Indian Navy gets its 12th P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing

Radhika Bansal

03 Mar 2022

Boeing has delivered the 12th P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to the Indian Navy on Wednesday, February 23. "This is the fourth of four additional aircraft delivered under the options contract signed by the Ministry of Defence in 2016," informed Boeing in its official statement.

The P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy's ageing P-3 fleet. In May 2021, the US State Department approved the proposed sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft and related equipment, a deal estimated to cost 2.42 billion dollars.

In November 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the procurement of the long-range maritime surveillance aircraft manufactured by Boeing.

Boeing has delivered the 12th P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to the Indian Navy

Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft with the conclusion of the nearly USD 2.1 billion contracts on January 1, 2009, for a total of eight aircraft. The first aircraft arrived in India on May 15, 2013. The order for four more aircraft was placed in 2016.

Ministry of Defence informed that the P-8I aircraft is equipped for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of the broad area, maritime and littoral operations.

Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment developed by defence PSUs and private manufacturers. With its high speed and high endurance of about 10 hours, the aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India's immediate and extended areas of interest.

Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft

The P-8I has a maximum takeoff gross weight of 85,139 kg, a maximum ceiling of a little over 40,000 feet, and can carry a crew of nine. With 12 P8Is in its fleet, the Indian Navy also has the support of Boeing Defence India (BDI), Boeing’s local entity in India, to offer services such as training the flight crew and providing spare parts and ground support.

Boeing Defence India, Boeing’s local entity, supports the Indian Armed Forces and is providing training to Indian Navy flight crews along with spare parts, ground support equipment and service support.

The P-8I aircraft replaced the ageing Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-142s and will form the mainstay of ISR missions, patrolling, coastline defence along the west coast after the IL 38SD aircraft are decommissioned.

The aircraft was also used in eastern Ladakh in 2020 and 2021

Earlier, in January, the Indian Navy decommissioned its first IL 38SD aircraft after the completion of 44 years of service. The IL-38 was inducted in 1977.

The first eight of these aircraft, INAS 312 are stationed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, on the eastern coast. The aircraft was also used in eastern Ladakh in 2020 and 2021, when the standoff with China was at its peak, to keep an eye on Chinese troops, armoured regiments and their movements.

The highly versatile airplane offers excellent maritime surveillance and reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities and can assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions.

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Embraer dives into the freighter market - launches E-Jets to bridge gaps in the cargo industry


08 Mar 2022

The Covid pandemic may have caused a slump in passenger traffic but it couldn't shake the global market for air cargo, which increased by 6.9% in 2021, compared to 2019 (pre-covid levels) and 18.7% compared to 2020. Grabbing the opportunity by its horns, Embraer has now entered the air freight market with the launch of the E190F and E195F Passenger to Freight Conversions (P2F).

Representative | The Home of Aviation

Reportedly, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer has unveiled a program that would convert pre-owned E190s and E195s from passenger jets to freighters. Designed and modified in response to the changing demands of e-commerce and modern trade, the "E-Jets" are touted to provide unmatched cargo economics and flexibility.

Perfectly positioned to fill the gap in the freighter market between turboprops and larger narrowbody jets, our P2F E-Jet conversion hits the market as the demand for airfreight continues to takeoff, and as e-commerce and trade in general undergoes a global structural transformation,said Arjan Meijer, President and CEO Embraer Commercial Aviation

As opposed to conventional P2F conversion(s) wherein the seats are removed from passenger cabins, the E-Jet fighters will receive structural modifications as well.

Tech and Specs

Load configurationVolume (ft3/m3)Payload (lb/kg)E190F7 ULDs main deck + under floor3,632/102,823,608/10,709E195F8 ULDs main deck + under floor4,171/118,127,112/12,

The range and payload capacity of the E195F is comparable to the B737-300SF-nearly 2,500 nm-yet the E195F burns less fuel, generates fewer emissions, and has lower maintenance and cash operating costs.

E190 Passenger version | Representative | Airways Magazine

From what is known, overhead bins are removed, new smoke detection and fire suppression systems are installed, the main deck floor is reinforced and has a cargo handling system. Finally, there is a new forward cargo door as well.

E195 | Representative | v1Images Aviation Media

The E-Jets also boasts of the ability to offer optimised loading configurations. Cargo carriers now have the option of maximizing efficiency by better matching capacity to demand.

The company has projected a demand for the size category of the E190/195F of some 700 aircraft over 20 years. Additionally, it will also make the conversion available for all used E190 and E195 aircraft.

Supporting its recent announcement, the aircraft manufacturer has said that the decision was made keeping the changing cargo scenario in mind. Apparently, much of the current standard body freighter fleet has entered its retirement window, and hence this would be the right time to foray into the cargo segment.

The proposed cargo conversion is also touted to increase the operational life of these jets by another 10-15 years. The E-Jets, reportedly, are said to offer 50% more volume capacity and three times the range of large cargo turboprops and “up to 30%” lower operating costs than narrowbodies.

The expected entry into service is early 2024.



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Increase engine efficiency and how? Pratt and Whitney to demonstrate the concept of "rotating engine detonation"


06 Mar 2022

Pratt and Whitney, in collaboration with Raytheon Missiles & Defence and Raytheon Technologies Research Center, has secured a contract with the United States Air Force (USAF) to develop a ground test demonstration of a rotating engine detonation concept.

Representative | Defense Here

The value of the contract is undisclosed as of yet and the collaboration is aimed at developing an engine capable of supporting higher-Mach flight speeds.

Pratt & Whitney’s Gatorworks was able to complete initial concept development well ahead of schedule, and we will continue leveraging our digital and agile capabilities to accelerate progress on this programsays Dave Stagney, director of Gatorworks, Pratt’s prototyping arm

So, what is the concept all about?

Rotating detonation engine (RDE)

A conventional jet engine offsets massive spike(s) in temperature and pressure by allowing the volume of gas to expand as it’s sprayed or injected into the combustor. The resulting stream of combustion gases passes through the engine, spinning turbine blades as it exists.

Conventional jet engine | Wikimedia Commons

The entire working of an RDE revolves around a detonation wave that travels around a circular channel (annulus). Fuel and oxidizer are injected normally through small holes or slits.

An igniter is used to initiate the detonation in the fuel-oxidizer mixture. This releases the energy necessary to sustain the detonation. The combustion products expand out of the channel and are pushed out of the channel by the incoming fuel and oxidizer.

"A rotating detonation engine operates via a continuous detonation wave that propagates around the inside of a cylindrical combustor. Air and natural gas propellant (blue) are introduced continuously through the inlet and react across the detonation wave that is moving perpendicular to the incoming propellant. High-temperature, high-pressure products behind the detonation wave expand and exhaust out (top) to drive a turbine or generate thrust. Once the process begins, it self-sustains as long as the inlet propellant is flowing". Credit: Staff research, Aerojet Rocketdyne

It is to be noted though, that the design of the combustor would be radically different- one that would release energy in a rapid, continuous succession of detonations set off by shockwaves rotating inside a cylindrical combustor.

Technically speaking, an RDE should slash specific fuel consumption by about 5% compared to a conventional engine. A rotating detonation engine would slash specific fuel consumption further.

Given the need for this critical engine technology, the Raytheon Technologies team will utilize its advanced resources and expertise to meet the technical objectives in an expeditious fashion. The engine is being designed to fly at higher Mach speeds which will enable and broaden future vehicle designs and applications and will be a key element of Pratt & Whitney’s high-speed engine portfolio to meet future customer requirementssays Gatorworks

Reportedly, technology is been increasingly seen as important for the future development of hypersonic vehicles.


COVER: Asia Pacific Defence Reporter

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Is Iran slowly inching towards building an indigenous civil aircraft?


05 Mar 2022

The Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), also known as the Aerospace Industries Organization, is an Iranian, state-owned organization, overseeing the civil & military aviation industry of Iran.

According to a report by Touraj Dehqani Zanganeh- head of the country’s Civil Aviation Organization, the country now might be heading towards building a commercial aircraft of its own, with a capacity of about 100 passengers.

Representative | Wikimedia Commons

The US has often, and categorically accused Iran of unveiling aircraft models that are supposedly mock-ups or modified versions of outdated planes. Due to US sanctions, Iranian experts have had to rely on in-house capabilities to cater to its defence needs. The imposed sanctions are also one of the reasons why Iranian airlines are often found operating older aircraft models- like the Airbus A300, Fokker 100s, MD-80S and other vintage models.

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president is seen waving to a fighter pilot before an inauguration ceremony of an aircraft, Iran, on August 21, 2018, | Representative | Caspian News

Apparently, the ministry plans to manufacture civil aircraft as the government looks to expand its partnership with private players.

In the field of aerospace and automotive industries, we (Iran’s Defense Ministry), have tried to help the prosperity of these two industries with technological assistance and meeting the needs of automakersDeputy Defense Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Brigadier General Reza Talaei-Nik said at a press conference during a technological exhibition

The Iran -140, loosely based on the An-140 | Representative | FlightGlobal

Coincidentally, the news of the development of a new passenger aircraft comes as the Iranian fleet faces an acute shortage of new aircraft.

According to Dehqani, there exists a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  between Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, Ministry of Defense, and the Transport and Urban Development Ministry.

We have planned to build 70- and 100-seat aircraft inside the country, and in this regard, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Defense to be able to use the country’s existing military capabilities for the construction of commercial aircraftTouraj Dehqani Zanganeh

Apparently, there are numerous knowledge-based companies in the country-Mapna and other potential companies that are currently building gas turbines- Dehqani further added.

Nevertheless, the country still produces fighter jets like the Kowsar and Qaher-313 although most of them appear to be heavily based on vintage US airframes.


COVER: v1Images Aviation Media

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Turkey to collaborate with Pakistan to build the first-ever "Islamic World" fighter jet?


04 Mar 2022

Turkey has an ageing Air Force with most of its old F-16s either requiring repairs or an immediate update. With Greece, its arch-nemesis buying the more advanced Rafale, the hierarchy of power seems to have shifted in the region.

Representative | Daily Sabah

Considering the scenario, and recognizing Turkey's need to upgrade its fleet with an advanced aircraft, the CEO of Turkish Aerospace recently announced that it would be collaborating with Pakistan to develop what could be dubbed as the first-ever fighter jet manufactured in the Islamic world.

A brief history

The fighter aviation market has been dominated by Russia and the Western powers for decades now with US and USSR emerging as the undisputed leaders in this niche since the late 1970s. China has been playing catch-up and is the first country besides the US to build a 5th gen fighter craft and introduce it into service.

Analysts and officials from the Islamic states of  Iran, Pakistan and Turkey have expressed concern over the fact that the Islamic states always have had to rely on foreign aircraft for their inventories.

Representative | BETSOL

Even today, the participation of a country in military aviation is set as a benchmark indicating superior battle prowess and state power.

Here are some of the major fighter programs pursued by the Muslim states, some successful and some who bit the dust.

1. Egyptian Helwan Ha-300 Fighter Prototype

The Ha-300 was the capable jet fighter ever designed by a Muslim state and gave a good run for money to other third-generation fighter jets at the time. This supersonic fighter reached an advanced prototype stage in the mid-1960s and was touted to have been built as a replacement for the Soviet MiG-21 and MiG-19 second-generation jets in the Egyptian Air Force and friendly Arab states such as Syria, Iraq and Algeria.

2. Kowsar 

The first Iranian fighter jet to enter serial production, Kowsar was a lightweight Gen 4 craft thought to be at par with the American F-20 Tigershark, and like the Tigershark, it is closely based on the F-5E Tiger II third-generation jet for which Iran was a leading client. Although claimed to be an indigenous production by Iran, eyebrows have been raised on those claims, especially since it could rely on North Korean or Chinese technologies for electronic warfare, avionics or engines as Iran’s defence sector has traditionally relied very heavily on technology transfers from these two states.

Military Watch Magazine

3. Qaher-313

Yet another product of Iran, and this was the only model to have reached the prototype stage which was not directly derived from the American F-5. Again, it is highly likely that the Qaher would have imbibed many technologies from the Kowsar fighter which entered service in 2018, and the stealth fighter’s engines could have been derived from those of the Kowsar but enlarged to support a heavier airframe.

The National Interest

The Turkey-Pakistan collaboration- TF-X

Turkey is now planning to jointly develop fighter crafts and missiles with Pakistan, which reportedly, might also make it easier for the country to get access to valuable Chinese military technology.

Representative | Wikiwand

Having been launched in December 2010 under the TF-X ( Turkish Fighter- Experimental) program, it is touted to be a stealthy twin-engine fighter jet comparable to the F-35

Recently, a full-scale mock-up was unveiled at the Singapore Air Show, in what can be described as the first such move in Asia.

This is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft on which Pakistan and Turkey are now cooperatingAir Vice-Marshal Dr Rizwan Riaz, Pro-Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialisation (RIC) at National University of Science and Technology (NUST)

Reportedly, the prototype is planned for 2023 while its maiden flight is scheduled for 2026.

Defence Turkey, a Turkish defence website, has estimated it would cost around $21 billion to develop and produce the TF-X fighter, including $7.3 billion for development alone.


COVER: Defence Turkey Magazine

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How do fighter pilots attend nature's call while at cruising altitudes?


03 Mar 2022

The normal pull of 1 G force is what keeps us from floating away into space. The extreme acceleration of a fighter aircraft exposes the pilot to massive G forces, which could be five times as much as normal. To put things into perspective, a pilot who weighs 160 pounds at one G would weigh 960 pounds at six Gs.

Representative | FindLight

Imagine having to attend nature's call while being exposed to such extreme G forces and at 30,000 feet. Sure doesn't sound fun. And it's even more cumbersome than you think.

If the flying sortie is of short duration, the pilot can sometimes hold it back in-although it can be hazardous to kidney health.

With air refuelling allowing for longer flights now, "holding back" is just not an option.

So, how do they manage the task?


Apparently, the problem of relieving a pilot's bladder while flying fighter jets has been around for decades. Initially, pilots resorted to "tactical dehydration" by avoiding water during the mission(s) to prevent visits to the lavatory.

Mission times vary greatly. An air-to-air dogfighting training mission can be less than an hour, while a mission   that involves aerial refuelling could last 6 plus hours. For longer missions, it’s common not to drink too much inflight but that can lead of course to dehydration and possible diminished operational effectiveness.Jeff Devlin from Skyborne Airline Academy-a former US Marine Corps F-18 fighter pilot

Jeff Devlin (right) | Source

Dehydration can cause undesirable effects like headaches, reduced endurance and G-force tolerance- all of which are detrimental for accurate flying.

Some of the methods that have been developed are:

Piddle Packs: It is essentially a plastic bag but made of a much thicker ply-about the size of a hard covered novel. Inside this bag is a powdered substance. The bag has a built in metal twist-tie to secure the bag after its been opened. For this of course, the pilot has to unstrap and unzip, which has caused a few accidents in the past. The powder turn into a gel as urine saturates it- turning it into a non-spilling substance which can then be stored away. Throughout the entire routine, the jet is either put in an altitude hold (auto pilot), or just trimmed up real well to keep the jet from nosing over/up when you release the controls. The whole process is completed in under a minute.

Piddle pack | US Department of Defense)

These packs are also commonly used for ocean crossings that take 10 plus hoursJeff Devlin

The Aircrew Mission Extender Device (AMXD)

Adopted by the U.S. Air Force as a replacement to piddle packs, this apparatus is a wearable device, that detects urine and flushes it into a bag for storage.

Once the AMXDmax automatically detects urine, it pumps it into a collection bag and because urine is nasty, sensors detect the urine within a second and rapidly pump it into a 1.7 quart (6.8 cups) collection bag. In comparison to piddle bags, pilots now don't have to undress in the cockpit- technically releasing the bladder is all the pilot does. The device looks like a black pair of tight-fitting boxer shorts concealing either a cup or a pad.

Representative | The Drive

Additionally, it comes in two different versions for men and women respectively.

For women | Representative | Source

For men | Representative | Source

The new devices are hands-free, battery operated and worn underneath uniformsAccording to

Ongoing research and development

Reportedly, Royal Air Force (RAF) has been collaborating with the US Airforce in the development of the Omni Gen. 3 Skydrate which is an upgrade to the existing Advance Mission Extender Device (AMXD).

Representative | Task and Purpose

The RAF has been heavily involved in research and development of a variety of devices and have been instrumental in offering feedback to improve systems with the RAF Centre for Aviation Medicine (RAF CAM) being a world leader in this area.A senior Royal Air Force source said 

As per reports, Skydrate has been modified to improve the design and effectiveness of the pad after feedback from female pilots and is now available for both men and women.

US aircrew is set to receive Skydrate by spring of this year.


COVER: Air Force Times