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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

From Today's Papers - 13 Oct 09

Indian Express

The Pioneer

Indian Express

The Pioneer

Asian Age

The Pioneer

Asian Age

Asian Age

Indian Express

Kashmir Times

The Pioneer

Asian Age

DNA India

Hindustan Times

Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II test-fired successfully

Balasore (Orissa), October 12
India today successfully test-fired in quick succession two nuclear-capable ‘Prithvi-II’ surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 350 km from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 15 km from here.

The two indigenously developed missiles were test-fired successfully at 10.28 am and 10.33 am, from mobile launchers as part of user trials by the army, defence sources said.

The trajectories of the missiles were tracked by a battery of long-range, multi-function radars and electro-optic telemetry stations at different locations for post-launch analysis, the sources said.

Scientists of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) supervised the test-firing with logistics support from the ITR personnel here. Naval ships were anchored near the impact points in the Bay of Bengal.

The nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile has already been inducted by the armed forces and is handled by the Army units attached to the strategic force command’s special group, they said.

The sources said the twin-engined Prithvi-II is nine metres in length and is one metre wide. It has features to deceive enemy missiles and is equipped with ‘added inertial’ navigation systems, they said. The missiles had different ranges. They have been designed to operate with both liquid and solid fuels, and were capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads, they said.

The trials were conducted in the presence of Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister V K Saraswat, top scientists and army officers. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091013/main2.htm

Facing the Chinese challenge

In the context of the Chinese threat we will, however, have to bear in mind that in view of the nature of the terrain over which the likely war with China will be fought, the role of the air forces of both sides is going to be restricted.

CJ: Dr. Brahma Singh

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 11:26:11 IST

THE RECENT statement of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal VP Naik and that of the just retired Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta a little earlier, though presenting a grim picture of the state of the country’s preparedness with regard to its Naval and Air Defence, deserve appreciation of the nation for their bold truthfulness. They, indeed, represent a healthy departure from the general age-old Government policy of projecting a sab achcha (all well) scenario even at the worst of times, ostensibly, for preventing demoralisation and containing panic that may get set off by the truth about our state of preparedness.

In the context of the Chinese threat we will, however, have to bear in mind that in view of the nature of the terrain over which the likely war with China will be fought, the role of the air forces of both sides is going to be restricted. The jungle and mountainous terrain of the likely area of operations precludes the possibility of effective tactical air support. On the other hand, any strategic bombing by the Chinese Air Force could, perhaps, be ruled out on ideological considerations as the bombs will not be able to distinguish between China’s proletariat friends and the bourgeoisie enemies in India and could damage their ultimate cause of fomenting World Revolution. This leaves the Red Air Force with the only option of interdiction, (cutting off Indian supply lines).

So even if China has the third largest air force in the world and India only 1/3 of that strength, the disparity between the two is not likely to prove too disastrous for India. Some under developed countries of the world possessing small air forces are, in fact, known to have carried out jungle and mountain warfare successfully against developed countries possessing large air forces. The same goes for our naval disparity with the Chinese. The navies of the two nations will come fully into play only in case of a protracted war on land spilling into the sea with the role of attacking/defending each others sea trade lanes. In the shorter version of the war, which evidently is the order of the day, India can expect nothing more that small skirmishes with China at sea. The saving grace for us in either case will be that with the trade interests of many other countries involved in the region, the naval war is not likely to remain confined to the countries engaged in the war on land. It could enlarge into a much bigger conflict, which would only be to China’s disadvantage.

Undoubtedly, the decisive force in the war between the two countries, if it comes, is going to be the Army. Consequently, any disparity in strength between the Indian and the Chinese Armies that weighs heavily against the Indian Army could have a telling effect on the outcome of the war to the extent of it proving disastrous for us. Such a situation should, therefore, be of greater concern to the nation than inadequacies in India’s air and naval strengths.

In a recent interview, our Chief of the Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, is reported to have rubbished the chances of a repeat of the 1962 Sino-India war and assured the nation that the Indian Army is quite capable of looking after and ensuring the defence of the country. While no one doubts the Army’s sincerity and the determination of its men to fight to the last drop of the blood that the Army Chief has spoken of, doubts continue to lurk whether he has said it all. Evidently there are certain facts related to disparities that Indians suffer vis-à-vis the Chinese, which though glaringly visible have not been discussed. It is for instance quite reliably known that China has deployed about 13 infantry divisions in Tibet and is capable of reinforcing its strength at short notice – thanks to its vast reserves held at the mainland and its greatly improved land communications with Tibet.

India has, on the other hand, about half that number deployed against them with no capacity for reinforcements in view of an equally belligerent Pakistan operating all along its backyard. Besides, while the Chinese have kept their army generally concentrated at a couple of places in the rear of the Indo-Tibetan border, the Indian forces are mostly deployed all along the Line of Actual Control on a defensive role. The initial initiative, therefore, rests with the Chinese as they are in a position to strike at any time and at any place of their choosing. Against this India, apparently, has just enough strength to hold the defence line and none for launching any counter offensive to force the Chinese on the defensive. In military training, ‘offence’ is considered to be the best form of ‘defence’ and our present defensive posture against the Chinese would appear to be flawed on this account.

The question that arises is as to why we are not fully prepared to meet the Chinese threat. The alibi put out by Air Marshal VP Naik that preparation requires time would not hold water considering the fact that the Chinese threw the gauntlet at us more than five decades ago and we have not been able to pick it up till today. The fact of the matter is that over the years the will of our political leadership has wilted at the very thought of the colossal effort - involving sacrifice, dedication and hard work - required to meet the Chinese challenge and rather than facing the threat squarely it has continued to opt for a policy of, as the saying goes, letting the sleeping dog lie in the fond hope that it may not wake up on its own. Assured by such wishful thinking our defence preparations have, apparently, moved at a leisurely pace based more on convenience rather than necessity.

There is no rationale behind the national psyche though. What does China have which India doesn’t? India has an equally booming economy and is bestowed with a vast reservoir of the best fighting material in the world. Besides the effort required for meeting the Chinese threat may not be as colossal as imagined. By raising our defence expenditure from the present two per cent of our Gross National Product to seven per cent like that of China we could, perhaps, stand up to the Chinese black mail fairly effectively. What is required is the national will. We must understand that there is no alternative to facing the Chinese challenge other than surrender. Let us not be deceived by the hope that the United States will come to our rescue if China attacks. We must remember that no country will ever fight another’s war. We have the example of the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Though before the war many friends of Pakistan had promised to intervene actively on its behalf none of them came forward to pull Pakistan out of the desperate situation before it was forced to surrender.

For the intellectual and the idealist in India who seems to suffer pricks of conscience over preparation for war it may be clarified that preparing for war by itself does not amount to jingoism. By remaining prepared for war we will be, in fact, only creating a credible deterrent that would dissuade our enemies from taking recourse to war for settling their disputes with us. It is not said in vain that “if you want peace, prepare for war.”

http://www.merinews.com/article/facing-the-chinese-challenge/15786103.shtml

Now, disability pension for voluntary defence retirees
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
In a move that would benefit a large number of disabled armed forces personnel, the Ministry of Defence has issued orders granting disability pension to those who have sought voluntary retirement before reaching the age of superannuation.

Orders received by the three service headquarters from the MoD earlier this month state that the new provisions would be applicable to personnel who retired or were discharged at their own request on or after January 1, 2006.

The pension regulations of the three services would be amended accordingly. Heretofore, armed forces personnel retiring voluntarily were not eligible for any award on account of disability.

“Armed forces personnel who are retained in service despite disability, which is attributable to or aggravated by military service and have foregone lump sum compensation in lieu of their disability, may be given disability or war injury element at the time of their discharge, whether voluntary or otherwise, in addition to service pension and gratuity,” the new orders state.

While appreciating the move as a step in the right direction, some veterans felt the orders should have been implemented for all similarly placed personnel instead of fixing a cut-off date.

In fact, a large number of disabled soldiers who left the services voluntarily had earlier moved various high courts against the provisions denying them disability pension. In many instances, the courts had granted relief to the affected pensioners. The courts had ruled that disability pension for reasons attributable to military service could not be denied.

Meanwhile, the MoD also issued an order this week, granting full pay and allowances to officers for the entire period they were on sick leave or under hospitalisation. Till now, pay and allowances were stopped after a specified period.

Interestingly, officers were at a loss on this account while personnel below officer rank were better placed as far as this regulation was concerned. The orders would be effective from September 1, 2008.

Orders received by the service headquarters about a week ago state in case of grant of sick leave exceeding six months after the period of hospitalisation, full pay and allowances would be admissible to officers granted such leave up to the limits specified under the rules. Leave has to be on account of injury or sickness attributable to or aggravated due to service conditions in accordance with the regulations.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091013/nation.htm#10

No Gorshkov deal during Antony's trip

October 13, 2009 00:56 IST

No new deal on the modernisation of the Kiev class aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be signed during Defence Minister A K Antony's three-day Russia [ Images ] visit beginning Tuesday, the Indian envoy in Moscow [ Images ] said.

"Another round of negotiations will be continued mid-November. The negotiations are proceeding well," Indian Ambassador Prabhat Prakash Shukla said on the eve of Antony's arrival.

He said no new deal on the modernisation of Gorshkov will be signed during the visit.

Shukla indicated that efforts are on both sides to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement on the additional price of Gorshkov up-gradation asked by the Russian Sevmash shipyard.

"The guiding principle is the understanding to reach an agreement as fast as possible," he said.

Under the initial $1.5 billion contract signed in New Delhi [ Images ] in January 2004, Russia was to deliver retrofitted aircraft carrier in August 2008.

However, the Sevmash shipyard later demanded that $974 million allocated for the upgradation of the 44.5 thousand tonner vessel, given to the Indian Navy 'free of cost', was not enough to complete the work and demanded an additional sum of $2.2 billion.

Ahead of Antony's visit Russia successfully conducted the landing and take-off trials of the MiG-29K carrier-based fighters developed for India on its only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/13/gorshkov-deal-will-not-be-signed-during-antonys-trip.htm

Indo-US relations will suffer if India tests nuke weapon: NYT

October 12, 2009 22:25 IST

India should not give into the pressure from some of its nuclear scientists to carry out an atomic test, and if it does it would be a huge setback to its relations with the US and for the battle against terrorists, The New York Times said on Monday.

In an editorial 'Just say No', the influential US paper said Indian nuclear scientists were trying to bully their government into testing a nuclear weapon.

"That would be a huge setback -- for India's relations with Washington, for the battle against terrorists, and for global efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons... Prime

Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] is resisting. He must continue to resist," the newspaper said.

The editorial referred to claims made by Defence Research and Development Organisation scientist K Santhanam that the 1998 nuclear test was a 'fizzle' and said "one has to wonder why he waited 11 years to raise the alarm."

"We suspect that Santhanam and his colleagues are worried that if Washington finally ratifies the treaty (Non Proliferation Treaty), India may feel compelled to sign on," it said.

The US should make clear that India has more to gain by focusing on economic growth and expanding global cooperation than on developing more nuclear weapons, the newspaper said.

"And it should leave no doubt about how much India and the rest of the world have to lose if New Delhi [ Images ] makes the wrong choice," it said.

The editorial also said if India tests, the United States is bound by a 2008 agreement to cut off all sales of nuclear fuel and technology. "That would be a huge setback to India's plans to expand its nuclear power generation and its economy."

"We fear that if India tests, Pakistan will decide that it has to test. That would raise tensions between the two longtime rivals, and it would further distract Islamabad [ Images ] and its generals from the far more important battle against the Taliban [ Images ] and other extremists inside their country and along their border with Afghanistan," the editorial said.

The paper also noted that the US Congress recently approved a five-year USD 7.5-billion aid package to strengthen civilian rule in Pakistan and encourage the fight against extremists.

"There would be strong pressure to cut that aid if Pakistan tested. And if India and Pakistan test (China also may be unable to resist), it could make it even harder for President Obama [ Images ] to persuade the Senate to ratify the test ban treaty."

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/12/testing-n-weapon-can-cost-india-of-us-relations.htm

India test-fires nuclear-capable missile

NEW DELHI: India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile on Monday with a range of 350 kilometres, according to a statement by the Indian Defence Ministry. Monday’s test was considered routine and unlikely to aggravate tensions with Pakistan. The surface-to-surface missile, “Prithvi-II”, was fired twice from a range in Chandipur in the eastern state of Orissa, the statement added. It can carry a warhead weighing up to 500 kilogrammes, it said. The Indian Army has already inducted a shorter version of the missile, “Prithvi-I”, with a range of 150 kilometres. Ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\13\story_13-10-2009_pg7_15

Myanmar top leader meets Indian army chief in Nay Pyi Taw

YANGON, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chairman of Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Senior-General Than Shwe met with visiting Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor in Nay Pyi Taw Monday, the state-run Myanmar Radio and Television reported in the evening.

Earlier on the day, another meeting between Kapoor and SPDC Vice-Chairman Vice Senior-General Maung Aye had also taken place.

Maung Aye is also Myanmar Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services and Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

The report did not disclose the details about their separate meetings.

Kapoor, who is also chairman of the chiefs of staff committee of India, arrived at the new capital on Sunday on a three-day visit to Myanmar, aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation in the defense sector.

Kapoor's visit came eight months after Indian Vice-President Shri M. Hamid Ansari visited Nay Pyi Taw in February this year at the invitation of Maung Aye.

In April 2008, Maung Aye visited New Delhi, assuring Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that Myanmar will never allow using its territory to any organization that harm neighboring countries, while acknowledging that India does not allow its territory to movement of organizations against Myanmar.

During Maung Aye's visit, three documents between the two governments were signed, of which a memorandum of understanding on intelligence exchange is to combat transnational crime including terrorism.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/12/content_12218957.htm

India, U.S. start large-scale military exercises

18:3412/10/2009

NEW DELHI, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - India and the United States launched on Monday large-scale military exercises, India's Defense Ministry said.

The 15-day war games, codenamed 'Yudh Abhyas' (preparation for war), are taking place in northern India's Jhansi district, part of the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The drills involve the Indian Army Motorized Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, comprising some 320 U.S. servicemen.

The ministry said the focus of the exercises was "on mechanized infantry operations for counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain."

They are designed to "further enhance interoperability already built through a series of exercises with US,'' a senior Indian officer was quoted as saying.

The exercise will comprise a number of special operations, including peacekeeping, patrols, humanitarian assistance, community support and logistics.

The ministry said the exercise was being conducted under a UN mandate.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20091012/156441345.html

Braveheart carries trapped labourers out of manhole, falls ill

Express News Service Posted online: Monday , Oct 12, 2009 at 0327 hrs

Mumbai : Dharamvir Singh (38), a major in the Indian Army, climbed down a manhole on Saturday and carried out two contract labourers, but fell ill in the process.

He has been admitted to INS Ashwini Hospital at Navy Nagar, having apparently inhaled noxious fumes. His effort too went in vain, for both labourers died.

The labourers, Brothers Ramkishan (30) and Kisan Rajouria (28), got stuck in the manhole near US Club at Navy Nagar, Colaba, while they were cleaning it on Saturday evening, Cuffe Parade police said.

Captain Manohar Nambiar, the defence spokesperson said, “Major Singh was on his way back after playing squash at US Club when he saw a crowd near the manhole. On asking them, he got to know about the sweepers stuck inside. Singh and his companions arranged for some rope, which was tied around his waist, and he was lowered some 12 to 13 feet into the manhole and he managed to pull them out. The 30 to 40 seconds that he had spent inside the manhole during this time left him giddy and dehydrated, causing him to collapse after the rescue.”

PSI Gyaneshwar Tapre of Cuffe Parade police said: “Singh carried out the two unconscious men and he too collapsed. The three were rushed to Ashwini Hospital. The Rajouria brothers were declared dead before admission, while Singh has been admitted to ICU. It appears that the men have died due to prolonged exposure to toxic fumes in the sewer line,” said Tapre. The police have registered a case of accidental death.

Singh’s health is improving slowly, added Nambiar.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/527893/

India To Kickstart Local Production Of T-90 Tanks

India and Russia have signed a deal worth $1.2 billion wherein India will procure additional 347 numbers of T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBT) from Russia and initiate the process of license production of another 1000 T-90 S tanks in India. The license production of the T-90 tanks is slated to be undertaken by the state-owned ordnance factory boards.

As per the earlier Indo-Russian agreement, India has already acquired 310 numbers of T-90 main battle tanks which included direct delivery of fully formed tank numbering 124 tanks and kits for 186 more for assembly at Avadhi. In 2004, the first locally assembled T-90 was rolled out and the rest of the order was completed.

Indian Army officials indicated that purchase of T-90S tanks has been resorted under the latest contract to meet the depleting tank force. Currently, more tanks are becoming obsolete and replacements have not taken place at the same rate. Around fifty per cent of the 3500 variety of Indian Army tanks will be scrapped in the next five to seven years and the Indian Army had been requesting the Indian Defence Ministry to purchase additional tanks. As for the homegrown Arjun battle tank, the Indian Army is not fully satisfied with the state-owned Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) and it intends not to place further orders. In fact, India is now planning on a futuristic main batlle tank (FMBT).

According to the latest agreement, the state-owned ordnance factories will begin the license production of another 1000 T-90 S tanks for the Indian Army in separate phases. The first phase will be the production of around 300 tanks at ordnance factories at Medak in Andhra Pradesh and at the Avadhi Heavy Vehicles factory in Tamil Nadu. This will be completed by 2011. In the second phase, another 700 T-90S tanks will be produced by the state-owned ordnance factories at Avadhi and Medak and the production will be completed by 2020.

http://indiadefenceonline.com/1261/india-to-kickstart-local-production-of-t-90-tanks/

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