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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has procured an Ex-Air India, Airbus A319 (VT-SCO) to be used as an Inhouse flying Testbed aircraft for various Airborne Radar programs for the Indian military and the first picture of the DRDO’s Flying Test Bed has now going viral on the social media sphere where it was sported with Tipnis gray scheme and DRDO’s Logo on it.

As reported earlier by idrw.org, Airbus A319 Flight Testbed aircraft will be used to carry out developmental trials of the locally developed Uttam Fire Control Radar, EO/IR (Electro-Optical/Infra-Red) systems, Synthetic aperture radar (SAR), Side-looking airborne radar (SLAR), and Electronic Support Measures (ESM) systems for the Indian Air force’s A319 based AEW&C program and Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) program to be based on C-295 aircraft.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

After suffering three months of delays due to the Second wave of CCP Virus in the country, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is said to be readying four Final Operational Configuration LCA-Tejas Mk1 that will be handed over to IAF by end of this month as per their Q1 obligations of the FY2021-22. HAL Chairman recently claimed that 10 more will be handed over by Q4 in March 2022 but with restricted production capacities, CCP virus delays and disturbed supplied chain means, deliveries might not happen in March of 10 jets.

idrw.org has been informed that HAL is working overtime to recover lost man-hours but instead has managed only manufacturing SP-21 and SP-22. SP-19 and SP-20 were manufactured in the Previous FY2020-21. SP-17 and SP-18 already have been handed over to the IAF. Delivery of SP-23 to SP-32 by March 2022 will be too heavy of a task.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The Indian Navy has finally decided to come onboard the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) proposed development of the 10ton Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) medium-lift helicopter program. HAL has assured the Navy that the Naval-IMRH will have a different engine as requested by the Navy and will have design changes that are optimized for sea level operations including longer range and payload capacity than the Army/Airforce variants.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plans to equip Airforce / Army variants of the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) with one set of engine options and Navy with another engine option. idrw.org was first to confirm that HAL received bids from France for its Aneto turboshaft engine family, from Russia on its VK-2500PS-03 helicopter turboshaft engine that are used on Mi-17V in service with IAF, and America’s GE Aviation has offered its T700-401C/-701C engines that are also used on the Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk .

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Dhruvastra, an advanced variant of the Helina anti-tank guided missile that has been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will be tested from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) manufactured Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) sometime in the next year as HAL starts preparation in adding much awaited and most critical missile system that is desired in any attack helicopter that is ATGM.

Dhruvastra anti-tank guided missile was last tested from Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)-Rudra platform in desert ranges earlier this year successfully. Post trials, DRDO had said that Dhruvastra is cleared for induction after it successfully demonstrated the missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range, indirect hit mode as well as top attack mode against a static and moving target that was observed by Army and Air force officials.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had confirmed in the past that Indigenous Astra Mk1 beyond visual range air to air missile integration work with a Limited Series Production (LSP) Tejas Mk1 is presently being carried out, Industrial sources close to idrw.org, do confirm that captive flight trials of the missile might happen in next few weeks that includes 4-5 rounds of test-firing that has been planned with the present ELTA-LRDE 2032/MMR Fire control Radar (FCR) soon after that.

All 36+18 (Trainers)in Tejas Mk1 configurations will get Astra Mk1 BVR that are equipped with the ELTA-LRDE 2032/MMR Fire control Radar (FCR), and by 2023 it will also be integrated with the ELTA-2052 AESA Fire control Radar (FCR) that has been planned for the first lot of 20 units of the Tejas Mk1A fighter jet. Indigenous UTTAM AESA FCR that will be equipped on remaining 53 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets will also get a host of Indian-made weapons that includes Astra Mk1 and Astra Mk2 BVR when it enters production in 2025.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Air Force is looking for an additional batch of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules tactical transport aircraft. IAF operates 12 C-130J Super Hercules and the last aircraft delivery was taken in November 2019. idrw.org was informed that IAF always wanted to maintain a fleet of 18 aircraft that can be used for Tactical operations and Transporation and will approach the Ministry of Defence (MoD) soon for clearing the third batch.

India has inducted six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were bought from the US at the cost of around Rs 6000 crore in 2008 and another 6 in 2013. IAF lost one C-130J Transporter in a 2014 accident and a replacement of which was ordered in 2016 that was delivered in 2019. India’s Hindon Air Station is home to the IAF’s C-130J fleet and over the years IAF has augmented its infrastructure to house and operate 18 Tactical Transporter.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Air Force (IAF) is equipped with six squadrons of Jaguar strike fighters and at least two squadrons of the un-upgraded DARIN-I/II standard Jaguar fleet that are equipped with older twin Rolls-Royce Adour 804 engines were planned to be phased out from 2024 onwards and was nothing alarming about it. idrw.org has been informed that earlier batches that have completed their airframe life were not upgraded nor were marked to be equipped with new higher thrust engines.

IAF had plans to keep the upgraded DARIN-III standard Jaguar fleet in service till 2034 and it had planned to start retiring older un-upgraded batches that were to be retired from 2024 onwards that have nothing to do with lack of engine upgrade options. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the state-owned military plane maker has started upgrades of 60 Jaguar upgraded to DARIN-III standard that was built in the late 1980s to early 1990 that still have significant airframe life left in them.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, the manufacturer of SPICE Precision guided bombs, had unveiled a new member of the air-to-surface munition family, with the addition of an integrated turbojet engine at the Aero India exhibition in Bengaluru, earlier this year and was offered to the Indian air force (IAF).

The new variant dubbed SPICE 250 ER (Extended Range) that incorporates a miniature turbojet engine with an internal JP-8/10 fuel system, providing the weapon a range of at least 150 km, while retaining the same mission-planning system, aircraft interfaces, and aircrew operation. SPICE 250 ER also now comes with autonomous electro-optic Scene-Matching Artificial Intelligence (AI) Algorithms that use advanced AI and deep-learning technologies to specific target characteristics ahead of the strike. Each SPICE 250 ER can home-in on the pre-defined target, either autonomously or with a human-in-the-loop, aided by the ATR algorithm.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The troubled Child of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), HJT-36 Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) after being grounded for over 3 years had commenced spin testing following extensive work to rectify previous issues with this area of the flight envelope, last year and initial results seem to be promising for the HAL to believe that the aircraft could enter production by 2024-25 if the Spin trial completion data is accepted by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

idrw.org has been informed that the HJT-36 had demonstrated satisfactory initial spin behavior after it went through an extensive redesign of the rear fuselage and the rudder, that has further spin trials delayed due to the CCP Virus situation in the country for few weeks but, HAL plans to conclude all spin trials by mid of 2022. Once the Spin trials parameters are demonstrated, aircraft will be offered to the IAF for User trials that hopefully will be completed by 2023 that also includes weapons trials.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

SWiFT, 1-ton All Up Weight (AUW) Technological Demonstrator for India’s upcoming Unmanned Stealth Bomber has begun its ground level trials on the first assembled Prototype, that will been involved in series of low, medium, and high-speed taxi testing to ascertain aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds.

If ground test data collected are in the required parameters based on the final test verifications then preparation for the flight testing might be carried out in the next few weeks as per information provided to idrw.org. SWiFT will be powered by a Russian NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan engine, that will be later replaced by GTRE’s Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE).

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

On May 12, 2021, a Chinese delegation met with the Argentinian authorities to discuss the potential sale of 12 FC-1 fighter jets, then came reports of India’s LCA-Tejas fighter jet also being considered by the Fuerza Aérea Argentina, the Argentinian Air Force, that has been trying to procure an affordable supersonic combat aircraft for quite a few years now, but industrial sources close to idrw.org have confirmed that 3 major British components in the LCA-Tejas mean that, no such proposal could be cleared due to likely denial of the export license for components that are sourced from the UK.

Quartz Nose cone (Radome) and the Air-to-Air Refuelling Probe for the FOC Configuration LCA-Tejas fighters are supplied by the British aerospace manufacturing company Cobham, along with that LCA-Tejas fleet is also equipped with the Mk.16 IN16G zero/zero ejection seat that is made by the British company Martin-Baker.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has resumed production lines after being hit with the second wave of CCP Virus that killed nearly 100 employees and over 4000 of its employees that required home isolation and hospitalization over the last few weeks. Indigenous LCA-Tejas and LCH program seem to be have been most hit with further delays in their production capabilities due to frequent lockdowns and outbreak of the CCP Virus directly at its facility or at the facility of the MSME private supply chain for the program that will have spillover effects also on the LCA-AF Mk2 program said industrial sources close to idrw.org.

HAL had started metal cutting exercise for the LCA-AF Mk2 program earlier this year and everything seemed to be on track till the second wave of the CCP Virus hit the country that was much deadlier than the last one. idrw.org has been told, many of the supply chains have requested an extension to the supply of components/ tools/ machines that were meant for the LCA-AF Mk2 program due to lack of manpower or due to issues with state lockdowns, that could affect the rollout of the first aircraft that was supposed to happen in August 2022.

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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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