HAL to supply components for 300 Su-30 fighters to Russia

India's state-run aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will supply components for the assembly of 300 Sukhoi Su-30MK multi-role fighters to a Russian aircraft manufacturer.

Under the deal signed here last month during Indian Defence Minister A K Antony's visit, HAL will supply large components to Russia's Irkut Corporation for assembling the airframes of Su-30MK fighters. The Russian firm is working on Indian, Malaysian and Algerian export orders.

"We had to cross several bureaucratic barriers over the years before this landmark deal could be finalised," President of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Alexei Fedorov said.

The UAC official declined to divulge the value of the deal between HAL and the Russian firm.

He said the highly successful Indo-Russian cooperation in the Su-30MKI project laid the base for the inter-governmental agreement for the joint development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGA).

HAL to develop two new choppers

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, India’s aircraft maker, plans to design and manufacture two new helicopters in an effort to meet growing demand from India’s military.

The two models are a lighter and smaller craft than the company’s Dhruv advanced light helicopter and a heavier 10-tonne multi-role helicopter that can lift cargo and troops to high-altitude regions in the Himalayas and the North Eastern parts of the country.

HAL said that the 10-tonne helicopter, which will be similar to the MI-17 of the Russians, will be jointly developed with a yet to be identified foreign collaborator; it did not disclose details of the light helicopter.

“We presently have an observation helicopter in the three tonne class like the Chetak; Dhruv is in the six tonne class and we want one in a heavier class,” said Ashok K Baweja, chairman, HAL at a seminar on helicopter technology organized by the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industry (SIATI).

“It should be configured to Indian conditions, it should fly in both hot temperatures and high altitudes,” he added, referring to the heavier helicopter. While no time frame has been mentioned for the lighter helicopter, the heavy helicopter will be built in six years.However, an industry expert said that HAL has been looking seriously at the ligher helicopter too.

“HAL is taking people of the Chetak and Cheetah (assembly) line and will utilize their expertise on developing the new light helicopter,” said Air Marshal (retd) K Sridharan, president of the Rotary Wing Society of India, a body of helicopter pilots and engineers in the country.

HAL has produced over 700 Chetak and Cheetah helicopters in the country under license from Eurocopter, the Franco-German-Spanish division of EADS, the European aerospace company.

In 1998, HAL had announced that it would indigenously build a three-tonne class light observation helicopter designed for operation at high altitudes of up to 6 km though it later scrapped the project.

The company has delivered close to 100 Dhruv advanced light helicopters to the armed forces; these aircraft are also used by civilian customers such as ONGC Ltd.

HAL's Light Combat Helicopter will be ready by December 2008

The first prototype of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), being designed and developed by State-owned aviation major, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be ready for its maiden flight between October and December next year, according to HAL Chairman Ashok K. Baweja.

On the sidelines of a seminar on “Helicopter Technology” here on Tuesday, Mr. Baweja said, the detailed design drawing of the LCH would be completed by December this year. “We will be then releasing the drawings to make parts.

The first prototype should be ready between October and December 2008,” he told presspersons. Eventually, the LCH would fit into the IAF’s attack helicopter squadron.

Elaborating on the HAL’s current project to develop a 10-tonne attack helicopter, Mr. Baweja said the HAL was now looking for co-development partners for the project. “We are at the stage of firming up specifications with the customers and finding partners. Work is in that preparatory mode.

The helicopter will have to be configured for Indian conditions, very high altitudes and very hot temperatures. Most machines in the world are a little short on that,” he explained.

The 10-tonne copter would be in the same class as the Mi-17. The helicopter, which will augment the current fleet of the three-tonne class observation choppers and the six-tonne class Dhruv, would initially be made as a military version.
Hawks coming soon

The first four of the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft, Hawk, ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to replace its ageing Kiran aircraft, would land at the Air Force Station, Bidar, within the next 15 days, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major told the journalists. “They should be here by November 15 or 16,” he announced.

India had ordered 66 trainers from BAe Systems, the UK-based manufacturers of the aircraft. Twenty four of the aircraft were scheduled to come in a ready to fly configuration, the rest to be built under license at HAL’s Bangalore complex.

India's Vihang Netra UAV takes to the skies

The oft-used Army adages ‘unity is strength’ and ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ has literally come true for a group of small entrepreneurs in Pune.

Members of the DEMA Manufacturers’ Association, which began first as an association of small electronics manufacturing units catering to the defence electronics sector, decided to form a consortium to take on orders from the defence sector.

And they did the unimaginable. As a 50-member consortium, instead of small isolated units, they built an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called Vihang Netra for the Armed Forces. They pooled their resources in domains, going all the way from aerospace, avionics, navigation, sensors, radars, fuses, smart weapons, radio networks, thermal imaging, image processing, safety equipment, ground support equipment for missiles and quality assurance equipment.

“The UAV has been accepted by the Indian Army since units have flown at an altitude of 1,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL), requiring smaller crew and ground support operations against imported variety. So, to explore the potential of this indigenous development, DEMA has formed a strategic partnership through an MoU with Larsen & Toubro.

Under the MoU, Larsen & Toubro and DEMA members will work together to upgrade and supply the UAVs to end-users,” says Wavelet group head and DEMA member Vishwas Udpikar.

Explaining the objectives of the consortium, he says that these include “removing the fear of the unknown from the minds of the small industrial entrepreneurs over working for defence and providing all the necessary support for successful work towards defence.”

The consortium model proposes to provide a single umbrella for the inter-disciplinary and wide variety of requirements of defence. This has become possible due to a wide spectrum of domains covered by its members, says Kasco Industries partner and DEMA Manufacturers Association president DS Kamlapurkar.

Referring to the development of the completely indigenously built UAV, members explained that it began under the guidance of former president Abdul Kalam, when he was scientific adviser to the defence minister and the director, Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment.

“We had to indigenise key technologies like the air-frame, controls, navigation, imaging, communication, flight consoles, ground equipment and delivery of units to DRDO. These units have now collectively flown over 400 sorties and more than 100 of these have been beyond the visual range of control,” says Udpikar.

Following up on the success both, of the consortium approach and the UAV, DEMA is now looking at setting up a cluster of its own, targeted at the defence sector. The cluster will address the specific needs of defence-related development and supply.

Such a cluster is expected to bring several centres of excellence in all the diverse areas at one location, giving an impetus to this vital area of national growth. Udpikar is confident of the cluster actually happening since DEMA has established methods of the consortium and working together over a long period.

The defence cluster will additionally provide test, validation and certification facilities for defence-related production. Dr Natarajan, scientific adviser to the defence minister, has given a favourable response to this idea and DEMA has also asked the DRDO to participate in it by providing land near Pune.

Despite the requirements of the defence sector being worth hundreds of crores of rupees, most equipment is imported and domestic research and development in this sector is negligible. While this is attributable partly to a lack of a long-term roadmap for development by the armed forces, it ensures that the country remains dependent on expensive imports of sensitive equipment.

“Our effort to set up a defence-related R&D sector is to overcome the lack of research in such a critical area,” says Kamlapurkar.

Member units of the consortium have begun using the reliability centre at the auto cluster promoted by the central government and the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture.

DEMA was formed in 1989 under the guidance of late admiral Mudholkar by a few industrial units then pursuing defence-related products in the Pune region. The organisation now covers most defence-related organisations, the DRDO, the three Services, defence production units, PSUs in defence (HAL, BEL etc.) and the DGST and DGQA. The collective turnover of these units is over Rs 200 crore.

Dhruv flown at 27,500 feet

Dhruv flown at 27,500 feet

The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv is doing wonders at the newly opened high-altitude airbase at Manasbal (Srinagar) close to the Siachen area.

Three of its pilots were the first to take the ALH to heights higher than Manasbal, which was also the first time an Indian helicopter was taken to that height.

C D Upadhyay, Unni Pillai and M U Khan flew the ALH at an incredible altitude of 27,500 feet in the Siachen area braving icy winds.

Upadhyay describes that flight: "We started climbing stage by stage... 20,000 feet, 23, 24, 25, 26 and then 27,500. It had never been done before. We were hovering and watching a Cheetal (another helicopter) land just below us at 25,100 feet. Landing at that height isn’t easy. We were ready to pick up the pilot if something went wrong.

"Naturally, we had to be at a higher altitude. It was cold and we were wrapped in woollens. There wasn't a single rattle at 27,500 ft... We'd worked out if the Cheetal could make 25,000 feet, the ALH could do more. We hadn't tried it on the Siachen Glacier. We succeeded."

Upadhyay and his co-pilots tried out the copter at that height above the Leh runway and the hills before taking on the glacier.

Minutes before the flight, Upadhyay said: "We checked the engine, then the software. It was fine. We were confident the copter would perform 100 per cent. Then we checked on the oxygen. At 27,000 feet, you need pressurised oxygen and a continuous supply. We ensured that. We did all the checks. We just took-off. The ALH was a beauty."

Upadhyay and his co-pilots were the first to put the ALH through the glacier. They flew it in extreme cold conditions. They flew it after an overnight soak. Then in chilly winds, almost blizzard-like conditions.

Upadhyay and co. did not have risk on their mind. "We didn't have the time to think. So there was no worrying. In any case, flying is part of our life. We have done it before and we'll keep doing it in future. If you love what you do, you don't think of what turns out for you. You learn to expect that in a pilot's life."

India's National Aerospace Laboratory working on regional jet

India's National Aerospace Laboratory working on regional jet

6 October 2007

Having already delivered 10 indigenously-developed Hansa two-seater trainer turbo-prop aircraft, the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) at Bangalore is well on its way to developing the 14-seater Saras light transport aircraft, Dr AR Upadhya, director, NAL, told a packed auditorium at Zephyr 2007, the aerospace meet of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Powai, Mumbai, on Saturday 6 October.

Two prototypes of the rear mounted twin-engine Saras are already ready, with the aircraft having made its successful maiden flight, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, on 14 April 2007, Dr Upadhya said. He said full flight certification was expected in 2009. The aircraft earlier was about 500kg overweight, which had been reduced by a greater use of light carbon-fibre composites and a more powerful engine.

NAL is also working on a four- and six-seater aircraft, presently named NM5, in a public-private partnership with Mahindra Plexion, and expects the first flight of the prototype to take place by the end of 2008.

But the most ambitious NAL project is a 70-seater regional jet, which is to have a 50-seater turbo-prop variant as well as a 90-seater extended version.

Apart from regional jet makers Bombardier and Embraer, a number of countries are already in advanced stages of production of regional aircraft, including China, Russia and Japan, Dr Upadhya disclosed, adding that to be successful, NAL's version would have to be lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient than those made by its competitors.

He was quick to add, though, that civil aviation was only one of the dozen or more divisions in NAL, and that the laboratories were technology providers to all sectors of the aerospace industry. NAL also has longstanding foreign collaborations with a number of countries, including China Aerosspace (CAe) and jet turbine makers Pratt & Whitney, with whom it has jointly set up a number of jet propulsion test equipment stations.

Among NAL's more visible achievements is its expertise in carbon fibre composites, a field in which it has made a number of developments, including a pilot project to manufacture the raw materials. It has also pioneered new lower-cost methods through vacuum-enhanced resin infusion technology for making composite components (being used for the wings of the Saras aircraft), as well as indigenously developed autoclaves for curing, which are used by Indian aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

The composite wings for India's prestigious fourth-generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) have spars developed by NAL, which has also developed the middle part of the fuselage and airframe, as well as the doors for the landing gear. Around 90 per cent of the LCA's surface, and 45 per cent of the aircraft by weight is made from advanced composites.

Compsites technology is also used for repair of Indian Air Force aircraft, in making radomes for Doppler radars used for weather forecasting by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and to make radomes for IAF aircraft. Upadhya said that the NAL has a number of collaborative projects in these areas with HAL. The institution has also specialised in failure analysis, and its scientists and engineers are always involved in crash investigations, he said.

Among other pioneering projects is developing shape memory alloys, to be used for the fins of the reusable launch vehicles being developed by ISRO, developing hydrophobic coatings to bring down laminar flow in aircraft and spacecraft, and developing the technology to burn fuel at supersonic speeds in scramjets, required by ISRO for its air-breathing hypersonic launch vehicle.

It has also developed a prototype for a 55 HP Wankel rotary engine, and is working on a microgas turbine, for which all the parts have already been produced and integration is underway. Another field is development of micro-air vehicles, for surveillance purposes.

In launch vehicle space technology, the NAL has developed Zirconi-based ceramic inserts for high temperature tolerances up to 3,200 degrees Kelvin. It has also developed mouldless slurry casting, nano-technology coatings for precision tools and magnetic non-contact bearings. A runway visibility meter its has developed is now used at a number of airports, including at Goa and Kochi, Dr Upadhya said.

Test equipment is vital to the field of aerospace, and this is one of NAL's specialities, Dr Upadhya pointed out. Among test equipment developed is wind tunnels, both for aviation as well as space flight, aero-elastic modelling techniques, computational fluid dynamics, flow visualisation and pressure-sensitive paint, G-meters for aircraft, software to monitor aircraft performance, active noise control devices, and a semi-free jet test rig (with Pratt & Whitey).

Dhruv to be used to fight terror

Dhruv to be used to fight terror

Srinagar, Oct. 4,2007

After the successful trials in the icy heights of Siachen, India's indigenously-developed helicopter Dhruv has been inducted in the Indian army for providing logistic support to the ground troops during counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

This multifaceted helicopter will provide a new capability to the security forces in the state and can also be effectively used for disaster relief, search and rescue operations and casualty evacuation.

Dhruv, the multi-role advanced light helicopter, would be stationed at Indian army's state-of-the-art aviation base at Manasbal in Ganderbal district.

Developed by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, this versatile new generation helicopter is capable of carrying out multiple tasks at the same time.

A scintillating display of formation flying, high gravity manoeuvres, slithering operations and high speed small team insertion operations were given by a team of Dhruv helicopters led by commanding officer of the squadron Colonel Rakesh Kapoor at the inauguration of the Manasbal aviation base on Monday.

The Dhruv helicopters had successfully conducted test trials in the Siachen in February this year.

After its induction, Dhruv will join the Mi-17, Chetak, Cheetah and Chetan helicopters, which fly daily in Siachen skies for logistic, communication, casualty evacuation and supply support.

India's Nuclear-Capable Agni-I Missile is all set for Army’s First Training Trial


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Chandipur trial set for Friday will lead to operationalisation and induction of short-range missile.

New Delhi: The Indian army will, for the first time, validate its standard operating procedures and drills on a nuclear-capable missile by test-firing the Agni I at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur this Friday.

The first “training trial” of the Agni I missile will lead to its full operationalisation to complete its induction process into the service, sources confirmed, adding that great strategic importance is being attached to the test as it will determine the procedures and time required to launch a nuclear missile by the armed forces.

The Agni I, which can deliver a nuclear payload deep into Pakistan without being deployed at the border due to its range of over 700 km, was inducted into the Army in 2004 after over a decade of development trials by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This short-range ballistic missile can be launched from both a road-based system and a broad gauge rail launcher system.

India has already issued notices for diverting civilian air traffic in the region in anticipation of the launch.

The notice specifies that “over flight restrictions” are being imposed in the area from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as an “experimental flight vehicle” will be launched from the ITR complex.

The training trial comes months after a similar test was carried out on the short-range Prithvi missile in May to validate standard operating procedures of the Army’s special missile groups. The Army’s “334 missile group” currently operates Agni I missile while the Prithvi missile has been inducted into the “333 missile group.”

The Agni II intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), with a range of over 2000 km, has been inducted but its training trials are pending. The Agni III, with a range of over 3,500 km, needs to be tested “several more times” before induction.

Environmental Survey Vehicle developed by DRDO handed over to Indian Navy


Tuesday, Oct 02, 2007

NEW DELHI: An Environmental Survey Vehicle (ESV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was formally handed over to the Navy here on Monday. DRDO chief M. Natarajan handed over the ESV to Vice-Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma at a function at the DRDO headquarters.

Laboratory on wheels
Designed and developed by the Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, the ESV is a radiological laboratory on wheels and equipped with state-of-art instruments. It is capable of estimating radioactivity in field conditions in solid, liquids and air.

Suitability of eatables
The ESV will help certify the suitability of eatables and drinkables in field conditions from the radiation safety angle for coastal areas.

It is also capable of measuring alpha, beta and gamma radiation quantitatively and qualitatively at even very low levels of radioactivity.

This will facilitate early detection of any unusual increase in radioactivity in the area.

The ESV is also capable of detecting any intentional or unintentional release of radioactivity in the marine environment.

DRDO’s Varunastra to be ready by 2009 to be inducted in the Indian Navy


The NSTL built lethal torpedo will target ships and has a range of up to 30 km.

VISAKHAPATNAM: ‘Varunastra’ an electric torpedo being developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), will be ready by 2009.

The torpedo will target ships and will be the first heavyweight to be inducted into the Navy. The 7.6 m, 1,500 kg torpedo will be more lethal and has a range of up to 30 km.

A new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) will be fully developed in two years. Once developed, the 1.5 ton AUV will be able to carry a payload of 500 kg.

The vehicle will have an ‘intelligent’ system and will be self-propellant and can also hover at a particular spot but the enemy cannot detect it. Like an unmanned aircraft, it will intercept the target. A Thermal Tarpedo is also indigenously developed at the NSTL.

These are some the new developments explained to a team of reporters on a visit for ‘A day at NSTL’ organised as part of the new public relations policy of the DRDO.

NSTL Director V. Bhujanga Rao and Principal Associate Director S.V. Rangarajan took the team around and explained some of the unique R&D facilities at the laboratory.

The High Speed Towing Tank is a premier research facility for carrying out studies on the hydrodynamic performance of ships, propellers and submerged bodies through model experiments. The cavitation tunnel tests propellers, torpedoes and weapons in simulated underwater conditions.

The tests validate designs and modify them for ships, submarines and torpedoes. The pump jets being made for submarines are manufactured only by the U.S., the U.K. and Russia. “This facility can take care of needs for the next 50 years. New trials will improve efficiency. It is open for one or two other countries too as well,” said Mr. Bhujanga Rao.

The Shock, Noise and Vibration Centre is specially designed to carry out underwater explosions. It is the only one of its kind in the country.

The process called “ruggedisation” will measure the impact of explosion on ships and what kind of damage it could cause. Ships will be equipped with rubber mounds to withstand the shock of the explosion.

The Acoustics Test Centre of the NSTL has an anechoic room with wedges of 1.5 m all around. It’s ‘room within a room’ where the sound level is as low as 25 decibels. It is used to identify where sound comes in equipment and reduce it using a robotic arm.

LCA is India`s numero uno project


Bangalore, Sept 27: Asserting that the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is India's numero uno project, Vice Admiral (retd) Raman Puri said that we must succeed in inducting these aircraft into armed forces.

"Capabilities in aviation technology are extremely important in the component of national power," Puri said while delivering a lecture on strategy for indigenous capability building in aeronautics at HAL here.

"Can we possibly make claims in this sense to be an air power without operating a single fighter aircraft of our design. LCA, therefore, is today to my mind a numero uno project and succeed in its induction, we must," he said.

Puri said, technology component of the training of military commanders and those engaged in high defence management does not enable them to realise early in their careers that one key feature of future military requirements is that these cannot be based on a mere "read across from foreign concepts of deterrence--either conventional or nuclear--or from foreign theatres of conflict or combat experience."

Therefore a "reverse conceptualisation" approach to defining technological features of future operational requirements is foredoomed not only to domestic technological unachievability but also to large mismatches between actual theatre requirements and operational performance of composite man-machine systems deployed in these theatres, he noted.

"Such technological features have, therefore to be generated from a deep domestic s and t effort, with its foundational r and d being explored and performed by young people in our academic institutions--and not derivately arrived at from reverse conceptualisation, much less reverse engineering philosophy", he said.

"What we have today in a sense is a system which defines our needs based on what one may call the 'the best of brochure claims'-- the finely honed art of combining the most extremely capable features of an equipment as claimed in glossy brochures of different foreign weapon developers into the minimum acceptable specifications as the 'goal' or 'staff target' for domestic R & D-cum-production," Puri said.

"We need to recognise that what has to be organised for is the ability to deploy military capability along the locus of engagement with the enemy--the weapon, equipment or engagement techniques are means by which that ability is exercised".

The acquisition of these means is not an end goal in itself. The locus of engagement will, in turn `refigure' with changes in military doctrine. This requires our developing the necessary capabilities to conceptualise our mission needs in the first place, he said.

India therefore must seek, nurture and strengthen scientific and technologic expertise, wherever they currently are or where they can most beneficially be augmented, he said.

Speaking about the "triple trap" -- he said what is developed abroad will not suit our requirements, what is suitable will be denied and what is not denied will be unaffordable and called for efforts to achieve self reliance.

Though there has been a dramatic growth in the civil aviation industry, the industry is dependent on aircraft and maintenance services sourced from developed countries, resulting in a huge net ouflow of foreign exchange, he said.

He also pointed out that despite the boom, while Boeing is talking about flat earth airplane and airbus following the model, the manufacturing work on these aircraft coming to India is virtually nil.

DRDO’s Agni missile variant having range of 5,000 km to be inducted in Indian defence services within 4 years

DRDO’s Agni missile variant having range of 5,000 km to be inducted in Indian defence services within 4 years


Jalandhar (Punjab), Sep 26 2007

The next variant of Agni having a range of 5,000 km will be inducted into the armed forces withing four years, a senior DRDO scientist said today.

"The next variant will also be fully indigenous and will be able to strike at over 5000 km range besides carrying heavy payloads ... It would be a multiple warhead missile with a capacity to carry four to 12 warheads," Advanced System Laboratory Director Avinash Chander said here.

He was speaking at a talk on "Technology management for integrated guided missile programme with special reference to Agni intercontinental missile" at the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology.

He said the system would be meticulously designed so that the missile's direction and target could be changed in air.

"We are trying to attain an accuracy level of 100 metres," he said.

The Agni variant will be three-stage solid propulsion with road mobility with composite rocket motors, he said.

Indian nuclear submarine project making fast progress

Indian nuclear submarine project making fast progress


Saturday, September 22, 2007

NEW DELHI: The defence establishment is making stunning progress in developing its underwater ability to launch nuclear missiles, the most assured means of launching weapons without enemy detection.

The development of a nuclear submarine and nuclear-capable missile would result in India joining an exclusive club of five countries. The most potent ability in the nuclear triad — the other two being land and air based nuclear capability — the underwater capability is much closer to realisation than known in public, informed several sources across the military establishment.

Three simultaneous developments are the reasons why optimism is brimming in military circles. First, the indigenous project called Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) is fast moving towards sea trial. Secondly, the submarine launched ballistic missile project named Sagarika is getting ready for a full-system test in a couple of months. And thirdly, a nuclear submarine leased from Russia is expected to join the Indian Navy by the middle of next year.

According to a source privy to the progress of the project, by 2009 the submarine would be ready for sea trials. Several sources in the military establishment have told DNA that India’s nuclear submarine project is making progress quicker than ever.

The land-based trials of its nuclear reactor, which would fuel the submarine, in Kalpakkam was successful. A hull for the submarine developed by Larson and Turbo is in Vishakapatnam, where the final integration would take place.

Meanwhile, a team of military scientists is getting ready for a test of Sagarika, now codenamed K15, a submarine launched ballistic missile which can be fired from ATV. The missile has a range of 300 kilometers and scientists are hopeful of extending it to 500 kilometers.

The test would bring India closer to its military goal of completing the nuclear triad. The full-system test has to be carried out by January end, before the Bay of Bengal turns turbulent.

What will further add to the efforts would be the arrival of a Russian nuclear submarine on lease for India Navy. The Akula-II class nuclear submarine is expected to be handed to the Indian Navy in June next year.

The submarine would be on lease for a decade, and would be the second time that Indian Navy would get to actually use a submarine run on nuclear power. The first time was in 1988, when India leased for three years a Charlie-I class submarine named INS Chakra.

Indian defense forces place Rs 2,000 crore orders for specialised anti-nuke equipment and systems

Indian defense forces place Rs 2,000 crore orders for specialised anti-nuke equipment and systems


Trichy, Sep 21,2007

India's armed forces have placed orders worth over Rs 2,000 crore for specialised equipment and systems to prepare the country against nuclear, biological and chemical weapon strikes.

The equipment and systems to be purchased on fast track, include gear to protect against nuclear and chemical radiation, systems to detect any early threat of nuclear and biological weapons and an advanced medical management system to deal with nuclear fall out, top defence scientist W Selvamurthy said.

"These products are being produced by 30 DRDO and ordnance factories and would be supplied within a period of one year," Selvamurthy, who is the Chief Controller, Research and Design in DRDO told reporters on the sidelines of the annual conference of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists here.

He said the products also include nuclear shelters, specialised protective clothing, ruggedised combat weapons, medicines and preventive drugs.

Over 300 top scientists from across the world are participating in the three-day conference that began yesterday.

Selvamurthy also said that DRDO had produced Di-Ethyl Phenyl Acetamide (DEPA) -- which can be used both as body or room spray -- to fight epidemics like chikungunya and dengue fever.

Warfare technology in lucid prose

V. Narayana Rao

BANGALORE: Think of war and you feel indebted to the soldiers battling the enemy, often against heavy odds.

Yet, the work of Defence scientists, who quietly build up the vital capabilities go unsung.

Unmasking the men and technologies behind the war machines, a retired founder-director of the Hyderabad-based Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DERL) has ventured to tell a different story through his book: “Reminiscences of a Defence Scientist: A quest for self-reliance.”

For the author, V. Narayana Rao, electronic warfare was a field that required immense focus. He was given that freedom and he dwelled deep in researching a technology that called for the “deployment of highly sensitive receivers capable of operating over large bandwidths that could quickly detect any type of electro-magnetic radiation from radars, missiles and the enemy’s communication systems”.

It was also about nullifying the enemy’s operation through deliberate interference, such as jamming and deception, explained the author in an informal chat with The Hindu recently.

In his book, Mr. Narayana Rao has lucidly illustrated the electronic warfare technology, and how it changed the course of battles from the Second World War to the recent Kosovo conflict.

“During the Second World War, the British developed windows (aluminium foils) to mask its radar tracks and hoodwinked the enemy. Hamburg was destroyed in the bombing that ensued,” he recalled.

Prohibitive costs

India had to acquire the technology quickly. The prohibitive costs of acquiring electronic warfare equipment from the United States, and the supply constraints posed by governments abroad propelled the Defence Ministry to turn to DERL and Mr. Narayana Rao.

“It called for a great deal of development of sophisticated equipment that used antennas, broadband microwave components, high sensitive fast-turning receivers, digital instantaneous frequency measuring devices and a variety of other microwave and radio frequency components and devices,” he said.

Without help

Without any foreign help, DERL embarked on the electronic warfare technology project. Mr. Narayana Rao first set up a large microwave division and antenna divisions for microwave.

As the work went on, new technologies such as hybrid microwave integrated circuit techniques and the use of Anechoic chamber facility enabled the laboratory to make further progress.

Surveillance system

In due course, DERL developed a surveillance system and a pod-mounted jammer for the Indian Air Force, communication system receivers and jammers for the Army and a complete electronic warfare system for the Navy.

The laboratory, along with Bharat Electronics, also developed the Samyukta system for the Army, complete with 26 vehicles which covered the radio and microwave bands.

Mr. Narayana Rao said that most of the electronic warfare systems for the Defence services were developed by DERL before production by Bharat Electronics and other Defence firms.


“The extent of the production orders based on DERL technology is about Rs. 300 crore, and it is likely to go up as more systems get ready for production,” he said.

DERL, according to Mr. Narayana Rao, was also instrumental in developing an indigenous system of cryptography, a secondary surveillance radar to identify incoming aircraft as friend or foe and several types of high power travelling tubes.

DRDO develops submarine version of Brahmos missile


September 05, 2007 15:05 IST

India has developed a submarine-launched supersonic missile, a capability hitherto the monopoly of advanced nations like the US, France, Russia and some others.

The submarine-launched version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile is ready, Defence Minister A K Antony informed Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

He, however, said trials of the missile were awaiting the necessary platform, which will be identified by the Navy soon.

According to experts, the submarines in the armoury of the Navy namely the German HDW series and the Russian Kilo class do not have the capability to launch such missiles.

India has requested Russia for loan of submarines to carry out test trials of the underwater launched version of the Brahmos.

Alternatively, the trials could be carried out in Russian waters, naval sources said.

On the air launched version of the Brahmos, the minister said this was currently in progress and attempts were being made to integrate the missile to be launched from both Air Force's SU-30 MKI fighters and Navy's IL-38 maritime reconnaissance planes.

DRDO’s researched and developed Dhruv helicopter flies with advanced Shakti 1,000-horsepower engine


3 Sep 2007

BANGALORE: The indigenously developed Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) achieved a major milestone when it was flown for the first time with a new and more powerful engine that has been jointly developed by Indian and French engineers.

The 1,000-horsepower Shakti engine has been co-developed by Dhruv manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Turbomeca of France and will enable the helicopter to operate at high altitudes and in adverse desert conditions. The engine has an indigenous content of 20 percent and this is likely to gradually rise to 80 percent.

"Shakti's higher power will enable a whopping 150 percent increase in payload capability at high altitudes (of 5.5-6.5 km) and operation in harsh terrain," HAL chairman Ashok Baweja pointed out.

Some 70 Dhruvs are currently flying and are powered by 800-horsepower Turbomeca engines.

Two helicopters, one a utility version with a glass cockpit and another armed with air-to-air missiles, rockets and turret guns were flown Thursday in the defence area of the HAL airport here.

Among the audience were officials from the certification authorities - India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation and France's Cemelac.

The 30-minute demonstration, on a bright sunny day and under windy conditions, included a number of mid-air manoeuvres like forward and reverse flight, banking 360 degrees and soft-landing vertically.

The armed variant in blue for the Indian Air Force (IAF) was piloted by Wing Commander C.D. Upadhyaya and the utility variant in olive green for the Indian Army by Wing Commander Unni Pillai, both HAL test pilots.

"As the flight was meant for demonstrating the operational capability of the Shakti engine, we flew at low speeds and limited our manoeuvres," Upadhyaya told IANS after landing.

"We will open the envelope as we undertake more such flights in the coming months and widen the helicopter's scope in battlefield conditions," he added.

Designed for multi-mission, multi-role operations, the armed version of Dhruv provides flexibility to meet the stringent requirements of the army and the air force.

The new glass cockpit will have the latest avionics and weapon systems. The four flat multi-functional colour displays on the dashboard will provide all the information the pilots will require during an operation.

Baweja said a modern electronic warfare suite comprising a radar warning receiver, a laser warning receiver and missile approach warning system would detect a missile even as it was launched towards the copter and trigger countermeasures to deceive and deflect it.

"The fast detection and assessment of the threat and quick response by the launch of decoys to deflect the missile will make the difference between survival and death," he added.

The IAF variant will be equipped with "fire and forget" air-to-air missiles that can be launched in both the visual range and beyond visual range modes. The helicopter's 20 mm turret gun can be linked either to an electro-optical system or the pilot's helmet pointing system, Upadhyaya explained.

The military variant will also be integrated with "fire and forget" anti-tank guided missiles.

For operating in all-weather conditions during day or night, the new generation Dhruvs will be equipped with an electro-optical day/night observation and targeting system consisting of an infra red camera, close-circuit colour television camera, a laser range finder and a laser designator.

"The state-of-the-art integrated system will provide high performance visual imagery of terrain and targets even in total darkness and allows day and night operation with sensors. The ability to detect, identify and range the target will optimise its weapons' utilisation," Upadhyaya noted.

As part of certification process, the Shakti powered Dhruv will be test flown here and at sea level. It will also be flown at high altitude in the Himalayas and in the hot deserts of Rajasthan.

Israel inducts DRDO’s researched and developed Dhruv


3 Sep 2007, 1115 hrs IST,PTI

NEW DELHI: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chairman Ashok Baweja said that India's security establishment will order at least 200 Dhruv advanced light helicopters. Baweja made the comments during a ceremony in Israel introducing the helicopter.

In a deal that may progress to joint production, the Israeli MOD has leased a single Dhruv helicopter through Israeli Aircraft Industry (IAI) to transport VIPs and security services personnel.

So far VIP transportation has been handled by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) which uses the Blackhawk helicopter for the purpose. The arrangement between the MOD and IAI to partly outsource VIP transportation to IAI is expected to boost the chances of IAI obtaining an export order for the helicopter. IA1 will market the Dhruv in South America, the Middle East, and eventually in Asia and Africa.

The Dhruv is a multi-role and multi-mission helicopter designed to be flown at altitudes over 20,000 but also down to hot deserts and on sea missions. It can carry up to 14 people or a 1.5-ton payload. It is equipped with an advance avionics suite made by the Lahav division of IAI.

The helicopter is powered by the Snecma TM 333. The engine was developed for 5-ton-class helicopters and started its career as powerplant of Eurocopter's twin-engine Dauphin and Panther. It develops some 801 kW (1,074 shaft horsepower) at takeoff, with growth potential to 900 kW (1,200 shp).

HAL plans to display the Dhruv along with the IJT at the Paris Air Show in June this year. The average price of the Dhruv is around $5.5 million

Dhruv helicopter continues to demonstrate why it is a front runner for any customer seeking a medium class state of art helicopter. First, it broke the world record for highest cruise by a medium class helicopter in November last year.

Recently, in April 2005, Dhruv again proved its unsurpassable capability, this time at sea level.

ONGC, which has a pressing need for medium class helicopter for its offshore operations, required a demonstration of landing at its production platforms, floating rings and unmanned rigs. ONGC required this to be done with maximum possible passengers, while maintaining within Performance Class I criteria.

This is a safety criteria which requires the helicopter performance and design to be such that the helicopter can fly away or land safely in case of one engine failure. DGCA has now made Class I performance mandatory for offshore operations.

The Indian Airforce had carried out extensive trials of Dhruv in offshore role successfully in 2003 itself. However, Dhruv demonstrated all this again at ONGC’s furthest field, Bombay High South, with ONGC observers onboard in April this year.

The demonstration showed beyond doubt that Dhruv could meet Performance Class I criteria with 12 to 14 passengers even while operating to ONGC’s furthest oil field ex Juhu, Mumbai.

This performance was remarkable, as no other medium class helicopter currently deployed in offshore operations ex Mumbai can match this performance of Dhruv.

HAL is confident that the Civil helicopter market would have taken note of the excellent performance of Dhruv both at sea level and extreme high altitudes. The demonstrated excellent performance, comparatively large cabin space and state of art technology are likely to give Dhruv an edge over its competitors in the fast growing civil helicopter market.

DRDO’s researched and developed Dhruv all set to be inducted in Siachen sector


3 Sep 2007

JAMMU: The indigenously developed Dhruv helicopter is set to be inducted by the army in the Siachen sector after successfully completing trials at the world's highest battlefield.

The test trials were conducted in February, defence sources said.

After its formal induction, the first advanced light helicopter would join the MI-17V, Chetak, Cheeta and Chetan helicopters, which flies daily in Siachen skies for over 35 hours in a month for logistic, communication, casualty evacuation and supply support.

Dhruv qualified for high-altitude glacier flying with flying colours on February 15, the sources said, adding the helicopter would prove as an air taxi with support system for all weathers to the Indian soldiers.

The helicopter has cleared its validation processes, including test for high altitude and low temperature flying, which makes it ready to hover above the Siachen, they said.

"Dhruv passed this test trials last month and it is now fit for flying in the Siachen sector in all conditions and conduct all types of operations," a defence source said.

Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore and inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1998, Dhruv as "a multi-role chopper proved best on all the fronts in terms of operations relating to search and rescue, emergency airlift, air ambulance, evacuation, payload deliveries in high altitude posts and carriage of men and material", the source said.

The trials were carried by commanding officer of the Chandigarh-based Dhruv squad, Squadron Leader Sandesh Mitra for over a six-months period at different times and weather conditions.

Dhruv, indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, performed beyond its limits of expectations in Siachen and surprised even its pilots as flying a helicopter of 5.6 tonnes at 23,000 feet above the sea level is virtually impossible, the sources said.

The helicopter has of late become a favourite of the navy -- operating to great effect in casualty evacuation in sea and coastlines alike.

While the Kochi-based Southern Naval Command has one unit of the helicopter specially designed for sea waters with rafts below them, Dhruv has two squadrons in Bangalore and Chandigarh.

While Bangalore has the world's best Sarang squadron of Dhruv advanced light helicopters, the Chandigarh-based 114 Helicopter unit is famous as the 'Himalayan dragons'.

HAL delivers Dhruv to Jharkhand


September 03, 2007

Bangalore: The safe landing of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL’s) Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv at Ranchi, the Jharkhand capital, on last Thursday marks the first delivery of the 5.5 tonne class helicopter to any State government.

Commenting on the delivery of the Dhruv to the Jharkhand government, HAL’s Chief Test Pilot (Rotary Wing) Wg. Cdr. (Retd) C.D. Upadhyay told The Hindu that the Chief Minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda “was pleased and impr essed” with the helicopter after being taken for a sortie.

Though the ALH’s biggest customer was the Indian defence forces, the HAL is also keen to market the helicopter in the civil market. “Two Dhruvs are flying with the Government of Nepal, one has been leased to the Government of Karnataka and the Oil and Natural Gas Commission will be getting their third Dhruv later this week.”

The HAL was holding talks with a number of overseas countries including Turkey, Venezuela and Bolivia.

23 Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya have been inducted into the Indian defence services

23 Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya have been inducted into the Indian defence services.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007 18:46 IST

So far, 23 Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya have been inducted into the defence services.

Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya was researched and developed by the DRDO research laboratories.

The production cost of one aircraft is Rs. 293.75 lakh. Some countries, like Singapore, Malaysia and Israel have expressed interest for “paid demonstration” of the Lakshya aircrafts as a target.

A similar “paid demonstration” was conducted for Israel’s Air Force during the year 2002.

This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Ramdas Athawale in Lok Sabha today.

61 Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters have been produced-Defence Minister A.K.Antony

61 Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter's have been produced-Defence Minister A.K.Antony


Wednesday, September 05, 2007 18:44 IST

The DRDO researched and developed Dhruv ALH(Advanced Light Helicopter) was the first Indian attempt at indigenous production.

The Serviceability of ALH has show improvement over a period of time with extensive product support provided by M/s. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the areas of supply of spares, tools & other equipment and also technical & logistics support at operational bases.

In order to support the ALH in a full integrated manner, HAL has set up a new division for maintenance and overhaul of all critical systems including engines, avionics, transmission system etc. fitted on ALH.

The ALH was inducted in the Armed Forces in 2001-2002. A total of 61 ALHs have been produced so far. Production programme is in accordance with the requirement of the Armed Forces.

This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Anandrao V. Adsul and Shri Adhalrao Patil in Lok Sabha today.

DRDO’s BrahMos Missile inducted into the Indian Army and Navy: Defence Minister A.K.Antony

DRDO’s BrahMos Missile inducted into the Indian Army and Navy: Defence Minister A.K.Antony


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

DRDO’s Brahmos supersonic cruise missile has gone through a series of successful flight trials launched from ship and from road mobile launchers for Navy and Indian Army.

The system has been inducted in the Indian Navy and Indian Army. The missile, which can be launched from submarine, is also ready and awaiting the necessary platform for trials Indian Navy will soon identify the platform.

The development of Air version of the Brahmos missile is also in progress and will be integrated on IL-38 for the Navy and SU-30 MKI for the Air Force.

This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Hansraj G. Ahir in Lok Sabha today.

LCA`s naval version scheduled to fly by middle of next year

Bangalore, Sept 01,2007

The naval version of the light combat aircraft is slated to fly by middle of next year, P S Subramanyam, Programme Director, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore, said.

Two prototypes have already been approved he said while speaking at the Aeronautical Society of India here today.

The naval version would have a bigger cockpit and windscreen besides being capable of operating from an aircraft carrier, he said.

Work was also on, on developing the concept of the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA), a twin Engined aircraft, optimised for strike missions, he said.

The project is still awaiting approval. But teams were working on bits and pieces on the technology of the airfcraft, he said.

The design objective of the MCA, among others, would be stealth, thrust vectoring and supercruising. It would have some of the features of the LCA in addition to some critical advance technology.

It was also working on the concept of supersonic lead in fight trainer, (Slift),a new trainer that will help prepare combat pilots much more effectively and at an affordable cost.

Speaking on the occasion, T Mohan Rao, Director, Gas Turbine Research Establishment at Bangalore, outlined the ongoing work on the Kaveri engine that would power the LCA.

DRDO to foray into export of military hardware

Aug 30 2007

After catering to the requirements of the Indian armed forces for decades, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now eyeing export of military hardware taking advantage of lower production costs at home.

DRDO sees export potential for certain types of rifles, rockets, and radars, while it had also secured orders for delivery of BrahMos cruise missle developed by an Indo-Russian joint venture, its Chief Controller (R&D) Dr W Selvamurthy, told PTI here.

While DRDO's mandate continues to be to meet the requirements of India's defence forces, the research firm has found that the technologies, products and systems developed in the process have overseas market.

"The cost of R&D and production is less in the country. Our prices are very competitive in the international market. We may be able to export certain systems", Selvamurthy said.

DRDO would target friendly neighbouring countries as well as third world nations for exports; "other countries" have evinced interest to buy BrahMos missiles.

"But we will be selective in giving it (things developed by DRDO) to other countries. We cannot give it to those who are not friendly to India", the DRDO official said.

According to him, a Mumbai-based firm has sought permission to export respiratory masks, the technology of which was transferred to it by DRDO.

DRDO developing special armour panels for Dhruv

The Indian Army’s indigenously developed Dhruv advanced light helicopter will now have locally developed special armour panels for protection against enemy fire.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed lightweight ceramic-faced composite armour panels for the Dhruv’s army variant.

The armour panels, according to a recent in-house DRDO bulletin, will protect the aircrew and the flying machine’s critical parts against heavy calibre small arms fire.

The panels will be able to withstand hits from 12.7 mm armour piercing ammunition.Composite laminates were made from modified epoxy resin and reinforced with Kevlar fabric. Kevlar-epoxy composite laminates of different thickness have been prepared, depending upon the criticality and vulnerability of the components they are meant to protect.

The composites were made in accordance with the requirements put forward by the Helicopter Division of Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which designed and developed the Dhruv.

Armour test panels, according to the DRDO, had been subjected to firing trials against 12.7 mm ammunition at Ordnance Factory, Varangaon, and these were able to provide successful ballistic protection.

Prototype armour panels have been manufactured in collaboration with a Bangalore-based private aviation firm in accordance with user requirements.

Carriage and flight trials of the panels have also been “successfully” conducted.

The development of indigenous composite armour assumes significance in the light of the Army going in for armed versions of Dhruv for tactical battlefield support missions.

The Indian Army, which has two squadrons of the Dhruv, is reported to be raising a third squadron on this type, which would be the armed variant. HAL has integrated a range of weapon systems and mission control suites with the helicopter and the evaluation is under way.

Dhruv will have an anti-tank capability and also provide close air support to ground columns against enemy formations and defences.

Battlefield surveillance will be another role. Data-link for command and control, air-to-ground missiles, rockets, machine guns along with electronic warfare suite and self defence measures which include missile warning receivers, flare and chaff dispensers and infra-red jammers are being retro-fitted on the Dhruv.

DRDO developing technology for UCAV

Bangalore: India has joined a select group of countries that have launched programmes to develop the technology for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).

The UCAVs or ‘combat drones,’ which are the latest class in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), differ from the latter in that they are specifically designed to deliver weapons and attack targets, possibly with an even higher degree of autonomy.

The Indian programme, which is an internal effort from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), will involve developing the know-how for a swept wing, stealth design and composite construction technical demonstrator that will demonstrate “the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value for a networked system of high performance” weaponised UCAVs.

Disclosing aspects of the programme the DRDO’s Chief Controller, Research and Development (Aeronautics and Material Sciences), D. Banerjee, said that with “stealth obviously be an important issue” the fuselage would have to carry internally housed weapon bays.

Stealth would also require the power plant to be internally mounted and of a non-afterburning turbofan engine type.

Specifications for issues such as payload, endurance, retractable landing gear and hard points for auxiliary fuel tanks are yet to be finalised. Dr. Banerjee added that the DRDO had already created facilities for radar cross simulation (identification of radar reflecting areas) and measurement of radar cross section (describes the extent to which an object reflects an incident electromagnetic wave).

He disclosed that the Bangalore-based DRDO laboratory, the Aeronautical Development Establishment, would be the nodal agency for the UCAV programme. Current UCAV concepts call for aircraft which can operate virtually autonomously. The UCAV will be programmed with route and target details, and can conduct the mission without help from human controllers.

Current global programmes include the French nEWROn, Israel’s Eitan, British Taranis, China’s Anjian and the US’s X-45. These programmes which are basically meant to demonstrate that the technology are in various stages of development.

The UCAVs can be used for Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, electronic warfare, surveillance, precision strike and associated operations. Dr. Banerjee also disclosed that the DRDO was looking for a partner from the private sector for its Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

While the Expression of Intent has already been put out, a formal Request for Proposal will be out in September, with a partner being chosen within four months.

The DRDO’s MALE surveillance UAV is expected to have an endurance of 24 hours, can operate at 35,000 ft., and will have autonomous take-off and landing, wheeled undercarriage and a single (Rotax) piston engine.

Indian submarines to be armed with DRDO's BrahMos missiles

Zhukovsky (Russia), Aug 24: Indian Navy will induct DRDO 's submarine-launched BrahMos cruise missiles and preparations are underway for their trial, an official said here.

Spokesman of the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos aerospace, Alexander Maksichev said that it was not yet decided which of the Indian naval submarines will be armed with the deadly cruise missiles.

"India is mostly building French Scorpene class submarines. But soon the Indian navy will have to decide about additional submarines.

"It is not known yet which submarines, but what is certain is that they will be fitted with BrahMos missiles," Maksichev said speaking on the sidelines of ongoing international aerospace show Maks-2007 here.

Preparations are underway for their trial, the official said.

BrahMos aerospace has its own stall at the aerospace show and is displaying models of ship, land, air versions of the cruise missile with the speed twice that of sound, amid growing interest among potential buyers.

Under the joint venture deal, India and Russia have agreed to jointly develop, produce and internationally market the BrahMos cruise missiles to "mutually identified friendly nations".

According to experts BrahMos with a range of 200 km, developed on the basis of Russian Npomash`s `Yakhont` cruise missile will remain a unique missile for more than a decade and has a huge market.

However, some of the countries initially identified as `friendly` could undergo review by the russian general staff, according to the local defence ministry sources.

DRDO's Areas of Interest

General areas of Interest to DRDO as per MoU between DRDO and University of Pune.

Areas of Interest of NMRL, Ambernath:

a) Characterization of materials by advanced techniques such as: XRD, XRF, ESCA, Electron Microscopy, EPMA, EDAX, NMR etc. This will involve materials such as conducting polymers, both electronics and electrolytic special steels, electro ceramics as well as biomaterials.

b) Characterization of high temperature composites and structural polymers for mechanical properties.

c) Development of conducting polymers for diverse application.

d) Synthesis of high luminescent fire retardant paint.

e) Studies on catalyst for electrochemical applications.

f) Biotechnology approach for environmental regards.

g) Measurement of explosively coated microfilm surface properties of various substrates.

h) Study on laser initiation of explosives.

Areas of Interest of VRDE, Ahmednagar:

a) Automotive Engineering:

1) Determination of transfer function for vehicle suspension system.

2) Study of understeering /oversteering of vehicles.

3) Mathematical model for pave track, corrugated track, cross-country track etc.

4) Adiabatic engine.

b) Workshop Technology:

1) Study on machinability of armour and special alloy.

2) Study on application of advanced cutting tools and their applications.

3) Optimization of process parameters in welding of armour and dissimilar materials by various welding techniques.

c) Automotive systems/sub systems:

1) Optimization of suspension system for multi axled vehicles from cross-country.

2) Design and development of hydro-pneumatic suspension system.

d) Vehicular Electronics :

1) Design and development of electronically controlled multi wheel steering system for multi axled vehicles.

2) Electronic engine management of IC engine.

3) Engine RPM indicator for diesel & petrol vehicle.

4) Wheel torque sensor and indicator.

5) Steering response lag sensor & indicator.

6) Ground profile measurement system.

7) Vehicle computer.

8) Down hill brake test equipment.

9) Driving cycle measuring instrument.

10) Pq Generator.

e) Miscellaneous :

1) Air conditioning system to meet high vibration level of cross-country tracked combat vehicle.

2) Estimation road loads experienced by tracked combat vehicle during severe cross-country operation.

3) Design of a top mounting plate with large hole in centre of hull structure of a tracked combat vehicle subjected to impulse loading due to firing of main weapon.

4) Development of micro machined acceleration sensor.

5) Development of cargo ammunition.

6) Development of sensor system for off- route Anti- Tank Mine.

7) Development of transmitter and receiver system for remote activation and reactivation of mine packaging material.

8) Development of BNCP = tetraammine - cis - bis (5-nitro-2h-tetrazolate-n2) cobalt + (3) Perchlorate.

9) Laser welding technology.

10) Development of smart seismic sensor.

11) Plasma characterization and energy analysis.

12) Development of PVDF film material for high energy storage density capacitor

13) Development of solid state switching system for pulsed power source.

14) Intermediate ballistics of slowly spinning rocket.

15) Measurement / Estimation of-

a) Wind profile up to a height of 3 Km,

b) atmospheric pressure and

c) by means of a handy and compact (preferably digitized) instrument.

16) Insulator for high temp application.

17) Development of wear resistant tribocoatings for defence application.

18) Relativity studies of electronic control systems.

19) Electromagnetic mini aircraft launcher.

20) Inflatable floats in kevlar reinforced neoprene sheets.

21) Design of an amphibious wheeled vehicle.

22) Measurement of torsional vibration of an engine shafts through laser doppler velocimetry.

23) Computational aerodynamic for gun fired projectiles.

24) Measurement of stresses in the track link of a tracked vehicle.

25) Selective oxidation of amino to nitro groups of selected substrates using novel catalytic material.

26) To establish a spectroscopic method of analysis for determination of microstructure of hydroxy terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) and thermoplastic-elastomers.

27) Modelling : structure & property of high energy materials.

28) Effect of atmospheric humidity on the condensation of combustion products of a typical composite propellant.

29) Solid rocket propellants.

Areas suggested by Army Research Board

1) Advanced polymers : thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and energetic binder systems.

2) Advanced propellants with specific impulse > 260 secs.

3) Solid rocket remjets to enhance the range of artillery guns and base bleed units.

4) Liquid propellants.

5) Low vulnerability ammunitions (LOVA) / Low vulnerability explosives.

6) Plastic bounded explosives (PBX).

7) Explosive formed penetrators (EFP).

8) Smart and intelligent munitions.

9) Laser and fibre optic systems.

10) Self propelled guns.

11)Multiple launch rocket systems.

12) Composites and special materials.

13) Light metals and alloys.

14) Ejection systems.

15) Miniaturised fuses.

16) Explosive reactive armour (ERA) / Active armour.

17) Telemetry.


19)Modelling and software development for armaments.

20)Designer Explosives- Theoretical, Experimental and Application aspects.

21)High energy binders and plasticizers for propellants and explosives.

22)High energy Eco-friendly oxidizers.

23)New detection technologies for explosives.

24)Modeling, theoretical studies and software development for explosives.

25)Propellants and pyrotechniques.

26) Data- base creation for propellants and development for explosives on performance parameters.

27)Hypergolic liquid propellants to replace existing propellants.

28)Hybrid propellants possessing high burning rates and high combustion efficiency.

29) Liquid gun propellants.

30) Eco-friendly methods for the disposal of time barred explosives, propellants and


31) Any other areas of direct application to defence.

Indian Navy has accepted advanced torpedoes designed by DRDO

Indian Navy has accepted advanced torpedoes designed by DRDO

COIMBATORE: The advanced experimental torpedo designed by Defence Research and Development Organsiation (DRDO) has been accepted by the Navy.

Its production has been taken up by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) of Hyderabad, A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller of DRDO and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BrahMos Aerospace said here on Thursday.

Dr. Pillai told reporters that the advanced light weight torpedo would be used as an underwater weapon by the Navy.


With this breakthrough the DRDO was reaching a stage of self-reliance in under water applications. It was now looking at heavy weight torpedoes, Dr. Pillai said.

“Work on unmanned vehicles in underwater is under way and is in the prototype stages at the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory at Vishakhapatnam. The vehicle will initially do surveillance work. Later it might be considered for civilian uses too,” he added.

He said most of the naval materials had been indigenised.

DRDO was also in the process of developing a fuel cell that would have tremendous civilian applications.

It could be considered as an alternative to propel cars, he said.

DRDO August 2007 Newsletter-Techfocus Special on Dhanush

DRDO August 2007 Newsletter-Techfocus Special on Dhanush


Missiles are a must for any modern military outfit. They act as a force multiplier as is evident from the recently fought wars in the South Asia and the Gulf. Most of the missiles technologies come under the purview of sanctions imposed by the developed countries.

To provide thrust and to promote self-reliance in the areas of missile systems, an Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme was launched by the DRDO in 1983 to develop a family of strategic and tactical guided missiles.

Since then DRDO has achieved a unique degree of success leading to the development of a number of missile systems like Prithvi (a short-range ballistic missile), Agni (medium-range missile), Akash and Trishul (short-range surface-to-air missiles), and Nag (third-generation antitank guided missile). Prithvi has now been inducted into the Services, while the serial production of Agni has started.


IGMDP programme sanctioned in 1983 provided for a major thrust in the design and development of indigenous technologies and capabilities in the field of missiles. It was both a learning curve and a challenge.

The technologies, expertise and capabilities built have provided a platform enabling the country to take a quantum leap into development of futuristic world-class missiles. Agni and its variants have been successfully inducted and handed over to the Army. Today Prithvi and its variants find a place of pride in the inventory of Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy.

Project Dhanush, a Naval variant of Prithvi missile on ship, and its deployment from a moving platform, was a major technological challenge both in terms of hardware and software. It enabled demonstration of the indigenous capability for the stabilisation of the missile launcher and first vertical launch of Prithvi variant missile from an OPV class of ship.

Successful enhancement of range, development of GPS INS-based close-loop guidance system and conduct of ‘Acceptance Test Firing’ independently by the naval teams have boosted the users confidence in the indigenous systems/technologies.

Successful trials of the BrahMos missile, both naval and land version, and their induction into Indian Navy and Indian Army has been another landmark in the development and demonstration of the indigenous capability.

The successes achieved in these fields are attributable to the synergy developed between the DRDO, Services, and academic institutions; PSUs like Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; and private industry. {PPP-Public-Private Partnership}

Today the country has a demonstrated capability for design, development and manufacture of all types of missiles.

I am glad to note that DESIDOC is bringing out a Special Issue of Technology Focus to highlight the success achieved by Project Dhanush. This should motivate one and all to come together, overcome the technological challenges and reduce the dependence on imported systems/technologies.
Dr VK Saraswat
Distinguished Scientist &
Chief Controller R&D (MSS)

After successfully developing these missiles, DRDO has also developed indigenously Dhanush missile (a naval variant of Prithvi) and a supersonic
cruise missile, BrahMos, in collaboration with Russian entity Mashinostroyeniye.Both the missiles are ready for induction into the Services after successful trials at sea. This issue of Technology Focus is highlighting the salient features and achievements of Project Dhanush.

Project Dhanush was sanctioned by the Indian Navy to integrate and demonstrate the feasibility of launching variant of Prithvi from a ship.

The translation from the technology demonstrator to weaponisation configuration , and induction of the Dhanush weapon system has been completed with the successful 'Acceptance Test Firing' conducted by the user, and after achieving all the planned mission objectives.

The salient features and achievements of Project Dhanush required development and realiasation of a number of systems. Some of these are given below:

Realisation of Ship-based Systems

Following ship-based systems have been developed:

Launcher Stabilisation System (LSS) including electronics and hydraulics for stabilisation of a five-ton weight class Prithvi missile within 90±1” , in disturbance of ±10” of roll, and ±5” in pitch (sea state 4) on board ship, and deployment of a vertically stabilised Prithvi variant from ship.

Ship Motion Simulator with capability to generate roll of ±30 and pitch of ±15 for testing/evaluation of the LSS on shore. This was subsequently upgraded and converted into a LSS for the second ship.

Transporter Erector Trolley (TET) for transfer of Prithvi variant from the safe storage (SS) container and its integration on the LSS.

Object Transfer Trolley for handling of SS container (14 ton with the missile) on board the ship.

SS Container for safe storage of the Dhanush during transportation to and fro from the depot and for stowing on board ship.

Integrated Electronics System consisting of
*Power supply and distribution units to ensure availability of clean and regulated power supply at all the times for all the elements of the Dhanush weapon system.
*State-of-the-art Dhanush fire control system based on real-time operating virtual machine environment (VME)-based open architecture system for the auto launch of Dhanush with provision for future upgradation.
*Object handling system for semi-automatic, safe and fast integration of the Dhanush with the LSS.
*LSS controller for stabilisation of the LSS to the required accuracy in sea state 4 conditions. This has enabled deployment of the Dhanush missile in sea state up to 3.

Modification of the Ships
Naval ships have been modified for integration of the Dhanush weapon system and safe operation of the ship-based systems (weight approximately 40 ton).

Following design, development and modification in the software were carried out for:-

Transfer alignment based on Kalman filter technique for alignment of inertial measurement unit (IMU) with the master inertial navigation system (INS) SIGMA 40 to define the azimuth for the missile trajectory and control and guidance.

Global positioning system (GPS)-INS fused navigation to reduce the cross-range error/cross-range error probability (CEP) at the impact point. The technology has completely eliminated the proportional dependence of CEP to range.

Launch point prediction software for prediction of the launch point on a moving platform.

Existing Cacoon software has been modified to enable deployment of missiles from any latitude and longitude.

Command control software to prevent unauthorised launch.

Integration of thrust vector control (TVC) backup in the analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) phase to augment the control effectiveness for extended range missiles based on 'dynamic sharing logic'.

Mission software.

Modification of the Airframe Sections

Modification of the airframe sections has been done to increase the range of Dhanush beyond 250 km by increasing the tank length and effective surface area of the control surfaces, and by augmenting and strengthening the control scheme/algorithm using the latest control techniques.

Secure C3 Network
A command, control, communication network has been implemented for reliable, assured and safe communication among all authorities.

Ground Systems
Fourteen types of ground systems have been realised for utilisation during preparation of Dhanush missile at depot. These include three special ground systems—MOSAIC D, missile carrier vehicle, and 40 T crane—especially developed for Dhanush missile system.

Composite Helo Deck
With the integration of the Dhanush weapon system, the flexibility of the Dhanush-capable ship to operate the helicopters was compromised. To restore this capability, DRDO took on the task of realising and integrating a helo deck made from lightweight composite materials.

DRDO has now developed a helo deck made of vinyl ester and E glass fabric on board such ships. With this, the Naval Commanders have the flexibility to operate the Dhanush class off-shore patrol vessles (OPV) in either Dhanush or helo role.

The successful translation of the technology demonstrator project to the final goal of weaponisation demonstrates the unique synergy created between the Indian Navy, DRDO, PSUs (BDL, HAL, etc.), and private industries (M/s L&T Mumbai, SEC Industries Private Ltd., VEM Technologies, etc.) to realise the mission objective for design, development and induction of indigenous technologies for the Defence forces.

Dhanush weapon system has continuously evolved with technology upgrades during the translation from technology demon-strator to the inducted weapon system held in the inventory of the users.

The range of the Dhanush has been increased beyond 250 km, the Flight Control System has been changed/upgraded from 80286 MB II technology to open architecture VME-based real-time operating system, and user's feedback and inputs have been incorporated to simplify the ship-based operations in the area of man-machine interface and graphic user interface.

The following technologies have been realised/developed in-house during the execution of this project:
a. Realisation of extended-range class of ship-launched Dhanush missile.
b. Stabilisation system for stabilisation of missiles/radar/ guns/rockets weighing up to 5 ton.
c. Vx works-based VME operating system for Fire Control Systems of missiles/guns/rockets.
d. Linear motion rail technology for safe and reliable operations and handling of very heavy systems/objects in the presence of constant and unpredictable disturbances (roll and pitch motions).
e. Secure command control communication network.

Portable Carbogen Breathing Apparatus For Protection Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Exposure to noise is well known to cause damage to the auditory system.Today, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a major and increasing problem in the industrialised countries, stemming both from the workplace and from leisure activities. The degree of hearing impairment depends on the intensity of the noise and the duration of exposure.

Experiments to study the mechanism of action of noise have established that exposure to noise initially causes temporary loss of hearing sensitivity, commonly known as temporary threshold shift (TTS).

If this loss is not recovered during rest pauses, it slowly turns into permanent hearing impairment referred to as noise-induced permanent threshold shift (NIPTS). Intense acoustic stimulation has been reported to produce discernible change in blood supply and oxygen tension of hair cells.

Thus, TTS produced by exposure to noise may be due to increased oxygen
consumption by hair cells coupled with depletion of blood supply caused due to vasoconstriction.

Therefore, any system that could counteract these effects is considered suitable to mitigate the degree of hearing loss. Carbogen, a gas mixture of 95 per cent Oxygen and 5 per cent Carbon dioxide, is a well-known powerful vasodilator of the cerebral capillary beds.

Its potential has been utilised by DRDO to counteract the vasoconstrictive effect of noise. During the laboratory studies, it was observed that administration of Carbogen even for short duration of 5 min before and after exposure to occupational noise provided dual benefit by reducing the magnitude of TTS development and accelerating the recovery process for normalisation of hearing status.

The equipment used earlier to administer Carbogen was bulky and cumbersome to handle and use. DRDO has designed a mobile Carbogen Breathing Assembly to deliver Carbogen for a period of 5 min before and after exposure to occupational noise in order to minimise and mitigate the adverse effects of noise on the auditory system of a human being.

The assembly is trolley-mounted for easy manoeuverability and comprises a gas cylinder, regulator, and humidifier and breathing masks in an aesthetically appealing module.

This mobile apparatus provides facilities for normal breathing in sitting and standing positions. The system finds application as a protective device for the conservation of hearing in workers occupationally exposed to intense noise for prolonged period such as the engine room of ships, naval dockyards, Indian Air Force, Ordinance Factories, traffic police personnel, and industries, etc.

The integrated system is portable, compact, and simple to use. The functional aspects of the prototype has been successfully evaluated in the laboratory set up as well as at Defence establishments (Indian Navy, Air Force and Army Workshops) where the personnel have to operate in an intense noise environment.

The system has been hailed as being effective, safe and user-friendly and one that supports the application of Carbogen as an effective prophylactic against NIHL.

The basic design of the system incorporates the carbogen cylinder coupled with flow control valve and timer. A nebuliser, housed in the body of the equipment, humidifies the gas before inspiration.

The system design has catered for reduced floor space requirement, weight and cost considerations. Design for fabrication of commercial prototypes of Carbogen Delivery System has been awarded to two vendors (M/s Vijay Sabre Safety Ltd, Mumbai, and M/s S.B. Equipment, New Delhi, and are likely to be available in the market soon.

A multi-user Kiosk workstation has also been developed to facilitate the administration of Carbogen to 10 individuals at a time.

Following the successful trials conducted by the Indian Navy on the efficacy of breathing Carbogen in ameliorating NIHL, the Indian Navy has communicated its desire to acquire 12 Carbogen breathing assemblies towards the first phase of induction in the Navy. DGAFMS has approved the installment of the system in nine medical units under different Commands.

Salient Features
*A strudy, user-friendly and ergonomically designed system.
*Easy-to-operate system that does not require the use of a skilled operator.
*Switch to start/stop the flow of Carbogen gas with light indicators for indicating the start and flow of the gas along with a timer for indicating the termination of 5 min of Carbogen inhalation.
*Adjustment for control of pressure and flow of Carbogen gas @ 10 liters per minute.
*Dual-stage non-corrosive pressure regulator to facilitate flow of Carbogen gas with ease.
*Cover on the outer body of the apparatus that can be opened and closed allow for the adjustment of Carbogen flow and pressure control.
*Front opening of the apparatus for easy replacement and egress of the cylinder.
*A humidifier/nebuliser for humidifying the gas before inhalation to prevent dryness of air passage and complications arising thereof.
*Good fit , double valve silicon breathing mask to prevent wastage of gas and comfortable to wear and take off.
*Provision of a spanner for adjusting the valve head for pressure control.

Physical Characteristics
*The height of the trolley is 1145 mm approximately.
*The total weight of the apparatus with the cylinder is 37 kg approximately (18 kg cylinder wt).
*The width of the trolley without the handle is 300 mm approximately.
*The width of the trolley with handle is 450 mm approximately.

*Attachments to fix start/stop valve and placing of nebuliser.
*Wheels for transportation.
*Handle for easy manoeuvrability.

*Easy accessibility of controls and mask/tube outlet to user.
*Push trolley with the placement of the switch for starting the gas supply at an accessible range. The mask outlet of the gas tube is also placed at the accessible range of the user.

Controls, Displays, and Warnings
*Gas output pressure is controlled by the bull-nose valve top spindle rotation. The control can be monitored in the gas pressure meter in suitable units (bars, kg/cm ). After the gas pressure has been set, the knob on the bull-nose valve can adjust the flow. The flow can be monitored with a float in the flow meter in liters per minute.

The user can start and stop the gas supply for his installment using a shut off valve. A ball-type shut off valve has been provided for start/stop the installment of 5 min.

The electronic timer (red and green LED displays for indication of the start and continuation of gas flow, respectively) visible to the user while breathing.
Buzzing from the electronic timer attached to the start/stop valve indicates the end of 5 min duration. The sound pressure level of the buzzer is 60 dB 'A' at the ear of the user in the apparatus's closed condition while it is 65 dB 'A' in equipment's open condition, with predominant frequency at 4 kHz.

Supply System
CO2 and O2 : 5 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively in cylinder.

Potential Applications
Services: Firing ranges, engine room of ships, and for ground crew of the Air Force.

Civil: Industry, machine rooms, airports and traffic police.

Medical/therapeutic applications: Management of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, as adjuvant to radiation therapy in cancer, in alcohol withdrawl, and cigarette smokers.