Indian Air Force: News & Discussions

WolfPack86

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India’s $3-billion ISTAR Takes Shape, MoD Clearance This Year


The Indian government is all set to clear paperwork in the coming months to acquire a U.S. ISTAR (Intelligence Surveillance Targeting and Reconnaissance) battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft platform, the first step towards a larger joint project that will see India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation develop sensor technologies for an additional four aircraft. A model of proposed Indian ISTAR jet was displayed for the first time at the Aero India 2021 show earlier this month, which Livefist can confirm is a signal that things are on track after a troubled journey thus far.

The first official literature on the Indian ISTAR describes it as ‘cutting edge technologies for the nation in support of precision strike’. That the speeding up of the program has happened in the aftermath of the Balakot air strikes by India on Pakistan is no coincidence. Tomorrow marks two years since the military operation that saw Indian Air Force jets, supported by Indian airborne surveillance assets, striking terrorist targets deep in on Pakistani soil. Laboratory literature on the Indian ISTAR program goes on to say, ‘ISTAR is a MULTI INT Solution capable of exploiting image, SIGINT and track info from sensors and provide actionable intelligence for tactical and strategic advantage.’

In 2019, a Livefist newsbreak had revealed that efforts to acquire ISTAR aircraft had been bedeviled by a DRDO-Indian Air Force turf war over testing. Since then, the Indian and US governments have managed to bring things back from the brink. You can read Livefist’s detailed report with the background here. Sources familiar with the Indian ISTAR program confirm that paperwork to support the Indian MoD’s procurement clearance is under creation and will be moved by the middle of this year. The Indian Air Force is said to have expressed urgency in the program, and has provided full backing to the indigenous ISTAR as a priority future asset.



In the mean time, work on the Indian ISTAR’s radar, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence and other sensors has already begun at the DRDO’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), with two years of work already in. The team that developed the Netra AEW&C airborne system in service with the Indian Air Force has now been split into two expanded teams — one focused on the ISTAR program, and the other working on the Netra Mk.2, a program where the existing Netra radar system will be integrated with pre-owned Air India A320 passenger jets. Livefist has detailed that latter program here.



Described by the DRDO as a ‘system of systems’, the ISTAR comprises airborne and dround segments based on a ‘high altitude, high endurance, transport jet’ sporting very high resolution imagery from long range SAR and EO/IR, ground moving target detection of slow moving objects, the ability to track mobile ground targets, map natural disasters, area monitor vessels, monitor activities near border and littoral areas. It also states that the ‘multi intelligence system’ uses AI/ML/DL to infer actionable Intelligence IMINT and SIGINT information to form a common operating picture (COP).



A formal decision hasn’t been taken yet, the Indian ISTAR — like the U.S. aircraft to be procured under the Defence Technology & Trade Initiative (DTTI) — will be based on the Bombardier Global Express business jet platform. A separate procurement of four jets will commence as the program matures in the next two years. Much of the work done on the Netra Mk.1 AEW&C program will expectedly flow into the DRDO’s ISTAR, though a large number of Indian private start-up companies have been enlisted to contribute to the indigenous software architecture will be proprietary to Indian battlefield and ground surveillance needs.



Apart from airborne intelligence aircraft operated by India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the Indian Air Force currently operates three Phalcon AWACS (with two more to be contracted) and two DRDO-Embraer Netra AEW&C jet. A third of the type is being used by the DRDO as a sensor testbed. The DRDO was earlier also developing an AWACS system based on the Airbus A330 widebody jet platform, though that has, at the very least, been pushed down the priority ladder, if not shelved for now. On the other hand, with priority backing, and transactional muscle provided by the India-US relationship, the ISTAR program is expected to move smoothly forward.


 

sorcerer

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IAF Participation in EX Desert FLAG VI



Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force. The Indian Air Force is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. The exercise is scheduled from 03 Mar 21 to 27 Mar 21 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE.


The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globemaster will provide support for induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long range ferry, routing direct from India to the exercise area with aerial refueling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft. The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment. The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with mutual exchange of best practices.


The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including IAF, a unique opportunity to exhchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. Exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realstic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthen international relations.


Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherin collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.
 

WolfPack86

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HAL RECEIVES CERTIFICATE FOR INDIGENOUS ENGINE FOR JAGUAR
HAL on Friday received the Provisional Certificate for the Engine and Flight Display Unit (EFDU) indigenously developed for the Jaguar DARIN-III fighter aircraft platform at the Bandhan program during Aero India 2021.

The EFDU developed by Mission and Combat Systems R&D Centre (MCSRD&C), HAL, is a flight critical system displaying engine fuel and flight parameters required for flying the aircraft.

In case of failure of the primary flight display unit, the EFDU provides necessary engine, fuel, hydraulics and navigation data required for get-you-home functionality on a single 4”X5” laser compact disc display.

This EFDU will replace an imported Engine and Flight Instrument System (EFIS) Unit thereby giving a boost to the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engineering and R&D), received the clearance certificate from APVS Prasad, Outstanding Scientist and Chief Executive (Airworthiness), Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC), a laboratory under the Defence Research & Development Organisation.

R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said this development would not only lead to self-reliance but also enable HAL to develop further similar smart instrument display systems and Multi-Function Displays for various aircraft platforms.
 

[email protected]

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HAL has just proposed the idea of adding an afterburner to HTFE -25 engine. This will generate 40 kN of thrust and can be used in Jaguar engine alternative. Also, it can power UAVs (which is an attractive option).

The IAF has not yet responded to the propsal.Even if the IAF agrees now,and funds are relased in 2021-22 financial year, it will take around 5-7 years of developement and testing.
 

Lonewolf

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HAL has just proposed the idea of adding an afterburner to HTFE -25 engine. This will generate 40 kN of thrust and can be used in Jaguar engine alternative. Also, it can power UAVs (which is an attractive option).

The IAF has not yet responded to the propsal.Even if the IAF agrees now,and funds are relased in 2021-22 financial year, it will take around 5-7 years of developement and testing.
Can't it be used for something like american avenger drone , will easily exceed performance figure of US counterpart
 

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Can't it be used for something like american avenger drone , will easily exceed performance figure of US counterpart
It can be used for powering drones, smaller aircrafts, and also old aircrafts like Jaguars can also be converted into drones.

More importantly, we will have 3 different class of engines:

1. HTFE: 25 kN (dry thrust) , 40 kN (A/B thrust)
2. Kaveri/ghatak : 46-52 kN (dry thrust) , 81 kN (A/B thrust)
3. AMCA engine : 70 kN (dry thrust) , 110 kN (A/B thrust) (tentatively).

Thereafter, we can move to bigger engines for transport planes and bombers.
I also wish we could do some derivative with the Al-31 engine on our own (like the Chinese are doing), with the experience gained from 110 KN AMCA engine (with help from R&R).
This can be a HAL project, since they are claiming for al long time that they are manufacturing Al-31 engine from raw material stage. I don't know how much of this is true, but based on SCB, recently developed fans for Kaveri and other building blocks all ready in place, it is worth a shot from HAL (with addition technical inputs from GTRE) after the Sukhoi orders are completed. The design goal should be to reach at least AL-31F level of 145 KN of thrust.
 

Flying Dagger

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Certificate isn't for engine but display unit .

Jags can be used till 2040 for maritime petrol role and conversion training if their is an engine meeting the criteria. We can cannibalise the retired one for parts.

It can be used for powering drones, smaller aircrafts, and also old aircrafts like Jaguars can also be converted into drones.

More importantly, we will have 3 different class of engines:

1. HTFE: 25 kN (dry thrust) , 40 kN (A/B thrust)
2. Kaveri/ghatak : 46-52 kN (dry thrust) , 81 kN (A/B thrust)
3. AMCA engine : 70 kN (dry thrust) , 110 kN (A/B thrust) (tentatively).

Thereafter, we can move to bigger engines for transport planes and bombers.
I also wish we could do some derivative with the Al-31 engine on our own (like the Chinese are doing), with the experience gained from 110 KN AMCA engine (with help from R&R).
This can be a HAL project, since they are claiming for al long time that they are manufacturing Al-31 engine from raw material stage. I don't know how much of this is true, but based on SCB, recently developed fans for Kaveri and other building blocks all ready in place, it is worth a shot from HAL (with addition technical inputs from GTRE) after the Sukhoi orders are completed. The design goal should be to reach at least AL-31F level of 145 KN of thrust.
When we are already developing an advanced 110 -120 kn class engine why do we need to look back at AL 31 engine?

Instead we should build a bigger variant with similar size to al31 to replace them in Sukhoi in later decade of 30s
 

WolfPack86

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The HAL has officially proposed to develop a reheated derivative of HTFE-25(it's for IJT) after certification of HTFE-25, called “HTFE-40” to be used as a new powerplant for the ageing Jaguar Strike aircraft. HAL has already taken up the design and dvlpment of ‘Afterburner Tech’
 

FalconSlayers

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272 Su-30MKI
150 Rafale
126 AMCA
170 Tejas MK2
40 Tejas MK1
83 Tejas MK1A
100 LCA LIFT
ORCA
76 MiG-29 UPG
57 Mirage-2000
56 Jaguar DARIN-III
13 AEW&CS
5 ISTAR
5 Reconnaissance
5 Electronic Warfare
12 Aerial Refuelers
17 IL-76 Strategic Airlifter
11 C-17 Globemaster
12 C-130 Super Hercules
104 An-32
56 C-295
54 Do-228
9 VIP Transporter
65 Light Combat Helicopter
22 AH-64E Apache
15 Mi-35 Hind
16 HAL Rudra
15 CH-47F Chinook
3 Mi-26
223 Mi-17V5
135 HAL Dhruv
200 Ka-228
61 LUH
75 Pilatus PC-7 Trainers
104 BAE Hawk
106 HAL HTT-40
78 HAL Kiran
10 IAI Eitan
108 IAI Searcher
100+ IAI Heron
100+ IAI Harop and Harpy

Hundreds of CATS Warrior and Rustom-II and Ghatak UCAV will also be ordered...

So Indian Airforce’s Orderbook as well as existing Aircrafts will cross 3000 Mark by 2030...
 
Last edited:

Automatic Kalashnikov

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272 Su-30MKI
150 Rafale
126 AMCA
170 Tejas MK2
40 Tejas MK1
83 Tejas MK1A
100 LCA LIFT
ORCA
76 MiG-29 UPG
57 Mirage-2000
56 Jaguar DARIN-III
13 AEW&CS
5 ISTAR
5 Reconnaissance
5 Electronic Warfare
12 Aerial Refuelers
17 IL-76 Strategic Airlifter
11 C-17 Globemaster
12 C-130 Super Hercules
104 An-32
56 C-295
54 Do-228
9 VIP Transporter
65 Light Combat Helicopter
22 AH-64E Apache
15 Mi-35 Hind
16 HAL Rudra
15 CH-47F Chinook
3 Mi-26
223 Mi-17V5
135 HAL Dhruv
200 Ka-228
61 LUH
75 Pilatus PC-7 Trainers
104 BAE Hawk
106 HAL HTT-40
78 HAL Kiran
10 IAI Eitan
108 IAI Searcher
100+ IAI Heron
100+ IAI Harop and Harpy

Hundreds of CATS Warrior and Rustom-II and Ghatak UCAV will also be ordered...

So Indian Airforce’s Orderbook as well as existing Aircrafts will cross 3000 Mark by 2030...
AMCA's MK2 production will be beginning after 2030
 

ezsasa

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272 Su-30MKI
150 Rafale
126 AMCA
170 Tejas MK2
40 Tejas MK1
83 Tejas MK1A
100 LCA LIFT
ORCA
76 MiG-29 UPG
57 Mirage-2000
56 Jaguar DARIN-III
13 AEW&CS
5 ISTAR
5 Reconnaissance
5 Electronic Warfare
12 Aerial Refuelers
17 IL-76 Strategic Airlifter
11 C-17 Globemaster
12 C-130 Super Hercules
104 An-32
56 C-295
54 Do-228
9 VIP Transporter
65 Light Combat Helicopter
22 AH-64E Apache
15 Mi-35 Hind
16 HAL Rudra
15 CH-47F Chinook
3 Mi-26
223 Mi-17V5
135 HAL Dhruv
200 Ka-228
61 LUH
75 Pilatus PC-7 Trainers
104 BAE Hawk
106 HAL HTT-40
78 HAL Kiran
10 IAI Eitan
108 IAI Searcher
100+ IAI Heron
100+ IAI Harop and Harpy

Hundreds of CATS Warrior and Rustom-II and Ghatak UCAV will also be ordered...

So Indian Airforce’s Orderbook as well as existing Aircrafts will cross 3000 Mark by 2030...
40 LCA mk1 won't be there by then, they will upgraded into Mk1a by IAF inhouse team (without refuelling probe).

there was a statement issued recently by CAS, unable to find it for now.
 

Flying Dagger

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40 LCA mk1 won't be there by then, they will upgraded into Mk1a by IAF inhouse team (without refuelling probe).

there was a statement issued recently by CAS, unable to find it for now.
How they are going to change radar and related avionics ?

I think by 2030 they'll come for extensive overhaul and that's when they'll be upgraded by Uttam AESA and avionics.
 

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