HEADLINES:
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is free from jail after six year । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, elected President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) । He succeeds Mr Manohar Parikkar who resigned to take over as Chief Minister of Goa recently। Hardeep Singh Puri appointed Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries । Mr Puri is former Indian Envoy to the UN in New York and Geneva । FBI investigating possible Russian interference in 2016 US presidential election, Director Comey confirms । He told House Intelligence Committee there is no evidence of President Obama ordering wiretap of Trump during the election campaign । President Trump has made several allegations against his predecessor, which the powerful heads of FBI and NSA have denied । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assumes additional charge as Defence Minster । Jaitley replaces Manohar Parrikar who has moved to Goa to head the State’s Government as Chief Minster । BRAHMOS Extended Range (ER) missile successfully test-fired । Prime Minister greets CISF on its 48th Raising Day । INS Tillanchang Commissioned into Indian Navy । INS Tillanchang was commissioned by FOC-in-C Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra at Karwar । India Strategic salutes the humanity on this International Women’s Day । Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju dedicates first integrated heliport to the nation । Ms. DR Doley Barman appointed Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad । 1992 batch IFS officer Gopal Baglay appointed MEA Spokesperson । He replaces Vikas Swarup, who has been appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada । Raytheon, Tata Advanced Systems to Co-produce Stinger Missile Components । Indian Navy Concludes First Contract under Buy and Make (Indian) Category । Contract signed between Nova Integrated Systems Ltd (NISL), a TASL subsidiary, and Indian Navy for procurement of Surface Surveillance Radars (SSRs) । NISL to indigenously manufacture these state-of-the-art radars in collaboration with Terma, Denmark । ISRO creates history; launches 104 satellites in one go । President, Vice President and Prime Minister congratulated ISRO and its scientists for the historic mission । Indian Navy to decommission aircraft carrier INS Viraat on March 6 । India to spend Rs 2,74,114 crore on Defence । Rs 85,737.31 crore will be spent on equipment acquisition । Russia formally enters IAF’s second round of MMRCA competition । Moscow offers a new MiG-35 variant under Make in India । Alexander M Kadakin, who served as the Russian Ambassador to India for over a dozen years, passed away after a brief illness in New Delhi on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Kadakin’s death calling him a “great friend of India.” । India Strategic wishes everyone Happy Republic Day । President Pranab Mukherjee takes salute at the beautiful Republic Day Parade in New Delhi । UAE Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed is the Chief Guest at India’s R-Day celebrations । A highlight of the Parade is also the participation of a UAE armed forces contingent । Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tributes to martyrs । The impressive Parade began with a 21-gun salute to the President, the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces । India’s anti-terror force, National Security Guard (NSG) made its debut in the Parade । Dressed in their patent black, NSG commandos jogged passed the saluting base with their faces covered । US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on January 24 । The telephone call is indicative of the vital nature of the India-US strategic partnership between the two countries । Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrives in New Delhi । Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was received by PM Modi । Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed is the Chief Guest of Republic Day 2017 । Government extends Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar’s tenure by one year । The extension to be effective between Jan 29, 2017 and Jan 28, 2018 । Pravind Kumar Jugnauth takes over as Mauritius Prime Minister । Prime Minister Modi congratulated the newly-appointed Mauritian PM । Donald Trump takes over as US President । Promises transfer of power to people । Turkish Boeing 747 cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan with 37 onboard; all killed । Astronaut Gene Cernan, 82, the last man to walk on moon, passes away । India marks Army Day । President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister greet the Army । Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat takes salute at the impressive Army Day Parade । Gen Rawat says India wants peace but if attempts are made to disrupt it, then “we will display our power” । He says emphasis is on newer technology weapons and systems for the Army । Space connectivity is also high on Army’s agenda । This is the 69th Army Day, marking the time when an Indian Chief, Gen KM Cariappa took over the command after Independence । Indian Navy launches its second Kalvari class submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai । India Strategic wishes all its readers and viewers a very Happy New Year । India successfully test fires Agni 5 long range missile | IAF gets Government approval for one more C 17 strategic Lift aircraft | IAF has got 10 C 17s, but had initially planned for more than 20 | Lack of timely approval made IAF slash figure to three but by then Boeing closed factory | IAF will get the last one in production | Syrian government of President Assad takes full control of Aleppo | Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed the next Army Chief and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa the Air Chief | The appointments are effective December 31 afternoon | Both are Vice Chiefs of Staff at present in their respective Services | 48 killed in a PIA ATR-42 aircraft crash in Pakistan | The twin-engine propellor aircraft was on way from Chitral to Islamabad | India marks Navy Day | Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets all Navy personnel, and salutes their bravery on Indian Navy annual day | PM Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurate Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference at Amritsar (India) Dec 4 | Need of the hour is to identify terrorism and bring stability in the region, says PM Modi | India’s commitment to Afghan is absolute, Mr Modi said addressing 6th HoA Ministerial Conf | Afgan Prez accused Pakistan of sheltering terror, and thanked India of financial aid | HoA Conf began at Amritsar Dec 3 | INS Vikrant likely to be operational in 2018 | Vikrant to operate both Russian MiG-29K and Western origin Aircraft | Indian Navy to mark 2017 as the year of submarine: Adm Lanba class=”gap”>| Gujarat-cadre officer Rakesh Asthana to take over as CBI Director after Anil Sinha, who retires Dec 2 | Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is Pakistan’s new army chief | Gen Bajwa took over from Gen Raheel Sharif Nov 29 | The outgoing chief stressed all should work together “against external and internathreats” | Plane carrying Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia | Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies. He was 90. | Castro had challenged the US might and invited Soviet presence next door to the US | US-Cuban relations have normalized now after half a century | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Commissions INS Chennai into Indian Navy Nov 21 | INS Chennai is a Project 15A Guided Missile Destroyer | This is the 3rd and last ‘Kolkata’ class destroyer indigenously designed by DND and constructed by MDL, Mumbai | India successfully tests nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile in Odisha | India becomes associate member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inducts four Indigenous Naval Systems | The 4 Indigenous Naval Systems – ABHAY, HUMSA UG, NACS and AIDSS – were indigenously developed by DRDO | These Indigenous Naval Systems will boost underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy | India, Japan sign Civil Nuclear Deal | The Deal signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan Nov 10-11 | With this Deal, Japan is able to export N-technology to India for peaceful uses | PM Modi calls the Deal “a historic step to build a clean energy partnership between India, Japan” |
March 25, 2017
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KC-46A Best Suited to India’s Tanker Requirements, says Boeing

Published: February 2017
 

AS INDIA looks to expanding its capabilities and reach in protecting its airspace, tankers play a key role in extending range of existing assets. With the Indian Air Force expressing an interest in acquiring tankers to fulfil this role, Boeing believes that the KC-46A Pegasus’ versatility, capability and operational benefits will be the perfect fit for India’s multi-role tanker requirements. In this interview, Jim Eisenhart of Boeing Defense, Space & Security spoke to I ndia Strategic on how modern day tankers not only take advantage of the latest innovations in technology and combat capability, but also perform a variety of roles in addition to aerial refuelling.

Jim_Eisenhart When one looks at tankers today, how have the parameters andn demands changed in terms of the capabilities that such aircraft are expected to have?

In terms of performance, the tankers of today are quite different from tankers of the past. Taking advantage of latest innovations in technology and combat capability, modern day tankers perform a variety of roles in addition to just aerial refuelling. Take Boeing’s KC-46A for example. Highly reliable and efficient, the wide-body, this multi-role tanker can refuel all US allied and coalition military aircraft any time, on any mission. It can also carry passengers, cargo and patients whenever and wherever needed. With unmatched operational flexibility, the KC-46A is a mobility “game changer.” It is bringing about a new era of efficient combat aerial refuelling. With improved refuelling capabilities, superior situational awareness and flexible multi-role capability, the KC-46 is the perfect fit for customers looking to add a more capable and versatile tanker platform to
their fleets.

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How has the response been from prospective customers towards the KC-46A Pegasus? Are there any aircraft currently operational?

The US Air Force is very excited about the KC-46 and the benefits it will bring to the fleet — it will be an outstanding aircraft for decades to come. Last month, the US Air Force awarded Boeing $2.1 billion for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refuelling pod kits. This order is the third low-rate initial production lot for Boeing. The first two came in August 2016 and included seven and 12 planes, respectively, as well as spare parts. Boeing plans to build 179 of the 767-based refuelling aircraft for the US Air Force to replace its legacy tanker fleet. Tanker deliveries will begin later this year. With the US Air Force about to receive its first tanker aircraft and Japan announced as the programme’s first international customer, other countries are taking a closer look at the KC-46’s unique capabilities and the benefits of adding a more capable and versatile tanker to their fleets.

Could you explain in some detail, the features that make the KC-46A Pegasus a capable and potent game changer?

A combination of various factors make the KC-46 a game changer and ideal fit to the requirements of today’s modern armed forces.

The KC-46 is built as a combat tanker from day one – the KC-46 is delivered with a robust suite of defensive systems and self-protective measures. It is electromagnetic pulse-hardened for missions in a nuclear environment for the high-end fight as well as incorporates flight-deck armour for protection against small arms. Additionally, the KC-46 is equipped with chemical-biological protective systems. All of these systems are incorporated into the aircraft as it is being produced, not as a retrofitted modification. The KC-46 also has the ability to launch from a ‘ready state’ within 10 minutes and coupled with its threat awareness and avoidance system, allows the Pegasus to truly fuel the fight.

The KC-46 has improved refueling capability – the KC-46 can refuel both hose-and-drogue as well as boom receptacle receiver aircraft on any sortie. It utilises 21st century centreline and wing-mounted hose and drogue systems as well as an advanced sixth-generation fly-by-wire boom. Simultaneous air refuelling of two fighter aircraft is supported through wing air refuelling pods (WARPS). All of these systems are built to international refuelling standards. That means the KC-46 can refuel the IAF fleet now, on day one. From refuelling India’s front line fighter force to direct support of its C-17 fleet, the KC-46 enables allied and coalition refuelling of all fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime, on every mission, including simultaneous multi-point refueling.

The KC-46 is based on a proven platform – based on a commercial 767 with more than 1,000 767s built to date, it is a proven commercial airliner, freighter and tanker. The 767 platform bears a 99.7 per cent dispatch reliability rate, absolutely essential for protecting sovereign airspace. Additionally, the KC-46 has the lowest life-cycle costs of any of its current competitors in the market, making it the most efficient and effective tanker available today.

The KC-46 has superior situational awareness – large Boeing 787 15-inch displays allow KC-46 pilots to quickly optimise flight parameters for critical decision making and mission success; and it also incorporates a Tactical Situational Awareness System, which provides dynamic, battle-space awareness to the aircrew.

The KC-46 offers a flexible multi-role capability – the KC-46 can be rapidly reconfigured in two man-hours for any mission — carrying passengers, cargo, aeromedical or any combination of the three, while still performing its main air refuelling role. With its unique main cargo deck door, the KC-46 has 7,800+ square feet of cargo space to accommodate up to 18 full-size 463L pallets, which is more than any other tanker aircraft. The KC-46 also has a fully integrated capability that enables crews to perform aeromedical evacuation on any flight.

In terms of lifecycle costs, what are the advantages that the KC-46 will bring to customers?

The KC-46 will deliver tremendous savings over its lifetime through lower maintenance, depot and repair costs. It benefits from the advanced avionics, aerodynamics, materials and propulsion incorporated on the Boeing 767 passenger and freighter aircraft (more than 1,000 are currently flying today). The proven combination of light, durable aluminum alloy and composite structure help make it lighter and more fuel efficient. Similar to the Indian Navy’s P-8I aircraft, Boeing is building the KC-46 “in-line” which is more efficient and helps expand the life of the aircraft.

As India expands its Air Force and increases its defencive capabilities, the KC-46 is the perfect choice. The most reliable and economical tanker to operate, the KC-46 will provide India with the combat capability it needs for sovereign operations. Pegasus is the best choice for today and the decades to come.

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