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   ** Official Media Partner: DEFEXPO INDIA 2018 & DSA 2018 SHOW PREVIEWS: 15 MAR - 15 APRIL 2018 SPECIAL COLLECTORS' ISSUE **        INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 49th Year in Defence Publishing:44th Year of Monthly Publication       

LATEST ISSUES

Top Stories

Raksha Mantri Visits Forward Army & Air Force Bases in Assam & Arunachal Pradesh

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the Forward Army Posts in Arunachal Pradesh and Air Force Base in Eastern Assam. The visit to the Forward Army & Air Force Bases followed her visits to Bomdilla and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

Raksha Mantri Visits Forward Army & Air Force Bases in Assam & Arunachal Pradesh
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the Forward Army Posts in Arunachal Pradesh and Air Force Base in Eastern Assam. The visit to the Forward Army & Air Force Bases followed her visits to Bom...
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Defence Minister Visits CVRDE

The Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden visit to Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, Chennai. The RM was taken to various Technology Centres by Director, CVRDE to witness the products and systems/technologies developed by CVRDE.

Defence Minister Visits CVRDE
The Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden visit to Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, Chennai.
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DRDO Conducts Successful Flight Trial of Nirbhay Sub-Sonic Long-Range Cruise Missile

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved yet another feat on 7th November with the successful test flight of NIRBHAY - India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long-Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile, which can be deployed from multiple platforms.

DRDO Conducts Successful Flight Trial of Nirbhay Sub-Sonic Long-Range Cruise Missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved yet another feat on 7th November with the successful test flight of NIRBHAY - India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long-Rang...
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Successful Firing of BrahMos Air- Launched Missile from Su-30MKI

IAF successfully fired the BrahMos Air Version Anti-Ship Missile from its Frontline Su-30MKI Fighter aircraft off the Eastern Coast. The Air-Launched BrahMos Missile is a 2.5 ton Supersonic Air-to-Surface Cruise Missile with ranges of more than 400 kms.

Successful Firing of BrahMos Air- Launched Missile from Su-30MKI
IAF successfully fired the BrahMos Air Version Anti-Ship Missile from its Frontline Su-30MKI Fighter aircraft off the Eastern Coast. The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed t...
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DEFENSE & SECURITY 2017 SHOW REPORT

Defense & Security 2017, the Tri-Services Asian Defence & Security Exhibition & Conference was  held from 6th to 9th November 2017 at IMPACT Exhibition Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, which has positioned itself as a major event in the ASEAN Region. Defense & Security 2017 featured over 400 companies exhibiting from about 50 countries.

DEFENSE & SECURITY 2017 SHOW REPORT
Defense & Security 2017, the Tri-Services Asian Defence & Security Exhibition & Conference was held from 6th to 9th November 2017 at IMPACT Exhibition Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Defense & Security...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, 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 Power Dominance capabilities, with Su-30MKIs, Upgraded Mirage 2000s & Jaguars, Rafale MMRCAs, FGFA, LCA Tejas, C-17s, C-130Js, Do-228s, Avro replacement with C295W MTAs, ALH Dhruv, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Mi-17V5s, Chinook Heavy-Lift & Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, Trainers, etc. and various types of Radar Systems, Weapons Systems and SAGW Systems, either being inducted or in final stages of contract negotiations. Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who covered almost all the IAF programmes of Modernisation, including Fighters & Weapons, Upgrades, AWACS/AEW&Cs, Refuellers, Trainers, Transporters, Akash Missile System & BrahMos-A Missile, Astra BVRAAM, UAS/RPAs, etc. We feature the Exclusive Interview of the Air Chief with Chanakya. Excerpts:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF: “IAF is Progressing Well on a Capability Driven Modernisation Plan”
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. Chanakya Intervie...
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DUBAI AIR SHOW REPORT

The 15th Dubai Air Show 2017 was held at DWC Dubai from 12th to 16th November 2017. The Dubai Air Show had 159 Aircraft displayed, with above 1,200 exhibitors from about 60 countries. Dassault Aviation’s Rafale & Mirage 2000-9 Fighters; Saab Gripen; Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet & F-15 Fighters, Apache & Chinook Helicopters; Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and C-130J Super Hercules, Sikorsky CH-53K; Airbus Defence & Space’s C295 Airlifters, the Eurofighter Typhoon; Pilatus PC-12NG, were amongst the aircraft presented at Dubai.

DUBAI AIR SHOW REPORT
The 15th Dubai Air Show 2017 was held at DWC Dubai from 12th to 16th November 2017. The Dubai Air Show had 159 Aircraft displayed, with above 1,200 exhibitors from about 60 countries. Dubai Air Show ...
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Next-Generation Rafale Fighters For IAF in 2019

While the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be inducting the Next-Generation Rafale Fighters in the current F3R Standard from September 2019 onwards, the Rafale F4 Standard is to start a six-year Development Phase soon, where new and modern Advanced Combat Missile and Engine Technologies will be introduced. Rafale F4 will include Weapon Integration modifications, including new Variants of Air-to-Air MICA, SCALP and the Nuclear Cruise Missile ASMP-A.

Next-Generation Rafale Fighters For IAF in 2019
While the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be inducting the Next-Generation Rafale Fighters in the current F3R Standard from September 2019 onwards, the Rafale F4 Standard is to start a six-year Developme...
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Airbus Helicopters Offers Complete Know-how for Indian Helicopter Programmes

A select group of Indian journalists were invited to Marignane in France to witness the handing over of the last two AS565 MBe Panther Helicopters to the Mexican Navy. There are three Naval Helicopter programmes in the pipeline in India - the Multi-Role Helicopter (MRH), Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) and Naval Multi-Role Helicopter (NMRH). Airbus Helicopters, which has Mahindra Aerospace as a ‘Strategic Partner’ in India, is fielding the AS565 MBe Panther for the NUH programme and the helicopter leader is now concentrating on finalising a location for the facility and building an Indian Supply Chain that would eventually form part of the global supply chain in the years to come.

Airbus Helicopters Offers Complete Know-how for Indian Helicopter Programmes
A select group of Indian journalists were invited to Marignane in France to witness the handing over of the last two AS565 MBe Panther Helicopters to the Mexican Navy. There are three Naval Helicopte...
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INS KALVARI SCORPENE-CLASS SUBMARINE COMMISSIONED INTO INDIAN NAVY

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kalvari (S-21), the first of the six Scorpene-Class Submarines built under Project 75 (Kalvari-Class) into the Indian Navy at an impressive ceremony recently held at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre, National Security Advisior Ajit Kumar Doval, and Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff were present on this significant occasion.

INS KALVARI SCORPENE-CLASS SUBMARINE COMMISSIONED INTO INDIAN NAVY
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kalvari (S-21), the first of the six Scorpene-Class Submarines built under Project 75 (Kalvari-Class) into the Indian Navy at an impressive...
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67 YEARS: INDIAN NAVY SPECIAL REPORT

The year 2017 has witnessed significant capability accretion through induction of a number of state-of-the-art Combat Platforms into the Indian Navy, including the 3rd Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette INS Kiltan, which has about 80% indigenous content, the Water Jet Fast Attack Craft and Fast Interceptor Craft, Landing Craft Utility Ships, etc. The commissioning of INS Kalvari, the first Ship of Scorpene-Class Submarines, was an important milestone in the indigenous Shipbuilding programme, alongwith the 2nd Scorpene Khanderi undertaking trials, with the Arihant-Class Submarine, will further boost the Indian Navy’s combat potential. The construction of the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant is progressing at Kochi. The Navy is also finalising plans and design for the next Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-II), said the Navy Chief at the Annual Pre-Navy Day Press Conference. We feature a Special Report on the Indian Navy.

67 YEARS: INDIAN NAVY SPECIAL REPORT
The year 2017 has witnessed significant capability accretion through induction of a number of state-of-the-art Combat Platforms into the Indian Navy, including the 3rd Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Co...
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INTERVIEW IGNS, INDIAN NAVY

Interview of Senior-most serving Submariner - Vice Admiral Srikant, Inspector General Nuclear Submarines (IGNS) on occasion of Submarine Day celebrated on 8th December 2017, when the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm completed 50 Years of Service.

“P-75(I) RFP Targeted for Mid-2018” - Vice Admiral Srikant, IGNS Indian Navy
Interview of Senior-most serving Submariner - Vice Admiral Srikant, Inspector General Nuclear Submarines (IGNS) on occasion of Submarine Day celebrated on 8th December 2017, when the Indian Navy’s Su...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: NAVY CHIEF

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA,
CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF
“Transition Into Modern Multi-
Dimensional Force Commendable”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF “Transition Into Modern Multi- Dimensional Force Commendable”
Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA, Chief of the Naval Staff, covering most aspects of Indian Naval Acquisitions and Force Transformation, including Carriers, Surface Combatants, Submarines & H...
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Indian Air Force Chief Flies Rafale Fighter In France

The Rafale Combat Aircraft will come with various India-specific modifications including Israeli Helmet Mounted Displays, Radar Warning Receivers and Low-Band Jammers, most importantly, delivering nuclear weapons and will be equipped with the latest Missiles and PGMs giving the IAF greater supremacy over rivals. The improvements under the proposed F4 Standard, still under discussion, will reportedly transfer to the IAF’s Rafale Fleet when ready.

Indian Air Force Chief Flies Rafale Fighter In France
The Rafale Combat Aircraft will come with various India-specific modifications. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff was on an official visit to France from 17th to 20th Ju...
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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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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...
+Read More

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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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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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...
+Read More

News



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B.S. DHANOA

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, Upgraded Mirage 2000s & Jaguars, Rafale MMRCAs, FGFA, LCA Tejas, C-17s, C-130Js, Do-228s, Avro replacement with C295W MTAs, ALH Dhruv, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Mi-17V5s, Chinook Heavy-Lift & Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, Trainers, etc. and various types of Radar Systems, Weapons Systems and SAGW Systems, either being inducted or in final stages of contract negotiations. Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who covered almost all the IAF programmes of Modernisation, including Fighters & Weapons, Upgrades, AWACS/AEW&Cs, Refuellers, Trainers, Transporters, Akash Missile System & BrahMos-A Missile, Defence Space Agency, etc. We feature the Exclusive Interview of the Air Chief with Chanakya. Excerpts:


Q.        On the occasion of Aero India, kindly elaborate upon the major acquisitions projects being undertaken and brief us on the IAF's Future Vision for 2030?
A. 
       Modernisation is a continuous process and IAF is progressing as planned in the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP). IAF pursues its modernisation by periodic upgradation of the existing equipment and induction of new weapon platforms and systems towards which IAF plans to induct Rafale aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and balance of Su-30 MKI aircraft in the near future. Induction Plans also includes Special Operations Aircraft, Attack Helicopters, Heavy Lift Helicopters and Medium Lift Helicopters. Upgrade plan is intended to ensure that its legacy fleet remains contemporary. In this regard, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Jaguar and An-32, are being upgraded in a phased manner and we are also in the process of defining the contours for enhancing capabilities of Su-30 MKI aircraft. Plans to Upgrade the IL-76/78 aircraft and Mi-17/17 1V helicopters are also being pursued. Precision and Stand-Off Weapons, Long, Medium and Short-Range Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, Basic and Advanced Trainer Aircraft are also part of the procurement plan of the IAF. A large number of Radars are also being procured in order to provide adequate multi-layered Air Defence cover to the country. IAF is also progressing towards complete Network Centric Operations.


Q.     With the 36 Rafale MMRCA acquisition contract signed and 18 on option, what are your comments on the requirements for more Rafale and other Fighters for the 'Make-in-India' competition for Medium Combat Aircraft? Will the future competition be for twin-engine fighters or single-engine, or with both compete again like the previous time?
A. 
    The future requirement of fighter aircraft projected by the IAF is to ensure that we maintain optimum ratio of Light, Medium and Heavy class of Combat Aircraft. In the similar manner there is also a requirement of maintaining optimum ratio of Single and Twin-Engine aircraft. Based on the inputs given by IAF, Government is preparing a roadmap for induction of fighter aircraft in the IAF. All future induction in IAF will be in accordance with this roadmap.


Q.      Tell us about the Mirage 2000 Upgrade programme progressing at HAL, and what progress has been achieved in the IAF's Jaguar DARIN III and the MiG-29 Fighter Upgrade programmes?
A.
      Mirage 2000 aircraft is being upgraded by HAL at Bengaluru and some of the upgraded aircraft are already operational in the IAF.
The Design and Development for IOC of DARIN III Upgrade for Jaguar aircraft has been completed and series modification is under progress at HAL. Series Upgradation of MiG-29 aircraft is being undertaken by one Base Repair Depot of IAF. Some of the Upgraded MiG-29 aircraft are already operational and have been inducted in the IAF. The numbers will progressively increase each year.


Q.      With the Next-Generation Air-to-Air Refuellers, the A330 MRTTs RFP withdrawn, when is the Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) going to be finalised, and would it be another G2G contract?
A. 
     The IAF was pursuing the case for Flight Refueller Aircraft (FRA) earlier. However, after the withdrawal of RFP, IAF is exploring available options in order to ensure that this critical capability is available to us in earliest possible timeframe.


Q.      When will the IAF get the 6 new C-130J Super Hercules and one replacement? The Avro Replacement Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) is to be produced by Airbus Defence & Space with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL), what is the progress with this 'Make-in-India' programme of the IAF?
A
.      The additional six C-130J-30 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in first half of 2017. Procurement of 56 Transport Aircraft (C295MW) as replacement for Avro aircraft is underway.  The Field Evaluation Trials (FET) have been completed and the commercial negotiation is likely to commence shortly.


Q.       Has there been any recent progress in the IAF's Indo-Russian 5th Generation Fighter Project?
A.
       5th-Generation Fighter Aircraft is a Joint Indo-Russian project. HAL from Indian side and Rosoboronexport from the Russian side are the lead agencies for the project. The Preliminary Design Phase has been accomplished in June 2013. At present, the Research and Development (R&D) contract is under finalisation and the proposal is being reviewed by a Joint Committee.


Q.       What are your expectations for the LCA Mk-1A and how satisfied is the IAF with the induction of the first lot of LCA Tejas Fighters?
A
.        In order to meet the urgent operational requirement, IAF has expressed that LCA MK-1A aircraft with four additional capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) Missiles, Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) capability and Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite will meet its current requirement. Induction of aircraft for first Squadron of LCA is under progress. These aircraft are being inducted in Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standards. It will take some time for us to fully exploit this aircraft operationally; however, initial feedback about the aircraft is encouraging and LCA will add to the combat potential of IAF.


Q.      With Pilot Training progressing with Hawk AJTs and Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II Turboprop Basic Trainers, are there any plans for acquiring more trainers?
A
.       IAF has initiated a process for conducting Two-aircraft three stage flying training pattern on the PC-7 Mk-II and Hawk. Limited numbers of flight cadets have completed their training on this pattern and we are closely monitoring their progress in various fleets to validate this new pattern of training. More Pilatus aircraft are planned to be procured under option clause and we are also progressing the case for procurement of additional Hawk Advance Jet Trainer. IAF also plans to induct indigenous HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft after completion of its design and development.  


Q.      What is the schedule of the Apache and Chinook Helicopters to be inducted into service?
A.
       The induction of Apache and Chinook helicopters will commence in 2019 and will be completed by 2020.


Q.       Kindly update us on the Reconnaissance & Surveillance Helicopters (RSH), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) and Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) projects of 'Make-in-India', and what are the IAF's future requirements for these Rotorcraft, as Industry awaits another RFP for the remaining RSHs?
A.
       Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and Russia has been signed for the procurement of Ka-226T Recce and Surveillance Helicopter. Few helicopters would be acquired in fly-away condition and balance would be co-produced by a Joint Venture (JV) between the Russian companies and HAL under 'Make-in-India' programme. The LUH is being designed and developed by HAL. It is a single-engine helicopter in 2-3 ton class as a replacement for Chetak/ Cheetah fleet. At present D&D flight trials for LUH are under progress and the Initial Operational Clearance is expected shortly.


Q.       Please tell us about the IAF's Helicopters Upgrade programmes?
A.
       The Medium-Lift Helicopters are planned to be upgraded by Elbit, Israel and the IAF. The contract is expected to be signed shortly.


Q.     What is the progress with the IAF's AWACS/ AEW&C projects?
A.
      The case for procurement of two additional AWACS is at final stages of approval. As regards AEW&C, final phase of D&D flight trials towards system performance validation is under progress and the aircraft is likely to be inducted in first half of 2017. Further, DRDO is progressing a case for procurement of platform for AWACS (India) programme and the case is at the final stages of approval.


Q.      With the Air-Launched BrahMos Variant been integrated on the IAF's Su-30 MKI Fighter and flight tests being undertaken, when do we have the BrahMos Air-Launch separation trials and by when do you foresee the first live firing trials of the BrahMos-A Missile?
A.
       The first flight with the missile was flown in July 2016 and the first missile separation was executed successfully on 31st August 2016. The flight trials are progressing smoothly and the firing of the live Missiles from the Su-30MKI are expected shortly.


Q.       How do you see the DRDO's AMCA project progressing and update us on the indigenous Air-to-Air ASTRA Missile project?
A. 
     The feasibility study of the AMCA aircraft has been carried out by ADA and identification of suitable engine for the AMCA is being finalised by DRDO. The PSQRs for AMCA are in the process of finalisation. Regarding indigenous Air-to-Air BVR Missile ASTRA; firing trials of the missile from Su-30MKI is under progress. Few more development trials are currently in progress to validate the entire launch envelop prior to its induction.


Q.      With the IAF inducting the Akash Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, how have the test firings gone so far? What is the progress with the advanced Akash NG Variant?
A. 
       Based on the indigenous Akash meeting the desired performance criteria during the last 20th May 2016 firing by IAF & Indian Army, IAF has initiated the case for procurement of 14 more Firing Units of Akash Missile System. Validation Firing Trials of MR-SAM System were also very encouraging and induction of the Missile System is under progress. For next variant of Akash, IAF is working with DRDO to develop Akash Next-Generation Missile with superior performance, lighter weight and advanced technology.


Q.       Lastly, what is the progress within the Government for setting up the Aerospace or Air & Space Command?
A.
      MoD has communicated that formation of Aerospace Command will be considered after 2020 and in the interim; a case is being processed for expanding Integrated Space Cell (ISC) at HQ IDS to Defence Space Agency (DSA). DSA is proposed to be headed by a two star officer under Chairman, COSC directly. It will perform a role of Tri-Service Nodal Agency and will form as nucleus for the future Space Command.