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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

From Today's Papers - 04 Jan 2011






Iran says shot down two spy planes in Gulf Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that many spy planes and ultra modern aircrafts of their enemies were shot down by the Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. CJ: Adolf Desjardins   Mon, Jan 03, 2011 12:00:05 IST Views: 16    Comments: 0 Rate:  1 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 0.0 / 0 votes Iran News :  Iran will not discuss nuclear issue with big six: Ahmadinejad IRAN HAS shot down two unmanned western reconnaissance drone aircraft in the Gulf, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday.  "Many spy planes and ultra-modern aircrafts of our enemies have been shot down (by our forces). We have also shot down two spy planes in the Persian Gulf," said commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the elite forces' aerospace unit. "But it is the first time we are announcing it."  He did not say when the aircraft had been shot down, but described them as "western drone reconnaissance" aircraft.  Iran is at odds with major powers over its nuclear activities, which the United States and its allies suspect are intended to enable Iran to produce nuclear bombs. Iran denies the allegations and says it wants only to generate electricity. The United States and Israel, Iran's main foes, do not rule out military action if diplomacy fails to end the nuclear row.  Hajizadeh said the enemies a term used by Iranian authorities for the United States and its allies had been using the drones mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. "But there has been cases of violations of our airspace by their drones," the commander said.  Iran has dismissed reports of possible U.S. or Israeli plans to strike Iran, but says it would respond by attacking U.S. interests and Israel if any such assault was made.  Analysts say Tehran could retaliate by launching hit-and-run strikes in the Gulf and by closing the Strait of Hormuz. About 40 percent of all traded oil leaves the Gulf region through the strategic waterway.  "All their military bases are completely within Iran's missile range ... We have full control of our enemies and notice any changes taking place on our shores," Hajizadeh said.  Iran often launches military drills in the country to display its military capabilities amid persistent speculation about a possible U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.  Alongside the regular army, Iran has a Revolutionary Guards force viewed as guardians of the Islamic ruling system. The Guards have a separate command and their own air, sea and land units, but often work with the regular military.





India's future defender: Micro Aerial Vehicles A unique new technology Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) will be able to help civic agencies in emergencies like Carlton Tower episode. It will also help armed forces to counter the threat posed by terrorists armed with chemical weapons. CJ: Neetu Banga                   Mon, Jan 03, 2011 17:13:04 IST
INDIAN SCIENTISTS in Bengaluru are working on a unique technology of Micro Craft, which will be mounted on Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). This technology will be able to help civic agencies in emergencies like Carlton Tower episode. It will also help armed forces to counter the threat posed by terrorists armed with chemical weapons.   The MAVs are able to reach the unapproachable areas, detect the cause of the accident, capture and send images, thus helping in rescue operations. India's civic agencies lack the technology to do so in disaster management.   The advanced detection mechanism will help counter the threat posed by possible use of chemical weapons by terrorists, or even in conventional warfare as they will be equipped to sense chemicals released by mines and other weapons used.   MAVs will be equipped with sensors that will be programmed to detect various chemicals during warfare. The miniature IR sensors will be used along with micro sensors for foliage penetration and detection of chemical weapons besides creating real-time image mosaics and the MAVs will be programmed to detect chemicals of different kinds. It will be controlled by high sensor technology.   MAVs is unmanned and definitely will help to detect various chemicals used by terrorists and then send the data to the bases thus enabling better assessment of situations.











Militants, not forces, killed separatists: Hurriyat leader  NDTV Correspondent, Updated: January 03, 2011 16:26 IST ad_title  PLAYClick to Expand & Play Srinagar:  It's probably a first in Kashmir's separatist movement's history. Senior separatist leader and former chairman of the Hurriyat Conference Abdul Ghani Bhat has admitted that militants, and not security agencies, are responsible for the killing of some of top separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.  Speaking to NDTV, Bhat said, "Killing is horrible. No human individual even with a modicum of ethics in him can justify the killing of anybody, particularly the innocent when they fall to bullets. The human conscience must shiver and as far as I am concerned I know that people like Abdul Hadwani, like Maulana Mahmood Farooq, like Abdul Gani Lone fell to the bullets of our own people."  It's a significant shift of stance for Hurriyat that has been accusing security forces all along for their leaders' deaths. Lone was killed for his peace efforts in 2002 and Mirwaiz Farooq in 1991.  Justifying his stand, Bhat said, "The security forces on the soil of Kashmir are not angels. They are also involved in the killing of people. But my problem are my own people who kill my own people and this is what is aching each thinking Kashmiri. Whether or not he speaks out is a different story."      * Share this on Rediff.com Rediff.com     * NDTVTwitter     * NDTVNDTV Social     * Share with MessengerLive Messenger     * NDTVGmail Buzz     * NDTVPrint   Bhat also said that he may suffer and even be killed for speaking the truth but won't cow down in fear.  "My own brother was also killed by my own boys and this is a stark reality. When I recognise the stark reality, I am afraid I may also suffer. But let me suffer. Let me not seal my mouth and pull out my ears. Whether you speak out the truth or not but I am determined to do it. I have done it and I stand by it", Bhat said.








Lockheed in talks with govt for six extra C-130 J NEW DELHI: Lockheed Martin is in talks with the government for a follow-on order of six additional C-130 J 'Super Hercules' transport aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales route. It is also, separately, in discussions with the ministry of defence over the supply of its Javelin anti-tank missile systems.  "Yes, we are in discussions. They are obviously very pleased with the first six aircraft, and that is actually a better question to the IAF as to when they are going to want the follow-on aircraft," Lockheed Martin India chief Roger Rose told ET in an exclusive chat.  Lockheed's C-130 J transport aircraft are seen as critical to India's military needs, as it seeks to move an increasing number of troops and equipment to secure its northern borders with China and Pakistan.  The aircraft, which has been customised for Special Forces operations, is reputed to be the best in its class, and has the ability to air-transport forces to and from high altitude areas.  "This, because it will be a follow-on order, will be through the FMS route.There are so many advantages to the FMS route (of selling aircraft). The IAF gets it at the same exact prices as the USAF, and get the full faith and guarantee of the US government," Rose said.  However, there has been rampant speculation that the the aircraft will be without a number of communication interfaces, due to a combination of India's refusal to sign two strategic pacts, the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA); and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) with the US government.  America's strict technology export regulations forbid the transfer of critical technology to non-signatories.  "We are delivering them exactly as ordered, to the IAF. It (India's refusal) has not affected these aircrafts," the Lockheed Martin India head pointed out.  New Delhi's position is shaped largely by the hardball stand adopted by the Indian Air Force that the said strategic agreements infringe on its military sovereignty.  Rose also said that discussions with the ministry of defence relating to the sale of its Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), produced jointly with Raytheon , to the Indian Army were ongoing.  "We have held briefings and have conducted demonstrations for the product. The two governments are in discussions. In the last couple of weeks, we have had a team here in India talking to the defence public sector units and the Indian Army. It is an act in progress," Rose said.  Faced with a huge shortfall of anti-tank guided missiles, coupled with the delayed induction of the indigenous Nag' missile, India has been looking at the rather expensive Javelin ATGM systems from the U.S. Indian infantry formations urgently require a proven ATGM to handle Pakistani and Chinese tank forces, which now include the extremely capable Ukrainian T-80 and T-85 tanks.  Combat proven in Afghanistan and Iraq, eleven countries have selected Javelin to meet their anti-armor requirements, as the thirdgeneration ATGM is a 'fire-and-forget' missile with lock-on before launch and automatic selfguidance .  With regard to the F-35 combat aircraft, the world's largest defence vendor has already held briefings for the Indian Navy, in response to the latter's Request for Information (RFI) sent out last year, but will not be showcasing what is seen as the most advanced jet fighter in the world at Aero India 2011.  "We have had some queries on the F-35 from the Indian Navy, and right now, we follow the customers' desires and intentions.If the Indian government does seriously wish to pursue the F-35 , then we'll pass it over to the USAF," Rose said, adding that Lockheed had not offered the F-35 to the government, but had merely carried out briefings.












India's Military Muddle Even on occasions when India has the personnel and equipment, it lacks the will power to deploy them.
By ABHEEK BHATTACHARYA  The last time India bought a big gun, it backfired. A 1986 order for howitzers from Sweden's Bofors AB sparked a massive kickbacks scandal that scuppered Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's election campaign three years later. That experience was seared into the memory of politicians and bureaucrats, leaving them gun-shy. As Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta argue in "Arming with Aiming," that is making it difficult for India's armed forces to modernize.  India cannot afford to neglect its military weakness for much longer. The immediate neighborhood is growing more dangerous, from a Maoist Nepal to a military-jihadist Pakistan. And just over the Himalayas is a rising China, a potential superpower that claims parts of Indian territory.  It's not that India hasn't spent anything on missiles and tanks in the last few years—military expenditure is increasing in absolute terms. Yet the authors, both affiliated with the Brookings Institution in Washington, suggest this is not a useful measurement. From the perspectives they offer, we can glean three better metrics, all of which suggest India is losing the ability to guarantee its security.  First, the composition of defense expenditure is skewed. Total spending rose 34% year on year in 2009, for example, not because the military is buying more arms, but because it awarded a giant pay raise to the troops. The Ministry of Defence actually returned part of the capital budget allocated to it in 2008. If operating expenditure grows while capital expenditure stagnates, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that real capabilities are shrinking.  The deeper problem is that the policy makers, civilian and military, are unable to decide on the correct path for the armed forces. The authors do a fine job explaining their primary thesis: Even if the Indian state is spending on defense ("arming"), it has not thought through where exactly it should be spending and why ("aiming"). Better equipment should add to real military capability—the second metric to assess defense modernization—but in India's case it doesn't. Almost every new weapon prompts a new question about doctrine. 
Arming Without Aiming: India's Military Modernization  By Stephen P. Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta Brookings Institution Press, 223 pages, $34.95  For example, the two-million-man army is unable to resolve its "identity crisis" between counterinsurgency operations at home and power projection abroad. If the former is more important, why purchase howitzers? Then there's the air force that wants to win dogfights while the army wants it to focus on ground attacks. The ministry seems to have split the difference by inviting bids for a $10 billion multirole fighter in 2008.  India's navy has better managed the link between modernization and strategy, but even its sober ambitions pose questions. It launched its first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine last year. But it has yet to get its hands on nuclear warheads, delivery of which has so far been entrusted to the army and air force.  To be fair, other countries have taken years to decide their defense doctrine, so it's to be expected that India experiences growing pains. Still, its leaders don't appear to be laying the groundwork for the future. The authors rightly note that its politicians don't know enough about the military to push for reform, and don't seem to care to learn.  During most of India's independent existence, they didn't have to. Except perhaps for a brief period in the 1980s, India's strategy has been one of restraint and reaction to crises. No one expected anything more from a nation reliant on international aid.  Economic growth approaching double digits is changing those expectations. Many Indians dream of their country becoming a great power, one with its own grand strategy. For that, its military weight should be proportionate to its economic size—a third approach to judge India by. For most of the last decade, defense spending steadily fell as a percentage of GDP.  Messrs. Cohen and Dasgupta are sometimes rambling and repetitive, but in an incisive chapter called "Fighting Change," they try to get at the psychology that keeps India's military punching below its weight. Even on occasions when India has the personnel and equipment, it lacks the will power to deploy them. For instance in November 2008, when a handful of terrorists laid siege to Mumbai for 60 hours, the elite commandos who finally secured the Taj hotel spent half a day figuring out how to get to Mumbai. Why? Perhaps because India "remains uncomfortable with seeking the means of strategic assertion."  Only time will tell whether this "strategic restraint" is the one big structural impediment to military progress; perhaps the authors make too much of it. Restraint seems to be a cyclical factor. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to expand India's influence abroad by portraying it as a kinder, gentler great power, one which builds influence only by exporting IT services and Bollywood music. A future government will rediscover that great power status can't be sustained without the military muscle to back it up.










The Indian Fist ~Arjun MBT and Arjun Mark II I. Arjun MBT. 
Gist:    The Arjun was once viewed on par with western tank designs such as the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2, though the Indian-produced tank is now considered by some as obsolete.  The Arjun (named after the Indian mythological hero "Arjuna") represents the first indigenous Indian tank design. Having received priceless experience in the local license production of the Vijayanta (essentially the British Vickers Defense Systems Mk 1) and years of armored warfare lessons in the two Indo-Pak Wars, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) set about to design and produce their own MBT to satisfy the eventual need for a replacement tank in the Indian Army. The resulting Arjun became a tremendous effort - brought about with outside help from Germany, Netherlands and Israel - by local Indian companies. Unfortunately, the system has been plagued by cost overruns and project delays and - in some inner circles - is believed to has run its useful course. As such, this once-promising tank system is considered obsolete by some.  Despite development beginning as early as 1974, the first Arjun prototype did not appear in 1984 and was designed to be a 40-ton main battle tank mounting the then industry-standard 105mm main gun. Since the early Indian Army requirement was laid down, however, the Arjun has ballooned into a heavier 58-ton displacement with the larger and more potent 120mm main gun.  Externally, the conventional design of the Arjun shares many similarities with current-generation main battle tank models found elsewhere. The system accommodates four personnel made up of the driver, gunner, loader and tank commander. The driver situated in the hull while the rest of the crew is fitted into the 360-degree traversable turret. The Arjun retains a respectably low profile and fits 7 roads wheels to each track side and features upper armor skirts for added protection. External fuel tanks can be stored at the rear of the hull for increase range. Overall, the Arjun is designed with sharp clean lines though with very little in the way of sloped angles, particularly along the sides of the turret. The Kanchan modular composite armor is of steel construction while Explosive Reactive Armor can be added as optional. Some amphibious capability has been demonstrated which only enhance the systems overall value.  Armament consists of the powerful 120mm rifled main gun ready to fire HEAT, APFSDS or HESH projectiles as well as LAHAT anti-tank missiles. As is standard practice among modern tank systems, a Mag 7.62mm Tk715 anti-infantry machine gun if fitted co-axially in the turret alongside the main gun. Beyond that, a single 12.7mm (.50 caliber) HCB anti-aircraft machine gun is fitted to the top of the turret. A total of 39 projectiles of 120mm ammunition are carried in specialized containers that are kept separate from the crew for an added level survivability. Up to 12 smoke grenade dischargers are fitted to the rear side faces of the turret (six to a side).  Extensive attention has been placed on the Israeli Elbit-brand two-axis fire-control system - this coupled with the Arjun's complicated - yet state-of-the-art - hyrdopneumatic suspension system and gun stabilization components theoretically allow the Arjun to achieve a good "first-hit" capability on par with most any current generation MBT.  Power is derived from the German-based MTU 838 Ka 501-series turbocharged, water-cooled, diesel-fueled engine generating some 1,400 horsepower tied to the German-based Renk transmission system. This powerplant is mated to an Indian-produced turbocharger allowing for speeds of 72 kilometers-per-hour with a range of 200 kilometers. A more powerful 1,500 horsepower engine was also in the works at one time.  It was envisioned that the Arjun chassis - as with most other armies maintaining a capable MBT design - would be used in a myriad of related yet specialized battlefield support vehicles. Among them was a developed prototype Armored Recovery Vehicle though an armored reconnaissance, a 155mm-armed self-propelled gun (known as the "Bhima"), bridge layer and air defense vehicle were also planned. An interesting combination of the Arjun turret and a T-72 class chassis has also appeared in the prototype form of the 120mm-armed Tank-EX "Karna" mbt development.  As it stands, the Arjun has undergone trials for battlefield acceptance. However, the system has fallen well short of expectations with deficiencies in its fire control system as related to accuracy, consistent engine failures, poor speed and suspension troubles. The tank has also had issues when operating in the hot regional temperatures. These issues, along with cost overruns, have forced the Indian government to cast its disappointment with India's first indigenous tank design to that point that the Ministry of Defense has looked outwardly to fulfill India's tank needs. It was last reported that "some" progress had been made in rectifying the Arjun's shortfalls.  With the Arjun program moving along at a such a slow pace, it has been decided by the government to purchase large quantities of Russian-made T-90 main battle tanks for the interim - at least 347 are to be imported - a move no doubt spurred along by Pakistan's increasingly numeric armored forces. License production of the T-90 has also been granted to India to locally produce the Russian tank. As it stands, some 32 pre-production Arjun vehicles have been built along with an initial prototype and 12 follow-up models. A planned 124 is currently still on order, though a vastly lower figure than the original 1,500 to 2,000 tanks envisioned at the projects beginning.  With this joint partnership between Russia and India, Russia has offered its design arm to help in a new next-generation Indian tank venture, announced in 2008. The system is expect to be made ready by 2020 which could effectively spell the end of the Arjun.  With so much promise and optimism for India's first home-grown tank, the project has fallen into a sad state of affairs. When first unveiled, it was compared favorably to the western M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 series of tanks - those tanks themselves were designs with origins in the 1970s - but with the current pace of Arjun development, the system will be viewed as obsolete by most should she ever see operational service. If production is truly capped at 124 examples, her reach will in no way compare favorably to other more successful tanks in her class.  The Arjun might very well join the likes of the failed American-German joint venture of the ambitious MBT-70.      II. The Arjun Mark-II, Future MBT of the IA.  Announced specs/upgrades by the DRDO  The FMBT's are intended to replace the T-72 MBTs in the Indian Army in a post-2020 situation.  "For engine development, we have formed a national team comprising members from the academia, the user, industry and the DRDO. We have also gone in for an international consultant."  "We are confident that we will be ready with the FMBT prototype in five to seven years."  "We are trying to involve all the stakeholders -- the user [the Army], quality control personnel and the production agency -- in this project and the industry will be our partner. We will go for a modular design so that we can always upgrade the tank when new technology comes in."  "The immediate task for the CVRDE [Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment] is to develop the Arjun-Mk II tank and demonstrate it to the user and go for the production of 124 numbers in the HVF (Heavy Vehicles Factory]."  "With this upgrade, the commander can carry out his hunting job at night with his thermal sight and engage targets more effectively."  "The penalty for using these bricks (explosive armor reactive panel) is that they will add 1.5 tonnes to the tank's weight. But we can prevent top attack and side attack. We can add to the tank's protection from missiles and rocket-propelled grenades."  -- S. Sundaresh, Chief Controller (Armaments and Combat Engineering), DRDO.   * FMBT's engine will be two-thirds the size of Arjun Mark I MBT's engine and will generate 1,500-horsepower. First prototype of the indigenous engine would be ready by 2016. FMBT will weigh 50 tonnes.  * Project to develop the transmission for the tank is being launched. Engine and transmission ( aka "Bharat Power Pack") will meet the FMBT's mobility requirements.  * Volume occupied by the electronics package will be low.  * A total of 93 upgrades, including the advanced air defence gun system for firing at attack helicopters. Missiles firing capability to destroy long-range targets and bring down attack helicopters.  * Panoramic sight with night vision for the tank's commander. An automatic target tracking system to add accuracy when firing on a moving target.  * Explosive reactive armor panel which will comprise explosives in metallic brick form. These bricks will be mounted all round the MBT. When the enemy ammunition hits these bricks, they will explode and retard the energy of the projectile. Tanks armor will not be penetrated.  * Improvements in material, fuel injection and filtration technologies will contribute to the reduction in the engine size without compromising on power.  * Indian Army has placed an intent for production of 124 Arjun-Mk II tanks.  * Phase I, 45 tanks will roll out with 56 upgrades, including the missile firing capability and the commander's panoramic sight with night vision.  * Phase II, the remaining 79 tanks, with all the 93 improvements, will come off the assembly line. “By 2013-14, the first batch of around 30 tanks will go out,” Dr. Sivakumar said.  * 124 Arjun-Mk II tanks would cost Rs.5,000 crores.

http://www.defence.pk/forums/india-defence/87217-indian-fist-arjun-mbt-arjun-mark-ii.html


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