Saturday, June 18, 2011

Indian military very fast growing military and indian military must move fast

At a seminar held in New Delhi recently to mark the 10th anniversary of the Arun Singh committee on the management of defence, Chief of Air Staff P V Naik reignited the chief of defence staff (CDS) controversy when he claimed that it was not needed.

His claims notwithstanding, there are significant problems in tactical interoperability , defence planning and overall coordination that suggest otherwise. The defence reforms process, initiated over a decade ago, has largely failed to deliver.

Significantly, however, the Arun Singh committee itself was flawed in its approach. Hence, instead of contradicting the Kargil review committee, Naik would do better to focus on the need for the next generation of defence reforms.

That the services lack the capability to operate seamlessly has been proven time and again in operations. During the deployment of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, the army used to embed its radio detachments with naval ships and air force attack helicopters to enable communication links.

Among the few instances where the army requested naval gunfire support, the navy engaged targets two kilometres away! More recently, during the Kargil war in 1999, air force jets did not have the capability to communicate with troops operating on the front. In fact, the air force did not have secure, encrypted communication capability (and still does not) in some of its planes, forcing them to fly in radio silence - a characteristic of the WW II era.

Similarly, intelligence gathering and analysis has been one of our weakest links. There are reports that in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, while the air force was prepared to carry out surgical raids, it was hampered by a lack of accurate intelligence on the location of terror facilities in Pakistan.

It was to obviate some of these weaknesses, recognised during the Kargil war, that the Arun Singh committee was formed. It comprised 11 people with varying backgrounds and experience. In carrying out its mandate, the committee deliberated over testimonies from different stakeholders.

However, it did not examine the files that obviously illuminate the functioning of different organisations . Hence, its analysis was more opinion based than data driven. For instance, when it argued that "the COSC [Chiefs of Staff Committee] has not been effective in fulfilling its mandate" , it did not provide any evidence for this claim.

An examination of the files of the COSC would have been more helpful in identifying the structural problem, which probably is the difficulty in making controversial decisions in a consensus-based committee. As a result, the Arun Singh committee's recommendation was simplistic - appointment of a CDS. For historical and bureaucratic reasons, this measure was not approved.

As an illustrative example, the Arun Singh committee can be imagined as a group of car mechanics who attempted to fix the vehicle based on their opinions of what was wrong without once opening the hood. But this in itself should not be surprising, for a similar methodology was adopted by subsequent reform committees like the Kelkar committee, the Defence Expenditure Review committee and so on.

Arjun tank Technology news

When US drones or unmanned aerial vehicles navigate through various geographies of the world, they have Bangalore-based Serial Innovations to thank for helping them send live video feeds smoothly. This technology startup has developed products that helps stabilise video feeds coming from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Serial Innovations founder and CEO Arvind Lakshmikumar said they developed these systems for Europe's biggest defence company, which in turn sold them to the US Army. However, for 35-year-old Lakshmikumar, the main mission is to build visual sensing systems which sense, analyse and control complex environments for Indian defence.

"Our imaging systems are 40-50% cheaper compared to the products imported from Israel, US and Europe," said Lakshmikumar, a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University of USA. Their products include night vision goggles and smart thermal cameras. With annual revenues of around Rs 10 core, 20 employees and 15 pending patents, the firm's clients include the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Mahindra Satyam as well as the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US.

It has deployed its intelligent cameras for 'Daksh' , an unmanned robot that can scan and defuse bombs. These systems are also being fixed on India's upgraded version of Arjun tanks. "They are providing us very niche vision technologies," said DRDO scientist Alok Mukherjee, who heads the Robotics Group at Pune-based R&DE (Engineers) laboratory. Lakshmikumar's US customers said that breaking into the US defence market is tough, but the quality of their products can bring that day closer.

Libya's Colonal Gaddafi vows to defeat NATO

Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to defeat NATO after warplanes of the Western military alliance bombarded parts of the capital Tripoli.

“NATO is bound to be defeated” Gaddafi said in the speech broadcast on loudspeakers in Tripoli's Green Square as thousands of his supporters held their biggest demonstration in weeks, AFP reported on Friday.

"We are determined to change nothing in our country other than by our own free will ... We are resisting, we are fighting," he noted.

Gaddafi's speech came hours after several heavy explosions hit Tripoli. At least five more blasts were heard in and around the Libyan capital early Saturday.

Libyan government forces shelled the eastern and western gates of the port city of Misratah on Friday, leaving 10 people dead and injuring 40 others, Ahmed Hassan, a spokesman for revolutionary forces said, adding that all the victims were civilians.

The spokesman said Gaddafi forces are bombing Misratah every day. He stated that NATO did not carry out any airstrikes on Gaddafi forces on Friday.

Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi has said the Gaddafi regime and revolutionary forces are holding talks to find a way to end the crisis. However, opposition forces have denied this.

Mahmoudi further explained that the negotiations have been held in Egypt, France, Norway and Tunisia and that they can name the opposition figures who have attended the meetings.

Mikhail Margelov, a Russian envoy to Libya said on Thursday that officials from the National Transitional Council (NTC) have held meetings with the Libyan regime in European capitals including Berlin, Paris and Oslo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

China send ship to disputed part of South China Sea

China said Thursday it had sent a maritime patrol vessel to the disputed waters of the South China Sea but insisted it remains committed to peace in the region despite tensions with its neighbours.

Beijing had pledged it would not resort to force to resolve maritime territorial disputes, after the Philippines this week sought help from the US and Vietnam staged military exercises.

"On June 15, the... ship from the Maritime Safety Administration of Guangdong left for Singapore for a regular visit," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. In order to get to Singapore, the vessel must traverse the South China Sea.

Iran put satellite into orbit

Dassault Recommends Heron To Fill Interim UAV Need

Dassault Aviation has proposed the Israeli-built Heron TP to the French authorities in the case of an urgent operating requirement for a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV, a company executive said June 17.
The offer consists of the supply of the air vehicles without sensors from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the executive said. That makes it simpler than the previous système de drone MALE (SDM) proposal Dassault made jointly with IAI, Indra of Spain and Thales.Dassault has pitched the Heron TP as an interim solution, to provide a quick capability for the French forces while work went ahead on a planned MALE UAV to be developed jointly with Britain under the Lancaster House defense cooperation treaty signed

Indian navy chief to vsist Moscow next month

n the backdrop of the Russian Navy backing out of a joint exercise with the Indian Navy at the last minute, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma will travel to Moscow next month for discussions with the country's top military leadership.
The Navy chief will meet the top military leadership of Russia and discuss ongoing military projects such as the retrofit of Admiral Gorshkov and construction of the three Talwar class frigates there, officials said here.
The two sides are also likely to discuss the last-minute decision by Russian Navy not to hold an exercise with Indian Navy ships, which had gone there for a joint drill, they said.
The navy chief had expressed an "element of disappointment" after the exercises were not held at the final stages.
The navy chief is also likely to discuss the delivery schedule of the Akula Class Nerpa nuclear submarines and the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.
Under a confidential pact, India is leasing an Akula Class submarine from Russia, which is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.
At present, defence secretary Pradeep Kumar along with defence production secretary Rajkumar Singh are in Russia to discuss the bilateral defence ties.
Read more

Tension rise between China and vietnam

SINGAPORE — China recently launched an oil and natural gas drilling platform that may be as significant as military modernization in buttressing Beijing's claims to control most of the islands, water and seabed in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia.

Designed to withstand typhoons, the giant rig was delivered to the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country's largest offshore energy producer. The company says it plans to use the platform to start drilling in the South China Sea in July.

It has not said where, but China's Global Times said that the deepwater rig, which is taken to its destination by powerful tugs, would "help China establish a more important presence in the largely untapped southern part of the South China Sea."

It is in this zone, which includes the widely-scattered Spratly Islands, that China's sweeping South China Sea claim overlaps with those of Taiwan and four Southeast Asian states — the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

China's increasingly assertive policy in the South China Sea dispute was underscored last weekend when Beijing rebutted a protest that it had violated Vietnam's sovereignty. Hanoi said that three Chinese marine surveillance ships had damaged the cables of a seismic survey vessels operated by PetroVietnam, the state oil and gas firm, as it worked off the coast of central Vietnam.

According to Hanoi, the clash occurred just 215 km from Vietnam's shore, deep inside its Exclusive Economic Zone. China responded by saying that the measures taken by Chinese authorities are "normal marine law enforcement and surveillance activities undertaken in territorial waters under China's jurisdiction."

China claims control over approximately 80 percent of the South China Sea, as far south as waters off Indonesia's Natuna Island and the Malaysian state of Sarawak. But so far, China has limited its unilateral oil and gas search to the northern sector, which is contested only by Taiwan.

However, China's military power is growing and demand for energy to fuel its turbo-charged economy is increasing. As a result, China is becoming more assertive in protecting its island and maritime boundary claims, and the economic resources they contain.

The Global Times, which often voices nationalistic views, said that energy-thirsty countries around the South China Sea had been tapping Chinese petroleum resources for years. It quoted Song Enlai, chairman of CNOOC's board of supervisors, as saying that the losses in oil and gas for China were equivalent to 20 million metric tons of oil annually, about 40 percent of the country's total offshore production.

"The value of the South China Sea natural resources is immense," said Zhao Ying, a scholar with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Now that technologies are available for China to tap resources there, efforts to guard its operations and deter foreign illegal exploration become meaningful and necessary."

According to Chinese officials, 180 oil and gas fields and more than 200 prospective reservoirs had been found in the South China Sea by mid-2010, with most located in water depths at between 500 and 2,000 meters.

China's Xinhua news agency said that CNOOC plans to invest $31 billion to drill 800 deepwater wells to raise its output of oil and gas from deepwater zones to the equivalent of 500 million tons of oil by 2020. This investment is expected to be spread over prospective areas in the East China and Yellow seas, as well as the South China Sea.

The new Chinese rig, the first in a planned series, was launched May 23 in a blare of publicity in the official media. It will enable China to cease being totally reliant on foreign contractors for deep-sea drilling and allow it to explore in waters up to 3,000 meters deep, six times deeper than before.

Built over the last three years at a reported cost of $923 million dollars, the rig is as high as a 45-story building. It weighs 31,000 tons and is topped by a platform 114 meters long and 90 meters wide, about the size of a standard football field. It was made by China State Shipbuilding Corp. to drill 12,000 meters below the seabed.

Noting that countries like Vietnam and the Philippines cannot find and exploit oil and gas at such depths, Lin Boqiang, director of the Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, said it was "always a first-come, first-served game when vying for non-renewable resources in disputed sea areas, as the resources are not infinite."

China and the Philippines have also been in dispute recently over offshore energy rights in the South China Sea. Manila made an official protest to Beijing, claiming that on March 2 two Chinese patrol boats harassed a Philippine vessel surveying for oil and gas in the Reed Bank, about 250 km west of the Philippine island of Palawan.

On March 25, two days after the Philippines Department of Energy had announced that the seismic survey of Reed Bank was completed, the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned that "any activities by countries or companies to explore for oil or gas in the sea waters in China's jurisdiction without the permission of the Chinese government will constitute a violation of China's sovereignty and ... will be illegal and invalid."

Whether China will use its increasingly powerful navy to protect the new rig if it is sent to the southern sector of the South China Sea remains to be seen. But the jumbo rig alone would be a potent symbol of China's rising power and influence.

It is a marine version of a Battleship Galactica. Although unarmed, any attempt by Southeast Asian military forces to restrict the rig's movement in the South China Sea would risk retaliation from Beijing.

It could also cause a pollution disaster if the rig was drilling or producing petroleum at the time, with the intervening country likely to suffer the main damage because it was far closer to the spill than China.

Michael Richardson is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

ASEAN, China hardening positions on overlapping claims in South China Sea - The China Post

Friday, March 11, 2011

India successfully test-fired Prithvi II, Dhanush

Indigenously developed, nuclear-capable ballistic missile Prithvi-II was today test- fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 15 km from here off Orissa coast, in less than an hour of flight testing of "Dhanush" from a naval ship.
"Prithvi-II missile, which has a maximum range of 350 kms, was test fired from a mobile launcher at the launch complex-3 in the ITR" at around 1100 hours, defence sources said.
Official sources said trials of both "Dhanush", test-fired from a warship at a spot between Paradip and Puri, and Prithvi-II missiles were successful.
"Prithvi-II missile has proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier," a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said.

Price talks for 126 jets to begin this month: IAF chief

India will this month begin the price negotiation for the $10.4-billion contract for 126 combat planes for its air force to conclude the deal by July this year, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said here Thursday. 

"The cost negotiation for MMRCA will begin by the end of this month. I expect the contract to be signed before I retire from service in July this year," Naik, who interacted with the capital's women journalists, said. 

India is buying 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for which it issued tender in August 2007. The six contenders for the contract, described in defence circles as 'mother of all deals', are American majors Boeing and Lockheed Martin , Russian United Aircraft Corporation , French Dassault, European consortium EADS-Cassidian and Swedish Saab. 

Boeing's F/A-18, Lockheed Martin's F-16, United Aircraft Corporation's MiG-35, Dassault's Rafale, EADS-Cassidian's Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab's Gripen are the fighter aircraft in the fray. 

The chosen combat jet will be the mainstay of IAF's fighter aircraft fleet for the next 40 years. The new MMRCA will replace the IAF's existing fleet of MiG variants.

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