‘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


Leaked Internal presentation of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the LCA-AIR FORCE Mk2 design Evolution shows how LCA-Tejas design has evolved from its early design to the current proposed Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) where it will be replacing the bulk of Medium Category aircraft already in the current fleet of Multi-role fighter aircraft.

MWF-AF will be replacing Mig-29, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar fleet from 2028 onwards starting with Jaguar Strike fighter jet which will start retiring from the force by 2034 completely followed by Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 in the early 2040s. Continue reading


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 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 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


Second LCA-Tejas Mk1 squadron will be based at Srinagar Air Force Station said a reliable Industrial source close to 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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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


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


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


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


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


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