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Monday, 30 December 2013

From Today's Papers - 30 Dec 2013














http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131230/main5.htm
India begins equipping new mountain strike corps
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
India has started equipping the newly raised specialised mountain strike corps aimed at countering China. A set of six specialised aircraft aiding operations in mountains have been ordered from the US while the case of acquiring specialized attack helicopters and heavy lift copters have moved ahead in the Ministry of Defence.

Orders have also been issued to draw troops from existing units to raise the corps and replenish the original regiments with new recruits over the next few years. The appointment of the first Commander of the Corps - a Lieutenant General-rank official - is in its final phase of administrative process. The CCS had cleared the corps on July 17 allocating Rs 64,000 crore to be spent over the next six-seven years. The 17 Strike Corps will be based at Panagarh in West Bengal. It will have two divisions, one located near Panagarh in West Bengal and the other in the foothills of Himlayas at Pathankot in Punjab. Both locations are near important ingress routes. A division will have around 20,000 men.

As a first step, New Delhi has ordered six more C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft from the US under a $1.1 billion (around Rs 6,000 crore) deal.

These will be delivered within three years and will be based at Panagarh. The IAF has a fleet of six such planes based at Hindon - located 20 km east of New Delhi. The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the PM had cleared the purchase on December 20. The “letter of offer and acceptance” was cleared under the US government’s “foreign military sales” (FMS) route on Friday.

The plane has the ability for special air operations and transport of material and supplies.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131230/nation.htm#12
CBI closes case against Army ex-vice chief

New Delhi, December 29
The CBI has closed its case in an alleged land scam purportedly involving a defence property in Pune Cantonment in which a ex-Army vice chief was named as accused.

The Mumbai branch of the agency filed a closure report before a special CBI court saying it could not find evidence which indicates the criminality of Lt Gen (retd) Nobel Thamburaj.

The CBI had based its probe on a complaint from the Defence Ministry, which had alleged that defence land in Pune Cantonment was given to a private builder in violation of norms. It was alleged that Thamburaj and Defence Estate Officer SR Nayyar had favoured the builder.

CBI sources said action was recommended against the accused as due process was not followed in allotment of land to the builder but there was no criminality the case. Sources said the agency could not find evidence of any quid pro quo that could have benefited Thamburaj or Nayyar.

According to the CBI, Thamburaj, who retired as vice chief in October 2009, and Nayyar had allegedly shown undue favour to the builder for 0.96 acres property in defence land at Pune Cantonment. "There was a dispute on regarding the property in question. Thamburaj and Nayyar settled the matter out of court inspite of several court orders given in favour of the Army. The duo indulged in gross misconduct," the CBI had alleged.

The two officers ignored rules and policies, violated the terms of lease entered into by the Ministry of Defence and Kalpataru and caused the private company pecuniary gains. — PTI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20131230/nation.htm#19
 Army Chief interacts with ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh has had an interaction with ex-servicemen of Uttarakhand to know how many of them had suffered during the June floods in the state and to know first hand about the rehabilitation measures initiated by the Army.

A “Gaurav Senani Rally” was held at Dehradun yesterday with the objective of reaching out to ex-servicemen and listen to the issues concerning them, a press release said. The rally was attended by 4,000 retired Armymen and war widows. Officials of the state government, Rajya Sainik Board members, pension disbursement authorities, defence placement cell personnel and soldiers records personnel not only attended to the veterans’ queries but also provided detailed inputs on new schemes for their betterment.


http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-weapons-haul-unearthed-near-loc-indian-army-1942410
Weapons haul unearthed near LoC: Indian Army


The Indian Army Sunday said it had recovered a major haul of arms and ammunition from near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district.

"Based on a tip-off from reliable intelligence sources, a search operation was launched by the vigilant troops deployed along the LoC in the Farkian Gali area of the frontier Kupwara district yesterday (Saturday) resulting in the recovery of a major haul of weapons.

"A total of 40 weapons including 20 AK-47 rifles, 20 pistols, magazines and ammunition hidden one kilometre inside the LoC were recovered," a defence spokesman said.

Inputs were being received over last few days from sources about likely bids for infiltration or pushing the arms across the LoC, he said.

"Accordingly, troops were put on high alert and searches were carried out in the suspected areas. Search operations undertaken yesterday led to the recovery of such a large cache of arms and ammunition from a place which is between the LoC and the anti-Infiltration Obstacles System (AIOS)," the spokesman added.


http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=228330
India, US ink $1b deal for six Super Hercules aircraft
Sunday, December 29, 2013 - New Delhi—India and the US have inked another mega defence contract, the $1.01 billion for six additional C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft, while some others are being finalized.

Indian Defence ministry sources said the “letter of offer and acceptance” for the six new four-engine C-130Js, which will be delivered within three years, was signed on Friday under the US government’s “foreign military sales” (FMS) programme.

IAF already has six C-130Js tactical airlift aircraft, ordered for $962 million in 2007, which are based at the Hindon airbase on the outskirts of Delhi. The six new C-130Js, also configured for “special operations” as the first six, will be based at Panagarh in West Bengal.

Panagarh will also house the headquarters of the new mountain strike corps, with a total of over 80,000 soldiers, being raised by the Army in a project worth around Rs 90,000 crore.

This new corps will plug operational gaps along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as give “some serious ground offensive capabilities” against China for the first time, Times of India said.

The rugged C-130J, as also the bigger C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft acquired from the US, can even land at a small forward airbase on a semi-prepared runway. Crucial to counter China’s massive build-up of border infrastructure, this capability was amply demonstrated when IAF landed a C-130J on the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in eastern Ladakh, at an altitude of 16,614-feet just seven-km from the LAC, in August this year.

The US has already bagged deals close to $10 billion over the last decade in the lucrative Indian defence market. The other deals on the anvil are the ones for 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers, four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, together worth another $4 billion or so.

“The CNC (contract negotiation committee) for the Chinooks has completed its work, while the one for the Apaches is on the verge of finalization. The M-777 howitzers’ contract was stuck on the offsets proposal but is now being sorted out,” said a MoD source.

That’s not all. The US is also in the contention for the over Rs 15,000 crore project to equip the 355 infantry battalions of the Indian Army with third-generation, shoulder-fired anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

After the US initially created roadblocks in the transfer of technology (ToT) for its “Javelin” ATGMs, India had turned to the Israeli “Spike” ATGMs for the project, which will involve an initial import of the tank-killing missiles followed by ToT to defence PSU Bharat Dynamics for indigenous manufacture.

But the A K Antony-led Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) last month put on hold a decision on clearing the Israeli case after the US offered a joint project to manufacture the next-generation of ATGMs. “The MoD will consider both the American and Israeli projects now and choose the one which suits India better,” said the newspaper.—INP


http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cbi-closes-case-against-former-army-vice-chief/442184-3.html
CBI closes case against former Army vice chief
New Delhi: The CBI has closed its case in an alleged land scam purportedly involving a defence property in Pune cantonment in which a former Army vice chief was named as accused.

The Mumbai branch of the agency filed a closure report before a special CBI court saying it could not find evidence which indicates criminality of Lt Gen (retd) Nobel Thamburaj.

The agency had based its probe on a complaint from the Defence Ministry which had alleged that defence land in the Pune cantonment was given to a private builder in violation of the norms.
It was alleged that Thamburaj and Defence Estate Officer SR Nayyar had favoured the builder. CBI sources said action was recommended against the accused as due process was not followed in allotment of land to the builder but there was no criminality the case.

Sources said the agency could not find evidence of any quid pro quo which could have benefited Thamburaj or Nayyar.

According to the CBI FIR, Thamburaj, who retired as Vice Chief in October 2009, and Nayyar had allegedly shown undue favour to the builder for a property measuring 0.96 acres in Defence Land at Pune Cantonment.

"There was a dispute going on regarding the property in question. Thamburaj and Nayyar settled the matter out of court in spite of several court orders given in favour of the Army. The duo indulged in gross misconduct," CBI had alleged.

The two officers ignored rules and policies, violated the terms of lease entered into by the Ministry of Defence and Kalpataru and caused the private company pecuniary gains of about Rs 46 crore, it claimed.

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