Posts Tagged ‘indian defence’

Type: Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 6,000 tons
Length: 112 m (367 ft)
Beam: 15 m (49 ft) (Est.)
Draft: 10 m (33 ft) (Est.)
Propulsion: 83MW PWR using 40% enricheduranium fuel; 1 turbine (47,000hp/70MW); 1 shaft; 1 7-bladed, high-skew propeller
Speed: 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) (surfaced); 24 knots (44 km/h) (submerged)
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 300 m (980 ft) (est)
Complement: 95
Sensors and
processing systems:
USHUS Sonar
Armament: Torpedoes: 6 x 21″ (533mm) torpedo tubes – est. 30 charges (torpedoes, missiles or mines)
4 launch tubes (2.4 meter dia each)

  • 12 x K15 SLBM (3 in each launch tube) or
  • 4 x K-4 SLBM (Under development)

arihant class submarine

The Arihant class submarines (Sanskrit: अरिहंत:, meaning “Slayer of Enemies”) are nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines under development by the Indian Navy. The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant, is expected to complete its harbour acceptance trials in February 2012. Four vessels of the class are under development and expected to be in commission by 2015.

The Arihant class vessels are India’s first indigenously designed and built nuclear submarine. They were developed under the US$2.9 billion Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to design and build nuclear-powered submarines.

The Indian Navy’s Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project to design and construct a nuclear submarine took shape in the 1990s. First confirmation of the project came in 1998 from then Defence Minister, George Fernandes. The initial intent of the project was to design nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, though following Pokhran-II and Indian pledge of no first use, the project was re-aligned towards the design of a ballistic missile submarine in order to complete India’s nuclear triad.

The ATV project overcame many challenges, the primary one being the design and miniaturization of the nuclear reactor. The lead vessel was first floated from its dry dock at a symbolic launch ceremony on 26 July 2009.

The Arihant class submarines are powered by an 83 MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) with highly enriched uranium fuel. The miniaturized naval-version of the reactor was designed and built by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam. A land-based prototype of the marine PWR was first built at Kalpakkam. It included a 42-meter section of the submarine’s pressure hull containing the shielding tank with water and the reactor, a control room, as well as an auxiliary control room for monitoring safety parameters. The prototype reactor became critical on 11 November 2003 and was declared operational on 22 September 2006. Successful operation of the prototype for three years yielded the data and the confidence that enabled the production version of the reactor for Arihant.

Separately, infrastructure for testing the reactor subsystems was setup at the Machinery Test Centre in Visakhapatnam. Facilities for loading and replacing the fuel cores of the naval reactors in berthed submarines were also established at the Ship Building Centre.

The hulls for this class were built by Larsen and Toubro at their Hazira shipbuilding facility. Tata Power SED built the control systems for the submarine. The steam turbines and associated systems integrated with the PWR were supplied by Walchandnagar Industries.

The lead vessel underwent a long and extensive process of testing after its “launch” in July 2009. Every sub-system of the propulsion and power systems on board the submarine was repeatedly tested with high-pressure steam trials of all pipelines. Finally, the reactor on board INS Arihant went critical in 2011 when the control rods in the reactor were gradually removed. This was followed by harbour-acceptance trials that included submersion tests by flooding its ballast tanks and controlled dives to limited depths. The sea-acceptance trials are expected to begin in February 2011. This will include operation at different speeds and different depths, before the final weapons acceptance trials, consisting of test-firing of all her SLBMs and torpedoes. Data gathered from her acceptance trials is expected to aid the development of nuclear submarines to follow. INS Arihant is expected to be ready for operational deployment by the end of 2012.

Three more submarines of her class were under construction, as of January 2012. India has decided to construct two more nuclear powered Arihant class submarines.

Class
Name: Project 17A
Builders: GRSE
Mazagon Dock Limited
Operators:  Indian Navy
Preceded by: P-17 Shivalik class
Cost: Rs. 4000 crore each
US $900 million each
Planned: 7
Type: stealth frigate

PROJECT 17-A                                                                      The Project 17A is the follow on the Project 17 (Shivalik class) frigates for the Indian Navy. A total of seven ships will be built. The ships will be built at Mazagon Dock Limited and at GRSE. The Indian shipyards would start the construction of the The Project 17A is the follow on the Project 17 (Shivalik class) frigates for the Indian Navy. A total of seven ships will be built. The ships will be built at Mazagon Dock Limited and at GRSE. The Indian shipyards would start the construction of the first ship by 2011 after the process of upgradation of the shipyards are completed. The shipyards are being upgraded to incorporate modular construction technique. The anticipated cost for each vessel is above Rs 4,000 crore (approximately US $900 million) and the total deal is expected to be worth more than Rs 45,000 crore (US $10+ billion). The vessel will incorporate the latest indigenous developed stealth features. The first ship is expected to roll out by 2015. Lockheed Martin and Hyundai Heavy Industries have jointly responded to the Project 17A combat systems Request for Information (RFI) issued by Indian Navy. They are offering the Aegis Combat System to be included in its Project 17A frigate proposalfirst ship by 2011 after the process of upgradation of the shipyards are completed. The shipyards are being upgraded to incorporate modular construction technique.

The anticipated cost for each vessel is above Rs 4,000 crore (approximately US $900 million) and the total deal is expected to be worth more than Rs 45,000 crore (US $10+ billion). The vessel will incorporate the latest indigenous developed stealth features. The first ship is expected to roll out by 2015.
Lockheed Martin and Hyundai Heavy Industries have jointly responded to the Project 17A combat systems Request for Information (RFI) issued by Indian Navy. They are offering the Aegis Combat System to be included in its Project 17A frigate proposal.

Design

The design of P-17 has led to creating a wealth of experience which will be applied to the P17A. The P17A frigates will be improve upon the P17 Shivalik class frigates in terms of stealth. It will have covered mooring deck and flush deck mounted (VLM) weapon systems. The number of antennae on the ship will be reduced by using a multifunctional radar. The P17A will also feature better options for roll stabilization. Build times will be cut down and productivity improved through the use of modular integrated construction.

           @india defence

Agni-VI

Agni 6 is an intercontinental ballistic missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the use of the Indian Defence Forces.

Description

Agni-VI is an intercontinental ballistic missile speculated to be in very rudimentary stages of development by India. It is said to be the latest and most advanced version among the Agni missiles. Capable of being launched from submarines or from land, it will be able to strike a target at a distance of 6000–10000 km with MIRVed warheads.

Opacity regarding the development

Range comparison of Agni missiles

Till 2009, it was reported that the Government of India had not considered the development of an ICBM with a range of 10,000 km or above. Speculations of an ongoing program for a longer range ICBM resurfaced in 2011. Some reports claimed that the ICBM is already named “Surya” and code named AGNI-VI.

Other reports suggest that New Delhi has not given serious weight to the necessity for an ICBM. DRDO can take up a project to develop India’s ICBM only after permission from the government of India. Since India is not a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Indian missile program is not limited by any treaty commitment to cap the development of ICBM capability. Some media reports have occasionally suggested that, despite India being a non-signatory to MTCR, there is a voluntary moratorium on developing missiles beyond the range of 5,000 km.

DRDO Newsletter

The existence of an ICBM program is still unclear and has never been officially acknowledged by the DRDO. However, in the DRDO newsletter of May 2011, while describing the achievements of a recently promoted scientist, it revealed that he headed a program code named A6, which will be an ICBM with a range in between 6,000-10,000 km and like some versions of its precursor Agni V, it will be capable of underwater launch with MIRV.

The letter read,

Chief Controller R&D (Missiles and Strategic Systems)Shri Avinash Chander, Distinguished Scientist, Programme Director, SFD and Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory has been appointed as Chief Controller R&D (Missiles and Strategic Systems) wef 3 May 2011. He is an eminent scientist in the field of Missiles and is the Chief Designer of Long-range missile system, with specific contribution in Agni programme management, mission design, guidance, navigation, simulation and terminal guidance. He has unique achievement of delivering and deploying three long-range Agni missile weapon systems viz, A1, A2 and A3.Presently, he is leading three major system developments; A2p, a technologically challenging state-of-the-art system; a 5,000 km canister-launched A5 system; and a 6000 km A6 system with multiple warheads (MIRV) capable of launching both from the ground and underwater

Indian Air Marshal’s allusion to a longer range ICBM

In June 2011, for the very first time then IAF’S Chief Marshal P.V. Naik vehemently argued in favour of broadening India’s nuclear strike capabilities beyond the immediate neighbourhood.

Naik, who heads the chiefs of staff committee, stated:

India should pursue an ICBM programme to acquire ranges of 10,000 km or even more. Breaking out of the regional context is important as the country’s sphere of influence grows. We have no territorial designs on any country, but India needs the capability to match its sphere of influence.

The air chief believes that an ICBM is within India’s grasp:

There’s no point capping the missile programme at 5,000 km. If we have the technical capability, we should build on it.

Confirmation of programme

On 20 June 2011 Indian Defence News published an article titled “India Serious About 10,000 km ICBM” which stated that India is seriously contemplating to enhance the reach of its strategic missiles and that the Ministry of Defense is considering a DRDO proposal to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting targets 10,000 km away. Building an ICBM has international ramifications and India is a nuclear weapon state; the ultimate decision to go ahead with the proposal would be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

In April 2012 Saraswat revealed that India had no plan to cap the Agni programme and there will be more missiles in the series.

Agni-VI SLBM

The SLBM version of missile will arm the Arihant class submarines of the Indian Navy. DRDO revealed in 2012 that it is also in the process of developing another variant of Agni-VI missile. This will be a submarine launched solid fuel missile with a maximum range of 6,000 kilometres and a payload of one tonne.

Questions of capability

In October 2011, a report was published by The Pioneer which raised serious doubts about DRDO’s ability to independently develop the “seeker technology” (guidance technology) eligible forICBMs, that could enable ballistic missiles to traverse long distances in excess of 10,000 km.

The same report also asserted Russia’s willingness to provide India with help in the field of “seeker technology”. In light of this report and the original DRDO newsletter of May 2011, it appears that AGNI-VI will have a strike-range between 6,000 km to over 10,000 km. The authenticity of this report is disputed by at least one foreign newspaper, with the counter-claim that the involvement of Russia is probably inflated out of proportion, because if the report about Russian involvement is true, Russia may be suspected of violating the Missile Technology Control Regime.

In response to the scepticism, a top DRDO scientist firmly asserted that India has almost all the equipments and technology needed to develop ICBMs, “but where the warhead should go or what the range should be will have to be a political call.”

@ India Defence

HAL – LIGHT COMBAT HELICOPTER

The HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is a multirole combat helicopter being developed in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for use by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.

Development
In 2006, HAL announced its plans to build a LCH. Funds for the design and development of the LCH to meet the requirements of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force were sanctioned in October 2006.
The LCH is a derivative of the HAL Dhruv, which was inducted into the Indian armed forces. Using a successful and proven helicopter as the base platform is expected to conserve the project costs for the LCH, which is pegged at Indian Rupee ₹8.76 billion (US$190.1 million).
The LCH was expected to be ready for the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) by December 2010 with the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) in 2011. However, the revised timeframes hold that the 5.5-tonne LCH should be ready for induction into IAF by 2012-2013.
The first prototype of LCH completed its first ground run on February 4.HAL has a firm order to deliver 65 LCH to the IAF and 114 to the Army.
HAL has performed the maiden flight of its indigenously designed and developed LCH. The first Technology Demonstrator (TD-1) of the LCH flew the 20 minute flight from HAL’s Helicopter Complex, Bangalore on 29 March 2010. This flight provided an opportunity to carry out low speed, low altitude checks on the systems on-board. The crew reported that the performance of the helicopter and systems was satisfactory.

Design
The LCH incorporates stealth features and crash landing gear for survivability. The LCH will have a narrow fuselage, with two crew stations.

The LCH is being designed to fit into an anti-infantry and anti-armour role and will be able to operate at high altitudes (16,300 feet). HAL hopes to equip the Indian Air Force with about 65 gunships.[6] The helicopter is powered by the HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft engine. The helicopter will be equipped with helmet-mounted targeting systems, electronic warfare systems and advanced weapons systems.

In 2006, HAL selected the M621 cannon incorporated in a Nexter THL 20 turret for the gun armament of the helicopter, operated by a helmet mounted sight.[7][8] Three prototypes will be built. The second version will be fitted with weaponry before its test flight. The Indian Air Force will be provided with the third prototype for user trials.

The LCH is to have a glass cockpit with multifunction displays, a target acquisition and designation system with FLIR, Laser rangefinder and laser designator. Weapons will be aimed with a helmet mounted sight and there will be an electronic warfare suite with radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver and a missile approach warning system.

The helicopter is be fitted with a data link for network-centric operations facilitating the transfer of mission data to the other airborne platforms and ground stations operating in the network,facilitating force multiplication.

With these features, the LCH is expected to play a major role in air defence against slow moving aerial targets, destruction of enemy air defence operations, escort to special heliborne operations, support of combat search and rescue operations, anti-tank role and scout duties.

The two pilots in the LCH sit one behind the other, compared to side-by-side in the Dhruv. All the flight controls, the hydraulics and the fuel system had to be redesigned for the LCH. The LCH’s many stealth features also necessitated redesigning the fuselage.

Operational history
The LCH TD-1 made its first flight on March 29, 2010. The second flight took place on April 28, 2010 at 15:30 hrs. As per HAL Press release, over 20 Test flights have been conducted to check various flight parameters.The third test flight of the LCH was successfully made on 23 May 2010 and it fulfilled the desired parameters and also paves the way for further testing with weapons. As of 17 December 2010 TD-1 has logged 50 hours of flight. The second prototype which will be weaponized with more sub-systems will be unveiled at Aero India 2011 in February 2011. Two more prototypes are under construction to speed up the process of its induction into the Indian Air Force in the year 2012.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 15.8 m (51 ft 8 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 13.3 m (43 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 4.7 m (15 ft 4 in)
  • Disc area: 138.9 m² (1,472 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 2,250 kg (5,975 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 3,800 kg (8,405 lb)
  • Useful load: 3,350 kg (7,410 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,800 kg (12,825 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft, 1,067 kW (1,430 shp) each

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 330 km/h (178 knots, 207 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 275 km/h (148 knots, 171 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 260 km/h (140 knots, 161 mph)
  • Range: 700 km (297 nmi, 342 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,500 m (21,300 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 12 m/s (2,362 ft/min)
  • Disc loading: 39.59 kg/m² (8.23 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 327 W/kg (0.198 hp/lb)

Armament

  • Guns: M621 20 mm cannon on Nexter THL-20 turret
  • Rockets: Unguided rockets
  • Missiles: MBDA air-to-air missiles
    Air-to-surface missiles
    Anti-radiation missiles
    Helina anti-tank missile
  • Bombs: Gravity bombs
    cluster bombs
    grenade launchers                                                                                                                                                               @India Defence


Designation: CV
Length: 830 ft
Width: 190 ft
Beam: 116 ft
Displacement: 40,000 tons
Propulsion: 4 LM 2500 gas turbines,
2 shafts
Speed: 28 knots
Crew: 1,600
Airwing: 30 Fixed, rotary
Armament:
- 2 X 16 VLS SAM
- 4 X 76mm guns
Elevators: 2
Ships in class: 1

In April 2005 India began building its first indigenously designed aircraft carrier, the INS Virkant, in the Cochin naval shipyards. The vessel is being built to the final Air Defense Ship (ADS) design set forth by the India Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) for the last several years. The keel laying occurred in 2005 and she was floated out of dry dock in December 2011, for eventual completion in 2013. At that time she will join the INS Vikramaditya, which will have replaced the INS Viraat in 2012. The new Vikrant is expected to be commissioned in 2014-2015.

This 830 foot-long ship, with a 40,000 ton full-load displacement,, will be capable of operating up to 30 modern fighter aircraft, including MiG-29K, LCA (Navy), See Harrier, and up to to 10 helicopters of different types Its 2.5 acre flight deck, with a maximum width of 190 ft, will enable launch of fighter aircraft using ski-jump for take off and arrester wire for landing on an angled deck. Powered by four LM 2500 gas turbines, generating 80 MW of power, the ship will be able to achieve speeds in excess of 28 knots. The crew will consist of a complement of 1,600 officers and men.

A second carrier of this class is expected to be built and delivered in 2018 to join the new Virkant and theVikramaditya. At that time, the Indian Navy will have three large, modern carriers.

The initial construction day, April 11, 2005, will always be remembered in the Indian Navy’s quest for indigenous aircraft carrier construction and significant milestone in the maritime history of modern India. On that day, the construction of India’s largest warship project, the first indigenous aircraft carrier designed by DND, commenced at the Cochin Shipyard with the steel-cutting by Mr TR Baalu, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways in the presence of the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash and Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr Oomen Chandy.

This carrier has been Launched by Defence Minister A K Antony on 12th August 2013.

The carrier will embark Mig-29K aircraft as its principle fighter/attack aircraft. Enough of these aircraft are being procurred, and ultimatley perhaps license built in India, to outfit all three of the envisioned carriers at the current time.

Russia delivered the first four MiG-29K aircraft – two single seat fighters and two twin seat trainers – under contract to India in February 2009 and a batch of Indian Navy pilots started six months training on the aircraft in Russia. The MiG-29Ks were certified by Russian pilots taking off from the Russian carrier, Kuznetsov. The four aircraft were test flown from the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by Russian pilots on September 28-29, 2009.

A second lot of four MiG-29K and one MiG29KUBs were delivered to India in May 2011 along with a simulator and other technical equipment. On August 2, 2011, CEO of MiG corporation Sergei Korotkov told Interfax news agency that a total of 11 MiG-29Ks had been delivered to India so far.

“From the first contract for 16 jets which included 12 single seater MiG-29K and two double seater trainer-cum -fighter MiG-29KUB, we have already delivered 11 fighters, including 9 single seater and 2 double seater jets to the Indian Navy,” CEO of MiG, Sergei Korotkov, said.

Indian pilots are training to fly the MiG-29Ks from a shore-based facility. They have been doing up to 15 sorties per day. Russia and India signed an additional $1.5-billion contract for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks in New Delhi during the visit of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

“An agreement on supplying an additional set of MiG-29K fighter jets has been signed, the start of supplies is scheduled for 2012,” Mikhail Pogosyan said.

This will bring the Inidan fleet of Mig-29Ks to a total of 45 aircraft.


Designation: CV
Length: 900 ft
Width: 174 ft
Beam: 107 ft
Displacement: 45,000 tons
Propulsion: 8 turbo pressurized boilers,
4 shafts
Speed: 32 knots
Crew: 1,600
Airwing: 30 fixed, rotary
Armament:
- 3 X 24 SA-N-9 SAM
- 4 X 32 CADS-N-1 SAM/CIWS
- 4 X AK-630 30mm CIWS
-2 X 12 ASW RBU-6000
Elevators: 2
Ships in class: 1

The former Russian Kiev Class carrier, Gorshkov, was agreed to be refitted in Russian shipyards if the Indians would by the entire wing of Mig-29K aircraft for 1.5 billion. The deal also included contractual agreements for support and maintenance of the aircraft and carrier in the future, generating more revenue for the Russians. The vessel is slated to be qualified by Russia and then handed over to the Indian Navy in December of 2012.

The Virkamaditya set sail on her innitial sea trials on June 8, 2012.

Operations and defensive systems are planned to be a mix of western, Russian, and indeginous Indian systems, like a number of other Indian naval vessels.

In addition to the main strike aircraft of Mig-29Ks, the carrier is likely to use the KA-331 AEW aircraft for early warning, and KA-27 aircraft fro ASW and SAR work.

The Vikramaditya will replace the aging INS Viraat aircraft carrier in 2013, after commissioning. Also in 2013-2014, the Vikramaditya will be joined by the INS Vikraant, currently under construction and due to be the first indegenously designed and built Indian aircraft carrier.

Russia delivered the first four MiG-29K aircraft – two single seat fighters and two twin seat trainers – under contract to India in February 2009 and a batch of Indian Navy pilots started six months training on the aircraft in Russia. The MiG-29Ks were certified by Russian pilots taking off from the Russian carrier, Kuznetsov. The four aircraft were test flown from the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by Russian pilots on September 28-29, 2009.

A second lot of four MiG-29K and one MiG29KUBs were delivered to India in May 2011 along with a simulator and other technical equipment. On August 2, 2011, CEO of MiG corporation Sergei Korotkov told Interfax news agency that a total of 11 MiG-29Ks had been delivered to India so far.

“From the first contract for 16 jets which included 12 single seater MiG-29K and two double seater trainer-cum -fighter MiG-29KUB, we have already delivered 11 fighters, including 9 single seater and 2 double seater jets to the Indian Navy,” CEO of MiG, Sergei Korotkov, said.

Indian pilots are training to fly the MiG-29Ks from a shore-based facility. They have been doing up to 15 sorties per day. Russia and India signed an additional $1.5-billion contract for an additional 29 MiG-29Ks in New Delhi during the visit of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.

“An agreement on supplying an additional set of MiG-29K fighter jets has been signed, the start of supplies is scheduled for 2012,” Mikhail Pogosyan said.

This will bring the Indian fleet of Mig-29Ks to a total of 45 aircraft for the Vikramaditya and the upcoming Virkant, being built in India.

In 2010, because of cost overruns construction was stopped until a new deal was reached totaling 2.3 billion for the carrier and initial airwing between Russia and India. The carrier underwent mooring trials in March 2011. She began her initial sea trials om June 8,2012. She is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Navy in December of 2012.

On september 17 2012 the failure of 7 boilers of 8 resulting into failed sea trials have further delayed the delivery of the carrier for almost a year.
Commissioning
She was formally commissioned on 16 November 2013 at a ceremony held at Severodvinsk, Russia. The ceremony was attended by Indian defence minister A.K. Antony and the Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin. The ship is expected to begin patrolling the Indian ocean by early 2014.
Service history

Vikramaditya being escorted by INS Viraat and other ships of the Western Fleet in the Arabian Sea.
After commissioning, the carrier began a continuous 26-day journey of 10,212 nautical miles to its homeport at INS Kadamba, Karwar, from Severodvinsk on 27 November 2013, with a short stopover in Lisbon. It is under the command of Commodore Suraj Berry, who is her first Indian captain. Apart from her Indian crew, she also carried 177 Russian specialists from Sevmash, who will remain on board for one year, as part of the 20-year post-warranty services contract with the shipyard. During the journey, it encountered a storm in the Barents Sea where she linked up with her escorts frigate INS Trikand and fleet tanker INS Deepak. The group was escorted by the Royal Navy frigate Monmouth while passing through the English Channel, and was joined by destroyer INS Delhi near Gibraltar.

A MiG-29K performs a touch and go landing on Vikramaditya
The flotilla sailed in the Mediterranean sea, crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Arabian Sea near the Gulf of Aden on 1 January 2014. It was received nearly 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km) away from Indian shores by a large flotilla of the Western fleet, which was composed of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, two Delhi-class destroyers including INS Mumbai, three Talwar-class frigates, the frigate INS Godavari, and a couple of offshore patrol vessels including INS Subhadra. The event was significant as the Indian Navy was operating two aircraft carriers simultaneously for the first time in 20 years. After conducting basic sea exercises with the fleet, Vikramaditya reached Karwar on 7 January 2014.

Navy pilots of INAS 303 “Black Panthers” operating the MiG-29K practiced carrier operations at the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in INS Hansa, Panaji. The first aircraft piloted by an Indian Navy pilot landed on the carrier on 8 February 2014. Since then, the pilots and air controllers have been certified for operating the MiG-29K fighters from the carrier deck, including night landings. The carrier’s air wing will consist of 16 MiG-29Ks including four KUB trainers, six airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) Kamov Ka-31 and Kamov Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.

In May 2014, the carrier was declared operationally deployed along with its embarked air group comprising Mig-29Ks and had taken part in a war game conducted by the Western Naval Command. On 14 June 2014, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi dedicated the carrier to the country.

F-INSAS is India’s program to equip its Infantry with state-of-the-art equipment. F-INSAS means Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System.

F-INSAS has been taken up to equip Indian infantry with advanced weaponry, communication network and instant access to information on the battlefield. This program is similar to the future soldier programs of other nations. F-INSAS includes a fully networked all-terrain, all-weather personal-equipment platform, enhanced firepower and mobility for the digitalised battlefield of the future. The weight carried by soldiers will need to be reduced by at least 50%.

The fully integrated Infantry of tomorrow will be equipped with mission-oriented equipment integrated with his buddy soldier team, the sub-unit, as also the overall C4I2 (Command, Control, Communications Computers, Information and Intelligence) system.

Timeline

In the first phase, to be completed by 2012, the infantry soldiers will be equipped with modular weapon systems that will have multi-functions.

The Indian Army intends to modernize its entire 465 infantry and paramilitary battalions by 2020 with this program.

F-INSAS equipment

The intention is to equip the soldier  to ensure a dramatic increase in their lethality, survivability and mobility while making the soldier “a self-contained fighting machine”.

Helmet and Visor

The helmet is an integrated assembly equipped with helmet mounted flash light, thermal sensors & night vision device, video cameras and chemical and biological sensors. The visor is intended to be integrated and to act as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors.

Clothing

The personal clothing of this soldier of the future would be lightweight with a bullet-proof jacket. The futuristic jacket would be waterproofed yet breathable. The new attire that will enable the troops carry the extra load and resist impact of chemical warfare. Uniform will also carry solar chargers for charging Palmtop and other attached electronic equipment. It will contain external oxygen supply and respirator providing protection against gas and smoke and will include flame retardant carbonized viscose undergarments, fire proof knee and elbow pads, bullet-proof armoured waistcoat designed to stop a round, ceramic armour plates covering the front, back and groin and an armoured helmet capable of stopping a 9mm round at close range. The new uniform will have vests with sensors to monitor the soldier’s health parameters and provide quick medical relief.

Weapons

The weapons sub-system is built around a multi caliber individual weapon system with the fourth caliber attached to a grenade launcher. These include a 5.56 mm, a 7.62 mm and a new 6.8 mm under-development for the first time in India. The UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher) will be capable of launching air bursting grenade. The sub-system includes a thermal weapon sight and laser range finder to provide the soldier with range and direction information. The Global Positioning System (GPS) location information will allow the soldier to call for indirect fire accurately. There are two types of next generation infantry rifle under development in cooperation with Israel.

Accessories

The soldier will be equipped with a Palmtop GPS navigation device to be able to communicate with other soldiers and locate or generate maps to find location, and will be aware of the battlefield. The palmtop will inform soldiers where other friendlies are in relation to them. It will also enable them to transfer messages. Terrain equipment gears for various specific mission will also be carried.

Thermal imaging, sensors and night vision equipment, currently deployed in weapon systems such as artillery and main battle tanks, will be customized to make them portable for soldiers to carry in the battle ground. Defense advanced GPS receivers, infrared sensors, thermal sensors, electromagnetic sensors and radio frequency sensors would also be carried.

Procurement for program

Procurement requests for the ‘open calibre’ carbines is valued at around INR44 billion (US$877.8 million) have been initiated with global manufacturers. The procurement covers night-vision devices, laser designators and detachable under-barrel grenade launchers.

Indigenisation of program

With the intent to retain its strategic autonomy, self reliance and indigenisation of the program is being emphasized. Most of the equipment is being Indigenous developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) independently, as the prime developer and the system integrator, as well as with private partnership. Tata Advanced Systems,Rolta and Thales Ltd are among the private partners to be associated. Out of five major technologies for the futuristic soldiers, the following two have been developed by the DRDO.

  1. Design and development of a multi-Caliber individual weapon system.
  2. Design and development of air bursting grenade for individual weapon