Friday, April 30, 2010

Defexpo Highlights India?s Procurement Needs

India’s rapidly growing defense programs attracted a number of major global contractors to the biennial Def- expo land and naval exposition here in February. Many were looking to establish or firm up partnerships with local manufacturers to meet the offsets mandated for procurement awards by the defense ministry.
Though eager for business, most contractors want the government to relax the cap on ownership levels that has been imposed on joint ventures. The current foreign direct investment (FDI) limit favors Indian companies on a 74-26% basis over foreign OEMs, a level that many contractors say provides no incentive for technology transfer.
India’s Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) mandates a 30% offsets clause for projects valued at more than $65 million. At present, only $43 million worth of offsets are being realized—$2 billion, though, are in negotiation. A revised DPP 2010 policy is in the works.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, for example, has requested that the government increase the FDI limit to 49% for a joint venture it plans with government-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd., to produce advanced infrared imaging seekers for Python 5 air-to-air missiles. The Pythons, along with Derby surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), are part of the 18 Spyder mobile air-defense systems India ordered to replace Russian-made OSA-AKM and ZRK-BD Strela-10M/SAM systems.
Rafael Chairman Ilan Biran, however, acknowledges that the lure of India’s defense jobs is enough to overcome his objections to the FDI restrictions. “The ultimate solution [for business] is forming joint ventures,” he told DTI.
The value of Defexpo was such that it was the only show in which Northrop Grumman showcased all five of its business units. The company highlighted capabilities in airborne early warning and control systems with its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for maritime reconnaissance, and exhibited fire-control radars, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), coastal surveillance and marine navigation systems and ships, and multirole electronically scanned array radar.
“India is an important market,” says John Brooks, president of Northrop Grumman International and vice president of Aerospace Systems. “We are ready to meet the country’s current and evolving homeland security priorities. Our focus is to link together and network these systems to create solutions that respond to India’s requirements for a coordinated national defense structure. We believe the DPP 2010 will focus on accelerating and simplifying ­procurement.”
In addition to recently specifying BAE Systems’ M777 ultra-light howitzer (DTI March, p. 9), the Indian army has been shopping for advanced technologies in a number of areas. According to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry, these include: weapon-locating radars, UAVs, battle tanks and antitank guided missiles; integrated communication platforms that support voice, data, image, applications and networking; rockets and missile systems; robotics for surveillance, reconnaissance, and ordnance detection and disposal; combat modeling and simulation software, and directed-energy weapons.
With large orders for protective gear in the pipeline for the army and paramilitary forces—among them 87,000 bullet-resistant vests, shields and helmets—BAE Systems and local company Anjani Technoplast are joining forces to supply survivability products and personnel protection materials.
“Anjani will manufacture protective equipment using Tensylon, a polyethylene ballistic material developed by BAE Systems for lighter and stronger body armor and vehicle armor,” says Vijay Kumar Gupta, chairman and managing director. Anjani recently submitted bullet-resistant vest samples using Tensylon inserts to the Central Reserve Police for its bid of 59,000 protective jackets. “If Anjani gets the contract, the jackets will be made at our facility near New Delhi,” adds Gupta.

IAF’s radars ‘inadequate, obsolete’: MPs’ panel

In a damning indictment, a parliamentary panel said on Thursday the surveillance radars of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were not only inadequate but were also obsolete and prone to frequent breakdowns.
Noting that air defence is “critical to the nation’s security”, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in its report tabled in parliament Thursday, said: “The IAF possesses less than the adequate number of surveillance radars needed for providing efficient and reliable detection.”
The committee was also “surprised” that none of the Air Defence Ground Environment System (ADGES) plans prepared after 1971 had been approved by the government “although some components have been sanctioned a piece-mean basis”.
Thus, a “serious mismatch exists between availability and the IAF’s requirements of radars and although the defence ministry has formulated a long-term perspective plan till 2022, which includes the ADGES plans, it is not clear whether the plan is as yet operational or not”, the PAC report said.
The committee was also critical of the fact that several contracts had been signed for procuring radars but no delivery timelines had been specified.
“The committee is constrained to point out that even though contracts have been signed, defence ministry and IAF officials could not provide scheduled dates of delivery for the radars and also by when these would be eventually commissioned” and to what extent they would “fill the existing gap in the air defence system” and “how the present threat perception will be addressed”.
“To be specific, the committee would like to emphasise that commissioning and installation of medium power radars and low-level transportable radars and completion of associated civil and development projects be expedited so that gaps in provision of AD (air defence) assets can be avoided,” the report said.
The committee also noted that the IAF’s air defence radars “are facing obsolescence and need urgent upgradation and modernisation”.
The ministry’s argument that the Defence Procurement Procedure was being followed and the time taken in processing acquisition cases has been reduced “does not satisfy the committee, given the hostile environment in which we live”, the PAC said.
“The fact remains that the need for defence preparedness and capability was never so acute as it is today. It is, therefore, essential that the purchases are timed and so sequenced that the armed forces are never short of their requirements,” the committee said.
Frowning on the frequent breakdowns of existing radars and the non-availability of spares, the PAC also noted that the “hours of watch allocated to the units of all types of radars are much below the hours prescribed for these units.”
“The fact that additional radars are being procured itself indicates that the present position regarding planned hours versus what is actually being achieved is not adequate for proper air defence of the country,” it said.
“It may be ensured that watch hours as prescribed by the government are adhered to once new acquisitions materialise and the IAF does not operate with any shortfalls as on date, thereby eliminating any compromise with security considerations,” the PAC said.

Innovation at Work: Developing and Launching the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile

blog post photo
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During my tenure in the defense industry, I’ve learned that innovation is more than just a bright idea or a good-looking briefing. Innovation is what happens when people take a critical look at a good idea, invest a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears to refine the idea, build it out, and ultimately test it in the crucible of the real world. 
A perfect example of innovation at work is the Raytheon-Boeing solution to the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile competition.  
The JAGM program requires competitors to build and deliver real hardware prior to the program downselect. Fortunately for Raytheon, and our partner Boeing, this type of innovative approach to meeting customer requirements is in our corporate DNA.
We approached the challenge by treating JAGM as an integration program, designing the weapon so it could be easily and quickly integrated on six aircraft. We also leveraged cutting-edge technology from proven programs to build a state-of-the-art tri-mode seeker, rocket motor, body and warhead. By using existing technology as a launching pad and designing for integration, not only do we improve the reliability of the weapon, but we keep down JAGM’s total life cycle cost.  
Raytheon and Boeing built the hardware out, but because the proof is in the pudding, we conducted a number of captive carry tests on the JAGM tri-mode seeker. This verified that our uncooled imaging infrared design performs the way it’s supposed to and proved that we could do what we said we could.
For the innovative Raytheon-Boeing JAGM team, just doing the minimum amount of testing wasn’t good enough. That’s why Raytheon and Boeing funded a series of guided test shots of the JAGM.

We just completed our first test shot April 2. I’m proud to say it was extremely successful, proving that our JAGM’s design philosophy works.  
At the end of the day, that’s what innovation is all about –– demonstrating that your good idea works in the real world.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Russian Guided Missile Cruiser, Moskva, To Call At Kochi

Russian Federation Naval Ship (RFNS) Moskva , a Guided Missile Cruiser would call at Kochi on 30th April. Captain 1st Rank Igor Vladimirovich Smolyak, Deputy Commander of the Naval Formation, Black Sea Fleet is embarked onboard. The Ship is commanded by Captain 1st Rank Sergey Ivanovich Tronev and has a complement of 51 Officers and 464 enlisted Men.

Before her entry to the Port, RFNS Moskva would execute traditional Naval ceremonials by firing 21 Gun Salutes. INS Dronacharya would return the Gun Salutes on behalf of the President of india. The Southern Naval Command Band would be in attendance during the formal reception of the visiting Russian Ship at the berth at Cochin Port Trust.

The Russian Consular General at Chennai, Russian Military Attache to India, Colonel KM Vasiliev and the Senior Officers of the visiting ship would Call On Vice Admiral KN Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command tomorrow. Over the next two days, there are a several professional and social activities lined up between the two Navies to further cement the traditional warm ties. The Ship would depart for Vladivostok on 2nd May.

Photos: INS Shivalik (Courtesy: LiveFist)

Pakistan to get two P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft on Friday

The United States will hand over two upgraded P-3C  Orion reconnaissance aircraft to Pakistan on Friday to help boost maritime security capability of the key member of the multinational task force.Pakistan will receive the surveillance maritime aircraft in  Jacksonville, Florida, at a ceremony, to be attended by Vice Admiral.Shahid Iqbal HI (M), chief of staff Pakistan  Navy, Islamabad’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani and senior US Naval officers.

Being a critical anti-terrorism partner of the international community, Pakistan is currently commanding the Combined Task Force 150, having already fulfilled the responsibility three times.
The area of responsibility of the CTF-150, which operates under the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan, stretches from Strait of Hormuz to Red Sea, covering 2.4 million sq miles and bordering 14 nations along the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Horn of Africa and Red Sea.
Pakistan is due to get in phases a total of 7 P-3 C Orion aircraft that are being upgraded by global security company Lockheed Martin.
According to a spokesman of the Pakistani embassy in Washington,the acquisition of the aircraft reflects growing cooperation between the US and Pakistani navies, that have been cooperating closely in stemming illegal activities at sea.
Recently, Pakistan’s Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir also visited Washington and was decorated with the prestigious US Legion of the Merit award. As major non-NATO ally of the United States, Pakistan will also acquire USS McInerney frigate later this summer under foreign military funding. The warship, to be known as PNS Alamgir, will be sailed  to Pakistan early next year after its refurbishment in accordance with Pakistan Navy’s requirements.

“The P-17 frigates, heralds a paradigm shift in the design”

                Interview with Rear Admiral KN Vaidyanathan 
                                                (Director General Naval Design)

Shivalik, the first Ship of the P-17 Class, appears different from earlier designs of IN ships. What are the major new design features of this class of ships? Please elaborate on stealth features in particular and how were they achieved during design and construction and during acquisition of equipment from the industry?
Shivalik, the first of class of the P-17 frigates, heralds a paradigm shift in the design of future surface combatants for the Indian navy. While the sleek and stealthy appearance of Shivalik, sets her as a class apart from earlier indigenous designs, the ship embodies several new design features to give her much improved operational capabilities. “Stealth” has been a major thrust area from the early stages of the design. Apart from this, the design embodies several new concepts for improved survivability, seakeeping, ship handling and on-board habitability. The watertight subdivision of the hull meets the most stringent damaged stability requirements and the distributed power supply systems using Energy Distribution Centres (EDCs) has allowed zoning in the Power Generation & Distribution (PGD). The incorporation of the TACS (Total Atmosphere Control System) for the ship’s air conditioning and ventilation system, which features considerably reduced number of external air induction/exhaust terminals, gives her a very user friendly citadel which is easy to operate and maintain. This gives the additional benefit of uncluttered exteriors of the ship which has 


significantly reduced the Radar Cross section (RCS) of Shivalik. The hull form with carefully crafted hull sections and load water plane, gives the vessel excellent sea keeping qualities together with very good propulsion performance as a result of low shaft rake and very low appendages resistance. The relatively large rudders give the ship excellent manoeuvring performance as has been borne out by the ship trials. Use of modular accommodation has considerably improved on board habitability. The design of Shivalik evolved with considerable focus on reducing the ship signatures. Primary focus was on reducing the RCS, Infrared signatures and the Radiated underwater noise of the ship.
RCS: The hull form features flared main hull and sloped full beam superstructure to considerably reduce specular reflections. Special care was taken to avoid dihedral and trihedral corners which cause multiple radar scattering. The boat deck has been concealed behind radar suppression screens. The Gun turret in the foxle has a stealth canopy and the flush deck Vertical Launch Missile (VLMs) for the Surface to Surface Missiles (SSMs) have been conducive to reduced RCS. The helo hangar has sloped shutters and flush deck rails for helo traversing gear. The hull form and superstructure was evolved iteratively by extensive 3D CAD modelling and continuous RCS signature evaluation using specialist signature evaluation software.
IR Signature Reduction: The infrared signature reduction is achieved by using Eductor Diffuser IR suppression devices for the Gas turbine and the diesel engines. Besides exhaust gas cooling, hot metal cooling is achieved to afford good look-down protection from hostile IR sensors. The engine room ventilation with sea water coolers and acoustic enclosures for DAs help to reduce hull contrast temperatures.

Radiated noise: Acoustic studies were undertaken from early design stages by modelling the structure and airborne noise characteristics of machinery equipment to predict the underwater radiated noise.  The results of these studies helped drive a balanced approach to noise reduction guiding the selection of machinery configuration and mounting arrangements with specifications for the structure borne vibrations and air borne noise which were included in the procurement orders of the equipment. Acoustic signatures were verified during factory acceptance trials, before clearing the noise critical machinery for installation onboard ship. The sea water suctions are arranged from carefully designed sea chests, to avoid radiation of fluid borne noises due to pump impulses.

Procuring machinery and equipment meeting the stringent vibration and airborne noise specifications was quite a challenge. However, I must say, the Indian industry has come some way to meet the requirements, but there is much road ahead to cover.
What are the major new systems in the Shivalik class? What are the new features in terms of the layouts on the ship?
Shivalik is the first IN ship to have a Combined Diesel or Gas Turbine (CODOG) propulsion plant. This propulsion configuration combines the compact high power/speed benefits of the gas turbines with the long endurance advantage of the diesel propulsion. The twin shaft arrangement features relatively large, slow running propellers which, while driving the ship efficiently at the top speed, also have high cavitation inception speeds compared with earlier designs. This feature of the propeller compliments the low noise features of the machinery to provide silent speed regimes of operation up to cruise speeds. The Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS) features multifunction displays with distributed Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) riding on a dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet data bus to monitor and control the ship’s propulsion and auxiliary systems including the Battle Damage Control System (BDCS). The Automated Power Management System (APMS) manages the generation and distribution of electric power in the ship. The ship has an ATM based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN) which serves as the backbone on which the external and internal communication systems, data communication between weapons and indigenous sensors and navigation data distribution are supported. The Integrated Versatile Console System (IVCS) replaces the earlier plug in systems providing multifunction display with touch screens for displaying all navigation data and status of weapons and sensors. The IVCS also supports the internal communication of the ship. The Combat management system, with fleet functionality, is a sophisticated development with considerable participation of the navy which will effectively co-ordinate the functions of the several weapons and sensors not only on board the ship but also those of other ships in company. The P17 packs all the punch of a destroyer in her design.
The layout features wide alleyways and uncluttered upper decks. A centre line passage between the two helicopter hangars provides a clear lobby between the helo deck and the inside of the ship. The flush deck rails of the helo traversing system, besides being conducive to lower RCS, gives the ship much improved operational flexibility for the helicopter. The large bridge with generously provided bridge wings is ergonomically designed. The large windows of the bridge give very good all round visibility and the diverse equipment on the bridge  are neatly packed into consoles for good aesthetics.
How has Shivalik performed in the sea trials? What are the highlights of the signature reductions realised on Shivalik?
Shivalik has undergone extensive sea trials for proving her machinery and ship handling. The sea trials have been very satisfactory and the ship handling has been seen to be very good. The ship sails rock steady even at her top speed. The hull is vibration free and the machinery reasonably quiet.

How does the design of Shivalik compare with other designs of her class? With the experience of Shivalik, what would be the direction for the design of the follow on class P-17A?
Shivalik design embodies many firsts in IN ships. The CODOG propulsion plant, the Ship Data network (AISDN), the new Total Atmosphere Control System (TACS) for the ship’s air-conditioning and ventilation, IMCS, APMS, the  distributed PGD system using EDCs, the IVCS, etc., set her quite apart from earlier designs in terms of design concepts, automation and operational advantages. The ship compares very well with contemporary world designs in terms of capabilities packed into a class of ship of her size. The design and construction of Shivalik have produced a wealth of experience on which to further improve the P17A design. P17A will be more stealthy with covered mooring deck and flush deck mounted (VLM) weapon systems. The number of antennae on the ship will be reduced by use of a multifunction radar. The design will also explore better options for roll stabilization of the platform. In order to help cut down build periods and improve productivity, it is planned to go in for modular integrated construction for P17A. The design, project management and life cycle will be supported by a more comprehensive CAD/PLM.

How have the other new design projects benefited from the design experience of Shivalik?

Continuous design engagements of the Design organization is vital for the enhancement of design skills and nurturing of design capabilities. After the design of the P-15 class, there was some lull period when no new ship projects were sanctioned. However with the commencement of P 17 in the mid nineties, there was a resurrection of the design capabilities of DGND and the somewhat dormant skill sets got rejuvenated.  P 17 is truly a watershed in the design history of the navy in terms of adopting new design concepts and new strategy for the design projects. This has set a definite course for managing and progressing the designs of P15 A destroyers, P 28 corvettes and P 71 Indigenous Aircraft carrier.
What are the challenges faced by the Navy for the new design projects? Is the Navy able to attract quality manpower for specialized tasks like warship design? To what extent, the now available IT tools, have changed the paradigm of design processes?
There are several new challenges faced by the Navy for the new design projects. To meet the genuine new aspirations of the naval staff in terms of required platform capabilities, there is considerable pressure on new indigenous equipment suppliers to meet the more stringent noise and vibration specifications given by the designers. It is a challenging task for the project managers to drive the indigenous suppliers to meet specified standards. It is a recognized fact the world over, that any warship design is an evolutionary process, particularly in an environment of developing industry such as ours. Given this fact, it is very challenging to meet the cost and time budgets for equipment development which in turn impact the ship construction programme. The task of balancing the conflicting requirements of incorporating the latest available technologies whilst freezing specification at a finite time, poses special challenges in a country like ours. This is so as we are still maturing on many technology areas and would yet like to maintain high indigenous content. Manpower for the specialist tasks of design is another challenge faced by the Navy. However even today, the Navy is the only repository of the large pool of skilled and experienced warship designers. Naval officers, going through the grill of elaborate training in the Navy with wide job profiles relevant to preparing them as designers, still continue to be the most promising feeder source for the naval design organization. With available IT tools, there has been a paradigm shift in design processes. The availability of a suite of initial design software allows a wider exploration for optimizing design. This has consequently made the process more officer-centric. The wide area network (WAN) connectivity with the shipyards has facilitated easier and faster exchange of design drawings,data and documents with the shipyard. The availability of CAD modelling software with good integration of a Product Data Manager (PDM) will provide a robust platform for optimizing design layouts and maintaining good configuration control in design. The PDM will help capture all relevant data and linked information arranged in an organized product structure. In the near future, the available IT design tools will help progressing designs in a multi-user environment through enterprise wide efforts with collaboration of platform designers, shipbuilders, equipment suppliers and system developers.

What is the Navy expecting from the Indian Industry for the future naval platforms?
The Navy, with several new ship projects on the anvil, is looking for considerable support from the Indian industry to successfully realize the naval ship projects. The industry is urged to invest efforts to develop naval equipment meeting the stringent standards, particularly for noise and vibration, as these are crucial to meeting the performance requirements  of the ship. Modularity of systems, with standard well-defined minimum interfaces with the ship will be the thrust for the future. This will help the ship design and construction to proceed on the basis of the agreed interfaces while the equipment supplier can concurrently develop equipment within the confines of the module. Such an approach will also, to a large extent, accommodate evolutionary designs of state of the art equipment to meet the rising aspirations of the naval staff. Further, given the complexity, magnitude and resource intensive nature of development of new naval systems, a navy-industry relationship founded more on partnership than mere customer-supplier relationship would be required. This will give confidence to both parties for sharing the risks of development as well share the benefits of new technology with reduced costs.
Bharat Verma, Editor Indian Defence Review and author of the book Fault Lines and Indian Armed Forces.

Israel and India refuse to provide information on Barak 8 to Turkey

Indian and Israel have refused to provide information on Barak 8 missile interceptor to Turkey , Barak 8 which is a joint Indo-Israeli project for the development of missile interceptor with 360 degree coverage against incoming missiles or air attack.
Turkey Navy had asked for information on Barak 8 missile interceptor ,Refusal came because Israel was denied Airspace training in Turkish airspace ,while Indian Refusal might have come since Turkey is key allay to Pakistan which has provided military support to Pakistan in past and could provide vital details of Barak 8 missile interceptor which  will be main missile interceptor in Naval ships in India .
Recently Turkey had refused to supply India Turkish origin Naval gun under pressure from Pakistan , Sources close to have said that Turkey’s arrogant manner in which it handled Indian request might have made India respond in this manner .
Information on weapons systems are not considered a vital threat to the weapons nor the program but this straight refusal seems to be done in anger .
Turkey has been providing Pakistan UAV technology and will also been providing Attack helicopter which it’s been designing with European help ,after US sanction were imposed on Pakistan after nuclear test, it was Turkey which provided Pakistan secretly F-16 fighter spare parts


French aerospace offers to set up facilities to make Rafale fighter jets in Abu Dhabi.

A consortium of French aerospace companies hoping to sell as many as 60 Rafale fighter jets to the UAE is offering to set up facilities to make the aircraft in Abu Dhabi.
The plane maker Dassault, the aerospace company Thales, the engine maker Snecma, the missile builder MBDA and the avionics maker Sagem make up the French consortium.
The companies have issued a proposal to train UAE nationals in aerospace manufacturing and production to handle local production of the jet, according to Major Gen Khalid al Buainnain, the former Commander of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence.
“The programmes will be about how to manufacture aircraft, how to manage factories and about quality-controlled production,” said Major Gen al Buainnain, the chairman of Baynuna Group. Baynuna is the local partner in the consortium and the jets deal is reportedly worth as much as €10bn (Dh48.87bn).
Under the proposal, “it is not only the Rafale that could be manufactured here, but also executive jets and aircraft electronics”, Major Gen al Buainnain said, noting that negotiations between the French group and the UAE Armed Forces were “progressing well” and could be concluded this year.
The offer is just the latest twist in almost two years of efforts by France to sell the UAE its newest fighter jet. If the offer goes through, it would boost Abu Dhabi’s plans to create a local, viable aerospace industry, while also marking the first export customer for the multi-role jet.

In June 2008, the UAE said it was “seriously considering” the possibility that the Rafale could enter service in about 2013. The deal would reportedly include a provision for France to buy back the UAE’s fleet of Mirage 2000s, which is due to undergo a comprehensive mid-life upgrade at about the same time.
The UAE has requested an advanced version of the Rafale, with adaptations including a more powerful engine and radar system than those designed for the French air force and navy.
While French industry officials said the upgrades would not require major redesign work for the Rafale fuselage, it remained to be seen who would shoulder the extra development costs.
The UAE is the fourth-largest arms importer in the world and has sought to structure defence contracts in ways that help it achieve the development goals of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 plan, such as building a knowledge-based economy, technology transfer and boosting local industrial capabilities.
To implement the Rafale manufacturing plan, the consortium was working with local organisations such as the Offsets Programme Bureau, Mubadala Development and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Major Gen al Buainnain said.
State-backed development organisations and a growing list of academic institutions are increasing their capabilities to make the capital an aerospace centre, encompassing manufacturing, maintenance, research and development and training.
An area adjacent to Al Ain airport is being developed to accommodate new aerospace ventures. In addition, Tawazun, the commercial arm of the Offsets Programme Bureau, has been planning its own industrial park that would one day be home to local and foreign companies involved in defence.
Major Gen Buainnain said the French group was open to locating the Rafale venture at any of these sites or elsewhere, such as the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi or the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone.
“Location won’t be an issue because Abu Dhabi is very small – we will all work towards synergy,” he said. “The question is about infrastructure and having enough power and facilities.”
France is a major supplier to the Armed Forces. The largest orders include 63 Dassault Mirage fighter jets in the 1980s, and some 400 Leclerc main battle tanks in 1994.
In February last year, bilateral relations between France and the UAE were strengthened after the establishment of a permanent French naval base in Abu Dhabi.

BY:Abu Dhabi Media Company

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coast Guard Ship Comes To The Rescue Of Merchant Vessel

Coast Guard District Headquarters No 4 based at Kochi dispatched Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Lakshmibai from Kochi at about 1:20 AM today in response to a distress call received from MV Arosia, an Antigua and Barbuda’ Flagged Bulk Carrier. The vessel was on voyage from New Mangalore to Singapore and was carrying iron ore. The distressed vessel reported casualties as a result of a fire onboard in the three cabins on its main deck. The distress call from the vessel was received at about 11:55 PM on April 26 at Kochi whilst the vessel was about 72 nautical miles south of Kochi.

ICGS Lakshmibai arrived beside MV Arosia at about 6:30 AM today. A Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard was also kept standby for any emergent requirements. Arrangements are being made by the ships agents, to disembark the bodies of the two crew members of the ship who died as a result of asphyxiation. Essential repairs to the communication equipments would also be carried out by the ship which is presently anchored off Kochi.

Courtesy:PRO Kochi/CHINDITS

Exclusive Photos: Italian Typhoons In NATO Joint Exercise--Brilliant Ardent-2010, In Germany

MMRCA deals will cost India Dearly

India has asked all the bidders of MMRCA Aircraft competition to revise  their bids again since Indian will not be able to meet the deadline for the biggest Aircraft’s deal in recent time .
Experts believe that the prices of the jets will go up by 7 to 10 % since prices of Raw materials and avionics have gone up in recent times and which will over all effect the whole budget of the MMRCA deal and this price rise will also see further delays from Indian side if the Selected aircraft has revised it price it will have to be approved by finance ministry again .
While Saab Aerospace told that they will not do revise their price of Gripen NG and will keep them same , while it seems Boeing may increase their price which may effect chances of winning MMRCA competition , While EADS , United Aircraft Corp, Dassault Aviation SA have not commented on this subject .
MMRCA competition has been most complex Aircraft competition and new off set policy and TOT transfer has made it one of most difficult aircraft acquisition project ,which has been delayed by 5 years now .
Gripen Ng is the only aircraft which has not completed high-altitude testing near Leh in the Himalayas, Hot waether tests in Rajasthan state and tropical climate test in  Bangalore.


Israeli air force may train in india for long-range training

After been denied Long range Training in turkey ,Israeli air force is considering India which can be used for training its pilots for long-range air strikes . Israel has limited air space for long-range training , and is is seriously considering India has an option .
Israeli air force have been doing this training in case of war between Iran and Israeli breaks out in the middle east . Indian been a big county will be able to provide condition for long range trainings , if Israeli air force is based in any  air base on south India will be traveling from base to  firing range in Rajasthan which will enhance the skills of the Israeli pilots .
India on the other hand has similar long term agreement with Singapore where Soldiers from Singapore Armed force conduct military exercise every year in India . under this pact Singapore can also keep many of its Equipment like Artillery guns and armored vehicles in India.
Singapore Air force also trains in India for almost two months in the year which includes carrying out bombing exercise in firing range based near kaliakunda air base


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheap, Fast, Deadly: NETFIRES “Missiles in a Box” (NLOS-LS)

The basic concept of NETFIRES (a Future Combat Systems program) is to develop a family of artillery-like precision attack missiles based upon a vertical launcher design. Yet the idea goes far beyond that simple description. The NETFIRES CLU box launcher is intended to be be fully autonomous, meaning it can be dropped off anywhere and operate on its own without a support vehicle. The launch unit includes power generation and control systems as well as a total of 15 missiles, each with a warhead similar in size and capability to a 155mm artillery shell.
The system is also known as XM501 Non Line-Of-Sight, Launch System, or NLOS-LS. At one time, it was one of Future Combat systems’ most promising programs, slated for early fielding to the Army and even for integration with US naval forces. Now, its absence threatens to leave a serious hole in both the Army’s and Navy’s modernization plans.


Monday, April 26, 2010

More Aerostats Improve Security in Afghanistan

In the lead-up to the summer fighting season in Afghanistan, the Defense Department is planning to dramatically increase the number of aerostats to be used as persistent sensors over key operating areas.
The military has been using elevated, line-of-sight cameras as part of its intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance counterinsurgency tactics, but these sensors provide only a brief, 'bird's eye' of the scene. Aerostat-borne cameras augment the UAV with persistent capability.

The aerostat has a deterrent factor over potential adversaries and develops a sense of security among the population, as it watches the area with an unblinking eye constantly watching areas of suspected insurgent activity. According to Ashton B. Carter, Undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, the number of aerostat-based, line-of-sight sensors could be increased dramatically, 'as much as twentyfold' during the summer of 2010, in an effort to improve security in Southern Afghanistan. In addition to significant cost saving, compared to an unmanned aerial system, the aerostat also provides other benefits – persistence, and better bandwidth utilization, since part or all of its communications can be conducted over the tether cable.

Malaysia Acquires 257 Turkish Designed 8x8 Pars APCs

The Malaysian Defense ministry nominated the Malaysian company DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies (Deftech) a prime contractor to locally produce and supply 257 armored personnel carriers based on the Turkish 8x8 Pars wheeled armored vehicle. The Pars, developed and produced developed by the Turkish company FNSS is based on a design made by the U.S. company GPV. The value of the Malaysian 'letter of intent' is worth over worth about US$2.5 billion. Deliveries will span over seven years. The prototype APC is expected to be delivered for testing to the Malaysian Army by 2011. Deftech is to build 12 variants from the base vehicle, including personnel carrier, anti-tank weapon carrier, command and control and anti-aircraft weapon vehicles.
The APC version will be equipped with a two-man manned turret to be developed and produced by the South African company Denel. Sapura Thales Electronics (STE) will be the electronics system integrator.

The cost of the new vehicle seems excessively high - about $9.8 million per unit. Malaysian defense officials explained that these figures represent the total life cycle cost of the program, including which usually includes design, development, logistical support and sustainment as well as non-recurring engineering costs and investments associated with the set-up of local production facilities in Malaysia to develop its armored vehicle manufacturing. Yet, even when considering a 250% mark-up to cover such the price tag on the new Malaysian vehicle seem odd.
The Pars (Anatolian Leopard) armored personnel carrier is design and developed by the Turkish FNSS company, based on a design of U.S. based General Purpose Vehicles (GPV). The 8x8 configured Pars APC was officially unveiled in 2005 as a basis for a family of armored vehicles addressing Turkish Land Forces Command requirement. Heavier and lighter configurations ranging from 6x6 to 10x10 are also proposed by GPV and FNSS. The Pars has a modular design and can be fitted with various armament fits, including external and turret mounted armament. The vehicle can accommodate one- or two-men turrets as well as remotely operated weapon stations and specific mission equipment. The vehicle is operated by a crew of two, and can carry up 12 troops or up to eight tons of payload. Featuring advanced, active hydropneumatic suspension system with electrically controlled variable height enabling adjustable ground clearance and central tyre inflation system.
During field trials held in the UAE in 2008 the Pars demonstrated remarkable cross-country desert mobility. It also has full amphibious capability without preparation, utilizing the wheels for propulsion while swimming. With the use of optional hydrojets it can develop more speed and maneuverability. The Pars can be airlifted inside the C17 or the future A400M transport aircraft ordered by Malaysia back in 2005. According to Malaysian defense officials, the order for four aircraft remain in effect although the delivery of the aircraft could be delayed by 3-4 years.
Deftech is a leading supplier of defense material to the Malaysian Armed Forces, government and security sector, Deftech is a wholly owned subsidiary of the DRB-HICOM Berhad consortium traded on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange. The award announcement was released on first day of the the Malaysian defense exhibition DSA 2010.

Defence goods worth Rs. 20,000 crore made in the last three years


Amidst the discussions on the further investments in the upgradation ofmachineries as far as Indian defence industry was concerned and also hiking the limit for the FDI in the industry, the Government has recently confirmed the fact that Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has produced defence goods worth over a whopping Rs. 20,560 crore in the past three yearsfor the Indian defence personnel.
Minister of State for Defence, M M Pallam Raju has recently shared the fact that the OFB has made goods worth over Rs. 20,000 crore in the past three years and keeping in mind the increased requirements of the Army and the Home Ministry, the OFB needs to look at increasing the current production levels.

According to the planned investments in the 11th and 12th Plan period, the money earmarked for the up-gradation of machineries at the OFB if to the tune of Rs. 3,807.5 crores.
In fact, it may be noted here that companies like French Thales, British BAE Systems, Israeli Elta along with three Mauritian companies have invested over Rs. 400 million in the Indian Defence sector with the investments coming in as FDI.

Boeing F-15K41 Completes First Flight

                                        F-15K Slam Eagle.

St. Louis MO (SPX) Apr 26, 2010Boeing on April 19 conducted the first flight  of F-15K41, the first of 21 F-15K Slam Eagles the company is producing under the Next Fighter II contract for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). The aircraft, flown by Boeing test pilot Steve Schmidt, took off from Lambert St. Louis International Airport at 2:36 p.m. Central time and landed at 3:44 p.m. The F-15K is an advanced variant of the combat-proven F-15E. Equipped with the latest technological upgrades, it is extremely capable, survivable and maintainable.
The F-15K enables the ROKAF to change its focus from the short-range      defense of the past half century to a broader regional view that considers the omnidirectional threats it may face in the future.
The aircraft's service life is planned through 2040, with technology insertions and upgrades throughout its life cycle.
Boeing completed delivery of the 40 Next Fighter I F-15K aircraft in October 2008.

By: Staff Writers (

Kindle Wireless ReadingDevice (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)

ISRO To Launch Cartosat-2B On May 9

Bangalore, India (PTI) Apr 27, 2010India's advanced, high-resolution remote-sensing satellite Cartosat-2B would be launched on May 9 at 9.23 am from Sriharikota spaceport, ISRO said today. "It will be launched at 9.23 am on May 9 by PSLV-C15," Indian Space Research Organisation spokesperson S Satish told PTI.
The highly agile satellite is expected to give a boost to the tasks of infrastructure and urban planning. The on-board camera would provide scene specific spot imageries for cartographic and a host of other civilian applications.
Satish said the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle would carry onboard four more satellites along with the Cartosat-2B - an Algerian satellite weighing 117 kg, one nano satellite each from Canada and Switzerland, and StudSat, a pico satellite (under one KG) developed by engineering students from Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Weighing around 700 kg, Cartosat-2B is designed for an operational life of five years and would give pictures of 0.8 metre resolution.
Meanwhile, ISRO has constituted a failure analysis committee to probe the recent failure of the GSLV-D3 mission whose main objective was to flight-test the indigenous cryogenic engine and stage for the first time.
S Ramakrishnan, ISRO's Director (Projects) at Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, would chair the committee, which has been asked to submit the report within two months, sources in the space agency said.
The national panel of experts which included former chairmen of ISRO and eminent personalities, would then look into the report and the recommended corrective measures. This panel, after a thorough review, had given the go-ahead for the GSLV-D3 mission.

Source: Press Trust of India

South Korea warship sunk by ’strong impact’

SEOUL: First inspections of the bow of a South Korean warship show it was hit by an outside impact of considerable force, a military official said Saturday, as suspicion increasingly falls on North Korea.
The Cheonan sank and was split in half after a mystery blast on March 26 close to the disputed border of the two Koreas, leaving 40 sailors confirmed dead and six still unaccounted for.
Seoul has been careful not to point the finger directly at the North over the incident in the Yellow Sea, which has aggravated already tense ties, and Pyongyang has denied it was to blame.
Amid the tensions, China -- North Korea's closest partner -- announced the despatch of a first ever tourist train to North Korea carrying 400 passengers including several Finns -- a move contrary to the growing pessimism surrounding the Cheonan incident.
The South's Yonhap news agency Thursday quoted a senior military source in Seoul as saying it was suspected that North Korean submarines attacked the ship with a heavy torpedo.
On Saturday salvage teams took their first look at the bow section after it was hauled to the surface, finding another body and more evidence a strong external blast was the cause.
Quoting an unidentified military official, Yonhap said initial inspections confirmed a large iron gate had come off its hinges and a chimney was missing.
"This means there was a strong impact from the outside," the official said.
A Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman told AFP that more bodies were likely to be found in the bow, which was to be towed ashore for detailed inspections to find more clues to the vessel's fate.
The stern was salvaged on April 15 but offered few ideas as to what had caused the sinking, from which 58 sailors were rescued.
South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said a mine or torpedo may have sunk the corvette, but his ministry said it would keep an open mind until the investigation was complete.
Pyongyang has accused the South's "war maniacs" of trying to deflect blame for the tragedy onto the North.
The communist North on Friday seized South Korean-owned assets at a mountain resort, warning that the two countries were on the brink of war over the sinking.
And on Saturday the North warned it was prepared to use nuclear weapons if it was invaded by the United States and South Korea.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) carried the remarks by the North's Joint Chief, General Ri Yong-Ho, during a national meeting on the eve of the birthday of the country's armed forces.
"The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK (North Korea) are fully ready to frustrate any provocation of the aggressors at a single blow," Ri said.
"They will mobilise all means including the nuclear deterrent... should the US imperialists and the south Korean puppet warmongers dare intrude into the inviolable sky, land and seas of the DPRK even 0.001mm," he said.
He added that "a grave situation is now prevailing on the Korean Peninsula" because of the neighbouring South and its ally the United States, who he said wanted to start a war.
The disputed Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes between the North and South in 1999 and 2002 and of a firefight last November that left a North Korean patrol boat in flames.

By: DefenceTalks