Saturday, May 18, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Navy Statement: Indian Naval Aviation received a major fillip with the arrival of the first of eight Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft at Naval Air Station Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu today, 15 may 13. Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, AVSM, Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command presided over the event that was attended by Commodore Puneet Bahl, Commanding Officer, INS Rajali, representatives from the Command and Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of defence (Navy) as well.
The P-8I aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-800(NG) airframe, is the Indian Naval variant of the P-8A Poseidon that Boeing has developed for the US Navy. The aircraft is equipped with both foreign as well as indigenous sensors for Maritime Reconnaissance, Anti Submarine operations and for Electronic Intelligence missions. The aircraft is fully integrated with state of the art sensors and highly potent Anti Surface and Anti Submarine weapons.
These LRMR/ ASW aircraft have been procured under the contract signed in 2009. The IN is in process of acquiring an additional four P-8I aircraft under the option clause. The induction of the P-8I aircraft into the Indian Navy would greatly enhance India's maritime surveillance capability in the Indian Ocean Region.
|PHOTO / BOEING|
Had a chance to get up close with the 2nd aircraft in July last during a visit to Boeing's checkout facility in Seattle. And here's a quick refresher on the P-8I's onboard systems.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Indian Navy's first MiG-29K fighter squadron, INAS 303 Black Panthers was commissioned today at the INS Hansa naval air station in Goa. Happy to say the squadron's name was first reported here on Livefist in 2009 before the first batch of aircraft were inducted. Excerpts from a press release today:
The MiG-29K is a true swing role aircraft which carries enough punch to undertake Air Dominance and Power Projection missions simultaneously, bestowing the Commander at sea, great flexibility. It takes Indian naval aviation from a defensive stature to one of dominance. The MiG 29K aircraft is a state of the art, all weather, carrier based, air dominance fighter specially built for the Indian Navy. The aircraft has a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound (about 2000 kmph), can pull up to 8 times the force of gravity, can climb to an altitude of over 65000 feet. Armed with an arsenal of some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world it is fully equipped to dominate by engaging targets in air, at sea or on land. Latest avionics, with data link capabilities coupled with its range of armament will enable true power projection. With its air- to- air refueling capability its ranges are also extended to perform true power projection and air space dominance roles.
INAS 303 is commanded by Capt AD Theophilus, an accomplished and experienced Sea Harrier pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor.
It may be recalled that the MiG 29K supersonic air dominance fighters were inducted by Mr Antony on 19 Feb 2010. Sixteen of these potent aircraft were inducted to form the main combat power of the, soon to be inducted aircraft carrier, Vikramaditya. Since its induction, the aircraft have flown over 2500 hrs and have successfully concluded armament trials of the entire range of arsenal comprising air to surface missiles, air to air missiles, bombs, rockets and guns. After proving in trials the aircraft have also participated in important theatre level exercises with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. Having successfully completed all tasks and trials assigned and established its combat potential, the MiG-29K squadron has now been commissioned into front line service to form the sword arm of the Indian Navy.
In the tradition of naming its fighter squadrons in the 300 series, the MiG- 29K squadron, is christened INAS 303 and is being popularly referred to as the 'Black Panthers'. The number 303 has been derived from the revolutionary .303 rifle cartridge, which in the mid-19th century replaced the traditional lever-action cartridges with pointed-tip bullets, giving it a ballistic advantage over its counterparts. This path breaking technology enabled the bullet to travel at much higher speeds, more accurately and inflict much more damage than its predecessors, thus creating a new standard on which the future guns of the world were built. Drawing similarity to the above mentioned attributes of the rifle the number 303 has been chosen to represent the MiG 29K squadron. Just like the rifle revolutionized the concepts of rifle firing, the induction of the Black Panther squadron marks the beginning of a new era of fighter flying in the Indian navy and hence the squadron is also referred to as "the game changers". The squadron's insignia depicts the rare Black Panther, rampant on sea waves, against an azure background.
The Indian Navy's first MiG-29K squadron, INAS 303 'Black Panthers' will be commissioned into service today at INS Hansa, the Navy's premier aviation hub in Goa on India's West Coast. The day marks 60 years of Indian naval aviation.
From the Indian Navy's statement today: "Born as a fledgling aviation arm of a small Navy, Naval aviation quickly grew to become the centre piece of Indian Navy’s combat power. Envisioned by bold and wise leaders, an aircraft carrier capable Navy has grown from strength to strength with its aviation arm proving its prowess over the last sixty years. Marking time from the commissioning of the first Naval Air Station INS Garuda at Kochi on 11 May 1953, Naval Aviation completes sixty glorious years of service today. From a fledgling arm with a mere six amphibian aircraft, the arm has grown exponentially over the last sixty years to operate over 200 aircraft including fighters, Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as well. A truly potent and capable naval aviation."
A big congratulations to officers and all ranks at INAS 303 and the Indian Navy's superb aviators. Shano Varuna!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Friday, May 03, 2013
I've posted this picture from October 2006 before here on Livefist, but I always return to it at times like these. It feels absurd reporting on failed border meetings between the Indian Army and PLA. This border meeting I covered was notable for just how cheery it was, how little 'work' really got done, and how much officers and both sides preferred simply exchanging gifts and knocking back a few. This was Bum La in Arunachal Pradesh in a tent about a kilometre across the LAC in Tibet. Things were are pretty healthy there. Unlike in Ladakh.
The situation in Ladakh is grave. A platoon strength force of PLA soldiers has set up camp about 19-km inside Indian territory in the Depsang valley to the South-East of Daulat Beg Oldie, where India has one of its highest forward airfields. The position is supplied by trucks from two units across the LAC in Aksai China, a piece of Ladakh occupied by China for decades. The Indian Army has proposed a host of calibrated response options, but remains constrained by the government. India's Foreign Minister is scheduled to visit China on May 9, and will be followed later this month perhaps, by the Defence Minister. It is an unprecedented situation because this is the first time in a history of intrusions and counter-intrusions where a Chinese camp has refused to withdraw, and continues to be resupplied via a route back to its unit across the LAC.
An Army Searcher Mk.2 conducted two aerial sorties over the Chinese camp today to videograph activity. The video has been shared with the National Security Advisor, External Affairs Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office. Will be posting more on the stand-off in the days ahead.
Posted by Shiv Aroor at 1:38 AM
Monday, April 29, 2013
Apologies for the lack of posts for the last couple of weeks. Been massively held up with the day job and everything that's going down in the country. Promise to hit the ground running tomorrow. Thanks to those of you who've been writing in asking me if 'everthing is ok'! It is. :)
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Posted by Shiv Aroor at 12:00 AM