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Friday, 8 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 08 Oct 2010






Delhi, Moscow to jointly develop advance stealth jet Will match US F-22 raptor; pact to be inked soon

Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, October 7 India and its old military partner Russia will soon ink a deal to jointly develop an advance stealth fighter.  Announcing this here today, Defence Minister AK Antony today said that he has sorted out all issues regarding the joint development of the fifth generation of fighter aircraft (FGFA) with his Russian counterpart AE Serdyukov.  Apart from this, the joint development of the multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) will be the other major military programme between the two nations over the next ten years.  The FGFA deal is expected to be signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s December-visit.  Notably, today’s announcement balances out the “perceived” tilt in India’s decision to buy a series of aircrafts from the US. This includes medium haul transporters, the C-130-J, long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, the P8-I, and some VVIP jets from Boeing. India is likely to announce in November its decision to buy heavy-lift transporters, the C-17 globemaster, from the US. At present, the IAF flies only USSR-origin transporters. A majority of its reconnaissance aircraft are also from the same stable.  The FGFA will be the IAF’s frontline fighter from 2016-2017 onwards and will cost the nation $ 25 billion, dwarfing the much-hyped $11-billion deal for the purchase of another 126 fighters. With stealth technology, super maneuverability and supersonic speed, it will match the F-22 raptor produced by the US.  Antony, while explaining the FGFA deal, said: “All issues (were) discussed and solved. Some technical formalities between the two governments are pending and we will be able to complete them very soon.”  India will get anywhere between 250 and 300 FGFA, while the number of the MTA would be 45, said Antony. The Russians have already test flown a 30-tonne prototype of the FGFA, known as the PAK-FA or by its shorter name T-50. The Russians today handed over a contract, which suggests a cost sharing formula for its substantial investments in design, development and testing. Sources said the Indian Defence Ministry has agreed as the Russians will transfer technology.  In case of the MTA, the two nations formed a $600 million joint enterprise in September for designing and producing it. The planes will be designed at carrying load of around 20 tonne, with speeds in the region of 800 miles, and will be an asset on shorter runways in Ladakh and the North East. Design specialists from Ilyushin, maker of best-selling transport plane, IL-76, will be on board.  Notably, India flagged to Russia about the delays it was facing in connection with some military projects. Sources said this included the upgrade programme for the MiG 29 fighters, delivery of nuclear submarine ‘Nerpa’ on lease, transfer of technology for critical equipment of T-90 tanks. New Delhi also wants establishment of repair and overhaul facilities for Russian origin defence equipment within India.









They sustain in dense forests, thanks to IAF

Kusum Arora /TNS  Pasighat (AP), October 7 Sustaining life without road connectivity in dense jungles and at a high altitude indeed sounds to be a Herculean task. But for the local population of Pasighat district (Arunachal Pradesh), it has become possible. Courtesy: the Indian Air Force (IAF).  In fact, the IAF is the only lifeline for seven villages - Galling, Singha, Paling, Chaklagam, Aneni, Mippi and Desali - of Pasighat district. In the absence of any motorable road to these villages, the local population depends on the IAF for the monthly supply of dry rations.  The Mi-17 from the Mohanbari Air Force Station conducts 10 sorties in a month to provide ration to the villagers at Pasighat Aerodrome. However, the sorties usually reduce to five in a month during the monsoon, which inundate the low-lying areas of these villages.  Abdul Majid, a resident of Pasighat said: “We cannot imagine life without the IAF. From providing rations to conducting evacuation operations during flash floods or any other exigency, we solely depend on the IAF.”  Talking to The Tribune, District Food and Civil Supplies Officer Gautam Mibang said since there was no road connectivity and weather also remains unpredictable, we constantly keep in touch with the Mohanbari Air Force Station. “The incessant rains from May to September, fear of flash floods and problem of soil erosion virtually brings life to a halt,” he added.  The IAF sources in Delhi said: “Not just Pasighat, there are many other areas in Aruncahal Pradesh which are maintained by the IAF. The IAF is also playing a significant role in road construction as the helicopters ferry equipment to these remote places.










Interpol issues arrest warrants against 2 Pak majors, others

  New Delhi, October 7 International arrest warrants were issued by the Interpol against five Pakistani nationals, including two serving Army Majors, for their alleged role in the Mumbai terror attack and plotting to carry out more strikes in India.  The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the role of Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley in India, had approached the court of the Delhi Additional Sessions Judge, which issued a non-bailable warrant against the five Pakistanis.  The Interpol Red Corner Notices were issued against Illyas Kashmiri, Major Sameer Ali, Major Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Hashim alias “Pasha” and Sajid Majid alias Sajid Mir, a NIA official said today. The action followed a request from India. India has already secured a Red Corner Notice against Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafeez Saeed, his close aide Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Mohammed Ramadhan Mohammed Siddiqui alias Abu Hamza.  The court issued the non-bailable warrant against the five — all of whom speak Hindi, English and Urdu fluently — after the NIA submitted the interrogation report of Headley conducted by its officials during their visit to Chicago in June. The names of these five were also included in several dossiers sent by India to Pakistan.  Headley helped the NIA identify voices of handlers giving instructions to the holed-up terrorists during the 60-hour carnage in Mumbai in November 2008.  The handlers included Abu Hamza, the man who carried out the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and a key planner, instructor and handler. He also identified Sajid Majid, a top LeT terrorist, who asked the terrorists in Chabad House to ensure that none of the Israelis were left alive. Abdur Rehman retired in 2007 from the Pakistan Army as a Major.  He worked closely with Lashkar-e-Toiba and coordinated the activities of Headley. Major Iqbal was Headley’s handler who arranged funds and training in intelligence-gathering. Iqbal gave him $25,000 in August 2006 to visit India. Another Pakistani Major Sameer Ali was also named by the Pakistani-American terrorist. — PTI   The Notorious Duo  l Major Iqbal, 45: Headley’s handler  He arranged funds and training in intelligence-gathering, gave Headley $25,000 in August 2006 to visit India. He was the key handler of the 10 terrorist who attacked Mumbai and is named in dossiers submitted to Pak.  l Major Sameer Ali, 44: Named in dossier submitted to Pak  The Pakistan Army officer played active role in Mumbai attack and was named by Headley during his interrogation











The road ahead: Challenges and opportunities

Kapil Kak Posted online: 2010-10-08 00:46:52+05:30  As the Indian Air Force celebrates its 78th anniversary, the nation and its air warriors can look back with justifiable pride at its stellar achievements.  Starting with one ‘incomplete’ squadron on the eve of World War II, the Burma Campaign was the first regular war in which the IAF ‘drew blood and also bled’. And, significantly, it marked the transition from ‘army co-operation’ to air dominance—IAF’s raison d’etre, over decades—when the intrepid Wing Commander ‘Jumbo’ Majumdar undertook a bombing mission on the Japanese Mae Hong Son airfield in northern Thailand.  Catapulted into the India-Pakistan War of 1947-48 within 72 days of Independence, the IAF acquitted itself admirably. With amazing operational improvisation, the early pioneers brought home lessons that are valid even today. The riverbed landing at Leh, night operations at Poonch by Dakota transport aircraft in the face of enemy fire and their employment as bombers, and in reverse the employment of Hawker Tempest fighters for supply dropping at the besieged Skardu garrison are by now the stuff of air power folklore!  Regrettably, non-employment of combat air power during the 1962 India-China War precluded a far more effective joint force employment. It is not widely known that the 20-odd Chinese Air Force bomber squadrons were no match for IAF’s 24 combat squadrons. In the annals of India’s defence, this missed opportunity would always remain a lesson for future air warriors.  In 1965, the IAF made the best of very daunting odds of techno-operational qualitative asymmetry that favoured the Pakistan Air Force. The 1971 war was doubtless IAF’s finest hour, for the crucial role it played in the first-ever employment of Indian armed forces for a successful politico-strategic outcome. In the 1999 Kargil conflict as well, the performance of IAF has been a source of admiration to the Indian people.  Worryingly, with marginal and limited modernisation during the 1990s, progressive phase out of its combat mainstay, the Mig 21s, in large numbers and without matching induction of the planned LCA as replacements have together served to blunt IAF’s combat potential today.  No doubt induction of a range of force multipliers in recent years, the IL 76-based Airborne Warning and Control System, IL 78 in-flight refueller aircraft, dedicated special operations C 130Js, and the impending multi-role combat aircraft and the heavy-lift C 17s would serve to somewhat redress the aerospace imbalance. It is also encouraging that the IAF is being beefed up to 42 combat squadron strength by 2020.  On its 78th birthday, the IAF cannot afford to rest on its laurels. There is need to analytically undertake a net assessment of the challenges it may be called upon to meet. From among the many challenges that the IAF faces, four specific areas deserve special attention.  First, the increasingly changing nature of wars have made the Air Force central to conventional and nuclear deterrence, and coercion and punitive effect. This makes for air dominance of land, sea and air battle-spaces being critical to war-fighting success, regardless of the nature of that war.  This capacity build-up has a direct co-relationship with the second challenge: that of shaping the environment for aerospace force application in India’s strategic neighbourhood. As India’s regional responsibilities increase, energy security, trade protection and emergency ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ power assistance to friendly countries would evidently demand effects-based aerospace operations. These could involve coordination with maritime forces and include strategic airlift of ‘boots’ on ground.  The third challenge of building future aerospace leadership through education, strategic orientation and intellectual capacity enhancement is the most daunting. In his book, How to Control the Military (1969), John Kenneth Galbraith described the Air Force Generals as “the most comprehensive literate warriors since Julius Caesar”. Encouragingly, the IAF leadership of recent years has demonstrated increasing proclivity towards the need for transition from ‘stick-and-throttle’ centricity to education and intellectual capacity enhancement of future leaders.  Last, a potent aerospace capability demands a concomitant indigenous industry. Pro-active policy initiatives, moving beyond the Ordnance factory-public sector origins to civil-military, public-private and Indian-owned foreign partnerships are imperative. Offsets must be linked to setting up of maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities and aerospace parks.  —Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak (retd) is Additional Director, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi











How India is undoing China's string of pearls

October 07, 2010 19:24 IST Tags: Vietnam, India America, South China Sea, ASEAN, New Delhi Share this Ask Users Write a Comment New Delhi's [ Images ] defence establishment has quietly put in place India's own counter-measures to woo and bolster China's neighbours as a long-term strategy, says Nitin Gokhale  One of the least understood and less scrutinised facets of India's diplomacy is perhaps New Delhi's 'Look East' policy, now nearly two decades old. Click!  Launched during Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao's regime primarily to try and integrate India's newly liberalising economy with that of the Asian 'tigers', that policy is now quietly evolving into a more robust military-to-military partnership with important nations in that region.  Over the past three months alone, top Indian military leadership has made important trips to key nations in South-East and East Asia -- Vietnam, South Korea, Japan [ Images ], Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.  Indian Army [ Images ] chief General V K Singh was in Vietnam in July, furthering an already strong strategic relationship. General Singh's visit was the first in a decade by an Indian army chief.  Apart from meeting his Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Chief of General Staff Pham Hong Loi, the Indian army chief discussed with Vietnam's National Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh, the road map to implement the 2009 memorandum of understanding between the two ministries of defence.  Two areas where India and Vietnam will focus their immediate attention were training of military personnel and dialogue between experts on strategic affairs on both sides.  General Singh's visit will be followed by Defence Minister A K Antony's mid-October trip to Hanoi when he will participate in the first-ever regional meeting of political leaders in the defence field.  As the current chair of ASEAN, Vietnam has invited India to the ASEAN+8 defence ministers meeting. The 10-member ASEAN will be joined by Australia [ Images ], China, India, Japan, New Zealand [ Images ], Russia [ Images ], South Korea, and the United States at that important conclave.  Although Indo-Vietnam political and diplomatic ties can be traced back to Jawaharlal Nehru's [ Images ] time, it was only in the post 1990s that the two nations decided to build and strengthen military-to-military relationship.  This development was a result of two main reasons -- one historical, the other contemporary.  To begin with, both India and Vietnam had borne the brunt of Chinese aggression -- India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979.  And two, the collapse of the Soviet Union, for long a security guarantor for both India and Vietnam in Asia, left New Delhi and Hanoi without an all-weather, all-powerful friend.  Both India and Vietnam, who have long-pending territorial disputes with China thus decided to unite against their common adversary. Located on the edges of South-East Asia, Vietnam is ideally placed to prevent China's expansion into the South China Sea.  So, for over a decade now, India has been providing Vietnam with assistance in beefing up its naval and air capabilities in an attempt to deny China total supremacy in the South China Sea.  Both New Delhi and Hanoi traditionally sourced majority of their military hardware from the erstwhile Soviet Union. That commonality has meant that both can share expertise and resources available with their respective armed forces in terms of handling and maintaining the Soviet-era weaponry.  India, for instance, has repaired and upgraded over 100 MiG 21 planes of the Vietnamese Air Force and supplied them with enhanced avionics and radar systems. Indian Air Force pilots have also been training their Vietnamese counterparts.  The Indian Navy, by far larger than the Vietnamese navy, has been supplying critical spares to Hanoi for its Russian origin ships and missile boats.  After Antony's 2007 visit to Vietnam, the Indian and Vietnamese coast guards have engaged in joint patrols, and both navies participated in a joint exercise in 2007.  But Vietnam is not the only nation India is inching closer to in China's immediate neighbourhood.  Antony, who is fast emerging as a quiet but effective player in India's military diplomacy, in early September became the first Indian defence minister ever to visit South Korea, a pro-US, anti-China nation in the vicinity.  He led a top-notch team of military and civil officials like Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Vice-Admiral RK Dhowan, Lieutenant General K T Parnaik, DRDA Chief Controller C K Prahlada, and Sundaram Krishna, special adviser to the defence minister.  The visit was a follow-up on the declaration issued by both countries during President Lee Myung-bak's state visit to New Delhi in January, when it was decided to elevate bilateral relationship to a 'strategic partnership'.  Although nowhere near the level of Indo-Vietnam defence cooperation, the newly evolving India-South Korea partnership is being seen as a vital component of India's game plan to counter China's increasing footprint in the subcontinent.  Seoul is a perfect counter balance to the China-North Korea-Myanmar-Pakistan axis that New Delhi and US regard as a major irritant in the Asia-Pacific region.  Moving eastward, India is actively pursuing deeper defence cooperation with Japan. Last week, for the first time, India is expanding its defence ties with Japan, a newfound strategic partner in the region.  Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, chairman of India's Chiefs of Staff Committee, the senior-most Indian military officer, led an Indian delegation to Japan on September 28 to participate in the first military-to-military talks between the two countries.  Naik's visit comes just weeks ahead of a trip by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] to Tokyo in late October.  Naik's visit is a follow-up to Antony's discussions in Japan last year, when the two countries expressed their commitment to contribute to bilateral and regional cooperation, which in other words is an effort to build regional partnerships to counter the growing influence of China.  High level visits apart, the Indian Navy has been quite active in its friendly forays into the Pacific. A flotilla of Indian warships is about to complete a month-long deployment to the Pacific that included visits to Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.  So while Indian strategic thinkers have been busy sounding frequent alarms over China's increasing forays into the Indian Ocean and have often overstated the fears of Beijing's [ Images ] 'String of Pearls' around India, New Delhi's defence establishment has quietly put in place India's own counter measures to woo and bolster China's neighbours as a long-term strategy.  Whatever the consequences of this strategy and counter-strategy, one thing is sure: The Indian Ocean and its periphery are poised to become the new playground for the 21st century version of the Great Game in the years to come.









India flags delays in delivery of Russian defence systems

PTI, Oct 7, 2010, 03.36pm IST NEW DELHI: India today flagged the delays in delivery of Russian defence systems such as Gorshkov aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine at an inter-governmental meet.  Defence Minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov, who met here over the last two days, also decided to take forward the joint fifth generation combat jets (FGFA) and mutirole transport aircraft (MTA) projects over the next 10 years, under which India would get about 250 to 300 of FGFAs and 45 MTAs.  They signed a protocol for furthering of defence ties between the two nations and continuing till 2020 the military technical commission, a unique arrangement, that the two nations have.  "There are some areas of concern such as the delays (in delivery of defence systems). All these issues, we discussed over yesterday and today," Antony said at a joint press conference with Serdyukov here after the 10th Inter- Governmental Commission for Military and Technical Cooperation (IGC-MTC) meeting.  However, he said, the two sides also decided to find a satisfactory solution to the issue, with Serdyukov assuring Antony that he would take "personal interest" in the projects and satisfactorily solve the problems they were encountering.  "I am happy about the outcome of the meeting," he added. He pointed out that India and Russia were pursuing a large number of joint projects for defence systems and equipment for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the DRDO including BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.  India had bought Gorshkov in 2004 for USD 974 million and its delivery, originally fixed for 2008, has now been finalised for 2012-13 after India fulfilled the Russia's demand for USD 2.34 billion early this year.  In the case of the Akula-II nuclear powered submarine, the two sides have now reportedly postponed the delivery to March next year, though India was supposed to get it last year after trials.  Serdyukov seconded Antony's views on the numerous joint projects, but said he too had raised certain issues with his Indian counterpart, which the two sides agreed to resolve to the satisfaction of both.  Noting that there was a "great volume" of joint projects between the two countries, Serdyukov said, "it is but natural that in such a number of projects we have some delays. I underscore that it is critical to these projects."  Noting that FGFA and MTA would be the "flagship" Indo-Russian joint projects for the next 10 years, Antony said India would get about 250 to 300 of FGFA and 45 MTAs.  He said the two countries had already signed the shareholders agreement for the MTA project, while a joint venture was being finalised for the same.  "We have discussed all issues and these have been resolved satisfactorily. We are in the final stages and the proposals are currently with Indian government for some technical formality. We will finalise them very soon and sign the final agreements (for FGFA and MTAs) within a few months," he added.   Read more: India flags delays in delivery of Russian defence systems - The Times of India









Spendings stuck, India trails China in firepower

Shishir Gupta Posted: Sep 30, 2010 at 0312 hrs New Delhi A year after China paraded its military might to mark 60 years of Communist rule, an internal study by South Block shows that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is way ahead of India in terms of strategic missiles, artillery, development of indigenous military hardware and acquisition. This comparison study has been shared with the UPA government at the highest levels.  China’s defence budget, pegged at $77.5 billion, is more than twice that of India’s $32-billion but its 2009 military parade has set off alarm bells in Delhi given the shortcomings in indigenous production capability and gaps in acquisition of military hardware — for a few years now, the Defence Ministry has not been able to spend the allocated capital for modernisation of the armed forces.  This is what the internal study found:  The PLA has a clear lead over the Indian Army in terms of infantry weapons, armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery guns.  The Army has no answer to the Chinese QBZ-97 Type 97-2 5.8/5.56 mm anti-riot gun, the AK-74 modified QBZ-95 Type 95 automatic rifle, the M-16 NATO rifle modification Type 95B carbine.  The 9 mm Indian Army sub-machine gun (SMG) is considered inferior to the Chinese Type 5 sound-dampener 9 mm SMG, a modified version of the German Heckler & Koch MP 5 SMG. The original HK MP-5 is used by the Special Protection Group in India.  The Indian 5.56 mm INSAS is considered superior to the Chinese 7.62 mm (Type 85) assault rifles but the PLA QBZ-95 automatic rifle is better than the Indian 7.62 mm standard issue rifle.  Indians and Chinese are even when it comes to armour on display. The Arjun main battle tank is better than the Chinese third-generation ZTZ-99G MBT, a modification of the Russian T-72 battle tank. The Indian T-90 is superior to the Chinese ZTZ-96 A MBT in terms of firepower and accuracy. Even an Indian T-72 is a match.  India has no answer to China’s ZRD-05 tracked amphibious assault vehicles, ZBD-03 tracked AB paratroopers combat vehicle and WJ-03B wheeled armed vehicle used by the Snow Leopard Commando units.  China’s tracked APCs are superior to Indian APCs as they are copies of the Russian BMP-III — India still uses the Russian BMP-I with a 30 mm cannon and anti-tank guided missile.  On the artillery front, the Indian Army can’t match the PLZ-05 155-mm tracked self-propelled (SP) howitzer, PLZ-07 122-mm tracked SP howitzer, PLL-05 120-mm wheeled SP mortar and PTL-02 100-mm wheeled SP howitzer. Both countries use the same Russian 300-mm multiple launch rocket system.  The two armies are evenly matched when it comes to anti-tank guided missiles and anti-aircraft guns. PLA’s Red Arrow missile is a notch below the NAG anti-tank missile; the Indian air defence gun ZSU-2S6M1 has an edge over the Chinese PGZ-04A gun.  India is still developing the Sagarika long-range missile as an answer to the Chinese DF-31A ICBM. Indian cruise missiles like Brahmos suffer from range limitations while the Chinese DH-10 land attack cruise missile can strike targets beyond 1,500 km. The YJ-83 anti-ship missile has a 500-km range.  New Delhi has no answer to the YJ-62 A shore-based anti-ship cruise missile with a range of over 300 km. But the Agni series of short range, medium range and intermediate range missiles are more than a match for the Chinese DF-11A SRBM, DF-15A SRBM, DF-21C MRBM.  Chinese fighters J-7, J-8 and J-10 are either equal to or a notch below the IAF MiG-21, MiG-27 and Mirages. The PLA’s J-11B fighter has an equal in the IAF SU-30. The Indian Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft is more than a match for the Chinese JH-7A Flying Leopard. IAF refuellers and AWACS are far superior to the Chinese HY-6 refuellers and KJ-2000 early warning aircraft.










Do armed forces have to publicise their drawbacks

(Article) 2010-10-06 15:40:00 Platinum Reserve Credit Ads by Google Card with Membership to Leading Golf Courses in India & Abroad.  The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, told the media ahead of IAF's 78th anniversary that fifty percent of the Indian Air Force's equipment is obsolete, but claimed that it was still capable of defending the country from any threat.  The Air Chief then gave details of modernization plans for the service; the aircraft that the country is going to buy, the missiles it was going to install and the fighter aircraft it was going to develop.  He also disclosed that the Indian Air Force was short of 550 to 600 officers in the flying branch alone.  Talking of any threats, the Air Chief referring to Mauryan administrator Chanakya said the country was keeping a watch on her neighbours, including China. Presumably the suggestion is that the Indian Air Force has constructed a new airfield and made it operational in Ladakh. The Government is being asked to permit the stationing of the Sukhoi fighters there.  My mind switched back to the days during which I had functioned as a spokesman for the Army and later the Armed Forces. The basic rule that was told to me was that we should not give out any information that would give the strength or weaknesses of our Armed Forces to our adversaries and should not release any information that would disclose the specific nature of the formations deployed, particularly in the forward areas.  As a young public relations officer, I used to feel awkward reporting even sports functions held in Jalandhar or Ambala with the date line "somewhere along the northern border", and persuade the newspapers to publish them.  Once, in l963, I spent half-the morning trying to persuade the military intelligence directorate to permit me to release a photograph relating to the setting up of the Rezang La memorial near Chushul. The memorial was being set up to commemorate the battle in which a unit of the Kumaon Regiment led by Major Shaitan Singh fought to the last man. A Chinese post was overlooking the location of the memorial, but the release of a picture of the event was questioned as it was in a 'forward' area. Eventually I succeeded in releasing the photograph and the story.  Later, when I headed the Directorate of Public Relations, the practice was that the three Service Chiefs would address the media on the anniversary of the particular service project, its strength and high morale of the officers and men.  The Indian Armed Forces have always had some 'obsolete' weapons, but they came out successful in battles. In 1965, the tiny Gnat of the Indian Air Force posed a challenge to the Pakistan Air Force equipped with the most modern aircraft, including starfighters gifted by the United States.  I also had the privilege of taking American correspondents to the graveyard of Patton tanks which became a casualty to the Indian Armoured Brigade located near Bhikhiwind in Punjab. The Armoured Brigade made mincemeat of the Patton tanks with World War II vintage Shermans and Centurions.  Again, the Indian Armed Forces did not wilt when Pakistan, which had the moral support of the United States, cracked down on East Pakistan in 1971 with millions of refugees fleeing to India. In the war that followed, the Indian Air Force neutralized the Pakistan Air Force in East Pakistan and ensured the safety of its skies throughout the 12-day operation. The Indian Army converged on East Pakistan, which saw the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani solders in Dacca. The Pakistan Armed Forces did ossess superior equipment, but that did not help them.  Indian battleships were able to bomb the Karachi harbour and effectively block the Pakistan Navy. The Indian Navy sank the lone submarine of the Pakistan Navy in the Bay of Bengal.  During the Kargil operations in 1999, the determination of the Indian Army and the Air Force officers and personnel frustrated the attempts of the adversary to occupy strategic areas along the Line of Control.  The basic discipline of not disclosing the strength or weakness of our Armed Forces remained a cardinal principle. Why is it changing?  As a communicator for the Armed Forces, my experience has been that the Government or the country has never denied the supply of modern equipments to the Services. For decades after independence, India depended on United Kingdom for armaments, but international developments put pressure on that country not to sell sensitive equipment to India. The Soviet Union became our main supplier and the situation is slowly changing now.  Our defence industry too is developing fast. We are manufacturing guns, tanks, ships, combat aircraft and modern short range as well as inter-continental missiles.  True, the Armed Forces would like to have the best weapons available, and the latest. The country has not so far said 'no' to their demands if resources permit. One gets the feeling that 'communications' within the South Block and the interaction between South Block and North Block, where the Finance and Home Ministries are located, can be improved without the help of the mass media!  Meanwhile, many Happy Returns to the Indian Air Force! By I. Ramamohan Rao (ANI) RECOLLECTIONS OF A COMMUNICATOR










India, Russia to hold anti-terror military drills 

India and Russia will revive the joint military exercise series that focuses on counter- terrorism training.  The 'Indra-2010' will be held in Chaubattia in Uttarakhand between October 15 and 24, Defence Ministry officials said here today.  The battalion-level exercise will comprise of infantry troops from both the armies who would work out insurgency and terrorism situations and plan and execute an operation to counter these, particularly in a mountainous terrain, they said.  Other elements from both the armies include observers, air elements and representatives from the Defence Ministries of both countries.  The Russian complement would include 257 personnel and the Indian side will be represented by an infantry battalion.  "Indra-2010 is intended to enhance the defence cooperation and military-to-military relations between the two armies," they added.  The first of the 'Indra' exercise series was conducted in India in October 2005 and the second was held in Russia in 2007. Since then the two armies have not held an exercise under the series for the last three years.  The Indo-Russian Army exercise comes in the wake of an inter-governmental commission for military and technical cooperation headed by the Defence Ministers of both the countries meeting in Delhi tomorrow.  Indian Defence Minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov will meet here to discuss defence relations, buying and selling of military hardware and cooperation in military technologies.









TCS project can absorb innovation of SMEs:CII     

India Infoline News Service / 08:25 , Oct 06, 2010 The ongoing transformation process in the infostructure has enormous potential for Indian defence industry  “Corps of Signal is making comprehensive reappraisal of its information infrastructure by upgrading and building resilient and homogenous Strategic and Technical Communication Networks to transform Indian Armed Forces into Net centric warriors,” said Lt Gen P Mohapatra, AVSM, ADC, SO-in-C while delivering welcome address at the curtain raiser ceremony of Defcom India 2010, a joint initiative of CII and Corps of Signals, Indian Army at Hotel Oberoi. The ongoing transformation process in the infostructure has enormous potential for Indian defence industry. Indian industry has to actively and constructively play a pivotal role in realising the aim of network centric transformation.     Maj Gen A K Srivastava, VSM ADG Tactical Communication stated that Defcom India 2010 provides an excellent platform to stimulate innovative thinking and engender a wider and more common understanding of the tenets of net centricity not only within the Indian Armed Forces but also across the defence industry, academia and R&D organisations. He highlighted that defence industry can meet up qualitative and quantitative requirements of Indian Army by being consistent and competitive. Deliverables should be delivered as per the time schedule.     “Defence Communication is a multi-billion dollar sector and requires greater participation of industry” said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII. He further stated that the total worth of defence communication is estimated at between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 crore. Tactical Communication System (TCS) project has already come through after  years of consistent efforts of the stake holders. More communication projects such as Network for Spectrum (NFS) Defence Communication Network (DCN) are also in the pipeline.     He elaborated that Private industry will not only meet the qualitative requirements of Indian Armed Forces but also deliver the project on the time bound manner. Given the fact that Indian Armed Forces have bases across the length and breadth of the country and even in the high seas (India’s Exclusive Economic Zone), similar (huge) projects with different requirements are likely to come for all three services.     Gurpal Singh, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry stated that the industry is enthusiastic after receiving the EOI for the TCS project. He further said that there is enough scope for all. The TCS project can absorb innovation of SMEs, products of component manufacturers and final products furnished by system integrators. Several Indian companies have also entered into communication hardware development and more are likely to join them. Indian industry is geared up to take up the challenge of meeting the requirements of the armed forces. DEFCOM 2010’s theme would be “Converged Infostructure for a Transformed Force.”




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