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Thursday, 1 September 2011

From Today's Papers - 01 Sep 2011




Lt Generals move AFT against Defence Secretary

Seek criminal contempt proceedings against him for defying Tribunal orders  New Delhi, August 31 Two serving Lieutenant Generals have approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) seeking criminal contempt proceedings against the Defence Secretary, accusing him of “open defiance” of the Tribunal's orders.  In their pleas, Lt Generals J S Bajwa and P G Kamath have urged the AFT for initiating “appropriate criminal contempt proceedings against the named contemners as well as their subordinate officers who are responsible for open defiance of order dated June 2 passed by the Tribunal.”  In the order passed on June 2, the Tribunal had asked the government to keep one vacancy each of Corps Commander vacant for the two officers but the respondents did not do so, said S S Pandey, counsel for the two officers.  In the petitions, the officers have asked the Tribunal to “safeguard the dignity, efficacy and the authority of the Tribunal, and to give a clear message to the respondents/ contemners for such open defiance of the order by challenging the authority of this Tribunal.” This alleged act “needs to be viewed seriously,” they pleaded.  The two officers have named Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma as the main respondent in the case.  Bajwa and Kamath had filed a case before the Tribunal for being appointed as Corps Commanders, for which they were cleared by an Army selection board but were not given the charge as they did not have the required residual three years of service.  The officers had contended that three other Lt General-rank officers, including Lt Gen Chetinder Singh, N K Singh and present 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen S A Hasnain, also did not have three years of residual service but were given Corps Commander appointments by the government.  Bajwa is at present the Chief of Staff at the Kolkata-based Eastern Command and Kamath is holding the same office at the Central Command in Lucknow. — PTI

Anti-Naxal Operations Hand-launched UAVs to be deployed soon

Raipur, August 31 Hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will soon be deployed in the Naxal-hit zones of the country to provide security forces a close range surveillance of the ground terrain.  Initially, two mini UAVs are proposed to be deployed in Chhattisgarh and a border-area of Jharkhand to gather ground information for security forces before they embark on the anti-Naxal operations and launch planned offensives. A proposal in this regard was recently submitted to the Home Ministry by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which has deployed close to 70,000 troops for the counter-Naxal operations.  Officials involved in the trials and testing of these machines, aimed to gather advanced reconnaissance and situational awareness functions, said the technical wing of the CRPF, which recently flew such an in-house developed machine over Chandigarh. “The results were encouraging. Hence, the UAVs of Skylark make, which can be launched by hand are being chosen to be deployed in the Naxal-affected areas,” a senior officer said.  The mini UAVs can be quickly assembled before the mission and are recovered by landing the vehicle on a small inflatable cushion. The UAV is armed with gadgets to capture images and can carry payload to fly for almost three hours. The UAV has been used by NATO forces in various missions to ensure security of their camps from ambush and fire attacks, the officer said.  The entire mission of this mini UAV is flown independently and it feeds real-time video and other geographical data to the portable ground station. Security forces have been scouting for the UAVs after 76 security personnel were killed in a deadly Naxal ambush in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district last year.  Security agencies have been trying different variants of the UAVs for the Naxal-hit areas, dotted by thick foliage, to track the movement of the ultras and get correct information about the terrain they operate in.  The Central government has deployed the ITBP and the BSF apart from the CRPF for the anti-Naxal operations in the affected states along with state police forces and other special units. — PTI

Robin Dhowan new Navy Vice-Chief

Tribune News Service  New Delhi, August 31 Vice Admiral RK Dhowan today assumed charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) replacing Vice Admiral DK Dewan on his superannuation. Vice Admiral Dhowan has commanded INS Khukri, INS Ranjit and INS Delhi besides being the Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Fleet (FOCEF).  He has been Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, and the Indian Naval Adviser at the High Commission of India, London.  Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Satish Soni took over as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff replacing Vice Admiral Dhowan.  Vice Admiral Soni has held various important command and staff appointments in his career.  He has commanded INS Kakinada, INS Kirpan, stealth frigate INS Talwar and destroyer INS Delhi. As a Rear Admiral, he commanded the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy. He has also been the Commandant of the NDA.  The outgoing Vice Chief, Admiral DK Dewan, marked his tenure with a special achievement as he ensured 100 per cent utilisation of naval budget in the past two financial years with over 80 per cent increase in capital expenditure.

Keep army land for our men, not President: Retired servicemen   Read more at:

Pune:  A set of retired army men in the city is a disgruntled lot. That President Pratibha Devisingh Patil's retirement home is proposed to come up on army land in Khadki has vexed the ex-servicemen, who say army land should be reserved for former defence personnel who do not own homes. "We don't have any grievances against the President, but this is army land and it should be reserved for it," said Lt Col Suresh Patil, (Retd) of the Green Thumb group.  Patil said the issue of giving the defence land to the President had been discussed with Anna Hazare during his historic hunger strike at Ramleela Ground in Delhi. "Hazare himself was an ex-serviceman and was against many things in the defence. We want that the homeless ex-servicemen should get their houses first. The President can get other properties in Pune or her village," said Patil.  Patil, however, admitted the President had got the land by furnishing all the required papers legally. "The Honourable President is the head of all defence forces and so, she should return the property. In fact, the President should be advised properly by the defence officers," said Patil. "This is demoralising to ex-servicemen. We don't want another Adarsh scam in the city. If defence land is given out like that, then even the president's post will have to be brought under the ambit of the Jan Lokpal bill."  Patil was supported by Col Gulabrao Jadhav (Retd), Prakash Samant, Nandu Kalate, Prabhakar Kondhalkar and Krishna Yadav. Patil said there was a dearth of housing for ex-servicemen in the city and over 98 per cent of them were still in search of houses. "There are over 50,000 such families in the city and many are still struggling to get a home," Patil said.  Kondhalkar, the coordinator of the Green Thumb group, said the land for President's proposed residence was given at a cheap rate of Rs. 1.10 lakh, while the value of the land in question is above Rs. one crore. "This is at the cost of taxpayers' money. The Ministry of Defence gave the no-objection certificate," Kondhalkar said.  Not all agree  Col Jayant Chitale (Retd), president of Maharashtra Military Foundation, however, disagreed with the opposition to the land being given to the President for her retirement home. "The President is the chief of all three defence wings of the nation and can get the land for living under special provision. Though the land has been sold at a cheap rate, there is nothing wrong in it," he said. "In fact, it should be a matter of pride to Punekars that the President Madam is settling in the city and not going to other states."  Agitation to bring defence under RTI  Information about defence services should be available through the RTI Act, said Prabhakar Kondhalkar. He said over 100 senior officials have been involved in corruption cases since last five years. "We are burning the effigies of eight defence top officials in the agitation on Septemeber 5. Effigies of following defence officers will be burned by the Green Thumb Group: General Kapur, Gen Vij, Gen Sihota, Gen Hudda, Gen Thamburaj, Naval Chief Madvendra Singh, Gen Adarsh Prakah and Maj Gen G I Singh.   Read more at:

India's Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT):The wish list of Indian Army

The Indian Army is still juggling concepts of precisely what it wants from its Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT), but information shared with LiveFist provides a rare broad glimpse into work very much in progress as far as qualitative requirements for the future platform go. The Army's FMBT wish-list, in no particular order follows.  The Army insists that stealth be built into the FMBT from the ground up -- including paints/materials to provide limited invisibility in IR/visible spectrum and for scrambling and avoidance of detection. The Indian Army wants the tank to have an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system "to obviate chances of own tanks firing at each other in battle", and a whole new reliable and secure mobile communication system capable of data transmission, audio and video conference. Protection in the form of soft-kill system requires IR detectors, laser warning, radar warning and devices to instantaneously integrate these signals and control a countermeasure suite. Such systems are threat specific so all would have to be carried on a vehicle to gain protection against more than one part of the EM threat spectrum.  The new tank necessarily needs to espouse hybrid electric vehicle technology and incorporate digital vehicle electronics (vetronics) to provide intra-vehicle and inter-vehicle communication capability that will greatly improve sit awareness and enhance operational effectiveness.  For mobility, in order to achieve ‘extraordinary’ acceleration, the Army observes that it is necessary to couple the conventional diesel engine of the proposed tank to a turbine. The ‘Hyberbar’ engine will be able to accelerate from zero to full power at 1,500 hp in 2.8 seconds, while a conventional diesel engine requires 8-12 seconds. The quest for more compact power pack has led to renewed interest in gas turbines, which needs to be explored, the Army feels.  The Army wants an active suspension system with sensors, control units, and a hydraulic power source in combination, to automatically alter the suspension characteristics to more closely match the speed of the vehicle and the terrain profile, especially in Indian terrain conditions.  The Army has always held the view that signature management was almost completely ignored in the development of the Arjun. The Army hopes that lesson has been learnt now. Current and expected future threat scenarios require signature management measures of a multi spectral type, and they require an extremely short reaction time. The Army says it requires signature management in design measures, basic camouflage, additional camouflage and temporary camouflage.  Explosive Reactive Armour Now! The Army points out that the main battlefield threats against tanks are Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGMs), unguided anti tank rockets and grenades; shaped charge High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) gun rounds; Kinetic Energy (KE) gun rounds; and top-attack weapons like intelligent sub-munitions, terminally guided artillery rounds, etc. There is a need for developing Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA). Given optimised designs, integrated ERA offers tanks highly effective protection against both the penetrators of Armoured Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) projectiles and the jets of shaped charge weapons, including those with tandem warheads.  The Army says it wants a high-performance armour system on its FMBT with advanced materials incorporating the following qualities (a) Reduced penetration by most lethal weapons, (b) Elimination of parasitic mass leading to a weight reduction, (c) Excellent corrosion resistance, (d) Inherent thermal and acoustic insulation properties.  The Army has stressed that the FMBT needs Infra Red (IR) detectors, target identification systems, laser warning systems, radar warning receivers and devices to coordinate their signal and instantaneously control a countermeasures suite. These countermeasures fall into two categories: soft-kill system and hard-kill system. The soft kill sensors must discriminate true and false targets and they must discriminate between missiles or other rounds that threaten the vehicle being protected and those that will miss or are aimed at other targets.  The Army wants an Automatic Protection Systems (APS) on the FMBT. The radar should determine threat levels adequately, and the self-defence rockets should not cause high levels of collateral damage, particularly to accompanying dismounted infantry.  Of course, weapons. Conventional tube weapons are the product of a mature technology, and have now reached a high level of performance. However, on account of the gas-dynamic processes of thermally transformed powder, the muzzle velocity of projectiles is theoretically limited to approximately 2,300 m/s. Contemporary tank guns still offer a considerable growth potential, and electronic guns will be able to exceed this and become an attractive proposition. Tank-fired missiles, which carry shaped-charge warheads, were susceptible to various countermeasures, especially reactive armour. The Army says it is reasonable to expect development of high velocity KE missiles with heavy-metal, long-rod penetrators to defeat current and future tanks both within and beyond line of sight. Such extended-range missiles would enable armoured vehicles to engage targets beyond the direct fire zone. The high/medium-energy level (100 kJ) vehicle-mounted laser is expected to be a lethality option against rockets, air vehicles, light ground vehicles, antennas of armoured vehicles and electro-optical sensors. Hard-kill system to provide full-spectrum defence against top attack weapons, ATGMs, guided missiles and gun-launched KE and HEAT rounds.  Fire Control System (FCS): Ground sensors, non-line-of-sight launch system and the network capability will enhance soldiers’ understanding of their situation in dynamic battlefield conditions by promoting a common perspective of enemy and friendly locations on digital maps and provide timely actionable intelligence.  Very importantly, the Army has stressed that there is a need to manufacture modern simulators using lasers, micro-processors and magnetic tapes, thereby creating near actual combat conditions during training. Development of driving, gunnery and tactical simulators.

Exercise ‘Vijayee Bhava’ To Transform Army Into More Agile Force

Suratgarh (Rajasthan), May 12 (ANI): To transform itself into a more lean, agile and enabled force in order to conduct the full range of operations seeing the volatile situation in the neighbourhood, more than 50,000 troops of Indian Army are participating in an exercise named ‘Vijayee Bhava’.  The focus of the exercise, is inter-alia; to evaluate the various proposals put forward by the class formation study groups of the Army.  The month-long exercise saw the participation of Kharga Corps as entered its crucial culmination phase. The exercise has provided an opportunity to evaluate and test new equipment technologies and concept of modern warfare, which has been the outcome of the Army transformation studies.  “Exercise ‘Vijayee Bhava’ will transform the Indian Army into a more agile, versatile and lethal force to give victory in war. It is culmination of training, which we have carried out in our peace stations,” said General Officer in Commanding, Western Command, Lieutenant General S. R. Ghosh.  “The success of any war would be based on total integration of air and land battle, and through this exercise, we have tried to achieve this. The Indian Army has to be ready for any type of threat and this transformation focuses on conventional as well as asymmetric warfare. This transformation is going to make a huge difference, as we have taken major steps forward to integrate all our assets,” he added.  Commenting on battle preparedness of the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Ghosh said: “My mandate is to be operationally ready to take to the battlefield at short notice and emerge victorious.”  Exercise ‘Vijayee Bhava’ (blessed to win), which is being conducted in the deserts of Bikaner and Suratgarh near the Pakistan border in order to boost the synergy between the defence forces, is the first amongst a series of Western Command routine annual summer exercises.  Battlefield tactics for warfare are being practiced in the exercise that also aims at fine-tuning the concept of the Cold Start doctrine.  The manoeuvres are being conducted in North Rajasthan to test the operational and transformational effectiveness of the Ambala based Kharga Corps as well as validate new concepts, which have emerged during the transformation studies undertaken by the Army.  The Indian Army, which is working towards a ‘capability based approach’, has embarked on a series of transformational initiatives spanning concepts, organizational structures and absorption of new age technologies, particularly in the fields of precision munitions, advance surveillance systems, space and network-centricity. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)


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