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News Briefs: IAI, Alpha Design Technologies in UAV deal for India           Uruguay receives mobile border surveillance system          Japan Successfully Launches New Spy Satellite          Northrop Grumman wins British government cyber-security work          Lockheed Martin introduced sensor system that can track and target multiple targets in radar-denied environments          Northrop Grumman Supports Successful Propulsion System Rocket Engine Test          Astrium delivers microwave radiometer for the Sentinel-3A satellite          Russia Retires Faulty Glonass-M Satellite          Russia, US to protect satellite navigation systems at UN level          Satellite Services supplies on-board sub-systems for smallsats and microsats          Patriot and Sentinel Capabilities Incorporated Into Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System          Lockheed Martin's Aegis BMD System Completes Highest Target Intercept Yet          Raytheon completes critical design review for GPS OCX software          Third Advanced EHF Satellite Will Enhance Resiliency of Military Communications          Boeing Offers Improved Cybersecurity Training and Simulation Tool           Britain recruiting cyber-warriors          Japan, US to discuss strengthening cyber-security          


Access to space
In what could be described as a historic achievement of immense scientific and technological significance, India’s first ever interplanetary probe, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), with a lift off mass 1340-kg was put into a elliptical orbit around the earth by means of the augmented version of the four stage space workhorse, Polar Satellite
Critical mission
With the Government of India dithering over giving final clearance to the much talked of high profile programme for the Indian manned spaceflight, this project of national importance has ceased to be on the priority list of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). For the sustained focus of ISRO on the Mars orbiter mission implied 
Eye in the sky
Air defence, perforce, is a multilayered concept. Till India went nuclear it was sufficient to be able to detect and engage low-flying aircraft and medium range missiles armed with conventional warheads. No more. India now has to ensure that all means of ingress into its airspace are well covered by sensors so as no nuclear-tipped 
Scanning threats
It can be extremely disconcerting for a fighter pilot to know that there is a missile on his tail. It is fortunate that aircraft manufacturers have learned from the improvements in capabilities of missiles of all kinds-air-to-air and surface-to-air (SAM) in particular-to be able to install early warning systems against the means by which the missiles are guided to their target. Survival is then dependant on how the threat is dealt with either through electronic counter-measures or physical means like the dispersal of decoys like chaff and flares and the last-minute cut and run that will determine whether a million dollar aircraft will lose out to a cheaper missile.
Unending wait
Satellites are the eyes and ears of any national aerospace command, but sadly India has not yet deployed an independent dedicated satellite for its armed forces. Since the space has now become the fourth dimension of the modern day combat, powerful nations have already set up an aerospace command, but Indian defence bosses are still mulling over the decade old proposal. The armed forces have been clamoring for such aerospace command, but the government has only taken minor steps in this direction when the setting up of an Integrated Space Cell was announced by the defence minister A K Antony in Indian Parliament in December, 2011 for acquiring space capabilities. He   had also informed then that the satellite requirements of the armed forces are being met from t
Space dominance
The political-bureaucratic nexus in New Delhi which lords over the Indian defence establishment seems to be dithering over giving clearance to the long overdue Indian aerospace command. Though it is well over five years, since the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been pressing for the creation of an aerospace command which is essential to lay the ground work for developing capabilities to degrade the space weapons of the adversary, New Delhi is yet to demonstrate the vision to take the geo-strategically important decision on the formation of Indian aerospace command. “As the reach of IAF is expanding, it has become extremely important that we exploit space and for it you need space assets,” was the observation of a former IAF Chief. There is no denying
Promising growth
For long, the fortunes of the Indian aerospace sector remained closely tied to the state owned defence and aeronautical major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). However, the opening up of the defence and aerospace sectors to private participation in 2001 meant a certain loosening of HAL’s monopoly over the Indian aerospace sector. With many private players entering the far from mature Indian aerospace sector, HAL could no longer remain a “shaker and mover “of the Indian aerospace sector. The conspicuous failure of HAL to meet the needs of IAF, considered its biggest customer, on time, has put this Indian aerospace entity in poor light. Similarly, the glaring failure of the HAL over the years to give a required direction and momentum to
New momentum
India has always found France to be a hassle free partner in wide ranging areas of strategic importance including defence, high technology and scientific research. Significantly, Indo-French defence and high-tech partnership has not been marred either by the kind of ‘sanctions and technology embargo’ that US administration has been accustomed to slapping off and on or by the kind of blackmail that Russians have perfected in terms of extracting an unreasonably high price mid way through the implementation of an already finalized contract. France, which has recognized the strategic importance of India, was one of the few countries which did not condemn India for 1998 Pokhran nuclear blasts. Mirage-2000 combat aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force
New endeavour
Outer space is slowly but surely emerging as a new battlefield where future wars could begin and end. Indeed, the possibility of space becoming altogether a new battle zone became evident in the hunter killer satellite tests that the erstwhile Soviet Union had carried out in 1960s with a high degree of success. And not surprisingly, US did not take much time to overdo Soviets in the weaponization of the final frontiers. And in the bizarre race to outdo each other, both the super powers started experimenting with lethal devices such as laser beams and particle beams for deployment in outer space as satellite killer devices. But the entire dynamics of the preparations for space war went into a kind of thaw after the collapse of Soviet Union in early 1990s. Of
Hawk eye
After what the Chinese have just done to us in the Ladakh sector of Jammu and Kashmir, talk of an “Aerospace Command” raises visions of castles in the air while terrestrial bastions on earth are being assaulted and violated. While there will, eventually, be a need to set up such a command headquarters to administer the space-based defences, the more urgent requirement is of measures to prevent the Chinese bullying us on the ground east of our Daulat Beg Oldi outpost in Ladakh and dictating terms that will indeed make India look like the proverbial Chinese Paper Tiger. The questions that come to mind are: What were space-based assets doing when the Chinese were creeping in on us (of course it has to be taken for granted that our troops on the ground w