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Sep
22

The United States has approved 2.376 billion dollars as aid for Pakistan. The US government has also tabled an aid bill of 2.282 billion dollars in the Congress for Pakistan for the financial year 2009-10. The bill placed in the American Congress includes both military and humanitarian assistance, The News reports. It is worth mentioning here that the US has pledged 1.5 billion dollars of annual assistance to Pakistan for five years through the Kerry-Lugar bill. The Kerry Lugar bill is likely to be approved by the American Senate by the end of this month.While Islamabad has been pushing Washington to fulfill its pledge as soon as possible and reduce the administrative cost on the aid being offered, the US maintains that most of the financial assistance included in the bill would be channelled through government institutions and mechanisms {content @ yahoonews}

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Sep
22

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Sep
22

The countdown for the launch of Oceansat-2 satellite that would help identify potential fishing zones and in coastal zone studies from Sriharikota, 90 kilometres from here began today. The 970-kg satellite would be shot into space on September 23 by Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) along with six European nano spacecrafts, giving the mission an European flavour. “Countdown began today at 9 AM and everything is going on smoothly,” ISRO spokesperson S Satish told PTI. A set of two Rubin nano and four cubeats would also ride piggyback, accompanying Oceansat-2, on the homegrown PSLV rocket that will blast off from the Satish Dhavan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from two Rubin nano satellites from Germany, the four cubesats lined up for the mission are: Beesat, built by Technical University Berlin, UWE-2 (University of Wuerzburg Germany), ITU-pSat (Istanbul Technical University Turkey) and SwissCube-1 (Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland). All parameters were normal and efforts for a smooth launch were underway in full swing, Satish said told PTI.

Sep
22

In yet another violation of the ceasefire, Pakistani troops fired nearly 135 rounds on several Indian forward posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Monday night, but there were no casualties.Pakistani troops fired intermittently from nine of their posts on Indian forward positions in Mendhar and Krishan Ghati sectors from 7.55 pm- 8.20 pm, Brigadier General (Staff), 16 Corps, Gurdeep Singh Puri said. “There were no casualties,” he said, adding Indian troops did not retaliate. “Nearly 15 rounds were fired from each Pakistani post on Manji Takri and Sabri Gali forward posts,” the officer said, adding, “We will lodge a strong protest soon.” A Pakistani army major, responding to queries during the exchange of sweets between the troops of both sides at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point to mark Eid, said the firing was resorted to by militants. {content @ hindustan times}

Sep
22

The Indian Navy has launched the second of its three stealthy Project-15-A, or Kolkata-class, destroyers. The INS Kochi, launched Sept. 18, is expected to be delivered in May 2011 for induction into active service. Built by Mazagon Dock, the state-owned shipyard, the Project-15-A destroyers will be fitted with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile and long-range surface-to-air missiles. The Kochi was launched via a pontoon-assisted launch procedure, with aerial support from two multirole helicopters, a senior Defence Ministry official said, the first time such a method has been used for a warship launched in India. Russian experts were on hand to assist with the pontoon launch, which helps heavier vessels avoid slipway constraints. The Kochi will be equipped with a multifunction radar system for acquiring data on surface and air targets, the Defence Ministry official said, and four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a medium-range gun for closer targets. The destroyer will also have indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, and Humsa sonar, developed by the state owned Naval Physical Oceanographic Laboratory. {content @ defense news}

Sep
22

To counter terror threats in the backdrop of the Mumbai attacks, top army generals have evolved detailed plans to secure the country’s coastline from Gujarat to Orissa and refine the force’s amphibious warfare tactics. The strategies were fine-tuned by top brass including Army chief General Deepak Kapoor during a two-day table-top war game in Pune last week, army sources here said today. Plans for the Southern Command to protect the coastline from both conventional and asymmetric threats were discussed threadbare, they said. The war game was a closed-door conceptual exercise conducted by top commanders with the help of sand models and large-scale maps, which do not involve troops on the ground. The Pune drill follows a similar exercise by the Kolkata-based Eastern Command a fortnight back for area in the North-eastern states along the borders with China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, apart from its counter-insurgency operations. During May this year, some formations under the Western Command had carried out annual field exercises in Punjab plains to validate operational concepts and test their equipment. Later, in June, the Western Command’s top brass conducted a war game at its headquarters in Chandimandir near Chandigarh concentrating on the Pakistani border along Jammu and Punjab, apart from counter-insurgency strategies in Jammu region.{content @ expressbuzz}

Sep
21

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Sep
21

Russia will complete the upgradation of Indian Air Force’s 60 MiG-29 fighters by 2013 which will extend their service life by another 15 years. “The implementation of the contract signed between India and Russia started last year, and it will be fulfilled in 2013,” a defence source was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. Under the contract signed last year, Russia’s RAC MiG aircraft corporation will upgrade over 60 MiG-29 fighters, in service with the IAF since the 1980s and service life of the aircraft will be extended from 25 to 40 years. The contract also stipulates the construction of MiG consignment depots and service centres in India to resolve the problem of timely supply of spares and after sale services, as well as flight simulators for pilot training. The upgrade MiG-29s will be fitted with advanced avionics, new multi-functional Zhuk-ME radars, a new weapon control system, as well as modernised RD-33 engines. According to defence official quoted by the agency, first four Indian MiG-29 fighters are being modernised and flight-tested in Russia and the remaining aircraft will be overhauled in India with the Russian technical assistance.{content @ samay}
Sep
21

One of the most breathtaking sights in military aviation is a modern fighter landing on an aircraft carrier deck. Flying in at over 250 km per hour, it must halt within 100 metres, one-tenth the distance available to most land-based fighters. The pilot aims at a cable stretched across the landing area; a tail hook on the fighter’s rear fuselage catches the cable, effectively dragging the aircraft to a halt before it runs out of landing deck, subjecting the pilot to a deceleration 4.5 times the force of gravity. It is called a THUMP-BASH technique. As the fighter thumps down onto the deck, the pilot bashes forward his throttle, revving up the engines to full power. It seems a crazy thing to do when trying to halt really quickly, but there’s a reason: if the tail hook misses all three arrestor cables, the fighter must have the power and speed to get airborne again before the end of the flight deck. To hit the arrestor cables accurately, the pilot must descend steeply, hitting the deck twice as hard as his air force counterparts, who enjoy the luxury of levelling out at ground level, descending slowly till the wheels touch the runway. “An arrested landing on an aircraft carrier is actually a controlled crash,” naval flight instructors invariably warn their cadets. If it takes a Top Gun pilot to pull off such landings, it takes a superbly engineered aircraft to repeatedly absorb the stresses of these controlled crashes. The naval variant of India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is poised to enter this challenging playing field. And its prospects have been boosted by the Indian Navy’s commitment to indigenisation. Business Standard has learnt that the navy has okayed the placement of an order for six Naval LCAs. At an approximate cost of Rs 150 crore per aircraft, that will provide a Rs 900 crore infusion into the Naval LCA programme. That investment in the Tejas programme is rooted in the navy’s plan to operate both light and medium fighters off its aircraft carriers. The Naval LCA will supplement the heavier Russian MiG-29K, which has already been ordered from Russia. The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), being built at Cochin Shipyard, Kochi, has been designed with a separate aircraft lift and maintenance facilities for the LCA, in addition to facilities for the MiG-29K. That has linked the development of the Naval LCA with the construction of the IAC, which is expected to join the fleet by 2014. But the LCA programme faces a bottleneck in choosing a new engine. Two uprated engines — the General Electric GE-414 and the Eurojet EJ-200 — are currently being evaluated, but will be supplied only by 2013-14. And only with the new engine will the LCA have the power to get airborne from an aircraft carrier. P S Subramaniam, the Director of the Aeronautical Development Agency, which coordinates the LCA programme, explains: “We will fly the Naval LCA with the current GE-404 engine to test its flight characteristics, and whether its structural strength is sufficient for aircraft carrier operations. After the LCA is fitted with a new, more powerful engine we will take the next step of operating from an aircraft carrier.” Meanwhile, a major shore-based test facility is coming up at INS Hansa, in Goa, which replicates an aircraft carrier deck on ground, complete with arrested recovery and a ski jump for take off. This facility, which is expected to be operational by October 2011, will be used for certifying the Naval LCA before actually flying off an aircraft carrier. This will also be used for pilots’ training and for training maintenance crews.

{content @ Business standard}
Sep
20
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