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SOURCE: Air Marshal M Matheswaran (retired) / stratpost

Every major power – and there are just a handful of them – have the capability to aspire to design, develop and manufacture fighter aircraft by themselves. Now, ideally, this would include all critical technologies – aero-engines, aircraft design, metallurgy, radar, sensors and weapons. However, very few countries have mastery and control in all these areas; the early birds or leaders – USA, Russia, UK and France are closely followed by Germany, Japan, Italy and Sweden. Continue reading

SOURCE: Air Marshal M Matheswaran (retired) / stratpost


LCA Concept and Key Decisions

The aircraft project was now called the Light Combat Aircraft in order to create an identity distinct from the Light Weight Fighter concept.

However, it was evident that the concept suffered from the IAF’s fixation with the original idea of it replacing the Gnat and MiG-21 FL aircraft. That’s why the size and weight limitation of remained close to the original idea. This created a contradiction in the programme, which the IAF failed to notice, at first. Continue reading


The 26/11 Mumbai attacks happened as a result of one of the “most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft” in which the US, British and Indian spy agencies failed to pull together all the strands gathered by their high-tech surveillance to thwart the assault on India’s financial capital, an investigative report said.

A detailed report by the New York Times, ProPublica and the PBS series ‘Frontline’ titled ‘In 2008 Mumbai Killings, Piles of Spy Data, but an Uncompleted Puzzle’ said “that hidden history of the Mumbai attacks reveals the vulnerability as well as the strengths of computer surveillance and intercepts as a counter-terrorism weapon.” Continue reading


Officials who have been tracking Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, said that the political pressure to catch Dawood has increased “substantially” in the recent times.

A senior Intelligence Bureau official, when asked about recent media reports regarding a “failed” operation that was apparently carried out by Indian security officials to kill Dawood last year in Pakistan, neither denied nor confirmed that such an operation was carried out. The official stated that intelligence agencies were working on a definite plan to catch or kill Dawood, “as soon as possible”. There is already a red corner notice against Dawood and the United States declared him to be a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2003. Continue reading


In what could amount to a tectonic shift in the country’s foreign policy, the Modi government is looking at altering India’s supporting vote for the Palestinian cause at the United Nations to one of abstention.Two sources within the government confirmed to The Hindu that the change, which will be a fundamental departure from India’s support to the cause of a Palestinian state, was under consideration.

“Like other foreign policy issues, the Modi government is looking at India’s voting record at the United Nations on the Palestinian issue,” a government source told The Hindu. The change only needs an administrative nod, the second source said. Continue reading


Ocean surveillance ship USNS Invincible used by US Navy 

The defence ministry has sanctioned Rs 725 crore for the construction of a secret naval ship that will eventually be a part of India’s ballistic missile defence system being put in place slowly, bit by bit.

Under construction at the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam, the Ocean Surveillance Ship (P-11184) is a classified project, monitored directly by the Prime Minister’s Office. The ship’s keel was laid on June 30, 2014 and the shipyard has been given a timeline of December, 2015 to finish the project. Continue reading


Defence officials are now looking at March 2015 to conduct the critical Short Take Off Barrier Arrested (STOBAR) tests of the naval version of the LCA , after it made its maiden test flight from a mock aircraft carrier deck at Goa on Saturday. The plane had previously taken off from a regular runway for test flights. STOBAR landing includes the plane coming down on the carrier in a way where a hooked rod dangling from the aircraft’s bottom meets with a thick wire running across the breath of the runway thereby ‘arresting’ its high momentum. Continue reading


The Indian Navy has earlier shown interest in acquiring six to eight of the maritime variants of the US high altitude, long endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for extended ocean surveillance. The drones have been upgraded as the MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance platform for the U.S. Navy, providing real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Continue reading


Following the in-principle agreement reached by India and Russia for the production of Russian helicopters in India, both sides are carrying out discussions to work out the details to quickly conclude a deal.

Initially the helicopters will be used to cater to the requirements of the Indian armed forces and only after that will exports happen, Russian embassy officials told The Hindu. Continue reading


India’s premier defence research organisation – Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – is under Parliament scanner. Shoddy research, inordinate delays, corruption and its fancy for reverse engineering have resulted in the Parliamentary standing committee on defence raising the red flag on DRDO budget for 2014-15.

According to documents accessed by dna, the committee has nailed DRDO on several occasions. It has asked DRDO to furnish details on how many new models, weapon systems and engines have been imported in the last 10 years in the name of study and modifications. “DRDO labs are more interested in importing systems, modifying them a little bit, re-labelling them and reselling them to forces,” the panel observed. Continue reading

SOURCE: Business-standard

It was a defining moment when LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of air-craft carriers, took-off majestically from Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility at INS Hansa in Goa yesterday. Piloted by Commodore Jaideep Maolankar, the Chief Test Pilot of National Flight Test Centre, the aircraft had a perfect flight with results matching the predicted ones to the letter. The launch was orchestrated by the Test Director Cdr J D Raturi and Safety Pilot Capt Shivnath Dahiya supported by GpCapt Anoop Kabadwal, Gp Capt RR Tyagi and Lt CdrVivek Pandey. The readiness and availability of aircraft for the event was made possible through the relentless effort of HAL, ARDC under the aegis of Mr P S Roy the Executive Director. Continue reading


The 40mm L/70 anti-aircraft guns used by Indian defence forces are being upgraded and modernised at Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), with the help of Bharat Electronics Limited.

“We have already handed over two 40 mm L/70 guns to BEL for electronic upgradation after bringing mechanical improvement in it,” GCF general manager N K Sinha said over phone. Continue reading


Boeing, a maker of commercial aircraft and defence, space and security equipment, is expanding its India operations and, according to official sources, a ‘big announcement’ is expected during US President Barack Obama’s forthcoming visit. Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India, in an interaction with Arun S, explains the company’s plans and concerns. Excerpts:

How is Boeing taking part in ‘Make in India’? Continue reading

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