Indian Air Force

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  • Vineet R. asked: How can the academia work with the industry in private defence R&D? What niche role do each of them play?

    Amit Cowshish replies: The initiative to engage with the academia in the field of defence R&D must come from the private and public sector defence industry, acting in tandem with the armed forces and the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). This also requires an overarching organisation to coordinate the efforts. On the face of it, there are three specific areas for potential collaboration.

    Arun Chavan asked: What is Air Defence Zone? Does India have such a zone?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: Air Defence Zone, more commonly known as Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), is a segment of air space in which entry and subsequent air operations are permitted only after specific authorisation by the controlling Air Defence Authority. Air space over territory, including territorial waters, of a state, is the ADIZ controlled by its armed forces.

    Vineet R. asked: What are the characteristics of a 6th Generation fighter aircraft?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: Military aviation, like any other technology-intensive field, continuously evolves. Although a classic definition of various generations of combat aircraft does not exist but based on the core capabilities, it is broadly classified.

    Eagle Unleashed IAF Strategy and Operations

    The only unfettered use of air power in India’s wars was in 1971, and it produced disproportionate and decisive outcomes. IAF’s air strategy, the extent of its role in contributing to the failure of Pakistan’s strategy in the west, and the vast range of operations carried out towards the surface war on both fronts simultaneously, are relatively unknown.

    October–December 2021

    Who is Responsible for Defence of India?

    Defence of India is a multi-dimensional responsibility involving coordination with not only organisations within MoD, but also several external departments and agencies. Irrespective of whether the subject of defence of India is assigned to DoD or DMA, it is the defence minister who is responsible for the subjects allocated to the ministry.

    July 22, 2021

    Time IAF Upgraded its Largest Combat Fleet

    While Rafale’s enhanced combat capabilities has added punch to India’s airpower, the developing threat scenario in India’s neighbourhood lends urgency to upgrading the IAF’s largest combat fleet, the Sukhoi fighters, to retain edge over the enemy.

    September 30, 2020

    Chinmay Khadke asked: Is there any ToT involved in C295 transport aircraft to be built by Tata-Airbus in India? What can be its implications for the aviation manufacturing ecosystem? Any potential civilian transport use of aircraft?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: A contract for procurement of 62 C295 aircraft is under consideration for replacement of 56 HS748 Avro for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the balance six aircraft for the Indian Coast Guard. Of these, 16 aircraft are to be built by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the balance aircraft will be manufactured in India. To facilitate aircraft manufacturing in India, certain Transfer of technology (ToT) is inevitable.

    Vineet Ravindran asked: Is there a scope of India developing a 6th generation fighter aircraft in the future, considering that the US and Europe have already started working on it?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: The rate at which the character of war is transforming and technology evolving, manned combat aircraft, as we know them, may lose their relevance. Much of the kinetic force application in future may be based on unmanned systems and high speed long range weapons launched from arsenal aircraft. The world combat aircraft inventory has already decreased by over 57 per cent in the last three decades and the same trend is expected to continue.

    Vineet Ravindran asked: Does India need a 5th generation stealth fighter besides AMCA, considering that Su-30 is the only heavy fighter IAF has in its inventory in numbers?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: The nature and type of combat force depends on the national security imperatives. In our context, Indian aerospace power needs to ensure the requisite capability to protect our national interests. As the operational environment in our region changes with the induction of new technology, Indian aerospace power needs to keep pace to retain relevance. Therefore, induction of the next generation combat capability is essential in the coming decade.

    Shyam Krishnan asked: Indian Navy wants 4.5th Gen TEDBF Aircraft to replace MIG 29K after 2030. India’s 5th Gen AMCA Mark 1 will be ready by 2030. Can a naval version of AMCA be developed for this requirement?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: Development of a complex system like a combat aircraft is a time and resource-intensive process. The first stage of the development process is defining the operational requirements that the combat aircraft must meet. These are formalised as Qualitative Requirements (QRs). The entire conceptualisation, design, development, testing and production of the aircraft is based on these qualitative requirements.

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