Latest IAF choppers inducted in Barrackpore




The fire at the Nandigram Marketin Burrabazar may not have blazed for nearly a week and many more lives could have been saved at the AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria had the Mi-17 V5 choppers - among the latest aircraft to be acquired by the Indian Air Force - been inducted at Barrackpore air force base earlier. The choppers, the first of which was ceremoniously inducted by Air Marshal S Varthaman, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, on Friday, is the first helicopter in the country to be fitted-with a Bambi bucket fire fighting system.
""These could have been very effective in controlling the blaze that occurred in Kolkata recently. A large bucket can be suspended below the aircraft. This can pick up nearly three and a half tonnes of water and drop them on a fire. These helicopters can be used for civilian purposes. They are fitted with loud hailers and powerful search lights that cane be used for effective crowd control during disaster relief operations,"" said Air Marshal Varthaman.
While an open blaze can be completely douzed with the large amounts of water that the choppers can carry, in fires like the one at AMRI, the water can help to cool down the building substantially and aid in normal firefighting.
The choppers of the newly set-up 157 Helicopter Unit can also be used to ferry personnel of central police forces for anti-Maoist operations. With their added endurance and special features, they will also come in handy during flood relief operations. In the past, choppers had to be brought in from elsewhere for flood-relief operations in the state.
According to Varthaman, 30 of the helicopters will be inducted at three air bases under the Eastern Air Command. Barrackpore will get its full squadron of helicopters by the end of this year. ""The IAF has ordered 80 of these helicopters from Russia. Though of Russian-make, the avionics inside are western. There is a weather radar on board that allows the aircraft to operate in all weather conditions in any terrain. These choppers are also the first in the country to be equipped with Generation III Night Vision Goggles. This allows them to fly in pitch dark conditions,"" the AOC-in-C said.
Its superior equipment and weapons will also make the helicopters very effective for Special Forces operations in the North East. Their greater maneuverability and ability to fly at high altitudes will allow them to operate in Sikkim and other mountainous regions.


More details



Mi-17V5(Source of Image: / precise3dmodeling.com / Mi-17V5/)

Mi-17V5 : Taking Action / A 2008 Deal…

  • The Indian Air Force has put into service the first batch of 80 Mi-17V5 tactical transport helicopters under a $1.3 billion deal, Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.
  • Under the 2008 deal, India has already taken delivery of about 20 Russian helicopters, built by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. The remaining helicopters are to be delivered and adopted for service in 2014. / Mi-17V5 /
  • The Mi-17V5, a utility helicopter, can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons or cargo.
  • India is one of the world’s largest Mi-8 and Mi-17 operators with over 200 aircraft in service. The Mi-8/17 family is the most widely produced helicopter design in history, with over 11,000 sold to more than 110 countries.  / Mi-17V5 /

NATO Reporting Name: “Hip” / Mi-17V5

  • The Mil Mi-17 (also known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service, NATO reporting name “Hip”) is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. Mil Mi-8/17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. / Mi-17V5 /

Mi-17V5 Development…

  • Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger TV3-117MT engines, rotors, and transmission developed for the Mi-14, along with fuselage improvements for heavier loads. Optional engines for ‘hot and high’ conditions are the 1545 kW (2070 shp) Isotov TV3-117VM. Recent exports to China and Venezuela for use in high mountains have the new VK-2500 version of the engine with FADEC control. / Mi-17V5 /
  • The designation Mi-17 is for export; Russian armed forces call it Mi-8MT. The Mi-17 can be recognized because it has the tail rotor on the port side instead of the starboard side, and dust shields in front of the engine intakes. Engine cowls are shorter than on the TV2 powered Mi-8, not extending as far over the cockpit, and an opening for bleed-valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.
  • Actual model numbers vary by builder, engine type, and other options. As an example, the sixteen new Ulan Ude built machines delivered to the Czech Air Force in 2005 with –VM model engines were designated as Mi-171Sh, a development of the Mi-8AMTSh. Modifications include a new large door on the right side, improved Czech-built APU, Kevlar armor plates around the cockpit area and engines. Eight have a loading ramp in place of the usual clamshell doors, and will load a vehicle up to the size of an SUV. / Mi-17V5 /
  • In May 2008 licensed production of the Mi-17 started in China, with production being led by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC and the Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The plant built 20 helicopters in 2008, using Russian Ulan-Ude-supplied kits; production is expected to reach 80 helicopters per year eventually. The variants to be built by Lantian will include Mi-171, Mi-17V5, and Mi-17V7. / Mi-17V5 /

Mi-17V5: General Characteristics…

  • Mi-17V5: Crew: Three – two pilots and one engineer
  • Capacity: 30 troops or 12 stretchers or 4,000 kg (8,820 lb) cargo internally /5,000 kg (11,023 lb) externally slung.
  • Length: 18.465 m (60 ft 7 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 21.25 m (69 ft 10½ in)
  • Height: 4.76 m (15 ft 7¼ in)
  • Disc area: 356 m² (3,834 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,489 kg (16,510 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 13,000 kg (28,660 lb)
  • Power: 2 × Klimov TV3-117VM turboshafts, 1,633 kW (2,190 shp) each

Mi-17V5: Performance…

  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h (135 knots, 155 mph)
  • Range: 465 km (251 nmi, 289 mi) (standard fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,690 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8 m/s[citation needed] (1,575 ft/min)

Mi-17V5:  Armament…

  • Up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including bombs, rockets, and gunpods. /Mi-17V5 /

Four U.S. Navy minesweepers arrive in the Gulf




Four U.S. minesweepers have arrived in the Gulf to bolster the U.S. Fifth Fleet and ensure the safety of shipping routes, the U.S. Navy said, as an Iranian military chief suggested on Monday that Iranmight try to block the Strait of Hormuz to defend its interests.
The four additional mine countermeasures (MCM) ships arrived on Saturday and are scheduled for a seven-month deployment in an area of operations that includes the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The area also includes two other critical shipping choke points of the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandab between the southern tip of Yemenand Africa.
"MCM ships conduct operations with coalition forces in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in international waterways," the U.S. Navy said in a statement late on Sunday.
Tensions between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme have raised fears that Iran might try to block Hormuz - a vital shipping route for the global economy - if it is prevented from exporting its own oil by western sanctions that are to tighten again on July 1.
The commander of Iran's ground forces, Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, was quoted by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) on Monday as saying Iran might use its influence over the Strait of Hormuz to defend its interests.
More than a third of all seaborne traded oil was shipped through Hormuz last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and even a brief blockage could cause price spikes that threaten global economic growth.
The USS Sentry, Devastator, Pioneer and Warrior are designed to clear mines from vital waterways, supporting a U.S. Central Command request for more MCM support, the U.S. Navy statement said.
For a factbox on energy export risks in the Middle East click. (Reporting byDaniel Fineren and Marcus George; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

Reuters

India to build second aircraft carrier






India plans to build its second indigenous aircraft carrier after the first one becomes operational by 2015 -16.

The first one – 40,000 tonnes Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) – is being constructed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) since 2009 and is expected to be inducted by 2017.

Subsequently, CSL will undertake construction of the second carrier, which will be bigger than the first one.

“The indigenous aircraft carrier programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade as Indian Navy aims to have at least two fully operational and combat worthy carriers available at any given time,” Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said in his talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London on Monday.

With India’s lone carrier INS Viraat at the fag end of its career, Navy is set to receive Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya in December to boost its capability. 

The IAC-1 will be launched in water by 2013 and may start sea-trials by 2016. The programme is almost two and half years behind schedule as the target launch date was 2010. As the Navy’s long-term perspective plan envisages having three carrier battle groups, the CSL will start building IAC-2 once the work on the first one is over. A must to have in the repository to be projected as a powerful maritime nation, a carrier battle group is a small flotilla of warships at the core of which lie an aircraft carrier.

Verma said Navy’s induction programme was structured in such a way that every year over the next 5 years, as many as five ships and submarines would be inducted if shipyards deliver the platforms on contract schedule. 



Russia completes India’s submarine modernisation programme



INS Sindhurakshak File Photo: K.R. Deepak


The INS Sindhurakshak submarine came off the slips at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk on Saturday, marking the completion of a mid-life refit programme for the Indian Navy’s Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines in Russia.
During a two-year in-depth modernisation the torpedo-firing INS Sindhurakshak, built in 1997, has been equipped with the tube-launched Club-S cruise missiles effective against surface vessels and submarines at a range of about 200 km. It has also been provided with some Indian-made systems, including a hydro-acoustic "USHUS" complex, a CCS-MK radio-communication system and Porpoise Electronic Support Measures. After going through sea trials and firing tests the submarine will be handed over to the Indian Navy later this year.
The INS Sindhurakshak is the seventh and the last of the 10 Kilo-class submarines that India bought from Russia between 1986 and 2000 to have undergone mid-term repairs and modernisation in Russia. Of the remaining three submarines one was repaired in India and the two others are currently under repair in India.
Even as Russia prepares to deliver the last retrofitted submarine to India, Russia’s top shipbuilding official has come up with the idea of a second mid-life repair of the Indian Navy’s Kilo-class submarines.
“A second repair will add another 5 to 7 or even 10 years to the submarines’ scheduled 20-year service life,” said Andrei Dyachkov, Director General of Sevmash shipyard, who is expected to take over as the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which controls 70 per cent of Russia’s s shipbuilding assets, next month. “This will help the Indian Navy maintain its submarine strength in view of delays in the induction of French-built Scorpene subs and in floating a tender for six more diesel-electric submarines,” he said.
The Indian Navy issued Request For Information (RFIs) under the P-75 (I) project way back in 2008. However, it is yet to open a global tender for the submarines. Russia is expected to take part in the tender with its new Amur-1650 submarines, along with France’s Scorpio, Germany’s Type-214 and Spain’s S-80 submarines.
Mr. Dyachkov, who also heads the Rubin Naval Design Bureau, which designed the Amur-1650, thinks the Russian submarine stands a good chance of winning the Indian tender.
“We hope for success and are confident of fulfilling all terms of the tender in the required timeframe,” he told The Hindu.
The Amur-1650 makes far less noise than the Kilo-class submarines, which the NATO nicknamed “Black Holes” for their stealth qualities.
The shipbuilder denied media reports that said Russia was trying to have the demand for the submarines to have onboard Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system removed from the tender requirements.
“We have designed and built an advanced and safe AIP that generates hydrogen onboard and enables the submarine to stay underwater for much longer time,” Mr. Dyachkov said.

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Indian Navy to induct third indigenous stealth frigate on July 21




The Indian Navy will add teeth to its surface combatants' fleet with the induction of the indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri on July 21 in Mumbai.

INS Sahyadri is the third and the last of the Project-17 warships that India is building at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL).

"INS Sahyadri is scheduled for commissioning into the Indian Navy on July 21," a senior navy officer told IANS here Monday.

The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura, which are now on active naval duty, including anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

INS Shivalik had only this month sailed up to China's western Pacific coast on a long-haul deployment and had docked in Shanghai.

The Project 17 warships are christened after hill ranges in India and the 4,900-tonne vessels are one of the most advanced design with stealth features in the Indian Navy stable.

The MDL had laid the keel of INS Sahyadri in March 2003 and launched it in the water in May 2005. The warship had gone out into the Arabian Sea for sea trials earlier this year.

India plans to build seven more warships of this class in the future as a follow-on Project-17A.

The Shivalik class frigates are 142-metre long, 17-metre wide warships that run on two Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines and two GE LM2500+ boost turbines in combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration.

INS Shivalik was commissioned in April 2010 and INS Satpura in August 2011. With the commissioning of INS Sahyadri on July 21, the Project-17 of the Indian Navy stand completed. The three-ship project cost India nearly Rs.10 billion.

The Shivalik class frigates are mounted with an MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D air search radar, HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array), four MR-90 Orekh radar, an ELTA EL/M 2238 surveillance and theatre alert radar, two ELTA EL/M 2221 search-track-and-guidance radar, ATAS-Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite to counter an enemy attack.

These also carry a mix of Indian, Russian, and Western weapons such as the 3 inch Otobreda gun, DTA-53-956 torpedo launchers, RBU-6000 rocket launchers, Shtil surface-to-air missile system with 24 short to medium range missiles, Klub anti-ship cruise missiles, Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, and Israeli Barak-I missile defence system.

The frigates are capable of carrying two helicopters of the Dhruv, Sea King or Kamov varieties.

India Today 

Indian Navy to complete nuclear triad




With the Navy poised to attain a retaliatory nuclear strike capability, India will soon have a "credible and invulnerable" deterrent nuclear triad in place, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said.
Verma said such a nuclear triad was required in view of India's 'no first-use' policy. Setting out his analysis of India's maritime security, Admiral Verma, who is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdom as part of a bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Navy interaction, said there was increasing awareness in India that "the destiny of our nation is entwined with our maritime destiny".
"A retaliatory strike capability that is credible and invulnerable is an imperative. The Navy is poised to complete the triad, and our maritime and nuclear doctrines would then be aligned to ensure that our nuclear insurance will come from the sea," he said while addressing a conference here yesterday.
India is developing a retaliatory strike capability through weapon systems from land, air and sea. It is believed that it already has the capability to do so from land and air.
It will have the capability to do so with the induction of the indigenous INS Arihant nuclear submarine which is expected to be launched for sea trials in the near future.
Observing that Asian nations were growing at different rates, in different ways, and different economic models, Verma expressed concern over the fact that "it may lead to rapid military growth, non-compliance with the norms of international law, and the use or threat of the use of force."
"Three of the world's four largest economies will be in Asia. Many nations widely perceived to be 'rogue', or 'failed states', also belong to the same region. The region is also recognised by many as the 'primary loci' of 'ostensible' non-state threats in the world," he said commenting on the regional scenario by the year 2025. 
"Juxtaposed with these entities are three of the world's four largest Armies, and at least four declared nuclear weapon states... Certainly not a dull neighborhood!" he quipped.
Verma said in view of the situation, the Navy has adopted a capability-based, rather than a threat-based approach for future growth.
"We have articulated a perspective plan that lays out a roadmap for development of capability upto 2027... Our indigenous aircraft carrier project, besides the ongoing construction of destroyers and frigates, LCA (Navy) and strategic submarine programmes are a few examples," he said.
He said the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade-plus, as part of the Navy's medium-term aim of having at least two fully operational and combat-worthy carriers available at any given time.
Verma said of the 47 ships and submarines presently on order, 44 are from Indian shipyards. The induction programme of various vessels, he said, has been structured to continue at a pace such that, over the next five years, we expect to induct ships and submarines at an average rate of 5 platforms per year provided the yards deliver as per contracted timelines.
"Our air element is also being strengthened, with the induction of Mig 29K fighters, P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well as multirole helicopters," he said.
Navy officials have been saying that the third stealth frigate INS Sahyadri will be inducted into operational service on July 21. This would be the third of the Shivalik Class stealth frigates being produced indigenously by the Mazagon Dockyards Limited.
Verma also said that the Indian Navy has been working with its counterparts in China, Japan and South Korea, to end the scourge of sea piracy and India's efforts had "nearly eradicated piracy in our waters".
PTI

US, Japan begin naval drills near China




The US, Japan and South Korea began joint naval exercises in waters near China and the Korean Peninsula on Thursday, underscoring efforts to tighten military co-operation between the three nations.
The drills, which are certain to irk Beijing, are the latest example of strengthening ties among Beijing’s neighbours and between them and the US, which the Chinese government and military see as attempts to contain their country’s rise.

South Korean civic groups protested against the exercises at a rally on Thursday, however.
Japan and South Korea are both close allies of the US, but direct defence co-operation between the Asian neighbours has been limited by political sensitivities and lingering Korean resentment over past Japanese occupation and colonisation.
The two-day trilateral drills, which involve a US aircraft carrier battle group, three Japanese destroyers and South Korean warships, came after repeated calls from Washington for closer three-way co-operation.
“We strongly urge the three nations to stop their joint military drills as they would cause serious military tension and conflicts in Northeast Asia,” said the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a leading civic group.
The PSPD said there should be no military co-operation with Japan, saying Tokyo had failed to show serious repentance for “past wrongdoing” or respect for the pacifistic Japanese constitution.
Multilateral military co-operation is also a sensitive issue in Japan, where many people are wary of any further erosion of postwar restrictions on the development and use of armed forces.
Japan’s defence ministry sought to play down the significance of the exercises, stressing that the three countries had repeatedly held trilateral drills in recent years.
However, Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted the US defence department as saying that the two-day exercises were the first involving the three nations to be conducted in waters off the Korean Peninsula.
Personnel of the Maritime Self Defence Force – as Japan’s navy is officially known – had previously only joined exercises in the area as observers, Kyodo said.
After the trilateral drill, the US and South Korean navies will conduct “a routine carrier operation” in the Yellow Sea, west of the peninsula, from Saturday to Monday.
China’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the carrier exercise is certainly too close to Chinese borders for Beijing to feel comfortable. When the US last planned such war games in 2010, the Chinese government opposed the idea and in particular the potential participation of a US aircraft carrier, referring to the Yellow Sea as China’s “coastal waters”.
The exercises are part of wider drills marking the 62nd anniversary of the Korean war.
The US and South Korea will hold their largest one-day, joint live-fire exercise on Friday in Pocheon, about 15 miles south of the border with North Korea.
The exercise will focus on how to respond in case of a North Korean attack similar to the one on June 25, 1950. “The war is not over. We should face the stark reality where a war can occur any time,” said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for Seoul’s defence ministry. “We think the joint exercise will be the largest ever in terms of scale. North Korea calls it a provocation, but a military cannot be competent if it does not exercise,” he said.




U.S. sending floating naval base through the Suez Canal



U.S. sending floating naval base through the Suez Canal
File photo of the USS Ponce before it was refitted for long-term duty in the Persian Gulf.

A U.S. warship designed as a floating base for naval special forces is scheduled to transit through the Suez Canal for the first time as early as Friday, Navy officials say.
The USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship, recently finished a complete overhaul that now has it configured to operate as a floating staging platform for the military. It is being launched into the oil shipping lanes at a time of heightened tensions across the region, U.S. Navy officials told CNN.
The ship began approaching Suez on Thursday and is expected to enter the canal shortly on its way to the Persian Gulf.
The ship will function as a staging base for special operations forces and small patrol boats, including mine countermeasure vessels, in gulf waters that Iran has previously threatened to shut down.
Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, had long pressed for the conversion of the Ponce in order to have a mobile platform from which troops could quickly deploy at a time when budget cuts are restricting large-scale deployments.
The Ponce is specifically tailored to maritime missions in the Persian Gulf region, where land-based forces often do not have ready access and concerns persist about maintaining open access to the Strait of Hormuz for international shipping.
The ship has a mixed crew of Navy officers and enlisted personnel, as well as civilian government mariners.
The ship is expected to reach Bahrain about 10 days after making it through the canal. It is not clear when combat forces may board the ship

CNN Security ClearanceCNN Security Clearance

Friday, June 29, 2012

Latest IAF choppers inducted in Barrackpore



The fire at the Nandigram Marketin Burrabazar may not have blazed for nearly a week and many more lives could have been saved at the AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria had the Mi-17 V5 choppers - among the latest aircraft to be acquired by the Indian Air Force - been inducted at Barrackpore air force base earlier. The choppers, the first of which was ceremoniously inducted by Air Marshal S Varthaman, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, on Friday, is the first helicopter in the country to be fitted-with a Bambi bucket fire fighting system.
""These could have been very effective in controlling the blaze that occurred in Kolkata recently. A large bucket can be suspended below the aircraft. This can pick up nearly three and a half tonnes of water and drop them on a fire. These helicopters can be used for civilian purposes. They are fitted with loud hailers and powerful search lights that cane be used for effective crowd control during disaster relief operations,"" said Air Marshal Varthaman.
While an open blaze can be completely douzed with the large amounts of water that the choppers can carry, in fires like the one at AMRI, the water can help to cool down the building substantially and aid in normal firefighting.
The choppers of the newly set-up 157 Helicopter Unit can also be used to ferry personnel of central police forces for anti-Maoist operations. With their added endurance and special features, they will also come in handy during flood relief operations. In the past, choppers had to be brought in from elsewhere for flood-relief operations in the state.
According to Varthaman, 30 of the helicopters will be inducted at three air bases under the Eastern Air Command. Barrackpore will get its full squadron of helicopters by the end of this year. ""The IAF has ordered 80 of these helicopters from Russia. Though of Russian-make, the avionics inside are western. There is a weather radar on board that allows the aircraft to operate in all weather conditions in any terrain. These choppers are also the first in the country to be equipped with Generation III Night Vision Goggles. This allows them to fly in pitch dark conditions,"" the AOC-in-C said.
Its superior equipment and weapons will also make the helicopters very effective for Special Forces operations in the North East. Their greater maneuverability and ability to fly at high altitudes will allow them to operate in Sikkim and other mountainous regions.


More details



Mi-17V5(Source of Image: / precise3dmodeling.com / Mi-17V5/)

Mi-17V5 : Taking Action / A 2008 Deal…

  • The Indian Air Force has put into service the first batch of 80 Mi-17V5 tactical transport helicopters under a $1.3 billion deal, Russian state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said.
  • Under the 2008 deal, India has already taken delivery of about 20 Russian helicopters, built by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. The remaining helicopters are to be delivered and adopted for service in 2014. / Mi-17V5 /
  • The Mi-17V5, a utility helicopter, can carry up to 36 passengers or four tons or cargo.
  • India is one of the world’s largest Mi-8 and Mi-17 operators with over 200 aircraft in service. The Mi-8/17 family is the most widely produced helicopter design in history, with over 11,000 sold to more than 110 countries.  / Mi-17V5 /

NATO Reporting Name: “Hip” / Mi-17V5

  • The Mil Mi-17 (also known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service, NATO reporting name “Hip”) is a Russian helicopter currently in production at two factories in Kazan and Ulan-Ude. Mil Mi-8/17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. / Mi-17V5 /

Mi-17V5 Development…

  • Developed from the basic Mi-8 airframe, the Mi-17 was fitted with the larger TV3-117MT engines, rotors, and transmission developed for the Mi-14, along with fuselage improvements for heavier loads. Optional engines for ‘hot and high’ conditions are the 1545 kW (2070 shp) Isotov TV3-117VM. Recent exports to China and Venezuela for use in high mountains have the new VK-2500 version of the engine with FADEC control. / Mi-17V5 /
  • The designation Mi-17 is for export; Russian armed forces call it Mi-8MT. The Mi-17 can be recognized because it has the tail rotor on the port side instead of the starboard side, and dust shields in front of the engine intakes. Engine cowls are shorter than on the TV2 powered Mi-8, not extending as far over the cockpit, and an opening for bleed-valve outlet is present forward of the exhaust.
  • Actual model numbers vary by builder, engine type, and other options. As an example, the sixteen new Ulan Ude built machines delivered to the Czech Air Force in 2005 with –VM model engines were designated as Mi-171Sh, a development of the Mi-8AMTSh. Modifications include a new large door on the right side, improved Czech-built APU, Kevlar armor plates around the cockpit area and engines. Eight have a loading ramp in place of the usual clamshell doors, and will load a vehicle up to the size of an SUV. / Mi-17V5 /
  • In May 2008 licensed production of the Mi-17 started in China, with production being led by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC and the Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Limited in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The plant built 20 helicopters in 2008, using Russian Ulan-Ude-supplied kits; production is expected to reach 80 helicopters per year eventually. The variants to be built by Lantian will include Mi-171, Mi-17V5, and Mi-17V7. / Mi-17V5 /

Mi-17V5: General Characteristics…

  • Mi-17V5: Crew: Three – two pilots and one engineer
  • Capacity: 30 troops or 12 stretchers or 4,000 kg (8,820 lb) cargo internally /5,000 kg (11,023 lb) externally slung.
  • Length: 18.465 m (60 ft 7 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 21.25 m (69 ft 10½ in)
  • Height: 4.76 m (15 ft 7¼ in)
  • Disc area: 356 m² (3,834 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 7,489 kg (16,510 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 13,000 kg (28,660 lb)
  • Power: 2 × Klimov TV3-117VM turboshafts, 1,633 kW (2,190 shp) each

Mi-17V5: Performance…

  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h (135 knots, 155 mph)
  • Range: 465 km (251 nmi, 289 mi) (standard fuel)
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,690 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8 m/s[citation needed] (1,575 ft/min)

Mi-17V5:  Armament…

  • Up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including bombs, rockets, and gunpods. /Mi-17V5 /

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Four U.S. Navy minesweepers arrive in the Gulf



Four U.S. minesweepers have arrived in the Gulf to bolster the U.S. Fifth Fleet and ensure the safety of shipping routes, the U.S. Navy said, as an Iranian military chief suggested on Monday that Iranmight try to block the Strait of Hormuz to defend its interests.
The four additional mine countermeasures (MCM) ships arrived on Saturday and are scheduled for a seven-month deployment in an area of operations that includes the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The area also includes two other critical shipping choke points of the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandab between the southern tip of Yemenand Africa.
"MCM ships conduct operations with coalition forces in order to ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in international waterways," the U.S. Navy said in a statement late on Sunday.
Tensions between Iran and the West over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme have raised fears that Iran might try to block Hormuz - a vital shipping route for the global economy - if it is prevented from exporting its own oil by western sanctions that are to tighten again on July 1.
The commander of Iran's ground forces, Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, was quoted by the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) on Monday as saying Iran might use its influence over the Strait of Hormuz to defend its interests.
More than a third of all seaborne traded oil was shipped through Hormuz last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and even a brief blockage could cause price spikes that threaten global economic growth.
The USS Sentry, Devastator, Pioneer and Warrior are designed to clear mines from vital waterways, supporting a U.S. Central Command request for more MCM support, the U.S. Navy statement said.
For a factbox on energy export risks in the Middle East click. (Reporting byDaniel Fineren and Marcus George; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

Reuters

India to build second aircraft carrier





India plans to build its second indigenous aircraft carrier after the first one becomes operational by 2015 -16.

The first one – 40,000 tonnes Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) – is being constructed at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) since 2009 and is expected to be inducted by 2017.

Subsequently, CSL will undertake construction of the second carrier, which will be bigger than the first one.

“The indigenous aircraft carrier programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade as Indian Navy aims to have at least two fully operational and combat worthy carriers available at any given time,” Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said in his talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London on Monday.

With India’s lone carrier INS Viraat at the fag end of its career, Navy is set to receive Russian-origin INS Vikramaditya in December to boost its capability. 

The IAC-1 will be launched in water by 2013 and may start sea-trials by 2016. The programme is almost two and half years behind schedule as the target launch date was 2010. As the Navy’s long-term perspective plan envisages having three carrier battle groups, the CSL will start building IAC-2 once the work on the first one is over. A must to have in the repository to be projected as a powerful maritime nation, a carrier battle group is a small flotilla of warships at the core of which lie an aircraft carrier.

Verma said Navy’s induction programme was structured in such a way that every year over the next 5 years, as many as five ships and submarines would be inducted if shipyards deliver the platforms on contract schedule. 



Russia completes India’s submarine modernisation programme


INS Sindhurakshak File Photo: K.R. Deepak


The INS Sindhurakshak submarine came off the slips at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk on Saturday, marking the completion of a mid-life refit programme for the Indian Navy’s Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines in Russia.
During a two-year in-depth modernisation the torpedo-firing INS Sindhurakshak, built in 1997, has been equipped with the tube-launched Club-S cruise missiles effective against surface vessels and submarines at a range of about 200 km. It has also been provided with some Indian-made systems, including a hydro-acoustic "USHUS" complex, a CCS-MK radio-communication system and Porpoise Electronic Support Measures. After going through sea trials and firing tests the submarine will be handed over to the Indian Navy later this year.
The INS Sindhurakshak is the seventh and the last of the 10 Kilo-class submarines that India bought from Russia between 1986 and 2000 to have undergone mid-term repairs and modernisation in Russia. Of the remaining three submarines one was repaired in India and the two others are currently under repair in India.
Even as Russia prepares to deliver the last retrofitted submarine to India, Russia’s top shipbuilding official has come up with the idea of a second mid-life repair of the Indian Navy’s Kilo-class submarines.
“A second repair will add another 5 to 7 or even 10 years to the submarines’ scheduled 20-year service life,” said Andrei Dyachkov, Director General of Sevmash shipyard, who is expected to take over as the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which controls 70 per cent of Russia’s s shipbuilding assets, next month. “This will help the Indian Navy maintain its submarine strength in view of delays in the induction of French-built Scorpene subs and in floating a tender for six more diesel-electric submarines,” he said.
The Indian Navy issued Request For Information (RFIs) under the P-75 (I) project way back in 2008. However, it is yet to open a global tender for the submarines. Russia is expected to take part in the tender with its new Amur-1650 submarines, along with France’s Scorpio, Germany’s Type-214 and Spain’s S-80 submarines.
Mr. Dyachkov, who also heads the Rubin Naval Design Bureau, which designed the Amur-1650, thinks the Russian submarine stands a good chance of winning the Indian tender.
“We hope for success and are confident of fulfilling all terms of the tender in the required timeframe,” he told The Hindu.
The Amur-1650 makes far less noise than the Kilo-class submarines, which the NATO nicknamed “Black Holes” for their stealth qualities.
The shipbuilder denied media reports that said Russia was trying to have the demand for the submarines to have onboard Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system removed from the tender requirements.
“We have designed and built an advanced and safe AIP that generates hydrogen onboard and enables the submarine to stay underwater for much longer time,” Mr. Dyachkov said.

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Indian Navy to induct third indigenous stealth frigate on July 21



The Indian Navy will add teeth to its surface combatants' fleet with the induction of the indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri on July 21 in Mumbai.

INS Sahyadri is the third and the last of the Project-17 warships that India is building at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL).

"INS Sahyadri is scheduled for commissioning into the Indian Navy on July 21," a senior navy officer told IANS here Monday.

The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura, which are now on active naval duty, including anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

INS Shivalik had only this month sailed up to China's western Pacific coast on a long-haul deployment and had docked in Shanghai.

The Project 17 warships are christened after hill ranges in India and the 4,900-tonne vessels are one of the most advanced design with stealth features in the Indian Navy stable.

The MDL had laid the keel of INS Sahyadri in March 2003 and launched it in the water in May 2005. The warship had gone out into the Arabian Sea for sea trials earlier this year.

India plans to build seven more warships of this class in the future as a follow-on Project-17A.

The Shivalik class frigates are 142-metre long, 17-metre wide warships that run on two Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines and two GE LM2500+ boost turbines in combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration.

INS Shivalik was commissioned in April 2010 and INS Satpura in August 2011. With the commissioning of INS Sahyadri on July 21, the Project-17 of the Indian Navy stand completed. The three-ship project cost India nearly Rs.10 billion.

The Shivalik class frigates are mounted with an MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D air search radar, HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array), four MR-90 Orekh radar, an ELTA EL/M 2238 surveillance and theatre alert radar, two ELTA EL/M 2221 search-track-and-guidance radar, ATAS-Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta electronic warfare suite to counter an enemy attack.

These also carry a mix of Indian, Russian, and Western weapons such as the 3 inch Otobreda gun, DTA-53-956 torpedo launchers, RBU-6000 rocket launchers, Shtil surface-to-air missile system with 24 short to medium range missiles, Klub anti-ship cruise missiles, Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, and Israeli Barak-I missile defence system.

The frigates are capable of carrying two helicopters of the Dhruv, Sea King or Kamov varieties.

India Today 

Indian Navy to complete nuclear triad



With the Navy poised to attain a retaliatory nuclear strike capability, India will soon have a "credible and invulnerable" deterrent nuclear triad in place, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said.
Verma said such a nuclear triad was required in view of India's 'no first-use' policy. Setting out his analysis of India's maritime security, Admiral Verma, who is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdom as part of a bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Navy interaction, said there was increasing awareness in India that "the destiny of our nation is entwined with our maritime destiny".
"A retaliatory strike capability that is credible and invulnerable is an imperative. The Navy is poised to complete the triad, and our maritime and nuclear doctrines would then be aligned to ensure that our nuclear insurance will come from the sea," he said while addressing a conference here yesterday.
India is developing a retaliatory strike capability through weapon systems from land, air and sea. It is believed that it already has the capability to do so from land and air.
It will have the capability to do so with the induction of the indigenous INS Arihant nuclear submarine which is expected to be launched for sea trials in the near future.
Observing that Asian nations were growing at different rates, in different ways, and different economic models, Verma expressed concern over the fact that "it may lead to rapid military growth, non-compliance with the norms of international law, and the use or threat of the use of force."
"Three of the world's four largest economies will be in Asia. Many nations widely perceived to be 'rogue', or 'failed states', also belong to the same region. The region is also recognised by many as the 'primary loci' of 'ostensible' non-state threats in the world," he said commenting on the regional scenario by the year 2025. 
"Juxtaposed with these entities are three of the world's four largest Armies, and at least four declared nuclear weapon states... Certainly not a dull neighborhood!" he quipped.
Verma said in view of the situation, the Navy has adopted a capability-based, rather than a threat-based approach for future growth.
"We have articulated a perspective plan that lays out a roadmap for development of capability upto 2027... Our indigenous aircraft carrier project, besides the ongoing construction of destroyers and frigates, LCA (Navy) and strategic submarine programmes are a few examples," he said.
He said the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade-plus, as part of the Navy's medium-term aim of having at least two fully operational and combat-worthy carriers available at any given time.
Verma said of the 47 ships and submarines presently on order, 44 are from Indian shipyards. The induction programme of various vessels, he said, has been structured to continue at a pace such that, over the next five years, we expect to induct ships and submarines at an average rate of 5 platforms per year provided the yards deliver as per contracted timelines.
"Our air element is also being strengthened, with the induction of Mig 29K fighters, P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well as multirole helicopters," he said.
Navy officials have been saying that the third stealth frigate INS Sahyadri will be inducted into operational service on July 21. This would be the third of the Shivalik Class stealth frigates being produced indigenously by the Mazagon Dockyards Limited.
Verma also said that the Indian Navy has been working with its counterparts in China, Japan and South Korea, to end the scourge of sea piracy and India's efforts had "nearly eradicated piracy in our waters".
PTI

Thursday, June 21, 2012

US, Japan begin naval drills near China



The US, Japan and South Korea began joint naval exercises in waters near China and the Korean Peninsula on Thursday, underscoring efforts to tighten military co-operation between the three nations.
The drills, which are certain to irk Beijing, are the latest example of strengthening ties among Beijing’s neighbours and between them and the US, which the Chinese government and military see as attempts to contain their country’s rise.

South Korean civic groups protested against the exercises at a rally on Thursday, however.
Japan and South Korea are both close allies of the US, but direct defence co-operation between the Asian neighbours has been limited by political sensitivities and lingering Korean resentment over past Japanese occupation and colonisation.
The two-day trilateral drills, which involve a US aircraft carrier battle group, three Japanese destroyers and South Korean warships, came after repeated calls from Washington for closer three-way co-operation.
“We strongly urge the three nations to stop their joint military drills as they would cause serious military tension and conflicts in Northeast Asia,” said the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a leading civic group.
The PSPD said there should be no military co-operation with Japan, saying Tokyo had failed to show serious repentance for “past wrongdoing” or respect for the pacifistic Japanese constitution.
Multilateral military co-operation is also a sensitive issue in Japan, where many people are wary of any further erosion of postwar restrictions on the development and use of armed forces.
Japan’s defence ministry sought to play down the significance of the exercises, stressing that the three countries had repeatedly held trilateral drills in recent years.
However, Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted the US defence department as saying that the two-day exercises were the first involving the three nations to be conducted in waters off the Korean Peninsula.
Personnel of the Maritime Self Defence Force – as Japan’s navy is officially known – had previously only joined exercises in the area as observers, Kyodo said.
After the trilateral drill, the US and South Korean navies will conduct “a routine carrier operation” in the Yellow Sea, west of the peninsula, from Saturday to Monday.
China’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the carrier exercise is certainly too close to Chinese borders for Beijing to feel comfortable. When the US last planned such war games in 2010, the Chinese government opposed the idea and in particular the potential participation of a US aircraft carrier, referring to the Yellow Sea as China’s “coastal waters”.
The exercises are part of wider drills marking the 62nd anniversary of the Korean war.
The US and South Korea will hold their largest one-day, joint live-fire exercise on Friday in Pocheon, about 15 miles south of the border with North Korea.
The exercise will focus on how to respond in case of a North Korean attack similar to the one on June 25, 1950. “The war is not over. We should face the stark reality where a war can occur any time,” said Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for Seoul’s defence ministry. “We think the joint exercise will be the largest ever in terms of scale. North Korea calls it a provocation, but a military cannot be competent if it does not exercise,” he said.




U.S. sending floating naval base through the Suez Canal


U.S. sending floating naval base through the Suez Canal
File photo of the USS Ponce before it was refitted for long-term duty in the Persian Gulf.

A U.S. warship designed as a floating base for naval special forces is scheduled to transit through the Suez Canal for the first time as early as Friday, Navy officials say.
The USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship, recently finished a complete overhaul that now has it configured to operate as a floating staging platform for the military. It is being launched into the oil shipping lanes at a time of heightened tensions across the region, U.S. Navy officials told CNN.
The ship began approaching Suez on Thursday and is expected to enter the canal shortly on its way to the Persian Gulf.
The ship will function as a staging base for special operations forces and small patrol boats, including mine countermeasure vessels, in gulf waters that Iran has previously threatened to shut down.
Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the Middle East, had long pressed for the conversion of the Ponce in order to have a mobile platform from which troops could quickly deploy at a time when budget cuts are restricting large-scale deployments.
The Ponce is specifically tailored to maritime missions in the Persian Gulf region, where land-based forces often do not have ready access and concerns persist about maintaining open access to the Strait of Hormuz for international shipping.
The ship has a mixed crew of Navy officers and enlisted personnel, as well as civilian government mariners.
The ship is expected to reach Bahrain about 10 days after making it through the canal. It is not clear when combat forces may board the ship

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