December 31, 2012

India Receives Second Russia-Built Stealth Missile Frigate

(RIA Novosti) :  The second of three stealth frigates that Russia builds for India at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad arrived at the port of Mumbai, an Indian Defense Ministry source said on Sunday.
The source did not specify whether an official ceremony of the frigate’s reception would be held.
Russia and India signed a $1.6 billion contract on construction of three modified Krivak III class (also known as Talwar class) guided missile frigates for India in 2006. The first frigate, INS Teg, joined the Indian Navy on April 27.
The second frigate, The Tarkash, was commissioned on November 9 and sailed from Baltiysk to India on November 17.
The last in the series of three frigates, The Trikand, currently undergoes dock trials and after it completes sea trials in the Baltic Sea will join the Indian Navy in the summer of 2013.
The new frigates are each armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.
They are also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter.
Russia previously built three Talwar class frigates for India - INS Talwar (Sword), INS Trishul (Trident), and INS Tabar (Axe).

MoD clears mega deals for radars, missiles, Navy vessels, AWACS

 In the past few weeks, the defence ministry has cleared proposals to buy several thousand crore worth of military hardware, including four hydrographic survey vessels for the Navy for Rs 2,324 crore and two Phalcon airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) for the Air Force for Rs 3,306 crore.
Israel, which has emerged as a leading arms supplier to India, will rake in a major chunk of these contracts.
The go-ahead by the ministry, which had not signed new deals in the past few months because of the week economic situation — the exceptions being contracts for Basic Trainer Aircraft, additional Su-30 MKI fighters and Mi-17 V5 helicopters — basically empowers the armed forces to start the procurement process, which can take more than three years to get finalised, for the weapons systems.
In another significant decision, the ministry has given an exception to Israeli firm ELTA to reduce its offset obligations to just 10 per cent of the contract, down from the mandated 30 per cent. ELTA is in for a major deal for new generation air and missile defence radars — the armed forces have proposed to buy six of these for Rs 3,310 crore — that can detect and track incoming missiles and aircraft as well as direct defence systems. The firm is also set to bag a Rs 950 crore contract for additional Recce and Imaging Pods and ground exploitation stations for Su-30 MKI fighters of the Air Force.
Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures missile defence systems for Indian warships, too is set to get a major contract — valued at Rs 700 crore — to fit the Navy’s under-construction indigenous aircraft carrier with long range surface-to-air missile systems, sources said.
There is something for the Indian defence industry as well: the ministry has cleared four new hydrographic port survey vessels for the Navy and wants them built indigenously, much to the cheer of Indian shipyards eying the Rs 2,324-crore contract.
Besides private firms, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which recently signed a deal with Russia to manufacture 42 Su-30 fighters, is likely to get an order for 45 Advanced Light Helicopters. The helicopters, estimated to cost Rs 3,310 crore, will come in three variants — utility, armed, special operations.

The Indian Express

US described India as lynchpin for America's new defence strategy

In 2012 ,the relationship between India and US continued with growth but with no spectacular movement but described India as a "lynchpin" for America's new defence strategy for the Asia Pacific region where a rising China has changed the dynamics in the past few years.

While America gave Barack Obama another four years in the White House, the core policy behind the now strategic level ties with India would hardly have seen a change even if a Republican administration had been sworn in.
Such was the consensus in the American polity over maintaining ties with India that this was one of the very few policy areas Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney agreed on during a bitter election battle.

The year saw Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visit India for high level talks, with the latter describing India as a "lynchpin" for America's new defence posture in the region where a rising China has changed the dynamics in the past few years.

"India is one of the largest and most dynamic countries in the region and the world, with one of the most capable militaries," Panetta said while noting that the US wasdeveloping a new defence strategy.

Even as they engaged in a bitter battle over various foreign policy issues, both Obama and Romney shared a common ground when it came to the US policy of support towards India.

"I think this (India) is an area where we've had a lot of, frankly, continuity and bipartisan support. India is an
important security partner today," said Michele Flournoy,co-chair of the National Security Advisory Committee of the US President's 'Obama for America' campaign.However, there was no visible movement on the implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal that was once touted as the game changer in bilateral ties.

America's first woman ambassador to India, Nancy Powell,acknowledged that concerns of US firms over India's liability law was an "outstanding issue".

 "I think in any democracy we would have a variety of opinions, we have people in the United States who are very
concerned about non-proliferation issues, you have issues on liability law and some of the other issues we will continue to work on," she said.

 The US also welcomed the opening of FDI in retail sector in India with officials saying the move would bring benefits across the board.

 "As Indian officials have pointed out, FDI can create opportunities for small businesses, for farmers, spurinvestment in infrastructure and bring benefits to consumersas well as lower food prices," State Department spokesmanMark Toner said, pointing out that a number of firms are keen to invest in India.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) also applauded the allowing of 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail sector,saying it will usher much needed investments and expertise into supply chain development that can more efficiently link farmers directly to markets.

This would "minimise loss due to inadequate storage and transportation facilities," said USIBC President Ron Somers. Towards the end of the year, India was disappointed over a US submission in a court that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI be accorded "immunity" in the case related to 26/11 filed by the relatives of victims of Mumbai terror attack.

India raised its concerns with the US State Department after being informed of the US' view, and also asserted that it cannot be that any organisation, State or non-State that sponsors terrorism, enjoys immunity.

The Department of Justice had informed a New York Court last week that the ISI and its two former Director Generals --Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Nadeem Taj -- enjoy immunity in a caseagainst them filed by American victims of the Mumbai terrorist attack.


December 29, 2012

Russia Delivers Four MiG-29K Fighters to India in Dec.

(RIA Novosti) - Russian aircraft maker MiG delivered in December a batch of four MiG-29K/KUB shipborne fighters to the Indian Navy under a contract concluded in 2010, the company said.
With the delivery, MiG "has fulfilled all its obligations for 2012 stipulated in the 2010 contract with the Indian Defense Ministry,” the company said in a statement.
In March 2010, Russia and India signed a $1.5-billion contract on the supply of 29 additional MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi. Last year Russia fulfilled its 2004 contract with the Indian Defense Ministry, supplying the country with 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs.
The contracts for the jets also stipulate pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including the delivery of flight simulators and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.
The Indian Navy will base the MiG-29K squadron, dubbed the "Black Panthers" at an airfield in the state of Goa on India's west coast until INS Vikramaditya, the Soviet-built carrier originally named the Admiral Gorshkov, joins the Navy in the fall of 2013.

The MiG-29K is a navalized variant of the MiG-29 land-based fighter, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability. It can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry.

RIA Novosti

December 28, 2012

Onboard The Indian Warship INS Tarkash.

Link :


China Buys Tu-22 mb Bomber Production Line from Russia

According to a report by Phoenix Satellite TV’s Observation Post of Military Situation on November 21, China buys from Russia the production line of Tu-22 mb bombers for US$1.5 billion including transfer of all the technology for the production.
China has already imported 6 such bombers as the bombers are much better than China’s own H-6 bombers in bigger load and larger range.
The Tu-22 mb Tupolev Backfire is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime surprise strike bomber.
According to Chinese military expert Ma Dingsheng, the swing-wing of Tu-22 mb enables it to conduct surprise stealth maritime attack. It can first adjust its wings in a position that enables it to fly at super-low attitude without being detected by enemy radar. When it comes near its target, it changes its wing position to enable it to clime up quickly to conduct sudden attack.
However, Ma said that for production of the bombers, China still needs quite a few parts that it cannot produce especially the engines. It is said that there is a contract to supply the parts for the production of 36 such bombers.
China has to develop its own ability to produce the parts, especially the engines. Otherwise, if Russia refuses to provide more parts, China will be unable to produce more and even have difficulty in maintenance of the bombers.

:  tiananmens tremendous achievements

DRDO to develop new bunkers

Soldiers sitting in their bunkers in snow-clad Siachen will get to feel sea waves, chirping of birds and winds passing through forests, as part of a DRDO project to break the monotonous environment and sense of isolation faced by them in the world’s highest battlefield.
As part of its efforts to provide troops with “enriched environment” at isolated locations, the DRDO has started working on “Project Dhruv” to develop new bunkers to tackle various forms of psychological issues and depression among them. “Project Dhruv is aimed at environment enrichment within the shelter. This is one of the components for removing his stress in such isolated and forward areas,” said W Selvamurthy, DRDO Chief Controller, Life Sciences.

Such measures will help jawans cope with the stress induced by their monotonous surroundings and help in creating a lively atmosphere within the bunkers, he said.

The study will be completed in one year and will provide concrete results to move forward, Selvamurthy added.

The DRDO has taken a slew of measures to tackle depression among soldiers, which in recent past had led to various incidents of suicides and fratricides in the armed forces.

The premier defence research agency is planning to use state-of-art technology for the purpose and will equip the bunkers with some of the most modern amenities to ensure a better living for the jawans.

Deccan Heald

December 27, 2012

Stealth Frigate INS Tarkash Joins Navy

INS Tarkash, the second of the three stealth Frigates constructed at Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad Russia, has been commissioned and inducted into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral Shekhar Kumar Sinha, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command on 09 November 2012 at Kaliningrad, Russia.
The Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation Mr. Ajai Malhotra attended this momentous occasion. Senior officials of the Russian Government, Indian and Russian Navies, Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, Rosoboronexport, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Yantar Shipyard and Russian Industry representatives too witnessed the commissioning ceremony.
The induction of the second in the series of the multi role stealth frigate with an advanced combat suite and an optimal blend of Russian and Indian cutting edge technologies, not only bolsters the Indian Navy’s role as a key facilitator in promoting peace and stability in the Indian Ocean Region, but also embodies the dynamic character of Indo-Russian military technical cooperation.

The formidable array of weapons and sensors onboard the ship include the supersonic Brahmos missile system, advanced Surface to Air missile system, upgraded 100mm medium range gun, optically controlled 30 mm Close-in Weapon System, Torpedoes, Rocket Launchers and advanced Electronic Warfare/Communication suite.
The ship is commanded by Captain Antony George, an ‘Anti Submarine Warfare’ specialist. The ship will join the Western Fleet of the Indian Navy by December end, this year.


December 26, 2012

India Claims Problems With Russian-Leased Nuclear Sub

(RIA Novosti) : India has asked Russia to replace the faulty parts on the leased Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine as they affect its operational readiness, the Times of India reported.
The Navy sources cited by the newspaper on Tuesday did not specify the components that needed the replacement but said they “were critical for the operations of the submarine.”
Neither Russian nor Indian defense ministries have officially commented on the report.
The Russian-built Akula II class nuclear attack submarine was inducted into the Indian Navy as INS Chakra in April.
The lease contract, worth over $900 million, was drawn up after an agreement between Moscow and New Delhi in January 2004, in which India agreed to fund part of the Nerpa's construction.
However, shortly after the start of sea trials in November 2008, an accident on board the submarine killed 20 sailors and technical due to a toxic gas leak when the automatic fire extinguishing system malfunctioned.
The Nerpa was finally handed over to India in January after prolonged and costly repairs.
The submarine has a maximum speed of 30 knots and a maximum operating depth of 600 m, while its endurance is 100 days with a crew of 73.
The vessel is armed with four 533-mm and four 650-mm torpedo tubes, although it cannot carry nuclear weapons under the lease provisions.
With the lease of the Nerpa, India became the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China.
India’s domestically-designed INS Arihant nuclear submarine is expected to be ready for operational deployment in 2013 after final sea trials.

December 25, 2012

IAF gets two AW 101 choppers, rest ten likely by mid-2013

Against the backdrop of bribery allegations, the Indian Air Force has received the first two of the 12 three-engined AW 101 helicopters, procured at the cost of Rs 3,550 crore for ferrying VVIPs like the President and the Prime Minister, at the Palam air base here.

India had signed a Rs 3,550 crore deal in 2010 with the Anglo-Italian firm Agusta Westland for buying 12 of these three-engined choppers.

The first AW 101 arrived at the Palam air base on December 20 while the second one was delivered on December 22. The delivery of all the 12 choppers is expected to be completed by the middle of next year, IAF sources said.
 While Italian prosecutors are looking into the allegations of bribery in the deal to procure VVIP helicopters from Augusta Westland, the Indian government is also keeping a close watch on the probe taking place there.

Recently, Defence Minister A K Antony had said if any wrongdoing is found in the case, "suitable penalty measures" will be taken by the Ministry.

"Defence Ministry is constantly pursuing the matter and committed to take suitable penalty measures in the event of allegations being substantiated," he had said.

Reports in Italian and Indian media suggested unethical dealings by Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica in the deal. The Indian embassy in Rome also took up the matter with the Italian government for their official position on the issue.

The AW 101 choppers would be operated by the Communication Squadron of the IAF, which also operates the three Boeing business jets and four Embraers used by the VVIPs.

Agusta Westland had pipped its rival American Sikorsky in the race for bagging the deal.

The Economic Times

December 24, 2012

India, Russia ink deal on air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

Ahead of the visit of President Vladimir Putin, India and Russia have signed a deal for working together to develop the air-launched version of the 290-km-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which would be fitted to the Su-30MKI combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
An agreement was signed between BrahMos Aerospace, Russian Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi Design Bureau for developing the air-launched version of the missile here on Friday, Defence Ministry officials said in New Delhi.
The two sides have been holding negotiations for the joint development for quite some time now and are now hopeful that the first test of the missile would be done within next six months, they said. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had cleared an IAF proposal worth over Rs 6,000 crore to buy BrahMos missiles for their integration with Russian-origin Su-30MK
As per plans, the first test of the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile, developed jointly by India and Russia, is to be conducted by middle of 2013. Two Su-30MKI of the IAF would also be modified by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Nashik facility where the planes will be integrated with the aerial launcher developed by the BrahMos, they said.
BrahMos missiles integrated on the Su-30s will help the IAF achieve the capability to deliver a deadly blow to enemy formations from stand-off ranges of around 300 km without getting close to them.

IBN Live

December 22, 2012

India to ink Rs 25,000 crore Sukhoi and helicopter deals with Russia

India will soon ink defence deals worth around Rs 25,000 crore with Russia, including two mega ones for 42 more Sukhoi-30MKI fighters and 59 additional Mi-17 V5 armed helicopters.

This will reassert Russia's position as India's largest arms supplier despite Israel, France and US now snapping at its heels. But the expected inking of the final design contract for the joint development of a futuristic stealth fifth-generation fighter will not take place during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit here on Monday since it is yet to be fully ironed out, sources said. 

This R&D contract is pegged at $11 billion, with India and Russia supposed to chip in with $5.5 billion each. Each 5th Gen fighter - IAF hopes to induct around 200 of them from 2022 onwards - will cost at least $100 million extra. Consequently, as first reported by TOI earlier, India will eventually spend around $35 billion on this gigantic project.

During the meet with Putin, India will seek Russia's firm assurance that INS Vikramaditya, the refurbished 44,570-tonne Admiral Gorshkov for which $2.33 billion has been paid, is not delayed beyond the re-revised November 2013 delivery deadline.

New Delhi had earlier also planned to raise the "technical problems" being faced by its solitary nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra, the Akula-II attack submarine leased from Russia for 10 years at a cost of around $1 billion. "But Moscow has assured the problem will be fixed soon," said a source.

The 42 new Sukhois, to be produced under licence by defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics, will add to the 230 Sukhois earlier contracted from Russia. Having inducted over 170 Sukhois till now, IAF is now progressively basing these "air dominance" fighters both on the western and eastern fronts with Pakistan and China. Overall, the price tag for the 272 Sukhois - three have crashed since induction - stands over $12 billion.

The medium-lift Mi-17 V5 helicopters (59 for IAF and 12 for home ministry/BSF), in turn, will add to the 80 such choppers already being inducted under a $1.34 billion deal inked in 2008.

While India has no plans to acquire more than 272 Sukhois, it has an upgrade plan to convert a bulk of them into 'Super Sukhois' in the years ahead with more advanced avionics, weapons and AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars. "Earlier, the plan was to upgrade 80 of them into 'Super Sukhois' at the cost of around Rs 10,900 crore. Now, the plan is being re-drawn," said the source. 
Times of India

December 21, 2012

India successfully test fires interceptor missile

India on Friday successfully test fired its indigenously developed Astra air-to-air interceptor missile from a defence base in Odisha, official said.

The beyond-visual-range missile was tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 230 kilometres from Bhubaneswar.

"The mission was successful. Today the missile was tested from land" ITR director M.V.K.V. Prasad said.
 Prasad said it was a development trial of the missile and the target was an unmanned aerial vehicle which was flown from the same base few minutes before the launch of the missile.

Astra is envisaged to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speeds in the head-on mode at a range of 80 kilometre and in tail-chase mode at 20 kilometre.

The Astra test comes a day after the Indian armed forces successfully test-fired medium range indigenously developed Prithvi-II nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile from the same test range.

Both the Astra and Prithvi missiles have been flight-tested a number of times from the same test range in the past.


December 20, 2012

Navy receives first of P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft

Boosting its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the Indian Navy on Wednesday received its first of the eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft from Boeing.

India had signed a deal worth over USD 2.1 billion with the American firm in January 2009 for procuring eight P-8I long-range surveillance aircraft which are equipped with anti-submarine weaponry.

The first aircraft was handed over to Indian personnel by the Boeing company in Seattle, US and now it will be used for training the Indian Navy crew, Navy officials said here. 

 The aircraft along with two more will arrive in India in May next year and would be deployed at a naval base in Tamil Nadu, they said.

Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has also supplied critical equipment to the US aerospace major for the aircraft that will help it identify friendly and enemy planes and forces.

The aircraft is expected to be equipped with missiles such as Harpoons, which are also manufactured by the US. 

India is also looking at ordering four more such aircraft to keep an eye on its extensive maritime territory and for replacing and augmenting its existing fleet of Russian Tupolev-42 and Ilyushin-38 Sea Dragon aircraft.

It also plans to have six more medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. It operates the Dornier surveillance aircraft for short-range surveillance activities.

PTI / Zeenews

Nuclear-capable Prithvi-II test successful

India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range at Chandipur near.

The surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range at about 9:21 AM, defence sources said.

The launch of the sophisticated missile, conducted as part of operational exercise by the strategic force command (SFC) of the defence services, was successful, they said.

"The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the total launch activities were carried out by the specially formed SFC and monitored by the scientists of DRDO as part of practice drill," sources said.

The Prithvi-II missile, developed by the DRDO, is already inducted into the Indian Armed forces.

Prithvi, the first missile developed under India's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), is capable of carrying 500kg to 1000kg of warheads and thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines, uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.

The last trial of Prithvi-II was successfully carried out from the same base on October 4, 2012.

Times of India

Russian Helicopters delivers latest consignment of Mi-17B-5s to India

Russian Helicopters has delivered another consignment of Mi-17B-5 helicopters to India as part of a contract signed by Rosoboronexport and India's Ministry of Defence in 2008. The helicopters were built by Kazan Helicopter Plant, a Russian Helicopters company. The final delivery under the contract is scheduled for 2013.
The Mi-8/17 series of helicopters is one of the symbols of Russia's aviation industry. The latest models combine advanced technologies with the years of operational experience accumulated by their predecessors. These advanced helicopters, the best in their class, are equipped with the latest navigational and onboard systems, and maintain the high levels of reliability, simplicity and ease of operation that generations of operators have come to expect. They can fly a wide range of missions in conditions ranging from tropical and maritime climates to high-altitude and desert environments.
The Mi-17B-5 has been built to the requirements of the Indian Ministry of Defence. It is one of the most advanced helicopters on the global marketplace, as well as in the Indian Armed Forces.
The helicopters are equipped with new VK-2500 engines that have an electronic control system and deliver enhanced power performance, which is particularly important in hot climates and at high altitudes. Should one engine fail, the reserve power provided by the second engine ensures safe operation through to landing. The on-board systems allow the helicopter to operate day and night in all weather conditions. A new navigation system has been developed for this version of the Mi-17B-5 that shows all of the piloting and navigation information on four multifunctional display screens, significantly reducing the crew's workload.
The medium multi-role Mi-17 is the export version of the Mi-8. Their versatility and high performance have made these helicopters some of the most popular Russian-built helicopters around the world. More than 12,000 Mi-8/17s are in operation in more than 110 countries.

SP's Aviation.net

December 19, 2012

Def Min approves proposal for 22 Cheetal helicopters

The Defence Ministry Tuesday approved a proposal to procure around 22 Cheetal helicopters for Army, which is likely to deploy these choppers for supporting its high altitude operations in Ladakh and Siachen.

A meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the apex Ministry body headed by Defence Minister A K Antony to decide on procurements, cleared the proposal to procure around 22 Cheetal choppers for Army, Defence Ministry officials said.

The Cheetals are an upgraded version of the vintage Cheetahs with more powerful engines manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

These choppers are being procured as there is a delay in the acquisition of new Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) for replacing the Cheetah/Chetak fleet of IAF and Army due to cancellation of procurement procedures in the recent past, they said.

 Army has some of its squadrons of Cheetah/Chetak choppers deployed in Siachen base camp and around Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to support its troops deployed at and along the world's highest battlefield there, the officials said.

The Defence Ministry is procuring 197 LUHs of which 133 would go to Army while the remaining would go to IAF.

European Eurocopter and Russian Kamov 226 Sergei are in the race for supplying these new choppers but the Defence Ministry is yet to take a final decision on starting commercial negotiations with the two vendors.

The Navy has also issued a tender for procuring 56 choppers that will replace its fleet of the vintage Cheetah/ Chetak helicopters.


Putin may announce $7 billion arms deal during India trip

Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce about $7 billion worth of weapons contracts, including for Sukhoi fighter jets, when he visits India next week, according to three people in the defence industry.
During Putin’s visit on 24 December, the two countries will announce contracts for 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI jets, made by United Aircraft’s Irkut Corp., and almost 1,000 AL-31 warplane engines to be delivered through 2030, according to the three people who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment.
India, Russia’s top arms customer, has at least doubled its defence budget over the last decade as it looks beyond a traditional rivalry with Pakistan to counter China’s rising power. Putin, who returned to the presidency this year, has spearheaded Russia’s efforts to fend off competition for the contracts from the US and Europe.
“These will be truly historical deals if signed,” Konstantin Makiyenko, the deputy head of the Moscow-based Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said by phone on Monday. “I don’t remember a contract for 1,000 engines at all and deals for over 40 planes happen twice in a decade.”
Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman at the Indian ministry of external affairs, wasn’t available to comment. Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Russia’s state-owned weapons exporter Rosoboronexport, declined to comment.
Russian defence-industry exports have exceeded $14 billion this year, higher than the government’s target, Putin said on Monday. The country has signed new contracts worth $15 billion in 2012, he added.
Then-defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov said 10 October that Russia expected to sign a deal to ship 42 Sukhoi jets to India by the end of the year, RIA Novosti news service reported.
India has already received about 150 Russian jets, according to CAST estimates.
- Livemint

December 18, 2012

Indian Sub Repaired in Russia Tested Cruise Missiles

Having passed repair and modernization at Zvezdochka shipyard (Severodvinsk, Russia), Indian Navy's diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhurakshak successfully carried out test launches of Club-S cruise missiles, reported the shipyard's press service.

The submarine hit sea surface and coast-based targets by cruise missiles 3M-54E and 3M-14E. "Missile test is the closing round of the submarine's trials", reports ITAR-TASS referring to the shipyard's press service.

Upon returning to the outfitting quay, the yard and the crew will jointly prepare the sub for delivery and a transfer to basing site in India.

According to press service of Zvezdochka shipyard, the submarine is equipped with up-to-date missile system Club-S; somewhat ten Indian- and foreign-made systems have been mounted on the sub, including Ushus sonar and CCS-MK-2 radio communication system.

"Upgrade of cooling system, placing of Porpoise radar, and some other works improving the sub's combat features and safe operation have been done", pointed out the Zvezdochka spokesman.

On June 23, 2012, INS Sindhurakshak was supposed to leave covered slipway for further launching.

In June 2010, delegation of Zvezdochka and representatives of Indian defense ministry signed the contract for 27-month long repair and modernization of INS Sindhurakshak.

Being specialized in overhaul and dismantling of nuclear-powered submarines, Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center has modernized four Indian subs since 1997 – INS Sindhuvir, INS Sindhuratna, INS Sindhughosh, and INS Sindhuvijay. The shipyard also continues repair and modernization of similar submarine INS Sindukirti in her home base Vishakhapatnam, India.

All these submarines are Russian-made Project 887EKM (Kilo class) developed by Rubin design bureau, St. Petersburg.

They are designed for antisubmarine and antiship warfare; defense of naval bases, coastal and sea lines of communication; reconnaissance and patrol operations.

In the course of modernization under Project 08773, these subs are equipped with advanced Russian Club-S cruise missile system (developed by Novator Design Bureau) with firing range of about 200 km, Indian sonars Ushus and radio communication systems CCS-MK.

INS Sindhurakshak was built in 1997 by Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard (St. Petersburg) by the order of Indian Navy.


BrahMos set to become a “Super Rocket”

The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile is all set to become a “super rocket” soon, which would beef up India’s tactical defence capability significantly. However, the test launches of the air variant of the BrahMos II hyper-sonic missile, which were supposed to be completed by 2012, are experiencing delays. The realistic date for completion of these tests is now believed to be 2015.
 Sources in the Indian strategic establishment said India has upgraded its BrahMos missiles by “wedding” these with Russia’s advanced satellite navigation systems. The “marriage” of the BrahMos’s navigation systems with Russia's Kh-555 and Kh-101 strategic long-range cruise missiles has made BrahMos a “super rocket”. The word “rocket” here is used in context of a weapon, not a space rocket.

The new avatar of BrahMos will have to undergo tests and field trials before it becomes operational with the Indian defence services. However, this would not take unduly long.
The improved version of BrahMos will be endowed with a sub-strategic capability and would increase its tactical range too. The new version would also be capable of carrying nuclear warheads and can be launched from sea, land and air, like the old version. Its range of hitting targets would now be over 180-300 miles (300-500 km).
The new air-launched version of BrahMos will be carried by Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The Indian Air Force is set to be a far more potent force by 2020 when it is scheduled to deploy 200 advanced Sukhoi fighters, equipped with the new version of BrahMos “super rockets.” This will be a lethal combination and will make the Sukhois strategic bombers.
Another important feature of the upgraded BrahMos missile is that it has added GPS-GLONASS technology to it. This is of vital strategic importance as GLONASS, Russia’s navigation service provider, gives India access to military signals, while the American GPS does not.
BrahMos missile is jointly developed by India and Russia and is named after two major rivers – Brahmaputra of India and Muscova of Russia. The missile is capable of flying at a very high speed at tree-top levels which adds to its tactical utility.

BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated. BrahMos is the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service and is deployed on INS Rajput since 2005. The missile has 'fire and forget' principle, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. Its destructive power is enhanced due to large kinetic energy on impact. Its cruising altitude could be up to 15 km (9.3 miles) and terminal altitude is as low as 10 meters.
Compared to existing state-of-the-art subsonic cruise missiles, BrahMos has three times more velocity, 2.5 to 3 times more flight range, 3 to 4 times more seeker range and 9 times more kinetic energy. The missile has identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch. The missile is universal for multiple platforms and can pin point accuracy with high lethal power aided by large kinetic energy on impact. It has shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker engagement.
 So far India has deployed BrahMos missile in the western sector only against Pakistan. However, since the missile is fitted on a mobile launcher it can be transported anywhere in the country and deployed within a short time. The Indian Army is planning to deploy it against China as well in near future. India started a massive war preparedness drill in Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern sector codenamed “Pralaya” on February 29, 2012.
BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is about three-and-a-half times faster than the USA's subsonic Harpoon cruise missile and three times faster than USA's subsonic Tomahawk missile. India has also planned an air-launched variant which is expected to come out in 2012 and will make India the only country with supersonic missiles in all the defence forces. However, the 2012 deadline is unlikely to be met.
A hypersonic version of the missile, which is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability, is expected to be ready by 2016. BrahMos has the capability of attacking surface targets by flying as low as 10 meters.
The air launch version and the submarine launch version of the missile system are in progress. The Indian Army has so far placed orders for the BrahMos missile to be deployed by three regiments of the Army and two of them have already been inducted operationally. A hypersonic version of the missile, which is also presently under development with speed of Mach 7 to boost aerial fast strike capability, is expected to be ready by 2016.
The army and navy versions of the BrahMos missile weigh three tons or more. The missile is also available for exports whosoever is interested in it as long as they are ready to shell out about $2-3 million apiece. The cost depends on the version. The BrahMos has been developed as a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia under BrahMos Aerospace. The missile is named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

Russiia & India Report

India may procure two more AWACS

(IANS) India may procure two more Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony stated this in the Lok Sabha Monday in response to a question from a member who wanted to know if the government had decided to beef up air defence.
Antony said the long-term integrated perspective plan of his ministry envisaged deployment of a mix of large AWACS aircraft and small Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system aircraft.
"While three AWACS already stand operationalized in the Indian Air Force, there is a proposal for procurement of two additional AWACS," he said.
Simultaneously, he added, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was engaged in indigenous development of three AWE&C systems.
The minister said the development of AWACS (India) "is envisaged to be completed in about 84 months from the date of formal sanction".

: Newstrackindia

India upgrading submarine fleet

 India is constantly upgrading its submarine fleet with modern weapons and sensors, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Monday.
 This was done to "ensure that the combat capacity of the country remains at the desire level", he said in a statement in the Lok Sabha.

"The government has approved the submarine programme to adequately augment (the) submarine fleet of the navy," he said.

The minister was asked if the government had signed any agreement with foreign countries regarding procurement of submarines with state-of-the-art technologies.

He said the government signed a contract in 2005 with Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai, to construct six Scorpene class submarines under Project-75.

Mazago Dock Ltd was building these submarines after signing an accord with a French company, he said.


December 17, 2012

US-made Apache choppers will be for the Air Force, says chief N A K Browne

22 Apache helicopters, which are in the process of being acquired from the US, will be for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.

"The Apaches are going to be with us only as it is an ongoing acquisition process," the Air Force chief told Press Trust of India on the sidelines of a 1971 Indo-Pak war anniversary function.

The Defence Ministry had recently allowed the Army to have combat choppers and said that all future acquisitions will be for it.
"The government has decided to let the Army to have its own heavy-duty attack helicopters.

"The decision to vest the future inductions of attack helicopters with the Army has been taken keeping in view the operational requirements in the field," Defence Minister AK Antony had told Parliament.

He had also said that the IAF was procuring 22 AH-64D Block-III Apache helicopters from Boeing Company of USA.

Air Chief Marshal Browne said the Apaches are not just for taking out enemy tanks or for air-to-ground operations but they can be used for multiple tasks such as taking out enemy radar stations and for air-to-air missions.

The Army had said recently that it was planning to send a proposal to the Defence Ministry for seeking transfer of attack helicopters from the Air Force at the earliest.

Sources said the Army had also suggested that the proposal would also include transfer of the Apache helicopters which are being procured.

The IAF and the Army in the recent past have been involved in a battle of sorts for controlling the attack helicopter fleet and the Defence Ministry has decided in favour of the Army.

The Army already has an aviation wing but the Defence Minister has approved a long-pending demand of the 1.3 million-strong force for attack helicopters, overruling stiff opposition from the Air Force.

The Army had been demanding attack helicopters, saying these are mainly used for operations by it.

The IAF had been strongly resisting it, with Air Chief Marshal Browne saying the country cannot afford to have "small air forces".

The IAF is in final stages of completing the acquisition process of 22 Apache choppers from the US after the American machine edged out the Russian Mi-28 Havoc in the tender.


December 15, 2012

US To Deploy Troops, Missiles to Turkey

(RIA Novosti) :  The United States said Friday it will send troops and missiles to its NATO ally Turkey in response to alleged security threats from Syria.
The order for the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 US troops to operate them was signed Friday by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as he travelled to Turkey, a spokesman said.
"We are deploying two Patriot batteries here to Turkey along with the troops that are necessary to man those batteries, so that we can help Turkey have the kind of missile defense it may very well need in dealing with threats that come out of Syria," US media quoted Panetta as saying during a visit to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.
Panetta’s spokesman, George Little, described Turkey as a “very strong ally” of the United States and said the missile and troop deployment would be for “an unspecified period of time.”
"The purpose of this deployment is to signal very strongly that the United States, working closely with our NATO allies, is going to support the defense of Turkey, especially with potential threats emanating from Syria," Little told US reporters travelling with Panetta.
Refugees fleeing the 20-month-old conflict in Syria have poured over the border into Turkey and shells from the fighting have occasionally fallen into Turkish territory, raising concern that the volatile situation in Syria could destabilize areas outside the country’s borders.

France's DCNS to acquire 15% stake in Pipavav Defence for Rs 1,350 crore

French warship maker DCNS will buy close to 15% stake in Nikhil Gandhi-promoted shipbuilder Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering for about Rs 1,350 crore, according to people close to the development.

"DCNS will invest a little more than Rs 1,350 crore to acquire a significant minority stake in Pipavav Defence," one of the persons said. "They had earlier signed a strategic alliance with Pipavav, but have now decided to be a strategic investor. The stake sale will be completed over the next few days." A formal announcement is likely soon.

DCNS, owned by the French government, specialises in building surface combatants, submarines, systems and equipment. The company reported revenues of $3.3 billion last year.

"DCNS recently received in-principle nod from the French government to invest in Pipavav. The deal will be closed by next week," another person involved in the deal said. Pipavav's top executives were not available for comment.


The deal would value the shares of Pipavav at a premium of 30% to their Friday closing price of Rs 92.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, where it ended down 3.28%. The French company's interest in Pipavav is a sign of the growing interest among foreign players to invest in India's defence sector. Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi has expressed interest in acquiring stake in LarsenBSE 0.78 % and Toubro's shipbuilding subsidiary.

In May, Pipavav had sought shareholders' approval to raise up to $200 million (about Rs 1,100 crore) to finance its growth plans for the defence sector.

Earlier this month, the company had formed a joint venture with Mazagon Dock, the country's biggest naval shipyard. Interestingly, Mazagon Dock had said in February that it was manufacturing six SSK Scorpene submarines (P75) under transfer of technology from DCNS.

According to people in the know, DCNS plans to increase its stake in the Indian firm to 26% by next year and bring in three of its executives on the company board once necessary approvals are in place.

Last month, Pipavav had announced a deal with Saab, under which the Sweden-based defence and security company would invest Rs 201 crore for a 3.5% stake.

Public-private partnership in the defence sector was opened last year, and Mazagon Dock was the first off the block. Three others - Cochin Shipyard, Hindustan Shipyard and Garden Reach Shipbuilders - are expected to follow suit.

Pipavav's deal with Mazagon Dock, notified by the defence ministry recently, will help Pipavav execute at least some of Mazagon's order book, which runs into at least Rs 1 lakh crore. Following the notification, insurance company LIC recently increased its stake in Pipavav to 8.74%.

Indian shipyards contribute only 0.1% to the global shipbuilding industry. In contrast, shipyards in China, Japan and South Korea produce more than 75% of the vessels manufactured globally, forcing Indian shipyards to look for orders from the domestic defence sector.

India has about 150 warships in service with its navy and another 75 warships in Coast Guard.

The Economic Times

Manufacturing Details Stall Franco-Indian MMCRA Negotiations

More than 10 months after India chose the French Rafale to meet its $15 billion medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) requirement, contract negotiations are mired in issues related to offsets, the transfer of technology and the role of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). The Press Trust of India quoted industry sources as saying that Dassault has requested from the Indian Ministry of Defence the freedom to decide the proportion of work to be done by HAL, versus private Indian companies. Last February, Dassault signed an MoU with Reliance Industry, India’s largest private-sector company, for collaboration in manufacturing.

At a French parliamentary hearing on December 4, Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne expressed “relative optimism” about the progress of talks. “It’s a complicated country, the negotiations are tough, but there is a desire to wrap up on both sides,” he added. Of the 126 aircraft envisioned, 18 are to be delivered as flyaways and the rest to be manufactured in India, with final assembly by HAL.
An official told AIN that HAL needs to define a partner that will facilitate Tier 2 and 3 suppliers, or assume that responsibility itself. Proponents of HAL say that the government-owned company has far more experience in selecting suppliers for high-technology defense projects than private companies such as Reliance or Tata.
One vendor noted that since India lacks the appropriate level of avionics and engine production capability, “there is no clarity on how value can be added by Indian industry and 50-percent offsets absorbed.” The MMRCA project does not fall within the new and more liberal defense offsets policy that permits them to be sourced from adjacent sectors such as homeland security and commercial aviation.
Elections are looming in 2014, and while reports have indicated the contract could be signed early next year, the government, fearing reprisals from opposition parties, is unlikely to proceed unless matters are ironed out in the next few months. One defense official suggested to AIN that if decisions are deferred beyond the election, the MMRCA requirement might be cut to around 60 aircraft as newer solutions–such as the Indo-Russian fifth-generation fighter aircraft, and unmanned combat air vehicles–become available.

AIN Online

December 13, 2012

Japan sends fighter jets after Chinese plane flies over disputed isles in East China Sea

Japan protested to China on Thursday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, the Japanese foreign ministry said.

The incident prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, the defence ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area.

Sino-Japanese relations took a tumble in September after Japan bought the tiny islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner.

"Despite our repeated warnings, Chinese government ships have entered out territorial waters for three days in an row," Japanese chief Cabinet secretary Osama Fujimura told reporters.

"It is extremely regrettable that, on top of that, an intrusion into our airspace has been committed in this way," he said, adding that Japan had formally protested through diplomatic channels.

A defence ministry spokesman said as far as he knew it was the first time this year that a Chinese plane had intruded into airspace near the islands.

The incident comes just days before a Japanese election that is expected to return to power the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with hawkish former prime minister Shinzo Abe at the helm.

Abe has vowed to take a stern stance in the dispute over the islands, which are near potentially huge maritime gas reserves, and has said that the ruling Democratic Party's mishandling of its diplomacy had emboldened China.

Abe has also promised to boost spending on defence including on the coastguard.

Smaller Asian countries such as the Philippines have also become increasingly worried about Beijing's growing military assertiveness and its claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea. 

   : Times of india

Tata gun, swadeshi bofors are different products: Gun Carriage Factory chief

So unlike misgivings in certain quarters Tata does not pose any threat to us. In fact the new range, he said, would give Indian army a vast choice and is a happy development."
Tata's launch, according to sources, had led to a major upheaval in the GCF where an expert team of 125 personnel had been working round the clock for last two years to come up with a technically superior and upgraded version of their Swedish counterpart.
The project was fast tracked at the behest of the defense ministry and A K Anthony had come down to personally monitor its progress four months ago. So the successful foray by a rival did not sound particularly encouraging, admitted a senior team member. Posturing by the workers union did not help matters, he said. In fact, the union leaders went to the extent of imputing a conspiracy to shut down GCF- one of the oldest defense installations in the country- and prepared to strike work.
The GM lays all these doubts to rest. We have brought out two prototypes and they are undergoing filed trials he said.
The first trial was held on November 30 at the central proof establishment (CPE) Itarsi and the next is slated for third week of this month when we transport the gun to PXE Balasore before finally handing it over to Indian Army.
The timing by Tata SED, he remarked, was a bit intriguing, "because it coincides with our launch and has contributed to some unnecessary confusion". Sure that 155/45 caliber boomer which can strike an object within the range of 40 kilometers, would give all national and international competitors a run for their money, Yadav said, "GCF, don't forget, has 109 years of experience in artillery manufacturing and others including Tata are just entering the field.

Times of India

Army gets attack helicopters as India eyes China threat

The ability of the Indian Armed forces, especially of the Indian Army, to take on China and Pakistan in the icy Himalayan heights will get a new boost soon.

By March 2013, the Indian Army's plan to have an inbuilt air component for each of its 13 Corps (a Corps has approximately 60,000 soldiers) will begin to take shape.

According to a plan drawn up by the Army Aviation Corps, each Corps will have three squadrons (30 helicopters) of various types. The three squadrons will have three distinct roles--reconnaissance and surveillance, attack and utility.
 While the existing fleet of Cheetahs and Chetaks will continue to have the reconnaissance and surveillance roles, the indigenously built light combat helicopter (LCH), christened Rudra, will combine other two tasks.

Currently, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is tasked with manufacturing 60 LCH Rudras. The first 20 helicopters are expected to be inducted into the Army Aviation Corps starting March 2013 after the choppers are put through the mandatory Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) at the Bangalore-based Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).

HAL which has developed the armed helicopters will be responsible for carrying out the certification process.

The Rudra will come armed with a M6-21, 20 MM turret gun, 70 mm rockets, besides anti-tank guided missile as well as air to air missiles.

The first two squadrons of the Rudra will be armed with imported missiles. The subsequent batches of helicopters will be armed with indigenously made missiles.

The Rudra is powered by a new Shakti engine which has been jointly developed by the HAL and French engine manufacturer Turbomeca. The new engine will allow the Rudra to fly at altitudes above 20,000 ft.

The Himalayas along the India-China border and in areas along the Pakistan border at places rise to as much as 20,000 feet and beyond. The newly developed Shakti engines will enable the choppers to fly to these heights with a full weapon pay-load.

The importance of the new machines joining the Indian Armed Forces cannot be over emphasised. The current attack helicopters - Russian made MI-25 and MI-35 helicopters cannot fly beyond 12000 feet.

The Rudra is the armed version of the Advanced light helicopter (ALH) that is already in service. The helicopter has integrated sensors, weapons and Electronic Warfare (WEW) suite. The sensors include Infra- Red Imaging, day and night cameras and a laser ranging and designation device.

The helicopter also has advanced missile, radar and laser tracking warning system.

Besides this, to reduce the load on the pilots it has countermeasures like chaff and fare which are dispensed automatically.

Sources told NDTV that the first 60 helicopters will be inducted into the three Strike Corps of the Indian Army, based respectively in Bhopal, Ambala and Mathura and then in formations deployed along the India-China border both in the North-east and Ladakh.

The final plan of the Indian Army is to have a separate brigade of Aviation Corps with each of the 13 Corps of the Indian Army. Each of these Aviation Brigades are expected to have a squadron dedicated to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance, a separate squadron of armed helicopters and third squadron of Light Utility Helicopters for ferrying people and other duties.


India wants license to produce Iron Dome - report

Israel and India are discussing cooperating in the development of weapons systems. "Defense News" reports from New Delhi that one of the aspects of this trend is India's wish to procure and manufacture the Iron Dome system against short-range missiles.
During a visit to India last week, Ministry of Defense director general Udi Shani discussed with India's Defense Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma the progress of current defense projects by the two countries and plans for potential projects. "Defense News" said that Israeli diplomats in India and Israeli government officials and defense industry sources declined to comment on the report.
The discussions on the Iron Dome system focused on India's wish to procure it on a "buy and build" basis; in other words, to procure the Iron Dome and obtain a license from Israel to manufacture it. An Indian source said that Israel had agreed to sell the system to India, but was hesitant about selling to India the technology needed to manufacture it. The report did not say whether the US would agree to the proposed deal.
Current Israeli-Indian projects include development of a medium-range ballistic missile and development of a long-range ballistic missile at a combined cost of $2 billion. The two countries are also developing a ground-to-ground missile. India media reports say that this is a program of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), but that, in practice, Israel is a partner through three companies: Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), its subsidiary Elta Sytems Ltd., and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., according to sources quoted by "Defense News". Shani and Sharma discussed extending the range of this missile from 1,000 kilometers to 3,000 kilometers.
The list of future projects discussed included a plan to develop aircraft-launched micro-satellites, and plans to develop laser-guided missiles and munitions. According to an Israeli defense source, other possible plans include specialized radar systems, such as an airborne system for Indian-made light combat planes, and a long-range system for tracking ballistic missiles. At this stage, it is not known whether the parties reached a final agreement during Shani's visit about which projects will go ahead.
Shani and Sharma also discusses delays in the joint project to develop a long-range naval missile to protect India Navy ships from aerial attack. The $600 million project, begun in 2005, is still in the testing stage, even though it was supposed to be ready by mid-2012. IAI is the Israeli contractor in this project. The missile was tested in Israel in July. Sources said that the missile would probably be operational in mid-2014.

 Globes , Israel business news

December 12, 2012

Russia, India to Discuss Vikramaditya Delivery at Summit in Delhi

Delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (former Russian Admiral Gorshkov) to India will be discussed at the Russian-Indian summit in Delhi late in Dec 2012, reports Vpk.name referring to RIA Novosti and press service of Sevmash shipyard revamping the ship.

Earlier on, Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Putin would visit Delhi on Dec 24. All issues of the bilateral agenda must be completed before that date.

"The national leadership puts great emphasis upon implementation of this bilateral project. Russian and Indian presidents will meet in Delhi soon. Among priority matters, the leaders will discuss completion of the ship's trials, additional flight and sea tests, and delivery of Vikramaditya to Indian Navy", said Yekaterina Pilikina, press secretary of Sevmash shipyard.

India was supposed to receive the ship on Dec 4, 2012. However, a number of defects were revealed in Sept during sea trial round; in particular, steam boilers of main propulsion plant failed to reach full power. According to initial contract, Russia was supposed to deliver the ship back in 2008. Later on, president of United Shipbuilding Corporation declared it was planned to hand over the ship to India by the end of 2013.

Currently, INS Vikramaditya is moored at Sevmash. The shipyard is working on defective parts of the carrier.

"Sevmash actively got in defect elimination process, now hot works are going on. Program of recovery activities has been agreed with numerous contractors and trial participants, including MiG and Kamov, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief and president of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) Andrei Diachkov who had approved the program", Pilikina said.

She added that the ship would take sea to resume trials early in the summer 2013.


India successfully tests N-capable missile

Bhubaneswar: India on Wednesday carried out a successful test of its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-I missile from a military base in Odisha.
 The intermediate-range ballistic missile, which can strike a target 700 km away, was tested from a facility on Wheeler Island near Dhamra in Bhadrak district, 170 km from here.

The test was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian armed forces as part of a training exercise to ensure preparedness, director of the Integrated Test Range, a senior official MVKV Prasad said.

"The mission was successful," he said.

Scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which developed the missile, witnessed and supervised the test, Prasad added.

IANS / Zeenews

IAF fast expanding, procuring latest machines: Official

Indian Air Force is fast expanding and procuring the latest machines as India is playing an important role in the Geo-politics of the World, a top IAF official said on Tuesday. Making a reference to the rapidly changing threat scenario with the emergence of increased military ambitions of "one of our neighbours" in the Indian Oceanic region, Air Marshal, RK Jolly, Air Oficer, Commanding-in Chief, Southern Air Command said at Sulur, 20 km from Coimbatore, that the SAC played an important role in protecting the Southern Seas and Island territories of Andaman and Nicobar.
When asked to elaborate, Jolly said with strategic installations like Aeronautical, Space and Nuclear plants, SAC has important role to protect and defend the systems.
Jolly, who briefed about the December 18 visit of President, Pranab Mukherjee to grant "Standards" to two IAF squadrons, said in this connection the Air Force base in Sulur would be expanded soon.

For the first time, a Light Air Combat Squadron would be installed at Sulur, maybe by 2016, he said. Similarly, IAF would seek approval from the ministry to establish a squadron in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu and develop infrastructure, Jolly said.
SAC, he said, was entrusted with the defence of air space of the Southern Peninsula and was being steadily upgraded with newer system and aircraft.
In short, the Country's armed forces were always prepared as a deterrent to prevent war and protect the interests of the nation, Jolly said.

IBN Live  / PTI

December 11, 2012

India, Ukraine ink defence cooperation agreement

A broad defence cooperation agreement was among five pacts signed following delegation-level talks between the visiting Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.
With Ukraine having consolidated its military enterprises into bodies under governmental control, on the lines of what Russia did to its military-industrial complex a decade ago, New Delhi feels the path has been smoothened for a more intimate defence relationship.
Instead of dealing with a number of defence enterprises scattered over Ukraine, India will find it easier to conduct focussed negotiations, which could help it get a better deal.
During the Soviet times, Ukraine was home to 30 per cent of the country’s military industrial complex and it is now attempting to modernise its defence industry. In this scenario, India senses it will be able to duplicate its approach towards Russia of moving away from the buyer-seller relationship and going in for an R&D-joint production model such as the pacts with Moscow for Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, Military Transport Aircraft and BrahMos.
Ukraine is already modernising India’s 100-plus fleet of military transport aircraft and has been active in providing engines for naval vessels and military spares.
Ukraine in turn assured India of its support in a bid to join four international export control organisations, including the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. Kiev voluntarily gave up the nuclear weapons arsenal it had inherited from the Soviet Union and its backing to India in this respect is considered important.
The two sides also inked an agreement on exchanging nuclear safety-related information. Ukraine operates 15 reactors of the same type as the ones being put up by Russia at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. As the Ukrainian reactors are a decade or more older, transfer of safety-related expertise would be of help to Indian nuclear engineers.India pressed hard on the visa issue which, it feels, is a major non-tariff barrier. Official don’t know if the fortnight-long wait for business visas is Ukraine’s retaliation for India clamping down on visas to women of a certain age group from Ukraine and Central Asian countries, but the subject was deemed crucial enough for Dr. Singh to mention it to the Ukrainian President.
India feels one reason for the huge trade deficit with Ukraine is visa issuance delays. It made progress with another approach to reduce the imbalance, currently 5:1 in Kiev’s favour, with Ukraine agreeing to Indian investments in the fertilizer sector. 

The Hindu

Russia Delivers Three Upgraded MiG-29 Fighter Jets to India

(RIA Novosti) :  The first three MiG-29UPG fighter jets have been delivered to India under a contract to modernize the fleet of MiG-29 aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF), the MiG aircraft maker said.
“The MiG corporation…has started deliveries of upgraded MiG-29UPG fighter jets to the Indian Air Force,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
“The first three aircraft have been transported to India on board an AN-124 heavy-lift transport plane,” the statement said.
The IAF has awarded the MiG corporation a $900 million contract to upgrade all of its 69 operational MiG-29s.
These upgrades include a new avionics kit, with the N-109 radar being replaced by a Phazatron Zhuk-M radar. The aircraft is also being equipped to enhance beyond-visual-range combat ability and for air-to-air refueling to increase flying time.
The service life of the modernized aircraft has been extended to 40 years.
The first six aircraft are upgraded in Russia while the remaining 63 will be refitted at the HAL facility in India.
In 2007, Russia gave India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) a license to manufacture 120 RD-33 series 3 turbojet engines for the upgrade.
“We are getting ready to carry out the work on the second part of the contract, which stipulates the modernization of the [MiG-29] aircraft in India in close cooperation with the Indian defense industry,” the MiG press service said.

December 10, 2012

Tata Power builds India's first indigenous artillery gun - NewsX

                                                          source : newsxlive

Army to have its own heavy duty attack helicopter fleet

Government has decided to allow the Army to have its own heavy duty attack helicopter fleet, Defence Minister A K Antony said today.

"Yes... the decision to vest the future inductions of attack helicopters with the Army has been taken keeping in view the operational requirements in the field," Antony told Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He was asked if it has been decided to let the Army have its own heavy duty attack chopper fleet.

The Army, which has been demanding control over attack and medium-lift helicopters, was recently allowed by the Defence Ministry to have its own combat chopper fleet.

The force plans to deploy these assets in its three Strike Corps and ten Pivot corps along the western, northern and north eastern borders of the country.

Answering a query on schools run by the Army, he said, "A case for exemption of Army schools from the ambit of Right to Education Act has been received from the Army headquarter and the same is under consideration of the Government."

In reply to another query on DRDO, he said, 11 distinguished scientists are working on extended tenures.

"As per existing provision, scientists and technologists can be given extension in service," he said.

Meanwhile, in reply to a written query on FDI in defence sector, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said, "FDI amounting to Rs 19.89 crore has been received in defence industry sector from January 2001 to September 2012."

He made it clear that the Government was not considering any proposal to further liberalise the investment policy to promote FDI in defence industry.

The economic times

December 8, 2012

Pakistan 'expanding nuclear arsenal to deter US attack'

Pakistan is expanding its nuclear arsenal to deter an American attack on its status as an atomic power, according to India's former foreign secretary.
Asia's triangular arms race has traditionally reflected the rivalries between India and China and India and Pakistan, but according to an influential former adviser to Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, Pakistan now regards the United States as a potential threat.
In an article for The Hindu newspaper, Shyam Saran said Islamabad had invested in a new generation of plutonium-based warheads, increased the size range of its arsenal, and improved the accuracy of its missiles.
Washington has voiced its concerns over the build-up in the region but believes it reflects Pakistan's long-standing fear of arch rival India's conventional force superiority.
But according to Saran, Islamabad's burgeoning nuclear arsenal is increasingly aimed at deterring its fractious ally in the war on terror, the United States. Its fear that Washington may strike to wipe out Pakistan's nuclear capability dates back to just after the 9/11 attacks when then President Musharraf said it had been warned to support the war on terror or face being "bombed back to the stone age."
Despite his acquiescence, relations between the two countries have been strained ever since and reached their lowest point following the 2011 special forces raid which killed Osama bin Laden at his home in the center of Pakistan's main garrison town Abbotabad.
"While the immediate threat to its strategic assets passed, Pakistan's suspicions of US intentions in this regard have now risen to the level of paranoia," Saran said.
His comments follow the latest in a series of missile tests last week when the Pakistan Army confirmed it had fired a nuclear-capable Hatf-V medium range missile capable of hitting Indian cities as far east as Bangalore.
Lieutenant-General Talat Masood, a retired senior Pakistan Army commander and nuclear expert, said Saran's claims had some truth in them. "I would not say it [Pakistan's growing nuclear capability] was meant to counter America – that would be suicidal. But there has always been a fear in Pakistan's strategic community and government, in the recent past, a feeling that America is unfavorably inclined towards our nuclear program and if things got worse it could neutralize our nuclear weapons capability, go after them," he said.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute voiced its concerns about the nuclear weapon build-up earlier this year after India developed a nuclear submarine and Pakistan unveiled a series of short range missiles.
Pakistan is believed to have more nuclear warheads than India – 110 to 100 – and Washington remains concerned about the security of its nuclear bases.

- nydailynews

Space Pacts to put Indo-Russian ties in still higher orbit

India and Russia are expected to take their cooperation in the field of space to a new high later this month and a couple of key new agreements are likely to be signed between the two sides when Vladimir Putin visits India.
A major area of opportunity for the two sides to take their cooperation in the fields of space and science and technology further would be GLONASS. The Russians have recently opened a huge door for India when Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced his country’s willingness to offer India joint participation in development of its GLONASS satellite navigation system on an equal basis. This was the first time when Russia made such an offer to India. “We have offered our Indian counterparts not only use of the GLONASS system but also participation in upgrading it. We practically see it as a joint effort. I think our Indian counterparts will be interested in it,” Rogozin, who has been given special responsibility for Russia's military-industrial complex, went on record as saying.

The Indians are understandably enthused by the Russian large-heartedness. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai alluded to this in his major speech in New Delhi on November 22, 2012 when he said: “Access to the whole spectrum of GLONASS signals by Indian agencies is a major component of the Indo-Russian space cooperation. This is matched by robust cooperation on important projects like Chandrayan 2, the Human Space Flight and YOUTHSAT.”

Importance of GLONASS for India

GLONASS, an acronym for Globalnaya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System, offers India a very important strategic leverage with a vast array of applications in civilian and military spheres. GLONASS, a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces, is a valuable alternative to the US-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS).

In December 2011, India and Russia had signed an agreement for receiving precision signals from GLONASS, which will allow missiles, including those fired from nuclear submarine Chakra, to strike within half a meter of distant targets. GLONASS is the only alternative navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision.

Space is one important sector of Indo-Russian bilateral cooperation where the Indians would be looking forward to working closely with Russia to push some major investment projects during Putin’s upcoming India visit. India is well aware that some Indo-Russian investment episodes in other fields have been mired in controversies and been log-jammed, but the space-related agreements in the pipeline would compensate for glitches in the past.

Russia’s Most Expensive Space Programme

GLONASS is not just a project but also a powerful statement of Indo-Russian synergies. It is the most expensive program of the Russian Federal Space Agency, consuming a third of its budget in 2010. The Russian gesture of inviting India with open arms for this project points to the high orbit the Russians have placed India in.

GLONASS is a Soviet era project that began in 1976. From October 1982 onwards numerous rocket launches added satellites to the system until the ‘constellation’ was completed in 1995. GLONASS achieved 100 percent coverage of Russian territory by 2010. The GLONASS project achieved a major milestone in October 2011 when the full orbital constellation of 24 satellites was restored, enabling full global coverage.

India to Invest Close to $3 Billion in Space by 2017

The expanding Indo-Russian cooperation in space would not have come at a more opportune time as India has a busy calendar for the next five years which would require an investment of almost three billion dollars.

India’s flagship space agency Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has plans to launch its first manned space flight in 2017. The Indians are also eyeing deep space missions to be topped by lunar human landing, possibly by 2020. India’s space budget would be enormous by 2020. The maiden manned space flight of India would ensure that India arrives on the global stage in a big way, having a significant edge over several developed countries.

ISRO’s ambitious programmes include the setting up of several ground facilities like launch pads, the mission control centre, astronaut training centre, all permanent assets on the ground including what goes into the orbit. India and Russia have collaborated on technologies in the space sector which can integrate into platforms that India is developing.

India could not have made such deep forays into space without the Russian cooperation. It was the erstwhile Soviet Union that had launched first Indian satellites - Aryabhatta and Bhaskara from its Baikonur cosmodrome – in the seventies and eighties. Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut, travelled to the Soviet Salyut-7 space station in 1984.

The half a century old Indian space programme is now poised for a major leap as it has seamlessly moved beyond practical applications-based thrust to deeper and technologically far more difficult newer areas like India’s first lunar mission (Chandrayaan-1), navigation and joint ventures in space science. Space and Technology is one of the major arenas where India and Russia share a long standing and successful cooperation. Both the countries actively participate together in many fields of exploration and peaceful uses of outer space. Currently it has many operational agreements in the fields of moon exploration, global navigation system, human space flight and spacecraft building for atmospheric studies.

The Indian sense is that while the Indo-Russian collaborating is on the right trajectory there is scope for further improvement. India needs to play catch up with other countries who are investing heavily in research and development. A major challenge is also how to apply these from the laboratory to the assembly line and use them for the greater public good. In this context, Mathai has paid rich compliments to the Russian scientists by remarking thus: “The great record of Russian science (just recall the extraordinary achievements of the Academicians) makes this a partnership of great value.”
Russia & India Report