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

2021 was a great year for the aerospace industry in the country since, after almost 50 years, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had agreed to procure 83 Tejas Mk1A jets built locally in the country. The last such purchase was for the 175 HF-24 “Marut” jet that was inducted in the late ’60s that was prematurely retired by the mid-’80s due to the availability of cheaper Migs.

Fast forward to 2022, fighter jets are no longer being offered at ridiculous prices due to the advancement in the cost of avionics and sensors that make up 30-40% of the cost of the aircraft now. Procurement cost is even much higher in the 5th generation offerings so are the operating costs and with rising aviation fuel costs, operating a large fleet of imported aircraft is becoming way more difficult for an air force that has a sanctioned squadron strength of 750 combat jets but is unable to operate that many jets.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

REPRESENTATIONAL

Indian Navy is looking to build a new generation of destroyers from a clean-sheet design and has started conceptual concept studies for the same that started in mid-2021 and plans are afoot to be ready with new design and configuration under the ” Project 18 ” that will have displacement for the 13,000 Standard tonnes for six warships that been planned at an estimated cost of 50000 crores.

The Next-Generation Destroyer (NGD) class warships will have a new hull design and superstructure that can accommodate heavier hypersonic missiles and laser systems. Navy along with DRDO is working on the new generation of directed energy weapons and high-power sensors that are being planned as informed to idrw.org. Indian Navy is supposed to start building the new ship from 2026-27, accordingly with induction planned for the first ship in 2032 onwards. The main focus now for the Navy seems to be the emergence of hypersonic missiles that will be a driving factor in the Navy’s desire to field a new large surface combatant that can accommodate ship-based hypersonic missiles.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

The Department of National Defense of the Philippine government has issued a Notice of Award (NoA) to BrahMos Aerospace notifying that the proposal of the company has been accepted for the acquisition of the shore-based anti-ship missiles system for the Philippine Navy. The contract value of the first export BrahMos deal has been pegged at $375 million.

BrahMos Aerospace has been asked to carry out performance security which is similar to the security deposit that means a financial guarantee that the company needs to furnish as the successful tenderer for the due performance of the contract that already has been carried out.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

The pace of work on the Dry Kaveri engine development as an offshoot of the Kaveri engine is progressing well and soon it will head to Russia by mid this year to commence a series of tests that are planned on a Russian Il-76 aircraft using it as Flight Test Bed (FTB) at a Russian facility. Dry Kaveri will replace one of the four engines of the Il-76 and the tests to be carried out up to 12 km maximum altitude and a maximum forward speed of 0.7 Mach and under different operating conditions to validate the engine performance.

Bangalore-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) under DRDO, is also working on a new afterburner section for the new Dry engine that will be able to generate 73-78kN Class of thrust when the afterburner is engaged. While the Dry Kaveri engine will be used to power the upcoming Unmanned Remote Strike Aircraft program, the Kaveri engine with the afterburner section will eventually be tested on the older LSP LCA-Tejas aircraft as a technology demonstrator program and also has proof of concept by 2026-27 as informed to idrw.org.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

Indian Defence Ministry is planning to cancel many Request for Information (RFI), Request for Information (RFI), Request for Proposal (RFP) and Expression of Interest (EoI) floated over the last few years in response to stop the further import of defence equipment as now the government plans to give first preference would be given to the acquisition of Indian Developed Designed and Manufactured (IDDM) products.

Some of the projects that will be shelved are procurement of 5000 Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) Missile Systems from Russia but Army will take deliveries of contracted orders for a small number of Igla-S systems from Russia under emergency procurement, but the preference will be given to the DRDO developed Man-Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) that is under development and five units are presently under fabrication to be used for its developmental trials soon.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

India has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for a launch of an experimental flight vehicle in the Bay of Bengal for the period from 19-21 January 2022 as per information provided by Twitter user @detresfa_. the designated area is 780km that indicates it might be a test of the Extended range variant of BrahMos-ER.

But the designated area does seems to be quite similar to what was issued in September 2020 when the HSTDV cruise vehicle mounted on a solid rocket motor was tested. Defence Ministry already had asked DRDO to fast track Hypersonic missile program and it is expected that this time HSTDV will be tested without the shield. HSTDV program will be followed by Two separate hypersonic cruise missile programs under ” Project Vishnu”.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

European missile firm MBDA is currently offering the Indian Navy its New Long-Range Anti-ship Missile System With Land Attack Capability ” TESEO MK2/E “, which the company claims has a range of 350km at very low altitude against all classes of warship and land targets, that relies on an advanced mission planning system that allows it to operate in congested and cluttered scenarios.

TESEO MK2/E is Low radar signature, High subsonic cruise missile that weighs only 700kgs which supports Salvo firing and has a two-way data link system, for target update/reassignment mid air.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari speaking to Vayu Aerospace has confirmed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to procure more CH-47 Chinook Helicopters for which it has started the process to get it cleared from the Cabinet Committee on Security later this year.

India had finalized a multi-billion dollar contract with Boeing to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for the IAF in September 2015. The original contract had provision for follow-on orders of 6 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters that were cleared in 2019 but this time it will be operated by the Indian Army’s Aviation Corps (AAC). IAF likely will press for 7 follow-on orders of CH-47 Chinook Helicopters that are part of the original contract but idrw.org has been told CCS might clear only 4-5 units due to the high procurement cost of these Boeing built helicopters.

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

The military training aircraft market projection from 2021 till 2030 is estimated to be worth 6.62 billion as reported in a reputed defense sector think tank report and the market for Basic Jet Trainers, Intermediate Jet Trainers, and Advanced Jet Trainers for Fixed-wing Aircraft type will see further expansion after a lull over last decade next 10 years as many countries around the world are planning to replace their aging military trainer with new light trainer aircraft, which is likely to propel growth shortly.

This forecast will come as a tremendous opportunity for the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to market its HTT-40 (BTA), HJT-36 Sitara (IJT), and LCA-LIFT in the export market as this aviation segment is largely dominated by multiple players and but dominated by few and should come as low hanging fruit for India’s Aerospace sector to establish itself before other aerospace projects like fighter jets and heavy helicopters can be marketed abroad.

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

R Madhavan. Chairman & Managing Director Hindustan Aeronautics Limited while updating on the LCA-AF Mk2 program to the ” The Hindu ” said that the rollout of the first aircraft might be delayed to early 2023 as the company fears that spike in covid cases in the country might result in lockdowns that might affect supply chain that will delay in the supply of components and systems for the program.

LCA-AF Mk2 initially planned for August this year was pushed back to the end of this year and now hints are been dropped that it might be again be pushed to early 2023 that in HAL words can be up to March when the financial year for the company ends.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

ADE Director Dr. S Venugopal speaking to Dr. Anantha Krishnan Tarmak Media House has said that Rustam-1 SR ( Short range)-UAV that was developed to be a testbed for the bigger MALE Class Rustam-2 is an excellent UAV, to begin with, and it was later decided that the DRDO developed air to surface missile system for the UAV Class will be integrated into the UAV that is now been called Archer.

Venugopal said that the advantage of Archer and Rustam-2 is that both use the same avionics and systems including LRUs and Ground stations that can operate both UAVs with a switch of software that will reduce maintenance and logistics issues for the squadron that will be operating both classes of drones from its base.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP) that keep track of military and paramilitary casualties in the South Asian countries said in its latest report that Pakistan armed forces are taking more casualties than their bigger Indian counterpart in the last three years and fatalities are only rising and last year alone Pakistani armed force suffered over double the casualties then India.

According to SATP Data, In 2019 Pakistan had 137 casualties while India had 132, but 2020 saw a rise in Pakistani casualties that jumped to 178 while in India it went down to 106. 2021 in the backdrop of Taliban take over Afghanistan and TTP increasing frequency of its attacks on Pakistani forces it suffered 226 casualties while Indian casualties were the same as the previous year at 104.

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

DRDO’s GTRE is planning to conclude a deal with either Safran or Rolls-Royce for the development of a new 110kN Class thrust engine that can be used to power India’s AMCA MkII jets that goes into production in 2035 by mid of this year that will be directly under the preview of the PM’s Office and will be taken as a national project for which clearance of the project will likely take place soon.

idrw.org has been told that nearly 8 new engines will be manufactured after inking the deal within three years from the date of agreement that will be used as ground technology demonstrator engines to be used to test the engine in various configurations with or without afterburner section initially after which the project moves to fabrication of 6 more flying technology demonstrator engine that will be used on the Flying Test Bed aircraft prepared for the program.

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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

CEO and MD BrahMos Aerospace Atul Dinkar Rane speaking to DD said that the Joint development of the BrahMos-NG (Next Generation ) has commenced with Russia and it will take nearly four years before the missile is ready for developmental trials. Rane said both countries are trying to achieve speeds that are nearly 1 1/2 times more than the existing missile variant of BrahMos.

BrahMos-NG will weigh around 1.5 tons which is nearly half the weight when compares to the existing BrahMos that is close to 3tons. BrahMos-NG is primarily been designed as an Air-Launched Cruise Missile Program that can be used for Anti-Ship missile (AShM) or as Anti-surface missile (ASM) against high-value targets.

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

The developmental cost of AMCA is pegged at Rs.15,000 Crore ($1.9 Billion) that includes the cost for the building of 2 Next Generation Technology Demonstrator aircraft (NGTD) and 5 Prototype aircraft and the creation of infrastructure for the production of 16-20 aircraft per annum at a new facility that will come up at the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor (TNDIC). AMCA Program cost is near twice the amount (Rs.7965.56 Crore ) that the Government had to spend on Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Phase-I & Phase-II Programs.

IAF’s commitment to the program when it enters the production stage is for 40 AMCA Mk1 aircraft and 80 AMCA MkII that will require another additional 550-600 crore per-unit costs in a separate deal at later stages. AMCA Program will also include a new engine program for which India will need to spend nearly 12-14,000 Crore while the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program had allocated separate funds of just 3000 crores for the Kaveri engine development program.

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