AIRBUS TO INTRODUCE NEWEST LAKOTA HELICOPTER TO US ARMY - The Daily Guardian
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AIRBUS TO INTRODUCE NEWEST LAKOTA HELICOPTER TO US ARMY

Ashish Singh

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Airbus Helicopters will introduce the newest series of its Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army’s fleet, the company announced at the 2020 National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) virtual trade show. Starting with new orders placed this year for 17 additional Lakota helicopters, the US Army will welcome the newest series — known as the UH-72B — to their fleet in 2021. Airbus has delivered more than 460 UH72A Lakota helicopters to the US Army, Navy and National Guard, with the 463rd and final UH-72A model slated for delivery in September.

“Since we first began operations with the UH-72 Lakota some 15 years ago, this helicopter has been the workhorse of the Army and National Guard, saving lives, assisting in disaster relief, training thousands of pilots, and, more importantly, helping to protect our communities and our country,” said COL Calvin Lane, US Army Project Manager for Utility Helicopters. “Procuring the UH-72B Lakota provides tremendous value with no research and development costs for the Army.”The UH-72B will enter service for the U.S. Army National Guard and is the latest iteration of the same commercial, off-the-shelf aircraft that has been the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter since the first Lakota contract award in 2006. The Army is leveraging the benefits of a commercial off the shelf (COTS) program by receiving product improvements and enhancements through the evolution of the aircraft, without investing any government money into the development of those capabilities.

“This is welcome news for the men and women building the Lakota in Mississippi, as we expand our production capabilities and prepare for a successful future for the Lakota,” said Scott Tumpak, vice president responsible for Airbus military helicopter programs in the U.S. “Since 2006, every single Lakota has been delivered on time and on cost by our American workforce, whose pride of workmanship is evident in every aircraft we deliver.” The UH-72B is based on the widely successful H145, which incorporates various product improvements that have been developed during the lifecycle of the commercial aircraft. The efficient Fenestron tail rotor, more powerful engines, enhanced controls and the Airbus Helionix avionics suite, to name a few, will provide added benefits for mission safety and flight performance. With more than nine configurations available, the Lakota delivers proven performance, outstanding operational reliability, and unmatched versatility for a broad spectrum of military missions. Airbus Helicopters builds the Lakota at its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, which employs a workforce that is made up of 40% veterans. Since the program’s beginning in 2006, the Army and National Guard have amassed nearly 800,000 total flight hours. The UH-72A is the primary rotary-wing training aircraft for the Army, and serves in roles as diverse as search and rescue, disaster relief, counterdrug operations, and live-saving MEDEVAC flights.

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Defence

HAWK-I SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES SMART ANTI AIRFIELD WEAPON

Ashish Singh

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In a big boost to the indigenous Hawk-i program, HAL successfully test fired a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Hawk-i aircraft off the coast of Odisha. The indigenous stand-off weapon developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), DRDO is the first smart weapon fired from an Indian Hawk-Mk132. “HAL has been focusing on the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The Company owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs” said Mr. R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL.

The aircraft flown by HAL test pilots Wg Cdr (Retd) P Awasthi and Wg Cdr (Retd) M Patel executed the weapon release in a text book manner and all mission objectives were met. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events confirming the success of the trials. Mr. Arup Chatterjee, Director, Engineering and R&D, HAL said HAL is indigenously enhancing the training and combat capability of Hawk-i. HAL is in discussions with Indian Armed Forces for integration of various weapons on Hawk platform. The Hawk-i is HAL’s internally funded program offering  the Indian Armed Forces an upgrade and combat capability for the Hawk, transforming it into an Advanced Jet Trainer providing training on sensors and weapons in peacetime into a potent combat platform during conflict. The SAAW is an aircraft launched, advanced, precision strike weapon of 125 Kg category used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, runways within a range of 100 kms.  SAAW has been earlier successfully test fired from Jaguar aircraft.

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Navy reveals tableau for Republic Day Parade 2021

Ashish Singh

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Traditionally, the Naval Tableau paraded during Republic Day Parade is aligned with the Navy’s theme for the year. This year’s theme is Indian Navy—Combat Ready, Credible and Cohesive. The nation is also commemorating the golden jubilee of the victory in 1971 war as Swarnim Vijay Varsh. The Indian Navy proved its mettle as a credible force to reckon in 1971 war proving its combat efficiency and hence this year’s tableau aims to showcase the Navy’s stellar role as a credible force during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The forward part of the tableau showcases the attack on Karachi harbour by missile boats. The attacks were undertaken as part of Operation Trident on 03th/ 04th Dec night and Operation Python on 8th/9th Dec night. The tableau depicts a missile boat firing the missile and also the route taken by the attacking units during both the operations as track charts on sides of the Tableau. The rear section of the tableau illustrates the Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikrant conducting flying operations with Sea Hawk and Alize aircraft. The air operations from Vikrant led to sizeable damage to ships and shore installations of East Pakistan and contributed immensely towards the liberation of Bangladesh.

While we celebrate our victory, The Indian Navy has also acknowledged the courage and sacrifice of the Naval personnel who wrote this glorifying chapter of the Naval history. The tableau showcases photographs of eight naval awardees of Mahavir Chakra one of which was posthumous. On the sides of the trailer are murals depicting various ships that participated in the war, commando operations (Operation X) undertaken by the Navy along with MuktiBahini and the surrender ceremony at Dhaka. While the Navy has many other operations to its credit during the 1971 war, the paucity of space on the tableau precludes showcasing all those elements. The tableau is an attempt to highlight the most significant aspects of Naval operations conducted during 1971 war and pay rich tributes to those who were involved in these. I sincerely hope the Naval tableau would evoke the spirit of pride and patriotism amongst the audience witnessing the parade and a sense of nostalgia amongst those who participated.

INDIAN NAVY AT REPUBLIC DAY 2021

Naval Band: World renowned brass band of the Indian Navy led by Sumesh Ranjan, Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician) Class II.

Marching Contingent: Naval Contingent of 96 young sailors, proudly led by Lt Cdr Lalit Kumar as Contingent Commander and Lt Cdr Sune Phogat, Lt Aditya Shukla and Sub Lt Agastya Chaudhary as Platoon Commanders.

Indian Navy Tableau: The tableau being paraded is in pursuance with the Tri-Service theme “Swarnim Vijay Varsh”. The Tableau commanders are Lt Cdr CS Ruben and Lt Cdr Surbhi Sharma. The Indian Navy proved its mettle as a credible force to reckon in 1971 war proving its combat efficiency and hence this year’s tableau aims to showcase the Navy’s stellar role as a credible force during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

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Defence

IAF VICE CHIEF VISITS CAW, DRDO HYDERABAD AND AIR FORCE ACADEMY

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Air Marshal H.S. Arora, Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) visited College of Air Warfare (CAW), Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex DRDO Hyderabad and Air Force Academy on Friday. On his arrival at Air Force Station Begumpet, he was received by Commandant, College of Air Warfare, who apprised him of various courses being conducted at CAW. During his visit to CAW, the VCAS delivered a talk on contemporary situation to the Course Officers undergoing prestigious Higher Air Command Course (HACC). He also interacted with the directing staff and impressed upon the necessity of Op readiness and expectations from future leadership of Indian Armed Forces. The Air Marshal visited Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex, DRDO, Hyderabad. Mr. MSR Prasad, Distinguished Scientist and Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems along with Dr Dashrath Ram, Director DRDL and. BHVS Narayana Murthy, Director RCI updated the progress on DRDO projects related to IAF.

During his visit to the various technology centres at RCI, the Air Marshal undertook review of MRSAM system which is soon to be inducted in the IAF. He interacted with senior scientists of RCI and DRDL. He emphasised on the need for indigenous and mission mode development of missiles and weapon systems. He also assured scientists of full cooperation and support from IAF for the indigenous R&D efforts by DRDO. At Air Force Academy, the VCAS was received by Air Marshal IP Vipin, Commandant Air Force Academy. He was given a detailed presentation on the training activities being undertaken at the Academy. During his visit to AFA, the VCAS inspected and reviewed progress of various critical infrastructure projects being developed at AFA. He also flew a sortie on Pilatus PC-7 Trainer Aircraft and Hawk Aircraft. Pilatus PC-7 trainer and Hawk aircraft have significantly transformed ab initio and intermediate flying training of Pilots in the Indian Air Force.

Apart from imparting training to the fighter pilots of IAF, Hawk aircraft is also used by ‘Suryakiran’ the aerobatic team of IAF. The Air Marshal lauded the relentless efforts and sincere hard work of the Officers and Airmen of Air Force Academy in the process of transforming young Cadets into professional competent Military Officers.

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Defence

MILITARY INSTITUTE TECHNOLOGY CELEBRATES 10TH RAISING DAY

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The Military Institute Technology (MILIT), Girinagar, Pune, celebrated the 10th Raising Day earlier this week. Few events were undertaken in scaled down manner in view of Covid-19.

Addressing, the staff at MILIT on the occasion, AVM Vivek Rajhans, VSM, Commandant, recalled achievements of the Institute through the past year and acknowledged the efforts of MILIT in ensuring conduct of training for tri-service officers even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other events organised include a lecture by Vice Adm R Hari Kumar, AVSM, VSM, on ‘Theaterisation of the Armed Forces’ which was delivered online and attended by over 150 tri-service officers.

The Institute also undertook a tree plantation drive with the help of Mr Raghunath Maruti Dhole, of Devrai foundation, where in over 650 native trees were have been planted in two separate locations, which would be developed into a ‘Ghann Vann’ (mini dense forest) and a ‘Dev Rai’ (Sacred Grove).

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Defence

INS MUMBAI: 20 YEARS OF GLORIOUS SERVICE TO NATION

The ship has been at the forefront of major naval operations like 2002 Op Parakram, 2006 Op Sukoon, helping evacuate Indian, Nepalese and Sri Lankan citizens from Lebanon, and 2015 Op Rahat, evacuating Indian and foreign nationals from Yemen.

Ashish Singh

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INS Mumbai, a frontline guided missile destroyer of the Indian Navy celebrated her 20th anniversary on 22 January. The ship’s association with Mumbai city is unique as it is the only IN ship stationed at her namesake city.

The ship has an extremely illustrious lineage and rich legacy of dominance at sea since her first avatar of HCS Bombay in 18th century. Of the fifteen ‘Bombays’, preceding the present one, nine were warships. The tenth one is named after “Mumbai” in tune with change in nomenclature of the city. 

The ship’s motto is “Aham Prayptam Tvidametesam Balam”, which translates to “I am Invincible”, resonates with the spirit of the  city. The ship’s crest also draws inspiration from the City depicting the main gateway entrance to the Bombay Castle Barracks commissioned in 1951 in the honour of great Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. 

INS Mumbai, built indigenously at Mazagon Dock, is the latest of three P-15 class destroyers and was commissioned by the then Governor of Maharashtra Dr P.C. Alexander. Since commissioning, the ship has rendered yeoman service to the nation and has always excelled in all her endeavours. She was adjudged the ‘Best Ship’ thrice and the ‘Most Spirited Ship’ twice which is a rare feat for any warship.

With a displacement of over 6500 tons, the ship is manned by 350 sailors and 40 officers. The majestic ship spanning 163 metres in length, 17 metres at the beam, propelled by four gas turbines is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 32 knots.  Fitted with an enviable, state-of-the-art weapons suite, which includes Surface to Surface Missiles, Surface to Air Missiles, Anti-Submarine rockets and torpedoes, the ship can unleash lethal firepower upon the enemy. The ship also operates all kinds of helicopters in the naval inventory, which are its extended eyes and ears.

The ship has been at the forefront of major Naval Operations like Op Parakram (2002), Op Sukoon (2006: evacuation of Indian, Nepalese and Sri Lankan citizens from Lebanon) and Op Rahat (2015: evacuation of Indian and foreign nationals from Yemen). 

With an aim of fostering greater understanding of combat-potential and synergising the available means and resources of the armed forces, the ship is affiliated to Maratha Light Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. The raison d’etre of the affiliation is to produce a battle winning combination in war.

Interestingly, various parts of the ship have been christened after iconic locales in the city of Mumbai. To name a few, the entrance to the ship is called the ‘Gateway’, dining halls are called ‘Khau Galli’, and the Flag staff light is called ‘Prongs Lighthouse’. Tucked away like ‘Virar’ in one corner is the Quarterdeck, while the Helo deck is known as ‘Sahar Airport’ and the awe-inspiring panoramic view from the ship’s bridge is referred to as ‘Malabar Hill’.

To commemorate her 20th anniversary, various events like blood donation camp, tree plantation drive and a run between two prominent locations of Mumbai; Girgaon Chowpati to JK Kapur Chowk, Worli, where, the ship’s model is installed, were conducted.

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Defence

INDIAN NAVY UNDERTAKES MEDICAL EVACUATION FROM MERCHANT SHIP

Ashish Singh

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On 21 January, based on an input received regarding a medical emergency onboard a Singapore flag merchant vessel MV Eagle Tampa received at the Joint Operations Center at Headquarters Western Naval Command, a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) was executed by the Indian Navy. The ship, which was 18 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai, reported a patient, Geetha Selvaraja, a 34-year-old Malaysian citizen, to be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease and was experiencing difficulty in breathing.

Attempts by ship‘s agent JM Baxi & Co to transfer the patient to a tug failed due to high swell in the area. The patient being unconscious, also added to the complexity of the transfer. Following confirmation of two failed attempts to transfer the patient to the tug, an Indian Naval Seaking helicopter from INS Shikra was scrambled for MEDEVAC.

The helicopter picked up the patient from the ship and returned to INS Shikra. The patient was then transferred to Saifee hospital by private ambulance.

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