Archive for April, 2013

A major reshuffle is expected in the top Army brass with several new appointments being made in key formations, including the Udhampur-based Northern Command of the force.

Present western Army commander Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra has been recommended to be shifted to head the Northern Command to succeed Lt Gen KT Parnaik, who is retiring on June 30, officials said.


Lt Gen Chachra is expected to be replaced by Lt Gen Philip Campose, who is currently heading the perspective planning (PP) directorate at the Army headquarters here.

Present Director General (IT) Lt Gen Sanjeev Madhok is expected to be elevated as the chief of Army’s Shimla-based Training Command, the officials said.

Central Army commander Lt Gen Anil Chait is expected to be shifted to head the tri-services integrated defence services headquarters in Delhi while he is expected to be succeeded by Lt Gen Rajan Bakshi, they said.

Bakshi is presently heading the Leh-based 14 Corps. The defence ministry has given its approval to the new appointments and has forwarded the proposal for final clearance by the appointments committee of the Cabinet.

Source :


Israel seems all set to bag yet another mega defence deal to equip all the 356 infantry battalions of the Indian Army with third-generation anti-tank guided missiles(ATGMs). While Russia is far ahead in the lead, Israel is trying to stave off a strong challenge from the US to remain the second largest arms supplier to India.

The Rs 15,000-crore project will involve an initial direct acquisition of the man-portable “tank killers”, with a strike range of 2.5-km, followed by transfer of technology (ToT) to defence PSU, Bharat Dynamics, for large-scale indigenous manufacture.

The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), led by A K Antony, took up the procurement of the fire-and-forget Israeli “Spike” ATGMs for clearance on April 2. But the case was kept “pending” after being referred for “a technology scan” since it was “a single vendor situation” without any competition, said sources.

The DAC can approve acquisition of a state-of-the-art weapon system, aimed to gain a qualitative edge over adversaries, in a single-vendor situation only after “a technology scan” is conducted by HQ IDS (integrated defence staff) in consultation withDRDO. “The scan basically certifies it’s not possible to get the weapon system from anywhere else. The DAC will consider the case after the scan,” said a source.

The 1.13-million Army is pushing the “critical” project since it has a huge shortfall of 44,000 ATGMs of different types, half its authorised inventory at present. Moreover, both Pakistan and China — the latter with third-generation ATGMs — have zoomed ahead in this capability of stemming enemy armoured attacks.

The “buy global” project for the shoulder-fired ATGMs had begun — after DRDO failed to deliver an indigenous system — with the Israeli Spike being pitted against the American FGM-148 Javelin missiles. But the US could not assure India of providing full ToT to allow indigenous production. Consequently, only the Spike ATGMs underwent extensive field trials conducted by the Army.

The force is keen to begin inducting the new ATGMs soon to ensure each infantry battalion deployed in the plains has eight ATGM launchers (each with 12 missiles), and those in the mountains have at least two, by the end of the 12th Plan (2017). “Even mechanised infantry battalions will get them later,” said the source.

At present, the Army is making do with second-generation Milan (2-km range) and Konkurs (4-km) ATGMs, produced by BDL under licence from French and Russian companies, which are wire-guided and do not have fire-and-forget capabilities.

A part of the deficiency will be met by the induction of the long-delayed indigenous third-generation Nag ATGMs, which are vehicle and helicopter-mounted, with a 4-km strike range. The Army has already placed an initial order for 443 Nag missiles and 13 Namicas (Nag missile tracked carriers).

source  :

New Delhi: The much awaited new Defence Procurement Policy has been declared by the Defence Acquisiton Council here today. The new DPP aims at strengthening the defence manufacturing base in India. It also aims at providing level playing field to the private sector by infusing greater efficiency in the procurement process.

The new policy curtails the monopoly of the government owned PSUs and Ordnance Factory Board in the areas like maintenance and MRO. No decision has been taken to change the FDI limit of 26 per cent in the defence sector. Some top officials of the foreign companies on the condition of anonymity have told BDK that they are not much ‘impressed’ by the new DPP as the 26 per cent cap in FDI has not been lifted in the policy.

In a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence, states that with the twin objective of infusing greater efficiency in the procurement process and strengthening the defence manufacturing base in the country, the Defence Acquisition Council, the apex decision making body of the MoD, took a series of decisions today, including amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, who chaired the Council meeting, said the only way forward for the country is rapid indigenization of defence products, with both the public and the private sectors playing pivotal roles in this endeavour. Antony said the government will make all efforts to create genuine level playing field for Indian manufacturing industries vis-à-vis Global Players.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony

Following are the highlights of the amendments to the DPP-2011:

1.  Prioritisation of Various Categories for Capital Acquisitions under Defence Procurement Procedure

Preference for indigenous procurement in the Defence Production Policy 2011 has now been made a part of DPP through an amendment that provides for a preferred order of categorisation, with global cases being a choice of last resort. The order of preference, in decreasing order, shall be: (1) “Buy (Indian)”; (2) “Buy & Make (Indian)”; (3) “Make”; (4) “Buy & Make with ToT”; and (5) “Buy (Global)”. Any proposal to select a particular category must now state reasons for excluding the higher preferred category/ categories.

2.  Release of Public Version of Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP)

The DAC has approved the release of a public version of its 15-year perspective document (LTIPP), outlining the “Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap” (TPCR) against LTIPP 2012-2027. The TPCR will provide useful guidance to the Indian Defence Industry for boosting its infrastructural capabilities and directing its R&D and technology investments.

3.  Maintenance ToT (MToT) no longer through Nomination

MToT has been hitherto reserved largely for OFB and DPSUs through the nomination process. A DPP amendment has been approved that does away with nomination by Department of Defence Production and facilitates selection of MToTpartners by Indian bidders. This measure is expected to have a positive impact on private sector participation in maintenance, repairs and overhaul work.

4.  Advance Consultations for “Make” Procedure

The DAC has approved an amendment mandating consultations to begin sufficiently in advance of actual procurement by Service Head Quarters (SHQs), so that capital acquisition plans can be translated into national defence R&D and production plans. In addition, a high-level Committee has also been constituted for simplification of “Make” procedures, with a view to unleash the full potential of this important category.

5.  Simplification of  “Buy & Make (Indian)” Procedure

The DAC has approved an amendment further simplifying this complex category. Its procedures have been brought on par with other categorisations, resulting in faster processing of cases under this category.

6.  Clear Definition of Indigenous Content

Increased indigenisation is important for our Armed Forces, in order that they have access to reliable supply chains in times of urgent need. Indigenous content has now been defined in an unambiguous manner, providing requisite clarity and a common understanding.

7.  Ensuring faster progress in “Make” and “Buy & Make (Indian)” cases

The Ministry has a limited number of acquisition cases under “Make” and “Buy & Make (Indian)” categories, with an estimated value of Rs. 1,20,000 crore. Instructions have been issued for speedier conclusion of these cases.

8.  Defence Items List

Indian defence industry was opened up in May 2001 for 100% private sector participation subject to licensing. The Defence Items List has been finalised by the Ministry and sent to DIPP for notification, which will bring required clarity in the licensing process.

9.  Licensing for Dual Use Items

The Ministry has categorically clarified to DIPP that dual-use items will not require licensing, thereby bringing added clarity to the licensing process.

10. Consultations on Security Guidelines for Indian Defence Industry

Draft Security Guidelines that will apply to all licensed defence industries have been circulated for consultations with various stakeholders. It is expected that a completesecurity framework for Indian private industries participating in defence cases will be in place in the near future.

11. Resolution of Tax-related Issues

Resolution of deemed exports status for certain defence projects and rationalisation of tax and duty structures impinging on the Indian defence industry has been taken up by the MoD with the Ministry of Finance.

12. Funds for MSMEs in the Defence Sector

The Defence Production Policy 2011 requires the setting-up of a fund to provide necessary resources for development of defence equipment. In order to ensure regular supply of funds to MSMEs involved in manufacturing of defence products, SIDBI has decided to earmark an amount of Rs. 500 crore for providing loans, and further, a fund of Rs. 50 crore for equity support out of “India Opportunities Fund” managed by its subsidiary, namely, SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd.

13. Efficiency and Transparency in Defence Procurement

A stipulation to freeze the SQRs before the “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) stage has been accorded, and the validity of AoN has also been reduced from two years to one year. These measures are expected to expedite the acquisition process and increase transparency.

14. Enhanced Delegation of Financial Powers

The financial powers of Service Chiefs/ DG Coast Guard have been enhanced from Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 150 crore for capital acquisition cases.

15. Powers to DAC

Approval for all deviations from the Defence Procurement Procedure will henceforth be sought from the Defence Acquisition Council instead of the Defence Minister.

Source :

The former Indian foreign secretary, Shyam Saran, gave a revealing speech on India’s nuclear deterrent on April 24th. The speech was titled, somewhat vaguely, “Is India’s Nuclear Deterrent Credible?”

But it more usefully updated India’s nuclear weapons status in a way that hasn’t happened since the release of the draft nuclear doctrine back in the early 2000s.

The most striking part of the speech doctrinally responded to Pakistan’s supposed move to develop tactical nuclear capability. Saran made it clear that India wouldn’t distinguish between a kiloton weapon aimed at tanks or a megatonner aimed at a city. “The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the Indian perspective. A limited nuclear war is a contradiction in terms. Any nuclear exchange, once initiated, would swiftly and inexorably escalate to the strategic level. Pakistan would be prudent not to assume otherwise as it sometimes appears to do, most recently by developing and perhaps deploying theatre nuclear weapons.”

The speech also fitted in place missing bits of India’s nuclear puzzle.

He confirmed that two legs of India’s nuclear triad — airborne weapons and rail and mobile land-based nuclear warheads — have been completed. And he laid out a timetable for the completion of the third submarine-based leg.

He also confirmed that an official nuclear doctrine has been approved, and bemoaned the face it has not been made public.

“Since January 4, 2003, when India adopted its nuclear doctrine formally at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), it has moved to put in place, at a measured pace, a triad of land-based, air-delivered and submarine-based nuclear forces and delivery assets to conform to its declared doctrine of no-first use and retaliation only. It has had to create a command and control infrastructure that can survive a first strike and a fully secure communication system that is reliable and hardened against radiation or electronic interference.” Saran argues that if the doctrine cannot be revealed, then India should at least release an annual Strategic Posture Review.

I feel Saran pulled his punches on arguing for the doctrine to be made public. Deterrent works only by being transparent about intent and capability. Otherwise, an opponent may conclude the deterrent is a bluff. At a time when Pakistan is slowly losing its political marbles, the logic of such transparency is stronger than ever.

The speech also lays out a potted history of India’s nuclear posture. One of the more forceful parts of the speech refutes the argument that India went nuclear largely for reasons of prestige. It was China, China and China, Saran makes clear.

“I find somewhat puzzling assertions by some respected security analysts, both Indian and foreign, that India’s nuclear weapons programme has been driven by notions of prestige or global standing rather than by considerations of national security.”

He also makes the argument that India’s nuclear environment with its three-nation minuet makes a lot of the strategy that evolved in the West irrelevant. “It is because of this complexity that notions of flexible response and counter-force targeting, which appeared to have a certain logic in a binary US-Soviet context, lose their relevance in the multi-dimensional threat scenario which prevails certainly in our region.” This is an interesting argument but needs a lot more explaining than this speech was able to.


A major US arms deal with Israel sends a “very clear signal” to Tehran that military action remains an option to stop it from going nuclear, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on Sunday. Asked if a multi-billion dollar arms package with Israel was designed to convey a message that a military strike remains an option, he said: “I don’t think there’s any question that’s another very clear signal to Iran.”

Hagel was speaking just before his plane touched down in Tel Aviv at the start of a six-day tour of the region focused on plans to sell $10 billion worth of advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran.

The deal will see Israel obtaining anti-radiation missiles designed to take out enemy air defences, radar for fighter jets, aerial refuelling tankers and Osprey V-22 tilt-rotor transport aircraft.

It will also see the sale of US F-16 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates and sophisticated missiles to Saudi Arabia.

Details were unveiled on the eve of Hagel’s departure on a trip which will focus heavily on tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme and the civil war raging in Syria.

American and Israeli leaders have been at odds over Iran, with President Barack Obama’s administration arguing that tough sanctions and diplomacy need to be given more time to work.

But Israel, believed to be the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, has repeatedly warned that time is running out and has refused to rule out a pre-emptive military strike to prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic weapons capability.

Hagel plans to discuss with his counterparts in the region the final details of the arms deal, and US officials have said it would be months or more for the new weapons and aircraft to be delivered.


NEW DELHI: Even as the criticality of imparting proper training to rookie pilots hangs in the balance, IAF and defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics have locked horns on the acquisition of new basic trainer aircraft (BTA). The defence ministry will soon have to step in to resolve the tussle, one way or the other. 

Upset with the huge delay in development of the indigenous BTA, IAF has now formally asked the MoD to approve its acquisition case for 37 more Swiss Pilatus PC-7 trainers to add to the 75 such planes already ordered for Rs 2,896 crore last year.

A miffed HAL, however, wants MoD to reject the proposal. Contending its under-development HTT-40 aircraft will meet all the BTA requirements of IAF, the indigenous aircraft manufacturer says it will prove cheaper than the Swiss aircraft in the long run. 

But IAF is very doubtful about HAL delivering the BTA either in time or in a cost-effective manner. “As per our calculations, each HTT-40 will be costlier than Pilatus by Rs 2-5 crore,” said an IAF officer. 

The force, in fact, says it would be better if HAL “junked” its fledgling HTT-40 programme to “fully concentrate” on the Sitara intermediate jet trainer (IJT), which has been in the making for over a decade but is still not operational yet. 

Overall, IAF requires 181 BTA, 85 IJTs and 106 advanced jet trainers (AJTs) for Stage-I, II and III training of rookie pilots. The advanced training issue is already settled with India progressively inducting 123 British Hawk AJTs contracted in an overall project worth around Rs 16,000 crore. 

IAF went in for Pilatus after its training went haywire when all the 114 piston-engine HPT-32 aircraft, which long served as the BTA, were grounded in August 2009 after a crash killed the pilot. 

Equally obsolete Kiran Mark-II aircraft, numbering around 80, are currently being used for both Stage-I and II training. “We can stretch the Kirans for Stage-II till 2014-2015. If the IJT is not ready by then, we will be forced to send batches abroad for intermediate training,” said the officer.

IAF will begin its first course on the Pilatus trainers in July, by when it would have received 14 of them. The force wants to gradually ramp up training for each fighter pilot to 254 hours, with the first 65 on the Pilatus, 82 on the IJTs and 107 on the Hawks. 

Over 39% of the 1,010 crashes recorded by IAF since 1970, after all, have been attributed to “human error (aircrew)”, often the result of inadequate training. “Technical defects”, caused by ageing machines and shoddy maintenance, is the other equally big killer.

source: TOI

NEW DELHI: Jharkhand not only fared as the state with the highest incidence of Naxal violence in the first quarter of this year, but it also further consolidated its lead overChhattisgarh with twice the incidents and thricethe deaths reported by the latter.

According to the latest statistics of Red terror compiled by the Union home ministry, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar together account for over 80% of Left-wing extremist violence across the country. Odisha has shown a significant decline in Red terror, while West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradeshreported nil/negligible violence.

The total number of incidents relating to Naxalism fell to 272 (until March 31, 2013) from 417 in the corresponding period of 2012, and deaths to 89 as compared to 120 in the first quarter of last year. However, the share of Jharkhand in the nationwide Naxal violence is a worrying trend. The state, which has been under the President’s rule since January, accounted for over 40% of the countrywide incidents and over 58% of the deaths in the first three months of this year.

Chhattisgarh, which was the worst-hit state in terms of Red terror until Jharkhand overtook it in 2011, recorded 59 incidents and 14 deaths in first quarter of this year — down from 91 incidents and 17 deaths in the corresponding period of last year. The figures for Chhattisgarh are far lower than those in Jharkhand, which reported 118 incidents and 52 deaths between January and March, 2013.

Jharkhand records highest Naxal violence this year
Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar together account for over 80% of Left-wing extremist violence across the country.

Of the 52 people who died due to Naxal violence in Jharkhand, 37 were civilians (of which 14 were killed after being branded ‘police informers’) and 25 from the security forces. Though the figures are lower this year as compared to 2012, Chhattisgarh showed higher civilian killings (up from 6 to12).

However, to give the counter-Naxal forces credit, killings of Maoists by the security forces rose to 18 in the first quarter of 2013 from 14 in the corresponding period of last year. Of these, most Naxalite killings were in Chhattisgarh (8); followed by Maharashtra (6) and Jharkhand (3).

Arrests of Naxalites were up from 107 to 120 in Jharkhand, from 52 to 82 ( Andhra Pradesh) and from 83 to 100 (Chhattisgarh). While arms snatching dipped to five in the first three months of 2013 from 26 in the corresponding period of last year, arms recoveries rose from 149 to 167, of which 60 were from Jharkhand alone.

Nationwide police encounters with Naxalites rose to 55 — from 46 last year — till March 31.


Source : TOI

WASHINGTON: The US is looking forward to expand its military ties with India including a potential sale of the F-35 fighter aircraft, though no decision have been made so far, a top state department official said. 

“We have made tremendous progress in the defence trade relationship. Now we’re at $8 billion, we think there’s going to be billion dollars more in the next couple of years,” said Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. 

When asked about a potential sale of the fifth generation F-35 stealth fighter aircrafts to India, he said that there might also be down the road some potential for it, but certainly no decision has been made regarding that. 

It was earlier speculated that the US might offer the famed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to India, following India’s rejection of the F/A-18 and F-16 fighters in the multi-million dollar MMRCA deal

“So we are on track,” Shapiro told reporters in response to a question at the Washington Foreign Press Center. 

He added that the deputy secretary of defence Ashton Carter is heading up a defence trade initiative with India, which the US believes is making some good progress and will, hopefully, lead to even a greater pace of additional defence trade with India. 

Last year, Shapiro had led the US delegation for the first ever political-military dialogue with India in six years. 

“It was significant because we were able to help our Indian counterparts work through the challenges of inter agency cooperation on national security issues,” said Shapiro. 

“Indian officials’ have remarked that this dialogue is especially helpful in helping coordinate between the various interagency partners in India,” he added. 

Responding to question on news reports that India might reopen its multi-billion dollar fighter jet deal, he said the American companies would have to consider if they want to participate in it. 

“I wouldn’t say we were kicked out (of the fighter jet deal). I would say there was a selection process where they made a determination to down select to the two and eventually to select the Rafale,” he said. 

“I have been reading in the Indian press various rumors about that transaction. We have no official communication from the Indian government and obviously if there was a reopening, US companies would have to consider whether they want to participate,” Shapiro added.

Source : TOI

NEW DELHI: India has quietly airlifted a military hospital, with doctors, paramedics and equipment, to Tajikistan as part of the deepening “strategic partnership” with the energy-rich central Asian country that shares borders with Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

India airlifts military hospital to Tajikistan to strengthen geo-strategic footprint in Central Asia
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to India last August, during which the long-standing bilateral partnership was elevated to a strategic partnership, had then laid the groundwork for the new hospital.

India already has over 100 Indian military personnel stationed at the Ayni airbase in Tajikistan, a country that also shares close proximity to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), as a kind of a “military outpost”. The new hospital will serve to further strengthen India’s geo-strategic footprint in the crucial Central Asian region.

Defence ministry sources say two of the newly-acquired C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft of the IAF airlifted medical stores, equipment and 55 personnel over the last month to establish the “India-Tajik Friendship Hospital” in southern Tajikistan.

“The 50-bed hospital will treat both military as well as civilian people,” said a source. The setting up of the hospital comes at a time when vice-president Hamid Ansari is on a visit to the landlocked country to further cement the bilateral strategic partnership and well as expand its “Connect Central Asia Policy” to build stronger linkages with the five Central Asian countries.

This is not the first time that India has established a hospital in Tajikistan, which shares a 1,400-km with Afghanistan. In the 1990s, India had run a famous field hospital at Farkor on the Tajik-Afghan border to treat wounded fighters from the then Northern Alliance that was battling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

It was at the very same hospital that the Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood was pronounced dead after being assassinated just two days before the 9/11 terror strikes in 2001. But around a decade ago, India had inexplicably shut down the hospital.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to India last August, during which the long-standing bilateral partnership was elevated to a strategic partnership, had then laid the groundwork for the new hospital.

With a broad convergence of views on security matters and cross-border terrorism, the close equation with Tajikistan becomes even more important for India now in the backdrop of the drawdown of US-led international forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

The Indian “military outpost” at the Ayni airbase, around 15 km from Tajik capital Dushanbe, also helps New Delhi keep tabs on its economic and strategic interests in Central Asia as well as “any anti-Indian activity” in the terrorism-infested Af-Pak region.

Indian Army, IAF and Border Roads Organisation personnel had worked hard to upgrade the airbase, which includes extension of the runway and construction of three aircraft hangars, an air-control tower and perimeter fencing around the base, at a cost of over Rs 100 crore.

source : TOI

China can “throw” at least 21 fighter squadrons against India, from its eight airbases in Tibet and other airfields to their north. Even more Chinese fighters can join forces if they are able to overfly Myanmar. Similarly, Pakistan can deploy 21 to 25 fighter squadrons against India.

With this hard-nosed assessment in mind after defence minister AK Antony himself asked the forces to be ready for the twin-threat posed by China and Pakistan, the largest-ever combat exercise undertaken by IAF tested its capability for a two-front contingency by deploying “swing forces” from the western theatre right across to the eastern one.

IAF did “extremely well” during the ‘Live-Wire’ exercise, conducted from March 18 to April 4 with over 8,000 hours of flying sorties, to maintain the “high-tempo surge operations” to “validate its two-front deployment capability”. Frontline Sukhoi-30MKIs even flew long-range missions from Chabua (Assam) to the western front, with mid-air refuelling, for bombing missions, sources said.

But the wargames, with over 400 fighters and 200 transport aircraft and helicopters, also sharply underlined the “criticality” of soon finalizing the almost $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project to acquire 126 fighters.

IAF is grappling with just 34 fighter squadrons (each with 14 to 18 jets) at present despite the primacy of airpower in modern-day battles. IAF itself has held it needs at least 44-45 squadrons to meet the “possible contingency” of “a full conflict” with Pakistan, while maintaining “a dissuasive posture” against China.

Even as the progressive phasing out of ageing MiG-21 squadrons is now on hold to retain combat readiness, IAF is keeping its fingers crossed that the long-delayed MMRCA contract is inked with French major Dassault Aviation for its Rafale fighters before this year ends.

“We can then begin getting the new fighters from early-2017 onwards. Problems in the contract negotiations between MoD and Dassault over Hindustan Aeronautics’ responsibility (the first 18 jets will come from France, with HAL producing the rest 108 with transfer of technology) are being sorted out,” said a source.

IAF does need systematic induction of fighters and helicopters, mid-air refuellers and transport planes, spy and combat drones, surface-to-air missiles and advanced radars, with projections showing India will spend upwards of $35 billion over the next 10 years to boost its air combat power.

In the interim, IAF banking upon the progressive induction of the 272 Sukhoi-30MKIs contracted from Russia for around $12 billion as well as the mid-life upgrades of 51 Mirage-2000s and 60 MiG-29s.

For the long-term, the plan is to induct over 200 5th Gen swing-role fighters from 2022 onwards. India and Russia are slated to soon ink the $11 billion full design R&D contract for the stealth jets, with each chipping in with $5.5 billion. India will eventually spend around $35 billion on this futuristic fighter project over the next 15-20 years, with each jet to be subsequently produced costing over $100 million.