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07 May 10. The Indian government is infusing more funds into expanding and modernizing its network of roads in border areas, a turnaround in government policy toward building military assets in inaccessible regions, said Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony. Addressing a function of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the leading group building roads in the difficult terrain of the Himalayas bordering Pakistan and China, Antony said, “Earlier, the thinking was that inaccessibility in far-flung areas would be a deterrent to the enemies.” Describing such thoughts as an “incorrect approach,” he said the government is now taking a number of measures to upgrade roads, tunnels and airfields in the border areas. India is building hundreds of kilometers of roads along the border with China and has even decided to upgrade 30 Air Force airfields, including those in the northeast bordering China, said Defence Ministry sources. Some BRO personnel are now being recalled from Afghanistan, where they have been building strategic roads, and deployed along the border with China and Pakistan, the sources said. The sources added that the Antony’s announcement should quicken the slow pace of several road projects. (Source: Defense News)

07 May 10. A new MC-12 Liberty aircraft squadron has been activated by the US Air Force at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. The 80-member MC-12 unit will be operated by the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron (ERS). The new MC-12 unit will enable the USAF to improve joint and combined counterinsurgency capabilities of the air force and assist Afghanistan in defeating the insurgency. The MC-12, a manned, special-mission turboprop aircraft, has been designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The 451st Expeditionary Operations Group commander Col. John A. Cherrey said the 361st ERS has been reactivated many times in the squadron’s history. The squadron first started operations in 1943 during World War II when it flew B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators, and later used EC-47s in Vietnam. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)

06 May 10. Indian MoD takes control of Hindustan Shipyard. Hindustan Shipyard Limited’s (HSL’s) transfer of ownership to the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been completed, although concerns over the company’s finances have prompted the MoD to propose its economic restructuring. In a reply to a parliamentary question on 5 May, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the transfer of HSL from the Ministry of Shipping, Road and Highways to the MoD was completed by way of an amendment to legislation in February. (Source: Jane’s Defence Industry)

11 May 10. Kemrock Industries and Exports Ltd, a manufacturer of FRP and composites in India, has commissioned India’s first Carbon Fibre Facility near Vadodara in Gujarat. The company has invested nearly Rs. 200 crore in setting up this facility, with technical know-how from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. The initial manufacturing capabilities of 400 tpA will produce aerospace grade carbon fiber and prepregs. In the second phase, which is expected to be completed in four to five months, another 400 tpA will be added, taking the capacity of the plant to 800 tpA. The new plant expected to start commercial production soon. Kalpesh Patel, chairman & managing director, Kemrock Industries, said that the company plans to invest Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 crore ($300 to 400 million) in next five years and Rs 300 to Rs 400 crore for expansion of the Saertex Kemrock JV in the current year. He also said that talks for setting up joint venture projects were progressing. The carbon fiber manufacturing facility is fully integrated, which includes polymerization, wet spinning, oxidization & carbonization and includes all utilities for effluent & waste management. This integration will ensure the right quality of precursor (spec

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