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ACIG Special Reports
Aero India 2003 - Part 1
By B Harry
Sep 16, 2003, 03:09


A look at the general lineup which was unsurprisingly dominated by IAF aircraft. Note the newly introduced low-viz grey scheme. Jaguars, MiG-27s and MiG-21 Bisons now feature extensive RAM coating/treatment and it is highly probable(though unconfirmed) that the Su-30MKIs and Mi-35s also feature the same.


Two dramatic shots of the Su-30MKI (SB 042) from the elite No.20 'Lightnings' squadron. These are an absolute must for any Flanker fan's collection.

A closer look at the heavy 12 AAM load of the Su-30MKI. While the underfuselage hardpoints are occupied by four R-27R1 (AA-10 Alamo-A), the wing-tips pylons have R-73 (AA-11 Archer) training rounds. Outer and inner underwing pylons have R-77 (AA-12 Adder) rounds while R-27ET1s (AA-10 Alamo-D) occupy the central underwing pylons.

The perfect blend of unbeatable aerodynamics, raw power and persistence, advanced avionics and heavy loads, churning out mind-bending performance makes the Su-30MKI a true 'nightmare scenario' aircraft. Apart from all that, it is also a photographer's dream.

The first LCA prototype (KH 2001) with a substantial ordnance display. Displayed AAMs included the DRDO Astra (centre) and Vympel R-77 BVRAAMs , R-73 and R-60MK training rounds. Also note the Paveway-II Mk.13/18 LGBs.

Unguided ordnance displayed included the Bazalt FAB-250, FAB-500 and DRDO HSLD GP bombs, Bazalt ODAB-500PM fuel-air explosives, ZAB-250/350 incendiary bombs, BetAB-500Shp powered concrete-piercing bombs and B-8 80 mm rocket launchers. Note the giant Bofors M70 135mm Rocket launcher on the right.

Aero-Vodochody claim that there is no better trainer than the L-159B to meet IAF AJT requirements. When negotiations for the Hawk had almost completed, Aero jumped in and quoted a more realistic price and offered to co-develop and co-market the aircraft with India. The aircraft generated sufficient IAF interest to merit a visit to the Czech Republic by a senior team followed by extensive evaluation.

The Embraer Legacy is super mid-size twin engine business jet based on the highly successful ERJ 135/140/145 series of regional jets. It features the largest cabin of it's class, about 60% larger than those offered by other super mid-size business jets.Avionics include Honeywell's Primus 1000 integrated system.

Update(Aug.2003): The IAF will place an order with Embraer for the supply of 3 Legacy jets for the VVIP transport role. India's Border Security Force(BSF) will also receive a single Legacy.

The BAe Hawk 100 has always been a constant visitor for obvious reasons. Though it was the IAF's first choice, it's ridiculously high cost has been a limiting factor which has delayed the acquisition process for many painful years and negotiations continue. Nevertheless, the export of more than 800 Hawks to 22 different countries should say something about it's capability.

Update(Sept.2003) : After years of delay, the Hawk has finally been chosen by the IAF. The aircraft will be based at Bidar AFB in the state of Karnataka and the existing Kiran units will be moved elsewhere. Conversion of the base for AJT operations has already begun.

A Transall C-160 of the Luftwaffe. It can accommodate 93 combat ready troops or 16,000 kgs of cargo.

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