January 31, 2012

IAI, Boeing Ready Arrow For Export — to S. Korea?

(IMRA) : Armed with marketing approval by their respective governments, a
U.S.-Israeli industrial team plans to offer the Arrow weapon system to South
Korea as a first, potential export of the joint ballistic-missile defense
Executives from Boeing and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI),
partners in production of the Israeli-designed Arrow-2 and planned Arrow-3
interceptors, said Boeing would lead marketing and negotiating in South
The potential deal, estimated to exceed $1 billion, would ultimately be
concluded between the U.S. and South Korean governments and managed as a
Pentagon Foreign Military Sale, defense and industry sources here said.
“There’s still a long way to go, but we and our Israeli partners are working
very persistently to be able to provide this phenomenal capability to South
Korea, an important U.S. ally,” Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network &
Space Systems, said during a recent visit here.
Last week, Boeing and IAI announced an agreement to expand their 10-year
partnership beyond joint development and production of Arrow-2 and Arrow-3
interceptors for Israel’s defense needs.
The Jan. 23 announcement did not name countries to be targeted by the new
strategic agreement. It noted that the agreement “aims to explore and
develop new opportunities in the missile defense arena.”
IAI President Itzhak Nissan heralded the agreement as “the next logical step
in our relationship with Boeing, and a strong opportunity for both companies
to play a bigger role in the missile defense market.”
“The Arrow program demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to develop international
missile defense partnerships around the globe,” Krone said in the joint
Similarly, Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing
Strategic Missile and Defense Systems, said the Boeing-IAI partnership “has
produced an innovative, versatile and affordable advanced missile defense
During a visit here last month, Krone declined to speculate when the South
Korean Defense Ministry would request proposals or which competitors might
He also wouldn’t say whether Boeing-IAI would bid the operational Arrow-2 or
the smaller, less expensive, exo-atmospheric Arrow-3, now in development and
scheduled for its first fly-out test later this year.
Defense and industry sources noted that South Korean military planners late
last year launched a so-called assessment of alternatives that included
Arrow-2, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, the Patriot PAC-3
and the Russian S-300 and S-400 systems.
South Korea bought 48 used PAC-3 launch modules, radars and missiles,
including the Patriot Anti-Tactical Missile and Guidance Enhanced Missile
Plus (GEM+) from Germany.
In 2009, Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration decided to buy
two EL/M-2080 Green Pine radars — the same radars supporting Israel’s
Arrow-based national missile defense system — from Elta Systems, an IAI
subsidiary. Operational deployment of the radars is slated for this year.
The radars will be part of South Korea’s Air and Missile Defense-Cell, a key
component of the nation’s low-tier air and missile defense system to counter
the threat posed by North Korea’s low-flying, short- and intermediate-range
missiles, officials said.
While Israel is pushing ahead with the sale of the Arrow, the South Korean
government has made no effort to introduce a high-altitude interceptor
because of fears over potential backlash from neighboring countries,
including China.
And South Korea has been on track to build its own low-tier and medium-range
missile defense systems. Last month, the state-funded Agency for Defense
Development unveiled the Cheongung system, a medium-range surface-to-air
missile system.
For the longer term, defense and industry sources here said India is a
potential export market for the U.S.-Israeli AWS, given the Pentagon’s
willingness to restart missile defense cooperation talks with New Delhi.
A potential sale or joint production of missile defense systems was an
agenda item for the U.S.-Indian strategic dialogue that began in 2003, but
the talks were suspended in 2008. During a visit this month to New Delhi,
Robert Scher, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and
Southeast Asia, offered to revive such talks, a Pentagon spokeswoman
“We are really open to it. This is something we ask them if they are
interested in,” Scher was quoted as saying in a Jan. 19 report by the Press
Trust of India.
Asked to clarify Scher’s reported remarks, Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a
Pentagon spokeswoman, said, “We have not discussed ballistic-missile defense
cooperation since 2008 and are currently focused on a range of other higher
priorities, including maritime security. However, should India express
interest in restarting discussions on [ballistic missile defense], we would
be prepared to discuss it.”
U.S. and Israeli sources said neither the U.S. government nor Israel’s
Ministry of Defense has approved any marketing efforts or technical
discussions on potential Arrow exports to India. Nevertheless, they note
that India has the need, potential funding and the favorable political
standing with Washington and Tel Aviv to support such a deal.
Israeli industry sources noted that India bought the Arrow’s Green Pine
radars in support of a two-tier, indigenous intercepting system based on the
Prithvi missile. In the past decade, Israeli exports to India have accounted
for nearly $2 billion annually, including radars, air-launched missiles,
tank upgrades, and land- and ship-based air defense systems.
“If the U.S. government allows ballistic-missile defense exports to India,
it will represent a very inviting prospect for the IAI-Boeing team,” said
Uzi Rubin, a former director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization. “I
don’t see the U.S. refusing us the opportunity to export Arrow if the other
U.S. systems are allowed to compete.”
Jung Sung-ki contributed to this report from Seoul.

Production of 159 ALHs is in full swing: HAL

(The Economic Times) : Work was on full swing on production of 159 Advanced Light Helicopters to be handed over to the Indian Army by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) here, a senior official said today.

HAL was also focusing on producing Weapon System Integrated (WSI) ALH to be handed over to the Services and the work in this regard was at different stages," HAL General Manager (Helicopter Division) M S Srinath said in a statement.

The company had already handed over seven ALHs to Border Security Force (BSF), which is being used for anti-naxalite operations. "... thousands of lives in naxal-affected areas have been saved," he added.

As part of its overseas commitments, HAL had successfully handed over ALH's to Ecuador, Mauritius and Maldives, he added.

January 30, 2012

Army to hold 20 war games with friendly nations

New Delhi: In its bid to have greater engagement with foreign militaries, Indian Army will this year hold between 15 to 20 bilateral war games with friendly nations like the US, Russia, France and Britain, apart from neighbours Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal, officers said on Sunday.
The exercises, mostly focusing on counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism manoeuvres, will help in honing the skills of Indian and other friendly troops in different scenarios, and improve their interoperability, as required under United Nation's multinational joint military efforts for world peace.
Among the first exercises this year will be with Singapore at Babina in Uttar Pradesh, close to Jhansi, this March, officers said.
During the India-Singapore exercise, both sides will pit their mechanised forces and tanks in battle with terrorists in an urban scenario. The exercise is likely to be called "Bold Kurukshetra", officers said.
"Indian Army's counter-insurgency skills are much sought after by global powers due to the five-decade experience that we have gained in the northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir," the officers said.
With the US, the Indian Army's mechanised infantry forces will hold an exercise, "Yudh Abhyas", in Rajasthan this year, when they will both field their tanks and armoured personnel carrier.
Most other exercises are still in the works and the venues and dates will be finalised soon, officers said. The other nations to join the exercises this year will be Mongolia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Australia, and Central Asian nations.
In 2011 too, India had held 16 military exercises with other friendly nations such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia.
In October 2011, India held its first ever army exercise with French Army called "Shakti-2011" at Chaubatia in Uttarakhand.

- IBN Live

No clear Policy On What Constitutes a Defence Product In India

(Defenseworld) : There are grey areas in industrial licensing and foreign direct investment (FDI) policy which is hindering the follow of foreign investment in India.

      India has no comprehensive list of what constitutes a weapons product. The NIC (National Industrial Classification) code list of 1987 does not specify what constitutes arms and armaments, and whether it covers dual-use items as well, according to a report by India’s authoritative Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis.

      This lack of clarity is an issue for defense firms that are required to provide the ‘item code’ and ‘item description’ while filling up the application form for industrial licenses. As per the current practice, these firms are required to provide the ‘item code’ from the NIC Code list, which has only one code—359.4: ‘manufacture of arms and armaments’—for the entire defence manufacturing sector.

      It also does not specify whether parts and components that go into arms and ammunition, but which may or may not have dual-use application, fall under this head. There is not a single dedicated list, which defence firms can rely on, to describe the defence nature of their production. Rather, they have to refer to at least three different lists, depending on which list best describes their products.

      The scheme accepted, to develop self-reliance in India’s defense production and tap into the expertise of the private sector and facilitate its participation through infusion of foreign capital and technology.

      The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), in 2011, issued 200 Letters of Intent/Industrial Licenses (LoI/IL) to various private entities, with proposed investment totalling Rs 11,773 crore (US$ 6.3 billion) and potential employment opportunities for 38,579 people. However, by November 2011, the actual FDI received was only Rs 17.68 crore (US $3.72 million).

January 28, 2012

US Making More Powerful Bomb to Hit Underground Facilities‎

Pentagon is stepping up efforts to make a bomb capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities, the Wall Street Journal said on Saturday referring to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.
“The 30,000-pound [13,600 kilograms] "bunker-buster" bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), was specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs,” the daily said.
But initial tests indicated that the bomb, as currently configured, would not be capable of destroying some of Iran's facilities, either because of their depth or because Tehran has added new fortifications to protect them, the paper noted.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, said more development work would be done and that he expected the bomb to be ready to take on the deepest bunkers soon. "We're still trying to develop them," Mr. Panetta said.
U.S. Officials say new money was meant to ensure the weapon would be more effective against the deepest bunkers, including Iran's Fordow enrichment plant facility.
Fordow is buried in a mountain complex in Iran surrounded by antiaircraft batteries, which makes it a very difficult target for air strikes.
In early January, Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Fereidoon Abbasi said Frodow is safe from any kinds of threat by the enemies.
Tehran said it began the project in 2007, but the IAEA believes design work started in 2006.
The existence of the facility only came to light after it was identified by Western intelligence agencies in September 2009.

RIA Novosti

January 27, 2012

Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya to Start Sea Trials in Four Months

About 100 days left to May 25 when Project 11430 aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya will start sea trials. Up to 3,000 shipwrights and experts daily work on the carrier modernized at JSC Sevmash Shipyard. No wonder that labor power is such significant – only 3.5 months left to sea trials, and there is much work to be done. Igor Leonov who is in charge of the ship’s delivery told the yard’s newspaper Korabel about achieved results and plans for the winter.
“The most important task for nearest few days is normal starting of four stern boilers. Two boilers have already passed steam test. The rest of boilers will be tested this week. According to work schedule, on Jan 26 Vikramaditya is receiving own steam generated by portside boilers for the first time. The steam is used for operation of the ship’s mechanisms. In a few days we’re going to start autonomous work of the starboard boilers, and that will mean the beginning of full-fledged mooring trials“, said I. Leonov. As for him, bow boilers will be brought into energy mode late January. The ship must be ready to move by boilers early April.
The next objective for January is shipyard trials of steering system, completion of washing and testing of hydraulic system, and assembling of high-pressure air system. Those are the most important general-purpose shipboard systems, and their readiness affects trial periods of many other systems, for one, arresters.
Adjustment works on radioelectronics are to be finished in February and then dual matching will start. Dozens of adjusters representing contracting parties are working on the ship. So far, there are no doubts that coastal tests of radioelectronics will be completed late March or early April. Finally, the tests will be finished at sea.
Bow and stern elevators will be assembled till the end of Jan, and then their mooring trials will start. “In mid-February we’re going to test aircraft-related systems such as retaining and arresting devices”, Leonov said. “In March we will face a very critical task – taking on board 700 cubic meters of aircraft fuel. By that time, all hot works must be over, and ramified fuel feed system must be assembled. Then will start thorough flushing of fuel pipes and tanks. Requirements for fuel cleanliness are very high; it must not contain foreign particles larger than 3-5 microns. Along with that we will test aviation fuel stations. All those works will take about two months”, concluded the interviewee.
According to I. Leonov, the most critical work is finishing of service utility premises. This issue is upon maximal attention, since Russian crew will settle in the ship by Feb 23. A number of living quarters and ablutions in the ship’s bows must be prepared by that time.
“New bonus plan for workers and specialists was put in action in December. Its effectiveness surpassed all expectations – the month’s schedule was completed in-full, and this trend goes on”, pointed out Leonov.


January 25, 2012

Britain says it could bolster military presence in the Gulf

(PTI) Britain today said it could send more military forces including warships to the strait of Hormuz to deter any moves by Iran to block the Persian Gulf oil traffic. "An escalation of a dispute with Iran could see Britain sending military reinforcements to the Gulf", the British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said. Hammond told reporters here that two British and French warships and the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln had entered the Gulf on Sunday to show Tehran that any interference with global shipping would not be tolerated. The British announcement came as Iranian leaders in Tehran have threatened to close off the straits, through which passes one-fifth of the world's oil, against EU sanctions on its oil exports. "The UK has a contingent capability to reinforce its presence in the region should at any time it be considered necessary to do so", the Secretary said. Hammad made the remarks at a news conference following the annual round of talks between UK and Australia on security and international issues, BBC reported. In a hard hitting measure, the European Union yesterday slapped sanctions to ban all new oil contracts with Iran and freeze the country's central bank assets in the EU. (MORE) PTI SSB AKD

IBN Live

Poland to Supply Additional 204 Armored Recovery Vehicles to India

The Polish largest arms producer Bumar will deliver 204 WZT-3M Armored Recovery Vehicles under a US$275 million signed earlier this week in New Delhi, Tomasz Basarabowicz reports. According to the agreement the vehicle production will be done primarily in India, by BELM, which has already produced 362 WZT-3 supplied for the Indian Army so far.
Poland will supply with sub assemblies, kits and components.
Since 1999 India has ordered 556 WZT-3M ARVs, to support the armored units equipped with T-90 and T-72 armor units deployed with the Indian Army. The WZT-3 is based on the PT-91 chassis, the Polish derivative of the T-72M.

Defense Update

January 24, 2012

India becomes 6th nation to join elite nuclear submarine club

(Times of India) : India's long hunt for a nuclear submarine is finally over. But it will take the country another 10-12 months to get an operational nuclear weapon triad - the capability to fire nukes from land, air and sea.

India on Monday became the world's sixth country after the US, Russia, France, the UK and China to operate nuclear-powered submarines when the Russian Akula-II class submarine `K-152 Nerpa' was commissioned into Indian Navy as INS Chakra on a 10-year lease under a secretive almost $1-billion contract inked in 2004.

The 8,140-tonne INS Chakra, however, is not armed with long-range nuclear missiles, like the Russian SS-N-21 cruise missiles with an over 2,500-km range due to international non-proliferation treaties like the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Indian nuclear triad's elusive underwater leg will only come when the homegrown nuclear submarine, the over 6,000-tonne INS Arihant equipped to carry a dozen K-15 (750-km) or four K-4 (3,500-km) ballistic missiles, becomes fully operational by early-2013. India has the land and air legs in the shape of the Agni series of missiles and fighter jets capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Defence ministry sources said INS Chakra, commissioned at the Primorye region in far south-eastern Russia in a ceremony attended by top Indian and Russian officials, would soon set sail for India. It will be based at Visakhapatnam, next to where INS Arihant is slated to begin extensive sea trials in February-March after the ongoing harbour-acceptance trials.

Though it may not add to India's nuclear deterrence posture, INS Chakra will give some much-needed muscle to India's depleting underwater combat arm, which has only 14 ageing conventional submarines to brandish. India is in talks for the lease of another Akula-II class submarine from Russia, say sources.

Nuclear-powered submarines are stealthy since they can operate underwater at long ranges for months unlike diesel-electric submarines that need to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries and have limited endurance due to fuel requirements.

INS Chakra will also be armed with the 300-km range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles, which India deploys on its Kilo-class conventional submarines as well as other missiles and advanced torpedoes.

"It will be deadly `hunter-killer' of enemy submarines and warships, as also provide effective protection to a fleet at sea. It can also provide cover to the nuclear-armed INS Arihant if required. With a dived speed of 30-35 knots, INS Chakra will be able to outrun any current Pakistani or Chinese submarine," said a source.

The Navy will also use INS Chakra to train its sailors in the complex art of operating nuclear submarines. The `Charlie-I' class nuclear submarine India had leased from Russia from 1988 to 1991 was also named INS Chakra but the expertise gained on it was steadily lost since the Navy did not operate any other nuclear submarine thereafter.

The new 10-year lease flows from the January 2004 agreement, with India funding a major part of Nerpa's construction at Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipyard after Russia stopped it midway due to a fund crunch. It was slated for induction much earlier but technical glitches delayed the process, which included a toxic gas leak in November 2008 that killed 20 Russian sailors.

January 23, 2012

Russia to Export Arms to India for $7.7 bln in 2012

In 2012, Russia will sell armaments to India for about $7.7 bln which is over 60% of Russian export and 80% of Indian import. Since 2013, the US will become India's largest arms exporter.

Such impressive results in Russo-Indian military cooperation are achieved because of several large programs (value scope of deliveries is calculated on the basis of real delivery dates). It should be noted that considerable part of those deliveries will be implemented with delays from scheduled dates; this explains such high rates in 2012.

The largest delivery will be aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to join Indian Navy in Dec 2012. Cost of the ship's modernization has been changed several types and finally makes $2.34 bln. The second largest delivery will be two Project 1135.6 frigates to be sold for about $1 bln. Third largest transfer will be leasing of Project 971 nuclear submarine Nerpa to Indian Navy in Jan 2012. According to recent reports, cost of that contract reached $920 mln.

In accordance with earlier announced delivery schedules, in 2012 it is planned to hand over to India about 40 helicopters Mi-17V-5, 21 fighters Su-30MKI (licensed assembling under the contract of 2000), 12 fighters Su-30MKI (licensed assembling under the contract of 2007), and 9 deck-based fighters MiG-29K/KUB.

Also, upgrade programs of MiG-29 fighters, Tu-142 aircrafts, Mi-17 helicopters will be continued in the current year, as well as repair of Project 877EKM diesel electric submarines, delivery of Ka-31 helicopters, engines AL-55, TRDD-50MT, Mi-17 helicopter simulators, Club-S antiship missile launchers, licensed production of T-90S main battle tanks and other programs.

It is noteworthy that America's leadership at Indian arms market will have temporary nature. It is related to large contracts for airplanes P-8I Poseidon, C-17A Globemaster-3, and helicopters AH-64D Apache Longbow which are going to be delivered in 2013-2015.

In figures, US arms export to India in 2013 will be $3.06 bln (comparing to Russia's $2.03 bln), in 2014 - $3.7 bln (Russia - $2.23 bln), and in 2015 - $2.47 bln (Russia - $1.95 bln).

In general, however, Russia will hold leading positions in the period of 2012-2016 thanks to large deliveries of 2012 with estimated amount of $15.6 bln (in 2002-2011 – $14.78 bln, also top position).

The US were at 4-th position during the period of 2002-2011 ($1.66 bln), and took second place in 2012-2016 – about $10 bln.

Israel also keeps tenable positions at India's arms market – $3.7 bln in 2002-2011, second place, and $2.62 bln in 2012-2016 (fourth position).

Volume of deliveries under tenders (results have not been summarized yet) in 2012-2016 will make $11.2 bln. Thus, category "tender" is presently holding second place in 2012-2016.

Totally, scope of India's arms import in 2002-2011 is evaluated as $25.65 bln, and in 2012-2016 - $51.4 bln.

So far, it is difficult to determine a leader at Indian arms market after 2016, since more than one third of deliveries will be held under tenders not completed at the time. Besides, a number of large procurement programs are at conceptual stage.

In 2012, India will preserve the status of the world's largest arms importer approaching the $10-bln verge (about $9.4 bln). According to backlog of orders under already signed contracts and actual tenders, in 2014 this sum could be appreciably higher (by estimate - $10.5 bln in 2014, $12.5 bln in 2015, and $11.3 bln in 2016).

-- ( Rusnavy) 

Russia Hands Over Nerpa Nuclear Sub to India

Russia’s K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine has been handed over to the Indian Navy, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Monday.
In line with the contract worth over $900 million, the Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO: Akula II) class sub has been leased to India’s Navy for ten years. It will be renamed the INS Chakra.
The ceremony took place in the Far Eastern Primorye Territory. Russian submariners trained their Indian colleagues to steer the Nerpa in the Pacific Ocean.
The event was attended by Indian ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, United Shipbuilding Corporation head Roman Trotsenko, Eastern Military District commander Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and other officials.
The submarine’s displacement is 8,140/12,770 tons. Its maximum speed is 30 knots, maximum operating depth, 600 m; its endurance is 100 days with a crew of 73. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes.
India has become the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China, though it previously leased another Russian submarine which was then returned.
Twenty sailors died on the Nerpa in 2008 after the vessel’s fire-suppression systems were accidentally triggered during sea trials, releasing toxic gases.

RIA Novosti

Samtel poised to take off with air force fighter fleet

After bagging a euro 1.47 billion (Rs 9,600 crore) contract for upgrading the Indian Air Force's fleet of 51 Mirage-2000 fighters, French defence electronics giant Thales is now an 800-pound gorilla on the Indian defence scene. And, its Indian partner, Samtel Display Systems (SDS), is emerging as a company to watch as it swoops alongside Thales on to India's burgeoning aerospace market.
Thales' offset liability from the Mirage upgrade contract amounts to euro 441 million (Rs 3,000 crore). That induces Thales to source from SDS a significant share of the avionics (aviation-electronics) for upgrading the Mirage-2000. SDS, with whom Thales has a joint venture company, Samtel Thales Avionics, is poised to meet that requirement. SDS already supplies Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), India's sole aircraft manufacturer, with cockpit displays (multi-function displays, or MFDs) for the Sukhoi-30MKI fighters that are built at HAL's Nashik plant. The Ghaziabad-based company is also competing to build avionics for the IAF's forthcoming Sukhoi-30 MKI upgrade.
And, if the Rafale fighter — built by Dassault with a large avionics component from Thales — is chosen by the MoD as the IAF's new medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), SDS could benefit enormously from another wave of offset-driven orders for display systems and other avionics in the 126 MMRCA. "We are looking at a turnover growth from Rs 60 crore in 2011-12, to about Rs 500 crore in 2015-16," Puneet Kaura, executive director of SDS, told Business Standard.
Samtel Thales Avionics (Thales 26 per cent; Samtel 74 per cent), incorporated in 2008, is Thales' only joint venture in India. The French company is currently setting up another JV with Bharat Electronics Ltd for manufacturing radar components.
"Thales wants to build on our maturing relationship to make us a major supply source for avionics. They are looking at India very seriously, given the size of the deals they have signed or are contemplating," says Puneet Kaura.
Thales shares Kaura's optimism. Eric Lenseigne, who heads Thales India, says India is a key market, both in defence and in the civilian areas of transportation, signalling, communications and automatic fare collection systems. Thales’ fare collection systems are installed on the Delhi Metro rail system.
"We are keen on growing our joint venture in India, Samtel Thales Avionics. Samtel has key capabilities, and the capability to grow. We do not rule out their becoming a part of our global supply chain… provided they develop the way that we would like them to develop," says Lenseigne.
So far, SDS's key technological breakthroughs, such as the Su-30MKI displays, have been achieved indigenously. But as it progresses to cutting-edge avionics the company requires technology infusion. For this, Samtel Thales Avionics, is a key vehicle.
An example of the futuristic avionics that SDS hopes to supply is the Infra Red Search and Track (IRST) System, standard kit in the Rafale as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon. This passive sensor detects enemy aircraft at ranges of 60-70 kilometres through the heat (infrared) they emit. Unlike a fighter's airborne radar, which gives away one's own position by emitting an electronic beam, an IRST is entirely stealthy, since it emits nothing.
Thales plans to offer the IRST to the IAF on a ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ basis. This category of procurement (specified in the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2011, or DPP-2011) requires an Indian partner to absorb critical, high-end technologies and develop capabilities within India. Thales has told the IAF that Samtel Thales Avionics would do 50 per cent of the design and development work in India.
Both Samtel and Thales told Business Standard they would enhance Thales' share of the JV, if the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit is raised from the current 26 per cent. "If the FDI cap is raised to 49 per cent, we have agreed that Thales' holding in the JV will go up to 49 per cent, while we will come down to 51 per cent. This is not a written agreement, but we have an understanding," says Kaura.

Business Standard

American tanks to roll on Indian soil

For the first time, American tanks will roll on Indian soil in war games codenamed 'Exercise Yudh Abhyas', which will mark the beginning of the series of military engagements scheduled between the two countries for this year.

For the first time in Indo-US war games, Americans will deploy their tanks in the company-level Exercise Yudh Abhyas scheduled to be held in the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan desert in March, Army sources said here.
Apart from fielding three tanks, the US will also deploy around 200 men accompanied by armoured personnel carriers for the war games, they said.

In the last edition of the exercise, the American Army had brought its Stryker infantry combat vehicles which were being inducted into war operations in Afghanistan.

However, it is not yet clear which tanks would be deployed by the American side for the exercise.

India will field its Russian-origin BMPs along with tanks for the war game. 

After the 'Yudh Abhyas in March', Indian Infantry troops from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles regiment will fly to California to engage their American counterparts in the Exercise Shatrujeet.

130 troops from the 19 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles battalion will fly to California in April and engage in counter insurgency and counter-terrorism drills there for the Exercise Shatrujeet, sources said.

The Special Forces of the two countries will also test their skills in a mountain exercise codenamed 'Vajra Prahar'.

60 troops from American Special Forces and an equal number of them from the Indian Army's 3 Para (Special Forces) will take part in a war game in Chaubatia in Uttarakhand in August this year in mountain terrain.

Indian troops from 1 Para (SF) had visited Seattle last year for the Vajra Prahar exercise last year.

The Navies of the two countries are also scheduled to exercise with each other in 2012. 

PTI / Zeenews

January 20, 2012

S.Korean company objects to India's basic trainer bidding process

South Korea's aerospace company has raised objections to what it called an unfair bidding process used for India's military basic trainer acquisition program, a source here said on Wednesday, according to a story reported by Korean news agency Yonhap.

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) source said that a plan by the Indian Air Force to take over 75 propeller-driven trainers was unfair because the leading contender failed to submit a critical maintenance transfer of technology (MTOT) cost assessment.

The insider, who declined to be identified, said that Switzerland's Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. did not submit a MTOT cost assessment for its PC-7 turbo trainer in the final bid sent to New Delhi for review, according to the news agency.

The PC-7 tandem two-seat trainer is one of three aircraft that has made the short list of planes being examined by India. KAI's KT-1 and U.S.-based Hawker Beechcraft Corp.'s T-6 also made the list from the original seven contenders that showed interest in the program.

The Indian defense ministry has announced plans for the basic trainer program in December 2009.

KAI said that the Swiss company submitted the lowest bid, so it had the lead over its rivals. It said the KT-1 came in second in terms of the price with the U.S. aircraft coming in third, Yonhap reported in its story.
"One of our employees confirmed that Pilatus did not give the MTOT cost assessment, which is a critical lapse since these planes must be operated for at least 30 years," the company based in Sacheon, 430 kilometers southeast of Seoul, said.

It said such a mistake should disqualify the Swiss company from the bid, and it sent several formal letters pointing this out, although it got no response.

KAI, meanwhile, also pointed out that the PC-7 plane's platform was first developed in the 1970s, while the KT-1 is effectively brand new and has the latest equipment to train military pilots, even though it is a bit more expensive.

The KT-1 started entering service in 2000 and is currently in operation for the air forces of South Korea and Indonesia and is being built in Turkey. There are more than 170 of the planes in use at present.

Times of India

Preparations apace for Agni-V launch

(IBN Live) : Amidst growing tension between India and China over technological demonstrations, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to start ground preparations for the maiden launch of the country’s longest-range nuke-capable ballistic missile Agni V.
Reliable sources told this paper that a team of scientists and technologists will arrive on January 25 at Wheelers Island test facilities of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from where the indigenously built missile will be tested. Around 150 technologists, including at least 80 scientists, will be engaged for range integration.
“We have received confirmation letter for range configuration. The work will start soon. As for the first time a missile with a strike range of more than 5,000 km is being tested from the range, the range will be configured to provide optimum data for validation,” said an official.
Earlier, missiles with a range of 3,000 to 3,500 km have been tested from this island and the tracking systems have tracked the missiles successfully. This time more tracking radars and telemetry systems will be placed to track the long range missile.
Besides the existing radars at Chandipur, Dhamra, Puri and Mahakalpada, one radar will be placed at Andamans and another X-band radar in a ship which will track the missile till its point of impact. If required, another radar will be positioned at Visakhapatnam, said the source.
Chief Controller for Life Sciences and International Cooperation at DRDO W Selvamurthy said the maiden test of Agni V is on schedule. “We are planning to test the missile in full operational configuration by the end of February. If it doesn’t happen, it will definitely be in the first week of March,” he said informing that all the three stages of the missile have been successfully tested at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district.
The 17.2 metre missile having launch weight of nearly 50 tonnes and diameter of two metres will be launched from a road mobile system. All its three stages would be fired by solid propellants. It is expected that with a one-tonne nuclear warhead, the missile would give teeth to the country’s much-touted nuclear deterrence programme.
Scientists headed by Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister (SA to DM) VK Saraswat and Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander are leaving no stone unturned for the launch.

January 19, 2012

Russia Allocates $160 Mln for Drone Development

Russian Helicopters has received 5 billion rubles ($160 mln) from the federal budget for the development of three types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

After charging that smaller domestic developers wasted public funds - and pointedly purchasing Israeli drones for military trials - the Defense Ministry has switched to a big holding with sufficient capacity to develop and produce indigenous UAVs.

According to the Gazeta.ru portal, the company has been contracted by the Russian Defense Ministry to develop light-, medium-, and heavy-weight rotary UAVs for reconnaissance, strike and transportation purposes.

A prototype of a short-range drone, Ka-135, with carrying capacity of up to 100 kg, must be developed by 2015.

A heavy-weight UAV, dubbed Albatros, is expected to be developed by 2017. It can be used as a strike or transport drone.

The most recent contract envisions the development of a medium-weight UAV with operational range of up to 300 km.

If successful, Russian Helicopters may receive additional funding in the future to develop two more types of UAVs to be delivered to the military and police.

RIA Novosti

January 18, 2012

US says it is open to work with India on missile shield

Weeks after offering to sell its F-35 fifth generation fighter jets, the US today said it was open to work with India on joint development of a ballistic missile shield.

The offer was made by deputy assistant secretary of defence Robert Scher who said that the Indo-US defence ties were valuable and critical not only for the security and stability of the region, but globally.

"We are really open to it. And this is something we ask to and ask them if they are interested in it," Scher said on collaboration on the missile shield project in an interview to PTI, emphasising that US "is and will be a dependable weapons supplier to India."

The top Pentagon official disclosed that Washington and New Delhi had been involved in crucial discussion on the ballistic missile shield, adding that the US was looking forward to "restart" the dialogue.

Reiterating that US was ready for India to join in the multi-nation collaboration on F-35 fighters, Scher said that Washington was still awaiting India's response.

Referring to President Barack Obama's latest defence strategy in which the US commits itself to a long-term defence relationship with India, the Pentagon official said the US would certainly welcome discussion with New Delhi on F-35 and anti-missile system.

He cited the sale of C-130J transport aircraft to India ahead of the schedule as an example of readiness of the US armament industry to respond to India's need. 

Times of India

Russia Completes Trials of First Indian Frigate

This week Russia will finish state trials of the first out of three ships for Indian Navy – frigate INS Teg – built by Yantar Shipyard (Kaliningrad), said the yard's press secretary Sergei Mikhailov.

"Frigate INS Teg left the shipyard's quay and headed for Russia's westernmost port Baltiysk via Kaliningrad seaway canal. The ship is planned to enter the Baltic Sea on Jan 17 to pass final stage of state sea trials", specified Mikhailov.

The spokesman for Yantar shipyard specified that since Sept 2011 when INS Teg took the sea for the first time, all shipboard systems and arms have been tested at sea. First launches of Russian-Indian cruise missiles BrahMos were held successfully as well.

Indian crew will settle on the ship late Jan 2012. Baltic Fleet servicemen who have spend the whole trials on board the ship will conduct appropriate briefing, train their Indian colleagues, and share first experience of the ship's operation. "The next stage will be acceptance process and delivery of the frigate to India", Mikhailov said. As for him, INS Teg is supposed to join Indian Navy in Apr 2012.

Frigate INS Teg was laid down at Yantar shipyard in mid-2007. Other two frigates of that trio – INS Tarkash and INS Trikand – have been already launched and are being currently outfitted. Tarkash and Teg are to be delivered in 2012, and Trikand – in 2013.

The $1.6-bln contract for second 3-ship batch for Indian Navy was signed on July 14, 2007 in Delhi. According to the first contract tied in 1997, Russia built and handed over to India three frigates – INS Tabar, INS Trishul, and INS Talwar.

New frigates differ from the previous ones in armament and equipment. In particular, they are armed with supersonic cruise missiles BrahMos with flight range up to 300 km.

JSC Yantar Shipyard was established on July 8, 1945 and is specialized in construction of small- and middle-size warships and civil vessels, as well as ship-repair works. Through its history, the yard has built 154 warships and over 500 civil vessels. At present, the government represented by JSC Western Shipbuilding Center (affiliate of United Shipbuilding Corporation)is major shareholder of JSC Yantar, reports ITAR-TASS.


New AWACS Plane Enters Russian Air Force Service

(RIA Novosti) :A modernized A-50U airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft entered service with the Russian Air Force on Tuesday, Defense Ministry spokesman Col Vladimir Drik said.
The aircraft, which has an advanced onboard computer, satellite communication and radar systems, was delivered to the Air Force in October and started flight tests.
It will participate in all major military exercises this year, the spokesman added.
The aircraft now has the capability to detect various types of flying targets, including helicopters, cruise missiles and supersonic aircraft, he said.
The Beriev A-50, based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport, first flew in 1978. It entered service in 1984, with about 40 produced by 1992.
The A-50 can track up to 10 fighter aircraft for either air-to-air interception or air-to-ground attack missions.

Carrier Ready for India After Eight Year Wait

(RIA Novosti) : A Russian aircraft carrier which is being refurbished for the Indian Navy will begin sea trials in May for the first time in two decades and is to be handed over to India by December 2012, a shipyard official said on Tuesday.
The purchase of the Soviet-built Admiral Gorshkov was agreed in 2004 with delivery initially due for 2008. The delivery date slipped on numerous occasions and the final price for the ship has more than doubled.
The cost of refurbishing Gorshkov, to be renamed INS Vikramaditya, has gone up from $947 million to $2.3 billion.
“The vessel is expected to undertake sea trials at the end of May,” Sergei Novosyolov, deputy director of the Sevmash shipyard in the far northern port of Severodvinsk, which is refitting the 45,000-ton ship which Russia took out of service in 1992.
Russia is one of India’s largest suppliers of military hardware.
Ninety-six Indian specialists are currently being trained to operate the ship, Novosyolov said, adding that the final number of those to be trained is 1,401.
Last week, a Russian military source said Russia would hand over the nuclear-powered Nerpa submarine to India by the end of the month.

January 14, 2012

Russia to test over 70 new missile systems in 2012

About 70 new rocket and missile systems will be tested at Russia’s Kapustin Yar test range in 2012, an increase of 150 percent from last year, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday.
The systems are part of more than 160 ongoing projects, said Col. Vadim Koval, without providing any details.
Last year, more than 500 missile test launches were made at the Kapustin Yar rocket launch and development site, he added.
Almost all the missile and rocket related branches and services of the Russian Armed Forces, including the Strategic Missile Forces, the Air Defense Forces, and the Missile Forces and Artillery conduct their tests at Kapustin Yar, located in the Astrakhan region, between the cities of Volgograd and Astrakhan.


January 13, 2012

Indian Navy to have 100 combat jets, 500 aircraft

New Delhi. The Indian Navy is set to have 100-plus combat jets, as part of an assortment of its own mostly ship-board capable air force of some 500 aircraft and helicopters.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Verma told India Strategic that air power is an integral component of the Indian Navy’s modernization programme with at least three aircraft carriers in the future.
The Naval Chief declined to mention the exact timelines but observed that each platform of the Navy would be equipped with progressively better technologies and newer generation systems as they evolve. The effort is on acquiring capabilities, and eventually indigenizing them with special emphasis on operational capabilities in the Electronic Warfare (EW) environment.
The Indian Navy has already ordered 45 Mig 29K combat jets from Russia, 16 of them in the first lot in 2004, and the remaining now. Incidentally, this is the first time that the Russians are supplying training simulators with their aircraft; the Indian Air Force never got any in the good old days from the Soviet Union or Russia.
These Mig 29K aircraft are specifically meant for INS Vikramaditya aka Admiral Gorshkov being acquired from Russia end-2012 before the Navy Day on Dec 4.
The 60 other combat jets being planned for acquisition may be different. Adm Verma did not elaborate.
All he said was that the Navy has planned for about 500 aircraft, helicopters, LRMR and MRMR included.
It may be noted however that various aircraft manufacturers, US Boeing (F/A 18 Super Hornet) and Lockheed Martin (F 35 JSF), French Dassault (Rafale) and Swedish Saab (Sea Gripen) have made presentations to the Navy.
At present, only the Boeing F/A 18 and Rafale operate from aircraft carriers while the JSF, the futuristic 5th Generation aircraft under development has demonstrated the capability to land and take off from ships in flight trials. There is also the naval version of the India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) being developed by HAL.
The choice should be known after a few years.
The Navy has already ordered 12 Boeing P8-I long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft (LRMR) and another 12 LRMR and half a dozen Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft are under consideration.
Besides these, the Navy is looking for an assortment of aircraft to operate in the contemporary and futuristic Electronic Warfare (EW) environment with cutting edge technologies.
The US has offered Northrop Grumman's advance E-2D Hawkey shipboard aircraft for battle management but that is where it stands. There is no "Yes" or "No" from the Indian Navy.
Adm Verma said that what the Navy was looking at were just not numbers of aircraft, ships, submarines and other assets but their capabilities. Any equipment and system has to operate and last for years. New and newer technologies are emerging rapidly and whatever the Navy buys, has to be value for money and security for years to come.
As for ships and submarines, he said that by 2027, the Navy should have mostly new 150 ships and submarines to enable operations in both the western and eastern seaboards of India to protect the country’s maritime interests.
The Navy has also acquired two refueling vessels to enable its ships to stay far from the shores and for longer durations.
-  India Strategic