Sunday, 29 January 2012

NACRA: Smart phone technology takes leap to battlefield

(copyright Using commercially available "smart phones," NACRA project coordinator Ashley Morgan sends and receives streaming video, voice and text across an encrypted/tactical 4G network during a recent demonstration of digital interoperability technologies hosted by NACRA and the NAWCAD's Surface-Aviation Interoperability Lab. Hovering near him, NACRA's testbed helicopter provided the 4G "cell tower in the sky" for the demo.
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- A joint demonstration involving multiple defense agencies and several aerospace companies proved that smart phone technology can be used to improve battlefield awareness. 

A tactical digital network, featuring advanced digital radios, hand-held cellular smart phones, a helicopter-mounted “cell tower in the sky” and a boarding party in the Chesapeake Bay recently completed a joint interoperability demonstration.

“This is a big deal because until recently, we’ve not been able to communicate between devices in a tactical networked environment without extensive preplanning and coordination,” said Cmdr. Chris McMahan, Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement demonstration coordinator. “Today’s data links are mostly point-to-point networks where ad hoc connections aren’t possible."

Participating teams displayed ad hoc data sharing on a simulated battlefield in a December exercise by using hand-held cellular smart phones to send and receive real-time video, voice and text sharing between a small-boat team on the Bay and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Surface/Aviation Interoperability Laboratory.

The participating teams included NACRA, SAIL, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and aerospace companies Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Collins. “It’s the same idea as accessing the Internet from a smart phone or a Wi-Fi-capable notebook to share email or a video with a friend,” explained McMahan. “The Internet doesn’t care what your device is as long as it uses the right protocols. This is the same thing, only we’re doing it encrypted in a tactical environment where we have to bring our own mobile cell tower mounted on the helicopter.”

And while that might seem routine for civilian Internet users, it’s challenging in a secure tactical arena. 

“We’re trying to achieve ‘platform agnosticism,’ where you don’t have to preplan participation,” McMahan added. “Much like how we’re able to access the Internet via any number of available devices and modes, we wanted to demo an encrypted tactical network where the data is important and the devices are relatively transparent.”

Specific network capabilities included Quint Networking Technology, 4G/LTE wireless networks, L band, C band and UHF radios, PRC-117G radios, Blue Force Tracker and a 3G/4G LTE transmitter mounted on one of NACRA’s testbed helicopters.

Key to the demo was DARPA’s Tactical Targeted Network Technologies -- an Internet Protocol (IP) based, high-speed, dynamic, ad hoc network hosted by the Rockwell-Collins QNT networking radios. The Naval Air Warfare Center’s SAIL acted as a ship, providing a sea-based node to the network, demonstrating the ability to access an IP-based network from the sea.

Indian Army To Hold Several Military Exercise

Some of the world elite military powers, which include the US, Russia and France want to learn from the Indian army and thus will hold war games with the IA. Not to be left behind smaller friendly countries are gearing for war games too. The exercises are not only related to urban warfare a forte of IA but it will include mechanized columns and infantry formations as well.

Indian Army will hold around 15 exercises this year with friendly foreign countries including the who's who in the global arena, army officials said.

In its immediate neighbourhood, Indian Army will conduct these joint training exercises with Bangladesh and Singapore.

'Bold Kurukshetra' with Singapore army will kick-off the war games in Babina near Jhansi in March. The two sides will field their mechanised forces in the training engagement.

The schedule and nature of exercises with other countries are yet to be decided, but anti-terrorism drills and urban warfare is going to be an important part of all of these war games, officials said.

The army troopers will also engage the American mechanised forces in the deserts of Rajasthan in the exercise 'Yudh Abhyas' which will see the US fielding its tanks there.

The US had participated in exercise 'Yudh Abhyas-2009' with the Indian Army, when it had taken its Stryker infantry armoured vehicles outside of its operational area to a foreign land.

Indian Army had participated in the exercise with its mechanized infantry battalions. Similar exercises have also been planned with the armies of France and Russia.

Last year in October, troops of Indian and French armies had conducted a joint exercise-'Shakti-2000' in the hills of Ranikhet in Uttarakhand.

The fourth round of 'INDRA' series of joint exercise between Indian and Russian armies was also conducted in 2010 in Uttarakhand.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Successful test-flight of Lakshya-II

Two days after a successful trial, the advanced version of pilotless target aircraft (PTA) Lakshya-II was again successfully flight- tested at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) near here today. The 11th flight demonstration was held from a mobile vehicle at launch complex-3 of the ITR, about 15 km from here. A similar trial had been conducted on Wednesday. "The entire flight was pre-programmed and was totally successful," defence sources said. Lakshya-II flew at sea skimming height of about 15 metres. "In a flight lasting over 30 minutes, it was made to dive down from an altitude of around 800 m to just 12 m and maintained the requisite altitude for the specified time before demonstrating auto climb-out," they said. It demonstrated various technologies and sub-systems to prevent loss of mission, engaging and flying in way point navigation mode while carrying tow targets. During the flight, one of the tow targets was released and the other was deployed while way point navigation was on. Lakshya-II has been designed and developed by Bangalore- based Aeronautical Development Establishment, a premier DRDO lab specialising in UAVs and flight control systems, they said.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Carrier Vikramaditya Ready for India After Eight Year Wait

© RIA Novosti. Sergey Safronov
A Russian aircraft carrier which is being refurbished for the Indian Navy will begin sea trials in May for the first time in two decades and is to be handed over to India by December 2012, a shipyard official said on Tuesday.

The purchase of the Soviet-built Admiral Gorshkov was agreed in 2004 with delivery initially due for 2008. The delivery date slipped on numerous occasions and the final price for the ship has more than doubled.

The cost of refurbishing Gorshkov, to be renamed INS Vikramaditya, has gone up from $947 million to $2.3 billion. “The vessel is expected to undertake sea trials at the end of May,” Sergei Novosyolov, deputy director of the Sevmash shipyard in the far northern port of Severodvinsk, which is refitting the 45,000-ton ship which Russia took out of service in 1992.

 Russia is one of India’s largest suppliers of military hardware. Ninety-six Indian specialists are currently being trained to operate the ship, Novosyolov said, adding that the final number of those to be trained is 1,401.

Last week, a Russian military source said Russia would hand over the nuclear-powered Nerpa submarine to India by the end of the month.

The Day Of Hindu Genocide In India

Aftab, a local Urdu newspaper, publishes a press release issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen , set up by the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1989 to wage jihad for Jammu and Kashmir's secession from India and accession to Pakistan, asking all Hindus to pack up and leave. Another local paper, Al Safa, repeats this expulsion order.

Russian Air Force Has A New AWACS

© RIA Novosti. Denisov Anton
A modernized A-50U airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force on Tuesday, Defense Ministry spokesman Col Vladimir Drik said.

The aircraft, which has an advanced onboard computer, satellite communication and radar systems, was delivered to the Air Force in October and started flight tests.

It will participate in all major military exercises this year, the spokesman added.

The aircraft now has the capability to detect various types of flying targets, including helicopters, cruise missiles and supersonic aircraft, he said.

The Beriev A-50, based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport, first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.

The A-50 can track up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air interception or air-to-ground attack missions.

Britain Using Rocks To Spy on Russia

Britain has for the first time admitted it was spying when Russia’s state security service, the FSB, accused British diplomats of using a transceiver hidden inside a rock on a Moscow street.
Footage showing the alleged spies using the device was aired on Russian TV in January 2006. The FSB described it as “absolutely new spy technology.”

The UK Foreign Office then denied the claims.
But in a BBC documentary due to be broadcast later today, Jonathan Powell, then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, admitted the footage was genuine.

“The spy rock was embarrassing,” Powell said, adding that the Russians “had us bang to rights.”
“Clearly they had known about it for some time and they had been saving it up for a political purpose,” he said.

That purpose was to justify the adoption of a controversial new law giving the authorities increased powers to monitor the activities and finances of non-governmental organizations, the documentary alleges.

Then President Vladimir Putin said NGOs were being used as a cover by foreign spies and argued that the measure was necessary for state security but critics said it cracked down on human rights and democracy.

Chinese Virus Targets American Department Of Defense

It is widely believed that Chinese security agencies have started a cyber attack on the US Defense Departments Common Access Card. This sophisticated piece of code has the ability to quietly steal military secrets without the knowledge of the infected card holder.

The technique though is not new it targets the civilian workers in DoD through email with a PDF attached,once that PDF is opened this code infects the system and starts logging in your keystroke, it can easily acquire all kind of personal details.

This strain is modified to target the CAC technology of DoD and geared toward stealing military technology. To lure unsuspecting civilians into a trap this email often has information about the new drone technology or pictures of unnamed vehicle.

Pentagon spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. April Cunningham declined to comment on the details published by AlienVault.

“We are aware of reports regarding this matter and take these type of reports seriously. However, due to operational security, we are not able to provide further details,” she told Military Times.

Experts said the virus is linked to a “command and control server” that appears to be based in China; some flaws buried deep in the code revealed Chinese language characters, suggesting that only a Chinese speaker would be able to launch it.

Defense of any kind against this technology is quite bleak but the attack can be rendered useless by better training to troops and civilian employees. Teaching them not to open these emails and performing all the security checks needed.

Many military officials are eager to begin widespread use of smart phones, tablets and other wireless devices, but cyber security experts caution that such technology can be more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Feeble Resistance By The Indian Army Surprised The Chinese

China did not expect India to give in so easily in the 1962 war, so much so that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) overran Indian posts and reached deep into Tezpur in the plains of Assam, said Colonel (retd) Abhay

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

India's FMBT Plan In A Mess. Is It Tejas & Arjun All Over Again?

By Ajai Shukla
CVRDE, Avadi, Chennai
Business Standard, 2nd Jan 12

India’s Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT), the backbone of the army’s strike power into the mid-21st century, languishes while the army continues an extended debate over its specifications.

A year ago, on 6th Dec 2010, Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha that the army had formulated the FMBT’s specifications and the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) was carrying out feasibility studies. Antony, it now emerges, misled parliament. MoD sources say the army remains undecided about the basic features of the FMBT, including whether it should have three crew members or four. Consequently the army has not finalised the FMBT’s Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirements (PSQR), essential for sanctioning the project and allocating funding.

New Delhi Gets Missile Shield Protection

This could be a game changer folks, so I am very excited to inform you what was told by Ministry Of Defense.According to them Indian version of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) is ready. Under Phase-1 deployment, the National Capital Region (NCR) will come under the safe shield of programme Air Defence (AD). Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that the entire operations will be linked to the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) in Delhi.

“India’s network-centric warfare capabilities will come to the party with AD cover for NCR first. Once, this module is operational, we can replicate the same to other Indian cities. We have submitted a detailed programme to the government in this regard,” sources said.

In Phase-II deployment, cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata could find a place, though the specifics have not been yet finalised. “Missile launchers, radars, interceptors and network systems have all being readied for NCR. India will now be among the league of nations with BMD capabilities,” sources said.

Surrounded by hostile neighbours possessing nuclear capable ballistic missiles, the threat perception to India has been brainstormed and assessed periodically by New Delhi. The AD system detects an incoming missile hundreds of kilometres away and destroys it outside the atmosphere, and any leakages will be dealt with at lower heights before it could do any significant damage.
Giving the technical challenges of AD, sources said: “We have to detect the missile and should possess the ability to track it at distances of several hundred kilometres. We need to give adequate reaction time to the control centre to analyse the threat, and to interceptors to be launched to take on the incoming missile before it reaches the target. We have the radars now and the plan for improved longer ranges is in progress.”

The size of an incoming missile payload could be just two to three metres and it comes at a speed of approximately 5 km/sec, giving very few seconds to the weapon systems to react. This requires very accurate prediction of incoming missile position as well as control of interceptor path. “The coverage has to ensure adequate number of radars, a highly integrated, network-centric system which can process the inputs from various radars, predict the path of the incoming missile and decide when the interceptor has to be launched,” sources said.
“The coverage is for an entire area consisting of several hundred kilometres and not for a specific building. However, the deployment ensures that key assets are at the centre of the covered area providing highest protection,” sources said.

Once the NCR module is deployed, similar modules can be adopted covering other important regions, and eventually the entire country. “All modules are interlinked in overlapping fashion to generate net worked AD system. Satellites are needed only for time synchronisation of different stations across the country,” sources said.

In future, a need would arise to detect the launch of a ballistic missile thousands of kilometres away, sources said, and added that this would be done by satellites having very high sensitive infrared detectors to detect the plume from boosters of missiles and provide early warning to the AD systems in the powered phase of the potent target.

“It would be possible to use high energy weapons to destroy these systems during launch. These are areas where the country needs to look forward and take a technology initiative to close gaps in defence capabilities,” sources said.

The deliverable version of an endo-atmospheric interceptor missile (protection range or down range will be approximately up to 30 km, and kill altitude approx 20 km) is all ready to be flight-tested. The missile is part of the twin-layered ballistic missile defence that is being developed by the DRDO which engages the enemy missile in the endo-atmosphere.

The interceptor missile is primarily designed for engaging short to medium-range ballistic missiles (SRBM/MRBM) with ranges up to 2,000 km. It has also got the capability to engage quasi-ballistic missiles of medium range. The performance in terms of the kill zone and lethality of
this missile is significantly higher than contemporary missiles like PAC-3.

Later this month (January), the complete deliverable version of this missile will be flight-tested from Wheeler’s Island against an SRBM launched from Chandipur. A significant research has gone into development of highly sophisticated onboard algorithms to enable DRDO scientists in predicting a near hit-to-kill performance in the next mission.

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Red Shadow Grows Darker On Indian Ocean

Slowly but surely the Chinese master plan of colonizing Indian Ocean and its countries is materializing. The signals are unmistakable nobody in his right mind can deny it (except Prime Minister Of India). Some anlayst say it is to protect Beijing's economic interest, I beg to dis-agree. Yes everything at the end boils down to economics but China now see's itself as a superpower and wants an empire similar to what it had few thousand years ago. Thus it does not matter to them if they support tin-pot dictators or terrorist regimes.

In the past three weeks Beijing has committed to supporting Ugandan forces operating in Somalia and to helping the Seychelles fight piracy."It is very clear that the Chinese leaders recognize that military force will play a bigger role to safeguard China's overseas interests," Jonathan Holslag, of the Brussels Institute of Chinese Contemporary Studies said.

"There is a willingness, and even a consensus, in China, that this process will take place."
The Indian Ocean is strategic, Holslag said, noting that 85 percent of China's oil imports and 60 percent of its exports are routed via the Gulf of Aden.

It is believed that China only has three ships in gulf of Aden to fight piracy, and though the number seems insignificant it is the first step toward a larger role. You can say these ships are the Avon guard of a larger colonizing force coming behind. Even though at present the military co-operation is very low profile yet it can be turned up to full fledge bases at any time.

"The mere fact that China has a multi-year naval presence in the Gulf of Aden has great symbolic and diplomatic significance," said Frans-Paul van der Putten, senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

"Symbolic because it shows other countries that China is an emerging naval power in the region, and diplomatic because China uses its navy ships for occasional visits to ports along the Indian Ocean rim, which helps it strengthen its diplomatic ties with countries in the region," he added.

The shock came when Seychelles asked the Chinese to set up a naval base in their waters to protect them against the pirates. Does it sound familiar to Indian Readers, this was exactly the same excuse used by the British Colonizers in Indian sub-continent.

"China needs port infrastructure to supply its ships in the Indian Ocean, and covering a wider zone could make sense," said Mathieu Duchatel of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Beijing in its effort to stabilize Somalia where it has a huge economic interest has asked Uganda to use its military might and in return Uganda will get payed 2.3 million USD. It is like China is using these small countries to fight each other and once they are weak enough it can easily exploit them without having to pay any thing.

China has already started building a network to link Ethiopian oil reserves to a port in Somalia. So you can be assured that if war breaks out in Somalia China will do its utmost to keep a friendly government in power irrespective if that government is led by a terrorist.If Ethiopia fails to tow the line as per their liking then China with the help of Ugandan mercenary army and Somalia can engineer some kind of war in Ethiopia to get a better deal.

Though every military expert worth his salt has warned the Indian Government but the pacifist Manmohan Singh government turns a blind eye to the build up in the Indian ocean as it has done to the build up on the India's eastern border. What it fails to realize is that these steps will have a long time impact on the strategic balance.

Pakistan an arch enemy of the Indian Republic and a terrorist state has been cozing up to China just to get some kind of security umbrella, with China dominant in the Indian Ocean it will have no fear from the Indian Navy which is vastly superior to a non-existent Pakistani Navy.

Both Washington and New Delhi, already concerned about China's activities in the Pacific, take a dim view of its ambitions in the Indian Ocean.