Sunday, May 23, 2010

India may soon get its own UAV: HAL chairman

India is likely to come out with its indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the coming two to three years, a top official of the country’s only aircraft manufacturing company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has said.

Talking to media persons on the margins of the inaugural test launch of the Light Combat Helicopter, HAL chairman Ashok Nayak disclosed that work is on for developing India’s very own UAVs.

“There are some projects going on in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO),” Nayak said.

“May be after two to three years, the HAL might come out with India’s own UAV. We have already developed one, Lakshya, but it was on a smaller scale. Now, we are developing the Lakshya’s MAK-II,” he said.

Nayak added that the Lakshya’s MAK-II would be used for ‘air to air practice’, and pointed out that it will not be used for combat or surveillance purposes.

Expressing immense pleasure at the successful test flight of the LCH, which has been developed by the HAL itself, Nayak described it as a very important achievement.

Responding to a question about the time by which the LCH is likely to be ready for induction in the armed forces, Nayak said it would take at least two years.

“It will take 500 flights, two years to get operational clearance, and all the weapon and ammunition system would be tested and after that it would be inducted in the airforce. We strongly believe it’ll be inducted in the India Army also

India's combat chopper takes to the skies; induction by 2014

India's first indigenous combat helicopter capable of participating in anti-Naxal and counter terrorism operations on Sunday took to the skies, marking its first official flight at the HAL airport in Bangalore.
The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), designed and developed indigenously by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in four years since the project began in 2006, is likely to be ready for induction by the Army and Air Force before 2014.
Witnessed by IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal PK Barbora and Defence Production Secretary RK Singh, the 10-minute flight display caught the attention of those present at the venue, with the 5.8-tonne chopper showcasing its manoeuvrability and stability, including one of the most difficult moves --reverse slide.
Defence Minister AK Antony and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik did not attend the event in view of the tragic air crash of a civilian flight in Mangalore yesterday which claimed 158 lives.
"It is a red letter day for not only HAL, but the whole nation. I am quite positive the aircraft will meet all IAF requirements in this class of helicopters. The first display has been superb," Barbora said at a function soon after witnessing the maiden flight of the LCH.
He said very few countries around the world had the capability to indigenise a helicopter of this class, but at the same time cautioned HAL that it must learn from its past mistakes and not repeat them.
Barbora said though the helicopter was bulky and heavy, it was a versatile aircraft and the problems with its weight would be solved as years go by.
Singh, in his address, said LCH was a "truly fine" machine and the indigenous development of the helicopter had both strategic and economic reasons.
He said it was important for a country to be independent of other nations when it comes to its defence production and research and development capabilities.
Moreover, import of weapons led to job creation in other country, as India spent billions every year to equip its armed forces.
"I would like to set a deadline of four years from now for the LCH to be inducted into the armed forces and I feel it is a reasonable time frame for HAL to achieve," he added.
HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak said the Defence PSU had already bagged an order for supplying 65 of these combat helicopters to the IAF and the Army was showing keen interests in buying a large number for its Army Aviation wing.
The IAF currently operates two squadrons of combat helicopters comprising Russian-origin Mi-25s and Mi-35s.

Monday, May 17, 2010

India to fire over 5000 km range Agni V in 2011

After the successful launch of the Agni II missile, India is all set to test fire its first Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, Agni-V, in Mach-April 2011.

Agni V is being designed by adding a third composite stage to the two-stage 3,500-km Agni-III, having a range of over 5000 km to carry multiple warheads and will have countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems.

It is a three-stage solid fuelled missile with composite motor casing in the third stage. Two stages of this missile will be made of composite material. The Agni V will be the first canisterised, road-mobile missile in India.

Buoyed by the success of the Agni II missile, Dr W Selvamurthy, DRDO's Chief Controller Research and Development, said: "We are now working on Agni V, which has a range capacity of more than 5,000 kilometres. It is a strategic missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation."

"It will be ready by next year. We hope during March-April next year. It will be an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile."

The Strategic Force Command on Monday successfully test fired Agni II, an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) with a range of 2000 km, from Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa at 9:18 a.m., meeting all mission objectives.
"Agni II is a strategic missile, which has a range capability of 2,000 km. It can carry a nuclear warhead," said Dr Selvamurthy.

"We have successfully test fired this today. The Strategic Force Command has carried this out. They have done the whole operation themselves and our scientists have been observing the whole operation.

"It has gone very well. All the mission objectives have been successfully met. This has been inducted in the Armed Forces. It was successfully test fired from the Wheeler Island," he added.

The Agni missile is a family of medium to inter-continental range ballistic missiles developed by India. It comprises of Agni I, Agni II, Agni III and Agni V. By Praful Kumar Singh

Agni-II test fired successful

India on Monday successfully test-fired nuclear-capable Agni-II ballistic missile, with a range of 2000 kilometers from the Wheelers Island off Orissa coast.

The trial was conducted with a special strategic command force (SSC) raised by the Army with necessary logistic support provided by various laboratories of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists.

The Agni missile family is envisaged to be the mainstay of the Indian missile-based strategic nuclear deterrence.

The Agni-II is a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) with two solid fuel stages and a Post Boost Vehicle (PBV) integrated into the missile's Re-entry Vehicle (RV).
The Agni's manoeuvring RV is made of a carbon-carbon composite material that is light and able to sustain high thermal stresses of re-entry, in a variety of trajectories.

The missile is part of the Agni series, which includes Agni-I of 700-kilometer range and Agni-III of 3,500-kilometer range.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

India, France collaborate on satellite

India is collaborating with France to launch a satellite within a year to collect data related to climate change, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha thia week.

“ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is planning to launch Megha Tropiques satellite in polar orbit within a year. It will provide data on atmospheric humidity, radiation budget and amount of precipitation to study the climate,” he said.

India and France are jointly developing the scientific payloads for the satellite, he added.