Friday, 28 June 2013

Maiden all women flight by ICG Dornier in history of Indian Coast Guard

Recently, a Coast Guard maritime reconnaissance aircraft had taken off in the skies of Daman and adjoining Arabian Sea with all women crew comprising Asst Comdt Neetu Singh Bartwal (Captain of the aircraft), Asst Comdt Neha Murudkar (pilot in command) and Asst Comdt Shristi Singh (Co-pilot).

This flight was a maiden all women flight by ICG Dornier in the history of Indian Coast Guard and was undertaken from Coast Guard Air Station Daman situated on the Western Sea Board of the country.

This achievement was possible with passing out of 1st Short Service Entry (observers) course comprising three women officers who had undergone long drawn training in various Naval and Coast Guard establishments for qualifying as an air borne tactician.

These women officers had toiled long hours gaining proficiency in handling Dornier aircraft and sensors for safeguarding the maritime borders of India. During this mission the crew flew over one hour and landed safely with a warm welcome by Station Commander, Officers and men of Coast Guard Air Station Daman, applauding the milestone achieved.

The first all women flight has not only brought laurels to the Indian Coast Guard but also to the women fraternity proving exceptional skills and commitment to the nation.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Russian shipyard to deliver third frigate to India

Russia's Yantar Shipyard said Tuesday that it will hand over on Saturday the last of the three frigates it contracted to build for India.

The handover ceremony of frigate Trikand will be attended by Indian naval officers and diplomats as well as representatives of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the Kaliningrad shipmaker.

The first two vessels under the 1.6-billion-U.S.-dollar contract, Teg and Tarkash, were delivered in April and November 2012.

Russian media reported that the new frigates are each equipped with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and an antisubmarine warfare helicopter, among others. 

AK Antony sets December deadline for final delivery of LCA Tejas

It will be a race against time for the developers of the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, as Defence Minister A.K. Antony has set a December 2014 deadline for the final delivery of the home-made fighter.
But going by the amount of work remaining on the aircraft, it will be a rush for the scientists to get the final operational clearance within the stipulated time. To achieve the target of getting combat ready, more than 1,200 parameters still need to be met.

The most crucial issues include getting a new radome for the aircraft as the quality of the previous one was found to be hampering radar performance.

Antony on Monday held a review of the Tejas, which is in the making for the last 30 years. The latest intervention from the ministry means that the project will be among the top priorities for DRDO, which has Dr Avinash Chander as its new chief.

The ministry has also asked Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to enhance its facility to produce 16 aircraft a year.

This again would be a gigantic task considering the fact that HAL took years to maintain the schedule of delivery of Sukhoi-30 aircraft after it was given the licence to produce in the country.

The delay in delivery of Sukhois has already impacted IAF’s operational readiness. The fresh impetus was needed as the aircraft missed another deadline this month when it was due to obtain second initial operating clearance (IOC).

November 2013 has been set as the new deadline for getting IOC-2, which is a crucial step before the aircraft is finally certified to be ready for induction. It takes more than a year to obtain final operating clearance (FOC) after the IOC.

The first IOC for the aircraft was obtained in 2011. Officials said the process of getting the radome, which houses the Israeli radar, from an indigenous source can itself take at least a year’s time.

On an average, 80 issues are addressed every month. There have been progress on many counts, admit officials, but a number of issues are yet to be resolved.

The cost of the LCA project has now crossed more than Rs.20,000 crore though it was initially pegged at Rs.560 crore in the early 1980s. The IAF is looking to raise only two squadrons of this version of the aircraft which is powered by GE-404 engines whose thrust is not adequate.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wg Cdr Yunus - First Pilot In Kedarnath.

What was it like for a Muslim to be one of the first to come to the aid of Hindu pilgrims? 
Yunus laughs out loud before giving a quick answer. “In the Air Force we are taught only one religion – to be Indian. That is what IAF pilots are trained to be. Had it not been for such tragic circumstances, I would have been grateful and happy to see the holy shrine.” 

Here's the story...

When the IAF flew it first sortie to save pilgrims trapped by the raging waters of the Alaknanda in Kedarnath, at the cockpit was Wing Commander S M Yunus.

Commanding officer of the 152 Helicopter Unit based at Sarsawa Air Force Station, Yunus first got the message about the disaster on June 16. The rains, which had been pouring since June 14, had begun rampaging by the next day.

On June 17, Yunus landed at Dehradun’s Jolly Grant helipad. The next morning, around 9am, he was off to Kedarnath in his Mi-17 V5 chopper, IAF’s newest and most powerful acquisition with a carrying capacity of 3 tonnes.

The first batch of 20 people was evacuated to Guptkashi. From there, they made their way to Dehradun. Yunus reckons he might have flown about 500 people in innumerable sorties to safety. He is still at it. “We continued the operation on June 18 and 19,” he said from his current location in Joshimath. “I was then told to rescue people from the more isolated Harsil sector, ahead of Uttarkashi, and in a restricted helipad at about 6000 ft.”

Bad weather and poor visibility made things difficult. Add to that the terrain and Yunus’ job was cut out. “When we landed at Kedarnath, roughly 9,600ft, the helipad had been washed away. We had to rescue people from the ridge. Twice we set out on our mission and had to return to base as landing was impossible.” Yunus changed course and went to Badrinath on June 20, from where 25 pilgrims were brought to the safer Joshimath. The sorties continued. On June 23, he airlifted more than 200 from Badrinath and brought them to Joshimath.

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Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh, we're all Indians first! 

Proud to be Indian!

US Army Chief to visit India next month

US Army Chief Raymond Odierno said he will visit India next month to expand the existing military to military co-operation between the two countries.

Terming the visit to be an “important relationship for the US”, Odierno today said that he would meet Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh and other defence officials during the visit. 

“We will discuss many issues that we have in common to help each other grow as armies,” he said.

Asserting that the US would continue to work and build on areas of common interests Odeirno said, “I will have a chance to go around the visit the Indian army and I am looking forward to that very much”.

Women IAF pilots prove their worth in Uttarakhand rescue

India may not allow them to fly fighter jets, when even countries like Pakistan do, but women IAF pilots are proving their mettle by flying high-risk missions on their helicopters to rescue stranded people in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand.

Meet Squadron leader Khushboo Gupta, who has already flown over 55 sorties in her Cheetah helicopter to the Kedarnath valley and beyond. "The experience is very challenging... flying at 11,500 feet altitude is not easy, often with bad weather and poor visibility. But we in the IAF are trained for such missions and keep flight safety on the top of our minds," Gupta told TOI.

Flight Lieutenant Tanya Srinivas, with barely two-and-a-half years of service as an "air warrior", is also gung-ho about the tasks ahead. "I have flown earlier in deserts, plains and hills. But this operation is specially challenging... IAF gives you the opportunity to help people in emergency situations," she said.

Interestingly, the husbands of both the women are also helicopter pilots engaged in the ongoing Operation Rahat, the largest airlift of people and relief supplies undertaken by the IAF.

But while Khushboo and Tanya are operating their Cheetahs from Gauchar, their husbands Squadron Leaders S K Pradhan and Vikram Thiagaraman, respectively, are flying their larger Mi-17 helicopters from Dehradun as their base.

"It's good both of us can contribute to the massive effort underway... the devastation is staggering and on a very big scale," said Khushboo, who was commissioned into IAF six years ago. The unfortunate crash of a Mi-17-V5 helicopter north of Gaurikund on Tuesday afternoon is unlikely to dampen this robust enthusiasm despite the loss of friends and comrades.

Acting both as the pilot and co-pilot as per mission requirements, Khushboo has evacuated over 90 people from Jungle Chetti and other places. "We are operating in areas where bigger helicopters like Mi-17s cannot go. Landing the Cheetah in restricted spaces is very demanding. But it's very satisfying and rewarding to see smiles on the faces of the people we rescue," she said.

Given the overwhelming male-dominant environs of the armed forces, "women air warriors" like Khushboo and Tanya have often beaten their male counterparts in military aviation skills to reach where they have by the sheer dint of hard work and enthusiasm.

While women pilots are not yet allowed to fly fighter jets, they have been taking to the skies in helicopters and transport aircraft in IAF for over a decade now. Of the around 1,000 women officers in IAF as of now, around 80 are pilots.

Incidentally, the ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters of the armed forces were first inducted in the 1970s based on the design of French 'Alouettes' and 'Lama SA-315'. Over 250 of them were subsequently manufactured under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) till the 1980s. "These helicopters do not have modern avionics and navigational aids, nor advanced electrically-driven instruments. So, it's basically visual flying by the-seat-of-your-pants," said another pilot.

China agrees to Indian condition on not freezing troop levels

Signalling its willingness to meet India halfway on creating a new architecture of confidence-building measures on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Beijing has accepted New Delhi's condition that the proposed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) will not amount to freezing current troop levels on the frontier.

Responding to the Indian draft of the agreement, sources said China has also clarified that it does not expect the clause on returning inadvertent border-crossers to apply to

Tibetans as well. Many Tibetans cross over to India for fear of persecution, a channel India has historically kept open.

The second Chinese draft on the BDCA has arrived just days ahead of the next round of Special Representative-level talks on the boundary issue on Thursday.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, who will lead the Indian side, is expected to discuss the details with his newly-appointed Chinese counterpart, State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

This agreement is a Chinese idea that was first formally conveyed at the bilateral defence dialogue, headed by the defence secretary on the Indian side. The new Chinese administration followed it up quickly and even handed over the first draft of the BDCA in the first week of March.

A bit surprised by the sense of urgency China was attaching to the agreement, New Delhi conducted a detailed analysis of the draft and found important areas of concern. These included clauses which alluded to maintaining agreed troop levels along the LAC.

Given that China had already built effective infrastructure on its side of the border to allow it to station troops at a fair distance from the LAC, sources said these terms suited Beijing more than New Delhi. Moreover, the flat topography on the Chinese side makes troop movement faster and easier than on the Indian side.

The biggest fear was that this could thwart the major military expansion India has undertaken along the LAC. While two additional divisions have already come up, the final go-ahead to set up a new corps, which would amount to a fresh accretion of about 90,000 soldiers, is also due soon.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Forces must be equipped with dynamic cyber warfare tools: Kalam

Noting that cyber attacks could cause destruction on an unprecedented scale, former President A P J Abdul Kalam today stressed on the need to equip future officers of armed forces to envisage and combat technology-driven warfare.
“The whole war environment will be a network centric warfare and it could be electronically controlled. Sometimes space encounters, deep sea encounters and ballistic missile encounters.
“The winner of future warfare will be the officer who can visualise the strength of the enemy not based on the earlier war but based on the current capacities and technology advancements in the global scenario,” Kalam said, after the convocation ceremony at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) here.
“Our armed forces officers will have to get trained in virtual reality-based, simulated warfares of all the terrains and extreme conditions of the warfare,” he said.
The key to becoming a strong nation is to have economic and military strength together, he said.
“India is capable of technological advancements. We have developed expertise along with technology in remote-sensing, communication satellites, strategic missile system, electronic warfare system, LCA, naval system among others.
“There is a need to integrate all the technologies and build an indigenous system which will meet the needs of the defence services of our country,” he said.
Referring to cyber warfare and challenges, he said in an electronically-connected world, many nations will be endangered in future due to cyber war which can create destruction effortlessly at the speed of light that even Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and other nuclear weapons can become insignificant.
“Nowadays, nations have electronically connected in all the economic, defence and national security establishments which would be the target for cyber attacks during a conflict or to create instabilities,” he said, adding that a country can get defeated without a missile or aircraft attack just through intelligence cyber war.
Kalam said, “In technology-centric crimes and war, the crime may originate from a strange place outside the nation shores and may damage the organisational wealth which will be in digital form.”
If information is not handled in a secure way, it can be intercepted and even modified, he said and stressed the need to put in place a system which can detect vulnerabilities and respond to the security loopholes dynamically in the event of cyber attacks.
Along with different kinds of warfare, the tools of war have also changed to economic competition, control of market forces, essential items like energy, he said, adding that in the next two decades, anti-ballistic defence systems are going to be a major force.
Earlier, the former President conferred degrees and awards to the engineering graduates. A total of 22 officers of 92 Degree Engineering Course and 22 officers of 19 Technical Entry Scheme Course were awarded Bachelor of Technology Degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi during the convocation ceremony.
MCEME Commandant Lt Gen S M Mehta also spoke on the occasion.

Army, IAF & Pvt Copters In North India Flood Rescue

HAL to make flight control systems in Hyderabad

Indian state-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Thursday said it has tied up with French aerospace firm Sagem to manufacture automatic flight control systems and sensors at Hyderabad.

“HAL has entered into a contract with Sagem of Safran group at the Paris air show for technology transfer to set up the production facility for flight control systems and sensors at our Hyderabad division,” the company said in a statement here.

The new set-up will also have a maintenance facility for the avionics of the company’s advanced light helicopter (ALH) and intermediate jet trainer (IJT) platforms.

The company hopes to use the facility for fitting the avionic systems on the light combat helicopter (LCH) and light utility helicopter (LUH), whose prototypes are under design and development.

The new facility is expected to be commissioned by 2015.

Participating in the week-long 50th edition of the air show at Le Bourget airport, HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi met chief executive Eric Trappier of the French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation and reviewed the status of various projects underway between the two aerospace majors.

Dassault bagged the multi-billion dollar deal to sell 126 medium multirole combat aircraft Rafale to the Indian Air Force (IAF), which plans to induct them in its frontline fleet in place of the ageing MiG-27 fighters of the former Soviet Union.

As part of the deal, HAL will manufacture 108 aircraft under licensed production, with 30 percent offset benefits to Indian aerospace industry, while Dassault will supply 18 Rafales in fly-away condition.

The city-based HAL is also upgrading Dassault’s 51 Mirage 2000 fighters, which are in the IAF fleet to extend their life by another two decades.

Other French aerospace firms such as Thales and MBDA also supply a range of equipment, including avionics, radars, missiles and electronic warfare systems to the IAF.

China’s border row with India has misfired, says regional security expert

China’s three-week border stand-off during April in Ladakh, in Indian-administered Kashmir, had misfired, an Indian security expert told a forum in Manila, saying Beijing’s move galvanised Indian leaders into finally sealing an historic security deal with Japan.

The dispute strained ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours, but both sides pulled troops back ahead of a visit to New Delhi by Premier Li Keqiang, who agreed to fresh talks to settle their long-running border row.
[India could help provide] security architecture in the region to restrain China

Retired army major general Vinod Saighal, saw the subsequent India-Japan deal last month as possibly a signal that Japan and India were in the process of setting themselves up as the linchpin of a new security system in Asia, that could attract Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Myanmar.

He said Australia and Indonesia would also be viewing it favourably.

“The US had been pushing India in this direction as part of its rebalancing strategy. After the US used the term Indo-Pacific, Australia and Japan have embraced it,” he said.

Saighal, who wrote Restructuring South Asian Security, was speaking at a forum on “India’s expanding maritime interests in Southeast Asia” at the University of the Philippines Asian Centre.

Saighal said India could help provide “a security architecture in the region to restrain China so that the cost of aggression would be much too heavy. If you have that architecture in place, China will not attempt anything”.

Saighal said India was in a position to contribute to that set-up, citing a recent successful underwater maiden test firing of a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a submarine in the Bay of Bengal.

He hinted at its implication in disputes over the South China Sea. “There is cautious talk in some strategic circles that were India to provide the BrahMos missile to Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, it has the potential to become a game changer.”

He said India’s role would be to restrain China “from dreaming its new-fangled dream in a manner that conflict breaks out in the region”. He described mainland China’s dream as a “dynamic expansion model” fuelled by fast economic growth and a desire to push beyond its core interests in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang – and into India’s Arunachal Pradesh province, most of the South China Sea, and the Diaoyu islands, which Japan calls the Senkakus.

Saighal noted that a white paper on defence, that China issued in April, for the first time in many years omits the promise that China will never be the first to use nuclear weapons.

A senior Philippine navy official said India and the Philippines had developed a “relationship where the Philippine navy now sends [to India] some of its officers to train in … anti-submarine warfare”.

Commodore Caesar Taccad, deputy commander of the Philippine navy, agreed that India could potentially complement the US as a regional stabiliser and become the “friendly partner” that the Philippines and other “Southeast Asian countries which suffer China’s aggressiveness in the South China” are looking for. But Taccad said that China was likely to retaliate if India waded into the South China Sea dispute.

Philippine coastguard Captain Rudyard Somera said India had the third largest naval force in Asia and if it collaborated with Japan, their combined forces would pose a credible challenge to Chinese forces.

The Philippines sent a fresh batch of marines and supplies to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea, where a Chinese warship and surveillance vessels appeared last month and triggered a new stand-off, Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said yesterday.

The marines replaced troops at the Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal. They are stationed in a decrepit military hospital ship that ran aground in 1999. It has since become an awkward symbol of Philippine sovereignty.

Sunflowers and MARIJUANA plants absorb Nuclear Radiation

The nuclear fallout from the tsunami forced nearly 80,000 people to evacuate their homes, not knowing if or when they may return. The 30 miles surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been left contaminated and relatively barren. Even more disturbing, reports of radioactive rice, beef, vegetables, milk, seafood, and even tea have been found more than 60 miles away from the site, outside the mandatory evacuation zone.

Koyu Abe, chief monk at the Buddhist Joenji temple has been distributing sunflowers and their seeds to be planted all over Fukushima. The plants are known to soak up toxins from the soil, and patches of sunflowers are now growing between buildings, in backyards, alongside the nuclear plant, and anywhere else they will possibly fit. At least 8 million sunflowers and 200,000 other plants have been distributed by the Joenji Buddhist temple. “We plant sunflowers, field mustard, amaranthus and cockscomb, which are all believed to absorb radiation,” Abe says.


SMOKE More to live MORE

4 supercomputers from India in world's fastest 100

Two of the four supercomputers in the country that feature in the top 100 in the list of 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, are from Pune. While the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) supercomputer stands 36th in the list, ParamYuva II, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced computing (C-DAC) has bagged the 69th position.

The IITM supercomputer is yet to be installed while the Param Yuva II became operational from February 8 this year.

The list of top 500 supercomputers in the world was announced on Tuesday during the launch of the opening session of the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany.

Rajat Moona, director general, C-DAC said, "This is a major step for the country (for two of its supercomputers) to figure in the top 100 fastest supercomputers in the world. Over the years, India was losing its position in the supercomputer area in the world. In 2008, India had 10 machines in the top 500, but after that there was a bit of a downfall. In contrast, in 2004, China was nowhere on the scene but in the latest list, its supercomputer has taken the top ranking."

Moona said that India has taken a major step in the latest rankings and has more potential to move up as there is a huge demand for supercomputing in the country. He said that the union government is also looking at making an investment of Rs 5,000 crore in this area over the next five years.

Moona said, "There is a so much of high-end work being done in the area of weather forecasting, fluid dynamics, air borne bodies, ship movement, disaster management, design of earthquake prone structures that need massive supercomputing infrastructure. As a result of this need, the supercomputing infrastructure is also improving and has led to an improvement in world rankings for the country."

The Param Yuva II has a capacity of 524 teraflops and within three weeks of launching it was already running with a load of 70% of its capacity. Precise weather forecasting, faster tapping of natural resources in the sea and designing of customised drugs for individuals are some of the applications possible using Param Yuva II. It also promises to be energy efficient with 35% reduction in energy consumption as compared to other supercomputers.

The IITM supercomputer will start functioning in the next two to three months, Suryachandra Rao, chief programme scientist, department of high performance computing, IITM said. Rao said, "The supercomputer, once installed, will boost research in weather and climate forecasting as well as air pollution." Rao said that the process of installing the supercomputer was in progress and within one week of installation, it will be running. All the institutes under the union ministry of earth sciences will be using the IITM supercomputer facility.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Why not indigenous route for Submarine force?

India’s ageing fleet of submarines is matter of concern, since less than half of 14 submarine fleet can actually be deployed; Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) which is manufacturing locally Six Scorpene submarines from technology transfer from DCNS of France is already facing delays and first submarine which was under constructions from 2006 will only be delivered in 2015, and the project has gone over budget by 6000 crore.
Indian Navy will issue RFP (Request for Proposal) for a new line of six submarines with AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) capability designated Project 75-I. but the Indian navy has current requirement of around 24 to 30 Fleet of Diesel and Nuclear Submarines. Indian Navy currently operates Russian made Ins Chakra which is a nuclear power attack submarine (SSN) and India is also working on Ins Arihant which is a nuclear power ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).
Ins Arihant which is a 6,000 tonne vessel and an SSBN class submarine is actually much smaller then Ins Chakra which is a 8000 tonne vessel and a SSN submarine, diesel electric submarines are known as SSK class which are tasked for  hunter-killer role, but Sea wolf-class Nuclear submarines operated by United states for hunter-killer role have displacement of near 8000 tonne, so Ins Arihant class submarines can be modified into hunter-killer role or SSN if required.
Sources have informed that Arihant class can be made into SSN class but Current Naval requirements are development of new bigger SSBN class submarines after all four Arihant class submarines are delivered to Indian navy. India will be manufacturing Diesel submarines under Project 75-I under Technology transfer from the winning bidder, but whole process of RFP and selections and development will take time and considering delays which Scorpene submarines are facing it will be better if second line of Arihant class is started for SSN class submarines.

Navy concerned over India’s depleting submarine fleet


India’s underwater combat arm – the submarines fleet – is sinking. India has 14 conventional submarines, of which half are available for deployment. This is because ageing submarine fleets is being forced to spend more and more time at the docks for repairs and maintenance.
The Navy says the shortage is a serious concern. “The possibility of submarines lurking underneath the sea makes it difficult for enemy ships to move freely. A depleting submarine fleet means we will less and less capability of this,” a senior Navy officer told NDTV.
The bad news just got worse. Six Scorpene submarines, which were meant to be delivered by 2016, are further delayed. The first was expected in 2012. The first of these boats will now be inducted into the Navy in 2016. The reason: bureaucratic delay on part of the Department of Defence Procurement and the Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) in finalising the purchase of the equipment to be fitted into the boat and these include the sensors, propulsion systems etc.
The order is not likely to be completed before 2022.
The six submarines are being built at Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai with technology transfer from DCNS of France. MDL and Department of Defence Procurement was scheduled to complete the negotiations for MPM equipment by 2006-2007. Although technicians were sent to train in France, the negotiations for purchase of the MPM equipment wasn’t finalised. In 2010, the Navy was told the vital negotiations with vendors were far from complete and the first of the submarines wouldn’t be ready for induction in 2012.
The initial cost of the six submarines was pegged at Rs. 18,000 crore. With the delay, the cost is now pegged at least Rs. 24000 crore.
The Indian Navy says it needs at least 24 conventional submarines to deter Pakistan and China on its east and west coast. China in comparison has about 60 submarines; Pakistan has five.
Even now, there is no clarity on what kind of torpedoes are to be fitted into these boats.
In 2011, MDL had proposed staggered delivery of the submarines, with the first in 2015 and then a new one every six months. The first submarine will now come only by 2016 followed by one every year from thereon.

Let’s learn about the DRDO

Last week, there was an exciting piece of news in the paper… India is working to develop robotic soldiers as part of its efforts to boost unmanned fighting capabilities. These robotic soldiers can differentiate between a threat and a friend!
Many countries have joined hands in this endeavour. This project has been undertaken by the DRDO. How many of you know what DRDO actually means?
DRDO is the Defence Research & Development Organisation which comes under the ambit of the ministry of Defence. The main job for this organisation is to design and develop world class weapon systems and equipment. Their work makes us self-reliant in defence systems. The three services of the country – army, navy and air force – lays down their requirements and DRDO works towards fulfilling the same.
DRDO works in various areas of military technologies which includes aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, and electronics to name a few. The work of the DRDO also benefits the society. DRDO continuously strives towards making India a world-class science and technology base apart from providing the best solutions.
DRDO works closely with academic institutions, research and development Centres and the Science and Technology Ministry, to meet the requirements of the armed forces. A team of dedicated and skilled people work for the DRDO. The scientists and engineers are recruited through a national-level competitive exam called the Scientist Entry Test, which is held every year. Apart from this, recruitments also take place through campus interviews.
The organisation has a DRTC team as well. The Defence Research Technical Cadres (DRTC) assist scientists and engineers who are involved in the R & D work.
Admin and Allied Cadres provide administrative and establishment support. So now you know who is behind the success of our armed forces.

No compromise was made to end stand off with China: Army

No compromise was made to end the stand off with China in the Ladakh sector, Army’s General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, KT Parnaik said on Monday.
“Ultimately, the whole issue was resolved with Chinese reverting to the pre-April 15 situation. In doing so, no compromise was made. We didn’t give in to any of their unusual demands. No structures were destroyed,” Parnaik told reporters in Udhampur.
He said the Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments on the stand off when it was going on as the government had taken up the responsibility to do so.
“While the stand off with China was going on, Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments. Reason is that the task of informing people was taken by the government and foreign office was dealing with it directly,” he said.
Parnaik said China had violated the protocol when its troops put up tents in Daulat Old Begi sector in Ladakh region on April 15.
“On April 15, China came in and put up tents in the area. They decided to stay put. It was violation of the protocol. The matter went up to the foreign office. We had series of meetings. Foreign office was in touch with Beijing to de-escalate the situation,” Parnaik said.
He said the situation was de-escalated without any compromises.
“I repeat that no compromise was made and Chinese reverted to the pre-April 15 situation. That is how the situation was de-escalated,” he said.
The Army officer said he was not in favour of partial revocation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
“There is no need to disempower Army by partial revocation of AFSPA,” he said, adding that Army had not misused AFSPA.
On Amarnath yatra, he said, “We have got inputs on threat to the yatra.”
On the issue of the stand off with China, Parnaik said, “There was no compromise. We lost nothing. We dismantled none of our defences. We broke none of our structures, which is a speculation.
“It was achieved without any compromise…and within the realm of the BPTA (Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement) treaty, which exists. There was a simultaneous effort on the ground, at the tactical level by our formations, as well as the dialogue between the two countries at the foreign office level,” he said.
Parnaik said the Indian border with China, especially in Ladakh, has a “major problem” because it is not firmly delineated.
He said there were large areas of different perceptions.
“The Chinese feel that their border extends to that line, we feel that our border extends to the line we believe to be ours. So, the areas recognised are the areas with different perceptions,” he said.
Therefore, he said the PLA and the Indian Army continue to patrol these areas up to their area of perception and in doing so, they come across each other’s patrol regularly. When that happens, there is a face-off.
“The entire process is peaceful. Whenever there is a face-off, we show manners to each other. We convince each other to de-escalate the situation. They go to their side and we return to our side,” he said.
Parnaik said there are established methods of dealing with stand-offs. “These methods include communicating on the hotline… we have flag meetings, we have border personnel meeting. Besides, there are protocols which are followed by both the countries,” he said.
On April 15, when Chinese troops put up tents in Ladakh area, they violated the protocol, which led to the stand off, he said.

PHOTOS: First IAF C-17 Arrives At Indian Base

18 Jun 2013 saw the first of the ten Boeing C 17 Globemaster III, ordered from the United States, touchdown in India, at Hindan airbase. With the training of the aircrew and the ground crew being conducted by the United States Air Force (USAF), the Indian Air Force accepted the delivery of the aircraft on 11 Jun 2013 at Long Beach, California.

Received by Air Marshal S Sukumar, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at the Hindan airbase, where it would be based.
The aircraft will enhance the operational potential of the IAF with its payload carriage and performance capability and would augment the strategic reach of the Nation during disaster relief or any similar mission. The induction of C 17 is a major milestone in the modernization drive of the IAF.  

First LCA Tejas Mk.2 Prototype Next Year?

As the LCA Tejas Mk.1 fights through its crucial final stretch, it has been revealed that the first Mk.2 prototype is likely to be rolled out next year. As part of its effort to identify and certify LRUs for the improved combat jet, HAL has declared on April 9 to prospective development partners/suppliers of a hydraulic pump: "HAL-ARDC is taking up for development and qualification of certain LRUs required for catering to LCA-Mark 2 version. The first prototype aircraft is slated for built during 2013-14, while series production(s) are planned for inducting to fleet which is stated to be taken up in two phases commencing from 2016 onwards." (sic)

HAL suggests here that series production of the Mk.2 commences in 2016 -- that'll be bare months after the Mk.1 enters squadron service with the IAF, so I'm inclined see this as typical HAL/DRDO optimism, especially given that there's substantial work that needs doing on the Mk.2, not least airframe/fuselage changes to house and operate the new F414-GE-INS6 turbofan and allow higher performance requirements.

Indo-Pak Tactical Missiles risk dangerous miscalculation, U.S Intel Officer

India and Pakistan see their pursuit of better precision-strike tactical missiles as protecting them from coercion by the other side, but in reality they are creating more possibilities for dangerous strategic miscalculation, a U.S. intelligence official said on Wednesday.

“A strategic stability that attempts to close off options is really not all that stable,” said Rob Williams, national intelligence officer for South Asia with the National Intelligence Director’s Office. “It appears more to be seeking advantage and possibly pursuit of compellence" -- the effort to force an opponent to undertake a certain action through the application of punishment.

Pakistan says its 37-mile-range Hatf 9 ballistic missile is capable of carrying out low-yield nuclear strikes and evading enemy defense systems. The weapon is aimed at deterring New Delhi from carrying out a fast-moving, limited conventional invasion of Pakistani territory -- the so-called “Cold Start” doctrine.

Meanwhile, India is increasingly focused on its supersonic 180-mile-range Brahmos cruise missile as the key new weapon that will give it a strategic advantage over its neighbor and longtime rival. The nuclear-capable missile’s superfast speeds mean it potentially could be used to carry out prompt strikes on extremist camps inside Pakistan.

“While Pakistan may feel confident that it has checked Cold Start … proliferation of more accurate systems opens the door to precision strike scenarios below the nuclear threshold,” Williams told an audience at a Stimson Center event. “Pakistan arguably may be able to now deter a major conventional (assault) but the increased accuracy of these systems opens the door for precision strikes (by India) on the assessed sources of terrorism.”

The development of such weapons as the Hatf 9 and Brahmos show that Pakistani and Indian military planners are trying to carve out arenas in which tactical missiles could be used in limited ways without inviting retaliatory escalation. However, Williams argued that “these weapons regardless of size, delivery system or yield carry strategic implications no matter the concept of employment."

Islamabad is understood to believe it can use the Hatf 9 to compel India to call off a land invasion without causing a broader nuclear exchange because of the relatively low yield of the missile’s warhead. India signaled in late April that it would not allow itself to be held to such “nuclear blackmail.”

"India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, but if it is attacked with such weapons, it would engage in nuclear retaliation which will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage on its adversary,” said former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, now head of the National Security Advisory Board. “The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the Indian perspective.”

Last month, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said if Saran’s statement did in fact represent the posture of the Indian government, it would have “serious implications.”

A ministry spokesman said Pakistan's development of short-range missiles “address three major concerns emanating from India: One, the rising conventional asymmetry in view of ever escalating defense budgets by India; Two, offensive doctrines postulated by India in the nuclear overhang; and Three, development of ballistic missile defense. Pakistan's Nasr (Hatf 9) missile as well as pursuit of cruise missiles should be seen in this context.”

Stimson Center co-founder Michael Krepon suggested that were the United States to sell India missile defense technology, it would only speed up the arms race in South Asia.

Though there is not yet any formal U.S.-Indian agreement authorizing antimissile collaboration, senior Pentagon officials last year spoke favorably about the possibility and the “Indian technical establishment is on the case,” according to Krepon.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Indian Navy for bomb displosal robots

The Indian Navy has announced interest in procuring four remotely-operated vehicles for explosive ordnance displosal purposes. Declaring its interest, the Navy has said it requires these EOD ROVs for “safe disposal/neutralisation of improvised explosive devices found within naval shore/afloat establishments”.
The Navy has stipulated that the ROV should be versatile with high manoeuvrability to allow operation in built up areas and field terrain and confined spaces such as in ships, aircraft, buses and trains. In addition it should be able to climb stairs (stair height 8”). Like most modern ROVs deployed in field areas in West Asian theatres, the Navy wants its prospective bomb-disposal robots to be fitted with a manipulator arm with a gripper claw, should be wheel driven with replaceable and removable tracks. It should also have the capacity to fit water disrupter barrels with mounting bracket.
Importantly, it should be capable of picking up explosives weighing at least 6-kg and up to half a metre in length. The Indian Army has already chosen to buy 20 DRDO Daksh IED handling ROVs of a limited series production line. The Indian Navy is likely to consider the Daksh as part of its current effort too.

Indian Navy for heavy torpedoes for new ASW ships

The Indian Navy is in the market for new heavyweight torpedoes with “state-of-the-art technology, of calibre 534.4mm and length not exceeding 7,800mm, to be fired from existing torpedo tubes of ships”. The Navy has been looking to acquire new torpedoes for years, and the current acquisition will be in line with that.
The Navy is already on the verge of signing a deal for 98 Finmeccanica WASS Blackshark heavyweight torpedoes for its Scorpene submarines, a deal that appears now to be delayed by the entire Finmeccanica controversy that’s already taken a toll on the AgustaWestland VVIP copter contract progress. The Indian Navy needs the new heavyweight torpedoes for its P28 class of anti-submarine warfare corvettes, the first of which is to be delivered to the Navy by the end of this year. The DRDO’s own heavyweight torpedo Varunastra is undergoing trials at this time and is likely to be ready for integration on platforms only by 2016.

Military nursing cadets graduate

Nineteen cadets of School of Nursing, Command Hospital Air Force, Bangalore, were commissioned into Military Nursing Service (MNS) at a ceremony held at Sushruta Auditorium on the hospital premises, on Tuesday. Air Vice Marshall Rajvir Singh Bhalwar, commandant Command Hospital Air Force Bangalore presided over the event as the chief guest.
Col P S Sulochana, principal matron, welcomed the gathering, while Lt Col Cecily P J, principal tutor, presented the annual school report.
The students, from the 37th batch of School of Nursing, underwent three and a half years of training. In the final all-India examination, the Bangalore batch secured the first, fourth, sixth and eighth ranks.
The DGAFMS Board Examination will now decide on the rank and placement of the 19 cadets.
These young nursing officers are posted to various service hospitals all over the country. They are also deputed to foreign countries on UN Missions when sanctioned or as required.
Command Hospital Air Force Bangalore (CHAFB) is the only Command Hospital of  Indian Air Force. It started out as a 50-bed Military Hospital, which was raised for British troops in 1816. It was soon overtaken by the Air Force.
Consequently, on December 22, 1977, the Air Force Hospital was upgraded and designated as Command Hospital Air Force Bangalore (CHAFB) and on November 5, 1984 the command of the hospital was upgraded to the rank of Air Vice Marshal. The hospital runs an authorised School of Nursing besides various other training institutes.

Jayaraman is ASL director

Advanced Systems Laboratory, a key missile facility in Hyderabad has a new Director in Jayaraman. An outstanding Scientist, he took charge as Director of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory from V.G. Sekharan.
A post-graduate in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, he joined the DRDO in 1982.As System Manager for Project Agni, he designed and developed Carbon Composite Re-entry Vehicle Structures with “shell-on-shell” technique for Agni III.
Jayaraman is instrumental in establishing and realising indigenous manufacturing capabilities for design and manufacture of large size composite process equipments like Multi-axis CNC winding machine, Autoclaves etc.
“Composites have become the buzzword now and big corporates like Godrej, L&T etc have keen plans, as the potential applications across industry are many”, Jayaraman told Business Line.
Being light weight, corrosion resistant and tough, composites have been used in transportation, power, cooling towers, high temperature research and wherever weight reduction with durability is required.
As Technology Director of Composite Product Development Centre, he guided the team of scientists for the design and development of large-size composite rocket motors for Agni IV and Agni V System.

Indian Army for heavy recovery vehicle

The Indian Army is looking to procure an unspecified number of heavy recovery vehicles to recover stalled, overturned or broken down heavy or armored vehicles of the forces. The Army is looking for a vehicle capable of providing recovery cover for vehicles over 15 tonnes in all terrain (desert, plains, marshy ground, rocky ground and to a limited extent in mountains upto 4,500 meters above sea level).
 It needs to be capable of un-ditching, up-righting, extricating and pulling wheeled vehicles upto 26 tonnes. It needs to have a lifespan of over 1,00,000 km. With a great deal of inductions ahead of heavy and armored vehicles, the Army requires a great deal of back-up crash support in all theaters. BEML’s HRV AV-15 (see photo) will be a contender in any competition that is announced. As reported earlier by SP’s, the Army is in the process of inducting over 7,000 new vehicles: 3,500 light bullet proof vehicles (LBPV), 2,500 infantry mobility vehicles, an unspecified number of light-armored multipurpose vehicles, 500-600 light specialty strike specialist vehicles and 228 light strike vehicles, in addition to tanks and utility trucks.

UAV for anti-Maoist operations in Chhattisgarh, says Shinde

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Tuesday said the government was making arrangements to deploy an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in areas close to Chhattisgarh to gather intelligence on Maoists.
Addressing a press conference here, Shinde termed the May 25 Maoist attack on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh as “a terror act” and said the government had made arrangements for unmanned aerial vehicles.
“We are making arrangements for them to be deployed in areas close to Chhattisgarh,” Shinde said.
Officials said there is a proposal to move UAVs from Begumpet airport in Andhra Pradesh to Chhattisgarh for more effective use in anti-Maoist intelligence gathering.
Asked about the attack on Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh that killed 28 people, including some senior state Congress leaders, Shinde said: “(We) had been maintaining (it was) a Naxal movement. It was terrorist activity.”
He said Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who was killed in the Maoist attack, had been stabbed 75 times and shot repeatedly. Congress leader and former information minister V.C. Shukla, who was shot three times in the attack, succumbed to his wounds in a Gurgaon hospital Tuesday.
“Is it not terror? It is terror act,” he said.
Answering queries, he rejected Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s demand for a white paper on internal security.
Replying to Modi’s demand in the context of Maoist violence, Shinde said the chief minister knows the “gravity of Naxalism”.
“I don’t think a white paper is required,” he said.

CRPF raise India’s first paramilitary women commando team

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Tuesday introduced its first 30-member all-woman commando squad here, an official said.
India’s first paramilitary women commando team, consisting of 30 highly trained and motivated women, including two officers, has undergone a tough regimen of three months’ commando training at Rajasthan’s Jodhpur Police Academy, the official said.
“They have been trained in various aspects like hostage crisis, rescuing citizens endangered in terrorist attacks, providing proximate security to visiting female dignitaries, counter-terrorist operations, resolving high-risk situations, resolving situations involving vital installations, situations involving high-risk suicidal attacks and providing additional security at special events,” the official said at the paramilitary’s group centre Kadarpur, some 10 km from Gurgaon city.
CRPF Director General Pranay Sahay said the Mahila battalions of the force were the most manifest form of women’s empowerment and had been able to present an example before the country with their courage, dedication and loyalty.
“CRPF women are deployed all over the country in operational and conflict zones and have also been coordinating religious yatras like the gruelling Amarnath Yatra,” said Sahay.
The all-woman commando team also gave a performance of their skills at the function.