A Word from Editor-in-Chief

In the interest of National Security, it is of utmost importance that role of the IAF in future military operations is not undermined by the policy makers and the thought leaders in the military establishment of India. Without any doubt, the IAF has evolved into a strong and potent aerospace power, capable of launching independent operations from a cold start

Issue: 07-2021By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

A development in recent times that has become a matter of concern especially for the Indian Air Force (IAF), is the move to restructure the Indian Armed Forces to form Integrated Theatre Commands. It is felt by them that in the final analysis, this exercise is likely to impinge on the operational capability of the IAF. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries an article by Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy (Retd), a former Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), wherein he has carried out an in-depth analysis of the plan to make major organisational changes in the Indian Armed Forces. The former CAS is of the view that over the years, the IAF has evolved into a strong and potent aerospace power that is capable of mounting operations 24x7 and launching independent operations from a cold start. To quote the former CAS, “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”.

The regional aviation segment of the global airline industry is on the cusp of witnessing a new development with the arrival on the scene of the E-Jet E2 family of regional aviation aircraft. This issue of the magazine carries a detailed article by Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) on the virtues of the E-Jets E2 family over the long running Turboprops. The article also mentions that this family of regional aircraft are likely to pose a significant challenge to the well established families of airliners from Airbus and Boeing. The platform from the Brazilian aerospace major Embraer that has the capability to breathe fresh air into the regional aviation segment and provide a serious challenge to the existing players will be the E195-E2, the largest aircraft in the E-Jet E2 family that has been designed and developed to maximise returns and provide appreciable levels of efficiency on high-density routes.

A major event that has come as a wake-up call not only for the Indian Armed Forces, but for the entire nation as well, was the attack on the IAF base in Jammu by two armed Drones on June 27 this year. While the Government has issued a revised Draft Drone Policy 2021, there is definitely an urgent need for the Indian Armed Forces to analyse the threat that this newly developed weapon system can pose to the security of our nation and adopt appropriate and extensive counter-measures. This issue of the magazine carries two articles on the subject.

In the domain of space exploration, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has moved a step forward towards launching the nation’s first manned space mission. In the pursuit of this objective, ISRO successfully completed the third long duration hot test of the liquid propellant Vikas Engine for the core L110 liquid stage of the human-rated GSLV MkIII vehicle. Space exploration that was in the exclusive domain of the government-owned public sector, has now opened up to private sector as well, notably in the United States where on July 20 this year, space vehicle New Shepard launched by aerospace company Blue Origin, undertook its first human spaceflight with its founder, Jeff Bezos on board the capsule. On July 11, 2021, the American spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic’s founder, Richard Branson, flew aboard the VSS Unity for its first fully-crewed spaceflight. This issue of the magazine carries two articles by Ayushee Chaudhary on the subject of space exploration.

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

Jai Hind!