India’s defense minister A K Antony today admonished the country’s Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) for “delays in delivery” and said he was “impatient” to see completion of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program. Antony was addressing the “Aerospace products- challenges in design to deployment” seminar held as part of the biennial Aero India show in Bangalore.
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft, unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs), military aircraft engines, avionics, missiles, bombs, guidance systems and ground-based air-defense systems.
Northrop Grumman is at the Aero India show highlighting capabilities in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) including airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye for maritime reconnaissance and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Development of the Akash tactical surface-to-air missile system, the first indigenous SAM to be inducted into the Indian military (for both the air force and army), has been a valuable learning process for Indian engineers, according to deputy project director G. Chandramouli.
India’s Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) has confirmed that it has abandoned plans to jointly develop and produce the Kaveri military aircraft engine solely with France’s Snecma.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is expected to unveil an armed variant of its Rudra advanced light helicopter (ALH) at the Aero India show this week. The helicopter will be in the flying display along with the HAL Light Combat Helicopter.
Defense contractors gathering for this week’s Aero India show in Bangalore will be coming to terms with the realization that military procurement plans could well be diminished for next year’s fiscal budget, which begins in April 2013.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its equipment spending plan for the next 10 years for the first time. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond–known in political circles as “spreadsheet Phil”–has made a virtue of cutting unrealistic ambition in UK defense spending plans, following a painful review in 2010 that made substantial force cuts that are still being implemented.
The first large military airlifter developed by China made its maiden flight on January 26. The Y-20 prototype, seen previously upon rollout, was airborne for about one hour before returning to the Yanliang air base in Xian, amid the cheers of a flag-waving crowd. The test flight was called a key step toward building China’s strategic force. Judging from the prototype’s serial number–20001–at least 100 Y-20s could be produced.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) approved full-rate production of the Sniper advanced targeting pod under its ATP-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) program, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced on January 16. In November, the service approved full-rate production of Northrop Grumman’s Litening pod under the same program.
Alenia Aermacchi made the first flight of an SF-260TP primary and basic trainer with a glass cockpit from its factory at Venegono, Italy. The aircraft also carried an upgraded air conditioning system and an infrared TV camera on the wing leading edge that provides the pilots with an enhanced vision system at night or in poor weather.