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SOURCE: SRINIVAS GOWDA/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The US Air Force’s (USAF) Rapid Dragon program last month conducted its first system-level flight tests to assess the operational utility of the palletised munition deployment system. Rapid Dragon program is an experimentation campaign led by the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office under which it plans to demonstrate that cargo holds of C-17A Globemaster III airlifter and an EC-130J Super J can be converted into cruise missiles silos that can para drop AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range cruise missile.

Program plans to arm airlifters and convert them into weapons trucks so that it can offer standoff weapons capability that is far cheaper than fielding additional bombers. for India that operates both of the airlifter fleets and has no conventional bomber aircraft, it might come as a boon to enhance its ground strike capabilities without going bonkers on its budget. IAF in past has used its An-12 and An-32 airlifter as bombers in limited roles but it was usually limited to free-fall gravity bombs.

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

After Australia canceled the purchase of 12 Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A conventional diesel submarines with France, Sulking France already has dropped hints of extending their cooperation with India on its nuclear attack submarine program, and India should take this as an opportunity and engage with France in cooperation in the development of next-generation pumpjet propulsion technology, which is often considered as the Holy grail in the propulsion technology for the nuclear attack submarine programs.

Pumpjet propulsions are a better option for high speeds and are not so efficient at low speeds than a sophisticated propeller seen in all submarines, but for nuclear attack submarines that often rely on speed and stealth in going behind the enemy lines for their missions, Pumpjet propulsions have come has boon in significantly reducing the level of radiated noise and avoid cavitation.

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

Recent Australia and French spate over walk out of Australia on the 12 submarine deal exposed the dubious business practices of French military contractors that often goes under the carpet to maintain National level secrecy of such deals and the interest of the countries. India too has been on the receiving end of such practices of the French defense contractors who often have arm-twisted India and have given a raw deal on several military contracts.

Australia and French trouble started brewing almost immediately after Canberra chose the French bid ahead of alternate designs from Germany and Japan in April 2016, Despite that, Australia later that year signed its largest-ever defense deal with DCNS for 12 Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A conventional diesel submarines. 50 billion Australian dollars (€31 billion) was the initial cost of the deal but later deal went up to 90 billion Australian dollars (€56 billion) after the government factored in the cost of maintenance and later Delays also plagued the submarine project with the first ship projected to come out only in 2035 and last one in 2050, not what Australia had signed for in the first place and not what French had agreed to.

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SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

Australia just announced that it is looking at the latest British Astute-class variant or the U.S. Virginia-class vessel that will become on the basics of the which it plans to build a nuclear-powered boat instead of the conventional submarine Australia was designed in conjunction with Naval Group and Lockheed Martin. US local regulations prevent complete Transfer of Technology (ToT) when it comes to Nuclear technology but such rare exemptions might be made for the next Australian Nuclear Attack submarine program, leaving many wondering in India why the biggest military rival of the Chinese and a member of Quad in the region is not considered for same tech collaboration.

India on its own is working on the development of six nuclear attack submarines and is looking at its old friend Russia for experience and tech collaboration in the development of six nuclear submarines. India has working its way from development of nuclear ballistic missile submarine to the nuclear attack submarine next, but as one nuclear analyst suggested that it’s like moving from manufacturing of a sedan to a racing car, tech jump is big even if the technology more or less remains the same but nuclear attack submarine demands an improved performance that not only requires much finer advancement of submarines technology which might take decades to master for India.

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

South Korea recently unveiled the development of a supersonic cruise missile to improve its maritime defense capabilities. Photo, provided by the defense ministry, shows South Korea’s new supersonic cruise missile that has a stark resemblance back home to India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

A screengrab shows that the missile is powered by a solid propellant boost motor with a liquid-fueled ramjet sustainer motor while Koreans have remained mum on the spec sheet of the missile but it is said that the new missile will make it very difficult for enemy warships to respond, leading to the missile’s higher survivability and destructive power.

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

India will become the 31st country that has placed orders for C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft but unlike other countries, India will also be getting rights to license assemble this aircraft that will be done the first time by a Private defense contract in the country. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has been selected as its local partner by Airbus, thus making only the second C-295 plant outside Seville, Spain. India has placed orders for 56 aircraft for the air force to replace its aging Avro aircraft but the potential orders as per defense analysts in the next two decades could reach a three-figure mark if the aircraft is also selected as An-32 replacement that for long has been the backbone of IAF’s Medium haul transporter fleet.

Indian Coast Guard already has requested six C-295 aircraft and the Navy is already looking to use C-295 as a platform to mount Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA) suite that DRDO is developing for the Navy. Tata Advanced Systems Limited plant will also be used as a Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) facility for all the regional operators in South Asia., that could mean the facility will remain operational long after it has delivered all the aircraft contracted by the Indian military.

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

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria recently said that the force is expected to buy 350 aircraft over 20 years, including the order for 73 Mk1A and 10 Mk1 of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas placed in January.“ From the IAF perspective, we are looking at at least 350-odd aircraft over the next two decades. It includes the 83 LCA. It is a substantial number.” IAF chief estimate is based on the number of IAF aircraft that are expected to retire over the next two decades, but quick math and opportunity to come close to the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons, will be determined if the above figures can be achieved.

The above chart gives an idea of a possible fleet that will exist in 2040. A lot will depend on the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet especially those that were inducted in the 2010-2020 timeframe that will be 20-30 years old and if it manages to go through Super-30 upgrades in the next decade with the latest Indian technology breathing in a fresh lease of life on this fighter fleet.

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

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, along with National Security Adviser Dr. Moeed Yusuf and Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, along with Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar have alleged that and have provided evidence suggesting India was operating five training camps in Gulmarg, Raipur, Jodhpur, Chakrata, Anupgarh, and Bikaner.

Confident Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also provided exact coordinates of the so-called camps that were quickly taken down, not before some from the Indian OSNIT community were able to take a snapshot of the presentation that was made to the Pakistani media. The above images show some of what Pakistan alleges are ISIS terrorist training camps that easily can be verified so, I did and results have exposed ISI.

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

India and the US have signed an agreement for cooperation in the development of Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the framework of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) by Air Force Research Laboratory, Indian Air Force, and Defence Research and Development Organisation.

While both countries have not shared much of the details of what ALUAV they plan to develop jointly but it is speculated that it will be the development of smaller disposable swarming drones launched from canisters by fighter aircraft that could be used on the battlefield.

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

Last week two Indian private startup companies have closed deals with the Indian Army for the sale of their swarm drones, this is not the first time the Indian military has looked at private companies for procurement of drones. earlier this year India’s oldest private drone company got massive orders from the Indian Army for its Switch unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for surveillance.

In the last 5 years, nearly a dozen companies have entered into manufacturing of military-grade drones systems for the Indian military and many have shown promising results and what we are witnessing today are the first crop of startups that have started showing results and after the announcement of relaxed drone regulations, both civilian and military drone manufactures are expecting a boom in their business, thus in a way liberating Indian drone users from their dependence from Chinese drone manufactures that already pose a security risk due to ongoing border tensions between both countries.

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SOURCE: SRINIVAS GOWDA/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Recent Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict proved How drones were tremendously effective against armor and artillery and how It has become easier to hunt and kill troops at a fraction of the cost using inexpensive battlefield drones and loitering munitions that came as a rude wakeup call to many Army Commanders and Generals all around the world. Indian Military seems to have shaken up when it faced the first-ever drone attack on its air force station in Jammu by a rudimentarily modified commercial drone that was used to drop IEDs near hangars to cause damage to air assets deployed there.

Since then Indian Air Force and Indian Army along with the Indian Navy have placed orders for the anti-drone system both with soft and hard kill capabilities that are been deployed at various sensitive military installations near border areas. Indian Army also has started investment in the procurement of battlefield drones from Indian companies thus also strengthening the offensive firepower of the troops for any possible future conflicts.

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

Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani a firm pro-Pak hawk on Kashmir was carefully cultivated as an alternative powerful leader of Kashmir by Islamabad that could act as a linchpin when a final decision is taken over Kashmir settlement in India in its favor. Geelani when alive had a grip over some sections of the areas and people who always have shown pro-Pakistan tendency and rather shamefully were also cultivated by some mainstream politicians in New Delhi who tried to legitimate him as a powerful voice in Kashmir. Pakistan could often portray Hurriyat and Geelani as legitimate stakeholders at the negotiation table and often consult with them before each meeting it held with India on Kashmir.

In the Past, Indian Government Peaceniks, Interlocutors, and Spymasters could often be seen meeting with the pro-Pak hawk Geelani thus in some way legitimating his grip on power even though he had no power. For some time even in Indian media and the bureaucratic circle, there was an impression that without getting blessings from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference lead by Geelani it was impossible to achieve peace in the region or any good outcome from any peace talks with Pakistan.

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SOURCE: JOYDEEP GHOSH/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Emergency Flotation Systems (EFS) are emergency systems installed on commercial and military aircrafts that helps to prevent the airframe sinking in water in the event of a crash landing on water. The EF Sare packed within spaces inside the airframe or as externally mounted packs on the aircraft. The floats are inflated using gas stored in pressurised cylinders carried on board the aircraft.

In case of helicopters, upon hard landings the lower plexiglass bubbles in the nose section frequently break. Watertight hull integrity is usually rapidly lost followed by or concurrent with the aircraft rolling over. The EFS helps to save lives as the aircraft rolls over and rapidly fills with water because the nose sinks first trapping personnel in the aft cabin.  As the aircraft rolls over, rapidly filling with water and sinking nosedown, especially at night it becomes impossible for occupants to escape/swim outward against inrushing water and egress successfully. EFS are designed to facilitate theescape of personnel as well as save the airframe from disintegrating.

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

INS Vikrant, India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) recently completed its first leg of sea trials while it plans to accomplish 5 more before it is cleared for induction next year in 2022 but already Tongues were wagging about India going for the development of a 65000 tons IAC-II that due to budgetary concerns has been put on hold but Navy is planning to raise funds for the projects from its budget that might see the induction of sister ship of INS Vikrant that might become IAC-II.

India has made no plans for Super Aircraft Carrier which are usually classified when they cross or are close to 1,00,000 ton in its displacements and usually requires nuclear propulsion to power such a mega warship but if it plans to have one in 2040, it needs to start investing in the technology that will be required for the construction of the such a mega warship in our dry docks.

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

According to the latest media report, with the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, India activated its first foreign base in Ayni airbase in Tajikistan that was recently used as a base for IAF’s C-17 and C-130 Transporter to evacuate Indians stuck in Afghanistan in the last few days. India for a brief period also had deployed a small fleet of Sukhoi-30MKI at the base recently perhaps to send signals to the players in Afghanistan about its indent. 

Taliban since taking over power in Kabul have promised that country won’t be used as a base to attack other countries as proxies and according to some media outlets, India has been assured that by the high command of the Taliban that they won’t be sending their cadres into Kashmir nor will allow Pakistan to use Afghanistan as a terror training facility that it used to be before Americans walked in after 9/11. 

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