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Friday, 9 May 2008

From Today's Papers - 09 May

2,822 units for Army housing plan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, yesterday laid the foundation stone of the third phase of the housing project in Noida. Constructed by the Army welfare housing organisation, this is the Phase-3 of an ongoing project.

It will have a total of 1,066 dwelling units, including 54 Penthouses. The site in Greater Noida measures 95 acres on which a total of 2,822 dwelling units (DUs) are planned to be constructed. The project has been planned in three phases, out of which in Phase-1, 844 DUs have already been completed and are in the process of being handed over.

Woman power behind Agni-III
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
India’s successful launch of the nuclear capable Agni-III missile yesterday also had a woman behind it. The second in command of the mission is a defence research and development organisation scientist, Tessy Thomas.

Thomas is an assistant project director while the mission director is Dr Avinash Chander. The role of Thomas
was revealed when the defence research and development organisation, which does not interact with the media directly, released a few photos of the Agni team through the defence public relations wing.

The lone woman standing among the team pictured next to the missile before its launch was also released.

Thomas stood out in the male-dominated world of defence space scientists and was reportedly “very happy” when the missile hits its target south of the equator after travelling nearly 3,000 kms in just 13.2 minutes.

Helmet-mounted display screens for IAF, Navy
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Indian Air force pilots flying fighter jets will be “seeing” the world and enemy targets through a helmet-mounted computer screen display when they fly out in the near future. The screen will be fitted onto the visor of the helmet.

European defence and aerospace company, Thales, will be upgrading French made fighters, Mirage 2000. Though the Mirage upgrade deal is still to be finalised, according to Francois Quentin vice-President, Thales, the first four Mirages would be upgraded in France and the rest 47 in India by creating special facilities at Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. In the upgrades the entire airframe of the Mirages would be stripped down and re-equipped with the advanced radar avionics and weapon delivery system, Quentin said.

The helmet display will also be provided in the soon-to-be-acquired MiG-29K fighters. This is being purchased for the Indian Navy and will be based on naval-ships. In today’s fly-by-wire technology, each second is important and the helmet mounted screen technology is being used by just a couple of developed countries. The helmet display provides head pointing information and head referenced display surface to the pilot. This facilitates easy target designation.

It helps in missile head and weapon-sensor technology. In the new technique, the computerised display will be fitted onto to the pilot’s visors, providing the pilot with cues for flying, navigating and fighting aircrafts.

In some models adopted in the UK, the computer screen also superimposes infra-red imagery on to the visor to allow the pilot to look through the cockpit floor at night and see the world below.

Thales today signed a joint venture with Indian company Samtel for producing highly sophisticated cockpit helmet mounted displays and other avionics for fighter aircraft in India.

Samtel, which will hold a 74 per cent stake, proposes to bid for mounting of these specialised helmet pilot displays. The joint venture comes after the government last week announced a 1 billion Euro project to upgrade IAF’s 51 Mirage fighters to the level of those flying with the French Air Force.

Quentin said the upgrades would enhance the life of the Mirage fighters by 20-30 years. The French company official said the deal was expected to be signed in the next three to four months and the first of the upgraded Mirages delivered to the IAF by 2011.

The French company also has 30 per cent of its systems on-board the new Dassault fighters Raffale, which are in contention for India’s biggest ever global tenders worth $10 billion for purchase of 126 multi-role combat aircraft. Samtel is collaborating with IAF for installing major avionics system for the Russian acquired Sukhoi-30.

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