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

After having scrapped the contentious Article 370 and downgraded J&K state by dividing it into two Union territories, the Modi government now seems to be preparing for Phase-II plans for complete integration of the Jammu and Kashmir right before the second death anniversary of Article 370, and Article 35A, with that has started fresh rumors that are causing certain levels of anxiety among not so pro India level Kashmiri politicians in the valley. 

Delimitation Commission that is tasked with redrawing parliamentary and assembly segments of the union territory has been boycotted by all mainstream Kashmir-based parties of the Valley and the delimitation commission that is now busy with the process of redrawing parliamentary and assembly segments in the 20 districts of the UT. Several high-profile meetings between the Home Minister and LG of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi indicate that lines have been redrawn and soon it might be made public and just like clam before the storm of 5th August, things are being done at the local level in a hush-hush manner to handle any possible violence or protests once it is announced. 

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

Defense minister Rajnath Singh approved a ban on the import of 108 military weapons but the list didn’t include a ban on big-ticket items that could bar the procurement of weapons like Main battle tanks and was limited to tracks and tank engines that were put on the negative import list and a day later, Indian Army issued Request for Information (RFI) for the Procurement of a new generation Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) and the timing was too much of coincidence that Army issued RFI under Strategic Partnership route within the provision of Chapter-VII of Defence Acquisition Procedure – 2020, that limits the whole program to just Transfer of Technology (ToT).

Many of the future concept that the RFI tender requires in the new medium-class tanks confirms how the tender has been tailored made for the Russian next-generation T-14 Armata offering that is often touted as a successor to the Russian T-90 tanks that are Main and most formidable tank in the Indian Army fleet. 30 plus years of research and development on Arjun tank and pity orders for 118 tanks earlier this year, often confirms why PM Modi’s plans to push for AatmaNirbhar Bharat in Defence is turning out to be a façade with no real achievement and or incentive to develop weapons like main battle tanks locally in India.

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

The Sukhoi aircraft design bureau has started work on the design and development of Single engined stealth fighter with a Maximum take of weight (MTOW) of 18 tons that could put it little over India’s 17.5 tons Tejas Mk2 and 16.5 tons of the Saab’s Gripen-E creating the first stealth fighter jet in this niche sub-20 ton fighter jet category that is often called as Medium weight.

Sukhoi plans to use one Izdeliye 30 engine that is developed for the Su-57 program that means it will have a thrust class of around 180kN, also one of the highest thrust class engines in its class if reports turn out to be true. Tejas Mk2 and Gripen-E both are powered by General electric’s F414 variants that generate 98kN of thrust in their class, which until now was the best in its class. Izdeliye30 engine will also come with thrust vector control nozzles, which also makes it first in class.

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

FRENCH RAFALE WITH ASMP-A AIR LAUNCHED NUCLEAR MISSILE

The induction of the 20+ French-origin Dassault Rafale F3-R Omni-role fighters into the Indian Air Force and remaining coming in the next few months not only comes as a big boost to India’s Aerial supremacy in the subcontinent but also comes as a major overhaul to India’s nuclear triad and as a major boost to the nuclear warhead delivering system from Air. It is speculated that a significant proportion of the 36 Rafale that is been inducted by IAF, will also be assigned to the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which is responsible for initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads.

Dassault Rafale will be taking over the role of delivering nuclear warhead from the air, which is one of the nuclear triads of India, the other two being land (missiles) and sea (SLBM) from another French origin Mirage-2000 fighter jets that have been in charge of this role for the last 20 plus years now. Dassault Rafale F3-R comes with many India-specific enhancements and many are reportedly being configured for delivering a credible retaliatory nuclear strike on rivals.

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

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) have submitted a proposal for the development of 90–110-seater Regional Transport Aircraft (RTA) and waits for a nod for the approval of the same from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Civil Aviation, also from Ministry of Finance.

Post Pandemic situation in aviation circle and lack of any proper feasibility industrial study of the sale opportunity in the country, this proposed aircraft, the very first from a company that has not much behind to showcase can turn into another white elephant, wasting taxpayers money, since Government itself want to exist the commercial airline space in the county by disinvestment of the national airliner Air-India. The government of India needs to see that Chinese commercial planes in the same category, that have failed to sell abroad due to tighter civil aviation regulations and tight corporation between big daddies of the civilian plane manufacturers, thus planes have been limited to domestic routes.

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

Indian Army recently placed orders for 118 Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks, which will create two armoured regiments by 2025-26 of the indigenous tank. Mk-1A MBT has 72 improvements, including 14 major ones, over the Mk1 model, Mk-1A was supposed to bridge the gap between Mk1 and Mk2 that was in the design stage and required considerable design changes to its turret to make the tank lighter by 4.5 tons from present 68.5 tons that of Mk-1A .

Arjun Mk-1A orders came after nearly a decade of in-operation of the production line that lasts delivered previous orders way back in 2012 and came as a relief to the advocators of the Arjun tank but so came the news that the Arjun Mk2 might never enter production due to weight reservations from the Indian Army and DRDO instead has been told to focus on the Next Generation Main Battle Tank (NGMBT) program that will eventually replace all the Soviet-era T-72 MBTs in the Indian Army.

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

The Russian-made accident-prone MiG-21 fighter planes have crashed 3 times already this year and twice with lost pilots of the ill-fated aircraft but according to the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Air Force (IAF), they will be retired from the force in a phased manner only by 2024.

The accident-prone MiG’s have been crashing repeatedly and have been termed “flying coffins” by several defense experts as they have been living way past their lives but due to depleting squadrons numbers of fighter planes, IAF continues to operate around 100+ upgraded Mig-21Bis that were manufactured in the mid-’80s since they are yet to complete their Total Calendar Life or Total Technical Life.

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

The U.S. Air Force has started prototype work on a defensive tactical laser weapon designed to be carried externally on its combat jets to be used against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles that are fired against the jet and by 2024 it plans to field production variant that can be adapted on all legacy and present 5th generation fighter jets, as another defense of fighter jets in high-risk environments.

Using a directed-energy laser to down a hostile supersonic missile is by no means easy but DRDO has been known to be working on the development of High Energy Laser that can be used to shot down drones and low flying UAVs, but the tech is still in the developmental stage and might take years before DRDO can develop powerful high energy laser that can be used to drown high-value targets like helicopters and fighter jets with considerable standoff range.

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

INS Arighat, the Indian Navy’s second nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in the next few months as it has completed much of its user sea trials. INS Arighat is often called Arihant’s sister class ship due to external similarities with the lead Arihant class submarines but Arighat is way ahead of Arihant class in terms of technological leap the submarines technology has made in India after years of working on the Arihant class submarine.

Arighat features almost in every department enhanced indigenous content that is upgraded or next-generation technology that was used on the first nuclear submarine. Arihant was often called Technology demonstrator for India’s ship submersible ballistic, nuclear (SSBN) program and Arighat is a much more refined submarine that has enhanced capabilities.

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

Around 2012, Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) was given the go-ahead to develop an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar (FCR) to be used on the Tejas Mk2 program and later on India’s 5th generation AMCA fighter jet. LRDE team of 30 had previously worked on the Multi-Mode Radar (MMR) that was not so successful and required Israeli assistance that came with some of the components borrowed from the ELTA’s ELM-2032 multimode airborne Fire Control Radar (FCR) in creating an Indo-Israeli Hybrid Radar that went to production for the Tejas Mk1 fleet.

LRDE team drew its experience from the larger AESA Radar that was developed for the Netra Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) and the Maritime Patrol radar, but the challenges to shrink the technology were not easy nor was the process and some of the technology for the radar only started materializing in 2017 and 2019 a pre-production model started testing on the leased Hawke-800 Business jet provided by Zephyr Aerospace after carrying out basic trials on the rooftop testing facility at the Old HAL airport.

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

A week before when India’s Homegrown LCA-Tejas fighter jet tested and cleared Israeli Python-5 fifth-generation close combat air-to-air missile for operational use in combat, Chinese JF-17 Block-III was sported flying with Chinese PL-10 short-range, close combat air-to-air missile that still shares some lineage with the Israeli Python air to air missile family, thanks to the transfer of technology that happened in the ’80s between Israel and China in the supply of Python-3 that later became PL-8 in PLAAF.

PL-8 was Python-3 that was license-produced locally in China that was termed as 3.5Gen close combat air-to-air missile that found its way into PL-9 that was a successor to the PL-8 but carried much of the Israeli technology including its using the same airframe, rocket motor, proximity fuze, and warhead but had better having a higher off-boresight capability of 40 degrees that was much better than 30 degrees off-boresight capability found in Python-3/PL-8 and had higher High resistance to countermeasures. PL-8 and PL-9 are still seen on PLAAF fighter jets confirming that they still are operational.

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

Have you ever wondered how the United States is a global superpower or the former Soviet Union? Because they have or had the ability to project their firepower anywhere on the globe. Be it the blue water navy or outreach of their Air force. On the Naval front, United States was focused on Aircraft carriers and USSR on Nuclear Submarines. On Airpower both were somewhat equally capable. One of the important qualities of projection of power is the deployment of assets, logistics, reinforcement of arms, ammunition, etc.

We know, how the United States projects its power through its excellent logistics and most of the credit goes to USAF transport capabilities, it operates the most number of military transport aircrafts in the world. Transport aircraft are capable of carrying troops, deploying artillery, supplying fuel, food, etc. Not all nations in the world can manufacture a transport aircraft by themselves. So, transport aircraft defines the level of development of aeronautical technologies of a country. Since the paradigm of the balance of power is changing with the rise of China. Which is increasingly competing with the USA, be it on geopolitics, military, or even on technology. So even China is aware of the fact that to develop their military on par or greater than the United States. as we know, now that the transport capabilities are an important factor in the game of power projection, what is China’s response, the answer is Xian-Y20 aircraft – simply nicknamed ‘Chubby Girl’. But what’s the big deal about it.

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

IMAGE COPYRIGHT WITH RESPECTED OWNERS

We all know India is the last to join the 5th generation bandwagon but to make up for the lost time and to keep pace with the fast-changing development of 5+ generation technologies and the possibility of at least a few countries starting the process of development of 6th generation fighter jets in the same era when AMCA will be entering production in India.

Aeronautical Development Agency has been branding AMCA Mk2 as 5.5th generation fighter jet a higher classification to signify that it will be superior to present 5th generation fighter jets but not as good to be called as 6th generation fighter jet that is yet to be defined in terms of basic characters of the technologies that will be included in the jet. they are five top features of the AMCA Mk2 that will indeed make it stand out from the crowd, these features are not in the existing 5th generation fighter jets, and that what makes AMCA unique among its class.

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

Pakistan has been quite vocal about the possibility of demographic change in the Kashmir valley that it wants India to implement Article 35A back or bring another law that will deny any Indian right to buy or become citizens of the Muslim-dominated region. When the new Jammu and Kashmir’s new domicile law was introduced in Jammu and Kashmir, the first to object was Pakistan even though the same laws were slammed by hardcore Right-wing segment of the Modi supporters since it had the most stringent of the domicile laws that required individuals residing in the state for a minimum period of 15 years.

When individuals who have been residing in the state started getting their domicile certificates, they were immediately targeted by the Pakistan-backed terror groups. With reports of India and Pakistan having back-channel talks with Pakistan over Kashmir issues, Pakistan has upped its rants and has been pushing India for bringing back laws that could prevent the citizenship of Indians in the valley while it gets nothing on Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Gilgit-Baltistan that already has achieved demographic changes.

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

Earlier this week, the United states officially kicked out Turkey from its F-35 program for buying Russian S-400 missiles in 2017. India ordered the same system in 2018 and later this year it will start receiving it and it is expected it will go active by April next year. While Biden administration has still not confirmed if India will be getting wavier but India’s refusal to procure NASAM-II Air Defence system nor clearing multibillion-dollar deals to procure American made fighter jets like F-21, F-18 or its latest offering of F-15EX means, threats of sanctions might remain, and present Biden administration might try to hurt India where it will hurts it the most rather then denying spares and supplies to the present American systems.

India’s homegrown Tejas Mk1 fighter jets are fully dependent on the American GE’s F-404 engines and even Tejas Mk2 will again be powered by Ge’s F414 engines which can seriously derail both the programs if sanctions are placed or supply of further batches of this engine to India are restricted. IAF recently placed fresh orders for 83 Tejas Mk1 and fresh contracts for the supply of the next batch of engines with GE are yet to be made.

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