HAL shifts focus on development of Astra Mk1 and ASRAAM system


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s prominent defence sector PSU is planning to integrate the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas with Astra Mk1 Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM). The integration work is expected to be completed by the end of this year. HAL is also focusing to involve the MBDA, the European missile maker firm, in the computer integrated data generation for Advances Short Range Air to Air Missile (ASRAAM). As per the agreement between the two firms, ASRAAM will also be equipped on the LCA Tejas aircraft. The Tejas Mk1A fleet, whose production is expected to start in 2023, will have Russian R-73 system, which will be assisted by the ASRAAM system in close air to air combat missions. Tejas Mk1A has already been equipped with the older version of I-Derby, having a range of 60 kms. The Israeli firm, that manufactures this missile system, has offered I-Derby-ER to the IAF. The latest version has a target range of 100 kms. It comes with a benefit that the installation of this system won’t require any significant software or hardware changes in the aircraft.

Indian Air Force (IAF) has upgraded the fleet of Jaguar ground strike fighter jet, and integrated ASRAAM system with it. IAF now aims to make the next generation air to air combat missile a standard missile system for whole of its fleet. IAF is still focusing on Astra Mk1 and ASRAAM, and thinking of I-Derby and R-73 as the backup options. Astra Mk2 BVRAAM, powered by a dual pulse motor, will be tested from Sukhoi-30 MKI later this year. This missile system has a range of 160 kms. The complete production of this system and user trials will take few more years. The imported air to air missiles will be replaced by the Astra IR, Astra Mk2 and Astra Mk3 in the near future.




ADA will procure Large Area Display for LCA-AF Mk2 jet


Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has decided to procure 20 X 8 multi touch screen Large Area Display (LAD). These displays will be equipped on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – AF Mk2 program, and the tenders for this procurement have been issued. Many Indian Vendors are expected to apply for this tender, which includes an LED backlight based AMLCD and AMOLED display technology. These displays will adhere to the DO-160 and MIL-STD environmental standards. The weight of the displays will be less than 10 kg. The displays will have many advance features, and will also have the modern day technology like picture in picture zoom capabilities. It will have the provisions of 2-4 screens will split screen features. The pilot will be able to customize the view as per his convenience, while the display will be highly configurable.

As per the tender, 3 units of the display will have to be delivered by the vendor within 2 months. The first 2 units will be utilized, while the 3rd one will be kept as a backup unit. The LCA-AF Mk2 jet is still under development stage and will undergo many user trials, before the manufacturing starts. ADA has planned to roll out first model of this aircraft by August 2022, and the first flight is expected to be conducted in mid 2023.

ADA conducts wind tunnel tests of Naval version of TEDBF jet


The engineers of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) carried out the wind tunnel tests of the indigenously developed Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) Jet. This model was demonstrated at the Aero India Summit 2021 held at Bengaluru. ADA is developing this model for the Indian Navy, as this fleet of next generation fighter jet will replace the Russia made MiG-29k aircraft. The TEDBF jets are expected to enter the service from 2032.

ADA is developing 2 models of this jet, and the Navy has shown its interest in one of the models. The model that has been selected by the Navy was designed virtually and tests were conducted with the help of high performance computers. Various features of the aircraft were tested, including the aerodynamic performance. The wind tunnel tests specify the aircraft’s progress from conceptual stage to computer based design stage. The model will be further modified in this stage and will move on to the final design stage.




India’s new age earth imaging military satellite to be launched in May 2021


K Sivan, the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has confirmed that the GISAT-1 satellite will be launched before 15th May 2021. This satellite is said to be India’s most advanced earth observation satellite, and will help the Indian defence forces to keep an eye on the border areas of Pakistan and China. GISAT-1 was scheduled to be launched in the first half of April, but the launch was postponed due to a technical glitch. GISAT-1 is equipped with high resolution cameras, which will assist the armed forces in continuous monitoring of the land and maritime borders. It can provide the real time images of large areas in frequent time intervals. The armed forces will also seek its help during any natural disaster or short term events.

The 2,268 kg satellite faced voltage fluctuation issue, which was the main reason behind the launch postponement. The ISRO will once again test the satellite after assembling it in the launch vehicle. This postponement has further delayed many launches planned by the ISRO, which also includes the first test flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

GISAT-1 will provide the real data for agriculture, mining, forestry, oceanography, disaster warning, etc. The satellite carries multispectral and hyperspectral payloads which are configured around the I-2k bus. This mechanism helps in generating different bands for spatial and temporal resolutions. The GSLV-F10 rocket will place the GISAT-1 satellite in the geosynchronous transfer orbit. It will use its onboard propulsion system to reavhy the geostationary orbit.

ISRO chief has estimated the launch of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 solar missions to take place in the first half of 2022.