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   ** CHANAKYA 52nd YEAR ** INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL ISSUE: 15 AUGUST 2021 ** MEDIA PARTNER IDEF 2021 TURKEY DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW         INDIA’s Leading & Oldest DEFENCE & Aerospace Magazine - 52nd Year in Defence Publishing: 47th Year of Monthly Publication       

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Navantia S-81 Submarine Launch Ceremony

On 22nd April 2021, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain, accompanied by Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias and Her Royal Highness Infanta Sofia presided over the Launching Ceremony of S-81, the first Submarine of S-80 Class, in Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena (Murcia, Spain).

His Majesty King Felipe VI Presided the Navantia Launching Ceremony of the first S-80 Submarine for the Spanish Navy - the S-81 'Isaac Peral'
The S-81, which will be named 'Isaac Peral', is the first Submarine designed and built in Spain by
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IAF's Dassault Rafale Fighters

A third batch of three Rafale Fighter Jets landed in India on 27th January 2021 evening after flying non-stop from France, in a further boost to the strike capability of the Indian Air Force when India and China are engaged in a bitter border stand-off in Eastern Ladakh. With the arrival of the new batch, the number of the Rafale Fighters with the IAF in India has increased to 11.

Three More Rafale Jets Arrive in India from France
With the arrival of the new batch of 3 Rafales, the number of the Rafale Fighters with the IAF in I
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INTERVIEW: William L. Blair, Vice President & Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India

At Aero India 2021, Lockheed Martin presents the C-130J Super Hercules, of which IAF operates a fleet, with one of them achieving the daunting feat of landing at the world’s highest landing strip. The Lockheed Martin F-21 Fighter Jet, an equally impressive Multi-Mission Platform, for which Lockheed Martin offers future potential production in India in Partnership with Tata; and its’ Sikorsky Helicopters the MH-60R, S-92, CH-53K & S-76; the Javelin - the world’s most versatile Precision Weapon System, and the INDAGO Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

“Committed to Strategic & Long-Term International Defence Partnerships”
The MH-60R Romeo SEAHAWK Helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced Maritime Helicopters for AS
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AIRBUS INDIA

Airbus with its long-standing relationship with the Indian Aerospace and Defence Sector, will have a significant presence at Aero India.

Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities
Transforming India’s Defence and Aerospace Capabilities: by Rémi Maillard, President & Manag
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DASSAULT SYSTEMES AT AERO INDIA 2021

Dassault Systemes stands committed to help the industry with advanced 3D design and engineering solutions powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

Digitalization to Realize a thriving Aerospace, Defence and Space Ecosystem
As the leader in the sector for over three decades, Dassault Systèmes works with companies of every
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Aero India 2021

A unique flying display of HAL’s indigenous platforms (both Fixed and Rotary-Wing) aptly titled ‘Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight’ is part of the Flying Display during the 13th Edition of Aero India 2021 from February 3rd, 2021 at Air Force Station, Yelahanka.

HAL's ‘Aatmanirbhar Formation Flight’ At Aero India 2021
HAL showcases its prowess in Defence and Aerospace centered on the theme ‘Conceive. Indigenise. Col
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IAF's Dassault Rafale Fighters

With the Indian Air Force (IAF) reportedly scheduled to have 21 of the 36 contracted Rafale Fighters by April 2021, and 11 going to be inducted into the IAF soon, while 7 are currently being used for training IAF Pilots & Crew in France, India’s Air Superiority gets a boost. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had formally inducted the first five Rafale Fighter Aircraft into the IAF’s 17 Squadron, the 'Golden Arrows' at the Ambala Air Force Station in September.

With 21 Rafale Fighters By April, IAF to have 11 Rafales Soon, Boosting India’s Air Superiority
The 1st Batch of Fighter Jets had arrived in India from France on July 29th, and a Second Batch of
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Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX)

Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an Aerospace and Defence Company that provides Advanced Systems and Services for Commercial, Military and Government customers worldwide. With four Industry-Leading Businesses - Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense - the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in Avionics, Cyber Security, Directed Energy, Electric Propulsion, Hypersonics, and Quantum Physics.

Raytheon Technologies Corporation: Creates Future of Aerospace & Defence
The merger of Raytheon and United Technologies combined two companies with distinctive legacies in
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INTERVIEW: BORIS SOLOMIAC, GENERAL DELEGATE, MBDA INDIA

Chanakya features this Interview with BORIS SOLOMIAC, General Delegate, MBDA India, who articulates on MBDA’s Range of Missiles for the IAF’s Rafale Fighter; Brimstone Dual-Seeker Missile; MICA IR & RF Missiles for the Upgraded Mirage 2000s of the IAF; MANPADS Missile System offered for VSHORAD & Mistral ATAM for the ALH Rudra WSI & LCHs; ASRAAM for the Jaguar Fighter Upgrade, Naval Missiles and on L&T MBDA Missile Systems Joint Venture established in India.

“Highly Potent Set of Weapons from MBDA that are Unrivalled”
With above 90 Armed Forces customers in the world, MBDA is a World Leader in Missiles and Missile S
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, CEO & MD, BRAHMOS AEROSPACE

In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW to Chanakya, DR. SUDHIR MISHRA, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace, said that they are developing "90-Degree Steep Dive & Surround Attack Capability," a "Carrier-Killer" Weapon. He articulated on the success achieved by various BRAHMOS Variants’ proven capabilities, including the Block-III LACM. On future plans, he elaborated on the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K) Weapon with speeds between Mach 5-7 and the BRAHMOS NG Variant, on the BRAHMOS-A tests of the Airborne Cruise Missile for the IAF’s Su-30MKI Fighter, and on the BrahMos ‘Make-in-India’ initiatives.

“We have been Actively Pursuing the Hypersonic BRAHMOS-II(K)”
BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is capable to fulfil any export requirements, if
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INTERVIEW: Emmanuel De Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India

Thales offices and sites are spread across several cities in India, having hundreds of employees working with Thales and its Joint Ventures in India. Thales has been playing an essential role in India’s growth story by sharing its technologies and expertise in Defence, Transport & Aerospace markets. Thales' strategy supports 'Make-in-India' Policy and aids the development of the Defence Industrial Base in the country, evident from it’s association with HAL, BEL, BDL, Samtel and L&T Technology Services.

“SPECTRA Electronic Warfare System Boosts Survivability”
EMMANUEL DE ROQUEFEUIL, VP & COUNTRY DIRECTOR, THALES in India, in this Interview to Chanakya, cove
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: R. MADHAVAN, CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAL

 In an Exclusive Interview to Chanakya, R. MADHAVAN, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Updates us on most projects that HAL is currently undertaking like LCA Tejas, Mirage 2000 Upgrade Project, Jaguar Darin-III Upgrade, HTT-40 BTA, IJT, LCH, LUH, Ka-226T, ALH Dhruv, etc.

“HAL is Geared Up to Take Production of 83 LCA Order”
One of the largest Aeronautics Companies in Asia, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is involved in m
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INTERVIEW: ANANDI RAMALINGAM, DIRECTOR MARKETING, BEL

Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) is the leading Defence Electronics Company in India with several Hi-Tech Capabilities including Missile Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Avionics Systems, Communication Systems, Electro-Optics Systems, Radars, C4I Systems/Solutions, Sonar, Gun Upgrades, Shelters, etc.

“Government Approved the Export of Indigenous Akash Missile System”
Chanakya Interviewed ANANDI RAMALINGAM, DIRECTOR MARKETING, BEL, on it’s Orders, New Products, Expo
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Safran Aircraft Engines

Safran Aircraft Engines is one of the world's leading Aircraft and Rocket Engine Manufacturers, Safran designs, develops, produces and sells, alone or in Partnership, Engines for Civil and Military Aircraft, Launch Vehicles and Satellites. Safran Aircraft Engines also power some 20 types of Military Aircraft in 30 countries.

Safran Military Engines M88
Safran Military Engines for Rafale & Mirage 2000 Fighters have become global benchmarks. Safran als
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THALES INDIA

Backed by its strong presence in diverse verticals like Defence, Aerospace, Transportation and Digital Identity and Security, Thales has been an unwavering partner to India's ambitious plans and growth storyby sharing its niche technologies and expertise.

Thales: A Steadfast Partner to India's Growth Story
As India marches towards its goal of 'Atmanirbharta' or Self-Reliance, it opens up immense opportun
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MBDA MISSILE SYSTEMS

MBDA is not new to Partnership with the Indian Armed Forces and Indian industry, indeed it has been delivering battle-winning capabilities to the Indian Air Force and collaborating with Indian industry for over 50 years.

MBDA Shows Make In India Commitments and Rafale Weaponry at Aero India 2021
MBDA, the maker of the Rafale's game-changing weaponry, is showcasing its Make in India commitments
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RAFAEL

Rafael is a world-leading Developer & Manufacturer of Advanced Weapon Systems, providing forefront Technological Solutions that address the Defensive and Offensive requirements of the Modern Battlefield. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been supporting the Indian Defence Forces with State-of-the-Art Systems, during which Rafael has stood by India to supply systems at short notice in operational contingencies, including Air-to-Air, Air Defence, ATGMs, Targeting & Reconnaissance Pods, SDR Communication, etc.

RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Designs, Develops, Manufactures and Supplies a wide range of H
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AERO INDIA 2021 AIR SHOW PREVIEW

Aero India 2021, the 13th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition & Air Show, is being organised by the Ministry of Defence from 3rd to 5th February 2021 at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru, with above 540 Aerospace, Aviation & Defence companies/organisations showcasing their products, including Platforms, Weapons, Equipment & Systems, Components, etc. A Special Preview:

AERO INDIA 2021 AIR SHOW PREVIEW
Aero India 2021, the 13th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition & Air Show, is being organ
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IDEX 2021 SHOW PREVIEW

Global Defence majors compete for deals worth Billions of Dollars at the Middle East’s largest Military Expo, the Tri-Services International Defence Exhibition and Conference - 15th IDEX 2021, which will be held from 21st to 25th February 2021 at Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event features above 1,300 companies including several world leaders.

IDEX 2021 TRI-SERVICES DEFENCE SHOW PREVIEW
Global Defence majors compete for deals worth Billions of Dollars at the Middle East’s largest Mili
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Indian Navy’s Vagir 5th Scorpene Submarine Launched at MDL

On November 12th 2020, INS Vagir was launched by Smt Vijaya Shripad Naik, wife of Shripad Naik, Raksha Rajya Mantri. INS Vagir is the fifth P-75 Scorpene Submarine entirely built by the Indian Shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL)

Launching of Vagir, the Fifth Indian Kalvari-Class Submarine with Scorpene Design, Entirely Made in India
Making its underwater defence stronger, Indian Navy launched the fifth Kalvari-Class Scorpene Subma
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NAVANTIA S-80 PLUS SUBMARINE

Spain’s Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena has successfully carried out the Power-Up activity tests on the S-81 "Isaac Peral" Submarine. The S-81 is the first of four S-80P Class Submarines under construction for the Spanish Navy by Navantia. This is a relevant safety-related commissioning milestone for Navantia prior to the Submarine’s delivery.

Navantia Passes the First Safety Milestone of the S-81 Submarine: The Power-Up
Spain’s Navantia Shipyard in Cartagena has successfully carried out the Power-Up activity tests on
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, CHIEF OF THE NAVAL STAFF

ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy says that the immediate focus would be to overcome critical deficient capabilities and concurrently adopt modern 'leap-frogging' technology to create capabilities for accomplishing a range of missions. For Navy Day 2020, Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, Chief of the Naval Staff, covering Indian Navy’s Modernisation & Expansion Plans, recent Inductions, Naval Acquisitions, including Aircraft Carriers, Surface Combatants, Gun Systems, Missiles, LPDs, FSS, Submarines, MRCBF Carrier-Borne Fighters, Naval Helicopters, RPAS, Aircraft, etc.

“Towards Force Level Augmentation, 43 Ships & Submarines are Under Construction”
For Navy Day 2020, Chanakya Interviewed ADMIRAL KARAMBIR SINGH, Chief of the Naval Staff, covering
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Five Rafale Fighters Induction in IAF

The first five Indian Air Force (IAF) 4.5-Generation Rafale Combat Aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station, Ambala. The aircraft got airborne from Dassault Aviation Facility, Mérignac, France on 27th July and reached India on 29th July afternoon with a planned stopover en-route at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.

Five Rafale Fighters in IAF
The Rafale Fleet comprises of three Single-Seater and Two Twin-Seater Rafales. The delivery of 10 a
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Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines Project

Amongst the five Global Defence Majors selected by the MoD Committee for the P-75(I) Submarines Project is Navantia of Spain. The two Indian Shipyards for the mega 'Make-in-India' Project are L&T Group and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd. (MDL). Navantia has recently organised more than 100 side meetings and submitted 380 RFIs specific to the P-75(I) Submarine cost items, and targets achieving 500 PTS and nearly 1,500 RFIs within the next 3-4 months.

Navantia S80 Plus Offered for Indian Navy’s P-75(I) Submarines
Navantia is participating in P-75(I) using the basis of the S80 Plus Submarine - the only 3,000 ton
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Indian Air Force Commanders’ Conference 2020: IAF in the Next Decade

The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was conducted from 22nd to 24th July 2020, at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhawan) New Delhi. The theme of the Conference was "IAF in the Next Decade". The AFCC was Chaired by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria.

IAF Commanders’ Conference 2020
The Air Force Commanders’ Conference (AFCC) was conducted from 22nd to 24th July 2020, at Air Headq
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Russia Visit

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed India-Russia Defence Cooperation with Yury Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation in Moscow on 27th June. Mr Borisov is the Co-Chair of the Inter-Governmental Commission with India on Trade & Economic & Scientific Cooperation. He also Co-Chairs with the Raksha Mantri the High Level Committee on Science & Technology. Their discussions on bilateral cooperation and regional issues were very positive and productive.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh Reviews India-Russia Defence Relations
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed India-Russia Defence Cooperation in Moscow. The discussions
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Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety

Collins Aerospace is part of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, which is a leading Aerospace & Defence Company that provides Advanced Systems and Services for Commercial, Military and Government customers worldwide. It comprises four industry-leading businesses - Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. This feature on “Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety” is contributed by DON BORCHELT, Business Development Director, ACES II/5, Mission Systems, Collins Aerospace, highlights various aspects of Pilot Safety and new developments in Ejection Seats for New-Generation Combat Aircraft.

Ejection Seats & Pilot Safety
Collins Aerospace specialises in Aerostructures, Avionics, Interiors, Mechanical Systems, Mission S
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The Year of Heron TP

The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP is a Multi-Role, Most Advanced, Long-Range Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Strategic Missions, equipped with Automatic Taxi Take-Off and Landing Systems (ATOL), Satellite Communication for Extended Range, fully redundant Avionics and much more. The IAI Heron TP UAS was designed as a Multi-Mission Platform to address customers' needs and to perform a variety of Strategic Missions, including Intelligence Gathering, Surveillance,

The Year of Heron TP
Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR), using various Payloads, with a high level of reliabi
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SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2020 REPORT

The Singapore Air Show 2020 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 11th to 16th February 2020, with attendance from high-level Military Delegations including India’s Air Chief, Senior Government Officials and leading industry players, featured exhibitors from over 930 companies from above 45 countries. The Singapore Air Show had major participants in the Civil and Military Flying and Static Aircraft Displays that included: Airbus A400M, Dassault Aviation Falcon Business Jets, Embraer Profit-Hunter Commuter Jet, Gulfstream Aircraft, Textron Aviation Aircraft, RSAF Apache & Chinook, Super Puma, Lockheed Martin’s F-16D & F-22 with Sikorsky’s S-70B, Boeing’s F-15SG & P-8A Poseidon, Bell Boeing MV-22s, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAS, IAI’s Heron TP UAS, Bell Helicopters, were on display.

SINGAPORE AIR SHOW 2020 REPORT
The Singapore Air Show 2020 was held at Changi Exhibition Centre from 11th to 16th February 2020, w
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First Indian Air Force Rafale Handed Over

On October 8th, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, hosted the handover ceremony of the first Indian Air Force Rafale in Mérignac, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale Final Assembly Facility. The event was placed under the high patronage of Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence of India and Ms. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces of France.

First Indian Air Force Rafale Handed Over
On October 8th, Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, hosted the h
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1st Rafale Handed Over by France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says Induction Will Boost India's Air Dominance Exponentially

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the French-made Rafale Combat Jet will boost India's Air Dominance exponentially, as he was formally handed the delivery of the first of 36 Rafales in France. The induction of Rafale Fighter Jets into the Indian Air Force will give a boost to India's Air Dominance exponentially, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said at the Handing-Over Ceremony of the IAF's Rafale Fighter.

1st Rafale Handed Over by France: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says Induction Will Boost India's Air Dominance Exponentially
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the French-made Rafale Combat Jet will boost India's Air D
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Thales: A Proud Partner of the Indian Air Force by Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India

Thales is proud that the IAF has been relying on its high-end Technology Solutions for Combat Aircraft, Air Defence Systems and Sensors, among others to achieve its big ambitions. The Upgrade of Mirage 2000 Fleet is one such example and so is the selection of the Rafale Omni-Role Combat Aircraft by the Indian Air Force.

Thales: A Proud Partner of the Indian Air Force by Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India
Thales is proud that the IAF has been relying on its high-end Technology Solutions for Combat Aircr
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FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia

Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Military. Rolls-Royce Engines power a wide variety of aircraft in the inventory of the IAF - from Combat and Strike Aircraft (the Jaguar, powered by the Adour Mk811) to Trainers (Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, powered by Adour Mk871) to Strategic Airlift Aircraft (C-130J Super Hercules, powered by AE 2100), and even VVIP and Surveillance Aircraft (ERJ145, powered by AE 3007).

FUTURE OF COMBAT: SUPPORTING TOMORROW'S AIR WARRIORS By Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
Today, more than 750 Rolls-Royce Engines of 10 engine types are powering aircraft of the Indian Mil
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MBDA: A Strong Partner of Indian Air Force

With a strong reputation as a reliable Partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50 years, European Missile company MBDA understands the importance of operational capability and sovereignty to the IAF. MBDA has set up an extensive network of business Partners throughout India. This extensive Indian Supply Chain supports its JV initiatives ready to fulfil ‘Make-in-India’ requirements through its JV with L&T to manufacture Missiles & Components in India. In addition, MBDA continues to work with Indian Public-Sector entities for local Production, Development and Partnership.

MBDA: A Strong Partner of Indian Air Force
With a strong reputation as a reliable Partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launches Indian Navy's First New P-17A Stealth Frigate INS Nilgiri

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched INS Nilgiri, the first of the Navy's seven new P-17A Stealth Frigates at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launches Indian Navy's First New P-17A Stealth Frigate INS Nilgiri
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 28th September launched INS Nilgiri, the first of the Navy's seve
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Witnesses Fire Power of Western Fleet, ‘Day at Sea’ Onboard INS Vikramaditya

During his stay on INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier, the biggest ship of the Indian Navy, Raksha Mantri witnessed a wide range of Naval Operations including Weapon Firing by the Fighter Aircraft and Night Flying Operations by helicopter from the deck of the Aircraft Carrier and Surface Shoots, Missile and Rocket Firings.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Witnesses Fire Power of Western Fleet, ‘Day at Sea’ Onboard INS Vikramaditya
During his stay on INS Vikramaditya, the biggest ship of the Indian Navy, Raksha Mantri witnessed a
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Commissions Indigenously-Built Scorpene Submarine INS Khanderi

On 28th September 2019, INS Khanderi, the second of P75 Scorpene-Class Submarines, was commissioned by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in presence of Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, CMD MDL Commodore Rakesh Anand (IN Retd.) and several other dignitaries. INS Khanderi is totally built by Indian Shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) through years of Technology Transfer and Partnership with the Naval Group,  in line with Indian Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ Policy.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Commissions Indigenously-Built Scorpene Submarine INS Khanderi
INS Khanderi, the second of P75 Scorpene-Class Submarines, was commissioned by Defence Minister Raj
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IAF & FAF Joint Ops at EXERCISE GARUDA-VI

Exercise Garuda 2019, a bilateral Indo-French Large Force Employment Warfare Exercise was hosted by the French Air Force (FAF) from 1st to 12th July 2019 at Mont-de-Marsan France, was successfully completed with the IAF Contingent landing back in India on 19th July 2019.

IAF & FAF Joint Ops at EXERCISE GARUDA-VI
Exercise Garuda 2019, a bilateral Indo-French Large Force Employment Warfare Exercise was hosted by
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20th Anniversary of Kargil Victory Day

The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations were spread over three days from 25th to 27th July 2019 and were organised at Dras and New Delhi.

20th Anniversary of Kargil Victory Day
The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations were spread over three days from 25th to 27th July 2019 and w
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Lockheed Martin & Tata Supplier Meet for F-21 Fighter & S-76D Helicopter

Lockheed Martin and Tata hosted a three-day Suppliers Conference in July in New Delhi, where about 30 of Lockheed Martin's Tier 1 Suppliers had the opportunity to meet with over 70 Indian Companies of all sizes to form relationships, assess capabilities, generate Partnerships and further enhance the Government of India's ‘Make-in-India' objectives. Lockheed Martin is looking to expand its Local Suppliers Base in India for their Global Supply Chain in order to fulfill the Offsets Obligations in India, and to increase Indigenous Content of their Offers to Indian Forces, while mainly promoting the new F-21 Fighter for the IAF’s MRFA competition, Sikorsky’s S-76D for the Indian Navy’s NUH, and the MH-60R for the MRH.

Lockheed Martin & Tata Supplier Meet for F-21 Fighter & S-76D Helicopter
Lockheed Martin and Tata hosted a three-day Suppliers Conference in July in New Delhi. Lockheed Mar
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Launch of Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine - VELA

Vela, the fourth Scorpene-Class Submarine being constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited for the Indian Navy, was launched on 6th May 2019, by Mrs Veena Ajay Kumar, wife of Dr. Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena, CWP&A was also present during the Launching Ceremony.

Launch of Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine - VELA
Vela, the fourth Scorpene-Class Submarine being constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited fo
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Visits Siachen, Reviews Security Situation at Highest Battlefield

In his first visit after taking charge, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Siachen Glacier to review the Security situation. The Raksha Mantri paid his tributes to the martyrs at the highest battlefield of the world and interacted with the Soldiers at the Forward Posts.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Visits Siachen, Reviews Security Situation at Highest Battlefield
In his first visit after taking charge, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Siachen Glacier
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Rolls-Royce in India: Partnering for Future Success by Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia

India is in the process of replacing 50 percent of its ageing Defence Equipment. It is expected to spend US$ 100-150 Billion on Defence Modernisation programmes by 2022. This presents a huge opportunity for Multinational Companies (MNCs) and Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to leverage India's fast-growing Aerospace and Defence Sectors.

Rolls-Royce in India: Partnering for Future Success by Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce, India and South Asia
India is in the process of replacing 50 percent of its ageing Defence Equipment. It is expected to
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GENERAL ATOMICS - EMS Deepening Ties Via Strategic Initiatives

General Atomics (GA) and its affiliated companies now constitute one of the world's leading resources for High-Technology Systems ranging from Nuclear fuel cycle to Electromagnetic Systems, Remotely Operated Surveillance Aircraft, Airborne Sensors and Advanced Electronics, Wireless & Laser Technologies.

GENERAL ATOMICS - EMS Deepening Ties Via Strategic Initiatives
GA and its affiliated entities manufacture, operate and service state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial Ve
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MBDA Offers Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities for the Indian Air Force

MBDA is exhibiting a full range of Missiles and Missile Systems on Stand AB.2.23 designed to provide Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities, including Air Dominance, Strike and Maritime Engagement, for the Indian Air Force.

MBDA Offers Next-Generation Air Combat Capabilities for the Indian Air Force
Aero India 2019 is the first Air Show where L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd, MBDA’s Joint Venture with
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Dassault Aviation Reaffirms Full Commitment to India & Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France

Dassault Aviation has assured that it will ensure successful production in India through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged Supply Chain Network involving already 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts, and additional 60 companies currently under discussions.

Dassault Aviation Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France
Dassault Aviation has received a Development Contract from the French DGA to Upgrade the Rafale Fig
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HENSOLDT Leads Sensor Solutions for Defence

HENSOLDT is a pioneer of Technology and Innovation in the field of Defence and Security Electronics. Based in Taufkirchen near Munich, HENSOLDT is one of the market leaders in the field of Civil and Military Sensor Solutions and develops new products based on innovative approaches for Data Management, Robotics and Cyber Security to combat a wide range of threats.

HENSOLDT Leads Sensor Solutions for Defence
HENSOLDT is a pioneer of Technology and Innovation in the field of Defence and Security Electronics
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Indian Army Artillery Inducts K9 Vajra’s & M777s

Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, dedicated the globally combat proven M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers, K9 Vajra-Tracked Self-Propelled Guns and 6x6 Filed Artillery Tractors to the service of the Nation.

Indian Army Artillery Inducts K9 Vajra’s & M777s
Marking a major milestone towards capacity building and capability enhancement of the Indian Army,
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BRAHMOS: World' Best & Fastest Supersonic Precision Strike Weapon

BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is now ready and capable to fulfil export requirements, if the Government decides, while serving the Indian Army, Indian Navy & Indian Air Force requirements, which should see larger numbers of Missiles ordered in the future.

BRAHMOS: World' Best & Fastest Supersonic Precision Strike Weapon
BrahMos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian Joint Venture is now ready and capable to fulfil export require
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: AIR CHIEF MARSHAL B. S. DHANOA, CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF
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Spanish Navy Navantia LHD Juan Carlos I Visits Mumbai
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Successful Firing of BrahMos Air- Launched Missile from Su-30MKI
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News



Dassault Aviation Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France

Dassault Aviation Reaffirms Full Commitment to India & Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France


Dassault Aviation has assured that it will ensure successful production in India through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged Supply Chain Network involving already 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts, and additional 60 companies currently under discussions.


Dassault Aviation Launches New Rafale F4 Standard for France

Dassault Aviation has received a Development Contract from the French DGA to Upgrade the Rafale Fighter Jets, with the “F4” Standard of the Multi-Role Fighter, from the current F3R Standard, and the F4 would also have major contributions from its Partners, Thales and MBDA, to enhance its Network-Centric Connectivity and Tactical Capabilities.


Dassault Aviation has assured that it will ensure successful production in India through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged Supply Chain Network involving already 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts, and additional 60 companies currently under discussions. Meanwhile, Dassault Aviation has received a Development Contract from the French DGA to Upgrade the Rafale Fighter Jets, with the “F4” Standard of the Multi-Role Fighter, from the current F3R Standard, and the F4 would also have major contributions from its Partners, Thales and MBDA, to enhance its Network-Centric Connectivity and Tactical Capabilities. At the same time in India, the Rafale Controversy continues unabated.

Dassault Aviation welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of India rendered dismissing all petitions filed on the Rafale Contract signed on 23rd September 2016 in the frame of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and France. Dassault Aviation takes note of the Supreme Court conclusions establishing the absence of any irregularities in the decision-making process to purchase 36 Rafale, pricing of Rafale jets and selection of Indian Offset Partners, including Anil Ambani owned Reliance Defence by Dassault Aviation, a press statement from Dassault Aviation said.


Dassault Aviation has proudly supported the needs of the Government of India and the Indian Air Force since 1953 and the induction of the Toofani Aircraft. Fully committed in a strong relationship of mutual trust with India for over 65 years now, all resources of Dassault Aviation are entirely mobilised to make the Rafale, chosen by India in 2012 following a very complete competitive bidding process and evaluation, as the spearhead of the Indian Air Force.


“The deal is absolutely clean in accordance with Indian laws and regulations, as I have stated before, and the first Falcon part is currently under delivery out of our Facility in Nagpur” declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.


Dassault Aviation is dedicated to establishing successfully the ‘Make-in-India’ as promoted by Prime Minister Modi. Dassault Aviation will ensure successful production in the country through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged Supply Chain Network involving already 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts, and additional 60 companies currently under discussions. Dassault Aviation stands committed to continuing its dedication to bringing full support to the needs of India in the future.


Dassault Aviation aircraft have been an integral part of Indian Defence Forces for over six decades. The first Dassault Aviation aircraft, Toofani was supplied to India in 1953, followed by the Mystere IV, the Naval Alize, the Jaguar (manufactured under license by HAL) and the Mirage 2000. These aircraft have contributed to Indian sovereignty all along and the Mirage 2000 Fighter Aircraft continues to be the IAF’s “cutting edge” till date. 36 Rafale Fighter Aircraft have been acquired on September 23rd 2016 to equip the Indian Air Force. Dassault Aviation is now keenly looking forward to winning the 114 MMRCA 2.0 competition underway for the IAF’s ‘Make-in-India’ Fighter Jets, and for the 57 Indian Navy Carrier-borne Fighters deal.


With over 10,000 Military and Civil Aircraft delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognised worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale Fighter, to the high-end Falcon Family of Business Jets and Military Drones.


Rafale “F4” Standard Launched
France’s Dassault Aviation has recently received a contract from the French Government to Upgrade the Rafale Fighter Jet. The F4 Version of the Multi-Role Rafale, which is being developed for a reported investment of Euro 2 Billion, will include greater connectivity to enhance “Networked Combat,” with the Validation of the F4 Standard planned for 2024, with some functions becoming available as of 2022. Dassault Aviation and the 500 French companies associated with the Rafale programme are thankful to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the French Air Force and the French Navy for their confidence shown.


Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, received the F4 Standard Development Contract for the Rafale Combat Aircraft on January 14th, 2019, during the visit of the Dassault Aviation Mérignac Plant by Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces. The F4 Standard is part of the ongoing process to continuously improve the Rafale in line with technological progress and operating experience feedback. The F4 Standard marks a new step coming in the wake of the Standards F1 (specific to the first aircraft of the French Navy), F2 (Air-to-Ground and Air-to-Air Capabilities), F3 and F3R (Extended Versatility).


In the role as the Industrial Architect, Dassault Aviation will be responsible for implementing Innovative Connectivity Solutions to optimize the effectiveness of the aircraft in Networked Combat like new Satellite and Intra-Patrol Links, Communication Server, Software Defined Radio, etc. New functions will also be developed to improve the aircraft’s capabilities like Upgrades to the Radar Sensors and Front Sector Optronics (FSO), Helmet-Mounted Display Capabilities, and new weapons will be integrated like the MICA NG Air-to-Air Missile and 1,000-kg AASM Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon.


With regard to the availability, Dassault Aviation is working under a Through-Life Support contract which will become more “top-down” under the authority of the Aircraft Manufacturer. F4 will include a new Prognosis and Diagnostic Aid System introducing Predictive Maintenance Capabilities. Other Maintenance Optimization features are scheduled, particularly with solutions based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Lastly, the Rafale will be equipped with a new Engine Control Unit as well.


“The F4 Standard guarantees that Rafale will remain at World-Class level so that our Combat Air Forces can carry out all their missions with optimum efficiency, whether in Coalition Operations or completely independently, as required by the French Nuclear Deterrent,” stated Eric Trappier. “This new standard also guarantees that Rafale will remain a credible reference on the export market. Lastly, it confirms the continuous improvement approach and helps develop the manufacturers’ skills,” he said.


The Rafale is the only totally “Omni-Role” Aircraft in the world, able to operate from a Land Base or an Aircraft Carrier, capable of carrying 1.5 times its weight in Weapons and fuel, the Rafale has been designed to perform the full spectrum of Combat Aircraft Missions:      Interception and Air-to-Air Combat using a 30-mm Gun, MICA IR/EM Missiles and Meteor BVRAAM Missiles; Close Air Support using a 30-mm Gun, GBU Laser-Guided Bombs and AASM GPS-Guided Bombs or PGMs; Deep Strike using SCALP/Storm Shadow Cruise Missiles; Maritime Strike using the Exocet AM39 Block 2 Missile and other Air-to-Surface Weapons; Real-time Tactical and Strategic Reconnaissance using the Areos Pod; Buddy-Buddy in-flight refueling; and Nuclear Deterrence using the ASMP-A Missile.


The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006, gradually replacing the seven types of previous-generation Combat Aircraft. It has proven itself in external operations in various theatres: Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. Of the 180 aircraft ordered by France to date, 152 have been delivered. The Rafale Fighter Fleet currently totals almost 270,000 flight hours, including 40,000 in Operations. A total of 96 Rafale Aircraft have been ordered by Egypt, Qatar and India.


However, the news of the F4 Development Contract, and the fact that Dassault Aviation will deliver the Rafale to the French Government under an earlier order, resulted in some confusion with some websites reporting that the 28 aircraft were being bought by France for Euro 2 Billion. In India, the Government and the opposition Congress Party have been trading charges over the controversial Rs.59,000 crore purchase. Top MoD officials defended by saying that a deal to buy aircraft could not be compared with another to just develop a new model. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Government had already given out all details on the Rafale deal and it was a closed chapter now.


The NDA Government’s decision to enter into a Government-to-Government deal with France to buy 36 Rafale Fighters was announced in April 2015, with the actual deal signed about a year and a half later. This replaced the UPA Government’s decision to buy 126 Rafale Fighters, 108 of which were to be made in India by HAL, using equipment imported from France. It is now the responsibility of the Indian Air Force Crews to fly the first lot of the IAF’s Rafale Fighters to India, beginning from September 2019. India and France had signed the US$ 8.7 Billion deal for two Rafale Squadrons (36 aircraft) in September 2016 as an emergency purchase to boost the IAF’s capabilities. All 36 Rafales will arrive by September 2022. The IAF will be inducting the Next-Generation Rafale Fighters in the current F3R Standard from September 2019 onwards. The Rafale Fighters will include India-Specific Weapon Integration Modifications, with new Variants of Air-to-Air MICA, SCALP and Meteor BVRAAM Missiles.


The deal has become contentious and controversial with opposition parties, led by the Congress, saying the new deal costs more, that due process wasn’t followed in its signing, and that it was done to benefit Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence which has signed an Offset Partner deal with Dassault Aviation, and has established a Joint Venture Company, DRAL in Mihan, Nagpur. The Government has maintained that the price is actually lower than the one in the old deal, and that Offsets deals do not involve the Government. Dassault Aviation and Reliance have also insisted there is no wrongdoing in the matter. The Supreme Court has said, while ruling on petitions seeking an investigation into the deal, that it was convinced that due process was followed and that it could  not get into the issue of pricing.


AAP Member of Parliament and Petitioner in the Rafale case, Sanjay Singh, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court asking it to review the December 14, 2018 judgment dismissing pleas demanding a court-monitored CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale Fighters. Seeking an open court hearing and a re-look at its judgment, which was based on “misinformation by the Government”, asked the court to initiate contempt proceedings against officials responsible. This is the second review petition to be filed. Earlier, former BJP Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and advocate Prashant Bhushan filed a review petition saying the judgment relied upon “patently incorrect claims” made by the Government in a sealed cover to the SC. Separately, the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) refused to disclose details about its audit in the Rafale deal, saying the process is not yet complete and any disclosure at this stage amounts to breach of Parliament’s privilege, an RTI reply said.  In its response to Pune-based activist who had sought the report from CAG, Indian Government’s Auditor said, “The audit is under progress and the report is yet to be finalised. The information cannot be given as per RTI Act as the disclosure would cause breach of Parliament.” The RTI Act exempts information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislatures.


Thales to Play Major Role in Future Rafale F4 Standard
The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has also awarded a contract to Thales, which is a member of the Rafale Joint Venture (Groupement d’Intérêt Economique), to contribute to the development of the Rafale F4 Standard for the French Armed Forces. Thales engineers and technicians will enhance the Rafale’s Onboard Sensors and improve Connectivity to offer a broader range of capabilities and new operational functions by enabling greater Interconnection between the Rafale F4 Standard and all the other assets deployed on the Fighter’s Missions. “This contract is a further endorsement by the French Ministry for the Armed Forces of the industrial know-how and advanced technology expertise of French Defence Contractors. The Rafale F4 Standard’s Sensors and Communication Systems will be a key driver of the shift towards collaborative combat, and Thales’s capabilities in Connectivity and Artificial Intelligence will enable Rafale Air Crews to make the best choices in every decisive moment,” said Patrice Caine, Chairman & CEO, Thales.


In particular, Thales will prepare for the introduction of the CONTACT Radio; Secure, Intelligent Communications Server Technology; and a Syracuse IV Satellite Communications Capability.  The aircraft’s SPECTRA Electronic Warfare System will be Upgraded with new Threat Detection and Jamming Capabilities. Additional improvements to the Air-to-Ground Mode of the RBE2 Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) Radar are also planned. In addition, the TALIOS Optronic Pod will incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse Tactical Data almost instantaneously in flight and extract and identify several targets. On the Rafale F4 Standard, aircrews will assess Tactical Situations more effectively, handle significantly larger volumes of information in real-time, and make the best choices in every decisive moment in order to safely and securely locate, identify, classify and engage threats, and to assess and analyse the results of the action taken.


MBDA to Develop Next-Generation MICA Air-to-Air Missile
The French Defence Procurement Agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) has awarded MBDA the contract for the MICA NG (Missile d’Interception et de Combat Aérien Nouvelle Génération) programme to develop the Next-Generation of the MICA Air-to-Air Missile Variants. With deliveries scheduled to begin in 2026, MICA NG will be available to arm the current and future versions of the Rafale Combat Aircraft.


MICA NG is intended as the replacement for the MICA Missiles currently in operational service with the French Armed Forces and exported to 14 countries worldwide. The NG programme includes an extensive redesign of the current MICA Family, while keeping the same Aerodynamics, mass and centre of gravity. This is done to minimise the amount of adaptation required to operate the new system with existing platforms and launchers. The unique concept that has ensured the ongoing success of MICA for two decades remains: the option of two different Seekers (Infrared and Radio Frequency) and two Launch Modes (Rail and Ejection) in a single missile casing.


The technological step changes introduced with this generation will provide the capability to counter future threats. This includes targets with reduced Infrared and Electromagnetic Signatures, atypical targets (UAVs and small aircraft), as well as the threats normally countered by Air-to-Air Missiles for Combat Aircraft and Helicopters.


More specifically, the MICA NG Infrared Seeker will use a Matrix Sensor providing greater sensitivity. Meanwhile, the Radio Frequency Seeker will use an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Antenna), enabling Smart Detection Strategies. The reduced volume of Electronic Components within MICA NG will allow it to carry a larger quantity of Propellant, thereby significantly extending the range of the missile as well. Utilising a new Double-Pulse Rocket Motor will also provide additional energy to the missile at the end of its flight to improve manoeuvrability and the ability to intercept long-range targets. Lastly, the addition of Internal Sensors will allow the monitoring of the status of the weapon throughout its life (including during storage and transport), contributing to significantly reduced maintenance requirements and cost of ownership.


MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said at the programme launch, “We are proud of the work completed with the DGA to achieve maximum technical and financial optimisation. The fact that we have reached this stage is thanks to the vision that we were able to share with our French Customer to address its operational challenges, as well as our own long-term commercial challenges. The Upgrading of the MICA Family will enable us to support the Armed Forces throughout the remaining operational life of the Rafale”.


The MBDA MICA Missile Family entered service in 1997, and was designed to replace the short-term MAGIC 2 Missile and the Medium-Range Super 530D Missile with a single Weapon System equipped with two Interchangeable Seekers: one being Radio Frequency (RF) and the other Infrared (IR). About 5,000 MICA Missiles in various Versions have been ordered by 22 Armed Forces worldwide.


Rafale Deal Controversy Continues
Meanwhile, the Congress Party in India launched a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Modi over the Rafale Fighter Deal, while referring to a report published in the USA-based site navytimes.com, raised questions over the Indian deal by comparing it with the amount of money spent by France to Upgrade its 28 Rafale Jets to the F4 Standard. The Congress took to Twitter to slam the Prime Minister, tweeting, “India is paying Euro 7.8 Billion for 36 Rafale aircraft. France is paying Euro 2 Billion for 28 Upgraded Rafale aircraft.”


The Navy Times had reported that the French Government had signed a Euro 2 Billion contract with Dassault Aviation for 28 Rafale Fighters. According to the report, the 28 Fighters will include some F4 functionalities and be delivered to the French Air Force from 2023. The Rafale F4 will feature novel ‘Connectivity Solutions’ to improve the Aircraft’s effectiveness in Network Centric Warfare.


Initially, the previous UPA Government was working on a deal of US$ 12 Billion, which then amounted to Rs. 78,000 crore (approx.) for acquiring 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Rafale Fighter Jets. Out of these 126 jets, 18 were to be procured in ‘ready to fly’ condition and rest 108 Fighters were to be produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). As the UPA failed to conclude the deal before the 2014 elections, and the Modi Government too could not successfully progress the HAL work agreement and preferred scrapping that deal. The Government signed a new contract in 2016, worth Rs. 59,000 crore to acquire 36 Fighter Jets in ready to fly condition. The Congress also questions the alleged Offsets contract worth Rs. 30,000 crore given to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited, instead of the MoD-owned HAL.


The Supreme Court had said there was "nothing questionable" in the decision-making process for the Rafale deal. “We are satisfied that there is no occasion to doubt the process.” Joint exercise has taken place and there is no element of financial benefits. Detailed scrutiny of Rafale deal is not required," said the Court, adding that it is not the job of the Court to deal with the comparative details of the pricing, and also said the Court does not find substantial matter to interfere with the issue of procurement, pricing and Offset Partner.


Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been targeting Prime Minister Modi and his Government over the Rafale deal with France and asking why a 70-year-old Defence Public Sector Company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was ignored for manufacturing the MMRCA Fighter Jets. Mr. Gandhi has also questioned how the cost of one aircraft, which was Rs. 540 crore when the UPA Government had negotiated the earlier deal, rose to thrice its value to Rs. 1,600 crore under the BJP-led Government at the Centre.


HAL Can Match Dassault’s Delivery Time for 100 Rafale Jets: Former HAL MD’s Message to MoD
Writing for News18, former HAL MD Ashok Saxena firmly rejected doubts being generally expressed over HAL’s Capability and urged the Government to explore possibilities of signing a new contract for Indigenous Manufacturing of the Rafale Fighter Jets. In the recent debates on the Rafale deal, some reservations have been expressed on HAL’s (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) capacity and capability to manufacture the state-of-the-art Fourth-Plus Generation Fighter Jets. Let me begin by asserting that HAL has all the experience, infrastructure, skills and competence to manufacture the Rafale. HAL has been producing over the last several years’ contemporary Modern Combat Aircraft like the MiG Series, Jaguars, Su-30MKI, AJT Hawk, etc under Transfer of Technology (ToT). HAL had effectively and efficiently absorbed these technologies, and produced and delivered these aircraft to Indian Defence Forces.


As per the media reports and discussions in Parliament, it appears that the contract negotiations for 126 Rafales, which had taken several years and involved a lot of resources, were quite close to conclusion in 2011-12, but could not be signed then due to both parties reaching a deadlock. Two issues on which the deadlock had been reached were regarding man-hours that HAL would take to finish the job and guarantees to be provided by Dassault Aviation.


“I think if these were part of original Request for Quote (RFQ) conditions against which Dassault Aviation had submitted their quote, then it was obligatory on the part of Dassault Aviation to honour these conditions and commitments”, the former HAL MD reportedly said. However, these issues should have been sorted out quickly in the early stages of negotiations keeping in mind the delayed signing could impact IAF’s Fleet strength, which is dwindling at a rapid rate. He added, “In my professional opinion, it may be worthwhile even now to make efforts and explore the possibilities of signing a new contract for the Indigenous Manufacture of Rafales in an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA). The new contract for Rafales could be same in Specifications, Standard of Preparation (SoP), Weaponry, Avionics, and other Systems as those we have secured in the 36 Rafales deal.”


The new manufacturing contract should encompass total Technology Transfer that will include Airframe, Aero Engine, Avionics, Radar, Accessories, Systems, and various other Onboard Equipment. Depth of Technology Transfer should be of highest percentage to facilitate maximisation of Indigenous Manufacture. “On the issue of man-hours, HAL would have, more or less, matched, and still can, the time that Dassault Aviation will take to manufacture the jets in France. Had the contract been concluded in 2012 itself, it would have facilitated commencement of the production of Rafale in 2014-15 in India and the IAF would have received the first Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition by 2017-18,” he said. Similarly, if in 2014-15 the new Government had cleared the old deal, instead of cancelling it later, the ‘Made-in-India’ Fighters would have been available in the 2020-22 time frame, quite similar to the present time frame.


Another aspect of the ongoing debate on Rafale has been about the most important benefits of producing these Fighter Jets in India. There are many advantages in doing so. The former HAL MD enumerated a few. Indigenously produced Rafales with IAF will give India the best cost-effective solution for setting up of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facilities, Simulator and Training facilities, long term product support, cost effective Inventory Management of Engines, Accessories, Systems, Equipment, Spares and other items. As per his assessment, indigenous production of at least 100 aircraft will be cost-effective and commercially viable for HAL. If such a contract, with full ToT, is signed at the earliest, it would facilitate indigenous manufacture of this state-of-the-art aircraft in India in the next 30 months from the date of signing of a contract and delivery in 44 months from the date of signing.


India with a large fleet of 136 Rafale Fighter Aircraft and elaborate MRO Facilities, and Manufacturing Facilities for Spares, will have the potential to emerge as a major MRO hub for regional friendly countries, given that France may in future stop locally producing the Rafale line of aircraft, with the new European Fighter in the pipeline. Also, indigenous production of Rafales will provide best Product Support to the IAF Fleet and reduce the French dependence on its Operations and Maintenance. It will ensure long-term Product Support in its Operational Cycle. Maintenance Costs will be substantially lower over a period of time as opportunity costs for the Spares will drop over longer period of time, plus obsolescence management will be far easier over its entire life-cycle. As India will be operating the Rafale Fighters for next 60 years, with Upgrades, till the completion of its calendar life. The facilities set up in India could be useful for other customers of Dassault Aviation as well. Using the existing Production Facilities India could manufacture the Rafale Fighter Aircraft and export it to mutually agreed friendly countries. Plus the man-hour rates for India will be much lower as compared to those in France. This will be a win-win situation for both countries, the former HAL MD said.


Reliance Chosen Under 'Make in India' Clause, Says Dassault Document, Contradicts Mediapart Report
An earlier Mediapart Report, citing an internal Dassault Aviation document, had reportedly claimed that under the deal with India, it was mandatory to select Reliance as the Indian Partner, rather than any other Indian companies. The internal document of Dassault Aviation, the manufacturing firm of Rafale Fighter Jets, stated that Reliance Defence Ltd was chosen as the Offset Partner under the ‘Make- in-India' Clause of the Indian Government, which makes it mandatory to select a Domestic Partner. The document, which was allegedly accessed by the French Aviation website, was part of a presentation delivered to Confederation of Trade Unions named Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) by Dassault Aviation COO Loik Segalen. The French Union had sought an explanation on why the Rafale deal has not created the number of jobs as expected, in France.


Dassault Aviation had contested the report, calling it factually incorrect. The company has maintained that there was no pressure from the Indian side to finalise Reliance as the Offset Partner. Segalen, while speaking earlier to reporters in Paris had then said the company was "not forced" to choose Reliance, but it was mandatory to select an Indian firm as the Offset Partner under the ‘Make-in-India’ Clause.


Meanwhile, the Opposition Parties in India were still demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal, accusing the Modi-led Government of "deliberately evicting" the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) out of the pact, and replacing it with Reliance Defence Ltd, the newly floated firm of industrialist Anil Ambani, which is reportedly in a financial mess, while the HAL Union, has taken up the issue more seriously with the Government for getting back the ‘Make-in-India’ Rafale!