My Take


A Twitter user (sarab@sarabpal_singh) has posted an image of a scale model displayed by the DRDO at a local exhibition which could be the first instance of proof of the existence of the 90’s Mythical Surya Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) each with multiple nuclear warheads. CIA in its report on India’s ballistic missile development for the first time had mentioned that India plans to use the lower stage of its PSLV Satttleite launch vehicle to develop an ICBM that will be capable to hit a target over 8000 km in the mid-’90s.

DRDO never confirmed or denied the existence of such ICBM but the Surya ICBM due to media coverage attended mythical status even though over the years Agni missile family created long-range missile which was capable of hitting both target deep in Pakistan and China. Continue reading


Fresh satellite photos have emerged showing Pakistan has deployed Chinese made JY-27 ‘Wide Mat’ long-range early warning radar which China claims to have stealth aircraft detecting capabilities up to 500 km and once even tracked framed American F-22 Stealth fighter while on its ferry flight to South Korea to attend a military airshow.

JY-27 radar deployment in Pakistani side of Punjab at M.M. Alam Air Base which is approx 550 km away from India’s key Ambala air force station where a squadron of Dassault Rafale fighter jets will be based suggests that its deployment is purely an air defense coverage of its own air space since radar is over 300km deep inside Pakistani territory and only in full scan power mode will it breach 200 furthermore inside Indian air space. Continue reading


Indian Navy asked for feasibility report to convert AMCA into a carrier-based fighter jet and according to ADA the nodal design agency for all the fighter jet programs in India it was positive that it can be done but according to many defense analysts both agreed to not to develop a Naval variant of AMCA due to numerous technical issues which can crop up in conversion of airforce variant into a naval variant.

LCA-Navy Mk1 seems to be a learning experience that both ADA and Navy relied on to avoid repeating the same mistakes. It is also recorded fact that airforce to navy conversion is much harder than the vice versa. Su-33 and Mig-29K which were developed from their Air force version still have a long list of issues that simply can’t be fixed and even F-35C stealth fighter developed by the united states for its Navy has many technical issues that limit its performance against F-35A which is its air force version. Continue reading


After waiting for clearance of Six Airbus A330 AWACS from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), IAF has been cleared to procure first two Airbus A330 platform for DRDO to mount its AWACS technology in the aircraft so that IAF’s requirement for 360° AESA Desi eye in the sky with good operational availability and range can be achieved to meet its operational requirements.

Airbus A330 ain’t cheap and IAF will get only first two of them in operational fleet by 2025 and four more will be ordered as part of follow on clause at later stage but it also exposes narrow mindset in the top IAF management which are refusing it fill the gap from other aircrafts even when arch-rival PAF which has less area to defend now has more AWACS assets than it. Continue reading


Fourth fighter program of India to be commenced soon will be Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy after Navy refused to come aboard the LCA-Mk2 program due to concern regarding its single-engine configuration according to a report prepared by the Delhi Defence Review (DDR) which was confirmed to them by ADA which is Nodal design agency for all three different and radical program which will all start in next 5-7 years.

According to the DDR report, TEDBF will be lighter than the proposed 25 tonnes Naval-AMCA, production of which will commence only after 2030 but will more capable than the troublesome Mig-29K operated by the Indian Navy on board INS Vikramaditya which is lone aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. LCA-Mk2 which was for the first time showcased at the Aero India 2019 will remain a concept and stands canceled after the Navy and ADA agreed to develop TEDBF instead. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to procure 200 Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) fighter jet in near future to replace the whole fleets of Mirage-2000-5 and Mig-29UPG but also has laid down strict guidelines with its developers on what it wants from the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which is the nodal agency of the MWF program.

ADA and IAF have agreed to develop the MWF program with state-of-the-art technology which is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats and since in today’s modern-day warfare a smart aircraft will need not only analyze and handle high volumes of data should also be allowed to operate in the future battle space where 5th generation fighter aircraft will dominate and only a smart 4.5++ Gen will able to survive in this environment. Continue reading


India’s indigenously developed Kaveri engine is unlikely to power any fighter jet in the future but India is pinning its hopes on getting its hands on the “hot engine” technology what is known as the crown jewel in jet engine technology in Joint venture form likely winner of the MMRCA tender for the 114 fighter jets which is the biggest fight jet tender in the world.

India has made it a precondition now that foreign vendors competing in the tender process will also require to transfer the “hot engine” technology of the respected fighter aircraft to develop a new power-plant for the AMCA program and also help in the development of the AMCA fighter jet. Continue reading


The India-U.S. Joint Working Group on jet engine cooperation within the framework of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), has been suspended and Joint venture proposals with the French Aero-engine maker SAFRAN after years of talk has been suspended. India’s quest to jointly develop a new generation afterburning turbofan engine for its upcoming 5th generation AMCA MkII fighter program which is all set to take off officially in 2020.

Delays in the selection of Joint venture partner for AMCA specific engine to power India’s first 5th generation fighter program has meant that now India has planned to use less powerful F414-GE-INS6 afterburning engines for the first two squadrons of 40 aircraft. GE Aviation and SAFRAN seem to be India’s first choice of foreign companies with whom India has carried out extensive collaboration talks for years now without any results and India simply cannot continue with talks especially when the program is about to take off officially.  Continue reading


Philippine and Thailand have expressed interest in purchasing Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile for its armed forces, even though nothing has fructified yet but India’s militaries main precision strike and anti-ship weapon across the various service branches falling in hands of regional rival China is also very much possible due to proximity of both the countries is what India needs to be vary off before it strikes export contract.

Philippine Army and Royal Thailand Navy both are interested in acquiring Maritime Mobile Coastal Battery variant of BrahMos to be deployed for defending a large swathe of it’s along the coastline against invading Naval force. BrahMos remains the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation  Continue reading


           Picture of Russian 9K720 Iskander Missile System

Sanctioned in March 2015, DRDO was tasked to develop an Army specific Short-range tactical ballistic missile (SRBM) which weighs around five tonnes can carry a payload of one tonne, which can strike at targets 350 km away. It can travel up to 500 km if the payload is halved can outperform China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander tactical missiles. 

Fast forward into today, Fast track program sanctioned in 2015 has missed several deadlines for its first flight trial. the first experimental trial of Pralay which is a conventional tactical missile system was supposed to take place in December 2018 but was postponed several times due to technical reasons.  Continue reading


HAL and ADA are competing separately to meet the demands of IAF’s fleet requirements and currently, two teams are working parallel on the development of LCA-Tejas Mk1A along with MkII/Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) program. IAF already has backed the development of the AMCA 5th generation fighter program which is handled by a separate team but the race to fill the requirement for nearly 300 aircraft is heating up after new IAF Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria made an interesting comment on both Mk1A and MWF program recently.

Chief of Air Staff confirmed orders for 83 upgraded Mk1A will be inked with HAL soon and also reaffirmed his commitment to the AMCA program but when asked about MWF program, Air Chief said that IAF is ready to procure 200 of this jets only if they are ready on time and meets its requirements, clearly putting onus on the ADA which has reworked MWF program with host of improvements and upgrades which delay the program. Continue reading


From November 4 onwards capital of newly formed Union Territory of J&K will shift to Jammu for six months as part of the biannual Durbar Move started by Dogra ruler Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme weather of Kashmir in winter and Jammu in summer. J&K is only Union Territory in India which has two capital cities that function for six months each has its capital, but as rumors going around this might change soon.

The Durbar Move is turning out to be a half-yearly burden on the state exchequer and about Rs, 150 crores are spent annually on the bi-annual move. Union Territory of J&K might soon get one Captial and this biannual Durbar Move of shifting of Captial cities might be stopped forever. Continue reading


India is today faced not only by repeated threats by Pakistan, but also has a much larger concern with a Huge Nuclear armed bully sitting in its North and claiming India’s territory. Not only could an escalation with Pakistan lead to a two front war, but also China, on it’s own is a very astute country which is always waiting in the wings, coveting other nations’ territories and resources. Diplomacy with China merely goes to save India’s skin, nothing more, since the Chinese leadership is and has been, historically, astute in double talk. What then is the solution?

The answer comes in one single word ‘Deterrence’. Let’s begin by understanding what the word means in a military and strategic context. While policy researchers will promptly provide sophisticated definitions of the word, replete with jargon, the meaning of the word can quite aptly be summarized in a few words – the ability to give fear to your enemy. As long as there is a reason for your enemy to fear you, he will think twice, even thrice, before initiating a conflict. Continue reading


Defence Ministry is set to discuss a proposal to acquire two regiments of the Akash Prime missiles which can be deployed in high altitude areas above 15,000 feet according to the latest Indian media report. Akash Prime is new Akash missiles which will have an extended performance range than its predecessors are being prepared to be deployed in high altitude areas in Ladakh which shares boundaries with both Pakistan and China.

Akash Prime according to many defense analysts are repackaged Akash Mk1S which has been tested five times by the Indian Army already with indigenous Seeker. Due to the addition of the seeker, Akash Prime can now engage a target more accurately but reports also suggest that Akash Prime will also come with many additional tweaking to the radar and autonomous tracking and launch system to deal with high altitude extreme climatic conditions. Continue reading



A little known fact is that when Pakistani Air Force F-16s were firing volleys of BVR Air-to-Air missile at a lone Sukhoi-30MKI ” Avenger-1″ a Pair of upgraded MiG-29UPG Multi-role fighter jets at took off from Adampur Airbase to intercept PAF F-16s flying near LOC. MiG-29UPG Pair took off in time and were soon in supersonic speed flying towards the sector where F-16s were hovering around but before it reached its station, F-16 had fled the spot seeing more Indian bogeys coming close to the scene of action.

IAF top brass now for the first time have sent 5 MiG-29UPGs to Exercise Eastern Bridge in Oman between 17-26 October 2019 to give them more exposure to the Royal Air Force of Oman operated F-16 Block 50 aircraft after IAF decided to procure 21 more of the aircraft from Russia after aircrafts were upgraded with new engines and radar and avionics to making them as capable as Block-52 F-16s operated by PAF . Continue reading