October 14, 2019 posted by

Welcome to WARN, Todays NEWS is. DEFENCE PSU’S ARE REINVENTING THEMSELVES Public-sector defence companies, the backbone
of India�s indigenous defence production, presented a picture of overall optimism at
the Aero India 2017. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), India�s
premier defence aerospace manufacturer, displayed its combat aircraft like the Tejas and the
licence-produced Su-30MKI, and helicopters like the Dhruv ALH, Light Combat Helicopter,
and the Light Utility Helicopter. They unveiled the huge Indian Multi-Role Helicopter
(IMRH), with an impressive full-scale mock-up. Beyond these were the HTT-40 turboprop basic
trainer and the old HJT-16 Kiran, and other major licence-produced engines. HAL�s Tejas is, at last, approaching Final
Operational Clearance before entering service. While its limited payload/range performance
restricts its ground attack capability, its exceptional agility makes Tejas ideal for
air defence. As for exports, the supersonic advanced jet
trainer variant may be more �exportable� than the fighter. The rejection of the overweight naval Tejas
was a setback, but things are being sorted out. A total of 40 Tejas Mk1 and 83 upgraded Mk
1As are on firm order for the IAF. HAL still does not have an in-house design
capability for engines. That is to be rectified with the design of
two technology demonstrators, the HTFE-25 turbofan and the HTSE-1200 turboshaft helicopter
engine. HAL could, some day, develop large engines
for fighters and helicopters of its own design. However, HAL still needs to enhance quality
control as well as maintainability and reliability of its products, some of which, like the Intermediate
Jet Trainer, have fallen by the wayside. The Defence Research & Development Organisation
(DRDO), set up to �develop cutting-edge technologies for the armed forces�, has
a mind-boggling total production value of Rs 2,60,000 crore. DRDO has under it over 50 organisations. Its Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)
had designed the Tejas, and is to start design work on the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
(AMCA). The AMCA is to incorporate fifth-generation
technology , including stealth � not excluding radar-absorbent paint. That is a trifle ambitious. Two foreign manufacturers have offered to
help, � but they themselves have no experience of stealth. Another DRDO product is the Airborne Early
Warning and Control (AEW&C) system. It has multiple sensors mounted atop Brazilian
Embraer 145 aircraft. DRDO�s Defence Research & Development Laboratory
works on a range of advanced missiles, including the Akash medium-range surface-to-air missile,
the Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile for LCA and ACMA, and the much-delayed Nag
anti-tank missile. Interestingly, the deadliest missile in the
Indian arsenal is the Indo-Russian BrahMos Mach 3 cruise missile. It can be launched from land, sea or air. In the terminal stage of its flight against
a ship, it can dive to sea-skimming height to avoid detection and interception. A number of these missiles can sink an aircraft
carrier. Work continues on the Agni family of ballistic
missiles, some able to carry nuclear warheads. In an advanced stage is a two-tier Ballistic
Missile Defence System, with low- and high-altitude interceptor missiles, realistically tested
against a Prithvi ballistic missile. DRDO claims that �India is one of the only
five countries in the world to have a ballistic missile defence program�. Not every program progresses smoothly to completion
though. The Nirbhay 1,000 km range subsonic cruise
missile had several failures, and was cancelled, but is being resurrected. It is also more vulnerable to interception
than supersonic cruise missiles like BrahMos. Another defence behemoth, Bharat Electronics
Limited (BEL) makes defence electronics for every Indian aircraft, naval ship, missile
and land vehicles. For Tejas, it makes nine items of equipment
including the Digital Flight Control Computer and the Radar Warning Receiver. Its very diversified product range includes
radars, electronic warfare equipment, Identification Friend or Foe, Head-up Displays, and electro-optical
devices. Such products have also been used to upgrade
older aircraft like the Jaguar and Mirage 2000. The Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research had set up the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) for research and development
as well as design work. Their trisonic wind tunnel helps with high-speed
aerodynamics research for HAL, DRDO and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). NAL�s advanced Saras turboprop aircraft,
which had a fatal 2009 crash, was scrapped, and then resurrected. India�s aerospace industry has some good
products, but is not yet world-class. That should be its main objective.

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