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March 31, 2015

India to buy naval missile system from Europe


Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to France and Germany, the Defence Ministry has given its nod for purchasing nine Maitri short range surface to air missile (SAM) systems from the European arms major MBDA for Indian warships.

While the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Aakash SAM will fulfill the air defence requirement of the Army and Air Force, the indigenous missile has been found wanting for the naval needs. The defence acquisition council, therefore, instructed the DRDO to engage with MBDA for co-development of these missiles with a range of approximately 25 km for the Navy.

“Aakash does not meet naval staff qualitative requirement because of the sea keeping issues and instability of the platform. That’s why DRDO has been asked to restart the talks,” said a Navy official.

The green signal was given in a meeting of the defence acquisition council, headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on March 28.

Even though the Maitri programme began in 2007, the European company’s hopes were dashed last year when Air Force and Army said indigenous Aakash missile was good enough for them.

In the last two months, MBDA officials met Parrikar at least twice to find out ways to salvage the deal.

The Navy’s requirement is nine Maitri systems, each of them carrying 40 missiles for anti-missile defence of the vessels. The deal’s worth is likely to be few thousand crores though there is no official word even on the estimated price tag.

Three big European firms Airbus (37.5 per cent), BAE Systems (37.5 per cent) and Finmeccanica (25 per cent) have stakes in the MBDA. One of the them, Finmeccanica, was under scanner of the Indian government for the VVIP chopper scam.

In addition, the DAC approved midlife upgrading of 10 Ka-28 helicopters from Russia at a cost of Rs 2100 crore (297 million euro). These helicopters came in the early 1990s for the Ranvijay class ships.

Moreover, approvals were given to purchase 22 Harpoon missiles for the six HDW (Shishumar class) submarines at a cost of Rs 913 crore from the US and six anti-missile defence radar of Rs 343 crore for four Koraclass corvettes and two missile boats.

 Deccan Herald

DCNS offers modified Mistral to India


Pierre Legros of DCNS, spoke to StratPost on the sidelines of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA2015) about his company’s response to the Indian Navy’s RFP for LPD vessels.
Tell us about your response to the Indian Navy RFP (Request For Proposal) for four LPD (Landing Platform Dock) vessels.
We have offered the Mistral-class. But because of the very specific requirements of the Indian Navy we have been obliged to propose significant changes to the Mistral-class design – original design.
And initially, very frankly, we thought that the best value for money for India would be to acquire the Mistral as it is – maybe with some modifications, as we did for the Russians, for instance. But it appears that they wanted to have very big modifications in order to comply with the depth and standard which are applicable to this particular ship.
Graphic: DCNS
And for instance, they did not accept the engines which normally equip the Mistral family which are essentially the (azimuth thrusters) – they are installed on pods – they wanted to have normal normal shaft lines – maybe it doesn’t speak to you, but it means that since, now the well dock, which is the main part of the Mistral cannot be realized in th same way because of the shaft lines – two shaft lines, at least – we have to redesign the whole aft-section of the ship.
So most of it is going to be more or less similar to the Mistral and same from the outside. You will still see it – more or less similar.
But indeed, the modifications are really, really significant and we have some doubts, very frankly, about the real value for money. But once again, those are the requirements of the Indian Navy – let’s abide by that, let’s try to meet all those requirements and maybe later in the process of negotiations we might end up in convincing the Indian Navy that they might do significant savings by going for the more off-the-shelf solution.
Why is the Indian Navy circumspect about the existing engine pods?
It works (existing azimuth thruster propulsion) but certain navies think that the pods are very – well, first of all have not been designed with all the military requirements taken into account. Secondly, that they are more difficult to maintain over time, which is not at all our view – quite the contrary. It’s a perception issue.
I can tell you that all the countries in which we have marketed the Mistral – all countries have accepted the pod approach without any problems – even the Russians.
So we were very much surprised when the Indian Navy said, “No, no, no, no – this is not what we want. You have to follow exactly the requirements that we have expressed in our RFP, otherwise you might be eliminated right away,” and we said, “Okay, okay – don’t frighten us with elimination. If this is what you want we can certainly do it.” It’s not a technical issue, it’s only a question of value for money.
This is one of the things – there are other things, which have led us to study all those changes but, once again, this is not at all a big deal. This is a very flexible ship, not only in terms of the capacity and military operations or whatever, but even in terms of design.
We have conducted, for instance, a number of changes for the Russians who wanted ship capable of moving in Arctic seas. For instance, in the Russian version, the deck can be heated, which is not a requirement in India. They also wanted to change the height of the lower decks in order to accommodate ‘higher’ helicopters, so all of this can be very easily done. This is not an issue.
How difficult is it to modify the original design?
Modular design and modular construction. This is the reason why it was for us relatively easy to design those modifications. As a matter of fact we did the job in less than four months (for the modifications of the response to the Indian Navy RFP). So we see that as a real advantage of our design. Now obviously the other advantage that we have is that this ship amply proven at sea.
And for the Indian Navy we have proposed a basic design, as we normally do in a proposal – concept design – but we will have to – if we happen to be selected at the end of the day, we will have to do the detailed design and that will take some more time.
Mistral9 (600 x 278)
But the other thing, also, which we believe is an advantage is – and this is something that has not been matched by any other competitor – is the time needed to build such a ship. This is a big ship – between 22 and 26,000 tons – only an aircraft carrier would be bigger than this – and that ship has been built for he Russians in 32 months. For the French Navy – same thing and therefore we have now a track record which demonstrates that we can build it quickly.
Now, obviously, in India – it will have to be built in India, so we have to transfer the technology. But this is what we did, for instance, for the Russians and they have been capable to follow the same.
How confident are you about your partnership with Pipavav in bidding for this RFP?
We have developed those changes to make a good proposal in association with our partner Pipavav – maybe tomorrow, Reliance Defence – we don’t know.
To us, very frankly, this was a fantastic news because we were very anxious about the future of Pipavav. And up to the point where, because of the situation of Pipavav and the situation of the ABG at the same time we were about to have the Indian Navy canceling the RFP by saying ‘Okay guys – let’s redo the whole thing because now we have only one solid proposal on the table’ – which is the one of L&T – Larsen and Toubro.
There are three contenders, basically, each of one with one occidental partner – ABG with Alion Technologies from the US, L&T with Navantia of Spain and we are with Pipavav.
In any case, we built most of the ship in France for the Russians but in India have known right from the beginning that the whole thing would be built in India. So this is not something which is a problem for us. Pipavav has a very large capacity – very large dry dock – probably the biggest in India and therefore they are an ideal partner for building that type of ship, so we’re very confident. And now we will also to find a a suitable partner to build, integrate and install the combat system that will equip the ship.
Not (identified) yet. There are many, many contenders for this type of thing – it’s not a very complex ship in terms of military capacity. So BEL might do it, Tata might do it. And here again, we will be very flexible and we will listen to the Indian Navy – have always their way of thinking about their partners, their privileged partners and this not a domain in which there should be any difficulty to accommodate any partner of their choice.

 StratPost

March 30, 2015

India interested in buying Japan’s Soryu-class submarines


Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar has expressed his readiness to consider acquiring Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
“We are very much interested in Japan’s technologies,” Parrikar said in an exclusive interview ahead of his visit to Japan from Monday.
The issue may be taken up at his meeting with Defense Minister Gen Nakatani the same day, according to Parrikar. “Everything is on agenda. We can discuss that issue,” he said Saturday.
India’s navy has a fleet of 15 submarines, but more than half are not equipped to respond quickly to contingencies due to aging. In view of the growing activity of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has put a high priority on arms buildup to strengthen maritime security.
Japan’s Soryu-class submarines are seen as among the most advanced nonnuclear attack submarines in the world.
Parrikar noted that Japan had strict regulations on the export of defense technologies but that the rules are changing. “We are looking at all kinds of defense cooperation with Japan in all fields,” he said, signaling intention to acquire Soryu-class submarines if the amended conditions are met.
Australia is also in talks with Japan on buying Soryu-class submarines.
In the interview, Parrikar suggested that India is not likely to make a decision anytime soon on whether to purchase US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft used by the MSDF. Tokyo and New Delhi are holding talks on the export of US-2 aircraft to India and a possible joint venture to produce them on Indian soil.
“It will not be decided in Tokyo,” Parrikar said. “I have directed the (Indian) Navy and Coast Guard to come up with a clear-cut report on their operational necessities. First we need to define details.
“Without that report, we cannot go forward,” he said.

 japantimes

Upgraded interceptor missile to be test-fired on April 6

The launch is to validate its capability to carry a bigger warhead and minimise the ‘mis-distance’

A newly configured version of an interceptor missile, designed to improve its efficacy, will be test-fired against an electronic target missile from Wheeler Island on April 6.
As part of India’s plans to deploy a two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence system to protect important cities and installations, missile technologists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have conducted nine interceptor missile tests.
Six of the tests were conducted in the endo-atmosphere (below 40 km altitude) and three in exo-atmosphere (above 80 km). Eight of the tests were successful.
In the upcoming test to be conducted in the endo-atmosphere, the reconfigured version of the interceptor missile (AAD) would be launched to validate its capability to carry a bigger warhead and minimise the mis-distance, among other parameters. Another crucial feature — that of powering the missile when the target missile is detected with a reduced reaction time would also be tested during the mission.
Since the entire exercise from detection till the terminal event is automated, the crucial capability to power the missile after detecting the target would prevent unnecessary powering of the missile, while keeping it alert mode.
While an actual AAD missile would be launched after the take-off of a target missile is simulated on April 6, scientists plan to carry out another exercise by April end in which both the interceptor and target missile would launched with warheads in a real, battle-like scenario, DRDO sources told The Hindu here on Sunday.

Will India Lease Another Russian Nuclear Submarine?


In December 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to India, traditionally a major consumer of Russia-made military equipment. In New Delhi, Putin met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two pledged to deepen their defense ties. During that visit, Russia’s trade minister, Denis Manturov, hinted that Moscow would eagerly lease a nuclear submarine to India if there was interest:  “If India decides to have more contracts to lease nuclear submarines, we are ready to supply,” he noted. India currently operates one Akula-II-class nuclear submarine, the INS Chakra, leased in 2011 from Russia for a 10 year period. The lease weighs in at $970 million, representing a considerable portion of India’s cumulative spending on Russian equipment.
The Russian minister’s comments were not entirely out of left field: Indian defense ministry officials had told the press that the Indian Navy would acquire another nuclear submarine from Russia. After December, information surrounding a potential second submarine lease died down — until this week. The Russia and India Repor noted last week that a Russian shipbuilding industry source noted that “Russia is ready to lease a second Project 971 Shchuka-B submarine to India for a period of ten years.” The report continues:
The submarine will be customized by the Amur shipyards. Modernization and testing of the submarine and training of the Indian crew will take three years. The Kashalot will be transferred to the Indian Navy in 2018, the source noted.
The specific submarine to be leased is the K-322 Kashalot, an Akula-II-class submarine (Akula is the NATO reporting name for the Shchuka) with a surface displacement of 8,140 tons, submerged speed of 30 knots, and maximum operating depth of 520 meters. The Kashalot additionally requires a crew of 73 sailors and uses a 190 mW nuclear reactor for propulsion. The Kashalot features eight torpedo tubes in total, with four bays designed for 630 mm torpedoes and the remainder designed for 533 mm torpedoes (optimized for Russian-made Type65 and Type 53 torpedoes). In a separate report earlier last week from Russia’s state-run TASS news agency, a “high-placed source in the system of Russia’s military and technical cooperation with foreign countries” notes that ”In January this year, the Indian side suggested transferring the second project 971 multipurpose nuclear submarine Kashalot for lease.” He adds that ”the Russian side is studying the issue.” ”The procedure will most likely be similar to the procedure, which was used for transferring the first submarine called Nerpa to the Indian side,” TASS‘ source adds.
In addition to the INS Chakra, India is currently conducting sea trials for an additional nuclear submarine, the indigenously developed INS Arihant. India has an additional three submarines planned as part of the Arihant-class. The major distinction between India’s Akula-class and Arihant-class is that the latter is an SSBN and a critical part of ensuring a robust nuclear triad for New Delhi. The INS Chakra and the K-322 Kashalot are attack submarines, intended for anti-surface combat, sea-denial, and coastal defense purposes.
India’s submarine procurement plans were defined primarily by a thirty-year plan, conceived of in the late-1990s, which envisages a modernized submarine force consisting of submarines acquired in equal parts from the West and Russia, complemented by an indigenous design.

 thediplomat

Hinduja Group expanding in defence sector in big way: Gopi Hinduja


Global conglomerate Hinduja Group is making a foray into the defence sector in a "big way" and may soon add it as their 11th autonomous business to "strengthen India's self-security".

The London-based Hinduja group has the ability to manufacture parts that might be needed in the field of defence equipment, NRI industrialist and co-chairman Gopi Hinduja said.

"We are expanding in a big way in the defence sector because within the group we have the capabilities and facilities for the 'Make in India' concept," he said, referring to the slogan coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to manufacture as much as possible in India. 

 The company may soon add an 11th "vertical" - defence - to the 10 they already have, namely autonomous businesses in the areas of health, energy, power generation, automotive, finance ad banking; oil and gas, IT and BPO, media and cable; real estate and trading.

He said: "At the moment, we have three companies dealing with defence, but the objective of the group is to centralize manufacturing into one vertical.

"Defence does not mean I am going to build aeroplanes or submarines; I am going to provide them (the makers) the facilities that I have; manufacturing parts, designing engineering, local knowledge, expertise. Whatever facilities we have within our companies to whoever is coming to India and wants to do defence business and make something in India.

"After all, the country needs self-security. Today, India is suffering in a big way because it needs to do much more to protect itself."

The self-help philosophy that Modi has espoused is one with which the Hindujas agree.

Gopi said that Modi has "clear cut objectives". "There was a time when India was going to the world for showcasing that India is a good investment destination. Today, the world is coming towards India.

"If Modi is able to implement 30 per cent of what he is promising, that will be a great success. His problem is tackling the system and culture of so many years - to convert that with the bureaucracy he has inherited takes time.

"But Modi and his senior cabinet ministers are headed in the right direction. I am confident they will be successful in changing the face of India and that is why we are taking more and more interest in India. We have even enhanced our exposure to India by further 10 per cent," Gopi said.

In India, the Hindujas have stirred interest by declaring that the group is prepared to invest $10 billion in 'Brownfield or distressed projects', for example in the renewable and infrastructure sectors, according to information given in the Asian Rich List 2015 that has the Hinduja brothers on the top.

Gopi also said that the company has identified four projects in power, two in infrastructure, two in engineering, procurement and construction, and three or four in the defence sector. 


 timesofindia

March 28, 2015

Russia ready to lease a second nuclear submarine to India


Russia is ready to lease a second Project 971 Shchuka-B submarine to India for a period of ten years, a source in the shipbuilding industry told Interfax-AVN on Friday.
The decision has been made on leasing a second nuclear submarine, remarked the source. That may be K-322 Kashalot or another submarine of the Chakra class, he said.
The submarine will require profound modernization consistent with wishes of the foreign customer.
The submarine will be customized by the Amur shipyards. Modernization and testing of the submarine and training of the Indian crew will take three years. The Kashalot will be transferred to the Indian Navy in 2018, the source noted.
Russian shipyards prepared a Project 971 Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine for transfer to the Indian Navy in an earlier period. That submarine was leased for ten years at a price of $980 million. The acceptance document was signed in December 2011 and the submarine named the Chakra joined the Indian Navy on April 4, 2012.
The fact that India was considering the possibility of renting another Project 971 submarine came to light in December 2014. That is when the Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that his ministry was considering two options: the extension of the lease on the Chakra K-152 “Nepra” Class Project 971 submarine or renting a second ship of this project – the “Shchuka-B”. 
The Kashalot submarine of Project 971 Shchuka-B belongs to the third generation. The submarine has a submerged displacement of 12,770 tonnes, a submerged speed of 30 knots, a depth capability of 600 meters, sea endurance of 100 days and a crew of 73 men.

 rbth

Finally, Army to get Akash missiles from next month


The Army will finally get some desperately-needed supersonic firepower to take on enemy fighters, helicopters, drones and sub-sonic cruise missiles after years of grappling with obsolete air defence weapons. What makes it even more significant is that the new weapon system is 96% indigenous.

The 1.13-million strong force will begin getting the Akash "area defence" missile systems, which have an interception range of over 25 km in all weather conditions, from next month. Though quite late in coming, the Akash systems pack a formidable punch by being capable of tackling multiple aerial threats attacking from several directions simultaneously.

Defence ministry sources said Manohar Parrikar is slated to symbolically hand over the first Akash - the surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) fired from mobile launchers with powerful multi-function radars to evaluate and track threats -- to the Army in early-April.

The Army has initially ordered two Akash regiments, with six firing batteries and hundreds of missiles each, for around Rs 14,180 crore. "The first full regiment should be ready by June-July, with the second one following by end-2016," said a source.

As first reported by TOI, IAF has already begun to deploy six Akash missile squadrons in the north-east to counter China's build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), which includes eight fully-operational airbases in Tibet.



IAF has ordered eight Akash squadrons for Rs 6,200 crore, with the first two coming up at the Mirage-2000 base in Gwalior and Sukhoi-30MKI base in Pune. This led to the junking of the long-pending plan to develop the 'Maitri' short-range SAMs with France at a cost of around Rs 30,000 crore.

The Navy, however, does not find the Akash suitable for its warships. It has asked the Parrikar-led defence acquisitions council to empower DRDO to re-engage with French armament major MBDA for joint development of the SAM systems. "Navy's initial requirement is for nine such systems, with 40 missiles each," said a source.

The Akash was one of the five core missile systems of the integrated guided missile development programme launched by DRDO in 1984. After long delays due to technical problems, the indigenous SAM - produced by defence PSUs Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics -- is finally being inducted into the armed forces.

"The fully-automated Akash system is designed to defend the country's vital and vulnerable areas against medium-range air targets penetrating from low, medium and high altitudes. Its kill probability is over 88% with one missile. With two missiles in ripple firing, its 98%," said a DRDO scientist. 
- timesofindia

Defence cooperation will be high on Modi’s agenda in Europe


Defence cooperation, particularly under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, will be high on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda in France and Germany during his European sojourn beginning on April 9.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is scheduled to meet on Saturday ahead of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to Japan starting on Sunday. Several issues connected to the two visits are on the agenda along with the upgrade of Russian-built Kamov helicopters of the Navy.
While the focus in France will largely be on the over $20 billion deal for 126 Rafale fighter aircraft under the multi-role combat aircraft contest, which both sides have been negotiating since 2012, there are a few other big ticket deals on the table.
France will press for the conclusion of the $6 billion ‘Maitri’ project for co-development and production of Short Range Surface to Air Missiles. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) signed a memorandum of understanding with MBDA of France in 2013, but there has hardly been any movement since.
Several Defence Ministry officials feel that this deal is unnecessary as it directly competes with the DRDO’s Akash system. “The Maitri project can go on, but we want the missiles, and Akash is serving that purpose,” a senior Defence Ministry official said earlier.
The other issue pertains to single vendor situation involving Airbus in two projects. One is the Avro aircraft replacement programme and the second is aircraft for the indigenous Air Borne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) programme under development by DRDO.
In addition, France is also keen to expand defence engagement by taking up joint projects under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In Berlin, the focus will be on how Germany can play a bigger role in ‘Make in India’ in general and defence in particular which was emphasised by German officials on several occasions.

thehindu

Indian Official Describes Latest AEW&C Plans


India is seeking a joint-venture deal with Embraer to export the EMB-145 AEW&C system, now that it has decided on a larger platform to meet Indian Air Force (IAF) requirements. The country has acquired three of the Brazilian aircraft and equipped them with an indigenous radar system. They are now undergoing trials, and two will enter service with the IAF. But the service will not exercised an option to acquire more such aircraft. Meanwhile, however, India is evaluating responses to the RFP that was issued last year for six larger platforms.
S. Christopher, director of the Center for AirBorne Systems (CABS) within the government’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), told AIN that the RFP sought a longer-endurance and higher-altitude platform than the EMB-145, on which to integrate the indigenous radar system. The RFP was issued to Boeing for the 767, Airbus for the A330 and Ilyushin for the Il-76, and a decision will be made by April, he said. The Indian Air Force currently operates three A-50/Il-76s for AEW&C equipped with IAI-Elta Phalcon radars.
Christopher said that any contract for new platforms would also have to include provision for India to export the resulting AEW&C aircraft. “We must be more stringent with the OEMs. We need to keep a hold on costs and upgrade together,” he said. But, he added, the agreement will be restricted to structural modification of aircraft.
The DRDO will face challenges in adapting the current radar system from 240 degrees to 360 degrees of coverage, and from a 24-ton to a 200-ton platform, Christopher acknowledged. “The radar will be expected to have more power and endurance…testbed facilities are limited…and there are  electromagnetic challenges,” he added.
Four South Americans countries have shown interest in the EMB-145 AEW&C, which India could jointly export with Embraer, Christopher claimed. He also noted that the radar system could have non-defense surveillance applications, such as countering drug traffickers in South America or animal poachers in Africa. However, AIN has learned that India’s Ministry of External Affairs might take a different view than the DRDO on exportability of the system, claiming that sovereignty would be compromised.
Embraer has a non-exclusive agreement with Saab to offer the EMB-145 with the Swedish EriEye radar system. This combination was selected by the Brazilian air force.

 ainonline

March 27, 2015

Second contract for delivery of MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters to India will be implemented next year



In 2016 Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG) will implement the second contract for delivery of 29 carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB fighters to India. RAC MiG hopes that the Indian navy will continue purchasing the jets, Interfax-AVN reports.
“The contract for delivery of the carrier-based fighters will be implemented in 2016 (six jets of the type will be delivered to the customer in 2016),” RAC MiG CEO Sergey Korotkov said. According to him, a total of 12 more fighters should be delivered to India under the second contract. “This year we will deliver six jets and six more – in 2016,” he said.
Speaking of further procurement of Russian MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters by India, Korotkov said: “Yes, we hope to continue our cooperation”.
According to foreign sources, India is going to establish a new military unit operating carrier-based fighters. “It makes no sense to operate two types of carrier-based aircraft in order to perform the same tasks. That is why we hope to sign a new contract for delivery of MiG-29K/KUB jets,” Korotkov explained.
It was reported earlier that the first contract for delivery of 16 multi-role carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB fighters to India was signed in January 2004, the second one (for delivery of 29 jets of the type) – in March 2010.
MiG-29KUB fighter performed its maiden flight in January 2007. Production jet of the type performed its maiden flight in March 2008. The first fighter of the type was delivered to Indian navy in late 2009.

 ruaviation

March 25, 2015

India said to plan army drone exports to US in role reversal



India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential.
 The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports.
 The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production 
The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. 
The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. 
They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg


- livemint

India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports. The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nOklMr3iEmBXEMic4TsZCL/India-said-to-plan-army-drone-exports-to-US-in-role-reversal.html?utm_source=copy
India, the top global arms importer, is in talks to export drones and spy equipment to the US and its allies as the world’s largest democracies boost security ties, two Indian defence officials with knowledge of the matter said. AeroVinronment Inc.’s Raven drone and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ kits, which turn jumbo transport jets into surveillance aircraft, are set to be made in India and sold overseas, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. The drones and surveillance hardware are two of four defence technologies the US agreed to jointly produce in India, a deal reached during President Barack Obama’s trip to New Delhi in January. India’s market for both items is limited, so exports would make production viable, the officials said. The US is boosting joint production with India to profit from its $150 billion modernization plan and help it counter China’s growing military capabilities. The deals also help Prime Minister Narendra Modi create manufacturing jobs and reduce India’s reliance on arms imports. The arrangement is “a win-win for both India and the US,” said Surya Gangadharan, a security analyst in New Delhi who has written about India’s defence industry for more than 20 years. “As long as we can leverage this relationship to counter China in whichever way possible, it is going to be useful.” The Raven is a lightweight, hand-launched drone used by about 20 countries for intelligence gathering. While India has just six C-130J transport aircraft, more than 300 of the planes are in use in about a dozen countries. Joint production The joint production stems from a 2012 agreement, now referred to as the defence Trade and Technology Initiative, to make it easier for the US and India to seal arms transfers. The nations haven’t released many details on the manufacturing deals, including how many units will be produced and when they will be ready for delivery. Nungsanglemba Ao, a spokesman for India’s defence Ministry, declined to comment on the possibility of exports being permitted under the India-US deal. Mark Boyer, external media relations officer for AeroVironment, didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment. Lockheed is ready to export if necessary, though couldn’t comment on the specifics of any initiative until the governments have agreed, India chief executive phil Shaw said by e-mail. Jet engines A Pentagon spokeswoman referred to comments made last month by Frank Kendall, a US under secretary of defence who has made five trips to India in the last two years. The initiative “aims to promote science and technology cooperation at the research, co-development, and co-production stages, and hopefully even defence exports from both of our countries at some point,” he said in New Delhi on 26 February. India last year allowed more foreign investment in defence and started prioritizing purchases of locally made weapons. It plans to spend $150 billion by 2027 on new missiles, artillery, fighter jets, submarines and defence equipment. During Obama’s visit, the US and India also agreed to jointly produce mobile electric hybrid power sources that may be used in submarines, and protective clothing for soldiers in battlefields with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. They also are considering sharing technology on aircraft carriers and jet engines. India accounted for 15% of global weapons imports from 2010 to 2014, followed by China at 5 percent, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Russia provided 70% of India’s weapons in that time, with the US at 12%. India now exports only a small amount of defence goods to neighbouring countries, including a home-built warship to Mauritius last year. Bloomberg

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/nOklMr3iEmBXEMic4TsZCL/India-said-to-plan-army-drone-exports-to-US-in-role-reversal.html?utm_source=copy

Stealth submarines upgraded for India could hit targets at sea and on land


After an upgrade, the Russian-made Indian ‘Varshavyanka’ submarines of Project 877 EKM will be able to strike not only vessels, but also ground targets with cruise missiles, Igor Vilnit, CEO of the CDB ME “Rubin” that designed the submarines, said.
He also said the possibilities of the strike missile complex Club-S, installed on these submarines, would be expanded, reports TASS.
“After the modernization, ships of 877EKM project will be able to use two types of missiles - 3M-54E against naval targets and 3M-14E against ground targets,” - Vilnit said.
In addition, the modernization process would involve part of the submarines' avionics.
“In some cases, the Indian side installs their own equipment. The architecture of the ship allows for it, as it has a substantial modernization potential,” the head of “Rubin” said.
The Russian ‘Varshavyanka’ stealth submarines, which are being built under project 636.3 for the Black Sea Fleet, is a further development of the project 877EKM. These submarines have been significantly upgraded and equipped with the latest weapon systems, electronics and acoustics for the Russian Navy.
In August last year, Andrey Baranov, “Rubin” deputy director of foreign trade and military-technical cooperation, reported that Russia has decided to offer assistance to India as reparation for all non-nuclear submarines. This is the second repair and extension of service life of nine diesel-electric submarines of Project 877 EKM, Baranov explained.
India had purchased ten ‘stealth’ submarines of Project 877 EKM (Kilo class) from Russia. After the loss of “Sindhurakshak” in 2013, nine vessels are left.The Russian-built ‘Sindhurakshak’ submarine suffered a minor fire incident in 2010 and a major one on the night of 14 August 2013, followed by explosions which resulted in its sinking at Mumbai's naval dockyard, where it was riding at anchor. At the time of the incident there were 18 sailors on board, all of whom died.
Earlier, on February 26, 2014, also in Mumbai, smoke engulfed the ‘Sindhuratna’ submarine when it was at sea off Mumbai for routine training and inspection. The incident left two officers dead and seven injured. The probable cause of the accident was the leak of hydrogen in the battery compartment. Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Indian navy, resigned the same day, taking "moral responsibility" for the mishaps involving naval assets.

 rbth

March 24, 2015

Russia's Irkutsk plant to deliver more than 40 Su-30SM, Yak-130 jets in 2015


The Irkutsk aircraft-building plant will deliver 27 Sukhoi-30SM fighter jets and twelve combat training planes Yakovlev-130 for Russian military this year, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said on Tuesday.
"This year the Irkutsk plant has the Defense Ministry’s contract for 27 Sukhoi-30SM for the Air Force and the Navy, and twelve combat training planes Yakovlev-130," he said during a visit to the plant.
According to the Defense Ministry’s estimates the target is quite realistic," Borisov said. "Steady supplies will begin as of April."
He also recalled that the Defense Ministry had supported the plant with extra contracts for Sukhoi-30MS jets. In view of the plant’s promising export potential we have guaranteed the plant’s workload for three years to come, which will ensure its steady development, technical upgrade and more contacts."
Earlier, the president of the Irkut corporation, Oleg Demchenko, said that Russia’s Air Force in 2015 would receive from the company about 30 big planes and another 30 smaller aircraft. He expects that this year will see record-large supplies of combat and combat training planes. In April, Irkut will export eight planes, Demchenko added.

 rbth

India wants to lease another Russian nuclear submarine


India has asked Russia to transfer another nuclear submarine for lease, a high-placed source in the system of Russia’s military and technical cooperation with foreign countries said on Tuesday.
The project 971 Kashalot-class submarine may become the second submarine that Russia transfers to India for lease, the source said.
"In January this year, the Indian side suggested transferring the second project 971 multipurpose nuclear submarine Kashalot for lease," the source said, adding "the Russian side is studying the issue."
"The procedure will most likely be similar to the procedure, which was used for transferring the first submarine called Nerpa (dubbed Charka by India) to the Indian side," the source said.
A representative of Russia’s ship-building industry also told TASS that "the Indian side is requesting to transfer this submarine to it for lease."
TASS has not yet received any official confirmation of this information.
The project 971 Nerpa nuclear submarine joined the Indian Navy in the spring of 2012. The submarine was laid down back in 1991 and Russia finished its construction after it received financing from the Indian side.
The Nerpa was leased from Russia for a term of ten years. The Times of India reported late last year that India wanted to lease the second Russian nuclear submarine.

tass/ rbth

March 23, 2015

Amid stalled fighter projects, upgraded Mirage cheers IAF


Faced with huge delays in clinching new fighter projects even as it grapples with fast-eroding air combat power, IAF finally has some reason to cheer. The force will get its first two upgraded Mirage-2000 fighters with new avionics and weapons this week.

The defence ministry says France will hand over the two "almost new" Mirage fighters to the project management teams of IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) on March 25. "Our teams are in Istres to take the delivery. The next two jets will be upgraded by HAL in India with French assistance," said an official.

The remaining 47 Mirages, which were first inducted by India in the mid-1980s, will then be progressively souped up by HAL with technology transfer from France under the overall Rs 17,547 crore programme finalized in 2011-2012.

"The upgraded Mirages have been stripped down and virtually re-built with state-of-the-art avionics, radars, mission computers, glass cockpits, helmet-mounted displays, electronic warfare suites and long-range missiles. IAF will be able to operate them for another 15-20 years," the official added.

India has gone in for a mix of upgrades and inductions like Sukhoi-30MKIs - IAF has till now inducted 200 of the 272 Russian fighters contracted for over $12 billion -- to maintain its operational readiness against China and Pakistan.

But it continues to take a big hit with the delay in new fighter projects, even as the obsolete MiG fleets are being progressively retired. As reported earlier by TOI, both the $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for 126 French Rafale fighters and the $25 billion one for 127 Russian FGFA (fifth-generation fighter aircraft) are still nowhere near being clinched.



"The indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft project is also running years behind schedule. Numbers do eventually matter. IAF should ideally have 44 fighter squadrons, instead of the 34 it is currently has," said an officer.

The Mirage upgrade project, under which India has inked two separate contracts, itself has faced flak for being so expensive. The first upgrade programme was finalized at Rs 10,947 crore with French companies Dassault Aviation (aircraft manufacturer) and Thales (weapons systems integrator) in July 2011.

The second Rs 6,600 crore contract for 490 advanced fire-and-forget MICA (interception and aerial combat missiles) systems to arm the Mirages was finalized with French armament major MBDA in early-2012.

In effect, each upgraded Mirage will cost Rs 345 crore. This when the last batch of Mirages bought by India in 2000 cost Rs 133 crore apiece. Moreover, it will take HAL almost a decade to upgrade all the fighters. 
- timesoindia

March 21, 2015

Manohar Parrikar to chair Defence Acquisition Council meet next week


The Defence Acquisition Council will meet next week during which the issue of the USD 2.5 billion Avro replacement programme is likely to be discussed among others.
Defence sources said that the DAC will meet either on March 27 or 28, just ahead of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's maiden foreign visit to Japan on March 30.
One of the main issues that is likely to be discussed is the lone bid of Airbus-TATA consortium to replace IAF's ageing fleet of 56 Avro aircraft with C-295 transport carriers.
A final decision was anticipated in November but Parrikar had sought more information about the necessity of the aircraft and the bidding process.
Accordingly, a special committee is looking into the details and procedures of the bid since only one consortium responded to the Request for Proposal (RFP).
"There is no problem. All issues are being looked into since we have a single vendor situation," sources said.
Under the current defence procurement policy, single- vendor situation is not entertained unless cleared by the DAC.
One of the options, besides selecting the consortium, is to go in for re-tendering in which the Indian companies become the main player rather than the foreign ones.
Another option is putting the project on hold and go ahead with the joint development and production of 'Multi-role Transport Aircraft' with Russia, defence analysts said.
In May 2013, the Ministry had issued RFP to original equipment manufacturers including US firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin, European multinational Airbus Defence and Space, and Antonov of Ukraine among others.
They were required to tie-up with an Indian private company under which 40 aircraft will be produced here while 16 will be bought off-the-shelf.
However, only a single bidder -- Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) consortium -- had bid for the proposal in October last year.
The Indian Air Force is keen to replace the fleet as it feels that the vintage Avro does not serve the purpose in the modern era.
IAF wants a replacement cargo aircraft with "back ram" and ability to land in "under-prepared ground" like in Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip in Ladakh.
Meanwhile, terming the bid of C-295 as an "elegant opportunity" for the government's push for 'Make in India', Airbus has said they cannot be faulted for being the only bidder.
Speaking to PTI last month, Kieran Daly, spokesperson of Airbus' Military aircraft had said, "We understand the concern about that but we have pointed out that although we are the sole bidder now, we were not the sole candidate at the beginning. There were other aircraft in that class. The fact that other companies did not chose to be in, we cannot be faulted for that".
 dnaindia

March 20, 2015

New Gurgaon hi-tech maritime surveillance centre watches over nation’s 7,000 km coast


Maintaining strict vigilance on the 7,000-odd km long coastline of India would have normally required enormous manpower, ultra-modern vessels, sophisticated aircrafts and equipments like high-definition cameras, however, the modern technology has brought down the exercise at the level of the click of a mouse, allowing the Indian Navy to keep track of the movement of all vessels, including fishing boats and barges plying in Indian waters, from a nerve centre.
A visit by the Goan media persons to the Naval Command Centre – Information Management Analysis Centre (IMAC) – set up in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi revealed the amazing ‘at the tip of the fingers’ mechanism, created to protect the country by way of advanced maritime surveillance, from the anti-national forces approaching the country through the surrounding waters.
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Communication, Space and Network-centric Operations, Rear Admiral Kishan K Pandey told the Goan media persons that the IMAC, which was recently inaugurated by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is a joint initiative of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.
“In fact, the Centre was conceived to provide coastal security after the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai,” he added, pointing out that the project was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council.
Supported by a dedicated satellite service and connectivity with huge bandwidth, the IMAC has a National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) network in place, which links all 51 monitoring stations of which 20 are Naval and 31 are Coast Guard, so as to generate a seamless real-time picture of the entire Indian coastline, and further track 30,000 to 40,000 ships on a daily basis. At present, the system comprises of 46 radars, while 30 additional radars are planned to fill all the gaps in the coastline security.
The 51 monitoring stations keep a watch on the movement of all vessels along the Indian coastline, and if any suspicious vessel starts proceeding towards the coastline, the system automatically generates ‘threat score’ for the movement of the vessel, initiating the authorities to take further action.
Speaking further, Rear Admiral Pandey said that there are around 2.50 lakh fishing boats in India, which do not have any real-time tracking system.
“A pilot project to track fishing vessels has presently been undertaken by the Coast Guard and 1,000 fishing boats from Gujarat have been fitted with transponders,” he informed, maintaining that a number of agencies such as the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Fisheries, Coast Guard and Indian Navy have to work in co-ordination for the same, besides the governments of those states located along the Indian coastline.
The Navy and Coast Guard, with the help of the respective state governments will very soon install transponders in all private boats of Indian fishermen to locate their position in the sea. These transponders will be connected through the NC3I system.
It was also informed that barges transporting mineral ore, having a displacement of more than 300 tonne must be compulsorily equipped with the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
The Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has sourced customised software from the US Company, Raytheon, which has added filters to identify threats from the vast number of ocean-going vessels by correlation and data fusion.
The IMAC also has an archive of stored data pertaining to details of various vessels that have travelled along the Indian coastline, in the recent past. This data can be retrieved and used whenever necessary.
The IMAC at present has the ability to track marine vessels operating between the Malacca Strait and the Persian Gulf and can trigger off an alarm if any ship’s movement is deemed suspicious.
Meanwhile, Captain D K Sharma, the Indian Navy spokesperson informed that the Defence Ministry knew everything from the beginning about the mysterious vessel that caught fire off the coast of Gujarat on December 31, last year.
“We have got all related records but the information was given out to media only on required basis,” he said.

 navhindtimes

Top Indian Cos eye $ 1.5 bn Naval Helicopter Deal


Several top Indian companies including TATA, Mahindra and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group are vying for the nearly USD 1.5 billion Naval Utility Helicopters Programme under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Defence sources said more than eight domestic firms have responded to the ‘Request for Information (RFI)’ issued by the government in October last year and the Defence Ministry is currently studying them.
The last date for reply to the RFI for over 100 helicopters was February 28, the sources said, adding Indian companies have tied up with foreign firms for the deal which was initially supposed to have gone to international players.
The Modi government had in August last year scrapped the tender and put the acquisition under the ‘Buy and Make Indian’ category, allowing the Indian industry to make the helicopters under a joint venture with a foreign manufacturer.
RFI responders included Punj Llyod, Bharat Forge, Mahindra Aerospace, Reliance Defence and Aerospace, Tata Advanced Systems and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the sources said.
European major Airbus is in talks with several Indian firms including TATA, Mahindra and Reliance. The sources maintained that it was yet to firm up a partnership and that talks were on. Besides Airbus, interested foreign players include Agusta Westland, Bell Helicopters and Sikorsky.
State-run HAL could tie up with the Russians for Kamov 226 helicopters. This helicopter was offered by the Russians during its President Vladamir Putin’s visit late last year.
The Naval headquarters has invited the interested Indian companies, along with representatives from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), for presentations starting March 16.
Industry sources said the “main challenge” is to ensure that OEMs have clearly defined partnerships with the Indian companies so that the programme execution meets the DPP (Defence Procurement Procedure) guidelines.
“With some of the OEMs still working with multiple Indian partners, there seems to be an urgent requirement for focused approach,” an official with a private firm said.

 ibcnews

March 19, 2015

India Sources Su-30MKI Spares Directly From Israel And France


India is sourcing spares for Su-30MKI fighter aircraft directly from France and Israel as Russia is facing a shortage in spare parts supply, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said in Parliament on Tuesday.
The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for Su-30MKI in Russia is facing shortage as well as problems in sourcing spare parts from Belarus and Ukraine.
“Some of the sources of Russians themselves are Western. A lot of them are from Israel, France, etc. So, these are being brought in directly with their approval, or in certain cases we are coordinating the efforts and getting the spares. The issue was relevant for all platforms from Russia,” Parrikar said.
Parrikar further explained, "With concentrated efforts, we have been able to increase the serviceability of the Sukhois by about seven per cent over the last eight-nine months. We have improved the serviceability by seven per cent, almost from 49-50 to 56-57 per cent, we intend to get it 70 per cent by year end".

 defenseworld

Russia’s Su-30 fighters upgraded to carry supersonic cruise missiles


Russian Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) multirole fighter jets are getting an upgrade to carry supersonic cruise missiles. The planes will be modernized both for the Russian Air Force and the Indian military aviation.
India has started flight tests of the first Su-30MKI multirole fighter modified by Russian and Indian specialists to carry BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missiles, BrahMos Aerospace Russian-Indian Joint Venture Head Sudhir Mishra told TASS on Thursday at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’2015) in Malaysia.
The work on the second Su-30MKI fighter jet is continuing and the aircraft "will be ready this year," Mishra said.
The BrahMos Aerospace head said the flight tests for the Su-30 fighter jets would be over this year.
India has allocated $1.1 billion to purchase 200 BrahMos-A missiles to be installed on Indian Air Force Su-30MKI fighter jets. A total of 42 Su-30 fighters will be modernized at the production facilities of India’s HAL corporation to carry supersonic cruise missiles.
In Russia, military aircraft, including Su-30SM fighters, will be modernized at the Irkut aircraft corporation to carry supersonic cruise missiles, Irkut CEO Oleg Demchenko said at the LIMA’2015 air show.
When asked whether the Russian Air Force would follow India’s example to modernize Su-30SM to be fitted out with supersonic cruise missiles, the Irkut head said the Russian Defense Ministry was working out a relevant plan of measures and looking for financing sources to carry out modernization.

 rbth

Russia to develop 5th-generation submarines


The Russian Navy gave the defenсe industry an assignment to develop 5th-generation submarines, Navy Chief Viktor Chirkov said on Thursday.
"We have formulated the task for the defenсe and industrial sector to develop fifth-generation submarines. This work is ongoing. There will be no pauses in the development and designing of new submarines," the Russian Navy commander-in-chief said on occasion of Submariner Day Russia is celebrating on Thursday.
The need for the development of such submarines is prompted by the "objective timeframe and the cyclical nature of the use of ships and submarines, and also the swift advance of ship-building technologies and scientific and technical progress in the field of submarine-building," the Navy chief said.
Russia should look far ahead in the development of its nuclear submarine fleet to avoid any stagnation, he said.
"Designing strategic submarines the design bureaus and enterprises take into account our strict requirements aimed at making new generation submarines stealthier," said Chirkov. "Newest target indicator, communications and control equipment will be introduced in the submarine building design in accordance with our requirements. Submarines already now are equipped with new automated reconnaissance and alert equipment."
The Navy commander says it is necessary "to look ahead and prepare the scientific base and develop engineering thought for principally new approaches in submarine building." "We are fully aware that non-nuclear submarines’ combat capability improvement will be made by integrating advanced robotic systems in their fighting equipment," Chirkov said.
In the long-term prospect, he added, it is planned to create lead submarines and build new-generation submarines based on unified platforms, engage in serial building of unified-platform modular multipurpose ships of various displacement, creation of multifunctional robotic systems.
Until 2020, Russia will work actively on building fourth-generation submarines, the Navy chief said.
"This process is accompanied by the work to maintain the combat readiness of existing-project strategic nuclear submarines and their basic armaments," the Navy chief said.

 rbth

India activates maritime surveillance radar in the Seychelles


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has activated a donated maritime surveillance radar system in the Seychelles and promised to donate another Do 228 surveillance aircraft to the island nation during a visit there last week.

On 11 March Modi launched the Coastal Surveillance Radar station located on a mountainous central region of the main island of Mahé, describing it as another symbol of the cooperation between the two countries, reports the Seychelles News Agency.

In early 2012 India and the Seychelles signed several agreements related to maritime security in the Indian Ocean, including a pact for the supply of a coastal surveillance radar system worth $10 million (140 million rupees), and Dornier surveillance aircraft.

During his visit last week, Modi also announced that a second Dornier surveillance aircraft would be donated to the Seychelles Coast Guard to increase maritime security. The first Dornier Do 228 was given to the Seychelles in early 2013.

“Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the region,” said Modi. “It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security capabilities.”He added that the radar system is part of a regional surveillance network being installed in several Indian Ocean island states and hoped the Seychelles would become a full partner in the maritime security cooperation arrangement between India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

India has had bilateral relations with the Seychelles since it gained independence in 1976, especially in the fields of health, education and defence. In November last year India donated a second 46 metre SDB Mk 5 patrol boat to the Seychelles, the PS Constant, nine years after donating the PS Topaz (formerly INS Tarmugli) in 2005.

INS Tarasa is an SDB Mk 5 patrol boat built by India's state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers in Kolkata and refurbished by the Naval Dockyard Mumbai. She has a displacement of 319 tons, a maximum speed of 28 knots and a complement of 24.

The Seychelles Coast Guard fleet further expanded in April 2014 when China donated the 38 metre Etoile patrol boat, built specifically for the Seychelles. The new vessels join the Topaz, Andromache, La Fleche and Le Vigilant (the latter two donated by the UAE). China previously donated two Y-12 aircraft for maritime surveillance.

 defenceweb