SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

A Word from Editor-in-Chief

The government has now accepted the need and urgency to develop the capability to indigenously design, develop and manufacture items of military hardware required by the Indian Armed Forces. But the defence manufacturing sector needs to be transformed through complete overhaul of the system which can be achieved only through a nocompromise policy and mindset against any dilution of quality.

Issue: 11-2020By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 Pandemic that has gripped not only India, but the rest of the world as well. However, as nations across the world are progressively easing the process of lockdown, air travel both domestic and international is beginning to pick up albeit at a slow pace. In an Exclusive interview with SP’s Aviation in this issue of the magazine, Raul Villaron, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Embraer Commercial Aviation explains how Embraer can help airlines in Asia-Pacific tide over this crisis. He goes on to say that Airlines are now seeking to streamline their operations and to optimise their fleet in order to have the versatility to serve different market profiles and to ride the ups and downs of business cycles.

As the headwinds ease, airlines with right-sized fleet will recover faster and stronger. Under the prevailing circumstances, the principle that would govern the choice of the size of airliners is “Smaller the Better”. In his article on the same subject, Air Marshal Pandey (Retd) explains how, under the current circumstances, smaller is perhaps the most viable option for airlines to improve their economy of operations and ensure their resurgence from the pandemic hit market. The same philosophy has also been espoused by Ayushee Chaudhary in a comprehensive article in this issue of SP’s Aviation that goes with the title “The New Normal needs Flexibility in Strategy and Fleet”.

A new trend in commercial aviation points at the development of aircraft that will be capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). Development of eVTOL aircraft is expected to revolutionise Urban Air Mobility. A number of companies involved in the design, development and manufacture of these aircraft are investing heavily as well as collaborating in meaningful Research and Development in this regime. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries a detailed write up by Wing Commander R.K. Yadav on five VTOL aircraft that can make Urban Air Mobility a reality in the future. This article is supported by reports on two other major programmes in the same area.

Boeing, the aerospace and defence major, has had its presence in India for the last seven and a half decades. In the recent past, there have been a number of acquisitions of military platforms from Boeing such as the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft, the CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter as also the AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the Indian Navy. In October this year, the company has also delivered two Boeing 777 aircraft to India, duly modified for VVIP flights. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries a detailed interview with Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India in which he traces the relationship between Boeing and India, states that talks are also on for the acquisition of the F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III carrier-borne combat aircraft for the Indian Navy and says that the recently signed agreement on Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) is a significant step towards contributing to an even closer defence and security partnership.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Welcome aboard and we wish you many happy landings!

Jai Hind!