IAF’S INDIGENISATION THRUST IN MAINTENANCE OF AIRCRAFT FLEET

by Editorial

The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates a variety of aircraft fleets of foreign origin ranging from legacy MiG-21 Bison to the state-of-the-art Rafale aircraft. For increased self-reliance and to meet sustenance requirements in product support of IAF aircraft and systems, indigenisation of aircraft as well as systems spares and setting up of indigenous Repair and Overhaul (ROH) facilities for aggregates are key focus areas of IAF.

There is immense scope for indigenisation in the IAF for a wide variety of spares and equipment ranging from aircraft general purpose spares, such as nuts, bolts, cables, gaskets, springs, etc, to complex high technology spares, such as avionics equipment and aero-engine accessories. Indigenisation of spares for maintenance of aircraft and systems is undertaken through Base Repair Depots (BROs) of IAF located in various parts of the country and No. 1 Central Indigenisation and Manufacturing Depot (CIMD), Nashik.

As part of IAF’s focus on self-reliance and the Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission, IAF is giving impetus to fast tracking of indigenisation as well as enlarging the scope of involvement of Indian aerospace and defence industry especially, MSMEs. Towards this, IAF has already identified indigenisation requirements of approximately 4,000 lines of spares. Critical requirements for indigenisation include aviation grade filters (fuel, hydraulic & pneumatic), aero-engine bearings, hydraulic and pneumatic hoses, multifunction displays, aviation grade circuit breakers, lamp filaments, spark plugs, etc, to name a few. Enormous opportunities are available for the aerospace and defence industry partners in India including MSMEs to join hands with IAF in this vigorous indigenisation drive.

In addition to manufacture of spares and aggregates, another area of focus of IAF is to engage with the Industry to set up repair and overhaul (ROH) facilities within India for high value retables/ repairables. In achieving this objective, IAF aims to accrue huge savings to the financial exchequer, besides developing and encouraging in-house MRO facilities, thereby leading to reduced timeframes for repair and enhanced operational availability of assets. To facilitate dissemination of requirements for indigenisation, details of RFPs issued through CPPP portal by BROs/ CIMD are also being listed in the IAF website indianairforce.nic.in.

In addition, a list of over 200 lines of high value ex-import spares (unit cost > Rs 10 lakh) has been hosted in the Ministry of Defence website srijandefence.gov.in . IAF will be displaying a host of indigenisation requirements through their stall in Hall C, during Aero India. Representatives from various BROs will be available in the stall to interact with industry representatives for explaining the requirements for indigenisation and associated procedures.

GLOBAL CHIEFS’ OF AIR STAFF CONCLAVE

The IAF hosted a two-day Global Chiefs’ of Air Staff Conclave themed: Leveraging Aerospace Power for Security and Stability. The conclave was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. In his inaugural address, he stated that the CAS conclave brought together Chiefs and senior dignitaries from Air Forces across the world and was a befitting event as part of Aero India, with primary focus on air power & amp; associated technologies. Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat graced the inaugural session.

Welcoming all guests, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria outlined the significance of CAS conclave in enabling exchange of ideas & enhancement of multilateral cooperation between the participating Air Forces. He reiterated the role of Air Power as a crucial enabler for ensuring peace, stability & security in the region. The Conclave was organised in a hybrid format to obviate restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was attended by close to 50 countries. Chiefs/ Commanders of Air Forces of 28 countries joined the Conclave.

The Conclave was conceived for exchange of ideas and best practices on themes of contemporary relevance in the aerospace domain. Countries participated from across continents with Air Forces from the Americas, Europe, Middle East, West Asia, Central Asian republics, South East Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean region and the Indo Pacific. The three sessions of the CAS Conclave provided a forum to discuss important issues with respect to aerospace strategy, emerging technologies impacting the battle space and issues pertaining to security and stability of the Global Commons.

These sessions were planned to address themes of “Disruptive Technologies and Innovations”, “Air Power in the Indo-Pacific Region” and “Air Power and Aerospace Strategy”. The CAS thanked all Chiefs, nominated country representatives and delegates attending the event and for their valuable contribution during the Conclave. He added that the takeaways from the Conclave would enable increased understanding and cooperation between the Air forces and help forge enhanced multilateral capabilities.

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