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Thursday, 13 November 2008

From Today's Papers - 13 Nov

Ex-servicemen block rail traffic
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 12
Seeking better pension and perks, a large number of ex-servicemen from various organisations today blocked the rail traffic on the main Delhi-Jalandhar railway line at Tangra railway station for two hours.

The chairman of the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front, Col G.S. Sandhu (retd), said pay, perks and status of Lt Col and Lt Gen must be restored and ex-servicemen would not tolerate the lowering to their status vis-à-vis civilian counterparts. He said the other ranks that retired at a young age should be re-employed in paramilitary forces and should serve till the age of 60.

The front lashed out the government for its failure to resolve the pay anomalies.

India successfully test fires 'Shaurya' missile

Agencies Posted: Nov 12, 2008 at 1552 hrs

Balasore (Orissa), November 12: India successfully test fired 'Shaurya', a medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, to be used by its Army. With a 600-km range, the missile is capable of hitting targets deep inside Pakistan and China.

The indigenous missile was launched from an underground facility with an in-built canister at 11.25 am from Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, DRDO sources said in Balasore (Orissa).

The sleek missile, with a flight duration of 485 seconds, roared into the sky leaving behind a thick yellow and white smoke on a clear sunny day, they added.

The sophisticated tactical missile is capable of carrying conventional warheads with a payload of about one tonne. "With longer shelf-life, as it is stored in a canister just like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the Shaurya is easily transportable and user-friendly. This is a technology development project," DRDO sources said in New Delhi.

Though there was speculation that the missile was a land version of the under development K-15 submarine launched ballistic missile, DRDO sources said the surface-to-surface missile had nothing to do with K-15 'Sagarika' project.

"The missile was test fired from a 30-40 feet deep pit with in-built canister specially designed for the purpose. There was no water in the pit," the sources said.

"The test was conducted to check some of the vital parameters of Shaurya missile," the DRDO sources said. The solid propellant, two-staged missile is little over 10 metres in length and about half-a-metre in width, they said.

During the test, the missile took off vertically and its entire trajectory was tracked through an integrated system of sophisticated radars, electro-optical tracking instruments, a chain of telemetry stations positioned in different points and two naval ships placed close to the impact point deep in the Bay of Bengal.

As a precautionary measure, the district administration of Balasore temporarily evacuated 364 families residing within two km radius of the launch site and took them to safety at a nearby shelter before the missile test.

The launch of Shaurya has come nearly nine months after India had successfully tested the 'Sagarika' missile under the K-15 project this February off the coast of Visakhapatnam from a pontoon simulating the conditions of a submarine.

The UN is effective (sic?) as fighting rages on in DR Congo

sunit thakurta 12 November 2008, Wednesday

AS THE brutal pictures and documentaries unfold in front of our eyes while watching various news channels, one starts to question the very existence of an international body by the name of ’United Nations’. People are dying in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and yet the UN and its continental satellite organisation, the AU(African Union) are busy calling for ’worthless’ summits when the real work should be done on the ground.

As a normal human being, one thing that has amazed me over the past few years or so is the slow diplomatic and military pace of the UN in diffusing tensions in Africa and some other hot spots around the world.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has warned of dire consequences if the violence continues in and around the key Congolese town of Goma. But Moon might be forgetting the very fact that actions do matter most rather than sophisticated headline-grabbing quotes and terms. Why are thousands of people homeless and hungry despite the presence of the largest UN peacekeeping contingent? Why a world organization like the UN just cannot afford to stop the Tutsi renegade general Laurent Nkunda from carrying out massacres in the name of past actions by the Hutus during the 1994 Rwandan genocide? Only the bureaucrats in New York know the answer.

The continent of Africa is already reeling under the rigours of instability and political and civil failures from north to south and from east to west. Yet there has been no constructive effort on the part of the international community to look for ways to bring relief to the countless innocent civilians, be it the people of Darfur, or the DR Congo or Zimbabwe. The UN’s infrastructure and coordination on hostile grounds are unable to diffuse conflicts engulfing the poorest continent on the planet. The committed aid workers face dire conditions to attend to the innumerable victims inside affected regions as the UN’s military force lacks equipments and leadership to oversee peacekeeping operations.

In a summit held at the Kenyan capital Nairobi, leaders of seven African states have called for an immediate ceasefire in DR Congo and for UN peacekeepers to be provided with greater powers to ensure peace.

India Test Fires Submarine-launched Missile
from Land

Balasore (Orissa)
India Wednesday test-fired a submarine ballistic missile (SLBM) from land for the first time, defence sources said.

It was test fired successfully from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in the district of Balasore in Orissa, about 230 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

The missile has two stages fitted into its half-meter-wide body. It can carry a payload up to one tonne and has a highest range of 700 km.

The missile had earlier undergone three tests previously in an underwater platform. The Wednesday test was intended to check speed, trajectory, maximum height and other parameters of the missile.

The K-15 missile has a length of around 11 meters, larger than the 8.5-metre-long Prithvi short-range ballistic missile but smaller than the 15-metre-long Agni-1 ballistic missile.

The district administration evacuated temporarily about 3,010 people from about five villages located within the a two-km radius of the defence base hours before the test in the area, district collector A.C. Padhiary told IANS.

Pakistan to seek compensation for Baglihar dam

Indo-Asian News Service

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 (Islamabad)

Pakistan said on Wednesday that it will seek compensation from India over the shortage of water due to the construction of the Baglihar dam on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement in parliament on Wednesday, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that the compensation will be in the shape of water as the flow has reduced from 55,000 cusecs to 22,000 cusecs at Head Marala, the first point in Pakistan where the water flow from India is measured in the Chenab River.

Pakistan has for long been objecting to the Baglihar dam. Last month a three-member Pakistani delegation headed by Indus Water Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah inspected the dam in the Jammu region and collected data on water inflow, outflow and storage capacity of the dam.

Shah said that according to the Indus Water Treaty, 55,000 cusecs of water should flow into Pakistan but had only received 22,200 cusecs.

"India had filled the Baglihar dam reservoir in 10 days instead of in 60 to 70, causing water shortage in the Chenab River and this is continuing," Shah said.

The minister's statement in parliament was in response to a question on the water dispute with India. Ashraf said India can construct the dam on its side but is also responsible for ensuring that water discharge at Head Marala remains at 55,000 cusecs.

The government, he added, was very much alive to the situation arising out of the construction of dam and had taken it up at every level.

He said that President Asif Zardari took up this issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York when they met in September this year on sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

He said Manmohan Singh had assured Zardari that Pakistan will not be denied of its rights. At the same time, Pakistan was continuously facing a water shortage.

"We are daily recording the water flow at Head Marala and our officials are reporting it to India as well," the minister said.

IAF chief ‘pleased’ with pay panel proposals
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 12
Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major’s comment here today on the “attractiveness” of the sixth pay commission’s recommendations will be a paean to the ears of the central government, which has been rattled by the dissatisfaction expressed by the armed forces over the discriminatory nature of the recommendations.

The Air Chief Marshal today said the panel’s recommendations on pay packets of the IAF personnel were “attractive” and would help in bringing youngsters to the IAF.

The IAF chief, who was here today in connection with a function at the Air Force Technical College, said: “The IAF is an attractive option after the sixth pay commission”. Major was asked by a reporter whether the slump in the aviation industry would be a blessing in disguise for the IAF as it would stop the exodus of IAF pilots to commercial airliners.

“I do not wish ill to any industry”, Major said on the slump in the aviation sector. He added that losing pilots to commercial air operators had never been a problem with the IAF. “The IAF had never been really bothered by this”, he said.

The IAF is at present having a shortfall of 1,352 officers. Against a sanctioned strength of 12,120 officers, it is having a positioned strength 10,768 officers.

Major told reporters that IAF was now going through a stage of massive modernisation. He said during 11th, 12th and 13th plans, a huge amount of technology was going to be brought into the IAF and this would totally change the IAF’s complexion within a few years. With regard to modernisation, Major mentioned introducing new weapons and use of sensors by IAF. The IAF would soon emerge as a major aerospace power, he said.

The IAF chief said he was “very pleased” with the three dimensional Rohini radar developed jointly by DRDO and BEL. The IAF had placed orders for 30 such radars, he said.

Major also revealed that the IAF would shortly acquire 128 new fighter jets. Evaluation of the jets is at an advanced stage, he said.

He replied in the negative when asked whether the police action against an Army officer in the Malegaon blast case would affect the morale of the Army. “The Indian Army is 1.1 million strong. How can one incident affect the morale of the force”, he said.

Shaurya missile test-fired

Balasore (Orissa), November 12
India today successfully test fired ‘Shaurya’, a medium-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, to be used by its Army.

The indigenous missile, being developed by the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisations, was launched from an underground facility with an in-built canister at 11.25 am from Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, DRDO sources said.

The sleek missile, with a range of about 700 km and flight duration of 485 seconds, roared into the sky leaving behind a thick yellow and white smoke on a clear sunny day, they added.

The sophisticated missile is capable of carrying conventional warheads with a payload of about one tonne.

“With longer shelf-life, as it is stored in a canister just like the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, the Shaurya is easily transportable and user-friendly. This is a technology development project,” DRDO sources said. — PTI

President’s Standard for 59 Squadron
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, November 12
President Pratibha Patil awarded the President’s Standard to the 59 Squadron of the IAF and the President’s Colours to Air Force Technical College (AFTC) for their distinguished services at a glittering ceremony at the AFTC here today.

The function saw an impressive march past by the recipient units, flag trooping by Mi-8 helicopters, aerial salute by Chetak helicopters and fly pasts by Avro, Dornier and AN-32 aircraft. The Hawks (Advanced Jet Trainers) in a Vic formation added luster to the occasion, which culminated with a breathtaking display by the Sarang helicopter aerobatic display team.

Karnataka Governor Rameswar Thakur and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major were among the dignitaries present at the function.

MIG-21 crashes in Assam

Sibsagar, November 12
A MIG-21 trainer fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in upper Assam’s Sibsagar district on Wednesday morning, but the two pilots bailed out safely.

The MIG crashed at Mathurapur near Gariapathar at about 10.45 am within three minutes of flying from Chabua airbase in Dibrugarh district, IAF sources said.

Squadron Leader Subhandeep and Wing Commander Nanda, the two pilots of the MIG jet aircraft, ejected and landed safely with the help of their parachutes, the sources said. — PTI

Naval feat
Commendable job in foiling hijack bids

THE Gulf of Aden is fast becoming the most dangerous sea lane in the world, with more than 60 piracy-related incidents reported of late, with as many as four having come about this very month. Around $100 billion of India’s sea trade passes through the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian merchants are in panic, especially since the India-bound MT Stolt Valor, a chemical tanker with 18 Indian crew members, was held hostage by Somali pirates in the region two months ago. The furore that was caused had forced the Indian Navy to begin patrolling the area on October 23. The move has paid off, with the stealth frigate INS Tabar foiling two attempts by the heavily armed pirates to hijack an Indian and a Saudi Arabian merchant vessel on Tuesday. All this happened within minutes of each other. First, an armed helicopter from the ship forced the pirates trying to board the Saudi merchant vessel MV NCC Tihama to flee in their speedboats after a brief exchange of gunfire with the marine commandos.

As the helicopter was returning to the ship, it got another distress call, this time from the Indian vessel Jag Arnav, that pirates were trying to board it. The helicopter again rushed to its new mission. This time even gunfire was not necessary. The sight of the armed Chetak helicopter was enough to make the hijackers flee. The incidents will hopefully restore the confidence of the seafaring community.

Indian shipping firms are believed to be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every month because fears of piracy hold up ships and delay consignments. Moreover, crew members are reluctant to sail in the Gulf, which is one of the world’s most important sea trade routes. It is already patrolled by the navies of the US, the UK and France. To give the Indian warships more teeth and speed, the Ministry of Defence should give complete authorisation to use force against piracy, because then the warships would be able to respond quickly. Time is of the essence in such operations.

'No talks with India for supplying N-powered submarine'

Moscow (PTI): Russia did not hold talks with India for the "supply" of the K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine, which was involved in a mishap that killed 20 people, a defence industry official said in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Russia did not launch talks on a contract to supply India with the Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine," the unnamed official was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Twenty people, including 17 technical staff of the shipyard and sub-contractors were killed due to triggering of fire safety system and release of toxic Freon gas used to suppress blaze late Saturday while the submarine was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan.

On careful reading of the Russian official denials, they have not used the word "leasing". Reports have maintained that India was supposed to get the submarine on a 10-year lease early next year.

Earlier, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov during his India visit had also said: "Russia does not supply nuclear submarines."

According to government sources, there is a difference between 'supply' and 'lease'. While supply presumes transfer of ownership, in the case of lease the ownership remains with the Federal Property Agency — Rosimuschestvo.

"Under the Russian laws all the defence equipment and arms are the federal property attached to the Defence Ministry and armed forces and can be sold or leased to a foreign party under inter-governmental agreements in line with Russia's international obligations only with the permission of Rosimuschestvo," a government source elaborated.

While refusing to comment on lease of Nerpa submarine to India, the sources told PTI that at this juncture the submarine is technically the property of the shipyard and would become state asset only after its commissioning by the Russian Navy.

Meanwhile, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Nikolai Makarov on Wednesday said after the probe into the mishap is completed, Nerpa will be commissioned by the Russian Navy.

"During trials, in spite of the tragic mishap and casualties, this nuclear submarine has demonstrated reliable functioning of its all components and systems, of course, except the fire-suppressing system," Gen. Makarov was quoted as saying by AVN-Interfax Military Newswire.

A probe panel consisting of experts of military industries and Defence Ministry is currently investigating the cause of unauthorised triggering of the fire-extinguishing system aboard the submarine.

Indian navy showcases rising might

NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- The helicopter carrying Indian commandos swooped in low over the distressed Saudi Arabian chemical tanker, firing its machine guns and sending three speedboats filled with pirates fleeing for the lawless Somali coast.

Twenty minutes later they rescued a nearby Indian ship, navy officials said, foiling another hijack attempt by a different band of pirates in east African waters of the Indian Ocean.

Tuesday's rescues, by forces based on an Indian warship patrolling some 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) from their home port, mark a significant step for the South Asian giant, which is determined to translate its growing economic strength into global military and political clout.

"India now has the demonstrable capacity to project force beyond its border," said Ashok Mehta, a retired Indian army general and leading strategic analyst, adding that this was the first time commandos had been used so far from Indian shores.

At the heart of this effort -- which has seen the country of 1.1 billion people become a nuclear power and actively campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council -- is a program to expand the navy from traditional coast guard duties to one of the world's largest sea forces.

Speaking at a recent conference, Indian naval chief Adm. Sureesh Mehta vowed that the navy would ensure "a secure and peaceful environment in the Indian Ocean region and further India's political, economic, diplomatic and military objectives."

In the process, India is acquiring the biggest visible symbols of naval power -- aircraft carriers -- and nuclear submarines.

India plans to have three aircraft carriers at sea in the next decade -- a refurbished Russian one and two made locally.

India is also leasing an advanced Russian Akula-class submarine and designing a homegrown version, the Advanced Technology Vehicle, which is expected to begin sea trials in the next two years after long delays as Indian engineers struggled to miniaturize their nuclear reactor to fit inside the hull.

India's attempts to secure nuclear submarines surfaced this week after 20 people were killed in an accident on a Russian submarine undergoing sea trials Saturday in the Sea of Japan. Russian and Indian media reports said the craft was destined for India, though the Indian navy refused to comment and Russia insisted the sub would be commissioned in its own navy.

However, India's navy chief said last month that a Russian submarine would be used to train the crews that will, eventually, man Indian nuclear subs.

India currently operates 16 diesel-powered submarines.

Nuclear submarines, which can cruise undetected for long periods undersea, have been nuclear deterrents since the early days of the Cold War -- virtually assuring that a country that possesses them can respond to a nuclear attack.

In part, India's efforts are in response to moves by China. The two countries are increasingly competing for influence over vital Indian Ocean shipping lanes, and India fears China's large and increasingly sophisticated submarine fleet.

The U.S. military says China already has eight nuclear submarines, three of which are believed to be able to launch nuclear weapons.

While Indian and Chinese relations are the closest in decades, the Indian military also harbors a long-standing mistrust of China dating back to a brief 1962 border war in which China routed India's forces.

But even as it waits for its aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, the Indian navy has been slowly expanding its scope of operations. It played a major role in rescue operations during the 2004 tsunami and sent warships to rescue Indians trapped in Lebanon during the 2006 war between Israel and the Hezbollah guerrilla group.

They have also embarked on a series of joint maneuvers with other navies active in the area, particularly the United States.

But Tuesday's missions against pirates marked the first time the navy had fired shots in anger so far from home to protect India's overseas interests.

The Indian warship, the INS Tabar, was dispatched to the Gulf of Aden in October after a spike in piracy and hijackings off the coast of Somalia, which is caught up in an Islamic insurgency and has had no functioning government since 1991.

As of Monday, there have been 83 attacks this year in Somali waters and 12 vessels, including a Ukrainian freighter loaded with tanks and weapons, remain in the hands of pirates. Many of the ships were Indian or had Indian crews.

While several other countries sent warships to the region, India was particularly worried. Much of India's trade and the energy supplies vital to fueling India's economy flow through those waters.

The patrols "are intended to protect Indian merchant vessels from being attacked by pirates and also to instill confidence in our large seafaring community," the navy said in a statement.

And it seems that Indian ships may become regular sights in faraway ports.

"We operate from the Strait of Malacca to the Gulf of Aden," said navy spokesman Commander Nirad Sinha. "Ours is a growing, developing navy."

Indian Army tightens systems post-Purohit episode

November 12th, 2008 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS -

Jammu, Nov 12 (IANS) The Indian Army is tightening its system of checks and balances in the wake of a serving officer being arrested for his alleged links to terror blasts in Maharashtra, a top commander said Wednesday.”We have a system of checks and balances in the army, which we are strengthening further to ensure such incidents do not recur,” Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor told reporters here on the sidelines of a defence function.

“We are checking on postings and profiles. I have nothing more to say,” Kapoor added.

Lt. Col. P.S. Purohit was arrested Nov 5 for his alleged involvement in the Sep 29 Malegaon blast. He is the first serving army officer to be arrested on terror charges.

He is suspected to have obtained the explosives used in the Malegaon blast that killed five people during the month of Ramadan. The Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) is also probing whether he siphoned funds from the Military Intelligence directorate during his posting there.

Nine other people, including two retired army officers and a Hindu woman missionary, have also been arrested in the case.

The CBI is also looking at the possible involvement of those arrested in the Malegaon blast, including Purohit, in the 2006 Nanded blast in which four alleged Bajrang Dal activists were killed while assembling a bomb.

Investigators have also widening their probe to determine whether more uniformed personnel are part of a bigger network to have infiltrated the armed forces.

Unwilling to share details of the case, which are at a “sensitive” stage, investigating officers believe that Purohit may have “indoctrinated” other personnel with his political views and could not have worked single-handedly in planning such an attack.

“The arrest of Purohit is already a big blow to the army. After the current round of arrests of Hindu radicals linked to the army, top generals are just hoping this is a one-off case that does not prise open another can of worms,” said a senior official who is monitoring the case.

According to a member of the investigation team overseeing the probe, interrogation of Purohit has been extensive and investigators were going through his telephone calls and correspondence with a fine toothcomb.

“That he was keen on establishing a home-grown right-wing terror network is certain. We want to know how far it has spread and the people involved,” the official said.

Purohit is also believed to be a founding member of the right wing Abhinav Bharat group.

Pallam Raju addresses coursemates at National Defence College

Following is the extract of the speech delivered by the Minister of State for Defence Shri MM Pallam Raju on "Evaluation and Manifestation of India's Defence Policy: Safeguarding National Interest" to the participants of the 48th Course on National Security and Strategic Studies at the National Defence College (NDC) here today:

"Our primary objective is to achieve economic, political, social, scientific and technological development within a peaceful and democratic framework. India's security is an integral component of its development process. India continuously aims at promoting peace and stability around it so that developmental priorities can be pursued without disruption. This requires an environment of durable peace and cushion against potential risks to peace and stability. It is our endeavor to proceed towards this objective in cooperation with the global democratic trends and to play a constructive role in advancing the international system towards a peaceful, just and equitable order. We believe that Autonomy of decision making in the developmental process and in strategic matters is an inalienable democratic right of the Indian people. We will strenuously guard this right in a world where there is growing complexity and frequency in the use of force for political purposes.

In the absence of global nuclear disarmament, India's strategic interests also require effective, credible nuclear deterrence and adequate retaliatory capability should deterrence fail. This is consistent with the UN Charter, which allows the right of self-defence. The requirements of deterrence should be carefully weighed in the design of Indian nuclear forces and in the strategy to provide for a level of capability consistent with maximum credibility, effectiveness, safety and security. Highly effective conventional military capabilities shall be maintained to raise the threshold of outbreak of conventional military conflict as well as that of threat or use of nuclear weapons. India shall pursue a doctrine of credible Minimum nuclear deterrence. In this policy of "retaliation only", the survivability of our arsenal is critical. This is a dynamic concept related to the strategic environment, technological imperatives and the needs of National security. However, I reiterate that we remain committed to peaceful use of Nuclear Technology, particularly for meeting our Energy requirements.

As the world awakens to our true potential, India is the focus of interest globally. As a self-confident and vibrant India looks towards achieving its manifest destiny in the years ahead, the Indian security establishment will also increasingly need to play a larger role in achieving our national aims. Institutions such as the NDC will, more than ever before, need to present decision-makers with a range of educated policy options on various issues. Security goes well beyond strategic and military considerations, to involve political, economic, social, technological and even environmental factors. Emerging concerns also include dwindling energy and water resources, which could become the root of future conflicts. In the post cold-war era, we have witnessed the tyranny of technologically advanced countries imposing regimes governing technology, space, nuclear energy, and even the environment and human rights.

The Defence Policy of India is principally the product of its peaceful political aspirations and priorities. Historically Indian policymakers have sought to strike a balance between defence-spending and other social needs. It has been our endeavor to spend as optimally as we could on the defence. Our Defence policy is guided by our need to promote rapid economic growth and social well-being of our people. As such it reflects pursuance of this national aim. We recognize the need for a secure internal and external environment for pursuit of this supreme goal. However, India is located in a strategically peculiar region. We have been victims of territorial aggression in the past. A large number of non-state armed groups have sanctuaries in our neighboring states. Some groups inimical to our unity and integrity use these bases to carry out acts of aggression across India. We also have to contend with a number of insurgent groups in Kashmir and North East who are often supported by external sources. Combination of these and other issues compel us to be on constant vigil and preparedness to defend our vital interests and values.

Allow me to briefly describe the nation's predicament. On the positive side, the world in general and Asia in particular witnessed a period of extraordinary growth followed by worldwide economic crisis and threat of recession. This is likely to impact our growth rates and the efforts to improve the quality of life. This may also lead to increasingly intricate security problems. The very connectivity and the technologies which have led to global growth and progress have made economic insecurity a more potent international threat which merits collective responses. These collective responses are likely to throw up a new genre of challenges which would merit unprecedented responses. The broad four conceptual issues which the nation faces are: -

(i) The progress of globalization is taking us into uncharted territory, making it hard to predict success or anticipate problems. When the past, present and future are so different to each other then policy making is rendered difficult.

(ii) While the challenges are likely to be more global and transnational, yet our approach to them continues to be largely national in nature. This is particularly inadequate in situations where power centres may not be nation states.

(iii) Global security architecture is characterized today by greater freedom of choice which, while generally a welcome development, calls for more sophisticated hedging.

(iv) Our ability, collectively or nationally, to address these challenges is as uncertain as the problems themselves, given that future directions of growth and the extent of global interdependence cannot be accurately predicted.

With this overarching perspective, I would like to share with you some thoughts on India's Defence Policy making. In terms of specific concerns that we seek to address, I would categorize them using the three levels domestic, regional and global. In respect of domestic security challenges, our concern emanate primarily from forces that ideologically challenge India's pluralistic and secular character. By espousing ethnic or religious extremism and advocating separation, they seek to threaten the Indian identity. Many of these groups obtain sustenance from outside. While we recognize that pluralistic cultures are broadly under threat from narrow and sectarian beliefs the world over, India which lives in a particularly difficult neighborhood, has borne the brunt of such attacks much longer than most other states. In recent years, the consequences of uneven growth and unmet expectations have added to our vulnerabilities. The internal security dimension occupies a significant portion of our policymaking. Our defence policy aims to deter the external exploitation of our challenges while we fashion a political response, which draws on our democratic strengths.

The other significant issue before the defence planners is that of nuclear proliferation both among states and non-state actors. For variety of reasons, nuclear weapons continue to remain attractive while the nuclear non-proliferation regime continues to be under stress. The stability of nuclear order has come under threat in recent times from four inter-related issues. First, the moral case of containing nuclear weapons powers have not kept up the promise of taking steps towards eventual disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons. Second, some states are actively seeking to build nuclear weapons. Third, many non-state armed groups, often millenarians in their ideological orientation, are known to be in pursuit of WMDs. Fourth, technological diffusion, especially in the civil nuclear field and the resources available to medium and small states makes it easy to pursue a weaponisation programme, if they have the incentive and the will to do so.

In recent years some states have shown both the capability and the will to acquire this capability. Also, there are continuing concerns about the safety of these weapons in some nuclear weapon states, given the political instability and fragility of the governing regimes. The concern is real and consequential given the enormous destructive potential; if these weapons were to fall in the hands of rogue elements and non-state armed groups. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and related technologies continues to be a legitimate area of concern. In addition there are growing anxieties about what might be called weapons of mass destruction like chemical and biological weapons.

Experts fear that the growth and proliferation of technologies particularly information technology, bio-technology nano-technogloy and genetic engineering may create a permissive environment for nuclear proliferation. Besides, these technologies are likely to increase both the lethality and reach of the existing weapons systems.

Let me now, summarize India's Defence Policy. Indian Defence Policy is based on an envisaged stabilizing role in the region and therefore, War Prevention is the primary percept. Capability in this regard will rest on the combined effect of multiple inputs that provide the capacity. This ability cannot be just the sum of inputs, the synergy that arises from the way those inputs are combined and apply.

Indian military strength will be used to defend the national interest. This will encompass the responsibilities related to Border Defence, Security of Strategic Objectives and protection of hinterland. Security of the EEZ, Offshore/Inshore assets will be ensured through building adequate maritime potential for deterrence (benign and combat), as also in the domains of constabulary and diplomacy. Offensive and defensive potential over land, air space and cyber space will be used to concentrate military power, 'Where' and 'When' needed so that this instrument of power is asserted as necessitated by National Interest and Objectives.

India will continue to institute measures that promote mutual confidence with her regional neighbours to obviate the possibility of a conflict: without prejudice to its claims and interests. Concerns and interests of the smaller neighbours will be accommodated through reassurance of our peaceful intent and orientation. India is committed to proactively assist smaller neighbours, as and when common interests are threatened.

The sub-conventional and asymmetric threats will be countered by raising diplomatic, political, economic and military costs; to bring about behavioral climbdown amongst state, non-state, organizational and institutional players involved in perpetuating these threats. India shall continue essentially a military – economic – political confrontation with the proponents of such threats. India's strategy will be based on a multidimensional approach wherein all instruments of national power act in unison to bring about an early resolution of an internal conflict. The military segment will be responsible for causing sustained attraction to bring the proponents to the negotiating table.

Military capabilities will be based on coexistence of legacy systems, fresh acquisitions and planned development for the future including incremental upgradation. Reserves of manpower and material will be maintained to meet the demands of unplanned criticalities. Surge capacities will be planned to support such a requirement. The capability building and refinement process will be based on a continuously updated Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan, Five Year Plan and Annual Acquisition Plan. Planned induction and upgradations will be linked to budgeting / funding based on a committed support and monitored to timelines of achievement indices.

Development of indigenous technological solutions that are contemporary will be an integral part of the Indian Defence Policy. The Indian Industrial base and innovative skills of the Indian people will be harnessed alongwith the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings.

Forces of global and regional correction are at work and at times these are at cross-purposes with each other. We therefore, cannot afford to retain status quo in our response or postulation. International, Regional, Structural Economic and Technological changes compel a review. We cannot afford to be resistant to them. Any delay in preparing ourselves for these changes will not only find us out of synchronization but will also result in unplanned criticalities.

Finally, since security has become a much dimensional and convergent construct, our response systems cannot afford to be anything else but integrated in perception, evolution, planning and preparation while core competencies may be manifested and executed individually.

$58 Million for Engineering Work on Saudi Tank

General Dynamics Land Systems has been awarded $58.3 million to design the new Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) Abrams tank for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command for the Royal Saudi Land Forces.

Under this engineering contract, General Dynamics will design, develop, convert, implement and test a hybrid configuration of the M1A1, M1A2 and M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) tank variants for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The M1A1S vehicles will possess defined capabilities that increase lethality while limiting obsolescence. The engineering work will be performed in Sterling Heights.

Related contracts are expected to be awarded through FMS under the multiphase Royal Saudi Land Forces M1A2S program that will fund additional engineering work, production and modification to vehicles, and plant retooling.

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