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Monday, 28 December 2015

From Today's Papers - 28 Dec 2015
Two major defence deals that couldn't fructify during Narendra Modi's visit to Russia
Even as a $1 billion worth contract over manufacturing Kamov KA 226 light helicopters turns out the mainstay of India-Russia defence cooperation achieved during prime minister Narendra Modi's latest visit to Moscow that concluded on Thursday, two other prominent defence deals that were being looked at failed to get formalised.

According to sources, proposal for four Talwar class frigates – stealth warships with guided missiles - were on agenda for summit meeting between Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin but didn't find mention in the two countries; joint statement.

Four frontline warships, sources said are to be built built at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore at a private shipyard in Gujarat and a formal agreement was expected during PM's visit.

A partnership for refit and modernisation of all Indian Navy surface ships of Russian and Soviet origin too was expected on the discussion table but no announcement was made in this regard.Currently, there are 35 Russian / Soviet-origin surface ships in the Indian Navy fleet. The value of this business is estimated to be over Rs 35,000 crore. And the combined value of above two opportunities exceeded USD 10 Bn ( INR 66,000 Cr) over next ten years.

Besides, India's recent decision for purchase of nearly Rs 40,000 crore Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems too didn't form a part of the joint declaration.

Ministry of Defence's Dfenec Acquisition Council had given a go-ahead for the Russian air defence systems on December 17.

Twin engine Kamov choppers are believed to become mainstay of Indian Army in mountaneous sectors for their unique utility and an agreement over them is the 'first major platform under Make in India.

A total of 16 agreements were signed between the two countries.
Joint training exercise of India, US Special Forces to be held after four years - See more at:
In another sign of increasing military cooperation between India and the US, the Special Forces of the two countries are resuming their joint training exercise, Vajra Prahar, after a gap of four years. The new edition of exercise will be hosted next month by the First Special Forces Group of the US Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

The last edition of Vajra Prahar was hosted by the Indian Army at Nahan in Himachal Pradesh in 2012.

Indian Army’s Special Forces will be sending a 40-member team to take part in the exercise, which is scheduled for the last two weeks of January. According to defence ministry sources, the purpose is to improve interoperability and familiarisation of each other’s tactics.

The exercise comes on the heel of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the US earlier this month where he became the first Indian defence minister to visit the headquarters of the Pacific Command in Hawaii and witnessed a naval aviation display from the US aircraft carrier, USS Dwight D Eisenhower. During the visit, India announced its participation in the US Air Force’s Exercise Red Flag and world’s largest maritime exercise RIMPAC hosted by the US Navy. The Indian Air Force had last participated in Exercise Red Flag in 2008, and the Indian Navy was an observer in Exercise RIMPAC last year.

Earlier this year, India, US and Japan had agreed for a permanent participation in annual naval exercise Malabar, which is alternatively held in the Bay of Bengal and the Sea of Japan. That has been ostensibly done to counter the Chinese influence in the region.
- See more at:
Send your daughters to fight for India, appeals Indian Army Chief
New Delhi: Stressing on the need to empower girls, Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on Saturday said that he wants maximum girls to join armed forces.

"Give your daughters the best education and opportunities that are at par with boys to prepare them as future soldiers of the country," Suhag was quoted as saying by Time of India during his first visit to his native village Bishan in Haryana's Jhajjar district after assuming the office of Indian Army chief.

Well received by his fellow villagers, Suhag also sought blessings from his clan deity. He was accompanied by his wife and children.

Suhag said that if he could become army chief after studying under the trees in Bishan, then they could achieve anything in life. Suhag said that he wants to see more defence officers from the village on General rank. He also announced to institute two scholarships of Rs 2,100 each which would be given to the meritorious students of the school every year. The scholarship would continue till his lifetime, TOI report stated.
Along India-China Border, Dominance Is Best Claim On Territory, Says Army
Along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh:  "You will be out for the next five days," the Indian Army Major said in a matter of fact tone. The group of 12 men he was addressing sat on a Mountain ridge. It had been snowing since morning. The brown rocky sliver of land was slowly turning white. "Your job will be maintain the sanctity of the Line of Actual Control, watch out for movement of Chinese troops, take note of their new locations and report back," was his brief.

No matter how bad the weather is, long-range Foot Patrols of the Indian Army are regular along the nearly 900 km McMohan line - drawn by the then British Foreign Secretary Henry McMohan in 1914 to demarcate the border - that is now the de-facto border between Indian and China. There are several areas along the line claimed by both, often leading to face-offs and transgressions.
On mountain peaks over 14000 feet high, a literal cat and mouse game plays out every day.  "We have to ensure that the Chinese not only know we present but that we constantly watch them," a senior military commander told NDTV.

In the past, China has claimed not only Tawang but the entire Arunachal Pradesh. Therefore, as a counter, India tries to dominate every ridge and mountain pass through foot patrols and border posts. The Chinese People's Liberation Army instead is positioned deep inside Chinese territory.

"Our aim is to meet Chinese patrols whenever they cross what we consider our territory. This gives a clear message that we are serious about our claims," the commander said.
On average, every foot patrol covers over at least 25 km of mountainous territory often climbing over several peaks. For the past few years, Indian soldiers are also being trained to speak Chinese dialects. "It is easier to tell them that they have crossed over to our territory," an official said. 

India and China signed the Border Defence Cooperation (BDCA) in 2013 - an agreement to reduce misunderstandings and improve communications between the two nuclear-armed states along their disputed border.  Both sides now meet regularly. "The agreement has helped us solve local issues," Brigadier Kushwaha adds.

Back in Tezpur, the 4 Corps Headquarters - which protects Tawang and the western Arunachal Pradesh - the assessment is that as India bridges the infrastructure, military and economic gap - the Chinese will become more aggressive.

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