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Old 03-28-2012, 12:48 AM   #21

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Link: Defence Minister Gerald Howarth is flying to India today in a bid to rescue a $10bn contract to sell Typhoon fast jets to the Indian Air Force.

French firm Dassault's Rafale was chosen as lowest-priced offer in the 126-jet Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) contract in late January, but suggestions of "manipulation" in the bidding process are currently being investigated after complaints from an Indian MP.

The suggestions were made by Mysura Reddy, who wrote to India's Defence Minister AK Antony to say he was surprised to learn of the Rafale's win as it had "failed in precision bombing" over Libya and had secured no other export orders.

Referring to unspecified reports of irregularities in the bid, Reddy wrote that the Indian defence ministry "must ensure there has been no manipulation in the evaluation process".

In response, Antony agreed to investigate "all points" raised by Reddy, and said he would be prepared to cancel the contract if evidence of manipulation was found.

Howarth, UK Minister for International Security Strategy, last visited India in early February to discuss offering a reduction in the price offered for the Typhoon jets.

Speaking in the House of commons on 26 March, Howarth said he took reports of bid irregularities "very seriously".

"I have read the reports about the internal investigation that Minister Antony, the Defence Minister in India, has instigated. I shall be flying to India tomorrow, where I hope to have discussions with Indian Ministers and other officials."

Howarth also responded to criticism that German officials had led the Typhoon bidding process in India, despite the UK benefiting from better relations with the Indian government.

"The previous government decided that the project would be led by the Germans, despite all the connections the UK has with India," said Howarth.

"We and BAE Systems are taking a very active part not only in preparing ourselves in case the Indians would like us to resubmit and talk to us again, but in discussions with EADS, Cassidian, the German government and our other two partners.

"We are also working very hard on the export drive to make up for the loss and damage done by Labour when it was in government."
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:56 PM   #22

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Link Korea Defense Exports to India: Tough Part of a Strategic Partnership

Last month South Koreaâ??s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) commissioner Noh Dae-lae stated that DAPA had exceeded its defense exports goals last year and was now attempting to sell over $3 billion defense exports in 2012. South Korea might have hit that $3 billion mark last year if it won a contract from the Indian Air Force to supply 75 KT-1 fighter aircraft trainers. Despite losing out on the bid, South Koreaâ??s should continue to compete for military acquisition bids by the Indian military and other emerging countries to help strengthen partnerships and enhance its domestic military development.

South Korea is looking to increase its military exports. Shipbuilding has typically been one of South Koreaâ??s main advantages. Last year, Korea was able to win a contract worth around $500 million for eight minesweepers to India to help protect Indian harbors from being mined by enemy submarines.

Korea has also had success in selling fighter aircraft trainers abroad. The KT-1 and the T-50 are the two fighter trainers Korea has pushed in competitive bid selections by foreign countries. Indonesia bought 12 KT-1 fighter trainers in 2001 and signed a deal last year to buy 16 T-50 fighter jet trainers from Korea. Turkey agreed to buy 40 KT-1 trainers as well.

Success in these countries led to the KT-1 competing in Indiaâ??s bid for fighter trainers. The KT-1 recently came in second behind the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 in this competition. However, South Korea has filed a complaint arguing that Switzerlandâ??s Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. did not submit a maintenance transfer of technology cost assessment (MTOT), giving the Pilatus PC-7 aircraft a cost advantage over the other competitors. The complaint appears to have delayed the Indian Air Forceâ??s process of moving forward with Pilatus, but it will likely be difficult to see the decision reversed and given to the KT-1.

The intense competition to win the fighter trainer contract and the uncertainty around the decision recalls the rejection by Indiaâ??s Ministry of Defense of the U.S.â??s bids from Boeing with its F-18 and Lockheed Martin with its F-16 for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition. Dassaultâ??s Rafale fighter recently won this high-profile bid.

The combination of companies trying to win military contracts worth millions of dollars (or billions with the MMRCA bid) and countries attempting to augment their partnerships with a rising India makes these bids even more competitive. Indiaâ??s desire to strengthen its military capabilities and its history of purchasing equipment and arms from variety of companies from multiple countries will likely remain, keeping competition for military contracts fierce. Winning a large military contract with India helps solidify a countryâ??s strategic partnership with Indian and provide a unique connection that further enhances the relationship between the two countries. South Korea is hoping its new strategic partnership with India would lead to success with its defense exports to the rising power. Winning the minesweeper contract but difficulties with the fighter trainer competition demonstrate the tough aspects of the military acquisition process in India. However, South Korea should continue to pursue military bids in India and create connections with Indian military officials, which will benefit the long-term strategic aspects of their strategic partnership and the enhancement of overall South Korea â?? India relations.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #23

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Saltoro, not Siachen

Having occupied the commanding heights of Siachen glacier, the Indian Army has no reason to vacate them to make life easier for the Pakistani Army.

On April 13, 1984, India began its most audacious military campaign when troops of the Kumaon Regiment were pushed up the heights of Siachen glacier. It is now 28 years to the day India launched ‘Operation Meghdoot’, the official name given to the military campaign on the world’s highest battleground. By sending troops in April, prematurely in mountaineering parlance, India wrested the initiative from Pakistan which had planned to send its soldiers sometime later in May 1984. By the time they began their climb the Indian Army was already ensconced on the heights, with the Indian Air Force undertaking air supply sorties. In the 28 years since that day, the Army has only increased its presence on the heights, gaining territory in the process. And the Air Force has only increased its expertise and experience in maintaining troops at those heights. Army aviation has also been an invaluable contributor to the war effort in Siachen.

The Siachen conflict began because of incomplete cartographic commitments between India and Pakistan. In delineating and describing the Line of Control, military and diplomatic officials of both countries erred in ending the narrative at NJ 9842, followed by ‘thence north to the glaciers’, the most oft-quoted cartographic blunder. Even the Simla Agreement repeated the same error, and this despite the first battles already fought over the heights north of the Srinagar-Leh highway. International mountaineering expeditions then began to seek permission from Islamabad to climb in this area, all on the basis of American maps that depicted Siachen as under Pakistan’s control. Protests and counter-protests at the diplomatic level remained unanswered. Thus began the military stakes in the conflict. It took a late August 1983 coming together of the Ladakh Scouts and the Pakistani Army’s Special Services Group that finally clinched it for both countries.

Preparations began immediately for the eventual escalation during the next climbing season. Except that the Indian Army moved in before the Pakistani Army could. Bullets now came to be traded where once words were used to carry the message. In the process, as in all conflicts with Pakistan, India has only gained ground — most notably in 1987 when the 8 Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry bested the Pakistani Army’s SSG at insurmountable heights, using extraordinary mountaineering skills. That action so bruised the ego of then Brigadier Pervez Musharraf that in 1999 he launched the Pakistani Army into ‘Operation Badr’ to take the heights of Kargil. The motivation was to occupy the heights, deny India road supply movement to Leh, and in the process squeeze the Army out of its heights in Siachen. None of it worked, of course. And India continues to dominate the heights, in Kargil and across Siachen.

The Indian Army is not on Siachen but to its west, on the Saltoro ridgeline. This is where the bull in the china shop comes into play. The occupation of heights by the Army has followed the principle laid out in the agreement delineating the Line of Control — ‘thence north to the glaciers’. For the Indian positions from NJ9842 are pretty much along the line north. This is now called Actual Ground Position Line; the bugbear in Pakistan’s claims, for it leaves Siachen well to the east. Pakistan’s interpretation of ‘thence north to the glaciers’ is actually in an east-north-east direction, ending on the Karakoram Pass. It barely touches the southern end of the Siachen glacier. The dispute, then, is really about what constitutes ‘north to the glaciers’. And in that disagreement over the direction of the LoC rests the solution to the Siachen conflict. Since Pakistan does not want to accept the AGPL principle, and India does not want to vacate without a formal written agreement, the dispute lingers. The Kargil conflict was thrust on India despite an agreement on what constituted the LoC in that sector. Here, however, there is yet to be an agreement.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #24

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South Korea is also growing its profile as a partner to the Indian Navy. The MoD is close to inking a $500-million contract with South Korean warship builder, Kang Nam Private Ltd, for three minesweepers. A serious play in the land systems market is unfolding from Samsung Techwin, which has tied up with Larsen & Toubro to offer the Indian Army the K-9 Thunder 155-millimetre self-propelled artillery gun.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #25

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Javelin missile, R&D coop to feature in US-India talks

As New Delhi looks to translate its relationship with the US into badly needed high technology, the government is readying for meetings tomorrow with America’s key gatekeeper of military technology, the visiting assistant secretary of state for political military affairs, Andrew Shapiro.

High on New Delhi’s technology agenda is Washington’s reluctance to transfer military knowhow, of the kind needed for building the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile in India. The Army wants the Javelin for its ground forces, to enable two-man infantry teams to fire $40,000 missiles at $10 million enemy tanks 2,500 metres away and destroy them 95 per cent of the time. The Javelin sale, potentially a billion-dollar (Rs 5,000 crore) contract for US companies, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, has been blocked by Shapiro’s office, the department of political military affairs. The technology, it has been deemed, is too sensitive to transfer.

Shapiro’s 10-person team will be discussing this issue with India’s defence and foreign ministries (MoD and MEA), which regard overly-strict US licensing and export controls as key obstacles in “operationalising”, or obtaining tangible benefits from the growing strategic convergence between the US and India.

In clearing any transfer of high technology like the Javelin, Shapiro’s primary consideration is strategic: would technologically enabling India enhance long-term US strategic interests, without threatening America’s lead in military technology. Growing pressure from American senators and representatives complicates Shapiro’s decision-making. Fearing the declining US defence budget will cause job losses in their constituencies, American legislators are willing to back technology transfer to India, if that is what it takes to get orders from the world’s biggest buyer of foreign weaponry.

A likely example of this is the Global Hawk Block 30, a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which flies 36-hour unmanned missions to watch over vast expanses of territory or water. After the latest US defence budget cuts, the US Air Force has cancelled orders for Global Hawks, 13 of which have already been built or are close to completion by Northrop Grumman. The politically influential company, aided by US Congressmen in whose constituencies the UAV is built, are pressuring the US government to find alternative buyers. There are 13 Block 30 Global Hawks almost ready, which will now be mothballed.

Savvy bargaining by India could get it the Block 30 Global Hawk and perhaps even the technologies that go into it, believes Manohar Thyagaraj, an expert on US-India military relations.

“If India were to express interest, US Congressmen would mount pressure on Shapiro to share the technology. But India tends to engage only the US administration; it has put very little effort into building relationships on Capitol Hill. When Congress gets onto something, it acquires real momentum. New Delhi has not yet understood that engaging Congress is as important as engaging the administration,” says Thyagaraj.

India’s key technology player, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), has figured out the opportunity that lies in declining Western defence budgets. DRDO chief V K Saraswat declared during the Defexpo India 2012 defence exhibition on March 31, “Global economic recession is leading to capacities and capabilities in the international market that we can exploit. So, it will be an era of US and European agencies coming and trying to work with us and we will exploit this.”

Shapiro’s department of political military relations must okay all such joint ventures. US defence giant Raytheon is learnt to be keen on working with DRDO for developing technologies that can detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the roadside bombs that took a heavy toll of US lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that are now being used to deadly effect by Maoist insurgents in India. With US government funding, Raytheon has already developed a technology called SAVI (Seismic Accoustic Vibration Imaging), which uses acoustic reflections to detect buried IEDs. But budgetary cuts have dried up Raytheon’s funding, and it is looking towards India for partnership in developing SAVI into a deployable military system.

“The DRDO’s funding and scientific base is ideal for reviving such a project; and both sides would profit from selling the SAVI system to the Indian military and abroad. If India comes to the table with money, it would be well placed to negotiate access,” says a top DRDO official.

The dialogue on Monday will be followed by a succession of others. The US-India-Japan trilateral is scheduled for April 22 in Tokyo, followed by the US-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington in May and the US-India Homeland Security dialogue in June.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #26

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Sino-Indian border rail link to be fast-tracked

India’s efforts totake its railway network close to China border is caught up in red tape for the last two years while China has taken its railway link to Tibet.

Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday decided to approach the Planning Commission to declare 14 railway lines close to the Sino-Indian border as “strategic” so that survey and construction could be taken up immediately.These 14 lines – down from the original list of 28 – were declared strategic by the Defence Ministry way back in 2010 and high-level panels were set up to accelerate the construction. The Railway Ministry was asked to undertake the survey in August 2010 for assessing technical feasibility and cost.

Survey work was undertaken in three strategic railway lines in the North East – 248-km North Lakhimpur-Along-Silapathar line; 140-km Missamari-Tawang line and 95-km Murkongselek-Pasighat-Rupai line. Antony on Tuesday also approved recruiting more military engineers for speeding up infrastructure development and purchasing equipment for Special Forces directly through a high-level panel, headed by the Army vice-chief.An empowered committee headed by Defence Secretary has been set up to process the infrastructure development projects in the North East and monitor the progress.

The Defence Minister reviewed the Army procurement and infrastructure development along with the top officials from the Defence Ministry and Army, after Army Chief Gen V K Singh disclosed the poor preparedness level of the Army in his ‘secret’ letter to the Prime Minister.

Antony sanctioned raising one regiment of Brahmos supersonic missile and expressed satisfaction on the progress made so far in acquisition of 155 mm/39 calibre ultra light weight howitzer from the USA. A panel will be created to look into Army's need of having a full-fledged aviation wing rather than depending on the Indian Air Force (IAF) for helicopter support.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #27

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The inventory of tanks in the army, reportedly, consists of 4,117 vehicles. Out of these only 839 (20.3 per cent) are ‘indigenously’ produced. Seventy seven per cent of the main battle tanks (MBTs) are of Russian origin. Of the 110 reconnaissance BRDM vehicles, virtually every one has been imported. Each of the 1,455 armoured infantry fighting vehicles is foreign made. Hardly any of the 10,758 artillery guns has been manufactured at home. The same holds true for the 410 pieces of Swedish-origin 155 mm Bofors guns. The anti-tank missiles and recoilless guns, too, have been imported. The entire inventory of 3,500 air-defence surface-to-air missiles is of Russian vintage. Moreover, there are 2,395 self-propelled and truck-mounted guns of Moscow make with the Indian army.

The stark reality emerges from the following facts. Not a single fighter air craft — MiG-21/23/25/27/29, Jaguar, Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30 — is of Indian origin. The same is the case with such military transport aircraft as An-32, Ilyushin II-76, Embraer-135BJ and Boeing C-17. Tankers (Ilyushin-78), advanced jet trainers (Hawk Mark-132) and helicopters like Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-25 are foreign made, the promises of technology transfer of some notwithstanding. The long list of chronic corruption and the entrenched babu-neta-merchant nexus have made matters far worse.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #28

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The French connection
France, in many ways, appears to be an extension of India (except the latter’s apathy towards its culture and past). The two have their distrust for market; the two adopt economic reforms only when all other options are exhausted; the two have always looked for a multi-polar world, or at least an alternative to American unilateralism (in India it is called Non-Aligned Movement, and in France it’s DeGaullism); the two are vibrant democracies to the extent that both at times entertain mindless agitations, protests and strikes at the cost of good governance and orderliness. So, when India recently decided to seal its largest ever defence deal with French firm Dassault for 126 Rafale fighters, the issue was never how. It was why so late? Why did the two democracies, with so many common challenges and opportunities, take so long to come together?

While India boarded a wrong bus in 1947 to lose the first 40-odd years of its Independence only to wake up from its deep, socialist slumber in the early 1990s, the Le Figaro journalist has an interesting take on France. “Before Jacques Chirac, France was obsessed with Africa. And when Chirac came to power, he reached out to China. So, for those before Chirac, India was too far to get any attention. And for Chirac it was too close to be seen,” he says with a mischievous smile. On a more serious note, he believes, it was Chirac who brought the two nations closer, a process taken forward in a big way by Sarkozy. The Rafale deal, he believes, will take the relationship further as never before.

The top authorities at Dassault Aviation hold similar optimism, though they appear a bit apprehensive about allegations of irregularities in the deal. The controversy arose because the Defence Ministry used “life cycle costs” to select the finalist. The ministry — taking a lesson from the Russian MiG experience where a cheap upfront price that seemed initially attractive led to enormous operating costs — decided the cheapest aircraft would be the one that worked out to be the cheapest over the aircraft’s 40-year life cycle, and not the one with the lowest upfront cost.

Eric Trappier, Executive Vice-President, Dassault Aviation, however, is confident that the deal won’t get derailed. “Now that India’s decision to go for Rafale has been announced, attempts will be made by some vested elements to create confusion in the minds of the Indian leadership and public. But we have full faith in India. Also, what will keep us in good stead, apart from competitive pricing, is our commitment to not just provide the aircraft but also ensure the transfer of technology to India,” he says. As per the plan, 18 Rafale jets are to be constructed at Dassault plants in France and the remaining 108 will be made in India.

What Trappier didn’t mention was the Indian Air Force’s long association with Dassault through its Mirage-2000 fighters acquired way back in 1984-85, and how the aircraft proved its superiority during the 1999 Kargil war when the small enemy bunkers at high altitude could not be successfully targeted by MiG fighters. What also went in Rafale’s favour was the fact that its main competitor, Eurofighter Typhoon, was built by a four-nation consortium of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, each with different foreign policies. Indian officials, therefore, had their doubts about their reliability as a single supplier: In case of war, German law, for instance, prohibits deliveries of weapons and spares, Italian law demands an embargo, and Spanish legislation remains vague.

France, in contrast, has a clean record. During the Kargil war, it immediately provided India the necessary parts of Mirage. This, along with the equally speedy Israeli supplies of laser-guided bombs, helped India win the war without any hiccup. Just imagine what the US and Britain would have done in a similar situation: In all probability, they would have suspended all military supplies to prove their credentials as honest brokers for peace!

Also, what could have gone in Dassault’s favour, though not intentionally, is the inherent goodwill the country and its leadership have for France for whole-heartedly supporting India after the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests amid complete Western censure on the issue.

No doubt, the deal has come as a shot in the arm for the Sarkozy Government which has been staring without much success at the European debt crisis, threatening to engulf France anytime in future. It has also provided the much-needed lifeline to the Rafale jet which for decades has been the white elephant of French arms manufacturing and criticised for being “too sophisticated” for export. So much so that a few months ago, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet had threatened to pull the plug off in 2021 if Dassault failed to find a buyer for Rafale.

With Dassault getting a fresh lease of life, New Delhi would now expect France to stand by its commitment for a “complete” civil nuclear partnership with India. More intimate alliances in the nuclear, military and intelligence fields would allow India to spread its influence in western Africa, known as France’s backyard. Delhi should use the French connection to curb the growing Chinese presence in Africa.

Now with allegations of irregularities in the Rafale deal, Defence Minister AK Antony has ordered a departmental probe. This, however, should not become the excuse to derail the entire deal. After all, one should never forget the fact that arms trade is a dirty business and often a ‘psywar’ is waged to create suspicions in the minds of the buyer about rival competitors. This has happened before, more recently in the early 1990s when the Narasimha Rao Government wanted to procure jet trainers for the armed forces, resulting in an inordinate delay in signing the final contract.

History often repeats itself and a similar psywar seems to have started again. The only way out is to fast-track the probe and then, if nothing wrong is found in the deal, press ahead with the negotiations with Dassault and sign the final contract quickly. The longer the delay, the dirtier will be the war. Err... psywar.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #29

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EU seeks India help to secure African coastline - Hindustan Times
The EU Military Staff (EUMS), which provides military capabilities to the world's largest bloc of trading nations, wants to scale up engagement with the Indian Navy by involving it in a new, EU-led regional maritime capacity building (RMCB) mission covering countries such as Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Tanzania.

The basis of the mission being international forces can't be deployed to secure the region forever and ultimately regional states need to take over their responsibilities for maritime security.

EUMS chief Lieutenant General Ton Van Osch said, "We are looking at splitting responsibilities with the Indian Navy to train these countries in maritime security for governing their territorial waters and reinforcing their capacity to fight piracy. In the long run, the western Indian Ocean should be secured by the region itself…"

The EU mobilised against piracy in the Horn of Africa in December 2008 when it launched European Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) — Op Atalanta. But the operation is under resourced — it comprises just four to seven warships and two to three reconnaissance aircraft at any given time to secure 2.3 million square miles of ocean.

Other players operating in the region include Combined Task Force-151 (an international naval task force), NATO's Operation Ocean Shield and independently deployed navies of countries such as India, Russia and China. All of them together have about 25 warships patrolling the western Indian Ocean at any given time.

Read Admiral Duncan L Potts, who commands EU NAVFOR, said it was extremely difficult to patrol such a vast area with limited resources, making a case for nations to pitch in.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:08 PM   #30

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The strategic and security implications from Afghan-Pak region, China's strategic rivalry and domestic and trans-national terrorism were the challenges outlined by the Defence Minister A K Antony Tuesday who said these cannot be felt in the same measure by other countries.

Addressing the top commanders of all the three services, Antony also asked them to put in place Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to counter cyber security threats.

Asking the commanders to keep a close watch on the situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Antony said, 'Any development in the Afghan-Pak region will have strategic and security implications for India. We need to keep a close watch on the situation in the region'.

He added that the latest events in the Afghan-Pak region clearly show that it cannot be presumed that the issues there are nearing any solution.

Highlighting that 'China's rise as an economic and military power and its assertive policies,' have implications for India, Antony said, 'China's strategic rivalry with India and Japan would definitely affect the Asian security environment'.

'All these developments pose challenges to all the wings of the defence forces. In the Indian context, these challenges cannot be felt in the same measures by other countries', he said.

Noting that security situation in North East and Jammu and Kashmir has improved to some extent, the Defence Minister cautioned the forces that the coming months of summer will prove to be a real test for them.

'We have to remain vigilant and active and can not afford to drop our guard,' Antony said.

Asking the forces to focus on taking cyber security initiatives and reducing web-based terrorism and attacks, the defence minister said, 'the services need to be fully aware of the implications and put in place security systems and SOPs to counter such threats.'

Off-late another dimension in the form of cyber crime has been added and information and communication technology is being misused by anti-social and anti-national elements, Antony told the senior officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

He also asked them to address the entire spectrum of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare capability, both during peace and war-like scenario.

Antony told the Commanders that a nationwide secure and dedicated optical fibre network is to be implemented by the Communication and Information Technology Ministry in lieu of vacation of a part of spectrum by the defence services.

'The approval of Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure for the budget is awaited (for optical-fibre network).

The 'Defence band' and 'defence interest zone' has been mutually agreed upon by the Defence Ministry and Communication and IT Ministry to meet the spectrum requirement for strategic communication of Defence Forces', he said, adding that it will be promulgated soon.

Observing that future wars will not be limited to the conventional domain, the Defence Minister said, 'Quality papers from researchers, analysts and experts on security-related issues must feed informed debates and also provide inputs to the policy makers'.

On strengthening of Andaman and Nicobar based only Tri-Service Command of the defence forces, he said, 'we are strengthening and revitalising the Command and are working on force accretion and upgrading the infrastructure to help it in fulfilling its operational task'.

On fine-tuning the Defence Procurement Procedure, Antony said, 'Government is constantly fine tuning the DPP to cut down delays in the procurement process. Services, too, must put their best foot forward by having a well-defined approach to procurement based on clear and objective General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs)'.

'The government is reviewing the current levels of delegation of financial powers to cut down on unnecessary delays and we have also revised the Offset policy to facilitate its easy discharge by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)', he said.

'Defence Public Sector Undertakings and Ordnance Factory Boards need to reorient and expand their capacity and capabilities to meet the diverse requirement of the armed forces', he said, adding that the government wants to promote maximum indigenous content in the defence acquisition process.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:11 PM   #31

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Defence Minister A K Antony has said the modernisation of the armed forces remains the topmost priority of the government but it cannot be done at the cost of transparency, probity and accountability.

''Modernisation of armed forces remains the topmost priority of the government and to achieve the same, a mechanism has been put in place to fast track procurement of equipment and upgradation of infrastructure.

This, however, cannot be done at the cost of a set of core values - transparency, probity and accountability,'' Mr Antony said addressing the Unified Commander's Conference here yesterday.

The Defence Minister urged the commanders to ensure that these principles are adopted and followed in letter and spirit.

''We have a collective responsibility to ensure that every single rupee is spent meaningfully and judiciously and wasteful expenditure is eliminated,'' he added.
Mr Antony said the government has been constantly fine tuning the defence procurement procedure to cut down delays in procurement process.

He asked the armed forces to put their best foot forward by having a well-defined approach to procurement, based on clear and objective General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs).

Mr Antony while referring to a nationwide, secure and dedicated optical fibre network, to be implemented by the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, in lieu of the vacation of a part of spectrum by defence services, said the approval of Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure for the budget is awaited.

The minister stated that the 'defence band' and the 'defence interest zone' have been mutually agreed upon by the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Communication & Information Technology to meet the spectrum requirement for strategic communication of defence forces and this will be promulgated soon.
He termed cyber crimes as another dimension in the security architecture and said the defence forces need to be fully aware of the implications and put in place security systems and standard operating procedures to counter such threats.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:20 AM   #32

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In Phase-I of the project relating to establishing a Chain of Static Sensor along the coastline of the country, one site has been identified in the vicinity of Paradip Lighthouse in the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) land. The Indian Coast Guard is already holding 17.5 acres of land at Paradip for Other Than Married building and for the Married Accommodation. Further, for acquisition of 21 acres of land on the sea front to cater to the additional operational requirement of a Helipad and technical support facilities matter has been taken up with the State/District Administration. Besides, steps have been initiated for leasing of jetty from the Paradip Port Trust. Adequate funds are catered for the land acquisition and creating infrastructure for Indian Coast Guard. There are no differences between the Central Government and State Government on any of the Coast Guard project.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #33

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The provisions of clause (1) of Section 19 of Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 (55 of 2007) has given power to the Tribunal to punish for `criminal contempt`. There is no power vested with AFT in respect of `civil contempt`.

The Ministry of Defence has agreed `in principle` to amend section 19 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007, for implementation of AFT Orders/Judgements more effectively.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:22 AM   #34

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Modernisation of the Armed Forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges, technological changes and available resources. The process is based on a 15 year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), five year Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP). These plans also cater for the Northern/Chinese borders.

The LTIPP 2012-2027 for the Armed Forces has been finalised and duly approved by the DAC on 02 April 2012. The five year Defence Plan has also been formulated.

The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) seeks to achieve the highest degree of probity, public accountability and transparency in operations. In order to promote transparency, the issue of Request to Information (RFI) has been made mandatory to provide advance information and encourage a wider Vendor base. Besides, signing of pre-contract integrity pact in procurement cases of the estimated value exceeding Rs.100 crore is also mandatory as per the procedure.

The allocation for capital outlay of Defence Services under BE 2011-12 was Rs.69,198.81crore. This was revised to Rs.66,143.81crore by Ministry of Finance at RE 2011-12 stage.

The accounts for financial year 2011-12 are not yet finalized. However, the total allocation of Rs.66,143.81crore is expected to be fully utilized.

No shortfall in capital expenditure against the revised allocation is anticipated.

Funds allocated for capital acquisition have been utilized in line with the planned Defence requirement and projections of the Armed Forces.

The operational preparedness of the Armed Forces continues to remain at the desired level and in a state of readiness to meet any eventualities. Shortage of any weapons/ammunition, as and when reported, is adequately addressed through indigenous production and import. The Ministry has been persistently making endeavors to address any deficiencies reported, to ensure that the Defence Forces remains equipped with necessary weapon systems at all times. Divulging any further detail may not be in the interest of National Security.

Government is closely watching all activities in the border area and reviews the threat perception regularly. Required measures have been initiated for strengthening, optimizing and modernizing our force structure including military bases as well as infrastructure development in consonance with our threat perception to secure our borders.

Government has identified strategically important border roads for development along the India-China Border. As per a long term perspective plan, other roads and strategic railway lines have been identified for development along the India-China and India-Pakistan borders.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:15 AM   #35

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Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Carnegie Endowment Roundtable, Washington, DC, April 24, 2012

Last week I travelled to Dehli to conduct the first U.S.-India Pol-Mil talks since 2006. Our principal objective of these talks was to reaffirm our commitment to the bilateral relationship and chart a way forward toward a deeper defense partnership. And I believe that the talks made important progress to that end.

The United States and India are building a robust relationship based on shared security interests. Since the signing of a bilateral defense framework agreement in 2005, our defense relationship has become a major pillar of the strategic partnership. For example:

  • India now holds more than 50 annual military exercises with the United States, more than any other country.
  • Cumulative defense sales have grown from virtually zero to more than $8 billion.
  • And high-level exchanges on defense issues also have increased, as demonstrated by last week’s talks.

The defense trade relationship between the United States and India is certainly expanding and it plays an integral role in the defense relationship and overall strategic partnership. The United States successfully concluded several significant Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales since 2009, including the sale of eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, six C-130J transportation aircraft and ten C-17 transport aircraft. Once all have been delivered, India will have the second largest C-17 fleet behind the United States, providing it with a significant strategic airlift capability in the region.

With India’s projected defense trade spending expected to continue to increase, we are seeking to engage the Government of India to address any outstanding concerns they may have with the U.S. acquisition system. One of our major objectives during the talks was to better familiarize the Indian government with our system and to attempt to address any potential concerns they may have. During our discussions, we sought to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the Foreign Military Sales or FMS and Direct Commercial Sales or DCS systems by detailing how to go about choosing between them. FMS pertains to sales between governments, while DCS involves commercial defense sales abroad. Often times, countries can view FMS more skeptically and prefer the more transactional nature of the DCS system. However, we believe the U.S.-India defense and trade relationship would benefit by linking defense sales with broader strategic goals. That’s why we specifically articulated the technical and political advantages that FMS offers. This entails political buy-in and support from Congress. The full faith and backing of the U.S. government, transparency, support throughout the systems lifecycle, as well as expanded inter-operability between our forces, which would greatly benefit the U.S.-India defense and military-to-military relationships.

Another area of discussion was U.S. security assistance to India through our International Military Education and Training Program or IMET. India benefits from one of the largest and longest-standing IMET programs, graduating more than 1,700 Indian officers since the program’s initiation more than forty years ago. In FY 2011, more than 51 Indian officers came to the United States to attend courses through the IMET program. The linkages established through IMET also help build personal relationships between officer corps, which helps bolster our relationship over long term, as well as helps professionalize partner militaries. This is all achieved for a little more than one million dollars per year.

A major area of discussion during our talks was the issue of piracy emanating from Somalia. Somali pirates have expanded their range of operations all the way to the coast of India, creating a real security challenge for India and for the international community. My Bureau coordinates the U.S. counter-piracy response and we discussed ways we can together improve the international response to piracy. India has been an important contributor to the international effort. Since 2006, we have expanded our maritime cooperation with India, as we see counter-piracy as an area where we can work together closely.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:19 AM   #36

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Defence Minister Reviews Security Situation with top Brass
Antony to Witness Major Naval Exercise on Eastern Sea Board

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony reviewed the security situation at a meeting here today. The National Security Advisor Shri Shiv Shankar Menon, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh and Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma attended the meeting.

Accompanied by Admiral Verma, Shri Antony will spend two-days on Indian Navyâ??s platforms off the coast of Vishakhapatnam, beginning tomorrow, to witness Theatre Level Operational Preparedness Exercise â??TROPEXâ??. TROPEX is a major annual exercise of the combined fleets of the Navy conducted to test the Indian Navyâ??s preparedness to meet any contingency.

Almost 40 ships from the two Fleets as also submarines, 13 naval aircraft and UAVs are participating in the exercise. Units of the Indian Coast Guard and 18 aircraft of the Indian Air Force will also take part. A variety of missile firings, Air Defence Exercises and anti-submarine exercises will be witnessed by Shri Antony.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #37

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BAE Systems may consider cut to Typhoon price-FT

Feb 6 (Reuters) - British defence company BAE Systems is looking at all options to win back a $20 billion tender with the Indian air force, the company's chief executive told the Financial Times on Tuesday.

"I will be discussing with our partners what we do next. In my view, all options are on the table," BAE Chief Executive Ian King was quoted by the FT as saying.

India preferred a bid from France's Dassault aviation last month, after competing with BAE to secure a 126 aircraft contract.

Dassault's Rafale fighter jet undercut BAE's Eurofighter Typhoon, an Indian government source told Reuters when the contract was agreed.

The FT cited King as saying BAE was considering reducing the price of the Typhoon, but needed to consult with its partners in Germany, Italy and Spain on the best options open.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #38

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Link The CBI, which is probing alleged irregularities in purchase of Tatra trucks, is also investigating supply of more than 2,500 kits by Vectra company to the Indian Army in 1997-98. Initial probe by the agency has revealed that important components, including gear boxes, were allegedly missing from majority of the kits supplied to the Army, sources said.

According to sources, probe by the agency has also revealed that the Army allegedly paid huge amounts to the company for the supply of these kits in 97-98 .

“The agency is probing under what circumstances officials of the ministry of defence (MoD) paid huge amounts to the private company for the supply of these kits. The agency is trying to ascertain the identity of the MoD officials who played important role in releasing funds to the company without checking these kits,” sources said. The agency is also probing the role of some former officials of the state-owned BEML in this regard, sources added.

Sources further said, “The agency officials are also preparing to question London-based businessman Ravi Rishi, who is an accused in a case involving alleged irregularities in the purchase of more than 6,000 Tatra trucks for the Indian Army. Mr Rishi is also a majority stakeholder in Tatra Sipox UK.”

“Probe by the agency has already revealed that the agreement signed with a foreign trade corporation of Czechoslovakia for the supply of all-terrain Tatra truck vehicles was allegedly fraudulently assigned to Tatra Sipox UK by showing it as the original equipment manufacturer or a fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech firm,” sources said.

In 1997, Tatra Sipox UK signed a truck supply deal with BEML, which was in alleged violation of defence procurement rules which say that procurement should be done directly from the original equipment manufacturer only, sources said.

The agency is also investigating role of some former MoD officials who allegedly joined the accused private company after their retirement, they said.

First agreement for the supply for Tatra all terrain trucks was signed with Czechoslovakia based company Tatra in 1986.[hr]
Cancelling Eurocopter deal got AK Antony enemies
Link The decision to scrap the Rs 3,000-crore Eurocopter deal at the last minute in December, 2007, might have been the flashpoint that convinced arms lobbies that defence minister AK Antony was a serious thorn in their flesh.

Antony took the tough call to cancel the order for the 190-odd attack helicopters for the Army due to irregularities in the bidding process and deviations from established procedures and this brought home to defence lobbyists and vendors, who were used to having their way, that it would not be business as usual anymore.

Sources said the Eurocopter decision sent shockwaves through the defence and business establishments as the contract was all but sealed and the firmness with which the French government's vocal protests were ignored induced a sense of panic among arms-dealers and lobbyists.

Long used to peddling influence so that shortlists and seeding were altered and technical parameters re-jigged to disadvantage rivals, the new regime in the defence ministry after Antony took charge began to bother several interests. Soon, Antony was accused of slowing down defence acquisitions due to his fear of taint.

The charge of a defence freeze is contested, with official sources pointing out that budgets have been utilized. Even last year, 66% of the defence budget was utilized by December, while around Rs 3,000 crore had to be returned to the finance ministry due to a resource squeeze affecting the central government.

With his political mandate aimed at keeping the government free of "scam", Antony acted without hesitation whenever a serious complaint was brought to his notice, making it plain that he would not hesitate to scrap a deal or order fresh tendering.

The Eurocopter deal was not a flash in the pan. The defence ministry's insistence that all bidders for the Rs- 100,000 crore 126-aircraft contract for the Indian Air Force fulfill excruciating technical parameters that would be the sole criteria for finalizing the deal made big names in the business nervous.

The failure of in-house lobbying and the exclusion of US F-16s and F-18s from the race along with the Russian MiG 35 at the technical evaluation stage led to outrage, with the Indian government politely, but firmly ruled out any reconsideration of its decision.

Sources familiar with proceedings said it was odd that criticism was leveled that India was "restricting" the race after the rules of selection were plain to all the bidders. The refusal to allow "geo-political" considerations to influence the deal left foreign suppliers and their Indian partners distraught and disbelieving.

The decision to blacklist Singapore Technologies Kinetics following corruption charges was yet another major friction point that disrupted the cozy co-habitation between arms-dealers and both civilian and military officials. "The government could hardly have pretended that nothing was happening," said sources.

With a series of decisions indicating policies benefitting select vendors and procurement procedures open to manipulation were being replaced by a more predictable and level-playing field, the utility of power brokers itself became questionable.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #39

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New Delhi, April 10, IRNA -- Against the backdrop of Army Chief highlighting critical shortage of shells for armored regiments, a Defense Ministry report Monday said a contract was signed with Russia in 2010 for 16,000 rounds of ammunition for T-90 tanks.

In its annual report issued Monday, the Defense Ministry said a contract for procurement of 66,000 rounds of ammunition for 84 mm rocket launchers was signed in March last year with Swedish Saab.

'A contract for procurement of 16,000 rounds of FSAPDS ammunition for tank T-90 was signed with Rosoboronexport, Russia in December 2010. It became effective in March, 2011, and the complete consignment is likely to be delivered by March, 2012,' pti reported quoting the report as said.

In a recent letter, Army Chief Gen V K Singh had pointed out the poor state of defense preparedness saying tank regiments were short of ammunition and 97 percent of the Army Air Defense (AAD) equipment was obsolete.

On the AAD, the Defense Ministry report said that the contract for procuring Akash Missile Systems was signed last year and steps were being taken for upgrading Self-propelled Air Defense and Schilka air defense systems.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:50 AM   #40

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The Armed Forces are on high alert to tackle any tsunami threat in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. A flag was raised immediately after a massive earthquake, measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale, was reported at 1408 hours today with epicenter at 270 nautical miles south of Campbell Bay.

The Indian Navy took immediate action in preparation for any possible tsunami that could be triggered by the high intensity earthquake. Ships in Port Blair were sailed out as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile the Eastern Naval Command is preparing ships with disaster relief teams embarked on it to provide immediate assistance to affected areas, if required. Other Naval Ships at sea in the Bay of Bengal have also been alerted.

The IAF has also kept two C-130J on standby at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad. The giant aircraft are ready to fly a swift reaction team of 80 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel equipped with sniffer dogs at any momentupon call. Ten tonnes of medical supplies and rescue and relief material have also been loaded on the aircraft. One IL-76 aircraft has also been kept on standby at Chandigarh which will also carry NDRF team while two AN-32s and Dorniers are on standby in the southern sector.
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