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.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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
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
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.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
As far as military conspiracies go, one could easily rank this right up there, amongst the most incogitable. In fact, a plot like this could very well have been taken right out of a Tom Clancy edge-of-the-seat mil-tech
novel saga. But I'd doubt, even he would have risked coming up with a scenario this outlandish, least it gave his publishers a heart-attack, laughing. Then again, quoting the oft-repeated cliché, "Truth is Stranger than Fiction".
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The induction of the Russian-origin MiG-29K fighter aircrafts [MiG-29KUB, the twin-seater trainer variant] into the Indian Navy's air wing provides it with a quantum leap in capabilities. With higher operating speed [supersonic, as opposed to the subsonic Sea Harrier, it currently operates], greater range, much greater weapon load & a much more powerful on-board radar, the MiG-29Ks, taking off from one of the Indian Navy's future Aircraft Carriers would be capable of causing some serious damage to the belligerents, provided the civilian leadership of the country can muster the required political will to respond in anger.
This graphic, below, shows the various Russian-origin missiles that the Fulcrums acquired by India would be able to carry with it during combat, to perform different missions.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The sole Indian to have travelled to the outer Space, Cosmonaut Wing Commander [retd] Rakesh Sharma of the Indian Air Force, celebrated his 63rd birthday this 13th of January. A real shame that no newspaper that day bothered to mention it, even as a footnote. This apathy, towards a person who is the sole individual to accomplish a feat achieved by no other Indian, from among the 1.1 Billion who are its citizens.
Truth be told, it slipped even my attention that day. But then, I don't earn my bread & butter [preceded by coffee & gum] by being in the business of generating awareness. The media folks are. They should have written a few words about him that day. They did not. It was only yesterday, when I came across this 3D-photograph of him, did I remember.
Friday, January 13, 2012
The Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir has been a perennial cause of confrontation & consternation for the country's government of the day since the time of India's independence. Complete annexation & integration of an Indian state into its fold has, since its inception, defined the national identity of a neighbor. In the ensuing din of claims & counter-claims, allegations & counter-allegations, one is faced with the persistent threat of being swayed by biases & disinformation that vested interest groups attempt to inject into the prevailing narrative to strengthen their own positions.
Such efforts towards obfuscation & willful manipulation become that much more easier to accomplish when one enjoys an unbridled flow of Wahhabi Petro-dollars & the active support & connivance of the security establishment of the aforementioned neighboring country, whose entire setup is singularly geared towards dealing grief to India [the Salafi cannon-fodder with guns play a different, albeit concurrent, role]. An important element of this effort towards social engineering involves trying to make acceptable, a revisionist interpretation of historical antecedents by stating the same, in manners suited to the occasion, at every given opportunity, with the intent of turning fiction into the 'new fact'.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Ever so often, while I'm in the middle of some activity that requires some amount of concentration to get done, the sound of the television in the living room, or the domestic help arguing with Mum has played spoilers to my plans. Closing the door to the bedroom screws up the flow of draught, [okay, Sheldon, I'm not]. Putting on the headphone, & playing music to cut off the background noises too isn't of much help - I'm simply replacing one kind of sound with another, when what I really want is some amount of silence.
My b0rked pair of Soundmagic's PL 11 in-ear earphones had been lying unused in the drawer ever since, well, it got b0rked. On a hunch, today, I took them out & put them in my ears, &, wonders, it cut out just the right amount of background noise, leaving me with the quiet I was looking for. It doesn't cut out the noises completely, which is good, as it leaves me nominally aware of activities in the background, yet it provides just the right amount of quiet, needed to do my stuff. Eureka moment. I've nipped the connecting wires, leaving just a bit of it for convenience. Simple & unobtrusive.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
The INS Viraat is currently the sole Aircraft Carrier in operation with the Indian Navy and also the oldest Aircraft Carrier in the world, still in operation. Long due for decommissioning, it has had to undergo multiple Life-extension upgrades to prolong its service life in face of delayed induction of the INS Vikramaditya, a refurbished & modified Soviet-origin Aircraft-carrying Cruiser, originally named Baku, then renamed Admiral Gorshkov [not to be confused with the recently inducted class of Russian frigates]. Despite its age, the INS Viraat, with enhanced capabilities incorporated as part of its upgrade programs, continues to remain the flagship of the Indian Navy & is expected to remain in service with the Indian Navy till around 2020.
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
If you like your movie funny, dark, morbid, irreverent & unpretentiously politically incorrect, then this is the movie to watch, if you haven't watched it already. An absolute rip-rollicking delight. Just finished watching it myself. A welcome change, too, from the Hollywood brand of English movies.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Blogger Tarmak007 recently concluded writing a series of articles on India's indigenous Missile development programmes. Titled Cracking India's Missile Code, they contain quite a bit of updates & previously not known information. Especially refreshing it was to read the Director of DRDL calling for increased participation of the private sector in Defence production & R&D & his [DRDO's] commitment to lend them a helping hand in their effort. All the right noises made. How well it gets implemented, is yet to be seen. Good Read.