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Monday, January 16, 2017

Aero India 2017: One month for plane carnival; security top priority

By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Jan 14: Devotees chasing ‘things with wings’ will descend on Aeronautical Capital of India soon for the ‘11th International Show on Aerospace, Defence, Civil Aviation, Airport Infrastructure and Defence Engineering’ a.k.a. Aero India 2017. 
Exactly one month from today, from February 14 to 18, all roads will lead to Air Force Station (AFS) Yelahanka, which has been hosting all editions of Aero India since 1996. 
While the 10th edition, in 2015, saw a record participation of exhibitors, the organisers say a new benchmark will be set this time. With the extended Christmas and New Year Holidays finally getting over, more foreign companies are expected to make a last-minute pitch in the next 15 days.
“As of now, we have sold out 100 per cent of the space allotted for exhibitors. There will be now another set of booking till the end of January, with the holiday season getting over,” says an official. 
Read full report, here: http://bit.ly/2iuHmkd

Friday, January 13, 2017

Delay in wing deployment caused Nirbhay missile’s third failure

By Anantha Krishnan M
Mathrubhumi English Online
Bengaluru, Jan 15: The recent failed mission of subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay is pointing towards a slight ‘pause’ (delay) during the process of wing deployment. This malfunctioning of the mechanism that deploys the wing appears to have resulted in the missile developing a very high roll-rate, which led to the Inertial Navigation System (INS) losing its frame of reference. This caused the missile to veer away from its intended flight path, leading to a situation which called for aborting the mission from safety considerations.
Sources within the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who reviewed the video footage of the missile’s failed flight, confirmed to Mathrubhumi that the wing is normally deployed in less than 500 milli-seconds (0.5 sec.) after booster burn-out and separation of the booster section from the main missile.
“In the previous missions, we have been achieving the wing deployment in around 300-350 milli-seconds. This time the wing seems to have got stuck at 60 degrees position for about 1.5 seconds causing the damage. This is what we have assessed so far. The missile appears to have developed the high roll rate due to the partially deployed wing”, an official said.
Read the full report, here: http://bit.ly/2ikMFUT

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Surgical Strikes: For God’s sake, spare the military!

Operational military matters are sacrosanct and discussing them like movie reviews is foolishness. Proof of surgical strike should never be made public. And, those desperate for some cross-border military actions, must watch some Hollywood thrillers and get satisfied. And, for God’s sake spare the military!
(The is my 
Edit Piece in Mathrubhumi. Read
the entire article, here: 

Friday, October 7, 2016

NCW capabilities as a concept taught to trainees at Training Command now: Air Marshal Nair

Bengaluru, Oct 7: The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrates its 84th anniversary on October 8, having established in the year 1932. In the last eight-plus-decade, IAF extended its reach to some of the most difficult terrains in the world, signalling its supremacy and operational capabilities.
The modernisation process in the last decade alone saw the IAF upgrading its fleet and facilities, including new training standards for the air warriors. Training men to match the needs of modern times has been a challenging task for the IAF over the years.
In an interview to Mathrubhumi’s Talkathon series, Air Marshal S R K Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Headquarters Training Command, gives an insight into some of the thrust areas on focus in the IAF now. 

Full interview, here: http://bit.ly/2dAoDAp

Official video link as IAF turns 84

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Young SasMos team delivers mission-critical panel for Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets

Bengaluru, Oct 6: Much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi readied the blueprint for his Make in India mission, a young team of aerospace engineers from SasMos were developing mission-critical electrical panels for F/A-18 Super Hornet, a fighter its makers Boeing says is the ‘most-advanced one’ that took part in the MMRCA race. While Rafale eventually won the race, Boeing says the Super Hornet didn’t lose either.
On Thursday, SasMos handed over the first electrical panel assembly for the Super Hornets to Boeing -- a high quality job, delivered on time. While often technology might and its mission capabilities eat up all the space when success stories in military aviation are celebrated, the passion behind men gets miniaturised.
This piece should beat that trend, because, more than technology, it is the passion of a young team that’s propelling this chapter of ‘Make in India' story.
Headquartered in Hoody Village, near Whitefield, SasMos HET Technologies Ltd, Managing Director Chandrashekar H G said he had no money when military aviation inspired him. The Mysorean fell in love with flying machines while pursuing his Mechanical Engineering at National Institute of Engineering.
“It’s a real technology that stands out from the rest, because it files. We were just a handful of us who began this passionate journey, with only hope funding us,” says Chandrashekar, now 50 years old.
According to him Make in India is an inspiring concept. “Because a very strong thought is being communicated to look within the country. We are excited at the new opportunities offset has given us,” he says.
The average age of engineers at SasMos is 30 years and today the employee strength has gone up to 450 from the initial 20 in 2008. Interestingly, Chandrashekar’s love for his friends is visible in the name he gave to his company. SasMos stands for Shastri and Mosale – two of his close friends.
Having delivered cockpit panels of F-15s earlier, he says his team took on the challenges of Boeing and its work philosophies. 
“It needs a lot of hardwork to live to a Boeing mandate. We decoded their expectations. We motivated ourselves. And, we knew if we did it once, we could do it again and again,” says Chandrashekar.
While the rules of game didn’t permit him to share any technical details of the electrical panels, nor the numbers, all he could say was it plays a mission-critical role.

Read full report, here: http://bit.ly/2cWROuU

Tejas SP-3 during its Sept 28 maiden flight

Earlier report:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Top Gun Sukhoi pilot in an inspiring role as ASTE Commandant

Bengaluru, Oct 5: “My interview doesn’t matter much, as long as you write about my unit, so that many youngsters in this country will get inspired reading it,” Air Vice-Marshal Sandeep Singh, Commandant of Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), was razor-sharp with his remarks.
Wading through a ‘semi-surgical strike’ by the media, which lasted for nearly four hours, AVM Sandeep came across as one of the most information-friendly Commandants ASTE had for a long time.
His answers were to the point. He spoke about many things, yet he knew that he is dealing with a group of info-extracting specialists. He wanted us to occasionally blind our cameras and also probably look at some areas without ‘seeing it.’ And, everyone obliged.
Hailing from Delhi, AVM Sandeep has been serving the IAF since 1983 and today he is the leading pilot who knows the frontline Sukhois like the back of his hand.
Amidst constant queries, animated discussions, hush-hush-attempts for an exclusive byte and some unsuccessful mobile-phone-number-request attempts, glimpses of AVM Sandeep’s leadership qualities were seen on many occasions. 
Read the full report, here: http://bit.ly/2dt319x
Also read a related ASTE report, here: http://bit.ly/2dYruFy

Sunday, October 2, 2016

BSF ups the guard on IB; wary of Pak’s response to surgical strike

By Anantha Krishnan M.
Bengaluru, Oct 2: The Border Security Force (BSF), guarding a major chunk of India’s International Border (IB), has upped the vigil following the terror strike on the Army camp in Uri and the subsequent ‘surgical strike’ by India’s Special Forces across the Line of Control (LoC).
While the Indian Army has asked its units across the borders to maintain heightened vigil, the BSF that guards around 7000 kilometres of Pakistan and Bangladesh borders along the IB, being the first line of defence, is wary of a ‘response’ to the surgical strike.
“Nothing will happen in the next two to three months on a large scale (war) as being reported in a section of media. They (Pakistan) may try to emulate us by carrying out a surgical strike. Let’s not forget that they also have a sizeable Army like ours. We have factored in all these possibilities,” a BSF official posted in a forward area, tells Mathrubhumi in an interview on Sunday.
While wanting to remain anonymous, he also cautions against too many details being reported about the surgical strike, as too much of conjectures would only lead to confusions.
He said the Pakistani Army would certainly attempt a revenge mission to impress their people.
“Before retiring, the Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharief would want to do some kind of a colourful action. There will be a surprise element and we are ready for it,” says the official.
* Beefed up defences in Jammu, Punjab, Rajasthan & Gujarat
* Pak not ready for an all out attack
* War should be the last, least option
Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/2dI1Dmf

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tejas SP-3 ready for maiden flight

Bengaluru, Sept 22: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is warming up to conduct the first flight of the third series production variant (SP-3) of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, soon. 
The EGR (engine ground run) has been completed and now the aircraft is being prepared for LSTT (low-speed taxi trials).
“Then the HSTT (high-speed taxi trials) leading to the first flight,” says an official. HAL hopes to conduct the SP-3 first flight within a week, subject to favourable weather conditions and zero snags. Air Commodore K A Muthanna (Retd) is set to fly SP-3.
However, the dream of Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha to have four Tejas’ flying over Hindon Air Force base, during Air Force Day (October 8), might not happen this year.
“Both SP-1 and SP-2 are sure to fly with one more from the flightline on the static display,” says an official. SP-3 is unlikely to make it to Hindon this time, though HAL officials are making efforts to position it on the static display arena.
Full report here: http://bit.ly/2cZOZJM

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Women pilots set for practise combat missions on Hawks in Bidar

Bengaluru, Aug 28: Two months after the historic induction of first three women pilots into the fighter stream of Indian Air Force (IAF), the Bidar Air Force Station is all set to give them the first flying experience on Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer, as part of the Stage-II training.
IAF sources told Mathrubhumi on Sunday that the three women Flying Officers -- Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh – have already begun their sessions on Hawk simulators.
“As part of the Stage-III training being imparted to these women officers, they have begun sessions on the simulators from August 22. They will start flying the Hawks in the next one or two weeks,” an IAF official said.
The official said the three pilots were given adequate familiarisation training to switch over to higher Gs on Hawk as compared to the Kiran and Pilatus platforms they were trained during their stint with Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigal near Hyderabad.
These three women moved to AFS Bidar last month for their training on Hawks, ahead of their final destination in flying supersonic jets, next year.
At AFS Bidar, the trio would be trained in ‘practise combat flying’ during which their body is set to experience new challenges. “It will be different and the girls have been already prepared for the same. They have been given a whitepaper (a book let) that explains their role,” says an official. 
Full report here: http://bit.ly/2bJeK5r

Thursday, August 11, 2016

MATHRUBHUMI SPECIAL | Martyr’s house in Bengaluru marked for partial demolition; father to dedicate Smriti Mandapam for Lt Col Niranjan near Palakkad on Aug 15

The Smriti Mandapam will be dedicated on August 15 near Palakkad in Kerala.
By Anantha Krishnan M
Bengaluru, Aug 11: This is the story of two concrete structures. Both belong to a martyr. One will be dedicated to public on August 15, when India celebrates 70 years of her Independence. Another, might just fall prey to the bulldozers partially, if the officials show no mercy.
As this piece goes live online, martyred National Security Guard (NSG) Commando Lieutenant Colonel E K Niranjan’s father E K Shivarajan might have boarded a bus from his ancestral home in Elambulassery, near Palakkad in Kerala, heading to Bengaluru.
For the last two months Shivarajan has been completely involved with constructing a Smriti Mandapam at the same spot where Lt Col Niranjan was laid to rest on January 5.
Lt Col Niranjan (33) was martyred at the IAF base at Pathankot while defusing an explosive from a terrorist’s body on January 3, this year. He was part of NSG’s bomb detection squad. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
A worker gives finishing touches to the Smriti Mandapam.
BBMP officials say one pillar in the house illegal: In Bengaluru, his 15 year old residence situated at Vidyaranyapura, has been marked partially as an encroached structure. As per the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, one pillar of the house is illegal, blocking the storm water drain. 
Following the rains and flooding streets, the ongoing BBMP drive against encroached buildings has been ruthless, with many occupants finding their sweat-and-blood-shelters partly or fully being erased.
“I have been staying here since 2002. Our earnings were very less and I bought the land it with all my savings from Bharat Electronics Ltd. I bought the land from an ex-IAF official and most of our neighbours have some connection with the armed forces. Everything was okay with the house and suddenly we were taken aback hearing that part of it would be demolished,” Shivarajan told Mathrubhumi.
Lt Col Niranjan's father Shivarajan next to the Smriti Mandapam.
Niranjan’s granny to visit Smriti Mandapam on Aug 15: He said owing to the demolition drive, he is forced to leave the Smriti Mandapam work, which is almost ready.
“I will come back to Kerala again on August 14. The Smriti Mandapam is a father’s tribute to the brave son of India. My mother (Padmavathi Panicker), who is nearing 90 years old, will open the Mandapam on August 15. Niranjan was very close to his grandmother and she is very eager to see this,” he adds.
Vijayan Mannampatta, the contractor who built the Smriti Mandapam, said the construction work was completed within two months.
“I am honoured to have undertaken this work. Everything has been done as per the directions of Niranjan’s father. It’s been a very moving mission for me,” says Vijayan.
Shivarajan said his wife Radha and younger son Shashank have been handling the BBMP officials and the media in the last couple of days.
The partially-demolished compound wall of Lt Col Niranjan's house in Bengaluru. 
We want no favours; but a little time to plan, says Shashank: “We are not asking for any favour from the government. If there is a violation we are ready to rectify the same. We have sought time and hopefully they will grant it,” says Shashank, who is employed with TCS. His elder sister Bhagya Lakshmi is a tutor, while elder brother Sharath Chandra serves the IAF as a Wing Commander.
Interestingly, six months back, the BBMP officials have alerted the family about the encroached parts of the house. 
Today the bulldozers have partially erased the boundary wall and they might be back within a day or two to demolish the pillar that supports the first and second floors.
The family hopes to find a solution with Shivarajan expected to reach Bengaluru on Friday morning. The family plans to hold a meeting with the BBMP officials on Friday.
Niranjan's mother holds on to the pillar, now marked illegal.
My boy was made of iron, says proud father: But as on Thursday night, the BBMP officials are sticking to the rule book. They are saluting the sacrifice of a martyr. But the bulldozer seems to have locked on to the illegal pillar.
Meanwhile, back in Elambulassery village, the workers will give finishing touches to four strong pillars holding the Smriti Mandapam in the next two days.
But, Lt Col Nirajan was stronger than the pillars of Elambulassery set to be painted and the one in Vidyaranyapura, likely to be demolished.
“My boy was made of iron,” adds Shivarajan, a proud father.
Copyright @Mathrubhumi 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tejas fighters in large numbers matter

The critics of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas might be struggling to chart a new flight path for their future assault. With the euphoria over the induction of the first Tejas Squadron continuing, some of the fieriest critics have already switched sides. After all, success breeds success.
After waiting in the wing for over 15 years since its first flight, the Indian Air Force (IAF) finally inducted two Tejas fighters on July 1, signalling the beginning of a new era in country’s military aviation. The No. 45 Squadron of the IAF (Flying Daggers) would be based in Bengaluru for the next two years, fine-tuning all aspects of flying, ground-handling and repair of a new fighter plane.
Having chased Tejas for nearly a quarter of century as a defence writer, it was a great moment of pride to see Group Captain Rangachari taking the bird for the first official sortie in IAF colours. The long wait has finally ended and Tejas has flown into IAF hangars. The onus now completely shifts to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to produce it in large numbers and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to fasten the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) process. Those who saw ADA-HAL relationship from close quarters would agree that both should now look at Tejas through the eyes of IAF. This shift in focus and thought process would propel the project ahead.
For the project from here on, it’s all about numbers. As per the current plan, the next 18 production variants should be delivered to IAF by 2018 to form the full squadron. Many firmly believe that unless HAL gets more firm orders, the private sector wouldn’t join hands. The HAL says that by ramping up its infrastructure, production rate would increase and they would deliver 120 aircraft by 2025.
The above is my Comment piece that appeared in Deccan Herald Edit Page,
dated 05 July 2016. Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/29rLzCI

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tejas Induction | 50 photos | Enjoy, right click & save

These photos are shot by Tarmak007 intern Sharath Pillai. Sharath is an investment banker currently on a sabbatical, chasing his photography passion. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sonicshots007

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