Sunday, July 31, 2011

'People First Mission Always' : New Air Chief Shares His Vision

In his address to the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Browne said, “The IAF is well poised on the path of transforming itself into a potent strategic force”. Outlining his vision statement for the IAF of – ‘People first Mission Always’, he said, “While induction of the state of the art equipment and systems would lead to a major upgradation of our combat potential, our biggest strength, ‘Our People’ must receive our highest attention.” “In whatever capacity you serve in the Indian Air Force, you remain our most valuable asset”, he added.

“I firmly believe that each one of us has a duty to care and look after the people placed under our charge. It is a sacred calling, for all leaders, men and women, irrespective of the rank and position. Our endeavour should be, to empower our subordinates, by giving them required operating skills, through dedicated training and mentoring”.

“While change is the hallmark of growth and progress, the biggest challenge facing us in the coming years, is to manage this fast paced change effectively, without compromising on high operational standards. Operating across a broad spectrum of equipment vintage, would test our innovativeness and capabilities. The nation has reposed a high degree of trust and confidence in our capabilities. It is indeed an onerous asking, and I am confident that as capable men and women we will work shoulder to shoulder in discharging our responsibilities befittingly”.


Friday, July 29, 2011

New Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee : CNS ADM N Verma, As Incumbent Air Chief Retires


Block Of British Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Unveiled


Workers at BAE Systems will today move the huge mid section of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, out of the company’s shipbuilding hall at Govan, giving the public a spectacular view of the scale of the giant warship.

After six months of planning, a team of 10 will move the 8,000 tonne mid section, known as Lower Block 03, 200 metres across the specially reinforced tarmac at the yard in just one hour using 64 remote controlled transporters.

Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class Project Director at BAE Systems, said: “I’m extremely proud of the team’s huge achievement today, being on track to successfully load the mid section of the hull out of our hall on time and built to an exceptional standard.


DCNS: Gowind OPV L’Adroit Begins First Sea Trials

The Gowind offshore patrol boat L'Adroit began its first sea trials on Wednesday 27 July for DCNS to validate the seakeeping and other nautical qualities of the vessel.

These initial sea trials mark the beginning of the next phase of the ambitious Gowind OPV programme, which spearheads DCNS's efforts to win a larger share of the markets for small- and medium-displacement surface ships. The sea trials are beginning in line with the contract schedule, just 14 months after construction started on the Gowind L’Adroit, an innovative offshore patrol boat designed for maritime safety & security missions.

“The start of these first sea trials is a symbolic milestone that testifies to the remarkable teamwork between DCNS, the project’s investors and co-contractors, and the trial crews,” said Gowind OPV programme manager Marc Maynard. “Everybody has brought their knowledge and expertise to the table, and their unflagging commitment has made it possible to consistently meet the programme’s ambitious industrial milestones.”

During the sea trials, more than 50 technicians on board the vessel are conducting an intensive test campaign to validate its seakeeping and other nautical qualities. After testing the ship’s fire-fighting, flood control and other safety systems, the onboard team will be running trials with the propulsion system and checking vessel manoeuvrability. Alongside these sea trials, tests will also be conducted on the ship’s navigation systems (log, position, heading), inertial platforms (positioning) and other systems.

When the vessel returns to dock, outfitting of the last equipment compartments and painting work will continue. Construction is scheduled for completion by DCNS at the end of 2011.

The start of sea trials with the Gowind OPV L’Adroit again demonstrates DCNS’s ability to design and build a highly innovative ship in less than 24 months and in strict compliance with budget commitments.

OPV L’Adroit is being built under a DCNS-funded programme and will be made available to the French Navy for three years on completion. The three-year loan period will enable the Navy to qualify the OPV as ‘sea proven’, giving DCNS an exceptionally strong argument when promoting the Gowind family on the international market.

The Navy will demonstrate the Gowind’s relevance and operational value for current and emerging missions on the high seas, from area surveillance to anti-piracy, counter-terrorism, fisheries policing, drug interdiction, environmental protection, humanitarian aid, search & rescue and maritime safety & security.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

INS Satpura To Be Commissioned On August 20, 2011 In Mumbai

Type: Shivalik Class Guided-missile frigate Displacement: 6200 tons Length: 142.5 metres (468 ft)

Beam: 16.9 metres (55 ft)

Propulsion: 2 x Pielstick 16 PA6 STC Diesel engines & 2 x GE LM2500+ boost turbines in CODOG configuration. Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h) 22 knots (41 km/h) (Diesel Engines) Complement: 257 (35 officers)

Sensors and processing systems: 1 x MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D radar 4 x MR-90 Orekh radar
1 x EL/M 2238 STAR 2 x EL/M 2221 STGR 1 x BEL APARNA HUMSA (Hull Mounted Sonar Array) ATAS/Thales Sintra towed array systems

Electronic warfare and decoys: BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite

Armament: OTO Melara 76mm SRGM 2 x AK-630 30mm guns 32 x Barak SAM 9M317 (SA-N-12) SAM,total of 24 missiles 8 x Klub cruise Missiles 90R missiles (ASW) DTA-53-956 torpedoes Klub AS Missile 2x RBU-6000 (RPK-8)

Aircraft carried: 2 x HAL Dhruv or Sea King Mk.


The First Boeing P-8A Poseidon Production Aircraft Completes First Flight In Renton


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Army Chief's Age May 10, 1950, Says MoD, To Retire Next Year!!

'Prahaar’- New Surface To Surface Tactical Missile Successfully Launched

DRDO successfully flight tested its latest surface to surface Missile `PRAHAAR’ at 08.20 A.M on 21st July 2011 from Launch Complex III, off Chandipur Coast, ITR, Balasore, Orissa. The Missile with a range of 150 kms, comparable to ATACMS Missile of United States of America, fills the vital gap between Multi Barrel Rockets and Medium range Ballistic Missiles. The Missile capable of carrying different types of warheads, operates as battle field support system to the Indian Army.

The Missile with a length of 7.3 meters and diameter of 420 mm weighing 1280 kgs, and a single stage solid propulsion system goes to a height of 35 kms before reaching the targets of the range of 150 kms in about 250 seconds. The Missile equipped with state of the art high accuracy navigation, guidance and electro mechanical actuation systems with latest onboard computer achieved terminal accuracy of less than 10 meters.

The Missile with a pay load of 200 kgs has a fast reaction time, which is essential for the battle field tactical missile. The Missile is launched from a Road Mobile System, which can carry six missiles at a time and can be fired in salvo mode in all directions covering the entire azimuth plane.

The Missile system is developed to provide Indian Army a cost effective, quick reaction, all weather, all terrain, high accurate battle field support tactical system. The development of Missile is carried out by the DRDO Scientists in a short span of less than two years.

The flight path of the Missile was tracked and monitored by the various Radar systems and Electro Optical systems located along the coast of Orissa. An Indian Naval ship located near target point in Bay of Bengal witnessed the final event. The Missile was developed by the DRDO Scientists with support from Indian Industry and Quality assurance agency MSQAA.
The launch operations were witnessed by Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri and Secretary Defence R & D, Lt Gen Vinod Nayanar, AVSM, Director General of Artillery, IHQ of MoD (Army). The operations were over seen by Shri Avinash Chander, Chief Controller R&D, Shri VLN Rao, Programme Director AD, Shri SK Ray, Director RCI, and Shri SP Dash, Director ITR.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CNS Returns After Reviewing Project - 971 In Russia

The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma returned on 18 July 2011 after a productive and fruitful six day official visit to Russia. During his visit, the Admiral visited Vladivostok, Moscow, St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The Admiral made a first hand assessment of all projects and held vital discussions with officials at the highest leadership levels of the Russian armed forces and defence industry. Reviewing ongoing projects, the Admiral observed that they were progressing satisfactorily and had reached critical stages of maturity. He also expressed satisfaction with the quality of construction and repairs.

During his visit to Kaliningrad, the Admiral reviewed the progress of the Project 1135.6 (Talwar Class) follow-on ships, under construction at the Yantar shipyard. He was reassured that the first ship 'Teg' would commence trials shortly and be delivered in six to eight months.

The Admiral took an extensive tour of Vikramaditya on his visit to the Sevmash Shipyard, where he observed that significant progress had been made and the ship was shaping up well for the Preliminary Sea Trials.

During discussions with the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy on operational exchanges between the two navies, the two Chiefs agreed that the INDRA series of exercises form an important aspect of their bilateral relationship and would need to be continued and extended in scope and participation. They also discussed possible avenues of co-operation including anti-piracy operations.

RAF Typhoon On Operation Ellamy

'Air House' Coffee Table Book Released

Encapsulating the rich legacy of a house whose illustrious residents have shaped the contours of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Marshal of the Air Force (MIAF) Arjan Singh released a coffee table book on ‘Air House’, the official residence of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) titled – “Air House….Down the Years” -- at 23, Akbar Road in New Delhi, on July 19, 2011.

The coffee table book was released by MIAF in the presence of Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, few former Air Chiefs, family members of former Air Chiefs, CAS Designate, Air Marshal NAK Browne and other senior IAF officials.

In keeping with the abiding interest in preserving institutional history and heritage, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik mandated a project to encapsulate the rich legacy of ‘Air House’ in a coffee-table book format. The bricks and mortar of Air House tell two stories concurrently; one related to the enduring vision of the architects, and the other, of the human saga of the illustrious residents.

MIAF Arjan Singh recalled his first visit in January 1945, on returning as a war hero from the Second Burma Campaign in World War II. At the time, the Air Officer Commanding Royal Indian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Meredith Thomas lived here.

Since inauguration of the Capital City of New Delhi, as far back as February 1931, airmen have always lived at 23, Akbar Road, as part of the British South East Asia Command, stated the Marshal.

The project is not just a book about a house; it is also about a home, and the people who have shaped the contours of the Indian Air Force, one of the finest air forces in the world. As such, it essentially revolves around fond memories and reminiscences of the Chiefs of Air Staff, former and incumbent, and their families.

Photographic memorabilia from the families that lived at Air House, archival repositories at the Ministry of Defence, Air HQ (Vayu Bhavan) and the National Archives are included in the book that make it a truly collector’s book.

Together with a bouquet of contemporary day and night photographs, emerges a rich kaleidoscope of the times and events from the early years post-Independence to present times. The literature also veritably encompasses the rich heritage of Air House for posterity.

Second photo : File image of Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst KBE CB CBE AFC Commander-in-Chief (15 Aug 1947 – 22 Feb 1950) and family at Air House in Feb '49. (From the archives)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

INS Godavari Foils Piracy Attempt

INS Godavari has successfully foiled a piracy attempt on a Greek ship MV Elinakos in the Gulf of Aden. Eight Somali pirates attempted to hijack the Greek ship in the early morning of 16 Jul. INS Godavari was escorting four other ships at the time in the Gulf of Aden, when she received the distress call. INS Godavari was quick to launch a helicopter to locate the skiff being used by the pirates. She subsequently launched marine commandos to board the pirate boat. On being approached by the naval boat, they dumped their arms, ammunition and other piracy triggers. A German naval ship, the Niedersachsen, also coordinated with Godavari in the operation. INS Godavari continued with her escort mission, on completion of the operation.

INS Godavari has been deployed in anti-piracy escort operations in the Gulf of Aden since 25 May 11, and has safely escorted 219 ships of various countries since then. Last week, INS Godavari escorted a Pakistani ship, the MV Islamabad, with an all-Pakistani crew of 38. The Indian Navy has been deploying ships since 2008 in the Gulf of Aden for escorting merchant vessels and Indian Naval ships have escorted 1,665 ships successfully.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Decade After Adarsh Came To Light, Finally They Digitise Defence Land Records!!

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has directed the Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE) to immediately conduct a reality check on ground to determine the status of defence land all over the country. Announcing this at a function here last evening, where he released a compact disc containing data base on defence land records, Shri Antony said the proposed land audit will go a long way in tightening our land management control system. The Institution of a Land Audit was one of the suggestions made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.

The land audit will cover a wide spectrum of issues including updation of land records; survey, demarcation and protection of defence lands by way of erection of boundary pillars and telling the records with actual ground situation; efficient usage of defence lands; encroachment on defence lands, the extent and reasons thereof, effectiveness of encroachment and removal actions. The audit will also verify the usage of defence lands on a lease to institutions. In the first phase, DGDE will carry out land audit in the Southern Command from the current financial year.

Shri Antony asked Defence Estate officials to be vigilant against encroachments on defence lands and foil any attempts by unscrupulous elements to fraudulently claim some pieces of defence land as theirs. “While ensuring that defence lands are protected from unauthorized occupation or illegal claims, it is also your responsibility to ensure that no public land is occupied in an unauthorized manner without following due procedures”, he told the officers.

Shri Antony asked the officials to pursue vigorously title disputes in courts with all sincerity. “As land is a precious and rare commodity, title disputes in courts must be vigorously pursued to the correct and logical conclusion”.

Shri Antony also informed the gathering that MoD had taken a decision to guard strategically located installations such as defence lands, camping grounds and old airfields by nearby military units. In cases where this may not be possible, sufficient resources would be placed with the Defence Estates Department to look after them.

The Defence Minister announced that MoD has approved two projects. The first project seeks to introduce modern surveying technology in defence estates and to complete the work of survey in all defence lands in a phased manner. The second project is for computerization to scan, index and microfilming all defence land title related records. This project would make all documents pertaining to land title easily retrievable and facilitate their preservation.

He said the ministry has approved the establishment of an archival unit and resource centre at Raksha Sampda Bhawan. He assured that funds will not be allowed to become a constraint but the accountability of proper utilization of these funds will be the onerous collective responsibility of all officers concerned.

The function was attended among others by the Minster of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Shekhar Aggarwal, DG NIC Shri BK Gairola and the Director General Defence Estates Shri Ashok Kumar Harnal.

It may be recalled that the first Raksha Bhoomi Software version 1.0 was jointly developed by the DGDE & NIC and launched by Shri MM Pallam Raju in November 2006. This software has undergone constant upgradations since its initial launch and with its latest version 3.3, the entire 17 lac acres of defence land records have been successfully digitized. The standalone Raksha Bhoomi software provides complete statutory details on each separate piece of defence land inside and outside the Cantonments. This will enable the three Services and other Organs of the Ministry of Defence to access land related data on real time basis which will result in effective land management and perspective planning.

Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE), in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), have completed the digitization of records of all lands recorded in the General Lands Registers (for lands located within the notified Cantonments) and Military Lands Registers (for lands located outside the notified Cantonments). In the process, all defence owned lands, spread across the length and breadth of the country, have been computerized.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dihar Golden Jubilee

The Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR, erstwhile Field Research Laboratory) were launched today by Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, SA to RM, Secretary Defence R&D and DG, DRDO in the presence of Shri Sonam Dorjey, Executive Councilor Agriculture, LAHDC; Dr. W. Selvamurthy, DS & CCR&D (LS & IC); Dr. G. Elangovan, CC (RM); Brig Ravinder Srivastava, Stn Cdr, HQ 14 Corps; Dr. R. B. Srivastava, Director DIHAR; Dr. G Ilavazhagan, Director, DLS, DRDO HQrs; Air Cdr S P Waghle, Shri Jaspal Singh, DIG ITBP; Shri Cherring Angchuk, DC Leh along with many other distinguished guests. On this occasion, Dr. Saraswat also inaugurated a Solar Power Plant, Thermally Controlled Greenhouse and Solar Powered Hatchery Unit at DIHAR, Leh-Ladakh to utilize the abundant non-conventional energy sources on a large scale in the region.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. V. K. Saraswat highlighted the R&D activities of DIHAR, he particularly mentioned about the DIHAR contributions in boosting the vegetable supply to the army, introduction of new fruit crops to diversify the fruit basket, conservation of rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants, low cost technology for thermal minimal processing, germplasm storage facility at Changla, boosting the supply of milk & meat and introduction of Zanskar ponies as a transport animal for army in the region. Speaking about seabuckthorn, he praised the role of DIHAR in developing the technologies and emphasized the need of international collaborations in seabuckthorn research. He mentioned the need of good quality school and training institutes in Leh-Ladakh and assured that DRDO will provide the technical support to the local administration. Talking about the future R&D programs, he emphasized that DIHAR should play lead role in the transgenic vegetables, development of good fruit varieties, increasing the egg hatchability at Leh and large scale utilization of solar and other non-conventional energy resources in close collaboration with armed forces. He applauded the role of former Directors of DIHAR and specially mentioned that in last 50 years DIHAR has graduated from ‘high altitude farmer to the high altitude technologist’. He complemented entire team of DIHAR for commendable research activities at this inhospitable and demanding terrain and anticipated that very soon DIHAR will be an International Centre for High Altitude Agro-animal Research.

Shri Sonam Dorjey, Executive Councilor Agriculture, LAHDC lauded the DIHAR R&D activities which have immensely benefited the local population.

Dr. W. Selvamurthy also appreciated DIHAR’s contribution in development of agro-animal technology which had led to an increase in production of fresh vegetables, fruits, milk and meat. He also commended the local farmers for quickly adopting the technologies developed by DIHAR. He further appreciated the strong collaboration between DIHAR and HQ 14 Corps and mentioned the DRDO’s R&D efforts and achievements in high altitudes.

Dr. G. Elangovan accentuated the role of DIHAR in region. He congratulated and thanked all the scientists and staff of DIHAR for playing a lead role in contributing agro-animal technologies in the region.

Brig Ravinder Srivastava, Stn Cdr HQ 14 Corps specially mentioned the institute’s role towards greening of Ladakh region & beautification of army units. He appreciated the strong collaboration between DRDO and army.

Dr. R.B. Srivastava, Director DIHAR briefed the august gathering about the major R&D contributions of DIHAR. He has also mentioned about future R&D programs of DIHAR, especially establishment of ultra-modern greenhouse in collaboration with Russia, upcoming biotechnology laboratory and poultry parental stock facility at Chandigarh, establishment and operationalization of Detachment at Kargil Sector and sustainable utilization of seabuckthorn under the National Mission on Seabuckthorn.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

German Eurofighter At Tactical Leadership Programme In Albacete, Spain

For a period of four weeks, Albacete Air Base in Spain has been the home to three Eurofighter from the Jagdgeschwader 74, based at Neuburg, Germany. The Luftwaffe’s Eurofighters were participating in the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) for the first time. This programme is known to be one of the most demanding NATO exercises for flying combat units. Next to the Eurofighter jets were MiG-29s, F-16s, Mirage 2000s, F-4s, Hawks, Alpha-Jets, various helicopter types, transport planes, special units as well as one frigate from the Spanish Navy participating.

Corruption In Defence Acquisition Will Not Be Tolerated : Antony