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Monday, December 31, 2012

"The fact is everyone has more to learn, and in the scheme of things we all know nothing. But the last thing you want is for this to discourage you from trying. We learn best by trying, and if you start by looking for complexities and potential problems, trust me you'll find them, and you'll end up trying very little."

- Stay Young Enough To Try Anything via Lifehacker

Wish you a very happy & prosperous 2013. May you summon the powers to work hard to realise your dreams, achieve your goals, enriching your environment with your conduct. See you next year. Once again, a very Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Russia Delivers More Mi-17V5 Helicopters To India [New News With New Old Pictures]

As part of the agreement signed between the 2 countries in 2008, the Indian Air Force [IAF] is to initially induct 80 of these upgraded variants of the Soviet-era helicopters.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

China's J-20 & J-15 Fighter Aircrafts Spotted Sitting Alongside Each Other On The Tarmac [Eyeballing]

The J-20 is China's attempt at building a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, while the J-15 is its carrier-capable fighter aircraft of Soviet heritage.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Civilians Flying In Conflict-ridden Afghanistan - South African Experience

Contracted civilian pilots flying in Afghanistan, serving the military & civilian administration, even as a battle rages on against the Taliban.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

An American Restoring An Indian Air Force Hawker Tempest Mk.II Aircraft [Warbird]

A World War II era Indian Air Force [IAF] Hawker Tempest fighter aircraft is currently being restored, for it to take it to the skies, yet again.

Friday, December 21, 2012

IAF Dassault Mirage 2000 'Vajra' Fighters In The Skies Of Gwalior [Photographs]

Maharajpur Air Force Station [AFS] in Gwalior, Rajasthan, is the home base to all three squadrons of the Indian Air Force [IAF] flying the Mirage 2000.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

pakistan's JF-17 'Thunder' Aircraft More Primitive Than Any Fourth-Generation Fighter, Admits Its Project Director

Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood, Deputy Chief Project Director for pakistan's JF-17 [FC-1] induction programme, was quoted on this at the recently held Zhuhai Air Show in China.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Official Photographs From Maiden Flight Of The Fourth T-50 PAK-FA Prototype

Sukhoi Company [JSC], the lead in developing this fifth-generation fighter with stealth characteristics, released these photographs from the December 12 test-flight.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Boeing P-8I 'Neptune' [IN 320] Maritime Aircraft Of The Indian Navy [Photographs]

The first Neptune, which made its maiden flight, earlier this year, July 7 2012, is photographed carrying out flight tests.

IAF AgustaWestland AW101 Helicopter In Britain Getting Ready To Come Home [Photographs]

12 of these Anglo-Italian helis would serve in the Indian Air Force [IAF], ferrying VVIP traffic in the country.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Get Licensed Copy Of FPS Game Metro 2033 For FREE!

Publishers of this post-apocalyptic First Person Shooter [FPS] are offering gamers the licensed version for free - need to hurry though.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Use Of Composites In India's Aircraft Programs - SARAS & LCA Tejas

Building India's indigenously developed aircrafts with advanced, high-strength, lightweight composite materials.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fourth Prototype Of The Fifth Generation T-50 PAK-FA Fighter Aircraft [Photographs]

Photos from yesterday's flight, of the latest prototype fifth generation Russian fighter, for the very first time.

Guidebook: World Air Forces 2013 [Download]

UK-based Aerospace magazine, 'Flight International', has published a compendium of aircraft & helicopter types & total number in service with Armed Forces of each country for the year 2012-2013.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fourth Prototype Of The T-50 PAK-FA Aircraft [T-50-4] Makes Its Maiden Flight

The fourth prototype of the Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft took to the air for the first time today [12 Wednesday, 2012].

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ADA Wants You To Design A New Radome For The LCA Tejas

The aircraft's nodal development agency is considering delegating the task of designing a radar nose cone to a third-party. But what of the one that was already in use?

Monday, December 10, 2012

'The Fulcrum Has Landed' - Air Force's Upgraded MiG-29UPG Arrive Back In India

Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG put out a press release today informing that the first 3 of Indian Air Force's [IAF] upgraded MiG-29 aircrafts - MiG-29UPG - have retuned back to India.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

On The Tarmac: Indian Air Force's First C-17 Globemaster III Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft

This Boeing-built Aircraft was spotted recently in the open, indicating that its construction has been completed, paving the way for its maiden test-flight.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Admiral Gorshkov To INS Vikramaditya: The Metamorphosis [Illustration]

This illustration, below, depicts some of the major changes that had to be made to turn the Soviet-era Admiral Gorshkov into the future flagship of the Indian Navy - Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya.

Third P-8I 'Neptune' [IN 322] Carries Out Maiden Flight [Photographs]

Indian Navy's third Boeing-built long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, with offensive capabilities, flew for the first time from the Paine Airfield U.S.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

India's Civil Nuclear Energy Programme [2012]

An account giving a brief overview of India's Nuclear Energy Programme for power generation, including future plans & projections.

Indian Navy Warship INS Ranvir [D54] In Singapore [Photographs]

This Rajput-Class Guided Missile Destroyer took part in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition [IMDEX], held in Singapore in 2009.

Monday, December 03, 2012

INS Sindhurakshak - Indian Navy's Kilo-Class Submarine Visiting Malyasia

Indian Navy Submarine, INS Sindhurakshak [S63], making a port call to Malaysia.

CORRECTION: U.S. Navy Sailors Saluting INS Satpura [F48], Indian Navy's Shivalik-Class Frigate [Photograph]

The sailors were crew members of the U.S. Navy's Guided-Missile Destroyer, USS Halsey [DDG 97], that was visiting Chennai.

French Rafale Combat Aircraft Music Video

Not sure if this is a fan mashup video, a clip from a bigger one or the complete video. Either way, it hardly matters - its awesome!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Siloo Manekshaw Visiting Soldiers Injured In The '71 War [Photograph]

Wife of India's, then, Chief of Army Staff General [later Field Marshal] Sam Manekshaw, visiting soldiers injured in the 1971 War for the liberation of Bangladesh.

Exercise EKUVERIN-12: India-Maldives Military Engagement [Photographs]

Soldiers from the Maldivian Army took part in joint exercises with their Indian counterparts in Belgaum, Karnataka.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas - programme history & some balanced perspective

Air Marshal [Retd] MSD Wollen, under whose Chairmanship of HAL, commenced the LCA programme wrote this article.

Introducing Windows 8: Free e-Book from Microsoft

With the aim of arming myself to handle the inevitable proliferation of the cross-[Architecture]/[Form Factor] Windows 8 Operating System, I took to the "Interwebs" to search for a weapon of choice.

Indian Navy Officer Sets Sail To Circumnavigate The Earth, Non-Stop - Track His Epic Voyage

Lt. Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy has embarked on a historic voyage that will see him perform a circumnavigation of the Earth, non-stop.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pre-Flight Operation Involving The Rafale Fighter Aircraft At Its Airbase.....And Then Whoooosh!!!, Up It Goes [Video]

Video provides a look into the pre-flight activities performed at a French airbase, and the subsequent flight of the Rafale.

Hi-Res Pictures Of The Prototype Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft - T-50 PAK-FA

KNAAPO, the Russian Aircraft manufacturer building prototypes of the T-50 PAK-FA fifth generation fighter aircrafts, has made available this bunch of extremely hi-res photographs.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Oral History Of India's Constitution [Podcast]

Podcast describing the road to formulation of the singular document defining the Republic Of India - its Constitution.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prototype MiG-29K Fighter Aircraft Being Tested In The Soviet Union [Photographs]

A prototype 'Fulcrum-D' undergoing flight tests from Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov during the time of the Soviet Union.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Latest Satellite Imagery Eyeballing Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya in Russia

Overhead shot of the Indian Navy Carrier showing the INS Vikramaditya berthed at the Sevmash Dockyards in Severodvinsk, Russia.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Report: MiG-29K/KUB flight test from aboard Indian Navy Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya

This article, in the latest issue of the Take-Off magazine, gives a fair account of the flight test regime followed during the sea trials of the Vikramaditya that were conducted recently.

ISRO planning to acquire Ka-Band Communication satellites for India [Space]

The Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] has sought 'Expression of Interest' [EOI] for construction of communication satellites operating in the Ka-band of the frequency spectrum.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

MiG-29 KUB Fighter Takes-Off & Lands On Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya [Indian Navy]

Collection of videos showing a twin-seat Russian MiG-29 aircraft, the Naval KUB variant, performing take-offs & landing on the Aircraft Carrier, the INS Vikramaditya.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

British Army Officer living in India for a year [Blog Watch]

A British officer undertaking a course at India’s Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Air dominance over the Oceans

This essay, penned by Air Commodore [retd] Jasjit Singh, appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Air Power Journal, published by the Centre For Air Power Studies.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

American Engineer-Scientist visits India in 1980 - his updates & impressions of Indian Technology & Research Institutes

Scientist-Engineer Dr. Nelson M. Blachman [Ph.D], in 1980, visited the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi [I.I.T.-D] & other research organisations.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Imported components used in the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas, to be taken up for indigenisation

List of currently imported hardware used to build the LCA Tejas, that its developers would like replaced with a domestic equivalent.

Main Battle Tank [MBT] Arjun Mk. 2 - news & updates [Indian Army]

Updates on the development of the Mark 2 version of India's indigenous Main Battle Tank [MBT] Arjun.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

Indian Navy Delhi-Class Destroyer INS Delhi [D61] [Hi-Res Wallpaper]

Lead warship of the Indian Navy's Delhi-Class Destroyer, INS Delhi [D61], during an overseas deployment to the United Kingdom.

Brahmaputra-Class Frigate INS Beas [F37] & INS Brahmaputra [F31] [Wallpaper]

Collection of hi-res pictures of 2 of Indian Navy's Brahmaputra-class Guided Missile Frigates -  INS Beas [F37] & INS Brahmaputra [F31].

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pakistan under watch - advanced Indian Satellites Eyeballing the country [RISAT-2]

This presentation slide, below, shows Pakistan's Karachi Airport, as viewed using India's RISAT-2, Radar Imaging Satellite.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Russia's fifth generation fighter aircraft programme, T-50 PAK-FA: Updates & Western impression

Some updates & Western analysis about the development programme of Russia's Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft programme.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hi-Res photographs - Indian Air Force [IAF] [a miscellaneous bunch]

Mixed collection of hi-res photographs of aircrafts & helicopters operated by the Indian Air Force [IAF].

GSAT-7 [INSAT-4F] - India's military communication satellite [Indian Navy]

A brief overview of India's first dedicated military communication satellite being built for the Indian Navy.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

P-8I 'Neptune' Maritime Aircraft of the Indian Navy [Hi-Res images]

A collection of hi-res photographs of the Indian Navy's latest maritime mission aircraft, Boeing's P-8I Neptune.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Indian Air Force Aircrafts & Helicopters - miscellaneous pictures [Hi-Res]

A collection of hi-res photographs of some aircrafts & helicopters flown by the Indian Air Force. Coast Guard Dorniers too.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Look Maa, No Hands!!

So seem to be saying these Indian Air Force [I.A.F] pilots flying their Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft over India's maritime extent.

Ballistic Missile Defense Shield system in Europe [Infographic]

Infographic depicting NATO's protective Ballistic Missile Defence umbrella over Europe. Similar protection starting to be implemented in India too.

Friday, June 29, 2012

CNS Admiral Nirmal Verma - Metamorphosis of Matters Maritime: An Indian Perspective

India's Chief of Naval Staff [CNS] Admiral Nirmal Verma's recent talk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies [I.I.S.S] in the U.K.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

IAF Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters at Tezpur Air Force base in Assam [North-East India]

Indian Armed Forces build-up of military disincentive in the North-East of India against possible Chinese bellicosity.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Surya Kiran, Indian Air Force's aerobatics team, in action [photographs]

A collection of pictures showing one of the most well regarded aerial display teams perform their routine.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Stealth version of India's Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas, Mk. 3 on the cards

India's indigenously developed supersonic fighter aircraft to be developed into a stealth platform.

F/A-18F Super Hornet performs buddy-buddy refuelling from another SHornet fighter aircraft [Video]

A F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft engages in performing a buddy-buddy refuelling activity with yet another Super Hornet, as viewed from the cockpit.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Iranian Air Force's MiG-29 fighter aircrafts [Russian birds]

An article about the Russian-origin MiG-29 'Fulcrum' combat aircraft in service with Iran's Air Force

Women officers of the Indian Army successfully climbed the Mount Everest

A successful expedition to the world's highest peak by a team which included women officers of the Indian Army.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Naval Light Combat Aircraft [N-LCA] - maiden flight [Photographs]

Photo-gallery containing pictures of the Naval version of India's indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft [N-LCA], during its maiden flight.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Data Journalism Handbook - for bloggers & journalists alike [free e-Book]

The European Journalism Centre in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation have written this book, explaining how data & information relevant to a topic being researched can be sourced, compiled & interpreted for an article. While this book has been written with journalists intended as its target audience, instructions & teachings should be handy & useful for bloggers alike.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Rajput-Class Destroyer of the Indian Navy at Exercise Malabar 2012 [Wallpaper]

Rajput-class Destroyer of the Indian Navy are a modified version of the Russian Kashin II-class destroyers. It currently operates five such Destroyers

  • INS Rajput [D51]
  • INS Rana [D52]
  • INS Ranjit [D53]
  • INS Ranvir [D54]
  • INS Ranvijay [D55]

Indian Navy's Kora-class Corvette INS Kulish [P63] [Wallpaper material]

INS Kulish [P63] is a Kora-class Corvette operated by the Indian Navy [IN]. This class of Corvette has been designed & built within India by Indian shipbuilders Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers [GRSE] & Mazagon Dock Limited [MDL]. Their primary weapon is the Russian-origin Kh-35 Anti-Ship Cruise missile. Each Corvette can carry 16 such missiles at a time.

Deepak-class Fleet Tanker, INS Shakti refuelling Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson

A fleet refuelling tanker, while it may not exude the glamour & awe evoked by the mere mention of offensive forces warships like Destroyers, Frigates & Corvettes it replenishes, is critical for effective & prolonged deployment of these warships out at sea. During such deployments, presence of these refuelling ships offer warships the decisive advantage of not having to visit the port of a friendly country, or even return back home, to replenish fuel & inventory, keeping them out at sea for long & expanding the envelope of their reach.

INS Satpura [F48] - Indian Navy stealth Frigate [Shivalik-class, Wallpaper]

Shivalik-class of Frigates were the first Frigates designed & built by India to incorporate stealth features. Mumbai-based Mazagaon Dock Limited [MDL] shipyard was entrusted with the job. Design and construction of the Frigates was undertaken as part of 'Project 17' [P17]. As part of this project, the 3 warships were to be built,

  • INS Shivalik [F47]
  • INS Satpura [F48]
  • INS Sahyadri [F49]

Indian Navy Warships at Malabar Naval Exercise 2012 [wallpapers]

An enduring feature of the military aspect of India-U.S relationship has been the Malabar-series of Naval exercises. Started in 1992, with the aim of being an annual engagement, things came to an abrupt end owing to the imposition of U.S sanctions on India in 1998, following India's testing of the designs of its Nuclear weapons. After a gap of 4 years, the exercises resumed in 2002 & have been taking place annually since then, so far.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Brahmaputra-Class guided missile Frigate [Indian Navy]

A collection of pictures of the Indian Navy's Brahmaputra-Class of guided missile Frigate - INS Betwa [F39] & INS Beas [F31]. INS Betwa, commissioned on July 7, 2004, marks a technological first in Indian warship design. Fitted on-board is an indigenous combat data system that can co-ordinate & control the frigate's myriad of weapon systems & radars having multi-national origin, along with indigenous systems, all through a single control station. This seamless integration & synchronisation between the varied systems was brought about with the help of the Equipment Modular for Command and Control Application [EMCCA] systems developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd. [B.E.L]. This system was first successfully validated on the Betwa & is now fitted on all frigates of its class.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat [R22] [Indian Navy]

The Indian Navy currently currently operates a sole Aircraft Carrier, the INS Viraat [R22], that it has been with it since the 1980s, when it acquired the Centaur-class Aircraft Carrier, HMS Hermes, from Britain. The Hermes itself had been in operation since 1959, essentially making the still-operational Aircraft Carrier in active duty for 53 years. This makes the Viraat the longest serving Aircraft Carrier, ever, and perhaps amongst the longest serving warships too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

INS Teg, Talwar-class frigates of the Indian Navy [Photographs]

Talwar-class frigates operated by the Indian Navy [IN] were the first set of operational warships in the IN fleet to incorporate some amount of stealth characteristics. Of primarily Russian Krivak III class design, also integrated on-board are Indian sub-systems. India presently possesses three such warship,

  • INS Talwar [F40] [lead warship]
  • INS Trishul [F43]
  • INS Tabar [F44]

Orders for these warships were placed in the early 90s in order to make up fleet strength, till completion of construction of the indigenous, stealthy Shivalik-class of frigates. Following completion of delivery of all three original Talwar-class frigates, after much delays, a follow on order had been placed in 2006 for three additional warships of its class. Indo-Russian development, the supersonic Cruise Missile, the BrahMos is to be integrated into the these warships as their primary weapon. The three follow-on warships are,

  • INS Teg [F45]
  • INS Tarkash [F46]
  • INS Trikand [F50]

Friday, April 20, 2012

Leander-class Cruiser Warship of the Indian Navy visits Italy [INS Delhi]

INS Delhi was a Leander-class light Cruiser warship that served with the Indian Navy [IN] from 1948 till 1978. Originally built as HMS Achilles in Britain in the 1930s, it operated as part of the fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy, renamed HMNZS Achilles where she operated during World War II. Following culmination of the war & India attaining her freedom, the Government of India bought this warship as part of its plans to build independent India's own Naval force. It was named as 'INS Delhi' upon acquisition [HMIS Delhi, till the time India became a Republic]. The ship also saw action during India's liberation of Goa from Portuguese imperialist occupation in 1961. Finally on 30th June 1978, the Cruiser was decommissioned from Naval service, after having been operated as a training vessel for two-third of its service life.

Here, INS Delhi can be seen making a port call to the Italian coastal town of Genoa on May 17, 1955.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

[Answered] Can you identify these 2 individuals? - India's Space programme [Pop Quiz]

This iconic photograph, in many ways, symbolises all that India was, what it aspires for itself & the path adopted to attain its goals, still quite a distance away, remarkable strides notwithstanding. Seen in this photograph is the nose cone of the French Centaure Sounding Rocket being transported to the launch pad at Thumba in Kerala for the first launch of a Rocket, following the official inauguration of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station [TERLS] there.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Delhi-Class Guided Missile Destroyer warships of the Indian Navy [Photographs]

The Indian Navy currently operates a fleet of 3 Delhi-class Destroyers - lead warship INS Delhi [D61], INS Mysore [D60] & INS Mumbai [D62]. They have all been indigenously designed & built in India at the Mazagaon Dock Limited shipyard in Mumbai. Its main offensive weapon is the Kh-35 Switchblade (SS-N-25) Anti-Ship Cruise Missile of Russian origin. 16 such missiles can be mounted on the launcher at any given time. They are also equipped the Russian-origin Shtil missiles for performing anti-aircraft operations, which are being augmented with the integration of the more advanced Barak-1 missile of Israeli-origin. At least two of the Destroyers, INS Delhi & INS Mysore have been confirmed to have Barak Missile launch capability on-board.

A collection of pictures of Indian Navy's three Delhi-class-Destroyers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker' series aircraft - Timeline & Family Tree [Infograhpic] - UPDATED: 2012.04.13

Su-27 fighter was the first production variant of the Sukhoi Design Bureau's 'Flanker' series of aircraft. Since then the aircraft has spawned numerous other variants, around a common airframe, that were developed to meet differing requirements. Some programmes were also undertaken near simultaneously, making tracking their development a tad tricky.
The infographic below lists out, in chronology, the sequence of & simultaneous development of the aircraft, including its design concept & prototype variant, in addition to the actual final mass produced version.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A photograph that radiates brilliance

If such a thing were possible in the literal sense, then this photograph would easily easily have been one to display this property. Some of India's best minds, all in one photograph.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Brahmaputra Class Guided Missile Frigate, INS Beas of the Indian Navy in Russia [Photographs]

INS Beas [F37] is a missile frigate warship, currently in service with the Indian Navy. It belongs to the the Brahmaputra-class of guided missile frigates, of which there are two more, the flag ship INS Brahmaputra [F31] & INS Betwa [F39]. These warship are of indigenous design and build, having been constructed at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers shipyard in West Bengal.

Brahmaputra Class Guided Missile Frigate warship, INS Beas of the Indian Navy at St. Petersburg in Russia

As is the characteristic feature of all such indigenous warship, the INS Beas & the other warships of its class are a fine example of integrating western & Indian sub-systems onto a common weapon platform to serve the requirements of the end-user [the Indian Navy]. Propelled by steam turbines built by state-owned PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. [BHEL] & fitted alongside a vast array of radars, SONARS & Electronic Warfare [EW] suites developed by Indian R&D organisations are,

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Highly agile, autonomous & co-operative robots in action ~ Dr. Vijay Kumar [TED Talk]

Watch. Awesome stuff.

Once the technology is ready for the real world, its application would be restricted only by ones imagination.

Speaker: Professor Dr. Vijay Kumar, University of Pennsylvania

This and a few more TED talks have been included in one of the DVDs that accompanied this month's Digit, an otherwise ho-hum edition.


Also: Fully autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV]: Challenges & Technologies [Aero India 2011]

Micro Air Vehicle [MAV] R&D at Aeronautical Development Establishment [ADE], India

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Indian Light Combat Helicopter [LCH] TD-2 [Photographs]

Group Captain Hari Nair, Test pilot at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] has just shared these bunch of photographs of the second prototype of India's indigenous Light Combat Helicopter [LCH], Technology Demonstrator 2 [TD-2] that is currently under development. Once developed, it would see service with the Indian Air Force [IAF], but more importantly with the Indian Army [IA] in its Army Aviation Corps.
Click on the image to view the larger-sized picture

Famous Indian Scientists [Weekend Reading]

While looking around for my previous post, I learnt that one of the people I mentioned had authored a book about few of the outstanding women Scientists in India. Lilavati's Daughters: The Women Scientists of India is a collection of essays of 100 such Indian Scientists that has been compiled and edited by renowned Physicist Dr. Rohini Godbole along with Ram Ramaswamy. While some of the essays are first person account, the others are in third person. A fine collection of writings.

Indian participation at CERN's particle accelerator facilities [Large Hadron Collider]

The presentation slides, below, give an account of India's on-going engagement & participation in the numerous test facilities being run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as the CERN. The agency is most famous for constructing & running the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] whose expanse stretches between France & Switzerland.
India, currently holds an observer status at the LHC experiment facility, alongside Russia, Israel, Japan, United States of America & Turkey, & has been contributing both hardware & manpower expertise towards conduct of the experiments.
While the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] experiment initiated by CERN is primarily a European-lead venture, it is to be followed by an even larger particle accelerator facility, the International Liner Collider [ILC] that would be built with a more global participation. Construction work on the ILC is expected to begin in 2020. One of those in the 10-member International Detector Advisory Group that would decide the nature & specifications of the new accelerator is Physicist Dr. Rohini Godbole, a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science [IISc] in Bengaluru [formerly Bangalore]. Nature magazine recently carried an interview with her that covered a wide range of topics, including interesting anecdotes,
"Q . The story about a Japanese scientist bowing to you at the Frankfurt airport is widely known. What was that all about?
A . Oh, this happened very early on in my career when I was returning from a conference in Poland. I had presented a paper on short-lived 'charmed' particles containing charm quarks, which I had co-authored with D. P. Roy of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
When one is young, one tends to be beset with fundamental doubts: "Am I cut out for this career? Do I have what it takes?" The airport incident, along with similar ones, boosted my confidence. Thanks to such informal recognition, I continued in research."
While reading the full interview would require you to register for free with Nature, the interviewer has herself uploaded a copy of it on her website.
The Large Hadron Collider facility has been constructed with the primary aim of detecting the presence of the Higgs Boson - a sub-atomic particle that has been theorised to impart mass to objects. As evident from the name, the Higgs Boson is a type of a sub-atomic particle called Boson, named in honour of Indian Physicist Dr. Satyendra Nath Bose who first propounded the theory proposing the existence of a type of particle [Boson] that obey the Bose Einstein Condensate [BEC] theory, in the 1920s. It was only in 1995 was such a condensate actually produced, thus proving the theory put forth by Dr. Bose in the 1920s. For providing the proof of BEC, Physicists Dr. Eric Cornell & Dr. Carl Edwin Wieman were awarded the Nobel prize for Physics in the year 2001.
Dr. Satyendra Nath Bose
A wonderful book written about the life of Dr. S.N. Bose - Satyendra Nath Bose
The search for the Higgs Boson was narrowed down recently when a team lead by Scientist of Indian origin, Dr. A. Kotwal put forth the result of his experiment that proposes a new narrower band of energy range at which the Higgs Boson is most likely to be detected.
"Based on the new W boson mass, Kotwal's team has calculated that the Higgs boson mass is roughly 90 GeV, or billion electron volts, with a precision of 30 percent.
"The best way to think of this is to present the upper limit on the Higgs boson mass with 95 percent probability, which means that there is only one 1 in 20 chance of the Higgs being heavier than this upper limit," Kotwal said. The new upper limit is 145 GeV."
Interesting times.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, T-50 PAK-FA design & testing: Updates

The latest issue of Air International magazine has a fine article detailing the testing, development & future roadmap of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA], the T-50 PAK-FA, a Russian venture with Indian involvement. Written by the much respected Piotr Butowski, its filled with important nuggets of information. Paraphrasing the critical ones here.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Vikrant-class Aircraft Carrier under construction in India [Photographs]

Some new photographs of India's first indigenously designed & built Aircraft Carrier, of the Vikrant-class, currently under construction at the Cochin Shipyard Limited, in Kerala. The ship was successfully floated on water for the first time1 in December, last year & work on it continues. It currently weighs around 14,000 tonnes. On completion, it is expected to weigh around 40,000 tonnes, making it the heaviest ship built in India, till now.

Click on the pictures to view higher-resolution images

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Power Generation & Engineering Conference + Exhibition, New Delhi [19-21 April]


Found this in the mailbox today [the physical kind], meaning it could have arrived anytime in the past week. Its an "invitation" to attend a conference cum exhibition being organised for/by the Electric Power Generation industry. The event has been divided into 3 parts,

Friday, March 30, 2012

INS Darshak, Indian Navy Vessel at the South African Navy Festival [Photographs]

The South African Navy festival took place in the town of Simsonstown from the 16th of March to the 18th of March this year. Joining the celebrations was the Indian Navy's Hydrographic survey Ship, the INS Darshak. The vessel has been designed & built within the country at the Goa Shipyard Limited. Perhaps, it was in the neighbourhood, performing surveys for countries like Seychelles & Maldives & other adjoining countries, as stipulated in bi-lateral agreements signed. A Naval version of dropping by your friend's place for a few minutes to say hello, when you're in his neighbourhood on some other business, perhaps.
These are some pictures of the ship, when it arrived in South Africa for the event.

Chetak Helicopters of the Indian Navy in South Africa during IBSAMAR Naval Exercises [Photographs]

The Air wing of the Indian Navy, currently, operates a fleet of around 65 Chetak Helicopters. The Chetak is a variant of the French Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopter that is manufactured in India under license by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL]. These helicopters are flown by the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force & the Coast Guard. Of the 85-odd Chetaks operated by the Navy since 1961, HAL has manufactured 82 of them in country while 3 were bought directly from France. These choppers are primarily used for Search And Rescue [SAR] missions, along with a secondary role in Anti-Submarine Warfare [ASW] & Electronic Intelligence [ELINT] gathering.


A Naval variant of India's indigenously developed Helicopter, the Dhruv, is being developed to eventually replace this vintage flying machine. Around 120 of them have been planned for manufacturing & induction into the Navy's air wing.

The Chetak Helicopters seen here in these photographs, below, were in South Africa in 2010 to take part in the second edition of the IBSAMAR multi-national Naval Exercises, along with the Navies of Brazil & South Africa. Indian Navy warships that took part in this exercise included,

  • Delhi-Class Guided Missile Destroyer, INS Mysore
  • Talwar-class Frigate, INS Tabar
  • Godavari-class Guided-Missile Frigate, INS Ganga
  • Aditya-Class Replenishment & Repair Ship, INS Aditya.

Click on the images to view a larger-sized version

Indian Navy Warships in South Africa [Photographs]

In the month of May in 2008, Navies of India, South Africa & Brazil got together in the South African coastal town of Simsonstown, to take part what was to be the the first of a continuing series of biennial tri-nation Naval Engagement, known as the India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime [IBSAMAR] exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to improve co-operation, inter-operability & understanding of each other's operations, besides learning & benefitting from the other's experiences.

This Naval exercise is part of a broader aim to enhance co-operation & engagement between the three countries that display a fair degree of parity in socio-economic affairs, and are expected to traverse a congruent trajectory of high economic growth in the future. In effect, becoming comparable players capable of exerting substantial influence on the global stage, subject to them staying on course of the trajectory predicted presently.

Indian Navy Warship, INS Mumbai, in South Africa for the IBSAMAR exercise

India was represented by the Navy's two indigenously designed & built Warships, the Delhi-class guided-missile destroyer, INS Mumbai, built at the country's Mazagon Dock Limited shipyard. The other Indian warship that took part was the Kora-class Corvette, INS Karmuk, built at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers shipyard in West Bengal.

These are some of the pictures showing the two Naval warships photographed during the engagements. Wallpaper material, even if in non-widescreen aspect ratio, they are.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Futuristic Technologies at DARPA - Regina Dugan at TED [Video]

TED, the other day, released this talk given by then DARPA Director, Regina Dugan. She spoke about some futuristic scientific research programmes & technology developments being overseen by DARPA. Very interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

India’s Nuclear history - initial years [collection of of documents]

A fine collection of documents have been made public recently by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses [IDSA]. These papers give one a rare & unique insight into the thinking, thought processes, challenges & other aspects of any ambitious venture that India had to overcome in the early years of its Nuclear programme. A treasure trove, particularly for a historian specialising in the history of Nuclear Science, & anybody with interest in India's programme, in general.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 - Free Download copy

Microsoft Press has published a new book title, 'Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012', coinciding with the launch of the latest version of the software, expected to be made widely available from April 1, this year. Costing nearly $15 USD [~Rs. 750 INR], the book can be purchased from the O'Reilly Store. A book about a Microsoft product being published by Microsoft itself - an endorsement of its pedigree can't get bigger than this, can it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Innovations in Military Operations [Indian Air Force]

This article appeared in the latest issue of 'Bulletin', a newsletter published by the Bengaluru [formerly Bangalore] branch of the Institute of Defence Scientists & Technologists [IDST]. URLs not part of the original text.

Innovations cleverly adopted during military operations make a difference between winning a war and losing it! Indian Air Force demonstrated it during the 1971 war. IAF converted 10 of its Antonov An-12 transports into 'bombers' with specially designed bomb crates to carry 6,000lb of bombs that could be delivered using the conveyer belt in the cargo cabin. Over a 15-day period, the bombers successfully attacked ammunition and supply dumps; damaged military installations; bombed an ordnance factory and a railway marshalling yard; and destroyed a gas plant and an airfield. The bombers emerged safe and victorious after crippling the adversary's war machinery though they had been sprayed with anti-aircraft shells. The pay-off from this clever adaptation was, indeed, remarkable.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ukrainian hardware on India's Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircrafts

The document, below, lists out the numerous hardware sub-systems for the Indian Air Force's [IAF] Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft that must/could be sourced from Ukraine. Such a situation arose as a result of the fallout of breakup of erstwhile Soviet Union that endowed the newly created Ukraine with a robust military industrial infrastructure within its territory that was setup during the Soviet period.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Indian Air Force Calendar 2012 [Download]

This beauty arrived on Thursday, sometime in the late morning/afternoon. Could easily have been the best thing that happened to me this month, had it not been for a brief visit from my cousin's family. Pole position snatched by them. Still, this calendar very easily comes a close second.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Low-cost 3G Internet plan from Airtel [Save Money on Data transfer]

Airtel, at my place, charges Rs. 750 INR [~$ 15 USD]1 for 4 GB of data transfer over the 3G network, using my handset, that I must use up in 1 month. This comes out to around Rs. 187.5 [~$3.76] per GB. Yesterday, instead of going to the quasi-official 'Airtel Relationship Centre' to recharge my pre-paid account balance, I dropped in by this hole-in-the-wall kind of outlet on the way for my nightly run. In addition to my voice call recharge, I also asked to recharge my Internet account balance. There, the attendant suggested me this wonderful data plan that has brought down my 3G tariff rate to just around Rs. 83 [~$ 1.67] per GB, a 125% reduction in my monthly Internet bill!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Indian Navy's Kilo-Class Submarine, INS Sindhuvijay [Photographs] [UPDATED: 2012.07.23]

The Indian Navy operates a fleet of 10 Kilo-class diesel-powered submarines of Russian-origin. In India they're are referred to as the Sindhughosh-class submarines. The first such submarine, also named INS Sindhughosh, was inducted into the Indian Navy's fleet in the mid-1980s, while the last Kilo-Class, INS Sindhushastra, began its service with the Navy in 2000. In the meanwhile, these submarines were also put through a refit & upgrade programme that was carried out at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Russia, with one submarine, INS Sindhukirti, currently undergoing a much-delayed refit at India's own Hindustan Shipyard Ltd.

This hi-res photograph shows the Navy's INS Sindhuvijay [S62] placed on the dry dock at the Russian shipyard during its refit process.

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Indian Air Force in Wars - Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, Indian Air force [IAF]

This extensive & detailed write-up appeared in the Air Power Review Journal published by UK's Centre for Air Power Studies. Reproducing it here for the sake of ease of access & readability.

This article is a review of the part played by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in, and the background to, conflicts across the sub-continent (mainly post-independence). It is written from an Indian viewpoint. The early history of the IAF started with its formation in 1932 and continued through to its contribution to the Second World War supporting Slim's 14th Army. On Indian independence the Air Force was restructured and supported land operations in the aftermath. Lack of an accurate intelligence picture preceding the Sino-Indian War 1962 led to significant logistics problems for the Indian Army and subsequently to a large proportion of IAF effort being directed to air transport at the cost of the deployment of combat air power. The War for Kashmir 1965 saw the use of Mystere and Vampire aircraft in anti-armour and ­ infantry sorties, with air superiority being sought by dominating the skies rather than attacking airfields. India and Pakistan again went to war in 1971 with India initially operating to limited objectives set prior to the opening of hostilities. The IAF flew more combat sorties compared to their opponents but both air forces lost similar numbers of aircraft. In 1999, in Kashmir, the IAF provided high-altitude helicopter and tactical airlift logistics and communication support, with Canberra, Mig and Mirage providing recce and close air support. The IAF is modernising with 40% of its combat force being 4th generation aircraft and has set its sights on becoming a strategic force.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

India's Upgraded MiG-29 Aircraft, the MiG-29UPG - first video

This, AFAIK, is the first video to have emerged, showing the upgraded MiG-29 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force [IAF], now christened MiG-29UPG, in flight. This clip, released yesterday, was shot at the MAKS 2011 airshow held last year in Russia, where the aircraft was displayed.

Flight testing the Rafale - UK Test pilot's perspective

Dassault Rafale Fighter Aircraft - Winner of India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft [MMRCA] acquisition program
The recent decision to pick the French-built Rafale 'Omni-role' fighter aircraft as the winner of India's long-running Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft [MMRCA] competition is a potential game-changer as far as pilot-role & data handling, relevant to the mission at hand is concerned. This wonderful account of a flight undertaken by a British test pilot, clearly illustrates the aircraft's strong points & unique capabilities as well as the underlying design considerations of some of the system.

Monday, March 05, 2012

T-50 PAK-FA fighter aircraft in Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters [CG imagery]

This computer-generated image of the Indo-Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft, the T-50 PAK-FA was created as part of a new installment of the Jane's Combat Simulations series. Named JASF: Jane's Advanced Strike Fighters, the multi-platform flight simulation game is set for a release worldwide, this month.
Click on the thumbnail to view a larger-sized image
Whats with the dhin-chaak camo on the aircrafts? You get the physics as close to the real thing, but apply a decal, that would make it an easy target for a half-blind conscript manning an ack-ack from beyond the range of the ack-ack itself. Not very smart.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Indian Air Force recruitment poster - Sukhoi Su-30 MKI formation [Kickassery unlimited]

This ad poster seeking recruitment into the Indian Air Force appeared in the December 2011 issue of the Digit magazine. I would occasionally Google the interwebs in search of an online copy of this. Not to be found anywhere. Shot this with my Xperia Active handset's camera. Didn't manage to click it any better.

Click on the picture to view the larger-sized image

India Air Force [IAF] Recruitment Poster - A Pair of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters flying in formation

If an online version of this exists, do share the link here.

Indian Air Force Official Website

Indian Air Force Recruitment Website

Indian Air Force on Wikipedia


Related: Sukhoi Su-30 MK-1/K aircraft variants flown by the Indian Air Force [photographs]

Indian Air Force flies into US & UK in their Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters [Wallpaper-material Hi-Res]

Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 MKI wallpapers

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Indian understanding of China [collection of writings]

Found this collection of writings today. This person subscribed to my YouTube account & I got a notification, informing me so, along with the URL of the subscriber. Listed on his profile page was a link to this body of writings - Across The Himalayan Gap - An Indian Quest for Understanding China.

Having just learnt about it, managed to casually browse through it. The writings cover a broad aspect of China - social, cultural, historical, political, as well as personal experiences.

Would be an interesting undertaking to read it.

credit: Shiv Kumar Batalavi


Related: India moves resolution supporting People's Republic of China's admission into the United Nations [U.N.]

China's stealth aircraft Chengdu J-20: What are they saying

Friday, March 02, 2012

Indian Air Force Jaguar Fighter Aircraft Performing Mid-Air Refueling

Indian Air Force [IAF] Jaguar Fighter Aircraft perform Mid-Air Refuelling using its In-Flight Refuelling [IFR] probe
A small collection of pictures showing the Indian Air Force's [IAF] SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft perform aerial refueling. These photographs were taken in 2004, when the IAF were on their way to the United States to take part in the Cope Thunder 2004 military exercise.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

India's indigenous Nuclear Technology & International sanctions

"I found that whereas sanctions slowed progress in nuclear energy, they made India self-sufficient and world leaders in fast reactor technologies. While much of the world’s approach to India has been to limit its access to nuclear technology, it may well be that today we limit ourselves by not having access to India’s nuclear technology developments. Such technical views should help to advice the diplomatic efforts with India."
This quote acknowledging the advancements made by India, in its indigenous programmes to develop technologies for harnessing Nuclear Energy for civilian needs, has been attributed to Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker, PhD. He was the Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. He made this observation  while testifying before an U.S. Senate Committee in 20081.

I came across this quote while going through the presentation slides used by Dr. Anil Kakodar, then Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission, while delivering a lecture at the Indian Academy of Science. Titled, 'Evolving Indian Nuclear Programme: Rationale and Perspectives', it puts in context development & adoption of Nuclear energy by India, including its Fast Breeder Reactor programme, against the backdrop of India's burgeoning energy requirement.
Especially interesting is the projection made in the following slide. As seen, it estimates that if India were to begin setting up Light Water Reactors [LWR] capable of generating up to 40 GWe of electricity by the end of this decade, its spent fuel could then be reprocessed & reused for energy generation in the indigenously developed Fast Breeder Reactors [FBR].
If done within the timeframe stated, then by 2050, India would have a miniscule amount of energy deficit. What little remains could then, perhaps, be fulfilled using alternate sources of energy. Polluting Hydrocarbon consumption, while showing marginal increase [expected when one factors in increasing population], would mostly be restricted to use in transport vehicles [slide 5]. However, any delays in implementing the construction, would widen the 2050 deficit, forcing India to additionally import coal to meet its energy requirements, that would further exacerbate the environmental situation.
On the other hand, a hypothetical scenario, that sees India totally shunning import of such Nuclear Reactors [LWR], as are the kinds India seeks to import & install, & whose setting up activists are opposing, would raise India's coal import requirement to an unsustainable level [below].
India's successes in developing the necessary Nuclear Technology for the civilian domain despite, or rather due to, the International sanctions, in place since 1974, can be credited in great parts to the visionary endeavours of Dr. Homi J. Bhabha. It, perhaps, helped that he enjoyed the confidence of & unrestricted access to then Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in the early years of the programme. Making full use of the free hand given to him by the Prime minister, he went about putting in place an organisational infrastructure in the country that could competently carry out the necessary work & effort needed to realise India's goals of ensuring energy security through self-sufficiency. Towards this goals, it was he who put forth the idea of circumventing India's scarcity of Uranium [fissile or even non-fissile isotopes], by breeding it from Thorium, abundantly available in the country. Thus, India today is one of the leading countries working towards the development of a sustainable & economical nuclear Reactor running on the Thorium cycle.
1 - Dr. Hecker was in the news last year for reporting about his visit to North Korea where he discovered that the North Koreans had built a new & advanced Uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon Nuclear Complex - North Korea's Yongbyon Nuclear Complex: A Report by Siegfried S. Hecker
Related: Understanding Nuclear Energy and Technology [suggested weekend reading]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

INS Vikramaditya, Indian Navy Aircraft Carrier in Russia [Photographs]


This photograph, seen above, is part of a recently released set of pictures of the Aircraft Carrier, shot sometime back, showing the Vikramaditya in an earlier state of refurbishment at its Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia.

You can view the remaining photographs here.


Also: INS Vikramaditya - India's Aircraft Carrier [new photographs]

Indian Air Force An-32 Aircraft in Ukraine [Photograph]

Indian Air Force [IAF] An-32 aircraft in Ukraine


An An-32 transport aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force [IAF] sits on the snow-covered tarmac in Ukraine. The entire fleet of IAF's An-32 aircrafts are to undergo an upgrade & modernisation program. Of the 105 aircrafts it flies, 40 would be upgraded in Ukraine, while work on the remaining would be done in India.

Some more pictures of the IAF birds in Ukraine can be viewed here & here


Also: Indian Air Force [IAF] photographs - men & machine [random pictures]

a modest proposal from the Soviets...duly rejected by Indian Babudom

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick & convenient way to search any frequently looked-up website [How-To]

Each time, before uploading a new post on this blog, I usually add a URL or two of an earlier post I'd made, that could be relevant to the latest one about to be made. I find looking up a suitable post for this quite inconvenient. I could have to login to the Blogger account & look up a post, based on tags added. Too many steps involved. Google comes in handy. Using the site: search operator & my blog's domain name, I can ensure relevant result being made available to me from my blog. However, having to do it often, & it becomes quite a chore.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Manned Spaceflight missions - major tragedies & mishaps [Infograhpic]

Will end the week on a somewhat sobering note. It is an experience filled with sheer exhilaration to watch a Space Shuttle or a Rocket lift-off from the ground, carrying, on-board, humans, or satellite/scientific payload[s], travelling to the furthest reaches as enabled by technologies developed. The process that makes this possible epitomises the ultimate in Engineering & scale, a culmination of multi-billions of man-hours or perhaps, even larger, of effort & endeavour. However, as with anything ground-breaking & revolutionary, such pursuits are also extremely fraught with risks, often mortal.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Air Forces of the world - numerical strengths & variety in assets [Free Download]

Ok, you are not that much into these things to warrant a purchase of Janes, yet your interest can be described as much more than passing. You require as a ready reckoner. a comprehensive list that tabulates the numerical strengths of Air Forces of the world & the different varieties of flying assets in their possession - aircrafts & helicopters. Flight magazine has come out with just this kind of a report relevant to the year 2011-2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

America’s Airborne Laser Weapon programme - Gigantic Indian connection [Trivia]

Airborne Laser Test Bed Nose Turret Ball from which the laser emerges to strike the target

Okay, the connection one could immediately be inclined to make, would be to imagine people with Indic names working in position of authority in the programme. While that might also be quite likely the case, this American military programme has yet another Indian connection.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Indian Air Force flies into US & UK in their Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighters [Wallpaper-material Hi-Res]

Sukhoi Su-30MKI Fighter Aircraft flown by the Indian Air Force at the Red Flag Exercises in the U.S & Indradhanush Exercise with U.K.
With upwards of/around $2 billion USD spent by the U.S., each year, on building up 'Public Relations/Outreach', any international engagement with a branch of the U.S Military is, therefore, bound to generate a large amount of publically distributed content. As is widely known by now, the Indian Air Force [IAF], in 2008, for the first time, flew in to the Unites States of America to participate in the multi-national Red Flag Air Exercises held there. The IAF arrived in the U.S, flying in their Sukhoi Su-30MKI air dominance fighter aircrafts for this exercise2.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sukhoi Su-30 MK-1/K aircraft variants flown by the Indian Air Force [photographs]

Sukhoi Su-30 MK-1 / K, earlier flown by the Indian Air Force [IAF]

The Government of India, in the mid-90s, signed an agreement with the Russians to acquire 40 aircrafts of the Flanker series, that would be customized to Indian requirement. It involved integrating French, Israeli & Indian weapon systems & avionics onto the Russian airframe. The eventual outcome of this customization is identified as the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. However, since the agreement essentially stipulated virtually developing a new aircraft, with capabilities unmatched by legacy offerings, the time taken for their deliveries to commence too would be large. Hence, in order to fast-track aircraft induction, as an interim measure, it was agreed that Russia would supply India with a baseline MK-series of the Su-30, i.e., Sukhoi Su-30MK.

Monday, February 20, 2012

a 50 kiloton Nuclear Weapon explodes in Pakistan, over Rawalpindi [What-if?]

earlier today: NUKEMAP: Detonate a Nuclear Weapon over any city....or over your own!

Visualising a hypothetical scenario where a 50 kt Nuclear weapon explodes over Pakistan's garrison town, Rawalpindi

The following write-up had been posted by Dr. Shiv Shankar Sastry on the Bharat Rakshak forum. An avid admirer of his posts, it offers anyone reading them a great learning opportunity, with a unique & well thought-out insight on various matters that I find, is sorely lacking in what appears in the MSM. Here, he lays out a scenario where a Nuclear weapon explodes in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan & some of the major fall-outs of this explosion.

NUKEMAP: Detonate a Nuclear Weapon over any city....or over your own!

Okay, not literally, of course [you, you genocidal maniac!!!:)].

The after-effects of an attack with Nuclear weapons can be horrendous, and that is an understatement. Yet, often the magnitude & extent of destruction caused by them tend to get lost in attempts to describe them verbally. It is quite difficult to get a proportional sense of how destructive, both in terms of the damage & the expanse of the damage, a Nuclear weapon can be, more so if you're unable to apply this perception to your own city.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

American Sixth Generation Fighter Aircraft. Manned?! quite likely

Degree of autonomy of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle [UAV]

Till around a few years back, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II was widely being touted as the last manned fighter aircraft America would develop. Subsequent developments would solely focus on unmanned aerial vehicles capable of performing the same role. Thus, going through todays stack of news, I was somewhat taken by surprise by this quote attributed to George Standridge, Vice-President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautic, Business Development, on the sidelines of the ongoing Singapore Airshow,

Il-76 Aircraft: Indian Air Force - cockpit & crew station [Photographs]

Soviet designed Ilyushin Il-76 aircrafts are the heaviest lift class of aircrafts operated by the Indian Air force [IAF]. Capable of lifting around 50 tonnes, excluding its empty weight, these aircrafts were inducted into the IAF fleet in 1985. The IAF currently operates around 14 of these [Il-76MD]1. In addition, it also operates 7 mid-air re-fuelling tanker variants of this aircraft [Il-78MKI], along with 2 Israeli Phalcon Radar mounted on top of an-76 each to create an AWACS. Another such AWAC system is expected to be inducted soon. These are some hi-re images showing the cockpit & an aircrew station view of the aircraft. The pictures were taken when a contingent of the Indian Air Force visited the U.S.A in 2008 to take part in their multi-national Red Flag exercises, held every three-four months.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Space Station: since the ages & in the future

This illustration landed in the inbox yesterday. As evident, it shows some prominent designs for Space Stations that have emerged in the past. Of these, 4 designs were actually built & launched into Space & have been inhabited by humans. The others were either designs that did not get approved due to varied reasons, or were simply outcomes of creative artistic pursuits.

Prominent designs of Space Stations

Currently, only the International Space Station [ISS] still orbits the earth, and can be visited & lived in. It is expected to remain in operation till around the second half of this decade [2016-2020]. Some successor plans for a Space Station in the western world, include,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Check if your mobile number is affected by 2G license cancellation verdict [How-To]

Came across this very handy web-app that owes its inspiration to the ongoing 2G Scam case. The Supreme Court recently cancelled licenses, to provide 2G services, of a host of mobile service providers operating in India, deciding fraudulent means had been used in acquiring them. Thus, mobile numbers that the service providers had allotted to consumers on acquisition of license are likely to become inoperable.

Check if your mobile number is affected by 2G license cancellation verdict


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

India moves resolution supporting People's Republic of China's admission into the United Nations [U.N.]

At the fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly held at Flushing Meadows in 1950, India introduced a resolution supporting entry of the Communist-ruled People's Republic of China [P.R.C] into the United Nations. This rare video clip, below, shows India's then permanent representative to the United Nations [U.N], Mr. B.N. Rau1 reading out the text in support of P.R.C.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nuclear Energy & Technology: many myths, some debunking

Over the past year or so, living in India, one has been reading & watching a steady stream of news reports of protests being undertaken against the use of Nuclear Energy for generating electricity. The actual construction process, itself, has not yet commenced in any of these areas & is sometime away, even going by official schedule. In general, only the necessary surveys have been carried out & the site evaluated to judge its suitability for construction & operation of the Nuclear power plant. Thus, a significant portion of the protest could be attributed to the consternation experienced by local inhabitants at the initial stages of any major project that involves substantial land reclamation. These things are eventually, inevitably, sorted out to the mutual agreement of all concerned, employing a concurrent approach involving raising awareness, negotiations & a degree of coercion too, if needed.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Tamil Nadu, India

A significant exception to this situation is the Kudankulam Nuclear power plant, set up in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. One of the most advanced plant designs in the world, it employs the most contemporary safety systems, including a passive heat removal system that requires no power source at all to operate. The plant is also equipped with multiple levels of redundancies that would be set into motion, in the event of any divergence in designed operation. Construction work at the site had neared completion. In fact, by now, it should have begun operation, generating & supplying electricity to the state, that runs a power deficit of up to 5000 MWe & is being forced to endure daily load-shedding of up to more than one-third the day [9 hours]. However, the protests, that has seen the Church play an active role in marshaling the protestors, has brought all activities at the plant site to a complete standstill. Critical equipment that require specialized maintenance & monitoring1, aren't being adequately taken care of, running the risk of irreversibly damage2.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

T-50 PAK-FA Fifth Generation Fighter in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon [UPDATE: 2012.02.17]

[Update: 2012.03.17] Added a video of the aircraft in the game sporting the new skins

Multi-platform video game series Ace Combat, Assault Horizon version, has received a new update. It includes new decals that can be applied as skins on the numerous aircrafts, newer aircraft types, among others. These skins have been provided for applying over the T-50 PAK-FA, Fight Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA] in the game.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Commandos of the Indian Navy, the MARCOS, lifted off the water as they go charging ahead onboard their rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

Commandos of the Indian Navy, the MARCOS, lifted off the water, charging ahead aboard their rigid-hull inflatable boat.



Monday, February 06, 2012

Know your Rafale: India's latest Fighter Aircraft acquisition [MMRCA winner, most likely] - UPDATE [2012.02.07]

French Dassault Fighter Aircraft visualised in Indian Air Force [IAF] paint scheme

Two years back, this is what I had jotted down here about the choice of aircraft that must be selected in India's long-running soap opera, also known as the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft [MMRCA] acquisition program,

INS Vikramaditya - India's Aircraft Carrier [new photographs]

Some new photos have 'emerged' showing India's latest Aircraft Carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, being rebuilt from the Soviet-era Aircraft Carrying Cruiser ship, the Admiral Gorshkov. Looks quite dramatic, seen against the pristine white snow-clad background with steam billowing from the sides.


Do check the remaining pictures at the photographer's blog, who visited the Sevmash Shipyard in Russia recently, where the Carrier is being re-built. India is expected to receive custody of the Carrier by the end of this year [December 2012]. Fingers crossed, twiddling thumbs.


Earlier: India's Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) [Weekend viewing]

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Read articles behind pay-wall / login without paying [How-To]

Here is a quickie tip that I often have to use. Many a websites place their articles behind a paywall, or require users to login, before he or she can read the article. Expensive & cumbersome, respectively. As it turns out, on many a occasion, Google comes to the rescue.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Indian Navy MiG-29KUB fighter takes off Russian Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov [Pictures; Wallpaper-type]

These hi-res pictures, from some time back, show the Indian Navy's twin-seater variant of its newly inducted MiG-29K fighter aircraft, the MiG-29KUB, taking off for flight testing from aboard Russia's operational Aircraft Carrier, the Kuznetsov. Had earlier seen much smaller & watermarked versions of these on Strizhi. These are hi-res & clean. Turned them into my wallpaper. Sharing my exhilaration!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

India's petaFLOPS speed Supercomputer for Science & Technology research [Petascale Computing]

"It is, however, to be noted that CSIR reserves the right to decide on the use of these systems for whatever purpose deemed fit by the organization to serve the interests of the nation."

Making this fact amply clear, plans have been set in motion to develop a new Supercomputer which would have a speed upwards of 10 petaFLOPS1 for use in India. The current2 fastest Supercomputer in the world, Japan's K Computer clocks speeds of 10.5 petaFLOPS, while the fastest Indian Supercomputer today tops out at 0.1328 petaFLOPS or 0.220 petaFLOPS5, if purely theoretical peak, unbenchmarked speeds are considered. On completion, it may even become amongst the fastest Supercomputer in India at that time.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Indian Air Force pilot to fly the MiG-25 fighter Aircraft

Air Marshal [then, Group Captain] P.M. Ramachandran, Indian Air Force [IAF], first Indian to Fly Soviet MiG-25 fighter aircraft

A sense of mystique & aura surrounds the Soviet-era MiG-25 fighter aircraft, much like the American SR-71 Blackbird, that saw service with the Indian Air Force [IAF], till 2006. Much of this feeling, I believe, arises knowing that these birds, especially the variants India acquired, were put in to service to carry out reconnaissance activities deep into territories of countries that don't necessarily wave the Indian flag with any sense of deference. The fact that these combat aircrafts were required to fly into enemy territories for reconnaissance even during what constituted as peace time, if needed, at speeds of Mach 3+, at the uppermost reaches of the earth's atmosphere, meant that affairs of these IAF jets were wrapped up in even greater secrecy than a normal highly-guarded IAF asset. Such secretiveness only served to heighten its mystical status.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Russian Fighter Aircrafts - Weapon loadout & important systems [Graphic Illustration] - UPDATED [2012.02.07]

In various issues of Take-Off magazine, it has published a number of illustrations, depicting weapon loadout of some Russian Fighter aircrafts & showing locations of important systems in the aircraft. A handy reference.

Click on the picture to view a larger-sized image

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Republic Day, fellow Indians - some thoughts

Wishing all my fellow Indians a very Happy Republic Day. Doing so, in advance, as I will be travelling, & thus, will have a patchy Internet connection for the next few days. Enjoy your almost mid-week holiday, Dry Day even if it may be ;).

We celebrate Republic Day each year, in honour of India's Constitution, one of the largest & most comprehensive in the world. Provisions in the Constitution enshrine equality & non-discrimination to opportunities of progress & empowerment, irrespective of ones caste, creed, religion or other such classification. Yet, very often, in India we see political parties seeking to further their political fortunes by gaming the Constitution, even attempting to subvert it, in their bid to pander to specific sections of the society, to bolster their standing among their captive vote-bank, practicing ghetto politics. Such retrograde practices goes against the very grain of our country's Constitution.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Indian Air Force [IAF] SEPECAT Jaguar & MiG-21 fighter aircraft [photographs]


Had seen these photographs [below], earlier, on the Airliners website. But, as with all photographs there, they had been watermarked with their name. Not intrusive - tastefully done, unlike the hideousness some folks inflict upon pictures in their "possession"1. Nevertheless, the joy of seeing these beauties in their full glory, unblemished by any watermark, is a different treat altogether.