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Saturday, 4 July 2009

From Today's Papers - 04 Jul 09

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US drones, Pak Army target militant strongholds; 30 killed

Press Trust of India, Friday July 3, 2009, Islamabad

At least 30 militants, including a top Taliban commander, were killed in Pakistan's restive

northwest and the adjoining tribal belt where a US drone fired missiles targeting a militant hideout and the Army continued its air and ground offensive.

In Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud's stronghold of South Waziristan, 13 militants were killed and several others injured when a US drone fired three missiles at a militant camp in Sarokai, even as conflicting reports emerged about the crash of an army helicopter in a region near Afghan border.

Another missile was fired at a madrassa in Mantoi area though no casualties were reported as the seminary was closed, TV channels reported.

Thirteen militants, including a commander named Naeemullah, were killed in clashes with security forces and a Lashkar or tribal militia in the Swat valley and adjoining Dir area over the past 24 hours.

Five militants were killed on Friday in air strikes by Pakistani combat jets in North Waziristan tribal region.

An army cargo helicopter crashed in Orakzai Agency because of a "technical fault," chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told reporters. He said there was "no confirmation of casualties".

However, a Taliban spokesman told Samaa news channel that the helicopter was shot down by militants and the pilot was captured by the Taliban.

http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/us_drones_pak_army_target_militant_strongholds_30_killed.php

UNSC expresses concern over reports of NKorean missile launch

Press Trust of India / Washington July 3, 2009, 10:40 IST

The UN Security Council is concerned about news reports of missile launch by North Korea and it is troubled by Pyongyang's failure to respect its resolutions on the issue, president of the 15-member body said today.

The Council is concerned about reports of new missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and particularly troubled by Pyongyang's failure to respect its resolutions on the issue, Security Council president for the month of July Ugandan Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda said.

Briefing reporters on the agenda of the Security Council for the month of July, Rugunda said Middle East, Somalia, Honduras and Burma are other issues, which would be discussed by the council this month.

The Council is planning an open debate on the situation in Somalia, a country, he observed, which has been in "turmoil and anarchy" for some 19 years and where the humanitarian situation continued to be grave and worrying.

"This is a country that needs a robust international response," Rugunda said, stressing that such engagement should include support for the Transitional National Government and to help the Somali people rebuild their own country and security services.

The African Union force in Somalia, known as AMISOM, also needed support as it was operating only in some parts of the country pending further troop deployments, Rugunda said.

Rugunda said he expects that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would brief the Security Council on Myanmar on his return from the country.

The Council's thematic debate, set for July 22, would focus on post-conflict peace building and Uganda's Minister for Foreign Affairs would preside, he said.

Security Council is also expected to hold an open debate on the Middle East, which would provide an opportunity for the 15-nation body to hear the views of the wider UN members on the situation, especially since United States President Barack Obama and other world leaders had recently appointed envoys to help reinvigorate the peace process.

The Council would like the level of participation to be as high as possible and would encourage participants to express their views on the spate of new efforts under way to jump-start the peace process, he said.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/unsc-expresses-concern-over-reportsnkorean-missile-launch/66445/on

Lashkar shifting base from Pak to Nepal

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | July 03, 2009 | 14:11 IST

Indian intelligence agencies are bracing themselves up for a new plan by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The dreaded Pakistan-based outfit has plans of shifting its entire base to Nepal in the next few months, according to the confession of Omar Madani, a key Lashkar operative arrested by the Delhi Police a couple of weeks ago.

During his interrogation, Madani revealed that LeT was under too much pressure following the November 26 attacks in Mumbai. As the Pakistan government was forced to act against the Lashkar, a meeting of the outift's top brass was held and it was decided to shift the entire base to Nepal in phases.

In the second phase, training units were to be set up in Nepal on the lines of the ones in Pakistan.

Not once did the Lashkar think of going slow on its India operations, Madani said, adding that the outfit, at all times, realised that a base next to India was extremely necessary to launch attacks at regular intervals.

Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that this was part of Lashkar's larger strategy.They were gearing up for a situation like this and the plan to shift out of Pakistan was always on the agenda.

The ISI has been very specific in its instructions to the Lashkar -- the heat had to be taken away from Pakistan, but operations against India had to continue.

Till now, the Lashkar and other terror groups were using Nepal only as a transit point. Although they had their commanders stationed in Nepal, planning and execution was always done in Pakistan.

If the Lashkar's new plan materializes, then the entire focus would be on Nepal.

Meanwhile, reports in the Nepali media suggest that the country's intelligence agencies were already in touch with the Indian intelligence on this latest development.The reports suggested that Indian intelligence agencies may train their counterparts in Nepal on how to keep a tab on the Lashkar and its deadly future plan.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/jul/03/lashkar-shifting-base-from-pak-to-nepal.htm

Militants being defeated by the Pakistan army - Foreign office of Pakistan

2009-07-04 00:39:11 (GMT) (Caymanmama.com - Pakistan News News)

London (Dawn.com): The Guardian of UK reported the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi stating that the Pakistan is winning the war against the terrorists. He told the newspaper that public opinion has changed since the operation began and now the local are regrouping to help the Pakistan security forces.

He said, 'Today, public opinion has converted to such an extent that the local tribes have set up lashkars [militias] to support army operations.' 'The army has eliminated a lot of the second and third tier leadership, and that has hit their effectiveness and their capacity to regroup and counterattack is diminishing, even if it is gradually,' he added.

Pakistan to get help in extending its combat terrorists from France

Islamabad (Dawn.com): The visiting French Admiral, Edouard Guillaud, who is visiting Pakistan met the number of dignitaries in Islamabad including the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. During his meeting he said, 'The fight against terrorism is a key matter of concern for the international community. Within the framework of our common goal to fight terrorism, this visit aims at strengthening our bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security.'

He also confirmed that France will be providing Pakistan with the military equipment and combat helicopters fitted with modern avionics and radar equipment and anti tank missiles.

Rawalpindi gripped by another suicide bomb attack

Rawalpindi (Dawn.com): In the early hours of the evening yesterday, the bus carrying personal of Kahuta Research Laboratories was attached by the suicide bomber who rammed his explosive loaded motorcycle into the bus while it was waiting at the traffic signal.

The bombing incident left 40 people/ passengers of the buss injured out of which 5 are reported to be in critical condition.

http://www.caymanmama.com/2009/07/03/militants-being-defeated-by-the-pakistan-army-foreign-office-of-pakistan_200907034872.html

Afghan Army chief to arrive on Monday

Express news service Posted online: Friday , Jul 03, 2009 at 0141 hrs

New Delhi : Afghanistan Army chief General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi will arrive in the Capital on Monday for a four-day visit. General Khan, who took over as the Afghan Army chief in 2002, will interact with senior military and civilian defence officials and will visit key military installations at Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

While a variety of issues will come up for discussion, the two sides are likely to talk about cross training of Afghan Army officers in India and exchange of officers at various levels. Currently, the only presence of the Indian Army in Afghanistan is at a children's hospital in Kabul while a group of officers are imparting English courses.

"The visit signifies the resolve to build a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan and will strengthen our strategic partnership," a senior Army officer said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/484882/

Army awaits corruption probe, doesn't seek fresh howitzer bids

July 3rd, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS Tell a Friend -

By Ritu Sharma

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The Indian Army will not issue fresh bids to buy the ultra-light howitzer that it badly needs for frontline defence. Instead, it will await the outcome of the probe into corruption charges against the Singapore firm, whose guns it had chosen for field trials. The firm is among seven "blacklisted" on corruption charges.

India has not bought any artillery guns since the controversial Bofors deal in 1986. This year, after 10 months of evaluation, it had selected Singapore Technologies for field trials of the ultra light howitzers. Then the firm was blacklisted by the defence ministry, jeopardising the modernisation plan. All dealings with blacklisted firms are on hold.

The first consignment of guns for field trials was supplied by the Singapore firm on May 29 and was positioned for the trials by June 5, the date the blacklist came out.

"The Pegasus light howitzer (of the Singapore Technologies Kinetics) has been selected for field trials after 10 months of evaluation by the defence ministry's Technical Evaluation Committee. So at the moment the Indian Army will not be issuing fresh RFP (request for proposal) for the ultra light howitzers," a senior Indian Army official said, requesting anonymity.

"We will wait for the conclusion of investigations in the matter," the official added.

The ultra light howitzers are required by the Indian Army to counter the Chinese threat as heavy artillery cannot be moved in the mountainous terrain of the Himalayas.

Meanwhile, the Singapore firm has approached the defence ministry for clarification on the development even as it claimed that it is yet to receive an official order regarding the blacklist. The Singapore firm has been the frontrunner for a Rs.29 billion ($612 million) order for 140 ultra-light howitzers.

"ST Kinetics has since approached the authority for clarifications and presented to the MoD (Ministry of Defence) a list of all our business activities in India," Gaius Ho, assistant vice president (corporate communications) of Singapore Technology, told IANS via email.

"While awaiting a response from the MoD, we have offered all cooperation to assist with any investigation as appropriate and hope that the MoD will quickly review the matter and clear ST Kinetics' reputation," Ho added.

Singapore Technologies was one of seven firms the defence ministry blacklisted June 5 after its name cropped up in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against former Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chief Sudipto Ghosh under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Allegations of money being transferred to personal accounts had prompted the defence ministry to "put on hold" all dealings with the blacklisted firms.

"We want to clarify that ST Kinetics has not received any official advisory from the Indian authority on the CBI investigation, and is highly disappointed with the implication. We have not in any way contravened regulations imposed by governments of the countries where we conduct our business," Ho said.

Singapore Technology was also a contender for a Rs.80 billion order for 400 155 mm/52-calibre towed artillery guns as well as the indigenous manufacture of another 1,100 howitzers through the transfer of technology route.

The Indian Army had purchased 410 Bofors 155 mm howitzers in 1986 but the deal was mired in corruption charges and the name of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was dragged in. The Supreme Court eventually found no wrongdoing but the taint stuck to Bofors, as a result of which it was not considered for the new order.

Corruption charges also knocked out the South African Denel gun, leaving Singapore Technologies the sole contender in the fray.

The Indian Army is now left with just about half of its 410 guns, with normal wear and tear and cannibalisation accounting for the remaining howitzers.

The other six blacklisted companies are Israeli Military Industries, BVT Poland and Media Architects Pvt. Ltd of Singapore and three Indian companies: T.S. Kishan and Co. Pvt. Ltd., R.K. Machine Tools and HYT Engineering Co.

(Ritu Sharma can be contacted at ritu.s@ians.in)

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/business/army-awaits-corruption-probe-doesnt-seek-fresh-howitzer-bids_100212874.html

Army inducts DRDO-developed NBC recce vehicle

4 Jul 2009, 0209 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: The Army has inducted a NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical) reconnaissance vehicle, developed by DRDO, in keeping with its aim to be prepared to counter the threats posed by hostile armies or terrorists which resort to such warfare.

Having already inducted over Rs 700 crore worth of NBC defence equipment, with another Rs 2,000 crore worth of it in the pipeline, the Army has placed an initial order for eight such vehicles.

"The NBC recce vehicle, based on a BMP-IIK chassis for cross-country capability, is fitted with nuclear, chemical, meteorological and positional sensors for monitoring contaminated areas,'' said a DRDO official.

The vehicle, with adequate shielding for the crew, will be used to monitor and demarcate areas contaminated with NBC agents, collect and store samples and transmit data to the command control centre.

NBC equipment already developed by DRDO includes as many as 60 products, which have been handed over to either the ordnance factories or the private sector for bulk production.

These include nerve agent detectors, dosimeters, portable gas chromatographs, auto-injectors, first-aid kits, antidotes, NBC respiratory masks and suits, roentgenometers, NBC filters, decontamination kits and NBC reconnaissance vehicles, among others.

India, incidentally, is also now launching a futuristic programme to develop sophisticated NBC defence technologies, which will include unmanned aerial and ground vehicles fitted with NBC detection sensors.

Other key areas include nanotechnology-based biosensors, laser-based detection for chemical clouds, self-contained inflatable NBC shelters and a `model' hospital to handle NBC victims.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Army-inducts-NBC-recce-vehicle/articleshow/4735145.cms

A Nation's Fatal Ingratitude

6,000 Indian soldiers fight in the minus 50 degree bitter cold of the Siachen Glacier. A callous Ministry of Defence is now giving them flimsy gear that's fit only for minus 10 degrees, finds NEHA DIXIT

image

ON MAY 26, five days after he began his second innings as defence minister, AK Antony made a firm statement. He said that if the ministry found malpractices in any defence deals, it would declare them null and void right away. Clearly, Antony, who had cancelled two such deals in his last tenure, is still struggling to unearth the alleged goldmines for defence dealers. Meanwhile, the wheeling and dealing continues unabated.

In a two-month-long investigation, TEHELKA discovered that top officials in the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including the Master General of Ordnance (MGO), have laid the foundation to jeopardise the lives of as many as 6,000 soldiers posted in Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world. It all started with an easy compromise of rules to accommodate a tainted but favoured company.

In August 2006, the MOD floated a proposal (TEHELKA has a copy) to invite tenders to procure 53,480 sets of Goretex suits (jacket and trousers) for the soldiers in Siachen. Known as Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), these suits help soldiers survive at 22,000 feet above sea level, where temperatures fall below minus 50 degree centigrade. These suits are three-layered and are designed to provide insulation and shield the body from cold wind, snow, rain and flying debris. However, the most unique feature of these suits is that the third, most important layer is made of Poly Tetra Flouro Thylene, known as Stretched Teflon in common parlance, a technology patented by the US brand, Goretex. This special membrane helps body sweat evaporate to prevent it from freezing and sticking to the soldiers' bodies and causing frostbite. Frostbite is one of the most common reasons for soldiers to die in the freezing glaciers of Siachen – it's reported that at least 90 percent of Siachen's soldier deaths are not caused by bullets, but by sub-zero temperatures in the glacier. Sources say that roughly six soldiers die because of the extreme cold every month. Proper equipment and cold weather clothing is, no doubt, as important for the health and safety of the soldiers as is their military training.

The US army and NATO forces have adopted Stretched Teflon, which is the only known technology to perform optimally in minus 50 degree centigrade temperatures. Traditionally, the Indian army too has been using this technology, and purchased these suits last in 1999.

What is also crucial is that the MOD proposal floated in August 2006 laid down no technical specifications, making space to approve and reject tenders randomly. First, a South Korean firm, Wonryong, was shortlisted and its samples were tested. In January 2007, the Directorate General of Quality Assurance gave some army specifications for the product, which the South Korean firm said were "technically impractical in nature." This error was acknowledged by the ministry and was later changed. On June 3, 2008, the Additional Director General of Quality Assurance sent a letter to the MGO's office advising it to place an order for 5,000 units. However, the letter was reportedly lost and the tender was cancelled for "inconsistent sample specifications".

In August 2008, a new request for the proposal was issued in which the South Korean company was not asked to respond. Meanwhile, it was decided at the MOD that the MGO would be delegated some financial powers to facilitate quick decisions on items of urgent need. The extreme weather clothing fell under such a category. To facilitate the expanded role of the MGO, the original order for 53,480 suits was downsized to 27,000. This contract, worth US$ 7,795,035 (Rs 37.4 crore) was awarded by the MGO, Lt Gen SS Dhillon, to an American mail order firm called Black Diamond.

TEHELKA has a copy of this contract that shows how rules were bent to create an order that was sharply in contrast to what was originally demanded by the MOD in 2006. The motive — to throw open a back door for Black Diamond to bag the contract.

OUT IN THE COLD

670 soldiers (official) and up to 20,000 soliders (unofficial) have died of cold since 1984

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90 percent of military deaths in Siachen are due to sub-zero temperatures, not war

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Several soldiers suffer frostbite, blindness and memory loss

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Soldiers lose up to 20 kg in their three-month posting at Siachen

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Due to scant oxygen, soldiers wear oxygen masks all the time which makes some hearing impaired

Among the numerous violations, the most grave is that Black Diamond is allegedly using a technology that has no track record of being effective in temperatures as low as minus 50 degree centigrade. The Stretched Teflon that is the primary element that keeps off the cold has been replaced by Poly Urethane, commonly known as PU coated technology. PU is applied like paint onto fabric, in most cases nylon, on both sides. Till date, there is no track record of the PU technology being used below minus 10 degree centigrade anywhere in the world. It has not been attempted for a good reason — the PU coating cracks in temperatures below minus 10 degrees centigrade, which allows water and air to get inside the clothing. Air and water immediately lower the body temperature, which can turn fatal in exceedingly sub-zero temperatures. Top sources in the textile department at IIT Delhi confirm that PU coating is a non-breathable coating, which means that when there is sweating during any vigorous physical activity, there is no evaporation. Instead, the sweat turns into ice, leading to frostbite.

It is crucial to note that the agent who negotiated the deal with Black Diamond was the same person who represented an Italian company a few years ago. The company had come under the scanner two years ago for providing faulty snow boots to soldiers in Siachen, which was exposed by the India TV channel.

SIACHEN IS one of the toughest areas in which Indian soldiers perform their duty — battling not just the enemy, but also the inhuman weather in the endless glacier. Oxygen in the air is 30 percent less than normal, as a result of which soldiers have to wear an oxygen mask at all times. Frostbite, snow blindness, pulmonary and cerebral edema take a huge toll on the soldiers. Due to high altitude, soldiers lose their appetite. Even when hungry, not much stays edible for too long — oranges freeze to the hardness of baseballs and potatoes cannot be dented with a hammer. Soldiers invariably end up losing up to 20kg of their weight in just a three month tenure. According to official figures, 670 soldiers have lost their lives in the glacier till date due to cold weather. However, a retired major general posted in the glaciers some years ago suggests that up to 20,000 soldiers have died due to cold weather since April 1984, when the post at Siachen was established. When the unbearable cold does not lead to death, it causes acute disabilities — after a single posting at Siachen, several soldiers suffer hearing, eyesight and memory loss for the rest of their lives.

Stretched Teflon is a layer that prevents frostbite. Black Diamond simply coats a nylon layer with Poly Urethane — a potentially fatal shortcut

The Indian Army, on its part, patently justifies these debilitating difficulties by saying that it pays an extra Rs. 7,000 extra per month as 'Siachen allowance'. A serving captain asks, "What is the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) doing about this? We are ready to give our lives for the country, at least we should not be provided faulty clothing."

Violations multiply. While inviting tenders, the MOD had clearly stated in its 2006 proposal that responses are invited only from 'Original Equipment Manufacturers,' which Black Diamond is certainly not. On its website, the company states that it only operates as a retailer and sources its products from other manufacturers. Posing as an American journalist, when TEHELKA called Black Diamond, Bill Crouse, one of the directors of the company said, "We do not manufacture anything. We are merely providing these suits to the MoD on their special request."

HARD FACTS

The technology being used has never been tested in conditions below minus 10 degrees

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The MoD is paying a higher price to Black Diamond when there were other options at lesser price

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The original order of 53,480 suits was downsized to 27,000 to facilitate the awarding of the contract

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The contract only mentions the name of Dalian Airport in China, conveniently omitting the actual place where the suits are manufactured

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Two years ago, Black Diamond's agent represented a company that came under the scanner for providing faulty snow boots to Siachen soldiers

This 'special request' that the MOD made was to a company that is not a manufacturer. Worse, the contract only mentions the name of Dalian Airport in China, a transit point from where the goods are to be brought to India. It conveniently omits the place or factory where the three-layered suits supplied by Black Diamond are actually manufactured. Also, when Goretex, the patent holder, was charging US$ 570 per set and the Korean company US$ 248 per set for the Stretched Teflon technology, Black Diamond quoted US$ 289 per set for a technology that has never been used below minus 10 degree temperatures.

The consignments have not started arriving in India, although the first batch was supposed to arrive in April 2009. When TEHELKA contacted the Directorate General Quality Assurance, Brigadier Ajay Gehlot, he refused to answer any questions. "This is a matter of national security. I have nothing to say," said Brigadier Gehlot.

Despite repeated attempts to contact them, the DRDO and the current MGO, Major General Vijay Sharma, refused to meet this reporter or answer any queries. Lt Gen SS Dhillon had signed the contract with Black Diamond on January 28, 2009, three days before he retired. This is also when the contract was downsized from 54,000 suits to 27,000 suits so that the contract could be accommodated under the new financial powers of the MGO. When Lt Gen Dhillon was contacted, he said, "All that I can say is that we do not take major decisions 15 days before we are supposed to move from a posting." Lt Gen Dhillon has now been appointed a member in the Armed Forces Tribunal created to expedite trials of pending cases against army officers.

WHILE VARIOUS quarters of the MoD keep mum, this deal, along with a couple of recent incidents in the last few years, raises serious concerns about the role of the MGO with regard to the welfare of soldiers in Siachen. In October 2008, the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) released a report saying that soldiers in Siachen were issued "partly torn" and recycled special clothing for the winters due to its untimely procurement. His report stated that the "Army Headquarters had failed to ensure timely procurement of Special Clothing and Mountaineering items used in operational areas like Siachen, resulting in stock-out levels of these critical items being as high as 44 to 70 percent… Such a practice of recycling special clothing items is not desirable on grounds of hygiene, operational suitability and overall morale of the troops."

image

Illustration: SUDEEP CHAUDHURI

A national user survey conducted by the CAG revealed that 50 percent of divisions or regiments were not satisfied with the quality and fitting of the clothing supplied. The major reason for dissatisfaction among users was related to a mismatch in trousers and shirts and their inappropriate sizes, poor quality of clothing with a problem of quick fading of colour, low usage-life of boots against the prescribed shelf life, and lack of water-proofing in caps. Blaming the Army's MGO for the shortages between 2002 and 2007, the 2008 CAG report says that besides shortages, imports are being made by the Army without proper quality requirements. The audit reveals shortages in crucial items, including sleeping bags, socks, jackets, gloves, boots and even snow goggles. The biggest deficiency the Army faces is in gloves, with barely 30 percent of the required stock available. This means at any given time only three of every ten soldiers in Siachen can protect their hands from fatal frostbite, commonly known to course through the body starting at the extremities (fingers and toes).

Two years ago in 2007, the CAG had noted that about 10 contracts worth Rs 49 crore were placed by the MGO, out of which items worth Rs 29 crore were rejected either on 'receipt inspection' or by the end users, the soldiers.

The proposal invited responses only from'Original Equipment Manufacturers'. The chosen supplier, Black Diamond, however, is a retailer

There is a shortage of gloves and socks, with barely 30 percent of stock available. Only three in 10 soldiers can protect themselves from frostbite

When TEHELKA contacted Defence Minister AK Antony, clearly enumerating all the malpractices and the violations in the deal, he requested for an "official" complaint to which he would respond.

Evidently, the remoteness of those laying down their lives in harsh conditions is feeding the apathy of those sitting in Victorian bungalows in the warm centre of the country. At a time when the MGO is tainted by a large number of controversial deals, Antony's first priority in his second tenure should be to tame this wild beast unfit to even provide adequate clothing to its soldiers. Every iota of information must be paid heed to without hiding in the comfortable defence of the official and the unofficial.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main42.asp?filename=Ne110709a_nation.asp

India flags off indigenious NBC Recce Vehicle



Published in Indian Army News

DRDO with the efforts of five of its laboratories has for the first time indigenously developed a vehicle for reconnaissance of any threats from nuclear radiations and chemical or biological agents in the environment.

The NBC recce vehicle is based on BMP-IIK Chassis for cross country capability. Its fitted with Nuclear, Chemical, Metrological and Positional Sensors for monitoring of nuclear and chemically contaminated areas. It enables demarcation of nuclear and chemically contaminated zones with Flag Marking System. The vehicle collects radiologically and chemically contaminated soil and water samples with Scooping device. The vehicle enables display and storage of NBC data in control console.

NBC recce vehicle can transmit data to command Hqr on request through Communication Link Controller and Star-V radio set. It has various nuclear and chemical monitors in dismount role for personal monitoring. The vehicle comprises of NBC Hazard Prediction Software for Prediction of Hazardous zone. The vehicle costs 4 times less w.r.t. similar imported vehicle. This vehicle provides adequate shielding to crew.

Army has given the Limited Series Production Order of eight NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBC RV) to DRDO and the same are under production by OF, Medak and BEL, Pune by involving industry from private sector.

The first vehicle was flagged off on 27th June 2009 by Lt Gen Gautam Dutt, VSM, Engg in Chief, Army Hqrs, Shri M Natrajan, SA to RM & DG, DRDO; Dr D Banerjee CC R&D (AMS) & DS DRDO, Lt Gen A M Verma, GOC 12 Crops, General Managers of OF, Medak and BEL, Pune, Directors from R&D Hqrs and Directors and senior scientists of participating labs were presents. The key of this vehicle was handed over by CC R&D (AMS) to Engg. In Chief.

In addition 60 other products related to NBC defence have been developed by DRDO and introduced into the Service to make the country self reliant in this strategic area

http://www.defence.pk/forums/india-defence/29276-india-flags-off-indigenious-nbc-recce-vehicle.html

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