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September 21, 2017

Rolls-Royce bets big on gas turbine engine technology with DRDO


British jet engine-maker Rolls-Royce is betting big on developing gas turbine technology in India in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It also planning to introduce the Trent 700 jet engines to India.

“As a gas turbine engine company, naturally we are in constant discussion with DRDO on possible opportunities for technical collaboration in gas turbine technology. The UK government stands fully behind in transferring gas turbine technology to India. It is where we see our long-term future with regard to technology collaborations. We look forward to generating intellectual property in creating gas turbine technology in India,” Glenn Kelly, Vice President Customer Business – Defence, Rolls-Royce India, told BusinessLine.

Kelly said gas turbine engine technology is going to be separately categorised under the Strategic Partnership Policy. Hence, the company is “closely” watching how the policy evolves.

During his visit to India in April, UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon had stated collaboration in new technologies such as gas turbine engines will further strengthen defence ties between India and the UK.

The company is also planning to bring in the new Trent 700 jet engines that power the Airbus A330 tanker aircraft.

“We are planning to bring into India the new Trent 700 engines which will come with the A330 AWACS programme. But for that the Indian Air Force has to first place the order,” Kelly said.

Airbus orders ::

India is planning to place orders worth Rs. 20,000 crore with Airbus to buy six A330 aircraft to mount the indigenously-built Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS).

The Westminster-based firm is also closely tracking the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project, the home-grown fifth generation fighter aircraft.

“Just like all the engine houses, we are closely tracking the AMCA opportunity. This is now at the RFI stage. We naturally hope the RFP will be issued soon. The Indian Air Force wants these indigenous aircraft and it will be their decision on the engine solution whether it is off-the-shelf or indigenous. The RFP will answer these questions,” he added.

Presently, more than 750 Rolls-Royce engines are in operation with the Indian armed forces. Jaguar is powered by Adour Mk811 engines since 1981, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) is powered by Adour Mk871 that trains India’s future pilots. Additionally, the AE 3007 powers Embraer jets on VVIP and surveillance missions and AE 2100 powers the C-130J Hercules.

 thehindubusinessline

September 20, 2017

ISI plans to establish Rohingyas in India


In new window Rohingya refugees are contemplating to shift from Bangladesh to India in the near future and a large scale infiltration of Rohingyas is feared, according to intelligence sources. North East India and West Bengal already have large population of foreign settlers who came from across the borders. Reliable sources claim that radical Islamist groups like Al Qaida, the JuD of Pakistan and several other jihadist groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh have infiltrated into refugee camps as relief workers to draft young Rohingyas for terrorist operations.
Needless to say ISI of Pakistan is actively planning to establish Rohingya in India. They plan to execute “give India thousand cuts to bleed” through terrorist activities. The balance of population in border belts of our eastern and NE states is already tilted against original settlers. There are nearly half a million Rohingya refugees living in mostly makeshift camps inBangladesh. The majority remain unregistered. Bangladesh considers most of those who have crossed its borders and are living outside of camps as having “illegally infiltrated” the country.
Bangladesh has often tried to prevent Rohingya refugees from crossing its border. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), formerly known as the al-Yaqeen Faith Movement, released a statement under its new name in March 2017, saying it was committed to “defend, salvage and protect [the] Rohingya community”. The group said it would do so “with our best capacities as we have the legitimate right under international law to defend ourselves in line with the principle of self defence”.
The group is considered a “terrorist” organisation by the Myanmar government. Incidentally the group has claimed responsibility for an attack on police posts and an army base in Rakhine State, the south western coastal state of Myanmar. According to the government nearly 400 people were killed in bloody clashes. In its March statement, the ARSA added that it “does not associate with any terrorist group across the world” and “does not commit any form of terrorism against any civilian[s] regardless of their religious and ethnic origin”.
The statement also said: “We [.] declare loud and clear that our defensive attacks have only been aimed at the oppressive Burmese regime in accordance with international norms and principles until our demands are fulfilled.” On September 9, the group declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire in Rakhine to enable aid groups to address the humanitarian crisis in the area. As result of strong military action by Myanmar Army exodus of women, children and old people from Rohingya settlements began into Cox’s Bazar -a sea port town of Bangladesh. It is a popular foreign tourist centre.
 According to the International Crisis group, the ARSA has ties to Rohingya living in Saudi Arabia. As Rohingyas speak Bengali, they headed in large number towards Bangladesh. Many had their ancestral roots in that country. Initially, Bangladesh authorities were lenient but with rising number of emigrants from Myanmar, Dhaka chose, in August 2012 itself, to stop all humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslims.
The boat people headed towards Thailand. But, Thailand had kept an eye on the developments of Myanmar and put its navy on guard. Thailand’s navy gave the boat people food and medicines but did not allow them land on its territories.
The Rohingyas turned towards Malaysia thinking that a Muslim majority country would give them shelter. But, Malaysia adopted the same policy as Thailand. Malaysian navy spurned all the moves by the boat people to set feet on its land. Indonesia also did not welcome them. However, in India many intellectuals and vote bank hungry political parties are openly supporting cause of Rohingyas. (Writer VK Gaur is IG BSF (Retd) and has worked on the Bangladesh Border in the North East for several years.

business-standard.
In new window Rohingya refugees are contemplating to shift from Bangladesh to India in the near future and a large scale infiltration of Rohingyas is feared, according to intelligence sources. North East India and West Bengal already have large population of foreign settlers who came from across the borders. Reliable sources claim that radical Islamist groups like Al Qaida, the JuD of Pakistan and several other jihadist groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh have infiltrated into refugee camps as relief workers to draft young Rohingyas for terrorist operations. Needless to say ISI of Pakistan is actively planning to establish Rohingya in India. They plan to execute “give India thousand cuts to bleed” through terrorist activities. The balance of population in border belts of our eastern and NE states is already tilted against original settlers. There are nearly half a million Rohingya refugees living in mostly makeshift camps inBangladesh. The majority remain unregistered. Bangladesh considers most of those who have crossed its borders and are living outside of camps as having “illegally infiltrated” the country. Bangladesh has often tried to prevent Rohingya refugees from crossing its border. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), formerly known as the al-Yaqeen Faith Movement, released a statement under its new name in March 2017, saying it was committed to “defend, salvage and protect [the] Rohingya community”. The group said it would do so “with our best capacities as we have the legitimate right under international law to defend ourselves in line with the principle of self defence”. The group is considered a “terrorist” organisation by the Myanmar government. Incidentally the group has claimed responsibility for an attack on police posts and an army base in Rakhine State, the south western coastal state of Myanmar. According to the government nearly 400 people were killed in bloody clashes. In its March statement, the ARSA added that it “does not associate with any terrorist group across the world” and “does not commit any form of terrorism against any civilian[s] regardless of their religious and ethnic origin”. The statement also said: “We [.] declare loud and clear that our defensive attacks have only been aimed at the oppressive Burmese regime in accordance with international norms and principles until our demands are fulfilled.” On September 9, the group declared a month-long unilateral ceasefire in Rakhine to enable aid groups to address the humanitarian crisis in the area. As result of strong military action by Myanmar Army exodus of women, children and old people from Rohingya settlements began into Cox’s Bazar -a sea port town of Bangladesh. It is a popular foreign tourist centre. According to the International Crisis group, the ARSA has ties to Rohingya living in Saudi Arabia. As Rohingyas speak Bengali, they headed in large number towards Bangladesh. Many had their ancestral roots in that country. Initially, Bangladesh authorities were lenient but with rising number of emigrants from Myanmar, Dhaka chose, in August 2012 itself, to stop all humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslims. The boat people headed towards Thailand. But, Thailand had kept an eye on the developments of Myanmar and put its navy on guard. Thailand’s navy gave the boat people food and medicines but did not allow them land on its territories. The Rohingyas turned towards Malaysia thinking that a Muslim majority country would give them shelter. But, Malaysia adopted the same policy as Thailand. Malaysian navy spurned all the moves by the boat people to set feet on its land. Indonesia also did not welcome them. However, in India many intellectuals and vote bank hungry political parties are openly supporting cause of Rohingyas. (Writer VK Gaur is IG BSF (Retd) and has worked on the Bangladesh Border in the North East for several years. Views expressed in this article are his personal).

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/isi-plans-to-establish-rohingyas-in-india/ .

Why the world is worried about this 'unstoppable' hypersonic Russian missile


Russia is expected to begin serial production of hypersonic missile Tsirkon or Zircon soon. The missile boasts of speed five times than that of speed of sound. Reports say the missile can travel with a speed of upto 4,600 mph or 7,400 km/h, which makes it almost impossible to be stopped.

Countries like the US and Britain, who have most powerful defence forces in the world, are already losing sweat over Russia's new missile defence system.

"State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 in accordance with the contract, and the missile's serial production is planned to be launched next year," a report carried out by Russian news agency TASS said quoting sources.


US, BRITAIN WORRIED

Zircon, which can strike targets as far as 400 km away, is expected to be inducted by the Russia defence forces by 2022. With its enormous speed, Zircon is capable of evading the best anti-missile systems presently in use across the world. A report in The Independent said that UK's Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers would be unable to stop.

The Royal Navy's current Sea Ceptor missile system can only shoot down missiles travelling up to 2,300mph, the report said.
On the other hand, the US Navy is worried that Russia may fit Zircon to its nuclear-powered Kirkov warship.


WHAT MAKES ZIRCON LETHAL

Zircon works on the scramjet technology to attain its hypersonic speeds. The missile uses air pressure for propulsion. A specially designed system pushes air from the atmosphere into the combustion chamber where the air is mixed with the on-board fuel to provide energy.

What makes Zircon lightweight and faster than other missiles is that it doesn't carry oxidizer. There are no fans or turbines to propel it, which essentially means less chances of any mechanical failure.


WHEN WILL INDIA HAVE ITS OWN HYPERSONIC MISSILE

Russia may have taken the lead in developing a hypersonic missile, but India is not far behind. India is developing a second generation BrahMos-II missile is collaboration with Russia. The missile will use the same scramjet technology that Zircon has.

The BrahMos-II is expected to have a range of 600 km. The missile is expected to be ready for testing by 2020.

 indiatoday

Predator C Avenger Drones will forge a bond between India and the US


U.S. manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) president, David Alexander, revealed recently that a foreign nation is interested in buying a “quantity” of 90 Predator C Avenger unmanned aircrafts. The prospect of the U.S. government approving such a sale, perhaps to India, improved when India became the 35th and latest country to gain entry to the Missile Technology Control Regime, a missile non-proliferation pact, in June 2016. More recently, the U.S. and Indian governments have discussed the sale of 22 General Atomics MQ-9B Sea Guardians the Indian Navy seeks for maritime surveillance.

Another role GA-ASI is exploring would see the MQ-9B Sea Guardian participate in manned-unmanned teaming with the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to expand the latter’s anti-submarine warfare capability.

With 40 hours of endurance, the manufacturer argues, the Sea Guardian could provide persistent monitoring of a sonobuoy field and relay signals from the sensors to a ground station or another aircraft. This would complement, not compete against, Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft, which serves more of a force protection function in coordination with the Poseidon, GA-ASI says.

Robert Walker, GA-ASI senior director of strategic development, said that any sale of 90 Avengers is not imminent. “This opportunity is still in the process of being developed and there’s still quite a lot of work that needs to be done to refine and shape the requirements,” he told

 hls

F16 vs Gripen: Which Fighter Jet Will Defence Minister Choose Under Make-in-India?


The entire fleet will have to be replaced with modern aircraft and fast and a deal is in the works to buy 126 aircraft. What needs to be decided is which fighter jet India will buy. The choice is between The F 16 Block 70 produced by American firm Lockheed Martin and the JAS 39 Gripen E by Swedish company Saab.The Indian Air Force (IAF) has so far been largely dependent on Soviet-era aircraft such as MiG 21s and MiG 27s. So bad is the condition of these fighter jets that they have earned the ominous epithet “Flying Coffin” and “Widow-maker”. There have been at least 10 accidents involving MiGs over the last five years.

The entire fleet will have to be replaced with modern aircraft and a deal is in the works to buy 126 aircraft. What needs to be decided is which fighter jet India will buy. The choice is between The F 16 Block 70 produced by American firm Lockheed Martin and the JAS 39 Gripen E by Swedish company Saab.The deal, whoever wins it, will be inked under Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ doctrine. The aircraft will be manufactured on Indian soil. For the Make in India push, Lockheed Martin has tied up with Tata while Saab recently announced a partnership with the Adani Group.

News18 compares the two modern aircraft, one of which will become the mainstay of the IAF in the times to come.

F16: Pros
Perhaps the most battle-proven aircraft in the world, the F16 is currently in use by the air forces of 27 nations around the world. First put to use by the US Air Force in 1976, the F16’s major clients are the United States, its NATO allies and Pakistan. It has a length of 14.8 meters, a wingspan of 9.8 meters, a maximum take-off weight of 16,875 kg, a fuel capacity of 3,175 kg, a payload limit of 7,700 kg and can attain a maximum speed of 2470 km per hour.The fact that the F16 has proven itself in battle over the years certainly means F16 would be the “safer” bet over the Gripen. Besides, Lockheed Martin has offered to sell the F 16 Block 70, the latest variant, to India. This means that in the event of a military confrontation, India would have a technical advantage over its regional rival Pakistan, which continues to use the Block 52.

From a ‘Make in India’ perspective, partnering with Lockheed Martin, the largest producer of defence equipment in the world, certainly has its advantages. The F 16 has a single supply chain, which means that the entire aircraft can be manufactured and assembled at one facility. During war time, aircraft can be produced at a much faster rate. Since the F 16 has a wider market, India would be able to sell not just aircraft but also spare parts to other parts of the world.

 F16: Cons
Increasingly, Indian defense experts have started to worry that Lockheed Martin may be pushing old, obsolete technology on to India. Critics of the F 16 claim that it is an analogue aircraft in a digital age. The Block 70 may be its latest variant but the F 16 itself is over 40 years old and, according to many, leaves little room for modification. Since the F 16 was rolled out in 1976, Lockheed Martin itself has produced newer aircraft such as the F 22 Raptor. While relatively cheaper when compared to the Gripen, it has a higher operating cost and lower life cycle.

The Sensor technology of the F 16 is inferior to that of the Gripen. While the Block 70 may present a technological advantage over Pakistan in the event of an armed confrontation, it presents a strategic disadvantage since the Pakistan Air Force knows the F 16 aircraft better than the IAF and can plan accordingly. F 16s were first commissioned by Pakistan during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to counter both the Soviet Union and India. Since then, it has formed the bulk of the PAF fleet.

Besides, US President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy may come into conflict with Modi’s ‘Make in India’. Washington may not allow Lockheed Martin to collaborate with India in a way that may harm the jobs market in the US.

 Gripen: Pros
Produced by Sweden’s Saab, the Gripen E has a length of 15.2 meters, a wingspan of 8.6 meters, a maximum take-off weight of 16,500 kg, fuel capacity of 3,400 kg, a payload capacity of 5,300 kg and can attain a maximum speed of 2470 km per hour. It is one of the most advanced multi-role fighter jets in the world and is adept in all kinds of missions – air-to-surface, air-to-air and reconnaissance.

It also has one of the most advanced Sensor technologies in the world, which can come in handy in a dogfight or thwarting stealth missions, and a far superior radio communication system when compared to the F 16. Simply put, the Gripen is packed with modern warfare features, including a “digital cockpit” with a 3D screen.

It has a much lower operating cost and higher life cycle. The Gripen lends itself well to modifications and updates, which makes it ideal to replace the obsolete Soviet-era aircraft. Saab has also offered to manufacture a naval variant for India’s aircraft carriers. Currently, only four nations in the world use the Gripen in a major way – Sweden, South Africa, Czech Republic and Hungary. Saab is a much smaller company than Lockheed Martin and hence, it needs the deal more than the American firm. This would give the Indian Government a better hand on the negotiation table.

Gripen: Cons
The difference in scale between Lockheed Martin and Saab is immense. As a company, the Swedish manufacturer is 1/13th the size of its American counterpart. Add to that the fact that the Gripen uses an American engine and it raises doubts over the effectiveness of the Supply chain that Saab hopes to set up in India. Lockheed Martin, on the other hand, can provide a single supply chain.

While the operating cost of the Gripen is less than that of the F 16 Block 70, the ‘per unit’ cost of each aircraft is much higher. Besides, it has not been proven in combat the way the F 16 has. The F 16 has been used extensively in battle and in wargames and a strategic partnership with an American firm may further bolster India-US relations. This is an advantage that Saab may not be able to provide.

 news18
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has so far been largely dependent on MiG 21s and MiG 27s, Soviet-era aircraft. So bad is the condition of the MiG that it has earned the ominous epithet “Flying Coffin” and “Widow-maker”. There have been at least 10 accidents involving the MiG over the last five years. The entire fleet will have to be replaced with modern aircraft and fast and a deal is in the works to buy 126 aircraft. What needs to be decided is which fighter jet India will buy. The choice is between The F 16 Block 70 produced by American firm Lockheed Martin and the JAS 39 Gripen E by Swedish company Saab. The deal, whoever wins it, will be inked under Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ doctrine. The aircraft will be manufactured on Indian soil. For the Make in India push, Lockheed Martin has tied up with Tata while Saab recently announced a partnership with the Adani Group. News18 compares the two modern aircraft, one of which will become the mainstay of the IAF in the times to come. F16: Pros Perhaps the most battle-proven aircraft in the world, the F16 is currently in use by the air forces of 27 nations around the world. First put to use by the US Air Force in 1976, the F16’s major clients are the United States, its NATO allies and Pakistan. It has a length of 14.8 meters, a wingspan of 9.8 meters, a maximum take-off weight of 16,875 kg, a fuel capacity of 3,175 kg, a payload limit of 7,700 kg and can attain a maximum speed of 2470 km per hour. The fact that the F16 has proven itself in battle over the years certainly means F16 would be the “safer” bet over the Gripen. Besides, Lockheed Martin has offered to sell the F 16 Block 70, the latest variant, to India. This means that in the event of a military confrontation, India would have a technical advantage over its regional rival Pakistan, which continues to use the Block 52. From a ‘Make in India’ perspective, partnering with Lockheed Martin, the largest producer of defence equipment in the world, certainly has its advantages. The F 16 has a single supply chain, which means that the entire aircraft can be manufactured and assembled at one facility. During war time, aircraft can be produced at a much faster rate. Since the F 16 has a wider market, India would be able to sell not just aircraft but also spare parts to other parts of the world. F16: Cons Increasingly, Indian defense experts have started to worry that Lockheed Martin may be pushing old, obsolete technology on to India. Critics of the F 16 claim that it is an analogue aircraft in a digital age. The Block 70 may be its latest variant but the F 16 itself is over 40 years old and,

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/f16-vs-gripen-which-fighter-jet-will-nirmala-choose-under-make-in-india/ .

UN reforms should include expansion of permanent or non-permanent members: India


India has extended its support to US President Donald Trump's efforts to reform the UN, saying it should include the expansion of the world body's permanent and non-permanent members to keep pace with the changed times.

Trump, during a discussion on UN reform yesterday, insisted that he had always seen the "great potential" of the organisation but warned that "bureaucracy" was stopping it from realising its potential.

Trump, once a harsh critic of the UN, called for reforms in the body - a view India has been expressing for a long time.

"We have said that the world body should be reformed to keep pace with the changed times including the expansion of its permanent or non-permanent members," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a news conference here.

"We have consistently maintained the same line," he said.

Kumar was referring to the high-level meeting on UN reform which was chaired by Trump. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also attended the meeting.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that Trump supports the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' reform agenda for the UN, and was pleased to join nearly 130 countries to support a big, bold reform to eliminate inefficiency.

In his address, Guterres said, "We are reforming our peace and security architecture to ensure we are stronger in prevention, more agile in mediation, and more effective and cost-effective in peacekeeping operations.

"We are reforming our development system to become much more field-focused, well-coordinated and accountable to better assist countries through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development our contribution to a fair globalisation," he added.

"We need to bring decision-making closer to the people we serve; trust and empower managers; reform cumbersome and costly budgetary procedures; and eliminate duplicative structures," he added. Describing it as a great day, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said this is the beginning of a process.

"There are 193 members of the United Nations. That means there are about 70 Member States out there that have not yet signed the declaration of support for United Nations reform. Our mission leaving here today is to not be satisfied with less than a complete consensus on this reform agenda.

"We are always stronger when we speak with one voice, and the future of this institution is worth the extra mile," Haley said in her address.

economictimes

India’s Home-Grown LCH to Start Live Firing Trial of French Mistral Missiles


MBDA of France also expects to kick-start negotiations with India in the next few days for supplying Mistral ATAM for another armed helicopter - Rudra.
  India’s locally developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) fitted with French-made Mistral air to air missile (ATAM) will undergo live firing trials from the end of this year. The LCH is capable of carrying four Mistrals on each wing which can intercept the target at a range of up to 6.5 kilometers. French defense firm MBDA Missile Systems expects the live firing trial of the approximately 19-kilogram missile system will go as planned.India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had begun production of the LCH last month. The LCH is also equipped with a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket, electro-optical pod, and helmet pointing system. In November last year, Indian defense ministry had approved a fund of approximately $450 million for the procurement of 15 LCHs as a "limited series production" (LSP) order. The light combat helicopter is pegged at around $35 million per unit which is less than half the cost of American AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
Meanwhile, MBDA also expects to kick-start negotiations with India in the next few days for supplying Mistral ATAM for another armed helicopter Rudra. Rudra which is awaiting its most potent weapon since the last four years is capable of carrying two missiles on each wing in comparison to four of LCH. Rudra was handed over to the Indian Army in 2013. The Indian Army plans to deploy a squadron of armed Rudra, consisting of up to 12 Rudra Mk IVs, at Likabali military station in Assam.

sputnik

Russia Pitches Aggressively for MiG-29K $12Bn Indian Deal


Indian Navy had issued a detailed request for information in January this year for 57 multi-role fighter aircraft to which Russian, French, Swedish and American companies had replied with their intent.

With an eye on a big ticket deal involving supply of 57 naval multi-role fighter jet for Indian Navy's aircraft carriers, Russian manufacturer MiG has offered to jointly develop the MiG 29 K fighter jets with an Indian counterpart under the 'Make in India' program with complete transfer of technology. MiG is planning to submit a detailed proposal to the Indian government in this regard soon.

The procurement plan currently is in request for information stage. MiG CEO Ilya Tarasenko has claimed MiG-29K aircraft have serious tactical and technical advantages compared to Boeing’s F/A-18.

“We are considering various options for long-term and perspective cooperation, including those within the framework of the Make in India program. The Indian side has sent an RFI to companies that produce aircraft, which is one of the procedures preceding the official tender. MiG corp. has received such a request, now we are preparing our proposal,” Ilya Tarasenko, MiG CEO told to PTI in a written interview.

Earlier, American Boeing, Swedish SAAB and French Dassault Aviation had also proposed setting up production lines in India for their respective naval fighters — F/A18, Gripen E and Rafale if they were to bag the contract.

“Russia has a strong case for fielding upgraded MiG-29K for the Indian Navy's MRCBF requirement for several reasons. The aircraft is already in Indian Navy service and has a lot of commonality with IAF MiG-29UPG. Rosboronexport is sprucing up support facilities for the MiG-29 family in India. Improving, indigenizing MiG-29K would yield greater operational dividend at lower cost than buying Rafale or F/A-18,” Vijainder K Thakur, former squadron leader of Indian Air Force told Sputnik.
 Presently, 45 Russian-made MiG-29K aircraft are the sole fighters on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. Apart from this, Indian Air Force is also operating more than a hundred fighter jets manufactured by Russian MiG.

“MiG-29K Make-in-India would positively impact the operational effectiveness of both the IAF and IN MiG-29 fleets because of large commonality of equipment. Improving, indigenizing MiG-29K would also serve better the government's Make-in-India initiative, limit inventory and minimize training costs,” Thakur added.

A brand new naval variant equipped with new weapons and sensors, MiG-29K was part of the recent Malabar exercise involving the navies of India, the US and Japan. The US Navy said it was impressed by the power displayed MiG 29 during the exercise.

The intended 57 multi-role fighter jets would be used for air defense, air-to-surface operations, buddy refueling, reconnaissance, and EW missions from Indian Naval aircraft carriers Vikramaditya and IAC-1.

sputniknews

September 19, 2017

India’s chopper fleet to get teeth with air-to-air missiles


Final price negotiations are on for the Indian chopper fleet and the first firing is expected to be conducted on an LCH by the year-end.

The Indian chopper fleet is set to get teeth, with the defence ministry initiating the final process of ordering new missiles for the Rudra. Developers are also planning a live firing of the air-to-air missile on the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) by the year-end.

India presently has two indigenous attack helicopter programs – the Rudra (a weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopter) which joined service in 2013, and a LCH that is under development, and set to be in service with both the Army and Air Force. A total of 78 Rudras have been ordered, with 23 of them already in service.

The Rudra is currently armed with only a forward mounted machine gun and rockets, limiting its operational role in the battlefield. The helicopter will now be equipped with new anti-air missiles that will make it capable of taking down enemy choppers and UAVs.

The Indian Air Force—which is the lead agency for integrating these missiles on the Rudra—has called French missile manufacturer MBDA for final cost negotiations to supply the Mistral missile for the fleet.

“The contract negotiation committee will start in a few days. We had to do work on a few items before, which is now complete. We are fully compliant with the chopper,” Loic Piedevache, Country Head (India) of MBDA, said.

Little has been heard about the Rudra fleet in the past few years, but its presence at the Nalia airbase in Gujarat was revealed during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent visit during which she inspected the helicopter.

The entire Rudra fleet, a majority of which will stay with the Army, will be armed with the Mistral missile. Talks are also on to procure an anti-tank missile for the fleet that will be fitted at a later stage.

The plan to develop a highly agile combat chopper under the LCH program is also set to get a boost with MBDA saying that the helicopter will be undertaking a live firing of the Mistral missile before the end of this year.

The LCH – 179 of which have been ordered – is currently under development and the integration of the Mistral missile will be a major milestone.

The Mistral missile will also be a major milestone for the Rudra. The LCH live firing will take place at the Chandipore testing range by year end and is expected to go smoothly as the Rudra and LCH share many systems including radars and the combat management system.

Besides the Rudra and the LCH, the Army and the Air Force are also getting the Apache attack choppers that are manufactured in the US. Described as the ‘most lethal in the world’, six Apache helicopters were cleared for the army in August, in addition to 22 attack choppers already ordered by the Indian Air Force.

 theprint

US moves closer to designating Pakistan a terrorist state


Highlights
  • Islamabad readies tit-for-tat measures, may block access for Nato supplies to Afghanistan.
  • Pakistan has also warned that it will not buy any more F-16s from the US.
  • The Trump administration has indicated it has more weapons up its sleeve.
Pakistan has indicated it might go for broke against the United States with ties between the two countries reaching a new low.

Enraged at being called out by President Trump for nurturing terrorist groups, Islamabad is said to have devised a ''three-option toughest diplomatic policy,'' including an extreme case scenario where it will block access for US and Nato military supplies to land-locked Afghanistan.

Actions prior to this will include, according to the Pakistani media, limiting diplomatic relations with US and reducing mutual cooperation on terrorism-related issues and non-cooperation in US strategy for Afghanistan.

Pakistan has also warned that it will not buy any more F-16s from the US, and will lean towards China in the future.
Small problem for Pakistan: Washington is not about to blink.

After giving Pakistan a taste of the kind of financial vulnerability it is under by banning operations in the US of Habib Bank, the country's leading financial institution, for regulatory violations, the Trump administration has indicated it has more weapons up its sleeve.

Among them: Stripping Pakistan of the status of a non-Nato ally, cutting off all aid, imposing travel ban on suspected ISI personnel in the US operating undercover, and finally, formal designation of Pakistan as a terrorist state.

Withdrawal of non-Nato ally status and designating it a terrorist state would limit weapons sales and probably affect billions of dollars in IMF and World Bank loans, along with access to global finance, the Financial Times reported over the weekend.

Pakistan partisans in the US have long argued that the country is ''too big to fail'' and applying too much pressure on it will push it into China's arms, but the Trump administration appears to have reckoned that the country is already firmly in the Chinese camp, and Beijing can do little to stave off a financial meltdown if Washington decides to put the squeeze on a country whose elites have greater affinity for London and New York than for Beijing.

Talk of a western visa ban terrifies Pakistani military and political elites such as General Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif who own prime property and camp out in the west whenever things get too hot at home.

Pakistan bravado in threatening to cut off US access to Afghanistan came ahead of a possible meeting of its new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with vice-president Mike Pence in New York on sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

President Trump appears to have little time or patience with a country whose proliferation activities are being recalled again following North Korea's aggravations in the nuclear and ballistic missile sphere.

Even the State Department, whose bureaucrats have long advocated a cautious line on Pakistan fearing its collapse and a "loose nukes" scenario appear to have fallen in line with the White House's get-tough policy stemming from Islamabad's continuing perfidy regarding using terrorism as a policy instrument.

''Some who recall being beguiled by late nights spent with military and civilian leaders over Johnnie Walker Blue Label — the expensive whisky beloved by Pakistan's elite in the officially dry country — say even forceful private conversations regularly disappoint,'' the FT noted in a report, quoting James Dobbins, special envoy in 2013-14 saying, ''It's very difficult to deal with an interlocutor who says he agrees with you but actually doesn't.''

On Pakistani television, some talking heads and anchors are now discussing the imminent collapse of the country's economy if US puts the squeeze in Islamabad.

Pakistanis are also stunned that many reports now rank Bangladesh, which broke away from Pakistan in 1971, ahead of it in several economic metrics, including exports and foreign exchange reserves. But the country's hardline nationalists and fantasists believe China, and perhaps even Russia, will come to its rescue.

 timesofindia

New Fighter Deal: Picking up Pace, and Cronies


BOTH the horses in the race for India’s impending acquisition of single-engined fighter aircraft have now been officially identified, with the deal to be struck under the new “strategic partnership” route incorporated into the Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) 2016. The competitors are Lockheed Martin of the US in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems for the F-16 Block 70/72, and Saab of Sweden in partnership with the Adani Group for the JAS-39 Gripen E, the latter MoU having been signed just during the past fortnight. The deal and its modalities raise a host of troubling questions.


CRONYISM

Under the “strategic partnership” framework, aimed at promoting a major role for the private sector in defence manufacturing in India, foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of high-technology military platforms will link up with identified Indian partners to make, in particular, submarines, fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers or tanks. The new Chapter VI inserted into the DPP enunciating this approach says that the ministry of defence (MoD) will short-list potential Indian private sector entities for strategic partnerships in each of these categories who could then tie-up with foreign OEMs.

This short-listing of Indian firms is supposed to be based on financial strength, infrastructure, technical capability, vendor or sub-contractor network, and other such qualifications. But it would be obvious that the process leaves the door open for all manner of subjectivity, influence-peddling, cronyism or worse. This is underscored by the fighter deal.

No detailed information is available in the public domain about any short-lists that might have been prepared for the identified six categories of military hardware, nor about the process involved. How the Adani Group qualifies for being “strategic partners” for manufacturing fighters or any other advanced military aviation platform remains a total mystery. The Adani Group has absolutely no background in aerospace, and very little in any kind of manufacturing. When queried about this aspect, Adani spokespersons asserted that the group’s financial base and their record of handling large projects are sufficient qualification, and even referred to large business conglomerates in India entering into electricity distribution without prior background!

The Lockheed Martin-Tata collaboration for the F-16s is, of course, a formidable rival. Being an American product, the deal has powerful political backing in both the US and in India. While there were initial concerns about US President Donald Trump’s push for manufacturing within the US as opposed to outsourcing or manufacturing abroad, Lockheed has repeatedly expressed its willingness to shift its soon-to-close F-16 production line to India. Lockheed claims the Indian deal would still support several thousand jobs in the US due to manufacture of components and sub-assemblies. India’s clear political leaning towards the US, its desire to cultivate a deeper defence relationship with the latter, and its recent acquisitions of a wide variety of US military platforms making it one of India’s largest defence equipment supplier, are all factors weighing heavily in favour of the US firm. The F-16 is also the world’s most widely used fighter, tested and proved in a variety of environments. However, the F-16 is an almost 40 year old platform virtually at the end of its upgrade potential

On the other hand, by all accounts, Saab’s Gripen is a superb aircraft at the beginning of its design cycle, with potential for many upgrades and versions. Yet Saab must be feeling intense pressure from its US competitor, and must have decided that it needed something special to give it an edge. The well-known proximity of the Adani Group to the present government at the highest level of its political leadership provide Saab with that X-factor it needs to compete with its US rival. What else can explain the selection by Saab of the Adani Group, with no experience or capability in aircraft manufacturing, as its strategic partner for the Gripen offer? And what else but cronyism can explain short-listing of the Adani Group by the MoD under the “strategic partnership” framework?

This framework and the way it is structured paves the way for unprecedented cronyism in defence acquisitions in India. The single-engine fighter deal is expected to be worth around Rs 60,000 crores and, going by part experience, may well end up being worth a lot more. Since even the present offset regime would involve 50 per cent of the acquisition value being spent within India, the assumption must be that under “strategic partnership” the Indian partner and its Indian vendors would earn substantially more than Rs 30,000 crores from this deal. What a wonderful thing it must be to have such a plum offering landing in your lap without having done anything to earn or deserve it! Cronyism doesn’t get better than this!


WHAT WILL “STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP” ACHIEVE?

Be that as it may, what is the “strategic partnership” expected to achieve, besides delivering the contracted aircraft? In theory, the “strategic partnership” model is looking to set up and promote a whole manufacturing eco-system of component manufacturers, vendors, assemblers and finally system integrators for each category of military hardware, all in the private sector in India which, at present, has hardly any experience in these fields especially in aircraft. In the long run, the scheme aims to build indigenous capability to fully develop and make its own platforms.

A modern aircraft is a very complex machine, which means a large number of companies in India will have to learn a great deal and set up facilities from scratch. With the best of intentions, setting up such an eco-system for the F-16 or the Gripen will take several years. But the total production is likely to be only around 120 or 200 aircraft at the most. The IAF will also look for delivery in a short time span. There is great likelihood that, while the first few batches of aircraft deliveries will be off-the-shelf from the OEM and the next few batches would be assembled in India, only a fraction of the aircraft would actually be manufactured in India. With such a relatively small production run in a limited time, the learning curve for domestic industry will be very steep indeed.

A Lockheed representative described the possible process of technology transfer for F-16s in India as “crawl, walk, run,” with the “run” phase being a short sprint before the targeted production is completed. The “strategic partnership” could then end up just a shade better than an India-based assembly plant. Lockheed had set up such a facility for the F-16 in Turkey in earlier times, where the aircraft were made for the Turkish and Egyptian airlines. But this will not lead to Indian firms acquiring sufficient know-how to design subsequent upgrades or new platforms.

Saab has promised a more thoroughgoing transfer of technology, including “full system control” and “full software control” covering the source codes as well. Saab says it will not only set up a manufacturing base here for the Gripen but also help in the development of aerospace capability that will stand India in good stead over the long haul, and would also assist in developing the next version of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), being developed and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency.

Brazil had initially sought the Rafale, like India, but finally decided on the Gripen mainly on grounds of cost. Perhaps the lighter Gripen was also adequate to fulfill the role expected for its fighter aircraft fleet in Brazil’s specific military environment. Most reports testify to an effective technology transfer programme being run by Saab in Brazil since the order, and suggest that Brazil, which has successfully built a highly rated civilian aircraft industry with its Embraer series of passenger aircraft, is making strides to develop its capabilities in military platforms as well.


MANY QUESTIONS LEFT HANGING

Apart from the choice India makes between the F-16 and the Gripen, many serious questions continue to hang over the overall defence procurement procedure and the new “strategic partnership” model.

Foremost is the issue of transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the new defence procurement system itself, which was supposedly developed and put in place to eliminate subjectivity and corruption, and promote long-term goals of the defence forces and the capabilities of the indigenous industrial base. The medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) acquisition process was among the first big-ticket orders under this new system. The sudden decision to scale down the initial requirement for 126 medium-weight Rafale aircraft to a mere 36, followed by the abrupt decision to acquire a large number of light-weight single-engine fighters, raises huge and uncomfortable questions about the integrity of the decision-making process, the rationale behind the choices made, and the relative weightage given to the different key players namely the user military service, the bureaucracy and the political leadership.

The requirement for the MMRCA was framed after thorough assessment of the requirement of the Air Force given its current and foreseeable fleet strength, and the strategic environment. Specifically, light-weight or single-engined fighters were excluded as not required, and the F-16, Gripen and MiG-35 were therefore removed from contention. Offers were invited, a short-list was formed, and extensive field trials were conducted of the two contenders, the Eurofighter and the Rafale, along with assessment of the costs involved in each case, after which the Rafale was chosen. Only for the decision to be abruptly and radically changed, the order scaled down ostensibly on grounds of cost, and the type of aircraft needed revised without any reason given. It is not clear if the Air Force is fully on board with this new decision.

With the numbers of the heavy Su-30 MkI available being low due to problems with spares and serviceability, and the Rafale order being scaled down, the IAF will now be equipped with a large fleet of light interceptors possibly depleting the strike capability of the IAF fleet. The indigenous Tejas LCA was expected to fulfill more or less the same role that the F-16 or Gripen would now be expected to play. The regrettable insistence by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) that it would not be able to make and deliver more than a very low 12 aircraft per year may have played a role in prompting this decision. But a special effort at augmenting the production, and building a component manufacturing eco-system, could have been an alternative solution, but was it considered? The question remains: who took these decisions, how and why?

Is “strategic partnership” really a way out or will it perpetuate dependence on foreign players? Build an indigenous military aircraft industry based on domestic private sector players with little experience and capability runs many risks. Expensive manufacturing facilities set up for just limited numbers of one specific aircraft would have only a short life span. This would inevitably put pressure on the government to somehow help sustain it after expiry of the first order, thus creating a vested interest in serial production of platforms irrespective of actual need, and with continued dependence on foreign OEMs. Finally, why are defence PSUs excluded from the scheme of things, and why should building up their already considerable capability and experience not be an important goal?

The new raksha mantri will face several stern tests when she oversees the final decision on the acquisition of single-engine fighters and the unfolding of the private-sector focused “strategic partnership” model.

 peoplesdemocracy

'India open to 100 per cent FDI in defence with full tech transfer'


India is open to 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence if firms are willing to provide full technology transfer, a top Indian defence official has said as India and the US are set to enter a critical phase of co-development and co-production.

India's Secretary of Defence Production, Ashok Gupta, said this during an interaction with US corporate sector here last week that was organised by US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and attended among others by representatives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE systems, Honeywell and AECOM.

Sharing the contours of the US-India defence partnership, Gupta said, "The government of India would be open to consider 100 per cent FDI in defence, should the company be willing to provide full technology transfer," according to a media release issued by USISPF.

During the discussion, representatives of industry raised concerns, such as trade-offs between the L1 model (lowest price) versus technology transfer and, overall best value and the capability that India was looking to buy and develop.

Executives from the US defence industry also complimented India on the progress that has been made under the 'Make in India' campaign, the statement said.

Mukesh Aghi, president of USISPF, spoke about the importance of dialogues where both sides can have a frank exchange, adding that, "collaboration between India and the US on defence and technology transfer are critical."

In his presentation, Gupta outlined the criteria by which US original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can participate in the Indian defence market.

He also discussed the standards that the government will use for the selection of the OEMs. In addition, he spoke about the role that Indian public sector units (PSUs) in the defense industry will play in the 'Make in India' programme.

economictimes

September 18, 2017

India’s First Scorpene Submarine to Join Naval Fleet from Next Month


The 1565-ton Scorpene class submarine is a critical asset in a war like situation with Pakistan as the shallow Arabian Sea does not provide required depth to the larger boats like the Kilo-class, or the six nuclear-powered attack submarines that India plans to build.
New Delhi (Sputnik) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be handing over India’s first locally built Submarine – christened INS Kalvari — to the Indian Navy next month. The much-awaited diesel-electric Scorpene class submarine is the first of the six such submarines being built at Indian shipyard with the technical support of French naval shipbuilding firm Naval Group, earlier known as DCNS. The submarine would be sent to the Indian Ocean on operational deployment soon after it is handed over to the Indian Navy. However, it would be some time before the vessel is fitted with torpedoes – its primary weapon.
The boat was scheduled to serve the Indian Navy from 2012; seven years after signing of the deal. However, the Indian firm MDL’s ineptness in absorbing the technology transferred by Naval Group delayed the project by five years, according to sources.INS Kalvari would be the 15th boat to joint Indian Navy’s submarine fleet in the Indian Ocean. However, Indian Navy requires at least 24 submarines in the Indian Ocean region to maintain its superiority over Bangladesh and Pakistan who are poised to soon deploy additional submarines sourced from China. Out of the 14 Indian submarines already present in the Indian Ocean, 13 are conventional boats that are 17-31 years old and need an immediate upgrade. Moreover, the entire fleet is not battle-ready so deploying all of them at a time for war would not be possible for India. The second locally built Scorpene class submarine named INS Khanderi is undergoing sea trials and would only be available to the Indian Navy next year.
Meanwhile, INS Kalvari will set sail without its primary weapon torpedoes because the $200 million tender to buy them remains in limbo. The Indian government had to roll back its initial plan of purchasing 98 Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes from WASS as its sister company AugustaWestland faces corruption charges relating to the infamous VVIP chopper scam in India.
In 2012, Indian defense ministry had approved procurement of 198 ships and submarines by 2027, out of which 40 ships and submarines are being constructed at different Indian shipyards. The present fleet available with the Navy includes 121 ships, 14 submarines, and 232 aircraft.

sputnik

September 16, 2017

India’s OFB expects IA order for 700 T-90S tanks in 2018


India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) expects to receive an order in early 2018 to licence-build a total of 700 T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army (IA) by 2022, R K Khanna, the OFB’s director general, told Jane’s on 15 September at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017 exhibition in London.

The order will provide the IA with enough tanks to equip two new regiments and replace the retired T-55 MBTs. The move will also allow the OFB to increase its production share of the tank to 96% by manufacturing most of the electronics and mission systems, said Khanna, adding that a few essential elements will remain with external suppliers for the time being.

The OFB has completed a technology transfer from Russia for the tank, which is designated the Bhishma in Indian service, and is already capable of manufacturing 74% of it without external assistance.

The order, which is expected to be placed in April next year, will require a maximum capacity effort to produce 140 tanks a year and meet the completion date in 2022, Khanna added.

Plans are also afoot for the ‘Bhishma 2’, which is a comprehensive upgrade programme proposed for the T-90S and also forms part of the 700 platform order. The upgrade will include the installation of a new panoramic sight and fire-control system for the tank commander, along with the installation of a completely digital architecture to ensure that the tank can be upgraded in the future.

 janes

HAL hopes to get new orders soon





A team of elected representatives and the secretary of the HAL Workers Association met defence minister Nirmala Seetaraman and minister for state for defence Subhash Bhamre to request for new projects for HAL Nashik division and to discuss the current situation.



MP Hemant Godse and HAL Workers Association secretary Anil Mandalik also met production secretary (defence) Ashok Kumar Gupta and additional production secretary (defence) Surin Rajan and requested for order for the fifth generation fighter aircraft for the Nashik unit and also additional work of Sukhoi 30. "Our representatives assured the minister that HAL Nashik division has the capacity to fulfil any goal," said an official of the company.

Bhamre said very soon a positive decision will be taken and HAL Nashik will not face shortage of work.

 timesofindia

September 15, 2017

India’s Rudras Back In Sight, Still Awaiting Missiles


(Shiv Aroor) : India’s HAL Rudra armed helicopters have had an unusually low profile since they entered service four years ago. Handed over to the Indian Army with great fanfare in 2013, they’ve melted quietly into operational service, never really showing themselves again since. Which is why, it was a pleasant surprise when a Rudra popped up in photographs of India’s new defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on a visit to the IAF’s Naliya air force base in western India. The minister, accompanied by Army chief General Bipin Rawat was specifically given a 15-minute tour of the Rudra by an Army Aviation Corps. pilot apparently in keeping with her professed focus on modernisation with a focus on indigenous products.
 HAL’s Rudra, a weaponised and hunt-focused Mk.4 version of the trusty Dhruv, is still settling in with its primary customer — the Indian Army signed on earlier this month for 18 more, taking the total size of its intended fleet to 78 aircraft. The Army currently 23 Rudras across three operational squadrons, with plans to raise four more squadrons. A further 21 airframes are currently under test at HAL Bengaluru. HAL will produce a total of 34 more Rudras to complete the Army’s current confirmed order book of 78. More from Defence Minister Sitharaman’s tour of a Rudra at AFS Naliya:
 While the Army is largely pleased with the Rudra, save some niggles being sorted out with HAL, a serious unresolved flashpoint between the Indian Army and the copter remains its lack of an anti-tank guided missile. India continues to stall on a decision to award a contract for 124 launchers and 1,362 missiles to either MBDA or Rafael Defence for the PARS L3 or Spike ER respectively. The indigenous HELINA ATGM is still at least two years away from proving itself on the Rudra’s launchers. Livefist can confirm that Minister Sitharaman has been brought up to speed on the Rudra’s pecular ‘armed-but-weaponless’ situation and moving forward on a decision will be one of the things on her table soon.

Official HAL literature on the Rudra details the platform thus:
The Rudra can deploy 48 70mm rockets at standoff ranges of more than 8 km, a turret mounted 20 mm cannon cued to its electro optical payload or the pilot’s helmet mounted cuing system. This provides Rudra immediate and accurate firepower against ground and aerial targets. Pilot only has to look at the target and fire. With an advanced ballistic computer, the guns are very accurate even at extreme angles. Fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles with 7-km range make Rudra an ideal platform for ground support roles. Rudra can carry four air to air missiles. These are infra red guided fire and forget missiles with off axis boresight capability. Pilot can engage the target using the helmet mounted sight or with the electro optical pod, while manoeuvering. State of the art sensors complement this tremendous firepower. Gyrostabilised electro optical sensors work on both visual and IR spectrum. Any type of target will be picked up and tracked at large distances, whether by day or by night. These targets can be handed over to the guided missiles or attacked with rockets and gun. The laser designator can designate the target for any compatible weapon. A comprehensive self protection suite would empower the pilot with essential situational awareness of the elctromagnetic and laser environment.
 

India Conducts First Live Fire Exercise of Homegrown BVR Air to Air Missile


The 3.8 meter long Astra Mark-1 is a single-stage, solid-propellant missile that can hit a target at a range of 75 kilometers with a speed of more than four times the speed of sound at Mach 4.5. Its advanced version is expected to match the caliber of the French Meteor BVRAAM.
 India has successfully conducted the first live fire trial of its home-grown beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) — Astra in the Bay of Bengal. Sources told Sputnik that this is the first in the series of at least eight trials before it is approved to be inducted into service by the end of 2017.
The missile was fired from a Su-30MKI fighter jet targeting a pilotless target aircraft (PTA), the Banshee. This was carried out to revalidate the newly developed indigenous missile seeker and its accuracy capability. The seeker helps in firing the missile from beyond visual range, tracking and then locking onto the target.
"The exercise was conducted in a war-like scenario and the missile was fired on an actual target," said a defense official.

Astra, developed by the state-owned Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) is India's first locally developed BVRAAM. The Indian Air Force's fighter aircraft are currently equipped with Russian, French and Israeli BVR missiles.
Sources told Sputnik that the homegrown BVRAAM would be fitted on to the locally developed fighter jet Tejas. Meanwhile, DRDO has started work on the longer range version of the missile that is to be named Astra Mk-2 that can hit targets up to 100 kilometers. The advanced version is expected to match the caliber of the French Meteor BVRAAM.
The Indian Air Force has already placed an initial order for 50 Astra MK-1 which will be followed by a bulk order for all its fighter aircraft. Last month India's state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) inaugurated a special production facility near the southern city of Hyderabad to manufacture the initial batch of Astra Mk1.

 sputniknews

IAF delivers relief for Rohingyas in Bangladesh, more sorties planned



A C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Thursday delivered around 55 tonnes of relief material for Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh, officials said.
IAF officials said one more C-17, a large strategic heavy-lift cargo aircraft, was scheduled to airlift additional relief material to Bangladesh on Friday.
The C-17 Globemaster was positioned at short notice at Delhi on Wednesday and loaded overnight with daily necessities like rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, ready-to-eat meals, mosquito nets, and other material to ferry to Chittagong.
The aircraft departed early Thursday morning from Delhi and delivered the consignment at Chittagong around 12.45 p.m. to help Bangladesh deal with an influx of lakhs of Rohingyas who have taken refuge there.
The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments under 'Operation Insaniyat' of the Indian government.

businessstandard

September 14, 2017

Why $7.8 Billion Submarine Deal Is Tough For India And Japan


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds his 10th summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, underscoring the importance of strategic ties between the countries as the two face an increasingly assertive China. Supplying submarine technology would lock Japan and India into an even tighter defense relationship for years to come.

Despite the close relationship between the two right-leaning nationalist leaders, Japan is hesitant to plunge into negotiations on submarine exports.

Japan is among the countries India contacted for information about cooperating on its plans for six diesel submarines to add to the underwater fleet it is seeking to build to counter that of China, in a project worth about 50,000 crore rupees ($7.8 billion). The two governments held their first round of talks on overall defense technology cooperation last week, but are not currently in negotiations on the submarine project, according to a Japanese foreign ministry official who asked not to be named.

In India, an official from the Ministry of Defence who asked not to be named citing rules, said the process for submarine procurement had just been initiated with the Japanese submarine builder. It will be a long, drawn process, said another Ministry of Defence official.

Indian Navy spokesman D. K. Sharma said he had no comment on the matter.

While the Japanese government is not ruling out a deal, here are some reasons why it probably won't be the front runner.

Price Tag

Japan only loosened its decades-old self-imposed ban on defense exports in 2014. The exclusively domestic focus of the industry has kept it small in scale, resulting in higher costs, which are off-putting for India. The two countries have, for example, been negotiating a possible sale of ShinMaywa's US-2 amphibious aircraft for years, but have so far failed to agree on a price.

The roughly $12 billion yen ($109 million) per plane price tag, depending on specifications, is one of the key sticking points, according to the Japanese foreign ministry official. He added that the talks would take some time.

Make in India

PM Modi's campaign to have more high-tech goods made on Indian soil will make any submarine deal more difficult. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, the two firms that build Japan's submarines, will be concerned about whether they can maintain quality, according to Abhijit Singh, a former naval officer who is now at New Delhi's Observer Research Foundation.

"That doesn't work because if Indians build it and something goes wrong then the Japanese reputation takes a knock," Singh said in an interview. Both companies declined to comment on the matter.

Japanese Reluctance

"There is still some hesitancy in the political-defense community of Japan," over loosening restrictions on defense exports, said Hiroshi Hirabayashi, a former Japanese ambassador to India, who now serves as president of the Japan-India Association. In line with its pacifist constitution, Japan until recently treated the U.S. as virtually the only exception to the ban.

Singh noted that Japan remained "secretive" about its submarine technology, which is among the most sensitive for any government.

Submarine Suitability

Japan's Soryu submarine is far larger than the model India is seeking. "It's too sophisticated for India's needs and Japan knows this," former naval officer Singh said. That would mean a re-design, which adds a fresh element of risk to a complex process.

India has widened its search for the right submarine, said K.V. Kuber, a New Delhi-based independent defense analyst who has been on several government-appointed panels on military procurement.

"The choice was always between DCNS (renamed as Naval Group) and HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft)," Kuber said. "I now see the options have included the traditional Russians, Spain's Navantia, and a new entrant in this game, Mitsubushi Kawasaki, along with Sweden's Kockums." The process has the "fundamental strength of letting the choice of the platform and the potential vendors be determined by the market forces."

ndtv
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds his 10th summit with India’s leader Narendra Modi on Thursday (Sept 14), underscoring the importance of strategic ties between the countries as the two face an increasingly assertive China. Supplying submarine technology would lock Japan and India into an even tighter defence relationship for years to come. Despite the close relationship between the two right-leaning nationalist leaders, Japan is hesitant to plunge into negotiations on submarine exports. A bid to supply Australia with an adapted version of its Soryu subs failed last year, despite the deepening security ties between the two nations. Japan is among the countries India contacted for information about cooperating on its plans for six diesel submarines to add to the underwater fleet it is seeking to build to counter that of China, in a project worth about 500 billion rupees (S$10.54 billion). The two governments held their first round of talks on overall defence technology cooperation last week, but are not currently in negotiations on the submarine project, according to a Japanese foreign ministry official who asked not to be named. In India, an official from the Ministry of Defence who asked not to be named citing rules, said the process for submarine procurement had just been initiated with the Japanese submarine builder. It will be a long, drawn process, said another Ministry of Defence official. Indian Navy spokesman D. K. Sharma said he had no comment on the matter. While the Japanese government is not ruling out a deal, here are some reasons why it probably won’t be the front runner. Japan only loosened its decades-old self-imposed ban on defence exports in 2014. The exclusively domestic focus of the industry has kept it small in scale, resulting in higher costs, which are off-putting for India. The two countries have, for example, been negotiating a possible sale of ShinMaywa’s US-2 amphibious aircraft for years, but have so far failed to agree on a price. The roughly 12 billion yen (US$109 million) per plane price tag, depending on specifications, is one of the key sticking points, according to the Japanese foreign ministry official. He added that the talks would take some time. Modi’s campaign to have more high-tech goods made on Indian soil will make any submarine deal more difficult. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, the two firms that build Japan’s submarines, will be concerned about whether they can maintain quality, according to Abhijit Singh, a former naval officer who is now at New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation. “That doesn’t work because if Indians build it and something goes wrong then the Japanese reputation takes a knock,” Singh said in an interview. Both companies declined to comment on the matter. “There is still some hesitancy in the political-defence community of Japan,” over loosening restrictions on defence exports, said Hiroshi Hirabayashi, a former Japanese ambassador to India, who now serves as president of the Japan-India Association. In line with its Pacifist Constitution, Japan until recently treated the US as virtually the only exception to the ban. Singh noted that Japan remained “secretive” about its submarine technology, which is among the most sensitive for any government. Submarine Suitability Japan’s Soryu submarine is far larger than the model India is seeking. “It’s too sophisticated for India’s needs and Japan knows this,” former naval officer Singh said. That would mean a re-design, which adds a fresh element of risk to a complex process. India has widened its search for the right submarine, said K.V. Kuber, a New Delhi-based independent defence analyst who has been on several government-appointed panels on military procurement. “The choice was always between DCNS (renamed as Naval Group) and HDW (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft),” Kuber said. “I now see the options have included the traditional Russians, Spain’s Navantia, and a new entrant in this game, Mitsubushi Kawasaki, along with Sweden’s Kockums.” The process has the “fundamental strength of letting the choice of the platform and the potential vendors be determined by the market forces.”

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/abe-modi-bromance-may-not-overcome-hurdles-to-soryu-submarine-sale-to-india/ .

US to push F-16 jets during Defence Secretary’s visit this month


The US is expected to once again urge India to buy F-16 fighter planes during the visit of the US Secretary of Defence James Mattis this month-end. During the visit, both sides are expected to boost defence ties, with India vowing to sign the remaining two foundational defence pacts.

Mattis’ visit to India, from September 25- 26, comes at a time when there is renewed pressure from the Trump administration to bolster defence trade under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) by procuring more weaponry from America.

“Pushing the F-16 deal is definitely on top of his (Mattis’) agenda. This is his first visit to India as Defence Secretary and he will make the most of it,” an official told BusinessLine.

Last October, India had issued a request for information (RFI) for a new single-engine fighter jet to the US, Sweden and Russia.

The Defence Ministry is expected to issue a new RFI soon, factoring in the introduction of the Strategic Partnership (SP) Policy. Ever since the US Air Force stopped buying the F-16 fighter planes in 1999, production of the fighter jets had been steadily declining.

However, the company has committed that it will offer the Indian Air Force (IAF) the most upgraded version of the warplanes – F-16 Block 70 – the production line of which will be established in India in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. while shutting down its assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.

With a depleting squadron, IAF is in dire need of fighters that have a proven track record.

Apart from F-16, the only other contender eyeing this multi-billion dollar deal is Sweden’s SAAB with its swanky new Gripen E, which had its maiden flight on June 15 this year.

However, many within the government, especially in the Defence Ministry, are of the opinion that India will become a clearance ground for the F-16 planes that have become obsolete. But F-16 comes with a proven track record compared with Gripen E.


Foundational Agreements ::

Out of the three American defence foundational agreements, India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in August last year to enhance operational capacity of the Indian armed forces.

However, India has since then been shying away from signing the remaining two – Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement and a Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Information and Services Cooperation.

Once signed, these two foundational pacts are expected to grant India intelligence codes and scripts used by the American forces.

 thehindubusinessline

Hyundai-HSL to build first of five Fleet Support Ships


The strategic partnership to be finalised between leading shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd of South Korea and Hindustan Shipyard Limited, the Visakhapatnam-based Ministry of Defence Undertaking, will see construction of Fleet Support Ships for the Indian Navy in both the countries.

The agreement is expected to be inked in mid-2018. Talks are in progress between the MoD and its counterpart in South Korea.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Hyundai in May 2015 during which the issue of mutual cooperation was discussed.

HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu said on Wednesday that the first ship was expected to roll out in October 2022 from the Hyundai facility in South Korea. Simultaneously, the construction of another FSS would start at HSL with the expert guidance of Hyundai.

“Our plan is to roll out one FSS every 10 months after the delivery of the first vessel from Hyundai,” the CMD told The Hindu.

Such ships are used for replenishment of manpower, weapons, and provisions from one vessel to another.


Total cost ::

The total cost of the five FSS would be around ₹9,500 crore, he said. A discussion was held between India and South Korea on the course ahead last month. Timelines and strategies would be finalised shortly. The MoD agreed to place the order for FSS on HSL on nomination basis.


Mini submarines ::

The process of refilling the request for proposal (RFP) on two Special Operational Vessels is now in process.

Rear Admiral Sarat Babu said they would get an order for two SOVs on nomination basis. The value of the order for both the vessels would be around ₹2,500 crore.

SOVs are also known as mini submarines or midgets. The construction of SOVs involves complex technology.

For HSL, it would not be a difficult task as it has proven experience in submarine retrofitting of INS Sindhukirti and other submarines of the Indian Navy.

Now, it has undertaken the contract for retrofitting of INS Sindhuvir.

The refit of Russia-made INS Sindhuvir, an EKM Class submarine, will be completed in 27 months at a cost of 500 crore.

the hindu

Defence ministry blocks Navy’s ‘unrealistic’ five-year acquisition plan


The plan has been sent back for pruning, because it would double India’s defence budget. Top Navy officials meet new minister Sitharaman to brief her.

An elaborate plan drawn up by the Indian Navy to acquire new warships, aircraft, submarines and special equipment over the next five years has met with disapproval from the defence ministry. Officials have termed it ‘unrealistic’, given projected national growth and spending power.

The five-year plan, which was submitted earlier this year by Navy HQ to the defence ministry, would have ended up more than doubling the Indian defence budget for capital acquisition, which currently stands at Rs 86,529 crore.

Sources told ThePrint that the plan – which includes acquisition of new aircraft carrier-borne fighter jets – is unlikely to be cleared in the current form, as it would put a great burden on the exchequer, and would leave little money for the Army and the Air Force, which too have major acquisition projects coming up. This is why the Navy has been asked to alter the plan

India presently spends 12.2 per cent of its annual budget on the defence forces, excluding a pension bill that has increased rapidly after the implementation of the One Rank One Pension policy. In the current financial year, the pension bill has, in fact, surpassed money allocated for capital acquisitions of the armed forces.


New minister, new hope ::

Sources said the Navy’s top brass briefed defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the five-year plan in her first few days in office, with a request for clearances.

Another plan, to build a new aircraft carrier named Vishal, has also been moved again. This plan had been nixed by previous defence minister Manohar Parrikar last year, because it had been deemed too expensive. The project is estimated to cost a whopping Rs 1.35 lakh crore at the approval stage, a projection that is likely to go up with time.

India already has a joint working group with the US for this aircraft carrier, and the Navy wants to try its luck with the new minister.


Other major acquisitions ::

The Navy has several other major acquisitions coming up, the biggest being the plan to make six new conventionally-powered submarines under the Project 75I plan, which is expected to cost over Rs 60,000 crore.

Besides this, the Navy plans to acquire 57 new fighter jets for operation on the existing INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, and the INS Vikrant, which is currently under construction in Kochi.

In addition, the procurement process for new landing platform docks, minesweepers, shallow water craft and frigates is ongoing.

 theprint

India likely to finalise first defence purchase from Japan


Highlights
  • India and Japan are teaming up to roll out big infrastructure and connectivity projects in Asian and African countries
  • India is looking to more collaboration with Japanese nuclear companies
  • Japan is looking for defence partnerships that deliver ballistic and cruise missiles to counter North Korea
India and Japan will not break new ground during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit, which begins today. But as a detailed joint statement, still being worked out, will reveal, the two sides are digging deep in their bilateral relationshi.

Japan is now possibly India's closest strategic partner in the world, as both sides converge in their strategic and economic outlook.

It will be in the field of defence and nuclear technologies that India and Japan hope to get to the next level. India is likely to finalise the first defence purchases from Japan, the US-2 amphibious plane that has been tossed around between the two governments for some years. Some element of 'Make in India" may be introduced, but the two sides are looking at a future where joint development will be the key. Given the fact that bureaucracies in both countries are notoriously slow and suspicious, this will take a while, needing strong political push to get it off the starting block. On the other side, with the North Korean crisis deepening, Japan is looking for defence partnerships that deliver ballistic and cruise missiles, as was made clear by Katsuyuki Kawai, Abe's top foreign policy adviser, who was in New Delhi last week.

Countering China, India and Japan are teaming up to roll out big infrastructure and connectivity projects in Asian and African countries. The Asia-Africa growth corridor is slowly getting off the ground, and while it will never be as nimble as the Chinese OBOR, India and Japan are working on a different philosophy, involving more local interests and participation.

With the completion of the civil nuclear deal, India is looking at more collaboration with Japanese nuclear companies. The deal was finally signed between India and Japan in November 2016, and the Japanese parliament cleared it in June 2017.

The financial troubles of Westinghouse has necessitated a change in strategy. The Indian government will roll out the proverbial red carpet for the hundreds of Japanese nuclear companies whose expertise is desperately in need of markets, after Fukushima closed doors in Japan and many western countries.

The model will be different from the Russian one, where the foreign partner builds entire reactors from scratch, as would have happened with Westinghouse or GE-Hitachi. Instead, Japanese companies like Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and numerous smaller nuclear companies are being invited to invest and provide support services for designing, building and operating reactors to Indian companies. For instance, Westinghouse, owned by Toshiba, is being invited to prove technology, components and equipment as well as service expertise for six reactors in Andhra Pradesh which would have earlier been a turn-key project, but now may be done with an Indian partner.

Here the Indian government's decision in May to build 10 new nuclear power reactors is expected to provide a glide path for Japanese companies. It also shifts India's focus from negotiating for full reactors to using Japanese expertise and technology to augment Indian capacities, and, India hopes, in time to look for third country markets. It would have helped India if its membership to the NSG was through, but there is little hope here that will be done anytime soon. Until then, India plans to use the waiver granted to it in 2008 to the fullest.

The high speed railway (HSR) groundbreaking ceremony, India reckons is a gateway to a different way of life and work for Indians, just as the Maruti Suzuki and the metro changed the face of urban transportation in India. The two sides are already looking at adding new lines to the high-speed railway network, one of the aims being to connect the major metropolises in India via HSR in the coming years.

 timesofindia