Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Agni-IV among the world's best : VK Saraswat

The Agni-IV, India's latest strategic nuclear-capable missile, is among the world's best and better than Pakistan's missiles, VK Saraswat head of its developer, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said here on Wednesday.

"I have no doubt that Agni-IV compares with what is available in its class of missiles like the Pershing (US medium range ballistic missile)," Saraswat said at a press conference when asked if India can now say its missile technology is superior to that of Pakistan.

"If I am comparing Agni-IV with Pershing-I or Pershing-II missiles in terms of technology...I am talking in terms of technology, not in terms of range, as Pershing missiles have higher meets global standards," he said, to stress the point.

"Whether our missiles vis-a-vis our adversaries, it meets the Pershing standards or not, that you have to find out," he said in response to a comparison with Pakistan's ballistic missile programme.

"As far as I am concerned, we have state-of-the-art ballistic missiles," he added.

The test-flight of Agni-IV, India's most advanced long-range missile was “a stupendous success” on Tuesday, with the missile covering a range of more than 3,000 km in 20 minutes of fluent flight.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Second Successful Launch of the Indian Shourya Ballistic Missile

India has tested the Shourya nuclear-capable surface/surface missile September 24, 2011, at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off Orissa coast, about 15 km from Balasore. "The launch of the missile was perfect like in text book and followed the path exactly to the pre-defined target in the Bay of Bengal," S.P. Dash, director of the test range, said.

Authorities evacuated more than 2,000 people living close to the launch site in Orissa state - shifting them to temporary shelters, due to security concerns over the test.

This flight paves the way for its production and induction into the Services. It was designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The missile can be used by both the Navy and the Army because it could perform various roles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mahindra-NAL C-NM5 conducts first flight

Utility vehicles major Mahindra Group's maiden aircraft, the C-NM5, has completed a successful test flight, the company announced here Wednesday.

The 45-minute flight of the C-NM5, conducted Sep 1, tested the basic handling of the 5-seater all-metal aircraft.

Subsequent flights evaluated the aircraft stability and control under different flying conditions and further tests are continuing to comply with international regulatory standards before putting it up for global sales.

The aircraft has been developed in a public-private partnership between National Aerospace Laboratories and Mahindra Group's Mahindra Aerospace, with GippsAero, Australia (a subsidiary of Mahindra Aerospace), said Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of the $12.5 billion Mahindra Group.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

India developing solar-powered UAVs

After launching development of stealth UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles), India is now also looking at designing solar-powered spy drones which can cruise in the sky for several days at a time. 

"We are looking forward to develop solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a long range and endurance capability as we plan to diversify our expertise in UAV technology," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Gupta said. 

The one-of-its-kind UAV will be designed and developed to endure long-range sorties ranging up to a month in all weather conditions, Gupta said.

The high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) solar-powered UAV will not just reduce Indian military's carbon footprint but more importantly provide a cost-effective and flexible 24x7 ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) platform akin to "a pseudo-satellite" orbiting closer to the ground. Besides the armed forces, paramilitary personnel engaged in anti-Naxal operations are also looking forward to procure UAVs to snoop deep into forests inhabited by Left-wing extremists.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

India to build its own stealth fighter jet.

India is getting ready to add another fighter aircraft to its fleet with the DRDO working on an Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft. In a little over a decade from now the Indian Air Force will be needing replacements for its MiG-29, Mirage and Jaguar fighters. The DRDO through its Bangalore based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) will unveil the design for that replacement to the air force brass next year, an indigenous design for a stealth aircraft 

Director General VK Saraswat DRDO said, "Our requirement is to look for a fighter aircraft which will be required after 2025 and that aircraft should have all capabilities in terms of agility, maneuverability, load carrying capacity, low radar cross-section, super cruise." 

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft could be in the 20 tonne range and composite materials will comprise much of its structure. Weapons will be carried in internal concealed bays and It will be powered by two "Kaveri" engines. 

"It will be powered by our modified 'Kaveri' engine. It will have additional features in terms of better fuel consumption, thrust vectoring, serpentine intakes and also some of the technologies critical for high fuel efficient and high turbine temperatures," said Saraswat. 
Originally the Kaveri was to power the Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' but is yet to develop the required thrust forcing the authorities to opt for the GE414 engine. Given that experience, the DRDO through the ADA plans to collaborate with a foreign engine manufacturer to speed up the development and testing work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter likely to compete in South Korean tender

The export version of Russia's T-50 fifth-generation fighter, also called as the PAK-FA, is likely to compete in a South Korean tender for 60 fighter aircraft with advanced Stealth capability. The version is being jointly developed by India and Russia and will be ready to fly in 2016.

India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be a major beneficiary of this procurement as many of the aircraft electronics systems are to developed in India as part of the workshare agreement between India and Russia. The two countries are sharing the development cost of the project estimated at US$35 billion.

A RiaNovosi report quoting an unnamed official of the Moscow based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade said that the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had expressed an interest in having the T-50 compete along with Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and the Eurofighter Typhoon. A report from Seoul said that the DAPA is likely to issue request for proposals late next year for the acquisition to happen by 2016-17. The PAK-FA is expected to ready for delivery in 2016-17 for both the Russian and India Air Forces.

The PAK-FA is scheduled to make its first pubic appearance at the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS 2011) currently on in the Russian capital. Two prototypes of the aircraft have been making test flights since 2010.

India plans to induct the FGFA by 2017. Defence Minister A K Antony had said during the Aero India 2011 show, "the difficulties in joining this programme are over. We've signed a deal with the Russians, and we will see the FGFA inducted by 2017".

Mikhail Pogosyan, chief executive of Russia's United Aircraft Corp said during a brief media interaction here that the Indo-Russian fifth generation project was on track.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Prahaar Missile

Prahaar (Sanskrit:प्रहार, Strike) is a solid fueled surface-to-surface guided short-range tactical ballistic missile by DRDO of India. It would be equipped with omni-directional warheads and could be used for hitting both tactical and strategic targets 


The Prahaar is the latest missile to be added to India's arsenal of ballistic missiles and was developed keeping in mind the Indian Army's 'Cold Start' doctrine, which envisions a rapid thrust by armored regiments into Pakistan in the event of a provocation. The Prahaar would play a key role in disrupting and destroying enemy infrastructures as well as lines of communication before Indian ground forces move in.

The missile was developed with two main factors in mind:, accuracy and rapid response. Accuracy was important as it allows for the targeting of individual, 'tactical' targets, as opposed to an artillery strike or rocket barrage which is usually directed at broader areas of impact. The Prahaar is also designed to carry various types of sub-munitions or a unitary warhead. For example, it will be able to carry up to 400 AT/AP bomblets, scatterable mines, anti-runway munitions and similar loads, making it effective for a wide number of targets. The Prahaar's payload compartment is being developed by the DRDO in cooperation with Israel Aircraft Industries' (IAI) MLM Systems Integration Division and Israel Military Industries' (IMI) Rocket Systems Division.

The Prahaar was first test launched on 21st July, 2011 from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur. The DRDO reported that the missile took off, reached a height of 35 kilometers, and hit a designated target in the Bay of Bengal 150 kilometers away with an accuracy of 10 meters. The total flight time was 250 seconds, or just under four minutes. The Prahaar fulfilled all test parameters.


The Prahaar is a solid fueled single stage missile with which the Indian Army hopes to fill a crucial gap in it's surface-to-surface arsenal. As of now the Army can choose to either use it's Pinaka and Smerch Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRLs) for ground bombing or for a bigger punch choose the Prithvi missile which can carry warheads of more than 500 kg. However, there is a large gap between the MBRLs and the Prithvi, and it is precisely this gap which the Prahaar is to fill. Unlike the unguided rockets launched by the Pinaka or Smerch, each Prahaar missile is guided and has an accuracy of ±10 meters over a range of 150 kilometers.

The Prahaar missile system comes in sets of six missiles, all sharing the same launcher. With this, the missiles can either be fired singularly, or in a salvo with single and multiple target designations. The Prahaar missile system is intended for use primarily by the Army against enemy targets deep within enemy lines. Until now this role has fallen on the Indian Air Force, at the cost of many pilots' lives as well as lost aircraft, the Prahaar should greatly reduce the burden on the IAF in this regard. For this purpose it is speculated that even the Air Force would be interested by the Prahaar Missile system.


The Prahaar has been designed with mobility in mind and therefore it's primary launcher is a 8 x 8 Tatra Transporter Erector Launcher which has been developed by Tata. This is better known as the Road Mobile System which includes 6 separately enclosed Prahaar missiles as well as a state of the art command centre which allows for seamless communication between decision makers and the Prahaar missile batteries. As a result of this, once the launch command is given it takes less than 10 minutes for the missiles to hit their intended targets. Another aspect of the launcher is that missiles can be launched in any direction across the entire azimuth-plane, thereby eliminating the need to spend precious time maneuvering the launcher.


Weight: 1280 kg
Length: 7.3 meters
Diameter: 0.42 meter
Warhead:200 kg
Propellant: Solid
Operational range: 150 km
Speed: Mach 2.03 (2160 km/h)
Launch platform: 8 x 8 Tatra Transporter Erector Launcher

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier to be launched in Dec

Air Defence Ship 

The construction of the first indigenous aircraft carrier 'Air Defence Ship' at Cochin is scheduled to be completed by December after which the 40,000 tonne vessel will be launched, the Lok Sabha was informed.

"Regarding the ADS being constructed at the Cochin Shipyard limited (CSL), 75 per cent of hull work has been completed and is expected to be launched in December 2011, after which further work will be undertaken prior to its commissioning," Defence Minister A K Antony said on Monday in reply to a query.

He said Indian-made warship quality steel was now available in the country, which will reduce the country's dependence on foreign sources.

"With the infrastructure and experience, indigenous aircraft carrier-sized ships can be built at CSL. Now Indian-manufactured warship quality steel is available, which will reduce dependence on foreign countries," he said.

Outlining India's plans to have an aircraft carrier on both the seaboards, the minister said, "To maintain effective presence in our area of interest, Indian Navy should be capable of deploying Carrier Task Forces in two geographically separated locations."

Commenting on the work on the Admiral Gorshkov project in Russia, Antony said, "The refit and modernisation works on board the INS Vikramaditya are progressing in an earnest manner."

"Consequent to signing of supplementary agreements in March 2010, the Russian side has increased the manpower and material resources considerably for the project. A majority of the equipment and systems have been installed on board the ship. The delivery of the ship is scheduled in December 2012," he said.

Monday, August 1, 2011

India building space shuttle

India is working towards realising its dream - to create a re-usable satellite launch vehicle. An engineering model of what scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) call the re-usable launch vehicle, is currently housed at a secure and secret facility in Kerala. Covered with special heat resistant tiles, soon it will roar skywards.

A reusable launch system (or reusable launch vehicle, RLV) is a launch system which is capable of launching a launch vehicle into space more than once. This contrasts with expendable launch systems, where each launch vehicle is launched once and then discarded.

The news about Indian Space Shuttle is not new. In the end of 1980s and beginning of 1990s India had plans to develop the small Space Shuttle named Hyperplane that would to be orbited by non-reusable launchers. Then plans differed to project Avatar RLV as a single-stage system.AVATAR (Aerobic Vehicle for Hypersonic Aerospace TrAnspoRtation) is a single-stage reusable spaceplane capable of horizontal takeoff and landing, being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization along with Indian Space Research Organization and other research institutions; it could be used for cheaper military and civilian satellite launches.
When operational, it is planned to be capable of delivering a payload weighing up to 1,000 kg to low earth orbit.

"We are dreaming about a fully re-usable vehicle, there are several elements we need to understand as of now we have a technology demonstrator," said Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO.

The unmanned Indian space shuttle will be initially launched vertically like a rocket and in the first few flights it will be dropped back into the sea, but later it will make a landing like any other aircraft.

ISRO belives that this technology can drastically reduce the cost of launching satellites to space.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DRDO to make sun-powered UAVs (Drones) that can fly for 15 days

After launching development of stealth UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles), India is now also looking at designing solar-powered spy drones which can cruise in the sky for several days at a time.

The high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) solar-powered UAV will not just reduce Indian military's carbon footprint but more importantly provide a cost-effective and flexible 24x7 ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) platform akin to "a pseudo-satellite" orbiting closer to the ground.

"Yes, Army and IAF have asked us to develop the solar-powered HALE UAV. Initial work is in progress for such a drone which can undertake a 15-day continuous flight over 30,000-feet,'' DRDO's chief controller R&D (aeronautics) Dr Prahlada told TOI.

The drone will harvest solar energy during the day, storing it in fuel cells to provide power for electric motors for night flying. "Solar efficiency is low but we are looking at a payload of around 50kg (sensors, cameras etc). We will seek some collaboration from either US or European companies,'' said Dr Prahlada.

This comes at a time when several international aviation majors are doing cutting-edge research on solar UAVs . Boeing , for instance, is developing a UAV with a 400-feet wingspan, called Solar Eagle, which can operate continuously for an astonishing five years. It is being described as a "zero-maintenance, launch-and leave UAV''.

With remotely-piloted spy as well as combat drones being seen as major force-multipliers or game-changers in modern-day warfare, DRDO has launched a series of UAV programmes for Indian armed forces, which have largely depended on Israeli drones like Searchers and Herons till now.

As was first reported by TOI recently, this includes the secretive AURA (autonomous unmanned research aircraft) programme to develop UCAVs capable of firing missiles, bombs and PGMs (precision guided munitions).

The Cabinet Committee on Security has also now cleared a Rs 1,500 crore DRDO project to develop the Rustom-H MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) drone, capable of operating for 24 hours with a 350-kg payload. "Its first flight will take place in two years,'' said Dr Prahlada.

Then, of course, there is the smaller Rustom-I drone, with 8-12 hour endurance and a 100-kg payload, as well as the already-developed Nishant UAV, which has a 4.5 hour endurance level.

Army, in fact, has projected a requirement of seven "troops" (akin to squadrons) of Rustom drones. As for Nishants, Dr Prahlada said, "Army has already inducted four such drones, which can be launched from hydro-pneumatic launchers without the need of runways, while eight more are being manufactured.''

"Nishants can carry electro-optical, electronic intelligence and communication intelligence payloads so the home ministry is also interested,'' added.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ISRO plans joint moon mission with NASA

Another dimension to the ''moon mission'' may open up as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning a joint mission with United States’ National Aeronautics Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to collect samples from the moon.

“This (project) is in the planning phase, alongside India’s lunar mission programme activities centered around ‘Chandrayaan II,”  ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan told a news conference here after the successful launch of PSLV-C16 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, 100 km North of Chennai.

NASA is planning to execute this mission in the year 2016, while the ISRO will provide the “communicating orbiter” of the project, besides chipping in with a few scientific instruments, he said. That will be called the “Moonrise Mission.”

PSLV-C16 launch video

PSLV successfully launched

Reaffirming its workhorse tag, India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) today completed its 17th successful mission in a row when it launched the country's remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2 from the spaceport of Sriharikota.
Today's successful launch by PSLV-C16 , which also carried two nano satellites, has again demonstrated India's commercial launch capabilities in the multi-billion dollar global market in the sector.
After overcoming the lone failure of PSLV-D1 launched on September 20, 1993, it has been a success story all the way for the ISRO's homegrown four-stage launch vehicle.
Since 1994, PSLV, designed and developed by ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, has launched a total of 44 satellites, including 25 from abroad.
Among the key launches undertaken by the PSLV are India's maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-I in October 2008, four Cartosats and Resourcesat-1.
A standard PSLV version is 44 metres tall with a lift off weight of 295 tonne and designed to launch 1600 kg satellites in 620 km sun-synchronous polar orbit and 1050 kg satellite into geo-synchronous transfer orbit.
PSLV has become "a more versatile vehicle for launching multiple satellites in polar SSOs , Low Earth Orbits and geosynchronous transfer orbit," ISRO said.
The launch vehicle has four stages using solid and liquid propulsion systems alternately.
With its variant configurations, PSLV has proved its multi-payload, multi-mission capability in a single launch and its geosynchronous launch capability.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Indian Pursuit Of Ballistic Missile Defence Program – Analysis

Recently India conducted a successful ballistic missile defence test which was capable enough to intercept and kill the incoming missile. This shows that Indian ballistic missile defence program comprising of long range tracking radar, command and control system and the interceptor, is maturing at a faster pace. As a result, the South Asian strategic stability would be challenged as there are diversification of threats and limited response options, BMD adds value to the complexity of the region.


Friday, April 8, 2011

ISRO to launch three satellites on April 20

ISRO today announced that it will launch three satellites, including an advanced remote sensing satellite to study and manage natural resources, on April 20.

"Preparations for the launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) carrying Resourcesat-2 satellite are progressing well at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. In this mission, PSLV-C16 will launch Resourcesat-2, Youthsat and X-Sat satellites," the space agency said.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Missile interceptor test successfull

India today successfully tested a ballistic missile interceptor from a defence base in Orissa as part of its endeavour to create a shield against incoming enemy missiles.

The indigenous interceptor 'Ballistic Missile Defence System' was fired from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast near Dhamra in Bhadrak district, about 170km from here at 9.37am.

It successfully destroyed the incoming ballistic missile. A modified version of Prithvi II was used as the target enemy missile and was fired from the the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur on sea in Balasore district, about 70km away from Wheeler Island across the sea.

The interceptor was fired five minutes after the target missile was fired.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chandrayaan found water on moon, NASA confirms

In a major announcement relating to India's moon mission - Chandrayaan-1, NASA has confirmed the discovery of water on the moon by Chandrayaan-1. This was announced by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most powerful space observatories in the world,

The Chandra Altitudunal Composition Explorer (CHACE) on the night of November 14, 2008 made the dicovery. The CHACE was one of the three instruments on board Chandrayaan-1's indigenous Moon Impact Probe (MIP), which was dropped on to the Moon surface.

The HST was launched in 1990 by Nasa space shuttle Discovery. HST's confirmation was announced recently by the American Astronomical Society which was made public on Saturday. It is a major boost to India's space programme.

Referring to the AAS endorsement, Tirtha Pratim Das, a scientist who was a part of the CHACE project, said in Vikram Sarabhai Space Centres internal journal 'Voyage' : "The CHACE experiment on board the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) in Chandrayaan-1 mission made the first successful measurement on the lunar day-side atmosphere on 14th November, 2008."

According to Das, the analysis of the data revealed the presence of water in significant amount on the moon.

"Scientists from the west have for the first time acknowledged the published work of direct evidence of water on the moon by India.", the project manager of CHACE, Syed Maqbool Ahmed, said

Ahmed's response to the space telescopes confirmation assumes significance for two reasons. First, the credit for India's lunar discovery was snatched by Nasa in 2008-09 and Indian space scientists are extremely upset about this.

LCH in Aero India 2011

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is a multirole combat helicopter being developed in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for use by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.

Development of Prospective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF) launched

The Russian aircraft manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is entering a new era of cooperation with India, with the launching of the development of Prospective Multi-Role Fighter (PMF).  Embarked December 2010 by UAC, Irkut and HAL, it was inaugurated in a press conference held at Aero-India 2011. Mikhail Pogosyan, recently nominated the new general director of UAC presented his view of the evolving cooperation between the two countries.

“The 5th Generation fighter is a most important step for the future relationship of the two countries’ said Pogosyan. The Russian T50 providing the basis for FGFA has already performed 40 flights and is undergoing ground testing,  using three test articles, undergoing various static ground tests. Two additional T50 prototypes will join the test unit this year, accelerating the development progress. Pogosyan expects the program to complete the first phase next year. He assured that the Indian concern for sharing technology in the program was well covered in the contract, to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.”We are moving into a new level of cooperation, based on good and sound basis proven with MiG-27 3rd generation and Su-30 fourth generation aircraft.”

ISRO-NASA Moon mission announced

Space commission have announced a Indo-US joint moon mission. The commission gave ISRO the go-ahead to partner with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the US, which has sent missions to Mars and Venus, for the project. The mission called Moonrise is slated for launch in 2016 and now it's for NASA to take the final call on the proposal.

ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invited proposals under its New Frontiers Programme announced in 2009. He said the proposal was an outcome of India-US cooperation announced during the visit of President Barack Obama to India last year.

As per the cooperation agreement, ISRO will send a satellite to orbit around the moon to transmit data to control centers from the robotic rover JPL plans to send to the lunar surface.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eighth India Aero Show (Intro Video)

The 8th Aero India air show kicks off with some of biggest, fastest and deadliest aircraft on display. Once again, it's the Indian air force's multi-billion dollar fighter deal that's the focus of the show.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The 62nd Republic Day Celebrations

The 62nd  Republic Day  Celebrations : Flag Hoisting Ceremony  by Hon'ble President of India
Followed by Republic Day Parade from Rajpath

Webcast by National Informatics Centre

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tejas inducted in IAF

India's first locally designed and manufactured Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' is formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a ceremony in Bangalore. Tejas was handed over to the Indian Air Force on Monday for what is called an initial operational clearance.

IAF has already placed orders with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for 40 aircrafts, which is seen as a replacement for the MIG 21's.

The multi-role supersonic aircraft have undergone a series of tests. Tejas has completed all test points for low level flights, off the coast of Goa.

It has also conducted operations in the extreme climate of Leh and operated from an IAF air base in the South Western Air Command.

DRDO finalizing high altitude interception tests

DRDO is finalizing the missile defense test  that will attempt to intercept an incoming target at an altitude of more than 93 miles - nearly twice the reach of previous intercepts.
Defense Research and Development Organization Director General V.K. Saraswat told journalists "the trials are expected later this year."
India's missile interceptors have successfully brought down missiles nearly 50 miles above the earth's surface during the earlier trials. DRDO researchers ultimately aims to increase the interception altitude capabilities to as much as 186 miles.
India's missile defense program is comprised of extended-range radars and interceptors. The missile shield has had three successful tests in slightly more than four year