A Word from Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

SP's Aviation - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

avi­a­tion scene in the do­main of both mil­i­tary and civil avi­a­tion that is be­ing held from July 16 to 22 this year, is the bi­en­nial Air­show at Farn­bor­ough Air­port. This year at the Air­show, there are over 1,500 ex­hibitors from 52 coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing of which 71 per cent are from out­side the United King­dom. There will be 150 air­craft, both mil­i­tary and civil, on dis­play and the or­gan­is­ers ex­pect over 1,50,000 vis­i­tors in­clud­ing trade del­e­ga­tions from across the world. In this is­sue of the magazine, Ar­pita Kala and Ro­hit Sri­vas­tava, have a de­tailed pre­view of this gala event.

In the first week of this month, Boe­ing and Em­braer, two ma­jor play­ers in the global aero­space in­dus­try en­gaged in the pro­duc­tion of air­lin­ers, lit­er­ally made waves when they signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing to forge a strate­gic part­ner­ship that, as a joint ven­ture, po­si­tions both com­pa­nies on an el­e­vated plat­form. This part­ner­ship will cer­tainly pose fresh chal­lenges for the other play­ers in the world mar­ket. In this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion, Air Mar­shal Sukhchain Singh (Retd) has an in­depth anal­y­sis on this cru­cial devel­op­ment that is of tremen­dous sig­nif­i­cance for the global aero­space mar­ket.

The In­dian Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) has once again em­barked on an ex­er­cise to pro­cure fourth-gen­er­a­tion fighter air­craft to make up for the de­fi­ciency in the com­bat fleet of the In­dian Air Force (IAF). Un­for­tu­nately, the MoD has opted to tra­verse a path sim­i­lar to one that rather trag­i­cally, failed af­ter eight years of ef­fort. In this is­sue, Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) writes about this lat­est move by the MoD and the un­cer­tain­ties ahead. While on the sub­ject of pro­cure­ment of mil­i­tary air­craft, the other area where de­lay and un­cer­tainty has plagued the IAF is the re­place­ment of the ob­so­les­cent fleet of HS-748 Avro trans­port air­craft. The Air­bus C295 twin-en­gine, medium-lift tur­bo­prop air­craft was iden­ti­fied long ago as the pre­ferred plat­form, to be man­u­fac­tured in In­dia for which Tata Ad­vanced Sys­tems lim­ited has been se­lected. Un­for­tu­nately, the case has been lan­guish­ing for years, mired in the com­plex bu­reau­cratic pro­ce­dural tan­gle. Un­due de­lay in the pro­cure­ment of mil­i­tary hard­ware has se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for the In­dian armed forces and in turn for na­tional se­cu­rity. Hence it is in­cum­bent on the gov­ern­ment of the day to clear this pro­posal with­out fur­ther dither­ing. A re­port on this prob­lem has been in­cluded in this is­sue of the magazine.

Al­though ad­vance­ments in the do­main of rotary-wing plat­forms, com­pared to those in the fixed-wing regime, have been some­what slower, there are in­no­va­tions of sig­nif­i­cance un­der­way that are ex­pected to en­hance the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the next gen­er­a­tion of com­bat heli­copters. One area in which the United States has taken the lead is that of the Fu­ture Ver­ti­cal Lift (FVL) plat­forms that will pro­vide en­hanced ver­sa­til­ity and op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties to com­bat heli­copters to be de­vel­oped in the years to come. There is a de­tailed re­port by Group Cap­tain A.K. Sachdev (Retd) on the next gen­er­a­tion com­bat heli­copters.

All these and more in this is­sue of SP’s Avi­a­tion. Wel­come aboard and wish you happy land­ings!

Jai Hind!

Un­due de­lay in the pro­cure­ment of mil­i­tary hard­ware has se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for the In­dian armed forces and in turn for na­tional se­cu­rity


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