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Some pertinent points to be looked at: Su-30MKI: Mainstay of IAF as of today The combat squadrons have reduced from 39.5 to close to 30 in numbers Amidst tranformation Is IAF sufficiently equipped to meet the present and future challenges?

• • • •

October • 2010

Š 2010 Northrop Grumman Corporation

Continuing a powerful partnership with unmatched F-16 AESA radar capabilities.


Good fortune and protection for India. With the operationally proven APG-80 AESA radar aboard the F-16IN Super Viper, the Indian Air Force will attain and sustain unprecedented air combat capability for the future. The Indian Air Force, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin: continuing a powerful partnership with unmatched potential.

Aviation SP’s

Table of Contents

An SP Guide Publication

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

Issue 10 • 2010

39 Operations: WAC

Beyond the Sky

41 Operations: CAC

Destroy the Enemy

43 Operations: SWAC

Victory, thy Motto

45 Operations: SAC

Meeting Challenges

47 Operations: EAC

Battle all Challenges

49 Interview



First Engine Run



Business Aviation What’s New

Growing Big

12 Regional Aviation IAF SPECIAL

18 Messages 25 Interview

 ‘We are in the process of introducing radical changes in the training environment’

Analysis On Wings Towards CENTENARY The IAF is in the midst of a self-claimed transformation. It is true that it is transiting through unique challenges but also open prospects for new opportunities.

Aviation PLUS: • New Business Jets



Fully loaded multi-role strike fighter aircraft Su-30MKI is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond



51 Hall of Fame

Aspy Engineer

Regular Department

5 A Word from Editor 19 NewsWithViews  – Delayed Decision-Making

– Indian Aewcs

21 InFocus  AFNET Kick-Starts 22 Forum

 ffective and Secure E Communication


OCTOBER • 2010



now RNI NUMBER: DELENG/2008/24199

32 Industry

• New Regional Airliners

50 Interview  ‘F/A-18E/F is easy to fly aggressively and safely’

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

26 Interview

 ‘We are at the threshold of becoming a first world air power’



‘Boeing is committed to executing its commitments to India’

Some pertinent points to be looked at: Su-30 MKI: Mainstay of IAF as of today The combat squadrons have reduced from 39.5 to close to 30 in numbers Amidst tranformation Is IAF sufficiently equipped to meet the present and future challenges?

• • • •

52 News Digest

56 Last Word  Move Forward, Be an Aerospace Power

Opportunities Ahead

38 OEM

 APG-80 AESA Radar: Providing Innovative, Dependable Performance

Cover Image: Su-30MKI is the mainstay of IAF. By 2015 IAF will have 12 squadrons of these aircraft. Cover Photograph: IAF

Next Issue:

Middle East and Business Aviation Industry

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   1

Table of Contents PLUS...

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design & LAYOUT

Jayant Baranwal

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New Business Jets

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2    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Owned, published and printed by 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 otherwise without prior written permission of the Publishers.

BENGALURU, INDIA 534, Jal Vayu Vihar Kammanhalli Main Road Bengaluru 560043, India. Tel: +91 (80) 23682534 MOSCOW, RUSSIA LAGUK Co., Ltd., (Yuri Laskin) Krasnokholmskaya, Nab., 11/15, app. 132, Moscow 115172, Russia. Tel: +7 (495) 911 2762 Fax: +7 (495) 912 1260

I CAN’T AFFORD TO WAIT IT OUT. I have four meetings in three cities today. There isn’t an option. That’s just what I need to do. Before I had my Corvalis TT, that schedule would take the better part of a week. Now it’s just a really productive day. Waiting is missed opportunities. Waiting costs my company and community jobs. Waiting slows our growth. I can’t afford to wait it out because if I wait today, tomorrow might not happen.








Most manufacturers have emerged stronger from the crisis. Resurgence in demand for business jets, driven primarily by a gradual recovery in global economic prospects, is now encouraging them to bring their latest offerings to the market.


usiness aviation has been Aircraft Market Forecast and Industry By Joseph Noronha, Goa languishing for nigh on two Overview, released earlier this year, years. The global financial anticipates production of 13,965 busicrisis and reckless attacks ness aircraft worth $233.1 billion (`10, by the US politicians and 57,400 crore) (in 2010 dollars) over the public alike have seen the next 10 years (2010-2019). These are value of the market (in terms of new no mean figures. They include 10,285 business aircraft deliveries) plunge by business jets worth $184.1 (`8, 34,300 over 24 per cent. This made it the hardest hit of any aero- billion). Though it will take some more time to reduce high space segment. Though the pain was severe, the industry did inventories of pre-owned jets, strong growth in deliveries of not lose heart. Behind the scenes, executives and engineers new aircraft can be expected to resume by 2012. And a host continued toiling to develop new and improved models for of new business jets have recently debuted or are readying the market, confident that a time would come when business for release over the next couple of years or so—just in time jets might regain their rightful place as an indispensable to capitalise on the rebound. productivity-enhancing tool. Yes, several important projBefore the economic crisis began there was much interest ects were scrapped—among them Cessna’s Columbus, Das- in very light jets. But according to the Teal Group, the most sault’s Falcon SMS and Hawker Beechcraft’s Hawker 450. unusual aspect of the business jet scene at present is the But what’s becoming increasingly clear is that faster the fall, unprecedented bifurcation of the market. The top half—jets the better the bounce. The Teal Group 20th Annual Business costing $25 million (`11 crore) and more—barely felt any pain

last year, with deliveries dropping by a mere 4.1 per cent. The bottom half—jets costing $4-24 million—fell by a catastrophic 42.8 per cent. The market has never seen bifurcation like this in any previous downturn or growth spurt. And this trend is expected to continue. The bottom half of the market is unlikely to rebound faster than the top half, implying a permanent shift in favour of more expensive models. Demand for large-cabin jets will also continue to outpace that for light jets by a striking degree. That’s good news for Gulfstream Aerospace. TOP OF THE LINE

Gulfstream’s Jason Akovenko says, “We continue to see signs of gradual improvement in the business jet market. Customer interest in Gulfstream aircraft remains healthy and we have some 200 orders for the Gulfstream G650. We continue to see order strength across several emerging markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, one of the strongest markets for business aviation and for Gulfstream in particular. Large-cabin deliveries remain on track and will go up to 76 this year.” The Gulfstream G650 is indeed the most mouth-watering prospect for the next couple of years. Promised for first delivery in 2012,

speed ramp-up remaining before compressibility effects set in and the much-reviled sonic boom is generated. Companies like Aerion are also striving to bring a supersonic business jet to the market within the next 5-6 years, but that’s a different story. The G650’s tall and wide-bodied cabin will boast the latest in comfort and convenience. And what would Bombardier do to preserve its present pride of place at the pinnacle of the business jet market, courtesy the Global Express XRS? Bombardier believes the G650 is likely to be inferior to the Global, but concedes that the former’s matchless range of 7,000 nm will indeed be momentous. Longer range aircraft contribute immensely to the globalisation of business aviation and Bombardier will need to move quickly to claim the top spot in this category. It might either choose a clean-sheet design or decide to upgrade. The latter option—a so-called Super Global Express—could be ready by 2013. It will be far less costly to bring to fruition and is an option that probably makes better business sense. The Super Global Express might simply lengthen the existing XRS cabin and coax out increased range by improving wing aerodynamics. The new aircraft will probably use twin Rolls-Royce BR725


it will fly out of the factory as the world’s fastest and longest range business jet. Twin Rolls-Royce BR725 engines will power the G650 to a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.925, making it the world’s fastest civilian aircraft. It will also have an astounding range of 7,000 nautical miles. Its range, size and speed may even merit the creation of a new market category. The world’s fastest business jet is a tag Cessna has rightfully claimed for the Citation X since 1996, when the aircraft made its debut. The fleet has now accumulated more than a million hours. Since 2003, when Concorde bowed out, the Citation X has been the fastest civilian aircraft in the sky, of any size or type. This is the distinction the G650 now seeks to claim. Cessna is unlikely to surrender without a fight, but there’s only so much 8


Issue 10 • 2010


Hawker Beechcraft 8.1 0.8

Embraer 8.2




15.9 Dassault Aviation


Issue 10 • 2010

Gulfstream Aerospace


8-11_BizJets-Revision2.indd 8-9



27/09/10 1:24 PM

Aviat IAFion PLUS


: • New

















99 2008/241 : DELENG/ NUMBER RNI

Intellig ence.




Month . From




• 2010


• Su-30 pertinent poin MK • The com I: Mai ts clos nsta to be look squ • Ami e to 30bat y ed at: in numadro of IAF • Is IAFdst tran ns hav as of and

suff form bers e redu toda atio futu icie ced y n re cha ntly from llen equippe 39.5 ges? d to to mee t the pres ent

Aviation PLUS: • New Business Jets






Som e

• New


www.sp saviatio




• New Regional Airliners


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


OCTOBER • 2010





Some pertinent points to be looked at: Su-30 MKI: Mainstay of IAF as of today The combat squadrons have reduced from 39.5 to close to 30 in numbers Amidst tranformation Is IAF sufficiently equipped to meet the present and future challenges?

• • • •



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A Word from Editor

In the context of the emergence of a resurgent India as a regional power and the expanding strategic global footprint of the nation, there is an imperative need for the IAF to move rapidly into the regime of “aerospace power” and to be counted amongst the leading air forces of the world


s the IAF celebrates its 78th anniversary, it is acutely conscious of its role and responsibilities. In the context of the emergence of a resurgent India as a regional power and the expanding strategic global footprint of the nation, there is an imperative need for the IAF to move rapidly into the regime of “aerospace power” and to be counted amongst the leading air forces of the world. Undoubtedly, in its pursuit of the lofty objectives, the IAF would have to confront an array of formidable challenges along the way. Of primary concern would be the progressively dwindling strength of its combat fleet vis-à-vis the rapidly growing air power of the principal adversaries in the neighbourhood. While both the political and IAF leadership are conscious of the gravity of the evolving situation as evident from their pronouncements, and there are major programmes for acquisition of weapon systems under way, the pace at which these have been progressing seem to inspire little hope of speedy redemption in the near future of the eroding combat potential. This should be a matter of concern for all. While there are difficulties, there is a tangible progress in some areas in which efforts at acquisition of hardware are fructifying. These are the heavy lift transport aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster and possibly the Chinook CH47F heavy lift rotary wing aircraft as also a number of forcemultipliers such as AWACS, AEWCS, UAVs and flight refuelling aircraft. The potential that the Indian market has to offer to the global aerospace industry is unprecedented in recent times. One game changing event in the recent past has been the commissioning of the AFNET that has ushered in a modern, state-of-the-art digital information grid, based on a nationwide fibre-optic network. The first service to set up this facility, the AFNET, is a true force-multiplier that will provide network-centric combat capabilities. Dedicated to the nation on September 14, for the IAF, the AFNET has been a long felt need fulfilled.

Apart from the challenges and opportunities for the IAF, this Special Issue has a critical analysis of the rapidly changing character of the regional jetliner. New players emerging on the scene, such as Russia, Japan and China are about to challenge the dominance of the well-entrenched manufacturers of regional jetliners—Bombardier of Canada and Embraer of Brazil. In the business aviation segment, there is a comprehensive review of what the manufacturers have on offer as also their plans for the future. On the occasion of the Air Force Day, we at SP’s offer felicitations to the glorious Indian Air Force while deeply appreciating their invaluable contribution towards the safety, security and sovereignty of the nation. We also wish the IAF all success and glory in their future endeavours. Jai Hind!

Jayant Baranwal

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   5



First Engine Run

Lockheed Martin’s C-130J for India ran engines for the first time recently. It is now preparing for its maiden flight sometime this month

Photographs: Lockheed Martin


he first C-130J for India ran engines for the first time on September 21. The tactical transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin is being prepared for its maiden flight sometime this month. The Indian Air Force is expected to take deliveries of the first two C-130J in February 2011 and the remaining four by the year end, in a deal of around $1 billion (`4,60,000 crore). India will be joining crews from the United States, Australia, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom which are flying the C-130J. The programme for India includes six C-130Js, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spare parts, and ground support and test equipment. Also included is India-unique operational equipment designed to increase the Special Operations capabilities. The C-130J Super Hercules, according to Lockheed Mar-

6    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

tin, is the world’s most advanced tactical airlifter. Designed and developed with mission flexibility in mind— combat delivery, air-to-air refueling, special operations, disaster relief and humanitarian missions—the C-130J has a unique mix of agility and performance to consistently operate at very high tempo operations efficiently and reliably. The aircraft’s distinctive air-to-air refueling probe is over the left side of the cockpit. The C-130J Super Hercules is the only airlifter with the range and flexibility for emerging theatres and evolving concepts of operation.  SP —SP’s Aviation News Desk E-mail your comments to:

Let the journey begin

The Gulfstream G450 is the best large-cabin, longrange business jet in its class. What’s more, it shares some of the advanced technology of the Gulfstream G550, while also retaining the qualities of the highly successful GIV/GIV-SP-series aircraft. And that was the best-selling aircraft in its category. Let the journey begin.

To learn more, please contact: Mach Air Sales India Pvt. Ltd., Gulfstream Authorized Independent Sales Representative, direct: +91 22 6758 2630, e-mail: Jason Akovenko, Gulfstream Regional Vice President, Asia/Pacific +65 6256 8301, e-mail:

Civil   business Aviation



Resurgence in demand for business jets, driven primarily by a gradual recovery in global economic prospects, is now encouraging manufacturers to bring their latest offerings to the market

B Photographs: cessna, embraer, Dassault Aviation, bombardier, gulfstream, HondaJet & HBC

usiness aviation has been years (2010-19). These are no mean figBy Joseph Noronha, Goa languishing for nigh on two ures. They include 10,285 business jets years. The global financial worth $184.1 billion (`8,46,860 crore). crisis and reckless attacks Though it will take some more time to by the US politicians and reduce high inventories of pre-owned public alike have seen the jets, strong growth in deliveries of new value of the market (in terms of new aircraft can be expected to resume by business aircraft deliveries) plunge by over 24 per cent. This 2012. And a host of new business jets have recently debuted made it the hardest hit of any aerospace segment. Though or are readying for release over the next couple of years or the pain was severe, the industry did not lose heart. Be- so—just in time to capitalise on the rebound. hind the scenes, executives and engineers continued toilBefore the economic crisis began there was much intering to develop new and improved models for the market, est in very light jets. But according to the Teal Group, the confident that a time would come when business jets might most unusual aspect of the business jet scene at present is regain their rightful place as an indispensable productiv- the unprecedented bifurcation of the market. The top half— ity-enhancing tool. Yes, several important projects were jets costing $25 million (`115 crore) and more—barely felt scrapped—among them Cessna’s Columbus, Dassault’s Fal- any pain last year, with deliveries dropping by a mere 4.1 con SMS and Hawker Beechcraft’s Hawker 450. But what’s per cent. The bottom half—jets costing $4-24 million—fell by becoming increasingly clear is that faster the fall, the better a catastrophic 42.8 per cent. The market has never seen bithe bounce. The Teal Group 20th Annual Business Aircraft furcation like this in any previous downturn or growth spurt. Market Forecast and Industry Overview, released earlier And this trend is expected to continue. The bottom half of the this year, anticipates production of 13,965 business aircraft market is unlikely to rebound faster than the top half, implyworth $233.1 billion (`10,72,260 crore) over the next 10 ing a permanent shift in favour of more expensive models.

8    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Civil  business Aviation Demand for large-cabin jets will also continue to outpace that for light jets by a striking degree. That’s good news for Gulfstream Aerospace. Top of the Line

Gulfstream’s Jason Akovenko says, “We continue to see signs of gradual improvement in the business jet market. Customer interest in Gulfstream aircraft remains healthy and we have some 200 orders for the Gulfstream G650. We continue to see order strength across several emerging markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, one of the strongest markets for business aviation and for Gulfstream in particular. Large-cabin deliveries remain on track and will go up to 76 this year.” The Gulfstream G650 is indeed the most mouth-watering prospect for the next couple of years. Promised for first delivery in 2012, it will fly out of the factory as the world’s fastest and longest range business jet. Twin Rolls-Royce BR725 engines will power the G650 to a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.925, making it the world’s fastest civilian aircraft. It will also have an astounding range of 7,000 nautical miles. Its range, size and speed may even merit the creation of a new mar-

toP-notch: (opposite page) cessna’s citation cj4 offers a wide choice of trimmings; (top) legacy 650 with its new engine can comfortably fly between new delhi and london; dassault falcon 900LX, in the large jet category, has improved range and avionics

ket category. The world’s fastest business jet is a tag Cessna has rightfully claimed for the Citation X since 1996, when the aircraft made its debut. The fleet has now accumulated more than a million hours. Since 2003, when Concorde bowed out, the Citation X has been the fastest civilian aircraft in the sky, of any size or type. This is the distinction the G650 now seeks to claim. Cessna is unlikely to surrender without a fight, but there’s only so much speed ramp-up remaining before compressibility effects set in and the much-reviled sonic boom is generated. Companies like Aerion are also striving to bring a supersonic business jet to the market within the next five-six years, but that’s a different story. The G650’s tall and wide-bodied cabin will boast the latest in comfort and convenience.

And what would Bombardier do to preserve its present pride of place at the pinnacle of the business jet market, courtesy the Global Express XRS? Bombardier believes the G650 is likely to be inferior to the Global, but concedes that the former’s matchless range of 7,000 nm will indeed be momentous. Longer range aircraft contribute immensely to the globalisation of business aviation and Bombardier will need to move quickly to claim the top spot in this category. It might either choose a clean-sheet design or decide to upgrade. The latter option—a so-called Super Global Express—could be ready by 2013. It will be far less costly to bring to fruition and is an option that probably makes better business sense. The Super Global Express might simply lengthen the existing XRS cabin and coax out increased range by improving wing aerodynamics. The new aircraft will probably use twin Rolls-Royce BR725 engines—the same as the Gulfstream G650. In the large jet category, Dassault Falcon will begin deliveries of the $39 million (`179 crore) Falcon 900LX early next year. This follow-on to the Falcon 900EX features improved range and avionics. It uses less fuel and boosts the range to 4,750 nm, thanks to its composite

Projected Traditional Business Jet Market Share Percentage (2010-19) Hawker Beechcraft Embraer


Honda Aircraft 8.1 0.8 28%


12.7 15.9

Dassault Aviation

Gulfstream Aerospace

26.3 Bombardier

Source: Teal Group 20th Annual Business Aircraft Market Forecast and Industry Overview. (Figures exclude turboprops, jetliners, and corporate regional jets)

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   9

Civil  business Aviation

mid-level players: bombardier’s learjet 85 has already bagged 60 orders; gulfstream’s g250 is optimised for high-speed cruise and improved take-off

blended winglets. Dassault claims that the new aircraft burns 35-40 per cent less fuel than any other in its class. At maximum take-off weight, powered by three Honeywell TFE731-60 engines, the jet can climb up to 39,000 feet in just 20 minutes. Its maximum cruise speed is 560 knots. Embraer’s aim is to become a major player in the business jet market. It has shot up to over 8 per cent market share in a decade and mostly at the expense of Cessna. So who can stop it? Its large Legacy 650 is an upgrade of the Legacy 600. The new $25.9 million (`119 crore) jet will carry 13 passengers in standard configuration and have a range of 3,900 nm with a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.80. This should comfortably permit journeys between New Delhi and London. The aircraft boasts the new Honeywell Primus Elite advanced cockpit, better sound proofing and about 10 per cent more thrust than the Legacy 600. Embraer claims that the Legacy 650 will be one of the least expensive business jets in the large category. It expects certification towards the end of this year.

New Business Jets at a Glance First Delivery Category Gulfstream G650 2012 Ultra-long range Embraer Legacy 650 Late 2010 Large Dassault Falcon 900LX Early 2011 Large Embraer Legacy 500 2012 Midsize Gulfstream G250 2011 Midsize Embraer Legacy 450 2013 Midsize Bombardier Learjet 85 2013 Midsize Embraer Phenom 300 December 2009 Light Cessna Citation CJ4 April 2010 Light Hawker Beechcraft 2012-13 Light Premier II HA-420 HondaJet 2012 Light

Max Take-off Wt (kg) 45,179 24,300 21,900 19,050 17,962 17,690 15,195 7,950

Midsize Marvels

At Gulfstream Aerospace, work is also proceeding apace on the G250, a derivative of the G200. The midsize Gulfstream G250, which made its first flight last December, offers the largest cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed. It can accommodate up to 10 passengers. The G250 has an all-new, advanced transonic wing design, optimised for high-speed cruise and improved take-off. Its twin Honeywell HTF7250G engines will give it a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.85 and a range of 3,400 nm, allowing flights between New York and London. Gulfstream expects the G250, which is being built by Israel Aerospace Industries, to achieve certification and entry into service next year. Bombardier already has more than 60 orders for its 10-passenger midsize Learjet 85, which will be its first allcomposite business aircraft and the first clean-sheet Learjet design in more than a decade. The company plans certification and first delivery in 2013. The $17.1 million (`79 crore) Learjet 85 will have a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.82 and a range of 3,000 nm. In the same category of business jets, the Legacy 500 (first delivery likely 2012) and Legacy

Range (nm) 7,000 3,900 4,750 3,000 3,400 2,300 3,000 1,971





Normal/Max Cruise 0.85/0.925M 0.78/0.80M 560 kt 0.80/0.83M 0.80/0.85M 0.80/0.83M 0.78/0.82M 453 kt 453 kt 473 kt



420 kt

Passengers 18 13 19 10 10 8 10 6 8 6

Price ($ million) 64.5 29.5 39 18.4 24 15.25 17.1 6.65 9 8



Source: Respective OEM’s websites. Prices are estimates only, sourced from N.B. Some aircraft above are under development. Hence, first delivery, performance and specifications may be treated as approximate/projected. 10    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Civil  business Aviation

light jets: hondajet has room for six passengers and has a cruise speed of 430 knots; hawker beechcraft premier ii will have more powerful engines and new winglets to improve its performance

450 (first delivery likely 2013) are anticipated from Embraer’s stable. Both cleansheet models will have fly-by-wire flight controls (unique for aircraft of this category) and feature flat-floor, stand-up cabins. The $18.4 million (`85 crore) Legacy 500 will carry 10 passengers and fly 3,000 nm at a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.83. The $15.25 million (`70 crore) Legacy 450 will take eight passengers and have a range of 2,300 nm. Light and Lissom

Embraer executives believe that by the end of this year they are likely to capture some 50 per cent of the entry-level and light business jet market. By any yardstick, this is an outstanding achievement for a company which only ventured into the light jet category two years ago. Its latest offering, the $6.65 million (`31 crore) Phenom 300—of which the first was delivered on December 29, 2009—is all one can wish for in light business jets. It can be flown single-pilot, boasts a range of 1,971 nm, has a maximum speed of 453 knots, and climbs to a ceiling of 45,000 feet in just 26 minutes. Experts agree that the Phenom 300 is a game changer, with more passenger leg room and 20 per cent less fuel burn than a Beechjet. It has a well-equipped, comfortable cabin with an array of options usually found only in aircraft costing much more. The cabin’s cool, clean lines and appearance are reminiscent of high-end automobiles. The jet comes in two basic floor plans that can accommodate six or nine passengers. The Hawker Beechcraft Premier II is a marked improvement on the Premier IA. The $8 million (`37 crore) light jet will feature higher maximum cruise speed (473 knots), 20 per cent longer range (1,546 nm) and increased payload, as compared to its predecessor. The aircraft will continue to use composite materials for the fuselage, more powerful engines and new winglets to achieve performance improvements over the Premier IA. However, the first delivery date has been pushed back to 2012 or early 2013 due to the poor market. The HondaJet is another delayed programme. Honda Aircraft now hopes to begin deliveries in the third quarter of 2012, a year later than originally scheduled. This light jet has room for six passengers. The manufacturer expects

it to have a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots and a range of 1,400 nm. The HondaJet has a composite fuselage, with metal wings and tail. Its over-the-wing engine nacelles are quite different from the typical twin-engines-aft business jet configuration. The company claims to have secured firm orders for more than 100 of the $4.5 million (`21 crore) planes. Cessna, though among the hardest hit in the industry, successfully delivered its first Citation CJ4 (Model 525C) in April. While the $9 million (`41 crore) light category jet is not a cleansheet design, it incorporates a great deal of what this leading business aviation company has learned about small jets during the last four decades. The CJ4’s more powerful Williams FJ44-4A engines are derivatives of those on the CJ3 enabling a maximum cruise speed of 453 knots and an increased range of 2,002 nm. Although the CJ4 is a comparatively small business jet, carrying eight passengers, it comes with a wide choice of colours, fabrics, materials and finishes. At July’s AirVenture 2010 held at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, Cessna also announced a new upgrade package for its Citation Mustang, of which 300 have already been sold. Costing just over $3 million (`14 crore), the Citation Mustang is the world’s first fully certified entry-level business jet. It can cruise at speeds of 339 knots, has a range of 1,150 nm, is extremely easy to fly, and can be single-pilot operated. Called High Sierra, the $75,000 (`35 lakh) Mustang upgrade package includes a more luxurious interior, a special paint scheme, a two-year maintenance programme, synthetic vision, electronic charts and locking fuel caps. There is no denying that business jet manufacturers have been through trying times. Some of them have been forced to undertake comprehensive reassessments of their business strategy. Major projects have had to be shelved; others scaled back or put on the back burner. But most manufacturers have emerged stronger from the crisis. They are ready and eager for better times, mainly because they continued to fund research and development of new aircraft. Resurgence in demand for business jets, driven primarily by a gradual recovery in global economic prospects, is now encouraging them to bring their latest offerings to the market with high hopes in their hearts. There will surely be many takers.  SP Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   11

Civil    Regional aviation



The regional jet industry is becoming a lot more competitive. On offer are products from new airframe manufacturers to address new markets and the leading companies are sharpening their knives for the battle ahead.


he Russians are coming, the 28 per cent to 19 per cent. The new playBy R. Chandrakanth Russians are coming… was a ers are first looking at developing their 1966 American comedy film. own domestic markets and then exportIn the regional jet industry, ing, thus making the regional jet industry there is an adaptation … the a lot more competitive. In this article, we Russians are coming and so look at the product offerings of the new are the Japanese and the Chinese. Yes, airframe manufacturers, the markets they from a duopoly of Canadian Bombardier and Brazilian Em- are addressing and how the major companies are sharpenbraer, the regional jet industry is expanding base, albeit ing their knives for the battle ahead. While programme delays delayed. Whether the adaptation will be a runaway hit, re- have affected the first deliveries of all the three entrants—Rusmains to be seen. sia’s Sukhoi; China’s ACAC and Japan’s Mitsubishi, the regionThe fact that there are new entrants is indicative of the mar- al jet industry, per se, is getting bigger, as regional jets with ket potential and how the two established players—Bombar- 70- to149- seat capacities seem a viable route. Even the trio is dier and Embraer—are enhancing the product lines, including focused on delivering 90 to 100 plus seat aircraft. re-working the seat configurations as airliners are increasingly looking at offering lowest seat mile cost. The forecast is 12,800 Russian deal: Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft deliveries from 2010-29 with China estimated to By the year-end or early next year, the first delivery of Sukreceive 18 per cent and India 5 per cent (up from the pres- hoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) is expected as SCAC, a joint venture ent 1 per cent), while Europe will witness a shrinkage from between Sukhoi and Finmeccanica of Italy, is sorting out the

SSJ100-75 and SSJ100-95 Photographs: finmeccanica, bombardier, MRJ & embraer

Seating capacity: 78- 98 respec­­­tively in single class 3 + 2 configuration Cabin: 127.48 inches width and 83.46“ height Aisle and seat width: 20.08“ and 18.31“ Engine: SaM146 from PowerJet Cruise speed: 0.78 M Range (full passenger payload): 2,900 km to 4,550 km from basic to extended range (ER) Operational efficiency: Claims to offer 10 per cent decrease of operation costs due to its weight perfection, economic fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. 12    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Civil    Regional aviation

CSeries–CS100 and CS300 Seating capacity: 120 to 145 respectively Cabin: 129“ width and 84“ height Aisle and seat width: 20\22“ and 18.5\20“ in economy/business Engine: Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G engine Cruise speed: 0.82 Range: 3,333 km to 5,463 nm from basic to extended range Operational efficiency: Optimising airframe design and other features, CSeries claims to offer 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage, generated, in part, by a 20 per cent reduction in fuel burn.

problems with the SaM146 engine, developed by PowerJet, a 0.76 to stay in economic mode, SSJ100 has higher cruise joint project between the Russian Saturn and the French Snec- speed. The pitch of the manufacturers is that SSJ100 ofma. The Deputy Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov, fers airlines freedom in route and schedule planning with who heads the commission to monitor the implementation of its enhanced take-off and landing performance along with the Sukhoi Superjet programme, recently indicated that work all-weather operation, wide range and passenger payload on its final design had been almost entirely completed, but capabilities. problems remain. At the moment, there are 18 serial aircraft On the aspect of fuel efficiency, the company states that it in production, six of which are in the final assembly shop. is secured by the third generation supercritical airfoil wing The project has got utmost priority by the Russian Ministry and local aerodynamics. The perfectly balanced aircraft conof Industry and Trade, enthused by an order book (inclusive of trol laws in autopilot mode add to fuel consumption savings. order of intent) of 256 for the Superjet 100-95, though there is Weight perfection and the SaM146 engine, tailored for the airnone for the Superjet 100-75. Mikhail Pogosyan, CEO of SCAC craft family reduce fuel consumption per seat by 10 per cent has said that a sale of 800 SSJ100 in the next two decades is compared to its rivals. feasible. The aircraft features fully electronic fly-by-wire control sys- Chinaware: ARJ21-700 tem for piloting, landing gear extension and retraction, and a Ultra-large state-owned enterprise AVIC Commercial Aircraft Company (ACAC) is developing the brake system to prove its high maintainARJ21 regional aircraft, a mediumability and weight perfection. Leadingand short-range regional jet to princiedge technologies, from design to develARJ21-700 and ARJ21-900 pally serve the growing domestic maropment, are going to be at the core of the ket, besides exports. Like the other project to make it a modern, economically Seating capacity: 90-105 respectively in single class entrants, China too has run into rough efficient and globally marketable aircraft. weather on the first roll out. There are Sukhoi Superjet 100, the company Cabin: 123.74“ width and 79.92“ four ARJ21-700 aircraft in the flight says, will be easy and safe to pilot and height test programme with cumulative flight that only one pilot can land the aircraft. Aisle and seat width: 19“ and time of over 600 hours. The four airThe cockpit design features a “passive” 17.9“ craft are powered by GE CF34-10A side stick and “active” engine control leEngine: Two GEAE’s CF34-10A engines. vers. From the airline perspective, the high bypass ratio turbofan The aircraft is a 90-seater regional company maintains that the new generaengines. jet designed for “hot and high” flying tion product will offer a perfect combinaCruise speed: 0.82 M conditions and would be deployed on tion of regional aircraft efficiency with the Range: 2,225 km to 3,700 km (LR) the western sector where the terrain mainline level of comfort for passengers Operational efficiency: Acis mountainous and the conditions and state-of-the-art technologies. cording to the company, low “too hot”. It would have a maximum The SSJ100 aerodynamic configuacquisition cost and an updatrange of 2,000 nautical miles. ration is specifically optimised for high ed turbofan engine characterThere are confirmed domestic and cruise M-speed without leading to a ised by low fuel consumption, overseas orders, inclusive of orders of dramatic increase in fuel consumption. would improve the economical intent, which total up to 240 and the When compared with the competitive efficiency of the airplane. first aircraft is scheduled to be delivaircraft which are bound to fly at M 0.7514    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Civil    Regional aviation MRJ70 and MRJ90 Seating capacity: 78 and 92 respectively in single class Cabin: 108.5“ width and 80.5“ height Aisle and seat width: 18“ and 18.5“ Engine: PurePower ® PW1000G engines by Pratt & Whitney Cruise speed: 0.78 M Range: 1590 km to 3449 Operational efficiency: Advanced aerodynamics and weight reduction achieved through use of composite materials and a newly developed fuel efficient next-generation engine, MRJ claims to offer over 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared with other regional jets currently in operation.

ered in 2011 to Shandong Airlines. China’s regional jet is set to offer a distinctive price advantage and reports are that the pre-sale price of the new ARJ21 is between $27 million and $29 million. The variants of the series include the baseline ARJ21-700, the extended ARJ21-900 version, the dedicated freight carrier ARJ21F and the business class aircraft ARJ21B. The flight deck is fitted with five Rockwell Collins 10˝x8˝ high resolution liquid crystal adaptive flight displays. A Rockwell Collins FMS 4200 flight management system provides multiple way point vertical navigation, flight time and fuel planning and prediction, standard instrument departures and standard terminal arrival routes and approaches (SIDs and STARS). Honeywell is supplying the flyby-wire flight control system. The aircraft is said to have a powerful take-off and climbing performance to allow the use of basic airports with short runways. The passenger cabin can be configured for 78 to 90 seats. The first-class seats are arranged four seats to a row with a typical 38˝ pitch and the tourist class with five seats to a row (32˝ pitch). The aircraft is powered by two General Electric CF34-10A engines. For improved cruise performance, the aircraft is fitted with 25 degree sweptback supercritical wing with winglets. The cruise speed is M 0.78 and cruise altitude is 10,668m. The standard aircraft has a range of 2,225 km and the extended range version is of 3,700 km. Japanese foray: MRJ

Following closely on the tail of the Russian and the Chinese programmes is the Japanese offer from the stables of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which has pegged the demand for 70 to 90 seat aircraft at 5,000 units in the next 20 years. Enthused by such market demand, the company has embarked upon Japan’s first aircraft design and development since the NAMC YS-11 of the 1960s.The first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is to take place in the second quarter of 2012, and the first delivery to All Nippon Airways in the first quarter of 2014. The MRJ family MRJ70 and MRJ90 will be a next generation regional jet offering both top-class operational

economy and outstanding cabin comfort. It will feature a game-changing engine, state-of-the-art aerodynamic design and noise analysis technology. It will significantly cut fuel consumption, noise and emissions. The MRJ will be a human-centred flight deck with fly-by-wire. The aircraft will be powered by the PurePower ® PW1000G engines by Pratt & Whitney, expected to deliver significant operating cost and environmental benefits through increased efficiency. MRJ was to become the first regional jet to adopt carbon fibre composite materials for its airframe on a significant scale, but later it announced that it would use alumininum for its wing box. Carbon composite parts will now make up only 1015 per cent of the aircraft, mostly around the tail section. This change brought increase in the cabin height by 1.5 in (3.81 cm) to 80.5 in (204.47 cm) and fuselage height increase to 116.5in (295.91 cm), thus giving the MRJ a rounder cabin, which is wider and higher than its competing aircraft manufactured by Bombardier and Embraer. The slim seat feature is expected to give ample leg room to the passenger. Again it was a domestic order which set the tone for the new entrant. All Nippon Airways made a firm order for 15 MRJ90s and an option for 10 more. In 2009, US-based Trans State Airlines booked 50 MRJ90 with an option of 50 more. Bombardier’s CSeries: The future

Bracing up for the anticipated competition and also from the mainliners such as Airbus and Boeing, Canada’s Bombardier which first sowed the seeds of the regional jet revolution by introducing the CRJ-100, has in the pipeline, though delayed, the CSeries family of commercial aircraft. The CSeries is expected to shake up the industry by redefining operational flexibility, cost-effectiveness and passenger comfort in 100- to 149-seat class. Bombardier has forecast that the 100- to 149-seat segments represent the strongest growth component in terms of deliveries within the 20- to 149-seat market. Of the 12,800 aircraft deliveries predicted from 2010-29, the number of turboprops will be 2,400. Of the remaining 10,400 jets, 3,700 will be in the 20 to 99-seat segment (the Japanese Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   15

Civil    Regional aviation Embraer-E-Jets (Embraer 170; 175; 190 and 195) Seating capacity: 80 to 122 Cabin: 108“ width and 79“ height Aisle and seat width: 19.75“ and 18.25“ Engine: General Electric CF34-8E Cruise speed: 0.82 M Range: 3892 km to 4,448 km Operational efficiency: Embraer says that the high degree of commonality among the E-Jets family helps airlines minimise costs for crew training, spare parts and maintenance. Fly-by-wire technology increases operational safety while reducing pilot workload and fuel consumption.

and the Russians have estimated 5,000 and 6,000 aircraft, respectively) and 6,700 (3,000 aircraft to retire during the period) in the 100 to 149-seat segment. The CSeries (CS100 and CS300) combines 70 per cent advanced materials, leading-edge technology to give 15 per cent operating cost advantage, backed by 20 per cent less fuel consumption. Besides unsurpassed economics, the CSeries offers environmental benefits such as reduced noise and emissions (20 per cent less CO2; 50 per cent less NOx; and four times lot quieter). The range will be 1,800 to 2,950 nautical miles. The aircraft will be powered by the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G engine with key features such as advanced combustion technology; fan drive gear system; ultra high bypass fan; fewer stages and airfoils; and advanced Nacelle technologies. The flight deck includes five 15.4˝ LCD displays, baseline dual graphical flight management system, dual cursor control devices, an advanced multi-scan weather radar system and baseline data link features with full format printer. The avionics is designed with a high level of growth ready to accommodate upcoming and future functionalities such as ADS-B IN/CDTI, synthetic and enhanced vision. Bombardier indeed has led from the front and the CRJ family is all over the skies with over 1,400 CRJ regional jets being operated by 50 leading airlines in 24 countries. From the first Bombardier CRJ which entered service in 1992, the company has developed its product offering with the CRJ family getting CRJ 700, CRJ705 and CRJ 900 that featured a complete redesign of the structures and systems. The CRJ NextGen offers next generation of passenger comfort, efficiency and performance. The NextGen series of CRJ700; CRJ900 and CRJ1000 have bigger and better interiors and also reduced emission levels (up to 30 per cent greener) and lower operating costs (8 to 15 per cent).

cost carriers or full service operators. And by the year end, Embraer is expected to make an announcement on a new platform that will make the competition interesting. The E-Jets, a family of four commercial jets designed specifically for the 70- to 122-seat capacity segment is pitched as “tap the gap” between larger mainline aircraft and smaller regional jets. Embraer states that E-Jets are not stretched from smaller airplanes or shrunken from larger platforms. This clean design approach sets new standards in ergonomics, efficiency, engineering and economics among aircraft in their class. Embraer is putting everything behind the passenger. The PAX Factor, Embraer has propositioned, suggests that profits can be increased not only by cutting costs, but also by generating greater revenues with passenger-friendly equipment and a passenger-centric business model. Citing how Air Canada had demonstrated success by introducing the pay-for-use model with passengers, Embraer says many airlines are embracing the “empowered passenger”. The E-170 with 70- to 80-seat configuration and a range of 2,100 nautical miles, looks and feels like a mainline aircraft. It is powered by General Electric CF34-8E engines. The E-175 is a 78-88 seat aircraft with a range of 2,000 nm. With airlines discovering the untapped potential of 100-seat capacity aircraft, the E-190 replaces old-generation jets and right-sizes fleets with a range of 2400 nm. The E-195 features 108- to 122-seat capacity and has a flying range of 2200 nm. The ERJ 145 family was planned from the beginning with the regional airline market in mind. The ERJ 135 (37 seats); ERJ 140 (44 seats) and ERJ 145 (55 seats) have held their own in the regional jet industry. As of August this year, nearly 1,000 aircraft of the ERJ family are in service in about 39 countries, but the course of smaller seat aircraft is narrowing.

Brazilian saga: Embraer’s E-Jets

BAE Systems: The old warhorse

“If you still think it’s a regional jet, you haven’t been paying attention,” Embraer’s ad is loud and clear on how the Brazilian airframe manufacturer is redefining jet operations whether it is for short runs and five hour legs or for low 16    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

BAE Systems stopped production of the Avro RJ in 2002, At least 330 aircraft are in the skies with some 60 operators and BAE Systems offers a wide range of OEM modifications and enhancements for the aircraft.  SP

D a s s a u l t

A v i a t i o n

S n e c m a

T h a l e s

What will protect India st in the 21 century?

In matter of national defence, there can be no substitute for complete trust in the source, no compromise on the reliability and the availability of the aircraft and its technologies. For over half a century, we have proudly been supporting India’s air defence mission. Today, we look forward to keeping the privilege of serving India, for the next 50 years, with the world’s most advanced latest generation aircraft, Rafale . The OMNIROLE fighter




am pleased to learn that SP Guide Publications is bringing out separate special editions on the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Indian Navy. Our Armed Forces have rendered invaluable contributions to the nation–both in times of war and peace. We want our Armed Forces to retain the competitive edge and rank among the best in the world. We remain committed to the modernisation of the Forces. However, modernisation must proceed hand-in-


he Indian Air Force is celebrating its 78th Anniversary this year. The IAF which is fast emerging as a potent and reckonable aerospace power continues in its quest for all-round capability build-up. The Fire Power Demonstration ‘Vayu Shakti-2010’ at Pokharan showcased our precision and lethality. The IAF gave a splendid account of itself during the international air exercises conducted in France and UAE as well as the various UN Missions. The Air Force has risen to every occasion in providing assistance in relief and rescue operations. The recent operations by the IAF at Leh, against all odds in making the runway operational in half a day, handling record number of aircraft movements daily along with the all-round rescue effort proved critical in the air bridging efforts that brought

18    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Minister of Defence India hand with indigenisation. The all-around welfare of the Jawans, ex-servicemen and their family members continues to be our primary concern. I am confident that the special editions will be liked and read widely. Please accept my best wishes for your future endeavours.

A.K. Antony

Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik pvsm vsm adc succour to the disaster zone. All this has been possible due to the commitment and whole-hearted contribution of our finest force-multipliers–our Air Warriors! SP’s Aviation is doing a commendable job in increasing awareness on defence matters in India and abroad. I convey my best wishes to SP’s Aviation and its readers. Jai Hind!

Air Chief Marshal Chief of the Air Staff Indian Air Force



Delayed decision-making

India is yet to shortlist contenders for supplying 126 fighter jets under the $11-billion (`50,600 crore) medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal. “At the moment, the Offset Technical Committee—headed by the Special Secretary of Defence Production and including members from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD)—is evaluating technical offset proposals and sending their observations to all the six contenders,” officials privy to the process recently stated. “Based on the observations, vendors would submit fresh and revised offset proposals,” they added.


Illustration: anoop kamath


eference to the so-called Offset Technical Committee appears to have been done erroneously. In all probability, the news is eluding to the setting up of the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), the seventh step in the long winding path of India’s Defence Procurement Procedure (for details see Forum ‘Make it Easy’ in September Issue of SP’s Aviation). The TOC comes into play after the completion of the ‘field trials’ and ‘staff evaluation’ carried out by the concerned service—in this case it is the Indian Air Force (IAF). Headed by the Defence Secretary, the TOC is supposed to have a three-member team comprising one service officer (in this case from the IAF), one scientist from the DRDO and one representative of a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) not involved in the MMRCA acquisition. As per the defence procurement procedure (DPP), the TOC’s mandate is to see whether the trials, evaluation of results, compliance to qualitative requirements (QRs) and selection of vendors were done according to the prescribed procedures. The TOC also looks into the methodology adopted during the trials vis-à-vis the trial methodology given in the request for proposal (RFP) and the trial directive. The TOC is given 30 days to put up its report to the Defence Secretary and after his acceptance the stage could be set for the acquisition process to move on to the commercial negotiations phase. The TOC, therefore, is required to, by and large, comment on the correctness of the previous phase of the DPP i.e. field trials and resulting staff evaluation. However, if the news is to be believed, it is obvious that the TOC has been additionally mandated to also evaluate the offset proposals which must have been put up by different vendors in the response phase of the RFP. This activity would normally have taken place in the next phase, along with the opening of the commercial bids of the selected vendors.

By pre-empting the offset evaluation process, it appears that the offset proposals of practically all the contending vendors are being studied. As per reports based on the observations of the TOC, vendors would be asked to submit fresh and revised proposals which would then be taken into account for evaluating the vendors again, before the TOC finally prepares its report for submission to the MoD. The MoD can decide on shortlisting the vendors only when the technical oversight and field trials reports are complete. It is only after this process is complete that the Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) would be appointed to carry the process further. It is obvious that the TOC will not be able to accomplish its task in the assigned timeframe of 30 days as stipulated in the DPP. The vendors would also have to be given sufficient time to respond to the observations made by the TOC and resubmit their fresh/revised offset proposals. The exercise could easily take anywhere between three and six months, causing additional delays. Further, as the entire process would almost certainly throw up a ‘single/resultant single vendor’ situation, the CNC would, in all probability, get into extended timeframe of up to 11 months (as authorised by DPP) to complete its task. In short, there appears to be no chance of a clear winner emerging before or during the Aero India-2011 Air Show. As a matter of fact, it may not happen till the very end of 2011 or early 2012. The timeframe for signing of the contract would continue to remain in the realm of speculation as it is certain that even after all the DPP hurdles have been crossed and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanction obtained, further government-to-government negotiations would be held to get additional benefits for the country. Clearly, the IAF has a long wait before it starts to reap the operational benefits of the MMRCA deal.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   19



indian aewcs

An Indian built airborne early warning and control system (AEWCS) will be integrated into Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft, which will fly in the country in January 2011. Three ERJ 145 will carry the active array antenna units (AAAU), an electronic phased array radar developed by DRDO. The Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) is building the primary sensors, communication systems and data link. The Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) is making self-protection systems, electronic warfare suites and communication support systems while the radar will come from Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE). The integration of the systems, mission computer, display and data handling is being done by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS).


Photograph: Embraer


he first attempt by the indigenous aerospace industry at acquiring an “eye in the sky” with the aim of boosting the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was designated as Project Airavat, airborne surveillance platform (ASP). The project which essentially was a technology demonstrator, involved mounting of a rotodome on top of the fuselage of the HS-748 AVRO twin engine turboprop transport aircraft on the inventory of the IAF. After three years of effort by CABS, during which two prototypes were developed, the project culminated in a disaster when in January 1999, one of the aircraft crashed near Arkkonam killing the five scientists and three crew members on board. The project was abandoned after this devastating episode. It was in July 2008 that Project Airavat was revived when India entered into an agreement with Brazil to jointly develop an AEWCS for the IAF. The $415 million (Rs 1,910 crore) project that had received in-principle clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in September 2004, involved staggered delivery commencing in 2011, of three Embraer 145 regional jets with appropriate modifications for the installation of AAAU being developed by CABS which was also nominated as the nodal agency. Development and integration of the various subsystems such as the primary and secondary surveillance radar, electronic countermeasures and communication and data links into the modified ERJ 145 aircraft would be the responsibility of the DRDO. The IAF and DRDO will jointly handle the test flight programme expected to commence in 2012. Concurrently, with the new DRDO project in March 2004, the IAF signed an agreement with Elta of Israel and Russia for the supply of three airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. This system is based on the Phalcon radar mounted on the Russian IL-76 platform. The first and second such system were delivered to the IAF in May 2009 and March 2010, respectively. The third aircraft is expected in December

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this year. It is understood that six more AWACS aircraft are planned to be procured in the next three five-year plans. With the induction of the AWACS complemented by the AEWCS, there will be a qualitative change in the surveillance capability of the IAF which in turn will have a profound impact on the tactics, strategy and doctrine of aerial warfare. Although precise operational capabilities of the Indian AEWCS will be determined during user trials, data pertaining to the system will in all likelihood remain classified. However, a similar system, the turboprop Saab 2000 Erieye from Sweden, provides 300 degree coverage in azimuth and has an effective detection range of around 350 km while operating at medium altitude. The ERJ 145 based AEWCS is likely to have similar performance, perhaps a little better, as being a jet aircraft it can operate at higher altitudes. However, the Phalcon radar of the IL-76 based AWACS would provide higher detection ranges. These platforms are capable of detecting aircraft getting airborne from enemy airfields that lie within their detection range, simultaneous tracking of hundreds of targets and controlling multiple interceptions by own air defence fighters. They can also serve as airborne command and control centres free of limitations of ground-based facilities and can enhance the capability to detect aerial threats at low level. Besides, they are relatively less vulnerable to electronic countermeasures. Apart from defensive role, the system can also support offensive strike missions, assist forces in the tactical battle area and can intercept and counter unfriendly radar transmissions and communication signals. Equipped with data link, these systems integrate effectively with a network-centric environment and enhance the operational efficacy of other platforms such as combat aircraft, UAVs and satellites. AWACS and AEWCS complementarily could prove to be the most potent ‘force multipliers’ for the IAF.  SP –Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey

AFNET kick-starts



A dedicated fibre-optic network should be able to adequately meet the IAF’s current and foreseeable requirement of network activity vis-à-vis air operations. But can the AFNET cover the entire spectrum of network-centric warfare?


n its long and continuing march to transform itself into a modern, highly capable and balanced force, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is on the threshold of achieving a major milestone in ultimately being able to conduct network-centric operations. It is a well-known fact that it is the ability to collect, process, and disseminate flow of information resulting in increased mission space awareness and subsequent dominance, firmly fixed in a classical command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) framework, which constitutes the essence of present-day air operations. However, even a most modern fighting force, with the best of command and control structures, the best of ground/air/ space based sensors, the best of combat platforms and the finest air warriors would be nothing but impotent and ineffective unless it possesses a robust and failsafe communication systems, connecting all echelons of the force making possible for it to conduct network-enabled operations. The milestone alluded to earlier refers to the formal launch of Air Force Net (AFNET) communication system by the IAF on September 14. With the commissioning of the AFNET, the IAF ushers in a modern, state-of-the-art digital information grid, based on a nationwide fibre-optic network. The IAF project, spanning a number of years for completion, is supposed to be a part of the overall mission to ultimately network all three services. The mission flows out from the backdrop of an information technology (IT) roadmap document of India’s Defence Ministry stipulating automation, simulated training and mandatory computer proficiency in the services. On a much larger scale, the IAF has created a mandate to develop and maintain an assured, dedicated, secure and interoperable communication network along with associated services/establishments to provide real-time, instantaneous transfer of information between sensors, command and control (C2) centres and shooters. The IAF also feels it necessary to use the communication network and IT-enabled infrastructure for all other operational, techno-logistics and administrative functions to leverage development in the entire operational and support spectrum to enhance efficiency and ensure cost-effectiveness. While all the three services are engaged in providing a high degree of automation and computer-based networking, the IAF is the first among the three services to complete the project of interlinking all its major installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth network through AFNET. The AFNET would replace the IAF’s old communication network, installed more than four decades ago—based on a 1950 Troposcatter technology. With the AFNET in place, all major formations and static establishments of the IAF would have been linked through a secure wide area network (WAN). AFNET incorporates the latest traffic transportation technology in the form of internet protocol (IP) packets using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). A large voice over internet protocol (VoIP) layer

with stringent quality of service enforcement is planned to facilitate robust and high-quality voice, video and conferencing solutions. On the operational front, the integrated air command and control systems (IACCS)—an automated command and control system, especially for air defence (AD) operations— will ride the AFNET backbone integrating all ground-based and airborne sensors, AD weapon systems and C2 nodes. IACCS, when operationalised fully, would provide connectivity for all the airborne platforms as well as ground platforms as part of the IAF’s network-centricity, enabling real-time transfer of voice, data and images among aircraft, satellites and ground bases. Pioneered by the US Department of Defense, widely tried during Operation Desert Storm and subsequently perfected during the later Operation Iraqi Freedom, networkcentric warfare relies on computer processing power and networking communications technology to provide shared information of the battle space among friendly forces. This shared awareness increases synergy for command and control, resulting in superior decision-making, which in turn,

IAF is the first among the three services to complete the project of interlinking all its major installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth network through AFNET enables conduct of complex military operations over long distances for an overwhelming war-fighting advantage. But the US network-centric warfare capability rides on a highly robust, multi-layered communication system with copious use of space-based satellites—not in single digit numbers but a whole constellation of them. Even the satellite communications are a part system of systems to provide the overall desired capability for the US armed forces. Granted that the AFNET — a dedicated fibre-optic network that offers up to 500 MBPS encrypted, unjammable bandwidth should be able to adequately meet the IAF’s current and foreseeable requirement of network activity visà-vis air operations, including AD, UAV imagery, high-definition video streaming, and so on, besides administration and logistics. But the question that looms large is: can the AFNET cover the entire spectrum of network-centric warfare? The other questions that confront all fighting forces pertain to redundancy factors and vulnerability concerns. Will or can the AFNET test positive on all these counts? Turn to Forum for some thought-provoking discussions.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   21



Effective Force Multiplier: Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju, Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, CAS Air Marshal P.V. Naik and Minister of State for comminications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot during the AFNET launch ceremony

Effective and

Secure Communication

Photograph: PIB


While AFNET will provide the jumbo capability, it would have to be linked with satcom, ODL and HF links to complete the network-centricity loop

edicating it to the nation, Defence Minister A.K. Antony formally launched the Air Force Network (AFNET) on September 14, ushering in a new era of a modern, state-of-the-art digital information grid to provide networkcentric combat capabilities to the Indian Air Force (IAF), which had been waiting for it for a long time. AFNET would indeed prove to be an effective force multiplier for intelligence analysis, mission planning and control, postmission feedback and related activities like maintenance, logistics and administration. The system also boasts of a comprehensive design with multi-layer security precautions for ‘defence in depth’ by incorporating encryption technologies, intrusion prevention systems to guard against information manipulation and eavesdropping. But does it mean that the IAF has reached the acme of capabilities as far as its communication requirements are concerned, enabling it to conduct unhindered network-centric operations? The truth is that while AFNET provides a quantum jump in secure commu22    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

nications to the IAF, it has still a long way to go to achieve the desired capabilities in terms of all-round connectivity and multi-spectrum redundancies to provide the necessary survivability in a hostile combat scenario. But it would be equally important to understand as to how it all started and where it is now and to determine what more would be required in the future to make the IAF a true net-centric force. The communication scenario in the post-independence India was that of operator-assisted or finger-dialing bulky telephones for the elite both in the civil and defence establishments. For the operational elements, there were mostly the good old hand-cranked ‘field’ telephones connected with rolls and rolls of D6 wires laid overground, powered by archaic batteries. Then, there were a sprinkling of rudimentary radars interspersed over locations considered to be the most vital — that too, only in the western sector. The East was almost entirely bereft of any radar capability. The author nostalgically remembers scrambling in the first generation Toofani jet fighters from Gauhati (now Guwahati) on visual sighting of a

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   23



vapour trail emanating from the Tibetan Plateau in the north, heading towards Dacca in the south. It took more than 25 minutes to reach the trail altitude by which time the so-called intruder would have reached deep inside the airspace of erstwhile East Pakistan, probably in touch with Dacca ATC for the descent clearance. It was only after the Sino-Indian war in 1962 that the United States came forward to help India establish a radar network with a handful of Star Sapphire groundbased radars. To support the AD system, an elaborate communication network called the Troposcatter was planned. The programme was big enough for the IAF to create a separate establishment called the Radar and Communication Project Organisation (RCPO) headed by a two-star Air Vice Marshal (later upgraded to a three-star Air Marshal) appointment. The programme, however, got a severe jolt when the US imposed strict sanctions in the aftermath of Indo-Pak War of 1965. But it was the grit and determination of the IAF pioneers ably supported by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) that ensured continuation of the programme and the fact that it was regularly monitored by none other than the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. By the end of 1970s, major vital areas throughout the country had been networked into the Troposcatter system. The US supplied Star Sapphire high-powered radars were installed in selected locations in the western, central and eastern sectors to cater to the requirements of the western, northern and eastern borders, respectively. To support the air defence network, Troposcatter hubs were established largely at elevated locations such as Dalhousie, Kasauli, Mount Abu, Kurseong and other places such as Jaipur, Delhi, to name a few. Peripherals were established at bases ranging from Srinagar in the north to Santacruz in the south and from Jamnagar/Naliya in the west to Chabua in the east. Needless to say, that the entire network served the IAF well for many decades. However, it was not only the technology which belonged to the mid-20th century, but the Troposcatter equipment itself was getting too old and difficult to maintain which pushed the planners to look for better alternatives. At about the same time, India started to witness a revolution in the fields of information technology (IT) and telecommunications. With India riding the wave of communication revolution, frequency spectrum became a very precious commodity. The IAF planners decided to make use of this rare natural resource under their control in a most efficient quid pro quo manner with the Ministry of Telecommunication & Information Technology, which was desperately looking for additional spectrum to fuel the growth of 2G as well as the introduction of 3G services in the country. That is what gave birth to the AFNET, which evolved as network for spectrum (NFS) component of the IAF. The vastness of the AFNET infrastructure and enabled IT services can be gauged from the fact that it includes more than 3,800 km of UTP cabling, 6,000 km of campus optical fibre, 4,200 locations with switches, about 30,000 IP phones, 260 carrier class routers, over 500 captive power generation systems, and over 1,000 security and monitoring related devices. AFNET boasts of pan-India deployment, extensively covering the length and breadth of the country. Defence Minister A.K. Antony who dedicated the AFNET to the nation on September 14, termed the event as a momentous occasion as the network would enhance the adaptability, capability and interoperability of the IAF. Speaking on 24    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

the occasion, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik called it a “giant step” for the IAF as it was entering the next-generation digital network-centric system. “It is a robust system providing voice/data/video communication and it will be effective communication during peace or war,” he added. Ajay Choudhary, Chairman and CEO, HCL Systems, the industry partner and systems integrator for AFNET said, “For an Indian company, it is a matter of pride to be part of the largest network in the defence sector.” While kudos are certainly in place for the accomplishment of a gigantic task and creation of an unprecedented communication network capability for the IAF, and while the claimed quadruple redundancy is well appreciated, one must not ignore the age-old wisdom of creating an independent backup system, especially in the case of the armed forces which are vulnerable to enemy action from various quarters including sabotage. It could be assumed that the Troposcatter system would be in a ‘wind down’ mode, soon to be consigned to the annals of history. It would be imperative for the IAF to create a full-fledged alternative/complementary system preferably based on space assets such as communication satellites. Some rudimentary capability does exist in this regard through spectrum sharing basis but it is not adequate. The IAF is known to be on the threshold of launching a dedicated communication satellite, but clearly this capability would have to be built upon further. When one compares the US space-based capabilities with more than 100 military satellites employed for myriad operational functions such as communications, navigation, meteorological and ISR, etc, the next to nil capabilities of the Indian armed forces stand out in stark contrast. The second major factor to be remembered is that AFNET provides only the ground connectivity. For the IAF to become a modern network-centric force, it would have to provide operation data link (ODL) to its aerial platforms. Ideally, this capability would be desirable for all airborne vehicles but if this was not possible due to resource constraints, there is no escaping the fact that at least all the combat platforms have this capability. The IAF had apparently taken some steps in this regard by issuing a global tender for a pilot project in 2006 to develop an operational data link, which is rumoured to have been bagged by the IsraelAerospace Industries (IAI) as consultants/co-developers. Under the pilot programme selected aircraft and ground stations will be networked to obtain experience in developing standard operating procedures, integrating platform mission computers and training of the concerned personnel. Subsequently, the programme is scheduled to be enlarged to network fighter and transport aircraft, helicopters and surveillance platforms and ground radars. The ODL networkcentric warfare programme is stated to be carried out in phases, to become operational by 2012. Last, but not the least, it would still leave some elements, especially the ones operating in remote areas, such as MOFs, LLTRs, etc to continue to rely on HF radio links for communications. They could also be provided mobile satcom links as backups or vice versa. In the final analysis, while AFNET will provide the jumbo capability, it would have to be mixed with satcom, ODL and HF links to complete the networkcentricity loop.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia



We are in the process of introducing radical changes in the training environment Integrity, ethics and values are the qualities which the IAF has always focused on during the selection of officers. In an interview to SP’s Aviation, Air Marshal K.J. Mathews, Air Officer-in-charge Personnel (AOP), spoke about different measures taken to ensure that the officers are fully trained to meet the challenges of contemporary modern military environment. SP’s Aviation (SP’s:) The Indian Air Force (IAF) had procured the Hawk 132 advanced jet trainer for advanced stage training of fighter pilots. How has this induction helped the training in IAF and how far has IAF been successful in achieving this aim? AOP: The advanced stage of fighter training (Stage–III) was earlier conducted entirely on the Kiran Mk-II aircraft followed by training on to the MiG-21 aircraft (Stage-IV) before the pilot was posted to the operational squadrons. Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer induction into the IAF was commenced in 2008 as a lead-in fighter trainer with an aim to completely replace the Kiran Mk-II/ MiG-21 route of training. Training on a modern Hawk AJT is aimed at bridging the gap between a slow speed subsonic Kiran aircraft and the high speed fighter jet and enable the trainee to graduate smoothly on to a more complex frontline fighter aircraft in less time than the Kiran–MiG-21 route.

Photograph: IAF

SP’s: What step is the IAF taking to ensure that the contemporary training is being imparted to the air warriors to meet the challenges of the 21st century? AOP: The IAF is in the process of introducing radical changes in its training environment through introduction of modern trainer aircraft, simulators and other modern training equipment into the training centres. This is to ensure that the trainees are fully trained to meet the challenges of the contemporary modern military environment. SP’s: What is the current status of the HPT-32? Are there any plans for revival of the aircraft? What steps are being taken for procurement of a new basic trainer aircraft as a replacement for the already grounded and obsolete HPT-32 aircraft to cater to the basic training requirements of the IAF? AOP: The HAL built HPT-32 was being used as a basic trainer for the training of ab initio pilots (Stage–I flying) of the IAF, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and foreign trainees. In addition, the aircraft was also being utilised at Flying Instructors’ School in Tambaram for the training of flying instructors. Training flying on this aircraft was suspended after the fatal accident on one of the aircraft in July 2009. Considering the reliability of vital systems, obsolescence of technology, limitations on the basic escape system and its

impact on safety, a replacement of the HPT-32 aircraft was under process even when the HPT-32 was flying. With grounding of the HPT-32, this process has been further hastened. The replacement of HPT-32 with a modern basic trainer that would have its own simulators and computer-aided learning systems as part of the package, is now being progressed on fast track. The case is in procurement stage and the first batch of selected aircraft is expected to be available by 2013-14. SP’s: With plans for induction of new aircraft like the Su30, MMRCA, etc, an increase in intake of pilots is envisaged. How is IAF planning to accommodate training of this enhanced intake in the existing training infrastructure? AOP: With many new inductions on the horizon, the requirement of pilots in the IAF is bound to increase. The existing Air Force Academy at Hyderabad would not be able to absorb much increase in intake of pilot trainees due to constraints of airspace, infrastructure, etc. Thus, setting up of a second Air Force Officers Training Academy is being considered. SP’s: The air warrior gets inducted at an early age and since the engagement period is 20 years, they retire at an early age compared to their civilian counterparts. What are the initiatives from IAF to enable a second career for these personnel? AOP: An integrated IAF Placement Cell has been established at Air Force Records Office, New Delhi to assist retired/retiring air warriors to find suitable jobs in civil sector including public sector undertakings. To boost the employment opportunities for ex-air warriors across India, Regional Placement Cells have been established at all Regional Commands. The Placement Cell has a dedicated website through which employees and employers can register themselves. As of now, more than 635 companies have registered with the IAF Placement Cell and more than 25,000 ex-air warriors have been sponsored through the Placement Cell. About 1,860 ex-air warriors have been re-employed through placement fairs and IAF Placement Cell.  SP To read the complete interview log on to: Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   25



We are at the threshold of becoming a first world air power The much awaited Hawk AJT has been with the IAF for more than a year now. Has this changed the flight safety scenario as anticipated? Please explain. DG: Yes, absence of a proper AJT has been an impediment in training young pilots of the IAF. Earlier, the pilots, after flying basic trainers (HT-2/HPT-32 and Kiran) were sent to Transonic aircraft (Hunter) and then to Supersonic aircraft like MiG-21, etc. However, after phasing out of the hunter fleet, a vacuum emerged necessitating graduation of the pilots directly from basic trainers to supersonic aircraft. After induction of Hawk trainer aircraft in the IAF towards the end of 2007, the gap in the training programme has been plugged and things have started improving.

Over the years, the Indian Air Force has been working towards reducing accident rates. In an exclusive interview to SP’s Aviation, Air Marshal A.S. Karnik, Director General, Inspection & Safety, IAF, spoke about different measures taken to make IAF’s capability truly global.

Photograph: IAF

SP’s Aviation (SP’s): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has come a long way in reducing accident rates. Please explain what further steps are being taken to improve the statistics to bring them at par with other leading air forces of the world? DG: Yes; over the last 10 years, the IAF has lowered its accident rate and as we go along the downward trend is healthy. Ideally, we would like to have zero accident rate. But this may not be practically achievable considering the size and diversity of aircraft fleets that the IAF operates. Keeping these and various other issues in mind, we in the IAF have set an accident rate limit target of 0.2 for this year, which would be comparable to most of the leading air forces of the world. SP’s: In the past, technical defects and human error have been the major causes of accidents in the IAF. Could you tell us if there has been any improvement in these areas? DG: Though technical defect (TD) and human errors (HE) have been the major causes of accidents earlier, there has been improvement in these areas in the last 10 years. The accident rates due to technical defect and human error have improved from 0.68 and 0.38, respectively in the financial year 2000-01 to 0.26 each in 2009-10. SP’s: In the past absence of a proper advanced jet trainer (AJT) has been considered to be a major cause of accidents, especially, amongst the younger pilots. 26    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

SP’s: Bird hits have been another factor which contributed considerably to the IAF’s accident rates in the past. Could you explain as to what measures have been taken by the IAF to reduce this menace? What are the latest trends in this regard? DG: To reduce bird hit cases, a dedicated ornithology cell has been established at the Directorate of Aerospace Safety. The cell has completed bird survey at 28 flying bases of the IAF & station specific anti-bird modules have been implemented. As part of anti-bird measure, environmental cleaning within the airbases is being undertaken on a war footing to deny a habitat for birds and animals so as to prevent their collision with the aircraft. Also, a project called solid waste management, which is aimed at systematic management of garbage from the township in the vicinity of our airfields so as to deny habitat for resting and roosting of birds has been started at 10 selected IAF bases with financial assistance from the Central Government. Subsequently, this scheme would be extended to all other airfields. SP’s: The FS&I Branch at Air HQ is directly responsible to carry out periodic inspections of all units/stations of the IAF. Could you comment on the present capabilities of the IAF and what measures are being taken to improve these further? DG: Inspection teams are regularly sent to the field to monitor and fine tune any issues that may arise to hamper the capability of the IAF. We now have the capability to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best air forces in the world. And the air forces the world over recognise this fact and often invite us to participate in international exercises. And ,there are no quarters given. In fact, when we take our Su30s across, it is us, at times, making concessions to other participating forces.  SP To read the complete interview log on to:

Boeing is proud to salute the Indian Air Force as it celebrates its 78th anniversary.



By Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia


orn in 1932, the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in 2007. On the occasion of the Air Force Day, on October 8, the then Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major in his anniversary message had stated, “The emerging geopolitical and security scenario requires our nation to possess comprehensive military capability, characterised by flexibility and speed of response, the mobility and transportability of all forms of national power, long-reach, precision targeting, minimum fuss, collateral damage and reduced visibility. Aerospace power fits the bill perfectly. And the 21st century promises to belong to it for its ready applicability in all situations. Given the Indian situation, our concerns and aspi-

Photographs: IAF, HAL, anoop kamath & Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

On Wings Towards

CENTENARY The IAF is in the midst of a self-claimed transformation. It is true that it is transiting through unique challenges but also open prospects for new opportunities. 28    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010



China is moving fast to realise its aim to have a predominantly fourth generation air force, providing it with state-of-the-art offensive air arm with matching force-multipliers and support systems in a network-centric warfare scenario rations, a strong and comprehensive aerospace capability is inescapable. India requires it in all its capabilities.” Since then, three years have elapsed and the IAF is purposefully winging its way to the centenary. But while marching steadfastly ahead, does the IAF also find itself on the right path to enable it to acquire the necessary capabilities, both in qualitative as well as quantitative terms? The IAF is said to be in the midst of a self-claimed transformation. It is true that it is transiting through unique moments of history which not only present new challenges but which also open prospects for new opportunities. The big question is: will the IAF be able to keep its tryst to be a world class aerospace power as it ripens in age to reach a triple figure? In the words of Air Commodore (Retd) Jasjit Singh, Director, Centre for Air Power Studies and an eminent air force historian, “What the IAF would be at that time would depend almost entirely on how it deals with its transformation.” Could it be hoped that by the time IAF celebrates its

Air Chief Marshal (Retd) S.P. Tyagi

mainstay of indian air force: sukhoi-30mki

It was 1963, when I walked in as a teenager to join the Indian Air Force (IAF). The expansion of the IAF post-Sino-Indian conflict in 1962 had started. No one then could, however, conceptualise that the IAF would grow to be a formidable force that it has become now. The journey from a propeller driven aircraft force (Hurricanes, Spitfires) to subsonic jets (Vampires, Toofanis) to transonic jets (Mysteres, Hunters, Gnats) to supersonic fighters (MiGs) to ultra-modern equipped combat machines (Jaguars, Mirages, Sukhois) to the hypersonic MiG-25 (now sadly no longer flying), it has been a fascinating journey. A similar story can be told for the Transport and the Rotary Wing Fleet. The glory that the IAF has achieved in all the operations it has been involved in has also been legendary. Personally, the most satisfying aspect for me in my 47 years of association with the IAF, starting from that fateful morning in 1963, has been the transformation of the IAF from a tactically minded force (Burma, Jammu & Kashmir and even 1965 and to a lesser extent in 1971) to a truly strategic force with trans-oceanic capabilities. As we start a new year on October 8, may the IAF continue to grow as an outstanding aerospace force—the pride of the nation. Truly, the sky is not the limit. Touch the space with glory. Happy Anniversary Indian Air Force.

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   29



Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been given maximum priority to develop into a modern fighting force.The implications for India are that it may soon have to contend with 1,500 to 2,000 modern jet fighters at its two borders centenary, it would not only have remained but improved upon being the prime repository of India’s credible conventional capabilities while providing critical components of credible and survivable nuclear deterrence; that it would have changed from a subcontinental, geographically limited force to one with true continental reach and effect; that it would have acquired capabilities for the strategic role along with the capability to perform tactical tasks more effectively; that it would have acquired increasing ability to exploit space capabilities for enhancing military operations; that it would have shifted from a pure line-of-sight (LoS) capability to substantively beyondvisual-range (BVR) capabilities; that it would have integrated

forces in the 1991 Iraq war. China’s modernisation drive to replace its antiquated weapon systems with the help of Russian technology and expertise has resulted in rapid transformation of PLAAF. With the infusion of hundreds of Su-27s and Su-30s coupled with its continuing home production of J-11, and indigenous development and production of other types such as JH-7/7A, FC-1 and J-10, China is moving fast to realise its aim to have a predominantly fourth generation air force, providing it with all-pervading capabilities of a modern, state-of-the-art offensive air arm with matching force-multipliers and support systems in a network-centric warfare scenario. Pakistan on the other hand has been and continues to reap the military benefits for supposedly partnering with the US in its Global War on Terror (GWOT). It has already received more than$11 billion (`50,600 crore) worth of modern weapon systems from the US which include the latest models of F-16 aircraft. In addition, Pakistan has started producing the JF-17 Thunder (Chinese FC-1) indigenously. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been given maximum priority to develop into a modern fighting force. The implications for India are that it may soon have to contend with 1,500 to 2,000 modern jet fighters at its two borders. Ironically, when its adversaries were in the process of feverishly re-equipping themselves with modern combat platforms, the IAF went into a downward spiral in terms of combat force levels, dropping from its original 39 ½ combat

new technology systems like AWACS, etc fully into service; that it would have built force levels to not only the currently authorised, but also to the recommended enhanced levels and lastly, that it would be capable to fully respond when called upon to serve a variety of national interests in contingencies and unpredictable challenges and tasks, not only within the country but also on a global scale? Any assessment of the future direction of the IAF must rest on the likely capabilities of countries whose air power could impinge on Indian security. India has two major adversaries in its neighbourhood, China and Pakistan, who individually and collectively pose the gravest of security challenges for India. China’s military modernisation has been progressing purposefully for more than two decades, since the time Beijing observed the superiority demonstrated by the high-tech coalition

squadrons to a less than 30-combat squadron force. The IAF is now trying to come out of a deep well of decline by inducting new fighter aircraft into its inventory. Spearheading the new inductions are the twin-engine Su-30 MKI air dominance fighters more than a hundred of which have already been pushed into service in six combat squadrons. Continuing their production at the HAL Nasik factory, the total number ordered has swelled up to 270 aircraft. With these, the IAF is likely to have close to 12 squadrons of Su-30s by 2015 or so. While the Su-30 MKI is fast becoming the IAF’s mainstay, however, this alone will not be able to fill the yawning gap which has been created in the IAF’s combat capabilities. Even a cursory glance at the emerging threat scenarios would reveal that the IAF would not only have to regain its original strength of 39 ½ combat squadrons but go much be-

30    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Analysis key to success: (from oppposite page left) recently acquired awacs, uav, ongoing LCA programme (tejas) and light combat helicopter (LCH) under development

yond that to deter its adversaries, especially in a two-front threat scenario. In February last year, the Defence Minister, A.K. Antony had stated that by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-22), the combat fleet of the IAF would be increased to 42 squadrons. While a lot would have to be done to achieve this, however, once achieved, a further increase to a recommended 50-squadron combat fleet by the end of the 15th Five Year Plan i.e. 2032 (also the year of the IAF’s centenary) would need to be planned and pushed vigorously. The IAF needs to finally build up to a combat force level of around 1,000 aircraft to be able to adequately meet its requirements of nuclear/ conventional deterrence. The ongoing LCA (Tejas) programme, the 126-MMRCA acquisition programme, the fifth generation PAK-FA Indo-Russian joint development programme and the futuristic MCA indigenous programme are all steps in the right


direction but would need to be pursued diligently. But fighter fleets alone do not give ‘comprehensive capabilities’ needed for a modern air force to carry out all its multifarious tasks. Other combat and support elements in the required quantities are equally important for the IAF to discharge its responsibilities in full. The IAF has indeed chalked up an all-encompassing programme to bolster its capabilities in transport and helicopter fleets, air defence systems including surface-to-air missiles, unmanned aerial systems, forcemultipliers such as the AWACS and flight Refueller aircraft, precision-guided and stand-off munitions, et al. Ongoing and proposed acquisitions such as C-130Js Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft; heavy, light utility and attack helicopters and additional Mi-17s, Spyder SAM systems, additional UAVs, additional AWACS and FRA force-multipliers, additional radars including aerostat versions are all part and parcel of a well-thought out plan. The purely indigenous and joint-venture (JV) efforts include the Indo-Russian multi-role transport (MTA) aircraft, the Indo-Israeli medium-range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM), Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and the under development light combat helicopter (LCH). The DRDO is developing the Indian version of AEW&C on a Brazilian Embraer ERJ-145 platform. In the field of the unmanned aerial vehicles, all types and sizes of UAVs are being developed. The latest reports indicate that even an unmanned

combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) called Aura is being developed indigenously and the design work of it is being carried out by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). In 2008, Air Chief Marshal Major had stated that the IAF was in a state of unprecedented transformation that would entail an investment of $100 billion (`4,60,000 crore). Perhaps, he was alluding to a timeframe up to the 13th Five Year Plan period. Stretching it to the 15th Five Year Plan period, it could easily top $200 billion (`9,20,000 crore). The IAF is indeed headed for a bright and starry centenary.  SP —The author has been the Air Officer Commanding-inChief of IAF’s 3 operational commands including the largest operational command i.e. Western Air Command headquartered in New Delhi Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   31




Ahead The IAF will have lucrative opportunities for the global aerospace industry in the coming decades

Photographs: abhishek / Sp guide pubns & iaf

By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey, Bengaluru


n February last year, Defence Minister A.K. Antony in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha had said that by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan period (2017-22), the combat fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) would increase to 42 squadrons from the current level of 32 squadrons. The figure stated by the Minister of Defence is higher than the government sanctioned strength of 39.5 squadrons. The increase therefore is a mere 6 per cent. However, on the occasion of the anniversary of the IAF two years ago, the then Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major was more specific when he disclosed that “the IAF was in the process of an unprecedented transformation that would entail an investment of around $100 billion (`4,60,000 crore) for aircraft, equipment and infrastructure over the next one decade or so”. It goes without saying that the major share of the pie would go to the global aerospace industry. 32    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

The mandatory levels of “offset” prescribed for defence equipment related contract in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2008 as amended from time to time ranges from 30 to 50 per cent. It will therefore devolve upon the domestic aerospace industry to cope with new business worth a minimum of $30 billion (`1,38,000 crore). The prospects in the wake of the staggering levels of investment intended to be made by India for the IAF over the next 10-20 years, would certainly be mouth-watering for both the global as well as the domestic aerospace industry. Aircraft Acquisition Programmes

Even prior to the earth shattering disclosure by the CAS in October 2008, the IAF had already finalised a deal worth $1.1 billion (`5,060 crore) with US aerospace major Lockheed Martin for procurement of six C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft for use by the Indian Special



due for upgradation: almost 100 jaguars are likely to be re-engined for stronger thrust

Forces. The first of the six aircraft contracted is expected to be delivered to the IAF in 2011. In another deal with Boeing which was to the tune of $1 billion (`4,600 crore), the IAF has received three customised Boeing business jets for VVIP travel. These have been operational with Delhi (Palam)-based Air Headquarters Communication Squadron since April last year when they were formally inducted by the President of India. In March this year, the IAF signed a $750 million (`3,450 crore) contract with AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company for 12 AW101 helicopters once again for VVIP travel. After conducting extensive trials in India last year, the IAF selected the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift military transport aircraft to replace the ageing fleet of IL-76 aircraft and as the mainstay meet its requirements of strategic mobility and reach. The IAF is currently engaged in the process of finalising the $5.8 billion (`26,680 crore) deal for

10 of the most advanced version of the aircraft through a government-to-government transaction also referred to as foreign military sales (FMS) programme of the US Government. The agreement is likely to be signed during the US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in November this year. With this acquisition, India would have the largest C-17 fleet outside the US. At present this privilege is with the UK that has a fleet of eight C-17 Globemaster aircraft. The IAF plans to bid for another six of these mammoth aircraft after induction of the first 10. In the regime of rotary wing, the IAF is looking for 22 attack helicopters to replace the ageing fleets of Mi-35 for which the request for proposal (RFP) has been issued. The products available in the global market that could conform to the qualitative requirements of the tender are AgustaWestland A129, Bell AH-1Z Cobra, Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow, Eurocopter Tiger, Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-28. Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   33



Deal about to close

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Number of aircraft: 10 Cost: $5.8 billion (`26,680 crore) Updates: Deal likely in November

New Requirements

Attack helicopters

Number of aircraft required: 22 Update: RFP issued On Race: AgustaWestland A129, Bell AH-1Z Cobra, Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow, Eurocopter Tiger, Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-28

Heavy lift helicopters Number of aircraft required: 15 Update: RFP issued On Race: Eurocopter, Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft, Boeing, AgustaWestland and Kamov Design Bureau

Light utility helicopters Number of aircraft required: 384 Update: Tender issued for 197 On Race: Eurocopter, Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft, Boeing, AgustaWestland and Kamov Design Bureau

Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft Number of aircraft required: 126 Update: Tendering process slow, but may be finalised soon On Race: Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the US, Saab, EADS and Dassault from Europe and RAC MiG from Russia

Mid-air refuelling aircraft Number of aircraft required: 6 Update: RFP to be re-issued On Race: EADS, Boeing and Ilyushin, etc

Jaguar upgradation (reengine) Number of aircraft: 100 Update: RFP expected soon On Race: Honeywell & other engine manufacturers

Surface-to-air guided weapon (SAGW) system replacement Induction: To commence in 2012 and be over by 2022

Light combat aircraft Tejas engine Engines required: 99 On Race: GE Aviation and Eurojet

Other requirements Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) including unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), micro and mini UAVs 34    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

The IAF is also seeking 15 heavy lift helicopters to replace the Mi-26 that are of Russian origin. The RFPs for this requirement has been sent to Eurocopter, Bell Helicopter, Sikorsky Aircraft, Boeing, AgustaWestland and Kamov Design Bureau. After the tender for the attack helicopter was floated for the second time, Boeing has entered the race with an offer of the renowned attack helicopter Apache AH 64D. In the case of the heavy lift helicopter requirement, the IAF is evaluating the Boeing Chinook CH-47F which will be acquired through the US Government’s FMS programme. Together, the two contracts would be in the region of $2 billion (`9,200 crore). The lead time for delivery of the helicopters to the IAF would normally be three years after the contract is signed. There is no transfer of technology (ToT) involved as the machines are being purchased outright and are not to be manufactured in India. In July 2008, the Government of India cleared the purchase of 384 three-tonne weight category light utility helicopter (LUH) worth $2 billion (`9,200 crore) to replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak that have been around for four decades. Of these, 125 machines would go to the IAF and 259 to the Indian Army. As a part of this project, the government has for the second time floated a $750 million (`3,450 crore) tender to six aerospace majors, for fast rack, off-the-shelf purchase of 197 LUH, 133 for the Indian Army and 64 for the IAF. The offset obligation in this tender has been pitched at 50 per cent. Trials are under way and the contract is likely to be finalised in the near future. The balance of 184 is to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, in all likelihood with limited collaboration with a foreign partner. But perhaps the mother of all deals is the $12 billion (`55,200 crore) tender for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for which six of the leading global aerospace majors are in the race. These are Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the US, Saab, EADS and Dassault from Europe and RAC MiG from Russia. The tendering process has undoubtedly been slow but hopefully it should be finalised soon. Force Multipliers

A new area the IAF has ventured into is the acquisition of “force multipliers” for which the requirement is acute. The IAF needs force multipliers in sizeable numbers and the acquisition process has already begun with the arrival of the IL-76 based AWACS equipped with the Phalcon radar. The IAF has plans to ultimately build up the fleet strength to nine aircraft. Meanwhile, the DRDO has ordered three Embraer ERJ-145 platforms for conversion to airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) system mounting indigenously developed AESA radar. The IAF suffered a setback in its plans to enhance the reach of its combat fleet when the government rejected the proposal to acquire six new mid-air refuelling aircraft, the Airbus A330 MRTT (multi-role tanker transport) aircraft of EADS. The RFP will be reissued to EADS, Boeing and Ilyushin among others for a wider competition. The deals would be in the region of $1.5 billion (`6,900 crore). Other items urgently required in

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fairly large numbers are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) including unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), micro and mini UAVs. The IAF needs to revamp its air defence surveillance capabilities both at high and low level through induction of modern radar systems including aerostats and strike capabilities with precision attack weapon systems. Russian Aerospace Industry

Russian companies have dominated the Indian market for defence related hardware since the mid-1960s especially in the aerospace segment. Despite the change in the global geopolitical and geostrategic equations after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian influence on the Indian aerospace market does not seem to have waned. The IAF is in the process of receiving 80 Mi-17 helicopters and the

Fleet Modernisation and Upgrades

Some of the existing fleet of the IAF are lined up for major upgradation. Work on the first batch of the 105 An-32 aircraft has already begun under a contract signed on June 15, 2009 with Ukraine. A $2 billion (`9,200 crore) deal has been signed with France to modernise the fleet of 50 Mirage 2000 aircraft on the inventory of the IAF. Under a contract signed in 2009, Russia will upgrade the 60 MiG-29 fighters of the IAF by 2013 extending their service life by another 15 years. There is a plan to re-engine the 100 or so Jaguar aircraft for which Honeywell Aerospace is one of the contenders with an offer of the F125IN engine which is more powerful, is lighter and more fuel efficient compared with the engine currently fitted. As per Honeywell, the engine is projected to save the IAF over $1.5 billion (`6,900 crore) in life-cycle costs compared to other upgradation options under consideration. The RFP for this project is expected soon. Meanwhile, GE Aviation offering the GE F-414 Ready for a Makeover: the fleet of mirage 2000 and Eurojet with the EJ200 are is likely to be upgraded in the race for the light combat by Dassault Aviation aircraft Tejas engine deal. The tender is for 99 engines valued at approximately $750 million (`3,450 crore). Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has proposed $2.37 billion (`10,902 crore) modernisation plan for the Su-30MKI fleet with the support of the Russian original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The project is envisaged to be completed in a phased manner beginning 2012. Air Defence Systems

proposal for another 59 machines is expected to be approved by the government in the near future. The Russian aerospace industry is in for a bonanza as India is committed to jointly develop the two-seat fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) based on the Russian T-50 PAK-FA platform to conform to the requirements of the IAF. Substantial funds, understood to be in the order of $6 billion (`27,600 crore) stands committed for this project which is expected to fructify by 2017. The FGFA will be manufactured under licence by HAL for both the domestic and export markets. The other major project in the offing is the joint development of the twin-engine multi-role transport aircraft needed by the IAF in large numbers to replace its ageing fleet of An-32 aircraft and add to the strategic and tactical airlift capability. 36    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

IAF is in the process of replacing the surface-to-air guided weapon (SAGW) system. The ageing Pechora fleet of Russian origin is to be replaced by new generation medium range surface-to-air missile system. Induction of the new system is expected to commence in the beginning of 2012. The IAF is to acquire the short-range surface-to-air missile system to replace the OSA-AK system. This new generation low level quick reaction missile system being developed by DRDO jointly with a foreign partner, is likely to be inducted into service next year. In the interim, 18 Spyder low-level quickreaction missile systems from Israel are being acquired by the IAF at a cost of $400 million (`1,840 crore) to plug gaps in the air defence network. By 2022, all obsolete SAGW assets would be replaced by new generation systems. Undoubtedly, the IAF offers lucrative opportunities to the global aerospace industry in the decades ahead.  SP —The author has been the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of IAF’s Training Command headquartered in Bengaluru

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emanding, instantaneous, and persistent are words which describe today’s dangerous aerial combat environment. The F-16IN’s APG-80 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar tames this environment with mode-interleaved, operationally-proven AESA performance, supported by unmatched dependability. In over five years of operational use, no APG-80 AESA has ever failed in the field. Pilots who have flown the APG-80 in the unique F-16 Block 60 don’t want to fly again with any other F-16 fire control radar, and know that they can count on APG-80 day after day. APG-80 is unique to the F-16IN and F-16 Block 60, and meets or exceeds MMRCA reliability requirements. APG-80 provides twice the air-to-air detection range of other F-16 radars, and is more than twice as reliable. The well-established APG-80 has not only been put through its combat paces, but its sheer dependability has proven to be a boon to those who maintain and sustain it. During its development, for example, Northrop Grumman created APG-80 with high performance threshold requirements. Since fielding, APG80 has always met these design criteria. Northrop Grumman’s long experience with producing AESAs–APG-80 is built in the same factory, with the same

1 38 ATC   Advert.indd SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

processes as the USAF F-22 APG-77 and F-35 APG-81 AESAs—provides the F-16IN and the Indian Air Force a superior product that is available now. Others who are only in the testing phase of AESA development will need many more years to achieve the performance and dependability that APG-80 demonstrates today. Northrop Grumman’s legacy mechanically-scanned radars won many USAF and international awards for dependability. Because of Northrop Grumman’s 35-year wealth of electronically-scanned radar experience, APG-80 reached its designed reliability goal in record time. The APG-80 AESA continues to improve on this goal, operating daily in hot, humid climates. Like its APG-81 cousin in the F-35, APG-80 was designed to be easy to maintain. While maintenance actions are limited because of the high reliability, APG-80 provides easy access to those few elements which must be removed and replaced. Northrop Grumman has produced over 300 airborne fire control AESA radars to date—APG-77s, -80s and -81s. Under existing contracts, Northrop Grumman will be producing AESAs for air forces worldwide for decades. Well established and fully vetted by air force pilots and maintainers, the F16IN APG-80 is the choice for maximum AESA performance and dependability for the Indian Air Force.  SP

9/28/10 2:05:47 PM


IAF SPECIAL prompt in action: relief material for leh flood victims being offloaded from iaf’s IL-76


Photographs: pib & iaf

Air Marshal N.A.K. Browne, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief

Beyond the Sky


From the mountains to the deserts, the Western Air Command guards the Indian skies with an indomitable spirit that can beat all odds eople first, mission always, is the vision of Western Air Command (WAC). And time and again, the command personnel have demonstrated that an indomitable spirit can beat all odds. The air warriors in WAC are aware that limitations do exist, but only in the mind. And their minds are always guided by the command’s motto Aakashmasmtseema, meaning sky is the limit. The IAF which stands at the threshold of a transformation will see its role shift significantly from the tactical to the strategic realm. And spearheading this technological revolution is the WAC. WAC’s air warriors and air defence infrastructure, besides guarding the skies are also responsible to provide air defence protection to the National Capital Region—both during peace and war. The WAC has thus been tasked to provide air defence cover for the Commonwealth Games. Path-breaking Year: The year gone by has been a very sat-

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   39



isfying one for WAC, as path-breaking efforts were made port aircraft, attack helicopter or even for the new set of towards increasing its combat potential. A comprehensive mountain radars and ground-based weapon systems. The plan was made for acquiring the necessary wherewithal to- operational expertise of WAC is crucial for such important wards the planned technology upgradation in the future. induction-related decisions as a majority of the new acquisiThe underlying mantra guiding all the actions has been to tions would be deployed first in WAC area of responsibility improve the efficiency and capabilities of the entire sys- (AOR). WAC is also well poised to meet the concomitant chaltem in a holistic manner. As a starting point, an airfield lenges brought about by the rapidly changing geopolitical upgradation plan is currently under way. Airfields would situation in its neighbourhood. be upgraded to support and integrate the new inductions. Major radar systems and the first of the two Su-30 Sqns Considering the prevalent internal security situation, secu- in WAC AOR would be inducted next year. Thus, the WAC rity of the infrastructure as well as vital installations is also operation infrastructure plan focuses on bringing up the undergoing a major beef up. additional base infrastructure While Bhatinda airfield work for Su-30s as well as other adwas completed on July 10, Sriditional facilities to support opnagar airfield will be ready to erations around the clock. In undertake full-scale operations addition, support systems like commencing September 10 the ground exploitation system and Leh airfield work is proboth for AWACS and Su-30, air gressing on schedule. combat manoeuvering instruCasualty evacuation and mentation ground station and other disaster relief missions the integrated air command are also undertaken by WAC and control system (IACCS) frequently. Recently, during the would add more teeth to its war flash floods in Leh, the air warwaging capabilities. riors toiled incessantly to proRapid upgradation of the vide much needed succour to communication infrastructure the locals. As all the major roads by the Chinese in Aksai Chin and highways were damaged, it and TAR area has become a was vital to operationalise Leh major concern. Alive to this airfield at the earliest. Though threat, WAC has embarked on the runway was covered with a major upgradation plan of thick mud and slush, the IAF resources in the Ladakh secpersonnel at Air Force Station tor. Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Leh operationalised the airfield and Fukche advanced landing in a record time of only eight grounds (ALGs) have been rehours. Further, the WAC airliftactivated after a long gap and ed around 600 tonnes of relief are being used for regular air material and 400 personnel. In maintenance by fixed wing addition, 114 HU—the Siachen transport aircraft. On SeptemPioneers, a premier operational ber 18, 2009, WAC reactivated unit of WAC which had earlier Nyoma ALG for fixed wing airbeen honoured with CAS Unit craft. Strategically located, this Defending the air: IAF Citation in 2002, added another ALG has a vast operational poreaches with lifeline feather to their cap by evacuattential and plans are already support at leh (Top), WAC personnel in action ing 120 stranded foreign tourists by flying 63 in place to upgrade it to a full-fledged airCas Evac sorties in a record time of six hours. field capable of fighter aircraft operations. WAC’s response to internal security criOn June 22, 2010, Defence Minister A.K. ses too has been very prompt. When the Antony along with a high level team from government finally cleared the deployment the Ministry of Defence visited Nyoma and of air power for arresting the growing Naxal menace, WAC endorsed WAC’s plans for upgradation of infrastructure on despatched four of its Mi-17 1V helicopters for operations in this important airfield. the affected areas. At WAC, the legacy of Baba Mehar Singh landing his DaThe major WAC Exercise Abhyas, held biannually, wit- kota on a virgin piece of ground in the midst of towering nesses air operations in a realistic environment. During the Himalayan peaks still continues. A team of professionals relast exercise, WAC resources were activated to operate at the trieved an almost written off Mi-17 1V helicopter which had highest state of readiness, 24x7. The newly inducted force crash landed at Chungtash DZ located at 15,300 feet. The multipliers were also exercised in a big way, so that they heavily damaged helicopter remained in deep freeze condicould be fully integrated in the entire operational system. tions from December 2009 to May 10, 2010 before a handful WAC is actively involved in almost all the major pre-pro- of air warriors (two officers and 10 technicians) repaired the curement evaluation trials undertaken by the IAF— the me- helicopter and the tough machine was flown back to Thoise dium multi-role combat aircraft, strategic heavy lift trans- on June 2, 2010.  SP 40    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010


IAF SPECIAL hunting in pair: An IAF and RAFo Jaguar negotiate the rocky ravines near Salalah during exercise Eastern Bridge at Oman

central air command

Photographs: iaf

Air Marshal G.S. Kochar, Air Officer commanding-in-Chief

Destroy the Enemy Home to all the vital strategic squadrons, which have consistently brought laurels to the IAF, the Central Air Command has been contributing immensely towards various relief missions in India and abroad as well as doing its bit towards scientific research in the country


amaniya Atmashatrava, meaning destruction of the enemy, is the motto of this operational command and that sets most of its lethal weaponry. Since its inception, the Central Air Command (CAC) has built up an enviable war record including Indo-Pak War in 1965 and 1971. This Command has been home to all the vital strategic squadrons, which have consistently brought laurels to the Indian Air Force (IAF). Responsible for the largest geographical land mass under a single Command HQ, the area covered by CAC starts from the snow-capped Himalayas in the north and ends in the Central highlands through the Gangetic plains. The Central Air Command was formed at Rani Kutir, Calcutta and was relocated to Allahabad in February 1966, as it was equidistant from the units in the West, as well as the East. The IAF has placed most of its high value assets of significance under one umbrella and the Central Air Command is its custodian. The air warriors of

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   41



CAC have accomplished all assigned missions with aplomb AWACS Induction Ceremony: The second AWACS was inand have brought laurels to the nation and the IAF through ducted into the IAF on March 25, 2010. The system, primartheir professionalism displayed at various international ex- ily used for detection of incoming hostile cruise missiles and ercises conducted within and outside the country. CAC has aircraft from hundreds of kilometres away, can also direct been contributing immensely towards various relief mis- air defence fighters during combat operations against ensions in India and abroad as well as doing its bit towards emy jets. The AWACS from Israel are being procured under scientific research in the country. Some landmark events a 2003 deal worth $1.1 billion (`5,060 crore). The tripartite and achievements of the CAC in the last one year include: deal also involves Russia as the three Israeli Phalcon radars Ex Eastern Bridge (Oman): The IAF’s bilateral exercise to be mounted on Russian-made IL-76 heavy-lift transport with Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO), Ex Eastern Bridge aircraft. The AWACS have been carrying out extensive flying was conducted in October 2009 at Thurmait (Oman). Six IAF operations with frontline fighters such as the Su-30 MKI, Jaguars from Air Force base at Gorakhpur took part in the Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and the Jaguars. exercise. RAFO Jaguars and F-16 Block 50+ fighters oper- Vayushakti-2010: Su-30s, Jaguars, Mirage 2000s, Anated for the first time along with IAF Jaguars. The aim of 32s and IL-78s took part in Vayushakti-2010 conducted at the exercise was to learn the nuances of joint strike opera- Pokharan Range. The IAF, for the first time exhibited its tions in an international scenario combat potential. The entire comfrom the only country operating bat fleet, including the fighters, Jaguar aircraft in the Middle East. transports and helicopters, demThis was the first-ever air exercise onstrated their capabilities. between the two countries. Operation Triveni: CAC was Exercise Garuda IV: From June tasked to control the helicopter 14 to 25, 2010, Base Aerienne deployment by the IAF in sup125 Istres-Le-Tube saw the arrivport of state and Central forces al of mighty Sukhois once again, deployed in Naxalite-infested arbut this time they were the more eas of Chhattisgarh and adjoining potent SU-30MKI. Singapore Air states. Four Mi-17 IV helicopters Force too joined in with their Fare operating from Raipur and 16s. The main aim of the exercise Jagdalpur under the Task Force was to conduct Air Defence opCommander from CAC. The helierations in the AWACS and noncopters have been efficiently utiAWACS environment as well as to lised to provide logistic support, enhance interoperability amongst movement of troops and rapid dethe three air forces. During the ployment of forces when required. exercise, the six IAF SU-30MKI Standard Presentation to 47 along with French Mirage 2000-5 Squadron and TACDE at Gwalior: and the Singapore F-16s engaged The President of India and the Suin various air defence manoeuvres preme Commander of the Armed such as implementation of “no fly Forces, Pratibha Devisingh Patil zones” and large force engageconferred the Presidential Stanments, both during day and night. dards to two premiere combat Relief and Rescue Operations: units of the IAF - No 47 Squadron The transport and helicopter and Tactics and Air Combat DevelFlying high: HQ of units have been providing a yeoopment Establishment (TACDE) at Central Air Command man service to people affected by an impressive presentation parade at Allahabad (Top), natural calamities, man-made disasters or held at the Gwalior airbase on November President Pratibha Devisingh Patil along in support of central/state security forces. 10, 2009. Group Captain Surat Singh, Comwith CAS Air Chief With the CAC holding a large transport fleet mandant TACDE, and Air Marshal S. MukeMarshal P.V. Naik During as well as owing to its central location and rji, Commodore Commandant, received the Colour Presentation at Gwalior consequent quick response time, the onus standards for the TACDE. of undertaking relief missions at short noSports/Adventure: Wg Cdr Jai Kishan of Air tice rests with it. Two Mi-8s from 105 HU Force Station Agra took part in the Everwere engaged in flood relief operations in est Skydive 2009 programme organised by Andhra Pradesh in October 2009 rescuing/airlifting person- Explore Himalaya at Shyangboche and Kala Patthar from nel and providing succour by way of dropping relief mate- October 17 to 28, 2009. On October 17, 2009, he created an rial. Similarly, IL-76 aircraft of this Command were tasked national record of undertaking skydive jump from the highto airlift relief material after the devastation caused by cloud est altitude (27,500 ft) in the Everest region and on October burst and consequent flash floods at Leh in August 2010. In 28, 2009, he made a world record by landing at the highest July 2010, one IL-76 aircraft from 44 Squadron proceeded landing zone of the world in the Everest region at an altito Osh, Kyrgyzstan, with 28 tonnes of relief material as hu- tude of 17,192 ft. At a ceremony held on August 29, 2010, manitarian assistance for the people affected by ethnic vio- Wing Commander Jai Kishan received the Tenzing Norgay lence in that country. National Adventure Award from the President of India.  SP 42    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010


IAF SPECIAL spitting fire: mig-23 firing front guns at exercise vayu shakti 2010

SOUTH WESTERN air command

Photographs: iaf

Air Marshal P.S. Bhangu, Air officer Commanding-In-Chief

Victory, thy Motto The South Western Air Command (SWAC) is in control of all air operations of the IAF in South Western sector. From President Pratibha Devisingh Patil flying the Su-30 MKI to having a new airfield in Phalodi and conducting several joint exercises, the SWAC has some remarkable achievements to its credit.


ai Shree Varte Veeram, meaning victory garlands the gallant, is the motto of this air command and the command has always lived by it. Established as No. 1 Operational Group at Jodhpur in 1972, it was subsequently rechristened as the South Western Air Command (SWAC) in July 1980 and had its headquarters in Jodhpur. But keeping in view the increasing operational importance of the command, the SWAC headquarters was shifted to Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in 1998. The SWAC dedicated to securing the inviolability of the Indian skies and to ensure the integrity of airspace above the nation’s land and sea territories is in control of all air operations of the IAF in South Western sector including most of Rajasthan, Gujarat to Saurashtra, and Kutch to Pune. From President Pratibha Devisingh Patil flying the Su30 MKI to having a new airfield in Phalodi and conducting several joint exercises, the SWAC has some remarkable achievements to its credit in the last one year. Presidential Standards Presentation: The President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces,

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   43



Pratibha Devisingh Patil conferred the Presidential Standards to two premier combat units, 49 Squadron and 107 Helicopter Unit of the IAF on March 9 at the Jodhpur airbase under HQ South Western Air Command based at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Commanding Officer of 49 Squadron Group Captain R. Dineshan and Commodore Commandant Air Commodore P.K. Singh and subsequently by Commanding Officer of 107 Helicopter Unit Wing Commander J. Yadav and Commodore Commandant Air Vice Marshal P.K. Roy received the standards in the presence of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik and the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command, Air Marshal P.S. Bhangu. President’s Flight in Su-30 MKI: President Pratibha Patil created history on November 25, 2009, when she became the first ever women President to have flown a frontline fighter plane and that too at the age of 74. She took off in a Su-30MKI from Lohegaon Air Base near Pune which falls in the area of responsibility of SWAC. The mission was coordinated by HQ South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. “It was wonderful and unique,” said Patil. Exercise Vayu Shakti 2010: On February 28, 2010, the silent deserts of Rajasthan once again reverberated to the deafening sounds of the most powerful bombs and missiles in the inventory of IAF. The exercise included all aircraft in the inventory of IAF. The demonstration showcased the

by a landing by Jaguar aircraft. Exercise SIMBEX-10: Singapore-India maritime bilateral exercise 2010 (SIMBEX-10) was carried out by IAF and the Indian Navy with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) on the eastern seaboard from April 12 to 16, 2010. The exercise was undertaken in two phases, initially in the Andaman Sea followed by another in the Bay of Bengal. Jaguar aircraft of 6 Squadron belonging to South Western Air Command operated from Vizag (INS Dega). The Singaporean Navy participated in three naval ships and Fokker 50 maritime patrol aircraft. The Indian Navy also participated in this exercise with Tu-142, Dornier, Kamov 28, and Chetak aircraft. The exercise was coordinated by HQ MAO. Synergy with Indian Army and Indian Navy: The IAF took the lead in publishing its service doctrine in 1995 wherein the need for developing a strategic reach, looking farther into enemy land and having a potent offensive capability were emphasised. The Indian Navy followed suit with a ‘book of reference’ in 2004, which pronounced its objective of becoming a regionally visible maritime force. This was followed by the Indian Army which publicised its ‘cold start’ doctrine, which focuses on integrated battle groups, notably with naval and air elements, intended to achieve swift mobilisation and instant offensive operations in a limited conventional war. The first joint doctrine in 2006 marked a major step towards military integration and interoperability

more from exercise vayu shakti 2010: jaguar dropping 1,000 lbs bombs; impact of bombs at night; su-30 dropping 250 kg bombs

combination of well-trained aircrew, robust weapon aiming systems, accurate sensors and smart weapons, over the air-to-ground range at Pokharan. Vayu Shakti 2010 displayed IAF’s preparedness and ability to deliver a lethal punch at a time and place of own choosing. During the display, frontline fighter aircraft of the IAF namely Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, Jaguars, MiG27s, MiG-21, An-32 transport aircraft, Mi-35 attack helicopters and Mi-17 armed helicopters displayed their ground attack capabilities. Phalodi Airfield inaugurated: The IAF operationalised a new airfield at Phalodi in Rajasthan on April 6, 2010. Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik inaugurated the airfield. Air Marshal P.S. Bhangu and other senior officers from Air HQ/HQ SWAC as well as several local civilian dignitaries were also present. The ceremony included a fly past by one vic each of Mi-17 helicopetrs, MiG-21, Bison and Jaguars. This was followed 44    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

among the three services. Keeping in view the joint doctrine, several Tri Service interactions and joint exercises were conducted by the SWAC in its area of operations. These include discussions and war games with the Army, notable among these being Ex Dakshin Prahar and Ex Prashikshan. With the Indian Navy, maritime aircraft of SWAC (Su-30MKI and Jaguar) have participated in exercises such as Tropex Tri Service Exercise and DGX (Defence of Gujarat) and include activation of forces of both the Eastern and Western maritime borders as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In addition, interoperability of UAV operations was given the attention it deserves by conduct of joint UAV ops at various bases of the IAF. Surveillance operations by UAV are regularly carried out in support of BSF in the Saurashtra-Kutch region. One of the achievements of this was the spotting of an adrift barge by the IAF UAV on August 13, 2010.  SP



power show: Jaguar Fighters with an International Flotilla during a recent International Maritime Exercise over the Bay of Bengal

Southern Air Command

Photographs: iaf

Air Marshal S. Mukerji, Air officer Commanding-In-Chief

Meeting Challenges The Southern Air Command believes in being prepared to meet future operational challenges rather than fall back and revel in the glory of past successes. A number of operational exercises at honing operational efficiency was conducted by SAC in the last year.


hramo dadati sidhim is Southern Air Command’s (SAC) motto and long before 26/11 rudely brought home the challenges from the sea, the command had already instituted the process of envisaging the changing geostrategic paradigms and institutionalising measures for meeting the challenges. Legacy issues are relegated to the background and the tendency is to dwell more on future operational challenges rather than fall back and revel in the glory of past successes. It is precisely this aspect which characterises the operational surge of SAC and it is no surprise that the mantle of maritime air operations has passed to SAC. Along with the AD cover afforded by radars and allied equipment, a potent force of maritime Jaguars and Su-30 aircraft have now been placed at its disposal. The mounting of live operational readiness platforms (ORPs) of air superiority fighters (ASFs) in the area of responsibility (AOR) of SAC for the first time ever in 2009-10 makes a powerful and definite statement which resonates across the seven seas. This operational transition, beyond sensors and allied equipment onto weapons, marks the beginning of a new

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   45



epoch in air operations in the available, but the tempo in southern peninsula. conjunction with the Indian SAC is in charge of the Navy and the Indian Coast largest airspace of the nation. Guard has also touched hithIn terms of figures, out of the erto unknown levels. total national airspace of 2.8 A number of operationmillion sq nm, 1.76 million al exercises, both joint and sq nm is maritime and the otherwise aimed at honing remaining 1.04 million sq nm operational efficiency, was is land based. Even on land, conducted by SAC in the last the geographical expanse year. Exercise Tropex-10 held covered by SAC is enormous. off the eastern sea-board in The efforts of SAC are diMarch this year witnessed rected at obtaining the best participation of up to six marpossible operational soluitime Jaguars and four Sutions and anticipating future 30 MKI aircraft. Nearly 300 needs, planning accordingly hours were flown towards the and enabling seamless inteexercise with mission accomgration of future assets. plishment figures at over 90 Joint Exercises: The typicalper cent. Similarly, Exercise ity of the terrain also endow Neptune-I, a first of its kind the unique requirement of not coastal security exercise cononly thinking jointly, but also ducted in January this year planning and conducting opand aimed at defence of Lakerations jointly with the other shadweep Islands, involved services and the Navy in parnot only the three services ticular. The numerous joint but also the Coast Guard, civil exercises conducted by SAC police and state administrain the peninsular region are a tion. Apart from operational manifestation of its thrust arexercise and training, the ineas. SAC believes that where duction of the light combat the operational challenges helicopter is in an advanced are to be met jointly, the quest stage. On similar lines is the for operational solutions is induction of other helicopters. also connected. A variety of sensors are also The economic, nuclear, being inducted. With regards technological and other to networking and connectivpowerhouses of the nation ity, Air Force Net (AFNET) miare also based in the AOR of gration was first achieved in SAC. The southern peninsula SAC. The combat potential of is geostrategically located fighter aircraft has also been at the cross-junction of the gainfully tested during operamaritime trade routes as also tional exercises like Dakshin air routes. The likely targets, Prahar. The potential radius threat patterns and geostraof action now apparent after challenges: Jaguar Fighters during a recent International tegic dynamics are progresthe exercise have opened an Maritime Exercise with Harriers sively shifting towards the entire new realm to which of the Indian Navy and F-18 of peninsula and the operational implicapower and military force can be projectthe US Navy Over the Bay of tions are clear. The focus of SAC is thus ed. The targets extraordinarily distant are Bengal; Sarang helicopters in an Airshow at SAC and on obtaining operational solutions to now within the operational reach of SAC. Mi-8 helicopter on a recent challenges and improving capabilities as This capability is further being boosted by Winching Op Exercise at SAC additional resources are made available. development of “Air Force enclaves” at a The challenge is not only to meet variety of civilian airfields which would the existing and foreseen challenges of again support SAC’s strategic initiatives. the changing security paradigms, but to In addition to operations, the intellectual meet these challenges without disturbing the existing deploy- investment to enhance operational efficiency is also being unment of forces or resorting to knee-jerk acquisitions which dertaken. Many seminars and workshops towards the same would cause additional expenditure to the exchequer. Keep- were conducted which included international events like the ing this in view, the responsibility of conducting and coordi- Indo-US Executive Steering Group meet, a Centre for Air Pownating maritime air operations was transferred to SAC with er Studies seminar on joint operations and also a Tri-Services the result that the potent fighter aircraft are now not only conference in May 2010.  SP 46    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010


IAF SPECIAL AIR Exercises: The Eac organises several international air exercises

Eastern Air Command

Photographs: iaf

Air Marshal K.K. Nohwar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief

Battle all Challenges The Eastern Air Command responsible for safeguarding the air space over the Northeastern states and part of Bay of Bengal including international boundary with Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh, is now all set to establish the first Archery Range in the IAF


amareshu Parakram is the motto of Eastern Air Command and this propels officials to accept all challenges that come on their way to victory. The Eastern Air Command (EAC) is located at Shillong, Meghalaya and is responsible for safeguarding the enormous air space over the Northeastern states and part of the Bay of Bengal covering over 3 lakh sq km, 11 states and 6,300 km long international boundary with Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. In 1959, when the Eastern Air Command came into existence, it had only a few formations like Air Force Station Kalaikunda and Air Force Station Barrackpore in West Bengal, Air Force Station Jorhat and No. 5 Air Force Hospital at Jorhat in Assam and No. 3 Tactical Air Centre at Siliguri, West Bengal. But the command grew steadily between December 1959 and October 1962 when the nation’s overall security situation was changing rapidly. As China flooded the borders with its troops, India felt the need to strengthen its defences. In order to fortify the Indian position in the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   47



Arunachal Pradesh, the Command increased its war potential 2009 and culminated with the annual Station Commandby raising more bases, inducting more operational units, and ers’ Conference held at HQ EAC from November 28-30, strategically locating them in its area of responsibility. Today, 2009, and release of a coffee table book showcasing EAC’s Eastern Air Command has more than 24 stations and about evolution, growth, achievements and future vision. A book 121 formations and units under its wings. on history of EAC, a handbook on disaster relief operations As demand on the EAC kept increasing, so did its size and golden jubilee memento were unveiled by Air Marshal and strength. Its role continued to evolve and the quality S.K. Bhan, the then AOC-in-C, EAC. of its air assets also improved. The Eastern Air Command As a continuous process to enhance its operationability, took active part in the three major wars that the country a large number of state-of-the-art aircraft of all types, UAVs, was involved. medium power radars, mountain radars and low level raEAC during Sino-Indian and Indo-Pak War: The Sino-In- dars, air-to-air refuellers and AWACS are planned to be indian War in 1962 had startled India with a surprise and ducted in the near future. EAC added another feather to its massive offensive launched by China in the NEFA and La- cap, when the Su-30MKI aircraft were inducted at one of its dakh region, simultaneously. The EAC rose to the occasion airbases. It was the beginning of the modernisation plans of in support of the Indian Army by undertaking air mainte- the command. nance support including induction of troops in the forward areas using light transport aircraft and helicopters. Aircraft Exercises C-119 Packets, Dakotas, IL-14s and Mi-4 helicopters flew The EAC regularly conducts exercises in conjunction with much above the ceiling limits over the mountain ranges with Eastern Command Army to validate its concept of operaheavy loads. The skill and endurance of the transport and tions and also to synergise response to all contingencies enthe helicopter pilots were tested to the limits in the absence visaged in the Eastern theatre by fielding all types of fighter aircraft, transport aircraft and helicopters and various senof proper landing grounds and unpredictable weather. During the September 1965 hostilities between India sors. As a run up to the Air Force Day 2010, Exercise Pralay and Pakistan, the Hunters and Toofanis of EAC were dis- was conducted in EAC wherein all facets of EAC Operation patched to the Western sector where they took part in the roles were exercised. The exercise was organised for four days. AF Station, Kalaikunda, one of the oldest and the most operations and provided extensive support to the Army. important airfields in EAC, is the Likewise, during the third Indovenue for conducting internationPak War in 1971, which resulted in al air exercises for the IAF. the liberation of Bangladesh, the Exercise Indradhanush–III has entire air operations in the Eastern been planned with RAF in OctoberSector was controlled by EAC and November 2010 and Joint Military brought its offensive nature to the Training with RSAF is planned in fore. With the commencement of November-December 2010. hostilities on December 3, the IAF Adventure and Sports Activilaunched a swift attack by bombing ties: Adventure Festival 2010 Tezgaon and Kurmitola Airfields in was organised in February 2010. East Pakistan in day and night opThe event proved to be the largerations. During these operations, est conducted till date by any orseven Pak Sabres were shot down ganisation in the world, with a by Indian Gnats which resulted in total 10,547 participants and 11 total air superiority over the readventure disciplines. The age of gion. The lightening campaign saw aerial view: present the participants varied from 3.5 EAC use its varied air assets like location of eac in years to 76 years. The adventure the MiG-21s, Gnats, Hunters, etc shillong, meghalaya festival was conducted with para jumping, effectively to subdue the enemy forces. The para sailing, para gliding, para motor and massive airborne operation of dropping 50 power hang gliding. New adventure sports Para Brigade and its entire supporting arms like rappelling, zorbing and hot air balloonat Tangail and pinpoint attacks on the Governor’s House at Dacca were instrumental in breaking the ing were also introduced. The fest also had boating, cycle proverbial back of the enemy resistance and forcing them to expedition and run-for-fun games. A cave expedition was also conducted on March 10 in Jaintiya Hills. finally surrender on December 15, 1971. The Adventure Festival which was flagged off by Air MarIn addition to these wars, the Squadrons from EAC were deployed in IPKF Operations in Sri Lanka and in Operation shal K.K. Nohwar, AOC-in-C had a unique itinerary where national record holders in the field of adventure were feCactus in Maldives in the late 1980s. EAC has been the Mecca of fighter training. Whether it licitated. Air Marshal L.K. Malhotra, Senior Air Staff Officer, was Hunter aircraft or MiG-21 aircraft, various units in EAC EAC was the chief guest at the closing ceremony. have trained hundreds of fighter pilots in the Operational First Archery Range to Come up Soon: The EAC is now all set to establish the first Archery Range in the IAF. A totally Conversion Training. Golden Jubilee Celebrations: EAC celebrated its Golden Ju- new concept of setting up Adventure Park at AF Stations is on bilee year at HQ EAC and other bases in EAC. The year-long its way. As a pioneer project, the first such park is being set celebrations started with a motorcycle expedition in March up by the EAC at its headquarters  SP 48    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

Boeing is committed to executing its commitments to India



The MMRCA programme is an opportunity for a strategic, long-term, evolutionary relationship between India and the United States. Mark Kronenberg, Vice President, International Business Development, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, in an exclusive interview to SP’s Aviation claimed that the company is committed to meeting 100 per cent offset requirements. SP’s: What are your expectations from President Obama’s visit? Do you expect that the visit will give momentum to the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender? Mark: The upcoming visit to India by President Obama is representative of the strong relationship that is shared between the two nations. Our view is that the MMRCA programme is an opportunity for a strategic, long-term, evolutionary relationship between India and the United States. SP’s: Some analysts believe that with American advocacy divided between the F/A-18 and the F-16, the US bids in the MMRCA could end up cannibalising each other. Your comments Mark: There is strong U.S. Government support for both US offerings. However, each competing aircraft will ultimately be judged on its own merits. We believe the combat-proven Super Hornet will provide India with the world’s most capable, low-risk, 21st century multi-role fighter that today incorporates advanced technologies with a 40-year growth path that ensures that the Super Hornet remains in front of known and emerging threats throughout the coming decades.

Photograph: boeing

SP’s: Will the deadlock on agreements like CISMOA affect deals like the C-17? Will the lack of an agreement prevent the delivery of certain systems? Mark: Over the past several years, the Indian and the U.S. governments have successfully signed many military agreements. We are confident the additional agreements will achieve a similar successful conclusion. While the two governments continue to work on these agreements, Boeing is committed to executing on our commitments to India. SP’s: There are reports of an impending revision of India’s DPP. What are your expectations? Mark: The DPP has an evolving offset policy designed to bring real benefits to India. Revisions so far have made real improvements, benefiting from past procurement experience and from well-meaning guidance from the industry. This is a

positive step for India. Two areas that we believe are critical to achieving the offset policy objectives are the evolution of the offset guidelines and structure of the organisation responsible for evaluation and implementation of offset programmes. SP’s: What is your view on the current offset policy? Is a 50 per cent offset requirement in deals like the MMRCA sustainable? Mark: With each procurement, Indian industry stands to benefit through offset requirements that plough some of those expenditures back into India in the form of manufacturing orders. Currently, Boeing has more than 60 active industrial programmes worth more than $18 billion (`82,800 crore) in 24 countries. Boeing has also completed programmes totaling more than $41 billion (`1,88,600 crore) in nearly 40 countries over the past 30 years, with a 100 per cent success rate in meeting offset requirements. Our MMRCA offer is a 100 per cent compliant proposal, and we are committed to meeting all offset requirements, as demonstrated by our ongoing 100 per cent offset success rate. SP’s: Many international partners are learnt to have suggested an increase in the FDI limit in defence production. What is your view? Mark: The present FDI limit of 26 per cent represents a significant foreign investment in India’s defense infrastructure. It also represents a vehicle for fulfilment of offset obligations as the 26 per cent investment is eligible for offset credit. There is, however, scope to widen the aperture of this offset policy and increase the FDI limit to an amount higher than the present 26 per cent while still allowing Indian firms to keep management control of the joint business entity in question.  SP To read the complete interview log on to: Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   49



F/A-18E/F is easy to fly aggressively and safely

Photographs: boeing

The international Super Hornet roadmap, being offered to India, is the next evolution of the Block II Super Hornet. Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, in an interview to SP’s Aviation said that the Super Hornet is continuously receiving upgradation to meet current and future threats SP’s Aviation (SP’s): The F/A-18 Super Hornet has been described as a multi-role aircraft. Is this what the IAF is looking for? Dr Vivek Lall (Lall): The medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) that India is looking forward to acquire can augment its present fleet of the larger Su-30s, smaller LCAs, and future PAK-FAs. As a medium multi-role aircraft, the Super Hornet will offer capabilities that are complementary to the assets and capabilities that the IAF currently has. The F/A-18E/F is a highly rugged and manoeuverable aircraft that is very easy to fly aggressively and safely in both the beyond visual range (BVR) and the within visual range (WVR) arenas. The Super Hornet has a balanced fighter design which includes mature sensor integration, low radar cross section, high off-boresite engagement capabilities, and carefree flying qualities. 50    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

SP’s: What capabilities can the Super Hornet bring to the future for the Indian Air Force? Lall: The Super Hornet can bring the following capabilities to the IAF’s future requirements: • Multi-mode AESA (lethal precision self-targeting) • Stealth for air-to-ground to complement PAK-FA (survivability) • Net-centric air-to-ground (force multiplier and tgt/ emitter locator) • Geo-registered air-to-ground (beyond PGMs) • Single seat or missionised two seat/trainer SP’s: The MMRCA competition has six companies. What are the unique differentiators of the Super Hornet? Lall: The Super Hornet is continuously receiving upgradation that will keep it relevant against current and future threats. This includes enhancements to the capabilities of the AESA radar, overall avionics, and the addition of new netted weapons capability. In fact, today’s Super Hornet has more advanced capabilities approved for export than similar aircraft in its class. The Super Hornet will remain a highly capable and combat relevant asset in the US force structure for the next 40 years, fighting along side the Joint Strike Fighter. This will ensure the IAF availability of spares and repairables for long-term support. The US Navy is the world’s fourth largest modern air force and operates globally from both sea and land-based locations. More than 430 Super Hornets have been sold to the US Navy. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the first international customer to procure the Super Hornet. There are currently seven international air forces that fly F/A 18A/B/C/Ds. Moreover, the Super Hornet’s two General Electric F414GE-400 engines are a model of performance and reliability. If an engine needs to be replaced, Super Hornet ground crews can change one out in as little as 30 minutes. From a growth perspective, the enhanced performance engine (EPE) is a derivative of the existing F414 engine currently flown in the US Navy Super Hornets. F414 EPE technology upgrades are currently in development with GE Aviation. The EPE takes advantage of this inherent airframe growth capability through enhancements to the fan and core, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in thrust with no changes to aircraft structure or outer moldline. SP’s: We heard about the international roadmap for the Super Hornet at the Farnborough Air Show. Can you tell us more about this? Lall: The international Super Hornet roadmap, being offered to India, is the next evolution of the Block II Super Hornet and delivers increased survivability, situational awareness, performance and a compelling value proposition. The key attributes the International Super Hornet roadmap include are the EPE engine, next-generation cockpit, missile laser warning, internal IRST, conformal fuel tanks and enclosed weapons pod.  SP To read the complete interview log on to:


n May 1930, a chance encounter happened between two young Indians at a remote airfield in Egypt during the course of a longdistance air race. J.R.D. Tata, who later became the Chairman of Air India, came to the assistance of Aspy Engineer, who was stranded with engine trouble. Decades later Engineer became the Chief of the Air Staff. A humble spark plug, graciously given, sealed the relationship between India’s future civil and military aviation leaders. The Irani family of Karachi had the unique distinction of contributing four sons to the IAF. Aspy Merwan Irani, the eldest, was born in Lahore on December 15, 1912. At school, he was fascinated with mechanical things. So his friends gave him the nickname Engineer. He liked the name and officially adopted it. He also took to flying early in life. In November 1929, Aga Khan of Karachi offered a prize of £500 for the first Indian to fly solo from England to India or vice versa. According to the rules of the Royal Aero Club, it must be a solo flight completed within six weeks from the date of starting. The prize will remain open for one year from January 1930. In March 1930, Aspy Engineer flew from Karachi to England as second pilot with a friend named R.N. Chawla in a de Havilland Gipsy Moth— a single engine, light aeroplane with rudimentary instruments and no radio aids. They were the first Indians to fly from India to England. On April 25, 1930, Aspy took off from London, in an attempt to fly the Gipsy Moth back to Karachi alone and claim the Aga Khan prize. However, when he landed at Aboukir Bay in Egypt, he noticed that a spark plug was not working. He discovered to his horror that he did not have a spare one and was effectively stuck. Fortunately for him, shortly thereafter, JRD Tata landed at the same airfield. Tata, also in a Gipsy Moth, was making the prize attempt in the reverse direction—from Karachi to London. He gave Engineer his spare spark plug and they resumed their race in opposite directions. Aspy reached Karachi on May 11, beating

Hall of Fame Tata by a few hours. Though a third contestant had finished the race a day before him, Aspy was declared winner since that contestant could not complete the journey within six weeks of commencement.

ASPY ENGINEER (1912 - 2002) ‘If the IAF today is a service of which we are all proud, it is because of the high standards that you and your colleagues set from the start and have maintained ever since’

—J.R.D. Tata

Aspy was just 18 at the time and his prize-winning performance probably smoothed his way into the IAF. At RAF Cranwell he won the Groves Memorial Prize for being the best allround pilot of his term. After commissioning, he joined ‘A’ Flight of the IAF flying Wapiti aircraft in the North Western Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunwa in Pakistan). When No. 1 Squadron of the IAF was formed in July 1938, Aspy Engineer was one of the three flight commanders, along with other famous pilots


like Subroto Mukherjee and K.K. Jumbo Majumdar. In 1939, Engineer’s flight notched up a scorching 403 hours of operational flying, a remarkable feat given the very limited aircraft and crew available. For this, he was awarded the Mentionedin-Despatches. Three years later, he became the second Indian officer of the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Aspy Engineer was a Group Captain during the 1947 Kashmir operations. On being promoted to Air Commodore he took over command of No. 1 Operational Group. A decade later, he was appointed Managing Director of Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL) at a time when the factory was experiencing serious labour trouble. Fortunately, labour relations improved and HAL was able to embark upon several new projects. Engineer may have been settling in for the long haul, but fate intervened. The sudden demise in 1960 of Subroto Mukherjee saw Engineer appointed Chief of the Air Staff in the rank of Air Marshal. During his tenure, the IAF was involved in the Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962, flying supply and transport missions to Indian troops in forward areas. Despite the protests of Engineer and his staff, the Government did not allow the IAF to fly offensive missions against the Chinese, perhaps because of a misplaced fear that this might escalate hostilities. Engineer later supervised the IAF’s transition to a supersonic service with the induction of the first batch of Soviet MiG-21 fighters. He also improved the transport and helicopter fleet, once again with Soviet aircraft. After retirement from the IAF in 1964, Engineer served as India’s ambassador to Iran. He died on May 1, 2002. J.R.D. Tata once wrote in a letter to Aspy Engineer, “If the IAF today is a service of which we are all proud, it is because of the high standards that you and your colleagues set from the start and have maintained ever since.”  SP —Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha, Goa Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   51


News Digest

Military Asia-Pacific Super Hornet with future electronic attack capability

Boeing has announced that it has completed production of the first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornet that has the capability to be converted into an electronic attack aircraft. Boeing is pre-wiring the RAAF’s second lot of 12 Super Hornets for potential electronic attack capability conversion during production at the company’s facilities in St. Louis. The Australian government had announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet. Eleven Super Hornets are now operating at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. Boeing will

deliver Australia’s 24th Super Hornet in 2011. Antony visits South Korea

in numerous fields and to help in achieving peace and stability in not only the Asia-Pacific but also in the Indian Ocean region. Honeywell bullish about India

Defence Minister A.K. Antony was on a visit to South Korea in September, accompanied by the Defence Secretary and other senior officers of the defence forces and the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The Indian delegation also visited some of the defence establishments. Speaking at a luncheon, hosted in his honour by the South Korean Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Kim Sung-Chan at Jinhae Naval Base Antony said, the Defence MoUs signed by the two countries during his visit have opened up new vistas of cooperation. Describing the MoUs as the ‘starting point’, Antony said these have the potential to build on the strengths of the two countries

Paolo Carmassi

Honeywell Aerospace is upbeat about its partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to build the TPE33112 engine programme. In a press conference held on September 27 in New Delhi, Paolo Carmassi, President, Honeywell Aerospace Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, said that the company is also looking forward to export the engine around the world. Referring to India as an intellectual capital, he said that the company has about 8 per cent of its employees in the country and the flight

QuickRoundUp Airbus • Airbus has commenced production of the latest Airbus product, the A350 XWB, in Germany. The first German component measuring almost 32 metres by 6 metres, the upper wing shell is the largest integrated component ever to be built by Airbus from weightsaving carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The A350 XWB is a new family of wide body airliners (A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000) for which Airbus currently has 528 confirmed orders. Boeing • Boeing has announced that it has received a contract from the US Air Force to provide spare servo-actuators for the AC-130U gunship. The five-year contract, which includes a base year plus four out-year ordering periods, is worth up to $7.2 million. A total of $1.2 million of the first phase has been obligated. By July 2011, Boeing will provide 10 servoactuators for the trainable gun mount systems needed to install 40-millimetre guns on four AC-130Us. Canada • The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) is pleased with the Government of Canada’s decision to extend the maintenance contract granted to L-3 Communications MAS to support and maintain the CF-18 fleet up to 2020. Due to a strong government-industry partnership that spans over decades, Canada’s capabilities and expertise in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) are recognised worldwide. An integral part of the Canadian Aerospace industry, the MRO sub-sector accounts for more than 19 per cent of the overall industry’s output.

Photograph: Brian Nelson


Historic photo of Discovery’s last roll-out to the pad Wednesday night in Florida in preparation for the November launch 52    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

• Embraer has signed a declaration of intent by the Ministers of Defence of Brazil and Colombia, for Colombia to take part in the development programme and in the production of the KC-390 military transport jet. This is the first step towards bilateral negotiations that will establish the terms and conditions of Colombia’s participation in the programme, and which could result in setting up a factory for machined parts in that country, in order to serve the aviation market, as well as in the purchase of

News Digest

Appointments Honeywell Honeywell announced on September 15 that Mark Stouse has joined the company as Vice President of worldwide communications for its $10.8 billion Aerospace business, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to external and employee communications, Stouse will have responsibility for Honeywell Aerospace’s marketing communications operations, including sales enablement and tradeshow operations, advertising, web, and corporate social responsibility efforts. Airbus Chris Emerson has been appointed Senior Vice President Airbus Head of Product Strategy and Market Forecast, effective September 1, 2010. Part of his new role involves responsibility for the Airbus Global Market Forecasts. Chris will report to Airbus chief strategist and Executive Vice President for Future Programmes, Christian Scherer. BAE Systems BAE Systems announced on September 15 that Victor E. Gene Renuart Jr., a retired US Air Force general, has joined the company as Vice President for national security. In this role, Renuart will be responsible for ­enhancing BAE Systems’ customer focus, a key element of its strategy to deliver total performance, and for ensuring it delivers best-in-class products and services to the armed forces. Textron Textron Systems announced that Kevin J. Cosgriff, retired Vice Admiral of the US Navy, has joined the company as Senior Vice President, International Business and Government, and Senior Advisor on the US military services. Based in Textron’s Washington office and reporting to Jack Cronin, Chief Strategy Officer, Cosgriff will oversee Textron Systems’ international growth strategy and business development activities. Safran The Safran group has made several senior management ­appointments, which took effect on September 1. They ­include: Alex Fain: Senior Vice President of Morpho Pierre Syx: Vice President, Finance, General Counsel and Secretary of Snecma Diego de Viaris: Vice President, Finance and Administration of Aircelle Jacques Serre: Senior Vice President, Systems Engineering at Snecma. Martin Sion: Director of Snecma’s Space Engines division. Raytheon Raytheon Company has appointed John P. Bergeron as Director, Raytheon Six Sigma, Corporate Mission Assurance. Bergeron is reporting to Dr James W. Wade, vice president Mission Assurance, in the company’s engineering, technology and mission assurance organisation, headed by Vice President Mark E. Russell. Harris Harris Corporation has announced that Scott T. Mikuen, will become Vice President and General Counsel effective October 15, 2010. He will succeed Gene Cavallucci, who will retire in December after 20 years with the company.

management system for large airlines is manufactured in India. The officials also seemed very optimistic about the Jaguar upgradation programme, wherein the company is offering its F125IN aircraft engine. Speaking about the T-Hawk, Carmassi said, “The first T-Hawk demonstration was done in March this year. The second demonstration is likely to be held in front of various security forces including the Indian Air Force at the Hindon airbase, Ghaziabad, in November.”

Americas Boeing-built GPS IIF Satellite enters service Boeing has announced that the first of 12 Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites the company is building for the US Air Force has entered service. GPS IIF-1 is the newest member of the active 31-satellite GPS constellation, which provides accurate navigation, positioning and timing information to more than 1 billion military and civilian users around the world. GPS IIF satellites offer new and enhanced capabilities, including a jam-resistant military signal, greater accuracy through improved atomic clock technology, and a protected civilian L5 signal to aid commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications. Boeing wins DARPA Vulture II Programme The Boeing Company has signed an agreement with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and fly the SolarEagle unmanned aircraft for the Vulture II demonstration programme. Under the terms of the contract, SolarEagle will make its first demonstration flight in 2014. SolarEagle is one of Phantom Works’ rapid prototyping efforts, which also include Phantom Ray, a fighter-sized, unmanned, advanced technology demonstrator scheduled to make its first flight in early 2011, and the hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye demonstrator, a high altitude long endurance aircraft designed

IAF SPECIAL QuickRoundUp 12 KC-390 airplanes by the Colombian government. Europe • Military transport and tanker aircraft from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France are now under a single command. Dutch Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop officially opened the European Air Transport Command at Eindhoven air base in the Netherlands. The merger should lead to better coordination and more efficient deployment of over 200 military aircraft from various air bases in Europe. Honeywell • Honeywell Technology Solutions has been awarded a $219,4million contract modification which will provide systems and maintenance engineering, network support integration, on-site and off-site depot level maintenance and software maintenance of the Air Force Satellite Control Network. Israel • A series of successful flight tests aimed at opening the flight envelope have been completed for the pre-owned B767-200ER aircraft, converted by Bedek Aviation Group of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to a multi-mission tanker transport configuration for the Colombian Air Force. The converted aircraft is equipped with two wing air refueling pods of the ARP3 model, developed and manufactured by IAI. Lockheed Martin • Lockheed Martin Corporation has been awarded $315.6 million contract modification for the procurement of three fiscal 2008 Overseas Contingency Operations C-130J aircraft; one fiscal 2008 Overseas Contingency Operations KC130J aircraft; and one fiscal 2010 HC-130J aircraft. Raytheon • Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, has been awarded a $161.3 million contract modification which will provide Enhanced Paveway II, III and GPS adapter kits in addition to kit spares, adapter groups, readiness test sets, bomb tool kits, Enhanced Paveway

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   53


News Digest

Show Calendar 13–14 October Aero Engine EXPO 2010 Grand Elysee Hotel, Hamburg, Germany 19–21 October NBAA 63rd Annual Meeting and Convention Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia 20–21 October ATM-AIRPORTS- AIRLINES INDIA INITIATIVES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE India Habitat Centre, New Delhi 28–29 October World Air Forum 2010 Intercontinental Carlton Cannes, Cannes, France 2–4 November Helishow Dubai Airport Expo Dubai, Dubai, UAE. 16–18 November Heli-Power 2010 Olympia Conference Centre, London, UK to stay aloft for up to four days, also scheduled to make its first flight in 2011. Lockheed Martin’s multiintelligence laboratory A flying ISR laboratory developed by Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated advanced capabilities to disseminate real-time intelligence data, including streaming video, imagery and communications feeds to a ground station. Lockheed Martin’s airborne multi-INT Laboratory (AML) flew several flights using previously collected data to demonstrate intelligence collection, analysis, processing and dissemination. During the flight experiments, the AML relayed streaming video as well as previously collected communications and electronic intelligence to a ground station at the Corporation’s

SWIFT laboratory located in Farnborough, UK. Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft Northrop Grumman Corporation and the US Air Force commemorated the milestone deployment of the first RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to Pacific Command (PACOM) with an arrival ceremony on September 20 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Designated AF-20, the aircraft landed successfully September 1, after an 18-hour flight from its main operating base at Beale Air Force Base, California. US Air Force selects Chromalloy Chromalloy announced that it has been selected by the US Air Force to provide repairs on TF33 first stage turbine engine blades in a new threeyear contract valued at $1.2 million. The remanufacture of the turbine blade repairs will be performed at Chromalloy’s Oklahoma City facility, in support of Tinker Air Force Base at Oklahoma City. Chromalloy currently provides repairs, parts and other services on other US Air Force, Navy and Army contracts. Chromalloy is a leading independent supplier of advanced repairs and services for gas turbines used in aviation and land-based applications, repairs, and refurbishes and manufactures engine components.

coal. The flight was a first for any department of defense aircraft where a 50 per cent mix of JP-8 was blended with 25 per cent renewable biofuel and 25 per cent fuel derived from the FischerTropsch process, which is essentially liquified coal or natural gas.

Europe Selex Galileo to supply Praetorian DASS Selex Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, has been awarded a contract by BAE Systems worth £400 million to supply the Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS) in support of the Tranche 3A Eurofighter Typhoons. Designed specifically for the Typhoon, the Praetorian DASS comprises electronic counter measures (ECM), electronic support measures (ESM) and missile approach warning (MAW) elements. It provides an unmatched level of situational awareness and protection for Typhoon crews.

Civil Aviation Americas Brazil’s TRIP takes delivery of the 900th ATR aircraft

C-17 conducts flight test with Biofuel

The US Air Force’s ongoing alternative fuels certification efforts reached a new milestone when a C-17 Globemaster III flew on all engines using jet fuel blended with a combination of traditional petroleum-based fuel, or JP-8, biofuel derived in part from animal fat, and synthetic fuel derived from

54    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010

QuickRoundUp tool sets, CAMBRE adapter kits and mission planning software. Raytheon Company and the Boeing Company completed the second of three government-sponsored firings of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile. The JAGM used its imaging infrared guidance system to hit an armoured vehicle target at 4 kilometres. The Raytheon-Boeing JAGM features a fully integrated tri-mode seeker that incorporates semi-active laser, uncooled imaging infrared and millimetre wave guidance. Royal Air Force • The 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, assumed command of the NATO Baltic air policing mission from the Polish air force at Lithuania Air Force Air Base. For the next four months, the squadron, comprising approximately 125 people, is responsible for ensuring the air sovereignty of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The first A330 MRTT Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft for the UK Royal Air Force has completed the indoor trials, such as systems trials, required prior to first flight and has been rolled out of its hangar at Airbus Military’s Getafe, Madrid facility to continue with the outdoor trials, such as fuel trials and others. Once all trials are successfully completed, the aircraft will be handed over to the fight test team for first flight which is due in the first part of September. The aircraft has been converted from a basic A330-200 airframe by Airbus Military. Safran

ATR has delivered its 900th aircraft, an ATR 72-500, to Brazilian airline TRIP Linhas Aéreas. This 68-seat aircraft brings to 30 the total fleet of ATRs of the airline. TRIP is the second-largest ATR operator in the world and the largest regional operator in Latin America, with flights over more than 70 destinations in Brazil. This new ATR 72-500 joins TRIP’s existing fleet of 14 ATR 72s and 15 ATR 42s. Before the end of 2010, TRIP will take delivery of three additional ATRs. TRIP introduced its first ATR, an ATR 42-320, in 1999.

• Messier-Dowty (Safran group) has produced the composite landing gear braces for the Boeing-787 Dreamliner: a world’s first for an airliner which has undergone its first flight test. The braces are the two leg struts that hold the main landing gear in place during the landing and taxiing phases. On today’s airlines, these parts are predominantly made of steel. SuperJet International • SuperJet International, a joint venture between Alenia Aeronautica and Sukhoi Holding, and the US leasing company Willis Lease Finance Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding for


News Digest

Europe ATR to open first training centre in Africa

International turboprop manufacturer, ATR has announced the opening of its first training centre in Africa in partnership with South African airline, Comair. The centre, to be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be operational in April 2011. It will be equipped with a full flight simulator and will provide training for ATR 42-300, ATR 42-500, ATR 72-200 and ATR 72-500 aircraft.

reached during a 1.1-hour flight, is an unofficial speed record for a helicopter. The demonstrator also reached 260 knots in a very shallow dive during the flight. EADS North America KC-45 EADS North America announced that the company has demonstrated, in flight, that its offering in the KC-X tanker competition fully satisfies the US Air Force requirement for high fuel offload rate via the refueling boom system —the only tanker in the competition to do so. EADS North America will build and modify the KC-45, along with A330 commercial freighters, at a new aerospace centre of excellence in Mobile, Alabama. Lineage 1000 Jet longrange flight capabilities

Industry Asia-Pacific Lockheed Martin extends commitment to innovators from India Lockheed Martin has announcing its extended support for the landmark Indian Innovation Growth Programme, which boosts Indian technical breakthroughs by helping transition them to market. In collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology, Lockheed Martin is extending support for the programme through 2012.

Americas Sikorsky X2 technologydemonstrator On September 15, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s X2 Technology demonstrator successfully achieved a speed of 250 knots true air speed in level flight at the Sikorsky Development Flight Centre, accomplishing the programme’s ultimate speed milestone. The speed,

Embraer’s ultra-large Lineage 1000 executive jet demonstrator aircraft recently made history by completing the longest distance ever flown by an Embraer airplane. In its first non-stop flight from Mumbai in India to London’s Luton Airport (LTN) in England, the Lineage 1000 covered a ground distance of 4,015 nautical miles (7,435 km) in 9 hours and 15 minutes. This distance is equivalent to 4,400 nautical miles (8,149 km) with no headwind. The flight was performed in compliance with Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) fuel reserve requirements. Boeing begins testing on 787 Dreamliner airframe Boeing has begun fatigue testing on the structural airframe of the 787 Dreamliner at the Everett, Washington. Fatigue testing involves placing the 787 test airframe into a test rig that simulates multiple lifecycles to test how the airplane responds over

time. While the structural test programme already has validated the strength of the airframe, fatigue testing looks at long-term, continued use. This is the natural progression of testing on a new airplane and part of the process to achieve the US Federal Aviation Administration certification.

Europe Piaggio Aero enters Russian market

QuickRoundUp the purchase of 6 Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) aircraft plus 4 options, for an estimated value up to ßßßßßßßß$300 million. The first delivery of these LR aircraft in the 98-seat configuration is scheduled for September 2012. Trident • Trident Systems has been awarded a $48.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the procurement of technology solutions for persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on small unmanned aerial vehicle platforms. It is expected to be completed in August 2015. US

Italian business aviation Manufacturer, Piaggio Aero announced its entry into the important Russian business aviation market during the Jet Expo the Business Aviation Air Show at Moscow’s Vnukonovo airport (September 15-17). The company announced that as a part of its market expansion programme, it is currently seeking Russian Certification for its world renowned P.180 Avanti II aircraft and that they would begin sales deliveries in April/May 2011, upon completion of the aircraft’s certification. Piaggio Aero has reached agreement with Aviacharter to become a partner for the sales and marketing activities of the P.180 Avanti II aircraft in Russia.

Space Americas Lockheed to launch earthimaging satellite Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, a whollyowned subsidiary of the Lockheed Martin Corporation, announced that it has been selected by GeoEye to launch the company’s nextgeneration, high-resolution earth-imaging satellite, GeoEye-2, on an Atlas V rocket. Financial terms are not being disclosed at this time.  •

• The US military is boosting its flood-relief capabilities to Pakistan by deploying more aircraft and increasing the number of aid distribution stations in the flood-stricken nation. The number of US helicopters in Pakistan will almost double. The Army helicopters are predominantly CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters, which are well suited to operate in the high altitudes of the Swat Valley. Marine and Air Force C-130 cargo airplanes are delivering food and fuel into areas of northern Pakistan at airfields in Gilgit and Skardu. The US military marked a historic milestone on September 1, as it made the transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn. This transition signifies a formal end to US military combat operations and reaffirms the US military’s commitment to the Iraqi security forces and the government and people of Iraq. US Air Force • For the past 55 years, U-2 Dragon Lady crews have soared high above the earth collecting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to aid in the fight against enemy forces. Throughout the years, even with the advances in technology, the mission remained the same. Over time, several changes in the aircraft and protective equipment have evolved to help the U-2 and its pilots better perform their mission. Training to become a U-2 pilot has also evolved from “learn on the fly” to a detailed training course requiring approximately nine months to complete.

Issue 10 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   55



Move Forward,

illustration: anoop kamath


Be an Aerospace Power

n the light of an expanding strategic trained. What flows from this must be an footprint of a resurgent India and the action plan, but what is most important is need therefore to safeguard its nato action the plan. tional interests, the IAF must have a Much will also depend upon the way credible and demonstrable capabiliaerospace power develops in the future. We ty to operate effectively and decisiveneed to think beyond 2060, beyond the mely. The profound influence that aerospace dium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) power has because of its inherent speed, and fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) flexibility, reach, stealth, precision and ubiqwith a life span of 40 years. It is not easy uity makes it a natural instrument of choice to guess the shape and complexity of aerofor the national leadership to address conspace power—would the accent shift to unBy Air Chief Marshal ventional and sub-conventional conflict sitmanned flight, to missiles or would ‘air’ be (Retd) Fali Homi Major uations as well as force projection. The IAF more of ‘space’? Despite the unpredictability, therefore, needs to be structured, equipped it is certain that the need for application and and trained to do this and more. Given Intransportability of national power through dia’s concerns and aspirations, a strong and aerospace power would remain. Nations that comprehensive aerospace capability is inescapable. The IAF’s lack it will seek it. Aerospace power is bound to proliferate and modernisation plan must therefore aim at sustaining and en- permeate the national security apparatus more completely, hancing its operational potential and consolidate the speci- including homeland security. The IAF must seek greater spefied force levels through judicious and cost-effective acquisi- cialisation; tailored capabilities, an increased dependence on tions, replacements and upgradation of existing resources. It unmanned vehicles and greater accent on force enhancers. must be gradual but transformational modernisation. Space-based assets and defensive counter-space measures If we look at the way the IAF must evolve and compare it will be the way forward since a quiet ‘space race’ with a disto the path charted by advanced air forces around the world, tinct possibility of ‘weaponisation’ is already a global reality. there are essential similarities. Since aerospace power’s ca- Perhaps more than any other, it is aerospace power that is pabilities, effectiveness and most significantly enhanced by indeed its utility are premised the integration of space-enabled on technology, which in turn is capabilities, for there are essendriven by operational needs— tial similarities. Evolving into all air forces would envision aerospace force is thus a logical evolving on similar lines. In progression. Any fledgling capafact, but for minor variations, bility requires an appropriate the IAF is on a globally recog‘parent capability’. Air power, or nised growth path. Therefore, the IAF, is the closest such capadepending upon the circumbility or organisation, suitable to stances, threat perceptions and host and nurture military space. resources, it is the scope and India’s rising status and acceptpace of growth of the IAF that ability are an opportunity for us essentially remains to be deterto push for creating an adequate mined. Clearly, the IAF must be military space capability. equipped for long-reach, perSince IAF requires a comsistence, precision-targeting, prehensive capability, its fuair dominance, networked ture in the long-term will Aerospace power is bound to proliferate and and space-enabled capabililargely mirror the future permeate the national security apparatus including ties. This requires hardware, of aerospace power itself. organisation and people. The Though this path is invariably homeland security. The IAF must seek greater hardware must be well chosen influenced by leading nations specialisation; tailored capabilities, an increased and procured in time; the orand their interests, the IAF ganisation must be adaptive; must be selective and seek credependence on unmanned vehicles and greater and the people must be comative variations, both in terms petent, motivated and wellof hardware and doctrine.  SP accent on force enhancers

56    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 10 • 2010


Design and production of electronic defence systems by ELETTRONICA S.p.A.


The C-130J delivers multi-mission capability to the most remote and demanding places on earth. Ready to serve nations of the world. Delivering mission-critical cargo virtually anywhere is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference.

SP's Aviation October 2010  

Indian Air Force Special edition aviation magazine

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