Saturday, July 24, 2010

MiG-27 Crashes Near Hashimara, Pilot Safe

Sqn Ldr S Verma ejected safely, when today morning due to technical failure, a MiG-27 crashed in a paddy field near Hashimara.

DNA: CCS Clears Additional AJT Hawks--17 For Navy, 40 For IAF

The Rs 9400 crore deal for 57 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk aircraft jointly for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Navy, which was held up due to various reasons seems to be going through now after the clearance of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)on Friday. The 57 additional Hawk Mk-132 from the BAE Systems of UK, to be produced under license by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as a follow-on order of the already contracted 66 AJT Hawks for the IAF, ran into trouble due to differences between the UK BAE Systems and HAL over license-production. Other problems dogging the deal were its price which was cleared by the commercial negotiation committee (CNC) of the Ministry of Defence, earlier this year, with the deal going to the Ministry of Finance thereafter, before being placed before the CCS.

As per the deal HAL, will make the aircraft under license production with BAE and Rolls Royce of UK, where BAE will provide the avionics and Rolls Royce will give the engine for the aircraft, of which 40 are for the IAF and 17 for the Indian Navy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

*Flash* : Congo Update-Maj Ghumman Returns Home, C of I Concludes!

Major Gagandeep Singh Ghumman, Jak Rif, has come come back to India after undergoing his treatment and court of inquiry in Congo for sexual misconduct. The officer was on UN mission. He attempted suicide during the inquiry, and was hospitalised. He is in good health as of now.

Eurofighter Typhoon Round-Up At Farnborough

F-22 Raptor Makes Second Appearance At Farnborough !!

F-22 Raptor showcased its unrivaled maneuverability and aerial prowess for the international crowd attending the Farnborough International Airshow, July 19-20, in the United Kingdom. The Raptor, the world’s only operational 5th generation fighter, made its second straight Farnborough appearance after its popular performance during the 2008 show. The F-22 at the show was deployed from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and flown by Maj. David ‘Zeke’ Skalicky of the F-22 Demonstration Team from the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

India Reiterates Monitoring Mechanism For US Military Aid To Pak, To Contain Misuse

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DNA Xclusive : Standing Committee Pulls Up MoD For Better Infrastructure On Indo-China Border

The Standing Committee on Defence, of the 15th Lok Sabha, met today to deliberate on the time-lines and quality of the roads and infrastructure projects at the Indo-China border. In its meeting Chaired by the Standing Committee Chairman Satpal Maharaj of the Congress, the Committee members raised queries pertaining to the delays and other challenges in projects of border roads and sought answers to a list of points about the construction of roads in border areas and about obtaining approval for diversion of forest land from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, for the same. Answering queries of MPs (Members of Parliament) at the meet were Director General Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Lt Gen M C Bhadani and other senior officers.

The Indian Army had recently sought a feasibility report from certain formations about raising its own special rapid reaction force units, to counter China, in the northeast, in which one of the main points raised was that of poor infrastructure, which could hinder the movement of troops. In the northeast Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1046 kilometer long border with China, while in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indo-China border is 523 kilometer long.

Considering that the BRO has been building roads and other infrastructure for the past 50 years in the border areas for the Indian Army, the Standing Committee today discussed the possibility of good quality roads to be made by BRO at the Indo-China border, which would speed up the movement of troops and also took up the reasons causing the delay in the BRO projects involved in road laying in this terrain.

The all-party MPs who attended the meet stressed on time-lines to be met , release of extra funds for the same and maintenance of quality of roads and other infrastructure. A detailed report of today's meet will be handed over to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which will later be tabled in Parliament.

Air-lift capability during an emergency for troops to be moved, from one place to another was another focus area of the agenda.

Besides land acquisition, other reasons leading to delays like, General elections and late release of funds were also taken up.

Citing reasons for delay as adverse climatic conditions, hard rocks being encountered during construction, shortage of manpower and inadequate availability of air effort, Defence Minister A K Antony had earlier said in Parliament that out of 61 roads being constructed by BRO, 43 will be completed on schedule by 2012. Another nine will be completed by 2013, and the remaining nine are likely to be completed by 2018.

Manpower shortage is reported to be one of the reasons for delay in construction of border roads. The present strength of BRO is 35,987 against authorized strength of 42,636. However steps have been taken to be meet the shortage by recruiting manpower. To expedite the recruitment process, mobile recruitment teams have been constituted at Rishikesh, Pathankot, Jodhpur and Tezpur besides the GREF Centre, Pune. For Group ‘A’ Civil Engineering Cadre officers, a case was also taken up with UPSC for direct recruitment on interview basis.


Monday, July 19, 2010

India to Give Seychelles Dornier, Chetaks For Maritime Recce

India has agreed to provide one Dornier aircraft and two Chetak helicopters, manufactured by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) for maritime surveillance to Seychelles. The agreement was reached during the two-day visit of the Defence Minister, A K Antony, recently.

Around 27 countries conduct maritime patrolling in the area as Gulf of Aden is infested with piracy, which affects the trade of all these countries. India has about 90 percent of its trade through the sea-route, and since Indian Ocean Region (IOR) links most of the countries, therefore a secure and stable maritime environment is warranted in the economic interest of everyone.

India will also help extend surveillance operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Presently there is one Indian naval warship in Seychelles, for patrolling duties.Likewise the navies of US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Pakistan, China and other European countries, also have their ships in the waters. The aircraft, which might take some time to reach Seychelles, would give an increased and enhanced reach in surveillance by covering a larger area thereby giving information for a quick reaction.

Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, had earlier announced an amount of five million dollars as assistance for defence related projects for Seychelles.

Till the time the aircraft are being manufactured especially for Seychelles, India will provide one of her in-service Dornier aircraft to carry out EEZ surveillance as frequently as possible. The Indian Navy will also make additional visits this year to conduct surveillance and hydrographic survey in the region.

During these visits, Seychelles personnel would be given an opportunity to train and conduct drills and exercises on Indian Naval ships.

Photo: M777 Howitzer In Afghanistan


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fratricide In Paramilitary


*Flash* : Kayani Gets Extension !! Is Another Musharraf In The Making ?

An extension of service has been given to Pakistan Army Chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, by the Pakistan Government. Gen Kayani, who became Chief of Pakistan Army in 2007, was due for retirement in November 2010. According to sources the decision has come owing to requirement of continuity of service when the country is facing an internal turmoil in insurgency-hit states and also combating unrest at the Afghanistan border.

Pakistan sources said, "Its not sure if the extension is for a year or two, as the Chief is only 58 at the moment. But the internal security council decides based on the requirements and the Chief's age, which is finally approved by the Prime Minister.

In the Pakistan Military, Army Chiefs retire either after 40 years of service or 60 years of age, whichever is early. General Kayani, an infantry officer, from the Baloch regiment, was commissioned in 1971 and after completing three years as Chief, still has age on his side.

Kayani, has held the coveted posts of DGMO (Director General Military Operations) and the DG of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and replaced General Pervez Musharraf as Chief in 2007.

Based on Pakistan embassy inputs.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DNA Xclusive : Raytheon Complains To Indian Govt Against Israeli Elta In Business Surveillance Jet Deal !!!

American Raytheon has sent written complaints to the Government of India protesting the selection of Israeli Elta for the surveillance systems payload to be integrated on the two business jets to function as Special Electronic Mission Aircraft, a deal worth 250 million dollars, with advanced sensors on board, for its strategic surveillance missions.

Falling under the Director General (Security), under Aviation Research Center (ARC), the aircraft have civilian pilots as well as those from the Indian Air Force (IAF), who come on deputation, with the special aircraft being headed by an IAF Air Vice Marshal, called the Operations Manager, who reports to the DG (Security), who in turn is under the Cabinet Secretariat, with the entire apparatus coming under the National Security Advisor (NSA). Carrying out approximately two missions a month, these aircraft are for India's immediate neighbourhood for collection of data, pictures and other information. Missions like 'strip mode' and 'spot mode' are also part of these far-reaching aircraft.

Right now in service are five aircraft, an assortment of G-3 from Gulfstream, and Boeing 707s.

Raytheon was pitted against the Israeli IAI (Israeli Aircraft Industries) Elta and Elbit, of which Elta is said to have come out as the L1 vendor, successfully meeting all requirements.These systems will be integrated onboard the Canadian business jets Bombardier. The competing aircraft manufacturers were Falcon, Bombardier and Gulfstream, who were required to team up with the system providers. All three aircraft manufacturers and system providers were asked to tie up to make one team in order to meet India's requirements of the special missions to be carried out, as per the bid.

Raytheon's complaint to the Cabinet Secretary, National Security Advisor and the CVC, sent a couple of months back, talks about the Indian Government's failed assurance of giving the vendors a second opportunity to bid for the price after technical evaluation was completed, something that they were promised, and they have also complained that their systems have a proven track record, unlike Elta, to which a source told DNA, "Elta has made modifications in aircraft in the past to integrate systems, and having demonstrated their capability successfully, they are quite capable of doing it now also as per the requirements, plus their pricing is almost half of Raytheon."

A Cabinet source told DNA that the Indian government never gave an assurance of a second time price bidding after the technical evaluation was completed.

New Delhi has also asked the systems providers to configure the EO payload for an increased surveillance range, as one of its requirements. These sensors would cover a larger area in the neighbourhood. A source told DNA, "With a disturbed neighbourhood, it is important to have aviation assets seperate from the IAF, by the Cabinet which from time to time carry out missions of data collection. Sometimes they do get intercepted and the matter is taken up by the Governments of the two countries."

The Canadian Bombadier Aerospace is the third largest aircraft company in the world and makes business as well as commercial jets, of which the most popular models are Dash 8, CRJ100/200/440, and CRJ700/900/1000 lines of regional carriers. The Bombardier 415 amphibious water-bomber and the Challenger business jet are also manufactured by Bombadier, while the Learjet continues to operate as a subsidiary of Bombardier and manufactures jets under the Learjet name.

These aircraft do not come under the charter of the DGCA, nor are they under the operational control of the IAF.

These special aircraft are configured with a flight management system comprising a worldwide satellite-based Global Positioning System. They can cruise at a particular altitude, and consist of a of an advanced weather radar, autopilot and head-up display for the pilot. Safety features include enhanced night vision/vision systems which increase visibility in all kinds of environments. State of the art communication systems, data link, ensure a safe voice and data quality. The crew mainly comprises two pilots, one flight engineer, one communications systems operator, and one flight attendant.

Xclusive : NDMA, Home Ministry, DRDO To Come Up With India's First Ever NBC Institute

The Delhi-based National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the help and expertise of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will build a NBC (nuclear biological chemical) Institute in Nagpur for research and development to be carried out, with funding from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Essentially for the para military and scientists, there will be a small representation by the defence forces also.

Till now the army had its NBC training in Pune, the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Delhi and the Navy in Lonavla, but there was no full-fledged training and research institute in the country for all the armed forces to come under one roof and train are carry out research together, said a source, adding that Nagpur was chosen as it was centrally placed.

The Institute, will have all the modern equipment and research facilities, keeping the NBC threat in mind in future wars. DRDO already has NBC research facilities in Jodhpur and Gwalior in its laboratories, but is at a small scale. Super specialization will also be provided in the Institute along with basic courses.

According to a source, the Institute will be world class and will begin in 2011. It is expected to be completed by 2016.

The Bhopal-based 21 Corps, falling under the Southern Command, had its first ever five-day war-game based on NBC warfare, in the deserts of Rajasthan, in January this year, named 'Amogh Raksha', where war plans against a nuclear backdrop were validated.

In the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the army will have some of its trained battalions to provide a Chemical Biological Radio and Nuclear (CBRN) cover during the Games, as a threat is perceived in the Games with its huge international participation.

The IAF too will have its NBC team ready for the Games along with the army, to provide its cover, in identification and evacuation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Typhoon At Farnborough


Xclusive : Congo Update, Major Slits Wrist, Inquiry Discontinued Temporarily

The inquiry of Major G S Ghumman of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles regiment, for alleged charges of sexual misconduct in Congo by the UN's Conduct and Discipline Unit (CDU), has been discontinued temporarily, as the officer was found lying in a pool of blood with his left wrist slit on July 12, and was hospitalised immediately. Maj Ghumman is said to be stable and is undergoing treatment.

The officer, who is married, has been serving in the UN's MONUSCO (Mission of the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo), as part of the Indian contingent since July 2009.

Sources have told DNA, "Authorities in Congo when informed, said that they were not aware of the officer's whereabouts as he was on leave, but on July 10, allegations of misconduct were reported to the Brigade Commander, after which a contingent investigation into the allegations was decided and the officer was called to Goma."

The flash report, a copy of which is with DNA, says that on July 12, while the inquiry was in progress, the officer was found by officers of 5 Bihar regiment, in the wash-room with blood on the floor. He was immeditaely administered first-aid and rushed to Level III hospital for life and limb saving surgery. He is reported to have lost approximately 1.5 liters of blood.

Sources reveal that,"It is difficult to ascertain whether he did it out of embarrassment or if there was pressure on him during the inquiry. The inquiry will resume only when he has fully recovered."

The presiding officer of the inquiry is Colonel Prashant Halgeri, Commanding Officer of 5 Bihar.

The incident occurred on the night of July 6, where around 12 am Maj Ghumman along with Tunisian Military Observer Major Hatim were spotted with two local women in the premises of Hotel La Brize. The women were arguing with the officers, the commotion of which attracted a woman employee of the OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services), who complained to the UN Military Police, and later a case was registered with the UN's CDU.

The Indian contingent is the largest in the Mission of the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), with more than 4000 personnel.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

*Flash* : Antony On Visit To Seychelles !!

Def Min on two-day trip from July 18-20 in Seychelles, for defence cooperation.