Posts Tagged ‘Royal Air Force’

Indra Dhanush 2010 concludes but UK hopes of selling Harriers is dashed

November 3, 2010

By all accounts both the IAF and the RAF are very satisfied with the joint exercise Indra Dhanush 2010 which has just concluded. But UK hopes of selling the Harrier seem to have stalled. The Financial Times reports that

Britain has hit an early obstacle in its bid to sell its fleet of Harrier jump jets after India, the most promising potential buyer, described the aircraft as “iffy” and obsolete.

Air Chief Marshall PV Naik, the head of the Indian Air Force, said on Tuesday he would be looking to acquire modern aircraft of fourth-generation capabilities or better. “The Harrier doesn’t fit into that category,” the Air Chief Marshall said. His dismissive remarks over the “iffy” Harrier came soon after Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, the chief of the UK air staff, acknowledged the possibility of a sale while paying a visit to India to boost military co-operation and exports.

The distinct lack of interest shown in the Harrier, which was decommissioned in the defence review primarily on grounds of cost, will be a blow to ministers who are seeking to generate some much-needed revenue from the disposal.

Air Chief Mashall Naik’s words will particularly sting because the Ministry of Defence has spent more than £500m upgrading the Harrier avionics over the last five years and the jets could potentially remain in service until the mid 2020s.

Sify News reports the conclusion of the exercise:

The joint air force drill between India and United Kingdom (UK) held under the banner of ‘Indradhanush’-III at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Bengal’s West Midnapore District concluded on Tuesday. The Royal Air Force of UK participated with modern Typhoon Eurofighters, the E-3D Sentry, and VC-10 mid air re-fueller, while the Indian Air Force (IAF) fielded the SU-30 MKIs, Mirage 2000s, Mig 27s and its AWACS for the first time in a joint Air Exercise.


Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon: Image by Destinys Agent via Flickr


Pilots of the Royal Air Force said that the purpose of this exercise was to enhance understanding between the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force. “The whole purpose of the exercise of the ‘Indradhanush’ has been to enhance understanding between the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force and whosoever increase…competence as an Air Force and it’s been on air front a very, very successful exercise,” said Guy Lockwood, a pilot of the Royal Air Force of United Kingdom.

“We have learned good things from them. They follow the NATO procedures, we follow our own. When we fought together we realised they have got some good things, they realised that we have also got some good tactics, we fought together, so it was a good experience,” said Susil Kumar, a pilot of the IAF.

During the initial two-days of the exercise on October 18 and 19, elaborate briefings on standard operating procedures, rules of exercise and familiarisation of the local flying area was carried out.

The exercise ‘Indradhanush’ began on October 21 and continued for 12-days.


Day 3 at Kalaikunda: image



Joint RAF / IAF exercise Indra Dhanush 2010 enters final phase

October 31, 2010
Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon: Image via Wikipedia

The joint UK / India air exercise Indra Dhanush 2010 which began on October 18th at Kalaikunda Airbase in West Bengal’s West Midnapur District has entered its final phase and is due to end on November 3rd.  The RAF is participating with its Euro-fighters, VC-10 mid- air refuellers and E 3 D Sentry Airborne Early Warnings and Control Systems (AWACS) while the IAF is flying the SU 30s, Mirage 2000s, Mig-27s and their newly acquired AWACS.

So far some 120 flying missions have been flown. In the final phase a large number of aircraft in offensive and defensive roles are expected to be launched in ‘Waves’ in a limited airspace to test the skills of the fighter pilots, the AWACS and the ground controllers. High Value Air Asset (HVAA) protection missions which require a large number of aircraft are also to be carried out.

The exercise takes place with the backdrop of the 11 billion $ order for 126 MMRCA fighters that is to be placed soon by the Indian Air Force. The six competing fighters that the IAF has flight-tested over the last year include Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN Super Viper, Dassault’s Rafale, the Russian MiG-35, the Swedish Saab Gripen NG and the Eurofighter.

Indra Dhanush 2010: Sukhoi vs Eurofighter and 10 B$ at stake

October 11, 2010


F3, Eurofighter, SU-30MKI


In 2006, and for the first time in over forty years the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force carried out exercises at bases in northern India, with Tornado F3s, E3-D AWACS and a VC10 making up the bulk of the RAF air presence. The bi-lateral Exercise INDRA DHANUSH (which means rainbow in Hindi), was held at IAF Gwalior and IAF Agra.The IAF platforms included the Sukhoi-30 MKIs, Mirage 2000, MiG-21 ‘Bison’ and MiG-27 aircraft.


Indra Dhanush 2007


Exercise Indra Danush moved to RAF Waddington in July 2007. On one side was Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon, whose advanced aerodynamics and intuitive controls and avionics have led to it being rated as the second-best air superiority aircraft in the world. Its supporting cast included 1980s era Tornado F3 air defense variants, and upgraded GR9 Harriers from the Royal Navy. On the other side was India’s SU-30MKI, the most evolved variant of Sukhoi’s outstanding Flanker family, with aerodynamics that allow unique maneuvers, and full thrust vectoring besides.The Eurofighter is smaller, and is generally agreed to have more “shaping” than the SU-30 to reduce its radar profile (though neither aircraft is in the same class as the F-22A Raptor or even the less-stealthy F-35 Lightning II).


Now the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force “meetat Exercise Indra Dhanush 2010 from October 20th  at Kalaikunda, West Bengal. The exercise will be held in an AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) environment, with air defence being a major thrust area. Both the Indian and British forces are also expected to use their mid-air refuelling aircraft, like the IL-78 and VC-10 tankers, during the combat manoeuvres.

The exercise comes at a time when the $10.4 billion project to acquire 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the IAF is in the final stages of the selection process. Apart from the Eurofighter, the other five contenders in the hotly-contested race for the lucrative MMRCA project are the F/A-18 `Super Hornet’ and F-16 `Falcon’ (both US), Gripen (Swedish), Rafale (French) and MiG-35 (Russian).

A major Indo-UK defence deal has been the `Hawk’ AJT (advanced jet trainer) project. India is going in for another 57 Hawks as a “follow-on” order to the ongoing Rs 8,000 crore (about 1.75 B $) AJT project, finalised in March 2004 with BAE Systems, under which the IAF is already getting 66 Hawks.

The Royal Air force is going to field its Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, AWACS (E-3D) and Air to Air refuellers (VC-10). The IAF will field SU-30 MKI, Mirage 2000’s, Mig 27’s and Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems(AWACS) Aircraft.

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