Sunday, July 29, 2012

BrahMos successfully test at user trial

India today successfully test fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range at Chandipur off Odisha coast. The missile, which has a flight range of up to 290 km, is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg.

"The cruise missile was test fired from a ground mobile launcher from the launch complex-3 at about 1030 hours and all data is being retrieved for analysis," defence sources said.

The cruise missile, a surface-to-surface Army version, was test fired as part of user trial by the Army, they said. The two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant, has already been inducted into the Army and Navy, and the Air-Force version is in final stage of trial, a defence official said.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

INS Sahyadri Inducted

The indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri was inducted to the Navy yesterday. INS Sahyadri is the 3rd of the seven new warships that the Navy is going to acquire. These new ship will be stealthier and will carry supersonic cruise missile BrahMos. It will also have a complement of weapons and the latest phased array radars to provide a clearer picture of approaching threats. Along with the capability to launch offensive on enemy vessels, the warship is equipped with advance electronic warfare capabilities and torpedoes to detect and neutralise enemy submarines

The Defence Minister accompanied by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma was present to commission the 6,200 tonne warship INS Sahyadri, which is the third and last of the Shivalik-class stealth frigates under Project 17 built indigenously at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL).

The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura that are now on active duty. The three have cost some Rs 10,200 crore and have been commissioned in the past two years.

The INS Sahyadri that got commissioned is an indicator of the generational shift in India’s warship-building capability. The 143m long ship can tactically fire weapons even before the enemy detects it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mars mission in November next year


India is all set to give the go-ahead for an ambitious mission to Mars, expected in November next year, a top Space Department official said here on Saturday.
“A lot of studies have been done on the possible mission to Mars”, Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K Radhakrishnan told reporters here.
“We have come to the last phase of approvals”, he said. .
“And I am sure that, maybe soon, we will be hearing an announcement on the Mars mission“.
According to ISRO officials, a significant amount of work on the planned Mars mission has been completed and scientific payloads have been short-listed.
The project report for Indian Mars Orbiter mission has been submitted for government approval.
The mission envisages launching an Orbiter around Mars using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL). The Orbiter will be placed in an orbit of 500 x 80,000 km around MARS and will have a provision to carry nearly 25 kg of scientific payloads on-board.
The tentative scientific objective for the Mars mission will be to focus on life, climate, geology, origin, evolution and sustainability of life on the planet,” according to ISRO.
Scientific payloads have been short-listed by ISRO’s Advisory Committee for Space Sciences (ADCOS) review committee.
Baseline, solar array and reflector configuration of the satellite have been finalised, the Bangalore-headquartered space agency said.

India developing futuristic artillery gun


That the Indian Army's artillery regiments are in desperate need of a makeover is well known. But the process of modernisation and upgrade has moved at a glacial pace. The only new weapon in sight is the M777 light howitzer which has been cleared for procurement from BAE Systems in the US. The DRDO has now stepped in, reviving an old artillery project that had been shut down some years ago owing to the Army's lack of interest in an indigenous project.
Working this time with the Army's full backing, the DRDO has begun work on a new 155mm 45-calibre gun that could take a decade to develop and field. Dr S Sundaresh, head of the team for the new artillery project, said in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN that the gun would comprise certain high-end technologies that could require a foreign collaborator.
ON THE NEW GUN
DRDO, Army working on futuristic artillery gun
We are proposing to develop a futuristic gun in consultation with the Army. We are in dialogue with the Army for some of the new technologies we are proposing to introduce into this gun, for example a special coating for the barrel to enhance its life, the smart recoil system with rheological fluid or an electrical drive to elevate and traverse the gun. We are in dialogue with the Army to finalise the Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) hopefully in the next couple of months. We have already started design work and will modify the design to suit the PSQR.
Since these are new technologies, we expect in about four to five years time we should be ready with a prototype for user trials, followed by summer and winter trials. Production could commence in about nine to 10 years' time. So the development cycle is 5-7 years including evaluation by the Army.
ON NEW TECHNOLOGIES
We want to try new technology in the area of recoil. The standard recoil systems are hydro-pneumatic but we are looking at an electro rheological liquid which has adaptive viscosity characteristics. So it will have adaptive damping, you will get a smooth consistent recoil no matter what the weight of the shell and what range you are firing at. That makes for a more reliable recoil system. The PSQRs demand new technology such as barrel coating. So the plan is to first build the barrel using current technologies and then try coating. Once that barrel development technology has matured, we can add new technologies and improve its performance. A number of foreign firms are willing to offer the coating technology. We are in dialogue but nothing has been firmed up yet. In order to cut down on time, we may get the technology from abroad, especially about the barrel coating and the recoilless system.
ON TANK GUNS VS ARTILLERY GUNS
Basically, both tanks and non-rocket artillery have rifled guns but when you look at the length of the barrel, the artillery gun barrels are much longer than tank barrels. The artillery shell is heavier, so the force of recoil is heavier. Accordingly, you require a proper recoil mechanism and a muzzle brake system.
ON LONE RANGER EFFORT
Nobody else in the world is developing a new gun. BAE Systems Bofors, Denel and Singapore Technologies have developed technologies for the guns they built. Nexter of France has also done the same but no serious development is taking place in terms of new guns. All guns are being produced with existing technology, so we will be the only country taking up this development. We have a large requirement and even if we take up development today, we can meet our requirements 10 years from now for a state-of-the-art gun system.
The Ordnance Factory Board is working on a gun based on the ToT documents received from Bofors. So they will be building a 155mm 39-calibre gun as well as a 155mm 45-calibre one. DRDO is helping them with the 45-calibre barrel design and external ballistics.
ON SELF PROPELLED GUNS
Self propelled guns are now at the RFP stage and we have teamed up with BEML for the Army tender. BEML is taking the turret from the Czech firm Zusana and the same will be integrated on the Arjun tank chassis. Hopefully trials will commence within a year.

Agni-I a success




The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army launched the Agni-I missile from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, on Friday.
The flight was a success with the missile travelling its full range of 700 km. The practice launch took place at 10.06 a.m. with Agni-I lifting off from a road mobile launcher (a modified TATRA truck) stationed at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on the Wheeler Island and the missile sped towards its targeted area in the Bay of Bengal. It followed its path perfectly guided by onboard computers. The missile’s re-entry systems worked well and it plunged into the targeted area with accuracy.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed and developed Agni-I. The Army has already deployed this short-range missile which can carry nuclear warheads.
An elated V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, told The Hindu from the Wheeler Island, that all the Agni missiles — Agni-I, II, III, IV and V, developed by the DRDO, “are flying high.” The DRDO launched Agni-V with a range of more than 5,000 km in April this year and the DRDO was back to launching Agni-I now, he said.
“All Agni missiles are performing well. Their production systems are working on schedule and the user [the Army] is conversant with the exercise of the launch. They have done a superb job today. The Strategic Forces Command has mastered the technology of launching the missile to a high degree of perfection,” said Dr. Saraswat, who is the DRDO Director-General and a missile technologist himself.
“As the designer and developer of Agni missiles, the DRDO is elated,” Dr. Saraswat said. As many Agni missiles as are required would be produced and delivered to the user, he added.
Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO, who was the Mission Director, described it as a textbook launch, with the mission meeting all its objectives. Radars installed along the coast kept a tab on Agni-I. Cameras on board two ships stationed near the targeted area recorded the terminal event of the missile’s flight. The missile was drawn from the production lot.