Rafael’s Colonel Joseph Horowitz explains the capabilities of the Derby and Python systems at the Singapore Airshow 2016 and gives us updates on seeker technology and trials with India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
Our pseudonymous analyst Mark is back with his take on the story so far of the IAF’s quest for fighter aircraft. He last contributed a much talked-about two-part analysis of the MMRCA tender in April 2012.
With the IAF no longer interested in the development of the Mk2, the Indian Navy will undertake a process to determine if they should continue with the development of the model on their own.
The IAF has lowered the bar for HAL and ADA and given up on the prospect of an LCA Mk2 by agreeing to accept the existing LCA in large numbers but HAL still has to deliver the first aircraft from the earlier order.
The post-MMRCA narrative unfolding since April is one in which the Modi government has quietly reached out to at least three foreign OEMs to invite interest in building fighter aircraft in India.
With force numbers declining and options like the LCA and the FGFA seem to be falling short, why did successive air chiefs advocate a there-is-no-alternative approach to a non-compliant MMRCA bid?
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar: ‘A replacement (for the MiG-21) could be the LCA Tejas or another – I’ll not call it low end – but a single engine lighter aircraft. Tejas is a good aircraft but it has its limitations.’
Air Marshal M Matheshwaran analyzes exactly why the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft will never fully meet the ASR and cannot become the IAF ‘s frontline fighter in the Lo segment.
Air Marshal M Matheswaran (retired) goes back in history to examine the reasons why the Light Combat Aircraft project has failed to meet expectations.
After spending USD 30 billion on the FGFA and USD 20 billion on the MMRCA, the Indian Air Force will be left with a serious shortfall of at least 14 squadrons in 2032, going by the ‘best-case scenario’.