As the dust and din of last week's Indo-Pak crisis settle down, it is now time for India to reflect on the events of the last few weeks and review the state of its military power, the air force in particular. The horrendous suicide bomb attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama on February 14th breached the limits of India’s patience with Pakistan, expecting it put an end to cross-border terrorism.
The first flight of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MK1A will be in 2022 and commercial production would be in three to four years from then. The price bid for the 83 MK1A by the Indian Air Force has not yet been opened and the Defence PSU is looking forward to that contract. HAL is also looking at the export market, primarily to South Asia and African countries. “We have been participating in airshows and some of the countries expressed interest,” the Chairman of HAL, R.Madhavan told a press conference at Aero India.
At a time when Indian Air Force (IAF) is facing a rapid decrease in its fighter strength, the trusted old friend of India, Russia has once again came up to its rescue with the offer of 21 MiG-29, enough to populate one fighter squadron. The offer was made when last month when an IAF delegation was on a visit to Russia.
India-Russia defence ties, a critical pillar of Indo-Russian strategic partnership, have come under scrutiny and some stress in recent times. Despite some irritants, the Indo-Russian partnership is time tested and rests on very strong strategic foundations. It is a relationship that is based on mutual trust, and a long history of strategic interdependency that has been strengthened by people to people interactions in social, cultural, scientific, economic, and technological domains.
Why not go for MiG-35?
By Rohit Srivastava
“Russian SU-30 and indigenously manufactured SU-30MKI are not the same. Hence, one to one comparison of cost may not be appropriate,” said Union Minister of State Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on January 2.
The recently concluded 2018 edition of the ‘Zhuhai Air Show’ in China proved to be an exemplary demonstration of China’s aerospace industry’s high-tech competence and maturity in design, development and manufacturing of aircraft, drones, weapons, and sensors. While the Indian media provided very scant or no coverage, China watchers across the world were deeply impressed with the airshow. The Zhuhai airshow is held every two years and is part air-show and part arms-expo for new weapon systems developed by defence contractors.