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The Indian naval designers have been working on cutting edge ships of the future. CNN-IBN caught up with naval experts at the President’s Fleet Review to find out what the Indian navy fleet will look like, 10 years from now. The Indian Navy will have a three hulled ship or the Trimaran virtually invisible to the enemy radar because of its stealth design. Its deck gun and missiles have been concealed in every respect.

KN Vaidyanathan, DG, Naval Design, said, “Stealth means reduced radar cross section, reduced underwater noise as well as reduced infrared signature apart from other electric signatures.”

“We are also going to use multi-function radars, already our destroyers and new gen frigates are going to have multi-function radars and they are using the vertical launch systems,” he added.

The Trimaran concept design follows in the wake of the Navy’s first stealth design, the Project 17 Shivalik class ships, two of which are now at sea with a third on the way.

But the Navy is banking on the Shivalik’s successor, the Project 17 Alfa stealth vessel, which will have missile silos flush with the deck and torpedo launchers blending along the sides of the vessel. There will also be a concealed hangar for a Kamov helicopter. Naval designers admit that US concepts have influenced some of their ideas.

“If you look at the LCS design of the US Navy, they are moving on the seaframe concept and mission modularity.The idea is to have a basic seaframe for the platform and have a mission module so that you can have role changes for the ship and there can be a quick turnaround of roles,” Vaidyanathan said.

With an eye on the future, the Navy is moving towards modular construction and may even participate in Britain’s Global Combat Ship project where individual navies can use a common low cost platform to fit their own weapons and systems.
From: CNN/IBN

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                          A scaled down version of AVATAR undergoing aero-elastic test.
A scaled down version of AVATAR undergoing aero-elastic test.
Function Unmanned reusable spaceplane technology demonstrator
Manufacturer DRDO/ISRO
Country of origin  India
Size
Diameter N/A
Stages 1/2
Capacity
Launch history
Status Under Development
Launch sites Satish Dhawan Space Centre
Total launches 0
First flight TBA

                                             AVATAR (Sanskrit: अवतार) (from “Aerobic Vehicle for Hypersonic Aerospace TrAnspoRtation”) is a single-stage reusablespaceplane capable of horizontal takeoff and landing, being developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organizationalong with Indian Space Research Organization and other research institutions; it could be used for cheaper military and civiliansatellite launches.

When operational, it is planned to be capable of delivering a payload weighing up to 1,000 kg to low earth orbit. It would be the cheapest way to deliver material to space at about US$67/kg. Each craft is expected to withstand 100 launches.

Concept

The idea is to develop a hyperplane vehicle that can take off from conventional airfields, collect air in the atmosphere on the way up, liquefy it, separate oxygen and store it on board for subsequent flight beyond the atmosphere. The AVATAR RLV was first announced in May 1998 at the Aero India 98 exhibition held at Bangalore. It is planned to be the size of a MiG-25 fighter and would be capable of delivering a 500 kg to 1,000 kg payload to low earth orbit at very low cost for an estimated vehicle life of 100 launches.

AVATAR is proposed to weigh only 25 tonnes in which 60 per cent of mass will be liquid hydrogen fuel. The oxygen required by the vehicle for combustion is collected from the atmosphere, thus reducing the need to carry oxygen during launch. AVATAR is said to be capable of entering into a 100-km orbit in a single stage and launching satellites weighing up to one tonne.

Operation

AVATAR RLV-TSTO

AVATAR would take off horizontally like a conventional airplane from a conventional airstrip using turbo-ramjet engines that burn air and hydrogen. Once at a cruising altitude, the vehicle would use scramjet propulsion to accelerate from Mach 4 to Mach 8. During this cruising phase, an on-board system would collect air from the atmosphere, from which liquid oxygen would be separated and stored. The liquid oxygen collected then would be used in the final flight phase when the rocket engine burns the collected liquid oxygen and the carried hydrogen to attain orbit. The vehicle would be designed to permit at least a hundred re-entries into the atmosphere.

Dr. M R Suresh, a senior ISRO official, stated that, “The dream of making a vehicle which can take off from a runway like an aircraft, and to return to the runway after deploying the spacecraft in the desired orbit (or Single-stage-to-orbit or SSTO) can be fulfilled only by the availability of more advanced high strength but low density materials so that the structural mass of the vehicle could be reduced considerably from the present levels. The advent of nano-technology could play a deciding factor in developing such exotic materials. However, the material technology available today can realize a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) vehicle only and the configuration of the vehicle which is being considered. However, the before realizing the RLV-TSTO it is important to perfect many critical technologies pertaining to hypersonic reentry vehicles. Hence a technology demonstrator vehicle (RLV-TD) is being developed.”

Development

A model of the RLV-TD

AVATAR is being developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization. Air Commodore Raghavan Gopalaswami, former chief of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Hyderabad, is heading the project. He coined the name and made the presentation on the space plane at the global conference on propulsion at Salt Lake City (USA) on July 10, 2001. Gopalaswami said the idea for AVATAR originated from the work published by the RAND Corporation of the United States in 1987.

AVATAR is currently in the prototype testing stage and an initial development budget of only $5 million is allocated. Along with DRDO team development of critical technology components were undertaken by as many as 23 academic institutions (Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Science et al.) along with ISRO in India. Both the scramjet engine concept and the liquid oxygen collection process have already undergone successful tests at DRDO and at the IISC. DRDO has approved further testing of the liquid oxygen process and assigned a team to conduct a detailed review of the vehicle’s design.

Currently DRDO plans to build and fly a scaled-down version of AVATAR, weighing just 3 tonnes at takeoff. The project is headed byVikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The mini AVATAR is to be built by a Hyderabad-based private company called CIM Technologies, project completion data is still not finalized. The prototype will be launched using the PSLV and will demonstrate all technologies used in AVATAR including oxygen collection. The aerodynamics characterization of the RLV-TD was done by National Aerospace Laboratories. The AVATAR design has already been patented in India and applications for registration of the design have been filed in patent offices in the United States, Germany, Russia and China.

Overview

The KALI is not a laser weapon as commonly believed. It emits powerful pulses of electrons (Relativistic Electron Beams- REB). Other components in the machine down the line convert the electron energy into EM Radiation, which can be adjusted to x-ray (as Flash X-Rays) or microwave (High Power Microwave) frequencies.

This has fueled hopes that the KALI could, one day be used in a High-Power Microwave gun, which could destroy incoming missiles and aircraft through soft-kill (destroying the electronic circuitry on the missile). However, weaponising such a system has many obstacles to overcome.

History

The KALI project was first mooted in 1985 by the then Director of the BARC, Dr. R. Chidambaram. Work on the Project began in 1989, being developed by the Accelerators & Pulse Power Division of the BARC. (Dr. Chidambaram was also the Scientific advisor the Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission). DRDO is also involved with this project. It was initially developed for industrial applications, although defence applications became clearer later.

The first accelerators had a power of ~0.4GW, which increased as later versions were developed. These were the KALI 80, KALI 200, KALI 1000, KALI 5000 and KALI 10000.

The KALI-5000 was commissioned for use in late 2004.

Design

The KALI series (KALI 80, KALI 200, KALI 1000, KALI 5000 and KALI 10000) of accelerators are described as “Single Shot Pulsed Gigawatt Electron Accelerators”. They are single shot devices, using water filled capacitors to build the charge energy. The discharge is in the range of 1GW. Initially starting with 0.4GW power, present accelerators are able to reach 40GW. Pulse time is about 60 ns.

The Microwave radiations emitted by the KALI-5000 are in the 3–5 GHz Range

The KALI-5000 is a pulsed accelerator of 1 MeV electron energy, 50-100 ns pulse time, 40kA Current and 40 GW Power level. The system is quite bulky as well, with the KALI-5000 weighing 10 tons, and the KALI-10000, weighing 26 tons. They are also very power hungry, and require a cooling tank of 12,000 liters of oil. Recharging time is also too long to make it a viable weapon in its present form.

Applications

The KALI has been put to various uses by the DRDO. The DRDO was involved in configuring the KALI for their use.

The X-rays emitted are being used in Ballistics research as an illuminator for ultrahigh speed photography by the Defence Ballistics Research Institute (DBRL) in Chandigarh. The Microwave emissions are used for EM Research.

The microwave-producing version of Kali has also been used by the DRDO scientists for testing the vulnerability of the electronic systems of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which was then under development.

It has also helped in designing electrostatic shields to “harden” the LCA and missiles from microwave attack by the enemy as well as protecting satellites against deadly Electromagnetic Impulses (EMI) generated by nuclear weapons and other cosmic disturbances, which “fry” and destroy electronic circuits. Electronic components currently used in missiles can withstand fields of approx. 300 V/cm, while the fields in case of EMI attack reach thousands of V/cm.

As a Weapon

The KALI’s potential for a military role as a beam weapon has made it, in the eyes of China a threat. However, weaponisation of the KALI will take some time. The system is still under development, and efforts are being made to make it more compact, as well as improve its recharge time, which, at the present, makes it only a single use system.

There are also issues with creating a complete system, which would require development of many more components. There have been reports of placing the weaponized KALI in an Il-76 aircraft as an airborne defence system. There is also speculation of using the KALI as an Anti-satellite weapon and as a space-based weapon system, although it is unlikely that they would be implemented, given India’s stance on those issues.