Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Successful BrahMos test gives IAF big strategic boost in Indian Ocean Region


By Anantha Krishnan M 
Bengaluru: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday successfully test-fired the BrahMos air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) from its frontline striker Sukhoi (Su-30 MKI). 
This was the second test-firing of the BrahMos ALCM from Sukhoi, the first being held on November 22, 2017 against a sea target. The AIF thereby became the first air force in the world to have successfully fired an air-launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target. 
Full report: bit.ly/2X06oK3

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Boost to desi missions as Air Marshal Bhadauria takes charge as Vice Chief


By Anantha Krishnan M

India’s new Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took command at Air Headquarters on May 1.
Fondly known as ‘Chottu Sir’ among aviators and friends, Air Marshal Bhadauria is the man who played a significant role during the development and induction phases of Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas.
In fact, the No 45 Squadron Flying Daggers, operating the Tejas would not have found its permanent home at Air Force Station Sulur as per the script, but for the push given by the VCAS, while he was heading Southern Air Command at Thiruvananthapuram.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) top brass is said to have been convinced by the logic put forth by Air Marshal Bhadauria to push the Flying Daggers from Bengaluru to Sulur ahead of the schedule.
Full report here:  https://bit.ly/2VFo0NI

Monday, April 29, 2019

Tarmak Talking with Nirbhay Missile Team | Part-1


Dear Tarmak folks!

Greetings! Here's the 7th edition of #TarmakTalking and we bring to you Team Nirbhay in a 2-part series. In this first part, we have two top scientists part of India's subsonic cruise missile development programme taking our questions. For the first time, we have incorporated questions from Tarmak followers in the final script.
#TarmakTalking is brought to you by Inspired Indian Foundation®. (www.inspiredindianfoudation.org) and it is produced with the help of a few well-wishers who support India's Aerospace and Defence programme. Please do leave your feedback after watching this high-quality production. You could also write to anantha.ak@gmail.com or ak@billionbeats.
Sit back and enjoy #TarmakTalking! Thank You for being part of our inspiring missions. Part-2 will be released soon.

Jai Hind! 

Dr Anantha Krishnan M
+91 78997 78888 (WhatsApp)

The story, so far...
#TarmakTalking-6: https://bit.ly/2J1XCab
#TarmakTalking-5: https://bit.ly/2Gtig2p
#TarmakTalking-4: http://bit.do/TarmakTalking-Raj-Naray...
#TarmakTalking-3: http://bit.do/TarmakTalking-S-R-K-Nair
#TarmakTalking-2: http://bit.do/TarmakTalking-Dr-Kota
#TarmakTalking-1: http://bit.do/TarmakTalking-Team-Tejas

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Nirbhay missile cruises at 5-m altitude for nearly 10 min


By Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) continued with its successful run of missions this year, when it conducted a ‘text-book precision’ launch of home-grown subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay, today. DRDO confirmed that the missile was launched from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, Odisha at 11:39 am.  This was the sixth launch of Nirbhay (NGL-06) and was aimed at testing the reliability of ‘boost phase’ and ‘cruise phase’ using way point navigation at very low altitudes.
The Bengaluru-bred missile took off vertically, then turned horizontally into the desired direction separating its booster, following which the wings were deployed enabling it an engine start and cruise towards its intended way points. “It was an excellent launch. This is the first time ever an indigenously-developed missile cruised at 5-metere altitude,” an official confirmed to Onmanorama. During today’s mission, the missile covered way points as low as 5 meter to maximum of 2.5 kilometres.

Full report, here: https://bit.ly/2KH38la

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Under wraps for 31 months, DRDO’s top secret A-SAT mission codenamed ‘Project XSV-1’


India’s anti-satellite (A-SAT) mission was a top secret one, kept under wraps for nearly 31 months to be precise. Only a handful of scientists knew about it, which was codenamed ‘Project XSV-1.’ For the rest of team, it was another BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) campaign, with some upgrades. None knew that a space strike or a ‘kinetic kill’ was in the offing! The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials were told to maintain ‘top secrecy’ about the project soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the go-ahead sometime in 2016. There were only six core members who knew what ‘Project XSV-1’ was all about. (The ‘SV’ apparently meant Shakti Vehicle and ‘1’ stood for the first mission.)

Read the story, here: https://bit.ly/2U48Ph0
(Posted by Team Billion Beats)

Mission Shakti: DRDO’s A-SAT missile hit Microsat-R in 168 secs!


Read the story, here: https://bit.ly/2OtGAT6
(Posted by Team Billion Beats)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tejas flies on L&T wings as HAL completes production of last IOC fighter


By Anantha Krishnan M

The last Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk1 fighter from the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) block has flown out of the hangars of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
And most significantly, it (SP-16; SP stands for Series Production) flew on the wings made by Larson & Tourbo (L&T). This is a major step in HAL’s efforts to outsource Tejas parts to the private industries, in line with the Make in India mandate.
The Flying Daggers are expected to have the full quota of 16 IOC Tejas Mk1 fighters within a month. 
The front fuselage of SP-21 is in the advance stages with the mid-air refuelling probe requirement installed on it. The central fuselage too is in an advance stage and all the three fuselages are expected to be ready by end of April this year.
HAL now says SP-21 will roll out by the end of this year. The entire 16 FOC fighters will be delivered to IAF during 2019-2021 – which again accounts for eight aircraft per year.

Read full report, here: https://bit.ly/2Wn57vG

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Next-gen desi anti-radiation missile set for trials with passive seeker

By Anantha Krishnan M

Bengaluru: India’s maiden attempt to develop a New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM) has finally picked up momentum. The scientists with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are warming up to undertake the pending trials of this state-of-the-art missile without further delays. Its user -- the Indian Air Force (IAF) -- feels that the DRDO must fast-track the project.
The missile will now be heading for a series of carriage and release flight trials. The carriage flight trials will be conducted to evaluate the performance of seekers against a wide range of targets. Subsequently, release flight missions will be planned to demonstrate the mid-course guidance and terminal guidance using seekers. 
Scientists tracking NGARM flightpath confirm that the next flight will be a ‘seeker performance evaluation’ one. A desi passive seeker will be onboard the missile during the next trial, while the test after that will have an active seeker as well. 
Trials of NGARM with both seekers together should be in July or August this year. 
Plans are also afoot to develop future variants of NGARM. It would mean upgrades with higher versions of software with the capability to handle larger variety of targets under various operational scenarios.
Full report, here: https://bit.ly/2Ok12ph

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Tarmak Talking with FDD Team of Aero India 2019


Meet IAF top guns who choreographed aerial ballet


By Anantha Krishnan M
(Pix: Ishan Gore) 
The American F-16 Fighting Falcons were the last planes to fly out of Air Force Station Yelahanka on February 28, exactly four days after the curtains were drawn on an unforgettable Plane Carnival in India’s Aviation Capital, Bengaluru. 
In fact, when the border skirmishes between India and Pakistan reached a crescendo with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman downing an intruding Pakistani F-16, back at AFS Yelahanka the US fighters probably from a different block, were ready to bid goodbye to Indian soil, sans any attention. The Rafales, A400M and C-17 too were among the flying machines that had late check-outs from the base. 
Onmanorma was cleared to interact with a bunch of highly-skilled pilots and Test Pilots of Indian Air Force (IAF), who were hand-picked to ‘police the planes’ during the sky ballet at the show. Far away from the media glare and any spotlight whatsoever, the Flight Display Director’s (FDD) team, was among the many unsung teams which toiled hard behind the show. 
Group Captain Badhrish N Athreya, nicknamed Bads, was the Flight Display Director for Aero India 2019. A Chief Test Pilot with Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), this Bangalorean is a fighter pilot from the MiG-29 Fulcrums, a Pilot Attack Instructor (PAI), a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and of course an Experimental Test Pilot (ETP). He has flown more than 3,200 hours on 25 different types of aircraft. His team members were: 
* Wing Commander B S Reddy (Reddy Garu), a Sukhoi pilot, a Fighter Combat Leader (FCL) and a Test Pilot with more than 2,500 hours of flying on 20+ types of aircraft. 
* Squadron Leader P K Thakur (PKT) a Himachali, and Sqn Ldr A Subramanian (Subbu) a Bangalorean — both Sukhoi pilots and QFIs — with 2,000+ hours of flying on 20+ types of aircraft, each. 
* Wing Commander Tripathi (Trips), a Qualified Navigation Instructor from ASTE who has flown more than 5,000 hours was the administrative coordinator of the FDD. 
* Group Captain Ramji Yadov (Ramjet), another Fulcrum pilot belonging to Chennai and an ex-Surya Kiran pilot himself, was the HQ Training Command representative. 
Assisting the FDD team with enthralling commentary were Wg Cdr Paramjeet Singh (PJ), a navigator with 8,000+ hours of flying. He was assisted by Squadron Leaders Arpita Mukherjee, Sonia and Zuffila all women officers of the IAF, well experienced in doing commentary at various air shows of the IAF. 
And, PJ could take off at very short notice, if you were on his strike zone, with a request to sing a Hindi song! 
Read the full story, here: bit.ly/2Hgntv9
Watch #TarmakTalking, here:   https://bit.ly/2HoagiY

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

AMCA, India’s stealth fighter picks up momentum


By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru: The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project of India has gone deep into the detail design phase now. Along with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), hundreds of scientists spread across at least 20 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs are now engrossed in critical work to find solutions to a number of gen-next technologies that need to be proven.
With the Project Definition Phase (PDP) getting over in 2017, Onmanorama can confirm that scientists have already walked some distance designing the AMCA, India’s stealth fighter.
ADA, the designers of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), is spearheading the AMCA mission. 
The AMCA will be propelled by a GE-414 engine with a thrust of 90 kN and this will be an interim step by the makers till a higher thrust engine of 110 kN is finalised. The GE-414, set to power Tejas Mk-II, will power AMCA as well, till India develops a 110 kN engine possibly in collaboration with a foreign partner. 
The current plan is to fly AMCA with GE-414 engine for the first six-seven years, what the designers now term as an ‘interim engine’ for India’s 5th generation stealth platform.
While the design phase has already been sanctioned to commence activities, the final approval for AMCA from the government (Cabinet Committee of Security) is in process.
The plan is to build four prototypes and fly the first one before 2025, which is seven years from now.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is said to be working out the exact numbers for this future fighter, while the AMCA Directorate at ADA is ensuring a robust foundation for this big ticket desi project.
Full report, here: https://bit.ly/2GR8Fly

Saturday, February 16, 2019

LCH packs a punch with induction at striking distance


By Anantha Krishnan M 

Bengaluru: The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is at striking distance from being inducted into the Services. The designers and test crew at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (LTD) vouch for the chopper’s might with four prototypes having completed the pre-induction trials as mandated by the users – the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army. 
During a recent visit to the Rotary Wing Research and Design Centre (RWRDC) of HAL, Onmanorama was briefed by the officials about the future flightpath of the combat chopper programme. 
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had cleared the proposal to induct initial batch of 15 LCHs. Notwithstanding the final orders to formally come, HAL had gone ahead and began the process of manufacturing the limited series production (LSP) platforms. 
Of the 15 LSPs, 10 are for the IAF and the remaining five for the Indian Army. There’s an additional projection of 65 LCHs for the IAF and 97 for the Indian Army. The LSP of LCHs was launched in August 2017 by Arun Jaitley, when he was holding the additional portfolio of Defence. 
Post completion of all trials, HAL officials now say that they are confident of LCH becoming one of the most resourceful and potent chopper for high-altitude missions. The programme has already got the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC). 
The officials said that during firing trials, the chopper performed excellently meeting accuracy requirements. 
“This is the first attack helicopter with us which has aerial combat capabilities. A moving UAV can be taken on easily with an air-to-air missile or with the front gun. This was a capability gap the Services had and LCH will fill it now,” an official said. 
Seven LSP platforms are at various stages of manufacturing at the assembly hangars of HAL now.
Full report, here: https://bit.ly/2SQqHL9

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mirage 2000 crash | IAF misses josh box Abby & problem-solver Sidd

Charles Elwood Chuck Yeager, the legendary Experimental Test Pilot (ETP or TP) and the first man ever to break the sound barrier, once said about the risks and aftermath of military flying.
“You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done,” he had said.
May be the two young TPs of Indian Air Force (IAF) -- Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddhartha Negi – martyred in the Feb 1 Mirage 200o I/TI crash in Bengaluru, too were hardcore devotees of Chuck Yeager, now 95.
And, they probably knew that they will have to risk their lives and may be hailed as martyrs, if they fell for their motherland during the call of duty.
Onmanorama dives into the lives of Sqn Ldr Abrol, fondly called as Abby and Sqn Ldr Negi, who is Sid to his friends, to find out more about them as investigators carefully stitch together the evidence to find out the reasons behind the crash.
Full report, here: https://bit.ly/2WUMzEk

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Plane Carnival promises to be bigger and better this time


By Anantha Krishnan M

It is that time of the year in the Garden City when the traffic over the skies normally beats the one beneath. That season when winter hands over the baton to its summer sibling. And, it’s the time when the scent of ATF engulfs the city, reminding one of its deep history of ‘things with wings.’
Preparations for Aero India 2019 have reached the last lap at Air Force Station Yelahanka, which is around 16 km from the heart of Bengaluru City. 
The 12th edition of ‘Plane Carnival’ is set to take off on February 20, painting the skyline over Bengaluru with snazzy machines of different shapes, sizes and capabilities. 
This year’s show is key to the NDA government, for it will give it a platform to submit its report card on Make in India in Defence ahead of the 2019 elections. 
For Indian Air Force (IAF), it is yet another opportunity to showcase its ability to host a show of such magnitude sans any skirmishes. 
For Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), now caught up in financial instabilities, the show is a golden opportunity to remind the aviation fraternity that they cannot be written off any time in the near future.  For the Karnataka government, the show will be a testimony to the fact that the city is tailor-made for Aero India, offering everything that such a massive event demands. 
For AFS Yelahanka, yet again an occasion to showcase its might probably as the only plug-and-play base in India, with specific infrastructure in place, built exclusively for the air show over the years. And, for the plane devotees, it’s carnival time once again, something they look forward to once every other February. Read full report, here: https://bit.ly/2Beezt8

Sunday, January 27, 2019

R-Day Special | Fashion hails honour as 'sharpshooter' Pravin captures India's heroes

On the night of 26/11 when terrorists struck Mumbai, Pravin Talan was fighting another battle — to take his ill mother to a doctor. Mumbai had shut down soon after the first shots were fired. There was uncertainty everywhere. “There was chaos all over, and my mother’s face had turned ashen – with fear and shock. My mother isn’t the kind who gets scared easily, and certainly not because of bombs and bullets. I knew it had to be something else,” recalls Pravin. Amidst his highflying ‘shoot-at-sight’ missions, Pravin Talan, one of the most sought-after fashion photographers shared some insights into his latest assignment capturing the best and ‘beastly’ side of the Blacks Cats of the National Security Guard. As reported in Onmanorama’s Republic Day special, the pictorial tribute by NSG to the martyrs of 26/11, shot by Pravin, has gone viral. (Read the full report, here: https://bit.ly/2Ui5re9)

R-Day Special | NSG's pictorial tribute to 26/11 Martyrs is awesome

Pravin Talan, the photographer
who shot these stunning images.
The National Security Guard (NSG) has paid tributes to its martyrs in a striking fashion. To honour its martyrs during the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, the elite force hired a ‘sharpshooter’ -- Pravil Talan -- a leading fashion photographer.
The result is a stunning calendar released for the Year 2019. It is in great demand among the security forces, and many even in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) are finding it difficult to lay their hands on a copy.
As an organization NSG has always shied away from being too much in the public eye, and its men are an enigma and a shadowy mystery. 
“There has always been a curiosity among the youth of the nation to know more about NSG, who they are, how they train and what they do. This calendar gives a glimpse into the high level of training and capabilities of an NSG commando. As they are of members of a ‘Zero-error world-class-force’ the photographs had to live up to that image,” said an MHA official via email, in response to queries from Onmanorama. (Read the full report, here: https://bit.ly/2UfMHMA)

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