Friday, March 30, 2012
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
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.
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
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
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
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 $15 USD [~Rs. 750 INR], the book can be purchased from the O'Reilly Store. A book about a Microsoft product being published by Microsoft itself - an endorsement of its pedigree can't get bigger than this, can it?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This article appeared in the latest issue of 'Bulletin', a newsletter published by the Bengaluru [formerly Bangalore] branch of the Institute of Defence Scientists & Technologists [IDST]. URLs not part of the original text.
Innovations cleverly adopted during military operations make a difference between winning a war and losing it! Indian Air Force demonstrated it during the 1971 war. IAF converted 10 of its Antonov An-12 transports into 'bombers' with specially designed bomb crates to carry 6,000lb of bombs that could be delivered using the conveyer belt in the cargo cabin. Over a 15-day period, the bombers successfully attacked ammunition and supply dumps; damaged military installations; bombed an ordnance factory and a railway marshalling yard; and destroyed a gas plant and an airfield. The bombers emerged safe and victorious after crippling the adversary's war machinery though they had been sprayed with anti-aircraft shells. The pay-off from this clever adaptation was, indeed, remarkable.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Airtel, at my place, charges Rs. 750 INR [~$ 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
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
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
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.
Monday, March 05, 2012
Sunday, March 04, 2012
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
If an online version of this exists, do share the link here.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
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