Archive for February, 2011

Saab steps up game with tech offer

The Swedish defence and aviation major Saab is ready for a complete and total transfer of technology to India through its partnerships with the local private sector companies.
This was stated by Saab AB’s senior vice president and head of industrial co-operation Mr Andreas Von Der Heide at the Aero India International Conference earlier this week.
Mr Von der Heide said that the Saab approach will be to provide technological and knowledge exchange supporting India’s ambition to be an independent player within the defence technology market, with special focus on aerospace technology.
Saab will provide guaranteed full access to Saab’s technology on all levels and form long-term partnerships with local industry. Towards this, the company is proposing to build a centre of excellence for net-centric warfare and the development of mission-critical applications and C4I solutions. The company is currently investigating possibilities to locate a R&D centre to India in partnership with Indian universities.
“Our commitment is always long-term and focusing on creating business opportunities that go beyond traditional offset obligations. These include spin-outs and joint ventures together with partners, product development programmes in close co-operation with local industry, establishing Saab companies on local markets and supporting social programmes on local markets,” said Mr Von der Heide.
11/02/11 Deccan Chronicle

Embraer detects Indian niche

Embraer plans to roll out the first of India’s three EMB-145 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft this month, and is looking for other niche opportunities on the sub-continent.
Embraer defence head Orlando Neto commented on the status of India’s EMB-145 at Aero India 2011. “After we deliver the aircraft, the Indian Air Force will undertake systems integration.”
Under the $208 million 2008 deal, Embraer built the aircraft based on the airframe of the E-145 regional aircraft. It then installed indigenously designed radar and communications links. Nato expects all three to be delivered by the end of 2011.
“India is definitely a growing business for us,” says Neto. “They have objectives and we see ourselves complementing these objectives. Though their procurement process is long, defence procurement everywhere takes time, but this doesn’t concern us because we understand it.”
Aside from the EMB-145s, Embraer has also delivered to the Indian government five E-145s configured for the VIP role. The aircraft are operated by the Indian Air Force and have enhanced communications features.
10/02/11 Greg Waldron/Flight Global

51 Mirage 2000s will be upgraded

The deal to upgrade the existing fleet of 51 Mirage-2000s would be finalised in the coming financial year.
Talking to reporters on the second day of the eighth edition of Aero India, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik said India and France had moved closer to the deal in December 2010. The deal has been hanging fire for close to three years after it was cleared by the ministry of defence’sdefence acquisition council during French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s first visit to India in January 2008.
The deal involves integration of advanced multimode pulse doppler radar and fire-and-forget missiles, jointly by French Dassault and Thales along with Indian DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Other features, as given out by Air Marshal R K Sharma on Thursday, include modern glass cockpit, new avionics, EW equipment, new weapons and sensors.
11/02/11 Suman Sharma/Daily News & Analysis

HAL to go in for Rs 20,000-cr makeover

Bangalore: India’s premier public sector defence units are set to build up capacities in a significant way to meet the flood of defence-manufacturing requirement projected in the country under evolving defence procurement and production regimes.
Aircraft manufacturers Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) announced a Rs 20,000 crore plan over 10 years for modernising its plants and hinted at a possible public offering like its giant PSU cousins Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Earth Movers Limited at the Aero India 2011 here on Thursday.
BEML, meanwhile, announced plans to set up a Rs 350-crore aerospace engineering facility while BE indicated negotiations for tie-ups with global defence radar majors like the British Thales and the Israeli Rafael in a push to achieve a target of $300 million to $500 million offset business in the next three to five years from current marks of $60 million.
11/02/11 Johnson TA/Indian Express

IAF to acquire 230 choppers

Bangalore: Modernising its fleet of helicopters, the Indian Air Force on Thursday said it was looking to acquire more than 230 choppers in the near future.
Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told reporters at Aero India 2011, that the force is in the process of acquiring helicopters of different types and sizes in the next couple of years. “We are acquiring 12 AW 101 VVIP helicopters, trials for 22 attack choppers are completed, 80 MI-17 IV helicopters are being inducted and 50 odd would be added, trials for 12 heavy-lift choppers are also in the final stage and will be completed soon,” he said.
Naik said the field evaluation trials (FETs) for procuring 197 helicopters for the Army and Navy were also over and the report was expected to be submitted in the next couple of weeks. Of the 197, IAF would receive over 55 helicopters. For the attack helicopters, Russian MI-28 and American Apache 64 D Longbow are facing each other. The IAF chief said the trials were over and a report was expected in the next two weeks. Under the LUH programme, the Army has conducted trials of the Russian KA-226 and Eurocopter Fennec, and would send its report to the IAF soon.
11/02/11 Times of India

Ratan Tata repeats flying feat at 74

Bangalore: Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group, was the centre of attraction on the second day of Aero India 2011 by flying in a fighter jet. The 74-year old veteran of the Indian corporate world surprised everybody by flying in a F/A-18 of Boeing, repeating a feat he’d demonstrated in 2007. “It takes a lot more to fly the F-18 as compared to a Falcon,” said Tata after returning to the ground.
The flight, piloted by Mike Wallace, saw Tata experiencing close to 7G — seven times the normal gravity force on the body. A known aviation enthusiast and a regular at the Aero India shows, he made the first dramatic entry in the 2007 edition, having co-piloted both the F-16 and F-18 on successive days.
11/02/11 Business Standard

Bogus tickets on sale in Bangalore

Bangalore: Are you looking forward to see the high action-packed air show at the Yelahanka Air Force Station? Well, don’t raise your hopes too high. Not only are the chances of you not getting tickets for the show high; you might also end up buying fake ones.
DNA on Thursday found out that miscreants in the city are selling Aero India 2011 tickets in the guise of ‘DRDO officials’. Authorities of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), one of the main event managers of Aero India 2011, have confirmed that ticket sales have been withdrawn from all outlets but the CII counter near Gate 1 of the Air Force Station. Tickets are sold through the official website of Aero India 2011 as well.
Despite this, there are miscreants out to make a quick buck. DNA on Thursday conducted a reality check and discovered that a popular mall in the city’s central business district—which was initially keeping air show tickets for sale—is now directing the Aero India 2011 ticket-seekers to a person named Kiran with a mobile no (9844785965).
Interestingly, Aero India organisers had earlier made it clear that tickets should not be bought from anywhere else other than the authorised counters at designated malls, State Bank of India branches or at the venue itself after the air show has commenced.
11/02/11 HM Chaithanya Swamy/Daily News & Analysis

Disaster managers are on their toes

Bangalore: Not just an accident, but this time around, the disaster management cell is well prepared to tackle any terrorist, chemical or biological attack on the ongoing Aero Show. The new inclusion in the disaster management team this year is that of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, the team has trained a total of 600 members from different sectors in order to tackle any unprecedented disaster. The aero show has already witnessed about six accidental bush fire accidents, because of the Nilgiri groves surrounding the area. Thanks to the quick reaction team, the fire was doused at the earliest.
MK Aiyappa, deputy commissioner, district disaster management cell (urban) said, “We have five emergency respondent teams set up around the venue at Gates 8 and 9, Gantaganahalli village, MVIT College, Chikajala police station and at the control room outside the venue. All the data is collected in one centre and the concerned team is alerted during an emergency.”
The NDRF team has been included to tackle any possible chemical, biological or even terror attacks. “Our team is prepared to respond to as many as six disasters simultaneously. Any disaster first affects the area outside the venue, which is why we have strategically placed these static squads at different places,” said K Pradeep, nodal emergency liaison officer.
11/02/11 Rakshita Adyanthaya/Daily News & Analysis

Sattva eyes a bigger pie in defence sector

Bangalore-based Sattva Group, which forayed into the aerospace sector with acquisitions of two companies — AASPL and E tech — showcased its products at the Aeroshow 2011 on Thursday.
“The aerospace and military product design development and support is one among the fastest growing areas with the increased emphasis by the ministry of defence on the need for increased indigenised contents in the defence sector,” said Bijay Agarwal, chairman, Sattva Group.
The group has invested Rs25 crore and is expecting to grow four times in the near future.
While AASPL displayed their range of generators and actuators at the aeroshow, E Tech showcased generator control units, interface board, CPU board, and acquisition systems among others. “We build embedded products from concept to manufacture for global markets,” said N V Maslekar, MD, Sattva E Tech.
AASPL, in particular, has been set up with the intent to take care of the Indian defence establishment’s need for design, development, production and delivery of electrical motors, electrical generators, hydraulic systems and all types of actuators.
11/02/11 Supriya Ghorpade/Daily News & Analysis

HAL reveals new look for HTT-40 basic trainer design

A new basic trainer design is making its first appearance on Hindustan Aeronautics’ stand in model form, with the HTT-40 turboprop planned as an indigenous replacement for the Indian air force’s retired HPT-32 Deepaks.
HAL says the aircraft – which differs markedly from a concept image displayed at the last Aero India show – has an 11m (36ft) wing span, a fuselage length of 11.3m and a maximum take-off weight of 2,800kg (6,170lb).
The type will be capable of flying at a maximum speed of 243kt (450km/h) and at altitudes up to 19,700ft.
11/02/11 Craig Hoyle/Flight Global

Eurocopter displays AS550 C3 Fennec

Eurocopter’s AS550 C3 Fennec helicopter is making its Indian debut at the show.
The AS550 recently completed field trials with full mission equipment for the Indian armed forces’ reconnaissance and surveillance applications, says Eurocopter.
The company’s participation at the show will also focus on the AS565 Naval Panther – a version of the Dauphin family, which is suited for the requirements of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, says Eurocopter.
11/02/11 Flight Global

ITT eyes Indian air traffic management system

US aerospace engineering firm ITT sees big potential for its air traffic manatement (ATM) systems in India’s booming market for civilian air travel.
“The air traffic growth rates in India are very high,” says James Cieplak, senior manager air traffic management international. “There are 25 big airports, and 400 airports in total. The ATM systems in India work well and are up to international norms, but eventually they will adopt next generation standards.”
India’s ATM system relies on radars based at the country’s airports. While radar is effective at tracking aircraft, it is expensive, and eventually needs to be replaced, says Cieplak. ITT’s alternative to this relies on radio stations and satellites to track aircraft, allowing for better accuracy and more frequent updates.
10/02/11 Greg Waldron/Flight Global

HAL hands over a Cheetah to Namibia

Bangalore: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over a Cheetah helicopter to the Namibian air force at a function held at the HAL stall at Aero India 2011 on Wednesday, the opening day of the eighth edition of the air show.
The HAL has also agreed to supply two Chetaks to Namibia.
HAL managing director (helicopter complex) and director (corporate planning and marketing) P Soundara Rajan handed over the helicopter to Namibian defence minister Maj Gen (Retd) Charles Namolah.
Soundara Rajan said HAL was committed to meeting the target of handing over two Chetaks to Namibia. “We are committed in handing over the Chetaks to Namibia and the work in this regard is in full swing,” he said.
The Namibian delegation included the high commissioner to India Samuel K Mbmbo and Namibian air force commander air vice-marshal MK Pinehas. General manager (helicopter division) MS Srinath, and general manager (helicopter MRO division) Anirudh Kumar were among those present from the HAL side. The five-seater Cheetah is a high performance helicopter designed for operation over a wide range of weight, centre of gravity and altitude conditions.
10/02/11 Daily News & Analysis

Air Works inks overhaul pact with Embraer, Rockwell Collins

Bangalore: In what will extend its footprint in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and general aviation sector in India, Air Works Pvt Ltd on Wednesday announced inking of two deals — one with communication and aviation electronic solutions provider Rockwell Collins and the other with Embraer.
The Mumbai-based company said Embraer had appointed Air Works as an Embraer Authorised Service Center (EASC) for Phenom executive jets in India. The company was certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to provide MRO services for all Phenom 100 executive jets in the country in January.
The MRO firm currently maintains and repairs Airbus and Boeing planes of Spicejet, GoAir and Kingfisher Airlines. Now with its deal with Embraer, it will be able to service aircraft of Madurai-based Paramount Airlines and other carriers.
Vivek Gour, CEO, Air Works, said the company’s tie-up with Rockwell Collins will make it India’s first authorised reseller and provider of services for Collins products. Through the alliance, Air Works will carry out flight line maintenance (FLM) and warranty repairs or modifications for Rockwell Collins products in India.
10/02/11 Supriya Ghorpade/Daily News & Analysis

This Maruti too can fly

Bangalore: Maruti 800s are no more in production. But it serves as a nice guinea pig for experiments. That is exactly what A K Vishwanath did with the aam aadmi’s car of the 1980s.
An array of metal birds from all over the world at the Aero India show at the airport was facing tough competition for eyeballs from a mere Maruti 800.
The car has been modified with some strange contraptions by a Bangalorean into a flying machine; it was fitted with wings and a hood for each of the wheels.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, A K Vishwanath, the innovator, said, “The idea is to ensure a car the common man can drive and fly safely. I came back from the US to work on the project and have spent 17 years working on it.”
Though the Director General Civil Aviation has not given clearance for flying the car, numbered KA 09 N 2920, its mere presence at Aero India has given wing to Vishwanath’s dream project.
Vishwanath has tried to create an ‘artificial tornado’ which will provide thrust to his creation. He has provided four modes for the car: vertical takeoff and landing, cruise speed, hover mode and emergency float mode. The car is yet to be flight-tested, but the innovator is sure the flying machine is theoretically perfect.
10/02/11 Bangalore Mirror

Karnataka all set to become aerospace giant

Bangalore: Even as Bangalore is holding the eighth edition the Aero India 2011, Karnataka is making a headway in becoming an aerospace giant with 28 aerospace companies promising an investment of Rs.10,000 crore in the state.
The biggest Indian aerospace project would be of Mahindra Aerospace Pvt Ltd which has received clearance from the state government for their Rs. 284 crore project in Kolar.
“Mahindra will be setting up the plant in Kolar, but other than that we have already approved 27 aerospace plants that will be set up in the Aerospace Park near Devanahalli,” V P Baligar,Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, told The New Indian Express.
Through the investments,the State is looking at a turnover of `10,000 crore through various projects in the Aerospace Park alone, Baligar explained.
Mahindra which has recently acquired a majority stake in two Australian companies Aerostaff Australia and GippslandAeronautics, however, will be building the aerospace components, aero structure and assemblies line at its 12 acre plant in Narasapura Industrial Area, Kolar.
The State Industries and Commerce Department is pitching hard for the Aerospace Park and so for the first time, it has also setup a stall at the Aero Show 2011.
10/02/11 ExpressBuzz

‘Energetic lady’ gets passes for all 5 days

Bangalore: This was the only moment of levity in an otherwise sombre press conference by defence minister AK Antony on the inaugural day of the Aero India 2011.
A Chinese television journalist interrupted the question and answer session by complaining to Antony that despite her applying for a media pass, her request was turned down by the organisers of the air show. On Wednesday morning, she received a pass which stated that she could cover only the inaugural day of the show.
“Despite applying for a media pass, my requests were turned down. When they finally decided to give me a pass, it said I can’t cover the remaining four days. The Chinese ambassador to India also got an invite only yesterday. Why are we not allowed to this show which is a great spectacle,” asked Li Miao, a journalist with the China Central Television.
Heeding to her demand, Antony immediately asked the ministry of defence officials to provide her a pass to cover the event for the remaining days.
“She is a very energetic lady. Make all arrangements to ensure she covers the show,” Antony directed to his officials.
10/02/11 Hemanth CS/Daily News & Analysis

China attends air show

Bangalore: India appears to be clueless on how to take defence ties with Beijing forward. China was not among those invited to attend Aero India, but later India changed its stance.  Chinese Envoy Xang Yang showed up at the event after getting an invitation at the last moment.
Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday said China was not invited, because it had never taken interest in the event before. But this time, the Chinese ambassador did not miss the opportunity to make his presence felt even when the invitation to him was delivered only on Tuesday afternoon.
10/02/11 Gautam Datt/ExpressBuzz

Eyeing mega deal, contenders spread their wings

Bangalore: The eighth version of Aero India 2011, kicked off on Wednesday at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bangalore in a spectacular show with F/A 18 Superhornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, F 16 and the Gripen — five of the six contenders for India’s US$10-billion Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal — putting up a grand display of aerial superpower. Mig 35, the sixth contender, was not seen performing.
This edition of Aero India is important in the backdrop of the 126 MMRCA deal and the top six contenders vying for the deal are flexing their muscles going out of the way to ensure that their product is noticed and marketed well to the Indian decision makers.
“This is the biggest show for us this year — even bigger than Paris or Central Europe shows. It is not always that we bring five of our aircraft at a show,” said Joanna Sjolander, in-country director, Saab Gripen, who have for this edition of the show brought three Gripen aircraft along with two commercial planes that include Saab 2000 and 340.
The case is no different with Eurofighter Typhoon who have a delegation of 10 that includes UK defence equipment minister and high commissioner amongst other officials.
10/02/11 Pranav Kulkarni/Indian Express

Russia may deliver first upgraded MiG to India in 2011

Russia could deliver the first modernized MiG-29 fighter jet to India as early as in 2011, the head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Wednesday.
India signed a $960 million contract with Russia in 2008 to upgrade its five squadrons of 69 MiG-29 fighters, which have been in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) since mid-1980s.
“The first upgraded plane, I think, will be delivered in 2011,” Mikhail Pogosyan said on the sidelines of the Aero India 2011 air show, which opened on Wednesday in Bangalore.
“The whole upgrade program will be carried out on schedule agreed with the Indian side, and it will take several years to implement it,” Pogosyan said.
The upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by a Phazatron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft is also being equipped to enhance beyond-visual-range combat ability and for air-to-air refueling to increase flying time.
10/02/11 Ria Novosti

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