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Army chief warns of tough action against stone-pelters in J&K

NEW DELHI, Feb 15: Acknowledging that the hostile conduct of locals was causing higher casualties in the Kashmir valley, Army chief Bipin Rawat today warned those attacking security forces during anti-militancy operations of "tough action".

The stern message from Rawat came a day after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting at Parray Mohalla of Bandipore in north Kashmir when they were about to launch an operation against militants holed up there.

Alerted by the stone-pelters, the militants got an opportunity to fire hand grenades and empty a few magazines from AK-rifles into the advancing troopers, leaving three jawans dead and some others, including a Commanding officer of CRPF, injured. One terrorist managed to flee the area.

General Rawat said security forces in Jammu and Kashmir were facing higher casualties due to the manner in which the local population was preventing them from conducting the operations and "at times even supporting the terrorists to escape".

"We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them.

"They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue," the Army Chief told reporters here, sending out a stern message to those who support militants.

Rawat's assertion came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he paid last respects here to three of the four soldiers, including a major, who were killed in two separate encounters in Kashmir yesterday.

The Army chief said if "they do not relent and create hurdle in our operations, then we will take tough action."

The Prime Minister, in a tweet, said, "Paid tributes to the brave men who lost their lives fighting terrorists in J&K. India will always remember their valour & sacrifice."

General Rawat said those supporting terror activities are being given an opportunity to join the national mainstream but, if they continue with their acts, security forces will come down hard on them.

"We are giving them an opportunity, should they want to continue to (do what they are doing now) then, we will continue with relentless operations may be with harsher measures. A that is the way to continue," he said .

Four terrorists were gunned down in two separate encounters yesterday. Four army personnel, including a Major, were also killed in the encounters at Handwara and Bandipora.

Protecting helicopters when it matters the MoST

By Deepak Arora

BENGALURU, Feb 14: From conducting special operations behind enemy lines to directing humanitarian and relief operations, helicopters today play an indispensable role for any military and law enforcement agency in modern crisis management. However, the threat landscape they operate in exposes them as an easy target for militants and enemy forces. For these sophisticated machines the threat is not just from small arms but from medium and heavy calibre rifles, machines guns and anti-aircraft guns. A chance hit to the engine, tail rotor or to the pilot can render the helicopter un-manoeuvrable, which can lead to aircraft crash and potential personnel losses in aircrew and infantry payload. This has necessitated the need to make helicopters more ballistically tolerant.

The ballistic tolerance of helicopters can be enhanced by incorporating armour solutions around the critical areas of fuselage and pilot’s seat. However, fitting the aircraft with additional armour protection costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per shipset. Armour protection comes along with a great weight penalty, which affects the performance and load carrying capacity of the helicopter. In addition to that, making any structural changes to the fuselage can adversely impact helicopter’s aerodynamics. Thus, making re-certification of the helicopter for airworthiness a necessary obligation.

However, retro-fit armour solutions can play a major part in modernizing a whole fleet of similar helicopters, while giving flexibility to customize the helicopter utilization basis the mission. If the helicopter is to be deployed for combat search and rescue operation, then add-on armour kits can be mounted to provide ballistic protection. For humanitarian and relief operations, the same armour kits can be detached from the helicopter to provide additional payload carrying capability.This maximizes payload flexibility.

Retro-fit armour solutions are modular, and designed specifically for an aircraft configuration without making any significant changes to the original aircraft. MKU has pioneered in the modular design approach for helicopter armouring with their patented Modular Schutz Technik (MoST). The proprietary MoST system uses precision engineered composite armour panels along with aero-grade attachment systems. These armour kits can be mounted upon the existing structure of the helicopter without making any structural changes.

The MoST armour solution gives operational flexibility as it can be easily mounted where the helicopter mission warrants the need of additional ballistic protection. Upon mission completion, the armour kit can be unmounted and quickly installed on another combat-ready helicopter to extend the ballistic protection. The patented MoST attachment systems enables the design platform to suit a wide range of helicopters while allowing easy maintenance.

The armour panel installation on these attachments requires minimal training. Even the front-line air maintenance personnel can mount and unmount the armour system easily. Also, since the kit can be used for application in other helicopters of the same type, the cost of ownership significantly reduces.

MKU leverages the combination of MoSTand Generation 6 PolyShield V6 armouring technology to build up to 40% lighter and thinner armour panels. These lightweight armour panels offer protection to the helicopter from small handguns, assault rifles, armour piercing ammunitions, fragments and heavy machine guns.

In the pursuit of providing ballistic protection to the helicopters, every kilogram of weight matters. With MKU’s lightweight modular armour panels, a helicopter’s payload carrying capacity and endurance will increase, resulting in more crew and ammunition that can be carried many extra miles, with maximum ballistic protection.

 



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