An IDC Report 


New Delhi, 18 April 2005

India’s Defence Procurements

(Updated up to 15 April 2005)  

The list below was compiled from various media reports and press releases and contains the main items being procured, on offer or planned by the Indian Defence Forces, with our comments wherever possible. 

Although every care has been taken to compile the data as accurately as possible, we take no responsibility for the authenticity of the list.  

Note: The list includes Navy and Air Force items only. Updated Army list will follow.


Scorpene Class (hunter-killer) Submarines (UPDATED) 
To be built by Mazagon Dock (MDL), Mumbai. The contract is being concluded with the French Government and Thales and subcontracted to DCN, which has signed a transfer of technology agreement with MDL. Awaiting approval from Cabinet Committee on Security. 

As of now six submarines are to join the Indian Navy while option for more remains open. Air-Independent Propulsion MESMA is an option only. 

Media reports suggest that Russian Amur Class and German HDW submarines may also be considered. The court case against HDW was closed last week and they are reported to be making a strong comeback bid offering higher grade boats than the French.


Air Defence Ship (Aircraft Carrier) (UPDATED) 
The 37,500-tons aircraft carrier (Air Defence Ship) is to be built at Cochin Shipyard. The carrier is being designed to operate a mix of twelve MiG-29K, eight Naval-LCA Tejas or Sea Harrier fighters, ten ALH Dhruv and Kamov-31 helicopters. 

The steel cutting of ADS was scheduled to begin on April 11, 2005. The ship after construction and trials is scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy in 2012 and will cost the exchequer Rs. 3261 crores. The name Air Defence Ship is a misnomer deliberately adopted to bypass undue criticism from conflicting quarters. Under similar circum- stances even the Soviet and British navies maintained ambiguity. While the Russians projected their Kiev Class initially as anti-submarine cruisers (Protivolodochny Kreyser) the Royal Navy projected their Invincible Class as (through deck) cruisers. 


Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) (UPDATED) 
Will be refitted in Russia with provision for helicopters and MiG-29K aircraft at an additional cost of around $675 to $700 million. The deal to acquire the aircraft carrier, was signed between Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov and then his Indian counterpart, Defence Minister George Fernandes on 20 January 2004 in New Delhi. The deal in addition also consists of separate contracts for new shipboard weapons and technology. The conversion is reported to be progressing at a swift pace well ahead of the schedule. The Russians have promised to hand over the Capital warship to the Indian Navy in late 2007. 


MiG-29K Carrier-borne Fighters (UPDATED) 
Twelve single-seat MiG-29K and four dual-seat MiG-29KUB variants were ordered for operation from the decks of Admiral Gorshkov. Projected to be equipped with Phazatron Zhuk-MEh multi-mode radar. However Bars-29 Barsik (Little Bars) appears to be the likely candidate. Armed with Vympel RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) medium range, active-radar homing air-to-air missiles; the R-73E (AA-11 Archer) infra-red guided dogfight missiles, Zvesda/Strella Kh-31A anti-ship and Kh-31P anti-radar missiles and Kh-35 Uran E anti-ship missiles. Also a strong candidate for the air defence ship (ADS) to be built at Cochin. 


Shivalik Class Guided Missile Frigates (NEW ENTRY) 
Three Type 17, 4900-ton Shivalik class stealth frigates (two already launched) which is an upgraded hybrid home design of the Brahmaputra and Krivak class with BrahMos vertical launch missiles and two ASW helicopters. 


Bangalore Class Guided Missile Destroyers (NEW ENTRY) 
Three Type 15A, 6700-ton Bangalore class Destroyers which is an improved version of the Delhi class also with vertical launch BrahMos missiles, aft of the bridge superstructure. DRDO and Larsen & Tubro Ltd had jointly designed the vertical missile launch system. 


Krivak III Class, Project 1135.6 Guided Missile Frigates (UPDATED) 
Three warships, INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar have joined the Indian Navy. The General Purpose warships however sport robust anti-air warfare sensors & weaponry with Shtil area defence SAM system and Kamov-31 AEW helicopters. Have lower Radar Cross Section (RCS). The Russians are eagerly anticipating a repeat order of three more. 


Indian Navy Sea Harrier Fleet Upgrade (NEW ENTRY) 
The Navy Sea Harrier fleet is to acquire Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagement capability in conjunction of Israeli EL/M 2032 radar and Derby BVR missiles, formidable even in close range. 


Sukhoi-30MKI Fighter Aircraft (UPDATED) 
A total of 40 aircraft ordered from IAPO (Russia) and subsequent manufacture of 140 more by HAL in India. 18 Sukhoi-30MK/K variants initially supplied will go back to Russia for upgrading. Deliveries of the 40 Sukhoi-30MKI variants have been completed. Three operational Squadrons, No.20 Lightnings, No.24 Hunting Hawks and No.30 Rhinos are operating the type. First two HAL built versions were handed over to the Indian Air Force on March 21, 2005. HAL initially promised 10 Sukhoi-30 deliveries to the IAF per year. The figure subsequently rose to 14, sharply fell to 6 and now somewhat stabilized at 8. 


Kamov-31 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Helicopters (UPDATED) 
Four plus five Kamov-31 (Kamov-29RLD) AEW helicopters, estimated at US $207 million were ordered and joined the Indian Navy fleet. The Kamov-31 is fitted with the E-801M Oko (Eye) AEW radar. Also ordered were six Kamov-28 ASW helicopters worth $18 million. 


Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) (UPDATED)  
The IAF had long pressed for procurement of an initial 66 AJTs and later 11 AJTs for the Indian Navy. British Aerospace clinched the deal for the Hawk-115. The Hawk is projected to arrive in India from 2007 onwards. 

Meanwhile the IAF pilots were undergoing advanced jet training on Royal Air Force Hawk variants in Britain. The aged MiG-21FL variants used as improvised AJT platforms can now retire. 


Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas (UPDATED) 
IAF is all set to order from HAL 20 + 20 LCA Tejas with US GE-404 engines worth almost $1billion, to be delivered beginning 2008. Weapons integration flights are eagerly awaited while the problems relating to the indigenous Kaveri GTX-35VS two-spool low-bypass ratio turbofan engine need to be sorted out fast. 


MiG-21 Replacement (NEW ENTRY) 
The IAF was set to acquire 126 fighters from 2008 onwards to replace the MiG-21s worth $3b and the competition is between the French Mirage 2000-5Mk2, Swedish Grippen, US F 16C Block 70 and the Russian MiG-29 M2. Request For Information (RFI) has been sent to the respective manufacturers. Mirage 2000-5Mk2 appears to be the IAF's preferred choice. Additionally India is keen to buy 12 Mirage 2000-5 from Qatar. Recently USA had offered the F/A-18E/F and some assembly lines. If financial terms are good India may consider it for the technology that comes with these aircraft. It will help the LCA too. 


HAL HJT-36 Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) (UPDATED) 
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited IJT-36 carried out its first flight on March 7, 2003 with Chief Test Pilot Squadron Leader Baldev Singh (Retd) on controls. The 20 minutes flight was reported to be flawless. Significantly the IJT prototype flew in less than four years after commencing development work, thanks to advanced Computer Aided Design (CAD) techniques. A single French Larzac 04-20 engine presently powers the IJT-36. A higher thrust version of Larzac engine for the production version of the IJT-36 is on cards. 


IAF Aircraft Fleet Upgrades (NEW ENTRY) 
To extend the operational life of Jaguars further improvement of avionics suite is now in progress under project DARIN II. Among others this involves a Sagem Ring-Laser-Gyro INS with integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) and indigenously developed twin mission computers. DARIN II upgrade is incorporated on the 17 twin-seat Jaguars being produced by HAL. In time DARIN II will first replace the NAVWASS on all direct supply strike Jaguars. Later DARIN II upgrade including the autopilot currently under development may be implemented on at least sixty remaining aircraft in service. In addition the Jaguars will acquire formidable night-attack capability in conjunction of Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) and Precision Guided Munitions (PGM). Twenty more Jaguars are to be manufactured at HAL with the evolving technology. 

At least two squadrons of MiG-27ML are undergoing upgrade with Advanced Pilot/System Interface (APSI), PGM capability and in-flight refueling probe among others.  


Four squadrons of MiG-21Bison are operational with eight more to join as per latest reports. Being equipped with Kopyo (Spear)/Super Kopyo X-band pulse Doppler radars and RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) beyond visual range missiles and PGMs.

Mil-35 Helicopters (UPDATED)

A major upgrade is underway of twenty-five IAF Mil-35 attack helicopters by IAI/Tamam by utilising Helicopter Multi-mission Optronic Stabilized Payload (HMOSP) providing precise navigation and all-weather operations in conjunction of AT-6 Spiral and proposed Rafael Spike antitank missiles. Appropriate countermeasures suites are integrated. 


Illyushin-78MKI In-flight Refueling Tanker (UPDATED)
Six Illyushin-78MKI in-flight refuelling tankers have joined the Indian Air Force fleet equipping Squadron No.78 'Battle Cry' have been carrying out in-flight refuelling practices with IAF Sukhoi-30, Mirage 2000 and Jaguars often supporting them on long-range missions and in trans-continental ferry to join multi-national air exercises at various parts of the Globe. 


Mirage 2000 V Aircraft (NEW ENTRY)

India is keen to buy 12 Mirage 2000-5 from Qatar.


Mirage 2000H/TH (UPDATED)
Ten additional aircraft to replace accident losses and as part of the War Wastage Reserve had arrived by early 2005. These have more powerful radar capable of enhanced simultaneous track and engagement with beyond visual range missiles. 


EL/M-2090 Green Pine Radar (NEW ENTRY)
India have received two Green Pine L-band, phased array, dual-mode detection and fire control radar comprising of 2,000 transmit-receive modules. Green Pine is said to be capable of tracking ballistic missiles from a range of up to 500-km. Integration of Arrow 2 Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) system in Indian armed forces service depends upon several complex factors including the requisite United States administration permission to the Israeli authorities. 

In addition another active phased-array radar system, called Sword Fish, was purchased from Israel in early 2004 for $50 million and is undergoing trials at Hasan in Karnataka state. 

Meanwhile during the second-half of February 2005, a four-member high-level US defence team led by Edward Ross of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), had met officials of the international security division of the Indian External Affairs and Defence ministries and presented "a technical brief" of the Patriot PAC-2. The US administration's clearance for a classified technical presentation of PAC-2 system came as part of the Next Step in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) agreement initiated by the two countries during 2004.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (UPDATED)
Several branches of Indian Armed Forces continue to receive IAI Malat built Searcher Mk II and Heron UAVs and their ground control units from Israel. The Searcher MkII has a height ceiling of nearly 30,000-ft. Army, Navy and IAF units are being provided with these UAVs progressively and projected to bolster one of the largest UAV fleets of the world. Navy will get Heron with Maritime radar. The Indian Army has also ordered twelve indigenous Nishant UAV in a limited-series production. 

India and Israel have also entered into a new partnership under which Tel Aviv will help New Delhi in its development of UAVs. A formal deal was signed at the Aero India 2005 exposition Feb. 9-13, between senior officials of the respective defense ministries. 

Israel Aircraft Industries will assist state-owned Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), India's leading unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) laboratory, to develop three new UAVs. They are the Rustam Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAV, the Pawan short-range UAV and the Gagan tactical UAV. 


Two Type 877-EKM Kilo-class SSK Submarines, plus one Amur-Class SSK have been offered as India’s own Submarine building programme has been slow since the HDW scandal. (Old entry)


Novator 3M54E Klub Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM) (UPDATED)
Klub equips Kilo Class hunter-killer submarine (SSK) INS Sindhushastra from outset. The missile is also being progressively fitted to five other Kilo Class SSKs those are undergoing or have undergone refits. The ASCM also equips the three Krivak III s, and projected for the Type 17 Shivalik Class guided missile frigates. The Indian Navy is truly excited about this missile and calls it the Russian Tomahawk. Up to 200 systems have been ordered.


Barak Anti-Missile SAM systems (UPDATED)
Built by IAI ELTA/RAFAEL, the rapid-reaction Israeli SAM system is installed on the Indian Navy's carrier INS Viraat, and Delhi Class guided missile destroyers. The system is also to equip Godavari & Brahmaputra Class frigates. Already installed on INS Ganga. Initially seven systems were procured with more to follow in response to failure of indigenous Trishul SAM.


The first lot of Israeli Helium filled Airborne Early Warning Aerostats had arrived in India. The Aerostat radars, which basically include sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground with long cables, are a long-standing requirement of the IAF.


Four plus three Ka-31, air borne early warning helicopters, and six Ka-28 ASW helicopters worth $18 million all of which will be delivered progressively. (Old entry)


TU-142 Bear F maritime patrol/ASW aircraft armed with Alfa and Uran-E anti-ship cruise missiles to supplement the eight currently in service with the Indian Navy are on offer. (Old entry)


Tupolev-22M3 Backfire-C (UPDATED)
Tupolev-22M3 ‘Backfire-C’ strategic bombers and high-speed maritime reconnaissance platforms, produced at the Gorbunov-based plant in Kazan, southern Russia are on offer and ready to be delivered from Russia’s large excess stock.


Synthetic Aperture Radars & Laser Guided Bombs (UPDATED)
The ELTA subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries is likely to supply pod-mounted EL/M-2060 synthetic aperture radars for IAF Mirage 2000H/TH fighters. The IAF is also expected to procure additional laser-guidance kits for its 1,000 lb bombs from Elbit Computers of Israel. 

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