Friday, October 29, 2010

DRDO Test-flies Nishant UAV With Structural Health Monitoring

DRDO Statement: Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) a premier DRDO laboratory has conducted Nishant trials (N15-32) on 28.10.2010 at Kolar Airfield in which a technology breakthrough has been achieved. A new technology called the Structural Health Monitoring has been developed by Bangalore based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) (a CSIR establishment), for the monitoring of structural health parameters while the UAV is in flight. This break-through enables the structural health of aeronautical structures to be monitored, so that online health can be monitored and online and corrective action for the flight can be taken. This enables the aircraft to be flown without unnecessarily grounding them.

Analysis algorithms have been developed to predict onset of failures which would be perfected using the data obtained through today's flight. Usage of such techniques will avoid periodic grounding of the aircraft and make the maintenance schedules to be more like "on condition maintenance", the condition being detected even before the failure occurs. It will avoid unnecessary grounding of aircraft for inspection. Such a monitoring can be used for LCA, MCA, FGFA and other UAVs. Such techniques are going to be extensively used in the future in order to cut down the operation costs of the aircraft and can also lead to reduction in airfares. Such techniques can prevent ensuing danger of the flights by pre-warning the occurance of failure.

Eurofighter Says Forget F-35, Typhoon Squares Up With Raptor!

The cover story of the latest edition of Eurofighter World has the company squaring up the Typhoon with the F-22 Raptor. It's a 5thGen fixation of sorts for the folks at Eurofighter, some of it fairly compelling. In their last edition, they took generous swipes at the F-35.

UPDATE: Eurofighter AESA Radar Full-Op By 2015

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eurofighter Supervisory Board's First Visit To Delhi

Eurofighter Statement: The Supervisory Board of Eurofighter GmbH is meeting in New Delhi for the first time. CEOs from Eurofighter partner companies (EADS, BAE Systems and Alenia Aeronautica) are visiting New Delhi from 25th to 26th October 2010. The Supervisory Board will support the ongoing Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) campaign and propose to the potential Indian partners additional opportunities for industrial and technological cooperation. In photo, from L-R, CEO Cassidian Spain Enrique Barrientos, Managing Director Typhoon Mission Support & International Programmes of BAE Systems Christopher Boardman, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurofighter GmbH and CEO of EADS subsidiary Cassidian Air Systems Bernhard Gerwert, CEo Eurofighter GmbH Enzo Casolini and Senior Vice President Commercial Defence Aircraft of Alenia Aeronautica Maurizio de Mitri.

[UPDATED] TV REPORT: Eurojet Consultant Expelled From India

A TV report on Friday by Newsx Defence Editor Vishal Thapar suggests that a consultant to Eurojet was recently asked to leave the country after it was allegedly discovered that he had privileged information about the Tejas engine bid, a competition that the firm ultimately lost.

[OCT 27 | 9.16PM] I've just received Eurojet's response to the TV News report above. Here it is in full: "Eurojet Turbo GmbH categorically denies unfounded allegations made in the NewsX report titled India expels arms dealer, authored by Vishal Thapar and released on 23 October 2010. The report lacks any factual base and is a work of fiction."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Indian Navy Begins Search For HALE UAVs With Optional Weapons

The Indian Navy has invited information [PDF] to support a potential acquisition of an unspecified number of high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs. The Navy has specified that it wants a platform with at least 25-hours mission endurance, an all up weight of no more than 15-tons, service ceiling of 40,000 feet and cruise speed of 100 knots. The Navy currently uses a small mix of IAI Heron and Searcher MK2 UAVs, and has an ongoing efforts to acquire shipborne unmanned rotorcraft.

Indian Navy Re-Floats Bid For Medium Range Maritime Aircraft

The India Navy has refloated a bid [PDF] to acquire six medium range maritime reconnaisance (MRMR) aircraft from the global aerospace market. First floated in early 2009, this second effort looks to identify and acquire aircraft with an operating range of at least 350 Nm and patrol time of at least 3.5-hours. Ostensibly to augment the mission profiles that will be served by 12 (8+4) new Boeing P-8Is, roles specified for the contending aircraft include maritime patrol, anti-surface warfare (two anti-ship missiles and jammer pod minimum), ELINT/ESM/ECM/COMINT and search and rescue.

India's Future Infantry Combat Vehicle

From the latest DRDO Tech Focus issue: "Indigenous development of the Indian ICV Abhay has led to the creation of technology base and know-how for the envisaged development of a Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV). The programme has also enabled identification of suitable industry partners, and has created pools of excellence in development of ICV sub systems The system integration capability at lab level has enhanced to a significant level, which will facilitate undertaking technology intensive programme. Development of FICV was derived mainly due to breakthrough technologies and developments in automobile industry worldwide and to meet the long-term requirements of the Services. To realise the FICV within the time frame visualised by the Army and to use the lead time available DRDO has taken the initiative to commence a technology demonstration project,'Development of Enabling Technologies' for FICV to develop a virtual prototype of complete vehicle."

Copyright DRDO Tech Focus

How We Treat Our PAF Killers

Heartbreaking. The top photo is from today's Times of India -- an Indian Air Force Dassault Mystere-IVA dying a slow death at the Rashtriya Sainik Board (RSB) compound in North Delhi. The second photo (from The Indian Express, October 21), is an Indian Air Force Folland Gnat (IE-246 -- though this number is apparently somewhat problematic) being hauled back to its rightful position in front of Vayu Bhawan, the IAF Headquarters building. Is there a better way to move the aircraft? Kills you a little bit seeing it this way.

Photos Copyright (1) TOI & (2) The Indian Express

Thursday, October 21, 2010

PHOTOS: Flanker-Typhoon Mixed Engagement Formations Fly At Ex-Indradhanush

Photos Courtesy Indian Air Force

PHOTOS: Five T-90 Regiments Receive President's Colours

Fifty tanks from five T-90 Bhishma tank regiments took part in a brilliant parade at the Babina military station on October 19 where the President of India presented standards to the 83, 12, 13, 15 and 19 Armoured Regiments, all part of the Indian Army's 31 Armoured Division.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PHOTOS (High Rez): Flankers, Mirages Kickstart New Runway At AFS Gwalior!

FIRST PHOTOS: Typhoons, Su-30s Roar At Exercise Indradhanush @Kalaikunda!

Flying exercise missions of Indo-UK Air Exercise Indradhanush began today at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in East India. The Royal Air Force is participating with Eurofighter Typhoons, an E-3D Sentry AWACS, and a VC-10 mid air refueller, while the IAF is fielding the Su-30MKIs, Mirage-2000s, MiG-27s and an A-50I Phalcon AWACS (for the first time in a joint air exercise).

These assets will be combined along with the aircrew and then divided into the blue and red forces. The red forces are the agressors while blue forces are the defending side. The roles of the participants are changed through out the exercise. The degree of difficulty during the exercise missions is increased by random denial of mid air refueling, and radar silence etc. The major highlight of the exercise is the large number of aircraft operating together and against each other in limited time and space putting the skills of the pilots and the fighter controllers to test.

Air Marshal L K Malhotra of the Eastern Air Command met the participants and addressed them today. In his address he said “ apart from the pilots flying these missions, it is an excellent opportunity for the controllers who would be either controlling these missions or will be on board AWACS aircraft as observers. On the technical side too, there will be a number of areas where both the sides can learn from each others maintainance practices, procedures and management of resources with a view to support flying operations”.

PHOTOS: New Runway At Air Force Station Gwalior, Su-30s Added To Base

IAF Statement (abridged): The Gwalior Air Base of the Indian Air Force now has the unique distinction of being the only operational base in Indian Air Force with two operational parallel runways and operating top of the line fighters. The ceremony was also marked by the induction of Sukhoi-30 MKI at Air Force Station Gwalior.

ring the ceremony, Air Commodore Neeraj Yadav VM VSM, Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Gwalior and other senior Air Force officials of the air base were also present. A magnificent fly past by three Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft in VIC formation was organized to mark this historic occasion. These aircraft belonging to Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment took off from the Bareilly air base and were the first aircraft to land on the newly constructed runway. The chief guest also received salute from Su-30 MKI, Mirage-2000 and MiG-21 Bison aircraft as they taxied past the dais, symbolising the operationalisation of the new Runway with all types of aircraft based at Gwalior.

The new runway was conceptualised in the year 2006 with work commencing in Feb 2009. A mammoth engineering effort involving more than 200 engineers, supervisors and workers was achieved despite the extreme climatic conditions and record breaking rains at Gwalior. As a strategic asset, the new runway will assist the IAF in its quest of being a formidable aerospace power of the century. Two parallel runways would allow the flexibility to launch and recover multiple aircraft simultaneously towards large operational missions and also enhance the existing air traffic handling capability. This will also result in considerable savings to the exchequer due to reduced fuel consumption as aircraft will be able to launch and recover at a faster rate.

Photos Courtesy Indian Air Force / DPR