Page 1

`75.00 (India-based buyer only)


CCS has accorded formal approval to a deal with Swiss firm Pilatus for 75 PC-7 Mk-II basic trainer aircraft for the IAF

Aviation SP’s

An SP Guide Publication

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

may • 2012


• Streamline Defence Procurement • Regional Aviation: The Only only Way way Out out • Light Utility Helicopters • Defexpo 2012 Review • Agni-V Agni V and more...

Office Skies in the

Falcon 7X by Dassault

In the pursuIt of a stronger, lIghter fan blade, our desIgners learned to knIt. Not mittens or scarves, but revolutionary fan blades. Our designers have devoted years using 3D aero technology to create the first woven composite blade. Far stronger and lighter than anything before, it’s found in our LEAP* engine, along with a thousand and one other break-throughs. For more innovations, follow this thread – CFM, LEAP and the CFM logo are all trademarks of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and GE.


Aviation SP’s

Table of Contents

An SP Guide Publication

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

Issue 5 • 2012

Maiden Trip



Fuel-burn Reduced

SP’s Exclusive


Pilatus Deal for IAF It’s Done, Finally


14 Viewpoint  Deterring the Dragon 30 Helicopters  Twin Tracking 32 UCAV  Gaining Momentum Civil

20 23 24

Regional Aviation The Only Way Out Industry Newest & Latest Industry Bell Opens New Office

Show Report


Defexpo Indigenisation Mantra


Defexpo 40 ‘India will be one of the most important growth markets in the world’

Cessna Citation

lead story

41 ‘We seek to be a long-standing,

trusted partner to India’ 42 ‘India will be near the top of the world’s strongest economies in 10 to 20 years’

Office in the Skies Understanding the‘connectivity urge’, business jet operators have factored in ICT on board, giving a competitive edge to the high-flying executive. The market is only opening up now.





CCS has accorded formal approval to a deal with Swiss firm Pilatus for 75 PC-7 Mk-II basic trainer aircraft for the IAF

Aviation SP’s


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

MAY • 2012


Conference Report


SP's Aviation Cover 05-12.indd 1


8 10 11

12 43

in the

Falcon 7X by Dassault

11/05/12 7:45 PM

Cover Photo: About 20 Falcons are currently operating in India and several others are on order. Almost half of the new aircraft orders are for Dassault’s flagship, the Falcon 7X, the first business jet certified with a fully-digital flight control system. Image By: Dassault Falcon

DPP Streamline DPP

Regular Departments




For a fixed monthly fee, business aircraft passengers can use their laptops, smart phones and tablets, to enjoy a high speed Internet experience. ViaSat has developed VMT-1500 communications shipset for large cabin business aircraft like Cessna Citation and others.

44 48

A Word from Editor NewsWithViews – NAL to Build a 90-Seater – Army’s Wait to Replace Ageing Choppers Gets Longer In Focus India in ICBM League Forum Dawn of A New Era Hall of Fame Wiley Post (1898 - 1935) NewsDigest LastWord A Long Way to Go

Next Issue: Future Unmanned Systems

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   1

Table of Contents PLUS...

Publisher And Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal Assistant Group editor R. Chandrakanth Senior Visiting Editor

Neetu Dhulia

Senior Technical Group EditorS

SALES & MARKETING General Manager Sales: Rajeev Chugh

Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand The Only Way Out

Senior Copy editor & Correspondent

© SP Guide Publications, 2012


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Gaining Momentum

Jayant Baranwal, printed at 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

2    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

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A Word from Editor


n the immediate wake of the Defexpo 2012, we at SP’s felt an urgent need to organise a seminar-cumworkshop on streamlining India’s laborious and labyrinthine Defence Procurement Procedure. The May 2 day-long conference witnessed industrialists, diplomats, bureaucrats, policy makers, defence personnel, politicians, etc pondering and talking about “Streamlining the Defence Procurement System”. The business aviation market is opening up now and call rates will find its keel, like the way mobiles did over years. An article “30,000 Feet Up, Business as Usual” throws light on how business jet operators have factored in ICT on board, giving a competitive edge to the high-flying executives. Likewise, regional aviation has become a vital segment of the airline industry in many parts of the world. And though not commercially viable, there is simply no alternative to regional aviation in taking aviation services to remote and isolated communities. On a positive note, India’s successful launch of Agni-V with ICBM capabilities came as morale-boosting news for the entire nation, but much more still needs to be done before the party begins. All this and much more! Happy reading.

the editor-in-chief offers vote of thanks during the event on Streamlining DPP held on may 2

Our DPP needs to be streamlined so that our armed forces do not remain in a state of flux; Dealings remain transparent and clearer for overseas and domestic suppliers; Our men in uniform working 24x7 receive the best solutions to be equipped with thereby capable to handle any kind of challenges coming from any quarters; Offsets and alike elements should work as enabler rather than disabler; And decisions are taken on time so that situations do not go out of hand/out of control.

Jayant Baranwal

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   3


F Maiden

Photograph: Airbus Military

Trip T

he first Voyager aircraft took to the skies on April 8, 2012, for its maiden flight under the command of an AirTanker crew to signal the commencement of the future strategic tanker aircraft (FSTA) service to the Royal Air Force (RAF). The FSTA programme is being delivered by the AirTanker consortium, of which Thales UK is a member. The aircraft, a version of the Airbus Military A330 multirole tanker transport aircraft, took off from RAF Brize Norton for a training sortie around the UK to allow the AirTanker crew to familiarise themselves with the aircraft and achieve the first part of the Voyager crew training schedule. The Voyager aircraft was delivered by Airbus Military to AirTanker at the end of last year and demonstrates a development in technology that will provide the RAF with an advanced air-to-air refuelling, passenger transport and aero-medical capability. As a modern and efficient airframe, Voyager is quieter and more fuel efficient than any other aircraft currently based at RAF Brize Norton. AirTanker Services (ATrS), the service delivery company, is ready to support and operate the Voyager aircraft to Civil 4    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Voyager achieves its first flight in RAF service

Aviation Authority standards. Based at RAF Brize Norton, ATrS has built a strong team including both civilian and military expertise. AirTanker plans to deliver the full capability of 14 aircraft by 2016. The nine aircraft that form the RAF core fleet will be delivered by May 2014. The service will operate aircraft on both the military and civilian registers. In the next 12 months, the Voyager team will conduct planned procedural activities ensuring the aircraft continues through its intensive programme to be ready for future operational environments. During this time, the aircraft will be based at RAF Brize Norton to allow air and ground crews complete air transport and air-to-air refuelling familiarisation training and development on the aircraft type. Thales UK provides the mission simulators, defensive aids, avionics and mission planning systems for the FSTA programme.  SP E-mail your comments to:

Business. Class.

900XP There’s a remarkable aircraft that embodies the notion of balance without compromise – the Hawker 900XP. It’s the midsize jet where business and lifestyle masterfully coexist. As do other demands such as technology and dependability, range and payload, comfort and performance, to name just a few. When it’s time for business, choose the jet that continues to set the standard for India, and does so without compromise. The Hawker 900XP. Innovation Above All. © 2012 HAWKER BEECHCRAFT CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. HAWKER AND BEECHCRAFT ARE TRADEMARKS OF HAWKER BEECHCRAFT CORPORATION.




Photographs: Boeing

Reduced B oeing has recently announced a new winglet design concept for the 737 MAX. The new advanced technology winglet will provide MAX customers up to an additional 1.5 per cent fuel-burn improvement, depending on range, on top of the 10-12 per cent improvement already offered on the new-engine variant. “The advanced technology winglet demonstrates Boeing’s continued drive to improve fuel burn and the corresponding value to the customer. With this technology and others being built into the MAX, we will extend our leadership,” said Jim Albaugh, President and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Incorporating this advanced technology into the 737 MAX design will give our customers even more advantage in today’s volatile fuel price environment.” Compared to today’s wingtip technology which provides up to a four per cent fuel-burn advantage at long ranges, the advanced technology winglet provides a total fuel-burn improvement of up to 5.5 per cent on the same long routes. “The concept is more efficient than any other wingtip device in the single-aisle market because the effective wing span increase is uniquely balanced between the upper and lower parts of the winglet,” said Michael Teal, Chief Project Engineer, 737 MAX. Boeing aerodynamicists used advanced computational fluid dynamics to combine rake tip technology with a dual feath6    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

A new winglet design concept for the 737 MAX er winglet concept into one advanced treatment for the wings of the 737 MAX. The advanced technology winglet fits within today’s airport gate constraints while providing more effective span and thereby reducing drag. Ongoing 737 MAX testing in the wind tunnel validated the new concept on the airplane. The super-efficient design has been incorporated into the 737 MAX design and production system plans. “We have assessed the risk and understand how to leverage this new technology on the MAX within our current schedule,” said Teal. “This puts us on track to deliver substantial additional fuel savings to our customers in 2017.” Airlines operating the 737 MAX now will gain an 18 per cent fuel-burn per seat improvement over today’s A320. “Adding the advanced technology winglet to the 737 MAX is consistent with our demonstrated performance on delivering increasing value to our customers, on time, throughout the life of the 737 programme,” said Beverly Wyse, Vice President and General Manager, 737 programme. Till date, the 737 MAX has more than 1,000 orders and commitments from 16 customers worldwide.  SP E-mail your comments to:





Photograph: Pilatus

Finally A

fter a delay that made the Indian Air Force (IAF) jittery, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has accorded formal approval to a deal with Swiss firm Pilatus for 75 PC-7 Mk.2 basic trainer aircraft for IAF. The PC-7 won out in a competition that has taken two years, defeating two rivals in the final round -- the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KT-1 and the American Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II. Defence Minister A.K. Antony informed Parliament recently that a formal protest from runner-up KAI had been found to be “devoid of merit”. A formal contract between the Indian Government and Pilatus Aircraft will be signed in the next two months. As per IAF stipulations, deliveries of the brandnew trainers will begin 15 months after contract signature, with 24 aircraft to be delivered to the IAF in 25 months. The Pilatus PC-7 is a low-wing tandem seat basic propeller trainer, 500 of which have been sold in two variants over the last three decades. India will be the 19th military operator of the aircraft type.  SP —SP’s Special Correspondent

PC-7 Mk-II: data sheet The PC-7 Mk-II is a training aircraft powered by a 700 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C turboprop engine with a Hartzell four-blade aluminium propeller. The de-rating of the engine from 850-shp ensures low direct operating costs and a long engine life. The performance of the PC-7 Mk-II is docile enough for a beginner, but with sufficient power for more demanding basic phases. Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level.........................................1,360 ft................... 415 m Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level.........................................2,180 ft................... 665 m Max. rate of climb, sea level..................... 2,910 ft/min.......... 14.79 m/sec Max. operating speed (Vmo)........................ 300 KEAS.............. 556 km/h Max. horizontal cruise speed at sea level (Vh)............................................ 242 KTAS.............. 448 km/h Max. horizontal cruise speed at 10,000 ft (Vh)........................................... 255 KTAS.............. 472 km/h Stall speed - flaps and gear up (Vs).................................. 75 KCAS.............. 139 km/h - flaps and gear down (VSO so) ..................... 68 KCAS.............. 126 km/h g loads aerobatic configuration utility category - Max. positive...................................................... 7.0 g..................... 4.5 g - Max. negative .................................................. - 3.5 g.................. -2.25 g Max. range.......................................................810 nm.............. 1,500 km Weights Basic empty weight (dep. on configuration).................................... 3,771 lb............... 1,710 kg Max. take-off weight, acrobatic configuration................................... 4,960 lb............... 2,250 kg Dimension & Geometry Fuselage length..............................................33 ft 4 in................ 10.18 m Wing span......................................................33 ft 5 in................ 10.19 m Source: Pilatus

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   7


NAL to build a 90-seater

India is working on developing its own 90-seater aircraft with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) stating, “The strategy for its production has already been evolved” with the design “planned to have unique features like enhanced fuel efficiency, use of biofuel with low carbon footprint, short- to long-range haul, shorter airstrip requirements and ultra modern avionics”. A design bureau has been set up to undertake design and development of the plane, called the National Civil Aircraft (NCA-90). A total of seven prototypes are proposed to be developed to prove the design and demonstrate compliance with respect to airworthiness requirements and certification.


Photograph: SP Guide PUbns


rom the news, it is evident that the CSIR is embarked upon an idea to produce India’s own home-made aircraft for its regional aviation market. Earlier reports had suggested the aircraft to be a 70-seater called, ‘Regional Transport Aircraft’ (RTA-70). The task of design and development has been entrusted to the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) at Bangalore, one of the 41 CSIR-controlled institutions located in different parts of the country. Confirming the news, Planning Commission said the aircraft will be tailored to suit market requirements. It is not the first time that NAL indulged in the design and development of a civil transport aircraft. Saras, a 14-seater aircraft, had been under development for more than a decade by NAL; but the programme went into disarray when on March 6, 2009, two IAF test pilots along with a flight test engineer were killed when the second prototype crashed near Bangalore. It is quite apparent therefore that NAL on its own does not have the requisite expertise to try and develop an aircraft of the size envisaged. Sensing this, CSIR has rightly decided to follow a publicprivate partnership (PPP) route to ensure success of the venture. It has created two separate committees—one for a joint development that is looking for a corporate group or groups who will participate in jointly developing the aircraft from scratch followed by its commercial production—and the second for overseeing the entire project of developing the aircraft. Besides NAL, the other public sector undertakings (PSUs) participating in the project are the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). Names being thrown up from the private sector include HCL, Quest, Infosys, Mahindra, L&T and Tata Group. NAL was also reportedly in discussions with global engine manufacturers such as Pratt & Whitney of Canada and General Electric of US and avionics firms like Rockwell Collins and Diehl Aerospace. 8    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

However, what is really baffling is the news that NAL would produce seven prototypes with not only different airframe designs but also with different power plants including turboprops and turbofans. While multiple doodling employing computer aided design (CAD) as design tools may be carried out in full, it would indeed be foolhardy to actually produce so many prototypes for final selection. It may also be remembered that India is already engaged in a joint venture with Russia to produce a multi-role, jet-powered, military transport aircraft which would be able to carry 88 to 100 paratroops/passengers or up to 20 tonnes of cargo with a design range suitably configured up to 2,500 km. The aircraft will have inherent characteristics to be used for civil application if required. What needs to be done by the CSIR-sponsored project managers is to zero in on meeting the requirements of regional civil aviation market in India. Keeping in view the close proximity of Tier-I and Tier-II cities within India and ‘traveller density’, it would be desirable to opt for a 70/90-seat aircraft with a range not exceeding 1,000 km. Secondly, the ATF pricing policies of the Indian Government would demand that the aircraft be as fuel-efficient as possible, both from the point of view of airframe design as well as selection of power plants— preferably turboprops, with capability to run on biofuel blends. NAL would do well to run a tightly-controlled budgetary and timeline programme on similar lines as adopted by the highly successful Brazilian company Embraer i.e. selecting a suitable design through meticulous research, followed by development of a single set of prototype aircraft with the help of partners both domestic and from abroad to cater to different strategic areas. Flight-testing would also have to be time-compressed to bring the aircraft to the manufacturing stage as soon as possible. The ultimate requirement of such an aircraft could exceed 500 for the Indian market alone, not to speak of the vast potential for export— if marketed competitively.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia


Army’s wait to replace ageing choppers gets longer

Indian Army’s hopes of replacing the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters anytime soon have received a blow. Plans were afoot for the acquisition of 197 light helicopters for the Army. But allegations of irregularities in the trials of two contenders—Kamov and Eurocopter—has forced the Defence Ministry to order an independent probe into the evaluation process. The Defence Acquisition Council, headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony has set up a Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) under a Lieutenant General to go into the flight evaluation process followed for the two contenders. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.


Photograph: eurocopter


llegations of irregularity, kickbacks, deviation from procedure and involvement of middlemen appear to have become routine in global tenders for procurement of defence hardware under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). In an effort to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of the Indian Army, a request for proposal (RFP) was floated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2003 for 197 light utility helicopters. Of the initial five contenders in the race, Eurocopter AS 550 C3 Fennec and the Bell-407 were the two shortlisted for flight evaluation in which the Fennec emerged as the preferred machine. However, in December 2007, the tender was cancelled by the MoD at the last minute following investigation into allegations by one of the contenders for wrongdoing. The investigation revealed that indeed there was deviation from procedure in flight evaluation in which Eurocopter had fielded the AS350 B3, the civilian version of the helicopter for high altitude trials instead of the AS550 C3 military variant. The company maintained that there really was no qualitative difference in the performance of the two machines, a contention, though logical, was not accepted by the MoD. Investigations also indicated the involvement of middlemen prohibited under the rules. The sudden cancellation of the tender especially when it was in the final stages, sent shockwaves in the global aerospace industry as also impinged on the credibility of the Indian defence procurement system. What was more agonising was that over five years of laborious and expensive exercise by the vendors and the Army, proved futile. Incidentally, this was the second major defence tender to be cancelled by the MoD in 2007, the first being a `4,000-crore proposal for purchase of 400 upgraded 155mm artillery pieces for the Indian Army. The tender for helicopters was floated a second time in July 2008. This time, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy also joined in with their demands pushing the total requirement to 384 machines. However, for procurement from a foreign ven10    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

dor, the figure of 197 machines was retained with the imported assets being shared amongst the three services. The responsibility to design and develop by 2017 a helicopter of the same class and performance was assigned to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Initially, the company is required to supply a total of 187 for the three services as part of the initial order. For the 2008 RFP, once again two machines were shortlisted for flight trials, the single-engine Eurocopter AS 550 C3 Fennec and the twin-engine Russian Kamov-226 Sergei. Surprisingly, Bell Helicopter that had filed a complaint in the first round did not participate this time. Flight trials on the two machines were completed in December 2010 and the report submitted. However, the tender process hit the first roadblock in November 2011 when the Defence Finance raised issues regarding deviation from RFP during flight evaluation wherein the capability of the machines to hover at an altitude of 6,000 metres was not tested. Considering this capability to be irrelevant as the requirement of the RFP was somewhat over-pitched, the MoD set aside the observation, ordering further processing of the tender. The MoD has now received a complaint pertaining to deficiency of certain other operational capabilities of one of the machines that are alleged to have been overlooked during flight evaluation. Even if minor, given the prevailing environment and the turbulence the Indian defence procurement system is going through, it is unlikely that the MoD would permit further processing of the tender without a thorough investigation and a clear verdict that there has been no deviation from procedure. As the TOC appointed by the MoD goes about its work, the industry watches with bated breath and a degree of consternation that history may well repeat itself. Meanwhile, hopes of the Indian Army to provide better lifeline to the troops deployed in the inhospitable regions of the country may continue to remain a distant dream.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey



India in

ICBM League

Agni-V does cover the gaping hole in India’s nuclear deterrence against current military threat scenarios that the country faces in the region, especially, from its northern neighbour—China

Photograph: pib


heeler Island, April 19, 2012: After a couple of delays caused by weather scares which included lightning-filled skies, India’s first Agni-V missile was given the go ahead for launch. At 8.07 a.m. IST, the three-stage, solid-propellant missile rose majestically in a blaze of brilliant orange plumes. The sleek 17.5-metre tall missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from its mobile launcher roared into the sky riding a perfect trajectory before disappearing into clouds amid light drizzling. The scene inside the launch control room resembled a cricket final with India’s top missile scientists, who were sitting glued to their computer terminals that displayed Agni’s progress, jumped up and applauded every time the missile crossed a major milestone in its spell-binding flight. And just 20 minutes after launch, when the missile successfully completed its 5,000-km-long journey that took it way south of the Equator and detonated its payload at the designated spot over the Indian Ocean, it was like India had won the 2011 One-Day International Cricket World Cup final all over again. India had indeed made history as with the successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)capable Agni-V, it fired a shot that was heard across the world. April 19, 2012, will long be remembered in the annals of India’s strategic weapons quest as the golden day on which India finally came of age in terms of missilery. In simple terms, Agni-V does cover the gaping hole in India’s nuclear deterrence against current military threat scenarios that the country faces in the region, especially, from its northern neighbour—China. In the Agni class of missiles, AgniI and Agni-II, with a range of 700 km and 2,000 km, respectively, are largely meant to deter Pakistan against any nuclear misadventure. Agni-III and IV designed for China, with their range limit of 3,000-3,500 km was insufficient to strike all key Chinese cities and other strategic locations, if the need arose. But Agni-V even with its now proven range of 5,000 km (extendable further to put it in the ICBM class of beyond 5,000 km range) will be capable of reaching China’s strategic and tactical targets located anywhere in China, including the northern most parts of its Territory (see Agni-V’s Specifications). This also elevates India into an elite league of nations—only the United States, Russia, China, France and UK, and possibly Israel possess the capability to operate an ICBM at present. While congratulations are certainly in order, Agni-V is far from done before it can be operationally deployed to provide the necessary nuclear deterrence in the true sense of it. According to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), they still have to get to a user-deliverable configuration including an ability to do a launch from a canister. With a canister-launch system to impart higher road mobility, the missile will give the armed forces much greater operational flexibility than the earlier generation of Agni missiles. This would also

Agni-V Specifications Weight 50,000 kg Length 17.5 m Diameter 2m Warhead Nuclear Warhead weight 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) Engine Three stage solid fuel Operational range 5,000-8,000 km Speed Mach 24 Guidance system Ring laser gyroscope and inertial navigation system, optionally augmented by GPS. Terminal guidance with possible radar scene correlation Launch platform 8 x 8 Tatra TEL and rail mobile launcher (canisterised missile package) Transport Road or rail mobile

be in tune with India’s self-proclaimed ‘no first use’ policy by providing it a highly credible second-strike capability that India needs so desperately for its nuclear deterrence to be in place. But as things stand, it is highly likely that the canisterised version of the missile would not be available for operational deployment before 2015. An international event of this stature automatically generates ripples in the international circles. For responses across the globe—comments and criticism, plus what more is in store for the Indian strategic missile programme and a comparison with its neighbours in this field—turn to Forum.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   11



Dawnof A New Era While it would be foolhardy to suggest India gets into an arms race to match its adversaries ‘one-to-one’ in the field of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, there is no denying the requirement for creating a credible nuclear deterrence capability to thwart any nefarious designs by its two belligerent neighbours—China and Pakistan

Photograph: DRDO


ith the launch of the 50-tonne Agni-V missile from the Wheeler island off Odisha coast on April 19 and its 20-minute flight to an ‘impact point towards southern Indian Ocean’, India crossed the threshold of a new era in its ‘credible’ strategic deterrence capability—that could bring all of China and much more within its strike envelope. With the successful outcome of the very first test launch of Agni-V, India stood ready to join the super-exclusive intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) club that boasts of just five members so far, with one more as probable. But the media’s euphoric contention that India has yanked open the door to the ICBM club is still a far cry from becoming a reality. However, much on that later; first a look on the international response to India’s historic feat. Pakistan, India’s closest neighbour and most possessed to achieve parity with everything India does, responded through its websites and news agencies highlighting the launch; but officially it showed little concern with the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman saying only that India had informed of the test ahead of time in line with an agreement they have. Unofficially, it was stated that Pakistan was gearing up to test-launch the newer version of its Shaheen missile with an improved range claimed to cover practically the whole of India, even when fired from deep in Pakistan. How quickly it reacted to the Agni-V launch was

12    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

CHINA: LATEST ICBMs Ballistic Missiles (ICBM Class)

Year of Mobility Deployment

Range (km)


DF-31 (CSS-9)


Road mobile

7,250 8,000


2007 DF-31A (CSS-9 Mod-2)

Road mobile



DF-41 (CSS-X-10)


Road mobile



JL-2 (CSS-NX-4)



8,000 12,000

MIRV3 to 6

evident when within a week of its test flight, Pakistan on April 25, test fired Hatf-4 (some called it Shaheen1A), with an undisclosed range—presumed to be in the region of 1,000 km— and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The West was generally supportive of the Indian endeavour with BBC from UK reiterating, “The launch marked the moment India joined an ‘elite nuclear club’ that also included China, Russia, France, the US, the UK and probably Israel.” The United States while urging all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint regarding nuclear capabilities in general


Agni-V terms singled out India praising its excellent non-proliferation record and that “it had engaged with the international community on such issues”. Responding to comparisons with North Korea’s attempted launch of a long-range rocket the same week, a US State Department spokesman said that “India’s record stands in stark contrast to that of North Korea, which has been subject to numerous sanctions by the United Nations Security Council”. China, as anticipated, came up with a two-pronged reaction. On the diplomatic front, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Liu Weimin said, “China and India are large developing nations. We are not competitors but partners. We believe that both sides should cherish the hard-won good state of affairs at present and work hard to uphold friendly strategic cooperation to promote joint development and make positive contributions towards maintaining peace and stability in the region.” In stark contrast to the sugar-coated words, the real Chinese reactions found their way to China’s Global Times spewing out not only negative commentary but also threat-laced warnings. It reported that India “still lags behind in infrastructure construction, but its society is highly supportive of developing nuclear power and the West chooses to overlook India’s disregard of the nuclear and missile control treaties”. It warned India not to “over-estimate its strength” claiming India would stand “no chance” in an arms race. “Even if India has missiles that could reach most parts of China, that does not mean it will gain anything from being arrogant,” it reiterated. “India should be clear that China’s nuclear power is stronger and more reliable,” it added. The somewhat rude utterances by the Global Times might sound jarring to the ears of the global civil community, but there is certainly an element of truth in what the Chinese paper has penned down. In its nuclear weapons and delivery systems capability, India is no match to China and the launch of Agni-V missile—currently only a technology demonstrator and not a full-fledged weapon system—can hardly be touted as the latest sign of an escalating arms race or a game-changer in India-China relations. Therefore, while being justifiably proud of the historical achievement; India, and specially its over-hyped media, must refrain from overt chest-beating, nor adopt an attitude of arrogance. Instead, India should quietly go about building the necessary capabilities to achieve the minimum required deterrence to match its nuclear doctrine. Agni-V will take another three to four years before it emerges—canisterised and on road/rail mobile launchers—as a full-fledged weapon system. Further, it may take a decade before the system is produced in requisite numbers to provide—the still largely elusive—‘second-strike’ capability, needed so badly by the country to match its doctrine of ‘no first use’. Simultaneously, India would have to work hard to operationalise the third, subsurface leg of its nuclear triad by equipping its indigenous nuclear powered submarine(s) with suitable nuclear-tipped SLBMs.

It needs to be remembered that India—committed as a nation for the world’s total nuclear weapons disarmament— cannot be in a maddening nuclear weapons arms race. Acknowledging that “China is much ahead of us”, Kanwal Sibal, a former Indian Foreign Secretary said, “We have no intentions to match their [Chinese] capabilities in every field” and “we are only trying to acquire a credible deterrent capability which we have lacked till now”. Beijing, which started its nuclear weapons programme more than five decades ago has deployed so many different types of missiles, it would be difficult to count them in one go. But what is fascinating is its deployment of four new missiles in the ICBM category (see Table on previous page), in just last five years. In addition, China in 2009 also deployed perhaps the world’s first anti-shipping ballistic missile called DF-21D, which is a road-mobile, ground-launched weapon with a range of 2,700 km and said to be especially developed against the US ‘Carrier-Group’ types of targets in a sea-denial role. China’s superiority vis-à-vis India in the ICBMs it can field against its adversaries is evident, with its latest Dong Feng (East Wind) class of missiles, namely ‘DF-41’ boasting a near global reach. It is true that India has made no secret of its missile development programme. While addressing a gathering soon after the launch of Agni-V, former President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (considered to be the father of India’s ‘Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme’) reminisced on how former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had once asked him as to when would the country be able to produce a missile that could cover the Chinese territory. Undoubtedly, India over the past decade did achieve incremental range increases demonstrated by Agni-I (1,200 km), Agni-II (2,500 km), Agni-III (3,000 km) and Agni-IV (also 3,000 km but with greater accuracy) but it took almost 30 years for India to produce a missile with the range desired by Mrs Indira Gandhi—the ‘Iron Lady’ of India. While it would be foolhardy to suggest India gets into an arms race to match its adversaries ‘one-to-one’ in the field of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, there is no denying the requirement for creating a credible nuclear deterrence capability to thwart any nefarious designs by its two belligerent neighbours—China and Pakistan. Agni-V and its proposed upgraded derivative, when fully developed and operationally deployed would contribute to the achievement of India’s ‘minimum credible nuclear deterrence’. Additionally, as pointed out by Srikanth Kondapalli, Professor of Chinese Studies at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, “The Agni-V will indicate notional parity, so there will be more respectability (for India) in terms of the territory dispute resolution, where China was negotiating from a stronger position.” But a lot more would have to be done to even achieve the so-called ‘notional parity’. India and its super-hype media must not forget that irrefutable fact.   SP — Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia

Agni-V will take another three to four years before it emerges— canisterised and on road/ rail mobile launchers—as a full-fledged weapon system

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   13

Military   Viewpoint


Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey









the Dragon It would be imprudent and somewhat premature to declare after the very first test launch of the Agni-V that India already possesses a credible deterrence against the Dragon


he successful launch of the Agni-V missile has thrown the nation and the media literally into a tizzy. Undoubtedly for the scientific community in India that is accustomed to witnessing failure as often as success, the feat at Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha is definitely good reason to celebrate. The nation ought to be proud of this feat and the scientific community certainly deserves to be felicitated for this significant achievement. Apart from the fact that it has propelled India into the elite club as the sixth country in the world to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Agni-V is being projected as a weapon system that will provide the nation with a powerful strategic deterrence capability against China. The nuclear capable, road mobile missile system that has the range to cover nearly the whole of Asia, East Europe and almost nudging South African and Australian coastlines, reinforces the belief that India has indeed taken a huge step forward on the path to emerge as a regional power and that it can provide a nuclear umbrella to smaller nations who feel threatened by their gigantic neighbour—China. India has however always maintained that the Agni-V is not directed against any particular country and the capability is being developed in tandem with the growing stature of the nation in the region and the world. Once the euphoria and excitement generated by the successful launch of Agni-V wanes, it would be time to take stock of the achievement and the way forward. Despite persistent denials by the government, one cannot get away from the fact that the primary motivation to develop ICBM capability is the escalating threat from China that has built up a massive nuclear arsenal with missiles such as the 11,200 km Dong Feng-31A capable of hitting any part of India even when launched from deep inside the country. Besides, China has a variety of long- and medium-range missiles deployed in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces targeted at India. China has also replaced older liquid-fuelled, nuclear-capable CSS-3 IRBM by the more advanced and survivable solid fuel CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). Despite the lofty rhetoric emanating from the strategic 14    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

community in India, when viewed in the context of the formidable array of strategic weapons that China possesses, India is far behind. Besides, the possibility of closing the capability gap and achieving parity with China in the foreseeable future appears somewhat difficult if not impossible. The more viable alternative before India is to develop a second strike capability which the Agni-V being just a little more than a “technology demonstrator” in its present form, may not be able to offer. Firstly, India must have the capability to cover the whole of China with the missile launched from any part of the country. For such a capability, the Agni-V would need nearly twice the existing range. What is even more critical is the warhead. To have adequate destructive power, the warhead per force would have to be nuclear of sufficient destructive power to be meaningful. The precise state of development of the warhead and its integration with the delivery vehicle is not available in the public domain. However, what is known is that the Agni-V is also planned to have the capability to carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV). This payload is expected to have the capability to deliver up to ten nuclear warheads in a single launch assigned to different widely separated targets. Alternatively, two or more warheads can be assigned to a single target. The MIRV payload technology is highly complex and given the restrictive nature of international nuclear weapons regime, foreign assistance in this initiative is unlikely to be available. It may take a very long time before MIRV capability is developed indigenously and operationalised. And finally, the AgniV or its successor would have to be deployed in sufficient numbers for a meaningful second strike capability. Given the imponderables associated with the process of development, it is unlikely that the Agni-V will be available for operational deployment anytime soon and prove to be a “game changer”, as it is proclaimed to be. It would therefore be imprudent and somewhat premature to declare after the very first test launch of the Agni-V that India already possesses a credible deterrence against the Dragon.  SP

DOOR-TO-DOOR THE FALCON 7X FLIES FROM ANY CITY IN INDIA TO LONDON CITY AIRPORT, NONSTOP With nonstop range of 5,950 nm, the Falcon 7X opens the world to you. And as the only large-cabin aircraft in its class cleared for the steep descent at London City Airport, it also opens doors. Making you welcome at hundreds of smaller airports that are closer to your destination. Adding time saved to the savings in fuel and carbon emissions that are also unique to the incredible Falcon 7X.

To learn more, visit India: +91.11.2465.2465

France: +33

Civil    Business Aviation for companies seeking competitive edge: Falcon 900 series offers extraordinary comfort, high performance and unmatched efficiency; falcon 900 lx in flight (inset)


feet up,

Photographs Left to right: Dassault Aviation, Hawker Beechcraft

Business as Usual

Understanding the ‘connectivity urge’, business jet operators have factored in ICT on board, giving a competitive edge to the high-flying executive. The market is only opening up now and call rates will find its keel, like the way mobiles did over years.


ablets, iPads, For the modern-day executive, By R. Chandrakanth time is money. Whether he or she B l a c k b e r r i e s, is on a train, in a car, on a ship, or laptops, mobiles, 30,000 feet plus high, the need to be etc have changed ‘connected’ to one’s office, to one’s not only social mocommunity, and to one’s family and res, but also the way friends has been fulfilled, thanks to business is done. Whether it is on land, water or information and communication technologies (ICT). skies, connectivity has become crucial for busiUnderstanding the ‘connectivity urge’, business jet operanesses to thrive. The worldwide web, which can tors have factored in ICT on board, giving a competitive edge be accessed fast and quick from anywhere, has to the high-flying executive. A Ku-band satellite connection made information crucial in today’s highly com- provides relatively high-speed Internet voice and data transfer at 512 kbps per channel and 64 kbps integrated service petitive world. 16    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Civil    Business Aviation digital network (ISDN) on board a business jet, albeit the service pricing may be ‘sky-high’. The market is only opening up now and call rates will find their keel, like the way mobiles did over years. There are several business jet operators in India who have transformed their cabins, understanding the requirements of the globetrotting executives. For instance, Poonawalla Aviation, which has a Falcon 900 EX and a Cessna Citation Excel, has invested additional $3 million (`75 crore) in customising the Falcon with satellite communication (Satcom), convertible bed, dining table, DVD player, fax machine, king-size baggage compartments, etc. It can carry 14 passengers who can conduct business conference or meetings on board. Similarly, the company has invested around $1 million (`5 crore) in its Citation aircraft with facilities such as DVD player, Aircell (airborne telephone with intercom). It has a capacity of eight seats for conducting business meetings. So are many players equipping their aircraft with the latest in communication and also in a host of other facilities, including cuisine, that go to make flying a ‘pleasurable business experience’. ARINC which is a world leader in aerospace and defence solutions has passenger communications for business aviation. With the fastest broadband connections possible and the lowest rates in the industry, ARINC Direct Satcom are the obvious choice to keep passengers connected—just like they are at home or in the office. Reading and writing e-mails, making voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) phone calls, surfing the Internet, sending and receiving faxes, and video conferencing are just a few of the things made possible by ARINC Direct’s passenger communications solutions. Inmarsat Services

Since not every flight department needs the speed of a Kuband broadband Internet connection, ARINC Direct offers a full array of Inmarsat (L-band) services enhanced by features like seamless Ku/L-band switching, automatic fax detection, and an online interface to view real-time traffic. Inmarsat services are available for the following connection types: Swift 64; Swift Broadband / BGAN; Aero-H/H+/I Mini-M; and Iridium Services. With the business aviation industry moving towards Iridium connectivity as the standard in satellite communications and the replacement for Magnastar, ARINC Direct customers are benefiting greatly from the cost-effective, highly reliable service. Yonder Wonder

With the introduction of ViaSat ‘Yonder’ service, unlimited high-speed connectivity for business aircraft has become a reality. Yonder service delivers cable-like performance plus

High in performance: Hawker 900XP is an innovative combination of range and speed

seamless connections around the globe, in-flight and on the ground, and without the worry of being disconnected. Yonder service is “always on” and available while idling, taxiing or in full flight. Unlike competitive services, there are no service limitations on the ground or below 10,000 feet. ­ViaSat’s experience shows that as much as 40 per cent of service usage for a typical aircraft occurs while on the ground. What’s more, Yonder service is on whenever the aircraft is powered up; there’s no special login required to connect. Simple Service Plan

For a fixed monthly fee, business aircraft passengers can use their laptops, smart phones, tablets, and PDAs to enjoy a true high-speed Internet experience as often and as much as they want. Service is delivered over multi-purpose Ku-band satellites, making it more affordable than services based on special satellites that support only limited markets. Yonder service truly enables the business aircraft office-in-the-sky for the first time. ViaSat has developed VMT-1500 communications shipset specifically for large cabin business aircraft. It is in daily service today on hundreds of aircraft under STCs developed specifically for the Gulfstream G500/G400/GV/GIV series, Bombardier Global Express and Challenger series, the Cessna Citation X, Boeing BBJ, and others. The VMT-1500 system is the lightest, smallest-footprint Ku-band terminal for high-speed Internet access via satellite to aircraft. The system is sold exclusively through aircraft manufacturers and ViaSat-authorised maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) resellers: Bombardier Aerospace-factory option on Global 5000 and Global XRS; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation-factory option on G450 and G550 aircraft; Duncan Aviation—all US locations; Innotech Aviation— Montreal, Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   17

Civil    Business Aviation Canada; Jet Aviation—all facilities worldwide; Lufthansa Technik- Europe, Asia-Pacific, USA; and Standard Aero—all facilities worldwide. Skylogic Up Ahead

Skylogic, Eutelsat’s broadband affiliate, has teamed with ViaSat, producer of innovative satellite and wireless communications products, to provide in-flight communications to business jets flying over Europe. The new service has already been selected by ARINC, a world leader in aviation communications, which announces that passengers on over 40 business jets flying over European airspace are now benefiting from satellite-based in-flight communications. ARINC provides users with European coverage through Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 2. The service supplied by ViaSat and Skylogic, called D-Star aero, provides business aviation passengers with office-inthe-sky communications, including access to e-mail, Internet, voice over IP (VOIP), fax over IP (FOIP) and corporate intranets. On-board access to users through laptops is provided via a Wi-Fi hotspot installed inside the aircraft. Full service can work during taxi, take-off, flight and landing. The full avionics system weighs less than 20 kilos, including a 30 cm circular antenna which is tail-mounted and fits on larger business aircraft including Gulfstream GIV, GIV-SP, G400, GV, G500, G550, Cessna Citation X, Dassault Falcon 900, and Bombardier Global Express and Challengers. ARINC supplies the service under its SkyLink brand to business jet manufacturers and is also working to make this high-speed broadband service a standard option on new business aircraft. Dassault Falcon has already received more than 90 orders for the Falcon 7X between 2007 and 2010.

Photographs Left to right: gulfstream, cessna

Tooway, Faster and Economical

The good news is that faster, more economical solutions are on the way. Eutelsat Communications recently launched its first Ka-band high-throughput satellite, marking the kickoff of its “Tooway” broadband product. The company expects this platform to deliver “cost-effective” high-bandwidth service across Europe and the Mediterranean basin—at speeds of up to 10 mbps downstream and four mbps upstream. Ka-band— which won’t be available to business aviation before 2014— may not provide such eye-popping data-transfer speeds, but it should be a substantial improvement over current offerings. India, a Growing Market for Bizjets

Even as Indian commercial carriers are facing a tough time sustaining operations, aircraft manufacturers feel that the demand for private jets in the country is set to soar with economic growth and the burgeoning number of high-networth individuals. 18    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Most advanced: gulfstream G550 hosts standard features like A fax machine, a printer, a wireless local area network and satellite communication

The growth in the business aircraft sector is driven by Indian corporates who utilise the executive jets to ferry between cities and remote locations faster on a comfortable mode.”As Indian companies increasingly compete on the global market, with customers around the world, demand for time-saving tools such as business jets will continue as key executives try to make the most out of their workdays,” states Nilesh Pattanayak of Bombardier Aerospace. The market for luxury jets is growing not just in the cities but also in India’s heartland where some of the projects are located. In its latest projections for the Indian market, Bombardier forecasts 1,330 deliveries of business jets in India by 2030 by all business jet makers. Bombardier currently has over 30 business jets based or registered in India. Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, said at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) that it is seeing high levels of interest from Asia around the planned game-changing mid-size business jet, the Citation Latitude, scheduled to enter service in 2015. Bill Harris, Cessna’s Vice President, Sales for Asia and Asia Pacific, said: “Overall demand for light and mid-size business jets in Asia is undoubtedly increasing, and we are finding customers eager for deliveries ‘now’ rather than later. We are seeing particularly high levels of interest from customers who, for example, already own or operate a mid-size Cessna Citation such as the Citation XLS+ and are planning their future purchases. The Citation Latitude represents a logical next step to a new, more advanced Citation and like the Citation XLS+, offers a high residual value.” Announced in October 2011, the Citation Latitude will offer Cessna’s widest-yet passenger cabin with stand-up access throughout the aircraft’s length of more than 16 feet. The Citation Latitude combines the payload, speed and range

Civil    Business Aviation

big, bold & beautiful: cessna citation cj4 boasts of the most stylishly decorated, ergonomically designed cabin ever

customers want with an unmatched cabin experience at its price point ($14.9 million in 2011). Designed for a crew of two plus up to eight passengers, the aircraft will have a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 metres) and a maximum cruise speed of 442 knots (819 km/h). The Citation Latitude will climb to 43,000 feet (13,106 metres) in just 23 minutes. The Citation Latitude features the fully integrated Garmin G5000 avionics system and Clairity, an intelligent cabin technology solution developed by Cessna in partnership with Dallas-based heads-up technologies. Clairity ties into the avionics system and integrates cabin electrical systems with data and communication sharing through a fibre-optic backbone. Cabin systems are controlled either through intuitive touch-screen user interfaces at each seat, or customers’ personal electronic devices. Embraer keeps abreast of latest communication systems

Embraer equips its mid-light Legacy 450, mid-size Legacy 500 and ultra-large cabin Lineage 1000 aircraft with International Communications Group (ICG)’s datalink-capable Iridium Communications Systems (ICS). ICG is the primary satellite communications provider to Embraer Executive Jet owners on various business jet models to include the Lineage 1000 and Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 series aircraft. Legacy 650 new cabin management system The Legacy 650 is sporting its new, state-of-the-art improvements to passenger comfort and productivity as well as advanced cockpit technology that is now standard on the large-class executive aircraft. “The 2012 Legacy 650 interior significantly raises the bar for the large executive aircraft class,” said Ernest Ed-

wards, President, Embraer Executive Jets. “We offer a new cabin management system, reduced noise levels and avionics advances that equip the aircraft for the future air traffic control system. It also includes new finishing materials for cabin, galleys and lavatories. With this new interior customers will have a more advanced and comfortable environment in which to relax or to maintain their productivity.” The new cabin management system (CMS)—Honeywell’s Ovation Select— is the same as that offered on Embraer’s in-development programmes, the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500. The all-digital system features high definition monitors and audio. The media unit features iPod and iPhone docking systems, a 3-D moving map and blu-ray player. It also includes USB, HDMI, VGA and composite video ports. The interior includes an 8.9-inch touchscreen CMS controller in the galley as well as individual, in-seat touchscreen units that control video, audio, lighting and temperature. A 17.5-inch LCD monitor comes standard but customers can choose from a number of monitor options including up to a 32-inch credenza version, a 24-inch, aftbulkhead configuration or individual seat monitors. The entire system can be complemented by crisp, two-zone surround sound. For the US operators, the Legacy 650 can come equipped with XM Radio. Falcon Spreads its Wings

Dassault is the Indian market leader for large cabin, longrange aircraft and continues to consolidate its position as the benefits of business aviation become recognised by an increasing number of Indian companies and private owners. Private investment in the country’s aviation infrastructure and growing support by the Indian authorities are making this dynamic market even more attractive. About 20 Falcons are currently operating from airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. Several additional aircraft are on order for delivery to Indian customers over the next two years. Almost half of the new aircraft orders are for Dassault’s flagship, the Falcon 7X, the first business jet certified with a fully-digital flight control system. “We remain encouraged by the potential for long-term growth in business aviation in India,” said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon. “Business jets are now seen in the region as a powerful tool to enable quick and convenient access to customers within the country and worldwide. The dramatic growth of the economy and the experience of travelling on commercial airlines have all contributed to the expansion of the market over the last few years.”  SP Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   19

Civil    Regional Aviation


Only W AY OUT Regional airlines generally operate best on the low-cost model and have to struggle relentlessly to keep the expenses down. Still, in many parts of the world, regional services may not be commercially viable. But there is simply no alternative to regional aviation in taking aviation services to remote and isolated communities. By Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha, Goa

Photograph Left to right: embraer, sp guide pubns, bombardier

excellent sales: Embraer’s ERJ 145


ver the last few decades, regional aviation has become a vital segment of the airline industry in many parts of the world. Take the example of United States, the trailblazer of regional operations. According to the US Regional Airline Association, more than 13,000 regional flights operate every day constituting 52 per cent of the nation’s commercial schedule. About 40 per cent of the US passenger fleet is made up of regional jets and turboprops totalling over 2,700 aircraft. Most notably, regional carriers serve 631 communities across the country and in 75 per cent of such cases; they provide the only scheduled service. Although regional aviation takes various forms, that’s the crux of the concept. Across the globe, if not for regional airlines, scores of towns and small cities would be bereft of

20    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

an air link because the mainstream carriers do not consider them commercially viable. Sometimes regional airlines, with their smaller aircraft, are the only ones that can provide air services to places with short runways, because regular narrow-body jets cannot operate from there. How It All Began

In the early days of commercial aviation, airline fleets consisted mainly of short range propeller-driven aircraft. Many small airlines were set up to link their home base with the closest cities and towns, often not more than a couple of hundred kilometres away. In a sense, most airlines were regionals. However, in the late 1930s, when long-range aircraft with increased capacity began to be produced in large numbers, airlines like the British Overseas Airways Corporation

Civil    Regional Aviation

major players: Turboprops like the ATR 72-500

and Trans-Canada Airlines were formed regionals operating under their own and Bombardier Q400 NextGen are to exploit their potential. Many older airbrand providing independent services popular in the domestic market lines like KLM (founded 1919) and Pan to off-the-beaten-track communities, Am (founded 1927) also switched to bigfor whom the airline was the only viger planes. They did not wish to expend able link to a larger town. Delta Airlines their energies on small cities, preferring claims credit for pioneering the now instead to operate on the major long-distance routes. A natu- ubiquitous hub-and-spoke system in the US, starting with ral market thus developed for the pygmy airlines—they could its hub at Atlanta, Georgia. use their small, slow, older planes (eventually called regional To keep their enterprise economical, regional airlines were aircraft) to collect passengers from communities without suf- often reluctant to spend large sums on new planes. Instead ficient demand to attract mainline service. They would ferry they opted for cheap war-surplus aircraft like the Douglas them to the nearest major airport, from where the giant car- DC-3. Another favourite source was the rejects or hand-meriers could take them onwards to their desired destination. downs from the major carriers. This practice of using older In this respect, they functioned as feeder airlines. But it was planes continued with designs like the Convair 440, Douglas a dog-eat-dog world and many of these small regional air- DC-6 and Vickers Viscount. But from the 1960s, regionals belines were soon acquired by the larger flag carriers to func- gan operating aircraft specially tailored to their needs, like the tion as captive sources of generating passengers. Fokker F27 Friendship and BAC One-Eleven. This extended Some commuter airlines also developed. These were the range of regional aircraft dramatically, resulting in some

A Sampling of Regional Aircraft Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Co.


Powerplant Type

Service Entry


Cruise speed (km/h)

Approx. Number Delivered







ATR 42







ATR 72







ERJ 145






Bombardier Aerospace







Bombardier Aerospace







Bombardier Aerospace







Bombardier Aerospace








Source: Wikipedia and Respective OEM’s website

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   21

Civil    Regional Aviation not-so-friendly competition with the major airlines and ultimately triggering another wave of consolidation. Deregulation and After

Although the US likes to project itself as a champion of the free market, for much of the 20th century its airline industry was heavily regulated by the government through the Civil Aeronautics Board. Then in 1978 the Airline Deregulation Act removed most controls and ushered in a new era of air travel. Many airlines, now free to choose their routes, abandoned the less profitable ones serving smaller communities. This encouraged numerous start-up airlines to enter the market, some prudently entering cooperative agreements with the large airlines to form hub-and-spoke networks. The trend came to a head around 1985, when the current business model emerged with a slew of regionals entering code-sharing agreements with major airline partners. The big airlines assumed most of the risk while providing nearly double-digit margins to regional airlines. Both benefitted by increased growth. Some regionals, however, preferred to operate as independent pointto-point carriers in order to avoid having to kowtow to the demands of the major airlines. The India Story

Hub-and-Spoke or Point-to-Point

The hub-and-spoke model is a key feature of regional aviation. A hub is a major airport that functions as a transfer point to convey passengers to their destinations. A hub-andspoke system is formed by a number of flight connections arranged like a chariot wheel, with flights moving along spokes connecting to the hub at the centre. Travellers naturally prefer to catch a direct flight from home base to endpoint. This is the familiar point-to-point mode of travel that is invariably chosen if both cities are connected. However, if a particular city pair is not served, passengers have no alternative but to travel to an airport that offers a flight to their destination, or nearest to it. Airlines prefer the huband-spoke system because it generally leads to more efficient use of scarce transportation resources. But it is more time consuming and expensive for travellers since they need two or more flights to reach their destination. The last significant regional growth spurt happened when new-model regional jets arrived on the scene in the early 1990s. These short- to mediumhaul turbofan aircraft made regional travel much more comfortable than in the days of the Spartan DC-3s. The Bombardier CRJ series is the most famous example of the type and its main competitor, the Embraer ERJ 145, has also seen excellent sales. Regional jets are getting larger and faster and their range is increasing. They are also becoming more comfortable. The trend may reach its peak with the 110-130 seat Bombardier CSeries due to enter service late next year. A stretched version CSeries, if developed, may be almost as large as the narrow-body airliners operated by the major airlines. Fuel-efficient turboprops are also in great demand for regional operations with aircraft like the Bombardier Q400, ATR 42/72 and Embraer Brasilia particularly popular with regionals. However, the last five years have somewhat dampened the regional aviation party in some parts of the world. In the US, the financial downturn and soaring fuel prices have forced mainline operators to rein in their own costs and in turn impose much tighter contracts on the regionals, practically driving them to the brink. Even big regionals are in trouble, Pinnacle Airlines being only the latest in a long line. The financial viability of the American regional airline model is itself being questioned all over again. But whatever the outcome of the current turmoil, there is simply no alternative to regional aviation extending services to remote and isolated communities.  SP

Across the globe, if not for regional airlines, scores of towns and small cities would be bereft of an air link because the mainstream carriers do not consider them commercially viable

In comparison, India’s regional aviation story is humdrum. The state-owned carrier, Indian Airlines, made sporadic efforts to take aviation to out-of-theway destinations but without much success. In 1981, Vayudoot was established as a regional airline. It was planned to operate mainly in the North-eastern region that was practically without transportation services. Vayudoot had a hub at Calcutta and operated to almost 30 airports in this challenging region. Although it flew to over 100 destinations across the country at its peak, it never established itself on a strong commercial footing. Its financial performance steadily deteriorated and the airline was dissolved in 1993. The only other regional carrier the country has seen was MDLR Airlines, based in Gurgaon. It launched operations in March 2007, during a major growth period for Indian aviation. Then it was hit by steeply rising oil prices and suspended operations in November 2009. Consequently, not a single regional airline is in operation today. However, the regional space is partly filled by the major airlines operating feeder services with turboprops like the Bombardier Q400 NextGen and the ATR 72-500. Regional airlines generally operate best on the low-cost model and have to struggle relentlessly to keep the expenses down. Still, in many parts of the world, regional services may not be commercially viable. They are subsidised or given tax breaks as encouragement to offer aviation services to small, isolated and far-flung communities that no major airline wants to touch throughout the year. Even in the US, 22    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

the Essential Air Service subsidy was introduced in 1978 to help rural airports in danger of being divested of air services as the aviation industry switched to a market-based system. The programme currently serves over 150 communities.

Civil   Industry

Newest & …in Filming and Broadcasting

Photographs: schiebel


rain Farm Digital Cinema, Snaproll Media and Schiebel have announced that the Camcopter S-100 has completed its first flight with the Cineflex camera as the first unmanned air system (UAS) ever. The days of shooting were successfully carried out in Austria, bringing new levels of innovation to the film and broadcasting industry professionals around the world. The introduction of the new aerial cinematography solution will take place at this year’s NAB Show to be held from April 14 to 19, in Las Vegas. The shoots were performed with Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 UAS with an integrated Cineflex which is the ultimate gyro-stabilised solution for aerial cinematography. The Cineflex is a multi-axis coordinated gimbal control system that provides layered isolation, steering, and fine correctional movements to stabilise a wide selection of precision optics to a sub-pixel level. “The Camcopter S-100 UAS can carry a variety of cameras suitable and capable of providing high definition accuracy, important for today’s film and television directors. Its ability to hover and precisely manoeuvre for extended periods of time, offering a truly stable platform, provides another dimension of artistic freedom from a basic set to


extreme situations beyond manned limits,” says Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman, Schiebel Group. The S-100 navigates via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. Under the special direction of Brain Farm Digital Cinema and Snaproll Media, a number of shoots were taken of motor cross bikes and a rally car, despite the environmental conditions with high wind speeds up to 24 knots. The Camcopter S-100 UAS was able to capture fully stabilised clear high quality images with ease. “Flying the Cineflex on the proven Schiebel Camcopter S-100, was an exciting accomplishment and is a great start to proving and developing the S-100 to be the most advanced UAV aerial cinema system in the industry,” says Preston Ryon of Snaproll Media. “It was a dream of mine to find a way to fly the Cineflex remotely. I never thought it was possible. Now with the use of the Camcopter S-100 UAS, my dreams have become a reality and I am very excited about what the future holds with these advancements,” said Curt Morgan, founder and CEO of Brain Farm Digital Cinema. To know more, visit Booth C9545 at NAB Show, Las Vegas.  SP Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   23

Civil   Industry

Bell Opens New Office

John L. Garrison, President & CEO, Bell Helicopter (cutting the ribbon) with Wg Cdr B.S. Singh Deo, Managing Director, Bell Helicopter India Operations (Right) and Rishi Malhotra General Manager-India Bell Helicopter India Operations (Left)

John L. Garrison, President & CEO, Bell Helicopter lighting the lamp while Rishi Malhotra looks on

All Smiles: Wg Cdr B.S. Singh Deo, John L. Garrison and Rishi Malhotra

John L. Garrison unveiling the new India office

‘We foresee a dramatic growth in the next 20 years. India presents many opportunities; it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a large and diverse geographical area.’

Photographs: H.C. Tiwari


ell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, opened a new office in New Delhi on April 12. John L. Garrison, Bell Helicopter’s President and CEO, inaugurated the new office at Hotel Grand’s Commercial Block. “Bell Helicopter is investing in India. We believe that there is tremendous growth opportunity in terms of sales and manufacturing. This is an important day for Bell Helicopter as we celebrate our continued commitment and partnership with our customers in India,” said John L. Garrison, President and CEO, Bell Helicopter. While Garrison admitted that Eurocopter is a leader in the global market, he gleefully added that Bell is a leading supplier in India. “India and China are the fastest growing markets in the global marketplace, and have a massive population. Both the markets are underserved by the helicopters. We foresee a dramatic growth in the next 20 years. India 24    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

presents many opportunities; it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a large and diverse geographical area. Helicopters are required for various missions from oilfield operations to medical evacuations; assisting in business growth and moving people from one city to the other.” It may be noted that Bell Helicopter has been operating in India for nearly 20 years now and there are currently around 107 Bell aircraft operating throughout India. “We are rated best in customer service and have a strong history supporting our customers in their missions. Bell Helicopter has two Customer Service Facilities in the region. Bell Helicopter also has full-time customer service representation. Bell Helicopter team boasts of about 80 engineers,” said Garrison, answering to SP’s questions on Bell’s outlook on the Asia-Pacific region and customer service and support.  SP —SP’s Correspondent with inputs from Neetu Dhulia

The C-17 Globemaster III is the world’s most capable airlifter, able to perform the full range of both tactical and strategic airlift requirements. Whether it’s transporting out-sized cargo and personnel or delivering humanitarian relief into virtually any environment, the C-17 provides oneof-a-kind mission flexibility. A world of capability and value, ready now. C - 1 7 . T O D AY, M O R E T H A N E V E R .

Conference Report   DPP

power-packed deliberations: Manish Tewari, MP and Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence delivering his speech at the conference (above); Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament, Industrialist & Member, Consultative Committee, MoD addressing the audience (right)



A day-long conference on the Defence Procurement Procedure organised by SP Guide Publications in collaboration with ORF in New Delhi on May 2 emphasised on the need to streamline our defence procurement system to get the best equipment for our soldiers and reap maximum benefit in the future

Photographs: H.C. Tiwari


ince its introduction cians, etc pondering and talking about By Sucheta Das in 2002 and followed by sev“Streamlining the Defence Procurement Mohapatra eral amendments till date, System”. The conference began with Lt the Defence Procurement General (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma, DistinProcedure (DPP) of India has guished Fellow, ORF, emphasising on been a subject of deliberathe need for transparency in the detion amongst defence experts, origifence procurement system. nal equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Giving his welcome remarks, Sunpublic and private sector enterprises, etc. And despite be- joy Joshi, Director, ORF, questioned, “Should DPP remain ing a progressive version, DPP 2011, has been a subject of aloof from strategic parameters?” “Our domestic policies much debate, with demands for streamlining the procure- today will define the country’s military environment in ment procedure coming from all quarters. Keeping this in the future.” view, SP Guide Publications in collaboration with the ObFormer Secretary, Defence Production and Chairman server Research Foundation (ORF) organised a workshop Task Force on Defence Modernisation and Self-Reliance, on DPP at Hotel Oberoi in New Delhi, on May 2. Ravindra Gupta gave out details of the mandate of the Task The day-long conference witnessed industrialists, diplo- Force set up by the National Security Council to focus on mats, bureaucrats, policy makers, defence personnel, politi- issues pertaining to defence modernisation as well as self-

26    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Conference Report   dpp

(top: L-R) A.K. Chopra, Financial Advisor (Defence Services), Ministry of Defence; Dr Vivek Lal President and CEO, Reliance New Ventures; Jayant Patil, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Heavy Engineering, L&T; (above: L-R) Amit Cowshish, Financial Advisor (Acquisition) and Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Finance, Ministry of Defence; Ravindra Pal Singh, Defence Analyst and former Project Leader on Arms Procurement, SIPRI; Major General (Retd) Mrinal Suman, former Technical Manager (Land Systems) and Consultant, CII

Conference Highlights

• A.K. Chopra, Financial Advisor (Defence

Services) indicated on the internal problems which needs to be sorted out within the system

• Jayant Patil, Executive Vice President and

Member of the Board of Heavy Engineering, L&T articulated the grave concerns of private sector and illustrated some of the key issues

• No government policies in place in the

context of Offsets - Major General (Retd) Mrinal Suman strongly argued

• Manish Tewari, Member of Parliament &

Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence indicated on government’s awareness. However synergies need to be worked upon, he said

• Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament,

Industrialist & Member, Consultative Committee, MoD said our forces must receive the latest and the greatest equipment

reliance. He said the focus is on modernisation and selfreliance, and how to leverage from both the public and private sector. He, however, held that there is diffidence at all levels of government to move smoothly and the self-reliance index has only moved slightly. “We have indulged in purchase and not acquisition. The acquiring capability has not been acquired,” he said and added that unfortunately the political will for defence technology is lacking and the Offset clause has so far not been exploited well. A.K. Chopra, Financial Advisor (Defence Services), Ministry of Defence, admitted that there are conflicting interests and a balance has to be struck. He said that deficiencies exist both in the services and the bureaucracy. He spoke about the roadblocks and the need for substantial delegation of power. Chopra emphasised on the need for collegial decision-making but added that there are still issues where agencies have to act on their own. Session I

The first session of the conference was on “Evaluating Defence Procurement Procedure”, which was chaired by Vinod Dhall, Former Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Former Chairman, Competition Commission. He said that though the procurement system has evolved over the years, no statistical record of procurement is available. He emphasised on the need for a dedicated department within the Ministry and a public procurement portal. He spoke on the silent reforms taking place in the public procurement domain and Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   27

Conference Report   dpp the Public Procurement Bill which has been approved by the Cabinet and would soon be introduced in the Parliament. Speaking on “Broader Context of Arms Procurement Reforms”, Ravindra Pal Singh, Defence Analyst and former Project Leader on Arms Procurement, SIPRI, said that there is no consistency in the national security policy-making in India. He said the procurement process is not moving fast enough in India as compared to other democracies. Jayant Patil, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Heavy Engineering, Larsen & Toubro, expressed dissatisfaction at no commensurate increase in offset stipulation. “Taxation of offset is a big issue,” he said and added that the cost differentiation in a product manufactured in India and elsewhere globally is 35 per cent. Patil said that at 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI), no genuine technology would come to India. Addressing the same session, Dr Vivek Lal President and CEO, Reliance New Ventures, gave out the “Private sector perspective on DPP” and said that DPP involves both aspects—procurement and industrialisation. “Offset is a catalyst across the globe and the really successful ones have been discontinued after it met its objectives. There is a cost to offsets and hence it is important to be clear as to what we want to achieve.” Amit Cowshish, Financial Advisor (Acquisition) and Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Finance, Ministry of Defence, spoke on “DPP: Addressing Key Areas and Looking Ahead”. He emphasised on the need to create a permanent professional body to choose vendors. On the “Buy and make” category in the DPP, he questioned why guidelines should be laid for the private sector and why cannot it to be left to the OEM. Cowshish informed that the DPP is now being reviewed by the government in light of the issues raised by the industry players and indicated that the new DPP would look at broadening the scope of offsets and bringing ToT under its ambit. Session II

The post-lunch session began with a special address by Manish Tewari, Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence who spoke vividly on different aspects of defence procurement. Tewari’s words demonstrated government’s interest in bringing constructive changes in the defence procurement process. The second session was on “Defence Procurement—Core Concerns” which was chaired by Vinod K. Mishra, Former Secretary, Department of Defence Finance and Distinguished Fellow, IDSA. Mishra expressed dissatisfaction at the lengthy evaluation timeframes in India. Major General Mrinal Suman, former Technical Manager (Land Systems) and Consultant, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), spoke on “Defence Offset”. He said that the policy has no spelt out objective or aim and that is its ‘weakness’. On the future trends of offset, he said that offset is here to stay. “It is an addiction and difficult to wean away. The reforms are likely to continue. No national offset policy is in the offing.” “The level of FDI has nothing to do with the level of transfer of technology (ToT),” emphasised G. Balachandran, Visiting Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, while speaking on “Translating ToT Into Real Dividends”. “Research and development (R&D) is an essential element in technology transfer. Indian R&D is very narrow and unless the R&D increases, ToT has no value,” he held. 28    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Manish Tewari SPeaks... This particular workshop is happening at a very opportune moment of time when across the country for reasons other than the national debate, there has been a significant amount of focus on the question of defence preparedness and other allied/ related issues. It is also coming right after the standing committee had the opportunity to scrutinise the demands for grants of the Ministry of Defence and report back to the Parliament. What I have been given to understand is that since this morning there have been deliberations and an attempt to see how as to how we can fix the whole procurement system. That fundamentally assumes that the procurement system as it stands today is perhaps broken. I do not subscribe to that point of view and the reason why I say is because in the standing committee defence we heard perspectives from the services, perspectives from the government and perspective of outside experts also, which led us to conclude and that part of it gets reflected in the report also, that there are institutional issues which possibly require a paradigm shift in the manner that we look at the question of equipping ourselves towards preparedness. 26 per cent FDI has also not brought in the players from the international spectrum primarily because of copyright and other issues which essentially as I have heard is their perspective which is holding them back. It’s my personal view that the entire sector possibly needs to be classified into possibly a couple of lists, those areas that are non critical, possibly we can invite 100 per cent foreign investment should be allowed; in other areas which are possibly not in the non-critical areas where we can look at 49-50 per cent and those areas that are extremely crucial to our national security where we do not want that there should not be any outside participation, we shall keep it absolutely closed and say that these are areas that are exclusively reserved for not even the Indian private sector but for the entire public sector towards defence preparedness. There is a feeling that it would require a considerable amount of political conviction to be able to usher in the sort of reforms in this sector.  •

On being questioned by Jayant Baranwal, Editor-inChief, SP Guide Publications, about the concerns of OEMs on technology transfer at low cost, Suman said that it is indeed a concern for the OEMs. “In India, we have not permitted trade in offset. While the Defence Offset Facilitation Agency (DOFA) is understaffed, the Acquisition Wing is overloaded with work. The country must have a single window to listen and thereafter make changes.” The session ended with the assertion that offset has a cost element to it and that gaps in capability outlays have become far more significant. The second session was followed by a valedictory address by Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament and Member, Consultative Committee, MoD. He said that it is necessary to equip our forces with the latest and the greatest equipment. He said that the use of equipment is also important other

Conference Report   dpp

(top: L-R) NAVIN JINDAL with SP’s Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal; Vice AdmIRAL Satish Soni, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice AdmIRAL S.P.S. Cheema, Dy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (DOT) with Jayant Baranwal; Manish TEwari with Jayant Baranwal. (middle: L-R) Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch, Jayant Baranwal and Subimal Bhattacharjee, Country Head, General Dynamics; Roger Rose, Chief Executive - Lockheed Martin India, with Jayant Baranwal; Sunil Bhatia, WASS Finmeccanica, Col Anil Joshi, Manager - Land Systems Finmeccanica and Jayant Baranwal. (above: L-R) M.K. Mishra, HAL Deputy General Manager and Wg Cdr B.S. Singh Deo, Managing Director, Bell Helicopter India; Mats Wigselius, Col (Navy) Defence Attache, Swedish Armed Forces and Dean McCumiskey, MD & CEO - BAE Systems India; Rishi Malhotra, General Manager-India, Bell Helicopter and Todd Hattaway, Regional Sales Director, Hawker Beechcraft

than acquisition. “Are we training our people on how to use the equipment?” he questioned and added that rather than wasting time, why not give our soldiers the latest equipment. “If we can make it indigenously its fine, or else we should acquire it. We should take the delays out and get the best equipment for our soldiers.” Jindal admired SP Guide Publications for organising the workshop and expressed his liking for the informative magazines published by SP’s. The day ended with vote of thanks by Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in -Chief, SP Guide Publications. He said that it is necessary that our defence procurement system be streamlined so that our armed forces do not remain in a state of flux; dealings remain transparent and clearer for overseas and

domestic suppliers. “Our men in uniform working 24x7, receive the best solutions to be equipped with and are thereby capable to handle any kind of challenges coming from any quarters; offsets and alike elements of DPP should work an enabler and not a disabler.” He reiterated that decisions need to be taken on time and added that “we need not always have to reinvent the wheel, which may take longer than acquiring it. We must optimise our key resources”.  SP

More including videos on Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   29

Military   Helicopters

Twin Tracking

Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec

Kamov Ka-226


While both parties are rooting for their respective products, ultimately L1 could emerge as the decisive factor for the final selection. The good news is that many-faceted parameters such as reliability, availability, maintainability and life-cycle costs are included while determining the L1.

Photographs left to right: eurocopter, Kamov, anoop kamath


uring the ongoing after four years of technical evaluations By Air Marshal (Retd) Budget session of the and field trials, for reasons well known V.K. Bhatia Indian Parliament, Minby now and therefore not worth repeatister of Defence A.K. Anting, the entire process was scuttled. ony in a written reply in The procurement process began the Rajya Sabha on May again with the issuance of a new RFP in 2, reiterated, “There was a need to replace the present fleet July 2008. This time around, the nomenclature was changed of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters in service with the Indian from LUH to reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF). Proposals for procure- programme. However, the service qualitative requirements ment of 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (SQRs) essentially remained the same with most of the original (RSH) on ‘Buy Global’ basis and 187 light utility helicopters vendors coming back into the competition with similar ma(LUH) under design and development project by the Hindu- chines offered in the earlier programme. This programme is a stan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for Army and Air Force are part of the greater endeavour of the MoD to equip the armed being progressed. The Finance Department has not raised ob- forces with 384 light utility helicopters, 197 of which will be jections regarding the trial process for selection. The proposal outsourced to foreign vendors and the remaining 187 to be for procurement of RSH is progressing as per the provisions of built indigenously by the HAL. MoD appears to have followed the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). He further stated the dual path of acquiring these helicopters in a foreign/indigthat the indigenous LUH is at design and development phase. enous mix, to balance both the time urgency factor as well as There is little argument on the need for replacing the age- to give in to the HAL’s self-acclaimed capability of delivering a ing Chetaks and Cheetahs. These old designs have consistently world class machine in this category. However, while accepting proven themselves for the past five decades in differing op- HAL’s claims, the MoD has specified a target date for each of erating conditions including the exacting high-altitude opera- the LUH’s milestones: building a mock-up; the design freeze; tions. But the problem is that at their age, the safety margins the first flight; initial operational clearance, and so on. The have become pretty slim. The urgency for replacement of these MoD has also stipulated that every time HAL misses a mileexcellent but increasingly outdated technologies was felt a de- stone; its order reduces from 187. cade ago with the first issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) Creditably, so far the HAL has stayed comfortably ahead in 2003 for the acquisition of 197 light utility helicopters from a of the MoD timelines with a plan to beat the 2017 deadline foreign vendor through a commercial competitive process. But for in-service induction by a full two years. It is now to be 30    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Military   Helicopters A Comparative Table Eurocopter AS550C3/Kamov Ka-226T/HAL LUH (LOH) Foreign Specification Eurocopter Kamov AS550C3 Fennec Ka-226T Crew Capacity Length



2 4 passengers 10.93 m (35 ft 10 in) (fuselage length), 12.94 m (42 ft 6 in) (overall length, ­rotors turning) -

3.34 m (10 ft 11 in) 1,220 kg

Empty Weight Max takeoff 2,250 kg weight Fuel capacity 540 L (143 US Gal) Powerplant 1 × Turbomeca ­Arriel 2B turboshaft, 632 kW (847 shp) (limited to 500 kW (671 shp for take-off) Main rotor 10.69 m diameter (35 ft 1 in) Main rotor 89.75 m2 area (966.1 sq ft) Maximum 246 km/h speed (153 mph; 133 kn) (max cruise) Cruising speed

1 6 8.1 m (25 ft 7 in)

NA 1,400 kg internally, or 1,500 kg on an external sling 4.15 m NA (13 ft 7 in) NA 1,870 kg 3,400 kg

3,015 kg



2× Turbomeca Arrius 2G1, 335 kW (450 hp) each

1 × HAL/ Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft, 1,000 kW (1,400 shp)

2× 13 m (42 ft 8 in) -


205 km/h (127 mph)


195 km/h (121 mph)

240 km/h (140 knots, 161 mph) 330 km/h (178 knots, 207 mph) 350 km (218 mi) 6,500 m (21,300 ft) -

Never exceed 287 km/h speed (178 mph; 155 kn) Range

648 km (403 mi; 350 nmi) Service 5,280 m ceiling (17,323 ft) Hover ceiling Rate of climb 10.30 m/s (2,028 ft/min)

Indigenous HAL Light Utility Helicopter 2 6 NA

600 km (372 miles) 6,200 m (20300 ft) 2,500 m (8200 ft) -


m/s (ft/min)

seen whether it can achieve the self-imposed deadlines of first flight in the current year; certification by 2014, and begin delivery by 2015. The big question is: can the HAL—by now blatantly notorious for not meeting the stipulated timelines—actually turn the tables for the LUH (also known as light observation helicopter (LOH)) programme? And what is happening on the foreign acquisition front with a four-year-old RFP? The earlier dread of a possible yet

again cancellation in 2010 thankfully subsided and the laborious acquisition process was allowed to continue. Two years later, the latest buzz indicates that AgustaWestland has lost out in the competition as they appeared to have brought a civilian version instead of a military version for the trials. Two helicopters: Eurocopter’s AS550C3 Fennec and Kamov’s Ka226T have been shortlisted, having met the revised technical and operational specifications. Reports suggest that the process has reached the stage to be examined by the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) whose job is to basically confirm that all previous procedures have been meticulously followed. It follows therefore, that the process should soon reach the stage for ‘opening the financial bids’. Little wonder that both the European and Russian vendors have stepped up efforts to lobby for their respective machines. It is common knowledge that even reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters need to be capable of fulfilling various roles— personnel transport, escort and armed missions, casualty evacuation and observation. The three key expectations from a successful helicopter in this segment therefore are; manoeuvrability, versatility and, agility. Both parties are currently engaged in extolling the advantages of their respective platforms. According to Rosoboronexport, the Ka-226T’s design is a refinement of the proven Ka-26, featuring interchangeable mission pods. The aircraft is fitted with a new rotor system, increased visibility nose, and new passenger cabin design. The Ka-226 also features a new transmission system and is made largely from composite materials. The aircraft is fitted with trademark Kamov coaxial rotors of advanced composite design, making the Ka-226 highly manoeuvrable and eliminating the need for a tail rotor. A significant competitive advantage of the Russian bid is that it is being offered together with a luring offset (yet to be disclosed) programme. On the other hand, Eurocopter propagates ‘Fennec’ to be its most advanced and proven light military helicopter which among myriad roles also include the armed version with complete weapon systems. It can be fitted for anti-tank, air-to-air combat and ground support, apart from it being used as an observation/utility helicopter. The Fennec incorporates state-of-the-art reinforced high-strength glass fibre and aramid airframe. The Starflex main rotor head and blades are also of composite materials for added strength and weight reduction. According to Eurocopter, “Fennec has demonstrated excellent results and is fully compliant with the expectations of the Indian armed forces.” While both parties are rooting for their respective products, ultimately L1 could emerge as the decisive factor for the final selection. The good news is that many-faceted parameters such as reliability, availability, maintainability and life-cycle costs are included while determining the L1. These factors could easily tilt the scales one way or the other for the competing platforms. On a highly optimistic note, if HAL does live up to its stated timelines for production of the indigenous LUH, it could easily be at par with or even beat the winner of the ‘foreign vendor’ 197 units-RSH programme which is yet to cross a few more milestones in the ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ chain before the contract gets concluded. In the final analysis, however, it is hoped that both programmes are allowed to run concurrently to facilitate the armed forces to get their much-awaited replacements for the ageing Chetak/Cheetah fleets.  SP Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   31

Military   UCAV




While Pakistan is reported to be seeking the Chinese armed UAV, the Indian armed forces are also looking at retrofitting air-to-surface missiles on their Israeli-supplied Heron UAV and on the indigenous Rustom UAV under development by DRDO.

Photographs Left to right: Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Nasa, Drdo

The US National Defense Authorisation Act for the FY 2001 had stated, “It shall be a goal of the armed forces to achieve the fielding of unmanned, remotely controlled technology, such that by 2010, one-third of the aircraft in the operational deep-strike force are unmanned.”


By Air Marshal (Retd) uch directions are the limitations of communications a far cry from the Project link loss as well as losses due to autoB.N. Gokhale, Pune ‘Have Lemon’ initiated in mation failures had resulted in many 1971 to develop unmanned designs remaining dormant. With the attack systems armed with need to carry out aggressive but air Maverick missiles, which patrols for enforcing ‘no-fly zones’ in was abandoned in 1979, somewhat Iraq and later in the Balkans, the designifying the meaning of word velopment of UCAVs was accelerated. ‘lemon’ in slang, for ‘worthless’. However, it was an irony There is an evolutionary difference between the UAV and of sorts that this same project was once again revived by the UCAV. While UAVs have been configured for many pasNorthrop Grumman in 2003, in which unmanned combat sive roles and battle support functions, the UCAVs are fitted air vehicle (UCAV) named ‘Fire-bee’ was displayed carrying with dispensable munitions thereby assigning armed comtwo Hellfire anti-armour missiles as well as a pod for dis- bat functions. ‘Dispensable munitions’ is an important term pensing remote battlefield sensors. in defining the UCAV, as it is the reusability of the UCAV, From the earliest use of unmanned balloons loaded with which distinguishes it from a classic cruise missile assigned explosives by the Austrians in 1849 to attack the Italian city to a target on a one-way mission. Hence, armed UAVs have of Venice, the UCAV did not get the desired attention till the become the initial versions of UCAV such as the US Predator US air operations over Iraq and Afghanistan. Although many and Reaper carrying Hellfire missiles, Israeli Elbit Hermes projects had been undertaken in the US since the Vietnam 450 UAV with Hellfire as well as Spike missiles and the ChiWar to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and UCAV, nese Chang Hong-3 with AR-1 Missiles, etc to name a few. 32    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Military   UCAV While Pakistan is reported to be seeking the Chinese armed UAV, the Indian armed forces are also looking at retrofitting air-to-surface missiles on their Israeli-supplied Heron UAV and on the indigenous Rustom UAV under development by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). However, there would be a quantum jump in the UCAV operations when newer dedicated models are fielded in the near future. In 1996, the United States Air Force (USAF) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) determined that there were 10 important missions for UCAV. These were: • Deep coverage survivable ISR • Armed reconnaissance • Air surveillance • Positive target identification and bomb damage assessment • ISR of hazardous environment • Survivable deep strike • Airborne electronic attack • Persistent strike combat air patrol (heavy) • Destruction/suppression of enemy air defences • Airborne communications node As one can notice, most of the missions mentioned above are what any classic air force carries out with manned combat aircraft. But the political compulsions of reducing battle causalities or ‘body bags’ and considerable lower costs for developing unmanned systems as against the manned aircraft is shifting the balance in favour of UCAVs. For UCAV, there are neither any environmental compulsions such as onboard oxygen nor the need for ejection seats and associated combat search and rescue operations. Hence during the first Gulf War, Lockheed Martin had proposed fielding modified unmanned F-16B aircraft to be flown remotely for armed patrol duties. Later in 1999, Boeing Phantom Works was awarded a contract to develop two ‘X-45A’ UCAV technology demonstrators ahead of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Boeing rolled out the first prototype in September 2000. The newer versions have the capability of mid-air refuelling, self-designating pods and more importantly autonomous control, reducing the continuous monitoring by an operator on the ground. Two such UCAVs have also been fitted with the standard USAF ‘Link16’ and flown on cooperative test missions. Such tests have demonstrated future operations by multiple UCAVs, integration of UCAVs with other military aircraft and the feasibility of integration within the entire

battlefield. The US in particular is fast progressing development of various models of UCAVs with stealth features having longer ranges and payloads. The US Navy has also shown interest in Northrop Grumman UCAV X-47B and the J-UCAS programme. But what is of considerable interest is the submarine launched Lockheed Martin UCAV design capable of carrying a weapon load of 450 kilograms with a range of about 1,100 kilometres. Meanwhile, a number of other countries have also initiated UCAV programmes but somewhat slower than the US. Taranis is a British programme, which is a UCAV demonstrator with fully integrated autonomous systems and low observable features. It will have the capability to ‘think for itself’. The British have also displayed a concept UCAV designated as ‘Proteus’. The French seem somewhat lagging behind in the UCAV programme but are developing armed UAV Sagem Sperwer B. The Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) has recently rolled out the ‘Eitan’, a huge UCAV with antiballistic and assault capabilities. In recent years, China has been actively scouting, purchasing and developing technologies to support its indigenous UAV and UCAV programmes. India too has launched an indigenous UCAV programme known as AURA, which stands for the autonomous unmanned research aircraft. Although still at its conceptual stage, the proposed Indian unmanned strike aircraft (IUSA) or Indian unmanned strike aircraft programme (IUSAP) is based on proven technology of the light combat aircraft (LCA). It is hoped that the lessons from other indigenous progremmes like Nishant and Rustam would help in making the UCAV a reality. Despite all the progress in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the resultant automation, the UCAV is best when fielded in complementary roles with manned combat aircraft. This is because of the lack of inherent flexibility availed by a manned aircraft due to onboard split second decision-making capability of a pilot. In the initial days of war when numbers of missions over targets for ‘parallel warfare’ as well as the total throw weight against the adversary becomes crucial for achieving air superiority, a complementary role for the UCAV will become vital. In what combination should the manned combat aircraft and UCAVs participate would depend on the indigenous technological prowess on one hand and the air force doctrine on the other. The Indian Air Force needs to look at all such options for the future.  SP

INDigenous UAV: DRDO’s rustom-1 recently made its 14th successful flight

trendsetter: boeing’s x-45A UCAV

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   33

Show Report   Defexpo

Indigenisation Mantra

Defexpo 2012, jointly organised by the Ministry of Defence and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, brought 567 exhibitors (up from 412 in 2010) from 32 countries for the country’s biggest-ever land, naval and homeland security systems exhibition at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from March 29 to April 1

Photograph: Pib


By R. Chandrakanth hat India will conhad taken the most space at the show tinue to be one of the with 1,293 square metres and Russia biggest defence markets had the highest number of companies for some time to come (37). The US and France had considis obvious to the world. erable representation. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) heading to India in droves is a natural India Focus corollary and Defexpo 2012 made an emphatic statement As the Indian defence forces and homeland security acquisition needs are growing, there is enhanced momentum in to that effect. Defexpo 2012, jointly organised by the Ministry of De- defence production and procurement. Hence, the mantra at fence and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce the seventh edition of Defexpo India 2012 was to enhance and Industry (FICCI), brought 567 exhibitors (up from 412 private sector participation and revitalise the public sector in 2010) from 32 countries for the country’s biggest-ever to accelerate defence production in India. The agenda for land, naval and homeland security systems exhibition at this was set by Defence Minister A.K. Antony who inaugurated the event. Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from March 29 to April 1. The editorial team of SP Guide Publications which spoke The 32 countries included Russia, France, Israel, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germa- to a number of OEMs and defence officials found that they ny, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nether- were not only enthused by the market prospects, but also lands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Singapore, Slovak Repub- were ready for the long haul. Importantly, they found that lic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Turkey, USA Defexpo had matured over the years and the quality of exhiand the UK. There was strong presence from Israel which bition and conferences had ‘upped’ considerably.

34    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Show Report   Defexpo Though a substantial number of foreign OEMs were present, the refrain was to increase the level of indigenisation, with or without transfer of technology. Defence Minister A.K. Antony was emphatic that India’s thrust area was high level of indigenisation in defence. “Our emphasis is on public-private sector partnership in the defence industry. Enabling policy framework has been put in place to develop indigenous capabilities through harnessing the potential and utilising the resources available both in the public and the private sector. Our defence industry is now open up to 100 per cent for Indian private sector participation, while foreign direct investment (FDI) is permissible up to 26 per cent.”

cle (MPV). However, the showstopper was the Xenon Recce 4x4, a multi-purpose vehicle that will serve as a general service, troop carrier, escort, recce or a weapon mount vehicle. MKU ties up with German firm

MKU, India’s leading manufacturer and supplier of ballistic protection and surveillance equipment for armed forces, paramilitary forces and police worldwide announced a 50:50 joint venture with EIS Electronics GMBH from Germany to form EIS Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. The companies will invest $5 million (`25 crore) to manufacture cable harness products. US-India Partnership Strengthens

Defence Outsourcing Hub

With the introduction of the Defence Offset policy, India is gradually becoming a key outsourcing hub for the global defence industry. “Defexpo demonstrates our capability to design, develop and deliver a wide range of military and civil products and services to meet the stringent specifications and that too at the most competitive price. We are open to enter into mutually beneficial agreements with friendly countries in the field of critical and state-of-the-art futuristic defence technologies. We would welcome all such proposals in our endeavour to modernise our armed forces.” The Minister of State for Defence Dr M.M. Pallam Raju said that the introduction of the new category of acquisition, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, is a major shift enabling Indian industries to enter into joint ventures with foreign OEMs. The route opened up ways for technology transfer. Launches, MoUs, JVs and other Mega Deals

Defexpo 2012 presented a perfect platform for companies to showcase their capabilities and further their business. The seventh edition saw a slew of launches, memoranda of understanding, joint ventures and other mega deals. Here we present some of the major announcements at the show. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) launched about 70 products (some of which had dual application). It had on display its well-known missile systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and soldier support systems, explosive detection kits, etc. The country expects more from DRDO and there seems to be some promise on that front. DRDO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for development of Indian automatic identification system (IAIS) for coastal security. It is a satellite data terminal which will be jointly developed by the Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL), Dehradun and BEL. Mahindra enters into JVs

Private sector is making fast inroads into defence production and many big players are betting big on it. Mahindra & Mahindra Limited announced two joint ventures—first with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the other with Telephonics Corporation, a subsidiary of the North America’s Griffon Corporation. Tata’s Showstopper

The Tatas had many products on display including the LPTA 5252 12x12 Prahaar missile system, the 8x8 Pinaka container, the 8x8 and 6x6 carrier and the mine protected vehi-

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) Executive Defence Mission to Defexpo signalled the deepened defence and security partnership between the United States and India. The Executive Mission was led by General Paul J. Kern (Retd), Senior Counsellor, Cohen Group and Vice Admiral (Retd) Kevin J. Cosgriff, Senior Vice President, International Business & Government, Textron Systems. ATK, BAE Systems Inc, Boeing, Cohen Group, DuPont, General Dynamics, Harris, Honeywell, ITT Exelis, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Navistar Defense, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, PwC, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, SAS, Sikorsky, Telephonics Corporation, Textron Systems, Tyco, and many other companies were active at the show. On display were current offerings such as Textron Systems’ ground-based smart weapons and naval common unmanned surface vessel, BAE Systems’ M777 155mm lightweight howitzer, armoured security and light combat vehicles, tactical communications equipment, integrated weapons systems, thermal imaging technologies and network munitions systems. French Pavilion

The French pavilion coordinated by GICAN, the French Marine Industry Association, and GICAT, the French Land Defence Industry Association had exhibitors such as Alkan, ASB Aerospatiale Batteries, CILAS, CNIM, DCI, DCNS, EADS, ECA EN, ECA Robotics, , ELNO SN, Eurenco, Euronaval, Eurosatory, Exxelia, MBDA, Nexter, Panhard, Renault Trucks Defence, Thales etc. Dassault Rafale winning the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition has come as a humongous boost to French companies which are looking at synergies. Israel and Russian dominance continues

Both the countries which have had long-standing defence partnership with India were present in substantial numbers. The major Israeli companies at Defexpo included Rafael, IAI, Elbit Systems, IWI, Controp, SIBAT (Israel’s Defence Export and Defence Cooperation agency which coordinates sales of Israeli companies). Israelis showcased a wide range of ISR platforms and electro-optical payloads, communication systems and radios, etc which are key inputs in an asymmetric warfare. The pronounced statement from Defexpo has been that India is looking for strategic partnership to grow its own defence production at an accelerated pace. With liberal policies, it is happening, and the defence industry is abuzz with activity.  SP Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   35

Show Report   Defexpo

Photographs: Sp guide pubns

The Defence Minister A.K. Antony inaugurates Defexpo 2012 by lighting a lamp in New Delhi on March 29, 2012

The Defence Minister A.K. Antony addressing the audience at the inauguration of Defexpo 2012

Minister of State for Defence Dr M.M. Pallam Raju addressing the audience

SP Guide Publications CMD and Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal presenting a bouquet of flowers to Defence Minister A.K. Antony at SP Guide Publications booth

Jayant Baranwal welcoming the Minister of State for Defence Dr M.M. Pallam Raju to SP Guide Publications booth

36    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

Show Report   Defexpo

Dinesh Keskar, President, Boeing India and Jayant Baranwal full of smiles

Air Vice Marshal Shouvik Roy of Aviation Research Centre (ARC) with Jayant Baranwal

Delegates during the inauguration

Aerovironment displaying unmanned systems

skeldar v-200 uas model on display in saab stall

Northrop Grumman’s Long Endurance Multi Intelligence Vehicle model on display

typhoon model on display

shinmaywa’s stall dispaying models of their amphibian aircraft

thales stall displaying their aerospace and defence security product line

Airbus military stall displaying models of a330 mrtt and c295 aircraft

boeing stall displaying an array of military aircraft models

IAI stall displaying ELTA’s third generation elw-2090 aew&c model

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   37

Show Report   Defexpo

Show Highlights

Raytheon to help IAF Jaguars acquire high-end Precision Teeth


uring Defexpo 2012, Raytheon revealed that it has started procuring components required to build munition control Units (MCUs) for 126 of the IAF’s Jaguar Darin II strike aircraft. Once installed on the Jaguar, the MCUs would enable integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft with minimal to no modifications to aircraft wiring and the flight or store management software. Compact in size, the MCU can easily be located in a weapon’s pylon or avionics bay of a legacy aircraft from where it can interface ‘smart weapons’ and the existing software of a legacy aircraft. For example MCU will give the Jaguar capability to employ ‘smart’ or ‘advanced’ weapons like the joint standoff weapon (JSW), Maverick missile, Paveway precision guided munition and AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.  

—By Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia

Saab’s solutions for Indian armed forces


n an interaction during Defexpo 2012, Inderjit Sial, Managing Director, Saab India Technologies Pvt Ltd, stated that with Saab’s exports rising steadily, the company was exploring options worldwide. However, as India was clearly emerging as a market with immense potential, Saab intended to not only penetrate the vibrant and versatile Indian market but also to leverage India’s strong technology base and manufacturing capabilities in such a way so as to create new opportunities to meet the demands of the growing world market. To this end, Saab will be exploring opportunities for partnership with the private and public defence industry in India as the way forward for business here. Saab had already entered into a contract with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for manufacture of the airborne electronic warfare equipment for the advanced light helicopter (ALH) programme for the Indian Army as well as the Indian Air Force. At the Defexpo, Saab showcased cutting-edge technologies and solutions for the Indian armed forces, paramilitary forces, civil aviation and homeland security apparatus. As per Inderjit Sial, Saab regarded the Defexpo as an event crucial to its business interests. Saab is offering high technology solutions and products in the areas of C4I, electronic warfare including self-protection systems, missile and weapon systems, combat aircraft, airborne

RBS 70 NG of Saab

Photographs Clockwise: Raytheon, SP Guide Pubns, saab


he all-new RBS 70 next generation (NG) very short-range air defense (VHSORAD) system which featured at Defexpo is a versatile air defence system on offer to the Indian Army. “We believe that the RBS 70 NG meets and exceeds the requirements of the Indian Army for a system that has multiple target seeking and tracking capabilities, multi-launcher capability, ability to deploy from high mobility vehicles and ship and submarine naval vessels, ability to engage aerial targets by day and night and aerial target detection capability,” said Bo Almqvist , Campaign Director RBS 70, Saab India. Saab’s all-new RBS 70 NG VSHORAD system with integrated 24/7 all-target capability has been developed for any combat situation. Its integrated sighting solution, enhanced missile operator aids, unbeatable range and unjammable laser guidance combine to produce a system with world-leading capabilities. With the latest generation of missile – the BOLIDE – the RBS 70 NG is directed at the complete air and ground threat spectrum, from fixed and rotary wing aircraft and helicopters down to small targets such as cruise missiles, UAVs and armoured ground targets like APCs. It is an accurate, unjammable missile system which is immune to countermeasures, heat sources and clutter. Its salient features are: automatic target tracking, integrated thermal imager, visual target assignment, simplifed aiming functions, simultaneous detection of several targets and all-target capability.  

—By Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand

38    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

sensors, maritime and civil security systems as also the GIRAFFE Family of radars. To meet the requirements of the Indian Navy, in response to request for information (RFI) and request for proposal (RFPs) floated by service, Saab has offered the Saab 2000 mediumrange maritime patrol aircraft, the Sea Gripen carrier version of the single engine fighter aircraft, self propelled underwater acoustic target with the modular and reconfigurable autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV 62 and the Sea Giraffe. At the exhibition this year, Saab’s primary focus was on land and naval systems, with emphasis on the RBS 70 NG missile system. Saab also displayed the underwater AUV systems and the C4I systems, along with camouflage and a variety of other parts of the product portfolio. Saab has also responded to an RFP for Electronic Defence Systems for the Indian Army’s T-90 upgradation programme.  

—By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey

Show Report   Defexpo

Raytheon’s Project Athena Multi-Domain Awareness System

ATK’s Aerospace Systems & Missile Products


Photographs Left to right: Raytheon, nasa

uring Defexpo, Raytheon carried out an exclusive briefing for SP’s Aviation to highlight the benefits of its Project Athena as a robust ‘multi-domain awareness system’ and its suitability in the overall architecture of the IAF’s Integrated Air Command & Control Centres (IACCS) under development for the conduct of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) operations. Athena is a network-centric, multi-domain C4ISR system for high performance situation awareness, fusion and analysis and knowledge management. By exploiting information from global sources — including sensors, databases and intelligence — Athena delivers persistent surveillance, situational awareness and anomaly detection aids to reduce operator workload. Athena uses a modern, extendable and open C4ISR enterprise-grade framework allowing the integration of a wide range of sensors and supports collaboration across command centres. It employs user-friendly and role-based methods of managing correlated information and sharing across local, regional or global joint command interests. Athena delivers fast and flexible multi-domain awareness for rapid operational deployments using proven components. It also has applicability in other homeland security missions.

Athena provides seamless coverage across domains and operational centres/sectors. It integrates multiple sensors and ISR data sources and supports rapid integration of new types. It employs user-configurable tools for workload reduction. It delivers shared knowledge, awareness, operational picture and actionable intelligence. It employs standards-based service-oriented architecture using network-centric communications. Its plug-in architecture supports new capability integration. It is easily extensible; compatible with service-oriented architecture capable tools and is potentially scalable from local to worldwide applications if the situation so demands. It therefore offers in the IAF’s context a multi-domain awareness system starting from the local level right through Command HQs, Service HQ and even to the level of the ‘National Command Post’.  

—By Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia


TK had a wide range of products in different disciplines such as aerospace systems, armament systems, missile products and security and sporting. The company claims to be the world’s top producer of solid rocket propulsion systems. It manufactures advanced composite structures and components and supplies satellite components and sub-systems. It is a world leader in missile propulsion, warheads, fuzing, missile warning systems and next-generation anti-radiation homing missile systems. It also provides missionised aircraft with weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Whether it’s the skeletal structure of the Airbus A350XWB airframe, business jet fuselage structures or the fan containment sections of the latest commercial airliner engines, ATK marks its presence by delivering affordable, high-quality components as required and on schedule. On the military front too, the company’s advanced composite manufacturing technologies produce light-weight and reliable structures, including wing skins and other components that make up the exterior of the US latest stealth fighter, the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. Its missile guidance technology is enabling a new era of precision in engaging and destroying enemy air defences and time-critical mobile targets. ATK’s vast variety of medium-calibre gun systems and ammunition confers devastating firepower to military aircraft such as the A-10 with its world famous armour-beating multi-barrel gun system or the M230 Chain Gun which arms every Apache helicopter (IAF will receive 22 of these attack helicopters in due course). The company boasts of its fuzes, warheads, and rocket motors that are critical ingredients in todays most widely fielded combat systems and meeting the latest requirements. The company’s latest innovation is to bring laser-guided precision to even 70mm rockets under a programme called guided advanced tactical rocket (GATR) which would provide the most cost-effective solution as a short-range air-to-surface missile (ASM). ATK’s human space capability includes solid rocket boosters, engineering services, astronaut tools and solar arrays. Its reusable solid rocket motors (RSRM) —part of the world’s largest product line of solid rocket motors—provided most of the thrust that launched the space shuttle since the beginning of the programme more than three decades ago. Currently, ATK is testing and maturing the design of a more powerful and advanced version of this technology for commercial space launches as also to support a NASA heavy lift vehicle. ATK’s Castor 30-series motors are being incorporated into commercial rockets that will soon perform resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS).  

—By Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   39

Interview   Defexpo

India will be one of the most important growth markets in the world In an interview with Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief, SP’s Aviation, Norbert Ducrot, Senior Executive Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Eurocopter, said that the company is ready to extend its industrial relationship with local partners SP’s Aviation (SP’s): Can you tell us about your immediate plans for India and cooperation with Indian armed forces? Norbert Ducrot (Ducrot): We have a wide range of products that are suited to meet the armed forces’ needs, as we showcased during Defexpo 2012. At this stage, we are still awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) regarding the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter request for proposal (RFP), which has been ongoing for eight years now. We are very confident about the helicopter that we have proposed—the AS550 C3 Fennec, a new generation helicopter—fully meeting the Army’s and Air Force’s requirements. We don’t foresee any reasons for further delays because the MoD has followed all procedures. In this context, we are ready to extend our 40-year industrial relationship with local partners—from transfer of technology (ToT) and integration into Eurocopter global supply chain to setting up of production line, with a comprehensive training system to be established.

and rescue, offshore patrolling and counter-terrorism, casualty evacuation and vertical replenishment. For the Indian Coast Guard’s need for shore-based helicopters, Eurocopter’s twin-engine EC725 offers a proven rotorcraft based on the Super Puma/Cougar family. With its all-weather capability, range, heavy-lift capacity and complete systems package, the EC725 delivers the combat search and rescue (CSAR) performance required by India.

SP’s: What capabilities did you showcase during Defexpo 2012? Ducrot: In anticipation of the armed forces’ needs, we showcased the C3 Fennec, AS565 MBe Naval Panther and EC725 rotorcraft. The AS550 C3 Fennec is proposed for the Army and Air Force in the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH) competition. For the Indian Coast Guard, we are proposing the AS565 MBe Panther (naval version) for their requirement for ship-based light/medium helicopters, and the EC725 for their shore-based helicopter need. The Naval Panther will also be proposed for the Indian Navy’s anticipated acquisition of utility helicopters. The AS565 MBe Naval Panther is service-proven at high availability rates with many of the world’s naval forces and coast guard services. It is an all-weather, multi-role light helicopter tailored for operations from ship decks, offshore platforms and land bases, with demonstrated capabilities to cover the entire range of Indian Navy and Coast Guard mission requirements—including maritime surveillance, search

SP’s: What kind of future do you foresee with India in the next 10-20 years? Ducrot: There are around 270 turbine engine commercial helicopters in India today. There was an overall slowdown in the Indian helicopter sector in 2010 and 2011, but we can see a recovery in 2012 with an annual growth rate of about 20 per cent. Hence we can expect to see more than 500 civil helicopters in India by 2015. The Indian market has huge potential and will be one of the most important growth markets in the world because of (1) size of the country; (2) growth of the economy; (3) diversity in its terrain and the geographical constraints; (4) lack of road/train infrastructures. Currently, growth of the commercial use of helicopters is limited by the regulations and level of taxes imposed.  SP

40    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

SP’s: How would you rate the potential in India versus other Asian countries? Ducrot: We estimate the Asian military helicopter market to be valued at about $15-20 billion (`75,000-1,00,000 crore) for the period till 2020, and we expect the largest contributor to be India (estimated at 50 per cent). India is also the largest defence market in Asia. We are participating in various RFPs and our helicopter range covers the requirements of the Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.

To read the full version of the interview, visit:

Interview   Defexpo

We seek to be a long-standing, trusted partner to India From unmanned aircraft and surface vessels to intelligence solutions for homeland security, Textron has a range of products on offer. In an interaction with SP’s Aviation, Frederick M. Strader, President and CEO, Textron Systems, laid out the company’s India plans. SP’s Aviation (SP’s): Can you tell us about your immediate plans for Indian market? Frederick M. Strader (Strader): Textron Systems is actively engaged in its contract to provide 512 sensor fused weapons for the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s Jaguar aircraft. Announced as a foreign military sale in late 2010, sensor fused weapon will provide the IAF an area strike capability that does not leave behind hazardous unexploded ordnance. In addition, we continue to engage in dynamic conversations with the Indian Government, armed forces and security agencies, as well as industry members, on the variety of technologies we offer that meet their needs. SP’s: What all capabilities did you showcase during Defexpo 2012 held recently, this year? Strader: The capabilities showcased at Defexpo include: The Spider networked munitions system: Spider is a man-in-the-loop networked munitions area denial system designed to replace indiscriminate landmines. It consists of three major components: a communications system for man-in the-loop control, a simple trip line sensor system to tell the operator of an intrusion, and a munitions system that can provide both lethal and non-lethal responses. Spider’s man-in-the-loop control and off-on-off feature, which allows the system to be recovered from the field, gives the operator the ability to secure an area while protecting friendly forces and civilians. Scorpion networked ground munitions system: The Scorpion system integrates sensors, munitions and networking technologies to detect, track, classify, report, engage and destroy light wheeled and heavy tracked vehicles. BattleHawk squad-level loitering munition: BattleHawk is a unique backpack-carried, tube-launched system designed to carry a variety of lethal warheads and sensors. With loitering capability and delivery from open or defilade position, the BattleHawk squad-level loitering munitions provides precision lethal effects against personnel and light vehicle targets.

Unattended ground sensors (UGS): Textron Systems offers a scalable suite of UGS suitable for a variety of tactical and homeland security applications such as convoy protection, perimeter security and border control. Common unmanned surface vessel (CUSV): The Fleet-Class CUSV offers multi-mission capabilities with a reconfigurable payload bay, sliding autonomy, and high tow force capacity. Landing craft, air cushion (LCAC): Textron Marine & Land Systems’ LCAC is a high-speed, over-the-beach, fully amphibious landing craft capable of carrying up to 75 tonnes of payload at speeds over 40 knots. Armoured security vehicle (ASV): Optimised survivability, all-terrain performance and battle-proven firepower describe the ASV. SP’s: How would you rate the potential in India versus other Asian countries? Strader: Needs across the region vary and we give importance to all our customers across the world. We are paying particular attention to the growing requirements of the Indian Government, armed forces and security agencies as we seek to be a long-standing, trusted partner to India and its defence industry. SP’s: What kind of future do you foresee with India in the next 10-20 years? Strader: The trends are very positive. Textron and its businesses are committed to developing strong relationships with the government and industry of India. At Textron Systems, we are delighted to be a current supplier to the IAF via the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme. We are in discussions with the various armed services and the Ministry of Home Affairs to understand their requirements and determine how Textron Systems can support them.  SP To read the full version of the interview, visit: Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   41

Interview   Defexpo

India will be near the top of the world’s strongest economies in 10 to 20 years In an interaction with SP’s Aviation, Mike Alvis,Vice President of International Business Development, ITT Exelis, said that export controls by the US Government are expected to ease in the next five to ten years, making more high-tech goods exportable. India’s desire to become an exporter also provides opportunities for partnership, which did not exist before.

Photograph: Itt exelis

SP’s Aviation (SP’s): Can you indicate your immediate plans for India? Mike Alvis (Alvis): As the Indian defence market continues to grow, it will be critical for companies to demonstrate their ability to deliver affordable, mission-critical solutions to this region. In India, we are positioned to provide products and services that are fully integrated and networked, enabling our Indian customers to protect their borders, enhance their military forces and have access to the full spectrum of information needed to meet any mission. SP’s: What capabilities did you showcase during Defexpo 2012? Alvis: Our focus at Defexpo 2012 was on highlighting our broad array of night vision technology, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and spectrum solutions as well as tactical communications (networking, waveform development and high capacity data solutions). We showcased a wide range of technologies that reflect our strong portfolio in C4ISR, including our commitment to providing the battle management system (BMS) for India. The BMS solutions highlighted at Defexpo included SpearNet and high capacity data radio (HCDR). Image intensification night vision goggles were also on display at the show. We displayed our latest i-Aware Tactical goggle. i-Aware Tactical has the ability to transmit and receive real-time video, photos, mapping information and other important battlefield 42    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

information. The benefit of i-Aware Tactical is enhanced situational awareness, rapid decision-making and improved mission effectiveness. SP’s: How would you rate the potential in India versus other Asian countries? Alvis: India has a million-person Army and Asia is the second fastest growing economy in the world. Today, India is empowered with significant buying power. India also has internal threats and challenges on their borders that require high-end solutions. SP’s: What kind of future do you foresee with India in the next 10-20 years? Alvis: India will be near the top of the world’s strongest economies and most modern militaries within the next 10 to 20 years. Their strategy of non-alignment provides a more level-playing field for the US companies and their ambition for high-technology solutions also favours the US companies. Export controls by the US Government are expected to ease in the next five to ten years, making more high-tech goods exportable. India’s desire to become an exporter also provides opportunities for partnership, which did not exist before.  SP To read the full version of the interview, visit:

Hall of Fame


hat can a pilot with only one eye do? Plenty, if he happened to be Wiley Post. Born on November 22, 1898, in Grand Saline, Texas, USA, Wiley Hardeman Post longed to be an aviator even as a teenager. When a barnstormer needed a substitute for his injured skydiver, Wiley volunteered, although he had never parachuted before. In two years, he made 99 jumps. But piloting is what he craved and he kept his dream alive despite his humdrum job in a Texas oilfield. In 1926, an industrial accident lodged a splinter in his eye. A serious infection developed that threatened his vision in both eyes. So he reluctantly agreed to the doctor’s proposal to remove the injured eye in a desperate attempt to save the other. The operation worked, but it left him seriously handicapped. However, the silver lining was a compensation cheque of $1,800 with which he bought his first plane, a Curtiss Canuck. He quickly became proficient enough to teach others to fly, ferry oilmen to their rigs, and barnstorm on the side. Since depth perception was a problem, he learned to use telephone poles and buildings to judge the height while coming in to land. Post’s big break came when his employer, the wealthy Oklahoma oilman F.C. Hall bought a highwing, single-engine Lockheed Vega. Named the Winnie Mae, after his daughter, he gave Post a free run with it. The beautifully streamlined plane was actually a six-passenger transport aircraft, with a crew of two. Lockheed built only 130 Vegas and they acquired a reputation for rugged reliability and airworthiness, becoming one of the most famous aircraft of the period. In 1930, Post flying the Winnie Mae won the Men’s Air Derby, a race from Los Angeles to Chicago, and part of the US National Air Races. Wiley Post was an incorrigible daredevil, always on the lookout for adventure, and he next set his heart on breaking the record for flying around the world. The existing mark had been set by a Graf Zeppelin airship, with a time of 21 days. On June 23, 1931, Post and his navigator, Harold Gatty,

left Long Island, New York, in the Winnie Mae. Post had made several modifications including an improved instrument panel, adjustable seats, and a special navigation station. Despite over a dozen halts and many emergency repairs, they arrived back after covering 24,903 km in a record time of eight days, 15 hours and 51 minutes. The two became heroes overnight. Howev-

Wiley Post (1898 - 1935)

Post was an incorrigible daredevil, always on lookout for adventure. He never shied away from danger and many Americans had been greatly inspired by the way he overcame his severe impairment and became a celebrated pilot. er, in an ironical twist to the tale, some people began to talk about the Post’s rural background and limited formal education and claim that Gatty, a wellknown Australian navigator and aviator, had been the real brains behind their trans-global feat. That did it. Post began planning a solo trip around the world. In those days of rudimentary instruments, flying long-

distance without a navigator was a huge strain for the pilot, who had to determine the position and maintain the desired track while flying the plane. Many aviators believed a solo trans-global flight was well-nigh impossible. Post took off from New York on July 15, 1933, in the Winnie Mae. He had two new flight instruments—a Sperry gyroscope and a radio direction finder. The gyroscope automatically corrected the plane if it deviated from its heading, while the radio direction finder helped him navigate towards selected radio transmitters. Although Post experienced problems with his gyroscope and suffered a bent propeller, he repaired both items and maintained his planned pace. The result was a new around-the-world record of seven days 18 hours and 49 minutes. He had slept just 20 hours during the entire journey. Fifty thousand people greeted him on his return and his detractors were silenced. In 1934, Post conceived and helped to design and test the first fully pressurised flying suit and helmet. Wearing pressure clothing, he reached altitudes of 50,000 ft where he discovered the jet streams. In 1935, he became interested in surveying a mailand-passenger air route from the West Coast of the US to Russia. Short of cash, he built a hybrid plane using parts salvaged from two different aircraft: the fuselage of a Lockheed Orion and the wings of a wrecked experimental Lockheed Explorer. Post’s close friend, the famous humourist Will Rogers, joined him in his Alaskan journey in search of new material for his newspaper column. However, while they were attempting take-off from a lagoon on August 15, 1935, the engine of their plane quit at low altitude. The modified machine, which was uncontrollably nose-heavy at low speed, plunged into the lagoon killing both men instantly. Wiley Post never shied away from danger and many Americans had been greatly inspired by the way he overcame his severe impairment and became a celebrated pilot. But on this occasion his luck ran out.  SP —Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha, Goa Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   43



BY SP’s Special Correspondent Finally, LCA Navy Flies

After several stops and starts, and extremely complex technological hurdles, India's first fighter aircraft, custom-built for carrier operations took to the skies on its maiden flight. The naval light combat aircraft (LCA-Navy) was to begin flight testing in December 2010, but a series of issues have kept it on the ground. The team, led by Commodore (Retd) C.D. Balaji, and the National Flight Test Centre went through a gruelling routine of ground tests before confidence was finally built up for a successful 22-minute flight, piloted by Commodore Jaideep Avinash Maolankar and Wing Commander M. Prabhu. Both pilots reported that the aircraft responded as expected and that they were looking forward to the rest of the flight test programme. The LCA-Navy will be part of the Indian Navy's carrier fleet but perhaps not in its current avatar. The LCA-Navy Mk.2, to be powered by the F414 engine, is likely to meet the Indian Navy's requirements for aircraft carrier operations and is more likely to be the aircraft that the Navy orders in numbers. The STOBAR LCA Navy will operate off the INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant. Mirage 2000 fleet resumes interim flying OPS

The Indian Air Force's fleet of Mirage 2000T/TH multi-role fighter aircraft have begun interim flying operations after nearly two months on the ground following two crashes in February and March. Both aircraft crashed after their pilots experienced engine flame-out at high altitude, forcing planned ejections in both cases.

IAF scouts for nine new COMJAM/SIGINT aircraft

The Indian Air Force has announced its intention to acquire nine new aircraft for survey, target towing, COMJAM and airborne SIGINT. Seven aircraft should be suitably integrated by the OEM and certified for the survey, target Towing and COMJAM roles including dropping of flares, passenger and cargo roles. Two aircraft should be certified to perform the SIGINT role. The basic platform for all the nine aircraft is to be the same platform and is to comply with FAA/JAAR or equivalent standards. The role equipment and role performance is to comply with related Mil STD/ equivalent stipulations. IAF wants twin-dome simulator for Hawk AJT The Indian Air Force is looking to procure a twin-dome simulator for conversion, continuity and mission training for aircrew on the Hawk Mk.132 advanced jet trainer fleet. The IAF has stipulated that the simulator needs to be of a "twin-dome" variety, capable of training even ab initio pilots on all aspects of basic fighter flying on the Hawk. The system needs to have high-fidelity control laws incorporated for realistic simulation of all phases of flight and networked with other assets for real time simulation. The system needs to broadly comprise a cockpit module, instructor's operating stations, visual display and computing systems and remote replay/debrief stations. It may be noted that the December 2011 flying course at the Air Force Academy was the first where trainee pilots used the Hawk AJTs, dispensing with MiG-21s for the first time in the IAF's modern training regimen. The IAF needs its new simulator to be capable of providing training in mission preparation on ground, avionics systems operation, basic flying during all phases of flight, generic electronic

44    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

warfare training, employment of different weapon systems with use of all models/sensors of naval attack systems, simulation of failures (such as bird hit or mechanical failure), air-to ground firing, aircraft combat with enemy aircraft controlled by instructor, simulation of emergencies and failures of all kinds. Each of the two domes needs to hold a fullsize replica of the Hawk cockpit in all respects and geometry. IAF looking for surveillance radars

As part of its mammoth surveillance ramp-up, the IAF has announced its interest in acquiring an unspecified number of surveillance radars to monitor its airfield areas across the country, perimeter security, surface movement and all activities in and around the airfield area to prevent potential sabotage. Keeping with the expansion of its air bases and new airfields coming up for full operations in the North and North-east, the IAF will be looking to acquire the best possible surveillance cover. A similar large tender for CCTV cameras will look to install such cameras at all air bases and installations with the intention to leave no area blinded to security staff. Sources say with the modernisation of airfields, huge investments are being pumped into the best electronic infrastructure for seamless operations, and this requires unhindered protection round the clock. Lockheed funded student UAV project on course The Next Generation Urban Unmanned Air System Development Project at Delhi Technological University, co-sponsored by Lockheed-Martin, is making healthy progress. The UAV, named Arush X1, has been prototyped and all sub-systems have been integrated. It has been test flown over eight times with total flight time exceeding two hours. "This research proj-

ect aimed at developing an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) could provide reconnaissance and surveillance over an urban scenario persistently. Besides the UAS has been designed and built to meet design specifications that were put down by the Lockheed's engineers in 2009. Lockheed has provided the student team with their financial support and engineering mentorship. The team is currently conducting regular test flights and expanding the capabilities of the system. Maiden flight of the ­second indigenous AEW&C

India's indigenous AEW&C programme is moving along nicely, with the second prototype taking to the skies this week, just four months after the first prototype flew. The flight took place on April 4 at San Jose dos Campos in Brazil. All mission systems and components, including the dummy active antenna array unit are fitted on Embraer EMB 145 I aircraft. The crucial second flight, which now gives the programme a pair of aircraft in flight testing, comes just two months before both airframes are flown to India. The other mission systems will then be integrated on the aircraft and mission system flight trials (MSFT) are scheduled from November 2012. Sources say that test pilots are extremely pleased with handling qualities of the EMB 145I and are looking forward to testing it with all systems on. Apart from the external mission systems developed indigenously and fitted on this aircraft, rest of the internal systems will be integrated into the aircraft on arrival to India.” DRDO has contracted to procure three EMB 145I from Embraer and this aircraft will be the first delivery towards meeting this endeavour.   • For complete versions log on to: &



Military Asia-Pacific Upgradation of IAF combat aircraft Minister of Defence A.K. Antony stated in the Lok Sabha that the Indian Air Force (IAF) undertakes upgrades of its fighter aircraft to enhance their combat potential and to ensure their operational relevance. In the past, the IAF had undertaken upgrade of MiG-21 and MiG-27 aircraft. Recently, contracts have also been signed to upgrade the MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and Jaguar aircraft. The details are: contract for upgrade of MiG-29 was signed with RAC 'MiG' at a cost of $964 million. The upgrade is planned to be completed by 2016. Integrated satellite based platform Minister of Defence A.K. ­Antony in a written reply in the Lok Sabha listed out plans for the induction of satellite platforms to integrate command systems of the armed forces. The details are: the naval satellite is planned to be launched in 2012-13; a dedicated communication satellite for Air Force is planned to be launched in 2013-14; a tri-services Defence Communication Network (DCN) is being progressed as per the Defence Procurement Procedure. The DCN envisages a network of optical fibre cables, satellite earth stations and transportable and portable satellite terminals with high security features. The design of these systems have features that enable conduct of simultaneous real time networked operations from multiple sites to cater for contingencies and failures, as well as hardware redundancies for fail safe operations.

and long-haul surveillance drones by at least 45 per cent over the next 10 years. The US military’s inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles, will grow to 645 aircraft in fiscal 2022 from about 445 in fiscal 2013, including versions of Northrop Grumman Corporation’s RQ-4 Global Hawk and General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predators. In addition, the US Army wants to buy 164 Gray Eagle drones from General Atomics of San Diego from 2013 to 2022 “in direct support of ground forces”. USAF incorporating MALD systems

The US Air Force is currently testing and incorporating miniature air launch decoys (MALD) and miniature air launch decoy jammers to be used by the B-52H Stratofortress and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. MALDs are small jet powered decoys used to mislead radars and deceive enemy combatants. MALD jammers provide the same function with the added capability of jamming enemy radars allowing friendly aircraft to fly into the area undetected. The US Air Force feel that B-52 is the best platform for the MALD and the other aircraft capable of carrying MALDs is the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Lockheed Martin delivers final, historic F-22 Raptor

Americas Drones to increase 45 per cent in Pentagon plan The US Defense Department has stated in a report required by the Congress on its aviation blueprint for the next 30 years that Pentagon plans to increase its fleet of armed

On May 2, 2012, Lockheed Martin delivered the 195th and last F-22 Raptor to the US Air Force in a ceremony

at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics site at Marietta. With this delivery, the US Air Force now possesses the world’s only fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft fleet in the world. A host of distinguished officials participated in this monumental event, including senior leaders from Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force; local, state and national elected officials; and Lockheed Martin employees who helped build the F-22 Raptor fleet. Lockheed Martin PAC-3 cruise missile target

On April 25, Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 missile successfully intercepted and destroyed a cruise missile target at the Utah Test and Training Range in an unprecedented interoperability demonstration utilising the joint land attack cruise missile defence elevated netted sensor (JLENS) and the Patriot system. DARPA seeks technology to see through clouds

Warfighters who encounter enemy forces on the ground benefit from overhead aircraft support. Some capabilities are lost, however, when cloudcover obscures the view. Typically, airborne weapon systems that use electro-optic (EO) sensors during support missions can’t “see” through clouds. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA’s) video synthetic aperture radar (ViSAR) programme seeks to develop and demonstrate an extremely high frequency (EHF) target-

QuickRoundUp AAI • AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems has announced that it has won the competitive Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems II award from the US Special Operations Command. The three-year award, valued at just under $600 million, includes support operations using AAI's Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System. Total initial funding for these activities is $20 million. AeroVironment • AeroVironment has announced that it has received a firm fixed-price order valued at $20.4 million from the US Army for RQ-20A Puma AE small unmanned aircraft systems. The Puma AE systems will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for security, route clearance operations and overall battlespace awareness to the US forces in Afghanistan. Delivery is scheduled within 30 days. AgustaWestland • AgustaWestland has announced that AgustaWestland North America, Inc. has delivered AW139 aircraft to the Egyptian Air Force via its contract with the US Army Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center for foreign military sales. Astrium • Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company, has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to pursue development of the Ariane 5 midlife evolution (A5 ME) launcher. Worth €112 million (about $147 million), this contract will enable the design of the Ariane 5 ME’s new sub-systems. BAE Systems • BAE Systems have announced a $367 million contract to deliver 70 digital electronic warfare systems (DEWS)/common missile warning systems (CMWS) to upgrade F-15S fighter jets in support of the Royal Saudi Air Force. Boeing • Boeing has delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airliner to Deutsche Lufthansa AG, thus beginning a new era for the

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   45



Appointments Eurocopter Jean-Brice Dumont has been named within the Eurocopter Group as Chief Technical Officer and Head of Engineering. Dumont succeeds Jean-Michel Billig, Eurocopter Chief Technical Officer and Head of Engineering, who will leave the company mid-year. Dassault Dassault Falcon has promoted Jean-Michel Jacob to Senior Vice President of International Sales. He will oversee all sales activity for Dassault Falcon in Asia, the Pacific Rim and South America. Rolls-Royce India Rolls-Royce has announced the appointment of Kishore Jayaraman as President of Rolls-Royce in India and South Asia. Kishore was earlier the CEO, GE Energy-India Region. BAE Systems BAE Systems announced that former Secretary of Homeland Security and current board member Michael Chertoff has been elected as the new Chairman of the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors for a three-year term beginning May 1. Cassidian Cassidian announced the appointment of Michael Stevens to the role of Chief Executive Officer for Cassidian Ltd, the UK entity of Cassidian. CFM Raymond Scodellaro has been named CFM International's new Vice President, Contracts. ing sensor which operates through clouds as effectively as today’s infrared (IR) sensors operate in clear weather. Precision kill weapon system in Afghanistan

The advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), the latest weapon in the fight against insurgency forces, was recently approved for its first deployment by US Marine Corps. The APKWS, the US Government’s only programme of record for the semi-active laser-guided 2.75-inch rocket, converts the Hydra 70mm unguided rocket into a precision guided munition through the addition of a mid-body guidance unit (WGU-59/B) developed by BAE Systems.

Europe UK’s first Lockheed Martin F-35 makes inaugural flight BK-1, the United Kingdom’s first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II production aircraft, flew its inaugural flight on April 16. Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti took the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet through a series of functional flight checks during a sortie that lasted 45 minutes. The jet will complete a series of company and government checkout flights prior to its acceptance by the UK Ministry of Defence. The UK MoD will use this fifth generation fighter for training and operational tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, beginning later this year.

Civil Aviation Asia-Pacific Royal Jet launches Luxury Vacations Division Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabibased international luxury executive flight services

46    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

company chaired by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, has launched a luxury travel division at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) held recently at the DICEC. The division is a new partnership with one of the UK’s largest independent luxury travel providers, Eden Luxury Group. This partnership will add value to Royal Jet’s present air charter client base and create a total luxury travel solution for those seeking vacations outside the present charter business.

QuickRoundUp world's most recognised airplane, and a new era of increased efficiency, stronger environmental performance and greater enjoyment for Lufthansa and its passengers. DynCorp • DynCorp International has announced that it has been awarded a contract potentially worth $176.9 million with NASA to provide aircraft maintenance and operational support services at various locations.



CAE awarded contracts for full-flight simulator CAE announced that it has recently sold seven full-flight simulators (FFSs), including an ATR72-500 to Air Algérie in Algeria; a Boeing 737NG to Emirates-CAE Flight Training (ECFT) in Dubai, UAE; two Airbus A320 FFSs for the new Interglobe-CAE joint venture airline training centre in Delhi, India; an Embraer ERJ-190 to Zhuhai Flight Training Centre (ZFTC) in Zhuhai, China; and two FFSs to undisclosed customers. CAE also sold CAE Simfinity Integrated Procedures Trainers (IPTs) to ECFT and ZFTC, an A320 Airbus Procedures Trainer (APT) for the New Delhi training centre, plus a CAE Simfinity Virtual Simulator (VSIM) to ZFTC, as well as simulator updates and spares to various customers.

• Eurocopter has delivered the first helicopter from an initial contract for four EC225 helicopters to OMNI Helicopter International (OHI). OHI has also placed a second order for six additional EC225 helicopters, bringing to ten the total number of EC225s that they will operate for oil and gas missions in Brazil.

Industry Asia-Pacific Bombardier inaugurates Engineering Service Office Bombardier Aerospace has announced the official inauguration of its Engineering Service Office located in Bangalore. The Bombardier Engineering Service Office began operation in December 2011 and currently employs approximately 20 people. The new Engineering Service Office, which will house approximately 50 aerospace engineers by the end of 2013, will support Bombardier

France • The 36 light EC120B helicopters deployed by Helidax, featuring Sagem’s integrated cockpit display system and autopilots, have passed the milestone of 30,000 hours. Helidax, a joint subsidiary of the DCI group and INAER, was created as a public-private partnership for the French Army’s Light Aviation Flight School. HAL • India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has handed over the second interim dividend cheque for `699.50 crore (about $139 million) to the government. The cheque was handed over to the Defence Minister A.K. Antony by R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. This is in addition to the first interim dividend of `48.20 crore paid in January 2012. The total interim dividend paid so far in 2011-12 worked out to `747.70 crore (about $149 million). The company achieved highest ever turnover of `14,001 crore (about $2.8 billion), and profit before tax of `3,200 crore (about $640 million) in 2011-12. Indonesia • Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier of Indonesia, has placed a firm order with Airbus for 11 more A330-300 wide body aircraft. The order is the third to be placed by Garuda Indonesia for the A330 since



Show Calendar 14–16 May EUROPEAN BUSINESS AVIATION CONVENTION & EXHIBITION (EBACE) PalExpo, Geneva, Switzerland 16–17 May Airborne Special Mission Prince Hotel & Residence, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 18–19 May TRADESHOW AVIATION IDAHO Aero Mark, Idaho Falls Regional Airport, Idaho Falls, Idaho 30–31 May FLYING IN 2050 Hotel de Region, Toulouse, France www.academie-air-espace. com/2050 7–9 June CANNES AIRSHOW Cannes Mandelieu Airport, Cannes, France 11–15 June Eurosatory 2012 Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center, Paris 11–17 June Indonesia Airshow Bali International Airport, Indonesia 13–14 June Airborne Early Warning and Control New Delhi, India Airborne-Early-Warning-andControl--New-Delhi-India-13th-14th-June-2012.html 22–24 June AVIATION EXPO EUROPE Bitburg Airport, Germany 9–15 July FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW Farnborough Airport, UK


Aerospace’s in-production and in-development aircraft programmes by providing assistance to both the company and the more than 400 engineers at its partners’ offices in the areas of complex engineering structure design, advanced stress analysis and project management services.

aircraft flew on a specially designed stub wing aboard Pratt & Whitney's Boeing 747SP flying test bed at the company's Mirabel Aerospace Centre, in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.


July 2010, with the carrier now having a total of 21 aircraft on firm order for future delivery. All the aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used wide-body aircraft in service today.



Lockheed Martin

Boeing and Embraer sign agreement Embraer and Boeing have announced a cooperation agreement to work together to benefit their customers, their companies and the global aviation industry. The agreement establishes an important relationship between two of the world's largest aerospace companies to cooperate in ways that enhance operational efficiency, safety and productivity, improve customer satisfaction and create value for both companies and their customers.

India successfully launches RISAT-I

• Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Owego, is being awarded a $126.5 million modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract to provide for the production and delivery of 24 mission avionics systems and common cockpits for the MH-60R for the Royal Australian Navy under the FMS programme. Work is expected to be completed in March 2017.

In a precision launch PSLV C19 launch vehicle injected India's first microwave radar imaging satellite—RISAT-I into orbit from launch pad at Sriharikota on April 26, 2012. The satellite is a remote sensing satellite with synthetic aperture radar that can penetrate clouds and image earth day and night. It weighs 1,858 kg. "This is a grand success. This is the 20th successive successful flight of PSLV. The satellite reached an orbit of 470 to 480 km orbit as targeted.

Northrop Grumman

Teal Group forecasts $89 billion UAV market Unmanned aerial vehicles continue as the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade, report Teal analysts in their latest integrated market analysis. Teal Group's 2012 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $6.6 billion annually to $11.4 billion, totalling just over $89 billion in the next ten years. P&W PurePower PW1200G engine takes to the skies

The Pratt & Whitney PurePower (R) PW1200G engine successfully completed its first flight on April 30, launching the engine family's flight test programme. The PW1217G engine for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ)

Americas NASA and ATK complete development of booster NASA and ATK have successfully completed the first test for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) booster programme at ATK's Promontory, Utah, test facility. This demonstration was a key avionics and controls test designated Flight Control Test 1 and included a fully integrated flight heritage thrust vector control system with the new SLS booster avionics subsystem. The avionics subsystem is responsible for booster ignition, nozzle steering and booster separation. This test will focus on the avionics subsystem's ability to startup, monitor, steer and shut down an SLS booster nozzle TVC system.  •

• Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, San Diego, California, has been awarded an undefinitised contract action with a not-to-exceed ceiling of $262.33 million for the development, manufacture, and test of two vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (VTUAVs); production of six air vehicles; and spare parts in support of the VTUAV endurance upgrade rapid deployment capability effort. Work is expected to be completed in May 2014. Raytheon • Raytheon, Texas, has been awarded a $191 million contract to procure multi-spectral targeting system (MTS) Model B turret and high definition electronic units, MTS containers, and shop replaceable units for the US Air Force. Work is to be completed by September 30, 2012. Rolls-Royce • Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has signed a $598 million contract with the US Department of Defense for 268 AE 1107C engines for US Marine Corps and Air Force V-22 aircraft. In the first year, Rolls-Royce will deliver 70 engines valued at $151 million. The contract includes four additional option years, with deliveries expected to total 268, including spare engines. Rolls-Royce is the sole manufacturer of the engines for the V-22 and has delivered 550 AE 1107C engines to the US Department of Defense.

Issue 5 • 2012    SP’S AVIATION   47




a Wayto Go

Photograph: Pilatus Aircraft


he Indian Air Force (IAF) is embarked on a major transformation exercise to not only arrest the rapid decline but also to bring about a decisive reversal in its operational potential in all segments of its capability spectrum. Assets of the IAF, 50 per cent of which as per former Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik had been overtaken by obsolescence and ought to have been replaced long ago. These are now set to give way to modern fourth generation platforms such as the 126 Dassault Rafale, ten Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, six additional C-130J Super Hercules and 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow, not forgetting hundreds of Tejas Mk I & II, indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) to be followed by the indigenous medium combat aircraft yet on the drawing board. Apart from these, the IAF is scheduled to induct additional Phalcon radar equipped AWACS, Embraer 145-based AEW&C platforms and flight refuelling aircraft. The IAF is also seeking to leapfrog into the next generation through partnership with Sukhoi of Russia to induct by the end of this decade, large numbers of the fifth generation fighter aircraft. The number of combat squadrons is slated to increase from the current level of under 34 to 42 over the next ten years. It goes without saying that with over 23 per cent increase in the size of the combat fleet and induction of a variety of other sophisticated fixed and rotary wing aircraft, the IAF will need a substantial increase in the number of pilots to exploit the operational potential of these assets. Unfortunately, pilot training is the area in which the IAF will be in difficulty as there is a serious dichotomy in the implementation of the scheme for transformation of the IAF. While the organisation is moving forward successfully inducting sophisticated hardware, it has been without a basic trainer since July 31, 2009, when following a series of accidents and in one in which two flying instructors lost their lives; the basic trainer fleet of HPT-32 aircraft was grounded. After a laborious tendering and evaluation exercise in accordance with the rather complex Defence Procurement Procedure for the selection of a foreign vendor for direct purchase of 75 basic trainer aircraft, the IAF finally zeroed in on Pilatus of Switzerland to supply its turboprop basic trainer, the PC-7. Thereafter, it has taken nearly a year and a half since the field evaluation was completed by the IAF to finally obtain clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the proposal valued at `1,800 crore. But the wait for the IAF is far from over as finalisation of contract and delivery of 75 aircraft may still be a few years away. It appears that basic training of pilots will continue to be adversely affected for some time to come. The very first roadblock in the tendering process was 48    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 5 • 2012

The IAF has been hitting dead ends frequently in its efforts to find a basic trainer. Plans for the induction of sophisticated and expensive aerial platforms are meaningless without the basic wherewithal to train pilots. a protest filed by rival Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) pointing out that the leading contender Pilatus had “failed to submit a critical maintenance transfer of technology (MTOT) cost assessment”. KAI stated that as Pilatus was non-compliant with the terms of the tender, it ought to have been disqualified; but was not. Given the penchant for transparency, adherence to procedure and zero tolerance for corruption on the part of the Ministry of Defence, there was no way that the deal could move forward without comprehensive investigation and bona fides established. It is understood that after some hard bargaining with assistance from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the price quotation has been substantially reduced. What is perhaps a more disconcerting problem, however, is the lack of resolute action on the part of HAL to provide solutions both in the short and long term. HAL was tasked to retrofit parachute recovery system on the HPT-32 to make safe recovery possible in the event of engine failure. Two years have passed since authorisation of trials but there is no information forthcoming from HAL on the progress. Despite efforts, the basic issue of engine failure in flight has also not been resolved. The IAF sees no possibility of revival of the HPT-32 fleet even as a short-term solution. Apart from the 75 Pilatus PC-7 aircraft to be imported, HAL has been tasked to design and manufacture a trainer aircraft of similar capability. Designated as the Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40, The HAL is to supply 106 of these to the IAF. However, three years have elapsed since the decision, but there has been no further news on the progress of the project. The IAF has been hitting dead ends frequently in its efforts to find a basic trainer. In the final analysis, plans for the induction of sophisticated and expensive aerial platforms are meaningless without the basic wherewithal to train pilots.  SP — Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey


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SP's Aviation May 2012  

CCS has accorded formal approval to a deal with Swiss firm Pilatus for 75 PC-7 Mk-II basic trainer aircraft for the IAF • Streamline Defenc...

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