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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

AT LIMA-2019

According to Indian media reports, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Team will be coming down to India in the next two months to visit the manufacturing facilities of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and also evaluate India’s LCA-Tejas Mk1 as a light combat aircraft / fighter lead?in trainer (LCA/FLIT) to replace a number of its current platform types soon. Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF’s) plan to procure up to 36 LCAs with options for 26 more, but the initial number might be only for 12 jets, while the rest are kept for follow-on orders in the contract.

idrw.org has been told that Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Team that will be heading to India is the same team that evaluated the LCA-Tejas aircraft when it had participated in the 15th edition of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2019). RMAF Team members that had carried out sorties on the LCA-Tejas Trainer aircraft were pretty impressed by the performance of the jet back then.

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REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

Indian Navy has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for the development of an Indigenous 5MW Propulsion motor to be used on existing and future conventional submarines. tender documents accessed by idrw.org, calls for 6 units of 5MW Propulsion motor from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) under Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category.

As per tender documents, the 5MW Electric Propulsion motor is intended to be used in the propulsion system for the submarine to provide mobility for surface and underwater operations. Power supply to the 5MW Electric Propulsion motor will be provided through the main batteries of the submarine and should have a shaft output of 5MW and should have a maximum weight of 71tons.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

French publication “Mediapart” in its report has said that a small Indian defense company was awarded 1.1 million Euros by aviation major Dassault for the supply and manufacturing of 50 large replica models of Rafale jets that were to be gifted. It is estimated that Dassault paid €20000 per unit cost for a possible 1:4 scale model of the Rafale fighter jet, one that has been installed outside the official residence of the Indian Air Force (IAF) chief. It is still not clear where the other 49 scaled-down models of the Rafale fighter jet were put up for display but cost alone does raise several eyebrows so we contracted few companies that make scale models to get an idea of the pricing.

idrw.org was told that the scale model price depends on the material used and the quality of the work that is requested by the client. a Plastic molded 1:8 scale model of the Rafale fighter jet from a reputed scale model manufactures could cost anywhere between $2000-3000 per unit if the details have to be precise as the jets that the cost could touch $4000. looking at the scale model of the Rafale that is installed outside of the air chief residence we were told it was probably was a scale of 1:4 or 1:3, that is scale terms means it is bigger than the 1:8 scale model and probably will cost nearly twice at $8000 per unit.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Relying entirely on the Internal company funds, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plans to certify its Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine (HTFE-25) ’25’ signifying the thrust of the engine to be 25 kN by 2025 by testing it onboard company-owned Hawk Mk. 132 Advanced trainer aircraft designated as “Hawk-I”. idrw.org has been informed from industrial sources close that, the flight certification process will start from 2024 and should be completed in the next few years.

HTFE-25 will not be replacing the present Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk. 951 turbofan engines that are powering the Hawk Mk. 132 AJT fleet of the IAF, but it has been proposed to be used as a powerplant on the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) HJT-36 Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) that presently is undergoing spin testing following extensive changes to its tail and rear fuselage.

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The Indian Army in coming months is looking at placing orders for DRDO-TATA developed Wheeled Armoured Protection (WhAP) armored vehicle to be used in high altitude areas like Eastern Ladakh, weeks after it was put on the export control list by the Ministry of Defence after the armored vehicle completed its developmental trials. Indian Army owned WhAP armored vehicle has been often seen carrying out User trials in extreme conditions and high altitude areas from Ladakh to Sikkim over the years and after a recent standoff with Chinese PLA over border issues, there seems to be an urgency to get it into production.

idrw.org has been informed from industrial sources close that, DRDO-TATA is waiting for orders from the Indian Army and has carried out minor modifications and changes to the vehicle as requested by the Indian Army and has demonstrated most of the capabilities that the Army wanted over the years. Indian Army recently placed major orders with Mahindra Defence Systems Limited (MDS) for its Light Specialist Vehicles (LSV) and with Kalyani Group for its Kalyani M4 multi-purpose armored vehicles.

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The 14-seater Saras Mk1 (PT1N) is presently undergoing modifications to its cockpit layout and its cabin configuration so that it will be used as a Testbed aircraft for the development of the proposed 19- seater transport aircraft called Saras Mk2 for which National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL), which is overseen by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) have sought additional Rs 100 crore of funds for its development from the Central Government.

CSIR-NAL has already started design realisation, life testing, and certification of Saras Mk2-19 seater aircraft, and the project is now heading towards detailed engineering and design. CSIR-NAL describes Saras Mk2 as Indigenous Next-Gen Commuter Transport Aircraft, which has utility to be used as local aircraft for the Government’s Udaan scheme for enhancing connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.

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India’s longest ranged land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5500km will see a decade of its first flight that happened in 2012, Since then it has been tested 7 times, that also included canisterised configuration and now India plans to deploy its longest-range most potent nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V this year, thus ending its developmental and user trial phases and moving towards its active deployment.

Agni-V for many might seem to be the end of India’s land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with the focus now shifting towards the development of underwater intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities for its upcoming nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. India has developed K-15 and K-4 SLBM and has given official sanction for development of K5 and K6 missiles further, this notion does get backing that the development of land-based long-range ballistic missiles is avoided or staggered with the focus now shifting towards the development of the Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), but that not entirely true.

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Last year, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had revealed plans to convert aging HJT-16 Kiran, a two-seat intermediate jet-powered trainer aircraft into pilotless manned aircraft, and according to the latest tender documents, it has started that process of the conversion. The youngest of the Kiran aircraft is 32 years old and the average age of the fleet is now nearing the 40s, with most of the older Mk1 jets being retired after completing their airframe life. 

Informed sources close to idrw.org have said that indent is to test some of the basic new technologies that will find its way into use on next-generation unmanned combat aircraft that the company is designing and not as suicide drones or to be used as flying decoy in some risky missions, as reported in the media. Aircraft selected for the conversion are all retired and have been kept in storage for a while now and hints are they are probably the older Kiran Mk1 jets that were retired from IAF sometime back.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Dassault Aviation will be delivering 12 more Rafale fighter jets in the next 40 days, taking the count of delivered aircraft to 23 out of 36 contracted by the Indian Air force (IAF). Dassault has confirmed 7 more jets have already been handed over to the IAF attache in France that is currently been used for Pilot training before they too are transferred back home and the remaining 6 to be delivered to India by end of this year, thus completing the order for 36 contracted jets.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria will be on a bilateral visit to France around April 20-22, where he will also be briefed about the F4-standard, which is under development with hosts of improvements and capabilities. Under F4-standard, Dassault Aviation plans to add new functions to improve the aircraft’s capabilities, that includes upgrades to the radar sensors and front sector optronics, helmet-mounted display capabilities, and new weapons will be integrated like Mica NG air-to-air missile and 1,000-kg AASM Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon.

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The BrahMos Aerospace, an Indo-Russian joint venture had proposed to develop an air-to-air version of the BrahMos missile that will be used to take down slow-moving, high-value targets deep inside enemy airspaces, such as Airborne warning and control systems (AWACS), airborne battlefield, and ground surveillance aircraft or Mid-air refuellers.

BrahMos chief executive officer (CEO) Sudhir Kumar Mishra last year in an interview had said that “We are thinking to develop the air-to-air version with anti-AWACS capability. The range can be in excess of 400-500 km and the test will be sometime in the near future,”. But IAF is not convinced that such a heavy and expensive cruise missile is needed since platforms that can carry such BrahMos A2A Variant will be limited to only 40 Sukhoi-30MKI platforms that have undergone fuselage modification and strengthening at HAL.

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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) owned subsidiary, Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) in Kanpur has floated fresh tender for minor modification works that will see the integration of a locally developed Airborne Maritime Patrol Radar that is based on the technology that was developed for the Uttam active electronically scanned array (AESA) Airborne Fire control radar (FCR) to be used on fighter jets.

Tender documents that are in the possession of the idrw.org, confirms that the indigenously developed Active Antenna Array Unit (AAAU) AESA multimode airborne maritime surveillance radar to be integrated into the HAL manufactured twin-engine turboprop Dornier 228– 200 series aircraft will make it a formidable and versatile multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft, after being integrated with the new radar.

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An extended range version of the missile that comes with an additional Booster Motor, that further extends its range to 150 km has been offered, as a range extension kit to India. Dual pulse Motor with additional booster could double the range of the missile system and the offer was made to India at a recent event of the kit handing over ceremony at Kalyani-Rafael facility, confirmed informed sources close to idrw.org. The Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) defense system a joint venture of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

MRSAM Interceptor missiles have vertical launch capabilities supporting 360° coverage, quick reactions, short minimal ranges, and an active high-end RF seeker for targets with low radar cross-sections and high maneuverability against targets up to 70km that has been already inducted into the Indian Navy and production has begun for Truck based Indian Air force and Indian Army variant.

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The project director of the LCA AF-Mk2 had confirmed the development of a new variant of the Uttam active electronically scanned array (AESA) Airborne Fire control radar (FCR) that will have a bigger antenna incorporating 992 arrays of TR modules at the Aero India 2021. As per information provided to idrw.org, LRDE, the makers of the FCR are now planning to start fabrication of three sets of Uttam Mk2 that will be later used on the first LCA AF-Mk2 that will be rolled out in August next year for its first flight in 2023.

Uttam AESA FCR developed for the LCA AF-Mk2 has been found to an ideal candidate that can be also used to replace the existing mechanically scanned, slotted antenna, Zhuk-ME Fire control radar (FCR) found on the 65 upgraded MiG-29UPG fleet already in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF). Russia on other hand had offered its Phazotron-NIIR’s Zhuk-AME AESA FCR, but IAF seems to be impressed by the performance of the indigenously developed that now it has sanctioned a proposal to develop a bigger version of the Super-Sukhoi Program for the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet.

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The Brahmos Aerospace proposed development of the BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) that will be a mini version based on the existing Mach-3 capable supersonic cruise missile BrahMos-A, is yet to go official even after been proposed a few years ago. A top official of Brahmos Aerospace at Aero India 2021 had said the Indo-Russian joint venture company can develop a 1.5-ton Brahmos-NG by 2024-25 if the project is approved but it seems the Indian Air Force (IAF) is still evaluating the proposed program since it will be the main and possibly also lone customer of the missile system, with Army and Navy happy with present BrahMos missile system.

State-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on another side of the spectrum is developing a family of Air to Surface missile system for the Indian Air Force (IAF), under which it has already developed a New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGRAM) now called as Rudram-1. what comes next is what might have put IAF in a spot regarding the BrahMos-NG program said reliable source to idrw.org.

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American scientist Dr. Hans Kristensen, who is an Associate Senior Fellow with the SIPRI Disarmament, Arms Control, and Non-proliferation Programme and Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), in his tweets, has claimed that New submarine cover constructed at Vizag that is 40m longer than previous submarine cover that was used for Arihant class submarines, and according to him, the new submarine cover is meant for India’s third nuclear powered ballistic submarine classified as S4.

S4 class submarine along with its sister class S4* (Star) are extended Arihant Class submarines that have an 8 missile tube which makes it 15-20 meters longer than the Arihant class submarines that are 112 meters long and carry only 4 missile tubes. S4 class submarines have 7000-ton displacements that are 1000 tons more than the Arihant class submarines.

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