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** Official Media Partner: IDEF 2017 TURKEY SHOW PREVIEW - 15 APRIL 2017 ISSUE - LIMA REPORT **   ** Official Media Partner: IMDEX 2017 NAVY SHOW PREVIEW - 15 MAY 2017 SPECIAL ISSUE **         INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 48th Year in Defence Publishing:43rd Year of Monthly Publication       

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UDT Europe 2017 Show Preview: Undersea Defence Technologies

Undersea Defence Technology (UDT), taking place from 30th May to 1st June 2017 is the Underwater Defence and Security community's most relevant Exhibition and Conference. Now in its 30th Year, UDT 2017 will be taking place in Bremen, Germany, led by the leading names in Undersea Defence, including DCNS, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, ATLAS Elektronik, Lockheed Martin, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Navantia, Kongsberg, ECA Group, Thales, Saab, BAE Systems, Damen, DSIT, Northrop Grumman Litef, General Atomics, Harris, Indra, HENSOLDT, MTU, L3, Safran, Rheinmetall Defence, Siemens, Sunlight, Teledyne Marine, TNO, Qinetiq, Wartsila, Rotinor, Trelleborg, Lurssen, Abeking, Babcock, etc.

UDT Europe 2017 Show Preview: Undersea Defence Technologies
Undersea Defence Technology (UDT), taking place from 30th May to 1st June 2017 is the Underwater Defence and Security community's most relevant Exhibition and Conference. Now in its 30th Year, UDT 20...
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IDEF 2017 SHOW PREVIEW

IDEF 2017, the 13th International Defence Industry Exhibition of Turkey, is being held in Istanbul’s Tuyap Exhibition Centre from 9th to 12th May 2017, with world-leading Defence & Security companies participating from many countries, led by the advanced Turkish Defence & Aerospace Industry.

IDEF 2017 SHOW PREVIEW
IDEF 2017, the 13th International Defence Industry Exhibition of Turkey, is being held in Istanbul’s Tuyap Exhibition Centre from 9th to 12th May 2017, with world-leading Defence & Security companies...
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IMDEX ASIA 2017 SHOW PREVIEW

The 11th International Maritime & Defence Exhibition & Conference - IMDEX Asia 2017 - Asia Pacific’s flagship Maritime Defence Show is being held at Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore from 16th to 18th May 2017. IMDEX Asia 2017 enjoys a high level of excellence as well as integrated experience that create value for both visitors and exhibitors. Some highlights include the Unmanned Aerial Systems and the International Naval Warships Displays and Strategic Conferences like the International Maritime Security Conference and the INEC@IMDEX Asia. Above 200 exhibitors from 28 countries are expected to participate at IMDEX Asia 2017. Major international exhibitors include: Airbus Group, Atlas Elektronik, Austal, BRAHMOS, Damen, DCNS, DCI, ECA Group, Elbit Systems, Elettronica, General Dynamics Canada, IAI, IMI, IX Blue, L-3, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Navantia, Northrop Grumman, Rafael, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce/MTU, Saab, Safran, ST Engineering, Sikorsky, Terma, Thales, ThyssenKrupp, Wartsila, etc., and an India Pavilion. 30 International Warships will be displayed from 20 Navies, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, USA, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Russia, Singapore, etc.

IMDEX ASIA SHOW PREVIEW
The 11th International Maritime & Defence Exhibition & Conference - IMDEX Asia 2017 - Asia Pacific’s flagship Maritime Defence Show is being held at Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore from 16th to...
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AERO INDIA 2017 AIR SHOW PREVIEW

11th INTERNATIONAL SHOW ON 'MAKE-IN-INDIA' IN AEROSPACE, DEFENCE, CIVIL AVIATION, AIRPORT INFRASTRUCTURE & DEFENCE ENGINEERING

Aero India 2017, the 11th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition, is being organised by the DEO, Ministry of Defence, from 14th to 18th February 2017 at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru. Above 750 major Aerospace, Aviation & Defence companies of the world are showcasing their Aviation, Aerospace & Defence products, including world leaders like Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Boeing, GE Aviation, L-3, UTC, Pratt & Whitney, Textron Inc., Textron Systems, Textron Aviation - Beechcraft & Cessna, Bell Helicopters, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, General Atomics, Flir, Esterline from USA; Dassault Aviation, Safran Group, MBDA, Thales, Nexter, DCI, Sofradir, etc. from France; the European Airbus Group, Airbus Defence & Space, Airbus Helicopters, ATR, etc.; BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Ultra, UTAS & Cobham from UK; Saab from Sweden; IAI, Rafael, Elbit Systems, Controp, Aeronautics, etc. from Israel; BDLI with Diehl Group from Germany; Leonardo & Elettronica from Italy; RUAG Aviation from Switzerland; UAC, MiG, Sukhoi, Rostec, Russian Helicopters, Rosoboronexport from Russia, and DRDO, HAL, BEL, BEML, OFB, BDL, Midhani, BrahMos Aerospace, Tatas, Mahindra Aerospace, MKU, Samtel Avionics & Defence, Alpha Group and ISRO, amongst others from India, will be participating at the Bengaluru Air Show, which supports the ‘Make-in-India’ in Defence Manufacturing campaign as its pivot point.

AERO INDIA 2017 AIR SHOW PREVIEW
Aero India 2017, the 11th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition, is being organised by the DEO, Ministry of Defence, from 14th to 18th February 2017 at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Ben...
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NAVDEX 2017 NAVAL SHOW PREVIEW

NAVDEX 2017, the Naval Defence Exhibition, will be held concurrently with IDEX 2017 from 19th to 23rd February 2017 at Abu Dhabi’s ADNEC Marina and Dockside. Visitors can witness the latest in Naval Defence & Maritime Security technology with exhibits of Warships, Vessels, Naval workboats and Amphibious Crafts, USVs, UAS, Helicopters, peace and war fighting equipment, anti-piracy and Coastal Security Systems and Communication Solutions on display. NAVDEX 2017 features a number of international Naval Warships berthed at the Dock, alongwith many Naval Vessels and smaller Fast Craft and boats, with daily live on-water demonstrations being held. The 4th NAVDEX Edition has attracted above 90 exhibitors, including the major Naval companies like DCNS, ThyssenKrupp, MBDA, Atlas, Raytheon, Thales, L-3, ECA, Leonardo, Fincantieri, IXBlue, BrahMos Aerospace and Shipyards from the UAE.

NAVDEX 2017 NAVAL SHOW PREVIEW
NAVDEX 2017, the Naval Defence Exhibition, will be held concurrently with IDEX 2017 from 19th to 23rd February 2017 at Abu Dhabi’s ADNEC Marina and Dockside. Visitors can witness the latest in Naval ...
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IDEX 2017 DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW

Global Defence majors compete for deals worth billions of dollars at the Middle East’s largest military expo, the Tri-Services International Defence Exhibition and Conference - IDEX 2017, which will be held from 19th to 23rd February 2017 at Abu Dhabi, UAE. The mega event features about 1,200 companies including world leaders like U.S. Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Textron Systems, Bell Helicopters, L-3 Communications, Rockwell Collins, Harris, Datron, Orbital ATK, Oshkosh Defense, KVH, Navistar Defense, Honeywell, AAR, etc.; the French Dassault Aviation, MBDA, Safran, Nexter, Thales, ThalesRaytheon Systems, DCI, DCNS, Renault, CNIM, ECA Group, etc.; Germany’s Rheinmetall, KMW, Diehl Defence, ThyssenKrupp, ATLAS, Rohde & Schwarz, etc.; Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica Group, Fincantieri, ELT, Iveco, Beretta, etc. besides leading Defence companies like Airbus Defence & Space, Airbus Helicopters, BAE Systems, Navantia, Indra, SAAB, Kongsberg, Ultra, FLIR, EID, Rosoboronexport, Rostec, Russian Helicopters, Schiebel, RUAG, Cobham, CAE, Photonis, Terma, Sofradir, FN Herstal, Colt, Ukroboronprom, SSTC Russia, etc.

IDEX 2017 DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW
Global Defence majors compete for deals worth billions of dollars at the Middle East’s largest military expo, the Tri-Services International Defence Exhibition and Conference - IDEX 2017, which will ...
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IAI’s Impressive Array of Systems at Aero India Air Show

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a globally recognised leader in the Development and Production of Military and Commercial Aerospace and Defence Systems. IAI provides unique System-of-Systems Solutions for a broad spectrum of needs in Space, Air, Land, Sea, Homeland Security and Cyber. IAI's core areas of activity: Air Defence Systems, Special Mission Aircraft, UAS - Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Observation & Reconnaissance Satellites, ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Solutions for Real-Time Information, Network and Situation Awareness Systems, Advanced Multi-Mission Radars, Tactical Weaponry, Training & Simulation Systems, Business Jet Design & Production, Cyber Protection and Intelligence. At Aero India 2017, IAI focuses on solutions tailored for Indian Forces specific requirements.

IAI’s Impressive Array of Systems at Aero India Air Show
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a globally recognised leader in the Development and Production of Military and Commercial Aerospace and Defence Systems. IAI provides unique System-of-Systems Sol...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: T. Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
T. Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL

“It is Planned to Complete the Order for 40 LCA Mk.1 by 2019-20”

One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in manufacturing of Aircraft, Navigation and related equipment and is also into Designing, Fabrication and Assembly of Aircraft, Jet Engines, Helicopters and Spare parts. In an Exclusive Interview, T. SUVARNA RAJU, CMD, HAL speaks to Chanakya, updating us on most projects that HAL is currently undertaking.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: T. Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL
One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in manufacturing of Aircraft, Navigation and related equipment and is also into Designing, Fabrication a...
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Rafael's Smart Air & Missile Defence Systems

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 Israeli Defense Forces &  Defence Establishment, as well as for foreign customers worldwide. 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. We feature Air & Missile Defence Systems.

RAFAEL AIR DEFENCE AT AERO INDIA
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 Israeli Defense Forces & ...
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INTERVIEW: Brian Sinkiewicz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Textron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems

INTERVIEW: Brian Sinkiewicz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Textron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems

“Fury Light-Weight Precision Guided Glide Weapon is Proven to be Accurate Within One Meter”

Textron Systems’ offers its Aerospace, Defence and Civil customers a fascinating array of Systems and Solutions for Aerospace and Defence applications. At Aero India 2017, Textron Systems is displaying models of Textron Systems' Precision-Guided Munitions, Fury™ Light-Weight Precision-Guided Glide Weapon, which is proven to be accurate within one meter of a designated target and the G-CLAW™ - the Precision-Guided Glide Weapon System that optimizes effects against a broad target set, through utilising Dual-Mode Fuzing - impact or height of burst. BRIAN SINKIEWICZ, Senior VP & GM, Textron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems, fields questions pertaining to these Precision Weapon Systems. Excerpts:

INTERVIEW: Brian Sinkiewicz, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Textron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems
Textron Systems’ offers its Aerospace, Defence and Civil customers a fascinating array of Systems and Solutions for Aerospace and Defence applications. At Aero India 2017, Textron Systems is displayi...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B.S. DHANOA

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA,
CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

“IAF is Progressing Towards Complete Network Centric Operations”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B.S. DHANOA
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 Power Dominance capabilities, with Su-30MKIs, U...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF

ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA assumed Command of the Indian Navy, as the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff on 31st May 2016. A Navigation and Direction Specialist, Admiral Lanba served as the Navigation and Operations Officer onboard numerous ships. His sea tenure included Command of INS Kakinada, a Mine Counter Measure Vessel, INS Himgiri Frigate, INS Ranvijay, a Kashin-Class Destroyer and INS Mumbai, the indigenous Delhi-Class Destroyer. He was also Executive Officer of Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat and the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. He has been the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, and Commandant of the National Defence College. As the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, the Admiral streamlined the framework for transformation of Indian Navy's combat capabilities and infrastructure development as well as Tri-Services initiatives towards enhancing integration and jointness. Prior to taking over as the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Lanba has been Flag Officer C-in-C of the Southern and Western Naval Commands, wherein he provided impetus to training and skill development, synergising Combat Operations, Coastal Security, Safety and Infrastructure Development. Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA, covering most aspects of Naval Acquisitions.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF: “Modernisation has Transformed Indian Navy Into a Blue Water Force”
ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA assumed Command of the Indian Navy, as the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff on 31st May 2016. A Navigation and Direction Specialist, Admiral Lanba served as the Navigation and Operat...
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RAFALE MMRCA CONTRACT SIGNED

India has finally signed the Rafale MMRCA contract for the IAF. A potent nuclear deterrence platform, the Rafales will come equipped with MBDA’s Meteor BVRAAM, Storm Shadow/SCALP & MICA Missiles. The induction of Rafale Fighters will enhance the IAF's strategic reach and provide superior technological edge through Air Dominance. The version of Rafale Fighters being supplied to India will have better operational capabilities than the Rafales operated by other Air Forces with better Radar, better detection and survival features and will have capabilities for operations from high-altitude airfields as well.

India-France Sign Landmark Contract for IAF’s Rafale MMRCA
India has finally signed the Rafale MMRCA contract for the IAF. A potent nuclear deterrence platform, the Rafales will come equipped with MBDA’s Meteor BVRAAM, Storm Shadow/SCALP & MICA Missiles. The...
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EURONAVAL 2016 PREVIEW

EURONAVAL 2016, the International Naval Defence and Maritime Safety and Security Exhibition  will be held from 17th to 21st October 2016 at Le Bourget in Paris. In its 25th Edition, Euronaval maintains its position as a world-class show in Naval Defence and Maritime Safety and Security and a promoter of innovation and new Naval & Maritime Technologies covering Surface Warfare, Undersea Technologies and Naval Air Systems as well. Exhibitors at Euronaval are expected from above 390 companies (56% from abroad) from 34 countries, led by world leaders from France, USA, UK, Germany, Israel, Russia, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, South Korea, Canada, Australia and other countries, including some Indian Defence Companies like BrahMos Aerospace, MKU, etc. exhibiting from India.

25th EURONAVAL 2016 SHOW PREVIEW
EURONAVAL 2016, the International Naval Defence and Maritime Safety and Security Exhibition will be held from 17th to 21st October 2016 at Le Bourget in Paris. In its 25th Edition, Euronaval maintai...
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DENEL Group’s World-Class Defence Systems & Solutions

Denel SOC is the largest Defence Manufacturer in South Africa and operates in the Military Aerospace and Land Defence Systems environment. Denel Group includes: Denel Aerostructures, Denel Aviation, Denel Dynamics, Denel ISM, Denel Land Systems, Denel Mechem, Denel OTR, Denel PMP, Denel SOC Ltd. & Denel Vehicle Systems. From being a world leader in Land Artillery Systems, with expertise in Missiles & Stand-Off Weapons, Attack & Maritime Helicopters, Guns, Turrets & RWS, Ammunition & Artillery Projectiles/Charges, Naval Systems, UAV Systems like Seeker 200 & 400, SKUA Hi-Speed Drone Target Systems, Communications & Security Systems, besides lethal Land Defence Vehicles & Weapons. Denel Land Systems, is a world leader in the development, manufacture and support of Long-Range Artillery Gun Systems providing the range, mobility, flexibility and reaction time for modern Armies with accurate firepower. Denel is the Designer & Manufacturer of 155mm Artillery Gun Systems like the G5-45 155mm Guns, G6 Wheeled SP 155mm with 50+km Range, and T5 Mounted Gun System; Armoured & Combat Vehicles, etc.

DENEL Group’s World-Class Defence Systems & Solutions
Denel SOC is the largest Defence Manufacturer in South Africa and operates in the Military Aerospace and Land Defence Systems environment. Denel Group includes: Denel Aerostructures, Denel Aviation, ...
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AUSA 2016 - U.S. ARMY SHOW PREVIEW

The Association of U.S. Army (AUSA) 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held from 3rd to 5th October 2016 at the Washington Convention Centre in Washington D.C. AUSA is the world’s leading Land Forces & Air Systems companies exhibition for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. The three-day mega event includes about 600 industry and military exhibits occupying a large exhibit space. Presentations on the current focus of the U.S. Army and related defence subjects are delivered by senior U.S. Army Staff and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Industry representatives. Defence majors like Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon, Textron Systems, Bell Helicopter, Airbus Defence and Space, Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, L-3, Rafael, IAI, Elbit Systems, BAE Systems, Thales, Orbital ATK, GE Aviation, Honeywell, General Atomics, Telephonics, Saab, Safran Group, AM General, Oshkosh, Navistar, FLIR, Harris, KMW, Rheinmetall, AAR, KVH, Kongsberg, MTU, Qinetiq, Allison Transmission, Cobham, Photonis, Curtiss-Wright, Aviall, UTAS and a host of U.S., European and companies from across the globe participate at this mega U.S. Land Forces Warfare annual event.

AUSA 2016 - U.S. ARMY SHOW PREVIEW
The Association of U.S. Army (AUSA) 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition will be held from 3rd to 5th October 2016 at the Washington Convention Centre in Washington D.C. AUSA is the world’s leading Land ...
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Indian Army’s Artillery ‘Make Indian’ Drive

The Regiment of Artillery is the second largest arm of the Indian Army, and with its Guns, Mortars, Rocket Launchers, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Surveillance Systems, Missiles and Artillery firepower it constitutes almost one-sixth of the Army’s total strength. While the Indian Army’s Artillery Regiment celebrates its 189th Year, the Directorate of Artillery has crossed 30 years without any 155mm Guns inducted since Bofors in 1986, except 3 Dhanush Guns for trials. The Acquisition Plan is for various types of 155mm/52-Calibre Guns, under the overall Artillery Modernisation Programme of about R.100,000 crore. The 155mm acquisitions, delayed at different stages, include 145 Light Guns, 1,580 Towed Gun Systems (TGS), 814 Mounted Gun Systems (MGS), 180 Self-Propelled Wheeled Guns and 100 Tracked 155mm Artillery Gun Systems. The indigenous efforts of DRDO & OFB have met with success lately, saw 114 Dhanush 155mm Guns orders placed with OFB. With Evaluation Trials undertaken and with ‘Make-in-India’ drive gaining momentum, some Private players have teamed-up with global leaders hoping to win.

Indian Army’s Artillery ‘Make Indian’ Drive
The Regiment of Artillery is the second largest arm of the Indian Army, and with its Guns, Mortars, Rocket Launchers, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Surveillance Systems, Missiles and Artillery fir...
+Read More

AAD 2016 SHOW PREVIEW

The 9th edition of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2016 Exhibition will take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof, near Pretoria in South Africa from 14th to 18th September 2016, covering Tri-Services - Air, Land & Sea, and Civil Aviation products. Leading international participants include: Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, UTC, CAE, Textron, L-3, Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters, MBDA, DCNS, Thyssenkrupp, Navantia, Saab, BAE Systems, Bombardier, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, Safran, Thales, Pilatus, Indra, Embraer, Atlas Elektronik, Rostec, Denel Group, Reutech, MTU, OTT, Turbomeca Africa, Cassidian Optronics, Vectronix, Beretta, etc., besides others and the India Pavilion of DEO, with most leading Indian DPSUs like HAL, BEL, MDL, Midhani, etc.

AAD 2016 SHOW PREVIEW
The 9th edition of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2016 Exhibition will take place at Air Force Base Waterkloof, near Pretoria in South Africa from 14th to 18th September 2016, covering Tri-Services...
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FARBBOROUGH 2016 AIR SHOW REPORT

The biennial Farnborough International Air Show 2016 was held from 11th to 17th July 2016 at the Farnborough Aerospace Centre Hampshire Airfield in UK, had a strong participation from all the major Commercial and Defence Aerospace & Aviation manufacturers including Airbus Group, Airbus Defence & Space, Airbus Helicopters, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopters, Boeing, Bombardier, CAE, Cobham, Chemring, Dassault Aviation, Elbit Systems, Embraer, Engine Alliance, Eurofighter, FLIR, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, GE Aviation, GKN Aerospace, General Dynamics Gulfstream, HAL, Harris, IAI, Irkut, Kongsberg, L-3, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Orbital ATK, Pilatus Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, Rafael, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Rolls-Royce, Rostec, Rosoboronexport, Russian Helicopters, Ruag, Saab, Safran Group, Sikorsky, Sukhoi, Terma, Textron Aviation, Textron Systems, Thales, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), UTAS, etc. Farnborough 2016 had over 1,500 Exhibitors from  52 countries participating, with 23 International Country Pavilions.

FARBBOROUGH 2016 AIR SHOW REPORT
The biennial Farnborough International Air Show 2016 was held from 11th to 17th July 2016 at the Farnborough Aerospace Centre Hampshire Airfield in UK, had a strong participation from all the major C...
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TERMA

TERMA SYSTEMS

Terma Strengthens Presence in India
The Denmark based Aerospace, Defence and Security Group Terma, headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, recently opened its office in India. Internationally, Terma has subsidiaries and operations in The Net...
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INTERVIEW

CHRIS RAO, VICE PRESIDENT,
UTC AEROSPACE SYSTEMS
 

“We Offer Unique Capabilities”
UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is one of the world’s largest suppliers of advanced Aerospace and Defence products, designing, manufacturing and servicing systems and components and provide integrated s...
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INTERVIEW

LOIC PIEDAVACHE, MBDA COUNTRY HEAD, INDIA

“We Have Followed ‘Make-in-India’ Policy for Many Years”
With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in Missiles and Missile Systems. MBDA is the only Group capable of designing and producing Missiles and Missile Systems that ...
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INTERVIEW

RAINER FARID, VICE PRESIDENT,
SALES & CUSTOMER RELATIONS, INDIA & SOUTH ASIA, AIRBUS HELICOPTERS
 

“Airbus Helicopters is Looking to Enhance Industrial Footprint here”
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a Division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in Aerospace and Defence related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer, wi...
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INTERVIEW

JEAN-MICHEL PALAGOS, PRESIDENT &
CEO, DEFENSE CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL (DCI)
 

“French Know-How Recognised in all Fields: Land, Sea, Air & Space”
DCI implemented a platform based on a system used by many international companies and recognised Universities. The platform enables better exchanges between the instructors and the trainees via for e...
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INTERVIEW

AVM (RETD.) ARVIND WALIA,
REGIONAL EXECUTIVE, INDIA & SOUTH ASIA,
SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
 

“Sikorsky Well Positioned to Provide Solutions”
Indian Navy has selected Sikorsky’s S-70B SEAHAWK to fulfill its Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH) requirement for ASW/ASuW, among other Maritime roles. Negotiations are ongoing to procure 16 S-70B SEAHAWK...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

SUDHIR MISHRA, CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE
 

“BRAHMOS Missile has Attained Continuous Successes”
BRAHMOS Aerospace Private Limited is a Joint Venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of ...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

GENERAL DALBIR SINGH SUHAG,CHIEF OF THE ARMY STAFF

“Impetus to Major Modernisation”
The Chief of the Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, was commissioned into 4/5 GR(FF) in June 1974 has had a distinguished military career, spanning four decades, and has tenanted critical Comman...
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INTERVIEW: KHALIL RAHMAN, MD, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK INDIA

INTERVIEW: KHALIL RAHMAN, MD, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK INDIA

INTERVIEW
Atlas Elektronik and the Indian Ministry of Defence have signed a contract for the delivery of six Active Towed Array Sonar Systems (ACTAS) for the Indian Navy. The total contract volume is approxima...
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INTERVIEW: SAMIR MEHTA

INTERVIEW: SAMIR MEHTA
President, Sikorsky Defense Systems & Services
“India is an Emerging & Significant Market”

INTERVIEW
Indian Navy has selected UTC’s Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s S-70B SEAHAWK to fulfill its Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH) requirement for ASW/ASuW, among other Maritime roles. Negotiations will now beg...
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INTERVIEW: AVM WALIA, SIKORSKY

“India Would Need Upwards of 1,000 Helicopters”
INTERVIEW: Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) ARVIND WALIA, Regional Executive, India & South Asia, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. “India Would Need Upwards of 1,000 Helicopters” Chanakya Interviewed Air Vice ...
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INTERVIEW

Ulderigo Rossi, Senior V.P., Marketing & Sales, OTO Melara

“We Propose a Collaboration For All Caliber Guns the Indian Navy Needs”
Chanakya interviewed Ulderigo Rossi, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales, OTO Melara and covered a host of Systems like 127/64 Light Weight V4 VULCANO Naval Gun System as well as the VULCANO Fam...
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News



Indian Army’s Artillery ‘Make Indian’ Drive

Indian Army’s Artillery ‘Make Indian’ Drive


The Regiment of Artillery is the second largest arm of the Indian Army, and with its Guns, Mortars, Rocket Launchers, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Surveillance Systems, Missiles and Artillery firepower it constitutes almost one-sixth of the Army’s total strength. While the Indian Army’s Artillery Regiment celebrates its 189th Year, the Directorate of Artillery has crossed 30 years without any 155mm Guns inducted since Bofors in 1986, except 3 Dhanush Guns for trials. The Acquisition Plan is for various types of 155mm/52-Calibre Guns, under the overall Artillery Modernisation Programme of about R.100,000 crore. The 155mm acquisitions, delayed at different stages, include 145 Light Guns, 1,580 Towed Gun Systems (TGS), 814 Mounted Gun Systems (MGS), 180 Self-Propelled Wheeled Guns and 100 Tracked 155mm Artillery Gun Systems. The indigenous efforts of DRDO & OFB have met with success lately, saw 114 Dhanush 155mm Guns orders placed with OFB. With Evaluation Trials undertaken and with ‘Make-in-India’ drive gaining momentum, some Private players have teamed-up with global leaders hoping to win.


Indian Army’s Artillery ‘Make Indian’ Drive

The Regiment of Artillery is the second largest arm of the Indian Army, and with its Guns, Mortars, Rocket Launchers, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Surveillance Systems, Missiles and Artillery firepower it constitutes almost one-sixth of the Army’s total strength. While the Indian Army’s Artillery Regiment celebrates its 189th Year, the Directorate of Artillery has crossed 30 years without any 155mm Guns inducted since Bofors in 1986, except 3 Dhanush Guns for trials. The Acquisition Plan is for various types of 155mm/52-Calibre Guns, under the overall Artillery Modernisation Programme of about R.100,000 crore. The 155mm acquisitions, delayed at different stages, include 145 Light Guns, 1,580 Towed Gun Systems (TGS), 814 Mounted Gun Systems (MGS), 180 Self-Propelled Wheeled Guns and 100 Tracked 155mm Artillery Gun Systems. The indigenous efforts of DRDO & OFB have met with success lately, saw 114 Dhanush 155mm Guns orders placed with OFB. With Evaluation Trials undertaken and with ‘Make-in-India’ drive gaining momentum, some Private players have teamed-up with global leaders hoping to win.


The Indian Army’s Regiment of Artillery will be celebrating its 189th Year on 28th September, the Artillery Day. The Directorate of Artillery of the Indian Army has been suffering from delays in its restructuring the entire Artillery Modernisation Drive, which did not progress much in the last 2 decades. Whereas, the strategies of New-Generation Forces is based on Fast Air Mobility with Lightweight Gun Systems, the Indian Army’s old programmes  are being implemented and the latest-generation Mobile Artillery Systems are now on the agenda, as the older Indian programmes having progressed further, with some Artillery Evaluation Trials undertaken, with contracts finalisation still awaited.


The Indian Army requires the Artillery Guns on the promised Fast Track basis with a few off-the-shelf urgent acquisitions, with DRDO, OFB and Industry combining to produce the remaining large number of gun requirements in India, which will take more years than earlier planned as the Private Industry in India is still at the nascent stage in Defence Production of Precision Weapon Systems. For faster Air Mobility to border mountainous terrain, the Army needs even more urgently new fleet support of  Heavy Transport Helicopters. The Indian Artillery imbroglio, which was jinxed since inception, with all rounds of trials for last 20 years not yet fructifying into the first big Artillery deal since Bofors, which now should be the U.S. BAE Systems’ M777 Ultra-Lightweight Howitzers (ULHs). OFB has reportedly received an order for 114 155mm Dhanush Guns (Bofors), with success in trials as well. DRDO claims to be making about 40 Artillery platforms.


About 2,700 Towed, Mounted, Wheeled and Tracked Self-Propelled Gun Systems are to be procured by the Indian Army for the Regiment of Artillery. Besides Artillery Systems, the modernisation of the Regiment of Artillery is also augmented by the purchase of Medium and Heavy calibre Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), Longer Range Missiles and Precision-Guided Munitions. Induction of modern Surveillance and Target Acquisition Sensors like High-Altitude Long-Endurance UAVs, Weapon Locating Radars (WLRs), Medium-Range Battlefield Surveillance Radars and long-range Recce and Observation Systems, enabling the gunners to look deep and engage vital targets at much longer ranges, now could prove more effective with Smart and ER Munitions.


The tactical function of Artillery is to achieve Firepower Supremacy on the battlefield that the enemy can neither interfere with its operations nor develop his own effectively. The Artillery carries out these functions by destroying or suppressing the enemy’s Weapon Systems, by causing casualties to his troops and equipment and harrassing the enemy over a period of time. Ironically, since Bofors, Artillery has been on the receiving end for over nearly 3 decades. Scandals have ensured the Indian Army has not inducted even a single new Artillery Gun System for about these 30 years now. The last acquisition was that of 410 Bofors 155mm Field Howitzers in 1986 under the R.1,437 crore Bofors contract. Even then the scandal delayed the Army’s aim to plug gaps in its long-range high-volume firepower. While things had begun looking up in 2001, the entire acquisition process since then has been dogged by controversy, though several attempts at putting things back on track, had met with little success. After unprecedented, several  rounds of trials in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 and the recent trials rounds have weilded some hopes. Hope these last rounds of 155mm Artillery Evaluation Trials do wield some positive outcome for the Indian Army Artillery Regiments soon, so that new inductions, besides the Dhanush & ATAGS, could take place soon.


Fast-Track Induction of Firepower
The Indian Army is meant to be “fast-tracking” induction of Advanced Rockets and Missiles to plug gaps in accurate long-range, high-volume fire power. Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which fire salvo of rockets in minutes, and Cruise Missiles that can target beyond the range of conventional Artillery like Land-Attack Cruise Missiles with longer strike ranges, apart from the ongoing induction of the Agni Series of Ballistic Missiles. The Indian Army is inducting new variants of the 290 km range BrahMos Block II & III Missiles, now with Deep-Dive Top-Attack, designed to act as a Precision Strike Weapon in a ‘clustered urban environ-ment’ and for ‘behind the hill’ strikes. The Indian Army has already inducted some BrahMos Regiments, with above 134 missiles, 10 road-mobile Autonomous Launchers on 12x12 Tatra Vehicles and four Mobile Command Posts, at a cost of R.8,352 crores in the Phase-1, with new orders being placed for about 100 more missiles.


India is also procuring over 1,000 more Rockets, at a cost of  R.460 crore, for three Army Regiments of the 300mm Smerch MLRS acquired from Splav of Russia. Designed to neutralise enemy troop concentrations and Command Posts, Artillery and Missile locations with a land saturating salvo of rockets, the 90km range Smerch System can be transported to high mountain ranges on the borders. Only problem is that the Chinese range is 300km.


Army Contracts for R.15,000 Crore
The 1.18 million strong Indian Army, is still strugling with critical operational deficiencies on many fronts, is finally going to get new Missiles, Thermal Imagers, Weapon Locating Radars and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has cleared four pending contracts worth R.6,600 crore, while two others for over R.8,300 crore are on the verge of final nod. Contracts for the four cleared deals will now be inked. They include the R.1,200 crore acquisition of 65,000 New-Generation 84mm Rockets, with greater range and better armour-penetration capabilities, for the Swedish Saab Carl Gustaf Man-Portable Rocket Launchers.


The other contracts are for 4,000 Hand-held Thermal Imagers with Laser Range Finders for R.1,400 crore, 5,000 Milan-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles for R.2,000 crore and 30 indigenous 'Swati' Weapon Locating Radars for R.2,000 crore. The two projects headed for CCS nod are for two more Pinaka MLRS Regiments for R.3,300 crore and another Regiment of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missiles for over R.5,000 crore. The two Pinaka Regiments, which will add to the two Regiments inducted by the IndianArmy, will help plug gaps in the Land Force's medium-range, high-volume firepower. With a strike range of 40km, the Pinaka is manufactured by Tata and L&T based on technology developed by DRDO.


The BrahMos Land-Attack Missile, which flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 to targets 290km away, will help boost the Indian Army's Precision-Strike capabilities. With the Army already having three BrahMos Regiments, the MoD has approved deployment of the Missile's Block-III Version in Arunachal Pradesh to counter China's huge build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057km LoAC. This Missile Variant has ‘trajectory manoeuvre and steep-dive capabilities’ for Mountain Warfare.


The lack of Third-Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), with ‘fire-and-forget’ capabilities, remains a big operational gap on the western front. The case for inducting these Shoulder-Fired Tank-killer Anti-Armour Missiles has been ongoing for about a decade now. The acquisition of the Rafael 'Spike' ATGMs from Israel, is still stuck in the commercial negotiations stage. Infantry Battalions are making do with the Second-Generation Milan (2km range) and Konkurs (4km) ATGMs, which are produced by Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics ltd. (BDL) under licence from French and Russian companies. Being wire-guided, they have to be directed to the target.


Artillery Guns Procurement Underway: Defence Minister Parrikar
The Government has been gearing up for years for the major procurement of Artillery Guns for the Indian Army after a gap of 30 years, with some indigenous success lately. Defence Minister  Parrikar had earlier that the process of phasing out guns will start soon and they will be replaced with new advanced machines. Manohar Parrikar had said that the Indian Army requires about 3,000 Artillery Guns. Mr. Parrikar had then said that procurement of different types of guns was in process. These include 145 Light-Weight Howitzers, each weighing 4.5 tonnes, that could be moved from one place to another by helicopters and aircraft. He said that while these guns would be distributed in eight Regiments, they will be particularly useful in the North-East where road connectivity is still a problem. Mr. Parrikar had said negotiations for purchase of Howitzer Guns were on. The MoD is providing the Indian Army with the Dhanush 155mm 45-Calibre Gun with a maximum range of 38km. Its barrel is being made at OF Kanpur, while it is being integrated in OF Jabalpur.


114 OFB Dhanush 155mm Artillery Guns for Indian Army on Order
After clearing critical trials, the Dhanush Artillery Guns - also called ‘Desi Bofors’, had entered the Production Phase to meet the Indian Army’s operational gap of Field Howitzers. The ‘Make-in-India’ Defence Manufacturing Project took-off with the receipt of Bulk Production Clearance (BPC) from the Indian Army for 114 Dhanush Guns. The Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) has already started the production of these indigenously manufactured 155mm/45-Calibre Artillery Guns.


OFB had been waiting for the BPC from the Indian Army to start production after Dhanush successfully passed evaluation by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) and the Maintainability Evaluation Trial. Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur had earlier made plans to supply 6 guns within 6 months, another 12 within 12 months and another 36 guns within 24 months. This was decided at the OFB’s General Managers’ Strategic Conference last year, but then again nothing notable took place, raising questions about the Indian Army’s plans to get all 114 Guns from the OFB within three years. Dhanush will be the first Indian Artillery Gun to be acquired by the Indian Army since the purchase of Bofors Guns from Sweden in 1980s.


The current order for 114 Guns is estimated to be of R.1,260 crore, with the Army having an option to acquire up to 414 Guns based on operational performance. As per its Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, Indian Army needs to buy 2,820 Artillery Guns of various types to replace obsolete guns and equip new units.


The Dhanush Gun is based on the design and manufacturing technology obtained from Bofors in the 1980s. Under the original Bofors contract, India had obtained Transfer of Technology (ToT) to manufacture 155mm Guns, besides inducting the 410 Howitzer Guns. The ensuing Bofors allegations hit all such plans till those old schematics were brought out by the OFB in early 2011. OFB claimed that the indigenous howitzer is better than the original Swedish Gun in range, accuracy, reliability and ‘shoot-and-scoot’ capabilities. Bofors is a 155mm/39-Calibre Gun, whereas Dhanush is a 155mm/45 calibre Gun. The enhanced calibre imparts a longer firing range. OFB is upgrading its manufacturing line for bulk production at Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory from 2016, wherein it will be able to produce 30 to 35 Guns every year. There are no plans yet for exporting the Dhanush 155mm Howitzer.


3 Indigenously-Developed Dhanush Artillery Guns Handed Over to Indian Army
Three indigenously-developed 155mm Dhanush Artillery Guns have been recently handed over to the Indian Army by the Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory (GCF). Another consignment of three guns is being readied and these howitzers too will be delivered to the Army soon. The 155mm Dhanush Gun, a Towed Howitzer with a strike range of 38km, has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata, after going through the design and voluminous documents running into over 12,000 pages, which were delivered to India under the first phase of ToT as part of the Bofors Gun deal.


The Indian Army wants six howitzers following successful summer and winter trials of the Artillery Gun. The trials saw some 2,000 rounds being successfully fired from the gun in different climatic conditions like in snowy, desert and hostile areas in the country. The Army had been looking for a total of 114 Dhanush Guns from GCF to augment its firepower. Costing around R.14 crore a piece, Dhanush, is comparable to most current generation Weapon Systems which are in use by different countries.


Alongwith Electronic Gun-Laying and Sighting Systems and other features, the indigenous gun has an enhanced 11km range as against the 27km range of the imported Bofors. The Indian Army had stationed a special team of officers at the GCF to help monitor the progress, coordinate proof resources and provide guidance regarding the qualitative requirements of the Artillery Gun System from the User's perspective.


Final Army Trials of Dhanush Artillery Gun
The final trials of indigenous Dhanush  155mm Artillery Gun must have started by now. Spread over the next six months, these trials will be of a production-level prototype. This is supposed to be the last lap of trials before the Ordnance Factory Board starts it bulk production. The Indian Army will use six such guns at various locations to test its firing ability during summers and also in the winters in the Himalayas.


The OFB Dhanush 155mm/45-Calibre Artillery Gun System is based on the Bofors FH-77B/39-Calibre Gun design and aided by the ToT signed with the Swedish company. The OFB, under the MoD, first unveiled the Indian Version of this gun in February 2014 and handed it over to the Army for intensive tests. These were earlier successfully conducted. The first three guns of the production-level prototype will undergo four-month trial from June to September. Between October and December, three other guns will be added and the entire lot will be tested in high altitude winter conditions. The MoD has set a stiff delivery schedule. The first 18 guns will be delivered in 18 months after the signing of contract. Another 36 guns are slated for delivery over the 12 months thereafter. The remaining 60 guns will be delivered by June 2020.


The Indian version has several improvements to make Dhanush compatible with today’s modern communication techniques. It has an effective range of 38km as against the 27km range of the original Bofors. It has a system to auto-correct any variations in ammunition and atmospheric pressures. The gunner has a high resolution sight besides an infrared sight. Its electronics suite enables real-time adjustments for moving and static targets. The Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, drawn in 1999, aims to acquire 2,800-3,000 155mm/52-Calibre Guns of all kinds and 155mm/39-Calibre Lightweight Howitzers by 2027. The next batch of Dhanush will be in line with this target and its barrel for the next batch will be 52-Calibre.


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in his Independence Day Address said: “To allow our soldiers to operate in forward areas, our Scientists have developed the much needed indigenous 155mm Howitzer Guns Dhanush. This advanced gun has now been handed over to the Army for User Trials. This will enhance the firepower of our Army to a great extent.”


Desi Bofors Dhanush Outguns Swedish Gun
The Indian Army is getting ready to induct the first battery of six Dhanush Guns, which will be the first 155mm Howitzers to be acquired by the Land Force since 3 decades.This was the only ‘Make-in-India’ Defence Project that was finally booming. The desi howitzer Dhanush has outguned the original Swedish Bofors 155mm Artillery Gun in range, accuracy, reliability, angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot capabilities. The Army's operational gaps in long-range, high volume firepower should be filled soon, with the Electronically Upgraded Dhanush Howitzers now.


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Defence last year that the 155mm/45-Calibre Dhanush Howitzers had “successfully met all technical parameters” during the winter and summer trials held in 2014-15 at Sikkim and the Pokhran Range. Dhanush incorporates “many improved features” over the Army's existing Artillery Guns. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has stepped up its manufacturing line for "bulk production" at the Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory from 2016 onwards. The Army eventually requires 414 such Guns.

The desi howitzer has been upgraded to 45-Calibre from the 39-Calibre of the Bofors Gun to extend its strike range to 38km with "extended range, full-bore" ammunition. Costing around R.14 crore apiece, the Dhanush is about 83% indigenous. The ore to steel for the gun barrel is made by the OFB. The only imported parts are the auxiliary power units, electronic dial sights and some others.


The indigenously designed and manufactured Dhanush 155mm/45-Calibre Artillery Gun had successfully met all technical parameters during earlier held winter and summer trials. Informing the Consultative Committee attached to MoD, the Defence Minister Parrikar last year had said Dhanush incorporates many improved features than the Guns which the Army is possessing. The Consultative Committee was discussing the Role Performance and Future of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), one of the oldest & largest production organisations of MoD. OFB is a Group of 39 Ordnance Factories with 2 new projects being set-up at Nalanda in Bihar and Korwa in UP.


Army Artillery Systems Acquisition Delays Too Prolonged
The Indian Army's long-delayed Artillery Modernisation Plan was clearly jinxed. The earlier trials for 155mm Towed Artillery Guns had been scrapped again, with the entire process been undertaken afresh, with the current lot of trials. The earlier trials had been scrapped since the gun only had one contender, BAE Systems, left in the process after the other, Singapore Technology Kinetics (STK), was named in the alleged Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam. The Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) then did not allow a single-vendor situation. Consequently, a fresh RFI (Request for Information) to different global vendors was then issued again. Then, BAE Systems too, withdrew from that competition.


The guns of STK and BAE Systems were the only ones which were then shortlisted after technical evaluation by the Ministry of Defence and Army for the earlier sanctioned over R.12,000 crore project to buy 400 155mm/52-Calibre Towed Artillery Guns as well as indigenous manufacture of another 1,180 Howitzers after Transfer of Technology (ToT). The acquisition plan is for various types of 155mm/52-Calibre Guns, under the overall Artillery Modernisation Programme. The tender for Towed Gun Systems (TGS) too had earlier come under a shadow. The Indian Army received two tenders in response to its previous RFP - one from French manufacturer Nexter Systems and the other from Israel’s Elbit Systems (Soltam), which originally did not make Artillery, but bid on the strength of its acquisition of another Israeli firm Soltam, which was earlier blacklisted.


Worried that their long-pending plans to induct advanced Artillery Guns from abroad are yet to materialise, the Indian Army accepted the indigenous howitzers being developed, which passed muster and will now plug huge operational gaps in long-range, high volume firepower. Recurring earlier undue allegations of scandals around global Artillery manufacturers like South African Denel, Israeli Soltam and Singapore Technology Kinetic's (STK) had derailed the Indian Army's earlier only R.30,000 crore Artillery Modernisation Plans. Now, a Joint Venture with the Indian Private Sector for 814 Mounted Gun Systems (MGS) is also to be selected.


As for imports, there is still the US$ 885 million FMS deal with the US for 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULHs), which are to be deployed with the new Mountain Strike Corps being raised by the Indian Army. But this direct Government-to-Government deal remains stuck in the final stages despite several years of price negotiations. The different 155mm/52-Calibre Gun projects, like the one for 100 Self-Propelled Tracked Gun Systems (TGS) from a foreign vendor, are similarly running excruciatingly slow. The mega project for buying 400 Towed Artillery Guns, followed by indigenous manufacture of another 1,180 such guns after Transfer of Technology (ToT) from the foreign vendor, has been scrapped 3 times over the last decade.


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has since successfully fabricated the Catapult MKII Self-Propelled Artillery System by mating the 130mm Gun with the Arjun Tank chassis. The Army earlier conducted Catapault MKII User Trials following which Series Production of 40 platforms was expected to begin at the OFB’s Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi near Chennai to equip two Arty Regiments. These 40 platforms will replace an equal number of DRDO-developed Catapult MKIs fashioned in the early 1980s by mounting the M46 Gun onto a lengthened chassis of the licence-built Vijayanta Tank.


Indian Private Sector Defence Contractors like the Tatas, L&T, Punj Lloyd and Bharat Forge are involved in locally upgrading M46 Guns provided by the Army to 155mm/45-Cal in addition to developing their own 155mm/52-Cal howitzers in collaboration with overseas OEMs. Some are also collaborating with the DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment in Pune to design the 155 mm/52-Calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) with a 50 km strike range by 2016. The Army faces a shortfall of some 50,000 155mm Precision-Guided Munitions rounds, over 21,200 Bi-Modular Charge Systems, and around one million Electronic Fuzes, which the OFB is incapable of fulfilling.


DRDO’s Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Successful
DRDO achieved yet another technological breakthrough by successfully conducting the proof firing of Armament System for 155mm/52-Calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) during the technical trials conducted recently at Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE), Balasore. ATAGS is a fully Indigenous Towed Artillery Gun System project undertaken in mission mode by DRDO as a part of the Artillery Modernisation Programme of Indian Army. Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune is the nodal laboratory of DRDO for Design & Development of ATAGS, alongwith other DRDO Laboratories. The Armament System of ATAGS mainly comprise barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155mm ammunitions held by Indian Army with a longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater firepower.


ATAGS is configured with all electric drive to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time. It will have a firing range of 40 kms with advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, Auxiliary Power Mode, Advanced Communication System, Automatic Command and Control System with Night firing capability in direct fire mode. The development trajectory of ATAGS aims at establishing indigenous critical Defence Manufacturing technologies with the active participation of Ordnance Factories, DPSUs and Private Industries including Bharat Forge Limited, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (SED) and Mahindra Defence to meet the aspiration of ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.


DRDO is committed to develop and field ATAGS in the shortest timeframe with active participation by leading industries to meet the requirements of Indian Army. The first fully integrated gun system will be ready for User Trials by early 2017. Indian Army is now hoping to be provided a fillip with the ATAGS, claimed to be on the way to being the best in its class. The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), a light-weight long-range automated gun being developed by DRDO with private participation, will be ready for production by 2019, after undergoing six years of development and testing. The ATAGS, which was sanctioned in 2012, has about 6,000 different components. “The 155mm/52-Calibre is going to be one of the best Artillery Guns in the world in its category,” claimed the Director General (Armament and Combat Engineering Cluster), DRDO. Extolling the virtues of ATAGS further, DRDO hopes it will take over guns in this category in the future. Its long-range, light-weight and automation features will help it immensely. Loading ammunition will be fully automatic, and it will be compatible with various kinds of ammo as well. Private players like Tata, Larsen and Toubro, Bharat Forge have all been roped in to complete this project.


The DRDO’s ATAGS weighs 12 tonnes, two tonnes lighter than other guns of its category. It will also be capable of shooting off five successive rounds in short duration. Total development took three years and testing will last for another three. It’s different from Bofors in kind and calibre, and DRDO claimed it will be the best of its kind once inducted into the force.


Successful Tests of ATAGS
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted proof firing tests of the new Towed Gun currently being developed for the Indian Army. With the successfully test-firing of the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), which achieved a “technological breakthrough”, by successfully conducting the proof firing of the Armament System for 155mm/52-Calibre during the technical trials conducted recently at Proof & Experimental Establishment (PXE), Balasore. The ATAGS is being developed to supplement the indigenously designed and manufactured 155mm/45-Calibre Artillery Gun, Dhanush, an improved version of the FH-77B 155mm/39-Calibre Towed Howitzer now manufactured by BAE Systems. The new gun is capable of firing five rounds in short duration with a maximum range of 40 km, depending on the ammunition type. The gun will be lighter than most other guns in the same category, which will assure “high mobility” and “quick deployability.” The 1999 Kargil War illustrated the utility of Light-Weight Artillery that can be quickly deployed in mountainous regions. The ATAGS is expected to be ready for User Trials in early 2017, with Serial Production slated to commence in 2019.


BAE Systems’ M777 Light Howitzer G2G FMS Deal with USA
The long-pending US$ 885 million deal with the U.S. Government for 145 M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULHs), which was earlier  reportedly headed for a dead-end, with the Indian defence establishment feeling the Artillery Guns are way too expensive to buy for the new Army Divisions being raised for the border with China. MoD officials had earlier reported that though no final decision has been taken as yet, there was "no way" the American M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers could be bought for over R.30 crore apiece. Like many other big-ticket defence projects, even the proposed M777 deal has witnessed its own share of controversies, with huge cost escalations, reported "leaking" of classified Field Evaluation Reports and allegations of irregularities against an officer.


The  Indian Army has been demanding 155mm/39-Calibre Light-Weight Howitzers, with a strike range of over 25km, for around a decade now. Guns like the M777, partly made of titanium, can be swiftly air-lifted to "threatened high-altitude areas" along the 4,057 km LoAC. The howitzer project, among others, is meant to equip the new XVII Mountain Strike Corps being raised to gain "quick reaction force capabilities" against China. The border infrastructure is also slowly being enhanced. There will be more options to take heavier Artillery Guns to forward areas.


India went in for the M777 Howitzers under the FMS programme, which does not involve an open competition. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency had earlier  notified the U.S. Congress of a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to India of M777 155mm Lightweight Towed Howitzers and associated equipment. The contract for 145 BAE’s Howitzers with Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems, spare parts and support and test equipment was expected to be worth US$ 885 million. BAE Systems, Watervliet Arsenal, Seiler Instrument, Triumph Actuation Systems, Taylor Devices, Selex and Hutchinson Industries were prime contractors for the sale. The prime contractors then negotiated offset deals, in accordance with the Indian Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), for the manufacturing and servicing within India. The M777 can deliver as many as five shells per minute to around 15 miles with unassisted rounds and more than 18 miles with rocket-assisted rounds.


BAE Systems, which makes M777 Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH) Guns, had revived the stalled contract for the supply of 145 Artillery Guns to India by pledging to comply with offset requirements to the MoD. The company has also revived its Partnership with Mahindra Defence Systems and is setting up a JV Facility. The Indian Government was to order 145 M777s in 2013 at a cost of about R.3,500 crore, but that has since reportedly increased to as much as above R.5,000 crore due to various reasons, including reopening of the Assembly Line. It was clarified that the cost as cited by the U.S. Government was the upper end of the price band, subject to negotiations. The M777 Guns are expected to boost the firepower of the Indian Army since they can be moved easily and are ideal for Mountain Warfare.


Big Guns Fired in Artillery Trials
The Indian Army had made some progress in upgrading its depreciated Artillery profile. It earlier last year had completed trials for two 155mm/52-Calibre Howitzer Systems and gave its report on the try-outs in Rajasthan and in Sikkim to the MoD. Depending on the trial reports, whether the howitzers have met the Indian Army’s Qualitative Requirements (QRs), principally of reliably and consistently achieving a strike range of 42 km, the vendors will be shortlisted or rejected. Thereafter, the howitzer price bids submitted earlier, ahead of field trials, would launch the cost negotiations.


Competing for the 155mm/52-Calibre Towed Gun System (TGS) are France’s Nexter with L&T, with its Trajan 155mm Gun System, specially modified for the Indian tender, and Israel’s Elbit Systems with Bharat Forge fielded the ATMOS Howitzer. India plans to acquire 400 Towed Howitzer Gun Systems and building an additional 1,180 Guns via a Technology Transfer to the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Vying alongside, in support of the Indian Army’s initial requirement for 100 Self-Propelled Tracked (SPT) Howitzers also were South Korean Samsung-Techwin’s K-9 Thunder and an upgraded version of Russia’s SP Gun modified to 155mm/52-Cal mounted on T-72 MBT chassis. All foreign competitors have technical agreements with local companies that are expected to extend beyond providing back-up during trials, if any of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with their Indian Partners are shortlisted for acquisition. While Nexter and Samsung have collaborating agreements with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with different Gun Systems, Elbit Systems’ has an arrangement with the Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge of Pune. The Russians are in a tie-up with the OFB.


The TGS Howitzer Trials were the fifth since 2001, plagued as they have been by a bewildering round of bureaucratic delays and frequent issuance, withdrawal and re-issuance of tenders by the MoD, due to the Army’s over ambitious QRs. The rounds of Howitzer Trials is a long-deferred response to the Indian Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan (FARP) formulated in 1999 that aims to import, locally develop and licence-build a mix of around 2,800 to 3,000 Assorted Artillery Guns to equip around 190 to 200 Artillery Regiments. The ambitious plan, possibly the world’s largest involving Artillery Systems, is to cost US$ 8 to10 Billion and is scheduled for completion by the end of the 14th Five-Year Finance Plan in 2027. The FARP envisages inducting a perplexing mix of 1,580 TGS, 814 Mounted platforms and the outright purchase of 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39-Calibre Ultra-Light Howitzers. Also included is the outright purchase of 100 SPT howitzers and 180 Self-Propelled Wheeled Howitzers, with another 120 to be built locally under a ToT. The Indian Army principally employs Soviet-era 105mm OFB-built Indian Field Guns and D-30 122mm field pieces, both with limited ranges of around 17 km that can be offset by long-range mortars. These are supplemented by Bofors 155mm/39-Cal Howitzers, now reduced to less than half of 410 due to cannibalisation. Soviet M46 130mm Guns Upgraded to 155mm/45-Cal in 1990’s, complete the Indian Army’s low-key Artillery profile. These assets are inadequate to sustain the Indian Army’s revised ‘manoeuvre by fire’ offensive capabilities and the newly formulated war-fighting ‘Cold Start’ doctrine. Efficient and effective Artillery Firepower is crucial to the battlefield scenario. Additional howitzers, especially the transportable ones, are needed to equip the proposed Fourth Artillery Division for deployment along the 4,057km long unresolved Chinese border to support the two recently created Mountain Divisions in the North-East in addition to the 17 Mountain Strike Corps currently under raising in the same region.


New “Indian” Artillery Systems
More recently, some of the major Private and Public Sector  Companies like Tata Power SED, L&T, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Defence Systems, OFB, BHEL and BEL have been roped in for improved firepower at longer ranges, higher accuracy and enhanced survivability. Efforts are being made to develop new technologies for weapon platforms, automation and control systems, recoil management, materials to achieve improved weapon performance.


TATA unveiled a new Wheeled Howitzer Artillery System. The newly developed 155mm/52-Calibre Howitzer is mounted on an eight-wheeled TATA Military Truck to enhanced mobility. The howitzer is essentially a re-engineered version of DENEL’s T5-52 Caliber motorized Howitzer making use of a TATRA built truck. Overall the solution is being claimed as being the cheapest and best option. The prototype of the howitzer has been produced by the company which is around 55% indigenous. DENEL Land Systems has supplied the monoblock gun barrel fitted with a double-baffle Muzzle Brake, Gun Cradle with an Integrated Buffer System, Swing-and-slide Breech Mechanism, Electrically-Activated Firing Mechanism, Autoloader/Rammer, Ballistics Charts, Muzzle Velocity Radar, an Automatic Laying and Land Navigation System using a RLG-INS, a Panoramic Optical-Mechanical Sight mounted directly to the trunnion, incorporating a compensation system for trunnion, which forms a backup for indirect fire, and a Telescopic Sight for direct fire that is mounted to the compensation system.


TATA Power SED, on the other hand, developed the Digital Ballistics Computer, Telecommunications System, the Hydraulic System that supplies hydraulic power for deployment of the outriggers and the top-carriage hydraulics, all on-board Electrical Systems, the Gun Management Computer, and the ‘Rajak’ Driver’s Vision Enhancement System. The customised 8 x 8 truck comes from TATA Motors. Not much is known about its trials, which TATA had requested a year ago and the Indian Army's interest in the project.


However, since the Government has already given the go ahead to purchase 800 plus such systems, the MoD will in all probability consider all the systems on offer in the Indian market. Other contenders are the Larsen & Toubro/Nexter Systems Partnership that is offering the Caesar, the Kalyani Group/Elbit Systems Partnership that is offering the ATMOS, and the Punj Lloyd/Yugoimport SDPR Partnership that is proposing the NORA. The Nexter Ceasar's overall design seems impressive, besides it is also combat proven in both Afghanistan and Thailand. The French company Nexter has teamed up with Indian companies Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Ashok Leyland Defence to offer the Indian Army the Caesar System mounted on a Ashok Leyland 6x6 Super Stallion chassis. This could prove very intriguing and interesting in the months to come.


With Denel T6 Turret Available, Will DRDO Back Bhim 155mm Again
After a decade India had finally communicated to South African state-owned Denel, the Aerospace and Defence Technology conglomerate that they are no longer under Blacklist and can again participate in Indian tenders. Back in 2005, India had imposed a ban on Denel after undue allegations on sale of NTW 20 Anti-Materiel Rifles to India. DRDO’s Bhim, the Self-Propelled Tracked Howitzer project, consisting of the Denel T-6 Turret, mounted on the Arjun MBT chassis was developed and tested successfully and was also cleared for production, but after the ban on Denel, the Bhim Tracked project was also put on hold.


The Indian Army had a requirement of 400 Mounted 155mm/52-Cal howitzers, out of which 200 could be based on the Arjun chassis and another 200 to be mounted on modified TATRA trucks. India’s Bhim 155mm Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer was earlier noted by DRDO to have been "evaluated and accepted" by the Indian Army, when the Bhim had a Denel T-6 Gun Turret. After Denel was blacklisted by the Indian Government, the Bhim became effectively gun-less, and remained so for sometime. DRDO worked hard to find the Bhim a new 155mm Gun Turret. Is India's Bhim 155mm/52-Cal Tracked Self-Propelled Howitzer back on track now, with the Denel T-6 Turret available again. DRDO had earlier revealed that "the system has been successfully evaluated and accepted by the User". The hybrid foreign gun mated with the indigenous Arjun chassis, DRDO’s Bhim was one of the finest 155mm/52-Calibre Self-Propelled Howitzers, with superior firepower, high mobility and system availability characteristics. It consisted of a fully autonomous turret mated onto an Arjun MBT Chassis. The projectiles are of Extended Range Full-Bore (ERFB), Extended Range Base Bleed (ERBB), and Bofors-capable of providing increased range and destructive terminal effective as an area weapon. The range can be further enhanced to 52 km with the help of Velocity-Assisted Projectiles (VLAP). The vehicle is equipped with 1030 KW power pack, with state-of-the-art  hydro-gas suspension for  high-mobility with excellent ride comfort. The combat mass of the system is 52-ton, with a crew of five, namely commander, gunner, loaders (two) and driver. The exceptional ballistics together with the comprehensive sub-systems with the most advanced technologies could in the near future make Bhim one of the finest Self-Propelled Guns with the Denel T-6 Turret.         - Abhishek Kaul