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READING LIST

OCTOBER 2014 ISSUE

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We expect MMRCA and the A330 MRTT Flight Refuelling Aircraft contracts concluded in the near future. Both these aircraft are critical to the build up of our operational capability
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
 

ACM Arup Raha What is holding up the signing of the MMRCA contract? What is plan-B to make the combat strength?
Contract negotiations were being carried out by the CNC through four sub-committees. Three CNC sub-committees negotiating ‘Maintenance’, ‘Offset’ and ‘Transfer of Technology’ have completed their negotiations and submitted their reports. The Contract sub-committee has resolved most of the contractual aspects with the representatives of Dassault Aviation and HAL. Certain pending issues will be resolved soon and a contract signed after obtaining CCS approval. No alternatives are being considered as MMRCA induction is part of IAF’s Long Term Perspective Plan based on capabilities required in the long term, the envisaged technology drivers and the threat scenarios in the future.

How many combat squadrons will the air force have by 2017? What is the minimum requirement given the two fronts, in the west and the east?
By 2017, IAF would have less than the existing 35 fighter squadrons. Our minimum requirement remains 45 squadrons.

What acquisition contracts are expected to be signed by end of financial year 2014-2015? Do you expect the tanker aircraft contract to be signed in the present financial year?
Contracts in respect of Attack Helicopters, Heavy Lift Helicopters, additional Dornier aircraft, Micro-light aircraft, additional Cheetal Helicopters, Ground Based Mobile Elint Systems, Laser Designator Pods, simulators for Su-30 MKI aircraft and additional IACCS nodes are expected to be signed by the end of this year. We expect MMRCA and the A330 MRTT Flight Refuelling Aircraft contracts concluded in the near future. Both these aircraft are critical to the build up of our operational capability.

What is the quicker route for acquisitions: Foreign Military Sales or Direct Commercial Sales, and why?
The IAF is procuring equipment under the Foreign Military Sales route only with USA. The choice between FMS and Direct Commercial Sales is not governed by the requirements of expediency in procurement. These decisions are based on the type and quantity of equipment being sought and the existing government policies in the country of origin of the equipment. Attempting to assess FMS and Direct Commercial Sales purely in terms of time taken would be inappropriate.

What is the update on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft?
The Inter-governmental agreement (IGA) for development and production of FGFA was signed between India and Russia on 18 October 2007. The Preliminary Design Phase was completed in June 2013. At present, Contract Negotiation for R&D phase is in progress. Since FGFA is a major project in terms of technical complexities, work-share and the costs involved, the CNC is studying these aspects critically.

What is the update on ALGs and MAFI plan?
Project Modernisation of Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) involves installation of modern navigational aids at all the IAF airfields to improve the operational environment. This turnkey project is being executed in two phases. The contract for Phase-I was signed with M/s Tata Power SED on 16 March 2011 for modernisation of 30 IAF airfields. Bathinda was developed as the model airfield and declared operational on 25 March 2014. Modernisation of the rest of the airfields under Phase-I is under way. The implementation of MAFI- Phase-II, that involves 37 airfields of IAF, Navy and Ministry of Home Affairs has been approved and initiated.

 
 
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