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  • Acquisition of single-engine fighter aircraft – A few suggestions to expedite the procurement process

    MoD can leapfrog many of the 11 stages in the procurement programme by taking the measures outlined to fulfil the urgent requirements of the Air Force.

    September 26, 2017

    Air Support for Internal Security Operations: What India can Learn from Trinidad and Tobago

    Air power has long been recognised as a useful asset in internal security operations, running the full gamut from militarised counter-insurgency (CI) and counter-terrorist (CT) operations to the mundane task of crowd control. In the last 15 years, the archipelagic state of Trinidad and Tobago has made extensive use of air assets for internal security operations, with mixed results. In the process, some lessons have been learnt and some serious mistakes made that can be instructive for even large countries such as India.

    July 2017

    Whither the Mexican Air Force Combat Fleet?

    The main threat to Mexico comes from illegal privately-operated aircraft which are heavily involved in smuggling. The inability of the Mexican Air Force to guarantee the integrity of its own airspace is therefore a matter of concern.

    February 28, 2017

    HAL’s Gamble – Will the “Advanced Hawk” break into the Export market?

    On 5 February 2017, a version of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) was unveiled. The aptly-named “Advanced Hawk” is a joint-venture between BAE Systems and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It has been developed using internal funds on an equal risk basis and offers significant enhancement of the capabilities of the basic Hawk AJT.

    February 13, 2017

    The State of the Smaller Latin American Air Forces

    While the larger air forces are capable of sustaining their existing and future inventories for some time to come, the combat assets available to the region’s smaller air forces are facing a problem of pending obsolescence.

    December 22, 2016

    Caribbean Air Arms Requirements Offer an Opportunity for India

    India can become a player of significance as its current MR/ LTA – the Dornier Do-228 – is admirably suited to meet the requirements of Caribbean Air Arms.

    November 07, 2016

    Trinidad and Tobago’s Air Arms: Inefficient Duplication of Effort

    Trinidad and Tobago’s Air Arms: Inefficient Duplication of Effort

    For Trinidad and Tobago, having two Air Arms has led to duplication of effort that has rendered existing assets less effective than they otherwise might have been. A faulty procurement process has also led to an incompatibility of both aircraft and avionics.

    September 21, 2016

    RFI for the Basic Trainer Aircraft: New Ray of Hope for the Indian industry

    It is difficult to understand why the MoD should bind itself by asking for request for information (RFI) that cannot be compared across all the proposals. What would constitute ‘capability’ and ‘requisite infrastructure’ to license produce the aircraft is a matter of subjective interpretation and therefore, it would become difficult for MoD to assess whether the information provided by a bidder establishes that he/she has the requisite capability/infrastructure.

    March 19, 2014

    Parth Sharma asked: Is China's aircraft carrier, Liaoning, fully operational? What is the current status of India's aircraft carrier?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: The Chinese aircraft carrier, Liaoning, recently completed sea trials after a 37 day sea sortie from November 26, 2013 to January 01, 2014 in the South China Sea. Sea trials are a major part of sequential events that make a ship fully operational. Other facets, to name a few include:

    • Construction or acquisition or earmarking of escort assets.
    • Continuous training and exercises to validate doctrines by
      • Day and night and adverse weather flight operations
      • Surface operations with escort ships/assets (again day and night and in adverse weather conditions)
    • Establishment of a fully capable shore support for repair, maintenance and logistics.

    All these issues require time for fusion so that the standard operating procedures are streamlined and the viability of meeting strategic and operational targets is achieved. This could take time as China is operating an aircraft carrier for the first time and, therefore, could make mistakes that would stretch the time period. Although the carrier could be termed as operational when the flight operating standards are met, a fully operational status could be termed as reached when operations with escort assets and adequate shore support targets are also achieved.

    In contrast, INS Vikramaditya would achieve fully operational status in a shorter time frame. This is due to the fact that escort assets and shore support facilities exist and India has the experience of operating aircraft carriers since 1961. The first indigenous aircraft carrier is likely to be commissioned in 2018 after which it would also follow the path of trials before becoming fully operational. The second indigenous carrier is, as per reports, in the design phase with a planned commissioning date of 2025.

    Posted on January 28, 2014

    Indian Airpower Afloat

    The Indian navy has long aspired for a true blue water capability and the aircraft carrier project is a critical part of safeguarding India’s maritime interest that includes providing security along the sea lanes of communication.

    September 02, 2013