Chinese belive that in 2020 Indian Navy would be the secound largest in this globe.
Indian Air Force to modernize on fast track: air force chief
NEW DELHI, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- In a bid to maintain its supremacy in the skies, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wednesday said that it would modernize its fleet by upgrading and improving the equipment as well as procuring the new acquisitions on a fast track basis.
"The modernization process would include preserving, maintaining, upgrading and improving the current assets, as well as processing the cases for acquisitions and replacements on a fast track. The IAF has made rapid strides towards attaining net centricity and has to be capable of dominating the entire spectrum of information, cyberspace and air space," Head of Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said in the national capital.
In fact, the Indian Air Force has planned an ambitious modernization drive which will see a quantum jump in its force levels, capabilities.
"We will be completing 77 years of existence. And as the spectrum of capability gets wider we need to modernize to have capability edge over most of the air forces in the world," the IAF chief had said recently.
With strength of approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,700 aircraft, including 852 combat aircraft in active service, the Indian Air Force is the world's fourth largest.
Boeing Submits Proposals to India to Sell Helicopters
NEW DELHI – Boeing Co. said Friday it has submitted initial bids to the Indian Air Force offering the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter and the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift, twin-rotor helicopter.
The proposals, submitted this week, are in response to bids sought by India from global helicopter makers to supply its air force with 22 combat helicopters and 15 heavy-lift helicopters. The total cost of the acquisition is estimated at $2 billion.
Boeing said India is yet to give a date for announcing the winning proposals.
India plans to buy new combat jets and helicopters to modernize its fleet of mainly Soviet-vintage planes as Pakistan and China expand their military capabilities. The Indian Air Force has about 1,700 aircraft, including helicopters and transport planes, according to its Web site.
It is estimated India will buy $31 billion worth of military equipment in the next 10 years, Boeing said last February.
"If selected, Boeing will build the Apache helicopters at its rotorcraft facility in Mesa, Ariz. and the Chinook helicopters at its rotorcraft center in Ridley Park, Pa.," the company said. "Suggested production rates and delivery schedules have not been announced."
Attack helicopter makers such as Russia's Kamov and Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Italy's AgustaWestland, a unit of Finmeccanica SpA, and Textron Inc.'s Bell Helicopter unit earlier expressed interest in the deal.
Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturing unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had pitched its Tiger attack helicopter for the tender.
This is the second time India has issued a tender for attack helicopters. The first tender--issued in May 2008--was scrapped in March by the government.
Both Boeing and Bell helicopter had pulled out of the original tender as the Indian Air Force wanted to buy directly from the manufacturer, but the U.S. wanted it to be a government-to-government deal, defense ministry officials had said earlier.
Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp., also plans to bid to sell heavy-lift helicopters, its India and South Asia managing director, A.J.S. Walia, said in February.
Exercise Eastern Bridge update : IAF pilots fly unhindered over Oman sky
Far removed is the terrain at Oman that IAF pilots of ‘Flaming Arrows’ and ‘Cobras’, the two Jaguar Squadrons, normally fly around their airbase - Gorakhpur, in India. Poor visibility, birds, obstructions and other restrictions usually make flying pretty much daunting. But for Jaguar pilots, low- flying remains raison d’ętre of their lethality.
At Oman, the local flying area around Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) Thumrait airbase is a terrain of a flatbed desert with hardened surface with unlimited visibility. Birds, if sighted, would normally be a welcome sight here unlike elsewhere, but is rarely encountered by the pilots.
All sixteen IAF pilots participating in exercise ‘Eastern Bridge’ with RAFO completed their local familiarization sorties ahead of the tactical part of the air exercise. To sum up, their low-flying experience at the very start of the exercise was simply, as most put it -exhilarating. Flying 500 feet above ground level seemed like flying almost mid-level felt some pilots, having done unhindered low -flying.
IAF pilots usually have their desert-flying experience around Jaisalmer and other airbases in Rajasthan. In many ways, the flying environment at Oman is not too different. But visibility is certainly markedly superior here felt the IAF pilots. However, at Oman the landscape changes rapidly from small mountains in the north, to flat terrain around Thumrait that changes over to coastal landscape in the south near Salalah, about 65 Kms south of Thumrait.
The sprawling flying infrastructure at RAFO Thumrait also impressed the IAF contingent. “It has just been three weeks since we got the runway resurfaced before your arrival,” informed a senior RAFO officer, reinforcing their commitment to the first-ever joint air exercise with IAF. Flight safety, however, remains paramount for both sides.
Thumrait is base to the only two RAFO Jaguar squadrons. RAFO pilots periodically visit the IAF airbase at Gorakhpur in India for simulator training and are familiar with some of their Indian counterparts. The camaraderie between the IAF- RAFO pilots in the crew room is all too palpable with both sides keen to switch over to their professional excellence in the air in the remaining days of Ex- Eastern Bridge.
MiG 27 fighter jet crash near Jalpaiguri, pilot safe
An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG 27 aircraft crashed near New Jalpaiguri about 16 kilometers West of the Hashimara Air Force Base on Friday.
According to a Defence Ministry press release, the pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Gautam, ejected safely before the aircraft crashed.
This is the ninth IAF aircraft and the second MiG 27 crash this year. Earlier in May a MiG 27 crashed in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
The fighter jet was on a routine sortie when it crashed.
There was no reported damage to property or life.
The IAF has ordered a court of inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident.
Since January this year, the IAF lost three MiG-21s at Jodhpur, Chabua in Assam and Baliana in Punjab.
One IAF pilot was also killed when a SU-30MKI, was crashed in Jaisalmer in April. (ANI)
Mauritius, indian navy in joint anti-piracy patrol
APA - Port Louis (Mauritius) The Mauritius National Coast Mauritius (MNCG) and two warships of the Indian Navy has set up a Joint Anti-Piracy Patrol (JAPP) to reinforce security in the Indian Ocean region, APA learns in the Mauritian capital Port Louis on Sunday.
The release from the Mauritian government here indicates that as the waters of Seychelles border the Northern Boundary of the Mauritius Maritime Zone, the local authorities have become very apprehensive following several recent piracy attacks in Seychelles territorial waters.
The release adds that the Mauritian government has asked for the help of friendly states and in this context the JAPP has been organised.
The military operations aim at giving the assurance to merchant ships and fishing vessels that adequate measures are being put in place by the Government of Mauritius to enhance military presence in the region, added the release.
The cooperation with the two Indian warships, namely the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul and the INS Varuna will also include training members of the MNCG on such military operations as "Visit, Board Search, Seizure" of suspicious vessels navigating in the region and "Fire Fighting and Damage and Pollution Control" on board ships.
The the two Indian naval ships together with members of the MNCG have been patrolling in the vicinity of the outer island of Agalega and have already controlled five merchant ships which were in the region, said the release.
New satellite for Indian Navy - ISRO to launch facility to boost naval links next year
New Delhi, Oct. 22: The Indian Navy is set to get its own satellite with a footprint across the Indian Ocean region. The satellite will be launched next year.
The Naval Communications Satellite figured in discussions of the Indian Navy senior officers’ conference here today when defence minister A.K. Antony said “it will significantly improve connectivity”.
Dedicated satellites for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army are to follow.
The military satellite programme was first mentioned by the then defence minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament in 2005 when he said in reply to a question that the programme was in “advanced stages of development” and would get operational by 2007.
An Indian Navy officer said the service was looking at it “not as a military satellite but as a communications satellite”. India uses a1-meter resolution Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) launched in 2001 for military purposes and has also bought time and images from American and French polar orbiting satellites.
The officer said all Indian naval platforms — ships, aircraft and shore establishments — would be data-linked through the satellite.
The satellite will be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told his senior commanders today that “network-centric operations”, induction of new technologies “to tighten the loop between training, technology and operational deployment” would be his priority areas.
The geo-stationary satellite will have a footprint between 600 nautical miles (1,110km approx.) and 1,000 nautical miles (1850km approx.).
In the commanders' conference it was noted that traffic in the Indian Ocean had increased markedly over the past year.
In the conference, defence minister A.K. Antony said the process of creating the post of maritime security advisor — a decision taken since the November 26 terrorist attack in Mumbai — was on.
Indian Army to respond to Taliban threat suitably: army chief
NEW DELHI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Just days after the Pakistan Taliban threatened to carry out attacks in India, the country's all-powerful army Monday vowed to deal with any such threat suitably.
"We will give an appropriate and strong response to any possible threat from Taliban," Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor told the media in the national capital.
The Army chief's statement came in the wake of last week's threat by the new head of the Pakistan Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, that the militants will bring their war to India "after establishing an Islamic state in Pakistan."
The warning was issued in a footage aired by British TV channel Sky News.
In fact, words of worries have recently been making the rounds in New Delhi that the Islamist terrorists are virtually knocking on India's door after the Taliban carried out a series of attacks in Pakistan's cultural city Lahore last Thursday, particularly on an elite police academy in Bedia, which is 20 km from Wagah on the Indo-Pakistan international border.
Indian Home Ministry sources have claimed that the threat by the Pakistan Taliban is being taken seriously.
"But we are always prepared to deal with any such attack. The Mumbai terror attacks last November was an eye opener for the security forces. Now, they are always on alert," the Home Ministry sources said.
Astra air-to-air missile to make its first flight
Veteran fighter pilots lament the end of the dogfight, the evocative name for a twisty, sky-ripping, adrenaline-packed aerial duel, in which the winner gets behind his opponent and shoots him down with a burst of cannon fire.
Today, it is less about flying skill, cold nerve and highly-responsive aircraft; the modern-day dogfighting ace is an airborne video-game expert who uses radar to detect his foe at long ranges, and launch a beyond visual range (BVR) missile even before his victim realises that the engagement has begun.
Just days from now, a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter will take off from an Indian Air Force (IAF) base, an Astra missile fitted on its wing. This will be the first-ever flight of this indigenously developed BVR missile, which the IAF hopes will add punch to its fleet of Sukhoi-30MKI, Mig-29, Mirage-2000 and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighters.
The Astra, built by the Defence R&D Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, will allow IAF pilots to hit enemy aircraft up to 44 km away, at altitudes up to 20,000 metres. Improving on that will be the Astra Mk II, with a longer range of 80 km.
The Astra incorporates many cutting-edge technologies. Here is how an Astra would take on an enemy fighter: an IAF fighter’s radar picks up the target; the pilot launches an Astra missile. A high-energy propellant quickly boosts the missile to several times the speed of sound. At ranges beyond 15 km, the Astra cannot “see” its target, so the IAF fighter guides the missile, relaying the target’s continually changing position over a secure radio link. Once it is 15 km from the target, the Astra’s onboard seeker picks up the target; after that the Astra homes in on its own.
At this point, the target would start turning and diving to throw off the missile. But the Astra manoeuvres better, and moves much faster, than even the most agile fighters. A radio proximity fuse measures the distance to the target. When the target is within 5 metres, the Astra’s radio proximity fuse detonates its warhead, sending a volley of shrapnel ripping through the enemy fighter.
Most of these technologies have already been proven. The propulsion system, the data link between the aircraft and the Astra, the radio proximity fuse, the onboard computer, the inertial navigation system and other key technologies were developed at the DRDO’s missile complex in Hyderabad.
The Astra’s seeker is still imported from Russia, but the DRDO hopes to develop one.
The forthcoming test with a Sukhoi-30MKI is called a “captive flight trial”; it will evaluate whether the Astra can withstand the physical stresses of supersonic flying and high-speed manoeuvring. Early in 2010, a “captive-II flight trial” will check whether the Astra’s avionics are properly matched with those of the Sukhoi-30MKI. The fighter should receive the missile’s signals; and the Astra should receive the aircraft’s commands.
“Matching an Indian missile with a Russian fighter’s avionics has turned out to be a complex task”, explains Mukesh Chand, one of the Astra’s key developers, “But the Astra will be much better integrated with the Indian Tejas LCA.”
Only in October 2010, after all the Astra’s systems are certified airworthy, will a live Astra be fired from a fighter. But the project scientists are confident; in a September 2008 test in Balasore, Orissa, a ground-launched Astra shot down an electronic target, validating many of the most complex technologies.
A drawback in the Astra remains its high weight; even a heavy fighter like the Sukhoi-30MKI cannot carry the missile on its wingtip stations. In comparison with the Astra’s estimated 150 kg, other BVR missiles like the Israeli Derby weigh around 100 kg only.
Nevertheless, the IAF believes the Astra will usefully supplement India’s inventory of BVR missiles. The Russian R-77 Adder, which arms India’s Russian aircraft fleet, faces worrying questions about its reliability. And the R530D missile, carried by the Mirage-2000, is nearing obsolescence.
$11 billion MMRCA order set to become larger; Mirage-2000 upgrade negotiations stagger towards failure
The winner’s jackpot could soon become even bigger in what is already the world’s most lucrative fighter aircraft tender: India’s proposed purchase of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for an estimated Rs 51,000 crore ($11 billion).
The reason: a breakdown in India’s long-running negotiations with French aircraft manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, for upgrading 51 Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighters. According to senior IAF sources, Dassault has flatly refused to reduce its quote of Rs 10,000 crores (US $2.1 billion) for extending the service life of the IAF’s Mirage-2000 fleet by fitting new radars and avionics. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) considers this price --- Rs 196 crores (US $41 million) per aircraft --- unacceptably high, given that the airframes and engines will not be changed.
In comparison, each of the 126 brand-new, next-generation MMRCAs will cost some Rs 400 crores (US $87 million) per aircraft. That includes the cost of technology transfers, as well as capital costs for setting up a manufacturing line in India. Once those costs are amortised, additional MMRCAs would be significantly cheaper.
Dassault’s India head, Posina V Rao has not returned multiple phone calls from Business Standard. MoD sources say that Rao is engaged in last-ditch attempts to salvage the deal.
But, the MoD is veering around to the viewpoint that the Mirage-2000 fleet should continue service in its current form. After six squadrons (126 aircraft) of MMRCAs have entered IAF service, an additional two squadrons of MMRCAs would be built to replace the 51 Mirage-2000 fighters. That amounts to a 40% rise in the MMRCA’s numbers.
Israeli aerospace companies have reportedly entered the fray, offering to upgrade the Mirage-2000 for half the price being quoted by Dassault. The MoD, however, is not inclined to accept that offer.
Price negotiations for the Mirage-2000 upgrade have travelled a rocky road over the last two years. Initially, Dassault quoted Rs 13,500 crores (US $2.9 billion), which it brought down to the current level of Rs 10,000 crores (US $2.1 billion) after the IAF diluted its upgrade requirements. But the MoD believes Dassault’s reduced bid only reflects the diluted requirements, rather than any flexibility on the part of Dassault.
The IAF, traditionally a staunch supporter of Dassault and the Mirage-2000 fighter, is apparently changing its views. Dassault, say pilots, has badly damaged its credibility during the recent negotiations by arm-twisting the IAF over the supply of spares for the Mirage-2000 fleet.
The Gwalior-based IAF squadrons that currently fly the Mirage-2000 are Number 1 squadron (Tigers) and Number 7 squadron (Battle Axes).
Five of the six contenders for the MMRCA contract --- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Eurofighter, Gripen and RAC MiG --- know they could reap handsome gains, through larger fighter orders, if India chooses not to upgrade the Mirage-2000. The sixth contender, Dassault Aviation, realises that failure to negotiate the Mirage-2000 upgrade contract could seriously damage the chances of its Rafale fighter in the MMRCA contract.
The fighters in contention for the MMRCA contract are sequentially undergoing flight trials and evaluation, which the IAF expects to complete by April 2010. It will take another six months to finalise the trial report and submit that to India’s MoD. The MoD will then announce the winner of the contract.
Eurocopter opts out of IAF's $2 billion chopper tender
New Delhi: With Boeing Co confirming its participation in the tender for the supply of 22 attack and 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian Air Force the surprising announcement is Eurocopter opting out of the race. Sources indicate that the Eurocopter's product, the Tigre ARH, may not be ready in time to participate in field trials next year as it is undergoing an upgrade.
Global manufacturers, such as Russia's Kamov and Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, Italy's AgustaWestland, a unit of Finmeccanica SpA, Textron Inc.'s Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturing unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co and Sikorsky Aircraft have expressed interest in the deal.
The IAF's attempt to boost its fleet of older Mi-35 attack helicopters has consistently run into problems with American companies, both Boeing and Bell Helicopters, earlier pulling out on a technicality. Both companies pulled out of the original tender as the Indian Air Force wanted to buy directly from the manufacturer, but the US wanted it to be a government-to-government deal.
Also, they are reportedly unhappy with the 50 per cent offset requirements that are apparently required in the tender.
European companies, in turn, have hinted that the tender is skewed in favour of US companies.
THE AIR CHIEF URGES IAF COMMANDERS TO BUILD UP CAPABILITIES FOR CYBER SPACE
The Indian Air Force Commanders’ Conference began at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan), in New Delhi today. The conference commenced with the inaugural address of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik.
Addressing the Commanders, the Air Chief brought forth his vision of the Indian Air Force in view of the enhanced capabilities being acquired and a three ****ged approach towards the modernization process of the IAF. A modernization process that would include preserving, maintaining, upgrading and improving the current assets as well as processing the cases for acquisitions and replacements on a fast track. The IAF has made rapid strides towards attaining net centricity and has to be capable of dominating the entire spectrum of information, cyberspace and air space, he said. He emphasized that the IAF besides continuing to air maintain troops and delivering more than 37,000 tons annually should continue to sharpen its core competencies to interface with the other services to generate the requisite capabilities.
The Commanders’ Conference would see the Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of the IAF Commands carry out a data based review.
The Conference is attended by the top brass of the Indian Air Force comprising Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief of IAF Commands and the Principal Staff Officers of Air Headquarters. During the Commanders’ Conference the operational challenges before the IAF are discussed. Apart from this Flight Safety, Maintenance, Administrative and Logistical issues which impinge upon the operational effectiveness of Air Force would also taken up for discussions.
First Javelin Missile Launches in India As Part of YA09
CAMP BUNDELA, India – The early morning sun had already risen enough to bring the temperature to 88 degrees.
Not quite as hot as in the days prior to this one, but just right for a trip to the firing range for the Soldiers assigned to Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, "Strykehorse," 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
The unit arrived at the range mid morning after a two hour delay. Their mission was to fire the Javelin missile as part of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09, here, Oct. 23.
After arriving at the range no one was more anxious to get the show on the road than Sgt. Peter Bitter, cavalry scout team leader and Javelin/Stryker gunner, Troop B.
It had been four years since Bitter finished the Javelin course, and due to the enormous expense of the missile, Bitter said this was his first time firing a live missile.
"I've only fired dummy and simulation missiles," said Bitter.
Regardless of the significant time since taking the course, Bitter said he is still well aware of what his job was and perfect hit on target is the only answer.
"You have to make sure you find the target and get the right bracket targeting before you pull the trigger," he said.
The missile will do the rest, by penetrating a tank and detonating inside, he added.
"The Javelin can easily cover a 200 meter blast area," said Bitter. "If two vehicles are side by side the missile may destroy them both."
Indian Army soldiers were present to witness the highly anticipated missile firing. Their enthusiasm was obvious as the clamored to learn the specifications of the system. The Soldiers, who are assigned to the 31st Armored Division, said they had seen the Russian made Kynkurs system, but never the Javelin. The only contact they had with the Javelin was through videos
Thirty seconds before the launch, the assistant gunner announced the imminent firing. The rocket sound of the weapon was deafening.
"Yeah. Yes. Way to go Bitter," observers cheered.
Regardless of not firing in four years, Bitter was dead on target.
"That was outstanding, said Bitter. "Every combat related Soldier should be able to fire the Javelin at least once."
The other Soldiers in Troop B said they felt the same way and had confidence in Bitter the whole time.
"This is the best training possible, no training is better than live training," said Sgt. 1st Class William Drussell, platoon sergeant, Troop B. "You would think if a Soldier hasn't fired in more than four years his skills would be a perishable, this proves they're not."
India building up border defences to face China's continuing provocations
China's hostile attitude towards India and its continuing supply of advanced weaponry to Pakistan (most recently the Z9EC anti-submarine helicopter) is driving India in to a weapons acquisition and modernisation spree. Just in the last week, Indian media reported that China has been issuing loose-sheet visas to Indian citizens from the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), in effect, saying for the first time that China does not recognise J&K as Indian territory. Further, the impressive display of Chinese military power at its National Day parade on Oct 1 has not gone unnoticed in India.
India is responding by building roads, railways and infrastructure on the Chinese border. Last week it was reported that 5 civil airports in forward areas will be transferred directly to the armed forces. In September, a Russian An-32 transport aircraft made its first landing in Nyoma and 50 more Sukhois may be purchased in addition to the 230 already ordered and the 126 to be ordered as per the MMRCA tender. Israel is already building the second AEW plane on the Ilyushin platform and the reported $100m deal for IAI's Harop UCAV which will be inducted by 2011. India is also planning to deploy various radars along the entire border with both China and Pakistan. This includes Low level light weight radars and 30 indigenous Rohini radars are expected to be ordered at a cost of about US$400m. Other jinxed but significant acquisitions will be the 22 attack helicopters and 400 howitzers which will be worth another US$3 billion. The development of the Agni-V missile is also being pushed and additional land to develop the BrahMos II is being acquired.
On Sep 24 the Indian Ministry of Defence also issued a Request for Information (RFI) for 300 Light Tanks of which 200 will be wheeled and 100 will be tracked. The diesel-engine tanks will be deployed in High Altitude Areas above 3,000m and will be capable of operating in mountainous, semi-developed terrain. The amphibious tanks are expected to be capable of destroying bunkers and "soft-skin vehicles" at ranges up to 3km and also against attack helicopters and low flying fixed wing aircrafts.
Even after all these acquisitions India will be no match for China and with only 1/3rd of China's economy this gap is expected to widen further. The aim here is purely to have enough deterrence against a limited Chinese attack which some analysts feel is imminent. However, Indian officials will go out of their way to deny that the border-build-up is China-specific.