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Friday, 7 June 2013

From Today's Papers - 07 Jun 2013






http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130607/main5.htm
Defence deals: Indian pvt sector joins hands with foreign firms
Tata group, L&T and Bharat Forge ‘holding talks’ with foreign aerospace firms
Man Mohan
Our Roving Editor

New Delhi, June 6
Top Indian private sector groups have begun pitching for defence deals by joining hands with major foreign firms.

One deal available for grabs is a just-announced Rs 12,000 crore order of the Indian Air Force to replace its 56 vintage Avro aircraft.

The groups going for this deal include the Tatas, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Forge and Mukesh Ambani’s new aerospace firm.

Highly placed sources informed The Tribune that the Tata group, the L&T and Bharat Forge are reportedly holding talks with foreign aerospace firms — Alenia (Italy), Antonov (Ukraine) and Ilyushin (Russia).

Sources said that Ambani’s Reliance Aerospace Technologies (P) Limited is at an advanced stage of negotiations with the Madrid-based Airbus Military, which is owned by a European aerospace consortium — the EADS, for collaboration to jointly secure the Avro aircraft replacement order.

The EADS, Alenia, Antonov and Ilyushin manufacture aircraft with specifications similar to what the Air Force wants.

Long service

The late 1950s’ British-designed Hawker Siddeley 748 was licence-produced in India by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the HAL-748 Avro. The HAL built 72 for the IAF and 17 for the Indian Airlines Corporation. At present, they are mainly used for communication and movement of troops.

The IAF has used the Avro planes for long, extending their life by substituting numerous indigenous systems. As spares are almost impossible to get, the IAF is unable to indigenise systems such as auto pilot, weather radar and electrical and electronic connectors. The IAF has been left with no choice but to phase out these rugged aircraft.

Aim to indigenise

India has floated a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 16 aircraft to be procured from a foreign manufacturer and the remaining 40 to be built by its Indian partnership firm. The aircraft to replace Avro is expected to be inducted into the IAF fleet in six years.

This is the first-of-its-kind RFP issued by the Defence Ministry to a number of private sector companies including Reliance, Tata, L&T and Bharat Forge for the manufacture of 56 aircraft in the six to eight tonne payload capacity.

The RFP coincided with the Defence Procurement Procedure that came into effect on June 1 to promote indigenisation and creating a level-playing field for Indian industry.

The chosen firm will be designated as the Indian Production Agency. The IAF is keen that this project be handled by the private sector rather than HAL, which “because of several orders in hand” is not able to meet the deadline set by the end-users.

The new plane is expected to have a cruising speed of 800 kmph and a range of 2,500 to 2,700 km, with the capacity to carry 25 to 30 passengers in hot, cold, humid and dry weather conditions.

The Indian players

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has a tie-up with US-based Sikorsky since 2009 to make passenger helicopter S-92 cabins for the American company (known for manufacturing the famous Black Hawk and its naval version Sea Hawk gun ships) at its facility in Hyderabad.

These cabins are meant for Sikorsky’s export orders. The TASL and Sikorsky have also been trying for a defence licence to manufacture components and assemble helicopters for use by the Indian Navy.

The RIL has entered into tie-ups with global aerospace giants, Boeing and Dassault Aviation, for the manufacture of their components worth millions of dollars under offset programmes related to their deals with India.

The RIL has tied up with Boeing for manufacturing the components of the American P81 long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. A similar arrangement for C-17 military transport aircraft, Harpoon missiles, Apache attack helicopters and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters is being worked out.

With Dassault Aviation, the RIL tie-up is for making the parts of the French Rafale that India has chosen to be its medium multi-role combat aircraft.

Bharat Forge has been holding trial production of forgings in titanium and specialty steels for application in the aerospace industry. Bharat Forge and the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems have formed a joint venture company to supply advanced artillery and mortar systems to the Indian military.

The L&T is in the field of design, manufacture and supply of components, subsystems and systems for aerospace applications, satellites and launch vehicles.

Mahindra Aerospace is a new player in the delivery of aircraft, aero-structure components and aircraft development services with manufacturing facility in Bangalore. In partnership with the National Aerospace Laboratories, Mahindra Aerospace is already developing a new five-seat light-utility aeroplane. It is also working on a new 10-seat turbine and an 18-seat twin turbine.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130607/edit.htm#2
NCTC needed
Centre, states have to find a wayout

The opposition to the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre at the annual conference on internal security on Wednesday was on the expected political lines. The objections were essentially the same as the last year, though some of the concerns voiced earlier had been addressed. On closer look, however, one can discern agreement, too, on the need per se for a national body to coordinate anti-terror intelligence and operations. The government must take note that two Congress Chief Ministers too have raised concerns similar to the non-Congress ones; only the semantics differed.

The two essential areas of concern are how much independence the NCTC should have vis-à-vis state police forces in conducting operations, and should the centre be set up through an Act of Parliament or an executive order. Differences of opinion on these could be overcome if the various parties concerned don’t make it a political issue — which they should not, given the obvious national interest. The Centre has already made some concessions in dropping the proposed right to conduct independent anti-terror searches and operations, and instead suggesting joint operations with the state police. This may be taken a little further, and states could be asked to set up similar dedicated units that coordinate with the NCTC for operations required, i.e., operationally they work as an extension of the central body, but report to the state. The point is these are matters of mechanics, which can be worked around. As for the issue of taking the proposal to Parliament, it seems a legitimate demand, given the issue of Centre-state power sharing.

Terror today has evolved beyond what Punjab experienced. Often the impact happens in a place which has nothing to do with the area of origin of the ‘uprising’ or ‘movement’ behind it. It is a global phenomenon. Failure of multiple security agencies to either pass on information regarding terror threats or comprehend the gravity of information received has often allowed attacks that could have been prevented — the recent Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh was an example. The NCTC is needed, only the Centre as well as the states have to work on it a little more. Beginning with identifying points they agree on would be a good idea.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130607/edit.htm#4
Shed illusions on China
India’s appeasement policy won’t help
by G. Parthasarathy

During the past month China inflicted a national humiliation on India by intruding 19 kilometres across what has been the traditional border between Ladakh and Tibet since the 17th century and forcing India to not only pull back from its own territory in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector, but also to dismantle defence structures in the Chumar sector. China has consistently refused to define where the so-called “Line of Actual Control” lies and acted aggressively when it finds Indian defences neutralise its tactical and strategic advantages by pushing its claims westwards and well beyond what its own maps had earlier depicted.

Moreover, apart from violating all past agreements on the Ladakh-Tibet border, China's territorial claims also violate the provisions of the Wen Jiabao — Manmohan Singh Agreement of 2005 on the guiding principles for a border settlement which state: “The (Sino-Indian) boundary should be along well defined and easily identifiable geographical features, to be mutually agreed upon”. India’s claims, based on historical data, also fulfil the provisions of the 2005 agreement as they set the western borders up to the Indus river watershed, with the Karakoram mountains forming the natural boundary.

After being militarily humiliated, India chose to subject itself to diplomatic ridicule in the joint statement issued after the visit of Premier Li Keqiang. While the joint statement paid lip service to the 2005 guiding principles, there was no mention of the need for defining the LAC in accordance with these guiding principles. Unless we do this and insist on China furnishing its version of the LAC, the Chinese will continue to stall and obfuscate while placing our forces in an untenable position along the borders, with India meekly agreeing to pull down any defences the Chinese demand. Worse still, India agreed to accept some ridiculous and one-sided provisions which are clearly detrimental to its national interests. The most astonishing provision of the joint statement was the sentence: “The two sides are committed to taking a positive view and support each other's friendship with other countries”. This, in effect, was an endorsement of Chinese policies of “low cost containment” of India.

Over the past three decades China has provided Pakistan designs for its nuclear weapon, allowed the use of its territory in 1990 by Pakistan for testing nuclear weapons, upgraded Pakistan's enrichment centrifuges, provided unsafeguarded plutonium production and reprocessing facilities and violated its commitment to the MTCR, by providing Pakistan wherewithal for manufacturing medium and long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. China is also Pakistan's largest arms supplier, providing equipment ranging from JF 17 fighters and T 90 tanks to modern frigates. General Musharraf had made it clear just after the visit of then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji that the Gwadar port being built with Chinese assistance would be made available to China if there were tensions with India. Moreover, does our ill-advised endorsement of the nature of Sino-Pakistani collusion not suggest an endorsement of Chinese growing presence in POK and the Northern Areas of Gilgit-Baltistan? As the Chinese government mouthpiece, The Global Times, mockingly observed: “India must accept and adapt to the enviable friendship between China and Pakistan. China cannot scale down this partnership merely because of India’s feelings!”

On May 28 President Rajapakse of Sri Lanka signed a “strategic cooperation partnership” agreement with President Xi Jinping in Beijing, in which the two sides agreed to strengthen defence cooperation while jointly cracking down on the “three challenges of terrorism, separatism and extremism” and expanding cooperation on “international and regional affairs”. Virtually every South Asian leader choosing to challenge India, ranging from President Waheed in the Maldives to Begum Khaleda Zia in Bangladesh and Prachanda in Nepal, has received a warm welcome at the highest levels in Beijing. Moreover, China is bent on blocking India’s entry into forums like the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Worse still, India grandiosely agreed to support a Chinese role in the Gulf of Aden, without getting similar Chinese endorsement for its maritime and energy interests in the South China Sea, most notably for its exploration projects in the Phu Khanh Basin off the coast of Vietnam. Interestingly, while commissioning the first squadron of carrier-based Mig 29 aircraft on May 13, the Defence Minster, Mr A.K. Antony, asserted that there should be freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, adding that while India is not a party to disputes there, it believes that these disputes should be settled according to the UN Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Mr Antony added the protection of the sea lanes of communications is imperative for India's trade, commerce and economic development. Sadly, such clarity on Indian interests is not evident in other parts of South Block. Moreover, Mr Antony believes that there can be no “miracles” in the development of India-China relations and has no intention of either taking up residence in Beijing or waxing eloquent on the serenity and tranquillity surrounding Tiananmen Square!

New Delhi has to understand that the appeasement of an assertive China is a recipe for global and regional marginalisation. Given China's territorial claims, which have expanded from just Tawang, to the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh and its activities in PoK, India should not merely stop voicing the inane mantra that “Tibet is an Autonomous Region of China,” but make it clear that we did not invite the Dalai Lama to India. We would be happy if he reached an agreement to return to Tibet, with China respecting the provisions of the 17-point agreement it signed with the Tibetans in 1951.

Moreover, apart from acquiring berthing facilities for the Navy in Vietnam, India would be well advised to provide Vietnam the ability to protect its maritime interests by the supply of Brahmos cruise missiles, much in the manner that China provides Pakistan ballistic and cruise missiles. On river waters, India is well placed to work with lower riparian states in the Mekong basin and, indeed internationally, to isolate China on its refusal to engage in prior consultations on projects on the Brahmaputra river. It is also high time the PMO and the MEA gathered courage to speak on the South China Sea and issues having a bearing on national security, particularly in forums like the East Asia Summit, with the same clarity as the Defence Minister, instead of appearing apologetic, weak and vacillating. The statements made and cooperation envisaged when the Prime Minister visited Japan are a good beginning.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-australia-to-bolster-defence-ties/article4783997.ece
India, Australia raise the pitch on maritime cooperation
India and Australia have agreed to hold a joint Naval exercise in 2015 to raise their defence cooperation initiatives to a higher level and strengthen their strategic partnership.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who is on a two-day visit to Australia, met his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith in Perth on Tuesday. They travelled together to Canberra on Wednesday to discuss shared strategic and security interests, including maritime security and bilateral defence cooperation.

A joint statement issued at the conclusion of Mr. Antony’s visit, the first by an Indian Defence Minister, stressed that both countries had agreed to continue Naval exchanges to build confidence and familiarity between the two Navies and work towards a bilateral maritime exercise in 2015. India and Australia had participated together in multilateral maritime exercises in Malabar in 2007 and in Milan in 2012.

Both sides acknowledged that maritime security and freedom of navigation in accordance with principles of international law were critical for the growth and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

Taking note of the growing cooperation between the two Navies, Mr. Antony accepted Mr. Smith’s invitation for Indian naval ships’ participation in the prestigious International Fleet Review (IFR) to be held in Sydney this October. The Indian Navy will get an opportunity to showcase its growing military capability at the IFR, where when mighty navies are expected to line up about 40 top-end warships. The Indian Navy’s participation is being seen as part of a big strategy unfolding in the Indian Ocean region to contain the ever-growing presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The Ministers took note of the progress made in defence cooperation in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation concluded in 2006, the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation issued during the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s visit to India in 2009 and the Joint Statement issued during the visit of Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2012.

“They [the Defence Ministers] agreed that interactions held between the defence establishments of both sides in a variety of fields and at various levels have been mutually beneficial. Both sides were pleased with the bilateral architecture established for pursuing defence cooperation and agreed that consultations had helped deepen mutual trust and understanding between the defence establishments,” the joint statement said.

They agreed to continue consultations and cooperation on issues concerning the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions bilaterally as well as multilaterally, including through the East Asia Summit, the Asean Regional Forum, the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus, Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and the Indian Ocean Rim — Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).

The Ministers noted that both countries were already cooperating through the IONS — which Australia will chair next year before hosting the IONS Conclave of Chiefs in Perth in March 2014 — and the IOR-ARC, of which India is the current chair and Australia the next chair.

The Ministers also agreed to maintain regular ministerial meetings; promote exchanges between the defence establishments and both the Armed Forces, including regularly holding the Defence Policy Dialogue, Armed Forces Staff Talks and professional military exchanges; and to promote the sharing and exchange of professional knowledge and experiences through participation in training courses in each other’s military training institutions. Mr. Antony invited Mr. Smith to visit India.


http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130605/DEFREG03/306050030/India-s-Move-Expand-Local-Firms-Role-Defense-Falters
India's Move To Expand Local Firms' Role in Defense Falters


NEW DELHI — Two Indian companies have declined to participate in a US $1 billion tender to supply quick reaction surface-to-air missiles (QRSAMs), dealing a setback to efforts to expand domestic involvement in big-ticket defense projects.

Defence Ministry sources said the domestic companies do not have the necessary technical know-how to team with overseas companies.

An executive with Indian company Punj Lloyd said the firm tried negotiations with overseas companies but found the project commercially unviable. The executive refused to give details.

Although it is the country’s primary defense electronics manufacturer, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) has no experience with QRSAM systems and did not enter the competition.

BEL officials declined to discuss the subject, but MoD sources said BEL had not filed papers for the tender.

The QRSAM tender was given in January to Russia’s Rosoboronexport, US company Raytheon, Israel’s Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael, Tetraedr of Belarus, South Korea’s Doosan Group and LIG Nex1, France-based Thales and Eurosam, Diehl Defence of Germany and pan-European MBDA, in addition to BEL and Punj Lloyd.

Following a helicopter scandal involving Italy’s AgustaWestland this year, the MoD decided to encourage participation by domestic companies in defense projects.

Last month, domestic companies for the first time were asked to participate along with foreign companies in a $1.6 billion air defense program involving integrated gun and missile systems for the Indian Army.

The domestic companies that were invited had never developed such a system, and only by teaming with major overseas defense contractors would these companies be able to meet the Army requirements.
Bidding for QRSAM

The MoD in January floated the tender for the purchase 54 QRSAM systems along with 1,485 missiles on a “buy global” basis.

The QRSAM systems will be used by the Army and will include combat vehicles, transport loading systems, missile-guiding radars, surveillance radars and repair vehicles. The successful vendor will have to transfer technology for the maintenance of the systems.

The Army requires that the QRSAM be able to attack targets at a range of up to 30 kilometers and a height of at least six kilometers.

Some analysts here said involvement by domestic defense companies in these kind of tenders will help build their capabilities, but others said India’s domestic defense industry is still in its infancy and needs time to mature before participating in big-ticket projects.

Asking domestic companies to participate in large projects will encourage collaboration with foreign companies, thus strengthening partnerships, said K.V. Kuber of Sugosha Consultancy Services, based here.

However, local analyst Nitin Mehta said, “The government will have to increase the limit of foreign direct investment [allowed by law] from the current level of 26 percent to around 50 percent to enable big-ticket overseas companies to tie up with domestic defense companies.”


http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/06/chin-j06.html
Chinese strategic review warns of “big power competition” in Asia-Pacific
Strategic Review 2012, the first annual paper produced by an new Chinese military think tank, describes a rising risk of “big power competition” and war in the Asia-Pacific region—driven by the US “rebalance” to Asia and the regional tensions it has generated.

The 50,000-word document was published in both Chinese and English in late May by the Centre for National Defence Policy (CNDP), a part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Sciences. Founded in December 2011, the CNDP has been tasked with studying national defence policy and drafting annual strategic reports on China’s security.

The report is clearly focused on the implications of the Obama administration’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region, which aims to step up the deployment of US military forces and strengthen US strategic and military alliances to encircle China.

The Strategic Review 2012 states: “Amid strategic competition among the big powers, the fierce oceanic competition and frequent regional conflicts, the complexity, sensitivity and uncertainty of China’s security environment loom large.” China faces “heightening strategic pressure” for the first time since the end of the Cold War in 1991, with the Asia-Pacific region now a “new global centre” for “geopolitical, economic and military competition.”

While being the “economically most dynamic region,” the Asia-Pacific also saw intensifying rivalry over maritime rights and an “increasingly intensive arms race.” That, combined with “populism emerging in some countries” was driving “the greatest readjustment since the end of World War II.”

As a direct result of the US encouraging regional allies like Japan to assert maritime territorial claims against China, such as over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in East China Sea, the review warns that a military clash could occur between China and Japan.

Commenting on the report, Liu Lin, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science, the publisher of the review, told China Radio International that confrontation between Japan and China is the new “normal.”

He said, “It’s hard for both sides to make compromises. What’s more, the US involvement and the historical legacy [of Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s and 40s] have made the matter even more complicated.”

Liu stated that American strategy was bound up with a broader objective of containing any challengers emerging out of the Euro-Asian continent, “by tightening control of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.”

This reflects the recognition in Beijing that at the heart of US strategic calculations is establishing the capacity to impose a crippling naval blockade on China by cutting off its vital supplies of raw materials and oil from the Middle East and Africa via the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. This would involve several key US allies, including Japan and Australia.

Huang Dahui, director of the Centre for East Asia Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, told the state-controlled Global Times that the Sino-Japanese row over the Senkaku Islands was not about three rocky islets, but deeper antagonisms between the two nations, rooted in the changing balance of their economic weight. “China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economic power. But Japan sees China as a threat and competitor instead of a partner,” he said.

The real prospect that military clashes between China and Japan could trigger a wider conflict, involving the US and other powers, was underscored by a computerised war game exercise held in Taiwan on May 28, addressing a scenario of a war breaking out between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

According to Taiwan’s Liberty Times, the scenario rapidly spiralled into a conflict between China and the US-Japan alliance, with Russia later joining the Chinese side. Taiwan was forced into the US-Japanese camp, prompting Beijing to threaten to invade the island, which it regards as a renegade Chinese province.

Although the official story of the simulated war game insisted that it concerned only “a small-scale regional war” around the East China Sea, the rapid entanglement of four of the world’s largest economic and military powers—the US, China, Russia and Japan—points to the danger of a global nuclear conflagration.

Strategic Review 2012 was a second attempt by the Beijing authorities, after the publication of a defence white paper earlier this year, to defuse allegations by the Obama administration and various Western commentators that China lacks transparency about its military and strategic posture. The documents insist that the threat of war derives not from China, but from the United States.

Washington has in recent weeks escalated its pressure on Beijing, depicting it as a major threat to peace and the largest source of cyber hacking into US government and corporate data. The latest Shangri-La security conference in Singapore, held just days after the release of the Strategic Review 2012, was a case in point. In the presence of defence ministers and senior military figures from the US and Asian countries, including China, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel openly stated, in his speech, that some cyber intrusions “appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.”

In fact, the greatest source of the war danger lies in the militarist policy of the US government, which is seeking to maintain its post-World War II dominance over the Asia Pacific, home to the world’s largest cheap labour platforms, such as China, India and South East Asia. To offset its relative economic decline over the past three decades, Washington is relying on threats of military force to ensure that China will continue to respect economic relations established in line with US geo-political interests.

In the latest provocative step, despite a request from the Chinese government to stop, the US and Japan will hold a planned joint “island taking” amphibious drill in California on June 10, clearly aimed at China. Set to take place just two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first meeting with Obama, also in California, the drill is designed to send a strong warning to the new Chinese leadership.

The Japanese government has publicly stated that the joint drill seeks to strengthen the “defence of the Southwestern islands”—including the Senkaku Islands and Okinawa. Japan’s participation will consist not only of troops, but also of a new naval helicopter carrier.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1844599/report-india-supports-freedom-of-navigation-in-international-waters-says-ak-antony
India supports freedom of navigation in international waters, says AK Antony
He also offered to cooperate with Thailand in the field of defence production. Thailand praised India's indigenously developed defence capabilities.
Against the backdrop of growing Chinese assertion in the Asia-Pacific region, India on Thursday said it supports the "freedom of navigation" in international waters noting that any disputes or differences in the region must be resolved diplomatically.

Defence Minister AK Antony, who is here on a day-long visit, held wide ranging talks with his Thai counterpart Air Chief Marshal Sukhumpol Suwanatat, calling for cooperation in several areas including keeping open sea lanes and measures to tackle piracy.

He also offered to cooperate with Thailand in the field of defence production. Thailand praised India's indigenously developed defence capabilities.

Antony said both India and Thailand had large stakes in the maintenance of peace and stability in its immediate neighbourhood and in the wider Asia Pacific region.

"Our trade is dependent on the sea lanes. Hence, security of the sea lanes and freedom of navigation is critical to our economic and overall security. India supports the freedom of navigation in accordance with the principles of international law," he said in his talks with Suwanatat.

Noting that peace and stability was in the interest of all countries in the region, Antony said, "We support resolution of differences and disputes through the process of dialogue and consensus between the parties to such disputes." "All countries must exercise restraint and resolve issues diplomatically, according to the principles of international law," he said.

Antony's comments came amidst flexing of muscles by China in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

China has in the recent past used its naval ships and aircraft to intimidate neighbouring countries including Japan which are in dispute with Beijing over maritime rights.

China has also increased presence of its maritime forces, including submarines and warships, in the Indian Ocean Region.

During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangkok last week, Thailand had expressed interest in India's defence industry, which has competitive production and advanced technology.

Both countries had agreed to pursue defence industry collaboration in areas of mutual interest.

The two Defence Ministers also discussed measures to further expand defence cooperation. The two countries also agreed to increase service to service contact between Army, Navy and Air Force.

During Singh's visit, the two countries had agreed to enhance anti-piracy cooperation, promote security of sea lanes and Coast Guard cooperation to contribute to the maintenance of peace in the region and to work towards ensuring safety and security of navigation in the Indian Ocean.

Noting that ASEAN was central to any security architecture in the region, Antony said, "India is committed to efforts of ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus, ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit for promoting dialogue and consensus building among all countries of the region," he said.

Offering cooperation and collaboration in defence production, Antony said, "India has, over the years, developed a well established defence industry which can meet varying requirements of the Thai Armed Forces."

He also welcomed the visit of Thai defence delegations to various Indian military production facilities.

"Through conscious planning, hard work by our scientists and support by the government is resulting in the growth of a strong defence industrial base in the country," the Defence Minister said.

Antony is in the last leg of his three-nation tour to Australia, Singapore and Thailand. He has already visited the other two countries and held talks for enhancing defence and military cooperation with them.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/improving-defence-psus-performance-is-our-focus-jitendra-singh-113060500731_1.html
Improving defence PSUs performance is our focus:Jitendra Singh
The Centre is aiming to improve performance of PSU defence units in accordance with the new procurement policy which put strong emphasis on promoting indigenisation, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said today.

"I will be visiting OFB (Ordnance Factory Board) and GRSE (Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers), and see how I can improve their performance in terms of quality and quantity requirements of the armed forces. It is a review meeting," Singh said after inaugurating an online billing facility of the ex-servicemen contributory health scheme.

The minister would inaugurate the integrated shipbuilding facility at the GRSE on June 6.

Describing the defence procurement procedure 2013 as a "solid step towards self-reliance", Singh underlined a joint effort by defence PSUs and Indian industry for the technological exchange and upgradation and employment generation.

"The DPP's objective is how to enable the Indian industry and create an environment for them to come forward. The Indian industry will be protected and given the advantages over others," Singh said.

On the improvement of production facilities at the defence PSUs, the minister said, "We need to upgrade at the world standard. There are large orders from the Indian armed forces. So immediate supply of quality products on time is needed."

Singh visited the Eastern Command Headquarters in Fort William where he was briefed by Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh on the state of preparedness and counter insurgency situation in the eastern region.

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