Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Sea Gripen Programme Saab AB has since the beginning of the Gripen programme analysed and discussed a carrier based version from time to time. The first studies go back to the mid-90s. The studies have been initiated due to interest shown by difference countries which see the land based Gripen as their future land based fighter alternative and who also have, or are aiming to, develop carriers within their fleets. One of the main reasons is Gripen’s one of a kind capability to operate from rugged short road strips, which leads to the obvious corollary of “How much re-construction is needed to re-design the Gripen into a carrier based version?”
The basic Swedish Air Force requirements in the original design for securing the capability of short strips operations is very like “carrier based ops”. Qualities like; low landing speed, high pitch and roll authority, high precision glide slope control, high precision landing capability, high sink rate clearance, strengthened airframe etc. are built-in from the beginning.
Add Gripen´s character for active service in field with easy maintenance (engine changes < 1 hour in field, no need for external power etc) makes the “jump” much shorter with Gripen compared to other land-based fighters’ opportunity to transform into a “deck-based” fighter.
The decision to launch the programme within Saab AB was taken in the context of Gripen market opportunities in two nations which are both at the beginning of developing a carrier based capability for their Armed Forces, namely Brazil and India. The Sea Gripen Programme is aimed for naval-/carrier based operations.
A few highlights: The Sea Gripen is a development programme with its origin from the Gripen NG programme. Sea Gripen is aimed for both CATOBAR and STOBAR operations. The main technical re-designs are:
- New undercarriage and nose gear to cope with higher sink rate forces and catapult launches.
- Strengthened air frame in some areas.
- Redesigned arrestor hook
- “Marinazing” of the aircraft (increased requirements on salt water protections, operations in hot and humidity conditions etc.)
All together the re-design will add weight on the airframe which will give an empty weight between 7500-8000 kg. (~400 kg extra weight compare to Gripen NG) Due to its balanced size there are no needs for structural changes like folding wings Sea Gripen will be a very appealing alternative for nations with smaller size carriers. Its well balanced weight/size compare to heavy twin-engine alternatives will allow nations to move from “air defence”- carriers to a concept with strategic capabilities, without a replacement of their carriers. All sensors, avionics and weapons within the Gripen NG programme will be offered in the Sea Gripen.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thanks to Vishnu (Som) for the heads-up on this photo. This could be the first image of an Indian Navy Sea Harrier (Limited Upgrade) with its new Derby beyond visual range air-to-air missiles.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Just to stir up the irony a little more, here's what the folks at Irkutsk had to say in a trumpeting little statement (nevermind the English) on the day that the President went up in the MKI: "In India, this plane has become a symbol of national pride. It takes part in all military parades and aviation exhibitions held in the country, successfully represents the national air forces on the international military games. Its image is placed on the anniversary coin which has been let out to the 75th anniversary of the air forces of India."
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
The joint venture company, whose name is currently going through the official certification process, will be headquartered in New Delhi with manufacturing at a purpose built facility nearby in Faridabad. Initially there will be about 100 employees and existing projects include the Axe high mobility vehicle as well as up-armoured and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, Rapid Intervention Vehicles and the Marksman light armoured vehicle.
In anticipation of the new company, the two shareholders have been progressing a major new project to develop a mine protected vehicle specifically designed to meet the needs of the Indian armed and paramilitary forces. The companies have worked in partnership to produce a prototype vehicle using the mine defeating technologies of the BAE Systems South Africa RG series of vehicles and Mahindra's knowledge of Indian requirements and conditions. This development process has resulted in a brand new mine protected vehicle currently named MPVI (Mine Protected Vehicle India). A prototype MPVI has been produced and will eventually be manufactured at the JV facility in Faridabad using indigenously produced materials.
It is also intended that the JV company will be involved in a number of future artillery programmes including the M777 light weight howitzer and the FH77B 155mm howitzer. It is envisaged that the JV will become a centre of excellence for Indian artillery programmes.
Excerpted from BAE/MDS Joint Press Statement
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Two seater (Trainer) version of Tejas (PV-5) made its maiden flight on 26 Nov 09. The flight took off from HAL,Airport at 1300 hrs. The successful maiden flight covered an altitude of 9km and Mach number 0.85. The prototype was flown by Gp Capt Ritu Raj Tyagi of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC). Air Cmde Rohit Varma, Project Director (Flight Test) flew in the rear cockpit. Wg Cdr (Retd) PK Raveendran, Group Director (Flight Test) was the Test Director. Extensive preparatory work that has gone in resulted in the first flight profile being executed with clock work precision. All the objectives set out for the flight were achieved and all the systems on board the new prototype performed well through out the sortie.
Successful flight of Tejas trainer is a major milestone for Tejas programme and a significant achievement for all the stake holders in the programme, which include ADA, HAL, NAL, ADE, CEMILAC, DGAQA, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. With the Tejas scheduled to be cleared for Initial Operations with the Indian Air Force by end 2010, successful maiden flight of Tejas trainer has given a fillip to the programme. The trainer when fully developed will have the full operational capability from the rear cockpit as well. As Tejas Trainer has a lot of commonality with Tejas Naval version, even Tejas Navy programme would see accelerated progress as a result of the successful first flight.
As the first flight coincided with the programme review by the Air Force, the historic event was witnessed by Air Mshl NV Tyagi, AVSM, VM, VSM, who was the Chairman of the Review Committee along with Mr Ashok Nayak, Chairman, HAL, Chief Controller, DRDO Dr D Banerjee and Mr PS Subramanyam, Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) & Director, ADA.