2017 Year end review of the Indian Air Force acquisitions

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Delhi: 2017 Year end review of various Acquisitions and Upgrades of the Indian Air Force is given below.

Acquisitions

1.Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas).In consonance with the 'Make in India' campaignlaunched by the Prime Minister, the first Squadron of Tejas, an advanced multirole aircraft with state-of-art avionics was formed on 01 Jul 16. This year the aircraft participated in the Republic Day Flypast, Aero India and in the AF Day flypast.

2.Su-30 MKI.Induction of Su-30 MKI aircraft in the IAF is under progress. The current lot of Su-30 MKI aircraft are being manufactured in HAL through Transfer of Technology. Advanced indigenous weapons like 'BrahMos' supersonic cruise missile and ‘Astra’ Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile has been indigenously integrated and fired from aircraft.

3.Rafale.Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed with the Govt. of France for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft on 23 Sep 16. The squadrons are expected to form by 2022.

4.Hercules C-130J-30.IAF has inducted additional six C-130J all-weather transport aircraft which is designed for Special Operations. The aircraft has proven its worth in a number of HADR operations in Nepal, Bihar and J&K. The aircraft was instrumental in the operations against ANEs at AF Station Pathankot and deployment of para military troops in Srinagar. IAF is enhancing the operational capability of the ac by procuring Night Vision Goggles.

5.Mi-17 V5 Helicopters.IAF has been operating Mi-17 V5 and case for procurement of additional helicopters is in progress. Mi-17 V5 helicopter is specially designed with full glass cockpit, advanced avionics, weather radar and powerful aero engines for high altitude operations. The helicopter is being exploited for various civil and military operations such as transportation, paratrooper induction, search & rescue, medical evacuation and fire fighting in all weather conditions. The Night Vision Goggles compatibility enables its unhindered operations even during low visibility and dark night conditions.

6.Sensor Fuzed Weapon. IAF has procured Sensor Fuzed Weapons and associated equipment which can be utilised against concentration of tanks and other mechanized vehicles. Weapon integration has been completed in Sep 2017.

Upgrades

7.MiG-29 Upgrade. The MiG-29 aircraft are being upgraded with state of theart avionics, an array of smart air to air and air to ground weapons. The addition of in-flight refuelling capability on MiG-29 upgrade has significantly increased its combat potential. The first phase of the project was Design & Development (D&D) in Russia. The Series Upgrade in second phase of the remaining aircraft is being undertaken in India, at the Base Repair Depot, Nasik.

8.Advanced Light Helicopter Mk-IV.Advance Light Helicopter has been further developed into ALH Mk-IV version. It has been transformed into armed platform by integration of various modern weapons. ALH Mk-IV is armed with rockets, guns and air to air missiles for carrying out the armed role.

9.MLH Upgrade.Contract for upgrade of Medium Lift Helicopters was signed with M/s Elbit Systems Ltd on 30 Jan 17. The upgrade will improve the Electronic Warfare (EW) and night operations capability of thefleet.

10.Restoration of Vintage Flight.Vintage aircraft of World War-II era form an important part of Indian aviation and heritage of the IAF. One Tiger Moth and one Harvard aircraft, after restoration, are operating in IAF colours. Being an integral part of most air displays, both aircraft have enthralled audiences all over the country. They remind us of our rich aviation heritage besides motivating the young generation.

11.Procurement and Upgradation of Aeromedical Simulators. IAF is in the process of upgrading the existing aeromedical simulators and procuring new ones to enhance the operational training of aircrew using these simulators with the ultimate aim of achieving aerospace safety. Two Ejection Procedure Simulators have been installed at 1 and 2 Aero Medical Training Centres (AMTC) and are used for training aircrew in the correct procedure and posture to be adopted before ejection from a fighter aircraft. The Software and Hardware of the Spatial Disorientation (SD) Simulators installed at IAM and 1 & 2 AMTC have been upgraded in the month of Aug 2017. The state-of-the-art simulators are being operated by qualified aeromedicalinstructors of Indian Air Force who helps in enhancing aerospace safety and optimizing human performance.

12. Software Defined Radio. The contract for Software Defined Radio (SDR) was signed in Jul 2017. The SDR will be integrated on various IAF Airborne and Ground platforms, and will enhance Network Centric Warfare capability of the IAF.

13. AEW&C (Indigenous) System. The first DRDO designed and developed Airborne Early Warning &Control (AEW&C) system, aboard Embraer-145 aircraft, was inducted in the IAF in Feb 2017. The state of the art Active Electronically Scanned Array based Radar system can detect airborne objects from far off distances and provides early warning to the Air Defence Command and Control Centres. AEW&C is a huge leap by India towards achieving self-reliance in development of military capabilities.

14.Pechora & OSA-AK.Pechora missiles are being refurbished with a fresh lease of life for 10 years. The process involves extensive technical examinations of missiles frames/components, testing, repairs and replacement of propellants, indigenised by Ordnance factories. The equipment is planned to be digitised from the existing valve-based technology. The missiles of OSA-AK have been refurbished with the help of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Hyderabad.

15.SPYDER LLQRM System. The SPYDER Low Level Quick Reaction Missile system, equipped with Python 5 and Derby missiles, has been inducted into the IAF. This system provides a comprehensive response to the saturation attacks with multiple target engagement, thus boosting the short range AD capability.

16.MRSAM.On completion of successful Verification Firing Tests of MRSAM system by DRDO, IAF is in the process of inducting these systems. MRSAM is capable of engaging targets from extreme low altitude to high altitude and very close range to medium ranges. This extremely capable Area Air Defence weapon networked in the modern IACCS system of IAF would defeat all types of hostile targets, including those with extremely low RCS, even in a dense jamming environment.