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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 02 Apr 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130402/edit.htm#2
Upgrading the artillery
Modernising this arm is imperative

The Indian Army’s proposal to upgrade the Russian supplied vintage 130 mm artillery guns to a 155 mm calibre is aimed at part modernising the Army’s Artillery. But it also seems to be a measure in desperation since the Artillery is one of the Army’s lesser modernised arm with no new artillery gun having been purchased since the induction of the Swede supplied Bofors Howitzer over a quarter of a century ago in the second half of the 1980s.   

The Artillery plays an important role in softening enemy targets in a land battle and in facilitating attacks by the Infantry to overrun and capture ground targets. The artillery assumes greater importance in mountains and hilly terrains where tanks cannot manoeuvre and where aircraft may find it difficult to do precision bombing. In recent military history, the 1999 Kargil War is a classic example of how the artillery, more specifically the 155 mm Bofors Howitzers, played a critical role in softening Pakistani positions and in providing cover to enable Indian infantry soldiers wrest control of captured territory. Recent efforts to purchase replacements for the Army’s vintage artillery have made little progress with allegations of kickbacks derailing all attempts. As a result, the Army’s current artillery comprises guns purchased three to four decades ago in the 1970s and 1980s, making it one of the most vintage arms.

Although the Army has of late inducted the Pinaka Rocket System, the Smerch Rocket System and the BrahMos missile, these serve as long-range artillery weapon systems and do not serve the purpose of close support as does the 155 mm gun which has been designated to be the future mainstay of the Artillery. The Artillery has identified five configurations for its future guns for all the 230 odd regiments. These are the towed, track and wheeled artillery guns plus a truck-mounted howitzer, also called the Mounted Gun System, and the ultra-light howitzer. None of these have, however, been inducted. It is imperative that the government upgrades and modernises the Army’s artillery so that it is not found wanting in a future war.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130402/edit.htm#4
Dealing with Pak N-weapons
Better to remain involved in dialogue
by PR Chari

The non-BJP views that had argued against India conducting its nuclear tests in May 1998 are worth recalling now when Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is causing so much anxiety. They had held that if India went nuclear Pakistan would follow suit, as it had established the ability to explode nuclear devices despite some reservations existing in the Indian nuclear establishment. It was also argued that Pakistan’s display of nuclear prowess would establish a state of nuclear deterrence that would neutralise India’s conventional superiority against Pakistan. In other words, Pakistan, with the nuclear deterrent, would become the strategic equal of India. The BJP government, however, equated power with military strength and military strength with nuclear weapons; it was, therefore, anxious that India should reveal its military nuclear capabilities by testing its devices. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

A rule of wisdom prescribes that nuclear adversaries must maintain a continuous dialogue between themselves to ensure that their tensions and instabilities do not lead to conflict that could escalate and cross the nuclear threshold. But in an interview to The Tribune, Salman Khurshid, India’s Foreign Minister, admitted that India’s dialogue with Pakistan was not “ dead or in a coma,” but “ has gone very sleepy”. Such insouciance should alarm citizens in India and Pakistan. Why? Several reasons are obtaining here.

First, it is na├»ve to believe that either country will give up its nuclear weapons or place them under international control. The Nuclear Five have ignored UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s calls to prioritise nuclear disarmament and arms control. Instead, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which embodies these high ideals, is collapsing due to break-outs by North Korea and Iran that could inspire an exodus from the Treaty. Besides, the Nuclear Five have not kept their NPT commitment to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles within a specified time-frame. Instead, President Obama and other NATO leaders have declared they will retain their nuclear arsenals. Why, then, should India and Pakistan give up their nuclear weapons? But if they are here to stay, India and Pakistan need to manage their nuclear relations through greater dialogue rather than by a brooding silence.

Second, the need for talking is accentuated by the reality that India and Pakistan had fought each other after their nuclear tests in Kargil (May-July 1999), had a serious border confrontation crisis (December 2001-October 2002) and were about to begin a conflict after the Mumbai attacks (November 2008). An edict of the nuclear age is that nuclear adversaries must not provoke conventional conflicts since they could escalate unpredictably. India and Pakistan are not exceptions to this rule, but this edict should inform them of the need for dialogue to defuse crises before they occur.

Third, the bilateral India-Pakistan nuclear standoff has drawn China into an unstable triangular relationship for which there are no precedents. A nuclear trialogue between India, Pakistan and China would be of obvious utility, but it has not been possible to achieve this modality at the official level. The reason is that China objects to discussions with India on nuclear issues, arguing that India is not a nuclear weapon state recognised by the NPT. Besides China shuns discussions on its nuclear relations with Pakistan with other nations on the grounds that these are strictly bilateral issues. But China’s cooperation with Pakistan on its nuclear and missile programme by direct transfers and through North Korea is well documented. Abandoning the nuclear dialogue with Pakistan also would assuredly create a dangerous void.

Therefore, the dialogue with Pakistan, especially on nuclear issues, cannot be relegated to the back-burner despite the obtaining difficulties. Apart from China’s obtuseness, however, there is the further conundrum of who could be the credible interlocutor in Pakistan. The Pakistan Army is the sole custodian of the country’s nuclear weapons; it guides their further development, and is responsible for evolving the strategy and tactics for their usage. On the other hand, India’s nuclear weapons are held by the scientific establishment in its Atomic Energy Department, with the armed forces being concerned with their actual use. Fortunately, the nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles in both India and Pakistan are being stored separately and would only be “mated” in emergency situations. This “de-alerted” deployment posture is commendable, since increasing the time interval between preparing nuclear weapons for delivery and their actual use provides more time for national leaderships to reflect and reconsider.

Institutionalising this “de-alerted” posture and negotiating similar confidence building measures provides a fruitful agenda for a bilateral India-Pakistan dialogue. Additionally, Pakistan keeps harping on the need for establishing “strategic stability” with India. Now, “strategic stability” has two aspects — “crisis stability” and “arms race stability”. The latter highlights how strategic stability is understood in South Asia. Pakistan’s desire to achieve parity with India in conventional forces conflicts with India’s need to deploy separate and additional forces against China. How confidence might be engendered in India and Pakistan to deal with this unique situation is a challenge for their arms control and confidence building communities.

But the more urgent problem affecting “crisis stability” arises from Pakistan’s recent plans to deploy short-range nuclear missiles along the India-Pakistan border, ostensibly to thwart invading Indian forces. Apparently, Pakistan’s proposed deployment of these short-range missiles is intended to counter India’s Cold Start strategy that envisages “shallow offensives” across the border with Pakistan. The danger arises from the real possibility that these missile batteries could be overrun, and lead to a larger India-Pakistan conflict with escalatory and nuclear overtones. “Crisis stability” would thereby be compromised. Quite evidently, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are intended to deter India from launching conventional military operations. But India is developing nuclear weapon systems to bolster its strategic deterrent against China.

The need for dialogue, therefore, to defuse the dormant tensions that lurk below the surface of India-Pakistan relations can hardly be over-emphasised. It is time for their leaders to arouse themselves from slumber to engage with each other in the interests of peace.

http://www.vancouverdesi.com/news/kadet-defence-systems-completes-delivery-of-aerial-targets-to-indian-army/528717/
Kadet Defence Systems completes delivery of aerial targets to Indian Army
New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Kadet Defence Systems (KDS) announced Monday it has successfully completed delivery of 350 JX2 aerial targets along with spares, ground support equipment and training aids to the Indian Army with the handing over of the last lot of 70 machines.

The JX2 Aerial Target System is a versatile training aid for air defence gunnery and missile practice and has been supplied in the sleeve tow configuration following a contract entered into in May 2010 with the defence ministry for 350 aerial targets, spares and related equipment, a company statement said.

The deliveries were preceded by extensive Quality assurance tests, confirmatory flight and environmental trials.

“We created history by being able to secure the first UAS (unmanned aerial system) contract to the Indian Private Industry and then successfully delivering our product, which once again reaffirms our commitment to the users” said KDS CEO and founder Avdhesh Khaitan.

“This contract gives us a strong foothold into the emerging aerial targets segment in India and further enables us to introduce our JX3 jet-powered aerial target to address emerging threats,” Khaitan added.

The JX range of aerial targets comprise the propeller driven JX2 and the jet-powered JX3 . The systems can be configured to emulate various threat perceptions and can carry various payloads including IR flares, Luneburg lenses, chaff and miss-distance indicators. They can also be retrofitted with tow systems to economise weapon training and development.

Kadet Defence Systems is a vertically integrated enterprise, possessing all the capabilities required for engineering, manufacturing and management for designing, prototyping, testing, production, maintenance and operational support for its range of unmanned systems. Kadet is also involved in numerous programmes of Indian government laboratories.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/100-year-old-retired-colonel-is-indian-army-s-first-citizen_839140.html
100-year-old retired colonel is Indian Army's First Citizen
Chandigarh: On a day he celebrated his 100th birthday, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army was Monday declared the First Citizen of the force.

Lt. Col. Kartar Singh was felicitated by top army commanders and officers at the Khetarpal Officers Institute at Chandimandir Cantonment, the headquarters of the swordarm Western Command near here.

Lt. Col. Kartar Singh is, perhaps, the oldest surviving officer of the army.

The felicitation was done by the Western Command headquarters and the Mahar Regiment. Lt. Gen. Sanjiv Chachra, general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) of the Western Command and Lt. Gen Gyan Bhushan, GOC-in-C South Western Command and Colonel of The Mahar Regiment. Nearly 250 serving and retired officers were present at the function.

Lt. Col. Kartar Singh was commissioned in 1937 and was nominated for service in Egypt and Sudan during World War II. He was the first Indian commanding Officer of 1 Mahar Regiment from 1947 to 1951 and saw action in the 1947-48 Kashmir operations. The battalion earned the first Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest war-time gallantry award of independent India.

"After his retirement from the army, he continued to lead an active life as vice president of the Zila Sainik Board and sarpanch of his village for 25 long years," a defence spokesman said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IAF-not-Army-will-get-first-of-the-Apaches-attack-helicopters-Govt/articleshow/19331628.cms
IAF, not Army, will get first of the Apaches attack helicopters: Govt
NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has rejected the Army's case for "ownership" of the 22 heavy-duty Apache helicopters, armed with deadly Hellfire and Stinger missiles, which India is all set to acquire from the US in a $1.4 billion contract.

The MoD, citing defence minister A K Antony's approval, has held the 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow gunships will "remain" with the IAF because the procurement deal was an "ongoing" one, which did not fall into category of "future" acquisitions, said officials.

The Army has been eyeing the Apache helicopters, that earlier defeated Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant's Mi-28 Havoc choppers in the field trials conducted by IAF, for which the final commercial negotiations are now underway between MoD and Boeing.

Antony last year was compelled to step into the bitter turf war raging between Army and IAF for years, which publically erupted even during the 1999 Kargil conflict, over the ownership of attack helicopters.

The minister had then decided that "future" procurements of attack helicopters would be for the Army since the force contended it desperately needed the gunships to target enemy infantry and tanks on the ground.

But IAF argued it should be allowed to retain all the attack and medium-lift helicopters because it would be "very expensive" if the Army duplicated efforts and resources by getting its own "little air force". The "command and control" over IAF's two existing squadrons of Mi-25/35 attack helicopters was in any case in the hands of Army.

After MoD said the Army would also get its own attack helicopters to resolve the imbroglio, the force had laid claim to the "ownership" of the 22 Apache helicopters as well. "But the procurement process for the 22 Apache helicopters began much before the decision about giving Army ownership of future such inductions was taken," said a MoD official.

An undeterred Army, however, chalked out plans to have its own "mini" air force in the years ahead. Apart from creating a permanent cadre for the Army Aviation Corps, the force is raising "aviation brigades" for each of its three "strike" and 10 "pivot" corps.

The Army currently operates 195 Chetak/Chetak light observation helicopters as well as 70 Dhruv advanced light helicopters. Its long-term plans include three helicopter squadrons (10-12 choppers each) — armed or attack, reconnaissance and tactical lift — each for all its 13 corps as well as "a flight" of five fixed-wing aircraft each for its six regional or operational commands.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IAF-not-Army-will-get-first-of-the-Apaches-attack-helicopters-Govt/articleshow/19331628.cms
IAF, not Army, will get first of the Apaches attack helicopters: Govt
NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has rejected the Army's case for "ownership" of the 22 heavy-duty Apache helicopters, armed with deadly Hellfire and Stinger missiles, which India is all set to acquire from the US in a $1.4 billion contract.

The MoD, citing defence minister A K Antony's approval, has held the 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow gunships will "remain" with the IAF because the procurement deal was an "ongoing" one, which did not fall into category of "future" acquisitions, said officials.

The Army has been eyeing the Apache helicopters, that earlier defeated Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant's Mi-28 Havoc choppers in the field trials conducted by IAF, for which the final commercial negotiations are now underway between MoD and Boeing.

Antony last year was compelled to step into the bitter turf war raging between Army and IAF for years, which publically erupted even during the 1999 Kargil conflict, over the ownership of attack helicopters.

The minister had then decided that "future" procurements of attack helicopters would be for the Army since the force contended it desperately needed the gunships to target enemy infantry and tanks on the ground.

But IAF argued it should be allowed to retain all the attack and medium-lift helicopters because it would be "very expensive" if the Army duplicated efforts and resources by getting its own "little air force". The "command and control" over IAF's two existing squadrons of Mi-25/35 attack helicopters was in any case in the hands of Army.

After MoD said the Army would also get its own attack helicopters to resolve the imbroglio, the force had laid claim to the "ownership" of the 22 Apache helicopters as well. "But the procurement process for the 22 Apache helicopters began much before the decision about giving Army ownership of future such inductions was taken," said a MoD official.

An undeterred Army, however, chalked out plans to have its own "mini" air force in the years ahead. Apart from creating a permanent cadre for the Army Aviation Corps, the force is raising "aviation brigades" for each of its three "strike" and 10 "pivot" corps.

The Army currently operates 195 Chetak/Chetak light observation helicopters as well as 70 Dhruv advanced light helicopters. Its long-term plans include three helicopter squadrons (10-12 choppers each) — armed or attack, reconnaissance and tactical lift — each for all its 13 corps as well as "a flight" of five fixed-wing aircraft each for its six regional or operational commands.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/04/army-data-hygiene/
Army Practices Poor Data Hygiene on Its New Smartphones, Tablets
he Army absolutely loves its new Android, iOS and Windows smartphones and tablets. Just not enough to properly secure the sensitive data it stores on them.

A spot check of mobile devices used by the Army at its West Point military academic and its corps of engineers shows inconsistent and outright poor data security. The Pentagon inspector general has found that the smartphones and tablets the Army buys at local electronics stores often aren’t configured to protect sensitive data, leaving it to individual users to safeguard their data. (.pdf)

Predictably, soldiers didn’t. At West Point, 15 out of 48 inspected mobile devices didn’t even have passwords set up. The Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center in Mississippi had more devices password-protected, but the smartphones and tablets used for two pilot programs “did not meet password complexity requirements,” the Pentagon watchdog found. And that’s leaving aside the bitter truth that passwords don’t provide adequate security.

“If devices remain unsecure,” writes assistant inspector general Alice F. Carey, “malicious activities could disrupt Army networks and compromise sensitive [Defense Department] information.”

It’s not just passwords. The Army’s chief information officer isn’t adequately tracking the non-BlackBerry mobile devices soldiers presently use: Carey’s team found more than 14,000 smartphones and tablets in use “without obtaining appropriate authorization” from the CIO. Accordingly, the Army isn’t keeping sufficient track of devices that are accessing its networks. “Risk increased that Army networks may become vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks and leakage of sensitive data,” the inspector general found. In some cases, the CIO “inappropriately concluded that [mobile devices] were not connecting to Army networks and storing sensitive information.”

At West Point, for instance, cadets put information about the academy’s honor-code hearings on their smartphones. That might be intuitive, given that it’s similar to how civilians use their phones for porting and sharing data. But it also means that the mobile devices are acting as removable media, like thumb drives or blank CDs, which the military has cracked down on ever since Army Pfc. Bradley Manning used them to transfer hundreds of thousands of military and government files to WikiLeaks.

Some of the data-security failings are more mundane. Commercially purchased devices should be set up so the data on them can be wiped remotely, according to Pentagon regulations, but because of the lax requirements on configuration, two devices stolen from the home of an Army Corps of Engineers employee couldn’t be remotely restored to its factory settings. (And again, don’t bother reminding them that there’s a bunch of data that stays latent even after a wipe.)

The U.S. military is set to make a major push into the mobile market. It’s talking with carriers, hardware and operating-system manufacturers to get what it refers to as a “family of devices” — hundreds of thousands of them — into troops’ hands.

The Army has been the most forward-leaning of any service branch in embracing new mobile technologies, and to its credit, it didn’t resist the inspector general’s findings. Not only has the Army got an app store in beta, it reconfigured its next-gen dismounted communications system around smartphones. But now the Army is learning that relatively early device adoption is no substitute for protecting the information it’s increasingly keeping on phones and tablets.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/chinese-army-urged-to-be-combat-ready_839096.html
Chinese army urged to be combat ready
Beijing: A senior Chinese military official has called on the armed forces to strengthen combat preparedness and ensure victories in wars, reports Xinhua.

Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks during an inspection tour of troops in east China's Jiangsu, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

The army should always maintain its readiness and fighting abilities to ensure victory, Fan said.

He urged all military staff to comprehend and implement the key points conveyed in a speech by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the CMC.

"Military officers and soldiers must be absolutely loyal, pure and reliable, and firmly follow the directions...," Fan said.

He urged military staff to step up training, especially in complex situations such as electromagnetic environment and field operations.

Training must be strict and targeted to meet real wartime needs rather than a show, he said.

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