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Pentagon official favors high-tech aid to India

Pentagon official favors high-tech aid to India

A top Defense Department official says the U.S. is committed to providing India with top-of-the-line technology as India modernizes its armed forces and builds its own defense industry.

Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, described herself as a very strong advocate of "U.S. solutions for India's defense needs."

In a policy speech at an Asia Society event on Thursday, she said U.S. companies are eager to work with India.

The U.S. has sold C-130J-30 and the P-8I Posedion aircraft to India as part of the burgeoning defense trade between the two countries.

Two U.S. companies are among the leading competitors for a $10 billion sale of 126 advanced fighter aircraft to the Indian air force, which is currently the world's biggest defense tender.

Ms. Flournoy said the U.S. also is looking at future sales of the C-17 as another example of near-term defense cooperation with its Asian ally.

"We in the Department of Defense do not view defense sales as mere commercial transactions," Ms. Flournoy said.

"We understand that India is making a strategic as well as an economic choice when it makes defense acquisitions. Obviously the commercial benefits of defense sales to the U.S. economy cannot be denied," she said.

"But for a DoD perspective, these sales are even more important in building a strategic partnership that will allow both countries to cooperate more effectively to protect their mutual security interests in the future."

Ms. Flournoy said whether the scenarios involve humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism cooperation or maritime security activities, having common equipment will allow for a more seamless cooperation between the U.S. and India.

Source: Washington Times - 01 July 2010

Archive News: (Aero India 2009: Defence Industries News)

Boeing C 17 Globemaster

In response to the Request for Information (RFI) on strategic airlift aircraft from the Indian Ministry of Defence received in 2008, Boeing IDS responded with an offer of the C 17, Globemaster III. This most advanced military airlift aircraft in the world can undertake diverse mission demands around the globe.

bhavna-pandeyThe C 17 Globemaster III is the newest airlift aircraft to enter the Air Force’s inventory of the US Air Force. It is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear loading ramp. With its 160,000-pound payload, the C 17 can take off from a 7,600-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles and land on a small, austere airfield in 3,000 feet or less. The C 17 can be refueled in-flight. On the ground, a fully loaded aircraft, using engine reversers, can back up a two percent slope.

The first C 17 Squadron was operational in January 1995. Since then the fleet has amassed more than 75,000 flying hours and has been involved in numerous contingency operations, including flying troops and equipment to Operation Joint Endeavor to support peacekeeping in Bosnia and the Allied Operation in Kosovo. Eight C 17s, in 1998, completed the longest airdrop mission in history, flying more than 8,000 nautical miles from the United States to Central Asia, dropping troops and equipment after more than 19 hours in the air. The C 17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft is also able to perform theater airlift missions when required.

boeing-c-17-globemasterThe C 17’s system specifications impose a demanding set of reliability and maintainability requirements. These include an aircraft mission completion success probability of 93 percent, only 18.6 aircraft maintenance man-hours per flying hour and full/partial mission capable rates of 74.7/82.5 percent respectively for a mature fleet with 100,000 flying hours.

The C 17 is approximately 174-feet long with a 170-foot wingspan and is powered by four fully reversible Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines. Each engine is rated at 40,900 pounds of thrust. The thrust reversers direct the flow of air upward and forward to avoid ingestion of dust and debris.

With more than 170 C 17s now in service with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the C 17 has become a defining force in the global war against terrorism, performing strategic and tactical missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq. A number of C 17s with upgraded capabilities are performing Special Operations missions. The aircraft has also been ordered by Qatar and a consortium of NATO members.

The C-17, which was on flying and static display at the Aero India air show in Bangalore, participated in aerial demonstrations on a daily basis impressing one and all with its size and maneuverability. Members of the international media and defence experts were taken aboard during demonstration flights to witness some of its capabilities first hand. The aircraft has been on India’s radar for some time. Boeing expects to engage in further discussions with India and believes that a Request for Proposal (RFP) would come soon.

India’s rapidly growing aerospace and defense industry offers significant opportunities for growth and productivity and participation at Aero India underscores Boeing’s enduring commitment to India and its efforts at fostering stronger ties with Indian customers and partners.

Boeing P-8 I Poseidon for India

Just a month ahead of Aero India 2009, competing against a number of others in the field, Boeing bagged a $2.1 billion order from India for eight of its P-8 I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Derived from Boeing’s commercial 737 airframe, it is similar to the P-8 A Poseidon that Boeing is developing for the US Navy. This fleet is intended to replace Russian-built TU-142 fleet as the Indian Navy’s long-range patrol aircraft and will be capable of anti-submarine warfare apart from a number of other capabilities.

boeing-p-81The Boeing P-8 I Poseidon will provide the Indian Navy the capability to fulfill its enhanced responsibility in the Indian Ocean as a consequence of India’s rise to the status of a regional power. The aircraft is capable of operating effectively over land or water while performing search and rescue, maritime interdiction and long-range intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance. It is estimated that India may need as many as 30 such aircraft by the year 2020. The decision in favour of the Boeing P-8 I still under development was made when negotiations for the two retrofitted P-3C Orion maritime-optimized patrol and surveillance aircraft of the US Navy did not succeed for a variety of reasons.

Boeing’s P-8 I Maritime Patrol Aircraft contract is with the Indian Ministry of Defence. The sale includes associated support equipment, spares, training and logistical support through June 2019. Direct arms-trade “offsets” were expected to include engineering services, manufacturing and integrated logistics-support projects to the tune of $641.3 million. The first P-8 I would be delivered within four years of the date of the contract. The remaining seven would be delivered by 2015.

The aircraft are built in a secure assembly building in Renton, USA, separate from the commercial 737s. In December 2008, Boeing completed assembly of the second P-8 test aircraft, which will be prepared for extensive ground tests in a fixture inside the assembly building. Loads calibration testing of the first P-8 A Poseidon test aircraft was completed two weeks ahead of schedule. This is one of the pre-requisites for the U.S. Navy flight clearance process. First flight of the P-8 is expected later this year. In 2004, the U.S. Navy chose Boeing to build 108 of the P-8s, with initial operational capability slated for 2013.

It is understood that the $2.1 billion sale to India of eight Boeing Co P-8 I maritime patrol aircraft has been cleared by the US government. This is regarded as the largest US arms transfer to India to date. The Indian Navy is the first international customer for this aircraft.

EADS Defense & Security: Eurofighter

Germany’s EADS has proposed a long-term strategic partnership with Indian aerospace and defence companies. Speaking to the media during Aero India 2009 Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Military Air systems – an integrated business unit of EADS Defence & Security – said, “We have a strong interest to create a long-lasting strategic partnership with the Indian aerospace industry. India is our partner of choice and therefore we invite India to join the Eurofighter Typhoon programme.”

Gerwert went on to say “We are ready to provide our operational, support, engineering and development capabilities to the Indian aerospace and defence sector, which is growing fast, and we want to grow together.” The CEO of Eurofighter GmbH, Aloysius Rauen, said the Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the most modern combat aircraft in the world. The company has orders of more than 700 aircraft for six nations.”

The Eurofighter Typhoon which made its debut appearance in the Indian sub-continent at Aero India 2009 at Bangalore ahead of a projected deployment in Afghanistan, is a highly agile, multi-role/swing-role air superiority fighter. This fourth generation fighter fielded by EADS is one among the six contenders in the running for the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract for the Indian Air Force. Both single and two-seat variants took part in the flight displays conducted daily at the air show.

A Eurofighter Typhoon bid proposal and a comprehensive offset offer were submitted to the Indian authorities in 2008. Since then, 25 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) have been signed to enhance the cooperation with India’s aerospace and defence industry. The Eurofighter Typhoon partner companies are confident of fulfilling the 50 per cent offset obligation of the request for proposal (RFP), and will offer India access to an international sourcing network of “unparalleled” scope.

The production of the Eurofighter Typhoon will create thousands of new jobs in India according to EADS. The leading-edge combat aircraft has a tremendous built-in growth potential and therefore the Eurofighter partner companies can offer India new opportunities for cooperation in design, development and manufacturing.

The ongoing campaign is fully supported by the four European nations involved in the Eurofighter programme – Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy; their air forces and Europe’s leading aerospace companies Alenia/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and EADS.

EADS which has the lead of the Eurofighter Typhoon campaign in India, is currently preparing its participation in the flight trials of the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. The flight trials are expected in 2009 after a short listing of the bidders and intensive preparations have been launched to meet this important milestone.

EADS will help India’s Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which manufactures the country’s indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft to expand the flight envelope of the fighter and help speed up the test flights leading up to the initial and final operational clearances. EADS will also help India to refine some of the existing simulation models.

EADS is already in a strong position to exploit advantages in India. The company’s strategy of setting partnerships in India will likely win it a lot of subcontracting and prime contracts.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics had a large presence at the Aero India 2009 where it showcased the F-16 IN Super Viper and the C-130J Super Hercules. The F-16 IN Super Viper is one of the six contenders for the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract for the Indian Air Force. The aircraft is tailored exclusively to meet all of India’s MMRCA requirements and it is ready for integration into India’s infrastructure and operations. Evolutionary integration of technologies makes the F-16 IN the most advanced Fourth Generation fighter in the world today. It is a unique new fighter sharing a heritage with the world’s only fifth generation fighters – the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor.

The ability of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to incorporate the latest technologies into the F-16 IN is the key to expanding mission roles and improving combat capability, thereby creating the most effective multi-role fighter today. The F-16 IN can be readily equipped with emerging capabilities throughout its life cycle.

India’s partnership with Lockheed Martin can provide access to the highest technology, opportunities for technology co-development, low-risk licensed production, transfer of technology, and opportunities for extensive long-term business. The Super Viper will facilitate a key strategic partnership with the US and the USAF including joint training, logistical and operational concepts. The company has a proven history of successful partnerships. The F-16 is the fighter of choice for 24 nations with 52 follow-on buys, including successful international licenced production of 928 aircraft. Lockheed Martin’s worldwide industrial partnership success is unsurpassed.

Deliveries of the C-130J Super Hercules to India will begin in 2011. This will be the “stretched” variant of the C-130J, similar to those being delivered to the USAF. This is the most advanced air lifter ever built. It combines the latest in aerospace technology with a proven, rugged airframe design, resulting in an aircraft that gives an operator more capability with greater operational efficiency. Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft will be able to perform precision low-level flying, airdrops, and landing in blackout conditions. Self protection systems and other features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defence environments. In addition the aircraft is equipped with in-flight refuelling capability for extended range operations. Lockheed Martin will integrate this equipment and other capabilities into the Indian configuration as agreed between the two governments. With the acquisition of this aircraft, India joins the growing number of nations with C-130J fleets including the US, Australia, Canada, Demark, Italy, Norway and the UK.

The C-130J carries eight 463L pallets, 97 medical litters, 24 CDS bundles, 128 combat troops and 92 paratroops. While the exterior looks very much like previous versions, the C-130J mission and propulsion systems have been completely redesigned. Primary features of the C-130J include a new digital avionics architecture and propulsion system, twin head-up pilot displays that are certified as primary flight instruments and dual mission computers that automate many functions allowing the aircraft to be operated by only two pilots and a loadmaster. The net effect of these improvements is enhanced performance of the aircraft, and greater reliability of the systems.

Northrop Grumman

“India represents an important market in Asia for Northrop Grumman’s industry-leading technologies and capabilities and we recognize India’s changing needs particularly in homeland defence,” said John Brooks, president Northrop Grumman International Inc and Vice-President Business Development for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector. At the Aero India 2009, Northrop Grumman showcased the E-2 Hawkeye, 737 AEW&C and a model of the AN/APG-80 (AESA) radar for the F-16 IN Super Viper. Other exhibits included its multi-role electronically scanned array (MESA) radar, an E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management system crew workstation and flyable cockpit simulator aimed at demonstrating maritime reconnaissance. The Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle was also featured.

Other programs available for viewing were models of Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM), the LITENING advanced airborne targeting and navigation pod and the Longbow Apache radar and Longbow Hellfire missile system. The company also promoted its LPD San Antonio-class Amphibious Warfare and Transport ship and the International Patrol Frigate, a versatile warship based on the multi-mission National Security Cutter currently operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Northrop Grumman’s German subsidiary, Northrop Grumman LITEF, was also present displaying its navigation systems for land vehicles, sensors for weapon stabilization, inertial guidance systems for missiles and AHRS/navigation systems for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Dynamatic Technologies Limited were selected by Northrop Grumman to manufacture components of the F-16 APG-68(V)9 fire control radar, used on recent advanced versions the F-16. Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are offering a more advanced radar system, the AN/APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA), for the F-16 IN Super Viper multi-role fighter aircraft proposed for the MMRCA program. The agreement is part of a broader initiative to engage Indian industry as strategic business partners. The engineering teams will collaborate on all aspects of the manufacturing process, beginning with a formal Production Readiness Review (PRR), and concluding with First Article Inspection (FAI) and First Article Test (FAT) milestones. Initial radar component deliveries are expected in the second quarter of 2009.

Lockheed Martin had a choice of three radars. Raytheon’s Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) and Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Active Beam Radar (SABR) fit in an F-16, but Lockheed ultimately chose Northrop Grumman’s APG-80, in service in the United Arab Emirates’ F-16E/F. Two reasons are behind this, says Northrop Grumman: the proposed F-16 IN for India is similar to the E/F and can accept the APG-80, which needs more power and cooling than RACR or SABR, and is lower risk. Northrop Grumman says no APG-80 antennas have had to be repaired, in normal use, since tests started over four years ago. “The antenna will outlast the airframe,” the company says. A few modules might fail over its lifetime, but they won’t affect performance enough to make it worth unsealing the radars and replacing them.

Northrop Grumman strives to be a trusted partner with India to provide advanced defence capabilities enabling India to meet whatever challenges arise. The 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system is the right choice for airborne surveillance and control autonomous 24-hour, all-weather precision strike capability for the F-16, including synthetic aperture radar. Other systems include the AN/APN-241 radar which was developed specifically for the C-130 mission and operational requirements.


MBDA is a subsidiary of BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica. In response to a global Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by DRDO in 2008 for co-development of a Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SRSAM) with range of over 15 kilometres, the European company is holding talks with the Indian Ministry of Defence, DRDO procurement office and MBDA’s local industrial partner, Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL). MBDA is hopeful that talks with the Indian authorities will yield a contract for the development of the new Surface-to-Air Missile with the DRDO, CEO Antoine Bouvier said on February12 at the Aero India air show. “We are discussing the development of missiles with Indian agencies in this regard and are hoping for a positive outcome,” MBDA spokesperson Mati Hindrekus told the media at Aero India 2009. At the government-level transfer of technology to India will be the prime focus and is likely to sail through without difficulty.

MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three wings of the armed forces. In all, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasure products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently under development.

If the deal goes ahead, MBDA would co-develop the new missile and launcher, using technology and capabilities of the European company and DRDO. BDL would be the prime contractor to produce and integrate the weapon system. The choice of radar would be an Indian one. The missile would have a range of beyond 15 kilometers. The SRSAM will be developed as part of a strategic agreement between the two countries to meet an Indian armed forces requirement.

With development funds for new arms programs virtually non-existent in Europe, an Indian contract would mark an important source of fresh financing for MBDA and a step toward an internationalization, which reduces dependence on cash-strapped home markets. Some of the development on the Indian missile could help feed MBDA’s technology base in Europe.

MBDA is also involved in the modernization of the Indian Mirage 2000 fleet. The project involves upgrade of the fighter’s capabilities to fire the infrared and electromagnetic versions of the Mica air-to-air missile. There were no plans for a ground strike capability, he said. As part of the upgrade of the Jaguar, the deep strike aircraft would be capable of firing the ASRAAM short range air-to-air missile.

In December 2008 MBDA signed an agreement with the Indian Ministry of Defence and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) which transfers the licenced production rights of the Milan anti-tank missile to India for a period of at least four years. The deal allows BDL to meet Indian demand, but there are discussions in progress on exports of the Indian produced Milan, Bouvier said. MBDA has worked with BDL for 30 years. After the 26/11 terror strike at Mumbai, the Indian Army placed an order for 4,100 Milan-2T Anti-Tank Missiles from MBDA.

MBDA is also supporting the three European fighters – Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB Gripen and Dassault Rafale, all three in the race for India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft contract.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

HAL was present at Aero India 2009 in a big way showcasing a number of indigenous products completed, under development or in the pipeline. One product that has been eminently successful is the Advanced Light Helicopter, Dhruv, a twin-engine machine in the 5.5-tonne class. The Dhruv can carry 13 passengers and has a price tag of $7 million (Rs 35 crore). Currently HAL has orders to deliver 270 Dhruvs worth Rs 16, 000 crore to the Indian armed forces. The overall order book position with HAL for the entire range of products is in excess of Rs 50,000 crore.

hawk-004During the air show, HAL executed its first export order for ALH Dhruvs valued at $51 million (Rs 250 crore) from Ecuador for five machines. Union Defence Minister A K Anthony handed over the keys of the helicopters on display at Aero India 2009 to the Ecuadorian Air Chief in an impressive ceremony marking an important milestone in the history of India’s aerospace major. HAL has orders for three helicopters, a deal worth $20 million (Rs 100 crore) from Turkey. This country has a potential market for 17 helicopters worth $ 150 million (Rs 7500 crore). HAL is in dialogue with Mauritius as well for securing similar orders.

Currently HAL’s most prestigious rotary wing project is India’s Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), the prototype of which is presently being built and is expected to fly by the end of the year. The LCH has been crafted on the basic design of the ALH and as such many of its components, including the engine, crucial moving parts like the rotor and the instrumentation of the LCH, have already been tested on the Dhruv. Cockpit and fuselage design for LCH was complete and the mock up trials were over last year. All dynamic systems of the LCH and weight class are identical to the Dhruv and only the fuselage and the landing gear have been designed afresh for the combat version of the helicopter. The LCH however is technologically far more complex than the Dhruv. On display at the air show was a black leopard-painted prototype of the armed Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter. Called the Weapons Systems Integrated Dhruv (WSI Dhruv), this is the machine on which the LCH’s armaments and sensors are being validated.

Dhruv the recent past, the Union Cabinet has approved HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) project, a helicopter in the three-tonne class.
The Indian Ministry of Defence has placed orders for 187 LUHs to be delivered by 2015-16. HAL and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) have agreed to jointly develop helicopter UAVs.

In the fixed wing regime, the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has overcome many of the impediments. HAL will soon deliver 40 LCA Mark I including eight limited series production, 20 fighters and 12 trainers. HAL would then take up development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark II which will be a new aircraft with a more powerful engine and redesigned fuselage and wings. IAF is expected to eventually order up to 220 LCAs and the Indian Navy another 20. The remaining aircraft will be in the Mark II configuration.

HAL is also negotiating with Russia for the manufacture of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft expected to enter service in 2015 and a tactical military transport aircraft to replace the fleet of AN32 aircraft of the IAF.

Source: By Bhavna Pandey
Issue: Vol 24.2 Apr-Jun 2009 Indian Defence Review

Photo: Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules


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