A question for indian friends.Where and what's actually doing former minister George Fernandes?how is he considered in India?from a foreigner point of view he seemed very friendly to military.
A question for indian friends.Where and what's actually doing former minister George Fernandes?how is he considered in India?from a foreigner point of view he seemed very friendly to military.
http://www.covert.co.in/brahma.htmChina's next India war
CHINA’S RAPIDLY ACCUMULATING POWER is emboldening Beijing to pursue a more muscular foreign policy. After having touted its “peaceful rise”, it has shown a creeping propensity to flex its muscles — a tendency that has become more ****ounced since it surprised the world with an anti-satellite weapon test in January 2007. Once the Beijing Olympics are over, it may not be long before China takes its gloves off. In fact, over the past year, its actions have ranged from provocatively seeking to assert its jurisdiction over islets claimed by Vietnam and staging large-scale war games in the South and East China Seas, to showcasing its new nuclear submarine capability and whipping up diplomatic spats with countries that grant official hospitality to the Dalai Lama.
What stands out the most is the perceptible hardening of China’s stance towards India. This is manifest from the Chinese military assertiveness on the ground — reflected in rising cross-border incursions — the supply of Chinese arms to rebels in India’s Northeast, the instigation of the Gorkhaland agitation via Nepal connections, and the waging of intermittent cyber-warfare by targeting official Indian websites. From Chinese forces in November 2007 destroying some makeshift Indian Army bunkers near Doka La, at the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, to the Chinese Foreign Minister’s May 2007 message that Beijing no longer was bound by a 2005 agreement that any border-related settlement should not disturb settled populations, bellicosity has been writ large.
Recent unfriendly actions include the post-midnight summoning of the Indian Ambassador in Beijing, slighting visiting External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee by cancelling his scheduled meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao, and deputing a junior functionary to receive earthquake-related relief from Mukherjee. These and other actions run counter to the stated aim of the high-level visits between the two countries to build a stable Sino-Indian relationship based on equilibrium and forward thinking. The public statements coming out from such visits, of course, are deceptively all sweetness and light.
The big question is: What objectives is China seeking to achieve by hardening its position? Indeed, it has gone to the extent of warning India of another 1962-style invasion through one of its state-run institutes. In a recent Mandarin-language commentary posted on the website of the International Institute of Strategic Studies of China, http://www.chinaiiss.org/, the author, using an assumed name, cautioned an “arrogant India” not “to be evil” or else Chinese forces in war “will not pull back 30 kilometres” like in 1962. Such belligerence, which has led to more than three dozen Chinese military forays into Sikkim alone this year, has prompted India to redeploy forces by beefing up defences in the vulnerable Siliguri Corridor, stationing Sukhoi-30s in Tezpur and initiating moves to reactivate seven abandoned airstrips along the Himalayas.
China’s motives remain a puzzle. Yet there are several disturbing parallels between what is happening now and the events between 1959 and 1962 that led to the Chinese invasion. That aggression had been cleverly timed to coincide with the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon. Consider the following parallels:
» Like in the pre-war period, it has now again become commonplace internationally to speak of India and China in the same breath. The aim of “Mao’s India war” in 1962, as Harvard professor Roderick MacFarquhar has called it, were mainly political: to cut India to size by demolishing what it represented — a pluralistic, democratic model to China’s totalitarian political system. As Premier Zhou Enlai publicly admitted then, the war was intended “to teach India a lesson”. The swiftness and force with which Mao Zedong managed to teach India a lesson not only discredited the Indian model in the eyes of the world, but boosted China’s international image and consolidated the Chinese strongman’s internal power to the extent that he could go from his disastrous 1957-61 Great Leap Forward — the greatest genocide in modern history, surpassing even the Holocaust — to wreaking more damage in the name of the Cultural Revolution. It has taken India more than 45 years to again be paired with China — a comparison Beijing viscerally loathes.
» In the Mao years, China instigated and armed major insurgencies in India’s Northeast. That included the Naga rebels, with the China-trained Thuingaleng Muivah still the military chief of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah faction); the Mizo guerrilla movement whose leader Laldenga was openly embraced by Chinese leaders; and Manipur’s so-called People’s Liberation Army. Such assistance ceased after Mao’s death. But today, China may be coming full circle, with Chinese-made arms increasingly flowing into guerrilla ranks in the Northeast. Although an 11-year-old ceasefire between Naga militants and New Delhi has brought peace to Nagaland, several other parts of the Northeast are today wracked by insurgencies, allowing Beijing to fish in troubled waters.
» Like in the period up to 1962, there is a mismatch today between Indian talk and capability, offering a potential incentive to China to try and put India in its place. India’s power pretensions today are such that it believes it can punch above its weight. Yet the gaps in its defences make the parallel with the pre-1962 period glaring.
More than a decade after it went overtly nuclear, the country still lacks a barely minimal deterrent against China. To have peace with China, India needs to be able to defend peace. The advantages China has over India in military infrastructure and logistics, size of conventional forces and being on the upper heights can be neutralised only through an effective nuclear-missile capability. But India has still to deploy its first Beijing-reachable missile. Three decades after China tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, India doesn’t have an ICBM programme even in the pipeline, although it is spending a staggering $3.4 billion on a lunar project bereft of security benefits. While Jawaharlal Nehru made the mistake of chasing romantic goals, the present Prime Minister has consciously chosen deal-making over deterrent-building.
» Mirroring the confusion in New Delhi’s Beijing policy from the mid-1950s to 1962, India today lacks clarity on the ends and means of its strategy vis-à-vis China. Just as there was a propensity in the pre-war period to take Chinese statements at face value and condone furtive Chinese moves, including the nibbling at Indian territory, the Indian establishment today willingly makes allowances for China’s assertiveness. Nothing better illustrates this than Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor’s public assertion that India is as culpable as China in committing cross-border intrusions. His shocking statement not only made light of the increasing number of Chinese incursions, but also implicitly condoned China’s calculated refusal to clarify the frontline. To say the “Chinese have a different perception” of the frontline, as he did, is to disregard the fact that it suits China not to clarify the line of control and keep India under military pressure.
Such wanton indulgence — reminiscent of India’s pre-war miscalculations — can only embolden China to step up intrusions. In another reminder of that era, New Delhi first sought to sweep under the rug the November 2007 Chinese military action near Doka La, only to sheepishly admit the truth four months later, with Pranab Mukherjee telling Parliament last March that although Beijing accepts the Sikkim-Tibet border “as settled in the Anglo-Sikkim Convention of 1890”, “some bunkers have been destroyed and some activities have taken place”.
» Just as India retreated to a defensive position in the border negotiations with Beijing at the beginning of the 1960s after having undermined its leverage through its formal acceptance of the “Tibet region of China”, New Delhi today has drawn back to an untenable negotiating position. Instead of gently shining the spotlight on the core issue of Tibet and China’s continuing occupation of Aksai Chin, India is willing to discuss the newly assertive Chinese claim on Tawang. By contrast, Beijing sticks to its tested old line that what it occupies is Chinese territory and what it claims is also Chinese territory. So what it claims has to be on the negotiating table — a cynical stance India meekly countenances. As a consequence, the wounds of that 32-day war have been kept open by China’s claims to additional Indian areas even as it holds on to the territorial gains of that conflict.
The reality is that the trans-Himalayan military equations have been significantly changed by China’s July 2006 opening of the new railway to Lhasa. The railway, which is now being extended southward to Xigatse and then beyond to Nepal and to two separate points along the Indian border, arms Beijing with a rapid military deployment capability. It may not be a coincidence that China’s growing hardline approach has followed its infrastructure advances on the vast but sparsely populated Tibetan plateau, including the building of the railway and new airfields and highways. It is now constructing the world’s highest airport at Ngari, on the southwestern edge of Tibet. India can expect little respite from the direct and surrogate pressure China is mounting. Through Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal, it will seek to destabilise the Northeast. It will continue to prop up Pakistan militarily to help keep India boxed in on the subcontinent. In fact, it is now seeking to do a Burma in Sri Lanka by emerging as a key arms supplier to Colombo and building a billion-dollar port at Hambantota. More broadly, China has aggressively pursued port-related projects in the Indian Ocean rim countries. The symbols of such Chinese activity include Hambantota, Chittagong and Gwadar, now being expanded into a deepwater naval base. China’s ravenous pursuit of resources, including in India’s periphery, is another factor New Delhi cannot ignore. Constraints on resources are likely to become ****ounced as more and more Indians and Chinese gain income to embrace modern comforts. The global demand for resources is set to soar, along with their prices. Beijing’s energy-import needs have come handy to expand Chinese maritime presence along vital sea-lanes.
An imperial energy age indeed appears to be dawning as a result of China’s aggressive resources-related diplomacy. Consider the following developments:
» The emergence of a 21st-century, energy-related Great Game, with China outmanoeuvring India. Beijing has used its rising energy imports as justification for openly advancing military objectives. While conserving its own oil-and-gas reserves, it has stepped up imports — a strategy it is also pursuing on key minerals. For example, it has more iron-ore reserves than India, yet 52% of Indian exports to China now consist of just one item — iron ore.
» Determined efforts to assert control over energy supplies and transport routes, including mercantilist moves to lock up long-term supplies. Such is China’s emphasis on legal ownership that it has been buying energy assets in faraway lands often at inflated prices.
The popular perception is that Chinese and Indian energy companies are engaged in fierce bidding wars to acquire overseas assets. But the cash-rich Chinese companies have easily beaten Indian competition everywhere. The only exception was the Akpo deepwater oil field in Nigeria, where India’s ONGC won the right to buy South Atlantic Petroleum’s 45% stake. The irony, however, is that New Delhi blocked ONGC from picking up that stake on grounds that the $2-billion investment entailed unacceptable risks as the Nigerian majority stakeholder was a dubious, politically manipulated shell company. But no sooner had ONGC backed out from the deal than the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil producer, signed an accord on 9 January 2006, to pay $2.27 billion for the same 45% stake.
» China is actively pursuing access-gaining projects along the major trade arteries in the Indian Ocean rim. Consequently, it is beginning to position itself along the sea-lanes from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea.
With an increasingly assertive China to the north, a China-allied Pakistan on the west, a Chinese-influenced Burma to the east, and growing Chinese naval interest in the Indian Ocean, India has to foil its strategic encirclement. India’s energy-security interests, in fact, demand that its Navy play a greater role in the Indian Ocean, a crucial international passageway for oil deliveries. In addition to safeguarding the sea-lanes, the Navy has to protect the country’s large energy infrastructure of onshore and offshore oil and gas wells, liquefied natural gas terminals, refineries, pipeline grids and oil-exploration work within the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
» The establishment of interstate energy corridors (which also double up as strategic corridors) through the planned construction of pipelines to transport oil or gas sourced from third countries. China is busily fashioning two such corridors on either side of India through which it would transfer Gulf and African oil for its consumption, reducing its reliance on US-policed shipping lanes through the Malacca and Taiwan Straits and also cutting freight costs and supply time in the process.
One corridor extends northwards from the Chinese-built Pakistani port of Gwadar, which represents China’s first strategic foothold in the Arabian Sea. Located at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, Gwadar is to link up with the Trans-Karakoram Strategic Corridor to western China. The second is the Irrawaddy Corridor designed to connect Chinese-aided Burmese ports with China’s Yunnan, Sichuan and Chongqing provinces through road, river, rail and energy links.
» Strategic plans to assemble a “string of pearls” in the form of listening posts and special naval-access arrangements along the Indian Ocean sea-lanes. With its new blue-water navy and access arrangements around peninsular India, China is threatening to turn the Indian Ocean into the Chinese Ocean one day. As Navy chief Admiral Suresh Mehta said in a speech last January, “Each pearl in the string is a link in the chain of Chinese maritime presence”. That presence is now being extended all the way to Mauritius, where China is opening a trade development zone at a cost of some $730 million, making it the largest foreign direct investment in that island-nation.
Add to this picture another resource issue, the one with the greatest strategic bearing on the long-term interests of India and China — water. Although India’s usable arable land is larger than China’s — 160.5 million hectares compared to 137.1 million hectares — the source of all the major Indian rivers except the Ganges is the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau. But even the two main tributaries of the Ganges flow in from the Tibetan plateau — the source of the great river systems of China, South-East and South Asia, including the Brahmaputra, Indus, Mekong, Salween, Yangzi and Yellow. These rivers, fed by Himalayan snowmelt, are a lifeline to the 1.4 billion people living in their basins.
Given China’s ambitious inter-basin and inter-river water transfer projects in the Tibetan plateau and its upstream damming of the Brahmaputra, Sutlej and other rivers, water is likely to become a cause of Sino-Indian tensions. If President Hu Jintao — a hydrologist by training who has served as party secretary in Tibet — begins China’s long-pending project to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra northwards to the parched Yellow River, it would constitute the declaration of a water war on lower-riparian India and Bangladesh. Climate change, in any event, will have a significant impact on the availability and flow of river waters from the Himalayas and Tibetan highlands, making water a key element in the national-security calculus of China and India.
The centrality of the Tibet issue has been highlighted both by China’s Tibet-linked territorial claim to Arunachal Pradesh and by its hydro projects on the plateau. Through its water-transfer projects, Beijing is threatening to fashion water into a weapon against India. Also, given the clear link between Tibet’s fragile ecosystem and the climatic stability of the Indian subcontinent, China’s reckless exploitation of Tibet’s vast mineral resources and its large engineering works there are already playing havoc with the ecology.
India and China may be 5,000-year-old civilisations, but it is often forgotten that the two have been neighbours for only the past 58 years. After all, it wasn’t geography but guns — the sudden occupation of the traditional buffer, Tibet, soon after the Communists came to power in Beijing — that made China India’s neighbour. Nehru later admitted he had not anticipated the swiftness and callousness with which China forcibly absorbed Tibet because he had been “led to believe by the Chinese foreign office that the Chinese would settle the future of Tibet in a peaceful manner by direct negotiation with the representatives of Tibet”.
Latest developments are a reminder that the 1962 war did not fully slake China’s geopolitical or territorial ambitions. In fact, instead of building a win-win relationship with India based on a constructive, forward-looking approach, China still harks back to the past, to the unfinished business of 1962, by assertively laying claim to additional Indian territories while blocking progress on defining the long line of control separating the two countries. Such intransigence and expansionist intent come even as it continues to occupy one-fifth of the original state of Jammu and Kashmir and steps up its cross-border incursions into India.
It is against this background that a key question emerges: what if China sets out to “teach India a lesson” again? This is a question that can no longer be brushed aside, considering China’s growing proclivity to up the ante against India. Henry Kissinger once said China is a closed society with an open mind, while India is an open society with a closed mind and a know-all attitude. It was that attitude — and the refusal to heed the warning signs — that caught India by surprise when the Chinese army poured in through two separate fronts in 1962.
Today, two words define India’s China policy: confusion and forbearance. Caution with prudence is desirable. But can India afford to be overcautious, clueless and indulgent? In the celebrated words of Edmund Burke, those who fail to learn from history are sure to repeat history. Whatever India learned from 1962 seems to have been forgotten, with the country now torn by internal squabbling and policy disarray
Brahma Chellaney is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems...20080718021439Full transfer of Scorpene technology: French firm
French warship major DCNS says it will fully transfer technology for its Scorpene submarines that are being built in this country for the Indian Navy and that the six boats contracted for will be delivered on schedule by 2017.
"Transfer of technology is not an issue. We will fully abide by our contractual obligations and even go a step further by providing equipment that has not even been asked for but will aid in the construction of the submarines," said DCNS chairperson and CEO Jean-Marie Poimboeuf.
"We have already started to transfer technology. This is a big challenge but we are totally confident we will achieve what we have set out to do," Paris-based Poimboeuf told IANS in an interview here.
India and France had in 2005 signed a Rs.130 billion ($3 billion) deal for six Scorpene submarines armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles. It was originally thought that one of these would be in sail-away condition while the remaining five would be manufactured at the state-owned Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) at Mumbai. It now transpires that MDL would build all the six vessels.
"There is no restriction at all from the French government (on transferring technology)," Poimboeuf pointed out.
The official is here for a visit he undertakes every six months to monitor the progress in the construction of the first Scorpene submarine at MDL, which began last year.
He has also interacted with defence ministry officials on future contracts - including for the next generation Scorpenes that will be capable of firing long-range air-breathing missiles.
Discussing the challenges in transferring technology, Poimboeuf said this was because the wheel had virtually to be reinvented in training Indian engineers and technicians for the job at hand.
"We had to start from scratch because whatever expertise India had acquired in building submarines had been lost as no boats have been constructed for nearly 20 years," Poimboeuf explained.
The last time a submarine was built in India was in the late 1980s when MDL constructed under licence two German HDW boats, in addition to two that the Indian Navy had purchased in sail-away condition. MDL was to have constructed a total of four boats but the contract was abruptly terminated following charges that HDW had paid massive kickbacks to secure the Rs.4.20 billion deal.
The four HDW submarines in the Indian Navy's fleet of 16 boats will approach the end of their combat life between 2016 and 2024.
"Today, there is a new generation (of Indian engineers and technicians). We have to start from scratch in training them and are very serious about this," Poimboeuf said.
Toward this end, DCNS has deployed 15 French engineers at MDL against the six it was obligated to and plans to raise the number to 30 as the project proceeds.
It is also opening a fully owned-subsidiary in Mumbai next month to speed up the technology transfer process and to involve Indian industries by way of joint ventures or outsourcing.
"The subsidiary would not only support the submarine project but work with local companies to indigenise the boats," Poimboeuf explained.
Speaking about the construction of the first Scorpene, he said its various sections were being built and after integration of the systems they would carry, they would be put together by the end of the year.
"The full integration of all the systems would take another three years, after which sea trials would be conducted over a period of 12-18 months before the vessel is declared fully operational by 2012," DCNS Vice President (Projects) Pierre Legros explained.
NOT good NEWSDefence Ministry suggests quality waiver to fill posts New Delhi, July 18: In a bid to meet the dearth of officers in armed forces, the Defence Ministry has suggested to all the three services a "one-time waiver" in Quality Requirements (QR) on recruitment besides taking a fresh look on premature retirements of its personnel.
In a letter to the Army, IAF and Indian Navy, a senior Defence Ministry official of the rank of Special Secretary has suggested that the "services may consider the feasibility of conducting a special drive to fill up the vacancies by giving a one-time dispensation in the QRs."
The total number of vacancies in the armed forces is more than 13,000.
While pointing out that the rejection of candidates at Service Selection Board was 95 per cent, the letter said there was no dearth of applicants to serve in the armed forces.
"As a matter of fact there is an overwhelming response to all the entries for which recruitment is open to the general public.
"It is pointed out time and again by the Services that large number of these candidates do not meet the QR," the letter said and asked whether the armed forces had "any action plan to revisit their parameters of QRs."
The letter also pointed out that a large number of officers were granted premature retirement on some ground or the other -- a practice which needed to be reviewed.
The 6th Pay commission has to act, or this great institution will be in ruins
Last edited by Adux; 07-18-2008 at 02:44 PM.
Our Male dominated society is not being very comfortable with women in combat, heck Pakistan backward Islamic country has made more progress here. Kudos to them.
The problem with our country, is that our Independence was from non-violence and beaurcrats hold disproportionate power, The Governmental salary's from both civilians and militarymen come under same the purview, the babu's(Buearucrats) cant fathom that people who lay down their life will get more money than them. A peon(helper) in government service gets nearly Rs.8500/month while the Army gets a man to die for Rs.5000. Talk about efficency. The Army has one of the best officer corps in the world, They have developed their own schools etc such as High Altitude warfare school, Jungle warfare, COIN etc..from what I hear from soldiers from US and UK. They are far more than impressed. The situation is grim for the military men and there is no denying it.
Picture of Gas Turbine Engine : Kaveri, powering a Naval Test Ship
Latest Pictures of Light Combat Aircraft : Tejas Twin Seat Trainer
http://www.hindu.com/2008/07/19/stor...1960451700.htmFrance offers India partnership to export submarines
NEW DELHI: France has offered India a partnership to export hi-tech submarines to third countries. “Our strategy is not only to be in India for developing products for India but to develop for others because we think that a submarine is a strategic defence system which a lot of navies are interested in developing,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DCNS Jean-Marie Poimbeuf told The Hindu.
Submarines are counted as among the most potent defence platforms as they can operate undetected far beyond a country’s shores. The DCNS, 75 per cent owned by the French government, is currently building six submarines for India at Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, at a cost of about Rs. 15,000 crore.
“We think India is a good place to develop activity for other countries. We have a lot of countries interested in submarines. Singapore would acquire new submarines in three to five years. Malaysia might ask for a second batch of submarine. Thailand and Indonesia would be interested,” Mr. Poimbeuf said.
Since a submarine is a big-ticket item – each submarine being built for the Indian Navy will cost about Rs. 2,500 crore – the opportunities for the Indian industry would be huge in case the French offer materialises. As a step towards intensifying cooperation with Indian companies, a DCNS subsidiary will be operational next month. It will help in the ongoing submarine project and also set up joint ventures with local companies to locally build specific equipment for submarines.
Project on torpedoes
“Beyond the submarine project, the DCNS (India) will develop cooperation with other shipyards. The DCNS is already working on propulsion system for corvettes with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). There is another project of cooperation on torpedoes,” said Mr. Poimbeuf.
The DCNS, he assured, was ready to continue with technology transfer and work with local companies. “We will be very open to technology transfer. We will listen to the governmental policy on the way they would like [the next lot of] submarine would be constructed. We are totally open to develop industrial cooperation and set up a joint venture with a local company that Indian government allow us to do,” he observed.
The DCNS chief said his company would reply to the request for information (RFI) for the next batch of submarines. It is also in discussion for other projects. “We received a RFI for training ships and offshore patrol vessels and would like to answer in cooperation with local shipyard. We will participate with design and support the construction in India.”
The company’s top brass held several sounds of discussions last week with Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta to discuss technology transfer for the present lot of submarines. “I read in newspapers and assured him that there was no restriction on technology transfer from the French government and we are doing that since the beginning of the contract,” he explained.
Admitting that the building of the first submarine had been delayed, he was, however, optimistic of the six submarines rolling out by the projected date of 2017. “It is a very complex naval system. There is nothing more complex more than a submarine. Besides, for over 15 years there was no activity regarding construction of submarines in India. To restart this activity takes time.”
India Plans To Purchase Maritime Patrol Planes
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI NEW DELHI — The Indian Navy is looking to buy six armed, medium-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRAs) for about $400 million.
In January, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard asked the Defence Ministry to buy 12 MRAs, but the ministry has asked for bids on just six, surprising senior Navy planners, the official said.
Ministry officials said the Navy is also buying eight long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft— the request for bids went out in 2005, and no decision has been made between finalists Boeing and EADS — so it cannot afford more than six medium-range planes.
They said the ministry will keep open the option to order six more aircraft five years from now.
The request for proposals went out in recent weeks to 20 companies, including Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, Antonov of Ukraine, Bombardier Aerospace of Canada, Dassault of France, Dornier of Germany, EADS CASA of Spain, Embraer of Brazil, Gulfstream Aerospace of the United States, Hindustan Aeronautics of India and others.
The tropicalized, all-weather, day-and-night aircraft would primarily be used by the Navy for maritime patrol, anti-surface warfare, electronics signals intelligence, electronic surveillance and communications intelligence, a Navy official said.
Among the requirements: reliable airframe, two fuel-efficient engines, integrated advanced avionics that can detect, identify and classify all types of surface and air targets, including submarine periscopes, low-flying aircraft and missiles and surface vessels.
The MRA also will need advanced missile warning systems, a laser warning system, and a radar that can find and track at least 50 targets in 360 degrees of coverage.
The Navy has a requirement of more than 35 medium- and longrange MRAs. Today’s maritime surveillance fleet includes Russian Il-38, Tu-142, Dornier and UAVs from Israel.
French Firm Cleared Over Indian Sub Deal
Published: 17 Jul 14:58 EDT (18:58 GMT)
NEW DELHI - Indian detectives have found no evidence to support allegations of bribery surrounding a deal with a French defense firm to buy Scorpene submarines, an official said July 17.
The Delhi High Court had last year ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into claims that kickbacks were involved in the 2.4 billion euro deal.
But the CBI has asked the court to close the case because it could not find evidence of bribery, a CBI official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
"All angles of the case had been examined, and we found no evidence of wrongdoing," the CBI official said.
In October 2005 India signed contracts worth 2.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion) with Armaris, which is owned by France's Thales, and European defense firm MBDA to buy six of the Franco-Spanish submarines.
The deal is a technology transfer agreement.
The submarines will be assembled in India, but French naval group Direction des Compagnies Navales (DCN) will produce various key parts requiring equipment that is unavailable in Indian shipyards.
An Indian pressure group and the main opposition party alleged New Delhi was shielding Indian middlemen who took commissions from French defense giant Thales to clinch the deal.
Thales and the French government denied the allegations.
Earlier this year, India scrapped a $600 million deal to buy 197 military helicopters from the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) after allegations of corruption in the bidding process.
India banned middlemen in military deals after charges of bribery in a multi-billion-dollar artillery deal in the 1980s with Swedish firm Bofors.
That scandal led to the downfall of prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's government in 1989. The slain leader's Congress party, which today heads the government - is now led by his widow, Sonia.
Defense NewsIndia Battles Slip In Fleet Availability
By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI
NEW DELHI — The Indian Air Force (IAF) is trying to stem the declining combat readiness of its aircraft with a 10-year, $50 billion buy-and*upgrade plan, a senior Indian Defense Ministry official said.
IAF officials are also accelerating the creation of Aerospace Command, which will integrate satellites into the Air Force.
The IAF has 37 squadrons of about 20 aircraft apiece, which is already below the authorized level of 39.5 and far below the ideal of 44, the official said. Yet as aircraft age and are grounded over the next 10 years — especially older Russian planes — the number of squadrons could fall to 26 by 2018, the official said.
The centerpiece of the IAF’s purchase effort is the $9 billion global hunt for 126 Medium Range Multirole Combat Aircraft. A winner is expected to be picked by 2010.
Other contracts are already in place. Last year, the IAF ordered 40 Su-30MKI aircraft from Russia for more than $2 billion, which will arrive in 2009. Delivery of three Phalcon-based Airborne Warning and Control Systems is to start in August; the Defence Research and Development Organisation is to build three more homegrown AWACS in the next five to seven years.
The IAF is speeding up the $7 billion licensed production of 140 Su-30MKIs by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), an*ticipating final delivery four years ahead of time in 2014.
Now the IAF plans to add four tanker aircraft to its six Il-78s; a request for proposals (RfP) will be issued by year end, and a request for information was sent in January to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Ilyushin Design Bureau of Russia and Antonov of Ukraine.
The IAF plans to stand up one squadron of homegrown Light Combat Aircraft beginning in 2010.
India also wants to develop a fifth-generation multirole aircraft with Russia, thanks to a 2007 agreement that partners HAL and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau.
Sources in the Defense Ministry say Russia will be able to fly the fifth-generation aircraft in the next two years, as they have begun work on the prototype, and service entry will be sometime between 2012 and 2015.
They said the ministry is already looking to pick the arms and elec*tronic-warfare system for the aircraft, which is to serve for 30 years, a senior IAF official said.
Meanwhile, India’s Aeronautical Development Agency in Bangalore is working to finalize the design for the Air Force’s planned Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA), expected to replace the service’s British-built Jaguars and French Mirage 2000s by 2015.
In April, the ministry ordered the purchase of 384 helicopters from overseas companies; they will be partly built at HAL while 197 helicopters will be purchased from overseas. Last year, the Indian government cleared the purchase of eight U.S. C-130J airlifters.
Upgrades are planned for the IAF’s MiG-21s, MiG-27s, MiG-29s and Mirage- 2000-H aircraft, the official said. An effort to upgrade 125 of more than 200 MiG-21s is almost complete.
The upgrade of another 100 of more than 200 MiG-27s will be completed in two years. Upgrades of about 65 MiG-29 and 50 Mirage 2000-H aircraft have been ordered. The IAF, which has 100 Russian airlifters, is also undertaking upgrades of all of the Il-76 and An-32 transport aircraft.
Integrated Space Cell
In June, the Indian government decided to set up an Integrated Space Cell to help the military, Department of Space and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) join to protect Indian satellites, the ministry official said.
The cell will also help with the $3 billion-plus setup of the Aerospace Command and its dedicated satellites, the IAF official said.
The idea of the Aerospace Command was floated after the 1999 Pakistan intrusion in the Kargil area but put on hold by the ministry for financial reasons and lack of agreement on whether to have a separate command for the Indian Air Force and other forces, the ministry official said.
Aerospace Command is envisioned as the headquarters of space technologies that will link radar and communications networks and be used for ballistic missile defense and intelligencegathering.
If the IAF can carry out its planned acquisitions and upgrades on time, the combat worthiness of the force will not be hurt as aircraft are retired, said Bhim Singh, a retired Indian Air Force wing commander.
I perceive is that we will have Two Variants of the (Fifth Generation Fighter) Aircraft’
Intro: Director, Corporate Planning and Marketing, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, M Fakruddin
What steps is HAL taking towards the development of indigenous UAVs?
It is certain that UAVs are going to be the future. HAL is interested in design & manufacture of UAVs in different categories. In the mini-UAV range of 5kg to 25 kg we are working with an Israeli company and are manufacturing the structure. The agreement with them is for the transfer of technology (ToT) of sensors and payloads. In phase I, we are making the structure. In phase II, which is yet to commence, we will do the integration and marketing. After this, the payloads will be made within the country. This UAV therefore is a co-development and co-production project. There will be a requirement of at least 200 mini UAVs mostly for the army. These UAVs can also be used by the Para-military and border security forces.
The structure of these UAVs is of composite material to be made by us. In the first phase, the integration is being done by us. After 100 of these UAVs are produced, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) will manufacture the ground station, while we will make the mission computer. All this work will be done in 11th (2007-2012) and 12th (2012-2017) Defence Plan.
A slightly bigger UAV, Lakshya, pilot-less target aircraft (PTA), has already gone into production. In this, the design has been done by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the frame is by HAL and the ground station is being made by BEL. As various agencies are involved in the programme, it is a complex system from the logistics point of view. Though, Lakshya can be called a UAV as it is actually a pilot-less drone.
Then there is Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV. The Services already have Herons and Searcher. We are doing maintenance of these, including the payloads, excluding MOSP sensors. Between HAL and BEL, we can also do the maintenance of MOSP sensors which we will start shortly.
The next level for us is to manufacture these UAVs in India, for which the ADE is the nominated agency by the government. They are working on the programme. We, HAL and BEL, have given a proposal to ADE that we could be the production agency; we would like to be involved in the development as well. ADE has sent a RFQ to various companies so that they can make up their minds as to which direction they would like to go.
For the navy’s rotary UAVs, an agreement has already been reached with IAI of Israel for joint development. This will be the conversion of our Cheetah helicopter, with introduction of automated controls. The choice of Cheetah was obvious as we have them in large numbers, all the three services use them and they are time-tested. While the contract has yet not been signed, we have started work on collection of aerodynamic data on Cheetah helicopter so that necessary flight control systems can be developed. To start with, we will convert two Cheetah helicopters, one in India and another in Israel. Subsequently, we will produce fresh Cheetah helicopters with the automatic control system in place. The advantage of rotary UAVs is that they can land and take-off from anywhere, which is why the navy has opted for this. The navy is closely involved with this project and they have given us the specifications. The contract hopefully will be signed by the end of the year, between Indian MoD and HAL and HAL in turn will have a contract with IAI. All the modalities have been worked out.
How many Cheetah UAVs are you looking to build?
Initially, it will be eight to 10. Hopefully, there will be more subsequently. I must mention here that we are also thinking about the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV). While no conceptual work has started on this, we certainly will be talking about these in four to five years.
There are reports that HAL would field its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for the recently released IAF’s RFP for 22 attack helicopters. Are these reports correct?
HAL has no information regarding the RFP for attack helicopter. However, LCH will be ready by the end of this year and its maiden flight is expected in the beginning next year. After that we will take a year and a half for certification. Roughly speaking, the LCH will be ready for induction in the IAF by 2010-2011.
The combined requirement of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) for the army and the IAF is about 384. While a small number will be procured off the shelf, HAL will be required to produce the remaining numbers. What is the update on this?
Earlier there was army’s proposal for 197 LUH, where a few were to be brought off the shelf while the remaining were to be built by HAL, but this has been scrapped. The Air Force then projected their own requirement of LUH. At this stage, as the total number is very large, it was considered proper to develop these helicopters indigenously. You may recall that way back in 1998 HAL had proposed development of Light Utility/Observation Helicopter, which was when the army’s requirement for these helicopters had first come up. After much discussion, it has now been agreed that roughly half the quantity of helicopters will be purchased from outside, whose maintenance facilities will be set-up in India. For the remaining requirement, HAL will design, develop, manufacture and maintain the helicopters in India. It will be completely an Indian product.
Will you need an outside partner in this venture?
Not necessarily. We have all the required capabilities within the country. However, there may be time, management and cost issues. So at some stage we may have to take a call whether this needs to be done in partnership or consultation with somebody. I can share with you that our objective will be to deliver these helicopters at the earliest.
Won’t you need to increase your helicopter manufacturing capacity from the present 25 to 100 per year? There is no doubt that we need to increase our helicopter manufacturing capacity. Plenty of work has been done in expanding the ALH capacity, in the sense that new divisions have been set up to manufacture and overhaul ALH. We have taken away Cheetah and Chetak repair from this division. Now the ALH division’s task is only to produce ALH. Our target is that by next year we should be able to produce 35 to 40 ALH per year. Regarding the LCH, its production will take off when the ALH production will taper down. Right now, we have an order of 168 ALH. In about six year’s time we should be able to finish this production. If there are fresh orders, it may take up to seven to eight years. As I mentioned, the LCH production will take another three to four years, the combination of ALH and LCH production from the same division fit in very well.
For LUH we will need a separate division. This division will have the assembly and testing groups but may not have all the manufacturing capabilities, which we may outsource to various companies in the country. As we expand our base, we want to become more of assembly and integration unit for which we are encouraging a lot of private companies to manufacture our requirements.
Won’t it be better if you sought a partner for LUH?
As the LUH is in the category of two and half to three tons, it is essentially a replacement for Cheetah and Chetak. Considering the time frame that we are looking at, we would definitely look for a partner for LUH.
There are reports that the navy is not satisfied with the navalised ALH and will not be placing any more orders. Is this true?
Navy has specialised mission requirements. They also need to hover in an area for a certain specified time, and when they return to the ship, they need a certain residual fuel still left in the helicopter. All this requires a heavier helicopter, probably in the range of 10 tons or so, which is why ALH at 5.5 ton cannot meet these requirements. The option is that the ALH either carry the needed weapons or the fuel. While the navy will utilise the ALH for the utility purpose, they will need a bigger helicopter for its specific missions.
What do you think of the Cheetal helicopters, especially when the IAF does not seem very happy about it, as they say that except for a slightly more powerful engine everything else is old
It does not matter if the air frame is one or 25 years old, as it is a metallic structure. In Cheetal, the engine is more powerful. The avionics are new and not the same as we started with. We can integrate any new system that the services may need on this platform. As of now, the orders are not very large, but this may increase in the future. Cheetal will be inducted into the IAF this year.
Where does ALH Dhruv stand today in terms of exports?
In terms of performance, Dhruv is one of the best in its class. The price is obviously the best in the world. Exports are not based entirely on the performance or the price. For example, we had bid in Chile. They were completely satisfied with the performance of Dhruv and our price was also very competitive. But eventually, the contract went to the helicopter which was higher priced than Dhruv. These things are inexplicable. Military export market is difficult to break into and hardware needs to be packaged in a geo-political agreement. For India, the opportunities really are in South America, some parts of Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. Another aspect that we need to look into is how to provide life cycle support to customers who may procure very small numbers of Dhruv. There are various options that we need to consider. One could be to train certain people in that country itself who can maintain the helicopters.
How important is it to get the flight certification from, let’s say the US or Europe for exports of Dhruv?
We are working on getting the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for Dhruv and I am hopeful that it will come soon. Another thing that we are doing is looking at bilateral certification, meaning that the country which imports Dhruv gets it certified by its own regulatory body. For example, when we went to Chile, their equivalent of our DGCA co-validated the helicopter. This procedure will certainly satisfy some countries, but there are countries that will insist on EASA certification.
How are you confident of giving six squadrons of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the IAF by the end of 12th plan when the IOC will only be available by 2010-2011?
At this stage, we are only talking of two squadrons. Reliability of the Multi-Mode Radar (MMR), weaponisation are being validated. Then there is the question of the indigenous engine. If it does not perform to the required level, we may have to look at the LCA project all over again.世界论坛网 http://www.wforum.com/gbindex.html
What is your association with Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) that is developing the Kaveri engine for the LCA?
Our role is limited to consultancy. We interact when required but we are not involved in programme management or programme implementation. We do manufacture a number of modules for them.
One of the spin-offs of the LCA programme has been the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) that you built. How much does IJT owe to LCA?
The entire method of design has been taken from the LCA. IJT has been designed entirely on the computer; hence the product is exactly the way the designer had visualised. Secondly, many of the nearly 300 companies all over the country who are participating in the LCA programme contributed to IJT. This vendor base would not have developed in India were we not developing the LCA.
What is the future of IJT?
IJTs will replace Kiran jet trainers. I can say that IJT is the most competitive jet trainer in its class. I do hope that IJT will soon be ready for our Services and for exports
Given that the Russians have already started work on the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), what kind of a role is HAL seeking with the agreement on co-development, especially when we will be contributing 50 per cent to the total investment? How do we make this truly a joint venture?
By the time we signed the agreement, Russia had already done considerable amount of work on the air frame. The design configuration has been frozen and they have started manufacturing components. But this is only in relation to the air frame. The systems in it are by and large similar to those in Su-30. Now they want to switch over to better systems. They would like to go in for the composite structure (unlike Su-30, which is all metal). We want a twin-seater aircraft, which the Russians did not envisage. With a twin-seater, the entire fuselage, wing structure and indeed the design will change. It needs to be understood that air frame configuration freeze and manufacture of first prototype is only a small portion of the whole work. After this, a whole lot of testing and integration of components need to be done. During these tests, there will be a number of necessary modifications that will have to be made. There will be considerable learning during this testing stage. For this reason, I am hopeful that we can take on 50 per cent of the work, provided we join the project as soon as possible.
The sense that one gets is that the Russians believe that they will contribute almost 90 per cent to the project. With such a mindset, how is an equal partnership possible?
The question that we need to ask is whether we have one or two variants. The Russians would like to go ahead with their air frame, engine and systems, whereas we may not like to have the same engine or navigation system. What I perceive is that we will have two variants of the aircraft. In the final product, there may be an aircraft which is 90 per cent Russian and there can be another aircraft which is 50 per cent Russian.
Are you in discussion with Russians about this?
Yes, we are talking about this. They are open to a two-variant scheme.
What sort of benefits in terms of sharing are you looking at from the MRCA deal?
The RFP is very clear. There has to be a total transfer of technology. While the air frame and the engine will be made at HAL, the various systems can be made by other agencies. On the whole, certain percentages have been specified where the seller will have to provide the ToT. The idea is that India should have the manufacturing and the maintenance capability. The issue that we need to address is do we have the capability as well as the capacity to undertake this work or not? As far as the former is concerned, I would say that we have, except for a few select technologies, for which we need the ToT. Let us not forget that we are producing Su-30, which is one of the best aircraft in the world, in India. However, as far as capacity is concerned, we will have to see if we can make do with the existing one along with the Jaguars and LCAs or do we need to invest in additional infrastructure? We will also see how much production work we can do and how much we will need to outsource to private companies. We are very clear that we do not want to produce everything in-house, unlike till 2001 when the defence manufacturing was closed to the private sector. But since then we have been encouraging private partnership. For Su-30, the entire stabilisers and fins are being produced outside.
Investment in infrastructure is only one aspect of development. How do you get quality manpower in a hurry?
The mental make-up of the people in HAL is different from what you see in other industries. Conforming to the technological document is drilled in the people from the moment they join HAL and once they are there for a few years, it becomes a habit. While we do have a problem with designers, as it takes longer to train them, technicians are not an issue at all. We are taking 400-500 engineers every year for the last four years to augment our design strength.
How many Su-30MKI are you making for the IAF every year?
I cannot share the exact number, but we are certainly meeting the target set by the air force. Earlier, the programme was to end in 2017-18. Now we have reduced the time by three years. We are meeting the accelerated rate of production and will complete the programme by 2015.
From Force Magazine