Hello defence lovers! The year 2022 is going to be an eventful year from the defence perspective. In this year India will achieve many very crucial milestones which will strengthen its indigenous defence industry. In this article, we are going to discuss the top defence projects of the year 2022.
Commissioning of INS Vikrant
The commissioning of our indigenously developed aircraft carrier IAC 1 Vikrant is perhaps the most awaited event of the year 2022, in the entire defence sector. It is one of the most important defence projects of India. The wait of 12 long years will be over in August this year when this mighty vessel will formally be commissioned into the fleet of the Indian Navy. As of now, the Indian Navy operates only one aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. INS Vikrant will boost the Indian Navy’s capabilities by many folds. Once commissioned INS Vikrant will be the flagship of the Indian navy and it will also make India part of the elite club of the nations who can design, develop and manufacture aircraft carriers indigenously.
First flight of Tejas MK 1A
The Indian aviation industry will achieve a significant milestone this year. The first flight of Tejas MK1a is scheduled for June this year. HAL will manufacture 3 fighters which will be extensively used for testing. The airframe of Tejas has been tested well before it achieved Final Operational Clearance. In Tejas MK 1A, there are no structural modifications hence the airframe need not be tested. However, there are huge upgrades in terms of avionics such as the Uttam AESA radar. All these testing will take 20 to 24 months after which HAL will start delivering the Tejas Mk1A to IAF at the rate of 16 aircraft per year.
Delivery of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Last year on 2 November Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of 12 limited series production LUH, 6 for the Indian army and 6 for the Indian airforce. These Light Utility helicopters are expected to be delivered in August this year. As of now both the Indian army and the Indian airforce are in desperate need of light helicopters as operating its half-century-old Cheetah and Chetak helicopters is getting more difficult and unsafe every single day. Moreover, things become even more complicated when the long-delayed Kamov deal is on the verge of being cancelled as its engine manufacturers are being threatened by CAATSA sanctions. Thus the situation opens many doors for the LUH. Initially, it is planned that Indian armed forces will procure 187 LUHs, 126 for the army and 61 for the airforce. But looking at the situations we can expect the numbers to go up.
Roll out of Tejas MK II
This year is full of important aerospace events. Indian second indigenously developed multirole fighter Tejas MK II’s first prototype was supposed to roll out by mid-2022. However thanks to our highly efficient HAL, it is going to be delayed. If everything goes well the first prototype of Tejas MK II will roll out by the end of this year and hopefully conduct its maiden next year. Though there is an ambiguity from the airforce about the size of the order that it will place for the Tejas MK II. But considering the depleting squadron strength, and Tejas MK I not being the replacement of the flying coffins, the airforce will need at least 200 of these fighters.
Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Delivery
HAL has started the limited series production of the indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH). 15 such LSP LCHs will be delivered to the Indian army and the airforce by march 2022. Although HAL has not received the orders formally, but it hopes to receive the orders from the government soon. The Indian armed forces are interested to procure at least 162 Light combat helicopters which are ideal for providing close air support to our troops developed on very high altitudes where conventional gunships cannot operate.
INS Arighat is the second nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) of the Indian navy. It belongs to the indigenous Arihant class. In March 2021, it was declared that INS Arighat is undergoing harbour trials and is expected to be commissioned into the navy in 2022. However, the commissioning ceremony is going to be very secretive as the government keeps the whereabouts of the nuclear submarines top-secret.
INS Vagir is the 5th vessel of INS Kalvari class submarines. It is expected to be commissioned into service in 2022. Its sister ship INS Vagsheer is also expected to be commissioned into service by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
So these were the top 5 defence projects of the year 2022. Follow our website DefenceXP.com for more interesting articles.