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23 Comments

  1. 1

    Anonymous

    a real shame to see them go… why couldn’t the air force actually get down and get the right spares and stuff? i heard the airframes are in top form still,,

    Reply
  2. 2

    Zero

    this is hillarious, but shame on MoD

    http://frontierindia.net/mod-owns-credit-passes-discredits-to-drdo/

    MoD owns credit, passes discredits to DRDO

    May 12, 2007 (FIDSNS)

    It is a common knowledge that leader owns up responsibility. But Indian Ministry of defence thinks otherwise. The Indian Minister of Defence is shameless in taking full credit of DRDO accomplishments, otherwise passes the bucks to DRDO.

    It was evident in the press release on Friday, May 11, 2007 in which the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Prof Mahadeorao Shiwankar in Lok Sabha wrote “Representatives of the Indian Air Force had participated in the development trials of the Akash Missile System conducted by DRDO, as observers and provided user’s inputs for improvement in the system performance. Some trials at the development stage had not been fully successful. User’s trial are likely to commence shortly.”

    While assigning the Akash incident to DRDO, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Pankaj Chowdhary in Lok Sabha wrote on the same day ” The Government has conducted the test flight of pilotless combat aircraft the ‘Lakshya’ recently. Two Lakshya development campaigns were conducted at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore during 3-5 January 2007 and 5-9 March 2007 to fly digital Pilotless Target Aircraft, Lakshya in autonomous mode and evaluate engine performance with one tow and one stow configuration, respectively. Both the campaigns met with the broad mission objectives.”

    It is a common knowledge that DRDO has conducted both Akash Missile and Lakshya PTA trials and not the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

    If Mr. AK Antony is known for his clean image, imagine the politicians with unclean image!

    Reply
  3. 3

    Shiv Aroor

    what a silly, nickpickingly naive piece. presumably written by chacko joseph, this is complete tripe. the government is CONSTANTLY praising DRDO, even protecting it with lies in parliament answers, so this piece is codswallop (like a lot else that’s coming out of FIDNS or whatever). when questions are asked about DRDO, it’s DRDO that formulates the answers and sends them back. and unless there’s a really anal babu on the prowl, these are taken as official and passed back to the parliament secretariat, where they are formatted and printed for tabling. calling into question antony’s integrity over answers that no defence minister ever has to formulate himself (he probably doesn’t even read them) is a reflection of ignorance, i’m afraid. this is either the work of a babu, or a subservient DRDO official who wants to curry favour. either way, what’s wrong with saying government fielded tests. isn’t DRDO a government agency? anyway, not the point.

    Reply
  4. 4

    Mihir Shah

    Shiv,
    Do you know why the Canberra had a cockpit that was slightly offset to the right?

    Zero,
    Why bring DRDO here?

    Reply
  5. 5

    Shiv Aroor

    mihir: not sure. to give the pilot more visibility? more space for the aimer/nav?

    Reply
  6. 6

    Abhiman

    Mr. Aroor, frankly the history of foreign made aircraft which were also in service for many years at other airforces also, does not interest me.

    The “air of intrigue” and hence the interest is generated only in those aircraft which are rare, which were ignored mostly in the west and yet which had a unique and very important role to play. The “prime candidate” for such an aircraft is the Gnat and much much more, the HF-24 Marut. The latter even more so than the former, because it was an aircraft developed by a third-world nation, and one which was definitely ahead of its time. It was ignored by the rest of the world and more “sinisterly” by its own master :- the IAF (as usual of course).

    The article by Mr. Chacko on the Gnt and HF-24 Marut was definitely very interesting. Sir, with the resources at your disposal I may humbly request you to if you have time, energy and patience (collectively termed as “phursad”), please do research about the Gnat which only served in the IAF and the reclusive but nevertheless amazing HF-24 Marut.

    However, the following is an article on the Canberra.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_Canberra

    In my view, its history must be studied not only as an aircraft of the IAF, but as its role in all the airforces. Outside the IAF, I think that it has had a far more “glorious” history.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  7. 7

    Shiv Aroor

    abhiman: sad that the history of aircraft doesn’t interest you. obviously you also consider web references to be the last word on all subjects, which is a little strange! anyway, when i talk of the glory of the canberra, why do you imagine i’m taking anything away from the indubitable glory of the folland gnat or the Marut? clearly not! they are all beautiful machines in their own right.. and this time it was the canberra being phased out, so you scarcely expect me to spew forth on military aviation at large.

    Reply
  8. 8

    Abhiman

    Mr. Aroor, only foreign planes which are very common and have served in other forces also, seem uninteresting to me.

    As a Canberra is as much a “commoner” as the F-15, it thus appears “boring” to be studied to me.

    Earlier I did not mean that the HF-24 and Gnat are ignored by you; I only requested you to maybe someday report about the history of these two planes for the benefit of your blog-readers.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  9. 9

    Anonymous

    Dear Shivji Sir,
    Good all round report on Canberra
    retiring.my only gripe amateurish photos you took. few good ones were
    of officers. considering you are a reporter I thought you could use a camera. dissapointed.

    Reply
  10. 10

    Shiv Aroor

    anon: i know! i’m an extremely amateur photographer! i just point and shoot with my little digi point and shoot. thing is, in print, i was a reporter, and only took photos whenever i could. i am hoping to actually get a pro print photographer to teach me more.. hopefully i’ll take some better pics in the future. and glad to know you’re disappointed. it means you don’t think i’m half bad all round!

    Reply
  11. 11

    Anonymous

    never mind abhiman mr aroor, i found this a fascinating intro to the canberra, and your obvious passion and grasp of the subject comes through. and while i don’t see why you can’t do a piece on the F-15s whenever you feel like, nothing like a news peg to whet our interests…good going

    Reply
  12. 12

    Zero

    I thought Shive Aroor is supposed to be writing codswollop. After all who is the lifafa?

    Reply
  13. 13

    ajay

    Dear Shivji Sir,
    My mistake. reading all your blogs
    I was under the impression you were a good all round reporter.I forgot ther is a dfference in a photo reporter and a print reporter.photographing skill will come,just take plenty and let a skilled one point out the mistakes.

    Reply
  14. 14

    Anonymous

    Anyday I would prefer a dozen badly taken photos over ,ZERO Excellent photos 🙂 . So thanks for the effort shiv.

    Reply
  15. 15

    Shiv Aroor

    thanks anon! will try getting LOTS of EXCELLENT photos for the next one…

    Reply
  16. 16

    Mihir Shah

    Shiv,
    Some web pages claim that the cockpit was offset to “improve visibility”, but why would one need to improve visibility on one side while possibly compromising it on the other side?

    About the “Inside the Canberra cockpit” photograph… was it taken inside the cockpit, or inside the bomb-aimers space?

    Reply
  17. 17

    shiv

    The Canberra was an agile and powerful aircraft considering its old-fashioned – non swept wing shape. I used to spend hours watching them outside Lohegaon airfield in Pune in the 1960s.

    On the connection between DRDO, “self sufficiency” and the Canberra, the Canberra itself was a symbol of competence developed in aviation tech in by the West in WW2. That paid them dividends as they earned money from India that imported the Canberra, while Pakistan got the US version – the B 57 used to bomb civilan targets in Ambala and elsewhere

    As recently as 1999 – an Indian Canberra was hit by a US made Stinger in a long tradition of the use of arms technology from nations allied with each other to arm hostile neighbors while the arms seller laughs all the way to the bank.

    India unfortunately is neither here nor there – but I believe that Indian defence is a unit that consists of the armed forces and supporting civilians in industry. Those of us who are in neither group have a responsibility to be civil to both groups.

    Blindly praising one group and being uniformly scathing of the other is bad practice for anyone who knows anything about running any organization.

    But then who said we are all skilled in every area?

    Shiv Sastry

    Reply
  18. 18

    Shiv Aroor

    mihir: in that case, i’m not sure why the cockpit is biased to port. the photo is from the navigator’s seat behind the pilot’s section of the cockpit. i took one sitting in the pilot’s seat but there was too much glare.

    Reply
  19. 19

    Anandeep

    Shiv,

    Great photos of the retirement event. I will be asking for some for my book!
    I do have an answer about the port offset canopy. The first Canberras were built with the “goldfish bowl” canopy. The pilot sat to the left and there was a walkway to his right that the navigator used to walk to the nose bomb aimer position. While not over the target the navigator sat in the seat behind the pilot.
    Then the Canberra was modified for the low level attack role – this was the major variant that the IAF ordered (the B.58)
    The British wanted to make it a “minimum change” variant and needed better visibility for the pilot. So they left the pilot position where it was (ie. on the left when looking out from the aircraft) and put a bubble canopy over it. That resulted in the lopsided offset canopy look. The Brits also did this for the Sea Vixen aircraft.
    This resulted in the navigator not having an ejection seat in the B.58 variant. The US modified their Canberras with a proper front and back seat, not taking short cuts.

    Reply
  20. 20

    Shiv Aroor

    anandeep: thanks for that! now we know!

    Reply
  21. 22

    Anonymous

    Good post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you seeking your information.

    Reply
  22. 23

    Anonymous

    Hi
    Very nice and intrestingss story.

    Reply

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