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Monday, 11 January 2016

From Today's Papers - 11 Jan 2016



















http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/mi-17s-to-get-gunfire-sensors/182092.html
Mi-17s to get gunfire sensors
IAF needs light-weight systems with ‘strap-on’ capability | Process on to identify vendors
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10
The IAF plans to equip its Mi-17 helicopters with small arms fire detection systems (SAFDS) that will warn aircrew about the range, angle and direction of incoming hostile gunfire from the ground during combat operations.

The system will be an added advantage during operations undertaken in close support of ground troops during war, heli-borne insertion of troops, special missions as well as counter-terrorist operations, where helicopters operate in close proximity to the ground.

The SAFDS will also be useful in situations like the terror strike at the Pathankot air base earlier this month, where Mi-17s were also deployed for aerial surveillance and there was a possibility of them being fired upon.

The Indian Air Force has also been providing logistic support to paramilitary forces deployed in anti-Maoist operations and there have been several instances of these being fired upon. At least two Mi-17s are reported to have suffered damaged in such incidents.

The Air Headquarters is in the process of identifying suitable vendors for the equipment and a request for information in this regard has recently been issued by the Ministry of Defence.

The systems will be retrofitted on the Indian Air Force’s M-17 fleet by Kazan Helicopters, the Russian company that manufactures the Mi series of helicopters, rather than the aircraft being modified in India.

The Indian Air Force is looking for SAFDS that are light-weight with a “strap-on” capability so that one system can be deployed on more than one particular helicopter airframe. These will be ruggedised, have day-night and all-weather operation capability and function effectively in all phases of flight like take-off, climb, cruise, hover, descent and landing.

Apart from the Indian Air Force, the Army and the Border Security Force are also evaluating ground-based SAFDS for deployment along the Line of Control and some stretches of the International Border that have witnessed regular ceasefire violations.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/bsf-awaits-mha-nod-for-21-new-battalions/182089.html
BSF awaits MHA nod for 21 new battalions
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
A Border Security Force (BSF) proposal for raising 21 Reserve Battalions is pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs since October 2014.

A Reserve Battalion is meant for training, rest and relief of operationally committed troops and can be deployed for a short duration during an exigency. “The proposal to have 21 Reserve or operational turn over battalions, which can meet all these requirements, has been gathering dust at the MHA,” said a source.

Currently, one of the biggest problems in the BSF is manpower shortage, said a BSF officer. The present system of deployment along the International Border with Pakistan is single-tier or thin line deployment. “Each man is on duty for about 19 hours a day and does not usually get to sleep at a single stretch, which means no one can be alert 24X7,” said the officer.

Seventy-one BSF battalions are deployed along the IB, including 13 in Punjab. Each battalion has nearly 1,200 men. In the past, the BSF was not so overburdened in Punjab. It had 23 battalions there until around 2006, said a source. With this much strength, the BSF had implemented the “nakka system”, which is placing a nakka (fixed ambush points) at every 200 metres behind the fence along the IB. “This system is manpower intensive and the possibility of infiltrating through it is minimal,” said an officer who has served in Punjab.

After 2006, the BSF implemented the Ambush-Cum-Patrolling (ACP) system in Punjab and reduced the number of its battalions to 13. In the ACP, for example, if the area of responsibility of a company is 6 km, then patrolling will be done at every 600-800 metres long stretches.

“But if the patrol is at one end of the stretch, the other end is vulnerable to infiltration. If infiltrators are detected, it would take a long time for the patrol to apprehend them. And as has been demonstrated by drug smugglers, it takes 21 seconds to cross the fencing, mainly by placing gunny sacks over the fence,” said the officer.

There is currently no second-tier deployment along the IB, except in Jammu. This deployment consists of ambushes laid behind the first-tier to apprehend infiltrators who slip through it. The BSF has said it has not found evidence to suggest the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air base had infiltrated through the IB.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/defence-council-set-to-list-purchase-rules/182090.html
Defence council set to list purchase rules
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
Almost 20 months into its tenure, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government is set to change the all-important defence procurement procedure (DPP), the policy document for defence equipment purchases, local production and imports.

The amendments to the DPP-2013 are on the agenda of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) slated to meet in New Delhi on January 12, sources told The Tribune. Headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the DAC is the apex decision making body on defence matters and its decision will need ratification from the Cabinet Committee on Security. The new DPP is likely to incorporate most recommendations made by the Dhirendra Singh-headed panel of experts, which gave its report in July. It will lay down benchmarks for selection of private strategic partners from among Indian or foreign firms.

The strategic partners are mandated to undertake design and development projects under the “Make in India” procedure. These firms will tie up with Indian private or public sector companies for making top-of-the-line military equipment.

The new procedure will address policy issues to attract investment, build local confidence and allow indigenous manufacturing. The DPP is likely to disallow any bans against equipment for misdeeds of company employees; will seek to appoint an ombudsman to remove subjectivity in deals and have a panel of experts on cost negotiations to prevent delays.

The DPP may set in clause to have the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to do pre-audit of deals rather than raise objections later.

It will increase the level of indigenisation and the method of calculating the local content in each defence equipment and lay down the indigenous threshold for categories “buy Indian” and “buy & make Indian” at 40 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively.

A lower local content threshold could be considered by the DAC, based on technology and its availability. Globally, India is the largest buyer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for 15 per cent of all such international imports, said a report by Sweden-based think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in March. The DPP will also address the issue of banning firms. The misdeeds of an entity or its employees may not have any bearing on the equipment or system. This will ensure that the supply of equipment is not blocked in case a bribery charge emerges.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/reliance-to-build-naval-ships-in-ap/182095.html
Reliance to build naval ships in AP
Suresh Dharur

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, January 10
Reliance Group will set up a naval ship building facility along the east coast near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore.

This was announced today by Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani at the Andhra Pradesh Partnership Summit held in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command.

The facility at Rambilli, about 70 km from Visakhapatnam, will build ships for the Indian Navy. On the sidelines of the Partnership Summit, the group signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government for setting up of the facility, which will create direct and indirect jobs for thousands of people in several defence ancillary units likely to come up in the region.

Reliance Defence, a unit of Reliance Infrastructure, plans to build submarines and aircraft carriers as well as to provide services, including maintenance and refitting of ships at the facility. Once completed, the Visakhapatnam facility will be the single-largest investment at one location anywhere in Andhra Pradesh.

“The new world class facility will complement our facility at Pipavav in Gujarat with a clear vision of building strategic assets for the Indian Navy,” Ambani said.

“This will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mission in the defence sector,” Ambani said. India, he said, had the potential to emerge as a regional superpower if it could strengthen its fleet above the sea and under the sea.

“It is estimated that Indian Navy will spend over Rs 3 lakh crore or Rs 20,000 crore a year on acquisitions and fleet modernisation of submarines and aircraft carriers over the next 15 years, creating a huge opportunity for the proposed world-class naval facility,” he said.

The facility, he said, would help translate “Make in India” into “Make in Andhra Pradesh” and leapfrog the state to the top of the manufacturing revolution in India's defence sector, the billionaire industrialist said.

“The US today has 10 aircraft carriers operating around the world to project its power and protect its interests and was on course to add another three, while India had barely one. Similarly, while the US has 72 submarines and China 69, India has a small fleet of 17 submarines.

“It is the same story in other key areas of naval preparedness. The Indian Navy has just one nuclear submarine on lease as compared to China's dozen. Further, nearly 90 per cent of the conventional fleet in the Indian Navy is over 20 years old and due for urgent upgrade and refit. There is a projected requirement of an additional 23 submarines,” Ambani said.

The three-day CII Partnership Summit is aimed at showcasing the investment opportunities in ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’.

The state government is expecting to sign at least 100 MOUs worth Rs 2 lakh crore during the summit. Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, P Ashok Gajapati Raju, Nirmala Sitharaman and YS Choudhary and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu were present at the event.

Box
Rs 5,000-cr facility near Vizag

* Reliance Group will invest Rs 5,000 cr to set up a naval ship building facility at Rambilli, near Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh

* The group plans to build subs and aircraft carriers as well as provide services, including maintenance and refitting of ships at the facility

* Once ready, the facility will be the single-largest investment at one location anywhere in the state


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/world/us-flies-b-52-bomber-over-s-korea-after-north-s-n-test/182000.html
US flies B-52 bomber over _S Korea after North’s N-test
Demonstrates strength of alliance between Washington and Seoul
Washington/Seoul, Jan 10
In a display of military might, the US today flew a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber along with F-16s and South Korean F-15s close to a defiant North Korea, days after Pyongyang claimed it had successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb and ratcheted up regional tensions.

“This was a demonstration of the ironclad US commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defence of the American homeland,” said Admiral Harry B Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command.

“North Korea’s nuclear test is a blatant violation of its international obligations. US joint military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific will continue to work with all of our regional allies and partners to maintain stability and security,” he said after the flyover.

The bilateral flight mission over Osan Air Base, some 100-km from the North Korean border, demonstrates the strength of the alliance between the United States and South Korea and the resolve of both nations to maintain stability and security on the Korean Peninsula, PACOM said in a statement.

The B-52, capable of carrying nuclear weapons and part of the US Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, was flanked by a US F-16 and a South Korean F-15. Upon completion of the flight, it returned to Guam.

“The flight demonstrates the strength and capabilities of the Alliance,” said Gen Curtis M Scaparrotti, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, US Forces Korea commander.

“The close military cooperation between the US and the Republic of Korea ensures we are ready to respond at any time to those who would threaten stability and security,” he said.

There was no immediate reaction from North Korea to the B-52 fly-over, which also took place after Pyongyang’s third nuclear test in 2013. — Reuters


http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/army-to-get-k9-vajra-t-howitzers/
Army to get K9 Vajra-T howitzers
100-gun deal estimated to cost between Rs 4,500 crore and Rs 5,000 crore
- See more at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/army-to-get-k9-vajra-t-howitzers/#sthash.qFyAXWS4.dpuf
The Army is likely to get the K9 Vajra-T, the 155-mm/52-caliber self-propelled howitzer, after the artillery gun co-developed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Samsung Techwin cleared the evaluation trials of the defence ministry in a global competition.

Although the bids were made under the ‘Buy Global’ provision of the defence procurement procedure, the K9 Vajra-T gun will be made at its Talegaon plant near Pune by the L&T.

Defence ministry sources told The Indian Express that the evaluation process was completed in September last year, when L&T was informed of the ministry’s decision. After completing the benchmarking process, the ministry, on December 22, opened the price bid of L&T as it was the only gun to qualify in the trials.

Ministry sources said that the price negotiations with L&T will commence this month and are likely to be concluded in this financial year. The deal for 100 guns is estimated to cost between Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000 crore. The contract will also have a follow-up option clause of 50 additional K9 Vajra-T guns.

The first 10 guns are to be supplied by L&T to the Army within 18 months of signing, with the balance 90 guns to be supplied in the next two years. These will be the first howitzers to be inducted in the Army after the procurement of controversial Bofors 155mm guns nearly three decades ago.

Four companies, including the Tatas, the OFB and the BEML, bid for the RFP (request for proposal) issued in January 2011. Along with L&T’s K9 Vajra-T, an upgraded version of OFB’s Russian MSTA-S SP gun participated in the field evaluation trial held from March to August 2013 at the Pokharan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan.

Industry sources said that L&T has modified Samsung’s K9 to create the K9 Vajra-T. About 50 per cent of the gun is planned to be indigenised by L&T in India, including the fabrication and machining of the hull and turret structure and 14 indigenously developed sub-systems.
- See more at:


http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/army-to-get-k9-vajra-t-howitzers/#sthash.qFyAXWS4.dpuf

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