The Formidable General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper for Indian Armed Forces

Two General Atomics “Predator B” drones, also called the MQ-9 Reaper Sea Guardian, has been leased by the Indian Navy, in November 2020, from the USA for extended surveillance in the Indian Ocean. These drones are operating from INS Rajali near Arkonnam on the east coast. They are under the operational control of Indian NavyContinue reading “The Formidable General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper for Indian Armed Forces”

MILITARY AVIATION INDIGENOUS PRODUCTION – STRATEGY INDIA

India’s defence aviation industry is at times accused of not having significantly met the indigenous production needs of the air arms of the Indian armed forces despite being in existence for nearly seven decades. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), for long had master the art of license production, wherein they assembled aircraft from Original Equipment ManufacturerContinue reading “MILITARY AVIATION INDIGENOUS PRODUCTION – STRATEGY INDIA”

A Professional’s Rambling? Evolution of Airpower – Challenges, Questions, and Thoughts

End of Manned Figher Jet Era? During an informal chat with Lt. Gen John Thompson of US Space Command, Elon Musk made a very provocative statement and that too, in a room full of fighter pilots. He stated that the manned “fighter jet era has passed”. This happened during the annual US Air Force Association’sContinue reading “A Professional’s Rambling? Evolution of Airpower – Challenges, Questions, and Thoughts”

Does India Need a Long-Range Bomber?

A saying that was allegedly unpopular with fighter pilots is that there are only two types of pilots, those that drop bombs and those who support them. While fighter flying has attained a type of romantic image of the rakish cur with goggles and a devil-may-care attitude, the bomber has created a more sinister imageContinue reading “Does India Need a Long-Range Bomber?”

Analysis of Peacetime Attrition of Historical IAF Aircraft

As a long term, non military observer of the Indian Air Force for over 50 years I believe I have a unique outsider’s perspective of the Air Force. In this era of social media the number of military aviation enthusiasts and followers can be seen to be enormous, but up to the early 1990s observersContinue reading “Analysis of Peacetime Attrition of Historical IAF Aircraft”

‘Tiger Squadron’ Birth of Military Aviation in India

October 1932 was a historic month for Indian Aviation. Indian Air Force was officially established on 08 October and on 15 October JRD Tata of Tata Airlines flew his aircraft beginning an airmail service between Karachi and Madras via Ahmedabad and Bombay. The month thus marked the birth of both military and civil aviation inContinue reading “‘Tiger Squadron’ Birth of Military Aviation in India”

MiG 21 and IAF: A Developmental Perspective

This is a story that traces MiG 21’s history with Indian Air Force (IAF) and impact from a developmental perspective rather than an operational one. How the legend was born into IAF. Due to the large number of types inducted, IAF had an important role in developmental cycle of the plane and hence, had impactContinue reading “MiG 21 and IAF: A Developmental Perspective”

The Strategic Bomber – Necessity or Luxury – Hello India

With Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 bombers positioned in large numbers at Kashgar, and also a few at Hotan, both in Xinjiang, not too far from the Ladakh border, it is time to understand the importance and role of strategic bombers. The major world powers have had strategic bombers  since World WarContinue reading “The Strategic Bomber – Necessity or Luxury – Hello India”

IAF in Ladakh – All Set For Extended Stay and Winter Operations

With little follow-on action by China after the marathon Corps Commander level talks, the two armed forces continue to be eye-ball to eye-ball across the Line of actual control (LAC). Indian Army (IA) and Indian Air Force (IAF) have always had a yearlong active action in Ladakh region ever since the Siachen glacier became theContinue reading “IAF in Ladakh – All Set For Extended Stay and Winter Operations”

Sukhoi – The Great Aircraft Design House – Some of The Best Airborne Platforms

The Joint Stock Company (JSC) Sukhoi Company is a major Russian, formerly Soviet, aircraft manufacturer, with its headquarters in Moscow, that designs both civilian and military aircraft. It was founded by Pavel Sukhoi in 1939 as the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB-51). In February 2006, the Russian government merged all Russian major aircraft design houses, the Sukhoi, Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev,Continue reading “Sukhoi – The Great Aircraft Design House – Some of The Best Airborne Platforms”