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News of the Day : Budgam crash : IAF finalising probe report
- May 22, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: May 2019
News of the Day – 22nd May 2019 – Budgam crash : IAF finalising probe report
The Court of Inquiry (CoI) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) that is investigating the Mi-17 helicopter crash, which killed six personnel and one civilian, is expected to submit its findings in the next couple of weeks, IAF officials said on Tuesday. With the preliminary findings indicating that the aircraft was shot down by India’s own ground-based air defence systems, action is likely to be initiated once the summary of evidence is presented.
“Yes, preliminary indications are that the Mi-17 was shot down by Israeli origin Spyder surface-to-air defence missile system,” said an IAF official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But the CoI is still finalising its report. We expect it within a couple of weeks,” the official added. The final report is expected to put to rest the speculation surrounding the incident, which occurred a day after the Balakot air strike.
The Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Srinagar airbase, an Air Commodore, had been transferred out in early May while the investigation was in progress, another official said, declining to be identified.
With clear signs that point to the violation of procedures, there are indications that criminal charges may be initiated against the officers responsible. However, when asked about the nature of charges that could be filed, an official said they would “await the CoI proceedings as any comments now would influence the fair conduct of the CoI”. An IAF spokesperson declined to comment, when contacted.
On the morning of February 27, as fighter jets of India and Pakistan were engaged in combat over the Naushera sector, the Mi-17 with six IAF personnel crashed in Budgam, shortly after take-off from Srinagar. All six on-board and one civilian were killed in the incident.
Preliminary findings have found several procedural violations surrounding the crash. Top among them is that the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, a transponder based identification device that communicates with radars to indicate whether an aircraft is friendly or hostile, was switched off. Due to this, in the midst of the air battle over the skies close by, the Mi-17 was mistakenly identified as belonging to the adversary.
In a pre-dawn launch on May 22, RISAT-2B, the country’s newest microwave Earth observation satellite, rode to its orbit 557 km above the ground.
Data that will come from the all-weather, day and night satellite are considered to be vital for the Armed Forces as also agriculture forecasters and disaster relief agencies.
In a post-launch address from the Sriharikota launch port, K. Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), hailed the event as a textbook launch of a very important and complex satellite.
Dr. Sivan said ISRO has included two important secondary or “piggyback” trial “payloads that would revolutionise ISRO’s future missions.”
The mission carried a complex 3.6-metre unfurlable radial antenna.
It also tested a new low cost, light Vikram processor developed at the Semiconductor Complex Chandigarh. The processor will control future ISRO launch vehicles.
Dr. Sivan, who is the Secretary, Department of Space, also announced that the Chandrayaan-2 lander-rover mission would take place during July 9-16.
Small satellite launch vehicle
The high resolution Cartosat-3, the first small satellite launch vehicle and the second test of a future reusable launch vehicle would follow from Sriharikota in the coming months.
The 615-kg RISAT-2B took off at 5.30 a.m. on the PSLV-C46 launcher. About 15 minutes later, it reached and started orbiting in the planned position in space, with an inclination of 37°.
The new satellite “will enhance India’s all-weather (space-based) capabilities in agriculture, forestry and disaster management,” according to ISRO.
Realised on a fast track in 15 months at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bengaluru, RISAT-2B is built to work for at least five years.
Its X-band synthetic aperture radar can give added details such as size of objects on Earth, structures, movement and change. The information will complement data from the normal optical remote sensing satellites. Such data are useful for agencies that need ground imageries during cloud, rain and in the dark.
This is the third Indian RISAT in ten years, coming up after the Israeli- built RISAT-2 in 2009 and later ISRO- built RISAT-1 in 2012. The older two have reached the end of their lives.
ISRO has planned a series of radar imagers in the coming months to enhance its space based observation of Earth and the Indian region.
The current PSLV-C46 was designed in its core alone version minus the strap-on motors. The space port about 100 km from Chennai and located in coastal Andhra Pradesh has handled a total of 72 missions including the GSLV and the GSLV Mark III before this.
Source – The Hindu
News of the Day – 22 May 2019