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Indian Army successfully test fires Agni-II IRBM for the third time। Agni-II is nuclear capable। The firing on February 20 in full operational configuration। DAC clears proposals worth Rs 15,935 Cr (approx $2.2b) । The approval covers purchae of Rifles, Carbines and Light Machine Guns for the Army, Navy and Air Force । New weapons are required by the Indian Army’s for effective engagement of Pakistani infiltrations । Leading Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away । Globally respected for her liberal views, she was a strong pro-democracy activist । SpaceX Launches the World’s Most Powerful Rocket, and aboard it, Mr Musk’s electric red sports Car । “It’s kind of silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important,” he said Feb 6। Mr Elon Musk owns both SpaceX, the world’s biggest space company, as well as Tesla cars। SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has ferried payload to Space Station but this time, rocket is turbocharged। For the first time, NASA was not involved in launching such a heavy rocket। Singapore Airshow Opens Feb 6 । Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Airbus, Sikorsky, and the global biggies are taking part । Honeywell Provides Fuel Made From Mustard Seeds For Trans-Pacific Flight । Russia views India as a Privileged Partner, says Rostec CEO Chemezov । US Carrier Carl Vinson to make first ever visit to Vietnam in March । Carl Vinson woll dock at Da Nang, apparently boosting bilateral military cooperation । Happy Republic Day to All Indians । Emirates signs agreement for up to 36 additional A380s । India successfully test fires 5000-Km A380s ICBM। Defexpo to be held April 11-15 in Tamil Nadu, India’s southern state। HAL receives RfP for 83 LCA Tejas from IAF। The new LCAs will have AESA combat Radar। IAF had announced the decision for new LCAs sometime back। INS Kalvari commissioned into Indian Navy December 14। Prime Minister Modi ceremonially inducted the Scorpene class boat in Mumbai। Built by state-run MDL with French collaboration, Kalvari is the first submarine inducted after 2000। Modi described the Kalvari as a fine example of Make in India। Five more Kalvari Class submarines are to be commissioned over the next couple of years।
February 25, 2018
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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.

gulshan_luthra

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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