Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Indian Navy : First Boeing Poseidon P-8I aircraft received

Boosting its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the Indian Navy today received its first of the eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft from Boeing. 

India had signed a deal worth over USD 2.1 billion with the American firm in January 2009 for procuring eight P-8I long-range surveillance aircraft which are equipped with anti-submarine weaponry.

The first aircraft was handed over to Indian personnel by the Boeing company in Seattle, US and now it will be used for training the Indian Navy crew, Navy officials said here.

Boeing Poseidon P-8I on a Test Flight ( Image Courtesy - )

The aircraft along with two more will arrive in India in May next year and would be deployed at a naval base in Tamil Nadu, they said. 

India is also looking at ordering four more such aircraft to keep an eye on its extensive maritime territory and for replacing and augmenting its existing fleet of Russian Tupolev-42 and Ilyushin-38 Sea Dragon aircraft. 

It also plans to have six more medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It operates the Dornier surveillance aircraft for short-range surveillance activities.

News Courtesy -

Indian Air Force : Follow-up orders for C-130J and C-17

There will be an increase in the induction of transport aircraft and helicopters in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and their role will be expanded for deployment in conflicts, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), said in Coimbatore today.

“Contract for six more C-130J Hercules will be inked soon. Ten more C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join the IAF as part of Phase II,” the Air Chief Marshal said. The IAF was also looking at replacing IL-76 in the next 10 or 15 years with upgraded versions of C-17 Globemasters.

C-130J Super Hercules of Indian Air Force on a Test Flight ( Image Courtesy - )

C-17 Globemaster of US Air Force on a Test Flight ( Image Courtesy - )

On the upgrading of helicopters, of the 80 medium-lift Mi-17 V5 helicopters, for which a pact has been inked, 42 had already been inducted. 

Mi-17 V5 of Indian Air Force ( Image Courtesy - )

A fresh contract to procure 59 more helicopters was expected to be signed soon, he said. When these got inducted into the Air Force, they were expected to become the backbone medium-lift capability in the Northern and Eastern sectors, he added.

News Courtesy -

INS Chakra Video - Homecoming of Akula Class SSN

A beautiful video of INS Chakra on its way to Vishakhaptnam from Vladivostok. I have watched this video number of times, and I am pretty sure many of you would also do the same, background music is also amazing.

( Video Courtesy - Uploaded to youtube by Shiv Aroor )

It has been posted on youtube by one of my favorite Defence Journalist - Shiv Aroor.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Indian Air Force - Boeing C-17 Globemaster by June 2013

Induction of C-17 Aircraft would form part of the major expansion in the Indian Air Force during next year, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.

The first C-17 Globemaster Aircraft would reach India by June 2013. C-17 would be mainly utilised for strategic lifting and transport of goods and troops, besides humanitarian relief works, Browne told reporters at Sulur Aircraft Station.

C-17 of US Air Force ( Image Courtesy - )

The Government has ordered 10 such heavy lift military aircraft and would be based at Hindon, the entire lot was expected to reach by 2015, he said.

Stating that IAF would have 39 squadron by 14th five year plan, from the present 34, Browne said Light Combat Aircraft would also be inducted by 2015 in Sulur.

News Courtesy -

Sukhoi T 50 (PAK-FA) Fourth Prototype - First Test Flight

Russia's fourth prototype Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter jet took to the skies for the first time Wednesday in a 40-minute flight at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory in Siberia, Sukhoi said. 

"The fourth prototype PAK-FA made its first flight today from the Gagarin factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur," Sukhoi said, referring to the aircraft by its project name, an acronym for future fifth-generation tactical fighter. "The flight tested the aircraft's overall integrity and its main engines. The aircraft is making a good impression in all phases of the flying programme," Sukhoi said. 

First flight of Sukhoi PAK-FA ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The T-50, which will be the core of Russia's future fighter fleet, is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft featuring low-observable technology (stealth), super-manoeuverability, supercruise capability (supersonic flight without use of afterburner), and an advanced avionics suite including an X-band active phased-array radar. Indian version of this aircraft is known as HAL FGFA.

The first prototype first flew Jan 29, 2010. The Russian defence ministry plans to purchase a first batch of 10 evaluation aircraft and then 60 production-standard aircraft after 2015.

News Courtesy -

Monday, December 17, 2012

Indian Air Force - To procure two more AWACS

India is planning to procure two more Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) for the Indian Air Force, Lok Sabha was informed today.

"Three AWACS are already operationalised in the IAF and there is a proposal for procurement of two additional AWACS," Defence Minister A K Antony said in a written reply.

He said the long-term integrated perspective plan seeks to have a mix of large AWACS aircraft and small Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system aircraft.

AWACS arriving at India in 2008 ( Image Courtesy - 

DRDO is also working towards developing indigenous AEW and C system on the Embraer aircraft and it is expected to be completed within 84 months.

News Courtesy -

Friday, December 14, 2012

Indian Air Force - Mig 29 Upgrade - Progress Update

Russia has delivered the first three upgraded MiG-29 UPG fighter jets to India under a USD 900 million contract to modernise the ageing fleet of MiG-29 aircraft with the IAF, the MIG corporation has announced. "The MiG corporation has started deliveries of upgraded MiG-29UPG fighter jets to the Indian Air Force," the company said in a statement.

"The first three aircraft have been transported to India on board an AN-124 heavy-lift transport plane," the statement said.

The IAF has awarded the MiG corporation a USD 900 million contract to upgrade all of its 69 operational MiG-29s. These upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by a Phazatron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft is also being equipped to enhance beyond-visual-range combat ability and for air-to-air refuelling to increase flying time.

( Image Courtesy - )

The service life of the modernised aircraft has been extended to 40 years, RIA Novosti news agency reported. The first six aircraft are upgraded in Russia while the remaining 63 will be refitted at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility in India.

In 2007, Russia gave HAL a license to manufacture 120 RD-33 series 3 turbojet engines for the upgrade. "We are getting ready to carry out the work on the second part of the contract, which stipulates the modernisation of the MiG-29 aircraft in India in close cooperation with the Indian defence industry," the MiG press service said.

News Courtesy -

INS Arihant SSBN completes Harbour Acceptance Trials

Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi's has disclosed that the nation would soon get to hear good news on Arihant submarine. It is believed that the reactor will go critical, setting the stage for sea trial sometime in the first half of 2013. 

Admiral Joshi said harbour acceptance trials for INS Arihant have been completed, sea trials are expected to begin early next year. If everything remained in place, the submarine is expected to be ready for induction by late 2013. It will be one of the most significant achievements of country's submarine building capability.

 INS Arihant first image ( Image Courtesy - )

The submarine will be fitted with K-15 submarine launched ballistic missile which is under development. The trials of 700 km K-15 missile have already been carried out. While Arihant's induction is being eagerly awaited, the navy has fully integrated recently acquired Akula class submarine from Russia. INS Chakra is on ten year lease.

The navy is also working on a new base near the Andhra Pradesh coast for its nuclear submarines. The project Varsha, has been going on for more than two years now. It will be one of the most prominent facilities in the eastern coast. The western coast already has a new base at Karwar in Karnataka.

Some of the new naval assets are now being deployed on the eastern coast strengthening the fleet with modern warships and submarines.

 News Courtesy -

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Indian Army Helicopters - Dhruv, Rudra, and Janmejay

I was reading an article from the web edition of a respected news channel, and there was lot of ambiguity and at times information was simply incorrect. Then I realized that for defence news, we do lack specialized journalists. Though, there are some exceptional defence journalists like Shiv Aroor and Ajai Shukla, but other than that most of the defence news is being covered by journalists who (lets be fair to them)  does not have defence as their forte.

At times I have also seen some glaring goof ups on television. When INS Arihant was launched, there was a television channel whose correspondent went to the extent to declare INS Arihant as commissioned !!! 

Then there was another news channel, where a correspondent was reporting live on an air show. When Phalcon AWACS flew by, he proudly mentioned them as Refueling Tankers for Indian Air Force. Goof-up was fine, but the confidence and that sheer articulation with which he was trying to provide a commentary on that air show, to be honest, that was extremely embarrassing to watch.

Anyways, coming back to this post, as I mentioned on the top I just read an article from the web edition of a respected news channel, where there was lot of confusion on Dhruv, Rudra and LCH Janmejay. As per my understanding and to the best of my knowledge, I will provide some details about these three helicopters.


Dhruv is a utility helicopter, it is sometimes also mentioned as Advanced Light Helicopter or simply ALH. Dhruv has been exported to Nepal and Ecquador.

( Image Courtesy - ) 


Rudra is the armed version of Dhruv helicopter, it is sometimes also mentioned as Light Attack Helicopter or simply Attack Helicopter.

( Image Courtesy - )


Janmejay is the name for HAL Light Combat Helicopter for use by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. This is the one, which is still in development and trial phase. At HAL Bangalore (old airport road) you can see a hoarding (bill-board) with details about this helicopter, however the name Janmejay is yet to be announced, officially.

( Image Courtesy - )

An Active Defence Original

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Aggressive India gives China a taste of its own Medicine

India is going tit-for-tat in response to China's decision to issue passports that show swathes of disputed territory as Chinese. The Indian embassy in Beijing has begun covering up the controversial map that appears as a watermark on the pages of the latest Chinese passports with a specially redesigned visa that displays India's version of the borders, Reuters reported.

Indian Army at Bumla Pass on India China Border ( Image Courtesy - )

The "correct map," according to Indian officials, shows the two Himalayan regions of Aksai Chin, in Kashmir, and Arunachal Pradesh, on the border with Chinese-run Tibet, as part of India. The map in Chinese passports puts both areas within China.

"We are not prepared to accept it", India's foreign minister, Salman Khurshid, has said.

News Courtesy -

Indian Navy - Karwar Naval Base - Progress Update

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), has cleared the Rs 13,000 Crore expansion plan for the Karwar naval base in coastal Karnataka, which will eventually house two aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

“Inaugurated by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in October 1986, work on phase-I of the project was completed after two decades at a cost of Rs 2,628.82 crore. In phase-I, berthing facilities for 11 ships and 10 yard crafts were created, along with an airstrip and a residential township. The initial cost estimate was Rs 350 crore.

Karwar Naval Base ( Image Courtesy - )

In phase-II, berthing facility will be enhanced significantly, besides creating a dockyard and a full-fledged airbase. There will also be logistics and other support centres, a Navy officer said. After its completion, the Karwar base will house 30 warships. 

On Monday, Defence Minister A K Antony informed Parliament that expansion of the Karwar Naval base was in line with India's strategic concerns and operational readiness. The delay in approving phase-II of Project Sea Bird was due to unavailability of Indian companies which are eligible to undertake projects of such magnitude.

News Courtesy -

Friday, December 7, 2012

Boeing Chinook shortlisted - Heavy-Lift Helicopters for IAF

The Government has shortlisted American aircraft manufacturing firm Boeing, with its Chinook helicopter, for procuring 15 heavy-lift choppers for the Indian Air Force, Defence Minister A. K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha.

Boeing Chinook at work ( Image Courtesy - )

“In the proposal initiated by the IAF for procurement of 15 heavy-lift helicopters, Boeing with Chinook helicopters has emerged as the L-1 vendor. The cost of the contract would depend upon the outcome of the contract negotiation with the L-1 vendor, which has yet not been concluded,” Antony said.

News Courtesy -

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Project 75I - Indian Navy Submarines - Progress Report

Indian Navy has now turned its focus towards strengthening its undersea combat capabilities. Navy is now eyeing to acquire next generation submarines, under the Project 75I. According to a report by the Hindustan Times, the government is willing to spend more than $10 billion on Indian Navy’s undersea fleet. 

Confirming the development Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi said the Defence Ministry’s acquisition council had given the go-ahead for buying six submarines under a project codenamed P-75I. Joshi also stated that a global tender in this regard would be floated very soon.

Joshi said the new subs – bigger than the Scorpene – would be equipped with air-independent propulsion systems to recharge their batteries without having to surface for more than three weeks. “The submarines would also be equipped with land attack missile capability,” Defence Minister AK Antony informed the Lok Sabha. 

Lada Class Submarine - Russia is offering export version of Lada (Amur) for Project 75I
( Image Courtesy -

Currently, six Scorpene-class submarines are being built at the Mazagon Dock Ltd with technology from DCNS under a $4.3-billion ( Rs. 23,562 crore) project called P-75 

The Indian Navy’s existing submarine fleet consists of 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German HDWs and an Akula nuclear-powered attack submarine leased from Russia at $1 billion ( Rs. 5,500 crore). Apart from that INS Arihant is also expected to join the fleet by mid of 2013. At least two more vessels of Arihant class are in various stages of construction.

Indian Navy’s move to acquire next generation submarines is aimed at countering the threat emerging from China, which has more than 50 conventional submarines in its fleet, but nearly two-thirds of those are outdated. This means that only 20 Chinese submarines are advanced enough to be a serious threat for enemy warships.

News Courtesy -

Project Varsha - Indian Naval Base - Progress Report

In what is seen as a bid to entrench its presence beyond Bay of Bengal into the East Asian waters and the Pacific Rim, Indian Navy is all geared to get an exclusive sea port for its eastern-bound warships.

Ramkonda, a quite hamlet on the Coromandel coast some 50 kms east of Vishakapatnam, was chosen for building the new marine base. The work on the Project Varsha began in 2005, and when completed, it is expected to be a gem of the Indian Navy.

Seen by many as another step in fulfilling the ambitions of India’s ‘Look East policy, Project Varsha is expected to be the largest such base in the country once it is completed. Experts claim that Ramkonda’s proximity to Vishakapatnam, which is the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is what prompted Indian Navy to build a base there.

INS Chakra, expected to be home ported at this future Eastern Naval Base ( Image Courtesy - ) 

With an expanding warships’ fleet which has already touched 46 and will soon see induction of nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant, the strength of Eastern Naval command is now on par with India’s western Naval command.

And with Admiral Joshi hinting that India would co-operate with Vietnam in competing with China for natural resources in the South China sea and beyond, a prominent naval base in East was long overdue.

Interestingly, Project Varsha is being built on the same line of motives as Project Seabird. While Seabird, located on the coast of Karnataka, was built to have an eye on Pakistan, Varsha is seen by many as manifestation of India’s ambitions in South China Sea and counteracting the growing Chinese might in the region.

News Courtesy -

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Indo-Russian Multi-role Transport Aircraft Progress Update

The Indo-Russian project to jointly design a transport aircraft for militaries of both nations kicked off in Moscow on Monday, where 30 engineers from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) began working with their Russian counterparts from the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) on the $600-million project.

The MTA will be capable of carrying 15-20 tonnes of payload; or 80 paratroopers; or 60 stretchers and operate from airfields as difficult as Leh, in Ladakh, J&K. After completing the design and testing of the MTA in 60 months, during which five prototypes will also be built, Russia and India will join hands in building 205 aircraft: 100 for the Russian Air Force (RAF); 45 for the Indian Air Force (IAF); and 60 for export.

An artist representation of Indo-Russian Multi-role Transport Aircraft ( Image Courtesy - )

For the IAF, the MTA would be a much-needed replacement for the already phased out AN-12 and the ageing AN-32 transport aircraft. The MTA will be a mid-way choice, being smaller than the AN-12, but bigger than the AN-32. Both those aircraft were propeller-driven turboprops; the MTA will have a turbofan jet engine.

The choice of which engine to use, as also the various systems of the aircraft which would be bought off the shelf, would be decided jointly, based on economy as well as suitability.

In production, which is expected to begin by end 2017, HAL and UAC will respectively manufacture a specified set of parts and modules for all 205 MTAs. However, the assembly of the IAF aircraft will be done at HAL, Kanpur; and the assembly of MTAs for the RAF from a production agency that Moscow nominates.

News Courtesy -

Saturday, December 1, 2012

INS VIkramaditya to start final sea-trials by July 2013

The Indian aircraft carrier, the Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov), being upgraded by the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, will resume at-sea trials in early July 2013, a spokesman for the Russian Navy's Main Staff told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

"Under the new timeframe, the Vikramaditya will leave the harbor on July 3. The at-sea trials plan will be fully implemented, despite the previous results," he said. But before the sea trials the ship will spend two months at the Sevmash dock, where its underwater part will be examined between early May and late June.

INS Vikramaditya at sea-trials in 2012 ( Image Courtesy - )

He said steam boilers malfunctioned when the aircraft carrier was undergoing sea trials, which necessitated adjustments in the delivery schedule. United Shipbuilding Corporation President Andrei Dyachkov told the media on in St. Petersburg that the work on the Vikramaditya would be finished by October 2013 and the ship will be handed over to the Indian customer before the end of 2013.
News Courtesy -

Friday, November 30, 2012

Russia is developing a Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier

For the past two years Russia has been designing a prospective Heavy Nuclear-Powered Aviation Cruiser, which should become one of the most important elements of the country’s national security at sea, a source in the Military-Industrial Commission under the government of the Russian Federation informed journalists. "The Russian Navy needs a futuristic platform, which would be dozens of years ahead of her time, and not just an analogue of modern aircraft carriers existing in the United States or other countries," he noted.

"The main requirement for this ship is its ability to act in all environments: space, air, water, land and underwater", the source emphasized. The Aviation Cruiser is expected to be put to use in the Russian navy in 2020. The new Aircraft Carrier will combine the properties of a command and control vessel and that of a powerful defensive ship. It is also planned to fit up this Aviation Cruiser with the most advanced equipment that has no analogues in the world.

Russian Aircraft Carrier - Admiral Kuznetsov ( Image Courtesy - )

The main purpose of such a ship is to deliver strikes at targets in the air, on water, on land and even in space. The latter task will be achieved if the ship works in a tandem with a group of orbital facilities. The Russian navy has 4 subdivisions - thus, it is planned that Russia will have 4 battle groups headed by Aircraft Carriers.” These groups will consist of the Aircraft Carrier itself, at least 6 more other Battle Ships and 1 or 2 Submarines.

The conditions which the commanders have put forward for the new ship is that it should spend a very long time without being reloaded with any energy from outside (it is planned that this will be reached by equipping the ship with nuclear reactors), be workable at any weather and have a high combat viability.

The displacement of the new Aircraft Carrier will be more than 50,000 tons, it will be considerably bigger than “Admiral Kuznetsov” but smaller than its modern US analogues. It will be able to take about 80 airplanes on its deck.

News Courtesy -

Indian Air Force - Progress on Dassault Rafale Contract

Things seem to be moving at a faster pace with Indian Air Force quest for Dassault Rafale. After bagging the multi-billion dollar contract for supplying 126 Rafale fighter aircraft to IAF, French Dassault Systems has opened an Indian subsidiary company here. The company named Dassault Aircraft Services India Private Limited (DASIPL) is 100 per cent owned by its French parent company, officials said.

Dassault Rafale in full glory ( Image Courtesy - Dassault Aviation )

Earlier this year, Dassault Rafale had emerged as the lowest bidder in the IAF tender for supplying 126 combat aircraft edging out its European rival Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in terms of prices. The contract has been offered to Dassault and it is negotiating the terms and conditions and the final price of the aircraft with the Indian Defence Ministry officials.

Dassault has also entered into an agreement with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for partnering in defence and homeland security sectors in the country. There was a possibility of the two companies working together in the combat aircraft deal here.

After finalising the deal, Dassault will have to reinvest 50 per cent of the contract's worth back into the Indian defence sector. Mukesh Ambani-headed RIL has made several efforts in the past to position itself in the defence, internal security and aerospace solutions sectors.

News Courtesy -

INS Viraat to remain in service till 2020, in Kochi for a refit

INS Viraat has arrived in Kochi for its periodic refit at the Cochin Shipyard (CSL). The work is expected to last at least three months

The Indian Navy’s flagship, now berthed at the Cochin Port, is expected to be dry-docked at the shipyard, primarily for the restoration of its underwater surface and gears.

INS Viraat in Indian Ocean ( Image Courtesy - )

In the refit, INS Viraat’s hull and underwater equipment will be cleaned and probed for corrosion and, if need be, weak hull parts reinforced with fresh metal plates.

The hull will also get a fresh coat of corrosion-resistant paint. Everything underwater — the rudder, propeller and so on — will be checked and made fail-safe. Concurrently, the systems and equipment on board the ship will also get a lift as per the Navy’s maintenance schedule, naval sources said.

The INS Viraat is said to be in good shape and expected to be in service at least till 2018 or may be even 2020, by which time the Navy would have inducted the Vikramaditya and, possibly, the Vikrant as well.

News Courtesy -

INS Vikramaditya to be inducted by last quarter of 2013

"The delivery of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya has been delayed to the last quarter of 2013", Defence Minister A K Antony said in Lok Sabha.

In reply to a written query, the minister said original cost of the project was finalised at $978.4 million in 2004 for its delivery in 2008 but in 2010, it was "renegotiated and revised" to $2.3 billion for delivery in 2012.

"The total cost of the project would remain at $2.3 billion at the time of delivery in last quarter of 2013," Antony informed the House.

INS Vikramaditya at sea trials ( Image Courtesy - )

On steps to meet operational preparedness of the Navy, the Defence Minister said, "In the interim, the operational requirement of the Navy would be met by INS Viraat, which would remain in service till the induction of Vikramaditya."

Antony said during trials of the warship in 2012, tests on the main propulsion plant could not be completed due to defects encountered on boiler section and its rectification is likely to take six months. However, during trials the aircraft carrier has performed well in almost all other areas including Mig 29 K take off and landings.

News Courtesy -

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Airrcat Carrier INS Vikrant - Construction Progress Update

The Defence Ministry will soon move the Union Cabinet for an additional Rs. 2000 crore to meet the cost overrun for completing the first phase of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) being constructed at the Cochin Shipyard - on India's western seaboard.

The IAC, which is likely to be named INS Vikrant, is likely to be over 40,000 tonnes and is biggest ship that India has ever built. The construction of the ship has been delayed due several reasons primarily because India was unable to procure special steel from Russia and also because gear boxes produced by a Gujarat-based firm in collaboration with the German partner had been found to be faulty.

Public sector giant, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has come to rescue of the Indian Navy by producing the special quality steel. The first of the two remade gear boxes have reached Kochi a few days ago.

INS Vikrant under construction, at Cochin ( Image Courtesy - )

Defence Minister, Mr A K Antony who reviewed the progress of the construction of the ship today directed Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma to constantly monitor the progress of the construction and formed empowered apex committee. Defence Minister Antony has asked Cochin ship yard to come with a "firm date of delivery". Sources said that Mr Antony has also told the shipyard that "we cannot go on hearing excuses. Everybody has to be accountable for the warship which is a national project and responsibilities in case of further slippages will have to be fixed."

The aircraft carrier is critical to India's ambition to emerge as a dominant player in the Indian Ocean region. Although India needs at least two, if not three, aircraft carriers, however, to ensure that it has at least one carrier available at all times, at present it is still pushing the 50 year old British made war horse INS Viraat.

With the USA likely to reduce its presence in the Persian Gulf, the Indian Navy desperately needs major assets like Aircraft Carriers to maintain its presence and also shape the developments in the volatile gulf region. "It is because we're uncertain about when we are likely to get the next carrier we have been keeping INS Viraat in the best shape possible," a senior Naval officer told NDTV. 

INS Viraat which has gone through over a dozen major and minor refits, is currently undergoing another refit is likely to be in the docks and out of action till March 2013. This refit will make the carrier operational, at least till 2020.

News Courtesy -

Friday, November 9, 2012

Indian Navy commissions - INS Tarkash

Enhancing its firepower, the Indian Navy today commissioned 'INS Tarkash', the second of its three stealth frigates being built in Russia, at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad there.

The warship, which is expected to sail into Indian waters in December, was commissioned by Western Naval Commander Vice- Admiral Shekhar Sinha, the Navy said in a release.

The first warship of the series, INS Teg, had joined the naval fleet earlier this year.

Armed with the 290-km range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile, the warship is part of the follow-on Talwar class project.

INS Tarkash on sea-trials ( Image Courtesy - )

It is also equipped with upgraded 100 mm medium range gun, optically controlled 30 mm close-in weapon system, torpedoes, rocket launchers and advanced electronic warfare suite.

"The induction of stealth frigate with an advanced combat suite and blend of Russian and Indian cutting edge technologies, will bolster our role as a key facilitator in promoting peace and stability in Indian Ocean region," the Navy said.

"The warship is commanded by Captain Antony George - an anti-submarine warfare specialist, and will join the Western Fleet by December end," it said.

News Courtesy -

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slava Class Cruiser Ukrayina for Indian Navy

The Slava Class Cruisers are one of the very powerful surface combatants that are currently sailing the high seas, these cruisers are capable of three-dimensional warfare, may it be anti-surface, anti-submarine or anti-air. Slava Class Cruiser have a full displacement of 11,500 tons, sailing rate of 32 knots and cruising endurance of 7,400 miles. These Slava Class Cruisers of Project 1164 are armed with heavy long-range missiles.

Ukrayina, Slava Class Cruiser docked at Mykolaiv ( Image Courtesy - )

At present, Russia has three similar cruisers in the fleet. However, there is a fourth Cruiser which is still incomplete, and that is Ukrayina. Construction of Ukrayina started as Admiral Lobov Cruiser of Project 1164, it was launched in 1984 at Nikolaev shipyard but stalled at the final stage (the 90-percent readiness) due to the sharp reduction in military expenditures for Russian Navy. After 1991, Ukraine got the ownership of this Cruiser which was 95% complete now, and renamed it to Ukrayina in 1992. 

The government of Ukraine first intended to complete construction to have the Cruiser in its own Navy but later on thought to offer it to Russian Navy. Russian Navy unable to fund for the purchase by itself, in turn offered it to Indian Navy. However, as usual, lack of decision making capabilities of Indian leadership at that time wasted this opportunity.

Moskva, a Russian Slava Class Cruiser in full glory ( Image Courtesy - )

Now after years, and multiple rounds of discussions, both Ukraine and Russia are serious about the future of this 95% complete warship, and are again looking out for a prospective buyer. Slava Class Cruiser can be used to build a formidable task force around it. This task force will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and land-attack warfare, and can be used for blockade of enemy's sea lanes or as a deterrent to enemy naval fleet. Indian Navy does not have a large surface combatant like Slava, in its fleet. Ukraniya can be a major capability booster for Indian Navy and fits in perfectly into the naval doctrine to secure our sea lanes and deter any aggression from the enemy. Do hope that Indian leadership of present times will make some strategically wise decision, at least this time.

An Active Defence Original

Friday, November 2, 2012

CRPF looking to establish its own Air Wing

In a move that could be a precursor to the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) raising its own air wing, the para-military force is hiring two helicopters for troop movement in Maoist-dominated areas in nine states. These helicopters will be under the sole command of CRPF for operational purposes. So far, the CRPF has been relying on either the Indian Air Force or the Border Security Force who have their own Air Wing for troop movement and lifting injured during operations.

Evacuation of injured personnel by a Border Security Force Helicopter ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The CRPF, one of the biggest para-military force, has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking their nod to hire two choppers for operational purposes. "We have already forwarded a proposal to Ministry of Home Affairs for hiring two helicopters which will be maintained and controlled by the CRPF." CRPF DG Pranav Sahay told reporters at the 73rd annual press conference. Sahay was confident that the ministry will give a go ahead to their proposal.

There had been difference of opinion between the Air Force and the CRPF over emergency sorties. For instance, in a recent Jharkhand encounter, Air Force’s MI17 roped in for the evacuation of injured was delayed because of bad weather. Later, BSF’s Dhruv flew and airlifted injured personnel to a hospital in Ranchi. 

The CRPF believes that helichopters will give advantage to the force in thick jungles of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand in launching counter attack against the Maoists. Also, they will be able to save lives of injured personnel.

News Courtesy -

Unidentified Flying Objects at India-China Border In Ladakh

Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have reported Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. An ITBP unit based in Thakung, close to the Pangong Tso Lake, reported over 100 sightings of luminous objects between August 1, 2012 and October 15, 2012. In reports sent to their Delhi headquarters in September, and to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), they described sighting "Unidentified Luminous Objects" at day and by night. The yellowish spheres appear to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. These were not unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), drones or even low earth-orbiting satellites, say Army officials who have studied the hazy photographs taken by ITBP.

A UFO sighting reported by Brazilian Navy ( Image Courtesy - )

Such mysterious lights have been sighted before in Ladakh, a barren, 86,000 sq km heavily militarised zone wedged between Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Chinese-occupied Aksai Chin. The persistent sightings by the ITBP this year, however, worried the Army's Leh-based 14 Corps.

In September, the Army moved a mobile ground-based radar unit and a spectrum analyser-that picks up frequencies emitted from any object-to a mountaintop near the 160-km-long, ribbon-shaped Pangong Lake that lies between India and China. The radar could not detect the object that was being tracked visually, in dicating it was non-metallic. The spectrum analyser could not detect any signals being emitted from them. The Army also flew a reconnaissance drone in the direction of the floating object, but it proved a futile exercise. The drone reached its maximum altitude but lost sight of the floating object.

Intelligence officials say these objects could be a crude psychological operation by China, or sophisticated probes attempting to ascertain India's defences in Ladakh.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Indian Air Force will fly Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopter

The US is now all set to bag yet another mega Indian defence deal, with the iconic Boeing-manufactured Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters emerging as the cheaper option than its strong contender the Russian Mi-26 choppers.

Defence ministry sources said the commercial bid for the twin-rotor Chinook has emerged as the "L 1 (Lowest Bidder)" in comparison to the Russian Mi-26 after both these huge helicopters passed the extensive technical field trials conducted by Indian Air Force (IAF). 

"The present contract is for 15 such multi-mission helicopters. The Chinook bid was lower both in terms of initial direct acquisition cost as well as life cycle cost. The contract negotiation committee will now finalize the deal for the Chinook," said a source. 

Being Chinook in Action ( Image Courtesy - )

Known for their powerful contra-rotating tandem rotors, Chinooks are being operated by around 20 countries for heavy-lift assault, troop movement, logistics support, aerial battlefield recovery and special operations. Capable of being refueled mid-air for extended range, a Chinook can carry 55 combat-ready troops or over 11,100 kg of logistical supplies or weight. 

This is the second time that American helicopters have outclassed — both technically and commercially — their Russian counterparts in recent months. As reported earlier, India is getting ready to order 22 heavy-duty Apache attack helicopters for around $1.4 billion. 

Overall, the Indian armed forces are looking to induct as many as 900 Helicopters in the coming decade, including 440 Light Utility and Observation, Naval Multi-role (90), Light Combat (65), Heavy-duty Attack (22), Medium-lift (139) and Heavy-lift (15), among others.

News Courtesy - Rajat Pandit @ TimesOfIndia

Friday, October 26, 2012

Indian Air Force - Ayni Air Base and Farkhor Air Base

Since year 2000, on and off one keeps hearing that Indian Air Force has got itself a strategic air base in Tajikistan. This is always followed by more news articles where this information is refuted either by media itself or as cited by media "by an undisclosed source from Indian Air Force". Then, there comes more news that Indian Air Force has secretly deployed Mi 35 Attack Helicopters, followed by another news that a squadron of Mig 29 Fighter Aircraft has been deployed. 

If confusion has been only limited to existence or non-existence of this Foreign Air Base or type-of-aircraft that have been deployed, it would still be fine; however, confusion does not stop here. Most of the media is confused as which Tajik Air Base they are actually  talking about, some mentions it as Ayni Air Base, where as others mention it as Farkhor Air Base.

Indian Air Force IL 76 Cargo Aircraft at Farkhor Air Base (Image Courtesy - )

The truth is that these two names are actually name for two entirely different Air Bases. Ayni is just 10 kms away from Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, while Farkhor is more than 100 kms away. Also, there were rumors that Russia is blocking India to make these Air Bases operational by Indian Air Force Fighter Aircraft. How could Russia benefit from blocking Indian Access to these Air Bases, both Russia and India have been allies for decades and Central Asia has always been a Russian area of influence. In fact, Russia which has now regained its superpower status, looks up to India as a guarantor of peace in Asian region, and a natural counter-balance to Chinese rapid expansion in Central Asia. India will never be a party to anything which goes against Russian interests, while same thing cannot be said about China. Chinese themselves have brazenly stolen Russian technology and are now competing with Russia herself by offering illegal copies of Russian Mig's and Sukhoi's to African nations. 

To sum it up on Indian Air Force's deployment at Tajik Air Bases, there has been lot of confusion for years now and even till date overall picture is still hazy, nothing is clear, no official confirmation or denial from Indian Air Force. So what is the reality on the ground? Well, those who are talking about it, does not have the exact picture; and those who have the exact picture are not talking about it. 

As it looks, Indian Air Force has got something going on both these Air Bases. India is known in the world as a nation, which has never shown aggression against any another nation since independence. Hence, the access to these Air Bases is purely strategic in nature, to counter any military threats and to protect nation's political and financial interests in the Central Asian Region. So, operational Air Bases of Indian Air Force at Ayni or Farkhor or both, should not be an alarming news for any nation in Asia or even around the world.

An Active Defence Original

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indian Army - Helicopter-Borne Early Warning Systems

The Indian Army is looking for a major capability-booster as procurement of helicopter-borne early warning systems nears finalization. These early warning systems will be integrated with Attack Helicopter Squadrons that the Army Aviation Corps will induct in the near future. Army Aviation Corps is finalizing the specifications of the early warning system which is expected to be incorporated into Dhruv Helicopters.

The helicopter-borne early warning systems will give the army commanders not only the insight into enemy zone but also provide information on approaching aircraft and other threats. With the Indian Army Aviation Corps growing rapidly, the new early warning system will be highly resourceful for its future missions.

An Indian Army Aviation Corps Dhruv Helicopter ( Image Courtesy - )

One of the prime advantages of this helicopter-borne early warning system for the Indian Army is that it is essential for close-in ground combat scenario where enemy armour and rotary wing aircraft operate. While the Indian Air Force operates early warning systems on its aircraft as well, the helicopter-borne early warning system being developed will be unique to the Indian Army.

The helicopter-borne early warning systems can provide excellent battlefield knowledge and command to Indian Army just like the AWACS provide the IAF with command and control of airspace. The new systems will become a huge force multiplier and enhance the fighting efficiency of each unit.

Recently, Indian Army Aviation Corps has got the nod from Defence Ministry to raise its own Attack Helicopter Squadrons. Till now, the Indian Army has Attack Helicopter Squadrons under its operational control (operated by Indian Air Force) but in a very near future it will be operating them as well.

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