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It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
USS Chafee — destroyer with a difference
The Indian and American warships on Thursday took a day off from their ongoing exercise, Malabar 05, to stage a `day at sea' off Goa displaying their finest skills in ship handling and seamanship, one being second to none as guided missile destroyer USS Chafee bared her highly advanced design and equipment to Indians.

USS Chafee that displaces 9200 tonnes is much larger than its Indian counterpart, INS Mysore and like her operates two helicopters, SH-60 Sea Hawk for anti-submarine and surface warfare but she has two Mk-41 Vertical Launching Systems capable of launching a variety of missiles for anti-submarine, anti-aircraft, anti-shipping, self-defence and land strike purposes in fast reaction to multiple threat with concentrated and continuous firepower. The weapons include long-range ground attacking cruise missile, Tomahawk.

INS Mysore (displaces 6,200 tonnes) is yet to be armed with cruise missiles such as Brahmos. The Indian designed and built destroyer does not boast of the Mk-41 VLS but has 16 Uran surface-to-surface missiles, anti-air missiles and torpedoes, showing that she is packed with a stronger punch compared to her size. But the striking difference is the advanced electronics and so many support equipment of the USS Chafee.

"But what we have onboard our warships is enough for our requirements," argues Leading Radio Operator of the Indian Navy, Nilesh Pandey posted on the Chafee to understand the American way of communication. "Our weather conditions and environment do not call for such elaborate protection against wind and waves."

The use of high technology, however, has not diminished the U.S. Navy's trust in old ways of sailing and running a warship — very much like the Indian Navy. So one finds a sailor on the upper deck conveying a message to the Indian fleet replenishment tanker, INS Aditya that had come alongside `to supply' oil and material. "The semaphore is the most reliable way in which we do not break the radio silence so we use it along with satellite communication," chuckles Chief Petty Officer Martin, a cryptologist.

Similarly, lady Quarter Master Tamara Neff uses satellite aided GPS (ground position satellite) for knowing the position of the Chafee and electronic maps to record her course. But this does not mean that she has given up manual tracing of the ship's course and positions on a paper chart, using a sextant, compass and geometry instruments. "Well, the Navy thinks it is good to have the manual back-up in case the equipment fail," she tells The Hindu looking up from her chart table in the bridge, from where the ship is steered and controlled and navigated. The view in the Indian Navy is not different though one does not find a lady at a chart table of `desi' warships.

Of the 283-strong complement of the USS Chafee, 45 are women. Interestingly, they are called female `seaman.' The ship has all the sanitation and living facilities to cater to the needs of the female officers and `men' but otherwise there is no difference. The women do all jobs that the male officers and men do.

An Indian naval captain was especially interested in parallel facilities created onboard for the women in anticipation of the needs of the Indian Navy in near future.

The replenishment at sea (RAS) stole the show of the day. The fleet tanker, INS Aditya moved in for a rendezvous with the warships.

USS Chafee speeded up to go on Aditya's starboard side and adjusted her speed. Soon both ships were charting the same course and making the same speed, maintaining very close distance. Similarly, INS Mysore appeared on Aditya's port side and so did INS Gomati on Mysore's port.

A bullet was fired to extend a line across the Chafee and at its end came a rope. Similarly a hosepipe was extended to give oil. A test weight was launched to pass across another line — it contained Indian snacks (samosa).

While the ships practised replenishment, the aircraft of INS Viraat took off and patrolled the area as an Indian frigate maintained station ahead. Replenishing ships are most vulnerable to enemy attack.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 6:45 AM


US could come under South Asian nuclear threat
The United States could come under a nuclear threat from South Asia in 20 years and a likely source of Islamic terrorism could be from Pakistan that has slipped into political chaos, a top official of a think tank in Washington has warned.

"A likely source of Islamic terrorism directed against the United States could come from a Pakistan that itself slipped into political chaos or a Bangladesh that seems to be unsure of its identity," Stephen Cohen, Director of the South Asia Project at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank, warned a House Armed Services Committee panel on Wednesday.

"If Pakistan does not cohere as a modern, more or less centrist state, if the army loses its grip, and if regional separatist and radical Islamists grow in influence, Pakistan could become a grave threat to the United States and its neighbours, including Iran, China, Afghanistan and India," he said.

Cohen claimed that the growing South Asian technical and military capabilities could extend Indian or Pakistani power to other regions where important US interests, investments or base facilities lay.

Over a 20-year period, the US itself could come within range of South Asian nuclear capabilities, he warned, recommending increased military cooperation and exchanges with South Asian countries as well as cultural exchanges to "deepen mutual understanding."

He suggested that Islamic terrorists pose a threat not only to the US but also to Chinese interests in the region, and urged for greater cooperation between US and China on counter-terrorism efforts.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:36 AM


US army does Mathew's Mad Mile in Mizoram
Lieutenant Peter Almeirez is sweating profusely. Having just climbed a steep incline, he has less than a minute to complete his run. As seconds tick by, the US army officer makes it to the destination within the stipulated time. Some others, who are behind him, fail to complete Mathews's Mad Mile or MMM, a term used for the gruelling one-mile run designed to test endurance and speed through a rugged terrain in Mizoram.

Lt Almeirezis is at the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, one of the unique institutions of the Indian Army for the third joint exercise between Indian and American troops.

The CIJW School, located at Vairangte in Mizoram is fast becoming famous across the world's armies.

The Americans, facing increasing involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, are keen to train here and have sent their troops for third year in succession. The 42-member team that is currently undergoing a two-week course included soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army and the Guam National Guards.

Lt. Almeirez, having just returned to his base in Hawaii from Afghanistan, says the training at Vairangte has been extremely useful.

"In the US Army, we have been out of touch with jungle warfare for some time, so to train here in real-time situations has been tremendously helpful," Almeirez says.

Lt Col Marcus of the Guam National Guards feels it is the India army's experience for the past four decades in dealing with various insurgencies that they want to share.

"The experience of the Indian soldiers and the doctrines developed against insurgency would be of great value to us," he said.

Commandant of the school Brigadier Rakesh Sharma says: "Here, we train soldiers for the modern war, which is increasingly unconventional. We reorient soldiers for the low intensity, high casualty conflict. And we give real time training."

Col Dhirendra, Indian officer-in-charge of the joint exercise named Yudh Abhyas said, "Our effort during this joint exercise has been to depict as many live scenarios as possible and train for ways to combat them."

Soldiers from the 22 Maratha Light Infantry selected to do the joint exercise with the Americans, were bunched into 'buddy pairs' with an American counterpart and told to carry out different tasks.

The two-week training comprised of the basic tactical training and specialised operations like conducting raids in heavily built up urban settings, laying an ambush in the jungles, setting up mobile check posts, intelligence collection and analysis.

Apart from the Americans, officers and men from as different countries as Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Afghanistan have trained in Vairangte in the recent past.

In the next six months, a contingent each of Mongolian and Uzbekistan army are scheduled to train.

The need for this school was felt in the wake of the Indian army's deployment against the Naga and later Mizo insurgents in the 1960s and 70s.

Initially, the institute was catering to the needs of the Indian Army alone. The aim was to prepare troops operating against Naga and Mizo insurgencies. In three decades trained over 1350 officers and 3,25,000 Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks.

Going by the demands on CIJW to accommodate more and more battalions for pre-induction training, a stint here is definitely beneficial. Clearly, the army top brass has recognised CIJW's role and has therefore decided to upgrade it to a college with more resources at its disposal. In coming years we are going to hear more and more about Vairangte.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:44 AM


Cohen questions some aspects of US-India nuclear deal
Thursday, September 22, 2005

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: Noted South Asia authority Stephen P Cohen has said he objects to the Indo-US nuclear agreement because it was concluded without any consultation with Congress and without the Indian government taking the opposition at home into confidence.

In an interview published this week, Cohen said there are important non-proliferation issues involved which have to be adhered to, but India does not want to restrain or roll back its nuclear programme, which makes the issue “very complicated”. He said that for many Americans, India’s going nuclear was a “non-proliferation disaster” and though he does not share that position, clearly India’s acquisition of a nuclear bomb did “some damage” to the non-proliferation regime. Indians, he said, base their “great record” on the fact that unlike China and Pakistan, they have not transferred nuclear technology to others, but the fact is that India has been a “major proliferator,” something that is going to be a “major obstacle” for the nuclear deal signed between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July.

Cohen said it would need to be seen how Congress changes the existing law if the deal is to find approval. He felt that the ultimate decision would have to be a compromise between non-proliferation interests and regional and strategic security interests. He said “real questions” would need to be asked on both sides as to what kind of an emerging power India would be. According to him, the new law in US Congress should be written in such a way as to bring in countries like Pakistan and Israel to get more of their facilities under international inspection. One of the key issues, he added, is how big a nuclear weapons programme India wants to have and how rigid the barrier will be between civil and military. India, he said, would have to “erect really a tall and impermeable wall between its military and civil programmes.”

Cohen pointed out that in India, both the left and the right are opposed to the deal, so he was not sure whether the Manmohan Singh government could push it through or not. Nor was he sure if Bush can do the same. He said there remain questions about what kind of a major power India wants to be. He recalled that while Indians invested heavily in Chinese software and high-tech, when the Chinese wanted to do the same in India, it was opposed by the Indian security and intelligence agencies, although commercial interests in India in favour of letting the Chinese invest in Indian high-tech. “So this raises a lot of questions about India and China, and these are some of the ambiguities about India’s rise that have to be addressed both by the US and China and, of course, by India,” Cohen added.

The interview was published by India Abroad.


Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 1:01 PM


India-US civil N-deal may not get Congress nod
Ela Dutt (IANS)
New York, September 22, 2005

Influential US Congressman Gary Ackerman, a long-time pro-India legislator, believes India will not get the support needed in the House of Representatives to clear any Bush administration proposal for civilian nuclear cooperation.

Ackerman (Democrat-New York), chastised New Delhi for not unequivocally supporting the US position demanding that the UN Security Council handle the issue of Iran's nuclear programme that Washington alleges is aimed at weapons production.

"India has been a good friend, and I have been certainly one on the forefront of promoting the US-India relationship throughout my entire career. And I think that we have been very successful, very effective," Ackerman said an in interview.

"However, we'd like India to rapidly review its relationship with Iran: For the prime minister to consider supporting the US in referring the matter to the Security Council and continuing the good relationship that we have," he emphasised.

Earlier this month, at a House International Relations Committee hearing, Representative Tom Lantos (Democrat-California) used strong language to criticise New Delhi for seemingly equivocating on supporting the US bid and taking the stand that efforts by the European Union to negotiate with Iran must be exhausted before the Security Council was approached.

Regarding the last Congressional hearing on India, Ackerman said that while he did not agree with the "tone" of Representative Lantos' comments, "... I thought Congressman Lantos raised a very, very exceptionally important point. And I agreed with them and a 100 per cent of the people who were members of the Committee, Republicans and Democrats, agreed with me and what I said as well," he said.

In view of the July 18 George Bush-Manmohan Singh joint statement in Washington on civil nuclear cooperation, the administration is supposed to be sending legislation to Congress that seeks to change laws relating to making India an exception to existing law that prohibits civilian nuclear cooperation with a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Since the Congressional India Caucus is the largest in Congress with more than 150 members and it has generally supported India's bid for the UN Security Council membership, and many members have expressed support for civilian nuclear cooperation initiative, the Iran question has seemingly overnight changed the mood in the Caucus, and made difficult the passage of legislation that was previously only opposed by some diehard NPT supporters.

Asked how India Caucus members felt, Ackerman noted: "Almost all the members that spoke were members of the Caucus and they all cautioned very strongly along the same lines as Mr. Lantos."

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's position that India wanted all negotiating avenues to be exhausted and that New Delhi absolutely required Iran to comply with its treaty obligations, Ackerman countered: "Yes, but that's not the question. The question is - will India vote to refer the matter to the Security Council?

"If the prime minister wants to answer a different question, that's fine, and that's a good answer to a different question. But that's not the question. When it comes to this vote, will he be voting with or against the US and what we think are our interests?" Ackerman said emphatically.

"The prime minister has previously indicated, I believe, that he would not favour referring this to the Security Council. That's not a good decision in the minds of most Americans, and in the minds of most members of the India Caucus. I don't speak for everybody I'm sure, but the overwhelming majority certainly."

Asked if this would influence legislation regarding civilian nuclear cooperation, Ackerman gave an unqualified "Yes".

"It absolutely will. I don't know but I think it puts a major strain and a major burden on that legislation having the ability to pass the House."

The administration, he said, "... was shocked by the reaction of the members of the Committee, including those of us who are strongly pro-India, and who have carried India's water in legislative matters because it has always made sense."

"This does not make sense to us. Coming at a time when the administration is proposing proceeding in a way that views India as a major non-NATO ally and to proceed with a very sophisticated sale proposal, which we do with those people, those entities, that are closest to us.

"If India doesn't think that this is a matter worth pursuing and referring to the Security Council, there are a lot of members of Congress who will have second thoughts and I don't know if the vote's there, that would be supportive of any administration proposal," he asserted.

While India was a sovereign nation, he maintained, "...this is not an issue to be non-aligned. This is an issue between the US and a country that is a terrorist regime and is pursuing a nuclear programme, that the president has named as part of the Axis of Evil, that the president has said - if you are not pursuing terrorists, you are either with us or against us.

India is a country that knows better than all others, the problems of having to deal with terrorism, having been a victim of terrorist attacks for a very long time; that India should know of how serious our concerns are with this matter."

Historically, he recalled, India did not have a strong record of voting the way the US voted in the UN, which was already a hurdle to contend with when pro-India legislators moved in Congress.

"... And at a time when some of us are pushing a proposal to reform the UN and expand the Security Council with the hope that India would be part of that - it makes that sell a whole lot more difficult. To see India partnered off with Iran, and in the minds of a lot of people it would be like protecting Iran vis a vis the UN."

At such a critical juncture in the US-India strategic relations, when Washington was looking to change regulations to make India an exception, "...then I think there has to be some reciprocity."

During the UN 60th General Assembly meetings in New York, the Indian prime minister spent considerable capital explaining India's position. However, it failed to smooth the waters in Congress.

On Wednesday the EU supported the move to refer Iran's case to the Security Council, putting New Delhi in a position to make its choice.

During the UN meetings, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf emphasised in response to questions, that Pakistan would be going ahead with its gas pipeline project with Iran regardless of anything.

Asked why the American demands from Pakistan should be any different from those made on New Delhi, Ackerman argued: "Well, we don't have the same relationship with Musharraf as we do with the prime minister. We don't have a same kind of relationship with the people of the two countries or the countries themselves. This is a thing between friends. And dealing with Iran is playing with fire. And friends don't let friends play with fire."


Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 12:50 PM


Pakistan Acquires U.S. P-3C Surveillance Aircraft
Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, said on Wednesday that it had acquired eight P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft from the United States, which would help boost its naval capabilities.

The Pentagon notified the U.S. Congress of the plan to supply the planes to Pakistan in November, raising concerns in Pakistan's rival and neighbor India which has since considered the aircraft for its own military.

The Pentagon said at the time the aircraft would improve Pakistan's border security and its ability to restrict movement of militants.

However, Pakistan Navy spokesman Captain Aamir Naeem Baig said the aircraft were designed for maritime surveillance and could not be used for chasing militants along the land border with Afghanistan, where Islamic guerrillas are most active.

A statement from the Pakistan Navy said the aircraft, worth up to $970 million, were being provided free by the United States and would be fitted with modern avionics and missions systems by the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Bush administration also approved shipment of two F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in July after Washington lifted a two-decade ban on the supply of the planes to Pakistan.

The policy charge was in recognition of Pakistan's role in helping the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001.

Admiral Shahid Karimullah, Pakistan's chief of naval staff, said the Orions would "add a new dimension to the offensive punch of Pakistan Navy fleet".

Pakistan's fleet of P-3Cs now stands at 10 with the induction of eight new planes.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 10:05 AM


China to Buy Russian Planes in $1.5 Billion Deal
China’s military will sign a contract Thursday for the purchase of 38 Russian military transport aircraft in a deal valued at over $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros), the business daily Vedomosti reported, quoting sources close to the negotiations.

The contract for Ilyushin-76 transport and Ilyushin-78 tanker planes was to be signed in Russia’s Black Sea coastal city of Sochi.

The two countries had already initialed agreements for China to buy Russian military planes.

Confirmation of the deal came a day after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and his Chinese counterpart, Cao Gangchuan, had met President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss military cooperation.

Putin was quoted after the meeting by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying that “today the Russian-Chinese relationship has achieved the highest level in the history of the countries’ cooperation”.

Last month, Russia and China held their first large-scale joint military exercises, drills that were watched warily by the United States and Taiwan in particular. Both Moscow and Beijing said the exercises were not intended to send a message to any particular country.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 10:02 AM


India, Israel never targeted Pak nukes
Amid emerging bonhomie with Pakistan, Israel has said it never had any plans with India to take out Islamabad's nuclear assets and made it clear that it wanted to keep its relations with New Delhi separate from the Islamic nation.

Israel never participated in any plan with India to take out Pakistan's nuclear assets because it does not see Islamabad as a threat, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said in an interview to a Pakistani daily published today.

Shalom, who recently had a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri in Turkey, also said that never in the last 58 years "Israel considered Pakistan an enemy" and had always believed public assurances from Islamabad that "the country's nuclear programme is not directed against Israel."

"There never ever was a plan to take out Pakistan's nuclear programme," he told the Dawn daily when asked for comments on a statement by former army chief Mirza Aslam Beg that India and Israel had finalized a plan in 1991 to launch air strikes on the country's nuclear installations.

These are conspiracy theories that are floated against Israel from time to time," said the Israeli Foreign Minister. "We believed the public assurances issued in Islamabad but never sought a secret assurance because we believed what was being said publicly."

The Israeli Foreign Minister also emphasized that Israel wanted to keep its relations with India separate from that of Pakistan. "Our relations with India are not against any country. We never have and never will participate in any plan with India or any other country to harm Pakistan."

Shalom said that although Pakistan was a Muslim country with nuclear weapons, it was "not Iran because it is not despotic and is not run by clerics who have vowed to destroy Israel."

Pakistan, he said, had also never been involved in any plan to harm Israel like Iran, Syria and Libya had been. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the sidelines of the General Assembly summit. Musharraf also addressed the American Jewish Congress here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

He has said Pakistan would move "carefully" on recognising Israel and doing business with it while pointing out that Tel Aviv is a technologically advanced state and Islamabad could benefit from it. To a question on how old are Israel's ties with Pakistan, Shalom said "the contacts have been going on for a very long time. Direct contacts. Not through other countries. Our people also had been meeting officials of the Pakistani missions at various countries. All these were very low profile contacts. Never at the level of an ambassador."

He said these did play a role in creating the environment for his Istanbul meeting with Kasuri. When asked which will be the next Muslim country to recognize Israel, Shalom said he had met Foreign Minister of Qatar on Thursday. "At least 10 countries are engaged with us. Some more than others." When asked if these contacts will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, he said, "it is up to the Palestinians. There has to be a full implementation of the 'roadmap'."


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:37 AM


Indian Army school to train US National Guards
As part of measures to focus on combating terrorism post 9/11, the US Administration is sending out teams of its National Guards to receive specialised anti-terrorism and jungle warfare training at the Indian Army School at Varangte in Mizoram.

The Guardsmen would form part of the US army contingent, which is here to undergo a 14-day specialised course at the prestigious Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School.

This, according to senior army officers, would be for the first time that National Guardsmen would be undergoing the specialised course at the institute where they will match skills with Indian Army contingents, fresh from anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The training would be part of joint Indo-US exercises code-named Yudh Abhyas. The US contingent would comprise 40 personnel from the 25th infantry division and the National Guards.

A top US Pacific Command Major General Ronald G Crowder will witness the exercises, the third of the series being held with US forces at picturesque Mizoram town.

National Guards would again form the part of US army contingent to undergo another round of anti-terrorism joint exercises to be held at Choubatia near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh from January 16 to 31.

The Varangte institute has facilities to sharpen skills on anti-terrorism manoeuvres like storming urban buildings, carrying out house-to-house search in urban and built-up environment.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:39 AM


Indian Navy holds talks with British firm
Of the three Services, the Indian Navy was the first to use the penalty clause in the agreement when the supply of frigates was delayed by Russian sellers.

The Indian Navy is believed to have opened negotiations with British Aerospace (BaE) for 18 to 22 Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) after the Indian Air Force (IAF) refused to “share” with it the 66 Hawks which the former acquired last year for $ 1.65 billion.

The AJTs are due to join the service in a phased manner from 2008.

Official sources said the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited that was building 42 of the AJTs at Bangalore was also part of the navy’s negotiations for the jet trainers.

The IAF’s remaining 24 Hawks are being constructed at BAE’s Brough facility in the UK. The navy needs the AJTs to train its pilots for the fleet of 20 Russian MiG 29 K fighters, including four trainers that will form air group on INS Vikramaditya, the 44,500-tonne Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) that is undergoing a refit by SevMash Naval builders for around $ 675 million at Severodvinsk in the White Sea.

Freeze the price

The Indian Navy, that presently trains its pilots on the basic Sea Harrier Mk 60s and Kiran Mk IIs, also plans to acquire an unspecified number of MiG 29 Ks for the 37,500-tonne air defence ship (ADS) it is building indigenously.

Senior navy officials said MiG 29 K makers RSK-MiG had agreed to freeze the price of the fighters for four to five years for the ADS.

Meanwhile, even as USA’s Defence Security Agency (DSA) held discussions with officials from the Indian Navy and the Ministry of Defence last week to lease to the Indian Navy two P 3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRA) that it desperately needs to plug an “operational gap”, the naval headquarters dispatched a request for proposal for the MRAs to Brazil, France, Italy and the United States.

Official sources said the Request For Proposal for providing the navy with 8-12 MRAs had been sent to Brazil’s Embrarer for the P 99, France’s Dassault Aviation for its Falcon 900 DX MPA, Italy’s Alenia Aerospazio’s ATR-72 ASW and Lockheed Martin, makers of the Orion.

Russia ignored

Significantly, the navy is not considering any MRA from traditional weapon platform suppliers, Russia.

This is because over the years it has suffered from deadline slippages in equipment delivery and “poor“ after-sales service.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:37 AM


BrahMos missile enters production this month
The modification programme of the BrahMos for fitting it on the Su-30 combat jets used by both the countries has also commenced.

India expects to enhance its long-range strike abilities with the PJ-10 BrahMos cruise missile, jointly developed by India and Russia.

According to sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the programme of modifications of the BrahMos for fitting it on the Su-30 combat jets used by both the countries has commenced.

Elated at the successful test flight from Chandipur in Orissa, the Russian-Indian cruise missile BrahMos has entered production this month, the sources said.

The modified design of BrahMos will be lighter than the current missile, the sources added but did not disclose the exact modifications or weight of the missile which could be fitted-in on Su-30.

The supersonic missile - which derives its name from the Brahmaputra rivers in both countries - has a range of almost 300 km and is designed for use with land and sea platforms, the source said. According to sources of the Russian collaborating company, Mashinostroyenie, “The BrahMos missile has successfully completed its test, and the first customer is the Indian navy. Serial manufacture has begun in both Russia and India. The initial batch of BrahMos missiles will number approximately 70.” The BrahMos basic model is anti-ship but it could also be adapted for use against land targets. It could also be adapted for airborne platforms, the sources said.

Mashinostroyenie designed the missile and its propulsion system, all-important software and the guidance system is designed by Indian counterpart - DRDO.

The missile is a two-stage vehicle that has a solid propellant booster and a liquid (propellant) ram jet system.

This technological achievement places India among a small group of countries to acquire the capacity of producing cruise missiles.

“The jointly produced cruise missile is distinguishable from others in that it travels at a supersonic speed which is more than twice the speed of sound. Almost all other contemporary anti-ship missiles fly at subsonic speed,” the DRDO sources added. The supersonic speed imparts it a greater strike-power as well. Possessing stealth characteristics, the 6.9-meter cruise missile weighing three tonnes has a range of 280 km. This cruise missile does not violate obligations under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) or any of the international agreements related to proliferation and is well within the 300 km limit stipulated under the MTCR, the sources added.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:36 AM


The Indian Navy (IN) and the United States Navy (USN) are conducting IN-US Bilateral Exercise SALVEX 1/2005 off Kochi from 12 Sep 05 to 23 Sep 05. The Indian Navy and US Navy regularly conduct the MALABAR and SANGAM series of bilateral exercises and SALVEX 1/2005 being conducted off Kochi is part of this ongoing cooperation. This particular exercise would focus on Diving Salvage Operations. The US Naval Ship USS Safeguard is participating in this exercise. An Indian Naval Diving Team and INS Matanga represent the Indian side. The exercise will include the deployment of underwater Combined Salvage teams comprising of divers from both the navies, SALVEX 1/2005 is the first combined Diving Salvage exercise being conducted between the US and Indian Navy. Extensive survey, salvage and diving exercises would be practiced during SALVEX. The harbour phase of the exercise includes training and professional discussions between the US and the Indian Navy. The USN personnel will also visit Indian Navy's Diving training establishment at Kochi. Apart from this, the crew of the visiting ship will take part in various sports and social activities.

SALVEX provides a valuable opportunity for the IN and the US Navy to interact professionally in various spheres of maritime warfare. This series of exercises is bound to grow in scope and complexity over the years and will help foster closer relations, mutual understanding and goodwill between the navies.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:33 AM


Chirac Confirms India’s Submarine Purchase
French President Jacques Chirac confirmed Monday India’s 2.4-billion-euro ($3 billion) purchase of six Franco-Spanish submarines as he received visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his Paris offices.

Chirac also confirmed the recent announcement by India’s state-run Indian Airlines that it was buying 43 Airbus passenger aircraft in a deal worth 1.8 billion euros.

”I welcome the prime minister confirming to U.S. today India’s decision concerning the purchase of six Scorpene submarines and 43 Airbus planes,” Chirac told journalists as he greeted Singh.

He called the deals “a measure of the friendship, trust and cooperation” between their two countries.

The talks between the two leaders were to focus on India’s demand to be given a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, its desire to develop its civilian nuclear energy sector, and the fight against terrorism, he added.

Singh was the first foreign leader to see Chirac since the 72-year-old president was released from hospital last Friday after suffering what his doctors called a minor vascular problem that affected one of his eyes.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 2:08 PM


Improved Patriot intercepts, hits its target in test
Another flight trial is scheduled for October

The Army scored a success with its improved Patriot during a missile intercept Thursday morning over the New Mexico desert.

The test involved two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles against a short-range, full-body aerodynamic theater ballistic missile target.

Army Col. John Vaughn wouldn't reveal exact specifications other than to say the target vehicle was an older Patriot missile that is "highly maneuverable, and that's what we are after." Vaughn manages Patriot as part of the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Office in Huntsville.

"We are looking to go after things that do not behave very well and maneuver," Vaughn said. "Objects that move around" during flight.

The target was destroyed, Vaughn said.

The test is the culmination of months of preparation and involved about 200 Army workers in Huntsville and "hundreds of people across the country with contractors and other" workers, Vaughn said.

Thursday's test demonstrated the system's capability to detect, track, engage and intercept a short-range aerodynamic target, said Bob Hunt, Patriot spokesman at Redstone Arsenal.

Patriot will go through another flight test in October, Vaughn said.

"It will be a variation of the current test, but we will be going after a slightly different threat," he said.

The PAC-3 system was first used in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. It is the newest addition to the Patriot family of missiles.

Patriot shot to international fame with engagements during the first Gulf War more than 14 years ago.

"This missile has gone through significant enhancements since the 1990-1991 Gulf War," Vaughn said. "It's primarily a different type now."

The 1990s missile approached an enemy target and exploded, upsetting the flight path. The new version strikes the enemy missile and destroys it.

The program is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space and executed by the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Project Office in Huntsville.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:30 AM


Deal with India top priority: US
The United States has said that the US-Indo pact on civil nuclear co-operation was one of Bush administration’s “top foreign and legislative priorities”, brushing aside calls by some democrats to link it with New Delhi’s support to American policies on strategic issues.

Testifying before the House Committee on International Relations on thursday, under secretary of state for political affairs Nicholas Burns said the deal was a “major Presidential initiative” aimed at deepening bilateral ties.

India and the US signed the deal on civil nuclear co-operation during Manmohan Singh’s visit to the US in July. The agreement will address India’s energy needs, assign it same responsibilities and practices and bring New Delhi into the global non-proliferation order, he said.

“This is a major Presidential initiative, one that seeks to bring about full civil nuclear energy co-operation between the United States and India,” he said.

The pact could be implemented only after Congress gives its approval for making certain changes in the American laws to allow the transfer of technology. “I believe it is a good and sound agreement that will have the effect of progressively integrating India into the global non-proliferation order,” Burns, who negotiated the pact with India, said.

“We sought this agreement because India’s nuclear weapons programme and its status outside the non-proliferation regime has proven to be a long-standing stumbling block to enhanced US-India relations, as well as a problem for the global non-proliferation regimes.

“The initiative, announced by President Bush and Prime Minister Singh, is intended to deepen the bilateral partnership, address India’s energy needs, and advance international non-proliferation norms and practices,” he said.

“Many do not realise that India is one of the few developing countries that possesses full competency over all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, and is in fact pursuing a variety of advanced nuclear technologies, yet it remains—as it has since 1967—outside the global regime,” Burns said.

“Although India has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting fissile materials and nuclear technology more generally, it is in both Indian and American interests that New Delhi’s isolation be brought to an end and that India be made part of a stable global non-proliferation order,” he added.

He was speaking after Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the Committee and some others criticised India’s stand on the Iranian nuclear issue.

“New Delhi must understand how important their co-operation is and support is for US initiatives to counter the nuclear threat from Iran,” Lantos said.

He also flayed external affairs minister K Natwar Singh’s reported statement that he is against the Iranian nuclear issue being referred to the Security Council. However, Burns said he was not aware of the statement made by Singh.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:27 AM


India offers help to US for hurricane relief
From various news sources:
Disaster is a great leveller. In a reversal of usual roles following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, India has offered a comprehensive assistance package to the US, the world's largest relief donor.

The offer was formally communicated to the White House by Indian ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, on Saturday.

Sen said in his statement: "We recall the very close cooperation between India and the US to provide succour and support to the tsunami-affected countries in the Indian Ocean region.

"The Indian and US navies had worked in close cooperation during that disaster, although India itself was one of the affected nations."

After attending to numerous large-scale disasters, including last December's tsunami and last month's Mumbai flooding, India now has acquired considerable expertise in combating such large-scale disasters.

Tapping into its experience in combating large scale disasters, India's three-pronged package attempts to export a combination of materials and expertise.

A sum of $5 million released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday for hurricane relief aid to the US is already being deposited in an account of the American Red Cross, Indian embassy officials in Washington, DC said.

Apart from a $5 million contribution to the American Red Cross, India has offered to fly across Army medical teams to New Orleans. Army, rather than civilian, relief teams are being offered keeping in view the worsening law and order situation in the city.

India reckons water purification will be urgently required in a city where contamination would be rife, causing water-borne diseases. As a leading producer of bulk drugs, India is sending across a large consignment of medicines.

If all goes well, an Illyushin-76 Indian military transport plane loaded with large water purification systems both for households and communities and critical medical supplies will take off in a day or two from an airfield in India for the southern US.

The Russian-built military transporter has been readied in anticipation of clearance by US authorities of an offer by New Delhi to "stand in solidarity and sympathy with them in these trying times" of death and destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

The Illyushin, which will bring its own naval boats and dinghies for a "self-sustaining and self-supporting" relief operation in the US, will also carry a medical team from the Indian Army Medical Corps.

The team will include a surgeon, an anaesthetist, doctors, nurses and paramedics who have had first-hand experience in handling the effects of natural disasters.

The state department and the White House were informed yesterday by Indian diplomats here that the team, which will fly in from India will have its own medical equipment and stores.

"It is aimed to complement the efforts of US organisations (and) will not require any additional logistic support and will not in any manner strain existing resources" being deployed by the Americans for relief operations, India's ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, said in a statement after conveying the Indian offer to the Bush administration.

A state department official said yesterday that it was doing a needs assessment to determine which of the large number of aid offers received from all over the world would be accepted.

The Indian offer of assistance to tackle the effects of Hurricane Katrina is a sequel to the announcement by Singh and President George W. Bush after their meeting on July 18 to launch of a US-India Disaster Relief Initiative (DRI) to contribute to disaster preparedness and relief operations.

A "New Framework for US-India Defence Relationship", agreed during the visit here of defence minister Pranab Mukherjee in June mandates the two countries to "strengthen their military capabilities to respond effectively to future disasters".

Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that "I want to express the heartfelt thanks of the President, the US government and all Americans, to the leaders and citizens of the many nations and international organisations that have already offered kind and generous support."

Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 12:00 PM


India, Armaris Move Forward on Sub Deal
Paris-based Armaris has agreed to waive a $1.6 billion penalty it demanded the Indian Defence Ministry pay for six Scorpene submarines, one of several obstacles to the long-delayed deal being worked out during talks here ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to France in mid-September.

A high-level team from Armaris arrived here last week to begin negotiations with Permanent Defence Secretary Subir Datta and other Indian defense officials.

A senior Defence Ministry official here said the French company has agreed to an earlier price tag of $2.75 billion for six submarines, which will be produced under license in India. Armaris waived the additional $1.6 billion it demanded earlier this year as a penalty for India’s failure to finalize a contract in a timely manner.

The company also agreed on the transfer of technology for production in India of submarine-launched Exocet missiles at no additional cost. Additional funds only will be needed for any direct sale of the missiles.

A Long Time Coming

Scorpene negotiations began in 1999 with Thomson CSF, now Thales. Armaris is a joint venture of Thales and French shipbuilder DCN. The purchase was finalized in 2002 at the Ministry of Defence level but a contract was never signed.

With Armaris now willing to drop the price increase, the contract should be inked this year, the Defence Ministry official said.

An Armaris executive here acknowledged that executives from France were here to finalize the deal, but he would not go into detail.

The Indian Defence Ministry official said the Navy has paid $137 million to state-owned shipyard Mazagon Docks Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, to initiate training and buy equipment for production of the Scorpene submarines there.

An MDL official confirmed the money has been received and some of its technical engineers have been sent to France for training. MDL also is opening an office in Cherbourg, France, to help facilitate the deal.

India is negotiating production of the six Scorpenes as part of a long-term submarine program dubbed Project 75, under which India will build 24 additional submarines in India by 2030.

The Navy’s current fleet includes 12 Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW subs. Two of the four HDWs were built at MDL. Four vintage Foxtrot-class submarines are being decommissioned.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:57 AM


India Completes Sub Test in Russia
An Indian submarine that has been undergoing maintenance and upgrading work in Russia’s north, has completed a series of tests in the White Sea naval test grounds, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Sindhugosh diesel-electric Kilo-class submarine was brought to Russia’s Zvyozdochka shipyards for planned repairs in 2002 and is due to be turned over to the Indian navy in late October, Zvyozdochka’s officials said late Monday.

As part of the upgrading, the sub had been equipped with a new Club-S anti-ship missile unit, and had its hydro-acoustic equipment and combat control and navigation systems upgraded.

Two other Indian subs, Sindhuratna and Sindhuvir, had already been repaired at Zvyozdochka and another, Sindhuvijai, is next in line.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:56 AM


Allies India, Russia Plans Air-Land Military Exercises
Military allies Russia and India will hold their largest-ever war games in October with a focus on anti-terrorism combat using airborne commandos and ground forces, India’s defense ministry said Thursday.

They said the joint military exercises would be held in the sprawling Thar desert bordering Pakistan in the middle of October.

The week-long war games involving special forces units of the two post Cold War allies would “seek to strike an inter-operability between land forces for possible future operations under international peacekeeping banners in third countries,” an official said.

‘The war games will entail blitzkrieg-style anti-terrorist commando operations with the use of aircraft and helicopters,” he said, adding a full Russian battalion of 800 commandos and an equal number of Indian special forces personnel will participate.

The announcement comes just days after Russia staged unprecedented military exercises with China.

Despite the 1992 breakup of the Soviet Union, Moscow remains New Delhi’s closest military ally and accounts for more than 70 percent of India’s military hardware.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:53 AM


New, improved rifles for the Indian Army
THE much-needed under barrel grenade launcher upgrade to the INSAS (Indian Small Arms Systems) rifle is finally ready and city-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) says that they are awaiting Army orders. The good news is that the new launcher developed by ARDE is ‘flexible’ and can even be fitted to the AK-47s used by the armed forces.

The indigenous INSAS rifle, which was developed to equip the Army with cutting edge technology, was being held back as it did not have an under barrel grenade launcher and night fighting capabilities. In the absence of these, the Army was forced to order 3,400 Isreali made Tavor 21 rifles in October 2002.

The Army is also eagerly waiting for the carbine variant of INSAS to be used by field commanders. ‘‘The carbine version is also ready and is undergoing user trails at the moment,’’ said AS Rajagopal, director, ARDE at a recent armament meet. While the carbine may take some time before it can be inducted into the Army, it will be among the most advanced in the world. ‘‘We are getting good feedback for our carbine. It is unique, as it is personalized for left handlers too,’’ adds Rajagopal.

Although the rifle is now upgraded, there were two other problems with it. The Army had complained that there was an oil leakage problem and the cartridge would crack in extreme temperature conditions. However, defense authorities say that both the problems have now been fixed.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:52 AM


US opens debate on India N-deal
The Bush administration begins its campaign to secure congressional nod for the US-India nuclear agreement on Thursday, when two high-ranking officials are slated to testify in the first hearing on the subject on Capitol Hill.

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and Undersecretary for Arms Control Robert Joseph are expected to make a strong pitch for the deal, concluded during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here in July.

A full meeting of the House International Relations Committee, chaired by Henry J Hyde, will deliberate on the issue as part of a larger discussion on what it calls the "The US and India: An Emerging Entente".

Although lawmakers are heavily preoccupied with the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, media contacts indicated that the committee's meeting on Thursday will be held as scheduled. The hearing assumes importance in the context of some discordant noises over the deal, which can go into effect only if the Congress amends the stringent US Non-proliferation Act.

The prime minister himself laid the groundwork a day after the July 18 agreement when he told a joint session of Congress that India "will never be a source of proliferation of technologies".

President Bush made a public affirmation of India's impeccable track record on non-proliferation — an aspect which is expected to be highlighted in Thursday's testimony in order to clear the decks for civilian nuclear cooperation.

While several members of the India Caucus have pledged to see the deal through, a majority of Congressmen are still to formulate their views. There are some clear opponents, though. One of them, Democrat Ed Markey, has threatened to introduce a legislation opposing the lifting of nuclear sanctions against India.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:51 AM


Indian warship escorts Omani sailboat on voyage
An Indian warship is escorting an Omani sailboat making a voyage to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Sailboat Majan, which is retracing a historic trade route that existed between the two nations during the Bronze Age, set sail Wednesday from Sur in Oman to Bet Dwarka in India on a two-week voyage using sails and navigating with the help of celestial bodies as was done in ancient times.

"The Indian Navy ship Gomati is escorting Majan during the voyage and will provide search and rescue cover to ensure her safe passage to the Indian port of Okha on the Saurashtra coast in Gujarat," an Indian navy spokesman said.

"India and Oman have age-old friendly relations and diplomatic relations between them have withstood the test of time over the past 50 years. The two coastal states have had maritime interactions dating back many a millennia when trade was through sea routes," he said.

In recent years, the navies of the two countries have strengthened relations by conducting regular exercises and ship visits.

"This has resulted in understanding and recognising the importance of the roles of India and Oman in International maritime affairs," the navy spokesman said.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:50 AM


Russians are coming amid talk of trilateral pact
Top guns from the Russian armament industry are visiting India on September 8 for high-powered presentation to the Indian Navy and the ministry of defence.

This is the first time in the history of Indo-Russian defence cooperation that such a high-level delegation led by major-general Viacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy director FS MTS, is coming here. The visit coincides with news that Russia is making efforts for a Russian-Chinese-Indian military cooperation initiative.

According to reports in the Russian media, Russian defence minister Sergei Ivanov has made a proposal to India to hold major Russian-Chinese-Indian military exercises similar to the recent manoeuvers it had held with China last month.

The 20-member Russian team shall present to the defence ministry and the Indian Navy on Friday, the framework under which the new joint venture, Rosoboronservice India Ltd, has been put together to resolve India’s long standing problems with regard to after sales service and maintenance of Soviet and Russian supplied naval assets.

On the proposed trilateral military exercises, experts have pointed out that this is an indication that Russia has serious plans for its policy in the east.

According to Alexei Bogaturov, deputy director of the International Security Institute, Moscow, “There are no reasons to believe that Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi want to join forces against Washington. They simply want to be respected. These joint exercises are, above all, a kind of political statement,” the expert said.

Rosoboronservice India Ltd has been created as a JV between eight Russian defence firms and one Indian firm to act as a one-stop shop for all after-sales service, repair, maintenance, upgradation, and training needs of all Indian Navy assets of Soviet and Russian origin, thereby overcoming the severe constraints that India had faced in this regard after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:49 AM


US: India Nuclear Accord Will Not Harm Non-proliferation Effort
US: India Nuclear Accord Will Not Harm Non-proliferation Effort
By Dan Robinson
Capitol Hill
08 September 2005

The Bush administration has reassured members of Congress that an agreement on nuclear cooperation with India will not harm U.S. efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, U.S. officials appearing before the House International Relations Committee faced tough questions from lawmakers concerned about the long-range impact of the accord, and India's position on Iran's nuclear intentions.

When he visited Washington last July, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a joint meeting of Congress that India has an impeccable record on non-proliferation.

"We have adhered scrupulously to every rule and canon in this area," said Mr. Singh.

The Indian leader was warmly received, but lawmakers were concerned about the U.S.-Indian agreement on civil nuclear cooperation announced during his visit.

India is not a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and members of Congress want the Bush administration to continue to prod New Delhi toward joining it.

They also want India to fully support nuclear nonproliferation efforts, in particular the U.S. position regarding so-called rogue states such as Iran, which Washington says is developing a nuclear weapon.

At Thursday's hearing, lawmakers sharply criticized recent comments by India's foreign minister during a visit to Tehran, comments that raised questions about New Delhi's support of U.S. efforts to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council.

Congressman Tom Lantos issued this blunt warning:

"New Dehli must understand how important their cooperation and support is to U.S. initiatives to counter the nuclear threat from Iran," he said. "That includes supporting our efforts to refer Iran's 18 years of violations of the Nonproliferation Treaty to the U.N. Security Council."

Undersecretary Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns says the Bush administration believes India shares U.S. opposition to the emergence of Iran as a nuclear weapons state, adding U.S. officials are holding further discussions with India.

"It is our strong hope that we can achieve with India, with Russia and China and the other countries, an agreement that all of us have to put some pressure on the Iranian government to convince it come back to the negotiations with the Europeans," said Mr. Burns.

But given the statements by India and other governments, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Robert Joseph acknowledges the United States will have what he calls an uphill battle on the issue of referring Iran to the Security Council.

"We have our task ahead of us," said Mr. Joseph. "It is, it seems to me, critically important for not only the vitality of the [nonproliferation] regime, but the very legitimacy of the nuclear nonproliferation regime, that we move this forward to the Security Council."

Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is sponsoring Iran sanctions legislation in the House of Representatives, warns against viewing the U.S.-India partnership in a vacuum.

"It is critical that we consider the far-reaching implications of a full nuclear cooperation with India, and how a de facto recognition of India as a nuclear weapons state would undermine U.S. nonproliferation policy and potentially create a negative and damaging domino effect," she explained.

Republican Congressman Jim Leach criticized the administration for not consulting with Congress before the U.S.-India agreement was announced.

"The initiative you have chosen is one that requires an act of Congress," he noted. "And you chose to make this initiative without, to my knowledge, any serious prior consultation with the Congress."

Responding to one Republican congressman who asked why the United States is not considering a similar civil nuclear cooperation accord with India's nuclear-armed neighbor Pakistan, Undersecretary of State Joseph cited Pakistan's record on proliferation, a reference to the activities of Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, who played a significant role in fostering North Koreas nuclear program.

Undersecretary Burns told lawmakers Washington hopes a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Singh and Pakistan's President Musharraf at the United Nations will further the process of rapprochement between the two nuclear states.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 8:22 AM


US-India ties on Congress' front burner
Washington | September 07, 2005 2:25:06 PM IST

Though the US Congress resumed office a week earlier than scheduled under the pall of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, one of the first hearings scheduled is on US-India ties.

After recess ended Tuesday, the full committee of the House International Relations Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to "The US and India: An Emerging Entente."

So far, the witnesses include Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, who has over the last few months been one of the main spokespersons for the expanded relations, and Robert Joseph, under secretary of state for arms control and international security.

The duo is concentrating on the efforts of the Bush administration to craft legislation that the Congress could pass allowing civilian nuclear cooperation between the two democracies.

More speakers may be added, including leading experts on the civilian nuclear cooperation aspect of the joint statement signed between President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh July 18.


Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 12:05 PM


Pentagon gets set to grab piece of Delhi pie
A team from the US military headquarters at Pentagon will make a series of competitive presentations to the Indian defence establishment tomorrow.

US Air Force members of the team will hardsell the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft and the US Navy representatives will campaign for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.

The team is led by General Jeffrey Kohler, head of the Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

The team comprises representatives of the US Air Force, the US Navy, Lockheed Martin, manufacturers of the F-16 and the Patriot III missile, Boeing, makers of the Super Hornet, and Raytheon, which supplies the avionics and navigation equipment for the Patriot.

The presentation will be made to an Indian side led by the vice-chief of air staff. Washington has offered to sell to Delhi both the F-16 and the Super Hornet. They are in the race for one of the biggest fighter aircraft orders in global aviation and are competing also with the Grippen (Sweden), the Mirage 2000-V (France) and the MiG29-M/M2 (Russia).

The Indian Air Force had sent requests for information to buy 126 multi-role combat aircraft of the above-20-tonne category.

The order for the aircraft, each of which is expected to cost in the region of Rs 100 crore, spread over 10 years, is the most sought after by aviation industry majors.

The presentations by the Pentagon team will be with the aid of electronic audio-visual equipment and thick wads of charts.

New Delhi and Washington have reached an informal agreement that the transaction would be government-to-government and not company-to-government.

The Indian request was sent to Lockheed Martin directly but the US government also routed it to Boeing for the Super Hornet.

The F-16 is flown as one of the main weapons of the US Air Force. The Super Hornet, based on aircraft carriers for combat, is the main air weapon of the US Navy.

Representatives of Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been included in the team as their companies would be the main contractors to service the order in the event the US wins it.

In November, the US Air Force is to hold bilateral combat exercises (Cope India 2005) with the Indian Air Force out of Kalaikunda near Calcutta.

But before that exercise, the US Air Force will deploy another team to make a presentation on F-16s in combat. That presentation will illustrate the use of the aircraft in operations from Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf (1991) to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in 2001 and 2003.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:48 AM


A Global Partnership between the U.S. and India
While Americans have been wondering what to make of the daily news from Iraq and the Middle East and the loves-me-loves-me-not swings of U.S.-China policy, the summer’s biggest story has received relatively little attention. The mid-July summit between President George W. Bush and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh--during which the two leaders resolved to “transform the relationship between their countries and establish a global partnership”[1]-- initially was covered as a photo-op and remains, in the media’s imagination, a story about nuclear proliferation. But when a sole superpower takes a strategic mate, such a blooming global partnership should be front-page news.

As National Security Outlook argued in its premier issue,[2] successfully wooing India is key to preserving the liberal, American-led international order. For all the wonders of our hyperpuissance, solving the many security problems of the twenty-first century is a burden better shared with others. Transforming the greater Middle East is as yet beyond the imagination or the interests of most Europeans. The specter of a rising China indicates that Beijing is part of the problem as well as, perhaps, part of the solution. And promoting democracy is a strategy that unnerves realpolitikers everywhere.

Outside Tony Blair’s Britain, only India stands as a natural great-power partner in building the next American century. Despite the anomalies of the caste system, India is a deeply democratic country. Moreover, for decades, hundreds of millions of Muslims have preferred to remain in India rather than cross the border into Pakistan or Bangladesh. In addition, India has been fighting Islamist terrorism for a long time; doing so is fundamental to its “homeland security.” Regarding China, India cannot be agnostic about the direction of its rise: India has fought wars with the People’s Republic; worries about China’s growing regional and global influence, as well as its contribution to Pakistan’s nuclear and missile projects; and is itself a rapidly developing economy that will compete with China for energy and foreign investment. Indians also importantly still understand the role of military force in international politics and diplomacy; yes, India wants to join the UN Security Council, but as a measure of its emerging great-power status, not because it views the council as an end in itself.

The Bush administration’s unprecedented engagement with India reflects its desire to shape the rise of a potentially powerful ally. Indeed, the administration has been working on this front for some time: former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee described the United States and India as “natural allies”[3] during his visit to the White House on November 9, 2002, and a process of negotiating “next steps in strategic partnership” has been underway since January 2004.[4]

The stakes are high. A recent analysis by the Central Intelligence Agency calls India the most important “swing state” in the international system--a country which has the ability to tilt the balance between war and peace.[5] Though Washington and New Delhi share many interests in the post–9/11 and Cold War world, both sides still have a long way to go in demonstrating that the other’s desires are in synch with their own. Translating into practice the grand vision of a “global partnership” is the work of many years and will demand the destruction of many policies of the past--we are not beginning with a blank sheet after all. Reviewing some basic geopolitical questions will aid in suggesting a path forward.

What Does India Want?

India has dreams of greatness. In late April, former Singaporean president Lee Kwan Yew--who remains honored for perspicacity, despite the occasional inaccurate prediction--declaimed that India was on the verge of “entering the front ranks” of nations and that not only China’s rise but India’s rise “would shake the world.”[6] Lee’s appraisal was greeted with special reverence in India, in part because in office he had expressed his sadness at “the general rundown of the country”[7]--a widely reported remark that hit Indians hard. To be given the elder statesman’s stamp of approval in this context was, for many in India, proof of their rising status.

In sum, India sees itself as a rising great power deserving of the international community’s respect and due regard. To Indian eyes, there are two important measures of such status. First, New Delhi wants a seat on the UN Security Council. External Affairs minister K. Natwar Singh expressed optimism that India would be awarded its entitled position at the United Nations, claiming that “it will be a great pity if the UN structure put together in 1945 is not reformed in 2005. . . . [H]uman kind will not forgive us.”[8] This was an important item at the Bush-Singh summit; said the Indian prime minister: “India has a compelling case for permanent membership on the Security Council. We are convinced that India can significantly contribute to U.N. decision-making and capabilities.”[9]

India’s obsession with the UN and the Security Council is rooted in the leading role the country played in the “nonaligned movement” of the Cold War as well as its colonial past; India’s recent global strategy was to position itself between the United States and the West, the Soviets, and what was then called the “Third World.” While India can certainly count on finding frustration in Turtle Bay as the country grows in stature and importance, New Delhi has yet to experience the full failures of twenty-first-century multilateralism, or view the United Nations apparatus with the skepticism of Americans. In some sense Indians understand their potential as a great power and rightly believe they should be taken more seriously in international politics, but they have yet to grasp the realities of what they wish for. A seat on the Security Council would surely symbolize India’s growing global influence, yet such a position would grant India figurative prestige rather than true bargaining power. On the other hand, gaining membership in other multilateral organizations such as the G8, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), or the International Energy Agency would confirm India’s seat at the global decision-making table.

Along with a chair at the UN Security Council, India wants to be regarded as a legitimate nuclear power. This has been a sticking point in U.S.-India relations since India’s May 1998 nuclear tests. New Delhi regards the Nuclear Nonproliferation Pact as limiting its need to create a genuine credible deterrent arsenal vis-à-vis Pakistan. India wants a mobile, ready nuclear force: as the centrist Times of India explained,

India must fix its overall nuclear strategy within the consensus of minimum credible deterrence. Strategists are debating if the deterrents should number in the low hundreds or a medium three-figure number, roughly on a par with British and French arsenals. No one in India wants huge arsenals of the size that the U.S., China and Russia have built.[10]

Despite these two desires, it remains unclear how India conceives of its role as a global great power. Beyond the question of Security Council membership--which is more about pride than real power--and a robust nuclear arsenal--which is really about Pakistan--what kind of player will India become on the world stage? Is it a “status quo” power or does it seek change? Is India ready to stand closer to the United States, or will New Delhi “triangulate” between Washington and Beijing, as its Cold War strategy might suggest?

What may tip the balance is the ideological commitment to democracy. One of the prime features of the Bush-Singh summit was an assertion of “common values and interests.” The two leaders agreed “to create an international environment conducive to promotion of democratic values” and announced a “U.S.-India Global Democracy Initiative.”[11] After the invasions and in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, we have a pretty good idea that democracy promotion is a centerpiece of the “Bush Doctrine.” Just where it fits in the “Singh Doctrine,” or if indeed there is such a doctrine, is the question.

To be frank, the values rhetoric does not seem to mean much to many Indians, if newspaper and magazine editorialists are any measure; most analyses of the summit stressed that any growing cooperation would be founded on hard-core calculations of national interest. Those writers who did address the new devotion to democratization could be skeptics, as Kuldip Nayar was in the centrist India Express:

People want to know what the two countries, which loudly proclaim that they are the two biggest democracies, propose to do to bolster faith in liberal thoughts and free society, shrinking the world over. That America and India have renewed their determination to fight against terrorism strengthens the global resolve that the fundamentalists, jihadis or others, will not be allowed to hold entire societies to ransom. . . . [Yet] when democratic America imposed an unnecessary war on Iraq, Washington laid down new rules of morality which do not fit the values free societies cherish.[12]

There is, in some ways, a remarkable echo in India of American attitudes in our early years. India’s devotion to universal democratic values is real, but its ability to project power is purely local; like the United States of the Monroe Doctrine era, India’s most pressing task is to secure its immediate region, in the subcontinent. Pakistan has been, and will remain, India’s top strategic priority.

The situation along India’s continental and oceanic borders--a total of almost 15,000 land kilometers and more than 7,500 at sea--is not much better than in the subcontinent. New Delhi has always looked to maintain influence over its “near abroad,” in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma, but its ability to sustain this traditional position can no longer be taken for granted as China solidifies its ties to Burma--where China now maintains a maritime surveillance post--and Nepal. When King Gyanendra seized power in Katmandu last year, Beijing maintained its arms sales to Nepal while India cut off supplies, giving China increased influence. In sum, India’s position in South Asia is as uncertain and as reflective of a zero-sum strategic calculus as ever.

Ranging a bit farther abroad, the view from New Delhi improves somewhat. For the past decade, following a “Look East” strategy, India has been reaching out to its Southeast Asian neighbors, although its economic influence does not match that of China. India has successfully gained membership in ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum) and is a full dialogue partner with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Yet India’s Southeast Asian strategy has not been entirely successful, for India still has many regional relationships to strengthen and solidify. India must continue to fortify its political and economic ties to its regional neighbors, particularly if India hopes to gain membership to APEC--a hurdle New Delhi has twice failed to clear.

Indian strategists clearly realize that the “struggle for mastery of Southeast Asia” has begun, and New Delhi is jockeying for advantage. India secured a seat at the inaugural East Asia Summit--a new Pan-Asian forum from which China managed to exclude the United States. Like Japan, India will not allow Beijing to establish the equivalent of a modern tributary system in South East Asia, nor will it acquiesce to the South China Sea becoming a Chinese-owned lake. New Delhi is sure to find ways to become more active in the region, looking toward Japan, Singapore, and the United States to help in that regard. Washington would be wise to forge its own Pan-Asian Pacific groupings, with India, Japan, and Australia at the core. All indications are that New Delhi would welcome a proactive American approach so that it is not left having to openly counter Beijing’s machinations.

Nonetheless, Pakistan and China are arguably the most important Asian players to India. Although China and India have made great strides in resolving territorial disputes--particularly regarding China’s recognition of India’s claim to Sikkim--India and China will compete for energy, foreign direct investment, regional influence, and potentially arms. Although both nations share some fear of unmitigated American hegemony, the competition between these two nations may overpower their common interests and lead to tension and conflict.

Islamabad will, however, always cause concern for New Delhi despite the fact that the past year’s negotiations have eased tensions between the two powers. Although Pakistan will continue to be a sensitive issue for India--with Kashmir at the center of the conflict--India will also try to separate itself from this long-standing dispute so as to become a world power in its own right. India will predictably reject what is referred to as the “hyphenated view” of India and Pakistan in order to take a seat at the global decision-making table free from the shadow of Indian-Pakistani tensions.

Militarily speaking, India is interested in engaging in military-to-military contacts with the United States. In particular, New Delhi needs access to U.S. technology and markets so as to prepare its military in the face of shifting threats and challenges. According to then–undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith, speaking to the U.S.-India Defense Seminar in 2002, “defense sales are a part of our overall national security policy, not simply a matter of business and commerce.”[13] Accordingly, the United States has permitted Lockheed Martin and Boeing to offer sales of F-16s and F-18s, respectively, to India’s multi-role air force program.[14] Yet, we must recognize that India is not interested in establishing a military relationship similar to that which existed between the United States and Europe during the Cold War period. In fact, because India insists upon a degree of freedom of action, this partnership will inevitably be limited in nature. On the other hand, this defense pact will enhance military cooperation, permit weapons transfers, and authorize joint work on missile defense.[15]

Clearly India has some very specific objectives that significantly overlap with the regional and international goals of the United States. Perhaps most importantly, however, both India and the United States are liberal democracies. Both nations are, therefore, threatened by anti-democratic movements, particularly Islamic radicalism, and must actively fight terrorism. We must remember, however, that in doing so, India may often “march to the beat of its own drummer” and, like the Europeans, may be an ally whose actions and motivations will inevitably be questioned.

What India Offers the United States

If India, like early America, is essentially still an inward-looking democracy with regional strategic priorities, the United States today is the inverse: a confident--even, in the eyes of the rest of the world, arrogant--democracy striving to manage a global order that is fundamentally strong but coming under increasing strain. The Bush administration’s desire to help India become a great power is genuine, but it is hardly selfless; it reflects the hope that India can stand with Great Britain and Japan as America’s closest great-power partners in the front ranks of the free world.

That is a breathtakingly ambitious goal and, as the section above should indicate, one that will require generations of effort and effective diplomacy to achieve. It is also a reflection of an amazing reversal in American strategy: where the United States saw India as a frustrating irritant, it now sees warming relations as a strategic opportunity to be cultivated and explored. A shift in America’s attitude could be detected from the very beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency, at which time he declared that, “After years of estrangement, India and the United States together surrendered to reality. They recognized an unavoidable fact--they are destined to have a quantitatively different and better relationship.”[16] Indeed, the winds of change began to blow in the late Clinton years.

The change became most obvious in March 2005 when the Bush administration announced that the United States welcomes and will aid India’s growth as a global great power. As former ambassador to India Robert D. Blackwill put it, the United States is “seeking to intensify collaboration with India on a whole range of issues that currently confront the international community writ large.”[17] At the July summit, President Bush affirmed that “common security objectives” would make India a “diplomatic” and “strategic” partner, spelling out America’s new strategic reality: it will need to look beyond its historical allies, such as Britain, Europe, and Japan, to face the challenges posed by the modern world.[18]

In simple terms, this means that Washington will be looking increasingly to coordinate a comprehensive strategic approach with New Delhi. The commonality of interests in regard to the Islamic world will be the foundation of this broader alliance, even as differences over Pakistan and Iran continue. New Delhi understands the threat posed by radicalism as well as Washington does: India has lost more of its population to jihadi terrorism than any other nation has over the last fifteen years.[19] The rhetoric of the summit revealed a strong agreement. President Bush articulated that “America and India understand the danger of global terrorism, which has brought grief to our nations, and united us in our desire to bring peace and security to the world. . . . [W]e believe that by spreading the blessings of democracy and freedom, we will ensure a lasting peace for our own citizens and for the world.” Prime Minister Singh echoed the president when proclaiming, “We must oppose the evil of terrorism together. To meet such vital challenges, we must be together on the same page. We must speak the same language and display the same resolve.”[20]

Yet developing a synchronized strategy for Pakistan will not be so easy. Although tensions between India and Pakistan have eased since India’s 1998 nuclear testing--particularly with the establishment of a Kashmir bus line in February 2005 between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad--Islamic radicals from Pakistan will always be one of the first and foremost national security issues for India. The Bush administration’s recent recognition of Pakistan as a “major non-NATO ally” and the decision to renew F-16 sales underscores the U.S. commitment to reengagement with Islamabad; for America, South Asia policy cannot be an either-or choice. The challenge for the United States and India is to begin to build complementary strategies toward the Musharraf regime and to embrace it while slowly pushing for liberalization. The lesson of the past two decades is clear: disengagement from the government in Islamabad is very, very dangerous.

Coordinating strategy for the rest of the region will be but slightly less difficult. The dashed hopes that India would contribute to the post-invasion force in Iraq are not the end of that story: Prime Minister Singh has suggested that India will be ready to contribute to the electoral processes in Afghanistan and Iraq in the future.[21] More challenging will be creating a complementary approach to Iran. India’s traditional ties with Tehran will not be undone overnight, although New Delhi appears to be searching for a solution to the question of plans for a natural gas pipeline from Iran into Baluchistan that would satisfy U.S. interests. As with Pakistan, the two nations need to develop a joint long-range strategy that contains Iranian adventurism and sponsorship of terrorism, strings out Iranian nuclear development while hedging against the near certainty that this nightmare will become reality, and eases the way for political transformation in Tehran. By concentrating on change elsewhere in the Islamic world, the United States and India can help to weaken the Iranian regime while containing it strategically.

The most difficult task will be to come to an agreement over how to deal with China. Both the United States and India understand China’s economic importance and growing global influence, yet both fear rising Chinese military power--indeed, with Beijing’s increased influence in South Asia, many Indian strategists feel this even more keenly than their American counterparts. Yet the same misguided “engagement vs. containment” arguments bedevil all nations’ China policies, and only become multiplied in an alliance arrangement. The attempt to harmonize policy over the questions regarding the future of the greater Middle East and the rise of China--and the inevitable intersection of these two issues--will be one of the greatest challenges for India and the United States during the twenty-first century.

The budding relationship with India also ought to put to rest the charge that the Bush administration is essentially unilateralist. Indeed, the administration is simply extending the logic that became obvious in the Clinton years: American interests in Europe are no longer very much at risk, while our interests elsewhere are. The auxiliary--that our European allies, always with the exception of Great Britain, are not very much interested or able to project power outside their own continent--simply reinforces the larger strategic thinking. In the greater Middle East, the United States has created a new dynamic, but the region’s troubles are so numerous and so deeply rooted that exploiting the initiative won since the invasion of Afghanistan demands that others take up the cause in a serious way. Likewise, geopolitically engaging with China along its vast oceanic and continental periphery demands a multinational effort. Japan remains a reliable partner and will become an increasingly capable one, but a bilateral partnership with Japan is hardly sufficient to secure the complete Northeast Asia–to–South Asia maritime periphery, let alone balance Chinese influence in Central Asia. We need India to become a linchpin of the liberal, international order.

In addition to strategic cooperation, the United States should expand its military relationship with India, exploring not only the professional military-to-military relationship but also arms sales and joint development. Washington should not only sell the F-16s and F-18s it has agreed to, but should work toward larger-scale defense industrial cooperation, making New Delhi a partner on the Joint Strike Fighter or, better yet, the F-22 program. But more important than platforms are the electronic subsystems that give the greatest qualitative advantage in modern combat and form the core of command and control networks. As former senior policy analyst at RAND Ashley Tellis observes, “What India needs most often are not ‘big ticket’ weapons that galvanize public attention but high-quality assemblies and components that make a difference to the durability and effectiveness of existing inventory.”[22] Given that computer software codes provide such an important element in these networks, Indian firms are well poised to partner with U.S. counterparts.

Closer operational collaboration is as important as defense-industrial cooperation. U.S. and Indian forces have been creeping toward greater combined and coordinated military operations in recent years, beginning with naval patrols in the Strait of Malacca in the immediate aftermath of September 11 and nearly culminating in Indian participation in the war in Iraq. The Indian air force last year famously “defeated” the U.S. Air Force in exercises--an event most noted by advocates of the F-22 program but indicative of India’s increasing sophistication. These first steps need to be rapidly expanded upon in all dimensions of combat: air, land, sea, and even space. Tellis has suggested a memorandum of understanding regarding operations in the Indian Ocean, but the geographic scope--and, indeed, the operational and combined scope--of such operations should be larger. [23]

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the obvious common strategic interests, forging a working alliance--in name or simply de facto--between the United States and India will not be easy. Indeed, the alliance may be stillborn if the nuclear agreement that was the centerpiece of the July summit is blocked in Congress or if the Bush administration caves in to the interests of its own arms control specialists. Moreover, much larger potential pitfalls loom ahead: Pakistan, Iran, China, the UN, and, ultimately, the obstacles inherent in preserving the liberal international order. A genuine partnership requires sacrifices and trade-offs on each side.

The consequences of U.S. failure to craft a comprehensive post–Cold War global strategy--and in particular the frittering away of the first decade of Pax Americana during the Clinton administration--are now being felt. The Bush administration’s impulses to rethink the U.S. approach to the Islamic world and to encourage Indian power are fundamentally sound, but impulses alone do not a strategy make. Impulses cannot be mistaken for a plan of action, a set of priorities, or a reliable guide for how to deal with China.

Ideally, the administration will leverage its opening to India into a genuine and full articulation of a detailed Bush Doctrine. It is important to help India become a truly global power, show it how it can play a leading role in the world, and cure its South Asian myopia. But it is even more important--especially now, when American spirits seem to be flagging in Iraq and elsewhere--to attract others to what are not simply American purposes, but the rightful purposes of the world’s free peoples.

Thomas Donnelly is a resident fellow at AEI. Melissa Wisner is a research assistant at AEI.


1. Office of the Press Secretary at the White House, “Joint Statement between President George W. Bush and Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh,” news release, July 18, 2005,
available at 20050718-6.html.

2. Thomas Donnelly, “Time to Woo India?” National Security Outlook, December 2002, available at

3. Quoted in Robert D. Blackwill, “The United States, India, and Asian Security,” (speech, Institute for Defense Analyses 5th Asian Security Conference, New Delhi, India, January 27, 2003), available at

4. “United States, India Seek New Level of Strategic Cooperation,” States News Service, April 14, 2005.

5. Dan McDougall, “India is the New American Dream,” Scotland on Sunday, July 24, 2005.

6. Kaushik Basu, “Lee Kwan Yew’s India Rethink,” BBC World News, April 25, 2005.

7. Ibid.

8. “Natwar Optimistic about India’s UNSC Membership Prospects,” Hindustan Times, July 11, 2005.

9. Neil King and Jay Solomon, “U.S. to Aid India’s Nuclear Program,” Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2005.

10. K. Subrahmanyam, “Will Partisan Politics Nuke a Good Deal?” Times of India, July 21, 2005.

11. Office of the Press Secretary, “Joint Statement between President Bush and Prime Minister Singh.”

12. Kuldip Nayar, “Democracy Talk,” Indian Express, July 19, 2005.

13. Douglas J. Feith, “U.S.-India Defense Industry Seminar” (speech, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2002), available at

14. Ashley J. Tellis, India as a New Global Power: An Action Agenda for the United States (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005).

15. Jo Johnson and Demetri Sevastopulo, “India and U.S. Sign New Formal Defense Pact,” Financial Times, June 30, 2005.

16. Robert Blackwill, “The India Imperative,” The National Interest, Summer 2005.

17. Ibid.

18. Office of the Press Secretary at the White House,
“President, Indian Prime Minister Exchange Toasts,” news release, July 18, 2005, releases/2005/07/20050718-12.html.

19. Blackwill, “The India Imperative.”

20. Office of the Press Secretary, “President, Indian Prime Minister Exchange Toasts.”

21. “Bush, Singh Discuss ‘Transformation’ of U.S.-India Relations,” U.S. Fed News, July 18, 2005.

22. Tellis, India as a New Global Power, 33.

23. Ibid.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:45 AM


World prepares for laser wars
If the Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) has started work on a 100-km-range precision guided stand-off missile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is thinking of using a butterfly-sized micro unmanned air vehicle fitted with a sensor!

What's more, some other labs are also talking about making "smart bombs" equipped with decision-making capability, like distinguishing between a target and a decoy, besides identifying the target by its emission.

Welcome to the emerging world of "futuristic armament techniques," where defence scientists are brainstorming future scenarios in which wars will be fought more with sensors and lasers than conventional weapons.

As director of the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), A Subhananda Rao, while attending a national workshop on futuristic trends in air armament, said, "Gone are the days when pilots carried projectiles to throw at enemy planes.

One German pilot even threw a brick from his plane in an attempt to destroy an enemy aircraft!"

He added, "Although the situation has much changed today as wars are fought with within visual range missiles (WVRs), beyond visual range missiles (BVRs), current trends suggest that for conventional attack missions, precision-guided munitions with high stand-off capabilities are the order of the day."

The fact was corroborated by ARDE director AS Rajagopal, who said, "Air armament is one area that not only has a lot of potential but also challenges."

Rao said, "What we expect in next two decades is the development of WVR missiles with enhanced speed, agility, range, jam-proof seekers and sensors," adding, "Reliability is vital in case of air armaments and needs to be built in the concept design itself.

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:43 AM


India to hold join air exercise with US in Kalikunda
the Eastern sector, in November this year. Code named "Cope India" the exercise is expected to follow a pattern similar to that of "Cope Thunder" held between the two nations last year at Alaska.

According to Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command (EAC), Air Marshal FH Major, 'Cope India' would be the "largest" exercise so far and would feature "all the frontline aircraft" of the two Air Forces.

"The joint exercise will feature F16s from the US along with advanced aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF)," Major said. The joint exercise would be an "interesting learning curve" and will help the ongoing military cooperation between India and the US, he said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is also to provide the Indian army with air support to fight insurgents in the Northeast, subject to the Centre's official nod for such counter-insurgency operations.

The "low intensity operation" against the insurgents would be aided by the IAF with light-armed aircrafts and combat helicopters to help the army "corner insurgents and speed up operations", said the newly appointed Chief of the Eastern Air Command (EAC), Air Marshal FH Major.

Major said such operations were "tricky" taking into consideration the fact that insurgents were in the midst of innocent civilian population. The IAF would ensure that "our own people" are not affected by such operations, he said.

On Indo-Myanmar cooperation to flush out militants who had set up base in that country, Major said that the EAC was "cooperating with Myanmar and sharing intelligence" for the benefit of the two Nations.

Given the strategic importance of the command, which looks after a region that shares it border with five countries, the EAC was in the process of procuring modern equipment, he said. Radar capable of detecting low flying aircraft would be deployed in the region, he added.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 9:42 AM


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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.

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