How indigenous is the Indian Tejas organic balance

India depends on the air force. Indian Air Force Air Force strategic air transport


Vladimir SHCHERBAKOV

Modern India is a rapidly developing global state. Its importance as a powerful aerospace power is growing steadily. For example, the country has its own modern SHAR space center on the island of Shrikharikat, a well-equipped space flight control center, a well-developed national missile and space industry that is used to mass-develop and build launch vehicles capable of launching payloads into space (including geostationary). Lanes). The country has already entered the international space services market and has the experience of launching foreign satellites into space. There are also cosmonauts, the first of them - Air Force Major Rokesh Sharma - visited space in April 1984, but the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz.

The Air Force of the Republic of India is the youngest type of national armed force. Officially, the date of its establishment is October 8, 1932, when the British colonial administration in Rusal Pure (now located in Pakistan) began the formation of the UK's first Royal Air Force air wing composed of representatives of the local population. The main command of the Indian Air Force was not formed until after the country gained independence in 1947.

The Indian Air Force is currently the largest and most combat-capable of all South Asian countries and is even among the ten largest and most powerful air forces in the world. In addition, they have real and fairly rich experience in warfare.

Organizationally, the Air Force of the Republic of India consists of a headquarters (in Delhi), a training command, a logistics command (MTO) and five operational (regional) aviation commands (AK):

Western AK headquartered in Pala-me (Delhi region): Its mission is the air defense of a large area from Kashmir to Rajasthan, including the capital of the state. In view of the complexity of the situation in the Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir region, a separate task force was set up there.

Southwest AK (headquarters in Gandhi-Nagar): Rajasthan, Gujarat and Saurashtra are defined as areas of responsibility;

Central AK with seat in Allahabad (also called Ilahabad): The area of ​​responsibility covers almost the entire Indogangetic level;

Ost-AK (Headquarters in Shillong): Air defense of the eastern regions of India, Tibet and the areas on the borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar;

South AK (headquarters in Trivandrum): founded in 1984, is responsible for the security of the airspace in the southern part of the country.

The MTO command, headquartered in Nagpur, is subordinate to various warehouses, repair shops (companies) and aircraft storage parks.

The training command is headquartered in Bangalore and is responsible for combat training for air force personnel. It has an extensive network of educational institutions of various ranks, most of which are located in South India. In the Air Force Academy (Dandgal) basic flight training is carried out for future pilots and the pilots are trained on TS training aircraft at special schools in Bidar and Hakimpet. 11 “Spark” and “Kieran”. In the near future, the Indian Air Force will also receive Hawk MI 32 training aircraft. In addition, the training command has special training centers such as the College of Air Warfare.

There is also an interspecific combined Far East Command of the Armed Forces (also called Andamano-Nicobars Command) with headquarters in Port Blair, to which the air force units stationed in this area are operationally subordinate.

This type of Indian Air Force is led by the Air Force Commander (local name is Air Force Chief of Staff), usually with the rank of Chief Air Marshal. The main air force bases (VVB): Allahabad, Bam-Rauli, Bangalore, Dandigal (this is where the Indian Air Force Academy is located), Hakimpet, Hyderabad, Jam-Nagar, Jojpur, Nagpur, Delhi and Shil-Long. There are also more than 60 other main and reserve air weapons and airfields in various parts of India.

According to official data, the total number of the Indian Air Force reaches 110 thousand people. More than 2,000 military and auxiliary aviation aircraft and helicopters are in service with this type of national armed forces of the Republic, including:

Fighter bomber

Fighters and air defense fighters

Over 460;

Reconnaissance aircraft - 6;

Transport aircraft - more than 230;

Training and combat training aircraft - more than 400;

Fire support helicopters - about 60;

Multipurpose, transport and communication helicopters - approx. 600.

In addition, several dozen air defense divisions are subordinate to the Air Force Command, armed with more than 150 anti-aircraft missile systems of various types, mainly Soviet and Russian designs (the most recent are 45 Tunguska M-1 air defense systems).


In parade, Mikoyan Design Bureau aircraft that are in service with the Indian Air Force



Jaguar fighter-bomber and MiG-29 of the Indian Air Force



MiG-27ML Bahadur fighter-bomber


The special forces of the Indian Air Force, whose units are called Garud, are in a special position. Its mission is to defend the main air force facilities, conduct anti-terrorism and anti-sabotage operations.

It should be emphasized, however, that due to the relatively high accident rate in the Indian Air Force, it is not possible to precisely specify the quantitative composition of its fleet. For example, according to the authoritative Aircraft amp; Asia Pacific Aerospace, 1993-1997 only. The Indian Air Force lost a total of 94 planes and helicopters of various types. On the one hand, the losses are of course compensated by the license production of aircraft in Indian aircraft factories or through acquisitions, on the other hand, this does not happen so quickly.

The most important tactical unit of the Indian Air Force is traditionally an Aviation Squadron (AE) with an average of 18 aircraft. According to the provisions of the ongoing reform of the armed forces, 41 AE combat aircraft (including helicopters with attack helicopters) should be available by 2015. In addition, at least a third of their total number should be squadrons equipped with multi-purpose aircraft - mostly Su-ZOMKI. As of early 2007, there were more than 70 nuclear power plants in the national air force, including:

Anti-aircraft fighters - 15;

Fighter Assault - 21;

Naval Aviation - 1;

Intelligence - 2;

Transport - 9;

Tank truck - 1;

Helicopter drums - 3;

Helicopter transportation, communication and surveillance - over 20,

Despite the impressive fleet of aircraft and helicopters, the Indian Air Force is currently struggling to keep all aircraft in good technical condition. According to many analysts, a significant proportion of the aircraft and helicopters manufactured by the Soviet Union are technically and morally outdated and in an unsuitable condition. As mentioned earlier, the Indian Air Force has high accident rates, which is most likely also due to the poor technical readiness of older aircraft and helicopters. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, 449 aircraft were lost between 1970 and June 4, 2003: 31 Jaguars, 4 Mirages and 414 MiGs of various types. Recently, this number has improved slightly - to 18 aircraft in 2002 (i.e. 2.81 aircraft per 1000 flight hours) and even less in subsequent years - but Indian aviation is still getting noticeably thinner.

This issue can only cause concern under the command of the national air force and the armed forces as a whole. It is therefore not surprising that the Air Force's budget for 2004-2005 is sufficient. English: eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUri...0022: EN: HTML The purchase of aviation equipment, ammunition and equipment is financed at the same time under separate item from the total armed forces budget, which was $ 15 billion over the period (an increase of 9.45% for the EU) compared to the previous fiscal year, this amounts to approximately 2.12% of GDP plus another 5, $ 7 billion - R&D and procurement of military equipment and equipment in 2004-2007.

There are two ways to solve problems with the fleet. This is the modernization of the old and the purchase of new aviation equipment and weapons. The first, of course, is the ongoing modernization program for 125 MiG-21bis fighters (the MiG-21 in various modifications was supplied by the Soviet Union and manufactured under license in India, with the first group of design bureaus in the country arriving for the organization at the production site of these aircraft in 1965). The new modification was named MiG-21-93 and is equipped with a modern "Spear" radar (OJSC "Fazotron-NIIR Corporation"), the latest avionics, etc. The modernization program was completed in the first quarter of 2005.



L and she to the MiG-29 fighter




Other countries did not stand aside. For example, in 2002 the Ukrainian company Ukrspetsexport signed an agreement for the overhaul of six MiG-23UB combat trainers of the 220th squadron at an estimated cost of about $ 15 million. As part of the work of the Chuguev aircraft repair plant of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the R-27F2M-300 engines were repaired (the direct contractor was the Lugansk aircraft repair plant), a glider, etc. In June, July and August 2004, the planes were sent to the Indian company Air Force surrender.

New equipment is also purchased. The main program is undoubtedly the acquisition of 32 multifunctional Su-ZOMKI fighter aircraft and the licensed production of another 140 aircraft of this type, which have already been manufactured in Indian territory (Russia has received a “deep license” without the right to re-use these aircraft to execute). The cost of these two contracts is estimated at nearly $ 4.8 billion. The peculiarity of the Su-ZOMKI program is that the aircraft is represented by avionics with Indian, French, English and Israeli designs, which Russian specialists have successfully integrated into the aircraft's fighter aircraft complex.

The first Su-30 (in the "K" modification) were included in the 24th fighter of the No-Assault Hunter Falcons, which is subordinate to the South-Western Aviation Command. The latter's area of ​​jurisdiction is the strategically most important area next to Pakistan and is rich in oil and gas deposits, etc., including on the seabed. By the way, almost all MiG-29 fighters are available to the same command. This shows the appreciation that the Indian military and politicians have for Russian aircraft.

The Su-ZOMKI, supplied by the Irkut Corporation, was officially adopted by the Indian Air Force and incorporated into the combat structure of the 20th Fighter-No-Assault AE, which is based on the Lohegaon Air Force near the city of Pune. Former Secretary of Defense George Fernandez attended the ceremony.

As early as June 11, 1997, the Indian Air Force Commander in Chief, Chief Marshal of Aviation, Satish Kumar Sari, stated during the official ceremony for the admission of the first eight Su-ZOKs into the Air Force: “The Su-ZOK is a perfect fighter satisfying the present and future needs of the air force. “Representatives of the Air Force Command of neighboring Pakistan have repeatedly expressed and continue to express" deep concern "about the entry of such modern aircraft into the Indian aviation arsenal. "Forty Su-30 planes are as destructive as 240 old planes armed with the Indian Air Force and have a greater range than Prithvi missiles." (Bill Sweetman. Looking towards a combative future. Jane's International Defense Review. Feb. 2002, pp. 62-65)

In India, these aircraft will be manufactured at the factories of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which invested around $ 160 million to install a new assembly line. The handover of the first Su-30MKI assembled in India took place on November 28, 2004. The last licensed fighter should be handed over to the troops in 2014 at the latest (previously it was planned to complete the program by 2017).

Of particular note is the fact that Indian sources have repeatedly expressed the view that the newest Russian planes will be able to replenish themselves and the list of India's nuclear delivery vehicles. Especially in the event that negotiations on the purchase of Tu-22MZ bombers with a flight range of approx. 2200 km and a maximum combat load of 24 tons do not lead to any result. And, as you know, India's military political leadership measures the improvement in combat capabilities of the Strategic Nuclear Forces Command, created on January 4, 2003 and led by a fighter pilot and now Air Marshal T. Asthan (former Commander of the Indian Air Force South Command), great importance. )



The improved MiG-21-93 fighter



Mi-8T transport helicopter




As for atommunition itself, according to available data from 1998, Indian experts also used air bombs with a capacity of less than a kiloton during nuclear tests in the Rajasthan desert at the Army's nuclear test site. And they plan to hang them up under "drying". Given the presence of tanker-tankers in the Indian Air Force, the Su-30MKI may become a strategic weapon as a low-powered nuclear weapon carrier.

In 2004, one of the most pressing problems facing the Indian Air Force was finally resolved - equipping it with modern training aircraft. Indian pilots will receive 66 Hawk Mk132 jet training aircraft based on a $ 1.3 billion contract with British company VAB Systems.

The government's IWT procurement committee had already approved the agreement in September 2003. However, the final decision was traditionally timed to the important event, namely the Defexpo lndia-2004 exhibition, which took place in February 2004 in the capital. Of the 66 aircraft ordered, 42 will be assembled directly in India at HAL's companies, and the first 24 will be assembled at BAE Systems' plants in Brow, East Yorkshire and Warton, Lancashire. The Indian version of the Hawk will be similar in many ways to the Hawk Mk115 modification used as part of the NFTC (NATO Flying Training in Canada) pilot training program for Canada.

The changes affect some equipment features of the cockpit. All American-made systems will also be removed. In its place and parts of the English equipment, a similar purpose, but designed and manufactured in India, will be installed. In the so-called "glass cabin" there are multifunction displays on the dashboard (head-down multifunction display), a display on the windshield (head-up display) and a control with the arrangement of the devices on the ORE (hands-on-throtty-and-stick ) intended or NOT LIKE).

In addition, the program to create an HJT-36 intermediate training aircraft (the Indian source uses the name Intermediate Jet Trainer or IJT) to replace the obsolete HJT-16 Kiran is also continuing successfully. The first prototype of the HJT-36, which HAL has been developing and building since July 1999, carried out a successful test flight on March 7, 2003.

Another undeniable success of the Indian defense industry is the specially designed Dhruv helicopter, which is intended to gradually replace the large fleet of Chita and Chitak helicopters. The formal commissioning of the new helicopter for the Indian Army took place in March 2002. Since then, several dozen vehicles have been delivered to the troops (both in the air force and in the army), which are subjected to intensive tests. It is expected that at least 120 Dhruv helicopters will join the armed forces of the republic in the next few years. In addition, the latter also has a civil modification that the Indians promote in the international market. There are already real and potential customers for these rotary wing aircraft.



Fighter "Mirage" 2000N



An-32 transport aircraft


Since the presence of AWACS aircraft in the air force has already become an indispensable necessity in modern conditions, the Indian command signed a contract on March 5, 2004 with the Israeli company IAI for the delivery of three sets of Phalcon AWACS systems, the be installed in specially converted IL aircraft -76. The DRLO complex comprises radars with a phased antenna array E. 1 / M-2075 from EltaCommunication and data exchange systems as well as electronic messaging services and electronic countermeasures.Almost all information about the Phalcon system is classified, but some Israeli and Indian sources claim that it is superior in its characteristics to a similar complex of the Russian A-50 AWACS aircraft, also developed on the basis of the IL-76 transport aircraft became (as Indian specialists can) English: www.germnews.de/archive/dn/1996/03/27.html In such statements they had the opportunity in the summer of 2000 to use the Russian Avax in the air force exercises, in which two A - 50 - Aircraft specifically participated to get to know better (Ranjit B. Rai the indi Asian Military Review, Volume 11, Issue 1, February 2003, p. 44.) The order has a volume of 1.1 billion USD, of which 350 million USD India pledged USD 45 days in advance. Date of signing of the contract: the first aircraft will be handed over to the Indian Air Force in November 2007, the second in August 2008 and the last in February 2009.

It should be noted that the Indians tried to solve this problem themselves and developed a project to convert several HS.748 transport aircraft made in India under English license into an AWACS aircraft (the program was called ASP). The mushroom-shaped cladding of the radar on the fuselage closer to the stern has a diameter of 4.8 m and is supplied by the German company DASA. The renovation work was entrusted to the HAL office in Kanpur. An experienced aircraft made its first flight in late 1990. Then the program was discontinued.

The implementation of the new military doctrine of the Indian armed forces, which was adopted around the turn of the century, required the creation of a fleet of refueling aircraft by the aviation command. The presence of such aircraft will allow the Indian Air Force to perform its tasks on a completely different level. Under a contract signed in 2002, India received six Il-78MKI tankers, the construction of which was entrusted to the Tashkent Aviation Plant. Each Il can take 110 tons of fuel on board and refuel seven aircraft in one take-off (Mirage and Su-30K / MKI were identified as the first candidates to work with tankers). The cost of an airplane is approximately $ 28 million. Interestingly, the Israeli aviation industry has also signed a contract here to equip the Ilovs with an air-to-air refueling system themselves.

The Indian company HAL is continuing the program begun in 1983 to develop the national LCA light fighter aircraft. The technical task for the aircraft was formulated in 1985 by the Indian Air Force, three years later under a contract worth USD 10 million from the French company Avions Marcel Dassault-Breguet Aviation completed the design of the aircraft and in 1991 the construction of the pilot Life cycle assessment. A new aircraft was originally scheduled to be launched in 2002, but the program began to slide and was constantly delayed. The main reason is the lack of financial resources and technical difficulties faced by Indian experts.

In the medium term, the commissioning of a new Russian-Indian transport aircraft, which so far has received the designation Il-214. The relevant agreement was signed during a visit to Delhi on February 5 and 8, 2002 by a Russian delegation made up of representatives from several ministries and departments headed by the then Minister of Industry, Science and Technology of Russia, Ilya Klebanov . At the same time, the second meeting of the Russian-Indian government commission for military-technical cooperation took place. The main developer of the aircraft is Russia. Production is carried out in the factories of the Russian concern Irkut and the Indian company HAL.

However, according to the Indian military, the main focus in the short term should be on purchasing the latest ammunition, mainly high-precision air-to-air weapons that the Indian Air Force practically does not have. According to Indian sources, the vast majority of modern Indian aviation weapons are made up of conventional bombs and obsolete missiles of various classes. In the current conditions of high-tech warfare, guided air bombs, "intelligent" medium- and long-range missiles, and other state-of-the-art weapons of war are needed.



Joint aerobatics MiG-29 and F-15 during one of the US-Indian exercises




In November 2004, Indian Air Force Command tentatively approved a plan of action that would make greater use of the budget allocated to this type of force for the procurement of aviation weapons. It is estimated that the Air Force Commander is allocated approximately $ 250 million annually for these purposes.

It should be noted that it is planned to equip the unmanned aerial vehicles of the Sercher, Mark-2 and Heroes types with small-caliber guided ammunition with GPS receivers and modern reconnaissance and surveillance systems for effective use in mountain areas (mainly on the border). with Pakistan). As a priority measure to strengthen the air defense of aviation associations, Air Force Command suggested that the Department of Defense leadership deploy at least 10 Shord short-range air defense divisions into the troops.

The military-political leadership of India is striving for a comprehensive development of military-technical cooperation with various countries without wanting to become dependent on a partner. The longest history is in military-technical ties with Great Britain (which is a given given the country's long colonial past) and Russia. However, Delhi is gradually getting new partners.

In 1982 a letter of intent (equivalent to a long-term intergovernmental agreement) was signed between India and France on matters of military-technical cooperation, including the supply of weapons and military equipment and the authorized manufacture of a range of weapons and military equipment. The possibility of the so-called technology transfer is also given. An intergovernmental advisory group was set up to ensure the most effective implementation of the agreement.

Then came Israel, with which India had developed fairly close ties in various areas, and the United States became the "freshest" partner. The latter gave India the status of a "strategically important partner" for the first time in the new National Security Strategy in September 2002.

As early as November 2001, at a summit meeting between US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, a mutual decision was made to establish a strategic partnership between the two countries. On September 21, 2004 negotiations took place in Washington between the US President and the new Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting, which discussed a wide variety of issues in such important areas as bilateral cooperation, regional security and development of economic relations, took place a few days after India and the United States had signed an important document lifting American export restrictions on investments in India on September 17th instead of nuclear power. The licensing of US companies' export activities in commercial space programs has also been simplified, and the Indian Space Research Organization (fSRO) has been blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce.

These activities are part of the first phase of a long-term strategic cooperation program, published in January 2004, which aims to remove all obstacles to bilateral cooperation in the fields of high technology, commercial uses of space and strengthening policies of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction . In American circles it is often referred to as the "Next Steps in Strategic Partnership" (NSSP).

The second stage of the NSSP will focus on further removing obstacles to closer high-tech cooperation and on joint steps to strengthen the non-proliferation regime for weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies.

When we talk about Russia, close cooperation with India, including in the military-technical field, is of vital importance. India is not only a "priority" buyer of our weapons, but also a strategic ally that actually covers our borders from the South Asian direction. Not to mention the fact that India is currently the dominant power in South Asia. Finally, it should be mentioned that Russia only has a long-term “program of military-technical cooperation” with India, which was originally designed for the period up to 2000 and has now been extended to 2010. And our military-political leadership should on no account be neglected initiative on this matter.


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The Indians plan to use a network architecture of interaction to make the country one of the most powerful and modern forces in the world. The Indian Air Force has prepared a comprehensive long-term program for the long-term development of the LTPP (Long Term Perspective Plan) until 2027 to potentially confront the air with any predicted threats. The government is making funds available for this.

Ambitious tasks are fulfilled through the implementation of three main programs:
- Acquisition of new aircraft to update the fleet;
- modernization of drilling equipment;
- The aviation operations are fully staffed with staff at the highest level and ongoing training.

The Indian aviation magazine once reported that the Indian Air Force was planning to spend $ 70 billion between 2012 and 2021 to buy new equipment and modernize its fleet. And according to Pakistan Defense, the director of the Examination and Security Commission, Aviation Marshal Reddy announced in November 2013 at the opening of the 8th International Conference on Accelerating the Development of India's Aerospace Industry that for the next 15 years the Indian Air Force will spend $ 150 billion on arms purchases.

For decades, the Indian Air Force was mainly limited to one source of supply - the USSR / Russia. Most of the equipment we have bought is now out of date. The Indian military today is alarmed by the decline in the combat effectiveness of its fleet and a number of other indicators. Meanwhile, the long-term and vigorous efforts of the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the local aerospace industry have not yet been able to give the Indian Air Force the capabilities they count on.

Almost complete reliance on foreign suppliers of advanced technology and equipment is possibly the main factor that could jeopardize the combat effectiveness of the national air force.

Buying new planes

The main task of the Indian Air Force is currently the acquisition and integration of military platforms based on the latest technological principles and the modernization of combat equipment. The list of weapons and military equipment to be procured by the Air Force is impressive.

Only 460 units are expected to be commissioned over the next ten years. Among them are the light fighters "Tejas" (148 units), 126 French Rafal fighters who have won the "MMRCA" (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) tender, 144 FGFA fighters of the fifth generation (Fifth Generation). A further 42 Su-30MK2 multi-purpose fighters have already been issued for production for the local company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The Air Force will also take over 75 training aircraft (UTS) of the Pilatus basic training (Pilatus), two more - remote radar detection and control (DRLO and U) based on the Russian Il-76 transport aircraft, ten military transporters C -17 Boeing production, 80 helicopters middle class, 22 attack helicopters, 12 VIP class helicopters.

According to the Financial Express newspaper, the Indian Air Force could in the near future sign the largest military contracts worth $ 25 billion in the history of its military-technical cooperation with foreign countries. The plans include a long-awaited contract to supply 126 fighters under the MMRCA fighter aircraft program (US $ 12 billion), a contract to purchase three C-130J aircraft for special forces, and 22 Apache AH-64 long-bow attack helicopters (1.2.) 15 CH-47 Chinook heavy military transport helicopters ($ 1.4 billion) and six A330 MRTT refueling aircraft ($ 2 billion).

As Air Force Commander of India, Chief Air Marshal Brown, five important transactions worth 25 billion US dollars are about to be signed in the current fiscal year (through March 2014).

As for missile weapons, the Indian Air Force has 18 medium-range anti-aircraft missiles (SAMs), MRSAM (medium-range surface-to-air missiles), four anti-spider missiles for 49 short-range missiles, SRSAM (short-range surface-to-air missiles) and eight Aakash missile launchers. The Air Force has developed a tiered plan for commissioning missiles of different classes to create a tiered defense system.

In addition, the Air Force has the capabilities of AWACS and U and is negotiating the purchase of two reconnaissance, surveillance, detection and targeting (ISTAR) systems with representatives of the American company Raytheon based on an agreement between the governments of the United States and India at a total cost of EUR 350 million dollars. Analysts believe Indian interest in such systems has increased after the operation in Libya.

When delivered to the Indian Air Force, ISTAR systems are integrated into the existing Indian Air Command and Control System (IACCS) based on the Indian model. Based on a similar system to the NATO standard, it allows you to control and coordinate the movement of aircraft, monitor the performance of combat missions by aviation, and conduct intelligence activities.IACCS integrates AWACS and U aircraft and radar devices for various purposes, which enables the data received to be transmitted to the central command and control system.

According to officials from the Indian Ministry of Defense, the main difference between ISTAR and AWACS, as well as underground planes, is that the first is designed to track ground targets and command troops on the battlefield, and the second is to set air targets and ensure air defense operations.

As for radar functions, the Air Force arsenal includes Rohinis radars, small aerostat radars, which are a smaller version of the DRLO and underground aerospace systems and fail to detect ground targets, medium power radars, light tactical radars and a network Data transfer AFNET (Air Force Network) and the modernized infrastructure of the airport MAFI (Modernization of Airport Infrastructure) are helpful.

The MAFI system will initially be equipped with the Bhatinda airfield (Rajasthan). The first medium-power radar in Nalya, Gujarat went into operation in 2013. In addition to these systems, UAVs in the country's arsenal are designed for reconnaissance missions, but their capabilities are limited.

Fleet modernization

The Air Force Fleet Improvement Program involves 63 MiG-29 fighters, 52 Mirage-2000s and 125 Jaguars. Three of 69 Indian MiG-29B / S fighters were upgraded in Russia under a contract signed in 2009 worth $ 964 million. Three more aircraft arrived in India at the end of 2013.

The remaining 63 MiG-29 fighters will be modernized in 2015-2016 in the HAL plant in Nasik and in the 11th aircraft repair plant of the Indian Air Force. These aircraft will be equipped with the new RD-33MK engines from Klimov, the phased array radar Zhuk-ME from Fazotron-NIIR Corporation and the air-to-air missiles Vympel R-77 to attack targets in the air Line of sight.

Upgrading the Mirage-2000 multipurpose fighter to the fifth generation standard will cost 1.67 billion rupees ($ 30 million) per unit. That's more expensive than buying these planes. Defense Minister Arakakapambil Kurian Anthony announced this to parliament in March 2013.

In 2000, India bought 52 Mirage 2000 fighters from France at a cost of 1.33 billion rupees (about $ 24 million) per unit. During the modernization, the fighters will receive new radar, avionics, on-board computers and target systems. As expected, six aircraft will be remembered in France and the rest - in India at HAL.

Mirage 2000 Multirole Fighter

The contract for the delivery of the Jaguar aircraft in the Darin III configuration, valued at Rs.31.1 billion, was signed in 2009. The work on HAL companies should be completed in 2017. The first updated aircraft successfully completed a test flight on November 28, 2012.

The aircraft is equipped with new on-board electronics (avionics) and multimode radar. In the future, it will be repowered, which makes the Jaguar all-weather capable, offers a high level of combat effectiveness and at the same time significantly extends the service life.

In order to equip the fleet of the improved "Jaguars", India has chosen the advanced medium-range missiles ASRAAM (Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile) developed by the French company MBDA and intends to purchase 350-400 missiles of this type.

Honeywell recently submitted an application to the Indian Ministry of Defense for 270 F125IN power plants developed by Sepecat and built on Indian HAL to upgrade the engines of 125 Jaguar fighters.

Employee training

An important aspect of the restructuring of the Indian Air Force is the increase in the number of troops and their training in the operation of new equipment. The Air Force plans to increase the number of fighter squadrons to 40–42 by the end of the 14th five-year period (2022–2027) and possibly to 45 units by the 15th period (2027–2032). The Indian Air Force currently has 34 squadrons.

It should achieve the highest level of operational readiness after the takeover of all Su-30MKI, MMRCA, FGFA combat aircraft planned for series production. Obviously this will require the influx of a large number of fighter pilots, which is a very difficult problem.

Although the situation in the field of flight personnel training has improved in recent years, the desired standards of the Indian Air Force are still a long way off. Various measures are taken to solve this problem. For example, they hire candidates and do their additional training before awarding a rank to the Air Force. Much is being done to keep the number of pilots down, in particular the training facilities are constantly being improved.

In the past three financial years, the Air Force has allocated more funds to armaments purchases than the other two types of aircraft. Apparently this trend will continue for the next few years.

Nonetheless, the Air Force managed to create the impression of a powerful armed force capable of protecting the sovereignty of Indian airspace. It seems that the Indian Air Force has no choice but to acquire promising technology and equipment overseas in the future. There is the possibility of joint development and production as well as the most recent development of offset programs. This direction is most appropriate from the point of view of obtaining the status of a domestic product as military equipment.

The lifespan of modern aircraft is usually around 30 years. After that, after modernization, it is usually extended for another 10-15 years at the stage of average life. The new equipment acquired by the Air Force will therefore remain in service until 2050-2060. However, as the nature of warfare changes over time, in addition to acquiring modern weapons, a major reassessment of the plan of likely operations the Air Force will face and reform of its weapons will be required.

To this end, the Air Force should at this stage consider the status of a regional power in India and assess its possible role and responsibility in the new geopolitical and geostrategic environment.

Indian Defense Industry Pride

The total purchase price for the Tejas aircraft was around $ 1.4 billion. The life cycle assessment program is a great achievement by the Indian defense industry, whose pride. This is the first fully Indian fighter jet. And although some analysts point out that the engines, radars and other on-board systems of "Tejas" are of foreign origin, the Indian defense industry has been tasked with bringing the aircraft into entirely Indian production.

Indian Defense Minister Anthony announced on December 20, 2013 that the light fighter Tejas Mk.1 (Tejas Mark I) had reached initial operational readiness, meaning it had been handed over to Air Force pilots for final tests. According to him, the hunter will be fully operational by the end of 2014, when it can be put into service.

Light fighter "tejas"

“The Air Force will commission the first season of Tejas aircraft in 2015 and the second in 2017. Aircraft production will begin in the near future, "said Anthony, adding that each squadron will be based at the Sulur base near the city of Coimbatore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and will consist of 20 fighters that will carry the obsolete MiG-21 should replace. Overall, the Air Force requirement for these aircraft is estimated to be more than 200 units.

Tejas, implemented as part of the life cycle assessment program, is one of the record holders in terms of the design work carried out by HAL and DRDO. Work on creating this fully Indian fighter began in 1983 when it first flew in January 2001 and passed the supersonic barrier in August 2003.

At the same time, a new modification of the Tejas Mk.2 (Tejas Mark II) fighter aircraft is being developed with a more powerful and more economical engine, manufactured by the American General Electric, an advanced radar and other systems. "Later the air force will put four squadrons of this modification of the fighter into service and the naval forces will use 40 fighter aircraft based on Tejas carriers," said Indian Defense Minister Anthony.

India plans to completely replace the MiG-21 fighters by 2018-2019, but the process could drag on until 2025.

Su-30MKI, Rafal, Globmaster-3

During Vladimir Putin's visit to India on December 24, 2012, a US $ 1.6 billion contract was signed for the supply of technological kits for HAL's licensed assembly production of the Su-30MKI. Upon completion of this contract, a total of 222 aircraft will be manufactured at HAL's facilities, and the total cost of 272 Russian-acquired fighters of this type is $ 12 billion.

So far India has adopted more than 170 Su-30MKI fighters out of 272 hunters ordered from Russia. By 2017, 14 squadrons of these aircraft will be stationed at Indian air bases.

So far, HAL has already produced Su-30MKI and Tejas fighter aircraft. In the future, the company will also produce Rafal, who won the MMRCA tender, and the fifth generation FGFA fighter, who pursues a joint Russian-Indian development.

Su-30MKIIndian Air Force

For a year now, India and France have not been able to agree on the delivery terms of the Rafale hunter, who won the MMRCA tender in January 2012. In October 2013, Indian Air Force Deputy Commander Air Marshal Sukumar announced that it would sign an agreement before the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2014.

According to the terms of the competition, the winner will invest half of the amount paid for aircraft in the production of fighter aircraft in India. Around 110 Rafal aircraft have to be manufactured by HAL, while the first 18 are delivered directly from the supplier and delivered to the customer in an assembled manner. The deal was originally valued at $ 10 billion, but today various sources suggest it could exceed $ 20 billion to $ 30 billion. Originally the first Rafal fighter of the Indian Air Force was supposed to be adopted in 2016, now this date is postponed to at least 2017.

The Indian Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with the US government in 2011 for the delivery of the LOA (Letter of Offer and Acceptance) of 10 S-17 Globemaster-3 (Globemaster III) heavy strategic military transport aircraft (MTC) worth five billion dollars. The Luftwaffe currently received four S-17s: in June, July-August and October 2013. All aircraft will be delivered by 2015. The remaining BTC Boeing promises to transfer it to the customer in 2014 to complete the contract implementation. Analogous to the tactical military transport aircraft C-130J, the Indian Air Force plans to expand the S-17 fleet by a further 10 aircraft.

Exercise equipment

Since August 2009, the Air Force has suspended the fleet of obsolete training aircraft (TCB) HPT-32. The Ministry of Defense then announced a tender for the delivery of Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) aircraft for the Indian Air Force, which was won by the Swiss company Pilatus.

In May 2012, the Government of India's Cabinet Security Committee approved the purchase of 75 PC-7 Mk.2 (PC-7 Mark II) aircraft for the country's Air Force valued at 35 billion Indian rupees (more than 620 million US dollars). Dollar). From February to August 2013, the first three aircraft were handed over to the Indian Air Force. The Ministry of Defense is planning a new contract with Pilatus for the delivery of 37 additional TCBs.

Hawk training aircraft

The Air Force buys Hawk AJT (Advanced Jet Trainers) to carry out advanced flight training. In March 2004, the Indian government signed a contract with BAE Systems and Turbomeca to supply 24 Hawks and with HAL to produce a further 42 TCBs under license. The total value of the contracts is $ 1.1 billion.

All of the first 24 aircraft were completely built in BAE's factories and delivered by the Indian Air Force. Another 28 of the 42 aircraft that HAL manufactures from prefabricated car kits had been handed over to the customer by July 2011.

In July 2010, the Department of Defense signed a contract to purchase 57 additional Hawk TCBs valued at US $ 779 million: 40 aircraft for the Air Force and 17 for the Indian Navy. Production of HAL began in 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2016.

Strategic air traffic

One of the main tasks of the Indian Air Force in the future will be the implementation of strategic air traffic. However, New Delhi's involvement in ensuring international security requires the air force to gradually evolve towards rapid reaction forces, while the establishment of regular security forces is on the agenda in the country.

Given the status of a regional power recently granted to India, the country's growing role and responsibilities in the new geopolitical and geostrategic environment, and the resumption of partnerships with the United States, New Delhi may need to transfer large numbers of troops to any region. The forces and resources of the Air Force's strategic aviation should practically be formed from scratch, as the lifespan of the respective fleet is ending.

At the tactical level, the Air Force should be provided with a fleet of medium-sized tactical military transport aircraft and helicopters that, together with special forces, enable rapid response at shorter distances.

Obviously India needs to expand its tanker fleet if it is to have significant troop and military equipment transfer capabilities and influence over this segment.

The Air Force should also increase the combat capabilities of some equipment already in use. At a strategic level, the Air Force should be able to provide Pakistan and China with likely nuclear deterrents. They must also be able to have a military presence in the regions of obvious national security interests and on the territory of the allies with military aircraft, tankers and strategic vehicles. In order to be able to carry out strategic attacks on enemy territory, the air force must keep its missiles deployed on platforms with high-performance electronic war equipment in action. In this case, tactical roles can be transferred to UAVs and helicopters.

These forces must be able to react quickly in crisis situations and receive logistical support in order to complete tasks over a long period of time.

In order to effectively guarantee the national security of the Air Force, an additional fleet of AWACS and U-aircraft should be acquired in order to improve the observation possibilities at low altitudes. The air defense systems currently available in the country's arsenal must be replaced by a new generation of zone and object air defense of a new generation.

The Air Force should equip its own satellite systems and UAV fleet with a variety of sensors to ensure strategic and tactical reconnaissance in all weathers around the clock. UAVs must be equipped with a suitable ground infrastructure for the automated and rapid processing of intelligence information as well as a fleet of tactical transport aircraft, helicopters and special forces in order to be able to react quickly to possible threats.

Caption The last disaster of the Indian MiG-21 occurred during the approach - the most difficult maneuver

The country's air force pilot's lawsuit to recognize the world's most widely used MiG-21 fighter as an item in violation of the human right to life is under consideration in the Delhi Supreme Court.

And this is not about the lives of those this aircraft can be used against - Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Sanjit Singh Kayla filed a lawsuit claiming that the aircraft is not only violating his right to life , but also does not offer the right to safe conditions of work, which the constitution of the country guarantees.

He filed a lawsuit in court on July 17, 48 hours after the MiG-21 crash near the Nal Air Force Base in Rajistan that killed a young Indian pilot.

The court accepted the statement and adjourned the hearing until October 10 to review the list of accidents involving these aircraft.

Open data reaching the press says that out of more than 900 MiG-21s received by the Indian Air Force, more than 400 aircraft have crashed. More than 130 pilots died at the same time.

In the past three years there have been 29 accidents in the Indian Air Force. 12 of them - with the participation of the MiG-21. In India, this aircraft, which had been the foundation of a fighter fleet for decades, was called the "flying coffin".

It is true that the MiG opponent in the Indo-Pakistani war received the exact same nickname among its pilots - the American F-104 fighter.

balalaika

The second generation supersonic fighter MiG-21 was developed at the Mikoyan and Gurevich Design Bureau in the mid-1950s.

In every respect, the new MiG turned out to be many times more complex and technologically advanced machine than its predecessor, the MiG-19. In the Soviet Air Force it was immediately referred to as "Balalaika" because of the characteristic shape of the triangular wings.

This figure takes into account fighters issued in India, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, but does not take into account Chinese copies - J7 fighters (that is, there were even more of them).

India decided to acquire the MiG-21 in 1961. Deliveries began in 1963, and a few years later the MiG took part in the war against Pakistan along with another heavy Su-7 fighter.

This aircraft changed the situation in the Indian Air Force, raised it to a whole new level.

"Beautiful lady"

He played an important role in aerial battles during the Indo-Pakistani conflict, and in many ways Indian pilots had a special attitude towards him at the time.

Among them, many, if not most, do not share the opinion of Sanjit Singh Kyle, who has filed a lawsuit.

"It was the best fighter of its time. How long has it been flying with us, 40 years? And still in service. It's just a wonderful plane," said retired Colonel General of the Indian Air Force, Yogi Rai, the Russian BBC service.

Another Indian Air Force general, Anil Tipnis, published an article on Bharat Rakshak's military analytics website entitled "My Fair Lady - Oda MiG-21".

"For four decades the MiG-21 has been the base of India's air defense in both peacetime and wartime. It vigorously defended the country day and night," the general wrote in his note.

The MiG does not forgive mistakes

Caption MiG-21 became world champion in terms of the number of units issued. He was armed with many allies of the USSR.

However, the number of accidents and disasters is an indisputable fact. The number of MiG-21s destroyed by accidents, the number of pilots killed in these accidents, is higher than the number of pilots killed by the enemy.

The retired Colonel General of the Indian Air Force Yogi Rai stated simply: "The number of MiG-21s in the Indian Air Force is large, they are actively used and the number of accidents is also large." However, there are other versions as well.

When the BBC graduate of Borisoglebsk Higher Military Aviation School Vladimir V., who learned to fly the MiG-21 himself, told the BBC that this aircraft was difficult to control because of its flight characteristics - it did not forgive the inexperienced pilot for mistakes.

With a very small wing area, it was designed for high airspeed, but very great skill was required to land the aircraft.

"About the 21st joke:" Why did he need wings? "So that the cadets weren't afraid of flying." It was very strict on speed. If it couldn't withstand the force, removed it, then all failed, the vertical speed is high, and that's all, "said the pilot.

At the same time, due to the same design feature, the plane could not plan - if it began to fall, it was only possible to eject.

True, other fighters of this generation suffered from the same disease - in the USSR the Su-7 was considered the most urgent, legends about the disasters of the enemy MiG-21 - the American F-104 fighter, the accident rate of which was the level of the Indian MiG- 21 was considered the most urgent in Western countries.

The latter, which was conceptually close to the MiG-21, also suffered from the fact that it was prepared for flying at high speed and not for a comfortable landing.

spare Parts

In the last 10-15 years after the Soviet Union became Russia, as far as I know, incoming spare parts need ... Uday Baskar to check
Indian military expert

MiG-21 crashed while landing near the Nal Air Force Base in Rajistan. There are no official reports of the reasons for the crash, but it is known to have been piloted by an inexperienced pilot.

The problem in India, as many experts note, is that cadets have mastered high-speed aircraft - they do not have time to gain experience switching from training to high-speed aircraft.

Spare parts are another problem. As one of the leading Indian military experts, Uday Baskar, said in an interview with the BBC, the military has many complaints against Russian companies regarding the quality of aviation spare parts.

"As far as I know, in the last 10 to 15 years after the Soviet Union became Russia, incoming spare parts need to be checked," he emphasized that this is not the official position of the Indian Air Force, but his personal opinion.

The problem of spare parts for MiGs is real. Perhaps for reasons the Indian analyst cautiously noted, and perhaps for other reasons, India buys parts for fighters not only in Russia but in other countries as well.

In May 2012, the Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, announced that the Indian Migi were breaking up due to counterfeit spare parts and advised them to buy them only in Russia.

Diversification of offers

Now the Indian Air Force is armed with around a hundred MiG-21 fighters. They will be permanently removed from the composition as soon as new vehicles arrive. A tender for the delivery of 126 fighter jets valued at more than 10 billion US dollars was recently closed in India.

The Russian MiG-35 fighter also took part in the tender, which as a result lost to the Frenchman Rafale.

In addition, Russia lost out in tenders for the supply of Indian military transports and attack helicopters.

In any case, experts note that the loss can be explained by the non-compliance of Russian equipment with technical conditions.

There is a general trend, however - India, which has been dependent on the supply of weapons from the USSR for decades, is now keen to try Western weapons as well.

And that means that the MiG-21, which guarded the Indian skies for four decades, will soon be remembered only by the Indians - as a reliable defender and not a very reliable aircraft.

About the condition of the Indian Air Force

The events of the past few days have drawn attention to the condition of the Indian Air Force. Local audiences are somewhat surprised at the progress of the worsening conflict between India and Pakistan. It seems that the first round of confrontation with a longtime enemy objectively lost with hundreds of modern Indian Air Force aircraft equipped. Instead of using modern combat vehicles like the Su-30 supplied from Russia, the outdated MiG-21 and Mirage-2000 models went into battle in the first days of aggravation. On February 27, the Mi-17 helicopter, which may have crashed for non-hostile reasons, was lost in the state of Kashmir, bordering Pakistan. In addition, the MiG-21-90 fighter was shot down by Pakistani F-16s. This result seems a bit strange given India's technical superiority over its neighbor's aviation. However, it is worthwhile to better understand the state of the country's air force.

Indeed, India's fleet is perhaps the most modern in the region. The local air force has at least 220 Su-30MKI fighters licensed in the country. Another 50 aircraft of this type were delivered assembled from Russia.

Su-30MKI Indian Air Force

In addition, the Indian aircraft are armed with over 60 MiG-29 fighters, which are even supplied from the USSR. In early 2019 it was announced that the Indian leadership was negotiating with the Russian Federation for the delivery of an additional batch of MiG-29 fighters.

In addition to Russian planes, India is trying to buy modern planes in western countries. In particular, a batch of 36 Rafale fighters was to be bought in France. To date, aircraft of this type have not been taken over by the Indian Air Force due to numerous scandals related to corruption schemes.

In addition to procuring aircraft abroad, India is trying to initiate the production of its own aircraft. In particular, fighter planes are to be armed with the local air force Tejas, which will replace the outdated MiG-21 in the future. The length of the Tejas fighter is 13.2 m, the wingspan 8.2 m, the height 4.4 m. An empty aircraft weighs 5.5 tons, its maximum take-off weight is 15.5 tons. The aircraft is armed with a 23-mm double-barreled weapon -23 and has 8 suspension points for bombs, missiles and accessories. However, while the production of aircraft of this type is at a relatively slow pace.

Fighter Tejas

The shock component of the Indian Air Force are aircraft from the 1970s to 1980s. In particular, there are over 200 MiG-21 fighters, and the Indian Air Force has more than 60 MiG-27 fighter-bombers in service. French planes were widespread in the country. The Air Force includes more than 100 French Jaguar fighter-bombers, some of which are licensed in India, as well as around 50 Mirage 2000 multipurpose fighters. It was the illusions that hit the terrorist camps in Kashmir on February 26th this year. The presence of a huge fleet of obsolete fighter-bombers results in a high percentage of accidents in the Indian Air Force. However, this is discussed separately.

India has AWACS and electronic messaging systems. That increases the country's air force significantly. In particular, the Indian Army is armed with three Russian A-50 aircraft that were involved in operations against militants in Kashmir on Feb.26, as well as five Brazil-made DRDO AEW & CS vehicles and three Gulfstream electronic reconnaissance vehicles received from Israel and three Bombardier 5000s.

The Indian military transport aviation fleet looks quite powerful. India has 6 Il-78 refueling planes that were used to refuel the Mirage-2000 during the Kashmiri attacks, 27 Il-76 planes, about 100 modernized An-32 transport planes, and 10 US-C transport planes 17 and 5 machines S-130 Hercules. In the highlands, the country's military transport aviation can quickly reinforce the conflict area by air.

The Indian Air Force has a significant number of training aircraft. Indian aviation includes over 80 BAE Hawk Mk. 132, 75 Pilatus PC-7, over 150 HAL Kiran and 80 HAL HPT-32 Deepak. It is noteworthy that the machines of the last two types were developed locally. In the event of a major war, these aircraft can be used as light combat aircraft.

BAE Hawk Mk. 132 in parade

There are few combat helicopters in India. So there are about 20 Mi-35 helicopters that are fully adequate for military operations in the mountains, but the Indian Army has more than 220 Mi-17 vehicles that can easily carry unguided weapons. In the course of the hostilities against Pakistan in 1999 in particular, vehicles of this type were used as drums in Kashmir. Mi-17 fighters did well at high altitudes. Incidentally, on February 27, for unknown reasons, a helicopter of this type was lost in Kashmir, which was most likely used to supply the border group. In addition, the Indian Army is equipped with 40 Aérospatiale SA 316B (HAL SA316B) light helicopters, the production license of which was acquired by France, and around 120 HAL SA315B and HAL Dhruv light aircraft manufactured in India. However, the use of light, multi-purpose helicopters at high altitude is dubious. In addition to the machines in operation, India has an agreement to supply more than 20 Apache AN-64 helicopters from the United States.

In addition to the Indian Air Force, the Navy also has fighter planes. So in Russia a total of 45 MiG-29K fighters were ordered, which are able to solve combat missions of various profiles.

The potential of the Indian Air Force, which has hundreds of modern combat aircraft, as well as the ability to assemble licensed aviation equipment as well as to produce its own combat aircraft, leave Pakistan no chance of success. In addition to modern aviation technology, however, the local air force had hundreds of obsolete aircraft as early as the 1980s. Ironically, these are the machines stationed in Kashmir that collided with Pakistani F-16 fighters on February 27th. The MiG-21 was an advanced aircraft in its day, and even now it is capable of attacking ground targets, but in fact it has no chance of success in confrontation with fighters of the next generation.

In addition to the availability of obsolete equipment in Indian aviation, there are serious human issues. The high accident rate has become a real nuisance for the local air force. In 2018, at least 13 aircraft were lost in accidents. Another 5 planes crashed from the beginning of the new year 2019. And the leadership of the country's air force reacted rather weakly to the potential of the Pakistani air force. Bringing the outdated MiG-21 into the conflict zone and sending it into battle against Pakistan's F-16 fighters is obviously due to the enemy's banal underestimation, which resulted in the loss of aircraft.

Dmitry Valyuzhenich for ANNA-News