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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

BADASS!!

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.

source

Godspeed


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.

INS-Vikramaditya-Aircraft-Carrier-Indian-Navy

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.

Godspeed

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 ;).
Republic-Day-India-Gate

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]

SEPECAT-Jaguar-Indian-Air-Force-IAF-18

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

T-50 PAK-FA Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA] - Photographs & Reading

T-50-PAK-FA-FGFA-India-Russia-01-TN
Went through the December issue of Take-Off magazine. Has a good set of articles covering some of the important aspects of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft [FGFA], T-50 PAK-FA, also known as the Future Tactical Fighter [FTF].

Friday, January 20, 2012

Indian Aircraft Carrier - a Canadian Conspiracy!

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

Indian Navy's MiG-29K aircraft - Weapon Load Out & Powerplant [Graphics]

Indian-Navy-MiG-29K-Aircraft-IN-02

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

3D-photograph: Cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma [India's man in Space]

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.