A Word from Editor-in-Chief

“IAF is committed to protecting the nation’s sovereignty and integrity at all costs. It is on the path of transformation, to fight and win tomorrow’s wars. A squadron Strength of 42 is vital for a 24X7 Combat Air Patrol”
—Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari

Issue: 09-2022By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

The Indian Air Force celebrated 90 glorious years of its journey on October 8 in Chandigarh. On the occasion, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff, spoke extensively on a range of related subjects to Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief, SP’s Aviation. From the Indian Air Force (IAF) leaning on developing its ‘soft power’ capabilities to the role of unmanned systems and IAF’s roadmap ahead, the CAS shed light on many important topics. Also, during a media briefing, prior to IAF Day, the Air Chief reaffirmed IAF’s commitment to protect the nation’s sovereignty and integrity at all costs. He also stated the need for a squadron strength of 42 being vital for a 24X7 Combat Air Patrol. Neetu Dhulia highlights some important mentions from the briefing. We have the full CAS interview as well as his press conference report in this issue which is our ‘Annual IAF Special’.

Continuing our special IAF coverage in this issue, we have Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd) in his report, Unfolding IAF, talking about how IAF’s task is to defend the nation from the air threat and thus it is incumbent on the nation to provide the necessary assets for this task. He emphasise that Regaining of the fighter squadron numbers is important. PLA Air Force and Pakistan Air Force are both modernising without cutting numbers of squadrons. IAF must get back the numbers and modernise. Then we have a report on the versatile transport & capable fleet of the IAF that acts as strategic instruments of statecraft by Air Marshal (Dr) Rajeev Sachdeva (Retd). He writes that the role of the IAF has been unique in statecraft because of its efficiency to respond fast and its inherent characteristic of range, mobility and flexibility. Strategic airlift capability has repeatedly been demonstrated by the IAF in the IOR region and the fleet holds the potential to effectively leverage the collective wellbeing of the region. In the ongoing modernisation efforts of the IAF, Joseph Noronha writes how the IAF’s need for a fifthgeneration fighter is likely to grow ever more urgent. Within the next five years or so, if all goes well, India will become only the fourth country in the world to test-fly its own stealth fifthgeneration jet fighter, AMCA.

Additionally, there is also a report on the Next Generation of Aero Engines. The engines being the most important, and most expensive, aircraft part, their development will shape the airline industry’s green transition and meet the commitment of airlines to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. The most important thing that drive all future civil aerospace engine design is the engine efficiency, which has direct impact on specific fuel consumption, operating costs and environmental issues. Some of the top engine manufacturers are featured in the report. Touching upon new technologies in Business Aviation, there is a report that highlights how air travel experiences are set to become more personalised and memorable driven by enhancements in technology.

India recently appointed a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This edition also covers a report by Air Vice Marshal Sanjay Bhatnagar (Retd) on the new CDS, General Anil Chauhan and the expectations that accompany him.

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

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