Defence News Update – 12 March 2024

Indian Defence Updates

Armenia Orders 84 ATAGS

In a major development, Armenia has placed an order for a second bigger batch of 84 ATAGs for $155 million from India. Indian Air Force’s C-295 transport aircraft has landed at the Aghati airport in Laksadweep Island for the first time. Hindustan Aeronautics has organized a private industry outreach program, in which 56 representatives of private sector industry showed keen interest towards contributing in the upcoming Super Shukhoi upgrade program.

AMCA Cleared

A 33-member Indian defense delegation including leading public and private sector companies is traveling to Nigeria, as the Nigerian government has expressed in jointly working with Indian defense industry. The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the AMCA fighter jet program, indigenous upgrade of BMP-2 vehicles, and 25 Dhruv helicopters for the Army and 9 for Indian Coast Guard. The Maldivian Defense Force has said, that it will have operational authority over the helicopter given by India to Maldives, and even on the civilian crew that will pilot the aircraft.

The Indian Defense Minister inspected a scale model of the EMALS system for 65,000-ton aircraft carrier, proposed to be developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd. and private sector companies. Pakistan has unveiled its Haider tank, which is based on the Chinese VT-4 main battle tank, developed in collaboration with China’s Norinco Corporation.

The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the Rs 15,000 crore project to design and develop AMCA fifth-generation stealth fighter jet by Aeronautical Development Agency. The first five prototypes will be built in five years by Hindustan Aeronautics, and the first prototype will be rolled out in 2027, with the first flight by late 2028. The five AMCA prototypes will be tested and validated, before starting serial production with considerable involvement of private sector companies under a special purpose vehicle.

The first two AMCA Mark 1 squadrons will be powered by locally manufactured F-414 engines, that will be followed by five squadrons of AMCA Mark 2 powered by an indigenous 120-kilo Newton engine, in which American firm General Electric, French Safran and British firm Rolls Royce are competing. India has issued a large no-time warning over the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean region for a range of 3,550 km, and there is a high probability that it could be the test of the serial production variant of the nuclear-capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile from INS Arihant. The DRDO has already completed the development of the K-4, and it was tested twice in January 2020 from a submerged pontoon, after which it was cleared to enter serial production.

The Indian Air Force has conveyed a new requirement to the DRDO, to develop a 50 km range common close combat air-to-air missile, that can be integrated on all fighter jets, including the AMCA. It will feature an next-generation infrared seeker for enhanced target acquisition and tracking capabilities, and this new request comes alongside the reported scrapping of the Astra IR variant, which included plans to modify the Astra Mark 1 into a medium-range missile with dual seeker capabilities. The DRDO conducted the maiden surface run of High Endurance Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, and it met all the mission parameters successfully in Kochi.

It has an endurance of over 15 days, and is equipped with sensor modules for anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions.