UAE decides to upgrade its fleet of Mirage 2009 combat jets। Boeing, Emirates announce commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft worth $15 billion। Russian Helicopters signs deal for undisclosed number of Mi-17 1A2 Helicopters to India’s Vectra Group। Terror attack in New York’s Lower Manhattan kills 8 injures at least 15। An Uzbek, the terrorist mowed cyclists and pedestrians with a hired pickup truck। He was shot and captured, and notes recovered him indicated loyatly to ISIS। He is 29, came to the US in 2010, and married an Uzbek woman there। India marks 85th Indian Air Force Day। Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa says IAF working towards ‘Technology Intensive’ capability। For the first time, indigenous LCA Tejas takes part in IAF Day Flypast । IAF will issue RFI for 114 single engine combat aircraft within two weeks or so । RFI will go to Lockheed Martin for F 16 and Saab for Gripen for their latest variants । IAF aims to get 18 aircraft in 4-5 years, and 96 more in progressive manufacture from then onwards । Capability will be the first parametre for selecting the aircraft, and then the price । The selected aircraft will have more capabilities than those specified in the 2007 RfP for MMRCA । 18 aircraft will । IAF will consider General Atomics’ Predator C Avenger if offered by US Government। But, says Air Chief BS Dhanoa, no RFI or RFP issued yet by IAF yet। Government approves partial disinvestment in HAL। HAL initiates process for 10 percent disinvestment through Initial Public Offer (IPO)। Indian Army destroys NSCN (K) camps on Indo-Myanmar borders.। India says No to Troops Deployment in Afghanistan। India, US Entering a New Phase in Strategic Defence Partnership, says Nirmala Sitharaman। Mattis describes India as a Major Pillar of Regional Stability and Security। German Chancellor Wins 4th Term। First Scorpene submarine delivered to Navy। Named Kalvari, after India’s first Foxtrot class submarine, it will formally be commissioned very soon। India’s legend, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh passes away।
November 24, 2017
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Aero India – A 100 billion Dollar Invitation

Published: February 2017

The Aero India 2017 this time is a huge Invitation to global majors for Combat Aircraft and Systems.


It’s not that India has an appetite for defence equipment, but just that for the last 30 years, India’s modernisation programme has suffered due to political squabbling and occasionally vicious allegations, made mostly without any truth. The Army, Navy and Air Force, each of them has suffered, and there is a backlog that is difficult for any government to clear easily.

If one simply was to sit down and calculate the number of aircraft the Indian Air Force has at present, and their vintage or year of induction, the calculation for new aircraft requirements comes to the staggering figure of 400. Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd) and Air Marshal VK Jimmy Bhatia (Retd), the two distinguished top officers on the India Strategic team, say this is what the Indian Government should aim to provide, in as short a period as possible, ideally within five to seven years.

We had published this figure of 400 for the Indian Air Force and about 60 for the Indian Navy in our December edition.

In fact, when we asked the outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, about our assessment, he observed, “This is the correct figure.”

But this would not be easy for the Government, and at his farewell press conference end-December, he said the IAF would be happy with 200 to 250 combat jets, but of Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) capability. And naturally, they should be higher in onboard capabilities than those specified in the 2007 tender or RFP. Understandably so!

The Indian Navy also put out an RFI a couple of weeks back for 57 shipboard fighters.

There would certainly be substantial commonalities between the aircraft for the two Services, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea to translate these requirements into a defence industrial infrastructure is simply relevant to the economic and social development of the country. Appropriate is the correct word. Besides the manned combat jets, India also needs a number of unmanned systems for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (UAVs) as well as remotely controlled attack missions (UCAVs). Some of these systems would involve very high technologies, and maybe, the Government would have to intervene at the highest levels to acquire them. But they would be needed to reach where piloted missions are not desirable, plus to ensure that the attacks are precision with minimal collateral damage.

Notably, IAF already has a laid down procedure to avoid or minimise collateral damage as a matter of policy.

All these requirements lead to one conclusion: There is a huge opportunity in India for collaborations in the aerospace sector. The Aero India 2017 is an Invitation for those willing and able to deliver.

Gulshan Rai Luthra




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