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December 31, 2015

Russian PAK FA to be Equipped With Futuristic Photonic Radar


Russia’s fifth-generation fighter PAK FA (T-50) may be equipped with an advanced radar which is currently being developed by a Russian corporation.The radar will be based on Radio-Optical Phased Arrays (ROFAR), explained the adviser of the first deputy general director of concern Radio-Electronic Technology (KRET) Vladimir Mikheev.  KRET is a part of Russia’s Rostec corporation, it developed the electronic systems for the aircraft.  The future radar will be based on the photonic technology that greatly expands the possibilities of communication and radar as their weight will be decreased by more than half and the resolution will increase tenfold.  The ultra-wideband ROFAR signal allows one to virtually get a TV picture on a radar range. Radio photonic technology, in particular, will enhance the capabilities of the latest generation of Russian airplanes and helicopters.  “After our work on ROFAR, a list of aircrafts both manned and unmanned will be presented with an offer to be equipped with the radar based on radio-optical phased arrays. I think that the PAK FA will also be on this list and there will be specific proposals given to it,” Mikheyev told reporters, adding that the final decision will be taken by the Department of Defense.  The developer of ROFAR, KRET has established a laboratory on radio photonics. The concern has already started to perform laboratory tests to create ROFAR. Designed to be finished in 4.5 years, the project remains on schedule, which was agreed on with the Foundation for Advanced Studies.  As was earlier reported by the Deputy CEO of KRET, Igor Nasenkov, the company intends to establish a full-scale sample of the future radar by 2018.

 “The PAK FA is a fifth-generation aircraft, with a number of brand-new technologies used in its development. It is a 100 percent digital aircraft. It can provide full information support to the pilot. The aircraft is equipped with versatile antenna systems built in its covering,” Nasenkov said during the Dubai Airshow 2015. 

sputniknews

Indian Navy successfully tests Barak 8 interceptor missile:


Barak 8, an interceptor missile built jointly by the experts from India and Israel, was successfully tested in the Indian Ocean. The Indian government has signed a deal worth 1.1 billion dollars with Israel in November 2009 for the supply of Barak 8 missiles.
The Barak 8 missile is designed to protect naval cavalries and offshore petroleum rigs from missile attacks. The Barak 8 can trace incoming missiles from a distance of 100 kilometres and can hit the target at a speed of Mach 2 (680 metre per second).
Here are a few points you need to know about the Barak 8 missile:
Barak 8 is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile, designed to defend against airborne threats including aircraft, helicopters and anti-ship and cruise missiles
Each missile is 4.5 metre long and weighs 2 kilogram. It has the capability to carry a 60-kilogram warhead that detonates at proximity with the target
The Indian Navy is going to install the missile system in the INS Kolkata-class destroyers, the INS Visakhaptnam-class destroyers, the Kamorta-class corvettes, INS Vikramaditya, INS Vikrant and the Project 17A frigates.
The Indian Navy is prioritising the making of indigenous vessels under Prime Minister Modi's call of Make in India. The inclusion of an advanced TRV like INS Astradharani certainly adds to the self-reliance of India's offshore defence mechanism.
Here are 7 facts about the Indian Navy you would take pride in:
1. Indian Navy is not a newborn child. The first tidal wave port that helps naval fleet go offshore is believed to have been built at Lothal in Gujarat in 2300 BC.
2. The Navy has a special task force of marine commandos named MARCOS alias 'Magarmach'.
3. The Indian Navy has a dedicated satellite for navigation, named GSAT-7.
4. The Navy also embarks on humanitarian missions such as disaster management in and outside India.
5. The first military operation conducted by the Indian Navy was against the Portuguese in 1961 during the liberation of Goa.
6. The Indian Navy possesses the fastest cruise missile in the world called, BrahMos. It travels at a speed of Mach 2.8 to Mach 3.0 (Mach 1= 1,234 kilometres per hour).
7. The Indian Navy also has the biggest naval academy in Asia. The Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala, Kerala, has an area span of around 2,450 acres and enrolls up to 1,200 cadets every year.

 indiatoday

December 28, 2015

Miffed at delays in warship building, Parliamentary Panel asks for single point accountability

There should be an institutionalized mechanism at the Naval Head Quarters and it, along with MoD should conduct independent cost estimation by using internationally accepted best practices,' PAC said.
Taking a strong objection to cost overruns and delay in construction of warship projects - P-15 A (Destroyers), P-17 (Frigates) and P -28 (Anti submarine Corvettes) - the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament has recommended fixing accountability at a single point in the ministry of defence (MoD) instead of various directorates and agencies involved. Noting that "the extent to which the Indian Navy ship building are delayed and the scale of under-estimation reveals deeper malaise", the panel report tabled last week has said that a unity of command would ensure better span of control and effective management of ship building processes and procedures.
The panel has pointed that in case of P-15A ships, the cost which was calculated on the basis of the year 1999 as base year, led to a cost overrun of 226 percent in the initial estimate. With P-17 projects, the build period rose from 60 months to 78 months and in case of P-28 ships, there was a cost escalation from Rs 3,051.27 crore to Rs 7,852.39 crore. While accepting that non-availability of quality steel and other supplies are factors in delay, the panel underlined that warship production 'directly affects the security preparedness of the country' and exhorted the MoD to take punitive action on officials responsible for inaccurate estimates.
'There should be an institutionalized mechanism at the Naval Head Quarters and it, along with MoD should conduct independent cost estimation by using internationally accepted best practices,' PAC said.
Navy's vice chief, according to the report, in his oral submission told the committee that the problem oif delays is largely because of the weapon and sensors that currently is mostly imported. Further, the vice chief of naval staff said that cutting edge technology in shipbuilding came mainly from the then Soviet Union and delays were more stark after its disintegration.
Even as the PAC has asked to gradually cut down dependency on imports for machinery and weapons, currently, while India has almost 90 per cent indigenisation in the 'float' category that include the superstructure, it is lagging at just 50-60 percent indigenisation in the 'move' category which concerns propulsion and just about 30 percent in 'fight' category that is weapons, sensors etc.
Currently, close to 50 warships of the Indian navy are under construction. And navy's Maritime Capability Perspective Plan, formulated in 2005 projects a 160-ship strong force including 90 frontline combat platforms.

dna

Russia on course to become India's largest defence partner again

 
After being in the dark for several years on India’s geopolitical canvas, Russia is making an emphatic comeback as India’s trusted and strategic partner and is on course to reclaiming the position as top supplier of defence hardware. Strangely, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seen as pro-America, who is making it happen.
“We have had excellent conversations over the past two days and very productive outcomes. It has deepened my conviction that this relationship truly meets the test of a special and privileged strategic partnership,” Mr. Modi said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week.
This visit bridges the widening gulf between the two sides in recent times and plays a role in reaffirming ties with India’s oldest strategic partner.
While both sides concluded 16 agreements across sectors, the most visible indicators of the renewed vigour in the partnership are in the defence sector. Russia still accounts for 70 per cent of Indian arsenal, but has in recent years been overtaken by Israel and the U.S. as the biggest hardware suppliers on an annual basis. Russia, however, still is the largest supplier due to spares and support for hardware in the inventory and the committed liabilities for programmes under way.
It is no coincidence that the country’s first major project under the government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ will be the production of Kamov-226T utility helicopters in India. Under the agreement, 200 Ka-226T helicopters will be built in India for which Russian helicopters will partner with India’s Reliance group to execute the program.
“The Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India is the first project for a major defence platform under the Make in India mission. It is rightly with our most important defence partner,” Mr. Modi said addressing a press conference. While there was no announcement on the deal for five S-400 Triumf air defence systems estimated at $ 5-6 billion, senior defence officials said the process has just begun and price discovery has to be done as there are no other similar systems available in the market.
“It might take 3-4 months’ time,” one senior defence official told The Hindu.
Serious differences

Two of the most ambitious joint development projects — the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) and the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — are, however, stuck due to serious differences. 

thehindu

Rafale deal may be inked in January

 
While the Rafale fighter deal is expected to be signed with France during President Francois Hollande’s January visit to attend the Republic Day celebrations, where he has been invited as chief guest, the actual cost of the proposed deal still awaits direct contract negotiations between the Indian and French governments. Some say the cost could be made significantly lower by France after price negotiations earlier hit a roadblock. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while visiting France earlier this year, said India would acquire 36 Rafale MMRCA aircraft, citing the IAF’s operational necessity.
Some earlier reports had claimed the negotiations had run into rough weather over the “offset clause” and tweaking of weaponry technology,which was “driving up the cost”. One key issue was the IAF seeking modifications on the Rafale so that a particular set of weapons could be integrated on it. After expressing the intention to acquire 36 French Rafale fighters, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had some months ago told Parliament that the earlier-issued Request for Proposal in 2007 for 126 Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft had been “withdrawn”. The Rafales would now be acquired by a separate process.
Dassault, which manufactures the Rafale, had earlier been selected the lowest financial bidder in the MMRCA process, but as the protracted contract negotiations made no headway, India had decided — during Mr Modi’s visit to France — to acquire 36 Rafales by a separate process.In a detailed statement in a written reply to Parliament, Mr Parrikar had said: “As per the India-France Joint Statement issued by the two countries during the Prime Minister’s visit to France, the Government of India conveyed to the Government of France that in view of the critical operational necessity for Multi-role Combat Aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF), the Government of India would like to acquire (36) Rafale jets in flyaway condition as quickly as possible. The two leaders agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway, the delivery would be in timeframe that would be compatible with the operational requirement of the IAF; and that the aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by the IAF, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France. A Negotiating Team has been constituted to negotiate the terms and conditions of the procurement of 36 Rafale jets and recommend a draft agreement. The meetings of the Indian Negotiating team with the French side have commenced.”

 asianage

December 23, 2015

With eye on China, India seeks 100 armed drones from US


India has sought from the US 100 latest unmanned aerial vehicles, both armed and surveillance versions, worth $2 billion to bolster its arsenal amid recurring incursions by Chinese soldiers.
Industry sources familiar with New Delhi’s interest and ongoing talks between the two governments said, “India has requested for the latest Avenger drones, which is basically an unmanned combat air vehicle, and is mainly being sought with an eye on China.”
It has also sought Predator XP category which is a surveillance version for internal security issues and terrorist threats.
According to industry sources, India is looking for about 100 drones worth $2 billion.
However, while talks in this regard have accelerated in the past few months, the US has not made any formal commitment or given a public indication pending India’s application to joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
Italy, which is upset with New Delhi’s treatment to its marines, appears to have currently blocked India becoming a member of MTCR.
However, both Indian and US officials are confident that they will be able to get through the last hurdle in the next few months, thus making them possible to take the defence trade, which will include armed drones, to the next level.
“Yes, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) is aware of India’s interest in Predator-series Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA),” said Vivek Lall, Chief Executive of the US and International Strategic Development of General Atomics. 

No formal commitment from US

  • India is looking for about 100 drones worth $2 billion
  • While talks in this regard have accelerated in the past few months, the US has not made any formal commitment or given a public indication pending India’s application to joining Missile Technology Control Regime
  • Italy, which is upset with New Delhi’s treatment to its marines, appears to have currently blocked India becoming a member of MTCR
 PTI/tribuneindia

PM Modi’s Russia visit: New, cheaper deal on Sukhoi fighter planes

The proposal awaits a decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit this week.Russia has made a new offer on the delivery of Sukhoi T-50 (PAK FA) fighter jets to India under the joint fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) initiative.
Under the new offer, India will have to pay $3.7 billion, instead of $6 billion, for the technological know-how and three prototypes of PAK FA fighters. The proposal awaits a decision from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual India-Russia summit this week.
India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement to co-develop and co-produce the FGFA in 2007, which was followed by the $295 million preliminary design contract in December 2010. Modelled on the successful Brahmos missile project, the project involves Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The overall FGFA project cost for making 127 single-seat fighters in India has been estimated to be around $30 billion.
The final design contract, under which both sides were to contribute an initial $6 billion each for prototype development and production, has not been signed between India and Russia so far. Meanwhile, Russia has gone ahead with the development of PAK FA and claims that it will enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2016, and enter serial production in 2017.
“Now that they already have the fighter, the Russians have made a revised offer to us. For $3.7 billion, they will give us all the technological know-how of making the fighter. We will also get three prototypes from them in that amount,” a senior defence ministry official said.
But the Indian Air Force (IAF) remains opposed to the idea. A senior IAF official said, “We are not in favour of the FGFA. The PAK FA fighter is too expensive at even this rate, and we are not sure of its capabilities.”
Sources said the Russian offer is driven by Moscow’s cash crunch and lack of firm orders with its defence industry.
indianexpress

December 22, 2015

India plans to acquire ten C-17 Globemaster III from Boeing

 
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly unveiled plans to acquire ten additional C-17 Globemaster III strategic aircraft from Boeing, in a bid to expand the Indian Air Force's (IAF) tactical airlifter fleet.
In a statement, the Indian MoD said: "The request for acquiring ten additional Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft is being processed.
"Such a purchase will give IAF significant global strategic capability."
In June 2011, the IAF contracted Boeing to supply ten 70t C-17 aircraft for the replacement of its ageing Russian IL-76 airlifter fleet at an estimated cost of $4.1bn.
Expected to be used for military and humanitarian airlift roles during emergencies from Hindon Air Force Base in New Delhi, India, the IAF C-17s were most recently deployed in support of Cyclone Phailin relief operations.

Powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, the C-17 Globemaster is designed to conduct rapid strategic airlift of troops and supply palleted cargo to main operating bases or forward-operating bases (FOBs) in extreme environments worldwide.
Capable of transporting large payloads across vast ranges and landing on short, sharp runways, the aircraft is also capable of performing tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions.

The aircraft is also operated by air forces in the US, Australia, UAE, Canada and Qatar, the UK and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of Nato and Partnership for Peace nations.
Meanwhile, the company announced its decision to end production of the C-17 production programme after the final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III departed its Long Beach Assembly facility in California in November this year.
The final aircraft will be delivered to Qatar Emiri Air Force in 2016.
However, Boeing will continue to provide support, maintenance and upgrades to the worldwide C-17 fleet under the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics agreement.

 airforce-technology

India demands Predator XP and Armed Avenger UAV’s from US to keep China in check

 
With an objective to bolster its arsenal amid recurring incidents of incursions by Chinese troops, India has sought the latest versions of unmanned aerial vehicles, both the armed and surveillance ones from US. Industry sources familiar with New Delhi’s interest and ongoing talks between the two governments, said that India is looking for about 100 such drones worth USD 2 billion.
India had requested for the latest Avenger drones, which is basically an unmanned combat air vehicle, and is mainly being sought after with an eye on China. It has also sought Predator XP category which is a surveillance version for internal security issues and terrorist threats.
However, while talks in this regard have accelerated in the past few months, the United States has not made any formal commitment or given a public indication pending India’s application to joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
Italy, which is upset with New Delhi’s treatment of its marines, appears to have currently blocked India becoming a member of MTCR.
However, both Indian and US officials are confident that they would be able to get through the last hurdle in the next few months, thus making them possible to take the defence trade which would include armed drones to the next level.
“Yes, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc is aware of India’s interest in Predator-series Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA),” Vivek Lall, chief executive of the US and International Strategic Development of General Atomics told PTI.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems produces Predator series of remotely piloted aircraft.
“Due to US export laws, the US government has to approve the export of a Predator-series RPA to the Indian government. GA-ASI remains very encouraged by the recent India-US bilateral engagements at the highest levels and we are hopeful that we can play an important supporting role in these discussions,” he said.
“Predator-series RPA could provide a world-class Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability for India which would include both high-definition radar and Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) coverage along India’s borders,” Lall said in response to a question.
Additionally, the RPA can perform humanitarian aid/disaster relief surveillance over both land and sea, said Lall, who had previously played a key role in US sale of high tech military assets to India during his stint at Boeing.

newindia express/pti

December 17, 2015

Russia May Equip Indian Aircraft Carrier With Air Defense Systems

Nevskoye Planning and Design Bureau General Director Sergei Vlasov said that he Indians refused to install Russian air defense systems on the Vikramaditya, but there is reserved space for Russian air defense systems.  MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia may install its air defense systems on the Indian Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, Nevskoye Planning and Design Bureau General Director Sergei Vlasov said Wednesday.  In November 2013, the refurbished Vikramaditya, formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov, was commissioned by India for a record-breaking $2.35 billion after almost a decade of negotiations with Russia since the initial $947 million deal for the purchase of the ship was signed in 2004.
"At that time, the Indians refused to install Russian air defense systems on the Vikramaditya, but we have reserved space there for our air defense systems… This is allowed under our contract," Vlasov told RIA Novosti. Along with the aircraft carrier, India also bought 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs for $526 million. In 2015, representatives of the Russian Sevmash shipbuilding company and the Indian Navy signed a contract for technical assistance in the maintenance of the aircraft carrier during the period not covered by warranty.

sputniknews

Centre to clear Russian military purchases ahead of Modi-Putin meet

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on December 24, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar is all set to clear on Thursday procurement of five S-400 supersonic air defence systems from Russia. Besides, the DAC will also clear a ‘Make in India’ plan to raise six regiments of Pinaka multibarrel rocket launcher systems (MRLS). The five S-400 systems will cost around Rs 40,000 crore, while the Pinaka systems will cost another Rs 14,000 crore.
South Block sources said the acquisition of the S-400 system, which has a range from 40 to 400 km, depending on the missile fired, could be through the Request for Proposals (RFP) or government-to-government route. The acquisition will be discussed between Modi and Putin and may figure in the joint statement.
Although the military had earlier projected a requirement of a dozen S-400 systems, the defence ministry is clear that only five systems are sufficient to take care of the future airborne threat from across India’s borders. The S-400 is a proven antiaircraft system, and is widely considered the most advanced of its kind in the world, with the capability of engaging missiles as well as aircraft. It comes with a mobile launcher and a threat detection radar-cum-command centre. The deal includes purchase of some 6,000 missiles from Russia.
The DAC is also expected to clear Pinaka MRLS that is expected to replace traditional artillery guns on the border. The Pinaka system can fire within seconds a barrage of unguided rockets with a range of up to 38 km to achieve a saturation bombing effect, or what is called area destruction. This kind of weapon system is lethal for troop and armour concentrations, and is also battle-proven.
hindustan times

F-22, Typhoon and Rafale tested in new joint combat exercise

The increasingly cluttered warzone in Syria and the recent shoot down of a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber by Turkey underscore the need for deeper interoperability, deconfliction and coordination between coalition fighters, according to US Air Force’s top general.The USA, UK and France have assembled their premiere fighters at Langley AFB for a rare high-end training exercise, which tested interoperability between the fourth and fifth-generation jets.USAF F-22s have been flying alongside RAF Typhoons and French Air Force Rafales against F-15E Strike Eagles in a two-week deployment that began last week.
 “The same kind of deconfliction and communication process that’s being used here is in place in the Middle East,” explained USAF chief of the staff Gen Mark Welsh at a press conference at the base yesterday. “Our air forces there do a lot of work to try and stay in communication so there is less chance for miscommunication or confusion that leads to mistakes or bad decisions.
” The inaugural Trilateral Exercise has been designed to test fighter pilots in realistic “full-spectrum” combat scenarios against advanced air and ground threats with support from combat rescue helicopters and airborne warning and control aircraft.With relative air superiority in the most recent coalition campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Syria against the Islamic State terrorist group, air-to-air engagements remain a real possibility. That risk was brought to the fore last month when a Turkish F-16 using a Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder destroyed a Russian Su-24 for allegedly straying into Turkish airspace.
 “It’s a dangerous business. Don’t cross somebody’s border without permission,” Welsh says of the deadly incident. “Any time there are a number of forces operating in close proximity, there is the potential for errors and mistakes and bad things that happen. It’s an ugly environment any time you’re actually conducting combat operations, so people must coordinate and cooperate to do it properly.” American’s top air superiority fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-22 has trouble communicating with other aircraft including the F-35, and relies on voice radios to relay battlespace information.
It can receive but not transmit information via Link 16. US Air Combat Command datalink and aerial networking requirements official Lt Col Scott Hamilton says it could take another five or six years before the F-22 is modified to join Link 16 networks. As the most common coalition datalink, Hamilton recommended more investment in Link 16 infrastructure modernisation by both American and coalition air forces.

flightglobal

December 15, 2015

India to discuss only Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, says envoy to Pak


India’s envoy to Pakistan said on Monday the country only prepared to discuss the part of Kashmir controlled by Islamabad in upcoming peace talks, presenting a potential stumbling block days after the dialogue was announced.
High commissioner TCA Raghavan made the remarks about the disputed territory during a lecture in the Pakistani capital, after a breakthrough visit by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj at which the resumption of ministerial talks was announced.
According to a joint statement, the two sides will talk about peace and security as well as territorial disputes including Kashmir. Each country occupies part of the territory but claims it in full.
Asked where the room for negotiation lay over the Himalayan territory, Raghavan said it was India which first petitioned the United Nations to intervene when the-then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was invaded by Pakistani forces in 1947.
“The first application was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan army.
“So when you say what is it that India is going to discuss or what is it discussing, it is really, if you ask most Indians, and what is our position -- it is the part of that state which is still under the control of Pakistan.”
The remarks could create a diplomatic wrinkle for the two countries as they seek to go back to the negotiation table to undertake broad-spectrum talks for the first time since the election of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif.
Badar Alam, editor of Pakistan’s political Herald magazine, said: “I think it is a step back,” adding that Kashmir was viewed internationally as a disputed territory.
He added that given the fragile state of the dialogue, officials on both sides needed to tread “very cautiously and very carefully” to avoid a backlash.
New Delhi suspended all talks after Lashkar-e-Taiba gunmen attacked Mumbai in November 2008, killing 166 people. The attacks were later found to have been planned from Pakistan.
The countries agreed to resume the peace process in 2011 but tensions have spiked over the past two years, with cross-border shelling claiming dozens of lives since 2014.
A brief meeting between Modi and Sharif on the sidelines of the UN climate change summit in Paris on November 30, followed by talks between the two countries’ national security advisers in Bangkok, appeared to have broken the ice.
Kashmir separatists, meanwhile, said they held a detailed meeting with Pakistan high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, in New Delhi to discuss the recent meetings of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj with Sharif and his adviser Sartaj Aziz.
Spokesperson of hardline Hurriyat Conference, Ayaz Akbar, said party chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s personal secretary Peer Saifullah and chief organiser Altaf Ahmad Shah met Basit, deputy high commissioner and the other officials.
“The Hurriyat delegation handed them a message of Geelani Sahab that Pakistan should continue to maintain consistency and firmness over its Kashmir policy and play an active role in highlighting the human rights violations committed by Indian forces in Jammu & Kashmir on the international forums,” Akbar said.

 hindustantimes

India and Japan sign accords to support US-2i deal


India and Japan have signed agreements to facilitate the long-pending export of Japan's ShinMaywa Industries US-2i amphibious search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft to India.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tokyo on 12 December, the two countries signed accords related to the "transfer of defence equipment and technology" and the "protection of classified military information".
In a statement India's ministry of external affairs (MEA) said that through the two agreements, Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, reaffirmed their commitment to "deepen the bilateral defence relationship, including through two-way collaboration and technology co-operation, co-development, and co-production".
The MEA added that the two prime ministers expressed their "intention to explore potential future projects on defence equipment and technology co-operation such as US-2 amphibian aircraft".
In addition, the MEA said Japan and India were also committed to expanding bilateral collaboration in areas that include military exchanges and formalised dialogues between military and defence officials of the two countries.
Other areas of expanded collaboration outlined during Modi's visit include infrastructure development, civil nuclear energy, solar power generation, space, biotechnology, rare earths, and advanced materials.

janes

Ministry keen to purchase 500 more Howitzer guns from BAE Systems


This is in addition to the pending deal to buy 145 towed guns.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to place yet another multi-million dollar order with BAE Systems Inc for purchasing 500 more M777 ultra-light Howitzer guns. This is even as it is all set to sign the pending sale of 145 gun-pack with the UK-headquartered defence major.
Apparently, the Ministry has already expressed its interest to procure 500 pieces for the Indian Army from BAE Systems, according to official sources. However, commercial talks are yet to begin.
On the other hand, the long-pending deal to purchase 145 pieces of the M777 155mm 39 caliber towed guns is learnt to have already reached its final leg and the contract will be signed by the middle of 2016.
“The Indian Army has a huge requirement for modern Land Systems, both weapons and vehicles, and we are well positioned to help India fulfil that,” John Brosnan, Managing Director (South-East Asia and India), BAE Systems, told BusinessLine.
On the company’s future plans, Brosnan said BAE Systems has a longstanding partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) on ‘Combat Hawk’ advanced jet trainer (AJT).
The AJTs will be utilised to train Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilots.
“We are currently exploring new opportunities for BAeHAL, our joint venture with HAL,” he said.
Brosnan said BAE Systems is working closely with the Indian and US governments to support early conclusion of the M777 deal. “The American government is now in the process of finalising the letter of acceptance (LoA) for submission to the Indian authorities and thereafter the deal can be inked.
“The 145 Howitzers will be procured under this deal with the commitment of assembly, integration and testing here in India under the offset policy,” he said.
However, sources said the new LoA includes a revised price of $735-750 million, an escalation of six to eight per cent from the older price of $694 million, which was finalised in October 2013 under the previous UPA regime.
At that time talks did not progress further until the present government cleared it in May.
BAE also plans to set up an assembly plant with domestic defence firms to manufacture the guns in India under the ‘Make in India’ scheme. 

 thehindubusinessline

December 14, 2015

India hints it may reconsider stand on 3 foundational pacts


India has indicated to the US that it may reconsider its stand on three contentious defence foundational agreements if its apprehensions about some of the issues in the pacts are addressed by the Pentagon.
After Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s just concluded visit to the US wherein he had detailed discussions with Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on a wide range of issues, top officials from both sides said there is some positive movement on the three defence agreements being proposed by the US to India, which was opposed by New Delhi thus far.
The three foundational agreements proposed by the Pentagon are the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA); Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA).
“The Indian side has expressed certain reservation/ apprehension about some of the issues (with regard to Foundational Agreements),” Parrikar told reporters at the end of his US trip responding to a question last week.
“We have told them that they should put up after due consideration and if the process (of technology transfer) can be speeded up, in principal those things (foundational agreements) can be considered,” Parrikar said.
US Ambassador to India Richard Verma, who was present in most of the meetings that Parrikar had with Carter, acknowledged that there would be some movement on this part.
“We would see progress on the foundational agreements in 2016 as well,” Verma told Indian reporters on Friday.
“We have made a very convincing case to the Indian side that this is so much in their interest and our interest to sign the agreements and let’s move over to the next level of technological co-operation and the signals we are getting are positive,” Verma said in response to a question.
However, he said the defence co-operation would continue at the same pace even in the absence of these agreements, which is only one of the broader export control issues.
“Foundational agreements are part of it, but I would not suggest that either you have to have foundational agreements or nothing would happen,” Verma said.
The issue of foundational agreements popped up prominently during the meetings with defense industry as well.
“The US side wants India to sign foundational agreements. This, the US side feels, would allow them to transfer technology to India with confidence,” said Sukaran Singh, CEO and MD of Tata Advanced Systems, who was part of the Indian business delegation that accompanied the Defense Minister.
However, Singh said he was not aware how much progress was made by the two countries on the three agreements

 dailyexcelsior

December 12, 2015

US to help India develop engine for Gen-5 fighter, AMCA likely to be powered by GE's Enhanced F-414 engine


On Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s first official visit to the United States from December 7-10, Washington has signalled its willingness to co-develop with India an aircraft engine for India’s indigenous fifth-generation fighter that is called the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
India’s Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) believes it essential to work with US company, General Electric Aviation (GE), in up-rating its F-414S6 engine into the so-called F-414 Enhanced Engine, which would power the futuristic AMCA.
As Business Standard earlier reported (June 1, “Carter to face Indian demand for engine technology”) GE has been eager to partner the DRDO in this lucrative project. But the US government had earlier stood in the way, reluctant to transfer to India strategic technologies, such as the high-melting-point alloys needed to build the gas turbine.
During Parrikar’s visit, Washington signalled that it has changed its mind.
“Secretary [of Defense Ashton] Carter informed Minister Parrikar that in light of the strengthening relationship between the United States and India, the [US Department of Defense] has updated its policy on gas turbine engine technology transfer to India. As a result of this policy update, the Secretary is confident that the United States will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of jet engine components”, says the joint statement issued on Friday by the Indian Embassy in Washington.
That opens the doors for GE and DRDO to work together in uprating the F-414S6 engine, which India has already selected for the indigenous Tejas Mark II. This will enhance the current engine’s peak power of 90 KiloNewtons (KN), delivering 110 KN of thrust. The AMCA’s twin F-414 Enhanced Engine will thus deliver an awesome 220 KM of peak power.
The green signal for co-developing this engine appears to have been given, with the joint statement saying: “Secretary Carter and Minister Parrikar look forward to U.S. companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy.”
For GE, this could be a commercial windfall, providing it an assured market for all India’s indigenous fighters. This would include 100 F-404 engines for the Tejas Mark I, another 100 F-414 engines for the Tejas Mark II; and 400 F-414 Enhanced Engines for a planned 200 AMCAs.
Since an aero engine’s life is about 1,500 hours, each fighter --- with a service life of 5,000-6,000 hours --- consumes 3.5 engines. That means GE could be supplying 700 engines for the Tejas Marks I and II, and 1,400 engines for the AMCA over their service lives.
This is a sizeable share of the Indian aero engine market, which the DRDO estimates to be worth Rs 3,50,000 crore over coming decades.
Given this massive requirement, India put jet engine technology, along with aircraft carrier design, at the core of its high-technology expectations from Washington.
The joint statement issued on January 22, after President Barack Obama met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, agreed to “form a working group to explore aircraft carrier technology sharing and design, and explore possible cooperation on development of jet engine technology.”
During his visit, Parrikar’s counterpart, Ashton Carter, accompanied him on a visit to the aircraft carrier, USS Dwight D Eisenhower. Parrikar is the first Indian defence minister to visit an American carrier.
With India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, likely to be commissioned in 2018, the navy is focused on designing a second, larger, indigenous carrier that could include advanced American knowhow and technologies.
Business Standard understands the navy is opting for indigenous nuclear reactors to power the second carrier. However, the admirals are keen to incorporate an American-designed catapult launch system.
A catapult allows a carrier to launch larger aircraft, more quickly, than the ski-jump that equips contemporary Indian carriers. This would allow Indian aircraft carrier battle groups to launch not just heavier fighters, but airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, fitting with radars, that monitor and control the aerial battle space.
“Minister Parrikar and Secretary Carter commended positive discussions at the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC), especially in the area of Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE), and look forward to continued progress to be achieved at the second meeting of the JWGACTC in February 2016 in India”, said the joint statement.
Ashton Carter, during his visit to the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam earlier this year, became the first US defense secretary to visit an operational military command in India. With that gesture reciprocated by Carter, Parrikar became the first Indian defense minister to visit the US Pacific Command in Hawaii en route to Washington.

According to the Pentagon website, Parrikar and Carter “also discussed the importance of India’s participation in US military exercises such as Malabar, Rim of the Pacific, and for the first time in eight years for India, participation in Red Flag, which Carter called ‘the premier air-to-air combat exercise’.”

Ajaishukla

Tech transfer from US turns corner

The US has offered to support India in building engines for its fighter aircraft and warships, nearly 18 years after its sanctions nearly killed indigenous efforts to set them up under a project called Kaveri.
US secretary for defence Ashton Carter told India's defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Washington on Thursday that the US has changed its policy on gas turbine engine technology transfer to India, allowing the know-how to be shared with Indian companies.
The change was acknowledged in a joint statement by the two defence ministers. Carter is confident the US will be able to expand co-operation in production and design of jet engine components.
"Secretary Carter and minister Parrikar look forward to US companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy," the statement said.
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had launched the Kaveri engine programme in 1986. The engine was initially being designed for India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which were to replace ageing Soviet-origin MiG 21 fighter planes for the Indian Air Force.
But official tardiness combined with sanctions imposed by the US after India's nuclear tests in 1998 to botch up the project. India had sent engine prototypes to the US for testing because it did not have facilities within the country. The US confiscated the prototypes. India's tests of the engine in Russia years later also met only with partial success.
Last year, the Kaveri programme was de-linked from the LCA project. The LCA aircraft project is itself more than 15 years behind its original schedule of delivery to the IAF. The LCA, which is being tested, is now being powered by engines made by US firm General Electric.
Technology meant for the engines would also be used in large warships for the Indian Navy. The main suppliers of gas turbines for the Indian Navy are mostly Ukrainian, with some Russian components. But the navy is worried about supplies and spares, with Ukraine and Russia locked in strife that threatens to break a once-mighty Soviet military industrial complex on which the Indian military is heavily dependent. The Indian Navy has 47 warships being built currently for its fleet.
Yesterday's India-US joint statement also said a bilateral Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation, especially in the area of aircraft launch and recovery equipment, was drafting a roadmap on potential US support for the complex vessels.
This week, a Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group, which met in Bangalore, had concluded its terms of reference and had productive discussions on co-operation in this area, the statement said.
Defence minister Parrikar has been in the US since December 4. He was at first hosted at the headquarters of the US Pacific Command (Pacom) in Hawaii, the first Indian defence minister to visit the largest theatre command in the world.
In Hawaii, Parrikar received briefings from the US Pacom chief, Admiral Harry J. Harris. In a statement, Pacom said the two sides understood that the "foundational agreements" proposed by the US - mainly a logistics support agreement and a communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement (CISMOA) - were important for bilateral military cooperation. There was no mention of when and whether the agreements would be signed.
Parrikar was also given a demonstration of carrier operations on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Carter welcomed India's participation in the Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) multilateral naval exercise in 2016 as well as participation by the Indian Air Force in the multilateral Red Flag exercise in April-May 2016. The US would be participating in an International Fleet Review of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam in February 2016.

 telegraphindia

December 11, 2015

U.S. updates jet-engine technology transfer policy with India


 
The United States has updated its policy on gas-turbine engine technology transfer to India, a move that should lead to expanded cooperation in production and design of jet-engine components, a joint statement said on Thursday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter informed Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of the decision during the latter's visit to Washington this week and said it was made possible by the strengthening relationship between two countries.
"As a result of this policy update, the Secretary is confident that the United States will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of jet-engine components," the joint statement said.
It said the two sides looked forward to U.S. companies working with their Indian counterparts "to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy."
The statement gave no details of the policy update and a Pentagon spokesman was unable to provide more information.
India and the United States were often at odds during the Cold War but have been working in recent years to expand defence cooperation given shared concerns about China's rising power.
The United States has become one of the main sources of weapons for the Indian military, and under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" programme has offered joint development and production of military technologies.
The scope of this Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) has so far been modest because of concerns about intellectual property protection on the part of U.S. companies.
In June, Carter and Parrikar signed a new 10-year defence cooperation pact and sealed an agreement for joint development of protective gear for soldiers against biological and chemical warfare, and another on building generators.
In August, the two sides also held an inaugural working-level meeting aimed at establishing broader cooperation on the design, development and production of aircraft carriers.
Parrikar told a joint news conference on Thursday that he had told Carter of India's desire for further collaboration in higher-end technologies under DTTI.


He said "many" more DTTI initiatives could be expected that would involve technology transfers and U.S. firms setting up production facilities in India.
"This enhanced cooperation will definitely result in a great deal of things coming out in the next six months," he said without elaborating

 reuters

Bullet train, civil nuclear deal on Japan PM Shinzo Abe’s agenda in India


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday arrived in India on a three-day visit. Welcoming his Japanese counterpart in Delhi, Prime Minister Modi on Friday described him as a “phenomenal leader” and said his trip will further deepen the bilateral relations.
“Liked how PM @AbeShinzo describes India-Japan ties, the rich potential & cultural bond in his piece” in a newspaper, Modi tweeted.
A Rs 98,000-crore deal to build a bullet train network is among a number of agreements likely to be signed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day visit beginning on Friday during which he will hold annual summit talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The focus of the visit will be on forging greater synergies between two major Asian economies and take forward the special strategic ties. In the 9th annual Indo-Japan summit talks on Saturday, Modi and Abe will review implementation of various decisions taken in course of last one year to enhance economic ties, particularly in the trade and investment sector.
PM Modi said Abe’s visit will deepen Indo-Japan relations.
Sources said a number of agreements including awarding the Rs 98,000 crore contract to build India’s first bullet train network will be inked. After the talks, he will leave for Varanasi, which is Modi’s Parliamentary constituency, where he will attend Ganga Aarti at famous Dasaswamedh Ghat. Modi will accompany Abe during his nearly four-and-a-half-hour-long visit to Varanasi.
Abe will return to the capital in the evening. The Japanese Prime Minister had accompanied Modi during his visit to Kyoto last year. In Delhi, Abe will call on President Pranab Mukherjee, attend a Japan-India innovation seminar and interact with a group of business leaders.
At the last Summit meeting held in Tokyo last year, the two prime ministers had agreed to elevate the relationship to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”.
Modi had visited Japan from August 30 to September 3 last year during which that country had announced doubling of its private and public investment in India to about USD 34 billion over a period of five years. During the summit talks last year, Modi and Abe had agreed to enhance defence and strategic cooperation to a new level and also decided to speed up negotiations on civil nuclear deal.
While agreeing on greater defence equipment and technology cooperation, the two sides had decided to expedite discussions on modalities for the sale of Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had held talks with top Japanese officials in Tokyo last month to finalise agenda and other details of Abe’s visit. India and Japan have been expanding their economic and strategic engagement in recent years resulting in cooperation in a vast swathe of fields including defence and security.
The economic engagement witnessed significant rise after both countries signed a a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011.

 indianexpress
A Rs 98,000-crore deal to build a bullet train network is among a number of agreements likely to be signed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day visit beginning on Friday during which he will hold annual summit talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/japanese-pm-shinzo-abe-to-arrive-today-number-of-pacts-on-table/#sthash.lIIStkKu.dpuf
A Rs 98,000-crore deal to build a bullet train network is among a number of agreements likely to be signed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day visit beginning on Friday during which he will hold annual summit talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/japanese-pm-shinzo-abe-to-arrive-today-number-of-pacts-on-table/#sthash.lIIStkKu.dpuf

December 9, 2015

Terror strike in India could spark war with Pakistan: top US official

 
The United States is worried that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a large-scale conflict with Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told The Indian Express on Tuesday. “It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.
The prospect of conflict, he said, “is one of the reasons why it is so important, in our judgment, that India and Pakistan find ways to communicate, to reduce tensions, and ultimately to find a more cooperative relationship”. His remarks come days after the NSAs met in Bangkok for talks, weeks after a planned summit in Delhi broke down amid India’s insistence that the Pakistani delegation not meet Hurriyat leaders and Kashmir is kept out of the agenda.
 Blinken, a former lawyer and journalist who serves as Secretary of State John Kerry’s principal deputy, also underlined US concerns about nuclear-weapons environment in South Asia, noting that “questions of strategic stability matter to us, to India, to Pakistan, to the entire world. So it is important to be engaged with Pakistan on that basis as well”. In recent months, several experts have expressed fears over Pakistan’s fast-growing arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads — small, light weapons designed to be deployed in battlefield, which raise the prospect of accidental use in a conflict.
 Blinken said Pakistan had taken significant actions against terrorism, “in North Waziristan, in particular, and they have done it at some significant cost to themselves, most notably the horrific attack on a school that claimed lives of over 150 schoolchildren”. In meetings with US officials, he added, “their leadership, including [army chief] Gen Raheel Sharif, has said terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it is coming from.
 That is an important statement, and one we are urging Pakistan to act on”. The US, he said, had “raised concerns about Lashkar-e-Taiba, also about Haqqani Network and the Pakistani Taliban.” In reply to a question why the US had failed to take tougher action on Pakistan for not acting against these groups, he said, “I think it goes to the incredible complexity of the problem, and the challenge in dealing with it.” Headed to Islamabad Wednesday to attend the multinational Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan, Blinken said, “the investment that has already been made needs to be sustained, because it sends a message to the Taliban that, if they have in their heads the idea that they can somehow wait out the government or security forces, they are wrong”.
 He said the US was not told by Pakistan’s intelligence that Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar had died some years ago. In reply to a question on whether news of his demise was a surprise, he replied: “Yes, it was”.

 indianexpress
The United States is worried that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a large-scale conflict with Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
“It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.
- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/terror-strike-in-india-could-spark-war-with-pakistan-says-top-us-official/#sthash.lmbfoweE.dpuf
The United States is worried that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a large-scale conflict with Pakistan, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
“It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.
- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/terror-strike-in-india-could-spark-war-with-pakistan-says-top-us-official/#sthash.lmbfoweE.dpuf

War Beast: New T-90MS Tank Impervious to RPGs

 The T-90MS, a new, fully modernized version of the Russian T-90 main battle tank, has displayed its capabilities at a testing range in the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Ural Mountains.The armored vehicle has successfully passed numerous tests under various weather and climate conditions and is already considered one of the most powerful main battle tanks in the world.
"Since man-portable anti-tank weapons have become the new trend nowadays, we decided to upgrade both the tank’s weaponry and defense systems. The tank can now hold its ground against a large number of enemy infantry armed with anti-tank weaponry," the head of the design department of the Transmash design bureau told the Russian TV channel Zvezda.
The T-90MS was outfitted with a remote-controlled machinegun mount and a new state-of-the-art turret and hull defense system comprised of removable dynamic defense modules.
The tank’s offensive capabilities have been greatly enhanced via the addition of a new fire control system. Its multichannel panoramic sights, which are equipped with an integrated thermal vision system, allow the tank commander to effectively keep track of the vehicle’s surroundings both during day and nighttime without being impaired by the low visibility caused by adverse weather conditions. A new tracking system and “hunter-shooter” mode give the tank crew the edge up during fights against multiple enemy targets. After marking a target, the commander is free to leave it to the gunner and scan the battlefield for more targets to engage – the tracking system keeps the tank’s weapon systems locked on the target.

The new tank’s crew comforts were improved as well, with the addition of automatic transmission, a rear view camera and two air conditioning units.

sputniknews