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land, naval & homeland security magazine | February - March 2021 | Vol VIII | Issue 4

GRSE

Redefining Indian Shipbuilding Industry Page : 12

Navantia, a reliable partner for ‘Make in India’ projects Page : 15

Indian Army shows its mettle Page : 09

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An AS9100D & CE Certified Company Aerospace Engineers Pvt. Ltd. is emerging MSME in Aerospace & Defence. The company is certified AS9100D, ISO14001, ISO45001, NADCAP, CE Marking and ZED Certified. It is founded in 2011 for manufacturing High precision non-metallic parts (Rubber, Plastic & Composite), Metallic parts and assemblies. Since, beginning AEPL is working on Make In India Concept. Over these years it has indigenised more than 15000 parts which includes high precision & critical subsystems for Helicopter (Military, Navy & Coast Guard) Program, Fighter Aircrafts MiG29, Sukhoi 30 MKI, MiG 29K (under Development), Missiles, Torpedoes and Rocket program. Some of the critical assemblies like Canopy seal are developed and supplied for MiG29, Su30MKI, Kiran, (MiG29K and MiG29 Trainer under development). Lubrication Oil Pump (Geo Rotor) for ALH under development for Naval Helicopter, Hose Assemblies (Metal hose as well as rubber hoses which uses fluids like Hydraulic Oil, Lubrication Oil, Fuel and Pneumatic with pressure rating up to 210 bar working pressure), Rubber Fuel Tank for UAV program, ( Rubber Fuel Tank for HAWK (Navy) is under discussion for development), Composite assemblies like convergent and divergent nozzle for AKASH, Numerous details for Brahmos, Ignitor and TVC assembly for LRSAM, Fuel Restrictor valves, Solenoids, etc., are Designed, Manufactured, Assembled, Qualified with Approved Authorised agencies like CEMILAC, RCMA and DGAQA. AEPL practicing AS9100D QMS with high discipline work force of about 300 employees. AEPL strongly believe on “VOCAL FOR LOCAL�. AEPL is proud to say that Most of the employees are from nearby village with their efforts AEPL is making high quality parts for AEROSPACE and DEFENCE. Our Manufacturing facility is approved by DGAQA. World class facilities are available for manufacture of Rubber Product. Dust Free Rubber Manufacturing is Unique facility in India. So far AEPL has developed 122 compounds which meet various standards (international & Europe). These compounds are duly certified by CEMILAC. For the Manufacturing of High precision Machining parts we have 25 CNC machines (Turning Centres, Machining Centres, Turn Mill Centres, Mill Turn Centres, 4 and 5 Axis setup, CNC wire cut, Poly turn, etc., These parts are being supplied for our own assembly shop, HAL ( Tejas ), ALH, LPSC, VSSC, ISRO, Apollo Aerospace, BDL, DRDO, etc., AEPL is having excellent setup of inspection facility like CMM, VMM, UTM, Profile Projectors, Ultrasonic Testing, LPT, etc., and also Environmental test and excellent Testing Facilities for rubber and metallic parts testing. Now we are focusing on sub-system developments like Sub-assemblies of aircraft, OH and refurbishing Rubber fuel tanks, Gear box maintenance, actuator repair and Overhaul, World class testing facilities for Aerospace and Defence requirements, Clean room facility for composite manufacturing, etc., which are planned in our new facility at Hosur (Near Bangalore).

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Editorial Indian Navy floats into New Year with fresh hopes

Regional Representatives Berlin, Germany

The world faced a colossal threat in 2020, caused by the pandemic. All sectors involving human activity were affected severely following the outbreak of COVID-19, but some like India’s Armed Forces, including the Indian Navy, not only continued to perform their duties with élan but also excelled in the tasks. Now, with the dawn of the New Year, the Indian Navy is all set to meet upcoming challenges with much hope. This optimism is derived from the achievements of the past year, some of which such as the first-ever arrested landing of a Light Combat Aircraft on an aircraft carrier proved to be landmarks. Similarly, the Indian Navy took significant steps towards achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliance in defence. Notable developments in this regard included launch of the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO), signing of MoUs with industries and academic institutions and release of ‘Swalamban’, the Indian Navy’s indigenisation plan. Moreover, of the 43 ships on order for the Indian Navy, as many as 41 are being built indigenously. That Acceptance of Necessity exists for constructing 44 ships and submarines indigenously underlines the fact that the nation is on the steady course of becoming self-reliant in defence production. Yet another proof of the Indian Navy’s prowess was the regular conduct of the scheduled exercises with friendly foreign Navies such as Malabar 2020 even amid the pandemic. A number of Passex events too took place during the year. Stressing the humanitarian aspect of its duties, the Indian Navy ships also repatriated thousands of Indian nationals stranded in other countries following the pandemic. Similarly, ensuring the safe passage of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels through the Strait of Hormuz and anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden were the other crucial tasks involving India’s maritime defence force. Sunny Jerome Managing Editor

Detlef Becker E : dw.becker@arcor.de T : + 497 112317595 M : + 491 701626053 Paris, France Marie-Thérèse Bonfigli E : mt.bonfigli@indavia.com M : +33 (0)6 89 20 95 68 Moscow, Russia George Smirnov E : gs1972@yandex.ru M : +7 (906)711-03-51 / (495)644-17-33 Cairo, Egypt Dr. Ashraf Rashed E : all@freezone-egy.com T : + 2 01222164036 New Delhi Wg.Cdr.(Rtd) G.C.Mahabhatra E : sw@aeromag.in T : + 91 9818903111 Tamil Nadu Sundaram Ramaswamy E : aerospacesundar@gmail.com

For Publishing Articles, Advertisements Editor, Sailors & Warriors, Aeromag Asia, B-2, SAPPHIRE, 1st, Block, 3rd Cross, Prakruthi Township, Babusapalya, Kalyan Nagar, Bangalore - 560113, Karnataka, India Call: +91 94490 61925 | Tel: +91 80 43747492 Email: defencenews@aeromag.in Printed at Rashtrotthana Mudranalaya, 19/1, K.G. Nagar, Bangalore - 19

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T : + 91 9443222805 Sunny Jerome Managing Editor Preethi M. Associate Editor


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Middle East Supplement

Publishing Special issues for Two Days at IDEX & NAVDEX 2021 For publishing feature articles, interviews, & advertisements, Please contact : editor@arabiandefence.com | editor@aeromagasia.com

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Content 08 SAMDeS to focus on AI, Big Data in 2021 09 Indian Army shows its mettle 12 GRSE Redefining Indian Shipbuilding Industry 15 Navantia, a reliable partner for ‘Make in India’ projects 20 Indian Navy sails closer to indigenisation target 22 AEPL : Turning Challenges into Growth Opportunities 32 'Defence acquisition is no supermarket purchase' 34 Aircraft Lease : The New Opportunity Under DAP 2020 38 India’s Aerospace Industry Needs to Aim High 30 ‘Maritime Theatre Command’ in Near Future, Says Navy Chief 31 Navy Chief reviews operational readiness at sea 34 Successful Test Firing of BrahMos by Indian Navy 36 SAMDeS, a key think tank creating strategic discourse 38 IAF Chief Reviews LCH Programme, Takes a Sortie 41 Indian Navy conducts Joint Exercise with Army and Airforce

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SAMDeS to focus on AI, Big Data in 2021 Deliberations will be convened on application of Artificial Intelligence in Land, Air and Maritime operations, said Admiral (Retd) R K Dhowan, the Chairperson of SAMDeS

Admiral RK Dhowan PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd) Former Chief of Indian Navy & Chairperson, SAMDeS

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uring the New Year, the Society for Aerospace Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS) will be launching several significant programmes, especially related to Artificial Intelligence (AI). “In the coming months, our focus is on application of Artificial Intelligence in Land, Air and Maritime operations and its

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dialogue and the role of the aerodefence-maritime industry to promote technology-driven sustainable businesses in alignment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ and his vision of SAGAR.” Admiral Dhowan also said that with the help of its mentors and distinguished members, SAMDeS has put together the first-ever module on Public Procurement Procedures for MBA students. The faculty includes senior former civil servants and practitioners from Government. “We will be running these modules in partnership with institutes/ universities and industry associations,” he said. On the vision of the think tank for 2021, Admiral Dhowan said that it intends to further promote actionable research and policy advocacy initiatives towards creating a strong, prosperous and resilient Atma Nirbhar Bharat. The Governing Council of SAMDeS also lauded the efforts of ‘AEROMAG’ and ‘Sailors and Warriors’ to improve the national aero-defence-maritime ecosystem.

73rd Army Day celebrated

ndian Army celebrated its 73rd Army Day. Every year Indian Army celebrates 15th January as ‘Army Day’ to commemorate the day when General (later Field Marshal) K M Carriappa took over the command of Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Commander-inChief of Indian Army post Independence. The celebrations commenced with wreath laying ceremony at National War Memorial where CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and the three Service Chiefs paid homage to the Martyrs. General MM Naravane, Chief of the

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increasing relevance in international relations. We intend to also convene deliberations on the role of Big Data and AI to further refine our oversight capabilities. These would be pioneering activities in this field,” said Admiral R K Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM (Retd), who is the Chairperson of SAMDeS. In the short span of time since its formation, SAMDeS has already carved a niche place for itself in the policy-making environment despite the current situation, he added. “Our recommendations on various issues and concepts of collaborative projects with our regional neighbours have been taken serious note of and in some cases already acted upon. We have also worked on reinvigorating the beleaguered shipbuilding, shipping and ship repair sector and have sent our proposals to the relevant Ministers,” said Admiral Dhowan. Regarding the events planned by SAMDeS in 2021 he said, “We will also be organising conferences on the Blue Economy and the SDGs, an Indo-Pacific

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Army Staff reviewed the Army Day Parade at the Cariappa Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment and awarded 15 Sena Medals (including five posthumously) for individual acts of Gallantry and 23 COAS Unit Citations for commendable performance of their respective units. The Army Day parade was commanded by Maj Gen Alok Kaker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area. The leading contingent of the parade was formed of the recipients of the Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra awardees. This was followed by army contingents which included T-90 tank BHISHMA, infantry combat vehicle BMP II, BRAHMOS

missile system, PINAKA Multiple Launch Rocket System, upgraded SCHILKA Gun System, Bridge Layer Tank, international sports awardees and seven marching contingents including mounted horse cavalry. The Indian Army also carried out a live demonstration of Drone Swarming capability using 75 indigenously designed and developed drones which executed an array of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks.


Indian Army shows its mettle Apart from successfully resisting Chinese incursions along the LAC, the Indian Army was busy in other sectors also during 2020 protecting the nation’s sovereignty

General Manoj Mukund Naravane PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC Chief of Indian Army 2020 was a significant year for the Indian Army as it

was kept engaged in several sectors, especially along the

Line of Actual Control (LAC). The confrontation with Chinese troops on the LAC also led to emergency troop buildups and inductions. Historically, Indian Army’s acquisitions are focused on building new capabilities as well as making up deficiencies in inventory. Modernization of the mechanized forces is intended to meet the requirements of the future battlefield. Indigenous development of future vehicle combat vehicle platforms is also being carried out. Upgrading gun and missile systems is yet another area of importance. The Army has also enhanced its interactions with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the purpose. One of the major events related to India’s Armed Forces during 2020 was the Ministry of Defence (MoD) releasing the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)

2020 to achieve the goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliance in Defence production. Subsequently, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by the Defence Minister, approved acquisition of weapon systems worth 28,000 crore of which equipment costing Rs 27,000 crore are to be sourced from Indian industry. Meanwhile, steps were initiated to clear the first set of Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs), with the majority of them in the category of Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM). The proposals approved include Modular Bridges for the Indian Army. Earlier, DAC had delegated powers to make emergency purchases worth up to Rs 300 crore to the three services to meet their emergent operational requirements. The devolution of financial powers came against the backdrop of the border

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tensions with China. In 2020, the Government of India also approved the acquisition of arms and military equipment worth Rs 2,290 crore considering the military standoff with China. Proposals cleared by DAC include the acquisition of around 72,000 SIG Sauer assault rifles at a cost of Rs 780 crore. The Indian Army inducted more than 72,400 of the rifles under a fast-track procurement deal signed last year, said a report. Moreover, the DAC approved procurement of Static HF Tans-receiver sets and Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW), under the Buy Indian category. The field units of the Army will be equipped with HF radio sets to enable seamless communication under a procurement costing around Rs 540 crore. LAC issue In May 2020, tensions started between India

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and China at Galwan River Valley. Indian Army resisted Chinese incursion, resulting in the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers, including an officer, and reportedly 43 armed forces personnel belonging to China. The tension soon spread to other areas along the LAC such as near Pangong Lake in Ladakh, Hot Springs and Gogra. India rushed more troops, weapons and equipment to counter the Chinese threat. The nation also spruced up its Armed Forces to enhance its military capabilities through procurements, acquisitions and tests. India was taken by surprise by the Chinese action as the Chinese soldiers mobilised into areas where there has historically been no dispute over the LAC. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic had led India to cancel its annual training exercise in Ladakh, which brings a brigade to

the area to react quickly. Satellite images showed that China had carried out construction activities in the areas that are claimed by India. In Hot Springs, Chinese soldiers intruded into three areas of PP14, PP15 and Gogra, backed by a large number of armed personnel and heavy equipment. There was similar massive Chinese deployment in the Galwan River Valley area. Dialogues at various levels prevented escalation of violence but the stand-off continues. DRDO’s efforts Rising to the occasion, DRDO launched a series of successful tests and introduced advanced weapons and systems. For instance, the maiden launch of MRSAM (Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile) and the successful flight test of QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface-to Air Missile

System) took place in 2020. Moreover, an enhanced version of the PINAKA rocket system was successfully flight-tested. The transfer of the Authority Holding Sealed Particulars (AHSP) responsibility of PINAKA weapon system by DRDO to the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) also took place. This would support the production of the PINAKA missile system, which has a range of around 37.5 km. DRDO also completed the final user trial of the NAG missile during the year. Yet another achievement was the successful flight test of the indigenouslydeveloped Anti-Radiation Missile (RUDRAM). Test firings of laser-guided ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) and Abhyas – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) also were a success.


TESTING SIMULATOR FOR FUZE YDB – 60 complex. There are two main safeties provided in the fuze, one is at the time of releasing from the rocket and another is releasing while entering the waters. The second safety event triggers a ‘Time Mechanism’ provided in the simulator as well as allows the firing of chain of events inside the fuze to act in ‘Direct Action’ (DA) mode once the rocket hits any hard surface inside the water viz. submarine or in ‘Sympathetic’ mode of explosion of a nearby RGB-60 rocket.

Charudatta Alegaonkar CEO Pune Polytronics Pvt. Ltd.

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une Polytronics Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India has developed a Testing Simulator to test the fuze YDB-60 for Navy’s one of the oldest proven rocket RGB-60. Its an anti submarine weapon with a range of 1500 to 6000 mtrs that can function inside a water column of 500 mtrs. Now, with the development of the simulator, the fuze YDB-60 is possible to test in a laboratory. Going for sample testing / inspection of fuzes in deep sea waters is very expensive and time-consuming proposition. The new simulator developed first time in India will save lot of Govt. funds and months delays in testing. Development of simulator was a big challenge as the fuze functioning is very

Process of testing: In this simulator, we had to simulate ‘g’ value of a certain set-back force generated while launching the rocket. And simultaneously to simulate ‘g’ value of a certain set forward force actually generated while entering the rocket in water. The time, which corresponds to the set depth value is measured and compared in specified accuracy limits. The whole test cycle of simulation is

FUZE YDB-60

fully automatic, robotic, and remote controlled as the fuze is filled with ammunition. No manual intervention is allowed in testing area / room. You can start the auto test cycle after entering fuze details and monitor the progress through CCTV camera. The results of the test with all required details as decided, get logged continuously on a computer.

Developed by: PUNE POLYTRONICS PVT. LTD., PUNE, INDIA.

Indian Coast Guard Celebrates 45th Raising Day

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ndian Coast Guard celebrates its 45th Raising Day on 01 Feb 2021. From a modest beginning with just 07 surface platforms in 1978, ICG has grown into a formidable force with 156 ships and 62 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025. As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, Indian Coast Guard has

played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations within the Maritime Zones of India. True to its motto “Vayam Rakshamah” meaning “We Protect”, the service has to its credit saving over 10,000 lives and apprehending around 14,000 miscreants since inception in 1977. On an average, Coast Guard saves one precious life every second day at sea. Despite the restrictions imposed by

the ‘COVID-19’ pandemic, Indian Coast Guard has maintained 24×7 vigil in the Exclusive Economic Zone, by deploying about 50 ships and 12 aircraft daily. The deterrence at sea and coordinated air surveillance by the service enabled seizure of contraband worth about ₹ 1,500 Crore and apprehension of more than 10 foreign fishing boats with 80 miscreants illegally operating in the Indian EEZ alone in year 2020.

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GRSE

Redefining Indian Shipbuilding Industry

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eninsular India provides optimum conditions for the development of a maritime nation. With the Navy’s plans for expansion in the emerging maritime security scenario, there is a huge scope for strategic as well as commercial shipbuilding in the country. The impending shipbuilding loads have reached unprecedented levels and the Indian shipyards are entrusted with the task to cater to the maritime needs. And among the public sector shipyards, Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), has been in the frontline fulfilling the goal of self-reliance in shipbuilding and boosting the fleetaddition of maritime security forces. Over the last six decades, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited

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Over the last six decades, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, has been playing a key role in enhancing the defence preparedness of India by building the most (GRSE) has been playing a key role in modern warships for the enhancing the defence preparedness maritime forces. GRSE has of India by building the most modern been credited with many firsts warships for the maritime forces. GRSE in the Indian shipbuilding since 1960 has built and delivered 106 warships of various size and capabilities, industry. The company starting from state-of-the-art Corvettes, continues to associate with several technology firms Multipurpose Frigates to Fast Patrol Vessels. In addition to warships, GRSE has in the industry like MTU and other international/ also built & supplied 780 various types domestic organizations for its of vessels, to carry men and materials, different business segments as well as for surveillance purpose at such as diesel engines and the Coast Line by the police forces of deck machinery, which has different states and union territories. added to its credibility in GRSE has developed capabilities for the international market. in-house design and shipbuilding and Being at the frontline of the has made considerable contributions maritime industry, GRSE to the indigenous warship construction is one of the most trusted program of the country. maritime partners in India.


Major Milestones • “INS AJAY”, the first warship made in the country after independence was built and delivered by GRSE in 1961. • GRSE built the four Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes (ASWCs) for the country as designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design. Four ships of the Kamorta Class ASWCs namely INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt, INS Kiltan, INS Kavaratti. • The First Fleet Replenishment Tanker, “INS ADITYA” for Indian Navy was built by GRSE. • Landing Ship Tanks INS Magar, INS Gharial, INS Shardul, INS Kesari and Airavat are indigenously designed amphibious ships having a tonnage of 5,650 tonnes, were supplied by GRSE. • GRSE has delivered the first ever warship built in India for Export, Offshore Patrol Vessel CGS Barracuda to the Republic of Government of Mauritius. CGS Barracuda was commissioned on 12 Mar 15 at Port Louis, Mauritius in the august presence of Prime Ministers of both the countries. • GRSE has supplied six (6) survey vessels capable of all types of Oceanographic Research and Hydrographic Survey to the Indian Navy named as INS Sandhyak, INS Nirdeshak, INS Nirupak, INS Investigator, INS Jamuna and INS Sutlej. • First Indian Shipyard to have built Hovercrafts for Indian Coast Guard. Modernization GRSE has been taking steps to ensure streamline & improve upon the processes and procedures,

adopt modern practice and technology, enhance capacity and modernize infrastructure and improve on governance, in line with Government’s commitment for strong and effective Public Sectors services. GRSE has enhanced its shipbuilding capacity by modernizing the infrastructure facilities. GRSE had completed huge modernization programme in its main works that allows using modular construction for building warships, which enable us to reduce the shipbuilding period, improve quality through the implementation of integrated construction technology, and to construct ships in line with the global practices in the shipbuilding industry. The new facility provides Modular and Integrated Construction of warships. With the modernization and revitalization, GRSE facilities have the capacity to build 18 ships (06 large & 12 small) simultaneously. Thrust on Indigenization INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt & INS Kiltan the First Three of Class of 04 ASW Corvettes became the first Warships built in the country with indigenously developed Warship Grade Steel, thus having the distinction of achieving over 90 % Indigenous Content and hence a major step towards achieving self-reliance in state of the art Warship Design and Construction. GRSE gives prime importance to the government’s Make in India initiative through the indigenization of the components used in our warships. Over the last one decade, the shipyard has

Rear Admiral VK Saxena IN (Retd.) CMD, GRSE

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achieved large scale of indigenization of warship components. More than 92% of the components of the warships are indigenously made. Focus is also given on incorporating MSMEs by indigenizing the components for both portable bridges and deck machinery. GRSE has analyzed complete production activity and identified core and strategic operations. Accordingly, comprehensive mapping of non-core activities has been carried out and accordingly the long-term outsourcing and vendor development strategy has been framed in line with the outsourcing and vendor development guidelines forwarded by MOD. Diversified Services Apart from shipbuilding & ship repair, GRSE is the only Defence Shipyard to have diversified into Engineering Business with a product profile of pre-fabricated steel bridges, various deck machinery items & assembly/ testing/ overhauling of marine Diesel Engines. GRSE is the only shipyard with a separate engineering division, and that division primarily handles the portable steel bridges. Since 1967, GRSE has delivered more than 5000 portable steel-bridges, mainly to Indian Army, Border Roads Organisation and various state governments like J&K, Uttarakhand, North Eastern states etc. The company

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has been exporting the bridges to Myanmar and Bhutan and is exploring the possibilities to export it to Latin American country Peru. There are various classes of portable bridges according to its loading capacity and terrain conditions. GRSE also makes suspension bridges. GRSE dominates the portable bridge sector. The portable bridge at Khardung La pass, built by GRSE is currently the portable bridge at maximum altitude. The Bailey Bridge Division of GRSE has augmented its capacity and also commenced production of Portable Steel Bridges from its new unit at Ranchi from Jul 2016 to meet the growing

demand. The Bailey Bridge Unit’s design and development department is involved in continuous up gradation of the product to keep abreast with the changing market scenario. The unit has 4 patented designs to its credit. The deck machinery, built by GRSE, includes the boat davits, single arm davits, marine pumps, windlass, anchor capstans, helicopter traversing system etc. The company is improvising its designs to increase the reliability and reduce the weight. GRSE also introduced in India for the first time the rail-less helicopter traversing system, built by MacTaggart Scott UK. GRSE also make hanger-shutters.


Navantia, a reliable partner for ‘Make in India’ projects

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avantia, the Spanish naval shipbuilder, designs and builds all the naval units for the Spanish Navy and is present in many international tenders with proposals based on well-proven designs. Navantia has developed a business model based in a continuous innovation and flexibility towards the customer, under different kinds of contracts including ToT. Navantia’s experience in ToT programs is quite ample. At present, ToT is successfully being carried-out in three countries, involving local construction of destroyers in

Australia, one LHD in Turkey, and the implementation of an indigenous combat system for corvettes in Saudi Arabia developed by a Joint Venture created between Navantia and SAMI (Saudi Arabia Military Systems). India is a strategic market for Navantia and has a delegation in Delhi. Navantia first entered India more than 15 years ago, when the company participated in the design and transfer of technology to India’s of six Kalvari class submarines being built in MDL (Mumbai), deploying a resident team

in India between 2006 and 2013. Some years later, teaming with Larsen & Toubro Defence, Navantia participated in the LPDs tender, as a result of which the Indian Navy had the opportunity to host the Spanish Navy LHD Juan Carlos I in Mumbai in 2017. Currently, Navantia is participating in the P75(I) project, offering a design based on the Spanish Navy S80 Plus submarine, and proposes to provide the required “Know How” and “Know Why” through a Technology Transfer program to achieve permanent

design, construction and maintenance capabilities in India. Navantia is fully committed with the Make in India philosophy, having gone itself through a similar experience over the last decades, evolving from fabricator only using foreign designs, to a turn key supplier able to go through all design, build, commission and life cycle support phases, positioning Navantia to assist other navies and international shipbuilders with a wide range of Transfer of Technology solutions.

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‘Adding Vigour to Airpower is the Need of the Hour’ Although the Indian armed forces have the fiery spirit for winning wars, yet a conventional deterrence value is essential while facing a dual threat along its borders. Depleted Force Levels is indeed not a situation we should continue to be in for a prolonged period. Hence, IAF needs to fill the gap with additional numbers as, it is said ‘Quantity has a quality of its own!’ Diplomacy is of high priority for mending relationships, yet firm diplomacy can succeed more effectively when backed by a robust military capability. It is therefore in the overall interests of the nation that air power, being the ‘weapon of first choice’ during conflict, is maintained at a level which deters our adversaries to initiate any aggressive action, says Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, PVSM, AVSM, VM(G), (Retd) The author, who is Former Vice Chief of Air Staff & Founder Member – Society for Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS), writes about the urgency in adding to the airpower of India in the background of Indo-China and Indo-Pak standoffs along the borders. Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, PVSM, AVSM, VM(G), (Retd)

The current stand-off in Eastern Ladakh between Indian and Chinese forces is a "unilateral and provocative" action by China to change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). While Indian forces have responded firmly to thwart this aggressive land grab action, it reflects China’s enduring belligerent and aggressive designs, given that such an unwarranted offensive action has occurred at a time when the entire world is grappling with the COVID pandemic.

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xpectedly, China’s foreign office spokesman Zhao Lijian has blamed India for the ongoing border stand-off and added, "First I want to make it clear that China does not recognise the Ladakh Union Territory illegally set up by the Indian side and also Arunachal”. At the same time, China openly supports Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir. Recent intelligence reports also indicate China’s infra build up on the border with Arunachal and Sikkim. Additionally, Pakistan continues its relentless designs to destabilise Kashmir.

On 01 January 2021, in accordance with a new law, Chairman of China’s Military Commission, Xi Jinping was given full powers to mobilize military and civilian assets to defend national interests both within China and abroad. According to a recent CNN report, Xi Jinping has called on troops to "put all their minds and energy on preparing for war". During the month of December 2020, air forces of Pakistan and China conducted a three-week long joint combat exercise - Shaheen-IX - at an air base in Pakistan. Speaking at the inaugural, PAF’s Deputy Chief of


Air Staff Operations emphasized the “increased level of combat training” and added, the exercise was “designed to deepen cooperation and enhance interoperability of both Air Forces, thereby fortifying the brotherly relations between our two countries”. We need not read too far between the lines to be convinced that the stated emphasis on “enhanced Interoperability” as being the primary objective for “increased level of combat training”, underlines the motive for the exercise as being a prelude to collusive plans for a coordinated future conflict with India. Ample signals have been provided to conclusively assess that joint action by China and Pakistan could transpire in the event of conflict with India, which may occur sooner at any point of time, given the record of the two belligerent nations. India therefore needs to take a very serious note of genuine calls by successive Service Chiefs on the challenging security situation considering that a twofront war has now become more of a reality than ever before. In the current global battle scenario, Land and Naval forces would continue to play a predominant role and are moving forward providing greater destructive power with higher mobility. No matter whether the action is on land or at sea, Air Power is an inescapable element in the successful design of battle. Air Power is a force multiplier and provides a quantum leap in capability with innovative utilization of modern weapon systems delivering long range, high precision targeting with high kill probability. In the recent past, conflicts have shown air power providing unique capabilities, thus giving the advantage

needed at the outset of conflict. Lt Gen Dave Deptula, Retd, (USAF), Dean of Mitchell Institute puts it aptly “Precision and speed create mass of their own. Airpower can now help ‘control’ an adversary instead of simply destroying fielded forces or support an army”. Therefore, effective use of air power with swift and intensive lethal action can provide the military advantage for creating favourable outcomes in conflict. We can gauge the “shock and awe

out its legacy MiG series jets. In this process, the number of squadrons has sharply declined to an undesirably low figure of 30. On the other hand, accretions have been slow and IAF’s current strength of combat squadrons is the lowest in the past few decades and continues to shrink. Phasing out of remaining legacy MiG squadrons, including all Bison units, will further impact on the low strength. With two Rafale and one MiG 29 units being

effect” of air power by the manner in which IAF achieved total surprise during the night air strike over Balakot in February 2019. IAF’s success of the air strike was evident by the manner in which it completely jolted the Pakistani leadership, who called for immediate revenge. The fact that their riposte with PAF air strike targeting Indian Army ground targets went nowhere is another story! The Indian Air Force has a Government sanction for 42 combat squadrons. Since 2002, IAF has been gradually phasing

added, the count by 2025 is expected to be 27-28 squadrons. This is where the crunch lies, as these numbers are well short of the approved force levels. More importantly, IAF is facing low numbers at a time when the likelihood of a two-front war has increased significantly. Our two adversaries have made collusive threats, with China stepping up claims on Ladakh and Arunachal, and Pakistan’s incessant calls to destabilize Kashmir, growing louder. At this point we need to squarely face the reality of the significant shortage

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in IAF’s numbers. Can we bridge the gap of up to 15 squadrons by 2030? Some would argue against the need for maintaining a fleet of 42 squadrons, when multirole jets, such as Rafales, with wide ranging capabilities and at high cost are being inducted. Can the nation afford these in larger numbers when facing an economic crunch? But then, what are the options available? Diplomacy can certainly ease rough edges between nations, provided it is exercised from a position of strength. Firm diplomacy can resolve issues far more effectively backed by a robust military capability that can ‘walk the talk’. In the current scenario, India has worked through diplomacy and yet our two adversaries continue to remain belligerent. If pursuing diplomacy is a means to resolve disputes, it should certainly continue to be pursued. Yet if that option does not succeed, then war may be thrust on us. Hence, it

F7s. It is reliably learnt that the Chinese will soon beef up these numbers with latest fifth gen J-20 fighters for PAF. China and Pakistan may have allegedly entered a “secret deal” to expand military cooperation and the possibility of Pak-Chinese collaboration for a fifth-gen fighter cannot be discounted in the mid-term. Currently, China is the only nation fielding two new and modern fifth gen fighters- J-20 in service, and next

would be wise for India to be well prepared for such an eventuality. Depleted Force Levels is indeed not a situation we should continue to be in for a prolonged period. The need for numbers with a mix of quantity and quality are the essence for providing deterrence, which ultimately deters the enemy from waging war. Although the Indian armed forces have the fiery spirit for winning wars, yet a conventional deterrence value is essential while facing a dual threat. Hence, IAF needs to fill the gap with additional numbers as, it is said “Quantity has a quality of its own”! PAF currently has 23-24 combat squadrons with a mix of upgraded F16s, JF17s, Mirage3/5s and Chinese

version with higher tech systems- J-31, soon to enter service. PLA Air Force is almost at par with USAF in terms of advanced systems, and in large numbers. These are firm indicators of how our adversaries are both taking decisive measures to bolster air power capabilities. Their hostile approach remains unchanged. India needs to take firm and active steps soon, to maintain a desired level of deterrence. On a favourable note, India’s current leadership is known for its firmness in maintaining a robust national security apparatus. Considering this distinctive trait, there is sufficient hope that measures are adopted to narrow the gap in numbers of IAF combat squadrons.

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The current economic challenges facing our government are indeed of a critical nature. Distribution of finances has to be balanced between development and national security. Yet a strong high tech military would be a major step towards thwarting the contentious designs of our adversaries. Indeed it is time to cut short timelines in our procurement procedures and also restore the defence budget to at least 2 % of GDP. Taking a pragmatic view, the IAF has tacitly admitted it would be feasible to increase combat strength to 36 squadrons by 2030. Approval for 83 Tejas 1-A jets is indeed a step in the right direction. However, more longterm decisions could be taken at this juncture to ensure IAF force levels are not breached from figures which could be too harsh to recover from. The 114 Multi Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA program), for which a RFI was issued in 2017, is indeed a crucial requirement for the IAF. Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, has stated “procurement of 114 MRFA will be under Make in India plan.” The RFI has been issued and we are currently evaluating the response received and the way ahead.” Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) IAF has gone ahead and is looking keenly at ADA/HAL development programs of Tejas and AMCA. At this early stage, we can be hopeful of timely operational realization of these platforms. This is indeed critical, given that our adversaries are known to be brisk and aggressive on such projects. The Chinese have inducted the 5th Gen J-20 in large numbers and soon, J-31s will enter operational service. It can be conclusively stated, it is only a matter of


a short time, that PAF will be inducting a 5th Gen aircraft, a key augmentation to its air power. This factor needs to be given a serious consideration and IAF should take adequate steps to ensure AMCA is operationalised in a definitive time frame. Hence, looking a few years ahead, the most critical development program for the IAF is the 5th generation AMCA. Reports indicate, ADA/HAL is moving fast on this project. Indeed, this is a challenging task with several complex sub systems of advanced technology to be developed indigenously. More importantly, it is vital for IAF to induct AMCA within specified timelines to mitigate operational challenges posed by the decisive bolstering of air power by Pakistan and China. Keeping in view the far-reaching imperatives for advancing IAF’s war fighting potential, a pragmatic approach would be in our best interests. Towards developing and operationlizing a homegrown fifth-gen aircraft and meeting the timely needs of the IAF, it would be useful to include a collaborative partner who can provide some of the cuttingedge technologies as well as contribute with a slice of the financials. Such an option would benefit significantly in advancing IAF capability with most advanced technology systems which would consequently herald a new era in Indian aerospace industry. 114 MRFA Program The global tender for 114 MRFA jets should be vigorously pursued in a time bound manner. With retirement of a large number of light weight MiG fighters and additional fighters in the next ten years, the IAF would be justified in looking for replacements with newer 4.5+ gen jets in the Make in India mode. MRFA program would be in addition to the 83 Tejas 1A jets recently approved by thr government. It is important to underline that MRFA program would not in any way hamper the indigenous Tejas project, as numbers of light weight jets required are substantial. Moreover, a large Make in India program as conceived by the MRFA project would result in considerable benefits in terms of hefty job creation with significant gains in skill levels and injection of

cutting-edge technologies for high growth of India’s aerospace industry. Rafale Jets Induction of 36 state-of-the-art Rafale jets has begun. More Rafales should be inducted, as extensive infrastructure and hi-tech training facilities have been set up and additional jets would come at a more affordable price through the well-established G-G route. Su 30 Fleet It is heartening to note that IAF’s fleet of 272 Su 30 MKIs are in the process of being upgraded with modern weapon systems and electronics. This is indeed a crucial step initiated by the IAF and would consequently add significant muscle to elevate the fleet to the next level of modern technology. India’s Drone Power The recent Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes have once again underlined the efficacy of armed drones in conflict and how such UAVs can play a decisive role in success during conflict. Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has said “drones are an important part for surveillance and intelligence gathering. Their role in the build-up to a conflict is very important. Israel remains the leading supplier of surveillance drones to India and we are planning on procuring more Heron surveillance drones, while planning to arm around 90 already in service”. With IAF combat aircraft fleet declining at an undesirable rate, induction of armed drones can be a key step for beefing up combat capability. At this stage it is necessary to mention that while China possesses a large fleet of armed drones, Pakistan too has not delayed the addition of such drones into its arsenal. In December 2020, China’s state media publicised its decision to supply 50 Wing Loong II armed drones to Pakistan, which it prophesied in its usual provocative manner, “this would

be a nightmare for Indian ground formations in high-altitude areas, as India’s military does not have the ability to respond to these new-age stand-off weapons”. Suffice it to state, we are fully aware of China’s usual deception techniques, although it is understood that armed UAVs play a decisive role in the current warfare scenario. India should be consistent in upgrading its UAV fleet and procuring several more advanced technology drone systems on offer by friendly nations. IAF’s force levvel depletion is a subject of deep concern and as explained, the nation’s security challenges have only heightened in recent years. National leadership would indeed need to grapple in going forward with a balanced approach to recover the economy as well as strengthen nation’s security framework. A nation’s neighbours remain static on ground and and stay in place. It is relationships between neighbours which are the dynamic factor. China and Pakistan, our two immediate neighbours have, since independence remained hostile, being inherently despondent with territory under their control. For these reasons, both have unabatedly tried to change status quo at the borders through use of force. Diplomacy is the art of succeeding during negotiations and our current policy makers have steered our relationships with tact and sensitivity. Yet firm diplomacy can succeed more effectively when backed by a robust military capability. It is therefore in the overall interests of the nation that air power, being the “weapon of first choice”, is maintained at a level which deters our adversaries to initiate any aggressive action. Giving due consideration to bolstering military strength, with air power in particular, would consequently create a favourable geo- political environment conducive to the nation’s economic growth and overall development.

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Indian Navy sails closer to indigenisation target

Admiral Karambir Singh PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of Indian Navy

The year 2020 was marked by a series of glorious moments for the Indian Navy, most of which took the nation nearer to the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliance, in defence. Notable achievements during the year were the commissioning of several ships and the firstever arrested landing of the Naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft on an aircraft carrier, among others. Other major engagements that kept the Indian Navy busy included a number of joint exercises and Passex with friendly Navies. Moreover, the Indian Navy tackled the threat posed by the pandemic effectively.

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he Indian Navy (IN) guards the nation’s maritime borders and also protects its various ocean-related interests. As part of its call of duty, IN’s operational deployments during 2020 included Operation Sankalp,

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Operation Samudra Setu, Mission Sagar and Sagar-II. Amidst the increasing US – Iran tensions in the Gulf region since June 2019, IN has been undertaking a maritime security operation codenamed Op Sankalp in the area to ensure safe passage

of Indian Flag Merchant Vessels (IFMVs) transiting through the Strait of Hormuz. Since then, IN has deployed 16 warships and escorted around 161 lakh tonnes of cargo onboard 156 IFMVs. Indian Navy ships Jalashwa, Shardul, Airavat and Magar were deployed from May to July for Operation Samudra Setu to undertake repatriation of stranded Indian nationals in the wake of COVID-19 from Iran, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Navy ships deployed for Op Samudra Setu evacuated 3,992 Indian nationals. INS Kesari was deployed to the Southern IOR (Indian Ocean Region) island nations as part of Mission Sagar for rendering COVID-19-related assistance from May-June. During deployment, the ship provided medicine stores and medical kits to Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles. As part of the follow-up Mission Sagar II, INS Airavat was deployed to deliver humanitarian aid stores to Djibouti, Massawa (Eritrea), Port Sudan and Mombasa, Kenya (for South Sudan) from October-November. Exercises with foreign Navies The Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) conducted a bilateral exercise Naseem-Al-Bahr at and/ off Goa. RNO ships Al Rasikh and Al Khassab along with IN ships Beas and Subhadra participated in the exercise. Moreover, IN and Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) carried out a bilateral exercise named

‘Indra Navy’ in the Bay of Bengal during September. RuFN ships Admiral Tributs, Admiral Vinogrodov, Boris Butoma and IN ships Ranvijay, Kiltan and Shakti participated in the exercise. IN and JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self Defence Force) engaged in a bilateral exercise titled JIMEX 2020 in the Arabian Sea during September. JMSDF ships Kaga and Ikazuchi; IN ships Chennai, Tarkash and Deepak, IN aircraft P8I, MIG 29K and integral helicopters of both navies participated. Bongo Sagar 2020, the bilateral exercise involving IN and Bangladesh Navy (BN), was held in North Bay of Bengal in October. IN and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) joined for the bilateral exercise Slinex 2020 in the Bay of Bengal. Maiden landing of Advanced Landing Helicopter (ALH) was undertaken onboard SLN Ship Gajabahu during the exercise, to showcase IN’s indigenous capability. Malabar 2020, the multilateral exercise between IN, US Navy (USN), JMSDF and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships, was conducted in the IOR in November. Similarly, the multilateral exercise between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) took place in the Eastern IOR during November. IN and RSN also carried out the bilateral exercise Simbex 2020 in Eastern IOR. Passex The Indian Navy undertakes Passage Exercise (Passex) with friendly foreign Navies on suitable occasions to enhance


inter-operability and imbibe best practices. Following Passex took place in 2020: Passex between French Naval ships Mistral and Geupratte and IN Ships Talwar and Trikand in the Gulf of Aden in May; between JMSDF training ships Kashima and Shimayuki and IN ships Rana, Kulish in Eastern IOR; USN ships Nimitz, Princeton, Ralph Johnson, Sterett and IN Ships Rana, Sahyadri, Shivalik, Kamorta engaged in a Passex in the Bay of Bengal; between Australian ship HMAS Toowoomba and IN Ship Kochi; and involving Australian ship HMAS Hobart and IN ships Sahyadri and Karmuk in Eastern IOR. CORPAT Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) with Indian Ocean Region Littoral Navies is also part of IN’s tasks. As part of maritime security cooperation with maritime neighbours, Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) are conducted with Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Anti-piracy patrol To address the unconventional security challenges in the maritime domain such as piracy, smuggling, human trafficking and gun-running, IN has been deploying a ship in the

Gulf of Aden since 2008 and a total of 84 ships have been engaged in this task till now. EEZ surveillance As part of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance, IN is committed to assisting friendly IOR littoral nations in maritime surveillance. Accordingly, IN regularly undertakes surveillance of the EEZ of Maldives once a month, and of Seychelles and Mauritius twice a year. Commissioning / work launch Numerous ships and other vessels were commissioned and production launched during the year. Notable among them was INS Kavaratti, the fourth and last ship of Project 28, commissioned on October 22 at Visakhapatnam and IN LCU L57 commissioned at Port Blair in May. Similarly, the keel-laying ceremony of Yard 3023 (Second ship of Project 17A at GRSE) was held in January at GRSE, Kolkata and that of Yard 12653 (Third ship of Project 17A at MDL) was held on September 10, at MDL, Mumbai. Production of Yard 12654 (fourth ship of Project 17A at MDL ) commenced on January 22 at MDL, Mumbai and that of Yard 3024 (third ship of Project

17A at GRSE) began at GRSE, Kolkata in August. Innovation, Indigenisation Introduction of Higher Specs Fuel for IN ships (LSHFHSD – IN 512) was a significant achievement in 2020. Supply of the new fuel through IOCL commenced in March and the initiative would go a long way in enhancing equipment reliability and performance along with reduced carbon footprint and emissions. Moreover, in order to meet global protocols, IN has migrated from Halon-based fire-fighting (FF) system and CO2-based FF system to environmentally-benign new generation FF system for onboard application. IN continues to be at the forefront of indigenisation, in-line with the Government’s vision for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Out of 43 ships on order, 41 are being built indigenously and Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) exists for construction of 44 ships and submarines to be built indigenously. IN has developed 23 major equipment/systems and over 4,500 subassemblies/components indigenously for IN ships and submarines. Moreover, the first commercial supply of indigenously designed and developed Sonar Dome for IN ships was done by Kineco, Goa.

Efforts during COVID-19 Various innovative solutions were worked out by IN yards, including Multi-Feed Oxygen Manifold, portable Non-Contact Thermometer, UV sterilization chamber for sanitization of tools and uniforms and development of foot-pedal operated cleansing stations. An innovative personal protective equipment (PPE) was developed by the Innovation Cell at the Institute of Naval Medicine in collaboration with the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. Other major feats In keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) was inaugurated by the Defence Minister in August. Indian Navy signed four MoUs with Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority, Raksha Shakti University at Gujarat, Maker Village at Kochi and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers to interact with academia and industry on self-reliance. In addition, IN’s indigenisation plan titled ‘Swavlamban’ was also released by the Defence Minister. Another event was the hydrographic survey team participating in the 39th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica from December 2019 to May 2020. Finally, the Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) jointly developed by ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) and IN achieved a major milestone when the aircraft undertook the first-ever arrested landing on an aircraft carrier.

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AEPL : Turning Challenges into Growth Opportunities "Two Decades of Excellance"

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erospace Engineers Pvt Ltd (AEPL) is a technology driven company designing, developing and Manufacturing Components and Sub-Systems in the domain of Elastomers,

for several critical Missile sub-systems like AKASH (Variants), BRAHMOS, LRSAM and some classified weapon systems including those deployed Under Water. Armed with the Domain Knowledge and Skills

2019 was a year of fulfilment when Aerospace Engineers signed a contract for Transfer of Technology to manufacture Aerospace components and compounds to Egyptian Armament Authority through a Government to Government contract.

R. Sundaram CEO & MD, Aerospace Engineers

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Composites, Metallic and Electro Mechanical products. Incorporated a little over 3 decades ago, AEPL has developed and delivered in adequate quantities, Mission Critical products like Canopy Seals, Rotary Mast Seals, Actuators, Fuel / Oil handling Valves, Pumps & High-Pressure Hoses, Rubber Fuel Tanks for several Fighter Aircraft, rotary winged aircraft as well as UAVs both indigenously developed as well as manufactured under License Agreement by HAL like HAWK, Su-30-MKI, MIG, LCA to name a few. AEPL is a DRDO Qualified Manufacturing Partner

gathered over decades, AEPL carved out a dedicated R&D Division with a team of around 20 Specialists headed by a Full Time General Manager and given a mandate to Design, Develop and Qualify Critical Air-Borne and Under Water systems both BTS and BTP. This team is supported by subject Matter Experts drawn from Academia (IITs and NITs) and Industry (HAL and DRDO). AEPL is an AS9100 Rev-D (including ISO 9001) certified company. A ZED Gold Rating company, AEPL is CEMILAC certified for Design and Special Processes, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, DGAQA, NADCAP


and is also a DGCS certified Production Organisation (POE) to CAR-21 (ITSO C-150 DGCA Certified for aircraft seals). AEPL has now achieved the CE Marking as well. AEPL developed more than 122 types Rubber Compound which are duly approved by CEMILAC meeting Airworthiness and International Specification Mr R. Sundaram, MD & CEO founded Elastomeric Engineers in Salem Tamilnadu in the year 1988 primarily to manufacture and supply elastomer parts to BHEL, NTPC, ONGC, NLC and Defence. In 1993 the company expanded its manufacturing base to include O-rings, Canopy Seal (Kiran), Gaskets and Seals among others for helicopters and aircraft for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). In the year 2000 Mr R. Sundaram founded Aerospace Engineers in Salem to manufacture and supply components for the Aerospace Sector. The Salem Aeropark was launched in Jan 2011 at Mallur, National Highway 7, Salem Tamilnadu where both the companies are housed and continue to function at the same premises. With the announcement of the South Defence Corridor, AEPL set up a second unit in Hosur, Tamil Nadu The year 2014 saw AEPL take up new challenges in the domain of manufacturing of Composite / Metallic Parts & Assemblies for the various Missile programs of DRDO which later went into series production with BDL. The next major step was taken in 2017 when Aerospace Engineers entered into the Wind mills sector and Department of Atomic energy for supply of rubber moulded

parts and assemblies. 2020 - the year of the pandemic which brought the world to a grinding halt to stop and look for out of the box solutions. As part of fight against COVID-19, Govt of India tasked BEL to mass manufacture Ventilators CV-200 with DEBEL (DRDO) as the design acceptance authority. DRDO / BEL tasked Aerospace Engineers as a single vendor to indigenously develop

more than 75 types of health care components like rubber molded components, rubber hose assemblies, rubber with metal bonded, metallic fittings, metallic assemblies, manufacturing brackets, plastic components which were hitherto imported. APEL rose to the occasion and successfully delivered 30,000 set of Components (75 types of components each) for the Ventilators and compressors within the demanded

schedule and to the required specification, all produced in house while the country was under the Government imposed lock down. AEPL perfected the art of manufacturing Rocasin Rubber Sheet for Rocket Motor lining for Space Rockets as well as for Missile Applications, under Transfer of Technology from ISRO. Using the skills and domain knowledge in the field of Rubber Technology, AEPL

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took ToT from DRDO for CFF Hose for oxygen system and Underwater Diving mask. To achieve these milestones, AEPL over the years established infrastructure, prominent among them being: • DMG class CNC Machines Turning Centre, Milling Centre, 3,4,5 axis Turn Mill and Mill Turn Centres (Max. upto dia.1200X1000mm 5 axis Mill Turn, 2.2mX0.9m VMC, Dia.500mm X700mm Turn Mill),etc.,) • Compression moulding

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automatic hydraulic presses 25 to 500 ton capacity • Rubber injection moulding presses having range of 160 & 250 tonne. • FOD free rubber products manufacturing shop for civil aviation applications. • NABL accredited testing laboratories including hose testing • NADCAP approved Surface Treatment Plant • Autoclaves • Co-ordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) • Profile Projector

• Video Measuring Machine • Dye & Fluorescent Penetrant test • Oscillating Disc Rheometer. • Ultrasonic Testing Machine. • Resin content test • Ozone chamber • Flammability tester With a Work Force of _300_ Employees, AEPL has 16 Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Engineers, Two NDT Level II Inspectors and 2 Certified Welders. The Average age of Engineers is about 30 Years.

Through this journey, AEPL has received several awards prominent among them being • 2014 – DRDO Excellence National Level Award for “Defence Technology Absorption”, awarded by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the presence of Defence and Finance Minister • 2016 - National Level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in INNOVATION 2014” awarded by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India • 2020 – National level Award in MSMEs – “OUTSTANDING ENTREPRENEURSHIP” awarded by the Hon’ble Union Ministers of India. • 2020 – National level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in LEAN MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES” awarded by the Hon’ble Union Ministers of India • 2017 – National level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in QUALITY PRODUCTS-2015” • 2020 - DRDO Excellence Award “CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP AWARD” for Indigenization of Flexible


(Rubber) Fuel Tank for TAPAS UAV Programme. In response to the Clarion Call given by our Honourable Prime Minister towards achieving an Atmanirbhar Bharat, AEPL has taken up Indigenous Design, Development, Manufacture and Servicing of a variety of Actuators, Valves, Pumps, High Pressure Hoses, Rubber Fuel Tanks, Gear Box from Various Divisions of HAL and DRDO against development orders. Some of these products are successfully delivered duly certified by CEMILAC and DGAQA. AEPL has simultaneously engaged in development of Air Borne sub-systems under the MAKE-II policy, Overhauling of LRU’s, Sub-system of Engines, Gear Box, Actuators, Pumps, Blowers, Landing gears etc. AEPL has developed the capability to take up indigenous development of Linear and Rotary Electro Mechanical Actuators among other sub-systems for the Missile programs.

AEPL strongly believes in diversification. AEPL is taking dedicated strides into the space of autonomous UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) that can be programmed to perform various tasks like surveillance and inspections. Latest developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are being leveraged to enable smart, modular and scalable deployments across the Indian Defense forces. Active R & D is being conducted towards small sized low cost swarm drone technology for ISR activities. Having experience in Structural part manufacturing, composite parts and actuation systems, actions are taken for the design, development and manufacturing of Sub-assemblies for UAVs. Rubber Fuel Tanks and some of the Frame machining activities, etc. for UAV is already developed. Development of Composite body is also underway in the Hosur near Bangalore unit (UAV division).

VARIOUS AWARDS & LAURELS • • •

• • • •

• • • • • • •

2007 – 2008 – District level “Best Industries Award” by Government of Tamilnadu. 2008 – 2009 – State level “Best Quality and Export Award” by Government of Tamilnadu. 2011 – “Excellence in Aerospace Indigenisation” by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI) for Indigenous Development of Lubrication Oil pump for Helicopters. 2014 – DRDO Excellence National Level Award for “Defence Technology Absorption”, awarded by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the presence of Defence and Finance Minister. 2015 – National Level “Skoch Achiever Platinum Award 2015” conferred on AEPL by Mr. Jayant Sinha, Hon’ble Finance Minister. 2016 – CII “Innovative Businessman Award 2016” conferred on Shri. R. Sundaram, Managing Director & Founder 2016 – CII South India Award – “Southern Region Emerging Entrepreneur Award 2015”. 2016 - National level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in INNOVATION 2014” awarded by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. 2016 – CII “Industrial Innovation Award” 2016 2017 – National level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in QUALITY PRODUCTS-2015” 2018 – AIMA - “Best Creativity & Innovation Award - 2018” 2019 – MMA Award for “Managerial Excellence – 2019” 2019 – IEI recognition Award for “EMINENCE AND CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROFESSION OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING” 2019 – IEI Centenary “INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARD – 2019” 2020– National level Award in MSMEs – “OUTSTANDING ENTREPRENEURSHIP” awarded by the Hon’ble Union Ministers of India. 2020 – National level Award in MSMEs – “FIRST PRIZE in LEAN MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES” awarded by the Hon’ble Union Ministers of India. 2021 – DRDO Excellence Award “CREATIVE PARTNERSHIP AWARD” for Indigenization of Flexible (Rubber) Fuel Tank for TAPAS UAV Programme.

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IAI Completes WindGuard Radar System Deliveries to the US Military • Received the Leonardo DRS award for 100% on-time delivery performance • As part of the Trophy active protection system, nearly 400 radar systems will be integrated into the US Army’s Abrams tanks

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srael Aerospace Industries (IAI), has supplied several hundred WindGuard (ELM-2133) radar systems to DRS Land Systems for the US Army’s Abrams tanks. The combat-proven radars are installed on IDF’s Merkava battle tanks and Namer armored personnel carriers to protect the crews. The WindGuard is a state of the art, phased array Radar which continuously scans the volume around the platform in search of anti-tank threats, including rockets, guided missiles and anti-tank shells. Once a threat is detected, it tracks it and guides the countermeasure system to intercept and neutralize it before the platform is hit. After becoming operational in 2009 as part of the Trophy active

protection system, WindGuard recorded multiple successful operations in combat environments. For their efforts, the system’s developers received the Israel Defense Prize. Yoav Turgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, said, “The strategic partnership between Israel and the USA is reflected in IAI’s commitment to providing our American customers with the most advanced systems to protect their troops in the field. We are pleased that DRS Land Systems and the US Army were satisfied with our ability to meet their shipment schedule. ELTA attaches the utmost importance to completing the project successfully and will continue to collaborate closely with our American customers in the future.”

Aaron Hankins, Executive VP and General Manager of Leonardo DRS Land Systems line of business, said, “Achieving 100% on-time delivery performance in the immensely challenging environment of the past year is nothing short of amazing. Elta’s commitment to the program and to our mutual customers has been exemplary, and we look forward to more success in the future.” IAI/ELTA is a global leader in remote sensing and RADAR systems, offering a product portfolio that includes mission aircraft, national cybersecurity administration, intelligence platforms, autonomous platforms, anti-drone systems, homeland defense solutions, and more.

HENSOLDT UK launches SPEXER 600 ground based surveillance radar

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ENSOLDT UK launched the SPEXER 600 multimission, X-Band ground based surveillance radar utilising our world beating SharpEye solid state transceiver technology. Building upon the excellent pedigree of well-established HENSOLDT products and technologies, SPEXER 600 complements the SPEXER family of Active Electronically Scanned Array or AESA radars, offering a cost effective and truly crew portable field deployable solution. Designed to meet user requirements to detect multiple threats in the modern battlefield or security environment, it offers a number of modes allowing multiple functions to be carried

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out by a single radar sensor. The built in tracker reduces the need for additional electronic units, making it a lightweight, crew portable unit that can be set up in a few minutes. In fixed installations, the low weight allows it to be installed without any specialist masts or structures. Controlled either locally or remotely from a command centre, SPEXER 600 can be easily networked with other sensors. “SPEXER 600 from HENSOLDT UK is the solution for today’s complex operational needs on the battlefield, or in securing the nations critical infrastructure against multiple threats”, stated Adrian Pilbeam, Head of Sales – Ground and Maritime Surveillance Radar.


UAE exempt International participants at IDEX 2021 from quarantine

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he Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), the organiser of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2021) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX 2021), held under the patronage of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from 21-25 February, has received approval from the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre for all badge holders to be exempted from the 10-day quarantine procedure on their arrival into Abu Dhabi. This step has been taken to facilitate the arrival of international delegations from all over the world. International visitors to the UAE must present their event badge, printed on A4 paper, at any border, to be exempted from the quarantine, and they will not be required to wear tracking wristbands. Detailed protocols to facilitate the entry of delegations and support their participation, are being finalised in collaboration with relevant authorities in the UAE, and an update will be published on a later stage. Matar Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, part of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “Through our decision to exempt participants of the IDEX and NAVDEX 2021 exhibitions from the quarantine period, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi is keen to promote business activity in the emirate. We worked closely with ADNEC as a strategic partner throughout the pandemic on a number of initiatives that ensured the health of the community. Accordingly, we are confident of their ability to implement rigorous precautionary measures including the necessary PCR tests that ensure the health and safety of visitors and exhibitors attending this event. “Participants exempt from quarantine procedures still must observe the strict guidelines in place before entering the emirate of Abu Dhabi. In doing so, they will ensure the implementation of preventative measures, safeguarding

the highest standards of health and safety for all residents.” “We will co-ordinate extensively with authorities to facilitate the entry of participants to the conference, supporting their attendance by preserving the health of those around them,” Al Nuaimi concluded. Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company, commented: “This exemption demonstrates how IDEX and NAVDEX are leading the recovery of business activity following the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it will showcase how Abu Dhabi continues to lead as a regional capital for the business tourism sector. We maintain our support to welcome the world, once again, in spite of the ongoing global conditions caused by the pandemic.” Al Dhaheri added: “This stride demonstrates the UAE’s and ADNEC’s robust range of flexible infrastructure and operational capabilities, capable of safely organising a global megaevent. Since the beginning of the pandemic, stringent precautionary and safety measures have been our foremost priority. “This exemption has been enabled by the continued cooperation and support from our strategic partners and stakeholders. Such support has allowed us to continue to strengthen the position of this event, building on its success and continuing to attract a wider range of visitors and exhibitors. In attracting such a high calibre of international companies, IDEX and NAVDEX will continue to showcase the latest developments in the defence sector.” Through the IDEX, NAVDEX, and the International Defence Conference, ADNEC aims to attract global expertise in the land, sea, and air defence industries, localising knowledge in the UAE. The 15th edition of the IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions is a distinguished global platform which highlights

the national defence sector and its infrastructure. Further, the exhibitions will showcase the latest in cuttingedge technology in these sectors, following the global innovation trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A wide raft of health and safety measures have been designed and implemented across IDEX 2021, NAVDEX 2021 and the International Defence Conference, ensuring the safety of all participants. All those attending will be required to follow the social distancing measures and the wearing of face masks is being mandated across exhibition facilities, ensuring the safety of all attending the events.

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LT GEN CP Mohanty takes over as Vice Chief of the Indian Army

Lieutenant General Chandi Prasad Mohanty, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM assumed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff on 01 February 2021. An alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun, National

Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Lt Gen CP Mohanty was commissioned into the Rajput Regiment on 12 Jun 1982. In a career spanning four decades, the General officer served across a wide spectrum of conflicts and terrain profiles and tenanted a host of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He commanded a battalion on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and later in the North East. He has the unique distinction of commanding two brigades: first on the Line of Actual Control and later, the multinational UN Brigade in Democratic Republic of Congo. He later commanded the Rangiya based Division in a counter insurgency environment and the Sikkim based Trishakti Corps immediately after the Doklam incident.

An alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College Wellington, Higher Defence Management Course Secunderabad and the National Defence College New Delhi, the General Officer’s staff and instructional assignments include an instructional tenure at NDA, Brigade Major of an Armoured Brigade, Military Advisor in Seychelles, Colonel Military Secretary (Selection) in the MS Branch, Brigadier General Staff (Operations) of a Corps in the Eastern Theatre and Director General, Operational Logistics and Strategic Movement. Lt Gen CP Mohanty takes over the appointment of the Vice Chief of the Army Staff from Lt Gen SK Saini who superannuated on 31 January 2021 after completing four decades of illustrious career in the Army.

BIRD Aerosystems and HENSOLDT sign contract for Multi-Mode Radar BIRD will customize its RCD (Radar Control and Display) system and MSIS mission management system to enable enhanced user capabilities tailored for the specific operational requirements of HENSOLDT’s PrecISR™ advanced multi-mode radar users

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IRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, has received a follow-on contract to develop additional advanced capabilities for its RCD (Radar Control and Display) that controls HENSOLDT’ PrecISR™ advanced multi-mode radar family.

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After successfully completing the first phase of development and customization of the RCD to the PrecISR™ earlier this year, the next phase of development has been agreed upon by the companies and will include developing specific and more advanced capabilities tailored for HENSOLDT customers. The new capabilities to be implemented by the RCD include, for example, Dynamic SAR imagery footprints, control of multi-layered data visualization, and enhanced real-time radar information and status. Furthermore, the RCD system will be integrated with additional surveillance sensors used by the customers along with the HENSOLDT Radar (e.g., AIS and others). The follow-on contract and the new capabilities that will be developed

under this contract are all focused on customizing the RCD for new customers and programs. BIRD will also provide an ILS package that includes RCD training and system documentation, to be provided to HENSOLDT and its Customers. Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems: “We are delighted that HENSOLDT has once again put their trust in BIRD to further develop the RCD for their Radar Customers, expressing their satisfaction from BIRD’s advanced Mission Management System that proved to be highly efficient in reducing mission crew workload. Our experienced team of engineers is working hard to ensure that BIRD’s RCD, which is now the default control interface of HENSOLDT PrecISR™, will be ideal for the specific needs of the end-customers.”


DRDO handed over products developed by CVRDE to users

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ombat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Chennai, a DRDO laboratory has handed over the Retractable Landing Gear Systems for Tapas and SWiFT UAVs and 18 types of filters for P-75 Submarine to the users. CVRDE has indigenously designed and developed Three Ton Retractable Landing Gear (RLG) Systems for Tapas UAV. The design, development and testing of this gear system is carried

out in co-ordination with CEMILAC and DGAQA for certification. The tricycle nose wheel type multidisciplinary, hydro-electro-mechanical system is now being manufactured by an Industry at Coimbatore. First set of Retractable Landing Gear system developed by industry was handed over by Director CVRDE, Chennai to the Director, ADE Bengaluru. CVRDE has also designed and developed One Ton Retractable Landing Gear System for a different class of UAV known as SWiFT. This system is designed and developed for accommodating the Landing Gears within the constrained bay volume. It is manufactured with the help of Indian industry with due inspection and certification of CEMILAC and DGAQA. This system was also handed over to ADE, Bengaluru. Eighteen types of indigenously developed hydraulic, lubrication,

seawater and fuel filters for P-75 Submarine were designed and developed by CVRDE. These filters are now being manufactured with the help of Indian Industries based at Hyderabad and Chennai. This indigenization project was funded by DRDO and Navy jointly and the technology is successfully transferred to the industry. Two sets of these filters, duly qualified by DQA (N), were handed over to Indian Navy. Dr. Kalanithi Veeraswamy, Parliamentary Standing Committee Member for Defence, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, DDR&D and Chairman DRDO and PK Mehta, DG (ACE) attended the event. Dr Satheesh Reddy highlighted the importance of indigenous design efforts and complimented the industries who have established the manufacturing facilities for making these critical components.

Rafael demonstrates Tactical Radio & Sensor-to-Shooter to German Army

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afael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. announces that it has completed the second phase of Germany's Transparent Battlefield study and performed a demonstration of its BNET advanced SDR communication and its Fire Weaver sensor to shooter system for the German Army. The event took place in Paderborn, Germany, in November 2020, in front of representatives from the Bundeswehr and various partners and industries. The Second Phase demonstration

of the Transparent Battlefield study included live traffic from the Aeronautics Pegasus Drone, along with the Fire Weaver Sensor-to-Shooter system, all carried over the BNET advanced Software Defined Radio (BNET HandHeld and BNET Vehicular). The demo was hosted by Atos Information GmbH, which acts as the prime contractor for the Transparent Battlefield Study, and included its C2 software as an integral part of the demo. BNET is a Spectrum-Aware SDR – utilizing the spectral arena of the battlefield to the fullest in a cognitive way, using Multi-frequency Channel Reception (MCR), which enables it to receive and analyze information from numerous frequency channels, simultaneously, using a single RF head. Fire Weaver is a networked sensor to shooter system which provides the tactical forces with a GPS-independent

geo-pixel-based tactical common language among all the sensors and shooters, providing optimal situational awareness and improved understanding of the battlefield. Fire Weaver uses Rafael’s advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, processes the battle data, analyzes it, and prioritizes fire allocation. As was published in December 2019, Rafael has partnered with Atos Information GmbH on a project involving the creation of a program named "Transparent Battlefield", in which unmanned aerial systems and combat vehicles are used to create a 3D picture of mobile operations in realtime. The work will be performed for the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support. Following the completion of the first and second phases, further phases are expected to take place in the coming years.

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DRDO, Army jointly developed First Indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol

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ndia’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army. Infantry School, Mhow and DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune have designed and developed this weapon using their

respective expertise in the complementary areas. The weapon has been developed in a record time of four months. The Machine Pistol fires the in-service 9mm ammunition and sports an upper receiver made from aircraft grade Aluminium and lower receiver from carbon

fibre. 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping of various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing. The weapon has huge potential in Armed forces as personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders, tank and aircraft crews, drivers/ dispatch riders, radio/ radar operators, Closed Quarter Battle, counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations etc. This is also likely to find huge employability with the central and state police

organizations as well as VIP protection duties and Policing. The Machine Pistol is likely to have production cost under rupees 50000 each and has potential for exports. The weapon is aptly named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect" & “Hard Work”. Keeping the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatmnirbhar Bharat in view, this small step will pave way for self-reliance and it is expected that the Services and Paramilitary Forces (PMFs) will induct this expeditiously.

HattoriX AI Enabled Target Acquisition System concluded demonstrations in Europe

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attoriX, the innovative fire support system launched by Elbit Systems at the end of 2018, recently completed a series of demonstrations for eight Western European countries. Operational with the Israeli Defense Force since 2019, HattoriX is a passive/ active target acquisition systems that uses Artificial

Intelligence to enable Forward Observers and similarly tasked tactical teams to close sensor-toshooter loops with three intuitive touches on a screen: a touch to acquire the target, a touch to issue the precise target coordinates, and a touch to send all of the target information to the fire systems. The capability

demonstrations in Europe were performed in urban locations and in open fields, in both day and night, simulating a variety of operational scenarios. During the demonstrations, users had the opportunity to experiment, first hand, with the capability to passively and rapidly acquire Category 1 targets (Target Location error of few a meters), facilitating effective engagement of Time Sensitive Targets. Featuring payload agnostic mission computer that runs proprietary software, photogrammetry algorithm and an Augmented Reality (AR) overlay of real-time C2 data, HattoriX performs automatic fusion of Geographical Information System (GIS) database, pre-loaded targets data,

payload’s visual feed, and C2 information, thereby enabling the tactical user to intuitively issue CAT-1 targets without using any emitters, and seamlessly feed acquired targets and additional target information (image, video, description) into any Battle Management System. Interfacing with any Electro-Optical payload of choice, HattoriX is comprised of a Goniometer, a mission computer, a touchscreen display unit and a lightweight tripod. HattoriX also includes a remotecontrolled configuration for extended force protection. Users include FOs, Forward Air Controllers (FAC), Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC), reconnaissance teams, field intelligence and Special Forces.

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Defence acquisition is no supermarket purchase, say former Secretaries

Dr Vijayalakshmy K Gupta

Defence procurement is a complex process involving multiple agencies, multiple requirements and elaborate procedures. This process often consumes a significant amount of time and leads to cumulative capability deficiencies and cost escalation. In addition, acquisitions are prioritised on the basis of operational requirements and budgetary constraints. Several examples could be cited to illustrate this situation, including India’s prestigious Light Combat Aircraft project Tejas, indigenous aircraft carrier, IAF fighter replacement, among many others. SAILORS & WARRIORS spoke to three distinguished and highly accomplished personalities who earlier occupied the crucial post of Secretary, Defence Finance, to seek their views on this matter of prime national importance. Dr Vijayalakshmy Gupta (VKG), Ms Shobhana Joshi (SJ) and and Ms Gargi Kaul (GK) explain the scenario and offer their perspectives on the procurement process. 32 sailors & warriors

Shobhana Joshi

India’s defence procurement is often in the news for the wrong reasons, mainly related to the long delays involved in the process. Moreover, delay in procurement from foreign manufacturers leads to cost escalation. As a person having a deep knowledge as well as experience on the matter, could you explain why procurement is such a time-consuming affair? VKG The first issue which needs to be understood is that defence acquisition is distinct from buying off-theshelf products from the market. As it concerns national security, the end use is an important aspect. It is imperative to check how various parameters stack up against the known adversaries and meet the tactical requirements. So, these factors definitely add to the timeline. SJ Another important aspect is that defence acquisition actually promotes modernisation and therefore highend and futuristic technology is an important component. Many vendors are known to overstate their capabilities and therefore the technology offered has to be assessed and consequently the

Gargi Kaul technical evaluation and trials tend to take a long time. GK An important point to note is that development of weapons and systems under ‘Make’ category will in anyway have a long gestation period because any new technology development has a certain time cycle and the platform has to be proven through robust trial and testing. Incidentally, even in developed countries development and productionizing of new systems is a long-drawn process. What are your suggestions to speed up the procurement process? VKG The introduction of different categories in Defence Procurement Procedure was done precisely for the purpose of allowing the Services a faster route to procure what was needed in a faster timeframe through ‘Buy’ and ‘Buy and Make’ route. Unfortunately, over time, this distinction got blurred and more categories added but that has not helped in speeding up the process. SJ In a bid to leverage high-value


procurements to bring in high technology and help the domestic industry, offsets were introduced in Defence acquisition in 2005. However, offsets also added to the time required to process cases with no visible advantage to the buyer. The offset clause has now been removed from certain categories and should make a difference to the timeline. GK The pipeline of procurement cases at any given point of time includes a substantial cushion to cater for delays or closure of cases in the process. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize cases so that those high on the list can be fast-tracked and finalised. This will ensure movement and finalisation of critical equipment. The Government of India recently announced the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020, now renamed as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) and other decisions on acquisitions. What are your views on these proposals? VKG The first DPP was issued in 2002 as part of a package of measures to implement the recommendations of a Group of Ministers to reform the national security system. The document has evolved through several iterations over 18 years. In the initial years, the reviews took place quite frequently, but now that it has matured, such frequent reviews are not warranted. A periodic review every five years is adequate and will allow stability in the system. SJ I would like to add that the DPP has over the years also achieved in setting a framework for defence

acquisition which include the longterm, medium-term and short-term perspectives. A linkage between the planning process and acquisition was established which was missing in the earlier regime. The DAP 2020 continues with this philosophy but with some modulation in that the 15-year LongTerm Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) has been replaced by a 10-year Integrated Capability Development Plan. GK Given the prevailing situation on ground and forecasts for the future, urgent fast-track procurement of force multipliers such as UAVs, Electro-Optics and modern small arms needs to be fully supported. Much of these equipment can be easily sourced from Indian manufacturers on competitive prices in line with the call for Atma Nirbhar Raksha Utpadan as per the DAP 2020. DAP has introduced a new chapter on procurement of ICT systems which will prove useful for requirements in the cyber domain including electronic warfare and communication systems. Leasing of equipment is another new category which can be fully leveraged to achieve force modernisation and overcome obsolescence challenges at lower costs. A separate chapter on Post Contract Management will also provide

better clarity to all stakeholders. Currently, the domestic procurement in the defence sector amounts to around Rs 70,000 crore which the Government is planning to double by 2025. However, some experts point out that without adequate funding and a bigger involvement of the private industry, the target would be difficult to achieve. What is your reaction? VKG India has always been a country which gives great importance to maintaining an indigenous domestic industrial base for the Defence sector. No doubt in the initial years, being a strategic sector, greater primacy was given to the public sector but in recent years private sector has been encouraged to participate and together they should be up for the challenge. SJ The statement signals a specific intent on the part of the Indian government to give an opportunity to the domestic industry. The negative list of 101 weapons and equipment which have been banned for import over next seven years reinforces this intent with specific systems and platforms now reserved for domestic manufacture. GK There is no doubt that domestic defence production has a cost and in the initial years the equipment manufactured in the country will be more expensive. But that is a short-term view which is offset by creation of employment opportunities in the country and reduction in lifecycle cost with spares manufactured by domestic industry.

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Aircraft Lease : The New Opportunity Under DAP 2020

Chiraag Samaddar

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he Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is responsible for the security and safety, including constabulary and humanitarian functions, spanning across an EEZ of 2.2 million sq km(18th largest in the word), protect a coast line of 7516 Kms (15th largest in the world) and assumes regional responsibility for SAR cover to about 1950 Nm South of Kochi into the Indian Ocean. Since modern maritime challenges are unannounced and threat developments take place with great rapidity, it is vitally important for the ICG to have sizable air assets for effective surveillance, constant monitoring and efficient threat responses. Violations of Indian customs and regulatory laws, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing, marine pollution, smuggling of drugs, small arms and illegal immigrants,

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etc. impact coastal safety and security, result in economic losses and create environmental challenges of marine pollution that is fast encroaching into the protein and salt food chain. This in turn leads to health concerns and leads to the ever-increasing social costs due to ingress of drugs and terrorism breaching through the maritime boundaries of our country. Maritime aircraft, including Remotely Piloted Autonomous aircraft (RPAS) and seaplanes provide a ready solution to these tasks. Modern maritime aircraft can be re-equipped with sensors and mission systems dedicated to fulfilment of the essential surveillance and monitoring missions of any modern Coast Guard to mitigate such challenges and threats. They can be launched from ashore and from small deck patrol vessels. Assuming state-of the-art surveillance equipment are fitted on board modern aircraft, flexible overviews of survey areas for marine pollution and seaborne traffic, quick assessments of oil spill sites, and deterrence of potential polluters, drug traffickers and smugglers can be undertaken expeditiously and at a very low cost. The ICG has no better option than to use modern aircraft and RPAS for these missions. However, ICG aviation assets only comprise 38 Dornier coastal surveillance aircraft, four twin-engine Dhruv advanced light helicopters and 20

Chetak single-engine helicopters. Assuming even a serviceability rate of 75% these assets are grossly inadequate to protect our assets, resources and the lives and livelihoods of 18% of India’s population living in nine coastal states, four union territories and 77 districts of our country. Further, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has said that the IOR region views India as the net security provider. This makes the requirement for surveillance and response to a variety of maritime challenges very complex, necessitating a higher force level of aircraft assets. Further, these aircraft are all sourced from HAL which also must produce the same aircraft for the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. With an average production capacity of less than 6 Do-228 aircraft per year and back log of orders and the Do-228 is hardly a modern aircraft compared to other platforms in the stable. Given these circumstances, and the fact that the ICG would require 120+ aircraft by 2030, it would not be possible for the ICG to achieve the vitally required force levels of its aviation fleet in the given time frame through exclusively relying on induction of ‘new buys’ Do-228 from HAL. Efforts at obtaining aircraft from the ‘market’ have yet to bear fruit. The ICG had earlier issued a RFI to examine feasibility of a larger (6+3+10) Multi


Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA) which would be integrated by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) with various sensors and mission equipment for a variety of missions but most notably pollution surveillance. The Defence Acquisition Council in its meeting of 23 December 2016 had accorded AON for procurement of 6 MMMA at a cost of about INR 5500 Crs. Therefore, it is evident that the MoD have recognised that MMMA are necessary for maritime surveillance, interdiction, air ambulance and pollution surveillance and control. The sensors for these aircraft were to be integrated by CABS. For a rapid increase in force levels one possibility was to consider additional EADS CASA-295 aircraft, already under negotiation as the AVRO Replacement Program of the IAF for these roles, suitably modified for maritime operations. The case for MMMA has thus been combined with the IAF AVRO replacement program being undertaken in India as a TATAAirbus consortia endeavour with total orders at 62 aircraft. This project which commenced in 2011 is still to see contract conclusion and the first induction would begin 36 months from contract conclusion and payment of mobilisation advance. Deliveries for the IAF may only be completed not before 6-7 years since there is a substantial Make component in the program. Only then, would the ICG get its C-295 aircraft for integration of the various mission specific equipment. In any event, the earliest integration, given that CABS would be undertaking this exercise on a new platform, could take another 2-3 years to achieve the relevant air worthiness requirements. Hence, in the best-case scenario, the ICG would operationally induct this capability not

earlier than 2030. This is a long and potentially undesirable capability gap. As reported in the media the ICG has also not met with success in its quest for the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR). The Request for Proposal (RFP), it had issued to acquire six MRMR aircraft, was cancelled in march 2020 after both the shortlisted Be-200 and the Bombardier Q-400 apparently failed to meet the required performance parameters. A fresh RFP with revised Staff Requirements is possibly being contemplated. This fresh case, given the historical record of acquisitions, would take at least until 2028 before the MRMR is deployed by the ICG. In the context of the onerous responsibilities and role of the ICG, there is a huge capability gap which is highly unlikely to be bridged before 2030. Until then it must make do with the vintage Do-228, though some modifications in the propulsion package has been done, as its mainstay of maritime reconnaissance. Therefore, whilst the urgent necessity for the induction of the MMMA and MRMR has been recognised since 2016 the realisation of the required force levels will not be earlier than 2033. But, is such a capability gap acceptable in the present and predicted security environment, the necessity for adhering to the sustainable development goals and also to meet the COP 21 objectives – which requires very efficient and effective pollution surveillance and response? As an interim solution, the ICG could consider the induction of commercially available retrofitted aircraft for medium range surveillance and pollution control on lease as the nation cannot afford to be exposed to this vulnerability until the MMMA or the MRMR are inducted

into service a decade or so from now. Leasing under DAP 2020 The Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 has several firsts to its credit. It has introduced Buy Global (Make in India) category, expanded the methodologies for acquisitions of ships under nomination and competition route and introduced two fresh chapters on methods of acquisition for ICT equipment and acquisition through leasing. This article is more focused on the possibilities that the lease option offers for rapid force modernization and force level maintenance for the armed forces using the ‘Acquisition through Lease’ category particularly for aircraft for which there is substantial experience amongst potential leasors. Lease of assets for force modernisation and maintenance, to meet urgent operational requirements or for stop gap periods pending acquisition of the selected platform has been a practice followed by several countries for several decades. Lease of Excess Defence Articles by the United States Government to friendly countries began soon after World War II. Since then, the concept has gained salience. Several navies have leased OPVs, Fleet Tankers, Yard craft etc. Air Forces have also benefitted from Leasing. The Royal Air Force leased P-8s, the Philippines leased the TC90 from Japan, Italian Air Force leased 34 F-16s Fighters from the USAF to fill a gap during the transition from the F-104 and the Eurofighter. SaaB leased the Gripen C/D to Czech Republic (2004) and Hungary (2003). Norway and Denmark are using long term wet leased aircraft and helicopters for Maritime Patrol and oil pollution detection at sea. As reported in Defence news “The

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Czech Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces and the Swiss Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports are considering a joint lease of 13 Airbus A400M transport aircraft from the German Bundeswehr.” The German Air Force has been operating Leased HERON UAVs for military operations in Afghanistan and Mali. SaaB had leased its Gripen Fighters to the Czech Republic and Hungary in the not so distant past. In effect, there is considerable confidence in the lease of aircraft by the armed forces. There is precedence for leasing in India as well. India has also previously leased nuclear submarines from Russia. More recently the Indian Navy has issued a RFP for ‘hiring’ (which is another word for ‘lease’) of a ‘multipurpose support vessel, including crew, for providing technical, logistics and communication support to Indian Navy for coastal security, including towing of naval ships, yard craft, auxiliary vessels, pontoon, fenders etc’. The RFP conditions included ‘carrying Indian Navy Operations personnel on board the hired vessel when required’. During Op Pawan, Op Swan and Op TASHA, the Indian Navy had ‘wet-leased’ various types of vessels and crafts for surveillance of the Palk Strait and other notified areas to prevent infiltration by the LTTE. More recently, the Indian Navy became the first service to benefit from the Lease category with induction of two General Atomics Sea Guardian, under the emergency

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procurement in November 2020. Lease of helicopters is a regular practice with many state governments. In 2020 alone the Government of Kerala, Government of Tripura and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh have leased or sought to lease specific helicopters for their requirements. The above examples establish that the Lease option has definitive merits and is adopted by several countries. Leasing offers many advantages for cost constrained and limited duration stop gap requirements by way of faster induction, enables concentration on core competence, removes technological complexity and lowers manpower costs for operations, maintenance and training and lowers cost and time of acquisition and yet meets immediate operational objectives. It is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure the requisite force levels and guarantee service delivery on a pay by use model. From a structuring perspective there is flexibility in availing one of several types of lease, be it wet, dry, damp, financial or operational lease. So, it is not a completely new approach for rapid force augmentation and therefore the ICG can seriously explore the option for lease of medium range MRMR aircraft, specifically configured with maritime surveillance and monitoring functions, airborne anti-pollution suites and secure communications for bridging the capability gap until the MMMA and

the MRMR aircraft are inducted. It is also possible for the ICG to explore the leasing of helicopters until its ‘regular’ helicopters are contracted. Several companies are offering ISR surveillance on diverse customer specified platforms. These could include the large single aisle Boeing 737-600 and Airbus 320(ceo) platforms on the one hand or to medium size Q-400, EMB 145 or Gulfstream platforms or the smaller aircraft and highly versatile aircraft such as King Air 350 ER, Pilatus PC 12 or the Twin Otter Series 400 etc. For example, the Beechcraft King Air 350 has an endurance of about 12 hours, can do speeds of more than 260 knots and has a RoA of nearly 2,300 NM. Sophisticated bespoke maritime sensor suites can be integrated and operated by upto 4 specialised observers. This is a marked improvement in capability. It is also worth noting that pre-owned KingAir350 or the Twin Otter are available, and they can be converted to a MPA version. So far as helicopters are concerned the options include refurbished preowned ‘commercial’ AS 365 N3, AW 109, SH 70 etc. to marine specifications and requirements of the customer. The ‘lease’ business model could be that the lessor positions the required number of aircraft at customer specified designated locations with the flight and maintenance crew included but the operational crew (Observers) being ICG personnel. The remuneration model


could be a fixed price element combined with a variable ‘power by the hour’ contract with assured minimum offtake of services per month, a guaranteed service contract period of 5-7 years (extendable as mutually agreed) and broadly along the lines as mentioned at Chapter IX of the DAP 2020. Incidentally after decades of experience IATA have published “Guidance Material and Best Practices for Aircraft Leases (2017)” which can serve as the template for induction of leased aircraft by the Indian Armed Forces. From a cost perspective a wet lease option of a pre-owned platform such as the King Air 350 ER with state of the art specifications of Maritime Mission Management systems bundled performance based maintenance with mixed crew of Pilots (by leasor) and Observers (by lessee) would be about INR 25-30 Crs per year per aircraft with assured 1500 hours of mission flying per year per aircraft. So, for a fleet of 12 such retrofitted refurbished aircraft operating at 100 % levels of assured availability the total annual cost would be only about INR 300 crs. The leasor would have to keep additional aircraft as replacement to meet the 100% serviceability criteria which would ensure the daily availability of 12 aircraft under all circumstances. Such aircraft could be made operationally available in batches of 2-3 aircraft with first delivery within 6 months after contracting and achieve the required

force level within 15-18 months. Compare these metrics with the fully configured ‘new build’ MMMA with an acquisition price tag of about INR 400500 Crs per aircraft and the associated Maintenance, Training, spares costs extra. The annual recurring expenditure to meet the same Annual Flying Task would be about INR 60 Crs per aircraft per year. Further this capability may only be available by 2027-2032. In addition, pilot and maintenance crew training and retention would be other contributions to the total cost of ownership. For the MRMR the price tag for ‘new builds’ retrofitted to contemporary Mission Management requirements could be about Rs 250-270 crores each and the first aircraft available only by 2027. Conclusion Coastal surveillance cannot be held hostage to any further delay and a fast-track solution must be sought to bridge the capability gap. Hiring or lease of aircraft is a common best practice worldwide and ICG is well placed to leverage the leasing option provided in the DAP 2020 to meet its urgent operational responsibilities in the region. Acquisition of state-of the-art surveillance equipment fitted ‘leased’ pre-owned aircraft would provide an effective, efficient and economic option until the MMMA/ MRMR assets are inducted into service. Similarly, for the Indian Navy leasing of Utility Helicopters, suitable reconfigured

for ISR and SAR roles, could be a useful stop gap arrangement until the NUH under the strategic partnership model commences deliveries. These ‘lease’ assets could be embarked on the soon to be inducted Vikrant, since blade folding may be a challenge for operations from small decks. Leasing of Fighters for the IAF and the IN, primarily to build the training and consolidation skills could be an option until the SP for Fighters is operationalised. Of course, the MRTT under lease is already under discussion but it may well be possible to lease SPARTAN27J, as part of the EDA in the USG, to meet stop gap requirements until the C-295 flies in Indian skies. The Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020’s introduction of Lease as a category for defence acquisitions is a transformational procedural change that facilitates a seamless transition from one capability to another through the intermediate mechanism of leasing. Most importantly, such a case can also be steered under the Fast-Track Procedure of DAP 2020 and hence rapidly build national capability for more effective coastal surveillance and national security – a dire need of the nation in the current and forecast security situation.

The author is a Policy Professional working on Aerospace and Defence sector and Export Controls issues at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries. All views expressed are personal.

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India’s Aerospace Industry Needs to Aim High A country’s ability to carry out its air-fleet expansion by delivering hi-tech state-of-the art aircraft and systems to both military and civil customers has a big role in raising its identity as a global power. In the case of India, military aviation alone would not provide a sound road map for achieving growth in the aircraft manufacture industry here. Civil and general aviation requirements should also be factored in for building the national aircraft manufacturing industrial base. This would of course include creating competencies in associated activity such as MRO, Design and Engineering, Materials, etc. All stakeholders need to congregate and put their collective wisdom in identifying the way forward to build India’s aircraft industry, says Commodore Sujeet Samaddar, NM (Retd). Cmde. Sujeet Samaddar NM (Retd.) Secretary, SAMDeS

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ndia is poised to emerge as a potential economic and defence superpower in the world and the role of air supremacy in the journey is unquestionable. The most decipherable symbol of air superiority for major powers is the size of the air fleet and the potentiality of the assets. Besides, an important constituent that add to the superpower status is a country’s ability to carry out its air-fleet expansion by delivering hi-tech state-of-the art aircraft and systems to both military and civil customers. In this aspect, India still has a long way to go. Among the G8 countries, India is the only one yet to have a solid aircraft manufacturing industry to cater to both military and civil requirements. In the BRICS group, India is the only country that has not yet fielded an indigenouslydeveloped large commercial aircraft. The global aerospace industry is challenged by increasing competition, rising costs in terms of energy and raw material. Globally, consolidation of the industry is being witnessed with Airbus and Bombardier joining hands to offer the 200 series single aisle aircraft whilst the Boeing-Embraer deal has fallen through. To combat these challenges, airframe manufacturers,

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aerospace OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers are leveraging the advantages arising from the globalization of the aerospace supply chain. They are adapting to these challenges by outsourcing more elements of technology, design and component/sub-assembly manufacture. It is in this space that emerging economies, particularly India, can find an opportunity to build their identity in aerospace business largely driven by exports to OEMs. Some OEMs are also establishing Final Assembly and Check Out facilities for a variety of aircraft in countries which offer competitive labour rates, low taxes and skilled workforce. India has great potential in this regard. There is a huge global demand for commercial aircraft with around 12,000 – 15,000 aircraft needed until 2030. Bombardier forecasts 12,550 deliveries in the 60- to 150-seat segment before 2036. Boeing believes the market demand to be about 15,000 aircraft valued at US$820 billion with the small single-aisle segment responsible for around 70% of revenues. India’s defence aviation plans to induct at least 600-700 helicopters, 200-300 fighters, 75-90 transport and surveillance aircraft, more than 100 High/Medium Altitude UAVs and several

hundreds of small UAVs, by 2032. As per an assessment by Boeing, India would be inducting about 1840, mostly single aisle 200-250 seater, and commercial aircraft over the same period. Helicopters required for civil applications are potentially in several hundreds to meet the UDAN objectives. In addition, nonscheduled operators have requirements for seaplanes, helicopters and private jets. By some estimates the total demand for military and commercial aircraft in India is worth about 536 billion USD over the next 15 years. Given the fact that India is among the leading aviation markets in the world and still growing, it is incumbent upon us to assume a greater role in the international arena. Over-dependence on DPSUs On the supply side, the Indian aerospace industry was predominantly centred on the DPSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and contributions from Bharat Electronics limited for avionics and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited for materials. However, post Kargil, Government of India realised the immense capability of the Indian private sector that could be harnessed, towards Defence and Aerospace indigenisation. The sector


was opened in 2001 and there have been progressive changes in the procurement polices over last 13 years, to encourage private sector participation. HAL is the lone Indian aircraft manufacturing company with its 19 production centres for manufacture and overhaul of aircraft, helicopters, engines, equipment and a workforce of about 31,000 employees. HAL generated total sales in FY 19-20 at about 3 billion USD compared to 94.6 billion USD for Boeing, 79 billion USD for Airbus, Embraer at 6.2 billion USD and Bombardier at 5.7 billion USD. While HAL has scaled new peaks in multiple directional growths over the years, development of a robust and healthy aerospace design and manufacturing ecosystem as well as a sustainable supply chain of capable vendors outside its own organisation has been a challenge. HAL is challenged to deliver its orders within the deadlines given its production throughput of 6 LCA/Year, about 12 helicopter/year and with no strengths in either UAVs or for transport and cargo fixed wing aircraft. India’s commercial airframe manufacture sector remains idle. After abandoning the SARAS project, some revival of interest was seen when NAL and HAL partnered to work on a 7090 seater Regional Transport Aircraft but its progress has been limited. This is the key weak link as the nation is completely dependent upon foreign airframe manufacturers for all its requirements of commercial aircraft.

of aircraft is a key requirement for its commercial viability. A fundamental understanding of three requirements Average Stage length, Speed, Payload (PAX) - need to be ascertained from a comprehensive market study before embarking on making the aircraft specifications. This needs to be balanced with customer preference – cost, convenience or comfort. Secondly, resolve the issue of buy or make. One approach seeks to make a ‘clean sheet’ design of a 70-90 seater regional transport aircraft indigenously at a targeted budget of Rs 10,000 crs and a delivery span of 10 years. This may be too optimistic as certification from FAA or EASA is a complex process. The Comac C919, developed by China to compete primarily with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo has taken more than 12 years since conception and is yet to receive air worthiness certification though it has received more than a thousand ‘interests’ and about 305 firm orders, mostly from Chinese leasing companies or airlines.

Way Forward in Commercial Aircraft Manufacture In formulating the way forward for developing the commercial aircraft eco-system in India there are two major considerations. Firstly, ‘right sizing’

India does not have that option. Other programs such as the ARJ21(China) cost about USD 1.8 billion, the Sukhoi SuperJet (Russia) USD 1.4 billion, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (Japan) USD 5 billion, Antonov 148 (Ukraine)

USD 500 million (2006 prices) and the smaller HondaJet (Japan) at USD 1.2 billion and took at an average 12 years to commence trials. Hence, to expect an Indian designed aircraft to be fully-operational and Type certified in 10 years at a budget of USD 1.2 billion seems unlikely. The other school favours buying out an established ‘Type Certificate’ and design for an existing commercial aircraft and commencing concurrent production and design improvements to meet the requirements of UDAAN. There are several candidate designs including the Embraer ERJ 145, SaaB 240, Fokker 2000 etc. The 19-seater amphibious aircraft is yet another machine with great potential given the thrust by the government on introducing sea planes and building water domes. The strategy would be to induct rapidly and improve incrementally at least technical and commercial risk and cost. This is practical and low cost option and I favour this approach. The table below summarised the options:-

Sl No

Parameter

Incremental Design

Clean Sheet Design

1

Disruption

Least

High

2

Capital Cost

Least

Very High

3

Time

Fast

Unpredictable

4

Risk

Very Low

Very High

5

Technology Development

Medium

High

6

System Integration Learning

Medium

High

7

Supply Chain Risks

Least

High

8

Market

Known

Unknown

This model transformed both the Brazilian and the Chinese aircraft industry. Further, the civil aircraft programme should be combined with the Military Transport requirements including the future replacement

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of the An-32 fleet to develop a manufacturing/global scale MRO facility for a family of aeroengines and propellers from a common OEM. Challenges in Private Sector In the private sector there is reasonable capacity and capability to manufacture metal alloys and composite aerostructure parts. But it lacks expertise in manufacturing avionics components, under carriage, engines, propellers systems and rotor blades. In addition, aerospace grade materials are imported. Skill sets for high technology system assembly and integration, control systems engineering and high technology machining is very limited. These supply chains will need to be created in India through incentivising global OEMs to partner with Indian companies.

Indigenization Challenges Creating a healthy ecosystem and categorised industry for aerospace in the coming 15 years is a pressing need but also a challenge. Over ambitious targets such as seeking 50-70% indigenisation content in a 15-year time frame is impractical since the domestic demand, large as it is, is still inadequate to make such production streams viable. Depending on the platform, whether it is fixed wing fighter, or transports, or rotary wing-light or multirole, the indigenisation target should be cautiously defined noting that blanket 50% indigenisation content is impractical in today’s global production network. A more modest and achievable vision would be to do the possible by clearly identifying what should be sourced locally and what will have to be imported to generate traction in the sector with import substitution of

parts and components keeping flight safety and certification issues foremost. Unless all requirements are holistically aggregated and synergistically coordinated, it would not be possible to develop long-term risk and revenue sharing partnerships, establish a sound supply chain, and reduce costs and unwarranted duplication. In this context, all stakeholders need to congregate and put their collective wisdom in identifying the way forward to build India’s aircraft industry. About the Author The author served as Senior Consultant, NITI Aayog. Presently he is the Hony Secy Society for Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDeS) and Distinguished Fellow, Center for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

Rostec Equips Ansat with Wi-Fi and Satellite Internet

K

azan Helicopters of Russian Helicopter holding company (part of Rostec State Corporation) has received approval from the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) to equip Ansat helicopter with the Mku30 satellite communication system. This option will provide helicopter passengers with high-speed Internet access during the flight. This Ku band satellite communication

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system, created by MOST Satellite Systems, provides up to 2 Mbit/s Internet access at the coverage area of the Yamal satellites. Mku30 allows to provide uninterrupted transmission of large amounts of data during flights, organize on-board video conferences and stream high quality video in real time. Data transfer to passengers' mobile devices is provided using a Wi-Fi access point. "Ansat is a versatile helicopter with a design that allows it to be adapted for a wide variety of operations: from an ambulance to a VIP configuration with advanced digital services. Ansat equipped with high-speed Internet access allows its passengers to stay in touch even during the flight. The service will be useful for both discerning passengers, as well as doctors,

police, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, who will be able to stay online to receive operational information," reported in the aviation cluster of Rostec State Corporation. The first Ansat helicopter, equipped with the new Mku30 satellite communication system, was presented at the 53rd International Paris Air Show in 2019. "The satellite communication system will be installed in the Ansat helicopter at the request of the customer. It will be most relevant for passenger and VIP modifications of the helicopter. The ability to use the Internet during flights is another step towards improving the comfort level of Ansat helicopters," said Managing Director of Kazan Helicopters, Alexey Belykh.


Indian Navy conducts Joint Exercise with Army and Airforce

I

ndian Navy along with Army and Airforce conducted a large-scale triservice joint amphibious exercise AMPHEX – 21 in Andaman & Nicobar group of islands from 21 – 25 Jan 2021. The exercise involved participation of Naval ships, amphibious troops of the Army and different types of aircraft from the Air force. The exercise was aimed at validating India’s capabilities to safeguard the territorial integrity of it’s island territories. It also sought to enhance operational synergy and joint warfighting capabilities amongst the three Services. The exercise involved multifaceted maritime operations by synergised employment

of amphibious assault ships, surveillance platforms, execution of maritime air strikes and complex manoeuvres at sea. Airborne insertion of Marine Commandos of Navy and Special Forces of the Army, naval gunfire support, amphibious landing of forces and follow-on operations also formed part of the exercise. Ex KAVACH for defence of Andaman & Nicobar Islands formed a part of AMPHEX – 21. A joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance exercise under the aegis of HQ Integrated Defence Staff was also run concurrently to achieve Maritime Domain Awareness by employment of a multitude of sensors.

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IAI to Provide Loitering Munitions Systems to Asian Countries Worth Over $100 Million USD Three recently-signed deals include the sale of ‘ROTEM’ VTOL Tactical Loitering Munition and land and naval version of the HAROP system

I

srael Aerospace Industries (IAI) announces the signing of three significant contracts valued at over $100 million USD, in which it will supply loitering munitions systems to several countries. The contracts include winning an international tender for the sale of the multi-purpose – ‘ROTEM’ system – to a foreign country, sale of the naval version of the HAROP system to the navy of a country in Asia and sale of the ground version of the HAROP system to another customer in Asia. Boaz Levy, IAI's President and CEO said: “IAI is a global pioneer in developing the operational concept of a loitering munitions systems, which has ripened to a family of unique and accurate attack systems. These systems, which have added impressive achievements to the operational capability of fighting forces around the globe, constitute central and decisive attack components for advanced battlefields of the future. These contracts are further proof of the importance and confidence modern armies place in accurate munitions systems as part of their arsenal, and may be harbingers of additional business activity in this field. IAI will continue to develop and improve a range of strike systems in order to give its clients around the world a precise operational solution.” The Maritime HAROP system provides an operational solution for a range of vessels, from off-shore vessels to fighting frigates in the naval theater. In a complex naval theater, the HAROP

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system gives mission commanders in a fleet of ships the capability to independently and organically collect intelligence, assess targets and strike. The intelligence gathered by the HAROP is directly integrated in the vessel’s control room and allows for quick, accurate and lethal decisionmaking. Use of the HAROP on naval platforms is an operational alternative and complementary element to using sea-sea missiles, with a wide range of uses and with optimal cost-efficiency for the navy. The maritime and land combat proven HAROP provides an operational solution for a range of low and high intensity conflict scenarios and for anti-terrorism activity. The HAROP is equipped with day/ night cameras and has the ability to search, find and attack with maximum precision both static and moving targets, on land or at sea and at a long range. A strike can take place from any direction and at any angle of attack. ‘ROTEM’ is the first Vertical Take Off & Landing (VTOL) Tactical Loitering Munition combat proven and used in operations by several of the world’s militaries as a small loitering device based on a drone platform and is a power multiplier for tactical forces in a range of fighting scenarios, including security operations and maneuvers. The system provides a reconnaissance, observation and attack envelope with maximum autonomous performance, integrating a simple and intuitive operation interface that can be used

by a single fighter from a touchscreen tablet. The ‘ROTEM’ VTOL Tactical Loitering Munition carries day/night cameras and a warhead weighing up to one kilogram and is optimally designed to carry out combined missions of intelligence gathering and attack. The system incorporates a unique safety mechanism that enables its safe return to the fighter on the ground if an attack was not carried out. The ‘ROTEM’ system has proven its operational effectiveness for precise, surgical strikes against a range of different targets. The loitering munitions family developed by IAI includes the HarpyNG – a third generation of the system homing against radiating targets, the HAROP, a second-generation of a precision electro-optical attack system, the Mini-Harpy, dual (Electro-optical day&night + Anti-Radiation seeker) tactical advanced munitions system and the tactical loitering GreenDragon system, as well as the ‘ROTEM’ VTOL Tactical Loitering Munition . IAI is a focal point of national and global technological knowhow in the field of attack systems, air defense, radars, satellites, remotely operated aircraft, civilian aviation and cyber.


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AERO INDIA 2021 SAILORS & WARRIORS Magazine  

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