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

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— 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

Quick RoundUp

Issue: 04-2018


Airbus Helicopters Inc, Texas, has been awarded a $273,289,949 firm-fixed-price contract for procurement of 35 UH-72A helicopters by the US Army. One bid was solicited and one bid received. Work is expected to be completed by March 8, 2021.

Airbus Helicopters, the leader in the civil and parapublic helicopter market, has wrapped up Heli Expo 2018 in Las Vegas with orders for over 50 of the company’s wide range of helicopters for customers worldwide.


Boeing and Hawaiian Airlines have announced on March 6, 2018 that the carrier intends to purchase ten Boeing 787-9 jets valued at $2.82 billion at list prices. Hawaiian also has purchase rights for twn additional Boeing 787s.

Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernise the US Navy F/A-18 fleet, extending the life of existing Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000+ flight hours. In the early 2020s, Boeing will begin installing initial updates to the aircraft that will convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration. The indefinite-delivery contract is for up to $73 million. Additional follow-on contracts could be awarded over the next ten years and involves 568 Super Hornets.


Canada has named five firms that will be considered to supply fighters to replace its fleet of CF-18s. Three European firms, Dassault, Saab and Airbus, along with two US companies, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, have all made the official fighter jet supplier list. Estimated cost is $15 billion and the aircraft expected to be offered include Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Boeing’s Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen.


DRDO has successfully flown its Rustom-2 at its Aeronautical Test Range at Chalakere at Chitradurga in Karnataka. This flight assumes significance due to the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with a more powerful engine. All parameters were normal. Rustom-2 is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance drone which can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has an endurance of over 20 hours.


According to the latest India Market Forecast by Airbus, India will require 1,750 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet an exponential rise in both passenger and freight traffic. To help meet this growth, India will need 1,320 new single-aisle aircraft and 430 wide-body aircraft valued at $255 billion.


The Indian government has issued a Letter of Request (LoR) to the US government for six additional AH-64E Apache helicopters. Funding for the purchase had been cleared in August 2017 as an option to a 2015 contract for 22 Apache helicopters and 15 CH-47 Chinook heavylift helicopters for the Indian Air Force, however, the LoR officially kicks off the FMS request with this batch of helicopters destined for the Indian Army. The first of the helicopters are expected to be delivered in 2019 and will replace the mainly Russian-made platforms currently in its inventory.


The RS-28 Sarmat is the Russia’s new silo-based missile complex with the heavy liquid-propellant ICBM capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Russia has been developing the Sarmat since the 2000s to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM operational in the country’s Strategic Missile Force since 1988.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense has revealed that the 30th Central Scientific Research Institute is currently developing a supersonic UCAV able to carry precision-guided and unguided air-launched weapons and it “would appear sometime in the next few years.”


On February 23, 2018, Saab unveiled the first GlobalEye surveillance platform destined for the United Arab Emirates. The aircraft is a heavily-modified Bombardier Global 6000 business jet with adaptations including Saab’s Erieye ER airborne early warning and control radar, search radar and electro-optical/infrared sensor.


The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible FMS to Qatar for equipment and support to upgrade the Qatari Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) Air Operation Center for an estimated cost of $197 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 07, 2018.


President Donald Trump signed into law a spending bill that adds 143 aircraft to the order that was already requested by the Department of Defense. This bill includes the purchase of 20 additional F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters, ten F/A-18 Super Hornets and three KC-46A tanker aircraft worth $9.5 billion.


The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $158.2 million contract to a previously issued basic ordering agreement for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme which involves additional retrofit activities for delivered air systems to US and FMS customers. Contract will run until February 2019.