Thursday, February 10, 2011


  • AERO INDIA: Boeing eyes Indian defence boost
 India could potentially become Boeing's second biggest market after the USA in the defence and security business, as the company seeks to get a big slice of the country's growing military requirements.
Over the next 10 years, India represents a $31 billion market for its defence products over the next 10 years. This includes its offer of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the medium multi-role combat aircraft competition, the C-17 transport, Apache and Chinook helicopters, and P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.
The company also sees opportunities in the homeland security, unmanned systems, cybersecurity, space and services and support segment, says Mark Kronenberg, vice-president, international business development for Boeing Defense, Space and Security
Indian Air Force C-17, Billypix
 © Billypix
Boeing's offer includes the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the MMRCA competition, the C-17 transport, Apache and Chinook helicopters, and P-8I Poseidon
"As Boeing's defence business expands internationally, especially in Asia, we are investing considerable effort and resources to be successful in our industrial engagement strategies," he adds. "India is a very integral part of our strategy, and we will continue to work with our Indian customers and the industry to meet our commitments."
On the commercial side, Boeing forecasts that the Indian market will be worth $130 billlion in the next 20 years. It will compete for this with the likes of Airbus and the various regional jet operators like Bombardier and Embraer.
Boeing adds that growing the India-US strategic partnership is also driving its business in India. The company has an offset commitment of $2.3 billion, which it says will spur technology development and job creation, and make India a key part of the global aerospace supply chain.
The company has partnerships with various Indian firms, with the likes of Hindustan Aeronautics, Bharat Electronics, the Tata Group's companies, and Larson & Toubro supplying components for various Boeing commercial and defence programmes. It hopes to increase the number of suppliers and the scope of work that they do as it wins more contracts, it adds.
Dinesh Keskar, president of Boeing India, says that the company's activities will also help the country to acquire the capabilities to develop its aerospace industry and increase the quality of its products. "This will strengthen India's focus in building aerospace products," he adds.

  • AERO INDIA: Embraer and Gulfstream see Indian growth

Business jet manufacturers Embraer and Gulfstream remain optimistic about India's prospects, with both companies saying that the growth continues despite several challenges.
Embraer expects the executive jet business in India to grow four times over to around $8.9 billion by 2020. "We see this as the main market in Asia-Pacific," says Embraer Asia-Pacific executive jet sales director Manfred Baudzus.
While demand leans towards its medium and large size business jets like the Lineage, Embraer says that its entry-level Phenom aircraft that can reach the entire subcontinent is also popular.
Gulfstream points out that while it had five aircraft in service in India in 2001, that has grown to 17 today. Of those, 12 are its large-cabin long-range G550, which can travel more than 12,000km nonstop.
"We see great long-term potential in the Indian market as infrastructure for business aviation expands and government officials focus more on this segment," says Roger Sperry, Gulfstream's regional senior vice president for international sales. "The rapid development of commercial air traffic is a vital focus on the part of government; we believe attention will soon turn to business aviation, as well."
Much of this is driven by India's growing wealth. The country reportedly has 47 billionaires, according to Forbes' 2010 list. It also has more than 126,000 millionaires, the world's eighth-largest base of high-net-worth individuals.
Several challenges remain. Jose Eduardo Costas, Embraer's Asia Pacific vice-resident for marketing and sales, points out that the Indian government's high import tax on business jets shows a "narrow vision". However, he adds: "We are confident, regardless of taxes, [that] there is demand".
Infrastructure problems must also be overcome, says Sperry. These include a shortage of fixed base operations, expanded ramp space and hangar facilities, and curfews in major cities limit that limit operating slots for business jets.
"These are the challenges of a fast-growing economy, and we expect they will be addressed, because business aviation is an important component of the transportation system," he says.

  • AERO INDIA: Upgraded MiG-29 has maiden flight

The RSK MiG-29UPG had its maiden flight at the Gromov LII airfield near Moscow on 4 February. The MiG-29UPG has been developed by RSK MiG at the request of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
A Russian-Indian contract, worth $964 million, was signed on 7 March 2008 to upgrade 63 IAF MiG-29s.
Six MiG-29s, including four single and two twin-seaters, will be upgraded at the RSK MiG facilities in Russia while the remaining 57 are to be fitted at the IAF's eleventh aircraft repair plant in India.

  • AERO INDIA: HAL hands over Cheetah helicopter to Namibia
Hindustan Aeronautics' managing director for helicopters P Soundara Rajan handed over a Cheetah helicopter to Namibian defence minister Charles Namolah at the show yesterday. HAL says it will also supply two Chetaks to Namibia by June 2011. HAL will provide ground support and handling equipment, and an initial set of spares for the maintenance of the helicopters.

  • AERO INDIA: Bell Helicopter delivers first 429 into India

Bell Helicopter has announced at the show the first delivery of a 429 helicopter to a customer in India.
The customer, Span Air, with its headquarters in New Delhi, operates a mix of jet aircraft and Bell helicopters.
"The addition of the new Bell 429 to Span Air's fleet will allow the operator to offer customers superior speed and range, the ability to land in remote areas, along with a luxurious and expansive cabin," says Bell Helicopter.

Bell Helicopter 429 @ Aero India, Billypix
 © Billypix
Currently, India has two Bell Helicopter customer service facilities, including Airworks India and Deccan Charters, to support the over 100 Bell helicopters operating in the country, says Bell Helicopter.

  • AERO INDIA: Indian navy assesses E-2D for carrier based AEW missions

Northrop Grumman has offered its E-2D for an ongoing Indian navy requirement for four carrier-based airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
The navy issued the request for information in May 2010 and the company responded in the summer of the same year, says Tom Trudell, Northrop's manager for international business development in the AEW and BMC2 programmes.
"The E-2D is the only AEW&C platform in existence that can perform carrier-based operations. We are waiting for the navy to decide in its airborne early warning requirements and its long-term plans for carrier aviation. But we come here three or four times a year and brief the navy on our capabilities and how they fit their requirements," adds Trudell.

Indian Navy E2D AEW&C, Billypix
 © Billypix
Under the RFI, the aircraft must be able to carry out airborne surveillance, detect and track both airborne and surface contacts, control air interceptions and air strikes. It should be capable of providing an integrated air and surface picture of the area under surveillance in adverse weather conditions and in dense electronic environment. Finally, it should be capable of being used as a command and control platform.
Secondary requirements include being able to undertake maritime patrol and limited search and rescue missions. The aircraft must be capable of operating in the tropical conditions prevailing in the Indian Ocean region, according to the RFI.
While the first Vikrant class aircraft carrier that India is indigenously designing and manufacturing will feature a ski-jump, the second aircraft carrier is likely to feature a catapult take-off system. The E-2D would be able to operate on the latter if the navy goes ahead and purchases the system.
The navy currently uses the Kamov KA-31 Helix helicopters for its airborne early warning missions, but it wants aircraft with a longer range and endurance as it acquires a deep sea capability.

  • AERO INDIA: Textron launches production of CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapon for India 

Textron Defense Systems has launched production of its CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapon (SFW) for India, following the receipt of a contract to supply 512 examples to the nation's air force.
The US company is still awaiting formal confirmation of the intended carriage aircraft for the area attack weapon, but this is expected to be India's Hindustan Aeronautics-built Sepecat Jaguar.
Made via the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism, the deal is worth $257 million.
"We're building up the payloads now and working towards issuance for integration," says Lisa Atherton, Textron Defense Systems' vice-president business development.
Meanwhile, Textron now believes that its SFW design is exempt from the Oslo Treaty, which bans the international sale or transfer of cluster munitions.
The weapon, which already betters US Department of Defense requirements by having a 99.6% reliability rate, uses individual skeet warheads which are non-hazardous if found on the ground in the event of a failure. The DoD categorises such skeets as "pick up and carry off" items if found on the battlefield, but Atherton says: "If it's on the ground, it's a hockey puck".

  • AERO INDIA: Raytheon zeros in on India weapons sales 

At the Aero India show Raytheon announced that it has successfully tested its AGM-153-C Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) from a Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Viper aircraft as part of India's MMRCA competition.
The JSOW is an air-to-ground weapon that uses a GPS/Internal navigation system and a terminal infrared seeker to guide the weapon to the target.
Raytheon is in discussions to sell India a range of products. These include the Fish Hawk, a system that allows the Boeing P-8I Poseidon (of which India has purchased eight) to deploy torpedoes from high altitudes, and its Seavue radar for light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

  • AERO INDIA: HAL mulls larger military transports

The joint Indo-Russian development of a medium multi-role transport aircraft could provide the impetus for Hindustan Aeronautics to look into larger aircraft in the future.
"This is the first time we are embarking on a large-sized aircraft. We could to learn from this, and this could open the opportunity to develop a larger transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force. We won't do it immediately, but there is no reason why we should not do it," says NC Agarwal, HAL's director for design and development.
HAL has signed a deal with Russia's United Aircraft (UAC) and Rosoboronexport to co-develop and co-produce the 15-20t multi-role transport aircraft for the Indian and Russian air forces. About $600 million will be spent on developing the aircraft, with India and Russia investing equally and HAL and UAC splitting workshare 50:50.
The firms plan to make 205 of the aircraft, which will have a cruise speed of 430kt (800km/h), a range of up to 1,460nm (2,700km) and a service ceiling of 39,400ft (12,000m).

  • AERO INDIA: FGFA to be inducted in 2017, says defence minister

Indian defence minister AK Antony has re-affirmed his nation's commitment to the fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) being jointly developed by Hindustan Aeronautics and Russia's Sukhoi, while also voicing his optimism about one of its other key military aviation programmes.
"The difficulties in joining this programme are over," he says of the first project. "We've signed a deal with the Russians, and we will see the FGFA inducted by 2017."
Russia's developmental PAK FA fighter had its maiden flight in early 2010, and late last year it agreed with India to cooperate on a combined project. New Delhi will send engineers to work with Sukhoi in Russia to develop the Indian variant of the aircraft.
"Our armed forces need this capability," Antony says. "We are concerned about the situation around us, so we need to strengthen our armed forces."
While there have been worries over the level of technology transfer that would come to India via the FGFA project, Mikhail Pogosyan, chief executive of Russia's United Aircraft, describes this as a non-issue.
"The level of technology transfer is all spelt out in the contract," he says. "There will not be any issues. This is not the first time we are working with our Indian colleagues, there have been programmes in the past like the Su-30 where we have been happy to give the latest technology," Pogosyan adds.
"Other countries may not be as willing to do this, but we are always willing to offer the best products and best technology to India. This programme is a significant shift in our relationship, and we are willing to share all of our intellectual competencies and skills."
Meanwhile, Antony also confirms that the indigenous Tejas Mk II fighter will have its first flight in 2015. While he acknowledges the lengthy development problems that have affected the Tejas programme until now, he notes that the type "is still in its infancy, and developing an aircraft such as this is a process. It will be committed to service very soon," he adds.
He also discussed the Kaveri engine, developed by the state-owned Gas Turbine Research Establishment, and originally intended to power the Tejas but still undergoing testing in Russia. Asked whether the Kaveri is a failure, Antony says it is still "under development".
"This is the biggest ever Aero India show, and demonstrates the emergence of India, our aerospace sector, and the growing importance of armed forces on a global stage," says Antony.

  • Indian Air Force to order 50 more Mi-17V-5 medium lift choppers shortly in addition to earlier 80

Indian Air Force to order 50 more Mi-17V-5 medium lift choppers shortly in addition to earlier 80. So this will take the number to 130. Russia will start delivering the choppers from next month. This will certainly enhance air lifting capability of IAF.
"The IAF chief announced that his service would shortly order 50 more Mi-17-V5 helicopters from Russia as a follow on to the 80 contracted in 2008 and which begin delivery in March."

  • India seeks to sharpen Jaguar's claws

  • Eurofighters for India?-Germany Will 'Contribute to an Arms Race,' Charges Opposition

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (left) met Indian Primie Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday in New Delhi.
German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (left) met Indian Primie Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday in New Delhi.
Selling fighter jets to India would violate weapons-export guidelines, say members of the German opposition, who are criticizing a trip by Defense Minister Guttenberg to India this week. New Delhi has dangled a fat contract for a fleet of jets, but critics say Berlin should not export weapons to a crisis zone.
German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has been criticized by opponents for making a trip this week to India, where he attended an air show in Bangalore Thursday and tried to drum up business for a European-made fighter jet.

On Wednesday he met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose government is weighing a purchase of 126 Eurofighters, built by the German-French aerospace consortium EADS. The deal is reportedly worth €7.3 billion ($9.9 billion). India's long-simmering border conflict with neighboring Pakistan has made Guttenberg's two-day trip something of a controversy. Both countries have nuclear arsenals, and German Green Party chief Claudia Roth told SPIEGEL ONLINE that a sale of military gear to any crisis region was "an open departure from the principles of German weapons-export policy."
German export guidelines from 2000 say weapons should not be sold to nations at imminent risk of armed conflict. "India not only falls into this category as a nuclear power," Roth said, "it also lies in a highly unstable conflict zone."
By stumping for the Eurofighter in New Delhi, "the dashing Guttenberg will contribute to an arms race," said Roth. "That contradicts, in an irresponsible way, important efforts for peace and stability in this very tense region."
A prominent Social Democrat, Gernot Erler -- who served in the Foreign Ministry between 2005 and 2009 -- told SPIEGEL ONLINE that Chancellor Angela Merkel's current government behaves "frivolously" with German export guidelines.
'There Will Not Be Any Irresponsible Exports'
Guttenberg is a member of the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). They've ruled since 2009 in a coalition with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and before that were in government with the Social Democrats from 2005-2009.
Guttenberg's office countered Thursday by saying the export guidelines were drawn up by a previous government, namely the Green-Social Democrat coalition under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who left office in 2005. In 2008, Guttenberg's staff argues, Berlin agreed in principle to a sale of jets to India -- with the tacit participation of Gernot Erler, among others.
"Some of those now being critical took part in this decision," the defense minister told reporters at the Aero India air show in Bangalore.
The Federal Security Council -- a parliamentary committee on defense issues -- makes final decisions on German weapons sales, and in 2008 the council did not object to a potential deal with India.

"There cannot and will not be any irresponsible weapons exports," Guttenberg added. "We have clear guidelines. We have decisions that must go through the Federal Security Council, and that is the basis for our negotiations." But the question of whether to loosen the Schröder-era guidelines has been a political football for months. The Eurofighter sale is also not a sure thing -- India's massive contract to modernize its air force has a number of international suitors. The American F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Russian MiG-35 Fulcrum are also in competition.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Pakistan announced a successful test launch of a new cruise missile, the Hatf VII, which reportedly has a range of 600 kilometers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

no offensive and abusive language please