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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

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Revealed to the world for the first time earlier this year at Aero India 2021, India’s pace of development of the second carrier based Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is gaining traction with present design undergoing further wind tunnel testing and further design improvements, that will slot it in between 5th and 4.5 fighter generation of jets, that Navy is now not so keen on procurement of 5th generation carrier-based jets in near future.

Senior Naval official speaking to idrw.org has confirmed that the Navy is fully backing the development of the Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) that is undergoing design improvements that will reduce its radar cross-section to agreeable levels due to which void of 5th gen fighter won’t be felt. ADA plans to freeze the final design before the 13000 crore TEDBF program is sent to MOD for financial clearance and project approval by end of this year.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Amid renewed India-China border tensions, came reports that the Chinese PLA has deployed PHL-03, a12-tube 300 mm long-range multiple rocket launcher rocket system that has a maximum firing range depending on its warhead type from around 70 – 130 km near LAC. PHL-03 due to its feature-like guidance system, which provides highly accurate targeting in complex terrains, raised several eyebrows on the Indian side with calls for further development of India’s Pinaka long-range MRLs (multiple rocket launchers) over 130-150km, but industrial sources close to idrw.org confirm that no such demand has been made by the Indian Army yet to the State-owned DRDO, instead, a mobile high-altitude terrain optimized Pinaka is in development for LAC deployment.

The indigenous 214 mm Pinaka also has a range of 70 km. It also has a guided variant that has a 95+km range version. The original Pinaka Mark-1 had a range of 37-42km and had entered service in the late 1990s but production of which is now stopped. Enhanced Pinaka Mark-1 with a range of 45-50km has entered production now.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

DRDO’s Gas Turbine and Research Establishment (GTRE) will be partnering with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the manufacturing of the Dry Kaveri engine to be used on India’s Unmanned Stealth bomber program. The Engine Division at Koraput, a unit of HAL’s vast network will be manufacturing Dry Kaveri engine when it completes its certification by 2024 and enters production, as informed to idrw.org .

Dry Kaveri engine minus its afterburner section was for the first time showcased earlier this year at Aero India 2021 and GTRE has started manufacturing four pre-production Dry Kaveri engine that will be used for further flight trials and testing of the engine before it is cleared for production by 2024-25. Dry Kaveri engine will have a Dry Thrust of 46kN and soon test of the engine in the indoor aerospace testbed will commence, so that the data can be collected from different parameters on the engine, using an intricate web of sensors that detects even the tiniest vibrations that will help analytical models and engineers in better monitoring and for crucial insights to inform future engine improvements for availability and efficiency.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

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Indian Army has issued a 13-page Request for Information (RFI) for the Procurement of a new generation ‘Future Tank’ platform namely Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV), approximately quantity 1770 in a phased manner, with expected induction by 2030. RFI which idrw.org has gone through says that the FRCV platform is planned to be procured under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route within the provision of Chapter-VII of Defence Acquisition Procedure – 2020’.

The strategic partnership category of acquisition provides foreign defense manufacturers (OEM) to enter into JVs with Indian defense companies for a share in India’s defense orders along with the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the winning platform. FRCV from 2030 for the next 40-50 years will remain as the ‘Main Battle Tank’ of the Indian Army and will be replacing Soviet-era T-72MBTs from the Indian Army fleet.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

LCA-TEJAS MK1 WITH COBHAM MA-2 nozzle

British aerospace manufacturing company, Cobham Limited will be in charge of developing a retractable Actuated probe for air to air refueling missions for India’s upcoming LCA-AFMk2 program after both India and the UK as part of a new strategic partnership between the two countries agreed to cooperate in the development of the 17.5 ton LCA-AFMk2 fighter jet that presently underway in India.

LCA-AFMk2 in scale model has been seen with a fixed probe like seen in the FOC configuration of the Tejas Mk1 fleet, but in LCA-AFMk2 that will be limited to the initial 3 pre-production units that will take to air from 2023 and will be used extensively as flight test and developmental platforms, as HAL and Cobham will be jointly working on the development of retractable Actuated probe for the production version of the aircraft that is expected to roll out from 2028.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

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The government is yet to approve India’s homegrown fifth-generation fighter program, the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) that was supposed to come in the first half of this year, and after a slight delay, will likely now happen by end of Q3 of this year said informed sources close to idrw.org. ADA had put the proposal up for funding approvals along with that project cost estimated at 15000 crores for the manufacturing of the two technology demonstrators and few prototypes.

Indian Air Force (IAF) will be procuring AMCA in Two Phases and has decided to procure around 120 AMCA Stealth jets to make up around Six Squadrons. In Phase-1, 40 units making up 2 Squadrons of AMCA Mk1 with IOC Configuration, powered by American F-414 engines will be entering service around 2032 onwards. In Phase-II, 80 units of AMCA Mk2 with FOC Configuration powered by new indigenously manufactured higher 110kN thrust engines will enter service from 2035 onwards.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Navy is on verge of been getting official approvals for the construction of the six next-generation nuclear attack submarines from the Prime Minister Office (PMO) that the Navy Design Bureau, the lead design agency for the naval warships in the country plans to take up, so that first of the next-generation attack submarines can be fielded and commissioned into service by end of this decade.

The Navy has been devising ways to make nuclear subs, even more, quieter and more stealthy and to reduce the acoustic levels have decided to get rid of the traditional propeller and instead decided to go with Pump-Jet propulsion system for nuclear attack submarine. A pump-Jet propulsion system creates a jet of water to power a boat forward and also produces less cavitation, which is the stream of bubbles or voids created by traditional propellers. Less cavitation means an even lower acoustic signature for the sub.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) has floated fresh tenders for the development of two pre-production units of bigger Uttam Active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar (FCR) with the main antenna incorporating 992 arrays of TR modules instead of 780TR modules that is on the Uttam Mk1 radar antenna meant for Tejas Mk1A program. Documents accessed by the idrw.org confirm what LCA AF-Mk2 Project director Dr. Madhusudhana Rao had said on the sidelines of Aero India 2021 that the LCA AF-Mk2 with a 270mm smaller nose cone than that of the Tejas Mk1A nose radome but still will be able to house a Bigger Uttam Aesa Radar.

Tender documents call for the assembly of two units of Uttam Mk2 by L1 winning vendor and L2 vendor that has a delivery schedule of 7 months just in time before the first rollout of the LCA AF-Mk2 aircraft in august next year. most of the backend process of the radar will remain the same only the antenna size will have higher TR modules with different power setups for better search and tracking range, so the need for extensive trials and testing of the radar will be minimal since Uttam hardware is scalable and most of the testing will be planned on board first two LCA AF-Mk2 that will be been rolled out by 2025 and begin its flight development.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The Gun carriage Factory Jabalpur that’s in charge of the production of the indigenously upgraded Dhanush artillery guns has failed to ship 36 guns as per delivery schedules that was to be done by end of 31st March 2021 and it is unlikely it will be able to deliver by end of 2021, more 40 guns that were planned for this fiscal year said a reliable source close to idrw.org due to lockdown and slippage in the delivery schedule hit by the pandemic especially the MSME sector that contribute in the program.

In 2020, 18 gun regiment delivery was hit after the first wave lockdown in the country last year and only a few deliveries happened. 2021, was supposed to be the year when the production could hit 50 guns per year, and it’s not even hit half the mark, which means plans to deliver all 114 guns by the end of 2022 is highly unlikely now.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India and the UK vowed to expand bilateral defense cooperation, including through technology collaboration in developing combat aircraft and complex weapons, during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson. India-UK ties mentioned broadening dialogue on “combat air collaboration to determine how the UK can support India’s ambitions for their light combat air MK2 program.

No specific details were given on what kind of collaboration has been planned, leading to speculation of India collaborating on the integration of Ej-200 engines for the LCA-AF Mk2 but idrw.org has been informed that it is not the case and collaboration has been discussed on the integration of a European weapons system that will be carried out by the UK for the LCA-AF Mk2 program

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India has been blessed with diverse weather conditions that often means weapons that under development in India require multiple trials, year-round to test their effectiveness under different environmental conditions. Extreme environmental testing of weapon systems is a vital necessity in any phase of the weapons system developmental cycle. Weapons go through the worst of the world’s climatic extremes throughout their service life, understanding how and where failures may occur is the key to ensuring reliability and so maintaining operational capability in the field.

While India is now focusing more and more on the development of local weapons, DRDO and other weapons manufacturers have to carry out multiple trials in extreme weather conditions. often we see multiple trials of the same weapons systems are been held up for Summer trials, Winter trials, and high altitude trials for months at a time till the onset of the season since most of the trials are still carried out at the extreme locations where these weapons systems are likely to be used.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) has been carrying out fresh trials of its 450 kgf thrust class Small Turbofan Engine (STFE) to have another go at India’s homemade 1000-kilometer-range subsonic land-attack cruise missile with terrain hugging capabilities later this year. In 2020, DRDO attempted to test the Nirbhay Cruise missile with the STFE for the first time but within 8 minutes of the launch due to technical issues in the Booster stage, the missile was forced to deviate from its path.

The missile didn’t achieve enough altitude for the STFE to be fired up for 50 min flight covering 1000km and later plunged into the Bay of Bengal, but the missile was later recovered and a technical report on the failure of the missile test confirmed there was no STFE failure but it related to underperformance of the booster.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India’s S-400 purchase from Russia could trigger CAATSA sanctions that may affect the supply of American General Electric F404-GE-IN20 and F414-INS6 that are been selected to power India’s Tejas Mk1/1A and LCA-AF Mk2 Program, but a senior ranking official from India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) official who spoke to idrw.org on condition of anonymity said that they’re in touch with Aerospace engine maker GE over this and are working out deliveries of future batches of engines (F404-GE-IN20) to be used on the recently ordered 83 Tejas Mk1A and it’s unlikely they will be disruption in supply due to CAATSA.

Indian Air Force (IAF) and HAL officials who regularly meet have not discussed this matter and for the time being no alternative engines for the Indigenous fighter jets have been planned or considered as speculated on some section of the media. When asked if Indigenous Kaveri Dry engine with Afterburner section that is under development for the unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) program can be used to power Tejas Mk1A, idrw.org was told Kaveri engine has been delinked from the LCA-Tejas program due to insufficient generation of power from the engine and the engine still can’t generate required thrust to be considered as an option for the LCA-Tejas Mk1A program.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

US General Electric Engineers will be down in Bengaluru mid of next year to assists Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) technicians in the integration of the American supplied F414-INS6 engines for the LCA AF-Mk2 program as part of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) commitment for the program said informed sources close to idrw.org. HAL plans to roll out the first LCA AF-Mk2 pre-production aircraft by August 2022 that will be followed up with series of ground trials of the aircraft before it is ready for its first flight in 2023.

Integration of the engine will be carried out by the HAL technicians under the supervision of the General Electric Engineers that will arrive from the United States. HAL already has received the first batch of F414-INS6 engine from GE a year ago and the engines have been kept in storage but are grounded tested and serviced at regular intervals as per service manuals of the OEM.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

American F414-INS6 engines that are selected for the LCA-AF Mk2 fighter jet and AMCA jet program will also be used for the TEDBF jet program, but all three fighter jet program will eventually be getting the new 110kN Class of engine at the later stage, as negotiation with the International OEM partner picks up on which programs will be covered to make up production numbers. DRDO Chief Dr. G Satheesh Reddy has confirmed that LCA-AF Mk2 will enter production with the F414-INS6 engines but the engine will be replaced when it is due for a new engine after 7-8 years into service with the new engine that has higher thrust.

AMCA Mk1 will enter production with the American F414-INS6 engines but it will be limited to the first two squadrons only but the AMCA Mk2 will start rolling off the production line with the new engine from 2034 onwards. AMCA Mk1 will start getting new engines first and later it will also move to the LCA-AF Mk2 fleet. Navy initially will be getting TEDBF with American F414-INS6 engines but at later stages, it to will be getting new higher thrust engines after engine production pickups post 2035.

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