Saturday, November 30, 2013

IAF Mobilises C-130J Super Hercules For CasEvac Drill


An Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130J Super Hercules aircraft was on Friday, modified into an air ambulance configuration with 'patient transfer unit' and life saving equipment with services of 'critical care air transport team' for speedily airlifting 50 mock patients on stretchers from a simulated disaster zone in Jorhat, in upper Assam to Bagdogra in North Bengal.

IAF helicopters including Chetak (Aloutte-III), Mi-17 and AN-32 transport aircraft configured in air evacuation role also participated in the drill. The IAF aircraft displayed their speedy and efficient casualty evacuation capability from a disaster zone.

The exercise 'CASEVAC EAST 2013' was part of a massive casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) drill mounted by the IAF in Eastern Air Command for demonstration and benefit of various stakeholders including army, para-military forces and disaster management response managers of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Sikkim.

The exercise successfully showcased the IAF and Army's operational preparedness, cohesion and professional capabilities besides synergising inter-dependencies among the various stakeholders in disaster situations. It was also aimed to evaluate, analyse and adapt to ever-changing situations, lack of time, information and resources.

DPR

FICCI Cautions MoD Against Roll-back Of Request for Proposals (RFP) To Replace IAF’s Ageing Avro Fleet

NEW DELHI, November 30, 2013. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has cautioned the Government against re-examination of the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued to global aviation majors to replace the ageing AVRO fleet of Transport Aircraft of the IAF.

In a communication to  Mr. A K Antony, Minister of Defence, FICCI has stated that any such re-examination and subsequent roll-back of RFP will mark a setback to the open and transparent approach and the innovative model cleared by the DAC of a new categorization of Buy & Make with ToT to an Indian Production Agency (IPA).

Recent media reports  with regard to the re-examination of the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued to global aviation majors like Airbus Military, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Ilyushin, Saab, Antonov and AleniaAeronautica to replace the ageing AVRO fleet of Transport Aircraft of the IAF have caused apprehensions amongst private sector players that the open and transparent manner in which Indian Industry was involved over the last three years in conceptualizing the innovative model in this proposal through interactions at various levels at HQ IDS and Service HQs, would send the wrong signal regarding  the  opening up of  defence production and doing away with the erstwhile nomination regime.

FICCI has stated that the proposal envisaging  buying  16 transport aircraft in flyaway condition to meet the immediate operational requirements of the IAF and setting  up a production facility for producing the remaining fleet of 40 aircraft in the country is commendable as it would create a second line of aircraft production. This innovative model is seen by Indian industry as a farsighted measure to build capabilities in Indian industry that would act as a force multiplier and pave the way for domestic capability creation to address the growing needs of the Indian  defence as well as  civilian aerospace sectors.

The involvement of the private sector from the very beginning sent the right signals and gave Indian Industry confidence about the MoD's intent to truly open up Defence production and doing away with the erstwhile nomination regime. It also made them initiate and engage in serious discussions with foreign Aircraft producers for possible future tie ups. This also augurs well with the intention  of the Defence Production Policy which calls  for a move towards "substantive self-reliance "and of the DPP that envisages opening of the sector to the Private Sector".

FICCI has commended the change in thinking of the MoD and collective wisdom that prevailed to support a second line of production of Aircrafts. The benefits of this strategy are unique as it is envisaged that the indigenous content in this second line of production will increase gradually from 30% to 60% over the life of the programme. Also capabilities acquired through the Maintenance ToT will reduce cost to the exchequer over the  life period. There exist further opportunities for industry with possible civilian spinoffs and export opportunities.

According to Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, President of FICCI, "This golden opportunity to the private sector should not be frittered away since it  will not only enhance India's strategic capability in the Aerospace sector but have multiple spinoffs in ancillary industry development, job creation and export opportunities."

The chamber has said that a roll-back in the RFP for the Avro replacement program and bringing in 'nomination' for placing orders for aircraft is likely to be a repeat of the submarine story. FICCI has brought to the attention of the MOD that as per a decision taken at the highest level of Government of India, it was decided more than a decade back to bring into existence a second line in the manufacture of Submarines to meet the operational and strategic requirements of the Indian Navy. However, till date this decision has not seen the light of  day due to various pressure groups clamoring for continuance of 'nomination' to the PSU Shipyards. All this while Navy kept experiencing depletion of its operational submarine fleet; India not only lost the opportunity of timely and periodic induction of Indigenously built submarines to its fleet, but also an opportunity to harness indigenous capabilities and capacities built in the Private Sector .

It is universally known and understood that competition has always benefited the user while both private and public sector become more efficient. We need  competition and to create a strong supply chain in India .  Contrary to the apprehensions that HAL is being denied the opportunity to participate in the program, nothing stops HAL to team up with IPA in a Consortium / SPV model and contribute to the program through value propositions by sharing its vast experience as well as facilities invested in to by MoD,. It is also noteworthy, said FICCI, that HAL has its order books full with ongoing nominated programmes like Su 30 MKI fighters, Hawk AJT, ALH Dhruv, Chetak Helicopter, a mega program like MMRCA awaiting to be concluded in near future and development programmes like LCA, IJT, LCH, FGFA and upgrades of Jaguar and Mirage 2000. Saddling it with another major program will not be in the strategic interests of the nation.

"While there are some concerns raised about the private sector like certifications, physical infrastructure etc. these are not insurmountable and are in fact symptomatic  of the continued nomination policy of the past, rightly being remedied by MoD under your leadership," stated Dr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, in his letter to the Defence Minister.

FICCI fully supports initiatives  to create a  second line of aircraft building and has sought  early intervention of the Raksha Mantri to dispel all doubts and accord expeditious clearance to this project of national importance which could be a game changer for our Military and Civilian Aerospace industry. The Chamber has, therefore, advised against retraction of the RFP which will slow down the development of capabilities in the Indian aerospace sector.

FICCI

Indian Defence Ministry Replaces Officer Handling Chopper Scam, MMRCA Deal : Agencies

Upamanyu Chatterjee was given the additional charge recently after the sudden death of Arun Kumar Bal, who died of a heart attack while going for a walk.

In a sudden development, the Defence Ministry has replaced a Joint Secretary, whose office is in-charge of handling the AgustaWestland chopper scam case and the multi-billion dollar 126 combat aircraft deal of the Air Force. 

Defence Ministry's Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager (Air) Upamanyu Chatterjee has been replaced by present J S (Establishment) Rajeev Verma for handling the office, sources said here. 

Chatterjee, an IAS officer of 1983 batch, was given the additional charge recently after the sudden death of Arun Kumar Bal, who died of a heart attack while going for a walk. 

The 1983-batch Maharashtra cadre officer has been involved in negotiations with the French Dassault Aviation for the Rafale combat aircraft deal and has handled the all-important AgustaWestland chopper deal, which is facing cancellation after bribery charges against it. 

Ministry officials said the decision of replacing Chatterjee was taken he was of the same batch as his new reporting authority Asha Ram Sihag, the new Director General (Acquisition). 

The office of the JS and AM (Air) is responsible for handling all the acquisitions for the air force and the procurement requests from other ministries for aerial equipment. 

The officer reports to the Director General (Acquisition), who handles the capital budget of over Rs 70,000 crore allocated in the defence budget for modernisation and procurement of new equipment for all the three Services.

PTI

Visit Of Spanish Ship ESPS Cantabria To Mormugao Port, Goa, From Nov 26-28th





Pics : Spanish Embassy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

First Actively-Operational Spanish Warship To Berth In India--ESPS Cantabria, Of The Spanish Armada Docks In Goa !!


The ESPS "Cantabria" has been deployed in Australia for one year, and on its journey back to Spain, made a stop in the Mormugao Port, Vasco da Gama, Goa, on the 27th November 2013.

Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Mr. Gustavo de Aristegui, onboard the ship of the “Spanish Armada”, "CANTABRIA". 

Pics : Retired Cmde Ranjit Rai

Eurofighter Typhoon Announces Flight Tests With Storm Shadow Missile


Eurofighter Partner Company Alenia Aermacchi has confirmed that the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon has now taken place.

Initial flight trials to demonstrate that the missile can be safely carried have been successfully started.  The trials began on 27th November, by the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Centre at Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy, with the support of the Eurofighter Partner Companies, BAE Systems and Cassidian. 

The intensive flight test programme  began with flutter tests and an air data system large store interference assessment, using Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard.

The Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “The successful start of the flight tests is good news for our programme. This is one of a number of enhancements that are coming on stream and there are many more to come. Storm Shadow is a major step forward significantly increasing the air-to-ground capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon.”

The Storm Shadow, already in service with the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornados, is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralise high value targets. The new weapons systems will add the capability to strike in day or night in all-weather conditions, well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions. This is a new addition to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s potent simultaneous multi-/swing-role capabilities,

Powered by a turbo-jet engine, with a range in excess of 250 km, the Storm Shadow missile weighs approximately 1.300kg and is just over 5 metres long. It will be available to operators from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements become operational. 

Storm Shadow will provide a significant leap in the Eurofighter Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the platform to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range well clear of danger from air defences.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Public And Private Sector Should Work As Competitors, Not Rivals, Says Defence Minister AK Antony



The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said there is tremendous scope for both the Public and Private sector to grow and play a meaningful role in manufacturing Defence equipment and platform for the Armed Forces. Speaking at a function to award Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence here, Shri Antony said even if both the public and private sector work to their full potential, they would not be able to fulfil all the requirements of the Services in the near future.

Giving an overview of the defence manufacturing sector, Shri Antony said, the private sector is emerging at a rapid pace. He said, though the public sector has been manufacturing advance weapon systems and platforms over the years, the pace and direction of the progress has left a lot to be desired.

“Our over dependence on imports has made us one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world. Our public sector must own up large responsibility in realising our aspirations of self-reliance in the defence sector,” he said.

Shri Antony said defence production in our country has been done mainly by the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence PSUs. However times are changing at a rapid pace. “With the opening up of defence production for the private sector, several large industries have shown a keen interest invest and develop capabilities in defence production and assume the role of system integrators. The private sector and the public sector must work in tandem and look upon each other as healthy competitors, rather than rivals,” he said.

Shri Antony urged the Ordnance Factories and the Defence PSUs to further enhance the quality of service to the defence forces. “The need of the hour is to develop the best of technologies and staying truly competitive to keep pace with the fast-paced technological changes. The public sector must make every possible effort to ensure that the products developed for our Armed Forces are not only cost-efficient and technologically competitive, but also strictly adhere to timelines.” He strongly emphasised the need for total transparency and integrity in all spheres of work. “It is important to remain fully committed and accountable to the correctness of our actions in our day-to day work.”

On this occasion Shri Antony presented Raksha Mantri’s Awards for Excellence -2011-12 to institutions and individuals. In total eleven categories of Awards were given. The award for all round excellence for the year 2011-12 has been given to Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI). The award for best performance in Export has been given to Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the best performing Shipyard Award has been conferred upon Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. Kolkata. BEL has the distinction of winning five other awards for excellence in various other group/individual categories.

The meeting was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri G.C Pati, Chairman, OFB and CMDs of Defence PSUs Shri H.S Choudhary.

DPR

Chindits Turns 5 !!!

Today its been five years ever since Chindits began its journey , way back on November 25, 2008 (one day before 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks !). It was a humble beginning and lots of ups and downs since then, as I did everything all by myself, all alone (with no help absolutely from anyone), but you made it possible. This journey will continue, with improvisations, as per your suggestions. I thank all my readers !! Thank you.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First Four HAL-Built Hawk Trainers For Indian Navy Reach INS Dega-Vishakhapatnam, Two More By Year End, Pilots Begin Training In Jan

This seems to be one Indian naval year with everything moving pretty fast. The first lot of the HAL-built AJT Hawk trainers for the Indian Navy have just reached INS Dega in Vishakhapatnam (Headquarters Eastern Naval Command), thats where the first batch will begin training from January 6, 2014. Two more will reach the base by end December 2013, and the remaining 11 (total 17 for Indian Navy were contracted) next year, with some being based in Goa - INS Hansa.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

President Of India Presents Standards To Two IAF's Frontline Fighter Squadrons At Halwara





The President of India,Shri Pranab Mukherjee in an Ceremonial Parade at Air Force Station Halwara presented Standards to two of the IAF’s  Frontline Fighter Squadrons -  220 Squadron and 32 Squadron, today

The Standard for 220 Squadron was received by Group Captain Sharad Aneja, Commanding Officer, 220 Squadron and the Standard for 32 Squadron was received by Group Captain GVNK Varma, Commanding Officer,32 Squadron.

The President’s Standard is the highest and most prestigious honour bestowed upon any unit of the Armed Forces in recognition of its invaluable contribution to the security of our Nation both during hostilities and peace.President’s Standards is a symbol of excellence and has been earned by the Squadrons for their dedication and worthy contributions. It marks and depicts the hard work, valour and sacrifice of all the personnel posted to the Squadrons since their inception and is a befitting recognition to their selfless devotion.

Naval Commanders Conference Begins : Antony Compliments Navy On Commissioning Of Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya

Complimenting the Indian Navy for the commissioning of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today said, coupled with the MiG 29K aircraft, the carrier has the potential to become a force multiplier in enhancing the combat capability of the Navy. 

Inaugurating the Naval Commanders’ Conference here Shri Antony said, over the last six months the Navy has inducted an impressive range of platforms including the P 8I aircraft and Goa Shipyard Limited built Off shore Patrol Vessel. In the coming months, the first ships of P 15A, Kolkata and P 28, Kamorta will be inducted into the Navy apart from additional P 8I and Advance jet trainer aircraft.   Shri Antony said the launch of our indigenous aircraft carrier on August 12, 2013 is a crucial milestone.  It has placed India in a select group of six nations who can design and operate aircraft carriers.  “The fact that all 45 naval ships presently under construction are being built in India is ample proof of our indigenous ship building capability”, he said.

The Defence Minister said a major boost to our strategic deterrence capability was the achievement of  criticality of the reactor on board Arihant.  Once we reach the next milestone, namely commencement of sea trails of the submarine, it would make India only the sixth nation in the world to build and operate nuclear-powered submarines.  “This would mark another stride forward in realizing our long cherished objective of achieving nuclear triad capability” he said.  In addition, the launch of GSAT-7 will also significantly increase our net-centric capabilities, he said.

Turning to geopolitical and security matrices in and around the country, Shri Antony said,  these have been changing and evolving at a rapid pace.  He expressed satisfaction that the Navy has maintained a fairly high operational tempo particularly over the past six months.  “Despite the extended monsoon, the Navy has remained focused on maritime and coastal security in collaboration with other organizations and agencies”.  He expressed confidence that the operational capability and effectiveness of the Indian Navy will be continuously enhanced in the future.

Shri Antony said the Indian Navy personnel have always risen to challenges and have conducted themselves in the best traditions of the services.  However, he said, there have been some isolated cases which have proved to be a cause for serious concern and embarrassment.  “It is imperative to pay utmost attention to such instances and make earnest efforts to minimize, if not eliminate them”.

Describing the loss of 18 crew members on board  INS Sindhurakshak on 14 August this year as an unprecedented tragedy, Shri Antony said, we need to seriously reflect upon the incident, analyse it and also draw lessons for future even as attempts to salvage the submarine and an inquiry to ascertain the possible cause of the accident is already under way.  “It must be ensured that safety mechanisms are accorded topmost priority and Standard Operating Procedures are adhered to strictly and without any exception”, he said.

Observing that a significant amount of the national resources are utilized in the creation of assets and in building capabilities, Shri  Antony said it is the responsibility of the Navy to optimally operate and maintain these assets and hardware, as well as train its personnel suitably so that such national resources are optimally utilized and are not frittered away. 

Shri  Antony expressed confidence that the top Commanders of the Navy will take a critical look at the deficient areas and help in charting out a futuristic, visionary roadmap for the Navy.

The Naval Commanders are discussing matters related to operational integration of newly inducted platforms and capabilities and measures to enhance efficacy of manpower induction and training.
DPR

Agusta Says, Hasn't Recieved Any Communication From Indian MoD About Cancellation Of VVIP Chopper Deal

Agusta Statement : Referring to press reports related to the possible cancellation of the contract for the supply of 12 VVIP AW101 helicopters to India, Finmeccanica confirms that its subsidiary company, AgustaWestland, has received no such communication from India’s MOD.

Finmeccanica is confident in India's reputation for fair and transparent proceedings and respect for the rule of law, for which India has an established reputation. AgustaWestland's representatives confirm the meeting with India’s MOD remains scheduled for Wednesday 20th November.

AgustaWestland denies all allegations of violation of the pre-contract integrity pact and the contract. AgustaWestland will deliver the formal written response to the exceptions raised by India’s MOD.

Updated Statement : In accordance with the rules of arbitration under the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, AgustaWestland is nominating former Supreme Court Judge and former Chief Justice High Court Kerala, Justice Mr. B.N. Srikrishna; a well-known jurist of unimpeachable experience and reputation.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Indian Navy's LRMRASW Squadron Turns 25, Celebrates Silver Jubilee


25 years ago on this day The Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti -Submarine Warfare Role got it's first formidable weapon in the form of the Tu 142 M aircraft. One of the worlds fastest turbo prop aircraft the Tu 142 has been the mainstay of the Indian Navy's MR function after 25 years and with over 28000 hrs of flying the aircraft has been upgraded and life extended to remain effective even today. 

The squadron is also inducting the Boeing P-8I, two aircraft have been received todate. 


Naval Statement : 

TU 142M LRMR SQUADRON CELEBRATES ITS SILVER JUBILEE

INAS 312 Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron of the Eastern Naval Command, based at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, celebrated its Silver Jubilee Anniversary on today, 18 Nov. The Silver Jubilee celebrations of operations of the TU 142M aircraft, with the moniker `Albatross' were-held at INS Rajali, a premier

Naval Air Station operating under the control of the Eastern Naval Command. The celebrations were kicked off with a Seminar on Maritime Operations held at INS Rajali on Sunday. Vice Admiral (Retd) Dilip Deshpande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, himself a member of the Commissioning Crew, delivered the key note address at the Seminar.

Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in Chief, Eastern Naval Command was the Chief Guest at the Anniversary events that followed, that included a Cultural Evening and at the station reception held that evening, wherein he unveiled the Silver Jubilee Plaque to commemorate the event and also released a Coffee Table Book recounting the glorious journey of the Squadron.

Vice Admiral Chopra reviewed the Squadron personnel on parade today, 18 Nov and cut the customary Anniversary cake. A special day postal cover was also released on this occasion by the Commander-in-Chief, in the presence of Post Master General of Chennai, Shri Mervin Alexander. This was followed by a Fly-past in which aircraft from both the Eastern and Western Naval Commands, comprising Chetak helicopters, Dornier, IL38 SD, P8I and the TU 142 M took part.

Though originally commissioned on this day in 1976 with the Super Constellation aircraft, the Squadron was re-commissioned with the Tupolov 142 M aircraft, in 1988, by the then Defence Minister, late Shri KC Pant. Through the years the `Albatross' has rendered yeoman service to the Nation, keeping up with modern developments and advancements in avionics and role equipment, through several retro-fitments/ modifications; the `Mighty Bird' remains an effective Force Multiplier for the Indian Navy and at the forefront of all maritime operations, taking part in all major naval exercises and operations since its induction into Service. As an acknowledgment of this unflinching contribution, the Squadron was awarded a `Unit Citation', `Best Frontline Squadron' Trophy twice, the `CNS Flight Safety' Trophy for four times, and was runners up for the `Best Frontline Squadron' twice. Over the last 25 years of operations, the Squadron has flown over 28,000 hours of incident and accident free flying on the TU 142 M aircraft. The Squadron is presently commanded by Commander P Mahesh Raju, an alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College and National Defence Academy.

First Ever Joint Indo-Russian Air Force Exercise To Be Held In 2014




Meeting just two days after the successful commissioning of the much-awaited aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya into the Indian Navy, India and Russia today agreed to expand the range of their strategic partnership in a significant manner at the 13th Meeting of the India – Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC)  which was co- chaired by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony with his Russian counterpart Mr Sergey Shoigu in Moscow.

 The meeting held in an atmosphere of cordiality and warmth, decided that the two countries will hold joint Air Force level exercise for the first time besides a joint Navy Exercise in the Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan, both in 2014. It may be recalled that the Armies of the two countries had recently held Exercise Indra in Rajasthan recently and the focus was on anti-terrorism. The two Ministers agreed that there is a need for further cooperation at all levels, especially in view of the regional and global challenges and to fight the menace of terrorism jointly. Both sides reviewed the situation in West Asia, especially in Syria and the evolving paradigm in Afghanistan.

In order to give a new impetus to the relationship which has gathered momentum over the years, the two sides agreed that the time has come to expand the cooperation not only in product design and development, which has made significant progress over the years but also to involve various echelons of the Defence establishments  in strategising policies and cooperation in the fast changing global security scenario.

Referring to Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft(FGFA) and Multi-role Transport Aircraft (MTA), Shri Antony said, the two projects are significant because they symbolise  going-past the relationship of buyer- seller. He said both sides must give their best at all phases of the execution of these two projects- design, development and production.

Mr Shoigu assured that the Naval Aviation specialists will train Indian pilots fully for take- offs and landing on INS Vikramaditya and in all probability it will be held in Goa.
The Meeting also reviewed issues relating to T-90 tanks and SU-30 projects.

On the issue of after sales support, both sides felt that they should sign long-term maintenance support agreement. 

Earlier in the morning, Shri Antony and the members of the Indian delegation drove down to Poklonnaya Gora (Bow-Down Hill) at Victory Park and laid a wreath at the World War-II Memorial. He was also presented a ceremonial  guard of honour.

The Indian delegation included the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur, Secretary Defence Production Shri GC Pati, Indian Ambassador to Russia Shri Ajay Malhotra,  Air Marshal S Sukumar, Vice Admiral NN Kumar, Lt Gen Narendra Singh and DG Acquisition Shri SB Agnihotri.

BRAHMOS Validates Deep Penetration Capability In Latest Test Firing


An advanced version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile system was successfully test fired by the Indian Army at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan at 1055 hours on Monday 18th

The Block III variant of BRAHMOS with deep penetration capability was test launched from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) deployed in full configuration with Mobile command Post (MCP) . The missile after 

launch followed the predetermined trajectory and successfully pierced the designated concrete structure at bull’s eye owing to sheer velocity of the missile. “The launch has successfully validated the deep penetration capability of the supersonic cruise missile system against hardened targets,” a company official said.Core Commander Lt. General Amit Sharma who witnessed the launch along with GoC’s and senior officers from the Indian Army congratulated the operational Army team for the successful launch. CEO & MD BrahMos along with senior officials from MoD and scientists from DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace also witnessed the launch.

The Block III variant of land-attack BRAHMOS has already established its credence in achieving supersonic steep dive with precision strike capability in mountain operations.The Army has inducted two regiments of the missile in its arsenal, while the third regiment induction is in progress. November 2013.

The sanction by the Government for the Fourth regiment of the highly maneuverable steep dive capable missile for deployment in hilly terrains is awaited.

The 290-km BRAHMOS flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach and carries a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg. The missile can be launched from multiple platforms including land, sea, sub-sea and air.

Both the Army and Navy have already inducted the missile in service, while the air-version of the weapon is scheduled to be flight tested by the IAF soon.

Dubai Air Show-2013

Alenia Aermacchi and Italian Air Force sign an agreement to provide development and industrialization of MC-27J Praetorian Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Company) and the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) signed today, during the Dubai Airshow 2013, an agreement to provide development, testing, certification, industrialization and logistic support of the Praetorian. The Praetorian, a specialized version of the MC-27J, will support missions for the Italian Special Forces, Comando Operativo Forze Speciali (COFS).

The Italian Air Force plan to transform three C-27J’s, currently in service, into the Praetorian configuration during 2016 and will include mission systems, C3ISR equipment and palletized support / fire systems. An additional three aircraft will also have the same mission package capabilities.

Alenia Aermacchi, in partnership with US based ATK, will develop the Praetorian mission and air-to-ground support systems. Selex ES, a Finmeccanica Company, will partner with Alenia Aermacchi for the communication and data link equipment.

The MC-27J is an advanced defense system jointly developed by Alenia Aermacchi and ATK. The MC-27J is based on the C-27J, the most state-of-the-art twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft currently available on the market providing unequalled performance. The ability to accommodate NATO standard pallets allows a wide range of palletized roll-on/roll-off solutions increasing the effectiveness of its tactical and strategic mission capabilities at lower costs, benefitting the Comando Operativo Forze Speciali (COFS) particularly strict operating  requirements.


Sberbank, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and Invest AD Signed a Tri-lateral Letter of Intent

18 November 2013, Dubai – On the ground of Dubai Airshow 2013 Sberbank, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) and Abu Dhabi Investment Company “Invest AD” signed a tri-lateral Letter of Intent to launch their cooperation in the Middle East in marketing and promotion of Sukhoi Superjet 100 in its basic and long range modification.

As an outcome of the signing ceremony, Alexander Dementiev as Global head of Financial Institutions at Sberbank, stated: “In the light of the recently adopted Sberbank Development Strategy for 2014-2018 we aim at becoming a global partner for our clients. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company is a leader of the Russian aviation industry and one of Sberbank’s key clients. We are ready to support its interests at any spot in the world. Together with Invest AD as our strategic partner in the Middle East and Africa, we will support and help Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and the Russian Federation in promoting the Russian aviation industry production in this strategically important region of the globe.”

Andrey Kalinovsky, SCAC President noted: “Currently, the Middle East is one of the priority markets for SSJ100. In this regard, today we signed the Letter of Intent in order to optimize funding proposals related to purchase of our aircraft by new customers in this, promising for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 project, region”.

MBDA  Delivers First  MPCVs  In  Surface-to-Surface Configuration


17.11.2013. Bourges, France : MBDA has just completed the integration and factory acceptance test of the first Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle (MPCV) vehicles designed to operate the Mistral surface to air missile. Built for export, these vehicles represent the first production batch. In the next few days, they will be shipped for delivery to the customer country before the end of the year, as announced at the contract signing in February 2011.

In parallel, MBDA is completing the installation of a final assembly line in the customer country so that the customer will be able to carry out the final integration of its own combat vehicles using MBDA provided MPCV kits.  In Bourges, MBDA personnel have also trained the customer’s technical staff during the integration of the first MPCV’s.

On the occasion of the delivery, Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, said: “With the MPCV program, MBDA once again demonstrates its mastery of the architecture of air defence systems. Self-funded by MBDA, the MPCV was developed in four years. It then took less than three years after the signing of the first contract to integrate the systems on a vehicle chosen by the end customer, deliver at the agreed date and implement a technology transfer under which the customer will be able, in complete autonomy, to keep its equipment in operational condition.”

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Here She Comes !! Welcome !

DPR

Project 11430 Culminates, R-33 Is A Reality, Floating Mini-City Admiral Gorshkov Is Indian Now, Has Facilities to Make Dosa & Chapati Too !!






INS Vikramaditya Adds A New Dimension to Navy’s Operational Capabilities: Antony

INS Vikramaditya Commissioned in Indian Navy

Marking a new high in India-Russia strategic cooperation, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today commissioned the completely refurbished 44,500 tonne carrier Admiral Gorshkov into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya at an impressive ceremony at sub zero temperature in the wind- swept  Sevmash Shipyard in the beautiful city of Severodvinsk in Russia. Snow flakes kept falling as the ceremony was held.

 Speaking at the event, Shri Antony said INS Vikramaditya would significantly enhance the reach and capability of the Indian Navy. He said, the country has a rich maritime history and the Indian Ocean has guided our fate over the centuries.

 “India’s economic development is dependent on the seas and safeguarding the nation’s maritime interests is central to our national policy.  Aircraft carriers have been part of the Indian Navy’s force structure since our independence and have effectively served the country over the past five decades or so.  The induction of ‘Vikramaditya’ with its integral MiG29K fighters and Kamov-31 helicopters, not only reinforces this central policy, but also adds a new dimension to our Navy’s operational capabilities.  The meaning of ‘Vikramaditya’, which literally translates into “Strong as the Sun” is complemented by the Ship’s motto –“Strike Far, Strike Sure”,he said.

Reflecting the mood at the ceremony, Shri Antony said, ‘the event realizes the vision of capability-based transformation of the Indian Navy that was conceived more than a decade ago’. Calling it a Red Letter Day in the history of India- Russia cooperation, Shri Antony said this relationship remains a matter of the highest priority for both nations for our mutual benefit and as a factor of global peace and stability.

"The successful culmination of Project 11430 truly symbolizes the time-tested Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between our two great nations.  The Project has propelled the strategic partnership between our nations to a new level.  The relationship between our two countries based on mutual trust and belief has withstood the test of time and the result is for the entire world to see in the form of ‘Vikramaditya’.  As the ship sails into its home waters in the Indian Ocean Region, INS ‘Vikramaditya’ will be a befitting tribute to our long-standing relationship”, he said.

Describing the Project 11430 as a unique one, Shri Antony said, it was a challenging task for both the Russian and the Indian sides and congratulated the entire team for converting the ‘Dream Project’ into a reality. “The transformation of INS ‘Vikramaditya’ is an engineering marvel, which has tested the professionalism, capability and perseverance of the Indian Navy and the Russian industry, especially the Sevmash Shipyard”, he said and expressed confidence that all possible support would be extended by Russia to ensure that the ship serves India effectively and efficiently for the duration of its expected operational life cycle. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi said the INS  Vikramaditya will bridge the time-gap that may come up between the INS Viraat and the Indigenously built aircraft carrier Vikrant.It will also help achieving our medium term goal of operating two aircraft carriers.

A large number of dignitaries including the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Mr Dmitry Rogozin and Defence Minister Mr Shoigu, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi, the Indian Ambassador to Russia Shri Ajay Malhotra, the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur, the DG Acquisition Shri SB Agnihotri were present on the occasion.

Mr Rogozin said INS Vikramaditya symbolises the close friendship between India and Russia and expressed confidence that it will grow in the coming years.

About INS Vikramaditya

INS Vikramaditya, the floating airfield has an overall length of about 284 meters and a maximum beam of about 60 meters, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the sheer sight of this 44,500 tonne mega structure of steel is awe inspiring. The ship has a total of 22 decks.

With over 1,600 personnel on board, INS Vikramaditya is literally a ‘Floating City’. With a capacity of over 8,000 tonnes of LSHSD, she is capable of operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13000 kms.

To enable this 44,500 tonnes floating steel city to cut through the choppy seas with speeds of up to 30 knots, she is powered by 08 new generation steam boilers generating a total output power of 180,000 SHP. These boilers power four enormous propellers, each greater in diameter than twice the height of an average male. Such a four propeller - four shaft configuration is another first in the Indian Navy.
The power generation capacity onboard is about 18 megawatts enough to cater to the lighting requirement of a mini city. An extensive revamp of sensors including fitment of Long range Air Surveillance Radars, Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite makes the ship capable of maintaining a surveillance bubble of over 500 kms around the ship.
The ship has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. The MiG 29K swing role fighter is the main offensive platform and provides a quantum jump for the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capability. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets.
The ship is equipped with state of the art launch and recovery systems along with aids to enable smooth and efficient operation of ship borne aircraft. Major systems include the LUNA Landing system for MiGs, DAPS Landing system for Sea Harriers and Flight deck lighting systems.

The heart of the operational network that infuses life into the combat systems onboard the ship is the Computer aided Action Information Organisation (CAIO) system, LESORUB-E, with the capability to gather data from ship’s sensors and data links and to process, collate and assemble comprehensive tactical pictures. This state of the art system has been specifically designed keeping in mind the essential requirement on the carrier for fighter control and direction.

 One of the most prominent equipment fitted on the super structure is the Resistor-E radar complex. Resistor-E is the automated system designed for providing air traffic control, approach/landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft. This complex along with its various sub-systems provides navigation and flight data to ship borne aircraft operating at extended ranges from the mother ship. The precision approach guidance system aids the fighters on approach to be directed down to a distance of 30 meters short of flight deck. INS Vikramaditya also boasts of a very modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirement. Installation of Link II tactical data system allows her to be fully integrated with the Indian Navy’s network centric operations.

Sitanshu Kar from Sevmash Shipyard in Russia with inputs from Captain PV Satish in New Delhi




Thursday, November 14, 2013

India Gets Ready For INS Vikramaditya On Nov 16th, Completes Trials In Barents Sea





Defence Minister Shri AK Antony will be commissioning Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier ‘Vikramaditya’ at Severodvinsk in the Russian Federation in the presence of a galaxy of dignitaries such as Deputy Prime Minister (Military Issues) of the Russian Federation Mr Dimitry Rogozin, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi and Ambassador of India to Russian Federation, Mr Ajay Malhotra. A backgrounder on the momentous Vikramaditya project is presented here along with select photos.  

Vikramaditya: A Backgrounder
Introduction

At the time of attaining our Independence our visionary leaders saw the centrality of a powerful Navy and set us on the right course by envisaging an Indian Navy centred on aircraft carriers for sea control in our expansive areas of maritime interest. INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier was acquired from Great Britain and commissioned on 04 Mar 1961. INS Vikrant was a Majestic class CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take Off but Arrested Recovery) carrier and operated Sea Hawk fighters, Alize (Anti-Submarine Warfare) aircraft and Seaking helicopters. Consistent with its vision, India next acquired HMS Hermes, a Centaur class STOVL carrier and a veteran of the Falkland War. INS Viraat was commissioned on 12 May 1987 as India’s second aircraft carrier and India’s first STOVL carrier operating the Sea Harrier aircraft. Soon after the acquisition of INS Viraat, INS Vikrant was also converted from a CATOBAR carrier to a STOVL (Short Take-off and Vertical Landing) carrier. INS Vikrant was decommissioned on 31 Jan 1997, after 36 years of glorious service under the Indian ensign. For almost a decade India had two aircraft carriers and the Indian Navy was fully cognisant of the criticality of having an aircraft carrier available for deployment on each seaboard to fulfil the Navy’s assigned tasks. In recognition of the importance of aircraft carriers, the Indian Navy had already started exploring the possibility of indigenously designing and constructing an Aircraft Carrier, this project took off in right earnest in the late 90s as the Air Defence Ship was conceived. However, given the long gestation period of such projects, the search for a replacement for INS Vikrant gained momentum as its decommissioning drew closer.

It was at this juncture that Russia offered Admiral Gorshkov to the Indian Navy. Negotiations over acquiring the 44,500 ton Admiral Gorshkov started in 1994. Various high level delegations who had assessed the ship had independently concluded that the ship’s hull was in good material state and would be worth considering for exploitation in the Indian Navy with a suitable mix of aircraft.

Signing of the Contract

After detailed negotiations the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Dec 1998 during a visit by Russian PM Yevgeny Primakov. The Inter-Governmental Agreement which included acquisition of Project 11430 (Admiral Gorshkov) was signed between the Federation of Russia and the Union Government of India on 04 Oct 2000. After a Detailed Project Development Review, contractual negotiations and thereafter price negotiations, Government approved the acquisition on 17 Jan 04 at a cost of Rs 4881.67 Cr for the complete package of R&R of the ship, spares, infrastructure augmentation and documentation. The deal was signed on 20 Jan 04 and the effective date of the contract was established as 24 Feb 04. The R&R of the ship commenced from 09 Apr 04.

The repair and refit was being undertaken by FSUE Sevmash, the state owned shipyard at Severodvinsk, Russia. The R&R was scheduled to have been completed within 52 months. Though the refurbishment process was started in right earnest, soon it was realized that the work and equipment requiring replacement was significantly higher than originally estimated. Entire length of cable, large portions of steel hull, motors, turbines and boilers, etc. would have to be completely replaced with resulting in cost escalation and time slippage.

A protracted renegotiation for arriving at a mutually acceptable price for refurbishment was held in the ensuing months. Finally, in Dec 2009, the Indian and the Russian sides arrived at an agreement on the final price of delivery of this ship. More significantly, it was agreed that the delivery of the ship would take place only in the year 2012. Though the re-negotiated price was significantly higher than what was originally agreed upon, the fillip that the addition of Gorshkov would give to the Blue water requirements of Indian Navy compensated the greater price.

The Journey of Admiral Gorshkov (nee Baku)

The journey of ‘Vikramaditya’ began as the Kiev class aircraft carrying cruiser ‘Baku’. Developed from the Moskva class helicopter carrying guided missile cruisers the Kiev class was a pioneering Soviet era design, featuring a flight deck arrangement capable of operating fixed wing VTOL fighters for the first time in the Soviet Navy. Baku was constructed by Chernomorsky Ship Building Enterprise, Nikolayev (now in Ukraine[1]). About 400 enterprises and nearly 1,500 - 2,000 workers from different republics of USSR took part in building of the ship. The ship was commissioned on 20 Dec 1987. Conceived as an armed cruiser, Baku was heavily armed with twelve Anti-Ship Missile launchers, ten gun mounts of differing calibre and rocket launchers and depth charges. The air element comprised Yak-38 aircraft.

‘Baku’ was envisioned to be a full-fledged aircraft carrier by Admiral SG Gorshkov, however, due to conflicting dynamics at that time, the ship turned out as the last ‘compromise’ ship of the Kiev series. After her development and construction, it became clear to the Soviet leadership that the vision of Admiral Gorshkov of a classical aircraft carrier with ship borne aircraft as the primary weapons was indeed the most logical way ahead to develop the surface forces. On 07 Nov 1990, the ship was named after Admiral Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov.
Baku/Admiral Gorshkov began its active operational service with the Northern Fleet and was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and remained in active service till 1992 and thereafter continued in service albeit with limited operational deployments. The ship was finally decommissioned in 1996.

The Transformation
Project 11430

Admiral Gorshkov was put in hibernation after her last sailing in 1995. With most of her equipment lying un-utilised since then, the task of breathing life and converting her from a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) missile cruiser carrier to a STOBAR aircraft carrier involved substantial degutting, equipment removal, refit and re-equipping. The major works envisagedwere modification of flight deck to include ski-jump and arrester gear; modification of bulbous bow, aft aircraft lift & ammunition lifts; modification of 1750 out of 2500 compartments; installation of new main boilers; installation of new and additional Diesel Generators; replacement of existing distilling plants; fitment of Reverse Osmosis plants, new AC plants and Refrigeration plants and installation of new sensors and equipment. In 2007, as the refit and repair of the ship was in progress, the yard realized that the scope of work was much larger than initially estimated and so a revised timeline for completion of the task of modernization was agreed upon by both Russian and Indian sides. With a revised timeline the delivery of ship was expected by end 2012.
A Peek at the Scope of Work

Creation of Ski Jump

Creation of the flight deck with structural modification to convert the VTOL carrier to a STOBAR carrier was the most intricate and arduous. The task involved installation of Sponsons to increase the breadth at the Flight Deck and a fitment of a new 14 degree Ski jump, strengthening of arresting gear area, strengthening of run way area and elongation of the aft end to generate the required length of landing strip aft of the arresting gear. In all 234 new hull sections were installed to achieve the desired shape. Total steel work for carrying out structural modification on flight deck amounted to 2500T.

Modification of Super structure
The superstructure was modified to accommodate a host of sensors and equipment such as radars, Electronic Warfare suite and Action Information Organisation system and other systems to suit the requirements of ship borne fighters and rotors. A very unique structural modification that was carried out on board the ship was the installation of the aft mast for accommodating various communication antennae.

Machinery Modification

Vikramaditya in its older avatar was powered by boilers fuelled by heavy oil, FFO[2]. The re-equipping included replacement of these old boilers with state of the art boilers utilizing LSHSD and providing a steam capacity of 100 Tonnes per Hour each.
Electrical re-cabling
The initial estimate included replacement of only 1400 kms of old cable with new cables. However, as degutting progressed and confined spaces were accessed it was realised that an additional 900 kms of cable will need to be replaced. Finally the mammoth task involved replacing 2300 kms of cable, which is a little short of half of the entire coastline of India.

Outfitting

The modification plan of Vikramaditya was not restricted to the gears and sparks alone. The change also necessitated revamp of the living spaces and galleys to cater to the needs of the Indian men in uniform. Of 2500 a total of 1750 compartments were completely re-fabricated. A host of new galley equipment suited for preparation of Indian food like dosas and chapatis was also installed.

Arrestor and Restraining Gears

The conversion of VTOL carrier to STOBAR involved fitment of three 30m wide arrester gears and three restraining gears. Installation of these equipment not only involved modification and strengthening of the flight deck but also changes to internal layout of compartments.

Summary

To sum it up, a total of 234 new hull sections were fabricated using 2500 tonnes of steel which is almost equivalent to the standard displacement of a mid-size frigate. Repair and re-equipping of Vikramaditya to give a new lease of life as a full- fledged carrier was no mean task and was probably as demanding a task as constructing a similar tonnage ship from the drawing board. The task was enabled by the expertise and experience of the Russian designers and yard workers working hand in glove with Indian experts. The extreme cold weather conditions of winter only made the work environment harder. At the end of this refit, spanning a little short of a decade, Vikramaditya has metamorphosed into a fully capable and potent platform.

Rise of the Phoenix …

Vikramaditya sailed for the first time under own power at 1200 hrs on 10 Jun 12, after a gap of about 17 years.

The New Avtar ‘Vikramaditya’

An aircraft carrier carrying potent long range multi-role fighters is a platform inherently deigned for power projection. In as much as ‘Gorshkov’ was transformed to create ‘Vikramaditya’, so also Vikramaditya will transform the face of the Fleet Air Arm of the Indian Navy.
STOBAR Carrier
Displacement: 44,500 T
Length OA: 284 m
Maximum Beam: 60 m
Speed: over 30 kts
04 propellers
powered by 08 Boilers,
Aircraft component:
MiG 29K, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Seaking, ALH, Chetak
Vikramaditya, the floating airfield has an overall length of about 284 meters and a maximum beam of about 60 meters, stretching as much as three football fields put together. Standing about 20 storeys tall from keel to the highest point, the sheer sight of this 44,500 tonnes mega structure of steel is awe inspiring. The ship has a total of 22 decks.

With over 1,600 personnel on board, Vikramaditya is literally a ‘Floating City’. Associated with this large population is a mammoth logistics requirement - nearly a lakh of eggs, 20,000 litres of milk and 16 tonnes of rice per month. With her complete stock of provisions, she is capable of sustaining herself at sea for a period of about 45 days. With a capacity of over 8,000 tonnes of LSHSD, she is capable of operations up to a range of over 7,000 nautical miles or 13000 kms.

To enable this 44,500 tonnes floating steel city to cut through the choppy seas with speeds of up to 30 knots, she is powered by 08 new generation boilers of steam capacity of 100 TPH at a very high pressure of 64 bars, generating a total output power of 180,000 SHP. Vikramaditya heralds in a new generation of boiler technology with a very high level of automation. These high pressure and highly efficient boilers power four enormous propellers, each greater in diameter than twice the height of an average male. Such a four propeller - four shaft configuration is another first in the Indian Navy.

The 06 turbo alternators and 06 diesel alternators onboard generate a total electricity of 18 megawatts to power various equipment of the ship, enough to cater to the lighting requirement of a mini city. The ship also houses 02 Reverse Osmosis plants providing an uninterrupted supply of 400 Tons per day of fresh water.
An extensive revamp of sensors including fitment of Long range Air Surveillance Radars, Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite makes the ship capable of maintaining a surveillance bubble of over 500 kms around the ship.

The ship has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft comprising an assortment of MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters. The MiG 29K swing role fighter is the main offensive platform and provides a quantum jump for the Indian Navy’s maritime strike capability. These fourth generation air superiority fighters provide a significant fillip for the Indian Navy with a range of over 700 nm (extendable to over 1,900 nm with inflight refueling) and an array of weapons including anti-ship missiles, Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles, guided bombs and rockets.

The ship is equipped with state of the art launch and recovery systems along with aids to enable smooth and efficient operation of ship borne aircraft. Major systems include the LUNA Landing system for MiGs, DAPS Landing system for Sea Harriers and Flight deck lighting systems.

The heart of the operational network that infuses life into the combat systems onboard the ship is the Computer aided Action Information Organisation (CAIO) system, LESORUB-E. LESORUB has the capability to gather data from ship’s sensors and data links and to process, collate and assemble comprehensive tactical pictures. This state of the art system has been specifically designed keeping in mind the essential requirement on the carrier for fighter control and direction.

One of the most prominent equipment fitted on the super structure is the Resistor-E radar complex. Resistor-E is the automated system designed for providing air traffic control, approach/landing and short range navigation for ship borne aircraft. This complex along with its various sub-systems provides navigation and flight data to ship borne aircraft operating at extended ranges from the mother ship. The precision approach guidance system aids the fighters on approach to be directed down to a distance of 30 meters short of flight deck. Vikramaditya also boasts of a very modern communication complex, CCS MK II, to meet her external communication requirement. Installation of Link II tactical data system allows her to be fully integrated with the Indian Navy’s network centric operations.

Once integrated, INS Vikramaditya will bring transformational capabilities to the Indian Navy and will be a ‘game changer’.
 PRO Navy