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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

From Today's Papers - 24 Jul 2012
Defence deals: US offers to match India’s ally Russia
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, July 23
The US today virtually offered to match India’s 50-year-old ally Russia in matters of multi-billion dollar defence deals. It has offered high-end technology, latest equipment and even a promise to change its stringent technology-transfer rules to accommodate New Delhi’s growing ambitions.

The corner stone is India’s surging defence equipment demand that will induce a spending of around $80 billion over the next 6-7 years.

Deputy Secretary of Defense, USA, Ashton B Carter laid out a plan as he spoke on “Joint Vision for US-India Defense Cooperation” at a function organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) this afternoon. In the morning, he had called on Defence Minister AK Antony and top-brass of the Defence Ministry.

“We want to knock down any remaining bureaucratic barriers in our defence relationship, and strip away the impediments. We want to set big goals to achieve,” Carter said while addressing Indian audience comprising strategic thinkers and industry representatives.

“India deserves the best military equipment available and we are prepared to help. Practically, we want to be India’s highest-quality and most-trusted long-term supplier of technology,” Carter said without naming Russia, which is dominant in military equipment sales to India. Over the past few years, Russia has leased a nuclear-powered submarine to India; sold a sea-borne aircraft carrier; co-developed a supersonic missile and is now co-developing a new fighter jet and a transport aircraft.

“We are looking at cooperating and not trade. It is not a buyer-seller relationship… India is top priority in our export considerations. New efforts will help us respond more rapidly to India’s requests for US equipment and systems - particularly for more advanced technologies,” Carter said. “We are improving our government’s overall export-control system”, India can make some changes too by raising its FDI ceiling from the present 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Knowing that India and the US may not see eye-to-eye on many issues, Carter said, “We have long-term interests, if not always common approaches, like Syria and Iran” and went on to suggest “a joint vision for the US-India defence cooperation”.

Carter also clarified on the rebalance the US just announced. It plans to shift its forces eastwards towards the Asia-Pacific region. Both, India and China have not taken kindly to the announcement. He said, “Rebalance is not about China or the United States or India or any other single country or group of countries.”

on offer

    High-end technology
    Latest equipment
    A promise to change US technology-transfer rules
MoD clears Rs 12,000-cr proposal for 56 planes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister AK Antony today cleared the purchase of 56 small transport planes having capacity of eight to 10 tonnes to replace the ageing Avro-series of planes in the IAF inventory. It will cost around Rs 12,000 crore.

The foreign vendor, who will win the bid, will have the option to tie up with public sector company like Hindustan Aeronautic Limited (HAL) or some private player. Leading Indian company like Tata already has a joint venture in which the company will produce components for US major Lockheed Martin. Reliance is another Indian company that has launched an aerospace company.

HAL has so far been the Indian partner for all foreign companies - be it for Sukhoi 30-MKI or the forthcoming 126 medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA).

The second important part of today’s decision is the gradual Indian production of the plane. The first 16 of these transport planes will be purchased in a fly-away condition, the next 16 will have 30 per cent indigenous content while the rest will have 60 per cent local content.

Sources in the ministry said a global request for the proposal will be issued. India and Russia have already signed an agreement to co-develop a medium transport plane having the ability to carry 25 to 30 tonnes.
Air Force drill ahead of Pranab's swearing-in showed poor planning
New Delhi: It was meant to be an exercise to check the preparedness of the Indian Air Force to prevent a 9/11-like attack when the 13th President of India takes oath on Wednesday.

Instead, poor planning meant that on Saturday, thousands of passengers flying to or from Delhi faced huge inconvenience. Many flights were delayed, others were diverted to airports in other cities like Jaipur. At the time. Mr Mukherjee had not been declared President of India - votes were counted a day later.

The guest list for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan includes top Indian political and military leadership, and some foreign dignitaries. The Indian Air Force was assigned to test its preparedness to intercept rogue air planes. The Delhi Integrated Air Defence Centre (DIADC), which coordinates the use of airspace with other agencies was also to be activated. Jaguar fighters from Ambala and a helicopter from Hindon were deployed for the exercise.

But the plans had two major operational flaws. The Notam, or notice to airmen which informs military and civil aviation officials about specially-imposed flying conditions, was issued only on Saturday morning at about 7.30 am. It declared that 50 nautical miles of air space over Delhi would be closed for two hours between 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday. Only planes cruising above 20,000 feet could continue unhindered. Generally, Notams are issued at least two days in advance, so that flights can be planned well-ahead by airlines, and passengers can be informed of schedule changes. 

The second, and perhaps, the more serious second goof-up happened between the Ministry of Defence and the Air Force. Defence Minister A K Antony was scheduled to return from Mumbai to the capital at 2 pm, after attending the commissioning ceremony of the INS Sahyadri - Indian Navy's Stealth frigate. His schedule was well publicised, but the Air Force did not take his return journey into account.

As the Air Force exercise was about to start, permission was sought by the Ministry of Defence to allow a special plane with Defence Minister A K Antony and Navy Chief Nirmal Verma on board to land at the international airport in Delhi. When the Air Force realised this, it appears to have cut short its drill. The Air Space over Delhi opened to normal traffic by 2 pm, according to records. Defence Minister A K Antony landed in Delhi about 2.10 pm.

Senior IAF officials, however, deny that poor planning meant they had to curtail their operation. "We completed the exercise by 1.45pm. We had, initially, asked for two hour period because we wanted to accommodate for sudden weather changes or other exigencies that may arise in such an exercise," the IAF offical told NDTV. That explanation may have some merit, but if the Defence Minister had not appeared literally on the horizon, would the air force have released air space an hour before it was meant to?
The case of India's depleting battletank ammo
Facing a critical shortage of ammunition for Army's fleet of T-90 and T-72 tanks after the blacklisting of an Israeli firm, the defence ministry is now looking to procure these shells from Russia.

The severe shortage of tank ammunition was first highlighted by then Army Chief Gen V K Singh in a top secret letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March this year which later found its way to the media.

After the blacklisting of supplier of the FSAPDS (Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) used by T-90 and T-72 tanks, Russia has now been approached for supplying these tank shells, Defence Ministry sources told PTI in New Delhi.
A contract negotiation team under a Joint Secretary-level official had also gone to Moscow recently to discuss the price of FSAPDS ammunition but further parleys will have to be held to decide on the cost issue, they said.

To avoid such shortages in future, the defence ministry is also seeking a transfer of technology from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to produce the ammunition indigenously.

Gen Singh had pointed out in his letter that only three to four days of this particular ammunition was left in the inventory of the armoured regiments.

Later on, the Army had also informed the Standing Committee on Defence about the shortage and how the situation had worsened by the recent blacklisting of its supplier Israeli Military Industry.
Recently, the Army Headquarters had initiated the process to procure within 12 to 18 months around 75,000 to one lakh rounds of FSAPDS ammunition from global sources but apparently not much progress has been made so far.

After the issues were brought out by the then Army Chief, Defence Minister A K Antony had taken urgent steps to address them and has held several rounds of meetings with Army and Defence Ministry officials to review preparedness and do away with the stumbling blocks in the modernisation process.

Gen Singh's letter had highlighted the obsolescence of the air defence systems in the Army and to address the issue, the defence minister has cleared the procurement of quick reaction surface-to-air missile systems for eight new regiments that are to come up.

Likewise, the procurement for 145 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULH) from the US has also been cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
 It was one of those days when you feel so non existent and so small before the persons standing before you ,yes it was RUN DELHI RUN "event at India Gate to commemorate Vijay Diwas ,popularly known for kargil war victory .It just happened one fine day that i got a call from Krish,founder of Indian Army Fans that we are planning to celebrate Vijay Diwas .I loved this idea because i always believe "We are what we are because in the toughest terrains of India ,soldiers are protecting our borders ,we are safe today because Kargil war took away sons of many mothers at an early age"
So the planning,meetings,CP gatherings,maps,task division started and the most wonderful thing i noted is that people from all age groups participated only on invite of a facebook page "Indian Army Fans"
We had a boss ,a kargil war amputee Major DP Singh with a rock solid attitude as a driving force and yes he managed to call some of the most inspiring people as our guests
Mrs Sudha Singh,M/O Shaheed Major Uday singh SM, SC
Col.V.N.Thapar,F/o Shaheed Captain Vijayant Thapar VC
Prof.S.K.Naiyer,F/O Shaheed Captain Anuj Naiyer,MVC
Deepa Malik,a paraplegic who is a sportsperson
Navin Gulia ,a Paraplegic with a list of achievements that has no limits
The event started on 22 july at & 7 a.m and we were there by 6,700-800 people registered themselves at the run
we started with wreath laying at amar jawan jyoti ,as i was reading the names ,i slipped the name of Capt.Vijayant Thapar and my mind went empty ,Col.Thapar whispered me "Vijayant " with a smile and i was so embarrassed ,when he came back he said "good show doctor,it happens sometime",a brave and smiling father who lost his son to war at the age of 22
The felicitation function started among the citations of the brave men and some very inspiring speeches with by everyone and the run was flagged off lead by DP Sir himself the crowd were so excited amid "Vande Matarm"n "Bharat Mata Ki Jai"
the most wonderful thing about run was we had our youngest participant at 5 yrs and the oldest at 83 along with 23 disabled persons and yes a group of runners came all the way running from Gurgaon to India Gate .................Amazing Zeal
we did plantation at pragati maidan with the message of Greener  India
The 5km run ended at India Gate and we were happy that we did something for the war heroes and people who inspire India
Returning back i touched the feet of Mrs Sudha Singh ,she said girls don't touch feet she hugged me n cried .I had tears in my eyes ,words fell short and i said to her "Shaheed ki maa sabse mahan hoti hain mam"
I apologized to Col.Thapar again and he was so warm n friendly that he said you should come visit the father of Vijayant sometime ,this is your punishment :-)
Taking blessings from Prof Naiyer ,whose fight against corruption is known by all ,when he asked me what i wanted to do IAS he said always be an honest officer beta,it pains to see the condition of a country for which soldiers laid down their lives "he gave me a book duly signed which said "To Doctor whose citation about Anuj brought tears in my eyes after so many years "look at the greatness of a father living alone at the old age ,worried about the country more ,and we can understand from where soldierly values into Capt. Anuj came from.............and then he said i want to be alone ,after all he was a father too
we all have our own experiences that we felt like an Indian as written by Geetika as her status that a mere act of pushing the magnificent lady's chair to Amar Jawan Jyoti made my eyes wet"Two person rightly deserve the credit-Maj D P Singh &KRISH
The British-Indian Army
On 3rd September, 1939, the Viceroy of India, with all the powers invested in him by the British crown, declared India to be at war with Germany. He did so without bothering to consult any of India’s political leaders and thereby lost the support of India’s entire political class.

He needn’t have done so, after all, Nehru, who had spoken out passionately against the evils of Hitler’s regime, had been educated at Harrow, the same school as Churchill, while Gandhi had been trained as a lawyer at the Inner Temple and had declared that he would never allow an independent India to be born out of the ashes of Britain’s institutions. A more diplomatic approach on the part of the Viceroy might have won India’s full cooperation.

In response to the snub, the regional assemblies resigned, government was sabotaged and Congress stepped up its campaign to rid India of the British.

Yet, with India in revolt, Britain was still able to raise a volunteer army of 2.5 million men, the largest volunteer force in history, of which 87,000 were to lose their lives and 30 were to win the Victoria Cross, an army which was to fight with great courage and discipline and play a crucial role in the Allied victories in North Africa, Europe and Asia.

It had been through ruthless business deals and crafty political intrigue that the British East India Company first entered Bengal and bled it of its wealth. It was through the Company’s private armies, manned principally by the Muslims of Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, that it extended its fiefdoms and eventually acquired unrivalled supremacy throughout the Indian sub-continent.

When those troops finally rebelled in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the power of the East India Company collapsed and the government of India reverted to the British Crown. Bengal, once the richest province of India, was broken and impoverished. In 1911, the capital was moved from Calcutta to Delhi. No longer were Bengali troops deemed reliable for maintaining public order and suppressing dissent. The British now turned to the Punjabis, Pashtuns, Gurkhas, Sikhs and Rajputs of the North West to man their armies. But ever fearful of revolt, each ethnic group was studiously assigned to its own regiments so that the possible disloyalty of one could be quashed by another. Kinship and tribal ties served to reinforce regimental pride while simultaneously alienating the soldiers from the members of other clans. The caste system was shrewdly manipulated to give respect to the north-western tribes as “martial” while despising Bengalis as “unmanly”. British pomp seduced some of India’s elite to collaborate, while differences in caste, class and religion allowed British ascendancy to become tyranny and prevented a united front from emerging to challenge Britain’s greatest imperial possession.

During the period of the East India Company, only one in ten regiments was British. After the mutiny, it was felt necessary to increase the number to one in three and to withdraw all artillery from Indian hands. By 1880, there were 65,000 British troops to 135,000 Indian. The cost of the British regiments was left to the Indian exchequer, a British soldier costing three times as much as an Indian one.

No attempt was every made to create a citizens’ army through National Service that might protect Indian interests. The army remained a mercenary one in service to the British crown. Immediately after the Indian Mutiny, its principal role was to maintain public order. Battalions and regiments were garrisoned in every large Indian town. Loyalty of the troops was maintained by deploying the regiments away from their home grounds.

Senior command of the Indian army was kept in the hands of British officers, trained at Sandhurst and holders of the Kings’ Commission. Indians could only aspire to the Viceroy’s commission which put them in command of squadrons and platoons but no larger units. Indian soldiers were required to salute Indian officers but no British soldiers were expected to do so, even of junior rank.

The Viceroy’s commission was given to those soldiers who had served for some time in the regiment who could act as liaison officers between the Indian troops and their British officers. They would have been older men with little experience beyond their regiments, without the staff training needed for higher rank and with little opportunity for promotion.

In 1901, Lord Curzon founded the Imperial Cadet Corps at Dehra Dun, an elite corps designed to give the sons of Indian princes and aristocrats experience of military life. This allowed them a commission without the long experience normally required of the peasant soldiers, but it was still only the Viceroy’s commission and the aim was more to flatter than empower.

Under Kitchener’s reforms in 1903, the role of the army was shifted from that of maintaining public order to one of defending the borders, principally along the North-Western frontier. This involved a major restructuring in which the battalion strength units, scattered across the country, were fused into large operational divisions either on active duty or held in reserve.

The First World War challenged many of the presumptions that underlined the pre-war organization of the Indian army. Desperately in need of manpower, recruitment was extended to the “non-martial” castes. At the height of the war, Indians who held the Viceroy’s commission were made eligible for the King’s commission. In 1917. ten vacancies were opened for Indians at Sandhurst. In 1918, the Chelmsford-Montagu report recommended to parliament that measures should be taken to encourage self-government in India, implicit in this was the gradual Indianisation of the army.

But the concessions and pledges were soon qualified or rescinded. At the end of the war, the “non-martial” castes were the first to be demobilised. Of the first 25 men to enter Sandhurst, only 10 passed through.

Under pressure from India’s Legislative Assembly, the Viceroy appealed to London for measures to bring Indian officers into the Army on a par with their British counterparts. London, however, was wary of having British subalterns under the command of Indian officers and therefore settled on a slow policy of Indianisation in segregated units in which Indian officers with the King’s commission would first replace those Indians with the Viceroy’s commission and then move up slowly to replace their British counterparts. Complete Indianisation was estimated to take over 22 years. Only 5 out of 104 infantry battalions were selected for Indianisation; 2 out of 21 cavalry regiments; and 1 pioneer battalion (sappers and miners) out of 7. Since the programme was conceived as an experiment, the eight units did not even constitute a complete operational division, while 17,000 British officers remained in command of the rest of the Indian army.

It was a firm belief of the time that only proper breeding and a public school education could provide the right material for the officer class. To give Indian boys the correct background, the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College was founded in Dehra Dun in 1922 as an Indian Public School.

In 1932, another reluctant step was taken towards autonomy with the establishment of the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun, an Indian equivalent to Sandhurst. It opened in 1932 and was tasked to produce 40 commissioned officers twice a year following two and a half years of training.

The Second World War, like the First, was to expose how reactionary and timid the British had been. In 1939, fewer than a thousand Indians held the King’s commission, by 1945, 15,740 were to have it, while senior Indian officers were put in command of battalions, regiments and brigades. By the end of the war, nobody thought it necessary to “stiffen” Indian brigades with a British brigade. Nor was recruitment confined to the north as Bengali and Madrasi troops proved themselves to be equal in valour to any Punjabi.

Just as it was the revolt of the soldiers that announced the end of the East India Company, so was it a mutiny within the armed forces, this time in the navy, that showed the British they could no longer hold India. Within two years of the end of the war, they were out.
Keeping Cool in the Indian Desert in Russian battle tanks
Fedders Lloyd Corporation Ltd Incorporated in the year 1957, was setup to fulfill prospects for climate control equipment, especially in the field of Air Conditioners, in India ,  making consumer air conditioning units and later supplying air conditioning to passenger train carriages. Fedders Lloyd branched out to telecommunications and then military HVAC.

Fedders Lloyd have already supplied over two thousand military grade ruggedized air conditioning and heating systems for mine-protected vehicles and main battle tanks for the Indian Army, like the T-72M1 Ajeya,T-90S Bishman and the Arjun. The company is also in the process of supplying air conditioning and heating units for 150 armored ambulance vehicles – both tracked and wheeled versions and mobile radar stations.

The Fedders Lloyd units can cool a tank or armored vehicle to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 degrees Fahrenheit) when it is 55 degrees C (131 degrees F) outside, Nagarajan Sridharan, CEO and director of marketing for the New Delhi-headquartered company, told a military vehicles conference in Detroit recently.

“Our focus is improving crew efficiency, which is a battlefield factor and therefore a force multiplier,” he said, adding. “Where the mind can work peacefully, and action can be taken swiftly.”

In the past, said Fedders Lloyd Senior Vice President Vivek Mehta, a retired brigadier general in the Indian Army tank corps, the comfort of tank crews was “expendable.” But with the introduction of climate sensitive computer technology for tracking, targeting and communications, climate control became essential, he added.

The challenges include the extremely hot and dusty conditions of the Indian deserts. One requirement of the power units for HVAC systems on tanks like the Russian T-90 or T-72 is that there still be power for the air conditioning as well as moving the gun and turret when the main engine is shut down, Sridharan said.

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