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

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India’s HAL has initiated the process of developing a new Hindustan Lead-in Fighter Trainer (HLFT-42) aircraft eyeing the export market for ultra-low-cost trainer aircraft that can also double up as fighter bombers. HLFT-42 will be a metal aircraft that will be easy to manufacture and will have low input cost for it to be used as a fighter that is even lower than Tejas Mk1 which was just over $40 million per unit.

HAL Management seems to have realized early that there is a market of ultra-low-cost fighter trainer aircraft that needs to be priced below $15 million per unit cost to make it saleable to countries that are still interested in aircraft to replace old legacy fighters like the J-7/F-7 and Mig-21.

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

India tested the first missile of its Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence shield. Interceptor called AD-1 is a cornerstone system that will help in the development of India’s Next generation air defense component that is under development under its Extended Range Air Defence System (ERADS) Program.

DRDO plans to develop two new Air Defence Interceptor missiles with a long and very long-range interceptor missiles called ERSAM and XRSAM that will be on par with the S-400 Air defense system that has been recently acquired by the Indian Air Force.

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SOURCE: GIRISH LINGANNA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

The INS Rajali, which is also known informally as the Arakkonam Naval Air Station (IATA: N/A, ICAO: VOAR), is near Arakkonam in the Ranipet District of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is run by the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy, located in Vishakhapatnam. It has the longest military airstrip in Asia.

During World War II, the Allies built the airfield at Arakkonam at the beginning of 1942. Between May and September 1942, the No. 2 Squadron of the Royal Indian Air Force flew support missions for the British Indian Army in Westland Lysander planes. This was the first time that air operations were recorded at the field.

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SOURCE: GIRISH LINGANNA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

A mechanical problem caused a MiG-29K fighter aircraft from the Indian Navy to crash off the coast of Goa on October 12, 2022, during a normal mission. The pilot ejected safely and landed in the water, according to the Navy. While the pilot successfully ejected, he landed in the Arabian Sea near Goa and required rapid rescue. This is the latest incident where an ejection seat helped save a pilot’s life.

The ejection seat is hard, as if the seat cushion is squeezed unevenly due to the strong G forces encountered during ejection. The pilot’s spine will not be in the “proper position” before ejection. And a curved spine would certainly result in injury.

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

Boeing-Airbus both have made similar Sales Projections that India in the next 10-15 years will be requiring close to 2000 aircraft to meet the demands of its booming aviation sector but non of these companies have shown plans to locally manufacture any of their aircraft from their wide range of portfolio in India thus limiting India’s position as just client rather than as a partner in their business projections.

According to Aviation experts, a majority share of aircraft needed by India will be Regional jets and Narrow-body aircraft which will attribute close to 85% of the aircraft that have been projected by Boeing-Airbus. Wide-body aircraft that are usually reserved for long-haul routes in International sectors will see limited requirements.

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SOURCE: GIRISH LINGANNA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

One of the most intricate systems on board an aircraft is the engine. It has components with extremely high rotations per minute (RPM), which must perform flawlessly from sea level to near the stratosphere and from zero to high supersonic speeds. In India, the civilian aircraft engine is a big market, but the entire discussion is focused on military engines. The state corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is India’s biggest talking point in the military engine market. 

While everybody is focusing on the Indian market for the HAL engines, TATA Group is also preparing a Joint Venture with GE for aero engine components. They are already making the engine gauging. They are planning to make blades, pallets, etc. 

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

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The era of fighter bombers will end when the Indian Air Force retires its Jaguar fighter fleet from its service in 2035. Mirage-2000 has been the Choice of aircraft that will play the role of delivering nukes if that day ever comes but the fleet won’t be their long enough and might be completely gone by 2035 onwards.

In 2010, The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) submitted a proposal to the Defence Ministry for setting up two dedicated squadrons of fighter aircraft which will act as Mini-Air Force.

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

Tata becomes the first Private sector company in India that will be manufacturing C-295 Transport Aircraft in India under license from Airbus. This is first for TATA which will be manufacturing not some airframes or components as part of the supply chain for an aircraft but will be the lead integrator for the assembly of the whole aircraft in the country.

State-owned Aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which was deliberately left out of the program lost an opportunity to be part of such a big program in India but the company has decades of experience in manufacturing earlier Avro and later Dornier Do228 Transport aircraft for the Indian Armed Forces.

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SOURCE: GIRISH LINGANNA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, together with Chile and Bolivia, forms the Lithium Triangle. The Lithium Triangle accounts for more than 70 per cent of global lithium reserves. However, Argentine mining operations have been less than stellar, currently providing barely 15 per cent of the global output.

The Argentine government is bullish on lithium mining as the market is expected to double by 2028 to USD 7 billion. And Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand can enable their Lithium dream.

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

India which is looking to co-develop a new engine for its 5th Generation AMCA fighter jet program has been offered 3 engines that will meet India’s requirements and the offer has come from three major aerospace engine manufacturers in the world. While India has been offered a complete Transfer of technology for this engine with some portion of Intellectual property rights on certain sections of the engine but none of them are clean slate design and these engines are still based on the engines that were designed nearly 30 years ago.

American General Electric, which is the world’s biggest Aero-engine manufacturer has offered India F-414-400 enhanced engines that due to modifications to its core will be able to generate a thrust range of 110-130kN that India is seeking. F-414 is based on the proven design base of its F404 predecessor which entered production in 1998. F414 delivers 35% more thrust than the original F404 that was first tested in 1976.

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

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking to Australian Media clarified Indian stand on the new trilateral security agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines using technology provided by the UK and the US after Indian security experts were in the split whether it benefits New Delhi or is detrimental to Indian interests.

India worked with other countries to block a resolution against AUKUS that was moved by China at the recent IAEA general conference. The nuclear attack submarine that Australia plans to build and operate in Indo-Pacific will help in tracking the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and countries like India and Australia must cooperate in putting together a security grid for the IOR that will mutually be beneficial to both in tackling the rise of China.

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

Indian Air Force (IAF) recently celebrated 90 years of its existence at a time when Two front war is looking more and more realistic but dwindling squadrons levels are also hard hit reality, IAF is heading towards rock bottom in terms of its ability to field combat jets that will propositionally affect its operational capabilities in case of a full-fledged war. The last two decades have been the most unproductive decades for the IAF in terms of building levels of its capabilities.

Plans to locally manufacture 126 jets to boost its combat squadrons have failed to take off and its step-motherly treatment towards the indigenous LCA-Tejas program has only aggravated this situation. Till 2020, IAF was not sure of the Tejas Mk1A program and even the Tejas MKII program had been stuck due to fear that it will cripple the chances of IAF acquiring foreign jets from abroad.

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

Indian Army is looking to procure a 1770 Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) that will replace the Indian Army’s fleet of Soviet-era T-72 tanks from 2030 onwards. FRCV is targeted for induction in 2030 but the technology sought under this program that has been linked with the mechanized infantry modernization plan requires no subtitle improvements over Arjun Mk-1A but some of the radical changes that mean it will be completely not based on the Arjun tank that includes much-criticized weight of the tank and completely different chassis.

Recently revealed Abrams X has been the United States’ primary tank since the mid-1980s, Over the years several modifications and improvements have been produced and Abrams X only shows its commitment to keep improving established products rather than go for a completely new design and a class of tank.

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SOURCE: DINESH BEHARA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Remember the days when one was visiting a destination had to carry multiple things, such as travel documents, a music player or FM radio to enjoy the travel, a mobile phone to communicate with dear ones, a camera to capture the sightseeing, places, moments, etc. do we carry things in the same way even now? not necessarily right! one smartphone has probably got all the functions of these multiple devices. Let’s look at another example, we have so many types of screw heads like slotted, phillips, six-lobe, hexagon, double-square, etc.

a technician had to carry multiple drivers for each of these screw heads, but it is not necessarily required, because alternatively a technician can carry a screwdriver set which has common holder/handle and the tips can be attached according to the application. Likewise, there are so many different types of launchers for missiles that fire only a specific type of missile. So, is there any alternative?

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

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari might have opened Pandora’s box when he gave his blessing for the possibility of IAF considering the 5th gen platform for its requirements of 114 jets under the Multirole fighter aircraft (MRFA) competition. The F-35 lobby in India seems to have been triggered by the candid admission of the IAF Chief and already articles are coming out about why F-35 will be suitable over Rafale.

Lockheed Martin has offered its F-16V which has been rebadged as the F-21 as its contender under MRFA tender but it has zero chance of winning the contract from India for obvious reasons. Pentagon officials and the US administration have not authorized Lockheed Martin to offer an F-35 to India due to which intense lobbying was activated back in India for the last few years, which has been trying to create pressure in India so that India instead asks for F-35s from the United States.

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