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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

With latest media reports hinting that indigenously developed UTAAM AESA Airborne AESA Fire Control Radar (FCR ) will be ready for integration and trials with new upcoming updated Tejas Mk1A within next one year, HAL Sources close to idrw.org have confirmed that the management is still sticking with the Israeli ELM-2052 AESA Fire Control Radar for Tejas Mk1A program and swapping Israeli AESA FCR with Indian AESA FCR is not been considered for time being for various reasons.

HAL source close to idrw.org confirms that LRDE and DRDO have kept IAF and HAL in the loop about progress made by the UTAAM Team on the LCA LSP-2 which has been Test-bed aircraft but the Test-bed (LSP-2) is now down for regular maintenance and weapons modes are yet to be activated and its software integration is yet to be performed which means Radar will take time to mature. Continue reading

SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Second LCA-Tejas Mk1 squadron will be based at Srinagar Air Force Station said a reliable Industrial source close to idrw.org most likely from 2022 onwards which will replace Mig-21Bis squadron currently stationed at the forward airbase closer to Pakistan occupied Kashmir once they are retired in phases from 2020 onwards.

SP-21 which is Final operational clearance (FOC) configuration LCA-Tejas Mk1 aircraft under development at HAL facility in Bangalore will have its first flight in next two months and SP-21 along with SP-22, SP-23 and SP-24 will form the base for the second No. 18 (Flying Bullets) LCA-Tejas squadron which will be formally inducted post deliveries of first four FOC configuration aircrafts happen by March 2020.

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SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Outgoing Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa probably in his last interview to the Indian media as Chief of Indian Air Force had high praise for American engine which powers LCA-Tejas fighter jet making it first instance where General Electric developed F404 turbofan engines got rare praise from the Air chief himself. Dhanoa while speaking at India today conclave praised F404-GE-IN20 engines which power production LCA-Tejas Mk1 fighter jets and will also be powering its upgraded Mk1A variant which IAF will order from HAL soon.

Dhanoa said that F404-GE-IN20 engines have excellent fuel efficiency which he has rarely seen among contemporary fighter jets he has flown. Dhanoa who is a Mig-21 Veteran compared MiG-21bis’s R-25 engine with F404-GE-IN20 and said that fuel efficiency you had from F404 at 8000 feet altitude you only get that around 30000 feet altitude when flying a MiG-21. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Franck Saudo, chief executive of Safran Helicopter Engines, who spoke to French weekly financial newspaper ” La Tribune” has said that Ardiden 1U engine developed for the LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will complete its certification by end of this year and the company expects LUH will be soon inducted into Indian Army and Air force for which it will get engine orders soon from HAL.

The Ardiden 1U underwent first bench tests in December 2014. Its first flight powering the LUH took place on 6 September 2016 in Bangalore. Ardiden 1U is a single-engine variant of the 1H1/Shakti which powers the twin-engine Druhv and LCH (Light Combat Helicopter) from India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Continue reading

SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to maintain a small fleet of upgraded Mig-21Bis till 2025 and has decided against retiring them by end of 2019-20 as decided by earlier by the IAF to maintain operational fleet-level due to depletion of squadron strength due to retirement of the Mig-27 fleet said a reliable source close to idrw.org.

Outgoing Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa who had criticized still use of 44+ old Mig-21 in the IAF fleet was the one who approved its extension and will be formal last phase out in 2025 till HAL starts delivery of upgraded 83 Tejas Mk1A which is likely to be ordered by end of 2019.    Continue reading

SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

With Change of Guard at the top seat, Government has appointed Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria as the next Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Interestingly, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria was also due to retire on the same day as BS Dhanoa but his appointment clears government’s stand to push for development of local fighters and Dhanoa at top seat who played a key role in the development of LCA-Tejas program brought cheers from scientific community of the country.

Dhanoa an excellent Experimental Test Pilot will remain in office for only two years but will lay the foundation for two critical fighter jet programs in the country which will for the first time tilt balance of power from imported fighter jets to the locally designed and assembled fighter jet for next decade to come. MWF-Mk2 goes critical in 2023 and AMCA in 2024 and the next two years will be critical for both programs and sync with the top tier management is required at IAF for the smooth sailing of the program. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

LRDE is racing against time so that UTTAM Aesa Radar is ready for user trials within next one year so that it can be offered to Indian Air Force to be equipped on the 83 upgraded Tejas Mk1A fighter jet contract for which is likely to be inked by end of this year. Delays in the final contract of Tejas Mk1A due to price disagreements with the IAF and MOD has allowed LRDE to pick up pace in the carrying out developmental trials of the Radar so that it can be available to replace ELTA’s EL/M-2052 AESA Radar from Israel which has been selected for the Mk1A variant.

Three pre-production model of the UTTAM Aesa Radar have been performing well and have demonstrated capabilities which according to sources close to idrw.org has far exceeded that of the EL/M-2052 FCR in terms of tracking targets simultaneously and engage them in and the program has been receiving new software upgrades and opening of newer modes which makes team confident enough that it will be ready in next one year. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force (IAF) Technically has been handed over its 1st first Rafale ‘RB-001’ from France recently and will be officially handed over on 8th next month when Defence minister Rajnath Singh will be in France for the official induction ceremony. recent media reports hint that Modi government already has finalized a deal for 36 more Rafale fighter jet which will be inked in early 2020.

India already has invested in the country-specific enhancements and infrastructure to support the aircraft in the country and an additional of 36 Rafale will take the fleet to 72 which will be good enough to meet operational requirements post-Balakot air confrontation with the Pakistani air force . Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Third successive test firing of Astra Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile was successfully carried out by Air Force and Defence Research and Development Organisation today. The missile hit the live aerial target near Odisha at a maximum range of approximately 90 km.

idrw.org already had reported in past that missile is all set to be inducted into IAF by end of this year and fresh bulk orders of 100+ will be placed soon. BEL is already manufacturing of 50 pre-production samples ordered by IAF. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the development and production of different sub-systems of the missile, earlier small batch order was done to smoothen out production line and ensure quality issues are ironed out before it hits scale production. Continue reading

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

Pakistan Air Force recently awarded its Pilots who were part of Operation Swift Retort in much-televised broadcast and even showcased a video of the precision-guided bomb which missed Indian Army base by only 80 meters since it is claimed by PAF that missing of the target was intentional to showcase its air force power and bombs were released from PAF’s F-16 and Mirage-III combat planes.

The video was cut of seconds before it hit the so-called indented target 80 meters of the base perimeter but Open-source intelligence (OSINT) twitter handle who goes by d-atis ??@detresfa_who has examined the video and has located the base and after careful examination of the satellite images of the base post airstrike impact point showed by PAF showed that the  vegetation near the base was intact suggesting that the bomb failed to denote. Continue reading

SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The naval variant of the home-made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas successfully performed an “arrested landing” at the Goa’s Shore-Based Test Facility, which will clear its path for demonstration of same capabilities onboard India’s only operational aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya.

High ranking officials of the Indian Navy are happy with the progress the same team is making towards its milestone but it remains non-committal for placing orders for the jet. LCA-N prototypes used for demonstration of the capabilities will not enter production but it will be stepping stone for the development of NLCA Mk2 which was unveiled at Aero India 2019 earlier this year. Continue reading

SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

DRDO Chief Satheesh Reddy mentioned Mark 2 RV stealth aircraft program which many believe will be India’s Single engined Stealth fighter aircraft based on technology already developed for the MWF-Tejas Mk2+ AMCA program. possible configuration of the aircraft is based on hearsay coming out of prominent defense analytics in the country since the program details of this project is yet to be officially out yet.

IAF from 2030 onwards is staring at replacing the bulk of Medium weight fighter aircraft under MTOW (Maximum take-off weight) of 19 tonnes and below which make up nearly 250 fighter aircraft in the current fleet. IAF will be replacing 65+21 Mig-29UPG, 52 Mirage-2000H and 120 Jaguar Strike aircraft with one single type of aircraft which will start with the retirement of Mig-29s which will be over 40 years by then.  Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Its raining Indigenous Air Defence Systems in India, DRDO Chief G. Satheesh Reddy in an interview confirmed that DRDO has taken up development of Astra vertical launch (VL) based low-level quick-reaction air defence system based on Astra BVR-AAM which is all set to be inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF) by end of this year.

Astra-VL Air Defence System is the latest and will be 5th Indigenous Air Defence System program which has been under development to meet air defence system requirements of the defence forces in the country. DRDO already has developed Akash-1 and 1S medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system which already has been inducted in Indian Army and Indian Air Force. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force (IAF) will be receiving the first batch of Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVR-AAM) Astra by end of this year and Defence Ministry and IAF have started the process of placing fresh orders for the Astra missile by end of this year or early 2020 for at least 100 units produced by defense PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).

BEL is already manufacturing of 50 pre-production samples ordered by IAF. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the development and production of different sub-systems of the missile, earlier small batch order was done to smoothen out production line and ensure quality issues are ironed out before it hits scale production. Continue reading

SOURCE: ARUSH SINGH / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa recently questioned why India is flying aircraft that are over four decades old when no one drives even cars of that vintage. Dhanoa was referring to the MiG-21 fighter aircraft that had been inducted into the force in 1973-74. Mig-21Bis fleet which is set to be retired from IAF fleet starting from 2019 onwards thus ending its long association with the fighter aircraft which has been long dubbed as ” Coffin Maker ” in Indian media.

Dhanoa went on to also add that ” I can still fly the MiG 21 MF aircraft which is almost 44 years old. I’m sure none of you are driving a car of that vintage,”. Instead of asking the question around why doesn’t IAF Top tier management ask its self why it preferred 40 plus old Mig-21 with 3.5 generation technology over a 4th generation LCA-Tejas which even though took ages to mature but still was light years ahead in technology even when it was not fully combat-capable. Continue reading