India inducts 3rd indigenous stealth frigate
Seven more in the pipeline, says Defence Minister
Mumbai, July 21
The Indian Navy is set to get a set of seven new warships that will be stealthier — less visible to enemy radars — than before and will carry supersonic cruise missile BrahMos hidden in its belly besides a complement of weapons and the latest phased array radars to provide a clearer picture of approaching threats.
Defence Minister AK Antony today told the media about the project. He said, "Contract negotiations are going on. Once that is done, the matter will be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)."
The Defence Minister accompanied by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma was here to commission the 6,200 tonne warship INS Sahyadri, which is the third and last of the Shivalik-class stealth frigates under Project 17 built indigenously at the Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), here.
The first two ships in the class are INS Shivalik and INS Satpura that are now on active duty. The three have cost some Rs 10,200 crore and have been commissioned in the past two years.
The INS Sahyadri that got commissioned today is an indicator of the generational shift in India's warship-building capability. The 143m long ship can tactically fire weapons even before the enemy detects it.
The warship has long-range surface-to-surface Klub missiles, area defence missiles Shtil and Barak, anti-submarine torpedoes, 100 mm mounted gun and six-barrelled 30 mm gun. Ships like this will form the core of India's battle fleet in the first half of this century.
The set of seven new stealth warships - named Project 17-A - will be a derivative of the Shivalik-class frigates. These will cost some $9 billion (Rs 45,000 crore), but will incorporate newer building materials like composites besides a very high degree of automation to allow a smaller crew to operate it.
The keel-laying of the first warship of Project 17A is likely to be done next year and more than 80 per cent of the warship's components will be locally made.
MDL will build four and the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata, will construct the remaining three.
The changes over the existing stealth frigates will help accommodate an advanced version of the Barak-2 Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) and a latest area air defence system that will include the 40km-range Shtil-1 MRSAMs, missile launchers besides a new E-band radar and BrahMos.
The crew will be reduced from the existing 257 (including 35 officers) to about 150 by introducing high levels of automation.
INS Sahyadri: Adding teeth to the naval fleet
Has 6,200 tonne displacement and is 143m long
Can hoodwink enemy radars, sensors by concealing its size
Has three-dimensional warfare capability — surface, air, underwater
Its weapons suites have anti-ship, anti-submarine, air-defence missiles
Powered by a unique combination of gas and diesel engines
Can stay in sea for more than three weeks or cover 10,800 km without refuelling
Adarsh Society land belongs to MoD: Antony
Mumbai, July 21
Contradicting the Maharashtra Government that has laid claim to the land on which the controversial Adarsh Housing Society stands, Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday reiterated that the property belonged to the Ministry of Defence.
"There is our possession on the land and we have conveyed this to the commission (of inquiry set up by the Maharashtra Government)," said Antony, who was here to inaugurate warship INS Sahyadri.
He said allowing civilians to buy flats in Adarsh Housing Society, which overlooks vital defence installations, amounted to a major security risk. On former Army Chief Deepak Kapoor telling the commission that the society did not pose any security risk, he said those were the officer's personal views.
Antony sticks to his stand: Adarsh a security threat
Differing with former Army chief General Deepak Kapoor's deposition before the judicial commission probing alleged irregularities in the Adarsh building, Defence Minister AK Antony on Saturday reiterated that it was a threat to security.
He also differed with the commission report that Adarsh building was not on Defence land.
Antony said what the former Army chief said was his personal view.
"Whatever he said was his personal view. But the Defence Ministry and the Indian Army are very clear and very categorical that it's our possession, our land, (our) security threat and we have already communicated to the court in writing."
He was addressing the media on the sidelines of the commissioning of the third indigenously designed stealth frigate of the Shivalik Class, INS Sahyadri, in Mumbai.
The former Army chief in his submission on Thursday had said he did not feel that the residential building was a security threat as there were other structures with similar heights in proximity to the defence area.
The MoD had explained its position to a bench of the High Court in a petition on April 30, seeking demolition of the structure on the very same grounds.
"We have informed the court of the matter. Our petition has everything," Antony said.
Answering a query on the CBI probe, Antony said, "We stand by our position and feel that the CBI has every right to inquire into the whole matter."
The CBI has filed a chargesheet in the case , the state government has been saying the agency did not have the right to investigate the matter.
Brahmos missile soon to be in Russian defence services
Coimbatore: Supersonic cruise missile Brahmos, successfully inducted into the Indian Army and Navy, will soon be deployed by Russian defense services, for which modalities are being worked out, a top official of the Indo-Russian joint venture said on Saturday.
"A high power delegation, led by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, recently visited the company and reviewed and appreciated the induction and progress of Brahmos missiles into the Indian Army and Navy. After discussions, it was decided to induct them into Russian services," A Shivathanu Pillai, CEO and Managing Director of Brahmos Aerospace, told on Saturday night.
The delegation would soon work out modalities to induct them into their services, particularly the Naval fleet, he said.
Brahmos missile soon to be in Russian defence services
Pillai said plans are afoot to conduct underwater tests of the submarine variant of the missile. If successful, the company would seek the Government's nod for its induction into all services and commercial production, he said.
He said the Defence Research and Development Organisation is in the process of designing and developing various products for the health sector like lightweight calipers and potable critical care ventilator.
"For its further development, surgeons, doctors and scientists must interact and work to indigenously manufacture products and to bring down cost of medical appliances," he said.
Pillai, also Chief Controller, R&D, DRDO, was here to attend the sixth Convocation of Association of Minimal Access Surgeons of India.
Col Singh sought undue favour for posting: Boss
It has come to light that Army Physical Training Corps (APTC) top boss had recommended administrative action against Colonel A K Singh for seeking "undue favour".
Singh, a physical training officer (PTO) of the National Defence Academy (NDA), now under CBI scanner for his alleged involvement in irregularities pertaining to Group C recruitment, was posted with the Army Institute of Physical Training (AIPT) as the deputy commandant in 2010.
Singh was with AIPT from 2006 to 2008 when he had apparently written to APTC top boss -- Deputy Director General Military Training (DDGMT) -- requesting allegedly for an "undue favour" regarding his posting.
"When I was the Deputy Director General (DDG) in the Integrated Head Quarters of Defence (Army), he wrote to me an unsigned demi official (DO) letter, requesting for an undue favour regarding his posting, which was most unbecoming in the circumstances, keeping in mind the turnover of officers in the interest of the Corps and the Organisation. This was seen by me in a very adverse and poor manner and I recommended suitable administrative action against him, to his superior officer and the commandant," said Brigadier (Retd) S D Dangwal, who was Singh's top boss. Dangwal, who is a former DDGMT, has cited these details in his blog Passion for Courage.
According to Dangwal, Singh was also issued a warning letter by the then commandant, APTC, Singh's immediate boss. Singh, originally a mechanised Infantry officer, was keen on getting a posting in the city — either Southern Command or the NDA — for which he is learnt to have approached Dangwal.
Dangwal who retired as DDGMT in 2008 writes, "A K Singh managed to get his way with regard to his posting, with support from even higher bosses. I then wrote to the Deputy Military Secretary (Dy MS) about the grave wrong which was about to get done should the officer's request be upheld with regard to his posting. The Dy MS saw good reason in my recommendations to undo }what had been done and posted out the officer from where he wanted to remain for another year or so."
"He was posted to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, as the PTO where he picked up the rank of a full Colonel and came back to AIPT in mid-2010 as deputy commandant. He was reprimanded in June 2011 and was posted to NDA prematurely by the end of last year before the completion of two years on the appointment," said another AIPT officer.
It is considered the probable reason why former NDA commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh had objected to Singh's transfer as the PTO of the Academy, he said.
India And The Elusive Billions
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July 21, 2012: The Indian Army has been trying to modernize its armed forces, particularly its army, for the last decade. India spends about $48 billion a year on defense, and the military is asking the government for $182 billion, over the next five years, just for modernization. This would nearly double India's defense budget and the generals are not likely to get all they want.
The army wants a lot of stuff specifically for dealing with China (which currently spends three times as much as India on defense). Thus the request for $12 billion to form two mountain divisions, to deal with Chinese claims on Indian territory high in the Himalayan mountains. The military also wants $5 billion to build more roads and military bases in remote territory, near Tibet, that China claims as its own.
The army wants $8 billion to supply the troops with enough night-fighting equipment to equip all combat units and armored vehicles. The army also wants several thousand IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) and enough additional aircraft (especially helicopters) to give each of the 13 Army Corps its own aviation brigade. In addition to new threats from China, there is the continuing threat from Pakistan.
If there is going to be a war, the army admits that its stocks of ammunition (especially tank and artillery shells) is too small and out-of-date. That will cost over $5 billion to remedy. Ammo needs includes lots more missiles (anti-tank and anti-aircraft).
The government is reluctant to spend all of this money because of the many military procurement disasters in the last two decades. Most involved bribes and other forms of corruption. Officially, the government is all over this sort of misbehavior, but the reality is that there are still a lot of procurement officers and officials who cannot be trusted.
India successfully tests nuclear-capable Agni-I missile
Balasore (Odisha): India on Friday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile, with a strike range of 700 km, as part of the Army's user trial from a test range at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.
The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 1010 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, defence sources said.
"The trial of the sophisticated missile with a strike range of 700 km was successful," a defence scientist said.
India successfully tests nuclear-capable Agni-I missile
Describing the launch as a routine user s trial by the strategic force command of Indian Army, he said the main objective was to train the user team to launch the missile.
"It was a practice-drill. The user-team picked a missile at random from the production lot and fired it with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR," he said.
Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision, he said.
The trajectory of the missile, which has an operational strike range of 700 km, was tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area.
Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 kg, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.
Agni-I was developed by advanced systems laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of the DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
The last trial of the Agni-I missile was successfully carried out on December 1, 2011 from the same base.
Since the missile has already been inducted into the armed forces, it is important to conduct user trials for training of defence personnel and improvement of their skills, sources said.