HQ IDS and the IAF are in the Process of Implementing a Roadmap for Strengthening Cyber Security in the IAF in Consultation with NSCS
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC
Interview CASWhen do you expect the MMRCA contract to be signed?
The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) induction project is an important component of our transformation plan. As you are aware, Rafale has been declared as the L1 contender and consequently, Dassault Aviation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are currently in the process of finalising the ‘Work Share’ and ‘Technical Collaboration Agreements’ (TCA) with all Indian Production Agencies (IPAs). The MMRCA project is for 126 aircraft, which includes 18 direct flyaway and 108 License Manufactured Aircraft (LMA) in India by HAL.

As the Lead Production Agency, HAL will assume the responsibility through transfer of technology (ToT). The manufacture of remaining systems, sub-systems and accessories will be undertaken by other IPAs, including private sector industry.The MMRCA procurement is largest in terms of scope and deliverables and the aspects related to ToT are vast and complex. Dassault Aviation and HAL have been discussing the ToT issues and are in the process of closing all the issues related to LMA. Therefore, it may not be possible to lay down stringent timelines for a very important and complex process.

What will be the priority of the following acquisitions during the 12th defence plan (2012-2017): MRTT, attack helicopters, heavy lift helicopters, additional C-130J, C-17 and AWACS, procurement of software defined radios, phase-II of IACCS, and ODL for network centric operations?
You must understand that any capital procurement undertaken by the Indian Air Force (IAF) is based on our Long Term Perspective Plan and catering for the inherent gestation period we have planned our capability build up in a phased manner so as to achieve the desired capability over each five year plan period. Each of the schemes that you mentioned rank very high on our priority list and are integral to this capability development process. Hence, there is no inter-se prioritisation and the IAF aims to acquire the mentioned assets and the capability during the 12thplan period.

What IAF projects (including the FGFA and MTA) is HAL presently working on and what are their expected dates of induction?
IAF has been working with HAL on projects spanning the entire spectrum of equipment being operated by the IAF. There are design and development projects like the First Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA)which are being developed in collaboration with Russia.Projects like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) are being indigenously developed/manufactured by HAL. Many of these projects,however, have been inordinately delayed during the design and development process, and issues related to these are being addressed at appropriate levels. HAL is also involved in the upgrade programmes for the Mirage-2000 and Jaguar aircraft as well as handling the contracts for the production of additional Hawk aircraft, Dornier, the utility version of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-Mk-III) and its armed version (ALH Mk-IV). And as I mentioned in answer to your first question, HAL will be the lead Production Agency for license manufacture of 108 MMRCA in India, once that contract is finalised.
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