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** CHANAKYA 55th YEAR ** 15th AUGUST 2024 INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL ISSUE ** EGYPT INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW PREVIEW (MEDIA PARTNER - BONUS DISTRIBUTION) ** BALI INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW 2024 PREVIEW (MEDIA PARTNER - BONUS DISTRIBUTION) ** FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW 2024 SPECIAL SHOW REPORT **         INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 55th Year in Defence Publishing: 50th Year of Monthly Publication       

LATEST ISSUES

Top Stories

EMBRAER C-390 MILLENNIUM

Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of jointly fulfilling the acquisition of the C-390 Millennium Multi-Mission Tactical Aircraft by the Indian Air Force in its upcoming Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) Procurement Project.

Embraer and Mahindra Announce Collaboration on the C-390 Millennium Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) for Indian Air Force
To date, the C-390 Millennium has been selected by Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Aust
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AIRBUS C295 TACTICAL AIRLIFTER

The Airbus C295 Medium Tactical Transport Aircraft has reached 300 orders. From the Pacific Ocean to the Arabian desert, from the tropical jungle to the Sahel and the Kazakh steppe, the C295 and its market share have become a success story for the European and Spanish Aerospace Industry. Here are some interesting facts and figures about the C295 Aircraft.

Airbus C295 Hits 300 Orders: The Story of a Global Leader
The Airbus C295 has reached 300 orders following the Republic of Kazakhstan’s acquisition of a thir
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GA-ASI MQ-9B RPAS

India is acquiring 31 GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), with 15 SeaGuardians for the Indian Navy and 8 each SkyGuardians for the Indian Air Force & Indian Army. Chanakya profiles the mega acquisition of the MQ-9Bs, while outlining the HALE RPAS’ outstanding characteristics.

U.S. Approves US$ 4 Billion FMS Deal to Sell India 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian RPAS
The Next-Generation MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) manu
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NAVAL COMMANDERS' CONFERENCE 1/24

The Inaugural Session of the three-day event saw Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh embarking at sea to witness the Indian Navy’s ability to conduct ‘Twin-Carrier Operations’. Both Aircraft Carriers showcased the growing capabilities of the Navy to safeguard India’s Maritime interests.

1st Naval Commanders’ Conference of 2024: Raksha Mantri Witnesses ‘Twin-Carrier Operations’
The First Edition of the Biannual Naval Commanders’ Conference 2024 was conducted from 5th to 8th M
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PM OPENS BOEING CAMPUS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially commemorated the opening of the New State-of-the-Art Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) Campus in Bengaluru. Built with an investment of Rs. 1,600 crore, the 43-acre campus is Boeing’s largest such investment outside the U.S.

Prime Minister Modi Opens New State-of-the-Art Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC) Campus in Bengaluru
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Announces Two Landmark Boeing Initiatives to Advance the Future of Avi
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South Korea Selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has recently announced Embraer’s C-390 Millennium as the winner of the Large Transport Aircraft (LTA) II public tender to provide the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) with new Military Transport Aircraft.

ROKAF Will be Asia’s First C-390 Millennium Operator & 7th Nation to Select C-390s
South Korea is the C-390 Millennium’s first customer in Asia. Under the signed contract, Embraer wi
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MBDA Missiles Systems

MBDA is ready to consider integration of Brimstone Missiles onto the MQ-9B Predator, which are to be procured by India, according to an MBDA official, speaking to a select group of journalists from India visiting the Missile Leaders’ Facilities in UK’s Bolton and France.

MBDA Missiles Systems for Indian Armed Forces
A select group of journalists from India visited the MBDA Missile Systems’ Facilities in UK’s Bolto
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: GENERAL MANOJ PANDE, CHIEF OF THE ARMY STAFF (COAS)

Chanakya Interviewed GENERAL MANOJ PANDE, CHIEF OF THE ARMY STAFF (COAS), who briefly covered some ARMY programmes of Modernisation, including Emergency Weapons Procurements, Air Defence, Drones & Unmanned and Autonomous Systems (UAS); Automation, Digitization, Networking, including ACCCS, SAMA (Situational Awareness Module), ANUMAAN and Battlefield Surveillance System, etc. On the occasion of the 76th Army Day 2024, we feature the Exclusive Interview of the Army Chief with Chanakya:

“The Military Role of Unmanned Weapon Systems is Growing at Unprecedented Rates”
Indian Army is going through a Transformation process acquiring State-of-the-Art Weapon Platforms a
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF

ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) of Indian Navy in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to CHANAKYA said “The Navy is steadfastly striving for rapid modernisation of the force through indigenous route and is committed to becoming fully AtmaNirbhar by 2047.” He spoke about the future plans of the Indian Navy and the various Air Operations integration trials undertaken on the deck of INS Vikrant Aircraft Carrier.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF “Towards Capacity & Capability Building of the Navy, 67 Ships & Submarines are Under Construction”
For Indian Navy Day 2023, CHANAKYA Interviewed CNS ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR covering Indian Navy’s Mod
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Prime Minister Modi Flies Sortie in LCA Tejas

On 25th November 2023, in a historic milestone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew a sortie in the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured Tejas Twin-Seater Light Combat Fighter Aircraft at Bengaluru. During the 30-minute sortie, capabilities of Fighter Aircraft Tejas were demonstrated to the PM.

Prime Minister Modi Flies in the Indigenously-Manufactured Twin-Seater Fighter LCA Tejas
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew a sortie in the Tejas Twin-Seater Light Combat Fighter Aircraft a
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NAVANTIA S-81 SUBMARINE

On the 30th of November, 2023, the S-81 Isaac Peral Submarine has been commissioned to the Spanish Navy. It is the first boat of the series of 4 that have been designed and built entirely by Navantia for the Spanish Navy.

SPANISH NAVY’S NAVANTIA S-80 SUBMARINE, IN SERVICE
After this key milestone of the S-80 Programme, the Spanish Navy will have in service one of the mo
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MBDA NAVAL MISSILES

MBDA is proud to celebrate Indian Navy Day 2023, and to mark a long history supporting the Indian Navy with the highest performing Missile Systems. From Anti-Ship Missiles, to Air Defence Systems, and the latest in Naval Aviation Weaponry, MBDA has supported the Indian Navy for decades and is committed to continuing to do so today and into the future, says Ludovic Dumont, General Delegate, MBDA India Private Limited.

MBDA Celebrates Indian Navy Day 2023 by Ludovic Dumont, General Delegate, MBDA India Private Limited
MBDA well understands the importance of operational capability and sovereignty to the Indian Navy a
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Embraer C-390 Millennium Medium Military Transport Aircraft

The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic announced the start of negotiations on potential acquisition of the New-Generation Multi-Mission Embraer C-390 Millennium, a Tactical Military Transport Aircraft. The Czech Republic's Ministry of Defence has identified the C-390 as the most suitable solution for meeting the requirements of the Army of the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic Selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium as its Next Medium Military Transport Aircraft
The Embraer Defense & Security's New-Generation Multi-Mission Embraer C-390 Millennium, a Tactical
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DUBAI AIR SHOW PREVIEW

The 18th Dubai Air Show 2023 is being held at DWC Dubai from 13th to 17th November 2023. The Dubai Air Show will have about 160 Aircraft displays, with 1,200 Plus exhibitors from above 50 countries. Dubai Air Show 2023 visitors view the thrills of Al Fursan, the UAE Aerobatic Team and other fascinating Air Displays including the IAF’s LCA Tejas, which flew last time.

DUBAI AIR SHOW 2023 SPECIAL SHOW PREVIEW
Dassault Aviation’s Rafale & Mirage 2000-9 Fighters; Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet & F-15 Fighters,
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1st Airbus C-295MW Inducted into IAF

“C-295 Will Bolster the Medium Lift Tactical Capability of IAF”: RM Rajnath Singh

The formal induction of the First Airbus C-295MW Transport Aircraft into the IAF took place on 25th September 2025 in an Induction Ceremony held at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad. This Medium Lift Tactical Aircraft, which is capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds, will replace the HS-748 Avro Aircraft.

First Airbus C-295MW Transport Aircraft Inducted into the Indian Air Force
While the first 16 of the 56 contracted Airbus C-295MW aircraft will be delivered to the IAF in a '
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

“Procurement of Six AEW&C Mk-II
is Underway”

Indian Air Force is going through a Transformation process acquiring State-of-the-Art Platforms and Systems, and through Upgrades, to boost India’s Air Dominance Capabilities, with 36 New Rafales, 51 Upgraded Mirage 2000s, DARIN-III Jaguars, LCA Tejas Mk-1A, C-17s, C-130J-30s, Do-228s, Avro replacement with 56 C-295MW MTAs, ALH Rudra Mk-IV, Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH); Mi-17V5s; Chinook Heavy-Lift Helicopters & Apache Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, etc. and various types of Radar & Air Defence Weapons Systems and SAGW, SAAW, etc. either have been inducted or are in final stages of procurement.

AIR CHIEF INTERVIEW
Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly c
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SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES

Safran is an International High-Technology Group operating in the Aviation (Propulsion, Equipment & Interiors), Defence & Space markets. Safran has Aircraft Engines for Mainline & Regional Airplanes, to Business Jet Powerplants, & Engines for Military Transport, Training, Combat, Surveillance & In-Flight Refueling Missions. Safran has a global presence and holds world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.

Safran Aircraft Engines and India Shine on the Champs Élysées
Safran Aircraft Engines has been a trusted partner to the Indian Air Force for over 4 decades. The
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Creation of Theatre Commands Delayed

The much-awaited Military Reform of creating Integrated Theatre Commands, which will entail having all War-Fighting Assets and Forces under a single Commander for a specific geographical area, is not expected to take place anytime soon. The Theatre Commands are inevitable and will be eventually formed as the delay is only to bring about a wider consensus.

Creation of Theatre Commands Delayed: No Consensus Yet, CDS For Wider Consultations on Tri-Services Jointness in Operations
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan has been reportedly asked to reach a wider consen
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INTERVIEW: WILLIAM L. BLAIR, VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LOCKHEED MARTIN INDIA

At Aero India 2023, Lockheed Martin presents the C-130J Super Hercules, of which the IAF operates a fleet. The Lockheed Martin F-21 Fighter Jet, an impressive Multi-Mission Platform, for which Lockheed Martin announced the future potential production in India in Partnership with Tata Advanced Systems; and its’ Multi-Mission Rotorcraft, like Sikorsky’s MH-60R, S-92, CH-53K & S-76; the Javelin - the world’s most versatile Precision Weapon System, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

“F-21 Would Serve As a Force Multiplier for the Indian Air Force”
The MH-60R SEAHAWK Helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced Maritime Helicopters for ASW/ASuW
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INTERVIEW: LUDOVIC DUMONT, COUNTRY HEAD MBDA & MBDA INDIA GENERAL DELEGATE

MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles & Missile Systems, which designs & produces Missiles & Missile Systems for the three Armed Forces - Land, Sea & Air. The MBDA Group offers a range of 45 Missile Systems & Counter-Measures products already in operational service, including MBDA’s Range of Missiles for IAF’s Rafale Fighters, and over 15 missiles in development stage. Chanakya Interviews LUDOVIC DUMONT, Country Head MBDA & MBDA India General Delegate, who articulates on MBDA’s Range of Missiles for the IAF’s Rafale, & Rafale-M Fighter, including the Meteor BVRAAM & SCALP Missiles; MICA IR & RF Missiles for the Rafale & Upgraded Mirage 2000s of the IAF; Mistral ATAM for the ALH Rudra WSI & LCHs; ASRAAM Missiles for the Jaguar Fighter Upgrade & for the Tejas LCA Mk.1A.

“Tejas LCA Mk.1A to be Armed with MBDA ASRAAM Missile”
Ludovic Dumont also informs about the MBDA Brimstone & new AKERON MP Missiles; and MBDA’s Naval Mis
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INTERVIEW: JAJATI MOHANTY, CEO, SCHIEBEL INDIA

Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Air System is a proven capability for Military & Civilian Applications. The Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a range out to 200 km, both on Land and at Sea. The S-100 navigates automatically via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or can be operated directly with a Pilot Control Unit. Missions are planned and controlled via a simple point-and-click graphical user interface.

“Camcopter S-100 is a Mission-Proven Asset”
High-definition Payload Imagery is transmitted to the Control Station in real-time. Using "fly-by-w
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INTERVIEW: ASHISH SARAF, VICE PRESIDENT & COUNTRY DIRECTOR, THALES IN INDIA

For almost decades, Thales has been Partnering the Indian growth story by sharing its technologies and expertise in Defence, Aerospace, Transport and Digital Identity & Security markets. Over the years, it has developed a mature industrial footprint in the country's Defence Sector via a diverse range of high-tech products, services, and collaborations, supporting the Indian Armed Services' Modernisation efforts.

“BDL is Progressing Well to Bring STARStreak MANPAD System to India”
Thales provides several State-of-the-Art Equipment & Systems aboard the Rafale Fighter - ‘Game-Chan
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BHANU PRAKASH SRIVASTAVA, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL)

BEL, a Navratna PSU under the Ministry of Defence, is India’s leading Defence & Strategic Electronics Company, having the capabilities & expertise in Defence Electronics Domain. BEL produces Radar and Fire Control Systems, Weapon Systems, Communication, Network Centric Systems (C4I), Electronic Warfare Systems, Avionics, Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems & Sonars, Electro-Optics, Tank Electronics, Gun Upgrades, etc.

“BEL is Fast Expanding its Global Presence”
BEL has also been addressing the Non-Defence market by offering high quality products & solutions,
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AIRBUS DEFENCE & SPACE

With PM Modi laying the foundation stone of C295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility to manufacture C295 Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain, the project is now underway in Gujarat. Out of 56, 40 C295 MTAs will be manufactured in India by the TATA Consortium. Interest is now shifting towards the C295 MPA - Maritime Patrol Aircraft, which is to be acquired by the Indian Navy, and is one of the multiple C295MW Variants manufactured by Airbus.

Airbus Remains Committed to Developing India’s Defence Industry
The focus is also back on the pending acquisition of the New-Generation A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ATUL DINKAR RANE, DG BRAHMOS, DRDO and CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE

BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is capable to fulfil any export requirements, if the Government decides, while serving the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force requirements, for which the company has received new missiles orders. There is interest in BRAHMOS in South-East Asia, Middle East & Latin America, after an order from Philippines.

“Top-Most Priority is the Design and Development of BRAHMOS-NG”
In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, ATUL DINKAR RANE, Outstanding Scientist, Director General
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

Indian Air Force is going through a Transformation process acquiring State-of-the-Art Platforms and Systems, and through Upgrades, to boost India’s Air Dominance Capabilities, with 36 New Rafales, Upgraded Mirage 2000s, DARIN-III Jaguars, LCA Tejas Mk.1A, C-17s, C-130J-30s, Do-228s, 56 C295MW MTAs, ALH Rudra Mk.IV, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH); Mi-17V5s; Chinook Heavy-Lift Helicopters & Apache Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, etc. and various types of Radar & Air Defence Weapons Systems and SAGW, either been inducted or in final stages of contract negotiations.

“IAF Plans to Induct Six Squadrons of the MRFA in a Phased Manner”
Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly c
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INDIAN NAVY CHIEF EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to CHANAKYA said “Considering the indigenous expertise available with respect to design and construction of IAC-1, a repeat order of IAC-1 with suitable modifications to incorporate lessons learnt from IAC-1 and future capabilities envisaged is being explored.”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF: “AoN has been Accorded for Acquisition of 49 Ships & Six Submarines”
On the larger IAC-II, he said “The AoN for the project would be progressed in due course of time.”
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Navantia, Reliable Partner for India

Spain’s Navantia has a long success story in the international market, as the result of the National Programmes for the Spanish Navy. Regarding the LPD programme, Navantia is Partnering with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with a solution based on the Spanish Navy Juan Carlos I Class LPD, a superior design when it comes to perform an Expeditionary Force Deployment in a delicate scenario. It is an outstanding design trusted by the Spanish Navy, the Turkish Navy, and the Royal Australian Navy, where the ships play a major role in the international activity.

Navantia Is Currently Participating in Several International Cooperation Programmes
Navantia is also participating in the Submarine competition P-75(I) for the Indian Navy, with the S
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KONGSBERG NAVAL STRIKE MISSILE - NSM

KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace, a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, is Norway's premier supplier of Defence & Aerospace-related Systems & Solutions, including products & systems for Command & Control, Information, Data Handling, Surveillance, Communications Solutions, Space Technology, Missiles and Remotely Controlled Systems. In an Exclusive Interview to Chanakya, JOHNNY STØA, Regional Marketing Director, Missile Systems, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS, elaborated on the NSM & JSM success story.

INTERVIEW: JOHNNY STØA, Regional Marketing Director, Missile Systems, KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace AS
In an Exclusive Interview to Chanakya, JOHNNY STØA, Regional Marketing Director, Missile Systems, K
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GARDEN REACH SHIPBUILDERS

Indian Navy Day is also proud moment for GRSE as the organisation has been associated with the Indian Navy for long and over the last six decades, we have primarily been building Warships and other Vessels for the country's Navy and Coast Guard. From Frigates, Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Utility to Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft - the repertoire is rich and varied, says Cmde P. R. Hari, IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited, in this Special Guest Contribution.

GRSE: Creating New Horizons in Maritime Security by Cmde P. R. Hari, IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited
Over last 61 years, GRSE has built 788 Platforms including 107 Warships for Indian Navy, Indian Coa
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C295MW AIRLIFTERS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of C295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility - the country’s first in the Private Sector in Vadodara, Gujarat on October 30th, 2022. The facility will manufacture C295 Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.

Prime Minister Modi Lays Foundation Stone of C295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility in Vadodara
This is the first project of its kind in which a Military Aircraft will be manufactured in India by
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DASSAULT AVIATION RAFALE-M FOR INDIAN NAVY

With the Deliveries of all 36 IAF Rafale Fighters of Dassault Aviation having been completed, and the Indian Navy having already tested the Rafale-Marine Carrier-Borne Fighter in Goa for evaluation in the Indian Navy’s Carrier-Fighter Tender, there is scope for additional Rafales to be purchased by India for the Indian Navy as well, which is soon starting its trials of the Rafale-Marine Carrier-Borne Variant on its Aircraft Carrier, and can go for 26 Rafale-Marine Variants, in a competition with Boeing’s F/A-18, which has heated up now.

RAFALE - MARINE Force Multiplier at Sea
While 325 Rafales Fighters have been ordered (133 for export) and 239 delivered by the end of 2021,
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IAI's DEFENCE SYSTEMS

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a world-class Aerospace and Defence Company innovating and delivering state-of-the-art technologies in Space, Air, Land, Naval, Cyber & Homeland Security for Defence and Commercial markets. In India, IAI’s Weapon Systems & Unmanned Systems are in Service with the Indian Defence Forces, with IAI opening new Subsidiaries in India and signing MoUs with HAL.

IAI’s Strategic & Tactical Systems
IAI provides customers with tailor-made, cutting-edge solutions to the unique challenges they face
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SAFRAN AIRCRAFT ENGINES

Recently, the CEO of French Aircraft Engine Maker SAFRAN called on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and briefed the RM on Safran’s Mission in India. A World-Leading Military Aircraft Engine Manufacturer, No. 1 in Europe, Safran Aircraft Engines powers some 20 types of Military Aircraft in 30 countries, including the M88 Engine for Rafale Fighters. Safran Military Engines for Rafale & Mirage 2000 Fighters are global benchmarks

French Aircraft Engine Maker SAFRAN Group CEO Meets Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Chanakya features the Safran M88 Engine powering the Rafale Fighters and Safran’s plans to ‘Make-in
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Navantia, Reliable Partner for India

Navantia is attending Defexpo 2022 with the commitment of strengthening ties with the Indian Industry, finding ground for collaboration and for developing further the promising future of the Naval Industry in India. The company is confident in bringing its best endeavour and commitment in order to meet both the Indian Navy needs and the Government’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat strategy in the Defence Sector.

Navantia, Reliable Partner for India
Navantia is attending Defexpo 2022 with the commitment of strengthening ties with the Indian Indust
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INTERVIEW: William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India

Lockheed Martin presents the C-130J Super Hercules, of which the IAF operates a fleet. The Lockheed Martin F-21 Fighter Jet, an equally impressive Multi-Mission Platform, for which Lockheed Martin announced the future potential production in India in Partnership with Tata Advanced Systems; and its’ Multi-Mission Rotorcraft, like Sikorsky’s MH-60R, S-92, CH-53K & S-76; the Javelin - the world’s most versatile Precision Weapon System, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The MH-60R SEAHAWK Helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced Maritime Helicopters for ASW/ASuW, now being delivered to the Indian Navy. Chanakya features an INTERVIEW with William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, covering all these and other programmes of Lockheed Martin in India.

“F-21 Will Leverage Advanced Technologies from Across Fighter Portfolio”
Chanakya features an INTERVIEW with William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Ma
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INTERVIEW: ARUN RAMCHANDANI, DIRECTOR, L&T MBDA MISSILE SYSTEMS LIMITED (LTMMSL)

MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles & Missile Systems, which designs & produces Missiles & Missile Systems for the three Armed Forces - Land, Sea & Air. Chanakya Interviews ARUN RAMCHANDANI, DIRECTOR, LTMMSL, who articulates on MICA IR & RF Missiles for the IAF’s Upgraded Mirage 2000s; alongwith Naval Missiles like Sea Ceptor & Exocet MM40 Block 3 Anti-Ship Missile, which is on offer for the Indian Navy, and ATGM5 for Indian Army. L&T MBDA Missile Systems is a Joint Venture in India between MBDA & L&T.

“L&T MBDA is Focused on Winning New Flagship Missile Programmes”
Chanakya Interviews ARUN RAMCHANDANI, DIRECTOR, LTMMSL, who articulates on MICA IR & RF Missiles fo
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: A. D. RANE, DG BRAHMOS, DRDO and CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE

BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is capable to fulfil any export requirements, if the Government decides, while serving the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force requirements, for which the company has received new missiles order. There is interest in BRAHMOS Missiles in countries like Vietnam & Indonesia, after an order from Philippines. In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, ATUL DINKAR RANE, Outstanding Scientist, Director General BRAHMOS, DRDO & Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, said that BRAHMOS Weapon has “Steep Dive & Deep Penetration” Capability. He articulated on the success achieved by various BRAHMOS Variants’ proven capabilities, including the Block-III LACM. On future plans of BrahMos Aerospace, he elaborated on the BRAHMOS NG Variant, their top-most priority, and on the successful BRAHMOS-A tests of the Airborne Cruise Missile for IAF’s Su-30MKI Fighter, and on the BrahMos ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives.

“BRAHMOS Stands Out as an Ultimate Weapon System for Multiple Platforms”
In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, ATUL DINKAR RANE, Outstanding Scientist, Director General
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: C. B. ANANTHAKRISHNAN, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL

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

“Deliveries of 83 Mk-1A Aircraft Would Commence from February 2024”
In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, C. B. ANANTHAKRISHNAN, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindust
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INTERVIEW: Venkat Katkuri, Head of Defence & Space, Airbus India & South Asia

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on September 24th, 2021, along with an Offset Contract. The induction of Airbus C295MW Airlifters will be a significant step towards Modernisation of the IAF’s Transport Fleet. Out of 56, 40 MTAs will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium. Chanakya Interviews VENKAT KATKURI, Head of Defence & Space, Airbus India & South Asia, covering the C295MW Variants and the New-Generation A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transporter on offer for IAF’s FRA Project.

“A330 MRTT Carries Upto 111 Tonnes of Fuel, Highest Capacity of All Tanker Aircraft”
Chanakya Interviews VENKAT KATKURI, Head of Defence & Space, Airbus India & South Asia, covering th
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INTERVIEW: ALAIN GARCIA, Vice President, India Business Development, Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Global Services

Boeing Defense, Space & Security has supplied C-17s, Apaches & Chinooks to the IAF, and P-8Is with Harpoon Missiles to the Indian Navy. Apaches for the Indian Army are to be delivered. In an Interview to Chanakya, Alain Garcia, Vice President, India Business Development, Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Global Services, highlighted some capabilities of the F-15EX, which is participating in the Indian Air Force MRFA Fighter competition; and elaborated on Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Block-III, which is participating in Indian Navy’s Carrier-borne Fighter competition. F/A-18 Super Hornets participated in the Operational Demonstration test flights in May & June 2022 in Goa, performed at India's Shore-Based Facility, where conditions similar to that on the indigenously-developed Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant were simulated. Soon, the INS Vikrant Carrier trials will commence. Alain also covered Boeing’s India activities.

“Super Hornet Proved its Ability to Take-Off Within INS Vikrant Ski-Jump Parameters”
In an Interview to Chanakya, Alain Garcia, Vice President, India Business Development, Boeing Defen
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, IN (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL)

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL), the oldest Shipyard in India, has now become one of the premier Warshipbuilding Yards in India, producing Warships for the Indian Navy, which include Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes, Missile Boats, OPVs, etc. MDL has built about 800 Vessels, including 26 Capital Warships and 6 Conventional Submarines. In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, IN (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, MDL, elaborates on MDL’s various activities.

“MDL is Building 4 P-15B Missile Destroyers”
In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad, IN (Retd), Chairman & Managin
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

Indian Air Force is going through a Transformation process acquiring State-of-the-Art Platforms and Systems, and through Upgrades, to boost India’s Air Dominance Capabilities, with 36 New Rafales, 34 out of 51  Upgraded Mirage 2000s, DARIN-III Jaguars, LCA Tejas Mk.1A, C-17s, C-130J-30s, Do-228s, Avro replacement with 56 C295MW MTAs, ALH Rudra Mk.IV, Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs), Light Utility Helicopters (LUH); Mi-17V5s; Chinook Heavy-Lift Helicopters & Apache Attack Helicopters, AEW&Cs/AWACS, FRA, etc. and various types of Radar & Air Defence Weapons Systems and SAGW, either been inducted or in final stages of contract negotiations. Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly covered many IAF programmes of Modernisation, including Fighters & Weapons, Upgrades, AEW&Cs, FRA, Transporters, Trainers, Air Defence, S-400, Missiles, UAS/RPAS, CUAS, UAVs, Upgrading Combat Helicopters, etc. We feature the Exclusive Interview of the Air Chief with Chanakya:

“Work is Underway for the Development of Armed Drone Technology by DRDO”: CAS
Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly c
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Navantia S81 'Isaac Peral' Submarine Completes Initial Sea Trials

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Navantia S81 'Isaac Peral' Submarine Completes Initial Sea Trials
“The S80 Submarines integrate cutting-edge technologies and innovate solutions, validating that all
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Boeing Focused On Expanding India’s Supply Chain Capabilities

It is Boeing’s honour and privilege to have been a strong partner of Indian Aerospace for more than 75 years now. On the completion of 75 Years of India’s Independence, we remain dedicated to the Nation’s inspiring progress. This Partnership has only deepened with time and continues to grow, says Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India, in this Guest contribution.

India@75: Boeing Focused On Expanding India’s Supply Chain Capabilities, by Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India
The world as we knew it is changing and India will play an important role in the new emerging world
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MBDA and India, Longstanding Partners

MBDA is proud to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence Day. India and MBDA share a long history of Partnership in equipping the Indian Armed Forces going back to the early days of India’s Independence, says Ludovic Dumont – General Delegate, MBDA, in this Guest contribution.

MBDA and India, Longstanding Partners, by Ludovic Dumont– General Delegate, MBDA
MBDA today has two focuses providing the highest performing Missile Technologies to India, and seco
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LOCKHEED MARTIN IN INDIA

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

Pawan Hans Leases Six Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky S-76D Helicopters from Milestone Aviation
The legendary S-76 Helicopter operates successfully in more than 40 countries on six continents, fu
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Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Solutions

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

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

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

“Indian Navy has Continued to Focus on Self-Reliance & Indigenous Solutions”
ADMIRAL R. HARI KUMAR, the 25th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW t
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DRDO Indigenous Defence Systems & Technologies for Indian Defence Forces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russian Helicopters Mi-171Sh Military Multi-Role Transport Helicopter
Rosoboronexport/ROSTEC - Russian Helicopters is a leading player in the Global Helicopter Industry,
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BEML Contribution on Defence Services: By Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director, BEML LIMITED

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

BEML Contribution on Defence Services, By Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director, BEML LIMITED
Being India's major Defence Equipment Manufacturer, BEML keeps the Indian Army and other Defence Fo
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INTERVIEW: JORGE GARCÍA MONEDERO, INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, NAVANTIA

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

“Navantia Wants to be the Best Partner at Sea”
The Spanish Shipbuilder NAVANTIA is a world reference in the design, building and integration of hi
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MoD Signs Contract With Airbus Defence & 56 C295MW Transporters for IAF

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

MoD Signs Contract With Airbus Defence & Space, Spain for Acquisition of 56 C295MW Transport Aircraft for IAF
The IAF will become the 35th C295 Operator worldwide, with the programme reaching 278 aircraft, 200
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IAF's RAFALE FIGHTERS

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

IAF’s Rafale Fighters Inductions Boost India’s Air Superiority
The IAF’s Rafale Long-Range Air Superiority & Precision Strike Fighters have the best Survivability
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

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

“Upgrade of Existing Fleet of UAVs to Possess Combat Capability is Being Progressed”: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF
Chanakya Interviewed AIR CHIEF MARSHAL V. R. CHAUDHARI, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF (CAS), who briefly c
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INTERVIEW: William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India

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

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AIRBUS INDIA

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Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX)

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

Raytheon Technologies Corporation: Creates Future of Aerospace & Defence
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RAFAEL

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

RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS
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Indian Navy’s Vagir 5th Scorpene Submarine Launched at MDL

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

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

Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines
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Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Military. Rolls-Royce Engines power a wide variety of aircraft in the inventory of the IAF - from Combat and Strike Aircraft (the Jaguar, powered by the Adour Mk811) to Trainers (Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, powered by Adour Mk871) to Strategic Airlift Aircraft (C-130J Super Hercules, powered by AE 2100), and even VVIP and Surveillance Aircraft (ERJ145, powered by AE 3007).

FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
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News



U.S. Approves US$ 4 Billion FMS Deal to Sell India 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian RPAS

GA-ASI MQ-9B RPAS


India is acquiring 31 GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), with 15 SeaGuardians for the Indian Navy and 8 each SkyGuardians for the Indian Air Force & Indian Army. Chanakya profiles the mega acquisition of the MQ-9Bs, while outlining the HALE RPAS’ outstanding characteristics.


U.S. Approves US$ 4 Billion FMS Deal to Sell India 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian RPAS

The Next-Generation MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), are the World’s Most Advanced Reconnaissance & Mission-Proven Unmanned Combat Strike Systems in Operation for Multi-Domain Persistent Surveillance and Offensive Missions.


The U.S. State Department notified the U.S. Congress on 1st February 2024 that it has greenlit the potential sale of 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian RPAS and related Missiles, Bombs and other Equipment to India in a deal estimated to be worth just under US$ 4 Billion.


“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and National Security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian Strategic Relationship and to improve the security of a major Defence Partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia Region,” the State Department said in the public notification. The proposed sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats by enabling Unmanned Surveillance and Reconnaissance Patrols in Sea lanes of operation.”


During his tenure, U.S. President Joe Biden has pushed for closer Defence Relations with India, a potential counterweight to American rival China in Asia. In January 2023, the U.S. and India announced a Joint Critical and Emerging Technology initiative “to elevate and expand our Strategic Technology Partnership and Defence Industrial Cooperation between Governments, businesses, and Academic Institutions of our two countries.”


Late in 2023, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to India, where he signed a new “Defence Industrial Base Cooperation Roadmap” with the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner told reporters, that was a “historic agreement that is setting our countries toward a deeper level of cooperation in an area to which there has been aspiration for decades, and often fits and starts.”


General Atomics’ describes the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, as well as its Maritime brethren, the MQ-9B SeaGuardian, as a descendant of the company’s famous MQ-9A Reaper. With a 79-foot Wingspan, General Atomics says the MQ-9B “provides enhanced payload capacity and an Open Architecture System that enables the aircraft to integrate with the most Advanced Sensor Payloads for Intelligence Gathering, Survivability, and even Kinetic Payloads for more complex operational environments.”


After obtaining the first level of clearance from the relevant U.S.Congressional leadership, the U.S. State Department has formally notified the U.S. Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 31 MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Drones to the Government of India.


In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$ 3.99 Billion.” With the Indian Government having cleared the purchase of the Drones for US$ 3 Billion, the statement acknowledges that the actual dollar value of the deal will be lower based on final requirements.


The statement acknowledged that India had “demonstrated a commitment to modernising its military” and will have no difficulty “absorbing these articles and services into its Armed Forces”, while noting that the deal will not affect the Military Balance in the region, a signal of reassurance to the U.S. Congress. “The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, CA. The purchaser typically requests Offsets. Any Offset Agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor,” the statement added.


The statement also outlined India’s request for the Drones and all the related Equipment. It said that the Indian Government has requested to buy 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian & SeaGuardian aircraft, 161 Embedded Global Positioning & Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs), 35 L3 Rio Grande Communications Intelligence Sensor Suites, 170 AGM-114R Hellfire Missiles, 16 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM), 310 GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB), 8 GBU-39B/B LSDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs) with live fuzes, TPE-331-10-GD Engines, and M299 Hellfire Missile Launchers. The other equipment included Ground Control Stations, High Frequency Radios, and Radars.


The proposed deal also includes KIV-77 Cryptographic Appliques, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Equipment, KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminals, AN/SSQ-62F, AN/SSQ-53G, and AN/SSQ-36 Sonobuoys, Common Munitions built-in-test Reprogramming Equipment, GBU-39B/B Tactical Training Rounds, Weapons Load Crew Trainers, and reliability assessment vehicles-instrumented, portable pre-flight/post-flight equipment, CCM-700A encryption devices, KI-133 Cryptographic Units, Repair Parts and Support Equipment.


India had proposed to purchase 31 MQ-9B High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) RPAS during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit to the US last year. The Biden Administration's approval is an important landmark in the Government-to-Government deal. The critical defence deal was in the works for close to six years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's U.S. visit marked the final go-ahead and the Government-to-Government U.S. $ 3.99 Billion deal was finalised. The 31 Drones will be used by the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force.


The Indian Navy will get 15 SeaGuardian RPAS, and the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force will get eight each of the Land Version of the Drones - SkyGuardian. The MQ-9B is manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical, a Private Defence Company in the U.S., but the procurement is part of a Government-to-Government deal.


The MQ-9B Drones, also 'Predators', are Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), which can be used for Offensive Missions, Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Intelligence Operations around the globe. They can fly over the horizon through a Satellite for up to 40+ hours and termed as High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Drones.


The MQ-9B RPAS can also carry four Laser-Guided Hellfire Missiles and 450kg Bombs and is part of the landmark defence deal. The Drones may see deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and on warships for missions in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The use of Remotely Piloted Systems marks a shift in warfare, where Remote Platforms like Drones play an important role along with Crewed Platforms.


The Indian Navy already operates two Unarmed Predator Drones - MQ-9B SeaGuardians - from the Rajali Air Base in Tamil Nadu, which are on lease from the U.S. The two Drones have taken Indian Maritime Domain Awareness & Operations to a different level.


India Acquiring 31 MQ-9B RPAS of General Atomics-ASI through FMS
The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on June 15th, 2023, had accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for acquisition of 31 MQ-9B (16 SkyGuardians and 15 SeaGuardians) High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Tri-Services from the USA through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route. The AoN included the number of UAVs to be procured along with Associated Equipment. The AoN noted the estimated cost of 3,072 Million US Dollars provided by the U.S. Government.


However, the price will be negotiated once policy approval of the U.S. Government is received. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will compare the acquisition cost with the best price offered by General Atomics (GA) to other countries. The procurement is in progress and would be completed as per the laid down procedure.


Under the FMS route, a Letter of Request (LOR) is sent to the U.S. Government, where Tri-Services requirements, details of equipment and terms of the procurement are included. Based on LOR, the U.S. Government and MoD will finalise the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) where details of Equipment and terms of the procurement are negotiated and finalised in accordance with the FMS programme, and the price and terms offered by the U.S. Government and GA to other countries. Price and other terms & conditions of the purchase are yet to be finalised and are subject to final negotiations.


MQ-9B SeaGuardian Unmanned & Unmatched Maritime Solutions
MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the Multi-Role, Multi-Domain Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Strategic, Wide-Area Maritime Operations – now and into the future, providing Airborne Situational Awareness, 24/7, to Detect & Deter. Delivering accurate, Real-Time Information for faster response, MQ-9B SeaGuardian is designed to conduct a vast range of Multi-Domain Maritime Surveillance Operations, including, but not limited to: Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW); Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); HADR – Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief; Search and Rescue; Law Enforcement (Drug Trafficking, Illegal Immigration, Piracy, OMSI – Oceanic Maritime Security Initiative).


Designed to operate for over 40,000 hours, MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the mainstay for decades at a significantly lower total operating cost and half the manpower required, when compared to a Maritime Patrol Aircraft. MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the ideal complement to Manned Aircraft and costs 86% less to operate per hour. Comparatively,  the SeaGuardian costs ± $5,000/Hour, while a Manned Maritime Patrol Aircraft costs approx. ± $35,000/Hour, to operate. Further, it has more time on-station for a higher probability of detection (Pd) of ± 25 Hours, as compared to ± 10 Hours. It Burns 90% less fuel than similarly configured Manned ISR Aircraft and requires 50% less people to operate, ± 200 lbs/Hour vs. ± 5,000 lbs/Hour.


MQ-9B SeaGuardian - Persistent Maritime Domain Awareness
MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the Maritime-focused sibling of the Revolutionary SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) that has been missionised using "Bolt-on/Bolt-off" Maritime Sensors. SeaGuardian is designed to fly over the horizon via Satellite for over 30 hours (depending on configuration) in all types of weather and safely integrate into Civil Airspace, enabling Joint Forces and Civil Authorities to deliver Real-Time Situational Awareness anywhere in the Maritime Domain - day or night. This highly versatile Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft can seamlessly integrate a centerline Wide-Area Maritime Radar, an Automatic Identification System, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), and a Self-Contained Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Mission Kit. The SeaGuardian not only integrates the most Advanced Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Capabilities, but it is also the first RPAS in its class to enable Real-Time Search and Patrol above and below the Ocean's Surface.


SeaGuardian can be configured to conduct a number of Maritime ISR Operations like Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief; Search and Rescue; Law Enforcement; Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW); Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Airborne Mine Counter Measures; Long-Range Strategic ISR; Over-the-Horizon Targeting, etc.


Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW): Leveraging MQ-9B's Open Architecture System, SeaGuardian operators have the option to integrate our ground-breaking Sonobuoy Management and Control System (SMCS) and Sonobuoy Dispenser System (SDS). Together, these systems allow SeaGuardian Operators to deploy, monitor and control Sonobuoys from a single RPAS. Also, SeaGuardian has four Wing Stations available to carry up to 4 SDS Pods, enabling it to hold and dispense up to 40 'A' size or 80 'G' size Sonobuoys and remotely perform ASW anywhere in the world. In its Standard Maritime ISR and ASW Configuration, SeaGuardian's range encompasses a mission radius of 1,200 Nautical Miles with significant on-station time for submarine prosecution, providing a low-cost, stand-alone capability or a complement to Human-Crewed Aircraft for Manned-Unmanned Teaming Operations.


World's First Type-Certifiable RPAS: As an MQ-9B RPAS, SeaGuardian is designed from the ground-up to not only meet NATO Standards (STANAG 4671), but also to comply with Civil Airspace requirements in the U.S. and around the world. Using GA-ASI's first-of-its-kind Detect and Avoid System, and Certifiable Ground Control Station (GCS), SeaGuardian seamlessly integrates with normal Air Traffic just like other Commercial Aircraft.


SeaGuardian's Remote Flight Station gives operators a similar, if not better, Air Traffic Picture than the Cockpit of Human-Crewed Aircraft. Over the years, GA-ASI has been working very closely with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to approve the MQ-9B for flight in Civil Airspace.


MQ-9B Takes On the World’s Toughest RPA Missions, from Reconnaissance to Rescue
Making it possible, from Reconnaissance to Strike, to Rescue Missions, is the Next-Generation MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA_ASI). As these aircraft grow in number and take on an increasing diversity of missions worldwide, they’re changing the way professionals conduct Maritime Domain Awareness, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Rescue, and many other roles.


Remotely Piloted Aircraft already changed the world once. What MQ-9B does today is thanks partly to the experience derived from those earlier-model aircraft, including the MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-1 Predator. That fleet has recorded more than 8 million operational hours globally, many of them in combat, providing a huge trove of experience that informed the design of the new system.


This combination of proven performance with new design and technology is what makes MQ-9B stand apart. Operational today, it leads its category and incurs much less cost or risk than a design from a clean sheet. In every environment, in all four corners of the earth, the aircraft are actively proving what they can do.


U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, for example, uses MQ-9B to pioneer a new regime for Integrating Large, Medium, and Small Unmanned Aircraft. With a large central fuselage and a broad Wingspan, the SkyGuardian makes an optimal mothership for other aircraft, such as GA-ASI’s Sparrowhawk – which it can launch and recover in mid-flight – or others.


U.S. Special Operations personnel need Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Route Clearance; Early Warning; Communications; and many other types of support during their missions. What AFSOC is showing with MQ-9B is how Unmanned Aircraft of various sizes can combine in novel ways to provide that.


Through complex exercises off the West Coast of the United States, the U.S. Navy has likewise shown that adding highly capable new Remotely Piloted Aircraft changes the old way of doing business. MQ-9B Aircraft, contracted for major Fleet Exercises, have responded to crisis calls, escorted Carrier Strike Groups, served as Communications Relays for Ships at Sea, and also helped prosecute simulated hostile Submarines.


The SeaGuardian’s unmatched endurance means it can stay on station longer than any human-crewed aircraft ever could, which gives unblinking eyes and unfailing ears to crews hunting for Submarines.


In one exercise, Navy Helicopters sortied from San Diego, dropped Sonobuoys – Ocean-riding Sensors that can detect submarine targets – and then MQ-9B SeaGuardian took over monitoring them. It wasn’t long before the aircraft monitored the detection of a simulated Submarine. This meant other helicopters could deploy to the scene armed with precise data about the target’s location and course – and then go in for the attack.


Key U.S. Allies are benefiting from these same key capabilities. The UK’s Royal Air Force is taking delivery of its variant of the aircraft, called the Protector RG Mk1, which is based at RAF Waddington North of London. The British Government plans a broad range of missions for the system, ranging from Military Operations abroad to help with security and rescue around Great Britain itself.


“Protector will be able to undertake a wide range of tasking, including Land and Maritime Surveillance to track threats, counter terrorism, and support to UK Civil Authorities, such as assisting HM Coast Guard with Search and Rescue Missions,” the RAF says.


Deliveries of the RAF’s MQ-9B Variant, Protector RG Mk1, herald a new era of Defence Security for the UK. For another example of the way MQ-9B is transforming Rescue and Security roles, look no further than the Japan Coast Guard, which flies the aircraft to assure Maritime Domain Awareness around the Japanese home islands.


Likewise with the Indian Navy, which has logged tens of thousands of operational hours on its SeaGuardian Aircraft in missions that have transformed its ability to see and respond around the Indian Ocean. In early January, a Cargo Vessel in the Arabian Sea issued a distress call. It was being boarded by armed men. One of the first assets to arrive was the Indian Navy’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian, which helped coordinate initial assessments of the hijacked vessel and overwatch the rest of the Indian Navy’s response.


MQ-9B SeaGuardian’s ability to remain on station for many hours and its high-definition video and other Sensing Capabilities gave Indian Navy Commanders the ability to watch in real-time as other ships and aircraft deployed and a team of Naval Special Operators boarded the ship.


MQ-9B doesn’t require warm, equatorial conditions to deliver these kinds of capabilities. Its newest User is the Royal Canadian Air Force, which has selected the platform to serve as its new flagship Multi-Mission Patrol Aircraft. This milestone award followed dedicated cold weather validation testing in which GA-ASI Engineers proved the aircraft’s de-icing, cold engine start, and other features would be up to the job in helping secure Canada’s sprawling Arctic territory. All of these Nations are finding that MQ-9B enables new ways of taking on their toughest missions – and more are poised to follow suit.