The first launch of the Akash-NG Missile successful
The Surface to Air Missile Program (SAM) achieved a significant milestone on Monday when the first test of the Akash – Next Generation (AKASH-NG) was successfully conducted from the coast of Odisha. A mobile platform, which was placed at the Launching Complex III of the integrated test range, was used to launch the missile. The launch took place at 2.30 pm and stimulated an electronic target.
This weapon system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) can fly at supersonic speed and can hit both supersonic and subsonic targets. Akash-NG has a target range of 70 km, much better than the previous variant, which had a maximum range of 30 km. The missile launch met up to its expectations and achieved all its objectives. Since Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi permitted the export of this missile system to the neighboring countries a few days ago, this successful maiden launch validated their belief in indigenous equipment. This project was approved in September 2016.
Akash-NG missile system is equipped with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), capable of performing three functions of search, track, and fire control. The missile’s body is cylindrical in shape and has four cropped delta fins at the mid-body and four tail fins. It has a new propulsion system, an active RF seeker, laser proximity fuse, and pre-fragmented warheads.
It is the first indigenously designed, developed, and produced weapon system manufactured in India and is also the cheapest surface to air missile to be ever produced in the world.
Sukhoi-30 to undergo major technical upgradations awaits approval from IAF
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) talks with the Air Force for overhaul and up-grading 200 Sukhoi-30 MkI. This up-gradation will include more indigenous systems and subsystems being installed in the aircraft. HAL R Madhavan’s chairman said that the up-gradation program is proposed by HAL and awaiting the Indian Air Force’s nod.
Indian made weapons like Astra Mk1, SAAW, ITCMR, and BrahMos-NG will be equipped in the aircraft, along with some major developments in Avionics, Radars, Cockpit Layout, and Electric Warfare Jammers. The new cockpit will have two 230 mm X 305 mm high-resolution LCDs with a multifunction control panel and a wide view head-up display similar to the cockpit of Sukhoi Su-35. It will have an Artificial Intelligence System with Voice Activated Controller System (VACS) that will understand verbal commands with 98% speech recognition with Indian Accent.
With the new upgrade, Sukhoi-30 will be equipped with the new Astra Mk2 missile, replacing R-27 and R-77 Air to Air missiles that were made by Russia. There is a possibility that Astra Mk3 missiles will replace these in the near future. The aircraft has the Russian and Israeli Airborne Self Protection Jammer (ASPJ) that will be replaced by Indian made Jammer developed by Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE). The newly upgraded Sukhoi-30 will have a new version of Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC), which will replace the Mission Compute developed by HAL.
IAF’s Transport Aircrafts to be equipped with new Satellite Tracking System
Indian Air Force is planning to modify its transport aircraft with the latest technology to meet the International Aviation sector’s standards. A highly accurate satellite-based aircraft positioning and tracking system will be installed in the fleet of 12 C-130 Super Hercules aircraft of IAF. Other transport aircraft like IL-76, Embraer, and Boeing BBJ will be installed with it in the next stage.
The current ground-based secondary surveillance radar network will be replaced by Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). This technology is made mandatory by many countries for better operation and tracking of aircraft. It can locate and trace any aircraft virtually, even in the remote areas where ground-based radar coverage can’t reach. The ADS-B will be integrated with the existing navigation suite and Mission Computer technology of the aircraft. Some minor changes will be made to the hardware, processors, and antennae. This system will help IAF in taking shorter routes, reduce the emissions and fuel burn ratio. It will prove to be economical and time-saving.
Indian Air Force offers its services in various international humanitarian missions, joint exercises, UN Peace missions, and C-130 Super Hercules is a major participant in all of them.
Vice President praises DRDO’s efforts to make India Self Reliant in MT
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists were praised by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, to make India Self-reliant in Missile Technology. The Vice President visited the Missile Complex Laboratories, inaugurated a Missile System Review Hall and Air Commodore V Ganesan Integrated Weapon System Design and Development Centre at Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, and was pleased to see the indigenous products developed by DRDO.
He emphasized the significance and importance of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ program and indicated the boost gained by local industries and MSMEs by this program. This generates employment, gives opportunities to the country’s youth to showcase their talent, and helps to earn valuable foreign exchange. He praised DRDO’s efforts, which recently put Akash Missile into the negative list of items to be imported by the Ministry of Defence. Earlier, India was one of the largest importers of defense products, and now it has become the top exporters of such items.
Armenia gets Weapon Locating Radars from India
India delivered the first of its kind SWATHI Weapon Locating Radars to Armenia on 22nd January 2021. SWATHI is an indigenous system that gives fast, automatic, and exact location of mortars, shells, and rockets, covering 50 km. It is developed by DRDO’s Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE).
The deal between the two nations was signed in March 2020 to supply four such radars at the cost of $40 million. It was delivered in Antonov-124-100 strategic airlifter, operated by the Russian Air Force that landed in Bangalore on the same day. SWATHI is capable of handling multiple projectiles fired to it at one point, which includes 81 mm or higher caliber mortars, 105 mm or higher caliber shells, and 100 mm or higher caliber free flying rockets.