Thursday, 30 May 2013

INS Arihant reactor to be made critical next week

Moving towards completing its nuclear triad, India will activate the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant next week paving way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon.
“We are gearing up for the sea trials of Arihant,” DRDO chief V K Saraswat said today at an award function here. 
“The nuclear reactor on-board the INS Arihant would be made critical (activated) in first week of June,” sources said on the development of the nuclear submarine.
Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea. After the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon.
INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy’s key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials after the nuclear reactor goes critical.
The DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.
The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long durations.
Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up on surface at regular intervals for charging the cells of the vessel.

IAF to Start Pilot training in Pilatus PC-7 from July

The rookie pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) would soon learn the fine art of flying, on board the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 Basic Trainer Aircraft beginning July.
The PC-7 planes would be inducted into the IAF by Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh at the Air Force Academy at Dundigul in Hyderabad on May 31, an IAF officer said here on Tuesday.
“The first set of 40 new IAF recruits will begin their basic flying training on the Pilatus planes from July,” the officer said.
With the induction of Pilatus planes — 75 of them were bought for Rs 2,800 crore in May last year — the IAF’s pilot training programme is expected to get a boost. Already, 12 of the Pilatus planes have reached Dundigul, while another two are expected to join the fleet by July. By December this year, the number of planes in the fleet would grow to 30 under the accelerated delivery schedule, the officer said.
All 75 planes would be in the fleet by 2015.
Since the IAF grounded its 100-odd Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-built HPT-32 Deepak planes in mid-2009 following a series of fatal air crashes, the pilot training programme had suffered as rookie pilots had to begin their basic training on speedier jet planes, particularly the ageing HJT-16 Kiran Mk-II aircraft.
Now the IAF is all set to opt for the additional 37 PC-7 planes, which could be bought from Pilatus under the follow-on clause in India’s May 2012 contract with the Swiss plane manufacturer.
“With the IAF rejecting an HAL proposal for developing a basic trainer aircraft in the form of HTT-40, India opting to enforce the follow-on order clause seemed imminent,” the IAF officer said.
The IAF has, with the induction of Pilatus planes, modified its pilot training programme to allow for stage-I training on the Swiss plane, the first of which landed in India in February this year and had its first public flying display in Pokhran later that month during the ‘Iron Fist’ air power display.
However, the issues related to training would be far from over in view of the delay in the HAL’s Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) ‘Sitara’ programme.
The IJTs were to replace the ageing Kiran planes that are used for the stage-II training.
The stage-III training, ahead of the pilots graduating to the supersonic jets such as MiG-21s, is carried out on the British-origin BAE System’s ‘Hawk’ Advanced Jet Trainers at Bidar air base in Karnataka.

Perform or perish: Antony tells DRDO

Reflecting frustration over long delays of strategic projects like Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), defence minister A K Antonycame down hard on DRDO, saying there is a “limit to time slippages” and that it should “perform or perish”.
Antony told the country’s premier government-run organisation responsible for manufacturing defence equipment that it should adhere to the timelines and satisfy the user.
He specifically referred to the LCA project, which has not fructified even after nearly three decades of inception, and said, “I am waiting that the LCA should become a reality.”
The defence minister said in military development projects across the globe, it is a “herculean task” to meet timelines and there are time slippages. “But there is limit for slippages,” he said, clearly reflecting the frustration.
“In the times of cut-throat competition, the choice is very clear, perform or perish. In delivery of strategic systems, timelines must be adhered to and the satisfaction of the user is the litmus test,” Antony said at a DRDO awards function.
Asking the DRDO to focus on its core competence and “not fritter away its resources and energy”, he said, “Do not think that I am criticising you, I am with you in all times but as the minister of defence, it is my duty to say some things to you.”
On the LCA programme, he said he had been given a particular date by the DRDO. “I hope that it is the final date and the aircraft gets its Initial Operational Clearance II.”
The IOC-I of the LCA was held in January 2011 in Bangalore and its IOC-II was scheduled to be held in July but it has now been postponed to be held in November.
Antony asked the team of HAL, DRDO and the IAF to work together on the LCA project and ensure that it achieves the IOC-II and then the final operational clearance by the end of next year.

Final Operational Clearance For LCA Next Year : Defence Minister


The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today expressed optimism that the country’s indigenously developed fighter aircraft- LCA TEJAS- will get Final Operational Clearance of the Indian Air Force by the end of next year. Speaking at the Annual Awards Functions of DRDO here, he said, all stakeholders including the DRDO, IAF and HAL must put their energy together in a focused manner to achieve this objective.

Shri Antony said countries that depend on imported arsenals cannot become great nation. Shri Antony said we continue to be the largest importer of Defence equipment. The share of indigenous content in Defence procurement is low. “Our experience has been that foreign vendors are reluctant to part with critical technologies. There are delays in the supply of essential spares. There are exorbitant price increases. The Services too realize that we cannot be eternally dependent on foreign equipment and platforms”, he said.

Referring to the expansions of domestic defence industry, Shri Antony said this has to be achieved through public and private sector initiatives. He said there is ample scope for joint ventures also. “All the stakeholders in the defence sector- DRDO, Armed Forces and the industry must work in tandem and develop trust and confidence in each other’s capabilities.” Cautioning against time and cost over runs in projects Shri Antony said Indian Companies must compete with global players in developing state- of- the art technologies of acceptable commercial parameters and must meet customer satisfaction.

The Minister complimented DRDO for their magnificent achievements in 2012. He referred to the first flight of Agni-V, two successful tests of our Ballistic Missile Defence programme in February and November 2012, first flight of LCA Navy, establishment of a cyber-forensics laboratory, initiation of production of NBC systems, ToT for composite armour for helicopters and investment casting of aero engine components and said these are just some of the many accomplishments.

He, however, asked the scientists not to be complacent. “The DRDO must keep its focus trained on the areas of core competence and not fritter away its energy and resources. In today’s world of cut-throat competition, the choice is very clear-‘perform, or perish’. From designing stage to the stage of final production, timelines must be strictly adhered to and satisfaction of the end user is the litmus test of achievement”, he said.

He said, the security environment in our neighbourhood; civil strife and turmoil in the Middle East; terrorism and threats to cyber security; piracy; illegal seabed mining in Indian Ocean and space-based threats present complex challenges to our defence capabilities. These require both conventional, as well as latest technological responses.

Expressing happiness the Minister said, it is heartening to note that a large number of major systems are under production and the cumulative production value of all the DRDO developed systems has crossed Rs. 1,55,000 crore. ‘I am sure in the coming years, this figure will go even higher. DRDO must make relentless efforts to accelerate the pace of self- reliance’, he further said.

The function was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence, Shri Jitendra Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi and Director General DRDO Dr. VK Saraswat.

On the occasion, Shri Antony gave away DRDO Awards to several scientists, technologists and DRDO laboratories in fourteen categories for their outstanding contributions in different areas.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

New interceptor missile test in July : DRDO

V.K. Saraswat Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, told The Hindu , That  the next interceptor missile test will be conducted at a higher altitude of 100-150 km in July it would be the most important one. “We have developed a new interceptor missile for it.”
Sources close to have informed us that new Interceptor missile will be  named the PDV , which is a advanced variant of Prithiv interceptor missile , In Current Phase – I Advanced Air Defense (AAD) missile and Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) forms a combination which are used to intercept enemy ballistic missiles . but PDV  new missile will be replacing PAD and will have performance improvement .
PDV is a  two-stage missile and both the stages will be powered by solid propellants. where else PAD was also a  two-stage missile but first stage was solid fueled motor while the second stage was Liquid fueled, it will also have  IIR seeker . once PDV is tested successfully , Phase-I of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence  (BMD) will be completed and Mumbai and Delhi will likely get PDV and AAD cover against missile defence by year end .
Phase-II will cover development of two new missile (AD-1 and AD-2) interceptors that can intercept IRBMs, new missile will be similar to the THAAD missile deployed by the U.S.A. These missiles will travel at hyper sonic speeds and will require radars with scan capability of over 1,500 km (930 mi) to successfully intercept the target and likely will be ready for deployment by 2016.

Sukhoi-30MKIs To Reach Southern Air Command, AFS Thanjavur Commissioned

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today dedicated to the nation the New Air Force Station at Thanjavur at a brief function held to mark the occasion.

Speaking to reporters Shri Antony said the operationalisation of the Air Force Station, Thanjavur would strengthen the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force in general and the Southern Command, in particular. He said various sensitive, strategic, industrial, aerospace and economic assets are coming up in the Southern Peninsula and the Station will play a vital role in providing protection to those assets.

The event was attended among others by the COSC and the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and the AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Air Marshal RK Jolly.

 Shri Antony said the Station will also help protect our island territories and Sea Lines of Communication in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR). He said even though we are a peace-loving nation, we have to protect our national interests from threats such as piracy and terrorism. He said the IOR is increasingly becoming more and more active. In the emerging security scenario, the presence of Fighter Planes in Thanjavur will not only guard our interests but also give a feeling of safety to our neighbours, he said.

Thanjavur airbase is poised to become a premier airbase in Southern Air Command. The status of the airbase as the pride of Southern Air Command befits the city of Thanjavur, which was a jewel in the crown of the Chola and Pandya Kingdoms.  The airbase was first constructed in 1940 by the Royal Air Force.  During the period 1942-45, 36 Sqn, 353 Sqn and 60 Sqn of RAF operated from this airfield with Hudson, Wellington 1C, Hurricane and Thunderbolt aircraft.  These aircraft were used in various roles which included fighter operations, air transport, anti- shipping and anti-submarine patrol.  After independence, the airfield was handed over to the Airports Authority of India and Vayudoot operations were undertaken from this base.

By the mid-eighties, a need was felt to build up the country’s  air power capabilities in the Southern peninsula to provide Air Defence protection to the high value national assets as well as the island territories.   In addition, there was a growing need felt to protect our maritime trade and the large EEZ in the coming years.  The government, therefore, decided to create Southern Air Command at Trivandrum in 1984 and also gave approval for the formation of 47 Wing at Thanjavur.  The IAF took over the airfield in March 1990.

With the modernization and induction of new technology into the IAF, it was but natural to upgrade the infrastructure at Thanjavur to utilise the sophisticated weapon systems in times of need and the works towards it started in real earnest.  This included construction of runway, parallel taxi track and other operational, maintenance and administrative infrastructure to support air operations.

The air base is now ready to undertake fighter, transport & helicopter operations and detachments of these aircraft will be planned every year. The  Air Force Station is also slated to house an array of IAF platforms in the future including Su-30 ‘Air Dominance’ Fighter Aircraft, Medium Transport Aircraft, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and a Medium Power Radar on build up of further infrastructure.

In the intervening years, this air base has been used extensively for relief operations whenever the southern peninsula was affected by natural calamities.  During the heavy floods in Tamilnadu in November 2008, the IAF helicopters operating from Thanjavur dropped 15,000 kg of relief material in Papanasam, Mulanguri and Pandalenur areas.

Earlier, on his arrival at the Thanjavur Station, Shri Antony was presented a guard of honour. He unveiled a Plaque marking the dedication of the Station to the Nation. Two SU-30 MkI aircraft took off from the Station.

Speaking on the occasion,  Air Chief Marshal Browne said, in the years ahead, the strategic importance of the Thanjavur Air Base will grow in stature. He thanked the Defence Minister for settling issues relating to the relocation of some villagers for the expansion of the Station.

Shri Antony thanked successive governments of Tamilnadu for their help and support to the activities of IAF and the MoD.

New Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS ‘VAIBHAV’


First Batch Of Cadets At Naval Academy's Flag Ship Course, Graduate

The first batch of 60 Navy Officer Cadets who joined the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala  for its Flag Ship B Tech course graduated along with 242 other Officer Cadets of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard at an impressive Passing Out Parade held at INA today. Befitting the occasion, Shri AK Antony, the Defence Minister of India reviewed the Parade. The B Tech course was started at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala when it was commissioned in January 2009, by the Prime Minister of India. This followed a farsighted decision by the Navy to make Engineering degree, the basic qualification for the Officers of its Executive branch, acknowledging the pivotal role technology plays in the art of modern warfare. Hitherto only Officers of the technical branches needed to have an engineering degree.

Addressing the Parade, Shri Antony, congratulated the graduating cadets on completing the challenging B Tech curriculum along with the rigours of military training. He also noted the considerable progress INA has made in every facet of Naval training and said that the Academy could be compared with the best in the world. Shri Antony also said that more infrastructure projects are in the pipeline which would ensure the best training facilities. The Minister also advised the future Officers to treat their subordinates with dignity and character. In a separate informal interaction with the assembled journalists Shri AK Antony said that Ministry of Defence has ensured full utilization of the funds allotted to it and that strengthening of infrastructure on the borders would continue unhindered. In reply to another question he said that a formalized architecture for cyber defence in the Armed Forces is on its way

The passing-out cadets belonged to the four passing-out courses of the Spring Term 2013 of INA, - the 84th Indian Naval Academy Course(INAC) - the Flag Ship Course-, the 84th Integrated Cadet Course, the 15th Naval Orientation Extended Course  and the 16th Naval Orientation Regular Course. The ‘Presidents Gold Medal’, for the cadet adjudged first in the overall order-of-merit  of the INAC course was awarded to Eby P Henry. Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medals’ for the cadets adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation Extended Course and the Naval Orientation Regular Course were awarded to Anshu Bhau and Arun Kuriakose, respectively. Archana Sharma was awarded the ‘Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Gold Medal’ for being adjudged the best women trainee of the course.

Graduating and marching shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts were 23 women cadets from the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command and a galaxy of distinguished personalities including foreign military attaches witnessed the ceremonies with proud parents of the cadets. The majestic Parade culminated with successful cadets marching past the Academy’s Saluting Dias (known as the Quarterdeck), to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune. Navy and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft flew past the venue in formation. On completion of the parade, the ceremony of ‘Shipping-of-Stripes’ was held wherein proud parents of the passing out cadets affixed the rank insignias, popularly known as ‘Stripes’ on the shoulders of their wards, symbolising their transformation from ‘cadets’ into military leaders. Earlier the Defence Minister attended the Valedictory Dinner yesterday evening along with Cadets and their parents. He also paid homage at the INA War Memorial after the Parade and inaugurated a well stocked, state of the art library aptly named Panini- after the Sanskrit grammarian of yore.

INA, Ezhimala located on the historic Malabar coast of Kerala has a sprawling campus of about 2600 acres overlooking the Arabian Sea with backwaters, mountains and sea front an ideal training ground for India’s future mariners. Currently more than 1000 cadets are being trained here with the strength slated to be increased incrementally commensurate with the needs of a growing Navy. Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan is the Commandant of INA.

R K Mathur Takes Over As Defence Secretary

Shri R K Mathur assumed charge as Defence Secretary on Saturday, May 25, 2013 (2) by Chindits
Shri R K Mathur assumed charge as Defence Secretary on Saturday, May 25, 2013 (2)

Shri R K Mathur, took over as the new Defence Secretary here today. He belongs to the 1977 Batch of the Indian Administrative Service of Manipur-Tripura Cadre. He did his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, M. Tech from IIT Delhi and MBA from International Centre for Public Enterprises, Ljubljana.

Shri Mathur has a rich and varied experience in the field of public administration and has held many important positions in the Government of Tripura. He has served as Principal Secretary in the Agriculture, Rural Development and Finance Departments of the Government of Tripura. He has also held the position of Chief Secretary of Tripura.

During his different stints at the Centre, Shri Mathur has served as Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Textile and as Additional Secretary and Special Secretary in the Department of Defence, Ministry of Defence. He has held Secretary level postings in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.

DGAFMS Reviews Command Hospital Kolkata

DGAFMS, Air Mshl DP Joshi inaugurating a new medicare facility at Command Hospital, (EC) Kolkata in the presence of Commandant, Maj Gen BNBM Prasad and other senior medical officials on Friday (PIB-DW) by Chindits
DGAFMS, Air Mshl DP Joshi inaugurating a new medicare facility at Command Hospital, (EC) Kolkata in the presence of Commandant, Maj Gen BNBM Prasad and other senior medical officials on Friday (PIB-DW),

Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), Air Marshal DP Joshi, who arrived Kolkata on a two-day visit on Thursday, reviewed the medical facilities and critical medical cases undertaken by the Command Hospital (Eastern Command) during his maiden visit to the premiere hospital on Friday.

A renowned Urologist, Air Marshal Joshi is credited for setting up 'Renal Transplant Centers’ at various Armed Forces Hospitals including at this hospital, inaugurated the renovated facilities of the department of 'Respiratory Medicine' that introduced upgraded facilities for bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, sleep studies, pulmonary function tests and pulmonary vascular interventions.

Earlier on his arrival, Hospital Commandant, Maj Gen BNBM Prasad briefed the DGAFMS on the various aspects of medical services rendered by the hospital and also briefed him of the complex critical cases handled by the specialists and other paramedic staff.

It may be mentioned that in recent weeks that army doctors at CH (EC) have successfully treated few extremely critical medical cases that can only be described as medical miracles achieved by sheer professionalism and dedication of the army doctors.

Two such recent cases involved a case of a young pregnant wife of a serving soldier who was afflicted with end-stage chronic kidney disease, and another of a retired soldier afflicted with aneurysm in the brain, a condition where a balloon-like bulge in the artery leading to the brain was nearing rupture threatening his life, were saved.

In the case of the soldier's wife a kidney transplantation was undertaken by army doctors at this hospital three years ago that dimmed her chance to successfully conceive because of her medical condition. The couple, however, pinned their hopes on the army doctors here who ensured that the motherhood dreams of a young soldier's wife would come true.

Crediting the team of doctors comprising nephrologist Lt Col Manu Dogra, gynaecologist Col B K Goyal and paediatrician Col Thapar, Commandant Maj Gen Prasad said, "It is nearly unthinkable for anyone to have a safe conception in such cases of renal transplant cases unless followed up thoroughly and intensely closely by the doctors."

"Post-renal transplant cases are prone to life threatening infections, organ rejection and pregnancy per se can lead to problems in the transplanted kidney. In addition, drugs used to prevent rejection that has to be taken lifelong can have adverse effect on the fetus," he explains of the complexity of the case.

In the case of the distressed retired soldier suffering from severe agonizing headaches with no relief with medications and spells of blackouts, was admitted as an emergency. He was detected to have an aneurysm that had ballooned out, with a weak and dilated artery with potential of rupture that could lead to catastrophic brain hemorrhage any time.

The aneurysm was at an unusual location in the base of the brain, showing signs of impending rupture with minor blood leaks into brain. He was on the edge of a precipice with imminent death looming large. An urgent surgery deep inside the brain was the only option. Mortality and morbidity usually in such cases is very high.

Although an extremely dangerous, difficult and demanding surgery requiring a very high degree of skill by the neurosurgical team, a competent team of neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists comprising Brig SM Sudumbrekar, Lt Col TJ Rappai, Col CS Ahluwalia and Lt Col Vivek Chopra performed the risky surgery and saved the life of the veteran.

A compilation of all complex critical cases and a book on ‘Accident & Emergency Medicine Protocols' aimed at improving standards and competencies in accident and emergency care were also released by Air Marshal Joshi during his brief visit.

The DGAFMS also addressed the doctors at the hospital and lauded the exemplary work, which has helped save innumerable lives of armed forces personnel and their families in the region and also those serving in the north-east.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Prime Minister Lays Foundation Stone Of Indian National Defence University

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today in an impressive function laid the foundation stone for the Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola, Gurgaon in Haryana.

The event was attended among others by the Governor of Haryana Shri Jagannath Pahadia, Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, Minister of External Affairs Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Ms. Selja Kumari, Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, Chief Minister of Haryana Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the three Services Chiefs.

The proposed Indian National Defence University spread over more than two hundred acres of land which will be fully functional in 2018 will be set up as a fully autonomous institution to be constituted under an Act of Parliament. While the President of India would act as the Visitor, the Defence Minister will be its Chancellor.

It may be recalled that after the Kargil conflict, the government had set up a Review Committee, headed by eminent strategic expert K Subrahmanyam, which had recommended the establishment of a university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters. The aim of INDU would be to provide military leadership and other concerned civilian officials knowledge based higher education for management of the defence of India, and keeping them abreast with emerging security challenges through scholarly research & training. The INDU would develop and propagate higher education in Defence Studies, Defence Management, Defence Science and Technology and promote policy oriented research related to National Defence.

The think tanks of the University would provide inputs for policy formulation. The university would prepare officers for high level leadership, Staff & Policy responsibilities. National College of Defence Studies (NCDS), Indian Institute of Defence Technology (IIDT), Indian Institute of Defence Management (IIDM) and Defence Institute of Distance & Open Learning (DIDOL) would be the constituent colleges and institutions of the INDU.

Indian Army's Strike Corps Exercise -- 'Panchjanya'-- Begins In Punjab Plains

In a spectacular display of military might, Kharga Corps conducted swift mechanised manoeuvres encompassing all arms and services in a battlefield environment in the plains of Punjab.
The exercise called 'Panchjanya' which began on May 21 was conducted by Army's Western Command, headquartered at Chandimandir, near here, with an aim of validating the battle
readiness and operational effectiveness of Army and the Air Force as part of 'Integrated Theatre Battle' concept.
The entire spectrum of new generation of equipment, including major weapon platforms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Communications systems were put to test in a network centric battlefield environment, a defence release issued here said.
"New challenges of Cyber Security and Information Warfare in modern day battlefield were also tested and validated during this exercise," it also said. The exercise also witnessed display of seamless integration of Army and Air Force where troops were inserted using third dimension, Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs) used to enhance battlefield transparency and Attack Helicopters employed to complement the ground operations, the release said.
The exercise gave an excellent exposure to all participating commanders and troops in planning and conduct of large scale operations in an Integrated Theatre environment. The exercise was witnessed by Lieutenant General Sanjiv Chachra, General Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Western Command and his staff.
The Army Commander expressed satisfaction over the battle readiness of Kharga Corps and complimented all ranks for their high standards of training and motivation, release said.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Arjun MK-II Gearing up for final trials

Arjun MK-II is all set and gearing up for its final Summer Trials which are to be held by end of next month or in early July before it hits productions. Indian army has asked for 93 improvements to the Arjun Mark II tank including 19 major modifications.
All the modifications suggested by the army had been successfully incorporated in the tank and will be ready for final trials by Indian army after which DRDO will seek clearance for production to start. Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) Avadi will need 30 months (Two and a half years) to deliver first batch of Arjun MK-2 to Indian army, DRDO is also hoping for fresh orders of Arjun MK-II from its current 126 placed by Indian army some time back.
MK-2 will see increase in weight from 62 tonne to 67 tonne. The suspension has been re-designed to handle up to 70 tonne weight. Wheels are bigger in dimensions and have improved track length, MK-2 will be powered by the same MTU engine imported from Germany but it has been improved to carry extra weight of the tank but the top speed of the tank will be limited to 58kmph coming down from 72kmph seen on MK-1 Arjun.  DRDO is working on indigenous powerhouse for future tanks but Integrations with Arjun can only happen if Army places order for 3 more Regiments of Arjun MKII (350). Otherwise it will only serve in next generation battle tank which Drdo is developing under Futuristic Main Battle Tank (FMBT) Program for Indian Army post 2020.
MK-2 will have improvements like missile firing capability, improved commander’s panoramic sight with night vision, Hunter killer capability, improved Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) , improved communication equipments along with better navigation aid , full frontal Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA), Mine plough , improved gun barrel , additional ammunition types.
In Previous trials MK2 did not face any issues and Army was satisfied with its performance, DRDO has now completed all the improvements asked by Indian army on MK-2 variant and hopes Army will be satisfied after final rounds of trials and clears production of it along with fresh orders.

US aerospace major Boeing to source 30% of its components from Reliance

India’s one of the richest businessman Mukesh Ambani’s $76 billion Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has bagged a strategic military aviation tie-up with the leading US aerospace company, Boeing, in the field of offsets. That means Boeing will be sourcing 30% of its components worth hundreds of crores of rupees from the RIL.
Sources in the Defence Ministry confirmed to The Tribune on Monday that there was a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in place between the RIL and nearly $80 billion-strong Boeing for the defence offsets programmes.
Since India’s capability in aerospace manufacturing is poor, it is expected that this tie-up could lead to capability build-up in the country in either manufacturing or services.
A Fortune 500 company, the RIL has so far dealt in the businesses of energy and material value chain. But it has been making aggressive moves for past two years to enter lucrative high technology manufacturing, especially in aerospace and homeland security businesses. Indian private sector military aviation segment is expected to touch nearly $100 billion by 2020.
The RIL’s first major leap was in the beginning of 2012, when it signed an MoU with the French aerospace giant Dassault Aviation a week after the Central government on January 31 announced the French fighter Rafale as the winner in the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal. Dassault manufactures Rafale combat jets and Falcon business jets, and the proposed venture should foray into both these sectors.
Rafale emerged winner in the ‘dogfight’, beating the other short listed European consortium Eurofighter Typhoon, in over $20 billion (everything included, like co-production) the Indian Air Force deal for the 4.5 generation 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). The deal is yet to be inked. Industry sources said it was likely to be done soon.
In the context of the RIL-Boeing MoU, sources said the Defence Ministry has on order eight Boeing P81 aircraft and the first one is expected to arrive this year. It is estimated that eventually more than 20 P81s could be required to protect India’s vast 7517-km coastline. The P81 aircraft are capable of long-range maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. Pakistan is using P3 aircraft, which is a previous version of the naval reconnaissance aero plane from Boeing.
In addition, Boeing’s offset programme in India runs into several billion dollars. Other programmes include C-17 military transport aircraft, Harpoon missiles, Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy lift helicopters. Apache and Chinook deals are at the negotiation stage.
A senior defence ministry official on condition of anonymity said it was a crying need of the country to establish military hardware manufacturing competency on a large scale to complement what the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has created. The RIL’s and other such private sector ventures are in the national interest. “It is a big ticket business for the RIL which over the years can overshoot its current ventures,” he felt.
The RIL last year incorporated a new firm to enter into aerospace and defence ventures. The new business company – Reliance Aerospace Technologies (P) Limited has been registered with appropriate authorities, including the Registrar of Companies. It is headed by an American Indian aerospace expert, Dr Vivek Lall (44) as President and the CEO. Lall earlier worked with the NASA and defence majors Raytheon and Boeing.
Industry sources said the RIL’s aerospace venture is likely to spend over $1 billion in foreign aircraft components manufacturing area. It is planning to hire over 2,000 engineers over the years. The margin of profit in this high technology oriented industry is huge.
Lall refused to comment on the RIL-Boeing tie-up. Lall, who is the chairman of the Indo-American Strategic Dialogue, also refused to talk about the RIL’s aerospace vision. Recently, he was inducted into the Joint Working Group on cyber security led by the National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister.
Any defence related venture with a foreign firm requires several procedural and security clearances from the government. While in-principle approval for such collaborations already exists as per the Defence Procurement Procedure, the government has cleared an important proposal permitting the Defence Public Sector Undertakings like the HAL to forge partnerships with private sector companies to speed up technology induction as well as production of strategic systems for the armed forces.
The private sector ties-ups with global military giants are in the backdrop of a real push for reforms to boost private industry in India to step up their capabilities. Recently, the Central government announced a set of reforms in the defence sector to boost the private industry.
It is understood that the government is actively considering raising the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit to be greater than 26% in this sector. Apparently, the decision rests with Defence Minister A. K. Antony whether to pull that trigger.

IAF for 6 more C-130Js, type crosses million flight hours globally

The Indian Air Force (IAF) cannot wait to get its next six Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules medium transport aircraft, a deal that is in its final stages of confirmation. Coming as a boost to C-130J customers worldwide, the type soared past the one million flight hours mark this month. “Thirteen countries operating C-130Js, and members of Lockheed Martin’s Flight Operations and the US Government’s Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) teams contributed to this achievement. Hours were tracked beginning with the C-130J’s first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of April 2013,” said Lockheed-Martin in a statement. George Shultz, Vice President and General Manager of C-130 programmes at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, said, “Not only is this milestone a testament to the capability of the C-130J Super Hercules, it’s also a reflection of the dedication displayed by crews and maintainers each day they fly a C-130J. Once again, the Super Hercules family continues to prove why the C-130J’s flexibility and versatility remains without equal.”

The C-130J has come in for high praise in Indian service, with the fleet deployed across theatres across missions and in all-weather conditions. The fleet’s availability has also proved to be a great reassurance to its pilots and operators. The type has been fielded in every major exercise since its induction, and continues to be the first response aircraft now for humanitarian relief missions.
Elsewhere, according to Lockheed-Martin’s statement, ”C-130Js currently are deployed in two combat theaters and are operating at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. In non-combat—but equally harsh environments —C-130Js are often the first to support humanitarian missions such as search and rescue, aerial firefighting in the US, and delivering relief supplies after earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis around the world. Countries with C-130Js contributing to these flight hours include (in order of delivery) the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Canada, India, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Tunisia and Israel (now in flight test for a summer 2013 delivery). In the US, C-130Js are flown by the Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. Fifteen countries have chosen the C-130J as an airlifter of choice —including Kuwait and the Republic of Korea, which will join the fleet with C-130J deliveries in 2014.”

Finance ministry nod likely for new Army unit along China border

The finance ministry is expected to soon approve the revised proposal of the Army to raise a mountain strike corps along the China border. Once the ministry’s approval comes through the Cabinet Committee on Security will give its nod, a senior source said.
The ministry of defence (MoD) is not expecting any further objections from the finance ministry over the ambitious proposal to raise a dedicated offensive capability in the north-east border with China. 
According to sources, the strike corps is expected to cost Rs 62,000 crore spread over the entire 12th five-year Plan (2012- 17).
The Army has proposed a mountain strike corps, two independent infantry brigades and two independent armoured brigades to plug its operational gaps along the entire Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, as well as to acquire offensive capabilities.
India started the catch-up game with the Chinese military and infrastructural capabilities only in the past decade, and is now furiously working to find some kind of parity with Beijing. The mountain strike corps would be a significant step towards that bid, a senior official said.
The raising of the new formations will together cost over Rs 81,000 crore over the 12th Plan period. However, some parts of the entire build up — especially the independent brigades — will spill over into the 13th Plan as well.
The proposed mountain strike corps, with over 40,000 soldiers and headquartered at Panagarh in West Bengal, will for the first time give India the capability to also launch offensive action into Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the event of a Chinese attack. The corps will have two high-altitude divisions for rapid reaction.
India has already raised two new infantry divisions at Lekhapani and Missamari in Assam in 2009-10. They are operationally tasked to defend Arunachal Pradesh.
India is also beefing up its missile and fighter capabilities along the China border in its desperate effort to catch up with a burgeoning People’s Liberation Army’s military capabilities and highly developed infrastructure up to the border.
The proposal for raising India’s first mountain strike corps has been hanging fire for the past few years. The finance ministry has in the past returned the file to the MoD objecting to the huge financial commitments.
Even as India plays catch up, China has built aggressive military and infrastructure capabilities. It has at least five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads along the Indian border. This would allow China to move over 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC, outnumbering Indian forces by at least 3:1 there.

IAF for new assault rifle

The Indian Air Force is looking for a modern assault rifle for its special units (Garud), that should be compact, foldable, easy to carry, handle, operate, simple to maintain and with high range. The requirement joins a raft of tenders already active for other weapons including assault rifles for the Army, sniper rifles for special units (including the MARCOS), 9mm small arms for the Army, etc.
The Army is also in the process of replacing the INSAS rifle in service. The Garud Commando Force of the IAF currently operates with the INSAS and AK-47, and the new tender appears to be a move towards replacing those arms with new generation weapons in line with the other two special units of the other two services. The procurement of new small arms for the Indian forces is also in line with the overarching doctrinal move towards lighter, smaller arms with modular architecture allowing a greater number of accessories and easier storage, less maintenance (with possibility of simple on-field maintenance) and part replacement.

Australian Warship Berths At Kochi

Pix2 by Chindits

HMAS (Her Majesty’s Australian Ship) Newcastle, an Adelaide Class Frigate berthed at Kochi today. The ship on her way for deployment in the Gulf of Aden is commanded by Commander Paul O’Grady. The ship was received at the entrance of the harbor by INS Kabra. Officials from Southern Naval Command accompanied by the Southern Naval Command Band received the ship formally at the pier.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Newcastle accompanied by the Australian Consul General at Chennai and the Australian Defence Attache based in New Delhi called on Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command. Mutual visits to the visiting ship and training facilities of Southern Naval Command, professional exchanges as well as social interactions were on the schedule drawn up for the visiting Australian warship. INS Sharda of Southern Naval Command will undertake a PASSEX – a basic maneuvering exercise – with HMAS Newcastle off Kochi when she departs on Friday.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

SAIL Steel plates used in next gen stealth anti submarines corvette INS Kiltan

 INS Kiltan, the Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette of the Indian Navy, designed under Project-28, was launched on March 26, 2013.
With nearly 90 percent indigenous content, the efforts made by Indian Navy and Defence Shipyards towards the national goal of indigenization and self-reliance got a major impetus with this latest ASW Corvette launch.
The ship’s hull form is highly efficient with excellent sea-keeping and maneuverability characteristics with overall length of 109 meters. The ship can cut through the sea at a very high speed of 25 Knots.
Hull of the ship is built with warship grade high tensile indigenous steel. The DMR 249A steel has been developed and produced by Steel Authority of India Limited.
DMR 249A is a low carbon low alloyed steel and the specified gas contents of hydrogen is less than 2 parts per million (PPM) that gives the customized strength and toughness.

Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel commissioned

 Indian Coast Guard Ship Vaibhav, the third in a series of 90-meters class offshore patrol vessel, was commissioned at a naval dockyard in Tuticorin by vice admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, director general Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday. Inspector general S P Sharma, commander of coast guard region (east) and senior officials of the state and central government attended. 
“The vessel designed and built indigenously by GSL is equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. Her features include an integrated bridge system and machinery control system, power management system, a high power external fire fighting system and one indigenous close range naval gun, CRN-91, along with an optical fire control system,” said a coast guard spokeperson.
The ship is designed to carry one helicopter and five high speed boats for search and rescue. “Besides law enforcement and maritime patrol, the ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to combat oil spill and similar maritime accidents,” said an official note as part of the commissioning of Vaibhav.
The ship draws 1940 tons and is propelled by two diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots. At economical speed, it has an endurance of 4500 nautical miles and can remain in the mid seas for 15 days.
The vessel is to be operated in the eastern region, especially in the Gulf of Mannar and up to the international maritime boundary line with Sri Lanka.

2nd Phase of sand scooter trial Held in Jaisalmer

Winds of change across the border Were felt When the second stage of trial scooter to man the borders started in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer . Last year, the first stage was Held.Besides camel, sand scooters aussi Will be utilised to man the border land. In a bid to Strengthen the security arrangement and aussi to chase smugglers, intruders along with border guarding, the Union home ministry HAD Planned To Provide all terrain vehicle (ATV), a four-wheel scooter foreign to the security forces.
The second stage of trial Began recently.Compared to altho first phase the sand scooters beens That Brought by companies in the second stage Could not succeed in climbing the sand dunes. The trial continues for Will Reviews another 2-3 days.The report of the two trials Will Be feels to BSF headquarters. These sand scooters Will Be used along with camels. BSF Would Be slowly phasing out camels at the border areas. source said last year, Chinese company NEBULA EXPURTS ‘Nebula ATV Jaguar 500cc scooter trial was betweens Held May 17 and 19 last year.
 Later trial of American company Polaris field vehicles Took Place May betweens 21 and 23 in. All which store 800 store 4-800 RZR Ranger RZW SW and sportsman Were utilised. Later trials of M / s Auto IOI Took Place. In trials thesis sand scooter of Polaris was successful. Sources said this year in the second stage, various models of Maini Group from Bangalore was Held from May 12. The trials Were not successful. The vehicles got trapped in the sand and Could not climb smartly. Sources said a committee led by BSF DIG BS Rajpurohit has-been made ??by the BSF headquarters at Delhi for the trials of thesis ATVs, All which Would give icts report about the trials of the ATVs and based on the report, recommendation Would Be feels to the union government. Sources Said That Are Being Conducted trials thesis in intense heat conditions, and jawans are operating vehicles with the requisite arms and ammunition.

South India’s first IAF fighter base to be operationalised on May 27

Twenty-five years after deciding to set up a base for combat planes in Thanjavur, Indian Air Force is all set to operationalise its first and only fighter base in south India on May 27.
To be inaugurated by Defence Minister A K Antony, Thanjavur will house a squadron of air-dominance Su-30 MKI fighters by 2017-18 when the required number of platforms will be available.
Till then the IAF will send detachments of Su-30MKI and other planes from other stations as the runway and other associated facilities are at place in Thanjavur.
The base is meant to provide air defence to sensitive installations on the coast, including nuclear power plants and strategic assets. It will give an additional strategic dimension to India’s air power as the fighters will be able to fly up to the Andamans and Lakshdweep more frequently in demonstrating India’s air dominance on the ocean.
India has contracted 272 Su-30MKI from Russia for licence produced at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore.
So far close to 170 platforms were inducted out of which Pune and Bareilly have two squadrons each while Tezpur, Chabua, Halwara and Jodhpur have a squadron (16-18 platforms) each.
A new Su-30 MKI squadron is coming up at Sirsa in Haryana. Moreover, Tezpur, Chabua, Jodhpur and Halwara will get a second squadron after which Su-30 MKI platforms for Thanjavur will be earmarked.
Incidentally, Antony will inaugurate the new base within a week of Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s maiden India tour during which he indicated that China would continue its infrastructure modernisation in Tibet and Xinkiang, which could also be used for rapid military mobilisation in case of any need.
Thanjavur base could have been realised much earlier if the IAF did not shift its plans twice after agreeing to convert it as a fighter base way back in 1987. Existence of two runways of 1942 vintage was a determining factor.
After receiving sanction from the Defence Ministry in 1989, the IAF went back on its plan in 1993, projecting Thanjavur only as a care and maintenance hub. Within six years, the previous plan was turned upside down as the IAF pitched for a fighter base in Thanjavur in 1999, the Comptroller and Auditor General said in a report in 2010.
Taken up as a “special project”, completion of the base picked up momentum only after 2003 when the Defence Ministry reviewed and sanctioned additional funding. Now the base has hangers, fuel dum, and repair depots for supporting the fighters.

BrahMos Fired From Indian Frigate Tarkarsh

The BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Navy's newest guided missile frigate INS Tarkash off the coast of Goa today.The missile performed high-level "C" maneuvere at pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target. The surface-to-surface missile, having a range of 290-km, was test launched from the Russian-built Project 1135.6 class warship at 1100 hrs on the 22 of May 2013.

The launch was carried out by Indian Navy as part of Acceptance Test Firing (ATF) of the ship. Indian Navy commissioned INS Tarkash on 9 November, 2012. The warship along with two other frigates of the class - INS Teg and INS Trikand have been built as part of a $1.6 billion contract signed between India and Russia in July, 2006. INS Teg was commissioned on 27 April, 2012 and the commissioning of INS Trikand is expected soon.The advanced warship has been fitted with an upgraded multi-role combat suite to make it one of the most potent platforms of the Indian Navy.

The weapons suite of INS Tarkash includes surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, 100 mm medium range gun, close-in weapon system, torpedo tubes and anti-submarine rockets. The BRAHMOS surface-to-surface missile system is capable of engaging targets at extended ranges at supersonic speed. All the three ships will be equipped with 8 vertical launched BRAHMOS missile system as the prime strike weapon. The new missile frigates are designed to accomplish a wide range of maritime missions, primarily hunting down and destroying large surface ships and submarines. The vertical launch configuration of BRAHMOS enhances the stealth capabilities of the ship as the missiles are under the deck and not exposed. The Universal Vertical Launcher (UVLM) being used in these ships has a unique design, developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace. The same also ensures manoeuvering of the missile in any direction after launch, independent of ship movement, thereby providing the surprise attack concepts to the ships.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sino-Indian Border Cooperation Agreement Says-More Autonomy To Local Formation Commanders At Indo-China Border To Settle Small Border Disputes

1905_Page_03 by Chindits

‘Sophisticated’ Indian cyber attacks targeted Pak military sites: Reports

Cyber analysts in Norway have claimed that hackers based in India have been targeting government and military agencies in Pakistan for the last three years, extracting information of national security interest to India.
The “sophisticated” attacks originated from an extensive, “non-state” cyberattack infrastructure, and used decoy links, including those that referred to this year’s beheading incident on the Line of Control and rebel movements in the Northeast, as bait, according to a report released Monday by the Oslo-based Norman Shark group.
The alleged cyberattack network — referred to as “Operation Hangover” in the report — was apparently unearthed as cyber analysts investigated an industrial espionage attack on the Norwegian telecom firm Telenor.
The report has not identified the Pakistani agencies that were targeted, but has hinted that these included several sensitive military targets that would be of interest to India. The primary goal of the network seems to have been “surveillance against national security interests”, says the report.
The report says there is no evidence of “state sponsorship” for Operation Hangover. But it names several private Indian hacker groups, including those based in New Delhi, as being behind the attack.
The hackers allegedly exploited vulnerabilities in software to plant Trojans in computers across the world, primarily in Pakistan, that then extracted information and sent it back over the Internet.
There are no details yet on how much data might have been leaked, but the report claims that the network became active in 2010, peaked last year, and continues to be active currently.
“Based on analysis of IP addresses collected from criminal data stores discovered during the investigation, it appears that potential victims have been targeted in over a dozen countries, most heavily represented by Pakistan, Iran, and the United States. Targets include government, military and civilian organisations,” the report says.
The Trojans planted by the network were inadvertently downloaded by users who viewed files or photographs pertaining to Indian military and rebel movements. A Pakistan government site was infected, for example, after a picture of soldiers praying near the Siachen glacier was downloaded, says the report.
Another link that was allegedly used for infection was an article and satellite image of the Mendhar area on the Line of Control that saw heightened tension this year after the beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani army regulars.
Other baits were related to rebel movements in Punjab and Nagaland.
“The attackers went to great length to make the social engineering aspects of the attack appear as credible and applicable as possible,” the report says.

Bird hits one of major causes of aircraft accidents: IAF

Attributing bird hits as one of the major causes of aircraft mishaps, the Indian Air force (IAF) today asked people not to throw waste in open, which attracts the avian population.
“Birds strike is one of the major causes of aircraft accidents. People should not throw waste in open and keep their surroundings clean, so that the birds are not attracted,” Wing Commander Amit Singh Gaharwar said at an Aerospace Safety Awareness campaign organised at Chari Saail village in Udhampur district today. 
The campaign was aimed at educating the villagers towards cleanliness and hygiene which in turn will help reduce the risk of bird strike to flying aircrafts.
“This not only helps safe flying but will also create a healthy environment of living,” Gaharwar added.

India unlikely to station troops in Afghanistan

Certain section of media have been reporting that India in 2014 might re-consider positioning Indian army troops in Afghanistan after US troops move out of the country but Sources close to have informed that it is unlikely India will consider such request . In past India has turned downed such direct requests from United States and Afghanistan.
The key challenge is  to ensure Karzai has enough residual capacity to prevent Taliban from regaining power in the country and India is determined to play a key role in Afghan security,  ANA [Afghan National Army]  has been trained in India and Afghanistan and troops training will also be carried out even post 2014 said the source .
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel’s are already in Afghanistan to provide security to Indians posted in the war-ravaged country. Key projects are funded by India are coming up in Afghanistan which will be under threat from Pakistani backed insurgents who in past have targeted Indians. India in past have provided Military Grade Trucks and other non lethal weapons to Afghan forces and have recently agreed to provide weapons and upgrade old Soviet-era weaponry.

IIT Madras-HAL joint research on transmission systems takes off

The Indian Institute of Technology – Madras is set to join hands with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore, to work on joint research projects in design and technology.
IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and P Soundara Rajan, MD (Helicopter Complex), HAL, signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to set up a Centre for Aerospace Transmission System (CATS) at IIT-M. 
The IIT-M faculty and young engineers of HAL will undertake joint research in the field of transmission system for helicopter and engine programmes of HAL. The centre will also facilitate academics and industry to evolve required software and design solutions for different types of gears, bearings, lubrication systems, vibration monitoring systems and production technologies.
Speaking about IIT-M’s partnerships with organisations like HAL and DRDO, director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “The critical thing is to know what the faculty, HAL and third parties, like vendors, should do to convert projects into reality.” He said that the organisations should not shy away from involving third parties, like private vendors who may have the required technology to make progress, instead of waiting to develop it.
Soundara Rajan of HAL said that “homegrown technology” was very important, and that it could only come from industry-academic interface. He said that some critical areas were identified for joint research, and that a chair will be set up at IIT-M. HAL has partnered with other IITs on various other areas, including on vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics with IIT-Kanpur.

People must be made aware of India’s defence achievements

Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K V Thomas said the nation’s achievements in defence research sector should be highlighted and that it was essential to create an awareness among the public on the growth in this sector.
He was inaugurating the valedictory session of ‘Suraksha-2013’, the three-day National Exhibition on Science and Technology Intervention jointly organised by Swadeshi Science Movement, Kerala; Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) here on Sunday. 
“In order to showcase India’s feats to the people, the ‘defence exhibition on train’ will be used in various parts of the country. For this, a discussion with Defence Minister A K Antony will be held,” Thomas said. According to him, youth should be attracted to the defence sector for which Suraksha-2013 provided a good platform.
Thomas also appreciated the organisers for successfully conducting the expo.
S Anantha Narayanan, Director, NPOL, Kochi,  presided over the function.
Narayanan said around 25,000 people visited the expo.
The event had brought together the defence industry, academia, researchers and the public.
The exhibition has created awareness among the public about the opportunities in defence research and development.
“We hope to come back in 2015 with a bigger exhibition in the city and with this Kochi will be a major centre in the field of defence research and development”, he said. T Mukundan, scientist, NPOL; N G K Pillai, secretary, Swadeshi Science Movement; Vivekananda Pai, secretary, Vijnana Bharati; Mohan Rao, DMRL; and  E V Radhakrishnan, secretary-general, Suraksha-2013, also spoke.
The expo showcased the achievements of over 25 defence research laboratories and related industries.
Seminars, panel discussions, students’ interactions with scientists and painting and quiz competitions for students were also held in connection with the expo.

83% Indians view China as major security threat: Survey

Eighty three per cent of Indians view China as a major security threat, even as 63 per cent would like relation with the neighbouring country to be strengthened, an opinion poll has claimed.
China’s possession of nuclear weapons, its efforts at strengthening its relations with other countries in the Indian Ocean region and China-India border dispute have emerged as the major reasons because of which the wariness was generated, according to the poll which was launched at Observer Research Foundation here today. 
Titled ‘India Poll 2013: Facing the future – Indian views of the world ahead’, the poll was conducted by Lowy Institute for International Policy and Australia India Institute (AII) here.
As per the survey, Pakistan is seen as a major threat by majority (94 per cent) of Indians because of the country’s nuclear weapons and its claims of sovereignty over Kashmir.
The data also reflected that 83 per cent Indians hold a strong liking for the United States. Other countries for which the people expressed affinity were Singapore, Japan and Australia.
The other issues which worry Indians are corruption, domestic policy and democracy etc, the poll said.
Opinions of 1,223 adults were taken by the team that conducted the poll.

China deploys Su-27 fighters in Tibet, can target key Indian air bases

China’s all-weather fighter base in Tibet is now widening its range of options in the event of a conflict with India. Intelligence intercepts and satellite monitoring has confirmed that China may have to some extent overcome Tibet’s extreme altitude and temperatures to operationalise an all-weather airfield near the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
The airfield is Gonkar, where China has deployed Su-27 fighters. Sources told CNN-IBN that the Gonkar airfield will enable Chinese fighters to widen their selection of Indian targets from Ladakh to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Sources say Gonkar is a direct response to the Indian Air Force stationing Su-30MKI fighters in Chabua and Tezpur in Assam. These fighters with a combat radius of about 1,000 km can hit targets deep in Tibet and mainland China.
“I would say the development of Gonkar airfield started well before the upgradation by us of our defence infrastructure, which has taken off only in the past five to seven years. Gonkar started off much earlier, they had started building underground hangars and defence and began positioning their fighter aircraft there,” former RAW officer Jaidev Ranade said.
The Chinese Air Force Su-27 fighters were observed in the winters and now with the onset of summer, they are still there, which suggests that China has built up infrastructure for their support.
It is advantage China since Gonkar is at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The fighters can take off only with less weapons payload or fuel. China has probably solved the problem by stationing an aerial refuelling aircraft at Gonkar or nearby. This will increase the range and endurance of the Su-27s.
With recent developments at Raki Nala in eastern Ladakh, the implications are clear. China has been engaged in a deliberate upping of the diplomatic and military pressure on India, probing for weaknesses, testing India’s resolve with the expectation that India will blink and back down.