Blog: Carriers, missiles and frequent flier miles

The Indian Navy's Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, being constructed at Cochin Shipyard is likely to be launched into the sea in the first quarter of 2011, a little later than earlier scheduled (end of this year). Also, the army's Request For Information (RFI) issued for MANPADS VSHORAD has caused some bewilderment. And the Ministry of Finance seems really serious about economizing and is looking around now to cut hidden or less obvious perks.

T he Indian Navy’s Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, being constructed at Cochin Shipyard is likely to be launched into the sea in the first quarter of 2011, a little later than earlier scheduled (end of this year).

14,000 tons of the 18,000 tons of the hull, required to be constructed before launch, has been completed.

Moving on, the army’s Request For Information (RFI) issued for MANPADS VSHORAD has caused some bewilderment. It’s the first question in the RFI.

Will the VSHORAD (MANPADS) be capable of being employed in the following configurations:-

(a) Man portable.
(b) Fitted on multi – launcher.
(c) High mobility vehicle based.
(d) Ship based.
(e) Submarine based

Submarine based? Considering MANPADS are usually shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles? Really?

And the Ministry of Finance seems really serious about economizing and is looking around now to cut hidden or less obvious perks. Last month it sent a circular to all government departments requiring all officials accruing Frequent Flier Miles points from airlines as a result of their official air travel to surrender their points to their department, for use only for official purposes and not personal travel.

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Follow Saurabh Joshi on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/saurabhjoshi Saurabh is a journalist based in New Delhi, India who has worked in print, television as well as internet news media. Besides defense and strategy, his past assignments have included reporting from Kashmir, coverage of terror strikes as well as election coverage from all over India. He has a Bachelors degree in Journalism (Honors) as well as a law degree (LLB), both from the University of Delhi.
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