Derby MK III offered to India
A joint venture between India’s Kalyani group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) is among the frontrunners in bidding to integrate the missile subparts program invited by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). DRDO is inviting domestic partners for various programs under Development cum Production Partner initiative. Israeli defence giant is giving finishing touches to the air-to-air and ground-to-air extended range missiles with interceptors, the company is equipping these with latest electronics and technology to offer to the Indian defence forces. It is offering the interceptor as a part of the Derby missile as part of India’s low-level quick reaction missile system (LLQRM) project. Rafael is also considering to transfer the technology and capabilities to India so as to produce the project here itself.
HAL’s Nashik Division rolls out last Sukhoi-30MKI
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has finished production of the last Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft at its assembly line HAL MiG complex in Nashik. The aircraft has been flight tested and will now be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF). HAL has worked on three contracts for license production starting from that of 140 aircraft in December 2000, 40 in March 2007 and 42 in December 2012. HAL delivered first Sukhoi-30MKI assembled in its unit to the air force in November 2004. HAL has modified last Sukhoi-30MKI to carry the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. HAL is also about to develop 12 Super-Sukhoi upgrade kits that it has developed with its partners in DRDO. First two aircraft will be developed as technology demonstrator aircraft to test and integrate all proposed upgrades including Indian-made AESA radar and avionics along with indigenous weapons system. HAL plans to enhance its productivity to over 15 aircraft per year from its Aircraft Overhaul Division at Nashik, which will be further taken to 20 aircrafts per year. The company also plans to create an additional LCA-Tejas facility at Nashik that will produce at least 5 aircraft per year 2024 onwards. At present two LCA-Tejas production facilities in Bengaluru can manufacture 16 jets per year.
Indian Coast Guard gets 2 ALH MK-III Advanced Helicopters
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered two ALH MK-III helicopters equipped with state of the art technology and advanced sensors under 16 ALH MK-III contract to the Indian Coast Guard. The helicopters have been indigenously manufactured under Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The advanced versions of ALH (MK-III utility and weaponized MK-IV Rudra) have been inducted by the Indian Army and Air Force, the Indian Navy and ICG have operated only older MK-I variant with conventional cockpit and HAL’s Shakti TM 333 2B2 turboshaft engines. The MK-III has a full glass cockpit with HAL’s Integrated Architecture Display System (IADS), more powerful Shakti engines and various new systems integrated by HAL’s Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWRDC). HAL worked on the two helicopters swiftly before the COVID-19 pandemic halted field trials. The helicopters equipped with latest-generation avionics and role equipment are primarily meant for shore-based role. The choppers can even embark ships if needed. The aircraft comes with a nose-mounted surveillance radar with 270 degree coverage to detect, classify and track multiple marine targets. It also has synthetic-aperture radar, inverse synthetic-aperture radar and moving target indication classification functions, including weather mode. It has multi-spectral electro-optic pod for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and range finding with stowable control grip on co-pilot side. Certain other features of the helicopter are, removable medical intensive care unit for the air ambulance role, high intensity searchlight, loudhailer, 12.7 mm cabin mounted machine gun, traffic alert and collision avoidance system and many such latest technologies. It is an achievement to assemble all such facilities in a light helicopter.
BDL to develop anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian Army
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) signed the deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to develop 4,960 anti-tank guided missiles. The deal is estimated to cost about Rs. 1,188 crores. These missiles will be used by the Indian Army. It can be fired from vehicle based launchers and also from ground. These missiles, having the range of 1,850 metres, are expected to be inducted in the service in next 3 years. BDL, with the license and collaboration of French defence major MBDA missile systems, will develop the missile, named as ‘MILAN-2T’.
Since few months, the MoD was planning to finalise the procurement projects and their development process for the three forces. These projects would help in enhancing the overall combat capabilities of the three forces. ‘MILAN-2T’ anti-tank guided missiles will be deployed for offensive as well as defensive operations.
‘New India @ 75’ to be dedicated to the nation this Independence Day
The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has undertaken the new assignment to develop and manufacture 125 mm Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) AMK 339 ammunition. This project will be completed with the Russian collaboration in the High Energy Projectile Factory (HEPF) facilities at Jabalpur and Nagpur. This project is a part of the new initiative ‘New India @ 75’, conceptualized by the Central Government to boost the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ policy.
The dedicated infrastructure required for production will be completed by the end of this year and 90% of the civil work has been completed. The project, named as ‘Mango’, will see the indigenisation of raw materials and components, and the production is expected to start from December 2021. This project will be dedicated to the nation on 15th August 2021, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The establishment, which was earlier named as ‘High Alloy Penetrator Project’, saw a change in its name to reflect its expertise in development and production of anti-tank kinetic energy projectiles. The HEPF will also supply 300 Rocket Guided Bombs (RGB) to the Indian Navy, catering to its demand. RGB 60 is a part of the anti-submarine ammunition used by the Indian Navy. Also, 57 RGB 60 ammunition will be exported to Myanmar.