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September 28, 2017

Defence Minister Sitharaman okays Russian Klub missiles for the Navy


In her maiden Defence Acquisition Council meeting, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday cleared several proposals to bolster firepower and capabilities of naval warships, including the procurement of Russian Klub missiles for the maritime force.

"The DAC cleared Indian Navy proposals worth Rs 200 crore for upgraded SONARs for its destroyers and frigates through Make in India route. These will enhance the anti-submarine warfare capability of the force. The meeting also cleared procurement of missiles for replenishing the naval inventory," Defence ministry spokesperson Mattu J P Singh said.

The Klub missiles, cleared for the Navy, would be equipped on the older warships, including the Kora class missile corvettes and the Delhi class frigates, as the newer ships operate with the latest BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles.

During the meeting, the Defence minister also made it clear that all issues related to the procurement cases should be sorted out before they are presented before the DAC, the apex-body for clearing procurements.


DAC MEETINGS ON FORTNIGHTLY BASIS

The Minister has decided to hold the DAC meetings on fortnightly basis to sort out the issues related to procurements and clear them in short timeframe.

In the meeting today, Sitharaman also reviewed the status of the Capital Acquisition Schemes and directed that the schemes are to be meticulously monitored and brought to maturity within stipulated timelines.

The armed forces have come into a mission mode in the last few weeks to present their requirements to Sitharaman to discuss stuck projects and proposals on a daily basis with the three service chiefs.

 indiatoday

Advanced artillery gun passes user trials in deserts: DRDO





The country's first fully integrated Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by the Defence Research and Developed Organisation (DRDO), has successfully completed user assisted technical trials for desert terrain at the Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan.

P K Mehta, DRDO's director general for armament and combat engineering system, told TOI on Wednesday, "We have achieved the desired results in the user assisted trials and the gun is now poised for further trials (for other terrains) in the coming months."

The trials in the deserts were carried out by DRDO scientists and the Indian Army's director general for artillery from August 24 to September 7. A large number of extended range full bore artillery ammunitions were successfully fired from the gun during the trials.

Project director S V Gade of the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune, who anchored the trials, said, "The users (Indian Army) fired all type of ammunitions and achieved the desired range and consistency for the live ammunition. In fact, the gun successfully hit a target at 48km distance. No other contemporary artillery guns are able to achieve a range of more than 40km so far." The ATAGS is capable of firing a Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS) Zone 7 propellant, which no other country is able to fire as on date, he added.

Gade said, "We have also validated firing table in a limited way of the gun, which was very crucial task for us."

The ATAGS has an all-electric drive which gives advantage over traditional hydraulic drives which exists in other towed guns. The electric drives of the ATAGS gives controls in handling ammunition, opening and closing the breech mech. and ramming the round into firing chamber, Gade added.

"The gun will undergo refinements and will be ready for high altitude trials which are likely to be conducted at Sikkim in December, depending on a confirmation from the army authorities," Gade said. The gun is expected to be inducted in the Indian Army by 2020, sources in DRDO said.

 timesofindia

September 27, 2017

US Congressmen introduce resolution in House backing India’s UNSC bid




Highlights
  • Frank Pallone and Ami Bera, the Congressmen from the Democratic Party, introduced the resolution
  • The introduced a similar resolution last year, with near identical wording
  • India's role in advancing global prosperity should be recognised, said Pallone
Two influential US lawmakers have for the second year in a row introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to support India being made a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

"It's in the interests of the United States and the world to have a UN Security Council whose members combine military strength with respect for democracy and pluralism, and an appreciation of the dangers posed by rogue states and terrorist groups," says the resolution introduced this week.

The resolution would put the US House of Representatives officially on record in support of India's bid; it has seven original co-sponsors. There are currently five permanent members on the UNSC - the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France..

Frank Pallone and Ami Bera, the Congressmen from the Democratic Party, introduced a similar resolution - with near identical wording - in the US House in June 2016 as well. Pallone is the founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and Bera is the vice ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the longest serving Indian-American in Congress.

India's role in advancing global prosperity should be recognised, said Pallone.

"India plays a critical role as a strategic partner for the United States and is a pillar of stability in South Asia. The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council reflect the world as it was 60 years ago, and it's time we recognize India's role increasing global prosperity. Securing a permanent spot for India on the UN Security Council would strengthen democracy around the world," added Pallone.

 timesofindia

James Mattis in India: US commits to transfer advanced defence technology for Make in India




US defence secretary James Mattis on Day 1 of his India visit discussed with defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman ways to broaden maritime cooperation between India and US in the Indo0-Pacific region
 

India and the US on Tuesday agreed to boost their defence ties, with the latter willing to share some of its most advanced technologies with Asia’s third largest economy.

Not only does it deepen the strategic ties between the two countries, it is also seeks to counter the rapid and unpredictable rise of China and combat cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

US defence secretary James Mattis, who is on a two-day visit to India, also discussed with defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman broadening maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as well as eradicating safe havens for terrorism. Mattis is the first cabinet representative from the Trump administration to visit India since the new administration took office in January. It comes after an endorsement by the Trump administration of the designation of India as a major defence partner by the previous Obama administration last year—signalling a continuity in US policy toward India.

In his comments after talks with Sitharaman, Mattis said the designation of India as a major defence partner reflected the recognition of India as a “pillar of regional stability and security.”

As two democracies, India and the US have “a historic opportunity to set a refreshed partnership,” Mattis said noting that their defence ties had steadily expanded in recent years—“underpinned by a strategic convergence” based on common goals and objectives.

“We also discussed ways to further deepen the robust defence trade and technology collaboration between our defence industries,” Mattis said adding that the US was looking forward to “sharing some of our most advanced defence technologies” with India.

“Cooperation in this area will improve the capabilities of both our militaries and reinforce the foundation for an enduring partnership,” Mattis said.

Following the conclusion of the landmark India-US nuclear deal in 2008 that reversed decades of embargoes against India procuring technologies for its civilian nuclear power industry from the global market, the two countries had identified cooperation in defence as the next big idea to consolidate ties. India is at present looking to manufacture F-16 and F-18A fighter planes under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign, aimed at ramping up its manufacturing sector, attracting foreign companies to use India as a base for manufacturing their products. The Trump administration is seen as keen to sell F-18 and F-16 fighter planes to India, built by American companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin respectively. The two sides are also looking to identify new projects under the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiatives (DTTI). In the past decade, India has bought US weapons systems worth an estimated $15 billion, moving away from traditional supplier Russia. In her remarks, Sitharaman said the two countries needed to expand “on the progress already made (in defence collaboration) by encouraging co-production and co-development efforts. I reiterated India’s deep interest in enhancing defence manufacturing in India ... I thank Secretary Mattis for his supportive position in this regard.”

Sitharaman said that she and Mattis had also focussed on re-energizing the DTTI “as a mechanism to promote technology sharing as well as co-development and co-production efforts.”

According to Harsh V. Pant, a professor of international relations at King’s College London, “Defence ties have been growing rapidly between the two democracies and have been one of the most important factors propelling the relationship.” The ambitious DTTI is the “key platform to elevate the Indo-US defence relationship from a buyer-seller engagement to a partnership model, working to co-develop and produce key defence technologies,” Pant said.

The two sides also discussed regional issues including the new US policy towards Afghanistan unveiled last month by US President Donald Trump. Sitharaman said India would increase its development cooperation in Afghanistan but would not send troops there. Mattis, who is to leave New Delhi for Kabul on Wednesday morning, said that the two countries would work together to fight terrorism. “There can be no tolerance of terrorist safe havens,” he said adding: “As global leaders, India and the United States resolve to work together to eradicate this scourge.”

Livemint

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US counterpart James Mattis today held comprehensive talks on deepening bilateral military ties, including supply of advanced defence technologies to India.
Asserting that the defence partnership is one of the "key strategic pillars" of cooperation between India and the US, the two leaders agreed to explore additional and specialised exercises between the militaries of the two countries.
The armies of the two countries are currently  ..

September 26, 2017

Army orders surface to air missile, making it the first tri-service weapon



The army joins the navy and air force in ordering LR-SAM. Army version will be on a high-mobility prime mover

A year ago, the army was planning “surgical strikes” across the India-Pakistan Line of Control (LoC) to avenge the killing of 19 Indian soldiers near Uri, on September 18. But Pakistani retaliation was anticipated and a key Indian Air Force (IAF) base, protected only by aging Soviet-era missiles, was vulnerable to Pakistani air strikes.
There was only one option. In Hyderabad, Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) was putting the finishing touches on a potent new missile – the eponymous Medium Range Surface to Air Missile, or MR-SAM – which the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) has just developed.
The die was cast. Without fanfare, the IAF’s first MR-SAM squadron was airlifted to the vulnerable base – a vote of confidence based on recent firing trials. When Indian commandos crossed on LoC on the night of September 28, 2016, the brand new missile was ready for operational use.
On Monday, the army signalled its confidence in the MR-SAM, signing a contract in Hyderabad that requires the DRDO to develop an army version of the MR-SAM and BDL to build and supply it. A defence ministry release stated, “The contract was signed for production, deliveries and product support of MR-SAM system for the Indian Army.”
The MR-SAM and its naval version, called the LR-SAM (Long-Range Surface to Air Missile), were developed by the DRDO in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). DRDO developed about 30 per cent of these missile platforms, while IAI developed the bulk of it.
This makes these missile platforms the first tri-service weapon in service with India’s military. There are only minor differences: the naval LR-SAM is fired from sealed canisters below warship decks that protect the missile from the corrosive marine environment. The LR-SAM primarily targets sea-skimming, anti-ship missiles.
The IAF version of the MR-SAM is mounted on trailers, and is fired from the open at enemy fighters screaming in to attack air bases. The army version, which provides protection against enemy ground attack aircraft, will be mounted on high-mobility vehicles that can keep up with tank columns moving cross-country.
The missiles are the same for all versions, except for the software that controls their “self-destruct” function. The LRSAM, which is a sea-skimming missile, self-destructs simply by pitching its nose down and plunging into the sea. The MRSAM, which would be mainly used over land, is required to “pitch up” before it self-destructs, so that the debris are scattered.
DRDO sources claim the cost of Rs 6 crore per missile is cheap, given that it shoots down sophisticated fighters costing hundreds of crore; and protects warships that cost thousands of crore.
All three versions of the missile have a sophisticated central radar – called the Multi-function and Search and Track Alert Radar (MF-STAR). This detects incoming enemy aircraft and missiles that are well over a hundred kilometres away, and then guides the missile to the target, intercepting it at ranges out to 70 kilometres.
The MR-SAM contract was signed in 2009, but complex technological challenges have caused delays. In May 2016, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence said in a report that the MR-SAM project has been delayed by 4 years.
In another report dated March 2017, the Standing Committee stated the MR-SAM project cost a total of Rs 10,076 crore. Of this, the DRDO’s share, which constituted the development cost, added up to Rs 1,680 crore. The remaining amount, which amounted to Rs 8,396 crore, was committed by the IAF towards the guaranteed purchase of missiles and other systems.
 ajaishukla

Indian Army might get Pinaka rockets to counter Pakistan's mini-nuclear weapons


Sources in the government revealed that the Indian Army might get its hands on Pinaka rockets to counter Pakistan's threats on using tactical nuclear weapons.

While Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has again flaunted his country's tactical nuclear weapons, NDA government sources said India has the option of developing the Pinaka guided rockets to match the mini-nukes of its western neighbour in the battlefield.

Abbasi said in the US this week that his country possesses tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons, which can be used to check the advance of Indian tank regiments as part of New Delhi's "cold-start war doctrine". "The Pakistanis have been flaunting their tactical nukes which they have developed with the help of the Chinese. At present, we don't have these weapons in our arsenal but if asked by the government, we have the option of developing the Pinaka guided rockets for delivering nuclear warheads at small ranges," government sources told Mail Today.

Tactical nuclear weapons include short-range missiles, artillery shells and torpedoes which are equipped with nuclear warheads. Sources said the Indian government has not yet asked the agencies concerned to develop the Pinaka guided missile to be used as a nuclear delivery weapon system.


ABOUT PINAKA ROCKETS

The Pinaka rockets have been developed by the DRDO as battlefield multi-barrel rocket launcher to take down enemy tanks and other moving targets at the strike ranges of 70 to 80km. A group of scientists from America has also said in its report that the Pakistanis have stored their tactical nukes at nine different locations across the country and mostly near the bases which have the capability to launch big nuclear missiles.

The scientists also feel that since these battlefield nukes would be distributed much in advance and in large numbers to the field fighting formations, the chances of accidents or their being transferred to other elements is also very high. The guided Pinaka has been developed by Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and Defence Research and Development Laboratory.

Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, which has evolved from Pinaka Mark-I, is equipped with navigation, guidance and control kit, and is converted to a guided Pinaka. This conversion has led to enhancement of its strike range and considerably improved its accuracy. The rocket was fired from a multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL).

The rocket launcher can fire 12 rockets with 1.2 tonne of high explosives within 44 seconds and destroy a target area of four sq km at a time. The quick reaction time and high rate of fire of the system gives an edge to the Army during a low-intensity conflict situation. The weapon's capability to incorporate several types of warheads makes it deadly for the enemy as it can even destroy their solid structures and bunkers. The performance of the previous version of Pinaka was lauded during the Kargil War, where it was successful in neutralising enemy positions on mountain tops. After both India and Pakistan came out openly with their capability to produce and use nuclear weapons in 1998, New Delhi has adopted a responsible stance by declaring a 'no-first use' policy while Islamabad used its weapons to blackmail the western countries while continuing its support for international terror groups.

 indiatoday

Why India's Astra air-to-air missile is special


The defence ministry last week announced the successful development of the most challenging missile India has developed so far -- the Astra.

Fired from a fighter aircraft travelling at over 1,000 km an hour, the Astra destroys an enemy fighter 65 to 70 km away.

According to the ministry, the latest round of trials conducted off the Odisha coast on September 11 to 14 saw seven Astra missiles being fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI at pilotless aircraft that were designated as targets.

All seven Astras hit their targets.

This round of tests 'has completed the development phase of the (Astra) weapon system successfully', stated a defence ministry release.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation which developed the Astra; Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, which integrated the Astra onto the Su-30MKI fighter; and over 50 private firms that participated in building the missile.

The Astra -- designated as a 'beyond visual range air-to-air missile' or BVRAAM -- involves radically different technology challenges compared to ballistic and tactical missiles.

For one, a typical Astra engagement has both the launcher and the target moving at speeds in excess of 1,000 kmph.

Fired from a pylon on the wing of a Su-30MKI, the Astra's smokeless propellant quickly accelerates it to about 4,000 kmph.

The fighter tracks the target continuously on its radar, and steers the missile towards it over a data link.

About 15 km from the target, the Astra's on board radio seeker locks onto the target; now, it no longer needs guidance from the Su-30MKI.

When it reaches a few metres from the enemy fighter, the Astra warhead is detonated by a 'radio proximity fuze', spraying the target with shrapnel and shooting it down.

Only a handful of missile builders -- in the United States, Russia, Europe and China -- have mastered the technologies that go into air-to-air missiles.

India is now joining that elite group.

The Astra is fired from the Russian Vympel launcher -- a rail under a fighter aircraft's wing from which the missile hangs.

The Vympel launcher is integrated with all four of India's current generation fighters -- the Su-30MKI, MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and the Tejas -- allowing the Astra to be fired from all of them.

Astra components that have been developed indigenously. But the missile's seeker head is still imported.

This is a key development thrust for the DRDO. On the drawing board is a longer-range Astra Mark II, intended to shoot down enemy fighters up to 100 km away.

With the Indian Air Force operating 600 to 700 fighter aircraft, there will be a need for several thousand Astra missiles.

With air-to-air missiles costing in the region of $2 million each, the Astra will provide major business opportunities to Indian firms.

 rediff

India, US should go for pre-emptive strikes, destroy Pak's N-assets: Ex-US senator





  • Ex-US Senator Larry Pressler said that Donald Trump may turn out to be the best US president yet for India.
  • He called the denial of a US visa to Modi when the latter was Gujarat CM “a stain” on the US.
  • “US must declare Pakistan a terrorist state, cut off all aid and must not treat India and Pakistan as equals," he said.
Suggesting that both India and the US conduct pre-emptive strikes inside Pakistan to destroy its nuclear sites (where weapons have either already been stored or are being made), former US Senator Larry Pressler told TOI on Monday that Donald Trump may turn out to be the best American president yet for India as he had recently put Pakistan on notice for harbouring terrorists.

But for this to happen, Trump would have to get around the Pentagon, which always encouraged Pakistan, he said. Such encouragement emboldened Pakistan to attack India as "the mother of terrorism" and "predator" at the UN general assembly session on Sunday, he added. Trump's description of the Pentagon as "a swamp" was a good sign, he noted, hoping the US president would drain it soon (as he'd promised).

A three-term Senator and twice a member of the House of Representatives, Pressler (75) authored the famous Pressler Amendment which in 1990 blocked US military aid to Pakistan when the then US President George H W Bush could not certify Pakistan was not developing nukes.

As the delivery of close to 30 F-16 aircraft to Islamabad was barred, Pressler, then a Republican and head of the Senate's arms control subcommittee, became something of a hero in India and, in his own words, "a devil in Pakistan." His new book, Neighbours in Arms, engagingly tells the story of the amendment and of the US foreign policy that enabled Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons and casts a severe spotlight on the culture of lobbying in Washington and the grip of the military-industrial state ("the Octopus") inside the US.

Pressler has long distanced himself from the Republican Party — he contested Senate polls as an Independent in 2014 and backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential polls — but despite differences with Trump, he feels the president is not doing half as badly as US media suggests.

Trump's warning to Pakistan on its sheltering and export of terror, linking of US aid to "action on terror" and his request to India to "help us more with Afghanistan" signalled a recasting of relations.

The ex-Senator hopes Trump will act on the notice.

"US must declare Pakistan a terrorist state, cut off all aid and must not treat India and Pakistan as equals. India is a democracy, Pakistan isn't. And Pakistan and especially the ISI have lied to us for decades," he said.

All praise for PM Modi, the Vietnam veteran said it was good the Modi government was tough with Pakistan.

He called the denial of a US visa to Modi when the latter was Gujarat CM "a stain" on the US. He was critical of India, however, for allegedly handing out millions to lobbyists in Washington. "Pakistan started this lobbying. India doesn't need to do it," he said. He said Pakistan couldn't have developed nuclear weapons if US had stopped aid.

Having worked closely with many US presidents, he felt Ronald Reagan had been very receptive to his ideas on nuclear non-proliferation and his views on Pakistan's duplicity but had been hemmed in by "Octopus" mandarins. And Bill Clinton had, on his 2001 trip to India (Pressler was part of that delegation), given the impression that he loved the country and its people but had, in reality, repealed the Pressler Amendment and encouraged military supplies to India's hostile neighbour.

Pressler was criticised when, in the 1990s, he had expressed concerns about an "Islamic bomb." He said he stood vindicated today and that the growth of ISIS and similar groups led him to fear that fundamentalist organisations - and not individual states - may create a "Caliphate."

timesofindia

September 25, 2017

India’s Tejas Set For Fresh Missile Fight


As India’s LCA Tejas, which entered tentative service with the Indian Air Force last year, works to prove itself as the combat platform it was intended to be, there’s trouble brewing on a crucial capability that planners won’t be softening on: a close combat air-to-air missile. While the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) had chosen the Rafael Defence Python-5 for integration tests, it is now clear that things have run into, well, rough weather.
Livefist can confirm that the Indian Air Force has now advanced discussions with MBDA to explore the possibility of the ASRAAM arming the LCA. The selection of the Python-5 by the LCA’s governing body ADA precedes the IAF’s selection of the MBDA ASRAAM, a contest in which it defeated the Python-5, in addition to the Diehl IRIS-T and Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder.
“The IAF opened discussions with us shortly after we were awarded the ASRAAM contract for the Indian Jaguars,” a senior MBDA official tells Livefist.
Reports suggest the ADA and LCA test teams are not fully satisfied with the Python-5 integration. Sources indicated flutter issues slowing progress on the missile’s integration and testing. These, and other, issues are believed to have stalled the Python-5’s path at the carriage trials stage, with no test firing conducted yet. The LCA is, however, making progress on the Python-5’s sister weapon, the beyond visual range Derby.
Asked about whether they were aware of the problems with the Python-5, the MBDA official quoted above said, “The Python-5 has many more control surfaces than the ASRAAM. That’s a problem. It’s also 15-20 kg heavier than the ASRAAM, which is a problem for a platform where weight is an issue directly under address.”
MBDA, which is hoping to ride out the ASRAAM as a common close combat missile across India’s combat aircraft on the strength of its fitment on the IAF’s Jaguars is hoping a prospective decision by the LCA team will help seal its status in country. While India is developing the beyond visual range ASTRA missile, it doesn’t have an indigenous close combat weapon program. As Livefist reported yesterday, MBDA is already engaging with the IAF to possibly arm the latter’s Hawk trainer fleet with the ASRAAM and Brimstone.
Israel’s Rafael won’t give this one up without a real fight though. Getting on board the LCA program wasn’t easy, and contenders will justifiably see it as a door to more opportunities in country. Commonality could be a strong suit for MBDA, with the first ASRAAMs now in service with IAF Jaguars (Livefist had a chance to see some in the production line at MBDA’s new facility in Bolton, UK), but the Python is also in Indian Air Force service, albeit with in its surface-to-air SpyDer configuration.

 livefist

Lockheed Martin in jet speed to Make F-16s in India


New Delhi. Lockheed Martin is in jet speed to make the latest variant of its F 16 Block 70 in India.
During the Paris Air Show, on June 19, the company announced a coproduction agreement with the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TATA), and now it has disclosed that in anticipation of a contract from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for a single engine aircraft manufacturing facility, it has already initiated steps to create the required ecosystem in the country. Diplomatic sources indicate that the US Government is also aggressively backing the Lockheed Martin proposal in Government-to-Government (G-2-G) talks with the Indian Government.
Mr Abhay Paranjpe, Executive Director, International Business Development and Mr Randall L Howard, Business Development head for F 16 said during a recent tete-a-tete with Team India Strategic in New Delhi that the company had already worked out the best available systems that could be integrated in the aircraft, assuring: “We will provide whatever the IAF asks for, and our technology will be unmatched and unprecedented.”
 We pointed out that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, had told us in an interview that IAF now logically expects better specifications than were asked for in the 2007 tender for the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). The F 16, which was the first to bring a powerful Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar on board in its Block 60 aircraft delivered to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) way back in 2004, does not yet have the Infra Red Search and Track (IRST) system.
IRST, which is there on board the French Rafale already taken by IAF, is a passive system and can detect hostile aircraft and targets between 60 to 100 km or so without being detected itself, unlike any radar system including the AESA. As the world’s biggest military hardware company, “we will be able to offer whatever the IAF wants, on time and cost,” said Paranjpe, adding that the Lockheed Martin proposal will include assured periodic upgrades.
AESA is a key component for contemporary and future aircraft, and can look up to 400 km depending upon the radar’s power and aircraft’s height.
Paranjpe also said that the new AESA, to be acquired from Northrop Grumman which had made it first for F 16 Block 60 and later for F 22 and F 35, will be of a new 4th generation, and compared to the earlier versions which are liquid cooled, will be air cooled and still perform better. It will be multimode, able to lock onto 20 targets simultaneously, and a pilot can priorities which targets to engage first.
Randall said that the company will meet any specs required by the IAF. The aircraft is comfortable in power and weight and can accommodate whatever is needed. Lockheed Martin will leverage some future technologies from its F 35.

“As the F 16 Block 70 will be a new generation aircraft, it will also share some components and latest technologies with those of the F 35 to the extent of 70-75 percent. The Block 70 will also have conformal fuel tanks for longer range.”
The company will shift the entire factory and production line from Fort Worth in Texas to India if – repeat if – the Ministry of Defence (MoD) selects the aircraft.
Notably, the global standard for aircraft availability is about 70 percent. This, or whatever is required by IAF, will be matched, Randall said.
Paranjpe pointed out that IAF’s urgency in aircraft requirement is no secret, and the Indian order for a minimum of 100 first to be followed by many more later will be huge. “We have a great partnership with TASL, and we should be able to produce three to four aircraft every month for Indian and global requirements. We will create a big defence industrial base, a supply chain for not only India but for the world, and that will include spares.”
Asked about how much investment the company will put in, Panajpe and Randall said that they hoped that India will follow the US business model. There, a runway is shared by the US Air Force (USAF) and industry, the two being on either side of it, and that will determine how much Lockheed Martin will have to invest. Sharing facilities will help save costs and production and testing time.
With TASL and IAF working with us, it will simply be great, Panajpe observed, adding: “We are also ready to pass on the required knowledge and knowhow to local partners.”
Randall said that Lockheed Martin had produced nearly 4,600 aircraft in 138 variants and sold to 27 countries, including the US. Sixteen of these countries placed repeat orders.
He also pointed out, significantly, that while the Indian Ministry of Defence is yet to place the order under its new policy of Make in India and having a Strategic Partner, Lockheed Martin is doing its homework in anticipation of winning it. We have worked out the technologies onboard, Display Systems, Software, Air to Air and Air to ground Targeting Systems, and what to do with whom as part of our effort to create an enabling ecosystem and move literally at jet speed.

 indiastrategic

Pak nukes hidden at nine places, at risk of being stolen by terrorists


Highlights
  • The short-range weapons meant to be used early in a conventional conflict with India are at a risk of landing up with terrorists.
  • According to the report, Pakistan has stored its nuclear forces at nine different locations across the country.
  • The report adds that Pakistan has a rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal of 130-140 warheads.
Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last week yet again flaunted his country's tactical or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, saying they were meant to deter the Indian Army's 'cold start' doctrine.

While Abbasi declared that Pakistan's nuclear assets, including the tactical nukes, were under a robust command-and-control system, the short-range weapons meant to be used early in a conventional conflict with India are vulnerable to accidents and risk of landing up with terrorists.

According to a recent report by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Pakistan has stored its nuclear forces at nine different locations across the country.

Renowned US nuclear weapon expert and co-author of the report Hans Kristensen said Pakistan's nuclear warheads may be located in storage facilities near the bases the report identifies, and that these bases themselves appear to house nuclear-capable launchers that would use those warheads.

The report describes the launcher bases to give readers an impression of the extent to which Pakistan's nuclear forces are being dispersed across the country.

Kristensen told TOI that because Pakistan was building a short-range sub-strategic nuclear arsenal (in addition to its longer-range force), the warheads would likely be distributed to regional storage sites from which they could be assembled and transported to the launcher bases.

"Since the shorter-range systems are intended to be used earlier in a conflict below the strategic level, weapons for these systems would likely be distributed early in a crisis and raise the risk of accident and incidents. If used against conventional attacks, use of the tactical nuclear weapons would likely lead to escalation to a wider nuclear war quickly," said Kristensen.

A Trump administration official was quoted last month as saying that the US was particularly concerned by the development of tactical nuclear weapons that were designed for use in the battlefield, and that Washington believed these systems were more susceptible to terrorist theft and increased the likelihood of nuclear exchange in the region.

The report by Kristensen and Robert Norris also says that Pakistan has a rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal of 130-140 warheads and an increasing portfolio of delivery systems.

The report says Islamabad is quantitatively and qualitatively strengthening its arsenal and deploying weapons at more sites and yet the locations are difficult to pinpoint.

"For example, no reliable public information exists on where Pakistan produces or stores its nuclear weapons. Thus, we have used commercial satellite images, expert studies, and local news reports and articles to make the assumption that nuclear weapons are likely to be at, or near, wherever nuclear-capable weapon systems are deployed," it says.

 timesofindia

Mass grave of 28 Hindus found in Myanmar: Army


Myanmar's army said Sunday it had discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of 28 Hindus, including women and children, in violence-wracked Rakhine state, blaming the killings on Muslim Rohingya militants.

Thousands of Hindus have fled villages where they once lived alongside Muslims, alleging that they were targeted by militants whose August 25 raids plunged Rakhine into communal violence.

The announcement could not be independently verified in an region where access has been tightly controlled by Myanmar's army.

"Security members found and dug up 28 dead bodies of Hindus who were cruelly and violently killed by ARSA extremist Bengali terrorists in Rakhine State," a statement posted on the army chief's website said.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) is the group whose attacks on police posts triggered an army backlash so brutal that the UN believes it amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority.

More than 430,000 Rohingya have fled the region to Bangladesh in under a month, telling stories of Myanmar soldiers teaming up with vigilante mobs to slaughter civilians and burn entire villages to the ground.

Around 30,000 Hindus and Buddhists based in the area have also been displaced by the violence.

Both communities have told AFP they were terrorised by Rohingya militants.

- Corpses in rows -

The army said that security officers found a total of 20 dead women and eight men in two graves, including six boys under the age of ten.

A strong smell led security officers to the burial site outside of Ye Baw Kya village, the army said.

Unverifiable photos published by the government's Information Committee showed corpses laid out in rows on grass near two mud pits where they were found.

Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay confirmed the grim discovery to AFP, as did a senior police officer in Rakhine who requested anonymity.

The village where the bodies were found, Ye Baw Kya, lies near a cluster of Hindu and Muslim communities in northern Rakhine called Kha Maung Seik.

Last week Hindus from the area told AFP that militants swept into their villages on August 25 with sticks and knives, attacking people who stood in their way, killing many and taking others into the forest.

Hindu women are believed to have been abducted by the militants.

The grim discovery of the graves will further fuel already white-hot hatred between ethnic groups in Myanmar.

The epicentre of the unrest, in northern Rakhine, is dominated by Rohingya Muslims who are a minority elsewhere and have been the target of decades of state-backed persecution and discrimination.

Around half of their estimated 1.1 million population has fled over the last year.

Northern Rakhine is also home to ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, Hindus and a myriad of other groups.

Religious tensions have simmered for years, erupting into sporadic bouts of violence.

But the scale of the latest unrest is the worst to hit the region in years.

While the wretched lines of Rohingya streaming into Bangladesh have shocked and alarmed the world, there is scant sympathy for the Muslim group inside Myanmar.

Many in the Buddhist majority view the group as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite their long-established roots in the country.

 newindianexpress

Highlights
  • The barrel of the US-manufactured gun had exploded when it was firing Indian ammunition on September 2..
  • India had received two M-777 ultra-light howitzers in May after a gap of 30 years.
  • The field trials of the 155 mm, 39-calibre guns manufactured by BAE systems were being carried out at Pokhran.
A preliminary investigation has found that faulty ammunition was the reason behind the explosion on the Army's new long-range ultra-light (ULH) howitzer M-777 during a field trial in Pokhran earlier this month, official sources said.

The barrel of the US-manufactured gun had exploded when it was firing Indian ammunition on September 2.

A preliminary inquiry has found that the explosion took place due to faulty ammunition supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and further probe into the matter was on, the sources said.

Asked about the findings of the probe, OFB spokesperson Uddipan Mukherjee said, "Any such failure is attributable to a complex phenomena pertaining to internal ballistics as the shell moves at a very high speed inside the barrel."

He said these kind of failures can have multiple causes and "the quality of the shell is not the only reason".

Without specifically commenting on the findings of the probe, Mukherjee said ammunition used in the M-777 gun had undergone the required quality tests.

India had received two M-777 ultra-light howitzers in May, each worth around Rs 35 crore, after a gap of 30 years since the Bofors scandal broke out, and the accident took place in one of them.

The field trials of the 155 mm, 39-calibre guns manufactured by BAE systems were being carried out at Pokhran in Rajasthan with an aim to collate various critical data like trajectory, speed and frequency.


Army sources had said the barrel of the gun was damaged in the explosion.

The Army had received the howitzers as part of an order for 145 guns. Three more guns are to be supplied to the Army in September 2018 for training.

Thereafter, induction will commence from March 2019 onwards with five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.

India had last procured howitzers in the mid-1980s from Swedish defence major Bofors. The alleged pay-offs in the deal and its subsequent political ramifications had severely crippled the Indian Army's procurement of artillery guns.

The defence ministry had struck a government-to- government deal with the US last November for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly Rs 5,000 crore.

While 25 guns will come in a fly-away condition, the rest will be assembled in India by the BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

The Army has been pressing the government to speed up its modernisation programme.

timesofindia

Doklam faceoff: China deployed more, standoff began earlier


When tensions rose between the two sides, the Chinese had built up their presence to a size that exceeded a division opposite Sikkim. The Indian Army had also matched the build-up but did not feel the need to get troops close to the border due to the shorter distance .
Contrary to public perception that the border standoff between India and China at Doklam involved a small number of troops, the Chinese had posted more than 12,000 soldiers, 150 tanks and artillery guns opposite Sikkim at Phari Dzong in Chumbi Valley during the 73-day standoff, a new book has revealed.
The book, Securing India The Modi Way: Pathankot, Surgical Strikes and More (Bloomsbury), written by Nitin A Gokhale, also contains Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) images of the site, which show that the standoff had actually started in the third week of May — it was made public by the Chinese on June 26.
Apart from a blow-by-blow account of the standoff, the book includes extensive quotes from National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, military chiefs and other senior Indian officials on Modi government’s approach to security issues. A chapter of the book, which will be released by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi on Friday, was exclusively accessed by The Indian Express.
The book reveals that when tensions rose between the two sides, the Chinese had built up their presence to a size that exceeded a division opposite Sikkim. The Indian Army had also matched the build-up but did not feel the need to get troops close to the border due to the shorter distance, it says.
At the faceoff site, the book says, the Chinese used loud-hailers, or portable loudspeakers, to issue threats that referred to a repeat of the 1962 war. The Chinese also started construction of temporary defences along the Sikkim border in the form of stone-and-mud emplacements and undertook blasting to improve road infrastructure in their territory.
The UAV images in the book show the cheek-by-jowl stationing of soldiers and visible signs of the Chinese presence at Dolam plateau in third week of May. On May 21, the local Chinese commander informed his Indian counterpart that they were going to undertake “infrastructure activities in the area”, says the book. The Indian officer, aware of earlier instances of the Chinese repairing and starting annual maintenance of the existing road, noted the input but did not feel alarmed, it says.
 The Chinese returned on May 24 in what was their first patrol of this summer to the area, says the book. They came up to the parking area, which marks the end of the existing road from Yatung to Doklam Plateau via Sinchela, and interacted with personnel of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) as Indian Army troops watched from their post at Doka La, 200 metres away.

An Indian Army UAV captured the encounter between the two sides, which ended quickly with the Chinese and Bhutanese soldiers returning to their posts. The book says that the next encounter between the two sides took place on June 5, when another Chinese patrol came to the parking area. This time, the Chinese soldiers jostled with Bhutanese soldiers and forcibly “escorted” them to the RBA posts after threatening them, it says.
The Indians later learnt from their Bhutanese counterparts that the Chinese had warned the RBA to not interfere with the road construction they were about to undertake, the book says. The Indian officer on the ground duly reported the matter up the chain. And, according to the book, the Army Headquarters in Delhi decided to deal with the situation as it evolved but increased the vigil on ground. Then, at 7.30 am on June 16, a PLA light vehicle and nine heavy vehicles, including road construction equipment, reached the parking area.
An interaction between Indian and Chinese personnel took place at Contact Point from 7.50 to 10.10 am, says the book. Between 12.51 and 1.31 pm, a patrol of eight Bhutanese soldiers, which had come from Chela Post on the Jampheri Ridge, interacted with the Chinese in the parking area. The Chinese accompanied the Bhutanese patrol along the alignment of an under-construction track up to Jampheri Ridge, which was meant to be an extension of the existing road from Yatung to Dolam Plateau. The Chinese had taken four years to construct this road starting 1999.
At 1.50 pm, the book says, Indian troops delivered a message through a loud-hailer from Doka La to stop construction but the Chinese did not pay heed. According to the book, a temporary construction camp was also established by the Chinese in the parking area. The next morning, JCBs commenced construction work following which the Indian troops interacted twice with the Chinese, repeatedly asking them to stop but in vain.
The Chinese commenced work again on the morning of June 18, south of the parking area, says the book. The Indian officers on location carried out four interactions with the Chinese, and asked them to stop the construction activity. The matter was reported up the military hierarchy, the book reveals, and orders were issued from Delhi to stop the Chinese. At 7.52 am, the book says, a “human chain’ was formed by Indian troops to effectively block the Chinese. In response, by noon, another human chain was formed by 150 PLA troops opposite the Indian formation — this was effectively overwhelmed by more Indian troops.
Two days later, the highest Military Commander-Level flag meeting between two Major Generals was held at Nathu La with both sides stating their stance. The book says cordial interactions subsequently took place at Doka La on a daily basis between the Commanding Officers of both sides. A thaw started taking place from August 14 as diplomatic activity picked up pace, eventually leading to a disengagement on August 28. On September 7, as first reported by The Indian Express, both sides moved away by 150 metres from the faceoff site as the first major step in the disengagement.

 indianexpress

September 22, 2017

US Senate eyes $10 billion in arms sales, passes law strengthening US-India defence ties



American lawmakers, setting the stage for high-value defence sales to India, have drafted a law that strongly backs US-India defence ties. The Senate’s draft of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 (NDAA 2018), an annual law that allocates funding to America’s military, includes an amendment aimed at advancing defense cooperation between the US and India.
The amendment reiterates India’s recent designation as ‘‘Major Defense Partner’’ with the US – a status unique to India – and orders the US government to appoint an official to oversee the US-India relationship and report within six months to Congress on progress in defence ties.
The “Major Defence Partner” status, which found mention in the joint statement when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Donald Trump in June, “is intended to facilitate technology sharing between the United States and India, including license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies”, says the Senate amendment to NDAA 2018.
It further states: “The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Commerce shall jointly produce a common definition of the term ‘‘Major Defense Partner’’ as it relates to India for joint use by the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce.”
This clarity is sought so that differing inter-agency interpretations in the US do not stall the sale of high-technology defence equipment to India.
Last year a similar amendment in NDAA 2017, titled “Enhancing Defense and Security Cooperation with India”, first enjoined the US administration to designate India a “major defense partner” and appoint an official to oversee the relationship and report to Congress.
While the Trump administration fulfilled the first requirement, no official has been designated so far. Now the NDAA 2018 amendment renews the instruction to the administration.
This legislation is driven by high strategic convergence between Washington and New Delhi, but also by the Congress’ wish to facilitate the next wave of major US defence sales to India.
Over the preceding decade, the US has become India’s biggest defence supplier with $15 billion in sales of C-17 Globemaster III and C-130J Super Hercules transporters, P-8I Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, CH-47F Chinook heavy lift choppers and AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Now Washington is pushing the sale to India of 100-200 F-16 Block 70, at least 57 F/A-18E/F fighters and 22 Sea Guardian drone that it has offered. These new sales would add up to over $10 billion.
Acknowledging the arms sales motive, the Senate amendment notes: “The individual designated… shall promote United States defense trade with India for the benefit of job creation and commercial competitiveness in the United States.”
For the Trump administration, and for US lawmakers on Capitol Hill who represent constituencies that host defence industry, India’s decision on these platforms will be very consequential, either in a positive or a negative way.
US industry representatives are making it clear that an Indian refusal to buy the Sea Guardian drone, which figured in the meeting between Trump and Modi, would arouse serious ire in Washington. They say the US has okayed the sale despite the “presumption of denial” that the Missile Technology Control Regime mandates for the sale of long range unmanned systems; and despite objections from the non-proliferation lobby.
“An extraordinary amount of time has been put into the Sea Guardian offer in Washington DC. It’s become an emotional issue within the US government. Opponents of the offer will be empowered if it doesn’t go through. They will say: ‘We told you so. The offer created diplomatic problems for us, and got rejected anyway’”, says a senior US industry official, speaking anonymously.
New Delhi sources say the Indian government will not be swayed by this argument and will process the sale based on commercial considerations and the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016.
Senator Mark Warner, a long-time India friend, who sponsored the amendment states: “I'm pleased [the amendment] was included in the defense authorization bill that passed the Senate. I look forward to our language being included in the final defense authorization bill and being signed into law so that the administration has clear guidance in how to continue to foster this important relationship.”
The amendment would also require to be passed by the House of Representatives and then signed into law by the US president.
 
 By Ajai Shukla

Curious case of Rohingya Muslim porters: Photos leave Intelligence Bureau, Raw, Indian Army in a fix



Photos of alleged Rohingya Muslim porters have baffled the Indian security forces. These guides are thought to have been pushed in by Pakistan spy agency ISI along with six heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

Even as the Union Home Minister on Thursday made a strong pitch for deportation of 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India, the intelligence agencies and security forces have been abuzz with 10 photos of alleged Rohingya Muslim porter guides who have been pushed in by Pakistan spy agency ISI along with six heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, sometime around the end of August.
However, what is more worrisome are the pictures which are in custody of Indian Army, Central Armed Police Force and Jammu Kashmir Police.
No agency has come forward to authenticate the sensitive information.
Sources in multiple agencies including Intelligence Bureau (IB), Raw and Indian Army said that these pictures exist on paper, the same has not been authenticated and hence remain unverified.
Inspector General (IG) Muneer Khan however said that one part of the story is correct where six JeM terrorists seemed to have been infiltrated from Poonch -  three of those getting killed in Pulwama District in a Fidayeen attack are identified as Abu Saad, Dawood and Al Bakr, while three from the group were killed in Satora, Tral, in August last week.
Sources said one unidentified terrorist may still be at large.
IG Kashmir Muneer Khan told India Today that so far Rohingya Muslims are found to be involved in terror activity in Kashmir Valley.
"The men in the pictures appear to be Caucasians, the grass is tall and thick, which is not how it is in the Valley or even the Poonch region."
Another high level source in intelligence agencies said that these pictures are believed to have been orchestrated.
The process of verification of the pictures is still on but it has already stirred a security threat.
There are reports of Rohingya terrorists fighting alongside Pakistani extremists in Kashmir. One of their top leaders, Chotta Burmi, was rumoured to be killed in Kashmir along with JeM commander Adil Pathan last year. But there has been no confirmation of the same till date.
Though the intelligence forces also point out threat from little-known Rohingya terror group Aqa Mul Mujahideen, blamed for the recent attacks on Myanmar border outposts with links to Pakistan-based terror organisation operated by Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), but the worry is that the terror group may have developed ties with the JeM cell in Jammu and Kashmir.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India, Kiren Rijuju speaking to reporters said "There is hard evidence that there are Rohingya porters who have been used as guides."
As the matter of Rohingya Muslims escalates, security forces are on high alert to nip any infiltration bid.
The agencies are however cautious. "Prima facie there is no evidence but Pakistan cannot be trusted and will look at any possible links. Our forces have been on alert at the western border with Pakistan at the LoC and border always."
On August 8, the Home Ministry sent a notice to all states asking them to identify and start the process of deporting Rohingyas.
"Illegal migrants are more vulnerable to getting recruited by terrorist organisations. Infiltration from Rakhine state of Myanmar (where Rohingyas are based) into Indian territory, especially in the recent years besides being burden on the limited resources of the country, also aggravates the security challenges posed to the country," the notice had said.
Meanwhile the case comes up for hearing in the apex court on the October 3.

 indiatoday





Even as the Union Home Minister on Thursday made a strong pitch for deportation of 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India, the intelligence agencies and security forces have been abuzz with 10 photos of alleged Rohingya Muslim porter guides who have been pushed in by Pakistan spy agency ISI along with six heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, sometime around the end of August. However, what is more worrisome are the pictures which are in custody of Indian Army, Central Armed Police Force and Jammu Kashmir Police. No agency has come forward to authenticate the sensitive information. Sources in multiple agencies including Intelligence Bureau (IB), Raw and Indian Army said that these pictures exist on paper, the same has not been authenticated and hence remain unverified. Inspector General (IG) Muneer Khan however said that one part of the story is correct where six JeM terrorists seemed to have been infiltrated from Poonch – three of those getting killed in Pulwama District in a Fidayeen attack are identified as Abu Saad, Dawood and Al Bakr, while three from the group were killed in Satora, Tral, in August last week. Sources said one unidentified terrorist may still be at large. IG Kashmir Muneer Khan told India Today that so far Rohingya Muslims are found to be involved in terror activity in Kashmir Valley. “The men in the pictures appear to be Caucasians, the grass is tall and thick, which is not how it is in the Valley or even the Poonch region.” Another high level source in intelligence agencies said that these pictures are believed to have been orchestrated. The process of verification of the pictures is still on but it has already stirred a security threat. There are reports of Rohingya terrorists fighting alongside Pakistani extremists in Kashmir. One of their top leaders, Chotta Burmi, was rumoured to be killed in Kashmir along with JeM commander Adil Pathan last year. But there has been no confirmation of the same till date.

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/curious-case-of-rohingya-muslim-porters-photos-leave-intelligence-bureau-raw-indian-army-in-a-fix/ .

India eyes $8 bn deal for 100 Avenger Predator drones with US for IAF


Having struck a deal with Washington recently to purchase Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems for the Indian Navy, the Narendra Modi government has now set its sights on acquiring jet-propelled Avenger Predator drones from the US for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The estimated requirement of IAF is for 100 drones, sources said, adding that if a deal — most likely with San Diego-headquartered General Atomics — goes through, its size could be around $8 billion.

Besides joint projects under the bilateral Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), in her first major engagement with a foreign counterpart, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman talks on September 26 with the US officials will focus on India-US defence cooperation, maritime security, avenger predator drones, counter-terrorism and other major issues of mutual concern, the sources added. Issues related to American defence companies seeking guarantees of retaining control of propriety and sensitive technologies in joint ventures under the “Make in India” policy, is expected to be raised by the US side.

As reported earlier by FE, the government had made a special official request for Sea Guardian drones “at the highest levels” in January this year and the Trump administration shepherded that through the inter-agency process in Washington DC as a deliverable for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June visit as this $2-billion deal is seen as unlocking the path to India being a major defence partner for the US. Renowned US aerospace scientist Dr Vivek Lall who was instrumental in over $10 billion of US defence sales to India and thereby changing the mix of Indian defense procurements primarily from Russia earlier, has been spearheading the initiative to concretise the US-India defence relationship.

Recent media reports have indicated that the Pakistan foreign ministry has objected to the Sea Guardian Predator sale saying it would upset the balance of military capability in the region. Pakistan had been lobbying at the state department prior to Modi’s visit to ensure the Sea Guardian is not offered to India in response to the latter’s request for such. The fact that the Trump administration did not take heed to Pakistan objections is a great diplomatic win for Modi. The visiting secretary is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Modi and national security advisor Ajit Doval on September 26.

Both countries have inked the logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (LEMOA), however, follow-on foundational agreements like the communication interoperability and security memorandum agreement (CISMOA) and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement (BECA) are still pending.

 financialexpress

French Rafale ready to make jets in India


In line with their contract obligations, French major Dassault Aviation has said it was coordinating between French suppliers and Indian companies to manufacture Rafale fighter jets in India.

Rafale International comprising Dassault Aviation, Safran and Thales has met over 100 French Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Paris. Indian and French Defence Ministry officials, too, were at these meetings. The French Aerospace Industries Association is the nodal agency producing systems and sub-systems for Rafale.

French SMEs were being encouraged to set up production activities in India alongside Dassault Aviation, Safran and Thales as part of the Rafale programme to help the company meet its obligations, said a Rafale spokesperson in India. The move comes two days after a US business chamber expressed its concerns over sharing hi-end technology with Indian companies.

“Encouraging French SMEs to come to India is a key condition to participate in the ‘Make in India’ initiative of PM Narendra Modi and will benefit both French and Indian industries,” the spokesperson said.

Rafale is looking towards creating opportunities for establishing a full-fledged aero-defence manufacturing eco-system in India, said Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO and GIFAS chairman.

The GIFAS is a trade body of 382 members ranging from major prime contractors and system suppliers to small specialist companies.

 tribuneindia

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