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 -