July 31, 2013

Indian Navy's N-powered submarine - Arihant - all set to sail out from Vizag, India


Indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, is finally set to sail out from its base at Vishakhapatnam. The 6,000-tonne submarine, armed with nuclear missiles, is ready after years of efforts interspersed with sanctions in 1998 and impediments due to non-availability of cutting-edge technology.

“The nuclear reactor that will power the submarine can be formally declared ‘critical’ anytime now, while the nuclear-tipped missiles to be launched from underwater are in place,” sources said.
“Everything is ready,” a functionary said. “The wait is for the monsoon to subside before Arihant (slayer of enemies) dives into sea. A certain amount of calm is needed at sea when the vessel goes out the first time. The monsoon on the East Coast starts weakening by the middle of August, meaning the submarine will slither out in a couple of weeks from now,” he added.
“Around 95 per cent of harbour trials are over,” sources said. Once the submarine is out at sea, it will run on nuclear-powered 80MW pressurised water reactor (PWR). The PWR was developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) with assistance from a Russian designing team. It uses enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator.

Once at sea, the vessel will be gradually loaded with weapons and missiles. All parameters will be tested after each addition. “Each test will be conducted underwater for two months or more. This will include the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)”, sources said.
New Delhi has done 10 underwater launches of SLBMs code named ‘B05’ using a submerged pontoon to mimic a submarine. It can travel 700 km, while the bigger variant, so far know as the ‘K-4’, can hit targets 3,500 km away and will finally be installed on Arihant and also the next two follow-on submarines of the same class.

The submarine will provide second-strike capability in case of a nuclear attack. It is the easiest to launch a nuclear strike from a submarine as it remains submerged, hence the enemy cannot detect it.
In December 2010, the then Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma had announced: “When Arihant goes to sea, it will be on a deterrent patrol (armed with nuclear-tipped missiles).” Being nuclear-powered, the submarine will not have to surface for two months to breath, like the conventional vessels have to.

India will join the US, the UK, France, and China by having such technology and prowess.
Arihant has cost Rs 15,000 crore. It has been jointly developed by the Navy, BARC and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the Visakhapatnam naval dockyard. Russian designers assisted in building the vessel. Other companies involved in the development of the submarine are Tata Power and Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The project, earlier known as the advanced technology vessel (ATV), has been under development since 1998.

July 29, 2013

Russia Lays Down New Stealth Corvette

Russia’s Severnaya Verf

ST. PETERSBURG, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Severnaya Verf laid down a new Gremyashchy class corvette Thursday at its St. Petersburg shipyard, the company said.
The corvette Provorny is the second warship of the Project 20385 class, which is a derivative of the Steregushchy class (Project 20380) corvette, featuring better electronics, air defenses and extended operational range, the shipbuilder says.

The first vessel in the class, the Gremyashchy, was laid down in February 2012 and it is expected to join the Russian Navy in 2015.
Severnaya Verf will build at least 10 Gremyashchy class corvettes for the Russian Navy under a contract with the Defense Ministry.

The Gremyaschy class corvette has a displacement of 2,200 metric tons, maximum speed of 27 knots, operating range of 4,000 nautical miles and a crew of 100.
The ship's armament includes Uran-E 3M24 (SS-N-25 Switchblade) anti-ship cruise missiles, a 100-mm gun, a variety of air defense and anti-submarine systems and a Ka-27 Helix ani-submarine helicopter.

Advanced stealth technology is used to reduce the ship's radar signature, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures, Severnaya Verf claims.

July 28, 2013

Malaysia eyes Air Launched Indo-Russian BrahMos

According to Russian Media, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Ahman on his visit to Russia last week has shown interest in Air Launched variant of BrahMos missile, Royal Malaysian Air Force already operates 18 Russian Su-30MKM flankers, which were bought under a contract signed in 2003.

Malaysia currently is also looking for a tender for 18 combat aircraft for delivery by 2015. These aircrafts would replace the country’s MiG-29s. Malaysia in past has shown interest in purchase of BrahMos missile system jointly developed by India and Russia.
Russia has assured Malaysia, that new batch of Su-30MKM flankers will come with capability to fire Air launched BrahMos . Indian Su-30MKI are been modified to carry our first firing of Air launched BrahMos missile which most likely will happen early next year.

Su-30MKM flankers are similar to India’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI. Like its Indian counterpart, the Su-30MKM is a substantial advance upon the original Su-30K export version, India’s HAL had supplied canards, stabilizers and fins for Malaysian flankers, IAF in past deputed Instructors and technicians  in Malaysia to train pilots and Ground crews of Malaysian air force .

July 26, 2013

India to become largest C-17 operator outside the US

Boeing delivered the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) second C-17 Globemaster III today, a month after India’s first C-17 arrived in the country and immediately began supporting IAF operations.
This second IAF C-17 also will immediately enter service. India will receive 10 aircraft by 2014.
"Our first C-17 Globemaster III not only signifies a tremendous boost in our strategic airlift capability, but also is poised to form a major component in the IAF's modernization drive,” said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of the Indian Air Force. “Because it was delivered mission-ready, it soon undertook its first strategic mission to our Andaman Nicobar Command at Port Blair. I wish to place on record my appreciation to the U.S. government, the U.S. Air Force and the Boeing team for the timely delivery of the aircraft that makes the IAF the world's second-largest operator of the C-17 after the U.S."

Boeing is on schedule to deliver three more IAF C-17s this year and five in 2014. The C-17 can operate in extreme climates, transport large payloads across vast ranges and land on short, austere runways.

“C-17s have an important role in supporting unique Indian Air Force operations in remote locations such as the Himalayas and desert environments," said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. "The C-17 provides the versatility to complete any mission, anywhere. We look forward to working with the Indian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force as we deliver the remainder of India’s fleet."

Boeing is supporting the IAF aircraft through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale.

Boeing has delivered 255 C-17s, including 222 to the U.S. Air Force, and a total of 33 to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

July 19, 2013

Russian Air Force's and Indian Air Force's T-50 fighter to be ready in 2013

The Sukhoi PAK FA (Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation), aka the T-50 fighter, a stealthy acrobat, will be seen on Russian airspace later this year.  The important phase of engine development has been completed, Sukhoi said at the recently-concluded Paris Air Show.

According to the Russian military, which just completed stage one of flight tests, initial results suggest the Russian fighter turned out to be on a par with and even better in certain areas than its main American rival, the F-22 Raptor.

United Aircraft Corporation Chief Executive Mikhail Pogosyan says five T-50s are participating in the testing programme, which has allowed Russian designers to speed up the process and close the gap with the Americans. The F-22 has been serving in the US Air Force for a long time and is still, for good reason, considered to be the most advanced fighter. Far less is known about its Russian rival.

According to its designers, the T-50 is the embodiment of the latest in Russian aircraft technology. A number of innovative solutions have been implemented in the machine, including stealth technology, new construction materials and coatings, artificial intelligence, and the element base, which have brought Russia’s military aircraft building to a qualitatively new technological level.
A whole range of the latest polymer carbon plastics have made their debut on the T-50. They weigh 50 percent less than aluminum of comparable rigidity or titanium and are 20-25 percent lighter than steel. New materials cover 70 percent of the fighter’s surface. Its weight has been reduced to just a quarter of that of a fighter made of conventional materials, allowing the designers to increase its combat load.
The Sukhoi Design Bureau has highlighted “the PAK FA’s unprecedentedly low level of radar, optical and infrared visibility.” The T-50’s effective reflective area will amount to 0.5 square metres (its predecessor, the Sukhoi-30MKI, has 20 square metres). This means that the Sukhoi-30MKI appears on the radar screen as a 5x4 metre metal object, while the T-50’s reflection would only be a 1/40 of that, making it much more difficult to notice or aim weapons at it – especially as the machine benefits from the exceptional manoeuvrability that has been a hallmark of Sukhoi fighters.

In addition, the T-50 meets the main requirement of modern fighters – a high degree of intellectualisation. Its radar, complete with an active electronically-scanned array (AESA), can “see” everything that is going on in the air or on the ground at a distance of hundreds of kilometres. It can track multiple airborne and surface targets simultaneously, while keeping them in the crosshairs of its weapons.

Several dozen sensors attached to different parts of its hull not only enable it to monitor the surroundings but also to exchange real time data with ground control and within its airborne unit at the same time. The T-50’s “e-pilot” functionality is constantly analysing the situation, offering the pilot several options to act on. The pilot will receive the bulk of flight and combat data in the form of symbols and signs, making it easier to process and substantially easing the pressure on the pilot, while allowing him to focus on the tactical mission at hand.
The T-50 can take off and land from an only 300-400-metre runway. Going forward, it will serve as a basis for a navy variant. Weapons will be stored completely in internal compartments to meet the stealth technology’s requirements. According to certain reports, those compartments would be able to carry up to eight R-77 air-to-air missiles or two up to 1,500-kg guided aerial bombs.

July 18, 2013

Vietnam will buy the Belarus-made surveillance radar Vostok E able to detect Chinese stealth fighter

Before the J-20, China's first stealth fighter, enters service with the PLA Air Force, Vietnam will purchase the Vostok E 2-Dimensional Metric Band Surveillance Radar from Belarus with the ability to detect and attack stealth aircraft, reports the Military Analysis based in Moscow.

Developed by KB Radar based in Belarus, the Vostok E VHF band radar is a replacement to the P-18 radar system during the Soviet era. KB Radar claims the Vostok E radar is able to detect stealth fighters such as the US F-117A Nighthawk from 74 kilometers nautical miles away in a jammed environment. In an unjammed environment, the distance can be increased to 350 kilometers.

With a unique wideband "Kharchenko" square ring element radiator arranged in a diamond lattice pattern, the Vostok E radar is designed to improve its frequency agility against earlier generation stealth fighters. Even when facing more advanced stealth aircraft like the F-22, the Vostok E can detect targets from 57 kilometers away and shoot them down with the S-300 SAM. It is a new design to challenge the aerial domination of American stealth aircraft.

However, Vietnam will probably become the first nation to use the radar system in an asymmetric warfare strategy against stealth fighters from China including the J-20 and J-31 over the disputed South China Sea. Military Analysis said Belarus has agreed to sell about 20 Vostok E radar systems to Vietnam, as well as send advisers to train Vietnamese operators to use the hardware.

July 16, 2013

Russian Army starts biggest military exercise since Soviet time with a total of 160,000 soldiers

A total of 160,000 servicemen, 1,000 tanks, 130 planes and 70 ships are taking part in Russia’s biggest military drill since Soviet times. The war games will continue in the country’s Far East until July 20. The maneuvers are the latest in series of surprise military checks which performed by Russia, in an effort to reveal and oust flaws in the country’s defense program.

A total of 160,000 servicemen, 1,000 tanks, 130 planes and 70 ships are taking part in Russia’s biggest military drill since Soviet times. The war games will continue in the country’s Far East until July 20. The maneuvers are the latest in series of surprise military checks which performed by Russia, in an effort to reveal and oust flaws in the country’s defense program.  

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu received an order to test the battle readiness of the Eastern command, which unites military forces in the Far East and Trans-Baikal. The request was received from President Vladimir Putin at 01:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on Saturday, July 13.
Following the order, 160,000 servicemen were put on high alert and began advancing toward the training sites.

According to the Defense Ministry, around 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 planes and helicopters, and 70 ships are taking part in the war games.
Military commanders in the Far East and Trans-Baikal learned of the drill’s details only after it had begun, receiving a secret parcel from Defense Minister Shoygu. 

“The main purpose of the activities is to check the readiness of the military units to perform assigned tasks and evaluate of the level of personnel’s training and technical preparation as well as the level of equipment of units with arms and military equipment,” the defense ministry said in statement.
The statement noted that the drill would require some units to travel more than 3,000 kilometers from their usual deployment sites. Seven hundred flat wagons and 50 railway cars were assigned to perform the transfer.
The ground forces have been given two days to reach their destination. They have been tasked with pitching field camps, masking their positions, and organizing defense strategies upon arrival.

July 2, 2013

After China now India launches first its own GPS satellite - IRNSS-1A

IRNSS-1A will help in fixing geographical co-ordinates: Dr YS Rajan 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has been involved in over 100 missions for the first time in its 50 years old history launched a satellite in the night on Monday from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

At 11.41 pm, the rocket - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C22 - standing around 44 metres tall and weighing around 320 tonnes roared into space turning the dark skies bright orange.
Scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) rocket mission control room are intently watching the rocket's progress towards the sky escaping the earth's gravitational pull with one way ticket.

ISRO officials are hoping that the agency's crucial space mission will turn out to be a grand success.
The PSLV-C22 rocket is expected to spit out its only luggage - the 1,425 kg IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System)-1A.
The entire flight sequence - lift-off to the satellite ejection - took around 20 minutes.The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV- C22 blasted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota with the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1A) it is for the first time that the space agency has launched a satellite at night.

The IRNSS-1A is the first dedicated Indian Navigation Satellite. In total seven satellites of the IRNSS constellation will be launched and the full constellation will be up during 2014 timeframe.

According to ISRO, the IRNSS is designed to provide accurate position information service for terrestrial (cars, goods transport, buses) aerial (flights) and maritime (shipping) navigation for users in India as well as neighbouring regions extending up to 1,500 km from India's borders/boundaries, which will be its primary service area.  The IRNSS will provide two types of services: Standard Positioning Service (SPS) for all users; and Restricted Service (RS), an encrypted service provided only to authorised users.
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