Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DRDO hunts for a supersonic Flying Test Bed

By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, March 16: A Sukhoi for India’s Aviation Capital -- Bengaluru? If the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has its way, an aircraft that can reach supersonic speeds would enter Bengaluru’s celebrated list of fighters enjoying permanent residency. 
Sources confirm to OneIndia that the DRDO has already moved a paper to acquire a supersonic aircraft that will act as a FTB (Flying Test Bed). 
A committee has already been set up to look into the possibilities of acquiring the FTB. In addition to members from the DRDO, the committee has representatives from the Indian Air Force and HAL. While Sukhoi is leading the fray, the advantages of MiG 29 are also being considered by the committee.
DRDO officials say that the modification work on Sukhoi done for launching the air version of BrahMos will come handy for DRDO. 
“The BrahMos missile weighs around 2.5 tonnes while a Kaveri engine is around 1.22 tonnes. There are two pilots in a Su-30 MKI and one can easily monitor the engine and independently operate it,” the official said.

Photos: Basani Satheesh Kumar, MoD
Read the full report on OneIndia, here: http://bit.ly/1MEG11g

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Women’s Day Special: Akash Missile System propelled by BEL’s women power

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, March 07: This piece of news should inspire Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is pushing for Naari Shakthi (women power) to propel India’s growth.
The Akash Missile System (AMS), under the command of the Indian Air Force (IAF) now, saw women playing significant roles during various stages of its development and trials, leading to its induction. These go-getters from Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), have proven that they are on par with men, who hitherto hogged all the limelight.
During an interaction with OneIndia, on the eve of International Women’s Day, the women who powered the AMS were univocal in their views that BEL always gave its women employees and executives challenging assignments to prove their worth.’
As a result, the mighty women brigade of BEL matched men on all the domains, be it in Design, Project Management, Procurement, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, Testing and Customer Support. 
In addition to their large representation from Bengaluru units, women from BEL’s Ghaziabad, Panchkula and Chennai wings too contributed significantly to the success of AMS. 
The women executives were led by N Manjula Devi, Deputy General Manager, Testing. 
The IAF has inducted two Squadrons of AMS and are likely to procure additional seven more squadrons, making it a clear winner in the Make in India mission. The women workforce from BEL played a key role in the following areas:
Development of mission-critical software for combat vehicles.
 Qualification testing of radars and command centers.
 Rigorous performance validation of missile system for interface and integrated functions.
 Integration testing of AMS for various complex combat scenarios.
 Calibration and accuracy monitoring of various technical parameters with live flying.
 Firing trials to validate the performance of the ground systems and missiles.
 Installation, commissioning and training the user on operation and maintenance of AMS.
 Customer support.
Read the report in detail on OneIndia here: http://bit.ly/1BT4dKb

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Is meagre allocation for defence in budget, an indication to policy changes?

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru, Feb 28: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden full-fledged budget gave India’s defence sector a hike of 9.46 per cent (Rs 2,46,727 crore) for the FY 2015-16. The increase of mere Rs 23,357 crore (current financial year estimates is Rs 2,22,370 crore) is seen as an indication of major policy changes this sector is likely to witness in the next six months.
The budget has disappointed those batting for more funds for the military modernisation. Even the SMEs and MSMEs too seem to be not jumping in joy yet, as they expected more from the Jaitley suitcase.
* Let’s wait and watch: Matheswaran 
* Tax reduction on tech royalties welcome: Puneet
* Budget not inspiring for MSMEs: Dinesh
* Military modernisation to get hit: Brig Gurmeet
* No need to get disappointed: Dr C G K Nair
* FM did justice to defence sector: Raj
* Our Take | OneIndia 
Read the full report on OneIndia, here: http://bit.ly/1GAk3ZQ

Kundan chases Chandan's dreams

Meet Kundan, the younger sibling of late Chandan. While we miss Chandan, there's a reason to cheer as well.
Kundan is on his way to Delhi to be part of the Uday Foundation family. The Foundation will be taking care of the entire education of Kundan, who is currently a student of Class-3 in a remote village of Bihar.
Kundan wants to fulfil Chandan's dream of becoming an IAF pilot one day. "We will help him chase his dreams," says Rahul Verma of Uday Foundation.
So, that's good news to all of us who loved Chandan.
All the best Kundan!

MI2Watch: Tippu’s land gives birth to missile self destruction device

 By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Photos: A Veeramani
Bengaluru, Feb 27: A desi missile safe destruction programme developed by Mysuru-based MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) Kaynes Technology is currently under evaluation. 
Christened ESAFS (Electronic Safe Arm and Fire System), the devise helps the self destruction of a missile, during its testing and actual operational phases. Missile(s) that veer off from its intended trajectory can be brought down immediately with the help of ESAFS. The company is in the field of defence for the last eight years.
ESAFS is now under evaluation at DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) laboratory in Hyderabad. RCI is one of the leading labs under DRDO’s Missile Complex.
In an exclusive interview to OneIndia (during the just-concluded Aero India 2015), Lt Col Sharath Bhat (Retd), Senior Vice President, Business Development, Kaynes Technology, said that ESAFS, is a real-time, dual-redundant and fault-tolerant on-board devise.
ESAFS can pick up signals that are unauthorised or unrecognised in nature. It consists of two identical controller cards and one power supply card for distributing power supply requirements of both controller cards.
* Shock compliant system
* Most-preferred supplier to BEL
* 30 per cent of products exported
* Bluetooth bulb sheds light

[Make in India Watch [#MI2Watch] is a series on OneIndia focusing on the aerospace and defence might of India's private and domestic industries. It will also aim at capturing the voices of leaders spearheading various projects.]

Read the full report on OneIndia, here: http://bit.ly/1zmcfVZ

#Plane Carnival: A night to remember! When OneIndia chased the Garuds!

 By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Photos: A Veeramani
Bengaluru, Feb 27: The just-concluded Aero India 2015 saw one unusual reportage assignment being undertaken by OneIndia. The mission had all the elements of a covert operation in pitch darkness.
This was an exclusive interaction with the Garuds – the elite Special Forces wing of the Indian Air Force (IAF). (Read an earlier repot here: http://www.oneindia.com/india/oneindia-special-iaf-garuds-impress-visitors-with-their-mean-machines-1660980.html)
Under the watchful eyes of Wg Cdr Rochelle D’Silva, the active Additional PRO of IAF, the two-member OneIndia team (this writer and photographer A Veeramani), was summoned to the heavily-guarded Operations Control Centre (OCC) at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka. 
The OCC, a make-shift structure, housed the wings of all security agencies, who kept a hawk-eye on the conduct of the air show, movement of people inside the base, traffic among others.
This time for the Garuds, who are often barred from any form of media interaction, had the blessings of Air HQ, which relaxed the norms a bit, thanks to the Plane Carnival.
Lights off, camera, action! As a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), the power supply to all temporary structures that have come up inside the AFS base would go off any time after 6.30 pm, when the battery of fire brigade personnel go back to their bases, after their gruelling duty hours. 
As we stepped into the OCC, the OneIndia team was given a briefing about the Garuds, its history, purpose and mission at Aero India.
Next we had a glimpse at the array of weapons they used during their missions. Tavors, Glocks and rocket launchers were all the cool toys, the boys always loved.
As expected, it was darkness, with the power supply ‘officially’ tripping off! Time: 7:15 pm.
“Come on boys. Let’s move out,” the commander screamed. “Let’s do some soul-searching in the darkness. You know, we salute the spirit of light, but darkness is what we fall in love with,” he adds.
Soon a pair of night-vision devices was out for us to get a feel of the night ops.
“Light is detrimental during special ops in night. But, the NVGs are God-sent devices for us to cut through the darkness,” explains a Garud.
As we shift out of the OCC, heavily armed men were waiting to demonstrate some of their operational skills. One could barely spot a blue open gypsy, parked next to them – the best friend of Garuds.
OneIndia sharpshooter Veermani was a worried man with no light in the offing. “If I use flash the photos will lose the charm,” he says. Probably he also knew that going by the ‘available light theory’ and without using the flash, the shooting mission would gift him only blank frames.
“Why not mobile phone lights,” someone came up with an idea. And, as they say an idea can change the world. Soon a handful of mobile phones flashed their lights aiding our mission.
Let there be light! Veermani was happy. He took his position and started firing on all cylinders, from all possible angles. He knew it was probably a lifetime opportunity to make the Garuds ‘follow’ his orders! It was one sight to watch the light flashing out of mobile phones from all corners.
The Garuds followed the ‘command’ of Veermani at will. At one point, the veteran photographer from Bengaluru, was lying on the ground, trying to capture may be some low-angle shots.
“Sir, one more please...” he was often heard requesting the Garuds.
It was 8.30 pm. Time to pack-up. “We have an early day tomorrow,” whispers a Garud, as one unit peels off for the night duty.
“Happy?” one of the Garuds ask Veermani. “Yes Sir. I will not forget this night,” he says.
Yes. It was a night to remember!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#PlaneCarnival | Inputs from Aero India to propel MoD’s Make in India policy, future shows | OneIndia Analysis

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Feb 25: Two days after curtains were drawn on the 10th edition of Aero India, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) seems to have got on to the task of analysing the inputs received from various stakeholders, exhibitors, foreign delegates, including the media, on the impact of the show and the idea called Make in India. 
While Aero India 2015 was the first major opportunity for the MoD to source varied views on Make in India mission, sources confirm to OneIndia that the overall mood among the participants was that of hope and not despair.
With Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar going on record saying that the Centre is planning to roll out a dedicated ‘Make in India’ policy soon, these inputs are expected to be vital for the future flight of Indian’s aerospace and defence (A&D) sector.
While one section of the media jumped the gun and declared that the show failed to ink any significant deal (barring MoUs), and hence a ‘flop’, government sources say that mega deals are not announced at air shows.
“Aero India has always been an opportunity for companies to greet, meet and take their business ideas forward. This time we have taken it to another level, with ‘Make in India’ being the focus. We gave maximum opportunities to SMEs and MSMEs; and out of the 650 odd companies a major share of space was taken by them. It’s unfair to expect any magic from shows. The results will be known only in the next 6-8 months,” says a top official not wanting to be named. “It’s a good beginning,” he adds.
* Aero India 2015 has set benchmarks
* Some companies misused their desi tag
* Complaints from the foreign delegates
* Make in India idea needs a development model
* The Navy Model best bet for India
* Missing Naval and Army assets at show 
* Where will be the next show be?
* DPR shows glimpses of change
Read the full report here: http://www.oneindia.com/india/inputs-from-aero-india-to-propel-mod-s-make-in-india-policy-future-shows-1665963.html

#PlaneCarnival | Sqn numbers lure Tejas...

Here's a comprehensive report of mine on India's Tejas programme, appeared in the latest issue of Aeromag Asia.

#PlaneCarnival | NLCA taking shape...

Here's a comprehensive report of mine on India's NLCA programme, appeared in the latest issue of Aeromag Asia.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

May be the biggest one of all!

This the biggest recognition I have received so far. An award from Tarmak007 followers. Given during an informal get-together, post-Aero India 2015. My (late) Mom should be happy. Thank You Tarmak007 clan! I am indebted to your love and support.

#PlaneCarnival | Aero India 2015 | Sky party ends, metal birds fly away

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Photos: A Veeramani
Bengaluru, Feb 22:The metal birds have flown away. Curtains are drawn on Plane Carnival. The 10th edition of Aero India 2015, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18, concluded at Air Force Station (AFS) Yelahanka today. 
This year’s aerial extravaganza, branded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as the biggest ever show being hosted in South Asia, saw a record turn out on all fronts.
The number of visitors, participating nations, foreigndelegations, aircraft on both flying and static display, outdoor exhibits and floor area being used up by various companies -- all saw an increase during this year’s show.

This report appeared on OneIndia on 22 Feb 2015. Full report here: http://bit.ly/1EFqtWq

#PlaneCarnival | OneIndia Special | IAF Garuds impress visitors with their mean machines and killer looks

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Feb 21: Every visitor who steps into the Air Force Station Yelahanka is curious to know about a group of mighty men moving around in a blue open gypsy. Their camouflage attire, killer looks and mean weapons are being admired by every aviation aficionado flocking the show. 
If the Breitling Wingwalkers have stolen the hearts of plane people at Aero India with their mesmerising sky party skills, on ground, the Special Forces of the Indian Air Force – Garuds – have caught the imagination of thousands who stop by to take a closer look at these men who appears to be from a different planet! 
At Aero India 2015, the Garuds, which otherwise have an offensive charter like most Special Forces, play the role of contingency response specific to counter terror threats. 
Tough selection process: Sources tell OneIndia that around 15 per cent of the total strength who hit the selection line to become a Garud makes the final cut. Formed in 2003, under the Directorate of Offensive Operations, the Gaurds have become a formidable force with their wings spread all over India. 
Garud officers are drawn from the pool of personnel who voluntarily opt from all branches of the IAF, to tow this demanding career line. The airmen are a mix of volunteers and direct recruits. 
The selection process of volunteers is a grueling physical and mental ordeal spread over a period of a few days. 
Tactical training modules: On completing the selection process, a potential candidate is put through three months of probation where he is trained and checked on a variety of mental, physical and a host of specialized soldiering skills. 
The tactical phase of three months trains a candidate in SF skills, tactics, survival modules, heliborne training, martial arts and a variety of other special operations enablement. 
Those who successfully clear the probation phase (which are a very few in number) move on to undergo further training in the tactical module, paratrooping, combat swimming and driving. 
On completion of this basic training, a candidate earns his prized Commando Badge and Maroon Beret deeming him to be a qualified SF operative. Thus, a Garud is born. 
Those who were part of the formative years of the Garuds were trained for over two-and-a-half-years with stints abroad as well. Sources now disclose that the training is now spread over 74 weeks at the Garud School near New Delhi. 
Further specialized training in a variety of other fields is undertaken at the respective units. 
Every trooper qualifies in one SF skill which includes either the use of explosives, communication, battle-field medicine and weapons. Additional role-specific training is also given at various stages of a Garud’s career. 
Best of the best weapons: A family of Tavor rifles form the integral part of a Garud’s arsenal. These are complimented with additional weapons like snipers, rocket-launchers, heavy machine guns and grenade launchers. A pick of the pack is the baby Glock pistol concealed in the tactical vest. 
Sources said that a Garud also carries a variety of navigation, surveillance, communication gadgets and explosives to undertake missions. At Aero India, the Garuds have equipment sized up for their tasks for mission optimization. 
Roles specific to aviation environment: While not much of details are made public on Garuds, most roles are offensive operations specific to the aviation environment. 
Among the roles are combat search and rescue, laser designation of targets, recon, surveillance and destruction. Like most other SF the security concerns of the nation see them employed in various counter-terror roles also. 
At the unit level, training for roles includes long day and night speed marches, navigation, exhaustive weapon and skill training. 
Yoga, martial arts give them an edge: To preserve longevity, the Garuds also practice yoga and martial arts. They are also encouraged to enhance military qualifications through a variety of adventure activities and courses. 
The Garuds are the youngest of the SFs in the country. The IAF, realizing the potential of the Garuds, has ensured that this organisation has grown to a level of a formidable operational stature. 
There are many misconceptions about the role of the Gaurds. However, like many air force SFs across the globe, the Garuds are created to operate deep behind enemy lines. 
“Myths don’t matter, mission accomplishment does,” whispers a Garud. 
(Some of the above photos are shot exclusively for OneIndia and Tarmak007 by A Veeramani with clearances from the Indian Air Force. The above report first appeared on OneIndia on 21 Feb 2015.)

#PlaneCarnival: IAF will get 36 Tejas in FOC format: ADA Chief

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Thrilled by the assurance given by the Chief of Air Staff Air Cheif Marshal Arup Raha, Team Tejas is on Cloud 9 as the curtains are drawn on 10th edition of Aero India 2015.
Putting an end to all speculations, Raha had categorically stated at Aero India that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has full faith in Tejas and its capabilities.
In an interview to OneIndia, P S Subramaniam, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Director overseeing the Tejas project said that the Chief ‘s statement has rejuvenated the team.
IAF Chief's remarks lifted the team's morale
"We read it in the newspapers and it has lifted the morale of all entire teams in ADA, HAL, DRDO and NAL. In a development programme, delays are natural and we are now ensuring that the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is achieved as planned in December," Subramaniam said.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, the IAF will start inducting Tejas series production (SP-3) aircraft onwards into IAF.
As per the contract, HAL will have to deliver a total of 20 Tejas series production aircraft in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) format and another 20 in the FOC mode. The IAF also needs 80 Tejas Mk-2s, which are being powered by the GE 414 engine.
This report appeared on OneIndia on 22 Feb 2015. Full report here: http://bit.ly/1DJCEmw

#PlaneCarnival: Sukhois are the best, say display pilots

OneIndia Defence Desk
Photos: A Veeramani
The ground crew was readying a mighty Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI) at the northern side of the runway at AFS Yelahanka when OneIndia was invited for an interaction with the display team. “We have an early slot during post-lunch display,” says Flight Lieutenant Navjot Singh. Along with him are Wing Commander AN Karulkar (Commanding Officer), Wing Commander CU V Rao and Flight Lieutenant Prashant Sharma. 

The Sukhois have been topping the showstoppers’ list during every air shows and this time too it was no different. The loop, tumble, yaw, tail slide, minimum radius turns,rolls, high and low speed runs are some of the sky stunts being executed by the Sukhoi flying display team.

This report appeared on OneIndia on 22 Feb 2015. Full report here: http://bit.ly/1DJCEmw

#PlaneCarnival: IRAL turns 20 | To work towards swift fleet serviceability of Sukhois: CEO

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Photos: A Veeramani
The Indo-Russian Aviation Limited (IRAL) has been mandated with the task of getting the transfer of technology (ToT) of ‘36 critical items’ identified to be causing frequent concerns to Indian Air Force’s (IAF) frontline fighter Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI). 
In an exclusive interview to OneIndia, S Manicka Vasagam, Chief Executive Officer said that IRAL has been asked to work with the Russians to get the ToT of these 36 items and manufacture them in Nashik. 
“We are a supply chain management company. We have completed 20 years in this business. We are on an expansion mode now and have set our mission parameters to set up MRO for all Russian-origin aircraft in Nashik,” said Vasagam, who recently took over as the CEO. 
IRAL is strategic joint venture company between Indian companies Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), ICICI Bank Ltd and Russian companies JSC-RAC-MiG, GRPZ Ryazan and Aviazapchast PLC. 
A Ministry of Defence official tells OneIndia that it has been made mandatory to HAL that the serviceability of Sukhois should be always maintained 70 per cent and above, so that the AOG (aircraft on ground) status is minimised. 
HAL chairman T Suvarna Raju said that IRAL’s new business propositions sinks in perfectly with Prime Minister Narednra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mission. 
This report appeared on OneIndia on 22 Feb 2015. Full report here: http://bit.ly/1DJCEmw

#PlaneCarnival: Phil Camp -- Capturing the best of IAF with pure devotion

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M
Photos: A Veeramani
Phil Camp first shot the photo of a flying machine when he was 16 years old. It was at the Oxford Airport, in 1973.

“Well, it as a Bollow 105 helicopter,” recalls Phil, one of the world’s leading aviation photo-journalists, when OneIndia caought up with him for an interaction at Aero India 2015. “I used my brother’s Russian-made Zenith camera,” he adds. 

At 57 years now, Phil seems to have lost some hair, but not his passion to chase planes, especially being operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF). Hailing from Southend-on-Sea, on the banks of river Thames, Phil dreamt of becoming an Air Traffic Controller one day.
“That was my dream right from when I was a kid of 10 years. But as I grew up, I realised I am colour blind and could not become a pilot, ATC or any other jobs related to flying. So the best way was to admire aviation was through photography as a hobby,” says Phil, who has over 25,000 slides on aircraft.
For the last 37 years, as the Director of Aero Rep Limited, he looks after spare parts distribution of four US-based companies in the UK and Europe.
This report appeared on OneIndia on 22 Feb 2015. Full report here: http://bit.ly/1vpfikA

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