New Delhi, 26 January 2003
Vision 2025 is full of hope for the Indian Defence Establishment,
now that the purse strings are opened wide and the BJP Government
supports the defence programmes for more reasons than one. The Navy
has got its 15-year ship and 30-year submarine building programmes
accepted in principle. The Navy's importance is being recognised,
thanks to the importance that USA has evinced to build up the Indian
Navy. The naval programme will include its
Navy hopes to clinch the Gorshkov Project and four TU-22M3
aircraft and two Akula class submarines by March. The RM had
also indicated that the MiG 29K discussions had been opened.
IAF got its long term 140 SU-30 MKI project, IL-78 refullers and
Phalcon radar deals under control and all three services have
UAVs in their operational deployment profiles for the future. The
Army looks to more 155mm Guns and South Africa seems to be
favoured and the T90s locally made will roll out of Avadi in the
near future. The defence budget of India for imports in free
foreign exchange is plentiful for the first time in
India's history. It is a landmark happening and the Services
are in clover, as the Government wants to run down the reserves.
Aero India 2003, the Bangalore air show from 05 to 09
Feb may well turn out to be a Stealer –– the
French PM Jean Pierre Raffarin is himself leading businessmen
to the show. Many flying machines will be in full view and
to be hawked. Media recently announced that IAF Communication
Squadron will get the equivalent of ‘Air Force One’ by way of
three Boeing 737-700s. Top executives from the European civil and
defence aviation consortium EADS, SNECMA, Dassault, American defence
giant Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Airbus, Bell, Bombardier and Embraer
will be present. The Taiwanese will also be there. India’s ALH
Dhruv to be marketed by Israel and next generation Light Combat
Aircraft (LCA) will also enthrall the audience by making a brief
appearance in the skies. The Surya Kirans will perform daily .Press
is being wooed and flown down from Delhi by the IAF.
Aero India 2003 will allow the 157
exhibitors to display their products over an indoor area of 8500 sqm
in addition to the huge outside space meant for showcasing aircraft
and other aerospace products/equipment.
In conjunction with the air show,
an International Seminar is also being organized from February 06 to
08, on "Aerospace Technologies". The seminar focuses on
the current problems in all areas of military and civil aviation,
and future user requirements and technological prospects. Official
delegations from various countries such as France, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, UAE, UK, USA, Vietnam and many
others will participate in the event.
In addition to the exhibition there
will be a daily flying display twice, once in the morning from 1100
to 1230 hrs, and later in the afternoon from 1500 to 1630 hrs,
featuring some of the most advanced and sophisticated aircraft.
Along with Indian aircraft like
Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29, Mirage 2000, ALH and LCA, several aircraft
from other countries including ATR-412, Hawk, Bell 407, Learjet 60,
Falcon 900, Ecureuil helicopter, MiG AT, L159 etc., will also
be on display.
French are supplying 10 Mirage 2000H to the IAF and if the Hawk AJT
deal does not come through, the L159 Czech with the US Honeywell
engine and the MIG AT which will be at the show with the French
Snecma engine, will come into play. The French and the Russians
would like that and IDC had seen the MIG AT fly two years ago and it
is now marketable and saleable.
Captain Kumar of the IAF who flew the L 159 in trials has given
it good marks. The French already supply Ring Laser Gyro for the SU
30 MKI and are looking to sell the Scecma/Turbomecca Lazarc 04
Engine for the IJT HJT 36, since the Tubomecca TD 333 engine is well
up on the ALH Dhruv. The more powerful Shakti engine is being
jointly designed for the Naval ASW version and for high altitudes.
has asked USA for $4 billion extra US Military aid, for the
impending war with Iraq and some of the money goes to produce
equipment for India indirectly. Israel is now the second
largest Arms supplier to India after Russia with Baraks, ammunition,
avionics for the SU 30MKI, squadrons of Searcher UAVs, Opto
Electronics, Radars, Pods and upgrades for the MIG series. The
Phalcon system from Israel on the Indo–Russian AWACS is also
on the cards. HAL has just announced that Israel Aircraft Industries
will market the ALH, which is awaiting cerification. These are
interesting days for Indian arms imports just after spares were
imported in large quantities for ‘OP Parakarama’. The setting up
of a Nuclear Command has also been announced.
conventional and nuclear arms race is on in the sub continent and
Aero India 2003 is the build up to be watched.