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INS Krishna

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After serving the seas for 44 years — first as the Royal Navy’s HMS Andromeda from 1968 to November 1994 and in its current avatar as one of Indian Navy’s First Training Squadron Ships, INS Krishna (F-46), from August 1995 — has retired. The last broad beam Leader-class frigate was built by the Portsmouth Dockyard, Andromeda (the eighth bearing pennant number F 57). The frigate had weathered many storms in the ‘Beira Patrol,’ a blockade in the Mozambique channel to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia (Zimbabwe); the last two ‘Cod wars’ with Iceland over fishing rights when the frigate suffered damage resulting from collisions; the Falklands action when it was deployed on escort duty; and the ‘Armilla Patrol’ in the Gulf for escort of oil tankers.

T-50 Stealth Fighter Jet

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Makes first public appearance

T-50 stealth fighter jointly developed by Russia and India has made its first international public appearance at the 2011 Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon. It should be noted that the new fighter is being jointly developed by India and Russia under the 2007 FGFA agreement. Under the agreement, India will get up to 200 T-50 fighters, while the Russians are planning to order 150. The T-50 jets are being developed at an estimated cost of USD 10 billion of which India would invest USD 600 million. The new stealth fighter will provide the backbone not only of the Russian air force but also of the Indian air force. The aircraft is envisioned as a mainstay in the air defence for both Russia and India, and it is intended to match the United States' F-22 Raptor. Like the F-22, the Russian T-50 is capable of cruising at speeds 2.4 times the speed of sound and will be more agile than current Russian fighter aircraft due to thrust-vectoring of the engine nozzles allowing for higher-G manoeuvres.

What is a Stealth Fighter: Stealth aircraft are aircraft that use stealth technology to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar as well as reduce visibility in the infrared, visual, audio, and radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Well-known modern examples of stealth aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk, the B-2 Spirit, F-22 Raptor. While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft prevent conventional radar from detecting or tracking the aircraft effectively, reducing the odds of a successful attack. Stealth is the combination of passive low observable (LO) features and active emitters such as Low Probability of Intercept Radars, radios and laser designators.

Progress M12-M crashed

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A Russian space freighter Progress M12-M, carrying cargo to the International Space Station has crashed in a remote area of Siberia. The unmanned Progress cargo craft was launched from the main Gagarin launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called Roscosmos, said they received a breakdown report from the Progress M-12M before it left the radio coverage zone. The wreckage of the Progress M-12M space freighter fell in the Choya District of South Siberia's Altai Republic.

The spacecraft was to deliver more than 3.5 tons of cargo to the crew of the ISS now orbiting the Earth. The load included food supplies, medical equipment, personal hygiene items, as well as scientific equipment needed for experiments aboard the ISS. It should be noted that currently there are currently six astronauts


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UAV ‘Nishant’ completes confirmatory flight trials Nishant, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has successfully completed the series of confirmatory trials conducted by the Indian Army at Chandan Range Pokharan recently. One of the

Strategic Weapons : UAV Rustom-1

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The “Rustom 13  UAV being developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO lab engaged in pioneering R&D work in the field of aeronautics, has recently underwent it’s second successful flight test. The test flight took place at a general aviation airfield operated by Taneja Aerospace in Hosur near Bengaluru. With the successful accurate flying of Rustom 1, now the ADE is geared up for integration of payloads with the aircraft within next three months, to demonstrate performance of payloads and necessary secure data-link to the users. It is here mentioned that the first test flight of the Rustom was conducted from Hosur in November 2009, but ended when the air vehicle crashed following a “misjudgement of altitude”.The Rustom 1 has a planned endurance of 12-15h; it can carry payloads of up to 75kg (165lb) and has a maximum ceiling of 25,000ft (7,620m). The UAV’s datalink is designed and developed by India’s Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory, while its airframe and most of its electronics are produced by Indian companies.

Understanding Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs):

(a) What Is a UAV?UAV, means aerial vehicles which operate without a human pilot. UAVs are commonly used in both the military and police forces in situations where the risk of sending a human piloted aircraft is unacceptable, or the situation makes using a manned aircraft impractical. One of the predecessors of today’s fully autonomous UAVs were the “aerial torpedoes”, designed and built during World War One. These were primitive UAVs, relying on mechanical gyroscopes to maintain straight and level flight, and flying until they ran out of fuel. They would then fall from the sky and deliver and explosive payload. More advanced UAVs used radio technology for guidance, allowing them to fly missions and return. They were constantly controlled by a human pilot, and were not capable of flying themselves. After the invention of the integrated circuit, engineers were able to build sophisticated UAVs, using electronic autopilots. It was at this stage of development that UAVs became widely used in military applications. UAVs could be deployed, fly themselves to a target location, and either attack the location with weapons, or survey it with cameras and other sensor equipment. Modern UAVs are controlled with both autopilots, and human controllers in ground stations. This allows them to fly long, uneventfully flights under their own control, and fly under the command of a human pilot during complicated phases of the mission.
(b) Applications of UAVs: Since their creation, UAVs have found many uses in police, military, and in some cases, civil applications. Currently, UAVs are most often used for the following tasks:  (i) Aerial Reconnaissance – UAVs are often used to get aerial video of a remote location, especially where there would be unacceptable risk to the pilot of a manned aircraft. UAVs can be equipped with high resolution still, video, and even infrared cameras. The information obtained by the UAV can be streamed back to the control centre in real time. (ii) Scientific Research – In many cases, scientific research necessitates obtaining data from hazardous or remote locations. A good example is hurricane research, which often involves sending a large manned aircraft into the centre of the storm to obtain meteorological data. A UAV can be used to obtain this data, with no risk to a human pilot. (iii) Logistics and Transportation – UAVs can be used to carry and deliver a variety of payloads. Helicopter type UAVs are well suited to this purpose, because payloads can be suspended from the bottom of the airframe, with little aerodynamic penalty.