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Saturday, 12 December 2015

From Today's Papers - 12 Dec 2015

US effects big change in engine tech transfer
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 11
The US has told India it has changed its policy on gas turbine engine technology transfer to India, allowing technology to be shared with Indian companies and indicating a further cementing of defence ties between the two countries.

The move, if it comes through, will change the way India makes engines for its warships and future fighter jets. Gas turbine engines are largely used in big warships for the Navy and have a big market in merchant vessels.

As many as 47 naval ships are under construction and each needs at least two such engines — costing millions of dollars. A gas turbine-based jet engine, the GE 414, has been selected by India for the next version of its indgenious  fighter jet LCA Tejas.

The same engine is used by the US Navy’s Boeing F-18-E/F Super Hornet Strike Fighter. The Boeing F-18-A is the main jet used by the US on its aircraft carriers. In India, the Tejas is expected to be the main jet on board its upcoming aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

The announcement on policy change was made at a meeting between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his US counterpart, US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, at the Pentagon in Washington.

This was third meeting between Parrikar and Carter in the past 12 months. The joint statement issued after the meeting said: “The Department of Defence of US has updated its policy on gas turbine engine technology transfer to India.”

As a result of this policy update, the Secretary (Carter) is confident that the US will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of jet engine components.

“Secretary Carter and Minister Parrikar look forward to US companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy,” the statement said.

Parrikar and Carter commended positive discussions at the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC), especially in the area of aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE).

The Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group (JETJWG), which met this week in Bengaluru, had concluded its terms of reference and had productive discussion on cooperation in this area, the statement noted.

The two sides discussed the India-US defence relationship and broader India-US strategic partnership, and focused on ways to maintain the strong momentum of security and defence engagement, including means to further move the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward.
Pak tests N-capable Shaheen-III missile
Afzal Khan in Islamabad
Pakistan on Friday successfully test-fired the medium-range Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can carry nuclear warheads up to 2,750 km bringing many Indian cities within its range.

The test flight of the missile was aimed at validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system, according to a statement from the military’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The impact point of the missile test was in the Arabian Sea, validating all desired parameters, the statement said.

The test was witnessed by senior officers from Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Forces, Scientists and Engineers of Strategic Organisation.  Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Mazhar Jamil, said the country had achieved a “significant milestone” in complementing the deterrence capability.

Shaheen-I is also capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional warheads and has a range of 900 kms while the Shaheen-II missile can also carry nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 1,500 km.
69 Suicides In Indian Army In 2015, Government Says
New Delhi:  There have been 69 cases of suicide in the Indian Army this year besides an incident of fratricide, the government said today.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said reasons for such incidents include occupational hazards, family issues, domestic problems, perceived grievances, personal issues, mental built, financial problems and inability to withstand stress.

As many as 334 Army personnel have committed suicide since 2012 besides eight cases of fratricide in the same period, he said.

The Navy and Air Force has witnessed 12 and 67 cases of suicide since 2012 respectively. The Air Force has also reported one case of fratricide.

"A large number of officers have been trained, as counsellors, to provide psychological counselling to the defence personnel and their families," the minister said.

"Civilian psychological counsellors have also been employed, to provide mental health services. A psychologist visit units and formations from time to time and carries out psychological counselling, individually and at times in groups," the Minister said.

In another reply, Mr Singh said there has been no rise in the number of personnel leaving defence services after 20 years of service, except for sailors in Navy.

"This is largely due to availability of alternate vocations," the Minister said.
Kin of Indian Army jawan fighting at border await basic amenity in Thane
Nalini is worried for her two sons' future which, she says, now lies in darkness in the absence of electricity

Thane, Dec 11: With her husband deployed at the border to safeguard the country, the wife of an Indian Army jawan in Thane has taken on a different sort of battle as she has been running pillar to post for over eight months now to get the most basic necessity – electricity – at her house.Nalini Kapte, wife of Namdeo Kapte (38) who is posted in West Bengal near the Indo-Bangladesh border, and their two sons have been trying to get a power connection at their house in Asose village of Murbad town here, which they got constructed two years back, but have not met any success yet.Notably, there is no problem of power supply in the village. (ALSO READ:Parliament remembers victims of 2001 Parliament terror attack )

Nalini is worried for her two sons’ future which, she says, now lies in darkness in the absence of electricity.”We are presently staying elsewhere as the authorities have failed to provide an electricity connection. I have two children, one is studying engineering and the other is in class XII. What is the use of constructing a house…Spending lakhs when we can’t make use of it,” a teary-eyed Nalini said.

Kapte had applied for power connection with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL), Morbad, in March this year.The District Planning and Development Council (DPDC) accorded technical sanction for the connection (at Kapte’s house) in July and the file was sent to MSEDCL office, Morbad, for further process. Despite the technical sanction, the formalities were not completed.

“My husband frequented MSEDCL office when he was here and even officials very well know that this is a case of an Army jawan. But they didn’t pay heed,” she said.Only last month the process inched up when a power official asked Nalini to pay Rs 1,070 for the connection. However, even after completion of modalities, the connection was not provided.Dejected with the lackadaisical attitude of authorities, Namdeo sought help of NGO Shramajivi Sanghatana.

Vivek Pandit of the NGO said Namdeo had constructed his house two years back. He has been following up with local authorities to get the power connection and formally applied for one after completion of his house construction, but the “casual attitude” of MSDECL officials kept things in limbo.The villagers, led by the NGO, marched to the MSDECL assistant engineer’s office yesterday in this connection. When contacted, MSEDCL, Morbad, Deputy Engineer S D Suradkar said that everything possible to speed up work on Nalini Kapte’s application has been done and that “the (power) connection will be installed in next couple of days

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