MISSILE MEN HONOURED BY GOI
In a significant milestone for the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the first Dhruv (weapon systems integrated) -- Dhruv-WSI or Rudra as it has been christened— will be certified and ready for handing over to its primary customer, the Indian Army, during Aero India 2013. While a modified version of the Dhruv airframe— tandem seats— goes into the light combat helicopter that is currently in flight trials, the Army was of the opinion that an armed Dhruv without major modifications to the primary airframe would also be a potent platform, and be available to the customer naturally much sooner. The Rudra is a result of that. According to HAL, “a Rudra can carry forty-eight 70mm rockets. These rockets can be safely delivered at stand-off ranges of more than eight km. The turret mounted 20mm cannons can be cued to the electro-optical pod or the pilot’s helmet. This provides Rudra immediate and accurate firepower against ground and aerial targets. The pilot only has to look at the target and fire. Fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles with seven-km range make Rudra an ideal platform for ground support roles. Rudra can carry four air-to-air missiles. These are infrared guided fire and forget missiles with off axis bore sight capability. The pilot can engage the target using the helmet mounted sight or with the electro-optical pod, while manoeuvring.” The HAL brochure on the Rudra also adds, “State-of-theart sensors complement this tremendous firepower. Gyro-stabilised electro-optical sensors work on both visual and IR spectrum. Any type of target will be picked up and tracked at large distances, whether by day or by night. These targets can be handed over to the guided missiles or attacked with rockets and gun. The laser designator can designate the target for any compatible In an affirmation for the country’s missile programme, three top missile scientists were honoured this year by the Government with Padma awards. DRDO Chief Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and a scientist best known for his association with the successful Akash SAM programme, has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan. “It is DRDO that has got the award and it is a recognition of DRDOs contribution towards nation building,” said Dr Saraswat. Dr Sivathanu Pillai, DS & CCR&D and CEO BrahMos and Avinash Chander, Chief Control Research & Development (Missiles & Strategic Systems), are the other two eminent scientists of DRDO who have been honoured with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri respectiv ely. The country’s missile programme has enjoyed an upswing since 2008, with several programmes coming to fruition and new technologies proving themselves.
Dr V.K. Saraswat