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GROWING INDO -US DEFENCE TRADE

geopolitics VOL III, ISSUE VI, NOVEMBER 2012

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`100

D E F E N C E n D I P L O M A C Y n S E C U R I T Y

UNDER A CLOUD HAVE THE PRITHVI 1&2 AND HATF 1&2 BECOME IRRELEVANT?

SNOOPING BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS SECURITY AND NANOTECHNOLOGY


COVER STORY (P46)

MISSILE CLIMB-DOWN

DRDO

For strategic stability in South Asia, should India and Pakistan make moves towards decommissioning weapons such as the Prithvi and the Hatf?

SPECIAL REPORT (P40)

IAF

MOD

PANORAMA (P10)

80 GLORIOUS YEARS

TRUE GRIT

As the Air Force enters the ninth decade of service, Geopolitics looks at some of the milestones and markers and salutes the men and women who guard our skies.

We recall three heroic battles of the Sino-Indian War which illustrate the heroic sacrifices made by our soldiers despite overwhelming odds.

SPOTLIGHT (P12)

FOCUS (P26)

INTERNAL SECURITY (P58)

THE DRDO AUDIT

SNOOPING DEVICES

UNSAFE BANKS

While reviewing the performance of the DRDO is a legitimate exercise, the government's reported decision to curtail the financial power of its senior functionaries raises more questions than answers.

The Indian Army has floated a request for information for electronic intelligence (ELINT) intercept receivers for mountainous terrain to improve its information-gathering capability in these places.

It is time to devise a proactive security system to ensure that banking operations in the country are secure, with minimum risk to life of customers and greater protection of the premises, resources and employees.

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November 2012


H C TIWARI

EUROCOPTER

HEMANT RAWAT

SCIFIHERO.NET

THE AGE OF NANOTECH (P62)

FRESH AVENUES (P18)

EYES IN THE SKY (P23)

SHOULD THE PM VISIT PAK? (P76)

Future soldiers will increasingly use nano-security devices that make most products lighter, stronger, cleaner, less expensive and smaller in size.

Kevin J Cosgriff, Senior Vice President, International Business and Government, Textron Systems, is confident of expanding his company's profile in India.

The Army has decided to acquire helicopter-based early warning systems which will considerably enhance its ability to peer into enemy territory.

Many in Pakistan say that visas, peace accords and trade treaties between India and Pakistan pale into insignificance without a visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

DEF BIZ (P15) APACHE TROUNCES HAVOC

BOEING

India's quest for a modern attack helicopter has finally come to an end with the selection of Boeing's AH-64D Apache Longbow over the Russian Mi- 28 NE Havoc.

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DIPLOMACY (71)

Editor-in-Chief

K SRINIVASAN Editor

Managing Editor

PRAKASH NANDA Consulting Editor

SAURAV JHA

TIRTHANKAR GHOSH

Assistant Editor

Senior Correspondent

JUSTIN C MURIK

Copy Editor

Chief Visualiser

ASHOK KUMAR

AJAY NEGI

Photo Editor

Staff Photographer

ARTWORKS

H C TIWARI

HEMANT RAWAT

FINDING THEIR WAY INTO THE INDIAN MARKET, THERE IS STILL MORE POTENTIAL THAT CAN BE TAPPED.

Director (Marketing)

RAKESH GERA

Conceptualised and designed by Newsline Publications Pvt. Ltd., from D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin (East), New Delhi -110 013, Tel: +91-11-41033381-82 for NEWSEYE MEDIA PVT. LTD. All information in GEOPOLITICS is derived from sources we consider reliable. It is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. Opinions/views expressed by third parties in abstract or in interviews are not necessarily shared by us. Material appearing in the magazine cannot be reproduced in whole or in part(s) without prior permission. The publisher assumes no responsibility for material lost or damaged in transit. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with all advertisements without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. The publisher will not be liable for any loss caused by any delay in publication, error or failure of advertisement to appear. Owned and published by K Srinivasan, 4C Pocket-IV, Mayur Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi-91 and printed by him at Nutech Photolithographers, B-240, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-I, New Delhi-110020. Readers are welcome to send their feedback at geopolitics@newsline.in.

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AMMUNITION ARE INCREASINGLY

Designer

Design Consultant

RAJIV SINGH

ALTHOUGH AMERICAN ARMS AND

ROHIT SRIVASTAVA MOHIT KANSAL, MODASSAR NEHAL

Director (Corporate Affairs)

CHALLENGES IN INDO-US DEFENCE TRADE

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GROWING INDO -US DEFENCE TRADE

geopolitics VOL III, ISSUE VI, NOVEMBER 2012  `100

D E F E N C E  D I P L O M A C Y  S E C U R I T Y

UNDER A CLOUD

SNOOPING

BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS

SECURITY

AND NANOTECHNOLOGY

HAVE THE PRITHVI 1&2 AND HATF 1&2 BECOME IRRELEVANT?

Cover Design: Artworks The total number of pages in this issue is 84 with cover

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GEOPOLITICS

LETTERS

LETTERS TO EDITOR Apropos your well-researched cover story on 'God of War' in the August issue, which uncovers many problem areas of our artillery systems. Having worked on MLRS and rockets for quite a long time I would like to make following comments: Development and acquisition of artillery guns and rockets had become quite complicated after Bofors and only recently seem to have overcome the firewall. The lure of the foreign apparently had stalled any development work on the 155 mm caliber—while Bofors had proved its worth in Kargil. The production drawings and related documents of Bofors for which we had paid quite heavily had been inexplicably gathering dust at the Ordnance Factory Board for over two decades. Neither was DRDO allowed to develop the gun. Revolution in military affairs: The revolution is an evolving process while computers, surveillance and networking have become part of the battlefield, we have to stress range, lethality and accuracy of artillery guns and rockets that will continue to improve with newer technologies all over the world, India included. But the rationale of developing the 155x45 calibre and the optimised 155x52 calibre simultaneously in ordnance factories is somewhat hazy. Grades of MLRS (a) Grad System: It is a sad reflection on the planning processes in the armed forces when one looks at how a production line of the successfully-indigenised Grad-122 rocket system was disrupted on quite flimsy grounds in the early Nineties. They wanted the probable parameters given in the imported range

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tables applicable to the imported rockets applied to our rockets. While the DRDO developed long-range 122 rockets for the BM-21 systems, why do imports still remain the preferred route even now? (b) Pinaka: As far as the Pinaka is concerned, the rockets are the same with only two different types of launchers developed by Tata and L&T, industry majors of our country. No one can ever force our armed forces to accept the indigenous armaments that are

not up to the mark. It may be quite another matter for imported ones including duds. The DRDO having successfully developed 40 km Pinaka system which has proved its worth in Kargil,is now working on its Mk-II version, which will increase its range by 50 per cent. (c) Smerch: While India has mastered the rocket sciences in Agni, Prithvi and other missiles and, of course, the Pinaka MLRS, going for a joint venture

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for the Smerch is retrograde—to say the least. Will the flow-formed rocket tubes use our materials or ESR steel, according to government specifications? Will we be using propellants developed by us giving quite high specific impulses or import ingredients thereof? Will we be using machinery and manufacturing processes perfected here or import old plant and machinery from Russia at exorbitant costs? The government must appoint a committee of independent experts, who understand rocket technologies and review the need for such futile ventures, which will be nothing short of misadventures. (d) Short Range SS Missiles: For short ranges, from 30 to 40 km, it will be more advantageous to go for precision munitions, especially to neutralise armour, enemy gun positions, radars and other such targets. Disjointed ventures Joint ventures, transfer of ancient technology or even licence production will lead us nowhere. Defence technologies must be learnt the hard way—more from failures for lasting success. If such recourse had been helpful, we could have gathered some useful aviation technology from our half-a-century of assembling aircraft in our sprawling MiG complexes—that could have been used on our LCA programme. Air Cmde Raghubir Singh(Retd) Pune All correspondence may be addressed to: Editor, Geopolitics, D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin (East), New Delhi-110013 OR mail to geopolitics@newsline.in.

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JAI VIJAY! O

n his last day as Director General of CRPF, Vijay Kumar called a surprise press conference. After his extremely successful stint as CRPF chief he was retiring and finally he decided that it was time to chat with the media! Despite the Home Minister’s desire to have Vijay Kumar on extension for another year, the bureaucratic maze put paid to that hope. Many believe that not having Vijay Kumar on extension could hamper the government’s efforts in dealing with Maoists as the CRPF had, under Kumar’s tenure, been able to check the growing influence of the Reds in all the nine LWE (left wing extremism)-affected states. The former HM, P Chidambaram had pushed for Kumar to continue to implement several plans envisaged for the CRPF. The ACC turned down the request, although it must be mentioned that in a similar critical time in Punjab both Julio Reberio and KPS Gill got extensions to get the job done. Kumar was offered three months and he gently turned it down saying 90 days was no good to do the chores on hand. After all he was not asking for baksheesh! Vijay Kumar arrived almost an hour behind schedule and journalists were

joking whether he had got his extension at last moment. But he came and delivered a good report card of his tenure. He sat with a number of senior officers on the dais but this time there were only three people to give him company and none of them were special DGs. With no special DG in the force, the ministry had no option to fill the post from within. It seems the ministry did not give any thought about the leadership issue of its prime police force. Anyway with Vijay Kumar now staying put as an advisor to the Home Minister, one hopes that there will be the same dexterous leadership that he will provide on critical issues to the Grih Mantri. After all, not every day do you have a cop who ambushed and got Veerappan!

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K Saraswat must be wondering what’s wrong with his stars for the government to suddenly rap him on the knuckles. So the Scientific Advisor to the Bharat Sarkar and the Head of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) has now been told that his financial powers are being curtailed and he better get his proposals vetted and approved by the babus in the Ministry of Defence. Well, Saraswat is smarting, his colleagues are fuming and one hears even the Defence Audit and Accounts hasn’t taken kindly to the comments from the CAG ( Comp-

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SARASWATNAMA

troller and Auditor General) and even the diktat of the Minister A K Anthony to put the babus back in command. So don’t be surprised if you see an internecine war in the South Block corridors of the Defence Ministry. The Accounts guys have already given a bit of their mind to the babus in the Rafale deal where they have underlined objections to the manner in which the final calculations were done. Insiders say that is history. The Accounts guys retort, you must be kidding. The Saraswat episode is like a trigger that can open the cannister polluting the whole atmosphere.

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November 2012


{GOLDENEYE}

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Verma's jadu

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ILLUSTRATIONS: SATISH UPADHYAY

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o you have the case of Vijay Kumar being shown the door by the ACC (Appointments Committee of the Cabinet) headed by the Prime Minister and you have the case of Admiral Nirmal Verma literally retiring as Naval Chief and getting to the Indian High Commissioner’s post in Canada. Now, how on earth Verma swung the deal (if one could use that word) is something that only the PMO or Verma can answer. But it is no secret that SM Krishna was put down, his choice rejected and Verma nominated for the top job in Montreal. One other distinguished soldier to make it the chancery in Montreal was the late Army General JN Chowdhury. Now, Verma can be sure that he won’t get much support from the other wing in South Block. To put it simply they are pissed off that he has walked away with what is considered a ‘plum’ for a career diplomat. Reminds one of the slogan that Nana Chudasma put up on Marine Drive when Air Chief Marshal Idris Hasan Latif took over as the Governor of Maharashtra in 1985. It simply said: “Join the IAF and retire as a Governor.” For the record, it may be mentioned that Air Chief Marshal Latif later served as India’s Ambassador in Paris when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

NETWORKING KING! “

Mee Sushil Kumar bolto.” For those who don’t understand the lingo that is the Home Minister saying, “This is Sushil Kumar” in Marathi over the telephone. The Grih Mantri is a great one for stroking the wires, if one can be permitted to use that peculiarly American phrase to describe networking skills of the man from Sholapur. If Chidambaram was known for creating a unique USP by picking his own phone, Shinde doesn’t wear any of that narcissistic nonsense on his sleeve. He leaves the phones to his assistants, but loves to talk for hours and connect with supporters, chelas, chamchas, friends, advisors and who have you.

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That’s the way Shinde is made: he is a political animal to the core and he can spend days on end networking or stroking the wires if you please. So how is he doing in North Block? Comparisons are odious as the saying goes, but between him and Chidambaram, it is like chalk and cheese. If Chidambaram was the stiff upper lip, all intellectual, regulated, meetings on the dot, Home Minister who went by the “will do, can do” matrix, Shinde is all old world: easy going, relaxed, laid back, decentralised, run-itthrough-the babus neta. Officials give him cent per cent for demeanour and courtesy. An old world dyed-in-the-

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wool neta, Shinde is the sort of bloke who will never anger a civil servant or get angry with one. It’s all gentle, mild and with a smile. But, frankly, officials also gave Chidambaram full marks for his rigour, his thoroughness and his ability to cut through the crap to the heart of the matter. So what’s the bottom line? It is still early days and one has to wait and watch. But the general impression is that will the bonhomie be replaced with a dose of hard work or will it be simply stroking the wires—with the states, with friends and with fellow politicians? Watch this space for an update!

November 2012


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PANORAMA

IAF BAE

2010 BAE HAWK The Hawk Mk.132 formally entered service with the Indian Air Force in 2008. The aircraft has made such an impression on the Force that it has ordered many more, most recently as a mount for the Surya Kiran aerobatic display team.

80 GLORIOUS

YEARS OF

THE IAF

OTHER SIGNIFICANT AIRCRAFT

or an Air Force that is starkly professional and steeped in history, the Indian Air Force also has a dash of glamour (one can count scores of Hindi films where the hero is a fighter pilot or commands a helicopter), dollops of goodwill (innumerable are the humanitarian and disaster relief ops that they undertake year after year) and a generous sprinkling of milestones in its eight decades of guarding and securing our skies. It’s been a memorable journey and one that has marker after distinguished marker. As the saying goes: “A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.” Over the years the Indian Air Force has played a crucial role in the security of India giving an exemplary account of itself. As it enters the ninth decade of service, Geopolitics looks at some of the milestones and markers and salutes the men and women who guard our skies.

F

1940 SPITFIRE The star of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, the Supermarine Spitfire also served with distinction in the 1948 conflict in Kashmir.

MINDARTDESIGN.COM

FLY787'S PHOTOSTREAM

1930 WESTLAND WAPITI These biplanes were the IAF’s first aircraft and saw action in the Miranshah, in North Waziristan.

1997 SU-30 MKI A development of the remarkable Su-27 fighter, the SU-30 MKI was specially developed for India by Russia's Sukhoi Design Bureau and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the IAF.

Hurricane (1940) The Hurricane equipped the IAF’s fleet during the Second World War on the Eastern Front in the campaigns against the Japanese.

C-47 Dakota (1950) The Dakota was the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet and provided an exemplary service in all the theatres it was deployed in.

C-119 Fairchild Packet (1950) In order to augment the Dakota in the transport fleet, the C119 Packet was inducted into the IAF. The Packet would be used till the mid-80s as a mediumsized transport aircraft.

HF-24 Marut (1960) FLY787'S PHOTOSTREAM The Marut was India’s first indigenously developed fighter aircraft designed by legendary German engineer Kurt Tank.


IAF

1980 MIRAGE 2000 The Mirage 2000 delta-wing, fly-bywire fighter, with high agility and a formidable radar/missile combination was the answer to the F-16 ordered by Pakistan. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Mirage 2000 performed extremely well in the high Himalayas.

1970 MIG-21 In 1964, the MiG-21 became the first supersonic fighter jet to enter service with the IAF. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, the MiG21s played a crucial role in giving the IAF air superiority over vital points and areas in the western theatre of the conflict.

1960 FOLLAND GNAT The IAF became the largest operator of the Gnat and even manufactured the aircraft under licence. Used extensively in the 1965 and 1971 wars it earned a reputation as the ‘Sabre Slayer’ for the large number of Pakistani F-86 Sabres that it destroyed.

ADRIAN PINGSTONE WIKIPEDIA

1950 HAWKER HUNTER Inducted into the Indian Air Force in 1954, they were extensively operated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, playing a crucial role in the historic battle of Longewala. The last IAF Hunter was phased out of service in 1996.

IAF

MARKERS AND

MILESTONES • Operation Vijay: The 1961 Indian annexation of Goa ended Portuguese rule in its Indian enclaves in 1961. The armed action involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa.

• Operation Meghdoot:: To capture the Siachen Glacier launched on April 13, 1984, the IAF used Il-76, An-12 and An-32 to transport stores and troops as well to airdrop supplies to high altitude airfields. From there Mi-17, Mi-8 and HAL Chetak helicopters carried provisions and personnel to the east of the hitherto unscaled peaks.

• Operation Poomalai or Eagle Mission 4 was the codename assigned to a mission undertaken by the Indian Air Force to air-drop supplies over the besieged town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka on June 4, 1987 in support of Tamil Tigers during the Sri Lankan Civil War. WINGSOVEREUROPE.COM

Sukhoi Su-7(1960) The Sukhoi 7 was a tough ground attack aircraft that was well respected by the IAF’s pilots for the ordnance it could carry and the punishment it could take

SEPECAT Jaguar (1970) First inducted in the late 1970’s the Jaguar strike aircraft has stupendous ground attack capabilities. The Air Force is planning a substantial upgrade with better avionics and engines, cementing the role of the aircraft as the carrier of India’s nuclear deterrent

MiG-29 (1980) The MiG-29 is one of the best performing aircraft of its generation and gave the Indian Air Force an excellent fighter comparable to the very best in the world

• The 1988 Maldives coup d'état, whose rescue efforts were code-named Operation Cactus. The operation started on the night of November 3, 1988, when Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft of the Indian Air Force airlifted troops and flew them non-stop over 2,000 kilometres (1,240 mi) to air-drop them over the Malé International Airport.


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GEOPOLITICS

SPOTLIGHT

HEMANT RAWAT

While reviewing the performance of the DRDO is a legitimate exercise, the government's reported decision to curtail the financial power of its senior functionaries raises more questions than answers, writes SAURAV JHA

DRDO: MORE SINNED AGAINST THAN SINNING? S

ometimes measures initiated to review the functioning of organisations possibly throw up the need to review the investigative procedure itself. And so it seems could be the case with the controversy surrounding the ‘secret audit’ conducted by sections of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on its science and technology division - the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). As is evident, this is no longer a ‘secret audit’ but rather a public circus www.geopolitics.in

with the contents of the audit being gratuitously leaked to the media. Rather than highlighting any real irregularities within DRDO, what this episode instead highlights is the very irregular way in which certain functions of the government are being pursued. When news first broke of this apparently ‘secret audit’, nobody seemed to question the propriety of making such a document public through non-official channels in the first place. Of course, to an

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unalloyed observer that should also raise questions about just how potent the establishment really thinks this document is, if one were to judge by the degree of security that was accorded to it. However, that isn’t so surprising given the various reports of the contents of this now public ‘secret audit’. At best the audit judging by the reports of its contents seems to be a mere compilation of the same ‘cookie cutter’ criticisms of DRDO that have been hurled at the organisation for, perhaps, the last 20 years without looking at context. One would supposedly find in the document the same old concerns about delays and quality in flagship DRDO programmes such as the light combat aircraft (LCA) and the Arjun main battle tank (MBT). The criticism of both programmes seems based

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on dated information with little or no reference to more contemporary developments. The fact that the Arjun fared rather well in comparative trials with the T-90 not so long ago is obviously a point that has been missed. There is also no larger realisation of the seminal role that the LCA project has played in setting up a modern aerospace sector in India. Of course, one could say that such issues do not fall within the ambit of an auditing exercise anyway. Exactly, they don’t, but then this audit also does not seem to have been carried out in the traditional way and according to reports, does arrive at rather broad philosophical conclusions about DRDO’s workings. DRDO sources say that unlike in the past, the auditing exercise did not consist of auditors arriving at various DRDO facilities, asking to look at files, following which they would engage in an interrogative process at the ground level. In a typical audit, a number of questions raised by the investigators are answered at the facility or laboratory level (as in DRDO’s case) itself, thereby pruning the list of queries that may not have got satisfactory responses. After this, the auditors put together an interim report from their various interactions marking out grey areas which an organisation like DRDO then seeks to iron out at a more centralised level. At the end of this somewhat iterative process, the auditors may still feel that some things have remained unresolved and these would go into their final report. Unfortunately, in the case under discussion, this orthodox approach may have been abandoned. DRDO sources say that they were instead asked by the MoD to send files from various establishments to a centralised location for examination. Following that a group of MoD personnel put together a report based on these files and that is what became the now infamous ‘secret audit’. The whole process of back and forth that a normal auditing process entails was not adopted. What is more, nowhere is it being pointed out that this wasn’t some emergency review of the workings of the DRDO only. This audit was apparently authorised as part of a larger MoD wide financial review which includes within its purview the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Defence (DoD) and the De-

The criticism of LCA and Arjun programmes seems based on dated information with little or no reference to more contemporary developments. partment of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D), the last having DRDO as its main constituent. Moreover, the audit according to DRDO, was supposedly being carried out to review the performance of the new system of financial powers being gradually rolled out within the organisation post-July 2010 keeping in mind the recommendations of the Rama Rao committee. In line with those recommendations, an overhaul of the discretionary financial powers given to functionaries at various levels of DRDO’s organisational chart was underway with a view to increasing decentralisation and speeding up the process of procurements and partnerships needed for research and development. In the earlier system, DRDO’s hierarchical or-

der consisting of directors heading laboratories, clusters of laboratories under a Chief Controller (CC) and the CC’s themselves reporting to the Director General (DRDO) who was also Secretary DDR&D and reporting directly to the Raksha Mantri (RM), a much lower quantum of discretionary disbursement was allowed at each level. Moreover even the discretionary disbursement (which was a rather paltry sum) cleared by the laboratory directors and CCs were subject to post concurrence by an Additional Financial Adviser (AFA) & Joint Secretary, MoD Finance, attached to the Secretary, DDR&D’s office. The AFA’s concurrence was also required for any disbursement made by the Secretary, DDR&D, who is of course also DG, DRDO, and could give sanction for expenditure up to ` 15 crore. This was an arduous and time consuming process being so centralised. Under the new system being eased in post2010, a system of pre-audits was introduced. An integrated financial adviser (IFA) was attached at each level i.e with individual directors, CC’s and the Secretary, DDR&D. The upper ceiling for the amounts that each could disburse requiring only the concurrence of the new IFA and not of the AFA was substantially increased in tune with the need to decentralise. Moreover under the new format

www.geopolitics.in

DRDO

THE LATECOMER: Although it has taken years of development, the Arjun MBT has proved its worth against the T-90

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SPOTLIGHT

AERIAL SENTINEL: Protracted delays apart, the development of the LCA has endowed India with a considerable aeronautical base

disbursement under the new system by Secretary DDR&D is actually subject to a pre-audit by an IFA who is from the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) cadre as is the AFA. It can be argued that the post2010 system actually has more accountability then what was previously being done in DRDO. On a different note, while carrying out defence R&D in today’s environment quick approvals for components can make the difference between rapid prototyping and project delays. Moreover, defence R&D may also entail engaging organisations from different spheres, given the way essentially the same technology and basic science drive both civil and military applications today. Indeed, this is precisely why DRDO’s efforts to boost academic research in relevant areas is a very prudent decision. Questioning this by raising the canard of ‘non-core’ research is actually non sequitur. For instance, research into DRDO

the post of CC would be ultimately done away with and existing CCs would be referred to as DGs with the extant post of DG, DRDO being completely subsumed under the higher post of Secretary, DDR&D. The Secretary, DDR&D, would now be able to sanction up to `50 crore per case with only the concurrence of the IFA attached to that office. For amounts between `50 to 60 crore, the Secretary, DD&RD, would also require the concurrence of the AFA however. But that was not all, the DG could now actually sanction amounts between `60-75 crore and this would go beyond even the AFA and would need the clearance of the Financial Adviser Defence Services (FADS) who is also Secretary MoD Finance. So as we can see, this whole brouhaha of incumbent DRDO Director General V.K Saraswat sanctioning approvals up to ` 50 crore ‘on his own’ with review by MoD finance is misleading. Any

THE HUB OF REASEARCH: The DRDO research labs spread across the nation has endowed India with a considerable science foundation

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stochastic methods that are used to predict trends in secondary capital markets may also be used for assessing the deployment of naval ships at sea. Even more fundamentally, all computer coding ultimately devolves into mathematics and statistics. This point is being made, because according to DRDO sources, the audit has also questioned DRDO’s support to a domestic mathematical society for a project related to radar research apparently questioning what a mathematical society has to do with radar. This question, if indeed has been asked, is so fundamentally flawed at so many levels that it is actually deeply disturbing. All radar signal processing techniques are essentially an applied mathematics problem solved, using various mathematical developments such as time-frequency analysis and chirplet transform. Measurements of speed and distance made by radars are analysed using mathematical models which are being constantly refined to better identify pattern shifts and eliminate’ noise’ in the reflected waveforms. As such, numerous mathematics departments across the world have been given projects related to designing new-generation low probability of intercept radar, counter-stealth bi-static radars as well digital beam forming techniques being used by missile defence radars with a view to improving both camouflaging and interception methods. Quite clearly radar development is not merely an engineering or physics problem, but also a mathematics problem. Now if the auditors indeed failed to appreciate this, then it is a worrying sign indeed, and raises larger questions about the credibility of the entire review process itself. November 2012


INTERVIEW Textron’s Kevin J Cosgriff talks about his company’s prospects

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EYE IN THE SKY We analyse the Indian Army’s RFI for a chopper-borne mini AWACS

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g geopolitics D E F E N C E

B U S I N E S S

'INDIA IS A PROMINENT MARKET …'

APACHE TROUNCES HAVOC

AIRBUS

I

On the Indian military aviation market It is absolutely clear that India’s military aviation market is one of the most important in the world and you can be sure that Airbus Military regards it as a major priority. Our CEO has declared his strong desire to see our aircraft operating in India, which at the moment is not the case, and we believe that right now we have products that are extremely

www.geopolitics.in

STRATEGIC LIFTER: The Airbus A400M Atlas is a four-engine turboprop transport aircraft

well-suited to India’s declared needs. Naturally, the Indian Air Force (IAF) tanker programme is extremely important to us and is at an advanced stage, but we also have an excellent candidate in the C295 for the Avro replacement programme, and rather further down the line we believe the A400M can play a huge role in India’s transport fleet. Equally, we understand that India regards the development of its indigenous industry as being extremely important and we are committed to playing our role in that under the new offset regulations. Continued on Page 25 }

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Continued on Page 21 }

November 2012

BOEING

FEDERICO LACALLE, Regional Sales Director, Asia Pacific, Airbus Military, talks to Geopolitics about his firm's plans for the Indian market

ndia’s quest for a modern attack helicopter has finally come to an end with the selection of Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Longbow over the Russian Mi- 28 NE Havoc. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA writes on the significance of the deal. During his annual Air Force Day press conference, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief NAK Browne announced the winner of the attack chopper deal: it would be the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow. With this, what was unofficially known to all finally became official. According to Air Force officials, the price negotiations had started in the first week of October and are expected to take a couple of months.


DEF BIZ

A PERFECT AERIAL SENT Delivering details and information to a gamut of weapons systems

2

Surveillance Radar (SuR) (360o) 74 metres

Persistent wide area surveillance

Month

24/7 30 days at a time

360-degree, long-range surveillance capability

1 SuR detects and identifies threat

Mobile Mooring Station

In late September 2012 a revolutionary new radar system attached to two enormous blimps acquired and tracked a surrogate anti-ship cruise missile target. With its one-of-a-kind over the horizon perspective the system relayed the information about the incoming bogie onto a group of US Navy sailors who shot down the cruise missile with a surface-to-air-missile of their own. This was a US Army and Navy test that proved the Raytheon Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor or JLENS can integrate with defensive systems currently in the US Navy's inventory to provide, for the first time, overland cruise missile defense from the sea. The successful test also has far-reaching effect for the air defence. In addition to cruise missiles, the JLENS can help protect against a variety of airborne threats and provide advance information about land-based foes as well.

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November 2012


INEL Fire Control Radar (FCR) FCR provides targeting data to interceptors

3

Tethered Elevates up to 10,000 Feet

CAPABILITIES Primary Mission: Cruise Missile Defense – detects, tracks & provides targeting data Also, detects ballistic missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), large calibre rockets and moving ground targets and surface ships at sea.

WHY IS JLENS AFFORDABLE? One JLENS orbit can provide the same 24/7 coverage for a 30-day period that 4-5 fixed wing surveillance aircraft (AWACS, JSTARS or E-2C) can provide. •Depending on the kind of aircraft used, a fixed-wing surveillance aircraft is 500-700 per cent more expensive to operate than a JLENS during that same time period because of manpower, maintenance and fuel costs. •A JLENS orbit uses less than 50 per cent of the manpower it requires to fly a fixed wing aircraft. (That’s not counting the ground-support personnel required to launch a sortie).

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November 2012

graphic by artworks

JLENS will provide fire control data to American surface-to-air missile systems such as THAAD, the Army's Patriot and the Navy's AEGIS BMD Combat System, thus increasing the capabilities of these systems by allowing them to engage targets below, outside or beyond the field of view of surface-based weapons. Additionally, JLENS provides fire control data to fighter aircraft allowing them to engage enemy threats from extended ranges. As a secondary role, JLENS detects and tracks surface-moving targets.


“Changes in the KEVIN J COSGRIFF, Senior Vice President, International Business and Government, Textron Systems, is confident of expanding his company's profile in India. In an interview with JUSTIN C MURIK, he talks about the new offsets rules, Sensor Fuzed Weapons for the Indian Air Force and Overwatch’s geospatial and multi-intelligence product offering. Excerpts:

HEMANT RAWAT

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g DPP are very encouraging” INTERVIEW

On the Indian offsets programme The recent changes to the Indian DPP (Defence Production Policy) are very encouraging, because they give much more flexibility to companies like Textron Systems to do business in India. We are committed to doing business in India, so we have no issue with the ultimate intent of offset, which is to achieve a transfer of some technology to bring capability inside India — not only to the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), but also to the private sector. The previous offset agreement rules were a little bit stricter and they are much more flexible now.

simply through a more robust command and control capability like our Universal Ground Control Station.

On unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for India Our Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) has over 750,000 flight hours of experience, primarily in combat. It's a multi-mission system, with EO/IR (Electro-Optical/ Infrared) capability to capture and stream full-motion video. Our US Army and Marine Corps customers utilised the Shadow TUAS in Iraq and currently use it in Afghanistan for missions such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, battlefield damage assessment, communications relay and laser designation. The jewel in the crown is not simply the airframe; it's also the command and control system. Based on our mature One System® Ground Control Station, our new Universal Ground Control Station allows operators to manage the aircraft, the sensor package and the resulting data. Then they can transfer that data anywhere in the networked battlespace. The Universal Ground Control Station is designed for interoperability with a variety of UAV platforms, such as those in the current Indian inventory, with very little modification. That’s a significant statement and we’ve communicated that to various entities inside the Indian government. The customer can enhance the ability of UAVs in its existing arsenal

On the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) programme One of the first things I did when I joined Textron Systems was to talk with the Indian Navy about Air Cushion vehicles, like the Landing Craft Air Cushion hovercraft we developed and built for the US Navy. We recently won a contract for the next generation of this platform, the Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC). In the program’s early stages, we are collaborating with the Navy and program partners on detailed design and construction of the first SSC. This test and training craft will be delivered to the Navy in 2017. It is significant if you consider the timing of initiatives inside India, like acquisition of Landing Platform Docks, or some of the other concepts that may be under investigation by the Indian Navy, such as island utilisation and their responsibilities around Indian territories that are offshore from the mainland, the alignment with our development of the SSC is particularly serendipitous. There are advantages for India or any customer who wants to consider the Ship-to-Shore Connector in the future. First, SSC will offer customers a well-tested and mature design. Another consideration is that this program also affords a great opportunity for sourcing materials for offsets or otherwise into India. These are opportunities we are interested in and we have

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On the status of the Sensor Fuzed Weapons (SFW) programme with the Indian Air Force We are in production and proceeding at pace to make our weapons deliveries on time. The US Air Force is working with the Indian Air Force because it is a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case, and we are working with them collectively to establish timing for integration. I expect those discussions to be resolved soon so that we can begin integration activities.

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communicated that to the Indian Navy. On the interest of the MHA in the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle I can’t give you the specifics at this time. But we’ve met with representatives at the Joint Secretary-level and we are going to meet with additional people in the subordinate organisations of the MHA. The Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV ) is part of our COMMANDOTM Elite line of four-wheeled armored vehicles. These are our most highly-protected and capable vehicles, providing superior direct fire and MRAP level 2 mine-blast protection. They come equipped with our latest drive train enhancements making them very fast and highly maneuverable in a wide range of environments. COMMANDO Elite vehicles, like the TAPV we’re building for Canadian Forces, are flexible enough to accommodate nearly any remote weapon station available -- single or dual weapon mix. They also feature a digital backbone for vehicle systems monitoring and future electronics expansion. I can see a clear military application in some of the more demanding scenarios that your country faces. In those situations, COMMANDO Elite vehicles would serve India very well. Another option for India is our COMMANDO Select line of armored vehicles. We’re currently building and fielding more than 440 of these vehicles, under the name Mobile Strike Force Vehicles, for the Afghanistan National Army. These vehicles are easy to operate and maintain and deliver an enhanced combination of lethality, survivability, mobility and sustainability. MRAP-level 1 crew protection also is built into all COMMANDO Select vehicles. They offer a higher-level of survivability than our base Armored Security Vehicles. This greater survivability, however, doesn’t come at the expense of mobility. These vehicles deliver greater mobility than other similar MRAP-type armored vehicles on the market. We’re providing the Afghans three variants of our COMMANDO Select vehicles, includNovember 2012


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ing one that can carry up to 10 occupants. Whether it’s the two vehicle options I’ve mentioned here or others within our COMMANDO family, we are well positioned to deliver customised capabilities that meet each customer's mission needs at a price unmatched by our competition. And as a full-spectrum armored vehicle provider, we offer customers vehicle fielding, training and logistics support. We also understand that you have existing vehicles in your inventory that will continue to be used. Perhaps there is something that could be done to enhance those vehicles — for instance in terms of protection levels — at an affordable per unit cost. I think there may be something we can do with the existing vehicle stock and we should talk about that as well.

INTERVIEW

TEXTRON

On the Common Unmanned Surface Vessel programme We have had an opportunity to provide the Indian Navy with background on the development and increasing maturity of our Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV). CUSV is a multi-mission capable vehicle. While we are initially focused on providing a reliable and effective mine countermeasure capability, we've shown CUSV can execute anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, communications relay, ISR and launch/recovery missions for unmanned aircraft and unmanned underwater systems. At the core of our unmanned vessel is the successful adaptation into the maritime domain of AAI's proven unmanned systems command and control expertise. In July CUSV successfully demonstrated the ability to conduct collaborative unmanned mine-hunting and mine-neutralisation operations during the Trident Warrior 2012 US Navy Fleet Experiment, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The CUSV team executed real-time, mine

NEW-GENERATION PATROLER: Induction of the unmanned patrol craft such as the CUSV will be a potent addition to the capabilities of the Indian Navy

US NAVY

warfare detect-to-engage scenarios on six separate occasions, during which two CUSVs controlled by one operator from a single control station detected and prosecuted “exercise” mines in a minefield laid by the US Navy. With the conclusion of Trident Warrior 2012, Textron Systems’ CUSV has amassed more than 1,000 total hours of in-water operation. CUSV also took part in Trident Warrior 2011, where it successfully demonstrated sliding autonomy, enabling autonomous and man-inthe-loop vessel operations, and nonlethal weapon common payload command and control.

VERSATILE TRANSPORTER: The Landing Craft Air Cushion is used to transport men and material from landing patrol docks and other vessels to the shore

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On the Overwatch programme Overwatch’s geospatial and multi-source data analysis systems are in wide use for both military and civilian applications. They are being used around the world to support defense and intelligence operations, secure national borders, aid law enforcement and enable civil and commercial analysis for ecosystem monitoring, urban planning and management of disaster relief. These products bring together and analyse satellite information, intelligence reports, full motion video, sensor data and aircraft images, and fuse the data to deliver users real understanding. While offering best-of-breed technology, they are also cost competitive, frequently using commercially available, off-the-shelf solutions, sourced from multiple vendors.When we present these capabilities to our potential customers — and in your country it would be entities under the MHA, but not exclusively because the

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MoD has need for data analysis services too — we first want to understand the problem so we can recommend the right solution. For instance, let’s look at a hypothetical situation in which you are trying to determine with a level of assurance items or people that are illegally coming across the border. You need to be able to detect these items as they move. There are a number of ways you can do that. You can do it with Textron Systems’ unattended ground sensors and unmanned aircraft systems. You can do it using fixed sites with video, Infrared (IR) or other phenomenology radar. But when you collect that information what are you going to do with it? That is where Overwatch products come into play. They provide powerful tools that take these various inputs — whether imagery, electronic intelligence radar video or other sources — and organise and help interpret the data. By applying the appropriate tool set, analysts, investigators and agents have a way to quickly turn vast amounts of data into actionable information and reports that aid in decision making. In the case of the illegal border activity, it can help create a picture that leads to the individuals or parties involved. We’re prepared to have conversations with MoD and MHA so we can understand specific concepts of operation and the challenges that need to be addressed. By doing so, we can then offer the appropriate data gathering and analysis solutions to meet the requirement. November 2012


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APACHE TROUNCES HAVOC The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 22 attack choppers was issued in 2009. Trials began in 2010 and the trial report was submitted in 2011. The Apache’s main rival in the deal was the Russian Mi-28 NE attack choppers. The extensive trials were conducted under different environmental conditions to assess which of the helicopters were suitable for the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force. These 22 attack choppers are going to be part of the strike corps that will be employed in the anti-armour role. They are designed to take on the armoured elements of the enemy, like tanks, troops carriers, etc., both in the defensive and offensive roles. In the defensive role, they will be flown to protect infantry and others from enemy armour and in its offensive role it will clear obstacles and provide fortification for the army’s marching columns. The Apache is one of the world’s most potent attack choppers and has demonstrated its capability across the globe in operations ranging from conventional wars like the Gulf War to counter insurgency/counter terrorism operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, the Russian Mi-28 is their latest attack helicopter and in last few years has

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APACHE, THE DESTROYER In all, 11 nations fly, have ordered or have selected AH-64D Apache helicopters for their defence forces. The US Army has ordered more than 600 Apache aircraft through multi-year contracts. The first US Army Apache was delivered in April 1997. International customers include Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, The Netherlands Saudi

Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. The first international AH-64D Apache was delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force in May 1998. More than 300 new and remanufactured international AH-64Ds have been delivered or are in production. § Maximum cruise speed of 284 kph § Two turbo-shaft engines

SPECIFICATIONS Length: Height: Wing Span: Primary Mission Gross Weight 15,075 lb (6838 kg) Hover In-Ground Effect Hover Out-of-Ground Effect

Vertical Rate of Climb Maximum Rate of Climb Maximum Level Flight Speed Cruise Speed

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58.17 ft (17.73 m) 15.24 ft (4.64 m) 17.15 ft (5.227 m)

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Standard Day

Hot Day ISA + 15C

15,895 ft (4845 m) 12,685 ft (3866 m)

14,845 ft (4525 m) 11,215 ft (3418 m)

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Sea Level Standard Day 2,175 fpm (663 mpm) 2,915 fpm (889 mpm) 150 kt (279 kph) 150 kt (279 kph)

Hot Day 2000 ft 70 F (21 C) 2,050 fpm (625 mpm) 2,890 fpm (881 mpm) 153 kt (284 kph) 153 kt (284 kph)

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Laser, infrared, and other systems (including target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor) to locate, track and attack targets A combination of laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets, and a 30mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition rounds The first fully equipped U.S. Army unit with AH-64D Apache was fielded in November 1998. The US Army fielded its first international Apache unit in October 2001. Between 1984 and 1997, Boeing produced 937 AH-64As for the US Army, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Nearly 1,600 Apaches have been delivered to customers around the world since the Apache went into production. The Apache fleet has accumulated more than two million flight hours since the first prototype aircraft flew in 1975.

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Mi28 NE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS § Crew: 1 pilot (rear), 1 navigator/weapons operator (front) § Length: 17.01 m (55 ft 10 in) § Rotor diameter: 17.20 m (56 ft 5 in) § Height: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) § Disc area: 232.35 m² (2,501 ft²) § Empty weight: 8,600 kg (18,960 lb) § Loaded weight: 10,700 kg (23,590 lb) § Max. takeoff weight: 11,500 kg (25,350 lb) § Powerplant: 2 × Klimov TV3-117VMA turboshaft, 1,636 kW (2,194 shp) each PERFORMANCE § Maximum speed: 320 km/h (172 knots, 199 mph) § Cruise speed: 270 km/h (145 knots, 168 mph) § Range: 435 km (234 nmi, 270 mi) § Combat radius: 200 km (108 nmi, 124 mi) ; with 10 min loiter and 5 percemt reserves § Ferry range: 1,100 km (593 nmi, 683 mi) § Service ceiling: 5,700 m (19,000 ft) § Rate of climb: 13.6 m/s (2,677 ft/min)

EUROCOPTER

ARMAMENT § Guns: 1× chin-mounted 30 mm Shipunov 2A42 cannon with 250 rounds (±110° horizontal fire) § Hardpoints: Two pylons under each stub wing to mount bombs, rockets, missiles, and gun pods. Main armament configurations include: § 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles and 40 S-8 rockets, Or § 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles, and 10 S-13 rocket, Or § 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles, and two 23 mm Gsh-23L gun pods with 250 rounds each. § Other ordnance: 9K118 Sheksna and 9A-2200 anti-tank missiles, 8 Igla-V and Vympel R-73 air-to-air missiles, 2 KMGU-2 mine dispensers www.geopolitics.in

been in demand in the global defence market. India has been operating Russian Mi-35 attack choppers for the last three decades. Considered flying tanks due to their sheer size and armour, they played a very large role in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though also capable of carrying a small number of troops, their efficiency in modern warfare is limited due to their age and old technology and hence the request by the Indian Army for a replacement. The Indian Army’s strategy of using strike corps to penetrate Pakistan in a potential war requires potent attack helicopters to lead forward columns and provide them with much needed antiarmour capability with an extensive reach and range. The Indian Army also felt the need for attack choppers that could operate at heights after the Kargil War. Even during some of the major operations against Kashmiri militants, the Indian army felt the need for a specialised attack chopper. In coming future, the Indian Army is going to operate three different types of attack helicopters. The first would be Mi35, the second Apache and third would be the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL’s) indigenously-built Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), based on Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. With its limited attack capability, the LCH will be predominantly used with the pivot corps of Indian Army. The three strike corps will be equipped with the Apache and Mi-35. The Indian Army is expected to order around 120 LCHs for pivot corps once the helicopter becomes operational. The LCH

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is undergoing development trials and is expected to enter service in three to four years from now. One major development that has happened during this trial is that the Indian Army’s demand for the control of the attack choppers has been accepted by Ministry of Defence. In his last press conference the IAF Chief had said that "every one can’t have one’s own little air force" but after much deliberation the Ministry of Defence has accepted the Army’s demand. As per the current system, the Air Force flies the attack choppers but it is under the Indian Army’s command and control. But the Army wanted the attack choppers to be its assets to be flown by Army’s pilots from aviation corps, who in any case are flying weaponised Dhruvs and Chetaks. The LCH is also going to be with Indian Army as well. The contract for the Apache is a hybrid deal, which includes both direct commercial sales (DCS) and foreign military sales (FMS). As per the procedure of FMS, the governments discuss the sale of the equipment and in DCS, it is the company that negotiates with the customer. The aircraft in this deal is under the DCS, whereas the weapons and sensors, which are critical part of the system, are under FMS, and will be negotiated by the US government. Boeing, the prime contractor for this programme, has already bagged two major contracts from India: the C- 17 heavy-lift aircraft and the other for the P8I long-range maritime reccconassance aircraft. This deal is expected to cost Indian exchequer around $1.5 billion. November 2012


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CHOPPER-BORNE EYE IN THE SKY The Indian Army has decided to acquire helicopter-based early warning systems, which will considerably enhance its ability to peer into enemy territory. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA reports on what this development actually means

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he Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP), a five-year acquisition plan for the Services, met on October 5, 2012, to discuss a number of proposed acquisitions. One of the big-ticket proposals on the agenda was the heli-borne early warning system (AWACs) for the Indian Army. The Army plans to acquire these systems to increase its bandwith and snooping capability across the arc at the

Line of Control (LoC). In a conventional operational procedure, the Army employs human intelligence, aerial surveillance, electronic surveillance, listening devices, etc. to know and map the positions of enemy assets, their movements, electronic and communication centres. This information helps the Army analyse the possible enemy war plan and chart out its own responses. The present system has limita-

tions in terms of reach and the amount of time required. Heli-borne radar is a critical element and the greater the real-time nature of this intelligence, the better is the ability to fight the enemy on the ground. Many modern armies use helicoptermounted systems to gather information through electronic, infrared sensors and radar systems and pass that onto ground stations in real time for operational utilisation (see box). Every army in the modern battlefield

AS 532 COUGAR HORIZON BATTLEFIELD SURVEILLANCE HELICOPTER (FRENCH ARMY) § § §

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§ Developed to counter any possible threat by the tank fleets during the Cold War Four French Army Horizon helicopters were retired in May 2008 and replaced them with UAVs Cougar AS 532 UL twin-engine helicopter with radar and electronic counter-measures and a ground station. The first flight with the full radar sys-

§ § §

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tem took place in 1992. First delivery to French Army was in July 1996 Long-range, multi-mode retractable pulse Doppler radar Rotating antenna below the fuselage radar range- 200km, an altitude of 4,000m and a cruise speed of 180km/h Radar gives speed resolution of moving target at 2m per second.

§ §

Weather radar encrypted communications systems SFIM model 155 autopilot, inertial navigation and global positioning system (GPS) VHF omni-directional radio range equipment (VOR), instrument landing system (ILS), radar altimeter

AS 532 UB GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS § Crew: 2 § Capacity: 20 troops § Length: 15.53 m (50 ft 11½ in) § Rotor diameter: 15.6 m § Height: 4.92 m § Empty weight: 4,350 kg § Max. takeoff weight: 9,000 kg " Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft, 1,185 kW (1,589 shp) each PERFORMANCE § Maximum speed: 249 km/h (134 knots, 154 mph) § Range: 573 km § Service ceiling: 3,450 m § Rate of climb: 7.2 m/s

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ADVANCED LIGHT HELICOPTER BASIC DATA Length: 15.87 metres Main Rotor Diameter: 13.20 metres Max. Take-off Weight: 5500 kg Useful Load: 2600 kg Fuel Capacity: 1100 kg

them is through another chopper that flies at a similar height. Indian Army sources suggest that these will also have a jamming capability and the trend is to have forward looking infrared (FLIR) and night vision cameras also. The proposal has been through the Ministry of Defence SCAP and after the final approval, the request for proposal will be sent out. Meanwhile, the Indian Army is working out the detailed specifications of the project. The project is expected to be a ‘Make India’ proposal, although this is still being discussed. Sources suggest that earlier the plan was to give this contract to the public sector units, Bharat Electronic Limited and Defence Research Development Laboratory of the DRDO. Sources, however, point out that the Deputy Chief of the Army wanted to make it an open tender under the ‘Make India’ programme so that the Indian private sector could also participate. But the final decision, this may not go this way as the policy of the Ministry, is that all strategic equipment should go to public sector only.

HEMANT RAWAT

would like to know how fast the enemy armour column is moving, how many enemy helicopters are airborne and their specific movement. This information cannot be gathered by human intelligence. The army uses choppers from the aviation wing as air observation post (AOP) to gather such information. But these do not provide specific data such as speed, direction of enemy choppers, etc. A chopper equipped with radar and sensors can catch electronic, radio and communication signals to gather information regarding operational aerial assets in the theatre. These are like small AWACs, used by air forces. The only difference is that they are more strategic in nature where these would be tactical in nature and will be used in a single battlefield. These will provide the army with detailed information about a small area in a close situation. When employed along with attack choppers, these act as force multipliers. Since enemy helicopters are not easy to trap through ground radar, as they fly close to ground, the best way to identify

HEMANT RAWAT

PERFORMANCE Max Continuous Speed: 270 kmph Never Exceeded Speed: 300 kph Range: 660 km Max. Oblique Rate of Climb: 620 m/min Service Ceiling: 4500 m

JACK OF ALL TRADES: The Mi-17 has the capability to function as a heli-borne AWACS

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Army sources suggest that the equipment will be mounted on the HAL’s Dhruv that are operational at present with the Army Aviation Wing though its small payload capacity will limit its range and capability. Insiders say the right aircraft for this role would be the Mi-17s, as they have a payload of around 4000 kg. The French use Cougars (see box), which are fairly large choppers with a significant range. The larger choppers with longer range and heavy-lift capacity will be able to scan deeper into enemy territory and will have long range, thus, small numbers will be able to scan a much larger area. The Dhruv will not be able to do this and more of them will be required to do the job on the Indian borders. In addition to the movement of enemy armour columns, heli-borne surveillance systems are also used to provide early warning about surface-to-air and air-toair missiles that are launched against helicopters in a theatre. By design, these helicopters are part of the squadrons of attack helicopters, which are employed to target enemy armour. The system is expected to be developed with foreign collaboration. The initial numbers are expected to be very small and will be fielded with the strike corps, but subsequently the Army is expected to purchase them in large numbers. The reason for opting for Indian helicopters is also because the Army would not like to purchase choppers for this requirement and give the contract to HAL. Incidentally, HAL is also developing a multi-role helicopter. France, one of the first countries to use this system, has shifted to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and more countries, including India, are using UAVs for similar roles. Satellites are also being used for realtime surveillance. Does it then make a sense to use helicopters when better UAVs are available?

October 2012


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'INDIA IS VERY PROMINENT AS A MARKET AND INDUSTRIAL PARTNER…' On India’s position as a manufacturing hub of military hardware There seems to be no question that given India’s aerospace achievements to date and the enormous pool of engineering talent in the country, the nation is certain to emerge as a significant aerospace and defence manufacturer in its own right. Like every country, it will encounter formidable challenges in this highly complex sector, but we have little doubt that the Indian aerospace industry will succeed in multiple areas and we aim at being a strong partner in this endeavour. On the joint production of aircraft with Indian firms for ‘Buy and Make’ programmes From the aero-structures’ point of view, India’s existing capability is important but there is still some gap to cover to enter into full assembly and integration of aircraft. The aerostructures part can be developed with some joint effort from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and the Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), but some areas, such www.geopolitics.in

as engine and avionics manufacturing, integrating or assembling, are still far from the levels existing in the public sector Indian companies and look difficult to fill in the short-medium term. Nevertheless, we are keen to explore the full capabilities of potential Indian partners and understand their potential. On India’s potential to become an integral part of the global military supply chain With respect to reaching agreements with Indian SMEs, the situation is that we are going to look at particular projects and then the ‘buy and make’ philosophy will produce several changes in the way we tackle projects. So OEMs will approach the market conscious of the need to manufacture in India with Indian partners. Airbus Military is planning to walk in this direction and we have the opportunity with one particular project—the Avro replacement programme, which is included in this category—and so we have already started analysing, discussing and defining work packages to have an Indian SME in charge of the manufacturing of Airbus Military products in India. It is not difficult to think one step further and imagine the inclusion of these Indian SMEs as part of our

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AIRBUS

VERSATILE RANGE: Airbus Military has an expansive range including A330 MRTT refuelling F-18s (left) and the C295 (below)

global supply chain. At the same time, we still need to reach a full understanding of the offset requirements in the context of a ‘buy and make’ project. There needs to be a further clarification of the offset credits for particular activities. On MoUs/JVs with Indian firms Airbus Military has not signed any agreements with Indian firms so far, but we are currently in discussion with several candidate companies with a view to teaming on the Avro replacement for example. On India’s position in Airbus military’s global business plan India is very prominent both as a market and as an industrial partner and supplier. Plus it has great potential as a source of new engineering talent. And this is at a time when defence budgets in the matured Western markets are not expected to grow significantly. So we assume that India will play a greater role for us in all these ways in future. November 2012


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SNOOPING DEVICES FOR THE MOUNTAINS The imposing Himalayas are one of the biggest barriers for Indian forces.To know what's going behind these magnificent peaks requires a huge amount of hard work and perseverance. To improve their information gathering capability in these places, the Indian Army has floated a request for information for electronic intelligence (ELINT) intercept receivers for mountainous terrain. ROHIT SRIVASTAVA reports on the significance of this procurement LISTENING IN: The man-portable

electronic warfare system, such as this one used by the Navy SEAL team, has become a prerequisite for forward troops


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n today’s warfare, communication is key. The ability to hear what the enemy is communicating is the most important element in any battlefield. The term ELINT stands for electronic intelligence, which is part of technology intelligence. Electronic intelligence is a generic term, which covers gathering intelligence on all types of electronics gadgets including radar, surveillance, communication devices, etc. Intelligence gathering through ELINT is very dependent on geography for the simple reason that it plays an important role in electronics signal-sharing. One of the best ways of gathering ELINT is through aircraft as an aerial platform allows unhindered signal reception with very little cluttering and noise. The Indian Army’s Military Intelligence (MI) sent out a global request for information (RFI) in August 2012 to procure mobile ground-based ELINT system. In the RFI document the Army says, “There are various RF emitters, apart from ones used for communication. Our northern and eastern borders have mountainous terrain. There is a need to monitor these mountainous regions for presence of emitters to obtain required ELINT. Hence a mobile ground-based ELINT System for mountainous terrain is envisaged to monitor non-communication emitters in the range of 0.5 to 40 GHz. These ELINT intercept receivers envisaged are required to be vehicle based, which can easily be transported to mountainous terrain and can be rapidly deployed. The system in block should have an interface unit and antenna integrated with a high-end spectrum analyser.” The RFI document suggests that the Army is looking for a ‘Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) system’ which is ‘fully passive’ and should be capable of ‘accurate identification and parameterisation of target radar emitters’—meaning that the system should be able to put the emission in distinguishable parameters, so that identification of the emission source can be identified. The Army wants this man-portable system to be of ‘small size, weight and power philosophy for easy deployment’. As per the RFI, the system should have wellintegrated ‘sensors and control stations’ with ‘online and offline analysis/ processing of the captured emitters’. The system is expected to be ‘automated’ and should be of ‘modular fashion’ with ground-based www.geopolitics.in

deployment and multiple sensors to store target data and report back to a control centre. The RFI further goes on to give out the Army’s other requirements. One of the significant points that the Army has asked in the RFI is that the “system should incorporate wideband digital channelised receivers with the latest technology for superior identification and location information on non-communication emitters”. The Army wants it to be capable of rapid spectrum search of up to 40 GHz. The Indian communication capability is still primarily based on legacy systems. The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) have not been able to come up with systems that can cater to all requirements of the Army. The technological gap between the demand of the forces and the Ministry’s agencies capability is very large. From time to time, Indian forces have to procure equipment from abroad. Given the sensibility of the intelligence operation and especially in the domain of technical snooping, this is a big compromise on national security. The RFI suggests that the Army is looking for a system which has the ‘high probability of intercept with high parametric accuracy, helping in zeroing on to the emitters location’. Interception refers to the ability of the unit to accurately locate the enemy’s assets and help in neutralising them. The harsh Indian mountain environment throws up many challenges not only for men but also for machines. In the past, a lot of key equipment failed to function in the high and cold Himalayas. No company manufactures goods designed for the harsh environment of the Himalayas. Since this is such a major concern for the Army, the MI has asked that the system should be able to function effectively in such unforgiving conditions. The mountains also make operating the system difficult. There are many places in the Himalayas where the snooping devices cannot be manned all the year round. Therefore, the Army has also asked for these devices to be operationally autonomous. Interoperability is one of the main concerns for the Indian armed forces as a majority of our systems are legacy systems and will not be replaced in the near future. Therefore, these old systems will have to work with new systems that are being procured. Even for the ELINT units,

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QINETIQ

DEFBIZ

POWER SNOOPER: The portable nature of the generation of snooping devices bestows commanders with an exceptional tactical advantage

the Army is asking for interoperable systems. The Indian Army’s modernisation has to be in all aspects—not only in terms of weapons but also in technical systems. Its modernisation plans are way short of their stated objectives. When procured, this new system will provide that definite edge in the operations in the high mountains. § System sonfigurations should be able to support manned, unmanned, remote and autonomous operations. § System should be ruggedised for reliability and supportability in harsh environments. § System should have means of storage of captured ELINT data from multiple systems. § System should have capability to operate 24 x 7 for long periods. § The present should be interoperable with the existing ELINT system. § System should have facility for secure data transfer between inter and intra systems. § Present system should have facility of operation in both integrated and stand-alone modes. November 2012


g BIZINTEL

FICV BYE BYE ! THE MARKET is buzz with the news of alleged circulation of the letter from the Ministry of Finance suggesting to the military that they should go slow on new purchases. The Finance Ministry has suggested that the new revenue procurement should be minimised, not the capital procurement. Meaning that the new weapons and platform procurement should not be stopped but the procurement of regular items which are not combat -related should be delayed. One of the senior officers suggested we may delay purchase of new vehicles, jeeps, cars etc. www.geopolitics.in

RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS

THE DEFENCE ACQUISITION Committee (DAC) which met on October 5, had one additional agenda to discuss the prime contender for the 197 light utility helicopters (LUH) for the Army and IAF, but the deal was dropped from the agenda just a day ahead of the DAC meeting, thanks to the anonymous letters written to Defence Minister AK Antony highlighting the shortcoming at the trials. It is worth mentioning that the same deal was cancelled in 2008 when one anonymous letter landed on the Defence Minister’s table. The deal is becoming extremely critical to Indian defence services as the production line of the spare parts of the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which will be replaced by this deal, are going to close down soon and then these choppers will be devoid of any parts for replacement. This deal is now entering the ‘now and never’ situation. The power of these anonymous letters is so much that the minister is ready to risk grounding these

helicopters which are our force’s lifeline for many different roles. One remembers the US Ambassador talking at the Prime Minister’s office some years back when anonymous letters surfaced several acquisition programmes with the US were underway. The Ambassador told TKSA Nair, who was the Principal Secretary at that time, that it would be impossible to do business with India if it started taking cognizance of every anonymous letter that came its way. Ironically, Pradeep Kumar who is now the CVC and was formerly the Defence Secretary, ought to know this. In his new avatar he takes cognizance of every letter that comes his way—anonymous or otherwise. But when in South Block he used to fret and fume at the same faceless missives. Reports are that several ambassadors are again planning to take it with the PMO that this anonymous warfare is below the belt and unwarranted!

JINXED DEAL: The LUH replacement programme, for which the Eurocopter Fennec (left) and the Kamov Ka-226 Sergei (above right) are competing, is mired in controversy

which are non-essential and we can do without replacing vehicles. The overall impact of these austerity measures is not going to be much and we must not forget that these measures are for every department not only for defence. One of the programmes that could take a hit will be the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV), intended to replace the Army’s 2,600 BMP-2s, at an estimated cost of ` 50,000 crore. The FICV, in common language is a light armoured vehicle that is step-by-step with the tanks and carries infantry into STALLED PROJECT: The Army wants to replace its fleet of BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles but reports suggest that the tender for the programme may be scrapped and a fresh one floated

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ARMY PRO

EUROCOPTER

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COMPLAINTS ARE FAST TRACKED!

November 2012


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PROCESSING THE PURCHASE ORDER

HEMANT RAWAT

the battle space. Reports are that the tender for the programme may be scrapped and a fresh one floated. For over two years, the government had been mulling with the proposals of three private sector and one public sector undertakings (PSU). In 2010, Tata Motors, the Mahindra Group, Larsen & Toubro and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) were requested by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to present their pitches to produce an FICV. It was planned that the MoD would select two ‘development partners’ after assessing the proposals from the industry majors. The Army would then choose one of the two prototypes made. The ‘Made in India’ programme of the MoD spells out how Indian industry would develop “high technology, complex systems”, to “ensure indigenous research, design, development and production of capabilities sought by the armed forces”. According to this programme, designed to give a fillip to the Indian defence industry, the MoD would fund 80 per cent of the cost of developing each of the two FICV prototypes, while the shortlisted vendors would contribute with 20 per cent each. With the estimated cost of developing and manufacturing the 2,600 FICVs touching the Rs 50,000 crore-mark, the FICV programme is potentially one of India’s biggest-ever indigenous defence projects.

FRENCH SUPERFIGHTER: The deal for the Dassault Rafale could get delayed by another two years

THE INDIA AIR FORCE (IAF) is in the process of concluding several major pending deals. At present, it is procuring 22 attack choppers for another attack chopper squadron, 15 heavy-lift helicopters, 126 Rafale multi-role fighters, air-to-air refuellers and additional six C-130J lifters. The technical trials for these deals have got over a long time back and the Air Force has begun next step of the long and tortuous procurement process. The price negotiation for the Apache procurement under the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) started in the first week of October. In the same week, the Indian Air Force began the process of establishing the lifecycle cost for the heavy-lift choppers deal. The IAF is expected to send the name of the lowest bidder to the defence acquisition council (DAC) by early next month. Thereafter, the Ministry will be responsible for price negotiations with the vendor. The result of the technical trial is not heavily in favour of any contender and the lifecycle cost would be the main selection criteria. The price negotiation for the Rafale is going to start after the conclusion of these deals. The air-to-air refueller is expected to come to the table for dis-

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cussions by the middle of November. The IAF and Lockheed are also discussing the six additional C-130 Js and this deal is expected to be ready by the end of this financial year. The biggest woe in most of these orders is the offset programme. There is literally no bandwidth to absorb so much of offsets, that in some cases like the MRCA(Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft), stretches up to 50 per cent If industry insiders are to be believed, the MMRCA deal could get delayed by at least two years. The transfer of technology discussion has not started yet, and if one goes by the previous experience of the IAF which has taken more than a year for any ToT discussion. The MMRCA being a complicated deal, ToT transfer will be done by different sub-vendors of the Rafale to Indian manufacturers. This is going to be a multi layered discussion and it is very difficult to wind up everything within this financial year for the contract to be signed. It is worth mentioning that the MMRCA deal has achieved almost every set deadline and IAF is confident of signing the deal as per the existing schedule.

November 2012


DEF BIZ

BRAHMOS UPDATE The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos would be a primary weapon for the Navy in the coming years. The Navy recently successfully test-fired the missile that is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300 kg. Test-fired from warship INS Teg off the coast of Goa, the missile successfully hit the target ship. The INS Nag, the Navy's latest induction from Russia, will be armed with the BrahMos. Two other warships —INS Tarkash and INS Trikand, both Talwar-class frigates like the INS Teg — will also have the missile in vertical launch mode. The Navy has also got a number of indigenous ships coming up that will sport the BrahMos.

www.geopolitics.in

MOD

BRAHMOS

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SUPPING WITH THE RUSSIANS

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espite the hiccups, the 12th IndoRussian inter-governmental commission on military technical cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), chaired by Defence Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov went off rather smoothly. There was a gentle talk of the delay in the delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov or India’s anger at the Russian propensity to jack up costs, default on deadlines and hem and haw on critical issues. “Russia is our time-tested and reliable friend,” Defence Minister AK Antony told the media, and added: “I myself raised our serious concerns over the delay.” said Antony, calling for “a wartime effort” by Russia to ensure the carrier's delivery at the earliest. He was talking about the Admiral Gorshkov. Serdyukov said, “The ship encountered a big malfunction with the main power plant and boiler...I hope its sea trials will resume next April...the transfer

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TRADITIONAL PARTNERS: Defence Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov in an animated discussion during the latter’s recent visit

will take place in the fourth quarter of 2013.” The cost for Vikramaditya's (that will be the rechristened Gorshkov) refit escalated to $2.33 billion from the original $974 million earmarked in the January 2004 contract, under which the carrier was to be delivered by August, 2008. The fresh contract for Vikramaditya, under which it was to be delivered by last December, provides for penalty of up to five per cent but India is reluctant to invoke it because of the long-standing bilateral ties as well as several ongoing defence projects with Russia, which has also leased nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra to the Indian Navy as well as provided consultancy in the construction of the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant. Amongst the big ticket items finalised for President Putin’s visit later this year are: l

An additional 42 new Sukhoi-30MKIs to the 230 already contracted, at an overall

November 2012


and other defence Public Sector Undertakings. As against these two handicaps, the Russians are rated high vis-a-vis India on the crucial issue of transfer of technology, something the Americans are extremely wary about allowing access to critical highend technology items without any strings. Serdyukov waxed eloquent on the relationship between the two countries and spoke in some detail about various ongoing programmes. Here is what he said on some of them: l On the Pak-FA Fifth Generation Fighter aircraft:The technical characteristics have been confirmed to our (Russia and India) defence ministries. We propose serial production of the plane should start by 2020. l On the 42 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft: Russia has presented India with a contract for delivery of another 42 Su30MKI aircraft. “I hope it will be signed by year-end,” he said. (The new Su30MKI will feature an advanced active electronically-scanned array radar system as well as modified electronic warfare systems and the ability to fire. India will begin production of an export variant of Russian plane-maker Sukhoi's T50 stealth fighter from 2020 the landattack variant of the BrahMos missile). l On BrahMos: The Russian-Indian joint venture is expected to supply the Indian armed forces with about 1,000 BrahMos missiles.

The Air Force version of the BrahMos is believed to be ready and reports suggest that work is on to modify two Russian Su30 fighter jets to make the aircraft BrahMos compatible. According to inside information, the aircraft will be undergoing some modification to relocate the missile-carrying points. They are heavy and require the modification to ensure that the stability of the aircraft isn’t compromised. The disappointing news is that the Dassault-manufactured Rafale chosen by the IAF to act as a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), or the indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas (which is yet to be inducted in the IAF) would not be able to carry the BrahMos because of its weight.

www.geopolitics.in

HEMANT RAWAT

NOT FOR THE RAFALE

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RAYTHEON, MONUMENT TIE UP

RAYTHEON

cost upwards of $12 billion. Another 71 Mi-17 V5 helicopters after the initial induction of 80 of these armed helicopters for $1.34 billion. l A project to develop a “new-generation” hypersonic BrahMos cruise missile after the supersonic version being inducted in the Indian armed forces. l Full final design/R&D phase contract for development of the stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft. The R&D contract is pegged at $11 billion, with the two countries chipping in with $5.5 billion each. India hopes to induct 200 to 250 of them from 2022 onwards. l India is spending another $2 billion to induct 45 Russian MiG-29K naval fighters to operate from the decks of Vikramaditya and the indigenous aircraft carrier, which too has been delayed at the Cochin Shipyard till at least 2018. Moreover, there are serious issues over supply and quality of spares. After the breakup of the USSR, it is still to get a clear -cut supply and support policy in place. More, the Indian Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) that the Government of India has put in place mandates minimum 30 per cent offsets for orders valued at over `300 crore, which means the Russians will have to source the products from domestic suppliers. It is here that Europe and America have scored over Russia. They have moved into this much faster than the Russians who continue to rely on their time-tested relationship with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited l

Raytheon has entered into a distribution agreement with Monument Capital Group. Under the agreement, MCG will engage potential Indian partners to provide mass notification and non-lethal systems to solve challenging security problems and emerging safety requirements. Applications of these products include high-value asset and critical infrastructure security, protection against terrorism and piracy, explosives detection, and innovative emergency response solutions for natural disaster management. Security solutions are aimed at enhancing border, port, maritime and aviation security. Raytheon will leverage MCG's prospective strategic partnerships with leading international companies in high-growth security markets to provide indigenous country fullservice support and business expertise. Customers will have access to new security technologies that safeguard security in civil, defence and critical infrastructure.

November 2012


DEF BIZ

EXCELLENCE AWARDS Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Bharat Electronics (BEL) have been jointly conferred with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Award for Excellence in Performance in the institutional category for 2010-11. During the year, HAL produced 78 new aircraft/helicopters along with their engines and accessories. This was double the average production of the last 10 years. It produced 82 new engines and upgraded 16 aircraft. HAL also overhauled 196 aircraft/helicopters and 386 engines and completed technology absorption for production of Su-30 MKI. Besides, it received major orders from Hawk and LCA. HAL’s avionics division, Korwa (UP), won ‘Design Effort’ Award. RK Tyagi, Chairman, HAL, received the award from Defence Minister AK Antony.

www.geopolitics.in

TEXTRON

PIB

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TEXTRON SCORES WITH AEROSONDE UAV A

AI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, has announced that its Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System logged 168 flight hours in the frigid, harsh climate of Antarctica, supporting meteorological research by the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Each Aerosonde aircraft was outfitted with meteorological instruments to measure pressure, temperature, relative humidity, winds, net radiation, surface temperature and ice thickness. The crew directed the Aerosonde aircraft through low-level flights — around 300 feet above the water's surface — to measure wind speed, temperature and moisture in an area called Terra Nova Bay. Flights also included spiral ascents and descents to

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capture the atmosphere at various heights over the polynyas. Launching from an ice runway, the Aerosonde aircraft conducted beyond-line-of-site operations of up to 18 hours in temperatures as low as minus 37 degrees Celsius and winds up to 81 miles per hour.This was the second successful deployment that AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems conducted with the University of Colorado team. In 2009, a six-week exploration of the katabatic winds present on the coast of Antarctica allowed researchers to generate highly detailed, three-dimensional maps to help study their relationship to sea ice formation. In 2007, an Aerosonde was the first unmanned aircraft to penetrate the eye of a hurricane under a programme administered by NASA and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

November 2012


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NORTHROP GRUMMAN MATURES LASER TECH THREAT

US OFFERS 245 STINGER MISSILES TO INDIA T he US is offering 245 Stinger missiles to India as part of a weapons package for the Apache attack choppers being acquired by the Air Force. “245 air-to-air Stinger missiles and 56 launchers are included in the package for the Apache helicopters. The Stinger compliments the advanced performance of the Apache by providing the IAF with the critical air-to-air defence capability, “ PTI reported quoting officials of the Raytheon – manufacturers of the missiles. India has selected the American Apache helicopter for its requirement of 22 attack helicopters that will have both air-to-ground and air-to-air roles in the service. “Yes, Apache is final now,” IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne recently told a press conference

www.geopolitics.in

when asked if the air service was procuring the American choppers. Designed by Americans at the height of the Cold War, the AH-64 Apache gunship meant to destroy a possible attack by columns of Warsaw Pact tanks. Armed with a chain gun and Hellfire missiles, it was used to devastating effect in the American wars in the Middle East. The American helicopter edged out the Russian Mi-28 Havoc in the race for the IAF contract for heavy attack choppers. The surface-to-air version of the Stinger missile is widely credited with the collapse of Russian helicopter fleet in Afghan war in 1980s and was also used by Pakistani troops to bring down an IAF Mi-17 helicopter during the Kargil war in 1999.

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has matured the technology for enhancing the capabilities of its All Semiconductor Airborne Laser Threat Terminator (ASALTT) product line, developed to defeat both current and emerging IR (infra red) threats. The ASALTT is an advanced technology quantum cascade laser-based midinfrared laser designed and developed to protect a wide variety of aircraft including fixed-wing and rotor aircraft, whether based on land or at sea. Since achieving Technology Readiness Level-6 compliance earlier this year, ASALTT systems have participated in multiple field and lab tests. These tests have proven the product line to be successful in countering a variety of threats, including current and advanced scenarios. This is a significant milestone for the ASALTT platform, paving the way for continued collaborative work closing capability gaps for the warfighter. Northrop Grumman is one of the world's leading manufacturers of military electro-optical (EO) targeting systems. These include ground-based EO imaging/ranging systems for target location, laser designators/markers for precise guidance of smart munitions.

November 2012


DEF BIZ

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HAL

Tata Motors Defence Solutions has delivered 21 light-armoured troop-carrier vehicles to the Gujarat Police to strengthen its security preparedness. The company recently delivered 32 mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) to the Maharashtra State Police, five MPVs to the Jharkhand State Police and 122 Tata Light Armoured Troop Carriers to the central armed police force. Equipped with a powerful engine and a 4x4 all-wheel drive system, the lightarmoured troop-carrier

HTKA.HU

TATA MOTORS’ SOLUTION FOR GUJARAT POLICE

NOVEL PARTNERSHIP: MTA project being signed by T Suvarnaraju of HAL (extreme right), S Velmozhkin of UACTA in the presence of RK Tyagi, Chairman of HAL (standing, centre)

RUSSIA, INDIA SIGN TRANSPORT PLANE DEAL

comes with protection on all sides and can crack down on a situation with deadly accuracy. These vehicles are fitted with splinter-proof, bulletproof glass, explosion suppression material in the fuel tank and suspended seats. Tata Motors Defence Solutions makes a wide range of vehicles in the light, medium and heavy categories. These include logistics, tactical, armoured and specialist vehicles.

www.geopolitics.in

DCNS’ WEAPON SYSTEM FOR SUBMARINES

At present, running away is the only way for submarines to defend themselves against torpedoes launched by helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft. The new anti-aircraft defence systems developed by DCNS in cooperation with MBDA will oblige aircraft to keep their distance from submarines. To meet the need for navies to protect their submarines against airborne threats, DCNS is now proposing a weapon system which will be available in two versions: Mast-mounted anti-aircraft self-

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at Bengaluru while its Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) at Kanpur will manufacture the prototypes and subsequently serial production where dedicated facilities are being set up. HAL’s other R&D centres and manufacturing divisions will share development of systems and LRUs and manufacture of components, sub-assemblies and composite structure. HAL will showcase its expertise in design of aircraft as well as systems, manufacturing and flight testing while jointly working with the Russian team in Moscow as well as in India.

defence system: Comprises a mast supporting a turretwith Mistral missiles. Self-defence system with an undersea vehicle: An undersea vehicle (UUV), inside which is a Mica medium-range missile, deployed from a torpedo tube.

DCNS

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ndia and Russia have signed a transport aircraft deal that will help produce a contemporary state-of-the-art multi-role transporter (MTA). It will have a glass cockpit for electronic instrument displays, fly by wire controls, full authority digital engine control (FADEC) engines, 800 kmph cruise speed, a range of 2500 km, while its service ceiling would be 12 km. The Detail Design Phase (DDP) contract will be signed soon to complete the design and development of MTA. HAL will carry out the design and development of its work share of the MTA at the Aircraft R&D Centre (ARDC)


DEFENCE24.PL

SMX 26’S CAPABILITIES ON DISPLAY At this year’s Euronaval show, DCNS is unveiling its new concept-ship, SMX 26, a small submarine designed for operation in very shallow waters, in littoral zones not usually accessible for conventional submarine operations. SMX 26 can remain on the sea bed for long periods, continuously monitoring its environment, before attacking its target with the appropriate assets. Its shape ensures precise, safe progress in very shallow waters, enabling operation in water less than 15 m deep. Its two shaft-lines and its four steerable and retractable azimuth thrusters give the SMX 26 extreme manoeuvrability and the ability to remain in a stabilized position near the bottom or just under the surface in swell. The SMX 26’s capacity for long discreet surveillance is also noteworthy. It is

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the Type Certificate for the S76D helicopter, moving the aircraft forward to its highly anticipated delivery into the medium-sized marketplace. The FAA signed the certificate on October 12, capping an intensive flight test programme to introduce the S-76D helicopter, Sikorsky's newest commercial product. The S-76D helicopter has a current backlog approaching a half-billion dollars and is expected to begin deliveries later this quarter. www.geopolitics.in

The IAF is planning to join hands with an Israeli firm to upgrade the UAVs(unmanned aerial vehicles) of the three services under a project worth over `5,000 crore to enhance their snooping capabilities. The three services operate a fleet of more than 150 (UAVs) procured from the Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) over the last few decades. Under the `5,000 crore projects, the capabilities of the UAVs in all the three services will be upgraded with the help of

“Our customers are excited to begin receiving the S-76D into their fleets. We are equally excited to deliver a new product that represents three and a half decades of continuous product improvement, to offer them a helicopter with improved efficiency, power and best-in-class noise signature,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters. Ed Beyer, Vice President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, added: “The S-76D helicopter ushers in a new era of excellence across mission segments. The S-76D will be incorporated into the fleets of our customers for every mission segment it currently performs including offshore support, VIP, Search and Rescue, and EMS. The S-76D helicopter will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever.” The S-76D helicopter is the latest in the family of the popular S-76 helicopters manufactured by Sikorsky. There have been more than 800 S-76 helicopters delivered to the global fleet since 1979, contributing daily to a growing six million-plus flight hours.Designed for safety, reliability and efficiency, the S-76D helicopter's standard equipment features are all-composite, flawtolerant main rotor blades.

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AICK.LIVEJOURNAL.COM

capable of ‘landing’ very quickly on all types of sea bed, thanks to a extendable wheeled ‘undercarriage’ system, and lurking on the bottom, deploying hoses to the surface for air and power. Its embedded and deployed sensors maintain a complete watch above and below the surface. The SMX 26 can take rapid and effective action, including the deployment of six special forces divers at depth or at the surface for catching targets ‘in the act’. It also has two mast-mounted weapon systems: a 20 mm cannon for policing capability and missile launch container for anti-aircraft self-defence. Its main offensive armament comprises two heavyweight torpedoes and eight lightweight torpedoes.

SIKORSKY

FAA APPROVES SIKORSKY S-76D

UPGRADING THE UAVs

the original equipment manufacturer IAI. The IAF flies the Israelimade Searcher II and Heron UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes and about 100 Searchers are in operation on Indian borders in western, northern and eastern regions. After the upgrades, the IAF would be capable of operating these aircraft from far-off distances and control them through satellite communication system. The IAF has been saying in the recent past that it wants to increase the number of UAVs in the force.

November 2012


'OUR FUTURE IN INDIA WILL BE DIFFERENT!'

ANDREW ZOGG, Vice President, Business Development, Raytheon, and BILL BLAIR, President, Raytheon India, recently caught up with K SRINIVASAN to talk about the Indian market, prospects and what they have to achieve in the defence and homeland security space. Excerpts:

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INTERVIEW


g INTERVIEW On the sluggishness in the market Andrew Zogg: New procurements and budget applications really drive our use of different business models or publicprivate partnerships. We are trying to work with customers’ need — less so their individual programmes and more so the capabilities they want to deploy. And where there’s a robust lead for a new capability, whether it’s driven by radar network or communications backbone or new tower automation system or whatever the air traffic infrastructure requirement might be, take a robust lead. Then we go back and look at short funding. We can’t do the development of the new capability that have deployment or maintenance funding in the funding lines to help bridge that (gap) for the customer and do a kind of public-private partnership. We just really started that with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and it worked very well. So, it’s really a kind of flippedupside-down in the history of how we’ve done business. So, we look for new projects, bid for projects and have the customer do resource selection and then get started. It is a very slow process and that’s not what a lot of countries can do right. So, really that sluggishness we see it as an advantage over the short term. I mean that can’t be seen as healthy over the long term. That’s really helped our thinking how to approach customers, to ably use it and use it both domestically with FAA and we spent two days with them, as well as international countries and I think that’s more between the service provider on the company side and the industry partners for sharing in more cycles — probably in India more than anywhere else. Taking technology to develop internationally with a strong partner, with Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), certainly very forward leading organisations, and then actually bringing that technology back to the United States. Certainly with the employment of our automation system, I can’t think of a command and control in the future and then the satellite navigation problems with the GPS satellites that we are working with now — that technology within the FAA’s future project. That’s www.geopolitics.in

really a new thing — to develop something in the United States and then export it internationally. What I am now seeing is reverse, I call it break back. Certainly, India is an easy case for us…it’s been a long, strong relationship with the FAA and the AAI. Success can be a great roadblock. You have 70 per cent of the Indian market. Is that a disadvantage? Zogg: Of course not. I’d say two things. One is, even in India our future will be different than our past and I think our past was bringing US technology. I think the future will be more and more as industrial partners. Bill and I were talking a lot about our partners who will be where there is mutual benefit and there are so many large companies…we really look at the alignment. We don’t look at individual projects. We look at the cultural line of the government and company, the industrial base as ours. Is the customer welleducated and what he wants? Not necessarily that they want to go to the low bidder or high bidder but very clear in what they want and that’s a good thing in India for us and we are going to be there a lot. So, we spend a lot of time jointly looking at who will be our partners. There’s not a single fit for a single market of communications or command and control or ISR or air traffic. So, we are looking at where the best benefits will be. Bill Blair: And the pie’s getting bigger too. It’s not just radars or air traffic management; it’s radars, air traffic management, it’s the GAGAN, Geosynchronous navigation. So the pie’s getting bigger I think, isn’t it? Zogg: I think likewise. So, I think the next step for us will be how we work together and it’s really been more Raytheon and the government and not so much Raytheon with the Indian industry. Does it surprise you? Zogg: A good thing for growth is that now the Indian government, AAI particularly, is reaching out to partners. As Bill mentioned that a lot of the growth in the future,you can’t just isolate India and the cylinder of airspace above India. It’s what’s happening with your

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partners and particularly with all the investments ISRO is making in satellite technology, you can cover a lot more footprint than just India. So a lot of the capacity will be carefully determined by neighbouring nations as well and even if you invest a lot in infrastructure already, others will leverage that in a much, much smaller incremental cost such as satellites, GAGAN and other things already deployed. I think it’s a very clever strategy on AAI’s part to reach out. We are going to be part of that as well. Companies you are dealing with… Blair: We are talking to a lot of different companies. Some are natural. We are comfortable taking even a sub versus a prime role. So you talk about MAFI (Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure) working with TATA Power SED and that’s taking the Auto Track II into the defence sector for the airfields on the airport side. And so we are working with Precision Electronics in communications. We are working with Athena in maritime domain awareness. We are already starting to get that natural alignment to pull the defence public sector units as well as the private sector players. Any Joint Ventures in the pipeline? Blair: We are taking it slowly. I think we are taking a more methodical approach as to who we team with first on some specific projects, before you get into a full-on joint venture. And you know, some companies have committed but we are taking, I guess, a more methodical approach to identify who we should team with. Zogg: Yes I would say it’s just as Bill said, two steps. Find some projects with real business there for us and there’s synergy. But our practice in general, either domestically or internationally, isn’t to spend a lot of time on global agreements till there is business and there is a reason to spend overheads on legal relationships and all that. Blair: We’ve been working for years in teaming relationships and it does not require necessarily to have an equity JV to position yourself in a country. So, we’ve really tried to focus on those November 2012


g INTERVIEW TOP SHOT: A new-production GEM-T missile test at the White Sands Missile Range

strategic teaming relationships which are specific, pursuit-driven but then that could become the basis of a sector type of relationship.

initial entry point. So, they really started by teaming and then they decided to establish a local base of operation.

For offsets… Blair: We, as part of the MMRCA campaign, evaluated over 60 companies in India. It didn’t go the way of the US but regardless, it positioned us to really understand some really key companies that we think we can partner with whether it’s for pursuits as a sub or prime or as a vehicle to fulfil offset requirements that we made vis-à-vis the P8 programme. It’s time well spent engaging in the industry — definitely.

RAYTHEON

Unlike other American companies, your R&D operations are pretty small in India. Zogg: The first thing that comes to mind is that there’s so much technology in there already. It’s picking the partner and transferring it — more so than making a big, indigenous investment. I think we’ll see more technology transfer from us to India. I don’t think there’ll necessarily be a big Raytheon 200 software engineers now developing air traffic management software command and control…What we’ll transfer is the licence and have a company that’s already there to do it because your educated, trained workforce doesn’t make sense to start over with. It is also a complex tax situation. I think we better find a partner, Bill. Blair: We do have a few strategic partners in the commercial space but the defence space is more challenging for us to be able to establish that indigenous footprint in India to address the defence requirements. So, in terms of exporting that development you look at the other centres that have been developed by other companies in Bengaluru. They are enormous, but they are commercially driven, commercialcentric. Maybe we will open a centre that will be developed by other companies in Bengaluru. www.geopolitics.in

For us being somewhat more defence centric — I think there is an opportunity through teaming and otherwise to establish a Centre of Excellence type of capability in India in the air traffic management space. The defence space and other areas like Homeland Security is what we’d like to get into. It’s a huge market — long term — and really I think it comes up through teaming partnerships. I won’t get into specifics but if you go back to the mid90s, a lot of the companies that established initial footprints in India in terms of Research and Technology centres, started by teaming up with some of the local expertise such as TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), and that was their

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Team with someone who understands the potential. Blair: Exactly. So I think the potential’s there. Zogg: Where there are new areas and requirements are immature as far as how the projects will be funded, how within the government will it be prioritised…? I don’t think we can do a large technology footprint but then there are ten aspects to making a business successful, only one of which is technology and the other — five or six or seven or eight — are better served by the incumbent company. Technology transfer and the licensing of the United States is less complex. They don’t put us in a bind there. How companies get started, how the requirements particularly in the civil areas, in security ground transportation, public-private partnerships — those areas are still new to us and companies in the different nations that we go to and then we find we can move a lot faster to bring a particular capability to market if we don’t just go in with the Raytheon name starting from scratch. Somebody’s already learnt the good and the bad of how to get things done and it’s usually not us. We probably do bring discriminating technology that we can help another company deploy faster to the market that they couldn’t do by themselves either. So, really we’ve learnt a lot of lessons. I mean our old ways would be — we know best. It’s all about Raytheon going to different countries, spend a lot of money and kind of spin wheels learning. And we say once we make a commitment, our commitment is good, our word is good, and we follow up doing everything. November 2012


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GEOPOLITICS

SPECIALREPORT

Even as the apex civil and military leadership dithered and floundered, the Indian soldier and junior leadership were as good during the disastrous SinoIndian War in 1962, as they have been since antiquity wherever they were wellled, writes RAJ MEHTA

I

reality, the Army had neither the ways nor means to attain the quixotic and politically insensitive end state of “throwing out the Chinese from our territory”. The problem was accentuated by a spineless apex military leadership whose key driver; Lt Gen BM Kaul, a talented logistics, not combat soldier was known for his apex political wheeling-dealing, vendetta politics and overweening ambi-

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t is almost fifty years since the Indian Army was savaged in high Himalaya by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China. Hastily assembled, poorly acclimatised, ill trained, inadequately clothed and equipped, armed with antiquated weapons, the Indian Army was destiny's distraught child. Cast adrift by a clueless, rhetoric spouting political leadership out of tune with hardnosed

RECALLING THREE HEROIC BATTLES tion. He manipulated a compliant Army Chief with reckless impunity to conduct a disastrous war—even as some professional officers advised restraint; offering viable alternatives. These were summarily dismissed and a brave but baffled Army launched against an implacable PLA led with political sagacity. Well trained and equipped, the PLA won hands down, exiting unilaterally before alpine weather and logistics difficulties made holding on a nightmare. An inexplicable fallout of 1962 is that a lobby of fixated civilian and military commentators mindlessly continues to portray the PLA as ten feet tall. They see China as wanting to “teach” lessons to India. Noting China's infrastructure advances and “aggro” in Tibet/Pok with concern, they fall back on the 1962 debacle, distorting it to suggest that the Indian Army is “afraid” of the PLA. Claiming prescience, they gloomily forecast a 1962 redux. The few episodes where we did well against the Chinese when well officered have been ignored by them as also the performance of an Army that has revived its mojo in skirmishes with the PLA post 1962—the 1967 face-offs at Nathu La; Cho La; at WangFIGHT TO THE FINISH: Indian soldiers in a bunker at a forward area of NEFA 1962

www.geopolitics.in

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November 2012


OF THE SINO-INDIAN WAR, 1962 dung in 1986. Were the PLA 10 feet tall in 1962? This article records three battles that show the real character of the well-officered Indian Army in combat, even with the chips down. The reader is left free to thereafter take a call on the worth of the 'PLA-OK-Indian Army-not-OK' pessimists. The Battle of Rezang La: Thermopylae Revisited Chushul in 1962 was a strategic target for China. A narrow, sandy valley at 14230 feet; flanked by the towering Ladakh Range (19,000 feet) on its west and Pangong Range (22000 feet), on its east side, the valley is located near the Chinese claim line. Its al-weather landing strip was critical to the defence of Ladakh, as was its location on the just completed Chushul-Leh road. Extended eastwards, this road linked the critical “Spanggur Gap” in the Pangong Ranges to Rudok, the PLA forward base. To the north, lay the 160-km-long Pangong Tso (Lake) and across the Spanggur Gap, the Spanggur Lake. The Spanggur gap had dominating heights on either side, Gurung and Maggar Hills. Adjacent, was Rezang La pass at 16,300 feet. The Chinese had built a motorable track to link it with the Spanggur-Rudok Road. Its capture would allow the PLA to interdict the sole Indian lifeline, the Chushul-Leh road at Tsaka La, www.geopolitics.in

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SITUATION REPORT: A jawan from a Gorkha unit is seen passing a massage to his forward picket on November 31, 1962.

thus cutting off all supplies/reinforcements from Leh. Rezang La thus had to be held at all costs. 114 Infantry Brigade under Brig (later Chief ) TN 'Tappy' Raina, MVC, a Kumaon Regiment officer was tasked to defend Chushul with four battalions from Lukung in the north to Tsaka La in the south, an 80 km stretch. Raina occupied Lukung with 1 J&K Militia; Tsaka La with 5 JAT, Gurung Hill with 1/8 Gurkha Rifles supported by two troops of AMX-13 tanks (20 Lancers) and the Maggar Hill-Rezang La complex with 13 Kumaon, with one company in reserve. Brigade HQ was sited at Chushul High Ground. Charlie Company 13 Kumaon was tasked to defend Rezang La. The CO put Maj Shaitan Singh Bhati, his most experienced and best company commander there. The Rezang La defences were “crested” for artillery fire support when it was needed—a major disadvantage. The company was compelled to straddle the two x two kilometre pass, leaving wide inter-platoon gaps, an unavoidable tactical compulsion which the Chinese ruthlessly exploited. The 1948 raised 13 Kumaon, the Army's sole all-Ahir battalion was armed with the Army's standard issue weapon: vintage bolt action .303 rifles with five round magazines. Charlie Company had ammunition at a rate of 600 rounds per

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soldier, six LMGs, grenades and 1000 mortar bombs. The company had no MMG's or anti-personnel mines. The PLA was armed with 7.62mm semi-automatic rifles, MMG's, 120mm/81mm/60mm mortars, 132 mm rockets and recoilless guns. They were also located on the higher Pangong ridgeline which dominated the pass. The Chushul battle commenced at 0435 hours on November 18, 1962. The PLA pounded the Spanggur Gap. At 0545 hours, Gurung Hill, held by 1/8 GR was attacked. By about 0900 hours, it had fallen after repeated attacks. The two 13 Kumaon companies holding Maggar Hil were kept engaged but not attacked. Instead, Rezang La was attacked fiercely, co-terminus with the Gurung Hill attack. Shaitan and his men accepted their “last-man-last-round” situation cheerfully. 7 Platoon was deployed north of the pass, 9 Platoon was 1 km south of 7 platoon's position along with the Company HQ and 8 platoon was deployed a further 1.5 km south. At 0200 hours, Charlie Company watched the PLA approach. At 0505 hours, 7 and 8 platoons were attacked, communications cut off and 9 platoon contacted. By 0515, the attacks had been beaten back. The Chinese changed tack, bringing forward an MMG. This attack was also beaten back. In an effort to take out the MMG; two Kumaonis charged it from 50 metres November 2012


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PRECARIOUS CROSSING: The troops are seen crossing the river Lohit in Walang sector by means of "Twine"

ONE SHOT ONE KILL: One of the forward-most pickets from where one can observe the open ground from which side the Chinese attacked the Indian pickets in November 1962

and almost succeeded. Out of respect, the Chinese later covering their bodies with blankets; leaving a “Brave Indian Soldiers” note behind; a rare case of battlefield chivalry. Meanwhile, 7 Platoon was also targeted by intense fire. The attack was beaten back. At 0655 hrs, the PLA artillery barrage recommenced. Four attacks were beaten back. The Kumaonis finally took out their bayonets, in one case using stones. At 0800 hours the Chinese finally succeeded…The Kumaoni bravehearts of 7 and 8 Platoon lay dead… Shaitan was everywhere, raising morale, ordering readjustments, passing spot orders. En route to 7 Platoon, a bullet shattered his arm. Two soldiers attempted to take him to safety when he was shot in the abdomen. Sensing danger to them, the dying Shaitan ordered them to depart. He was located, months later where they had left him, weapon in hand. By 1000 hours, it was all over. Of his 118 men, 109 were martyred, five were captured and only four returned alive, amongst them his two buddies. At Rezang La, 25 PLA trucks were loaded with the 500 odd PLA dead, Peking

radio admitting to suffering its worst casualties at Rezang La. The War Diary of 13 Kumaon noted movingly for that day: “We are now without Charlie company”—a poignant testimonial at par with “We followed our orders; we lie here dead” written for the dead at the Thermopylae Pass in Greece in 480 BCE, when most of the 300 Spartans and their leader, King Leonidas, died defending it. In January 1963, a shepherd chanced on the stunning frozen tableau of Rezang La, a stirring Ode to the last-man-last-round deeds of the Ahirs. With Red Cross help, Brig Tappy Raina recorded the scene for posterity. Medical orderly Dahiya died with a syringe in his hands…993 of the 1000 mortar bombs had been fired, with the balance ready to be fired… All the men had weapons in their hands and severe gunshot and shrapnel/bayonet injuries. Every man had died a hero. As per two moving accounts on the Kumaon Regiment battles of Rezang La and Walong authored by Col NN Bhatia, a 13 Kumaon officer, (shared with this writer by Gen HS Panag, ex-Northern Army Commander), Brig TN Raina conducted a mass funeral for the Rezang La heroes at High Ground. Shaitan's body was air lifted for cremation at Jodhpur. He was conferred the PVC and eight JCO's/Jawan's the VrC. Raina was awarded the MVC.

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******************************************** The grim contest at Walong 'At Walong, Indian troops lacked everything. The only thing they did not lack was guts'. TIME Magazine .

VISIT TO THE FRONT: The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru meeting jawans of a Sikh unit in November1962

www.geopolitics.in

‘6 Kumaon at Tri-junction fought and fought and fought till there was nothing left. After this there was an eerie silence.’ Brig NC Rawlley, Brigade Commander, Walong. Walong is today the largest small town in the north-eastern corner of India and

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lies in the narrow Lohit River Valley. It has a small airfield but only the smaller type aircraft can use it. It is 30 kms from the Tibetan border trading town of Rima. In 1962, Walong was 180 kms away/14-day turnaround along an unpaved, tough track along the Lohit west bank from the District HQ town of Tezu, also the road head. Teju was a 100 kms from the rail head. A small post, Kibithu, lay just off the IB. East of Walong is tough mountain country. It ends where the Sati Nullah flows from the east into the Lohit River at Walong and has a small “Commando/Special Forces” type of track which reached Walong after crossing the alpine from the Tri-junction area with Tibet and Burma. On the western side of the Lohit and parallel to it, the alpine massif has spurs separated by nullahs flowing down to the Lohit River. One such huge spur descending for some distance, then breaking into three further spurs is termed Tri-junction. These three “fingers” were the north-eastern spur, centre spur and the south-eastern spur. The centre spur ended above Walong; its end being a dominant position called “Ladders”. The north-east spur made outflanking of defences on the centre spur possible. The south-east spur made it possible to cut off the Walong garrison by getting behind it, the outflanking being made possible in close proximity of Walong. The centre spur, together with Trijunction was the main area of the Walong battle, an area vast enough for a Brigade to occupy. 6 Kumaon, deployed at Walong in March 1962, was moved to Kibithu with Alpha Company on the IB in September 1962. The Chinese had a Brigade, later built up to a Division. On October 20-21, the PLA cleared Alpha Company from the IB after savage fighting, with the PLA getting mauled. The Chinese, however, infiltrated, compelling 6 Kumaon to relocate to Walong. Within two days, 4 Sikh took over Walong and 2/8 GR was part inducted. PLA efforts to advance by day along the Lohit west bank were grimly contested by the Sikhs and Gurkhas on October 2425, with the overconfident Chinese picking up serious losses. A lull followed till November 3. This success made the Indians complacent. The freshly arrived troops in this area (balance companies of 2/8 GR and two companies of 3/3 GR) were thus reverted. On October 31, 5 Infantry Brigade under Brig NC Rawlley took over Walong area. Rawlley asked 3/3 GR to be re- allotted to him. 2/8 GR was flown out. Walong had food for three days and limited ammunition. During the lull period, the PLA built up strength in Tri-junction area. The Indians named the new PLA positions as Green and Yellow Pimple. 6 Kumaon on November 6 carried out a company attack on Green Pimple, but November 2012


without success. On Novemstaggering testimony to the bravery of ‘The Man-eaters of ber 11, 6 Kumaon occupied Kumaon’. The Chinese buried Tri-junction with a strong patheir dead in massive graves trol, making an attack on the at Baithithwang, Tithong and PLA positions on Green and Chikhong; Yet again, senior Yellow Pimple possible, a plan military leadership was found that Kaul approved. By Nowanting though at Unit/comvember 13, the Battalion had pany level it was peerless. The positioned itself at Tri-juncWalong units were awarded tion with superhuman effort. one MVC and nine VrC’s, with The peaks are 10,000 feet five VrC’s the Kumaoni share. above Walong. This is when honour its brave, the Col CN Madiah, the CO (ex 13 Subedar Joginder Singh To Army has constructed a meKumaon) was ordered to Sahnan, PVC morial next to the Walong launch his attack on November Airstrip. Nearby too is the 14. He resisted because no op'Helmet' memorial near the IB which erational preparations (reconnaissance, haunts you… war-gaming, troop familiarisation/brief******************************************** ing) had been done. The CO was told that A lion-hearted fight Kaul had planned a birthday gift for Nehru Bum La is a high altitude pass at over and the CO must attack or be relieved from 16,500 feet in Indian possession on the command. The attack went in at first light, McMahon Line in the high Himalaya. November 14. 'Jangi Sixth' thus had the From there, in 1962, the old trade route distinction to become the only Indian led directly led to Tawang, the famous Army Battalion to counter attack the Chimonastery town. This was the main axis nese. Though without artillery support, it which the Chinese developed into a moalmost succeeded. At 2230 hours, the Chitorable road after they captured Bum La. nese counter attacked, forcing 6 Kumaon The PLA infiltration attack at 0500 hours back to Tri-junction. There were heavy Kuon October 20, 1962 was to the West of maoni casualties. At 0430 hours next Bum La; through Brig John Dalvi's unfortumorning, the Chinese attacked again and nate 7 Infantry Brigade defences astride yet again at last light on November 15. 6 Thag La Ridge, then onwards to encircle Kumaon, reinforced by a company of 4 DoTawang, 18 kms from Bum La. Bum La is gra held on resolutely. The PLA launched 480 km or a two-day drive from Tezpur, to its final attack on Tri-junction at 0730 protect this key axis, a company of Assam hours the next morning under accurate arRifles and ‘D’ Company of 1 Sikh were detillery fire. By 1030 hours, Tri-junction met ployed. 11 Platoon of ‘Delta’ company 1 its fiery, bloody end…The Kumaonis, DoSikh was located near an Inspection Bungras and Sikhs had given it their all…It was galow on the McMahan Line ridge, a little not enough, though. A day later, the hugely south of which lies Tongpeng La, where effective 4 Sikh Ladders position had also the balance Delta Company was located. been captured. The Chinese, through pinSubedar Joginder Singh Sahnan was the cer movements, now had Walong Garrison platoon commander of 11 Platoon. At 0500 bottled up. hours, on October 20 the Assam Rifles post Half the Walong Garrison of 2200 perat Bum La was attacked, but was repulsed sonnel were killed, wounded or taken priswith heavy PLA casualties. It may be noted oner. 6 Kumaon suffered 119 dead, 113 that the Bum La attack was a part of the wounded, 172 captured, a total of 404…A

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IN REMEMBRANCE: The 'helmet memorial' near the international border near Walong Airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh

www.geopolitics.in

ODE TO THE MARTYRS: Brigadier TN Raina, MVC, lighting the mass funeral pyre in snowbound conditions

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main PLA attack against 7 Infantry Brigade deployed in the Thag La complex, an attack that decimated the Brigade within hours. Resuming the Bum La ridge/Tongpeng La narration, on October 23, a full-fledged PLA battalion of 600 Chinese attacked the Assam Rifles post, reducing it after heavy losses. The Chinese then attacked Subedar Joginder Singh's 11 Platoon to complete the capture of Bum La. The Chinese were slow—the Sikhs inflicted heavy casualties on them. In the meantime the enemy cut Joginder's communications and simultaneously threatened the company at Tongpeng La. The JCO refused orders to withdraw, preferring to fight last-man-lastround. The Chinese now attacked frontally supported by artillery fire. The fierce resistance of the platoon, however, compelled the Chinese to attack several times in “human waves.” In this fierce action, Subedar Joginder's platoon lost most of its men. Joginder despite a thigh wound manned an LMG, firing till its ammunition lasted. He and his men then emerged from their position armed with bayonets, true grit and war cry, bayoneting several Chinese soldiers before capture. Joginder died of his wounds and frostbite as a Prisoner of War in Chinese custody. Fellow prisoners recalled with pride that when his Chinese captors wanted to amputate his frostbitten foot to save his life, Joginder roared his refusal—for him, it was “all or nothing” as he did not countenance commanding soldiers with an amputated leg. Awarded the PVC posthumously, Joginder and his platoon were the embodiment of Saragarhi and Thermopylae. An objective analysis makes it clear that, at the functional level, the Indian soldier was invariably better than his Chinese counterpart notwithstanding his appalling privation and denial of moral and material support. All that was needed was inspirational leadership, which is a pronounced Army strength, not its weakness, as the 1999 Kargil War so dramatically proved. The myth of the Chinese being 10 feet tall was shattered initially by the Japanese during the 1936-39 Manchurian War and more vehemently by Vietnam in their war with China in 1979. The appalling Chinese casualties of over 20,000 PLA documented dead and wounded in a three-week war against Vietnamese Militia, not their crack regular troops indicates that the Chinese need not be over rated. It will be far more pragmatic to take note of the fact that our political and military stance against China needs priority upgrading as also our supporting infrastructure. The Indian Army has moved on since 1962 and will acquit itself honourably in any future war with its enemies. This simple statement must be believed and respected by all players and awaam. (The author is a retired Major-General ) November 2012


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g NUMBERSGAME

HEMANT RAWAT

144

Artillery guns to be upgraded

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Ministry of Defence has approved the production of 144 upgraded artillery guns for the Army. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will be manufacturing the 155 mm howitzers using the technology transferred by Bofors in mid-1980s. Two prototypes will be manufactured by the OFB including the 155 mm 39 calibre FH-77-B02 guns and the upgraded version of 155 mm 45 calibre howitzers. The DAC is the highest body headed by the Defence Minister, which oversees the entire acquisition process for the armed forces. It approves the long-term perspective plans and accords the acceptance of necessity in each case of capital acquisition.

350 1,082

km Range of Prithvi II missile test fired

The nuclear-capable PrithviII ballistic missile was fired at a test range near Balasore as part of a user trial by the Army to assess the effectiveness of the weapon in a realtime situation. Prithvi is the first ballistic missile developed under the country's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and has the capability to carry 500 kg of both nuclear and conventional warheads. An advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory is used by the missile. The nine metre-long missile is one metre in diameter and works with a liquid propulsion twin engine. www.geopolitics.in

Indian soldiers on the border with China are armed with spanking new high-tech QRT (quick-reaction team) boats to patrol controversial Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh. The 134-km-long lake has become a major flashpoint be-

The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced that it has got applications from the former militants currently in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for their return. This is part of a rehabilitation policy of the Jammu and Kashmir govern-

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Ex-ultras apply for rehabilitation ment and out of which, 218 cases have been recommended and the rest of the applications are being scrutinised and verified. The state government in consultation with the Union Home Ministry had notified the policy for the return of youth to J&K.

PRO AIR FORCE

IAF MiG-27s to be phased out

Recurring problems in the engines of the MiG-27 combat aircraft have forced the Indian Air Force to plan for the phase out of the warplanes by 2017.

The aircraft have been grounded for around two years now due to the snags in the R-29 engines. Originally built by the Mikoyan Design

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DEFENCEIMAGES.MOD.UK

DRDO

QRT boats deployed

tween the Indian and the Chinese armies near one of the most inhospitable terrains in the world. People's Liberation Army has been equipped with over 20 well-armed boats and until now the Indian Army was only equipped with outdated vessels to counter it. The acquisition of the quick reaction boats will bolster its efforts and allow it to check intrusion by the Chinese forces near the contentious water body.

Bureau in the Soviet Union and later license-produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics, the MiG-27 is a variablegeometry ground-attack aircraft. A closely-related aircraft, the MiG-23 fighter and bomber, has already been phased out. The phase-out of the crash-prone MiG-21 combat aircraft is also due by 2014.

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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is in the process of declassifying the files related to countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This comes close on the heels of the declassification of 70,000 files recently. This information was disclosed by MEA special secretary Pinaki Chakravarty while addressing an international seminar on "Early Years of Nuclear Cooperation and Non-Proliferation: A Dialogue on Nuclear Historicities. Of the files declassified so far, 12,388 were sent over to the National Archives. Of these declassified files 3,000 relate to the Americas, about 1,000 are on Eurasia, over 1,700 relating to United Nations, 702 on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, besides more than 5,100 files on Policy, Planning and Research.

70%

60+

Indo-US ops conducted

The bilateral exercises between the Indian and US armed forces have been held over the course of the last seven to eight years. These have included naval drills like Exercise Malabar which began in 1992, and include diverse activities, like fighter combat operations from aircraft carrier. The Army has also conducted 'Yudh Abhyas', an exercise where the Indian

12,000

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has also issued fresh guidelines to protect sensitive military networks from hacker attacks. The Indian Air Force had also recently issued instructions to its personnel warning them against having any official data on their personal computers and USB flash drives.

infantry troops join their American counterparts in carrying out joint drills in locations ranging from California in the US to Chaubatia in Uttarakhand. The Indian Air Force also engages in operations such as Exercise Cope Thunder in Alaska and Exercise Red Flag in the US.

Youths turn up at recruitment rally

A week-long recruitment drive for the Indian Army in Dharwad attracted youths in the 17.521 age group. The recruitment for soldier general duty, soldier tradesmen, soldier technical, nursing assistants, clerks and store-keepers went on for a week in Dharwad in early Octo-

Breaches due to USB flash drives USB flash drives have emerged as a major security threat to the Indian Army in spite of the fact that their use is banned. Army officials told PTI: "These pen drives, which are mostly manufactured in China, have emerged as a big threat to our cyber security systems." Army headquarters

US ARMY

Lakh files to be declassified

THEPLAYUNDERGROUND.COM

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ber. The Army is facing a manpower crisis for officers and while the response to the recruitment drive for other ranks is encouraging, the same is not the case with the recruitment for commissioned officer's positions.

10,000 phones tapped legally According to a report in the Indian Express, most of these phones were tapped by various intelligence agencies, police forces and the Army. Out of these phones 6,000 phones were tapped by the Intelligence Bureau. The Army's Signal Intelligence (SI) is also tapping over 1,100 phones

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and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which had over 160 phones already under its scanner, has made a fresh request for intercepting nearly 350 phones. Other than the phones being tapped nearly 1,200 email addresses were also being intercepted. November 2012


REDUNDANT SYSTEMS? Some experts are now arguing for the retirement of Prithvi (right) and Hatf (facing page) series of short-range missiles for lasting stabilty in South Asia


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THINKING BEYOND PRITHVI If some versions of Prithvi and Pakistan’s Hatf 1&2 have, allegedly, become irrelevant and are adding to the strategic instability in South Asia, the truth should be found out, writes PRAKASH NANDA

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n October 4, 2012, India testfired its nuclear-capable PrithviII short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a strike range of 350 km from a test range as part of a user trial by the Army. Next day, October 5, India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Dhanush, the naval version of Prithvi, with a strike range of up to 350 km and the capacity to carry 500 kg of conventional or nuclear warhead. Both the tests were described as “success” by the spokespersons of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the organisation that has been working on the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of the country since 1983. The Prithvi series has variants for their respective use by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. Many of them have already been inducted into these Services and the Strategic Force Command (SFC), part of India’s nuclear command authority, is supposed to handle them. The latest tests of the Prithvi missiles have been conducted at a time when a section of strategic experts has been arguing against their decommissioning. This school of thought argues that a major source of undesired risks in South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan, is the presence of “certain nuclear-capable SRBMs” and that “their removal from active service would improve strategic stability for both parties”. Recently I attended a round-table symposium on how ‘Missile transparency’ could be an important confidence

building measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan. It was organised by the New Delhi-based Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in collaboration with the USA-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Savannah River National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and National Nuclear Security Administration. In fact, these institutes, with the involvement of experts from South Asia, have formed the so-called “Colombo Group” with the goal of promoting CBMs between India and Pakistan. The proposition that the symposium made was that SRBMs with ranges less than 250 km deployed near the Indo-Pak border “could cause rapid escalation of a conflict, either by their use (to deliver nuclear or conventional payloads) or by presenting a tempting target”. It was contended that, as both India and Pakistan were deploying — of late — newer missiles, “they no longer rely on outdated first-generation missiles”, which were essentially SRBMs. And, now that these missiles were “obsolete” (inaccurate because these are liquid-propelled and irrelevant because there are now reliable and powerful long-range missiles), “their removal from active service would improve strategic stability for both parties”. To be precise and specific, the advocates of such CBMs argued that India’s Prithvi 1 and 2 and Pakistan’s HATF 1 and 2 were the ideal candidates to retire as they had served their purpose and were on the path of the normal decommissioning process in the respective coun-

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tries. According to them, “A plan of mutual transparency measures would share information about the retirement of these missiles on a reciprocal, bilateral basis — without impinging on the continuing modernisation of both sides’ strategic forces. The retirement of other nuclear capable, obsolescent ballistic missiles can then follow in the same cooperative spirit.” The Colombo Group, through Brigadier (retired) Gurmeet Kanwal of India and Brigadier General (retired) Feroz Khan of Pakistan, has released a proposal which describes “a phased approach to SRBM retirement verification”. This includes the following steps: a. The identification of SRBMs (Prithvi 1 and 2 and Pakistan’s HATF 1 and 2 ) to be included in the exercise and the establishment of a consensus on the components of each system b. A political announcement, on both sides, of the intention to remove SRBMs from their nuclear delivery role. c. The actual elimination of SRBMs from service, with the joint articulation of a verification procedure to establish the execution of action, informed by bilateral negotiations on inspection modalities. d. A joint decision on the establishment of enforcement mechanisms which can address any complaints of non-compliance from either side. Kanwal and Khan also suggest that a precursory step to the actual verified dismantle-


g COVERSTORY ment of SRBMs might be to declare these nuclear capable missiles to be nonnuclear delivery systems. As missiles are then removed from their respective nuclear arsenals, experts from India and Pakistan can begin to expand upon the cooperative drawdown of obsolete forces. Let us see the merits of this proposition. As a matter of principle, one should have no problem declaring that CBMs are always desirable. However, the question arises whether they are doable or realisable. And when one talks of the CBMs, they usually are of three types: multilateral, bilateral and unilateral. The proposed CBMs are not multilateral in the strict sense of the term, but then any disarmament/arms control measure between India and Pakistan goes beyond bilateral realms, thanks to the factor of China. Unlike Pakistan whose security concerns are India-centric, India’s potential challenges also emanate from China — rather in a big way. In that sense, Indo-Pak CBMs are easier said than done, more so because in many instances the weapons systems that Pakistan has are procured in toto from China and in certain cases stored in Chinese territory. Now let us look at the existing CBMs between India and Pakistan. One is the "Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Facilities", which was signed by Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 31, 1988. It was ratified in 1991 and implemented in January 1992. This requires an annual exchange of lists detailing the location of all nuclear-related facilities in each country. It is being done annually, though there have been occasions when the exchanged list has not been wholly accepted by the two sides -- that is one side doubting the authenticity of the list of the other. Another CBM has been the establishment of hotlines between the military commanders of the two sides at DGMO level (agreed after 1971 war) and between the two Prime Ministers (agreed in 1987). This also has not exactly worked always. During the military exercise, Operation Brasstacks, in 1987 and the Kargil War in 1999, the military hotline proved unreliable. As regards the hotline between the Prime Ministers, it was not used after 1990. It worked briefly during the Kargil War, though it is said that it can be restarted at a very short notice. Yet another CBM has been the 1991 agreement to inform each other before

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conducting any kind of military exercise was made. A prior notification to inform each other is required for those military exercises comprising minimum two or more armed divisions in specific areas. The military exercises at the corps level is supposed to be conducted at a minimum distance of 45 km from the international border and the exercises at division level should be done 25 kilometres away from the border. Any kind of military activities are not allowed within five kilometres range of border. However, this agreement of pre-notification has been more honoured in the breach than that in the observance. The same has been the case with the agreement on non-violation of air space (made in 1991 and implemented in 1992) that envisages that fighter aircraft are not allowed to enter within 10 kilometres of foreign space (logistic aircraft and

‘IF AT ALL PRITHVI 1 AND 2 HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR PURPOSE, THERE IS NO HARM IN INDIA UNILATERALLY RETIRING THEM’ unarmed air traffic are allowed up to 1000 metres from the international border and flights within the given range are allowed for rescue or supply of goods only after the advance notice given by the governments). In Siachen Glacier, the rules of this agreement have not been applied, with helicopters of both countries being shot down. It may be noted here that in February 1999, Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif met in Lahore and agreed to a series of CBMs that dealt with the terms of nuclear risk reduction. The Lahore Declaration emphasised measures to improve nuclear security and prevent an accidental nuclear exchange. One of the measures sought to prevent the accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons. Another called for the creation of communication mechanisms similar in some aspects to those required by the ‘Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident’. The two sides also

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committed to exchange information on their nuclear doctrines and security concepts; prevent accidental nuclear crises; work on measures to improve control over their nuclear weapons; and strengthen their respective moratoriums on nuclear testing by making their commitments binding. But then the world knows what had happened three months later — the Kargil War. The Lahore Declaration became a part of history. Viewed thus, CBMs between India and Pakistan at the bilateral level have many handicaps to overcome. There is a huge trust-deficit, which, in turn, is due to the fragile politics of Pakistan where the military justifies its overwhelming dominance in the name of countering “survival threats” from India and achieving “strategic parity” with India. It is not the civilian government in Pakistan but the military that has the last word on geopolitical issues. Thus, the inherent discomforts at the political level adversely affect ‘transparency’ and ‘verification’, the two essential components for the success of any CBMs, let alone those between India and Pakistan. Does this mean that there cannot be any CBMs in South Asia towards the reduction of military tensions between India and Pakistan? In my opinion, given the inadequacies of any real and substantial CBMs at either multilateral or bilateral level, the only possible course is that of unilateralism on the part of India. As it is, the only concrete CBMs that have been undertaken in the region have been because of India’s unilateral steps. India has enunciated its nuclear doctrine of nofirst use of nuclear weapons, whereas Pakistan is yet to respond. Unilaterally, India has been maintaining a moratorium on further nuclear testing. India has joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), declaring its stocks of chemical weapons. But Pakistan has not reciprocated it. Viewed thus, if at all Prithvi 1 and 2 have outlived their purpose, there is no harm in India unilaterally retiring them instead of linking such retirement to that of Hatf 1 and 2 on Pakistan’s part. This will further enhance India’s reputation as a responsible military power. But for this to happen, India’s strategic decision-makers need to be convinced by the proponents of such retirement that Prithvi missiles are obsolete, indeed. After all, if these are really obsolete, why is the DRDO testing their newer versions from time to time? November 2012


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t has now been nearly 15 years since the 1998 nuclear tests and the overt buildup of the country’s nuclear capabilities. Some of the systems that were developed in the early days of India’s nuclear forces have now been overtaken by more secure and effective systems and, therefore, a convincing case can be made for the removal of these obsolescent systems. One can argue, for instance, that short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) like the Prithvi are destabilising, difficult to maintain and operate and lower the deterrence threshold. Further, they could be easily replaced by nuclear-capable aircraft that would provide greater flexibility to both the political and military decision-makers who seek to maintain India’s nuclear deterrent against Pakistan. To understand why this makes sense it is necessary to first discuss what India’s objectives would be in a nuclear exchange. India goals in a nuclear exchange Much of the theorising done about nuclear war in South Asia is based on American and western studies on the subject. Thus there is talk of using nuclear weapons against the military forces of either side and even of doing a short nuclear exchange; then holding back to see if war termination procedures can be initiated. Such tactics make sense when a country’s forces are well-protected, it has a first-rate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, as well as secure command and communications that would allow it to remain in command of a nuclear confrontation. This sort of capability is very expensive to procure running into hun-

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A MORE EFFECTIVE NUCLEAR FORCE For strategic stability in South Asia, India may do without Prithvi missiles, once the Indian Air Force is flexible and strong enough to drop nuclear weapons in Pakistan territory, argues AMIT GUPTA

STRATEGIC RETHINK: The Indian military leadership, like Army Chief General Bikram Singh, seen here with ex-navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, has viable alternatives to the short-range Prithvi

dreds of billions of dollars — something that India cannot afford. More importantly, given that India will not be able to acquire such capabilities from abroad, it will take decades for India’s defence sci-

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ence base to be able to design and develop such systems. Further, given the short time in a US-Soviet nuclear confrontation (between 45 minutes and an hour for missiles to hit their targets) the idea that November 2012


g COVERSTORY a nuclear confrontation could be negotiated was wishful thinking. In the Indian and Pakistani cases, the ISR and command and control capabilities are far more modest and thus, if a confrontation took place, the Pakistanis would have to launch everything they had in a first salvo — and it is important to remember — that Pakistan’s nuclear strategy is based on launching a preemptive nuclear strike. They cannot afford to sit back with their small number of nuclear weapons and take hits from their adversary. There has been a lot of discussion about how Pakistan would use nuclear weapons against India given that it has developed a short-range missile — the Nasr — and, presumably, low-yield warheads that are in the 3-5 kiloton range. It is believed that if faced with a conventional land attack by India, or a naval blockade, Pakistan would retaliate by making a tactical strike on an Indian tank column or naval flotilla. This would stop an Indian attack in its tracks and, conceivably, lead to negotiations to terminate the conflict. This argument suggests that India would be willing to move away from its current doctrine of the second use of nuclear weapons that leads to imposing unacceptable damage on Pakistan and, instead, be willing to fight a tactical nuclear war. From an Indian perspective, that would not involve taking out a tank column or a divisional headquarters. India would have to launch a strike that takes out Pakistan’s three major cities—Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. That would be the unacceptable damage that can deter Pakistan since it would cease to exist as a civilization. And to achieve this objective, short-range missiles are of little utility. Case against short-range missiles The short -range mainstay of the Indian nuclear force is the liquid-fuelled Prithvi, which given its limited range, has to be stationed relatively close to the India-Pakistan border to provide an effective deterrent. The longest-range Prithvi can fly slightly over 300 kilometers, which would allow it to be launched from a few kilometers east of Amritsar in order to hit Islamabad. Yet the Prithvi is a difficult missile to prepare for launch and has a limited range. The missile takes a long time to fuel since liquid fuel cannot be stored for indefinite periods in the missile. This effectively means not being able

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to keep the missile in a rapidly deployable mode. Moreover, given that the missile has to be kept fairly close to the battlefield in order to meet its targets, the Prithvi is vulnerable to attack and sabotage. The one thing India should expect in the early stages of a crisis is attempts by Pakistani Special Forces to go after these high-value assets. Also, due to its proximity to the battlefield, the missile has a very short flight time of 8-10 minutes making it a destabilising weapon in India’s nuclear arsenal — and India’s nuclear doctrine rests on ensuring that nuclear stability is maintained in the region. A missile with a very short flight time would lead Pakistan to launch first in a crisis so as minimise the extent of India’s retaliation. American strategists used to worry that if their forces were about to be overrun then panicking field commanders would use the tactical nuclear forces rather than lose them. The missile, therefore, for both operational and deterrent reasons, is not an optimal weapon in the Indian arsenal. The problem of ‘use them or lose them’ is magnified when one looks at the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. As mentioned, the Pakistani military has developed tactical nuclear missiles with the reported aim of stopping an invasion by the Indian Army. Given the proximity of Lahore to the Indian border, the problem here is: When do Pakistani field commanders panic and decide to use their tactical weapons because Lahore is less than 20 kilometers from the border? Nuclear escalation would take place rapidly and that is an end result that the Indian government is not looking for. Why Prithvi? Having said that, one of the reasons that the Prithvi has soldiered on for so long in the Indian arsenal is because the Agni programme was plagued with delays and questions of reliability. India was supposed to test a 5000-kilometer-range missile by late 2001 but that plan had to be delayed because of technical problems in the missile programme. Similarly, it has taken some time to iron out the kinks from the shorter range Agnis and make them operational against Pakistan. Owing to the limits of the Indian missile force, the Indian military had to depend on one version of the Prithvi as well as a combat aircraft, to deliver a nuclear strike on Pakistan. In these circumstances, the question raised was would Indian aircraft be

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successful in penetrating deep into Pakistan and attacking strategic targets? But India is now at the stage that its mediumrange nuclear missile force has achieved operational credibility and can be successfully fielded against Pakistan. If both India and Pakistan have missiles that can be launched from a safe distance from the battlefield and given that both countries will probably have to fire all their weapons in one salvo, having short-range missiles that are used for tactical nuclear attacks is destabilising. Future and rational force structure If short-range missiles are difficult to operate and destabilising, what kind of force structure should India develop? The answer lies in creating a triad of submarine-launched missiles, air-delivered weapons, and medium-to-long-range missiles that are kept at a safe distance from the battlefield. The Indian Navy has tested a naval Prithvi but launching a nuclear deterrent from a surface vessel would, in fact, be presenting Pakistan with an almost static target since even Islamabad’s less-effective reconnaissance November 2012


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make perfect sense. Such aircraft can be located at bases that are far from the battlefield and can be rapidly deployed to hit the frontlines in the event of a conflict. Further, because aircraft are highly mobile, they do not become sitting ducks that mobile missiles — that are slow and difficult to transport — are likely to be. Unlike missiles, aircraft can also be reprogrammed either by the pilot himself or through the availability of new information to seek out different targets if the initial target has lost its value. The other key advantage of aircraft is that in the event of a false alarm, they can be recalled. The obvious limitation of aircraft is that they would have to penetrate Pakistani airspace and such attempts would be contested by the Pakistani Air Force. Missiles, on the other hand, once launched, cannot be easily shot down. Current anti-ballistic missile capabilities could destroy a missile or two in midflight but it would be very difficult or impossible to stop an entire salvo of missiles. To some extent, the disadvantage of having to overcome the Pakistani Air Force can be reduced by using stand-off weapons that can be fired from a distance — the Brahmos cruise missile would be a good example of such a system. The other way to counter the challenges of launching an aerial strike is to let the aircraft go in to attack designated DEVIOUS STRATEGY: The Pakistani Army has bet big on the tactical nuclear weapons in the event of potential war with India

capabilities could spot an Indian fleet that was in a threatening position. A nuclear submarine armed with either cruise or ballistic missiles would be harder to track and would make India’s nuclear deterrent far more credible. As Indian nuclear weapons have been further tested and improved, the Indian Air Force now has the capability to use a range of aircraft to deliver a nuclear strike. The Sukhoi-30, the Mirage 2000, the Jaguar, the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Rafale, are all capable of delivering nuclear weapons and these aircraft bring with them a range of advantages to both military planners and politicians (the FGFA and Rafale have yet to be inducted into the IAF). One of the primary goals of India’s political leadership is to ensure civilian control over the military and to prevent the kind of scenarios that could force India to be pushed into a nuclear war. These include preventing accidental launches either due to inaccurate information or because forces based at the border are in danger of being overrun. For these purposes nuclear-armed aircraft

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targets after the first salvo of missiles has eroded the Pakistani defensive capabilities and sown confusion in that country’s military system. Further, if India develops a more advanced and robust command and control system, then aircraft may be able to carry out the type of tactical strikes discussed at the beginning of the article, thereby leading to a situation where Pakistan’s warfighting capability could be blunted. Short-range missiles are destabilising since they are difficult to operate, vulnerable to attack, and in a crisis situation, may be used indiscriminately by panicking theater commanders who see their troops being overrun. All these scenarios go against the basic tenets of India’s nuclear doctrine, which is to have stable nuclear deterrence against Pakistan. India could, therefore, easily remove the Prithvi unilaterally from its arsenal and, instead, use the survivability and the retargetable capability of its Air Force to maintain a stable deterrent vis-àvis Pakistan. From a political and diplomatic standpoint, the Indian government would prefer to negotiate a deal with Pakistan, whereby it dismantles its Nasr arsenal in return for India doing the same with the Prithvi force. But, as mentioned earlier, Pakistan cannot use Nasr in a tactical strike because India would respond with everything it has to such a strike. Talking about tactical strikes, therefore, makes little sense. On the other hand, unilaterally removing the Prithvi , as Prakash Nanda has suggested in an accompanying article, does not hurt India’s nuclear deterrent and, on the contrary, actually improves it. It would also give India a significant diplomatic and moral victory in the world of arms control and disarmament negotiations. And perceptions are 9/10th of the game in such negotiations. The author is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Security Studies at the USAF Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base. The views in this article are his own and do not reflect those of the United States Air Force or the Department of Defense. November 2012


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PAKISTAN’S MISSILE PLOY Any move towards strategic stability in South Asia cannot be divorced from the fact that in recent years Pakistan has given utmost importance to strengthening its short-range missiles that could carry nuclear arms. India cannot remain insensitive to this, writes SITAKANTA MISHRA

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ndia’s preparation for a ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield has been erroneously perceived by Pakistan as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrence vis-à-vis India. As a counter strategy, instead of opting for a costly BMD option, Pakistan is strengthening its cruise and tactical missile inventory as an effective defence against them is extremely difficult. The successive missile tests by Pakistan over the last seven years highlight that cruise and short-range missiles, rather than ballistic missiles, are taking an increasingly prominent role in Pakistan’s missile posture. This would beget a fundamental dilemma and complexity in India’s missile defence planning and tend to complicate the regional security environment at large. Pak’s “smart” missiles Pakistan surprised the world by flighttesting the Babur cruise missile (Hatf-VII) for the first time on August 11, 2005. According to Jane’s, the missile is developed by Pakistan’s National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) with a range of 500 km and terrain-hugging features. Subsequent tests of the missile have taken place on March 21, 2006; March 22, 2007; July 26, 2007; December 11, 2007; May 6, 2009; October 28, 2011; June 6, 2012, with the latest on

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September 17, 2012. The March 22, 2007 and July 26, 2007 tests of Babur were claimed to be upgraded versions with an extended range of 700 km. There are even reports suggesting that plans are afoot to increase the range of the Babur to 1000 km. According to Samar Mubarak Mand, the missile is an indigenous development with advanced technological capabilities. It has five onboard cameras to aid the Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) capability and can fly at altitudes as low as 50 to 100 m. It also incorporates the Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) technology, that enhances its precision and effectiveness. Reportedly, Babur’s October 28, 2011 test was from a new multi-tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV ) which enhanced the targeting and deployment options in both the conventional and nuclear modes manifold. With its shoot-andscoot capability, the MLV has been claimed to provide a major force multiplier effect for target employment and survivability. More importantly, Babur can carry both conventional and nuclear warhead of around 450 kg. However, questions have been raised on its capabilities and ‘indigenous’ origin claim. According to a National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) report, Babur may be capable of “a small nuclear pay-

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load” but “currently Pakistan may only be able to make a warhead in the 700 kg class”. There has been widespread speculation that Pakistan had reverse-engineered technology from the six unexploded Tomahawk BGM 109 cruise missiles, launched by the US on targets in Afghanistan during 2001-02, into the Babur cruise missile. Reportedly, China has extended all support in the reverseengineering process. According to experts, there are sufficient commonalities in shape and dimensions between the Babur and the Tomahawk but Pakistani authorities claim that the development process of Babur started during the mid-1990s. The second cruise missile is the Ra’ad (Thunder), or Hatf-VII, an air-launched weapon designed to attack fixed enemy installations (such as radar posts, command nodes and stationary surface-to-air missile launchers) at stand-off range. It is claimed to have a range of 350 km, armed with 10-35kt nuclear warhead. The accuracy of the missile is reported to be comparable to Babur. Its stealth capability allows it to penetrate enemy air defence systems; therefore, it can be used for precision air strikes. Ra'ad has been tested four times since 2007 (August 25, 2007; May 8, 2008; April 29, 2011; and May 30, 2012). But from its tail configuration, Ra’ad is speculated to have a South November 2012


MILITARY GAMBLE: Pakistan wants to devise innovative and short-cut methods to strike a strategic parity with India

African connection. However, the frequency of tests and official claims suggest that Pakistan is improving its capability to design, integrate and fly cruise missiles. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex has capabilities in aircraft building, maintenance and overhaul. It has collaboration with China for building the JF7 fighters and must have drawn upon these existing capabilities for designing the cruise missiles components. It is expected that at least a limited series production of both Babur and Ra’ad is in place. The tactical nukes On April 19, 2011, Pakistan announced the successful test firing of Nasr, a solidfuelled battlefield-range ballistic missile with a range of 60 km. Reportedly, with ‘shoot-and-scoot’ capabilities, it can be launched from a multi-tube carrier and is capable of carrying ‘all kinds of warheads’. To that extent, the Pakistani official statement emphasised that it had ‘enhanced Pakistan’s deterrence at all levels of conflict’. The Nasr looks a lot like a M30/31 MLRS rocket which carries a 90 kg unitary penetrator and is about 20 centimeters in diameter, says Jeffrey Lewis. If Pakistan’s claim is true, then it has actually miniaturised its nuclear arsenals, even smaller than the weapons ever designed by USA!

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It implies that the intended use of the Nasr system is as a launch vehicle for battlefield nuclear weapons. According to Hans M Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, a nuclear Nasr “appears intended for use against invading Indian troop formations that Pakistan doesn’t have the conventional capabilities to defeat”. However, a careful examination of the claim would reveal that there is something more behind it. At the first instance, the claim can be nothing but a technology demonstration by Pakistan to propagate its indigenous capability to miniaturise its nuclear devices to such an extent. Moreover, when India boasts of mastering the capability to defend against ballistic missiles, Pakistan certainly needs to convince at least its own people that it is much ahead in nuclear calculations and can effectively challenge India’s strategic advantage. The Pakistani nuclear-capable cruise missiles are viewed to bestow Islamabad the potential to evade New Delhi’s missile defence plans; therefore, they may “complicate India’s decision-making calculus and even constrain Indian strategic behaviour”, says Shane A Mason of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. If Pakistan’s reaction to India’s BMD is the strengthening of its cruise missile inventory, it may bait Pakistan into an

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economically ruinous arms race. Being aware about this, Pakistan would devise innovative and short-cut methods to strike a strategic parity with India in every possible way. Cruise missiles are costeffective weapon systems with advanced manoeuvrable capabilities and Pakistan’s acquisition of cruise missiles is strategic and would impose on India additional requirement of defending against low-flying stealthy cruise missiles. Therefore, for India, the cruise missile with Pakistan is undoubtedly “a destabilising factor for the regional strategic environment”. Whether this will culminate in a change of India’s ‘no-first-use’ posture or how it will impact the regional strategic stability-instability equation is a matter of speculation. On the other hand, considerable ambiguities over Pakistan’s capability to develop tactical or miniaturised nuclear weapons persist. Many wonder whether Pakistan could really develop such a small warhead with any confidence. The general view has been that Pakistan would probably need testing to develop a miniaturised plutonium implosion device. However, the National Academies expressed in 2002: “Pakistan similarly could manufacture and stockpile its enriched uranium fission weapons without further testing and it could make progress toward a plutonium implosion weapon”. An article by Ansar Abbasi in The News on November 30, 2011 cites a ‘Western diplomat’ claiming that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told US officials that Pakistan had developed “among the world’s smartest nuclear tactical devices.” Mark Hibbs, in an article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, mentions that, during his trip to Islamabad, he was directly told that Pakistan was developing very small, low-yield nuclear weapons. A few weeks after his visit, Pakistan tested the Nasr. Pakistan’s official press release stated that the Nasr “carries nuclear warheads of appropriate yield” .

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f Pakistan’s repeated claim that Babur, Ra’ad and Nasr are designed to carry nuclear warheads is to be believed, then Pakistan must have the capability to miniaturise its nuclear warheads. According to Brigadier Naeem Salik, this “indicates a shift” in Pakistan’s nuclear “doctrinal thinking”: the induction and subsequent operational deployment of battlefield nuclear weapon systems means that the deterrence strategy is moving away for the ‘simple punishment’ model of deterrence to ‘deterrence November 2012


g COVERSTORY by denial’ strategy. Moreover, this development has a wide array of implications, especially the technical challenges posed by such short-range systems in terms of physical security and the challenges of maintaining effective command and control of such weapons. For many years now, the world has been concerned about the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. The threat to the safety of Pakistani missiles would also be a cause for concern. Although Pakistan may not fail the way many speculate, it will nevertheless remain a troubled nation for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the safety and security of Pakistani weapons will remain a major global headache despite repeated assurances by Islamabad. In the worst case, India would be the first victim of any inadvertent or advertent use of such weapons, either by Pakistani authorities or by the non-state actors operating in Pakistan. In the regional nuclear deterrence context, Pakistan’s cruise and tactical missiles may complicate the thriving ‘stabilityinstability paradox’ further. Since Babur, Ra’ad, and Nasr are both conventional and nuclear-capable, any future use of these missiles by Pakistan even with conventional warhead may be perceived by India as strategic strikes, or vice versa. This ambiguity may constrain India’s current strategic leverage over Pakistan. In such a scenario, it is to introspect, and open to speculate, how effective India’s most-talked about “Cold-Start” doctrine would be. A missile will take less than eight minutes to travel from Pakistan to India and will, therefore, leave very little time for any defence measures to be initiated. During the 2003 Iraq war, the Patriot missiles successfully intercepted all nine ballistic missiles fired by the Iraqi forces but failed to detect any of the five primitive cruise missiles Iraq employed. The Patriot system was also involved in three friendly-fire incidents, downing two allied warplanes and killing one American and two British pilots. Intercepting lower-altitude, slower-flying cruise missiles remains a pressing challenge even for the United States. In the decades ahead, therefore, Pakistan may look for more short-range, stand-off weapons than ballistic missiles and miniaturisation of its nuclear arsenal. In addition, an aggressive signalling of its nuclear and missile capabilities to counter India’s Cold-Start strategy would be the strategic road map of Pakistan.

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TACTICAL HOPE: The Nasr shortrange missile is believed to be deployed to deter and respond to India's Cold Start Doctrine

Strategic implications Since information pertaining to Pakistan’s missiles is shrouded in ambiguity and secrecy, to fathom its precise implications is difficult. However, India must ponder over the implications of Pakistan’s cruise missiles on the strategic stability of the region. Will cruise missiles contribute to deterrence stability or instead upset it? How will they impact the effectiveness of missile defence? Will a conventional cruise missile attack on missile defences result in crisis escalation? There is a theory that cruise missile in Pakistan could contribute to deterrence stability as it helps fill deterrence gaps by providing a credible retaliatory strike option; it will affect missile defence thinking in the way that it will increase the cost of the adversary’s defences as cruise missile is affordable and virtually undefeatable; and it may fail to augment strategic deterrence, rather could be destabilising for the region as limited missile defence by India will not create a security dilemma for Pakistan. Rather, it would allow Pakistan to maintain its nuclear deterrent against India to some extent. Therefore, Pakistan will mobilise all available resources at its disposal to build an assertive cruise missile inventory for both ‘first-use’ and second-strike missions. This, in fact, will give Pakistan the dual advantage rightly, argues Kalyan Kemburi: (1) the stealth cruise missiles will enable it to undertake a nuclear mission under its open first-use policy; and (2) they also can be used as an offensive

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counter to the missile defence system deployed by India. Alleviating concerns Which way the South Asian missile discourse will move cannot be predicted. However, their intent, capabilities and inventory will not easily be rolled back or put on hold. Since both countries are not part of the voluntary Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), therefore, the benefit lies in mutual reconciliation and ease of mutual distrust through credible modes of communication. Many bilateral politico-military Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) are already in operation between them; a few more CBMs including one on cruise missile and missile defence arena may be devised. Above all, a loud and clear message from India that its missile defence plan is not a Pakistan-specific offensive ploy to neutralise Pakistan’s deterrence capabilities; rather India must convey Pakistan that its missile defence initiative is a genuine defensive strategy to reduce missile threats to India from all sectors. Being the dominant power in the region, the onus lies on India to alleviate Pakistan’s concerns. At the same time, Pakistan must not overreact to every move of India and must not devise a tit-for-tat roadmap which may ultimately lead itself to a suicidal path. The author is Research Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi November 2012


geopolitics

CRPF

INTERNAL SECURITY

THE NEW WARRIOR

Nano security devices will make the security personnel lighter but stronger.


B R I E F S

STATE, INDUSTRY TO WORK IN TANDEM Unveiling a road map to deal with emerging threats from cyber space in the country, the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has decided to initiate four pilot projects, including one to study vulnerability in critical information infrastructure. The Centre will be working in collaboration with the private sector that leads the development and adoption of information communication technology to overcome the cyber security challenges. The swiftness with which

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has decided to put his weight behind the National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) at this stage rather than the controversial NCTC given the strident opposition to the anti-terror body by NDA chief ministers. Sources said there was a view within the government that this was not the right time to try building consensus amongst chief ministers on the powers that the anti-terror body should have. At this point, sources said, Shinde wanted to give Natgrid a hard push to ensure that the ambitious project his predecessor P Chidambaram did not get stuck in bureaucratic tangles and miss its deadlines. Shinde said Natgrid was a good project started by his predecessor and he was making sure it was implemented at the earliest.The Cabinet Committee on Security had this June agreed to spend about ` 1,000 crore on the first phase of the information grid.

DELHI, DHAKA TREATY crore on the construction of two-lane roads in eight states, including in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha. The route of the road network was identified after the Union Home Ministry held a series of discussions with state governments and respective director generals of police (DGPs).

postings on social media platforms triggered mass migration of students of the NorthEast from various parts of the country and threatened to disrupt the communal harmony clearly reflects the lurking dangers in the cyber space. Releasing a report of recommendations of a Joint Working Group (JWG), National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said both the government and the industry would have to work together to meet the challenge.

SHINDE PUSHES FOR NATGRID

MORE ROADS FOR NAXAL-HIT AREAS The Centre is now planning to build another 5,600 km in Naxal-affected districts in the country after substantial progress was made in the first phase of constructing roads in 34 Naxal-affected districts in the past two years. It is estimated that the government will spend around ` 9,500

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After intelligence reports claiming that militant groups from Assam and Nagaland, including Maoists, were getting funds from the slush money earned from the illegal coal business, the Tinsukia district administration and police have come together to crack down on illegal coal mining in the district under Margherita subdivision bordering Arunachal Pradesh.Coal India engages private parties, which obtain labour force through contractors. It may be mentioned that there were reports that the explosives allotted for blasting by Coal India Ltd to private parties ended up in the hands of rebels. The police, along with district administration officials, would check the antecedents of workers engaged in mining after collecting the records from Coal India.

CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL COAL MINING

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As a step towards signing an extradition treaty, India and Bangladesh shared their final drafts during the home secretary-level talks between the two countries in Dhaka. Cooperation in combating terror, repatriation ofUlfa leader Anup Chetia and taking strong measures to stop flow of fake Indian currency notes (FICNs) from Bangladesh to India topped the agenda at the two-day meeting. The extradition treaty, which has been under consideration for long, will pave the way for handing over each other's fugitives including Chetia. Home Secretary R K Singh will also share with his Bangladeshi counterpart Manjur Hussain the status of Indian efforts to apprehend killers of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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20 YEARS OF RAF Rapid Action Force (RAF), the riot-control unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The RAF is a zero response force and people look up to it for help not only in riots but also during natural disasters. It has done commendable work in dealing with tsunami, cyclone, earthquake and floods in different parts of the country. In addition to this, it has done exemplary work in the foreign countries where it has been deployed under UN Peace Mission. The RAF currently has 10 battalions which are numbered 99 to 108 in the CRPF. November 2012


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The Special Protection Group (SPG) has spent nearly `1,800 crore on guarding three members of the Gandhi family, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, since 2004. This is four times what the budget of the SPG was under the dispensation of the NDA government. Significantly the budget of the SPG has shot up over the last decade though the number of people it protects has nearly halved. When NDA came to power in 1999, then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former prime ministers Chandrashekhar, PV Narasimha Rao, HD Deve Gowda, VP Singh, IK Gujral and the Gandhi family — Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra—were protected by the SPG. Over the next couple of years SPG cover was withdrawn from Deve Gowda and IK Gujral while Chandrashekhar and Narasimha Rao passed away.

ISI-BKI BHAI BHAI

H C TIWARI

HEMANT RAWAT

SPG’S EVEREXPANDING BUDGET

HANDLING FAKE CURRENCY

Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) is getting 'active support' from Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence to try and revive militancy in Punjab according to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The ISI is reportedly sending funds from Britain, Thailand and Malaysia using the hawala network active in these countries. According to the NIA, the BKI still has a large network of sleeper cells across Punjab and top BKI leaders including Wadhwa Singh and Mehal Singh had regular meetings with top ISI officials in an effort to make a 'determined effort' to revive militancy in Punjab.

SHOW-CAUSE FOR SNOOPING

CBI, NIA GET JACKETS

The telecom department has served show-cause notices to nearly 51 private companies for importing passive “off-the-air” interception devices and asked them to surrender these equipment. Apart from designated institutions involved in national security operations, use of “off-the-air” GSM monitoring equipment was illegal and around 42 interceptors were surrendered by the Army, state police and the National Technical Research Organisation to the Home Ministry and the IB after a government crackdown on phone-tapping devices last year. The companies were put on notice after the CID, Haryana police, wrote to the IB that if the presumption of misuse of such equipment was being levied on the state police departments, then why were central agencies and private firms not being accused of the same charge.The Central Board of Excise and Customs informed the Home Ministry that around 1,51,000 pieces of such equipment had been imported since 2005. However, this figure was brought down to 67,000 after two private firms told the ministry that they had imported 84,000 mobile sets from China.

A nominal image makeover or a much-needed exercise to give India’s investigative agencies a unique image? The verdict may be out but both the CBI and NIA are clear that they are going to stick with the jackets embossed with their names that they have taken to flaunting during searches or investigations. The CBI’s jacket is blue and white, a first such dress code for the agency whose origins can be traced back to before Independence. National Investigation Agency officers, have clear instructions to carry their jackets identifying themselves as NIA officials while visiting any spot or carrying out raids.

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In an effort to tackle the issue of smuggling of counterfeit Indian currency from across the India-Bangladesh border, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) proposed to set up a joint task force at the recently-held director general-level Border Coordination Conference in Dhaka. The details are yet to be worked out. While there are no figures on the amount of counterfeit money crossing over every year, the fact that the BSF seized notes worth nearly `44-lakh in 2011 and over `15-lakh in the first eight months of this year indicates the scale of the problem.

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CASH-IN-TRANSIT SERVICES: DANGEROUSLY LACKADAISICAL It is high time the government devised a proactive security system to ensure that banking operations in the country are secure, with minimum risk to life of the customers and greater protection of premises, resources and employees, writes US RATHORE Driver of a cash van runs away with `50 lakh after drugging the van's guard and helper in North-West Delhi.

SEP 2010

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SEP 2012 A cash van carrying `5.25 crore of a private bank is stopped and commandeered by robbers after shooting a guard dead in the busy and well-protected area of South Delhi. Later, the cash van is found abandoned eight kilometres away.

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JUN 2012 Four armed robbers loot cash and jewellery worth `one crore from a gold finance company branch in New Delhi in broad day-light and decamp with booty.

JAN 2012 MAR 2012

Miscreants use a blow torch to cut open the vault of an ATM in the East Delhi and loot `23 lakh. The operation lasted for hours but went undetected.

A rickety minitruck gets stuck in a caved-in road in the crowded Chandni Chowk area of New Delhi. It remains stuck there for hours. A crane is summoned to retrieve it. The vehicle was carrying `53 crore belonging to RBI without any worthwhile security.

Two people from a cash management service in Delhi flee with a cash van containing `67 lakh. It was later revealed that the antecedents of the staff were not verified before employing them.

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A

cash-in-transit operation in the 1980s conjures up an image of a moustachioed armed guard of a bank carrying a chained cash chest on a cycle rickshaw. At that time the movement of large amounts of cash was rare and provided with police protection. As the Indian economy grew, more and more cash came into the market, where it needed to be transported by private agencies. As bank branches cannot retain cash in excess of their cash limit, the surplus cash from branches is moved to their bigger branches and central vaults in the city after the business hours. The next day the branches are replenished with cash. The ATMs are recharged in a similar manner. Almost all cash present in our banking system is moved by cash-in-transit services. By a modest estimate, there are about 68 big and small agencies in India providing cash, bullion and valuables-in-transit and ATM replenishment service. In the rush to grow and grab the market share, the security aspects of this niche activity have been ignored. Crimes against banks, ATMs and cash-in-transit services have increased. As a trend, bank branches are robbed in small towns and ATMs and cash-in-transit operations are targeted in the cities. In the case of September 28, 2012, a cash van in the service of a private bank was intercepted by the robbers in a congested service lane in south Delhi. A guard November 2012


VULNERABLE TARGET: Cash transit vehicles have been hit in a spate of daylight robberies by organsied gangs

was shot by them, who later succumbed to his injuries. Others meekly surrendered the cash-laden vehicle along with their arms to the robbers. In less than ten minutes, the robbers drove away the vehicle containing `5.25 crore. It was the biggest bank robbery in the history of Delhi. In cash and valuable movement services, there are three broad aspects where the security aspects need fastidious implementation for a proactive security plan —human resources, equipment and technology and procedures. In order to regulate the operations of private security industry in the country, the Government of India passed Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act (PSARA) in 2005, which laid down certain conditions on agencies' operations. As the law and order is a state subject, all states were expected to form their rules based on PSARA. Even after seven years, some states and union territories are yet to pass their Private Security Agencies Rules. A security guard is the building block in the hierarchy of the private security industry. There are approximately 70 lakh private security personnel in the country, of which a majority—about 95 per cent— are security guards. For a variety of socioeconomic reasons, the private security industry is unorganised and faces multifarious human resource problems due to poor education levels, training and wages of the workforce. There is a yawning gap between the demand and supply of manpower leading to a high rate of attrition. Due to poor wages and long working hours (mostly 12 hours shift across the industry), most of the manpower does not consider being a security personnel a luwww.geopolitics.in

crative career option. Village youth from north and central India, who are desirous of migrating to cities, are recruited en mass by the agencies and agents to meet the requirement of the industry. They gradually shift to other vocations depending upon their qualification and the deficiency of manpower in the private security industry persists. A large segment of workforce works without police verification as high rate of attrition and slow verification process do not match. Cash-in-transit services need armed security guards. In India an arms licence is given to a citizen for his-her own protection. The use of a licensed weapon to provide protection to some other person or business establishment in return of salary is not permitted. The current practice of the private security industry of hiring and employing individuals with licensed weapons is therefore unlawful. Unless the government grants permission to private security agencies to set up their own armoury by giving corporate arms licences to them, the legality of the employment of armed security guard will remain questionable. The training and proficiency of armed security guards is doubtful as there is no training facility where guards can fire their weapons regularly. The dearth of armed security guards in the private security industry is highlighted by the fact that in southern India some cash-in-transit service agencies deploy armed guards armed with just air guns. Vehicles play an important role in cash-in-transit operations. In banking parlance, these are called 'armoured cars' but in actuality the service providers run any 'soft-skinned' passenger car for the

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movement of cash. The vehicle specifications, which are agreed upon at the time of signing of the contract, are later on overlooked with mutual connivance. A modified vehicle for cash-in-transit purpose should have separate cabins for driver, cash chest and guard, which could be locked from inside. The vehicle should be equipped with GPS (global position system), CCTV (closed circuit television camera), a communication system, fire extinguishers, alarms, central locking system, fog lights, wire mesh on windows and port holes for firing weapons from inside. The vehicle should be sturdy enough to withstand a forced entry. In a recent robbery, the service provider was using a radio taxi instead of a modified vehicle for cash transfer. That is why the robbers could easily open, dislodge the dazed staff and takeover the van in less than ten minutes. A vehicle equipped with a GPS system and RFID (radio frequency identification devices) embedded in the cash chests would have been of immense help. The cash vehicle or cash chests could have been tracked by a central control room in real time. It is interesting to note that the location of the abandoned cash van was obtained by tracking the driver's mobile phone, which was left behind in the vehicle during the heist. As the banking operations spread to remote areas, cash-in-transit operations will also grow. We should also examine the security of banking operations in the disturbed areas, where cash vans will have to cover longer distances to reach the destination. It is high time the government used custom-built cash and valuable transfer vehicles, which are well protected against small arms fire, can run on flat tyres, shut down in case of an emergency, and be monitored from a control room and communicate in real time. All such technology is available in the country and in use in the automobile sector. A bank is a public place, visited by a number of customers. A robbery attempt can go awry leading to injury or loss of life. Being a public place, a bank is a prime target for a terror attack. To minimise such risks, security in the banks should be proactive. But on the contrary, the security philosophy in banking operations is rather reactive. It does not aim at crime prevention. It is focussed on loss recovery and evidence collection. The entire banking operations of branches, ATMs and cash-in-transit services, where there is a possibility of loss due to crime (including loss of life) are insured and indemnified up to a certain cash limit. November 2012


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The New York Practice The New York Bankers Association has a 15-point list of "Best Practices" to help deter bank robberies and aid in the apprehension of bank bandits. These are: ƒ

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Closed Circuit Television Systems (CCTV): High quality digital equipmenst to capture faces of persons transacting business at teller stations and other key locations, such as entrances and exits. Cameras should be positioned to ensure a full frontal photograph is obtained of perpetrators. Video surveillance systems of the bank floor/teller areas and ATM area should be aligned properly. Those banks or branches that do not yet have digital equipment installed, should have CCTV analog equipment and/or 35 millimetre cameras in sufficient quantities and of sufficient quality to accomplish the identification. Once digital equipment is installed, banks should additionally consider the use of 35 millimetre cameras to allow bank personnel to capture images of robberies in progress. Lighting/Cameras: Cameras or interior lighting positioned so lighting does not interfere with processing images of perpetrators captured on security video. Bullet-resistant bandit barriers: Bandit barriers to protect bank personnel from direct threats and provide a higher degree of security and deterrence. Where banks have instituted a cashless environment, alternatives to bandit barriers may be in order. Employees to greet customers: Security guards, customer service representatives to engage customers by greeting them as they enter the branch, should be utilised at a minimum on a floating basis to provide a plain view security presence, not necessarily at predictable times. This practice has been found to be an effective tool in deterring robberies. Dye packs/serialised currency: These are strongly recommended as potential aids in prevention, apprehension and prosecution efforts. Height markers: Height markers at doorways to help establish perpetrator's height. Direct telephone numbers: Bank

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branch direct telephone numbers provided to the Major Case Squad and Joint Bank Robbery Task Force to obtain information expeditiously in the event of a robbery. Employee training: Employees trained to trigger alarms and security cameras, as soon as reasonably possible to both protect the safety of customers and employees. Employee instructions: Employees instructed to limit amount of currency surrendered, to cover dye packs if utilised to retain demand note when possible, and to minimise contamination of evidence and crime scene. The use of bait or decoy money should also be considered. Unobstructed views: The employees' views of teller area should be unobstructed. Signage: In addition to the signage required by the ATM Safety Act, additional signage regarding bank security, (for example signage placed conspicuously, indicating the presence of surveillance equipment and/or FBI signage) should be utilised. Alarm systems: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards for Central Station Extent #2 to include hold-up alarm buttons at each teller's workstation and other points in the bank. Safes/vaults: UL listed classifications for burglary resistant containers. Vaults/safes rated for tool and torch resistance level based on amount of currency held. Bank/NYPD Communications: All banks should be connected to the Crime Prevention/Area Police Private Security Liaison (APPL) program. [Editor's Note: Determine what liaison programs may exist in your jurisdiction.] Enhancement of APPL Email alert system: Bank supported enhancements to current APPL e-mail alert system to include cross institutional/police video communication (including bank-to-police car video communication), to disseminate immediate notifications of bank robberies or attempted robberies and suspect information. This could prove successful in apprehending suspects who, when rebuffed at one location, target another bank until successful. Geopolitics bureau

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Contrary to common belief, the ATMs too are not guarded. The semi-uniformed person whom we normally encounter outside the ATMs, is a caretaker, entrusted with the job of cleaning the premises and informing authorities whenever the ATM runs out of cash or is out of action. Banking operations may have been indemnified but as a consequence the branches, ATMs and cash-in-transit services are inadequately protected, making these vulnerable to violent crimes and terror attacks. "It is a difficult choice between 'ensuring' (the security) and 'ensuring' (the losses)", says Captain Soni, a banking security professional. "Ethically, any establishment should first cater to fool proof security its patrons and then think about indemnifying the risks. Loss recovery through insurance reflects the financial prudence of planning, but why have physical aspects of security been ignored?" he asks. Banks have also outsourced their surveillance operations. The CCTVs, intruder and fire alarms and other sensors fitted in the banks and ATMs premises are being centrally monitored by a private agency through satellite link. In case of any emergency the bank's operation room in the city is alerted, but the staff cannot react to a crime situation even if the real-time information has been provided because of inadequate strength and reaction capability. Moreover, the security remains a 'low priority' in the banking sector. It may sound unbelievable but it is a fact that about 0.01 per cent of the budget is earmarked for security. That explains why banking security operations are so poorly and lackadaisically conducted in the country. Crime has become a complex affair. A lot of planning and preparation is done by the criminals. They try to infiltrate an accomplice into the organisation before executing the plan. A reactive security strategy cannot keep pace with the designs of criminals. On the contrary, banking security operations in the western countries are conducted with the aim of prevention of crime, minimising risk to life and property of the customers and protecting the premises to eliminate the possibility of terror attacks. (A retired Colonel of the Indian Army, the author is Deputy Director, Standards and Quality Assurance at SKDC—a Sector Skill Council for Private Security Sector) November 2012


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GEOPOLITICS

EXHIBITMAG.COM

INTERNALSECURITY

TIME FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY A

stream of nanotechnology (nanotech)-based products is beginning to emerge in India with applications in the security realm. Other than the Defense Research Development Organisations (DRDO), serious innovation is being effected by institutions like IIT Bombay and Madras University. The DRDO is, of course, also acting as a sort of hinge for fostering research and development (R&D) in this area of activity. India's rising proficiency can be gauged by the fact that a number of western entities are interested in partnering their Indian counterparts for joint R&D efforts in this sphere. However, to truly translate the gains from this emerging eco-system, more attention will www.geopolitics.in

have to be paid towards augmenting relevant manufacturing facilities in the country which will hasten the pace of prototyping. Because it is in these 'nano-foundries’ that basic R&D can be turned into usable products and help convert the stream into a veritable deluge. At the moment, nano-science-inspired creations are a $400 billion-dollar industry globally and this is set to grow by several multiples in the next few decades. India has been somewhat of a latecomer to this trend but is now making serious efforts to make a mark in the field. Leading the charge have been R&D efforts by various laboratories under DRDO, the Department of Atomic Energy and other standalone

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In days to come, military and paramilitary soldiers will increasingly use nanosecurity devices that make most products lighter, stronger, cleaner, less expensive and smaller in size. SAURAV JHA examines this scenario. government institutes working in tandem with the likes of the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. The focus at the moment is on the materials and sensor side of things, although breakthroughs while exploring any one side of nano-science more often than not prove attractive for a range of interests. For instance, a nanotech-based drug delivery system developed by DRDO's Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) is being adopted by Cipla for its inhalers as this is expected to optimise and reduce the dosage required per inhalation considerably to treat a range of pulmonary complications. INMAS is supplying a drug formulation containing salbutamol sulphate (60 nm size) in inhalable lactose which is compatible for use with conventional inhaler devices such as the ones marketed by Cipla. The nanosized drug particles lead to direct alveolar deposition thereby facilitating greatly enhanced results for inhalation therapy. Incidentally, this product was actually developed to help soldiers and paramilitary personnel acclimatise faster in high altitude regions by leading to swift vasodilatation of the lungs. November 2012


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(in much the same way Nanosniff's future sensor aims to do) as they move and this can be used to power say health monitoring systems integrated with the soldier's outfit or locational devices built into his helmet. However, this research is still in the laboratory stage and, perhaps, SSPL can join hands with IIT Bombay to expedite matters given the convergent aims. Miniaturised health monitoring systems themselves are, however, rapidly moving towards productionization. Nano electrodes for vital sign monitoring and bio sensors being developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bangalore are nearing commercialisation. These innovations will change the face of battlefield care and have the obvious potential to save lives during a conflict. Related to this is the development of silver nano-particle (NP) coated garments that being bacteriophobic would allow soldiers to operate in a zone subjected to germ warfare. The earliest NP-based products from the DRDO stable, however, have come from the material side of things. Vehicle Research & Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar developed corrosion resistive coatings by using metal carbon nano-tube (CNT) laced metal nanocomposites. These nano-composites are also being used to lower the weight of aerospace structures which is helping India's strategic missile program considerably. High barrier nano-composites are also being used by Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore for new generation food packaging systems that can keep food safe even in extreme conditions for long periods of time. DRDO is also bringing nanotechnology to bear in supporting the development of new products related to detecting and mitigating the hazards of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) warfare. DEBEL is creating CNT biosensors enable speedier detection of biological warfare agents. Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior has made a nanotech augmented chemical de-contaminant and currently an expression of interest has been floated for procuring a spray device suitable for this de-contaminant. The Center for Fire,

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Such 'dual use' potential if it may be called that, seems to be a characteristic trait of nanoscience R&D and that is a key reason why research into security related applications has the potential to be a game changer for India's tech economy. At the moment, 30 of DRDO's 52 laboratories are engaged in nanotech research. The organisation has made an initial investment of some $40 million into nanotech research and is looking to boost this while serving as a nodal body for both academia and industry to come together in the exploitation of nano-science for both defence and civilian purposes. Till as late as 2007, nanotech was being pursued somewhat independently by a range of entities in India. But it is now clear that the country can do much better if these efforts are pooled, leading to lower costs and compressed timeframes. IIT Bombay for instance has benefited greatly by tying up with DRDO's High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune for trialling its nano-materials-based handheld explosive-detection device. IIT Bombay, along with IISc, with who it has formed the Indian Nanoelectric Users Program (INUP), has come up with a proprietary polymer micro-cantilever sensor platform which uses a piezo-resistive layer to detect explosive vapours extant in the vicinity of conventional explosives. This sensor platform has been used as the basis to build a handheld device being marketed by INUP's technology startup called Nanosniff. Nanosniff's explosive detector was tested against numerous explosives at HEMRL to check its effectiveness. Such trials while seemingly simple are actually quite complex and require specialist material handling and calibration expertise of the kind that HEMRL brings to the table. Interestingly, a standalone version of this device which can be installed in public transport is also envisaged. Such a device is expected to be powered using piezoelectric surfaces that can convert the mechanical energy released from the vibration of moving vehicles into electrical energy. Interestingly, piezoelectric properties of nano-materials are also being used by DRDO's Solid State Physics Laboratory to develop solutions that lead to greater soldier autonomy and endurance on the battlefield. SPPL is carrying out research on generating electricity from the shoes and garments of soldiers by coating them with piezoelectric material that would convert mechanical energy into electrical energy

THE FUTURE SOLDIER: Innovative uses of nanotechnology include new lightweight armour and weapons

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FOUNDRIES OF INNOVATION: The labs are developing solutions that will lead to greater soldier autonomy and endurance on the battlefield

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detection sensor platform which did away with more conventional and expensive laser dicing and dry etching processes. A lowering of costs was brought about due to the fact that TMAH based UV photolithography is a wet etching process which obviates the need to generate extreme temperatures or pressure, which in any event are an expensive proposition. It must be noted that IIT Bombay's nano-fabrication unit is a national facility and is open to a network of researchers from across India. DRDO in keeping with its stated desire of boosting nanotech development in the country is making an investment of about $ 200 million for a new national nano-foundry which will be based at the National Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NCNN), Madras University. Again, this facility will be made available to both academia and industry on a time-sharing basis. Incidentally, NCNN is also at the centre of India's new biodefence policy with its laboratory developing procedures and technology for continuous soil and atmosphere tests to measure toxicity on a real time basis. While the institutional approach is certainly continuing apace, it is said that Indian industry must move quicker to take advantage of the nanotech sunrise in the country. At the moment, only very big players such as Reliance Industries, Tata Chemicals, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Asian Paints, Crompton Greaves etc have put in place programmes for nano-materials individually or in collaboration with academic institutions. It is time that small and medium scale enterprises also started to partake in the shift that is underway. In this context, the draft nano-science and nanotechnology policy being weaved by DRDO in partnership with the National Manufacturing Competitive Council will make interesting reading indeed.

Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi, is also close to commercialising NP based absorbents for toxic and hazardous waste. Meanwhile new generation CBRN suits with NP thermo-electric coatings are being researched by SSPL. Given the level of activity, it is not surprising that CBRN threat-related research is a segment where countries such as the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) have the greatest interest in partnering with DRDO. While DRDO is currently engaged in discussions with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency on CBRN issues, it already has an MOU with the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to jointly develop CBRN related products. But even as a spread of products begins to emerge from the nanotech research in India, there are now concerns about the toxicity effects of nanomaterials. The Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS), Delhi along with INMAS is now researching the toxicity effects of Nano Products (NP). In fact, this is also one the areas where DRDO is increasingly teaming up with foreign organisations pursuing nanotech research. For example, DIPAS and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are jointly investigating the toxicity effects of zinc oxide NP, a rather popular compound in nanotech applicawww.geopolitics.in

DRDO IS ENGAGED IN DISCUSSIONS WITH US AGENCIES ON CBRN ISSUES tions. Clearly, domestic R&D, both standalone and with international collaboration, has begun to quicken but to sustain this momentum and emerge as a nanotech powerhouse industrial capabilities within India have to be brought up to speed . This would involve the creation of facilities that allow rapid prototyping as well as research into reducing the cost of producing nanomaterials. Fortunately, the beginnings of a movement on the manufacturing side of things have already taken place. In IIT Bombay's in-house foundry, a tetramethylam-monium hydroxide (TMAH) based ultraviolet (UV) photolithography process was used to build the Nanosniff chemical explosive

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November 2012


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DIPLOMACY DEFINING PARTNERSHIP

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DEFENCE TIES BETWEEN INDIA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES, BUT THERE ARE CHALLENGES AS WELL


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CHINA FACTOR IN PHILIPPINE POLITICS maritime areas and potentially legally bind the US to defend those claims through a mutual defence treaty, Chinese President Hu Jintao refused to meet Aquino on the sidelines of last month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) summit in Russia. The economic stakes of falling afoul of China are huge. China, including Hong Kong, is the Philippines' largest export destination, accounting for 24 per cent of total exports last year. With annual bilateral trade hovering around $30 billion the two countries agreed to expand their bilateral trade to $60 billion by 2016, which if achieved would transform the mainland China alone into the Philippines' biggest export market. Leading Filipino entrepreneurs with interests in China’s booming real estate and retail sectors have banked heavily on their growing foreign investments there. Chinese visitors to the Philippines, meanwhile, were the fourth largest source of tourist revenues in 2011.

THEIN SEN SAYS ‘HELLO’ TO THE MEDIA! Burma's reformist President Thein Sein held his first press conference for the local press after years of secrecy and censorship. Explaining the reasons for the historic press conference, he said being interviewed many times during his recent visit to the US and the tough time answering questions on the inquisitorial BBC programme HardTalk had actually hardened him ! After surviving that experience, he said, he was no longer afraid of meeting the media. But he added that he feared he would also be criticised by Burma’s media if he did not come out to talk at home after giving so many interviews abroad.

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Thein Sein answered about 30 questions from local press and foreign correspondents on subjects ranging from fighting with ethnic rebels in the north to amending the country's military-fashioned constitution. The press conference in the capital, Naypyitaw, ran for 20 minutes past its scheduled two-hour length.

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Rising diplomatic tensions with China have sown divisions inside the Philippines ruling establishment. While President Benigno Aquino has publicly taken a hard line in response to Beijing's perceived provocations in the South China Sea, he has privately used diplomatic channels to maintain crucial bilateral trade and investment ties. The domestic infighting comes in response to strained bilateral relations with China which some fear could break into open confrontation without a diplomatic course shift. That risk has risen in the context of America's “pivot” towards Asia as Aquino makes strategic overtures towards the United States, including calls for more military assistance and the provision of spy planes to monitor China’s naval activities in adjacent waters. After Aquino issued a September 5 administrative order to officially rename the South China Sea, the West Philippine Sea, a move asserted Manila’s sovereignty over contested

November 2012


O N L O O K E R Strip on October 23 has created waves worldwide. The West has long considered Hamas a pariah due to its refusal to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, though this has not stopped the group from gaining a considerable degree of legitimacy on the regional level. The Qatari Emir's visit will likely enhance Hamas’ standing as a legitimate political movement. It could help the group acquire the political and financial leverage it can use against Fatah, its West Bank-based rival, and other emerging Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip. For Qatar, the visit is part of a wider effort to take advantage of the present distraction of the region's more powerful countries in order to secure a more influential international role.

ALTAF ASKS FOR ACTION

GAALTAFHUSSAIN'S PHOTOSTREAM

Addressing a gathering of party workers in Karachi by phone from London, MQM chief Altaf Hussain called upon the Pakistan military to “open their eyes” and act. In a speech critical of religious groups, Altaf appeared to be invoking the military to act. He questioned whether the armed forces, which took 80 per cent of the country's resources, were not responsible for safeguarding the country's borders and its citizens. Calling the terrorists “inhuman and living in the Stone Age”, Altaf criticised the military for stalling. “Why haven't they taken any clear steps to find and arrest the

culprits? Are they still confused?” he asked. The MQM chief said if the armed forces did not fulfill their obligations towards ensuring the safety of citizens and apprehend the barbaric culprits responsible for attacking Malala Yousafzai, then the nation might be left with no option but to seek international help. As the first political party to support the call for a military operation in North Waziristan, it is expected that the MQM might seek to build a consensus around future military action by approaching allied parties. “What we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal of hopes for that region. But we can't kill our way out of this mess. We're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive strategy to help the world of Islam … reject this radical violent extremism.” Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney on the US policy towards the Middle East

DEATH OF A SPYMASTER The killing of Lebanese intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan is not likely to create the political tsunami that the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri did seven years ago but it certainly has the potential to cause some powerful shocks to an already shaky Lebanese system. Nobody can speak with confidence of the direction Lebanon will go following this massive security incident but all bets are that things in Lebanon will get much worse before they get any better. Seven years ago, he escaped death miraculously. As Hariri's closest intelligence advisor and office manager since 1995, he was supposed to be with the former Prime Minister in his motorcade as it passed by the Saint George hotel, ultimately to get blown up. But he was not accompanying Hariri, later explaining to the Lebanese press that he had to take an exam on that fateful day (an alibi many in Lebanon thought was strange). This time, however, he wasn't so lucky. Just like his former boss, he perished in a massive car bombing in Beirut that shattered his body into pieces. Hassan was much

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Sheikh Hamad, a man of boundless ambition who has emerged as a serious actor in the regional upheavals of the new Arab awakening, has placed most of his chips on the mainstream Islamist Muslim Brotherhood from Libya, via Egypt, to Syria. Hamas is probably best known for its politically suicidal and now-abandoned suicide-bombing campaign against Israel — but it has never ceased to be the Palestinian chapter of the Brotherhood. Its Damascus-based politburo, moreover, broke with the regime of Bashar al-Assad early on in the Syrian uprising, more or less in parallel with Qatar, which now hosts Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader. The Emir’s visit, therefore, to the Hamas-controlled Gaza

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more than the head of the information branch of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) Directorate. He was Lebanon's spy master, the man who knew all the country's secrets. Tasked with an impossible mission — protecting a heavily penetrated and deeply polarized country from domestic and foreign enemies — he performed superbly and exceeded expectations in a relatively short period of time. His death is an enormous loss to Lebanon and his absence will surely create a huge hole in an already compromised Lebanese intelligence and security apparatus.

“We believe China can be a partner, but we're also sending a very clear signal that America is a Pacific power, that we are going to have a presence there. We are working with countries in the region to make sure China feels more pressure about meeting basic international standards.” US President Barack Obama on relations with China November 2012


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SPECIALREPORT

TROUBLE IN THE CHINA SEAS

Will a nationalistic China, with a perceived sense of historical wrong, begin a conflagration in Asia? If so, the waters of the China Sea seem to be emerging as the arena within which such a conflict could originate, writes, AJAY SINGH

ISLANDS OF DISCORD: The Senkuku Islands are a m

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he Senkaku Islands or well, the Diaoyu Islands from the Chinese perspective are an unimposing flashpoint for a regional war. They are just five uninhabited islets and atolls, many of them visible only when the tide is low. The largest island, Uotsuri is barely five kilometres long, and the smallest no bigger than a mid-sized apartment. Yet this cluster of tiny islands, lying in resource-rich waters and astride crucial sea lines of communication, could just become the focus of a major regional conflagration in East Asia. The Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands are amongst the many disputed islands in the

China Sea. They are claimed by both China and Japan and to add to the complexity, Taiwan too lays stake to them. The sixdecade-long dispute was temporarily shelved by both China and Japan who chose to leave the issue for a “later and wiser generation” and instead pushed ahead with their economic agendas. The problems began last year when a Chinese trawler collided with a Japanese patrol boat in the disputed waters. The crusty skipper had detained in Japanese custody for over two months before he was finally released and returned home to a hero's welcome. China ratcheted the pressure by suspending all exports of rare earths to Japan, effec-

BELLIGERENT NEIGHBOUR The Senkaku issue is just one of the many that China has with its maritime neighbours. China has disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and Indonesia over territory and waters that it has “historwww.geopolitics.in

ical claim” to. Many of the islands are claimed on the premise they once were part of the Chinese empire. Yet their interpretation of history is selective, to say the least. For example, their claim to another disputed atoll — the Scarborough Islands — is based on the fact that these islands were once depicted on a 13th century

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tively crippling Japan's electronics industry. The islands remained in the public consciousness as Chinese activists slipped past the Japanese Coast Guard and planted their flag on one of the islands. Japanese activists followed suit, raising their own flag on the island and provoked howls of protest across China. The issue resurfaced again in August, this year, when the Japanese government brought three islands from its cashstrapped owner for $26 million. This innocuous act brought the issue back in focus and unleashed a wave of nationalistic fervour in both nations. Yet, neither government could have anticipated the kind of emotion that this act

map of China, notwithstanding the fact that during the period, China itself was under foreign (Mongol) rule. The area that the Chinese claim in the South and East China Seas have been marked with a dotted line on the map — called rather unimaginatively as the Nine-Dashed Line. This encompasses over 75 per cent of the maritime area and overlooks inconvenient geographical truths that many of the isNovember 2012


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ajor bone of contention between Japan, China and Taiwan

generated. Japanese firms and offices in China were targeted and damaged. Many leading Japanese establishments, including Honda, Panasonic and Canon were forced to close down by mob fury. What heightened the sentiment was the fact that the incident took place around the 81st anniversary of the occupation of mainland China by Japan in 1931. That itself was an event laden with historical connotations and a searing reminder of the “Century of Humiliation” that China underwent through most of the past century. The Chinese government has done little to curb the violence, and in fact has encouraged the outpouring of public emotion. China is

in the midst of a delicate power transition, Japan is due for elections and at this juncture their leaders do not want to be seen as weak or vacillating. China sent six surveillance ships into the area to reassert its claim and gave an overt signal that it was willing to use military force, if necessary. Chinese media (much of it state sponsored) has gone viral in its condemnation. A hardline newspaper recommended placing mines around the islands; another suggested using them for target practice. One even suggested dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan to “curb its imperialistic designs”. While this rhetoric may not be state policy, it is certainly indicative of the mood within

lands lie within the Exclusive Economic Zones of neighbouring nations. Their claims are however grounded on sound economic and strategic factors. Possession of the disputed islands in the China Seas, be it just rocky, uninhabited atolls will enhance their Exclusive Economic Zone and provide access to the fertile fishing grounds (almost 8 per cent of the world’s catch) and wealth of hydrocarbons ( $3 tril-

lion by estimates) that lie beneath. Control of these territories will also give greater control over the East and South China Seas — the strategic waters which serve as the link to the Pacific and the Indian Oceans and over which 80 per cent of Asia’s shipping traverses. Domination of these waters will enable control over the sea lines of communication of all East Asian states.

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China and the growing aggression that its nationalism fuels. Yet, in spite of the bombast, it seems unlikely that there will be an all-out confrontation between the two Asian juggernauts. There is too much at stake, and not just the five islands. The two largest economies of Asia share a whopping $ 345 billion trade (with the balance of trade skewed heavily in China's favour). Both these once booming economics are experiencing a slowdown and a conflict is literally the last thing they need. Yet, it takes just a small incident, say the sinking of a fishing vessel, a collision in the disputed waters or even the detonation of a small bomb by a fanatical activist, to send the issue spiraling out of control. What is worrying now is the frequency and the intensity with which these disputes are erupting. The present situation with Japan comes just a couple of months after a tense standoff between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal as called by the Philippines; Hyonqyan by China). These resource and marine-rich islands, though just 135 nautical miles from Luzon and 350 nautical miles away from mainland China, once again fall under China’s “historical assertions”. Tensions began this July, when a Philippines warship intercepted eight Chinese trawlers fishing illegally in its waters. A routine act in itself, but this time it drew two Chinese ships, which interposed themselves in between. In the tense two-week stand-off, the Philippines blinked first and withdrew its warship citing bad weather. The stormy weather continued for some time thereafter. Heavy protests erupted in Manila over Chinese highhandedness. The incident also drew the US in the fray. The USA has a defence treaty with the Philippines and conducted a joint two-week naval exercise, perhaps to show solidarity with its treaty partner. The joint exercises led to a grim Chinese warning. “These drills will lead the South China Sea towards military confrontation and resolution through the armed forces.” Just as the simmering between China and the Philippines eased off another erupted between China and Vietnam over

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SHUJENCHANG

STATE-SPONSORED PROTESTS: There have been widespread protests in China against the Japanese occupation of the Senkuku Islands

the Spratly Islands. The Spratly, a group of pines claims over them. This is China’s 52 islands, are the most disputed in the third-largest military concentration in a South China Sea. Vietnam controls 40 of restricted area, akin to its deployment in them, the Philippines holds nine, Malaysia Tibet and the Straits of Taiwan. It has also has five and Taiwan has one. China upgraded the status of these islands from controls only seven of the 52 islands but a municipality to a prefecture, thus eshas laid claim to 90 per cent of the martablishing administrative control over the itime area. The most recent tensions arose islands and the waters around them. This when Vietnam passed a law in parliament has been China’s most overtly aggressive that reasserted its claim to the Spratly and move and indicative of its willingness to Paracel islands, an act viewed with China use military force to press its own claims. as, “a serious violation of sovereignty”. Both This becomes its toe-hold in the disputed nations have intensified combat ready air waters and the base from where it can exand naval patrols into the waters though pand outwards to lay claim to more and neither side wants a confrontation as yet. more of the areas they call its own. These islands were the scene of a major As the waters of the China Seas get naval engagement between China and stormier, it is but natural that it will draw Vietnam in 1988, which led to the sinking of other powers into the fray. The USA has three Vietnamese naval vessels and the equally vital economic and strategic interdeath of 88 sailors. These islands, have ests in the region and has a key interest in been defined as a “core interest, that is nonensuring that the strategic lines of negotiable” by China, on the lines of Taicommunication remain open. For the first wan and Tibet — two other major areas of time in recent years, the USA has dispute. It is significant that it has recently commented on China’s disputes with its upped the ante by deploying a large naval maritime neighbors and indicated a willand military garrison on Sansha, one of ingness to take sides. The USA has treaties the islands that threatens tobecome a focal with Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and point of the dispute. South Korea and is making overtures The Sansha Islands are so remote that towards Singapore and Malaysia — nations fresh water has to be ferried from the most affected by China’s growing assertions. mainland in a 13-hour journey by But how far will it go in case one of the confreighters. Like flagrations between most, it is gull inChina and say Japan THE REGIONAL BULLY fested, rocky, reor the Philippines or mote and tiny. Yet Taiwan or South Over the years China has racked up a list of this island has seen Korea goes out of confrontations with neighbors in the region one of China’s most control? Should a rapid military situation escalate, Countries Region buildups in recent the US will be forced India Aksai Chin, times. In August, it to take sides. If it Arunachal Pradesh established a milidoes, the situation Japan, Taiwan Senkaku Islands tary and naval garwill further escalate, Vietnam, Taiwan, Spratly Islands rison on those isif it doesn’t, the US lands, completely will be perceived as Philippines, Malaysia ignoring Vietweak and undePhilippines Scarborough Shoal namese and Philippendable by its allies.

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Yet, the growing US involvement in the region, following its ‘pivot’ towards Asia, has further heightened Chinese belligerence and perhaps one of these games of ‘dare’ may just go out of hand. . And then there are India’s own interests in the region. Our economic and strategic interests are best served by ensuring that the sea lines of communication remain neutral and unhindered. The Chinese claim of the waters also implies control of navigation passage over them. India has refrained from taking sides but has stressed “freedom of navigation and unhindered passage in international waters”. These waters are equally important for access to the East Asian markets, which are India’s largest trading partners. In fact, India was forced to withdraw its bid for joint oil exploration with Vietnam in the South China Sea, after the Chinese protested that the blocks fell within disputed areas. (China then added insult to injury by putting up the same oil blocks for sale in the international market.) While India would definitely not want to get involved in any of these disputes, the growing Chinese belligerence should be a reminder of its own claims to Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh which can suddenly erupt when the time is ripe. As China, with its growing economic and military clout, increasingly asserts itself, its actions are eerily reminiscent of that of Germany in the past century. Germany’s rising nationalism sent Europe hurtling into World War II. Its actions too began by claiming (and then occupying) small, insignificant pieces of territory, before expanding its claims. Will a nationalistic China with a perceived sense of historical wrong, begin a similar conflagration in Asia? If so, the waters of the China Sea seem to be emerging as the arena within which such a conflict could originate. As one writes this, there comes the news that Japanese and Taiwanese ships fired water cannons at each other in the disputed water around the Senkakus. Will the cannons fire more lethal munitions in the future? China has also launched its first aircraft carrier; a 60,000 tonne carrier with a complement of 33 aircraft, which will significantly extend its reach over the waters. This much-awaited carrier was named ‘Liaoning’, the name of the first Chinese province that was liberated from Japanese occupation in 1945. Perhaps that symbolism itself says a lot. (Ajay Singh is a strategic analyst and author of “Warfare- Present and Future”).

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STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP: Defence Minister AK Antony with American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on his visit to India on June 6, 2012

CHALLENGES IN INDO-US DEFENCE TRADE

Although American arms and ammunition are increasingly finding their way into the Indian market, there is still potential that can be tapped. PRAKASH NANDA enumerates time. the challenges on the road that US officials and experts mention from time to time www.geopolitics.in

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USARPAC.ARMY.MIL

The US-India defense relationship has grown over the last decade to become a key component of the overall bilateral partnership. Since the signing of the New Framework for Defense Cooperation in 2005, the United States and India have made remarkable strides in their defense relations. India now holds more than 50 annual military exercises with the United States, more than any other country. Cumulative defense sales have grown from virtually zero to more than $8 billion. And high-level exchanges on defense issues also have increased. There have also been new opportunities for cooperation in homeland security that emerged in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks. The establishment last year of the US-India Homeland Security Dialogue was an important step to building cooperation in this key area", so says Karl F. Inderfurth, Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies in the Washington-based Centrer for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Inderfurth, who served as US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs from 1997 to 2001, is among the growing serving and retired American officials who seem committed to take Indo-US defence relationship to a higher level. If one goes by various reports emanating from US official sources, over the next five years, the United States will strive to establish itself as a reliable defence-supplier to India and look for opportunities to enable further training and exchanges between the two militaries. And with such a view in mind, the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited India in June. This visit was closely followed by the visit of Panetta’s deputy, Ashton B Carter (Deputy Defense Secretary) with the specific purpose of offering ‘practical steps’ to improve Indo-US defence cooperation. On July 23, Carter addressed the Confederation of Indian Industry at New Delhi. His remarks there (http://www.defense.gov/ transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5084) are significant pointers of the American policy. We may highlight some of them. Carter noted President Barack Obama had referred to the two-nation relationship as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century”, adding that defence cooperation was central to that tie. Emphasising that the US defence leaders’ goal was to strengthen the relationship, Carter envisaged “to get to a place where we discover new opportunities continu-

ously, making new and innovative investments that benefit both countries for generations to come”. “We want to knock down any remaining bureaucratic barriers in our defense relationship, and strip away the impediments,” he added, explaining how the United States had begun to prune back bureaucratic restrictions hindering defence

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BROTHERS-IN-ARMS: Joint excercises, such as this one between the American and Indian soldiers in Alaska, create familiarity with the latest weapons systems

trade and joint development between the two countries. The United States’ export control system was designed to prevent high-end technology from getting to states November 2012


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INDO-US DEFENSE TRADE Type of equipment (quantity) Year of order TPE-331 (112) 1983 LM-2500 (6) 1999 AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder (8) 2002 AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder (4) 2003 LM-2500 (4) 2003 F404 (17) 2004 Austin (1) 2006 S-61/H-3A Sea King (6) 2006 F404 (24) 2007 C-130J-30 Hercules (6) 2008 P-8I Poseidon (8) 2008 CBU-97 SFW (512) 2010 RGM-84L Harpoon-2 (20) 2010 C-130J-30 Hercules (6) 2011 C-17A Globemaster-3 2011 Mk-54 MAKO (32) 2011 F414 (99) Total

2011

Value of deal (USD) Not available Not available Part of $142-190 million deal Part of $142-190 million deal Not available $105 million $48 million (ex-USS Trenton) $39 million (ex-U.S.) $100 million $962 million $2 billion $258 million $170 million Contract not yet signed $4.1 billion Contract not yet signed (potential $86 million deal) $800 million Approximately $8.83 billion

Note: This figure only includes major conventional hardware, so it will not include smaller sales such as special-forces equipment. Also, the figure does not include the TPE-331 or the LM-2500

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Arms Transfer Database, http://www.sipri.org/ databases/armstransfers

now on, every [C-130J] around the world will contain parts made in Hyderabad. That’s an example of the kind of co-production that is the future. It highlights what can be achieved when we unleash the potential of our private industries. It shows what’s possible when there’s a common strategic view, when the bureaucratic barriers are down, and importantly, when our strategic interests and genuine economic and business interests are aligned.” Carter said such joint efforts could and should expand further. “The only question for us is: Where does India want to expand and grow?” he added. “We want to cooperate with you on high-value technologies. To get where we both want to be, India can make some changes too, to increase US investment.” If India raise its foreign direct investment ceiling to international standards, he said, commercial incentives to invest would be greater. Second, on ‘Offset Agreements’ that involve a foreign supplier agreeing to buy products from a government acting as buyer, to offset the buyer’s investment, Carter said, “Offsets can be tremendously helpful to growing industry capabilities— if you have the right companies, and the right absorptive capacity. If offsets are cal-

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INNOVATIVE WEAPON: The Textron sensor fuzed weapon has been adopted for use by the Indian Air Force

ibrated correctly, they work. But if offset requirements are too onerous or too narrow, they deter a company’s interest, and you lose that alignment of economic interest and strategic intent. For companies to participate, our arrangements must make good economic sense as well as good strategic sense.” Third, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense emphasised how projects integrating technology development, production and acquisition required administrative structures that could accomplish that integration. Foreign direct investment limits, offset agreement restrictions and integrative administration structures were “just three points where change could be a real help in Indian-American cooperation”, Carter said, adding, “the point is that on both sides we need to change, reform and push ourselves to get to a place where US-India defense relations are only limited by our thinking, not by our capacity to cooperate”. The US, it is apparent, does not like the fact that India currently has limited foreign investment in its defence sector to November 2012

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that shouldn’t have it, Carter noted. “But our system can be confusing, rigid, and controls too many items for the wrong reasons,” he added. “We know we need to improve it” and “the President’s 2010 Export Control Reform initiative”was guiding those improvements, he said. The Defense Department’s internal procedures also can erect barriers, the US Deputy Secretary acknowledged. He added that he and Panetta were committed to reforming those processes. For example, he said, the United States had moved India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation off the Commerce Department’s entity list. The list sets restrictions on foreign end-user nations involved in proliferation activities. “We trust India and know that India is not a re-exporter or exploiter of our technologies,” Carter said, adding, “the US leaders consider India a top priority in the nation’s export considerations”, and wanted the United States to be India’s “highest-quality and most trusted long-term supplier of technology—not a simple seller of goods—in such fields as maritime domain awareness, counterterrorism, and many others”. In addition, he said, “The United States is committed to India’s military modernisation.” The US Defense Department leaders were also working to improve the Foreign Military Sales programme, or FMS, Carter said. “India was our second-largest FMS customer in 2011, with four and a half billion [dollars] in total FMS transactions,” he noted. “And we delivered six C-130J’s on time.” The C-130J, produced by Lockheed Martin, is the Super Hercules fourengine military transport aircraft. “We think our defense technology is the best quality on the market…Buying American, whether through direct commercial sales or Foreign Military Sales, will get India exceptionally high-quality technology, a high degree of transparency, and no corruption,” Carter said. The US was also working with India to make the acquisition process clearer and more export-friendly, he added. Most importantly, Carter said that the US wanted to move beyond the defence trade, towards cooperative research, development and co-production with India. Revealing that he was going to Hyderabad, where he would visit the facilities where India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Lockheed soon would begin producing parts for the C-130J, he declared, “From


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Prospects and Limitations Notwithstanding the occasional hiccup, the IndiaUS Defence Supply Relationship is bound to blossom because of the enormous potential for supply of American arms to all the three wings of the Indian military, writes Mohammad Samir Hussain Despite significant improvement in the relationship between India and the US, defence supply relationship has remained handicapped for the last many decades for certain reasons. The main reason behind this is the lack of mutual trust and the US linking of transfers of defence equipment to nonproliferation objectives. Secondly, the United States approach to maintain balance between India and Pakistan meant that it would not give those items to India that could “destabilise the South Asian region”. Such a US position became very clear when the US Under Secretary of Defence, Walter Slocombe made a statement before the Asia society on June 8, 1995: “any deepened security relationship between the US and India would not affect the traditional close cooperation between the US and Pakistan. The United States wants to improve the defence and security ties with India step by step, without losing its long time partner Pakistan.” Thus, defence supply relationship between India and the United States during the first decade after the end of cold war was almost negligible as part of the overall India-US strategic relationship. In

equipment for combating terrorism are in the various stages of Congressional clearance. On April 17, 2002, India and the United States entered into a first major defence deal for the purchase of eight advanced radars worth approximately $146 million. Under this agreement, India was to receive eight AN/TPQ-37 Fire Finder radars, which are ground-based designed to detect and locate the precise site of an enemy's artillery and rocket systems. In fact, the subsequent increase in dual-use export to India can also be attributed to the landmark “Next Step in Strategic Partnership” agreement signed in June 2005 between the two countries. It further strengthened the pace of defence cooperation between the two countries. India inked the arms deal with US worth $1.059 billion for the purchase of six Lockheed Martin C-130J “Super Hercules” transport aircraft in May 2007. Before this, India had finalised with the US the purchase of 12 Thales-Raytheon Systems AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder artillery locating radar, 40 General Electric F 404-GE-F2J3 engines for its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), deep submersible rescue vessel systems and spares for Sea King helicopters. In view of such improving defence sales from the United States to India then US State Department official Nicholas Burns had said in November 2007, “A significant Indian

fact, the transfer of defence technology to India got a major jolt when the US imposed a two-year ban on sensitive technology export to both India and Russia owing to signing of an agreement between the two for collaboration on India's Agni missile development programme to develop ballistic and rocket technologies. This was followed by the ban on transfer of technologies to India by the US after India exposed its nuclear capability in May 1998. However, by the turn of the twentyfirst century, the US seemed to have taken the defence supply relationship seriously, resulting in a gaining momentum of the same. The decision of the former US President George W. Bush to lift the sanctions was a turning point in the defence supply relationship. Since then, US Government has received as many as 81 applications for approvals by Congress. Out of which, 20 have already been approved by the interagency process and are in various stages of notifications to Congress. Applications received for Congressional approval are for Agni Satellite launch, helicopter spare parts, micro denatures, specialised electric motors and AN/TPQ-37 artillery locating radars. In addition to these, other large number of high priority items including aircraft engines, undersea remotely operating vehicles, submarine combat systems, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft, satellite launch vehicle technical data and

LOCKHEED MARTIN

TACTICAL LIFTER: The C-130J Super Hercules has bestowed unique abilities to the Indian Forces

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25 per cent. In fact, a recent CSIS study, titled, ‘US-India Defense Trade: Opportunities for Deepening the partnership’ authored principally by S Amer Latif, has recommended that India should increase its defence FDI cap to above 50 per cent. As it is, this report has identified five major challenges that it says stand in between India and the US for developing a “deeper defence trade relationship”. The first consisted of ‘Strategic Challenges’. Under these, “while the US will judge success not solely on how much market share it attains in India, but how those sales translate to a deeper defense partnership as it emphasises Asia in its security engagement”. India, by contrast, “will judge the success of defense trade based on how much technology is transferred, how much coproduction is conducted, and how much Washington will assist New November 2012


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defence purchase from the United States…would be a great leap forward and signal a real commitment to long-term military partnership.” However, there are still some challenges to overcome. There are perceptional gaps in defence sales. India views technology transfers as a crucial component of US-Indian defence and security relationship, whereas the USA is very choosy on this matter. The US-based leading Indian journalist Gautam Adhikari is of the opinion: “In the area of defence sales, there are differences in the perception and purpose apart from the problems of India's armed services being loaded mostly outdated Soviet-designed equipment.” He further added: “The Indians wants US investment in the Indian defence sector and view technology transfer as a crucial component of a closer US-Indian military relationship. The Americans are less willing to see why technology transfer should play key role in the military, which they see as part of a larger strategic objective in Asia, and view Indian intentions with a degree of suspicion.” Reliability has been another problem to transfer of defence equipment between India and the United States. The United States is not willing to provide India with state-of-the-art advanced technologies that would give the latter a strategic edge over its long time closeally Pakistan. While at the same time, America has even charged India with being reluctant to

acquire defence equipment and for acquiring such equipment from other countries. The US non-proliferation policy was also another major impediment to sharing of equipment. The United States had continuously linked the arms transfer to the non-proliferation in the past. For instance, the decision of the US Government to not supply future engines for India's Light Combat aircraft came when they had already supplied eight engines in 1998. Both sides have to be blamed for the unsuccessful defence trade relationship. Then, there have been issues such as lack of fast decision-making, transparency and accountability on the part of India and its avowed policy of self-reliance. During his recent speech at the Institute of Defence and Security Analysis, US Defense Secretary, Panetta has pointed out that it is necessary to “cut through the bureaucratic red tape on both sides” in order to “make our defense trade more simple, responsive, and effective.” He further added: “Over the long term, I am certain that we will transition our defense trade beyond the “buyer-seller” relationship to substantial co-production and, eventually, high-technology joint research and development.” There is no denying the fact that there are huge prospects for supply of American arms to all the three wings of the Indian military. The US has delivered Firefinder weapon-locating radar to India. It is also

considering providing India more counterterrorism equipment that can be used for its special operations forces and even materials to support India's peacekeeping training capabilities. It is not hesitating to provide India with advanced sophisticated sensors, command and control, early warning and missile defence and is considering co-production of items such as P-3 Orion antisubmarine warfare aircraft, attack helicopters, jet engines, amphibious ships, etc. that are of great interest to India. Indian Government has already announced the approval of various other weapons system purchases from the US, including the C-17 cargo aircraft in June 2011 and additional orders of the C-130J. Besides, there are other lists of weapons and equipment that American companies want to sell to India, which include a fleet of maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRA) for the Indian Navy, sophisticated air defence and air traffic control systems, shorthaul cargo planes and upgraded patriot missiles. Today India does not require Congressional notice for those major defence items on India's wish-list costing over millions of dollars. So far, such offer was only provided to close American allies such as South Korea and Japan.

Delhi in building its indigenous defense capabilities”. For overcoming these challenges, the report recommends: “The United States and India should designate one official on each side whose portfolio prioritized the promotion of bilateral defense trade. Doing so would energise this important dimension of bilateral engagement. Both countries should engage in an in-depth discussion about India’s defense needs that stems from a joint vision for the strategic defense relationship.” Second, there are what the CSIR report called “Political Challenges”, dealing with “the trust deficit between the two countries, managing US sales to Pakistan, and the political dynamics in Washington and New Delhi that could affect the path of defense relations for better or for worse”. These could be overcome, the report said, only when the US was consistent and reli-

able in its technology transfer decisions and the Indian government managed a domestic consensus that Indo-US relationship was mutually beneficial. Third, there are “Procedural and Technical Challenges” that disconnected between American sales and Indian acquisition systems (including technology transfers and offsets and defense agreements”. These challenges could be met, the report recommended, only when both countries went for compromises on a series of macro-level measures, most important which would be “to accommodate the FMS system within the Indian Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP)” and India raising the FDI limit to 50 per cent in the defence sector. Fourth, the CSIR report talked of ‘Bureaucratic Challenges’. For the US, these involve the opaque nature of the Indian bureaucracy and for India these

were American inconsistencies and unpredictability. These could be only dealt in a manner, it recommended, so that the US bureaucracy was “ more responsive to Indian requests for information (RFI) such as price and availability data” , the Indian side should clear in time the routine paperwork related to the defense trade and “become more proactive in providing information to defense companies on the status of defense tenders”. Fifth, there are “Communications and Education Challenges”, which the CSIR report described as ‘inadequate job’ by both the governments in “effectively communicating the benefits of the defense trade to interested constituencies within their respective civil societies”. As a result, there were “misperceptions about the others’ motives, attitudes, and policies, which can stymie deeper cooperation”.

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The author is Research Associate YCNational Center of International Security and Defence Analysis University of Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India

November 2012


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SHOULD THE PRIME MINISTER VISIT PAKISTAN?

Many in Pakistan say that visas, peace accords, and trade treaties between India and Pakistan pale into insignificance without the icing on the cake: a visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari. DIPANJAN ROY CHAUDHURY discusses why the Indian Prime Minister finds such a visit difficult

T TODAY.BROWN.EDU

he Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, has, over the last eight years, visited almost all important countries, except Pakistan, a place where he was born. Both the Pakistani President and Prime Minister have extended him invitations from time to time for a visit to their country. Pakistan's latest invitation was extended in September through former Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna when he went to Islamabad. When will Prime Minister Singh visit Pakistan? Going by the statements of Pakistani officials, including Pakistan's Ambassador to India, Salman Bashir, as well as Pakistani media reports, all shades of opinion in Pakistan, from the top leadership to senators, journalists, lawyers, sundry officials, socialites and the ubiquitous taxi drivers in Islamabad and Lahore, are in favour of a visit by the Indian Prime Minister. Why is he shying away from the

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Islamabad is yet to take any concrete step to bring the perpetrators and masterminds of the attack to justice. Plans for more attacks on Indian assets have continued unabated and probes into other terror strikes on India in the past emanating from Pakistani soil have been buried under the carpet. Pakistan has been insisting that India should not make the dialogue process and Singh’s visit conditional on the ‘Mumbai attacks’ case or any other matter. But there is a general feeling in India that Islamabad is not doing enough to deal with terrorism directed against New Delhi from Pakistani soil. Prime Minister Singh’s predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Islamabad twice, notwithstanding his party’s ideological moorings, but those journeys were futile. While Vajpayee was on the famous bus trip to Lahore in 1999, the Pakistan Army was plotting the Kargil misadventure. Vajpayee’s 2004 visit and the famous Islamabad Declaration too did not prevent terror attacks being staged from the Pakistani soil in the subsequent years. And after each attack, Islamabad had tried to brush aside it “as a thing of the past” failing to garner Indian confidence. Islamabad has long been pushing for Singh’s visit, but the Indian establishment is believed to have been reluctant to cross the border. The official stance of the Indian government has also remained that the Indian premier would visit Pakistan when the atmosphere is “ripe” and something “worthwhile” comes out from such a trip. Notwithstanding the fact that India should engage with the civilian leadership of Pakistan, it is an open secret that anything worthwhile and concrete can only be achieved when the General Headquarters at Rawalpindi gives a green signal to Islamabad’s political class. The men in uniform and their infamous spy agency do not want to dilute their influence on Pakistan’s India policy. They seem to be in no mood to accept any role of state actors in the Mumbai attacks and this prevents the trial from reaching a logical conclusion and perpetrators being brought to justice. Therefore the question arises whether Manmohan Singh will indeed make the trip without Pakistan showing any concrete progress against the perpetrators of ANXIOUS HOST: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has extended several invitations to the Indian Prime Minister

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the Mumbai mayhem or any concrete deliverable that could justify the trip. A senior official speaking on condition of anonymity remarked that Pakistan had not shown any desire to act against terror. The Prime Minister should not take any initiative that will give legitimacy to Pakistan’s designs to sidetrack terror and 26/11, as well as give legitimacy to its fight against terror before the global audience. Moreover, the PM is under enormous pressure at home with corruption scandals and a faltering economy. With an aggressive opposition waiting to maximise his government’s failures and demanding his resignation, it might be difficult for him to go to Pakistan ahead of Parliament’s winter session.

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visit? That is the question many in Pakistan ask. Dr. Singh himself has expressed a wish to visit Pakistan at “an appropriate time” so that there is “a positive breakthrough” in the bilateral relationship between the two countries. There is a view in New Delhi that the Indian Prime Minister’s visit would be a good gesture that would create conditions for a further improvement in bilateral relations. The visit would help reach out and strengthen the sections of Pakistani society that want better ties with India, according to this view. On the face of it, India-Pakistan relations are progressing smoothly. Former External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has had a “fruitful” visit, as he termed it. Trade ties are increasing and are likely to improve further. In this atmosphere, a visit by the Prime Minister to Pakistan will further strengthen the bilateral ties, it is argued. President Zardari had invited Singh to be present for the Guru Nanak Jayanti functions and visit his ancestral village of Gah in Punjab. The Pakistani President was in line with his own visit to Delhi while on a pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif. The Pakistan People’s Party-led government is very keen to host Singh at a time when it is inching towards that singular distinction in Pakistan — of being the first civilian government to complete a full term. That means that the present government in Pakistan will like Manmohan Singh to visit during the remaining two months of this year, as a visit early next year will be too close to the elections in Pakistan, which are due by March next year. Of course, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s key desire during his tenure as the head of the government since 2004 has been to visit neighbouring Pakistan to push an agenda close to his heart of promoting peace ending decades-old acrimony and mistrust. Yet odds are heavily against undertaking this visit with Pakistan yet to fulfill promises made by it to crack down on India’s biggest concern — crossborder terror — making it difficult for the economist-turned PM to take the flight to Islamabad this November. While few would argue that the PM should return the visit of his erstwhile counterpart YR Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari to strengthen the democratic forces in Pakistan, there are no takeaway and deliverables from the proposed visit. The Pakistan Army’s writ runs large and the ISI maintains a stranglehold over the country’s India policy. Memories of the bloody and ghastly 26/11 remain fresh and

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FUNONTHENET.COM

STRAINED RELATIONS: The Kargil misadventure by Pakistan and continued assistance to militants remain a major stumbling block for normalisation of ties

There is a limited window available for the PM to travel to Pakistan. Pakistan goes into election mode at the end of the year and will have a caretaker government from next January. Elections in Pakistan are likely to be held in March 2013. This will make the visit untenable as there could be no concrete outcome with a caretaker government in place. It is the progress in 26/11 — the deadliest terror attack of recent times — which holds the key, say analysts amid a feeling that India has gone soft on terror since the 2009 Sharm-el-Sheikh meeting between the leaders of the two countries, which sought to delink terror from the dialogue process. The late Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, once stirred controversy by saying: “There is a little bit of Indian in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistani in every Indian.” India and Pakistan—who have fought three major wars in the 63 years since their independence — are still in conflict over varied issues — trade, water, Kashmir, Afghanistan, terrorism, and even cricket. While successive Indian and Pakistani governments have often repeated the desire for peaceful relations, reaching a comprehensive agreement that settles outstanding disputes, such as Kashmir and the Indus waters agreement, still does not seem to be in the cards as yet. However, developing stronger economic relations between the two countries could be a base on which to build overall ties and trust. The PM has been pushing for this. However, out-of-the-box formula to reach out to Pakistan has been tried by all Indian PMs since the mid-1990s. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself launched a couple of initiatives during the erstwhile rule of former Pak Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf and then with civilian PM Gilani. Every such move has met with stiff resistance in the form of terror strikes and incursions originating from across the border. Though the post-26/11 www.geopolitics.in

period — when Manmohan Singh reached out to Gilani thrice — has not yet witnessed any terror strike except the Pune blast in Febrary 2010, skeptics claim that the future holds no promise. A number of terror strikes that are believed to have been foiled since 26/11 were allegedly hatched across the border. According to former Deputy National Security Adviser Satish Chandra it will be naïve to expect reciprocatory gestures from Pakistan to any Indian initiative. Even cricket diplomacy has not yielded results. While the future in international relations is often too difficult to present, the past paints a bleak future. But there seems to be a stereotype that has developed in the relations. Former Army Chief General V P Malik cautioned against the hype. “The people in Pakistan who pull the strings particularly with regard to Indo-Pak ties are the men in uniform. There is danger in exercises such as current one as such is hype bound. The real players in the neighbouring country are not part of this game,” General Malik told Geopolitics, probably drawing from his own experience. It may be recalled that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s historic bus trip to Lahore in early 1999 and the attempt to reach to his then counterpart Nawaz Sharif was not reciprocated with bouquets. The Kargil War in May-June 1999 was big setback to Vajpayee’s initiative and later that year hijacking of IC-814 to Kandahar did not add to any goodwill. Later, it was revealed that Pakistani Army had planned Kargil adventure by keeping Sharif in the dark. General Malik was Indian Army Chief during the Kargil War. Two years later General Musharraf was invited for the Agra Summit that later failed. The invitation by the NDA government to Musharraf to visit India though gave him legitimacy as it enabled him to get the title of President. To everyone’s dismay Parliament was attacked in December 2001. Operation Parakram followed the Parliament attack

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when hundreds of thousands of troops were amassed along the border with Vajpayee’s famous call for aar par ki larai. Such acrimony though was short lived. In January 2004, Vajpayee travelled to Islamabad for the SAARC Summit. The Indo-Pak Joint Statement on the occasion where Musharraf assured not to allow Pakistani territory to be used for anti-India terror activities was seen as an achievement. It was the first occasion when Pakistan made such a written commitment. Vajpayee’s successor Manmohan Singh brought momentum to ties and the Composite Dialogue process was set in motion in June 2004 until the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. As part of Singh’s goodwill initiatives, Musharraf & his wife visited India in 2005 and watched the Indo-Pak cricket one dayer in Delhi. But it may be recalled that such developments did not prevent terror strikes that originated in Pakistan between 2004 and 26/11. Even after seven serial attacks in Mumbai trains killed 209 and injured over 700 in June 2006, Singh met Musharraf at Havana in September and the two sides decided to set up Joint Anti Terror Mechanism (JATM). Notwithstanding the Composite Dialogue, backchannel diplomacy and meetings of JATM, terror strikes continued across Indian cities. The election of a civilian government did not prevent attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul which was allegedly carried out at ISI’s behest. Singh’s meeting with Gilani in Aug 2008 and a month later with President Asif Ali Zardari at New York on sidelines of UN did seem to make little impact on the hard line forces. Mumbai attacks were launched while the then Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in India and shortly after he finished his press meet with his then Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. If indeed the PM has to go, officials said, a decision by Pakistan to release Indian prisoner Sarabjeet Singh and an in-principle agreement on Sir Creek, could well become the basis on which to hang the prime ministerial trip. The author is a Programme Director with Aspen Institute India, New Delhi. November 2012


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REVIEW

THE MAKING OF A DIPLOMAT In over three-and-a-half decades of his diplomatic career than began in 1962, PREM K BUDHWAR served in important positions both at home and abroad, half of it as an ambassador. In his book, The Making of a Diplomat, he dispels myths and reveals that a diplomat’s journey is a tightrope walk in the realms of international and intra-national issues. The book is a one-stop guide for anyone keen to peep into the Indian Foreign Service. Extracts:

Author: Prem K Budhwar Konarak Publishers Pages: 178 Price: Rs 495

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or the first few decades of the IFS it was invariably the first choice of aspirants for India's higher civil services. The annual intake was generally from amongst the top thirty or even less of the combined list of successful candidates. Over the years, this trend has changed significantly. While some of the toppers still opt for the IFS, the preference very often is now for some of the home services starting with the IAS with Police Service, Revenue Service, or the Customs and Excise much ahead in the priority list. The reasons could be many for this. www.geopolitics.in

Also, despite the manifold attractions of a foreign service career, its problems and difficulties also began to be realized. It meant long years of absence from home, your larger family and circle of friends. It could, at times, be a strain on your personal life. It could pose a problem in bringing up and giving steady education to your children. It could mean postings to truly tough and difficult stations with abysmal living conditions. It could mean the gradual weakening of your networking in India, something that could make things somewhat difficult in later years in life. The charm of continuous long years abroad began to lose its shine for some. The nature and type of entrants into the civil services also began to change. With several amongst them from a different social background with family commitments and other considerations, a career in one of the home services increasingly looked like a better choice. Also, with the progressive improvement in the quality of life in India the realization probably began to dawn that a Foreign Service career was not the only one ensuring easy

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access to good things in life. Earlier the general impression rightly was that this was the only career where you not only traveled and, more importantly, lived abroad but got paid in foreign exchange (an otherwise rare commodity those days) and thus had all the commonly sought after consumer goods within easy reach. A much better quality of life seemed almost certain in a Foreign Service career. That scene has undergone a major change now. Today, if you have money you can possess virtually all the high quality consumer goods in India itself, from fancy cars to electronic items and high quality garments, to name a few only. Even foreign travels, including holidays, have become a routine affair with the easy and liberal release of foreign exchange against the rupee funds. This is certainly not to suggest that a career in the Foreign Service is all about good life and quality shopping only. After a few years of life abroad these become incidental attractions only. But increasingly it has become a career where satisfaction presupposes a genuine interest in foreign affairs, in facing the November 2012


g REVIEW challenges of diplomatic work, in deriving a unique satisfaction from representing one's country abroad and in possessing an active interest and keenness in learning about other countries, peoples and their cultures. All this requires a certain mindset and outlook that may not necessarily be the attitude of all those qualifying for the higher civil services. This takes one to the next question. What is the way out to ensuring that only the right candidates get into the Foreign Service? From time to time the suggestion that the IFS should be treated as a specialized service requiring different kinds of skills, background, mental outlook and approach to life has floated. To ensure this, recruitment to this service should be delinked from the general competitive examination for the higher civil services and instead be through a separate process of recruitment but with the assurance that the basic service conditions, including the salary scale, shall remain at par with the IAS, the other highest civil service in the upper most bracket. It is interesting to recall here that even at the time of the inception of the IFS; there was a feeling in certain high quarters that it would be advantageous and better to have a separate examination for the Foreign Service. Quite a few major countries already follow this practice and it seems to have served them well over the years. In recognition of the specialized nature of work of a foreign service officer, again at the time of creation of the IFS, it was conceptualised that ideally a foreign service recruit should have a strong historical sense with a knowledge of world history and international affairs, a grasp of general economic and political priorities and a flair for languages, if not a knowledge of them, besides the important personality traits, a certain level of sophistication, ability and industry. For reasons perhaps too numerous to list, this concept of a separate examination for the IFS never took off and to date recruitment to this Service continues to be clubbed with other higher civil services. This pattern seemed to work quite well in the first few decades after independence when both the social and academic background (mostly social sciences) of the young aspirants for the All India competitive examination was different. Over the years this has changed substantially. The progressive increase of reserved quotas has been causing a major shrinkage in intake from the general category. Increasingly, candidates with www.geopolitics.in

specialised and technical academic backgrounds like medicine and engineering are finding their way into higher civil services. They might be fine minds but in terms of academic background they could become square pegs in round holes in a system of general services. Moreover, their specialised and highly technical education is very much a subsidized process. After thus acquiring the requisite education and skills, a switch to a civil service career even becomes a waste of specially trained talent and thus both a loss to society and the system. The IFS could be insulated against all such emerging trends if recruitment to it were to be through a separate examination with special emphasis on subjects that would be true assets in the career later. Why this has not been done so far is hard to understand. But the time has indeed come to give this matter serious consideration to ensure that only those genuinely keen on and qualified for a diplomatic career are getting into the service. There is another aspect too that has perhaps not been getting its due attention. Without any intention of sounding snobbish, the fact remains and must be objectively accepted that in certain aspects a foreign service career is quite different from that in other branches of the civil services. It is the only career that requires serving abroad for a better part of one's service. This implies different coun-

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tries, peoples, work cultures, climatic conditions, languages, to name just a few. Consequently, a successful foreign service officer has to have a different outlook on life and a capacity to adjust and adapt in a manner and with a frequency that no other career possibly demands. Equally important would be the possession of certain social graces and refinement required in dealing with foreigners and diplomats from other countries. This would hold good even while dealing with the nationals from your own country who themselves, after years of living abroad, have developed an outlook somewhat different from that of an average person within your country. To ensure that these qualities are displayed in abundance by your diplomatic representatives serving abroad, it would help considerably if the initial raw material inducted into the service comes from a different social background, has the requisite academic qualifications and is mentally fully attuned to a foreign service career rather than be getting into the foreign service just because it is one of the several career options available to him. It should be quite obvious that the best way of at least ensuring all this would be recruitment through a separate examination with emphasis on special and different qualities required of a successful diplomat. November 2012


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Right Angle

THE ROTARY TUSSLE

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ational Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, not Defence Minister AK Antony, is understood to have influenced the recent decision of allowing the Indian Army to acquire its own fleet of attack helicopters. The decision has been uncomfortable for the Indian Air Force as it was opposing the Army’s requests to have these choppers for itself and the Defence Minister was finding it difficult to take sides in this “family problem”. Thus, and it is an irony, the first batch of Boeing's Apache helicopters, negotiated by the Air Force and purchased from its own budgets, will now go to the Army. The prevailing practice hitherto has been that despite being “under the operational control” of the Army, the medium and heavylift helicopters as well as attack helicopters like Mil Mi-25/Mi-35 are owned and administered by the Air Force. The roles of helicopters have changed a lot in recent times to include newer tasks of attack role, gunship role, surveillance role Prakash and become a versatile combat platform. But the Army claims control over those on the ground that its first and foremost task is to provide logistic and air support to the Army. It was the former Army Chief VK Singh who argued that with attack helicopters, the Army could transform itself into a leaner, meaner and network-centric force. The Army contends that absolute control over attack helicopters will give the land forces more power and reach in tactical situations, particularly in cutting down the time taken to mobilise troops near the Indo-Pak border. Under its so-called “Cold Start” doctrine (quick push into Pak territory, accomplish the task and then come back before retaliation), apart from deploying all three “Strike Corps” in desert/semi-desert, a squadron each of Apaches and Mi-35s in the Pathankot-Sambha-Jammu Corridor will serve as a useful deterrent against any breakthrough by the Pakistani Army. In any case, so runs the argument, if the Indian Navy can have its own fighter aircraft (such as MIG-29K and Sea Harrier) and helicopters (such as Sea King and Dhruv), why cannot the Army have its own? As it is, in a majority of the leading militaries, it is the Army that controls and operates the helicopters. A list of the countries, where the army instead of the air force operates attack helicopters, includes the USA, China, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Poland, Indonesia, and Thailand. In fact, all the Apaches in the United States are owned by its Army! The US Air Force (USAF) owns only 191 out of the total 5700 helicopters that the US armed forces have; the US Army alone has nearly 5000 of them. However, there is another side to this debate. While leading armies of the world do have their respective air

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wings, the fact also remains that there are formidable military powers such as Russia and Israel, where attack helicopters are with the Air Force. The same is the case with South Africa and the Netherlands. It is in this sense that the IAF has a point when it says that every armed force has its own practices and traditions that meet its specific needs. The IAF argues that in India, helicopters operated by it for the Army has been more than effective, evident during the Kargil War. And, in keeping the sophisticated fighter helicopters in fighting-fit condition, the economies of scale, the network effect and the experience that the IAF has simply cannot be replicated by the Army in the foreseeable future. Former Air Chief Marshall Fali H Major once said in an interview to this writer that one needed to look at the issue by keeping the “cost-effective solution” in mind. According to him, “If the bread and butter happen to be aviation and aerospace, then it does make sense that the agency with many established organisations and systems for Nanda air power should leave aviation.” He was of the firm opinion that there should not be any dilution in the core competence of the Air Force. “Ours is a huge country and we should not compare ourselves with countries like England. First of all, they do not have enemies on their border. Secondly, they are very small, whereas in the case here, each asset is with each force. See the division that will take place, see the control of the assets which will be dispersed. It is not a cost effective way of fighting a war. In the ultimate analysis, cost to the nation is also very important. Your training establishment is with the Air Force. Now, if you establish institution in the Army, you are wasting money,” he had argued. For the present Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, “The integration between the armed forces over the use of assets though these are controlled by separate wings is way of future.” Seen specifically in the context of attackhelicopters, the Air Force has the weighty argument that these are used not only for destroying tanks but also for taking down enemy aircraft, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Besides, the attack helicopters need the support of larger air assets such as interceptors and larger aircraft in sanitising the air space. Be that as it may, now that the Ministry of Defence has taken a decision in favour of the Army, it is the Army that should assuage the hurt feelings of the Air Force. In the ultimate analysis, it cannot do without the support of the Air Force. All over the world, the army is fast evolving from “service independence” to “joint interdependence’. The Army will find it extremely difficult to operate on its own without integrating its operations and assets with that of its sister services.

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prakashnanda@newsline.in November 2012


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