A Word from Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

SP's Aviation - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

Per­haps the most in­spir­ing event in the re­cent past

in In­dia in the do­main of de­fence and strate­gic af­fairs, was the four-day visit to In­dia in March this year by the Pres­i­dent of France, Em­manuel Macron. This visit by the French Pres­i­dent was em­i­nently suc­cess­ful and aimed at re­in­forc­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two na­tions, push­ing the long-stand­ing strate­gic part­ner­ship to a new level to en­able In­dia to play a much larger role in the world and es­pe­cially in the Indo-Pa­cific Re­gion. This is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant in the con­text of the grow­ing in­flu­ence of China in the re­gion.

One of the is­sues, from this visit, over which the In­dian Air Force (IAF), had hopes of good news was the pos­si­bil­ity of the pro­cure­ment of ad­di­tional 36 Rafale jets from Das­sault of France. How­ever, as the ini­tial pro­cure­ment of 36 Rafale jets has got mired in po­lit­i­cal con­tro­versy, the Govern­ment chose to post­pone an­nounce­ment on the pro­posal only af­ter the com­mence­ment of de­liv­ery of the first lot of these com­bat plat­forms.

This is­sue in­cludes an ex­ten­sive story on the host of de­tails per­tain­ing to 36 Rafale fight­ers’ ‘Make in In­dia’ and Off­sets’ plan; courtesy Live­fist, a blog by an ac­tive aerospace and de­fence jour­nal­ist Shiv Aroor. This re­port from Shiv Aroor on the first deal for 36 Rafale jets fo­cuses not only on the trans­parency of the deal, but also the phe­nom­e­nal op­por­tu­ni­ties that are em­bed­ded in it for the In­dian aerospace in­dus­try in the pri­vate sec­tor on ac­count of the off­set obli­ga­tion of 50 per cent. On the ac­qui­si­tion of com­bat and other plat­forms for the IAF, this is­sue of the mag­a­zine car­ries a de­tailed re­port by Gp Capt J Noronha which high­lights the ex­tremely slow process at which in­duc­tion of new plat­forms are tak­ing place. The bot­tom line is the need for ad­e­quate fund­ing with­out which the IAF can­not at­tain the lev­els of mod­erni­sa­tion that it badly needs.

This is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion car­ries an in­ter­view with Pratyush Ku­mar, Pres­i­dent, Boe­ing In­dia, wherein he shares his perspective on why In­dia should se­ri­ously con­sider the F/A-18 Su­per Hor­net in its search for a com­bat air­craft to build up the strength of its com­bat fleet in the IAF. He ex­plains how this op­tion would not only pro­vide the IAF a highly ca­pa­ble plat­form, but will also be an im­pe­tus to the aerospace in­dus­try in In­dia.

In the do­main of the In­dian civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try, the ma­jor event in the re­cent past was Wings In­dia 2018 held at Hyderabad. Two new busi­ness jets, Das­sault’s ul­tra-long Fal­con 8X and the Hon­dajet made their maiden ap­pear­ance at the air­show. Ro­hit Sri­vas­tava has cov­ered the air­show in de­tail in this is­sue.

Dur­ing the visit of the French Pres­i­dent, for­ward move­ment was recorded in the civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try when the In­dian low­cost car­rier SpiceJet fi­nalised a $12.50 bil­lion deal with CFM for the pur­chase of LEAP-1B engines for their fleet of 155 Boe­ing 737 MAX air­lin­ers as well as spare engines to sup­port the fleet. A re­port on this by Ar­pita Kala fig­ures in this is­sue. Ar­pita also has a re­port on the growth of busi­ness avi­a­tion in China and emerg­ing trends in this seg­ment of the Chi­nese civil avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

All this and more in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion. Wel­come aboard and do visit us at Booth No. 6.2.10 in Hall 6 at the De­f­expo 2018.

JAYANT BARAN­WAL PUB­LISHER & ED­I­TOR- IN- CHIEF

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