Category Aviation

Indian Air Force DRDO Netra AWACS Planes To Look Deep Into Pakistan And China

Netra is an Airbome Early Waming and Control (AEWC) aircraft fitted with indigenously developed electronics and hardware. It is useful for surveillance, tracking, identification and classification of airbome and sea surface targets. It is also useful in detecting incoming ballistic missile threats. It played a key role during the Balakot airstrike, carried out by the IAF in February 2019. It provided surveillance and radar coverage to the five Mirage jets that bombed terror launch pads in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. It was designed and developed by scientists of the DRDO, with assistance from the Bengaluru based Centre for Airborne Systems.

China is equipped with better capabilities. As TOI reported earlier, China has over 20 AWACS, including the new KJ-500 ones that can track over 60 aircraft at ranges up to 470km, while Pakistan, on the other hand has four Swedish Saab-2000 AeW&C aircraft and four Chinese-origin ZDK-03 (KJ-200) AWACS.

Keeping this in mind, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in March 2016 cleared building of two Awacs, which will involve mounting indigenous 360-degree coverage AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars on Airbus A-330 wide-body jets.


Picture Credit : Google

Which country has ASAT missile?

India launched its first anti-satellite weapon (ASAT), as part of its Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme, in 2019. The interceptor successfully shot down an out-of service Indian satellite in a low Earth orbit. The test dubbed Mission Shakti, was a joint programme of the DRDO and the Indian Space Research Organisation. With the successful completion of the test, India became only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have this space weapon technology. Anti-satellite weapons, called ASAT systems, are capable of attacking enemy satellites in space by jamming communications or destroying them. ASAT missiles also act as a space deterrent in dissuading rivals from targeting the country’s satellite network. Satellites are important for a country’s infrastructure as a large number of crucial applications such as navigation and communication networks, banking, stock markets and weather forecasting, are now satellite-based. Destroying satellites could cripple these services. An ASAT system can even target a ground station and stop transmission of information from the satellite attached to it. The system can also direct a manoeuvrable satellite to smash into another satellite!

India has a long standing and rapidly growing space programme. It has expanded rapidly in the last five years. The Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was successfully launched. Thereafter, the government sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians to outer space.

India has also undertaken 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites. India’s space programme is a critical backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure.

The test was done to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space assets.


Picture Credit : Google

What is Astra Missile?

Astra is a Beyond Visual Range (BVR) class of Air-to-Air Missile (AAM) system designed to be mounted on fighter jets. With a 15-kg high-explosive pre-fragmented warhead, Astra has a range of over 70 km and can fly towards its target at a speed of over 5,555 km/hr. It has an all weather day-and-night capability. The missile is being developed in multiple variants to meet specific requirements.

The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with almost 50 other public and private organisations, which were involved in multiple variants to meet specific requirements.

For the IAF trials, the Astra Mk-I Weapon system integrated with SU-30 Mk-I aircraft was carried out by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.


Picture Credit : Google

India’s indigenously designed Arjun Mk-1A clears trials, ready to go into production

Arjun Mk-1A dubbed Hunter Killer, is an all-weather 68-tonne battle tank featuring a 120mm main gun. An improved version of the indigenously developed Arjun main battle tank (MBT). Arjun Mk-1A has successfully completed necessary trials. The Mk 1-A sports a sophisticated gunners main sight integrated with automatic target tracking. This would enable the tank crew to track moving targets automatically. The gun is controlled by a computerised fire control system, giving the tank higher kill capability.

The battle tank will have a crew of four — commander, gunner, loader and driver. Keeping them out of harm’s way is paramount. For this, Arjun Mk-1A comes with a slew of new features.

Balamurugan said Track Width Mine Plough (TWMP) is a significant addition which provides capability for the battle tank to cross minefields with ease as the plough mounted to the front of the vehicle creates a mine-free path by ploughing through mines and throwing them to the sides of the tank.

Another key feature added is a Containerised Ammunition Bin with Individual Shutter (CABIS) that gives crew enhanced protection from inadvertent burning of ammunition stored in the ready round bin.

The hot gases generated due to ammunition burning is vented out by blow-off panels from the roof of the turret, thus saving the crew.


Picture Credit : Google

India successfully tests Rudram-1: First indigenous anti-radiation missile

The New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGRAM), also called RudraM-1, was test-fired from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force earlier this month. With a speed of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound). The missile is capable of bringing down a wide range of enemy radar systems, communication networks and air defence systems within a range of up to 250 km. The missile has been designed to be launched from various fighter aircraft Currently in the inventory of the IAF. It is also equipped with state of the art radiation tracking and guidance system.

Conducting yet another test of a indigenously developed weapons system, the Defence Research and Development Organisation on Friday conducted a successful test of the New Generation Anti Radiation Missile (NGRAM) also called the Rudram-1 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore.

The missile has been designed to be launched from various fighter aircraft currently in the inventory of the Indian Air Force. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “The New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (Rudram-1) which is India’s first indigenous anti-radiation missile developed by DRDO for Indian Air Force was tested successfully today at ITR, Balasore. Congratulations to DRDO & other stakeholders for this remarkable achievement.”

DRDO scientists said that the missile has been designed to further enhance the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) capability of the IAF. Anti Radiation Missiles are primarily designed to track and neutralise the radar and communication assets of the adversary. Officials said that the development of the anti radiation missiles of this type was started by the DRDO around eight years ago and has been a collaborative effort of various DRDO facilities in India.


Picture Credit : Google

What is the clipper route?

Clippers were 19th Century merchant sailing ships that sailed mainly between England and China, Australia and New Zealand. They were fast sailing ships, equipped with multiple square rigged sails supported by three masts. These ships gained in prominence because of the booming tea and opium trade between England and China. The route plied by these ships was called the clipper route.

The clipper route ran down the Atlantic Ocean, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and then went from west to east though the Southern Ocean. The ships took advantage of the Roaring Forties, the strong westerly winds that blow between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees in the southern hemisphere. It was the fastest route available between Europe and Asia before the opening of the Suez Canal. The ships would continue eastwards on the homeward journey from Australia and New Zealand along the Southern Ocean, sail around Cape Horn in South America and another 100 days from there back to England.

The ships plying the clipper route faced dangers like turbulent weather at Cape Horn and huge waves and icebergs in the Southern Ocean. However, ship captains still preferred the unsafe route as it offered fast passage.

The clipper route fell into disuse as a trade route with the opening of the Suez and Panama Canals. Moreover, streamships gradually phased out clippers. Though clippers were fast, their speed was largely determined by winds while streamships were more reliable in sticking to their schedules.

Today, the clipper route remains the fastest sailing route around the world. So it is popular with sailing enthusiasts, especially for modern circumnavigation attempts and yacht races like the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Volvo Ocean Race.


Picture Credit : Google

I’m a student studying in Std XII. Is it possible for a student who has taken bio-science to go for aviation?

Aviation refers to all activities involving the operation of aircrafts. It mainly deals with the flying operations (pilots), air crew (air hostesses), air traffic management, cargo marketing and management.

For technical jobs like pilot and air traffic management you need to have physics and maths in 10+2, but for air crew you can have 10+2 and preferably graduation in any stream. But in all these fields, a high level of concentration and focus is needed as there is a lot of minute observation and immediate response required.


Picture Credit : Google

Air Force after XII?

I am a bit confused about what to choose as a career after Std XII. Presently, I am studying in Std XII with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Computers as my subjects. The main reason for my confusion is that I don’t want to opt for B.Tech., and want to go into fields related to the air force or navy. I just wanted your advice as to what should I go with as my career after 12th. – Liza.

Dear Liza, If you want to fly high in the sky or dream of being an Air Warrior of the IAF, then you need to clear AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test). It is held twice a year. After clearing AFCAT, you can opt for flying/technical/ground duty. Post-graduates can go for the meteorology branch that does not require AFCAT. Candidates should be graduates in their respective fields with Physics and Maths in 10+2.

The Indian Navy recruits girls for the following branches of the Navy as Short Service Commissioned Officers: ATC, Observer, Law, Logistics, Education, Naval Architecture. Both the navy and the air force recruit candidates with graduation.


Picture Credit : Google

I have a great passion for flying and I want to become an airline pilot.

I am student of Std XI with PCM. I have a great passion for flying and I want to become an airline pilot. But I’m very tense about my weak eyesight. I wear glasses. What should I do to become a pilot? What are its requirements and which flying schools are the best?

This is one of the biggest misconceptions amongst people. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) says that you can apply if your eyesight is correctable to 20/20 for distance vision through eyeglasses while 20/40for near vision. One only has to carry an extra set of glasses while flying. There are no other restrictions for people with poor eyesight for becoming pilots.

You need to clear a physical fitness test (tough one), apart from an entrance test exam of the flying schools in India. Even after becoming commercial pilots, they need regular medical check-ups as any health problems can cause cancellation of the license of the pilot.

There are many flying schools all over India, but Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), Rae Bareli (UP) is the only institute for aviation training run by the government. Entry into IGRUA is through an online written test, interview and pilot aptitude test. The training fee at IGRUA is Rs 32.5 lakh, exclusive of hostel and other fees. Many banks can give loans up to 50%.


Picture Credit : Google

Soaring Ambition

What qualifications should I possess in order to become an airline pilot? What is the career scope of a pilot?

The job of an airline pilot offers a glamorous lifestyle with great salaries and the opportunities to travel. But becoming a pilot is also a very expensive proposition. You have to get a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Only those who have done science with PCM at the +2 are eligible to apply.

You have to register 250 flying hours with a flying club like Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Academy, Rae Bareli; Pinjore Aviation Club, Ambala; and School of Aviation Science and Technology, Safdarjang Airport, New Delhi, and clear a set of exams, before you are given the license. You can get the CPL from abroad too and get it converted to the Indian pilot license. While getting into Air India or Indian Airlines may not be that easy, a number of private and foreign airlines do offer attractive salaries to their pilots-starting from Rs 45,000 for  trainee pilot to Rs 165,000 for confirmed pilots. Initially, you have to work as a co-pilot and it’s only with experience that you are given the command of a flight.

However, the course is very expensive, around Rs five lakh. To check your suitability for the job, ask yourself whether you are capable of quick thinking, can you keep calm during a crisis, whether you have quick reflexes, are you comfortable working with machines, how physically fit are you. It’s an erratic life-you have to report at unearthly hours, be away from home for days on end. so in all likelihood, you will watch Diwali festivities from your cockpit, rather than from the courtyard of your home.


Picture Credit: Google