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Sunday, 21 February 2010

From Today's Papers - 21 Feb 2010





BEML ties up with Polish firm to upgrade tanks

New Delhi, February 20
Defence public sector undertaking BEML has tied up with Polish company Obrum to design and develop futuristic main battle tanks for the Indian Army that will be lighter, faster and transportable through helicopters.

Chairman-cum-managing director VRS Natrajan said at a press conference here on Thursday that the BEML is also aiming to upgrade the 1,600 T-72 series of tanks of the Indian Army. This would include auxiliary power unit for the tanks air conditioners and communication equipment and a 1,000-hp engine to provide its greater mobility.

He said the two would work on projects like armoured recovery and repair vehicles for the indigenous Arjun tanks, auxiliary power unit for T-90s, armoured personnel carriers, 155-mm tracked guns and BMP-II upgrade for the Army.

In view of the tanks overhaul and upgrade programmes that are coming up soon, the BEML had recently established a 1.2-km test track for the tanks at Kolar gold fields in Karnataka. — TNS






DRDO to Chalk New Technology Roadmap; Dismisses Concern Over Arjun           

Sunday, 21 February 2010

SUNDAY, February 21, (News Locale) - In a major plan to modernize India’s defense capabilities, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) revealed that it is chalking out a technology roadmap which will focus on improving the country’s weaponry systems. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, the DRDO director general V K Saraswat said that the main agenda for the three-day meeting of all the DRDO laboratories will be create a roadmap that will help India overcome the technological obstacles posed by western countries and induct futuristic weapons, which will be the combined product of nano, bio and information technology, into its arsenal.


With the rising sophistication of terror attacks, counter terrorism measures will also be an important talking point in the meeting.


Saraswat added that the DRDO is committed in designing technologies that will help soldiers in coping with low intensity attacks. Some of the technologies detailed in the press conference include hand-held thermal imagers, anti mine shoes and night vision capabilities for machine guns.


He also revealed that the DRDO is currently working on “Rustam” which will be a medium altitude long endurance system of unmanned aerial vehicle.


Saraswat also rubbished reports that doubts have been raised over the capability of the indigenously manufactured main battle tank Arjun. With the Indian army importing a large number of the T-90 tanks, questions have been raised over the requirement of Arjun.


However the director general was quick to dismiss the concerns, revealing that the DRDO has already dispatched half of the 124 tanks that were initially ordered and assured that the rest of the tanks will soon be provided to the army.






Female forces to reckon with

Insiya Amir, TNN, Feb 21, 2010, 12.17am IST

“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

– Charlotte Whitton, feminist


Every woman serving in India’s defence forces will agree with Charlotte Whitton. The Army counts barely a thousand female officers. That’s just 2.4% of the world’s second largest standing army. It’s a fraction of the 1.4 million soldiers in active service. The Indian Air Force has relatively better female representation at 6.7% and 3% of all naval officers are female. Clearly, it is hard to be a woman and enter the Indian defence forces.


But despite the challenge of being female and in the Forces, it’s not all ‘work’ for the ladies. There’s plenty of play too. So says a new book by Bhavna Chauhan, who graduated from the Officers Training Academy in Chennai in 2001. Chavan says ‘Where Girls Dare’ is “half fiction and half based on experience”.


It recounts the adventures and misadventures of 52 LCs (Lady Cadets) who train alongside 400 GCs (Gentlemen Cadets), some of whom fervently believe having females in the Forces is a really bad idea. But as the narrator concludes at the end, “They say practice makes a man perfect — a woman too!”


Chauhan, who retired as Major at the end of her five-year term in the Army, says that even though she is an ‘Army child’, joining up herself was a totally new experience. “But don’t ask me why I wanted to join, I don’t function so rationally!” says the 34-year-old, who now lives in Roorkee.


Not functioning rationally may have proved the best option for Chauhan, who flunked all her initial physical tests even though she was a “decent sportsperson in the real world”. She stood first in the order of merit and served in Operation Parakram, the largest military exercise carried out by any Asian country.


But then there is the flip side. Many women find it difficult to handle the pressures of serving in the Army, not least the rigorous training and disciplined life in an essentially male bastion. In 2006, Lieutenant Sushmita Chakraborty committed suicide at the Army Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur. Many women officers quit midway.


Defence analyst Maroof Raza says at least some of this can be blamed on uniquely Indian problems for women in the Indian Army. “Most of the troops that make up the combat arms come from very rustic backgrounds. They think simply and judge the ability of their peers and superiors with basic standards. ‘Can he run faster than me? Can he shoot better than me? Can he withstand more weight?’ So, no matter how educated or technically accomplished you are, it does not matter. Though this may sound harsh, it is the reality of soldiering,” he says.


Raza says that often it goes beyond gender and even a ‘city boy’ like him can find it hard to cope with being in the Army. His Army family background was not much of a cushion when he joined the Infantry. “Though women get a fair amount of insulation from the Army, handling peer pressure depends on the individual,” he says.


Surely that’s the same for any job on civvy street too? Of course, says Wing Commander Neelu Khatri, who joined the Air Force 16 years ago as one of its first female officers. “The only problem I faced was that in the initial years, every time I was posted to a new unit, I had to prove myself all over again. But that too waned as I spent more time in the service,” says Khatri, who works with a defence advisory service. As a female cadet, she says, she was treated exactly the same as the men. “We got no other special discount. There was absolutely no leeway in terms of discipline. And that motivated us to do better,” she insists.


Khatri says her Forces career disproves recent remarks by the Indian Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora about the need for female officers to hold off having children. “While I was pregnant, I used to climb on

top of tanks to inspect them. I got married and had children all the while serving the country. I was often told I was the only man in the unit,” she says.





No rethink on Arjun tank: DRDO chief

Special Correspondent


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) dispelled apprehensions that there was a question mark over the capability of the indigenously manufactured Arjun tank.


Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat dismissed reports that the tank was undergoing yet another series of revaluations vis-À-vis the Russian T-90 main battle tanks.


Dr. Saraswat said that half of the 124 tanks ordered by the Army had already rolled out, and there was no rethink about their induction. The comparative evaluation referred to in media reports was nothing but a trial of the tank’s role in the overall arsenal of the Army. “It is a normal process of identifying the role the tank will play in the plans,” he said.


“Let me make it clear, that these are not evaluation trials of the Arjun tank, as those trials, including in summer and winter months, are over and more than 50 per cent of the tanks have now rolled out of the factory for induction.”


Dr. Saraswat also refuted criticism about the performance of made-in-India INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles. He said there were no niggles in the INSAS rifle, a standard issue to the infantry and the paramilitary forces, and felt the complaints, if any, must be local in nature. The feedback from the Army indicated that the troops were satisfied with the rifle.


He said the integration of avionics and sensors on a Brazilian plane to produce an indigenous “eye-in-the-sky” was proceeding apace. The modifications of the Embraer aircraft to fit the surveillance systems were “in fairly good shape” and the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) could be ready for tests in two years, he said.






Modernization Plans in the Indian Army to Drive the Indian Land Combat Systems Market Observes Frost & Sullivan




NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Mumbai, India, 02/15/2010 - The Indian army's modernization drive along with the socio-political milieu in South Asia is boosting the Indian land combat systems market.




The relationship between the public and private sector enterprises is crucial for this market that is expected to experience significant growth in the next decade.


New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Indian Land Combat Systems Market Assessment, finds that the market is likely to earn revenues of $33.76 billion from 2009 to 2019. This projected number includes only fresh procurements and excludes maintenance and operations. The market segments covered in this research service are main battle tanks, artillery, missiles, vehicles, communication, and firearms.


If you are interested more information on this study, please send an email to Ravinder Kaur/ Nimisha Iyer, Corporate Communications, at ravinder.kaur[.] niyer[.], with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.


"The Indian army's strategy to upgrade obsolete platforms and technologies is the major driver for this market," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Gautam Ganapathy. "Investments for the procurement of new platforms are expected to increase over the next decade with regional and internal security high priority for the Indian defence establishment."


India has a host of potential regional aggressors that is driving the country to invest in advanced defence technologies to gain an edge over its adversaries. Moreover, India faces internal security issues with separatist sentiments and potential threat from naxalites high in several regions.


However, a key challenge for the Indian land combat systems market is the public-private partnership (PPP). While perceived negatively by the media and the common man, PPP will play a significant role in propelling the Indian defence industry to its zenith in the coming years. Additionally, understanding implementation pipelines is critical for the growth of this market.


"As some procurement happens over a period of more than a decade, the timing of arrival of orders is critical," explains Ganapathy. "The government should manage its resources with utmost diligence to overcome this challenge."


The market participants should provide integrated solutions, identify effective business partners, and develop efficient supply-chain strategies.


"Soldier modernisation programmes and the increasing use of electronics equipment could offer considerable revenue potential in the form of support contracts and life capability management," concludes Ganapathy. "The Indian army's expenditure on land-based training and simulation is anticipated to be $261.4 million by 2019, spurred on by increased procurement of land based platforms."


Indian Land Combat Systems Market Assessment is part of the Defence Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Infrastructure Security Market, Maritime Security Market Assessment – Middle East, and Border Security Market Assessment – Middle East. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.






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