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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

From Today's Papers - 22 Sep 2010

Col, Major killed in U’khand avalanche
S.M.A. Kazmi/TNS  Dehradun, September 21 Two Army officers were killed and 41 others injured when an army mountaineering expedition to Mount Kamet was hit by an avalanche in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.  According to army officials, Lt Col Puran Chandra and Major Manoj Gusain were killed in the avalanche. A team of six officers, three JCOs and 32 men of other ranks under the leadership of Col Ajay Kothiyal of 18 Garhwal Rifles, were participating in an expedition to Mount Kamet (7,756m) with an aim to select a team for an expedition to yet another difficult peak -- Mount Manaslu (8,163m) in Nepal -- scheduled for March next year.  The team got together at Joshimath on August 9 and after undergoing mandatory acclimatisation and pre-expedition training near Joshimath, opened a route for base camp on August 24. Moving successfully, the team established the Advance Base Camp (5,300m) on September 10 followed by occupation of Camp-I (5,800m).  While advancing ahead, the team divided itself into four sub-teams with 10 members each to select participants for Mount Manaslu. After two teams had completed their selection process, the third team which included Lt Colonel Chandra of 9 PARA Field Regiment, the Deputy leader, and Major Gusain of 11 KUMAON Regiment went on to occupy Camp-I.  As per information obtained from the team leader, no movement was carried out ahead of Camp-I owing to bad weather from September 17 to 19. A fierce avalanche hit camp-I in the afternoon of September 19 and buried it completely under the snow. The expedition leader and personnel of other ranks managed to extricate themselves out of the accumulated snow. Despite desperate efforts made by the survivors to extricate Lt Colonel Chandra and Major Gusain, they could not be rescued alive.  Kamet is the second highest mountain in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, after Nanda Devi (7,816 m).

Accidental firing kills CRPF jawan 
Jamshedpur, September 21 A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan died when his service rifle accidentally went off in Haludboni near here.  “Mohan Singh Bist, 39, a resident of Uttarakhand, was cleaning his rifle when it accidentally went off in the camp this morning,” Ranjit Kumar Rural Police Superintendent said.  A case has been registered and inquest proceedings were on into the matter.  “Bist, who suffered the bullet injury near his stomach, was immediately rushed to M G M Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. We have ordered further investigations into the matter,” Kumar added. — PTI

Antony to discuss Pak’s ‘dangerous designs’ with US
Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, September 21 During his forthcoming visit to the USA, Defence Minister AK Antony will take up the issue of dangerous designs of Pakistan’s continued support to militancy and express fears that the military aid and equipment given by the USA to Pakistan will be directed at India.  On AFSPA, his deputy bats for Army  Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju on Tuesday said the Army was being “demonised” and made a “scapegoat” in Jammu and Kashmir. “It was not responsible for the current turmoil in the Valley….The Army’s presence has in fact been helping the law and order situation,” said Raju as he put his weight firmly behind the forces.  Ruling out dilution or revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, Raju said it was an “essential instrument” for the armed forces to move confidently in fighting terrorism.   Three senior Navy, IAF and Army commanders will accompany Antony on the two-day visit starting September 26. Admiral DK Joshi, who heads the strategic command at Andaman Nicobar Islands, Lt Gen Bikram Singh, GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command, and Air Marshal AK Gogoi, DG air operations, will be on the trip.  Antony will meet his US counterpart Secretary Defence Robert Gates. This is more like a reciprocal visit. Gates had visited India earlier this year.  India’s focus during the visit will be regional security issues like the developments in Afghanistan. India is one of the countries that want the US-led NATO forces to stay on longer in the strife-torn country lest it should slip into the hands of the Taliban.  On Pakistan, India is looking to put things in perspective as regards its neighbour’s “fight against terror”. India has always opined that Pakistan was being selective and not taking action against groups that fomented trouble in India.

Dysfunctional politics, bureaucratic sloth keeping India down
Politicians and bureaucrats are working overtime to project India as a super power in the making. However , they are unable to manage every day affairs of the country. CJ: Lt. Col.(Retd)..   Tue, Sep 21, 2010 11:15:37 IST
 PRESIDENT OBAMA is not only worried about the Bangalorians garnering all the BPO business at the cost of the inhabitants of his city of Buffalo but also about the Indians overtaking the Americans even in the field of education. He has also sounded a bugle about Indians flying past the Americans in space exploration as well. Well, Barack Obama being the President of the only super power in the world , seems privy to things which we , the ignorant Indians , are not aware of.  Apparently he knows that we are a superpower in the making even though a vast majority of Indians have no clue about it.  Apart from the American President , the others who share this secret are our politicians and the bureaucrats. Just look at the growth figures that are flaunted by these worthies. After all , aren’t we poised to register 8.5% growth in GDP when the world all around us has been down in dumps aka deep depression?  Wonder what GDP is! Must be the Gulf Dividing Poor (from the rich) , since any increase in the GDP serves not only to widen the gulf between the rich and the poor but also to increase the ever growing class of people living below poverty line [BPL]. It is an irrefutable fact that during the period of 8.5% growth in GDP , even the simple dal roti has gone out of reach of the poor.  The GDP [Gross Domestic Product] figures flogged by the government ad-nauseam provide no consolation to the common man battling to make both ends meet. All the same, it is so wonderful to live in a dream world, and our politicians and bureaucrats deserve accolades for keeping us enthralled with their magic figures and the ubiquitous promises, which are repeated ad infinitum albeit without fulfillment. And yet the gullible population of this would be super power keeps falling for these dream promises again and again. It is about time we carried out a reality check on our potential super power status.  According to a new Multi-dimensional Poverty Index [MPI] , developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support, eight Indian states viz Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Rajasthan together account for more poor people than the 26 poorest African nations combined. These findings are contained in the 2010 UNDP Human Development report which is to be published in October this year.  A Harvard School of Public Health study says that while South East Asia region has 2.6 operation theatres per lakh of population, India, the so called super power in the making, has a mere 1.3 operation theatres per lakh. And still worse is the fact that these operation theatres don’t even have basic safety equipments for safe surgery for example, oxygen and monitors etc.  We have schools which exist only in government records or schools where there are only one or two teachers for a hundred or more students or schools which have no building. We have RTE [Right to Education] in our statute book but as in the case of many other feel good articles in our constitution , do not have the will or the means to enforce this one also.  Education being in the concurrent list in the constitution, Centre and the States by compulsion pull in different directions to prove it so. So , while the Centre abolishes the Board exams for class tenth and is in the process of doing the same in respect of class 12th also, the J&K government introduces Board exams for class three! While the Centre has abolished the Board exams to take off pressure on the grown up students , J&K has chosen to put the toddlers under pressure to fix up accountability of the teachers ! – toddlers be damned.  According to an international survey , Indian bureaucracy is the most lethargic , corrupt , unresponsive and is highly bound by red tapism. It is no wonder that our decision making process takes the cake in all respects. The wheels of our almighty bureaucracy turn and churn in majestic elephantine speed and the ‘sarkar’ avoids taking decisions and responsibility as a rule.  Our decision making process is quite complementary to our performance in implementing the decisions that do get taken or the plans approved. Nothing gets completed in the prescribed time frame leading to cost escalations on the one hand and delay in providing the planned benefits to the intended beneficiaries on the other.  The Comptroller and Auditor General [CAG] report regarding functioning of Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee submitted to the government in 2009 , had warned one year back that preparations for Commonwealth games were way off target.  The Project was awarded to India in the year 2003 and it took the Organizing Committee two complete years to submit its budget to the government in Nov 2005. Another seventeen months were to elapse before the budget was approved by the government in Apr 2007.  The project and risk management experts were appointed in Mar 2008 and the games master plan was finalized as late as Nov 2008. It was in Nov 2008 only that the master plan was finally sent for approval of Commonwealth Games Federation. In other words , five years were spent on no more than mere paperwork. It is no wonder that we are still struggling to keep up to the deadline , even while the games are almost about to begin.  According to reports , Rohtang tunnel was conceived during the Prime Minister ship of Indira Gandhi in 1983 and the project was approved in 1987 when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Approach roads to the tunnel were made in 2002 – fifteen years after the approval - during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister. The construction of the tunnel was finally started in the year 2010 – twenty seven years after the approval! If the planning stage has taken 27 years , going by our past experience , it is anybody’s guess as to how long would it take to implement this plan.  Katra-Udhampur railway line , a distance of nearly thirty kilometers has been in the making for nearly a decade now and the completion is nowhere in sight for at least another couple of years. Compared against this, according to newspaper reports , the British started construction of 97 Kilometers Kalka Simla railway line , which has numerous tunnels and technologically marvelous bridges , in the year 1901 and completed the whole project in 1903. And this feat was achieved by them a century ago , when technology was not as advanced as it is now.  We have huge stocks of food grains, some of these in our godowns providing feast to the rodents and a major portion outside the godowns in the open , where exposed to the vagaries of the weather , the grains are rotting , even while the unfortunate poor are dying of hunger.  According to an estimate , around 10 lakh tons of food grains have been spoilt in the past ten years. Experts opine that this huge stock could have been sufficient for one crore people for one whole year. And this is an ongoing saga with no redeeming measures in sight.  The best thing about politicians and bureaucrats is that hardly any one of them is ever held accountable for any mishap , loss of life or the monetary losses suffered by the country due to their casual and cavalier attitude. None of them ever gets punished. On the contrary , they keep rising in their respective fields.  No wonder that China has cruised past Japan to become the world’s second largest economy even though economic reforms in both India and China started around the same time in the nineteen nineties. What is more alarming is that in 1990 , the Indian economy was reportedly eighty percent of the size of China’s , whereas now it is only twenty five percent.  Do we have it in us to become a super power in the world ? We are a soft state , have a decision making system which is nothing but paralytic and our monolithic bureaucracy - a virtual sarkar by itself - is not accountable at all to anybody. Unless urgent course correction is initiated we might lose our way to becoming a super power.

Kashmiri Pandits meet Mukherjee, oppose AFSPA dilution
September 20, 2010 17:17 IST Tags: Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Ramesh Manvati, Pranab Mukherjee, Panun Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  Click! Kashmiri Pandits have impressed upon the central government that there should be no dilution of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and nothing should be done to weaken the state's integration with the country.  A group of Kashmir [ Images ]i Pandits met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] in Delhi [ Images ] on Sunday night and apprised him of their views on the current volatile situation in the state. The delegation of Pandits, led by Panun Kashmir leader Ramesh Manvati, emphasised that the Centre should not accept demands for dilution or withdrawal of the AFSPA from the state as it ensures crucial legal protection to the security forces.  "The security forces must be provided the constitutional protection as they are playing a crucial role in preservation of the country's sovereignty," Manvati said. He said the delegation also underlined that nothing should be done to weaken the state's integration with the country and no demand that could amount to secession should be accepted.  Mukherjee shared the concerns of the Pandit delegation and assured that the country's sovereignty would be protected at all costs, Manvati said.  The delegation, which also included L N Dhar and H L Jad, demanded reorganisation of the state, setting up of a commission to go into the causes of militancy and ouster of four lakh Pandits from the valley 20 years ago. It also sought modification in the employment package under which 1,000 Pandits would get jobs in Kashmir valley.  The Pandits said the jobs should be provided in Jammu as the situation was not yet conducive for them to go to Kashmir. The Pandit delegation complained that the suggestions given by them at the prime minister's roundtable conferences had been completely ignored.

MoD clears joint amphibious exercise at US base near China
Manu Pubby Posted online: Wed Sep 22 2010, 01:29 hrs New Delhi : A year after the Defence Ministry backed out of a military exercise at a US base near China at the last minute, a go-ahead has been given for a joint amphibious exercise at the US Marines base in Okinawa, Japan. The war game, which will involve senior officers of the Indian Navy and Army is scheduled to start later this week and will continue till October.  The same exercise, under the Habu Nag series of war games, was cancelled at the final stage in 2009 when 12 officers who had been earmarked were sent back to their formations days before they were scheduled to depart. While no reason was given for the last minute pull-out, regional sensitivities were thought to be behind the move. Okinawa is located close to China and has a significant US presence where several military bases are concentrated.  The island has also been in the news recently for frequent spotting of Chinese naval vessels, including submarines by Japanese self-defence forces. A Japanese white paper on defence has also raised a red flag over the increasing operations by the Chinese Navy near the Okinawa island.  India is sending a 14-member delegation for the Habu Nag exercise that will consist of officers from the Indian Navy and Army. The exercise has been described as “very unique” by a US government official who said that there aren’t many marine forces across the world that carry out such operations.  This also brings out the increasing military exercises that are being carried out by Indian forces with their US counterparts. A US official said that India is conducting more exercises with American forces than any other nation in the world. While a brigade-level exercise will take place in Alaska next month where 200 army personnel are expected to participate, a special forces exercise is already under way at Belgaum.  However, military relations with China have chilled after the recent denial of a visa to Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal who was to lead a military delegation to Beijing on the grounds that he commanded troops in a “disputed area”. Sources say that it is too soon to comment on whether a joint exercise with the Chinese army scheduled for next year will go ahead following this.

Indian Naval Hospital Ship Asvini Turns 60 
Manish Desai writes: ‘Hrithik Roshan, a gallant officer of the Indian Army and a much reformed gentleman, emerges out of the hospital and walks straight into the waiting arms of Priety Zinta.’ This is the closing scene of 2004 Farhan Akhtar film ‘Lakshya’. But, what is making news today, is the hospital from which Hrithik Roshan emerged after recuperating from the  ‘wounds suffered during the Kargilconflict. ‘  INHS Asvini, the tertiary care teaching hospital of the Indian Navy moved into the Diamond Jubilee year on September 18.  It is the oldest and the largest hospital of the armed forces. Though the INHS Asvini is celebrating the   diamond jubilee of its commissioning in the Indian Navy, the hospital itself has been there for over two centuries, providing medical care to the Mumbai Garrison.  Located in Colaba, the southern  most tip of  Mumbai city, Asvini is housed in a set of heritage buildings tucked amidst verdant foliage. The journey began in 1756 when it started functioning in barracks as King’s Seamen Hospital for in-patients. Later, it was amalgamated with the Sepoy Hospital for Indian soldiers. The hospital was handed over to the Army in 1863 and remained with it even after India became free of the British rule. It was then known as the MilitaryHospital, Colaba.  On September 18, 1951, It was commissioned as the first shore hospital of the Indian Navy and was named INHS (Indian Naval Hospital Ship) Asvini, after the twin Asvini Kumars of Hindu mythology who are credited with unmatched knowledge and skills in medicine.  As the years passed by ,bed strength of INHS Asvini increased from 300 to 600 in 1966 and to 792 in 1976.  In January 1977, Asvini was classified as a Command Hospital with a bedstrength of 825.  Other Command Hospitals of the Indian Armed Forces are located in Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh (Chandimandir) and Udhampur.  Till the early 90s even though the hospital grew in size and capability, no concerted effort had been made to create suitable infrastructure for this flagship hospital of the Indian Navy. In May 1992 the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs accorded approval for the modernization plans at an over all cost of Rs 136 crores.  In 1996, work started on the construction of a new building, while restoring the Heritage buildings to their pristine glory. The new building site was adjacent to the existing hospital,  and due to Herculean efforts of the hospital staff, patient care was never compromised while the construction of the buildings and the subsequent shift to the new buildings took place.  New ICU unit was set up, the number of Critical Care beds was increased, centrally air conditioned operation theatres were commissioned as part of the modernization plan. A full fledged Cardiothoracic Centre, Radio Therapy unit, Invitro Fertilization unit were also added along with advanced CT Scan and MRI imaging equipment.  A modern mechanical laundry replaced the earlier systems of manual washing by dhobies.  In place of multiple spread out kitchens a central composite kitchen with all modern gadgets was set up to meet the special needs of the patients.  Over the years, INHS Asvini grew from strength to strength with many facilities and departments being added.  In addition to providing state-of-the-art medical care, the hospital is also a teaching institution of repute, recognized by the University of Mumbai for Post-Graduate courses in all major medical and surgical disciplines. Training schools for nursing and para-medical staff are also run at INHS Asvini.  Training is coordinated by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM), which is the only institute in the country to conduct medical research related to divers, submariners and naval aviators. The INM has a diving chamber complex where simulated dives are carried out for research purposes.  While INHS Asvini is primarily a hospital for defence personnel and their families, it does its bit of public service whenever the opportunity arises.   The service it rendered during the Gujaratearthquake must find a special mention.  Military was the first to reach and surgical teams from INHS Asvini reached Kutch within 6 hours of the disaster.  They set up camp in the worst affected areas, treating the injured victims. The teams were even able to perform some caesarean operations in Kutch.  Later, the hospital set up a special 100 bed wing for quake victims, who were shipped in by naval warships from the most distant areas like Kandla. INHS rising to occasion was not unusual as a defence observer remarked “although all hospitals are supposed to have  disaster management cells, the military ones take this responsibility very seriously, as they know the importance of being prepared at all times.”  INHS Asvini today is a large 825 bed hospital with state-of-the-art treatment facilities, blending corporate sophistication with the culture of care and nurture traditional to a service hospital.  Over the years, this iconic multi-speciality centre, commanded by Surgeon Rear Admiral KK Singh, has evolved into one of the finest hospitals in the city of Mumbai and become a shining jewel of the Armed Forces Medical Service.

Antony to raise Pakistan, China issues during US trip
 India's concerns over US military aid to Pakistan, threats from terror groups in South Asia and China's military assertiveness in the region are some of the issues that Defence Minister A K Antony is likely to raise with Washington during his September 27-28 visit.  Antony, who will meet US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Advisor General James Jones, will also discuss pending bilateral agreements such as communication interoperability, logistics support and geo-spatial cooperation, which the Americans have been pressing for in order to upgrade the defence relations to the next level.  Antony, who will leave for Washington this weekend on the invitation of Gates, is also likely to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the trip, but this engagement is yet to be finalised.  "Security issues - both regional and global are likely to come up prominently during the talks. The two sides will also discuss measures to expand defence cooperation in various areas," a Defence Ministry statement in New Delhi said.  The Defence Minister will be taking along with him the next leadership of the Indian armed forces -- Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Bikram Singh and Andaman and Nicobar tri-services Command Admiral D K Joshi, who are tipped to be the next Army and Navy chiefs respectively -- apart from IAF's Director General (Air/Operations) Air Marshal A K Gogoi.  Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Adviser to Defence Minister Sundaram Krishna too will be part of the high-level delegation, Defence Ministry officials said in New Delhi.  Concerned over US military aid to Pakistan being misused against it, Antony had recently asked the Obama administration to establish a "monitoring mechanism" to ensure that this does not happen.  Antony had raised the issue during his meeting with both General Jones and also US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, who were on a visit to New Delhi in July this year.  The Defence Minister had told the US security top brass that American arms aid to Pakistan was disproportionate to the war on terror for which it was meant.  That apart, he will also discuss the security situation in the region arising out of threats from terror groups operating from Pakistani soil and in its borders with Afghanistan.  Antony will also share information with the US on the increased presence of Chinese military in the region, including the recent reports of PLA's presence in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and their naval manoeuvers in the Indian Ocean Region.

AFSPA cannot be removed: Pallam Raju
2010-09-21 14:00:00 Last Updated: 2010-09-21 14:18:04  New Delhi: The Indian Army is not responsible for the current turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said here Tuesday, ruling out any dilution or revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the troubled state.  'The army is not responsible for the current situation in Kashmir,' Raju told reporters at an interaction at the Indian Women's Press Corps here.  He said AFSPA is a 'necessary security blanket' which the army needs to fight terrorism.  'The situation in Kashmir has not come down to normalcy and the (AFSPA) Act cannot be amended or removed even from select areas,' he added.  Kashmir's political parties, barring the Congress, as also the separatist groups, have demanded the lifting of the AFSPA. An all-party delegation is currently in the state to review the ground situation in the wake of 103 people, maingly teenagers and youth, being killed since June 11 in retaliatory fire by the security forces against stone-pelting protesters in the Kashmir Valley.

Indigenous anti-mine, snow footwear for soldiers
New Delhi, Sep 21, PTI:  Troops deployed in high-altitude and naxal-affected areas are set to get designer footwear to protect them from 'anti-personnel' mines and frost bite.  Indigenous anti-mine and snow boots designed by Footwear Design and Development Institute are on user trial by the Indian Army.  "The shoes made by FDDI along with other contenders are on user trial by the Army and a decision in this regard is expected to be taken soon," said an Army official requesting anonymity.  "The present anti-mine shoe used by the army comes from the Czech Republic. It weighs around 4 kilograms and is uncomfortable. The shoe made by us is lighter at 2.9 kgs and is on trial," says V B Parvatikar, Director (Technical) and the main architect of the shoes. "The pressure in a mine blast is 45000kg/cm square. The anti-mine shoe's shock absorption brings it down to 160kg/cm square. So, now, a soldier's bones will get fractured in the worst cases where as earlier, they used to get powdered," he says.  The anti-mine boot has passed the blast test and is a contribution to human welfare with the objective to reduce soft-tissue, bone and vascular injuries to the foot and leg of victims involved in antipersonnel mine explosions.  Anti-mine boots are combat design boot for troops with direct moulded polyether PU sole with chrome tanned leather upper lined with foam and vegetable tanned nappa leather. Army's MGO (Master General Ordnance) is looking for snow shoes for defence personnel at snow hound areas, high altitudes with snow cladded mountains, varying and difficult terrains.  "Frost bite is a major worry at higher altitudes. The present shoes being used now come from Italy and Russia. The snow shoe made by us has longer life," says Parvatikar. The outer shell of the snow boot is made of special plastic to withstand temperature from -60°C to 100°C. Its surface is highly scratch resistant and has high tear strength.  The outer sole is made of natural rubber for high skid resistance even at difficult terrains and in snow whereas the outer shell has been provided with special metallic (corrosion resistant) trims and flat laces for quick donning and doffing.  The inner shoe is made of leather, synthetic, textile and sample lining to provide snug fitting, warmth and comfort in higher altitudes.  While the life of the snow boot is longer, anti-mine shoe becomes useless after a mine blast.  "There are problems of supply as these shoes are imported at the moment and cost around 12,000 to 13,000 per pair. We have brought down the cost to 2,000 to 3,000," says Parvatikar.

Military engineers’ conference gets under way at CME
 Express News Service Posted online: Tue Sep 21 2010, 01:27 hrs Pune : Lt Gen AK Nanda, AVSM, Engineer-in-Chief (E-in-C) and Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Engineers, will deliberate upon the major issues affecting the Corps  The Chief Engineers (CE) and Commandants Conference of the Corps of Engineers is being conducted at the College of Military Engineering (CME) from September 20 to 22. ‘Lt Gen AK Nanda, AVSM, Engineer-in-Chief (E-in-C) and Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Engineers and other senior officers of the Corps who will deliberate upon the major issues affecting the Corps, covering combat engineering support to the Army matters related to Corps of Engineers, as well as work services for the defence services.  The information was given by a press release issued by the CME.Some of the issues discussed upon on day one include modernisation of equipment and training setup in the Corps, infrastructural development for the defence forces, policies and issues facing the Corps of Engineers in particular, as well as the road map for the continuous upgradation of technology to meet the requirement of provision of effective engineering support for the Indian Army in the future.  Day one of the bi annual conference witnessed discussion on combat matters all through the schedule followed by a musical night called Mehfil.  The highlight of day two, would be core of chief engineers matters, and on day three, work issues.

Honeywell Develops New Engine for Indian Air Force Jaguar Fighters
Daily News & Updates Dated 21/9/2010 Printer Friendly Subscribe  Honeywell's aerospace division is exploring opportunities for forging partnerships with Indian companies that are keen to address the demand for offsets in defence deals, said Pritam Bhavnani, President of Honeywell's Aerospace Division in India, on Tuesday.  Speaking to reporters here, Mr. Bhavnani said, Honeywell had developed a new engine for the Jaguar aircraft. "We have provided the new engine to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and the Indian Air Force," he said.  About Honeywell's sourcing agreement with HAL for engines for turbo prop aircraft, Mr. Bhavnani said the first phase of the project was almost over. In the second phase HAL is to supply 400 additional parts. The third phase is likely to be completed in 2011, he said.  The sourcing agreement between the two companies requires HAL to supply Honeywell 600 aircraft engines over a 10-15-year period, Mr. Bhavnani said. Referring to the role played by Honeywell's facilities in Bangalore, Mr. Bhavnani said employees here had contributed to the development of the smart runaway landing and smart landing system.  He said the newly developed system would help aircraft pilots have "better situational awareness, especially in adverse weather conditions." He said Emirates airline and Alaska Airlines, among others, had shown interest in procuring the new system.  Honeywell employs 11,000 persons in India, constituting 8 per cent of its global workforce.

Russia Tests Domestically Built UAVs
Daily News & Updates Dated 20/9/2010 Printer Friendly Subscribe  Russian domestically built unmanned aerial vehicles have completed a series of tests, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.  The tests were carried out in Nizhny Novgorod Region in central Russia and were observed by a special military commission led by Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov, chief commander of the Ground Forces. Domestic UAV manufacturers were found to have made "significant progress" in improving their models, many of which can now enter service.  Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of indigenous drones, which eventually failed tests.  Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in November 2009 that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements for speed, altitude and other specifications. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia plans to team up with foreign firms, in particular Israel and France, to jointly manufacture UAVs on its soil.  On September 10 the Defense Ministry said some 50 Russian military servicemen were undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built UAVs and that a total of twelve had been bought.  Russia has reportedly signed two UAV contracts with Israel. Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).  The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year. Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint $300-million venture to produce UAVs.

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