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‘Right Choice For IAF’: Pratt & Whitney Touts Engines For F-15EX fighter

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‘Right Choice For IAF’: Pratt & Whitney Touts Engines For F-15EX fighter

All countries operating F-15, F-16 use engines made by either GE or Pratt & Whitney

Last week, during an annual press conference ahead of Air Force Day, the chief of the Indian Air Force emphasised the importance of a project to procure 114 ‘multirole fighter aircraft’ (MRFA).

Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari said the project for 114 fighter jets would be “under the Make In India initiative” and the Indian Air Force was moving the “case forward”. Announced in April 2019, the estimated acquisition cost of 114 fighter jets is $18 billion.

Companies from the US, France, Sweden and Russia and a European consortium have offered their aircraft for the project. The MRFA competition had been touted as a ‘re-run’ of an aborted competition to buy 126 fighter aircraft for the IAF that was called the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft’ (MMRCA), which was first launched in the first decade of this millennium. The Dassault Rafale was announced as the winner of the MMRCA tender in 2012, but the tender was cancelled in 2015 as negotiations with the French manufacturer got bogged down. That year, the Narendra Modi government announced India would buy 36 Rafale jets off the shelf.

However, in February 2020, news emerged that the US government, under then president Donald Trump, wanted to ‘disrupt’ the Indian Air Force competition by offering a heavyweight fighter, the F-15EX.

The F-15EX is the newest version of the F-15 air superiority fighter, which first flew in 1972. While nearly identical to a standard F-15 externally, the F-15EX has a new fly-by-wire system, more powerful processor and advanced electronic warfare suite.

Earlier this year, Boeing confirmed the F-15EX had been offered to the Indian Air Force. The F-15EX is significantly heavier than all the other aircraft on offer to the Indian Air Force and can carry a payload of nearly 13 tonnes of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons and fuel tanks, significantly more than the Dassault Rafale.

In February, the F-15EX made its first flight, prior to delivery to the US Air Force. The US Air Force intends to buy 76 F-15EX fighters by 2025 and could eventually have a fleet of 144 jets.

On October 8, to mark Air Force Day, US Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney tweeted its wishes to the Indian Air Force with a video of the F-15EX. Pratt & Whitney tweeted, “We’re proud to power many IAF aircraft and are excited for the opportunity to power the F-15EX with our F100 engine.”

While the first batch of F-15EX fighters being bought by the US Air Force use F110 engines built by GE, Pratt & Whitney has been offering the latest variant of the F100 engine that powered the first F-15 jet that flew in 1972.

In a post on the company website, Thomas Prete, vice president, Military Engineering, Pratt & Whitney, declares the “The F100-PW-229 is the most capable, most reliable 4th generation fighter engine ever developed”. All countries operating the F-15 and F-16 use either the F100 or F110 engines, which have similar dimensions and thrust settings.

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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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