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

US Navy has decided to integrate the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft for which it has awarded Boeing a $74 million contract for the development of the software and ancillary hardware necessary for the integration of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile onto the P-8A aircraft for the Navy.

The P-8 fleet worldwide including the Indian Navy is currently armed with AGM-84 Harpoon cruise missiles and Mk54 antisubmarine torpedoes but US Navy is worried that in a GPS-denied environment these weapons won’t work properly this is where the LRASM, a derivative of the Air Force’s AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Strike Missile-Extended Range cruise missile, fills an air-launch capability gap and provides flexible, long-range, advanced anti-surface capability against high-threat maritime targets.

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

The Indian Navy recently commissioned fourth Kalvari class diesel-electric attack submarines based on the Scorpène-class submarine into service and is looking to induct two more ships later in 2022. But not all is well with the Navy’s conventional submarine fleet has the induction of new submarines that will cease to exist from 2022 till 2030-32 for a gap of over 10 years before new submarines are rolled out under Project-75I.

Indian Navy that had plans to operate 24 Conventional submarines along with Six Nuclear attack submarines as per current inventory projection won’t be able to achieve its target even in 2040 as Project-75I under which it had plans to manufacture six more next-generation submarines won’t materialize for the next few years. It might see role reversal and inventory might see a decline in the next 10 years.

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

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IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari in an interview with the media confirmed that steps will be taken to push for the procurement of 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA), under the Make in India initiative, rather than opting for another 36 Rafale fighter jets. 2022 will see IAF actively pushing for a new 4.5-generation fighter with “some fifth-generation capabilities” for over Rs 1.25 lakh crore.

ACM Chaudhari also added that “In MRFA, most of the contenders have the 4.5 generation technology. One of the key features that we are seeking is the ability to integrate 5th and 6th generation technology. It will be a Make in India model,”. Dassault Rafale still seems to be the top contender to win the race but paying $120 million per unit for a 4.5Gen jet that allegedly is equipped with some 5thGen capacities still doesn’t seem to make sense when prices of the 5th generation fighters are already hitting below $100 million per unit mark recently.

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

A great deal of hue and cry was made when new Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari stopped talking about the Tejas MkII jet in this recent media interaction and it now seems it was not a simple act of omission but deliberate. Tejas MkII cleared critical design review (CDR) that allows HAL to start fabrication of the first aircraft that HAL Chief had said will be ready by end of 2022 and have its first flight by end of 2023. The latest Time of India report confirms that debate has started within IAF on how to go about in the development of future locally made fighter jets and whether India should leapfrog from the Tejas Mark-1A directly to the AMCA.

IAF earlier in February at Aero India 2021 had placed orders for 83 Tejas MK1A and transition directly to AMCA will mean a critical gap in combat squadron fleet will continue if the MkII program is not cleared for production for which IAF is deliberating if an enhanced variant of the Tejas MK1A should be considered that possibly reduce the cost of setting up of a new production line but can accommodate most of the technologies that were developed for the MkII program as an improved variant.

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

Prime Minister Narinder Modi handed over the first batch of Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) that is part of the first 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) for which the Indian Army and Indian Air Force have issued a letter of intended to buy them but have simply not paid up state-owned Public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) company that has manufactured it with Internal funds for which it had to borrow money from the State-owned Banks just because our Generals and Airforce Bosses are still not been able to procure locally developed system in large numbers.

LCH already has completed all its Developmental trials and was born out of the Indian Army requirements that date backs to the Kargil War when Mi-35 Hind Attack Helicopters were not able to be deployed because they lacked the power to operate at such altitudes but the Indian Army seems to be no hurry to place orders for a weapons systems that could come as a game-changer in the region where it is currently in a standoff with the Chinese Army.

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

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India’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat said that India is “looking at creating a rocket force” as part of efforts to step up on enhancing its military capabilities. this announcement might have come as surprise to many but not many are talking about the cost involved in creating a force for a land-based ballistic and cruise missile inventory. Indian Rocket force will require 50000-70000 personnel and 3-4 ballistic missile brigades with each brigade independently deployed in different sectors of the eastern and western regions. 

Creating a Dedicated Rocket force will require 5-6 times more equipment and personals than what presently we have under Strategic Forces Command (SFC) that till now was in charge of the present Land-based ballistic missiles. More Equipment and personals also mean more funds are required to train and build inventory that often can be more tricky and time-consuming. 

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

Lockheed Martin plans to shift manufacturing of certain parts and subsystems of its Legion-ES infrared search and track (IRST) sensor system and Sniper advanced targeting pod to Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) in Hyderabad, India for which the company is trying to secure permissions from the US congress to enable this deal to happen soon. 

In India, French, Indian, and Russian combat jets that have one thing in common are the Israeli made Rafael Litening targeting pod that continues to be adopted on all the jets in air force inventory. IAF started of with Litening III and has progressed to Litening 4 and the Litening 4 I that come equipped with upgraded infrared cameras and a charge-coupled device color camera to help identify targets on the ground, particularly dense areas.

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

Taiwan’s Navy recently hosted the keel-laying ceremony for its Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) to mark the completion of its first construction phase. vessels in question are estimated to be in the 2,500-ton class and 70m in length and externally is similar to Japan’s Soryu–diesel-electric submarine, while a version of the AN/BYG-1 submarine combat management system, used in US Navy nuclear submarines will also be used in the upcoming Taiwanese submarines.

This is Taiwan’s first foray into the development of the indigenous diesel-electric submarine locally in the country after the refusal of many countries due to China’s increasing aggressiveness towards the island nation. Many countries like Japan and United States are chipping with the technology that is required to help in the construction of the submarine but most of the construction will happen in Taiwan along with weapons that have been developed locally in the country.

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

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India’s premier defense research agency, Defence Research, and Development Organisation (DRDO) has commenced taxi trials of the Stealth Wing Flying Testbed (SWiFT) that will be a technology demonstrator for the DRDO’s secretive program to create an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) that will be as big as an LCA-Tejas.

SWiFT resembles B-2 stealth bomber in layout as both have a ‘flying wing’ configuration and the same will be adopted for the flying wing configuration UCAV that is to be followed. The flying wing configuration is a widely used design in upcoming UCAVs and Long-range bombers due to its reduced radar cross-section as the design has no definite fuselage and its ability to carry more fuel and weapons.

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

In 2017, the Indian Air Force (IAF) failed to procure 100 jet-propelled stealthy Avenger unmanned aircraft from the American General Atomics due to US Administration that in turn forced IAF to look into State-owned defense companies like DRDO and HAL for the development of next-generation, multi-mission, jet-powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that can provide IAF an expanded quick-response and enhanced combat capabilities.

IAF has been looking for an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with lower radar cross-section (RCS) for long endurance and high operational speeds that can be deployed in intelligence, border and wide-area surveillance, armed reconnaissance (ISR), and precision-strike missions against threats in both conventional and asymmetric warfare for a while now but now quietly commissioned the development of multiple UAS that has stealth profile to further enhance it fighting capabilities.

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

The United Aircraft Corporation presented to the world a new light tactical fighter jet named Checkmate at the MAKS 2021 airshow and what came after stunned everyone when it offered Checkmate at flyaway cost at just $30 Million per unit making it cheapest 5th Generation fighter jet even priced below several 4.5 Generation fighter jets as seen in official pamphlets of the company recently in the Dubai Air show 2021 where a Prototype has been put up for display but is it a scam or UAC actually can deliver on the ballpark figure quoted by them?.

To understand how Russians predetermined its price we have to understand how the Russian Military complex works, unlike Western Military Complex. Russian Military complex for generations right from Mig-15 could mass-produce jets and offer to them to export countries like India literally at a throwaway price that ensured Russian jets usually were brought up by those who had no access to the western technology or couldn’t afford one.

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

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari after taking over the Big seat pushed for the procurement of 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) amid rumors of a settled deal with the government that could have cleared the procurement of 36 second batch of Dassault Rafales that the outgoing IAF chief and the government had worked out, but now the new Chief is pushing for the procurement of 90 Rafale in batches before IAF agrees to cancel much delayed MRFA again but this quest for ultra-expensive Rafales even in batches could put IAF’s financial position in a spot that could hurt its modernization plans.

Air operations in the Kargil war exposed lack of High altitude operation capabilities of the Mig-27 and Jaguar fleet that has failed miserably while carrying out bombing runs on mountain peaks that were captured by Pakistani troops. A multi-role aircraft like Mirage-2000 came to IAF rescue and was able to perform bombing of the camps and supply lines that contributed to the Pakistan army’s abject surrender that later resulted in the withdrawal of troops from the icy peaks.

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

Later this December, India will take delivery of the first S-400 Air Defense System. Russian Ministry of Defense, which recently announced that Both China and India are set to be export customers of Russia’s New S-500 Air Defense System that is designed to swat down both air-breathing and ballistic missile threats.

The Russian military is currently carrying out pre-service trials of the S-500, after which the system will begin to be deployed operationally. S500 system is not to be seen as an upgraded Air Defense System but rather as a supplement to the existing long-range S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to defeat the entire spectrum of existing and future attack weapons (hypersonic ) in the entire range of altitudes and speeds.

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

India and the United Arab Emirates since the abolition of Article 370 and A35A have found themself’s on the same page as both countries continue to grow their collaborations in various sectors that include promotion of business opportunities in Kashmir where most of the Islamic countries usually tend to be behind Pakistan on this issue.

UAE is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and nothing is done without consulting the leader of Islamic countries especially when it’s about the issues that are closest to the Islamic countries. What UAE does is often followed by Saudi Arabia. The recent UAE decision to open up an embassy in Tel Aviv is seen the world over after getting backing from Saudi Arabia. UAE also has been upping its game in Kashmir of late recently after Pakistani PM started flirting with Turkish President Erdogan in attempts to replace Islamic leadership from Saudi Arabia to Turkey.

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

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, the Chief of Air Staff recently took over the baton and immediately committed to procure 7 Squadrons of AMCA and also added that it will be India’s lone 5th Gen fighter jet induction planned by the IAF. AMCA will be IAF’s Top Tier aircraft that is meant to replace 150 Sukhoi-30MKI that will be up for retirement from 2040-45 onwards but the initial requirement and plans to induct them in two batches is riddled with a lot of unknown factors that can severally delay the program.

IAF has committed to procure only 2 Squadrons of AMCA MkI as it did with the LCA-Tejas Program that could again mean production rate of aircraft coming out of the brand new production line that has been proposed in the State of Tamil Nadu initially will be just 6-8 jets a year as it enters service from 2031 onwards. Now here lies the program, IAF has committed to procure 5 Squadrons of AMCA MkII from 2035 onwards subjected that it is powered by a 110kN thrust after burning turbofan class of local origin.

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