Summary of IADN Strategic Focus November 2022 Issue

By Mr Sridhar Chari

The November issue of the Strategic Focus covers the Defence Expo 2022 held in Gujarat from 18th to 22nd October and also analyse Xi Jinping’s “Work Report” to the 20th Party Congress which is held every 5 years and provides an ideological and political framework for understanding the likely direction of Chinese domestic and foreign policy for the next five years.

Access Full Edition Here: IADN Strategic Focus Magazine: November-December Issue Launch

The Defence Expo 2022 was held in Gandhinagar from Oct 18-22. As many as 451 MOUs worth Rs 1,53,000 crore were signed during the Indian defence industry’s flagship event.

At the expo, IADN spotted:

  • Tata’s Advanced Loitering System (ALS)
  • Kadet Defence Systems “Anudishya” drone and JX 3 Kingfisher Aerial Target System Concept Note
  • DRDO’s Vertically Launched Short Range Surface to Air Missile for the Indian navy
  • Amogh a third generation Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), by L&T and Edgelab
  • DRDO Rudram III Anti-Radiation Missile with specification
  • DRDO’s Varunastra torpedo
  • Army’s Light Combat Helicopter
  • Boeing F 15 Eagle II model
  • Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Ghatak
  • Enhanced Pinaka Mk-1 Rocket system
  • 10-13 tonne Indian Multi Role Helicopter (IMRH)
  • L&T and DRDO’s autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)
  • BEML’s Sarvatra Bridge system, Medium Bullet-Proof Vehicle and Track Width Mine Plough for the t-90 tank
  • Mishra Dhatu Nigam’s Shourya light bulletproof vehicle
  • BMP-2M with a loitering munition system (LMS), fifth-generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and an armament upgrade with an integrated fire-control system (FCS).
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited’s Anti – Tank Guided Missile for MBT ARJUN ”,the “Sangramika”, a Light Weight Vehicle Mounted Anti -Tank Guided Weapon System and the “Sanharika”, an Armoured Vehicle mounted Laser Guided Short Range Anti- -Aircraft Weapon System
  • (DRDO) has showcased the amphibious 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP).
  • Akash-New Generation (Akash-NG) mobile missile launcher for the short-range mobile surface-to-air missile system (SRSAM) with a range of up to 30 km.
  • Ashok Leyland’s ‘Jeet 4×4’, an all-new light general service vehicle, LBPV 4×4, a light bulletproof vehicle and Tank T-72 GB assembly aggregates.

Our special focus was also on India-Africa relations in background of Indian Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) at DefenceExpo 2022. Mr. Purushendra Singh writes about IADD and Indo-African relations, please find his article here: India-Africa: Realising South to SouthRelations in A Better Perspective

Many interesting collaboration possibilities were explored during the EXPO

  • Russia’s Rosoboron Export is considering production and sale of AK-203 rifles
  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Limited has signed an agreement with India for the leasing, operation, and maintenance of fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Bharat Forge has joined hands with General Atomics. The two companies will collaborate to develop a lithium-ion battery system for naval platforms/submarines and in permanent magnet motors.

Announcements and plans

  • Defending Gujarat multi-billion-dollar Industrial Complex the Deesa airbase has presently 22-kilometer boundary wall & 20 watchtowers which will be developed into a full-fledged air base at an estimated cost of Rs 980 crore ($12M).  It is planned to be finished by Dec 2023, expected to become operational by 2024.
  • HAL LCH Prachand formally inducted into Army’s aviation. The helicopter is multi-role as it can attack ground targets with its 20mm canon and rockets. It can destroy tanks with soon to be integrated Helina Anti Tank Guided Missile. It can also take down helicopters, UAVs and slow flying aircrafts with its Mistral Air to Air missile. It is projected that 150+ units will be purchased by Army and IAF.
  • India is developing a new air-launched version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which would be able to strike at enemy targets at more than 800 kilometers. The missile earlier had the capability of hitting targets at around 300 kilometers after being released from a Su-30MKI combat aircraft.
  • In a few years from now, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS will be able to carry and launch the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will be possible once the lighter version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos-NG (Next Generation), is ready, according to the company officials. “The BrahMos-NG development is expected to make first flight in two years and will be ready for production in 2-3 years after that.
  • In yet another major step towards indigenization of BrahMos missiles, defence PSU Munition India Limited (MIL) is ready with the facility to make warheads for the missile. This comes soon after BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) received the first ever indigenous boosters from Nagpur’s Solar Group.
  • Bharat Dynamics has signed an MoU with French Dassault Aviation for the integration of BDL Weapon Systems like Astra BVR & SAAW weapons on the IAF Rafale fighter jets.
  • In a move that signifies growing self-reliance, the Indian Air Force will get 10,000 bullet-proof jackets for their special forces and other personnel from TATA Advanced Systems Limited (TASL)
  • Adani Defence, Israel Weapon Industries have unveiled India’s first AI-based futuristic firing system. The ARBEL is a weapon-embedded Intelligent Fire Control System (IFCS) based on motion sensors that increases the lethality and survivability of soldiers.
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited is slated to manufacture the Israeli LORA theatre quasi ballistic missile in India. The LORA is a Long-Range Artillery Weapon System capable of engaging strategic targets deep in the enemy’s territory from mobile or maritime platforms.
  • The Kalyani Group announced that it would construct the world’s largest artillery manufacturing facility in India. The Hindu Business Line quoted company chairman Baba Kalyani as saying that the plant would be ready in three years, producing one gun per day, a five-fold increase over the current production rate. Interestingly, the company has already received export orders from Armenia.
  • Over 270 Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft from the inventory of the Indian Air Force will be equipped with a new active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar is already. The new radar is expected to be ready by 2024. The deadline to for full operation of the new radar system is 2026.
  • AIRBORNE AEW&C SYSTEM Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) has released an Expression of Interest to participate in Mission System of Airborne Surveillance System Program as a Development cum Production Partner (DccP) for AEWC MK-II project. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in Sept 2021 cleared a nearly Rs 11,000 crore project of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to develop six new Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft for the Indian Air Force. This is in addition to the nearly $3 billion deal for procuring 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the IAF, which was also cleared by the Committee, to replace the ageing fleet of Avro 748 transport aircraft that first flew in 1961.
  • The IAF is “actively pursuing” the acquisition of ISTAR, a high-tech ground surveillance aircraft and battlefield support system. The estimated $3 Billion procurement of five ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) aircraft under the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) framework is on track.
  • A new India-UK working group is expected to focus on technologies to support Indian air combat programmes including the proposed Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft,
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will supply the Indian Air Force (IAF) with a new Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) in the Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40). HAL was awarded an INR 6,800 crore order by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the recently concluded DefExpo for 70 aircraft,
  • L&T, spoke to Business Line on his company’s emergence as L1 (lowest bidder) for the Indian Air Force contract for 240 air defence gun systems, as also its new submarine, unmanned systems, and other products.
  • A diamond-like carbon coating from IIT-Madras promises to make the insides of gun barrels tough and friction-free.
  • India Defence Start-Up Redon Systems Pvt Ltd has developed a Barrel-Launched Loitering Munition system that is capable of carrying out missions in Semi-Autonomous or Autonomous modes even in GPS-denied environments. This system can carry a payload of 1.5 kilograms at a service ceiling of 4,000 meters and has a strike radius of 30 kilometers to target enemy hideouts, Vehicles Fuel and ammunition dumps.
  • Japan is planning to export to India stealth antennas equipped on a new Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyer (MSDF). If realised, it would be the first export case under a Japan-India agreement on defence equipment and technology transfer signed in 2015.

Significant Tests

  • A Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) likely a K-15 missile was successfully test fired from India’s 1st Nuclear powered Ballistic Missile (SSBN) submarine on 14th October. The missile has a range of 750 km with 1000kg payload. A robust, survivable and assured retaliatory capability is in keeping with India’s policy to have ‘Credible Minimum Deterrence’ that underpins its ‘No First Use’ commitment. A longer-range missile K-4 is under development. Arihant can carry 12 K-15 or 4 K-4 SLBMs.
  • The Medium Range Next Generation Ballistic Missile Agni Prime was successfully test fired on 21st October. This system can carry a payload of 1.5-3 tons to a range of 1000-2000 km The Agni-P missile has manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle (MaRV) capability, which makes it extremely difficult to intercept its warhead from any Ballistic Missile Defence system. It can also be used to target ships on high seas due to its very high accuracy.
  • DRDO has been testing electromagnetic railguns. An EMRG powered by 10 MJ capacitor has already been developed as a testbed to develop a 100MJ Rail Gun. The 100 MJ EM ailgun can launch a 18 kg projectile which can cover a distance of 100 km to 400 km.
  • Meanwhile, the Pinaka MK-1 (Enhanced), an upgraded version of Pinaka MK-1 has been successfully test fired at high-altitude Drass.
  • DRDO officials in Maharashtra tested three remotely unmanned, weaponised boats in Pune. Sagar Defence Engineering, a defence production start-up.

Drones in focus

  • The Indian Army has issued initial tenders for the procurement of 363 drones to boost its logistics chain and enhance operational preparedness along the sensitive border regions, officials said. While 163 drones would be for high-altitude regions, 200 are being procured for use in medium-altitude areas, officials said.
  • For helping special forces to carry out special missions behind enemy lines, the Indian Army is looking to procure 750 remotely piloted aerial vehicles under fast-track procedures
  • The Army is slowly but steadily stepping-up the induction of explosive-armed drones. As it gears up to soon induct the first batch of ‘Loitering Munitions’ or Kamikaze Drones, the force on Wednesday also kicked off the acquisition process for 12 sets of armed drone swarms. Seven of these 12 Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms (A-SADS), each with 50-75 artificial intelligence-enabled aerial vehicles capable of communicating with control stations as well as among themselves, are meant for high-altitude areas
  • The Indian Army is the one of the first in the world to induct a swarming system and is now developing a counter swarming drone system. The system is primarily for protecting mechanised army formations from swarming drone attacks. It uses a hard kill system (Micro Missiles) to neutralize the threat. The system is tentatively names as Bhargavastra.
  • Movement of Pakistani drones poses a great challenge for security agencies. Now, Indian Army has installed quadcopter jammers in large numbers to protect military bases in forward areas.
  • Godrej, an Indian multi-national FMCG company which also makes defence equipment for the armed forces, has entered into the production of internal security systems. The company has designed a special anti-UAV drone system.
  • Garuda Aerospace has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lockheed Martin Canada CDL Systems to integrate its Made-In-India drones with the Canadian company’s advanced Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) software solutions for defence and commercial purposes.
  • The Indian military is in the process of acquiring a number of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron Mk II unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to supplement its existing fleet of Herons. A proposal to manufacture the aircraft in India under licence is also being discussed.
  • Israel’s SpearUAV, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding 12Understanding (MoU) with Paras Aerospace, a subsidiary of Paras Defence and Space Technologies Limited, to introduce the unique encapsulated Ninox-40 system to the Indian market for use by military forces, paramilitary, internal security, and law enforcement agencies.
  • Ahmedabad -based startup Optimized Electrotech is developing long-distance surveillance systems

News from Space

  • ISRO’s GSLV MK-III successfully places 36 satellites for OneWeb in its maiden commercial mission
  • Chandrayan 3 is to be launched in June 2023. Meanwhile Chandrayan 2 has discovered large deposits of sodium on the moon
  • ISRO plans to fly Indian astronauts in orbit by end-2024. It is testing key technologies critical to this monumental project.
  • The Navigation with Indian Constellation system (NAVIC) which uses a system of seven satellites to provide real time positioning and timing services in India up to 1,500 km from India’s borders will be expanded to spur satellite manufacturing in India.

Xi Presents Work Report at 20th Party Congress

After being elected for an unprecedented third term as China’s Xi Jinping is all set to be President for life. He presented a ‘work report’ at the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Congress which is summarised and analysed by Mr. Shantanu K. Bansal. The highlights of this report are:

  • All-out fight against corruption and red-tape
  • Balanced urban-rural growth and regional development as also between public and private sectors
  • Green development that is friendly to the climate
  • Augmented development of border areas
  • Improve population growth to boost productivity in a rapidly aging country.
  • Vision to dominate global science and technology by 2050
  • Doubling down on digitisation, R&D and education
  • CPC will continue integrated development of the military through mechanisation, informationisation and application of smart technologies
  • Unshakeable resolve to reunify Taiwan by all means

Find The Policy Brief here: Understanding Xi Jinping’s China Dream


  • Sridhar Chari

    He has more than two decades of experience as a journalist. He has previously worked for known name in media industry including Indian Express, Auto Monitor, Commercial Vehicle Magazine and among others. He has been corporate communications specialist at the Volvo Buses India.

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