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  • Writer's picturePrabhjot Singh Maan

India's Combat Aviation Growth Strategy!

Ukraine's air conflict is being carefully monitored. Russian forces have encountered opposition from Ukraine despite significant asymmetry by using clever air defence, anti-tank missiles, and targeted attacks by Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs).

Ground and air launched cruise missiles have been extensively used by both sides, including for sinking of Russian flagship destroyer the “Moskva”. The Chinese and Indian army forces are still face to face in the Ladakh region.

In close proximity to the area, China is still developing new airfields in Xinjiang and Tibet. All year long, Chinese aircraft are still stationed at these bases. In-depth operations have also been conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Just three years ago, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) riposte on March 27, 2019, and the air battle that followed, reignited interest in fighter aircraft technologies and air combat capabilities.

Combat aviation has not only evolved into the primary method of waging war, but it has also experienced the quickest rate of technological advancement. Higher speed, greater maneuverability, longer reach, flexibility of employment in operational tasks, as well as improved weapon delivery precision and lethality, are special features designed for combat platforms. As technology advanced, the pilot was now expected to operate the armament systems as well as correctly and safely navigate the aircraft.

The aviation industry started organizing jet fighters into "generations" after the invention of the jet engine based on design, performance, and technological advancement. Currently, the majority of air forces throughout the world use fourth generation aircraft. A few fifth generation aircraft are now in operation, and sixth generation aircraft are still in the planning stages.

Aerial Technology Status in India: India is practically at the 4.5 generation stage in most areas and has mastered the majority of the fundamental aircraft construction technology. India is gradually catching up in certain other sectors. The fourth generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1 and the 4.5 generation LCA Mk 2 are both aircraft.

The fundamentals of aircraft design, composite materials, and production methods have been mastered by the Indian aerospace sector. A joint venture with Israel will continue to produce the AESA radar for a while.

The Electronic Warfare package will be initially purchased from outside sources before switching to a joint venture approach. India will continue to rely on foreign aero engines until a joint venture is formed and an engine that is "made in India" is built. The majority of other avionics are made in India, some with assistance from elsewhere.

The LCA Mk 1A and Mk 2 will be more locally produced and have improved operational capability. The production rates for aeroplanes must significantly increase because they are now relatively low. The private sector has started to participate significantly. The front, center, and rear fuselages for the LCA are produced by private businesses.

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), an aircraft of India's fifth generation, appears to have had its design blocked. The process of cutting metal has started. It will keep using foreign aero-engines to fly. The specifications created are some of the best in the world. If reasonable timescales must be maintained, India will require foreign assistance for stealth and some other technologies. The maiden flight is currently scheduled for 2025. 2028-2030 would be a more practical timeframe.

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Edited By: Prabhjot Singh Maan ( LinkedIn ).
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