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To Grant Permanent Commission to Women, Army Considers Creating a Special Cadre

The Army is finalising a plan to grant permanent commission (PC) to women in an array of areas by creating a special cadre for their induction, official sources said today.

They said the permanent commission to women is being considered for a number of segments including cyber and IT, corps of military police and various posts in service selection board.

At present, the Army offers permanent commission to women in the Army Education Corps (AEC) and the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department.

Majority of women recruits in the Army are short-service commission (SSC) officers and they have a maximum tenure of 14 years.

The sources said the Army was seriously working on extending the areas where women can be recruited.

"The Army is considering creating a special cadre for recruitment of women officers under permanent commission category," said an army officer.

Last month, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was considering granting permanent commission to short service commission women army officers.

A group of women army officers recruited under SSC scheme had approached courts seeking PC status.

In September last year, the Army had announced that it was inducting women in the military police, seen as a major move towards inducting them for combat roles.

The role of the military police includes policing cantonments and Army establishments, preventing breach of rules and regulations by soldiers and maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war.

The Indian Army is yet to open doors for combat roles for women. Very few countries have allowed women in combat roles which include include Germany, Australia, Canada, USA, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel.

Indian Court Reopens ISRO Espionage Case; Compensates Acquitted Scientist

Acquitted scientist Nambi Narayanan, in his autobiography, has pointed a finger at the US and Europe, claiming that the espionage case was produced out of thin air by the police at the behest of some foreign spies to derail India's collaboration with Russia in developing cryogenic rocket engines.

Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who was falsely framed in an espionage case, has finally been granted his request to ascertain the identity of the "powers" which plotted the false case against him.

Narayanan recently made headlines after releasing his autobiography, which made startling revelations about the connivance of the Indian police and American and European spies in falsely framing him. He demanded that the espionage case, in which he was eventually acquitted, must be re-investigated, as it was important to establish the motive by finding out who hatched the conspiracy to falsely implicate him and who benefited the most by derailing the space research program that was being carried out by India in collaboration with Russia.
The Supreme Court of India said in its decision on Thursday that Narayanan should be given a compensation of Indian Rupee 25 Lakhs (approximately $37,000) and also asked the investigative agency CBI to ascertain the plot behind the conspiracy to frame the scientist Nambi Narayanan and determine the responsibilities of the officers and other powers actually involved.
In 1994, Narayanan, along with other scientists, was accused of leaking secret information about India's space program to an enemy country and the ensuing investigations delayed the launch of India's cryogenic technology by 16 years.
"In the 90s when India was looking out for the cryogenic technology we clearly had three options, the US, the French and the Russians. The Russian technology was not just better, but also economical and so we went for it. But this whole case (espionage case) delayed our speed and morale," Nambi Narayanan recently told Sputnik in an exclusive interview."
Nambi Narayanan's autobiography, titled "Ormakalude Bhramanapatham" which translates to "Orbit of Memories," talks about how the local police connived with American and European spies to execute the conspiracy.
"The plot and the alleged scam resulted in the Indian space program and cryogenic technology launch being delayed by 16 years. Who gained from it is important. At the moment only the US and the European space agencies have the capacity to match the technology. They were also aware that an Indian cryogenic space launch would have cost less than half of the present cost," Nambi Narayanan said in his interview to Sputnik.

Isro develops desi atomic clock, to be used in navigation satellites

In a significant development, Indian Space Research Organisation has developed an atomic clock that will be used in navigation satellites to measure precise location data. The space agency currently imports atomic clocks from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium for its navigation satellites.

Tapan Misra, director of Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC), said, “SAC has developed an indigenous atomic clock and this clock is currently undergoing a series of qualification tests. Once it successfully clears all tests, the desi atomic clock will be used in an experimental navigation satellite to test its accuracy and durability in space.”

The SAC director said, “With the development of the desi atomic clock, Isro has become one of the few space organisations in the world which have gained the capability to develop this highly sophisticated technology. We don't know the design and technology of the imported atomic clock. But the desi clock has been developed based on our designs and specifications. This clock is as good as the imported one. We are hopeful that it will easily work for more than five years.”
All seven navigation satellites launched earlier as part of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) or NaVIC have three imported Rubdium atomic clocks each.

On functioning of these atomic clocks, Tapan Misra said, “Atomic clocks in all the seven satellites launched earlier are synchronised. The time difference between the atomic clocks of different satellites positioned at different orbits are used to measure the accurate positioning of a navigation receiver or an object on the Earth.

If an atomic clock malfunctions, the time difference calculated between it and other clocks is not accurate which, in turn, gives inaccurate positioning of an object. Besides atomic clocks, a navigation satellite also has crystal clocks but they are not accurate as atomic clocks. Therefore, if three atomic clocks of a satellite show error, we need to launch a back-up satellite with new atomic clocks."

According to a reliable source in Isro, nine of the 21 atomic clocks used in some of the seven navigation satellites launched are showing error. Isro is, therefore, planning to launch four backup navigation satellites to keep the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NaVIC) effective. These backup satellites, which are likely to have indigenous atomic clocks too, will add buffer to the desi GPS system. “Isro will first need financial clearance from the government for the backup satellites,” says the source.
Last month on April 12, Isro successfully launched navsat IRNSS-1I to replace India's first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A, whose three atomic clocks had stopped working two years ago. IRNSS-1I thus completed the constellation of seven functional navsats needed in space to keep the NaVIC operational.
Tapan Misra said, "Atomic clocks have sophisticated technology. They could stop working because of different reasons. It's not only Indian navigation satellites, but atomic clocks in satellites of Galileo (European Union's navigation satellite system) had also failed earlier."

NAVIC was approved by the government nearly 12 years ago at a cost of Rs 1,420 crore to establish an indigenous satellite based navigation system to provide position, navigation and timing services over the Indian landmass and surrounding region extending up to 1,500 km. Though the indigenous navigation system is very much operational, it is not as popular as the American GPS in the country because the receiver and mobile chipset needed to access the desi system have not been commercialised.

Lockheed proposes making custom-built F-35 Fighter Jets in India

American aerospace and defence major Lockheed Martin has proposed to manufacture custom-built F-35 fighter jets in India, which its officials say will give Indian industry a unique opportunity to become part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.

Lockheed Martin F-35

"We plan to introduce two new words into the lexicon of international fighter aircraft manufacturing: 'India' and 'exclusive'," Vivek Lall, vice president, strategy and business development, at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics told PTI in an interview.

"India-specific state-of-the-art fighter production in India will be exclusive, something that has never before been presented by any other fighter aircraft manufacturer, past or present. There will also be a significant export market available for Indian-made fighters," he said.

Lall, an Indian American who last year was instrumental in the decision of the Trump administration to sell top-of- the-line unarmed drones from General Atomics, in his previous capacity.

Noting that the India-specific fighter on offer and its programme's size, scope and success will enable Indian industry to take advantage of unprecedented manufacturing, upgrade and sustainment opportunities well into the future, Lall said the platform will give Indian industry a unique opportunity to become a part of the world's largest fighter aircraft ecosystem.

"We intend to create far more than an "assembly line" in India," he said.
Lall claimed no other advanced fourth generation platform even comes close to matching the record of real-world combat experience and proven operational effectiveness.

"The fighter being offered specifically to India is uniquely the best state-of-the-art fighter," he said adding that all three variants of the F-35 are single-engine aircraft.

Many of the systems used on the India-specific platform are derived from key lessons learned and technologies from Lockheed Martin's F-22 and the F-35, the world's only operational fifth generation fighters, he said.

Northrop Grumman's advanced APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar on the F-16 Block 70 provides F-16s with fifth generation fighter radar capabilities by leveraging hardware and software commonality with F-22 and F-35 AESA radars, he added.

The APG-83 radar shares more than 95 per cent software commonality with the F-35 radar and more than 70 per cent hardware commonality.

Lall said the F-16 provides the path to business relationships with Lockheed Martin, the only company in the world that has designed, developed and produced operational fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Technology improvements will also continue to flow between the F-16, F-22 and F-35 for decades, at a fraction of the cost to F-16 operators, he said.

The platform being offered provides unmatched opportunities for Indian companies of all sizes, including micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) and suppliers throughout India, to establish new business relationships with Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders in the US and around the globe, Lall said giving an insight into the offer being made by his company.

Asserting that approximately half of the Indian fighter supply chain will be common with the fifth generation F-22 and F-35, Lall said the aircraft brings the most modern avionics, a proven AESA radar, modernised cockpit, advanced weapons, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, auto ground collision avoidance capability, and an advanced engine with an extended service life.

Even with the addition of targeting systems and two 2,000 pound (lb) class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the aircraft has a mission radius exceeding 1,300 kms -- 30 per cent greater than that of its closest competitor, he said.

"Many of the advances in systems on the aircraft India would get draw directly from key lessons learned from Lockheed Martin's work on the F-22 and the F-35," he said.

"The AESA radar is the result of over two decades of investment, use and experience with AESA technology, and it's fully operational today," Lall said.

Top Indian scientist and former ISRO chief to join UAE space mission

K. Radhakrishnan

A top Indian scientist is set to join the advisory board of the UAE Space Agency, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Singh Suri, said on Tuesday night.
Speaking at a function to celebrate the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (NRI Day) jointly organised by the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian consulate in Dubai, Suri said that he had recently had a meeting with Dr Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.
Referring to a joint statement on collaboration in the space sector, he said: “I expect that in the next two weeks or so, a former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation [Isro] will come on the advisory board of the UAE space agency.”
Speaking to Gulf News later, Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, confirmed that the top space scientist in question is K. Radhakrishnan, who retired as chairman of the Indian space agency in 2014.
Ranked among the world’s top 10 scientists in 2014 by Nature journal, Radhakrishnan has held several key positions in Isro and other scientific agencies. He was one of the key people behind India’s Chandrayaan-1 moon mission.
The ambassador said more fascinating collaborations between the two countries in the space sector are in the pipeline.
Speaking about the growing cooperation in the defence sector, he revealed that India has signed a contract with the UAE related to supply of defence materials.
“I can only say that the first significant contract for supply of defence stuff has been signed, which again lends weight to the definition of our strategic partnership.”
The ambassador also highlighted the deepening political relationship between the UAE and India that has enhanced the countries’ partnerships in various fields and boosted the profile of India in the UAE.
“Our strategic partnerships have transformed the transactional relationships into more substantive relationships. We can expect more announcements regarding this in 2018,” he said.
His statement also comes in the wake of the upcoming UAE visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February.
On Tuesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received a telephone call from Modi.
The two leaders discussed ways of enhancing the friendly relations and cooperation between the UAE and India to best serve the strategic interests of both nations and their people, WAM reported.