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 emergence of asymmetric and hybrid warfare concepts requires the Indian Air Force to dovetail their Space and Information Warfare capabilities into its concept of operations. For the IAF’s power projection, Network-centric warfare imbibing NextGen technologies is the most fundamental for Offensive and Air Defence Operations.

Issue: 02-2024By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has undergone a remarkable evolution, emerging as a modern aerospace powerhouse capable of exerting control over both air and space domains to safeguard India’s national interests. Drawing from operational experiences and collaborative exercises with allied air forces, the IAF continues to refine its capability concepts, integrating lessons learned into its evolving doctrines. As mentioned by Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff, there is the need to reimagine, reform, redesign and rebuild our traditional war fighting machinery to adapt to emerging paradigms of future wars. In this edition of SP’s Aviation, Manish Kumar Jha presents a comprehensive overview of the IAF’s modernisation roadmap, shedding light on its strategic trajectory, imbibing emerging and critical technologies.

In addition, Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd) explores the pivotal role of force multipliers in bolstering air dominance, stressing the imperative of sustained investment and strategic deployment. All major air forces of the world, including Indian Air Force (IAF) invest in force multipliers to enhance operational capability. A country of the size of India with hot borders, needs to seriously invest in building up its force multipliers. His article looks at airborne force multiplier platforms and their status in IAF. Group Captain D.K. Pandey (Retd) delves into India’s efforts to strengthen network-centric air operations through advanced airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) systems. The experience of the IAF with Netra Mk-1 AEW&C was encouraging, significantly increasing the operational productivity and enhancing India’s airborne surveillance capabilities. He writes, India is actively working towards developing and deploying modern indigenous AEW&C aircraft, often referred to as “Eyes in the Sky” and the IAF is vigorously pursuing the acquisition of six Mark-1A and six Mark-2 variants of the Netra AEW&C aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has continuously assumed a pivotal role in shaping India’s defence technology landscape. With a legacy spanning back to 1958, DRDO stands at a critical juncture, poised for strategic transformation to address existing gaps in defence research and development. Manish Kumar Jha explores DRDO’s journey and future imperatives in this edition of the magazine and also provides insights into its broad spectrum of responsibilities.

This edition also offers a nuanced exploration of India’s aviation sector, showcasing its transformative journey and burgeoning prospects on the global stage. This issue includes a detailed report on Wings India by Ayushee Chaudhary. The airshow set the stage for India Civil Aviation @2047 through its air displays, exhibition, deals and discussions. A major deal was announced by Akasa Air as it placed a firm order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Wings India 2024. Akasa also ordered more than 300 CFM LEAP-1B engines. Boeing’s latest widebody 777X (777-9) took center stage at Wings India 2024 as it made its India debut. Details of these and more are included further in the magazine. Furthermore, in another story by Ayushee Chaudhary, India’s pivotal role in spearheading the commercial aviation recovery in South Asia is underscored, with Boeing’s forecast predicting over 2,705 new airplane deliveries to the region by 2042.

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