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   ** CHANAKYA 53rd YEAR ** MEDIA PARTNER - EUROSATORY 2022 SHOW SPECIAL PREVIEW ISSUE: JUNE 2022 **         INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 53rd Year in Defence Publishing: 48th Year of Monthly Publication       

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LOCKHEED MARTIN IN INDIA

Pawan Hans Limited (PHL), a Government of India Company under Ministry of Civil Aviation had announced that it signed agreements for the leasing of six Sikorsky S-76D Helicopters from The Milestone Aviation Group Limited. In addition to the six helicopters, of which five have already been delivered, Milestone and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company are also providing Pawan Hans with comprehensive value and sustainment packages to support the phasing-in of this new helicopter type into its fleet.

Pawan Hans Leases Six Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky S-76D Helicopters from Milestone Aviation
The legendary S-76 Helicopter operates successfully in more than 40 countries on six continents, fu
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DIMDEX 2022 SHOW REPORT

The 7th Edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX 2022) was held from 21st to 23rd March 2022 in Qatar. World-leading Defence, Naval and Maritime Companies like Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, CAE, Dassault Aviation, Dearsan, Elettronica, Fincantieri, General Atomics, GICAN, Havelsan, KNDS, L3Harris Technologies, Lacroix, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Navantia, Nexter, Northrop Grumman, Rafale International, Raytheon Technologies, Renk, Roketsan, Saab, Safran, Thales, etc. participated at DIMDEX 2022.

DIMDEX 2022 NAVAL SHOW REPORT
The 7th Edition of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX 2022) wa
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8th WINGS INDIA 2022 SHOW REPORT

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, jointly with FICCI, organised the 8th Edition of Indian Aviation Show Series - Wings India 2022 from 24th to 27th March 2022 at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport. Wings India 2022, had about 25 aircraft on static display, had the participation of about 100 companies, including companies like AAI, Adani Group, Airbus Group, ATR, Boeing, CFM, CSIR, Diamond Aircraft, Embraer, Honda Jet, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), L&T, Maini, National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Pawan Hans, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, etc.

WINGS INDIA 2022 REPORT
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, jointly with FICCI, organised the 8th Edition
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DSA 2020 SHOW REPORT

The 17th Defence Services Asia 2022 was held from 28th to 31st March 2022 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, along with NATSEC Asia 2022, focussed on Internal Security. The DSA Series has gone from strength to strength and is the largest Tri-Services Defence & National Security Show in Asia, which this time attracted about 1,100 exhibitors from 54 countries, including 20 International Group Pavilions.

Defence Services Asia 2022: DSA SHOW REPORT
Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (NATSEC) Asia 2022, which are globally recognised
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ADAS 2022

Asian Defense & Security (ADAS) 2022, the 4th Asian Defense and Security, Crisis & Disaster Management Exhibition and Conference will be held from 27th to 29th April 2022 at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. ADAS 2022 is a Tri-Services Defence and Security Exhibition for the Region.

Asian Defense & Security - ADAS 2022 SHOW PREVIEW
Asian Defense & Security (ADAS) 2022, the 4th Asian Defense and Security, Crisis & Disaster Managem
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Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Solutions

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of High-Tech Defence Systems for Air, Land, Sea, and Space Applications for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli Defence Establishment, as well as for customers around the globe. Rafael offers its customers a diversified array of Innovative Solutions at the leading-edge of global technology, from Underwater Systems through Naval, Ground and Air Superiority Systems to Space Systems.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Solutions
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide r
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF

ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to CHANAKYA said that an efficient way to retain combat-edge is the induction and use of Unmanned Solutions. In the coming years, the Indian Navy will continue to focus on Unmanned Inductions. CHANAKYA Interviewed ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, covering Indian Navy’s Modernisation & Expansion Plans, recent Inductions, Naval Acquisitions, including Aircraft Carrier, Surface Combatants & ASW Craft, LPDs, Submarine Projects, Naval Helicopters, RPAS and Unmanned  Solutions, etc.

“Indian Navy has Continued to Focus on Self-Reliance & Indigenous Solutions”
ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW t
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SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2022 REPORT

The Singapore Air Show 2022 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 15th to 18th February 2022, with attendance from few high-level Military Delegations including Senior Government Officials and leading industry players, featured about 600 exhibiting companies from about 40 countries. The Singapore Air Show had fewer participants in the Civil and Military Flying and Static Aircraft Displays that included the IAF’s LCA Tejas Mk.1 Fighter Jet, Airbus A400M, Dassault Aviation Falcon Business Jets, Embraer Profit-Hunter Commuter Jet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35, F-16D & F-22, with Sikorsky’s S-70B, Boeing’s F-15SG & P-8A Poseidon, Bell Boeing MV-22s, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450 UAS, IAI Heron TP UAS, with Bell Helicopters on display.

SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2022 REPORT
The Singapore Air Show 2022 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 15th to 18th February 2022, w
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DRDO Indigenous Defence Systems & Technologies for Indian Defence Forces

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence, has been nurturing as well as encouraging Indian Defence & Aerospace Industry to take up Defence Manufacturing. Today, more than 2000 Industry Partners have joined hands with DRDO in delivery of Components, Sub-systems, Systems, Platforms and Technologies for Indian Armed Forces. Many industries have achieved the capability and the capacity to become the Lead System Integrators. The technology of all systems is transferred to the Indian Industry for Production & Supply.

DRDO Indigenous Defence Systems & Technologies for Indian Defence Forces
The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence, has been nurturing as
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IAF's RAFALE FIGHTERS

With the Deliveries of all 36 Rafale Fighters of Dassault Aviation having been completed in France, the IAF’s Rafale Fleet is undergoing Upgrades to the 13 India-Specific Enhancements (ISE) Configuration in India. While the Indian Navy has recently tested the Rafale-Marine Carrier-Borne Fighter in Goa for evaluation in the Indian Navy Carrier Tender, there is scope for additional Rafales to be purchased by India for the IAF and Indian Navy.

Dassault Aviation Completes Deliveries of All 36 Rafales to IAF
With the Deliveries of all 36 Rafale Fighters of Dassault Aviation having been completed in France,
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SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES

Safran Aircraft Engines is one of the world's leading Aircraft and Rocket Engine Manufacturers, Safran designs, develops, produces and sells, alone or in Partnership, Engines for Civil and Military Aircraft, Launch Vehicles and Satellites. A leading Military Aircraft Engine Manufacturer, No. 1 in Europe, Safran Aircraft Engines also power some 20 types of Military Aircraft in 30 countries, including the M88 Rafale Fighter Engines. Safran Military Engines for Rafale & Mirage 2000 Fighters have become global benchmarks. Safran is also a Partner in FCAS (Future Combat Air System), a Franco-British programme to develop a New-Generation Combat Drone. We feature the Safran M88 powering the Rafale, its Maintenance Training, and Safran’s plans to ‘Make-in-India’, including the Manufacturing of the M88 Engine in India for Future Indian Fighters. Safran Aircraft Engines is implementing its full committment to ‘Make-in-India’.

SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES M88
Safran Aircraft Engines is one of the world's leading Aircraft and Rocket Engine Manufacturers, wit
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Interview: Col. H.S. Shankar, CMD, Alpha Designs Technologies (ADTL)

Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (ADTL) has got an Indian Army order for Loitering Munitions. In an Interview to Chanakya, Col. H.S. Shankar, VSM (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, spoke about the products and activities of ADTL, Bangalore.

“Manufacture of Loitering Munitions is in Advanced Stages at ADTL’s JVC with ELBIT - Alpha ELSEC”
Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (ADTL) has got an Indian Army order for Loitering Munitions. In
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CARMENTA Will Push Forward the EU Technological Excellence to Achieve Air Superiority Goal

The CARMENTA Project will be based on EU owned solutions, so that EU Design Authority remains the baseline, in order to avoid any kind on non-EU dependencies. The Consortium includes the major EU Electronic Warfare Champions as well as the major EU Platform and System Integrators. In total it brings together 18 leading Industry Members like: Elettronica (Coordinator, Italy), Leonardo (Italy), Thales (France), SAFRAN (France), MBDA France, Indra (Spain), AIRBUS Defence & Space (Spain), AIRBUS Helicopters (Spain), Hensoldt (Germany), Terma (Denmark), etc. The project has a duration of 30 months and a budget of approximately 10 Million Euros.

CARMENTA Will Push Forward the EU Technological Excellence to Achieve Air Superiority Goal
Paolo Izzo, Chief Sales Officer of Elettronica, Coordinator Company of the CARMENTA Consortium, sai
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ROSOBORONEXPORT, RUSSIA

Russian Helicopters is a leading player in the Global Helicopter Industry, the sole Russian Rotorcraft Designer and Manufacturer and one of the few companies worldwide with the capability to Design, Manufacture, Service and test modern Civilian and Military Helicopters. Russian Helicopters is part of State Corporation Rostec. We take a look at the Russian Helicopters' Mi-171Sh Military Multi-Role Transport Helicopter.

Russian Helicopters Mi-171Sh Military Multi-Role Transport Helicopter
Rosoboronexport/ROSTEC - Russian Helicopters is a leading player in the Global Helicopter Industry,
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mrs Anandi Ramalingam, Chairman & Managing Director - Additional Charge, BEL

Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) now produces a wide range of State-of-the-Art Equipment in fields like Defence Communications, Radars, Naval Systems, C4I Systems, Weapon Systems, Homeland Security, Telecom & Broadcast Systems, Electronic Warfare, Tank Electronics, Electro-Optics, Electronic Components. Chanakya Interviewed Mrs. Anandi Ramalingam, Chairman & Managing Director - Additional Charge, BEL, on it’s Products & Exports, its presence in India & abroad, on its diversification initiatives, as well as its exhibits at DefExpo 2022.

“BEL is Fast Expanding its Global Presence”
Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) is a Navratna Company instituted to manufacture Communication Equipme
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BEML Contribution on Defence Services: By Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director, BEML LIMITED

Being India's major Defence Equipment Manufacturer, BEML keeps the Indian Army and other Defence Forces abreast with State-of-the-Art Military Equipment. Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director,  BEML LIMITED, writes a guest column on BEML.

BEML Contribution on Defence Services, By Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director, BEML LIMITED
Being India's major Defence Equipment Manufacturer, BEML keeps the Indian Army and other Defence Fo
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INTERVIEW: Venkat Katkuri, Head of Defence & Space, Airbus India & South Asia

Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF, along with an Offset Contract. Out of 56, 40 MTAs will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium. Chanakya Interviews VENKAT KATKURI, Head of Defence & Space, Airbus India & South Asia, covering the C295MW Variants and the New-Generation A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transporter on offer for IAF’s FRA Project.

“C295 Opens Doors for First ‘Make in India’ Aerospace Programme”
MoD signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport A
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INTERVIEW: BORIS SOLOMIAC, GENERAL DELEGATE, MBDA INDIA

With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile Systems. The MBDA Group designs and produces Missiles and Missile Systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three Armed Forces - Land, Sea and Air. Chanakya features this Interview with BORIS SOLOMIAC, General Delegate, MBDA India, who articulates on MBDA’s Range of Missiles for the IAF’s Rafale Fighter;  MICA IR & RF Missiles for the Upgraded Mirage 2000s of the IAF; MANPADS Missile System offered for VSHORAD & Mistral ATAM for the ALH Rudra WSI & LCHs; ASRAAM for the Jaguar Fighter Upgrade; Brimstone Dual-Seeker Missile; Naval Missiles and on L&T MBDA Missile Systems Joint Venture in India.

“MBDA is a Committed Partner to the Indian Armed Forces”
With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile S
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: R. MADHAVAN, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAL

One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in manufacturing of Military & Civil Aircraft, Navigation and related Equipment. In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, R. MADHAVAN, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Updates us on most projects that HAL is currently undertaking like LCA Tejas, Mirage 2000 Upgrade, Jaguar Darin-III Upgrade, HTT-40 BTA, IJT, LCH, LUH, ALH Dhruv Variants, UAS/RPAs, etc.

“83 LCA Mk-1A Contract Stipulates Deliveries from 2023-2024”
HAL is involved in manufacturing of Military & Civil Aircraft, Jet Engines, Helicopters and Spare P
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, AVSM, NM, IN (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL), the oldest Shipyard in India, has now become one of the premier Warshipbuilding Yards in India, producing Warships for the Indian Navy, which include Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes, Missile Boats, OPVs, etc. MDL has built 799 Vessels, including 26 Capital Warships and 6 Conventional Submarines. In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, IN (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, MDL, elaborates on MDL’s various activities.

“Indigenous Warship Building is a Success Story”
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL) has now become one of the premier Warshipbuilding Yards in Ind
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INTERVIEW: JORGE GARCÍA MONEDERO, INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, NAVANTIA

The Spanish Shipbuilder NAVANTIA is a world reference in the design, building and integration of highly technological state-of-the-art Warships for the Spanish Navy, which makes it a strategic company, and for the international market. Its activities include the design and manufacture of Integrated Platform Management Systems, Fire Control Systems, Command & Control Systems, Propulsion Plants and through life support for all its products. NAVANTIA belongs to Grupo SEPI, a corporate holding which is made up by a total of 15 state-owned companies. In this INTERVIEW to Chanakya, Jorge García Monedero, International Commercial Director, Navantia, elaborates on Navantia’s interests in Indian Naval Defence.

“Navantia Wants to be the Best Partner at Sea”
The Spanish Shipbuilder NAVANTIA is a world reference in the design, building and integration of hi
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THALES

As India progresses towards its goal of becoming AtmaNirbhar, constructive measures are being taken across sectors including Defence. These measures along with efforts of the Industry will pave the way for long-term success of India's Indigenous Defence Sector. Ashish Saraf, Vice President & Country Director - India, Thales contributes this guest column on Thales India.

Thales, Partnering India's Defence Modernisation Journey: By Ashish Saraf, Vice President and Country Director - India, Thales
Thales has been playing a role in India's growth story by sharing its technologies & expertise in D
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MoD Signs Contract With Airbus Defence & 56 C295MW Transporters for IAF

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on September 24th, 2021. The induction of Airbus C295MW Airlifters will be a significant step towards modernisation of the Transport Fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is a Transport Aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro Transport Aircraft of IAF.

MoD Signs Contract With Airbus Defence & Space, Spain for Acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for IAF
The IAF will become the 35th C295 Operator worldwide, with the programme reaching 278 aircraft, 200
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INDIAN AIR FORCE SPECIAL REPORT

The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021 with the IAF Day Parade. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, addressed the IAF Day’s Annual Press Conference, covering some of IAF’s Acquisitions & Projects, emphasised on technologies for Future Warfare, and spoke on IAF’s deployments for the Eastern Ladakh Stand-Off. The Air Chief spoke about DEWs, Drones/Unmanned Systems, etc. In this Special Report on the IAF, we cover IAF’s Transformation Drive with new inductions and future Modernisation Plans with Updates on Rafale Fighters (featured separately), Fighter Squadrons, MRFA Fighters Competition, More MiG-29s & Su-30MKIs, AMCA & LCA Tejas, Spares for Mirage 2000s, AEW&C/AWACS & Flight Refuellers, Tactical Transporters, Helicopters - Apache, Chinook, LCH, LUH; Weapons - S-400, PGMs, Missiles and future procurements of Aero Engines, Air Defence Systems & Combat RPAS/UAS/CUAV, etc.

INDIAN AIR FORCE 89th ANNIVERSARY
The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021 with the IAF Day Par
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IAF's RAFALE FIGHTERS

With the Indian Air Force (IAF) scheduled to have all the 36 contracted Dassault Aviation Rafale Fighters by early 2022,  India’s Air Superiority gets a boost. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had formally inducted the first five Rafale Fighter Aircraft into the IAF’s 17 Squadron, the 'Golden Arrows' at the Ambala AFS in September 2020. All 36 Rafale Omni-Role Fighters are expected to be inducted by 2022.

IAF’s Rafale Fighters Inductions Boost India’s Air Superiority
The IAF’s Rafale Long-Range Air Superiority & Precision Strike Fighters have the best Survivability
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Thales in India: Building a Trustworthy and Secure Tomorrow

Thales has been a steadfast Partner of India for close to seven decades now. Through a diverse mix of high-technology solutions, services and collaborations, the organisation has brought its global expertise in Defence, Digital Identity and Security, Aerospace, Space, and Transportation to India. Thales is proud of the Upgradation of the Mirage 2000 Fleet of the Indian Air Force. Apart from this, the company also offers a host of systems for India's Armed Forces ranging from Night Vision Devices and Carbines to Unguided Rockets for Attack Helicopters.

Thales in India: Building a Trustworthy and Secure Tomorrow, By Ashish Saraf, VP & Country Director - India, Thales
Thales will continue to help its customers master their decisive moments in an increasingly complex
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Embraer Defense & Security

As security demands grow amidst tighter budgets, Defence Forces in the Indo-Pacific Region are scrutinizing aircraft that can perform multiple roles while demonstrating reliability and low life-cycle costs, says Jackson Schneider, President & CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.

Embraer’s Defense & Security Solutions: Designed for India’s Needs, by Embraer’s Defense & Security President & CEO Jackson Schneider
As security demands grow amidst tighter budgets, Defence Forces in the Indo-Pacific Region are scru
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MBDA MISSILE SYSTEMS

With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile Systems. The MBDA Group designs and produces Missiles and Missile Systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three Armed Forces - Land, Sea and Air. In total, the MBDA Group offers a range of 45 Missile Systems and Counter-Measures products already in operational service and over 15 others currently in Development Stage.

MBDA: Celebrating Indian Air Force Day During a Landmark Year, By Boris Solomiac, General Delegate, MBDA India
Chanakya features this guest contribution by BORIS SOLOMIAC, GENERAL DELEGATE, MBDA INDIA, who arti
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

Indian Air Force is going through a Transformation process acquiring State-of-the-Art Platforms and Systems, and through Upgrades, to boost India’s Air Dominance Capabilities, with New Rafales, more Su-30MKIs, Upgraded Mirage 2000s, more MiG-29s & Jaguars, LCA Tejas Mk.1A, C-17s, C-130J-30s, Do-228s, Avro replacement with 56 C295MW MTAs, ALH Rudra Mk.IV, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH); Mi-17V5s; Chinook Heavy-Lift Helicopters & Apache Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, etc. and various types of Radar & Air Defence Weapons Systems and SAGW, either being inducted or in final stages of contract negotiations.

“Upgrade of Existing Fleet of UAVs to Possess Combat Capability is Being Progressed”: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF
Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly c
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Navantia S-81 Submarine Launch Ceremony

On 22nd April 2021, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and Her Royal Highness Infanta Sofia presided over the Launching Ceremony of S-81, the first Submarine of S-80 Class, in Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena (Murcia, Spain).

His Majesty King Felipe VI Presided the Navantia Launching Ceremony of the first S-80 Submarine for the Spanish Navy - the S-81 'Isaac Peral'
The S-81, which will be named 'Isaac Peral', is the first Submarine designed and built in Spain by
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INTERVIEW: William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India

At Aero India 2021, Lockheed Martin presents the C-130J Super Hercules, of which IAF operates a fleet, with one of them achieving the daunting feat of landing at the world’s highest landing strip. The Lockheed Martin F-21 Fighter Jet, an equally impressive Multi-Mission Platform, for which Lockheed Martin offers future potential production in India in Partnership with Tata; and its’ Sikorsky Helicopters the MH-60R, S-92, CH-53K & S-76; the Javelin - the world’s most versatile Precision Weapon System, and the INDAGO Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

“Committed to Strategic & Long-Term International Defence Partnerships”
The MH-60R Romeo SEAHAWK Helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced Maritime Helicopters for AS
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AIRBUS INDIA

Airbus with its long-standing relationship with the Indian Aerospace and Defence Sector, will have a significant presence at Aero India.

Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities
Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities: by Rémi Maillard, President & Manag
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DASSAULT SYSTEMES AT AERO INDIA 2021

Dassault Systemes stands committed to help the industry with advanced 3D design and engineering solutions powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

Digitalization to Realize a thriving Aerospace, Defence and Space Ecosystem
As the leader in the sector for over three decades, Dassault Systèmes works with companies of every
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Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX)

Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an Aerospace and Defence Company that provides Advanced Systems and Services for Commercial, Military and Government customers worldwide. With four Industry-Leading Businesses - Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense - the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in Avionics, Cyber Security, Directed Energy, Electric Propulsion, Hypersonics, and Quantum Physics.

Raytheon Technologies Corporation: Creates Future of Aerospace & Defence
The merger of Raytheon and United Technologies combined two companies with distinctive legacies in
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INTERVIEW: BORIS SOLOMIAC, GENERAL DELEGATE, MBDA INDIA

Chanakya features this Interview with BORIS SOLOMIAC, General Delegate, MBDA India, who articulates on MBDA’s Range of Missiles for the IAF’s Rafale Fighter; Brimstone Dual-Seeker Missile; MICA IR & RF Missiles for the Upgraded Mirage 2000s of the IAF; MANPADS Missile System offered for VSHORAD & Mistral ATAM for the ALH Rudra WSI & LCHs; ASRAAM for the Jaguar Fighter Upgrade, Naval Missiles and on L&T MBDA Missile Systems Joint Venture established in India.

“Highly Potent Set of Weapons from MBDA that are Unrivalled”
With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile S
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE

In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, said that they are developing "90-Degree Steep Dive & Surround Attack Capability," a "Carrier-Killer" Weapon. He articulated on the success achieved by various BRAHMOS Variants’ proven capabilities, including the Block-III LACM. On future plans, he elaborated on the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K) Weapon with speeds between Mach 5-7 and the BRAHMOS NG Variant, on the BRAHMOS-A tests of the Airborne Cruise Missile for the IAF’s Su-30MKI Fighter, and on the BrahMos ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives.

“We have been Actively Pursuing the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K)”
BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is capable to fulfil any export requirements, if
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: R. MADHAVAN, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAL

 In an Exclusive Interview to Chanakya, R. MADHAVAN, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Updates us on most projects that HAL is currently undertaking like LCA Tejas, Mirage 2000 Upgrade Project, Jaguar Darin-III Upgrade, HTT-40 BTA, IJT, LCH, LUH, Ka-226T, ALH Dhruv, etc.

“HAL is Geared Up to Take Production of 83 LCA Order”
One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in m
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RAFAEL

Rafael is a world-leading Developer & Manufacturer of Advanced Weapon Systems, providing forefront Technological Solutions that address the Defensive and Offensive requirements of the Modern Battlefield. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been supporting the Indian Defence Forces with State-of-the-Art Systems, during which Rafael has stood by India to supply systems at short notice in operational contingencies, including Air-to-Air, Air Defence, ATGMs, Targeting & Reconnaissance Pods, SDR Communication, etc.

RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Designs, Develops, Manufactures and Supplies a wide range of H
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Indian Navy’s Vagir 5th Scorpene Submarine Launched at MDL

On November 12th 2020, INS Vagir was launched by Smt Vijaya Shripad Naik, wife of Shripad Naik, Raksha Rajya Mantri. INS Vagir is the fifth P-75 Scorpene Submarine entirely built by the Indian Shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL)

Launching of Vagir, the Fifth Indian Kalvari-Class Submarine with Scorpene Design, Entirely Made in India
Making its underwater defence stronger, Indian Navy launched the fifth Kalvari-Class Scorpene Subma
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Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines Project

Amongst the five Global Defence Majors selected by the MoD Committee for the P-75(I) Submarines Project is Navantia of Spain. The two Indian Shipyards for the mega 'Make-in-India' Project are L&T Group and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL). Navantia has recently organised more than 100 side meetings and submitted 380 RFIs specific to the P-75(I) Submarine cost items, and targets achieving 500 PTS and nearly 1,500 RFIs within the next 3-4 months.

Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines
Navantia is participating in P-75(I) using the basis of the S80 Plus Submarine - the only 3,000 ton
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The Year of Heron TP

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP is a Multi-Role, Most Advanced, Long-Range Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Strategic Missions, equipped with Automatic Taxi Take-Off and Landing Systems (ATOL), Satellite Communication for Extended Range, fully redundant Avionics and much more. The IAI Heron TP UAS was designed as a Multi-Mission Platform to address customers' needs and to perform a variety of Strategic Missions, including Intelligence Gathering, Surveillance,

The Year of Heron TP
Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), using various Payloads, with a high level of reliabi
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FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia

Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Military. Rolls-Royce Engines power a wide variety of aircraft in the inventory of the IAF - from Combat and Strike Aircraft (the Jaguar, powered by the Adour Mk811) to Trainers (Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, powered by Adour Mk871) to Strategic Airlift Aircraft (C-130J Super Hercules, powered by AE 2100), and even VVIP and Surveillance Aircraft (ERJ145, powered by AE 3007).

FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Mil
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MBDA Offers Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities for the Indian Air Force

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INDIAN AIR FORCE 89th ANNIVERSARY

INDIAN AIR FORCE SPECIAL REPORT


The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021 with the IAF Day Parade. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, addressed the IAF Day’s Annual Press Conference, covering some of IAF’s Acquisitions & Projects, emphasised on technologies for Future Warfare, and spoke on IAF’s deployments for the Eastern Ladakh Stand-Off. The Air Chief spoke about DEWs, Drones/Unmanned Systems, etc. In this Special Report on the IAF, we cover IAF’s Transformation Drive with new inductions and future Modernisation Plans with Updates on Rafale Fighters (featured separately), Fighter Squadrons, MRFA Fighters Competition, More MiG-29s & Su-30MKIs, AMCA & LCA Tejas, Spares for Mirage 2000s, AEW&C/AWACS & Flight Refuellers, Tactical Transporters, Helicopters - Apache, Chinook, LCH, LUH; Weapons - S-400, PGMs, Missiles and future procurements of Aero Engines, Air Defence Systems & Combat RPAS/UAS/CUAV, etc.


INDIAN AIR FORCE 89th ANNIVERSARY

The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021 with the IAF Day Parade. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, addressed the IAF Day’s Annual Press Conference, covering some of IAF’s Acquisitions & Projects, emphasised on technologies for Future Warfare, and spoke on IAF’s deployments for the Eastern Ladakh Stand-Off.


The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021 with the IAF Day Parade. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, addressed the IAF Day’s Annual Press Conference, covering some of IAF’s Acquisitions & Projects, emphasised on technologies for Future Warfare, and spoke on IAF’s deployments for the Eastern Ladakh Stand-Off. The Air Chief spoke about DEWs, Drones/Unmanned Systems, etc. In this Special Report on the IAF, we cover IAF’s Transformation Drive with new inductions and future Modernisation Plans with Updates on Rafale Fighters (featured separately), Fighter Squadrons, MRFA Fighters Competition, More MiG-29s & Su-30MKIs, AMCA & LCA Tejas, Spares for Mirage 2000s, AEW&C/AWACS & Flight Refuellers, Tactical Transporters, Helicopters - Apache, Chinook, LCH, LUH; Weapons - S-400, PGMs, Missiles and future procurements of Aero Engines, Air Defence Systems & Combat RPAS/UAS/CUAV, etc.

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari is the 27th Chief of the Air Staff
Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari took over as the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) at a ceremony at Air Headquarters on 30th September 2021. An alumnus of NDA, the CAS was commissioned in December 1982 in the fighter stream of the IAF. He has flown more than 3,800 hours on multiple Fighter and Trainer Aircraft. During his career spanning almost four decades, the CAS has tenanted many significant Command and Staff appointments. He has commanded a MiG-29 Squadron, two Air Force Stations and Western Air Command. His staff appointments included Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Eastern Air Command, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff Operations (Air Defence), Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Personnel Officers), Deputy Commandant of Air Force Academy and Air Assistant to Chief of the Air Staff. Prior to assuming the present appointment, he was the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.


In his address to the IAF, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari said that he was honoured and privileged to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Indian Air Force. Extending greetings to all Air Warriors, Non Combatants (Enrolled), DSC personnel, civilians and their families, CAS expressed absolute faith and confidence in their ability to accomplish all assigned tasks with resolute dedication, while maintaining IAF's Operational Capability at an all-time high. Outlining the focus areas for Commanders and personnel, the CAS said, “Protection of our Nation's Sovereignty and Integrity is to be ensured at any cost".  He added that enhancement of Operational Capability through integration of newly inducted Platforms, Weapons and Equipment with existing assets and dovetailing the same in concepts of operations would remain a priority area. He spoke on aspects of acquisition of new technology, promotion of Indigenisation and Innovation, strengthening of Cyber Security, rapid adaptation of training methods to meet future demands and sustained work to nurture human resources. CAS urged all to "always uphold the ethos and credo of the 'Air Warrior', and strive to be an asset to the IAF in any role tasked for".


IAF Committed to Theaterisation: Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari
Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said, the Indian Air Force is committed to the Theaterisation Programme and the initiative needs to be taken forward considering various key aspects involving the three Forces. Addressing a Press Conference ahead of Air Force Day on October 8th, he said the IAF is keen on integration amongst the Armed Forces. The Air Chief said, the Joint Planning and Execution of Operations by the three Services will result in a maximum increase in Net Combat Capability.


Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said, the IAF is fully prepared to deal with any security challenge in Eastern Ladakh. He said the new infrastructure created by the Chinese side in the region will not affect India's combat readiness. The Chief of the Air Staff said India is fully ready to deal with a two-front war scenario and that the focus has been to enhance the IAF's overall Combat Capabilities.


On the ambitious Theaterisation Programme, the Air Chief said the IAF is fully committed to it, but added that discussions are required before new Structures are put in place. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said that the Russian-made S-400 Surface-to-Air Missile Defence System will be inducted within this year. The Air Chief said, the induction of Rafale, Apaches have significantly added to IAF's combat potential. He said IAF is on the verge of getting six Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.


Indian Air Force Focused On Future Warfare, Not Affected By PLAF Bases At LAC: Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari
The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari addressed his first Press Conference as a prelude to the IAF's 89th Air Force Day Celebrations. The Air Chief highlighted the paradigm change in Future Warfare including the non-kinetic, non-lethal challenges. He said IAF has its own strategy in place to have Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), Unmanned Wingmen, among other Futuristic Technologies. Indian Air Force is enhancing the Offensive Strike Capability that has become even more potent with the induction of Cutting-edge Weapons.


The Chief of the Air Staff also said that with the upcoming induction of LCA Tejas Mk.1A and S-400, the Air Force will be even stronger. According to the Air Chief, the Air Force have hardened its Networks to avoid Cyber attacks for which adequate safeguards are being taken to protect the critical infrastructure of the country.


Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari also said that the Indian Air Force is fully committed to the Theatre Concept where strengths of each Service need to be taken into account and doctrines of each have to be kept in mind. The Air Chief informed that discussions are on the theorisation and hopeful Structure that will emerge to cater for Joint Ops at all levels.


Indian Air Force has also been working on Anti-Drone Systems and effort has been to promote Indigenous Systems, the IAF Chief said, adding that they are trying to work with Start-Ups and MSMEs as much as possible. On China's capability to launch multiple high altitude missions, the Air Chief said it would remain weak. Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari also said that PLAF is still present along the LAC, but this is not going to affect the IAF’s Air Operations. The IAF is soon procuring 6 LUH Helicopters from HAL to replace the Chetak and Cheetah Fleet and there are concerns over the dissemination of western technology that happens between Pakistan and China, said Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari.


On the AMCA Programme, the IAF is committed to the programme and it will start inducting AMCA by the early years of the next decade. The IAF Chief said that to combat decay in Squadron strength the Air Force is awaiting to move the process further for the acquisition of 114 Medium Combat Aircraft. On being asked about a large number of MiG-21 accidents, IAF Chief said, “the fact that we have had a large number of accidents on the MiG-21 Fleet is not deniable. But data also shows that there has been a reduction in the number of accidents in this fleet. Let me assure you that every aircraft that flies goes through all checks rigorously.”


Chinese Air Force Present Near LAC, We Are Fully Prepared & Deployed: IAF Chief
Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari elaborated on the challenges at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, saying that India was fully deployed and prepared to handle contingencies.


Speaking at the 89th Anniversary of IAF, Air Chief Marshal V. R. Chaudhari said, "The situation on the Line of Actual Control is that the Chinese Air Force is still present on three Air Bases on their side of the LAC. We are fully deployed and prepared on our side," He added, "The induction of Rafale, Apaches have significantly added to our combat potential. Our Offensive Strike Capability has become even more potent with the integration of new weapons on our fleets."


Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari also weighed in on the possibility of a two-front war with China and Pakistan, assuring that there was nothing to fear from the partnership between the two Nations. "There is nothing to fear from this partnership. But the only worry is western technology passing from Pakistan to China," he said.
"With regard to Airfields in Pakistan and PoK, we don’t need to be much alarmed as they are small strips capable of taking on a few helicopters. The one towards the Afghan Border is probably for rescuing their own people from Afghanistan. Taliban putting together an Air Force and being a threat to us is a little far fetched right now," he added.


The IAF Chief revealed that the drawdown of the MiG-21s will happen in the next three to four years. The Nation was now on the verge of inducting six Light Utility Helicopters from HAL, he stated. Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari told the media that the IAF was ready to meet "any and every" challenge while advocating the need to be "AtmaNirbhar (Self-Reliant)". "The IAF is ready for any eventuality and has the potential. Our focus will be on being AtmaNirbhar and quick induction of new logistics," ACM Vivek Ram Chaudhari said. Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said his priority would be to ensure that the safety of the Nation was assured through appropriate and correct use of Air Power. "Second priority is to be able to train, motivate and equip all our personnel to take on challenges of Future Warfare," he said.


89th Air Force Day Parade & Air Display
The Indian Air Force proudly celebrated its 89th Anniversary on 8th October 2021. A scintillating Air Display by various aircraft was the hallmark of the Air Force Day Parade-cum-Investiture Ceremony at Air Force Station Hindan (Ghaziabad). The Air Display  commenced with flag bearing sky divers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies. The flypast included heritage aircraft, modern Transport Aircraft and Frontline Fighter Aircraft. The ceremony concluded with spellbinding Aerobatic Display.


A total of 66 aircraft participated in the 89th IAF Day at Hindon Air Force Station on October 8th. These included Fighters - Rafale, MiG-21Bison, Sukhoi-30MKI, MiG-29, Jaguar, LCA Tejas, Transport Aircraft C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster-III, and Chinook Heavy-Lift & Apache Attack Helicopters took part in the Annual IAF Day Parade at the Hindon Air Base.


Modernisation of Indian Air Force
Raksha Rajya Mantri  (Minister of State for Defence) Ajay Bhatt in a written reply in Parliament’s Rajya Sabha stated, “Modernisation of Air Force is being undertaken following a multi-pronged approach involving Indigenisation, Upgradation and Integration. There has been induction of new Weapon Systems/Platforms, Advanced Aircraft, Air Defence Systems and modern technology. Many Weapon Systems and Platforms have already been inducted and operationalised. This carefully planned approach has transformed IAF into a modern Network Centric Force capable of sustained Multi-Role Operations along entire spectrum of conflict.”


IAF's Fighters Fleet - Rafales, Sukhois, MiG-29s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars & More
The Dassault Aviation Multi-Role Combat Aircraft is a 4.5 Generation, Twin-Engine Fighter designed to execute a wide range of missions including Anti-Ships Attacks, In-depth Strikes, Air Supremacy, Aerial Reconnaissance, Ground Support, Interdiction and Nuclear Deterrence. Dassault Rafale literally means “gust of wind”. Dassault Aviation’s Rafale Fighter as an “Omni-Role” Combat Aircraft.


One of the most versatile and deadliest aircraft in the IAF, the Mirage 2000 Vajra was inducted in 1985. It was designed as a lightweight fighter and evolved into a Multi-Role Aircraft with many variants developed. A Multi-Role, Single-Engined, Fourth-Generation Jet Fighter, it can attain a maximum speed of 2,495 km/hr by a single engine. The Mirage 2000 played a crucial part in the 1999 Kargil war and the 2019 Balakot Air Strike.


The LCA Tejas is a Single-Engine Multi-Role Light Fighter developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The Tejas is a Supersonic Fighter and came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme. In 2003, the official name of LCA became Tejas.


MiG-21 Bison Fighter and Interceptor Aircraft continues to serve many countries, six decades after its maiden flight. MiG-21 forms the backbone of the IAF and played a decisive role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The Supersonic Jet Fighter is designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau and has a maximum speed of 2,230 km/hr.


The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a Multi-Role and Air Superiority Fighter produced at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is a Twin-Engine, Heavy, All-Weather, Long-Range Frontline Fighter that can also carry BrahMos Air-Launched Supersonic Cruise Missiles. The aircraft is tailor-made for Indian Specifications and the IAF acquired the first domestically rebuilt Su-30MKI in 2018.


Jaguar Shamsher Deep Strike Attack Aircraft was originally conceived as a jet trainer with a Light Ground Attack Capability. It later evolved to carry out Supersonic performance, Reconnaissance and Tactical Nuclear Strike roles. The IAF uses the Upgraded Jaguar, which is built locally by HAL under a license agreement. IAF recently added Avionics Support to Upgrade its entire Fleet of Jaguars.


MiG-29 Baaz is a Twin-Engine Jet Fighter Aircraft which was initially oriented for combat against any enemy aircraft. Later, many aircraft were furnished to perform a number of different operations. Since 2012, IAF uses the Indian UPG Version which is the most Advanced MiG-29 Variant ever.


IAF’s Transformation Challenges
The IAF Chief has his task cutout in order to transform the IAF into a modern Fighting Force, capable of not just defending its Borders but also for external Force Projection & Air Superiority. With the Integrated Theatre Commands coming up in the near future, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari, has to implement the IAF’s crucial role in the Defence Services biggest Defence Reform - Military Theaterisation, with the IAF leading the new Integrated Air Defence Command, and participating Jointly in the Unified Commands with Unified Procurements, Joint Planning and Operations.


The biggest challenge for the new IAF Chief would be to tackle the depleting Fighter Aircraft Squadron strength. Presently, the IAF is down to a Squadron strength of 30 as against the sanctioned strength of 42. Getting more fighters will be the main focus of Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari. Having been the Deputy Chief in-charge of Procurement and the Vice Chief, he is well aware of the IAF’s strengths and weaknesses right now. In actual terms, 30 Squadrons do not mean 30 fully operational Squadrons because the availability ratio of some of the aircraft types is well known, thus the actual availability of aircraft is much lesser because most are in for Servicing/Maintenance & Repairs/Overhaul or down/grounded due to unavailability of Spare parts.


The IAF Chief will have to push the Government to decide on either setting off another round of competition with an open tender for 114 Fighters or getting more Rafales. Either way, any delay will affect the capability of the Air Force in both short-and long term. There have also been reports stating that the IAF has been asked to rationalise its Squadron strength due to the enhanced capability of Rafale Aircraft and the upcoming induction of S-400 Air & Missile Defence System. But there is yet no clarity on how just 5 S-400 Systems can replace the need for Fighter Aircraft. Neither does induction of only two Squadrons of Rafales mean that the IAF can knock down their planned requirement of 42 Squadrons, which also included 126 Medium Multi-Role Aircraft for which the French Fighters were selected in 2012.


According to IAF’s earlier projections, even if all existing orders for 36 Rafales, six Squadrons of Tejas (including Tejas Mark 1A) and two more Squadrons of Su-30MKIs & some more MiG-29s are taken into account, the Squadron strength will still be reportedly reducing to about 27 by 2032, and to a mere 19 by 2042. This is because existing Squadrons of MiG-21 Bisons and Jaguars, and even Mirage 2000s and MiG-29s will be phased-out over the next two decades or so.

But  taking into account the induction of LCA Tejas Mk. 2, which is still in Design Phase, 114 new MRFAs (with the final decision on this project awaited), and the Indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, also still in Design Development Phase, with only one Prototype for some wind testing. Even in a best case scenario, the IAF will not reach its sanctioned strength of 42 Squadrons by 2042. And assuming that all the three Futuristic Combat Aircraft are inducted as planned (which is again very unlikely), the Squadron strength will still only be around 37 by 2042. The last time the IAF had 42 Squadrons was way back in 2002.


One of the most ambitious ventures by India's Defence Establishment ever undertaken is involving Design and Prototype Development of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). The AMCA Project involves the Development of a Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and is expected to be undertaken jointly by various agencies of India's Defence Public & Private Sector Industries. The lead agencies of this project would be the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA-DRDO) as the Design Agency & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the Manufacturing Company.


It is further important that the induction of Advanced Drones/LMs/RPAS, Air Refuellers, Space Technologies, AEW&Cs Fleet, NCW Integrated AD National Command are created soon. Contrary to popular perception, India has been an early starter when it came to UAVs/Drones. Way back in the 1980s, the IAF started using the Chukar Drones manufactured by the US. It then went in for the IAI Searcher UAVs from Israel, and followed it with more capable IAI Heron UAS. India has been using Loitering Munitions (LMs) for nearly two decades now. The need of the hour is to imbibe more of Loitering Munitions and various kinds of UAS – Armed, Long-Range Surveillance and even Swarm Drones, besides RPAS, with some orders already placed. Further, the new IAF Chief will have to scale-up India’s capability in Mid-Air Refuelling and its Space Capabilities that fall under IAF’s ambit. Thus, the CAS has his task to continue the transformation of the Air Force into a modern 21st Century Air & Space Force.


IAF’s 114 MRFA Fighters Project
In the over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore deal for manufacturing 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA), the Indian Air Force (IAF) is reportedly planning to compress the time taken for carrying out trials of all the participants to less than a year to ensure that the Force gets its new Combat Aircraft at a faster rate. Last time, when the IAF carried out trials of Multiple Fighter Aircraft for the scrapped deal of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), the Service had taken 18 months to complete the process in the contract, which lingered on for some years before being cancelled, with the current Government deciding to directly procure 36 Rafales from France.


This time, the IAF is reportedly planning to hold trials of all the competitors who are participating in the tender in less than a year so that time is saved. The fact that most of the Systems and Avionics of the participating companies have been tested will also help in shortening the time taken for evaluation trials. All the major Fighter Aircraft Manufacturers including Sukhoi & MiG from Russia, Lockheed Martin and Boeing from the USA, Eurofighter Consortium from Europe, Saab from Sweden, and Rafale International led by Dassault Aviation from France have responded to the Expression of Interest (EoI) for the 114 MRFAs deal expected to be the biggest ever in terms of quantity of aircraft and the amount of money to be spent on it. The Indian Air Force is expected to seek approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) soon under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ Model as part of which the Indian Strategic Partner will have to tie-up with the Foreign Partner to build the Fighters in a ‘Make-in-India’ Project.


IAF Signs Deal with French Air Force to Purchase Phased-Out Mirage 2000 Aircraft
In a step that will help in sustaining IAF’s Fleet of Mirage 2000 Fighter Aircraft, the Indian Air Force has reportedly signed a contract to buy phased-out Mirage 2000s of the French Air Force. This is the second such agreement that the Indian Air Force has signed for buying okayed airframes that will help one of the most potent aircraft fleets to continue for longer in service. A Squadron of the French Mirage Jets had been phased out some time ago. On August 31st, a contract was reportedly signed for about Rs. 300 crore for acquiring these phased-out planes to improve the Spares and Airframe Capability to help improve the Serviceability of the about 50 Mirage 2000 Fighters in the IAF Fleet. None of these aircraft would be used for flying. The aircraft would be supplied in containers to the IAF.


Earlier also, India had signed a contract with French companies for supplying old Mirages which reached Gwalior last year and have helped in significantly improving operational availability. The French Air Force has been replacing its old fleet of Mirages with new Rafale Fighter Jets. India had acquired these aircraft from France in the 1980s and they have been one of the most potent fleets of aircraft despite being over three decades old. The aircraft had taken part in the Balakot Air Strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan and destroyed a camp there. The aircraft had fired their Spice-2000 PGMs accurately to take out targets deep inside Pakistan territory.


This is the second such deal the country has signed in the last one year to ensure Spares for the fleet. The IAF had last year also signed an agreement with the French Air Force for supplying 16 phased-out Mirages, whose delivery was completed this year. Nearly half the Mirage Fleet in India has gone through an extensive Upgrade, increasing the aircraft’s life-cycle. But the Upgrade process is slow. Upgrades mean that India’s Mirage 2000s will fly for at least another decade. And hence, a need was felt to ensure that there are enough Spares in supply for the aircraft.


BDL & MBDA Sign Agreement to Establish Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile Facility in India
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA are establishing a Facility for the Final Assembly, Integration and Test (FAIT) of Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) in India. BDL and MBDA signed a licencing agreement to establish the manufacturing facility in India. The agreement was signed by N.P. Diwakar, Director (Technical), from BDL and George Kyriakides, International Industrial Cooperation Director from MBDA in the presence of Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), CMD, BDL. Under the licensing agreement, MBDA will transfer the equipment and knowledge to BDL for establishing the facility. Work on establishing this capability in India is due to start immediately and is expected to commence operations by the year 2022-23.


Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), CMD, BDL stated that signing of the licencing agreement reinforces the Company’s commitment to contribute towards ‘Make-in-India’ and the ‘AtmaNirbhar’ initiatives of Government of India in the Defence Sector. ASRAAM is one of the Within Visual Range missiles available and BDL will be manufacturing these at its Bhanur Unit for the domestic and export in future through MBDA. The new facility will provide India with the ability to carry out final assembly, integration and test of ASRAAM missiles. BDL has been endeavouring to enter into tie-up with foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in pursuit of its expansion programme.  The agreement signed with MBDA is one such effort, which will go a long way in further strengthening the collaboration, which BDL has with MBDA for its various missile programmes.


George Kyriakides, International Industrial Cooperation Director of MBDA said: “We are very pleased to be establishing this new ASRAAM facility in India with BDL. MBDA has a long and highly successful history of working with BDL for over four decades, a partnership that has seen BDL manufacture large number of MBDA-designed Milan Missiles in India.”


The agreement to establish the facility follows on from an earlier Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BDL and MBDA on ASRAAM FAIT signed during 2019. This new BDL ASRAAM facility will have the potential to also conduct Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of ASRAAM Missiles. The facility can also be adapted to conduct final assembly, integration and test of the CAMM missile of MBDA. CAMM is the missile used by the Sea Ceptor Naval Air Defence System that has been offered as Short-Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) requirement.


ASRAAM, a Within Visual Range Air Dominance Weapon, is New-Generation Close Combat Missile. Its low drag, aerodynamic   airframe, unrivalled   speed   and manoeuvrability throughout its flight, increased  agility  make  the  best  missile  in  its category of  weapons. The missile has full ‘Lock-On-Before-Launch’ and ‘Lock-On-After Launch’ Operating Modes.


India Set to Receive First Shipment of Russian S-400 Surface-To-Air Missile Defence System By 2021 End
In a big boost for the capabilities and abilities of the Indian Armed Forces to secure the National Security interests on adversarial borders against Pakistan and China, Russia will soon begin the delivery of the Surface-to-Air Missile Defence System S-400 to India. Sharing the development, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, the Deputy Chief Executive of Russian Air and Defence major Almaz-Antey said, "I can confirm that we will deliver [the S-400 System to India] by the end of 2021 in accordance with the schedule and contractual obligations of the Russian side." Dzirkaln also shared that at present, the training of the Indian Military personnel in operating the S-400 System is underway. Dzirkaln said this while interacting with the reporters at the International Military-Technical Forum "ARMY-2021".


"As for the training, the first group of Indian Specialists have completed the training. The second group is undergoing training. I would not talk about the number of people but it is a sufficient number for the Indian Armed Forces to effectively operate our equipment," Dzirkaln shared. "I would like to say that the results shown by the first group of Indian Specialists after the training were very high," he said.  In October 2018, India had signed a US$ 5.43 Billion deal with Russia for five S-400 Regiments.


Russia Hands Over Commercial Offer of 21 MiG-29 Fighters to India
Russia has handed over to India a Commercial Offer to deliver 21 MiG-29 Fighters, a spokesperson for Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said recently. "The Indian Air Force staff received a tender request for the supply of 21 Aircraft in 2021. The Russian side has transferred to Indian Partners the Commercial Offer that is now being considered by the customer," spokesperson Valeria Reshetnikova told reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS-2021 International Aerospace Show. Last year, India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the acquisition of 21 Russian MiG-29 Fighters. The Russian Federal Service said in February that the Indian Government also decided in favour of purchasing the aircraft.


Back in June last year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had reportedly pushed a proposal to the Government for acquiring new Fighter Aircraft, including 21 MiG-29s from Russia. The 21 MiG-29s that the IAF is planning to acquire are from Russia to meet its requirement of new fighters. The IAF had carried out a study on the Airframe of the MiG-29s. The Indian Air Force has three Squadrons of the MiG-29s, a Twin-Engine Single-Seat Air Superiority Fighter Aircraft, which have been undergoing Upgrades for extended life and are still considered reliable in the Air Defence Roles.


LCA Programme Moves Ahead with HAL Signing Contract of Rs. 5,375 Crores with GE Aviation, USA for Supply of GE F404 Engines
HAL has recently placed an order of for US$ 716 Million (Rs. 5,375 crores) for 99 F404-GE-IN20 Engines and Support Services with GE Aviation, USA to power the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.  The contract was signed here at HAL Corporate Office.


“This is largest ever deal and the purchase order placed by HAL for LCA”, said R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL. The Company is working closely with GE for its support to pursue the export potential of LCA and also to supply Spares to the Global Supply Chain of GE 404 Engines, he added.  Chris Cyr, Vice President, Business Development & Sales, GE Aviation who interacted virtually said his company is proud of 16-year-long partnership with HAL and is happy to extend the relationship with this new order. “The F404 Family of Engines has proven itself in operations all over the world and we have committed to deliver all 99 Engines and Support Services by 2029”, he added.


The indigenously-built Tejas aircraft is one of the best in its class globally, powered by F404-GE-IN20 Engines and has been in Service since 2004. Ordering of the Engines, marks a major milestone in the execution of 83 LCA Mk.1A contract with IAF. The co-operation will be further enhanced with the manufacturing of GE F414 Engines in India for the upcoming LCA Mk.II programme.


The highest thrust variant of the F404 Family, the F404-GE-IN20 incorporates GE’s latest hot section materials and technologies as well as FADEC for reliable power and outstanding operational characteristics. The F404 Family Engines have logged in more than 14 million engine flight hours, and has powered 15 different production and prototype aircraft. The engines are to be delivered by 2029.


LCA Mk.1A to Take First Flight by March 2022: R. Madhavan, HAL Chairman
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has reportedly set a March 2022 deadline to carry out the first flight of the Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Mk.1A Jet after wrapping up the necessary design activities, HAL Chairman R. Madhavan told the media earlier. The Defence Ministry has awarded a Rs. 48,000 crore contract to HAL for 83 LCA Tejas Mk.1A Fighter Jets for the Indian Air Force. The first Mk.1A aircraft will be delivered to the Indian Air Force by March 2024, with the rest slated to join its Combat Fleet by 2029.


“The Preliminary Design Review is over and so is the Critical Design Review for several systems, including Mission Computer, Digital Map Generator and Digital Flight Control Systems. We are integrating the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar and the Electronic Warfare Suite on the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) Version of the LCA. After it is proven there, we will integrate it on the Final Mk.1A Version,” the HAL Chairman had said. The AESA Radar provides superior detection, tracking and targeting capabilities.


The contract for the 83 Mk-1A Jets took the total number of LCA Variants ordered to 123. The 40 LCAs already ordered by IAF are in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and the more advanced FOC Configurations. The LCA Mk.1A will come with a raft of additional improvements over the FOC Aircraft, making it the most advanced LCA Variant so far.
R. Madhavan said HAL was working with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the Principal Partner in the Fighter Jet Project, on software development for the Mk.1A Jet and the effort was progressing smoothly. “This is for all the software that has to be changed in the Mk.1A aircraft because of new systems coming in. We plan to carry of out the first flight of the aircraft by March 2022 and get the Certification from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) by mid-2023 before kicking off production,” he said. The delivery schedule requires HAL to provide the IAF with the first two aircraft in 2024, eight in 2025 and the remaining in batches by 2029, at the rate of 14 to 16 Fighters every year. “We are working on a tight schedule, but HAL may deliver all the aircraft ahead of time. We will deliver a new aircraft with significant changes three years after the signing of contract. Even Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) take about five to six years to do something like that,” the HAL Chairman said.


The LCA Tejas Mk-1A Variant will come with Digital Radar Warning Receivers, External Self-Protection Jammer Pods, AESA Radar, Advanced Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missiles and significantly improved Maintainability. The Fighter’s Indigenous Content is expected to be around 60%, compared to 50% in the existing variants.


Govt Okays 6 More ‘Eyes in the Sky’ for IAF, DRDO Project to Cost Rs. 11,000 Crore
The Prime Minister Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) recently cleared a nearly Rs. 11,000 crore project of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop six new Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft for the Indian Air Force. This is in addition to the nearly US$ 3 Billion deal for procuring 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for the IAF, which has been signed with Airbus & Tata, to replace the ageing fleet of Avro 748 transport aircraft that first flew in 1961.


The Committee has reportedly cleared the “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) for the DRDO AEW&C Project. This means that the DRDO will now be able to issue a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) for further work on the aircraft. According to the plan, the six will be taken from the Air-India Fleet, which means they will be A319s and A321 Variants. The original plan, which had also got an AON clearance, was to procure two larger A330 jets, which were then to be modified and fitted with the AEW&C Systems. However, now the six Airbus Aircraft will be modified and the indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar will be mounted on them.


The DRDO will now issue RFP seeking bids for modification for the six passenger aircraft. Since Airbus is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), the firm is the frontrunner to bag the contract. The majority share of the Rs. 11,000 crore allocated will go in for modification and setting-up of the systems. The actual cost of the aircraft is less and would come to about Rs. 1,100 crore for the six since this is a book transfer within the Government itself.


Known as the “Eyes in the Sky”, the AEW&C can detect and track all flying objects in the sky, including incoming Fighters, Cruise Missiles and Drones, faster than ground-based radars. They can also act as an Aerial Control Centre for missions, while also keeping track of Ships out at sea.


The six AEW&Cs will add to the existing fleet of the IAF, which includes three Israeli Phalcon AWACS on Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft, and two indigenous ‘Netra’ AEW&C on the Embraer ERJ 145 Aircraft. The criticality of the AEW&C was felt during the aerial duel between India and Pakistan on 27th February 2019. The current stand-off between India and China has also meant that the existing AEW&C assets are being put to use almost round-the-clock and the need for more has been recognised now.


Air Force to Expand its Footprint in Space Exploration in Partnership with ISRO
Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, earlier as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force had said that Space might not be the last frontier, but it has become a playground for the world’s best Scientists, Engineers, and entrepreneurs to continue evolving and breaking new grounds. Addressing the e-Symposium on 'Space Technologies for National Defence', organised by FICCI, in association with Society for Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS), Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari had then said that in the absence of an independent Military Space programme, the Military has been dependent on the Civilian Space programme of ISRO in the past. “The Air Force is aiming to expand its footprint in Space exploration in Partnership with ISRO. The Kargil war served as a trigger for having additional Satellites towards enhancing our operations. In recent times, increased focus on Military Space Applications has been one of the accelerating key factors,” he added.


Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari had then noted that there is a need to push the envelope towards indigenous launch-on-demand capabilities. “The ability to use aircraft as launch platforms may well be the future. Space Tech Capabilities have become crucial component for our Military Operations. Our strategy is to fully Integrate Air and Space Capabilities to have a common operating picture in the Aerospace medium. We also need to acknowledge that there is a lot of scope for capability development in the realm of Military Satellite Applications,” he emphasised. He added that presently we do not have indigenous capability to observe, track and identify non-cooperative objects in outer Space.

“This not only restricts our defensive outer Space capabilities, but also limits our Anti-Satellite Capabilities in the future. Therefore, Space Situational Awareness is the need of the hour. We should be able to know the hostile manoeuvres by advisories’ Space objects. The existing capabilities of ISRO and DRDO could be made to be Integrated into the Air Surveillance feature,” he had noted. ACM Chaudhari further had reiterated that Space as an extended battle space is a new reality, and that we need to adapt to this new environment rapidly.


Col. H.S. Shankar (Retd), Chair, FICCI Space Committee, CMD,  ADTL said that the industry experience in Space Technology is diversified and distributed. “In the next four years, the Private Sector has been assigned the task of making five PSLV Launches. It is a giant leap of activities, and the industry is looking forward to it,” he said. Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri, Co-Chair FICCI Space Committee, CMD Ananth Technologies Ltd and President, Satcom Industry Association and Distinguished Member, SAMDeS, spoke about the need for a Coordinated Civil-Military Cooperation in developing Space Technologies and the need for a captive Weather Satellite for Military Applications.


Venkat Katkuri, Head of Airbus Defence & Space for India and South Asia, India said that the Govt. of India should play the role of an anchor investor for all Space orders. He said that India has the potential to realise the US$ 1 Trillion export target. Ashish Saraf, Vice President and Country Director for India, Thales, stated that there is opportunity for Indian Industry for Joint Development and manufacture of Geospatial Intelligence Satellites.


Lockheed Martin Bags US$ 328 Million IAF Contract to Support C-130J Fleet
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a US$ 328.8 Million five-year contract from the Indian Air Force (IAF), to provide dedicated and comprehensive support for the IAF's Fleet of 12 C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft. Lockheed Martin is the OEM of the C-130Js, which is the Tactical Airlifter of choice for 26 Operators in 22 Nations. Through this Follow On Support II (FOS) contract, Lockheed Martin Teams manage the programme, logistics and engineering support elements necessary to sustain the IAF's C-130J Fleet. The contract spans a five-year period, is a Direct Commercial Sale, and is a continuation of a prior five-year FOS I contract, where Lockheed Martin provided similar support for the IAF's C-130J Fleet.


"As the C-130 OEM, Lockheed Martin brings forth an outstanding team of experts who offer deep knowledge and unmatched insights of the C-130 to our operators," said Rod McLean, Vice President and General Manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions, Lockheed Martin. "It is an honour to continue to Partner with the Indian Air Force to support one of the most active C-130J Fleets in the world. Through an integrated team and dedicated support, Lockheed Martin ensures the IAF's C-130J Fleet is available and ready for every mission."


The Government of India announced its purchase of six C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters via a Foreign Military Sale with the U.S. Air Force in 2008. All aircraft were delivered on or ahead of schedule between 2010 and 2011. India received additional C-130Js in 2017 and in 2019. The IAF's C-130J Super Hercules have a highly integrated and sophisticated configuration primarily designed to support India's Special Operations requirement. The aircraft also are equipped with Air-to-Air Receiver Refueling Capability for extended range operations. India's C-130Js are also used to support a variety of critical missions, including humanitarian aid, airlift, natural disaster support, and Search & Rescue Operations. Recently, the IAF has been extensively using its fleet of 12 Super Hercules for humanitarian efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for transportation of relief materials, equipment and personnel in the areas affected by cyclones Yaas and Tauktae.


India's connection to the C-130J goes beyond its fleet of Super Hercules with the Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) Joint Venture that is the single, global source of C-130J Empennage Assemblies included on all new Super Hercules Aircraft. Located in Hyderabad, TLMAL exemplifies the Government of India's ‘Make-in-India’ objectives and has delivered more than 150 Empennages over its first 10 years of operations.


On Air Force Day Rolls-Royce Reinforces Its Commitment to the Forces
A proud partner of the Indian Air Force (IAF) since 1933 when the Rolls-Royce Bristol Jupiter Engine powered the first flight of the IAF, Rolls-Royce congratulated India’s brave Air Soldiers on occasion of the 89th Indian Air Force Day. Over 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 Engine-types are powering different aircraft of the Indian Military including Combat and Strike Aircrafts, Trainers, Strategic Airlift, VVIP and Surveillance Aircrafts. Over the years, Rolls-Royce has established a strong ecosystem in India to support these engines. A dedicated Defence Service Centre in Bangalore supports all Rolls-Royce Engines in operation with the Armed Forces, with a dedicated team ensuring optimum availability of engines and time on wing, while reducing Maintenance and Overhaul times.


Kishore Jayaraman, President – India and South Asia, Rolls-Royce said, “It has been both our privilege and honour to serve the Indian Air Force for the last eight decades, and we salute the brave officers of the IAF on the occasion of Air Force Day. As India envisions the fleet of the future, our commitment to support the country’s Defence Indigenisation and Self-Reliance goals remains as strong as ever.” Through its growing Partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Rolls-Royce has further reinforced its commitment to serve the IAF and enable the mission capability of the fleet. Rolls-Royce Engines have been ‘made in India’ and supported by HAL for over 60 years. The partnership has evolved to include an Authorized Maintenance Centre at HAL for Adour Mk871 Engine and a Supply Chain Agreement that enables Adour Engine parts to be made in India to support IAF and Rolls-Royce's global customers.


Abhishek Singh, Senior Vice President – Defence, India and South East Asia, Rolls-Royce said, “We are honoured to have been supporting the Indian Armed Forces to fulfil critical Training, Transport and Combat roles. We will continue to support the mission readiness of our engines powering the IAF Fleet and enable the ‘power to protect’ through our technologically advanced product and service offerings.” Prominent Rolls-Royce Engine-types powering various Military Aircrafts in India include Combat & Strike Aircraft Jaguar powered by the Adour Mk811, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer powered by Adour Mk871, Strategic Airlift Aircraft C-130J Hercules powered by AE2100, VVIP & Surveillance Aircraft ERJ145 powered by AE3007.


Airbus A330 MRTT Mid-Air Refuellers Could Boost Air Force
The Ministryof Defence is still considering a French proposal to acquire six Airbus A330 Multi-Role Transport Tanker (MRTT) Aircraft on a Government-to-Government basis for expanding the Strike Capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by purchasing/leasing the latest Mid-Air Refuelers. While the IAF reportedly wanted to get an Airbus A330 MRTT on wet lease from a British company, the French proposal reportedly involves selling six 5-7-year-old aircraft to the IAF with a certification of another 30 years of platform life at a much reduced price. The IAF has been eager to acquire the MRTT over the past decade, with the previous Request for Proposal (RFP) expiring without any results. The Airbus A330 MRTT has much larger wings span as a result of which the aircraft can refuel two Fighters Mid-Air at the same time through Drogues (attached to Wing Pods) and/or a central Refuelling Boom System.


The Airbus MRTT can transport 260 personnel in cabin and fuel in the cargo hold due to highly efficient and high-powered engines. The MRTT can be turned into purely a Tanker or Transporter or Air Ambulance or all three at the same time with a total crew of three. Mid-Air Refuellers or Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) are a key to expanding the operational envelop of the IAF and Indian Navy Carrier-Based Fighters by extending their range. Mid-Air Refueller can be used to extend the flight of a Su-30MKIs or Rafales flying from Port Blair all the way up to Sunda, Lombard and Malacca Straits for freedom of Navigation Missions.


The French A330 MRTT proposal is a win-win for the IAF as the international market for Aerial Platforms is down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Aircraft does not guzzle too much fuel and has high-power engines to operate from high-altitude Air Bases in Ladakh like Leh, Thoise and Nyoma, and at the same time transport troops or conduct Medical Evacuation, if required.


The IAF now operates only seven Russian IL-76M Refuellers with Pakistan acquiring four of the same refuellers from Ukraine and China operating three of the same Russian Refuellers, along with 10 vintage Modified Versions of Russian Bombers, the IAF urgently requires the Airbus A330 MRTTs from France.


DRDO Develops Advanced Chaff Technology for Indian Air Force
Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Advanced Chaff Technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) against hostile radar threats. Defence Laboratory Jodhpur, a DRDO Laboratory developed the Advanced Chaff material and Chaff Cartridge-118/I in collaboration with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), a Pune based Laboratory of DRDO, meeting qualitative requirements of IAF. The Indian Air Force has started the process of induction of this technology after completion of successful user trials.


In today’s Electronic Warfare, Survivability of Fighter Aircraft is of prime concern because of advancement in modern radar threats. To ensure Survivability of aircraft, Counter Measure Dispensing System (CMDS) is used which provides Passive Jamming against Infra-Red and Radar threats. Chaff is a critical defence technology used to protect fighter aircraft from hostile radar threats. The importance of this technology lies in the fact that very less quantity of Chaff material deployed in the air acts as decoy to deflect enemy’s missiles for ensuring safety of the fighter aircraft. The technology has been given to the industry for production in large quantities to meet the annual rolling requirement of the Indian Air Force.


Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has lauded DRDO, IAF and the industry for indigenous development of this critical technology, terming it as one more step of DRDO towards ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ in Strategic Defence Technologies. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy congratulated the teams associated with the successful development of this advanced technology that will further strengthen the Indian Air Force.


Indian Air Force to Replace INSAS Rifles With New AK-103 Assault Rifles
The Indian Air Force has signed an agreement to buy 70,000 AK-103 Assault Rifles from Russia as part of an emergency procurement. The newly acquired weapons, which will be used to replace the existing arsenal of INSAS Rifles currently in use, are likely to arrive as early as in the next few months. The new weapons are expected to bring a marked upgrade in India's combat abilities to tackle terrorist attacks in a much better way. The AK-103 Assault Rifle is an upgraded version of the legendary and deadly AK-47 rifles. Only the Marine Commandos of the Indian Navy currently use the AK-103 rifles, such as in operations at the Wular Lake in Kashmir Valley, where the elite unit is deployed. However, with the procurement of the new AK-103 riles, more troops within the Armed Forces will be able to use these rifles now, allowing them to fill the critical gaps in their preparedness in war-fighting. The AK-103 Rifles would also be provided to the Garud Special Forces, who are deployed across the country at several different Air Bases.


The Indian Air Force has a requirement of over 1.5 lakh new Assault Rifles, a part of which will be met by the new AK-103 weapons arriving in a few months. Earlier, a portion of this requirement was when the IAF acquired 4,000 Sig Sauer Assault Rifles, as part of a broader contract procured under the Indian Army.


HAL to Deliver First Batch of World’s Lightest Combat Helicopters to Indian Air Force
As part of the 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) Helicopters approved for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is gearing up to deliver the first batch of three Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) to IAF after the completion of Acceptance Tests. The LCH has been Designed and Developed by HAL and touted as the world’s Lightest Attack Helicopter. LCH weighs 5.5 tonnes. HAL developed it to meet the specific and unique requirements of the Indian Armed Forces to operate at heights of 12,000 feet. HAL has reportedly received the ‘Letter of Intent’ for five Indian Air Force and five Indian Army LCHs for delivery pending contract finalisation of 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH. HAL has produced and signalled three LSP LCH for the IAF. The batch will be subjected to customer acceptance and training shortly.


While four LCHs for Indian Army and two for the Indian Air Force have been produced in the current year, the remaining six LCHs will be produced next year. The IAF has put forward a requirement for 65 LCHs and the Army for 114 helicopters. In September 2020, IAF deployed two Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) manufactured by HAL in Eastern Ladakh. The helicopters conducted Armed Sorties in Leh and Forward Areas of Ladakh.