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It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
Aerospace industry flying high
BANGALORE-BASED Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is indeed flying high. One of the persons who has taken this public sector undertaking to great heights is C.G. Krishnadas Nair, who was its chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) from 1997 to 2001.

Dr. Nair has the unique distinction of being the first civilian chairman of this prestigious organisation, which till then had always been headed by a senior Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force.

Dr. Nair, currently the president of the Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI), was in town recently to receive the coveted `Platinum Medal' of the Indian Institute of Metals, at its 58th Annual Technical Meet, which drew to a close here today.

A metallurgist by profession, Dr. Nair has come to be rated as an authority on aerospace technology. It was he who, along with K. Kasturirangan, founded the SIATI, which has over 300 companies engaged in the manufacture of components, equipment and systems for the high-profile aerospace industry. He is also the founder chairman of the Society for Defence Technologies (SODET), formed to bring about a synergy among defence production units in the country.

"The aerospace industry in India has come of age. It is poised for greater strides in the years to come. India is now in a position to manufacture the world's cheapest and most advanced initial jet trainers, which will roll out in 2006," says Dr. Nair, whose contributions in this area have been widely acclaimed.

It was during his tenure as the CMD of HAL that the research and development activities there received a fillip. He has always laid emphasis on indigenisation and self-reliance. He was instrumental in building partnerships with overseas and Indian companies, which enabled HAL to spread its wings to cover various aerospace activities such as design, development, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft. During this period, HAL also transformed itself into a commercial organisation from a captive industry, with improved efficiency and productivity.

Over the last six decades, HAL has indigenously manufactured, designed and developed trainers, fighters, helicopters, avionics and mechanical systems, sophisticated airborne and ground equipment. It has also been regularly upgrading Indian Air Force fighter aircraft such as MiGs, Jaguar and Mirage 2000. The Indian Air Force is the largest customer of the company.

HAL has been doing well in the area of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the most ambitious multi-role fighter meant to replace the MiG-21. The chief architect of this project is the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, with whom Dr. Nair has associated.

Apart from the LCA, the new R&D initiatives of HAL are on the Advanced Light Helicopter, Light Combat Aircraft, Intermediate Jet Trainer, a trainer for the 21st century, and Lancer, a light attack helicopter. The indigenous design and production of aircraft has been very successful in India.

HAL has world-class technology and capability in civil aircraft production too. But purchases are decided more by political equations with other countries and more so, on a buy-back agreement. Dr. Nair suggests that India should enter into such an agreement with other countries. He said that the different organisations and agencies concerned with the aerospace industry should be brought under an Aerospace Commission, to be formed under a National Aeronautical Policy. Referring to the ongoing controversy in Kerala over the mining of mineral sand on the beaches of Kollam and Alappuzha, Dr. Nair says that there is nothing wrong in exploiting the available mineral resources. However, rather than exporting mineral sand in its raw form, sand should be processed to produce titanium dioxide, he says. With the chloride process that has been found to be environment friendly now being resorted to in Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited, this can be made possible. Ten integrated titanium plants of the size of KMML can be set up in the country with the resources available. If they are set up as joint ventures, it would be better, he feels.

Dr. Nair is also the Vice-Chancellor of MATS University, Raipur, a Professor at the IIT, Chennai, and a visiting faculty member of several universities abroad. The nation honoured Dr. Nair, a native of Ernakulam, with the Padmashri award in 2001, when he was heading HAL.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:00 AM


The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at
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If you're looking for a way to serve your community and country while maintaining your full-time civilian career, the National Guard is for you. Click below to learn more about the proud history of the Army National Guard.
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