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Friday, 2 November 2012

From Today's Papers - 02 Nov 2012
DRDO, PM’s adviser websites come under cyber attack

New Delhi, November 1
Websites of key Indian government organisations, including an advisor to the prime minister and the defence establishment DRDO, reportedly came under cyber attacks Wednesday night, leading to their shutdown for a while, government sources said on Thursday.

Government sources said some "suspicious and unwanted" activity was observed on these websites, maintained by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), following which these were shut down for a couple of hours.

“After checking the websites, these were restored," a source said, adding that the information contained by these websites is already in the public domain. "There are no secrets on these websites," they stressed.

Among the sites that came under the attack were those of the prime minister's adviser on public information, infrastructure and innovations -, and Recruitment and Assessment Centre (RAC) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) in <>. — IANS|head
Odierno Outlines Combat, Budget Strategies
As the U.S. Army and Marine Corps begin to plan for the long, uncertain transition away from wartime force rotations and rapid-equipping strategies, they’re casting a wary eye at the platform-hungry Air Force and Navy, which argue that their long-rage capabilities are what’s needed for the new emphasis on the Pacific.

Fighting for funds in an era of serious fiscal constraints and strategic uncertainty, the two ground force providers have teamed up with Special Operations Command to form something called the Office of Strategic Landpower, according to the Army’s top officer.

The Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, told an audience at a Washington think tank on Nov. 1 that the new partnership will take a hard look at “future conflict, and what that means for ground forces.” It will also help determine “what are the characteristics that we want” to have in the future when it comes to training, equipping and force structure.

After the chief’s speech, Odierno’s spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Kathy Turner, clarified to Defense News that the office is still very much a work in progress, and that a task force has been set up to define who the office would report to, how it would function and what its overall scope would be.

While short on specifics, Odierno’s speech covered a lot of ground with regard to what the general sees as his main lines of attack in moving the Army into a future that promises less money, fewer troops, multiple equipment modernization challenges and an unpredictable global threat picture. Underpinning the general’s comments were his own admission that “the last 10 years have been a resource rich environment ... as we all know, that’s no longer going to be the case.”

As Odierno has said multiple times in the past, the Army wants to expand on its 10 years of sharing the battlefield with Special Operations forces in the hope of generating greater “SOF-conventional force interdependence,” especially when it comes to training and mentoring foreign forces.

One of the biggest challenges for the Army is how to restructure its training model away from an emphasis on Iraq and Afghanistan to one that more broadly encompasses the spectrum of potential conflicts around the globe.

“We need to start training using virtual constructive and live capabilities in order to help the Army train for combined arms maneuver and to be regionally capable,” Odierno said. The problem is that “we don’t know how much that’s going to cost because we haven’t done it in so long.”

The service is conducting some pilot tests at Fort Hood, Texas, that will take a look at what this might mean.

When it comes to the regionally aligned forces (RAF) concept, Odierno said that one of the big tasks is to try and adjust the Army’s force generation model “in order to train and make available to combatant commanders regionally aligned forces, and that’s all sizes from platoon up to brigade” to combat services support units.

As part of this new regional alignment plan, the Army has designated the 162nd Brigade at Fort Polk, La., as its training brigade for future RAF units. The 162nd was originally stood up to help build and train teams to train Iraqi and Afghan forces, but it will now transition to become “the training center for global operations … we’re going to adjust that command as we start to come out of Afghanistan to look worldwide at how we do building partner capacity. They’ll be our training center to make sure we’re training our individuals properly to do this,” he said.|head
Hammond: Keep Both Carriers in Royal Navy Service

LONDON — British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has thrown his weight behind the Royal Navy operating both of the new aircraft carriers once the new Queen Elizabeth class warships enter service starting late this decade.

Hammond said no decision would be taken before the 2015 strategic defense review on whether the second carrier would be retained for use by the Royal Navy, but the “relatively modest” additional £70 million pounds ($112.7 million) annual cost of having the two warships available is an “extremely good investment,” he told the Royal United Services Institute annual air power conference in London Nov 1.

The British government’s decision earlier this year to switch back to purchasing the short take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter meant there was now “a realistic possibility of both carriers coming into service,” said Hammond.

A second carrier would allow the Royal Navy to have one of its two 65,000-ton warships continuously available for deployment throughout their lifetime, of the assets he told the audience of senior military officers and industry executives. In extreme circumstances, and given a little notice, it would be possible to have both carriers available at once, he said.

Hammond also used his speech to settle a row between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy over exactly how many jets should be routinely deployed on board the aircraft carrier once it enters service.

The British F-35 fleet will be operated by a joint RAF/RN force. The exact number of aircraft to be purchased initially remains unclear, but media reports have put the figure at between 40 and 48.

The RAF has been arguing for a small number of aircraft to be routinely deployed on the carrier in the early years as the overall fleet of aircraft is built up. The number is unknown, but one RN source said it was in single figures.

Hammond appeared to end the debate, saying the RN would “routinely embark 12 jets when deployed outside home waters with an ability to surge that number higher in periods of tension.”

Land-based initial operating capability for the F-35 is scheduled for 2018, with initial flights off HMS Queen Elizabeth set for 2018, said Hammond.

The defense secretary said discussions were underway on how plans to build a new generation of nuclear missile armed submarines to replace the current Vanguard class of boats, starting 2028, could affect other programs.

Nuclear deterrent spending would cause cash spikes in the budget in the 2020s and 2030s, said Hammond.

“The question is simply whether it made sense to defer normal [program] replacement cycles while we spend on nuclear replacement and its knock on effect across other domains,” he said.|head
Indian Air Force Avoids Israel, Goes Global for Aerostats
NEW DELHI — The Indian Air Force is entering the global market to buy six additional aerostat radars for more than $400 million, a decision that avoids awarding a repeat order to Rafael of Israel.

In the next one or two months, India will float tenders to Britain’s BAE Systems, U.S. companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, France’s Thales, Israel Aerospace Industries and Russia’s Rosoboronexport, sources said.

The Indian Ministry of Defence agreed with the Air Force that fresh bids from the global market were better than giving repeat orders to Rafael. Air Force officials were not satisfied with the maintenance of two aerostat radars Rafael supplied, sources said.

Specifically, one of the two aerostat radars supplied by Rafael in 2007 was damaged in inclement weather along the Pakistan border in 2009 and has yet to become operational.

An Indian MoD source said Rafael demanded a high price for repair of the damaged radar, annoying the MoD.

The radars were based on a 2005 contract for three radars, which was awarded on a single-vendor basis.

Rafael executives in India were unavailable for comment on the accusations.

The state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation is developing two home-grown aerostat prototypes. The total requirement is close to 30 in the next 10 years.

Radars mounted on aerostats, or tethered balloons, provide long-range, low-altitude detection of hostile aircraft. The Air Force requires the aerostat radars, which can be raised to 15,000 feet above sea level.

The aerostat radars to be purchased will include an advanced programmable radar, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence, V/UHF radio telephone equipment and identification-friend-or-foe technology. The radars will have a coverage area of 10 to 350 kilometers and be able to pick up targets ranging from ground level to 30,000 feet.

In addition, the payload will include an air surveillance radar to detect missiles and fighter aircraft at various ranges, a surface surveillance radar and a combined surveillance radar for air and surface targets.

“Both India and Pakistan are using aerostat radars, and the need for deployment of such systems has increased further to monitor of low-flying aircraft,” defense analyst Nitin Mehta said. “Each aerostat is capable of providing a three-dimensional, low-altitude coverage equal to more than 40 ground-based radars.”

Even the Indian Navy is planning to deploy aerostat radars for surveillance along the coastal border, an Indian Navy official said.
India, US to hold joint military exercise at Fort Bragg in 2013
WASHINGTON: As many as 400 Indian Army soldiers would arrive at Fort Bragg - home to airborne and special operations forces - in the United States next year, to hold a joint annual military exercise.

The fort-night long "Yudh Abhyas" from May 3 to 17 is an exchange of combat units between the two countries - with each of them hosting it every alternate year.

Some 400 American soldiers would attend the joint exercise.

The purpose of the exercise will be bilateral operations, the exchange of ideas and developing the ability to work side by side, Lt Gen Francis J Wiercinski, the commanding general of US Army Pacific in Hawaii, told The Fayetteville Observer in a recent interview.

"Last year, we had a Stryker unit in India with the Indians," he said.

The US soldiers worked with an Indian mounted cavalry unit.

"It was almost seamless, like they had been working together for years," he added.

"They've done competitions - squad, platoon. It's a pretty good exercise. It's evolving every year. Now at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 82nd Airborne Division, I think it will be a tremendous opportunity," the top US military leader said.

Wiercinski said most of the time they have been doing the joint exercise in the Pacific.

"We wanted to give them a different flavor and a different location, and Fort Bragg was kind enough to offer it up," he added.

Soldiers from the 18th Airborne Corps and California National Guard also will participate, the newspaper said.

Observing that the US has a "budding relationship" with India, Wiercisnki said.

"For years, we did not work together. Now, we are re-establishing a relationship. It's a very good relationship. They have a tremendously professional army, a lot of the same equipment.

"The two armies could be called upon to work together in the future, he told The Fayetteville Observer. We're not looking for missions," he said.

"What we are looking for is just cooperation and exchange and making sure we understand each other and keeping the dialogue and the engagement open," he added

Wiercinski asserted that the India-US joint military exercise will have no impact on US relations with Pakistan.

"They know about our exercises. We have a relationship with Pakistan. We have a relationship with India," he added.

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