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OLD ISSUE
INTERVIEW
The IAF is Funding up to 30 Per Cent of the Design and Development Cost of LCA MK II’
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik PVSM, AVSM, ADC
What key acquisitions are likely to fructify into contracts by Air Force Day 2011?
The Indian Air Force is proceeding as per the laid down norms enunciated in the Defence Procurement Policy and various acquisitions programmes are at different stages of the procurement. As you are already aware, the C-130J will be inducted during the first week of February this year, as also a variety of new-generation radars. The MMRCA report is being examined by the MoD and we expect the contract to be signed this year. We also expect to finalise the contracts for a few other acquisitions this year.

What is going on regarding modernisation of ADGES?
Some of the existing sensors of the Air Defence Ground Environment System are planned to be phased out and replaced with newer generation radars in a phased manner. IAF is planning to induct Medium Power Radar (MPRs) which will replace existing radars. Delivery of these radars is expected to start soon. IAF is also inducting the indigenous Rohini radars. Additionally, Low Level Transportable Radars (LLTRs) are being procured to cover the gaps in the air defence cover.
We expect to induct the indigenous versions of MPRs and LLTRs by 2014-15. Some Low Level Light Weight Radars (LLLWRs) have been procured for deployment in hilly terrains. IAF is also planning to procure additional Aerostat radars before the end of the 12th plan. All these ground-based and airborne sensors will be complemented by AWACS and AEW&C aircraft. Networking of all the sensors is already underway and would provide uninterrupted and integrated air situation picture at the command posts. Our Surface to Air Ground Weapons (SAGW) capabilities are also being bolstered with the procurement of very short range missiles as well as extended range surface to air missiles.

When are you expecting the Mirage 2000 upgrade contract to be signed and what will it involve? What is the update regarding the issue of RFP to two short-listed vendors for Jaguar engine upgrade?

The Mirage-2000 upgrade has been planned to incorporate advanced avionics and to bring the aircraft’s weapons capability at par with other advanced fighter aircrafts of today. The initial upgrade would be undertaken by the OEM, after which series production would be handled by HAL. The upgrade project includes NVG compatible glass cockpit, advanced navigational systems, advanced IFF, multi-mode multi-target radar, a fully integrated EW suite and an advanced BVR missile. Certain indigenous weapons and nav-attack systems would also be integrated by HAL. The upgrade programme will enhance the combat potential of the Mirage-2000 for its residual life. We have successfully completed the process of contract negotiations and are in the process of ensuring requisite approvals before finalising the contract. As far as the Jaguar engine upgrade is concerned, the RFP was issued to the two short-listed vendors in November 2010 and their response is due in March 2011.
 What is the update on the MMRCA including a possible down–sizing of the six vendors, and when do you expect the contract to be signed?

As you know, all the contenders in the fray are proven combat platforms. However, we need to make the right choice and look at what suits our requirements the best. The MMRCA procurement is on schedule and presently staff evaluation report is being progressed with MoD. Offset evaluations are also being progressed in parallel. These processes will be followed by the Contract Negotiation Committee proceedings. We are hopeful that the process will be completed during this year
 
 
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