Saturday, 28 June 2008

Front and rear cockpit display of the IJT Sitara

(Top: A close-up of the rear seat (i.e. instructor seat) Multi-Function Display, which can monitor the student pilot's HUD)

(Centre: The front seat cockpit display, which is used by the student pilot. This has not changed noticeably in the last two years)

(Bottom:  An overview of the cockpit, showing both seats. The boots at the bottom of the photo are not a part of original fitment. They are my shoes)

Monday, 23 June 2008

Russia again demands more money

(Photos: The Intermediate Jet Trainer (bottom), which has been fitted with the first AL-55I engine developed by Russia; the engine is currently undergoing static and runway taxi tests. Above it are close-ups of the new engine. Incidentally, the IJT in the picture is the same one that veered off the runway in Aero India 2007, when its canopy opened during take off)

Business Standard: 23rd June 08
Dateline: Bangalore

India’s search for an advanced jet trainer (AJT) took an agonising two decades before the Hawk was finally purchased from UK major, BAE Systems. But the wait for an intermediate jet trainer (IJT) --- which will replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) venerable Kiran trainer ---- could be half that time. Designed and built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Bangalore-headquartered Indian defence PSU, the sleek HJT-36 Sitara has used a combination of indigenous design and international purchases to vault from the drawing board to the runway at a speed unmatched in contemporary aircraft development.

On Saturday, the Sitara IJT passed an important milestone. The newly-developed Russian AL-55I engine --- which was specially designed by Russian engine maker, NPO-Saturn, to power the Sitara --- was successfully tested in a ground run at HAL.

But the jubilation has a bitter edge. Even as the Bangalore complex celebrates, it is dealing with a Russian demand for more money. NPO-Saturn claims that it has spent more time and money on developing the AL-55I engine than it had bargained for, and that manufacturing technology will only be transferred to India if HAL pays NPO-Saturn an extra US $64 million, over and above the contracted amount. The Russian company had beaten out French engine-maker Snecma in 2005, in the US $350 million contract to design the AL-55I engine and transfer technology to build it in India.

Top MoD sources are furious; they allege Russia is repeating what it did with the Gorshkov aircraft carrier. HAL’s design chief is in Moscow trying --- so far unsuccessfully to persuade NPO-Saturn to lower its demands.

Russia’s ambassador to New Delhi, Vyacheslav Trubnikov acknowledges that NPO Saturn has asked for more money, but he told Business Standard that he expects an amicable resolution of this issue. Mr Trubnikov said, “Both sides are engaged in the fixing of the price. I don’t think the question is extraordinary. Discussions are in progress on the question of how many engines India will be allowed to manufacture.”

Sources in HAL, however, point out that all these issues had been settled as a part of the original contract between HAL and NPO-Saturn. Adding to Indian frustration is the role of Russia’s state-owned arms agency, Rosoboronexport, which is telling HAL that it should pay up quietly.

As with the Gorshkov aircraft carrier, for which Russia cited cost overruns to double the contracted price to US $1.2 billion, India has little choice but to pay up. MoD sources point out that, even with the extra US $64 million added on, NPO-Saturn’s price will be less than what Snecma quoted. They also grudgingly accept that Russia is the only major arms manufacturer that actually transfers all the technology to India that is demanded in a contract. But the biggest reason for paying up quietly is that the IJT programme --- which has already waited three years for this engine --- will face a delay of several more years if it launches an international search for another engine.

While waiting for the AL-55I engine to be developed, India has flown the IJT with an interim engine, the French Larzac power plant, which was never powerful enough for the Sitara. The AL-55I generates 20% more power than the Larzac and also consumes appreciably less fuel per flying hour.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

My visit to HAL. Lots of new details coming up. I'm in Saudi Arabia right now for the oil summit. Stay tuned.

Expect posts and pictures on:

1. A new glitch around the IJT's AL-55I engine
2. Pictures of the IJT's all-glass cockpit
3. An analysis (with pictures) on what ADA is planning to do to increase LCA payloads
4. A DETAILED account of the ambitious new plans for building a range of helicopters. That includes progress on the weaponisation of the Dhruv, the LCH programme, the new helicopter that HAL will build, and the Medium Lift Helicopter.

Expect the IJT story on Monday. All the rest after the oil summit!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

First Indian-built Hawk takes to the skies

(Picture: The first made-in-India Hawk being painted in Air Force colours at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore)

Business Standard, 21st June, 2008
Dateline: HAL, Bangalore

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been flying the British-made Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) since November last year, but now a significant new landmark has been kept secret: the first Indian-built Hawk has taken to the skies.

On the 7th of May --- just eight days after a British-made Hawk trainer crashed near Bidar, in Karnataka --- a group of more than 100 technicians of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) gathered at the company runway in Bangalore. The Hawk had been restricted from flying after the accident on 29th April; but HAL was going ahead with an unannounced first flight of the first Hawk trainer manufactured in its plant in Bangalore.

As Chief Test Pilot, Squadron Leader Baldev Singh, lifted the Indian Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) off the ground, the tension evaporated into applause. A normal test flight takes about an hour, but Baldev took an extra fifteen minutes on his test routine, finally ending with an audacious barrel roll manoeuvre right above the cheering group of watchers.

No announcement has yet been made; HAL wants to shake off all the demons of the earlier crash before inviting a VIP for its formal unveiling. But at HAL, the celebrations have already unfolded.

“We were all pumped up”, Baldev admitted to Business Standard, “there’s always a certain thrill when you’re putting a new aircraft into the skies. And in the case of the Hawk, for which we have waited for twenty years to build ourselves, it was a special feeling.”

At the high tech painting plant in HAL, the first Indian Hawk is being painted in the matte grey finish that all Indian Air Force (IAF) planes wear. By this weekend, the aircraft will be ready, but HAL says it will conduct several more tests before handing it over to the IAF.

The first Hawk was to have been handed over in April, but was delayed by two months by the complexity of the assembly, which involves putting together 11,000 components which were shipped in individual plastic packets from the Hawk plant near Brough, in Yorkshire, UK.

HAL says it will make up for this delay while building the 42 Hawks that the initial contract stipulated. (24 were to be built in Brough and transhipped to India). That order, say senior HAL officers, will be executed on schedule by mid 2011.

“We’ve been working in three shifts, practically round the clock”, explains Ashok Nayak, the Director of HAL’s Bangalore Complex. “The initial learning curve is slow while building a new aircraft, but by the time the 5th or 6th aircraft is completed, everyone knows exactly what to do.”

Now HAL has received orders for another 57 Hawks: 40 for the IAF and 17 for the Indian Navy. At the targeted production rate of 20 Hawks a year, this order will keep the production line going till early 2014.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Finding the right bullies

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 17th June 08

The unseemly squabbling between the army and the DRDO over the Arjun tank invites a wider debate on how India must shape its mechanised forces. This vital branch of any military launches attacks into an enemy country, its tanks, armoured carriers and airmobile forces sweeping into the opponent’s heartland, dislocating his planning and breaking his will to fight. If it came to war with Pakistan, India’s three “strike corps”, as these mechanised formations are termed, would not dally at the border. Their objective would be the towns and cities along the Indus.

As Lt Gen BM Kapur (Retired), one of India’s more flamboyant strike corps commanders, loved to declare, “My corps has no tasks on the territory of India.”

The key player in these strike operations is the main battle tank --- the MBT in military parlance --- which, for India, is the Russian T-72 and T-90 tank. The “bully of the battlefield”, as the MBT has been called, must be a multi-faceted fellow. It must be highly mobile on roads and cross-country; it must have a capable, computer-enhanced gun to dominate the battlefield; it must be strongly armoured to protect its crew; and it must be self-contained, carrying ammunition and fuel for days of battle deep inside enemy territory.

In the late 20th century India could get by with its Russian fleet. Those tanks were cheap, rugged, effective, and faced simpler threats. Pakistan’s tank fleet was outdated, its air force was not getting additional F-16s from the US and JF-17s from China, and the Dragon himself was a relatively benign blip on the threat radar.

But now India’s tank fleet must cater for a wider range of threats than the Pakistan border, where 58 out of the army’s 59 tank regiments are currently deployed. The entire northeast of the country --- an 11,000-kilometre border with China, Bangladesh and Myanmar is allotted just one regiment of 45 tanks.

Though the Russian T-72s and T-90s are too heavy for the riverine and mountainous northeast, the army has dragged its feet for decades in identifying and procuring a lighter tank. China is flexing its muscles over the so-called Finger Area in North Sikkim, an ideal deployment area for a detachment of Indian light tanks. But the long-standing proposal for acquiring a brigade (three regiments) of light tanks for northeast India is still in the seminar rooms of the army; it has not yet been sent on to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

When asked why, the army’s Director General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF), Lt Gen D Bhardwaj responded with a terse written statement: “The current fleet of tanks in Mech(anised) Forces (sic) is well equipped to execute operations efficiently in all types of terrain i.e. deserts, canal and riverine terrain. We are studying the proposal for a lighter weight tank for other terrains, specifically in the NE (northeast). This of course is a futuristic requirement.”

Light tanks are needed also for India’s amphibious forces, which protect island territories like the Andaman and the Lakshadweep archipelagos and offshore assets like Bombay High. The Hyderabad-based 54 Infantry Division is earmarked for amphibious tasks; the Indian Navy has built landing ships for tanks; it has bought the INS Jalashwa (formerly the USS Trenton) from the United States. But it hasn’t bought the light tanks that will be launched from these ships --- an essential component of any amphibious force.

Light tanks are needed also for airmobile operations. India has one of the world’s very few militaries with strategic airlift capability, its giant IL-76 aircraft able to drop a brigade of paratroopers onto objectives far from India. In November 1988, when Tamil mercenaries invaded the Maldives, two Indian battalions were dropped from IL-76 aircraft to restore peace. They did what was asked but if a parachute force were to encounter serious fighting, they would need tank backup that isn’t there today. The IL-76 can just about carry one Russian MBT, but it cannot para-drop it. A light tank, which could be air-transported and para-dropped, is a critical need.

A light tank is also needed against the growing threat of urban terrorism. Currently, India’s military, police and paramilitary forces use a variety of improvised vehicles, with armour-plates welded on, when they need fire support for operations in towns or cities. Lives would be saved by a light tank which can drive and manoeuvre in twisty streets and elevate its gun to fire at terrorists holed up in higher floors. A cleft turret fitted onto a light tank would give India this capability.

The military’s inertia on the light tank is matched by its foot-dragging over the heavy Arjun MBT. Compared to the 42-ton T-72 and the 46-ton T-90, the muscular 58-ton Arjun is just the right bully for a battlefield where tank killing is an increasingly popular activity. Its Kanchan armour (named after Kanchanbagh, Hyderabad, where it was designed) adds weight; but provides reassuring protection against enemy aircraft, artillery, attack helicopters, tanks, missile carriers and shoulder-fired rocket launchers, all of which are seeking to make their day by destroying a tank.

While the weight of the Arjun would be a liability in the canal-crossed plains of Punjab, it would be transformed into an asset in the open deserts of southern Rajasthan, where one of India’s strike corps invariably operates. Equipping that formation with the Arjun would dramatically increase its punch. Such a decision would also provide the tank’s designers with a clear idea of what strengths they must build into future variations of the Arjun.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Arjun versus T-90: Army avoiding trials

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 17th June 08

India’s Arjun tank is fighting its first battle even before it enters service with the army. The Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) and key Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials, confident that the Arjun is superior to the army’s Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks, are demanding “comparative trials”, where the Arjun, the T-72 and the T-90, are put through endurance and firing trials in identical conditions.

But the army --- particularly the nodal Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF) --- is shying away. Earlier, the DGMF declared that the T-72 and T-90 were proven tanks, which needed no further trials. Now, with the MoD adding its voice to the demand for comparative trials, the DGMF has told Business Standard that they must be put off until the army gets a full squadron of Arjun tanks (14 tanks) and absorbs the expertise to use them.

DRDO sources say the army is stonewalling on accepting the Arjun by demanding levels of performance that neither of its Russian tanks can deliver. Meanwhile, more T-90s are being imported from Russia on the plea that the army is falling short of tanks.

The DRDO’s fears are grounded in experience. On 28th July 2005, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed Parliament, “The Arjun tank is superior to (the) T-90 tank due to its high power to weight ratio, superior fire on the move capability during day and night and excellent ride comfort. MBT Arjun has gone through all the tests and it is meeting the (requirements) of the Army.”

But a year later, in December 2007, India bought 347 more T-90s for Rs 4900 crores. That despite the MoD’s admission in Parliament that the 310 T-90s purchased earlier had problems with their Invar missile systems, and the thermal imagers that are crucial for night fighting.

A comparative trial, says the DRDO, will conclusively establish that the Arjun is a better tank than the T-90. That will at least put a stop to the import of more T-90s.

But the DGMF is putting off such a trial. The DG of Mechanised Forces, Lt Gen D Bhardwaj, told Business Standard, “The Arjun is based on a very stringent GSQR and is in a class by itself. User trials are conducted based on this GSQR. Nevertheless, comparative trials will be conducted once a squadron worth of tanks (i.e. 14 Arjun tanks) are inducted in the army.”

This new insistence on 14 tanks will delay the trials at least till December 08. In 2005, the army had agreed to comparative trials, with five Arjun tanks pitted against five T-72s and an equal number of T-90s. The DGMF had even written the trial directive, spelling out how trials would be conducted. Those trials were postponed as the Arjun was not ready to operate in high summer temperatures. Now the Arjun is ready, but the army is not.

Top MoD officials are no longer buying the DGMF’s argument that the Arjun is a dud; the MoD wants comparative trials too. Minister of State for Defence Production, Rao Inderjit Singh, told Business Standard, “The proof of the pudding will be in comparing the Arjun tank with the T-90 tank, as imported. The T-90 is supposed to be a frontline tank; let it have it out with the Arjun. Let them slug it out in the desert… and see which comes off best.”

Besides demanding more Arjun tanks in the trials, the DGMF is also proposing to conduct the trials differently. Comparative trials are normally a straightforward test of equipment capability, with all the tanks driving through the same course and firing at similar targets to determine which of them does better. But the DGMF now plans to add a tactical --- and therefore subjective --- dimension. The Arjun, the T-72 and the T-90 squadrons will be given operational tasks, e.g. capturing a hill some 150 kilometres away.

The DRDO is crying foul. Major General HM Singh, who spearheaded the Arjun’s development for the last 28 years until he retired a fortnight ago, points out that inserting tactics into the trials would give the army a way of putting down the Arjun. In a tactical exercise the tactical skills of the crew --- something that is irrelevant in evaluating a tank ---can determine the outcome of the trials. Gen HM Singh asks, “What is it that cannot be determined with five tanks, but can be with fourteen?”

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Arjun tank acquires a growing fan club

(Photo at left: Mahajan Ranges, Rajasthan, 29th June 2006. Major General BS Grewal, GOC 33 Armoured Division, posing with his target after firing two rounds from an Arjun tank. The holes made by the armour piercing rounds are visible in the upper part of the bulls-eye. With Gen Grewal is Maj Gen HM Singh, the officer who has spearheaded the Arjun's development for 28  years)

(Photo at right: The same day, Maj Gen Shiv Jaswal, Chief of Staff, 10 Corps with his target. This was the first time he had ever driven or fired a tank)

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 16th June 08

India’s own Arjun tank is finally proving its worth. Despite continuing criticism from an army establishment that judges the Arjun far more strictly than foreign purchases like the T-90, the Arjun is successfully completing a gruelling 5000-kilometre trial in the Rajasthan desert. During six months of trials, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), along with tank crews from the army’s 43 Armoured Regiment, have proved not just the Arjun’s endurance, but also the ability of its computer-controlled gun to consistently blow away suitcase-sized targets placed more than a kilometre away.

The army’s Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF), which must eventually okay the tank, is not impressed but key decision-makers are rallying behind the Arjun. The head of the Pune-based Southern Command, Lieutenant General N Thamburaj, strongly backs the Arjun. On a visit to the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan to watch his troops exercising, Lt Gen Thamburaj noticed the Arjun firing nearby. After walking across, he was invited by the DRDO team to drive and fire the tank. Half an hour later, the general was an Arjun backer; two holes in the target he aimed at testified that a soldier without previous experience operating tanks could get into the Arjun and use it effectively.

Business Standard has evidence of many more such incidents. On 29th June 2006, the commander of the elite 31 Armoured Division, Major General BS Grewal, visited the Mahajan Ranges along with a colleague, Major General Shiv Jaswal. Both drove and fired the Arjun for the first time that day; the two rounds that each fired punched holes through targets almost two kilometres away. (see picture)

That same month, 43 Armoured Regiment, which is the first army tank unit equipped with the Arjun, pronounced itself delighted with the Arjun’s firing performance. After firing trials in summer 2006, 43 Armoured Regiment endorsed, “The accuracy and consistency of the Arjun has been proved beyond doubt.”

But the establishment was quick to strike back. Barely three months after that report, the commanding officer of 43 Armoured Regiment, Colonel D Thakur, was confronted by then Director General of Mechanised Forces, Lt Gen DS Shekhawat. Eyewitnesses describe how he was upbraided for “not conducting the trials properly”. But in a career-threatening display of professional integrity, Colonel Thakur’s brigade commander, Brigadier Chandra Mukesh, intervened to insist that the trials had been conducted correctly.

In a series of interviews with the army, including the present Director General of Mechanised Forces, Lt Gen D Bhardwaj, and with the MoD top brass, Business Standard has learned that opposition to the Arjun remains deeply entrenched. This despite the soldiers of 43 Armoured Regiment declaring that if it came to war, they would like to be in an Arjun.

Minister of State for Defence Production, Rao Inderjeet Singh recounts, “I’ve spoken, off the record, to officers who have gone through the trials. Even the crews (from 43 Armoured Regiment)… who have been testing the tank… I forced them to choose between the Russian tanks and the Arjun. I said, you’ve driven this tank and you’ve driven that tank (the T-90). Now mark them out of ten, which tank is better? And I’ve found that the Arjun tank was given more numbers than the T-90 tank.”

With new confidence, the Arjun’s developer, the Central Vehicles R&D Establishment (CVRDE), is arguing strongly for “comparative trials”, in which the Arjun would be pitted head-to-head, in identical conditions, with the army’s T-90 and T-72 tanks. But the DGMF continues to resist any such face-off.

(Next: Part II: The DGMF’s back-pedalling on comparative trials)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Sarang helicopter display team wins award at the Berlin Air Show

(Photo: The Sarang team flying past after a performance in the Berlin Air Show in June 08)

The Indian Air Force's helicopter Display team ‘Sarang’ has been adjudged the ‘Best looking close formation’ aerobatic team at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2008.

Five aircraft formation teams from India, Switzerland, Austria, UK and Germany participated in the Berlin Air Show.

After the Berlin Air Show, the ‘Sarang’ (which means Peacock) team of 4 Dhruv helicopters, 14 officers and 32 airmen are currently in England. They are slated to perform at Biggin Hill Air Show followed by Waddington Air Show, Fairford Royal International and finally the prestigious Farnborough International Air Show in July 08 before returning to India.

The ‘Sarang’ team was formed in March 2002. Its first public display was as a three-helicopter team during the Asian Aerospace Exhibition at Singapore in 2004. Since then, the team has graduated to a four helicopter team and has participated in numerous displays in India and abroad. The team suffered a fatal accident in the run-up to the Aero India 2007 in Bangalore, when a helicopter crashed during rehearsals killing one pilot and critically injuring the other. However, the team has maintained a clean record since then.

RAF Eurofighter squadron declared operational

[Photo: Geoffrey Lee, Planefocus Ltd]

Caption: An RAF XI Squadron Typhoon releases an enhanced Paveway 2 bomb during Exercise Green Flag at Nellis Airforce base in the USA]

The RAF says that during Exercise Green Flag, conducted at Nellis Air Force Base in the US, seven Typhoons from RAF XI Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, dropped munitions and fired their cannons with such precision that they have been declared combat ready by the target date of 1 July 2008.

Exercise Green Flag West is a joint USAF and Army exercise in which close air support for ground forces is a crucial element. It is aimed at preparing air and ground forces for deployment to overseas operational areas, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I visited RAF Coningsby in July 2006 and witnessed the Typhoon in action. Incidentally, RAF Coningsby is also home to the RAF's World War II museum squadron and has (in flying condition) WW II aircraft, including Spitfires and Lancaster bombers. The latter are big enough to be impressive even by contemporary standards. During WWII, they must have seemed gigantic.

As readers well know, EADS, which manufactures the Eurofighter, recently launched a high-voltage entry into the competition to sell India 126 MMRCAs.

Monday, 2 June 2008

The DRDO revolution: The DRDO’s secret technology wish list

(Concluding part of a series on the DRDO's new approach to technology)

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 2nd June 08

Symbolising the Defence R&D Organisation’s (DRDO’s) transformed approach to technology is its new direction towards that holy grail of defence technology: the cutting-edge fighter aircraft. Already, the DRDO-HAL combine that is developing the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), has asked global aerospace majors for help in developing key systems --- the engine, flight controls and aircraft radar amongst them --- which are delaying the entire LCA programme.

And now, in a series of interviews to Business Standard, the DRDO’s high priests of technology --- the Chief Controllers of various divisions --- frankly admit that foreign technological assistance will be essential for India’s planned aircraft development programmes: the Fifth Generation Fighter Programme (FGFA), the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MRTA), and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) amongst others.

Dr Dipankar Banerjee, Chief Controller of Aeronautics and Materials Sciences, explains that a foreign partner will be vital for speeding up delivery; an Indian programme would eventually deliver, but the time frame would be unacceptable to the military. Dr Banerjee acknowledges, “I don’t in the future see a program without a strong foreign partner. The timelines would be enormous… So I don’t see a future without a strong foreign partner in the area of fifth generation combat aircraft.”

This new outreach from a traditionally inward-focused DRDO is rooted in a realistic assessment that the international sanctions regimes have loosened; global arms majors are eager to provide technologies that can fill in gaps in the DRDO’s own technology bank. The organisation’s top scientists believe that the only laws and agreements that continue to restrict technology inflows are: 

• The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
• The US Department of Commerce’s Control List, which lists dual use technologies.
• The ITAR, or International Trade and Arms Regulations of the US.
• The US Department of Energy, Atomic Energy Control Lists.

And even these logjams, it appears from the DRDO’s discussions with the US government and arms corporations can be officially bypassed. For example, Lockheed Martin has offered the DRDO assistance in developing India’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) shield, a complex system that the DRDO has successfully tested, but which still holds major technological challenges.

The DRDO is listening carefully to this new talk from a potential technology ally. Says Dr Banerjee, “We have a perception that there could be greater inputs in terms of the variety of technology to DRDO programs from (external) sources from out of the country… much of this has arisen from the interactions with the United States.”

Now the DRDO has generated a top-secret “technology wish list”, which must be obtained from foreign partners. Dr VK Saraswat, Chief Controller, Missiles and Strategic Systems reveals, “The document highlights the technology areas in which we would like to have cooperation. This will not be divulged, in case foreign technology developers start clamping down on those (technology) areas.”

But still unresolved is the issue of how the identified technology will be obtained. The DRDO wants these technologies to be obtained as a part of offsets; foreign vendors who obtain any contract for supplying defence equipment, must provide the DRDO with high end technology that features on its wish list. Dr Saraswat reveals that the MoD’s Director General (Acquisitions) has already been given that list of technologies, “to help people to take decisions about what are the areas which we have to negotiate, when we negotiate offsets.”

But the MoD feels differently. It has stated publicly that vendors are unlikely to part with cutting edge technology as a part of offsets; instead, the MoD will include its technology requirements in the contract document and pay for it up front. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for supply of 126 medium fighters (worth about $11 billion) has specified the technology that will be provided and paid for. The draft of the new Defence Procurement Policy of 2008, which will be promulgated shortly, does not allow for high technology to be included as a part of offsets.

Either way, the DRDO’s new technology wish list will form the basis for technology inflows.