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Friday, 8 May 2015

From Today's Papers - 08 May 2015

India, China have 'learnt from history': Modi on border issue
New Delhi, May 7
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India and China have "learnt from history" in dealing with their border dispute and asserted that bilateral ties have reached a stage where they can cooperate at a global level while competing in commerce and trade.

Ahead of his visit to China next week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview to Time magazine, said, "There is by and large peace and tranquility on the India-China border."

"It is not a volatile border. Not a single bullet has been fired for over a quarter of a century now. This essentially goes to prove that both countries have learnt from history," said Modi, who will embark on a three-day visit to China on May 14.

Modi will be hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the ancient Chinese city of Xian, the capital of the Chinese leader's home province.

The two leaders will have an informal dialogue on a host of issues before settling for formal talks on May 15 in Beijing.

Besides Xi, Modi will hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman of the China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC).

Talking about the vexed border dispute, Modi told the US-based magazine, "In so far as the India-China relationship is concerned specifically, it is true that there is a long border between India and China and a large part of it is disputed."

"Still, I think both countries have shown great maturity in the last couple of decades to ensure and commit to economic cooperation which has continued to grow over the last 20 to 30 years to a stage where we currently have an extensive trade, investment and project-related engagement between the two countries," he said.

China says the border dispute is confined only to 2,000 km mostly in Arunachal Pradesh whereas India asserts that the dispute covers the western side of the border spanning to about 4,000 km, especially the Aksai Chin area annexed by China in the 1962 war. - PTI
BDL dedicates 'Akash' to the Indian Army

Hyderabad, May 7: Hyderabad based Defence Public Sector Undertaking, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has dedicated the 'Akash Weapon System' (AWS) to the Indian Army.

CMD, BDL, Shri V. Udaya Bhaskar, at a ceremony held at New Delhi on 05 May, 2015, handed over the 'symbolic key' of the Akash Weapon System to General Dalbir Singh, Chief of Army Staff, who, thereafter, handed over the same to Lt Gen VK Saxena, Director General, Army Air Defence, marking the induction of AWS into the Indian Army.

BDL is the lead integrator of the Weapon System. With the productionisation of Akash, India joins an elite club of only a few countries in the world, capable of producing Surface-to-Air Missiles.

Akash has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and is being manufactured by BDL with 96% of material sourced in India.
The Indian Army had placed orders worth Rs 14,180 crore on BDL, for the supply of two regiments of the Akash Weapon System.

Akash Missile is a Surface to Air Missile with the capability to engage aerial threats upto the maximum range of 25 km and upto an altitude of 18 km.

The versatile and wholly indigenous weapon system, the Akash SAM, will be the mainstay for the Air Defence of the Nation up to 2030s and beyond.

CMD, BDL in his address said that the Army variant of Akash is designed for high mobility and can be quickly moved to engage any aerial threat.

Special Secretary (DP), Shri AK Gupta, Ministry of Defence, Shri JRK Rao, Joint Secretary (ES), Ministry of Defence, senior officials from the Indian Army, DRDO, BEL and ECIL graced the occasion.
Make in India: Gunmaker BAE set to bite the bullet; Tata, Mahindra & L&T in race for howitzers

NEW DELHI: A 'Made in India' American gun may finally boom for India's army. And the potential list of Indian companies as partners of American defence major BAE includes India Inc blue chips Tata, L&T and Mahindra.

The government will soon take a call on a fresh army proposal on acquiring BAE's M777 Howitzer after the American company offered to shift the manufacturing and testing facility from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to India. The deal size is around $700 million.

BAE' ..

The Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) is headed by the defence minister and its recommendations go straight to the Cabinet Committee on Security, the final arbiter on defence purchases.
BAE has now offered to set up an assembly, integration and testing facility with the help of an Indian partner; and is looking at a potential investment of over $200 million. BAE's offer includes not only manufacturing for the army but also shifting its export orders that come from the Middle East, South A ..

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India needs to re-examine its defence equipment strategy
In the debate between guns and butter, the most ironical thing that was ever said, was probably by Hermann Göring, Hitler’s second-in-command for most of the Third Reich. An enormously corpulent man, who was too large for a small aircraft to transport him for war crime trials in 1945, he said, “Guns will make us powerful; butter will just make us fat.” Going by his logic, India is headed towards corpulence: the military complains it has too little money for guns. Whether there’s enough for butter — or ghee — for the common man is debatable. As a percentage of the total economy, or gross domestic product (GDP), India spends less on its military than many nations. Our military spend, around 1.8% of GDP, is lower than that of China, Pakistan, the US and Russia, the last of which tips the scales at 4.1% of GDP.
The point is not to keep raising the defence outlay, but to get maximum bang for every buck spent. India needs to re-examine its defence equipment strategy. There is no reason why we are the world’s largest importer of weapons, when our official slogan is ‘Make in India’. Most domestic projects, ranging from fighter aircraft to tanks and submarines, have failed; our elite forces are armed by Heckler & Koch weapons, made in Germany. After the failure to make even an efficient handgun at home, higher budgetary allocations are no answer. India has to make more of its military hardware. That will require engineering, design and management — skills that the state-controlled apparatus lacks. Get the private sector involved, and start making in India, rather than cribbing about money.

Of the three defence forces, the navy is the best organised, in terms of planning for and carrying out indigenous production of their kit. There is no reason why the army and the air force cannot achieve the navy’s level of efficiency in this regard. The point is to utilise the offsets that keep accumulating on past procurement in a systematic fashion and create an efficient local defence industry. This will give a boost to advanced manufacturing in the country, and lower the cost of material.

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