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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) had withdrawn from the Indian Navy’s tender for the construction of six diesel-electric submarines due to stringent rules regarding liabilities laws in the contract might be making a come back after India withdrew some of the liabilities clauses that could have made foreign company responsible for the job done by its strategic partner in the country.

India already has extended the bid date by another six months after only Korean and Spanish shipyard offered their submarine design to meet the Indian Navy’s requirements for six next-generation submarines, this one change might now clear the way for the Germans to come back in the race but it will not be easy for Russians and French shipbuilders since Navy is still adamant that only ships with proven Air-independent propulsion (AIP) system will meet technical criteria.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

It Amazes me that the top brass of the Indian Air Force confirm to the national media that even 13 years in the future, IAF will be no way near its sanctioned 42 squadron strength. With the current pace of induction and retirements, the Indian Air Force can only get a maximum of 35 squadrons in the next 10 years, up from the current 31-32. IAF as per its assessment had called the need for having 42 squadrons to protect the western and northern borders with Pakistan and China.

Even to achieve 35 Squadrons by 2035, IAF will need to induct 83 Light Combat aircraft MK1A, 114 MRFA, 106 Tejas Mk2, and at least 40 Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft. Any deviation from these plans means IAF will be short by another 4-5 Squadrons which will mean 200 combat jets less in inventory and what’s scarier is that IAF Top brass doesn’t seem to mind having such levels of squadrons to face possible two-front war scenario.

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SOURCE:  JATIN RAM / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s plans to develop a hypersonic cruise missile as a successor to the supersonic BrahMos is not new it has been in talks for the last decade or more and the first glimpses of the BrahMos-2 were first showcased way back in Aero India 2013 as a scaled model of what now looks very familiar to the Russian developed Zircon aka Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles when it was publically unveiled for the first time.

Fast forward to 2022, BrahMos-2 is again in the news after CEO of the Russia-India Joint Venture BrahMos Aerospace Atul Rane told TASS, that BrahMos-2 would have some characteristics of the Russian-developed Tsirkon missile that seems to be the case for the transfer of technology for the scramjet engine that can take it to up to Mach 9 in speed but Indian variant or a downgraded scramjet engine might limit itself to just Mach 6 and its range limited to just 60%.

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SOURCE:  DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s HAL has commenced work on the development of the Hindustan Lead-Fighter Trainer program that will be based on the two-seater trainer version of the Tejas Mk1. HLFT-42 program is seen as a bridge to get rid of conversion types altogether from all fighter jet types that the Indian air force plans to acquire soon so that pilots will be familiar with jets that they will eventually fly in their squadrons.

HAL is developing this program keeping a close eye on the export market where Boeing-Saab developed T-7 Red Hawk is likely to storm the market soon and will challenge current the market leader in this segment, that is Korean developed T-50 Golden Eagle.

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SOURCE:  ANAND SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

US Senate has identified intelligence collection capabilities, unmanned aerial vehicles, 5G, fourth and fifth generation aircraft, and joint research and development, as areas for cooperation with India, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), in its version of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), has asked Pentagon to step up its engagement with India on issues of “emerging technologies, readiness and logistics” within 90 days of the passage of the legislation.

In 2016, the United States designated India as a Major Defense Partner. Commensurate with this designation, in 2018, India was elevated to Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status, which allows India to receive license-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies regulated by the Department of Commerce.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Chinese military has carried out a test at a high altitude of a Truck-mounted 370mm PCL191 multiple launch rocket system that can hit a target 500 kilometers away. An extended long-range rocket launch system that is deployed near LOC will mean that it could hit any Indian military base along the Line of Actual Control from deep inside of its controlled territory.

Chinese Artillery brigade in the Western Theatre Command is currently equipped with PCL191 while the Indian Army multiple launch rocket system that is deployed both Russian and Indian made does not have the range to match this in performance and no data is available in public that claims that development of long-range multiple launch rocket system is underway in India.

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SOURCE: MAHESH SHETTI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Chinese gyrocopter Hunting Eagle for PLA special forces was recently sported when PLA was carrying out military exercises near LOC and Tibetian plateau. Usually, a military Gyrocopter is used by the Special Forces Operations for deploying soldiers behind the enemy line. This military Gyrocopter has been specially designed for high-altitude operations and has a claimed range of 690 kilometers and can touch a ceiling of 5,300 meters with a takeoff weight of 560 kilograms.

Hunting Eagle gyrocopter can operate in temperatures as low as minus 36 C and recent images can be seen with two light air to surface antiarmor missiles that are usually seen on the smaller UAVs. Chinese OSNIT members claim that the small dimensions and low-flying ability keep it from being detected easily and are much better than helicopter insertion to carry out military operations behind the enemy lines. Some claim it was developed for low-level insertion into the island of Taiwan which lies barely 160km away from mainland China.

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SOURCE:  DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

According to western media reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping is carefully watching the situation unfolding in the Russian-Ukraine war like a Hawk and is asking his top commanders to learn from the mistakes done by the Russian forces while invading Ukraine but the longevity of the war and unhindered continuous supply of western weapons and ammunition as pushed Chinese own plans to take on India and Taiwan in small and swift wars for its political gains in limbo.

Xi is not a popular man anymore in China with intention of pressing for a third term he already has rattled many insiders of his party creating fractions within who are working against him and the interest of China. The only wild card that Xi might want to test to unite China and also ensure he continued to remain in power is to win a swift war in the region that could make him popular again.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

South Korea’s indigenously developed KF-21 ‘Boramae’ recently concluded its first flight which was impressive in many ways since this was done as per the schedule and flat in 7 years since the program was announced. South Korea’s Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) being a close and significant partner with the US military and defense industry has benefitted a lot from these tie-ups which is one of the main reasons why they managed to pull this off.

KAI’s KF-21 program is backed by American giant Lockheed Martin which is providing several components to design consultancy for the program. The list of components and systems that were supplied to the KF-21 program involves everything from brake pads, flight controls systems, LRUs, landing gear, avionics, canopy, oxygen generator, Radar, engine, ejection seats, and even the software management system of the aircraft and it is a staggering list of imported systems plus numerous industrial grade tools and consultancy to fall back to for technical developments.

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

Was surprised to see PM Modi going all guns blazing in taking out a dig at the Indian Armed forces for not reducing the weapons import bill and supporting locally developed weapons systems in the country. In the last few years of the Government lot of things have happened due to which there is a rise in Indian private sector participation in the segment that was dominated by the State-owned public sector companies for the last 60 years in the country but Modi himself has been sitting on many key projects that are yet to see the day of light which could have boosted Indian arms industry further.

Indian Armed forces due to tensions with China have managed to procure many of the imported weapons through emergency routes that came as a setback to many local alternative products that we’re dying for orders. The so-called negative list created by the Government also doesn’t have big-ticket items that could help reduce import weapons bills but rather smaller systems and components that do not cost much.

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SOURCE:  JATIN RAM / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

After months of suspense and the recent uproar over the non-committal attitude of the Indian Air Force and clarification that nearly six squadrons which translate into 108 jets will be procured and further orders might be looked at in the future finally clears the mist that has been building over the program for a while now.

In 2018, IAF was considering acquiring 12 squadrons (216) of LCA Mk2 but that in 2022 is almost half with official funding for the program yet to be granted. HAL has started work on the assembly of the first LCA Mk2 that came from the FSED phase 2/3 funds that were originally marked for F-414 engine-equipped Tejas Mk1 airframe, a program that started as a re-engine program as translated into a full-fledged program for a medium class fighter jet that has evolved from 2017 onwards even till 2020.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) program has been gone in the circle for the last few years but the 114 MRFA project is currently at the RFI evaluation stage. While the entire process will be executed under the provisions of the DAP 2020, the RFP stage doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon but IAF seems to be adamant that the requirement of 114 fighters cant be compromised, and even with four fighter jets projects that are under development in the country, need for a foreign fighter jet to fill in the fleet.

Rumors have been coming thick and fast in media reports that the MRFA might be divided into two contracts that will involve the procurement of 54 foreign jets under the Buy Global (Manufacture in India) category of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP), with the contract being awarded to a foreign OEM and second part of the contract involves procurement of 60 jets from the Indian production partner selected by the OEM for Part-I.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

India’s defence exports reached their highest level in 2021-22, with the figure hitting the 13,000-crore mark with 70% contribution coming from the private sector and the remaining 30% from the public sector. This year in January, India’s BrahMos Aerospace and the Philippines signed a deal worth almost $375 million for the Philippine Marines to acquire three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile, perhaps the only big ticket sale of weapon system coming out of India this year.

Bharat Electronics Limited last year supplied four Swathi Weapon Locating Radars (WLR) to Armenia and 3 years back, India sold some units of Shyena torpedo to Myanmar. Each year India has managed to sell some weapon systems entirely rather than only restricting itself to the sale of components, spares, and aerostructures of an aircraft but if India wants to break into the top 10 weapons exporting countries by 2025 and in the top 5 by 2035 it needs to start exporting whole weapons system fast and need to rejig its pr machinery.

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

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deferred an upgrade plan of its Russian-origin Su-30MKI multirole fighters to the ‘Super Sukhoi’ standard due to sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation for years have been negotiating the upgradation of the Su-30MKI fleet is in its 20th year of service and already is showing obsolescence of most of its avionics and Radar technology that was developed nearly 25-30 years ago.

With a fleet of 270 jets, the Whole upgrade to ‘Super Sukhoi’ standard could have cost IAF nearly $5 billion but later to reduce cost it was decided that upgrades will be performed only for 150 jets that are much newer and 100+ older jets will remain un-upgraded barring some weapons upgrade package.

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SOURCE: PARSHU RAM / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

24th February, 2022, the fateful day when the 1st Russian-origin Artillery Shell fell on the land of Ukraine. More than 100 days have passed since then but the war is still raging-on. As a result, it has completely revealed the barebone reality of the once considered “Mighty” Russian Armed Forces.

Hundreds of Russian APCs, IFVs & MBTs have been reduced to rubble through weapons of UK, US, French & even Ukrainian origin. What was called the “Pride of Russian Black-Sea Fleet”, The Moskova, is now resting peacefully deep beneath the ocean. As a result, the credibility of war-strategy is shifting from the East towards the West. In this essay, we will try to decipher the Western-strategy of warfighting and what India can learn from it.

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