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Thursday, December 30, 2010


From Security and Defence News Magazine

AJAY NAIK Security Editorial Panel For Security Magazine

Russian and India have recently cleared way for the development of India’s first Stealth fighter aircraft which will be based on Sukhoi’s T-50 (Pak-Fa) 5th Generation aircraft, Russia will field a real Pak-Fa Prototype only in 2013 which will incorporate a better 3D Thrust Vectoring Controls (TVC) nozzles powered by an upgraded AL-41F engine, while it will also get Stealth treatment near its engine section.

After first flight of T-50 many western defense experts claimed that Indian FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft) will be only MKIisation of Pak-FA, but recent agreement clears some air in development of FGFA.

HAL will be working FGFA along with Sukhoi which will require intense modification to the airframe, HAL will have a 30 % share in design work of FGFA, and whole Avionics packageth gen Fighter aircraft has required by Indian air force which will also require redevelopment of wings and control surfaces. will designed and integration will be done HAL, cockpit layout of the aircraft will also be done by HAL that will include MFDs, FGFA will be a twin seat 5

HAL will also integrate avionics which will also find its way into AMCA which ADA will be developing soon. FGFA which will have Second pilot or a WSO officer meaning additional avionics will have to be developed for the second pilot, HAL will also integrate Avionics of European origins, and HAL will also be developing Indian Mission Control Computer for FGFA.

India would bring into play its expertise in composites, lightweight high-strength materials that significantly bring down the weight of FGFA. While HAL is tight lipped about Weapons package which might go in FGFA since it is too early to talk about it but sources have indicated that FGFA will have Indian Astra -2 and Astra-1 has main BVR Missiles, FGFA will also incorporate European Weapons package.

HAL will also be developing Electronic Warfare package for the aircraft too, now it seems that FGFA will if not Be totally indigenous aircraft but will have a significant Indian input and it will only help India develop AMCA countries Indigenous 5th generation fighter aircraft and first flight of it has been planned by 2018-20 time frame, just after development of FGFA will be over.

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YEAR-END REVIEW 2010 Indian Air Force


The Indian Air Force is poised to enter the big league soon with a slew of big ticket acquisitions slated to unfold in the next few years. The handing over of the first of the six C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the IAF by Lockheed Martin at a function in Marietta, Georgia on 16th December is a step towards that direction and its induction early next year would herald a new era in the IAF at the threshold of a new decade. During the year 2010 the IAF acquired a dedicated network AFNET, revived remote runways and expanded others and took part in various Joint Exercises and Peacekeeping Operations.

AFNET dedicated to the Nation

The state-of-the-art gigabyte digital information grid, the AFNET, was dedicated to the Nation by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 14th September. Managed by the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS), the network links all ground-based and airborne sensors, Air Defence Weapon Systems and Command and Control Nodes. The dedicated network also paves the way for the release of radio spectrum for civilian telecom use.

New airfields, expansion of ground assets

Air Chief Marshal PV Naik inaugurated a new IAF airfield at Phalodi in Rajasthan on 6th April. The airfield, located between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, can host all types of aircrafts in the IAF’s inventory. A new parallel runway was added to the one existing at the Air Force Station, Gwalior later in the year, capable of operating all types of IAF aircrafts. On 26th June Shri Antony became the first Defence Minister to land at the Advanced Landing Ground (AGL), Nyoma. The airstrip is located at an altitude of 13,300 feet, close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Vayushakti- Demonstrating Firepower

The IAF staged a massive day-and-night Fire Power Demonstration (FPD), Vayushakti-2010, at Pokharan on 28th February. More than a hundred aircraft participated, including the recently inducted AWACS, UAVs and midair refuellers. Television viewers across the country for the first time saw streaming videos of the direct hits, brought Live by onboard cameras mounted on UAVs.

Joint Exercises, Peace Keeping

An IAF contingent of 230 men flew to France for the Indo-French Joint Air Exercise Garuda, held at the Istres Air Base from 14th to 25th June. The IAF fielded six Su-30 MKI, the MKI version of the Sukhoi making its debut over the French skies, besides three IL-78 midair refuellers and one IL-76 heavy lift aircraft. Later in the year the 3rd Indo-UK Air Exercise, Indradhanush, was held at Kalaikunda, West Bengal from 18th October to 3rd November. 

While the RAF brought the Typhoons for the first time, the IAF pitched in with its frontline fighter jets, – Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000 and Mig-27. Both sides also operated their respective AWACS and midair refueller aircraft.

As part of the Peacekeeping operations under the UN Flag, a contingent of 196 IAF personnel left for Sudan, supported by six Mi-17 utility helicopters on 13th January. On 15th July the IAF sent its fifth rotational contingent of UN Peacekeeping Force (UNPKF) comprising 285 personnel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The IAF helicopter UN mission based in Bukavu, DRC undertook Casualty Evacuation Operations on 3rd July from Sange, the provincial capital, airlifting 32 people in 13 sorties, who were injured in a fire when a gasoline tanker overturned the day before, killing 230 and wounding 190.

Master Blaster IAF’s new brand ambassador 

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was conferred the Honorary rank of Group Captain at a ceremony in New Delhi on 3rd September and in the new year will join a galaxy of leaders in the country to have flown in the Sukhoi, such as former President Shri APJ Abdul Kalam and President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Adventure Sports – Mission Seven Summit

A team of IAF mountaineers scaled Mt. Denali (6,194 mtrs) in Alaska in May, 2010. With Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa next on the list in 2011, the team is aiming for a record of scaling the highest peaks in various continents, – Asia, Australasia, North and South America, Europe and Africa.

IAF also plans to send an all-women expedition to Mt. Everest next year. As a prelude the team scaled Mt. Kamet (7,757m) and Mt. Abi Gamin (7,354m) in May this year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Women in Defense: An Indian Perspective

We all talk of giving women equal rights, and efforts have been made on that front to allow women to compete with men. In many areas women given the opportunity have made good progress and have broken through the ‘glass ceiling’. But in many areas they still face the problem and defence is one such area.

While in many western countries women have reached top position in defence forces commanding thousands of troops, squadrons, battle ships, in India it’s still a problem and women who are in defence services have to face a lot of hardships in order to reach a top position or even so get respect as a leading officer or commander of a unit traditionally dominated by men. Cases of sexual harassment and asking for sexual favors from female counterparts by male seniors, has not helped their case either. While women in India have
served in medical branch since long; only now they are being given permanent commissionthat too only in law and other non-combat areas.

Despite the fact that the most emphatic victory, Indian armed forces gained was in 1971 under the leadership of Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi, a women and the current supreme commander of Indian armed forces is Pratibha Patel, a women the percentage of women in armed forces is really abysmal. Even after Short Service Commission was started for women in defence they have been discriminated a lot. 

The policy makers must know that it’s discriminatory to ban females from performing certain duties in armed forces. They should be tried on their individual merits and have themselves suitability evaluated and compared to other male candidates and limiting their career in armed forces to maximum of 15 years is not acceptable just for the fact that when they become pregnant after marriage they take break from performing their duties or opt for soft positions.

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LCA to be inducted next month

SOURCE : Deccanherald.com

After three decades of development, the first squadron of indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas is all set to be inducted into the Indian Air Force(IAF) next month.

The first Tejas squadron will receive its initial operational clearance at a function on January 10, catapulting India to a select club of nations that built a fighter plane from scratch. The historic first squadron will be stationed at Sulur near Coimbatore, sources said. Defence Minister A Kantony will be present at the function.
Even though the development began in 1983, the first LCA technology demonstrator flew only in 2001. Four years later, the IAF placed the first order of 20 Tejas at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore. Subsequently, it placed an order for another squadron.

The second LCA squadron will be stationed at Kayathir near Tuticorin, where the IAF is developing a new fighter base. The small World War II base will be converted into a major aviation hub in a few years.
After receiving the initial operational clearance, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will manufacture the first 20 Tejas aircraft in two batches of 10 planes each.

So far, HAL has manufactured two technology demonstrators, five prototypes and 28 limited series production aircraft with imported engine. However, HAL will continue to upgrade the indigenous fighter as the IAF plans to induct close to 200 LCAs and 20 twin seater trainer versions in the long run.

Along with the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft and fifth generation fighter aircraft  LCA will be one of the mainstay planes  of the IAF in the coming decades. The mark I planes will be inducted by 2014.

The mark II version of the LCA with a more powerful engine, better aerodynamics and advanced avionics is also under development. The naval version of the LCA, to be used in aircraft carriers, are also under development. Most of the delay in the LCA programme was due to the technical difficulties and resource crunch faced by the research team under defence research and development organisation.

The problem was compounded by the sanctioned imposed by the US in 1998 following Pokhran II. All of a sudden,  scientists found that the door  was shut on them and many key components and equipment needed for producing a fighter plane was simply not available. Subsequently, they had to develop those sub-systems as well.

The booming IT industry in Bangalore and Hyderabad also contributed to the woes of the LCA team with many young and mid-career engineers and technical hands leaving the LCA industry in search of greener pastures.

Only after placing the order in 2005 that the  IAF stationed a 14-member LCA induction team, headed by an Air Vice Marshal in Bangalore to steer the indigenous fighter to its destination.

MMRCA Updates...

SOURCE : Flight International

A shortlist for India’s medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition is to be drawn up in April or May.

Valued at around $10 billion, the requirement is for 126 aircraft, of which 18 will be sold as flyaways. The remaining 108 will be co-manufactured with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics. Six aircraft types are involved in the fighter contest.

“All the technical evaluations are done,” says an industry source. “The next stage will be a downselect, likely in April or May after the Aero India show [9-13 February]. This will determine which aircraft go into contract negotiations.”

Another source, however, indicates that there is no fixed number of aircraft for the shortlist, and that all six aircraft types could, in theory at least, advance to the contract stage.

The six contenders are the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60, Saab Gripen, and RSK MiG-35.

The evaluation process has been long and arduous. An initial tender stipulated 660 requirements, and the initial proposals issued by the airframers ran to 5,000-6,000 pages each. Comprehensive field tests of the individual aircraft were then undertaken.

The field tests included flying the aircraft – borrowed from various air forces – to India at the expense of the manufacturers. There they were subjected to batteries of tests that reflect India’s varied geography of tropical, desert, and mountainous regions.

Tests took place at Bangalore (a tropical region), Jaisalmer (desert), and the Himalayan air base of Leh, said to be the highest operational air base in the world.

“We spent quite a lot on the tests with no guarantee of a sale,” says an executive involved in the race. “That said, the air force got a very good impression of all the aircraft.”

Typically, India seeks offsets of 30% for defence programmes, but the requirement has been raised to 50% for the MMRCA as the nation targets job creation and technology transfer.

Hindustan Aeronautics chairman Ashok Nayak says that development of the production capacity required to produce the eventual MMRCA winner is already under way.

“We will have to set up new infrastructure for this,” says Nayak. “It won’t happen in one of our existing factories, but hopefully will still be in Bangalore.”

He estimates that Hindustan Aeronautics alone will employ 3,500 to produce the MMRCA, and that it will take about three years to set up the facility.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Russian-Indian second prototype 5G fighter to fly in 2011

The Russian-Indian second prototype fifth-generation fighter aircraft will take to the skies in early 2011, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Alexei Fyodorov said on Monday.

"We have put the deadline forward to the start of 2011," he said.

"It is important for us that the second prototype is a development to the first, not simply a repeat," he added.
Work is underway on the third prototype, incorporating even more advanced systems, he said.

Russia's Sukhoi holding and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the T-50 design.

They later put the estimated project design cost at $295 million.

Read More

F-35 Program Achieves Overall 2010 Flight Test Target

 On Thursday, December 9, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program team reached its 2010 goal of 394 test flights jointly established by the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and Lockheed Martin. Since the first flight of the F-35 on December 15, 2006, the program has logged a total of 531 flights, expanding the performance envelope of the three F-35 variants and testing the mission systems.

"We exceeded our 394-flight goal and expect to meet our overall test-point goal this year by reaching ahead and working 2011 test points," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Test and Verification. "While we are still behind on our overall STOVL variant testing, we are working through a plan to get us back on track." 

MMRCA Updates...

Source : TOI
             Bharat Rakshak
The multi-billion dollar deal to acquire 126 fighter jets under the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) project is likely to be inked by mid-2011, Indian Air Force chief said.

"It is a big deal. We have finished the evaluation and the matter is with the (defence) ministry now. Hopefully, it will progress and we will be able to sign the contract by July next year. After that it takes three years for delivery," Air chief marshal P V Naik said.

He was talking to reporters after reviewing the Combined Graduation Parade of flight cadets of IAF at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, about 35 km from here.

Six global aeronautical firms are in the fray for the contract for which a tender was floated in August 2007.

The chief of Air Staff said besides the MMRCA project, deals for inducting new aircraft were in the pipeline. India and Russia are jointly developing the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA). "We will be going in for about 200-250 of such fighter planes starting from 2017 onwards."

With regard to transport aircraft, the IAF will buy C-17 American transport aircraft for which negotiations are going on, Naik said.

"The air force is going in for the Medium Transport Aircraft in collaboration with Russia. We are also going in for air to air refueling tankers (Flight Re-fueling Aircraft) for which we have given a global request for proposal (RFP). The C-130 J Hercules will be inducted from January," he said.

Evaluation is on to buy attack helicopters and heavy lift choppers, the IAF chief said.

IAF to induct 400 aircraft

SOURCE : The Hindu

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon acquire over 400 new aircraft into its fleet, including advanced fighter and transport aircraft in order to augment its fleet in tune with its changing requirements, said Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, said here on Saturday.

He was speaking to presspersons after reviewing an impressive Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal here. He said about 200 to 250 fighter aircraft, including 126 medium multi-role combat planes, C-70 and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, apart from air-to-air refuelling planes would be inducted into the fleet. Besides, attack helicopters would be inducted from January, 2011 he said, apart from special heavyweight and VIP transport aircraft.

Asked whether the IAF would play a role in anti-insurgency and anti-extremist operations, he said the IAF was at the disposal of the government. “Our roles will be specified by the government and we are equipped to take on any challenge,” he said, adding that whenever asked for, the IAF was pressing its aircraft into service for such operations.

To another question about deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), he said their role was vital as they could stay up in the air for durations ranging from 24 to 30 hours. However, he said it unfair to call them ‘unmanned’ as they required the intervention of humans. They could at best be described as remotely-piloted vehicles, he said. Addressing the parade earlier, the Air Chief Marshal said the IAF was poised to see a major transformation in the future, with technology playing a major role. “You need to prepare for change, absorb and operationalise the changing technology,” he said.

As many as 171 flight cadets, including 39 women, have passed out from the Air Force Academy. Besides, four officers from the Indian Navy and one from the Coast Guard received their flying brevets at the parade.
President’s Plaque

Flying Officer C. S. Nandeep, who commanded the parade, was awarded the President’s Plaque as well as the Chief of Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in overall order of merit in the pilot course. Flying Officers P. Radhakrishnan and J. Satish Kumar were awarded the President’s Plaque for standing first in ground duties and in navigation branch respectively.


The event was marked by a flypast by Suryakiran and Dornier aircraft, apart from helicopters, besides a display of sky-diving by members of the ‘Akash Ganga’ team. A low-flying Sukhoi 30 MKI drew applause for its speed and incredible, gravity-defying stunts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

India's Fist C-130J Super Hercules Video

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Friday, December 17, 2010

“Touch The Sky With Glory”

Source : DefPro
News By : Lockheed Martin

At ceremonies yesterday here, Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] delivered the first of six C-130Js for the Indian Air Force. The new fleet was ordered under a U.S. Foreign Military Sale (India’s first) in late 2008. “There are few mottos that impart such passion as that of the Indian Air Force, which is ‘Touch the Sky With Glory’,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for C-130 Programs, during today’s ceremony. “Today begins a new glorious, enduring partnership with India as the fourth largest air force in the world proudly joins the worldwide C-130 family.” 

LCAs ready to be cleared for IAF induction by January

SOURCE : Tehelka.com

India’s indigenous fighter jet light combat aircraft (LCA) – Tejas — which has been in the making for over 25 years now, is finally being readied for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The initial operational clearance (IOC) is expected in early January.

Inching closer towards its induction, the fly-by-wire, multi-role supersonic aircraft, on Wednesday took to the skies to drop a bomb at the newly commissioned aeronautical test range at Chitradurga, some 200 km away from Bangalore.

“This was the last flight of the LCA before it gets an IOC,” an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. “The IOC would pave the way for its induction into the IAF,” he added.

Only after the IOC, can a “weaponised” aircraft be handed over to the IAF for squadron duty. The IAF has placed orders for 20 LCAs.

In the run up to the clearance, Tejas has completed all test points for low level flights, off the coast of Goa. It has also conducted operations in the extreme climate of Leh and operated from an IAF airbase in the southwestern air command area.

“At first four aircraft will operate from Bangalore,” an IAF officer said. “If there are any teething problems, they could be rectified by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL),” the officer said.

The first LCA squadron would be raised in Sulur air base in Tamil Nadu. The current version of Tejas fighter is equipped with a single GE F404 afterburning turbofan engine developed by General Electric Co (GE).

The LCA programme was launched in 1983 primarily to replace the Russian vintage MiG-21 combat jets which had to be replaced by the 1990s. However, chronic delay in the LCA programme ensured that IAF could maintain only 33.5 squadrons instead its sanctioned strength of 39. This also delayed the phasing out of MiG-21s or “flying coffins”, as they are called, because of their poor safety record.

The IAF had also looked for foreign vendors to provide 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

The first prototype Tejas took off only in 2001, however, the inability of research bodies to provide engines with the right configuration failed to provide the requisite thrust.

The indigenous Kaveri engine has been under development since 1986 at the Bangalore-based Gas Turbine and Research Establishment (GTRE). According to estimates the Kaveri engine would be installed on the LCA only by 2012 and that, too, at a revised cost of Rs 2,839 crore, almost eight times the projected development cost of Rs 382 crore in 1989.

The delay also caused a cost escalation in the LCA project. The final cost of the project is Rs 5,777.56 crore against the initial cost of Rs 3301.78 crore.

Russia and India fix T-50 fighter design contract cost at $295 mln

SOURCE : RIA Novosti

Russia and India have agreed the estimated cost of a design contract for their joint fifth-generation fighter project at $295 million, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman Ashok Nayak said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“The cost of preliminary design is estimated at $295 million. The work is expected to be complete within 18 months,” Nayak

Russia’s Sukhoi holding and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) agreed in early 2010 to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet based on the prototype T-50 design. India confirmed that it had finalized a draft contract at a meeting with Russia in early October.

Nayak said the contract could be signed by the representatives of India’s HAL and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India on December 20-22.

The two sides agreed to develop both a single-seat and a two-seat version of the aircraft by 2016, focusing on the single-seat version in the initial stages of development. The costs will be shared equally between Russia and India.

The first Russian prototype T-50 made its maiden flight in January 2010.

The new fighter aircraft is expected to enter service with the Indian Air Force by 2020.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CVRDE to develop gearboxes for advanced medium combat aircraft

The Hindu

Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, will design and develop gearboxes for India's advanced medium combat aircraft. 

At a press conference, CVRDE director P. Sivakumar said the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has promised the new project after the Aircraft Mounted Accessory Gearbox (AMAGB), used in Light Combat Aircraft (LCA-Tejas), was approved by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC). 

CVRDE, Avadi, had indigenously designed and developed AMAGB for LCA – Tejas and till date these gearboxes have undergone more than 2200 hours of flight testing with 1465 flights. CEMILAC ‘type approval' certification was mandatory for induction into the Indian Air Force, he said. 

“AMAGB is a very critical line replacement unit for the LCA and forms a very important part of secondary power system. It is a light weight (40 kg), compact, high speed, single input, multi-output gearbox with a maximum power transmission capability of 185 kW at a rated speed of 16,810 rpm,” Mr. Sivakumar said.
The castings are made of magnesium alloy and the gearbox has its own self-contained lubrication system. 

AMAGB operates in two modes. In the starter mode, it aids in starting the engine through jet fuel starter. In accessory mode, it drives two hydraulic pumps and an integrated drive generator. These accessories, in turn, generate hydraulic and electrical power for the aircraft, said C. Chandrasekaran, additional director, CVRDE.

S. Ganesan, head, aircraft division, CVRDE, said the AMAGB gearbox had undergone strenuous environment tests, altitude tests, shock test, vibration and other necessary tests.
The gearbox has undergone 1000 hours of endurance test, he said. 

Apart from design and development of manned and unmanned ground vehicles, CVRDE was also developing products to the demands of Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, Mr. Sivakumar said.

Myanmar's nuclear programme

Source: Youngster (Weapons and Technology)

A number of secret nuclear and missile sites are being built with the help of North Korean technicians in Myanmar, according to the latest cache of WikiLeaks published by The Guardian on Friday. A Burmese officer quoted in a cable from the US embassy in Burma said he had witnessed North Korean technicians helping to construct an underground facility in foothills more than 480km north-west of Rangoon.

"The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is '500ft from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above'," according to the cable. The man is quoted as saying the North Koreans were "blowing concrete" into the excavation, according to the report in The Guardian.

According to the witness accounts, reportedly pieced together by US embassy staff, the work is at an early stage and haphazard. But they regard it as a troubling development, with the risk that Burma could join Pakistan, North Korea and possibly Iran in having a nuclear bomb. 

Recce Pod Integration for South African Gripen Proceeding at Full Speed

DefPro News


SAAB has successfully carried out an integration test flight of a South African Air Force (SAAF) Gripen C advanced light fighter aircraft fitted with a Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP). The flight paired aircraft number 16 with one of four pods reportedly ordered at an undisclosed cost at the SAAB test and evaluation facility at Linköping in central Sweden.

The Swedish aircraftmaker in a statement says the DJRP completed its factory bench integration tests in June this year and is currently completing integration tests on the actual aircraft. The reconnaissance pod will be delivered to Armscor for the SAAF after the integration phase has been completed in the new year.

“We are at full speed ahead regarding our weapons’ and integration program for Gripen,” says Gripen test pilot Johan Sj√∂strand. “The capabilities of Gripen and the ease of weapons and sensor integration are exceeding all our expectations. It is a truly remarkable platform to work with and fly. We see no boundaries and limitations for this aircraft and we look forward to continue our co-operation with our customers to keep Gripen at the cutting edge of technology”, he added. 

First C130J for India to be officially released on December 16 at a ceremony in Marietta


The first of the six state-of-the art C-130J military transport aircraft would be delivered to India on December 16, its manufacturer Lockheed Martin said today. India has placed orders for six of these aircrafts.

“The first C-130J for India will be formally delivered on December 16 at a ceremony in Marietta,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

“Two will be flown to India in early 2011, while two more will arrive in early summer and the last two will be delivered in late summer of 2011,” it said.

Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said on Wednesday that in conjunction with the purchase of six C-130J transport aircraft in 2008 the recent USD 4.1 billion C-17 Indian deal with Boeing will double US-India defense trade and provide the Indian Air Force a strategic airlift and humanitarian response capability that is unique to the region and emblematic of India”s ambitions to play an increasingly global role.

“Once all the aircraft have been delivered, ladies and gentlemen, India will have the second largest C-17 fleet in the world behind the US – a highly visible manifestation of the US-India defense partnership,” Blake said.
Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules is the most advanced airlifter ever built.

The C-130J combines the latest in aerospace technology with a proven, rugged airframe design, resulting in an aircraft that gives an operator more capability with greater operational efficiency.

The Indian Air Force”s new Super Hercules will be the longer fuselage or “stretched” variant of the C-130J, similar to those being delivered to the US Air Force.

With this India joins the growing number of nations with C-130J fleets including the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The C-130J carries eight 463L pallets, 97 medical litters, 24 CDS bundles, 128 combat troops and 92 paratroops.

Equipped with an Infrared Detection Set (IDS), the aircraft will be able to perform precision low-level flying, airdrops, and landing in blackout conditions. Self protection systems and other features are included to ensure aircraft survivability in hostile air defence environments.

In addition the aircraft is equipped with air-to-air receiver refueling capability for extended range operations.
Lockheed Martin will integrate this equipment and other capabilities into the Indian configuration as agreed between the governments.

Trial of Agni-II Prime missile fails

Source: PTI

India today test-fired an upgraded version of Agni-II nuclear-capable intermediate- range ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off Orissa coast in inclement weather. However, the test-fire failed with the weapon system deviating from its trajectory immediately after lift off.

“Experimental launch of Agni-II missile experienced a trajectory deviation immediately after the lift off resulting in failure of the mission,” a DRDO spokesman said in New Delhi.

He said, “Detailed analysis is in progress”. DRDO sources said in Balasore, “The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, launched from a rail mobile launcher from the launch pad-4 of Integrated Test Range around 1000 hours, was not successful”.

Scientists and experts were trying to ascertain the cause of the outcome by analysing different aspects, they said, declining to share detailed information.

Though ITR officials were tight-lipped about the trial, eye-witnesses said the missile fell into the sea around 30 seconds after it took off in inclement weather marked by intermittent rains and chilly winds.

The indigenously developed upgraded and new variant of ‘Agni’ series missile was said to be the improved version of the country’s existing ‘Agni-II’ missile.

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