Defence Technology Current Affairs

CATOBAR: India Navy to use US aircraft launch system in ship

Indian Navy is likely to use advanced catapult-based aircraft launch mechanism (CATOBAR) from United States for its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), which is on drawing board.

In this regard, both countries have held several rounds of discussions in joint working group (JWG) on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) set up by them.

EMALS

For some time, India was exploring possibility of installing US electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS). The US has offered India its latest EMALS technology, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. EMALS uses electric motor-driven catapult instead, which allows launch of much heavier aircraft and reduces stress on aircraft whereas older-generation CATOBAR is powered by steam catapult. It will allow Indian Navy to operate heavy surveillance aircraft, in addition to heavy fighters. However, the system is expensive, something that needs to be factored in.

Background

The IAC-II has been envisaged to be around 65,000 tonnes and capable of carrying over 50 aircraft. Indian Navy is keen on nuclear propulsion, which will give it unlimited range and endurance, its development in time seems doubtful. India’s first domestic carrier, Vikrant, weighing 40,000 tonnes, is in an advanced stage of construction in Kochi (Kerala). It is scheduled to be launched by 2018-end. It works on Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to that in present carrier INS Vikramaditya, with an angular ski-jump.

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ATAGS: Indigenous artillery gun sets new record in range

The advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS) has set a world record in terms of range by hitting targets at distance of 48 km during trial firings at Pokhran, Rajasthan.

The record of longest ever distance of 48.074 km was achieved by ATAGS with special ammunition high explosive – base bleed” (HE – BB) developed by Kalyani Group.

ATAGS

ATAGS is fully indigenously developed by DRDO and private sector consortium consisting of Bharat Forge Limited of Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System along with Ordnance Factory Board. in mission mode as a part of the Army’s artillery modernisation programme. It is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun.

The Armament system of ATAGS mainly comprises a barrel, muzzle brake, breech mechanism and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunitions. It has a longer firing range of 40 Kms with accuracy and precision and provides greater fire power. It is also has night firing capability in direct fire mode.

ATAGS has several significant advance features, including an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, andautomated command and control system. It has a six round magazine, instead of a standard three round one. It weighs slightly more than normal due to the larger chamber.

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