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Thursday, 13 December 2012

From Today's Papers - 13 Dec 2012







http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121213/nation.htm#6
Army to get first armed helicopters by March
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 12
For the first time, the Armed Forces will be equipped with armed helicopters capable of fighting in the higher reaches of the Himalayas along the borders with China and parts of Pakistan.

The Army will soon get the first two squadrons of 10 helicopters each of such armed helicopters.

The initial operational clearance for the indigenously produced armed helicopter ‘Rudra’ will be accorded in the next few days, paving the way for the induction of the first squadron before March 2013, sources confirmed today.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has submitted its proposal seeking clearance from the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), Ministry of Defence.

This will be an important milestone as the Indian inventory of armed helicopters - the Mi-35 - currently has a flying ceiling of 10,000-12,000 feet. The Rudra, powered by a new Shakti engine and co-developed by French company Turbomeca, will fly up to 20,000 feet. The Himalayas rise above this altitude along large parts of the India-China frontier.

The weapons, a M6-21 20 mm gun and 70 mm rockets with a range of 8 km, have been tested in the hot, cold and humid climates.

The anti-tank guided missiles and the air-to-air-missiles for the first lot are likely to be imported.

The engine can carry a full weapon load to altitudes of 20,000 feet, said sources.

The Army has contracted to buy 60 such helicopters. The final plan is to have an aviation brigade with each of the 13 corps of the Indian Army.

Each corps will have 10 (one squadron) armed helicopters, one squadron of reconnaissance helicopters and a squadron of utility helicopters.

The helicopter, which derives its name from Rigvedic god for wind, storm and hunt, is the armed version of the advanced light helicopter (ALH) that is already in service in India.

It is equipped with integrated sensors, weapons and electronic warfare suite using an upgraded version of the glass cockpit used in the Mk-III of the ALH. The cockpit avionics are among the best. The sensors include stabilised day and night cameras, infrared imaging, as well as laser ranging and designation.

The EW suite consists of missile approach warning system, laser and radar warning systems and automated sensors covering all envisaged threats.

It has automatic dispensation of countermeasures like chaff and fare dispensing systems.

Aerial firepower

Rudra is the armed version of the advanced light helicopter co-developed by a French firm

Can reach up to 20,000 feet; current fleet of Mi-35 can touch 12,000 feet

Is equipped with a M6-21 20 mm gun, 70 mm rockets, anti-tank and air-to-air-missiles

The Army to buy 60 such helicopters; to raise aviation brigades with each of its 13 corps

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121213/nation.htm#10
N-capable Agni-I missile test-fired successfully

Balasore, December 12
Sharpening its missile prowess, India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile with a strike range of 700 km from a test range off Odisha coast.

The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 0830 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, defence sources said.

Describing the test as successful, ITR Director MVKV Prasad said, "It was a practice trial conducted by the Strategic Force Command of the Indian Army."

Agni-I, a single-stage missile powered by solid propellants, has a specialised navigation system which ensures that it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision, a defence scientist said.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which is capable of carrying payloads up to 1,000 kg, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

Agni-I has been developed by advanced systems laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (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 July 13, 2012 from the same test range. — PTI

Navigation system

Agni-I, a single-stage missile powered by solid propellants, has a specialised navigation system which ensures that it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121213/main6.htm
New Chinese leader sends alarming signals to neighbours
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, December 12
In what is bound to further increase tension between Beijing and its neighbours over territorial and maritime disputes, new Chinese Communist party leader chief Xi Jinping, who assumed the role of military chief about a month ago, called on the 2.3-million-strong People's Liberation Army (PLA) to "push forward preparations for a military struggle".

His statement came even as U.S. and Philippine officials were discussing ways to increase number of U.S. military ships, aircraft and troops rotating through the Philippines obviously to tackle any threat from Beijing.

Though he made no direct reference to China’s disputes with India or any other neighbour, Xi, who is set to take over as the Chinese President in March 2013, asked his troops to prepare for a struggle. He made the comments during his visit to a South China Sea fleet ship in southern Guangdong province, Xinhua said.

Meanwhile, senior US and Philippine officials met today in Manila to discuss strengthening security and economic ties at a time of growing tension over China's aggressive sovereignty claims over vast stretches of the disputed South China Sea. Chinese observers here say this is not the first time that China has indirectly threatened its neighbours over territorial and maritime disputes. What, however, has come as a surprise is the fact that Li has displayed his aggressive designs even before he has formally assumed the office of the President.

Indian officials said they were constantly monitoring the developments over the South China Sea and Beijing’s ctough stance over the issue.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121213/nation.htm#3
‘Denied’ promotion, Gen moves AFT
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 12
A senior serving Lieutenant General of the Indian Army has petitioned the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) here saying that he has been wrongly denied promotion.

The case assumes significance as the decision could result in yet another battle for the top post of Army Chief.

Lt Gen Ravi Dastane, who is presently posted as Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), has commanded the Leh-based 14 Corps. He had filed his petition contending that he was one of the three most-senior officers when two posts of the Eastern Army Commander and the Western Army Commander fell vacant on May 31, 2012 after General VK Singh retired.

While General Bikram Singh, the now Army Chief, vacated his post as the Eastern Army Commander, Western Command chief Lt Gen Shankar Ghosh retired on May 31.

Lt Gen Dastane claims that he fulfilled all conditions to become an Army Commander but was denied the post of Eastern Army Commander as it was kept vacant for Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who was then facing a vigilance ban, sources said. Gen Suhag is tipped to be the next chief of the Indian Army on the principle of seniority.

On May 31, when the two posts of Army Commander fell vacant, three officers were on the seniority list - Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag followed by Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and Lt Gen Dastane.

While Lt Gen Chachra was promoted as the Western Army Commander, Lt Gen Suhag could not be promoted before the vigilance ban against him was removed on June 8 and his seniority restored on June 15.

Lt Gen Dastane has contended that he should have been considered for promotion when Lt Gen Suhag was facing a ban imposed by the then Army Chief General VK Singh. In case, General Dastane gets a favourable verdict, he will be the senior-most General when General Bikram Singh retires on July 31, 2014.

Tussle at the top

On May 31, when the two posts of Army Commander fell vacant, three officers were on the seniority list - Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag followed by Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and Lt Gen Ravi Dastane

Lt Gen Suhag could not be promoted as there was a vigilance ban against him

Lt Gen Chachra was promoted as the Western Army Commander

Lt Gen Dastane has contended that he should have been considered for promotion in that scenario

Ban against Lt Gen Suhag was removed on June 8 and his seniority restored on June 15

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-successfully-testfires-agnii-ballistic-missile/1044098/
India successfully test-fires Agni-I ballistic missile
Sharpening its missile prowess, India on Wednesday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile with a strike range of 700 km from a test range off Odisha coast.

The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 8.30 am from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, defence sources said.

Describing the test as successful, ITR Director MVKV Prasad said, “It was a practice trial conducted by the Strategic Force Command of the Indian Army.”

Agni-I, a single-stage missile powered by solid propellants, has a specialised navigation system which ensures that it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision, a defence scientist said.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which is capable of carrying payloads up to 1000 kgs, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

Agni-I has been developed by advanced systems laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (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 July 13, 2012 from the same test range.

The trial reconfirmed the technical parameters laid down for the user, which happens to be the Army, defence sources said.

Agni-I missile, which can be launched from both road and rail mobile launchers, was first test-fired in January, 2002, they said.

Since then many trials have been conducted as part of missile development programme.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/SS-rains-on-armys-gala-at-Shivaji-Park/articleshow/17578267.cms
MUMBAI: In a rare instance, the Indian defence establishment is facing hurdles in putting up a programme at Shivaji Park to mark Vijay Divas, a celebration of India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war. After bypassing administrative objections, the army is up against Shiv Sainiks camping on the ground and resisting any attempt to remove the temporary structure put up in memory of their supremo Bal Thackeray.

Police said the state government has asked the BMC to hand over the ground to the army by Wednesday. "The notice of motion states that the army would require the ground between December 12 and 17, with the main programmes taking place on December 15 and 16," an official said.

But the Shiv Sena has expressed concern, saying the memorial cannot be removed. The party said it had no issues with the army holding a parade at the venue, but the memorial must not be touched.

DCP (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni said security has been beefed up at the ground. Thousands of Sainiks continue to camp at the temporary structure.

When the army first proposed the festival, the ground committee objected, saying the park is a silent zone and the cricket pitches could be damaged. The army, in coordination with the BMC, approached the Bombay high court and got permission on September 4.

"The Know your Army mela is being organized in memory of India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war to encourage local youth to join the armed forces," said N Vispute, chief PRO, defence.

The HC had clarified that army tanks or any other activity should not damage the cricket pitches. It had also ordered that the army and the BMC must clear the ground and restore it to its original condition by December 20.

"We have taken responsibility to cover the pitches and other important places. We will set up the pandals only after we get the exact picture of the total portion of the ground we are going to get for the festival. We will know the details on Wednesday," said Vispute.

The high court had declared Shivaji Park a silence zone in 2010 and anyone keen on using the ground now needs to approach it for permission. The rule is relaxed for Maharashtra Din, Republic Day and Mahaparinirvana Din, besides Sena's Dussera rally.


http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/114508-pak-flouts-truce-again-6th-violation-reported.html
Pak flouts truce again, 6th violation reported...
 The Indian Army on Sunday evening reported sixth consecutive ceasefire violation from across the Line of Control by Pakistan army in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch in the last one week.

The alarming frequency with which the Pakistani army is desperately breaching the ceasefire agreement clearly suggest that they are under immense pressure to push armed militants inside the Indian territory ahead of harsh winters.

The traditional infiltration routes in Kashmir valley are already covered under the thick blanket of snow i North Kashmir.

According to defence sources when mountain passes in North Kashmir valley receive heavy snowfall the infiltrators guide shift their base to Poonch,Rajouri frontier to launch infiltrators.

According to defence sources, “the heavy volume firing which started late Saturday evening around 7.15 p.m continued till midnight.At least 7-8 forward posts in the KG sector were targeted by the Pak army raising doubts over ‘real intentions’ behind ‘unprovoked’ firing  using heavy arms for long hours”.

The exchange of fire  in the KG sector of Poonch was reported in the wee hours of sunday and later in the evening heavy volume firing started again around 5.30 p.m,officiating defence spokesman SN Acharaya said here in Jammu.

The Pakistani army, according to local reports in Poonch were using heavy weapon fire to target Indian posts in the KG sector. Five Indian posts of Kirpan, Kirpan 1, Chajja, Kranti, Ghoda were targeted on sunday evening forcing the Indian army to effectively retaliate the fire. Till last reports no one was injured in the firing.

However,the Indian troops were maintaining tight vigil along the line of control and relying on sophisticated surveillance devices to track down the movement of armed infiltrators near the barbed wire fence. Defence sources said it is difficult to  completely rule out whether Pakistani army has been able to push armed infiltrators inside the Indian territory in the garb of heavy volume firing across the KG sector or not.

Meanwhile, One Indian solider was injured on saturday after he stepped on the land mine in the forward area.The solider, hailing from Rajasthan, is believed to have suffered serious injuries  on one of his legs in the land mine blast.He was shifted to the army hospital, defence sources said.

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