BATTLESPACE is delighted to expand its international coverage with the appointment of P.R. Rajagopal, a defence specialist based in India. He will provide defence news from Asia for our UPDATE and printed products.
AERO INDIA 2005 AIR SHOW
India is hosting the fifth edition of Air show AERO INDIA 2005 at AIR FORCE STATION YELAHANKA, near Bangalore, the defence R&D and manufacturing hub in Southern India, from Feb 9th to 13th, 2005.
USA is participating in this show in a big way, with the participation of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, etc. F16 aircraft will be showcased during this show. European companies are showing their full presence with Airbus, Dassault, EADS, British Aerospace, SAAB, Finmeccanica, showing their aircrafts Mirage-2000, Gripper, Hawk, etc. Russia, which is the leading supplier of armaments to India, is also in full force with SU-30-MKI, MI-35, etc. India will be displaying their in-house developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) called Tejas and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) called Dhruv, being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL), an Indian Govt. owned company. Over 300 foreign and Indian companies have booked space in this show.
TSUNAMI DESTROYS THE AIR BASE AT CAR NICOBAR ISLANDS
The recent tsunami, which has killed nearly 100,000 people in Asia and rendered a million people homeless, has destroyed the Indian Air Force base located in the Car Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal. Annually, 9.5 billion barrels of oil for South Asian countries go through this sea route. The Indian Govt. has established a Joint Action Force, comprising Air Force, Navy, and Army at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in order to provide effective patrolling of the sea lanes extending upto Straits of Molucca and to curb sea piracy and prevent illegal arms smuggling. The base, which is a home for 1700 service personnel, has suffered major damages and lost 102 lives.
Indian Air Force’s current plans to upgrade the airbase for stationing SU-30 MKI fighter aircrafts on a permanent basis has suffered a major setback and will be delayed by around two years. Major relief operations are currently underway.
Indian Defence R&D organization (DRDO) has embarked on an ambitious program of indigenous development of Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEWCS), incorporating state of the art technologies. A core group has been formed in DRDO in formulating the operational requirements, system definition and the various constituents. This has been stated by the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, in the Indian Parliament.
INDIGENOUS DEVELOPMENT OF AIRCRAFT ENGINE (KAVERI)
Indian DRDO has got the funding okayed by the Indian Govt for the development and production of Jet engine named Kaveri for fitment in the Indigenous Light Combat Aircrafts (LCA). The estimated project cost is around 64 million US dollars. The development of this engine is at an advanced stage with the prototypes undergoing High Altitude Evaluation Trials in Russia, since India does not have this specialized test facility at present. This development program was started after the blockade of the supply of GE 404 engine by the US Government in 1998.
BRAHMOS CRUISE MISSILE
BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile project is a joint development and production venture between Indian DRDO and Russia. India and Russia have formed a joint venture company for the implementation of this project, with the production facilities already established in Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh, in South India. This missile has successfully undergone firing tests in Land-to-Land role, as well as Ship-to-Ship roles. This missile has a strike range of 300 kms with speed Mach 2.8. This is currently under induction with Indian Navy for their frigates, destroyers, and submarines. Good export potential has been estimated and plans are underway for export to friendly third countries.