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Sunday, 26 October 2014

From Today's Papers - 26 Oct 2014





















http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20141026/main2.htm
6 made-in-India subs for Navy
Govt clears defence projects worth Rs 80,000 crore
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 25
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Saturday cleared military equipment purchase proposals worth Rs 80,000 crore and decided that six submarines will be made indigenously.

Clearance was also given to purchase of over 8,000 Israeli anti-tank missiles, 362 infantry carrying vehicles, 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft and two midget subs for special operations.

The DAC, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, is the apex decision-making body of the Ministry of Defence. The meeting that lasted for about two hours was attended by the Defence Secretary, the Chiefs of all three Services, DRDO Chief and other senior officials. The bulk of the decisions went in favour of the Navy that is in dire need of capability enhancement.

The big ticket step was the decision to build six diesel-electric submarines in India at a cost of about Rs 50,000 crore. The ministry will form a panel of specialists who will study five government-owned shipyards and two private facilities and give their report within eight weeks.

Following this, the MoD will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to a specific port that will be identified on the basis of the study which will look into whether the facility has the capacity and manpower to build submarines.

The private shipyards on the list are L&T and Pipapav. The government shipyards are at Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata. None of the yards can produce a submarine --- a very complex piece of engineering --- on its own and will need foreign partners. Germany, France, Spain and Russia, among others have the technology to produce these submarines.

The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable that will enable them to stay underwater for longer than a conventional submarine besides having enhanced stealth features.

Originally, there was a plan to import first two submarines and build the remaining ones at government-owned shipyards.

Currently, the Navy has only 13 operational submarines and half of them are slated for a refit. Another six are under construction at Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai in collaboration with DCNS of France. In contrast, China has 60 submarines which routinely make forays in the Indian Ocean.

The DAC has opted for Israel-made ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The council also okayed the direct purchase of 321 launchers and 8,356 missiles at cost of Rs 3,200 crore. In all, 1,900 launchers and 37,800 missiles will be required to equip the 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units of the Army.

The Navy will also get two ‘midget submarines’ costing about Rs 2,000 crore. These are special operations vehicles tailored for attack, autonomous swimmer delivery; surveillance and mine-hunting. These are 16-20m long and carry 10-12 armed troops which can carry out targeted operations.

Another 12 Dornier surveillance aircraft with enhanced sensors will also be bought from the the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd at a cost of Rs 1,850 crore. Another 362 infantry carrying vehicle – also known as BMP, will be produced by the Ordinance Factory Board, Medak, for Rs 662 crore. The Army will get 1,768 new railway wagons that can rapidly carry tanks and trucks at a cost of Rs 740 crore. A sum of Rs 662 crore will be spent on radio equipment.
Big ticket project

The six indigenously built diesel-electric submarines will cost Rs 50,000 crore

A panel of specialists will study five government-owned shipyards and two private facilities and give their report within eight weeks to the government

The MoD will then issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to a specific port that will be zeroed down on the basis of the study

The government has also okayed purchase of over 8,000 Israeli anti-tank missiles, 362 infantry carrying vehicles, 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft and two midget subs for special operations.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20141026/nation.htm#6
 Implement bio-weapons convention: India to UN

United Nations, October 25
India has stressed the need to strengthen implementation of the biological weapons convention in the wake of challenges to international peace and security emanating from threat posed by terrorists and non-state actors seeking access to biological toxins.

“The use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone must be condemned and the international norm against the use of chemical weapons must not be breached,” Ambassador DB Venkatesh Varma, Permanent Representative of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament, said during a UN General Assembly debate on ‘Other Weapons of Mass Destruction’ here yesterday.

He said India remains committed to improving the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention and strengthening its implementation and universalisation.

“We believe this is necessary in view of the new challenges to international peace and security emanating from proliferation trends, including the threat posed by terrorists or other non-state actors seeking access to biological agents or toxins for terrorist purposes,” Varma added. — PTI


http://defense-update.com/20141025_indian-army-opts-to-buy-israeli-spike-multi-purpose-missiles.html#.VExgpFenXkc
Indian Army opts to buy Israeli Spike multi-purpose missiles
The Indian army announced today its decision to buy 321 missile launchers and 8,356 Spike anti-tank guided missile from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, as part of a procurement deal that could reach half billion US$.

Rafael was the sole bidder for the Army program, facing a US offer to sell the Javelin missile produced by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS)  scheme. This sale was offered under  Government-to Government (G2G) by the US, bypasding the Army bidding process .
The main issue of concern for the Indians was technology transfer and local manufacturing rights. Although both were promissed by the US, India did not receive access to the technology and the level of cooperation on the missile’s manufacturing and development remained vague.

Israel, on the other hand, has already sold the missiles to more than 20 customers worldwide, and had implemented successful local manufacturing and support peograms in several key markets, including Germany, Poland and Singapore.

The selection of the Israeli proposal was made back in 2010 but the actual decision to proceed with the contract was delayed due to the US pressure, which could continue now, untill a formal contract is signed.

The recent decision was taken following a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, that lasted for over two hours with Defence Secretary, the Chiefs of all three services, DRDO Chief and other senior officials attending it.
The new missiles are needed to replace the Milan 2 missiles locally produced in India under French license. India has also produced the Russian AT-4 missiles, both considered second generation weapons. The Israeli Spike is  a fourth generation missile, as it provides users both ‘fire and forget’, enabled with the Javelin, and ‘fire and update’ options, particularly useful in engagements in complex, urban terrain.

The initial order will be supplied from Israel and supported in India, while follow-on batches will be locally produced, following transfer of technology (ToT) to defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited for large-scale manufacture.

India is expected to field much more than the 381 launchers it will initially buy, to replace the Milans throughout the Indian Army’s 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanized infantry regiments, sources put the missile numbers to be procured through the life span of the program at about 40,000 . The number of launchers is also expected to increase at least five-fold, as well as procurement of support equipment, training and proficiency simulators and command and control systems supporting the weapon.


http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dump-outdated-equipment-army-wives/article6533548.ece
Old weaponry puts lives in danger: Army wives
 As India’s entire Sukhoi-30 fleet remains grounded and a committee inquires into the Cheetah helicopter crash that killed three young officers this month in Uttar Pradesh, wives of serving Army officials have joined hands to petition Prime Minister Narendra Modi against outdated defence equipment.

In a first, the ‘Indian Army Wives Agitation Group’ has sought the immediate replacement of unsafe military equipment.

“We think that precious life should not be wasted like this in accidents, just because better equipment could not be made available to them,” said Shuchi, wife of a serving Major. The spouses of 31 officers formed the ‘Indian Army Wives Agitation’ Group this month.

After giving details about the October 1 chopper crash at Bareilly, the petition urges the PM to “replace outdated and unsafe military equipment that endangers the lives of our soldiers.”

“We have faith in the Prime Minister who has given so much of encouragement to the Army. He also spent his Diwali with the soldiers in Siachen. We are sure that if things come to his notice, action will be taken. We need to bring it out and discuss it in the open,” Ms. Shuchi said.

The group also intends to give a representation to the Registrar of the Supreme Court on the problems in Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. “Then Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on the floor of the House a few years ago that the Cheetah fleet will be replaced soon. But more than four years later, the Army is still using it,” Ms. Meenal, another founder-member of the group, said.

Throwing light on the plight of wives of serving officers, Ms. Meenal said: “We lead a highly stressful life. Every hour of the night and day, we are scared. We pray for the safety of our husbands and feel shattered by every news of a chopper crash. The officers who die in such accidents are people whom we have mingled with. They leave behind families of new-born babies and recently-wed spouses.”

The Army has so far issued several requests to the Defence Ministry for the replacement of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.


http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/modi-government-defence-projects-80000-crore-dornier-submarines-antitank-missiles/1/397535.html
Centre gives nod to defence projects worth Rs.80,000 crore


Defence projects worth a whopping Rs.80,000 crore were on Saturday cleared by the government which decided that six submarines will be made indigenously and over 8,000 Israeli anti-tank guided missiles and 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft will be purchased.

The decisions were taken following a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, that lasted for over two hours with Defence Secretary, the Chiefs of all three services, DRDO Chief and other senior officials attending it.

The bulk of the decisions went in favour of the Navy that was in dire need of up-gradation and capability enhancement.

The big ticket step was the decision to build six submarines in India at a cost of about Rs.50,000 crore rather than source it from outside.

The other major decision was to purchase 8,356 Anti Tank Guided Missile of Israel worth Rs.3,200 crore rather than the US' Javelin missile for the Indian Army. The Army will also purchase 321 launchers for the missile.

Another 12 Dornier surveillance aircraft with enhanced sensors will also be bought from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd at a cost of Rs.1,850 crore.

The DAC also decided to buy 362 infantry fighting vehicle from the Ordinance Factory Board, Medak in West Bengal for Rs.662 crore.

Giving details of the decision to make the six submarines in the country, official sources said a committee will now be formed by the Defence Ministry which will study both public and private shipyards over the next 6-8 weeks.

Following this, the Ministry will issue Request for Proposal (RFP) to specific port that will be identified on the basis of the study which will look into whether they have the capacity and manpower to build six submarines in the same port only besides other parametres.

The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable that will enable them to stay underwater for longer than a conventional submarine besides having enhanced stealth features.

The Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030.

The previous UPA government had gone in for six Scorpene submarines and the first is likely to be delivered only in 2016.

The decision to manufacture the submarines in India is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' pitch. .

The submarines will have the capacity to be equipped with land attack cruise missiles.

The DAC also decided to buy 1,761 units of five spoke 7.5 tonne radio containers at the cost of Rs.662 crore besides acquiring 1,768 critical rolling stock - open and closed wagons for transport of military equipments at a cost of Rs.740 crore.

Both will go to domestic vendors.

During his address to those attending the meeting, Jaitley said national security was paramount concern for the government.

He added that all hurdles and bottlenecks in the procurement process should be addressed expeditiously so that the pace of the acquisition is not stymied.

The DAC also approved the purchase of equipments for special operations for the Navy which remained classified.

Sources said it is basically for the elite Naval commandos Marcos.

The decision for the purchase of torpedos for the scorpene submarines and heavy calibre guns were put off today on technical grounds, sources said,adding that they are likely to be cleared soon.

The DAC was set up in 2001 as part of the post-Kargil reforms in defence sector.

The Council approves the long-term integrated perspective plan for the forces, accords acceptance of necessity ( AON) to begin acquisition proposals, and has to grant its approval to all major deals through all their important phases.

It also has the power to approve any deviations in an acquisition, and recommends all big purchases for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security.

In a recent conference of top commanders of the armed forces, Jaitley had said that the process of military acquisitions, which had slowed down due to "some controversies", will be speeded up with at least one meeting per month of DAC.


http://www.defensenews.com/article/20141025/DEFREG03/310250028/India-Launches-Drive-Buy-Half-Its-Weapons-From-Indigenous-Sources
India Launches Drive To Buy Half of Its Weapons From Indigenous Sources


NEW DELHI — Under a new policy, at least half of India’s total weapon and equipment needs in the next 10 to 12 years — worth more than $100 billion — could be produced domestically.

Analysts and military officers are divided about the wisdom of relying so heavily on the local defense industry to meet the military’s needs quickly and effectively.

The new approach, announced this month, is based on a countrywide “Make in India” campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost the domestic industry, a source in the Defence Ministry said.

Under the new policy, the categories of Make India and Buy and Make India will be used for about half the weapon purchases. Under these categories, tenders will go only to domestic industry.

“The new policy will be one step forward and two steps backwards as the domestic defense industry is not mature enough to meet such big orders for weaponry and equipment, and depending on it will only result in further delays in acquiring weapons for our defense forces,” said Nitin Mehta, a defense analyst here. “How can a defense industry which exports weapons worth only $100 million a year suddenly balloon to manufacture weapons and equipment worth nearly $100 billion in the next 10 years?”

A senior Defence Ministry official said India’s defense industry has the potential to produce submarines, warships and high-tech weaponry, and that the percentage of imported Indian weapons and equipment could even be reduced from the current 70 percent to 40 percent in 10 years.

“Committing orders and encouraging the domestic industry to partner with overseas defense companies on an equity sharing basis or through a consortium approach will be the new way procurement of weapons will be done in future,” the official said.

An executive with private-sector defense major Larsen and Toubro defended the government’s move.

“During the past decades plus, India has been importing weapon systems under Buy [global] or Buy and Make [with transfer of technology to state-owned defense companies], which has not altered the import-vs.-domestic ratio of 70 percent imports and 30 percent [domestic],” he said. “That the national security cannot continue to be in the hands of the foreign original equipment manufacturers is long felt and must be realized.”

Defense analyst Amit Cowshish said he favors boosting domestic industry, emphasizing the urgent nature of weapons for the military. “Everything that the armed forces requires is urgent and if the assumption is that Buy and Make Indian or Make projects entail unacceptable delays, obviously these options rule themselves out.”

But because top officers with the defense forces are represented during the procurement process, “it is, therefore, inconceivable that a proposal would get categorized as Buy and Make or Make if the services, as users, do not support such categorization,” he said.

Vivek Rae, former director general (acquisition) in the MoD, said, “Most weapon systems and platforms would need to be imported in the foreseeable future. There is no short-term fix in the quest for indigenization. Make India projects should focus on key futuristic technologies and not on low-tech areas.”
Cancellation of Global Tenders

Since August, MoD has canceled two global light utility helicopter (LUH) projects, one for the Air Force and the other for the Navy, and sent a request for information (RFI) to domestic companies to determine interest in producing the helicopters. However, none of the private-sector defense companies — which have no experience in manufacturing military helicopters — has been able to forge partnerships with any overseas company to compete for the LUH order.

Under the Make India category, domestic companies are allowed individually or in a consortium to design, develop and produce weapon systems in which the government contributes up to 80 percent of the funds in the design stage.

The Future Infantry Combat Vehicle program, worth $12 billion, and the Tactical Communication System program, worth $2 billion, are the two projects designated in the Make India category, but have yet to take off.

So far, no big-ticket defense projects have been executed in the Buy and Make India category.

Rahul Bhonsle, retired Indian Army brigadier general and defense analyst, said, “Categorization has to be done based on the capabilities of the domestic defense industry and not arbitrarily. Moreover, the primary aim of the defense procurement procedure is to ensure that the armed forces capacity building remains on stream.”

“The sudden turn towards the domestic companies with RFIs worth billions is unlikely to turn into production, and the Indian defense forces will suffer,” said an Army official.

In the past year, MoD has issued more than a dozen RFIs to domestic industry worth $15 billion and sought participation in numerous high-tech projects. But the domestic industry has no experience in manufacturing such systems, the MoD source said.

However, Rajinder Bhatia, CEO of private-sector defense company Bharat Forge, said, “Indian industry has responded to a large number of RFIs.”

He added, “Make India programs should be for high-tech projects only. Rest of the procurement should be either Buy Indian Or Buy and Make Indian.”

A serving Air Force officer said that relying on only domestic sources under a fixed policy will lead to undue delays in acquisition of weaponry affecting the combat worthiness of the defense forces.

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