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Monday, July 3, 2017

Sailing superhero Cdr Abhilash Tomy set for Golden Globe Race next year


Bengaluru, July 02: India’s sailing superhero Commander Abhilash Tomy (Indian Navy) will be at Plymouth in UK amidst some of the best sailors in the business, attempting to recreate history, one year from now, 
Cdr Abhilash, now 38, and 30-odd sailors from across the globe, will be on a solo circumnavigation mission on their small traditional long-keeled yachts, aided by just paper charts, a sextant and wind up chronometer as their navigate tools.
The organisers of the Golden Globe Race (GGR-18) said that the event set to begin on June 30 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the original Golden Globe Race and the remarkable achievement of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in becoming the first man to complete a solo nonstop circumnavigation.
Cdr Abhilash created history on April 6, 2013 by becoming the first Indian (79th in the world) to complete a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation under sail.
He had set out on the mission from Mumbai on November 1, 2012 on sail boat INSV Mhadei.
A Keerthi Chakra recipient, he is among the five sailors who received a special invitation to partake in the GGR-18.
Full report here: bit.ly/2sB5Vhd

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Challakere ATR will be home for gen-next fighters, UCAVs

By Anantha Krishnan M
@Mathrubhumi
Challakere, May 28: The new address for testing India’s future manned and unmanned platforms will be: ATR, Co/DRDO, Voru Kaval village, Challakere taluka, Chitradurga District, Karnataka. From now on, fighter jets and unmanned platforms will jettison over the Challakere skies, undertaking missions to boost India’s military preparedness. 
Around 250-plus km from Bengaluru, the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) inaugurated today, will be soon home for many ongoing and future aeronautical projects of DRDO.
With Indian Space Research Organisation, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Indian Institute of Science too landing at Challakere, the togetherness of aerospace minds at close proximity augurs well for India’s future.
Read full report here: http://bit.ly/2ruTgR1

DRDO making ‘big, big’ planes inside, say villagers near Challakere ATR

By Anantha Krishnan M
@Mathrubhumi
Villagers of Voru Kaval and Navilekunte in Challakere (Chitradurga Dist, Karnataka), have very little clue about the activities inside the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) being readied by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
They only know that DRDO is making ‘big planes’ inside.
“Nobody is allowed inside. They are making big, big planes,” says one of the villagers whom this Correspondent met while returning from the ATR, which will be inaugurated on May 28.
Under a massive peepal tree, the villagers had assembled for their regular chit-chat and chai. Giving them company was a couple of monkeys, who according to them, are the permanent residents at a nearby Hanuman temple.
Most of the villagers who spoke to Mathrubhumi said that they need jobs and were not ‘bothered’ about what goes inside.
“Even our MP (Member of Parliament) and MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) are not allowed to go in,” says another man.
Read full report here: http://bit.ly/2qZbZTf

Photo essay on DRDO’s ATR in Challakere


See the complete essay here: http://bit.ly/2rbUqzL

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Challakere: From 'Oil City' to India's prime military base of future

By Anantha Krishnan M
@Deccan Herald
Oil and military matters have nothing in common. A sign board on the National Highway at Challakere says: Welcome to the Oil City (because of the numerous edible oil mills around the town). Another board points towards Voru Kaval village, the new home for Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Challakere taluk in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. 
On May 28, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the ATR, being set up on the 4,290 acres of land provided by the Karnataka government. Following the completion of the first phase work, the range will be extensively used for testing and evaluating unmanned and manned projects of the DRDO.
The DRDO has already positioned two of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) — Rustom-1 and Rustom-2 TAPAS (Tactical Advanced Platform for Aerial Surveillance) — at the ATR. Once the range becomes fully operational, the DRDO will test air-to-ground weapons, parachutes, aerostats and electric warfare flares. Officials say no test flights of ballistic missiles and commercial airline operations will be conducted at the range, sticking with the guidelines given by the National Green Tribunal.

Read the full report here:http://bit.ly/2r5xWi4

Friday, May 26, 2017

#Over2Challakere: DRDO's ATR all set for official launch

Here's the 2nd prototype of #Rustom2 ready for 1st flight in a month from #ATR with reduced weight and a new engine. (Below) The front gate of ATR. Stand-by for more on Tarmak007.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Shashi Sinha: Madurai’s shy girl is now mother of interceptor missiles

By Anantha Krishnan M
Copyright@Mathrubhumi
Little Shashi along with her friends from neighbourhood cycled every evening towards a vantage point on Tadbund Road in Secunderabad to catch a glimpse of planes landing. With every touchdown, a little dream quietly took wing from the corner of the runway.
“We used to park ourselves and wait to see the big birds making touchdown. It was an awesome feeling to see planes comedown. There was this huge wall and the little opening gifted us close proximity to flying machines. We couldn’t afford to buy a ticket and see planes from close quarters. Enjoying everything from a distance was the norm then,” says Shashi Sinha.
Shashi locked on to the dream of dating flying machines for some time with the hope that she would become a pilot. To her, it was the most fascinating job on the planet. But, as she grew life charted a different flightpath and she completed her B.Tech in Electronics from Osmania University.

She drew inspiration from her father, a paratrooper 

Her hero was her father who was in the Army. She picked up early threads of discipline from him, while her mother, a Hindi pundit, taught her the power of patience.
“My mother walked 5 km to and fro every day to her school. She was such a live wire and participated in all activities in the school. Not even once in her life she cribbed. Not even once she said she was tired of cooking for us. Not sure if I can find a woman today, who doesn’t complain,” says Shashi, Project Director, Advanced Area Defence (AAD) Endo Atmospheric Interceptor Missiles, Defence Research and Development Oorganisation (DRDO).
While sharing interesting bits of her family details, Shashi said her father was a self-made man and never depended on anyone.
“He was a paratrooper and joined the Indian Army at the age of 15. He fought in the World War-II and often told me stories of USSR (Russia) and their military might. I grew up listening to these inspiring tales of men, war machines and their triumphs. Decades later in 2003 when I set my foot on Russian soil, I fondly remembered the stories my dad shared,” says Shashi, now 56 years old.
I wanted both my daughters independent 

She said the day when her father was born, he lost his mother. “That made my grandfather turn more superstitious, making my father not-so-welcome-soul in the family. But, over the years the neglect my father got from his own family made him so stronger,” she says.
Shashi too had her share of setbacks in life when she lost her husband Lt Cdr Gaurav Raj Sinha, a naval officer hailing from Allahabad, in a road accident in Hyderabad in 1997.
“Ours was a love marriage and he was my M.Tech coursemate at IIT Kharagpur. While pursing higher studies on radar applications, our signals and wavelength matched. But, his death really shook me hard because he took care of the family so much that I felt suddenly orphaned. With my two little daughters then only nine and seven years of age, I had to start a new life again,” says Shashi, who joined DRDO in November 2001.
Her contributions range over varied subjects such as development of flight vehicles, RF seekers, radomes and Radar Cross Section to name a few. In August 2012 she was made the Project Director and in 2015, she led the team successfully flight-tested the endo-atmospheric interceptor AAD, which incorporated many home-grown critical technologies.
The death of her husband and the additional responsibilities made Shashi to take a fresh look at her life and she chose to make both her daughters independent.
“I did not want to take any help from anyone. I did not want them to feel at any point that they are orphaned. It was tough for me. But I hung on to life. For many months, I used to sleep holding my husband’s photo closer to my chest. It gave me strength,” she adds.
Her elder daughter Pavitra is now a freelance artiste, while the younger one Roshani is pursuing her post-doctoral studies abroad.

Hit to kill AAD mission a great leap forward for India

When asked about the AAD project, Shashi said that India has now made huge inroads with the recent success of the mission. She said the systems are fine-tuned ahead of its induction.
“Elsewhere in the world, the missiles are lighter and smarter. We are also reaching there and with all the available technologies we could recently demonstrate a hit to kill mission, becoming the third nation after the US and France,” she said.
17, the AAD interceptor destroyed incoming ballistic missile satisfying all the mission objectives. Shashi and the team are currently engaged in the design and development of a multiple–role long-range interceptor that counters a wide range of threats, carrying onboard many new technologies.
On the challenges of heading such a sensitive project, Shashi says every job entrusted upon must be dealt with dedication.
“I want every woman to constantly push their limits. I want them to take on all the challenges head on. Enjoy the task given to you. Own them up,” says Shashi, who has been always inspired by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and Dr V K Saraswat, whom she considers are the builders of the BMD programme in India.
“Dr Kalam’s encouraging words on my first day in DRDO were so inspiring so much that they are still my guiding mantras. If an ordinary girl from Madurai can come this far, I am confident there are many woman in India who can achieve much more than what I did. The idea is to lock on to your goals all the time,” says Shashi.
According to her visionaries like Dr Avinash Chander, Dr S. Christopher and Dr Satheesh Reddy have always encouraged her team to push the limits.

What’s the secret the family tattoo? 
Interestingly the top missile scientist and her daughters spot a tattoo on their hands and Sashsi has a small story to share behind it.
“These are a family tattoo designed by my daughters. I got it done this year at the age of 56 and was really excited to get my first tattoo. The written tattoo says ‘pure moon light’ -- which is a combination of our names together. Pure means Pavitra, Moon means Shashi and Light stands for Roshani. The symbol seen is a celtic Triquetra. A triangle is known to be the most stable structures, and so it signifies the three of us. The shape around the Triquetra is that of a guardian angel, signifying my late husband watching over us and protecting us,” says Shashi, with a child-like excitement.
So, what does the ‘Iron Lady’ while not adding teeth to her hit-to-kill toys? Well, she paints, swims, paints and hits her garden of hope.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

I am dreaming of my daughter joining Army and serving Siachen: Hanimanthappa's wife

The Hanumanthappa family at their Betadur home.
The Samadhi of Hanumanthappa.
Hanumanthappa’s daughter Netra.
Hanumanthappa’s wife Mahadevi.
 Read the complete report, here: http://bit.ly/2lrlA3x


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