Taking over as India's 23rd Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Norman Browne today said, "The biggest challenge facing us in the coming years, is to manage [this] fast paced change effectively, without compromising on high operational standards. Operating across a broad spectrum of equipment vintage, would test our innovativeness and capabilities. The nation has reposed a high degree of trust and confidence in our capabilities. It is indeed an onerous asking, and I am confident that as capable men and women we will work shoulder to shoulder in discharging our responsibilities befittingly."
Godspeed and fair winds to the new chief.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP) - Ecuadorian Air Force (EAF) which inducted seven Indian manufactured Dhruv helicopters, at a package cost of $50 millions, is finding itself beset with problems even as the last consignment of two helicopters has barely arrived in the country. According to the aviation sources, one of the inducted Dhruv helicopters crashed last year while two others have been grounded on account of malfunctioning of over-speed management unit (OMU).
While the Ecuadorian Air Force is plagued by Dhruv related maintenance issues, its difficulties have been compounded by exorbitant repair cost demanded by Indian manufacturers. The original US company that manufactures the OMU, charges $100m000 as the repair cost while the Indians have demanded $250,000 for the same job.
India has also raised the price of two additional Dhruvs that the EAF had originally planned as additional follow through acquisitions; demanding $12 million apiece. The EAF has informed the Indian government that because of cost issues, maintenance problems, under par flight performance and poor post sale spare support it is considering cancelling further orders for induction of Dhruv helicopters.
According to observers the disappointing Ecuadorian experience with the Dhruv Helicopters doesn’t augur well for the Indian efforts to find a toe hold in South American countries for its aviation products.
It is bound to have its negative fallout as other South American governments; Columbia, Brazil and Chile, who were contemplating induction of Dhruv helicopters in their respective air forces, are now certain to revisit such plans.
Dhruv is not only accident prone, overly priced and having maintenance support issues, it also comes with the Indian tendency of creating dependence and over invoicing, which make even costlier options from other countries more palatable, say observers.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
See photos of commissioning of F47, INS Shivalik last year.
Photos Courtesy Indian Navy
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The missile with a pay load of 200 kg has a fast reaction time, which is essential for the battle field tactical missile. The missile is launched from a Road Mobile System, which can carry six missiles at a time and can be fired in salvo mode in all directions covering the entire azimuth plane.
The missile system is developed to provide Indian Army a cost effective, quick reaction, all weather, all terrain, high accurate battle field support tactical system. The development of missile is carried out by the DRDO scientists in a short span of less than two years.
The flight path of the Missile was tracked and monitored by the various radar systems and electro optical systems located along the coast of Orissa. An Indian naval ship located near target point in Bay of Bengal witnessed the final event. The missile was developed by the DRDO Scientists with support from Indian Industry and Quality assurance agency MSQAA.
The launch operations were witnessed by Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Secretary Defence R & D, Lt Gen Vinod Nayanar, AVSM, Director General of Artillery, IHQ of MoD (Army). The operations were over seen by Avinash Chander, Chief Controller R&D, V.L.N. Rao, Programme Director AD, S.K. Ray, Director RCI, and S.P. Dash, Director ITR.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated the Scientists of DRDO for the successful maiden launch of the new missile.Photos ©DRDO (via Ananthakrishnan M)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
During his visit to Kaliningrad (see photo), the Admiral reviewed the progress of the Project 1135.6 (Talwar Class) follow-on ships, under construction at the Yantar shipyard. He was reassured that the first ship 'Teg' would commence trials shortly and be delivered in six to eight months.
The Admiral took an extensive tour of Vikramaditya on his visit to the Sevmash Shipyard, where he observed that significant progress had been made and the ship was shaping up well for the Preliminary Sea Trials.
During discussions with the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy on operational exchanges between the two navies, the two Chiefs agreed that the INDRA series of exercises form an important aspect of their bilateral relationship and would need to be continued and extended in scope and participation. They also discussed possible avenues of co-operation including anti-piracy operations.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
[@1722HRS]: The Prahaar test-firing is scheduled for tomorrow morning, weather permitting.
[7.22AM / JUL 18] Nope, not happening. Sometime this week, likely Thursday (July 21).
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It is unclear what the total deal value is, with suggestions ranging from $2.1-billion to over $4-billion. It is also understood that the weapons component of the deal, worth $700-million, remains to be cleared by the government. Will update.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Media reports that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked two of the six aspirants for the ongoing Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition to extend the validity of their quotes would seem a clear indication that these two; the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Consortium’s Typhoon II – both of European provenance – have overhauled their rivals, to reach the finals. This development coupled with US Ambassador Roemer’s recent resignation, related or not, is likely to cast a pall of gloom, at least temporarily, over Indo-American relations.
These are lean times, world-wide, and bagging this huge contract will have a positive impact on the relatively small economies of the European nations involved. Conversely, the loss of business worth $11 billion (running into many times this figure on account of product-support extending over the full 30-35 year life-span of the aircraft) would come as a blow to the aerospace industry of even a major economic power like the USA.
More than anything else, it could be interpreted as a rebuff to the sustained efforts of three successive US Presidents who have gone out of their way to bring about unprecedented warmth and proximity in Indo-US relations. There is a view that awarding the MMRCA contract to one of the two US contenders, the F-16 Super Viper or the F/A-18 Super Hornet, would have been an appropriate quid pro quo; a suitable expression of gratitude, ensuring strategic convergence between the two nations. Such a buy would have brought the respective industries and armed forces into much closer engagement, and possibly gained entry for the IAF into the world-wide US military logistics loop.
However this may merely be a simplistic view, because the affairs of State are guided by diverse weighty considerations, and things are not always as they appear to the man on the street.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Photo ©India Strategic
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Sunday, July 03, 2011
I'm back in India later this week, and will post more on Prahaar soon.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Follow @livefistFollow @ShivAroor