Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Controp Presents New EO Payloads for UAVs and Land Systems at Eurosatory 2012

Controp Precision Technologies has launched is introducing the M-STAMP gyro stabilized multi sensor payload system for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and small aircraft. The M-STAMP has a daylight (CCD) zoom camera and uncooled thermal imager dual field of view optics. In addition, the payload includes a laser pointer.Controp plans to offer an uncooled thermal imager with a continuous zoom as well. The new payload has also been delivered to customers in Europe and the US. One of the applications is the HoverEye EX unmanned helicopter developed by Bertin. In the US, the US Air Force has evaluated the new payload on an Elbit Systems Skylark LE.

Controp M-STAMP Multi Sensor Payload mounted on Aeronautics Orbiter UAV
Controp is also presenting the HD-STAMP – the first High Definition gyro stabilized camera for small UAVs. The new HD STAMP provides new opportunities for SUAVs, including surveying of power lines and other requirements where a high definition image is required.
In addition, CONTROP is bringing the new SPEED-V for the first time to be on demonstration at Eurosatory 2012. The SPEED-V is a lightweight (24kg) EO/IR gyro stabilized system which was specially designed for Mobile Surveillance Vehicle (MSV) while installed on a tall mast or on ground vehicles. The SPEED-V provides long range observation capabilities for intelligence gathering purposes, as well as panoramic scanning for Automatic Intruder Detection of very wide area perimeter.

For manned or unmanned ground vehicles Controp provides the VIEW range of stabilized rigid payloads. The family includes the L-VIEW, with a single sensor and the T-VIEW packing a dual sensor EO/IR on a gyro stabilized mount for day and night observation on board various ground vehicles and armored vehicles. T-VIEW includes two cameras- an uncooled thermal camera with continuous zoom lens and a daytime CCD camera while L-VIEW comprises a single uncooled IR camera with continuous zoom lens. The L-VIEW has successfully completed an evaluation and field test for a foreign customer, mounted on armored combat vehicles. These payloads were designed to answer a unique field requirement as an aid to the commander and crew of light armored vehicles. The gyro stabilized VIEW payloads enable observation while driving through thick dust, dirt roads, so that the commander can have complete control of the surrounding area in panoramic view, which increases the mobile safety of the troops and provides security of access during movement. Other applications of the L-VIEW and T-VIEW include observation, navigation, driving, situational awareness and force protection while providing real-time video onboard a variety of different land vehicles.

For manned or unmanned ground vehicles Controp provides the VIEW range of stabilized rigid payloads. The family includes the L-VIEW, with a single sensor and the T-VIEW packing a dual sensor EO/IR on a gyro stabilized mount for day and night observation on board various ground vehicles and armored vehicles. T-VIEW includes two cameras- an uncooled thermal camera with continuous zoom lens and a daytime CCD camera while L-VIEW comprises a single uncooled IR camera with continuous zoom lens. The L-VIEW has successfully completed an evaluation and field test for a foreign customer, mounted on armored combat vehicles. These payloads were designed to answer a unique field requirement as an aid to the commander and crew of light armored vehicles. The gyro stabilized VIEW payloads enable observation while driving through thick dust, dirt roads, so that the commander can have complete control of the surrounding area in panoramic view, which increases the mobile safety of the troops and provides security of access during movement. Other applications of the L-VIEW and T-VIEW include observation, navigation, driving, situational awareness and force protection while providing real-time video onboard a variety of different land vehicles.

Defence ministry to dilute offsets next week

The ministry of defence (MoD) is poised to sharply dilute its Defence Offset Guidelines (DoG) during the coming fortnight.

MoD and industry sources tell Business Standard that among the amendments the apex Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is to clear on June 24 is one that would allow foreign vendors to discharge their offset obligations with minimal production and value addition in India.

While some of the likely amendments to the DoG are broadly acceptable, a controversial new proposal has set alarm bells ringing among Indian defence producers. This innocuous, but far-reaching, amendment relates to how ‘value addition’ will be calculated when an Indian Offset Partner (IOP) produces a system or a sub-system for a foreign vendor (offset credit is only given for value addition in India). Imported items have always been excluded from the ‘value add’, calculated as the IOP’s billed cost for the equipment supplied to the foreign vendor, less the cost of imported items used by the IOP. The proposed amendment would allow the IOP to buy foreign parts from Indian sub-vendors, and present that as value-add, provided the sub-vendor is paid in rupees.

In practice, here’s how this would work. Consider a hypothetical offset-related contract that a foreign vendor, Smith Aerospace, signs with an IOP, Jai Bhagwan Hydraulics. If Jai Bhagwan uses Rs 80 crore worth of imported components in Rs 100 crore worth of hydraulic pumps that it supplies Smith Aerospace, the existing offset policy gives Smith Aerospace offset credit for Rs 20 crore, i.e. the value the IOP has added in India (billed cost, less cost of imported components). The new proposal changes this calculation fundamentally by defining value-add as billed cost, less the import cost incurred by the IOP.

In practice, this would allow Smith Aerospace to generate Rs 100 crore worth of offset credit through the same transaction, merely by encouraging Jai Bhagwan Hydraulics to buy the imported components (worth Rs 80 crore) from an Indian sub-vendor. Though the components remain imported, they would be treated as value-add, simply because the IOP, Jai Bhagwan, has not imported these (and has, in fact, paid the sub-vendor in rupees). This would entitle Smith Aerospace to claim offset credits for the full Rs 100 crore.

This only requires a slight amendment to Para 6.4 of the current Defence Procurement Procedure of 2011 (DPP-2011). The DAC will discuss this amendment on June 24. MoD did not respond to questions on the subject.

“Instead of encouraging the Indian defence industry to produce in-country, this amendment effectively legitimises imports. Instead of the Indian Offset Partner doing the import, the Tier-2 supplier will do it. The foreign vendor will get enhanced offset credits without any extra production having taken place in India,” points out the CEO of an Indian defence company, who has requested not to be identified.

The new policy also incentivises foreign vendors to select micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as their offset partners, by introducing a multiplier of 1.5 for offsets discharged through MSMEs. That means if Jai Bhagwan Hydraulics were an MSME (according to the monetary guidelines specified by the department of micro, small and medium enterprises, the offset credit to Smith Aviation would be multiplied to Rs 150 crore (Rs 100 crore times 1.5).

Ironically the revised policy will, for the first time, explicitly state that the offset policy is aimed at developing Indian defence industry. The threefold aim it specifies is “to leverage capital acquisitions to develop the Indian defence industry by (i) fostering development of internationally competitive enterprises, (ii) augmenting capacity for research, design and development related to defence products and services and (iii) encourage development of synergistic sectors like civil aerospace and internal security.”

Other changes
The proposed policy would also permit transfer of technology (ToT) as offsets; granting any foreign vendor a multiplier of three for technologies specified by the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO). It extends by two years the period within which vendors must discharge offset obligations and extends the validity of banked offset credits to seven years (it was earlier two years). In complex procurements (like the recent medium fighter contract) where multiple sub-vendors incur offset liabilities, the new policy will permit sub-vendors to individually discharge their respective liabilities, even while holding the main vendor responsible for discharging offsets in full.

Another amendment being discussed on June 24 could resolve a six-year debate that has exercised the MoD — which agency should administer offsets? One group, supported by the army and air force, has argued the powerful Acquisitions Wing should oversee offsets, since it buys the foreign arms that create offset obligations. Other bureaucrats apprehend a conflict of interest that might foredoom offsets, since the Acquisitions Wing’s primary mandate of expeditious procurement pre-disposes it to regard strict offsets as an encumbrance. This group argues that as offsets aim at boosting indigenous defence production capability, they should be handled by the department of defence production (DDP), a separate MoD wing that is led by a secretary.

MoD sources say the proposal that the DAC will examine gives the Acquisitions Wing responsibility for concluding offset contracts alongside each procurement contract. The DDP will, thereafter, oversee the discharge of offsets.

Offsets were first made mandatory in the Defence Procurement Policy of 2006 (DPP-2006) and then revised periodically. The policy requires foreign vendors who win defence contracts worth Rs 300 crore or more to plough back at least 30 per cent of the contract value into India in the form of defence orders, technology or infrastructure.

The amendments now proposed continue the MoD’s steady dilution of this policy. Global arms vendors, backed openly or tacitly by their governments, have mounted a sustained lobbying campaign against offsets, arguing that Indian defence players do not have the capacity to absorb the offset production that will arise. Meanwhile, India’s defence producers have argued that the very aim of the offset policy is to develop production capacity and, therefore, the foreign vendors must assist in building up capacities. The MoD, by incrementally diluting the offset policy, has indicated that it supports the foreign arms vendors.

Advertisement Your Ad Here « Black Hawk eager to fly for India Tejas jets display firepower in pokhran » India to launch AWACS project to counter China, Pak

With Pakistan stealing a swift march in the “eyes in the sky” arena and China already way ahead, India is now going to launch its own full-blown futuristic AWACS (airborne warning and control system) programme.
“Clearances are underway” to initially develop two AWACS aircraft, with four more to follow at a later stage, under the new `AWACS-India’ project to be executed by DRDO and its Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems(CABS). 
“Under it, 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars will be mounted on large aircraft like IL-76, Boeing or Airbus,” said a DRDO source.
Potent force-multipliers like AWACS or AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) systems have changed the entire nature of air warfare because they can detect incoming aerial threats, ranging from fighters to cruise missiles, much before ground-based radars.
They also serve to direct air defence fighters during combat operations with enemy jets and also help in tracking troop build-ups.
Pakistan already has four Swedish Saab-2000 AEW&C aircraft, with four more Chinese ZDK-03 AWACS in the pipeline. China has around 20 AWACS, a mix of new and old systems, say sources.
But IAF has only three Phalcon AWACS mounted on IL-76 aircraft, under the $1.1 billion tripartite agreement among India, Israel and Russia finalized in 2004, despite being confronted with two potentially hostile fronts.
The case for two additional “follow-on” Phalcon AWACS, with a range of over 400-km and 360-degree coverage like the first three, has run into some rough weather due to sharp cost escalation.
Moreover, DRDO’s ongoing mini-AWACS project, under which indigenous AEW&C systems are to be mounted on three Embraer-145 jets obtained from Brazil for $210-million, has also slipped after being approved in October, 2004, at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore.
DRDO, however, contends the project is now on track. “CABS will get the first Embraer, modified with antenna units and other structures mounted on its fuselage, in July,” said an official.
“All electronic systems, with a normal radar range of 250-km and a 240-degree coverage, will then be integrated. The first flight should take place in early-2013. The project completion date is April 2014,” said an official.
IAF is awaiting the completion of the mini-AWACS project as well as the launch of the larger ‘AWACS-India’ programme with crossed fingers. AWACS also constitute a crucial constituent of its IACCS (integrated air command and control system) programme, the fully-automated network being set up to integrate the wide array of military radars with each other as well as with civilian radars to plug surveillance gaps in Indian airspace

I thought that the follow-on for 2 additional phalcons was a for gone conlcusion. Sad to hear that it has run into rough weather. Hope it materialises and we have 3 + 2 phalcons.

Tejas jets display firepower in pokhran

Pokhran, which witnessed the celebration of India’s nuclear might, is now witnessing a different scene: Made-in-India Tejas fighter jets are demonstrating their fire power here.
Three of these military jets have been taking off from forward Air Force bases to pound the area with a variety of armaments-from precision guided bombs to conventional bombs weighing up to 500 kg.
These exercises constitute the most important phase ahead of their formal induction by the Indian Air Force and are intended to ensure that the bombs are released and hit targets on the ground with accuracy. The IAF will acquire 40 of these fighters with the first squadron set to be positioned in Tamil Nadu.

Heavy Artillery battalion moved to LoC as Pak shells Poonch posts again

Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire for the fourth time in the last five days and pounded Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) with mortar shells in Poonch district, promoting the Army to move an artillery battalion to forward posts in Krishna Ghati (KG) sector.
Reliable sources told The Tribune that an artillery battalion has been moved from Mendhar to effectively check possible infiltration attempts by militants from across the border besides dealing with frequent “misadventures of a hostile neighbour.”
The fresh violation, 16th this year, resulted in injuries to Sepoy Kundan Singh of 3 Grenadiers.
“Last night, around 10.15 pm, Pakistani troops opened heavy fire on our posts in KG sector using mortars and automatic weapons. Initially, the intensity was low but from 11.15 onwards, they started firing mortars, forcing us to give them an effective response,” said an Army spokesperson. The exchange of fire continued till 12.30 am.
At least 12 Indian posts were targeted by 653 Mujahid Regiment of the Pak Rangers, who used rocket launchers, heavy machine gun and UBGL grenades, said official sources. “Pak Rangers opened fire from Daku, Battal, Roza and Pimple posts opposite KG sector,” they added. The Pakistani troops have so far violated the truce four times since June 13 resulting in killing of two soldiers Lance Naik Harvinder Singh and BSF jawan PK Mishra. Three soldiers have been injured.
“In the last five days, Pakistani troops have been continuously targeted our forward posts. Therefore, the Army, which exercised maximum restraint to de-escalate the situation, has now moved an artillery battalion from Mendhar to forward posts in KG sector,” revealed sources.
Yesterday, the Pak Rangers had refused to attend a crucial flag meeting at Chakan-da-Bagh trade point.
According to sources, the Pakistan Army and the ISI have moved militants very close to the LoC with an aim to help them cross over to the Indian side. However, they have not succeeded and were targeting forward Indian posts in sheer frustration.
Heavy firing from across the border created panic among the residents of Sagra, Balnoi, Gani and Dabraj villages close to the LoC in KG sector. These villages have a population of over 10,000.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Coming up...

1. India's 3 separate UAV engine programmes.
2. Contenders in India's SIGINT aircraft competition.

Japanese Navy ships in Kochi

Even as Indian and Japanese Navies completed JIMEX 12 the first ever Naval exercise between the two countries, off Tokyo last week, two Japanese Navy (Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force- JMSDF) Ships JDS Murasame and JDS Harusame called at Kochi yesterday after completing their four month anti piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden. Captain Katsuya Yamamoto, Commander Escort Division One is embarked on JDS Murasame as the Senior Officer. The ships were received at the berth by representatives from Southern Naval Command with the Band in attendance.
Captain Yamamoto and Commanding Officers of the two ships called on Rear Admiral Shrikhande, Chief of Staff today. The itinerary of the Japanese Navy tomorrow includes briefings on Anti Piracy measures and other professional exchanges. There will also be a “Passage Exercise” at sea between the two Navies on their departure from Kochi on 16th morning.
In another event, Southern Naval Command hosted 73 international student officers from 15 countries who have commenced their specialization courses at various training schools at Naval Base. In his welcome remarks, Rear Admiral Shrikhande  on behalf of the Commander in Chief, wished them a professionally and personally rewarding experience in “Gods Own Country” and with the Indian Navy adding that their presence was a very important manifestation of the good relationship between their countries and India.

45 More MiG 29K for Indian Navy

Navies Worldwide Invest In Sea-Based Airpower
By Andy Nativi, Jay Menon, Bill Sweetman
Source: Defense Technology International
April 01, 2012
Andy Nativi•Genoa, jay Menon•New Delhi and Bill Sweetman•Washington

Not that long ago, the number of nations wielding sea-based airpower seemed to be headed inexorably downward. Today, the reverse is true. China is a brand-new member of the club. Brazil is sustaining its membership, a decade after retiring a carrier that the U.K. completed in 1945. India is expanding its aircraft carrier fleet, and the nations that acquired or maintained sea-based airpower with the short-take-off-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) Harrier may renew that capability with the Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.

However, a common factor for almost all these nations is that they are just starting, or have yet to start, down a long and expensive road. It is not just that carrier-based aircraft are expensive, but that buying fighters and ships is only half the story.

Although public attention is always focused on the construction cost of carriers, its aircraft are a bigger investment. In 2013, the U.S. Navy wants $967 million for its aircraft carrier program and about $6 billion for procurement of carrier-based aircraft (not including Marine Corps F-35Bs). The operating costs involved in training and supporting the carrier's personnel, fuel and aircraft spares and refits are higher still. And the basic math says that you need three carrier groups for every full-time station.

Nations see the cost as justified, as sea trade and offshore resources gain importance and as as the use of insurgency-type attacks for national ends turns land-based deployed forces into targets. The question is whether all would-be carrier club members recognize that building the ship is the initiation fee and that the annual dues are a killer.

Money has already sparked a conflict within the British defense establishment over the aircraft type for the Royal Navy's new carriers (see p. 27). It may not be the last such discussion. With Britain still officially committed to the catapult-arrest F-35C—at least as of late March—Italy is leading the way among sea-based Harrier operators. The carrier Cavour has been designed around the Stovl F-35B.

Italy, Spain and India remain the sole operators of first or second-generation Harrier Stovl fighter-bombers, with Thailand having no longer a real operational capability.

Italy's Cavour is a hybrid vessel. It does not have a well deck but is designed to support amphibious operations. It has a full load displacement of 27,000 tons and is 244 meters (800 ft.) long. Its hangar can accommodate up to 10 F-35Bs, with flight-deck parking for another six F-35Bs and two helicopters.

Cavour illustrates the fact that small carriers must be bigger than they used to be, to sustain real air operations. Compared with Italy's “Harrier carrier,” the Garibaldi, Cavour is 64 meters longer and the flight deck has a total surface of 6,800 square meters (73,200 sq. ft.), with 4,450 square meters devoted to flight operations, versus 1,870 square meters on the Garibaldi.

The Italian navy plans to buy 22 F-35Bs to replace 16 remaining Harriers. Its long-term planning includes acquisition of two large JSF-capable LHDs and an LHA (similar but with no well deck) to replace the Garibaldi and three smaller LHDs. This will allow Italy to have at least one carrier operational at any time.

The Spanish navy is moving from its carrier Principe de Asturias to the large LHD Juan Carlos. It is currently operating 16 EAV-8B Plus aircraft, but would like to buy as many as 20 F-35Bs, budget permitting. The Juan Carlos is estimated to be able to operate no more than a dozen F-35Bs, because of its size and the fact that it has a well deck.

Multiple nations are acquiring large LHDs that could carry F-35Bs. Australia is to commission the LHDs Canberra and Adelaide in 2014 and 2015 respectively, which are based on the Juan Carlos design, even including the ski-jump bow—which is valuable for Stovl operations, but a penalty the rest of the time, since the sloping deck space is unavailable for anything else.

Japan has in service the Hyuga-class destroyer—a 200- meter-long, 20,000-ton vessel that can host 11 rotorcraft, and could lead to an F-35B-capable design. Japan, like Australia, is to acquire the F-35A for the air force. South Korea has yet another Asian navy that is considering building a large LHD, beyond the 18,000-ton Dokdo LPH.

China and India could start a “carrier race” in the Pacific Rim. A dual-role ship class—a large LHA/LHD capable of operating jets—is a cheaper, less politically and strategically sensitive naval vessel that can provide substantial capabilities if fitted with a supersonic, stealth fighter bomber.

The question is how many countries will buy F-35Bs to operate from LHDs. The LHD is a multimission ship that has to carry landing craft, helicopters, troops and vehicles and a command center and staff. Even in a ship of close to 30,000 tons, space is at a premium.

The F-35B is a complex aircraft, as heavy and powerful as a Super Hornet, and will have similar demands for maintenance personnel and space, test equipment, spares and fuel. The U.S. Marines, working with 50,000-ton ships, tried trading the well deck on the LHA-6 and LHA-7 for extra fuel and aviation space, but will not repeat that with LHA-8 and beyond.

Compared with true carriers LHDs have narrower flight decks, which limit the pace of flight operations. Another important factor will be the acquisition and operating cost of the F-35B, which has yet to be defined.

India is taking a different approach to expanding its carrier operations—although it is one that tends to underline India's reputation for a scattershot approach to acquisitions.

Sea trials of the carrier INS Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Kiev-class Admiral Gorshkov, are scheduled to begin in the Barents Sea on May 29 and last two to three weeks. Its much-delayed handover to the Indian navy is due on Dec. 4.

Major changes to the ship include the removal of cruise missile tube and surface-to-air missile vertical launchers and the installation of a forward flight deck and ski-jump for short-takeoff-but-assisted-recovery (Stobar) operations. The ship can carry 24 MiG-29K/KUBs—developed specially for India—and six to eight Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters.

The first MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets are already operating at the naval aviation base at Goa. These are from an initial batch of 11 aircraft ordered at the same time that the carrier deal was signed. India and Russia inked an additional $1.5 billion deal for 29 more MiG-29K/KUBs in March 2010. Delivery of the second batch of MiG fighters will start this year. The contracts include pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including the delivery of flight simulators and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.

These upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by Phazotron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft will also feature enhanced beyond-visual-range combat ability and air-to-air refueling.

The MiG-29K will also operate from India's indigenous aircraft carrier. Construction of the first of these 40,000-ton, 260-meter-long ships, named Vikrant, started in April 2005.

The new carrier will cost $762 million and will operate MiG-29K, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) Naval Tejas and Sea Harrier aircraft along with the Indian-developed HAL Dhruv helicopter.

India has indicated that at least two further carriers of the same or similar designs to INS Vikrant are planned. The first of these, to be named INS Viraat started construction in 2011 and is due to be commissioned in 2017. A $2 billion deal for the purchase of 45 more MiG-29Ks for the new carriers is near signature with Russia.

The only current naval fighters in Indian service—Sea Harriers—have been upgraded with new radar and missile systems and have started operating with air force Ilyushin Il-78 tankers.

A rather different carrier program, meanwhile, is being quietly undertaken in Brazil. In 2000, Brazil acquired the 1963-vintage carrier Clemenceau from France, along with low-use ex-Kuwaiti A-4 Skyhawks. Renamed Sao Paulo, the ship underwent a major refit from 2005 to 2010. Meanwhile, in 2009, a contract was issued to Embraer for a comprehensive upgrade of 12 A-4s, nine being two-seaters and three being single-seaters. The first modified aircraft is due to fly in August, with production deliveries in 2013-14.

The upgraded aircraft have a new full-color cockpit, a head-up display, a new electrical generating system and an onboard oxygen-generating system. Sensors include Elta's EL/M-2032 radar and a radar-warning receiver. They are intended to carry the Brazilian-developed Mectron MAA-1B air-to-air missile, and will be equipped for air defense and surface attack.

Also, last October, Brazil signed a contract with Marsh Aviation to modernize and re-engine four ex-U.S. Grumman C-1A Trader aircraft—the carrier onboard delivery version of the 1950s Tracker—and to provide training and logistics services. Marsh will install new avionics, Honeywell TPE331 engines, and centerline hose and drogue units, on the aircraft, to be redesignated KC-2. Deliveries are expected in 2014. An airborne early warning platform KC-2 is in the plans.

While the Brazilian naval air arm may have a retro look to it, it is not to be discounted. The country is well on the way to developing a full capability for Catobar operations, with definite advantages over Stobar. The Skyhawk is subsonic—but so is any land-based adversary in oceanic operations, unless the pilot feels like walking home. Unlike either Stovl or Stobar ships, the Sao Paulo will have a tanker, literally a life-saver if there are jets in the pattern and the deck is fouled by a malfunctioning aircraft. So far, Brazil's investment has surely been less than the price of a very small number of F-35Bs.

Copyright © 2012, Aviation Week, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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Total MIG29K now 90

Navy constructs new dock for its new fleet INS Vikramaditya

The Indian Navy (IN) has started the construction work of a new Dry Dock is at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The work of the dry dock is expected to get over by this year end in order to accommodate and anchor the arrival of INS Vikramaditya (Sanskrit: Vikramaditya, "Brave as the Sun") in 2013. It is the new name for the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which has been procured by India, and is estimated to enter service in the IN.

A defence official said that the construction necessitates underwater rock blasting, which is expected to continue, with some intervals, for a few months to facilitate removal of obstruction. The operation is being undertaken, with all statutory approvals, including that of the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), Navi Mumbai.

"The blasts are being carried out in a controlled manner to ensure total safety in the vicinity. The blast intensity is controlled well below specified safety norms to avoid any damage to ships and marine structures and is being closely monitored by experts. Despite being of negligible intensity, mild shock waves / vibrations of non-damage causing nature may be expected to be felt in the adjoining areas," said the official.

The official said that the announced delivery date for INS Vikramaditya was August 2008, which would allow the carrier to enter service just as the IN's only light carrier INS Viraat retires. The INS Viraat's retirement has been pushed out to 2010-2012. However, ongoing delays with the Vikramaditya's delivery schedule, pushing the delivery to 2013, could mean that even this postponement of the Viraat's retirement may not come soon enough. As a result, the IN may find itself without an aircraft carrier for the first time since the 1960s. The indigenous Vikrant-class aircraft carrier has been delayed by at least a year and may be commissioned at the earliest in 2013 from the proposed 2012.

Pakistan Fires Unprovoked in 25 Div, Leaves 2 Jawans Dead, India Protests, Army Chief Rushes To J&K

Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked and heavy arms firing on the post along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector, 25 Div-Nangi Tekri, since 2 PM on June 13 leaving an Army jawan dead and three others injured
The Indian Army has lodged a strong protest with its Pakistan counterpart over firing on Indian posts along the line of control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The LC unit was 3 Grenadiers, which lost two jawans.Some BSF personnel also killed by Pak snipers.

India worried over US security plans for Asia

With China flexing muscles and the US all set to bolster its presence in the Asia-Pacific, India now looks for a “common but flexible” Asian security architecture to determine the rule of games in strategically important Indian Ocean, through which bulk of the world’s oil and cargo moves.
Days after the US announced its plans to add one more carrier battle group in the Asia-Pacific, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is apprehensive that it could lead to a steady increase in militarisation of the region, to which Asian powers will react.
In the changed security dynamics, India needed common but flexible security framework which will allow day-to-day level functioning without any conflict, top government sources said. A beginning was made at last year’s East Asian security summit where for the first time regional security issues were discussed.
“Our interest is in freedom of our navigation, which should not lead to any conflict of interests in the Asia-Pacific,” sources said, clearly hinting at the two instances where China objected to Indian presence in South China Sea. Beijing’s sovereignty claim on a part of Indian Ocean ruffled feathers not only in India but in other South and East Asian countries too. As a consequence, the Navy intensified its maritime diplomacy to leave its footprint all over Indian Ocean.
A four-ship fleet from Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command travelled up to Japan making port calls in India’s south Asian neighbours. The fleet reached Sanghai earlier this week for a six-day stay. Another four-ship fleet from Mumbai-based Western Naval Command is all set to undertake a voyage up to the coast of Africa and Europe furthering the Navy’s blue water ambition.
Two more warships are on duty at piracy infested Gulf of Aden and monitoring the exclusive economic zone of Seychelles on the request of the island nation, signalling a pan-Indian Ocean deployment of Indian Navy. A boost will come with the induction of Russian origin aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on December 4. Onboard air trial of Mig-29K will begin in the White Sea in a month’s time.

INS Arihant undergoes sea acceptance trials

In a major step towards achieving allround ability to launch nuclear payload from air, land and water, a miniature 83 MWe pressurised water reactor (PWR), was fitted into INS Arihant and trials were conducted.The PWR is fuelled by highly-enriched uranium, which was developed with the help of Russians. The submarine was launched into the water last year and began its ‘sea acceptance trials’ (SAT) earlier this year wherein it was taken out of the harbour to conduct crucial trials.

“The nuclear reactor was fitted into the submarine for the first time some time back. Since it is the first time that India has built a miniature nuclear reactor for moving platform, it has to be tested when the submarine undergoes various kinds of motion like rolling and pitching,” sources said.

The challenge for Bhabha Atomic Research Centre was to make a compact reactor to fit into the 10-m diameter hull of INS Arihant (literally meaning slayer of enemies). The enriched uranium for the reactor comes from the Rare Materials Project, an undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy, situated at Ratnahallai, near Mysore. With INS Arihant, India has become the sixth country after the US, Russia, China, France and Britain to have succeeded in constructing a nuclear submarine.

At the end of the trial Arihant will be given a nuclear regulatory authority certification before it could be deployed in the open oceans.As India has a policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons, a robust and survivable retaliatory strike capability is dependent on this nuclear-powered submarine. This makes Arihant a shot in the arm for India’s nuclear triad. With its ability to remain submerged in the waters for infinite time, Arihant with its stealth can remain undetected by the army and can fire its nuclear-tipped missiles from under the sea.

Arihant will be armed with 12 nuclear-tipped submarine launched missile K-15 with a range of 750 km. Plans are afoot to equip it with four K-4 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) with a range of 3,500 km later. Presently, the K-4 is under-development.

With Indian Navy’s submarine fleet down to 14, a major overhaul is the need of the hour especially when compared to neighbouring China that is known to operate 8-10 nuclear powered submarines and 50-60 conventional ones.

Pakistan Boasted of Nuclear Strike on India Within Eight Seconds

Pakistan could launch a nuclear strike on India within eight seconds, claimed an army general in Islamabad whose warning is described in the latest volume of Alastair Campbell’s diaries.
The general asked Tony Blair’s former communications director to remind India of Pakistan’s nuclear capability amid fears in Islamabad that Delhi was “determined to take them out”.

Britain became so concerned about Pakistan’s threat that Blair’s senior foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, later warned in a paper that Pakistan was prepared to “go nuclear”.
The warnings are relayed by Campbell in a section in his latest diaries, The Burden of Power, which are being serialised in the Guardian on Saturday and Monday. The diaries start on the day of the 9/11 attacks and end with Campbell’s decision to stand down in August 2003 after the Iraq war.
The nuclear warnings came during a visit by Blair to the Indian subcontinent after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Campbell was told about the eight-second threat over a dinner in Islamabad on 5 October 2001 hosted by Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan’s president.
Campbell writes: “At dinner I was between two five-star generals who spent most of the time listing atrocities for which they held the Indians responsible, killing their own people and trying to blame ‘freedom fighters’. They were pretty convinced that one day there would be a nuclear war because India, despite its vast population and despite being seven times bigger, was unstable and determined to take them out.
“When the time came to leave, the livelier of the two generals asked me to remind the Indians: ‘It takes us eight seconds to get the missiles over,’ then flashed a huge toothy grin.”
Blair visited Pakistan less than a month after the 9/11 attacks as Britain and the US attempted to shore up support in Islamabad before the bombing of Afghanistan, which started on 7 October 2001. Campbell writes that the Pakistani leadership seemed to be keen for Britain and the US to capture Osama bin Laden, though he added it was difficult to be sure.
Relations between Islamabad and Delhi plummeted after the Blair visit when terrorists attacked the Indian parliament on 13 December 2001, killing seven people. Five of the attackers died.
India blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terror groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. The tensions became so great that Richard Armitage, the US deputy secretary of state, was sent to the region in May 2002.
Blair returned to the Indian subcontinent in January 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, amid one of the tensest nuclear standoffs between Indian and Pakistan since independence in 1947.
In the preparations for the visit, Manning prepared a paper for Blair that warned of the real threat of a nuclear conflict. In an extract from his diaries for 4 January 2002, Campbell wrote: “DM had a paper, making clear our belief that the Pakistanis would ‘go nuclear’ and if they did, that they wouldn’t be averse to unleashing them on a big scale. TB was genuinely alarmed by it and said to David ‘They wouldn’t really be prepared to go for nuclear weapons over Kashmir would they?’ DM said the problem was there wasn’t a clear understanding of strategy and so situations tended to develop and escalate quickly, and you couldn’t really rule anything out.”
A few days after the visit, the India-Pakistan standoff was discussed by the British war cabinet. In an extract for his diaries on 10 January 2002, Campbell wrote: “CDS [chief of the defence staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce] said if India and Pakistan go to war, we will be up the creek without a paddle. Geoff [Hoon] said there may have to be limited compulsory call-up of Territorial Army reserves. TB gave a pretty gloomy assessment re India/Pakistan, said [the Indian prime minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee was really upset at the way [Pakistan's president] Musharraf treated him. Military dispositions remained the same, with more than a million troops there [in Kashmir]. He assessed that the Indians believed that they could absorb 500,000 deaths. Pakistani capability was far greater than the Indians believed.”
Relations between Delhi and Islamabad have eased in recent years, though they still remain tense because Delhi believes that elements in the Pakistan state encourage Kashmiri terror groups. During his first visit to India in 2010 David Cameron famously accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism.
Campbell also relays another nuclear threat a year later when George Bush told Blair he feared that Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister, was planning to launch a nuclear attack against Iraq. In an account of a conversation with Bush at a Nato summit in Prague in November 2002, as diplomatic pressure intensified on Saddam Hussein, Campbell writes: “[George Bush] felt that if we got rid of Saddam, we could make progress on the Middle East. He reported on some of his discussions with [Ariel] Sharon, and said he had been pretty tough with him. Sharon had said that if Iraq hit Israel, their response would ‘escalate’ which he took to mean go nuclear. Bush said he said to him ‘You will not, you will not do that, it would be crazy.’ He said he would keep them under control, adding ‘A nuke on Baghdad, that could be pretty tricky.’”

IAF, Navy will have more eyes in the sky, to get 95 mini-UAVs

Aiming to strengthen the snooping capabilities of armed forces, Defence Ministry has begun the process of procuring 95 mini-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for the Air Force (IAF) and the Navy.
While the Ministry has issued global request for proposal for procuring 95 UAVs, the Army has also come up with a global RFI for mini UAVs and is expected to issue a global tender by the end of this fiscal.
The RFP for procuring these light weight mini-UAVs was issued by the ministry last fortnight for which a number of Indian and foreign manufacturers are expected to respond, sources said here.Of the 95 UAVs planned to be procured, 60 would be given to the IAF while the remaining would be provided to the Navy for deployment in their respective areas of operations, they said.
The Ministry has stressed that the weight of the mini-UAV without its payload should not be more than 2.5 kg and its total operational kit should not weigh more than 15 kg.
The armed forces want the weight of the all-weather mini-UAV to be light so that they are able to be operated by a single soldier also.
All the three services are now operating their Israeli Searcher and Heron UAVs. The IAF has placed orders for loitering UAVs and ammunition called HAROP from Israel and the Army has plans of placing orders for more such munitions.
The DRDO has also been working on developing High Altitude Long Range combat UAVs along with the RUSTOM programme for developing medium range UAVs.

DRDO developing fifth generation fighter aircraft Medium Combat Aircraft

Defence Research and Development Organisation today said it is developing an advancedfifth generation fighter aircraft which will have components to monitor the functioning of key components like avionics, air conditioning and pressure-regulating systems.
DRDO has showcased the models of its fifth generation aircraft known as the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) at various defence exhibitions in the country. 
“India’s fifth-generation aircraft, which is being developed by DRDO, will have integrated condition monitoring systems covering important systems such as avionics, air-conditioning and pressure-regulating systems,” DRDO Chief V K Saraswat said here.
He was addressing a conference on ‘Condition Monitoring of Engineering Systems and Structures’ organised by the Research and Development Establishment (RDE).
He said the development of sensors, signal processing techniques, decision support systems and software are the main challenges in condition-monitoring and structural-health monitoring.

Friday, 15 June 2012

The 15 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2011

Figures for military spending calculated using purchasing power parity (PPP), ($ b., PPP)

1. United States- $711bn
2. China- $228bn
3. India- $112bn
4. Russia- $93.7bn
5. Saudi Arabia- $58.8bn
6. United Kingdom- $57.5bn
7. France- $50.1bn
8. Japan- $44.7bn
9. South Korea- $42.1bn
10. Germany- $40.4bn
11. Brazil- $33.8bn
12. Italy- $28.5bn
13. Turkey- $25.2bn
14. Canada- $19.9bn
15. Australia- $16.6bn

The 15 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2011 (table) — www.sipri.org

a The figures for national military expenditure as a share of GDP are based on estimates for 2011
GDP from the IMF World Economic Outlook database, September 2011.

b The figures for military expenditure at PPP exchange rates are estimates based on the projected implied PPP conversion rates for each country from the IMF World Economic Outlook database, September 2011.

c The figures for Saudi Arabia include expenditure on public order and safety and might be slight overestimates.

Sources: SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, <http://www.sipri.org/databases/milex/>; and International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook database, Sep. 2011, <

BD, India sign deal to build Khulna-Mongla rail-line

India, under its credit line, will assist Bangladesh to construct a new rail-line between Khulna and Mongla to connect the country's second seaport with railway network.

In connection with the assistance, the Bangladesh Railway (BR) signed a joint venture consultancy service contract with Consulting Engineers Group Ltd and Nippon Koei India Private Ltd of India at Railway Bhaban in the city Thursday.

BR Chief Engineer Kairul Alam, K Rankata Rahamana Murti of Consulting Engineers Group and Dr Sanjoy Arura of Nippon Koei India signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides.

Officials said under the deal, the joint venture of the Indian firms will conduct both feasibility and safeguard policy studies apart from detailed design of the new track.

Besides, the firms will prepare the bidding documents for the BR to select firm for construction of the proposed 53 kilometre rail-line, and do its supervision work.

The construction cost of the Khulna-Mongla rail-line has been estimated Tk 17.21 billion, of which Tk 12.02 billion will come from the US$1.0 billion Indian line of credit.

The BR earlier planned to construct the track from Shiromoni to Mongla, some 12 km north of the Khulna rail-station to avoid construction of rail-bridge over the wide Rupsha River.

However, the track will now connect the abandoned Bagerhat rail-line in between Karnapur and Samantosena.

The BR now has a rail-track from Dhaka to Khulna through Jessore, which has stopped at the Rupsha River due to lack of any bridge.

Communications and Railway Minister Obaidul Quader witnessed the signing ceremony and reiterated the government's commitment to upgrade the railway network and make it commuter-friendly.

He said the railway timetable is now being maintained properly, and rail-service will be improved further after it receives locomotives next year.

The minister said from next March, the BR will start receiving two locomotives each month, and its service would improve significantly.

BR director general Abu Taher said the new track will eventually lead to regional and sub-regional connectivity, connecting the Mongla Port with India, and land-locked Nepal and Bhutan.

Senior officials of the railway ministry and the BR were also present on the occasion.

Pranab Mukherjee as UPA nominee for President

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be the UPA's presidential candidate, said alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday in Delhi. Sonia made the announcement after a meeting of UPA leaders at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence. The announcement is a rebuttal to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who wanted APJ Abdul Kalam as president.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi made the announcement saying Mukherjee had to his credit a "long and distinguished record of public service for five decades".
She said he enjoyed broad support for holding the country's top post.
The UPA also appealed to all political parties, MPs and members of state assemblies to extend support for the candidature of Mukherjee.
The UPA will need the support of Samajwadi Party and the BSP to elect Mukherjee as president. The BJP-led NDA is expected to announce its presidential candidate.

US to build 1000 MW Nuclear Plant in India

US firm Westinghouse Electric and the NPCIL on Tuesday signed a preliminary pact for an Early Works Agreement (EWA) for installation of the first 1,000 MW American nuclear reactor in India  under the historic 2008 Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

The announcement of the signing of the MoU, which represents a significant milestone towards the realisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal, coincided with the third Indo-US Strategic Dialogue headed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

The MoU with the Nuclear Power Company of India Limited (NPCIL) related to negotiating an EWA supporting future construction of 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors at the Mithivirdi site in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat. The EWA will include preliminary licensing and site development work.

"This(MoU) is a significant step towards fulfillment of our landmark civil nuclear cooperation agreement," Hillary said at a joint news conference with Krishna.

Referring to the signing of the MoU, Clinton, however, said there is still lot of work to be done including understanding the implications of the civil nuclear liability law. US nuclear companies have voiced reservations at some provisions of the liability legislation.

Clinton said the MoU committed both sides to work towards the preliminary licensing and site development work needed to begin construction of new reactors in Gujarat.

"This agreement is an important step which will allow Westinghouse and NPCIL to continue the work necessary for keeping the Mithivirdi project moving forward," said Gary Urquhart, vice-president and managing director of Westinghouse India.

Impact on Introduction of Apaches AH64 Block 3 in Indian Army

Its evident the deal for 22 AH 64 Block3 will be signed very soon. In Army Aviation Circles air is Hot that Number will increase to atleast 60. Purely from creation of Air Cavalry.

Lets Discuss what implication will it have on our Armed Force, our Neighbor and Terrorist.

Rosoboronexport says Pentagon wants 10 more Mi-17s

The Pentagon is buying ten more Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan military from Russia’s state-run weapons broker Rosoboronexport, the company confirmed on Thursday.
“I can confirm to you that we have indeed been approached by the U.S. Defense Department about the purchase of ten Mi-17s,” Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko told RIA Novosti.Davidenko declined to disclose the value of purchase, but Rosoboronexport signed a $367.5 million deal with the United States in May 2011 for delivery of 21 Mi-17V5s.
The latest sale is the option part of the 2011 U.S. Army contract with the Moscow-based defense equipment holding, for twelve more helicopters.
The Pentagon is also reported to have bought two Mi-17s earlier this year.
The total value of the deal including engineering services and spare parts could be around $900 million, according to U.S. officials.
The Pentagon has been under pressure over its dealings with the company after U.S. Senator John Cornyn accused the firm of selling arms to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Senator Cornyn sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this week calling Rosoboronexport “an enabler of mass murder in Syria” and called for sanctions against the company.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said Washington “understood” Cornyn’s concerns, but said the helicopters involved were the best option to allow Afghan forces to “take on their own fights inside their own country.”
Rosoboronexport was subject to U.S. sanctions from 2006 to 2010 over its arms sales to nations including Iran and Syria.
U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday Russia was sending attack helicopters to Syria, a claim dismissed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who accused the United States of arming rebels fighting against Assad’s rule.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said has confirmed that Syrian government forces were using “helicopter gunships against their own people,” but added that he was not aware of a new shipment of attack helicopters from Russia to Syria.
Syria is one of Russia’s major weapons clients, and Moscow has opposed proposals for an arms embargo on Damascus, saying this would give rebel forces an unfair advantage in the conflict.

Captronic Systems to secure future Indian manned space trips

In 2016, when Indian Space Research Organisation will next ferry astronauts into space some part of the safety of the launch vehicle will be in the hands of a small venture, Captronic Systems.
The Bangalore-based firm is testing the internal controls and external insulation to shield the vehicle from the intense heat generated from atmospheric compression during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. 
Captronic was founded by Vinod Mathews, an electronics engineer, almost a decade ago, when the organisation he was working with, Pertech Computers, went bankrupt. He started out with projects from Aviation firms, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and National Aerospace Laboratories.
He began scouting for overseas business but soon realised he needed money and support from outside investors. Mathews scouted for venture capital funding for two years, but many risk capital firms did not understand this industry.
After lot of difficulties, the company raised Rs 16 crore in February this year from Forum Synergies (India) PE Fund Managers, an Indian private equity fund, floated by a group of former corporate executives. Forum Synergies is helping the firm to tap customers in US & Europe and the company is now in talks with European Aeronautic Defence and Space company.
The biggest challenge for the company was not fund raising but retaining talent. After getting trained at the company, the engineers would join multi-national firm which would offer higher remuneration package. The firm is tackling that challenge by offering employee stock option plan to its employees.
Today Captronic tests equipments for customers such as India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and Tata Motors. The firm which is earning revenues of Rs 40 crore and has 60 engineers is expecting to Reach the Rs 100 crore revenue mark in the next three years.

US: LM Skunk Works & Unknown UAV

 Located near USAF Plant 42, MSI on 04 December 2011 show a very interesting imagery signature at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Program Facility (aka Skunk Works). Although the signature above does not conform to any known UAV, it's possible this could be anything from a mock-up to a failed design. (However, if it were a mock-up, why would LM feel the need to cover it?)
Measurements taken from imagery suggests the craft is roughly the same size as the RQ-170 at 4.8 meters while the wingspan is considerably larger--when compared to open source estimates--at 16.60 meters. 
Any and all comments are welcome.

DRDO Chief Takes A Spin In A Gripen

Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, chief of India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) took a spin in the backseat of a Saab Gripen-D on May 31 at Linköping, Sweden. Saraswat was in Sweden to attend Aerospace Forum Sweden, a seminar where he made a detailed presentation on India's unmanned programmes.

The Gripen was, until early last year, a contender in India's $12-billion medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition. It was one of the four aircraft that were eliminated from the reckoning in the competition's first downselect. A week before his sortie, India's air force chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Browne, did a sortie in a Rafale (the aircraft that emerged on top in the competition, and for which a final contract is currently being negotiated with maker Dassault) at the Saint-Dizier air force base in France.

The DRDO chief's sortie has less to do with the MMRCA competition and more, perhaps, to do with Saab's own interest in engaging with the DRDO in a variety of programmes, presumably the Tejas Mk.2, unmanned air vehicles (including UCAVs) and others.

Somehow, considering where the indigenous fighter programme is right now, it might have been a more impactful photo-op if Dr Saraswat had chosen to make his fighter debut in the Tejas Mk.1 trainer. The Gripen and Tejas are variously compared too. Who knows, maybe he'll do it now.

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