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Sunday, February 3, 2013

PC-7 Mk2 BTT Deliveries To IAF Get Underway

The Indian Air Force yesterday received the first tranche (two units) of Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 basic turboprop trainers (BTT), which were ferry-flown by Pilatus pilots from Switzerland to the Air Force Academy at Dundigal near Hyderabad. The two BTTs will next be de-registered from Switzerland’s civilian aircraft registration database and then re-registered and repainted by the IAF. Delivery of the remaining 73 PC-7 Mk2s (all to be ferry-flown) will be completed by the year’s end.


Rahul said...

Why no IAF roundels but SWIS flag?

Nevertheless that was quick, considering these examples are not second-hand.

Hopefully HAL and MoD changes their way of thinking and allow development of HTT-40 as a export oriented product. This pessimistic approach to secure an Indian order before committing to develop a product will never allow HAL to grow to level of competence.

Anonymous said...

Someone in ADA told me this morning that a holographic HUD for Tejas Mk2 has ALREADY been developed.

Could you please confirm this?

Kshitiz Kumar said...

1.u said that the rifle is in trial stage how do u know that sir,were u at trials or got any pics of it.i am asking this because in one more reply of urs u said that it is in concept stage,i mean no offence sir,i am fully confident of ur reporting qualities just need something to assure me

venkat said...

ferry flying will it not wear out the engines by a margin of 10000km or so? why cant it be brought using An-124?

Anonymous said...

HAL is being gagged with all the long tailed procurement procedures!!!
single tender situations, red tapism are some of the ills plaguing HAL procurement system.God can only save it!!!

Gessler said...

Hi, prasun. Can you give me any information about this NAL-built Light Canard Research Aircraft (LCRA)?

Heard itwill appear in Aero India 2013...what type of UAV is it? Is it used only for aerodynamic research or surveillance duties as well later on?

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To RAHUL: Whenever aircraft are ferry-flown for delivery, the aircraft always carry the registration markings of the supplier-country & make use of that country’s en route navigational callsigns. Also, as part of the contract, the supplier country’s OEM provides insurance coverage. Only after landing at its final destination are the aircraft’s logbooks handed over to the end-user & this completes the delivery procedure. From then on the aircraft becomes the end-user’s property & onlt then can the aircraft be repainted & entered into the military aircraft registration database of the end-user.

To Anon@2.52PM: That’s totally untrue. The HUDs for LCA & HJT-36 have been developed by CSIL in Chandigarh & none of them are holographic. You yourself can browse through the CSIL’s annual reports for the past five years to reach the same conclusion.

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: You’re getting confused between the MSMC & MCW.

To VENKAT: The PC-7 Mk2 isn’t powered by turboprop engines of the type used by Russian combat aircraft & therefore they have very long TTSLs. As a matter of routine, all turboprop-powered aircraft are ferry-flown for final delivery as per international norm.

To GESSLER: NAL-built light canard research aircraft’s (LCRA) design (the Rutan Long-EZ) was bought outright by NAL in the early 1990s from the US-based Rutan Aircraft Factory. The LCRA was the first made-in-India aircraft made fully of rigid-foam fibre-reinforced plastic composite materials and was also the first to feature twin canards and wingtip fins and twin rudders. It is not a UAV.

Anonymous said...

1. who provided the optronic for ALH rudra
2. what is your take on HAL tejas making 2000 flight.
3. when does the seminar that usually preceeds the air show start. will you be there?
4. when can we expect the prototype of transporter aircraft co dev. with russia
5. how will this project help indian aviation industry.
6. when can we expect the flight of saras aircraft.

Sandeep K V said...

hi prasun sir irans quaher 313 looks like a 5th gen ..... pls share some details

Anonymous said...

Do you know how Iran built a 5generation fighter with so much sanctions and India can't build one with billions of military budget. Also can you tell me how turkey can build an mbt with no previous experience in building one from scratch build one in 3 years the ATLAY TANK were India took few decades... Something wrong here parsun.... Enlighten ur readers.

Anonymous said...

rad said...
HI Prasun
I am shocked at iran`s flight of a stealth fighter , what ever it is ,it has stealth appearance . How on earth did they manage it ?.For a country that has not made a single aircraft this is too hard to believe at least my indian ego. My only explanation is the chinese did it for them , please explain and tell me it is not true!!!!!

Pls need your view on this

SK said...


1) With regarding to the A330 MRTT's to be acquired by IAF what kind of refueling systems will go on board will they have only the Underwing refueling pods or will they have both boom (ARBS) & pods as well.

I once spoke with a US KC-135 re-fueling operator, he said that he prefers Boom over drogue any day. Reason being Boom gives him greater degree of freedom and control, pumps more fuel and stable in rough weather when compared with Drogue.

I find his points very valid why doesn't IAF make use of Boom. By using boom more aircraft's can be refueled in shorter time even in rougher weather therefore give greater flexibility to operations. Of course each aircraft can carry only one boom so drogues will also be required to enable Multiple aircraft re-fueling.

I feel IAF fighters should be equipped to accept both Boom & drogue.So will IAF go the UAE way and get A330 with both Boom and Drogues ?

2) Has the IAF decided which engines to use on A330's between GE,RR and PW

3) Once the order is placed for the A330's by what time will be the deliveries completed.

4) If desired in future can the Navy's P-8i Neptune (Yet to arrive) be able to use the air launched version of Brahmos internally or externally.

5) Has the IN shown any interest in Broad Area Maritime Surveillance system of UAV's which complement the P-8's either from US or equivalent solutions from Israel.

6) Will UCAV's be offered to India if requested (Not expendable ones such as Harop/Harpy)

7) Can the IAF Heron's be a upgraded or modified to carry weapons.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@7.21PM: 1) HALBIT Avionics. 2) Goof show. The more the merrier. 3) Am already there since yesterday. 4) By 2016. 5) It will great a broader vendor base within India & usher in more industrial expertise that will enable these vendors to become part of the global supply chain for aerospace components & sub-systems.

To SANDEEP K V: Looks are frequently deceptive. The model looks for fit to adorn a video games arcade. The cockpit panel looks more like the dashboard of a modern-day automobile. What more can one say?

To Anon@10.51PM: There’s no proof that the model displayed by Iran is a flying prototype. The model looks for fit to adorn a video games arcade. The cockpit panel looks more like the dashboard of a modern-day automobile. What more can one say about it? As for the Altay MBT, its development was a joint venture between Turkey & South Korea & therefore it bears some resemblance to the Hyundai-Rotem-developed K-2 MBT of the ROKA. Turkey, unlike India, never designed or developed the MBT by itself. In terms of design & development expertise for MBTs, India is years ahead of Turkey.

To SK: 1) It makes no sense to go for ARBS-type booms since none of the IAF’s existing or projected combat aircraft assets are configured for receiving fuel from booms. Since aerial refuelling is done at altitudes ranging from 10,000 feet to 30,000 feet & since aerial refuellers all have weather radars, avoiding turbulence or stormy weather is easily done 2) GE Aero Engines. 3) Within two years. 4) No, since the P-8I’s underwing hardpoint is not configured & the wings are not strengthened enough for carrying the heavier BrahMos-1. 5) For BAMS in the Indian context, interest has been shown by the IN in the Heron-TP & Hermes 900. Furthermore, ADE is developing the Rustom-2 MALE-UAV that too will be capable of maritime surveillance. 6) Not for the time-being. The only available solution therefore is to develop a UCAV variant of Rustom-2, or re-engineer the Rustom-2 to equip it with a Kaveri turbofan. 7) No, they can’t, since the existing Heron-1’s wings are not strengthened for accepting underslung payloads.

sntata said...

Dear Prasun,
1.It is now obvious that HJT-36 project is in serious trouble and may be scrapped, as you have been advocating all along. What will happen to the AL-551 engines already supplied by NPO Saturn and being licence produced in HAL Koraput factory? Can they be used profitably for any other air-borne platforms in future?
2.Now that your suggestions for developing ARM [and SHORADS] from Astra air frame and LAH from LCH are being followed, what about another of your valuable suggestion regarding morphing tandem seat Tejas-1 into a LIST aircraft? Will you be taking this matter with HAL/ADA and IAF during seminar and Aero India Show?

Kshitiz Kumar said...

2.then what is the status of DRDO MCW?my question was this and sir can u give any links to the new camo india will be selecting as u mentioned in ur previous replies?

rad said...

HI Prasun
well the display model visited by the president that is on youtube cud be a mock up and looks too small when the pilot is in the cockpit. But what is intriguing is the glimpse of the fighter in flight .Is it a RC model?.
The burt rutan long ez is a wonderful light ac with extreme range , there is one example flying privately in to fly and maintain, It should be great as a recce ac flown singly, with eo and other payloads, It was ages ahead of it time when it first flew and still is contemporary.
why was it shelved?

Pinkal Shah said...

dear sir

i have been reading your blog recently and in one of your threads you had commented on UFO sightings near Indo-China border at ladakh and give referecnce to Hindu mythological scipture such as Mahabharat, etc
Would you pls give me some details such links or book from which i can get the details for reading

hoping for positive reply

thank you

Anonymous said...

in the above link sushil shinde is looking at a table with guns..
can u plzz tell which guns are lying in b/w HK MP5 & m16..

thank you

Anonymous said...

how can there be only 400 officers for 89000 soldiers..there is surely something wrong..
what do you think..

Anonymous said...

Sir I came to know Arjun M2 will have a Target Aquisition Radar on the right side of turret, beside the main gun.

Do other MBTs in the world also have such radars? What is it for? What radar-guided weapons does Arjun M2 launch??

David L said...

Hi Prasun,

I have prepared a technical research including forecasts for the period 2014 - 2020 on the topic of "Cyber Warfare" . Will you please advice how I can sell these reports .

David L

Anonymous said...

can we expect ur posts on the seminars and important revilations.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun da

Reg one of ur comment"IN has shown interest in heron TP and hermes 900 for BAMS"..I was of the view that IN is much interested in Global Hawk BAMS..Given that NG responded to the IN RFI, shows US will be interested in selling india regardless of MTCR..Even in defexpo 2012, NG promoted global hawk.Global hawk though expensive, but can be a very valuable asset,it can do what 3-4 hermes900 will do..Ur views pls..VMT

Mr. Ra 13 said...

The purchase of Pilatus PC-7 Mk2 is one of the few projects that are now going correctly. The potentials of this project shall be exploited to maximum possible extent even with the increased number of orders timely as per the real needs.

Rajender said...

Can you tell me what this is about? Why does LCA need a new radome?

Anonymous said...

There...Aroor does it again. And you wonder why defence journalists in India are shunned by their own military. He hasn't talked to anybody and pompously concedes that the internet is his "source".

Since you're in Bangalore Prasun, do verify the veracity of his claims.

Anurag said...

"Welcome back!"-THANX Prasun Da,it's always good to be back,especially here on TRISHUL-TRIDENT!!But I can't help it as my laptop has been stolen :(By the way,I wish you to be successful in all your endeavors and you remain healthy so that you can continue your noble work of educating us-the common men on defense related matters.

I have few more questions to ask to you.

1.Is there currently any plan to develop any GPS-INS combo for sudarshan guidance kit??

2.Is there any plan to reduce the weight of Helina ATGM to at least 35 kg from the present 48 kg??

3.It seems that during any future conflict,Pak and China may choose to carry out a combined assault on IOK to overwhelm the IA defenders-what do you think the actions IA and IAF should take to counter that move should that day ever comes??

4.During 1962 war,the 7 Brigade was transferred at BM Kaul's insistent from the well defended Towang to the death trap of Namka Chu with no warm clothing,no food and just 50 rounds of ammo per rifleman with no means of resupply and reinforcement and left the men in that god forsaken wasteland to die like caged animals!!What do you think can possibly be the reason behind this??It was just outright CRIMINAL!!How did the top brass allowed to be happen this kind of injustice to our brave soldiers??!!And the most importantly,have they learned anything??

5.Well this question may be off topic but as a fellow Bengali and you being a much more experienced one than me,I can't resist to ask you about your thinking on the administrative quality of Mamata Banerjee and her govt??And though I myself think that the time still hasn't come,still I would like to know your view on who would be a better CM for West Bengal-Mamata or Mr. Budhyadeb and why??

6.Recently I heard that DRDO had developed a prototype exoskeleton named Hulc that can enable a soldier to carry upto 100 kg load to 24 miles (or may be km)-is this true??

7.You had once told that you had received the artist's imression of what may be the final production of Arjun MkII-can you just tell me just two things about that picture-
a)does it have its turret side fully armored with special composite armor block??and
b)has the the gunners main sight re positioned towards the rooftop from the present frontal turret window??

8.I heard about the new 120 mm FSAPDS ammo being developed by ARDE to have penetration of 600 mm RHA at 2000 meter but don't you think it's kinda lacking when compared to the likes of M 829A3 or DM 53 with 750+ mm penetration??Can't we license manufacture the penetrators of DM 53 just like the Turks are doing for their Altay??

9.Sometimes I wonder that why are we still producing expensive and less capable Tungsten rounds when we have such a well developed nuclear program and vast amount of Depleted Uranium reserve!!Why can't the ARDE come up with a long rod DU round and use DU in Kanchan armor blocks like the Americans did??

10.How do the IRDE developed passive night vision gun sights and holographic sights fare cost wise and capability wise against western systems??

11.Any update on the Project Sanjay??

12.Is there any helmet mounted NVGs under development by IRDE??

13.Any info regarding the latest jammers developed by DARE??Is there any program to develop AESA based directional barrage jammers and electronic attack systems by DARE??

14.And lastly,Do you think that DRDO might be able to develop and field ULF sonars and AIP fuel cells by the mid next decade??

Hope to see your reply.

THANX in advance.....................................

Anonymous said...

Watch this video of INS Sindhurakshak being upgraded in Russia and travelling under ice

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA: 1) HAL is now working towards awarding BAE Systems a consultancy contract to reconfigure the HJT-36’s airframe so that the AL-55I turbofan can be accepted. However, the biggest problem is that the HJT-36 IJT or any other IJT is simply not required for the reasons I’ve listed out before numerous times. That being the case, the only other option left for HAL is to re-sell the engines back to Russia’s NPO Saturn, since what has happened is that it is NPO Saturn that has gained the most from this exercise by ensuring that the AL-55I is now flight-certified, when previously at the time of its development, the AL-55I wasn’t. 2) Those suggestions of mine were given quite some time back (in 2009) to the concerned authorities. I can only hope that the powers-that-be accept the logic behind my arguments & act favourably in the national interest.

To KSHITIZ KUMAR: The MCW is still under development & is still two years away from being offered for user-trials.

To RAD: The LRCA is indeed a very small aircraft simply because it is an experimental designed & model made by enthusiasts. To even use it for flying training or for sport-flying will involve redesigning it in order to obtain commercial certification of airworthiness, something which has never been pursued to date by NAL.

To PINKAL SHAH: All the weblinks that you’re asking for were listed out by me at around the same time the developments in Ladakh were taking place.

To Anon@5.21PM: Not target acquisition radar, but optronic countermeasures suite from ELBIT Systems to counter laser & active IR illumination.

To DAVID L: The best option is to create a webpage for the solutions you’re offering.

To Anon@1.04AM: The best option is always to undertake a crawl-walk-run-sprint approach & therefore before going for HALE-UAVs, it is always better to acquire a fleet of MALE-UAVs with SATCOM links & gain some operating experience with them.

To RAJENDER: It’s obvious, isn’t it? Once adequate experience was gained with the Tejas LSP-7 that was fitted with EL/M-2032 MMR, it was discovered that certain design changes were required for optimising the MMR’s performance parameters. Hence the need for the redesigned nose radome.

To Anon@11.36AM: What kind of claims? Kindly list them out.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To ANURAG: very sorry to hear about the theft of your Notebook. 1) Of course there are such plans if one wants to optimise the utilisation of the IRNSS GPS satellite constellation. There’s no escaping from GPS navigation, period. 2) Of course, work on this is now underway, since an ATGM designed in the late 1980s obviously cannot stay relevant for the years to come. 3) That is a most unlikely prospect since Pakistan from next year on will be extremely busy on its western front & China too under its new ‘Look West’ policy has no other option but to befriend India & seek India’s help & cooperation in stabilising Central Asia. China has realised only too well that countries like Iran & Pakistan are more of a liability to Beijing than assets. 4) The reason is only & only this: at that time, none of the IA’s decision-making top-brass had ever visited the frontlines at NEFA & were therefore totally clueless about the nature of the terrain, topography & weather conditions. They did not even know if certain mountain ranges ran laterally from east to west or from north to south, such was the level of ignorance. 5) Your query brings to my mind an interesting anecdote: when Gen Chiang kai-Shek was asked during WW-2 why his Nationalist Forces were waging war against the Communists & not against the Imperial Japanese invaders, his answer was very simple: The Japanese are like skin cancer, which is bearable & is not life-threatening, whereas the Communists are like bone cancer (leukaemia, or galloping cancer), which can only be life-threatening. The same applies in WB. While the TMC is inexperienced in terms of public administration, the Left Front has since the mid-1970s pursued policies that were anti-industrialisation & that never thought about integrating the economy of WB with those of the Northeastern states. Consequently, today, thanks to the Left Front, WB stands financially bankrupt & there’s almost nothing the TMC can do about it. And as for Buddhadebda, well, he is an intellectual & perfect gentleman, but not a leader, since in my definition, a leader is someone who can take difficult decisions without difficulty. 6) It is true. 7) a) composite armour blocks have always existed in the sides. Efforts are now on to examine the prospect of employing APS in order to do away with the bulkier ERA tiles. b) no changes to the positioning of the gunner’s sight. 8) To counter the immediate armoured threats, 600mm RHA penetration capability is more than enough. Of course continuous pre-planned product improvements will continue. 9) DU reserves of India’s DAE are under IAEA safeguards since they were all fissile residue obtained from fuel that was supplied under IAEA safeguards by the US, France & China. 10) They’re quite good in terms of doing the job. 11) At a later date. 12) It has already been developed by IRDE for firefighters. 13) No. 14) By the middle of the following decade, yes.

Kshitiz Kumar said...

2.sir any pics of camo indian army will select?U MISSED THIS ONE

David L said...

Thanks Prasun .

I have created a webpage . Will you please state how I should market this webpage .


Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Kshitiz Kumar: I don't have those pictures.

To DAVID L: Just forward the webpage's weblink to the various software developers worldwide & to the respective Indian armed forces HQs.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To SNTATA & GESSLER: When discussing the requirement for a new nose radome, it must be noted that since the EL/M-2032 MMR was first installed on board only LSP-7, it is only the flight-tests of LSP-7 that would have revealed any meaningful performance data on ADA's own in-house designed nose radome. All other earlier flight-tests by other TDs, PVs & LSPs are therefore totally irrelevant, since none of them were fitted with EL/M-2032. The most critical flight-test data gained from the EL/M-2032 MMR-equipped LSP-7 pertained to EMI issues as well as humidification inside the radome, meaning the environment control system of Honeywell is functioning as specified, while the nose radome's attachment fixtures to the main airframe (the section housing the MMR bulkhead) require design refinement & at least 80 hours of flight-tests to validate the design changes.
Lastly, what the Tejas Mk1 is being subjected to right now are still airworthiness certification flight-tests (after which the aircraft’s technical & maintenance manuals will be drafted), all of which is CEMILAC's & not the IAF's responsibility. Once the CofA is awarded by CEMILAC, the LSP-7 & LSP-8 will be heading to Gwalior where the IAF’s Tactics & Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) will use these two aircraft as well as the first 20 SP-series aircraft for drafting the aircraft’s operational usage manuals for air combat & precision ground-strike. ONLY AFTER this is completed will the IOC phase begin. IOC can’t even commence unless all the four manuals I’ve mentioned above are ready for dessimination. IOC & FOC are all about an aircraft's aircrew & ground crew & related ground-based squadron-level MRO facilities acquiring a degree of proficiency that will enable the aircraft to be employed in wartime on a sustained basis. Therefore, all talk of IOC-1/2/3/4 etc & FOC is highly premature to even talk about at this stage, something which the 'desi' journalists & the 'desi' defence Minister ought to understand & stop taking the gullible public for a ride to nowhere.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

By the way, what I've explained above applies to every flying platform, be it a combat aircraft or helicopters like Rudra & LCH. Consequently, all talk now about the Rudra entering the IOC phase is also pure unabashed hogwash & baloney, period.

Anonymous said...

Sir, Since you are in Aero India, will you pls confirm whether MAWS from Cassidian Super Sukhoi will be pylon mounted or will be embedded in the airframe like Su-30MKM ?

When will the super upgrade program commence ? What are the new sensors that were included in the list ?

HAL FGFA is an exact copy of PAK-FA externally .Will the IAF FGFA have circular nozzle engines ?

What were the latest problems with the Tejas engine during high altitude trials ? What has to be modified ? What problems were faced by Su-30 turbofans in Leh ?

During the last 3 years were any new batches of R-73E ordered from Russia ?

Whose radome and antenna dia is larger Tejas or Rafale ?

What are the new procurement contracts to be signed during this expo ?

Will Tejas mk1 have MAWS ?

What is the reason behind MoG-29UPG not having MAWS or MSWS ?

Will IAF Rafales have higher thrust engines unlike French ones and up rated RBE radars.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun,

Amazed you have been responding to queries almost everyday!!!!!

I have some of mine..

The TAPI pipeline seems to be stuck as Turkmenistan has not signed production sharing agreement with US multinationals(national law seems to state no such agreeements with foreigners) while India on her part says she will not join if the US companies are not involved(news article).Your thoughts
u see N.Modi or BJP led NDA coming to power in 2013/2014 in lok sabha elections?
Your predictions on the current state would be very interesting though many columnists have dismissed BJP's chances and N.Modi's as well as they believe he will not come into Delhi w/o an iron grip on the throne.

Couldn't resist -- Do yo

Mr. Ra 13 said...

Now looking in to the problems of radome on Tejas, I more and more appreciate the decision of purchasing more and more nos. of SU-30 variants to maintain the numerical strength of the squadrons.

Anonymous said...

Did you saw FGFA model recently unveiled ? Is there any difference structurally between FGFA and PakFA ?

Did you saw the new model of AMCA ? Is this the final design ? We would appreciate your take on the design.

Would appreciate any new updates on AURA, Rustam and HSTDV ?

Any progress on LCA mk2 procurement ?

Anything new to be unveiled during aero india ?

Updates on aesa and kaveri engine.

Bhaswar said...

Prasun Sir, this pic seems to indicate that the LCH has been modified. The wing stubs seem to be reinforced and the gun pod is new. Is this a modified TD-2 or the TD-3?

Does the IAF envisage fitting a longbow radar type system on the LCH? Or is that only feasible if an attack hepter variant is taken up?

Anonymous said...

Your "Highlights Of Aero India 2013 Expo" is unreadable. Something wrong with the site?

Suman Banerjee said...

Prasun sir,i am an enthusiastic follower of Trishul.sir i have got a question for you-why did the I.A.F. choose Pilatus PC-7 MK-2 version over the newest available PC-21 version which is apparently far more advanced than the PC-7 MK-2 model in literally every parameter?is it because PC-7 has lower maintainence and operating cost per unit than PC-21 model or is it another potential scam done by the top brasses of the I.A.F.?sir please shed some light in this matter.Thanks in advance..