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Saturday, 9 October 2010

From Today's Papers - 09 Oct 2010

IAF withdraws combat helicopters from UN missions
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, October 8 With the IAF being roped in to provide air support for the anti-Naxal operations, it has completed the withdrawal of its combat helicopters that were deployed overseas on the United Nations peacekeeping missions. Withdrawal of transport and utility helicopters is expected to begin shortly. The IAF had delployed its Mi25/35 helicopter gunships in Congo besides Mi-8 and Mi-17 choppers in Congo and Sudan. The de-induction of the gunships began in mid-September and the last batch was airlifted to Chandigarh from Congo on Wednesday, the IAF sources said. These would be serviced and refurbished at No 3. Base Repair Depot here.  Sources revealed that nine Mi-25/35 gunships have been ferried to Chandigarh by the giant Russian built AN-124 freighter, the largest aircraft in regular service in the world, with a payload capacity of 120 tonnes. It has taken six sorties to bring in the helicopters, along with their associated ground support equipment and related paraphernalia. The Mi25/35 gunships are heavily armed and armoured helicopters that are used to provide close air support to ground troops during assaults. Besides the pilot and the weapon systems operator, these also have the capability to carry up to eight fully equipped troops.  Besides the UN operations, the IAF’s Mi-25s have seen action with the Indian Peace Keeping Force against the LTTE in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s where, according to some reports, Indian losses were considerably reduced by the heavy fire support provided by these gunships. Though no Mi-25 was lost, several sustained heavy damage from machine gun fire.  The Antonov Design Bureau, the manufacturers of the aircraft are undertaking the airlift on a contractual basis. Interestingly, the Bureau has its own commercial airlift operations wing and these aircraft do not belong to any aviation firm, sources said.  The IAF had deployed about 12 choppers in Congo and nine in Sudan for providing logistical support to UN personnel. The complete withdrawn of these is expected to be complete by April next year. The Ministry of Home Affairs, the nodal agency handling the anti-Naxal operations, has been seeking enhanced logisitical support from the IAF for movement of personnel and casualty evacuation particularly in inhospitable areas. Consequently, the IAF had opted to withdraw its aircraft assigned to the UN role to make the necessary assets available.

3 ITBP jawans killed in  Naxal attacks 
Raipur/Nagpur, October 8 Three ITBP jawans and four civilians, including two tribal students, were killed today in two separate attacks by Maoists in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.  Three jawans of the ITBP were killed and one was injured when the outlaws blew up their vehicle in a landmine blast in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, the police said.  The jawans were returning from Maharashtra, it said.  In another incident, the ultras hurled explosives near a tribal school killing two students, a woman cook and a civilian in Sawargaon village along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, the police said.  The victims were identified as Sunil Halame (6), Nanco Hitko (13), both students, woman cook BV Kawade and Mangesh Malavi (55), the police added. — PTI

  Indo-Russian joint project Fifth generation fighter will sharpen airpower 
Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s recent statement that India and Russia have sorted out all issues pertaining to the joint development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and that the deal is slated to be signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India in December is heartening indeed. Considering that the joint development of the multi-role transport aircraft with Russia is also on the anvil and India has decided to go in for long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the US, among other equipment, it is refreshing that the need to upgrade India’s air firepower is being addressed after all. Only last week Air Chief P.V. Naik had sent shock-waves across the country when he admitted that 50 per cent of the Indian Air Force equipment, including fighters, radars, transport aircraft and air defence systems, was either obsolete or obsolescent.  That the Russians have settled for joint development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft and of multi-role transport aircraft is no flash in the pan. It is an index of their faith in India’s technological prowess as borne out by its indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft, the Advanced Light Helicopter and by co-production of the BrahMos cruise missiles with them in a cost-effective manner. Though the Indo-Russian FGFA will be based on the Russian Sukhoi T-50, which flew for the first time this January at their facility in Siberia, it will be built to the IAF’s specifications. Significantly, it is being touted as superior to the American F/A-22 `Raptor’, the world’s only operational FGFA as of now.  If there is a flip side to Indo-Russian defence cooperation it is that projects get delayed inordinately and this leads to considerable cost escalation. Not only has the FGFA been delayed, India had bought Gorshkov frigate in 2004 and its delivery, originally fixed for 2008, has now been finalised for 2012-13. 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. This week’s talks between Antony and his Russian counterpart resolved to cut down delays but the proof of the pudding would lie in its eating.

Situation in neighbourhood volcanic, says IAF chief
Tribune News Service  Indian Air Force turns 78  Air Chief Marshal PV Naik inspects a parade of IAF personnel on the 78th anniversary of Indian Air Force at Hindan on Friday. Air Chief Marshal PV Naik inspects a parade of IAF personnel on the 78th anniversary of Indian Air Force at Hindan on Friday. — PTI  New Delhi, October 8 Air Chief Marshal PV Naik today described the security scenario in India’s neighbourhood as “volcanic” and said the “control of aerospace” is the key to success in case of future conflicts.  “The current security scenario is like a volcano and may test your skills anytime without warning. These times require swift action and commitment. The air warriors have to be prepared and vigilant,” Naik said while addressing the 78th Air Force Day parade at the Hindon airbase, near here.  Later, interacting with the media, Naik said there was no fresh developments that prompted him to describe the situation as “volcanic”. “The comparison was because we don't know when it is going to erupt. It may erupt in 100 years or it may erupt tomorrow,” said Naik.  The IAF is going to be a very potent aerospace power in the next five to seven years, he said. Stating that the responsibility of keeping the country secure from any external threat was on armed forces’ shoulders, Naik said: “This is the very reason for our existence. Being air warriors our operational preparedness has to remain high owing to complexity and intensity of threats. Speed of response, flexibility and precise employment of aerospace assets will be the key to success.”  The IAF chief presented 25 Vayu Sena Medals (VM), including nine for gallantry, and 30 Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM) on behalf of the President at an Investiture Ceremony held at the parade.

UN body shows J-K, Arunachal as separate nations 
New Delhi, October 8 Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh have been shown as "independent entities" by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, which said this was its approach towards "disputed" areas.  The categorisation came as a surprise to many here as the UN has been so far only treating Jammu and Kashmir as a dispute between India and Pakistan while viewing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India.  In its report, FAO has shown J-K and Arunachal Pradesh as separate countries along with India. The Indian states figure in country grouping for East Asia. The names are there in annexure five of the 2010 FAO report to assess greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy sector. FAO representative in India Gavin Wall said the country grouping is based on FAO’s Global Administrative Unit Layers(GAUL), which aims at compiling and disseminating information on administrative units for all countries in the world and it complies with the UNCS international boundaries map.  Wall said because the GAUL is developed at the global level, controversial boundaries cannot be ignored.  “The selected approach is to treat disputed areas as independent entities not dependent from countries.  Arunachal Pradesh has been spelt as ‘Arunashal’ Pradesh in the list, which also shows Aksai Chin as a separate country. China maintains that Aksai Chin is its integral part while India says it is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. — PTI

Steps afoot to make armed forces net-centric
Posted by IANS-CT in National              Buy SHUKNO LANKA-Mithuda Special  New Delhi, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) A ‘comprehensive’ review is being undertaken to transform the Indian armed forces in net-centric warriors, but the defence industry has the responsibility to identify the right choice of emerging technologies for the purpose, the Indian Army’s top communication officer said Tuesday.  ‘The Corps of Signal is making a comprehensive reappraisal of its information infrastructure by upgrading and building resilient and homogenous strategic and technical communication networks to transform the Indian armed forces into net-centric warriors,’ said Lt.Gen. P. Mohapatra, the army’s signal officer-in-chief.  Mohapatra was addressing a curtain raiser ceremony ahead of the Dec 2-3 DEFCOM 2010, a defence communication seminar being organized by Corps of Signals and Confederation of Indian Industry.  The identification of military trends in communication technology will be high on the agenda of the two-day seminar.  Mohapatra also released the brochure for the seminar.  He said communication played a crucial role in creating real time situational awareness and influencing tactical and operational situations.  ‘With technology as the core, multi-pronged transformation has also impacted military strategy and doctrines,’ he said.  ‘This transformation of the forces, driven by a resilient communication network and infrastructure has ushered in an era of net centricity which has emerged as a crucial component of the national security apparatus.’  Mohapatra said the emerging technologies convert information superiority into operational advantages through networking and information sharing and stressed on ensuring ‘interoperability among weapons from different generations’.  Noting that the future soldier would be networked in the sensor-to-shooter loop, he said the armed forces had already issued an ‘expression of intent (EOI) for a tactical communication system (TCS) to defence public sector undertakings and the private industry for their participation in its development’.  This provides an ‘unparalleled opportunity to Indian defence industry like never before’, Mohapatra added.  ‘The Indian industry has to actively and constructively engage itself to help, guide and further progress the network centric transformation and play a pivotal role in its realization,’ he said.  CII Director General Chanderjit Banerjee and other officials from defence and Indian industry attended the curtain raiser ceremony.  Banerjee expressed confidence that Indian industry would work collectively with single focus and deliver a state-of-the-art project Tata Consultancy Services is working on for the Indian Army, through inhouse design, development and manufacturing.

Indian lie about showing 2 retired Pak Army officers as serving majors to Interpol

SLAMABAD: Military authorities have said India have got issued red notices from Interpol against five Pakistanis on their alleged involvement in Mumbai blasts by showing two among them as serving majors in Pakistan army while both of these majors including Maj Samir Ali and Major Iqbal have been retired from army since long and are now living as civilians.  Military authorities told Online Friday intelligence agencies had taken into custody both these retired majors and interrogated them following the statement by David Headlay. Nothing special had come to open during the investigation. One Samir Ali Maj (Retd) was reported to be class fellow of David Headlay and later both of these military officers were retired. They have no connection whatsoever with ISI or Pakistan army and they are leading civilians life.  What are they doing and are maintaining relations with whom and if Interpol has issued their red notices, it is the matter related to interior ministry, authorities said.  On the other hand David Headlay whom US had handed over to India in Mumbai attacks incident was on the pay roll of FBI and Pakistan had sought access to him. India in this connection is refusing. The whole affair is complex and endeavor was made to pressurize Pakistan through Interpol. On the other hand cases against all the suspected persons in Mumbai blasts are pending hearing in Pakistan courts but no officer or jawan of Pakistan army is involved in this incident, authorities said.

Indian Air Force Chief Expects MRCA Deal Winner to be chosen by July 2011
 Indian Air Force Chief Expects MRCA Deal Winner to be chosen by July 2011  2010-10-08 India, which is racing to upgrade its military, is likely to hand out a 12-billion-dollar contract for 126 fighter jets by July 2011, the country's air force chief said on Friday. Six global aeronautical companies are in a dogfight to grab the deal to sell 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force, which is also shopping for up to 270 Russian-designed Sukhoi war jets .  "We had submitted the MMRCA report with the defence ministry on July 30 and if everything goes of well, then the contract should be signed by July 30 next year," Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said, the Press Trust of India reported. India issued the request for proposals to the six short-listed firms in August 2007 and the long-awaited trials of the aircraft competing for the world's most lucrative fighter jet contract began last year.  Air Chief Marshal Naik's announcement came a day after Moscow and New Delhi unveiled plans to co-develop 250-300 advanced stealth fighter jets for military technology-hungry India.  American companies, Lockheed Martin F-16IN, Boeing F/A-18, French Dassault Rafale, EADS Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and Russian MiG-35 are in the running for the 126 aircraft deal which is expected to replace the aging MiG-21s. According to sources, "Vendors who are compliant rule wise, Defence Procurement Policy and Technical offsets will ultimately be opened for consideration. Also, the lowest bidder, designated L1, will be selected as the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA)."

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