Ten recent bets by India to boost defence might

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Ganesh2691, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Ganesh2691

    Ganesh2691 Regular Member

    Mar 4, 2012
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    Considering the threat perception from both China and Pakistan, both the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy have upgraded their capabilities to meet any challenge from the two fronts simultaneously.

    From induction of aircraft carriers to fighter planes and surveillance aircraft, defence forces are leaving no stone unturned to boost the country's prowess. We take a look at ten recent developments and upcoming inductions:

    MiG-29K fighter planes :
    Earlier this year, Defence Minister A K Antony commissioned warfare aircraft MiG-29K Black Panther squadron into the Indian Navy. The MIG-29K (K stands for 'Korabelny' meaning "Carrier Borne" in Russian) is a potent carrier borne fighter.

    The aircraft is armed with its arsenal of weapons including advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, precision bombs and sophisticated system to support weapon delivery. The MiG-29Ks, with a range of 1,300km and a service ceiling of 58,000-feet, are capable of STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) operations.

    They are armed with R-73 and RVV-AE guided air-to-air missiles, Kh-35E anti-ship missiles, KAB 500KR/OD TV guided bombs and S-8KOM rockets. These are India's first-ever squadron of naval supersonic fighters, which will eventually operate from the decks of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya ( Admiral Gorshkov) as well as the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC).

    Indegenous Aircraft carrier: INS Vikrant
    India will launch its first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, making an entry into a select club of countries capable of designing and building a carrier of this size and capability.

    INS Vikrant with a capacity to carry 36 fighter planes would go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the Navy by 2018 end. Nearly 90% of INS Vikrant's hull has been built indigenously with DRDO and SAIL supplying high quality steel.

    The flight deck of IAC will have the capacity to hold 19 aircraft and the hangar inside will have room for 17 fighters.

    P-8I planes: Navy's 'intelligent hawk eyes' :
    In May 2013, the first of eight Boeing Poseidon-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti Submarine Warfare (LRMRASW) aircraft India purchased from the US arrived.

    Armed with deadly Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges, these sensor and radar-packed aircraft will be the country's "intelligent hawk eyes" over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) that is increasingly getting militarized.

    Equipped with foreign and indigenous sensors for maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine operations and electronic intelligence missions, the aircraft is fully integrated with state-of-the-art sensors and highly potent anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons.

    C-17 Air Lifter :
    IAF received its first Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter for flight testing by the US Air Force (USAF) in January 2013. The Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the US government in 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States.

    The pellets for the C-17 and the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules which IAF has already acquired are common and can be moved from one aircraft to another with ease. Also, although the C-17 is a long-range aircraft, it can be refueled midair.

    Apart from the pilot and co-pilot, the aircraft carries two loadmasters, but can do with one thanks to its onboard crane and roller floor.

    Sukhoi-30 MKIs: IAF's bet :
    Sukhoi claims that Su-30MKI is a two-seat highly-manoeuvrable fighter designed for air-superiority and strikes at ground and naval surface targets using a variety of guided and unguided ADO, with an option of supporting group actions.

    When the entire Sukhoi-30 MKIs, including the 42, are delivered to IAF by around 2018, it would become the single largest type of fighters in service, marking a huge technological transition from the dominance of MIG-21 fighters.

    IAF plans to upgrade the first 80 Su-30MKIs to the level 'Super Sukhois' which will have highly advanced radars and weapon systems. Su-30 MKIs have been inducted into IAF in four phases. The ones to be upgraded are from the first phase and the project is likely to be completed in the next three to four years.

    Indian Navy's third Anti Submarine warfare corvette :
    The third Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette for the Indian Navy designed under Project-28 (P-28) by the Navy's Directorate of Naval Design, being built by GRSE, was launched in March 2013.

    With nearly 90 per cent indigenisation content aimed to be achieved in the manufacturing of the ship, the efforts made by Indian Navy and Defence Shipyards towards the national goal of indigenisation and self-reliance got a major impetus with this latest ASW Corvette launch.

    The ship's hull form is highly efficient with excellent sea-keeping and manoeuvrability characteristics having an overall length of 109 metres. The ship can cut through the sea at a very high speed of 25 Knots. Hull of the ship is built with warship grade high tensile indigenous steel.

    Swiss Pilatus Trainer Aircraft :
    The first of the 75 Swiss Pilatus trainer aircraft procured by the IAF under a Rs 2,800 crore deal to train its rookie pilots arrived in India in February. With induction of Pilatus PC-7 Mark-II trainer aircraft, the trainee pilots will now get a new set of wings to learn their basic flying skills.

    Swiss made Pilatus also knows as 'Astra' filled the void in basic flying training after indigenous HPT-32 Deepak was grounded were grounded after a fatal crash in 2009.

    Pilatus named after a mountain in central Switzerland is an improved version of the PC-9's air frame and avionics, fitted with the PC-7's smaller turbine ensures lower operating and maintenance costs.

    Apache helicopters that IAF will acquire
    IAF is in the final stages of acquiring 22 heavy-duty Apache helicopters, armed with Hellfire and Stinger missiles. The 22 AH-64 D Apache Longbow gunships will be bought in a $1.4 billion contract. With its array of modern electronics, Apache is considered to be one of the most advanced combat helicopters.

    The radar-equipped AH-64D Apache Longbow has longer-range weapons accuracy and all-weather/night fighting, claims Boeing. According to Boeing the AH-64D Apache Longbow is capable of classifying and threat-prioritization of up to 128 targets in less than a minute.

    Boeing claims that the helicopters boast of integrated sensors, networking, and digital communications for situational awareness, management of the combat arena in real time, and digital transmission of images and target locations to joint operations battlefield commanders.

    INS Trikand :
    The Navy inducted its latest guided-missile stealth frigate INS Trikand in June 2013. INS Trikand is the last of the six stealth frigates ordered from Russia. The Navy had earlier inducted three 4,000-tonne Talwar-class stealth frigates ( Talwar, Trishul and Tabar) from Russia in 2003-2004.

    The ship also incorporates "innovative" features to reduce its radar, magnetic and acoustic "signatures" to ensure it is relatively difficult to detect by enemy radars.

    LCA Tejas :
    A scintillating display of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas aircraft was applauded by all at the Aero India 2013.

    The much-delayed indigenous aircraft is expected to be ready for induction into operational service by 2015.

    The LCA project has been delayed by more than 20 years. Defence Minister A K Antony has said that he is 'impatient' to see completion of LCA project.

    Defence News - Ten recent bets by India to boost defence might

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