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CONCERTING TERROR IN NORTH-EAST
Lt Col Anil Bhat (retd)
WordSword Features & Media

The series of bomb blasts and shootouts beginning on 2nd October 2004, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of non-violence, in Nagaland and continuing over the next 36 hours in Assam, killing over 60 and injuring at least 200 people - all innocent civilians- are part of a pattern to keep the North Eastern (NE) region on the boil by elements not confined to the rebel groups claiming or condemning the acts. BothUnited Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) claimed as many as 17 of these dastardly attacks. In distant Bangkok, the leaders-in-exile of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) involved in peace negotiations with representatives of Government of India, issued a statement condemning these killings, stressing that they particularly regretted the choice of 2nd October for beginning the attacks. The nextday, 3rd October 2004, marked the 18th 'anniversary' of NDFB.

Expressing indignance against the Indian State by boycotting national functions like Independence and Republic days has been the custom with many underground groups in India's NE region. Engineering bomb-blasts on such occasions has been quite the norm with Pakistani or Pakistan's ISI controlled Kashmiri groups in Jammu & Kashmir. But what emerges from the deadly attacks in two NE States on 2nd October 2004 onwards is that while the choice of the date is symbolic, the aspect of their being so concerted only indicates that the kind of coordination and planning was of a level higher than just the organizations suspected or claiming to have implemented them.

Having predicted the entry of Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) into the NE from Bangladesh a year and a half before it was confirmedby intelligence agencies in the region - in mid 1993 -and having followed their activities there, I have mentioned with details in a number of my earlier columns about the presence of leaders and members a number of NE based underground groups enjoying sanctuary and being trained there, with full assistance from that country's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI). While the process of ISI's NE links was initiated by ULFA, when its leaders fled to Bangladesh in December 1990, it was merely a matter of time that other groups, a part from those mentioned so far, and a number of others, including Meitei ones like the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) joined the conglomerate.

There are reasons for 2004 being a year witnessing stepped up levels of terrorist type violence, as against the insurgent type of earlier years. By 2003, between the ISI and the DGFI, the tally of camps organized for training or safe-housing NE groups inBangladesh, had already become almost 200. With the India-Pakistan peaceprocess plodding on, essentially under USA's pressure on the latter, Pakistani jihadi groups, including elements of Al Qaeda and Taliban were moved to Bangladesh, where they are not sitting idle. As such, their arrival fitted well into the scheme of Harkat ul Jihad e Islami (HUJI)and the Jamat e Islami, which have been tasked to 'Islamistise' India's entire Eastern region. Part of this process is also training, arming and motivation of India's NE militants. High on the list of aims for them is to maintain the momentum of violence, sabotage installations, assist Bangladeshi illegal migrants in getting settled, keep creating communal situations and not to agree to any peace negotiations with the Indian establishment. Bhutan and India's coordinated action against ULFA, NDFB and Kamtapu Liberation Organisation(KLO) as well as peace negotiations of NSCM (IM) and some smaller groups are actions which need to be countered. Yet another unpleasant surprise, in the wake of the events following the unfortunate killing of Thangjam Manorama Devi, in Manipur, is there-emergence of the 'Chinese hand'. As reported in media, during a raid on some premises of Manipur University, one of the professors broke down and confessed to having visited Hong Kong nine times in six months. So it should come as no wonder that all kinds of formulae like banning Hindi movies, or targeting 'outsiders', murders, abductions, extortionsor worse, are attempted.

Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh continues with its ostrich-like intransigence. The message which needs to be passed urgently and effectively toBangladesh and jihadis is that the cost of such a trend will be prohibitive.

(The author, a security analyst, is Editor, WordSwordFeatures & Media)



Posted by Lt. Col Anil Bhat (Retd) @ 5:18 PM

 

CONCERTING TERROR IN NORTH-EAST
Lt Col Anil Bhat (retd)
WordSword Features & Media

The series of bomb blasts and shootouts beginning on 2nd October 2004, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of non-violence, in Nagaland and continuing over the next 36 hours in Assam, killing over 60 and injuring at least 200 people - all innocent civilians- are part of a pattern to keep the North Eastern (NE) region on the boil by elements not confined to the rebel groups claiming or condemning the acts. BothUnited Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) claimed as many as 17 of these dastardly attacks. In distant Bangkok, the leaders-in-exile of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) involved in peace negotiations with representatives of Government of India, issued a statement condemning these killings, stressing that they particularly regretted the choice of 2nd October for beginning the attacks. The nextday, 3rd October 2004, marked the 18th 'anniversary' of NDFB.

Expressing indignance against the Indian State by boycotting national functions like Independence and Republic days has been the custom with many underground groups in India's NE region. Engineering bomb-blasts on such occasions has been quite the norm with Pakistani or Pakistan's ISI controlled Kashmiri groups in Jammu & Kashmir. But what emerges from the deadly attacks in two NE States on 2nd October 2004 onwards is that while the choice of the date is symbolic, the aspect of their being so concerted only indicates that the kind of coordination and planning was of a level higher than just the organizations suspected or claiming to have implemented them.

Having predicted the entry of Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) into the NE from Bangladesh a year and a half before it was confirmedby intelligence agencies in the region - in mid 1993 -and having followed their activities there, I have mentioned with details in a number of my earlier columns about the presence of leaders and members a number of NE based underground groups enjoying sanctuary and being trained there, with full assistance from that country's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI). While the process of ISI's NE links was initiated by ULFA, when its leaders fled to Bangladesh in December 1990, it was merely a matter of time that other groups, a part from those mentioned so far, and a number of others, including Meitei ones like the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) joined the conglomerate.

There are reasons for 2004 being a year witnessing stepped up levels of terrorist type violence, as against the insurgent type of earlier years. By 2003, between the ISI and the DGFI, the tally of camps organized for training or safe-housing NE groups inBangladesh, had already become almost 200. With the India-Pakistan peaceprocess plodding on, essentially under USA's pressure on the latter, Pakistani jihadi groups, including elements of Al Qaeda and Taliban were moved to Bangladesh, where they are not sitting idle. As such, their arrival fitted well into the scheme of Harkat ul Jihad e Islami (HUJI)and the Jamat e Islami, which have been tasked to 'Islamistise' India's entire Eastern region. Part of this process is also training, arming and motivation of India's NE militants. High on the list of aims for them is to maintain the momentum of violence, sabotage installations, assist Bangladeshi illegal migrants in getting settled, keep creating communal situations and not to agree to any peace negotiations with the Indian establishment. Bhutan and India's coordinated action against ULFA, NDFB and Kamtapu Liberation Organisation(KLO) as well as peace negotiations of NSCM (IM) and some smaller groups are actions which need to be countered. Yet another unpleasant surprise, in the wake of the events following the unfortunate killing of Thangjam Manorama Devi, in Manipur, is there-emergence of the 'Chinese hand'. As reported in media, during a raid on some premises of Manipur University, one of the professors broke down and confessed to having visited Hong Kong nine times in six months. So it should come as no wonder that all kinds of formulae like banning Hindi movies, or targeting 'outsiders', murders, abductions, extortionsor worse, are attempted.

Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh continues with its ostrich-like intransigence. The message which needs to be passed urgently and effectively toBangladesh and jihadis is that the cost of such a trend will be prohibitive.

(The author, a security analyst, is Editor, WordSwordFeatures & Media)



Posted by Lt. Col Anil Bhat (Retd) @ 5:18 PM

 

CONCERTING TERROR IN NORTH-EASTBy
Lt Col Anil Bhat (retd)
WordSword Features & Media

The series of bomb blasts and shootouts beginning on 2nd October 2004, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of non-violence, in Nagaland and continuing over the next 36 hours in Assam, killing over 60 and injuring at least 200 people - all innocent civilians- are part of a pattern to keep the North Eastern (NE) region on the boil by elements not confined to the rebel groups claiming or condemning the acts. BothUnited Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) claimed as many as 17 of these dastardly attacks. In distant Bangkok, the leaders-in-exile of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) involved in peace negotiations with representatives of Government of India, issued a statement condemning these killings, stressing that they particularly regretted the choice of 2nd October for beginning the attacks. The nextday, 3rd October 2004, marked the 18th 'anniversary' of NDFB.

Expressing indignance against the Indian State by boycotting national functions like Independence and Republic days has been the custom with many underground groups in India's NE region. Engineering bomb-blasts on such occasions has been quite the norm with Pakistani or Pakistan's ISI controlled Kashmiri groups in Jammu & Kashmir. But what emerges from the deadly attacks in two NE States on 2nd October 2004 onwards is that while the choice of the date is symbolic, the aspect of their being so concerted only indicates that the kind of coordination and planning was of a level higher than just the organizations suspected or claiming to have implemented them.

Having predicted the entry of Pakistan's InterServices Intelligence (ISI) into the NE from Bangladesh a year and a half before it was confirmedby intelligence agencies in the region - in mid 1993 -and having followed their activities there, I have mentioned with details in a number of my earlier columns about the presence of leaders and members a number of NE based underground groups enjoying sanctuary and being trained there, with full assistance from that country's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI). While the process of ISI's NE links was initiated by ULFA, when its leaders fled to Bangladesh in December 1990, it was merely a matter of time that other groups, a part from those mentioned so far, and a number of others, including Meitei ones like the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) joined the conglomerate.

There are reasons for 2004 being a year witnessing stepped up levels of terrorist type violence, as against the insurgent type of earlier years. By 2003, between the ISI and the DGFI, the tally of camps organized for training or safe-housing NE groups inBangladesh, had already become almost 200. With the India-Pakistan peaceprocess plodding on, essentially under USA's pressure on the latter, Pakistani jihadi groups, including elements of Al Qaeda and Taliban were moved to Bangladesh, where they are not sitting idle. As such, their arrival fitted well into the scheme of Harkat ul Jihad e Islami (HUJI)and the Jamat e Islami, which have been tasked to 'Islamistise' India's entire Eastern region. Part of this process is also training, arming and motivation of India's NE militants. High on the list of aims for them is to maintain the momentum of violence, sabotage installations, assist Bangladeshi illegal migrants in getting settled, keep creating communal situations and not to agree to any peace negotiations with the Indian establishment. Bhutan and India's coordinated action against ULFA, NDFB and Kamtapu Liberation Organisation(KLO) as well as peace negotiations of NSCM (IM) and some smaller groups are actions which need to be countered. Yet another unpleasant surprise, in the wake of the events following the unfortunate killing of Thangjam Manorama Devi, in Manipur, is there-emergence of the 'Chinese hand'. As reported in media, during a raid on some premises of Manipur University, one of the professors broke down and confessed to having visited Hong Kong nine times in six months. So it should come as no wonder that all kinds of formulae like banning Hindi movies, or targeting 'outsiders', murders, abductions, extortionsor worse, are attempted.

Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh continues with its ostrich-like intransigence. The message which needs to be passed urgently and effectively toBangladesh and jihadis is that the cost of such a trend will be prohibitive.

(The author, a security analyst, is Editor, WordSwordFeatures & Media)



Posted by Lt. Col Anil Bhat (Retd) @ 5:18 PM

 

Indian Navy stops fishermen's journey to Lanka
Indian Navy today stepped up patrols and set up an "effective" blockade to prevent hundreds of Tamil Nadu fishermen from leading a flotilla to Sri Lanka to protest at frequent arrests, officials here said.

A Si Lankan navy spokesman said India's coastguard and the Navy stopped hundreds of protesting Indian fishermen from setting out and thereby prevented a confrontation at sea.

The fishermen from Tamil Nadu had planned to enter Sri Lankan territorial waters to protest at the seizing of their trawlers straying into Sri Lankan waters.

"The Indian navy and the coastguard had stepped up patrols and set up an effective blockade," Sri Lankan navy spokesman Jayantha Perera said.

"We were also ready with our own arrangements but the protest did not materialise."

Indian fishermen are frequently detained by the Sri Lankan navy as well as by local fishermen who accuse their Indian counterparts of trawling in the rich prawn grounds off the island's northwestern coast.



Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:32 AM

 

Indian Army to induct training simulators in a big Way
To upgrade the manpower skills of the armed forces, the Indian Army is planning to induct training simulators in a big way.

In the plans being mooted, the army proposes to install simulators in all formations to ensure that troops do not have to go to the ranges for actual up gradation of skills in firing sophisticated equipment like 155mm guns, frontline T-90 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and short and medium range missiles.

The simulators being inducted, would be 90 per cent indigenous, with only a fraction being imported that too for specialised equipment like fire finding radars and usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, army sources have been quoted as saying.

A detailed presentation on the induction of simulators was made by the Master General of Ordnance Lt Gen VK Jaitley on the second day of the army commanders conference here.

Jaitley also gave a presentation on efforts to speed up induction of nuclear capable 700 KMS Agni I and its medium 1,500 kms range Agni II.

The Army recently has raised two more groups to arm them with these missiles. It so far had only two missile groups armed with shorter range 300kms surface to surface Prthvi missiles.

On the second day of the deliberations at the Conference the commanders also discussed human rights situation while carrying out anti-militancy operations with special focus on recent events in Manipur and the alleged fake encounters on the Siachen glacier.

Meanwhile a study by an independent watchdog says that in India, almost one-quarter of the over 540 people elected to Parliament this year face criminal charges ranging from murder to extortion and even rape.

An Indian daily 'The Indian Express', reports that Members of the Parliament (MPs) from almost all political parties are involved, but half of the parliamentarians from a powerful regional partner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's coalition are tainted by such charges, which if proved, entail a minimum jail term of five years, the Bangalore-based Public Affairs Centre said.

The report is based on affidavits filed by politicians before they fought polls to the Lower House of Parliament under a new rule enforced by the Supreme Court to improve transparency and probity in public life.

"It is a shocking indictment of the system that one-fourth of our elected representatives to the highest democratic body have criminal cases against them," said Samuel Paul, chairman of the group which has been campaigning for cleaner politics.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:31 AM

 

France seeks to seal submarine deal with India
France sought on Wednesday to speedily conclude a multi-billion dollar defence deal to sell submarines to the Indian navy saying it had been under negotiations for many years now.

The deal, estimated to be worth about $1.8 billion, involves the manufacture of six Scorpene SSK-class submarines at a naval dockyard in Mumbai.

Though the Indian navy has approved the submarine and the two countries agreed in 2001 to go in for joint production, New Delhi is yet to give its final clearance and sign the contract.

"The talks (with India) have been going on for quite some time," French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to India.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:03 AM

 

Airbase in Jaipur earmarked for RSAF training
An airbase in Jaipur, in northern India, has been earmarked for the Republic of Singapore Air Force to carry out its flight training and exercises.

Senior Indian air force official, Air Commodore Rajaguru, says the airbase is a good beginning for more interaction between the two air forces.
Although this is not a permanent facility for the RSAF, the senior official says it can train there on a regularly basis.

Singapore and India are now conducting their first joint air exercise, code named SINDEX 04, at Gwalior, India.

India says the exercise marks the start of a strong and long relationship between both nations.

For the RSAF, it has been an opportunity to operate with the very well established Indian Air Force.

Previously, defence cooperation between the two countries involved mostly their navies.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:02 AM

 

Indian air force to acquire Mirages
India's air force will take delivery of 10 Mirage 2000-H fighters next month, but it is not clear if the government will allow it to buy 124 more such planes.

The Indian government wants its air force to consider other fighters because of a controversy over the $350 million Mirage 2000-H deal, the Indian Express reported.

The 10 Mirage planes are primarily replacements for aircraft that have been lost from service for various reasons. The deal came under question after a Panama-based company took Dassault Aviation to a Paris court, seeking a ''commission'' for the contract with India. The case was later withdrawn.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:01 AM

 

Naval version of Prithvi-III test fired
India today test fired the indigenously developed medium range missile "Prithvi-III" from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, about 15 km from here.

The missile tested was the naval version of Prithvi which has a range of 250 to 300 km, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said.

It was test-fired from a simulated launch pad from launch complex III of the ITR at 11.29 am.

DRDO chief M.Natarajan and scientists who designed the missile, witnessed the test launch.

The missile and its sub-system, being developed under the project name K-15, had to undergo a rigorous check up before the actual trial took place, DRDO sources said.

This is for the first time that the missile, which has the capability to be launched underwater, was put to trial from an artificially made water base with the help of a specially designed canister, they said.

The surface-to-surface single stage ballistic missile could be launched from either a ship or submarine and was capable of destroying land targets.

The missile, about 8.5 metres high and one metre in diameter with latest on-board computer and internal navigation system, could use both solid as well as liquid propellant.

The entire trajectory of the missile, which took off vertically, was tracked through an integrated system of sophisticated radar, electro-optical tracking instruments, a chain of telemetry stations and a naval vessel stationed close to the impact point inside the Bay of Bengal.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:30 AM

 

India Makes Its First Naval Radar System
India has designed and developed its first airborne multi-mode airborne surveillance radar system for the Navy.

The service has ordered 10 Super-Vision 2000 Radar systems at an estimated cost of $600,000 apiece, for delivery beginning in mid-2005, said a senior executive of Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Bangalore, which will produce the system.

The state Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), Bangalore, developed the Super-Vision-2000 Radar system this year.

An LRDE scientist said the Super-Vision 2000 is a lightweight and compact system developed for helicopters such as the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Navy’s Russian Kamov helicopters, as well as aircraft like its Dornier maritime surveillance planes.

The LRDE scientist said the system design and development phase cost $2.2 million. The system comprises an antenna, transmitter, receiver, data processor and display, and weighs less than 100 kilograms. The radar can detect sea-surfacing targets like a periscope or vessel as well as sea-skimming missiles and targets in the air. The radar also can be used for navigation, weather mapping and beacon detection.

The Super-Vision 2000 will be installed in the naval version of the ALH being produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Bangalore.

BEL plans to market the system to other militaries after it fulfills the Indian Navy’s requirements.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:17 AM

 

India To Reduce Purchase Of High-Altitude Copters
The Indian Army has decided to trim its purchase of foreign-made combat helicopters from 198 to 35, reducing the expected bill from $440 million to $80 million, a Defence Ministry official said.

The move will allow India to buy the under-development Light Combat Helicopter from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), the official said.

But analysts said the move may signal progress in talks between India and Pakistan about combat on the lofty Siachen glacier in the Kargil region in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Last year, India asked for tenders for 198 high-altitude helicopters, said defense analyst Semant Harish, a retired Indian Army captain.

In the meantime, trials of the helicopters competing for the Indian bid have begun ;in the mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir and in Rajasthan’s Thar desert. U.S. Bell Helicopter sent its Bell 407, France’s Eurocopter sent its Fennec AS 550 C3, and Russia’s Kamov sent its Ka-226 to India.

The Indian Army is looking for a combat-and-utility helicopter for all-weather low- and high-altitude combat and rescue operations to replace its heavily used Cheetah and Chetak light combat helicopters, a senior Army Aviation official said. The helicopter will be used to ferry troops above 20,000 feet.

The Army wants the new helicopter to carry advanced axial guns, rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles and air-to-air missiles. It should have next-generation avionics and a reconnaissance system with radar that can handle maritime and land surveillance.

Defence Ministry sources said Eurocopter is the front runner, thanks to the Army’s satisfaction with the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. HAL built the French-designed aircraft under license, has 40 years of experience with Eurocopter, and will maintain India’s new combat helicopters.

Meanwhile, HAL is close to launching its Light Combat Helicopter program, a 5.5-ton aircraft intended to meet the Indian military’s high-altitude needs. The new helicopter will carry air-to-air missiles, 20mm gun systems, unguided rockets and anti-radiation missiles that also could be used against unmanned aerial vehicles and slow-moving aircraft. It will incorporate a number of stealth features, have tough landing gear, and a cockpit equipped with multifunction display systems designed for night attack.

HAL Chairman Nalini Ranjan Mohanty said the new aircraft will be competitive in price, and that the Army and Air Force are finalizing their requirements.

The project was born after Indian Air Force Mi-35 and Mi-25 gunships failed during the 1999 Kargil battle, where only the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters could ferry troops and material above 20,000 feet.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:16 AM

 

India To Buy Mirage 2000-5 Aircraft From Qatar
The Indian government has given the Air Force the go-ahead to buy 12 used Mirage 2000-5 multirole aircraft from Qatar.

The service has been lobbying the government for years to upgrade its aging aircraft fleet. This decision will further that cause as well as keep these like-new Dassault-built aircraft out of the hands of neighbor and nuclear rival Pakistan, which also was negotiating with Qatar, an Indian Ministry of Defence official said.

Air Force sources said the aircraft — nine single-seat Mirage-2005 EDAs and three two-seat DDAs — cost about $35 million each. An additional $200 million will be needed to install new-generation avionics and weapons and to establish an infrastructure for operations, the sources said.

The Indian Air Force plans to increase its fleet of aircraft capable of delivering nuclear weapons. The Mirage 2000-5 can carry a nuclear warhead deep inside China with the help of the Il-78 refueler the Indian Air Force has purchased from Uzbekistan. Service officials said this will serve as an offensive system as well as a deterrent.

The Mirage acquisition will be the first major deal inked by the new United Progressive Alliance government. It likely will be finalized by year’s end, with deliveries beginning in March, the ministry official said.

Qatar bought the aircraft from Dassault Aviation, Saint Cloud, France, in 1997, but is phasing out the aircraft in its shift to U.S. equipment, he said.

India also operates 35 Mirage 2000H fighters, which are maintained by Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

Pakistan operates Dassault’s Mirage-III and F-16 Falcon aircraft, acquired from the United States in the 1980s.

The outgoing National Democratic Alliance government initiated talks with Qatar for the Mirage purchase, and the Air Force sent delegations to Qatar last January and July to inspect the aircraft.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:14 AM

 

No middlemen in Mirage deal: IAF chief
Indian Air Force chief S Krishnaswamy on Monday stoutly denied 'middlemen or agents' were involved in the multi-million dollar deal for purchase of 10 Mirage fighters from French company Dassault.

The IAF proposes to go ahead with the deal to purchase 140 more of the multi-role aircraft.

"Clearly there were no middlemen or agents involved when the deal was signed in September 2000. It is a fact," he said when asked to comment on media reports of a Panamanian company acting as middlemen.

Quoting documents obtained by the Indian embassy in Paris, Krishnaswamy said Dassault had hired the Panamanian company Kayser for some market-related research in the region, but its services were terminated in 1998, much before the Indian contract was signed.

Reacting to media reports that a French court had upheld that Kayser had worked to swing the Indian deal in favour of Dassault, Krishnaswamy told reporters that his information said the Panamanian company had lost the case as also an appeal against the verdict.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, when approached, declined to comment on the issue.

After the Bofors kickbacks controversy, the government had banned middlemen in all defence deals and this principle was upheld when the authorities recently announced setting up of a new top-level procurement board for defence purchases.

The IAF chief said that all negotiations for the 10 new Mirages followed established government 'norms' and 'practices'.

Krishnaswamy said that 10 additional Mirages, which were to be delivered early this year, had been delayed and are expected to be inducted into the IAF by the year-end.

On the move to purchase 140 more multi-role aircraft, Krishnaswamy said that the IAF, after going through bids by a number of arms majors, had submitted its proposal to the ministry of defence. Besides Dassault, Russian companies Mikoyan and Sukhoi as well as US-based Lockheed had made a bid for the deal.

"We have completed our qualitative requirements and now the final proposal is with the ministry", Krishnaswamy said.

IAF requires these multi-role aircraft to keep up its present fighting squadron strength of almost 40 squadrons in view of the proposed phasing out of 300 aging MiG-21 fighters in the next two years.

Referring to the two recent crashes of Mirage fighters in quick succession near their home base in Gwalior, the IAF chief said a team of experts from the French Air Force and Dassault was in the country to probe the causes.

Till the two crashes, the IAF's Mirage fleet had a comparatively excellent record in flight safety.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:20 AM

 

Controversy erupts over Mirage deal
In a startling revelation, a Paris court has confirmed that the deal to acquire 10 additional Mirage 2000 jets in 1996 was finalized through middlemen.

It has been learnt that a Panama-based company called Keyser was employed by the French manufacturers of the Mirage fighter to negotiate the contract with the Government of India.

In 1996, the Government of India decided to replace the existing jets with modern upgraded set of fighter jets.

After months of negotiations with several arms companies, the Ministry of Defence entered into a contract with French arms manufacturer Dassault Aviation for the sale of 10 Mirage 2000.

Nearly five years later, the Air Force is still flying the old set of wings and the new airplanes are yet to arrive.

But thousands of miles away in Paris, there is even bigger question of how the Indian government goes about shopping for its defence equipment.

A court in Paris, while hearing a dispute between Dassault Aviation and its agent Keyser, has confirmed what many in India have been saying for years.

The French court has confirmed how the Panama-based company Keyser was instrumental in negotiating the Indian Mirage deal.

In fact, the company was paid a sum of 10 lakh US dollars by Dassault as the first installment of the commission.

Ironically, the case went to the court only when Dassualt backtracked on its commitment to pay Keyser the commission it promised.

Former Defence Minister George Fernandes, during whose tenure this deal was signed, has so far not reacted to this order.

But what's surprising is how the Indian government remained unaware of the previous track record or the court case and went about doing business with same company for more defence products.

Keyser, which calls itself a commercial aeronautical product company, has no known track record in defence deals.
If track record wasn't enough, what could have evoked suspicion was the Keyser claim that it is partly owned by the East India Publising Co and Curzon Co.
So far, the Dassault office in India has refused to react to this order.

The Defence Ministry has said they will look into the matter, but what's clear is that these findings put India's defence procurement system under the scanner once again.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:51 AM

 

Indian Army honours Manekshaw with military tattoo
His brisk pace has slackened with age and he has developed a slight stoop, but Field Marshal S.H.F.J Manekshaw not surprisingly outshone everyone else at a military tattoo held in his honour here Saturday.

The man credited with creating history - and a nation - by defeating the Pakistani Army in what was then East Pakistan and leading to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 - recounted his myriad experiences while speaking to reporters at the end of the tattoo.

It brought the curtain down on the two-day conclave of former army chiefs held here. The conclave, held for the first time, was meant to enable the Indian Army benefit from the experience of its former chiefs.

"I am 90 years, six months and 30 days old, probably the oldest and senior-most field marshal in the world... but I still think that I would have made a better doctor, a really good gynaecologist," said Manekshaw, India's first and only living field marshal who has also been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards.

He was dressed in his ceremonial army uniform, with his brightly shining medals emblazoning his left chest.

Asked what his suggestions were to improve the operational readiness of army, Manekshaw retorted:
"None of us had the affront to give any advice when none of us have any responsibilities. When I was the army chief, I never used to take advice from anyone."

The tattoo, in which 250 mounted riders participated, was organised by the Indian Army's 61 Cavalry, the only horse-mounted cavalry regime in the world.

During the one hour-show, the riders and their mounts cantered, trotted and galloped in synch to music played by a military band, weaving a magical spell for the spectators.

And, as dusk descended, seven paragliders swooped down in tri-coloured parachutes from Chetak helicopters that hovered about 4,500 feet above the ground.

The helicopters then staged a flypast, trooping the red-gold colours of 61 Cavalry.

Said Manekshaw: "I am delighted with how the army is performing. I never realised that things could actually be much better now than in mine.

"(Army chief General N.C.) Vij took me to my old house, but I couldn't recognise it. He took me to Army Headquarters and that too has changed so much. All the changes have been for the better," Manekshaw added

Also present at the tattoo were Vij, seven other army chiefs who attended the conclave, and senior military and civilian officers.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:50 AM

 

India, Israel schedule bilateral talks
India and Israel have proposed to hold bilateral talks on counter-terrorism next month, significantly playing down a controversial idea floated by New Delhi that sought a strategic triad involving the United States as their third partner , official sources said on Sunday.

Indian news reports from Israel said apart from foreign ministry consultations the two countries would hold a joint working group (JWG) meeting on counter-terrorism.

The Press Trust of India stressed that the consultations, slated for Nov 17, would be "centred around bilateral issues", and the JWG meeting is likely to be held towards the end of November.

It said Israel was also likely to reopen its consulate in Mumbai soon. The office was closed down last year apparently due to financial constraints.

The talks will be held amid speculation that India's ties with Israel had suffered adversely under the new Congress Party-led dispensation in New Delhi backed by the Left Front.

The Congress government in its policy statement had underlined strengthening of its traditional ties with Palestinians.

India also condemned Israel's incursions in Rafah in May and in the northern Gaza Strip this month.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed in his visit to Ramallah last month had described Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat as the symbol of Palestinian struggle along with condemning Israeli restrictions on his movement.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:49 AM

 

India ; Pakistan, India may agree on strategic restraint
Pakistan and India are likely to agree on a Strategic Restraint Regime in their talks on nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs) scheduled here on Dec 14-15, a Pakistani newspaper reported Sunday.

The Urdu-language daily Nawa-e-Waqt said India had showed little interest in such a CBM when Pakistan first made the proposal at the start of their Composite Dialogue process in February for fear that it would force a "strategic balance" with Islamabad.

However, now both the countries are moving in this direction under pressure from world powers, the paper said.

Quoting unnamed sources it said there is a "seemingly visible shift" in Indian stance on the issue and the official quarters in Islamabad expect progress on the issue when the crucial meeting on nuclear CBMs takes place.

"Both sides have agreed on the need for strategic stability and we hope that the nuclear talks would lead to some sort of agreement on the matter," the sources said.

One reason for the optimism is the increased interest of the US and the rest of international community in the bilateral restraint regime between the two nuclear-armed states, while the other is the successful diplomatic efforts by the two countries to normalise relations during the last eight months, supported by back-channel diplomacy.

Quoting a senior Pakistani official, it said the major purpose of this Pakistani proposal is to lower the threat of a nuclear war and to scale back the arms race between the two countries.

Under the proposal, the two sides would discuss the threshold for minimum nuclear deterrence, as both are of the view that there should not be an open-ended race for strategic or conventional arms. The proposed pact also aims to limit the risk of a nuclear conflict and a missile race.

The paper said the US has been in close contact with Islamabad and New Delhi since the commencement of bilateral dialogue but its interest is mainly focused on the nuclear talks.

It said the Kargil conflict in 1999 and military crisis between the two countries in 2001-02, when they mobilised their troops along their border, had led to a perception in the international community that South Asia is the "most likely" place for a nuclear conflict.

The paper noted that the two countries had already reached an agreement in 1998 not to attack each other's nuclear facilities and exchange annually a list of civilian nuclear facilities.

The areas in which there is likelihood of a broad agreement between Islamabad and New Delhi include a formal pact on advance notification of ballistic missile flight tests, bilateral consultations on security concepts and nuclear doctrines and the establishment of a communication mechanism to notify each other of unauthorized incidents that could be misinterpreted by the other side and contribute to nuclear tension, the paper said.

It noted the two sides, even without a formal agreement, are already observing some of these points, including notification of ballistic missile flight tests, and therefore it would be relatively easy for them to finalise a formal arrangement.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:47 AM

 

Indian military to focus on new doctrine, Siachen
India's top military commanders will gather here Monday for an annual brainstorming session that will see them focussing on a new war doctrine and a proposal to cut troop deployment on the Siachen glacier.

The combined services commanders' conference will also provide the first opportunity for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to interact with the military top brass since assuming office.

The conference will coincide with separate meetings of the commanders of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy to be held this week in New Delhi.

The army commanders will discuss a move to create a new force to guard the international border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and fine tune a draft war doctrine, meant to cope with a changed battlefield with a nuclear overhang and the need for rapidly deployable forces.

They will also discuss a proposal to cut troop levels on the Siachen glacier, the world's coldest and highest battlefield, as part of the peace process with Pakistan. Indian and Pakistani forces have been engaged in a face-off on the glacier for the past 20 years.

The army has proposed the creation of a southwestern command to guard the border in Kashmir. The move envisages the transfer of strike formations from the Central Command, which would be made a logistics formation.

The proposal has received the backing of eight former army chiefs, including Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, who attended a special conclave organised here Friday-Saturday by Indian Army chief, N.C. Vij.

The draft war doctrine envisages a "cold start" strategy using smaller strike groups comprising army and air force elements armed with higher firepower. This is a marked departure from India's standard procedure of massing huge forces at the border before hostilities.

The doctrine, which was scrutinised at the conclave of the former chiefs, also includes new methods to fight low intensity conflicts in areas like Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast. Increasing the army's night fighting capabilities and mass use of artillery formations to soften enemy targets also form part of the doctrine.

The prime minister will address the military commanders' conference Tuesday while Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee will speak at its concluding session Friday.

Defence Secretary Ajai Vikram Singh and principal staff officers from the headquarters of the three services will also attend the combined commanders conference.

External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Home Minister Shivraj Patil will also address the confernce.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:46 AM

 

Don't fret if Pak gets F-16s
India need not lose sleep even if Pakistan manages to acquire more F-16 fighters from the US. After plastering American combat pilots in an exercise earlier this year, IAF top guns now have another reason to be gung ho: their top-notch mean machines have proved more than a match for F-16s, the much-vaunted 'fighting falcons'.

Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKI jets are apparently outgunning American F-16s on "several aspects" at the ongoing Indo-Singapore air combat exercise in Gwalior.

This is the first-ever face-off between these two sophisticated war machines originating from the two former Cold War adversaries.

"Our Sukhois are doing very well against the F-16Cs (of Singapore Air Force) in terms of manoeuvrability, sophistication of avionics and weapon systems. Similarly, our MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s are also matching up to the F-16s," say IAF sources.

IAF is pitting even its MiG-21s, which constitute over 45% of India's combat fleet, against F-16s during the 'Sindex-Ankush' exercise in Gwalior.

"Ever since the Pakistanis acquired F-16s from the US in the mid-1980s, we wanted to size them up. So, we are matching almost all our planes with F-16s of the Singapore Air Force, which are more advanced than the F-16s of Pakistan," said sources.

The IAF has also tasked its elite combat school to develop manoeuvres for MiG-21s to elude the radar cones of F-16s.

IAF spokesperson Squadron Leader Mahesh Upasani only said, "Results of the exercise will be assessed only after the debrief. It's premature to comment at this stage."

Instead of F-16s, the US had fielded the F-15C Eagles during the Cope India-04 exercise in February. So, the decks were promptly cleared when Singapore came knocking for training facilities with its F-16s.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 2:50 PM

 

ITBP gears up to deal with nuke disaster
After proving its mettle in handling natural disasters, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will soon set up a new battalion to deal with nuclear fallout.

"A battalion to be based in Noida, UP, will be trained to deal with nuclear, chemical and biological disasters," ITBP Director General Kanwal Jit Singh told reporters on Friday.

He was addressing a press conference ahead of the Force's 43rd Raising Day on Sunday.

Singh said experts from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre would provide technical training to ITBP jawans at Bhanu, near Chandigarh, to deal with nuclear or biological weapons disasters.

The new battalion would take about a year to be fully operationalised, he added.

The Director-General said ITBP would also provide training at its Chandigarh unit to deal with natural disasters.

The Force had carried out rescue missions during floods, earthquakes and cloudbursts in the Himalayan region for several years, he said.

On the addition of 44 new border posts under ITBP in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, Singh said, "There might be a re-orientation course to give our forces more information about the area."

Singh decorated 61 ITBP officers and jawans with the Director-General's insignia.

ITBP contingents from various sectors also took part in a ceremonial parade held on the occasion.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:16 AM

 

Positive start made with India: Pakistan
Noting that a "positive beginning" had been made with India, Pakistan on Friday expressed the hope that the two countries would "successfully resolve" the "once considered intractable" issues.

Addressing the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Almaty, Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar said "symptomatic remedies" to tackle "new threats", including terrorism, might remain "cosmetic" till "inequalities and injustice" precipitating these were addressed.

"Two years ago, South Asia was in the grip of heightened tension. The security environment has visibly improved in the recent months with the initiation of a composite dialogue between Pakistan and India," he said at the CICA ministerial meeting.

He noted that peace and security was an important item on the agenda of the composite dialogue.

Referring to the recent meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf in New York, Bakhtyar said it was "very constructive and augurs well for the peace process between the two countries".


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:15 AM

 

17 Asian nations pledge to fight terror
A 17-member grouping of Asian countries on Friday resolved to fight terrorism.

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia also emphasised the centrality of the UN in promotion of international peace, favoured "independence and sovereignty" of Iraq, political and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and expressed concern over situation in West Asia.

The ministerial meeting of the CICA, attended by representatives of the Asian countries, including External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, also supported the six-party talks aimed at denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and noted that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their delivery means posed a serious threat to international peace.

"We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, violent manifestations of separatism and extremism and agree to enhance our efforts at bilateral and multilateral levels in fighting these common threats," said the declaration adopted at the conclave, which was attended by Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar.

The declaration said these threats "undermine the very foundation of international peace and security" and emphasised that the fight against these should be "global, comprehensive and sustained and not selective or discriminatory and should avoid applying double standards".


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:14 AM

 

Indian navy denies submarine deal
The Indian navy has denied reports that a deal has been finalised with Russia for the lease of an Akula-class nuclear-powered submarine.
Navy spokesman, Commander Vinay Garg, told the BBC talks were continuing between the two countries but no agreement was completed.

He said more details could be expected by Monday.

Earlier reports from Moscow claimed India had reached agreement to lease the submarine for 10 years.

The reports said the deal was worth tens of millions of dollars.

The Akula is a sophisticated nuclear-powered submarine that would significantly increase India's naval reach.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:04 AM

 

Ural bets big on Indian Army
Ural India Ltd, the Indian arm of Russian vehicles manufacturer UralAZ JSC, is banking on big orders from the Indian Army, once its assembly line at Haldia in West Bengal gets going. The company, set up last year, expects the assembly line to be ready by the end of the current fiscal.

For the project, Ural India has entered into a joint venture with its parent as well as West Bengal Industrial Development Corp (WBIDC). The plant will roll out trucks, and employ around 500 people.

Speaking to FE, Ural India chairman JK Saraff said that once the assembly line is in place, it will promote many auto ancillary units in the region, home to India’s first automobiles company and related ancillaries.

“We will be outsourcing at least 100 auto items, to begin with, and currently, many small units from Howrah are approaching us to supply equipment like castings, forgings, fasteners, rubberised auto parts etc.,” Mr Saraff said.

Mr Saraff claimed that once Ural begins manufacturing activity, it will be a revival of sorts for Howrah which once prided itself as the ‘engineering hub’ of the east.

Ural India has already acquired 200 acres from the West Bengal government at its plant where site development work is currently in progress. Mr Saraff added that another 300 acres is expected anytime from the government.

Ural will be making high-mobility vehicles at Haldia and the total project cost has been estimated at Rs 500 crore. UralAZ and Ural India will own 44.5% each in the project while the remaining 11% will be held by WBIDC.

The company claims that the heavy duty trucks from its stable will be significantly cheaper than the ones available now, especially the ones made by Swedish truck maker Volvo in India. “Our competition in the Indian market will be only with Volvo,” Mr Saraff said. Ural India feels that the Indian Army might emerge as a major buyer of the Ural trucks. “The Indian Army has been using Ural trucks for more than three decades now which it imports directly from Russia. They have been encouraging us a lot for making the same trucks in India,” Mr Saraff said. According to him, the Indian Army requires about 15,000 vehicles a year, of which a sizeable portion is trucks. Internationally, Ural specialises in making trucks suited for military use and the Indian Army finds them indispensible in snow and deserts due to its sturdy design and user-friendly features,” Mr Saraff said.

Ural India claims that apart from taking care of Indian Defence’ haulage needs, the trucks will be suited for mining, road construction and public transport also.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:02 AM

 

Indian army to get expert outsider view on its doctrine
In a novel step, the Indian army will get its first-ever expert "outsider" view on relevance of its tactics and doctrine tomorrow.

The opinion on the state of the army will come from its own former chiefs, who will meet here in a conclave, for three days from Friday. The star at the conclave would be the hero of the 1971 Indo-Pak war Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw.

The conclave will be a chance for the former chiefs to relive their past as they meet and deliberate in the sprawling cantonement area here and dwell upon the current operational scenario at macro level and also ponder over the new tactics and doctrine framed for the army.

The idea of soliciting the expert views on the state of the army is the brainchild of the present Army Chief Gen N C Vij, who wants an "outside view" on where the forces are headed for and whether they are keeping pace with modern and future warfare.

The former Chiefs- only eight of whom are living -- who would attend the conclave besides Manekshaw are Gen KV Krishna Rao, Gen O P Malhotra, SF Rodrigues, Shankar Roy Choudhary, V N Sharma and V P Malik.

The conclave, to begin with an impressive mounted parade at the Nicholson range, would include sessions on troop welfare measures, health and housing schemes as also performance by massed bands.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:01 AM

 

India opposes sale of F-16 jets
Tom Carter
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

India is concerned about reports of a renewed Pakistani effort to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States, saying the advanced aircraft could spark an arms race in South Asia even though Washington maintains that no such sales are being contemplated. "We are against introducing such advanced weaponry into South Asia," an Indian government official said Tuesday on the condition of anonymity. "They are not useful in the war on terror, and experience has shown that they could be used against India. ... They could spark a buildup or a weapons race in the region."

In September, the Pakistani press carried a statement by a Pakistani defense official saying the United States had agreed to consider selling the nation F-16s fighter jets.

Last week, Rear Adm. Craig McDonald, head of the office of the U.S. defense representative in Pakistan, was quoted in press reports as telling a Pentagon-organized conference on security cooperation that the Bush administration would go before Congress early next year to seek authorization for the sale. "It's a very long, involved process that will be taken up with our Congress once they come back after the first of the year," he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Participants in a six-day U.S.-India forum sponsored by the Aspen Institute and the Confederation of Indian Industry that ended Tuesday said they told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that such a sale, while manageable for the Indian military, would be taken badly by the Indian public.

Mr. Rumsfeld did not comment on the prospects of the sale of the F-16s at the meeting Monday, the participants said. But a retired senior Indian military officer said he understood the plan called for an initial sale of 18 planes, with another 62 aircraft to be sold later.

The State Department, however, bluntly refuted the idea on Tuesday. "There has been absolutely no decision taken anywhere, at any level of the U.S. government, on the sale of F-16s to Pakistan," a department official said on the condition of anonymity.

The official said that the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, along with dozens of other issues relating to U.S.-Pakistan relations, had been on the table for months, but nothing had changed. "Everyone wants to know if the ball has moved. The ball has not moved," the official said.

Officials at the Pakistani Embassy did not return repeated calls for comment. Washington sold 40 F-16s to Pakistan from 1983 through 1987, during the period Pakistan supported the United States in its efforts to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. But in 1990, Congress passed legislation halting delivery of the jets for fear that Pakistan had built a nuclear bomb.

U.S. concerns over a Pakistani nuclear device proved correct in May 1998 when Pakistan carried out nuclear weapons tests in response to tests by India. However, since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Pakistan has re-emerged as a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.


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Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 3:25 PM

 

Navy to lease Russian N-submarine
India is to lease a multi-role nuclear submarine from Russia for 10 years under a deal signed earlier this year, according to the defence industry sources.

"The two nations have inked the deal for the 10-year lease of the submarine of project 971 (Nato name Akula-II)," Itar-Tass reported, quoting unnamed defence industry sources.

The Akula-II class third generation nuclear powered submarine was inducted by the Soviet Navy in 1984 and is said to be superior to the deadly US 'Los Angeles' class nuclear submarines.

According to Itar-Tass, a similar N-submarine "Vepr" (Boar), built in 1996, recently took part in the first ever war games with France.

The submarine to be leased by India is a Project 971 'Nerpa' (Sea Seal) nuclear submarine, which is being constructed at the Amur ship building facility, Komsomolsk-on-Amur town right across the Chinese border.

"It is 85 per cent ready right now," another source was quoted as saying by Interfax agency.

India and Russia had agreed on the leasing deal at the beginning of this year, Interfax reported, quoting an unnamed official.

The submarine is expected to be ready by 2007. An Indian crew will then arrive in Russia for the training.

According to experts, India would be paying tens of millions of dollars annually for the lease.

In 1990s, India and Russia had agreed on a package to boost Indian Navy's blue water capability, which included the simultaneous acquisition of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, lease of two Akula class nuclear submarines and four Tu-22M3 (Nato name Backfire) strategic bombers.

In January last, the two countries had announced inking of Gorshkov deal in New Delhi paving the way for progress on other components of the package.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:11 AM

 

Vaidya takes over Eastern Air Command
Air Marshal A V Vaidya today took over as the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) of the Indian Air Force Eastern Air Command based here.

An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Vaidya was commissioned in the IAF as a fighter pilot on December 29, 1968. He is an A-2 qualified flying instructor and was an Air Force examiner and has to his credit over 3000 hours flying experience on a variety of fighter aircraft in 34 years of distinguished service, defence sources said here.

He has served as the commanding officer of a fighter squadron, station commander of a forward base, Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an active air force station where SU-30 aircraft was inducted and as AOC of an air defence control centre.

An alumnus of defence services staff college, Wellington and National Defence College, Air Marshal Vaidya was also the chief instructor in college of air warfare and directorate of air staff requirement at the air headquarters, the sources said.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:02 AM

 

Indian Navy Ships Begin Goodwill Visit to South China
Five Indian Navy ships have embarked on a 45-day tour of the South China Sea with the objective of improving cooperation among navies in the region.

The ships — the Kashin-class missile destroyers Ranjit and Ranvijay, missile frigate Godavri, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya and missile corvette Kirch — will visit Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam, said Cmdr. Vinay Garg, a Navy spokesman, on Oct. 14.

The visits will coincide with the planned joint exercises of the Chinese and Australian navies in the South China Sea.

The first of the Indian ships will visit Pusan, South Korea, on Oct. 15, then travel to Tokyo and Manila before arriving at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Nov. 9. Others will visit Jakarta, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City between Oct. 21 and Nov. 9.

Garg told DefenseNews.com that the visits are intended to help build cooperation among the region’s navies.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 2:04 PM

 

ACCS Links Indian Army Artillery
In an effort to boost indigenous network-centric technology, the Indian Army last month awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Bangalore, to create an artillery combat and control system (ACCS).

A senior Army artillery official said the system, dubbed Shakti, would automate the artillery’s tactical fire control from the regiment level down to battery command posts. The contract’s exact value was not disclosed.

Shakti is based on the U.S. Army’s ACCS, but the technology was developed by the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Bangalore, part of the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation. The BEL-built system will comprise computers and intelligent terminals connected as a wide area network. Its main subsystems are the artillery computer center, battery computer, remote access terminal and gun display unit.

The Shakti system will make the Army’s artillery operations at least 10 times more effective, the artillery official said.

The pilot contract awarded in September calls for BEL to test the ACCS in both static and mobile roles. The pilot system would link one battery command post, one reserve battery post, one regiment command post, one fire detection center, one fire control center, one observation post, one commanding officer, one battery commander, one artillery brigade commander, one corps artillery commander, command corps artillery, artillery division commander and individual guns.

Army officials say by efficiently networking their artillery units, Shakti will allow more rapid and accurate firepower. It will also improve the ability of commanders to concentrate that firepower where it is most needed, a senior BEL official said.

The ACCS will be the first and most critical C3I system to be fielded by the Army, the BEL official said. Once fully implemented, it is visualized as a network of ruggedized tactical computers, extending from the corps fire control center down to individual guns. It also would function as a force multiplier for artillery units.

The pilot system is expected to be delivered by the end of 2005, a senior Army planning official said. The Army thereafter would conduct year-long rugged trials.

The Army aims to spend about $300 million by 2015 to fully implement the ACCS in its artillery units. The Army, which currently has no integrated C3I system, has around 600 operational artillery guns, most of them slated for modernization.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 2:03 PM

 

IAF fighter jets hold Mumbai enthralled
It was an afternoon to remember for a quarter million Mumbaiites as some of Indian Air Force's (IAF) frontline fighting machines performed mid-air aerobatics designed to awe the youth into joining it.

Organised jointly by the IAF and Air India, the show began on a low key over the sparkling sea off the famous landmark of Marine Drive with Chetak helicopters "trooping" the national flag, the Air Force ensign and the Air-India flag.

The show subsequently built up to a crescendo with the IAF's cutting-edge fighters, the Sukhoi-30s, flying in formation and refuelling in mid-air from and IL-78.

A mock aerial combat between MiG-29s and the Su-30s broke the sound barrier much to the pleasure of the audience.

Bombing of targets in the sea was comparatively tame as compared to the daring mid-sea rescue where naval commandoes limbered down from a chopper to drag up a supposedly marooned colleague.

A major highlight of the show was the Sarang helicopter aerobatic team that displayed the indigenously-manufactured Advanced Light Helicopter. Helicopters christened Dhruv performed some daring helibatics.

What was, however, missing from the show was the Mirage 2000, which was withdrawn at the last minute after a crash in the past couple of days. But the Russian fighters did a good job at aerobatics to make the audience forget the absence of the French Mirage.

Air India too did its bit with its Boeings and Airbus aircraft flying low.

An IAF MiG-27 zoomed over the audience to photograph the crowds gathered to watch the show. The most colourful of the displays was the bright red Surya Kiran aircraft literally painting the skies in a myriad of colours.

In all some 47 aircraft from the air force bases at Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Bangalore came together for the show.

The show closed with Akash Ganga, a team of sky divers, free falling from 8,000 feet to paradrop into the Brabourne Stadium in the city centre.

The Mumbai local administration blocked the major approach roads to Marine Drive and diverted traffic. It also pressed in special buses to ferry in people. Special enclosures were created for students to enable them to watch the show.

The IAF will begin a recruitment rally next week for young aspirants looking for a career in flying fighter aircraft.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:11 AM

 

Navy deploys warships in South China Sea
To further project its blue water capability, the Indian Navy has deployed five of its frontline warships in the South China Sea.

"In the course of this one-and-a-half-month deployment, Indian naval ships will visit Pusan (South Korea), Tokyo, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta," sources at naval headquarters said. This is the first time that the Indian Navy will be having such an extensive agenda in the South China Sea.

The group of warships consists of two Kashin class destroyers — Ranjit and Ranvijay, frigate Godavari, missile corvette Kirch, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya and fleet tanker Jyoti. These ships are part of the India's eastern fleet and are being commanded by Rear Admiral Sunil Damle.

A senior officer at naval headquarters said the deployment in the South China Sea would demonstrate Indian Navy's increasing ability to operate far away from home. It's in keeping with the navy's increasing emphasis on 'Tacking (changing course) to the Blue Waters' and, thereby, showing Indian presence far away from its shores.

"The eastern fleet ships would also carry out basic level passage exercises (Passex) with the host navies on departure from the respective ports," a spokesman said.
These warships will visit various ports on the itinerary in two groups. “While one group would call on Pusan, Tokyo, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City from October 15 to November 9, the second group is scheduled to visit Jakarta, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City from October 21 to November 9," the spokesman added.

The primary aim of these visits is to enhance bilateral cooperation and boost naval ties through greater professional interaction, the navy declared. The deployment in the South China Sea will also give India an opportunity to showcase its indigenous shipbuilding capability in the region. The ships are scheduled to return to their base port by mid-November.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:10 AM

 

Indian Navy fully capable of protecting coast: Naval Chief
The Indian Navy was fully capable of protecting the country's coastal areas and always stood prepared to effectively counter terrorist activities along the coast, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash, said today.

"The navy and coastguard personnel are capable and fully prepared to tackle terrorist elements along the coast," he told reporters after visiting the 'Kunhali Marakkar memorial' near Payyoli in the district.

Some Hindu organisations had alleged soon after the violence at Marad beach near here last year in which nine persons were killed, that certain terrorist groups were operating along the western coast.

On the prestigious Rs. 5000-crore Naval academy, coming up at Ezhimala in Kannur, he said the works, though hampered at times owing to changing climatic conditions, were in progress and that the project would be commissioned soon.

He declined to comment when asked about the reported opposition expressed by the Left parties to the joint naval exercises involving the US.

Later, Admiral Prakash inaugurated the Chair for Maritime Studies set up at the Calicut University to promote research of naval traditions of South India.

The Chair has been set up under the aegis of the Naval wing of the Union Ministry of Defence with the principle objective of identifying the historical reasons for the erosion of Indian maritime traditions.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:09 AM

 

US offers Patriot missiles to India
The United States has offered to sell its Patriot Missile Air Defence System to India. Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

The US gave the missile defence system to Israel in 2003. US forces used Patriot missiles in the first Gulf war to destroy incoming Iraqi Scud missiles.

India has been offered upgraded PAC-3 missiles. Sources said India had yet to make a decision.

The missiles cost $90 million a piece. Sources said India was also considering buying Arrow Missiles System from Israel and talks were in progress with Israeli defence officials. Sources said the offer came on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session last month.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:07 AM

 

Indian army to carry out ‘surgical strikes’ to crush N-E militants
Army plans to carry out surgical strikes against the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) strongholds in thick jungles of lower Assam by the weekend.

As a prelude to strikes, advance elements of an almost 3,000 strong brigade level mobilisation have already moved to Boniangoan, Kokarjhar, Dhubri and Gopalpara with major columns expected to be in position by the weekend, army sources said here.

Army's "hunt and strike" operations would be against an estimated 200 to 250 NDFB militants suspected to be holed up in the jungles and hamlets in the area.

These militants are believed to be remnants of NDFB elements who managed to evade operation all clear launched by royal Bhutanese Army against ULFA and NDFB bases in its territory.

"The mobilisation for the operation has been done by redeploying troops present within the state with hardly any fresh induction from outside," the sources said.

They said the NDFB militants had been found to be acting in tandem with ULFA elements in upper Assam and along with strikes against Bodo militants, operations would also be carried out against ULFA elements in upper Assam.

The pattern of army strikes would be to hit suspected bases of NDFB as also to carry out cordon and search and area domination operations.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:06 AM

 

US F-15s Versus Indian Su-30s
More details have come out about the "losing" performance of U.S. F-15Cs (from the Alaska-based 3rd Wing) against India's air force in the "Cope India" air-to-air combat exercise earlier this year. The Air Force and some members of Congress have used the "failure" of American aircraft to further justify the need for new F/A-22 and F-35 fighters. Some are calling the results a dramatic example of weakening of American air combat capabilities

Two factors have been cited as major reasons why the 3rd Wing took a drubbing. None of the participating American aircraft had the latest long-range AESA radars, although some of the F-15Cs of the Wing had this equipment. A decision had been made beforehand not to send the AESA equipped planes to India due to the additional maintenance package required to support them. A total of six F-15Cs were sent to India, each equipped with a fighter data link, short-range AIM-9X heat-seeking air-to-air missiles, and the U.S.'s helmet-mounted cueing system.

Secondly, at India's request, the U.S. agreed to mock combat at 3-to-1 odds and without the full range of capabilities of simulated long-range radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. U.S. fighters could not use the active on-board radar capability of the AMRAAM, and the missile was limited to around 32 kilometers range and required the use of the F-15C's onboard radar to target Indian aircraft. In standard use, AMRAAM has a range of over 100 kilometers and is a fire-and-forget missile that doesn't require additional guidance from the F-15. Practiced tactics by the F-15 crews mix two AESA-equipped F-15Cs with two stock aircraft. The AESA aircraft take long-range missile shots to thin out and disrupt the formation of a numerically superior force before the two sides close up for closer fighting.

The F-15s flew in groups of 4 against packages of 12 Indian Air Force aircraft consisting of a mix of Mirage 2000, Su-30, Mig-21, and Mig-27 aircraft. The Mirage and Su-30 aircraft were used in the air-to-air role, while the Mig-27 was used as the strike aircraft with the Mig-21 providing escort to the Mig-27s. The Indians also had a simulated AWACS platform and the use of simulated active radar missiles such as the AA-12 and the French Mica, unlike the F-15Cs. This gave the Indian Air Force a fire-and-forget air-to-air missile capability that the U.S. fighters didn't have, a heavily unrealistic assumption in actual hostilities.

However, the U.S. pilots admitted that they did have problems with the simulated active missile threat and don't normally train against launch-and-leave threats. They also admit they underestimated the training and tactics of the Indian pilots. Indian air force planners never repeated failed tactics and were able to change tactics as opportunities became available, mixing things up and never providing the same tactical "look." Some of the Indian aircraft radars had different characteristics than U.S. pilots had seen on stock versions of the aircraft, including some of the Mirage 2000s.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:03 AM

 

The Great Gig In The Sky
Indian Air Force fighter jets rehearse for the air show to be held at Marine Drive on October 17.

The show will begin with two Chetak helicopters followed by the trooping of the National flag, the Air Force ensign and the Air-India flag.

On their heels, MiG-27 aircraft will photograph the crowds gathered for the air display.

Air-India will then demonstrate the elegant Boeing-747 flying past low.

State-of-the-art Sukhoi-30s will follow. It will be a sight to watch the IL-78 in-flight refueller display its capacities. An exciting mock aerial combat between MiG-29s and Su-30s leading to a low-level acrobatic display by the Su-30 will further charm the crowds.

Dhruv, the advanced light helicopter, will also show rare helicopter formations. IAF’s aerobatic team, the Surya Kiran, which recently performed in a tour of South East Asia, will also perform.

Akash Ganga, a team of sky divers, will free fall from 8,000 feet landing at the Brabourne Stadium as part of the closing performance.

A total of 47 aircraft from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Bangalore will scramble over Marine Drive on D-Day.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:59 AM

 

Accidental Indo-Pak nuke war possible
A former Pakistani army major general has said that the possibility of an "accidental" nuclear war breaking out between India and Pakistan could not be ruled out because of a lack of "robustness in the decision-making systems in both countries".

In a study presented at South Asia roundtable organised by the Brookings Institution this week, Major General Mahmud Ali Durrani claimed that possessing nuclear weapons systems placed serious demands on a nation and its government, the foremost of them being, the need for internal political stability and strong institutions.

Simultaneously, the Daily Times quoted him as saying that efforts were needed to address issues like proliferation, safety, security and stability and the avoidance of a nuclear war by miscalculation.

Basing his conclusions after a series of extensive interviews with US and Pakistani officials, besides scholars, former civil and military officers and those now responsible for the security and safety of nuclear programmes, Major General Durrani said that there was a "consistent perception of concern" for the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, apprehensions about the robustness of the decision-making system, the lack of conflict reduction mechanisms in the region."

According to Gen Durrani, although Pakistan had not declared a formal nuclear doctrine, he was able to determine four national nuclear policy objectives in his meetings with Pakistani officials.

They are: deterrence of all forms of external aggression that endanger national security, achievement of deterrence through the development and maintenance of an effective combination of conventional and strategic forces within the country's resource constraints, deterrence of Pakistan's adversaries from attempting a counter-force strategy against its strategic assets and finally, stabilisation of strategic deterrence in the South Asian region.

He, however, suggested that while the present situation might not be all that bad on the ground, the training of military and non-military security forces should be brought up to international standards, based on a realistic threat assessment of the threat of terrorism.

Major General Durrani also recommended that political pressures should be controlled by reducing the radical religious influence in both Pakistan and India and resolving lingering disputes through dialogue.

"Crisis management should be implemented through a series of political and military confidence-building measures, including special emissaries, a crisis management agreement, media management, additional hotlines, notification of alert status, separation of nuclear weapons from delivery systems, flag meetings and cooperative border monitoring," the paper quoted him as saying.

He further said that nuclear proliferation should be avoided through legislative changes, stronger fiscal and technical control of weapons programmes and improving operating procedures of weapons security.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 1:00 PM

 

India gets nod to make AK-47s
A leading Russian armament firm has agreed to allow India to start licensed production of Kalashnikov or AK-47 automatic rifles, it was announced here on Friday.

The Izhmash concern, which makes automobiles and motorcycles in addition to weapons, has agreed to a bilateral project that stipulates annual production of 100,000 Kalashnikov automatic rifles in India beginning 2005.

The press department of the Russian Federal Agency for Industry quoted Alexander Zavarzin, director of the foreign economic activity department of Izhmash, as saying that Russia would supply the necessary equipment to India and some elements for the assembly of rifles.

India will develop its own facilities and boost the share of rifle elements produced by it.

The rifles are to be used by the Indian Army and law enforcement authorities.

India would not be entitled to export the rifles to other countries, the press department said.

The value of the deal could not be immediately ascertained.

The Indian Army and paramilitary forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations currently use a large number of AK-47 rifles acquired from Russia and east European countries.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 12:59 PM

 

US maps Kashmir line of action for India, Pak
America's abiding interest in resolving Kashmir dispute is no secret, but its motives have long been a matter of speculation.

Does America want a foothold in the scenic Valley from where the rest of Asia - especially the oil rich - strategically critical Central Asia would be a few minutes flight?

Claims of America's altruistic intentions in Kashmir are not what diplomats and analysts in this part of the world give much credence to.

So what are American ambitions in Kashmir? Do they have a detailed roadmap? How far have they been able to push their plans with Pakistan and India?

There may be no specific answers, but the US Mission Papers give enough evidence of the American influence in this part of the world.

Performance Indicator : End of armed conflict along Line of Control

FY 2001: Kashmir militant groups enjoy strong Pakistani support.

FY 2002 Target: End to cross border militancy.

FY 2003 Target: Kashmiri politicians displace militant leaders, extremists.

FY 2004 Target: Both sides monitor Line of Control

FY 2005 Target: Civilian traffic moves regularly across Line of Control.


The US influence seems to have increased during the past three years of war on terror. Since 2001, India and Pakistan have even come close to war. The armies had been mobilised on either side of the border and the world feared a nuclear war. But both sides drew back. Was it Washington's influence? Or did the prospect of nuclear war intensified US urgency? The truth is still not known. But there are factors which aided US interference: a Pakistan leadership dependent on the US more than ever and a right-wing government in India sympathetic and receptive to American ideas.

Whatever the reasons, the US plan has played, and continues to play, a critical hidden role in shaping the peace road India and Pakistan are now taking. The way the two sides have held negotiations, sidelined militant leaders for "over-ground" separatists, worked on new confidence building measures, agreed on starting a bus connecting either side of Kashmir are clear indication that the Americans are playing a significant behind-the-curtain role.

Only in recent months, since the Manmohan Singh government came to power, that the American plans have gone awry. It may have a lot to do with the antipathy towards America among the United Progressive Alliance partners. And a lot to do with Musharraf's present bargaining latitude with American establishment.

Americans drew the Mission Plans in 2002, at the height of Indo-Pak tensions. It contains a detailed roadmap for dealing with Indo-Pak tensions and the Kashmir dispute over a three-year period.

In 2001, the baseline year, the militant groups were enjoying "strong Pakistani support", there was only a partial crackdown by Pak authorities on militant groups, "no Indo-Pak dialogue" and the militaries of the two sides were "at historically high levels along border". Besides, the two sides had stayed away from confidence building measures.

Performance Indicator : Civilian and political movements in Kashmir replace militant insurgency

Baseline FY 2001: Partial crackdown against some Kashmir militant groups and leaders.

FY 2002 Target: Provincial and national police authorities given mandate, training, equipment to arrest extremists.

FY 2003 Target: Successful prosecutions of sectarian, religious, extremist and Kashmir militant leaders.

FY 2004 Target: Measures to prevent Kashmir militant groups and supporters from openly raising money.

FY 2005 Target: Kashmir political leaders assume prominence in national Kashmir political discourse.


The American put in place a strategy to "promote the end of Kashmir as a bilateral flashpoint by encouraging de-escalation and peaceful political resolution of the Kashmir dispute". The American tactics was to "insist Pakistan prevent the infiltration of militants", urge Pakistan to act against terrorists and facilitate bilateral dialogue.

Initially, General Musharraf seemed to follow the American script by cracking down on militants and temporarily stopped terrorist infiltration. But with Musharraf unable to bulldoze India into acceding his demands and his increasing leverage with the US, Pakistan establishment is back to its old ways of infiltration and other terror tactics.

Amazingly, in the last couple of years several American plans seem to have been achieved without much difficulty. And many of their ideas are still in circulation and the two sides are trying to implement them.

The American target was to get the two sides to monitor the 740-km long Line of Control by 2004. Coincidentally, Atal Behari Vajpayee as prime minister had last year suggested to Pakistan that the two sides hold joint patrol of the LOC. It may never be known to what extent the Americans prompted the Indian PM.

If Vajpayee's suggestion and American plans for joint monitoring at LOC sound a mere coincide, then there is another one: the Vajpayee plan to start a bus service connecting the Kashmir valleys held by India and Pakistan is detailed in the 2002 plans.

In 2005, the American target is to ensure that "civilian traffic moves regularly" across the LOC.

America seems to have achieved several other targets in Indo-Pak relations. America's diplomatic target was to get Pakistan to prosecute militants and take measures to prevent the militant groups from raising money in public. Both have partially been achieved.

Performance Indicator Indo-Pakistani talks on Kashmir

Baseline FY 2001: No Indo-Pakistani dialogue

FY 2002 Target: Eased bilateral sanctions and military build up on eastern border..

FY 2003 Target: Formalize bilateral dialog begins.

FY 2004 Target: Involvement of Kashmiri political leaders fro both sides of the Line of Control in Kashmir dialogue.

FY 2005 Target: Framework for eventual political resolution of Kashmir.


But more significantly, the US has managed to achieve several breakthroughs in 2002 and 2003 that would show the marvellous influence of the Superpower. In 2002, the US target was to ensure the military build-up along the Indo-Pak border was eased. It also wanted to ensure reduction in cross border violence, incursions and heavy arms firing. All these plans have been realised.

By 2002 end, India decided to abruptly end Operation Parakram at the LOC without achieving any strategic targets.

In 2003, American had planned that the two sides would begin formal bilateral dialogue. And the Indo-Pak relations followed that script.

According to American plans, by 2005 a framework for eventual political resolution of Kashmir is to be put in place. For long, Musharraf has been hinting that a solution to Kashmir is in sight, and hectic behind-scenes parleys are on between the two sides.

There are several other aspects of the relations, including negotiations of new confidence building measures, that are following the American script.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:37 AM

 

Brahmos will have to wait
The supersonic Brahmos missile, the undetectable ship defence system that works on ramjet propulsion covering a range of 230 km, will have to wait for about 10 years before its technology can be declared mature, according to S. Sundarrajan, Deputy Programme Director, Brahmos, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad. He was delivering a lecture on the `Trends and Challenges — Guided Missile Programme' to mark the foundation day of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research at the Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi.

When the country launched the Agni missile in 1988, the West imposed sanctions under the Missile Technology Control Regime. However, the DRDL's initiatives remained unaffected because all its designs were based on Indian standards. Mr. Sundarrajan said the CECRI should come out with high-energy batteries and evolve effective corrosion protection.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:24 AM

 

India, Pakistan to step up fight against smuggling, border crimes
Border guards of India and Pakistan Thursday agreed to step up joint efforts to counter smuggling and other trans-border crimes despite differences on issues like fencing of the frontier by India.

A three-day meeting of top officers of India's Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers concluded here Thursday, with both sides agreeing not to let unresolved issues to dominate the talks or stall progress on other fronts, officials said.

BSF Additional Director General A.K. Mitra, the head of the Indian team, said at the end of the meeting that good progress was made in "certain areas" during the talks.

Mitra listed nine areas where agreement had been reached.

These included joint efforts to check trans-border crimes like drug smuggling, exchange of lists of smugglers on either side of the border, dealing with cases of inadvertent crossings by civilians on a priority basis to facilitate their repatriation and quicker verification of people listed as missing.

Both sides agreed to strengthen patrolling and surveillance systems, adjustment of lights on the border fence and return cattle that crossed the border.

"The meeting was held in a cordial manner. Confidence building measures initiated by both countries has changed the atmosphere and that was evident in the meeting," said Maj. Gen. Javed Zia, the head of the Pakistani delegation.

Mitra said: "We should not expect immediate results. Here things move very slowly but progress was made. It was a happy beginning."

The border agencies agreed that each side would inform the other 24 hours in advance of any firing at ranges close to the border. "This was done to take necessary precautions and to avoid injuries to civilians," Mitra said.

The Pakistani side also agreed to a joint survey along the international border for repair of border pillars. Pakistan had earlier been resisting such a survey.

The meeting decided that local commanders on each side of the border would meet more often to resolve local problems.

Officials familiar with the discussions said there were disagreements between the two sides over India's construction of an electrified fence along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and defence constructions on both sides.

India also objected to trans-border infiltration and defensive constructions like bunkers built by Pakistan close to the border, they said.

This was the first time in three years that the border talks were held on Indian soil. An Indian delegation had travelled to Lahore for a meeting in March.

Though a media interaction with officials of both sides was scheduled, Zia excused himself after just five minutes before reporters could put questions to him.

Indian officials claimed the Pakistani delegation had to return home and wanted to pack things in their hotel rooms. However, the Pakistani officials came back for lunch after the media had left.


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:22 AM

 

Malabar 04


Fire Controlman 1st Class Michael Davidson, assigned to the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63), speaks with a member of a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team from the Indian Navy Delhi-class guided missile destroyer INS Mysore (D 60), during a VBSS training drill. U.S. Navy Sailors trained with the Indian Navy VBSS members on procedures for boarding, searching, and handling suspect vessels. Both ships are taking part in Malabar 04. Malabar is designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The at-sea exercise will include maritime interdiction, surface events, sub-surface, air events and personnel exchanges.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:08 AM

 

Malabar 04


Sailors from the Indian Navy destroyer INS Mysore (D 60), prepare to embark the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) during a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) exercise off the coast of India. U.S. Navy Sailors went over procedures for boarding, searching, and handling suspect vessels during the training, which is part of the exercise Malabar 04. Malabar is designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The at-sea exercise includes maritime interdiction, surface events, sub-surface, air events and personnel exchanges.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:08 AM

 

Malabar 04


Chief Ship's Serviceman Robert Humphries of Pocatello, Idaho, fires a .50 caliber machine gun at the "killer tomato," a floating training target, from the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) during Malabar 04. Malabar, a bilateral exercise with the Indian Navy, is designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:08 AM

 

Malabar 04


Members of a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) Team from the Indian Navy Delhi-class guided missile destroyer INS Mysore (D 60), board the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) off the coast of India during a VBSS training drill. U.S. Navy Sailors trained with the Indian Navy VBSS members on procedures for boarding, searching, and handling suspect vessels. Both ships are taking part in Malabar 04. Malabar is designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The at-sea exercise training will include maritime interdiction, surface events, sub-surface, air events and personnel exchanges.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:07 AM

 

Malabar 04


Quartermaster Seaman Joseph Lawson, from Denver, Colo., uses a chart plotter to help safely navigate the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) during a “war at sea” scenario between the U.S. and Indian navies during Malabar 04 off the coast of Goa, India. Malabar is designed to increase interoperability between the two navies while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The at-sea exercise includes maritime interdiction, surface events, sub-surface, air events and personnel exchanges.



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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:07 AM

 

Specatular aviation expo in Mumbai
Indian Air Force (IAF) began a two-day expo in in Mumbai today,which is also a tribute to industrialist J.R.D Tata's pioneering work in aviation.

A plethora of air combat weapons, armaments including helicopters like Chetak, hi-end fighter jets Sukhoi 30s and MIGs, Jaguars, radars and live missiles are on display at the city's main fair ground.

Officials said the expo would inspire youngsters to consider the armed forces as a lucrative career option.

"Our Air Force collegues have taken the initiative to bring to the youth and people of Bombay the Indian Air Force, the fourth largest in the world. Give them an opportunity to know about its strength, its aircrafts and its personnel, all that it takes to run and maintain it," said vice admiral Madanjit Singh who inauguarated the expo.

There efforts were surely well taken.

"I has always been curious about how our forces work. After coming here I have been really inspired and want to join the navy, army or the air force and work for the nation," said an enthusiastic Ravikant, a college student.

As grand finale the Air Force will present a 90-minuted 'Fly-Past' in the city on October 17 where the Air Force stuntmen will perform breath-taking feats, which include airplane formations, swings, glides, dives and drops.

The state-run Air India, whose foundation stone was laid by JRD Tata, on its part will also fly its Airbus A310 and a Boeing 747 at 1,000 feet height along with two Sukhois. The IAF's Surya Kiran will sign off with an aerobatic show.

JRD or Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was the second child ofpioneer industrialist Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and developed an interest in flying during his childhood years spent in France. He ook work as an employee in his father's steel company in 1925 ut was catapulted as the group chairman in 1938, He was just 4.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:01 AM

 

Malabar 04 Exercises Conclude Successfully Off Indian Coast
GOA, India (NNS) -- About 2,000 U.S. and Indian navy personnel took part in Malabar 04, a training exercise off the southwest coast of India Oct. 1-9.

Malabar was designed to increase interoperability between the two navies, while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between India and the United States. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63), the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Gary (FFG 51), the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757), and P-3C maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft participated from the U.S. side in Malabar. The Indian vessels included the destroyer INS Mysore, frigate INS Brahmaputra, the tanker INS Aditya and the submarine INS Shankul.

The bilateral exercise involved a number of events designed to test the abilities of Sailors on both sides. Some of these included small boat transfers, maneuvering as a group, nighttime underway replenishments, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) drills, and the central event, a “war at sea.”

Senior leaders at Malabar said all the training and cooperation are designed to not only learn how to better work together, but also to understand each other.

“Working with each other and building friendships is what this is really all about,” said Capt. John Sorce, commanding officer of Cowpens. “Sure, we're learning about each other, but we're also learning to trust each other...it’s all about building allies and friendships so if called upon in later days, it makes it easier for us all to work together and perform together."

“If we ever have to go to battle side-by-side, we’ll go much better, having had the experience we gained this week,” Sorce said.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that we are learning as much as the Indian navy is learning," said Cmdr. Thomas Kearney, who skippers Alexandria. "I learned more about diesel submarine operations working with [the Indian submarine INS Shankul] than I would at home, because we don’t have diesel submarines in the U.S. Navy.”

This is the sixth time the Malabar exercises have been conducted. They have been increased in complexity and scope.

“The Malabar exercises between the Indian and U.S. navies started off at elementary levels of communication checks and basic maneuvers,” said Indian navy Capt. C.S. Patham, commanding officer of Mysore. “Today, we have reached a stage where the two navies are in a position to exercise in a multi-dimensional and multi-threat scenario with the presence of major combatants, which include destroyers and frigates with integral helicopters, both nuclear and diesel submarines, carrier-borne fighter aircraft and, lastly, maritime patrol aircraft.”

An example of this cohesion was evident in each exercise, according to Chief Gunner’s Mate (SW) James Burke and Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW) Michael Davidson, both assigned to Cowpens, who worked with Indian sailors on techniques involved in VBSS operations. Davidson said they went over the proper techniques for boarding a vessel, questioning the crew, and keeping their own security in mind the whole time.

“They were very willing to learn,” said Davidson, a Tupelo, Miss., native. “They learned quickly from when we boarded one of their ships earlier [in the exercise].”

“They knew the basics, and they handled themselves well,” said Burke. The White Haven, Pa., native added that watching their navy in action, he sees little difference between their abilities and those of the U.S. Navy. “I don’t see them as any different than our own Sailors,” he said. “Cultural differences aside, sailors are sailors everywhere.”

“We were thoroughly trained for this exercise,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Bain from Cowpens. “We were ready and we got the job done. Training with the Indian navy has been a good experience.”


Link

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:59 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.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

 
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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 topcover.com
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