Western Sanctions Impact Russian Frigate Sale to India

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian Frigate Admiral Grigorovich. Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

Russia is moving forward with export plans for two of its Admiral Grigorovich class frigates (Project 11356M). Under an agreement inked last year, Moscow will export the Admiral Butakov and Admiral Istomin  to India, and assist India in producing two more locally. While both sides seem to be working on implementing the contract, Western sanctions have created complications. Continue reading

PSLV Launch with 104 Payloads Opens New Opportunities for Small Satellites

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

PSLV-C37 with 104 payloads. Source: Indian Space Research Organisation

On the morning of February 15, 2017, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (designated PSLV-C37) launched the 714-kilogram Cartosat-2 Series Satellite and 103 co-passenger satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch – which marked the 38th consecutively successful PSLV mission out of 39 flights – was one for the record books.

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Indian Navy on the Hunt for Multirole Carrier-Borne Fighters

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Indian Air Force MiG-29

The Indian Ministry of Defense – acting upon the Navy’s formal requirement for 57 multirole carrier-based fighters (MRCBFs) – has issued  a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI comes with multiple queries, which range from weapons payload capability to license production agreements to transfer of technology. And, it also sends a signal that the effort to develop an indigenous naval fighter variant – via state-owned  Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (the LCA-Navy) – faces further hurdles. Continue reading

India Launches Second Scorpene Submarine, but Capacity Pressures Still Haunt Navy

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Scorpene class submarine

With India’s submarine capacity dwindling, small rays of sunshine are beginning to appear in the distance. The launching on January 12 of the second in a six-boat class of French-designed Project 75 Scorpene attack submarines (SSKs) marks another small, slow step in building up a capable submarine arm that has dangerously atrophied over the years. During the 1980s, the Indian Navy submarine inventory numbered 21 vessels, while today it features just 13 conventional submarines, plus one indigenous nuclear-powered ballistic missile (SSBN) submarine, the Arihant. Another boat, the Russian Akula-class Chakra, is leased and used only for training purposes. Continue reading

Indian Navy’s Quest for New Minehunters Mired on Shoals of Indigenization Pressures

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kangnam mine countermeasures vessel

The Indian Navy’s long-standing quest for a new-build, modern class of mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) continues to flounder amid government demands regarding technology transfer and indigenization. A $5 billion project to build 12 MCMVs through state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd is currently stalled as South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation balks at the Indian Ministry of Defence requirement for transfer of complete intellectual property rights of the ships. Continue reading

India Finally – Finally – Inks Rafale Deal

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale

More than nine years after India initially sought out a Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) under its $11 billion “Deal of the Century” competition, over four years since the Rafale was downselected as the winning bid, and nearly a year-and-a-half since Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut through the byzantine MMRCA technical parameters in an attempt to speed things up by reaching an inter-government agreement with French President Francois Hollande, India finally signed a deal with France for the procurement of Dassault Rafale combat aircraft on September 23. Continue reading

India Creeps Closer to FGFA Final Work-Share Agreement with Russia

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA)

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). Source: aerofatos.com

Reports in the Indian media indicate that following months of intense negotiating over technical details, a work-share agreement for joint production of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) between India and Russia is now close at hand. Continue reading

Stalled India-Russia Fifth-Generation Fighter Project Back on Front Burner as Indian Defense Ministry Seeks to Patch Dwindling IAF Capacity

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Indian Air Force MiG-29

Indian Air Force MiG-29

A dormant joint project between Russia and India for the development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) once again has a new lease on life as the Indian Defense Ministry seeks to move forward on negotiations with Moscow. The FGFA project – code-named Project 79L inside India’s Defense Ministry – forms one part of India’s multistep strategy to modernize and strengthen its diminishing combat aircraft capability. Continue reading

‘Make in India’ Initiative Could Get a Jolt After Government Relaxes Defense FDI Requirements

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Indian Flag

The Union government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opted to ease foreign direct investment (FDI) requirements in India’s defense industry in a step viewed as necessary for improving the country’s defense sector, as well as groundbreaking in terms of opening the Indian economy up to the world. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – Indian Defense Environment, Part 2

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Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable podcast. Each podcast features several analysts discussing various aerospace and defense-related issues.

This week’s podcast continues the discussion between Huma Siddiqui Senior Correspondent for New Delhi’s Financial Express and Dan Darling Europe/Asia Military Markets Analyst for Forecast International discussing India’s defense environment. Continue reading