A Word from Editor-in-Chief

“As we prepare for an exciting and challenging future, IAF has adopted the theme of “Innovate, Integrate & Intimidate” for the 88th Air Force Day. The theme will direct our efforts with rejuvenated resolve to enhance IAF’s operational capability. I am confident that our collective capacity to achieve excellence and our commitment will take IAF to even greater heights.” —Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria

Issue: 9 / 2020By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

This special annual issue of SP’s Aviation is dedicated to the Indian Air Force on account of their 88th anniversary and in acknowledgement of the valour and contribution of the air warriors to national security.

Established on October 8, 1932, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating 88 years of its existence this year. Despite the restrictions imposed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was marked by the Air Force Day Parade on a grand scale showcasing the latest acquisitions such as the Rafale jet fighter, the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter and the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter. The older fleets of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing platforms were also on display.

Marking this marvellous occasion for the IAF, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) has very graciously honoured SP’s Aviation with an EXCLUSIVE interview. He also held a press conference on the military situation prevailing on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh where tension between India and China has escalated significantly giving rise to the apprehension of the possibility of a two-front war. In both, the interview and the press conference, the CAS expressed full confidence on the state of preparedness of the IAF and has assured the nation that the IAF is capable as well as ready to meet with any challenge. This issue of the magazine carries a message from the CAS as also his interview and a report on the press conference.

One of the biggest capability and morale booster for the IAF, in recent times, was the induction of Rafale fighter jets. In this issue there is a detailed report on the induction ceremony by Ayushee Chaudhary. An analysis on how the induction of Rafale jets will be a game changer for the IAF by Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) is also included in the magazine.

The issue of the magazine carries a detailed article by Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd) on the ongoing India-China Face-off and the challenges before the IAF that will be called upon to undertake the full spectrum of air operations, possibly on fronts against both China and Pakistan. Wing Commander K.T. Sebastian (Retd) has carried out an objective analysis of the capability of the IAF to meet with the challenges of a two-front war and is of the view that despite the deficiency of combat platforms in terms of numbers, given the capability of modern platforms such as the Su-30 MKI and 36 Rafale jets that will be with the IAF in the next two years, the situation is not very alarming. Similarly, there are articles in this issue on the Combat Helicopters and Unmanned Systems capabilities of the Indian Air Force.

One of the major focus, in respect of building the operational capability of the Indian armed forces, is indigenisation of the domain of defence production. In a discussion with SP’s Aviation, Ashmita Sethi, President and Country Head of Pratt & Whitney discloses the company’s range of engagements with the military sector.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation.

At SP’s we continue to work relentlessly and restlessly towards bringing more value and innovations to our valuable readers and our respectful audience. Following this path, established way back in 1964, we have now partnered with ‘editorji’, an innovative news-app founded by renowned journalist Vikram Chandra. Another baby step, yet, towards digital space.

Jai Hind!