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

It was in April back in 2012, that India for the first time had tested the Agni V ICBM that had a range of over 5000km and that could hit not only the whole of China but also as far as targets in Europe but also made many of India’s friendly countries nervous about country’s ICBM program that in last 10 years it’s more or less meant curtains on development of land-based intercontinental ballistic missile program in the country.

Agni V unlike other missiles has been sparingly tested only 8 times in the last 10 years as India doesn’t want to be seen as trigger happy nuclear state. In the last few years, Agni-V also has disappeared from the military parade that takes place on Republic day. India is the only country in the so-called ” nuclear elite ” group of big 5 that wants to maintain a low profile on its Agni-V program.

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

Modi will be the first high-profile dignitary to visit France in the first week of May after the re-election of the French president Emmanuel Macron.” La Tribune ” recently reported that France is keen on pushing for the sale of Rafale M to the Navy and deal for additional Rafale for the air force. Talks are likely to be held with India for the purchase of additional Scorpène class submarines for its Navy.

Since it is a three-nation visit, it is unlikely anything major deal might be announced but they are chance that a deal for the lease of one in-flight refueling aircraft from the French air force might be concluded as it got principal approval from the MoD. Airbus A330 MRTT is a French Air Force-owned asset that doesn’t require to go through major rounds of approvals and since it will be wet-leased it can be absorbed into the Indian air force at a faster rate.

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

A few weeks ago more details of the RudraM-III became public where the missiles were seen with hypersonic fixed wings leading to speculations that the RudraM-III is a hypersonic missile system but the missile can’t be classified as a hypersonic missile even if it can go hypersonic. Hypersonic is a term used to describe platforms that can travel at speeds above Mach 5, many ballistic missiles achieve such speeds but that doesn’t mean they can be classified as hypersonic missiles systems.

RudraM-III seems to be a conventional air-launched ballistic missile that can achieve hypersonic velocities through a quasi-ballistic flight path that never departs the atmosphere, and it can maneuver throughout its trajectory to avoid being intercepted. The above schematic diagram confirms that the RudraM-III will have a single-stage booster that will propel it after launch from air to high supersonic speeds while the second stage dual-pulse motor will help it attend low hypersonic speeds while it is carryout final terminal stage maneuvering.

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

It seemed for a while that French Safran was in talks with India’s GTRE to jointly develop a 125 kN thrust class engine for the AMCA program but recent joint statements after the visit of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to India, talked about a joint venture for the development of new engine but again it is still not clear with whom India will be developing a new engine for the AMCA program.

Both Safran and Rolls-Royce have been assigned to develop next-generation fighter jet engines for the 6th gen fighter jet programs that are been divided into two groups in the European Union that are both working in separate 6th gen programs called FCAS program that involves Spain, Germany, and France, while the Tempest team consists of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden.

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

After nearly four years after India walked out of the joint venture to develop Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) based on the Russian Su-57 fighter jet, the AMCA program Chief for the first time has confirmed that the major bone of contention was that the Russians had refused to provide India the computer source code that could have allowed India to carry out upgrades to the aircraft with local technology without any Russian assistance.

AMCA program Chief claims in an interview with ” The week” that lengthy negotiation with the Russians on the terms of the joint venture also delayed India’s AMCA program since IAF was busy framing its air staff requirements for the FGFA program. ADA claims that Su-57 was also found to be lacking in stealth characters and it seemed that the Sukhoi bureau focused more on maneuverability than on stealth, by failing to achieve the perfect balance that is required in the 5th gen program.

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

MiG-21, do we need any introduction? One of the most produced combat jets in the world. The first supersonic jet in the Indian Air force. The most successful and longest servicing combat jet in Indian history. Since its induction in 1963, MiG-21 has participated in all major conflicts [1]. Outside the former Soviet Union, India was the second-largest operator and had built around 657 MiG-21s of different versions locally [2].

The aircraft was mass-produced in the Soviet bloc states and therefore it resulted in that a piece of MiG-21MF was cheaper than a BMP-1 infantry vehicle [3]. It was the most advanced aircraft produced in the Soviet Union and gave a head-to-head to western competition during the cold war. Such was the caliber of MiG-21 that the Israeli spy agency Mossad had launched a mission called ‘operation diamond’ to acquire these advanced soviet aircraft. In 1966 they were successful in their mission when they landed an Iraqi MiG-21 in Israel [4]. During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, even though our western neighbor possessed advanced aircrafts such as F-104 Starfighter, F-86 Sabre, etc. just for a single lossMiG-21 had scored thirteen kills. It was a champion on both eastern and western fronts during the war [5]. There are many such legends of these aircraft that we can keep heaping praise about it throughout this entire article.

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

Nearly 10 Il-76 Strategic airlifter that are nearing are due for major overhauls and modernization that were planned to happen from 2025 so that they can continue to be in service for another decade or more to come but with the Ukraine-Russia war and pressure on India to cut off ties with Russia from the west, it’s not clear if a 40-year-old first lot of Il-76 if get their upgrades or will have to be retired early.

Il-76 Strategic airlifter has been suffering from high downtime due to a lack of spares and other material support for long that even after being in service for nearly four decades India has failed to keep average serviceability over 40% let alone come close to benchmark average serviceability of 70% that IAF wanted.

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

Indian Air force recently decided that it will be procuring more ALH-Mark IV ” Rudra ” for its fleet after being impressed with the Armed version of the ALH-Dhruv helicopter in high altitude operations in a recent stand-off with the Chinese near LOC. IAF plans to procure 3 more squadrons which could mean additional orders for 40+ ALH-Mark IV ” Rudra “, but there has been growing concern that what was supposed to be a makeshift arrangement before a dedicated attack helicopter was developed is now fast becoming more popular than the actual product that was to take up this role.

ALH-Mark IV costs around 70 crores each with all the armaments its close to 90-95 crore mark and more than 70 have been developed and supplied to Indian air force with Indian Army being the biggest operator of the two. Both Indian Army and IAF have been giving lukewarm reception to the LCH after it cleared all mandatory developmental trials while it waits for further order from both.

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SOURCE: KR RAMESH KUMAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Russian Main Battle Tanks have failed! is what Western media could want the world to believe and pictures of Russian tanks in disarray or damaged beyond repairs have been flooded the internet even though the amount of next-gen western anti-tank missile tech has been supplied to Ukraine, the kill ratio seems pretty much not what Russia could like but it not bad, but what has been a silver line for the Russian military complex its is that it still has massive short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) and cruise missile that have been used to flatten high-value targets in Ukraine.

Even after 50 days of War, Western analysts are still mystified how the Russian military complex is still able to keep up with supplies of SRBM and cruise missiles that have been used o hit military targets with pinpoint accuracies. Western analysts for weeks have been predicting that the Russians are low on tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles and every few days they are proved wrong by the Russians.

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

Come next Wednesday, State-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders will launch the last of the Kalvari-class submarine that will soon go for user trials to be followed by induction in the next few months. The contract that was concluded in 2005, after 4 years of delays in its 17th year is nearing completion, but the induction of six new-generation submarines will not come as a force multiplier as the existing submarine fleet is already reaching the end of its shelf life with no clear cut solution presented by the Navy for way head.

30 Year Plan fades

In 1999, the Indian Ministry of Defence approved plans to acquire 24 conventional submarines under its 30-year submarine plan where it had planned to acquire diesel attack submarines six each from Project 75 and 75I followed by 12 from Project-76 with two parallel production lines for two different submarine designs of Indian origin. 2022 marks the 23rd year of the 30-year submarine plan with just six induction but last year30-year submarine plan was amended to reduce fleet projection to just 18 submarines as the fund will be utilized for the development of six new nuclear attack submarines.

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

In the Cold War era, Soviet Union airlines flew Soviet-made planes, they might have not been efficient as Western developed commercial planes but they provided worry-free operations on domestic routes and also didn’t have to worry about spare parts or maintenance and technical support services. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian Airlines opened up and brought Airbus or Boeing planes so much so that they are over 500 planes, and close to three-fourths of the aircraft used by Russian airlines were manufactured by Boeing and Airbus.

War Sanctions have crippled Russian airlines, half the fleet is now grounded and the rest might be grounded soon as both companies are not providing any support. Sanctions also require the lessors to terminate their leases which will mean nearly 80% of the Russian airline fleet needs to be given back to the owners which will further cripple air travel inside Russia.

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

HAL has entered into an MoU with Israel Aerospace Industries to convert civil (passenger) aircraft into Multi-Mission Tanker Transport aircraft in India. IAI has experience in converting pre-owned B767 aircraft into aerial tankers for a variety of different military missions but after the sale of Air India to the TATA Groups, the Indian government is left with only four B747-400 that were held and were not part of the deal.

Alliance Air, a fully-owned subsidiary of Air India, was not part of the privatization process and has a fleet of 18 ATR 72-600 aircraft and it is unlikely they can operate B747-400 on domestic routes in India, which leaves a question mark on why Indian Government had retained four B747-400.

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

India’s Second-gen nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), was recently caught on satellite imaginaries as India is set to being work on a larger SSBN program under which it has plans to develop a submarine with a displacement of 13000 tons and is also aggressively pursuing the development of 6000-ton nuclear attack submarine but this submarines will not leave their dry docks if India is not able to get its hands on next-generation pressurized water reactor that will require key technology transfers and Russian assistance to become a reality.

India in past received Russian assistance in the development of an 83 MW pressurized light-water reactor which was based on the Russian OK-700A/VM-4SG model. India’s both SSN and SSBN programs will rely on a pressurized water reactor that will be a derivative or an improved variant based on a Russian-designed OK-650V reactor that has a rated power output of 190MW.

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

Since 2019, Nearly 400 component manufacturers have stopped manufacturing about 6,000 components that go into each Su-30MKI after the production line ended. HAL will get to procure and manufacture 12 more Su-30MKI multirole fighters but this might come in assembly kit form as direct supplies from Russia were preferred over local component manufacture as the price was steep in India.

HAL manufactured Su-30MKI fighter are not fully indigenized, only 51 percent is homemade, while the remaining 49 percent of supplies still come from Russia with the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, IAF stares at the possibility of having difficulties in procuring spares from Russia due to the arms embargo on Russian entities and companies that could ground large part of the fleet if supply chain doesn’t improve in next few months.

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

HAL a few years back had proposed the development of an unmanned fighter aircraft based on the LCA-Tejas airframe that will come minus the cockpit section along with avionics and ejection seat and other life-saving instruments that are required for the manned jet. The proposed UCAV was supposed to have Fully Autonomous Take-Off and Landing, Low RCS, High Situational Awareness with AESA Radar, and an AI-backed computer that will aid manned fighter jets like Su-30 and LCA-Tejas fleet.

Years down the line, HAL announced it is working on CATS Warrior a low-cost, low RCS, a subsonic airframe that will have Internal bays but with a mear take-off weight of 1.3 tons and 250kg payload-carrying capabilities which should have classified it as a jet-powered MALE-UAV, while Loyal wingman program under development world over have supersonic flight capabilities and nearly 1.5-ton in payload capabilities.

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