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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

From Today's Papers - 23 Feb 2011




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CoI into Howitzer report leak
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, February 22 A Lt General-rank officer of the Army has been tasked to conduct a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the leak of a secret report regarding trials of artillery guns - the ultra-light Howitzers - being procured from the US.  The guns are being procured through the foreign military sales (FMS) route --- the usual way to buy military equipment from the US government. Controversy hit the procurement after some pages of the classified report were leaked recently. The Director General of Military Intelligence conducted a probe into the decision and a decision was taken to conduct a full-scale Court of Inquiry.  The CoI will determine how and from where the report leaked and find out those responsible for it, said sources. The initial probe was ordered after the Army Headquarters received an anonymous letter with five pages of the field trial report.  This is the first artillery gun deal that India has entered into after the Bofors purchase. The field trials of the guns, produced by American company BaE, have been carried out at various places, including Leh and Sikkim.  The Army is procuring the gun for high-altitude, mountain terrain bordering China and Pakistan under its artillery modernisation programme. The Howitzer can be slung under a Mi-26-type chopper and moved from one place to another quickly.








MI gets its first Lt Gen
Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service  Chandigarh, February 22 The Corps of Military Intelligence (MI) has got its first-ever officer of the rank of lieutenant general. Till now, the senior-most rank that officers could attain in the MI, responsible for counter-intelligence, field security and information gathering, was major general.  Sources said Maj Gen JDS Rawat, Commandant of the MI School and Depot, Pune, was approved for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general by the Centre recently.  Although the MI now has a three-star general, sources said it was unlikely that the Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) at the Army Headquarters, also a lieutenant general, would be an MI officer.  At present, there are vacancies for two officers of the rank of major general in the MI. One is the depot commandant at Pune and the other is Additional DGMI at the Army HQs. A third vacancy at the level of major general in the MI at the Army HQs is also on the cards. There would then be three ADGMIs, with one of them, as is the practice, being from the other arms.  The new vacancies at the level of lieutenant general and major general are consequent to the implementation of the third stage of the AV Singh Committee recommendations on cadre restructure.










Ashok Leyland defence arm ties up with Krauss-Maffei fe Bureau
Posted online: 2011-02-23 01:24:36+05:30  ChennaiAshok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), a newly formed company in which the Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland holds 26% stake, has formed a strategic alliance with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co KG, Munich, Germany, at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to co-operate in the development of advanced defence systems for the Indian defence establishment as well as other defence forces worldwide. The scope of the co-operation will initially include the development of armoured wheeled vehicles, recovery vehicles, artillery and combat systems, bridge laying systems and other similar products. ALDS brings to this strategic alliance the expertise and experience of designing and developing defence vehicles that has made Ashok Leyland the largest supplier of logistics vehicles to the Indian Army with over 60,000 of its Stallion vehicles forming the Army’s veritable logistics backbone.  Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) will provide the technology and the technical assistance that will be required for the development of these defence systems. A 170-year-old company, KMW leads the market for highly protected armoured wheeled and tracked vehicles. The armed forces of over 30 nations worldwide rely on the German firm’s systems.










‘Blocks’ to protect Indian mountains
February 23, 2011 Sergei Ptichkin, Rossiyskaya Gazeta The Indian armed forces have been successfully working on an armaments programme using various modifications of the BrahMos missile, which was initially conceived as a Russian-Indian project. ‘Blocks’ to protect Indian mountains Source: Reuters/Vostock     Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation established the joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited in 1998. The new anti-ship cruise missile was modelled after the Soviet Union’s Oniks system (called Yakhont for export markets) and is distinguished by its outstanding technical features. The joint efforts of Russian and Indian specialists have resulted in the emergence of a new series of cruise missiles that are superior to any of their global analogues. There are different versions of the missile capable of striking both ship-based and land-based targets. They can be launched from aircraft (Su-30MKI), ships, submarines and land.     Several different variations of the missile have been created for the army and categorised into different blocks.     The BrahMos Block I land-attack missile, which is capable of striking visible radio-contrast targets, has been fully developed and is used by the Indian army. Block II was set up to strike at less visible targets and features both target-seeking equipment and satellite navigation.     The Indian army is now expected to place orders for a shipment of the Block III supersonic missiles, which are capable of striking targets in mountainous terrain with a high level of accuracy, according to BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sivathanu Pillai. The new missile combines the best features of the first two blocks. Dr. Pillai said the two technologies were used to create a product with the configuration of an anti-ship missile that can also strike targets on land. It has a radar seeker that can strike all radio-contrast targets, infrastructure, buildings, radio detection equipment, radar stations and air force bases – any object that reflects the appropriate signal.     One of the main features of the new missile is its ability to scale mountainous terrains, find the target and strike. There are no other supersonic cruise missiles with such features in the world. The Russian and Indian scientists managed to accomplish an extremely complicated task.     “It was almost impossible to do: to ensure manoeuvring and the nosedive when the missile is travelling at supersonic speed. Nobody has ever made anything of this kind. Nobody has even tried to do it. We managed to do it, and quite successfully at that,” Dr. Pillai said proudly.     Dr. Pillai said the ramjet system is fully operational and ensures the missile travels at a speed of approximately Mach 2.8. Block III is considered the world’s first supersonic missile capable of travelling in the mountains. When Russian and Indian scientists work together, they are capable of working wonders, the BrahMos Aerospace CEO said, and it is a hard point to argue.     The BrahMos Aerospace press service told Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the new missile system is fully prepared for production and that the company is currently determining the configuration of a missile facility for the army and the number of launching pads that will be needed.     In addition, Dr. Pillai said the joint venture has developed a version of the BrahMos that can be launched from underwater. A test launch is planned for this year.     “Our submarine-launched missile has already been developed,” he said. The plan is to launch the missile from a special pontoon on a stand just beneath the water. “We think we will make the launch this year and wrap up this work,” Dr. Pillai said.








China, Pakistan have strategy to invade India: Mulayam Singh
PTI, Feb 22, 2011, 08.29pm IST NEW DELHI: Alleging that China and Pakistan are having "a strategy to invade India," Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to give an assurance to Parliament that the country is safe from a possible external aggression.  "China and Pakistan can invade India. They are having a strategy to invade India. The House must be assured that India is safe, when PM gives reply," Yadav said in the Lok Sabha participating in a discussion on the motion of thanks to the President for her address to Parliament.  Referring to developments in Ladakh, Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh where China is allegedly building Army threatening India's sovereignty, he said, "They are occupying one inch of territory every day. We could not regain our lost territory. They are claiming our land."  The former defence minister said he was aware that China is ready to attack India.  "China is our No 1 enemy. It is time to save our country," he said.  "Their armed forces are ready. They may invade at any time. Nepal would also be occupied," Mulayam feared and called for a "Himalayan policy" to check a possible Chinese invasion.  The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the honour and sovereignty of the country is at stake.  Criticising the country's foreign policy, he said, it is in the hands of the US.  "Who are our friends? We don't have any friends like USSR," said the leader, whose party has 22 MPs who support the government from outside.  Referring to the incidents of attack on Indian students in Australia and harassment of Indian students at the hand of authorities in the US and the UK, he said the Government must take steps to protect their interest in foreign countries.  He said both Nepal and Sri Lanka used to enjoy good relations with India in the past but that is not so now.  The Samajwadi Party chief also alleged that there was "so much of corruption" in the name of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and it was bringing bad name for Gandhiji.  Gandhiji's name should be removed from the project to protect his honour, he said.








Former President Pervez Musharraf has said missile tests of Ghauri I and Ghauri II failed and Dr. Qadeer Khan is well aware of all this, Geo News reported.  He said those goods, which Dr. Qadeer would import or export, would be exempted from checking at customs therefore none dared to touch them. Only Dr. Qadeer Khan is responsible for nuclear proliferation.  He was allowed to go anywhere upon informing the government officials when I was on charge being president of Pakistan, Musharraf said, dispelling the impressions that Dr. Qadeer would remain under house arrest.  Supporting his decision to place precincts upon AQ Khan, Musharraf said he provided protection to Dr Qadeer Khan by means of putting ban on him as foreign forces were becoming mad to take him from Pakistan.  This Pervez Musharraf said, responding to a question posed by Jang News correspondent here in New York.  To a question, Musharraf said Dr. Qadeer Khan was an expert at Metallurgy science and did some work in nuclear enrichment whereas other scientists played major role in making Pakistan nuclear power but only considering him being hero, is injustice to other scientists.  Admitting that a letter he received from former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he said BB wrote me a letter, carrying three names whom she thought would attack on her, but I believe that Baitullah Mehsood assassinated her.  Those three persons, indicated in her letter, were Pervez Ilahi, Brig (Retd.) Ijaz Shah and General (retd.) Hameed Gul, he said.  “Baitullah Mehsood was the master mind of her assassination,” he claimed adding, “But I cannot confirm who might be behind the plot to kill Benazir.”  Musharraf said Lal Mosque issue is being politicized only. There were only 125 persons in mosque as all women and girls had gone off the mosques before attack.









Army aviation all set for expansion 
 By admin at 21 February, 2011, 11:12 am  SOURCE : IDRW NEWS NETWORK  Indian army is finally acknowledging need for separate air power assets under its wings, world’s third largest standing army is set to explore all possibilities to upgrade and enhance their air fire power, and we will look at aerial assets Army plans to acquire in coming decade.  HAL Dhruv: Indian Army already has inducted more than 40 indigenously manufactured Dhruv helicopters and plans to induct 3 times more than in its current fleet ,Army will be largest operator among three service and is actively supporting Dhruv WSI Armed variant which is still under testing .  HAL Light Observation Helicopter (LOH): Hal’s Light Observation Helicopter project has full backing of the India army; LOH will be replacing ageing Cheetah and Chetek helicopters which form backbone of the India army’s aviation fleet. LOH is based on Single engined powered Shakti engine, which have similar appearance to HAL’s Dhruv helicopter, Army will also be acquiring LOH which will be purchased directly from a foreign vendor for which Contenders have already completed their trials.  HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH): a multirole combat helicopter which already has made it first flight last year and its second TD-2 prototype has already been displayed at recently held Aero India 2011 airshow in Bangalore. Combat helicopter have always been in Indian air forces possession, well it all going to change soon, India army has taken keen interest in the Project and has already deputed high ranked Helicopter pilots from its Aviation wing to the Project. As per sources Army has been actively guiding HAL on various fronts to improve the combat aircraft, and is also keen to acquire it in much bigger number then Air force, HAL has firm orders of 114 LCH from Indian Army but plans are to acquire more with better future variants, this will enable Indian Army to have the largest fleet of combat helicopters not only among three armed services but also in whole of Asia region. LCH equipped with Helina ATGM will play the role of Tank Busters for the Indian Army in near future.  Hal- Irkut Corporations Multi-role transport aircraft (MRTA): Hal and Russian company – Irkut Corporations is already working on 20 tons MRTA to replace aging An-32 from Indian air force, while An-32 was operated solely by Indian Air force, Indian Army is all set to order at least two dozen of this aircrafts for its own Aviation wings to help in transport of logistics and troops. This will be first time Indian army will be operating larger aircrafts. While MRTA will take to air by 2015 only and production will start by 2017, initial batch will go to Indian air force and Army will get them at near end of this decade.  UAV: Unmanned aerial Vehicles are already been planned by Indian army and some Foreign and locally developed UAV’s have already been inducted into Army , more currently in development like DRDO’s MALE and HALE UAV’s are also under radar of Indian army ,plans are there to induct them when their trials are over .




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