Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reactor safety of Arihant




Photos by Suman Sharma:Defexpo, Delhi, Feb 2008

Met ATV officers today, who gave an idea about the reactor and the safety mechanisms inside the submarine. The reactor of the 'indigenous' INS Arihant, bought from the Russian OKBM through Rubin, located in the sixth compartment of the 8-compartment hull of the nuclear submarine, will get started in about a month's time. The reactor controlled by the CRDM--Controlled Red Drive Mechanism, has got neutrons seperated from the fissionable material by cadmium rods, which are removed when the reactor is to be started, and thus the reactor or the heart of the submarine begins, thereby beginning the electricity, and all other operations of the submarine.

All those working around the submarine are supposed to wear dose recording meters,. to record how much radiation has gone into the body and if it is not within permissible limits, the personnel will be removed from the site.

There are other gadgets also to be worn at all time by those inside the sub.

The submarine has lead, concrete pipes inside to control radiation. Also, I was told, that out of the alpha, beta and gamma radiation, the most dangerous are gamma radiations. Out of the eight compartments in the ATV, only the 6th is which requires utmost care, While one by one each of the compartments get ready to activate, I am getting ready to recieve exclusive pictures for the first time of the actual ATV in harbour action, to be put up here soon. Keep watching.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Irkut clarifies Antony's statement in Parliament about Sukhoi crash

Exclusive to Chindits:

In response to Defence Minister A K Antony's statement in Rajya Sabha dated July 22, 2009, that the reason of the IAF Sukhoi-30MKI crash of April 30 this year is the failure of the fly-by-wire system, as per preliminary inquiry. While agency reports pointed out towards human error, which were not confirmed by the MoD.

Antony in Rajya Sabha, "The preliminary investigation into the accident reveal that the reason for the crash of the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force, is likely failure of the Fly-by-Wire system. There is no indication of any serious problem in maintenance of aircraft by the IAF or any short supply of hardware as the cause of the crash.

Irkut Sukhoi replies to Chindits,"It was a pilot's awkward action in the cockpit that switched the FBW off completely (it cannot fail, it is 4-fold redudndant).

Warranty is a very complicated procedure, involves many conditions. To know for sure one need to study the original Contract clause. This can only happen it is proven that the loss of aircraft was due to the faulty manufacturing by OEM. If the loss was due to technical servicing, then it's different because pre-flight servicing and checks are done by IAF technicians. And the aircraft was recently upgraded at Nasik. "

US Navy's first stealth fifth generation fighter to be unveiled

Lockheed Martin will unveil the initial F-35C Lightning II, the US Navy’s first-ever stealth fighter, at the company’s Fort Worth plant, on July 28, 2009.
Adm. Gary Roughead, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations, is expected to attend the ceremony, along with Lockheed Martin officials.
The F-35C carrier variant allows the Navy – for the first time – to possess 5th generation capabilities at sea, including uncompromised carrier suitability and low-maintenance stealth materials designed for long-term durability in a seaborne environment.

Courtesy: Lockheed Martin media advisory

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lady Officers !!


Defence Minister A K Antony said in Rajya Sabha that in the past five years 11 cases relating to allegations of sexual harassment of lady officers in the armed forces have been reported. Citing the example of Major General A K Lal, who was dismissed last year from service after charges of sexual harassment from Captain Neha Rawat were proven against him, Antony said that inquiries, investigations, GCMs and other punishments have been instituted in all the cases reported, to ensure redressal.

He added that any complaint of sexual harassment from a woman officers is viewed seriously and is investigated


However, the question of Captain Poonam Kaur's dismissal has once again brought into the open the entire debate of whether to have women officers in the armed forces or not and now with the Government's clearance last year, of giving them permanent commission, there are mixed views in the armed forces.

Captain Poonam Kaur of the Indian Army's 5682 ASC battalion posted in Kalka, became the first woman army officer to have been awarded dismissal from service. She was tried for 21 charges under a General Court Martial (GCM) in the Patiala-based 5 Armoured Regiment, which included allegedly having illicit relations with a driver of the battalion, who was detained last year. Ten of these charges were proven, with being guilty for seven of them, and the officer was awarded dismissal from service. The confirmation of the sentence is awaited from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Western Command, which is in Chandi Mandir.

Capt Kaur, in her mid-20s; who was under house arrest for the past one year, had last year alleged sexual, mental and physical harassment by three male officers of her unit, which included her Commanding Officer. She had complained to the Major General-ASC of the Chandi-mandir based Western Command, under which her unit falls, that she was put under a house arrest, in her official residence as a result of the complaint. She had applied for a married accommodation, citing problems for which she wanted her mother and brother to stay with her. They were asked to leave the official quarter by the officers, said she in her complaint.

Calling it a case of victimisation, Kaur's counsel, retired Colonel Surendra Agarwal told People's Post, "She is being wrongly convicted for those charges, which do not amount to offence.The Army is trying to set an example out of her, that women officers should not level allegations of sexual harrassment agianst thier seniors."

An Ordnance lady officer posted in the north-east, who didn't wish to be identified said that sexual harassment was rampant in the services, as women officers were a minority and till now became officers after six-months, in the army, which irked many male officers. "We are scrutinized for everything we do. We maintain decorum as far dressing goes, but personally when we go out also we are expected to be dressed formally which is not possible and if we don't we are subjected to harassment in the form of receiving vulgar anonymous messages on cell-phones etc ."

About staying the order, Agarwal said that since it had not been confirmed yet, which normally takes two months, there is no question of staying the order or asking for a fresh hearing. All that the officer can do is appeal in the Armed Forces Tribunal, as and when it starts functioning. There is no provision of appeal in the High Court, Supreme Court or in the Army for something like this, he added.

Last year Kaur's counsel Agarwal had sent applications to the President of India, who is also the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, Defence Minister A K Antony and the Army Chief. At the behest of the Defence Minister, the Army Commander of the Chandimandir-based Western Command, Lieutenant General T K Sapru ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI), on July 15, 2008, to inquire the allegations leveled by Kaur. The Court assembled on July 17, 2008, in Kalka, where the battalion officers named in the case turned the court of inquiry against Kaur, asking to enquire into the 21 allegations leveled by them against her, instead of having an inquiry on them.

The court of inquiry was allegedly misdirected. Capt Kaur was not allowed examine her witnesses, Agarwal said. Kaur was then later attached with the Patiala-based 5 Armoured Regiment, for further disciplinary action.

Also despite Kaur's requests, copies of the convening order of the Court of Inquiry were not made available to her, in which case she could not defend herself, said her counsel.

Major Dimple Singla, posted in Chandi Mandir, too was charged of corruption in 2007, but her order to be dismissed from service was stayed as the matter was taken to the High Court. Singla, however retired after her tenure of 10 years.

Lt Sushmita Chakravarty, committed suicide in June 2006 in the Army's Udhampur-based Northern Command, after shooting herself from a rifle borrowed from the armed sentry outside her house.It was believed that Chakravorty was under depression over her charter of duties assigned, which included arranging and attending late night parties.

The first case of dismissal from service, in the armed forces, was that of Squadron Leader Anjali Gupta of the Indian Air Force (IAF), who was sacked from service in 2005 for indiscipline. Gupta, who was posted in Bangalore, had charged her senior of sexual remarks. the officer in question, Air Vice Marshal Anil Chopra, is now posted in Air Headquarters, Delhi.He was promoted while the lady officer was out of service, and she later approached the High Court.

But there have been cases like that of Major General A K Lal who was awarded 'dismissal from service', in accordance with the Army Act, in the General Court Martial (GCM) which concluded in Bhatinda in September 2008 for the charges of sexual harassment leveled at him by Captain Neha Rawat.

Officers and their wives have told People's Post that opening up of the army to women officers seems to have created more problems than the army can handle. Women were inducted in the armed forces in 1993. Since then they have been facing gender- discrimination at the professional front and cases of sexual harassment, but on the other hand wives of male officers have been complaining against them for 'stealing the affections of their husbands".

Under the army regulations, it is an offence to "steal the affections of a brother officer's wife" or in other words to have an illicit relationship with a fellow officer's wife. With the entry of lady officers the rules are being re-written. It is an equal offence for a lady officer to have a relationship with a married officer, says a senior officer.

An officer confides, "Till now we didn't have lady officers in the armed forces, so such a rule did not exist. Only male officers stealing the affection of a brother's officer's wife earning displeasure and severe reprimand existed, but now with lady officers coming in, such misconducts too are being taken seriously.

Meanwhile, an officer from the Judge Advocate General, the law branch of the army, adds that a Court of Inquiry (CoI) could result in a severe reprimand for the lady officer with a red mark on her dossier. This could range from posting her out of the place where the incident has taken place to not extending her service tenure. While the male can be subjected to all of the above as punishment and also have an additional DV (Discipline and Vigilance) ban placed on him. The ban placed for a limited period, during which if he is due for promotion, could make him miss his next rank.


Following are some of the cases :

An infantry officer, Captain Yashpal Rathi, posted at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), gets involved with an Education Corps lady officer, Lieutenant Rashmi Chopra. The officer's wife writes to the then Army Chief's wife, Mrs. Ranjana Malik, about the extra-marital relationship. Capt Rathi gets posted out of the academy overnight, and is placed under a Discipline and Vigilance (DV) ban for three years . He faces a Court of Inquiry (CoI). Chopra too is called from the Delhi-based 60 Brigade, for the inquiry, and is denied extension after the completion of five years of her service.

An infantry Lieutenant Colonel gets involved with a lady Captain from the Corps of Signals in Allahabad in 2005. The Commanding Officer of the lady officer gets wind of the "good friendship" brewing and posts the lady Captain out.


At the Pune-based Southern Command a Lieutenant Colonel and a lady Captain, both from the Army Ordnance Corps, discovered having an affair. The officer's wife complaints to the Army Chief. The lady officer gets shifted to Ludhiana but continues to threaten the Lt. Col. wife's to withdraw the complaint or else she would go to court to claim damages. The male officer moves to the Kanpur Ordnance Factory.

With wives of defence officers writing to seniors about lady officers getting too close with their husbands, a situation that has gripped the armed forces is far more serious than it appears.

A senior infantry officer's wife told People's Post that, "The Infantry and other such fighting arms do not have women officers. But still there is scope for lady officers coming across these combat officers, during courses and while on their staff postings in formations. But it's for the officer, and more so a married one, to just keep it professional. While such cases among non-combat arms having both male and female officers are equally serious."

Explains a senior officer, posted in the Army Headquarters, that it happens in other professions also. It is normal in the armed forces as well, as they all stay, work, and eat, with each other at the same premises.

Around 945 lady officers in the army, 739 in the Indian Air Force (IAF), and 236 in the Indian Navy have been shouldering responsibilities in the non-combat arms with a maximum of 14 years of service. The non-combat arms for which the women are eligible are Education, Ordnance, Services Corps, Judge Advocate General (the law arm of the forces), Logistics, Signals, Engineers, Air Traffic Control, transport and helicopter aviation. Lady officers have time and again asked for permanent commission in the combat arms. Recently three lady officers from the IAF and one retired from the navy, have also gone to court over grant of the same.

A lady Air Force Officer posted in Air Headquarters, Delhi, questions that why only lady officers are blamed. There have been cases of officers' wives having illicit relations with other officers or male officers trying out the same with lady officers and harassing them.

Like the Israeli armed forces, the US army too has women who are part of the combat arms and are also employed in the non-officer cadre. In the US armed forces the law is slightly different. If the lady is married but not an officer, then she will be exempted from court martial. A married lady officer may be court martialled or severely reprimanded if found guilty. While the law appears harsh for male officers. If found to have a relationship with a woman employee, whether an officer or otherwise, irrespective of the marital status, male officers will find themselves court martialled. The punishment could be even more severe if the woman employee is from the non-officer corps called an enlisted employee and is married.

A case in point that rocked the US Senate was that of Lieutenant Kelly Flinn, the first female B-52 Bomber pilot in the United States Air Force. Flinn facing charges of adultery and insubordination faced court martial and was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1997. The incident sparked widespread media attention in the country. Flinn had a relationship with a colleague married to a female enlisted subordinate. She was charged with a conduct unbecoming of an officer, disobeying a lawful order and making a false official statement.

Eventually Flinn was allowed to resign to avoid court martial, which got criticism for the US Air Force for awarding her a general discharge rather than a dismissal.

A defence psychologist explained that it's nothing abnormal for relationships to flourish at work places. The armed forces are a close knit and conservative society, and with the lady officers as the new entrants into this society, the rules are being re-written. Educated girls are getting commissioned at a young age, with their basic necessities being taken care of. This he added, gives them a spirit of freedom and the adventure to experiment with an unconventional profession taking them to a new high.

With assertion of their new found independence in what was the last male bastion, perhaps these young lady officers are trying to write a new chapter.

IAF captures the 'diamond ring'





MoD's DPR releases rare pix of solar eclipse




Defence Ministry's DPR photographer, Guru Dutt Mehra, captured these rare and spectacular pictures of the solar eclipse today.

Photos by MoD-DPR

IAF assists in solar eclipse data collection

The 10-member team of scientists and camera team from Doordarshan will be flying in an AN-32 from Agra airbase in an endeavour to capture and film the eclipse today. The aircraft will fly along the central axis on a north-westerly direction at an approximate altitude of 25,000 feet reciprocal from overhead Khajuraho and land back at Agra. Meanwhile, a Mirage-2000 trainer will also take off from Gwalior airbase and the pilot from the rear seat will click images even as the fighter flies in an angular track to the central axis.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue berets await payments from UN

Permanent Mission of India (PMI), New York has intimated that approximately US$ 85 million was outstanding from the UN for UN peacekeeping operations till June 30, 2009. This includes Armed Forces and Police for current and past missions. Reimbursement for UN peacekeeping mission is an on-going process. The claims are settled by the UN after due verification and accounting procedure.

The payment of outstanding dues is constantly pursued with the UN through the Permanent Mission of India, New York and visits by special teams from time to time.

This information was given by Defence Minister AK Antony in Lok Sabha today.

An-32 fleet to be upgraded by 2017

A contract for upgradation of AN-32 aircraft has been signed with State Foreign Trade Enterprise Spetstechnoexport (STE), Ukraine on June 15, 2009 for total technical life extension (TTLE), overhaul and re-equipment of AN-32 aircraft in the IAF fleet.

The calendar life of AN-32 aircraft will be enhanced from 25 years to 40 years. The expenditure likely to be incurred on the project is 397.7 million US dollars. The upgradation process is scheduled to be completed between 2009-17.

This information was given by Defence Minister A K Antony in Lok Sabha today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CAG slams MoD and HAL for tech gaps in ALH

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)'s annual report has slammed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the induction of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) with technological gaps in them. The helicopters valuing Rs 1747 crore in contract with HAL might impact the operational preparedness of the Army, is what the CAG report says.

Meant for reconnaisance, observation,aerial attack and transporting troops and materials, the ALH were supposed to replace the Cheetah and the Chetaks, presently in use in the Army Aviation Corps. Induction of another 105 ALHs, costing Rs 9490 crore with Shakti engine, is also unduly being delayed. The report states that alternative measures to improve performance of the ALHs are yet to be put in place even after a decade of its development, at a cost of Rs 2488 crore. All this has been affecting the operational ability of the Indian Army in forward high altitude areas.

The first version of the Shakti engine was required to fly upto 6500 meters but could not go beyond 5000 meters. The helicopter also had vibrations, which were not acceptable. Despite these shortcomings the army ordered eight more after accepting four. It was then decided that HAL would identify a more powerful engine to replace the existing one, and the weight of the helicopter also would be reduced.

The ALHs required for troop movement, enhanced surveillance capability and providing quick logistics in the battle zone, by the army as early back as 1980. Later after it was decided that they get inducted by the 10th Plan, but the postponement has gone to the 12th Plan.

A more powerful Shakti engine replaced the earlier version to overcome the shortcomings, five years after the trials with the first one.But sources have confirmed that even the new version Shakti has not been able to deliver.

However former Air Chief, F H Major, told People's Post, "I've done one flight with the new Shakti engine on the chopper. The new engine is very good.Its more powerful, however it has not been certified.Since the trials are on with the Shakti, therefore we will have to wait till it is certified. The delay in induction will definetely affect the modernisation of the services."

Timeline:

In June 1984, the Government approved the indigenous design and development of the ALH project by HAL in collaboration with Turbomeca, France, based on the requirements of the Inian Air Force (IAF). The project was completed in June 2001 at a cost of Rs 2487.99 crore, of which Army shared Rs 808.89 crore.

In September 1995, Army came up with a requirement of 99 helicopters to be inducted by 2007, which was then reduced to 40. The helicopters produced initially under the Limited Series Production (LSP) in 2001 failed to meet requirements, as it had shortcomings, owing to the limitation of the engine.

In December 2007, the MoD placed three more contracts with HAL for procuring 105 ALHs costing Rs 9490.79 crore, with the new Shakti engine.

In December 2008, HAL undertook development of the more powerful Shakti engine in collaboration with 'Turbomeca of France, after a five year delay.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)'s annual report has slammed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the induction of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) with technological gaps in them. The helicopters valuing Rs 1747 crore in contract with HAL might impact the operational preparedness of the Army, is what the CAG report says.

Meant for reconnaisance, observation,aerial attack and transporting troops and materials, the ALH were supposed to replace the Cheetah and the Chetaks, presently in use in the Army Aviation Corps. Induction of another 105 ALHs, costing Rs 9490 crore with Shakti engine, is also unduly being delayed. The report states that alternative measures to improve performance of the ALHs are yet to be put in place even after a decade of its development, at a cost of Rs 2488 crore. All this has been affecting the operational ability of the Indian Army in forward high altitude areas.

The first version of the Shakti engine was required to fly upto 6500 meters but could not go beyond 5000 meters. The helicopter also had vibrations, which were not acceptable. Despite these shortcomings the army ordered eight more after accepting four. It was then decided that HAL would identify a more powerful engine to replace the existing one, and the weight of the helicopter also would be reduced.

The ALHs required for troop movement, enhanced surveillance capability and providing quick logistics in the battle zone, by the army as early back as 1980. Later after it was decided that they get inducted by the 10th Plan, but the postponement has gone to the 12th Plan.

A more powerful Shakti engine replaced the earlier version to overcome the shortcomings, five years after the trials with the first one.But sources have confirmed that even the new version Shakti has not been able to deliver.

However former Air Chief, F H Major, told People's Post, "I've done one flight with the new Shakti engine on the chopper. The new engine is very good.Its more powerful, however it has not been certified.Since the trials are on with the Shakti, therefore we will have to wait till it is certified. The delay in induction will definetely affect the modernisation of the services."

Timeline:

In June 1984, the Government approved the indigenous design and development of the ALH project by HAL in collaboration with Turbomeca, France, based on the requirements of the Inian Air Force (IAF). The project was completed in June 2001 at a cost of Rs 2487.99 crore, of which Army shared Rs 808.89 crore.

In September 1995, Army came up with a requirement of 99 helicopters to be inducted by 2007, which was then reduced to 40. The helicopters produced initially under the Limited Series Production (LSP) in 2001 failed to meet requirements, as it had shortcomings, owing to the limitation of the engine.

In December 2007, the MoD placed three more contracts with HAL for procuring 105 ALHs costing Rs 9490.79 crore, with the new Shakti engine.

In December 2008, HAL undertook development of the more powerful Shakti engine in collaboration with 'Turbomeca of France, after a five year delay.

Structural fault in MiG-29 fighters

Russia has pointed out structural faults in MiG-29 aircraft. There was a MiG-29 accident in Russia in December 2008. RAC-MiG has intimated that corrosion on the Fin Root Ribs has been identified as the cause of crack development. There is no plan to decommission MiG-29 aircraft. The repair scheme and preventive measures are in place and IAF has not encountered major problems concerning the issue. IAF has not entered into a new deal for procurement of MiG-29 aircraft.

This information was given by Defence Minister K Antony in a written reply to Prabhat Jha and Balavant Alias Bal Apte in Rajya Sabha today.

Offsets in Pub-Pvt partnership in defence industry

Ministry of Defence has been including offset clause in capital acquisitions according to the guidelines laid down as per Defence Procurement procedure.

Offset contracts of more than Rs. 7500 crores have been signed till date. Contracts between foreign suppliers and Indian defence companies are resulting in setting up of, interalia, manufacturing, design, testing, service centers in the Indian defence industries.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Shri M.M. Pallam Raju in a written reply to Shri T.K. Rangarajan in Rajya Sabha today.

Major re-shuffle in the Navy's top brass next month

Heard from very reliable sources about these likely appointments in the Navy, to take place next month, as the present Chief retires:

(a) Eastern FOC-in-C Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma to become Chief on September 1, as CNS Sureesh Mehta retires.

(b) Vice Admiral Anoop Singh to become FOC-in-C-East, after Nirmal Verma vacates that billet.

(C) Vice Admiral D K Dewan to take over as Vice Chief as V.Adm Raman P Suthan retires.

(d) Vice Admiral Soni from Mumbai as Chief of Staff, Western Command (COS-West), will go to NDA as Commandant, as V. Adm Robin Dhowan retires from there.

(e) Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan will take over as COS-West from V. Adm Soni.

(f) Vice Admiral K N Sushil to take over as FOC-in-C South--Cochin, as V.Adm Murli vacates that billet.

(g) Vice Admiral Murli, presently FOC-in-C South will come to Delhi as COP (Chief of Personnel), who is now V.Adm Dewan, who is moving up as Vice Chief.

(h) Vice Admiral D K Joshi will take over as FOC-in-C of the Andaman & Nicobar tri-services command, as V. Adm Vijay Shankar retires shortly.

(j) Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha will take over as the chief of the tri-services headquarter-Integrated Defence Staff (IDS).

(k) Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan to come to the headquarters as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS). He is presently in NDA as Commandant.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pradeep Kumar--new Defence Secretary

It was officially announced by the MoD, through a release, that Pradeep Kumar has been appointed as the next Defence Secretary. He will assume charge on the superannuation of Vijay Singh on July 31, 2009. Kumar is presently working as Secretary (Defence Production) in the Ministry of Defence.

He belongs to 1972 batch of Indian Administrative Service. Kumar who is a Haryana Cadre officer, is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Masters in Economic and Social Studies from the University of Wales, UK.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Original INS Rajput photos



Happened to meet an old retired naval personnel, over my weekend trip to Rajasthan, who served as a radio and radar personnel on board INS Rajput. These are the original pictures taken by him when the destroyer joined the Indian navy in 1979. This was the first ship from Russia to have joined the navy (earlier ships were bought only from the UK).

The first destroyer to have guided missiles. Recently the BrahMos was integrated on it and the indigenous Dhanush too is being considered for it. BrahMos has been successfully integrated on it. The first skipper of this ship was Captain Hiranandani, who's daughter Meera Sanyal contested from Mumbai as an independant candidate for the 15th Lok Sabha, who retired as Vice Admiral.

L and T approaches DRDO for radars

Larsen and Toubro (L andT) has approached DRDO for surveillance radars for the purpose of industry perimeter surveillance. DRDO is imparting technology for non-military use outside to the private industry.

Many other private players have approached DRDO.

Am back!!

I am back after a short weekend-break.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Race for top job heats up in DRDO

The race for the top job in DRDO seems to be heating up, with Dr Natarajan due for retirement on August 31, this year. The Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri (SA to RM), will turn 65 and can be given an extension also, depending on the Government's decision. Sources have informed that he is not interested in an extension.



The name doing the rounds is Dr Saraswat, who is completing his tenure and is 60 and still has five more years if chosen for the top job. Others in the reckoning are Dr S.Pillai (BrahMos-CEO), who is the seniormost, but is serving extension and is around 64, so therefore is left with one year (unless given extension, one more time).

Dr Prahlada and Dr Dipankar Bannerjee are both 64, and are left with just one more year, unless given extension. The only scientist to have had a full two terms and still be left with age on his side was Dr Arunachalam, who was SA to RM for 10 years.


Former Prez, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was the only SA to RM to have completed 7 years owing to extension, with age not on his side. He was 67 when he completed his tenure.


Anyone can be hand-picked for this position, after clearance from the Defence Minister and the PM-headed ACC, from among the 7000 scientists of DRDO. The person cannot be a bureaucrat (IAS), but has to be a scientist. He can also be picked from DAE, ISRO and DST, besides DRDO. DR. Raja Ramanna was from ISRO.


He has to be a Secretary-level distinguished scientist and a technical person. The air would be cleared in August.

Israel gave MBT Arjun clean chit before Army could ok it

The indigenous Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun was audited (given a green signal) by Israel, as an independent neutral outside agency at the behest of the Army's DGMF. The decision was taken to equip the army's first MBT armoured regiment-43 Armoured- with Arjuns in May this year, after Israel's clearance.

DRDO sources have confirmed that Colombia has shown interest in acquiring these tanks, initially 10, and later atleast 100. While the Arjun underwent independant trials covering 1500 kilometers, before getting the clean chit, but the army, as of now interested in only 124, has plans to increase the number later.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Committee recommendations on One Rank One Pension accepted for PBORs

Based on the recommendation of the Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary on One Rank One Pension (OROP), the Government has decided to substantially improve the pension of pre 01.01.2006 Defence pensioners below officer rank and bring pre 10.10.1997 pensioners on par with post 10.10.1997 pensioners. This was announced by the Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the Budget proposals for the year 2009-10 in Lok Sabha today.

The Finance Minister further informed that these decisions will be implemented from 1st July, 2009 and will cost the exchequer more than Rs. 2100 crore annually. These measures will benefit more than 12 lakh Jawans and JCOs. Certain pension benefits being extended to war wounded and other disabled pensioners are also being liberalized, he added.


Courtesy: PIB release

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indian naval ships to have air purifiers for clean air



Great White Technologies’ AiroCide ENCONDITIONER will now enable people to breath clean and healthy air at airports in India and onboard ships of the Indian Naval Fleet and Naval hospitals. AiroCide ENCONDITIONER, a Photocatalytic Air Purifying System, based on NASA-developed space technology, completely destroys airborne bacteria, mold, fungi, viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOC's) & odors and keeps the air 99.9998% pure, making it an indispensable asset wherever indoor air quality is of prime concern.

With health and hygiene being a high priority for the Indian Navy. Aircraft carrier INS Viraat, has installed AiroCide ENCONDITIONER. AiroCide has also been installed in INS Brahmaputra and is in the process of being installed onboard INS Mumbai and INS Mysore. Great White Technologies is in talks with the Indian Navy to have its entire fleet fitted with this technology

Mumbai airport (international) will be the first airport in the country to install the AiroCide ENCONDITIONER. The technology will help protect passengers and crew from airborne diseases like Swine flu and prevent the spread of any contamination being brought in by people using the space.



Flight safety conference reiterates indigenous spares

The one-day flight safety conference of the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s Shillong-based Eastern Air Command at the beginning of June, laid stress on the indigenous spares for maintainence of the MiG-21 and MiG-27 aircraft, which are the mainstay of the Command.

MiG-27s, which have a squadron in Hashimara and MiG-21s which have a squadron each in Chabua and Bagdogra in the Eastern Air Command, have the largest accident rates, attributed to the hostile terrain, bad weather, older aircraft and young inexperienced pilots, as per the discussions in the annual Conference held on June 10 in Guwahati. And it was discussed that to decrease the accident rate in the Command, it was important that these fighters be equipped with new and latest spares, preferably indigenously made by the HAL.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) officials too were part of the conference, who apprised the participants about the indigenous spares and mid-life upgrade of aircraft. Attended by all the Commanding Officers and Air-Officer-Commanding (AOCs) and flight safety officers of the air bases in the Command, and chaired by the AOC-in-C of the Eastern Air Command, the Conference was mainly directed towards how to decrease accident rates in the Command. Held annually in all the Commands, to review the flight safety track record in the past one year, the conference mainly covers areas of concern, steps to be taken and special attention towards any planned activity.

The Eastern Command also assumes importance, as now Tezpur will house the heavy-weight Sukhoi-30MKI frontline fighter aircraft, which were recently inducted there. Ever since the first ever crash of the Su-30MKI took place in April this year in Rajasthan, the safety aspect of the aircraft coming to Eastern Command is of paramount importance.

An officer who attended the conference told People's Post that, "Around 40 MiG-27 aircraft with 1000 hours left in them were upgraded by HAL, which has definitely brought down the accident rate, but the ones with less than 1000 hours left are also being considered for upgradation."

It was also suggested at the conference that either upgradation takes place or replacement of these fighters, which was not a a very practical solution, considering the already pending acquisitions in the pipeline and the time taken for procurements. Other suggestions, to bring down accident rates, included to dissuade the non-officer technical staff of the IAF from leaving service, as they were technically qualified and experienced. Highly advanced aircraft of the future required these experienced technical personnel.

Areas of concern included the MiG-29 and the Sukhois, which were sophisticated aircraft and demanded attention. Their mid-life upgrade was of utmost importance, for which the HAL was asked to come up with indigenous spares, to the maximum possible, which for the MiG-21s is 60 percent. All MiG-21 variants would be phased out in the next couple of years, said a source, except the Bison, as procurements for the next line of fighters would take time and till then a basic minimum credible force would be required.