Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Monday, October 27, 2014

Experts see several implications to Chinese submarine’s visit to Colombo

Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, Commander of Sri LankaNavy being received by Chief of
the Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan at South Block in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: IN

The visiting Sri Lankan Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera perfectly played to the gallery on Monday. Ruling out any Chinese military presence in the island nation, he said, "India's security is as our security." He wanted India to believe that the co-operation between China and Sri Lanka are purely commercial in nature. His comments come after concerns expressed in various quarters over the increasing presence of the Chinese military in Sri Lanka. Last month, the People's Liberation Army-Navy's (PLA-N) Type-039 Song Class submarine had docked in Colombo, signalling China's reach in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). While Vice Admiral Perera claimed that the submarine was not a nuclear one, experts in India feel that its visit has several implications.
Full report in OneIndia.

Friday, October 17, 2014

#FridayFury | Nirbhay scores a Perfect 10 | #Update 10

DRDO Chief Dr Avinash Chander joins the celebrations at ITR soon after Nirbhay (below) mission was declared successful. 
 
And here comes the final piece (updated copy) for the day, which went live on http://news.oneindia.in/ now. Do remember where you read it first! Have a great week end! READ THE REPORT HERE.


#FridayFury | Nirbhay launch pix from DRDO | #Update 9


#FridayFury | Video footage of today's Nirbhay launch | #Update 8

video

#FridayFury | Mission Accomplised: DRDO Chief | #Update 7

Photo courtesy: Manjeet Negi

Here's a 11.40 am copy I filed for OneIndia. Range and other figures will be updated in another copy set to go live in couple of hours. READ HERE.

#FridayFury | #BreakingNews | NIRBHAY SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED | #Update 6

India on Friday successfully test-fired home-grown subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur. Nirbhay, with a strike range of 800-1000, km took off from the Launch Complex-3 of ITR today at 10.04 am. As per the script, it crossed all the 10 way points before hitting the designated target area. Stay tuned for more updates.

#FridayFury | #BreakingNews | 40 minutes more to go | #Update 5

  Booster separated. Wings open. On it's way to cover intended range; about 40 minutes more.
https://twitter.com/writetake

#FridayFury | #BreakingNews | Nirbhay test-fired at 10.04 am | #Update 4

#FridayFury | Final countdown begins | #Update-3

  DRDO top brass confirms that countdown for 2nd launch of India's subsonic cruise missile  has begun. All activities are happening inside the heavily-guarded Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur.
https://twitter.com/writetake

#FridayFury | #Breaking News Final countdown to begin at 9 am | #Update-2

Nirbhay launch. File photo
DRDO sources confirm that the final countdown will begin at 9 am. Sources also confirm that the launcher activities have been completed @ LC-3 of ITR in Chandipur. 

#FridayFury | All set for Nirbhay launch | #Update-1

DRDO sources confirm that the launch is scheduled at around 9.30 am today from LC-3 of ITR in Chandipur. 

Friday Fury: Subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay ready to strike

Image Courtesy: Stitch India Digital
Nirbhay, India's first home-grown subsonic cruise missile, is all set for its launch from Interim Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur (Near Balasore in Orissa) on Friday, Oct 17. This is Nirbhay's second launch, the first being terminated mid-way on 12 March 2013 owing to a technical snag. Nirbhay, with an expected strike range of 800-1000 km, is the first missile being made completely in Bangalore. The missile was nurtured at the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) premier laboratory Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bangalore's C V Raman Nagar, an area infested with defence units. Copyright@OneIndia

Read the full story in OneIndia. English | Hindi | Tamil Telugu
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TARMAK007 EXCLUSIVE | NIRBHAY LAUNCH VIDEO

video


Here's an exclusive video footage of last year's maiden launch of Nirbhay, India’s first subsonic cruise missile, which had to be terminated after 20-minutes into its mission. Nirbhay had travelled almost 250 km towards the target after the launch, but a technical snag dented its designated flight path. Capabilities like the lift-off from the canister, the booster separation, ignition of cruise vehicle engine at high altitude, wing deployment, control guidance and way-point navigation were proven during the launch. 
The video is of 2:37 minutes and till 1 minute the launch frames have been captured by various ground-based cameras. The remaining part has been shot from a Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI), which flew parallel to the missile.
As DRDO scientists gear up for the next launch (on October 17, 2014) of Nirbhay -- India's first 'Made-in-Bangalore Missile' -- this video sourced after 'lots of effort' should inspire many, considering some of the first-time technologies our scientists could prove. This footage was first shown to a select audience during DefExpo in Delhi this year.
Gratitude to sources, who have time and again reposed faith in Tarmak007. This video will be truly a treat to all the devotees of India's aerospace and defence might.
Best wishes to Team DRDO for Nirbhay's second launch!

ALSO READ

Inspiration from an aborted flight: http://bit.ly/1C3n5DX
Agni-II Prime failed, but nobody died! http://bit.ly/1ocAWjd

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

APJ@83 | I have full faith in our youth who will propel India's future: Dr Kalam

Photo: Billionbeats
https://twitter.com/writetake
People’s President and India’s inspiration machine turned 83 today. In his own words: “I will be entering into 84th orbit around the Sun.” Nothing has changed in the life of former President of India, who still stays awake till 1 am reading and replying to his fan mails. Amidst visitors, calling him on at his No 10 residence on Delhi’s famous Rajaji Marg with birthday wishes, Dr Kalam granted an exclusive interview to OneIndia. Every day matters and every moment matters to me. Every 1st of January, I design what should be my mission for that year and start working towards it. Based on my experience, I achieve almost 60-70 per cent of what I have planned. You see, my mission never stops,” he said. (Copyright@OneIndia.)
What are his regrets in life?
Why did he stay a bachelor?
What's his take on youth power?
Where should India be by 2020?
And, what it takes to be an Indomitable Spirit?
(You can catch the full interview at OneIndia, India's leading news portal. INTERVIEW LINK HERE.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#Nirbhay Update | Missile integration begins

#GoodLuckNirbhay #NirbhayLaunch Final integration of the missile with the launcher underway at Balasore. Integrated test with the range resources to take place today and tomorrow. 

Get constant updates on: https://twitter.com/writetake


#NirbhayUpdates @writetake

#GoodLuckNirbhay #NirbhayLaunch Catch all the latest news of Nirbhay launch  on https://twitter.com/writetake

#NirbhayUpdate | Lighter version?

#GoodLuckNirbhay #NirbhayLaunch DRDO will work on a lighter version of #Nirbhay depending upon the success of the current missile.  

#NirbhayUpdate: 100 scientists, 1 missile!


#NirbhayLaunch Over 100 scientists, 75-80 from ADE, working on last-minute launch formal
ities of
#Nirbhay missile.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

When AVM Lamba floored Team Triumph!

This is Air Vice Marshal (retd) Ajit Lamba, now 78 years old, hale and hearty. One of the most respected senior IAF jewels, Lambaji is seen in the photo posing on the new Triumph bike, at its Mumbai showroom, recently. Interestingly, Lambaji bought a second-hand Triumph Thunderbird in 1955 soon after getting commissioned into the IAF. He then paid Rs 1500 and a brand-new bike now costs Rs 18 lakh.
In Bangalore, Lambaji still takes his pet plane Pegasuses for a quiet solo from HAL airport, defying age. I had flown with Lambaji on an LCRA (Light Canard Research Aircraft), which the ADE has now converted into Rustom UAV. Lambaji also supports Tarmak007's silent mission of flying the underprivileged and visually-impaired children. (See an earlier report, here:http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2011/01/blogging-for-cause-tarmak007-teams-up.html
Wishing AVM (retd) Lambaji many more happy landings!
Lambaji flying a visually-challenged child, a project launched by Tarmak007.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

More Photos of Tejas SP-1

Don't miss the Tejas contest on Tarmak007 @ FB.

First images of Tejas SP-1 during Sept 30 maiden flight

 Photos: HAL CorpCom


Tejas production variant SP-1 makes maiden flight in Bangalore | First flight without telemetry support | Two test variants on 'bombing mission' in Jaisalmer

Tejas seems to be out of the woods with the production variant's first flight. Photo: Basani Satish Kumar 
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) wait to induct a home-grown fighter jet into its squadron inched a step closer when the first Tejas series production (SP-1) aircraft kissed the skies on Tuesday. Military sources confirmed to Express that during the 25-minute flight, Tejas SP-1 touched a maximum speed of 0.6 Mach, copying textbook maneuvers befitting a maiden outing. The sole take-away from this flight was the fact that there was no telemetry support to the pilot.
Built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and designed by Aeronautical Development Agency, the Tejas SP-1 was flown by seasoned Test Pilot Air Commodore (Retd) K A Muthanna, with a Hawk trainer as the chase aircraft. “We did the HSTT (High Speed Taxi Trial) on Monday and the test results were flawless. During today’s flight, the pilot had no link-up with the telemetry team during the entire duration of the flight. This is a first for the programme, similar to what happens while in a squadron scenario,” an official associated with project said.
The build of the Tejas SP-1 seems to have given the team huge confidence to go for the maiden flight. “We had no corrections to make before and after the flight. This is different from what we were used to on earlier occasions. The production version aircraft is definitely superior on all fronts. We will resume the flight on SP-1 after a week,” the official said.
While the programme has to travel some more distance before the much-awaited induction into the IAF, two Tejas aircraft from the flight test programme are currently in Jaisalmer undertaking 'bombing mission.' “New weapons (250 kg and 450 kg bombs) are being integrated into the aircraft. The AoA (Angle of Attack) is also coming closer to 26 degrees, which helps the pilot to undertake care-free manoeuvring. In the next there months we are also lining up the aircraft to fire some new missiles as well,” the official said.
https://twitter.com/writetake
Also read: Did SP-1 fly for me?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tejas SP-1 maiden flight

#BreakingNews Sources say that Tejas SP1 had its maiden flight today with a Hawk aircraft as chase. As this posts go live, SP-1 is still flying. (Update soon)
Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

5 home-grown MAVs ready for production | ADE-NAL combo to transfer ToT to HAL

Indian Eagle (previously Imperial Eagle), a mini air vehicle, during one of its demonstration flights. (Below) members of India's MAV club.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Indian security agencies including the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and the National Security Guards (NSG) are likely to have small wings of micro and mini air vehicles (MAVs) under their commands soon. Developed jointly by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), these unmanned desi MAVs will soon get on to a mass production mode at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) facilities. HAL is expected to sign an MoU with ADE and NAL on transfer of technology (ToT) to manufacture custom-built MAVs.
Under a 2008 programme sanctioned with an initial seed money of Rs 20 crore, the ADE-NAL combo developed three micro air vehicles namely Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak. The team also developed two mini air vehicles, Indian Eagle (previously Imperial Eagle) and Sly Bird (see box). In the last six years, these MAVs underwent development trials demonstrating their capabilities. Each MAV, including the ground support systems, is expected to cost between Rs 5-10 lakhs depending upon their configuration.
In an exclusive interview to Express, V S Chandrashekar, Associate Director, ADE, said that the MAVs offer great advantages for undertaking security missions. "They are compact, man-portable (can be carried in a backpack with just two persons required for operation), easy to unpack and can be deployed within 10-15 minutes. They are difficult to be detected and very effective for close range and low-level surveillance," Chandrashekar, who holds the rank of an Outstanding Scientist in ADE, said.
In addition to CRPF, NSG and BSF, some of the state police agencies also have shown interest in deploying these systems. "Our teams have been giving functional demonstration of the MAVs to these agencies. The ownership cost of these MAVs is significantly less compared to the bigger unmanned aerial vehicles. Thus multiple vehicles could be deployed for completing a mission. Police teams can fly these MAVs over urban populace and assess issues of safety and collateral damage during accidents or riots. The advanced data helps to plan missions before mass deployment of forces," Chandrashekar said.
To a specific query whether these MAVs can be seen in armed roles in future, the top scientist said that the days are not far off when these systems carry miniature lethal payloads. "Definitely, these can get deployed for creating nuisance in the operational environment by making critical systems inoperative by jamming and interference. Kamikaze missions (aerial attacks) are also possible with the MAVs," he said.
THE MAV CLUB: MAVs -- Golden Hawk, Black Kite and Pushpak -- are in the 300 mm class. They weigh about 300 to 450 gms and have an endurance of 20 to 30 minutes. At about 20 knots cruise speed it has a range of 1 km and can climb to a ceiling altitude of 100 metres. They carry a fixed daylight camera.
Indian Eagle and Slybird are slightly bigger MAVs and weigh about 3.5 kgs with an endurance of 50 to 60 minutes. At about 20 knots cruise speed it has a range of 10 km and can climb to a ceiling altitude of 300 metres. They carry gimbal-mounted daylight or infra-red camera.
These MAVs are hand-launched and possess fully autonomous cruise abilities using waypoint navigation. They are recovered by soft belly-landing and the entire mission is monitored using Toughbook-based Ground Control Station, where image exploitation algorithms are processed in real-time.
Copyright@The New Indian Express
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Friday, September 26, 2014

IAF takes off with firms plans to make Aero India bigger | Survey of helipads, hospitals begin | Aero India 2015 from Feb 18-22

Dorniers bask in the sunlight at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bangalore, as the IAF gears up to celebrate its 82nd birthday on October 8. Photo: Vinod Kumar T
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun the preliminary rounds of preparations for the 10th edition of the biennial air show to be held at the Air Force Station (AFS) Yelahanka, in Bangalore, from February 18-22, 2015. The Aero India-2015 will be seen through ‘a new window of opportunity’ by the aerospace and defence industry now, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ pitch. The IAF officials said that they are preparing the ground to accommodate more participants during the air show.
Speaking to Express on the sidelines of a media visit to AFS Yelahanka on Wednesday, ahead of the 82nd IAF Day celebrations on October 8, Air Commodore S C Gulati, Air Officer Commanding of the station said that initial talks with various state government agencies have already begun. “These are early days of preparations and we have the SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place. We hope that the coming show will be bigger in all aspects and AFS Yelahanka is warming up for the task,” said Gulati, a seasoned IAF pilot with close to 8000 hours of flying. Survey of hospitals and helipads in Bangalore are underway as part of the disaster management plan.
No air space clogging: To a specific query whether the training activities at AFS Yelahanka will be hit if HAL Airport is reopened for commercial operations, Gulati said that IAF’s modern traffic management systems are capable of handling the situation. To another query whether the current activities at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) have eaten into the traffic space of the base (as reported by the media earlier), he said the training schedules have not been affected.
“Our training patterns have not changed and are proceeding as planned. We operate on the assigned air space and both HAL and KIA too do the same. Paris has got three airports and London has four,” said Gulati, who was part of the Air HQ Communication Squadron, flying the Boeing Business Jets, carrying VIPs. The AFS Yelahanka has the record of being the single largest base in India with maximum number of flying hours. It has to its credit over 20,000 hours of flying, annually.
Modernisation on track: As part of the IAF’s ongoing modernisation mission, AFS Yelahanka will soon get a new station HQ with the construction work almost entering the last lap. An official who interacted with the media said that the induction AFS Yelahanka is poised to increase in the near future. “Some of the old buildings from where we are operating are from the British era. It’s but natural to move into new space. This is a diversion base for various operational aircraft as well and we do maintenance of our assets also,” an official said.
AFS Yelahanka gives training in formation flying, para-trooping, special night operations, casuality evacuation and VIP flying. Transport aircraft including the AN-32s and HAL-built Dornier-228s are the prime assets of the station. In addition, the station houses the Training Command communication flight, Dornier Tettra School and two helicopter units (112 HU & 109 HU). A 24x7 SRE unit (Surveillance Radar Element) also operates out of this station. “During the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir, we had flown relief material to Srinagar. Our aircraft have also evacuated 285 passengers from Srinagar to different locations,” the official added.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

India@Mars: Mission Accomplished

EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE: India has been living with Mars Mission; Mangalyan has the blessings of the people: ISRO Chief

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The fate of India’s Rs 450-crore Mars Orbit Mission (MOM) – Mangalyan – will be out by 1 pm (IST) on Wednesday, when the exact parameters of the orbit will be known to the space scientists. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said that the Mars Orbit Insertion set to be executed on Wednesday morning will be the most challenging task of the mission. “If everything goes by our original plan, then Mangalyan will have a total life of six months,” Radhakrishnan told Express, during an exclusive interview at Antariksh Bhavan.
"The mission had three major challenges. The first one was the launch of MOM using PSLV-XL in November 2013; then the Trans-Mars Injection done in December 2013. Here the challenge was to give the required velocity in specific periods. Finally, we will undertake the most critical task of Mars Orbit Insertion on Wednesday," the top space scientist said. Mangalyan is the cheapest Mars mission being undertaken by any nation so far.
With the scientific temper of the whole nation skyrocketing with every bit of MOM moments being captured and cheered for last 300 days, Radhakrishnan said the overwhelming response from Indians across the globe inspired his team. "India has been living with this mission. The sentiments and richness of the comments of every Indian moved us. It made all of us really proud. It has been a great pleasure reading every bit of views that poured in during the last 10 months. It is a priceless feeling when the nation stands behind you and echoes in one voice -- We are with you. Mangalyan has the blessings of the people," Radhakrishnan said.
Mangalyan will get into the orbit at 8:15 am today with the engine firing scheduled at 07:17:32 (7 hours, 17 minutes and 32 seconds). “After a delay of 12 minutes, by 07:30:02, we will come to know whether the burning has started. The entire burning will be for 1453 seconds (24-plus minutes). Within four minutes of the burning, the scientists would receive the first data. There is a communication blackout set to occur 20 minutes into the engine burning, with the radio link between MOM and ground station getting blocked by Mars. The operations during this period will be carried out autonomously. The link will restart again at 08:00:16,” he said. On Wednesday, the Mars colour camera is also expected to be switched on, after the mission progresses ahead on the expected path.
Terming Monday’s four-second test-firing of the liquid engine as a ‘mission guided by wisdom and executed by youth,’ Radhakrishnan refused to take any credit for Mangalyan’s success so far. “The show goes on. The guidance of all our seniors, the relentless efforts of my team in ISRO and the support of the whole nation have brought us this far. There are around 100 scientists directly involved in this mission,” Radhakrishnan said. 
Under no pressure: When asked whether he was under any kind of pressure, Radhakrishnan said with a smile: “Pressure? I will be with my team today (Tuesday) night and will wake up at 3 am tomorrow (Wednesday). There’s nothing like pressure if you keep doing your work. As Bhagavat Gita says: Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma Phaleshou Kada Chana (You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions),” Radhakrishnan said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Experts want India to step up efforts in electronic warfare

Electronic warfare experts and award winners from aerospace and defence fields, during an event organised by the Association of Old Crows in Bangalore. Photo: Nagesh Polali
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Electronic Warfare (EW) systems are poised to play a lead role in combating low-intensity conflict (LIC) in India. Dr U K Revankar, president of Association of Old Crows (AOC) India chapter, an organisation of top EW brains, told Express on Saturday that the sooner India embraces latest EW technologies, the better it will be equipped to tackle LIC in future.
"The importance of EW is ever increasing with the systems becoming more complex and sophisticated. The EMS-based (electro-magnetic spectrum) technologies are essential for the internal security of our country. The defence R&D, system integration process, production of EW systems and field operational roles with our armed forces have to be at a bigger pace," Dr Ravankar, said. 
He said the EW domain in India must expand both technologically and commercially to support the armed forces. "While indigenisation of EW systems, their production and induction should be encouraged with explicit timelines, India must also acquire the best EW practices from across the globe," Dr Ravankar said. He said with further support of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Ministry of Defence, the AOC can evolve a 'standard for EW systems development' in India.
Dr A T Kalghatgi, Director (R&D), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), told Express that the engineering challenges in EW domain is growing rapidly. "Miniaturisation of systems with greater digital capabilities have become the norm in modern warfare. There are many areas we need to ramp-up our competences, including performance testing," Dr Kalghatgi said. He said the modern EW systems will have to be software-intense and fault-free, enabling an upper hand to the user .
He said as the lead technology integrator for a number of advanced weapon platforms of Indian armed forces, BEL has already made inroads in the field of EW systems. "We are progressing steadily with a Rs 1000-crore investment plan," he added.
S S Sundaram, Director General (Electronics & Communication Systems), DRDO said that that the EW systems act as a force-multiplier to the armed forces. "New EW techniques like chip-jamming have taken centrestage now. The United States has an integrated cyber warfare programme and we too are in the race to be among the best in the world," he said. On Saturday, Sundaram also gave away AOC awards to eight individuals for their contributions to EW systems.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Panchi, wheeled-version of UAV Nishant, warms up for first flight

Above exclusive photos (1&3) show Panchi, the wheeled-version of Nishant UAV, undergoing taxi trails at DRDO's Kolar facility in Karnataka. 
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Defence scientists are all set to unveil the wheeled-version of India's homegrown unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Nishant. The UAV named Panchi, means bird, will be capable of taking off and landing from semi-prepared runways, thereby reducing the turnaround time between missions.
Sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told Express on Wednesday that Panchi has already been transported to the testing facility in Kolar. "We have completed the taxi trials and are readying it for the maiden flight. Panchi is currently undergoing some refinement and the mission readiness team will further asses the UAV before the maiden flight," a scientist working with the project from Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) told Express. Similar to Nishant UAV, Panchi can be used for reconnaissance, intelligence gathering missions over hostile territory, target designation, surveillance and also to assess damages during natural calamities. 
Once operational, Panchi will join the ranks of other proven wheeled UAVs from across the globe, including Searcher, Heron, Global Hawk and Predator, capable of the conventional takeoff and landing. "With the requirement for extended endurance and payload carrying capacity, the focus of launching and recovery of UAVs world over shifted from launcher and parachute systems to conventional take-off and landing techniques," the scientist said.
The existing version of Nishant is launched from a mobile launcher and later recovered using parachute and landing bags. This results in high impact loads on the aircraft systems, necessitating extensive inspections, checks and maintenance activities before launching again.
The mission team had to deal with many challenges while rolling out Panchi and still have some critical points to clear before the first flight. "The handling of a remotely-controlled aircraft during its takeoff and landing procedures are extremely critical exercises. We have to ensure proper alignment of the aircraft to runway in addition to designing a control system with tighter control loops for quick corrections by the onboard system. Precise control of aircraft motion is required to assist the external pilot during various stages of the flight," explained the scientist. 
Nishant Status: ADE has already delivered four Nishants with one set of ground support systems have to the Indian Army, which is being operated in the western sector. Another eight Nishant UAVs along with two sets of ground support systems are expected to join the Army fold. Low repair cost, faster software maintenance and round-the-clock availability of technical support are some of the USPs being projected by the DRDO. The Army, on the other hand, wants the DRDO to ensure complete operational efficiency.
DRDO has spent around Rs 60 crore to complete the development of Nishant and also to establish capabilities for taking up future UAV systems. The DRDO is in talks with paramilitary agencies, who have evinced keen interest in the deployment of Nishant.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#TSR to chart HAL's new flight-path


Suvarna Raju is HAL’s Chairman-elect | I want to make HAL an aerospace technology leader

T Suvarna Raju
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: T Suvarna Raju, has been named as the next chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). Currently, the Director (Design & Development) of the Company, Raju was named by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) after conducting the selection interviews in New Delhi on Monday. Raju will succeed R K Tyagi, who will superannuate by the end of January 2015.
Raju will be the 17th chairman of HAL, subject to a series of departmental clearances. Sources told Express that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will take charge now with the Cabinet Secretariat, Home Ministry and finally the Prime Minister's Office expected to give the go-ahead. “After we shortlist a name, it normally takes four months to complete all formalities. We don’t see any delay this time,” a PESB official said.
Raju joined HAL in 1980 as a Management Trainee after completing his Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University. He holds an M.Phil in Defence Strategic Studies from Madras University and also PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from NLSIU. Hailing from Tanuku in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Raju will have a tenure of over three-and-a-half-years as HAL Chairman, from February 2015 to August 2018.
Currently Raju has under his command four major Divisions of HAL, including the Aircraft Research and Development Centre (ARDC), the Mission & Combat System R&D Centre (MSRDC) and the Engine Test Bed R&D Centre (ETBRDC). He also holds the additional charge as the Managing Director of the company’s Helicopter Complex. Programmes like Sitara – the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), Tejas – the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Rudra – the weaponised version of Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv and the Light Combat Helicopter currently come under his preview.
Raju has been selected by the PESB after interviewing four other candidates including S Subrahmanyam, Managing Director (MiG Compelx, HAL), V M Chamola, Director (HR, HAL), Umesh Chandra, Executive Director (BEML) and Air Marshal R K Dhir (MoD).
Speaking to Express on his arrival from Delhi past mid-night, Raju said that his focus will be to turn HAL into an aerospace technology leader. “Currently we are known as a manufacturing company and we need to quickly sink in with the changing times. Technology advancement is the key and I am confident of piloting the company towards achieving excellence in the field,” Raju said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ADE scientists to demonstrate ATOL role of Rustom-1 UAV

With ATOL feature, Rustom-1 to have enhanced endurance & payload-carrying capability.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Defence scientists at the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) are closing in on enabling India's Rustom-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capability. The ATOL configuration, to be demonstrated by end of this year, will increase the endurance and payload carrying capacity of the UAV.
Insiders linked to the project told Express that ATOL feature will add more teeth to the Rustom-1 while undertaking prolonged missions. "We will be able to carry more fuel for missions which require the UAV to be airborne for longer durations. Instead of more fuel, different type of payloads can be integrated on the UAV, which will give it an additional operational advantage. At present, we are in the process of evaluating some of the sensors required for the ATOL implementation. Extensive real time simulation has been initiated on the UAV flight simulator to develop and fine-tune the guidance and control algorithms," an official said.
ADE took up the Rustom-1 project in 2006 with the primary objective of converting a proven manned aircraft configuration into a UAV. The first flight of Rustom-1 was in 2010 and since then the lab has conducted over 30 flights with around Rs 40 crore already spent on the project.
"So far our work on Rustom-1 has resulted in the availability of a baseline system which can be considered for operational roles by the users. This system can also be developed into an efficient FTB (Flying Test Bed) which can be used as a platform for development and demonstration of some of the emerging technologies in UAV systems," he said.
While enhancing the performance envelope of the UAV, the total weight (also called as AUW or all-up weight) goes up due to the increased weight of fuel or payload. This results in increase in take-off/landing distances and speeds. "Beyond a point it becomes difficult for the external pilot to confidently handle the UAV during the take-off and landing phases. Thus the capability for ATOL is essential," the official added.
The Indian Army has evinced keen interest in considering Rustom-1 for operational roles. However, in addition to ATOL capability, the Army wants ADE to demonstrate features like range of operation, colour video datalink and payload combinations. "We have so far demonstrated conventional take-off and landing of the aircraft by an external pilot, who coordinates the events with the internal pilot who controls the UAV during its mission phase. We have already demonstrated endurance for extended hours and at medium altitudes. We are confident of matching the performance demonstrated by some of the other users," the official said.
ADE has also integrated the surveillance payload of proven Nishant UAV on Rustom-1 to demonstrate its utility as a short-range surveillance platform. They are hopeful of optimising the performance by utilising the space available in the aircraft to increase the endurance further. The scientists are also exploring the possibility of using Rustom-1 version for ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) missions as well.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Student Tech: UAV files out of college lab; gets rave reviews in US

(Above) Dawon, the custom-made UAV built by MSRIT students. (Below) The team with US naval escort James Kerry (4th from left) during the UAV contest held at the Patuxent River Naval Airbase, Maryland in US.

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service

Bangalore: Dawon, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) named after mythological tiger of goddess Durga, designed by city-based M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) students, has won rave reviews at an international event held in the United States recently. The seven-member team from MSRIT, Edhitha, competed with 50 universities from 20 countries during the event jointly organised by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the US Navy at the Patuxent River Naval Airbase, Maryland in US. 

In an interaction with Express on Monday, M Akash, a 7th semester Mechanical Engineering student of the college said that the competition was backed by aerospace giants. "It was an eye-opener for the Bangalore team as representatives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were supporting the event. We secured 10th place in journal presentation, seventh in oral flight readiness review and 25th position in executing the mission. The jury appreciated the UAV's unique design and in-house fabrication," Akash said.

The competition demanded students to develop a UAV capable of autonomous GPS navigation, real time imagery system relaying information of strategic importance in intelligence and reconnaissance mission. In addition to the above requirement the UAV must also be equipped with a package drop mechanism for aerial drop task and Infrared imagery system for night vision. The Edhitha team was led by Vishnu B N.
"The UAV Dawon flew for 30 minutes and even undertook digital image processing mission. It also dropped an egg-shaped canister on an assigned target. The entire airframe, fabrication and electronics of the UAV costed us Rs 6 lakh," Akash said. 
Dawon with a wingspan of 3 meter, 2.5 meter length, 90-minute endurance and one liter fuel-carrying capacity is currently kept at the college lab. The students are also exploring the opportunities whether the UAV can be put to military or civil use. "We are looking at the regulations controlling the UAVs in India. Having exhibited the capabilities of the UAV, we are keen to see it put to good use," Akash said.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

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