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Monday, 19 May 2014

From Today's Papers - 19 May 2014

 Soon, soldiers to see through walls, doorways
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Soldiers engaged in special missions or combat in urban or built-up areas would soon be able to literally see through walls, over window sills, under doorways or around corners without having to expose themselves or make their presence known to the adversary.

The Army is procuring flexible surveillance devices (FSD) for its infantry battalions that would enable them to carry out discreet surveillance mission as well as give them a tactical advantage and real-time intelligence during conduct of operations.

A request for information in this regard was issued by the Directorate General of Infantry at Army Headquarters earlier this month. The Army is expected to procure about 500 such devices. Rashtriya Rilfes units and infantry battalions deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast as well as Special Forces outfits and Ghatak platoons in some other select infantry units would be equipped with these devices.

FSDs use optical devices and miniature cameras mounted at the end of a thin flexible tube, in many cases having optical fiber cables. The free end of this cable can be pushed under doorways, through a miniature hole in a wall or held around a corner and the operator can view the scene captured by the optical devices.
Indian Army foils infiltration bid by three Pakistani militants in Jammu
An attempt by three Pakistani militants to sneak into Indian territory was today foiled by the army, which also defused an Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by the infiltrators along LoC in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

This is the third attempt in a month by militants to breach the borders.

"Our troops noticed suspicious movement of a group of three terrorists opposite our (forward) post along LoC in Bhimbher Gali at around 0830 hours today," a defence spokesman said in Jammu.

Troops guarding the borderline fired on the infiltrating terrorists and they fled to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), he said.

They had also planted an IED to target troops, he said adding that it was recovered and destroyed in the location.

No one was injured and there was no damage to property, the spokesman said.

This was the third infiltration bid by Pakistan militants along LoC. On May 10, two militants were killed when Army troops foiled an infiltration bid along Line of Control (LoC) in Kalsia belt of Poonch district.

One jawan had suffered injuries in the firing.

On May 3, troops foiled an infiltration bid along LoC in Sawjian belt of Poonch district.

Army officials said the ceasefire violations and firing by Pakistani troops were aimed at helping militants infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir from the "launching pads" along LoC, where they are waiting to crossover.

There are also inputs that bids to engineer attacks by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT) on Indian forward posts and patrolling parties are being planned from across the border, they said.
Defence budget
In 1988, India’s defence budget stood at Rs168 billion. Last year’s allocation stands at a colossal Rs2.03 trillion – an increase of nearly 14 times. In dollar terms, the budget has gone up from $16.7 billion to $47.7 billion (in constant 2010).

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “India remains the biggest buyer of arms in the world…. Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111 percent in the last five years”.

The Indian army’s tank inventory stands at 3,978 – Arjun Main BattleTanks (MBT), T-90s and T-72s. Last year, India placed an order of 235 T-90s for a billion dollars. India wants to buy Rafale fighter jets worth $20 billion. India has bought $39 billon worth of killing machines from Russia. India is buying American C-130Js for $5 billion, Apache attack helicopter for $1.4 billion, ultra-light howitzers for $885 million and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for $1 billion.

Why is India accumulating tanks? Here’s India’s land boundaries: Bangladesh 4,053km, Bhutan 605km, Burma 1,463km, China 3,380km, Nepal 1,690km, Pakistan 2,912km.

To be certain, never in history have India and China been serious military rivals. Never in history, other than the minor Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962, has India fought a sustained war with China. The probability of a future war between India and China is minimal. And that is so because the Great Himalayas run through the entire 3,380 km of the India-China border. Can tanks run over the Himalayas?

According to a report by Stratfor, the Texas-based private intelligence agency, “China has been seen as a threat to India, and simplistic models show them to be potential rivals. In fact, however, China and India might as well be on different planets. Their entire frontier runs through the highest elevations of the Himalayas. It would be impossible for a substantial army to fight its way through the few passes that exist, and it would be utterly impossible for either country to sustain an army there in the long term.

“The two countries are irrevocably walled off from each other. Ideally, New Delhi wants to see a Pakistan that is fragmented, or at least able to be controlled. Toward this end, it will work with any power that has a common interest and has no interest in invading India.”

The Indian army’s Arjun main battle tanks are not for Bangladesh. The T-72, 2nd generation, 41.5 tons, main battle tanks are neither for China nor for Nepal. The T-90, 3rd generation, 47.5 ton, main battle tanks are neither for Bhutan nor for Burma. The on-the-ground reality is that most Indian arms are positioned to target Pakistan.

On the ground, Bharatiya Sthalsena has a total of 13 corps of which 6 are strike corps. Of the 13 corps at least 7 have their guns pointed at Pakistan (Sundarji Doctrine). The 3rd Armored Division, 2nd Armored Brigade, 4 RAPID, Jaisalmer AFS, Utarlai AFS and Bhuj AFS are all positioned to split Pakistan into two (by capturing the Kashmore/Guddu Barrage-Reti-Rahimyar Khan triangle).

Since 2004, India has been spending billions on its Pakistan-specific, cold-start, offensive military doctrine-speed, overwhelming firepower and mobilisation time of 48 hours.

Someone perceptive once remarked, “War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”

PS: Narendra Modi is likely to spend an additional $200 billion on stealth fighters, main battle tanks, backfire bombers, aircraft carriers, frigates and Scorpion submarines.
Ex-Indian Gorkha army men to get free medical service in Pokhara - See more at:

POKHARA: The Indian government and Manipal Teaching Hospital of Pokhara have signed an agreement to provide free medical services to the ex-servicemen of Indian Army’s Gorkha Regiment under India’s Ministry of Defence.

Dean of Manipal Teaching Hospital Dr BM Nagpal and Defence Attaché of Indian Embassy in Nepal Colonel Ajay Pasbola signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect for two years, at a programme organised here today. Families of Gorkha Army personnel will also be entitled to receive medical service.

The agreement, for two years in the initial phase, will be extended after that period, said Wing Commander Ravi Sharma — Assistant Military Attaché (ECHS) of Indian Embassy to Nepal.

As per the agreement, former Gorkha army personnel of Indian Army and their family members will receive all kinds of medical treatments, including surgery, free of cost at Manipal Teaching Hospital.

In case the ex-servicemen and their kin cannot be treated at Manipal, they will be referred to India, where they will be treated for free. The patients, however, will have to bear transport expenses.

According to Assistant Military Attaché of the Indian Embassy Wing Commander Ravi Sharma, there are nearly 250,000 retired Gorkha army personnel. The Indian Embassy is also planning to provide similar service for retired personnel of Indian Police.

Ravi Sharma said the Indian government would forge similar kinds of agreements with about 20 hospitals in Nepal, in the days ahead.

Medical facilities will be provided to respective personnel, their wives, sons under 25 years, and unmarried daughters.

To receive the facility, Indian Embassy will issue cards to ex-Gorkha army personnel. Within one month of registering an application for the card, the Indian Embassy will issue the cards, Ravi Sharma informed.

The Indian government will pay around NRs 2 billion per year for free health service to the ex-servicemen. The Indian government is extending the free medical facilities under Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme.

Indian Army Gorkha regiment’s ex-captain Samar Bahadur Kshetri of Ram Bazaar in Pokhara, said the MoU had elated him. “Earlier, we used to visit various health centres in India. But now we can avail the service at our doorstep,” Kshetri said.

Another former captain Dambar Bahadur Gurung said that free medical service for ex-personnel of Indian army and their family members was commendable.

Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said the MOU had been signed to this effect after long homework.

Colonel Ajay Pasbola expressed confidence that the free medical facilities would benefit many ex-servicemen and their families. Dr Nagpal said the agreement had made the entire hospital family very glad. Established in 1994 Manipal Teaching Hospital currently has 750 beds.

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