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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 24 January, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Defense procurement for India

Defense procurement for India

  • The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is scheduled to deliver the first batch of three indigenous Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) to Army and Air Force before March 31.
  • They are part of the 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) LCH helicopters approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
  • Early this month, the Defence Ministry said in its annual report the contracts for the procurement of the LCH from HAL, additional Harop (P-IV) loitering drones from Israel and upgrade of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAV) in service are “likely to be signed in the first quarter of 2021”.
  • The Army variant of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), which has completed all tests and also demonstrated its high-altitude capability in hot and high weather conditions last September, is scheduled to receive its Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) at the Aero India.
  • With a range of helicopters in the smaller range, HAL is working on a 12-tonne Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) as a replacement for the MI-17 helicopters in service. The Army and the Air Force are working out the Service Quality Requirements (SQR), the source said.
  • The LCH and the LUCH along with the weaponised Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) will be showcased inside the Indian pavilion at Aero India to showcase the range of indigenous development.
  • The LUH is a three-tonne helicopter positioned as replacement for the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
  • According to HAL, it is capable of flying at 220 kmph, service ceiling of 6.5 km and a range of 350 km with 500 kg payload.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas

  • The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme was started by the Government of India in 1984 when they established the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme.
  • LCA Tejas was designed and developed by India’s HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
  • It replaced the ageing Mig 21 fighter planes.
  • It was in 2003 that the Light Combat Aircraft programme was named ‘Tejas’ (meaning radiance in Sanskrit) by the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • It is the second supersonic fighter jet that was developed by HAL (the first one being HAL HF-24 Marut).
  • LCA Tejas is a single-engine multirole light combat aircraft.
  • It is the lightest and smallest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
  • It is designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, and standoff weaponry.
  • Tejas has a single-engine, compound Delta wing, and has a tailless design.
  • The idea behind the LCA programme was to expand and develop India’s indigenous aerospace capabilities.
  • Since the 1970s, the MiG 21 planes were the mainstay of the Indian Air Force. The primary goal of the LCA programme was to replace the ageing MiGs.
  • The secondary goal was the advancement of indigenous domestic aviation capabilities.
  • HAL plans to deliver 123 Tejas aircraft to the Indian Air Force by 2024-25.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)

  • India is expected to launch its indigenous fighter Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) by 2032. The AMCA will feature geometric stealth and will initially fly with two GE-414 engines. The engines will be replaced by the indigenous engines.
  • There are two major ways of making a military platform stealthier.
  1. Geometric stealth: the shape of the aircraft is designed at such angles so as to deflect away maximum radar waves thereby minimising its radar cross-section.
  2. Material stealth: radar-absorbing materials are used in making the aircraft which will absorb the radio waves thus reducing the radar footprint.
  • The AMCA will initially be based on geometric stealth, the material stealth shall be focussed upon at a later stage.
  • The plan is to build on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the light combat aircraft (LCA) and produce a medium fifth generation fighter aircraft. AMCA is being conceived as a progression from the LCA Tejas.
  • Apart from the technologies developed from the LCA project, the new fighter programme is important as technologies coming in through that will flow into the AMCA project.
  • India had expressed its unwillingness to go ahead with the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) with Russia primarily due to the high cost involved in the project. This is India’s only fifth-generation aircraft programme after the decision.

Specifications of AMCA

  • The aircraft will incorporate advanced technologies like super maneuverability, supercruise, stealth, state of the art sensor suite with fusion.
  • It is being developed by an aerospace industry team which consist of Aeronautical Development Agency as a design firm and to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The AMCA is being designed as a stealth, medium weight, twin-engine, fifth generation multi-mission aircraft with the capability to swing roles.
  • The stealth mission features the Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD), precision strike and maritime operations.

Source: TH


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