Defence, aerospace PSUs rapidly turning into super integrators

Large public sector undertakings in the aerospace and defence sector are transforming themselves into super integrators with the private sector providing critical inputs in the changed business environment, according to Dr G Sateesh Reddy, Director General of Missiles and Strategic Systems. Reddy, who serves as Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, mentioned how Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a manufacturer of missiles and missile systems, has become one such super integrator. It is currently executing orders of over ₹24,000 crore for various missile systems and of this, nearly 80 per cent is being provided by the private sector players.


“This shows how the country has transformed over the years from purely being dependant on imports into a manufacturer and integrator of systems indigenously. However, we still depend a lot on imports and the focus has been to reduce the dependency,” he said while addressing the students at the convocation of the University of Hyderabad. Referring to HAL, he said, India has managed to indigenously develop the light combat aircraft, and joins a select group of countries to do so. “While some of the developed nations might have taken lesser time (about 15-16 years) to achieve this, we have managed to achieve this feat in about 20 years. Now HAL is in the process of executing an order for over 100 light combat aircraft. It is poised to become a super PSU with inputs from private sector,” he said.

30,000 MW addition

Outlining the country’s progress in various strategic sectors under the Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space and Research in the Defence Sector, Reddy said that over the next decade all these would play a very significant role, including the addition of about 30,000 MW from Atomic Energy Division. The industry needs to upgrade from merely developing products to specifications to innovating and developing them for domestic requirements and to cater to markets globally. As a part of this drive, the government is looking for innovation and innovative ideas and laying stress on start-ups. Universities can play a strategic role towards the country’s indigenisation, he said. Referring to the Advanced Centre for Research in High Energy Materials established in the University of Hyderabad, he said it is playing an important role in high propulsion systems for missiles. On the immense capabilities that the country has, he highlighted how the BrahMos project, developed through Indo-Russian joint venture, has gone on to become the only supersonic missile system that the world currently has.


Make In India: Take a look at HAL’s helicopters & light combat aircraft Tejas

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a company which over the past 70 years has manufactured over 4,000 aircrafts, 4,800 aircraft engines and it has serviced over 11,000 planes. CNBC-TV18 has been granted exclusive access to the production lines of HAL’s helicopters as well as light combat aircraft also known as Tejas.


ISRO to launch Chandrayaan 2 on GSLV MKII in March 2018

Chandrayaan 2 would be launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 2 (GSLV Mk 2) that will blast off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Weighing 3,250kg, Chandrayaan (moon vehicle) 2 would have an orbiter, lander and rover and is expected that Chandryan-2 may cost higher than its predecessor Chandryan-1. Earlier, ISRO chief Dr AS Kiran Kumar had indicated a rough time frame for the Chandrayaan 2 mission, by saying “We are targeting first quarter of 2018 for the launch”. ISRO will launch a rocket on 28 December that will have not one, but two missions to the Moon. It can be recalled that Chandrayaan 1 was launched on October 22, 2008, and included a probe, impactor and orbiter. Its moon impact probe crash-landed on the lunar surface on November 14, 2008.


CSIR Announces Winners of S.S. Bhatnagar Prize for 2017

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) announced winners of its prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for excellence in science and technology for 2017 on September 28.Mr  Deepak Thankappan Nair of the Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad, and Mr Sanjeev Das of the Molecular Oncology Laboratory at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, have won the prize for biological sciences, while Mr G. Naresh Patwari of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has got the prize for chemical sciences. Mr S. Suresh Babu of Space Physics Laboratory at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, has bagged it for earth, atmosphere, ocean and planetary sciences.

The other winners are:

  • Engineering sciences – Mr Aloke Paul, Department of Materials Engineering, and Mr Neelesh B. Mehta, Department of Electrical Communication, both at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
  • Medical sciences – Mr Amit Dutt, Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Tata Memorial Centre, Navi Mumbai, and Mr Deepak Gaur, School of Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Physical sciences – Mr Nissim Kanekar, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune, and Mr D. Vinay Gupta, CSIR National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi

Making the announcement, Mr Girish Sahni, the CSIR director general, said that no suitable candidate could be found for the prize in the mathematical sciences category. The S.S. Bhatnagar prize is one of the most prestigious multidisciplinary science awards in the country. It was instituted in 1958 in honour of  the late Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, the founder of the CSIR labs, and carries a cash component of Rs 5 lakh.

The awards were announced at a function to mark the 76th Foundation of CSIR. On the occasion, President Mr Ram Nath Kovind also presented the CSIR Young Scientists Awards for 2017. The winners are:

  • Mr Sakhya Singha Sen, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune
  • Mr Prosenjit Das, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur
  • Mr Sathravada Balaji, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, and
  • Amit Laddi, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh.

The president also presented the special gold medal of excellence in biological sciences and technology, named after the eminent biologist Mr G.N. Ramachandran, to Kandala Venkata Ramana Chary of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

The CSIR Technology Awards were presented to various labs to encourage multidisciplinary in-house team efforts and external interactions for technology development, transfer and commercialisation. The awardees are:

  • Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology
  • Central Road Research Institute
  • Central Leather Research Institute
  • Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, and
  • Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research


Aerospace park in Tamil Nadu set to take off

Tamil Nadu‘s quest for an aerospace park is finally set to turn into a reality, with the foundation stone for the first phase of the park to be laid by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami . The aerospace park will house a component park and a testing & design centre in the first two phases, with total investments of well over Rs 500 crore. The first phase of the park, for which 250 acres have been earmarked, will house industrial units making components for the aerospace industry. Developed industrial plots in the range of 2-10 acres have already been allotted to 14-15 units, with each of them investing Rs 10 crore to Rs 20 crore for setting up shop, a state government official told TOI. The State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamilnadu (Sipcot) has acquired large tracts of land in the Sriperumbudur-Oragadam belt for housing manufacturing units across industrial sectors, besides the aerospace park, said the official. “Sipcot has about 1,500 acres in that belt for allocation of land to industries in the Vallam-Vadagal region near Oragadam,” he said. “These will be low-end component suppliers who will in turn supply to larger component suppliers to the global aviation industry. While the employment potential of these units is akin to other engineering manufacturing industries, the take-off of the component park will further boost economic activities in the region, which has not got any new large industrial unit after Yamaha Motor India in 2015,” the official added.While the larger aerospace park was planned to house an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility for the aviation industry, that may have to wait given the international preferences of the global aviation industry and the domestic taxation hurdles. The region could get a further fillip when the testing & design centre takes off in the second phase. The state government has estimated the initial investment for it to be around Rs 350 crore.


IAF show scorches Lucknow-Agra highway

The Indian Air Force put up a spectacular show on the Lucknow-Agra highway as 16 of its frontline aircraft conducted elaborate landing drills on a designated airstrip built on the expressway. The landing and touchdown exercises were held on the 3-km airstrip built on the expressway near Bangarmau in Unnao, between Lucknow and Kanpur. The IAF’s fighter class aircraft, Sukhoi-30, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar enthralled the crowd with their speed and touchdown manoeuvres. The key feature of the event, however, was the debut of the advanced turbo-prop military transport vehicle, the C-130J Super Hercules, on the highway. This was also the first time that the Jaguar participated in a highway landing exercise. The C-130J Super Hercules, which is of U.S. origin, is utilised for special operations and relief work during HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) operations in times of humanitarian crisis. They supply relief material during calamities such as floods and earthquakes, while also being used for evacuation. The day’s exercise started with a short landing by the massive C-130, which on its landing roll loaded off Garud commandos for ground operations. On disembarking from the C-130, the commandos took up position on either side of the airstrip to cordon it off for the fighter operations. Two sets of three Mirages, five Sukhois and three Jaguars, then carried out touch and go manoeuvres on the expressway. The over two-hour long performance was capped by another short landing by the C-130 as it returned to extricate the Garud commandos.

Alternative airstrip

The military has said the exercise was aimed at checking feasibility of expressways being used as alternative airstrips in case of dire emergencies or non-availability of runway for any reason. “Over the past few years, the IAF has been increasing its efforts to utilise certain straight stretches of National Highways for emergency landings. Such highway stretches are planned to be used in emergencies, if an active airport is not available for some reason. These operations increase the flexibility in the use of Air Power,” a defence spokesperson said. This is not the first time the IAF aircraft have landed on a highway. In May 2015, fighter aircraft landed on the Yamuna Expressway for the first time, followed by an elaborate ‘touch-and-go’ and low-pass manoeuvres of take-offs and landings by six IAF fighter planes — three Mirages and three Sukhois — last November when the expressway was inaugurated by the Mr Akhilesh Yadav government. Several countries like Germany, Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan, Finland, Switzerland, Poland, Singapore, Czechoslovakia and Pakistan have dedicated stretches on their highways and expressways for aircraft to land and take off in emergencies or warlike events, the military said. “This operation has majorly boosted IAF’s capability to undertake unhindered operations even during non-availability of standard runways. It has demonstrated the expert flying skills of its fighter and transport aircrew, and the capability of its ground crew in activating such expressway airstrips on short notice,” the spokesperson said. The IAF plans such excercises on highway stretches in other parts of India. At 302-km, the Lucknow-Agra Expressway is the longest six-lane highway in the country. The highway cuts short the distance between the state capital and the land of the Taj Mahal, while also reducing journey time to Delhi.


T.N. looks to leverage talentpool in aerospace sector

Tamil Nadu has an edge over other States in the country as far as the aeronautical industry is concerned since it has the largest number of aeronautical engineers, Industries Secretary Mr  Atulya Misra said. Presenting a brief report about the Aerospace Park being set up at Vadagal near Oragadam, for which the Chief Minister Edappadi Mr K. Palanisami laid the foundation stone, the Industries Secretary said that already several such units were functioning in the State and now a separate industrial estate would be formed at Vadagal. While the domestic aerospace sector is expected to attract an investment of ₹20,000 crore over the next decade, an investment of ₹6,000 crore is expected to be made in Tamil Nadu, which would result in the creation of job opportunities for one lakh people. “Further, Tamil Nadu has the edge over others since nearly 30% of the total aeronautical engineers available in the world hail from the State,” he said. It has been proposed to set up the Aerospace Park in 245 acres at Vadagal, which could be expanded to 600 acres in future. SIPCOT and TIDCO would be spending ₹198 crore for developing the industrial plots and 50 aeronautical spare parts companies have shown interest in setting up their units at the park. Out of these 50 units, 20 have made the request for allotment of plots. On the occasion, the Chief Minister handed over land allotment orders to nine units. An official release issued later in the day stated that the park was expected to attract an investment of ₹ 1,000 crore in five years, providing direct employment to 10,000 persons and indirect employment to 25,000 persons. Meanwhile, the TIDEL Park, in association with TIDCO, has also proposed to set up a Computing and Design Centre at a cost of ₹350 crore at the park to cater to the designing and research requirements of the industrial units, he added. Industries Minister Mr M.C. Sampath; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Mr  P. Benjamin; and Chief Secretary Mrs Girija Vaidyanathan were among those who were present at the foundation stone laying function.


Raksha Mantri interacts with industry representatives for energising Make in India in defence sector

Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with CII representatives consisting of Indian companies and foreign OEMS at a round table on Energising ‘Make in India’ in defence sector. The present government has taken a series of significant policy initiatives, including promulgation of DPP 2016 which gives highest priority to indigenous design and manufacture of defence equipment, introduction of Strategic Partnership model, liberalization of FDI norms and providing a level-playing to private industry. In the round table, a wide range of issues relating to private participation in defence manufacturing, including matters relating to licensing, taxes and duties, speeding up of procurement processes, streamlining of the offsets regime and creation of a tiered defence industrial ecosystem with full integration and skilling of manpower in the MSME sector were discussed. The present government is fully committed to removing all the stumbling blocks and facilitating private participation in defence manufacturing with the objective of bringing high value foreign investment into the defence sector, building indigenous capabilities, fostering absorption and assimilation of technologies, and ensuring self-reliance in meeting the country’s defence needs by providing a level playing field. Raksha Mantri issued directions to the team of officers headed by the Defence Secretary for time bound action on key issues raised at the round table, including the resolution of licensing with the Ministry of Home Affairs, tax related matters with the Ministry of Finance, commercialization of technologies developed by DRDO and timely conclusion of procurement proposals.


IATA forecasts tripling of air passengers in India by 2036

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the 4 billion air travelers expected to fly this year. The number of passengers in India is expected to grow to 478 million in 2036 from the current 141 million passegers per year. The prediction is based on a 3.6% average Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) noted in the release of the latest update to the association’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast. “All indicators lead to growing demand for global connectivity. The world needs to prepare for a doubling of passengers in the next 20 years. It’s fantastic news for innovation and prosperity, which is driven by air links. It is also a huge challenge for governments and industry to ensure we can successfully meet this essential demand,” said Mr Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Eastward shift, developing market focus

The biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region. The region will be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next two decades. The point at which China will displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market (defined as traffic to, from and within the country) has moved two years closer since last year’s forecast. We now anticipate this will occur around 2022, through a combination of slightly faster Chinese growth and slightly reduced growth in the US. The UK will fall to fifth place, surpassed by India in 2025, and Indonesia in 2030. Thailand and Turkey will enter the top ten largest markets, while France and Italy will fall in the rankings to 11th and 12th respectively. Risks, opportunities and sustainability A number of risks to the forecast have been identified. Maximizing the potential benefits of aviation growth will depend on current levels of trade liberalization and visa facilitation being maintained. If trade protectionism and travel restrictions are put in place, the benefits of air connectivity will decline as growth could slow to 2.7%, meaning 1.1 billion fewer passenger journeys annually in 2036. Conversely, if moves towards liberalization increase, annual growth could be more than two percentage points faster, leading to a tripling in passengers over the next 20 years. Planning for growth will require partnerships to be strengthened between the aviation industry, communities and governments to expand and modernize infrastructure. Runways, terminals, and ground access to airports will come under increasing strain. Innovative solutions to these challenges, as well as to the baggage and security processes, cargo handling, and other activities, will also be needed. And air traffic management needs urgent reform to cut delays, costs and emissions. “Increasing demand will bring a significant infrastructure challenge. The solution does not lie in more complex processes or building bigger and bigger airports but in harnessing the power of new technology to move activity off-airport, streamline processes and improve efficiency. Through partnerships within the industry and beyond, we are confident that sustainable solutions for continued growth can be found,” said Mr de Juniac. The aviation industry has adopted a robust strategy to reduce its environmental impacts, particularly its carbon emissions. “No industry has done more to meet its environmental obligations than aviation. Our tough targets to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut our CO2 emissions to half-2005 levels by 2050 are backed by a comprehensive strategy. Our immediate aims are to work with governments to increase the production of sustainable aviation fuels, and to deliver air traffic management efficiencies, which promise significant emissions savings. And from 2020, a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will play a major role in meeting our carbon-neutral target,” said Mr de Juniac.

Key facts (all figures based on central growth forecast)

Fast-growing markets

The five fastest-growing markets in terms of annual additional passengers in 2036 compared to 2016 will be

· China (921 million new passengers for a total of 1.5 billion)
· US (401 million new passengers for a total of 1.1 billion)
· India (337 million new passengers for a total of 478 million)
· Indonesia (235 million new passengers for a total of 355 million)
· Turkey (119 million new passengers for a total of 196 million).

Many of the fastest-growing markets are achieving a compound growth rate of more than 7.2% per year, meaning their market will double in size each decade. Most of these markets are in Africa, including: Sierra Leone, Benin, Mali, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Malawi, Chad, Gambia and Mozambique. Regional growth Routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.1 billion annual passengers by 2036, for an overall market size of 3.5 billion. Its annual average growth rate of 4.6% will be the third-highest, behind Africa and the Middle East.
The North American region will grow by 2.3% annually and in 2036 will carry a total of 1.2 billion passengers, an additional 452 million passengers per year. Europe will also grow at 2.3%, and will add an additional 550 million passengers a year. The total market will be 1.5 billion passengers.
Latin American markets will grow by 4.2%, serving a total of 757 million passengers, an additional 421 million passengers annually compared to today.  The Middle East will grow strongly (5.0%) and will see an extra 322 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2036. The total market size will be 517 million passengers.



P&WC to Provide IndiGo with Fleet Management™ Program Maintenance

Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) announced that it has signed a Fleet Management™ Program (FMP®) maintenance contract with IndiGo for PW127M engines that will power the airline’s new fleet of ATR72-600 aircraft serving regional routes in India. The contract, signed in August, will be in place for 10 years from the date of each engine’s entry into service and can be extended thereafter. P&WC is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). “This FMP will provide IndiGo with hands-on support as the engines progressively enter into service on the airline’s new ATR72-600 fleet,” says Mr Frédéric Lefebvre, Vice President, Regional Airlines, P&WC. “IndiGo also chose to equip each of its new aircraft with our FAST™ (Flight, Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) prognostics solution – including the newly certified propeller vibration trend monitoring capability. FAST is helping regional airlines around the world maximize aircraft availability, achieve compliance with their maintenance requirements and optimize their maintenance scheduling.” Tailored specifically to IndiGo, the FMP plan will provide customized support to meet the company’s technical and commercial needs. P&WC’s FMP plan is a flexible, high-value engine management solution that helps lock in lower operating costs and simplifies fleet operations management. It also serves as a financial planning tool that supports efficient cash flow management while allowing airlines to focus on their core business of passenger and cargo transportation. “IndiGo is a key operator for P&WC in India and the Asia Pacific market in general,” says Mr Lefebvre. “This FMP agreement allows us to take a larger profile in India’s growing aviation industry. We are committed to making the debut of our PW127M engine with IndiGo’s fleet a seamless process, giving them the outstanding maintenance solutions for which our P&WC FMP team is known.” P&WC will be at ERA, booth B33/34. Interested operators are invited to drop by the booth to speak with a marketing or customer service representative.