Monday, May 31, 2010

120th K-8E Karakorum Jet Trainer Handed Over to Egyptian Air Force

120th locally manufactured K-8E Karakorum training aircraft was handed over to the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) in a ceremony under the Sino-Egyptian co-production program for the K-8E. Chinese Aviation Technology Import-Export Cooperation (CATIC) and Egyptian Defense Ministry signed a contract in1999 to produce 80 aircraft of K-8E in first stage and another 40 in second stage to meet the modern training requirements of the Egyptian Air Force. Egyptian Air Force opted for the K-8E aircraft to replace their old Czech L-29 jet trainers.

Under this contract, Aircraft Factory of Egypt was to produce the K-8E training aircraft. More than 200 Chinese technicians were sent to Cairo for this project. The co-production of the K-8E in Egypt consists of three stages. In the first stage China supplied all the main parts of the aircraft for the assembly of a complete aircraft. In second stage share Egyptian contents was increased and by the end of the programme Egypt manufactured the major parts and independently assemble the planes.

PLA's Heli-Assault Battalion

Pictures are courtesy of xinhui @CDF

Major Changes in CRPF’s Operational Strategies After Setback Against Naxals

Major changes in CRPF’s operational strategies are underway following the recent setback against Naxals, especially in Dantewada where it lost over 75 personnel. The post of CRPF Inspector General of Police (Operations) is likely to be created in every state where the force is deployed for anti-Naxal operations, official sources said.

The most crucial states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh may be the first to get the new IGP, who would exclusively oversee operations and will not do any administrative work. Such a set-up currently exists in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir. The sources said a need was felt to have a specialised person heading the anti-Naxal operations in each states besides the one at the headquarters. The Home Ministry will have to create the additional posts before the names are finalised, sources said. Shuffling of certain officers is likely to take place soon, sources said.

Indian Armed ForceTribunal upholds conviction of Maj Gen PSK Choudhary

About five years after a Major General was convicted by a general court martial (GCM) for his alleged involvement in the Tehelka scandal, the Armed Forces Tribunal has dismissed his petition challenging his trial. The GCM had in March 2005 found Maj Gen PSK Choudhary guilty on three charges of accepting gratification and professional impropriety and sentenced him to one-year rigorous imprisonment.

IAF Set for Trials of New Combat and Heavy Lift Helicopters This Summer

The Indian Air Force (IAF) seems set for trials of new combat and heavy lift helicopters this summer, possibly from June or July, as Boeing gets ready to field its latest versions of AH 64D Apache and Chinook CH-47F helicopters.IAF is looking for 22 Attack and 15 Heavy Lift helicopters as replacement for its Soviet vintage Mi 35 Attack and Mi 26 Heavy Lift machines which have served well but are too old now either to carry on or bear the burden of modern technology. The RfP for the two new aircraft was issued last year and besides Boeing, Russia's Rosoboronexport has offered newer versions of Mi 35 and Mi 26. Italy's Finmeccanica, which owns AgustaWestland now, has offered the Mangusta attack helicopter, currently in service with the Italian Army. AgustaWestland has already won the IAF's order for 12 VIP helicopters.

Israel to Deploy Dolphin Class Submarines Armed with Nuclear Cruise Missiles in Gulf

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.

IAF's Su-30MKI, IL-76 and IL-78 will Participate Garuda-IV Exercise in France

Six Indian Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, two IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft and a IL-78 mid-air refueller will be leaving for France for a joint air combat exercise with the French Air Force next month. The exercise, Garuda-IV, will be held at the Istres airbase in France from June 14 to 25. The exercise comes at a time when India and France are all set now to ink the around Rs 10,000 crore deal to upgrade the 56 Mirage-2000 fighter jets in IAF's combat fleet. The first four to six Mirages will be upgraded in France, with the rest 50 or so being upgraded in India by Hindustan Aeronautics under transfer of technology.
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NAL Plans RTA design that can Use both Turboprop and Turbojet Engine

Bangalore: Facing tough competition, designers at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) are mulling over a change in the configuration of the so-called regional transport aircraft (RTA) they plan to build to run on short-haul feeder routes.The RTA was envisaged as a 70-90 seat civilian aircraft powered by a turboprop engine—a gas turbine engine used to drive a propeller.But NAL is now thinking of using a jet engine as well and increasing its capacity to 90-110 passengers.“We are looking at an aircraft (where) both turboprop and turbojet can be used". A 15-member committee for national civil aircraft development held its first meeting in Bangalore on Thursday, and set a one-year deadline for a feasibility study for the Rs2,500 crore plane project.Planes made by Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. currently dominate such routes.While the Indian project is yet to get off the ground, Russia’s Sukhoi Co. and China’s China Aviation Industry Corp. are also building similar aircraft.

$580-million tag for IAF's C-17 aircraft can be cut: India chief of Boeing Defence Space & Security

With India’s fleet of 24 IL-76 aircraft now obsolescent, planners have decided to buy Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III, widely acknowledged as the world’s most versatile military transport aircraft.The downside: At over half a billion dollars a piece, the Globemaster is also the world’s most expensive air-lifter. With criticism rising of India’s $5.8 billion (Rs 27,000 crore) purchase of 10 Globemasters, Boeing now says India could actually pay far less. Responding to a question from Business Standard about the Globemaster’s high cost, Vivek Lall, the India chief of Boeing Defence Space & Security (BDS), clarified by email that the $5.8 billion, “is on the higher side of what the actual cost could be…. India may not need all the services and items that the US Air Force is offering them. The final cost will be determined by the actual requirements of the Indian Air Force and after negotiations are held.”

Russia Wins "Super 30 "Contract to Modernize Indian Su-30MKI fighters

India has placed orders with the Russian defense industry to modernize Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters produced in India under the Russian license, India Today magazine reported in its June issue, without disclosing the sum of the contract.The project codenamed Super 30 stipulates the installation of new radars, onboard computers, electronic warfare systems and BrahMos supersonic missiles on 40 Su-30MKI fighters, the magazine said.The Indian Air Force currently operates about 100 Su-30MKI fighters and plans to produce another 170 aircraft in the next 10 years under the Russian license.

Pakistan Army’s Azm-e-Nau-III: Hot Start Vs Cold Start

Iftikhar Butt

Pakistan Army’s Azm-e-Nau-III exercise ends with 35 days round-the clock, almost non-stop, drill for sharpening wits and weapons, upgrading and uplifting physical and spiritual endurance capacities and capabilities and above all it was an exercise for operational readiness of faith, discipline and armament-with a renewed determination to fight any force on earth threatening the security, people and national assets of Pakistan. Pakistan’s armed forces are a strange phenomenon.

The enemy will find them ever ready for any war, from anywhere, anytime. Its preparedness will be always at the optimum level-may it be Armageddon. Exercise Azm-e-Nau III has left Indian defence analysts, think tanks, the untrustworthy neighbor and its unpredictable army big wigs guessing what was Pakistan Army and government up to.

The Indian government’s thinking is reflected by what her paranoid army and defence analysts think. They are desperate and untrustworthy. And Pakistan is going by the experience with its psychopathic arch enemy who is plundering public money to buy all sorts of choiced weapons to cause maximum harm to Pakistan.

Fight in Kandahar won’t look like war: US

In the make-or-break struggle for Kandahar, birthplace of Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency, U.S. commanders will try to pull off the military equivalent of brain surgery: defeating the militants with minimal use of force.The goal of U.S.-led NATO forces will be to avoid inspiring support for the Taliban even as the coalition tries to root them out when the Kandahar operation begins in earnest next month.President Barack Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy focuses on protecting population centers such as Kandahar from Taliban predation, with the hope of building support for the center government in Kabul.Haji Raaz Mohammad, a 48-year-old farmer from Kandahar, said he has never understood why the U.S. is trying to drive out the militants. “I don’t know why they are doing it,” he said. “The Taliban are not outsiders. They are our own people.”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Russian Yak-130 Crash due to Technical Fault

The Russian warplane crash could have been caused by a technical defect, a Defense Ministry source said on Saturday.A Yak-130 crashed earlier on Saturday near the city of Lipetsk in central Russia but both pilots ejected safely.Defense Ministry Spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said it crashed at 16:58 Moscow time during takeoff at the Lipetsk Air Force Training Center.
RIA Novosti

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Indian Army Working on Plan to begin Anti-Naxal Ops

Lahore Attacks

A year after War Rajapaksa Resetting Compass in Sri Lanka

by Maj-Gen Ashok K. Mehta (retd)

One year after the war, victorious President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa will be in India on June 8 to discuss relief and rehabilitation of the nearly 300,000 war displaced Tamils of the North. Any serious dialogue with Indian leaders on power sharing with minority Tamils and implementing the 13th Amendment in letter and spirit is unlikely though the issue will make it to the joint statement. Despite winning the war, the Sri Lankan President has wavered on a political solution by failing to appreciate the necessity of securing peace and ending the ethnic conflict.

Mr Rajapaksa is a happy man and must thank his stars for the unprecedented battlefield successes which were wisely converted into a string of spectacular political gains. He is a second-term executive President, his six-year term beginning only in November this year, his ruling alliance is six short of two thirds majority needed to change the constitution to give him a third term and his party rules in all the provinces where elections have been held (elections in the North are awaited).

U.S. report faults Air Force drone crew, ground commanders in Afghan civilian deaths

Reporting from Kandahar, Afghanistan A U.S. military investigation has harshly criticized a Nevada-based Air Force drone crew and American ground commanders in Afghanistan for misidentifying civilians as insurgents during a U.S. Army Special Forces operation in Oruzgan province in February, resulting in the deaths of as many as 23 civilians.Six U.S. officers will be punished and a sweeping review of counterinsurgency training will be undertaken, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said Saturday.The investigation into the Oruzgan incident had been ordered by McChrystal, who on Saturday called civilian deaths "heartbreaking."

US Army hits 1 million flight hours with unmanned aircraft

The Army recognized a milestone of 1 million hours of flight for unmanned aerial systems, May 25 at the Pentagon.Several UAS vehicles were on display in the courtyard of the Pentagon to officially mark the event. Those vehicles included the MQ-1C Extended Range Multi-Purpose UAS, the RQ-7B Shadow, and the RQ-11B Raven.

According to the Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, Army UAS actually surpassed one million flight hours April 14. Of those hours, 88 percent were flown in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the project office, the RQ-7B Shadow flew nearly half of those hours, with 478,350 hours to its credit.

Col. Gregory B. Gonzalez, the project manager for unmanned aircraft systems, said that since the Army began really experimenting with UAS, a lot has changed."Acceptance of unmanned aircraft systems was not immediate," he said. "Upon their introduction into the Army inventory, unmanned aircraft were met with some levels of skepticism and doubt. But after initial inefficiencies were overcome and improvements were made, these doubts turned to acceptance."

India To Open Competition for New Aerostats

India, which bought three radar-equipped aerostats from Rafael in 2005, has thrown open the competition for a new batch of three to the global market.Last month, Indian Air Force officials asked the Defence Ministry to prepare a request for information, which is to be issued in the next two to three months to BAE Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rosoboronexport and Thales, ministry sources said. The aerostats must be able to carry a payload of 2,400 kilograms to 15,000 feet for 28 days at a stretch, including radars that can spot aircraft and missiles up to 30,000 feet and out to 300 kilometers.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) Addresses MRH90 Problems

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) continues to face significant issues getting the MRH90 multirole helicopter into service but defence chiefs remain confident of the capabilities of the aircraft.At the Shephard Heli-Pacific conference on Australia’s Gold Coast on 27 May, the problems the ADF has experienced with the aircraft were laid bare, with capability managers outlining the steps they are now taking to resolve the issues.The MRH90 programme has come under fresh scrutiny after revelations the fleet has been grounded indefinitely following a ‘catastrophic’ engine failure to one aircraft on 20 April.Commander Tim Leonard, co-ordinator of the MRH90 Introduction into Service Task Group, said a range of issues continued to dog the programme.

Japan to Develop Fighter-launched UAV, despite Test Mishap

Fuji Heavy Industries is continuing to develop a fixed-wing unmanned air vehicle that can be deployed from under the wing of a fighter aircraft.The conglomerate is developing the UAV for Japan's air force, say industry sources in the country. It has built two so far, but lost one during testing, they add.The UAV was deployed from under the wing of an air force Mitsubishi/Lockheed Martin F-2 fighter before plunging into the sea, and was not recovered, the sources say.

North Korea is Exporting Nuclear Technology

International efforts to avert a full-blown crisis on the Korean peninsula were given greater urgency today after a leaked UN report claimed that North Korea is defying UN sanctions and using front companies to export nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria and Burma.The report, by a panel that monitors sanctions imposed after Pyongyang conducted nuclear weapons tests in 2006 and 2009, said the regime was using shell companies and overseas criminal networks to export the technology.The revelations came just hours before the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, arrived in South Korea for a three-day visit certain to be dominated by mounting tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Israel to hold First Test of the Arrow 3 Interceptor Early Next Year

The Israel Air Force will hold its first test of the Arrow 3 missile which is under development by Israel Aerospace Industries early next year, officials said. Arrow 3 is jointly developed by IAI and Boeing in the US and it will serve as Israel’s top-tier missile defense system, adding another layer of defense to that provided by the Arrow 2, which is already operational and deployed throughout Israel.

The initial test of the Arrow 3 will not include the interception of a mock enemy missile. An interception test will likely take place in 2012.“The Arrow system can effectively counter all of the missile threats that exist in the region,” said Inbal Kreiss, the Arrow 3 project manager at IAI.

Greek-Israeli Air Exercise "Minoas 2010" Starts

A Greek-Israeli air exercise with the codename "Minoas 2010" is taking place between Tuesday and June 3 in the framework of the military cooperation programme between the two countries' air forces.The exercise is developing on the mainland, the Ionian Sea and the Aegean sea and participating on the Israeli side are five F16s and five F15s and 15 Greek F16s that have been stationed at the 110 squadron in Souda.

South Korea's Defense Reform Initiative 2020 Under Intense Review

The five-year-old defense reform initiative aimed at building smaller but high-tech armed forces is under intense review following the sinking of the frigate in a "surprise attack" by North KoreaThe Defense Reform 2020 plan was initiated in 2005 by the liberal Roh Moo-hyun administration in pursuit of a "self-reliant" military that could deal with regional threats beyond defense against a North Korean invasion.

The plan included reducing the number of standing troops and instead equipping the armed forces with advanced weapons systems by 2020 in stages. The Roh administration believed the level of North Korean threat would decrease gradually with the help of its engagement policy. Against that backdrop, the previous administration put more emphasis on developing a blue-water Navy and advanced Air Force, rather than strategies to deter North Korea's conventional forces.

China's Rapid Development Missile forces is Altering Balance of Power in Asia

China's rapid development of ballistic and cruise missile forces is altering the balance of power in Asia and threatens U.S. forces in a conflict over Taiwan and beyond, according to a forthcoming report.China for the first time showed off its new DH-10 land-attack cruise missile during the Oct. 1 military parade."Driven in large measure by a Taiwan scenario, China's capacity to conduct a successful aerospace campaign to quickly gain a decisive advantage in the air is growing faster than the defenses that its neighbors, including Taiwan, Japan, perhaps India, and even U.S. forces operating in the Western Pacific, can field," stated the report by the Project 2049 Institute, a private research institute, that highlighted "significant advances" in Chinese air and missile power............................................Read More

Barak-2 MR-SAM Successfully Test Fired by Israel

Barak-2 surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM)which is being developed jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under a Rs2,600 crore deal was successfully test fired by Israel . "The 70-km missile was fired at an electronic target and met with its initial objectives," DRDO chief Dr Vijay Saraswat said.The second test of the Barak-2 missile is scheduled to be held in India later this year. Barak-2 MR-SAM will equip the three Project 15 Guided Missile Destroyers.

DRDO chief Dr Vijay Saraswat has said that DRDO will deliver the missile system to the Indian armed forces in 2013. A second variant of this missile LR-SAM is also being developed for Indian Air Force under a Rs 10,000 crore project signed in 2009. IAF version will replace IAF's ageing Soviet era Pechora surface-to-air missile systems.

In July 2005, during the visit of Indian Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash to Israel, Israel offered India to jointly develop the next generation Barak-II ship defense missiles. India and Israel signed an agreement on 27 Jan 2006 to jointly develop the two missiles over the next 5 years. Both India and Israel hold a 50/50 stake in this venture.

 The Barak-2 MR-SAM will equip Naval Ships while the Barak-2 LR-SAM will be use by the IAF. Barak-2 LR-SAM version will have a longer range of 120 km in comparison to the Barak MR-SAM, which has a range of 70 km. Since 2000, Indian Navy has already confirmed orders for atleast 11 Barak-1 systems, including more than 250 missiles Barak-1 missile systems from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)/Rafael.

Swiftships Delivers First Iraqi Patrol Boat P-301 to United States Navy

Pictured from left to right (foreground): Mr. Jawaid Ahmad, LTCD Walla, Commander FahdilAbood, Mr. Haider Rizvi, Commander Thamer, Mr. Mohamed Kazilbash, Mr. Lutfi Hassan, Mr. Calvin Leleux, Commodore Munir Saddam, Commodore Abid Ali Abdulhussein, Mrs. Ina Jolicoeur, Captain Abdul Sattar, Captain Faraj, LTCDMaitham.
On May 15, 2010, after successfully completing acceptance trials, P-301, the first 35-meter patrol boat built for the Iraqi Navy was provisionally delivered to the U.S. Navy at Swiftships in Morgan City, La.

Swiftships’ Training Village adjacent to the shipyard in Morgan City, Louisiana
Swiftships is under contract with the U.S. Navy build up to 15 35-meter patrol boats for the government of Iraq in an effort to reconstitute the country’s maritime security capability.The patrol boat will now be stationed at Swiftships’ Training Village, adjacent to the shipyard, where it will remain until the first group of Iraqi sailors completes training in July 2010. The patrol boat, along with the second boat, will then be shipped to Iraq.

Lutfi Hassan, CEO of Swiftships, thanked the U.S. Navy and contractor team for the outstanding efforts that have led to this historic moment. Iraqi Commodores, Munir Saddamand Abid Ali Abdulhussein, witness the delivery of the first Iraqi Patrol Boat
Swiftships’ President, Calvin Leleux, and Chief Executive Officer, Lutfi Hassan, thanked the U.S. Navy and shipbuilder team for all of their efforts to make this historic program successful.“Swiftships is honored to have been selected to rebuild the Iraqi Navy,” said Leleux. “May the rest of the 15 Iraqi Patrol Boats be delivered as fast and may this be only the beginning of our long term relationship with Iraq.”

Calvin Leleux presents the first Iraqi Patrol Boat to the US Navy representative, Mrs. Ina Jolicoeur of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding (SUPSHIP) Gulf Coast office
Lutfi Hassan added that “Swiftships is proud that in a small way we are part of the effort that will allow U.S. naval forces to turn security over to the Iraqi Navy and to bring our troops home.”The construction program, managed by the Navy’s Program Executive Office,Ships (PEO Ships) represents a commitment for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Australian and Afghan National Army Soldiers Completed Operation TOR GHAR IV

Last week approximately 250 Afghan National Army and 1st Mentoring Task Force (MTF-1) soldiers completed Operation TOR GHAR IV (‘Black Mountain’ in Pashtu), a dangerous and complex re-supply convoy between Tarin Kowt and Kandahar in Afghanistan.The first leg from Tarin Kowt to Kandahar, a 150 kilometre road trip, involving around 100 vehicles, was conducted without incident in around 18 hours on 16 May. The return trip was completed without incident on 20-21 May.

Officer Commanding the MTF-1 elements on Operation TOR GHAR IV, Major David Ryan, said the convoy was the second major re-supply activity to be conducted by the Australian and Afghan soldiers this year.“We conducted Op TOR GHAR III a couple of months ago with our Afghan National Army counterparts – it went well, but needed some refinement in terms of Afghan Army planning,” Major Ryan said.“This time the Afghan commanders really stepped up to the plate; planning and executing a successful operation.”
The convoy travels down one of the most dangerous roads in Afghanistan, requiring extensive clearance of improvised explosive device threats. “Our engineers and Afghan engineers worked shoulder-to-shoulder along the highway searching for threats to the convoy,” Major Ryan said.“The operation was conducted without incident – it is testament to a well planned and executed team effort involving Afghan soldiers, MTF-1 soldiers, Afghan National Police, and engineering and helicopter assets from ISAF Forces.”

RAAF use of Evans Head Air Weapons Range

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal (AIRMSHL) Mark Binskin today announced that the Air Force had directed a review into future training requirements at Evans Head.In recent days there has been significant local media coverage regarding the future use of Evans Head Air Weapons Range.Air Force currently uses the Evans Head range for F-111 bombing training most weekdays. This training involves activating only part of the full Evans Head Air Weapons Range.

Australian troops sent home from Middle East for getting pregnant

FOUR female troops have been sent home from the Middle East after getting pregnant. All female soldiers are pregnancy tested before they leave Australia and fraternisation is banned on operations, but that didn't stop the four from finding a way to conceive.The Australian Defence Force said all troops on overseas duty were counselled about safe sex and contraception before they left Australia and they would be doubly reminded of those principles in future.Australian troops are much better behaved than their British counterparts - last year more than 100 British female soldiers were sent home for being unable to say no to a man in uniform.Defence did not say if any of the pregnancies had actually occurred on operations....................................Read more

Australian Soldiers in Afghanistan will Get New Light-Weight Body Armour

In a three day visit to Afghanistan last week, the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, told Australian soldiers that Army will start issuing a new light-weight combat body armour system that is lighter than the current system for trial by the end of 2010.LTGEN Gillespie discussed and demonstrated the new Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) with troops at Multinational Base Tarin Kowt including the 1st Mentoring Task Force and Special Operations Task Group, as well as soldiers at three patrol bases in the Chora and Mirabad Valley regions.

He said that the new body armour system is likely to be issued to key elements of the next rotation of Australian troops deployed to Afghanistan during 2011.“We are looking at issuing the first batch of TBAS for trial to soldiers at the end of the year,” LTGEN Gillespie said.The TBAS package currently includes up to three load carriers designed for multiple combat roles. TBAS also uses a new ballistic plate system that weighs less than the current Modular Combat Body Armour System (MCBAS) issued to most troops in Afghanistan.

“We are continually reassessing issued combat equipment to reduce load and enhance functionality and we will incorporate recommendations from soldiers into the new tiered system once the trial is complete,” LTGEN Gillespie said.LTGEN Gillespie demonstrated the proposed TBAS package that will incorporate a new ammunition pouch system designed to enhance pouch access and versatility.

Infantry Section Commander from the 1st Mentoring Task Force, Corporal Mathew McKeever, said that the new system appears to be more in-line with demands placed on combat armour in a complex and mostly dismounted patrolling environment such as Afghanistan.“I patrol on foot in the Mirabad Valley everyday with my soldiers and we’ve been in a multiple contacts with insurgents,” CPL McKeever said.“When you’re in a contact you don’t think about what you are wearing – you’re focused on your job

“The issued kit we have now is fine – it does the job and provides exceptional protection – but it’s also good to know that a lighter and more multipurpose system will be issued soon.”1st Mentoring Task Force soldiers conduct dismounted patrols in mountainous and rocky terrain, in deserts, and through the wet and heavily grassed green zones everyday. Sometimes these foot patrols are up to 20 kilometres. The Force Protection Review includes a provision to enhance the combat body armour for troops in Afghanistan.

The Sinking of the South Korean Warship Cheonan

Who Sank the South Korean Warship Cheonan? Destabilization of the Korean Peninsula

At 9:22 on the night of March 26, the 1,200 ton ROK Navy corvette Cheonan was on patrol when it was severed in two and sank in the waters off Baengnyeong Island, a contested area twenty kilometers from North Korea, the closest point of South Korean territory to the North and to Pyongyang. Forty-six crew members died and 58 of the 104 member crew were rescued. It was the worst ROK naval disaster since 1974 when a navy landing ship capsized killing 159 sailors.With polls in early May showing that 80 percent of ROK citizens believe that the sinking was caused by North Korean attack, tensions have remained high.The article that follows does not resolve the case by any means. But it exposes anomalies in official accounts and invites scrutiny of a range of intriguing issues that call for further investigation.
136 underwater mines were installed in response to the tensions in the Yellow Sea and, ten years later, fewer than ten percent had been removed

The Cheonan and the “suspicion” of inadvertent attack during the ROK-US Joint Military Exercise

When military secrets were exposed by the sinking of the Cheonan, the military started to take measures

Mistaking the American Submarine for a North Korean Submarine?

China’s Role in North-South Arbitration After the Cheonan Incident

Rep. Park Yongson Engages the Minister of National Defense over “The American Inadvertent Bombing Theory,” which was Officially Rejected as False

In its response to the South Korean government’s announcement Thursday of its finding that the Cheonan sank due to a torpedo attack by a North Korean submersible, North Korea played a card no one saw coming. The country offered a formal counterproposal by its highest organization of authority, the National Defense Commission, to “send a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea National Defense Commission review team to the site in South Choson to verify the evidence.”

Directly, this is an expression of North Korea’s intention to send a fact-finding team to prove that it had nothing to do with the sinking of the Cheonan. But in reality, there is a far deeper and broader strategy at play in the context of inter-Korean relations and the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula.“It is unprecedented in the history of inter-Korean relations for North Korea to propose sending an investigation team in response to an issue that has been deemed a ‘military provocation by North Korea,’” said Kim Yeon-chul, professor of unification studies at Inje University. “The Cheonan situation has entered a new phase.”

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Cheonan sunk by German-made torpedo

Investigators probing the deadly sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March near the North have concluded that a torpedo was the source of an explosion that destroyed the vessel, a news report said on Friday.The team of South Korean and foreign investigators found traces of explosives used in torpedoes on several parts of the sunken ship as well as pieces of composite metal used in such weapons, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said quoting a senior government official.

South Korean officials have not officially accused the North but made little secret of their belief Pyongyang deliberately torpedoed the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan in March near their disputed border in retaliation of a naval firefight last year.

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A North Korean torpedo was responsible for the March 26 sinking of a South Korean navy ship and the deaths of 46 sailors aboard, South Korean officials said. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said today it was "obvious" that the North Koreans sank the Cheonan warship as it sailed near the disputed water between the two Koreas.

Officials in Seoul and Washington told ABC News that the South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak is preparing a statement for early next week that will officially blame the North and inevitably ratchet up tensions in the region. The smoking gun is a propeller that presumably powered the torpedo which a pair of South Korean fishing boats found at the bottom of the ocean last weekend. The propeller itself was in a "relatively fine condition," reported Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's largest daily newspaper.


by Scott Creighton

There is no doubt about it, there is no longer any reason to hold back, I have looked at the “evidence” and have concluded that we are being lied to, again, by our “leaders” in the White House in order to fabricate a measure of moral justification for yet another “regime change” campaign or an all out war with North Korea. There simply is no “perfect match” like the recent unsigned report claims there is.The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama “fully supports” the South Korean president and his response to the torpedo attack by North Korea that sank a South Korean naval ship. MSNBC

South Korea’s president said Monday his nation will no longer tolerate North Korea’s “brutality” and said the regime would pay for a surprise torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. ABC NewsNorth Korea has denied responsibility for the sinking of the South Korean warship, the Cheonan, on March 26, which left 46 sailors dead. A growing body of evidence assembled by the South has suggested a North Korean torpedo sank the ship. New York Times.

Australia - Defence's spending debacle

In the mid-1990s, Defence decided it wanted a new anti-submarine torpedo that could be deployed on frigates, helicopters, and patrol aircraft. Phase 1 of this acquisition started in March 1998. Twelve years and two months later, $391 million has been spent and there's still no torpedo. The whole thing would be substantially over budget if they hadn't eliminated three of the five platforms the torpedo was originally supposed to be deployed on.

The $16 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is well on its way to becoming as iconic a debacle as the Collins class submarine. The Seasprite helicopter was cancelled in 2008, because it was already running seven years late, and we'd already spent $1 billion on it. The upgrade of the M113 armoured personnel carriers are three years overdue.The Wedgetail airborne early warning program is four years overdue. The Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter: also four years overdue, and mired in contractual disputes. The Auditor General found the M113 upgrade had been characterised by "poor project management practices; ineffective project planning; inadequately defined project objectives; and technical problems"..............................................Read More

China to Train Indonesian Pilots for Sukhoi jet Fighters

Indonesia and China have agreed to continue cooperation in training pilots for Russian-made Su-family fighters in service with the Indonesian air force, the Antara news agency said on Friday.The agreement was reached during the current visit of the deputy chief of China's Central Military Commission Gen. Guo Boxiong to Jakarta.According to the Indonesian military, ten Indonesian pilots have already undergone Sukhoi jet fighter simulation training in China and training courses for new pilots will start in the near future.

UAE Order 40 K11 Airburst Rifles from South Korea

The United Arab Emirates has placed an initial order for 40 K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon during the Special Operations Forces Exhibition Conference 2010 earlier this month in Jordan. This is first export order for the K11 airburst rifles. Contract for this sale is likely to be signed within next few months. Unit price of K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon is estimated at $14,000.
Information about the development of a dual-caliber air-burst weapon by South Korea was available since about 2006 and K11 was first revealed to public in 2009, in DSEI military expo . This is developed by the Agency for Defense Development and S&T Daewoo.K11 is similar to the ill-fated American XM-29 OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon. Weapon is believed to be in service with South Korean army.Last year, it was reported that some of the South Korean troops deploying to Afghanistan will be armed with the Daewoo K11 dual-caliber airburst weapon.
K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon is proposed for infantry squad support role, multiplying soldiers capabilities to engage enemy personnel in defilade and soft-skinned vehicles and equipment, using 20mm air-burst grenades with pre-programmed fuse and 5.56mm ammunition for short- to medium range direct fire. K11’s 20mm grenade launcher weapon carries a 5-round magazine. K11’s 20mm round can track its target and explode three to four meters above it by using a self-detonation system.

K11 dual-caliber air-burst weapon consists of three major units, linked into one weapon.

  • 20mm multi-shot grenade launcher which is a manually operated and is fed from detachable box magazines. It is built in bullpup layout. K167 HE air-burst grenade and K168 TP target practice grenade can be fired from the grenade launcher.

  • 5.56mm automatic rifle component is similar to US-made M16 or Korean-made K2 rifles which allows it to use NATO-standard 5.56mm ammunition.

  • Eelectronic fire control unit includes laser rangefinder, environmental sensors, ballistic computer, and day (optical) and night (IR) sighting channels.
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO + 20 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt for 5.56mm and manually operated for 20mm
Overall length: 860 mm
Barrel length: 310 mm (5.56mm); 405 mm (20mm)
Weight: 6.1 kg (with optics and battery but less magazines)
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds of 5.56mm and 5 rounds of 20mm

Lockheed Martin Awarded Contract For Kuwait Air Force KC-130J Tankers

Lockheed Martin has received a $245 million contract from the U.S. Government for the Foreign Military Sale of three KC 130J tanker aircraft to Kuwait. The program will be managed by the U.S. Navy.

The Kuwait Air Force’s new KC-130Js will provide aerial refueling for its F 18 fleet and augment its current airlift fleet of three Lockheed Martin L-100s. Kuwait’s KC-130Js also will perform air mobility, disaster relief and humanitarian missions throughout the world.

“We are proud to add yet another country to the growing worldwide C-130J community,” said Jim Grant, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 business development. “The combination of tanking and airlift missions yet again shows the tremendous versatility of this proven aircraft. KC-130Js have been used in high-tempo operations for the last five years and will provide Kuwait with an effective, efficient and reliable multi-mission capability.”

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Starts Production of Avionics for JF-17 Thunder Jet

Pakistan on Friday successfully launched the production project of avionics for the fighter jet (JF-17 Thunder) at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra.Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, speaking as chief guest on the historic occasion, said, "a strong air force is essential for our nation's survival; therefore, self-reliance for PAF (Pakistan Air Force) is an important factor. Today's ceremony is an important step in this direction."

He informed that the production scope would be progressively broadened to include the production of complete JF-17 avionics suite at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.Secretary of Defence Production, Members of JF-17 Board of Directors, Principal Staff Officers of Pakistan Air Force and representatives from the Chinese aviation industries attended the ceremony...............................Read More

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Truth Behind 'Sinking' of Pakistani Submarine Ghazi

Lt General JFR Jacob, (retd), hero of the 1971 India Pakistan war, explains why the Indian Navy destroyed documents related to the sinking of the Pakistani submarine, PNS Ghazi. Earlier this month, there were reports that all documents connected with the sinking of the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi during the 1971 war had been destroyed by the Indian Navy.It is not difficult to conjecture the reasons why.Back in November 1971, our signal intercept units had been monitoring the movements of the Ghazi on her entering the Bay of Bengal. The last intercept we got from the Ghazi was on 27 November. We had been passing on all intercepts to the Navy.PNS Ghazi blew up due to an internal explosion while laying mines off the port of Vishakapatnam, probably at the end of November or the beginning of December 1971.

JASDF F-15 Pilots Training Long Range for Air-to-Air Refueling

Japanese and U.S. airmen are working together to certify about 20 Japanese Air Self Defense Force pilots in day and night air refueling here.The training comes as Japanese pilots from Naha and Hyakuri air bases prepare to fly across the Pacific to participate in a Red Flag Alaska exercise in June at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.Red Flag Alaska is a large coalition exercise that involves many aircraft in complex missions. The exercise provides U.S. and coalition forces an opportunity to train together, improving readiness for wartime coalition missions.This training will enable JASDF F-15 pilots to complete the long flight to Alaska without stopping and will extend their sorties at Red Flag so they can maximize their participation........................................Read More

USN and South Korean Navy to Hold Anti-Submarine Exercise

THE South Korean and US navies will hold combined anti-submarine exercises in the Yellow Sea, a Pentagon official confirmed yesterday, as a North Korean defectors' group claimed Pyongyang had ordered troops and civilians to combat-readiness.The naval exercises, a direct response to North Korea's alleged torpedoing of South Korean warship Cheonan on March 26 with the loss of 46 sailors, will stoke tempers in Pyongyang, where joint manoeuvres are routinely denounced as war preparations."Those initiatives are a result of the findings of this recent incident," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said."We think that this is an area where, working with the Republic of Korea, we can hone some skills and increase capabilities."The exercises would begin next month or in early July, South Korean officials said, and would involve US warships from the Japan-based Seventh Fleet.........................................Read More

Russian to Order An-124 Condor & An-70 Transport Aircraft

The Russian Defense Ministry intends to order An-124 and An-70 military transport aircraft under the new state arms procurement program for 2011-2020, Airborne Troops Commander Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said."While working under the state program, we have submitted our proposals," Shamanov said.He said the Airborne Troops had ordered 40 An-70s aircraft, but he did not specify the number of An-124s ordered by his military unit.There are up to 300 transport aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, including, among others, An-12, An-70 and An-124 Ruslan strategic heavy airlift transport aircraft..................................Read More

Russian PAK FA Stealth Fighter Test Flight

There is "Overwhelming" Temptation to Opt for Imported Weapon Systems in Indian Armed Forces: DRDO

Under attack for delays in projects, DRDO said the onus of self-reliance cannot be put on it alone and targeted the defence services for their "overwhelming" temptation to opt for imported weapon systems. In a strong statement here in presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat said the responsibility of self-reliance was to be shared by all stake-holders but the Indian industry has not yet matured to take it up.

"The services also must understand that while the temptation may be overwhelming, to field proven, state-of-art imported systems, they (industry) too have a role to play in the economic and industrial growth of the country. No foreign system can be customised to completely address our long term requirement," he said.

Indian Navy's Chand Kumar Prasad Arrested for Spying for Pakistan

An employee of the Indian Navy has been arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan and police claimed to have recovered from him some "secret and sensitive" documents like photograph of the Hindan Air Base and map of Meerut Cantonment.

24-year-old Chand Kumar Prasad, posted in the Navy's Aircraft Maintenance Unit in Mumbai, was arrested by Delhi Police's Special Cell from New Delhi Railway Station yesterday, police sources said. He was allegedly passing on classified information to a Pakistan High Commission official through another person, they said.

Police sources said certain "secret and sensitive" documents like photograph of Hindan Air Base and map of Meerut Cantonment were recovered from Prasad. He was produced before a magistrate today and was remanded to five-day police custody.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Indirect Army Involvement in Anti-Maoist Fight

DRDO lets loose 'missiles' at armed forces

After public bickering among Cabinet ministers, here comes the sharp divide in the defence establishment. Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat, speaking at the National Technology Day awards function, tore into the armed forces for failing to overcome their "temptation" to induct the latest weapon systems from abroad. This did not go down well with the forces, represented as they were by Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, Admiral Nirmal Verma and General V K Singh as well as other officers in the audience. Some officers told TOI that DRDO "promises too much" but delivers "too little, too late" and the forces are "forced" to push for import of weapon systems to maintain operational readiness.....................................Read More

Venezuela plant to Produce 50 million 7.62-mm Kalashnikov Rounds Annually

An ammunition plant being built by Russia in Venezuela will have the capacity to produce over 50 million rounds for Kalashnikov assault rifles per year, a Russian defense industry official said on Tuesday.The Urals-based Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (IMP) supplied 100,000 AK-103 assault rifles to Venezuela, and signed a new contract in 2007 licensing production of Kalashnikov rifles in the Latin American country.Under the contract, Russia is building an assembly line for AK-103 assault rifles and an ammunition plant to produce 7.62-mm ammunition for the rifle."The ammunition plant will be capable of producing over 50 million rounds annually," said Nikolai Maslyaev, general director of the Izhevsk-based design bureau for automated assembly lines........................Read More

Russian Armed Forces to Receive 1,500 Combat Aircraft and about 200 Air Defense Systems by 2020

A new state arms procurement program for 2011-2020 will be adopted by the Russian government and signed by the president this fall, a deputy prime minister said."The deadline is the third quarter of this year," Sergei Ivanov told reporters in Moscow.The draft program stipulates the upgrade of up to 11% of military equipment annually and will allow Russia to increase the share of modern weaponry to 70% by 2020. According to the draft program, the Russian Armed Forces should receive, in particular, more than 1,500 combat aircraft and about 200 air defense systems by 2020.The Russian military is expected to receive 27 combat jets, over 50 helicopters and five battalions of S-400 air defense systems in 2010 under the current arms procurement program......................................Read More

Russia sends its Moskva Missile Cruiser for drills in Far East

Flagships of three Russian fleets have united in Russia's Far East for the large-scale naval exercises in the Sea of Japan in June, a Pacific Fleet spokesman said.The flagship of the Black Sea fleet, the Moskva missile cruiser, arrived at a naval base near Vladivostok on Wednesday and teamed up with the flagship of the Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser, and the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, the Varyag guided-missile cruiser."After the Moskva crew has had a short rest, warships of three Russian fleets will sail to the Sea of Japan to complete combat training tasks and hold naval drills," the official said.During the exercises, warships of the three Russian fleets will conduct live firing at naval and aerial drones and practice combat interoperability and repelling simulated attacks by hostile submarines and aircraft....................................Read More

Russia to Test New AK-200 Kalashnikov Assault Rifle in 2011

State tests of the new model of Kalashnikov automatic rifles will be held in Russia next year, Izhmash Director General Vladimir Grodetsky said on Tuesday.The new model of the legendary assault rifle, the AK-200, is based on the AK-74M and differs in weight (3.8 kilograms/8.4 lbs vs. 3.3 kilograms/7.3 lbs) and the magazine capacity (30, 50, 60 rounds vs. 30).The AK-74, a developed version of the Kalashnikov rifle's first model, the AK-47, was introduced in 1974 and used by the Soviet forces during the Afghanistan conflict................................Read More

USA may not Oppose China-Pak civilian Nuclear Deal

The US has indicated it would not oppose a Sino-Pak civilian nuclear deal but wants it to be in compliance with NSG rules, notwithstanding warnings by top scholars that such an approach would be a high-stakes diplomatic gamble and "short-sighted" move.

"We will seek to make sure that, should this deal go forward, it is in compliance with the rules of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily press briefing last evening.

Crowley was not sure if the issue specifically came up or would figure in discussions between the US and China during the ongoing Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the two countries in Beijing, for which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in China.

"I don't know if this will come up during the Secretary's meetings in China this week.

Indian Army orders probe on missing ammunition

The Indian Army has ordered a probe into to disappearance of a “small quantity” of small arms ammunition from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai, while it was being sent from Guwahati to Controllerate of Quality Assurance (CQA) at Kirkee in Pune, for tests. The Army also blamed the Indian Railway for misplacing the consignment. “As per rules, Army authorities have ordered an inquiry for loss of ammunition in transit,” a Defence Ministry spokesperson said in Mumbai on Tuesday. Last Friday, the consignment has gone missing, only noticed when the train stopped at LTT.................................Read More

Indian Army Denies that General V.K. Singh Objected to Arms Deal with US

The Indian Army Tuesday denied its chief General V.K. Singh had warned Defence Minister A.K. Antony on government-to-government arms deals with the US. The denial comes as a section of media reported that the army chief had red-flagged defence purchases from the US through the government-to-government route, calling attention to its serious pitfalls. A defence ministry officer said the news report was based on 'hearsay'. 'The article mentions a letter written by the Chief of Army Staff to the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) A.K. Antony on Foreign Military Sales (FMS)..................................Read More

Indian Army wants INSAS rifles replaced

New Delhi, May 25 Gearing up its soldiers for future warfare, the Indian Army feels there is an urgent need to replace the indigenously developed and manufactured the INSAS series of rifles.

“There is an urgent need to develop rifles, carbines and light machine guns of 5.56mm calibre to replace the existing INSAS class of weapons,” it said in the Defence Ministry’s Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap document. The INSAS rifles, designed by the DRDO, were inducted into the Armed forces in the ’90s and have been used in the Kargil war and counter-insurgency operations.

Indian Air Force has Requirement for 65 Light Combat Helicopters

State-run military plane maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) plans to build three prototypes of its indigenous light combat helicopter (LCH) and aims to achieve initial operational clearance in two years, a top official of the firm has said.The helicopter gunship would need to register 500 hours of flight for the initial clearance, Ashok Nayak, CMD, HAL, told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural flight of the first prototype on Sunday. The LCH was dedicated to the nation after the flight.Nayak said the Indian Air Force had a requirement for 65 such helicopters and the Indian Army too has shown interest in the product.The design and development phase of the project cost Rs 376 crore, Nayak said...............................Read More

Indian Air Force to Get its first C‑130J Super Hercules later this year

Lockheed Martin is gearing up for the delivery of the first C‑130J Super Hercules to the Indian Air Force later this year. In 2008 the Indian Air Force ordered six C-130J’s for Special Services, with Lockheed Martin is gearing up for the delivery of the first C-130J Super Hercules to the Indian Air Force an option for six more.The order includes six aircraft, three years of initial support, training of aircrew and maintenance technicians, spares, ground support and test equipment, servicing carts, forklifts, loading vehicles, cargo pallets, and a team of technical specialists who will be based in India during the three year initial support period.The C-130J Super Hercules will provide the Indian Air Force with modern and effective airlift to support a wide range of national requirements. Due to the aircraft’s mission flexibility, several other departments in India have shown interest in the C-130J...................................Read More

India to fire over 5000 km range Agni V in 2011

India is all set to test fire its first Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, Agni-V, in Mach-April 2011.Agni V is being designed by adding a third composite stage to the two-stage 3,500-km Agni-III, having a range of over 5000 km to carry multiple warheads and will have countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems.It is a three-stage solid fuelled missile with composite motor casing in the third stage. Two stages of this missile will be made of composite material. The Agni V will be the first canisterised, road-mobile missile in India. "It will be ready by next year. We hope during March-April next year. It will be an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile."............................Read More

India to Gear up for 'Star Wars' with Countries like China

India has no option but to get ready for "star wars" in the future, with countries like China working overtime to develop advanced ASAT (anti-satellite) capabilities with "direct-ascent" missiles, hit-to-kill "kinetic" and directed-energy laser weapons. The defence ministry's spanking new "Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap" seems to recognize this overriding necessity, outlining as it does a wide array of high-tech offensive and defensive capabilities Indian armed forces will need over the next 15 years.

Identifying priority areas ranging from space warfare, ballistic missile defence (BMD) and combat drones to electronic warfare, NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) defence and submarines equipped with AIP (air-independent propulsion), the roadmap holds that "technological superiority is increasingly going to be the decisive factor in future battles". The 76-page MoD roadmap to "provide the industry with an overview" about military requirements by 2025 does seem ambitious as of now, given the present poor state of the country's defence-industrial production base.......................Read More

Monday, May 24, 2010

China to Provide Pakistan Air Force 4 Trainer Aircrafts

China has agreed to provide four trainers aircrafts for Pakistan Air Force and 60 Million Yuan for training purposes of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Both countries signed agreements to this effect in Ministry of Defence on Monday. Federal Minister for Defence, Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, and the Chinese Defence Minister, General Liang Guangile, put signatures on the agreements on behalf of their respective countries.

Indian Army wants its Futuristic Main Battle Tank with Laser-based Weapons

Looking to strengthen its armoured capabilities, the Indian Army wants its futuristic Main Battle Tank to be equipped with high-powered lasers for taking on enemy rockets, aircraft and electro-optical sensors. "High/medium-energy level laser is expected to be a lethality option against rockets, air vehicles, light ground vehicles, antennas of armoured vehicles and electro-optical sensors," the Army stated in its long-term technology plans submitted to the Defence Ministry.

 Officials said concerned DRDO labs are already working in this direction and developing the capability. They added that these capabilities might be deployed on the Arjun Mk-II project, which was recently cleared by the Defence Ministry after the Army decided to place orders for another 124 Arjun MBTs with the DRDO.


Maoists attack CRPF patrol

Maoists again attacked a CRPF patrol in Jangalmahal area of West Midnapore district in West Bengal yesterday prior to the gunning down of two CPM cadres at nearby Jhargram town. One CRPF personnel was also injured. The bodies were found lying on the main thoroughfare to Jamshedpur today. Maoist posters and literature were also strewn around, with one poster carrying the warning of “more such attacks if the joint action force was not withdrawn and innocent villagers of Lalgarh-Jangalmahal area not released”.

Russia may begin operating domestic drones

Russia may begin using domestic drones after training operators for drones purchased from Israel, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Monday.Russia has bought 15 Israeli spy drones since its domestic hardware has not met Russia's requirements on speed, altitude capacity, or accuracy."Work is underway to train people to operate the Israeli spy drones," Serdyukov said adding that training is due to finish by the middle of summer 2010.Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin earlier said Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($160.4 million) on drone development and tests that eventually failed.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons

Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week's nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

South Korea cuts off trade with North over sinking of warship

Announcing retaliatory measures for the torpedoing of the Cheonan, South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak, also raised the temperature of the military stand-off on the Korean Peninsular, vowing "immediate" retaliation if the North committed any further provocations.North Korea has continued to deny responsibility for the attack, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, despite the wealth of evidence produced by a multi-national inquiry which recovered parts of the tail section of a North Korean-designed torpedo from the seabed where the Cheonan sank.

India May Soon Get Indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: HAL

India is likely to come out with its indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the coming two to three years, a top official of the country's only aircraft manufacturing company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has said.Talking to media persons on the margins of the inaugural test launch of the Light Combat Helicopter, HAL chairman Ashok Nayak disclosed that work is on for developing India's very own UAVs."There are some projects going on in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)," Nayak said."May be after two to three years, the HAL might come out with India's own UAV. We have already developed one, Lakshya, but it was on a smaller scale. Now, we are developing the Lakshya's MAK-II," he said.

Indian Navy get ready to operate N-submarine

The navy is firing on all cylinders to get a headstart on operating nuclear submarines, the most complex machines to be ever built. Indian submariners will get a chance to get into the belly of HMS Talent when the British nuclear submarine pulls into Indian waters off the western coast in June.The navy hopes to induct its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, by the end of 2011. Arihant will complete the sea-leg of India’s nuclear triad.The navy is also on the verge of commissioning the K152 Nerpa Akula-II nuclear submarine being leased from Russia for 10 years.

Work on P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to start this year

Work on the Indian Navy's latest acquisition, the long-range maritime patrol aircraft that will add strength to its ability in domain awareness and deal with threats below the surface, will get underway later this year.The Boeing Company is developing the long-range patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy, called P8A, and the Indian Navy is getting the P8I to specifications as provided by it.The contract was signed in January 2009, with the first delivery scheduled 48 months from the date.

“The Indian Navy is the first foreign customer that Boeing is developing for the U.S. Navy,” P8I Programme Manager Leland Wight told a group of journalists from India after a tour of the Renton facility here, where the737 platform, on which the P8 is being developed, is finally assembled.The aircraft has multiple weapon stations armed with anti-submarine Harpoon missiles, torpedoes in weapons bay that can be launched into water up to 1,000 feet and advanced radar and sensors. The plane can travel 1,200 nautical miles. It can stay on for four hours before heading to its base and with mid-air refuelling, it can undertake a mission for longer hours.

Ravi Shankaran sold navy's purchase plans for 20 years

Ravi Shankaran, 46, a key accused in the sensational war room leak case, may have sold Indian Navy’s secret equipment purchase plans for the next 20 years, a probe has revealed.“We had received intimation about Shankaran’s arrest on April 29. He was arrested under the Extradition Act, 2003, UK, and produced before a court the same day. We are pressing the UK authorities through the Indian mission in London for assistance in his extradition,” a senior CBI officer said.

HAL Conducted Successful Test Flight of Light Combat Helicopter

The successful test flight of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) on Sunday will would go down in the history of Indian combat avionics as a new era in indigenous development of dedicated fighter helicopters in the country.Defence Minister A K Antony, his deputy Pallam Raju and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik were to attend the function, but they cancelled their visit after Saturday's air disaster at Mangalore.

Secretary Defence Production R K Singh, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall P K Barbora, Chairman HAL Ashok Nayak besides many other dignitaries were present on the historic public flight of the LCH.Describing the LCH as the "Tiger Bird", Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall P K Barbora said: " It's a red letter day not only for the HAL but the whole nation. In avionics, the circus must go on," he said while referring about Saturday's tragic incident in Mangalore."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Canada Accuses Indian Border Security Force (BSF) of 'War Crimes'

In what could turn into a diplomatic battle between India and Canada, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi has dubbed the Border Security Force (BSF) as a “notoriously violent paramilitary unit” stationed in sensitive areas, attacking civilians and torturing suspected criminals. The Canadian mission rejected the immigration of a retired BSF Havaldar, Fateh Singh Pandher, a resident of Sihar village 25 km from here, to Canada stating he was working for the “notorious” organisation.

In its rejection letter to the former BSF trooper, the Canadian High Commission claimed the BSF was “responsible for committing crime against humanity” and he was a part of it. Fateh Singh (60), who retired from the BSF a decade ago, had applied for his immigration to be with his only daughter in Canada in April 2005. He was called in for an interview on April 21, 2008, at the High Commission.

Sea-lines safety vital for global economy: Pakistani Navy Chief

Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir has said that safety and security of sea lines of communication are vital for sustenance of the global economy and it carries even greater importance for developing economies like that of Pakistan.

Addressing the convocation of 39th Pakistan Navy Staff Course at Pakistan Navy War College here Friday, he said “Given our location at the confluence of three civilizations, it is our obligation to secure our area of responsibility from all sorts of maritime threats to our own country and also to the international community.”
The Admiral said the security situation in our region is fraught with growing uncertainties and a host of unconventional threats that have surpassed the National boundaries. Notwithstanding persistent challenges,the whole nation has displayed remarkable role and has stood behind our Armed Forces engaged in a noble cause.

US-India strategic dialogue next week

Department of Homeland Security and National Telecommunications Information Administration, J Crowley, Krishna, State for Political Affairs Bill Burns, India Email this Save to My Page Ask Users Write a Comment United States and India will hold their four-day inaugural strategic dialogue beginning June one which would include an in-depth discussion between the leaders of the two countries on global and regional issues.

"The Secretary (of State) looks forward to hosting Minister of External Affairs (S M) Krishna," state department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference. Leading the delegations of their respective countries, Clinton and Krishna would co-chair the high-level inter-agency discussions on a range of critical issues, including agriculture, education, energy, trade and counter-terrorism, Crowley said. "There will be in-depth discussions on global and regional issues.

Antony not to attend LCH’s maiden flight function in Bengaluru

Defence Minister A K Antony has cancelled his Sunday’s visit to Bengaluru, where he was supposed to participate in the inaugural flight launch ceremony of the Advanced Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), in the wake of the Mangalore air disaster.Sitanshu Kar , Director Indian Air Force Public Relations, told media persons here that Antony had expressed shock over Saturday’s tragedy at Mangalore airport, in which 158 people were killed, and therefore, had decided not attend Sunday’s function.

Kar, however, said that the inaugural flight launch function of the LCH, which has been developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would continue as per schedule with Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik being the chief guest.Apart from various other dignitaries, Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju would also be present on the occasion.Meanwhile, recovery work in Mangalore, where an Air India Express flight IX-812 from Dubai overshot the runway bursting into flames killing over 150 people on board is still going on.

Defense Minister Antony Calls For Transparent, Timely Defense Procurement

Defense Minister A K Antony on called for a “timely, transparent and judicious” process to procure weapons and equipment for the armed forces.

Inaugurating the biennial three-day Defense Accounts Controllers Conference here, May 12 Antony said: “Defense expenditure and procurement issues are complex and time-consuming and have a direct bearing on our national security.

“We have tried to infuse more transparency and efficiency into our procedures and systems. It is my firm belief that expenditure of public money must have an appropriate system of checks and balances.”

He said the Defense Accounts Department had facilitated procurement of essential items for the defense forces and the capital expenditure utilized last year had been an all-time record.

“But, there has to be a transparent, timely and judicious use of funds for defense expenditure. The Government has tried to infuse more transparency in the huge defense outlay, which is over Rs 15,200 for the current financial year,” he added. (PTI)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Indian MoD Promises Orders for Hindustan Shipyard

Hindustan Shipyard Ltd here, which from this year is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, will be provided additional funds for modernisation, and a financial restructuring package is also on the anvil, according to Mr R. K Singh, Secretary of Defence Production. It will also more get more work orders on nomination basis.He made the promises at HSL when he came here recently to participate in the inauguration of a patrol vessel, Rani Durgavati, built by the Shipyard for the Indian Coast Guard.

Earlier, Commodore Naresh Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, said HSL was ready for all challenges and wanted more orders from the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard and other defence establishments.“We can build warships, submarines and frigates. We have the skills and infrastructure here to build such vessels. He said HSL had so far delivered 163 vessels (including 11 wellhead platforms) and it had 12 ships on hand. It had carried out repairs to 2,000 ships. It also carried out repairs to submarines. The biggest bulk carrier (53,000 dwt) built in the country was delivered to the Chennai-based Goodearth Maritime Ltd last month.

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