Friday, May 31, 2013

Agni Scientist Dr Avinash Chander Appointed New Scientific Advisor To Defence Minister & DRDO Chief

DRDO1 by Chindits
DRDO1, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Dr Avinash Chander has been appointed as the new Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, Secretary Deptt of Defence R&D and DG DRDO. “I feel honoured to take up this new responsibility. Dr Saraswat has set DRDO on a good course, I have to continue and take it to the next level” said Dr Avinash Chander on his appointment.

In recognition of his immense contributions towards strengthening the National Defence, Government of India has recently honoured him with the prestigious PADMA SHRI Award.

Dr Avinash Chander, is an eminent Missile Scientist and the Chief Architect of the Long Range Ballistic Missile System AGNI. He Envisioned and evolved the Strategies for Long Range Missiles and led the design and development of AGNI series of Missile Systems – AGNI A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 providing cutting edge, decisive Strategic Weapon systems to the Armed Forces, leading to the Successful development of the Nation’s pride, ‘5000+ Km range AGNI 5 Strategic Weapon System’ propelling India to join the elite club of five advanced nations. Development of Agni Range of missiles in highly restrictive International Control Regimes was possible only out of his technology forecast, perspective planning and relentless efforts. He created the infrastructure, industry base, production lines, and integration facilities to produce different classes of AGNI Missile Systems. Today, the AGNI A1, A2, A3 Missiles occupy the pride of place in the inventories of the Indian Armed Forces

His pioneering research in the Innovative Energy Management Guidance Scheme has enabled utilization of Solid Propulsion, the main thrust and the backbone of Long Range Missile System. Under his leadership, DRDO carried out extensive Research and indigenously developed the critical technologies such as Composite Rocket Motors, Re-entry Carbon Composite Heat Shield, Advanced High Accuracy Navigation Systems, Flex Nozzle Control System, High-end Real-time computing techniques. His long term expertise has been providing the necessary thrust for the Programmes of National importance such as Underwater Missiles, BrahMos Cruise Missiles, Nag, Air Defence systems etc. He laid the Technology Roadmap for Missile Complex Laboratories and led the R&D in the advanced Navigation Systems, Onboard Computers, Servo Valves and Seekers.

Shri Avinash Chander had joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He obtained M.S in Spatial Information Technology from JNTU, Hyderabad. He is a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineers, Fellow of Systems Society of India, Fellow of Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences and Vice-President of Astronautical Society of India.

The distinguished scientist has received numerous awards and honours including DRDO Scientist of the Year, Astronautical Society of India Rocketry and related Technologies Award, Dr. Biren Roy Space Science and Design Award, Agni Self-reliance Award, Path Breaking Research/Outstanding Technology Development Award, Outstanding Technologist Award by Punjab Technical University, Technology Leadership Award, Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT, Delhi.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Final Operational Clearance For LCA Next Year : Defence Minister

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today expressed optimism that the country’s indigenously developed fighter aircraft- LCA TEJAS- will get Final Operational Clearance of the Indian Air Force by the end of next year. Speaking at the Annual Awards Functions of DRDO here, he said, all stakeholders including the DRDO, IAF and HAL must put their energy together in a focused manner to achieve this objective.

Shri Antony said countries that depend on imported arsenals cannot become great nation. Shri Antony said we continue to be the largest importer of Defence equipment. The share of indigenous content in Defence procurement is low. “Our experience has been that foreign vendors are reluctant to part with critical technologies. There are delays in the supply of essential spares. There are exorbitant price increases. The Services too realize that we cannot be eternally dependent on foreign equipment and platforms”, he said.

Referring to the expansions of domestic defence industry, Shri Antony said this has to be achieved through public and private sector initiatives. He said there is ample scope for joint ventures also. “All the stakeholders in the defence sector- DRDO, Armed Forces and the industry must work in tandem and develop trust and confidence in each other’s capabilities.” Cautioning against time and cost over runs in projects Shri Antony said Indian Companies must compete with global players in developing state- of- the art technologies of acceptable commercial parameters and must meet customer satisfaction.

The Minister complimented DRDO for their magnificent achievements in 2012. He referred to the first flight of Agni-V, two successful tests of our Ballistic Missile Defence programme in February and November 2012, first flight of LCA Navy, establishment of a cyber-forensics laboratory, initiation of production of NBC systems, ToT for composite armour for helicopters and investment casting of aero engine components and said these are just some of the many accomplishments.

He, however, asked the scientists not to be complacent. “The DRDO must keep its focus trained on the areas of core competence and not fritter away its energy and resources. In today’s world of cut-throat competition, the choice is very clear-‘perform, or perish’. From designing stage to the stage of final production, timelines must be strictly adhered to and satisfaction of the end user is the litmus test of achievement”, he said.

He said, the security environment in our neighbourhood; civil strife and turmoil in the Middle East; terrorism and threats to cyber security; piracy; illegal seabed mining in Indian Ocean and space-based threats present complex challenges to our defence capabilities. These require both conventional, as well as latest technological responses.

Expressing happiness the Minister said, it is heartening to note that a large number of major systems are under production and the cumulative production value of all the DRDO developed systems has crossed Rs. 1,55,000 crore. ‘I am sure in the coming years, this figure will go even higher. DRDO must make relentless efforts to accelerate the pace of self- reliance’, he further said.

The function was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence, Shri Jitendra Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi and Director General DRDO Dr. VK Saraswat.

On the occasion, Shri Antony gave away DRDO Awards to several scientists, technologists and DRDO laboratories in fourteen categories for their outstanding contributions in different areas.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sukhoi-30MKIs To Reach Southern Air Command, AFS Thanjavur Commissioned

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today dedicated to the nation the New Air Force Station at Thanjavur at a brief function held to mark the occasion.

Speaking to reporters Shri Antony said the operationalisation of the Air Force Station, Thanjavur would strengthen the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force in general and the Southern Command, in particular. He said various sensitive, strategic, industrial, aerospace and economic assets are coming up in the Southern Peninsula and the Station will play a vital role in providing protection to those assets.

The event was attended among others by the COSC and the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and the AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Air Marshal RK Jolly.

 Shri Antony said the Station will also help protect our island territories and Sea Lines of Communication in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR). He said even though we are a peace-loving nation, we have to protect our national interests from threats such as piracy and terrorism. He said the IOR is increasingly becoming more and more active. In the emerging security scenario, the presence of Fighter Planes in Thanjavur will not only guard our interests but also give a feeling of safety to our neighbours, he said.

Thanjavur airbase is poised to become a premier airbase in Southern Air Command. The status of the airbase as the pride of Southern Air Command befits the city of Thanjavur, which was a jewel in the crown of the Chola and Pandya Kingdoms.  The airbase was first constructed in 1940 by the Royal Air Force.  During the period 1942-45, 36 Sqn, 353 Sqn and       60 Sqn of RAF operated from this airfield with Hudson, Wellington 1C, Hurricane and Thunderbolt aircraft.  These aircraft were used in various roles which included fighter operations, air transport, anti- shipping and              anti-submarine patrol.  After independence, the airfield was handed over to the Airports Authority of India and Vayudoot operations were undertaken from this base.

By the mid-eighties, a need was felt to build up the country’s  air power capabilities in the Southern peninsula to provide Air Defence protection to the high value national assets as well as the island territories.   In addition, there was a growing need felt to protect our maritime trade and the large EEZ in the coming years.  The government, therefore, decided to create Southern Air Command at Trivandrum in 1984 and also gave approval for the formation of 47 Wing at Thanjavur.  The IAF took over the airfield in March 1990.

With the modernization and induction of new technology into the IAF, it was but natural to upgrade the infrastructure at Thanjavur to utilise the sophisticated weapon systems in times of need and the works towards it started in real earnest.  This included construction of runway, parallel taxi track and other operational, maintenance and administrative infrastructure to support air operations.

The air base is now ready to undertake fighter, transport & helicopter operations and detachments of these aircraft will be planned every year. The  Air Force Station is also slated to house an array of IAF platforms in the future including Su-30 ‘Air Dominance’ Fighter Aircraft, Medium Transport Aircraft, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and a Medium Power Radar on build up of further infrastructure.

In the intervening years, this air base has been used extensively for relief operations whenever the southern peninsula was affected by natural calamities.  During the heavy floods in Tamilnadu in November 2008, the IAF helicopters operating from Thanjavur dropped 15,000 kg of relief material in Papanasam, Mulanguri and Pandalenur areas.

Earlier, on his arrival at the Thanjavur Station, Shri Antony was presented a guard of honour. He unveiled a Plaque marking the dedication of the Station to the Nation. Two SU-30 MkI aircraft took off from the Station.

Speaking on the occasion,  Air Chief Marshal Browne said, in the years ahead, the strategic importance of the Thanjavur Air Base will grow in stature. He thanked the Defence Minister for settling issues relating to the relocation of some villagers for the expansion of the Station.

Shri Antony thanked successive governments of Tamilnadu for their help and support to the activities of IAF and the MoD.

Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS ‘VAIBHAV’

BrahMos Test From Indian Navy's Guided Missile Frigate INS Tarkash

DSC_7407 by Chindits
DSC_7407, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Indian Army's Strike Corps Exercise -- 'Panchjanya'-- Begins In Punjab Plains

In a spectacular display of military might, Kharga Corps conducted swift mechanised manoeuvres encompassing all arms and services in a battlefield environment in the plains of Punjab.
The exercise called 'Panchjanya' which began on May 21 was conducted by Army's Western Command, headquartered at Chandimandir, near here, with an aim of validating the battle
readiness and operational effectiveness of Army and the Air Force as part of 'Integrated Theatre Battle' concept.
The entire spectrum of new generation of equipment, including major weapon platforms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Communications systems were put to test in a network centric battlefield environment, a defence release issued here said.
"New challenges of Cyber Security and Information Warfare in modern day battlefield were also tested and validated during this exercise," it also said. The exercise also witnessed display of seamless integration of Army and Air Force where troops were inserted using third dimension, Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs) used to enhance battlefield transparency and Attack Helicopters employed to complement the ground operations, the release said.
The exercise gave an excellent exposure to all participating commanders and troops in planning and conduct of large scale operations in an Integrated Theatre environment. The exercise was witnessed by Lieutenant General Sanjiv Chachra, General Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Western Command and his staff.
The Army Commander expressed satisfaction over the battle readiness of Kharga Corps and complimented all ranks for their high standards of training and motivation, release said.


First Batch Of Cadets At Naval Academy's Flag Ship Course, Graduate

The first batch of 60 Navy Officer Cadets who joined the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala  for its Flag Ship B Tech course graduated along with 242 other Officer Cadets of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard at an impressive Passing Out Parade held at INA today. Befitting the occasion, Shri AK Antony, the Defence Minister of India reviewed the Parade. The B Tech course was started at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala when it was commissioned in January 2009, by the Prime Minister of India. This followed a farsighted decision by the Navy to make Engineering degree, the basic qualification for the Officers of its Executive branch, acknowledging the pivotal role technology plays in the art of modern warfare. Hitherto only Officers of the technical branches needed to have an engineering degree.

Addressing the Parade, Shri Antony, congratulated the graduating cadets on completing the challenging B Tech curriculum along with the rigours of military training. He also noted the considerable progress INA has made in every facet of Naval training and said that the Academy could be compared with the best in the world. Shri Antony also said that more infrastructure projects are in the pipeline which would ensure the best training facilities. The Minister also advised the future Officers to treat their subordinates with dignity and character. In a separate informal interaction with the assembled journalists Shri AK Antony said that Ministry of Defence has ensured full utilization of the funds allotted to it and that strengthening of infrastructure on the borders would continue unhindered. In reply to another question he said that a formalized architecture for cyber defence in the Armed Forces is on its way

The passing-out cadets belonged to the four passing-out courses of the Spring Term 2013 of INA, - the 84th Indian Naval Academy Course(INAC) - the Flag Ship Course-, the 84th Integrated Cadet Course, the 15th Naval Orientation Extended Course  and the 16th Naval Orientation Regular Course. The ‘Presidents Gold Medal’, for the cadet adjudged first in the overall order-of-merit  of the INAC course was awarded to Eby P Henry. Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medals’ for the cadets adjudged first in overall order-of-merit for the Naval Orientation Extended Course and the Naval Orientation Regular Course were awarded to Anshu Bhau and Arun Kuriakose, respectively. Archana Sharma was awarded the ‘Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Gold Medal’ for being adjudged the best women trainee of the course.

Graduating and marching shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts were 23 women cadets from the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command and a galaxy of distinguished personalities including foreign military attaches witnessed the ceremonies with proud parents of the cadets. The majestic Parade culminated with successful cadets marching past the Academy’s Saluting Dias (known as the Quarterdeck), to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune. Navy and Coast Guard Dornier aircraft flew past the venue in formation. On completion of the parade, the ceremony of ‘Shipping-of-Stripes’ was held wherein proud parents of the passing out cadets affixed the rank insignias, popularly known as ‘Stripes’ on the shoulders of their wards, symbolising their transformation from ‘cadets’ into military leaders. Earlier the Defence Minister attended the Valedictory Dinner yesterday evening along with Cadets and their parents. He also paid homage at the INA War Memorial after the Parade and inaugurated a well stocked, state of the art library aptly named Panini- after the Sanskrit grammarian of yore.

INA, Ezhimala located on the historic Malabar coast of Kerala has a sprawling campus of about 2600 acres overlooking the Arabian Sea with backwaters, mountains and sea front an ideal training ground for India’s future mariners. Currently more than 1000 cadets are being trained here with the strength slated to be increased incrementally commensurate with the needs of a growing Navy. Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan is the Commandant of INA.

R K Mathur Takes Over As Defence Secretary

Shri R K Mathur, took over as the new Defence Secretary here today. He belongs to the 1977 Batch of the Indian Administrative Service of Manipur-Tripura Cadre. He did his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, M. Tech from IIT Delhi and MBA from International Centre for Public Enterprises, Ljubljana.

Shri Mathur has a rich and varied experience in the field of public administration and has held many important positions in the Government of Tripura. He has served as Principal Secretary in the Agriculture, Rural Development and Finance Departments of the Government of Tripura. He has also held the position of Chief Secretary of Tripura.

During his different stints at the Centre, Shri Mathur has served as Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Textile and as Additional Secretary and Special Secretary in the Department of Defence, Ministry of Defence. He has held Secretary level postings in the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.


Friday, May 24, 2013

DGAFMS Reviews Command Hospital Kolkata

Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), Air Marshal DP Joshi, who arrived Kolkata on a two-day visit on Thursday, reviewed the medical facilities and critical medical cases undertaken by the Command Hospital (Eastern Command) during his maiden visit to the premiere hospital on Friday.

A renowned Urologist, Air Marshal Joshi is credited for setting up 'Renal Transplant Centers’ at various Armed Forces Hospitals including at this hospital, inaugurated the renovated facilities of the department of 'Respiratory Medicine' that introduced upgraded facilities for bronchoscopy, thoracoscopy, sleep studies, pulmonary function tests and pulmonary vascular interventions.

Earlier on his arrival, Hospital Commandant, Maj Gen BNBM Prasad briefed the DGAFMS on the various aspects of medical services rendered by the hospital and also briefed him of the complex critical cases handled by the specialists and other paramedic staff.

It may be mentioned that in recent weeks that army doctors at CH (EC) have successfully treated few extremely critical medical cases that can only be described as medical miracles achieved by sheer professionalism and dedication of the army doctors.

Two such recent cases involved a case of a young pregnant wife of a serving soldier who was afflicted with end-stage chronic kidney disease, and another of a retired soldier afflicted with aneurysm in the brain, a condition where a balloon-like bulge in the artery leading to the brain was nearing rupture threatening his life, were saved.

In the case of the soldier's wife a kidney transplantation was undertaken by army doctors at this hospital three years ago that dimmed her chance to successfully conceive because of her medical condition. The couple, however, pinned their hopes on the army doctors here who ensured that the motherhood dreams of a young soldier's wife would come true.

Crediting the team of doctors comprising nephrologist Lt Col Manu Dogra, gynaecologist Col B K Goyal and paediatrician Col Thapar, Commandant Maj Gen Prasad said, "It is nearly unthinkable for anyone to have a safe conception in such cases of renal transplant cases unless followed up thoroughly and intensely closely by the doctors."

"Post-renal transplant cases are prone to life threatening infections, organ rejection and pregnancy per se can lead to problems in the transplanted kidney. In addition, drugs used to prevent rejection that has to be taken lifelong can have adverse effect on the fetus," he explains of the complexity of the case.

In the case of the distressed retired soldier suffering from severe agonizing headaches with no relief with medications and spells of blackouts, was admitted as an emergency. He was detected to have an aneurysm that had ballooned out, with a weak and dilated artery with potential of rupture that could lead to catastrophic brain hemorrhage any time.

The aneurysm was at an unusual location in the base of the brain, showing signs of impending rupture with minor blood leaks into brain. He was on the edge of a precipice with imminent death looming large. An urgent surgery deep inside the brain was the only option. Mortality and morbidity usually in such cases is very high.

Although an extremely dangerous, difficult and demanding surgery requiring a very high degree of skill by the neurosurgical team, a competent team of neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists comprising Brig SM Sudumbrekar, Lt Col TJ Rappai, Col CS Ahluwalia and Lt Col Vivek Chopra performed the risky surgery and saved the life of the veteran.

A compilation of all complex critical cases and a book on ‘Accident & Emergency Medicine Protocols' aimed at improving standards and competencies in accident and emergency care were also released by Air Marshal Joshi during his brief visit.

The DGAFMS also addressed the doctors at the hospital and lauded the exemplary work, which has helped save innumerable lives of armed forces personnel and their families in the region and also those serving in the north-east.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Prime Minister Lays Foundation Stone Of Indian National Defence University

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today in an impressive function laid the foundation stone for the Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola, Gurgaon in Haryana.

The event was attended among others by the Governor of Haryana Shri Jagannath Pahadia, Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, Minister of External Affairs Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Ms. Selja Kumari, Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, Chief Minister of Haryana Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the three Services Chiefs.

The proposed Indian National Defence University spread over more than two hundred acres of land which will be fully functional in 2018 will be set up as a fully autonomous institution to be constituted under an Act of Parliament. While the President of India would act as the Visitor, the Defence Minister will be its Chancellor.

It may be recalled that after the Kargil conflict, the government had set up a Review Committee, headed by eminent strategic expert K Subrahmanyam, which had recommended the establishment of a university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters. The aim of INDU would be to provide military leadership and other concerned civilian officials knowledge based higher education for management of the defence of India, and keeping them abreast with emerging security challenges through scholarly research & training. The INDU would develop and propagate higher education in Defence Studies, Defence Management, Defence Science and Technology and promote policy oriented research related to National Defence.

The think tanks of the University would provide inputs for policy formulation. The university would prepare officers for high level leadership, Staff & Policy responsibilities. National College of Defence Studies (NCDS), Indian Institute of Defence Technology (IIDT), Indian Institute of Defence Management (IIDM) and Defence Institute of Distance & Open Learning (DIDOL) would be the constituent colleges and institutions of the INDU.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Australian Warship Berths At Kochi

Pix2 by Chindits
Pix2, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
HMAS (Her Majesty’s Australian Ship) Newcastle, an Adelaide Class Frigate berthed at Kochi today. The ship on her way for deployment in the Gulf of Aden is commanded by Commander Paul O’Grady. The ship was received at the entrance of the harbor by INS Kabra. Officials from Southern Naval Command accompanied by the Southern Naval Command Band received the ship formally at the pier.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Newcastle accompanied by the Australian Consul General at Chennai and the Australian Defence Attache based in New Delhi called on Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command. Mutual visits to the visiting ship and training facilities of Southern Naval Command, professional exchanges as well as social interactions were on the schedule drawn up for the visiting Australian warship. INS Sharda of Southern Naval Command will undertake a PASSEX – a basic maneuvering exercise – with HMAS Newcastle off Kochi when she departs on Friday.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

INS Vikramaditya Nowhere In Sight, While MiG-29Ks Commissioned Into The Indian Navy, On Diamond Jubilee Of Indian Naval Aviation At INS Hansa !!

Hansa by Chindits
Hansa, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Defence Minister A K Antony today commissioned MiG-29 K Black Panther squadron into the Indian Navy in Goa.

The commissioning was held at INS Hansa which would be the base for Black Panther squadron along with other fighter aircraft squadrons of Indian Navy.

The squadron initially comprising 16 aircraft would be known as IANS 303.

The aircraft were inducted into the Indian Navy in February 2010 following which it underwent trials before the actual commissioning.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai Again !!

Indo-China border meeting in Bum-La, Arunachal, October-2006

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

HAL's Aerospace Division To Have Facilities For Cryogenic Engines

Khatre_Memorial by Chindits
Khatre_Memorial, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The manufacturing facilities for integrated cryogenic engines will be set at up at HAL’s Aerospace Division in Bangalore said Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO.) Delivering the seventh L.M. Khatre Memorial Lecture “Indian Space Program: Emerging Frontiers” at HAL Convention Centre here today he said HAL will continue to play an important role in the future programs of ISRO.

In his speech, Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL stressed that creativity and innovation are key to success in aerospace sector. He said HAL is the biggest investor in defence R&D in India as it spent about 12 percent of its turnover on research activities, far ahead of other PSUs and private players. "We filed 67 patents in 2012-13 and aiming for more this year", he added.

Dr. Tyagi also said civil aircraft development should be a national priority as India is slated to emerge as the third largest aviation market by 2020. Not only this, India has the potential to be an maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hub due to the growing aircraft fleet, location advantage and availability of cost effective talent. With established quality systems, infrastructure, dedicated overhaul division etc. HAL can contribute in a big way in all these segments, he added.

Mr. P.S. Krishnan, Chairman, Aeronautical Society of India (Karnataka chapter) also spoke on the occasion, largely focusing on the role of DRDO.