Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Sunday, November 11, 2018

HAL ramps up Tejas production; 5 more fighters to fly out by March 2019

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Tejas ready for auto low-speed recovery trials with FOC at striking distance


Part-2: https://bit.ly/2SZVzWA
Part-1: https://bit.ly/2z15e6X
Part-4: Tomorrow on #HAL

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Manu Awati - Young Man & The Sea

Pic: Padmaja Parulkar
By Commodore Srikant B Kesnur
Manohar Prahlad Awati is a legend in the Indian Navy and, arguably, across the entire military fraternity. A retired Vice Admiral who hung his uniform in 1983, he continues to be an awe-inspiring figure and a sterling example 34 years later. Today, 07 Sep 2017, as he celebrates his 90th birthday, is a welcome occasion to raise a toast to one of the icons of our times.
It is easy to understand why he makes an immediate impression. Over six feet tall and well built, he is the epitome of good looks. His snow-white beard and bushy eyebrows, erect carriage and dapper dressing, booming voice and twinkling eyes add to the flamboyance quotient. Add to this, he is a wonderful raconteur with an incredible memory and ability to remember incidents long past in vivid detail. You are often intimidated in his presence but guaranteed never to get bored.
A Google search will give all the details of an illustrious career. Joining Navy in 1945, early training in Britian, a specialist in Communication, commands of many ships including Tir, Betwa, Kamorta and Mysore. He was also at various times head of the Signal School Kochi, an instructor at DSSC Wellington and Commandant of National Defence Academy, Pune.
A war hero, he was awarded the Vir Chakra for command of Kamorta and P 31 (sqn cdr 31 Patrol Vessel Squadron) in 1971 war. In fact, he was, along with VAdm Krishnan and Capt Swaraj Prakash (CO Vikrant), among the small Naval Contingent in Dacca that accepted the surrender of Pakistan armed forces. (The .38 Webley pistol he got in surrender from a Pak Navy officer finds a proud place in the NDA museum). A couple of years down the line he was entrusted with the Command of Mysore, after that ship had witnessed an unfortunate mutiny, to restore normalcy and morale. Sure enough, he did it.
He commanded the Western Fleet in the late seventies and was the last Fleet Cdr to fly his flag on the erstwhile INS Delhi, thus underlining his own umbilical connection with that ship where he had served earlier as her Signals and Communications Officer ( SCO) and the time-space continuum in the Navy. He went to Delhi to serve as the Chief of Personnel in the 3-star rank before returning to Mumbai to head the Western Naval Command in Mar 1981 as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief ( FOCinC). He retired in Mar 1983, as a 55 year old, when Mrs Gandhi (possibly somewhat unexpectedly) chose VAdm Stan Dawson, the FOC-in-C South to succeed Ronnie Pereira as the Navy Chief. He declined an offer to head the Garden Reach Ship Building in Kolkota preferring to let his other pursuits gain traction.
All this though is a matter of detail that will perhaps fit into the CV of some other Admirals too. Manu Awati's life is worth reading about because of the many offbeat things he would do or the impression he would make by his sheer presence. There are several stories and anecdotes in this regard. Take the tale of his commuting to work every day in a horse driven carriage ( loaned from Rashtrapati Bhavan) when he was the Chief Of Personnel in Delhi. The clackety-clack of the carriage and a handsome navy officer in white uniform atop it attracted a lot of attention thereby annoying the Prime Minister Mrs G who told Ronnie to ask Manu to desist. When I asked Manu Sir why, he tongue in cheek replied: "Maybe she did not want attention to go to anybody else." Or take the story of his striding down the streets of Basra on a white steed in full riding gear when on an overseas deployment as Fleet Commander West. VAdm Bangara who related this anecdote talks of how the local populace thought he was royalty descended into town. Or the story of how he landed in the middle of the football field in a helicopter when he was the Chief Guest even as the organisers were waiting for him at the entrance to the stadium. Or his flying his flag on a blue ensign ship. He was simultaneously a traditional-minded Admiral (it is said he never missed a single colours ceremony on the Flag Ship when he was Fleet Cdr) and at the same time hugely unconventional and bold.
It is this same combination of qualities along with amazing energy he took with him to pursue other passions when he retired. While most other military men decide to fade away and tend to their rose gardens, Awati's second innings has been, arguably, even more, luminous than his first one. He has a wide range of interests - maritime history and awareness, ecology and nature conservation, adventure and open ocean sailing, social work and writing, and he has been able to give his 200 per cent to each of these.
Take maritime history for instance. In 1978 after reading a news item in the Times if India bemoaning India's lack of Maritime Awareness he, as the Fleet Cdr, marched into the CinCs office demanding approval and funding to set up the Maritime History Society ( MHS). VAdm Rusi Ghandhy laughed, sanctioned a royal sum of Rs 1000/- but predicted that MHS will not last for more than a year. Today, 40 years old, the MHS has brought out hundreds of scholarly articles, several books, conducted talks and seminars, and done a humongous amount to spread maritime awareness. Much of this owes to Awati's vision, personal goading and constant involvement in MHS and maritime education. Not just that. Along with his friend the eminent academic late Shri Arunachalam, he travelled all over the Indian coast researching on timber built Indian ships. And he has himself written and spoken copiously on maritime history in various forums. Fittingly, he has conferred the lifetime achievement award of the society last year.
Or take his love for nature and ecology. The Admiral has an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, animals and trees. But that's not all. Long ago, when he was Comdt NDA, the Tanzanian Defence Minister ( or was it the President) offered him a job as the Ranger/Conservator of the world-famous Serengeti game reserve and the Ngorongoro forests. He had to refuse that offer, but he has done a great deal otherwise. He is the author of three books on nature and wildlife, Homo Sapiens and Panthera Leo, The Vanishing Indian Tiger and Nature Clubs of India. A friend of the late and great Salim Ali, Manu Awati has also been associated with WWF India if I remember right. And the BNHS. He has also been the head of the Ecological Society of India.
His contributions to Ocean sailing will remain the jewel in the crown of a many-splendoured career. An innate love for the sea and adventure made him think of sailing and yachting as natural modes of expression of a naturally maritime country. He sowed the seed of ocean sailing long ago and the magnificent achievements of Dilip Donde (the first Indian to solo circumnavigate the world), Abhilash Tomy (the first Indian and Asian to solo circumnavigate the world non- stop), Ratnakar Dandekar (the Goa-based builder of these sturdy vessels) spring from the foundation laid by Manu Sir and the hard work he did grooming, facilitating and championing their cause. It is no wonder that these people worship Manu Awati as indeed do the six young women who are set to sail round the world in the next 2 or 3 days on Tarini. Even from his hospital bed last month when he underwent stenting, he had only their trip in mind and if my information is right, he is setting out tomorrow to Goa to meet them and wish them bon voyage. He has himself sailed often and but for his surgery was planning to sail from Goa to Mumbai at the ripe age of 90.
Apart from all this he has been a national level polo player, frequent contributor to innumerable journals and books, the Chairman of the Organising Committee for yachting at the 1982 Asian games in Delhi, recipient of numerous civilian and military awards, Vice President of Blitz publications, Chairman of Tolani shipping, and hold your breath.... model for Digjam suitings. He is also famous as the young officer who received the Colour on behalf of the Navy from the President of India Babu Rajendra Prasad. Further, after retirement, he settled down in Paltan, near Satara, converting a back of beyond place into a small buzzing zone of biodiversity with trees, small dam and an old world style bungalow. Needless to say, he also does a huge amount of social work.
My wife and I have had the personal good fortune of friendship and guidance from this great man and wonderful human being. 'Call me Manu', he would say softly once or twice. I told him I could never bring myself to say that except when I wrote about him. The fact that a man older than my father extends to us the generosity of his warmth was good enough for us.
We first met in NDA, in 1994, when I was Div offr and Mess Secy and he had come as a guest. His sharp memory recollected that he had commented (fortunately kindly) on an article written by me two years before. That started our association. My special memories about him are three different incidents that illustrate different aspects of his persona. The first one happened 20 years ago when he was addressing a gathering on the helo deck of a ship in Mumbai. Several dignitaries before him, much younger than him, used the mike to speak. When his turn came, he disdainfully moved the mikes away and in his loud baritone asked if people could hear him at the back. That small gesture said a lot about his flamboyant personality and communication skills. The second happened ten years ago in Seychelles when I was the Defence Attache there. I was at the Commonwealth wargraves cemetery and came across a rather scrawny and somewhat pathetic looking old man who looked like he was in the salvation army. But there was some dignity to him and speaking to him i realised he was among the few locals who had fought in the World War 2. On learning that I was in the Indian Navy he got all excited and said " 30 years ago there were some ships and one Admiral from your navy. Tall and flowing beard. Oh what a character. He looked like God". He was referring to Manu Awati's visit as Fleet Cdr in 1977 or 78. The point that Manu could be a brand ambassador for our Navy three decades later illustrates his charisma. And the last incident happened few days ago. I had happened to courier some medicines for Mrs Awati from Mumbai. He not only wrote an email of profuse thanks but the moment we met in Mumbai (when he was hospitalized) he insisted in paying me back the Rs 58/- expenditure incurred, not letting either himself or me be at peace till the money was accepted. That illustrates his humility and correctness with which he leads his life.
Now listen to the strangest paradoxes in his life. First, his love for sea and yearning for it is despite the fact that he was thoroughly seasick. This is something akin to a person having mountain sickness always coming back to climb more mountains. Second, despite his vast knowledge and erudition and scholarship, he has been denied doctorates and fellowships because he is only a matriculate. He joined Dufferin right after that and continues to have no degree against his name. He is not considered literate enough but is a scholar and seeker in the true sense of the word.
To borrow a quote that Shakespeare said of Cleopatra, one can say of Manu that "Age does not wither nor custom stale his infinite variety." Today, at 90, Manohar Prahlad Awati is either India's oldest young man or youngest old man. The secret of his good health is that he still sleeps at 8 pm, gets up at 4 am, exercises, eats in moderation and above all remains actively engaged in many things. To use his phrase "he has many irons in the fire and they all tend to heat up at the same time".
More than anything else Awati is a true renaissance man. Like Tagore in politics, Satyajit Ray in cinema, Raja Ramanna in Science, Manu Awati's eclectic range of passions and pursuits mark him as a truly remarkable man of our times. India is lucky to have someone like him and the Indian Navy proud of this national treasure. The young man and his love for sea is indeed stuff of legend. They don't make people like him anymore.
Happy Birthday, Sir. May you go onto score a century!

(The above piece is the tribute by the writer to VAdm Manu Awati, last year, on his 90th birthday. This was before the successful Navika Sagar Parikrama - another one of his pioneering initiatives and another feather in his cap. The piece is reproduced with permission from Indian Navy.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Video report | Meet Sarangs, IAF’s synchrony masters of the skies

What the team always looks forward to, are those 15 minutes of thrilling aerial ballet, where the human spirit challenges the limits of the machine and the end product is an exhilarating exhibition of precision, symmetry, synchronization, and dare-devilry. Each time those 15 minutes come to an end, the team asks for more and waits until the next time we get an opportunity to Tango and enthrall the audience. This spirit is the very elixir of the team.
Read the full report, here: https://bit.ly/2A01409

Saturday, October 6, 2018

G Santha Teacher Memorial Award: Jugal truly deserves it, says Dr Kota

Bengaluru, Oct 6: Jugal Purohit (34), a Senior Broadcast Journalist with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) India, has been selected for the 3rd G Santha Teacher Memorial Journalism Award 2018. The award has been instituted by Inspired Indian Foundation (IIF), a writers’ movement spearheading silent missions for unsung heroes.
The award will be presented on October 30, 2018 in Bengaluru, during the 3rd Guru Kalam Memorial Lecture being organised by IIF in association with Abdul Kalam International Foundation (AKIF), Rameswaram. 
The award carries a specially crafted crystal memento, a certificate of appreciation and Rs 10,000 in cash. The awardee will be onboard IIF’s national missions as a special invitee for the next one year.
Rekha Satheesh, a Senior Chief Sub-Editor with The New Indian Express, Kochi, was the first recipient of the award in 2016, while Rajeev Kumar Mishra, a Chief Sub-Editor with the Bengaluru edition of Rajasthan Patrika, won the honour in 2017.
The award has been instituted in the memory of late G Shantha, an English teacher hailing from Thalavadi in Kerala’s Alappuzha district. Born in 1942, she first taught English in colleges (Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu and Devasom Board College, Thalayolaparambu, Kerala) before moving to Mahatma High School for Girls, Chennithala, Kerala. She passed away at the age of 65 in 2007, following a heart attack. In addition to her contributions as a teacher, she worked selflessly to promote the English language among rural children. She also wrote short stories and poetry.
Deserving candidate: Dr Kota Harinarayana
This year, the jury selected Jugal Purohit from a list of five journalists across India shortlisted from various streams. Trustees, Mentors of IIF, a representative of AKIF and a relative of late G Santha teacher constituted this year’s jury.
“Interesting selection process, as we kept a tab on the professional activities of all nominees in a year. Even after the awardee is chosen finally, we ensure that he/she is not intimated until we get the final feedback from the Editor(s) the journalist has worked with. Delighted that we have a truly deserving candidate this year as well in Jugal Purohit,” says Dr Kota Harinarayana, top aerospace scientist and Mentor of IIF.
IIF began the process of shortlisting the nominees in January this year. Once the final list of candidates was drawn up, a confidential report from their Editors was sought to measure some of their performance parameters. 
“Jugal’s reporting over the years has been in-depth in nature. We found him absolutely passionate in his approach, with a great eye for detail while diving into the depths of reporting,” says Sindhu A, National Coordinator, IIF.
Objective, diligent, meticulous
Jugal started his career with Mid-Day in 2005 and later worked in Yuva, Times Now and India Today, before joining BBC India in January 2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media (Journalism) from Mumbai University and an MA in Defence & Strategic Studies from the University of Pune. 
Winner of Red Ink Awards, Jugal has made a mark for himself over the years, covering topics ranging from military affairs to atomic energy to insurgency and politics, to mention a few. He volunteered to cover cyclones Vardah (2016), Hudhud (2014), Phailin (2013); floods of Uttarakhand in 2013, Jammu and Kashmir in 2014, Gujarat in 2015 and the Nepal earthquake in 2015.
Despite being detected by cancer last year, Jugal stuck to his guns and inner strength to overcome that difficult phase in his life. 
He stands out as a hardworking, diligent journalist, who always provided better information and greater insight in his stories than others covering the same topics.
“Jugal is as a stickler for facts and objectivity. He is the first to put up his hand to take up tough assignments. He tells his story in a manner that people can easily relate to. Unlike many others he never advertised his situation. Never looked for sympathy. He took it on the chin, faced it head-on, kept the faith and came out better,” says an editor with India Today. 
His peers say Jugal has always shown great leadership skills whenever needed and has always risen to the occasion.
“Overall, he is a very driven, hardworking journalist who holds the journalistic values of honesty, impartiality and quality dear,” says an Editor with BBC India.
Jugal’s father, late Rajnikant Purohit, was an advocate dealing with income tax cases in Mumbai, while his mother Alka Purohit, retired from Reserve Bank of India. He is married to Sapna Nair Purohit, who is a journalist. 
Reacting to the news of winning the award, Jugal said he was ‘humbled by this recognition’. 
“There still are many journalists who strive hard to ensure their readers/viewers benefit from reporting which is objective and in-depth. Few, however, get the recognition they deserve. I am confident that this IIF endeavour will go a long way in encouraging many more,” said Jugal.
He said he will continue being a storyteller but will be one who is “more innovative, creative and effective”. 
(Jugal Purohit can be reached at: purohit.jugal@gmail.com | Twitter: @jugalrp. More on Inspired Indian Foundation here: www.inspiredindianfoudnation.org or www.billionbeats.in.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Guardians | ALH gives teeth to Navy's airborne ops


From a flying machine with many issues, the naval variant of ALH has now
matured by miles. The enormous potential 
of the platform has been harnessed
after the fitment of new equipment was carried out. From the initial role of a
helicopter training just pilots, the ALH has definitely progressed
undertaking multi-role ops in the last 5 years. -- Indian Navy

Thursday, July 12, 2018

HAL readies Tejas SP-10 for first flight

By Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, July 12: The 10th series production fighter (SP-10) from Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas production line is ready. It has completed the full performance engine ground run.
Weather-permitting, the low and high speed taxi trials are lined up next leading to its first flight soon.
The SP-10 will be likely to be piloted by Air Cmde K A Muthanna (Retd) or Gp Capt K K Venugopal (Retd), both Test Pilots with the National Flight Testing Centre here.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), under immense pressure from various quarters to scale up the production rate, needs to deliver 16 aircraft to IAF this financial year.
Read full story, here: bit.do/Tejas-SP10

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

IAF may be given Tejas controls to overcome project delays

Photo: @fotoyogi
By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, July 10: The Indian Air Force (IAF) may get the controls of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas programme from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Aeronautical Development (Agency).
The decision likely to be made official by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sooner or later is aimed at ending the blame game over the project delays, often being played out by the stake-holders of this flagship ‘Make in India’ project.
Military sources confirm to Onmanorama that the idea of IAF man being given the command and control of Tejas programme has been floating around for some time now.
Read full report here: http://bit.do/Tejas-Controls

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tarmak007 Talking with Dr Kota Harinarayana



Hello folks!

Welcome to #Tarmak007Talking -- a news series aiming to get you an up-close with all heroes from India's inspiring aerospace and defence sector. This is the first edition of #Tarmak007Talking and we begin with Dr Kota Harinarayana, the man widely revered as the father of India's modern fighter jet programme.
In the days ahead, we shall bring you more heroes, including unsung as well, who have toiled hard to make India a vibrant aerospace and defence power. If your organisation or CEO or a team wants to be featured in #Tarmak007Talking, do write to anantha.ak@gmail.com or ak@billionbeats.in. This interview series will be a collaborative effort and currently, it is being supported by Inspired Indian Foundation®. (www.inspiredindianfoudation.org)
The production team consists of award-winning video editors, a young research group and a professional camera crew among others. Sit back and enjoy #Tarmak007Talking!
Jai Hind!
Anantha Krishnan M

Saturday, June 23, 2018

IAF, HAL end impasse over Tejas trainers


By Anantha Krishnan M
BANGALORE:  The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) seem to have arrived on a consensus to end the stalemate over Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas trainers.
Onmanorama can confirm now that IAF will have to probably wait till 2021 to get the Tejas trainer of their ‘liking.’ It means there won’t be any trainers from the first block of 20 Series Production (SP) line for now, which will be in tune with the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standards.
As per the original agreement, four trainers were part of the IOC block and another four from the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) production line. This production plan seems to have now being tweaked with IAF wanting all trainers fitted with the air-to-air refueling (AAR) probe. IAF also says that there cannot be two types (IOC/FOC) of Tejas trainers in its fleet.HAL on its part put up a brave fight in the last one year trying to convince IAF bosses that any change at this stage would further derail their production plans. Two and fro letters flew between HAL and IAF HQ on this contentious issue. HAL even feared a production halt, if IAF stuck to its guns.All that seems to have buried now with IAF probably getting what they wanted, may be not on time, but with delays. So if you are a diehard devotee of Tejas programme, here are some updates on trainers.
  • IAF will receive 16 fighters in the IOC format and another 16 in the FOC format. All these will be LCA MKI.
  • In the next version of 83 aircraft which are to be built as per the LCA MK1A standards, there will be 10 trainers.
  • All the 18 trainers (4+4+10) will be of LCA MK1 standards and not MK1A.
  • The first SP-Trainer will be a prototype fitted with AAR probe. Based on its successful completion of trials and acceptance by IAF, another seven will be produced in the first block of 40.
Read full report, here: http://bit.do/Writetake-Tejas

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

#Tarmak007Talking | I would've loved to have flown in Tejas: Dr Kota


By Anantha Krishnan M
Bangalore: Nothing much has changed in the life of Dr Kota Harinarayana, who recently turned 75. Despite age catching up at supersonic speeds, he stays fit. He travels a lot, mentoring hundreds of aeronautical scientists. His wife says Dr Kota is wedded to plane dreams.
Revered globally as the man who shaped India’s modern fighter jet mission, Dr Kota today is a satisfied man, with his pet bird – the Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) – finally joining Squadron duty.
In a freewheeling interview to this writer, the man who passionately guided the Tejas project through one of the most turbulent phases said he is still dreaming and looking forward to making India a mighty power in the field of aviation and defence.
[Read the full report here | https://bit.ly/2JW5ebH]
Watch the video below


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Chikmagalur’s daredevil Meghana Shanbough is IAF’s new poster girl

By Anantha Krishnan M
The News Minute
Flying Officer Meghana Shanbough MR is the new poster girl of Indian Air Force (IAF). As she graduates from the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Dundigal on Saturday at the impressive Combined Graduation Parade, Meghana has become the sixth female fighter pilot to join the ranks of IAF, and the first from south India.
Being different was normal for Meghana, and it was while she was studying in Class 4 that she told her father that she wants fly out of the comforts of home. She was a student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Public School, Chikmagalur then.
“I told my dad that I wanted to study in a boarding school. My mother was initially hesitant, but my dad did not chip away my wings and was very supportive,” says the 23-year-old daredevil pilot who hails from Marle village in Karnataka’s Chikmagalur district.
Backed by her parents, Meghana’s bold journey began after she joined Little Rock Indian School in Udupi, where she studied from Class 5 to 12 as a boarding student.
Her experiments with life continued even after she joined Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE), Mysuru. Accustomed to doing things differently in life, Meghana formed the Sahas-SJCE Adventure Club, which she says transformed her.

Read the full report, here: https://bit.ly/2Mwq0R6

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tessy Thomas appointed DRDO’s DG Aero; to head Tejas, Nirbhay, Rustom missions

By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, May 29: Top missile scientist Dr Tessy Thomas has been appointed as the Director General, Aeronautical Systems (DG-Aero) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). 
The appointment is on expected lines as Dr Tessy was selected as the top choice for the post a month back, to replace the current incumbent C P Ramanarayanan, who is set to retire on May 31. She will take charge on June 1.
Currently she is the Director of Advanced Systems Laboratories (ASL), Hyderabad. 
Dr Tessy, already celebrated as the first woman DRDO woman scientist to head any missile project, will be DRDO’s third DG (Aero) following the restructuring a couple of years back.
She also becomes DRDO’s third woman DG (technical stream), with J Manjula being the first, currently heading the Electronics and Communication Systems cluster.
Full report: bit.ly/2kxX4LW 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Soon on YouTube: #Tarmak007Talking


An interview series with a difference.
More on the known and unknown!
#Tarmak007Talking

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

At DefExpo, Russia to hard sell ‘co-design-ToT-AIP offer’ for P75I subs

The Russian Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarine. (For representation purpose only.)
By Team Tarmak007

Chennai, April 10: Russia is likely to pitch hard its offer to India to jointly design and develop six diesel-electric submarines embedded with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, at a desi shipyard under the Make in India template.
Sources confirm that Russia is willing to offer a transfer of technology (ToT) for all these six submarines under Project 75I (P75I) for which India had issued a RFI in August 2017. Russian Rosoboronexport (ROE/ Rubin Design Bureau-Amur Shipyard, Russia & Italy) is among the four contenders taking part in the upcoming tender process. Others in the fray are Germany, Sweden and France.
On offer from the Russians are: a joint design construction proposal with ATVP HQ (DRDO), joint prototype-building and subsequent ToT for serial production to a selected Indian shipyard.
To bank on long bonding: To build their case, at the DefExpo, the Russians are to bank upon the long-standing relationship it has with India in the field of submarines. Indian companies are already making submarine parts for Russia, including high-strength steel take goes into the hull.
With India too putting its R&D might to develop a desi AIP for its future submarine programmes, the Russian side wants to have a common vision on many technical aspects, including the diesel fuel reforming process.
For BrahMos secure Ops: The Russians feel that designing a submarine together with India would help the BrahMos missile integration immensely.
“There are apprehensions about BrahMos being integrated on to submarines of non-Russian origin. A lot of details need to be shared with the submarine maker about the missile ahead and during integration. It is like virtually sharing your secret formulae to an open domain,” says an official in the know-how of the Russia’s ‘add-on offer’ to co-design-develop submarines under P75I.
Cost to come down: Russia feels that co-design of the submarines would turn out to be a less expensive affair than production under license.
With China and Japan have gone some distance in mastering the art of AIP, India cannot afford to be behind if the submarines under P75I and subsequent P76 are to be equipped with gen-next technologies that would keep them submerged longer with extended operational range. 
Russians say that the plan on P75I joint design is the best bet compared to joint construction. They feel in addition to India getting the much-wanted AIP technology, the work would require less initial investment, less preparatory time and can be launched quicker. 
Advantage to shipyards: The joint design gives the Indian shipyards more time to upgrade their capabilities to the next level, thereby making them to adapt to the technology needs at a faster pace. Joint-design will also give India more flexibility and discretion, in addition to having the confidence of launching the weapon systems from a familiar board.
“India will become an equal partner to the project sharing a full-fledged right of intellectual property and entitled to all the scientific and technological results of design and prototype construction. That would mean a huge leap forward even in terms of Make in India,” says a source.
(With inputs from Aishwarya & Govind under Tarmak007 Internship Programme.)

Monday, April 9, 2018

More power to ASC with 306 young blood joining the ranks


By Aiswarya C T [TIP]

Bangalore, April 8, 2018: The ASC Centre and College, Bangalore, held a Passing out Parade (PoP) recently. A total of 306 recruit trainees from No 1 Army Service Corps Training Centre joined the ranks of the Indian Army.
The PoP was an emotion-charged event with the proud trainees, who had sweated it out to achieve their dreams, to become strong and fearless soldiers.
The impressive and solemn PoP and the Attestation Parade held as per the military traditions saw the recruits being administered the oath of allegiance and devotion of duty by the regimental Religious Teachers of all faiths. 
Major General N S Rajpurohit, Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor, ASC Centre and College reviewed the parade. The parade was commanded by Major S K Baitha.
Full report on Tarmak007 on FB: https://bit.ly/2HaSyzX

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan inspires soldiers guarding Bumla Pass

By Anantha Krishnan M
TNIE Online
Bumla Pass (Arunachal Pradesh), 06 Feb 2018: “I was in school when Major Sandeep Sir was martyred in Mumbai. I was working in my father’s paper shop. I helped him with collecting old newspapers and later selling them in bulk. I read every bit of news on Major Sandeep Sir. It changed my life. I decided to work hard. My aim was to join the Indian Army,” says a Sepoy, posted at Bumla Pass.
The Sepoy (not naming him) along with other soldiers and officers are part of the 7 Bihar Regiment, now posted at this Sino-India border post, on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“Today, I am proud to be in the Indian Army and happy guarding the border. Major Sandeep Sir is my hero. And he will always be,” he adds.
A poster depicting the heroics of martyred NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who belonged to the 7 Bihar Regiment, welcomes visitors at the entrance of Bumla Pass, which is situated at an altitude of 15,200 feet (4,600 metres) above sea level. 
The soldiers manning this sensitive post take pride in being part of the regiment that Major Sandeep once served in.
“He inspires all of us. He is our hero and his brave deeds motivate us all the time,” says a young officer posted here.
Full report here: http://bit.ly/2C0aDtx

Saturday, January 27, 2018

'Intelligent’ Tejas does the ‘talking’; pilots & engineers are not complaining


By Anantha Krishnan M
TNIE Online Exclusive
Bengaluru, 27 Jan 2018: Close to one-and-a-half-years after the first Light Combat Aircraft Tejas joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet officially, the No 45 Sqn Flying Daggers that flies the desi bird is now ready for bigger operational challenges.
Raised in Bengaluru on July 1, 2016, the Flying Daggers are a now formidable combat air unit with a bunch of young pilots who sleeps, eats and breathes Tejas.
During an interaction granted to this Correspondent, it was evident that the boys are confident of the machine that they operate, its abilities and the possibilities it offers in future. In fact, they call Tejas an ‘intelligent talking plane’.
The Flying Daggers are now under the operational control of Southern Air Command (SAC), headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram through the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) located at Bengaluru.



An upclose with Flying Daggers | Tejas Talking

Presenting to you #TejasTalking, one of the most comprehensive films on Indian Air Force's Tejas pilots. In this 55-minute film, specially made on the occasion of Republic Day 2018, we get you an up-close with the team members of No 45 Sqn, Flying Daggers, who operate the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas.
#TejasTalking is a part of #ProjectHamaraHeroes from the hangars of Inspired Indian Foundation®, launched in January 2018. Under this pilot mission, IIF aims to capture inspiring stories from the Indian armed forces and the scientific fraternity.
 It is an independently-funded mission, with no commercial angle.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

NAL bailed out BrahMos ALCM when Russians asked for the Moon

By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Dec 28: India rightly celebrated ‘BrahMostav’ of a different kind when the frontline striker Sukhoi Su-30MKI fired a modified BrahMos supersonic cruise missile for the first time recently.
The feat of a Su-30 MKI, piloted by Wg Cdr Prashant Nair taking off from Kalaikunda Air Force Station on November 22, 2017, carrying the 2.5-tonne Brahmos missile and returning to the base after piercing the target in less than an hour, has already found a place in the history books.
But there’s a missing link to this piece of inspiring military history.
One name that missed out the pressers and headlines prominently was National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a leading laboratory under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), based out of Bengaluru.
It was NAL who bailed out the BrahMos Aerospace during 2013-14 period, when the greedy Russians were asking for the moon to conduct a series of wind-tunnel tests ahead of the actual integration of the BrahMos Air Launch Cruise Missile (ALCM) on to Su-30MKI.
Military sources now confirm to Mathrubhumi that the Russians demanded ‘exorbitant charges’ to carry out these tests, a first-time experience even for them, since India was the first country to integrate a supersonic cruise missile on to fighter jet.
The Russians are said to have quoted over Rs 1300 crore with no commitment on transfer of technology. The Indian team, consisting of members from BrahMos, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Indian Air Force (IAF), then turned to NAL for help.
NAL, with their extensive knowledge of carrying out wind-tunnel experiments for various national military and space missions, accepted the challenge and delivered the test results at 120th the cost of what the Russians had sought for.

How NAL executed the challenging task

For NAL, it was a first-time-experience to undertake drop test of stores from a Su-30MKI aircraft model. At their 1.5m low-speed wind tunnel, using Froude Scaling principles, the scientists carried out tests at low speeds of (M<0.3).
A Su-30 MKI model, the largest aircraft model, was designed, fabricated and commissioned at a record time at NAL’s National Trisonic Aerodynamic Facilities (NTAF). [A trisonic wind tunnel is capable of testing flight vehicles at subsonic, transonic and supersonic speed ranges].
The study provided the ideal conditions for the stores release at actual flight Mach numbers including the deflection setting angles for the fore and aft fins.
The software developed allowed tracking of the time-resolved displacement, velocity, acceleration and Euler angles. The composite image of the missile was recorded at four different instances along the trajectory.
NAL used appropriately scaled models of Su-30MKI and BrahMos missile for testing in low speed and high speed wind tunnels. Aerodynamic loads on the isolated missile loads were measured in the 2-ft wind tunnel and the same model was attached to the aircraft model.
Later, the aerodynamic loads on the complete configuration was determined in the 4-ft wind tunnel simulating flight Mach number range of 0.55 to 1.2 conditions at various angles of attack and sideslip to ascertain installation effects, store load in carriage position and in aircraft interference flow-field.

Store separation critical for airborne missions

Those associated with the ALCM mission from the early days say that the store separation of the weapon is the critical milestone for any airborne weapon program.
Highly specialized and complex tests such as ‘Dynamically Similar Tests’ or ‘Drop tests’ were conducted for the first time in India at the Experimental Aerodynamics Division of NAL.
In ‘Drop tests’ the missile model is dropped in the wind tunnel simulating aircraft speed, altitude and other parameters and separation trajectories are analysed. These tests were crucial for getting clearance for the BrahMos separation trials.
The wind tunnel tests were conducted in phases in 4-ft and 2 ft trisonic wind tunnels of NTAF. For the store separation tests, grid studies were carried out in 4-ft trisonic wind tunnel in NTAF to see the effect of BrahMos on the Su-30MKI aircraft model in carriage position. 
The team also undertook air-intake studies to study whether the presence of the missile affects the performance of the air-intakes of the Su-30MKI. NAL was also involved in the crucial task of envelope expansion of the aircraft with the launcher, developed by BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Ltd.
When cross-checked, the complete test results even surprised the Russians who acknowledged that NAL findings were better and more accurate than what they had derived at.
NAL’s wind tunnel results matched very well with the results of the actual flight data. The capabilities developed are now being applied to other airborne weapon integration programmes.
The path-breaking tests fetched NAL the Best Laboratory Award in 2014 from BrahMos, presented by former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Interestingly, India has named the hypersonic version of BrahMos after Dr Kalam. @Mathrubhumi

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Upgraded Saras PT1N all set for maiden flight in Jan

By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Dec 26: National Aeronautics Laboratories (NAL), a frontline wing under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) here, is ready to put the upgraded prototype of Saras on its maiden flight.
The Saras PT1N (New), a 14-seater passenger plane, is expected to have its first flight after completing one more high speed taxi trial (HSTT).
Military sources confirm to Mathrubhumi that the first flight will be about 20-25 minutes.
Two Test Pilots and one Flight Test Engineer, who are empanelled to the PT1N project from Indian Air Force’s Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), will be onboard the maiden mission.
The first flight could be any time during the first/second week of January 2018.
What separates the PT1N now from the maiden flight are a SRB (Safety Review Board) and one final HSTT.
A young team of around 40 scientists and engineers, with an average age of 40 years, have been toiling hard for the last nine months to ensure Saras does what it is meant to be doing -- flying.
The project had virtually hit a dead end after the March 2009 crash of PT-2 martyring three ASTE crew onboard. The subsequent crash probe, lack of confidence among users, want of funds and political will further dented the project.
The aircraft was grounded for close to three years (2013-2016) barring namesake EGRs to keep the power-plant in good shape.
The resurgence of Saras project as PT1N has now given hope for India’s foray into making 14/19-seater passenger turboprops, with China, Russia, Poland, Indonesia and United States have already gone some distance.
In the new avatar as PT1N, it boasts of many upgraded features, following a gap analysis undertaken last year.

A close look at what PT1N looks like

* The control forces have been significantly reduced.
* The nacelle design (for engine mount) has been made optimal.
* Environmental control systems, cabin pressurization systems have been modified.
* Automatic avionics stall warning system included.
* Linear flap track and trim taps on elevator modified. 
* Rudder area enhanced for better controllability. 
* Flight test instrumentation modified.
* Electrical systems modified to reduce voltage losses.
* Air data system has been provided with the nose boom for redundancy.
Apart from above modification on the aircraft, the following additional safety measures have also been ensured by the team.
* Complete borosopic inspection of the aircraft to eliminate any doubts about corrosion. 
* Computer-based failure analysis of engine, elevator jamming and ailerons power adequacy. 
* Simulator upgraded to the high-fidelity.

The NAL-ASTE combine’s primary objective with PT-1N is to evaluate all systems, including design and performance parameters. The inputs collected from PT1N’s initial flights (expected to be around 20-30 in the next six months), will be then used to freeze the design, paving way for the production version.

India’s 19-seater dream will be Saras Mk-2

PT-IN flight data will inspire NAL to prepare the DPR (detail project report) for India’s much-awaited 19-seater passenger plane – Saras Mk2.
The Saras Mk2 will have additional five more seats and a toilet as compared to the PT1N. It will also have gen-next avionics and glass cockpit, autopilot and other features any modern passenger turboprop could boast off.
The Saras Mk2 with reduced weight (around 700 kg compared to PT1N) will have an AUW (all up-weight) of roughly around 7.4 to 7.5 ton and will likely to run on MRF tyres.
Sources confirm that NAL plans to have both military and passenger version for the 19-seater. They hope to encash on the CEMILAC-DGCA’s certification model used in ALH, to save time.
As of now, two production variants are planned while the third one will be a fatigue test specimen (FTS) – all estimated to costing around Rs 700 crore.
In the last one year, NAL put some of its best workforce behind the Saras project with many slogging it out day and night.
Insiders say only less than Rs 5 core has been spent in the last one year for Saras PT-IN, thanks to lean management philosophy, optimum usage of resources and constant monitoring.
With CSIR backing the project after some hiccups, Saras is sure to be India’s star in 2018 with IAF offering all support to the desi mission once again. CSIR DG Dr Girish Sahni’s push for the Saras PT1N/19-seater, and the Udan mantra of Govt of India also have come as a blessing for team NAL.
Subject to the Cabinet Committee on Security approval, the detail design of the first limited series production (LSP) variant of Saras-Mk-2 should begin in 2019 followed by certification and demonstration flights by 2021. In short, in three years NAL will have its handful with Saras once again back on the radar. @Mathrubhumi 

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