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

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, opened doors to new opportunities for the Regional Connectivity Scheme by inaugurating a seaplane service in Gujarat

Issue: 11-2017By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

A major development on the global scene in the recent past has been the strengthening of relationship between India and the United States (US), the largest and the oldest democracies in the world. The process began during the tenure of President Obama during which Indo-US bilateral relations developed into a global strategic partnership based on shared democratic values and increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues, security being the primary concern. Towards the end of the tenure of President Obama, India was elevated to the status of a “major defence partner”. Under the new leadership in the US, there has been further consolidation of relations between India and the US. For the Indian armed forces that are embarked on a comprehensive modernisation programme that would involve induction of modern weapon systems and platforms, this development is of special significance. This issue of SP’s Aviation has an analysis of the subject by Dr Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, US and International Strategic Development, General Atomics.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is currently grappling with the problem of a dwindling combat fleet. Efforts are on to select a suitable combat platform, single or possibly twin-engine, for production in India in large numbers. The US has platforms that would meet the requirements of the IAF and one of these is the F/A-18 Super Hornet from Boeing. Although the carrier-based version of this aircraft would meet with the requirements of the Indian Navy for which a Request for Information (RFI) has already been floated, the land-based version equipped with the latest avionics, radar and weapon systems, would serve the needs of the IAF and help it restore its combat potential that has been eroded substantially. A detailed report on the F/A-18 Super Hornet by Eugene J (Gene) Cunningham Jr, Vice President, Global Sales for Boeing Defence, Space & Security is a part of this issue of SP’s Aviation.

Dubai Air Show 2017, the 15th edition of this biennial event held from November 12 to 16 this year, showcased the latest in commercial and general aviation as also in military aviation. As usual, the event was dominated by the two leading global aerospace majors Boeing and Airbus. However, others players such as Embraer and Bombardier were not far behind. Altogether, business deals worth $113.8 billion were concluded during the Air Show. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries a detailed report by Bikram Vohra on the Air Show. Writing from Dubai, Bikram Vohra also has an analysis of the business jet market in the Middle East as was evident from the deals finalised by the leading global players. Analysing a report from NEXA on business aviation, Group Captain A.K. Sachdev (Retd) concludes that the study has an unequivocal message about the importance of this segment of the global civil aviation industry and its uniqueness as a tool for providing a clear advantage to the user companies in contrast to those that neither wish to invest in aviation assets nor hire aircraft for business purposes.

In a detailed review of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities available in the country in the domain of military and civil aviation, Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh (Retd) concludes that the need of the hour is interaction and collaboration between the two as this will go a long way towards the enhancement of the air power potential of the nation.

On the civil aviation front, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, opened doors to new opportunities for the Regional Connectivity Scheme by inaugurating a seaplane service in Gujarat. Given the huge coastline, inland waterways and lakes in the country, there is undoubtedly immense potential to develop this segment which will provide the much needed impetus for growth of general aviation in the country.

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

Jai Hind!