The final production batch of LRSAM flagged off
The final production batch of the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) was flagged off on 14th February 2021 at the DRDL, APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, Hyderabad. The missile has been jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and has been integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). To be equipped on the latest ships of the Indian Navy, the missile can provide point and area defense against various aerial targets, including fighter aircraft, subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles. Powered by an indigenously developed dual pulse rocket motor, LRSAM’s dual control system imparts required maneuverability to the missile at its terminal phase.
The Radio Frequency seeker helps the missile identify, track, engage and destroy the target with a high kill probability. Before delivering the missile system to the Indian Navy, its end-to-end performance has been successfully demonstrated through a number of user flight trials from Indian Navy ships. The indigenization efforts by industries to make India self-reliant in weapons and equipment are commendable and helps achieve the goals of ‘Make in India.’ The Missile System Quality Assurance Agency’s efforts should also be appreciated as it streamlines the production activities at various industries across India. The LRSAM system strengthens the air defense capability of the Indian Navy.
Collins Aerospace’s collaboration with HAL on LCS Mk1A
Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies and one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defense products, has been involved in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas program. The company is interested in the avionics side of the business, especially sensors and display systems. The company claims to offer a complete solution on platforms like mechanical, aerostructure, and power control equipment of the aircraft.
The company is in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to continue collaboration for the LCA Mk1A program. Collins Federal Aviation Administration and Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) partnership enabled it to become one of the first Indian entities to domestically produce and export an aviation product to the US. The company has successfully designed, developed, and qualified the power door opening system for the A320 Neo and Bombardier E series.
Bengaluru based startup to co-develop MPATGMs with BDL
Tonbo Imaging, a Bengaluru-based startup, has bagged a co-development deal with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to produce Man-Portable Anti Tank Guided Missiles (MPATGMs). India faced an acute shortage of ATGMs and placed an emergency order for 240 spike missiles following the Pulwama attack. The capabilities of MPATGMs have moved beyond third-generation systems like Nag missiles being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). New missiles will be equipped with Imaging Infrared (IIR) Seeker, which has an uncooled imaging system. The cost is lowered by one-third as it does not require a cryogenic compressor to cool the image sensors. Tonbo has built an ultra-light-weight uncooled seeker. Other features include missiles’ ‘Fire and Forget’ capability, guided bomb or ‘Kamikaze’ drone depends on its edge AI onboard image processing and real-time recognition of targets.
Tonbo means Dragonfly in Japanese and Tamil. Dragonfly has unique compound eyes with 40,000 lenses from which its brain derives a composite image. Similarly, the AI in Tonbo’s seeker combines the image inputs from multiple sensors to identify the vulnerable parts of a target and reorient the missiles to hit those parts. With this technology, MPATGMs can have an impact against arrowed hulls.
The MPATGM deal can prove to be a game-changer for the indigenization of critical defense equipment powered by a startup. The initial procurement plan is for 2,300 pieces and, after that, a few thousand every year to make up for the shortage being experienced.
IAF inducts Mudhol Hounds for the first time
Govind Kajrol, the deputy chief minister of Karnataka, handed over 4 Mudhol hound puppies to the Indian Air Force (IAF). IAF has inducted these hounds to keep the birds and animals away from the runway. Mudhol, a purebred Indian breed of sighthound from Karnataka, was brought to Agra airbase on Sunday. These hounds will protect the runways where there’s always a risk of flight hampering and bird hits. The puppies belonged to the Canine Research and Information Centre (CRIC), Bagalkot, Karnataka.
Mudhol hounds have proved to be excellent hunting and chasing dogs in the past and are fiercely loyal to their owners. They require minimum grooming and have good stamina, sharpness, and agility. In the 1920s, the Ghorpade kings of Mudhol in North Karnataka crossed the Persian and Turkish breeds with local dogs. These hounds are already a part of the Indian Army, CISF, CRPF, SSB, BSF, ITBP, and police departments of various states.
The hounds were trained in 2016 by the Army’s Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre in Meerut. IAF officials placed the order for seven hounds a few weeks ago. The remaining three puppies will be handed in after six months. The Mudhol hound has been praised by Prime Minister in ‘Mann Ki Baat.’