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Nuke capable Rafale-M tested for INS Vikrant in Goa

Written by Thursday, 28 September 2017 08:47

The marine version of the Rafale jet has a reinforced undercarriage and nose wheel, a bigger arrester hook, an integrated ladder, and other minor differences from the Rafale currently in use in the Indian Air Force.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Rafale M is better suited for use on the aircraft carriers than the F18 Hornet fighter from the US for several reasons.

India on Friday, will test the Rafale-M (Marine) jet for use on its Vikramaditya aircraft carrier as well as the indigenous aircraft carrier 1 (IAC1), which will be deployed as the INS Vikrant, at the INS Hansa in Goa, a shore-based test facility. The aircraft for the test arrived Thursday.

The Rafale-M aircraft is the F4 equivalent standard naval version of the Rafale. The marine version of the Rafale jet has a reinforced undercarriage and nose wheel, a bigger arrester hook, an integrated ladder, and other minor differences from the Rafale currently in use in the Indian Air Force.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Rafale-M is better suited for use on the aircraft carriers than the F18 Hornet fighter from the US for several reasons. They pointed out that it can fit into the lift bay of the Vikramaditya, unlike the F18 which cannot fit the lift of the Vikramaditya even with folded wings. The Rafale-M's dimensions also mean more of them (14) can fit onto the deck of the Vikramaditya as compared to 10 or 11 F18s.

It also requires very minimal modification to the wheel-chokes of the Vikramaditya, which are reversible and can be de-modified, if required.

The Rafale-M can carry up to four-five tonnes of external load (with full internal fuel) for a ski take-off. With lesser internal fuel, it can carry more weapons depending upon mission requirements. Thus it can carry out all roles, including combat air patrol, intercept, AD escort, as well as sea and land-strike with full internal fuel.

Officials familiar with the matter also added that unlike the F18s, which requires the carriers to be fitted with a new carrier optical landing system, the Rafale M’s can work with the existing one on the Vikramaditya.

There’s also the benefit of a common platform across the navy and the Air Force, one of the people said. Apart from synergies in logistics and maintenance, this person added, Indian Navy pilots could be trained on IAF’s Rafales for “faster induction”.

The navy will likely test the F18s at the same facility in March, HT learns.

The Vikrant is likely to be commissioned by August 15, and if the Rafale-M is chosen, India may seek to lease four or five of the aircraft for immediate deployment. The Vikramaditya is currently equipped with two squadrons of aging MiG-29.

The Rafale-M sent for testing is the latest version of the fighter with India-specific enhancements. It is nuclear-capable, carries Meteor air-to-air missiles, SCALP air-to-ground missiles, and Hammer precision guided ammunition. Source : ht

 

 

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India successfully test-fires new version of BrahMos missile

Written by Saturday, 23 September 2017 10:03

The missile is produced by BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russia joint venture. It can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land platforms. BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound.

India on Thursday successfully test-fired a new version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the coast of Odisha in Balasore, news agency ANI reported. According to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile was equipped with new technological developments which were successfully proven, according to ANI.

More than a week ago, on January 11, the DRDO had successfully test-fired a naval variant of the BrahMos from a stealth guided-missile destroyer of the Indian Navy.

The DRDO had said that the missile hit the designated target "precisely".

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh had congratulated DRDO officials for successful launch and said that it "reconfirmed the robustness of the Indian Navy's mission readiness".

BrahMos is a joint India-Russia venture, between the DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya, which, together, formed the Brahmos Aerospace. The missile derives its name from two rivers: the Brahmaputra in India and the Moskva of Russia.

BrahMos Aerospace, the India-Russia joint venture, produces the supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.

BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound.

India has already deployed a sizeable number of the original BrahMos missiles and other key assets in several strategic locations. Source : ht

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First squadron of S-400 deployed in Punjab sector: Report

Written by Tuesday, 19 September 2017 05:57

The S-400 missile defence system is equipped with four different missiles which can engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 km, 250 km, the medium-range 120 km and the short-range 40 km.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday first squadron of deployed Russia-made S-400 missile system in the Punjab sector, news agency ANI reported. This will give a boost to country's air defence capabilities.

"The first squadron is being deployed in the Punjab sector. The batteries of the first squadron would be capable of taking care of aerial threats from both Pakistan and China," ANI quoted government a official as saying on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this month, foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla had announced that Russia has started deliveries of the surface-to-air long-range missile system. Shringla’s statement came soon after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India.

During Putin’s day-long visit, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov praised the S-400 air defence missile systems deal between his country and India, saying the United States tried to strong-arm India into opting out of the pact but New Delhi went through anyway.

The US, which is also India’s main defence partner, had expressed its disapproval towards the S-400 missile deal but India contended that the negotiations began years before Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was enacted, Hindustan Times reported earlier.

A purchase agreement was signed in 2015 and a deal worth $4.5 billion was finalised in 2018. The US tried to stop it with counter offers of its rival Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAD) and Patriot systems. It was an offer that came too late.

The US uses CAATSA to bring sanctions against nations that have economic and defence ties to Russia, North Korea and Iran. It used the law to earlier sanction trade partner China and Nato ally Turkey for purchasing the S-400 missile systems.

The US had said in November that it is yet to determine whether it will waive those sanctions with respect to the deal between India and Russia.

The S-400 air defence system was contracted for by India in a deal worth around Rs35,000 crore and five squadrons would be provided to India for tacking air threats from up to 400 km.

The S-400 missile defence system is equipped with four different missiles which can engage enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles, and AWACS planes at 400 km, 250 km, the medium-range 120 km and the short-range 40 km.

IAF officers and personnel have trained in Russia on the system. Source : ht

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US F-18 fighter op-demo in Goa for INS Vikrant in April-May

Written by Monday, 18 September 2017 09:09

The other important factor that weighs in favour of the F-18 is that it can fit the INS Vikramaditya or INS Vikrant lift with folded wings without compromising on its operational readiness.

US defence major Boeing is planning an operational demonstration of F-18 Super Hornet carrier-based fighter at the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa in April-May this year as a possible contender for Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and soon to be commissioned INS Vikrant. Both the Indian aircraft carriers use ski-jump to launch the fighters with arrested recovery through the net.

According to officials in knowledge of the matter in Washington and in New Delhi, the US Navy conducted ski-jump trials of F-18 fighter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland in US or Pax river in December 2020 but the Indian Navy team could not attend the demonstration due to travel restrictions on account of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the US Navy shared extensive data of the ski jump trials with the Indian Navy. A year later in December 2021, both the US Navy and the aircraft manufacturer did a site inspection of SBTF at INS Hansa in the presence of Indian Navy officials.

While presently the operational demonstration of Rafale-Marine is on at the INS Hansa as the other option for Indian aircraft carriers, both the twin engine aircraft are virtually of the same later 1990s vintage and of the same 4.5 generation.

Even as the Indian Navy will be evaluating both the aircraft, the F-18 is a two seater fighter, which is more suitable to carrier based operations for better orientation at sea. Rafale-M is a single seater fighter, while it has a two seater trainer but that can only be operated from the shore.

The other important factor that weighs in favour of the F-18 is that it can fit the INS Vikramaditya or INS Vikrant lift with folded wings without compromising on its operational readiness.

In case of Rafale-M the fighter will only fit to carrier lift after the wing tips of the aircraft are removed as the wings cannot be folded and the span is more than that of a folded F-18 fighter.

Aviation experts says that an adapter platform will have to be fitted for F-18 Super Hornet as it allows faster movement of jets from lower deck to deck under combat and high seas condition.

Although both France and US are close allies of India, the Modi government will also take into account the license, maintenance and spare parts issues as it cannot afford to be caught on the wrong foot in a rapidly changing security environment.

Under no circumstances, the Modi government will allow India's strategic autonomy and operational readiness to be compromised. Source : ht

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Hyundai cars get costlier by up to Rs 84,867

Written by Saturday, 16 September 2017 08:51

NEW DELHI: Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) today increased prices of its various models by up to Rs 84,867, following a hike in GST cess rates.

The price hike will range from 2 to 5 per cent and will be effective from September 11, the company said in a statement.

HMIL, which is country's second largest passenger car manufacturer, has hiked the price of 1.4-litre petrol automatic variant of its premium hatchback Elite i20 by Rs 12,547.

Besides, it has raised prices of the newly launched mid-sized sedan Verna by up to 29,090. Similarly, prices of SUV Creta have been hiked ranging between Rs 20,900 and Rs 55,375.

The automaker has also raised prices of its premium sedan Elantra ranging between Rs 50,312 and Rs 75,991. It has also increased the price of its premium SUVTuscon between Rs 64,828 and Rs 84,867.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has also announced a hike in prices of its Jeep and Fiat range of vehicles by up to Rs 6.4 lakh. 

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Google to Introduce Mobile Payment Service in India

Written by Friday, 15 September 2017 06:16

 

Alphabet's Google plans to introduce a localised digital payment service in India as early as next week, technology website TechCrunch reported, citing a report from news site The Ken. The payment service, called Google 'Tez', will offer payment options beyond the existing ones like Google Wallet or Android Pay, the report said.

Tez, meaning fast in Hindi, will include support for the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and other consumer payment services including Paytm and MobiKwik, according to the report. Google did not comment on the report, but sent a media invite for the launch of a new product for India on Sept. 18.

Google, Facebook and WhatsApp were in talks with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide UPI-enabled payment on their platforms, the Mint daily had reported in July. The internet giant launched its payment app Android Pay in the United States two years ago.

 

 

 

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WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton to Leave Company

Written by Wednesday, 13 September 2017 06:18

 

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, will leave the messaging service company to start a new foundation, he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Acton spent eight years with WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion in cash and stock.

A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009. The duo worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp.

Here's Acton's Facebook post announcing his departure from WhatsApp, and explaining his reasons, in its entirety.

"After 8 years at WhatsApp, I have decided to move on and start a new chapter in my life.

I am very fortunate at my age to have the flexibility to take new risks and focus on what I'm passionate about. I've decided to start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications. It's something I've thought about for a while, and now it's time to just focus and execute. I'll have more to share in the coming months.

This decision is, of course, a tough one. I'm proud of what our team has accomplished in only a few years, and it's humbling to see that so many people rely on WhatsApp every day.

 

 

 

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Micro-blogging website Twitter is reportedly testing a feature that will simplify the way users post "tweetstorms" — a series of related tweets posted by a user in quick succession.

According to a report on Engadget on Monday, A user has discovered a hidden, experimental "tweetstorm" feature in Twitter's Android app that simplifies the process. "Instead of posting tweets one at a time and replying to them in sequence, you compose everything behind the scenes and share it all at once," the report added.

Hidden inside the Android app is a way to write a "tweetstorm" and see it broken into distinct tweets and then tweet them all at once.

Twitter, however, declined to comment on the feature which is yet to be made available to the public.

Twitter has lifted the 140-character limit for its 328 million-plus users to send direct messages. While Twitter is largely a public experience, direct messages let you have private conversations about the memes and news that unfold on the micro blogging site. The company said last year that it would stop counting photos, videos and GIF animations toward the 140-character limit.

This report comes a day after Twitter started allowing users to share access to multiple accounts via iOS and Android applications without needing to share that account's password.

 

 

 

 

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WhatsApp rolls out two new feature for both Android and iOS users. One of them is the Picture-in-Picture video calling feature and the second one is the text status update. To recall, both the features were earlier available for the beta users, but now WhatsApp has pushed out both the features to stable builds. WhatsApp has been rolling to several new features almost every other day; this is basically because the Facebook-owned messaging platform is aiming towards improving its functionalities.

The new Picture-in-Picture video calling feature allow users to multitask. The feature basically allows the users to make video calls and send messages to friends simultaneously. For instance, if a user is on a video call and also wants to talk to some other friend via message, they can simply resize the video calling screen so they can talk to one friend via video call, and message the other one. After resizing the video call screen will appear at one side of the mobile screen, while the background will be that of the chat box. It is noteworthy, the resized video calling screen can be resized as per requirement and it can also be dragged to any corner of the phone screen.

This is the Picture-in-Picture feature, also known as PiP. Now the text status updates feature. Like we share pictures and videos as status, iOS and Android users will now be able to set a text status as well. It is different from the profile text status. We know that picture and videos on WhatsApp status last's only for 24 hours. The scene will be the same with the new WhatsApp text status as well. So, how does this feature work?

 

 

 

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In collaboration with Reliance Jio, domestic consumer electronics brand Intex Technologies on Friday announced data benefits up to 25GB for its 4G smartphone users.

Under this scheme, all Intex 4G Smartphone users using a Jio connection will get additional 5GB 4G data per recharge, over what they normally get on a recharge of Rs. 309 or above.

"The world's largest end-to-end IP network of Jio and Intex's pan-India mobile distribution network will together be a delight for consumers," said Nidhi Markanday, Director and Business Head, Mobiles, Intex Technologies, in a statement. The offer is limited to a maximum of five recharges.

Late last month, Chinese manufacturer Oppo also partnered with Reliance Jio to offer data benefits to its smartphone customers.

Those customers who purchase an Oppo smartphone and enrol themselves in Jio Prime membership will get additional data benefits.

As per the new offer, buyers of Oppo's F3F3 Plus, and F1 Plus smartphone models can get additional data up to 10GB on every recharge of Rs. 309 or above (making it up to 60GB of additional data). On the other hand, those customers who purchase Oppo F1sA57A37, and A33 models can get additional data up to 7GB on every recharge (making it up to 42GB of additional data). Notably, customers can avail these additional data benefits for a maximum of six Jio recharges.

 

 

 

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