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Indian Air Force jets do 5,000 sorties in 72 hours on western front

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Indian Air Force jets do 5,000 sorties in 72 hours on western front

NEW DELHI: After the “surge” in air combat operations on the western front with Pakistan, which saw a staggering 5,000 sorties by fighters alone in just three days last week, the Indian Air Force(IAF) has now switched its forces to the northern borders with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

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No, the worst-case scenario of a two-front war has not suddenly hit India. Instead, the IAF’s entire war machinery has been activated for the ongoing pan-India exercise “GaganShakti” . “It’s the biggest such exercise in terms of scale since Operation Brasstacks in 1986-1987, or Operation Parakram in 2001-2002 when India nearly went to war with Pakistan after the terror attack on Parliament,” said a senior officer.

Despite having just 31 fighter squadrons, when 42 are required to tackle the Pakistan-China threat, the IAF has pulled out all stops to hone its war-fighting skills by testing offensive and defensive capabilities on the two fronts.

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As many as 1,150 fighters, aircraft, helicopters and drones as well as hundreds of air defence missile, radar, surveillance and other units have been deployed for the high-voltage exercise, which is taking place with active participation from Army and Navy for integrated land-air-sea combat operations. The IAF has systematically worked towards achieving 83% serviceability (operational availability of the number of aircraft at any given time) for the exercise, in conjunction with defence PSUs like Hindustan Aeronauticsand base repair depots, from the usual 55%-60% in peacetime.

The aim of the exercise is to validate our operational capabilities and concepts in a realistic war-like scenario as well as check our ability to sustain high-tempo operations. It’s not aimed at any country,” said IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa. But the game-plan is quite clear. If the focus in the western theatre was to generate the maximum possible sorties with the same number of fighters to overwhelm the enemy forces, the intent in the eastern one is to operate from dispersed locations to avoid the adversary’s rocket forces while undertaking deep strikes with Sukhoi-30MKI fighters being refueled in mid-air by IL-78 aircraft.

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The combat manoeuvres along the northern borders will also see intensive high-altitude operations at advanced landing grounds and helipads, some as high as 20,000 feet, as also inter-valley troop transfers and logistics sustenance by heavy-duty helicopters to make up for the lack of roads.

“Fighters are also practising concentrated weapon releases in realistic attack scenarios all throughout Gagan-Shakti, which includes firing precisionweapons with ‘through window’ capabilities. A simulated battalion-level airborne assault behind enemy lines, which included paradrop of 560 soldiers, combat vehicles and GPS-guided cargo platforms, has also been undertaken with six C-130J Super Hercules and seven AN-32 aircraft launched from multiple airbases,” said another officer.

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GaganShakti, in short, reiterates the primacy and flexibility of airpower in modern-day battles.The Sukhoi-30MKIs, which have a combat radius of about 1,500-km without mid-air refueling, for instance, have even got airborne from an eastern coast airbase to strike multiple targets in the western seaboard at distances beyond 2,200 km before landing at a southern base to cover a total distance of around 4,000 km in single non-stop missions.

Courtesy:Times of India

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Lufthansa is interested in deepening its partnership with Air India to expand its cargo operations

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Lufthansa is interested in deepening its partnership with Air India to expand its cargo operations

Lufthansa is willing to expand its cargo collaboration with Air India in order to increase cargo volumes.

“We believe that a strong Air India is good for both India and global aviation.” “We are always looking for ways to strengthen our ties with Air India,” Lufthansa stated According to the report.

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In the midst of a robust revival in its cargo sector, the German airline is eager to work more closely with Air India. The ambitious growth plan for Air India includes the installation of wide-body aircraft, which will expand its cargo capacity by 300%.

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“Lufthansa Cargo has seen a strong recovery in India, with cargo volumes recovering to surpass pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2023,” the company said. Positive forecasts for the remainder of the year include continuous expansion, according to the airline. “India is one of the world’s air freight markets with the quickest rate of growth. As India’s economy continues to expand and its exports rise, there will likely be a rise in the demand for air cargo, it added.

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LATAM Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo, adds 13 more to order book

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LATAM Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo, adds 13 more to order book

LATAM Airlines has taken possession of the first A321neo it had leased from AerCap and placed an order for 13 more of the aircraft to boost regional expansion and expand its route network. This A321neo aircraft is the first in a committed backlog of 76 to be delivered. LATAM will receive 111 A320 Family aircraft in total.

Why LATAM retired its entire A350s fleet?(Opens in a new browser tab)

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The recently arrived A321neo for LATAM has Airbus’ Airspace XL bins in the cabin and can accommodate 224 passengers. The larger bins enable 60% more carry-on baggage and 40% more storage space, allowing passengers and cabin crew to board flights more leisurely. 49% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) was used to propel the just-delivered A321neo to its destination.

The largest single-aisle A320 Family model sold by Airbus is the A321neo. The lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle aircraft on the market is provided by the A321neo, allowing operators to serve the entire market. Customers from all across the world have ordered more than 5,200 A321neos so far.

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Why LATAM retired its entire A350s fleet?(Opens in a new browser tab)

The LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates are the major airline group in Latin America, operating internationally throughout Europe, Oceania, the United States, and the Caribbean in addition to five local markets in the region: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. LATAM is currently Latin America’s largest Airbus operator, flying 240 Airbus aircraft. LATAM received a brand-new Airbus A320neo in July of this year, marking the first delivery made with 30% SAF.

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Airbus has sold over 1,150 aircraft in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 750 are in operation throughout the region, with more than 520 in the order backlog, representing a market share of 58% of in-service passenger aircraft. Since 1994, Airbus has secured 75% of net orders in the region.

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Wings of Growth: India’s Need for 130-150 Additional Wide-Body Aircraft

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Wings of Growth: India's Need for 130-150 Additional Wide-Body Aircraft

According to Vikram Rai, CEO of GE Aerospace South Asia, India’s civil aviation market, one of the fastest-growing in the world, has the potential to add 130-150 more wide-body aircraft to its fleet. In India, there are now about 700 commercial aircraft in service, although only about 50 of them are wide-body aircraft.

India, the third-largest aviation market in the world with about 1,500 aircraft on order from domestic airlines, is viewed as having “great potential” by GE Aerospace, a key manufacturer of aircraft engines.

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India is a focus market and a priority market for GE Aerospace” and added that in his opinion, domestic airlines would think about adding more wide-body aircraft to their fleet and using them on busy domestic routes.

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The government is attempting to create international aviation hubs in India in order for domestic airlines to transport passengers directly to a variety of foreign locations as a result of the growing air passenger traffic.

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Currently, the majority of passengers flying out of India to distant locations do so on connecting flights run by foreign airlines.”We need to reach a stage where we can transport our passengers from end to finish. We are talking about the next stage of growth here, Rai added.

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