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Thursday, 23 December 2010

From Today's Papers - 23 Dec 2010

Fifth Gen Aircraft to match US F-22 Raptor Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service  New Delhi, December 22 In a clear indication of balancing out the global ‘power equation’, India formally signed a deal with Russia to co-develop and co-produce a next generation fighter aircraft here today. This comes close on the heels of a series of multi-billion dollar contracts with the US for the supply of transport planes, reconnaissance aircrafts  and VVIP jets.  Costing nearly $ 100 million (Rs 500 crore approx) a piece, the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) will technologically match the US developed F-22 Raptor — that costs $ 330 million a piece. At present, the USA is the only country having such technology and it does not share it with its closest allies like the UK.  For India it will be biggest defence programme in its history with almost $ 36 billion (Rs 1,80,000 crore) being pumped in on development, design and production spread across two decades starting now.  The FGFA will be the IAF’s frontline fighter from 2020 onwards and some 300 of these fighters which will cost $ 30 billion (Rs 1,50,000 crore). This alone will be nearly three times the much-hyped $ 11 billion deal for the purchase of 126 fighters being currently bid by six global companies. Sources said once the design is set, the total cost of designing, infrastructure build-up, prototype development, flight testing and the like has been pegged at around $ 11 billion, with both sides putting in $5.50 billion each.  The FGFA will have advanced features such as stealth, super-cruise, ultra-manoeuvrability, highly integrated avionics suite, enhanced situational awareness, internal carriage of weapons and Network Centric Warfare capabilities.  A contract for preliminary design of the plane was signed here yesterday between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Russian firms Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi. The contract is for $ 295 million and the scientists and engineers have been given 18 months to come up with a design.   Fact file  l FGFA will be the IAF’s frontline fighter from 2020 onwards  l Some 300 of these fighters which will cost $30 billion (Rs 1,50,000 crore)  l The broad scope of cooperation during the joint project covers design, development, production and joint marketing of the FGFA

26/11 changed coastal security approach: Antony Ajay Banerjee/TNS  New Delhi, December 22 The Navy’s preparation vis-√†-vis the growing influence of China and the dangerously slow pace of submarine production were the key issues raised at a meeting of the Defence Ministry’s Consultative Committee here today.  Defence Minister AK Antony started the meeting with a detail plan to modernise the defence warship building shipyard. A senior MP questioned what was the pace of shipbuilding in relation to the readiness to match up China that had declared South China Sea as its “personal property”. The growing hegemony of China in the Indian Ocean region needs to be kept in mind, the members of the committee told the ministry.  Another MP raised a point about the slow pace of submarine development. The first set of six Scorpene submarines being produced by Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited in collaboration with French Company DCNS, was running behind schedule by three years. The first one was to be delivered in 2012 while there has been cost escalation, sources said. Another member questioned the cost calculating formula of the ministry officials saying the Scorpene deal was signed in 2005, “…. was the cost not properly factored or how had the French company raised it mid-way”, said sources.  The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had in its report in 2008 on submarines pointed out to the dangerously dropping levels in availability of submarines with the Navy. A spokesperson for the ministry said AK Antony had assured the committee that there was a sea change in government’s approach to coastal security after Mumbai attacks. Antony said the government was giving top priority to the modernisation of shipyards so that the state-of-the -art warships could be built indigenously to global standards.  Antony said: “Our shipyards have no option, but to build state-of-the-art infrastructure for constructing high technology warships and submarine”. Among others who were present today were HK Dua, Navin Jindal, Manish Tiwari, Piyus Goyal, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Sudip Bandyopadhyaya.

Indian Army looks for multi caliber Infantry Assault Rifles for FINSAS By Frontier India | December 22nd, 2010 | Category: Indian Army News | 1 Comment »  By 31 Dec 2010, Indian Army is expecting information on Infantry Assault Rifles from manufacturers. Indian Army is looking for a modern rifle for its F-INSAS programme. For the Integrated Sighting System, it is looking at the options of luminous tipped Flip-up iron sights, Holographic Sight / Reflex Sight, Visible Laser Target Pointer / Laser Illuminator and Telescopic Sight.  The rifle is expected to be required with Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).  For keeping it light for the soldier, the rifle required is modular and should facilitate replacement of sub assemblies without the use of any specialist tools. IA is also asking is it can have multi caliber barrel change capability. The calibers it is looking at is (aa) 5.56 X 45mm, (ab) 7.62 X 39mm, (ac) 7.62 X 51mm, (ad) 6.8 X 43mm and (ae) 6.5 Grendel.  The rifle should be ambidextrous. It will make the weapon easy to use with either hands. The Picatinny Rails is being sought at 3 O’clock, 6 O’clock and 9 O’clock position in addition to the regular 12 O’clock position.  Other important aspects are flash suppressor, multipurpose bayonet attachment, trigger compatibility with cold climate gloves, types of butt stock, sling attachment points, multi point vertical forehand grip, construction, maintainability, range and safety.

After 5-yr gap, India may offer arms to Nepal Yubaraj Ghimire Posted online: Thu Dec 23 2010, 01:14 hrs Kathmandu : Almost after a gap of five years, India is likely to resume arms supply to the Nepal army. The assurance in this regard has reportedly come from the visiting Chief of the Indian Army Staff (COAS), General V K Singh, when Prime Minister Madhav Nepal and Defence Minister Bidhya Bhandari raised the issue during separate meetings he had with them on Wednesday. The supply of arms and ammunition was suspended after the Royal takeover in February 2005. General Singh is also learnt to have given a similar assurance to his Nepali counterpart Chhatraman Singh Gurung Tuesday night. Sources said Singh said India was willing to provide any kind of assistance that the Nepal army required and is believed to have asked the Nepali side to make a formal move for resumption of the arms supply. Gen Singh was later conferred the Honorary title of the ‘General of the Nepal Army’ by President Rambaran Yadav, supreme commander of the Nepal army, at a special session held at the President’s office in the afternoon.

All-weather jackets for Armymen in the works Pranav Kulkarni Posted online: Thu Dec 23 2010, 00:13 hrs Pune : Serving in extreme weather conditions, Indian Army may soon be armed with suits to protect them from extreme temperatures, whichever end of the thermometer the mercury might be on. Defence Laboratory Jodhpur (DLJ), a DRDO lab, is in the final stages of creating the all-weather jacket.  “We have been working on the project for a couple of years and it is in the final stages of development. Currently, we are assessing the feasibility of the suits after which we will start production,” said DLJ director Dr Narendra Kumar.  Inspired from the extreme heat conditions of Rajasthan where the laboratory is situated, the ‘temperature jackets’ consist of ‘phase change material’ that become solid, liquid or semi-solid depending on the outside temperature.  “The suits also contain pockets where one can keep pouches of this material. The jackets can provide protection from extreme temperatures for up to four hours, after which the material will have to be recharged,” said Dr Kumar. “Since we will need to produce thousands of jackets to cater to our forces, we are working on reducing the cost of the jackets.”  DLJ is also working on a mobile water purification vehicle which uses reverse osmosis to get rid of chemical and biological agents. “We are also working on solar-based portable purification units which soldiers can use for purifying water. We have submitted the idea to the Army,” said Dr Kumar.

Indian Army chief calls on PM‚ Defence Minister  RSS  2010-12-22 6:18 PM  Print This News  KATHMANDU: Indian Army Chief Vijay Kumar Singh paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter´s office on Wednesday.  During the meeting‚ discussions were held on traditional relations existing between the armies of the two countries‚ according to Bishnu Rijal‚ press advisor to the prime minister.  On the occasion‚ Prime Minister Nepal said that Nepal government is alert towards preventing any international terrorist activities in the country and promised to not allowing the Nepali territory to be used for anti-India activities.  According to Rijal‚ Nepal expressed the hope that friendly relations existing between the two countries will grow further in the days ahead.  In the meeting‚ discussions were also held on the perks and facilities of Nepalis retired from the Indian Army and incumbent personnel as well.  Similarly‚ Indian Army Chief Singh called on Minister for Defence Biddya Devi Bhandari at the latter´s office today.  During the meeting‚ Singh stated that Nepal Army and Indian Army have close relations and the Indian Army is ready to extend any kind of support to the Nepal Army if necessary‚ said press advisor to the Defense Minister‚ Subas Devkota.  Talking to media persons briefly after his meeting with the prime minister and the defense minister‚ Singh said he was hopeful that his visit to Nepal would help enhance the military relations subsisting between the two countries.

*       India Test-Fires Two Prithvi-II Ballistic Missiles       Jayesh Limaye, Dec 22, 2010 1519 hrs IST       Missile performs as expected, bolsters the nations security       Share       0diggsdigg       mail share  India test-fired two Prithvi-II nuclear-capable ballistic missiles spaced within an hour from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off Orissa coast. These tests were conducted by the strategic force command (SFC) personnel as a part of operational exercises. This indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile with radar evading features, which has already been inducted in the Indian armed forces, has a maximum striking range of 350 km with a payload of up to 1000 kg warhead.  According to preliminary reports, the first missile firing was found to be successful, while the outcome of the second was awaited. The surface-to-surface missiles mounted on mobile launchers were test-fired from the launch complex-3 in the ITR at around 0815 and 0915 hours. The entire trajectory of trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, electro-optic telemetry stations and ships launched in the down range impact point area in the Bay for post-launch analysis, defence sources said.  A Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) official said that Prithvi-II missile had proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier. Taken from routine production lot during earlier user trials by Indian Army, the missile had achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP).  It must be noted that this test was conducted after the last trial failed earlier this year on September 24 due to some technical problems. The missile was first successfully tested in 2008, when it reached a peak altitude of 43.5 kms with total flight duration of 483 seconds. Then on October 12, 2009, another successful test firing was conducted with two missiles aimed at two targets placed at 350 kms from the launch point of ITR.

The winners of Navy Ball 2010 announced in Bangalore By Staff Reporter       Published: December 22 2010             The first Navy Ball of Bangalore took place on Saturday night. The windy evening saw the sprawling campus of the navy mess in the city lit up as commanders and officers welcomed the guests and socialized. Navy Queens : Nicole Lobo, Manisha and Sara KhanNavy Queens : Nicole Lobo, Manisha and Sara Khan  The city of Bangalore has long been the most favorite destination amongst all defence personnel to settle in post retirement. For many decades Bangalore has also been a huge cantonment area comprising primarily of Indian Army and Indian Air Force. The period between end November and early December of each year is a particularly significant and celebratory one for the Indian Navy in general and for the Western Naval Command in particular, of which the Naval set up at Bangalore is integral part.  This is the time when the Indian Navy revels its past and present accomplishments and renews its hopes and resolve for the future. The celebratory events are spread over some three weeks or more but essentially centered upon the fourth of December, which is celebrated country wide as the Navy Day. The activities of each year's 'Navy Day' celebrations transcend  wider, more inclusive and more holistic form of patriotic expression that seeks  to capitalize upon the reach and penetration  of business and financial leaders, cultural and social ambassadors.  The day is marked by the Navy Ball, an event   that consists   of a cultural show, Fashion show and Beauty pageant mixed with dance, lots of fun, frolic, food and drinks.  The event culminates in the crowning of the ‘Navy Queen, Bangalore’. The first ever Navy Ball Bangalore held on December 18, 2010 at the Naval Officers Mess, culminated with Manisha crowned as the queen, Sara Khan and Nicole Lobo crowned as the first and the second runners up respectively. All three beauties sported the magnificent Swarovski crown from the famous jewelers C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons.  The Ball was a great success with the show being a feast for the senses; opening with a cultural show, followed by the fashion ensemble and culminating with the crowning of the Navy Queen Bangalore for 2010. This is the first time; the Navy celebrated the Navy Ball in Bangalore and carrying on their age old tradition, which they have been practicing for years in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and other cities across the nation.

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