Israeli arms firm Rafael displayed a Bollywood-style dance number featuring Israeli artists in full Bollywood costume singing in English about the potential for the Indo-Israeli defense trade relationship on large screen televisions at their stall at Aero India 2009 recently.
The recent capitulation by the Pakistan government in the face of Islamist elements in the Swat valley has had led to worried talk of a hardline Islamist eastward creep towards India’s western borders. StratPost finds out if India really has something to worry about.
The Defense Minister AK Antony disappointed the contenders for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft contract during Aero India 2009, by declining to fly in any of the planes brought by four of the contenders. The representatives of the companies had hoped to have an interaction with the minister and try and get some hint as to where things where headed with the tender.
Gripen points out that all other fighters are manufactured by the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council.
The Super Viper is the only single-engine aircraft with an operational AESA radar, which is why Lockheed Martin is assured about their standing in the MMRCA race.
So how is the Gulfstream 55O platform-based aircraft different from the IL-76 platform based Phalcon system, of which three units are being purchased by India? Shalom Revivo, Joint Director at Israeli Aircraft Industries draws a whole list of distinctions.
The Australian Trade Commission is present in strength at Aero India 2009, looking to help Australian vendors get a piece of the action as far as India’s aerospace and defense industries are concerned.
The offset requirements raised to 50 per cent with the onset of the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) last August, continue to make foreign defense vendors uncomfortable. Bell helicopters had dropped out of the race to supply 197 helicopters to the Indian armed forces because of exactly this reason.
The fighter is in the running for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft tender floated by the Indian government along with five other contenders. John Giese of Lockheed Martin says, “By offering the Super Viper to the IAF we’re offering exactly what they asked for in the tender. The IN is designed to meet IAF specifications.”
He said this while briefing the press on the second day of Aero India 2009, when he also indicated the economic downturn would have little or no effect on the defense industry.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is displaying two of it’s old aircraft at Aero India 2009 to allow aviation enthusiasts to savor the IAF’s past, even in the din of the modern-day supersonic fighter jets jetting past. The De Havilland DH82 Tigermoth and Harvard aircraft are on static display at the show.
62-year-old Air Marshal Harish Masand was visibly thrilled at having flown the aircraft, calling it far more comfortable than the earlier MiG-29.
A Russian business daily reported last week the grounding of the Russian Air Force’s MiG-29 fleet, when recently, a tail broke away during a training exercise. The Vice President of Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) confirmed on Wednesday, the grounding of the aircraft, saying an inquiry was underway.
Gripen’s Eddy de la Motte points out the unique defensive and offensive capabilities of the fighter plane in being able to land on public roads, be serviced and take off again to continue operations, while explaining why he thinks the Gripen is the best aircraft for India’s anticipated 126 MMRCA purchase.
StratPost spoke exclusively to a man who has extensively flown the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Mig 21, as well as Saab’s Gripen fighter, one of the contenders for the MMRCA deal. Colonel Petr Mikulenka of the Czech Air Force, spoke to StratPost about his experiences with both aircraft.