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I Am Proud of The Strategic Investments We Have Made To Grow India s Defence Base Leanne Caret President CEO Boeing Defence Space Security

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I Am Proud of The Strategic Investments We Have Made To Grow India s Defence Base Leanne Caret President CEO Boeing Defence Space Security

US offers the F-15EX: F-15EX has the formidable reputation as the plane never lost in combat

Boeing Defence has made significant inroads in India. The Indian Air Force operates fleets of C-17s, AH-64 Apaches, CH-47 Chinooks, including the head of state aircraft. Indian Navy was Boeing’s first international customer for the P-8 and this aircraft has indeed played a crucial role in building India’s Maritime Reconnaissance Capabilities in the IOR. Indian Armed Forces are gearing up for the modernization, embracing next generation capabilities. India is also striving to develop aerospace industrial base and achieve technological breakthroughs with projects like AMCA, TEDBF and MRFA under strategic partnership with global aerospace leaders. Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defence, Space & Security opens up with BW’s Manish Kumar Jha on such partnership and possibilities with India. She outlines her vision for India by offering best in class advance military hardware, including F/A-18 Super Hornet, additional P-8Is for the Indian Navy, F-15EX, refuelling tankers, unmanned aircraft systems, additional training, sustainment and program-based logistics solutions.

Can you outline Boeing’s strategy as it relates to the defence, space & security business? How does India fit it?

The Boeing Company has a proven record of being India’s trusted partner for more than 75 years, supporting our commercial aviation and defence customers. I’m truly humbled to work alongside innovative teammates, including our 3,000 employees here in India, who are constantly striving to find new and better ways of delivering more value to our customers – today and tomorrow.

Within our defence, space and security business, our mission is to provide our global customers the most digitally advanced, simply and efficiently produced, and intelligently supported solutions. That’s why we’re making investments that enable us to provide our customers the right capabilities, at the right time, for the right cost.

In India, for example, I’m proud of the strategic investments we have made to grow India’s defence base; increase the manufacturing, skill development and engineering scale in the country; and strengthen the local workforce. Together, we’re building a strong aerospace industry in India, with an additional 7,000 people employed through our supply chain.

“From a defence market perspective, India is one of the largest for Boeing. We’ve been honoured to achieve many “firsts” with our Indian partners. Through the Indian Navy, India was the first international customer for the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.”

India is also the largest operator of C-17 cargo and transport aircraft outside the United States, and the Harpoon missile was the first weapon system integrated on an Indian designed and built fighter (Jaguar). Backed by increasing cooperation and strong, positive participation between our governments, we look forward to continue creating prosperity for both our nations and serve as mutually reinforcing engines of growth and innovation.

Boeing has won key franchises recently including T-7 and MQ-25 and we’re learning more about digital engineering and transformation. How do these fit into your future offering for the Indian Air Force?

We are honoured to partner with our U.S. customers and industry partners on these franchises and recognize the importance of delivering these advanced capabilities as our customers address current and future threats. That’s one of the reasons we are committed to driving digital transformation across our value stream and accelerating the entire lifecycle – from requirements definition through design, production, test, maintenance and upgrades.

Our ability to combine digital tools and outcome-centred thinking with proven engineering, manufacturing and services approaches is changing the industry – and it’s giving our defence customers the digital edge they need to field faster and fight smarter as a connected force.

“The U.S. Air Force’s T-7A Red Hawk program is an excellent proof point that this digital-first approach works. The T-7 is a new advanced pilot training system that includes ground-based training designed together from the start, and engineers applied model-based engineering and advanced manufacturing and testing techniques to move from concept to first flight in just 36 months.”

On MQ-25, we are producing these uncrewed aerial refuelers for the U.S. Navy and are benefitting from months of early learning from flying the T1 test asset; years of investments in advanced, digital engineering design and manufacturing practices; and decades of experience building both autonomous platforms and elite carrier aircraft. As a result, the U.S. Navy will receive a mission-ready refueler that will pioneer the integration of uncrewed aircraft into the carrier air wing. Right now, our focus is on fulfilling our commitments to the U.S.

Since you became president and CEO of Boeing’s defence, space and security business in 2016, Boeing defence has scaled up worldwide. What led to this and could you outline your strategic initiatives and vision for the BDS in terms of your global reach?

As a company, we’ve been building toward a global presence over the past two decades, and I’m proud to share that today – thanks to the commitment of our teammates – our global reach includes customers in approximately 150 countries and employees and operations in more than 65 countries.

Looking ahead to the next 10 years, we know much of our growth will come from outside the United States. Of the $2.6 trillion defence and space market opportunities, about 40% of expenditures are expected to originate outside of the United States, driven by geopolitical and security challenges.

To win globally, understanding our markets is and will continue to be critical. Our customer needs are ever-changing, and they want to do business locally – with a company they know and trust. When you partner locally, you win globally – just as we’ve done in India. By operating locally on a global scale, Boeing gains market access and cost, capability and talent advantages, which is why we aim to expand our presence and partnerships in key markets around the world.

Boeing has made significant inroads to partner with the Indian Air Force, which operates fleets of C-17s, AH-64 Apaches, CH-47 Chinooks and head of state aircraft. What is next on the horizon?

Our first commitment is to deliver on the promises we have made to our customers, either through providing advanced capabilities or the right sustainment and training solutions to ensure their fleets are mission ready.

“We are also listening to our defence customers in India on their current and future requirements for national defence and having discussions over the value our portfolio can deliver.”

In the near-term, those capabilities include F/A-18 Super Hornet and additional P-8Is for the Indian Navy, F-15EX for the Indian Air Force, refuelling tankers, unmanned aircraft systems, additional training, sustainment and program-based logistics solutions.

F-15 EX has the formidable reputation as the plane never lost in combat and the upgrade is being done with next gen mission computer, avionics and systems. Though critics point out it as the great up gradation and replacement for existing fleet, how does it fit entirely in the acquisition plan by IAF under 114 MRFA?

We are awaiting the requirements for the Multi Role Fighter Aircraft competition to assess if F-15EX would fit well into the Indian Air Force’s force structure. In early 2021, Boeing received a marketing license approval from the U.S. Government to offer the F-15EX to India, and we look forward to working with the IAF on their detailed requirements for the Multi Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) competition.

The U.S. Air Force’s program of record for the F-15EX includes 144 aircraft, and there is a strong interest in the F-15EX internationally. The F-15EX for India will depend on the Indian Air Force’s Qualitative Requirements.

As the Indian Air Force evaluates its requirements, they can consider factoring in the F-15EX’s ability to counter contemporary and emerging threats with its unmatched speed, altitude and heavy-weapon payload.

“IAF can also consider the upgradability path for the F-15EX, which is enabled by a high-speed digital backbone that allows the aircraft to rapidly and affordably insert new technologies.”

“If there is a need for a fighter that can penetrate a highly contested airspace with greater survivability and full spectrum of protection enabling dominant engagement of new and emerging threats, the IAF can take a close look at the F-15EX to address those needs.”

After Boeing demonstrated the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter‘s STOBAR (Short Take-off but Arrested Recovery) compatibility for the Indian Navy, what are the other cutting edge advanced technologies included in the offer?

Our Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet offer to the Indian Navy is the most advanced, multi-role, frontline fighter of the U.S. Navy, with a rapid technology insertion plan that will outpace threats for decades to come. This next-generation aircraft is ready to protect Indian armed forces from current and future threats.

Our successful ski-jump test conducted last year and extensive simulation studies prove that the F/A-18 can operate from the Indian Navy aircraft carriers and will meet or exceed the STOBAR performance requirements of the Indian Navy. Several innovative solutions related to carrier compatibility have been offered to the Indian Navy to integrate the Super Hornet with the carriers. Some of these solutions are currently being developed by our technology teams in our engineering and technology centre in Bangalore.

The two-seater carrier compatible variant of Super Hornet also offers several unique advantages to the Indian Navy including flexibility, higher utilization of the fleet, ability to embark certain missions from the carrier that benefit from having the second crew member and opportunity to develop an interface between crewed and uncrewed systems in a carrier environment.

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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