Saturday, December 28, 2013

India Navy: Tender for domestic construction of four LPDs

The Indian Navy has floated a US $2.6 billion domestic tender for construction of four landing platform docks (LPDs) and bids were sent to domestic shipyards, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering, and ABG Shipyard. A senior Navy planner said the service will select a winning design based on the low bidder. State-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. (HSL) then will build two LPDs based on that design and the winning company will build two. This will be India’s first attempt to build the 20,000-ton vessels.

Limiting involvement to only domestic shipyards, despite having no experience in building LPDs, is welcomed by analysts. “This is an extremely wise decision; LPDs are relatively less sophisticated than high-end destroyers and provide a perfect opportunity for domestic private industry to upgrade their skills in warship construction. Private shipyards which have made huge investments in developing modern state-of-the-art shipyards will be able to prove their credentials for undertaking larger and more sophisticated projects,” said Anil Jai Singh, retired Indian Navy commodore and defense analyst.

Italian LPD San Giorgio ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The LPD tender states the ship should be no more than 215 meters long and have a draft not to exceed 8 meters, in full load conditions. The ship will be powered by electric propulsion systems and have an endurance of 45 days with a maximum sustained speed of not less than 20 knots. The LPD should be able to carry six main battle tanks, 20 infantry combat vehicles and 40 heavy trucks.

The ship also should be equipped with a point defense missile system, the close-in weapon system, an anti-torpedo decoy system, a chaff system, and heavy and light machine guns. Special operation helicopters and large helicopters, up to 35 tons, will operate from the ship. The LPD should be able to accommodate 1,430 personnel, including 60 officers, 470 sailors and 900 troops.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vladivostok - Mistral Class to be launched on October 15

The Russian Navy will receive its first Mistral-class helicopter carrier from France on November 1, 2014, a high-ranking defense industry official told RIA Novosti on Friday.

The Vladivostok, which is being built at the DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, is scheduled to be floated out on October 15. “Over the course of a year, the ship will be further equipped and undergo sea trials in order to be handed over to the Russian Navy on November 1, 2014,” the official said.

Bow and Stern section of Vladivostok in France ( Image Courtesy - ) 

In October 2014, the second Mistral-class ship will be delivered to Russia, Rogozin added, referring to the helicopter carrier ‘Sevastopol’, which was laid at the DCNS shipyard in France's Saint-Nazaire on June 18.

Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) contract for two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Indian Navy: Tender for six Project 75-I Submarines

The Indian Navy is just one step away from issuing a global tender worth almost eight billion dollars for six conventional stealth submarines. Russia is among the four countries which are in a vantage position in bagging the upcoming contracts, the other countries being France, Sweden and Germany, though not necessarily in that order.

Indian Navy’s Vice Chief, Vice Admiral R K Dhowan, said at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, September 16 that the navy’s proposal for having six hi-tech submarines will be soon placed before India’s apex decision-making body on defence and strategic matters the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

A Lada class submarine at sea-trials ( Image Courtesy -

Vice Admiral Dhowan informed that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister A K Antony, had given its approval for the proposal to be taken up before the CCS and the global tender will be issued after the CCS nod comes. The navy vice chief said the tender would be worth Rs 50,000 crore, which is about $7.92 billion at today’s exchange rates.

The Indian Navy plans a unique 2+2+2 format for adding the proposed six submarines to its fleet. Sources said the prevailing thought in the Indian Navy is to go for outright purchase of two submarines from abroad and order two submarines each for Indian public sector and private sector companies.

Vice Admiral Dhowan put this point in perspective with a pithy remark: “Navy is poised for growth... over the next decade, we plan to induct at least four to five major combatants (warships and frigates) every year. This provides an ideal opportunity for Indian shipyards and industry to enter into collaborative arrangements or joint ventures.”' Dhowan elaborated that 46 warships and submarines are currently under construction in Indian shipyards.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

INS Arihant - reactor active, running on nuclear power now

In a major step towards completing its nuclear triad, the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant was activated late Friday night and the submarine is on its own power now. The submarine will soon be launched to sea on the Eastern coast for extensive sea trials

DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.

INS Arihant, till now, was being tested in the harbor on shore-based, high-pressure steam. With the reactor going critical now, the submarine will eventually head for open waters for extensive "sea- acceptance trials", which will include firing of its 750-km range K-15 ballistic missiles. 

INS Arihant at launch ceremony ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The sea trials will take at least another 18 months before INS Arihant can become fully operational. It will be the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built outside the five recognized nuclear powers — the United States, France, Russia, Britain and China.

Sections of a second submarine, to be named Aridaman are already at an advanced stage of outfitting at the Ship Building Centre (SBC). Sources indicate Aridaman could be launched by next year. Sections of a third submarine are also under construction at the Larsen & Toubro's Hazira facility. The three SSBNs have been under construction under a secret navy-DRDO-Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) project called the 'Advanced Technology Vessel' (ATV) project. 

India's strategic plans call for a fleet of five nuclear powered attack submarines (SSN) and five ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Japan unveils its new aircraft carrier - Izumo

Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The 250 metre vessel, named 'Izumo', is officially labelled as a destroyer, although its flat top can functions as a flight deck like that on an aircraft carrier.

Unveiling ceremony of JMSDF Izumo ( Image Courtesy - 

The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 820 feet long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense -- particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions -- and to bolster the nation's ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Unveiling ceremony of JMSDF Izumo ( Image Courtesy - ) 

Though technically a destroyer, some experts believe the new Japanese ship could potentially be used in the future to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that have the ability to take off vertically. That would be a departure for Japan, which has one of the best equipped and best trained naval forces in the Pacific but which has not sought to build aircraft carriers of its own because of constitutional restrictions that limit its military forces to a defensive role.

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Friday, August 2, 2013

INS Vikrant to be launched on August 12

India will launch its first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, on August 12 from the Kochi shipyard. This will make India only the fifth country after the US, Russia, Britain and France to have the capability to build such vessels.

"About 83 per cent of the fabrication work and 75 per cent of the construction work will be over when the ship goes into water," said Indian Navy's vice chief, Admiral Robin Dhowan.

The rest of the work, including the flight deck, will be completed once the ship is launched, the Navy vice chief said. The aircraft carrier is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy by 2018.

INS Vikrant under construction ( Image Courtesy - )

Admiral Dhowan also said that the 40,000 tonne indigenous aircraft carrier is one of its most prestigious warship projects and unprecedented in terms of size and complexity. It has been designed by Indian Navy's design organisation.

INS Vikrant will have two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires capable of operating a STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery). The main stay fighters positioned on board would be Russian made MiG -29k fighter jets. The naval variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) produced by India is also scheduled to be positioned on the warship. However, it would depend on how quickly and effectively Navy variant of the LCA is produced and cleared for active duty.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Indian Navy to lease second Akula class submarine - Iribis

India and Russia are to shortly begin negotiations on the lease of a second nuclear attack submarine for the Indian Navy. The second boat likely to be the completed might be Iribis, an Akula that was only half constructed but abandoned as a result of paucity of funds. 

The recently leased Akula class submarine - INS Chakra II, currently in service with the Navy’s eastern fleet has been on nearly non-stop patrol since its induction in April last year, and the Navy is reported to be very satisfied with its capabilities and performance.

Tentatively christened INS Chakra III, the new submarine will be another advanced variant of the Akula class submarines that are capable of spending months under water. It is likely to be equipped with more lethal weaponry, including a vertically launched Brahmos missile system.

Akula class submarines ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The submarine is to be reconstructed around the hull of the Iribis, a Russian Akula class submarine that was never completed as funds became scarce in the late nineties. Vladimir Dorofeev, head of the Malachite Design Bureau, said that the new submarine could also benefit from the design efforts that Russia had put in its latest class of Yasen nuclear-powered attack submarines.
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

INS Vikrant to be launched soon - first phase complete

After much delay, the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), being built in Cochin, is ready for its launch on August 12. At the same time, the second carrier, INS Vikramaditya, will be undergoing extensive final sea trials in Russia.

While Vikramaditya should join the navy in early 2014, the INS Vikrant would take another three years. The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier will cross a major development milestone when the ship would be launched by defence minister A.K. Antony, marking the end of the first phase of construction. 

INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard ( Image Courtesy - ) 

The launch would mean that the ship would be out of dry dock after completion of work related to fitting all underwater equipment like engines, gear box, shafting and diesel alternators. The construction of the complex warship was undertaken in two phases. Sources in the shipyard said some of the work from phase-II has already started and it is estimated that in two years the ship would be 90 per cent complete.

Despite the delays, the construction of an indigenous carrier is a major boost to country's ship-building capabilities. At the moment, 46 of 47 new naval warships are being built in domestic shipyards. Stealth frigate INS Trikand, which was commissioned in Russia, was the last ship ordered from abroad. Now only the delivery of INS Vikramaditya is awaited.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Return of Admiral Nakhimov - Kirov Class Battle Cruiser

Sevmash shipyard confirms the return of Admiral Nakhimov - Kirov Class Nuclear Powered Battle Cruiser -

The Admiral Nakhimov, a nuclear-powered missile cruiser currently being overhauled and modernized, will rejoin the Russian Navy in 2018 with the most advanced weapons systems for its vessel type, the Sevmash shipyard said Thursday, June 23, according to RIA Novosti.

Kirov Class Nuclear Powered Battle Cruiser ( Image Courtesy - 

The Kirov-class cruiser, known as the Kalinin until 1992, was commissioned in 1989 and mothballed in 1999. It has since been docked for upgrades at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk, on the White Sea.

Sevmash deputy head Sergei Marichev said in a statement that the Admiral Nakhimov would become the most advanced heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser in the Russian Navy.

News Courtesy -

Sunday, June 2, 2013

INS Vishal might use EMALS for CATOBAR operations

The Indian Navy — one of just nine navies that operate aircraft carriers — is thinking high-tech in planning its second indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vishal. The admirals are deciding whether INS Vishal, still only a concept, should launch aircraft from its deck using a technology so advanced that it is not yet in service anywhere: the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

Getting a fully loaded combat aircraft airborne off a short, 200-metre-long deck is a key challenge in aircraft carrier operations. The INS Viraat, currently India’s only aircraft carrier, uses Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) since its Harrier “jump-jets” take off and land almost like helicopters. INS Vikramaditya, which Russia will deliver this year, uses Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR). The Vikramaditya’s MiG-29K fighters will fly off an inclined ramp called a “ski-jump”; and land with the help of arrester wires laid across the deck, which snag on a hook on the fighter’s tail, literally dragging it to a halt. This system will also be used on the first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which Cochin Shipyard plans to deliver by 2017.

INS Vikramaditya at sea trials ( Image Courtesy - ) 

But INS Vishal, which will follow the Vikrant, might employ a third technique that India has never used -— Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery, or CATOBAR. Perfected by the US Navy since World War II, this has a steam-driven piston system along the flight deck “catapulting” the aircraft to 200 kilometres per hour, fast enough to get airborne. With greater steam pressure, significantly heavier aircraft can be launched. US Navy carriers launch the E-2D Hawkeye, a lumbering Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft that scans airspace over hundreds of kilometres.

EMALS, the new-generation catapult that the Indian Navy is evaluating, uses a powerful electro-magnetic field instead of steam. Developed by General Atomics, America’s largest privately held defence contractor, EMALS has been chosen by the US Department of Defence for its new-generation aircraft carriers. The first EMALS-equipped carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford, will enter service by 2016. In Delhi Last Thursday, General Atomics briefed thirty Indian Navy captains and admirals on EMALS. Scott Forney III, the senior General Atomics official who conducted the briefing, told Business Standard that tight US controls over this guarded technology required special permission from Washington for sharing technical details of EMALS with India.

Senior Indian naval planners tell Business Standard that INS Vikrant, India’s next 40,000 tonne aircraft carrier, will use STOBAR to operate its complement of MiG-29K and Tejas light fighters. But Vikrant’s successor, the 65,000 tonne INS Vishal, could well be a CATOBAR carrier that launches larger and more diverse aircraft.

“While current fighters like the MiG-29K can operate with STOBAR systems, our options will increase with CATOBAR. We could operate heavier fighters, AEW aircraft and, crucially, UCAVs (unmanned combat air vehicles). A UCAV would require a CATOBAR system for launch,” says one admiral.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

INS Vikramaditya to arrive in December 2013

Long-delayed aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is undergoing trials and could be in India by December, Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said Friday. Kadakin was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the Russian consul office in Goa.

"Things are going well (with the carrier). It will undergo exercise in the Northern Sea. There will also be more sophisticated exercises with Vikramaditya (the erstwhile Admiral Gorshkov)," 

INS Vikramaditya at sea-trials ( Image Courtesy - ) 

Kadakin said, adding that the vessel could be ready for hand over in December.
Stating that hurry was not advisable in such matters, where precision and proper outfitting was paramount, he quipped: "If you want a healthy baby, do not organize the birth prematurely."

"It is sophisticated, lethal, has razor technology which will increase India's seaborne capabilities," Kadakin said about the carrier.

News Courtesy -

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First Scorpene Submarine for Indian Navy by 2014

The first of the six Scorpene submarines ordered by the Indian Navy from French firm DCNS in 2005, will be rolled out by 2014, France's top diplomat in India said today. 

"The first submarine would be ready by 2014, heralding an important and strategic tie-up between both the nations on the defence front", said Francois Richier, Ambassador of France in India, adding the rest of five submarines would be delivered every subsequent year. 

"Such kind of submarines are important for Indian Navy considering the long coast it has to guard", he said. Richier is in Goa to visit French Destroyer 'FNS Montcalm' which is here as the part of training exercises with the Indian Navy. 

( Image Courtesy - ) 

"The induction of Scorpene submarines would enhance Indian Navy's capabilities to conduct exercises in the open sea. These are the latest generation of conventional submarines", a senior French naval officer said. 

Designed for defence against under-water threats, the 1,750-tonne submarine-submarine-killer (SSK) Scorpene is 67 meters in length and can dive to a depth of 300 meters. Ccording to French naval officials, the submarine can stay at sea for 45 days with a crew of 31. 

The standard version has six torpedo tubes and anti-shipping missile launchers.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Second Borei Class SSBN Alexander Nevsky expected by 2013 end

Alexander Nevsky, second nuclear-powered strategic submarine of Borei-class will be handed over to the Russian Navy by the end of the year, a Navy official told RIA Novosti on Friday. “The Navy is planning to commission the Alexander Nevsky submarine before the end of this year. Things are going according to plan,” the official said.

The Alexander Nevsky has been undergoing trials at the Sevmash shipyard since 2012. There will be three sea trials this year and a Bulava ballistic missile will be test-launched from the submarine in the summer, the official said.

Alexander Nevsky SSBN at sea trials ( Image Courtesy - )

A Sevmash official representative also confirmed to RIA Novosti that the submarine will be handed over to the Navy in 2013. The Alexander Nevsky is the second Borei class submarine. The first, the Yury Dolgoruky, entered service with the Northern Fleet in January, and the third, the Vladimir Monomakh, was floated out last December and is due to enter into service in 2014. The first three vessels in the Borei series are capable of carrying 16 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

A total of eight Borei-class submarines are to be built for the Russian Navy by 2020. This year Sevmash shipyard will start construction of two upgraded Borei class Project 955A submarines - the Alexander Suvorov and the Mikhail Kutuzov - capable of carrying 20 ballistic missiles each.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

INS Trikand on sea trials, to be commissioned this summer

The last in a series of three frigates that Russia is building for India at the Yantar Shipyard in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad has completed contractor sea trials, a spokesman for the shipyard said on Friday.

Sergei Mikhailov said the trials of The Trikand frigate in the Baltic Sea began on February 5 and were completed on March 14. “Within this period, the vessel carried out five voyages in the Baltic Sea, each lasting several days,” Mikhailov said.

The Trikand is currently at the Baltiisk port, preparing for state sea trials. It is scheduled to join the Indian Navy in the summer of 2013.

INS Trikand at launch ceremony ( Image Courtesy - ) 

Russia and India signed a $1.6 billion contract on the construction of three modified Krivak III class (also known as Talwar class) guided missile frigates for India in 2006.

The first frigate, INS Teg, joined the Indian Navy on April 27, 2012, and the second, the Tarkash, arrived at the port of Mumbai in India on December 30, 2012. The frigates are each armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

They are also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers and an antisubmarine warfare 

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

SSGN - A logical next frontier for Indian Navy

SSGN - a nuclear submarine capable of launching guided cruise missiles, have got a role that is entirely different than SSNs and SSBNs. We seldom hear about them and their role from main stream media, while there is always plenty of focus on SSNs/SSBNs. Apart from US and Russian Federation, no other navy has got a dedicated fleet of SSGNs. There are some navies which have got multi-role boats that can be put into a category of SSN-SSGN combined, but then those are more of hybrid and less of pure SSGNs, further their major role also tilts more towards SSN. 

SSGN is one of the extremely critical tactical asset of 21st century, it can strike fear in the heart of an enemy, even without involving any nuclear angle into the power projection. By virtue, this submarine has got stealth on its side; by technology (nuclear propulsion) it has got sustenance on its side, for fire-power it is bristling with long-range guided cruise missiles in its belly.

US has used its SSGNs in all the recent wars it got involved into, to soften the targets; enemy could barely see what has hit them, the fiery tomahawks raining from night skies and annihilating them. These tomahawks came from thousands of miles away, fired by an SSGN stationed somewhere in the distant ocean.

Voronezh, an Oscar Class SSGN after its overhaul ( Image Courtesy - )

If things go as planned, Indian Navy would have SSBNs in its fleet by year-end, and one more Akula class SSN (Iribis) too. May be, this is the time to look forward to acquire some SSGN capability, a fleet of SSGNs patrolling Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea will be enough to deter an agressor from getting adventurous with any malafide intentions.

However, India Navy has got its hand full with development of SSBN capability in the form of Arihant Class submarine, a follow-on project for SSNs is also in progress. Therefore, developing a SSGN capability would take considerable time to get kick-started as an indigenous project. But if we can take a leaf out of approach that was followed with INS Chakra; building the SSN capability rapidly, and then having an indigenous project in parallel; it would be a good start to build an SSGN capability as well.  

Russian Federation has around six Oscar Class SSGNs in reserve. There are three which are waiting on a refit, and the remaining three are in advanced stages of construction, when further development was halted due to financial constraints and also because Russia Navy is right now more focused towards faster completion of Borei Class SSBNs and are looking to put them in active service as soon as possible.

Oscar Class SSGNS -
  • K-173 Krasnoyarsk - waiting for overhaul
  • K-132 Irkutsk - waiting for overhaul
  • K-442 Chelyabinsk - waiting for overhaul
  • K-139 Belgorod - construction halted
  • K-135 Volgograd - construction halted
  • K-165 Barnaul - construction halted
India could exercise the same lease option to acquire few of these boats, induct them quickly into its navy, get familiarised with their operations and capabilities, and simultaneously kick start a parallel project to develop indigenous capability. There will be people criticizing this approach, claiming it to be counter-productive to development of indigenous capabilities, but these are strategic decisions which need to be taken in context of the whole spectrum of threats, we live in. It is critical that we look to acquire strategic defensive capabilities as fast as we can, we should definitely continue to develop indigenous programs to achieve self-reliance in defence, but we need to balance out these two approaches and keep in mind that end-goal is to keep our nation safe from all external threats, at all times.

We need to be vigilant of the fact that our adversaries are acquiring offensive capabilities, that too at a much faster pace than us.

An Active Defence Original

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

India test fires submarine launched version of BrahMos

India has successfully carried out the maiden test firing of the over 290 km-range submarine-launched version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Bay of Bengal becoming the first country in the world to have this capability.

The submarine-launched version of BrahMos was successfully test-fired from an underwater pontoon in Bay of Bengal, the performance of the missile during the test launch was “perfect“, BrahMos CEO A. Sivathanu Pillai told PTI.

This is the first test firing of an underwater supersonic cruise missile anywhere in the world and the missile travelled its complete range of over 290 kms, he said.

Maiden test firing of BrahMos ( Image Courtesy - )

Ship and ground-launched versions of the missile have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and the Navy.

“BrahMos missile is fully ready for fitment in submarines in vertical launch configuration which will make the platform one of the most powerful weapon platforms in the world,” Pillai said.

Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated DRDO scientists and Russian specialists along with officers of the Indian Navy associated with the project for successful test launch of missile from an underwater platform.

News Courtesy -

Friday, March 15, 2013

India Navy to lease another SSN from Russia - Iribis

Though, it should not come as any kind of revelation to anyone, but something which was quite expected (in my opinion somewhat delayed as well) and had been in open for a while now. 

India is in talks with Russia to finance the completion of another nuclear submarine for the Indian Navy, a senior Russian military official told RIA Novosti on Tuesday. After the Nerpa, which was leased by India and recommissioned as INS Chakra last year, this another partly-completed Akula class vessel would be the Indian Navy’s second SSN. 

“India has expressed interest in completing the next vessel. The robust hull of the second sub is ready and waiting on the stocks of the Amur plant. It is being well looked after,” said the military spokesman. At the same time, he stressed that the completion of the second nuclear submarine requires an inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia. “The issue is being worked out. As in the first case, it might be leased out, not sold,” said the source for RIA Novosti.

INS Chakra ( Image Courtesy - )

Due to limited information available in public domain on Russian submarines, one can not be certain which submarine is being considered for this lease; however details available thus far points to a partly-completed Akula class submarine - 'Iribis'

Iribis belongs to 'Akula I Improved' sub class that were planned under the project '971 I'. INS Chakra (Nerpa) submarine also belongs to the same sub class. With the lease of the Nerpa, India became the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China.

India’s domestically-designed INS Arihant nuclear submarine is expected to be ready for operational deployment this year after final sea trials. Three more hulls of Arihant class are in different stages of construction.

News Courtesy -

INS Viraat to serve Indian Navy till 2016 and beyond

Capt. Biswajit Dasgupta, Commanding Officer of INS Viraat helped to lay rumors to rest, regarding near-future decommissioning plans of the vessel. “There’s no plan to pay the ship off at the moment. It will have life left for a few more years,” Capt. Dasgupta told the media aboard the vessel.

Capt. Dasgupta said the ship’s current round of refit was undertaken because it can still serve the Navy for some good years. In the first phase of refit - hull inspection and repair, machinery work and some minor jobs were scheduled. With the first phase nearly over, Viraat would now sail to Mumbai, maybe a couple of weeks from now for some essential repairs of its machinery and equipment at the Naval Dockyard. The aircraft carrier is expected to get back on duty in another three months.

When queried on the recent reports in media that Viraat would be decommissioned following the introduction of INS Vikramaditya, Capt. Dasgupta clarified - "Viraat retains the full capacity to perform its tasks, though old, but is still firing on all cylinders. We have updated Viraat with new technologies and devices. We have no doubts about her performance and power-projection capability”.

INS Viraat in glory ( Image Courtesy - )

One other navy official, in condition of anonymity said - Viraat looks pretty good to go till 2016 at least, and may be beyond. From thorough inspections carried out at all recent major refits, we have found that she is still in pretty good shape, and with Sea Harriers on-board she can project power anywhere in Indian Ocean, where our interest lies.

Hardly 100 metres away, in the CSL yard’s building bay, construction was apace on the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), which will be named INS Vikrant on commissioning. With INS Vikramaditya, expected to arrive this year, Indian Navy is eagerly looking to operate two carrier battle groups again, after a long wait of sixteen years. 

Till 1997, Indian Navy used to operate two carrier battle groups, centered around INS Vikrant and INS Viraat. In few months down the line, if all goes well, Navy will be operating two carrier battle groups again, centered around INS Viraat and INS Vikramaditya.

News Courtesy -

Saturday, February 23, 2013

INS Vikramaditya to control Indian Ocean from Nov 2013

Russia will hand over the much-delayed INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to India in November, giving the country's navy a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean region. 

The Vikramaditya aircraft carrier is to be handed over to the Indian Navy in November 2013, head of the Russian Federal Service, Alexander Fomin said yesterday. "The ship is to be put in a dock in April, go on sea trials in June and be officially handed over some time in November," he said. 

( Image Courtesy - )

The Vikramaditya, was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional.

The Vikramaditya then returned to the shipyard to fix the problems that were detected during the sea trials. The ship demonstrated excellent seaworthiness, speed of 27.9 knots (about 52 kilometres per hour) and maneuverability during the three-month sea trials. The ship sailed for more than 12,000 miles, with 517 flights performed from its deck by aircraft and helicopters.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Russian Missile Trains: Being restored back to Full Glory

“Russia has made the decision to start the development of a military railroad missile complex for the Strategic Missile Forces,” said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT). “By that time, the European Missile Defense System will be able to intercept Russian ICBMs, thanks to new versions of its SM-3 anti-BM missile. Under the circumstances, Moscow has been forced to take adequate countermeasures,” Korotchenko said.

The Soviet Union began testing a missile train armed with the RT-23 solid-fuel missile in February 1983. The train was able to travel more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) per day without being discovered and could launch missiles from any point along its route. A missile train regiment included a train consisting of three locomotives and 17 rail cars, with nine platforms carrying missile launchers. Missile trains were expected to become the core of the counter strike group because of their improved durability and their ability to withstand a first enemy strike.

RT-23 'Molodets' Missile Train ( Image Courtesy - )

The first regiment armed with the RT-23 Molodets missile went on combat duty in October 1987. By 1999 there were three missile divisions with four regiments each — that is, 36 launchers in total. The trains were kept in stationary shelters located four kilometers apart. When on combat duty, they were dispersed. The Molodets only performed one live launch throughout its entire history, during a military exercise. A missile fired from the Kostroma region hit a target at Kamchatka. The Americans were unable to track down the train’s coordinates before or after the launch.

Incidentally, according to Zaitsev, the Americans feared missile trains even more than the famous “Satan” missile — the RS-20 ICBM — and did all they could to make them disappear from the Strategic Missile Forces. START II spelled the end of missile trains. Under the treaty, all RT-23 were to be scrapped. However, after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Moscow declared the START II null and void, especially since it was never ratified.

Nevertheless, a decision was made shortly afterward to decommission missile trains and gradually dismantle them. The first strategic train was disassembled in June 2003. Two years later, the last train was taken off combat duty and sent to a recycling yard, after spending a year at a storage base.

RT-23 'Molodets' Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ( Image Courtesy - )

The fact that Russia has accumulated experience operating missile trains, in addition to a highly developed railway network, make the decision to restore a military railroad missile complex to Russia’s nuclear missile arsenal a logical one. According to official information from the Ministry of Defense, military railroad missile complexes are currently under development - so a new and much more advanced version of Missile Trains will re-appear in Russia by 2020.

Once deployed, Russia’s missile trains would make it extremely cumbersome, for American technical reconnaissance to determine their location. “Besides mobile surface-based complexes, Russian Federation will receive additional potential to launch an effective counter strike,” said Korotchenko.

News Courtesy -

Friday, February 8, 2013

Delta Class Russian SSBN Verkhoturye returns to service

The Russian Navy ballistic-missile submarine Verkhoturye has returned to service with the Northern Fleet after completing a refit, Fleet Spokesman Captain First Rank Vadim Serga said on Wednesday.

SSBN Verkhoturye at ceremony after refit ( Image Courtesy - )

The Verkhoturye is the second Northern Fleet Project 667 class boat to be refitted, he said.

“In August 2012, the Northern Fleet was reinforced with the Novomoskovsk submarine, which also underwent repairs and upgrade at the Severodvinsk defense shipyard,” he said.

SSBN Verkhoturye arrives at Gadzhiyevo naval base ( Image Courtesy - )

Project 667 class boats displace 12,000 tons, have a maximum diving depth of 400 meters, a cruising speed of 24 knots and a crew of 140 men. They are armed with 16 Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles.

News Courtesy -

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Video: K 15 SLBM test fired from sub-merged platform

Treat to watch - First time video of K 15, Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, test-fired from under-water pontoon. K 15 will be integrated to INS Arihant to complete Indian nuclear triad.

Dedicated to all Indian Defence Enthusiasts !!!!!

Courtesy - One of my favourite Defence Journalist - Shiv Aroor

Video Courtesy - Shiv Aroor @ youtube

DRDO completes development of K 15 SLBM for Arihant

Moving a step closer to completing its nuclear triad, India today successfully test-fired a ballistic missile, with a strike range of around 750 Kilometres, from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal.

"The short range K-15 ballistic missile was test-fired successfully today from an underwater pontoon and all parameters of the test firing were met," DRDO chief VK Saraswat told PTI from the undisclosed test area.

Saraswat said that the development phase of the K-15 missile, which is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), was over and it was now ready for deployment on various platforms including the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant which is under development.

K 15 Test Fired at undisclosed location ( Image Courtesy - Shiv Aroor @ ) 

K-15 is part of the family of underwater missiles being developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian strategic forces' underwater platforms.

This is the first missile in the underwater category to have been developed by India. So far, India had the capability of delivering nuclear weapons from land and aerial platforms only. India has a no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons and the development of an SLBM boosts its retaliatory strike capability, experts said.

India is also developing two more underwater missiles including K-5 and Brahmos with strike ranges of 1500 kilometres and 290 kilometres respectively. K-5 ballistic missile is being developed by DRDO's Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).

Officials said more than 10 trials of the missile have been performed earlier. Today's was the last development trial of K-15. Only a select few nations including the US, France, Russia and China have this type of missile capability. UK uses "American Missile Trident" for its SSBNs.

News Courtesy - with correction from Shiv Aroor

Saturday, January 26, 2013

INS Vikramaditya - Delivery Acceptance Trials in June 2013

INS Vikramaditya - India's second aircraft carrier- is back on its feet. Three of the ship's eight boilers that had malfunctioned during trials in last year have been "opened up and set right," a senior Navy official told NDTV.

In sea trials last year, the ship sailed for 100 days and its flight deck - the most critical part of an aircraft carrier - is operational, senior officials told NDTV. The MiG 29 KUB two-seat naval fighter jet will be positioned on the Vikramaditya.

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

But because the seas in Northern Russia are frozen, the INS Vikramaditya can sail out of the port only in June this year for "delivery acceptance trials" - the penultimate stage before a ship is commissioned.

On acceptance of the ship from the builder, it will be formally commissioned with the Indian tri-colour being hoisted on top of ship after which INS Vikramaditya will start its journey towards India. The Navy intends to commission the ship in Russia and sail it back to India by October- November 2013. It is expected to join active service on 04 December, 2013 - Navy Day.

News Courtesy -

Indian Navy: Progress Report - INS Vikrant Aircraft Carrier

Over a year after its initial launch, the maiden indigenous aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy will be re-docked at Cochin Shipyard by the end of January 2013, for resumption of work.

Once back at the building bay for completion of work in the first phase, the carrier — currently weighing about 17,500 tonnes — will have its propulsion, shafting, generation and other engineering equipment fitted over the next five to six months before it gets floated out again.

Quite a bit of structural work, probably up to the flight deck, which would give the vessel some shape, will also happen during this phase of construction.

INS Vikrant II under construction at Kochi ( Image Courtesy - )

The project had hit a mechanical roadblock when reduction gearboxes made by the Gujarat-based Elecon Engineering Company Limited fell short of requirements. “Further construction of the carrier wasn’t possible without the huge gearboxes going in. The systems have now passed muster,” said a Navy source.

As the first IAC, to be named INS Vikrant on completion, undergoes birth pangs at the Cochin Shipyard, a second carrier, presumably a bigger one weighing almost 60,000 tonnes, is on the drawing board at the Directorate of Naval Design in New Delhi.

News Courtesy -

Greetings !!!

Happy Republic Day

100th Post on the Blog

First Anniversary Of Satyamev Jayate

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Indian Air Force: First C-17 Globemaster III starts test flight

The first of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to enter a US Air Force flight test programme at Edwards Base in Palmdale, California.

Boeing delivered India's first C-17 today at its facility in Long Beach, California, and is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014, the company said in a media release.

C-17 Globemaster III of Indian Air Force on test flight ( Image Courtesy - ) 

"It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian Air Force markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on January 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India", said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attache at the Embassy of India.

India signed an agreement with the US government on June 15, 2011 to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the US.

News Courtesy -

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Russian Navy - Plan for two more Borei A Class SSBNs

Russia is looking to start construction for two more nuclear-powered strategic submarines of the Borei A class this year, the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily has reported. The construction of the Alexander Suvorov is to start July 28 - Russia's Navy Day, while for another submarine, Mikhail Kutuzov, construction will start in November. 

One submarine of the Borei A class, Knyaz Vladimir, has been under construction since July 2012. Russia plans to build eight submarines of Borei and Borei A Class until 2020 to form the core of its navy's nuclear deterrence strategy. Three of them will be of Borei and five of Borei A type.

Borei Class SSBN - Alexander Nevsky at sea trials ( Image Courtesy - )

The first Borei-class submarine, Yury Dolgoruky, was put into active service on 10 Jan, 2013 in the Northern Fleet. The second Borei submarine, Alexander Nevsky, is undergoing sea trials, while third submarine Vladimir Monomakh has recently started with harbour trials. This SSBN development is progressing ahead of the schedule, five ships may be complete by 2018 itself, while the initial plan was to launch the last of these five submarine by 2020.

Borei Class -

  • Yury Dolgoruky
  • Alexander Nevsky
  • Vladimir Monomakh

Borei A Class -

  • Knyaz Vladimir
  • Alexander Suvorov
  • Mikhail Kutuzov

News Courtesy -