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vol 16  issue 2 • FEBRUary • 2013


IAF Modernisation an overview

• business aviation   • general aviation • indo-US relations • mirage to rafale   • training concerns • airbus military reporT



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Aviation SP’s

Table of Contents

An SP Guide Publication

News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.

Issue 2 • 2013



Fit for Extreme Conditions

SP’s Exclusive


Displays at Aero India 2013


14 General Aviation  It’s a Long Haul Business Aviation 16 Boom in Biz Jets 19 Battling the Burden

Lead Story Aero India Preview

Aero India 2011 had an impressive line-up of fighters. This year’s show also promises to be exciting. A plate full of catalogues is waiting.

Modernisation Looking Ahead


Diplomacy Dream Unfolds

2    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013


Fighters Mirage to Rafale Trainers An Uninspiring Saga

43 Industry  Tactical Airlift Solutions from Airbus


News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.


SP's Aviation Cover 02-13 final.indd 1

regular Departments



A Word from Editor

VOL 16 ISSUE 2 • FEBRUARY • 2013




Aviation SP’s

20 Regional Aviation  Trouble-Free Flying Military

36 41




Red Bulls, the arobatic team of Czech Republic, stole the limelight at Aero India 2011,with its scintillating flying displays


THE DESTINATION 02/02/13 5:21 PM

Cover Photo: Aero India has already carved a niche for itself as a major global aerospace exhibition Illustration by: Anoop Kamath

45 Hall of Fame  ANTHONY LEVIER (1913 - 1998 46 48

NewsDigest LastWord Nurture ‘People’

Next Issue: Training Options for the IAF

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Table of Contents PLUS...

Publisher And Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal senior Editor Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey Assistant Group editor R. Chandrakanth Editorial adviser Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra


Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand

Correspondent Sucheta Das Mohapatra Contributors India Air Marshal (Retd) N. Menon Group Captain (Retd) A.K. Sachdev Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha Europe Alan Peaford Trouble-free Flying

USA & Canada LeRoy Cook Chairman & Managing Director Jayant Baranwal Planning & Business Development Executive Vice President: Rohit Goel ADMIN & COORDINATION Bharti Sharma


DIRECTOR SALES & MARKETING Neetu Dhulia SALES & MARKETING General Manager Sales: Rajeev Chugh

Senior Technical Group Editor Boom in Biz Jets

Senior Copy editor &


design Holistic Directions: Jayant Baranwal Senior Art Director: Anoop Kamath Designers: Vimlesh Kumar Yadav, Sonu Singh Bisht Research Assistant: Graphics Survi Massey

Owned, published and printed by Jayant Baranwal, printed at Mirage to Rafale

Kala Jyothi Process Pvt Ltd and published at A-133, Arjun Nagar (Opposite Defence Colony), New Delhi 110 003, India. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, photocopying, recording, electronic, or

4    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

otherwise without prior written permission of the Publishers.

SP’s websites Sr Web Developer: Shailendra Prakash Ashish Web Developer: Ugrashen Vishwakarma © SP Guide Publications, 2013 Annual Subscription Inland: Rs 1200 • Foreign: US$ 320 Email: LETTER TO EDITOR FOR Advertising details, contact: SP GUIDE PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD A-133 Arjun Nagar, (Opposite Defence Colony) New Delhi 110 003, India. Tel: +91 (11) 24644693, 24644763, 24620130 Fax: +91 (11) 24647093 Email: Representative Office BENGALURU, INDIA 204, Jal Vayu Vihar Kalyan Nagar Bengaluru 560043, India. Tel: +91 (80) 23682204 MOSCOW, RUSSIA LAGUK Co., Ltd., (Yuri Laskin) Krasnokholmskaya, Nab., 11/15, app. 132, Moscow 115172, Russia. Tel: +7 (495) 911 2762 Fax: +7 (495) 912 1260

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A Word from Editor

Aero India 2013 Special


India is now emerging as the third largest defence spender in the world after the United States and China with an estimated $100 billion (`5,00,000 crore) worth of acquisitions lined up the for next five years. It is little wonder therefore that Aero India draws to the venue the global aerospace and defence industry. Since the air show in 2011, India has gone in for a number of bigticket purchases with some deals already concluded and others in the process. A major success has been the procurement of ten C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft from Boeing with the possibility of additional six aircraft in due course. Contracts in respect of platforms such as the 22 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, both from Boeing, in preference over Russian contenders, are expected to be finalised soon. But perhaps the largest single defence tender expected to be finalised will be the order for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) for which the Rafale has been selected. The other important deal in the offing is for six A330 MRTT from Airbus Military. A major spin-off of Aero India is that it provides the aerospace industry in the private sector in India the opportunity to explore routes to high-end technology. Also, business opportu-

Aero India provides an ideal window of opportunity to firms abroad to not only network with Indian industry, but also for the Indian companies to benefit from the expertise in research and development.

nities of `14,000 crore have already been generated for the private sector. In this issue of SP’s Aviation, apart from a preview of the air show, Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra traces the evolution of Indo-US relationship. He also chronicles the bonding of the IAF with Dassault, culminating in the selection of the Rafale. Air Marshal (Retd) N. Menon describes the uninspiring state of the trainer fleet in the IAF and the inability of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to provide effective solutions, compelling the IAF to procure even basic training aircraft from abroad. Our Senior Editor Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey who visited Airbus Military, in his report, catalogues the tactical airlift solutions that Airbus Military has on offer. On the civil aviation front, R. Chandrakanth reviews the state of the civil aviation industry in India and the opportunities that lie ahead. Incidentally, the Business Aircraft Operators’ Association is engaged in a legal battle with the regulatory authorities to safeguard members from the onslaught of exhorbitant airport charges. Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha looks at the prospects for the growth of regional aviation in the country. All these apart from the regular features in this special issue. Do visit us at Aero India 2013, Hall B: 4.18. Happy Landings!

Jayant Baranwal

SP’s Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal presenting a copy of the SP’s Military YearBook 2013 to Defence Minister A.K. Antony

6    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

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Aero India 2013 Special

Photograph: AgustaWestland

Fit for Extreme Conditions


First Royal Navy Wildcat makes inaugural flight

The first Wildcat attack helicopter to be delivered to the Royal Navy has successfully taken its first flight at Yeovil in Somerset. This was announced by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope said: “As a ship-borne helicopter, Wildcat will provide Commanders with a flexible attack capability which can be deployed to tackle a range of threats at sea and from the sea. With state-of-the-art sensors, equipment and weapons, it will be an outstanding asset that will maintain Royal Naval units at the cutting-edge of worldwide maritime operations.” Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: “The new maritime Wildcat attack helicopter is an excellent addition to the Royal Navy’s arsenal, providing it with greater firepower and a range of technological enhancements. The support and training contract with AgustaWestland is also good news for the local economy in Somerset, securing 500 highly skilled jobs in the defence sector.” The Wildcat has a more powerful engine allowing it to be flown in extreme conditions around the year. It is also equipped with a more robust fuselage, a high-tech interactive display and 8    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2003

a new radar system that provides 360-degree surveillance. Wildcat HMA Mk2 will carry Sting Ray torpedoes, a doormounted 0.5-inch heavy machine gun and new light and heavy variants of the future anti-surface guided weapon missiles. Expected to perform a range of tasks once in-service, the maritime Wildcat attack helicopter will be used in anti-surface warfare, force protection and counter-piracy. It will also be able to carry out an anti-submarine role. The Ministry of Defence signed a £250-million (`2,000 crore) contract with AgustaWestland to provide support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s 62 strong fleet of Wildcat Helicopters. The Royal Navy will receive 28 maritime attack variant helicopters, which will begin operations across the globe from 2015 and replace the existing Lynx Mark 8. The contract is sustaining 500 skilled jobs in the Somerset area.  SP E-mail your comments to:

The CH-47F Chinook is the most versatile, mission-capable heavy-lift helicopter in the world. More powerful than ever with advanced flight controls and avionics, the CH-47F is in a class by itself, whether it’s transporting troops and equipment, on deep combat assault, performing search and rescue, or delivering disaster relief. Extraordinary performance—it’s what you expect from Chinook.

Aero India 2013 Special SP’s Exclusives

Boeing debuts Scan Eagle UAV at Aero India While Boeing will have the largest aircraft once again at Aero India 2013, with a USAF C-17 Globemaster III—the first C-17 for the IAF entered flight test earlier in January—it will be debuting a smaller aircraft that it has been showcasing as a potential platform for the Indian military: the ScanEagle. The low-cost, long-endurance autonomous unmanned vehicle is a small part of a big unmanned systems push by foreign vendors in India. According to the company, Boeing foresees customers using ScanEagle vehicles individually or in groups to loiter over trouble spots and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data or communications relay. It adds that as standard payload ScanEagle carries either an inertial stabilised electro-optical or an infrared camera. The gimbaled camera allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets, providing real-time intelligence. Capable of flying above 16,000 feet, the UAV has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent low-altitude reconnaissance. Hermes 900 at Aero India 2013

Flanker. Both teams have performed around the world to great appreciation and have decided to bring their show to India for the first time this year. The Rafale team’s presence is understandable—as the platform in line for the country’s largest ever single defence contract to be signed this year, the fielding of the Rafale display team serves as a sign of commitment. The Russian Knights presence is likely to have been a diplomatic gesture to bail out what may have been an otherwise lacklustre show this year, or perhaps a token of gratitude for the recently signed contract for 42 additional Su-30MKIs, a platform that traces its legacy to the venerable Su-27 that the Knights operate. The Czech Flying Bulls, who stopped a lot of hearts with their amazing show two years ago in Yelahanka, return this year with their Zlin modified propeller trainers for what promises to be another great show. The inexplicable final entrant in terms of fighters this year is a USAF F-16 display team, which has been a constant fixture at the show for the last few iterations. It is not clear what purpose fielding the F-16s serves, considering the platform is out of the MMRCA race. This could, once again, be a diplomatic gesture by the US for a slew of American wins in the Indian contracting space in recent months. The popular Indian Air Force Surya Kiran team, which was disbanded last year, hopes to be reborn soon with Hawk trainers, but is nowhere near ready to make a comeback, and will therefore give this year’s show a miss—a lot of fans will be disappointed. However, the equally popular Sarang team, which operates the Dhruv helicopter, will be back again this year to put up their incredible show.

Photographs: Elbit Systems, wikipedia

Indian 5th-Gen fighter model to debut at Aero India

Israel’s Elbit Systems has announced that it will display its new generation Hermes 900 maritime patrol unmanned aerial system (UAS) at Aero India 2013. The Indian Navy, as is well known, is in the global market for maritime medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned surveillance air vehicles. According to Elbit, “Interactively controlled from mobile land based mission systems, fixed operation rooms or own force ships, Hermes 900 provides multi-sensor data and live video in real time to mission operators and ship crews at sea. “Hermes 900 UAS can operate stand-alone or can be integrated into an overall setup of aircraft, ships, shore or offshore based sensors, and maritime control centres and HQ. Hermes 900 can perform versatile missions such participation in naval warfare, ship-shore operations, EEZ monitoring and control, coastal protection, surveillance and protection of vital assets (such as oil rigs), anti-piracy operations, environmental monitoring, and search and rescue operations.” Display teams to dominate Aero India 2013 With the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) bid making its way towards a contract award, Aero India this year will bear a more resigned visage, at least as far as the roar of fighter engines is concerned. In its stead will be the heart-stopping and relentless roar of aerobatics teams from around the world. Debuting at Aero India 2013 will be the world famous Rafale display team and the Russian Knights, which operates the Su-27 10    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

The aerospace community will get its first ever glimpse of what the modified Indian version of the Russian PAK FA looks like at Aero India, with HAL planning to unveil a model of the prospective multi-role fighter (the official name of the Indian version of the Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter aircraft prototype). HAL has already built a wind-tunnel model of the aircraft—a single-seat variant with minor modifications. “For the first time, we will present to the world glimpses of prospective multi-role fighter (PMF) also known as fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). This is under co-development with the Russians,” says HAL Chairman Dr R.K. Tyagi. According to HAL, the other major attractions of the HAL’s pavilion include the light combat helicopter (LCH), the weaponised advanced light helicopter (ALH) Rudra—the first of which will be handed over to the Indian Army during the show—and the intermediate jet trainer (IJT), a platform that is causing a lot of concern to the IAF.

Aero India 2013 Special SP’s Exclusives

The Dhruv, Rudra and LCH will be on flying display. Scale models of the in -development light utility helicopter, BAE Systems Hawk, light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Su-30MKI will also be on display. In addition, pilotless target aircraft (Lakshya), Shakti engine, state-of-the-art accessories and avionics from various divisions of HAL are also being showcased. According to a statement, the other highlights of the HAL pavilion include 3D video mapping of HTT-40, Dornier glass cockpit, scale models of aerospace structures of GSLV MkII, GSLVMk III and PSLV. The Rotary Wing Corner will provide the visitors through simulation and visual display, a helicopter view of the technologies, the capabilities and competencies built in the company. There will also be a holographic projection depicting capabilities of LCA, Hawk, LCH and LUH.

Photographs: Lockheed martin, airbus military

Lockheed Martin to focus on C-130J at Aero India

With a deal for six additional C-130J Super Hercules nearly concluded, Lockheed Martin is keeping its focus almost solely on the platform at Aero India 2013. An IAF C-130J will be on display at the show this year. LM’s Jack Crisler, Vice President, Air Mobility, Special Operations and Maritime Programs will be at the show for briefings. It may be remembered that a modified version of the C-130J called the ‘Sea Hercules’ will participate in the Indian Navy’s medium-range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft competition. “This airlift platform is as versatile as it is proven. Lockheed Martin is exploring opportunities across various Indian services to offer this platform as a solution,” the company said in a statement. The C-130s began operational use with the Sikkim earthquake in September last year, and their legs have been stretched by pilots with visits to Car Nicobar and other remote parts of the country. Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 50 Fighting Falcons are also expected to be at the air show, but will be fielded as part of a demonstration team by the US Air Force. Honeywell at Aero India 2013 Honeywell, which was issued a request for proposal (RFP) in October last year for the much-anticipated Jaguar re-engining contract, will be at Aero India in a big way this year as well. While focusing on concluding a deal for the F125 IN engine for the Indian Air Force’s Jaguar fleet, the US firm will also be showcasing support packages for indigenous military platforms including the ALH Dhruv, light combat helicopter and HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT). The company is also a participant in other programmes, providing safety and mechanical systems in the P-8I programme for the Indian Navy, the C-130J

fleet and the yet to be concluded medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) bid. The company will also be showcasing soldier protection systems, including the Spectra Shield series of protective plates. The company lists its key technology pursuits as the F-125 IN engine for the IAF Jaguar, T-Hawk micro-air vehicle, advanced medium combat aircraft, multi-role transport aircraft and light combat helicopter. EADS on a high for Aero India 2013 With the Airbus A330 MRTT win in India’s tanker competition, EADS will be riding into Aero India with a long-missed feel good factor coursing through its veins— the win comes after a string of disappointments in India, particularly last year’s loss of the Eurofighter in the MMRCA competition. In a statement, the company says, “Airbus Military is promoting its very successful C-295/C-235 transport aircraft in India for future competitions. Airbus Military also is the manufacturer of the A400M military transport aircraft, a heavy airlifter which on the long-term could provide ideal capabilities for a country like India.” EADS subsidiary Cassidian also has long-term plans it will detail at Aero India. “In the past few years, Cassidian created several partnerships with organisations such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which build a solid basis to expand the cooperation with Indian aerospace and defence companies. India plays a key role in Cassidian’s globalisation strategy. Our presence there has now been firmly established. As a next step, Cassidian is starting to build on its Indian base to strengthen its reach in other Asian markets,” the company says. EADS’ rotorcraft subsidiary Eurocopter enters India at a tentative time: On the one hand, for the third consecutive year, Eurocopter India leads the Indian helicopter market with a market share of 43 per cent in terms of registered deliveries. On the other hand, it continues to anxiously await a decision in the long delayed reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition that could see it, if it wins, supply 197 AS550 C3 Fennec choppers to the Indian Army and IAF. The company will also be showcasing its AS565 N3+ Panther chopper on offer to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. Indian Army for UAV missile simulator The Indian Army is in the market for a mission simulator to train unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crews in operating IAI Heron and Searcher Mk.2 surveillance UAVs. The Army has stipulated that the UAV mission simulator should be capable of conducting initial and refresher training of external pilot, internal pilot, mission commander and observer with a separate console available to the instructor. The Army proposes to use the simulator for simulation of single, air data relay (ADR) mission scenario, maritime scenario, with or without satellite communication (SATCOM) for single or multiple payloads, simulation of all phases of UAV mission Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   11

Aero India 2013 Special SP’s Exclusives

as well as its payloads and to play pre-recorded missions with annotations for analysis, training of internal pilot, external pilot, mission commander and observer in stand-alone mode and as coordinated crew of a mission, training on all types of UAV emergencies and to carry out student assessments. Russian Helicopters banks on 197 copter deal On the back of two significant losses in the Indian defence space—the IAF’s heavy-lift and attack helicopter competitions—Russian Helicopters will be focusing all its energies at Aero India 2013 on the Kamov Ka-226T Sergei helicopter, a finalist in the Indian Army/IAF reconnaissance and surveillance (RSH) bid, already delayed indefinitely with commercial bids still to be opened by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Pitted against the Eurocopter AS550 C3 Fennec (which was displayed at Aero India 2011), the Ka-226T has exuded confidence ahead of a final decision that can be expected shortly after bids are opened any time now. The deal has also weathered some measure of controversy too but appears now to be on track for the next stage—bid opening. The two vendors will have hoped that the bids would be opened ahead of Aero India, but that does not appear to be in the pipeline for now. During Aero India 2013, Russian Helicopters jointly with Rosoboronexport will showcase the Mi-28NE attack helicopter, even though the platform lost out to the AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow chopper in the IAF’s attack copter competition.

Photograph: PIB

India gifts Do-228 aircraft to Seychelles

Days ahead of Aero India, in a sign of increasing regional cooperation and power projection, the Indian Government has handed over a HAL-built Dornier Do-228 maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Seychelles in Delhi. According to HAL, licensed builder of the aircraft, “The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coastline of the island nation. “It is yet another milestone of our close friendship between our two countries,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said. The Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam said the aircraft would help his country’s war on piracy and strengthen overall security in the Indian Ocean region. HAL Chairman Dr R.K. Tyagi said, “The aircraft to be provided to Seychelles will be supported by HAL team for maintenance onsite to enable the new user get the requisite expertise.” The aircraft is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities and is an excellent platform of maritime applications. HAL manufactures this aircraft under licence agreement with the erstwhile Dornier GmbH of Germany at its Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, and has worldwide unfettered sales and marketing rights. 12    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Rolls-Royce pitches engine for HAL’s light copter While Aero India 2011 was tinged with turmoil for RollsRoyce—it had decided shortly after the show to withdraw from a competition to re-engine the IAF’s Jaguar strike aircraft—it is back at Aero India 2013 with a strong focus on the CTS800 turboshaft engine that Rolls-Royce builds in partnership with Honeywell. The CTS800 squares off against the Turbomeca Ardiden 1H1/Shakti engine that currently powers the advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and light combat helicopter prototypes. In a statement, Rolls-Royce said the engine has passed 1,00,000 in-service flight hours and demonstrated proven technology and reliable performance in a variety of demanding operational environments. Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce India, said: “Aero India is a significant platform for us in the continuing development of our business. India is an important market for Rolls-Royce with a number of significant local partners. We look forward to accelerating our business development and partnership initiatives as we work to further contribute to India’s defence modernisation goals.” John Gay, Senior Vice President—Defence Aerospace, South Asia, Rolls-Royce, said: “It is a pleasure for us to be a part of Aero India, which gives us a platform to showcase our technology and products and has been an enabler for exchange of innovative ideas. Rolls-Royce is proud to have powered the Indian armed forces for 80 years. As our in-service fleets continue to increase, we are looking to strengthen our local partnerships to deliver greater levels of support to the benefit of the customers here.” The company will also showcase iPad-based services technology and the Adour Mk871 engine that powers the Hawk advanced jet trainer. Missile men honoured by GOI In an affirmation for the country’s missile programme, three top missile scientists were honoured this year by the government with Padma awards. DRDO Chief Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and a scientist best known for his association with the successful Akash SAM programme, has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan. “It is DRDO that has got the award and it is a recognition of DRDOs contribution towards nation building” said Dr Saraswat. Dr Sivathanu Pillai, DS & CCR&D and CEO BrahMos and Avinash Chander, and Chief Control Research and Development (Missiles and Strategic Systems) are the other two eminent scientists of DRDO who have been honoured with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri respectively. The country’s missile programme has enjoyed an upswing since 2008, with several programmes coming to fruition and new technologies proving themselves.   SP

—SP’s Special Correspondent

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/General Aviation

Developed under private-public partnership model: Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3

It’s a Long Haul Though nascent, the general aviation market in India is expected to grow at 10 per cent per annum to cross `1,600 crore by 2017 with operators acquiring about 300 business jets, 300 small aircraft and 250 helicopters

Photograph: SP Guide Pubns


By R. Chandrakanth

It is a known fact that the aviation sector plays an important couraging, there are niggling issues that are affecting the indusrole in the overall economic development of a country. In India, try, such as that of the woes of Kingfisher Airlines and Air India, it is only of late that the aviation sector is getting a lot more both failing badly because of management issues. Aviation turimportance as the nation looks at multi-modal transportation bine fuel will continue to dog airlines for a long time to come, as a key enabler of economic activity. As India gets connected particularly in India. rapidly, it opens up opportunities like never before. The aviation sector is going through growth pangs. Air traffic has been Uncertainty prevails growing at a robust 12-18 per cent per year in the last decade The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has said Indian aviand with the government initiating several reforms, including ation is facing its most uncertain phase in more than a decade. allowing foreign direct investment (FDI), the sector is expected After reporting an estimated record loss of just over $2 billion to catapult itself to the next level. Going by such anticipated (`10,000 crore) for year ending March 31, 2012, it said Indian growth trends, aircraft manufacturing companies; airport op- carriers were up for another challenging year ahead. Weak balerators, airliners and other stakeholders have started looking ance sheets, increasing costs, regulatory uncertainty, a sluganew at the opening up of opportunities. gish Indian economy and a difficult global environment will For instance, Boeing has revised its estimates upwards to continue to pile the pressure on airlines, especially the poorer 1,450 airplanes India may require by 2031. In the next 10 years, performing carriers. However, this may in turn create market domestic air traffic is expected to touch opportunities to exploit for those that are 160-180 million passengers per annum, better positioned. while international traffic will exceed 80 In the financial year 2011-12, the million passengers from the current level growth was 15.1 per cent lower than of 60 million domestic and 40 million inwhat CAPA had forecast at 17 per cent, In the financial year ternational passengers respectively. The due to the slow down in the sector. 2011-12, the growth was International Air Transport Association However, the gain is for other airlines 15.1 per cent lower than has forecast that India’s domestic air travand with Indian carriers expecting to el market between 2012 and 2016 would add some aircraft during 2012-13, the what CAPA had forecast be among the top five globally, experiencpassenger demand can be met. CAPA at 17 per cent, due to the ing the second highest growth rate. estimates that this would result in caWhile these figures may appear enpacity growth of 7-8 per cent in a best slow down in the sector 14    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/General Aviation

and taxation) are high in India; and legacy processes at Indian airports dampen international traffic movement.

Photograph: Air Works

case scenario. This estimate may be revised downwards now that Air India has stopped operation of Dreamliner in the light of safety issues. Pitching for Hub and spoke model For the sustenance of this growth trajectory (particularly exponential domestic traffic), one of the identified contributing factors is the development of Indian airports as regional aviation hubs. A Ministry of Civil Aviation report has noted that Indian airports have the potential of extracting significant hub traffic from its regional competitors, given its natural growth of traffic and geographical positioning of India. Currently, in the absence of a good Indian hub, major portion of the international hub traffic is routed through other regional hubs such as Dubai, Doha, Bangkok, Singapore and Frankfurt by their respective hub carriers, which have direct access to several Indian airports. For instance, in the year ending March 2011, transfer traffic under this category was 15 million passengers per annum (mppa), but Indian carriers accounted for only 14 per cent of this traffic. Hence, there is a significant opportunity for the Indian carriers and airports to gain traffic in this segment by offering a more competitive product. In the domestic to domestic segment too, the figures are dismal. For the year ending March 2011, approximately 2.7 mppa of such passengers were transferred and the prime reason for such low traffic is the relatively short travel time (2-3 hours) which makes a stopover disadvantageous. However, as and when the airlines connect to Tier-II and Tier-III cities, this opportunity could scale up. The main reason for the poor market share of Indian carriers in both international and domestic traffic segments is that India is just waking up to the concept of hub development whereas foreign airports and airlines have had a good lead; financial strength and fleet size of Indian carriers is poor as compared to that of competing airlines such as Emirates, Singapore and Lufthansa; operational costs (due to aircraft turbine fuel

Airport development In a vast country like India there are 455 airports, according to government sources, and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) controls 125, of which 84 are in operation. In addition to these there are six joint venture airports under the public-private partnership (PPP) model and these are Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Kochi airports. In 2012, scheduled domestic airlines operated more than 11,500 departures per week connecting 77 airports and the aircraft movements are expected to double by the next decade. The AAI is upgrading and modernising airport infrastructure at Chennai, Kolkata and 35 non-metro airports in the country. The government is investing in infrastructure development and currently, it has upgraded five airports Maintenance facility as International (Tiruchirapalli, Coin india: Air works imbatore, Mangalore, Varanasi and MRo facility at Mumbai Lucknow), taking the number of international airports to 22. AAI will lead Greenfield airport development and the need for the construction of new airport infrastructure remains unabated if India is to achieve its longterm potential. However, questions are emerging about the most appropriate source of funding for the large-scale capital expenditure required. CAPA has estimated that India requires $40 billion (`2,00,000 crore) investment in 50 Greenfield airports by 2025. General Aviation Though nascent, the general aviation market in India is expected to grow at 10 per cent per annum to cross `1,600 crore by 2017 with operators acquiring about 300 business jets, 300 small aircraft and 250 helicopters. As per the report by the Working Group of the Twelfth Five Year Plan, a total investment of over `20,000 crore in general aviation is expected during the plan period. The helicopter market in India is equally promising, with growing requirements in tourism, mining, corporate travel, air ambulance, homeland security, etc. India has been a laggard in the global general aviation market with approximately 680 aircraft and only around 150 active airports. Also, as in October 2011, aircraft movement for general aviation comprised only about 15 per cent of the total aircraft movement in the country. But all that is likely to change. Untapped MRO As for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), India is way behind and many of the operators rely heavily on overseas MRO. However, there are some developments on the horizon which will transform the MRO sector and these include joint venture projects. India’s MRO segment is estimated to grow at 10 per cent and reach $2.6 billion (`13,000 crore) by 2020. Establishing MRO facilities in India will enable operators to achieve faster turnaround, savings in operating costs and a decline of foreign exchange outflows. Overall, Indian aviation is set for transformational growth. It is a long-haul and stakeholders have to stake it out.  SP

AAI will lead Greenfield airport development and the need for the construction of new airport infrastructure remains unabated if India is to achieve its longterm potential

Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   15

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Business Aviation

Boom in Biz Jets

By R. Chandrakanth

Photograph: Embraer

Industry experts have touted that leasing of private jets is the best business model. However, most of the private jets in India are bought by high-flying individuals and companies, which are in the petroleum, mining and other sectors that have plants away from the major metros.

16    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013


Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Business Aviation

Superb Craft: embraer’s legacy 650

What drives the growth of business jets in India or for that matter anywhere else? Two things for sure, a growing club of the super rich and corporate culture where time is money and jet-setting quite the norm. A rising number of Asians, particularly Indians, are moving into billionaire clubs and their new toys are private jets, yachts and mansions overseas. A recent report has pointed out that Asians may account for nearly 20 per cent of the high-end business jets fleet by 2017, all driven by growing affluence in India, China and South East Asia. That is a quantum jump from the less than 10 per cent Asians who own jets, of the nearly 18,000 business jets worldwide. Considering the economies in Asia which are doing well compared to European and American economies, there is a direct corelation between heightened economic activity and growth of business aviation. India is top of the line in this emerging scenario. The Asian Development Bank has reported that Asia may exceed the total wealth in the US and Europe by 2030. Business Tool and Lifestyle Combo It is not just the Ambanis, the Jindals or the Tatas who have invested heavily in private jets; there is a growing breed of young Turks for whom business jet travel is both a business tool and lifestyle. And there are companies, in the mining, petrochemicals and other sectors that have their plants located in out backs, but have connected them to their corporate offices through their private jet. Though the number of 183 private aircraft registered as non-scheduled operators with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as of December 2012 is not impressive, there is going to be a big boom for business jets, irrespective of the costs. Business jets cost from about $17 million (`85 crore) for Bombardier’s Learjet to about $50 million (`250 crore) for Dassault Aviation SA’s Falcon 7X. Indians are buying. Reports are that the general aviation segment is expected to grow at 10 per cent and by 2017 India will be among the three largest markets. The figures pegged for 2017 are nearly 300 new business jets and as many small aircraft, besides helicopters. The Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) has projected that by 2020, the number of general aviation aircraft will touch 2,000, up from nearly 700 (including private jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston engines). According to a forecast by Bombardier, business jet numbers are expected to touch 440 by 2019. Nilesh Pattanayak, Managing Director, South Asia, Bombardier Business Aircraft, has been quoted saying that there would be industry-wide deliveries of 325 aircraft till 2021. And the Brazilian jet manufacturers hopes to take its numbers to 20 in the next two years, aiming to garner $1 billion (`5,000 crore) in sales here by 2018. Gulfstream is looking at capturing bulk of the business (40 per cent) in the long-range business jet market. Hurdles on the Runway This growth is despite the many constraints that the general aviation sector is facing in India. The foremost hurdle is lack of proper infrastructure. Unlike the commercial airline industry for which infrastructure development is falling in place, the general aviation sector is the neglected sibling. Facilities at airports for business aviation are non-existent or sparse and at many airports they have to jostle for airspace and landing permits. Fixed based operations are happening here and there, but a pan-India plan does not really exist and business jet travellers have to make do with the same terminal facilities as airlines, thus robbing off some of the benefits of business jet travel as many a time the airports are crowded. Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   17

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Business Aviation

Ultra high-speed Biz Jet: Gulfstream G650

Photograph: Gulfstream

Connecting the Hinterland Though there are over 400 airports in India, not all are operational. It is said that of those about 150 airports can handle business aviation traffic, but no serious effort has been made to develop those. There are a few private enterprises such as Reliance that are developing small airports, but utilisation has been limited. These operators need the necessary support from the government and it is anticipated that it will happen as the government is now open to such thinking. Connecting Tier-III cities with big commercial airliners does not make economic sense; the potential for business aviation to plug the gap is high. Impediments Another aspect that is impacting the growth of business aviation is taxation. The government’s move to levy import duty of 25 per cent only for business jets purchased for private use has not been taken kindly by the industry. Besides taxation, the laborious process of licensing of private aircraft by different agencies such as the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Airports Authority of India, Ministry of Home Affairs among others have delayed deployment of aircraft. The aviation sector, both commercial and general, run into one common problem—finding the right manpower. As most of them have their preference of working for big commercial airlines, general aviation is affected. The aviation industry lacks manpower resources with technical expertise and it is estimated that the industry is short of nearly 50,000 employees, in18    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

cluding 15,000 engineers. Commercial airlines themselves are finding it difficult to run airlines on expats and one can imagine the fate of business jet operators who just cannot afford to hire talent from overseas. The Right Business Model In view of the above, the private jet operator has to weigh his or her options carefully before venturing out into this line. The options are limited for the private jet user—either he or she can purchase outright a jet after going through the rigmarole or lease/hire a jet or pick up stakes in fractional ownership scheme which somehow has not taken off in India. If one has deep pockets, then buying a jet outright is the right option, otherwise one has to see the quantum of flying hours per year. It is said that buying a jet would make sense only if one flies over 400 hours a year. And then there are other recurring costs—aviation turbine fuel (ATF), the price of which is increasing continuously, pilot salaries, maintenance and other operational exercises. Industry experts have touted that leasing of private jets is the best business model. However, most of the private jets in India are bought by high-flying individuals and companies, which are in the petroleum, mining and other sectors that have plants away from the major metros. As mentioned, things are changing for the positive and driving the demand for corporate jets as companies are going global; perceived productivity of executives travelling by private jets; security issues with celebrities and other VIPs want to travel in exclusivity and the benefits of almost unlimited connectivity.  SP

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Business Aviation

Rohit Kapur President of BAOA

Battling the Burden There appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the Appellate Tribunal of AERA has responded positively to the appeal by BAOA made earlier against the penalty imposed on business and general aviation aircraft for overstay in their allotted parking slot


By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey

The civil aviation industry and particularly the owners of business aircraft and air charter operators were left dismayed and somewhat bewildered when in mid-January this year, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) approved a 154 per cent increase in aeronautical charges at Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) as also for the first time introduced a steep user development fee (UDF) on passengers flying out of the city. The aeronautical charges include those for parking, landing, fuel throughput and common check-in terminals. The move will make the GVK Infrastructure-led MIAL as expensive as Delhi International Airport. The Business Aircraft Operators’ Association (BAOA), an organisation of private and charter aircraft owners of India, has moved the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal challenging the increase of parking charges at MIAL which was approved by the AERA. The association claims that the increase in parking charges was approved by AERA on January 15 after having rejected it earlier. BAOA’s case is that the increase in parking charges up to 50 times was earlier disallowed by AERA retrospectively with effect from July 1, 2012. Not only does the BAOA consider the hefty increase unreasonable and untenable, its contention is that the orders have been issued “without conducting any study and citing any reasons”. As per Rohit Kapur, President of the BAOA, “This has become a matter of survival for the industry. If such unreasonable charges are allowed, half the existing members and non-scheduled operators would have to pack their bags and look for alternative business opportunities elsewhere.” This will be a severe blow for an industry already engaged in a struggle for survival. Also, MIAL has for some time now been penalising owners of private and charter aircraft who fail to vacate their parking slot in time heavily. In the last two years or so, the airport opera-

tor has collected a whopping `4 crore by way of fines on this account. BAOA has been battling this action by MIAL challenging it in the Appellate Tribunal of the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority without success. However, finally, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel as the Appellate Tribunal of AERA has responded positively to the appeal by BAOA made earlier against the penalty imposed on business and general aviation aircraft for overstay in their allotted parking slot. The Tribunal has issued a notice in the case and has directed MIAL to submit an undertaking within a week that it will deposit the amount it has collected or will collect in the future through penalty imposed on overstaying aircraft into an interest bearing account to be maintained separately. In case BAOA finally succeeds in its appeal, the members of the association would be entitled to reimbursement along with interest at nine per cent from the interest-bearing account opened by MIAL. In another favourable development, business jet owners and charter flights operators won a major reprieve as the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to roll back a hike in royalty charged from the companies providing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to these operators or owners. BAOA President Rohit Kapur said the move will give an already over-taxed MRO industry some reprieve as the imposition of the increased royalty pushed maintenance costs for operators of general aviation aircraft by at least by 10-15 per cent. The cost of maintenance, repair and overhaul is factored in under normal circumstances is in the region of 30-35 per cent of an aircraft’s cost. With the winds blowing favourably, BAOA is optimistic about the response from the regulator in the latest appeal made in the Appellate Tribunal of AERA. Persistent efforts by BAOA are finally beginning to turn the tide in its favour!  SP Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   19

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Regional Aviation

game changer: embraer 190 can bring in the required change in indian regional aviation once the necessary infrastructure comes up

Trouble-Free Flying The point-to-point system may be ideal for travellers from bigger cities; but in smaller cities, the only hope for links to a variety of destinations is the hub-andspoke model. In a country as large and diverse as India, traffic patterns differ markedly from region to region. For hassle-free journeys, both hub-and-spoke and point-to-point networks need to be available.

Photograph: embraer

By Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha


Air travel began “as the crow flies”, point-to-point, with flights proceeding from one airport straight to another. Any intervening halt was only for refuelling, urgent maintenance or to pick up more passengers. After World War II, however, commercial aviation flourished in the United States and the number of airports started to increase exponentially. It soon became practically impossible to link each airport directly to all other airports even within a relatively small region of that huge country. Besides many flights connecting small and isolated communities routinely operated half empty, which resulted in airlines losing money. In 1955, Delta Airlines pioneered the hub-and-spoke model, named after the bicycle wheel it graphically resembles. It made air transportation more efficient by greatly simplifying a complex network of routes. In this system, passengers were conveyed in small aircraft from several outlying airports (spoke points) to the nearest major airport (hub) from where they were flown in larger planes to the hub nearest to their desired destination. The hub-and-spoke model is now extensively used for 20    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

both passengers and freight in many parts of the world. And the credit for popularising it goes not to a passenger airline but to the iconic American air freight company FedEx. Efficiency or Convenience? A genuine hub-and-spoke system, yet to materialise in India, is the most efficient template from the airlines’ point of view because it enables the least number of aircraft to connect to the greatest number of airports. For instance, in a system with 10 destinations, the spoke-to-hub scheme requires just nine routes to connect all points, while a true point-to-point network would require 45 routes (each airport connecting the other nine). The small number of routes promotes more efficient use of scarce resources, especially aircraft and crew. The aircraft are more likely to be filled to capacity and can fly the same route more than once a day. But this may not yet hold good in India since smaller airports must be content with just one or two flights per day. At the hub, centralised operations also lead to economies of scale. However, there’s something in human nature that

Aero India 2013 Special Civil/Regional Aviation

that was emerging in the country. The policy stipulated that a scheduled regional airline must operate mainly within a designated region. The country was divided into four regions plus the Northeast for the purpose. The guidelines mentioned only one metro airport in each region (the hub) that a regional airline could connect to spoke airports. The lone exception was the southern region where Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad were co-designated. The unspoken assumption was that the hub-and-spoke model would be a key feature of regional aviation in the country. However, it has not turned out that way, perhaps because multiple rail and road options are often available between the hub and the spoke cities closest to it and travellers apparently are ready to stomach the extra time involved since the monetary savings may be substantial. In advanced markets, the hub-and-spoke model works best when convenient surface links are scarce. Regional airlines flourish mainly when regional and major carriers function in harmony on different routes—complementing each other— rather than in competition on the same routes. In India, a couple of attempts to launch regional services soon collapsed, in part Complexity or Simplicity? From the scheduling point of view, hub-and-spoke operations can because small regional carriers were thrown into direct compecreate something of a logistical nightmare at hub airports with tition with the established major airlines, on the same routes. dozens of incoming and outgoing flights needing to be closely Naturally the newbie were soon elbowed out of the market. The best option would be for both regional and major carscheduled to minimise delays between connections. This results in excessive traffic during peak hours and can overwhelm scarce riers to peacefully coexist by means of code shares or partner airside facilities like taxi tracks or runways. A minor delay at one flights. There may even be space for small “commuter airlines” hub (caused, for instance, by bad weather or traffic congestion like Air Mantra. In fact, despite many promises and attempts to so common at India’s metros) can have a cascading effect on the launch new regional airlines, Mantra is the only regional carrest of the hub-and-spoke connections. Interruption even at a rier currently flying. It began in July last year with two 17-seat single spoke (perhaps due to an aircraft technical fault) can also Beechcraft 1900D turboprop aircraft between Amritsar and affect smooth running of its hub. Hubs are expensive to operate Chandigarh and has since expanded to Jammu and Kargil. In a similar way, such “commuter flights” may also operate between and they cannot tolerate holdups or inefficiency. A point-to-point system offers quick, easy and simple con- spokes and less desirable locations that do not need to be dinections between major cities. It minimises connections and rectly connected to a hub. Nowadays the country’s regional space is filled by turboprop travel time. There’s no interdependency of flights—a delayed flight or a closed airport will not significantly affect other flight planes belonging to the major carriers themselves. SpiceJet has schedules, and delays are unlikely to cascade through the sys- a fleet of 15 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft that have been tem. Nowadays, low-cost carriers (LCC) are proliferating. They acquired to connect Tier-II and Tier-III cities, apart from some prefer to shun major hubs and operate in isolation from one short-haul destinations. The carrier also has options for another 15 of these powerful and versatile turboprops. It is closely follow-cost airport to another. Most airlines find it very difficult to make money from short- lowed by Jet Airways which has 16 ATR 72-500 turboprop airhaul operations. The ticket prices are invariably high and many craft. Jet is also acquiring five ATR 72-600 aircraft that should passengers baulk at paying, preferring to travel by high-speed be in by March. They will help Jet touch a number of smaller rail or road, especially if the journey does not take too much time. airports that it cannot service with jets. Such “captive” regional However, short-haul flights are obviously an essential part of the options serve as feeder flights for the main routes. However, many more regional airports (especially hub-and-spoke model. The only airlines low-cost ones) are needed so that there that have to some extent managed to make may be sufficient routes to share among profit from short-haul flights, are efficient major and regional carriers. LCCs. That is why low-cost players have A genuine hub-andThe point-to-point system may be come to dominate many short-haul marideal for travellers from bigger cities; kets across the globe, turning these servicspoke system, yet to but in smaller cities, the only hope for es into a true mass transportation facility. materialise in India, links to a variety of destinations is the hub-and-spoke model. In a country as Hubs without Spokes is the most efficient large and diverse as India, traffic patIn India, the hub-and-spoke model has template from the terns differ markedly from region to not made much headway. Aviation is airlines’ point of view region. For hassle-free journeys, both heavily biased towards the major cities hub-and-spoke and point-to-point netwith the six metros alone accounting for because it enables works need to be available. Once trafno less than 70 per cent of domestic trafthe least number of fic increases, however, regional airlines fic. The Directorate General of Civil Aviawould most likely bow to the wishes tion (DGCA) issued certain guidelines aircraft to connect to of their passengers and convey them on regional air transport operations in the greatest number of directly to their destinations through August 2007, partly in response to the airports point-to-point flights.  SP undesirable metro-centric traffic pattern tests detours. Isn’t a journey performed walking, cycling or by car, kept as straight as possible, from beginning to end? Pointto-point, one might say. It is not that hub-and-spoke travel is a new concept. From the time when ships, trains and buses became common, passengers had to make their way to a nearby port, railway station or bus terminus (call it a hub), then perform a much longer journey to reach another “hub”. But if a direct flight is available, no traveller willingly chooses to add legs to the journey, because it means more delay, more inconvenience and more chances of lost baggage or missed connections. So airlines make the hub-and-spoke system palatable to passengers by reducing the ticket price. In this way, they pass on some of the financial benefit of their increased operational efficiency. Besides they sweeten the deal by offering frequent, good, seamless connections that are on time, with friendly and helpful staff hovering nearby. In India, however, hub-andspoke routeing is still expensive, which partly accounts for its lack of popularity.

Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   21

Aero India 2013 Special Curtain Raiser

Colourful & Thrilling: Flying Displays by the Red Bulls team during Aero India 2011

Aero India Preview

Photograph: Anoop Kamath

Aero India 2011 had an impressive line-up of fighters and the aerobatic team of Czech Republic Red Bulls performed in Bengaluru for the first time and stole the limelight. Aero India 2013 is going to be exciting as well; there is a plate full of curry and catalogues waiting.


By Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra

New Year 2013 saw India preparing for two mega events— the Kumbh Mela that will see more than 11 million people bathing in the Ganges at Allahabad from January to March which is the biggest exercise of its kind anywhere on planet earth, and the international aerospace exhibition and the Aero India air show being organised by the Ministry of Defence from February 6-10, 2013 in Bengaluru. February 2013 is aviation time in India. One of the biggest aerospace events of Asia held every alternate year at Bengaluru, which is the science and technology hub of India. It is the software development capital of the world, which keeps awake when the world sleeps. Most importantly, it is the aviation city of India with corporate headquarters of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), significant presence of the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), focal point of India’s aviation industry and the Flight Test Centre of Indian Air Force (IAF) which also has the one among the few Flight Test Schools of the world. No wonder the choice of the city for the Aero India air show. 22    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

The world’s first air show was the International Air Meet held at Rheims, France, held in 1909. India’s first air show, Avia India, was held in December 1993 in Bengaluru which was a privately organised air show with some help by the government and was a precursor to Aero India. The world’s biggest air show was the 47th Paris Air Show. However, the world’s largest military air show is the Royal International Air Tattoo (RAF Fairford, United Kingdom) held annually in July. The globally recognised Aero India has already carved a niche for itself as a major aerospace exhibition. This one is the ninth in the series of the show that took off first time in 1996. Aero India 2011 had participants from 30 countries with about 700 companies, more than half of which were from overseas. About 50 delegations, including heads of Air Forces and companies, dug their heels at the event. Exhibition area of 75,000 sq metres including outdoor display area was one and half times than that at the previous event in 2009. Like the earlier years, the ninth edition of Aero India will be held at Air Force Station,

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Aero India 2013 Special Curtain Raiser

Photograph: Anoop Kamath

Yelahanka, Bengaluru. It is expected to provide a platform for networking and hopefully bolstering business opportunities in the international aerospace sector. With over 50 countries expected this year, it is expected to grow substantially. A rapidly growing Indian economy, opening up of defence production to private sector and opportunities for defence offset business, have given a major fillip to the defence industry in India. India is thus poised to become a hub for defence business in the Asian region. The world traditionally plays host to around 145 aerospace shows/exhibitions of which 27 are held in the US, 53 in Europe and 38 in Asia. China has 12 and India hosts 10 major events which include India Aviation at Hyderabad, Defexpo at New Delhi and the Aero India. Organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation, the Ministry of Defence and held in association with the DRDO, IAF, the Department of Space and the Ministry for Civil Aviation, each edition of Aero India brings in a level of expectation and excitement. Year 2003 was the year awaiting selection of the advanced jet trainer (AJT), saw participation of 22 countries and 176 exhibitors. The inaugural fly past was led by a composite formation comprising an advanced light helicopter (ALH) in the lead, flanked by HJT16 Kiran, Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKI which was a show stealer. The French delegation was led by the Prime Minister of France, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. There were 32 official military delegations and over 2,50,000 visitors at the 2005 show. Spectacular flying performances and static display of the Russian MiG-29K, Su-30MKI and Il-78 tanker; the American F-15E, C-130J Super Hercules and P-3C Orion aircraft; the French duo Mirage 2000 and Falcon 2000; the British Hawk 100, Jaguar and Sea Harriers, the Indian Dhruv advanced light

helicopter and intermediate jet trainer (IJT), and the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen. The ALH aerobatic team performance by India’s Sarang (peacock) display team put up an impressive show at the inaugural function. The US maritime surveillance aircraft P-3C Orion and C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft were star attractions on display. The 2007 show had impressive flying performances by F-16 and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. The show was marred a little bit by two accidents. During the rehearsals for the show, one of the Sarang helicopters crashed on February 2, 2007. However, the team performed the displays in the show. Also during the show, an HAL-built HJT-36 skidded off the runway when a tyre burst after the pilot aborted take-off as the aircraft’s canopy inadvertently opened up. The seventh show held in February 2009, had 592 exhibitors from over 25 countries making it the largest air show in Asia, and 30 military and civil aircraft participated in flight demonstrations. Aero India 2011 had an impressive line-up of fighters including F-16, F-18, MiG-35D and Eurofighter. Other aircraft were C-17, Embraer 135 business jet Legacy 600, C-130J, Cessna Citation XLS, G 550, An-12 Cargo, IJT, Dhruv, Hawk and A-310 MRTT. 2011 was to be the final run up to medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) selection process. Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Saab Gripen and the Dassault Rafale put up impressive flight displays. The aerobatic team of Czech Republic Red Bulls performed in Bengaluru for the first time and stole the limelight. China too had its presence. An important event on the sidelines of the Air show on February 7-8, 2011, was the DRDO organised “International Seminar on the Indian Aerospace Industry”, the theme being “Rising with

On Display: Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during Aero India 2011

24    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Aero India 2013 Special Curtain Raiser

Photograph: Dassault Aviation

India’s MMRCA: Dassault Rafale

Collaborative Opportunities”. The sessions include: “Aerospace `3,000 crore), progress of 114 HAL light combat helicopters, Industry: Opportunities for Indian Industry across the Segment of speculation on timing of signing of 126 Dassault Rafale MMRCA Large, Medium and Small Enterprises”, “Integrating Indian Off- deal ($20 billion plus), progress on fifth-generation fighter airset Partner in Global Supply Chain”, “Emerging Global Trends in craft (FGFA) and work share, progress on LCA MkII and IJT Aerospace Industry”, technical session on “Aerospace Electron- programmes, contenders for offsets, medium transport aircraft, ics: Avionics, Radars, Surveillance, Control Systems, Unmanned BrahMos on Su-30MKI, progress on Aeronautical Development Technologies”, technical session on “Aerospace Structures: De- Agency’s (ADA) advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), forsign and Analysis, Materials, Engines, Stealth”, Finally, a techni- merly known as the medium combat aircraft (MCA), Dreamliner cal session on “Aerospace Ground Infrastructure and Support: safety issues, AW101s induction, IAF’s selection of Airbus Military A330 MRTT multi-role tanker transport ($1,5 billion) for its Training, Air Defence, Simulators, Airports, MRO, Safety”. Aero India 2013 is being organised by the Department of next generation of mid-air refuelling tankers, 22 Boeing Apache Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD), in association AH-64D selection, purchase of 15 Boeing’s Chinook heavy-lift with the DRDO, Department of Civil Aviation, Department of helicopters, purchase of 10 Globemaster III C-17, six additional Space, IAF and HAL and managed by the Federation of Indian C-130J Super Hercules, Indian Navy’s eight Boeing P-81 mariChambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Flight safety for time patrol aircraft, Chinese developing J21 (equivalent of F-35) among many others. Another issue could the flying display and security for the be speculation on shift of Aero India to a event venue are the key result areas. The location away from Bengaluru. minimum height for straight and level The crowd will miss this year the fly pasts would be 300 ft above ground popular performances of IAF’s Surya level (AGL), and for all other manoeuvres India’s first air show, Kiran aerobatic team, which will not be including fly past is 500 ft AGL. Only subAvia India, was held performing for the first time since 1996. sonic manoeuvres are permitted; strictly in December 1993 in February 2013 is going to be exciting going by the saying, “He who demands time. Glamour is literally in the air. The everything that his aircraft can give him Bangalore which was a hospitality industry and the airlines are is a pilot; he that demands one iota more privately organised air fully booked. There is a plate full of curry is a fool”. and catalogues waiting.  SP Some of the most talked about subshow with some help from jects at the show this year would include, the government and was a impact of defence budget cuts, who gets The author was the Flight Display precursor to Aero India the 197 light utility helicopters (more than Director during Aero India 2003 Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   25

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Modernisation

acquisitions & upgrades: the IAF is embarked on a comprehensive modernisation drive

Looking Ahead

Photograph: IAF

IAF’s long-term perspective plan, based on the perceived security challenges up to the end of the Fourteenth Five Year Plan indicates that it will progressively build its strength and capability to face a two-front war. Hopefully, adequate budgetary support would be available in the years to come through to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Plans for the programme to stay on track. The IAF may have its wish list, but the budget must provide for at least the next decade, if not more, for plans to transform into reality.


By Air Marshal (Retd) Dhiraj Kukreja

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has come a long way from its humble beginnings to becoming a strategic force today with tremendous potential to deter adversaries. Currently, the IAF is embarked on a comprehensive modernisation drive to significantly enhance all facets of capability through a string of new acquisition and upgrades. Its long-term perspective plan (LTPP), based on the perceived security challenges up to the end of the Fourteenth Five Year Plan indicates that it will progressively build its strength and capability to face a two-front war. It aims to possess a credible airlift capability with extended reach and ability to deploy Special Forces. It will continue to maintain a combat fleet strength of 34 squadrons through the Twelfth Five Year Plan, reaching 42 squadrons by the Fourteenth Five Year Plan and hopefully touch 45 squadrons by the centenary year of 2032. 26    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Combat Aircraft As part of the modernisation programme for the combat fleet which is the sharp end of the IAF, the Mirage 2000, Jaguar and the Mig-29 fleets are being upgraded to meet the needs of the future. The IAF is also keen for a replacement for the fivesquadron fleet which has been overtaken by obsolescence. The choice for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) has been narrowed down to the Dassault Rafale and is in the final stages of contract negotiations. The contract was to be signed in the current fiscal but with the cut in the budget announced recently, finalisation of the contract may be pushed to the next financial year. The first batch of aircraft would then be inducted in service with a slight delay from the initial schedule of late 2014, to remain flying for the next 40 years. Including in the list of multi-role platforms, the IAF has also

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Aero India 2013 Special Military/Modernisation

decided to increase the size of the Su-30MKI fleet and build up to a strength of 15 squadrons. With a view to induct fifth generation technology with stealth and swing role capability, India has entered into an agreement with Russia for the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), a twin-seat derivative of the PAK-FA T-50. The FGFA programme is progressing well and the first prototype is likely to be delivered in India next year followed by two more prototypes subsequently in 2017 or a little later. By the end of the Fifteenth Five Year Plan, it is expected that the IAF inventory would largely comprise fourth- and fifth-generation combat aircraft. Phasing out of the MiG-21, which commenced some years ago, will continue and is likely to be completed by end 2013 barring a few MiG-21 Bison which will continue in service for a few more years. The indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas is yet to achieve final operational clearance (FOC), leading to a delay in its induction. This aircraft to be fitted with the GE414 engine to exploit its full potential is expected to serve the IAF till its centenary year. Transport Aircraft and Helicopters Apart from the combat element of the IAF, there is a special focus on the strategic reach capability too. With the bulk of the transport fleet being almost three decades old, there was an urgent need for new acquisitions. The first step towards modernisation was taken by the induction of the state-of-the-art C-130J Super Hercules four-engine turboprop aircraft. Six of these were procured initially and a follow up order for another six have been placed. This fleet is meant to provide the reach and delivery capabilities of the Special Forces. These aircraft also fill the gap in the medium-heavy category, resulting from the phasing out of the An-12 fleet in the late 1990s. The IL-76 strategic airlift aircraft has performed well since its induction in the IAF. It may still have a few years of service life but it cannot be ignored that the aircraft is ageing. IAF has done well to induct the C-17 Globemaster III, which as a 75-tonne payload capability and trans-continental range. Ten of these have been ordered with the first likely to be delivered sometimes this year and the delivery is to be completed in 2014. There is also likelihood of the IAF ordering additional six to ten aircraft, which if procured, would make it the largest C-17 operator outside of the US. The aircraft, with its capability of operating from high-altitude airfields in hot weather conditions, will provide the long required means to shorten the effective deployment timelines, both inter-theatre and intra-theatre, besides giving the flexibility of response at the national and international levels. The more than 100-strong fleet of An-32 with five-tonne payload capability inducted in the mid-1980s has been the workhorse of the IAF. The fleet has been given a fresh lease of life with a mid-life upgrade and will see the IAF through to the centenary year of 2032. It is planned to be supplemented and in due course replaced by a 100-seater multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) that is being developed as a joint venture with Russia. This 15 to 20-tonne class aircraft is expected to meet the tactical requirements of the air forces of Russia and India. A civil version will also be produced for the domestic and export markets. The Ministry of Defence has recently approved a replacement for the HS748 Avro aircraft procured in the mid-1960s from the UK. For the first time, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is not being involved as its order-books are already overflowing. The selected original equipment manufacturer will chose either a public or a private sector company as its partner and will provide a tremendous boost to the domestic aerospace sector. The light-weight Do228 Dornier produced by HAL is 28    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

likely to continue in service as a communication and training aircraft, as the IAF has ordered an additional 14 of these. The strength of the helicopter fleet is also slated for an increase. In the indigenous segment, induction in large numbers is under way of the advanced light helicopter Dhruv, its weaponised version, the Rudra, the newly designed light combat helicopter and the light utility helicopter. The IAF is also inducting the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, the CH47F Chinook heavy-lift machine and the Augusta AW101 for VIP use. In addition, 80 MI-17V5 medium-lift helicopters are also under procurement and the global tender for 197 light-utility helicopters is expected to be finalised soon. With the numbers being ordered and an option for “more of the same”, the fleet will have a varied inventory of Russian, American, European and indigenous helicopters to see it through to the centenary year. Other Acquisitions The IAF has paid attention to other areas as well, where new acquisitions or upgrades would take it to the end of the Fifteenth Five Year Plan (2032). The modernisation programme includes trainer fleets, force multipliers, an updated air defence system and modernisation of airfield infrastructure. The IAF has already ordered the PC-7 Pilatus as the replacement for the HPT32 basic trainer. On induction, hopefully by mid-2013, the option for more aircraft will be exercised to have the same aircraft for the Stage-II training as well, since the HJT16 Kiran is ready to be phased out after serving in the IAF for more than four decades. Besides, the time frame for the availability of the HAL-designed intermediate jet trainer is uncertain. After the initial teething problems, the BAE Hawk132 advanced jet trainer (AJT) fleet has stabilised and will definitely see the IAF through to the end of the Fourteenth Five Year Plan and even beyond. A gap-free radar cover for the Indian air space will be in place with the induction of new radars and aerostats to replace the legacy systems. Radars of different types, some indigenous, are in the process of being acquired, with a few already having been delivered. The IAF was the first in the region to acquire three airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. While the case for another three aircraft is being progressed, IAF is also going ahead with the procurement of a different airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system based on the Embraer 145 aircraft. Apart from these, the number of unmanned platforms (UAVs) will also be continuously increasing for tackling varied threats that are envisaged in the future. The case for additional flight refueller aircraft (FRA) after the initial three, has been cleared, with the IAF opting for the Airbus A330 MRTT. With such high-technology aircraft and weapons, the IAF is also focused on upgrading its operating environment at the airfields with the state-of-the-art navigation and avionics systems and seamless integrated communications for effective air defence command and control. The IAF will also acquire a platform in the fourth dimension space, with a dedicated satellite for itself. Budgetary Support The LTPP of the IAF has been integrated with those of the Army and the Navy in the long-term integrated perspective plan (LTIPP) and accepted by the government. Though acquisitions have already commenced, there are roadblocks in the modernisation programme such as the recent budget cut of `10,000 crore. Hopefully, adequate budgetary support would be available in the years to come through to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Five Year Plans for the programme to stay on track. The IAF may have its wish list, but the budget must provide for at least the next decade, if not more, for plans to transform into reality.  SP

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Diplomacy

illustration: Anoop Kamath

Dream Unfolds The world’s biggest democracies finally stand on a shared platform; have some congruence in their world view; and most importantly feel the need to work together on many a count. Years of low trust and lack of understanding, even when sharing similar values, had kept them apart. By Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra

Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   29


Aero India 2013 Special Military/Diplomacy

Historically, the relationship between India and the US had been strong. This was reflected in the visit of Swami Vivekananda, who introduced Yoga and Vedanta to America. Vivekananda was the first known Hindu sage to come to the West, where in 1893, he introduced Eastern thought at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago.. His first lecture began with the line, “Sisters and brothers of America ...” This salutation drew a thunderous applause possibly because the audience was always used to the opening words “Ladies and gentlemen....” It was this speech that catapulted Vivekananda to fame. Mark Twain visited India in 1896 and described it in his travelogue. During its independence movement, India looked up to America who supported the Indian independence in 1947. In fact, the Indian National Congress took its name after the American Congress which had declared independence from the British in 1776. The first aviation contact between the two nations dates back to ‘The Hump’ airlift, a name given by Allied pilots in World War II to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to resupply the forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the US Army Air

Photographs: Sp Guide Pubns, Boeing

Purchases: IAF is likely to get Honeywell F-125IN turbofan Engine to Re-engine Jaguars

Forces (USAAF) based in China. Creating an airlift capability presented the USAAF considerable challenges in 1942. It had no units trained or equipped for moving cargo and no airfields existed in India for basing the large number of transports that would be required. Flying over the Himalayas was extremely dangerous and made more difficult by the lack of reliable charts, absence of radio navigation aids, and dearth of information about the weather. Originally referred to as the ‘India-China Ferry’, it was initially handled by the Assam-Burma-China Command called India-China Division. The airlift began in April 1942 after the Japanese blocked the Burma Road and continued on a daily basis from May 1942 to August 1945. After India’s independence and until the end of the Cold War, the relationship between the US and India was cold and often thorny. In 1959, Dwight Eisenhower was the first US Pres30    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

ident to visit India to strengthen the staggering ties. He was so supportive that the New York Times remarked, “It did not seem to matter much whether Nehru had actually requested or been given a guarantee that the US would help India meet further Chinese Communist aggression. What mattered was the obvious strengthening of Indian-American friendship to a point where no such guarantee was necessary.” During John F. Kennedy’s tenure as President, India was considered a strategic partner and counterweight to the rise of Communist China. The Kennedy administration was also disturbed by what was considered “blatant Chinese Communist aggression against India” in 1962. In May 1963, the US discussed contingency planns that could be implemented in the event of another Chinese attack on India. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor reportedly advised the President to use nuclear weapons if America had to intervene. Kennedy insisted that Washington defend India as it would any ally, saying, “We should defend India, and therefore, we will defend India.” Kennedy’s Ambassador to India was the noted CanadianAmerican economist John Kenneth Galbraith. While in India,

Twin-engine attack helicopter: Boeing Apache AH-64 Longbow

Galbraith helped establish one of the first Indian computer science departments at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. As an economist, he also presided over the then largest US foreign aid programme to any country. Joint Exercises On November 6, 1963, six US Air Force (USAF) Tactical Air Command F-100 Super-Sabres landed in Delhi after a non-stop flight from Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. They were the first of three waves of the US fighters participating in Exercise Shiksha. The accounts of Wing Commander Donald Michael and Willy Logan best summarised the first serious interaction between the two Air Forces. The planes flew over the airfield in tight formation and then circled around to land. As each high-performance fighter touched down, it deployed a parachute to help lose speed. After the pilots had disembarked , the US Embassy officials and IAF brass

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Diplomacy

corded the guests a ceremonial welcome. The US Ambassador Chester Bowles addressed the pilots, wishing them success on their “important mission” of bolstering India’s air defences. Preparations for Exercise Shiksha had begun shortly after the air agreement of July 1963. In August and September, USAF planes airlifted radar components to India. American crew oversaw the erection of radars and trained Indian personnel in their use. The American F-100 pilots of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing spent a month preparing for the exercise. In addition to practising aerial refuelling and other technical skills, the pilots learned about social and political conditions in South Asia by watching the US Army “Area Study” films. Exercise Shiksha was held in the Eastern and Western Air Commands of the IAF Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Arjan Singh (now Marshal of the IAF) as the overall commander. Each sector had its own sub-commander from the IAF. In the eastern sector, AVM Shivdev Singh oversaw the exercise with RAF and IAF aircraft based at IAF Kalaikunda, West Bengal. In the western sector, AVM E.W. Pinto oversaw the operations of USAF and IAF crew based at Palam. Two Australian Canberra bombers flew out of Agra. In addition to IAF Hunter, Gnat and Canberra units; the RAAF fielded a Canberra detachment, 64 Squadron, RAF a Javelin detachment, and the USAF F-100 Squadron, the 356th TFS. Ironically, four decades later similar venues were to be host to Cope India series of Indo-US exercises, Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Agra. “The purpose of Cope India ‘04 was to conduct bilateral training in order to enhance US-India relationship as also promote regional security and stability in the Asian-Pacific area,” said Colonel Greg Neubeck, Third Operations Group Deputy Commander and the commander of US Forces deployed for the exercise. “The most immediate result will be the increased understanding of each other’s capabilities and work together as a combined and integrated team.” Cope India became a series of international air exercises between the USAF and the IAF conducted in India. The first such exercise, which required many months of preparation, was conducted from February 16 to 27, 2004 at Air Force Station in Gwalior which also houses the Tactics Air Combat Development Establishment and the . Dassault Mirage 2000 squadrons. Brought in for the exercise were Sukhoi Su-30s not the MKI). Five MiG-29s were used in a peripheral role and an An-32 flew as a simulated AWACS. The exercise included flight tests, practise and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation. There were also media and social interaction among air warriors of the two nations. After the event, the IAF indicated that the mutual respect and bonhomie that developed between the two sides had laid a firm foundation for higher bilateralism. According to press reports, representatives of the US found it a “positive experience” that led to the re-evaluation of some assumptions about the US air tactics. The exercise was repeated in 2005, 2006 and 2009. The US pilots faced innovative IAF tactics. Performance of F-15Cs in simulated air-to-air combat against the IAF was perceived by some, both in the US and overseas, as a weakening of American capabilities generating taunts from within the competitive US fighter community. The Cope India exercise also seemingly shocked some in Congress and the Pentagon who used the event to renew the call for modernising the US fighter force with stealthy F/A-22 and F-35 joint strike fighters. USAF planners saw Cope India as the first step in a series of annual exchange exercises. The Indo-US joint air exercise Cope 05 was held at Kalaikunda Air Force station amid protests from CPI (M) and other Left parties. F-16 Fighting Falcons and E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft participated for the first time in the massive two-week joint exercise besides the IAF’s Su-30MKI,

MiG-29, MiG-27 and MiG-21 BIS. KC-130 refuelling aircraft also took part in the Pacific Air Force sponsored exercise. The Kalaikunda Air Force Base which is strategically located with large airspace and practice ranges, became the first base in India to have played host to the USAF F-16 and an E3C Sentry AWACS. Cope India 09 was an airlift exercise that provided training for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. A total of 25 sorties were flown on the C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 H and J Hercules during the exercise, which took place at Agra which houses the IAF’s strategic airlift assets. The objectives of the exercise were to foster stronger cooperation and joint operations capability between the US and Indian forces by exchanging humanitarian airlift, air-land and air drop capabilities. Additionally, more than 110 US and Indian paratroopers conducted static line or high-altitude low-observable jumps in the first known airdrops of IAF personnel from a US C-17 and C-130J aircraft. The Cope India series were followed by IAF participation in Red Flag exercise which is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, the latter location being known as Red Flag–Alaska and being a successor to the previous Cope Thunder exercise series. SU-30MKIs along with two IL-78 mid-air refuellers and an IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft participated. Dawn of a New Relationship These exercises saw the beginning of a new relationship, unfolding of the dream Indo-US aviation story. The IAF was exposed to American platforms and their employability. Early 2008, under the foreign military sales (FMS) programme of the US Government, the IAF purchased six C-130J-30s at a cost of over $1 billion (`5,000 crore) for special operations. with options to buy six more aircraft. The Lockheed Martin C-130J “Super” Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service, the aircraft has participated in military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. Fifteen nations placed orders for a total of 300 C-130Js, of which nearly 260 aircraft have been delivered. The C-130J is the newest version of the Hercules and the only model still in production. Externally similar to the classic Hercules, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprops with composite propellers, digital avionics including head-up displays for each pilot, thus reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its predecessors, such as 40 per cent greater range, 21 per cent higher maximum speed and 41 per cent shorter take-off distance The largest operator of the ‘J’ version is the USAF, which has ordered the aircraft in increasing numbers. Other operators of the C-130J are the US Marine Corps US Coast Guard, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Danish Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, IAF and the Italian Air Force. The Indian Government decided not to sign the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), which resulted in the exclusion of high precision GPS and other sensitive equipment. However, the IAF added similar equipment produced indigenously. Satisfied with the performance of the C-130J in the earthquake relief operation in Sikkim, in October 2011, India decided to exercise the option for the six additional aircraft. The $1.2-billion (`6,000 crore) contract was finalised in February 2008. The first C-130J was delivered to the IAF in DecemIssue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   31

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Diplomacy

Satisfactory Performance: IAF’s Lockheed Martin C-130J

Photographs: Sp guide pubns, USAF

ber 2010. The third and fourth C-130Js were delivered in June 2011, the fifth in September and the sixth in December 2011. The C-130J is equipped with a Honeywell dual embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS), an Enhanced Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (E-TCAS), a ground collision avoidance system, SKE2000 station keeping system, and an Instrument Landing System (ILS). The cargo bay of the C-130J has a total usable volume of more than 4,500 cu ft and can accommodate loads up to 37,216 lb which could include three armoured personnel carriers, five pallets, 74 stretchers, 92 equipped combat troops or 64 paratroops. The bay is equipped with cargo handling rollers, tie-down rings, stowage containers and stowage for troop seats. The ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning system uses electro-optic sensors to detect missile exhaust and advanced signal processing algorithms and spectral selection to analyse and prioritise threats. The BAE Systems AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver is a super heterodyne receiver operating in the 2GHz to 20 GHz bands. The BAE Systems Integrated Defence Solutions (formerly Tracor) AN/ALE-47 countermeasures system is capable of dispensing chaff and infra-red flares in addition to the POET and GEN-X active expendable decoys. The Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-157 infrared countermeasures system generates a varying frequency-agile infrared jamming signal. The engines are equipped with Full-Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) by Lucas Aerospace. An automatic thrust control system (ATCS) optimises the balance of power on the engines, allowing lower values of minimum control speeds and superior short-airfield performance. The aircraft can carry a maximum internal fuel load of 45,900 lb. An additional 18,700 lb of fuel can be carried in under-wing fuel tanks. Strategic Airlift Capability The next big deal was the $5.8 billion (`31900 crore) order for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic Airlift Aircraft. Developed for the USAF in the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo ovr transcontinental range. Additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and supply drop. Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s, continues to manufacture C-17 for export customers following the end of deliveries to the USAF. Apart from the USAF, the C-17 is operated by 32    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Boeing Chinook: selected for IAF’s Heavylift category

the UK, Australia, Canada, Qatar, UAE and the NATO. “Compared with the IL-76, the C-17’s advantages include its easier handling (and ability to operate from short and rough airstrips. The Indian military needs to do three things: augment its ability to quickly lift larger numbers of troops as it views possible threats on its border with China; strengthen its presence on the Pakistani border; fight terrorism and low-intensity warfare and triple its airlift capacity,’’ said a senior Defence Ministry official. The C-17 has a 77.5-tonnes payload capacity vis-à-vis the IL-76’s 43 tonnes. Boeing in Huntington Beach, CA received a $21.7 million (`108 crore) fixed-price contract to build C-17 bed-down infrastructure in India, with an estimated completion date of December 2014. The cost at which the aircraft is being supplied to India is commensurate with the cost at which it is supplied to the USAF and allies. All ten C-17 aircraft with associated equipment are expected to be delivered to the IAF between June 2013 and June 2015. Pratt & Whitney’s four F117-PW-100 engines will power the C-17 Globemaster III for the IAF. Was it a “India’s consolation prize to the US,” media reported that India may be moving toward a larger C-17 order faster than previously planned as a partial effort to offset the fallout from having American fighters shut out of the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition. A larger buy actually gives Indian regular and special forces higher mobility. On the Maritime Front The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the multi-mission maritime aircraft ) is a military aircraft currently under development for the US Navy (USN). The aircraft is modified from the Boeing 737-800. The P-8 meant to conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and shipping interdiction and to engage in Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) role. It will carry torpedoes, depth charges, anti-ship missiles, sonobuoys and other weapons. In January 2008, Boeing proposed the P-8I, a customised export variant of the P-8A, for the Indian Navy. India’s MoD signed an agreement with Boeing for the supply of eight P-8I aircraft at a cost of $2.1 billion (`10,500 crore) to replace Indian Navy’s aging Tu-142M maritime surveillance turboprops. The deal makes India the first international customer of the P-8 and also marks Boeing’s first military sale to India. In October 2010, purchase of four additional P-8I was approved. In March 2011, it was reported that India was to order four additional P-8I from Boeing

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Aero India 2013 Special Military/Diplomacy

be worth about $1 billion (`5,000 crore). The potential deals will mark a major shift for India towards diversifying its deBoth the US and Russia fence purchases and moving away from were also locked in its decades-long reliance on Russia. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a twina battle to supply 15 engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. heavy-lift helicopters to With a top speed of 170 knots, the helithe IAF, with the Boeingcopter is faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s. It is manufactured CH-47 one of the few aircraft of that era along Rotary Wing Domain Chinooks competing with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 HerThe IAF will also soon have Boeing’s cules cargo aircraft that is still in producwith the Russian Mi-26 $1.4-billion (`7,000 crore) Apache Longtion and frontline service, with over 1,179 bow helicopters in its inventory. The choppers built till date. Its primary roles include deal for 22 heavy-duty Apache helicoptroop movement, artillery emplacement ters was bagged by the US beating the and battlefield resupply. It has a wide Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant’s loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage Mi-28 Havoc. “The Apache helicopters deal has been finalised and it would be flown, maintained and and three external-cargo hooks. The CH-47 is powered by two turboshaft engines, mounted paid for by the IAF,” said Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Maron each side of the helicopter’s rear end and connected to the shal N.A.K. Browne. The AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack he- rotors by drive shafts. Initial models were fitted with engines licopter with a tail wheel-type landing gear arrangement and of 2,200 horsepower. The counter-rotating rotors eliminate the a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. Originally, the Apache need for an anti-torque vertical rotor, allowing all power to be started life as US Army’s advanced attack helicopter programme used for lift and thrust. The ability to adjust lift in either rotor to replace the AH-1 Cobra and was first flown on September makes it less sensitive to changes in the centre of gravity, impor30, 1975. The AH-64 was introduced to the US Army service in tant for the cargo lifting role. If one engine fails, the other can April 1986. The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor drive both rotors. The Chinook has considerable combat exposure, having suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 millimetre M230 chain gun carried under the forward first arrived in Vietnam in November 1965. The most spectacufuselage. It has four hard points mounted on stub-wing pylons, lar mission in Vietnam for the Chinook was the placing of artypically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and tillery batteries in perilous mountain positions inaccessible by Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has considerable systems re- any other means, and then keeping them resupplied with large quantities of ammunition. The CH-47D has seen wide use in Opdundancy to improve combat survivability. The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded eration Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi version of the original Apache, was delivered to the Army in Freedom. The Chinook is being used in air assault missions, March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense inserting troops into fire bases and later bringing in supplies. It Space & Security; over 1,000 AH-64s have been produced till is also the casualty evacuation aircraft of choice in the British date. The US Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has Armed Forces. With a three-man crew, the Chinook carries up to 55 troops also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore; or 12,700 kg of cargo. At 98 ft 10 in length, it is a huge aircraft as well as being produced under licence in the UK as the Agus- with rotor diameter 60 ft . Maximum take-off weight is 22,680 kg, taWestland Apache. The US AH-64 has served in conflicts in is powered by two Lycoming T55-GA-714A turboshaft engines Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel delivering 4,733 hp each. The helicopter has a maximum speed has made active use of the Apache in its military conflicts in of 170 knots, combat radius of 200 nm, ferry range of 1,216 nm Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; both British and the US AH-64 and can be armed with three pintle-mounted medium machine guns, one on loading ramp and two at shoulder windows. have seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Born in the US and flown in India, the American military The two-man crew helicopter has a rotor diameter of 48 ft, height 12.7 ft, empty weight 5,165 kg, maximum take-off machines help bring the world’s two largest democracies on weight 10,433 kg, two General Electric T700-GE-701D (AH- to a common platform, develop congruence in world view and 64E) turboshafts, 1,490 kW each. Never exceed speed 197 most importantly, feel the need to work together on several knots, combat radius 260 nm, ferry range 1,024 nm, service fronts. Years of trust deficit and lack of understanding, even ceiling 21,000 ft with minimum load, guns 1× 30mm with when sharing similar values, had kept them apart. As cricketer 1,200 rounds as part of the area weapon subsystem. Four py- Navjot Singh Sidhu says, “You cannot make omelettes without lon stations on the stub wings. Longbows also have a station breaking the eggs. One who doesn’t throw the dice can never on each wingtip for an AIM-92 ATAS twin-missile pack. Seventy expect to score a six. You got to choose between tightening your 70mm air-to-ground rockets, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. AIM- belt and losing your pants.” We gave them Sunita Williams, they will share technology. As the African saying goes: “If you want 92 Stinger may also be carried. Both the US and Russia were also locked in a battle to sup- to walk quickly, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk togethply 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF, with the Boeing-man- er.” Aerospace is the place for action. And India and the United ufactured CH-47 Chinooks competing with the Russian Mi-26 States have taken a conscious decision.  SP choppers. These 15 helicopters will replace IAF’s ageing Russian Mi-26 helicopters. Boeing’s twin-rotor Chinook was chosen The author was formerly Commandant of Aircraft and recently as the preferred bidder. The Chinook deal is likely to Systems Establishment (ASTE) later in the year. India may exercise options for additional aircraft later. Deliveries are planned to start in 2013. The first P-8I was handed over to an Indian naval team at the Boeing facility at Seattle on December 19, 2012. The Indian Navy is to fly it to India along with the second and third aircraft after these handed over in May and June of 2014.

34    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

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Aero India 2013 Special Military/Fighters

Mirage to

Rafale Illustration: Anoop Kamath

The Indo-French aviation relationship will once again be cemented for decades ahead. The ‘commercial’ approach of the French Government was not always appreciated by its Western allies, but it enhanced France’s image in Delhi, which considered France as probably the most reliable Western ‘friend’.

By Air Marshal (Retd) Anil Chopra

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Aero India 2013 Special Military/Fighters

During the initial training of test pilots, one is taught to assess an aircraft’s characteristics by just looking at it. The saying goes: “The prettier the aircraft to look at, the better it is to fly’’. The wing-body blending, the intake design, the shape of the wing, the incline of fuselage, the size of the vertical stabiliser, the wheel base, all indicate unique design features. For centuries, the French have been associated with finer things of life; their language was adopted by the kings and the courts, their cuisine, fashion, wine, cheese, French fries and finally the French kiss and French leave, all added to the mystique. French Revolution greatly influenced the world. The French have given much more to the world than the Eiffel Tower. In 1783, the Montgolfier brothers of France reportedly became the first in history to leave the earth’s surface in a balloon. Aviation madness was born! The next step, Powered Flight! December 1903 saw Wright Brothers beat others to it. It wasn’t until 1906 that the French, Brazilianborn Albert Santos-Dumont with Bleriot and Voisin cheering him on from the side lines, achieved a flight covering 722 feet in just over 22 seconds.

Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   37

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Fighters

French Aircraft in the IAF – Early Days After World War II, aviation designer Marcel Dassault was eager to reestablish the aviation industry with an all-French jet fighter. The MD450 (Marcel Dassault) Ouragan was the first French-designed jet fighter-bomber to enter production, playing a key role in resurgence of the French aviation industry. The Ouragan was later operated by France, Israel, India and El Salvador. While in Israeli service, it participated in both the Suez Crisis and the Six-Day War. The Ouragan was small and light and had a thin wing similar to the one on the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star. Association of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with French aircraft began on June 25, 1953 when India ordered 71 Ouragans. Deliveries started that year and was completed in March 1954. An additional order for 33 second-hand Ouragans in March 1957 brought the total to 104. Selection of the Dassault Ouragan at the time reflected the Indian intent to initiate diversification of supply sources. Rechristened as the ‘Toofani’ (Hurricane), the aircraft undertook air strikes against the Portuguese territory of Diu. They were also used in ground attack missions against rebels in Assam and Nagaland, and for reconnaissance missions in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The IAF started to replace the Ouragan in frontline service in 1957 by the Mystère IVA, the first “supersonic-in-a-dive” aircraft. Toofanis were withdrawn fully from frontline service in 1965, although they continued to be in use for some years as advanced trainer and for target towing. Of the five sdquadrons of Mysteres in the IAF, No. 1 Squadron was the first to be raised in 1957. Squadron Leader Dilbagh Singh, later Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), was the team leader for training in France. Interestingly, as the CAS, he selected No. 1 Squadron to receive the Mirage 2000. The remaining four squadrons of Mysteres were raised by 1965. In all, the IAF procured 104 of Mysteres and used them extensively in the IndoPakistani War of 1965. On September 7, 1965, an Indian Mystere shot down a Pakistani Lockheed F-104 Starfighter in a raid over Sargoda and on September 16, a Pakistani L-19. The Mystere pilot Devayya who shot down the Starfighter, was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously 23 years after the battle. Mystère IVs also destroyed Pakistani aircraft on the ground including four F-86F, three F-104 and two Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The phasing out of the aircraft started after the 1965 War; though it saw further action in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. It was phased out by 1973.

curement of SA-2 (Dvina) surface-to-air missiles. IAF thereafter remained the Russian way for a very long time. Enter the Mirage 2000 The Dassault Mirage 2000, a French multi-role single-engine jet was designed for the French Air Force in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter based on the Mirage III. It later evolved into several variants. These include the Mirage 2000N and 2000D strike variants, the improved Mirage 2000-5 and several export variants. Over 600 aircraft were built and are in service in at least nine countries. The Mirage 2000 evolved from a series of Dassault projects in the period 1965 to 1975. The first in this series was a project known as the “Anglo-French Variable Geometry” swing-wing aircraft, begun in 1965. The French pulled out in 1967. The British, Germans and Italians, eventually produced the Panavia Tornado multi-role combat aircraft. Dassault had been working on other fighter options in the meantime. These alternatives were smaller, simpler and cheaper. Another important reason for Dassault to push the development of a smaller aircraft was to give the company a competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. It took the form of a number of “Mini-Mirage (Mimi)” concepts. These concepts evolved into an aircraft known at first as the “Super Mirage III”, then the “Delta 1000”, “Delta 2000”, “Super Mirage 2000”, and finally just “Mirage 2000”. Mirage 2000 was much more affordable and was given approval to proceed by the French Government on December 18, 1975. The Mirage 2000 featured a low-set, thin delta wing with cambered section, 58 degrees leading-edge sweep and moderately blended root; area-ruled; two small canard wings, fixed, placed just behind the air intakes. Four elevons (+15/−30°, carbon-fibre skins with light alloy honeycomb structure as core) and four slats formed part of the four computer (analogue) controlled fly-by-wire control system. Relaxed stability gave it enhanced manoeuvrability. A much taller tailfin allowed the pilot to retain control at higher angles of attack, assisted by the small strakes mounted along each air intake. The landing roll could be reduced by robust carbon brakes, an arrester hook and a tail chute. A removable refuelling probe was mounted on the right of the cockpit. The prototype made its first flight on March 10, 1978, by test pilot Jean Coreau at the controls. Despite many new technologies, the prototype flew in only 27 months. Radar development was critical in the Mirage 2000 project. Despite obstacles it was operationally introduced in 1982. At the Farnborough Air Show that year, they demonstrated full control at little over a 100 kts and 26 degree angle of attack. For a delta-wing fighter, it was a great achievement and once again proved the power of active controls technology. The Mirage 2000 was one of the stars of that show and a direct competitor to the F-16. Finally, the first dual-seat Mirage 2000B flew in October 1980 and the first production aircraft on November 20, 1982. With an override, it was possible to exceed a 270 degree/ sec roll rate and allow the aircraft to reach 11 g within the 12 g structural limit. The system was reliable with no known losses owing to its failure till date. It had incorporated hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls. The pilot sits on a Martin Baker Mk10, zero-zero ejection seat. Incidentally, I who was among the first batch of Indian pilots to train in France, had to recently

The Dassault Mirage 2000, a French multirole single-engine jet was designed for the French Air Force in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter based on the Mirage III.

The Soviet Connection Late in 1960, when as a result of the increasing frequency of clashes with Chinese forces on the Himalayan border, need was felt for increase in airlift capability, with a requirement for medium helicopters suitable for high-altitude operation. Orders were placed for the first time on the Soviet Union for An-12 and Ilyushin-14 transport aircraft as also Mi-4 helicopters. This decision taken in August 1962 was to profoundly alter the complexion and strength of the IAF. The Government of India signed up with the Soviet Union for supply of combat aircraft and missiles. First to be inducted were 12 MiG-21 fighters, the IAF’s first combat aircraft of non-western origin, followed by setting up of Russian aircraft production at Nasik, and the pro38    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Fighters

use the seat in flight, thus became the only known Air Marshal to have ejected from a fighter aircraft in the world. The cockpit visibility was quite good. Thomson-CSF RDM multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar had an operating range of 100 km, with look-down/shoot-down capabilities. The effective range was around 70 km with modest capabilities against low-level targets in conjunction with Super R530F/D missiles and Magic 2 A4M. The IAF received the first comprehensive electronic warfare (EW) suite on any aircraft with a self-protection jammer, RWR, chaff and flare dispenser, an escort jammer and an Elint Pod. Nearly 6.3 tonnes on nine pylons, with two pylons on each wing and five under the fuselage was a significant load. The IAF purchased 49 Mirage 2000s, including 42 singleseaters and seven two-seaters in the 1980s. In 2004, purchase of ten more Mirage 2000Hs were cleared. An upgrade was planned with the aim to give the aircraft better capabilities, bringing them to Mirage 2000-5 Mk 2 standards and extending its useful life for another 25 years. The $3 billion (`15,000 crore) contract was signed in 2011. Two squadrons, No 1 ‘Ti-

Photograph: Anoop Kamath

IAF’s Mystère IVA: the first “supersonicin-a-dive” aircraft

gers’ and No 7 ‘Battleaxes’, at Gwalior, operated the fleet. Later, the third squadron No 9 ‘Wolf Packs’ was formed. France, UAE, Taiwan, Greece, Egypt, Qatar, Peru, Brazil are the other operators of the Mirage 2000. The Mirage 2000 performed exceedingly well in the 1999 Kargil conflict. The battle took place over some of the highest terrain in the world where aircraft and weapons had their own limitations. Conventional targets like airfields, command and control centres and convoys did not exist. Instead the IAF was required to strike tents and fortified bunkers, the single biggest structure being a hangar capable of taking a helicopter. Heights varied along the line, with a low of 2,700 metres at Kargil, going up to 3,400 metres in Dras. Tiger Hill was at 5,000 metres. Due to the abundance of man-portable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) such as the Stingers with the enemy, the IAF decided after experience that high-altitude bombing by the Mirage 2000 was the best option. Thomson-CSF laser designator pod known as ‘ATLIS’ was capable of delivery of Matra 1,000 kg laser-guided bombs (LGBs) against reinforced targets. These weapons were very expensive. The IAF augmented their capability by adding the 1,000 lb bomb coupled with Paveway II LGB kit. The aircraft was modified to drop LGBs as well as conventional unguided bombs.

Two Mirage squadrons reportedly flew a total of 515 sorties, and in 240 strike missions dropped 55,000 kg of ordnance. Easy maintenance and a very high sortie rate made the Mirage 2000 one of the most efficient fighters of the IAF in the conflict. If war were to break out between India and Pakistan, the battle in the air would have been between two old arch rivals, the Indian Mirage 2000 H and the Pakistani F-16 A/B. Mirage 2000 is known to be slightly better at interception and attack role. The F-16 is good at dogfight. MiG 29 is very good at dogfight and interception but is low on endurance. MMRCA for the IAF In 2001, he IAF projected a requirement for 126 aircraft. There was an option for an additional 63 aircraft. Initial requirements appeared to be for a 20-tonne class fighter aircraft with the Mirage 2000 as the strongest contender. However, the 20-tonne MTOW limit requirement was removed. The IAF would also require replacements for its frontline strike aircraft like the MiG27 and Jaguar, which were to retire by 2015/20. India’s future aircraft, the Russian-Indian fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and the indigenous medium combat aircraft, would not be ready before 2018 and 2025 respectively, thus necessitating replacement. Hence the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender for a medium-weight aircraft (MTOW of 24 tonnes) as the MMRCA. The Indian Government was to buy the first 18 aircraft directly from the manufacturer. The remaining fighters were to be built under licence with a transfer of technology (ToT) by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Request for information (RFI) was issued in 2004, initially to four vendors: Dassault (Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2), Lockheed Martin (F-16C/D), Mikoyan (MiG-29OVT) and Saab (JAS 39 Gripen). On account of delay in the tendering process, Dassault replaced the Mirage 2000-5 with the offer of the Rafale. The MiG-35 was offered in place of the MiG-29OVT. Eurofighter Typhoon also entered the competition As also the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had allocated `82,000 crore for the purchase of these aircraft, making it India’s mother-ofall defence deals. The MMRCA was to fill the gap between its future light combat aircraft and its in-service Sukhoi Su-30MKI air superiority fighter. On April 27, 2011, after an intensive and detailed technical evaluation by the IAF, the race narrowed to the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale. On January 31, 2012, it was announced that Dassault Rafale won the competition due to its lower life-cycle cost. Contract negotiations are now on. The cost of the deal is likely to be about $20 billion (`1,00,000 crore), with options for purchasing additional aircraft. When the contract is finalised, the first 18 aircraft will be supplied directly by Dassault within about three years and the remainder will be produced under licence by the HAL. French twin-engine delta-wing fighter aircraft the Rafale, from Dassault Aviation, is called an omnirole fighter with semistealth capabilities. It is a multi-role combat aircraft capable of simultaneously undertaking air supremacy, interdiction, reconnaissance and airborne nuclear deterrent missions. Development of the Rafale In 1979, Dassault joined the MBB/BAe European Collaborative Fighter project which was renamed the European Combat Aircraft (ECA). The French company contributed the aerodynamic layout of prospective twin-engine, single-seat fighter; but the project collapsed in 1981. A number of factors led to the eventual split between France and the four countries. Around 1984, France reiterated its requirement for a carrier-capable version and demanded a leading role. Moreover, France demanded a Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   39

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Fighters

Rafale also features an advanced avionics suite. The passive swing-role fighter that was lighter than the design desired by the other four nations. West Germany, UK and Italy opted out front-sector electro-optical system can operate both in the visand established a new EFA programme to go ahead with the ible and infrared wavelengths. The total value of the radar, elecEurofighter. Spain rejoined the Eurofighter project in early Sep- tronic communications and self-protection equipment is about tember 1985. The four-nation project eventually resulted in the 30 per cent of the cost of the entire aircraft. The Rafale features an integrated electronic survival system named Self Protection Eurofighter Typhoon. In France, the government proceeded with its own pro- Equipment Countering Threats of Rafale Aircraft (SPECTRA), gramme. The French Ministry of Defence required an aircraft which protects the aircraft against airborne and ground threats. Areos all-weather, night-and-day-capable reconnaissance capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground, all-day and adverse weather operations. The Rafale was to replace a wide range of system used on the Rafale has the ability to transmit inforaircraft of the French Armed Forces justifying the high cost of mation such as images in real-time to ground stations. The RBE2 AA Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is exclusive development. The resultant Rafale, a technology demonstrator, was a planned to replace the existing passively-scanned RBE2. Radar large-delta winged fighter, with all-moving canards. It under- qualification is expected in early 2013. Development status was took maiden flight on July 4, 1986, at Istre. The demonstrator described as “on time and on budget”. By early 2014, the first was initially powered by General Electric F404-GE-400. The Air Force frontline squadron will receive Rafales equipped with M88 engine came in 1990. The aircraft also demonstrated su- the AESA radar. In March 2011, French Rafale began reconnaissance and per cruise, sustained supersonic flight without afterburners. Finally entering service in 2000, the Rafale is being produced strike missions over Libya in Opération Harmattan. They would both for the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations typically conduct six-hour sorties over Libyan airspace with in the French Navy. The aircraft has been employed in combat mid-air refuelling, carrying an armament of four MICA air-toair missiles, four or six AASM “Hammer” bombs, a Damoclès over Afghanistan, Libya and Mali. The Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a targeting pod and two drop tanks. In January 2013, the Rafale very high level of agility. Dassault chose to combine a delta took part of “Opération Serval”, the French military intervention in support to the Government of Mali wing with active close-coupled canard against the Movement for Oneness and to maximise manoeuvrability. The aeroJihad in West Africa. dynamically unstable aircraft uses digital The Indian decision of selecting the Rafly-by-wire flight control. The aircraft’s The Indian decision of fale was welcomed in France. Dassault Avicanards also act to reduce the minimum ation shares soared more than 21 per cent landing speed to 115 knots. According to selecting the Rafale on the Paris Stock Exchange immediately simulations by Dassault, the Rafale has was welcomed in France. after the news broke. Nicolas Sarkozy said sufficient slow speed performance to opDassault Aviation shares the selection of Dassault’s Rafale multi-role erate from STOBAR-configured aircraft fighter “goes far beyond the company that carriers and can take off using a ski-jump soared more than 21 per makes them far beyond aerospace, it is with no modifications. cent on the Paris Stock a vote of confidence in the entire French Although not a full-aspect stealth aireconomy”. The office of the French Presicraft, the cost of which was viewed as unExchange immediately dent issued a statement: World’s biggest acceptably high, the Rafale was designed after the news broke. French kiss-IAF picks Rafale for deal that for a reduced radar cross-section (RCS) can reshape Europe’s defence industry. and infrared signature. In order to reduce Officials are predicting mid-2013 signing the RCS, changes from the initial technolof the deal. Pessimists feel that funds reogy demonstrator include a reduction in the size of the tail-fin, fuselage reshaping, repositioning of the quired for a populist election may slip the contract further. At 50 engine air inlets underneath the aircraft’s wing, and the exten- per cent offsets are going to be a more complex issue to handle. India is fine-tuning a contract to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets, sive use of composite materials and serrated patterns for the Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said in Paris that France construction of the trailing edges of the wings and canards. The Rafale’s glass cockpit was designed around the principle would have to “wait a little” to pop the bubbly. “We know good of data fusion. A central computer intelligently selects and pri- French wine takes time to mature and so do good contracts,” oritises information to display to pilots for simplified command Khurshid said after a meeting with French Foreign Minister and control. An integrated direct voice input (DVI) system allows Laurent Fabius. France is keen to make its first foreign sale a range of aircraft functions to be controlled by a pilot’s voice of the Rafale, which has struggled to find buyers to support a commands. The primary flight controls are arranged in HOTAS project that has cost tens of billions of Euros. The Indo-French aviation relationship will once again be compatible configuration, with a right-handed side-stick controlcemented for decades ahead. The ‘commercial’ approach of the ler and a left-handed throttle. The cockpit features a wide-angle holographic head-up French Government was not always appreciated by its Westdisplay (HUD), two head-down flat-panel colour multi-function ern allies, but it enhanced France’s image in Delhi, which condisplays (MFDs) as well as a central collimated display. A head- sidered France as probably the most reliable Western ‘friend’. mounted display (HMD) is under development. The cockpit is Traditionally, India and France, have been enjoying an exceptionally warm relationship, which is the fruit of deep affinities fully compatible with night vision goggles (NVG). In terms of survivability, the Rafale is fitted with a Martin- and the unwavering trust between the two countries since the Baker Mark 16F “zero-zero” ejection seat. Like the F-16, seats independence of India.  SP are inclined 29° rearwards to improve G-force tolerance and provide better external view. An onboard oxygen generating The writer was among the few pilots originally trained in system eliminates the need to carry bulky oxygen canisters. France on Mirage 2000 40    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Trainers

For basic flying training: IAF has ordered 75 Pilatus PC-7 MKII aircraft. delivery begins from february first half This Year.

An Uninspiring Saga

Photograph: Pilatus

Why is HAL unable to produce a basic, intermediate or advanced trainer aircraft? China and Korea have gone far ahead of India in this field. Is there some deficiency in the indigenous design capability or is there excessive interference from the omnipresent bureaucracy?


By Air Marshal (Retd) Narayan Menon

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the largest aerospace facility in South Asia. It has entered into collaboration with several international companies to produce under licence or co-produce a range of military aircraft. HAL also has its own indigenous design and production divisions along with a captive market comprising the Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Army, the Indian Navy and a host of other Indian security agencies. Despite having such credentials, a military aviation student would be curious and puzzled to learn that HAL is unable to meet even the trainer aircraft requirements of the Indian military, especially when such has not been the case earlier. In 1953, HAL produced the HT-2, a piston-engine basic trainer that remained in service for over three decades, though some problems were encountered during its last few years. Its replacement, the HPT-32 powered by Lycoming piston en-

gine, which first flew in 1977 and became operational in 1984, served the IAF till 2009. The HPT-32 has had a chequered flight as a basic trainer and on many occasions had to be temporarily grounded due to accidents resulting from recurring engine failure in flight. The IAF had advised the government and HAL that the HPT-32 would have to be phased out earlier than planned, and that the induction of a new basic trainer had become an urgent necessity. Neither the government nor the HAL took any concrete action to address this specific requirement. In July 2009, subsequent to a fatal crash involving two pilots in an HPT-32, the IAF grounded the entire fleet of 116 aircraft as being unsafe to fly. The originally planned phase-out of HPT32 was to be 2014, by which time HAL’s new basic trainer-the HTT-40 was to be available. HAL tried to come up with alternative plans to revive the HPT-32, including a rather bizarre one Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   41

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Trainers

rather bleak at this stage. Transport and helicopter trainees also fly 85 hours during Stage-II. Pilot trainees who successfully complete Stage-II are awarded the President’s Commission. Trainees who do not make the grade but are medically fit can opt for commission in the Navigation Branch. Today there are openings as Weapon Systems Operator in the Sukhoi-30 aircraft and UAV crew in the IAF. In Stage III, fighter trainees move to Bidar to fly 140 hours on the British Aerospace Hawk. The Hawk is an advanced jet trainer (AJT) with a cockpit that mimics modern fighters to enable the pilots to transit easily into the combat force of the IAF. Pilots are initiated into air combat and live weapons training. Pilots of the transport stream fly 85 hours divided between the Dornier and the An-32 at Yelahanka, Bengaluru. Helicopter pilots also move to Yelahanka to fly 85 hours on the Mi-8. The degree of difficulty is gradually raised during Stage-III training. The quantum of flying for a transport and helicopter pilot is less in Stage-III because even after joining an operational unit, the young pilot will fly as a co-pilot to a more experienced and senior pilot till the new pilot is considered fit to don a ‘Captains’ mantle. All IAF transport and helicopter aircraft are twin-pilot platforms. The bulk of the fighter force aircraft are single-seat platforms. On completion of Stage-III training, fighter pilots move to frontline squadrons to commence operational flying training. The IAF has now ordered 75 Pilatus PC-7 aircraft from the Swiss manufacturer for its basic flying training. The deliveries and handover of the first PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft to the IAF will commence in the first quarter of 2013. The programme is on schedule and the first batch of IAF instructor pilots, have completed their conversion course in Switzerland. Training of technical personnel is planned in early 2013. While the HAL is unlikely to provide an indigenous replacement for the HJT-16 Kiran, it is quite likely that the IAF will have Bae’s advanced trainer: to go for another foreign manufacturer An Indian Hawk in Flight to get its Stage-II trainer aircraft. Some US and Russian trainer aircraft are being talked about as being possible contenders. Why is the HAL unable to produce a basic, intermediate or advanced trainer airtime available earlier. The student pilot hardly gets enough fly- craft? China and Korea have gone far ahead of India in this field. ing hours under his belt to consolidate the ‘feel of flying’ before Is there some deficiency in the indigenous design capability or is there excessive interference from the omnipresent bureaucracy? being pushed into a more difficult regime in Stage-II training. Hundred and ninety HJT-16 Mk I (and later Mk IA—both Indian PSUs have most certainly absorbed varied technologies in with Rolls-Royce Viper engines) were inducted for training, be- airframe, engine and avionics fields. Why then are we incapable ginning 1968. In 1985, 61 more powerful Mk II Kiran trainer of putting it all together to produce what the military wants? aircraft equipped with Orpheus engine, entered service. Utilis- These questions are not rhetorical but point to weaknesses in ing the Kiran for basic training presents a potential problem. the indigenous industrial culture overseen by the bureaucracy. The numbers of a particular type of aircraft inducted into the It is perhaps time to free the PSUs from the clutches of the ‘baIAF and their projected phase-out year are calculated based on bus’, while at the same time encouraging the private players to the planned utilisation rate (UR) which is the number of hours become stakeholders in the military-industrial complex. In the an aircraft is planned to fly in a year. If the actual UR is high- context of the military trainer aircraft, neither the bureaucracy er than the originally planned UR, then calculations go awry nor HAL are held accountable for the lapses that have led to the and the phase out will be earlier than planned. Development existing state of affairs for which it will be the military and priof the HJT-36, HAL’s interimediate jet trainer (IJT) that is to marily the IAF that will face the consequences in the future. If replace the Kiran, has suffered serious roadblocks, especially as HAL or the bureaucracy is found culpable, then action must be regards its engine. A prototype crashed in April 2011 and the initiated in a transparent and fair manner. Until that happens, we possibilities of early induction of the IJT into the IAF, appears will continue to lurch from one crisis to another.  SP

Photograph: BAE Systems

of fitting a ballistic recovery system for a safe recovery in case of engine malfunction. The IAF rejected this idea and rightly so. The HTT-40 was nowhere in sight and the IAF was forced to look within to generate options. The upshot was that despite the IAF having flagged this looming problem well on time, the inability of the government to take timely decisions and the lack of capability of indigenous public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the aviation sector to provide alternatives, led to a situation with serious short- and long-term consequences for military aviation. Basic flying training is divided into three stages. At each stage the trainee is introduced to increasingly demanding exercises to build up his confidence and skill levels. Stage-I comprising 65 hours of flying was conducted on the HPT-32 till its grounding in 2009. Non-availability of a basic trainer has forced the IAF to slash the syllabus from 65 hours on HPT-32 to a mere 25 hours on the HJT-16 Kiran aircraft which is also utilised for Stage-II training. A flying instructor now has to assess an ab initio student’s motor skills, reactions to emergencies, air-mindedness and other parameters in one third the flying

42    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Industry

airlifter of the future: A400M final assembly in Seville, Spain

Tactical Airlift Solutions from Airbus


Airbus Military is a global leader in the market for products operated by air forces for tactical and strategic transport and refuelling capabilities. In this second part of the article, Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey who visited Airbus facilities in Spain recently, reports how these aircraft are also used for all other kinds of civic missions.


The factory at San Pablo, Seville in southern Spain, boasts of the complete production and final assembly of the C212, CN235 and C295 family of military transport aircraft that span the medium tactical segment offering payload capability range from three to nine tonnes. Of these products, the C295 ought to be of particular interest to the Indian Air Force (IAF) that is seeking to replace its obsolete fleet of Avro medium-tactical transport aircraft acquired from Britain in the 1960s. To begin with, the requirement of the IAF has been pegged at 56 aircraft. First delivered in 2001, the Airbus Military C295 is a significantly upgraded version of the reputed workhorse CN235. The C295 is a versatile, robust and reliable medium tactical transport aircraft with payload capacity of nine tonnes or 71 personnel with maximum cruise speed of 480 kmph. The aircraft displays outstanding hot and high performance, is equipped with two fuel-

efficient Pratt & Whitney engines that give it an endurance of 11 hours. The aircraft is in service in a number of countries such as Abu Dhabi, Brazil, France, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey. In its category, the C295 is the most trusted airlifter. The operational capabilities of the C295 render it eminently suitable for airborne assault operations, air supply using either normal parachutes or low altitude parachute extraction system and other missions related to logistic support. With the appropriate modifications that are carried out at the San Pablo factory, the aircraft can be made capable of undertaking a wide range of special missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), search and rescue, maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. A key to the aircraft’s unique patrol and surveillance capabilities is the AirIssue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   43

Aero India 2013 Special Military/Industry

emburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Mabus Military designed fully integrated laysia joined the programme two years tactical system (FITS), which integrates, later. The prototype undertook its maiden controls and displays the mission senThe A400M is the most flight on December 11, 2009. So far, a tosors, enhancing mission awareness and efficient and versatile tal of 174 aircraft have been ordered by facilitating decision-making. The C295 eight air forces around the world. The is fitted with the highly integrated avimilitary transport A400M is the most versatile airlifter curonics system from Thales with flexible aircraft in its class, rently available in the world. It can operarchitecture to meet with the needs of offering the best ate from short, unprepared airstrips and both military and civil applications. The unlike tactical airlifters of earlier generaC295 glass cockpit with digital avionics returns on investment in tion, can perform both strategic and tacincludes four large active matrix liquid comparison to other new tical tasks apart from the role of an aerial crystal displays (6’’x8’’), fully compatible tanker. The aircraft can carry a maxiwith night vision goggles. The advanced generation platforms mum payload of 37 tonnes or 116 fully integrated avionics system with multiequipped paratroops or 66 stretchers. functional displays provides improved situational awareness and flight safety, lower pilot workload Its cargo hold is specifically designed to carry outsize military equipment such as infantry combat vehicles or large helicopters and enhanced mission effectiveness. The port engine is fitted with a propeller brake. While on the such as the Chinook that could not be carried by previous genground, the engine gas generator can function in the auxiliary eration tactical airlifters. The aircraft is designed for quick and autonomous cargo unpower unit (APU) mode with the propeller stopped to deliver electrical power and bleed air for the aircraft systems. The pro- loading or loading without the need for any specialised ground peller brake system provides the same ground-power function- support equipment. Fitted with on-board winches and crane, the alities of a conventional on-board APU at a fraction of the cost, cargo hold is optimised for single loadmaster operation from a weight and complexity. The C295 offers optional self-protection computerised workstation. By minimising time on the ground, equipment, which is already in service in hostile environments the aircraft’s vulnerability while operating in a hostile operalike Iraq and Afghanistan. These include cockpit armour, ra- tional environment is reduced. The A400M excels in the aerial dar warning receiver (RWR), missile approach warning system delivery, being able to drop special forces from as high as 40,000 (MAWS), laser warning system (LWS) and chaff/flares dispens- feet and on account of its ability to fly at very low speeds, it can deliver cargo loads from as low an altitude as 15 feet. ers. In flight refuelling capability is also an option on the C295. Powered by four unique counter-rotating Europrop InterApart from its military roles, the platform is suitable for missions in the civilian regime such as search and rescue (SAR), di- national (EPI) TP400 turboprop power plants developed by a saster management, humanitarian aid, medical evacuation, law consortium comprising Rolls-Royce, Snecma, MTU and ITP, the enforcement, environmental control, etc. The aircraft is quickly A400M is the most powerful turboprop ever built. The airframe convertible from one operational configuration to another, an es- has a large percentage of composites making the aircraft lighter sential prerequisite for an organisation such as the IAF that is and consequently more fuel-efficient. With the new technologies required to undertake a diverse range of military and civilian incorporated, the A400M has a ferry range of 8,700 km at a tasks, often on short notice. The aircraft is equipped with a rear cruising altitude up to 37,000 feet and at a speed of up to Mach ramp for easy loading and unloading, has excellent short-field 0.72. With a payload of 30 tonnes, the aircraft can fly up to performance and can operate from unpaved airstrips. With one 4,500 km and can operate from semi-prepared strips of 2,500 million flying hours of operational experience in all types of en- feet with a payload of 25 tonnes. Similar in performance to that of a jet-powered airlifter of vironments, the effectiveness and reliability of the C295’s system design has been amply demonstrated. The C295 is the perfect equal payload capacity and size, the A400M is capable of un“workhorse” offering unique versatility and proven reliability to dertaking both strategic and tactical tasks. A large speed range respond to current and future needs of air forces the world over. and ability to climb to high altitude makes it suitable as an aerial tanker that can refuel in mid-air combat aircraft at high The aircraft has been employed successfully in Afghanistan. Airbus Military is now developing an airborne early warn- altitude. With excellent handling characteristics at speeds as ing and command (AEW&C) version of its C295. The primary low as 200 kmph, it can refuel low-flying helicopters as well. sensor of the AEW&C to be, will be the IAI/ELTA fourth gen- With a fuel capacity of 61.9 tonnes, mid-air refuelling is careration active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with ried out through two under-wing refuelling pods or through a integrated IFF. The C295 AEW&C is to provide high quality centre-line fuselage refuelling unit. Its built-in air-to-air refuel360º surveillance, creating in real-time an integrated air and ling capability allows it to be rapidly reconfigured to become a maritime situation picture and electronic order of battle. The tanker. It can therefore be easily adapted to rapidly changing AEW&C situation picture is to be shared with friendly forces via operational scenarios, being able to perform different types network-centric data links. A C295 modified with winglets and of missions and can itself be refuelled in flight. Its fly-by-wire fitted with a rotodome has been conducting flight trials from controls with side stick, makes handling easy and safe. The Airbus Military’s Seville facility since early June 2011. Other A400M has low infrared (IR) signature and has been specifispecial mission versions of the C295 under development are the cally designed for low detectability, low vulnerability and high Gunship for close air support and the tactical aerial tanker to survivability, giving it excellent self-protection. The aircraft increase the radius of action for combat helicopters engaged in has a low “down-time” for maintenance as it needs to be on the ground only for 84 days in 12 years of operation for schedSAR or special operations. uled maintenance. Overall, the A400M is the most efficient and versatile military The A400M: Airlifter of the Future The A400M was launched in 2003 to meet the needs of seven transport aircraft in its class, offering the best returns on investEuropean nations, namely Belgium, France, Germany, Lux- ment in comparison to other new generation platforms.  SP 44    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

Hall of Fame


est flying has always been a rather risky and exciting profession. To take up an aircraft no one has ever flown before, put it through its paces and bring it safely back, is not a job even brave aviators might lightly volunteer to do. In the 1950s, for instance, test pilots were perishing at the rate of one a week. That is when Anthony LeVier, one of the greatest test pilots ever, was in his heyday. He joined the Lockheed Corporation in 1942 and continued as a test pilot for 32 years, evaluating some of Lockheed’s most famous aircraft. Anthony “Tony” LeVier was born in Duluth, Minnesota, USA, on February 14, 1913. In his youth, he was more interested in learning about flying than in studies. He was one among a whole generation inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s epic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Just 14 at the time, Tony LeVier in great excitement announced to his family, “I’m going to become an airplane pilot!” His mother took the declaration calmly, saying, “That’s wonderful, Tony; just remember to be a good one.” He signed up for aviation lessons when he was 15 and soon dropped out of high school to pursue flying full time. At 19, he obtained his commercial flying licence. Immediately, he plunged into a life of adventure, barnstorming, instructing and flying whenever he could. In 1936, he forayed into air racing, starting with the US national air races in Los Angeles. He became famous winning the 1938 Greve Trophy Race at Cleveland and the 1938 Pacific International Air Race at Oakland. However, the outbreak of World War II meant that most nonmilitary flying reduced. Although the US stayed out of the war, at least to begin with, everyone knew it would inevitably be sucked into the conflict. And, in anticipation, the US military aviation industry began feverish preparations. When LeVier joined Lockheed he started by ferrying Hudson bombers built for the Royal Air Force, from the US to Canada. Next, he trained and checked out pilots on the Hudson and its transport variant, the Lodestar. But flight testing military aircraft considered to be the most challenging and risky form of peacetime flying,

Aero India 2013 Special is what he yearned for. Eventually, he was accepted into Lockheed’s Engineering Flight Test Department to fly the PV-1 Ventura bomber and patrol aircraft, successor of the Hudson and forerunner of the famous B-37. Then he began intensive testing of the radical new Lockheed

ANTHONY LEVIER (1913 - 1998)

He had a passion for invention, designing devices like the master caution warning light system, the automatic wing stores release, the first practical afterburner ignition system, the“hot microphone” intercom system and the placement of the trim switch on top of the control stick. Many of these features later became indispensable fits on combat aircraft. P-38 Lightning. This was a fighter aircraft with twin booms and a single central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. It was named “fork-tailed devil” by the German Luftwaffe. LeVier investigated its control problems in dives

at near-sonic speeds in order to reduce needless combat losses. This turned out to be the most extensive compressibility dive programme that had been conducted till then and not only improved the P-38’s performance, but also helped to pave the way for future high speed and supersonic flight. Next it was the turn of the P-80 Shooting Star, the first jet fighter used operationally by the US. Designed and built by Lockheed in 1943, the aircraft was delivered in just 143 days after the start of the design process and quickly helped the US establish supremacy in aviation technology. It saw extensive combat in Korea as the F-80. On March 20, 1945, while LeVier was testing a P-80, the turbine disintegrated and severed the tail. He bailed out successfully, but severely injured his back in the process. Just six months later, he was back in the cockpit. In 1948, he took America’s first jet trainer aircraft, the T-33 T-Bird, up for its maiden flight. In 1954, it was the turn of the XF-104 Starfighter, dubbed “The Missile with a Man in It”. LeVier became the first person to cross a speed of 1,600 kmph while flying the F-104. Fifteen countries adopted it as their air superiority fighter and for the next 10 years, LeVier managed Lockheed’s Starfighter Utilisation Reliability Effort with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries, contributing to greatly increasing operational safety. He also flight-tested Lockheed’s top secret U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft in 1955. Tony LeVier was ultimately recognised as one of the world’s foremost experimental test pilots, performing maiden flights of 20 different aircraft types and flying over 10,000 hours on 260 different types. He had a passion for invention, designing devices like the master caution warning light system, the automatic wing stores release, the first practical afterburner ignition system, the “hot microphone” intercom system and the placement of the trim switch on top of the control stick. Many of these features later became indispensable fits on combat aircraft. LeVier died after prolonged illness at his home in California on February 6, 1998.  SP —Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha, Goa Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   45

Aero India 2013 Special







IAF helicopters in rescue operations

• Citilink, the low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 A320neo. The contract is the first direct purchase by Citilink from Airbus. It follows an order placed in 2011 by Garuda Indonesia for 15 A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft for operation by Citilink. Airbus Military

IAF helicopters assisted in power restoration at Banihal in Jammu and Kashmir when heavy snowfall in the region threw life in the entire region of Srinagar Valley out of gear. Responding to a request for assistance from the Power Grid Corporation of India, the Indian Air Force tasked the Cheetah Helicopter unit based at Udhampur with the challenging and important mission to airlift a sevenmember repair team to Banihal Top to carry out repairs on the 300 MW power line. Tiger Moth to Sukhoi

Jodhpur Flying Club was the first institution to induct Tiger Moth aircraft in the year 1932. The vintage aircraft has been fully restored by an aircraft restoration company in UK and will be showcased in IAF’s golden past at Iron Fist2013 at Pokhran on February 22. Currently, this aircraft is being flown by Group Captain D.S. Dangi. He is an experimental test pilot from Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), Bengaluru.

Americas Raytheon, US Navy demonstrate JSOW C-1 The US Navy has successfully demonstrated the dual targeting capability of Raytheon Company’s Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1. JSOW

Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) and Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), calls on lt General Benjamin Gantz, Chief of the General Staff, Israel Defense Forces at HaKirya in Tel Aviv during his four-day visit to Israel.

C-1 is the world’s first network-enabled weapon with a range of more than 100 kilometres. The first stationary land target test was designed to assess JSOW’s capability against operationally realistic infrared and radio frequency countermeasures. A F/A18F Super Hornet aircraft launched a JSOW C-1 from approximately 29,000 feet and 17.5 nautical miles from the target. The weapon flew a pre-planned route at 0.83 Mach airspeed, employed 3-D waypoints and successfully impacted a cement wall on a simulated bunker. The second stationary land target test was designed to demonstrate JSOW’s performance at night against an operationally representative bunker target. US Air Force begins testing of new pod capability

gun. The flying router is a new software upgrade called Net-T or network tactical for the Litening and Sniper advanced targeting pods for all legacy fighters and the B-1. This high priority developmental test began in October 2012 by the 40th Flight Test Squadron. The squadron tested the software’s capability to allow groups of ground forces to communicate with each other via remotely operated video enhanced receiver-5, a small arm-mounted touch screen device about the size of an iPad-mini. Until now, the Rover-5 could only send and receive data from the aircraft. The Net-T pod capability allows units with Rover-5s to communicate directly with each other using the aircraft to route those signals.

Europe NH90 onboard helicopter makes debut in Somalia

• Airbus Military has received an order for six additional C295 transport aircraft from the Egyptian Air Force, bringing its C295 fleet to a total of 12 aircraft. This third batch of aircraft plus the associated spares and support equipment, training and field support are to be delivered from the end of 2013 onwards. ATR • ATR and the Caribbean carrier Leeward Islands Air Transport Services (LIAT) have announced the agreement for the purchase of a total of three 48-seat ATR 42-600s. The deal also includes options for two 68-seat ATR 72-600 and is valued at over $100 million. The delivery of the first ATR 42-600 will be in June 2013. Bell Helicopter • Bell Helicopter has delivered on January 16, the 100th of a total of 349 H-1 helicopters during a ceremony at its Amarillo Assembly Center. The US Marine Corps H-1 helicopter programme comprises the UH-1Y utility helicopter and the AH-1Z attack helicopter. Bombardier • Bombardier Aerospace has announced that it delivered 233 aircraft during the 2012 calendar year. The company also received orders for 481 aircraft, net of cancellations, compared to 249 orders, net of cancellations, for the previous fiscal year. Eurocopter

The US Air Force has completed testing on a flying wireless router to ground troops with almost instantaneous communications. The biggest difference between the router in most homes and the new flying router is that it is attached to a 30mm Gatling

46    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

The Dutch Navy frigate De Ruyter has sailed for the Gulf of Aden carrying a naval NH90 helicopter; this is the first operational deployment for the helicopter. This is the

• A ceremony was held in Beijing, where the President of Beijing Capital Helicopter, Xu Li Dong, accepted the Eurocopter EC135 P2+. Beijing Capital Helicopter will begin operating the new helicopter during the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays, offering aerial tours over selected tourist attractions.

Aero India 2013 Special



Show Calendar 6–10 February Aero India 2013 Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India 12–13 February NBAA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Hilton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas, USA 2013 20–21 February AVIONICS EUROPE MOC Event Centre, Munich, Germany html

first overseas mission for the maritime helicopter. The onboard helicopter is mainly used for intelligence, reconnaissance and patrol, and thus acts as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the frigate. The NH90 (NATO Helicopter 90) is the result of years of collaboration by the four NATO countries including Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands and their national helicopter manufacturers. The Netherlands have bought 20 NH90s: 12 have been specifically designed for maritime operations (NFH90) and eight for tactical transport (TTH) from the sea and over land. ty in the second half of 2013.

Civil Aviation Asia-Pacific New terminal in Kolkata

The New Integrated Terminal Building of NSCBI Airport, Kolkata, was inaugurated on January 20 by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of the West Bengal Governor M.K. Naray-


Appointment Thales The Board of Directors of Thales have elected Jean-Bernard Lévy as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Thales. Thales’s two main shareholders, the French State and Dassault Aviation, have welcomed the appointment and will work in agreement with senior management to pursue the continued recovery of the Group and its future development. Jean-Bernard Lévy has said that he is very proud to be appointed to lead Thales. “I have been aware for many years of the passion and the high-level expertise of the men and women who contribute to the Group’s numerous successes in many countries around the world. In the global marketplace, Thales has all the strengths needed to play a leading role. I know I can count on the energy and commitment of all to meet the challenges ahead and work together to develop our Group.”

anan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal and other dignitaries. The first inaugural flight AI-021, Sector: Kolkata-Delhi-London was successfully operated on January 23, on the 116th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Europe GE Aviation signs MoU with Aldus Aviation GE Aviation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aldus Aviation Limited to develop a lessororiented CF34-8E and CF3410E support package. The support package will enable leasing companies to better control maintenance costs, regardless of the operator to which the aircraft is leased. Under the terms of the agreement, GE would provide support for lessors of leased aircraft maintained by operators under GE’s OnPoint solutions engine services agreements. The product is designed to be transferrable between lessors, which will enable lessors to more accurately predict maintenance costs. GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, is a world-leading provider of jet, turboshaft and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems.

LIAT the new ATR customer in the Caribbean region ATR and the Caribbean carrier Leeward Islands Air Transport Services (LIAT) have announced the signature of an agreement for the purchase of a total of three 48-seats ATR 42-600s. The deal also includes options for two 68seat ATR 72-600 and is valued at over $100 million. LIAT will take delivery of its very first ATR 42-600 in June 2013.

Industry Americas Sikorsky, Boeing partner Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Boeing have signed a teaming agreement to submit a joint proposal in response to the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate solicitation for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) Phase-1 programme. The JMR TD supports the Department of Defense’s future vertical lift programme to deliver the next generation of vertical lift aircraft with greater performance, reliability and affordability. “We are excited about this opportunity and for our customer. The Sikorsky and Boeing team brings together exceptional technical expertise,” said Mick Maurer, President, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.  •

Eurofighter • Austrian Armed Forces’ Eurofighters will be used to secure the airspace during the World Economic Forum 2013 in Davos being held from January 23 to 27. Embraer • Embraer has signed a contract with Aldus Aviation Limited, the Irish lessor, for the sale of 20 E-Jets, five Embraer 175 and 15 Embraer 190. The contract also includes the right to purchase 15 additional jets for any E-Jet family model. Elbit Systems • Elbit Systems Ltd has announced that Elbit Systems of America, LLC, has been selected for award by the US Army on behalf of the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) Product Office. Elbit Systems of America was selected with four other companies to provide the full spectrum of SUAS products. Finmeccanica • Finmeccanica has announced that the Republic of Korea (South Korea) has selected the AgustaWestland AW159 to meet its maritime operational helicopter requirement. The programme, which includes the supply of eight AW159 helicopters to the Republic of Korea Navy and a comprehensive support and training range of services, is valued at approximately $560 million. Lockheed Martin • For the first time, two Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II carrier variant (CV) test aircraft refuelled together with a Lockheed Martin KC-130 Hercules in Patuxent River recently. The CV aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, completed the milestone as part of an F-35 flight test programme that will accomplish more than 1,000 flights in 2013. Northrop Grumman • Northrop Grumman Corporation and EADS Deutschland GmbH, operating through Cassidian, have carried out the first full system test flight of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (based on the RQ-4B Global Hawk), equipped with the signals intelligence advanced sensors for detection of radar and communication emitters.

Issue 2 • 2013    SP’S AVIATION   47



Aero India 2013 Special

Nurture ‘People’

Aviation is a high profile activity and a novel profession that demands the highest levels of self-discipline, sense of responsibility, professional competence and ethics. Unless these values are ingrained in the pilots’ right at the outset and fostered during their career progression, there is little hope for the future of

Photograph: Anoop Kamath


the airline industry in India.

National carrier Air India has once again hit the headlines and as can easily be predicted, again for all the wrong reasons. Mumbai-based Captain R.S. Dhillon, a senior pilot with the airline and the General Manager Operations, who is also responsible for training of pilots, was recently placed under suspension by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh. As reported in the media, Captain Dhillon was caught literally red-handed fudging records in respect of simulator training of two fairly senior pilots in the airline. Captain Dhillon was scheduled to carry out training of two senior pilots of the airline on October 29, 2012, on the A330 simulator hired by Air India from Jet Airways. As against the mandated eight hours of simulator training, Captain Dhillon carried out just four hours of training for no justifiable reason. Of course, Air India had to pay Jet Airways for full eight hours of training even if the session was cut short. Training on the simulator at the prescribed periodicity and duration, is vitally important for pilots to maintain flying proficiency at the desired level, both in the civil and the military, in the airline industry or in business and general aviation. It is not only a statutory requirement for renewal of the licence to fly, neglect in this regard has serious implications for skill levels and consequently for air safety. Inadequate levels of proficiency especially of the pilot in command can quite easily place the lives of hundreds onboard at risk. It is understood that for the last 10 years, Captain Dhillon has been holding the responsibility of simulator training of pilots for renewal of licence and in this period, hundreds of pilots would have passed through his hands. It goes without saying that the extent of internal damage to the health of the airline would have been extensive, the consequences of which are much too horrendous even to imagine. This episode will only worsen the already battered image of the airline. Air India has been discredited in the past not only on account of flawed strategic decisions, questionable procurement of aircraft in unusually large numbers and frequent strikes by the various unions; it has in fact been afflicted by major and minor misdemeanours at practically every level of the organisation. In April 2011, it was reported in the media that a certain 48    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 2 • 2013

senior pilot holding the post of Executive Director in Air India, on May 17, 2010, failed to complete the scheduled compulsory simulator training at the facility in Hyderabad. In the first week of January this year, Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal, while onboard an Air India flight, stumbled upon and exposed a ticketing scam, a malaise that apparently had been overlooked for years. As admitted by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh, Air India has been plagued by “a culture of theft, fraud and abuse of perks by staff” and that “the airline was currently investigating 161 such incidents, ranging from the theft of spare parts to that of whisky and caviar, to even more financially damaging cases of fraud”. It is little wonder that the once glorious airline symbolised as the “Maharaja,” is today fallen into disrepute and driven to bankruptcy. But perhaps the most bizarre instance of wayward and irresponsible conduct in the recent past has been that of a lady pilot of Air India who was suspended in January for “disregarding orders to alter the flight route” as she had prearranged to pick up her favourite food from somewhere along the original routing!” Reverting to the subversion of simulator training by the senior and supposedly responsible functionaries of the airline also brings into focus the need for checks and balances in the system. There is of course the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory authority that is expected to be the watchdog of civil aviation. Unfortunately, the DGCA is grossly understaffed and is yet to recover from the fake licence and other scams in the recent past. However, while the responsibility for monitoring and corrective action may lie on the regulator, the airline too must bear major part of the responsibility to ensure that air safety is in no way compromised. However, what needs to be understood is that aviation is a high profile activity and a novel profession that demands the highest levels of self-discipline, sense of responsibility, professional competence and ethics. Unless these values are ingrained in the pilots right at the outset and fostered during their career progression, there is little hope for the future of the airline industry in India.  SP — Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey


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SP's Aviation February 2013  
SP's Aviation February 2013  

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