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Sunday, 23 September 2012

From Today's Papers - 23 Sep 2012
Defence analysts push for better border infrastructure, preparedness
 Army Chief General Bikram Singh’s recent statement that there can be no repeat of 1962 when China defeated India, has also been welcomed by the veteran top brass in the capital city, who also reiterated that India should also focus on improving infrastructure along the international borders in order to foil any external aggression in the future.

Although Indian Army claims that India had adequate military plans for its borders to counter any misadventure by any force, defence analysts think that better connectivity of roads and preparedness is the only way to tackle any external aggression.

Reacting to Gen Singh’s comment, Lt Gen (Retd) MC Bhandari said that China or any other neighbouring countries are not in a position to attack India, as they know that Indian defence forces are fully capable to tackle any such external aggression, if it happens in the near future.

India does not enjoy luxury of huge defence budget as China and Pakistan since independence, but Indian defence forces, including Indian Army, Air Force and Navy, are fully equipped and capable to face any war. He further reiterated that that defence forces deployed on higher attitude area are fully equipped.

“Improving infrastructure along northern borders of India is coming up and no doubt that our frontiers are being guarded well,” said, Brig KG Behl, president, Dehradun Ex-services League, and added that the time has come now to build more roads, bridges and other structures as part of military capacities in the northern-eastern borders.

“The Government should also seek reports as to what prompted the Army Chief to give such comments regarding the preparedness of the Indian defence forces,” he said, while lamenting that both countries, Pakistan and China, had a war with India in the past, and if war breaks out in coming days with any of these countries, external aggression from the other country could be ruled out. This will cause huge loss to our country.

Speaking to The Pioneer, Border Security Force IG (Retd) SS Kothiyal said that developing infrastructure should be emphasised by the government. According to him, intelligence units regularly keep tab on various modes of information in order to avoid any breach of security related issues by the defence personnel and at the same time, the Government should also take note of what top brass is saying about the cross border infiltration or what is happening along the international

boundaries. Upgradation of weapons, night vision equipment and other supporting equipment is a regular feature for keeping tight vigil along international boundaries in order to avoid any external aggression, and if it struck in the near future.
Defence trainee's body found

Police recovered the body of a defence person from a pond inside the campus of the Army Air Defence College at Golabandh in Ganjam district.

The person was identified as Dinesh Bhai (21) of Chhapra in Kheda district of Gujarat, the police said.

He was undergoing training in the Army AD College as an army training recruit. Police suspect he might have drowned in the pond yesterday.
Army to induct indigenous howitzers in 2013, says Antony
After failing to induct artillery guns in the last over 25 years, the Indian Army will get its first indigenously-manufactured howitzer next year, Defence Minister A K Antony said here today.

The guns produced in the unit (Ordnance Factory) will be inducted in the Army by 2013, he said after launching the facility to manufacture 155 mm howitzers at the Gun Carriage Factory.

The army, which has not inducted artillery guns in the last 25 years, is eagerly waiting for the indigenously manufactured weapons which are being developed on the basis of the transfer of technology of the Bofors guns.

The two types of howitzers for the army will be ready for trials by December and by June next year respectively.

The clearance for the project was accorded by the Defence Ministry's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting in October last year granting permission to the Ordnance Factory Board to manufacture 155mm howitzers.

Under the project, the OFB will manufacture two prototypes of 155mm 39 calibre FH-77-B02 guns and the upgraded version of 155 mm/45 calibre howitzers.

The decision to allow the OFB to manufacture these guns was taken after the army failed in more than four attempts to modernise its artillery.

The army has made several attempts to procure four types of howitzers, but all of them have failed due to one reason or the other.

Antony informed that plans are afoot for modernisation of ordnance factories in the country saying, "There are a total of 39 ordnance factories in the country and all of them are doing a good work in production of weapons for the Army".
Payyambalam park row: Indian Army ready to give up land
The Indian army has come forward to give up the land at Payyambalam park here in lieu of alternate land contiguous to the existing defence estate, with a view to put an end to the controversy relating to the park at Payyamablam.

A press release was issued by the Indian army authorities to clarify the army’s stand in connection with the land.  The army’s press release stated that there had been a series of reports in the media about the issue of Defence land at the cantonment at Kannur.

According to the press release, ‘the land developed as a Park by the District Tourism Promotion Council has been established as Defence land by two joint surveys conducted by the Government of Kerala and Indian Army. However, in public interest, the Indian Army has come forward to give up this land in lieu of alternate land contiguous to the existing defence estate. Contrary to media reports, the Indian Army has never insisted that the area of Payyambalam Park should be given back to the Army.”

The Army had blocked access to an unauthorised structure built by a private party.

This has been done in the interest of security. The case is sub judice and the Army has left the matter to the legal system of the country. The Army authorities at Kannur are duty-bound to protect Defence property from being usurped.

This legitimate activity is however being painted otherwise by vested interests. “The Indian Army reserves its right to initiate all actions necessary under the law of the land to protect its property,” said the press release.

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Agni-III passes first user trial
BALASORE: The army on Friday successfully test-fired Agni-III from Wheeler's Island. This is the fifth test of the surface-to-surface nuclear capable missile and is significant because this is the first time the army's Strategic Forces Command (SFC) carried out the test after Agni-III was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011.

Defence sources said the ballistic missile having a strike range of nearly 3,000 km took off around 1.20 pm from a rail-mobile launcher. "All mission objectives of Agni-III have been achieved," stated Ravi Kumar Gupta, director of the Directorate of Public Interface at DRDO headquarters, in a press release.

The test was carried out to validate the missile's higher performance in terms of weight and payload capacity. Apart from the software for navigation and guidance controls to achieve better accuracy, re-entry material was also tested. The success comes two days after the successful launch of 4000-km range Agni-IV missile.

The missile was tracked by various telemetry stations, electro-optic systems and radars located along the coast, Port Blair and by the downrange ships positioned near the target location. "The data from different stations was transmitted in real time through an advanced communication network of DRDO for online performance evaluation and range safety," an official said.

Though the first development trial of Agni-III carried out on July 9, 2006 could not achieve the desired result, subsequent tests conducted on April 12, 2007, May 7, 2008 and February 7, 2010 from the same base were all successful. Defence sources said Agni-III, which has a velocity of 5 km/s, is a new system. It is a short and stubby, two-stage missile that weighs 48.3 tonnes and is 16.7 metres tall with an overall diameter of 1.8 metres.

It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing around 1.5 tonnes. It is propelled by solid fuels, facilitating swifter deployment compared to missiles using a mix of solid and liquid fuels. The successful launch was witnessed by scientific advisor to defence minister V K Saraswat and programme director of Agni missiles Avinash Chander.

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