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India and Russia Agree on Helo Deal, Review Joint Defense Projects

India agreed to buy 80 Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters worth $1.2 billion during a visit to Delhi by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev early this month. These will replace 35-year old Mi-8 choppers the Indian Air Force currently flies. The deal includes weapons options and an offset obligation worth $405 million. Accompanying Medvedev were Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdukov and United Aircraft Corp. chief Alexei Fedorov. Most of the key Indo-Russian defense projects were discussed during the visit, including the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA); modernization and transfer of Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to India; multipurpose cargo aircraft, a long-mooted joint development; and the delivery of more Su-30MKI combat aircraft and licensed production by Hindustan Aeronautics.  Regarding the FGFA, Fedorov said the two countries would sign a contract early next year to jointly develop the fighter. Sukhoi is already working on the project. Additi…

Indian military tests Smerch MLRS

Indian defence scientists have successfully tested the Russian-manufactured Smerch (Tornado) Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). At least five tests, which gauged flight stability, accuracy and consistency, were held at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur.  "The Smerch can launch 12 rockets at a time," a defence scientist told Express Buzz. "It is able to fire single rockets or salvo from two to all 12 rockets. A full salvo lasts 38 seconds." The scientist also explained that the MLRS was capable of launching surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles. "The system can be integrated with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to provide a new dimension to artillery defence system," he added. According to Army Technology, the 9K58 Smerch 300mm MLRS was designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artillery and missile systems. The MLRS fires a 300mm 9M55K rocket with a solid propellant rocket motor capable of a 20-70km range. The 9M55K rock…

India builds defence missile shield with US

India is soon to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United States to boost its missile defence system. The MoU is aimed at giving India the state of the art technology that will allow it to intercept any threat from ballistic missiles. In the cold war era Russian and Americans were in a state of conflict, tension and competition. Both the superpowers were engaged in costly defence spending and in a massive conventional and nuclear arms race and numerous proxy wars. Then American President Reagan's dream-dubbed star war didn't quite shape up but was scaled down to a more realistic version of ground-based anti-missile systems. India's Agni missile -- a strategic strike missile -- is being tested. Now, India is joining hands with the United States of America to create its own missile shield to protect and destroy. The missile defence programme is intended to be a defensive screen with the ability to track and destroy incoming ballistic missiles. The command…

India's first, BrahMos launched in vertical configuration

BrahMos supersonic cruise missile with a strike-range of 290 kms was on Thursday successfully test-fired in a vertical launch configuration for the first time by the Indian Navy. With this launch, BrahMos has become the world's first and only supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from both vertical and inclined positions from naval platforms. "BrahMos missile was successfully test fired in vertical-launch configuration from an Indian Navy ship in the Bay of Bengal today," Defence Ministry sources said. The test, the sources said, was carried out at midday from a moving Rajdoot class warship. The vertical launcher used in the test has been designed and developed by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Corporation. "The test has proved and demonstrated the new universal vertical launcher designed and developed by the Corporation," they said. "The mission objectives of the test were fully achieved," the sources said. The launch, carri…

Tejas (LCA) Fighter Jet High-Altitude Trials at Leh Successful: DRDO

India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has achieved a major milestone when its prototype landed at Leh air base in the high-altitude Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. "Tejas (LCA) programme reached a major milestone when the prototype vehicle PV-3 landed at Leh on December 13 this year at 1326 hours," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said here on Tuesday. The event is seen as significant on many counts as Leh airfield is situated at an altitude of 10,600 feet and is one of the highest airfields in the world with a temperature variation ranging from plus 5 degrees Celsius to minus 20 degrees Celsius. The objective of the current phase of flight trials at Leh was to expose the on-board systems to the extreme low temperatures while making an assessment of the aircraft performance in the rarefied atmospheric conditions, DRDO officials said. Two Tejas prototypes PV-3 and LSP-2 were involved in this important environmental test. The LSP…

Missile defence for Delhi

A missile defence system for the national capital is being deployed by the Indian Air Force. Three Israeli-made balloon or blimp-held radar called Aerostat will be deployed around New Delhi after an intelligence alert of a threat from low-flying aircraft. An Aerostat is also being deployed in Agra for the Taj Mahal. The Aerostat-based missile defence system is a generation behind the systems used by the US. India is in talks with the US and Russia to check out their more advanced missile defence systems (such as the Patriot III and the SV-300). Its Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also carrying out trials for an indigenous Prithvi Air Defence system. The Aerostat radar has been used along the international border in Punjab and in Gujarat (Kutch). The radar is currently in use in south India after the LTTE used aircraft to bomb Sri Lankan military facilities last year. An official of the Indian Air Force said the decision was taken after defence minister A.K.…

‘Sudarshan’ aims to strike with precision

After registering significant success with conventional missile systems, India is all set to test its first laser-guided missile at the Interim Test Range, Balasore. The missile, Sudarshan, is the latest weapon system developed indigenously to occupy the niche of a precision delivery mechanism. It can neutralise any target in a 800-1,000 km range with a zero margin of error. Developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment, Bangalore, Sudarshan is a versatile missile that can be used by the army, navy and air force. It suits the requirements of the artillery for a long-distance strike weapon. The navy can also fire it from an onboard launcher. “The first version will use a ground-based launcher. However, subsequent ones could be fired from a flying fighter or drone. This will enhance the range,” a source told Express. Sudarshan will use a laser of a specific frequency bandwidth to locate the target. The laser creates a heat signature on the target. The missile recognises th…

India developing new-gen radars

India is developing new generation radars with multi-function capability that can be integrated with any weapon system, a Defence Research and Development Organisation official said on Tuesday. Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a DRDO lab, has initiated development of medium power radar and a 150 km low level transportable radar with such capabilities, including surveillance, interceptive guidance, raid assessment, target ac quisition, close tracking and potential ones like fire control, LRDE Director S Varadarajan said. For example, Rajendra radar that LRDE developed is tied-up or “totally married'' with surface-to-air-missile Akash but the new radars being developed with hardware, configuration and power level that are highly programmable. “Our ultimate mission is to extend it for multiple missions and multiple functions'', Varadarajan told reporters here. “The radars that we are making will be a little-more broadbased. It can be integrated…

Advanced Technology Vehicle

Called the Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) programme, the indigenous vessel is likely to join the naval service in about five years. India has been painstakingly gaining experience on nuclear submarines by including them in its annual bilateral naval exercises with naval powers such as US, UK and Russia called the Malabar, Varuna and Indra series respectively. All these preparations are meant to help India in getting the most crucial element of the nuclear weapon triad -- the sea-launched weapon system on which Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already working. India currently possesses capabilities for ground-and air-launched nuclear weapon systems, but lack capability for a sea-launched system, which was to be tried and tested on the Akula-II submarines.

India successfully test fires 'Shaurya' missile

India successfully test fired 'Shaurya', a medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, to be used by its Army. With a 600-km range, the missile is capable of hitting targets deep inside Pakistan and China. The indigenous missile was launched from an underground facility with an in-built canister at 11.25 am from Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, DRDO sources said in Balasore (Orissa). The sleek missile, with a flight duration of 485 seconds, roared into the sky leaving behind a thick yellow and white smoke on a clear sunny day, they added. The sophisticated tactical missile is capable of carrying conventional warheads with a payload of about one tonne. "With longer shelf-life, as it is stored in a canister just like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the Shaurya is easily transportable and user-friendly. This is a technology development project," DRDO sources said in New Delhi. Though there was speculation that the missile was a lan…

India to soon get global navigation system for ISRO, AAI

India will soon acquire a comprehensive global navigation satellite system to meet the requirements of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI). "India has tied up recently with US aerospace major Raytheon Company for the final phase of its ambitious Global Positioning Satellite-Aided Geosynchronous Augmented Navigation System (GAGAN)," said Andy Zogg, the company's vice president of Airspace Management and Homeland Security. GAGAN will provide satellite-based navigation for civil aviation across South and East Asia, which will provide India with "the most accurate, flexible and efficient" air navigation system deployed.

India prepares to launch first unmanned moon mission: Chandrayaan-1

India is to launch its first unmanned mission to the Moon this month as it struggles to catch up with China in a 21st-century Asian version of the space race between the United States and Soviet Union. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced yesterday that it would fire a locally made rocket bearing the lunar spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 from a launchpad in southeastern India on October 22, weather permitting. The launch could be delayed until October 26 if conditions are not right over the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 63 miles (125km) from the city of Madras. It was planned originally for April, but was postponed repeatedly because of technical problems with the £47 million project, which involves several foreign countries, including the United States. The 1.38tonne spacecraft will take approximately eight days to travel about 240,000 miles before reaching its final orbit 60 miles above the surface of the Moon, ISRO officials say. It will then orbit for almost two year…

Modified Kaveri engine to propel Indian Navy ships

The Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bangalore of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which has been indigenously developing Kaveri engine for propelling the Indian Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas), has now come up with a modified marine version, as a spin off during research, to develop shaft power for propelling Indian Naval ship. Using the core of the Kaveri engine, the scientists of GTRE have added low pressure compressor and turbine as a gas generator and designed a free power turbine to generate shaft power for the maritime application. The Kaveri Marine Gas Turbine (KMGT) as it has been named has been transported to naval dock yard, Vishakapatnam and installed on to the marine gas turbine test bed which is an Indian Navy facility capable of testing the gas turbines up to 25 MW of shaft power through a reduction gearbox and a water brake dynamometer. The Indian Navy has been involved in the development of the engine and participated and supporting the …

India to join select nations when it sends mission to moon October 19

New Delhi, Sept 19, 2008: India will join a select group of nations when it sends its first mission to moon on October 19 this year. This will be a big scientific feat for a developing nation like India that has not received much scientific assistance from the west.

ISRO has already made it clear that the Indian lunar mission will not be an exercise in reinventing the wheel. Chandrayaan-1 will strive to unravel the hitherto unknown features of the moon for the first time.

ISRO points out that a lunar mission can provide impetus to science in India, a challenge to technology and possibly a new dimension to international cooperation.

Also on the agenda are the preparation of the three dimensional atlas of the regions on the moon and the chemical mapping of the entire lunar surface.

This is a dream for any nation. And India is going to fulfill its long cherished dream on this coming 19th October. Everyone is unanimous on one thing. If India’s Moon project is successful, it will be somet…

Indian scientistn develops new technology to boost missile range by 40%

Indian scientists have developed path-breaking technology that has the potential to increase the range of missiles and satellite launch vehicles by at least 40%, a member of the team which achieved the technological breakthrough said. India’s longest-range missile, Agni III, is capable of hitting targets 3,500 km away and the new technology could boost its range to 4,900 km. The enhanced range is made possible by adding a special-purpose coating of chromium metal to the blunt nose cone of missiles and launch vehicles, G Jagadeesh, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here said. IISc, which is in celebrating its centenary this year, has applied for an international patent for the technology. “Objects such as missiles fly at hypersonic velocities which are more than five times the speed of sound and encounter atmospheric drag because of friction. The chromium coating works by adding temporary heat and pushing the stagnating gas away to create an easier pat…

NSG waiver will help ISRO: Nair

Calling the NSG waiver a big achievement for the country, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair on Monday said it will help the Indian space department access latest space technologies from developed nation. "It is a major achievement for India. We will have a better opportunity to interact with other developed nations on sharing certain space technologies," Nair told reporters on the sidelines of a function at SRM University here. He said the signing of the 123 Agreement with the US will in a way help the ISRO work closely with the NASA. On the "Chandrayaan-I" (moon) mission, Nair said all the technical parameters for the launch were progressing well and the launch "is expected by this October end". He said the country's space department has world-class technologies to provide valuable inputs to tackle natural disasters. "We have been monitoring the floods in Bihar. The National Remote Sensing Centre in Hyderabad has been receiving updates from a C…

N - Powered.............

The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has finally given its nod to the Indo-US nuclear deal in Vienna on Saturday. Ending three decades of isolation, India has joined the elite nuclear club. The NSG waiver has come through on the third day of the crucial talks in Vienna after push from the highest political level, the opposing countries gave their nod. Sources say apart from External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statement, there is no reference to ban on tests or termination of deal if India tests. US President George W Bush called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the waiver came through. Congress president Sonia Gandhi congratulated the PM. Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has told NDTV that the text permits full civil nuclear cooperation between India and the world. Atomic Energy's chief negotiator in Vienna Ravi B Grover told NDTV that it's a clean waiver for India at the NSG, changes in the draft made have been mutually agreed upon. "…

ISRO bags launch orders for Italian, Algerian satellites

Antrix Corp Ltd, the marketing arm of the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO),  has bagged launch orders from Algeria and Italy for earth observation satellites that will be put into orbit next year by the agency's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The contract from the Algerian space agency is for the launch of its 200kg Alsat-2A, remote sensing satellite. For Antrix, this is the first ever contract from an African nation. Algeria retains the option to contract for the launch of a second satellite. The Italian space agency Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, has contracted for the launch of its IMSAT satellite, which, incidentally will become the second satellite from this European country to be boosted into space by ISRO.  Earlier, in April 2007, ISRO launched the Agile, a 352kg scientific satellite for the same agency. No financial details have been disclosed for these deals. Along with the Algerian and Italian payloads, a 100kg satellite from Singapore's  …

India to conduct third interceptor missile trial in November

India is preparing to conduct the third trial of its advanced interceptor missile in November from the Chandipur-on-sea interim test range in coastal Orissa, a top defence official said Friday.“Preparations are on to conduct the interceptor missile test for building an indigenous defence shield in early November. It is aimed at intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles from a long range,” defence scientist V.K. Saraswat told IANS here. The configuration of the upcoming trial will be different from the previous one, conducted in December 2007, as the attempt this time is to approach higher kill altitude, with accurate interception. “We have already conducted a test in endo-atmosphere at a distance of 48 km. We are aiming at much higher altitude in exo-atmosphere, which is 50-75 km above the earth,” said Saraswat, chief controller of research & development of the missile programme at the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). The 7.5-metre interceptor missil…

Submarine-launched version of BrahMos missile to be tested in India at year-end

The Indo-Russian BrahMos multi-role supersonic cruise missile is in full production with deliveries being made to Indian Navy and Army. A complete battery of land-based missiles is also in service with the Army, BrahMos Aerospace chief executive, Dr Sivathanu Pillai said here. Speaking at the MSVS-2008 show in Moscow, he said that the Indo-Russian joint venture is looking at producing 40-50 missiles annually in order to meet Indian requirements. This will be increased to handle export orders. The Mach 2.8 supersonic, ramjet-powered BrahMos may be exported in 2009. "2009 should be the year" for announcing export orders, Dr Pillai said.
He also said that a major production contract had just been signed. Dr Pillai also said that warplane designer and manufacturer Sukhoi's workload on other projects, such as the Su-35 and PAK-FA fifth generation fighter has delayed work on creating a platform for the air launched version of the BrahMos. The "critical path" for te…

India, Nasa tie up for Chandrayaan

Preparing to its first unmanned mission to moon, Chandrayaan-1, between October and December, India joined seven other nations to team up with Nasa for the future exploration of earth's only satellite. Confirming this, Isro spokesperson S Satish told TOI that a key pact was signed at a conference of International Lunar Users' Group at Nasa's Ames Research Centre last month. India was represented by Devi Prasad Karnik, space counsellor attached to the Indian embassy in Washington. The other seven countries are Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, France and Britain. Japan has already launched an unmanned mission to the moon. Germany, Italy and Britain had announced at International Astronautical Congress in 2007 that they planned their own lunar missions which would be independent of the European Space Agency. The international lunar agreement, which Nasa says a "landmark" one, will allow India and the seven countries to join hands with Nasa for developin…

Comparing the Indian and Chinese navies

After 10 years of steady effort, both India and China have made significant qualitative changes in their navies. In terms of submarine capabilities – the construction of SSNs and SSBNs – China is now far ahead of India, however. China has built two 094 SSBNs and two 093 SSNs, along with JL2 and JL1M submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that are ready to go into service in the PLA Navy, if they have not already done so. In contrast, India is only preparing to receive one Russian-made Akura SSN for testing purposes by the end of 2008. In February 2008, the Indian Navy also launched from under water a 700-kilometer-range K-15 ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Nonetheless, India’s pace in the construction of large-tonnage surface battleships and an aircraft carrier is faster than China’s. Thanks to the 290-kilometer-range BrahMos supersonic multirole missile jointly developed by India and Russia, the overall technological standard of the Indian Navy’s sh…

Nag anti-tank missile back in reckoning

Eighteen years after it was first tested, the meandering saga of the indigenous Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is finally entering the climax phase after an expenditure of over Rs 300 crore. Or so it seems, with Defence Research and Development Organisation planning the "final developmental flight trials" of Nag at Pokhran on July 27-28, which will be followed by the "user-trials" in mid-September, say sources. Having placed an order for 443 Nag missiles and 13 Namicas (Nag missile tracked carriers) for induction over three years, the Army is keeping its fingers firmly crossed. The urgent need for ATGMs can be gauged from the fact that after ordering 4,000 Konkurs-M missiles, the Army is now looking for 4,100 "advanced" ATGMs with tandem warheads for "better kill probability" of enemy tanks. The Army, in fact, has agreed to reframe its GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) for the 4,100 new missiles - by reducing its "esse…

DRDO to undertake first full test flight of ASTRA - air to air beyond visual range missile

In a major technology leap, Indian defence scientists are ready to go ahead with the first full test flight of its indigenously developed air to air beyond visual range missile, ASTRA. The test flight from an IAF Sukhoi fighter aircraft could be undertaken "anytime in the next 45 days", top DRDO officials said. A successful test flight of ASTRA will plunge India into a select group of nations to have such a technology. Only US, France, Russia and China have so far produced such advance missiles, which enables fighter pilots to lock-on and shoot down enemy aircraft almost 90-120 km away. Describing ASTRA as a futuristic missile, DRDO scientists said the weapon will intercept the target at mach 1.2 to 1.4 speed. The missile has already been tested on ground to prove its avionics, guidance and other sub-systems including propulsion. Any success with air to air ASTRA missile will come as another milestone in defence research and cap recent strings of success the DRDO scienti…

India challenging China

"After decades of considering Pakistan their principal enemy, Indian defence officials are beginning to see China as a more serious long-term threat, and they don’t want to be caught unprepared again. Washington is embracing India as a rising power that can be a valuable ally to stand with this country, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia in defence of democracy in South and East Asia,” according to a report published here. James T. Hackett writes in the Washington Times on Thursday that Indian defence analysts are concerned about the huge nuclear submarine base being built by China on Hainan Island in the South China Sea and Beijing’s plan to build up to five ballistic missile-firing submarines. Consequently, India is building its own ballistic missile-firing submarine and in February carried out a successful test launch of a K-15 missile from an underwater platform. The plan reportedly is to develop a version of the Agni family of solid-fuel missiles to be carried on Indi…

India's missile power lifts off

The spread of long-range ballistic missiles took a step forward on May 7 with India's successful flight test of its Agni-III missile that can carry a nuclear warhead as far as Beijing. But the difference between this and other missile developments is that India's missiles — like those of the United States, Britain, France and Israel — are not used to threaten others and instead help deter potential aggressors. With nuclear missile-armed neighbors like China, Russia and Pakistan, India needs an effective deterrent. But for years New Delhi concentrated on developing tactical missiles to deter Pakistan, which India fought three times since independence in 1947. India's nuclear-capable short- and medium-range missiles, in addition to its supersonic cruise missiles, are an existing deterrent to Pakistan. Now India emphasizes development of strategic weapons, clearly worried about China's rapid military buildup. In 1962, India fought a war with China over their disputed f…

India test-fires Prithvi missile

India Friday successfully test-fired its 150-250 km range surface-to-surface Prithvi missile from the integrated test range at Chandipur, the NDTV reported     The Prithvi missile, which is 8.56-meter-long and one-meter-thick, can carry a payload of 1,000 kg explosives. It was test-fired as part of a user's trial by the Indian Army.     The missile, developed by the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), has already been inducted in the Indian Army.     Mounted on a mobile tatra transporter-erector launcher, the sophisticated missile took off vertically and plunged into the pre-designated splash-down point in the Bay of Bengal, the TV quoted Indian defense sources as saying.     Powered by liquid propellant, Prithvi can operate with both liquid and solid fuel. It has a launch weight of 4.6 tons, which included payload of one ton. This variant of the missile could take just 300 seconds to reach the target located at a distance of 150 kilometers.     The main use of …

Remembering Pokharan-II: India's N-dream

On May 11, 10 years ago, India declared itself as a nuclear nation state. Five nuclear explosions were carried out on May 11 and 13 in 1998 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Sunday is the 10th anniversary of Pokhran II but it will be a quiet affair, as no official celebrations have been planned to commemorate the event. The tests at Pokhran stunned the world but gave India's nuclear scientists the data they needed to validate the designs of India's nuclear weapons and warheads, which would be mated to missiles like the Agni and the Prithvi or bombs which could be carried on fighter jets such as the Mirage 2000. There were five nuclear devices that were tested deep inside the sands of Pokharan - a hydrogen bomb, an advanced atom bomb and three small tactical nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who ordered the tests within days of his government coming to power, did not hesitate to declare India as a 'nuclear weapons state'. The international…

Games bomb makers played to keep the tests a top secret

Ten years ago, India’s bomb makers played a little game of deception in the scorching deserts of Pokhran in Rajasthan. “Colonel Prithviraj,” called K. Santhanam, the chief pointsman for the weaponization programme for India’s second nuclear test. His voice quivered in the desert air. He was addressing A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. But all he could get from the missile man, who was later to become the president of India, was a blank stare. Similarly, R. Chidambaram, then head of the Atomic Energy Commission, looked the other way when Santhanam addressed him as “Col. Natraj”. Santhanam was known in the desert as “Col. Srinivisan”. Dressed in battle fatigues, these were no battle-hardened soldiers, but the prized quartet of India’s top scientists - Chidambaram, Kalam, Santhanam and Anil Kakodkar, then head of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. They had been entrusted by prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the top secret job of detonating a bomb and making India a nuclear power. “It was diffic…

Manned space mission possible in 7 years

In about seven years from now, India will be able to send two of its astronauts into space aboard its Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), said K. Radhakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, on Monday. The Centre’s go-ahead to the manned mission project is awaited. The manned mission will be preceded by three unmanned ones to the moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s first unmanned mission to the moon — sending Chandrayaan-1 into lunar orbit — will take place in the third quarter of 2008. Dr. Radhakrishnan, who answered questions from reporters after the successful PSLV-C9 flight from Sriharikota, said ISRO had been conducting studies for the past four years on putting an Indian into orbit. The GSLV would be able to take a crew of two astronauts into low-earth orbit. In a manned mission, important factors such as reliability, the safety of the crew and their module, the reliability of their ejection systems in case of any problem …

“PSLV has got a good brand value”

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earned $0.6 million when its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C9) put in orbit on Monday eight nano satellites from abroad, according to K.R. Sridhara Murthy, managing director, Antrix Corporation. The launch was executed under a commercial contract among the University of Toronto, Canada; Cosmos International, Germany; and Antrix Corporation, ISRO’s marketing agency. Antrix Corporation charged about $12,000 for a kg for these nano satellites because they were built by the universities. Otherwise, the international rates charged for putting satellites in orbit were between $20,000 and $30,000 a kg, Mr. Sridhara Murthy said. The eight nano satellites together weighed 50 kg. The PSLV-C9 also put in orbit Cartosat-2A and the Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), which were built by the ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore. Six of the eight nano satellites are clustered under the name NLS-4. The University of Toronto developed the NLS-4. It consi…

Moon mission in 3rd quarter of '08: ISRO

Indian space scientists are aiming to launch their ambitious Moon-mission Chandrayaan-I in the third quarter of this year. It will launch a 500 kg satellite that will orbit Earth's only natural satellite for two years for terrain mapping and lunar surface mapping. "It is too early to attempt a human-landing mission on Moon. We will be sending a 500 kg satellite for terrain mapping and lunar surface mapping. The satellite will survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and 3-dimensional topography," ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair told a press conference at Sriharikota on Monday after India successfully placed a record 10 satellites into 'precise' orbit. "All the instruments for Chandrayaan-I are ready. A few tests have to be conducted, following which we will be ready for the launch in the third quarter of this year. A special vehicle of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) called the PSLV-XL is being prepared for…

India to test Agni III+ ballistic missile in 2009

India will test indigenously built Agni III+ ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 5000 km in 2009. The long-range missile is currently in the design stage, VK Saraswat, Chief Controller (R&D) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in Visakhapatnam on Monday. "We are looking for trial in early 2009," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 95th Indian Science Congress in Visakhapatnam. After the induction of the surface-to-air missile Akash by the Air Force, the Army is starting user trials for the sophisticated anti-tank Nag missiles this summer. "User trials for Nag will be held in May-June in the Rajasthan desert," Saraswat said. Nag is an all weather anti-tank guided missile. Design work on the missile started in 1988 and the first tests were carried out in November 1990.

India's growing strides in space : BBC Report

Monday's launch was carried live on state television India is well known today for its software and information technology industry.Less well known is that in a nation where more than 300 million people live on less than $1 a day, it is also a real force to reckon with when it comes to top class rocket and satellite technology. On Monday the Indian space agency created a world record by successfully launching 10 satellites in one go. That shattered the previous record of a Russian rocket that successfully launched eight satellites last year. Launching 10 satellites requires immense precision. When the tricky operation starts the rocket is already travelling at 7.5 kilometres per second. Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianspace, Paris, says "simultaneously launching 10 satellites is a great achievement". The Indian space agency, set up 35 years ago, is still really a baby among the world's space-faring nations. This was its 26th launch of a rocket from India's on…

Bigger rockets to help ISRO tap $3 bn global launch biz

The perfect launch of 10 satellites, two Indian and eight foreign, simultaneously by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-9 has catapulted the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into a new orbit. The world record mission not only demonstrates capability to launch small satellites but also puts ISRO’s commercial arm, Rs 660-crore Antrix Corporation, in a competitive position to capture a portion of the over $3-billion global satellite launch business. But if ISRO seeks to tap this market aggressively, it will have to shift focus to launch bigger rockets and heavier satellites. Satellite launch for applications spanning direct-to-home (DTH) services, global positioning systems (GPS), education, telecom, weather monitoring and others is increasing worldwide. But the launch costs are prohibitively-high. Here, ISRO’s satellite launch services at about 60-70% cheaper costs could provide a boost to India’s space programme. “Today, PSLV is one of the proven vehicles to carry satellite…

ISRO to launch 10 satellites in one go

For the first time in ISRO's four-decade history, it will launch an Indian mini-satellite — IMS-1 — on April 28. The highly-proven polar satellite launch vehicle will also carry a 690-kg Cartosat-2a remote sensing satellite and eight nano satellites—-a first for simultaneous launch of 10 satellites. "ISRO has developed and designed the 83-kg mini satellite. The launch is to try new technologies and also miniaturisation," an ISRO official told TOI from Bangalore. "It will have a two-year life span and will operate at an altitude of 635 km. The data will be available to developing countries." The eight nano satellites are built by universities and research institutions in Canada and Germany. The satellites weigh 3 kg to 16 kg, the total weight being about 50 kg. The much-awaited lift-off is scheduled for 9.20 am on April 28 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It will be the 13th flight of the PSLV. The mini satellite carries two optical payload…

India to blast satellite into space

An Indian rocket will next week launch an advanced remote-sensing satellite that will help plan and implement urban and rural development projects, the space agency said Thursday. Cartosat-2A, an all-weather, reconnaissance satellite, will be lifted into space on Monday morning from the Sriharikota space centre in southern India, the Indian Space Research Organisation said. "The launch campaign is progressing satisfactorily," the Bangalore-based agency said in a statement. "The satellite has already been integrated with the launch vehicle." The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV, the workhorse of the Indian space programme, will carry the 690-kilogramme (1,518-pound) payload equipped with a high-resolution camera and advanced scientific instruments. The PSLV's 13th flight will also carry an Indian mini-satellite weighing 83 kilogrammes and eight so-called nanosatellites developed by German and Canadian research institutions that weigh between three and…

HAL, IAI developing unmanned helicopter

India and Israel have begun joint development of an unmanned helicopter capable of operating in severe weather conditions, according to reports in the Israeli media. The unmanned rotary wing aircraft will have automated takeoff and landing systems for use on unprepared fields on land and from ships at sea. Being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) unmanned air vehicle division, Malat, the helicopter will also have a dual automated sophisticated operating systems for enhanced safety, said a report in Israeli business daily, Globes. The unmanned helicopter meant primarily for use by the navy will carry payloads such as day-and-night-imaging systems and various radar systems. Its main advantage over unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is its ability to takeoff from and land anywhere, including from ships, the report added.  The prototype being developed is based on the HAL-built Chetak airframe, a derivative of the French Alouette, and so…

3,500km range Agni-III to be testfired this month

NEW DELHI: India plans to test-fire its most ambitious strategic missile Agni-III, which can hit high-value targets deep inside China with a strike range of 3,500-km, towards April-end. Sources said the test-firing is likely to take place in the "window" between April 20 to 30, but the exact launch date will depend on technical, environmental and other parameters. This will be the third test of the rail-mobile Agni-III — which can carry a 1.5 tonne nuclear payload — from the integrated test range on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa. While the first test of the two-stage, solid-fuelled Agni-III in July 2006 had flopped, with scientists losing control of the missile over the Bay of Bengal barely 65 seconds into its flight, the second test in April 2007 had proved successful during its entire flight path of 15 minutes. "If the third test is successful, then the ballistic missile will require just one or two more tests before it can go for limited series production…

India: Missile defense dreams

India reveals plans for an ambitious anti-missile defense shield, sparking concerns of an arms race and speculation as to the country's true capabilities. India's recently unveiled designs to develop an integrated anti-missile shield has sparked concerns as to the potential impact on the regional strategic balance. With development underway, reports that the US is willing to assist India in building an anti-missile defense capacity are a cause for concern in both China and Pakistan. Russia, which has been one of India's key defense partners, will also be watching developments with growing unease. Nonetheless, considerable doubts remain as to the potential effectiveness of Indian anti-missile systems currently under development. DevelopmentFollowing successful interceptor missile tests in 2006 and 2007, India claims to have developed an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capacity, with operational deployment scheduled by 2011. The chief controller of India's Defense Research…

DRDO sets its sights on launch of Agni-III ballistic missile in April

After the successful firing of Agni-1 missile on Sunday, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on March 5 and the K-15 (Sagarika) missile from a submerged pontoon on February 26, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set its sights on launching the Agni-III ballistic missile in April 2008. Agni-III is the most powerful, surface-to-surface missile built by India, which can carry nuclear warheads. It has a range of more than 3,500 km. It has been described as not just “a missile, but a system for the future with which various configurations can be developed.” It will be the third launch of Agni-III, which will take place from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on the Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast. Agni, Agni-II, Agni-I and Agni-III form the group of India’s surface-to-surface, ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Agni-III is a two-stage, long-range missile that weighs 48.3 tonnes and is 16.7 metres long. It can carry warheads weighing 1.5 tonn…