Archive for July, 2013




After the visit of the Indian Air Force Chief Marshal NAK Browne to the US, one of the country’s top Air Commander has said that the American military’s relationship with the Indian Air Force “is great”.

“The relationship is great with Indian air force,” General Herbert Carlisle, Commander of US Pacific Air Forces and Air Component Commander said yesterday.

During the last week’s visit of the IAF Chief, Carlisle offered Browne “an apology” for cancelling the ‘Red Flag’ exercise due to budgetary cuts in the American armed forces. “We did make a commitment about having Red Flag next year this time and they (Indians) are going to participate. The sequestration (budgetary cuts) had an impact wherein we had to cancel the Red Flag (exercise),” Carlisle said.

During this exercise, IAF was scheduled to send a team of its most advanced Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters, along with support aircraft, for the war game which was scheduled to be held at the Nellis Air Force base in Nevada this July.

During his last week’s visit, Browne received the second C-17 aircraft Globemaster military transport aircraft which forms a major component of its modernisation drive. In fact, Browne “flew C-17 (from Long Beach in California) to Washington DC through Colorado,” the US commander said.

“The other things that he talked about is that the Indian Air Force is trying to develop a space command on the military side, because right now almost everything that is done in India in space is on the civilian and commercial side,” he said. “They are trying to develop an Indian military space capability, as well as cyber capability,” he added. For this purpose Browne went to Colorado to meet the US Space Command, where was briefed on how the US Space Command works, Carlisle said.

The two leaders also talked about the security situation in South Asia and what the two forces can do as partners to continue to work in that region.

“And it is everything from west side, piracy going into Maldives, to East side what happening in the East China Sea and how we can continue to maintain security and stability in the region. We had very good discussion,” Carlisle said.

Mentioning that the Asia Pacific region is a priority area for the United States, Carlisle said “China was very much discussed” during Browne’s US visit.

“I think, every nation in the Asia Pacific region has relationship with PRC (People’s Republic of China) and we have to be cognizant about. We talked about their issues and commonality with the PRC, they have border issues, but they also have trade,” he said.



US space agency NASA and India’s premier space agency ISRO are in talks for jointly building a satellite for the first time.”Now, there is a feasibility study going on whether we can jointly make a satellite, with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads working on two frequency bands – L-band and S-band”, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan told PTI here. 

Charles F Bolden Jr., Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) of United States, visited the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad on June 25.

He had a meeting with Radhakrishnan, also Secretary, Department of Space, along with senior officials of ISRO to discuss the ongoing cooperative activities between ISRO and NASA and also the potential areas of future cooperation.

“…the joint satellite mission is an important step. It’s not making an instrument and plugging it actually. It’s working together. That’s what we are discussing. It (working together) should happen in the next few months”, Radhakrishnan said.

“Both organisations are coming together and saying let’s develop it together…use your strength, use my strength. That’s a good way of working”, he said.

“It (the proposed satellite) is interesting from scientific point of view, it’s interesting from normal resource management point of view,” he said.

Radhakrishnan said NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory would make the radar system “if it (in case of NASA, ISRO deciding to work together on the mission) is getting through”.

On ISRO’s role, he said, “We will be working together. Some will be built by us, some will be built by them. So, this (work-sharing) has to be finalised”, adding, data generated by the mission would be used by both ISRO and NASA.


For the first time in the country, a Hydrogen-powered automobile bus has been developed by Tata Motors Limited (TML) and Indian Space Research Organisation after several years of research.The hydrogen fuel-fitted bus was demonstrated at Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, an ISRO facility in Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu today.

It’s a CNG-type bus. Hydrogen in bottles at high pressure is stored at the top of the bus and there would be zero pollution.

The hydrogen cells were a spin-off of the cryogenic technology that ISRO had been developing for the last few years, the Bangalore-headquartered ISRO officials said.

“That’s not exactly the cryogenic technology…(It’s) liquid hydrogen handling and that’s where ISRO has some expertise,” they said.

ISRO has a very rich technology in producing, storing and handling gaseous and liquid hydrogen in the last three decades. Its expertise is also in safety. An ISRO team had generated technical specifications for all the elements and general specifications for the bus.

According to Honorary Adviser of ISRO V Gnana Gandhi, who led the technical team in this project, ISRO and TML entered into an MoU in 2006 to design and develop an automobile bus using hydrogen as a fuel through fuel cell route.

Gandhi, a Padmashree awardee and retired scientist from ISRO, and Dr M Raja, DGM of TML made the announcement the two organisations have developed fuel cell bus for the first time in India, which will run on Hydrogen.

“This is a leap for automobile industry for future transportation. In this vehicle there will be zero pollution since the product of cold combustion is water. This is a result of great team work of Tata Motors and ISRO specialists with contributions from DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) and PESO (Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation),” Gandhi told

The team ensured all safety measures for handling hydrogen in the bus.

As Hydrogen is emerging as leading contender for the ideal energy options of future, Union Government has set a guideline for automotive companies to develop hydrogen fueled vehicle for deployment by 2015, according to Gandhi.

Tata Motors Research Centre (TMRC) premises were used for the design and development of fuel cell power system in cooperation with ISRO and DSIR support.

TML had set-up a fuel cell power system test lab with all safety measures recommended by safety committee of ISRO at Bangalore and later on at LPSC Mahendragiri.

And these facilities were used to test the all the key components on test bench prior to integration on actual vehicle as well as for validation purpose.

TML had now successfully completed design and development of Fuel Cell Power System (FCPS) for bus application starting from 20Kw to 120Kw with co-operation of ISRO.

Earlier, several trials have been completed and generated high quality power up to 120Kw without any untoward incident. Periodic technical and progress monitoring committee formed of TML and ISRO team guided the project continuously.

Based upon the recommendation, the test results had been furnished to PESO, which gave clearance for filling and storing onboard Hydrogen in compressed form.

The project has now been completed with the running the bus at LPSC, Mahendragiri with integrated FCPS and on-board Hydrogen Storage and Delivery System (HSDS).

“This R & D work is the first endeavour in India which will put the nation in the club of Hydrogen fuel cell driven bus which will eliminate pollution totally and also the dependency on importing the fossil fuel. It is envisaged replacing most of the city buses in the Tier A cities by using available Hydrogen from the fertilizers plant and refineries as a byproduct,” Gandhi said.

The demonstration of the vehicle was made in the presence of Dr A S Puri, Dr S Ravishankar and Dr A K Jindal (Vice Presidents of Tata Motors) and Dr V Govindarajan (GM of Tata Motors) and Dr S Ramakrishnan (Director Vikram Sarabhi Space Centre of ISRO) and D Kartikesan (Associate Director of LPSC).


India and France are expected to discuss the security situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region along with the ongoing defence deals expected to be worth over Rs 80,000 crore between the two countries during Defence Minister-level talks to be held on Friday.

During the three-day visit of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the two sides are expected to discuss the security situation in the Af-Pak region after the withdrawal of the American forces from there in 2014, Defence Ministry officials said on Thursday.

The two sides are also expected to discuss the over Rs 50,000 crore deal for 126 Rafale multirole combat aircraft and the Rs 30,000 crore Maitri air defence missile programme, they said.

During the one-on-one meeting with Defence Minister A K Antony, Le Drian is also expected to brief him about the French perspective on the global security scenario.

Sources said such a briefing has been held by France only for two countries – the United Kingdom and the US.

On the ‘delays’ in the conclusion of the negotiations for the Rafale deal, they said there has never been any date or timeline fixed for signing the contract and therefore, there would be no discussion on the ‘delay’ in finalising the deal during the meetings.

The sources said the over Rs 11,000 crore contract for upgrading the fleet of Indian Mirage-2000 aircraft was also finalised after negotiations of three years between the two countries.

Around 16 months ago, India had declared French firm Dassault Aviation’s Rafale combat aircraft as the winner in the tender for supplying 126 fighter jets to India.

Sources said no deal would be signed during the visit of the French minister. During the visit, the French minister will also meet industrialists of the defence sector, members of the French community, and exchange views on global threats and current international issues with high-profile Indian researchers and scholars, as well as Members of Parliament, a French embassy release said.

On Saturday, he will visit Air Force Station, Gwalior, for a briefing on the IAF Mirage 2000 squadrons and interact with pilots, officers and technicians who fly and maintain the fleet.

He will also visit some historical places in Gwalior, which keeps alive the memory of French officers who, 200 years ago, contributed to the development of the armed forces of Gwalior’s erstwhile rulers, it said.

In the recent times, France has been awarded several key tenders by India including the supply of six Scorpene submarines to the Navy and the multi-billion dollar 126 combat aircraft deal.


Defence Ministry today cleared acquisition proposals worth around Rs 4,000 crore for armed forces, including procurement of French-origin Milan 2T anti-tank missiles for the Army to do away with shortage of such weapons in the force.
A meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chairedby Defence Minister A K Antony today also sanctioned an additional Rs 300 crore for Navy’s long-delayed Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited, sources told PTI here.

For the Indian Air Force, the DAC approved procurement of two more Aerostat radars worth over Rs 1,000 crore for keeping an eye on the enemy activities deep inside its territory, they said.

The Milan 2T missiles are built in India under licence from French firm MBDA by the Hyderabad-based PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and more than 4,500 more of it would be built by it after today’s approval, they said.

The Army has been facing shortage of anti-tank weaponry for quite some time and it has been conveyed to the Government on several occasions by its leadership, they said.

The DAC meeting also cleared an IAF proposal for upgrading the medium lift choppers of the force including older versions of Mi-17 helicopters.

IAF has been operating these choppers for quite some time and the machines which still have age left in them would be upgraded at a cost of over Rs 1,000 crore for making them more capable including enabling them to carry out night operations.

IAF proposal for installing auto-pilot equipment in its Jaguar deep strike penetration aircraft was also approved by the DAC.

Ahead of Vice President Joe Biden’s maiden visit to India, a top US naval commander has said ties between the navies of the two countries have hit the “big time” as they are conducting coordinated operations.

Ahead of Vice President Joe Biden’s maiden visit to India, a top US naval commander has said ties between the navies of the two countries have hit the “big time” as they are conducting coordinated operations.Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W Greenert characterised navy-to-navy ties as “solid and growing” and said bilateral wargames had progressed from “two ships going by doing flashing lights probably about a decade ago, to coordinated operations, carrier air wing and under sea”.

“And that’s when you hit the big time, when you can work with a partner under the water and ensure yourself, you’re not going to run into each other, and we are at that level with the Indian Navy,” Greenert told reporters in response to a question about the US re-balancing its strategy in Asia Pacific.

His comments came ahead of Biden’s four-day visit to India starting Monday, July 22. Biden will hold meetings with the top leadership, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Greenert, however, said the India-US Malabar naval exercise had been scaled down because of “issues” on both sides. He did not give details about the move.

“We had to de-scope it some, because of each of our issues but we’ve kept the exercise and we’ve kept it as high-end and complex,” he said.

“It just may not run as long. So I’m comfortable at that level, and we try to work to the level that resonates with both our navies.”

On ties between the US and Chinese navies, Greenert said, “I like the trend we’re on right now and working toward and, in some cases, getting some tangible outcome of working together.

“We operated together a humanitarian assistance, disaster relief scenario, doing command-and-control together, doing the proper protocols at sea, and we agree, this needs to continue.”

He said China would also join the ‘RIMPAC’ or Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise.

Greenert also spoke about increased incidents of piracy, particularly in the northwest region of the Gulf of Oman.

“I received this through conversations with my counterparts in the Gulf states, conversations with my counterparts (in the) Pakistani Navy, Indian Navy, and they’re finding they have to spend more time over there,” he said.


An indigenous advanced weather satellite, Insat-3D, with newly developed equipment to study the atmosphere, will be launched on Friday, July 26 between 1.23am and 2.41am (IST) from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guyana.


An Isro official told TOI that the new equipment, known as atmospheric sounder, will be the first geostationary sounder system over the Indian Ocean. A sounder is a scanner which studies the atmosphere.

With a mission life exceeding seven years, Insat-3D will have a lift off mass of 2,060kg and will be equipped with an improved imaging system, a satellite-aided search and rescue payload and a data relay transponder.

Insat 3D will be carried by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket along with another foreign satellite, marking the 70th flight of the rocket.

The official said the next six weeks will be hectic for the Isro as the flight of Insat-3D will be followed by the launch of the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with an indigenous cryogenic engine, in the middle of August from Sriharikota. This flight is crucial because two missions of the GSLV had failed in 2010 — one in April with the first indigenous cryogenic engine, and the other in December with a Russian engine.

Towards the end of August, multi-band communication satellite GSat-7, which is expected to provide services to the Indian Navy, will be launched by Ariane 5 from Kourou. “It is a coincidence that two launches of our satellite are taking place in such quick succession from Kourou. This is the first time such a thing has happened,” he said.


The Boeing C-17 globe master military transport aircraft, being inducted into the Indian Air Force forms a major component of its modernisation effort, the visiting IAF Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne has said.

“Our first C-17 Globemaster III not only signifies a tremendous boost in our strategic airlift capability, but also is poised to form a major component in the IAF’s modernisation drive,” Browne said yesterday after receiving delivery of second C-17 aircraft from Boeing in Long Beach, California.

The first of the 10 C-17′s being bought from America’s Boeing company was inducted into the IAF a month ago.

Boeing will deliver three more C-17s this year and another five in 2014. All 10 C-17 is being purchased from Boeing at an estimated cost of USD 4.1 billion.

The C-17, which would replace the ageing fleet of Russian-built cargo planes, can operate in extreme climates, transport large payloads across vast ranges and land on short, austere runways.

“Because it was delivered mission-ready, it soon undertook its first strategic mission to our Andaman Nicobar Command at Port Blair,” Browne said.

“I wish to place on record my appreciation to the US government, the US Air Force and the Boeing team for the timely delivery of the aircraft that makes the IAF the world’s second-largest operator of the C-17 after the US,” he said in a statement.

C-17s have an important role in supporting unique IAF operations in remote locations such as the Himalayas and desert environments, said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager.

“The C-17 provides the versatility to complete any mission, anywhere. We look forward to working with the Indian Air Force and the US Air Force as we deliver the remainder of India’s fleet,” he said.

Boeing so far has delivered 255 C-17s, including 222 to the US Air Force, and a total of 33 to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the UAE, Britain and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace

Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

India’s Agni-V ballistic missile will be tested twice this year before being inducted into the country’s armed forces toward the end of 2014.The Agni-V, an intercontinental ballistic missile designed to hit targets at distances of up to 5,000 km (3,100 mi.), was test-fired in April 2012.

This year India’s Defense and Research Development Organization (DRDO) will carry out two more tests, “the first most likely in September, which would be followed by a second test at the end of the year,” a DRDO official tells Aviation Week. “These are among DRDO’s high-priority missions. Our aim is to make the missile ready for induction by 2014.”

The second test will be carried out from a tightly sealed canister mounted on a launcher truck, the DRDO official says.

A canister-launch system will “provide the forces the requisite operational flexibility to swiftly transport the ballistic missile and launch it from a place of their choosing,” he explains.

The missile was initially planned to be tested in May, but was delayed due to heavy rains.

“The trials are usually avoided when sea is rough and weather is not conducive,” the DRDO official says. “We conduct thousands of tests through simulation in our labs under different conditions. The actual flight trials are to confirm what is predicted in simulation tests matches the algorithms.”

A nuclear-tipped, three-stage missile, the Agni-V was developed by DRDO at a cost of more than 2.5 billion rupees ($48.4 million).

It is 17.5 meters (57 ft.) tall with a launch weight of 50 tons. The missile is powered by solid propellants and can be transported by road.

The successful 2012 test of the missile brought India closer to joining the small group of nations — including the U.S., China, Russia, the U.K. and France — with the capability to deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles.

India is also developing the sixth in its series of Agni ballistic missiles that will be capable of carrying multiple warheads. While Agni-V can carry up to three nuclear warheads, Agni-VI will carry up to 10.

India has said its missile program is not directed against any country.

Agni, meaning fire in Hindi and Sanskrit, is a rocket family India has tested since 2002.

In 2010, India successfully test-fired Agni-II, an intermediate-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 2,000 km (1,250 mi.).

The missile complex of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been working on making Nag, a third-generation ‘Fire-and-Forget’ anti-tank missile for the past few years.

It was almost a year ago when the Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) failed in its user trials by the Indian Army in Rajasthan.DRDO blamed it upon the high temperatures in the desert where the tests were conducted to bring the target temperature to the same level as that of the ambient temperature.

V G Sekaran, chief controller R&D (Missiles & Strategic Systems) and programme director, Agni, told TOI that trials for Nag with new ‘more sensitive’ and ‘higher resolution’ seekers being developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) of DRDO here will be conducted by this month end. ‘Nag’ is the baby of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of DRDO.

According to G Satheesh Reddy, DRDL director, the new seekers would perform well even in extremely hot temperatures with more efficiency and accuracy in hitting targets with new improved detectors on the missile tip for sensing heat or infra red signals.

Dwelling into the reasons for the past failures, Avinash Chander,scientific advisor to raksha mantra and secretary Defence Research & Development and director general DRDO (Defence R&D Organisation), the high temperatures during the peak day hours in the desert resulted in heating up of the targets to the extend that it was the same as the surroundings.

“As such, the seekers, which worked well otherwise till up to four kilometers or so, could not differentiate between the target object and the surroundings. Accuracy under such conditions worked well only till a limited range and now we are working on developing more sensitive and higher resolution seekers”, he said, adding that the Indian Army will also participate in the development trials this month-end.

The DRDO chief claimed that once developed as per specifications, other foreign ATGMs currently being used by India shall be no match to ‘Nag’. DRDO reportedly is also working on making the future versions of the missile lighter even though it is fired from a special Russian origin Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-2 (named ‘Namica’ or the Nag Missile Carrier) in its terrestrial version. Meanwhile, a couple of months after these user trials failed, the government which so far has spent Rs 1,700 crores on Nag, had to give its nod for procuring second generation 10,000 Russian Konkurs-M, Anti Tank Guided Missiles at a cost of Rs 1,200 crores for infantry formations of the Indian Army. Though DRDOP has shelved its plans to build a wire-guided system for Nag, it continues to work on ‘Helina’, the helicopter or air launch version of Nag.

By : Defense News