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 -

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vladimir Monomakh - Borei Class SSBN starts sea-trials

Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh, which is the third ship in Russia's Borei project has begun its sea trials, as it bids to become fully operational by mid-2013.

This submarine forms part of the Borei family of ships, which Russia Navy will operate as the strategic component of its nuclear naval forces over the next few decades. The first of the Borei class is the Yury Dolgoruky, which was commissioned in Russian Navy on 10th Jan, 2013.

Borei Class SSBN - Vladimir Monomakh at sea-trials ( Image Courtesy - ) 

Another missile cruiser in the Borei family, the Aleksandr Nevsky, is also undergoing tests, Sevmash shipyard has said. Meanwhile, the Knyaz Vladimir, the fourth and even more advanced submarine, is currently under construction. 

The Russians plan to have around ten Borei submarines over the next eight years, according to the state armaments program of 2011-2020. 

News Courtesy -

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Indian Air Force - Tender for Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft

European consortium Airbus is looking to bid with C-295 Aircraft for the Rs 12,000 crore global tender to be floated by India for procuring 56 Medium-Lift Transport Aircraft to replace its entire fleet of vintage Avro planes. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by defence minister A K Antony had in July last year cleared a proposal to procure 56 transport aircraft. The tender, though, is yet to be floated. 

EADS CASA C-295 of Ghana Air Force ( Image Courtesy - )

The first 16 transport aircraft, according to the proposal cleared by the DAC, will be procured off-the-shelf from foreign vendors who will have to partner with a local private or public sector firm. The next 16 aircraft will have to have 30 per cent indigenous component while the remaining 24 planes will have 60 per cent locally-procured and produced items. 

Making a strong case for C-295 and its efficacy in Indian Air Force, head of marketing of light and medium transport of Airbus Military Jeronimo Amador vouched for the aircraft's fuel efficiency and the total life cycle cost. Talking to reporters at the Airbus facilities here, he said the aircraft has been sold to 17 operators so far with six countries coming with repeat orders. He said the aircraft can fulfil logistics need for a large country like India with 1500 nautical mile range from New Delhi.

News Courtesy -

Friday, January 11, 2013

Russian SSBN Yury Dolgoruky joins Russian Navy Fleet

Borei class nuclear-powered submarine Yury Dolgoruky has officially became part of the Russian Navy. The first of the new generation submarines, which will be the country's main nuclear deterrent in coming years, entered into service with the Russian Navy on 10 Jan, 2012.

Yury Dolgoruky missile cruiser raised the flag in a ceremony in the Arctic port of Severodvinsk. The Yury Dolgoruky submarine is also the first to have the latest Bulava intercontinental missile on-board.

Borei Class SSBN, Yury Dolgoruky at sea-trials ( Image Courtesy - ) 

"Another seven Borei-class submarines will join the Navy by 2020. The Navy will also receive eight Yasen-class submarines by then", President Vladimir Putin said.

The Navy has already ordered three more Borei-class submarines: Alexander Nevsky, Vladimir Monomakh and Knyaz Vladimir.

Built at an estimated cost of 23 billion rubles ($750 million), the Yury Dolgoruky is 170 meters long and 13.5 meters wide, with a diving depth of 450 meters. 

News Courtesy - The Moscow Times

Friday, January 4, 2013

Indian Air Force : Shortlists Airbus-330 MRTT Aircraft

India has selected the European Airbus-330 MRTT (Multi-Role Tanker Transport) over the Russian Ilyushin-78 Mid-Air Refuelling Aircraft in a Rs 8,500-crore contract. Defence ministry sources on Thursday said the European Aeronautics Defence and Space Company (EADS) "is now being called for the final commercial negotiations" for acquisition of six Airbus-330 MRTT tankers.

Both the four-engine IL-78 and the two-engine Airbus-330 had passed the extensive field evaluation trials conducted by IAF but the latter emerged the cheaper option in the subsequent commercial evaluation. "Though the two commercial bids were opened earlier, the final costing last week put the Airbus-330 as the L-1 (lowest bidder) on account of life-cycle costs," said a source.

An artist impression of Airbus-330 MRTT in IAF Colours ( Image Courtesy - airbus )

IAF, which already operates six IL-78s since 2003-04, is looking to induct the six new tankers or "force-multipliers" from 2017 onwards to further enhance its "strategic reach" capabilities. Only a handful of countries operate such tankers, which with their "booms" can refuel fighters and other aircraft in mid-air to virtually double their radius of operations. IAF's Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, which have a cruising speed range of 3,200-km, for instance, can strike high-value targets deep inside China with in-flight refuelling.

The MRTT (multi-role tanker transport), based on the Airbus-330 wide-bodied commercial airliner, can carry 110 tonnes of fuel to "`top-off" several fighters simultaneously through its "aerial refuelling boom system". EADS touts its tanker as the fastest one in the business because it can transfer 4,600 litres per minute, greatly reducing the refuelling operation time. 

News Courtesy - Rajat Pandit @

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pakistan Air Force : Fighting a tough battle of high attrition

Pakistan Air Force is losing nearly two percent of its 900 aircraft each year to accidents. This is more than ten times the rate of Western air forces. These losses are caused by aircraft that are too old and a budget that is too small to properly train new pilots and maintain the old aircraft. 

Around 350+ fighters of Pakistan Air Force are over 20 years old. This includes 150+ French made Mirages, 180+ MiG-21s (the Chinese F-7 version) and 30+ U.S. made F-16s. 

Pakistan Air Force has been steadily inducting new aircraft into service. Since 2000, Pakistan Air Force has received 46 F-16s and 100 Chinese made JF-17s (similar to the F-16). These planes are pretty safe and reliable. But the problem is Pakistan has not got enough money to buy enough new aircraft to replace all those old aircraft that are becoming inoperable because of age. You can refurbish old aircraft and keep them flying for half a century or more, but that is also a costly affair and Pakistan has not got the money for that either. 

F-7 Aircraft of Pakistan Air Force ( Image Courtesy - )

Across the border, Indian Air Force made a mighty effort to make their MiGs safer to fly, though the accident rate was still higher than that of Western aircraft. Still, it came down significantly. F-15s and F-16s of US Air Force have an accident rate of 3-4 per 100,000 flight hours. NATO Air Forces have an accident rate of 4-5 per 100,000 flight hoursIndia, using mostly Russian aircraft, has an accident rate of 6-7 per 100,000 hours flown. Pakistan’s accident rate is at least three times that of India.

India is solving the MiG problem by retiring all the older (bought before the 1990s) MiGs. Only the 67 MiG-29s, air superiority multi-role combat aircraft, are being kept in service. These aircraft were among a new generation of Russian combat aircraft, appearing at the end of the Cold War, that were far sophisticated then older MiGs and were built to Western standards. This made a big difference in the accident rate but IAF felt it was still on a higher side. 

Hence, India went for a massive upgrade for the whole Mig-29 fleet. The IAF 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 refueling to increase flying time.

Indian Air Force can spend close to billion dollars for upgrade of just Mig 29 alone, something which Pakistan Air Force can not afford as of now. Therefore Pakistan Air Force would need to come up with innovative ideas as how to minimize the accident rate of old aircraft and also how to quicken the rate of replacement of these old aircraft with new aircraft acquisitions from either US or China or through indigenous efforts.

News Courtesy -

Indian Navy : Project 75-I Submarines - Progress Update

The Indian Navy is set to "very soon" issue a RFP (Request for Proposal) for a new line of six submarines with AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) capability. Project 75-I, has now being given firm clearance by the government, according to Indian Navy chief, Admiral DK Joshi.

Asked how soon is "very soon," the naval chief told India Strategic defence magazine ( that the Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) had already cleared a note on Acceptance of Necessity (AON), the navy had finalized the RFP and it was in its last stage of formalities for clearance in the defence ministry.

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

As per indications, the RFP for the submarines should be out even in January 2013, or latest by March before the financial year 2012-13 ends.

AIP increases the mission life of a submarine by around three times, depending upon the task and parameters required. The capability enables a submarine to generate air on-board without the need to surface for breathing to recharge its batteries.

The new Project 75-I submarines should be huge in value, estimated at around $10 billion-plus, depending upon the offsets and transfer of technology (ToT).

News Courtesy -