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    Indian Air Force (IAF): News


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    1000 multi-function displays for Sukhoi 30 MKI handed over to HAL

    Post  Pinto on Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:18 am

    About 1,000 units of indigenously manufactured multi-function display (MFD) for installation in India’s frontline Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft has been handed over to state-run HAL.

    The displays were manufactured by SamtelHAL Display Systems (SHDS), a joint venture between Samtel Avionics and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

    Now out of a planned fleet of 272 Sukhoi aircraft with the Indian Air Force, 143 would be flying with India-made MFDs – a critical component of an aircraft cockpit. SHDS is the only company to receive CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification) Type Approval for manufacturing MFDs.

    The Samtel-HAL joint venture was set up in 2007 to address the avionics requirements, including test benches and systems for all IAF star platforms – both fixed and rotary wing.

    The journey began in 2004, when Samtel signed the contract with Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO, earlier called as DARE) for technology development of Su-30 MFDs.

    After 5-6 years of efforts, Samtel was able to fully develop the technology and it was envisaged by HAL and the Ministry of Defense to create a centre of excellence in the form of JV to nurture this home grown technology.

    Samtel as a parent company would bring in this technology for lateral deployment on all platforms – Su-30, light combat aircraft (LCA), intermediate jet trainer (IJT), light combat helicopter (LCH) among others and HAL as the other partner would bring in the market for using these displays on all HAL star platforms. PTI SAP 100 multi-function displays for Sukhoi 30 handed over to HAL New DELHI, Jun 24 (PTI)

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    In Kargil War, India Was Minutes Away From Bombing Pak Bases

    Post  Pinto on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:36 pm

    New Delhi:- In the early hours of June 13, 1999, at the height of the Kargil War, Indian Air Force fighter pilots were minutes away from launching a full-fledged air attack deep inside Pakistan. Targets had been assigned, route maps finalised; personal revolvers to be carried by pilots had been loaded with ammunition and Pakistani currency collected, for use if pilots had to eject on the other side of the Line of Control and orchestrate an escape

    These plans, laid out in documents of the Indian Air Force accessed exclusively by NDTV, show that fighter pilots were minutes away from crossing the Line of Control or de facto border in Kashmir on bombing missions, a move which would have likely escalated the controlled Kargil conflict into a full-fledged war between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

    The Air Force's plans for an unmitigated attack were the result of collapsed talks in Delhi between Jaswant Singh, then Foreign Minister, and his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz. On a mission to negotiate the end of the war to Delhi, Mr Aziz had been given clear terms - withdraw Pakistani intruders from the Kargil mountains, abandon the demand for redrawing the Line of Control or de factor border in Kashmir, urgently restore the status quo by accepting the Line of Control as it had been defined for decades, and punish those who tortured six Indian soldiers, including Captain Saurabh Kalia, whose mutilated body had been returned with the bodies of the jawans he was leading in an operation in North Kashmir when they were captured by Pakistani soldiers.

    In the end, the talks were deadlocked. New Delhi had had enough.

    In all, 16 fighter jets were to be deployed across enemy lines in this massive attack
    What was about to follow is laid out in an official record of the plans of the Air Force, accessed exclusively by NDTV. "On the 12th [of June], Sartaj Aziz went back after a failed visit to India. All pilots were called back at 1600 by Gupta, who had news for us. CATOs [Command Air Tasking Orders] had come for a pre-emptive strike at dawn on 13 Jun," reads the Squadron Diary of the Air Force's 17 Squadron, the "Golden Arrows", a formation that flew MiG 21s from the Srinagar Air Force base.

    "We were to do a 4 ac [aircraft] bombing mission in POK [Pakistan Occupied Kashmir] and BDA [Bomb Damage Assessment] of Chaklala [a major Pakistani Air Force Airbase in Rawalpindi.] Tony, Pradeep, Chou & Doc planned for first mission and Dhali, Gupta for the second. Pal was maha miffed at being left out," the diary elaborates.

    Assigned their targets, the pilots then went about the business of preparing for their mission: "We all returned at night after making Wiznavs [software used to calculate routes], golas [loading bullets into personal revolvers], maps and collecting Pak currency."

    The Air Force's plans for the attack were the result of collapsed talks with Pakistan in Delhi.
    The clock was ticking. Within hours, the Indian Air Force would launch its first attacks in Pakistan since the 1971 war, aerial attacks against a country that may have had nuclear weapons in its inventory.

    "At 0430 on 13th [June] morning, we reported to the sqn [squadron], ready for war. But it was NO GO - EXORs (Execution Orders) had not been received. We stood on standby till morning, then finally stood down at 1230."

    The "Golden Arrows" were not the only squadron on the verge of flying into Pakistan in June 1999. Speaking to NDTV, a former MiG-21 pilot deployed in the region has also confirmed receiving orders to fly across the Line of Control. The pilot, who does not want to be identified, has said, "I was having dinner. We were sent to the base operations room. There was a gentleman from Command. He said `the balloon is going up in the morning, you guys will be in the first strike mission.' "

    2 MiG 21s were assigned as "tied escorts" to four MiG-27s from another unit who were ordered to target the runway at the Chaklala airbase using runway denial bombs (bombs that create large craters in runways, preventing their use). As "tied escorts," the pair of MiG-21s would provide cover to the MiG-27 ground attack fighters in case they were intercepted by Pakistani fighter jets.

    Four other MiG-21s were part of the attack mission, in addition to four MiG-29s air superiority fighters, which would be deployed to sweep the Pakistani skies before the Indian "strike package" approached their targets. Photo reconnaissance of the strike mission to gauge its effectiveness would subsequently be carried out by two other MiG-21s.

    In all, 16 fighter jets were to be deployed across enemy lines in this massive attack, the first in a wave of missions. Several other squadrons were assigned separate targets.

    "We took [Pakistani] currency and wrote letters home. Takeoff was at 6:30 am. As youngsters, we were jumping around. The mission was called off at about 12 am. At the squadron, we received our `No Go' orders at 3 am," the diary notes.

    The mission itself came with extraordinary risks; the possibility that a few jets would be shot down was very likely. Pakistan's premier fighters, the F-16s, were waiting on the other side, flying patrols between Pindi and Kahuta to detect and intercept any Indian strike mission.

    But F-16s were not the only danger. India's fighter pilots were acutely aware of the threat posed by French-made Crotale and Chinese made HQ2B Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) meant to destroy incoming Indian aircraft. With a range of 10 kms, Crotale SAMs would fly towards the Indian fighters at a speed of more than twice the speed of sound if they locked on to their targets. And the Chinese HQ2B was no less a threat. With a large 190 kg warhead, the missile could engage targets more than 20 kilometres away, flying towards incoming Indian jets at a speed of 1,150 metres per second. If the missile was close to an Indian jet, its "proximity fuse" would go off triggering the warhead which would explode. No Indian fighter would likely survive the blast.

    However, at the time of the Kargil war, the Indian Air Force had a distinct advantage. Not only did India have more fighter jets than Pakistan, but they were also armed with better weapons to intercept the enemy. Unlike India's MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s, Pakistani fighters did not have any long-range air-to-air missiles and would only have been able to engage IAF fighters in a dogfight within the range of their short-range US-supplied Sidewinder missiles. It was perhaps this key advantage that made the government almost decide on going ahead with strikes in Pakistan, though the reasons for India's eventual decision to not escalate the Kargil situation remain a closely guarded secret.

    By July 1999, the Indian Army was able to regain territory held by Pakistani forces who were forced to retreat

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    How The Indian Air Force Fighters Scared The Pakistani Planes Away During Kargil War

    Post  Pinto on Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:56 pm

    While the Indian Army fought the enemy to the last bullet in the Kargil War, it was the support from the air that really turned things in India’s favour. Operation Safed Sagar by the Indian Air Force was important in the context of Indian victory in what could otherwise have been a long drawn out war.

    The Indian Air Force began its operations with reconnaissance sorties to actually figure out how well entrenched the enemy really was. By May 25, the then Prime Minister asked the IAF to ‘step in without delay’, although the permission to cross the LoC wasn’t given.

    A whole range of IAF planes were pressed into service including strike aircraft like the Mig-21, Mig-23 and the Mig-27 that started bombing the enemy positions on May 26. They targeted supply routes, material dumps and camps. The Canberras and Mig-21M variant were used to conduct damage assessment in near real-time.

    Unfortunately, two Mig-27s were lost in quick succession and another, a Mig-21 was lost because of a surface-to-air missile hit. On the third day, a Mi-17 helicopter was lost to a Stinger missile hit. All this was a result of lack of protective flare dispensers on the aircrafts. The IAF learnt the lesson and the planes were equipped with countermeasure suites.

    The IAF also had to think on its feet and develop tactics on the go. For example, Mirage-2000s were used to bomb enemy bunkers using the Paveway Laser Guided Bombs. This is probably the most high altitude use of such weapons anywhere in the world.

    Indian Air Force also kept the Pakistan Air Force at bay. While strike aircraft were out on bombing sorties, air superiority fighters, namely the Mig-29 were put on CAP (Combat Air Patrol) duties. Nicknamed the Fulcrum by NATO, the 29s with their BVR (Beyond Visual Range) R77 missiles spooked the F-16s. It’s said that Indian Mig-29s locked on to the F-16s, dissuading them from engaging any IAF planes.

    With the PAF nullified, the IAF attacked the enemy positions with impunity, giving India the upper hand and ultimately the victory.

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    Pilot may not have switched on AN-32's alert beacon, says manufacturer

    Post  Pinto on Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:43 pm

    Chennai: Deepening the mystery behind the disappearance of the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s AN-32, the aircraft manufacturer, Antonov, has said the on-board emergency locator transmitter (ELT) may not have been activated because of two reasons - the aircraft hitting the surface without enough force or the pilot failing to switch the device on.

    The transport aircraft, on a routine flight to Port Blair with 29 people on board, went missing 270km off the Chennai coast on July 22.

    In response to a questionnaire from TOI, the Ukraine-based aircraft company said the aircraft had two ELTs - a stationary ARTEX C406-1 ELT manufactured by ACR Electronics/Artex Products, the US and a French-made portable KANNAD 406AS ELT manufactured by Orolia. "In an emergency, the pilot has to activate the ELT beacon manually. Probably, the pilot of the missing AN-32 did not switch it on. If longitudinal load factor (impact) was less than 2.3g, the stationary ELT would not have activated automatically. Radio waves are not transmitted in the water. There is no signal from ELT under water for this reason," Antonov press service spokesperson said in an e-mail from Ukraine.

    Indian Coast Guard eastern region commander Rajan Bargotra had raised concerns over the absence of signals from ELT of the disappeared flight, the only limitation in the massive search operation over the Bay of Bengal code named as 'Operation Talash'. "The limitation is that we are unable to get any signal from the ELT beacon. Had that transmission been available, the search would have been much easier for us. It happened so in a couple of aircraft accidents, which have happened over sea. In none of them, the ELT was operating, like in the case of the ICG Dornier in June 2015," he had told reporters recently.

    According to Antonov, the disappeared AN-32 number K-2743, series number 0809 was re-equipped into AN-32RE version by specialists of IAF's 1 Base Repair Depot (BRD) at Kanpur and was fitted with ELTs. The stationary ELT is activated at a frequency of 406MHz if switched on manually or automatically at longitudinal load factor (strike) of more than 2.3g. The Pilot activates the ELT beacon, which in turn transmits a 406 MHz emergency message to search and rescue satellites. The Artex C406-1 transmits three emergency frequencies to the Cospas/Sarsat satellite system, which allows for rapid identification and reduces search and rescue response time.

    "There were no rebuke concerning such ELT operation on the AN-32 from other operators," the spokesperson said to a specific question on whether the company had received any complaints over ELTs from clients in other countries.

    The erstwhile Soviet Union delivered 118 AN-32 planes to India between 1984 and 1990. While Indian specialists have been trained to execute all maintenance aspects of AN-32, it was done by aircraft repair plant 410 of civil aviation in Kyiv, Ukriane. From 1992 to 1995, specialists of the 1BRD at Kanpur mastered overhaul procedures. So, engineers and technicians of the IAF performed overhaul of AN-32s by themselves, the company added.

    To a question on whether the IAF has approached Antonov seeking assistance in search and rescue operations, the spokesperson replied in the negative.

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    Lockheed Martin Offers To Make F16s 'For India, From India'. Conditions Apply

    Post  Pinto on Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:37 pm

    NEW DELHI: American defence major Lockheed Martin on Thursday said it has offered to move its lone production line of the latest version of fighter aircraft F 16-Block 70 to India from Texas to meet Indian and global requirement.

    However, the company made it clear the proposal is "conditional" to IAF choosing the world's largest-sold fighter aircraft for its fleet.

    "The offer we have given to the Indian government is unmatched and from our side unprecedented," Randall L Howard, F16 Business Development head at Lockheed Martin, said in New Delhi.

    Interacting with mediapersons in New Delhi, Mr Howard said the company wants to make F 16-Block 70 "for India, from India and export to the world".

    However, he parried questions on whether the company is willing to give a commitment not to sell F16s to Pakistan saying it will be part of discussions between the Indian and American governments.

    Asked if the offer to move the production line from Fort Worth to India is conditional to IAF picking up the aircraft for its fleet, Abhay Paranjape, National Executive, India said, "Yes".

    He said it is conditional to assured orders from the Indian Air Force which is looking to acquire new aircraft to beef up its depleting strength.


    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said India will choose at least one more aircraft, besides the indigenous Tejas, for the IAF through the 'Make in India' route.

    Lockheed Martin, which has sold 4,588 F16s in the world, faces competition from its American rival Boeing (F/A-18E), Dassault Aviation of France (Rafale), Swedish plane Gripen by Saab and the Eurofighter.

    All the companies have offered to set up a production facility in New Delhi.

    "But we are offering not only moving the lone production line to India but also meeting the global requirement through the same unit here," Mr Howard said, adding it is a "win-win situation".

    Arguing the F 16-Block 70 will be the best fighter aircraft in the Indian region, he said, "It is critical for you to pick up a partner who will deliver on his promise".

    Mr Howard said the company is having multiple discussions with the government here besides the industry and "they have not been told to go away", indicating the discussions are on.

    He added Lockheed believes the production in India will also bring down the cost of the aircraft which in turn will increase its global demand.

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    Re: Indian Air Force (IAF): News

    Post  JohninMK on Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:20 pm

    And I thought snake oil salesmen were a thing of the past. If India does not see through this they deserve the end result.

    For comparison, one suspects that Tata would have second thoughts about moving their much simpler Jaguar car line from Coventry to India but here we have a proposal to move the far more complex and skill intensive F-16 production line plus its huge sub-contractor base, much of it JIT based. Let alone all the classified parts.

    Unless they set up a duplicate line F-16 production would stop for possibly years whist all the gear etc was moved, installed and bug fixed whilst production staff were brought up to speed. The mind boggles! The only way it seems feasible is for two lines and then the US, under strategic and other customer pressure, would not close the Fort Worth line or there would be a get out clause turning it into a 'refurb' operation.

    We have an English saying to 'shit a brick' and that just about nails the task.

    I once went on a US military proposal writing course during which we were asked what the function of the Project Manager on a v large project was. In all innocence we replied 'get the product to work on time to budget'. This was of coursed dismissed as the 'old way'. To them the proposal price would be at a loss, the role of the PM was to maximise changes against the specification and basically to 'get financially well'. Just think of the opportunities to do that on this type of project. The customer would need the best lawyers there are working for a long time to get a contract that would nail down Lockheed on a job like this against a background of not being able to nail Boeing for C-17 support.

    Good luck!


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    Battle of the Airfields’ Being Waged by India and China along Volatile Arunachal Pradesh Border

    Post  Pinto on Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:46 am

    India has finished upgrading four Indian Air Force (IAF) airfields 100 km or less from its border with China at Arunachal Pradesh state -- which China claims to own and will try to seize in the event of a war -- and will finish the construction of two more within the year as it tries to match an equally massive Chinese build-up of its air and missile power.

    The widely publicized inauguration this August of the Pasighat Advanced Landing Ground (Pasighat ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh was intended to reassure the public the Indian Armed Forces is taking Chinese military provocations seriously.

    Pasighat ALG is located only 100 km from the Chinese border and has been completely refurbished so it can handle India's most modern military aircraft, including the potent Indian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter with a range of 3,000 km and all other types of military helicopters.

    An IAF Su-30MKI landed at Pasighat during the inauguration of the airfield while three other fighters took off from other newly rebuilt ALGs in the state. Pasighat ALG is one of the operating bases under the Eastern Air Command and is considered a strategic asset greatly aiding in the defense of Arunachal Pradesh.

    The blatant display of Indian airpower so close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was a signal to Beijing that India will defend the state China still claims to own despite the state always having been a part of India.

    Last March and May, upgraded ALGs were inaugurated in Mechuka, Ziro, Along and Wallong, all in Arunachal Pradesh. Work is underway on upgrading the ALGs at Tuting and Tawang, also in Arunachal Pradesh.

    Work on the Tuting ALG is almost complete with 75 percent of upgrade work finished. The ALG will become operational by end of this year. Upgrading the Tawang airstrip into an ALG is underway and is slated for completion by the first quarter of 2017. Reconstruction of the ALG at Vijaynagar will be undertaken after  the road between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored.

    The infrastructure in these ALGs consist facilities such as new hard-surface runways; aprons for ground maneuvering; air traffic control towers and perimeter roads. The new ALGs can support all of India's military aircraft and their being such a short distance away from the border means the IAF can respond much more quickly in the event of a crisis.

    Conversely, the ALG's locations so close to China means these airfields will be among the first the Chinese will attack in the event of hostilities.
    "The ALGs will further enhance our existing operational capabilities in Eastern Air Command," said Air Marshal Hari Kumar during the inauguration of the Ziro and Along ALGs.

    "The capacity build-up will enable operations by some of our new inductions, including the C-130J Super Hercules ... besides enhancing air maintenance capability of the IAF in the region, the new airfields (at Ziro and Along) will also facilitate civil air connectivity soon."

    Despite the Indian military build-up, the military balance along the border is heavily against India.

    China has deployed 300,000 men of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force along its border with India at Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese have also built airfields at Hoping, Pangta and Kong Ka to support six existing airfields in the Tibetan Autonomous Region that can handle fighter jets and heavy transport aircraft.

    Chinese ballistic missiles such as the DF-31 and DF-31A aimed at India have been deployed to Delingha, north of Tibet.

    Arrayed against these forces are 120,000 Indian Army soldiers that will soon receive 90,000 reinforcements. Supporting these men are two IAF Su-30MKI squadrons from Tezpur in Assam. Also counted in India's favor is the forthcoming deployment of a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile regiment to the state.

    Read more:

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    IAF successfully fires long-range air-to-air missile "MICA" from upgraded Mirage 2k

    Post  Pinto on Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:05 pm

    NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force today successfully fired recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile on a manoeuvring target from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft.

    With the success of this mission by 'Tigers', the first squadron of the force, IAF has become one of the few air forces in the world with the capability of such beyond visual range air-to-air missile, a Defence Ministry release said.

    The missile achieved a direct hit on a target which was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at a low altitude, it said.

    The target was destroyed on missile impact validating the launch envelope of the missile, it said.

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    Foreign Jet-Fighter Makers Woo India

    Post  Pinto on Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:19 am

    Manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Saab rush in with offers to set up production lines

    India is being offered blueprints to advanced combat aircraft by the world’s aerospace companies, a move unthinkable even a decade ago, as New Delhi gets ready to place another multibillion-dollar air force order.

    India’s aging military jet fleet desperately needs an upgrade, which analysts say may spur it to place an order worth more than $10 billion in the next year. Hoping for an edge, and encouraged by a recent law that allows 100% foreign ownership of local defense firms, jet-fighter makers such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Saab AB are rushing in with offers to set up production lines to India.

    Efforts to give India unprecedented access to jet fighter know-how illustrate the country’s rising importance to the West as China’s power increases, analysts say.

    India, until a decade ago, was trying stubbornly to build its own jets, after the U.S. and Japan imposed sanctions following its nuclear tests in 1998, which broke U.S. nonproliferation laws and sparked tensions with Pakistan. U.S. companies were blocked from giving India the technology it needed.

    Relations between India and the U.S. have improved since, as both share a goal to contain China’s military. India has struck deals with the U.S. to buy everything from Apache helicopters to transport planes and artillery, lifting the country to India’s second-biggest defense trading partner behind Russia.

    “China’s rise has changed the equation,” said Pushan Das, a fellow with the Observer Research Foundation, a policy think tank based in New Delhi. Industry experts estimate India needs over 300 new combat jets in the next 15 years.

    It could be a while before a deal is struck. Successful bidders also face the challenge of setting up a jet-manufacturing system from scratch. Previous such attempts have failed.

    A deal struck in 2012 with France’s Dassault Aviation SA to build Rafale fighters in India fell through last year following disagreements, and was replaced with a smaller plan to import 36 jets. That plan finally was approved by India’s government, and an agreement was signed on Friday.

    Similarly, efforts to co-develop a next generation fighter with Russia’s Sukhoi stalled over cost disputes, while a third indigenous jet program aiming to deliver 120 light combat aircraft is behind schedule.

    Those programs relied on state-run Hindustan Aeronautics to build and design jets. Defense experts say the company faces a skills shortage as its best engineers are spread thinly across projects that include retrofitting old Russian and French jet fighters and building helicopters and drones. The company didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Impatient with the delays, India relaxed foreign investment laws and defense procurement rules to kick-start a privately managed jet-fighter industry as its air force struggles to keep its aging fighter fleet in the sky, including MiG-21 jets bought in the 1960s. Since then, U.S. manufacturers Lockheed and Boeing, and Sweden’s Saab, have proposed building jets with Indian partners.

    The U.S. hasn’t sold jet fighters to India before, with India’s air force preferring European and Russian manufacturers.

    Lockheed also has proposed moving its F-16 production line in Fort Worth, Texas, to India, and training more than 5,000 locals. Its bid also is critical to strengthening military cooperation between the U.S. and India, said Abhay Paranjape, Lockheed’s director of business development in India.

    “If you ever want to fight together, you need to train together, and to do that you need to fly the same kind of aircraft,” Mr. Paranjape said. U.S. industry officials said per-unit costs could drop by as much as 20% in India compared with the U.S., potentially driving fresh sales outside India.

    Still, it could take Lockheed roughly four years to transfer the Fort Worth F-16 line, which is slated for closure soon when remaining orders for the aging jet type tail off, industry officials said.

    A logistics-sharing treaty, signed last month, is the first of three agreements the U.S. wants India to sign to allow for a greater transfer of U.S. military technology, potentially strengthening Lockheed and Boeing’s bids to sell jets in India.

    Boeing’s India President Pratyush Kumar said it was aiming to help India build F/A-18 fighters and develop jets in the long term.

    Saab’s plan would have it build a second manufacturing plant in Sweden for its Gripen E jet type, train Indian technicians there, and then dismantle and ship the plant to India, said its Indian country head Jan Widerström. Saab hopes to gain an advantage by offering the blueprints for the Gripen’s advanced radar system, Mr. Widerström said.

    Saab and its suppliers could help train 20,000 local technicians in coming years if their bid is successful, and build anywhere from 100 to 200 jets for the Indian air force and export customers in places such as Thailand and Malaysia, said Mr. Widerström.

    “We’re offering to set up aerospace capability in India for the

    next 100 years,” he said.

    Last edited by Pinto on Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    MiG 29 Upgradation In Final Stage at 11 Base Repair Depot (11 BRD) Nasik

    Post  Pinto on Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:50 pm

    The 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD), has taken a giant step towards indigenization of spares for the MIG aircrafts. The upgradation of the MIG 29 at the 11 BRD is a result of the same and Nashik industry has played a key role in this process of indigenization, stated Group Captain P K Anand, Station Commander 11 BRD, Nashik.

    Interacting with the media on the occasion of the 84th anniversary of the Indian Air Force that will be celebrated on October 8, Anand said that Indian Air Force has started using indigenous spare parts for the repair, maintenance and upgradation of the air crafts. He also said that the biggest challenge faced by the repair depot was the lack of support from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) due to various reasons. "To find a way out we started giving thrust on indigenization and 11 BRD is very well supported by the Nashik industry in this regard. In fact Nashik can be known as the aviation hub," stated Anand.

    Ninety per cent of the spare parts of the MIG 29 that were recently upgraded to carry air to ground missiles along with many other modernizations, have been indigeneously manufactured by small and medium scale units in Nashik and provided by local vendors. While at times the 11 BRD and the manufacturer work together, many a times the manufacturer supplies as desired.

    Nearly about 100 vendors are registered with the 11 BRD and about 40-60 participate regularly. "At the 11 BRD, it is a process of idealization and self reliance as far as the overhauling of the air crafts is considered. The depot has the capacity to handle the upgradation in coordination with the design and development cell recognized by CEMILAC (Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification), re-engineer and re assemble in an upgraded form. Some spare supply is outsourced and the Nashik industry has pitched in their support in this regard", the station commander added.

    The first unit of the Indian Air Force to be awarded the ISO certification for quality and environmental aspects, the 11 BRD is equipped to deal with the MIGs and the SU-30 MKI Sukhoi aircrafts. It also works as support with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Ojhar which assembles the Sukhoi and works on it's indigenization. At the depot, the aircrafts land in flying condition after a stipulated period of flying and after diagnosing what needs to be done with it, each aircraft is worked upon in the assembly line, which is a very accountable, responsible and zero failure process. There are checks and rechecks at every stage and after overhauling, the aircraft is re-assembled, test flied and then sent to its respective unit. The whole process takes about 13-15 months.

    With a legacy of playing a crucial role in all the wars and rescue operations, the 11 BRD is always busy. 'The more you sweat during peace time, the less you sweat during wars' being the motto on which the unit functions, they always keep their aircrafts ready for take-off. Even today, the 11 BRD is ready to deliver and stand up for whatever is the need of the Indian Air Force.

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    Swedish major Saab bets big on India with Gripen fighter jets

    Post  Pinto on Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:48 pm


    Swedish aerospace and defence giant Saab Group is betting big on the Indian market for its fighter jet Gripen.


    The $800-million Saab aeronautics, which has already bagged $5 billion worth of global orders for Gripen, is planning to set up an entire production and assembly line in India to co-produce the jets under the Make in India programme.

    “Saab is here to team up with India and be there for the next 100 years. This is not just about setting up an aircraft industry but also about true transfer of technology and sharing of trade secrets,” said Mats Palmberg, Vice President, Industrial Partnerships, Saab Aeronautics.

    Gripen had lost out to Rafale in 2011 during a bidding process for medium multi-role combat aircraft. However, the company has upgraded the Gripensince then. Gripen is now being used by the air forces of Hungary, Thailand, South Africa, Brazil and Czech Republic. Talks were revived when Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February this year. The company is hopeful that India will be placing orders to procure Gripen warplanes soon.

    The company is planning to sell the Gripen NG model to India, which is their most advanced multi-role fighter.

    “Gripen order backlog is at an all time high. We are in one of the best positions now with Gripen, although we have tough competition,” added Richard Smith, Head (Marketing & Sales), Gripen.

    According to Smith, financing the procurement of these jets can also be customised as per the clients’ needs.

    Under the Make in India programme, Saab has plans to build an aeronautical industry eco-system, including transfer of technology with an aim to maximise India content, extending industrial network and creating a suppliers system.

    As part of its long-term plans for Gripen, it has plans for design, production and in-service support. There are also plans to set up a training academy to train pilots in operating the Gripen.

    “The work that will be done in India will support our programmes for Gripen globally,” said Palmberg.

    He said there will be dedicated Indian Gripen line at Saab’s facility here that will be supported by the Indian industry. Additionally, the company is planning to establish a sub-assembly unit.

    The company is also keen to train Indian pilots and engineers in Sweden.

    “We can give the Indian Air Force the capabilities they need that will meet the changing requirements,” said Lars Sjoberg, Director, Head of Development, Saab Aeronautics.

    (The writer was in Sweden at the invitation of Saab Group)

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    Indian Air Force Confirms Jaguar Re-engine Plan

    Post  Pinto on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:15 am

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed that it will re-engine its fleet of Anglo-French Jaguar strike aircraft. The plan was discussed by IAF Chief of Air Staff Arup Raha during his annual press conference this week. Raha was enthusiastic about the recently confirmed acquisition of Dassault Rafales, but cautious on progress with the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project with Russia.

    “Technology is improving so rapidly that weapon systems and platforms soon become redundant,” said Raha. This phenomenon is being addressed through the IAF’s Long Term Perspective Plan, a 15-year scheme that is divided into three five-year spans. Raha said that while most previous procurement “had been process-driven; it is now changing to outcome-driven.”

    Honeywell is to supply 270 F125IN turbofan engines to replace the twin Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 821s on apporoximately 120 Jaguars. The F125 is 600 pounds lighter and should enable 25-percent-shorter hot-and-high takeoffs. Raha said India’s Jaguars have become overweight and underpowered because of avionics and systems upgrades. Honeywell will first be required to conduct a trial modification of the Jaguars with the new engines. The plan was first mooted in 2012.

    Full of praise for the Rafale, for which the IAF has signed a contract for 36, Raha added: “We’d like more, but the decision has to be taken in the near future based on capability and price.” Other officials in the IAF told AIN that the version for India would be more lethal than the French and other recent international versions.

    An Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed for co-production of the FGFA. But now that the IAF has completed a design review, it has “found gaps in information in terms of the depth and transfer of technology…and a lack of visibility of total cost,” said Raha. While things are now clearer, “let us see what happens,” he added.

    The IAF combat fighter inventory includes 270 Su-30MKIs. An official said: “Ordering more will not be wise. We should not have all our eggs in one basket.”

    Live firing of the air-to-ground version of the Brahmos missile on the modified Sukhoi Su-30 MKI will be finished in three months.

    Aiming to boost its capability for local production via a transfer of technology, India has received “unsolicited offers for the Gripen, F-16, and F-18. Whoever gives the best deal will get the contract,” said Raha. Meanwhile, deliveries of the 80 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1 version will not be completed until 2028.

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    Ageing IAF fleet needs urgent boost

    Post  Pinto on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:48 pm

    The only India-produced light combat aircraft, Tejas, is still going through trials and tests.

    Block obsolescence. Yes, every conscientious Indian needs to know it. Today, I say with all humility and conviction, based on credible open source information, that owing to the block obsolescence of its frontline fighters, the Indian Air Force is facing a “situation”, despite the recent signing of the contract for 36 readymade French Rafale multi-role combat aircraft. Why? Because 36 aircraft means only two squadrons, and these can’t be operational before 2019! It’s yet another case of “too little, too late”. Despite the deployment of these 36 advanced fighters three years from now, block obsolescence is unlikely to evaporate as a number of other obsolete aircraft, still in use with IAF squadrons, will definitely be retiring by then. One also has to take into account the normal wear and tear of flying machines and the inherently hazardous nature of the profession.

    In short, therefore, the best of the IAF’s operational plans to prepare for a “war on two fronts” is likely to emerge as a theory; and in its worst form, perhaps as a bad dream. For this, as a conscientious citizen of India, I would like to hold successive rulers of our country culpable, for over the past two decades, for their inability to lead, give direction, take decisions, and look beyond horizon on what it takes a nation of 1.25 billion to be counted amongst the comity of nations. One look at the inventory of the IAF’s contemporary assets, gleaned from open source information, makes things clear. First, not a single fighter is made in India. Some, true, may be “produced” in India via “technology transfer” in various units of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, but there’s simply no indigenous product yet. The only India-produced light combat aircraft, Tejas, is still going through trials and tests.

    Second, let’s do a reality check. Start with fighters; the first of over 750 MiG-21 “Fishbed” was first delivered 1973; at least 60 are still flying. Just imagine! 43 years on, it is still airborne? Thanks to the IAF’s professionalism. Again, 37 years ago, Anglo-French (deep penetration) Jaguar IS ground attack/strike aircraft were delivered. Over 110 are still in service. The first of 40-plus French Mirage-2000 interceptor and air defence planes came to India in 1985. After 31 years, they are still the backbone of the IAF’s offensive operations. Similarly, the first of over 150 Soviet-made MiG-27 ML (Flogger-J) fighters, despite mishaps, are still operating for ground attack and strike operations, ever since 1985. Over 80 Soviet-origin MiG-29 (Fulcrum-A) are still going strong, serving India since their first induction 30 years ago, in 1986.

    The Indian Navy too got its first long-distance “maritime attack” capability 30 years ago, in 1986, with the introduction of Anglo-French Jaguar IM. This apart, various types of MiG-21 Bison and MiG-29 aircraft have also been upgraded from time to time. Amid such a variety of vintage aircraft, the only “modern” multi-role IAF fighter continues to be the Sukhoi-30 MKI, first delivered in 2002. This is virtually the sole “offensive” capable aerial platform with superior avionics, weapons system, communications, payload, range, speed and endurance. These are deployed all across the country. It must be remembered that the IAF is only an operator/user of the imported flying machines, and can’t be expected to produce or manufacture aircraft on its own. This is the duty of the Government of India, and if the IAF doesn’t have a single indigenously-produced combat aircraft yet, the responsibility falls fairly and squarely on the nation’s leadership, and on the civilian bureaucracy dealing with national defence, security and industrial activity.

    The sole point of “pride” of India’s indigenous aviation enterprise could be HAL’s Avro 748-M, first inducted into the IAF way back in 1964. Around 52 years later, this rock-solid Indian transporter still flies through the air turbulence of varying intensity and unpredictable velocity at remote airports across India. In comparison to the IAF, one is well aware of the strength and fleet age of the Pakistan Air Force. However, the Chinese Air Force is less familiar to military watchers in India. Since a “two-front” situation could be more than a probability in the near future, it is more than necessary to delve into China’s air capability to understand its psyche. The Chinese too, of course, have an obsolete fleet in their inventory. Beijing’s 80-strong H-6 bomber fleet is 48 years old. The 250-plus Q-5 ground attack/strike fighters have been in use for 46 years, since 1970. Two squadrons of J-8B interceptor/air defence fighters are being operated for 28 years, since 1988. But unlike India, all these vintage aircraft are “Made in China”, and the rise of its Air Force fighters in the 21st century has been impressive, mainly owing to its continuous indigenisation enterprise.

    In fact, the post-Tiananmen Western sanctions since 1989 appear to have been a blessing in disguise for China. Beijing was forced to transform from being an aircraft importer to an aircraft exporter. The transformation led to the Chinese induction of J-10A Meng Long multi-role fighters in 2001; J-7G and J-8F fighters in 2003; JH-7A ground attack/strike fighters in 2004 and J-10B multi-role fighters in 2009. More, however, are in the pipeline and newer models too are likely to be inducted. The Chinese example has been cited only to make a point on how successive rulers in India appear to have either ignored, or been ignorant of, the need to modernise and indigenise the assets of the Indian Air Force.

    One simply cannot fathom why all the efforts and enterprise have failed to deliver a proper fighter aircraft power plant of 25,000-30,000-pound static thrust? It is well known worldwide that no single-engine modern fighter is likely to be a success in combat situations without a minimum 25,000-pound static thrust. That is the bottomline. A sustainable performance, and a fair-fight capability, needs at least a 30,000-pound static thrust engine. India will thus have to give top priority to the building of aircraft body (fuselage) and engines in its indigenisation programme to enhance the Air Force’s capabilities. Much time, money, energy and labour have already been wasted chasing and preferring imported material from the West, that in turn has stunted and blunted the potential growth of India’s military air technique and technology. It’s time to wake up and prepare to take on the Chinese by emulating their techniques. The Indian State must ensure the end of block obsolescence of its Air Force inventory and assets.

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    Air superiority: The ‘I’ factor

    Post  Pinto on Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:45 am

    Gravitational pulls exerted by slow indigenous inputs keep IAF's soaring ambitions in check. As IAF counts its gains on its Day on October 8, The Tribune takes a look at modernization plans and attempts to indigenize the weaponry for the fourth largest air force of the world

    Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi-30MKI lands at Yelahanka air force station on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The Tribune photo: Vijay Mathur

    Every year the Indian Air Force (IAF) proudly observes its anniversary on October 8, the day when in 1932 the IAF's predecessor, the auxiliary air force of the Royal Air Force of the British Empire, was raised on a modest note with four vintage Wapiti biplanes (then jocularly pronounced as 'what-a-pity'). Since then the IAF has come a long way in both size and technology considering the phenomenal advances since then in aviation technology and support elements.

    The IAF has performed with aplomb in all military operations in India's post-Independence history. Particularly noteworthy have been its performance and role in the 1971 India-Pakistan war when it achieved complete aerial domination of former East Pakistan's airspace and the 1999 high-altitude Kargil war with Pakistan which witnessed incredible innovations. The IAF's transport fleet's continuous silent role of air maintaining troops in extreme and remote corners of the country, whether the high-altitude Ladakh region or the hilly north eastern states bordering China and Myanmar, is a feat that will take several volumes to document.


    The IAF, currently the world's fourth largest, is a completely import-dependent armed force for virtually every weapon platform and weapon system. The IAF's fighter fleet is dangerously depleting -- down to 33 squadrons from the sanctioned 42. At the current rate, the squadron strength is expected to touch a low of 25 by 2022. The current state of the IAF is no better with the Russian-origin Sukhoi-30 squadrons functioning at less than 55 per cent efficiency with almost half of the present fleet unserviceable.

    The IAF's fighter fleet comprises fighter aircraft from three different countries -- Russia, France and the UK; a transport fleet from the United States, UK, Brazil, Germany and the former Soviet states of Ukraine and Russia; and helicopters from Russia and France with the US soon expected to provide the Chinook heavy lift and Apache attack helicopters.

    Apart from sourcing its fighter fleet from three different countries, the IAF flies seven different types of fighter aircraft thus creating major infrastructure and maintenance issues. The French Rafale, when inducted by 2023, will be yet another addition of an aircraft type in the IAF's inventory for which new infrastructure will be created. The story is similar in the case of the IAF's fixed wing aircraft and helicopter fleet.

    Efforts at self-reliance have been agonisingly slow and incomplete. The country's deficiency in self-reliance remains a serious matter of concern for a country that aspires for great power status. The Dhruv advance light helicopter (ALH) has a French engine and a dismal record of accidents. Besides, four of the seven Dhruv helicopters sold to Ecuador have crashed thus adversely affecting its brand image.
    The Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), under development since 1983, has been inducted without a final operational clearance and with 53 waivers and concessions that has severely curtailed its operational capability. A better version (Mark-1A and Mark-II) of the Tejas is still under development and it will be some time before these are inducted.

    Depleting strength

    The IAF's hope to attain its sanctioned strength of 42 fighter squadrons is well over a decade away indicating how much the air force has slid numerically. It also drives home the fact that both building (and re-building) a technology and capital intensive air force fleet is hugely expensive and involves considerable gestation time.
    No country can afford to be cent-percent self-reliant, especially in today's world of globalisation. Even so, all truly great and medium military powers ranging from the US, Russia and China to France and Israel have attained a high degree of indigenous military capability, especially in core and high-end technologies. In contrast, even after several decades India's efforts are still far from fruition.

    The IAF has become a critical component not only to fight a war but also as deterrence. Advances in military aviation have increased a country's strike depth while rendering obsolescent the concept of strategic depth. Fighter aircraft with the assistance of flight refuelling aircraft are capable of flying greater distances than before and attacking targets with beyond visual range missiles and precision guided munitions while flight controllers seated in safety thousands of miles away can fire smart bombs with precision from unmanned combat aerial aircraft (UCAV) flying at thousands of feet in the sky. And then, of course, there is always the range and variety of surface-to-surface missiles.

    Need to catch up fast

    The IAF's future cannot stay hinged on imports. During the Kargil war, India went scurrying for artillery and ammunition. India's traditional ally, Russia, ended up supplying old and defective ammunition at exorbitant prices while South Africa had only refurbished second-hand Howitzers to offer. While Israel was of great support during the Kargil war (as was also the case during the 1971 war even though Tel Aviv and New Delhi did not then have diplomatic relations), the quality of their high-resolution satellite pictures were below mark due to a technical problem.

    The IAF and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have embarked on developing an 'advanced medium combat aircraft' (AMCA) while New Delhi and Moscow have agreed to jointly develop a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Both aircraft are well over a decade from development. By then the IAF fleet is expected to have further depleted notwithstanding the induction of two Rafale squadrons and more Sukhoi-30 aircraft. There is no certainty about the Tejas which, again, has an American engine. Like the other two Services, the IAF continues to be in the realm of uncertainty

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    IAF seeks 12 radars to counter missile threat

    Post  Pinto on Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:57 am

    The Indian Air Force has drawn up plans to acquire 12 high-powered radars to counter the threat posed by the induction of new combat aircraft in the region, some of which are claimed to have stealth capabilities, as well as ballistic missiles.

    Such radars have the capability to detect airborne targets at a range of several hundred kilometres. These will combat the growing obsolescence and plug gaps in the country’s existing air defence network.

    The IAF has specified that the radars should be able to detect targets at an altitude of 30 kms with the ability to detect and track targets having a radar cross section of 0.1 square metre or less following a parabolic trajectory. The systems, which can also be deployed in high altitude areas, should also have measures to counter electronic warfare and anti-radiation missiles.

    The move to procure high-powered radars comes in the backdrop of India being in the process of acquiring several other systems, including long-range surface-to-air missiles, to strengthen defences against aerial threats.

    The IAF has an array of low, medium and long range radars to meet different operational requirements. At present, its requirement of high-power radars, which are large and static systems with an elaborate infrastructure, is met by a mix of Russian and French systems. The French Thales radar, which that has a range of about 600 kms, has been in service for several decades. Besides imported systems, a number of indigenously developed radars such as Rohini, Arudhra and Indra series met low and medium range requirements. The private sector in India is also reported to be working on high-powered radar systems.

    The Russian S-400 missile that has a range of 380 km, Israeli Spyder low-level quick reaction missiles, the indigenous Akash and the under development medium range surface-to-air missile along with the missile shield for important cities are among the systems being put in place to enhance air defence capabilities.

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    Re: Indian Air Force (IAF): News

    Post  Militarov on Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:15 pm

    "A global contest has restarted for supplying India a medium, multi-role fighter, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) inviting top international fighter jet manufacturers to set up a production facility in India.

    Business Standard has learned that Indian embassies in Washington, Moscow and Stockholm wrote on Friday to fighter jet manufacturers in these countries to confirm whether they would partner an Indian company in building a medium, single-engine fighter, with significant transfer of technology to the Indian entity.

    The confidential document sent by the embassies is not technically a “Request for Information” (RFI), which is a precursor to a “Request for Proposals” (also known as a tender). However, it serves the same purpose, which is to determine which vendors are interested and what they are willing to offer. By specifying that the IAF requires a single-engine fighter, the latest letter differs from an earlier tender, issued in 2007, for 126 medium, multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). The MMRCA tender, which had no such stipulation, saw six vendors fielding four twin-engine and two single-engine fighters. The twin-engine offerings included Dassault’s Rafale, Eurofighter GmbH’s Typhoon, Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and RAC MiG’s MiG-35. The single-engine fighters offered were Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN Super Viper and Saab’s Gripen D.

    The much-hyped MMRCA tender eventually collapsed, with the IAF last month buying a token 36 Rafale fighters. Now, the IAF has kicked off a more focused contest that will feature only single-engine fighters."


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    Re: Indian Air Force (IAF): News

    Post  Pinto on Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:28 pm

    French-made Rafale fighter planes will be the 80th type of aircraft to join the Indian Air Force fleet in 2019.


    As the IAF prepares to induct Rafale fighter jets after inking a Euro 7.8-billion deal with France in September, HT gives you the low-down on the aircraft it has operated since it was formed in Karachi in 1933.

    The Sukhois, the Jaguars and the MiGs surely ring a bell, but what about Blenheim and Caribou? Here’s all you need to know about the birds Indian pilots have flown:
    The early English years

    Westland Wapiti: The Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) was formed in 1933 in Karachi with four ‎Wapiti IIA aircraft. The British bi-planes served the IAF till 1945. The air force lost some Wapitis to Japanese bombing in Burma in World War II.

    Tiger Moth: The Tiger Moth, manufactured by British plane maker de Havilland, was operated by the IAF from 1939 to 1957. The IAF’s vintage fleet includes a Tiger Moth that was refurbished in 2012. The bi-plane served as a trainer.

    Tiger Moth

    Blenheim: The British light bombers served the RIAF briefly in 1941-42. The planes were used for providing air cover to ships arriving at the Rangoon harbour.

    Lysander: The British-built light bomber was operated by the RIAF in the early 1940s. The Lysander was considered to be a vulnerable aircraft: the UK’s Royal Air Force lost 118 over France and Belgium in May-June 1940.

    Hurricane: The RIAF got its Hawker Hurricanes in 1942. The Hurricanes saw action during the Arakan campaign in Burma and were the first operational aircraft capable of a top speed of over 300 miles per hour.

    Spitfire: The Spitfires replaced the Hurricanes. By 1946, the entire fighter force was Spitfire-equipped. Hailed as the most successful fighter design of the time, the British planes remained in service till the late 1950s.

    Other planes that served the RIAF in its early years include Dragon Rapide, Audio, Dragon Fly, Harvard, Hudson, Vengeance, Valentia, Defiant and Atlanta.
    The years around partition

    Tempest II: The planes were the backbone of the air force’s fighter fleet for almost 10 years after Independence.

    Dakota: Months before the partition, the RIAF raised its first transport squadron with C-47 Dakotas.

    B-24 Liberator: The RIAF raised its first heavy bomber squadron with the American Liberators in 1948. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) played a key role in re-conditioning the Liberators abandoned as scrap by the US Air Force. The planes remained in service till 1968.

    Vampires: The air force inducted the British-built plane as a front-line fighter in 1948. India operated more than 400 Vampires till the late 1960s. The IAF dropped its “Royal” prefix when India became a Republic in 1950.

    The French debut

    Dassault Ouragan: It marked the debut of a French fighter in the IAF’s fleet. Known as “Toofanis” in IAF service, the first Ouragan was inducted in 1953 and the fleet remained in service till 1967-68. India chose the Ouragan to diversify its global arms purchases.

    Mystere IVA: The second French-origin fighter to join the Indian fleet in 1957. The year saw the IAF expand in a major way: the British Hawker Hunter fighters English Electric Canberra bombers were inducted in 1957. The induction of French Mirage 2000 fighters began in 1985.

    Canberras: The Canberras saw action in the Congo in 1961-62. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, a Canberra was assigned to conduct photo survey along the Line of Control. A missile hit it but the pilot still managed to land.

    Other aircraft inducted in the IAF in the 1950s included the Devon, C-119 Packet, DHC-3 Otter, Vickers Viscount and Sikorsky S-55 choppers.

    The Soviet era dominance

    MiG -21 and other variants: The IAF inducted the MiG-21 in 1963, ushering in a new era of Soviet dominance of the Indian defence market. Upgraded variants of the iconic fighter are still in service. A questionable flight safety record earned the fighters epithets such as ‘flying coffins’ and ‘widow makers’. The MiG-21 is the IAF’s first warplane of non-western origin. The IAF went on to induct several MiG variants through the 1980s: the MiG-23s, the MiG-25s, the MiG-27s and the MiG-29s.

    Antonov-12: The first Russian transport plane supplied to the IAF in 1961. The AN-12Bs were used during the 1962 India-China war. Canada delivered its DHC-4 Caribou cargo planes to the IAF after the war.

    Mi-4: These Soviet-origin transport helicopters were inducted in 1960 followed by Mi-8s in early 70s, Mi-17s in 1985 and the latest Mi-17 V5 entered service just four years ago.

    Sukhoi-7: The Soviet-origin Su-7s were inducted in 1968 and took part in the 1971 India-Pakistan war. The IAF got its latest Sukhoi variant, the Su-30, in 1997. India has ordered a total of 272 Su-30s that form the backbone of its fighter fleet.

    Antonov-32: The An-32s joined the IAF in 1983 and continue to remain in service. The air force has a fleet of more than 100 AN-32s. The IAF has still not been able to trace an AN-32 that went missing while flying from Chennai to Port Blair on July 22.

    The US joins the party

    AH-64E Apache attack helicopters: The IAF’s attack helicopter fleet will be strengthened with the arrival of 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the US in 2019. The IAF currently operates Mi-25 and Mi-35 gunships inducted in the 1980s.
    CH-47F Chinooks: The IAF’s capability to deliver payloads to high altitudes will be enhanced when it inducts CH-47F Chinook choppers from the US in 2019. Soviet-origin Mi-26 choppers provided heavy-lift capabilities to the IAF for nearly three decades after being inducted in 1986. Out of the four delivered to India, only a solitary chopper remains in service.

    C-17 Globemaster III: The IAF completed the induction of 10 US-made planes in 2014. Extensively used by the US Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, the C-17 is capable of airlifting tanks, attack helicopters and infantry combat vehicles to India’s farthest frontiers. Before the C-17s, Russian Ilyushin-76 planes, inducted in 1985, were the only heavy-lift cargo planes in the fleet.

    C-130J Super Hercules: India signed a $1.2-billion contract with the US in 2008 for buying six C-130J planes. All have been delivered. The IAF is buying six more C-130Js, configured for special operations and airborne assault.

    Built in India

    Gnat: The IAF inducted the British Folland Gnat in 1958 and the light-weight fighter was licence-built by HAL. It was later upgraded with increased fuel capacity and christened Ajeet.

    HF-24 Marut: Inducted in the mid-1960s, it was India’s first indigenously-designed fighter. The Marut was designed by the German aircraft designer Kurt Tank, hired by HAL, and Indian engineers.

    Tejas: The IAF raised its first Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) squadron in July 2016 with two fighters. The IAF eventually plans to induct a total of 120 Tejas jets.

    Birds that stood out in war/operations

    1947-48 Kashmir operations: Spitfires from the Ambala base strafed Pakistani intruders who were barely a km from the Srinagar airfield in November 1947. British-built Tempest bombers played a significant role in the Battle of Shelateng that left 700 raiders dead near Srinagar. The Tempests were also involved in reconnaissance missions over Poonch, Rajouri and Naushera. The RIAF’s first military campaign after independence also saw Dakotas make their mark, flying troops, ammunition and supplies to Srinagar. American Harvard trainers provided air support to the army.

    1962 India-China war: The debate over India not using its air force in an offensive role still rages. However, AN-12Bs airlifted AMX-13 light tanks to Chushul in Ladakh during the war. The unprepared airstrip was at a height of 15,000 feet. The IAF was used only to provide transportation to the army. Military experts have argued that the use of IAF could have changed the outcome of the war.

    1965 India-Pakistan war: The Canberras bombed Pakistani air bases at Sargodha and Chaklala. The IAF used its Gnat fighters for air defence, Mysteres for ground attack and Hawker Hunters for interdiction. The Gnats shot down several Pakistani F-86 Sabres, a feat that earned them the ‘Sabre Slayer’ epithet. Pakistan got its most famous prisoner of war in 1965 after Kodendera Cariappa’s Hunter was shot down over Pakistan. His father KM Cariappa - who became Field Marshal - was the army chief from 1949-53. President Ayub Khan offered to release his son, but this is what Cariappa had to say: “They (POWs) are all my sons, look after them well.”

    1971 India-Pakistan war:

    The IAF’s MiG-21s, Gnats and Marut were pitched against Pakistani Sabres and F-104 Starfighters. The IAF scored kills even before the war officially began on December 3. On November 22, the Gnats shot down three Sabres in the eastern sector. Four Hunter fighters are credited with wiping out an entire Pakistani armoured regiment at Longewala. Interestingly, AN-12 transport planes were used for bombing Pakistani ammunition dumps at Changa Manga forest.

    1999 Kargil war:

    The air offensive during the war was codenamed Operation Safedsagar. The fighters involved were MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, MiG-29s and Mirage 2000s. The IAF lost two fighter jets and a helicopter during the operations and one of its pilots was taken as prisoner of war after his MiG-27 flamed out. He was returned after being tortured for several days. The Kargil war saw the IAF do some ‘jugaad’ too. The weapons’ computer of the Mirage 2000 had to be tweaked to cater for delivery of bombs from a very high altitude.

    MIG 21

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    India to Install Modern Avionics in Mi-17 V5 helicopters

    Post  Pinto on Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:48 am

    Amid rising militancy in its different regions, India intends to install more avionics that would boost its military strength in fighting militants in the dense forests of Kashmir and other dangerous areas.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has decided to add some more strength in its Russian made military helicopters Mi-17 V5. “Ministry of Defence intends to procure and install approximately 200 sets of Electronic Warfare Suite comprising Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) and Counter Measure Dispensing System (CMDS) on Mi-17 V5 helicopters,” reads a request for information issued by the Indian government.

    The system will provide self-protection to the helicopter against radar controlled weapons and IR seeking missiles by employing different counter measures such as chaffs, flares and directed infra-red. The Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) is intended to provide the capability of detecting, identifying warning and prioritizing air to air and ground to air threat missiles to the pilot. Fifteen Mi-17 V5 helicopters would also be integrated with Laser Warning Receiver (LWR) and Directed Infrared Counter Measures.

    India also wants to secure its helicopters against radar controlled weapons and IR seeking missiles. For this Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has design and developed the Counter Measure Dispensing System that will be integrated on to the platform. India plans to buy additional helicopters from Russia out of which more than a dozen will be made available to the BSF. India had already approved the purchase of 48 more Mi-17 V-5 medium lift helicopters. Delivery of 151 Mi-17 V-5 helicopters was made in February this year.

    Read more:

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    Re: Indian Air Force (IAF): News

    Post  George1 on Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:09 pm

    Indian Air Force to acquire at least 56 Airbus C-295 transport aircraft

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to begin contract negotiations for acquiring 56 Airbus C-295 transport aircraft as replacements for its ageing Avro HS-748 aircraft.

    According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, due attention is being paid to all assets of IAF, fighters and transporters included, and that “contract negotiations for 56 C-295 aircraft to replace the ageing Avro fleet are likely to commence shortly”.

    Separately, official sources indicated that the Border Security Force (BSF) is also looking at four C-295s for movement of its troopers within the country. That takes the projected number to 60, but as the aircraft will be made in India by the Tata Group, their number should go up eventually, keeping in mind the regional connectivity plans of the Civil Aviation Ministry, particularly in India’s northern Himalayan cities.

    Airbus officials have also said they are looking at a sizeable share of the Indian civil aviation market, pointing out that the C-295 is already operational in 19 countries.

    The air chief’s statement is significant as it clearly indicates that the process of acquiring the C-295s is now on a firm track.

    The aircraft is to be made in India by the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) in partnership with Airbus, and as per their announcement in 2014, once a contract is awarded, Airbus Defence and Space will supply the first 16 aircraft in “fly-away” condition from its own final assembly line in Spain and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by TASL. The arrangement will include undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing, and management of the indigenous supply chain.

    Asked how the IAF was overcoming many challenges in the transport domain, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that IAF will also induct another six Lockheed Martin C-130J Special Operations aircraft within the first half of 2017 while one more Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft is being acquired to take their number to 11. Ten C-17s are already operational with the IAF.

    It may be recalled that IAF has already inducted the first lot of six C-130Js. One of them, however, had crashed and a case has now been made for its replacement.

    About the AN-32 aircraft, which is the workhorse of the IAF and has been under upgrades, he said that their first lot is due for “phase out in 2023-24 and a suitable replacement will be considered at an appropriate time”.

    The IAF had acquired more than 100 AN 32s beginning mid-1980s from the Soviet Union, and these are being upgraded by Ukraine, which is now an independent state after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    About the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) that was proposed (in 2007) to be designed and built in collaboration with Russia, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that “the agreement with Russia for MTA could not mature as their proposal did not meet some of the Air Staff Qualitative requirements (ASRs)”.

    "There's no smoke without fire.", Georgy Zhukov


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    MiG 35 The New Formidable Challenger In The Skies

    Post  Pinto on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:23 am

    In India owing to a much higher price than expected, only 36 MMRCA category fighter jets have been contracted to be obtained in the form of Rafale out of the required number of 126 MMRCA category of fighter jets that are required by IAF.

    Thus another opportunity presents itself for IAF to evaluate fighter jets from companies of other countries. Although the final decision rests with IAF to determine the fighter jet that it evaluates to be suited to its requirement ; MiG 35 of RAC MiG from Russia , a 4++ generation fighter aircraft, holds many positives over the fighter jets in the same category and should be positively taken into consideration while obtaining the remaining number of 90 MMRCA category of fighter jets by IAF. A brief explanation citing quite a few technologies incorporated in MiG 35 giving an insight into its capabilities is attempted in the write up that follows.

    MiG 35 is a twin engined fighter aircraft which is a completely new variant having scant similarities with MiG 29K/KUB was very recently offered to India for naval operations as well as for acquisition of multi-role fighter aircraft for Indian Airforce. The dual seat version of this 4++ generation aircraft is MiG 35D. This fighter has greatly improved avionics and weapons systems and is capable of shooting down attack aircraft & cruise missiles and destroy ground targets as well. Its radar is AESA radar which is technologically better and efficient than the powerful PESA radars , its optical locator station (OLS) enables the fighter jet to target independent of ground-controlled interception (GCI) systems and along with BINS-SP2 strapdown inertial navigation system which allows MiG 35 to navigate in the absence of satellite, land-based radar stations and offshore navigation systems gives it the capability to conduct search , track and attack operations without the directives of ground radar stations.

    Other new features are advanced information-sighting systems, adaptability of onboard firmwares with both Russian and foreign weapons systems along with integrated defence systems for increased combat survivability. The SOLO (Stantsiya Obnaruzheniya Lazernogo Oblucheniya) is a laser warning device designed by NII PP has two sensors suites located on the wing tips. It is capable of detecting the tracking of the aircraft with a laser range finder from a distance of 30 kilometers. MiG 35 uses very effective avionic systems like MSP 41KE active jammer POD and ELT/568(V)2 Self Protection Jammer (SPJ) for self protection.

    MiG 35 betters its previous variants by many aspects. It has 10 hard points instead of 9 , airframe life increased from 5000 to 6000 hours of flying, has AESA radar instead of PESA radar,thrust vectoring engines, better avionics, internal fuel capacity is increased by 1.5 times, FADEC capable RD-33MK engines life resource is 6000 hours compared to 2500 of RD33 Ser.3 engines , the RD-33MKV engine the thrust vectoring version of RD-33MK engine has all-aspect thrust vectoring capacity.

    MiG 35 fighter is vastly different from other MiG 29 variants and enables MiG 35 to conduct full scale multi-role operations. New avionics , opto-electronic and new AESA radar help MiG 35 to conduct air-superiority operations by means of air interception & air interdiction, precision all-weather air-to-ground operations,aerial reconnaissance and joint operations with other Russian fighter jets, close air support, suppression of enemy air defences and to attack maritime targets.

    MiG 35 With Its 10 Hard Points Loaded

    Among new technological enhancements in MiG 35 the most significant are the Phazotron Zukh-AE AESA radar, RD-33MK all-aspect thrust vectoring engines , new NII PP OLS-UEM optical locator station , BINS-SP2 strapdown inertial navigation system, SOAR System , MSP-418K active jamming system and ELT/568(V)2 Self Protection Jammer.


    Various Detection And Defensive Systems Of MiG 35

    Phazotron Zukh-AE AESA Radar

    This radar is all-weather effective , has a wide range of operating frequencies, it provides significant resistance against electronic warfare giving it the capability to operate in ECM-heavy environment. It has a detection range of 160 Kms for aerial targets and 300 Kms for ships. This radar is capable of tracking 30 targets and target 6 aerial ones and four ground targets simultaneously.

    BINS-SP2 Strapdown Inertial Navigation System

    This system autonomously processes navigation and flight information , also determines position and motion parameters with the help of built-in laser gyros and quartz accelerometers in absence of assistance from satellite navigation with default integration with GLONASS. One unit of this system is expected to have an operation life of 10,000 hours which is twice compared to the same type of navigation systems other than BINS SP2. This also aids the fighter jet in network centric warfare involving air,land and maritime operations.

    RD-33 MKAll -Aspect Thtrust Vectoring Engines

    This engine is 7 percent more efficient than previous version of RD33 engines for usage of new technology , it is smokeless and has reduced infrared and optical visibility. Introduction of KliVt swiveling thrust vectoring nozzles improve the engine’s efficiency by 12 to 15 percent giving it equivalent or better maneuverability than Su 30 MKI and F22 Raptor. In fact the thrust vectoring nozzles of RD 33 MKV variant of the engine has all-aspect thrust vectoring and enables MiG35 to fly at very low speeds without any limitation of angle-of-attack maintaining the controllability of the aircraft in zero-speed and negative-speed (tail forward) for much more sustained periods than 2D thrust vectored engines.

    NII PP OLS-UEM Optical Locator Station:

    This passive search-and-track sensor system has capability to detect emission from stealth fighter jets. OLS works like the human eye by capturing pictures and analyzing them to detect possible targets. This OLS system which is complex if powerful optics with IR vision is reported to aide pilots to detect US stealth fighter jets. This OLS system is made of Leuco Sapphire giving it ruggedness against damage by dust particles striking at mach speeds and far better reliability of signal propagation from the system.

    A Few Words On Leuco Sapphire OLS Of New WaveLength:

    The latest optical locator system (OLS) on MiG 35 that uses leuco sapphire , the next hardest material after diamond, enables propagation of uncorrupted IR signal in place of glass that is normally used in prevalent OLS systems. OLS helps in detection of aircraft independent of radar and does not have electromagnetic emission of its own and hence the position of the IR emitting aircraft remains undetected. The OLS works like a vividly enhanced eye which continually captures the picture to be processed by the built in computing systems of the aircraft. The new OLS developed in Russia along with leuco sapphire uses short wave band of IR emissions which have enabled increased sensitivity by several times along with significant improvement in detection range. It has detection range of 15 to 55 kilometers for airborne targets. Such OLS are considered to help detect even the most stealthiest of aircraft that are prevalent in most revered air forces of the world. Detection of target by OLS can trigger the release of the desired weapon upon pilot’s command independent of the radar in the aircraft.

    OLS-K Ground And Sea Targeting OLS System:

    This OLS system is designed to search, track and target on land and seas. It can detect and track a battle tank on the ground at a distance of 20 Kms and an object of the size of an aircraft carrier on sea at a distance of 40 Kilometers.

    SOAR System:

    It is a threat detection system for MiG 35 and is fitted on the gondola and a second one on the top of fuselage of the aircraft. It detects rocket launches and shows the direction of the incoming threat. It is capable of detecting Stinger/Igla missile from 10 Kms , air-to-air missiles from 30 kms, and big surface to air missiles from 50 Kms. It is developed by NII PP institute of Russia.

    MSP-418K Kedr Active Jamming POD:

    Compact jamming pod MSP-418-K is developed for individual and collective aircraft protection by means of active noise and interference generation to deceive and counteract against radio electronic equipment used in air defence, artillery or any other ground complexes. It implements noise generation and complex interference with DRFM technologies which implements digital signal processing and interference generator by noise generation and generating complex interferences with a programmable structure thereby providing an independent two-channel reception, processing, and emission of the original radar signal based on DRFM technology. It has the capacity to instantaneously measure the received radar signals for panoramic radar signal detection in G-J range. DRFM technology is a broadband signal processing with real-time signal processing and programmable features and it implements recording and reproduction of the received radar signals.

    ELT/568(V)2 Self Protection Jammer:

    This jammer has evolved from collaboration between Russian MiG and Elettronica of Italy and it provides self defence from radar controlled anti-aircraft guns.

    MiG 35 Positives Over Shenyang J15 Type Fighter Jet Used By Chinese Navy The Rival Of Indian Navy For Maritime Operations

    In comparison to the likely adversary in the form of Chinese Naval Forces Fighter Jets Shenyang J15, which is a derivative of Su 33 type fighter jet ,MiG 35 exceeds Shenyang J15 in quite a few parameters . MiG 35 exceeds service ceiling of J15 by 500 meters, rate of climb by 84 m/s, maximum speed by 100 Kmph, thrust-to-weight ratio by 0.20 and maximum maneuverability by 2g. All these aerodynamic factors combined with the advantage of ZUKH-AE AESA radar ,advanced OLS and all-aspect thrust vectoring engines give MiG 35 a significant edge over the Shenyang J15 with regards to maritime operations.

    MiG 35 Positives Over F16

    MIG 35 exceeds F16 in highest speed at altitude by mach 0.25, combat radius by 450 Kms on internal fuel , service ceiling by 2260 meters, rate of climb is by 76 m/s, maximum maneuverability by 1g along with all-aspect thrust vectoring RD33MKV engine which gives MiG 35 unlimited angle of attack. All these aspects should be considered carefully before deciding to obtain an all-weather fighter jet.


    MiG 35 is capable of launching all missiles launched by Mig 29 variants which include ,but is not limited to, R23, R27, R77 and R73 air-to-air missiles; KH-29T, KH-29L, KH-31P KH-31PK, KH-35E,Kh-35UE and KH-38MLE air-to-surface missiles; KAB-500L(laser guided bomb),KAB-500T (TV guided)& FAB-250, FAB-500, ZAB-500 guided and unguided bombs.

    Acquiring a completely new aircraft in large numbers will call for absolutely new logistics support, maintenance nightmares for multiple fighter jets of varied make and up keeping of these newly acquired fighter jets to maintain proper percentage of availability to have effective deterrence with the newly commissioned fighter jet along with its compatible missiles and munitions. Indian Air Force have inducted substantial numbers of MiG 29 and is in the process of upgrading them and India Navy have already inducted a substantial number of MiG 29K variant ,so, MiG 35 being a ultra advanced 4++ generation variant of the same MiG series of fighter jets the ready feasibility for Indian Airforce and Navy would be to opt for MiG 35 for MMRCA and carrier based operations respectively along with TOT to manufacture it in India after a few of these have been inducted directly from Russia through Govt. to Govt contract.

    Published April 26, 2017
    SOURCE: Debojyoti Kumar / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

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