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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

From Today's Papers - 29 Sep 2015

India, US ink $3.1 billion copter deal for Apache, Chinook
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 28
India and the US today signed a contract for the delivery of two separate types of specialised helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) — one for undertaking attack and the other for lifting heavy loads.

This comes less than a week after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the deal to buy 15 of the 47F Chinook helicopters that will lift heavy loads and 22 of the AH-64D Apache attack helicopters.

Both helicopters, which were used extensively in Afghanistan, are produced by Boeing, the Seattle-based US aerospace giant.

Sources told The Tribune that the contract was inked in New Delhi today. The deal, for US $3.1 billion, is unique. For the Chinook, it’s a direct commercial sale between Boeing and the Indian Ministry of Defence. In case of the Apache, since it’s an attack platform, there are two parts to the deal. The Ammunitions, engines, sensors and the radars on the copter shall be under the Foreign Military sales route between the US and India, while everything else on the copters, including its main body, shall be part of the commercial deal between the Boeing and the MoD. It will be supplied as one composite unit.

The US law bars sales of certain weapons, engines and sensors unless the US Congress approves it, hence the FMs clause.

Deliveries will start after September 2018 and this is as per the request for proposal (RFP) issued by the MoD. The RFP also says that the entire lot of helicopters has to be delivered before 54 months from signing of the contract. This would mean by March 2020 the entire lot would have to be delivered.
India enters select league

    With the launch of ASTROSAT, India on Monday joined a select group of nations owning space observatory
    At 10 am, the 44.4 metres tall (weighing 320 tonne) polar satellite launch vehicle's XL variant (PSLV-XL) blasted off Sriharikota, around 80 km from Chennai
    The PSLV-XL rocket carried seven satellites — ASTROSAT, four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada
    This is the first time that an Indian rocket has launched US satellites
    Developed at a cost of Rs 180 crore, India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory ASTROSAT will help in understanding the universe
    The ASTROSAT will have five-year life. Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket slug ASTROSAT at an altitude of 650 km above the earth
OROP: Paramilitary veterans issue notice to Central Govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 28
Toughening their stand in support of their demands for better service conditions and benefits, a section of paramilitary forces veterans have issued a notice to the Union Government stating that they would begin an indefinite protest from November 2.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the All India Central Paramilitary Forces Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association has said that in the event of the Centre neglecting the case of paramilitary forces for grant of OROP, its members will go on an _indefinite dharna or strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

“Continued apathy and gross injustice meted out to central paramilitary forces by the government has resulted in widespread resentment amongst serving as well as retired _personnel,” the association’s general secretary, PS Nair, said.

“During election campaigning, Modi had promised to take effective steps to provide better amenities and improve service conditions of paramilitary forces and solve all related pending issues,” he added.
Parrikar to lay foundation stone of BEL Defence Systems Integration Complex in AP
 Bengaluru, Sept.28 (ANI): Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is setting up a defence systems integration complex at Palasamudram, Gorantala Mandal, in Anantapuramu District of Andhra Pradesh.

It will be the largest such facility in the country once it is commissioned, covering an area of over 900 acres.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, will lay the foundation stone of this facility on September 30 in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Y S Chowdary, Minister of State for Science and Technology.

S K Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, BEL, says: "We at BEL have been continuously investing in modernisation and creation of special infrastructure to cater for emerging defence business opportunities. The upcoming facility at Palasamudram is one such initiative. We are also strengthening our infrastructure in areas like night vision technologies and elements of multifunction radars. Various new surface to air missile (SAM) programmes are proposed to be taken up by BEL, viz, Quick Reaction SAM , Long Range SAM, Medium Range SAM, etc, in addition to Network Centric Communication and Electronic Warfare systems.''

He added, "To achieve self-reliance in defence, there is need for a very strong indigenous R and D. In this direction, BEL has not only maintained a consistent policy of R&D investments but also has launched collaborative R&D with private SME firms in the country. On an average, 80 percent of BEL's Sales turnover is from indigenous R&D every year. BEL has now launched a Product Development & Innovation Centre at Bangalore to give further thrust towards indigenous R and D."

As part of diversification and business growth, BEL is looking towards major expansion into New Generation SAM systems, High end Image Intensifier Tubes and Thermal Imaging detectors for Night Vision Devices, Inertial Navigation Systems, Electronic Ammunition Fuses, Air Traffic Management Radars, Intelligent Traffic Management Systems and Solar Power Plants.

The Palasamudram facility will enable BEL to expand its missile systems business and will carry out manufacturing and integration for the ongoing and upcoming projects.

It will have state-of-the-art infrastructure such as assembly hangars and hard stands for radars and weapon integration, RF radiation sources for target simulation, Automatic test rquipment, clean rooms for electronic assembly, non-explosive and explosive integration buildings, missile storage buildings, environmental test chambers, fire stations, solar power plant, estate and admin buildings.

BEL is currently manufacturing the Akash Missile Systems (AMS) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. The Akash Missile System is a supersonic, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed and developed by DRDO, with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. BEL is the lead integrator of the Akash Missile System for the Indian Air Force and supplies the Radars, Control Centres, Simulators, associated maintenance vehicles and the integrated software.

At present, BEL carries out its missile manufacturing and integration activities and system level checks at its Bangalore Unit. In order to cater to the large requirements of futuristic surface to air missile systems, missiles and associated electronic sub-systems and components, BEL is setting up this facility in Andhra Pradesh.

The facility is about 80 Km from the Bengaluru International Airport on NH 7. The proposed Complex will be a world-class facility with Automated Guided Vehicles and Industrial Robots for material movement and handling. The facility will be built in stages as the various projects mature and the estimated investment will be about Rs.500 Crores over three to four years.

BEL also plans to expand this facility for the creation of a military industrial complex to set up the necessary ecosystem for manufacture of electronic components and equipment for various upcoming Defence projects in collaboration with SMEs as part of the Government's 'Make in India' initiative. (ANI)

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