Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stealth frigate INS Kochi unveiled

The second ship of the proposed three stealth destroyer ships under the Rs 8,459-crore Project 15-A was launched by Madhulika Verma, wife of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Nirmal Verma, at Mazgaon Docks here on Friday. The 6,500-tonne destroyer ship, which will be named INS Kochi, has been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design.

“Launching the warship is an important milestone in the construction process. Today’s launch has further significance, as this is the first time that a pontoon-assisted launch is being carried out in our country,” Admiral Verma said at the launch ceremony.

The ship is a follow-on of the existing indigenously designed ships from the Delhi class guided missile destroyers — INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai. Once launched, the ship will have advanced stealth features that will make it less susceptible to detection by enemy radars.

Made-in-India 'INS Shivalik' to be inducted soon

Soon, very soon, India will add another lethal punch to its growing ‘‘blue-water’’ warfare capabilities by inducting an indigenously-designed and manufactured ‘‘stealth’’ frigate.
The 5,300-tonne frigate, INS Shivalik, armed with a deadly mix of foreign and indigenous weapon and sensor systems, is currently undergoing ‘‘advanced’’ pre-commissioning sea trials.
Interestingly, apart from Russian Shtil surface-to-air missile systems, Klub anti-ship cruise missiles and other weapons, the multi-role frigate is also armed with the Israeli ‘Barak-I’ anti-missile defence system. Already fitted on 11 frontline warships like aircraft carrier INS Viraat and destroyer INS Mysore, the 10-km range Barak-I can intercept incoming Harpoon and Exocet missiles, launched from platforms like P-3C Orion aircraft and Agosta-90B submarines which Pakistan has acquired from US and France.
‘‘INS Shivalik is the first stealth frigate to be designed and built in India. It’s a matter of great pride for the country. It should be ready to enter service in Navy in November,’’ said director-general of naval design, Rear Admiral M K Badhwar. The Project-17 to construct three stealth frigates — the other two, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, will be delivered in 2010-2011 — at a cost of Rs 8,101 crore at Mazagon Docks has, of course, been plagued by delays ever since it was approved by the government in 1997.
But now, with the programme on the verge of completion, the defence ministry has approved Project-17A to construct seven more frigates, with even more stealth features, for around Rs 45,000 crore. Navy initially wanted two of the seven new frigates to be built abroad to avoid time overruns. But MoD shot down the proposal, holding that four will be built at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai and the other three at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers at Kolkata, said sources.
Navy currently has 34 warships and six submarines on order to ensure its force-levels do not dip below the existing 140 or so warships. The new inductions will help Navy strengthen its role as a ‘‘potent maritime force’’ and ‘‘stabilising influence’’ in the Indian Ocean, capable of ‘‘destruction of enemy’’ and deterrence as well as ‘‘coercive’’ and ‘‘peace’’ diplomacy.
The stealth features incorporated in the Shivalik-class frigates, including inclined surfaces, will considerably reduce their radar cross-section. To reduce the noise signature, the designers have gone in for low-noise propellers, propulsion devices and machinery, as also ‘‘vibration damping’’.

'Major discovery' from Chandrayaan mission set to be announced

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are set to make a major announcement in the coming days related to as discovery made by one of the payloads onboard the immensely successful Chandrayaan-1 mission.

The announcement is expected at a media interaction scheduled for Thursday at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. The interaction will also feature Carle Pieters from Brown

who was the principal investigator for NASA's Moon Minerology Mapper (M3) payload onboard the Chandrayaan.

Brown University have declined to comment about the nature of the announcement, merely saying that it would ''...be a major announcement of a major discovery...'' and would be ''...something great for Chandrayaan. It will mark a major leap for India's space programme."

The Thursday interaction has not been denied by ISRO officials.

It is being surmised that the announcement may be related to the discovery of water on the lunar surface. This was one of the main missions of the prematurely aborted Chandrayaan mission.

Earlier missions to the moon have indicated the likelihood of water existing in the form of ice trapped 18 inches beneath the surface, around the Polar Regions of the moon

India is already preparing for a follow-on Chandrayaaan-2 mission with Russia, which will involve the landing of a rover on the lunar surface to pick up soil samples and relay data regarding its chemical composition back to earth via the Indian lunar orbiter.

ISRO's perfect lift-off: 7 satellites in 20 min

After the loss of the Moon mission Chandrayaan, it was a moment of spectacular success for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The country's trusted space workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), proved its mettle for the 15th consecutive time on Wednesday when it successfully launched the Oceansat-2 spacecraft.
Apart from the 960 kg Oceansat, ISRO also launched six other nano satellites -- four from Germany, one from Switzerland and one from Turkey. All satellites have been placed successfully into their prescribed orbits and are meant to help the Indian fishing community.
'It's a fantastic achievement! ISRO has once again done a job precisely," said G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO.
The Rs 70 crore rocket launched the seven satellites in just 20 minutes, its 16th consecutive success. The big brother on the mission was the 960-kilogram ocean and weather monitoring satellite.
Also piggybacking were six smaller nano satellites from Switzerland, Germany and Turkey, which will test new technologies. Oceansat-2's main purpose is to identify potential fishing zones in the seas by monitoring ocean temperature and algal blooms.
Now, with a constellation of 10 remote sensing satellites already in space, India certainly is a space power to reckon with. With this perfect launch ISRO has put the loss of Chandrayaan behind it, and through Oceansat ISRO is helping the aam aadmi.

ISRO well on course to launch Chandrayaan-II, says Nair

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is well on course to launch the proposed Chandrayaan-II with an orbiter and lander within the next four years, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said here on Wednesday.

"Preliminary design has been completed and it is on course. By the end of 2013 or early 2014, we can have the launch, he told reporters here after the successful launch of Oceansat-2 and six nano satellites.

"We are going to have an orbiter and lander in Chandrayaan-II so that it will have a soft landing on the surface of the moon" he said.

Nair said some instruments that could analyse the moon surface would also be installed in Chandrayaan-II. He said ISRO would use inputs sent from Chandrayaan-I, whose mission was terminated abruptly last month, for a smooth landing.

To a question on Chandrayaan-I's performance, he maintained its moon mission had been successful and data sent by the satellite, which worked for 315 days, was "very satisfactory".