Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Delhi: With the government stating that the global meltdown had not affected the defence industry, the Indo-French joint venture Samtel-Thales is planning to put up two stalls at the upcoming Aero India Show in Bangalore to display its latest products in the avionics sector.
“We would have on display some of the latest avionics systems including automatic equipment testing, multi function display (MFD) and helmet mounted display (HMD) as also other equipment which would provide complete solution in the avionics sector,” director of Samtel Group, Mr Puneet Kaura, said.
With the Indian defence industry expected to touch almost $100 billion in the coming 10 to 15 years, he felt the market would grow rapidly and “there was need for bigger players from India to take up a larger share of this pie”. The display of avionics equipment at the Aeroshow is part of the exercise by the Samtel group to project itself as a leading manufacturer. The IAF would be beginning trials for 126 aircraft in April-May. “The defence industry is quite insulated and though it had been dominated by public sector undertakings over the last few years Indian private companies have been playing a pivotal role. I think this is good for the country,” Mr Kaura told The Statesman.
The Samtel group had in May 2008 launched a joint venture with the leading French company Thales with plans of making products which would make India part of the global supply chain for civil and military avionics. What has apparently buoyed the company is the government’s plans to speed up the process of defence acquisition. Mr Kaura said “our target is to get 35% of the total supplies specially in regard to avionics as this is an important area for the Indian Air Force which is in the process of modernisation.”
06/02/09 The Statesman

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Bangalore: In a setback to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) programme, the Prototype Trainer Two (PT2), landed on its belly at the HAL airport here on Wednesday evening after a routine aerobatic sortie. The programme is already delayed by four years,
The sortie was undertaken as part of the preparations for the next week’s “Aero India 2009” air show here.
The aircraft was piloted by HAL’s Executive Director - Chief Test Pilot (Fixed Wing) Squadron Leader Baldev Singh (retd.) and Wing Commander C. Subramaniam, an Indian Air Force fighter pilot on deputation to HAL.
Eyewitnesses said the aircraft appeared to do a normal touch-down, rolled and then the wheels started retracting, forcing it to land on its belly.
Initial indications are that the landing speed of the aircraft could have been a shade too fast, prompting the pilots to try and retract the undercarriage, and do a touch and go as the aircraft was likely to overshoot the runway.
There were suggestions that one of the tyres could have burst during landing, resulting in brake failure. A court of inquiry, headed by Benji Mammen, HAL’s Chief of Project, Light Combat Aircraft, has been set up to look into the incident.
There was structural damage to the undercarriage and belly, the doors and one of the wing tips.
HAL’s only chance of showcasing the IJT at the air show now rests on PT1, the prototype that suffered a crash in February 2007 (during Aero India 2007) when the canopy opened just before take-off.
06/02/09 Ravi Sharma/The Hindu

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