Home

September 22, 2017

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



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

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



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

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

 indiatoday





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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 financialexpress

French Rafale ready to make jets in India


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

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

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

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

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

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

 tribuneindia

September 21, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Airbus orders ::

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

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

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

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

 thehindubusinessline

September 20, 2017

ISI plans to establish Rohingyas in India


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


US, BRITAIN WORRIED

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

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


WHAT MAKES ZIRCON LETHAL

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

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


WHEN WILL INDIA HAVE ITS OWN HYPERSONIC MISSILE

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

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

 indiatoday

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


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

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

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

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

 hls

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

economictimes

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


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

sputnik

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sputniknews