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Friday, 1 March 2013

From Today's Papers - 01 Mar 2013







http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130301/nation.htm#8
Andhra Police to use copter for anti-Maoist operations
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 28
For the first time, the Andhra Pradesh Police will use a helicopter for anti-Maoist operations within the state and also in the neighbouring Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Having set a role model in stamping out ultra left extremism with a combination of improved intelligence and ground operations, the state police has been asked to head the Unified Command for anti-Maoist operations.

The Union Home Ministry has provided a chopper to the state police for exclusive use of monitoring the activities of extremists in the region.

The new helicopter will be used for keeping a close eye on the movement of Naxalites within the state and also in the neighbouring Gachirouli district of Maharashtra, Bijapur of Chattisgarh and Godavari and Pranahitha regions.

State Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy launched the unified command operations at Mahadevpur in Karimnagar district and conducted an aerial survey of the forest area along with a team of senior officers.

After conducting the survey, the DGP said the special operation would help the police keep track of extremists’ movements. The state police would help provide training to the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh Police in conducting combing operations and in preventing extremist activities in the Naxalite-affected areas.

Stating that Karimnagar, Adilabad, Khammam, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh still have “remnants of Maoist elements”, the DGP said they would launch anti-Naxalite aerial operation near the Andhra-Odisha border shortly.

The Maoist intrusions into the state from Chhattisgarh would be checked effectively by using the helicopter, he said and thanked Union Home Secretary RK Singh for allotting the helicopter for anti-Naxalite operations.

He attributed the decline in Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh to the welfare and developmental programmes undertaken by the successive governments and people-friendly policing. When asked whether “Greyhounds”, an elite anti-Maoist police unit in the state, would be used to fight Maoists in Chhattisgarh, he said, “If the neighbouring state asks for our help and shares information, we will think about it.”

The chopper, allotted by the Centre, would be used by the Greyhound commandos. Initially, the helicopter would be stationed at the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.

Andhra Pradesh was once a stronghold of Naxalites, so much so that the ultra left extremist units were in a position to run parallel administration in their bastions, particularly in the Telangana region.

However, over the years, the Maoist movement witnessed significant erosion in its support base, apart from the sustained police pressure. Several of their top leaders were eliminated in police operations and many more surrendered to the police.

The success in anti-insurgency operations was largely due to the “greyhounds”, raised in 1989 to specialise in executing intelligence-led precision strikes.

“The success has been achieved because of the two-pronged strategy adopted by us. It involved modernisation of the force to execute intelligence-led precision strikes and massive development in the remote areas, particularly focusing on roads, infrastructure, communication, schools and hospitals,” a top official involved in the anti-Maoist operations said. As a result, the residual Maoist leadership has shifted its base to Chhattisgarh and Odisha. 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130301/edit.htm#5
HYDRO HEGEMONY IS CHINA’S NEW GAMEPLAN
Chinese dams in Tibet have serious strategic and socio-economic implications for India. The issue needs to be addressed holistically and India should insist on transparency and raise its concerns forcefully
Major-Gen GG Dwivedi (retd)

THE Chinese intention to build a series of dams over the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) in Tibet is a matter of concern for India, and has rightly drawn reactions from various quarters. At Zangmu, a 510 MW dam is already under construction and due for completion by 2014. According to recent reports, three more dams have been approved for construction. Two of these dams, Dagu (640 MW) and Jiexu (capacity unconfirmed) are 18 km and 11 km upstream of Zangmu, respectively. The third one at Jiacha (320 MW), is downstream. These projects are likely to be completed by 2015.

Earlier, the Chinese had persistently denied undertaking any dam construction activity on the Brahmaputra. It was only in April 2010 that Yang Jiechi, Chinese Foreign Minister, officially acknowledged the construction of Zangmu dam. Beijing gave an assurance that being a “run of the river” project, it will not adversely impact the flow downstream. In 2005, there was the Pareechu episode, which had resulted in flash floods in the Sutlej, causing extensive damage. The Chinese had refused an Indian proposal for a joint inspection. In view of Beijing's system of closed-door functioning, lack of transparency and the prevailing state of trust deficit between the two neighbours, the issue merits a pragmatic review. Possible implications for India need detailed examination both from the scientific and strategic dimensions, should the Chinese go ahead with their ambitious plans.

The genesis

The Tibetan plateau has enormous strategic importance given its vast natural unexploited reserves. Due to its rich water resources, it has come to be known as the water tank of Asia. Ten to 20 per cent of the area is covered by glacial ice and 30-40 per cent of the region gets seasonal snow fall. This translates into 100,000 sq km of area covered by glaciers and 12,000 cubic km of fresh water. Its glaciers feed a number of river systems in South and South East Asia. The perennial run of rivers results in stable flow of water to different regions, which is augmented by the monsoon.

Major Chinese rivers which originate from Tibet are Yangtze, the longest river which carries half of the total national water and Huang He (Yellow River). Indus, Brahmaputra and Sutlej are the Indian rivers with Tibet plateau as the origin. Tibet is also home to Salween and Mekong Rivers which traverse through Indo-China peninsula.

The Chinese water resources are distributed unevenly. The upper parts of China, north of the Yangtze, are water deficient. Comparatively better developed northern region with 42 per cent population, it has only 14 per cent of the available fresh water. On the other hand, the agrarian south, lesser industrialized with 58 per cent population, has 86 per cent share. Over the years, the Chinese water consumption pattern has undergone a significant change. Whereas agricultural consumption has shown a downward trend, industrial and domestic usage has gone up substantially.

China's threat perception

In the Chinese threat perception calculus, stability tops the list, implying continued hold of the Communist Party. To ensure this, the country has to sustain a fast pace of economic progress. Water, food and energy security are non-negotiable in the Chinese security matrix.

In 2010, China emerged as the biggest consumer of energy, with an installed capacity of 213,000 MW. It aims to double its current capacity to 430,000 MW in a decade. This implies adding one project of the size of the Three Gorges Dam every year. At the same time, it also plans to lift the proportion of non-fossil fuel usage in the energy sector to 15 per cent by 2020. Officials of the Chinese Society of Hydropower state that in view of the rising demand for energy and pressure to reduce carbon emissions, China has to tap all available sources. A study concluded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences reveals that hydroelectric power generation capacity of the Tsang Po River basin is 114,000 MW; 79,000 MW from the main stem alone.

The Chinese have adopted a multi-pronged approach to meet the challenge of water and energy shortage. The Three Gorges project, the biggest of its kind on the Yangtze River, became operational in 2008. Besides generating 18,000 MW of electricity, the project has enabled transferring water to the northern region, contributed towards flood control and improved the inland water transport system.

Yet another ambitious project on the anvil is the South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP). It entails augmenting the capacity of the Huang He and transfer of water to the deficit northern region. The project envisages diverting the waters of the Yangtze along three axial routes. The Eastern route diversion is aligned with the existing Grand Canal. It is designed to draw 14.8 bcm (billion cubic meters) annually from the Yangtze to the eastern plains. The central route project envisages diversion of 13 bcm from Nanjing River to Beijing-Tianjin region. In the western route diversion, three tributaries of the Yangtze, namely Jinsha, Yalong and Dadu will be tapped to divert 17 bcm of water through an elaborate tunnel network. These projects being confined to the Chinese mainland do not have external ramifications as such.

One project that will be of serious concern to India is the Great Western Route Water Transfer Project (GWRWTP). The proposed project is extension of the western route diversion scheme. It entails construction of a mega dam at Namcha Barwa. Here, the Tsang Po River makes a steep loop to form a U-bend before entering India. Initially the project is only for power generation with a proposed capacity of 38,000 MW. Subsequently, plans are to divert water to the tune of 200 bcm annually to irrigate the deserts of Xinjiang, Gansu and Inner Mongolia. This mammoth project could take decades to become operational. It will entail major tunneling effort to the tune of 56 km, with longest tunnel envisaged to be 26 km. The Chinese possess proven expertise in creating engineering marvels. In case this project is implemented, it will significantly impact the water flow in the Brahmaputra River.

The Chinese are in the process of constructing 13 dams on the Salween River (Nu) in Tibet and Yunnan. Six mega dam projects on Mekong, including the 4,200 MW at Xiaowan and 5,850 MW at Nuozhadu, also stand approved. These two rivers are the lifelines of lower riparian states.

Implications

India needs to address the issue holistically, in the long-term perspective. Given Beijing's shrouded system of functioning and unilateralism, coupled with a hegemonic approach, our options should be based on the realistic assessment. Factoring China's strategic imperatives and grand designs, the major implications for India could be:

    Dams on the Tsang Po, even if they are run of the river, gives China a handle on the tap — capability to control the flow of water of the Brahmaputra. As evident from the past incidences, even an accidental or emergent outflow from these dams could prove disastrous for India.
    In case China goes ahead with the option of diverting waters of the Tsang Po, as brought out above, the resultant reduced flow in the Brahmaputra will have multiple impact. This could be strategic, economic, commercial and ecological, in varying degrees or combinations.
    The 891-km stretch of Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri near the Indo-Bangladesh border, National Waterway-2, has vast potential to augment the current inadequate transportation infrastructural in the region. The Inland Waterway Authority of India is responsible for development of the waterway for navigation. A minimal depth of 1.5m needs to be maintained for Sadia-Dibrugarh stretch and 2m beyond. There are 11 floating terminals for handling cargo and passengers. Any interference with the water flow will adversely affect the operational status of this vital line of communication.
    India's future plans to tap the hydro power potential of the Brahmaputra and the proposed river linking project will get stalled. This will impede the overall development, both at the regional and national level.
    China's capability to exercise control over the water of the Brahmaputra can result in psycho-social influence over the local population fueling discontentment. Besides, it will hurt India's strategic engagement process with the south east Asian region.

As China does not believe in the concept of water sharing, there is no treaty between the two countries on the subject. Hence, India has to take recourse to crafty diplomacy, including building up international pressure to dissuade China from going ahead with the planned projects. India must insist on transparency on the issue and raise its concerns forcefully. Instead of following the policy of appeasement, we must insist on having constitutional mechanisms in place. There is an urgent need to constitute a body of experts from different fields to understand and address this vital issue in totality.

While China being an upper riparian state it enjoys “restricted territorial sovereignty” as per the international law, it also has the onus to protect the interest of the other nations. Our approach should be to build consensus amongst the affected nations. Support of Bangladesh, besides Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos should be garnered to confront China on the issue.

Conclusion

Damming the Tsang Po in Tibet is one more addition to the list of contentious issues between India and China. While it may not be prudent to raise an alarm and press the panic button yet, its ramifications cannot be brushed aside. The issue merits a holistic review in the realm of emerging geo-political realities.

Initial vehement denials and later justifications are typical of the Chinese unilateralism. The issue of water and energy must be seen in the larger context of China's global aspirations. While keeping a close watch, it is time to evolve a long term strategy to effectively respond to the new challenges.

India's approach should be both bilateral and multilateral to persuade China to give up the precarious approach of hydro hegemony. Persistent efforts should be made to evolve a legal framework to address the water sharing mechanism. Political will along with astute diplomacy are needed to checkmate China's grand designs.

http://www.firstpost.com/world/how-india-is-preparing-to-counter-the-china-threat-627754.html
How India is preparing to counter the China threat
India is bolstering its defences vis-a-vis China in a big way and is set to spend at least $15 billion for China-specific military activities by 2017.

Though the scale of the Indian military preparation is grossly small compared to what China has already done with regard to India, it gives a sense of how much China has been dominating Indian military thinking and strategy over the past few years.

George Fernandes was the first Indian Defence Minister to have gone on record in describing China as India’s “potential enemy one.”
The then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had corroborated this articulation immediately in the wake of the May 1998 Pokharan-II nuclear tests by explaining to the world powers that the Indian move was in response to the threats posed by Chinese nuclear weapons.

Since then China has officially replaced Pakistan as India’s number one threat perception.

It is now a decade-and-a-half since India has been overtly preparing itself militarily to deal with the potential Chinese threat even though the two neighbours continue to intensify their bilateral engagement, which includes military-to-military contacts. India-China trade has been galloping with every passing year and the quantum is all set to reach a historic $100 billion mark very soon.

But then bilateral trade cannot be any insurance against military and foreign policy threats. Nothing can be a better reminder of this than China-Japan relations. Asia’s number one and two economies (India is the third) have had a robust bilateral trade totalling a whopping $ 300 billion per annum, but look at their political ties. The two Asian giants have virtually been at each other’s throats for years. There have even been serious projections of China and Japan being on the brink of a war over a host of issues.

India-China relations smack of China-Japan ties, though our relations with China are not rocked by war-like scenarios. The two Asian neighbours are currently engaged in a game of one-upmanship militarily and strategically. However, it is also a fact that India has not started this race unilaterally, but has been compelled by China to join it for larger national security considerations.

China started a massive military and infrastructure buildup along the Indian border years ago. India is only trying to play catch-up. Even now, when the Chinese threat has completely dominated all near-future plans of the Indian defence establishment, the Indian counter is neither as good nor as complete.

Nonetheless, the Indian tiger has started roaring to the perceived and projected threats from the Chinese dragon. Here is a brief account.

India is loosening its purse strings for beefing up its military muscle vis-a-vis China in an unprecedented manner. Gone are the days of the ignominious Indian defeat during the brief Sino-Indian war of 1962. For decades since then India had deliberately left its China border infrastructure neglected for fear that it would be exploited by the Chinese to their advantage.

The ongoing Indian activities along the 4,057-km-long China border tell a different tale. By 2020, India would be spending almost $5 billion laying a brand-new infrastructure of roads, railway tracks and airfields.

Moreover, the Indian Army has embarked on a super ambitious cash-rich plan worth $15 billion plan to bolster its China-specific military posture. The plan, which is still awaiting government nod, comprises two aspects: (i) a new mountain corps for deployment along the China border which will cost the nation $ 11.5 billion at the current price-level; and (ii) creation of three more brigades (two infantry and one armoured) at the cost of $ 3.5 billion.

The Indian government is likely to approve the plan any time later this year, but budget constraints are coming in the way for now. The Indian Army currently has 37 divisions, including 4 Rapid (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Divisions), 18 infantry divisions, 10 mountain divisions, three armored divisions, and two artillery divisions.

The Indian Air Force has already taken strong deterrent steps by moving several squadrons of Su-30 fighters, and six of the first eight squadrons of its new Akash air defence missile systems, to the Chinese border. Way back in 2008, the IAF had stationed its frontline Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters at four bases in the north-east in Tezpur, Bagdogra, Chhabua and Hasimara.

Lately, the IAF has also reactivated its once dormant airbase at Nyoma in Ladakh, which enables IAF to carry out attack missions into Chinese territory in the event of war. Significantly, this was the place where the Indian military was humbled during the 1962 War as the Jawaharlal Nehru government strangely decided not to use the air force.

Though India has substantially beefed up its China-specific war muscle, it is still woefully short of what the Dragon has already done. While India is still measuring the length of its completed border roads in hundreds of kilometers, China already has a stupendous road network of 58,000 km of roads leading up to the Indian border.

The Chinese road infrastructure enables them to move as many as 30 divisions to the Indian border in double quick time. In contrast, India can barely manage one-thirds of the Chinese war effort at this point of time.

What makes the scenario even grimmer is the fact that China has five fully operational military airfields in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and several more are coming up fast. This puts the Chinese way ahead of the Indians in military terms.

However, there is one fact that goes in favour of the Indians. China has never fought a war since 1962. The Chinese troops are not battle-tested. In contrast, Indian soldiers have fought two full-fledged wars with Pakistan (1965 and 1971) and a limited war in Kargil in 1999. Besides the Indian soldiers are in war-like theatres across the country for the past three decades continuously, thanks to numerous terrorist and insurgent activities.

The Chinese must be aware of that!

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/defence-no-big-bang/article4462828.ece
February 28, 2013: 
Defence – no big bang
That China is rapidly modernising its Armed Forces is evident from the double-digit growth in defence spending for the last two decades. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, its annual defence spending rose from over $30 billion in 2000 to almost $120 billion in 2010. The total military spending in 2012, based on the latest announcement from Beijing, is around $160 billion. Reduction in defence spending will be the main target for US’s deficit reduction programme for the next ten years --- yet, US spends more than four times of that of China. While defence expenditure has steadily declined in Europe, Russia alone plans to spend more on that account.
BUDGET FEELERS

Never mind all these developments in the globe. India, vilified as the largest importer of weapons, is nowhere near these countries -- not only in spending but also in keeping up with the pace of technological developments. Its efforts at achieving taint-free acquisition, what with blacklisting of leading arms manufacturers and cancellation of contracts, have stalled the process of defence modernisation. Defence deals are mired in political battles like the present deal with Augusta Westland, which is more about VVIP movement.

This time around, enough hints about the defence budget were available from the speech of the Raksha Mantri during the recently held Aero 2013 in Bangalore. He said, “The government is passing through a difficult phase, the recession is affecting us. There will be a cut in the capital and revenue budget. However, we will not cut the expenditure on operational preparedness.” He also said that he would be slashing defence imports and place increasing emphasis on indigenisation of weapons.

To some extent, the Finance Minister in his Budget allayed our apprehensions by not ‘slashing’, but by allowing a modest increase of 14 per cent over revised estimates of Rs.178,503 crore, or 5 per cent over Budget estimates – the lowest increase in the last three years, at Rs 2,03,672 crore with Rs 86,741 crore for capital acquisition. It is now for the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the money is spent in time for the essentially needed multi-role combat aircraft, Apache attack helicopters, heavylift choppers and howitzers.
DEFENCE RESEARCH

What is disappointing, however, is the allocation for defence research remaining at around Rs 10,600 crore and plant and machinery expenditure at Rs 435 crore. This is not at all in keeping with the sentiments expressed in favour of rapid indigenisation. No other monetary incentive was also announced for increasing private sector participation in defence production. In the 188 paragraphs, the Finance Minister disposed of the requirements for defence in para 101 in two sentences, repeating the well-worn cliche uttered by every Finance Minister since the days of Chinese aggression: “constraints will not come in the way of providing any additional requirement for the security of the nation”.

While the Air Force and Navy seem to be satisfied with the allocation, the real worry in defence is the “critical operational requirements” of the Army which wanted over Rs 10 lakh crore for the 12th Plan (2012-17) period to acquire new capabilities and plug huge operational gaps in artillery, aviation, air defence, night-fighting, ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) and specialised tank and rifle ammunition. Moreover, a crucial project during the 12th Plan is to raise the new mountain strike corps, for “rapid reaction ground force capability” against China. All in all, a tentative exercise.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/budget-2013-what-it-means-for-india-s-armed-forces-336718
Budget 2013: what it means for India's armed forces
India has increased its budget for the armed forces by five percent. Sanctioning a little over Rs. 200,000 crore for this fiscal year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram promised Parliament that "constraints will not come in the way of providing any additional requirement for the security of the nation."

In his budget presented today to Parliament, the minister earmarked about Rs. 86,000 crore as "capital expenditure" - meaning spending on hardware - and another Rs. 116,000 crore for revenue expenditure which is spent on salaries, pensions, and maintenance of current equipment.

For the last several years, the defence budget has increased by about 10% every year. But the government's cutbacks have extended to the military - so in the last year, it was asked to make do with Rs. 14,000 crore less than what had been sanctioned.
Over the next 12 months, the Air Force gets the lion's share of the budget for new weapons, followed by the Army and then the Navy.

India is on the brink of buying 126 French Rafale fighter jets for an estimated Rs. 90,000 crore and is shopping for some 400 combat helicopters worth thousands of crores.

The increase in the crucial Capital expenditure - meant for fresh acquisition of weapon systems and equipment - amounts to about 24% on paper, but when adjusted for inflation of 7%, an official said, the hike is about 14%. "And if that's further adjusted for fluctuation of the rupee value, the net increase comes to about only 4 to 5 per cent," a senior Defence Ministry official told NDTV. Adjusting for the fluctuation of the rupee is important since India imports all its weapon systems from abroad.

Defence Minister A K Antony said, "Taking into account the difficult economic situation both at home and abroad, the Finance Minister...has been fair to the Defence Sector also by increasing the budget."

http://www.afriquejet.com/201302282750/Nigeria-Indian-Army-Chief-in-Abuja.html

Nigeria: Indian Army Chief in Abuja

Indian Army Chief in Abuja as Nigeria completes full troop deployment to Mali – Nigeria has fully deployed the full complement of 1,200 troops it pledged for the African led International Mission in Mali (AFISMA) with the airlifting of the last batch of 162 troops to Mali Wednesday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Onyeabo Azubuike, said in Abuja.


Receiving the visiting Indian Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Shiri Krishina Singh General Ihejirika said 'as at Tuesday, we have all our (Nigerian) pledged troops in Mali. The remaining 162 left this Wednesday, bringing the total number of troops we have in Mali to over 1,200.

'With this, the Nigerian Army has achieved 100 per cent deployment for all ranks to AFISMA.'

They 162 soldiers were airlifted aboard a Nigerian Air Force C-130 transport Hercules aircraft. Another C-130 aircraft, provided by the British Government to assist Nigeria in the AFISMA operation, will airlift Nigerian-owned support equipment, along with another Nigerian C-130 aircraft.

Altogether, the Nigerian Army has a total of battalion plus (910 troops) deployed in Mali. This is in addition to the 300 troops deployed by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) which is based in Niamey, Niger.

The NAF also has two fighter jets and an M-35 helicopter gunship also based in Niger.

Nigeria has also earmarked troops from two battalions in Ojo and Badagry in the Lagos area for deployment to the Economic Community Mission in Guinea Bissau as well as a Nigerian medical team for the United Nations in Cote d'Ivoire.

Army Headquarters also confirmed that a new battalion, earmarked for AFISMA has already commenced specialized training in Kachia and Sokoto in preparation to relieve the 33 regiment currently deployed there. The Regiment's deployment will end after 180 days.

General Ihejirika said that both the Nigerian and Indian Armies are to take immediate action to strengthen their cooperation, especially in the areas of training and military exercises. 

General Singh had called for strengthening of cooperation, especially in training, sports and exchange of visits and officers during exercises.

General Singh is expected to leave Nigeria Friday at the conclusion of his four-day visit.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/defence-deals-figure-on-tata-motors-radar-113022700698_1.html

Defence deals figure on Tata Motors radar
Tata Motors, India's largest vehicle manufacturer by revenue, is readying a range of sophisticated combat, tactical, logistical and armoured vehicles including high-end missile launchers for the Indian defence forces.

After having developed a first-of-its-kind multi-axle truck, which can carry and launch the supersonic BrahMos and Prahar missiles and the subsonic Nirbhay missile, the Mumbai-based company is working on future infantry combat vehicles (FICV).

The firm, which has 70,000 operational mobile units in the Indian defence forces, is also the largest supplier of vehicles to the three Indian defence forces and the paramilitary forces. However, the high-end sofisticated units used by the Indian Army are usually made by BEML-Tatra, MAN and Volvo.

Tata Motors' product line-up include bullet-proof troop carriers, armoured buses, mine protected vehicles, mobile hospital, water bowser and even unmanned aerial vehicle launchers, amongst others.

With increased focus now laid by the defence forces on procuring products developed within the country as against the earlier practice of imports, thus allowing them to save on buying and servicing costs, Tata Motors is eager to cash in on the growing demand. Tata vehicles carry an overall cost advantage of 30-40 per cent over BEML-Tatra trucks.

V S Noronha, vice-president (defence and government business), Tata Motors, said, "Tata Motors has been very proactive in the defence segment, so it is not that we wait for the order. We knew that somewhere down the line, there would be a better focus on indiginisation and keeping that in mind, we went ahead and developed the (LPTA 5252) 12X12. They are the military versions of the Prima truck."

The multi-axle Tata LPTA5252 (12X12) with a nine-speed automatic and manual gearbox showcased last year at the Defence Expo in New Delhi is the only vehicle of its kind developed by an Indian company capable of carrying missiles.

"The field trails for the 6X6 and 8X8 is over and we have told the Army that our 12X12 is ready and this will be initially required for the BrahMos programme and they have sent across people to have a look at the vehicle and we expect the trails to start this year. It took us two and half years to develop that vehicle," added Noronha.

Currently, the share of defence sales in the consolidated turnover of Tata Motors is minuscule. However, it has registered a robust growth despite the slowdown in company's passenger and commercial vehicle segment.

In the last financial year, the company reported a turnover of around Rs 1,000 crore from the defence segment with a growth of 50 per cent, compared to the previous year. This pales in comparison to the company's annual turnover of Rs 165,000 crore. However, efforts are on to make create a larger share for the segment.

"Amongst Indian companies, we would have 50 per cent market share in the military and about 70 per cent share in the paramilitary and police forces. We supply about 10,000 vehicles to the defence sector including to the police. In terms of revenue, we would want to increase the share of defence. We are aiming to notch up a couple of thousand crores (in revenues)," added Noronha.

The company is also investing Rs 600 crore for the development of FICV and a new manufacturing unit in Dharwad, Karnataka, with a capacity to produce 200 vehicles a year. Over the next six months, the company is hopeful of the government inviting tenders for the FICV project, which has the potential for deliveries of around 2,000 units. Mahindra & Mahindra is also amongst the companies short-listed for the FICV.

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