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July 31, 2017

Indo-Russian Gen-5 fighter gets green light; $6 bn negotiated for joint R&D


Experts find 'no conflict with indigenous AMCA fighter'; prototypes will fly in India in 3 years

 The decks are clear for the ministry of defence (MoD) to sanction the long-delayed Indo-Russian project to jointly develop a cutting-edge “Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft” (FGFA).Business Standard learns that an Experts Group, headed by Air Marshal (Retired) S Varthaman, has submitted a report on July 7, finding that the FGFA project would be beneficial to India. After MoD bureaucrats objected to the FGFA project on the grounds that it might duplicate, or hinder, the indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), former defence minister Manohar Parrikar set up the five-person Experts Committee to consider this question. 

After deliberating for six months, the Expert Committee has ruled there are no conflict lines between the FGFA and AMCA. In fact, the technological expertise that Indian engineers and designers would gain from working with Russian experts would feed positively into the AMCA project. Meanwhile, the Defence R&D Organisation, through its subordinate Aeronautical Development Agency, can continue designing the entirely indigenous AMCA – based on its experience in developing the Tejas light fighter. 

New Delhi and Moscow signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) a decade ago, in October 2007 for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to partner Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau in developing and manufacturing the FGFA. Between 2010-23, HAL and Sukhoi spent $295 million each on a “Preliminary Design” phase. Now, the two sides are required to sign an “R&D Contract”, which the MoD told parliament on July 5, 2013, would “define the total scope; the work share and responsibilities of each side; and the financial implications of the programme.” Reliable sources tell Business Standard that India and Russia have negotiated a draft R&D Contract, which commits both sides to spending $6.1 billion on the project –$3.05 billion each. 

While India has dragged its heels for a decade since signing the IGA, Sukhoi Design Bureau has already designed the basic flying platform, named Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (PAK-FA). At least six PAK-FA prototypes are already participating in flight-testing and flying displays, such as at the recent Paris Air Show.

 The draft R&D Contract commits Sukhoi to build the eighth, ninth and tenth prototypes for flight-testing in HAL, by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots. That means that, if the R&D Contract is signed this year, IAF pilots could be testing FGFA prototypes in Indian skies by 2020. HAL chief, T Suvarna Raju, declined to comment on the Experts Group report, but told Business Standard that an early conclusion of the R&D Contract would allow HAL to play an important role in developing the PAK-FA flying platform into a combat effective FGFA for the IAF. “If we join now, we will still get a significant part of the work share, thanks to delays in the PAK-FA project. HAL would co-design the avionics, including navigation systems, radars and weapon aiming devices. 

This is the heart of the fighter’s combat ability”, says Raju. Delays in the PAK-FA’s development are attributable partly to hitches in designing a new, powerful engine that would let the fighter “super-cruise”, or travel at supersonic speeds on “dry thrust”, without engaging its fuel-guzzling afterburners. While engine-maker NPO Saturn has struggled to perfect a secretive new engine, dubbed the Izdeliye 30, the PAK-FA has been flying with the relatively underpowered AL-41FI engine – an uprated version of the Sukhoi-30MKI’s AL-31 engine. 

However, at the Paris Air Show in July, Russian designers have claimed that the PAK-FA’s new engine would be ready to fly by December. For the IAF, the FGFA project opens up the assured development of heavy fighters that will succeed the Sukhoi-30MKI, many of which have already completed 15-17 years in operational service. In the medium fighter category, the IAF would have two Rafale squadrons, possibly three if a follow up contract is signed for an extra squadron; and also three upgraded Mirage-2000 squadrons. In the light fighter category, there will be four squadrons of Tejas Mark 1A, and another light fighter for which procurement has been initiated. Amongst the contenders are the Swedish Saab Gripen E, and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70.

The FGFA is equally crucial for HAL’s Nashik plant, which is now building the last 35 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters of the 272 fighters contracted by the IAF. At a build rate of 12 fighters per year, the Sukhoi-30MKI production line will be idle by 2020. It remains unclear how many FGFA units the IAF will eventually buy, but for HAL Nashik, a production order is essential.

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/indo-russian-gen-5-fighter-gets-green-light-6-bn-negotiated-for-joint-rd/#more-143058 .

 The FGFA is equally crucial for HAL’s Nashik plant, which is now building the last 35 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters of the 272 fighters contracted by the IAF. At a build rate of 12 fighters per year, the Sukhoi-30MKI production line will be idle by 2020. It remains unclear how many FGFA units the IAF will eventually buy, but for HAL Nashik, a production order is essential. 

business-standard

The decks are clear for the ministry of defence (MoD) to sanction the long-delayed Indo-Russian project to jointly develop a cutting-edge “Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft” (FGFA).Business Standard learns that an Experts Group, headed by Air Marshal (Retired) S Varthaman, has submitted a report on July 7, finding that the FGFA project would be beneficial to India. After MoD bureaucrats objected to the FGFA project on the grounds that it might duplicate, or hinder, the indigenous Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), former defence minister Manohar Parrikar set up the five-person Experts Committee to consider this question. After deliberating for six months, the Expert Committee has ruled there are no conflict lines between the FGFA and AMCA. In fact, the technological expertise that Indian engineers and designers would gain from working with Russian experts would feed positively into the AMCA project. Meanwhile, the Defence R&D Organisation, through its subordinate Aeronautical Development Agency, can continue designing the entirely indigenous AMCA – based on its experience in developing the Tejas light fighter. New Delhi and Moscow signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) a decade ago, in October 2007 for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to partner Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau in developing and manufacturing the FGFA. Between 2010-23, HAL and Sukhoi spent $295 million each on a “Preliminary Design” phase. Now, the two sides are required to sign an “R&D Contract”, which the MoD told parliament on July 5, 2013, would “define the total scope; the work share and responsibilities of each side; and the financial implications of the programme.” Reliable sources tell Business Standard that India and Russia have negotiated a draft R&D Contract, which commits both sides to spending $6.1 billion on the project –$3.05 billion each. While India has dragged its heels for a decade since signing the IGA, Sukhoi Design Bureau has already designed the basic flying platform, named Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (PAK-FA). At least six PAK-FA prototypes are already participating in flight-testing and flying displays, such as at the recent Paris Air Show. The draft R&D Contract commits Sukhoi to build the eighth, ninth and tenth prototypes for flight-testing in HAL, by Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots. That means that, if the R&D Contract is signed this year, IAF pilots could be testing FGFA prototypes in Indian skies by 2020. HAL chief, T Suvarna Raju, declined to comment on the Experts Group report, but told Business Standard that an early conclusion of the R&D Contract would allow HAL to play an important role in developing the PAK-FA flying platform into a combat effective FGFA for the IAF. “If we join now, we will still get a significant part of the work share, thanks to delays in the PAK-FA project. HAL would co-design the avionics, including navigation systems, radars and weapon aiming devices. This is the heart of the fighter’s combat ability”, says Raju. Delays in the PAK-FA’s development are attributable partly to hitches in designing a new, powerful engine that would let the fighter “super-cruise”, or travel at supersonic speeds on “dry thrust”, without engaging its fuel-guzzling afterburners. While engine-maker NPO Saturn has struggled to perfect a secretive new engine, dubbed the Izdeliye 30, the PAK-FA has been flying with the relatively underpowered AL-41FI engine – an uprated version of the Sukhoi-30MKI’s AL-31 engine. However, at the Paris Air Show in July, Russian designers have claimed that the PAK-FA’s new engine would be ready to fly by December. For the IAF, the FGFA project opens up the assured development of heavy fighters that will succeed the Sukhoi-30MKI, many of which have already completed 15-17 years in operational service. In the medium fighter category, the IAF would have two Rafale squadrons, possibly three if a follow up contract is signed for an extra squadron; and also three upgraded Mirage-2000 squadrons. In the light fighter category, there will be four squadrons of Tejas Mark 1A, and another light fighter for which procurement has been initiated. Amongst the contenders are the Swedish Saab Gripen E, and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70. The FGFA is equally crucial for HAL’s Nashik plant, which is now building the last 35 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters of the 272 fighters contracted by the IAF. At a build rate of 12 fighters per year, the Sukhoi-30MKI production line will be idle by 2020. It remains unclear how many FGFA units the IAF will eventually buy, but for HAL Nashik, a production order is essential.

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/indo-russian-gen-5-fighter-gets-green-light-6-bn-negotiated-for-joint-rd/#more-143058 .

July 29, 2017

Unreliable, Uninstalled, Unusable? India’s Anti-China SAMs Fail Basic Tests


A test of India’s fleet of Akash surface-to-air medium-range missile has provided discouraging results, as many as 30 percent of the missiles failed basic tests of accuracy, speed and functionality. The missiles are considered key to the defense of India’s mountainous border with China.
A report from the nation's office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) claimed that the Akash missiles "fell short of the target, had lower than the required velocity, and there was malfunctioning of critical units."
"Out of 80 missiles received up to November 2014, 20 missiles were test fired during April-November 2014. Six of these missiles…  30 percent, failed the test," the report added.
These deficiencies pose "an operational risk during hostilities."
This must be discouraging news for Indian defense — not only were the missiles a massive project, valued at 36 billion rupees ($561 million), but they were made in India as part the country's "Make-In-India" initiative, which seeks to reduce Indian dependence on foreign-made goods, including weapons. Worst of all, the missiles were approved as part of a tougher stance against China — and this report comes in the wake of decades-high tensions between the two nations.
The Akash missiles, manufactured by the state-owned defense corporation Bharat Electronics, are meant to be used against fighters, drones and helicopters attacking air bases. They have been a centerpiece of the defense wing of Make-In-India, as the vast majority of India's surface-to-air missile arsenal are of Russian or Soviet production. The Akash impressed during tests in 2008, leading to the highly lucrative contract in early 2010 to produce 750 missiles across six air force bases.
Seven and a half years later, none of the systems have been fully installed.
The CAG blamed the lack of progress on a lack of necessary infrastructure at the air force bases, which "could not be completed till October 2016 at any of the sites." The report added that while the work was nearly completed at two of the six sites, the Indian Air Force "had not taken over these buildings because of defects in the construction, which rendered them unsuitable for strategic missile system storage. In other stations, the progress was below 45 percent as of October 2016."
There was more bad news. The lifespans of about 260 of the missiles were reduced by improper storage while they sat around, waiting to be installed. This means they will soon need to be replaced, threatening to turn the Akash program into a money sink with no tangible defense gains.
New Delhi can't be happy with this report, as territorial disputes between India and both China and Pakistan have generated significant friction in the region. Indian and Pakistani forces have been trading fire in the disputed territories of Kashmir and Jamma, with over 4,000 people displaced by the violence in July alone.
Meanwhile, India and China have been brought to the brink of war over Doklam, a disputed mountain pass along the three-way border with Bhutan. Both nations have began a military buildup along the border, and the stand-off continues to deteriorate.

 sputniknews

July 28, 2017

Maritime Systems wins contract to supply torpedo defence systems for Indian Navy


Ultra Electronics’ Canadian-based Maritime Systems has been contracted by the Indian Ministry of Defence to provide surface ship torpedo defence systems to the Indian Navy.
Under the three-year contract, Maritime Systems, supported by UK-based Ultra Electronics Command and Sonar Systems and in-country partner Mahindra Defence Systems, will deliver a solution based on Ultra’s Sea Sentor product line.

 janes

India seeks new SIGINT and COMJAM aircraft


India has issued a request for information (RFI) for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications jamming (COMJAM) aircraft, with deliveries to begin two years after a contract signature.
The RFI for seven aircraft, which was issued by the Indian government in late July, is for five SIGINT and COMJAM platforms, plus two more for SIGINT alone.
As noted in the request, the aircraft should have a range of at least 4,000 n miles and an endurance of eight hours; a minimum speed of Mach 0.75; have a minimum cruise altitude of 45,000 ft; should be capable of operating from airfields that are 3,300 m above mean sea level.
Mission requirements include seven operator workstations; electronic intelligence (ELINT) equipment operating in the 90 MHz–40 GHz bandwidths; communications intelligence (COMINT) equipment in the 30 MHz–18 GHz bandwidths; and electronic support measures (ESM) with a minimum range of 400 km. The aircraft’s self-protection will include a countermeasures dispensing system (CMDS), a radar warning receiver (RWR), a missile approach warning system (MAWS), and direct infrared countermeasures (DIRCM).

Janes

Britain plans to send warship to South China Sea in move likely to irk Beijing


(Reuters) - Britain plans to send a warship to the disputed South China Sea next year to conduct freedom of navigation exercises, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday, a move likely to anger Beijing.
Britain would increase its presence in the waters after it sent four British fighter planes for joint exercises with Japan in the region last year, he said.
China claims most of the energy-rich sea where neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
"We hope to send a warship to region next year. We have not finalised exactly where that deployment will take place but we won't be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea," Fallon told Reuters.
"We have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it."
The presence of a British vessel threatens to stoke tensions, escalated by China's naval build-up and its increasingly assertive stance.
The comments by Fallon came after Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the country's two new aircraft carriers would be sent to the region.
Johnson did not specify where exactly the vessels would be sent once operational in 2020, though the presence of such firepower will likely heighten tensions in the region.
Speaking in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said none of the recent comments "playing up" tension in the South China Sea were made by regional countries.
"Countries in the region are working together to safeguard and promote regional peace and prosperity, yet we see other countries who insist on stirring up trouble while the situation is trending towards calm in the South China Sea," he told a daily news briefing.
China's construction of islands and military facilities in the South China Sea has stoked international condemnation, amid concern Beijing is seeking to restrict free movement and extend its strategic reach.
Britain's move could also upset ties between London and Beijing, undermining efforts to shore up what the two governments have called a "golden era" in their relationship as Britain heads towards a divorce with the European Union.
"We flew RAF Typhoons through the South China Sea last October and we will exercise that right whenever we next have the opportunity to do so, whenever we have ships or planes in the region," Fallon said.
The United States estimates Beijing has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) on seven features in the South China Sea over the past three years, building runways, ports, aircraft hangars and communications equipment.
To counter the perceived Chinese aggression, the United States has conducted regular freedom of navigation exercises that have angered Beijing.
Earlier this month, the United States sent two bombers over the region, coming just a few months after it sent a warship to carry out a maneuvering drill within 12 nautical miles of one of China's artificial islands.
China has repeatedly denounced efforts by countries from outside the region to get involved in the South China Sea dispute.
The South China Sea is expected to dominate a regional security meeting in Manila next week, where Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Meeting ASEAN diplomats in Beijing on Wednesday, Wang told them both sides must "exclude disturbances on the South China Sea issue, and maintain positive momentum", China's Foreign Ministry said.


Would launch nuclear strike against China if President Trump ordered it: US commander


The US Pacific Fleet commander said Thursday he would launch a nuclear strike against China next week if President Donald Trump ordered it, and warned against the military ever shifting its allegiance from its commander in chief. Adm. Scott Swift was responding to a hypothetical question at an Australian National University security conference following a major joint US- Australian military exercise off the Australian coast. The drills were monitored by a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off northeast Australia.

Asked by an academic in the audience whether he would make a nuclear attack on China next week if Trump ordered it, Swift replied: “The answer would be: Yes.”

“Every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us,” Swift said. He added: “This is core to the American democracy and any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem.”

Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown later said Swift’s answer reaffirmed the principle of civilian control over the military. “The admiral was not addressing the premise of the question, he was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military,” Brown said. “The premise of the question was ridiculous.”

The biennial Talisman Saber exercise involved 36 warships including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, 220 aircraft and 33,000 military personnel. It was monitored by a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence vessel from within Australia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Swift said China had similarly sent an intelligence ship into the US exclusive economic zone around Hawaii during the Pacific Fleet-hosted multinational naval exercise in 2014. China had a legal right to enter the American economic zone for military purposes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea _ or UNCLOS_ which defines the rights and responsibilities of nations sailing the world’s oceans, he said.

Governments needed to engage with Beijing to understand why the Chinese did not accept that the United States had the same access rights within China’s exclusive economic zone, Swift said. “The dichotomy in my mind is why is there a different rules-set applied with respect to taking advantage of UNCLOS in other EEZs, but there’s this perspective that there’s a different rules-set that applies within another nation’s (China’s) EEZ? ” Swift said.

 indianexpress

Indian Air Force ramps up infrastructure in North East


As China continues to make inroads into northern Tibet with a massive deployment of military equipment, the Indian Army is scaling up its military infrastructure in bordering areas.

With the muscle flexing between the two countries running into its second month amid the Doklam standoff, there has been a lot of action in North East India as aircraft, machinery, weaponry and men are flooding into the mountainous terrain.


MOVING SUPPLIES TO THE FRONTLINE ::

The Union government has approved the deployment of the Brahmos missile's Block-III version in Arunachal Pradesh to counter China's huge build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control.

Strategic roads along the border with China are also being worked on. The Army has also deployed BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in Arunachal and Sukhoi Su-30MKI at bases in Assam.

The focus on upgrading aircraft capabilities is massive, an Army official said. It is an urgent requirement for quick mobilisation of men and machinery in the rugged terrain along the India-China border in Arunachal in case of any emergency.

“High mountain ranges negate the possibility of men and material deployment in quick time. Keeping this in mind, we're focusing on upgrading our flying capability,” the official said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is upgrading eight remote Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Arunachal, namely Aalo, Tuting, Mechuka, Tawang, Ziro, Pasighat, Walong and Bijaynagar, he added.

The official also said the Army's aviation squadron would be operational in Likabali in Assam from October onwards and that the indigenous armed Rudra choppers would be housed there. The Army's first armed helicopter unit in the North East would have 10 aircraft, he said. A large heliport would also be made operational in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang by September.

The IAF is likely to fly its Mi-series of Russian choppers as well as the indigenously developed advanced lightweight helicopters from Tawang.

In terms of missiles being fitted into the aircraft, the Army is also developing BrahMos-A - an air launched version of the BrahMos. It would weigh 2.5 tonnes and will carry a warhead of 300kg.

The first demonstration flight of Sukhoi Su-30MKI carrying BrahMos-A was conducted last year. IAF is in the process of equipping 40 Su-30MKIs with BrahMos. The Army has moved Su-30MKI squadrons near China border.

The official said arming Su-30MKI with BrahMos-A missiles will allow the IAF to carry out attack deep inside Tibet and Chinese province of Yunan.

 catchnews

India raised Tibet, stapled visa issues with China: Sushma Swaraj


Highlights
  • Responding to issue of stapled visa to Arunachal residents by China, she said "the issue has been raised in every bilateral meeting at various levels".
  • On the issue of Tibet, the minister said "We are not sitting as a mute spectator. Whenever there are differences, we raise them."
There is no quid pro quo with China on the issue of "sufferings" of the Tibetan people and stapled visas being given to Arunachal Pradesh residents by Beijing, government said on Thursday.

There is no quid pro quo with China on the two issues, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha replying to questions on the two issues.

Responding to supplementaries on the issue of stapled visa to Arunachal residents by China, she said "the issue has been raised in every bilateral meeting at various levels, be it at my level or that of the Prime Minister. The issue has been raised by us."

Asked about India's stand on Tibet, she said "we used to earlier talk of One China policy, but we used to say that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India+ . And when we say that, we want that China should also recognise this. Our policy has been made very clear."

On the issue of whether India remained a mute spectator towards the alleged atrocities in Tibet, the minister said "We are not sitting as a mute spectator. Whenever there are differences, we raise them."

She said the Dalai Lama wanted to visit Tawang+ and "we allowed him to do so". This is not the first time but the fifth or sixth time that he is visiting that place.

"Whatever issue that is there that goes against India's interest, we lodge our protest," Swaraj said.

To a question, she said there was no policy under which Chinese companies are denied security permission. She also objected to a member raising the issue of a particular Chinese company in the House.

She said that denial of security permission to one particular company cannot determine the relations between the two countries. She said it done under a process and if a Japanese or a Korean company applied, they get it first.

To another question on the cancellation of a visit of Indian journalists to Tibet by China, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said there is no official information from China about it.

He said Indian journalists are independent and take their decisions independently and it was between them and the Chinese authorities about the visit to Tibet.

"As far as the visit being cancelled, officially we don't have any information. It is between the journalists and the host country," he said.

Akbar said in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Xi Jinping in Astana, a close development partnership issue was raised and both countries decided to increase people-to-people and media contacts and decided to do everything to bring the two countries together.

"We will continue to make such efforts and take them forward," he said, adding that a high-level media forum has been established to further strengthen media exchanges. The last meeting of this media forum was held in Beijing in February 2015.

"Government has no details of such a visit because the government was not approached by the host agency or the journalists for assistance," he said in a written reply.

 timesofindia

Donald Trump administration urges NSG members to support India's application


The US has reaffirmed its support to India's membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and said it has called on other members of the elite grouping to back New Delhi's application.

India has applied for the membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which controls international nuclear trade.

"The United States welcomed India's application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for the membership. The United States has called on NSG members to support India's application," the Department of Defence and Department of State said in a joint report.

In the report submitted to Congress as required under National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2017, the Trump administration also re-affirmed its support for India's membership in the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement as soon as India meets each group's membership criteria.

The US and India share a commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, the report said.

China has been opposing India's bid on the grounds that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). China's opposition has made India's entry into the group difficult as it is guided by the consensus principle.

A plenary meeting of the NSG in Bern last month had discussed India's membership bid and decided to hold another meeting in November to discuss the issue.

"Since 2010, the US has supported India's membership in the four multilateral export control regimes -- Wassenaar Arrangement, NSG, Australia Group, and the Missile Technology Control Regime -- as India prepared to take the steps required for membership in each one," it said.

The US, the report said, welcomed India as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime and its subscription to the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation in June 2016.

The report notes that the future leadership of Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) will consist of an individual with experience in defence acquisition and technology to reinforce and ensure the success of the US-India Defence Relationship. This individual will help resolve remaining issues impeding bilateral defence trade and other cooperation, it said.

The NDAA for FY 2017 also directs the Department to reorganise the Office of the USD (AT&L) into two new Under Secretary positions -- one for Research and Engineering (USD (R&E)) and one for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD (A&S)).

"This change will take effect no later than February 2018. The organisational responsibility for DTTI will be determined as part of the reorganisation of AT&L; however, this determination will not affect DTTI's ongoing work," the report said.

The US defence industry has provided India with proposals for F-16 Block 70 and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft, the report said.

"These proposals will help create and maintain jobs in both countries and demonstrate the depth of our commitment to defence cooperation," it said.

Since 2008, the US and India have concluded more than USD 15 billion in defence trade, including the transfer from the US to India of C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Harpoon missiles, Apache and Chinook helicopters, and M777 light-weight Howitzers.

India operates the second largest C-17 and P-8 fleets in the world, recently using its C-17s to deliver humanitarian assistance to Nepal and evacuate civilians from Yemen, the report added.

The US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner" in June 2016 intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

"The Major Defence Partner designation reflects the readiness of the United States to facilitate the export of goods and technologies for projects, programs, and joint ventures in support of official US-India defence cooperation," said the report.

In 2012, the US Department of Defence and India's Ministry of Defence established the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) as a means of strengthening industrial cooperation and moving away from the traditional "buyer- seller" approach.

"The US-India defence relationship has matured and strengthened significantly over the past 15 years. Our strategic partnership rests on our shared democratic values, security interests, and strong people-to-people ties," the report said.

While India has garnered the support of a majority of the group's members, China has stuck to its stand that new members should sign the NPT. India is not a signatory to the NPT.

economictimes

Missile production orders will rise four times by 2020, DRDL director says


The production orders for missiles of the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, will grow four times to 1 lakh crore by 2020, said DRDL director of M S R Prasad on Thursday.

Prasad was speaking after inaugurating the Kumaraguru Centre for Industrial Research & Innovation at the Kumaraguru College of Technology in Coimbatore.

One of DRDL's signature products is Aakash missile. "The investment for research by DRDL on Aakash was Rs 250crore. Today, we have production orders worth Rs 25,000 crore," he said.

Prasad said India would become a superpower in 10 years. "India is growing rapidly on the economic front. It is believed that the country will become a superpower in the next 10 years," said Prasad.

"By 2024, India will be the most populated country. The country should focus on science and research for industrial development," he said.

Prasad said it was essential for every industry to invest in research and development. "Every industry cannot afford to have its own R&D facility. Hence it outsources its R&D. Such innovation centres will come into play in helping industry resolve problems," said Prasad. "Each industry should invest at least 2% of its revenue in R&D," he said.

The director of DRDL pointed out that India invests only 0.9% of its expenditure in research. "The idea has always been to spend 2% every year, but we have never been able to spend more than 0.9%. Of this, one-fourth investment comes from industry," he said.

He congratulated the KCT management for setting up a centre of industrial research and innovation. The KC IRI will take up industrial problems and carry out research to address these issues.

"KCT should network with retired scientists of DRDO and ISRO and utilise their expertise in solving industrial problems," said Prasad.

The DRDL director said the KC IRI should focus on ensuring good quality products. "At the same time, the centre should also focus on value engineering. It is essential to bring down the cost of the products," said Prasad.

 timesofindia

India is shopping for submarines as China extends its reach into the Indian Ocean


India has contacted six foreign shipyards with a formal request for information about building six nonnuclear submarines.

The request comes as part of Project 75I, a program worth over $12 billion, according to Defense News.

New Delhi asked shipyards in Russia, France, Japan, and Germany, among others, for information about six submarines equipped with air-independent-propulsion systems, which allow nonnuclear subs to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen, replacing or augmenting diesel-electric systems.

New Delhi is seeking "a proven, effective, state-of-the-art, electric heavyweight torpedo; a land attack missile, and perhaps even an underwater-to-air missile against enemy helicopters and mines," Anil Jai Singh, a retired Indian navy commodore and defense analyst, told Defense News.

Once a response is received from interested shipyards, India will issue a formal request for proposal, then put three or four of the shipyards on a shortlist.


India navy submarine shipyard ::

It will be a multiyear process, in part because of New Delhi's Strategic Partner policy, under which a foreign shipyard will be paired with a domestic one in order to compete for the contract.

One contractor told Defense News that the strategic-partner selection should be done by 2019. Another analyst and retired Indian navy officer said it could be "a good seven to eight years after a deal is signed" before the first sub build under the P75I program hits the water.


China India Submarines ::

India's interest in submarines comes as China's growth has increased traffic in the Indian Ocean and through the narrow Malacca Strait connecting it to the waters of East Asia, both above and below the water.

India has been tracking Chinese submarines entering the Indian Ocean since 2013, and a 2015 US Defense Department report confirmed that Chinese attack and missile submarines were operating there.

China has framed its activity in the Indian Ocean and along the African coast as focused on non-military operations, including humanitarian aid, emergency missions, and anti-piracy patrols.

Indeed, the 550-mile-long Malacca Strait, bordered by Indonesia's and Malaysia's jungle shorelines, has become a hotspot for pirates eyeing the 50,000 ships that pass through it each year.

But that activity - coupled with Beijing's growing economic activity in the Africa as well as the numerous facilities and alliances it has established along the coast of South Asia - have made India and others wary.

"The pretext is anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden," an Indian defense source told The Times of India in May. "But what role can submarines play against pirates and their dhows?"

India has already posted warships near the Malacca Strait to monitor maritime activity and has US-made P-8I Poseidon surveillance planes stationed on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an archipelago northwest of the Malacca Strait where India plans to expand its security presence.

The US has agreed to sell New Delhi surveillance drones that could be paired with the Poseidons and used to track Chinese maritime movements in the area - including those of submarines. It is also working to build radar stations on islands in the Indian Ocean and an "undersea wall" of sensors between southern India and northern Indonesia.

China, which is heavily reliant on imported fuel, got about 80% of its oil imports and 11% of natural-gas imports from ships transiting the Malacca Strait. The Tribune of India reported in June that India's activity around the strait was "part of the target given to the Navy to ensure its dominance in the Indian Ocean by 2020."

India's growing focus on submarines and submarine warfare was underscored during the Malabar 2017 naval exercises , conducted with the US and Japan in mid-July. Anti-submarine warfare was one of the exercise's components.

New Delhi's increasing focus on its southern approaches and the broader Indian Ocean come in contrast to centuries of attention paid to security threats at and around its northern boundaries (India and China are currently embroiled in a dispute over territory on the China-Bhutan border.)

"This is a tectonic shift in India's security calculus, that it has to protect its southern flank," Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research, told The New York Times.

China - which recently dispatched troops to its first overseas base in Djibouti, sent warships to naval exercises with Russia in the Baltic Sea, and deployed a surveillance ship to observe US-Australia naval drills - has reacted to developments in the region with dismay.

An editorial published this month in the state-run newspaper China Daily said Beijing is the one "that should feel 'security concerns,' given the importance of the Indian Ocean for its trade and oil imports."

 businessinsider

July 27, 2017

Indian Air Force Looks to Get Eyes in Skies


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has revived a five-years-old requirement of seven snooping aircraft to conduct signal intelligence and communications jamming (COMJAM) duties.

The IAF has issued a request for information for the same to purchase the turbofan twin-engine aircraft with prolonged operations capability in heat, dust, and high humidity conditions as prevalent in India. The document shows five aircraft will be equipped with signal intelligence and communications jamming systems while others will only play signal intelligence role. The IAF will operate the planes and their mission will be supervised by the country's principal technical intelligence unit NTRO.

As the aircraft will be deployed near the border, the IAF demands good maneuverability aircraft to bypass threats including good low-speed maneuverability for a safe getaway. According to the document, the aircraft will have the capacity to provide work stations for at least 10 passengers.

"The aircraft should have a baggage compartment with a minimum capacity of 3.25 cu meters by volume and 1000 kg of weight," it added. The aircraft will be able to fly nonstop for minimum eight hours with a range of 4000 nautical miles or more.

The global tender is expected to be issued in the second quarter of 2018 with the tentative delivery set 24 months from the effective date of contract. An earlier bid of 2012 for the same kind of aircraft was not reached at tender level.

"The aircraft should be of proven design and be capable of operation by aircrew complement of just two pilots. The aircraft must be certified for operations from airfields up to an elevation of 3300 meters in signal intelligence and communication jamming roles, to be operated by the user in both roles together, with the respective payloads, and a minimum of 50% fuel carriage. The aircraft should have an internal start capability up to —40°C and +30°C," RFI issued by IAF reads.

Aircraft manufacturers will have to provide airborne signal intelligence system capable of monitoring surveillance, acquisition, early warning, tracking, missile guidance, airborne, shipborne and recording of voice and data transmission with decoding/demodulation capability in the range of better than 400 kilometers with a 360-degree azimuth coverage. The IAF seeks product support for a period of 40 years or more for the aircraft and 20 years or more for SIGINT and COMJAM equipment. Currently, IAF operates Embraer EMB-145 and Boeing 737 for these roles.

 sputniknews

July 26, 2017

'Full-timer' separatist Geelani owns properties worth crores of rupees


Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the top most Separatist of Jammu and Kashmir and his family have amassed wealth worth crores of rupees and also own benami properties, said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday.

The NIA has released the details of the wealth amassed by the 13 top Kashmiri separatists. The huge wealth of these torchbearers of Azadi in Kahsmir poses an important question: what is the source of their income when they do separatism, which they term as movement for 'Azadi', as a full time job?

The separatists whose properties and wealth are under scanner of the NIA are: Syed All Shah Geelani, Altaf Ahmed Shah @ Fatoosh, Naseem Geelani, Nayeem Geelani, Farooq Ahmad Dar @ Bitta Karate, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Mir Waiz, Mehraj-ud-din S/o Mohd Amin, Bashir Ahmed Bhat @ Peer Saifullah, Asiya Andrabi, and Nayeem Mohammed Khan.


SYED ALI SHAH GEELANI ::

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman, All Party Hurriyat Conference, (Geelani faction) [APHC-G] has amassed wealth worth crores of rupees.

Geelani's ancestral bungalow at Dooru, Sopore, in Jammu and Kashmir is worth Rs 1 crore. It is a two story house on 2 kanals of land.

His office cum residence is built on 1.5 kanals land at Rehmatabad colony, which is registered in the name of Milli Trust with five members - Bashir Ahmed Shot @ Peer Saifullah, Mohd Ashraf, Sehraj, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Jawahira Begum and Dr. Nayeed Geelani.

Geelani's two story house at Bulbulbagh, Barazulla has been transferred to Jel, Jammu and Kahsmir.

There is one Unique Public School in Dooru, Srinagar, whose land is partially donated by villagers and partly out of Geelani's property. The school is run by trust, and Geelani has appointed his younger son Naseem Geelani chairman of the school.

Geelani also owns a two-bedroom flat at Gupta Colony, Khirki Extension, Delhi for which Geelani paid Rs 8 Lakh and it has been registered in the name of GM Bhat (hawala conduit).

Geelani also owns one two story house at Bagh-e-Mehtab, Srinagar and has been registered in the name of Geelani's eldest daughter Chasfida.

Geelani's another three storied bunglow built on half canal land at Bemina, Srinagar has been registered in the name of his daughter Zahida. The octogenarian separatist also owns around 100-150 kanals of land at Singpore Pattan. Geelani has a double story house at Rehmatabad in his name.

Four vehicles in Hyderpora belong to Geelani.

The NIA says that Geelani's son Naseem Geelani looks after real estate matters of the family.

Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Funtoosh, who has been looking after his affairs for year, owns land in Dompora Sow. Altai Funtoosh, Advocate Shahfi Rishi and his nephew Yaseer Rishi (MLC) own around 100-150 kanals of land in Sumbal, Zainkund-Bandipora Road.

So far, four Benami properties have also been discovered and the subjects will be questioned about the same, the NIA says.


ALTAF AHMED SHAH ::

Altaf Ahmed Shah is Chief Organiser of APHC-G and son-in-law of SAS Geelani. He owns two story house built on half canal at Bagh-e-Mehtab, two-room house at Bhatindi, and ancestral hosiery shop at LaI chowk, Srinagar, eight canals land inVillage Handoora, Dist Ganderbal, Srinagar. He also owns a double story House No. 119 at HIG Colony, Bemina worth Rs 1.50 crore.

So far, three benami properties have also been discovered and the subjects will be questioned about the same, the NIA says.


NASEEM GEELANI ::

Naseem Geelani, son of SAS Geelani, owns house built on five marlas at Rawalpora, Srinagar; Land /Orchard at Doru, Sopore. The NIA says that Naseem Geelani on March 2017 took over the charge of Unique Public School, Sopore as its Chairman, after a long tussle with G M Bhat (Former Chairman). Geelani family also wanted to own 8 kanals of land in Sopore that may have been given by local villagers in 1980 for construction of the school.

So far, two benami properties being needs further verification, the NIA says.


NAYEEM GEELANI ::

Nayeem Geelani, son of SAS Geelani, jointly owns four canals of agriculture land at Humana, Rawalpora Byepass, Srinagar with his brother Naseem Geelani.

He also owns land/Orchard on 40 kanals and Dooru, Sopore. The NIA says that besides this, he also owns some ancestral property in the form of land and orchards.

Nayeem is also owner of an eight-room house at Sanat Nagar, Srinagar. He also owns a flat in New Delhi's Vasant Kunj area. He also owns single story house having 10/12 rooms which is worth Rs 75 lakh.

He also owns apple Orchard and two houses built on 5.5 Kanals. The market value of per canal is Rs. 5 lakh.

He is also owner of Asian Minerals (Limestone quarry) which is in the name of his brother Muneer Khan.

So far, two benami properties need further verification, says the NIA.

The Kashmiri separatists are under the scanner of NIA after several top Kashmiri separatists were caught on camera confessing to receiving funds from across the border.

The sting operation, carried by a news channel, showed Hurriyat's Provincial President (Geelani Faction) Naeem Khan admitting on camera that Pakistan is funding the violence in Kashmir Valley.

The NIA visited Srinagar in May to probe the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, and questioned several separatist leaders on the issue of raising, collecting and transferring funds via the Hawala route and other channels to fund terror activities in Kashmir.

The NIA has so far arrested seven Kashmiri separatists and produced them before a Delhi Court on Tuesday which sent them to 10-day custody of NIA over money laundering charges to fund terror in the Kashmir Valley.

The arrested separatists are: Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate.

 business-standard

PAK-FA's New Engines Make It 'Easily the Best 5th Gen Fighter in the World'


Independent military observer Vladimir Tuchkov outlines why the T-50 PAK-FA fighter’s new, truly fifth-gen engines are set to turn the aircraft into easily the best fifth generation fighter aircraft in the world. Last week, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS-2017 air show, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev told reporters that the first stage of state testing on the T-50 (PAK-FA) fifth generation stealth air superiority fighter have been completed, and that the first flight tests would be finished before the end of the year. Trials will continue into 2018, and mass production of the T-50 for introduction into the air force is slated to begin in 2019.
 One of major obstacles widely reported to have held the T-50 back from production in the past was the absence of a true fifth-generation engine for the aircraft, with prototypes of the aircraft using a derivative of the AL-41F1 engine, similar to the one used in the Sukhoi Su-35S 4++ generation multirole fighter. But now, Russian designers are on the brink of reaching a breakthrough on a totally new, truly fifth-gen engine, known as Izdeliye 30 (Product 30), a design which experts say has no equivalents in the world of engine construction. Developed from scratch over the course of almost a decade at the Saturn Tool-Making Plant in Rybinsk, central Russia, Izdeliye 30 features improved thrust characteristics (19,000 kgf vs. 15,000 kgf in the AL-41F1), better fuel efficiency, fewer moving parts, and subsequently improved reliability and lower maintenance costs. Ground tests for the engine have already been completed. Now, following its installation aboard the T-50, the second stage of testing, both for the engine and the plane, can begin.
This process is expected to start in the fall. Commenting on the significance of this development, military journalist and Svobodnaya Pressa contributor Vladimir Tuchkov explained that the long-awaited pairing of the T-50 with a fifth-generation engine will be a milestone, one giving Russia not only a true next generation fighter aircraft, but undoubtedly the best plane of its kind in the world. For starters, the analyst noted, “in terms of maneuverability, the T-50 is second-to-none. This was predestined by the design of its airframe,” as well as the plane’s three dimensional thrust vector jets, a design which the US does not have. The F-22 Raptor, for example, uses two-dimensional vector thrust jets, affecting only its pitch, for maneuverability.
The F-35 Lightning II lacks the capability altogether, except for its vertical take-off and landing functions. No information is available regarding China’s J-20 stealth fighter. In the stealth department, the T-50’s radar cross section (rcs) value is 0.1-0.5m, significantly higher than the F-22 and the F-35 (whose values are an impressive 0.0001 and 0.0015). However, Tuchkov emphasized that the rcs indicators are “a subject wide open to conjecture, based on disinformation provided either by developers for advertising purposes…or for the purpose of disorienting the enemy (so that he cannot predict in advance the tactics of air battles and interception by air defense forces).” Military observers have long said and written that among the major military powers (and sometimes even among smaller ones) the ‘antidotes’to stealth technology have a tendency to be conceived of, designed and deployed long before stealth fighters ever get off the ground.
 Furthermore, the engines onboard every stealth aircraft give off thermal signatures which infrared sensor systems (including those used by Russia) could easily pick up and track.
Finally, Russia also has over-the-horizon surface-wave radar systems capable of detecting stealth jets “as clearly as WWII-era aircraft.” In other words, while the idea of a magic plane invisible to enemy air defenses may be relevant when fighting small countries with Cold War-era radar and air defense technology, in combat with larger powers, other factors, including a plane’s target detection systems, as well as its range of their missiles, are far more significant. In the first area, Tuchkov noted that T-50’s delayed start behind both the F-22 and the F-35 worked out perfectly for the developers of the plane’s onboard radar systems, giving them access to fundamentally new electronic components and technologies which were unavailable ten or even five years before. “Furthermore, Russian designers were able to take into account, as far as possible, the experience of the F-22’s radar,” the journalist wrote. “First, it must be said that the angle of the T-50’s active phased array is installed on an incline.
 Because of this, the aircraft’s rcs is reduced. Going with this design, which also makes possible a reduction in power usage during operation, was made possible thanks to the excellent characteristics of the N036 Belka radar, developed to replace the N035 Irbis passive phased array antenna system.”
The N036 is more effective than the N035, Tuchkov noted, but even the earlier system “remains very convincing when compared with the US AN/APG-77 radar. The Russian system finds targets with an rcs of 1 square meter at distances up to 300 km. The American radar, meanwhile, does the same up to 225 km. For targets with an rcs of 0.01 square meters, the Russian radar’s range is 90 km. For the US system these figures are not available.” Altogether, the T-50 has six radars onboard – including one on the plane’s nose, two on its sides, two on the wings and one in the aft section.
They are capable of monitoring up to 60 targets at once, and targeting up to 15. “In addition to the radar-based visibility, the T-50 features the OLS-50M optic-electronic sensor system, which includes a thermal scanner using a QWIP-matrix with unique resolution and range characteristics. In this area…Russia is considered to be the absolute world leader,” the military observer stressed. A similar system, which enables the pilot to detect targets which have their radar systems turned off, is fitted on the F-35, albeit the US design has a smaller range. The F-22 does not have this technology.If there is one advantage of the F-35’s avionics to speak of, “it is the pilot’s helmet, which makes the aircraft ‘transparent,’” Tuchkov wrote. “That is, visibility is not limited by the cockpit windows.
 The whole panorama of the surrounding area is displayed in the pilot’s visors, in both the visible and the infrared spectrum. Monitoring the pilot’s head and eye movements, the computer provides the necessary panoramic viewpoint and provides the pilots with tips, and manages targeting.” Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when it comes to armaments, here the T-50 stands out, according to the observer. Among all the world’s existing and prospective fifth-generation fighter aircraft, “the T-50 has the most extensive missile and bomb arsenal.
A total of 14 high-precision missiles and smart bombs have been developed specifically for the plane. Half have already been adopted into service; the other half are undergoing testing. The KS-172, the longest-range air-to-air missile, has a maximum range up to 400 km. This is double that of the US AIM-120D missile, which has a maximum range of 180 km.”As for air-to-surface missiles, here too the T-50 has systems that are “at the forefront of engineering solutions,” Tuchkov noted. “Using them, the pilot has the opportunity to conduct a ‘free hunt’, with the missiles themselves choosing targets independently. The US planes, meanwhile, use missiles developed in the early 2000s, and modernized in the 2010s in the best case scenario.

sputnik
Independent military observer Vladimir Tuchkov outlines why the T-50 PAK-FA fighter’s new, truly fifth-gen engines are set to turn the aircraft into easily the best fifth generation fighter aircraft in the world. Last week, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS-2017 air show, Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev told reporters that the first stage of state testing on the T-50 (PAK-FA) fifth generation stealth air superiority fighter have been completed, and that the first flight tests would be finished before the end of the year. Trials will continue into 2018, and mass production of the T-50 for introduction into the air force is slated to begin in 2019. One of major obstacles widely reported to have held the T-50 back from production in the past was the absence of a true fifth-generation engine for the aircraft, with prototypes of the aircraft using a derivative of the AL-41F1 engine, similar to the one used in the Sukhoi Su-35S 4++ generation multirole fighter. But now, Russian designers are on the brink of reaching a breakthrough on a totally new, truly fifth-gen engine, known as Izdeliye 30 (Product 30), a design which experts say has no equivalents in the world of engine construction. Developed from scratch over the course of almost a decade at the Saturn Tool-Making Plant in Rybinsk, central Russia, Izdeliye 30 features improved thrust characteristics (19,000 kgf vs. 15,000 kgf in the AL-41F1), better fuel efficiency, fewer moving parts, and subsequently improved reliability and lower maintenance costs. Ground tests for the engine have already been completed. Now, following its installation aboard the T-50, the second stage of testing, both for the engine and the plane, can begin. This process is expected to start in the fall. Commenting on the significance of this development, military journalist and Svobodnaya Pressa contributor Vladimir Tuchkov explained that the long-awaited pairing of the T-50 with a fifth-generation engine will be a milestone, one giving Russia not only a true next generation fighter aircraft, but undoubtedly the best plane of its kind in the world. For starters, the analyst noted, “in terms of maneuverability, the T-50 is second-to-none. This was predestined by the design of its airframe,” as well as the plane’s three dimensional thrust vector jets, a design which the US does not have. The F-22 Raptor, for example, uses two-dimensional vector thrust jets, affecting only its pitch, for maneuverability. The F-35 Lightning II lacks the capability altogether, except for its vertical take-off and landing functions. No information is available regarding China’s J-20 stealth fighter. In the stealth department, the T-50’s radar cross section (rcs) value is 0.1-0.5m, significantly higher than the F-22 and the F-35 (whose values are an impressive 0.0001 and 0.0015). However, Tuchkov emphasized that the rcs indicators are “a subject wide open to conjecture, based on disinformation provided either by developers for advertising purposes…or for the purpose of disorienting the enemy (so that he cannot predict in advance the tactics of air battles and interception by air defense forces).” Military observers have long said and written that among the major military powers (and sometimes even among smaller ones) the ‘antidotes’to stealth technology have a tendency to be conceived of, designed and deployed long before stealth fighters ever get off the ground. Furthermore, the engines onboard every stealth aircraft give off thermal signatures which infrared sensor systems (including those used by Russia) could easily pick up and track. Finally, Russia also has over-the-horizon surface-wave radar systems capable of detecting stealth jets “as clearly as WWII-era aircraft.” In other words, while the idea of a magic plane invisible to enemy air defenses may be relevant when fighting small countries with Cold War-era radar and air defense technology, in combat with larger powers, other factors, including a plane’s target detection systems, as well as its range of their missiles, are far more significant. In the first area, Tuchkov noted that T-50’s delayed start behind both the F-22 and the F-35 worked out perfectly for the developers of the plane’s onboard radar systems, giving them access to fundamentally new electronic components and technologies which were unavailable ten or even five years before. “Furthermore, Russian designers were able to take into account, as far as possible, the experience of the F-22’s radar,” the journalist wrote. “First, it must be said that the angle of the T-50’s active phased array is installed on an incline. Because of this, the aircraft’s rcs is reduced. Going with this design, which also makes possible a reduction in power usage during operation, was made possible thanks to the excellent characteristics of the N036 Belka radar, developed to replace the N035 Irbis passive phased array antenna system.” The N036 is more effective than the N035, Tuchkov noted, but even the earlier system “remains very convincing when compared with the US AN/APG-77 radar. The Russian system finds targets with an rcs of 1 square meter at distances up to 300 km. The American radar, meanwhile, does the same up to 225 km. For targets with an rcs of 0.01 square meters, the Russian radar’s range is 90 km. For the US system these figures are not available.” Altogether, the T-50 has six radars onboard – including one on the plane’s nose, two on its sides, two on the wings and one in the aft section. They are capable of monitoring up to 60 targets at once, and targeting up to 15. “In addition to the radar-based visibility, the T-50 features the OLS-50M optic-electronic sensor system, which includes a thermal scanner using a QWIP-matrix with unique resolution and range characteristics. In this area…Russia is considered to be the absolute world leader,” the military observer stressed. A similar system, which enables the pilot to detect targets which have their radar systems turned off, is fitted on the F-35, albeit the US design has a smaller range. The F-22 does not have this technology.If there is one advantage of the F-35’s avionics to speak of, “it is the pilot’s helmet, which makes the aircraft ‘transparent,’” Tuchkov wrote. “That is, visibility is not limited by the cockpit windows. The whole panorama of the surrounding area is displayed in the pilot’s visors, in both the visible and the infrared spectrum. Monitoring the pilot’s head and eye movements, the computer provides the necessary panoramic viewpoint and provides the pilots with tips, and manages targeting.” Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when it comes to armaments, here the T-50 stands out, according to the observer. Among all the world’s existing and prospective fifth-generation fighter aircraft, “the T-50 has the most extensive missile and bomb arsenal. A total of 14 high-precision missiles and smart bombs have been developed specifically for the plane. Half have already been adopted into service; the other half are undergoing testing. The KS-172, the longest-range air-to-air missile, has a maximum range up to 400 km. This is double that of the US AIM-120D missile, which has a maximum range of 180 km.”As for air-to-surface missiles, here too the T-50 has systems that are “at the forefront of engineering solutions,” Tuchkov noted. “Using them, the pilot has the opportunity to conduct a ‘free hunt’, with the missiles themselves choosing targets independently. The US planes, meanwhile, use missiles developed in the early 2000s, and modernized in the 2010s in the best case scenario.”

idrw.org .Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website http://idrw.org/pak-fas-new-engines-make-it-easily-the-best-5th-gen-fighter-in-the-world/ .

July 25, 2017

Is Russia's MiG-35 fighter a good choice for IAF?


Russia is trying to make a big comeback into the Indian arms market with the offer of its newest fighter MiG-35, but the big question that aviation experts are asking is whether it will have the thrust-vector power.
Russia had offered the fighter more than a decade ago in competition to the American F-16 and F-18, France's Rafale, European Consortium's Eurofighter and Sweden's Gripen. India had then plumped for the Rafale, but then the deal, for 126 fighter jets, floundered over price. That led to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opting for about 40 Rafales off the shelf, and leaving the remaining part of the original intent open for further competition and negotiation.
Since then there has been little progress over the deal, though Lockheed Martin was planning an ambitious deal with an Indian private firm to manufacture F-16s in India. However, with the IAF showing little interest in F-16, the Russians are back in the game. They are again offering the MiG-35.
The advantage of the MiG-35 over its competitors is that it is the newest among all. If F-16 and F-18 are originally of the 1970s and 1980s design, the rest are of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The MiG-35 flew first in the Moscow air show MAKS-2005, and was offered to India then and there.
But therein lies its drawback, too, in the eyes of many. The aircraft is untested. So far only Russian and Egyptian air forces have ordered it; and none is yet flying.
The latest offer, made by Russian manufacturers at a press interaction at this year's Moscow air show, however, has mystified the IAF brass. “We haven't received any details of the offer,” said an air force officer.
A unique characteristic of the aircraft has been its thrust-vector capability, that has been integrated into its RD-33 engine. Called OVT in Russian, thrust vector technology enables the aircraft to stay still in mid-air for a split second, much like a helicopter.
The manoeuvre, called 'Bell', enables the pilot to stay away from the enemy's missile firing range. A conventional aircraft, if it wants to turn around, cannot do that abruptly; it will have to jet forward, take a long loop and then close in towards the enemy, by which time the enemy would either be waiting prepared, or would have fled. A thrust-vectored aircraft can recover from any position and turn around any way it wants, giving the aircraft a 360 degree manoeuvrability.
Thrust vector technology was developed in the Klimov plant and first flight-tested in 2003. It was demonstrated before the public for the first time at the MAKS-2005 air show in Moscow, where this reporter, too, had witnessed it. At that time, MiG's test pilot Pavel Vlatsov had said that any pilot could master the Bell manoeuvre in about 60 sorties, and that Indian pilots who have already flown the MiG-29 would need fewer.
The Su-30MKI, which IAF currently operates, too has thrust-vector capability, but it is limited to one direction, whereas the MiG-35 is claimed to have 360 degree manoeverability.
Now, reports have appeared in the western media that the aircraft that is on the offer now to India is without the thrust-vector engine. However, Russian sources are tight-lipped about this.
MiG-35 is originally an upgraded version of the MiG-29 which the IAF is already flying, and is billed as one of the finest air superiority fighters of its class.

 theweek

Russia, Germany in Race for Indian Navy's $7.8 Billion Submarine Tender


India’s Ministry of Defense has asked six foreign shipbuilders to respond to the Indian Navy’s long-delayed Project 75 India (P-75I) program, which is worth over $7.8 billion.

The request for information (RFI) has been sent to six selected overseas naval shipbuilders asking for details about locally building six diesel-electric submarines under newly-formulated strategic partnership model under which India’s private defense shipbuilder will collaborate with a foreign manufacturer.

Official sources told Sputnik that Indian Navy had issued RFI on July 19 to Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau, France’s Naval Group, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Spain’s Navantia, and Sweden’s Saab.
Companies will have to respond to the Indian Navy’s request by September 15 this year with operational details of their respective submarines with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems and anti-surface, anti-submarine and land-attack capabilities.

“As all these submarines will be non-nuclear, AIP system will play a crucial role in getting Indian Navy’s contract. Companies like ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Naval Group are offering their AIP technology to India,” said an industry source.

This project will provide a major boost to country’s private defense firms like Larsen and Toubro, and Reliance Defence who are waiting since long for this delayed project.

“Scorpene project was delayed by years due to India’s state-owned shipbuilder MDL was not able to absorb the technology provided by original manufacturer DCNS and also it delayed due to several gray areas presented in the contract. Last time, the government had selected the company and configuration of the submarine, but this time under P75I, the government will shortlist the submarine and then ask the Indian private company to partner with the manufacturers. A number of private sector companies will participate in the bid and whoever gives the best deal will be selected for the project,” Laxman Kumar Behera, Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), said.

It is expected that request for proposal of the project will only be issued after 2019 and the availability of the submarine will take another seven to eight years if everything goes according to plan. But the lack of experience of the private sector in the submarine manufacturing may pose a challenge to complete the project within a fixed time-frame.

Presently, Indian Navy has 13 diesel-electric submarines in service–9 Kilo-class and four Shishumar (Type 209/1500)-class, but only half of them are operational at any time. India has planned 18 conventional submarines apart from current 13 which are 17 to 31 years old. Two P-75 submarines are expected to join Indian Navy this year.

 sputniknews

Countering China in the Indian Ocean proves tall order for Japan and India


Japan recently dispatched the largest warship it has built since World War II to a naval exercise here to signal its heightened commitment, alongside India and the U.S., to counter China’s expanding ambitions in the Indian Ocean.

The problem, however, is that Japan’s growing cooperation with India is moving slowly and tentatively, while China has moved by leaps and bounds in developing vital ports and facilities in other countries around the Indian Ocean in recent years.

Japan’s relationship with India has become increasingly important in the effort to contain China amid uncertainty in both countries over the extent of the U.S. military’s commitment to region.


Japan, an island nation that relies heavily on seaborne trade and free sea lanes, has been beefing up its maritime defense forces and trying to forge stronger security ties with India through offers to build vital infrastructure and sell it amphibious aircraft and other military equipment.

Japanese officials have expressed growing concern that tensions in the South and East China Seas could spread to the Indian Ocean, jeopardising the country’s important trade links with fast-growing nations in Africa, as well as with Middle Eastern countries that supply Japan with around 90% of its crude-oil needs.

But cooperating with India has proved incremental and challenging. This month, the U.S., Japan and India held their annual Malabar joint naval exercises, involving subs, destroyers and jet fighters. Hailed as one the effort’s most celebrated achievements was the successful sale and transfer of small amounts of fuel by the Indian navy to a Japanese ship.

The fuel sale was a “very historic event” that demonstrated increased trust between the countries, said Rear Adm. Yoshihiro Goka, Japan’s commander for the exercises, speaking with The Wall Street Journal aboard the USS Nimitz.

U.S. officials said they also purchased fuel from India’s navy, the first use of a logistics-sharing agreement signed last August with India that marked a major shift away from India’s decades of military neutrality toward the U.S.

“We are increasingly operating at further ranges from our own shores, and our integral logistics are quite stretched,” said Rear Adm. Biswajit Dasgupta, India’s commander for the exercise.

India’s baby steps toward a deeper and more meaningful partnership with Japan and the U.S. come as the country is being confronted by China’s rapid progress in the region. Experts say India has long believed its vast land and sea borders were best left undeveloped to avoid providing useful infrastructure for potential invaders. Now, with China building highways along India’s Himalayan border and constructing ports in neighboring countries, India is facing the reality that it needs to spend heavily to keep up.

Key strategic sites in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an Indian archipelago at the eastern gateway to the Indian Ocean, haven't been developed, even as China has forged ahead with new ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The U.S. has been largely hamstrung in its offers to help. Indian authorities have rejected six requests by the U.S. Navy to dock ships at the Andamans in recent years, an official said, linking those rejections to China’s expressions of growing displeasure about the role of the U.S. in the Indian Ocean.

In the place of U.S. support, Japan has offered to step in.

“Japan is the only state willing to help India in its Indian Ocean project to develop islands there,” said Abhijit Singh, head of the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi think tank. The reason, he added, is that other nations—notably the U.S.—consider offering such help too provocative to China.

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs denied a request by the Journal to visit the Andamans to speak with officials, citing security concerns.

Last year Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a new “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” in a response to China’s increasingly assertive role in the seas from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific. That followed a bilateral India-Japan agreement, signed in late 2015, on the transfer of defense technology.

So far, however, Japanese offers to help India develop the Andamans have stalled. A power plant Japan’s development body agreed to build there has been bogged down in paperwork, and there has been no progress on its proposals to help build ports and airstrips on the islands, said Kenko Sone, the economics attaché at the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi.

“At the actual project level, we’re having difficulty figuring out the decision-making process” in India’s government, he said.

Japan has shifted some of its attentions to Sri Lanka, strategically located in the Indian Ocean midway between East Asia and Africa. Following a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart in April, Mr. Abe announced 1 billion yen ($9 million) in grant aid to develop the port of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka’s northeast.

Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank, says Trincomalee port has “great potential” as a naval base, including for Japanese submarines, countering Chinese port access elsewhere in the island country. As part of the April agreement, Japan also pledged to supply Sri Lanka with two naval patrol vessels. Last year it also lent $400 million to help expand Sri Lanka’s main airport.

Meanwhile, a number of India’s critical homegrown weapons programs have stalled or been scrapped, while China has ramped up its navy.

More Chinese submarines have been spotted passing through the Malacca Straits and past the Andamans into the Indian Ocean, troubling India’s navy, which has relatively meager tools to track submarines.

India’s planned fleet of aircraft carriers is years behind schedule and facing criticism for design shortcomings. A homegrown naval jet program was scrapped last year, and naval jets India bought from Russia have experienced engine and maintenance problems

A string of border disputes with China has also forced India to invest heavily in roads and military facilities in remote regions such as Arunachal Pradesh, drawing attention and resources away from the Indian Ocean.

This month’s Malabar naval exercises, an annual tradition between the U.S. and India that expanded two years ago to formally include Japan, attempted to move the needle the other way. It marked the first overseas mission of Japan’s newly built Izumo-class helicopter destroyer, as large as many conventional aircraft carriers.

Indian and U.S. submarines carried out exercises under the waves, while their jet fighters tangled in the skies.

Speaking in the aircraft hangar of the USS Nimitz, Adm. Dasgupta said the three navies had become comfortable enough operating alongside each other to respond adequately “should there be a requirement to meet up at sea some day and make a response to any challenge.”

“But there’s no master plan as such to say ‘in this area this guy will do this and that guy will do that,’” he said. “Not yet.”

 business-standard

Even Rambo Can’t Salvage Indian Navy’s Sikorsky Choppers, Auditor Lists Problems


Purchased from the US for enhancing the utilization of Indian Navy’s ship the US-made INS Jalashwa, six Sikorsky helicopters have failed to maintain desired levels of serviceability in six of seven years of its operations.

The helicopters, the UH-3Hs, were bought as an integral part of Austin-class LPD Trenton. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), India’s apex auditor, has found that serviceability — the availability of helicopters at any given time — of the US-made helicopter was as low as 27.10% in 2015-16 which is seriously affecting optimum utilization of the LPD. Serviceability of the helicopter remained ‘unsatisfactory’ i.e. below the level of 50% since the purchase.

“The average serviceability levels of the helicopter fleet remained unsatisfactory in six of seven years of its operation, since commissioning of the squadron in March 2009, despite reducing the number of helicopters for squadron operations to three against the sanctioned unit establishment four helicopters,” the audit report no.20 of 2017 related to Navy and Coast Guard observed. Of the total designated life of 17,000 hours, helicopters had already exhausted 15,000 hours and were available for 2,000 hours more.

India had acquired six UH-3Hs for the Austin-class ship renamed INS Jalashwa at $30 million from the US government. These helicopters were bought to provide an all-weather day and night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment, and were received in September 2007.

The Indian auditor had warned the Indian Navy about the purchase of more than 50-year-old helicopters but the defense ministry had stated that the procurement of UH-3H helicopters was a considered decision to provide an interim solution for onboard aircraft of INS Jalashwa.

 sputniknews

July 24, 2017

Why Indian Army has run out of ammunition, key concerns in CAG report explained


In 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said that the Indian Army did not have ammunition to fight a war extending more than 20 days.

This year's CAG report, tabled in Parliament on Friday, said that there was not enough ammunition to last more than 10 days if war breaks out. This makes the Indian Army vulnerable when they are facing threats on multiple fronts from China and Pakistan.

Indian Army is already engaged in an eyeball encounter with the People's Liberation Army of China over Doklam plateau in Bhutan for over a month. The CAG blamed the functioning of the Ordnance Factory Board for the shortage of supplies to the Indian armed forces. But, there are a number of factors contributing towards shortfall of ammunition to the Indian Army.


WHAT CAG SAID IN 2015?

The CAG report red-flagged acute shortage of ammunition required for protecting the borders of the country in the event of a war with China or Pakistan if it extended for more than 20 days. Not only this, some types of ammunition would not last even 10 days, according to the CAG report.

In its 2015 report, the CAG had said that the Indian Army needed more budgetary support to reach 50 per cent of the target capacity of the War Wastage Reserve (WWR).

The WWR is referred to as a collection of military material held in reserve in case of war. This includes bullets and other form of ammunition, as well as equipment, weapons and fuel.

Ideally, the WWR should last for 40 days of intense war giving enough time to the ordnance factories for ramping up production of required ammunition and supply the same to the military.

The CAG report meant that if adequate budgetary support was given, the shortfall in ammunition could be overcome by 2019 and in any case not before that.


WHY ARMY IS RUNNING OUT OF AMMUNITION ::
The latest report of the CAG mentions that despite the concern being red-flagged by the central auditor and also a high-level report on defence preparedness in 2015, no improvement was seen in the working of the ordnance factories.

The production and supply of ammunition remain inferior in quality and quantity, the CAG report said.

Indian Army is the third largest in the world with more than 13 lakh personnel. Such a huge size of army makes storage of arms and ammunition difficult. There have also been storage quality problems with defence establishment.

Usually, bullets and shells last for decades if properly stored. But, large stocks of ammunition have been found to degrade and create problems when put to use.


BUREAUCRATIC HURDLES ::

Besides the functioning of the ordnance factories, there have been problems of funds for both production of ammunition in the country and import from outside.

Defence observers say that due to red tapism and archaic bureaucratic practices have hampered defence over the years. According to one report, only 20 per cent of the targeted ammunition was imported between 2008 and 2013 as bureaucracy kept creating hurdles.

The Make In India push is also blamed for poor defence procurement. Under the ambitious programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in 2014 that India would cut down import of arms and ammunitions to give a push to domestic production of the same.

Modi said that India should emerge as an exporter of arms and ammunition to the world especially the smaller countries. Though, the programme is well intended but it further delayed bureaucratic clearances.

The CAG has expressed surprise that majority of the procurement cases from other than Ordnance Factory Board and which were initiated by Army headquarters during 2009-13 were pending as of January 2017.


LARGEST ARMS IMPORTER YET SPENDING LESS

Though, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is the largest arms importer in the world. Between 2012 and 2016, India accounted for 13 per cent of global arms imports.

But, noted strategic thinker, Ian Bremmer recently said that India is among the few countries, which were spending more on infrastructure than on defence preparedness. Bremmer wrote on Twitter: "Under @narendramodi, India now spends more on infrastructure than defense. One of the only countries to do so."

 indiatoday

India to enhance military flying in Northeast


With threats from China looming large, India is set to increase its military flying in the Northeast as a large heliport will be operational in Tawang by September.

This will open up a new window for the Indian Air Force to enhance flying in areas close to the Sino-Indian border.

Not to be left behind, the Indian Army, too, will have a new aviation base in Assam to house a squadron of indigenous armed choppers.

An advanced landing ground (ALG) in the strategic Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh was to be completed by April, but was delayed by a few months with the new projected date of completion set for September 2017, sources told DH.

Though categorised as ALG, it would actually be a heliport as fixed-wing aircraft cannot operate from the monastery town because of its elevation and rarefied atmosphere.

The IAF may fly its Mi-series of Russian choppers as well as the indigenous advanced lightweight helicopters from Tawang.

In 2009, the Cabinet Committee of Security approved a Rs 1,000-crore IAF plan to upgrade eight existing ALGs under the Eastern Air Command. Those selected were Tuting, Mechuka, Along, Tawang, Ziro, Passighat, Walong and Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh.

In the last year and a half, the IAF activated six of them – Walong, Ziro, Along, Tuting, Passighat and Mechuka – even as the seventh one at Tawang nears the finish line. The force has given up on Vijaynagar for the time being in the absence of connecting roads.

While Passighat is meant for fighter flying as well as a civil aviation base, five other ALGs would be used for transport aircraft operations, whereas Tawang can only handle the helicopters.

The army is coming up with it own aviation squadron in Assam’s Likabali town, which will house the indigenous armed Rudra choppers. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd handed over 22 of these gunships – armed version of the Dhruv advanced lightweight helicopters – to the army and eight to the IAF.

The Likabali base is also likely to be functional within a month or two in keeping with India’s plan to improve military infrastructure in areas close to its disputed boundary with China. The army’s first armed helicopter unit in the Northeast will have 10 aircraft.

 deccanherald