Sunday, September 30, 2012

Andaman and Nicobar - Forward Observations Posts

Indian Navy plans to establish Forward Observation Posts in strategically located Andaman and Nicobar Islands to serve as a first line of defence along the eastern seaboard. Director General (Naval Projects) Vice Admiral V.K. Namballa told reporters here on Saturday, 29 September 2012, that over 1,200 islands on the Andaman and Nicobar stretch were being analysed for setting up the posts.

India’s forward presence in the eastern Indian Ocean is enabled by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The location and geography of these Islands impart them with immense strategic importance. 

Indian Naval Air Station "INS Baaz" at Nicobar, commissioned in July 2012 ( Image Courtesy - defenceexpress )

The Navy is strengthening its fleet in the Eastern Naval Command with warships of Shivalik and Kamorta class. A Memorandum of Understanding is also being signed with private ports for enabling operations of naval ships in the hour of need, he said.

The proximity of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the busy shipping lanes, especially Malacca strait, provides India with an opportunity to play an important role in the security of the sea lines of communication. Location of these islands are close to the South East Asian countries which enables India to engage South East Asia in a far more efficient manner, compared from Indian Mainland. It also helps India in keeping abreast of the political and military developments in its extended neighbourhood.

News Courtesy - and

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sukhoi 30 MKI inducted at new Airbase in Western Sector

India has inducted its front-line Sukhoi 30 MKI combat aircrafts at Halwara Airbase in Punjab. The Sukhoi 30 MKI, are replacing the phased out MiG-23 aircraft in the 220 Squadron that is also known as 'Desert Tigers'. All MiG-23 aircraft have been retired from the Indian Air Force and are gradually being replaced by new and more capable aircraft.

With the induction of these new Sukhois, the 220 squadron has now been revived at Halwara.The Sukhoi induction was done by Delhi-based Western Air Command's (WAC) chief Air Marshal Arup Raha in the presence of his wife Lily Raha, according to a defence press release.

Sukhoi 30 MKI on a sortie ( Image Courtesy - wikipedia ) 

Air Force Station Halwara is one of the oldest forward air bases of the IAF set up in 1942 by the British. Halwara, due to its strategic location, was actively involved in both 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars. It was home to Spitfires in early 1950s and later converted into a MiG-23 operations base till 2009. In 2011, Halwara was chosen to be the first Sukhoi squadron base under the Western Air Command.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Indian AEW&C from Embraer goes to Western Border

India plans to base its indigenous Airborne Early Warning & Control system on the western border, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.

According to DRDO officials, the system would detect, identify and classify threats in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations.

After the operational requirements were firmed up between DRDO and IAF in 2007, the contract for three modified aircraft was finalised in August 2008. The first fully modified aircraft landed in Bangalore from Brazil a month ago.

Indian AEW&C ( Image courtesy - )

The second aircraft is slated to arrive in December and the third one next year.

The Air Chief Marshal and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V K Saraswat said all the three aircraft are proposed to be operationalised by the IAF in April 2014.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Delay in INS Vikramaditya - A Setback not a Disaster !!!

Yet another likely delay in dispatching the much-awaited aircraft carrier has caused tempers to flare back in India, but the problems are not as grim as reported.

It is a setback no doubt, but the “technical malfunction” experienced during INS Vikramaditya’s high-speed trials in the Barents Sea is hardly a disaster. Ship is not crippled, as some 'experts' have suggested. But what happened was that seven of the eight steam boilers in the carrier’s power plant overheated.

However, casual observers have missed the point that the overheating was discovered during trials. That’s what trials are for – to identify and remove such glitches. And no, unlike what some ‘experts’ have been suggesting, fixing the problem won’t require cutting open the ship.

INS Vikramaditya at sea trials ( Image Courtesy - )

Vikramaditya’s problems are not insurmountable. The ship’s propulsion system is brand new, the problem is most likely with the integration of the boilers. Information trickling in, suggests that the first reports exaggerated the problem, and that the ship is sailing on its own power. The overheating seems to be happening only at high speeds. Two months ago the carrier experienced its first landing, by a MiG-29K. The sea trials have been under way for several months off the north coast of the Barents Sea, and in all other respects the ship appears to be in working order.

So, it is a wait for few months, not years, as some of the media has been shouting on top of their lungs. A 45,000 ton Aircraft Carrier, would go through a fine tuning just before it is ready for commissioning. You will be surprised to know what French Navy went through with their Aircraft Carrier - Charles de Gaulle. 

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Indian Air Force - Jaguar never gets old !!!

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to make its Jaguars fighting fit for modern warfare and increase their service life. The Jaguars are being fitted with autopilots, next generation avionics and lethal armaments under an ambitious modernisation programme that will see the fighters flying well after 2030.


IAF's Jaguar on a sortie ( Image Courtesy - )

Nearly 120 Jaguars are being modernised. So far, the IAF has procured autopilots for 55 Jaguars and talks for 95 more, which includes spare autopilots. Autopilots would lessen pilot workload, freeing them from physically flying the jet during long flights, though, in an ultimate test of IAF top guns, six Jaguars flew all the way to Alaska for a joint exercise with the US Air Force in 2004.

The government is also reviving a plan to re-engine the aircraft with a more powerful powerplant. The IAF feels the Jaguars, powered by Rolls Royce Adour-811 turbofan engines, are underpowered, and a more powerful engine for the fighters is also on the cards.

The Jaguar's cockpit will be completely transformed as well. It is going to turn all glass. There will be digital MFDs (multifunction displays) replacing the traditional analog gauges and dials, and pilots will have fly-by-wire controls.

 News Courtesy -

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kirov Class Battle Cruiser - Admiral Nakhimov returns !!!

Pyotr Veliky, lone active Battle Cruiser from Kirov Class might soon be re-joined by her other three sister ships. Admiral Nakhimov and other Battle Cruisers of Project 1144, withdrawn from the combat-ready forces of the fleet in the 90s, have been marked to return to active service, by Russian Navy. Admiral Nakhimov will be the first ship of Project 1144 to undergo modernization.

Admiral Nakhimov’s shipborne systems may be returned to the ranks rather quickly, within two-three years, as they have not been fully exhausted. According to preliminary estimates, 5 billion Roubles should be enough to restore the ship’s combat capability to its “original” form and improve its on-board radio-electronic equipment. At the same time, the basis of the Heavy Cruiser’s firepower – the Granit missile complex and ะก-300F surface-to-air missile system - will most likely remain intact.

Admiral Nakhimov ruling the waves ( Image Courtesy - )

The Project 1144 Battle Cruisers upgraded with new shooting complexes and electronic equipment will acquire a totally new attribute as their dimensions allow these ships to be equipped with a large number of weapons, turning them into truly multi-functional vessels possessing powerful and diverse percussion armaments, air defense systems and anti-submarine defense.

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IAF - Rafale Deal to be signed by October 2012

India plans to sign the $11 billion MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal with French Rafale by the end of this month-end or next month, a senior Indian Air Force official said today.

"I find no reason why it shouldn't be signed by the end of this month or next month", Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF, Air Marshal Rajinder Singh said. 

Rafale ready for action ( Image Courtesy -

He indicated that negotiations are currently on with regard to pricing for the 126-aircraft deal. "There is money....this thing here and there (pricing being finalised)". 

The Air Marshal said, the first aircraft under the MMRCA deal would start "flowing in" in 2017.

News Courtesy -

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