September 29, 2012

India to buy 145 ultra light howitzers for Army from US

India will issue a request to the US Government next month for procuring 145 M777 ultra light howitzers for the Army at a cost of over Rs 3,000 crore.

"The Letter of Request (LoR) for procuring 145 Ultra Light Howitzers for the Indian Army through the Foreign Military Sales route would be issued in October," a Defence Ministry official told PTI today.

The clearance for procuring these howitzers was given recently by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister A K Antony.

The Ultra Light Howitzers of 155 mm (39 calibre) are being acquired for deployment in high altitude areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, officials said.

The Ultra Light Howitzers are expected to be the first artillery guns to be included into the Army in the last 26 years.

After the Bofors controversy in 1986, no new gun has been procured by the Army for its artillery.

The M777 guns, manufactured by the BAE Systems of the US, can be airlifted easily and be used for quick deployment of assets in mountainous regions.

The go-ahead for procurement of these guns had been cleared by a high-level committee headed by DRDO chief V K Saraswat after leaked trial reports of the guns suggested that they were not fully meeting the parameters of the Army.

The Army is also hoping to induct the Bofors guns manufactured indigenously by the Ordnance Factory Board at its facilities in Jabalpur. The guns will be ready for pre-user trials phase in December.

 The Economic Times

September 28, 2012

Indian Air Force to base Sukhoi squadron near Indo-Pak border

 ( NDTV) : Deploying its lethal combat arsenal near the Indo-Pak border, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to base a squadron of its frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI at Sirsa in Haryana by December.

This will be the second squadron of the Su-30MKI to be deployed in the Western Command area after deployment of the aircraft in Halwara in Punjab.

The aircraft will be deployed in Sirsa which is a key base along the Pakistan border, IAF officials said in New Delhi.
 Till now, the Sukhois have been deployed in seven squadrons including the two in the eastern sector in Tezpur and Chabua, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Halwara in Punjab and at its home base at Lohegaon in Pune.

The IAF is planning to induct a total of 272 Sukhois from Russia by 2017.

The twin-engined Russian-origin Sukhois are now produced under licence at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore. India is also planning to equip the aircraft with BrahMos super-sonic cruise missile.

Su-30s can fly for more than 10 hours without refuelling, the sources added.

The first Sukhoi 30 was inducted in the late 90s. The IAF started inducting the MKI version in early part of this decade. First batch of the MKI version aircraft will be upgraded under a Rs. 11,000 crore plan jointly by Russia and HAL.

China Denies Second Aircraft Carrier Reports

China is not building a second aircraft carrier, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said on Thursday.
Western media reports this week said China is building a second carrier in Shanghai and it will be launched late this year.
"Such reports are inaccurate," Yang said.
China's first aircraft carrier was delivered and commissioned for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Tuesday.
The carrier, refitted from the Soviet-built warship Varyag, was renamed Liaoning and underwent years of refitting and sea trials.
The 1,000-ft vessel is designed to carry 26 aircraft and 24 helicopters.

RIA Novosti

September 25, 2012

Chinese Navy Gets First Aircraft Carrier

China's first aircraft carrier, an overhauled former Soviet vessel, has been formally handed over to China's navy, local media reported on Monday.
The official ceremony was held on Sunday at the Dalian shipyard in Northeast China, where the aircraft carrier has been docked for refitting since 2002.
During the ceremony, China's national flag, the People's Liberation Army flag, and the Chinese navy's colors were raised over the ship, currently known as Number 16.
The Admiral Kuznetsov class Varyag aircraft carrier was 70% complete when China bought it from Ukraine for $20 million in 1998. Before being sold, the ship was disarmed and its engines were removed.
China launched a complete overhaul of the ship in 2002, also developing carrier-based aircraft. Beijing has repeatedly insisted the carrier poses no threat to its neighbors and that it will primarily be used for training and research.
The 1,000-ft vessel is designed to carry 26 aircraft and 24 helicopters.
There has been speculation in the Chinese media that the aircraft carrier could be named Diaoyudao after the Chinese name for the disputed islands controlled by Japan in the East China Sea.
The long-running territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo escalated in August, after Japan formally announced its decision to buy three of the five disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan, from the Kurihara family for 2.05 billion yen ($26.1 million).
The islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan, lie on a vital shipping route and are situated above large hydrocarbon deposits.

RIA Novosti

September 24, 2012

LCA Tejas Mk-II To Have Indigenous AESA Radar

Only been hearing about the E F414 that will power the LCA Tejas Mk-II, never heard anything about the radar, but at the recently concluded International Conference on Energising Aerospace Industry, got to know that the AESA will be on the Mk-II, indigenously built, making the Mk-II a full-fledged multirole fighter, besides other stuff like new avionics and airframe.
Right now under design and conception stage, the radar will have some help from outside, but largely home-built.
Indigenous content on the Mk-II will be 75 per cent. First flightof Mk-II expected in 2013 and induction into the IAF approximately by 2015.
- Chindits

To keep China at arm’s length, Japan to export arms

For the first time since World War II, Japan has offered to export weapons to any country and India is first on its list. This forging of close ties with India is seen as an effort by Tokyo to counter the growing Chinese influence in Asia.
The offer of weapons includes electronic warfare equipment, patrol vessels and high tech equipment. Japan has also offered to set up joint
ventures (JVs) in defence in India thereby providing cutting-edge technology to the local private and public sector.
Army Chief General Bikram Singh will visit Tokyo next month. Besides delegation level talks will be held here between the Navies of the two countries in late November.
Signalling a major policy shift regarding export of weapons banned since 1945, Japan has chosen India as the first country for sale of defence equipment besides offering to transfer cutting-edge technology through JVs to give a boost to Indian public and private defence companies.
Tokyo made these significant offers to New Delhi recently through official channels, sources said here on Sunday.  Welcoming the gesture from one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of defence technology, India, however, informed Japan that its companies can participate through global competition. Tokyo has now allowed some of its firms to respond to the Indian Navy’s tender for seaplanes.
After facing nuclear holocaust in World War II, Japan, so far, produced weapons for its self-defence and practiced pacifist policies regarding export of weapons. Incidentally, Japan imports most of its big-ticket weaponry from the US through transfer of technology and, in turn, exports state-of-the-art
equipment to the US.
However, Japan now wants to break this isolation due to growing economic and strategic challenges from China.
Incidentally, some Japanese armament manufacturing companies for the first time took part in international defence exhibition, Def-Expo, organised in Delhi earlier this year.  India plans to buy weapons and defence equipment worth over 30 billion dollars in the next five to seven years and Japan is keen to have its presence in the Indian market, sources said.
In the past few years Japan has consciously forged close strategic relations with India given its growing maritime prowess in the Indian Ocean region and Asia.  Willing to export weapons to India is part of Japan’s strategic vision to negate Chinese influence in East and South China Sea by having close relations with other countries like Indonesia and Philippines.
Moreover, India and Japan have in the past conducted exercises between Coast Guards of two countries. For the first time they will have a full-fledged naval exercise later this year.  Army Chief General Bikram Singh will also visit Tokyo early next month and is likely to explore possibilities of having first-ever joint exercises with the Japanese Army.
Besides this, Staff Exchanges between Japan Air Defence Force (ASDF) and Indian Air Force will be held in 2012 and be developed to Staff Talks at the earliest date.
The groundwork for these exercises and exchanges was done by Defence Minister AK Antony during his visit to Japan in November last year.  While taking stock of maritime security and anti-piracy measures with his counterpart Yasuo Ichikawa, he also stressed for closer defence ties with Japan in the coming years.


September 21, 2012

Russia to Explain Carrier Trials Failure to India in Oct.

Russia and India will discuss in October the situation around technical failures found in sea trials of an aircraft carrier refitted for India by a Russian shipyard.
The carrier Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov, was supposed to be handed over to the Indians on December 4, after a refit which has suffered a series of cost and time overruns and frequently caused disputes between the customer and supplier.
The ship experienced problems with some of its new replacement boilers during sea trials in the White Sea last month, and will now need yet more repairs, Russian shipyard managers said this week.
The carrier is to be repaired by May 2013, United Shipbuilding Corporation President Andrei Dyachkov said.
“In our estimate, it will take from five to seven months to complete the repairs. The work is to be finished in May 2013,” he said, adding that the ship’s handover will be tentatively postponed by nine months.
There are a number of proposals for India that will help compensate for that, he said without elaborating.
In addition to the boilers, the sea trials showed other problems, including the ship's refrigerators and nitrogen generators, Dyachkov said.
He also said Chinese materials, specifically refractories that were used in manufacturing the boilers, were partially damaged during the trials.
“We plan to discuss our further cooperation in this project with our Indian colleagues at a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation which will he held in Delhi in early October,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
No assessment has yet been made of the extent of the damage caused to the ship’s propulsion systems, he said, but added: “The fact that our quality is getting worse really is a problem.”

RIA Novosti

Agni-III successfully test fired

Close on the heels of the success of Agni-IV trial, India on Friday test-fired nuclear weapons capable Agni-III ballistic missile for its full range of 3,000 km from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast.
The 17-metre tall, surface-to-surface long range missile was picked up from the production lot and fired by the Strategic Force Command personnel from a rail mobile launcher at 1.20 p.m. After a flight duration of around 15 minutes, it impacted the pre-designated target in the Indian Ocean with a two digit accuracy and met the mission objectives, according to official sources.
After accelerating to an altitude of more than 500 km, the missile re-entered the atmosphere and withstood searing temperatures before splashing down near the target point. Radars located along the east coast, telemetry stations and electro-optical network tracked and monitored the missile’s performance in real time, while two down range ships recorded the terminal event as the missile impacted the target.
The two-stage solid propelled Agni-III has already been inducted into the services and can carry a payload weighing 1.5 tonnes to a distance of 3,000 km. It is equipped with an advanced guidance and navigation system to ensure accuracy. This was the fourth success of Agni-III in a row and the seventh belonging to Agni series.
In the past five months, all the variants of Agni from Agni-V to Agni-1 have been successfully test-fired.
Scientific advisor to Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Avinash Chander, Director, Research Centre Imarat, S.K. Chaudhuri and Director, Integrated Test Range (ITR), M.V. K.V. Prasad were present.
The missile is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computers.
The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, a DRDO official said.
Though the first development trial of Agni-III carried out on July 9, 2006 could not achieve the desired result, subsequent tests conducted on April 12, 2007, May 7, 2008 and February 7, 2010 from the same base were all successful.
Friday’s test came after a successful trial of highly advanced Agni-IV ballistic missile with a strike range of about 4000 km from the same range.

The Hindu

India to base airborne early warning system on western border

India plans to base its indigenous Airborne Early Warning & Control system on the western border, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said today.

"Yes, we have identified. Work is going to start (on where it would be based)", said the Air Chief Marshal, adding that "it will be in the western border to start with".

He was speaking at a press conference after a function to commemorate arrival of AEW&C India aircraft, which is the fully modified EMB-145 regional jet of Brazil's Embraer aircraft manufacturer. "This (AEW&C) will be used for surveillance and control".

According to DRDO officials, the system would detect, identify and classify threats in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations.

After the operational requirements were firmed up between DRDO and IAF in 2007, the contract for three modified aircraft was finalised in August 2008. The first fully modified aircraft landed in Bangalore from Brazil a month ago.

The second aircraft is slated to arrive in December and the third one next year.

The Air Chief Marshal and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister V K Saraswat said all the three aircraft are proposed to be operationalised by the IAF in April 2014.

Saraswat said, "We are (now) going to integrate our radars, our EW (electronic warfare) systems, missile warning system and many other systems (in AEW&C system)".

The Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) is the nodal DRDO laboratory for this Rs 2,157 crore indigenous AEW&C system programme

Deccan Herald

India, China mull hotlines between Army Commanders

Aiming to avoid any misunderstanding on their borders, India and China are planning to set up hotlines between army commanders in-charge of their respective border areas along Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern states in the next three to four months.

Under the proposal, there will be direct hot line between Indian Army's Udhampur-based Northern Commander and his counterpart in Lanzhou Military Region and the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander will have the same facility with the Chinese military region commander in Chengdu, sources said here.

They said if the proposal, first mooted at the Annual Defence Dialogue betwen the two sides last year, is cleared by the Government, the hotlines would be set up within next three to four months.

A similar hot line is being worked out between the Navies of the two countries to avoid any stand-offs in the high seas while patrolling international waters.

The proposal to set up a hot line comes soon after the troops of the two countries came face to face in July near Chushul in Ladakh while patrolling a disputed area and disengaged only after laying claims on it through the banner drill.

More than 400 transgressions by the Chinese troops have been reported in Indian territory in the last few years.

India and China have a long-pending border dispute over and China over which they have held 15 round of talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries.

At present, India has such an arrangement with Pakistan where the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO) get in touch with each other in case of tensions at the LoC or the international border.

The arrangement worked well recently when an Indian Army helicopter by mistake went inside Pakistan but was allowed to return safely after the two DGMOs talked.

The Economic Times

Government opens IAF's combat helicopter bid

(IANS) : The government is set to give the Indian Air Force (IAF) more firepower and capabilities during its 80th anniversary year: New combat and heavy-lift  helicopters.

Authoritative sources told India  Strategic (www.indiastrategic.in) that the financial bid for the Boeing Apache AH-64D had been opened mid-September while that of the two helicopters in the heavy-lift competition - the Boeing Chinook CH-47F and the Russian Mi-26 - should be opened before September-end or so.

It should not take much time to announce the selection as the company with the lower bid would win the deal(s)s to supply  the helicopters. Perhaps, the two choices should formally be announced on Air Force Day on October 8, but possibly before.

In the case of the combat helicopter competition, Russia had withdrawn its Mi-28  earlier this year, leaving the field open only to Boeing. So in this case, Boeing will be the winner for the deal to supply 22 helicopters for around $1.4 billion at the estimated market price. Boeing's quote is, of course, secret.

As for the heavy-lift helicopters, the Chinook CH 47F is technically regarded as "more capable" than the Mi-26 but then, the Russian craft carries more under-slung cargo. the IAF will have to make a  tough choice here as the Russian machine is not being manufactured now.

Notably, the acquisition programmes of the IAF and the Indian Navy have been on a rather fast track while that of the army has been delayed due to recall and/or revision of several RfPs and other issues.

The government has already cleared a comprehensive upgradation of the IAF's airfields through a programme called MAFI (Modernisation of  Airfield Infrastructure), a sophisticated communication network called AFNET,  more midair refuelers and AWACS, Pilatus basic trainers, additional transport aircraft - including the C-130J Super Hercules and C 17 Globemaster III - and the selection  of the French Dassault Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft  (MMRCA).

Sources also told India  Strategic that negotiations with Dassault and other stakeholders like systems supplier Thales and engine-maker Safran-Snecma were proceeding smoothly and the deal should conclude within this financial year (ending  March 2013) if not in this calendar year. The package of offsets, transfer of technology and partnerships to produce various systems in India is being negotiated. Several delegations have visited the defence ministry and IAF headquarters in New Delhi and HAL facilities in Bangalore.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is the lead integrator for the MMRCA  project. The IAF also has four big-ticket deals with Russia:  more than 270 SU-30MKI fighter jets, 80 Mi-17-1V helicopters, joint  production of a multirole transport aircraft (MTA) and an Indian variant of the PAK-50 fifth generation fighter aircraft that will be the arrowhead of the IAF in the 2020s.

Periodic upgrades are also on. The MiG-29 upgrade has been sanctioned while that of the Jaguar is under consideration.

Significantly, defence manufacturers are  supported in negotiations by their respective governments, even if the deals are  what is known as DCS (Direct Commercial Sales).

French diplomats are  supporting the MRCA process and US and Russian diplomats their countries'  respective equipment.

The Boeing Chinook is on a DCS offer, while the  Apache deal is on both commercial and the US Government's Foreign Military Sales  (FMS) programme, for which the Department of Defence charges a fee of between 2.5 to 5 percent. Certain systems on the Apache, like the Longbow radar and weapons, are proprietary for the US Army. The Longbow, made by Northrop Grumman, can scan  up to 256 targets within 30 seconds - and that's a formidable, unmatched capability.

Interestingly, Raytheon's Stinger air-to-ground missiles are on board the Apache, as also other IAF, Indian Army and Navy helicopters.

The US has offered the latest Block-III version  of the Apache to India. This model has 26 technology insertions over the previous model that make the machine network-centric.

Network centricity, in fact, is the key for future IAF operations, and mentioned so by its chief, Air Chief  Marshal N.A.K. Browne. All air and ground assets of the IAF are currently being networked.

Boeing recently invited a group of Indian journalists to visit its  various facilities. We were told that the "newest and most advanced Apache, the AH-64D Apache Block-III, features composite main rotor blades, a composite stabilator, 701D engines  with an enhanced digital electronic control unit, an improved drive system that enhances the rotorcraft's performance and 26 new technological  insertions".

Ever  since the first Apache rolled out in 1984, its various versions to date have  logged more than 3.5 million fight hours. The aircraft took part in  the first Gulf War in 1991, where this writer witnessed the helicopter, and then  again in 2003 against Iraq. It is deployed on regular  combat missions in Afghanistan and during the May 2011 operation to  kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, it was used to provide air cover for the raiding Black Hawks used by the US Navy commandos.

The Apache is powered by two GE T700-701D engines and has ballistic protection for the two-man crew and fuel tanks. It was perhaps the first helicopter to use Kevlar and composite materials for weight-reduction and  protection.

Deccan Herald

September 20, 2012

China knows how to tackle stealth aircraft

(IANS) The Chinese military knows how to deal with enemy stealth aircraft, an official said.
During the first "Military Camp Opening Day" activity held in the Wuhan Air Force Command Center Sep 15, a local asked whether the military can tackle stealth aircraft.
An official responded that if enemy stealth aircraft dare to invade China's territorial air space, they have ways to shoot them down, reported People's Daily Online.
Stealth technology is used to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar.
A military expert said that China has built an integrated modern anti-aircraft system, realizing the transition from the second-generation fighter planes to third-generation fighter planes.
China's advanced air early warning planes, anti-aircraft missiles and detecting and commanding equipment of various kinds have been pressed into service.
"It has taken China's anti-aircraft capacity to a new level. China's armed forces are able to eliminate any incoming enemy from the air," the media report said.
A resident asked: "Are our armed forces capable of shooting down stealth planes like the B-2, F-22 and F-35 planes of the United States? Is the Red Flag-9 missile capable of doing it?"
Captain Yang Wen said that China already carried out military drills taking "shooting down stealth planes, cruise missiles and armed helicopters; anti-precision strikes, anti-electronic interference and anti-reconnaissance".
Dealing with stealth weapons, such as stealth planes and missiles, is a large systematic project. "In order to successfully shoot down stealth planes, finding them beforehand is the key."
Yang said that as long as China could spot stealth planes, China could shoot them down.
The media report added that in past military drills, China shot down air targets like stealth planes and missiles many times. 


Agni-IV with 4,000 km strike range test-fired successfully

India today test-fired its nuclear-capable strategic missile Agni-IV with a strike range of about 4000 km from a test range off Odisha coast.
It was test launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of ITR at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, at about 1145 hours, defence sources said.
                       A high performance on-board computer with distributed  avionics architecture and high speed reliable communication bus and a full Digital Control System were used to control and guide the missile to the target.
“It is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability,” a DRDO official said.
“The state-of-the-art Ring Laser Gyros based high accuracy INS (RINS) and Micro Navigation System (MINGS) complementing each other in redundant mode have been incorporated into the missile system in guidance mode,”  the sources said.
The sophisticated missile is lighter in weight and has two stages of solid propulsion. The payload, with a re-entry heat shield can withstand temperature of more than 3000 degree Celsius, a defence scientist said.
The missile, is undergoing developmental trials by country’s premier Defence Research and Development
The last trial of the missile, carried out on 15 November, 2011 from the same base was successful.

PTI / First post

IAF looks to replace crashed Mirage fighter jets

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to replace the two Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft, which crashed earlier this year.
While the case for the acquisition of the two single-engine trainers is still at a preliminary stage, it is understood that the IAF, ‘desirous’ of getting their ‘numbers up from 49 to 51′ again, is planning to make a pitch for the aircraft to the Ministry of Defense.
Sources told StratPost that the imperative for the purchase was made all the more compelling because the two aircraft that crashed were trainer versions. Until the crashes, the IAF had 10 trainer aircraft, spread over each of the three IAF Mirage 2000 squadrons. Now down to eight, these aircraft are essential for training fresh pilots on the aircraft type. With the shortfall caused by the two crashes, the IAF has decided to ask for the purchase of the two aircraft.
Since, the aircraft is no longer manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Dassault, the IAF is planning to identify a foreign air force operating the aircraft, to which the sale can be proposed.
Although the aircraft is operated by nine foreign air forces, only the French Armée de l’Air, and the air forces of the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Taiwan operate them in any significant numbers.
The IAF has plans to operate its Mirage 2000 fleet over at least the next two decades. Last year, India ordered a USD 2.4 billion upgrade package from Dassault and Thales for its Mirage 2000 aircraft, to match the Mirage 2000-5 configuration, followed by a separate weapons package worth USD 1.23 billion for 450 MBDA MICA air-to-air missiles.
Keeping it French, the Dassault-built successor to the Mirage 2000, the Rafale, was selected earlier this year, as the lowest technically qualified bidder in the IAF contest for an estimated USD 20 billion order for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), beating the Eurofighter Typhoon on price.
The other competitors, the Russian MiG-35, the Swedish Saab Gripen, and US aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-16 and the Boeing F/A-18, were eliminated from the contest after the technical trials.

Strat Post

Third Indian frigate undergoes dock trials in Russia

A Talwar class frigate being built for the Indian Navy at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad has begun dock trials, the shipyard said.

The Trikand is the last in a series of three frigates built under a $1.6-billion contract with India. The first frigate, the Teg, was delivered to India in April 2012, while the second, the Tarkash, has completed sea trials and will be delivered in November.

“The Trikand started dock trials at the Yantar shipyard on September 15,” Yantar spokesman Sergei Mikhailov told reporters on Tuesday. “They will continue until mid-January next year.”

The sea trials of the frigate will be held in the Baltic Sea and the delivery of the warship to the Indian Navy is expected in summer 2013.

The new frigates are each armed with eight BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

They are also equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter.

India announced in 2011 that the Yantar shipyard had delayed the delivery of the frigates for over a year due to a shortage of skilled labor and flaws in the production chain.

In a separate development, the delivery of the Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, to the Indian Navy has been put back from December 2012 to at least October 2013 after propulsion failures occurred during the ship’s sea trials in the White Sea last month.

A string of delays on the delivery of military equipment has drawn sharp criticism by Indian authorities and soured traditionally strong bilateral military-technical ties.

Moscow has recently lost several large tenders on the delivery of weaponry to India, which used to be a major buyer of Russian-made military equipment.

Russia & India Report

September 18, 2012

Yard Boss Blames Boilers for India Carrier Trials Snags

Sea trials of an Indian Navy aircraft carrier refitted by a Russian shipyard were unsuccessful due to design failures in the vessel's boilers, Russian daily Vedomosti wrote on Tuesday quoting the shipyard's former director Oleg Shulyakovsky.
The ship's handover to the Indian Navy was put back from December 2012 to at least October 2013 after propulsion failures occured when the Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, underwent sea trials in the White Sea last month.
Shulyakovsky says three of the carrier's eight boilers failed, but the ship still managed to stay underway and reached 23 knots, below its design speed of 29 knots.
Boiler failures were a legacy of the original vessel's design, he said, with propulsion snags being a persistent feature of the four Project 1143 carriers built in the Soviet Union in the 1970's. The carriers boilers lasted just 20 percent of the design life stated by their makers, he said.
The replacement boilers installed as part of the vessel's $2.3 billion refit were guaranteed for just ten months, which expired before the ship took to sea, he said.
Specialists from the Baltisky Shipyard and boiler design bureau are already at Sevmash shipyard, where the carrier will arrive in the next few weeks. Engineers are focusing on the boilers' heat insulation as the core of the problem. Repairs could take from four months to a year depending on the damage to the insulation, he said.
The worst case would be damage to the pipes carrying steam from the boilers, Shulyakovsky said. The pipes are made from a special steel which is no longer made in Russia. The steel used in Vikramaditya's pipes was made in Ukraine.
A defense industry official quoted by Kommersant newspaper on Monday, who prepared the Vikramaditya for sea trials, said the reason for the boilers’ failure was that India refused to use asbestos to protect the boilers from heat, fearing that the material was dangerous for the crew. Instead, it used firebrick, which had poorer insulating properties.
The purchase and refit of the Vikramaditya has experienced a long-running catalog of failures and setbacks.
India and Russia signed the $947 million dollar deal in 2005 for the purchase of the carrier, with an original deadline for the refit's completion of 2008. Delivery was delayed twice, pushing up the cost of refurbishing the carrier to $2.3 billion.
Both sides were locked in protracted arguments over who would pay the extra costs, as it became clear that the refit would be much more complicated than originally envisaged. A new agreement was signed in 2009 with the Indians agreeing to pay for the extra work needed.
Another Sevmash shipyard director, Vladimir Pastukhov, was fired in 2007 over his poor management of the project.
The Vikramaditya was originally built as the Soviet Project 1143.4 class aircraft carrier Baku.
The ship was laid down in 1978 at the Nikolayev South shipyard in Ukraine, launched in 1982, and commissioned with the Soviet Navy in 1987.
It was renamed Admiral Gorshkov after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1994, the Admiral Gorshkov sat in dock for a year for repairs after a boiler room explosion. In 1995, it briefly returned to service but was finally withdrawn and put up for sale in 1996.
The ship has a displacement of 45,000 tons, a maximum speed of 32 knots and an endurance of 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at a cruising speed of 18 knots.
India has already started taking delivery of the MiG-29K naval fighter aircraft for the Vikramaditya, as they were ready before the refit was completed. The MiG-29Ks will operate in STOBAR (short take-off but assisted recovery via arresting wires) mode.

RIA Novosti

September 17, 2012

RAW tapped senior US official's phone, 'heard’ US-Pak move on J&K

In his memoirs 'Diplomatic Channels', Kris Srinivasan, 17 years after he demitted office as foreign secretary, reveals that India's external intelligence agency, RAW, snooped on a telephone conversation between a reputedly pro-Pakistan US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Robin Raphel, and then US ambassador in Islamabad, which confirmed that the US would not back a draft resolution against India on Kashmir moved by Pakistan at the United Nations, and therefore it would fail to proceed any further.

The book, to be launched in London soon, recounts that Pakistan had provisionally introduced the resolution at the UN general assembly's first committee in September 1994. To counter this, the ministry of external affairs, led by Srinivasan, approached then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao to instigate the release of Kashmiri dissidents, initiate the process of elections in Jammu & Kashmir, and pave the way for a return of Red Cross to the state.

Thereafter, meeting his counterpart in the US administration Peter Tarnoff, Srinivasan argued "a negative vote against India at the UN would only stimulate militant activity and render futile the democratic steps the Indian government was trying to take".

India soon came to know of the frustration of Raphel — "which we came to hear from a phone intercept," says Srinivasan. She informed her colleague, the US ambassador, that she had pressed for an affirmative vote for the Pakistan resolution, but had been blocked by the "higher-ups".

RAW successfully tapped Raphel's call, despite this being from Washington to Islamabad, and apparently forwarded a tape and transcript to Srinivasan.

Interestingly, as a decoy, India had moved a draft resolution in the UN first committee on the desirability of complete elimination of nuclear weapons — based on various previous public pronouncements by the US, Russia and China — within a fixed time-frame, which had, in fact, found co-sponsors. This alarmed the Americans, who were pressing for a resolution favouring a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They promptly despatched a senior arms control expert to Delhi to ask India to desist.

South Block withdrew the draft, conveying to Washington that it would reciprocally expect the same attitude when it came to India's concerns. The world's superpower, it would appear, was check-mated. Earlier in 1994, Pakistan had provisionally moved a resolution against India on Kashmir at the UN Commission for Human Rights. This, too, had to be withdrawn after strenuous lobbying by the MEA, for which Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Salman Khurshid earned plaudits.

The book is uncomplimentary about some politicians. About Shankar Dayal Sharma, he says, "He had a mumbling, indistinct manner of speech, causing his scarcely comprehending foreign visitors much bewilderment." On K R Narayanan: "He was a humdrum professional diplomat with leftist inclinations...". 

Times of India  

INS Vikramaditya Trial Malfunctions to Delay Handover

Malfunctions detected during trials of Indian Navy aircraft carrier Vikramaditya will delay the vessel’s handover to India, the Kommersant business daily reported on Monday.
The Vikramaditya, formerly the Russian Navy's Admiral Gorshkov, is to be handed over to India after ongoing sea trials following a much-delayed refit. According to the latest agreements, it was to have been handed over on December 4, but the deadline has been postponed again until October 2013.
The problems started when the vessel tried to gain maximum speed.
“Seven out of eight steam boilers of the propulsion machinery were out of order,” an official told Kommersant.
The official, who prepared the Vikramaditya for sea trials, said the reason for the boilers’ failure was that India refused to use asbestos as a means to protect the boilers from heat, fearing that the material was dangerous for the crew.
He said the boilers’ designer had to use firebrick, which proved not sufficiently heatproof, the official said.

RIA Novosti

September 15, 2012

Agni-IV, Agni-III launch next week

Close on the heels of the successful launch of Agni-V, Agni-II, Agni-I and Prithvi-II missiles from April this year, the Defence Research and Development Organisation is making preparations on the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, for two more Agni variants’ launches.
While Agni-IV will lift off from a rail-mobile launch pad on September 18, Agni-III missile will blast off on September 21, said V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister. The maiden launch of Nirbhay, a sub-sonic cruise missile, will take place in October or November.
Both Agni-IV and Agni-III are two-stage missiles that can carry nuclear warheads weighing one tonne each. In the missions on September 18 and 21, Agni-IV and Agni-III will be armed only with conventional explosives. Both missiles are 17 metres long. While Agni-IV can devastate areas situated 4,000 km away, Agni-III’s range is over 3,000 km.
While the DRDO will flight-test Agni-IV, the Strategic Forces Command of the Army, which is entrusted with firing strategic missiles, will fire Agni-III. This is Agni-IV’s third flight. Agni-III will be flying for the fourth time. The maiden flights of both missiles ended in failure.
The Aeronautical Development Establishment, a DRDO facility in Bangalore, has developed Nirbhay, a subsonic cruise missile. Nirbhay means “Fearless” and the missile is a derivative of Lakshya, a pilotless target aircraft. DRDO sources said Nirbhay’s range was “in the region of 1,000 km.” “It is a tree-top missile, that is, it can fly at the height of a palmyra tree.” 

The Hindu

China Presses On with Strategic Missile Testing

According to a US intelligence report leaked to the Washington Free Beacon, China has carried out a fourth flight test of the Dong Feng-31A (DF-31A) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last week, firing off a new road-mobile ICBM. The test took place at Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center in the Shanxi province, about 267 miles southwest of Beijing. The missile flew westward to impact at a missile test range in western China. US intelligence monitored the test.
The test represents the fourth missile test conducted by China this summer. Thursday’s DF-31A test came 10 days after the flight test at Wuzhai of a silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 long-range missile, and several weeks after flight tests of a new road-mobile DF-41 ICBM, on July 24, and a submarine-launched JL-2 missile on Aug. 16. According to US sources the extensive pace of tests indicates the growing maturity China’s arsenal of long range mobile ballistic missile, strengthening the country’s strategic offensive missile force.
China’s secretive military made no mention of any of the tests, except an official confirmation of the development DF-41 ICBM. While the DF-31A, as other Chinese ballistic missiles is a single-warhead weapon, the US intelligence believe the DF-41 will carry three to ten independently targetable warheads, each carrying a nuclear warhead, thus becoming the first Chinese missile to carry Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV)
China is currently in the middle of a major strategic nuclear forces buildup that includes four new ICBMs – the DF-41, JL-2, DF-31A, and another road-mobile missile called the DF-31 that is assessed to have shorter range, compared to the DF-31A. This process includes fielding solid-fuelled missiles launched from mobile launchers, and dispersed through a 3,000 miles tunnel network, storing and protecting the missiles, launchers and spare reloads.
The DF-31A has been deployed since the mid-2000s and has an estimated range of 7,000 miles, enough to give China the capability to cover the entire Pacific Ocean, or hitting Washington or European capitals in a nuclear strike. The DF-31A warhead is likely to be maneuverable, thus capable of avoiding some ballistic-defenses.

Two weeks prior to the DF-31A test China tested the much larger DF-41 Intercontinental. On August 30 China’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had conducted missile tests within national territory and clarified that they were not targeted at any one country. Spokesperson Geng Yansheng described the test as a ‘normal weapons tests within China’s territory’. “These tests have no specific targets and were not targeted at any specific countries,” Geng said, reiterating that the weaponry buildup is to answer the need to safeguard national security. China has consistently claimed it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons and that its nuclear forces are designed for a counterstrike against a nuclear attack on its territory.
The spokesman did not comment about the type of missile tested, but domestic and foreign media reports said that the PLA’s Second Artillery Force had successfully test-launched several missiles, including DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile. This missile has a range of 14,000 kilometers; it is loaded with up to ten Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRV), each carrying a nuclear warhead. In addition to shorter-range ICBMs known as the DF-31 and DF-31A, which are believed to target India and Russia, the new ICBM is said by U.S. officials to be designed to hit U.S. targets with multiple nuclear warheads.
According to the Conservative Washington Free Beacon, the test of the DF-41 road-mobile ICBM occurred July 24 and has raising new concerns within the U.S. military and intelligence agencies over China’s long-range missile threat, according to officials familiar with reports of the test.
This strategic weapon provides China with a ‘first strike’ capability against the U.S. The test is also likely to renew debate within U.S. intelligence circles about whether China is seeking only a limited nuclear force, or is secretly building up its nuclear forces to challenge U.S. strategic power.

Defense Update

September 14, 2012

MiG-29 production takes off, as Indian carrier trials near end

(Flight Global) : RAC MiG is boosting production activities to meet increased demand for its MiG-29 series of combat aircraft, with the design bureau also close to completing a series of aircraft carrier-based trials for India.
Following its receipt of major orders to supply the Indian and Russian navies with its MiG-29K deck fighter and MiG-29KUB trainer, MiG's production partners will complete 24 aircraft in 2012, up from 11 last year. A further dramatic increase is expected, however, with chief executive Sergey Korotkov having indicated that the annual rate may have to grow to 36 units to keep up with demand.

 MiG says it is on track to complete embarked tests with the MiG-29K/KUB aboard the ex-Russian navy vessel the Admiral Gorshkov, which will soon re-enter Indian use as the INS Vikramaditya.
"The testing flights are to be fulfilled before the ship's handing over to the Indian navy, scheduled for December 2012," MiG announced at the show, with the work including using the carrier's "ski jump" ramp.
The service has already received a first batch of 16 aircraft, and will get the first four examples from a follow-on order for 29 more later this year.
Russia's navy will also later field 24 MiG-29K/KUBs with its lone aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, under a contract signed in February.
While the opportunity to make further sales with the K-series fighter is narrow, Korotkov sees the land-based MiG-29M/M2 as holding great potential. Boasting open-architecture avionics, a new radar and with an expanded range of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons, the type is already being offered to possible customers.
"We are certain that as per its cost-efficiency ratio, the MiG-29M/M2 is capable to compete with any modern fighter," Korotkov says. "Many countries, who initially had declared a fast-track transition to Western weaponry, after complex analysis have corrected their approaches."

Potential Hawk order to expand India footprint

We have received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft.
The aircraft, to be built by HAL in Bengaluru, will fulfill the Indian Air Force’s requirement for its prestigious aerobatic team.

Upon successful conclusion, this would be the third contract placed on us for the supply of materials and equipment for the Hawk Mk132, building upon previous orders of 66 aircraft in 2004, comprising supply of 24 Hawk aircrafts in fly-away condition and 42 aircraft built under license by HAL, and a further 57 aircraft in 2010. Under these contracts, we have worked closely with the Indian MOD and HAL to establish a production line in India where the aircraft are now assembled. Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian Air Force are performing well.

Guy Griffiths, Group MD, International, said, “This is a tremendous opportunity to build on the success of Hawk in India and demonstrates the progress we are making in capturing significant opportunities to address the defence modernization requirements of the Indian Government. Together with HAL, we look forward to giving the Indian Air Force’s display team a fantastic aircraft.”

Together with HAL we are committed to strengthen our relationship through ongoing discussions on exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally.

The potential addition to the Indian fleet, one of the largest fleets of Hawk anywhere in the world, would take the number of Hawk aircraft ordered worldwide to over 1,000.  The Hawk aircraft has been widely exported. Customers include Australia, Canada, South Africa, Bahrain, India, the Royal Saudi Air Force and the UK Royal Air Force. The UK Royal Air Force aerobatics team Red Arrows has used the BAE Systems Hawk since 1979.

BAE Systems

September 13, 2012

U.S. Sends Two Warships to Libyan Coast - Fox News

Two U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers were sent toward the coast of Libya following the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three consulate employees, Fox News reported citing unnamed military officials.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Tuesday after the diplomatic facility in Benghazi was attacked by an armed mob angry over a U.S.-produced film that is said to be insulting to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
According to Fox News, a team of about 50 U.S. marines was also sent to Libya and will be dispatched in the country’s capital of Tripoli.
“A Marine "fast team" is being sent from the U.S. Naval base in Rota, Spain. They are expected to go to Tripoli,” Fox News reported.
The move comes after U.S. President Barack Obama ordered “all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”
Libyan Ambassador to the United States Ali Aujali put the blame for the attack on supporters and sidekicks of slain Gaddafi, while the U.S. intelligence service initially reported that the attack was linked to al-Qaeda.

RIA Novosti

September 11, 2012

Indian Navy choppers bid delayed, firm lodges protest

India's bid to buy 16 multi-role helicopters worth over $1 billion for its navy has been hit by delays after the defence ministry recently asked the two competing firms to extend their commercial proposals till Dec 31.

Soon after the commercial bids were extended by the two firms, European consortium NH Industries (NHI) wrote to the defence ministry reiterating its objections to letting US company Sikorsky continue in the tender, claiming its product had failed in meeting the requirements.

Defence ministry sources told IANS here that NH Industries and Sikorsky were asked to extend their commercial bids till December just before the validity of their proposals, made less than two years ago, had expired in July.

NHI has offered its NH90 platform, while Sikorsky is competing with the S70B helicopter.
After the two competing helicopters had qualified the field evaluation trials held November last year, the Indian Navy had submitted its report to the defence ministry, which is now in the process of decision-making.

However, soon after the two companies were asked to extend their bids, NHI's official Julien Negrel wrote to Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and other top Indian defence officials questioning the validity of Sikorsky's bids and its selection after the evaluation trials, claiming it had not complied with the naval staff qualitative requirements (NSQRs) laid down in the tender documents.

This is the second time the NHI had objected to letting Sikorsky continue in the bids, having done so early this year in a letter to Defence Minister A.K. Antony after its previous communication sent to the defence secretary December last year reportedly got no response.

Sources said the latest NHI letter had wondered if the Indian defence ministry has accorded waivers to the Sikorsky over "non-compliance" with NSQRs during the field evaluation.

The European firm has also asked the defence ministry to confirm the concessions to Sikorsky before it is invited for commercial negotiations.

The letter also sought time of 30 days after such confirmation is offered by the Indian defence ministry for NHI to review its own proposals with regard to the waived NSQRs.

In its earlier letter, NHI had raised questions over the S-70B's qualifications with regard to at least eight aspects of the NSQRs such as dual redundancy, fitment of fuel tanks, full authority automatic flight control system, fuel reserves at the end of mission, sensor functions and usage monitoring system.

However, the Indian Navy had dismissed these objections, saying NHI was trying to "mislead" the defence ministry on the NSQRs and was "twisting" the parameters, to "unreasonably" delay the tender process.

The navy, in its report, recommended that both firms' helicopters met the NSQRs and hence the selection process could continue.

IANS / Deccan Herald

September 10, 2012

India to ink $11 billion MMRCA deal with Rafale by next month: Indian Air Force official

India plans to sign the $11 billion MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal with French Rafale by the end of this month-end or next month, a senior Indian Air Force official said .
"I find no reason why it shouldn't be signed by the end of this month or next month", Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command, IAF, Air Marshal Rajinder Singh said.

He indicated that negotiations are currently on with regard to pricing for the 126-aircraft deal. "There is money....this thing here and there (pricing being finalised)".
The Air Marshal admitted to "some problems" (on pricing) but asserted that it's not unusual in such big deals. "It should come through", he said, adding that the first aircraft under the MMRCA deal would start "flowing in" in 2017.
The Air Marshal dismissed reports quoting Russian and German officials who had claimed that the deal is not final yet and that it's still up in the air.
"Nothing of that sort", he said, pointing out India had already declared the lowest bidder -- Rafale -- for the MMRCA deal.
Vyacheskav Dzirkaln, Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation,was recently quoted as saying:"I wouldn't say that MMRCA tender is a closed issue. We have information that the tender is still up in the air".
The deputy chief of the ruling CDU-led coalition's parliamentary committee in Bundestag (lower house of German Parliament) for foreign and defence affairs, Andreas Schockenhoff, reportedly said recently the last word had not yet been heard on the MMRCA deal.
Russia's MiG-35 did not make it to the MMRCA shortlist, which also included Eurofighter Typhoon,designed by a European consortium in which Germany is a part, besides Rafale.

The Economic Times

More teeth for Jaguar: Nearly 120 of the Indian Air Force jets are being modernized

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has lit the afterburners to make its Jaguars fighting fit for modern warfare and increase their service life.
The Jaguars, the only aircraft with the IAF capable of carrying nuclear weapons other than the Mirage-2000s, are being fitted with autopilots, next generation avionics and lethal armaments under an ambitious modernisation programme that will see the fighters flying well after 2030.
Nearly 120 Jaguars are being modernised. So far, the IAF has procured autopilots for 55 Jaguars and talks for 95 more, which includes spare autopilots, are underway, according to information shared by the government in Parliament.
The upgradation of the Ambala-based fighter jets, in service for more than four decades, is being carried out by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at a cost of more than Rs 3,000 crore.

Autopilots would lessen pilot workload, freeing them from physically flying the jet during long flights though, in an ultimate test of IAF top guns, six Jaguars flew all the way to Alaska for a joint exercise with the US Air Force in 2004.
The government is also reviving a plan to re-engine the aircraft with a more powerful powerplant. The IAF feels the Jaguars, powered by Rolls Royce Adour-811 turbofan engines, are underpowered, and wants a more powerful engine for the fighters.
But its hunt for a new power-plant has not been easy. In 2010, its bid for more than 250 turbofans for the Jaguars could not take off as one of the contenders – Rolls Royce, which offered its upgraded Adour MK-821 engine – backed out leaving only Honeywell’s F124IN engine in the fray.
The Indian government prefers to avoid single-vendor bids in military acquisitions.
The Jaguar’s cockpit is going to completely transform. It’s going to turn all glass. There will be digital MFDs (multifunction displays) replacing the traditional analog gauges and dials, and pilots will have fly-by-wire controls.

Mailonline India /Dailymail

September 8, 2012

New Russian ICBM Can Carry Bigger Warhead - Expert

Russia’s new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile will have a 5-ton warhead, which is four times that of its predecessors, a former military commander said on Friday.
“The new ICBM will have a payload four times bigger than that of the Yars missile,” said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (Ret.), advisor to the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander, who served as SMF chief of staff in 1991-93.
“The 45-ton Yars has a payload of 1.2 tons. The new missile will be able to orbit a payload of 5 tons.”
The new missile will have a greater capability for missile defense penetration, he said.
 MF chief Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said this past Monday that Russia will build a new ICBM by 2018. The new missile is to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan) missile.
So far all of Russia’s recent ICBM projects, both sea-launched (Bulava) and ground-based (Topol-M, Yars), have been solid fuel.

Karakayev said the new ICBM will have a launch mass of around 100 tons with a better payload-launch weight ratio than in a solid fuel missile.

Such ICBMs can only be deployed in silos.
The Russian Defense Ministry previously said that unless the United States abandons its plans to create a missile defense system in Europe, Russia will take counter measures, including building a new heavy liquid-propellant missile.

RIA Novosti

September 6, 2012

Boeing sees sales of joint U.S.-Israeli missile shield

(Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) foresees global demand for a ballistic missile-defense shield it is co-developing to help guard Israel, the head of the company's military business said on Tuesday.
Israel is getting set for the first full flight test of its Arrow anti-missile system using a new high-altitude interceptor called Arrow 3.
"As we prove out that technology, and show that it's not only affordable but effective, we think there will be additional global market opportunities for that capability," Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive of Boeing's defense, space and security arm, told Reuters.
Boeing thinks that potential markets may include India, Singapore and South Korea, a company official said in a followup telephone conversation.
The United States and Israel have been jointly developing Arrow since 1988. Boeing's counterpart on the project is state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries.
Arrow 3, the system's highest-altitude component, which operates outside the atmosphere, is expected to be deployed by 2014, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service.
The capabilities to be demonstrated in the coming test include searching further and higher for missiles of the type being designed and tested by Iran. No intercept of a simulated enemy design is scheduled in the upcoming test.
Boeing is set to produce half or more of the Arrow 3 interceptors in the United States, with Israel doing the integration. A key selling point, Boeing believes, would be the system's relative affordability.
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) makes a rival missile shield called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.
So far, THAAD's only foreign sale has been to the United Arab Emirates. Lockheed Martin received a $1.96 billion U.S. government contract last December to produce two THAAD weapons systems for the UAE.
Any overseas sales of the Arrow system would be on a similar government-to-government basis.
Muilenburg said another likely selling point would be the potential for a buyer nation's industry to be involved in production.
"That's a technology area where many countries are interested in building up their own industrial capacity in addition to providing the defensive capability," he said.
The total U.S. financial contribution to progressively improved versions of the Arrow system tops $1 billion, the Congressional Research Service said in a March 12 report to lawmakers.
The Obama administration's fiscal 2013 budget request includes $99.8 million in joint U.S.-Israeli co-development for missile defense, a sum that U.S. lawmakers have moved to more than double in the ongoing budget process.

September 5, 2012

India, Russia to Make Multiple Rocket Systems

Moscow and Delhi have agreed to set up a joint venture in India for manufacturing and post-sales servicing of rockets for Russian Smerch multiple rocket launchers, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.
The two countries signed a memorandum of cooperation on August 27, the agency said.
“Complete rocket production technology will be transferred to the joint venture,” it said.
The Smerch MLRS uses 300mm rockets with a range of 70 to 90 km with a variety of warheads


September 4, 2012

'Jawans not allowed to use force to stop Chinese incursions'

Defence personnel posted at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were not being allowed to use force against repeated Chinese incursions in Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh area, a BJP leader claimed.
"Our forces at the border are saying they are not getting permission to use force to thwart appropriately the incursions and illegal moves by the Chinese. BJP demands immediate protection to the border villages of Ladakh and if needed use of force by our security forces," BJP MP and spokesperson Tarun Vijay told reporters.
Chinese incursions in Ladakh have increased in the wake of China's Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie's five-day India visit, he claimed. Describing the Indian government's silence on this issue as "baffling", he demanded that India take up this issue with the Chinese and strongly oppose it. He claimed that Chinese armed forces put pressure on Indian border villages not to unfurl the tricolour at Demchhok, near the LAC.
"Instead, the villagers were asked on Independence Day to unfurl the flag in a hall near ITBP post, at a distance from the LAC," Vijay said.
Development work in the border village of Koyul in Leh has also come to a halt as a result of it, he claimed. "The surprising silence of Defence and Home Ministries in this regard is mysterious," Vijay said, adding that the Deputy Commissioner of Leh had written to the Divisional Commissioner, Srinagar, who in turn requested the Home Ministry to intervene in the matter, but no action has been taken.

PTI / Oneindia

China aiming 200 more missiles at Taiwan: MND

EXPLOSIVE ISSUE:A military report indicates that China has boosted its arsenal to 1,600 missiles, with its new advanced, medium-range DF-16 missiles among them. The number of ballistic and cruise missiles aimed by China’s Second Artillery Corps at Taiwan has grown from 1,400 last year to more than 1,600 this year, which poses a serious threat to the nation, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in its China Military Power Report 2012.

This year’s annual report, which has been delivered to the legislature, emphasizes China’s growing missile threat.
It said the People’s Liberation Army had deployed a small number of advanced Dong Feng-16 (DF-16) missiles to complement the arsenal of DF-11 and DF-15 short-range missiles that has threatened Taiwan over the years. National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) told the legislature in March last year that the Chinese military had completed developing the new DF-16. Photographs in April suggested the deployment of the medium-range missile had begun. Military analysts also believe that the DF-16 may be mobile, which would make interception more difficult.
To increase area-denial, the Second Artillery has deployed DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, the report said, adding that DF-31A ICBMs armed with nuclear warheads and capable of reaching the US and most European countries were deployed to deter other countries from interfering in any conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
The number of ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at Taiwan has increased by about 200 from last year and is now estimated at 1,600, it said, adding that an increasing number were equipped with advanced GPS systems allowing for precision attacks against Taiwan.
Facing an increased threat from Chinese missiles, plans are being made to modernize Taiwan’s air defense systems, the report said.
According to the military budget proposal for next year, the ministry has earmarked funds to modernize and expand its surface-to-air missiles (SAM), with the ministry planning to procure rocket boosters from the US to place on the AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile. It also has plans to acquire AGM-65G Maverick missiles, AGM-84L Harpoon missiles and Magic II missiles, as well as the domestically produced Tien Chien II missiles.
The Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology is also to be called upon to modernize parts of the indigenous Tien Kung “Sky Bow” I and II air-defense systems.
The military also plans to send aging MIM23 Hawk medium-range SAMs to the US for efficiency tests, the budget proposal shows.
In addition, the military plans to procure rocket motors from the US to equip its Standard Missile 1, it says.
Although relations across the Taiwan Strait have improved, China has not slowed its military buildup, which is mainly intended to deter the Taiwanese independence movement, the report says.

Taipei Times