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

Army chief General M.M. Naravane called for a “revolution in bureaucratic affairs” and called for a rethink of the L1 vendor concept altogether Under the present system, where the lowest bidder, known as L1, always wins the contract. Army chief batted for the procurement process be reduced of the bureaucratic web of checks and balances to promote fast-tracking of the modernization, and simultaneously promoting self-reliance in the country.

Red Tape and the typical babudom attitude of the bureaucrats has ensured that procurement of any weapon systems is a much more complex system than anywhere else in the world and due to past corruption and middlemen interference that has often lead to unnecessary checks and balances that often means procurement is delayed by years and sometimes even decades due to additional power which bureaucrats often use to delay this program.

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

The US Air Force (USAF) released a rendering of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider stealth bomber, that it plans to fly by next year and plans are in place to incrementally replace the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit bombers to form a two-bomber fleet of B-21s and modified B-52s in the long run for which it is estimated US Air Force could require 200 B-21 Stealth Bombers in next 20 years.

B-2 heavy strategic bomber featuring low observable stealth technology started with a requirement of 132 units by the airforce but when the average per-unit cost was US$737 million in fly-away condition, finally units procured was only 22 units that lead to even higher production cost in the later stage when the program included development, engineering, and testing costs, per unit cost average at US$2 Billion. To ensure that the B-21 Stealth Bomber program doesn’t suffer the B-2 program fate, USAF has installed checks and balances that will ensure that unit cost will remain low and has hinted at the possibility of exporting it to its closes allies.

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

In less than six months, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will have in its possession all 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets that it had placed an order in 2016, has of now, IAF already has inducted 24 jets and 11 more will come by end of this year and lone Twin-seater trainer aircraft that was used to train Indian pilots in France will be the last one to depart to India in January 2022.

Countries like Egypt and Qatar who had placed orders for Rafale a few months before India had done have already placed additional orders with Dassault and it is still not clear when India will be concluding a fresh contract for acquiring additional jets that were presumably procured under off-the-shelf emergency requirement due to steady declining of the fighter squadron fleet of the IAF.

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

United Aircraft is pitching its single-engined Su-75 to export markets as an affordable, fifth-generation type that shares characteristics with Sukhoi’s Su-57, and the company went further to confirm that the first flight has been planned for 2023 and it will be ready to enter production in 2026 as most of the system including its avionics and AL-41FI engine is already in production. what raised several eyebrows was when Rostec claimed that the unit price of Checkmate will be around $25 to $30 million, which is not even half the cost of the American F-35A that has a flyaway cost of $78 million.

Russian 5th generation Su-75 Checkmate fighter jet could work out to be cheaper than India’s Tejas Mk1A that has a flyaway unit cost of $41 million and China’s JF-17 Block-III that has a flyaway cost of $32 million per unit. Su-75 will beat if not all but most of the legacy 4th generation fighter jets that are still under production in terms of flyaway cost, but how did Russians manage to offer a 5th generation jet at a price of 4th generation that was manufactured in the 90s?.

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

Russia’s first single-engine supersonic low observable light tactical fighter aircraft was unveiled at the MAKS show by Rostec that identifies several countries by name including India, Argentina, and Vietnam, as well as some elements suggestive of Middle Eastern states as its potential export customers. Rostec also confirmed that what was unveiled was an actual prototype and not a mock-up and the first flight has been planned for 2023. Rostec presentation also confirmed that stealth at a much lower price point is the ultimate goal of the company and many takers will do emerge even when the flyaway unit cost of the F-35A has now fallen under $80 million but it has failed to keep its operating cost per hour same as that of the legacy type of the F-16, EA-18G, and F-15E.

Indian Air Force (IAF) back home has committed to procure as much as 170-201 units of the Tejas Mk-II fighter jet that will have also have its first flight sometime in 2023 and will enter production in 2027-28 if HAL and other DRDO associate labs can stick to the schedule-timeline that has been shared by the company. Back home many have criticized need for a 4.5+ Gen fighter aircraft when India can join 5th gen bandwagon by fast tracking its AMCA program. IAF Chief in past has hinted that this number mutually agreed with the DRDO and IAF verbally might change if the aircraft is not able to stick to the schedule, as IAF’s fighter fleet already is at its lowest point and will further slide due to retirements of Mig-21s by 2024, IAF chief has hinted that it will be open to procuring fighter jets from elsewhere to make up the number if indigenous programs face delays.

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

At the ongoing MAKS-2021 air show in Moscow, Russia’s Mig Corporation showcased a scale model of the Advanced ship-borne multirole fighter concept that is on offer to the Russian Navy to replace its present deck-based Mig-29K fighter jets on the next supercarrier under project Project 23000E designed by the Krylov State Research Center for the Russian Navy and people were amazed at the design similarities with India’s Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) that is under development for India’s deck-based fighter jet requirements.

Migs canard delta wing, twin-engine, Advanced ship-borne multirole fighter concept also highlights its two internal weapons bays with four weapons stations. TEDBF with a frontal section that is geometrically optimized for the reduced radar cross-section and pretty clean design has the potential to be classified as 5 Minus fighter jet and a few months back I had written how the inclusion of the Internal weapons bay (IWB) on the TEDBF design in future variants was very much doable and should be pursued.

(Can TEDBF Block-2 variant incorporate Stealth and Internal Weapons Bay? )

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

Rostec State Corporation a few days ago teased the existence of “The Checkmate’, A day before the official reveal, the first picture of the aircraft had hit the internet and people can’t keep claim about it. Sukhoi-75 (unofficial name) is a new single-engine light tactical plane with a take-off weight of up to 18 tons, that can achieve speeds of Mach 2 and is equipped with the new Izdeliye 30 engine.

Sukhoi-75 will be targeted at the export market that includes Argentina, India, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as seen in the promotional teaser video. Sukhoi-75 is considered to be the Russian counterpart to the American F-35 Lightning II program but Sukhoi-75 is 10-12 tons lighter than F-35, which is lighter by only 4 tons to Su-57 in its MTOW, comparing two aircraft won’t be fair. Sukhoi-75 eventually will replace all the Russian air force’s MiG-29 and Su-27 fourth-generation aircraft and the countries operating them seems to be the first target customer.

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

On Thursday, Amrullah Saleh, the Vice President of Afghanistan, alleged that the Pakistan Air Force was providing close air support to the Taliban, he tweeted that the Pakistan air force has issued an official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled by the Pakistan Air Force. Pak air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas.”.

He added that Pakistan had warned Afghanistan aircraft to stay away from Spin Boldak or risk getting shot down. In 80’s Pakistan Air force several times could fly into afghan airspace and shoot down Soviet/Afghan attack aircraft and choppers that were usually attacking Afghan Mujahideen’s position. Pakistani fighter F-16 jets were usually seen roaming in Afghan airspace, harassing strike fighter jets like Su-22 that we’re incapable of having dogfights with the F-16s.

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

IMAGE CREDIT TO RESPECTED OWNER

Russia’s famed Sukhoi Design Bureau in 2017 had announced that it will be working on developing an 18-ton fifth-generation lightweight stealth fighter powered by a single Izdeliye 30 after burning turbofan engine that is used on the twin-engined Su-57 fighter jet. leaked images of the 18-ton jet that will be soon be displayed at the MAKS Air Show seem to feature two vertical stabilizers and raised composite air inlet ducts that mated with Izdeliye 30 engine will help it achieve Mach 2 speeds.

Thrust vectoring nozzles are likely to be a standard feature on the Izdeliye 30 engine that provides aircraft with super maneuverability and will also shorten the fighter’s takeoff distance due to additional power. the Izdeliye 30 engine also seems to have been fine-tuned for single-engine jet operations with additional safety features.

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

In my previous article, India’s DRDO for the first time had partially shown RudraM-II ALBM when M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India, visited DRDO’s Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex in Hyderabad. RudraM-II is India’s first Air-launched ballistic missile or ALBM that is now taking shape to begin its developmental trials as per the information that is coming in after it completed its captive flight and release flight trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircraft successfully.

RudraM-II ALBM has a range of 350km that can travel at Mach 4 speeds with a 200kg warhead towards the ground or sea-based target. RudraM-II has been seen weapons package of upcoming Tejas Mk2 and TEDBF fighter programs, but some reports suggest that RudraM-IIA is a spinoff of RudraM-II which is under development for the Indian Navy with additional sea-skimming features and enhanced sensors to locate moving targets in the sea.

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

France’s Sherpa NGO, which specializes in financial crime, filed an official complaint about “corruption” and “influence peddling” among other accusations, prompting an investigating magistrate to be designated to probe the 7.8-billion-euro ($9.3-billion) deal for 36 planes between the Indian government and French aircraft manufacturer Dassault.

Back home, the main opposition political party in India, Indian National Congress (INC) has declared that recent development in France just vindictive their stand of allegations of corruption in the deal but it fails to address many of the major allegations that INC has put forward against present Modi government which French Agencies are not even investigating.

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

While the Pakistani foreign Office is yet to comment on India testing Nuclear-Capable Agni-IP last month but Pakistani Defence Analyst Brig Imran Malik have called it alarming development in the subcontinent that can tilt response time in India’s favor due to a new missile that he calls more as a Pakistan specific missile development by India rather than China specifics.

Malik asserts that Agni-P being ready to fire missiles due to integration of the canister container makes it far more deadly and reduces response time of the Indian Army and by making it harder to detect and with improved mobility it can be anywhere and can be used anytime.

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

You don’t need sophisticated Aircraft to harm or attack someone. Missiles can execute the same havoc as aircraft and unlike aircraft or bombers they are not costly, even small nations can afford them. Somehow if they are mounted with bio, chemical or god forbid with nuke payloads then? What? Imagine devastation. Hence it becomes crucial for nations to develop or acquire Missile Defence Systems and to a larger extent if surrounded by hostile neighbours or in contested regions then it is vital to possess Air Defence Systems.

S-400 Triumf Air Defence systems don’t need any introduction, it’s been or in the hot news. Many institutions have termed it as the Best Air Defence System available. The aura of the S-400 is such that even Turkey a NATO member has acquired it. There were some political instances as well within Turkey, such as attempts of coup and western critics of Turkish govt actions in Syria led it to progress ahead with the Russian S-400 system. The United States had offered MIM patriot systems to turkey, but these systems are nowhere close to the S-400 – also remember that how Patriot systems failed to respond to the drone attacks in Saudi Arabia.

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

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently tested a nuclear-capable Medium Range Ballistic Missile that has a range of 2000km and it quickly caught the attention of many western defense analysts due to some of the unique features of the missile system that truly validates claims made by DRDO that Agni-1P is next-generation and latest variant of its Agni family that is one of the best in its class when compared to similar missiles not only in the region but actually in the world.

Agni-1P is a two-stage, solid-fuelled that incorporates technologies that were initially used in the 4,000 km-range Agni IV (Agni-IIA) and 5,000 km-range Agni V missiles such as composite rocket motors, ring laser gyroscope-based inertial navigation systems, and micro-navigation systems. Canisterised Agni-1P is also fitted with electro-mechanical actuators for guidance and is reported to have a circular error probable (CEP) of 10 m.

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SOURCE: PETTY OFFICER MANAN BHATT, VETERAN / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

Dar, the Pulwama suicide bomber, rammed his car, detonated an IED and mercilessly killed 40 innocent CRPF Jawans. He, himself claimed through his video that he will die a martyr’s death and will be in heaven. Besides JeM, his Father and his uncle also claimed that he got martyred. Everyone around the bomber wanted to claim his martyrhood. The terror tanzim’s commemoration of martyrdom through use of rituals, ceremonies and grand gala funerals is intended towards creating a cult of veneration around successful suicide attackers. Dar’s funeral too was attended by thousands of people.

JeM managed to incite Kashmiris even from faraway places to visit Dar’s house to offer condolences for his ‘martyrdom’. It was also arranged to string up a JeM flag in the compound of Dar’s house. They were able to successfully propagate Dar’s ‘martyrdom’ for their cause and depict his life and death in a way that suited them because by that time Dar was as dead as a dodo, thus incapable of countering posthumous propaganda and posited qualities or intentions.

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