAF already has backed the development of the AMCA 5th generation fighter program which is handled by a separate team but the race to fill the requirement for nearly 300 aircraft is heating up after new IAF Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria made an interesting comment on both Mk1A and MWF program recently.

Chief of Air Staff confirmed orders for 83 upgraded Mk1A will be inked with HAL soon and also reaffirmed his commitment to the AMCA program but when asked about MWF program, Air Chief said that IAF is ready to procure 200 of this jets only if they are ready on time and meets its requirements, clearly putting onus on the ADA which has reworked MWF program with host of improvements and upgrades which delay the program. Continue reading


From November 4 onwards capital of newly formed Union Territory of J&K will shift to Jammu for six months as part of the biannual Durbar Move started by Dogra ruler Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme weather of Kashmir in winter and Jammu in summer. J&K is only Union Territory in India which has two capital cities that function for six months each has its capital, but as rumors going around this might change soon.

The Durbar Move is turning out to be a half-yearly burden on the state exchequer and about Rs, 150 crores are spent annually on the bi-annual move. Union Territory of J&K might soon get one Captial and this biannual Durbar Move of shifting of Captial cities might be stopped forever. Continue reading


India is today faced not only by repeated threats by Pakistan, but also has a much larger concern with a Huge Nuclear armed bully sitting in its North and claiming India’s territory. Not only could an escalation with Pakistan lead to a two front war, but also China, on it’s own is a very astute country which is always waiting in the wings, coveting other nations’ territories and resources. Diplomacy with China merely goes to save India’s skin, nothing more, since the Chinese leadership is and has been, historically, astute in double talk. What then is the solution?

The answer comes in one single word ‘Deterrence’. Let’s begin by understanding what the word means in a military and strategic context. While policy researchers will promptly provide sophisticated definitions of the word, replete with jargon, the meaning of the word can quite aptly be summarized in a few words – the ability to give fear to your enemy. As long as there is a reason for your enemy to fear you, he will think twice, even thrice, before initiating a conflict. Continue reading


Defence Ministry is set to discuss a proposal to acquire two regiments of the Akash Prime missiles which can be deployed in high altitude areas above 15,000 feet according to the latest Indian media report. Akash Prime is new Akash missiles which will have an extended performance range than its predecessors are being prepared to be deployed in high altitude areas in Ladakh which shares boundaries with both Pakistan and China.

Akash Prime according to many defense analysts are repackaged Akash Mk1S which has been tested five times by the Indian Army already with indigenous Seeker. Due to the addition of the seeker, Akash Prime can now engage a target more accurately but reports also suggest that Akash Prime will also come with many additional tweaking to the radar and autonomous tracking and launch system to deal with high altitude extreme climatic conditions. Continue reading



A little known fact is that when Pakistani Air Force F-16s were firing volleys of BVR Air-to-Air missile at a lone Sukhoi-30MKI ” Avenger-1″ a Pair of upgraded MiG-29UPG Multi-role fighter jets at took off from Adampur Airbase to intercept PAF F-16s flying near LOC. MiG-29UPG Pair took off in time and were soon in supersonic speed flying towards the sector where F-16s were hovering around but before it reached its station, F-16 had fled the spot seeing more Indian bogeys coming close to the scene of action.

IAF top brass now for the first time have sent 5 MiG-29UPGs to Exercise Eastern Bridge in Oman between 17-26 October 2019 to give them more exposure to the Royal Air Force of Oman operated F-16 Block 50 aircraft after IAF decided to procure 21 more of the aircraft from Russia after aircrafts were upgraded with new engines and radar and avionics to making them as capable as Block-52 F-16s operated by PAF . Continue reading


‘Operation Bandar’ saw successful coordinated operations with DRDO AEW&CS Netra for carrying out airstrikes at Balakot terror training centers inside Pakistan and IL76 `Phalcon’ AWACS was in action very next day which played a crucial role in detection of the PAF’s Strike package and in recording of the F-16B kill by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman highlighting the growing importance of airborne Force multiplier systems which are designed to detect aircraft, ships, and vehicles at extremely long ranges but what followed later also exposed badly IAF’s long term vision for the next generation Force multipliers which it can buy but won’t.

Pakistani Airforce at the time of ‘Operation Bandar’ and post-closure of its airspace till April operated four Chinese made Shaanxi ZDK-03 Karakoram Eagle Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) and 3 Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C which not only outnumbered IAF which operated only three IL76 `Phalcon’ AWACS and one DRDO AEW&CS Netra at that time but got a major boost in April earlier this year when it inducted three more Saab 2000 Erieye taking its total airborne force multiplier assets to 10. Continue reading


Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has lifted the curtains on a full-scale mock up and cockpit of the KF-X fighter at ADEX 2019 in Seoul, along with more technical details of the aircraft was put out. KF-X fighter will have a maximum takeoff weight of 25.6 tonnes and a 7.7-tonne payload and the prototype will be rolled out in 2021 and first flight in 2022 and IOC in 2025 which will clear path for its production all in less than 6 years which could make many in India in envy because according to the AMCA program developmental path it will enter production only in 2035 even if prototype roll out happens in 2025.

How come Korea’s KF-X Developmental path of an aircraft which will be similar in MTOW and is in the same Class of AMCA is much faster and shorter than India’s AMCA Program? , Catch is that KAI has planned out 3 phase-wise development of three-block variants of C109 design over the years to catch up with world leaders in 5th generation fighter technology and perfect its designs in blocks over the years when the aircraft is still in production and developmental trials. Continue reading



IAF is already down to 30 Squadrons and by 2025 even with the induction of 36 Dassault Rafale and few Tejas Mk1A in the fleet , IAF’s Squadron level will continue to tumble further down which is likely to be gauged back after induction of additional Tejas Mk1A and MMRCA winner by 2030 but it will be nearly impossible to achieve 42 Squadrons even by 2040 due to planned retirement of Jaguar, Mirage-2000 and Mig-29 fleet which will could be over 50 years by then.

MWF-Tejas Mk2 program is supposed to fill up the void which Jaguar, Mirage-2000 and Mig-29 fleet will leave behind due to which IAF has shown interests in the induction of nearly 201 fighter jets but it will also depend on when MWF-Tejas Mk2 enters production if it manages to do so by 2028 period, without delays and with production scale of 16 aircrafts per year. by 2040 MWF-Tejas Mk2 will be able to meet orders placed by IAF for 201 jets but it also is the same period when IAF’s Su-30MKI Fleet will be close to 40 years which will require replacement of at least first batch which was inducted in 2001. Continue reading


Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria while interacting with media for the first time very bluntly refused to place additional orders for 36 Dassault Rafale and instantly also killed any speculation of India buying Russian developed Su-57E Stealth fighter jet and for the first time in decades its seems IAF got chief who had clear cut vision for Indigenous airforce and it seems to have dubbed badly on some so-called Defence analysts in the country who have attacked both MWF-Mk2 and AMCA programs off late.

IAF is on verge of placing fresh orders for 83 Tejas Mk1A by end of this year and has backed the development of 200 Medium Weight Fighter program (MWF) and also India’s lone 5th generation AMCA fighter jet program, which leaves little space for induction of new jets in the coming decade rather then what already has been planned out earlier. Continue reading


The hoopla over Shastra Puja during induction ceremony of India’s Rafale fighter Jet RB-1 in the presence of two senior IAF officials, India’s Air Attache and Deputy Air Attache from the Indian Embassy of France by the Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh refuses to die down. The Raksha Mantri later shared some photographs of the ceremony on social media platform wherein he can be seen offering incense sticks, flowers, coconut and not to forget the green lemons under the wheels besides inscribing the enchanted symbol of “?” on the front fuselage of the fighter jet prior to proceeding on for a sortie on the same aircraft.

His posted on the twitter “Performed Shastra puja on the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami. Worshiping weapons on Vijaya Dashami has been our tradition.” Continue reading


Dr. AK Ghosh, director of India’s AMCA fifth-generation fighter program will be a relieved man today after incoming new Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria completely backed India’s only 5th generation AMCA fighter jet program and also stressed that IAF is not keen on importing Fifth Generation fighter aircraft like Su-57E or F-35 from Russia or USA, thus making AMCA jet lone 5th Generation fighter jet marked for entry in the IAF in near future.

Ghosh while speaking at Aero India 2019 earlier this year had informed that he aircraft design is in final stages of the development and full 1:1 scale model of the AMCA will be ready for RCS measurements at ORANGE (Open Test Range Facility for radar Cross Section Antenna Measurement) laboratory later this year. Continue reading