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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,