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Thread: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

  1. #81
    Banned RaptorRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skull and Bones View Post
    I agree, yet some people cries when we go for fleet modernization.
    That's good for business and growing economy, hopefully the attention will divert to Mighty China.

  2. #82
    Elite Member contract killer's Avatar
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    P8-Is: Indian Navy's eye in the sky

    New Delhi, Jan 16, 2013 (IANS):

    The Boeing P8-I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft (LRMRA) which the Indian Navy got lat month is the most sophisticated weapon system in its inventory yet.

    The aircraft, which is now being used for training by Indian naval personnel in coordination with the US Navy in the US, has the latest radars, electronic warfare systems, and weapons to kill hostile submarines, several of which lurk underwater in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal around the Indian coast.

    Built on the body of a civilian Boeing 737-800 jetliner with the wings of a 737-900, the P8-I is actually an attack aircraft, capable of discriminating between friendly and hostile vessels far away and then hit them with desired priority and lethality.

    Its key capability though is to detect and delete hostile submarines, as also small boats in shallow waters which pose the most serious threat to Indian naval assets.

    India has purchased eight P8-Is from the US Navy under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme and the government has cleared four more for which there was an option. Another 12 P8-Is, or similar aircraft, should be acquired later.

    The $2.1 billion-plus deal for aircraft covers onboard offensive and defensive systems and training. Weapons like the Boeing Harpoon Block II missiles, sonobuoys, Raytheon’s Mk 54 torpedoes, some freefall weapons cost additional.

    The P8-I is a derivative of the US Navy’s P8-A multi-mission maritime aircraft (MMA) developed at the cost of billions of dollars. The first P8-A was delivered to it in March 2012, and so far, it has received five of the 117 ordered aircraft.

    The Indian Navy is the first foreign customer and not much apart in time.

    Understandably though, the P8-Is would not have the same range and features as the P8-As, but then the Indian requirements are met appropriately. In any case, there cannot be 100 per cent commonality as neither would the US share its latest technologies nor is India looking for interoperability with US assets.

    Mission computers form the heart of the P8-I, integrating various sensors, radars and weapons on board, directing their power, reach and the required urgency in neutralizing hostile targets.

    There are five to seven consoles for the operators, who can command the system to initiate and execute real-time action and attack.

    Although the P8-I is not an AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) aircraft, it can operate as one in a limited way, and coordinate with the Indian Navy or Indian Air Force (IAF) combat jets to shower hell on an enemy.

    The Indian P8-Is will be integrated with the Indian Navy and IAF assets, including fighters, AWACS and ground stations, thanks to net-centricity. Both the Navy and IAF fly Mig 29s for instance, and in the recent years, all the three services are approaching war-fighting with an emphasis on jointness.

    The three services periodically hold joint exercises, and one such is due between the Indian Navy and IAF around March. Once the P8-I start arriving from mid-2013 onwards, there would be more exercises.

    Meanwhile, the infrastructure to operate the P8-Is is being built at INS Rajali at Arakkonam Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu, from where the aircraft can easily fly towards the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea. All the 12 aircraft will be based there.

    Notably, unlike the earlier aircraft used for maritime reconnaissance and attack role, the four-engined Il-38 and Tu 142 which the Indian Navy has, or the Orion P3C which the US Navy has been flying so far, the P8-I is a jet with jet speed. Its two CFM 56 engines have, however, been tweaked to allow it to fly slow, and low above water.

    The acquisition of the P8-I has brought to the Indian Navy some of the most sophisticated radar and other systems, particularly Raytheon’s AN/APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar with a range of 200-400 km. This forward-looking Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) with 240 degree coverage is built on the technology of the famed AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar that the (IAF) wants on all its combat aircraft, beginning with the Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) being negotiated now.

    To ensure 360 degree scanning however, the Indian Navy has got an aft radar from US Telephonics for rear coverage.

    The US Navy aircraft do not need aft radars as there are several US surveillance assets, including aircraft and satellites, in the sky at any time. The P-8A however is primarily meant to function in alignment with the unmanned Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) aircraft (designated MQ-4C Triton), which is still under development by Northrop Grumman.

    The P8-I has some systems supplied by Indian companies to make its communications secure and compatible with Indian naval and air assets.

    They include Data Link II (communication system) from Bharat Electronics, IFF (Identify Friend or Foe system) transponder from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd), speech secrecy system from ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Ltd) and mobile SATCOM (satellite communication system) from Avantel. All the P8-Is, as well as other navy aircraft now have net-centric capabilities and interoperability with IAF aircraft and ground stations.

    India received the first P8-I when Cmde Alok Bhatnagar, naval attache at the Indian embassy in Washington and other Indian Navy officers received it on-site in Seattle in accordance with the contract awarded in 2009.

    Indian naval pilots, systems operators and technicians, some of whom have been stationed there to monitor the progress of the project and some others, will now conduct test and training flights with US Navy assistance before this aircraft is brought home.

    India will receive two more fully-equipped P-8Is within 2013, and all the eight by 2015.

    A Boeing statement said that the manufacturing programme is progressing on schedule, and that Boeing is already assembling the fourth and fifth P-8Is.

    P8-Is: Indian Navy's eye in the sky

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  3. #83
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    Re: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

    [MENTION=2]Aryan_B[/MENTION]..... this thread too. Convert this to sticky.
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  4. #84
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    Re: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

    INS Vikrant showcases our capabilities to the world: Surya Gangadharan

    India launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on Monday. It is the biggest warship to be built by India and will also mark India's entry into a select club of countries capable of designing and building a carrier of this size. India is now only the fifth county in the world, after the US, the UK, Russia and France, to build a ship of this size. CNN-IBN's International Affairs editor Surya Gangadharan joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the launch of INS Vikrant.

    Q. A great achievement in the history of this country in terms of military modernization, self-sufficiency has to be the hallmark going forward. The next in line should be the nuclear powered submarine. How many aircraft carriers and submarines should India have to patrol its border and the Indian Ocean? Asked by: EM

    A. Senior naval officers say that ideally, the Indian Navy should have at least three carriers, one each for the western and eastern fleets and one in reserve which would be at port for maintenance and repair. The nuclear powered carrier is yet to be decided on but the second indigenous carrier will be bigger than Vikrant. As for subs, there cabinet is considering the line of indigenous subs that we will build here. Nuclear subs we already have the arihant and possibly two more in its class, maybe even two more of the akula class attack subs.

    Q. I read reports that a Chinese General mentioned that INS Vikrant uses technologies of 1980's and hence do not poses any real threat as China is already building new Aircraft Carriers. Is it true that INS Vikrant which will be battle ready by 2020 is not even technologically advanced as in 2013 or 2000? Asked by: Nikhil

    A. Don't believe what is said overseas about the Vikrantg. It's got several firsts including Indian marine grade steel. That's a huge first. The Vikrant has state of art sensors, indian made sonars, software and electronics. These can be upgraded in house, we don't need to go to any foreign firm. The Chinese are yet to build a carrier. They have only refurbished a soviet era carrier. So in that sense we are ahead of them. The Vikrant has sent a message to the world about our capabilities.

    Q. Hi Surya, Is India sending out a subtle message to China by doing launching an aircraft carrier? What do you think are the larger implications of this act? Asked by: Rajesh

    A. It's not just to China. It's to the world. We are the only Asian country besides Japan to be able to build a carrier. The coverage the Vikrant launch has got in the world press you should check out on the net. There was a German TV crew covering the launch, there were inquiries from CCTV of China, believe me the world is watching.

    Q. Why did India not go for a nuclear powered engine? Will INS Vishal have a nuke powered engine? Asked by: Manav

    A. This is the first carrier and the aim was to use the same kind of gas turbine that is currently powering other ships in the Indian Navy. That is the LM2500. The next carrier (am not sure it will be called Vishal) could be nuclear powered but that will depend on what the navy wants. Would it be better to build another carrier of the same dimensions as the Vikrant (normally there are at least 3 of a ship series) or go in for something bigger. I think it will be bigger but the nuke powered question is still up in the air.

    Q. @Nikhil: Why did India go for the ski-jump design and are there any plans to have a CATOBAR type aircraft carrier? Ans: Vikrant is STOBAR cum Ski jump. India went for this design primarily because it is cheap, secondarily because none of the aircrafts that we have in our naval inventory (Mig29, Harrier, LCA) need CATOBAR. INS Vishal that's currently being designed is a 65T CATOBAR aircraft carrier. Asked by: Techmechie

    A. The carrier had to be configured for the kind of aircraft it would fly. The MiG-29K was the chosen aircraft. The first Vikrant was also ski jump. We changed after Viraat came in because naval aviation had Harrier jump jets. The new Vikrant sees a return to the ski jump. The next one may have a catapult and I understand a naval team was in the US recently checking out this equipment.

    Q. Some Answers Some claim that with this money spent on INS Vikrant we could have bought Nimitz class carrier from US. Whats your claim on this ? Nimitz is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier that has over 100000 tonnes of displacement while Vikrant displaces a little less than 38000 tonnes. Do the math. DO you think you can buy Nimitz with the cost of Vikrant? Asked by: Techmechie

    A. The question you must ask is what are our requirements? Do we need a 100,000 tonne carrier like Nimitz. You think the US will sell it to us. There were some rumours about the Enterprise being offered to India but it was never confirmed. The US would never make such an offer unless it was heavily limited by conditions. The US Navy needs 100,000 tonne nuke powered carriers as they have world wide interests and they have to come a long way from the continental US. Our interests lie closer to our shores, the Indian Ocean, the Arab Gulf states, S.E.Asia, the east coast of Africa. As for cost, it will run into billions and billions of dollars. Just to give you an idea, the Russians are charging us more than 2 billion dollars for the refurbished Vikramaditya; a brand new Vikrant may cost us a little more and all the technology is ours, the manpower uti8lised is ours, Indians are making money and being employed. The Nimitz can't get you all that

    Q. Why did India go for the ski-jump design and are there any plans to have a CATOBAR type aircraft carrier? Asked by: Nikhil

    A. I've answered this already. The old Vikrant was ski jump because it was suitable for the aircraft used at that time: Basically Alize. When we got the Viraat we had harrier jump jets that don't need any ski lift. Now we are going back to the ski jump because we have the MiG-29K. Later the LCA Navy may come. The next carrier will be hevier but whether catapult or something else we still don't know

    Q. It is indeed a proud moment. This should have been telecast the whole day, explaining its features, a peep inside the huge ship, its capability etc etc, who built, the team behind. Rather what we witnessed was political rabble rousing over Kishtwar, who did it, why was Jaitley not allowed etc etc...this is where we are not able to bring the Indian pride out. I am sure for all those who watched, it is was indeed a great moment. Asked by: S ESHWAR

    A. It was a great moment, I was there. You get a true sense of the size of the carrier when it was lined up long the jetty in the channel. It's huge! We were not allowed to shoot below decks because work is ongoing. The engines, gear boxes, diesel alternators, A/C plant, pumps, miles of cabling are yet to be integrated. Then testing and more testing. The island is yet to come up on the flight deck. So there's a lot of work pending and we'll get a better sense maybe next year

    Q. Real time to full commissioning is around 2020 as I have heard. Shouldn't we should have taken some more time before we pat our backs, given the track record we have it may be another 5-10 years after 2020 when the ship is war ready. Asked by: Vivek

    A. Sea trials are for 2016, formal induction is 2020. That would also be the time when the MiG-29K fighters and Kamov helos will embark on the Vikrant. Look the Vikrant has been a technology breakthrough for India. We are using Indian developed steel, from now on all ships being built in India will use Indian steel, which is as good if not better than Russian, German, or Swedish steel. It reduces our inventory of steel, repairs and upgrades will become cheaper as it will be done in Indian shipyards. Give credit to the navy, Cochin Shipyard and SAIL/DRDO, they have delivered yes with delays. But if you look at the Queen Elizabeth carrier the UK is building that's also delayed and they hav been building ships for centuries.

    Q. Is the Viraat going to be decommissioned once the INS Vikrant 2 enters service? Asked by: Chandru

    A. I guess it will continue for some more years as it has undergone a rather expensive refit. The only problem is the Harrier jump jets on the Viraat are pretty old and at some point a decision will have to be taken to retire them. The what do you do with the Viraat.

    Q. With the Vikrant coming into the IN, we are looking at a 3 Battle Carrier Group Navy. Will this be effective and sufficient in thwarting the Chinese Asked by: Chandru

    A. More likely two CBGs because by December we should have the Vikramaditya with its complement of MiG-29Ks and by 2020 the Vikrant. So two battle groups. Not sure where the Viraat will fit in. The navy is keen on a third carrier (now under design at Cochin Shipyard) but that is still a long way off. The third carrier will ensure two battle groups all the time at sea with one under repair and refit

    Q. It is great to have a carrier--congrats to all-2 related question-(1) by virtue of its size is a carrier easy target (2) can the abandoned carrier-say ours or bought as scrap-be used as landing n take off platform-in case of emergency-as dek is still intact-we can locate it strategically n just have re fueling facility-it will act as additional force multiplier. Asked by: avinash

    A. Carriers are sitting ducks yes because all they have for defence are close in weapon systems and missiles. But they also have jet fighters and helicopters. Then no carrier sails out without its complement of destroyers, frigates, ASW ships and submarines. They defend the carrier and provide a screen against enemy attack, whether undersea or from the surface or air. It sounds rather fanciful. When you can have a mobile carrier that can cross hundreds of miles of ocean in days, why settle for some "abandoned platform". Where and how will you plant it? In this age of beyond visual range warfare, any missile can hit it from miles away.

    Q. How does Vikrant Compare to China's under construction carriers? Asked by: Nikhil

    A. The Chinese I understand are building a copy of the Liaoning, which is originally Russian. Comparatively, Vikrant is Indian (with a little design help from Fincantieri of Italy), the marine grade steel was developed in India, the hull mounted sonars are Indian and a lot else.

  5. #85
    Elite Member contract killer's Avatar
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    Re: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

    INS Vikarmaditya......

  6. #86
    Senior Member ManojKumar's Avatar
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    Re: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

    How the heart of AUV was developed

    The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is undergoing sea trials at about 100 metres below sea level

    The heart of a nearly 1,500 kg robotic vessel that travels inside water — Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) — was developed by the Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras.

    The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) underwater vehicle is currently undergoing sea trials at about 100 metres below sea level. The four-metre long, 1.4-metre wide, flat fish-shaped vehicle can travel at a speed of about 7 km per hour at depths of up to 300 metres below sea level.

    Heart of the vehicle

    The control and navigation algorithms and guidance strategy are the three most challenging aspects of an AUV, and all these together are considered as the heart of the vehicle. They were developed by a team led by Prof. T. Asokan of the Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras.

    The AUV has already passed the first stage of DRDO’s project level testing. There is now a proposal to expand the AUV project to a major development programme.

    The project level testing is basically to prove that technological integration of the software developed by IIT Madras with the hardware is possible, and the integrated system works as a whole.

    Further elaborating on the significance of the development programme, Prof. Asokan noted: “It is for multiple applications like transport and surveillance. There must be a separate AUV variant for each operation.” In the case of variants, only a fine-tuning of the algorithms and strategy is needed.

    The robotic vehicle is fully pre-programmed — in terms of algorithms and strategy, and mission requirements — and piloted by an onboard computer. There is no control of the vehicle once it is released into water. “This is one of the biggest challenges,” he said.

    The limited communication with the vehicle cannot be put to use for regular operation. It is reserved for emergency communications like aborting a mission or activating a vehicle recovery mechanism. Most of the AUVs are built with positive buoyancy that tends to bring the vehicle towards the surface, in case of any system failure.

    In the case of the AUV that is being tested by DRDO, the positive buoyancy is 15 kg. The vehicle moves at 0.3-0.4 metres per second speed when it comes to the surface due to positive buoyancy.

    “The AUV will require fool-proof navigation, control and guidance systems on board to meet the mission accuracy requirements,” Prof. Asokan said. “Even if one system fails, the mission will have to be abandoned and the vehicle recovered.

    The control algorithm ensures that the various performance parameters of the vehicle, like speed and acceleration are achieved. Guidance strategy, on the other hand, is about planning a certain path to avoid obstacles and maintaining a required trajectory.

    A navigation algorithm continuously monitors the location of the vehicle with respect to the desired location and corrects for any errors. The guidance strategy works in combination with navigation to maintain the pre-planned trajectory.

    When the vehicle deviates from its intended path, the guidance and control systems activate the propellers (technically called ‘thrusters’) and control planes to ensure that the vehicle returns to the original trajectory and continue moving along the desired path.

    The propeller configuration can be changed depending on the mission requirements. Movements in six different directions — upward and downward, forward and reverse, and left and right (port and starboard) — can be achieved by propellers placed suitably. Besides propellers, rudders and stern planes can also be used.


    Prior to developing the algorithms, Prof. Asokan and his team had to develop a dynamic model — mathematical equations of the robotic vehicle and payload. “Using the model we conducted many simulation studies to understand the performance and dynamic behaviour of the AUV,” he said.

    For instance, the simulation studies helped the team to understand how a particular thrust given to the vehicle changed the performance parameters like acceleration and turning rate. “Once we understood the normal operating behaviour, we started developing the controllers for desired performance,” he explained
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  7. #87
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    Re: Indian Naval Strength & Assets.

    Black Project: Indian navy’s secret underwater program

    India entered the exclusive club of countries possessing Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) after it test-fired the Agni-V missile.

    Last year, India breached the walls of another club after it successfully test fired submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).The SLBM was one of the most secretive project ever carried out by Indian defence establishment.

    The highly-classified, ‘Black Project’ brought India in the league of nations like, China, Russia, America and France.

    As per the plans, the SLBM will be deployed on INS Arihant, India’s first and only nuclear powered submarine launched last week.

    The SLBM missile known as K-15 Sagarika has a range of 700 km. INS Arihant can carry 12 K-15 Arihant missiles.

    Indian defence establishment is in the process of developing two other variants of the SLBM- the K-4 and the K-5 with ranges of 3,540 km and 3,000km, respectively.

    In 2008, Rear Admiral (retired) Raja Menon was quoted by India Today as saying, “One submarine carries at least 12 [K-15] missiles with Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles, which could mean as many as 96 warheads.”

    K-15 SLBM

    K-15 is a part of India’s SLBM’s K-family. The ‘black project’ pertains to the development and production of these K-family missiles.

    The ‘K’ in the K-family stands for the name of APJ Abdul Kalam- The father of India’s missile program.

    The K-family missiles are faster, lighter and stealthier than any missile presently deployed in the world. There are five variants of the K-family of the SLBMs. These are K-15, K-4 Mark I, K-4 Mark II, Air Launched and K-5.

    The K-15 Sagarika started developing in 1900s. Sagarika has a length of 10 metres (33 ft), diameter of 0.74 metres (2 ft 5 in), weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of up to 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lb) over 700 kilometres (435 mi). It was developed at the DRDO’s missile complex in Hyderabad.

    The black project included the development of the underwater missile launcher, known as project 420. The project 420 was completed and handed over to Indian Navy in 2001.
    The missile went under a series of missile tests- conducted from underneath the se, throughout 2000s.

    The first test was conducted on November 12, 2008; the second on March 11, 2012. The missile underwent 12th and final undersea trial in January 27, 2013.

    The K-Family

    The K-15 is said to be ready and is already undergoing production. The longer versions, K-4 and K-5, may take few more years.

    The K-4 Mark I has a range of 3,500 km the missile is undergoing tests and is expected to be inducted by 2017.

    The K-4 Mark II has a range of 5,000 km is currently under development.
    The air launched missile has a range of 200 km. It is being developed under the Hypersonic missile project called “Air Launched article”. It is being designed to fit Sukhoi 30 MKI.

    The K-5 will have a range of 5,000 km and its status is under development.

    Strategic Importance for India

    The SLBM will provide India with second attack capability. In case, a nuclear attack from enemy destroys our nuclear attack facility, INS Arihant can respond from inside of the sea as it lay silently underneath the water for months without getting detected by the enemy.

    India with a clear “no-first use” nuclear doctrine needs such survivable second-strike capability to achieve credible strategic deterrence.

  8. #88
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    Indian Navy looking to buy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton HALE UAV

    The Indian Navy Looks to Buy American HALE ( High Altitude Long Endurance ) UAV Specially for 24 hours Surveillance of Indian Coasts . The US forces Such as US Navy using MQ 4 C for Long Range Maritime Surveillance and the Air Force us RQ 4 named Global Hawk for some Ground Operation which gives assistance to US forces and Allied Forces Operating all over the World. The MQ 4C Always Fly at Altitude of some 60000 feet’s about which is vulnerable to most of the SAM Batteries . With speed of some 500km+ with some 24 Hours of Endurance.

    Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton

    About - The Active Sensor Payload which is the Primary Sensor for Search and Track Targets . and A Hi Resolution Electro Optical Infrared Sensor (EOIR) for taking pictures and send it to General Head Quarters or Assigned Ships to Identify the Targets . even if Command need more Accurate information about the Target The UAV can come below 1000 ft and Gather Intel and Suddenly throttle over 60000 feets of Altitude . and Having some Electronic Support Measures which makes the UAV can operate at any Extreme Weather Conditions . The Main Active Sensor Radar capable of 360 degree view can give Track more than 100 of Targets at Fast refreshing Rate.

    Flying at the Height of 60000 Feet it does not Pose any Problems to Civilian Air Traffic in case it can used in such Civilian Air ways . The Air force version of RQ 4 C used in Baltic and Persian Gulf which having Highly Possible of Hot Zone . once the Iranian F 14 Tried to Intercept the Global Hawk which is used by the CIA to gather Intel about Iranian Nuclear Program . But the Global Hawk Managed to escape from the Zone with the Support of US Air force F 22 Fighter.

    Existing - The Indian Navy Currently Operates fleet of Manned Surveillance as well as Some Type of Unmanned MALE UAV's such as Heron UAV Imported from the Jewish State Israel . The Manned Platforms include Smaller Range Do 228 and Medium Range IL 38 SD from Medium to Long Range Tu 142 and Newly Acquired New Generation P 8 I . With the Unmanned MQ 4 they Navy get 24 hours of Patrol along the Indian Coasts with Just some 8 to 10 such Platforms.

    The Indian Army is also Looking for RQ Version of Triton for 24 Hours of Surveillance over the Border to Keep an Eye every Seconds on the Border . The Army uses small UAV's to MALE (Medium Altitude Higher Endurance ) such as Rustom and Heron. But which can easily shot downed by Enemy Air Defences. and The Army's JSTARS Which is Currently Shaping in Israel. But Bringing the RQ 4 can venerable to their AD systems thanks to its extreme Height of Operation although called as a Low Orbital Satellite Platform which brings our Forces 24 hours of Vigilance along our Borders and Coasts.

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  9. #89
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    Indian Navy Strengthening its Air Warfare Capability

    NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is working towards a new fleet of aircraft and helicopters for maritime surveillance, electronic warfare and anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, its top commander has said.

    According to the naval chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, it was imperative to expand its "maritime surveillance footprint to meet operational requirements" with 12 Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft, nine yet to be identified medium range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft and 12 Dornier-228 short range maritime reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft.

    "The induction of these aircraft will provide the Indian Navy with the required surveillance capability in support of our operational roles," Adm. Dhowan told India Strategic magazine ( in an interview.

    At present, Boeing has a contract to supply eight P-8Is, six of which have been delivered on schedule beginning May 2013 and the last two should be in India by mid-2015. There is an option clause for another four aircraft in the existing contract and the navy chief's remarks indicate that this will be exercised.

    Sources said that this could happen in the first half of 2015.

    The qualitative requirements (QRs) for the MRMR aircraft are being finalized but they would have capabilities similar to the LRMRs except that their range would be shorter. The Dorniers would be used for electronic warfare (EW) to secure one's own communications and disrupt those of an enemy.

    Notably, the Indian Navy lacks a modern submarine fleet while the number of possibly hostile submarines in the Indian Ocean has multiplied manifold in recent years.

    Accordingly, there is an urgency to strengthen at least the aviation arm with aircraft and helicopters.

    On this Navy Day Dec 4, the navy selected the US Sikorsky's multi-role helicopter (MRH), a weaponised platform, for shipboard operations. Twentyfour of these helicopters are to be acquired, including an option for eight more.

    Based on Boeing's workhorse B-737 civil aircraft, the P8-I is a variant of the US Navy's latest P-8A Poseidon. It was described by Adm. Dhowan as a very potent platform with long-range capability to neutralize hostile ships and submarines with its Harpoon Block-II missiles, depth bombs and torpedoes.

    The aircraft has formidable onboard EW systems and a highly-sophisticated radar from US defence technology giant Raytheon. There are also magnetic anomaly detectors (MAD) on board to locate submarines. A MAD system works out variations in the earth's
    magnetic fields by the underwater movement of submarines.

    The LRMR and MRMR are being sourced from foreign vendors while the SRMR - Dornier 228 - would be acquired from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which has been producing them under licence for a couple of decades. Sanction for these aircraft has already been accorded by the new Government.

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    As for the old and existing fleet of Sea King and Kamov helicopters, the naval chief said that they were being upgraded with "a sophisticated sensor suite" to "enhance (their) surveillance and attack capabilities".

    He observed that the Indian Navy was looking at two operational aircraft carriers 24x7, one each on the country's eastern and western seaboards. A third would also be needed because of the periodic maintenance any one of them would have to undergo.

    For the Soviet-origin INS Vikramaditya, which is already operational, and for INS Vikrant, which is under construction indigenously at Kochi, the navy is buying 45 MiG-29K aircraft from Russia, about half of which have already been delivered and are operational. INS Vikrant, earlier called Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-1 (IAC-1), would be deployed in 2018.

    The navy is also working on specifications for a third aircraft carrier - IAC 2 - which would be much larger - say 60,000 tonnes-plus - and every possibility, including nuclear propulsion and the latest electromagnetic launch system (EMALS), which the US Navy has selected for its future aircraft carriers, is under consideration.

    "We are monitoring the latest developments and will factor these into the force development plan. We would look for infusion of newer technologies with regard to propulsion and launch recovery arrangements for the aircraft," Adm. Dhowan said.

    The currect aircraft launch technology from carriers is based on steam catapults.

    Significantly, the EMALS, developed by US General Atomics, is based on the massive generation of direct current (DC) electricity and the technology is stated to be useful even in launching satellites or firing projectiles into space.

    "The naval air arm is poised for significant growth as part of our capability development plan. In the coming years, I envisage a deployable force-level of two carrier task forces, one each on our western and eastern seaboards. The naval aviation acquisition programme is aimed at supporting the operations of fighters and helicopters operation from the two carrier task forces and associated support ships," Adm. Dhowan said.

    India's naval aviation marked its 61st year in 2014.

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