China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations । 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 |
April 26, 2017
Follow us on

Indigenisation a Key to Building Indian Air Force, says Air Chief Dhanoa

February 2017

. New Delhi.The Indian Air Force (IAF) will build combat capabilities in the coming years through both new inductions and upgrades but “with a special focus on indigenisation and self-reliance.” Stating this, the new Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, told India Strategic in an interview on the eve of Aero India 2017 that IAF had plans to increase its present strength of 33 combat squadrons to the sanctioned level of 42, and there was a roadmap in place. “Our key result areas in future will be to continue building up combat capabilities through new inductions and upgrades that will give us an edge over our adversaries with a special focus on indigenisation and self-reliance.”

Neelu Khatri - Honeywell

Team India Strategic congratulated him on his assumption of office as CAS and soughthis comments on various aspects of the transformational phase the IAF is going through. Here are his answers, in excerpts, being published in our Show Dailies during the Air Show. Today’s focus is on IAF’s perspective for modernisation and technology induction for fighter aircraft, in response to our first question.

Chief: I extend my heartfelt gratitude to you for your kind words on my taking over as CAS. I take this opportunity to congratulate you and your team for the stellar standards of journalism displayed in your publications. In the last decade we have witnessed substantial advancement of technology in areas of defence equipment. The major challenge of the present era is to ensure that the equipment being operated by us remains contemporary and we are able to maintain technological asymmetry with respect of our adversaries. Therefore, our modernisation plans are based not only on induction of state-of-art equipment but to continuously upgrade existing platforms to maintain their operational relevance.

In the present global economic environment, pursuing desired modernisation plans while maintaining within the contours of defence outlay is a challenge even to the most advanced countries. Our key result areas in future will be to continue building up combat capabilities through new inductions and upgrades that will give us an edge over our adversaries with a special focus on indigenisation and self-reliance.

India Strategic: Your comments please on the Fighters strength.

Chief: At present IAF has 33 fighter squadrons against a requirement of 42 squadrons. Proactive steps are been taken to arrest the drawdown of fighter aircraft strength and build up to the authorised strength in the earliest time frame. Towards this, the planned induction includes six squadrons of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and two each of Rafale and Su-30 MKI. Further, the Government is preparing a roadmap for manufacturing of fighter aircraft with a strategic partner through the Make in India process. All these initiatives will give an impetus to indigenisation. Apart from the new inductions, IAF is also undertaking comprehensive modernisation of its Fighter Fleets. Mirage 2000, Jaguar and MiG-29 aircraft to ensure that aircraft maintain their contemporary edge over those of our adversaries.

India Strategic: Any plans to advance the induction of Rafale, already committed with France?

Chief: At present there are no plans to advance the delivery schedule or lease Rafale aircraft from the French Air Force.

India Strategic: Your predecessor had mentioned in his farewell press conference that IAF needs at least 200 to 250 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCAs).

Chief: The future requirement of fighter aircraft projected by the IAF is to ensure that we maintain an optimum ratio of Light, Medium and Heavy class of combat aircraft. The Government is preparing a roadmap for induction of fighter aircraft in the IAF. All future inductions in IAF will be in accordance with this roadmap. If all proposed inductions fructify as planned, than we would attain the desired strength. The roadmap will also ensure there is a steady enhancement of fighter fleet, both in terms of strength and capability.


India Strategic: Your comments on contemporary technologies, and possible col laborative ventures with global manufacturers.

Chief: Talking purely in terms of technology, it is obvious that the operational capabilities of platforms planned to be inducted in future will be contemporary. The selection of platform to be manufactured through the Make in India route is to include range and depth of transfer of technology on offer by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). By way of Make in India fighter programme, we are planning to infuse technology in our Aerospace sector and develop as well as sustain an ecosystem of SMEs & MSMEs involved in manufacturing of defence equipment in India. The programme, through a strategic partner, will also assist in ensuring development of next generation indigenous Fighter aircraft. Our Government is finalising the policy on ‘strategic partnership’ and process for selecting a suitable platform will commence thereafter.

India Strategic: Update on the LCA Mk I/IA and Mk II programme?

Chief: Induction of aircraft for first squadron of LCA is under progress. These aircraft are being inducted with 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. Further, in order to meet the urgent operational requirements, IAF has expressed that LCA Mk-1A aircraft be equipped with additional capabilities such as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles, Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) and Electronic Warfare (EW) suite. The Government has granted Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for procurement of 83 LCA Mk1A aircraft.

The focus this time is on Transport Aircraft. The Chief said that IAF is paying as much attention towards strengthening the Transport fleet as much to the Combat jets. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa observed that the acquisition of C 17 Globemaster III and C130J SuperHercules had added to IAF’s strategic capability. Ten C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft and six other C-130 J30 special operations aircraft have already been inducted in IAF. Six more C-130 J30 aircraft will be inducted in the first half of 2017 and a case has been initiated for procurement of one more C-17 aircraft. About replacement of the long-pending replacement of IAF’s Avro fleet, the Chief sounded a hopeful note. Contract negotiations for 56 x C-295 aircraft to replace the ageing Avro fleet are likely to commence shortly.

On An-32 aircraft he said,

Their upgrade programme is currently under progress but indicated IAF will also work for their replacement in due course, adding that the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) programme for joint production with Russia “could not mature.” “The first lot of An-32 aircraft is due for phase out in 2023-24 and a suitable replacement will be considered at appropriate time. The agreement with Russia for MTA could not mature as their proposal did not meet some of the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs).”

Anout Helicopters, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said: IAF plans to induct additional Mi-17 V5 helicopters. Induction of Light Combat Helicopters(LCH) will commence after it attains Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and that Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) has been granted for induction of 10 Limited Series Production LCH (to HAL).

It may be noted that AoN is the first step towards Government approval for acquisition of a defence system. He also pointed out that an Inter-Governmental Agreement has been signed for the procurement of Ka-226 T helicopters for Indian Army and IAF (with Russia). These would be co-produced in a Joint Venture (JV) between the Russian companies and HAL under the Make-in-India programme. The delivery of Ka-226 helicopters produced in India will start four years post signing of the contract.

On Mig21 and Mig27 he said,

That after the phase out of the Mig 21 and Mig 27 aircraft, the entire combat fleet of the Indian Air Force will have midair refuelling capability. It is part of IAF’s Perspective Plan. But asked to comment on the withdrawal of RfP after it seemed certain that Airbus A330 MRTT had been selected, he told our Managing Editor Air Marshal VK Jimmy Bhatia that IAF “is exploring available options.” The Air Chief observed: “IAF was earlier pursuing the case for Flight Refueller Aircraft (FRA). However, after the withdrawal of RFP, we are exploring available options in order to ensure that this critical capability is available to us in least possible timeframe. Post phasing out of the MiG-21 and MiG-27 fleet, all fighter aircraft in IAF will have inflight refuelling capability.

“And our perspective plans caters for induction of sufficient Flight Refuelling Aircraft to support them.” In the comprehensive interview, the Chief replied to questions on air defence, unmanned systems, Offsets and Tot and Training Systems. Besides indigenous systems like Akash, the Services were working to acquire capability from Israel (Rafael) and Russia (Triumph 400). On Air Defence, the Air Chief said: IAF is carrying out a comprehensive modernisation of its Air Defence system. The new generation Air Defence radars such as Medium Power Radars (MPR), Rohini radars and Low Level Light Weight Radars (LLLWR) have been inducted.“The Low level Transportable Radars (LLTR) are in the process of induction. Two Aerostat systems were procured from M/s Rafael of Israel and inducted in IAF. Request for Information (RFI) has been sought for procurement of four additional Aerostat systems. While eight sqns of indigenous Akash missile system have already been inducted, a case for more sqns is also under process. “Procurement of Very Short Range Air defence Systems (VSHORADS) for IAF and India Army, under Buy & Make category, is being processed by the Army. The induction of SPYDER QRSAM and MRSAMs will commence shortly. “Also, The RFP for S-400 Triumph Air Defence System is under process.” Then, he added, Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS) are also planned to be inducted through the Make in India route.

tejas 2

On Networking, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said: “Apart from procurement of radars and weapon system, IAF is also networking all its Air Defence assets on a common grid through the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS). IACCS is the backbone of IAFs Network Centric Warfare capability, which provides fused Air Situation Picture based on the inputs from a network of ground based sensors.

“Also, integration of AWACS and IACCS has mutually strengthened both detection and control capabilities and reduced sensor to shooter time.”

On Unmanned Systems, the Air Chief observed that IAF needs both High Altitude and Medium Altitude Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs).

He said: IAF has a requirement of High AltitudeLong Endurance (HALE) and Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class of RPAs along with requirement of Combat UAVs/ armed RPAs. “We are processing a case for procurement of MALE UAVs from Indian companies through the Make in India route. The RPAs, or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs), are proposed to be developed and manufactured by the Indian industry under an appropriate category of the DPP like Buy & Make (Indian). “Besides, IAF is in the process of upgrading its existing UAV fleet by procuring a number of modern systems like Satellite Communication, IFF, TCAS, Remote Video Terminal (RVT), Radio Relay, Automatic Take-off and Landing (ATOL) and Wide Eye Image Mosaic king system etc.

“Rustom-2, an indigenous MALE RPA being developed by DRDO, has recently carried out its maiden flight and is planned to be inducted in the IAF. We are also actively participating in design and development of Ghatak, an indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV). “Other options will be considered only if we are not able to acquire these capabilities from indigenous sources in an expected timeframe.”

As for Make in India, now a mandated policy of the Government, and implied ToT, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said:

Indigenisation is one of the main focus areas of IAF. “We have always encouraged development of indigenous defence production capability and capacities. It is our endeavour that we attain self sufficiency in Aerospace sector through a focused, sustained and evolved Indigenisation programme. IAF firmly believes that indigenisation provides flexibility by reducing dependence on external agencies. IAF has been a catalyst in ensuring that critical technologies are developed in the country and has been on the forefront for encouraging large scale production of defence equipment in our country. “However, there are some areas wherein the indigenous technology has not yet fully matured.

In such cases, we have been trying to obtain key technologies through private industries. Cases like Avro Replacement, Ka-226T Helicopters, Proposed Make in India Fighter aircraft, Close in Weapon System etc. have been initiated by IAF with these objectives in mind.

“These initiatives will also enhance the defence research and development base of the country.” “We are committed to ensure that our reliance on foreign manufactured defence equipment is continuously reduced and our country soon becomes an exporter of High Technology military systems. Global tenders are sought only for equipment that cannot be manufactured in India in the required time frame. In such cases offset is sought to ensure that certain technology could either be transferred or a part of equipment can be manufactured in country. Further, the DPP-2016 includes several initiatives to encourage local research and development and increase in indigenous content in defence procurement. The ‘Make’ procedure of DPP-2016 seeks to address the multiple objectives of self-reliance, wider participation of Indian industry, provide an impetus to MSME sector, and timely induction of equipment
into the Indian Armed Forces.

On Training Aircraft:

Chief: “The IJT has encountered design problems with respect to safe execution of manoeuvres
such as ‘Stall’ and ‘Spin’. Since the timeline for induction of IJT has been delayed inordinately we recommended the foreclosure of the case and the same has been accepted by DDP. IAF conducts a three stage ab-initio pilot training on PC-7 Mk-II, Kiran MkI/ IA and Hawk 132 aircraft for induction in Fighter stream. With the phasing out of Kiran Mk I/ IA the second state of pilot training would also be conducted on PC-7 Mk-II as an interim measure until the induction of an intermediate jet trainer. “Additional Pilatus and Hawk aircraft are being procured under options clause. “IAF plans to induct the indigenous HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft after completion of its design and development.

Our last question was: Your message for the IAF officers!

Chief: As Air Warriors of IAF, we take immense pride in our impeccable professional capabilities.
We will deliver our duties and responsibilities to the nation everywhere, anytime and on time.

That’s it




Indian Army Strikes Terrorist Camps in POK

New Delhi. India struck seven terrorists camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 28, ten...


India Successfully Launches 20 Satellites in Single Flight

Sriharikota/New Delhi. In its 36th flight ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C34 successfully launched the...


IMS logo

Our Archive