A Word from Editor-in-Chief

There have been a number of significant developments within the country towards indigenisation in the domain of defence production. Hopefully, the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ philosophy of the Government of India will usher in a new dawn for the Indian Armed Forces

Issue: 05-2022By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

During the existence of a bi-polar world, India was practically tethered to the Soviet Union for procurement of military hardware. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, India began to explore the possibility of obtaining modern military equipment including combat aircraft from the United States (US). Over the last decade, there has been considerable strengthening of the Indo-US military relationship. One of the major beneficiaries of this has been the US aerospace and defence major, Boeing Defense, Space and Security. This issue of the magazine carries an in depth analysis by Air Vice Marshal Sanjay Bhatnagar (Retd) of the strengthening relationship between India and the US and how it has helped Boeing Defense, Space and Security to emerge as a major supplier of military hardware to the IAF as also to the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. With Boeing completely supporting India’s ‘Atmanirbharta’ programme, how this long standing collaboration pans out in next few years would be interesting to watch.

In the recent past, there have been a number of significant developments within the country towards indigenisation in the domain of defence production. This has been inspired by the measures adopted by the government under the philosophy of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ which hopefully will usher in a new dawn for the Indian Armed Forces. This issue of SP’s Aviation carries an in depth analysis by Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd) of the state of affairs today in respect of domestic production of military hardware and the measures that need to be adopted by the government in power to boost self reliance in the defence production ecosystem.

On May 5 this year, the Air Force Association in New Delhi organised the 37th Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal Memorial Lecture. Rajnath Singh, the Minister of Defence was the Chief Guest at the event and delivered the keynote address. He advised the Indian Air Force to draw important lessons from the military conflicts in the recent past in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as from the ongoing war in Ukraine that would help the IAF to be prepared for wars in the future. The Defence Minister urged the IAF to become an ‘Aerospace Force’ and be prepared to protect the country from the challenges that are looming large on the horizon. We at SP’s welcome such forward looking visionary statements from the Defence Minister. A report on the Defence Minister’s Keynote address is included in this issue of the magazine.

France has also emerged as a major supplier of modern military aircraft such as the Rafale jets to the IAF as well as Scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy and many other high technology subsystems. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Emmanuel Macron, President of France on May 4, 2022 in Paris. A joint statement issued after the meeting stated that India and France have built one of the premier strategic partnerships for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. A report by Ranjit Kumar on the meeting between the leaders of the two nations figures in this issue of the magazine.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Aviation. Welcome aboard and we wish you many happy landing!