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DecemBER 2018 | VOLUME 10 | ISSUE 03 | `150

The First and Only ISO 9001:2015 Cer tified Defence and Securit y Magazine in India

The Only Magazine Available On The Intranets Of IAF & BSF

Indian Navy Special

Interview with Mateusz Morawiecki PM of Poland THE FIRST CHOICE IN THE DOMAINS OF

Defence, Security and World Affairs Wo r ldW i d e




editor’s note


DSA is as much yours,


as it is ours!

NS Arihant has completed its first deterrent patrol. No small achievement for India, its navy and for long-term security in the Asia-Pacific region. This is exactly where the country should aim to make an impact in terms of security and protection. It can only be achieved when India has a comprehensive naval up-gradation programme based on a national security strategy that is wide ranging and realistic. The manner in which the navy continues to be the ‘least’ budgeted service suggests India is far from achieving its goals, nationally or regionally — is a real pity! Unlike its sister services, the navy is unique in having its own design bureau to develop ship-building concepts that are indigenous and modern as well. The naval design bureau has been instrumental in creating domestic ship design and building skills that have had a far reaching impact on the service, as well as on national security over the last years. The successes have been many, most very low key,

but useful in the long run. What it does is to create an environment where design and development is encouraged, the most important ingredient of an indigenous programme. INS Arihant is the product of this environment, one that meshed naval, public sector and the private industry into making an indigenous nuclear powered submarine. India is now the sixth country to have developed and commissioned a nuclear powered submarine, the most important leg of the nuclear triad. A nuclear submarine capable of launching a ballistic missile over intercontinental distances is the surest deterrent from attack, as well as providing a second strike capability should other assets have been taken out earlier. This is because a submarine is extremely difficult to track, and a nuclear one even more so. This success should be taken as the beginning of a programme rather than a culmination, for the country needs a lot more nuclear, surface and sub-surface naval assets. The simple reason is that a nuclear reactor on

board a ship or submarine can operate for an extraordinarily long period without refuelling. A long deployment at sea, for a submarine or an aircraft carrier, is precisely why nuclear power is so important. India should be commissioning at least five SSBN type submarines, with another seven SSN types available of deployments. This will take care of deterrence and attack. These objectives can be achieved if the country has a long-term vision backed by long-term budgeting. A naval ship takes many years to make, from design to sea launch; adding another period for precommissioning trials. Thus the focus on the wheel of budgeting to commissioning, it takes time and money. An investment now proves vital in the long run, so earlier the better. Any delay makes it more expensive later, and potentially catastrophic in terms of security. Something that can easily be avoided by the aid of a security vision, a design bureau, and the money to back. The navy has plenty of the first two, but needs urgent monetary support.

Manvendra Singh December 2018 Defence AND security alert


publisher’s view

An ISO 9001:2015 Certified Magazine

Volume 10 | Issue 3 | December 2018

Chairman Shyam Sunder Publisher and ceo Pawan Agrawal President Urvashi J Agrawal Director Shishir Bhushan Editor-in-Chief Manvendra Singh Copy Editor Vandana Bhatia Palli Copcom & Ops OSD Navjeet Sood Art & Creative Dolly Jain Representative (J&K) Salil Sharma Correspondent (Europe) Dominika Cosic Production Dilshad and Dabeer IT Operations Amber Sharma Photographer Subhash Legal Advisor Deepak Gupta

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Defence and Security Alert is printed, published and owned by Pawan Agrawal and printed at Bosco Society For Printing, Don Bosco Technical Institute, Okhla Road, New Delhi-110025 and published at 4/19, Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi (India). Editor: Manvendra Singh


Dealing With Omni-

directional Threats


he entire environment on the globe has changed drastically in the past few years and most changes have happened in and around the oceans and the mountains. As a matter of fact, these two elements of the entire geography are the most important for mankind right from the beginning of civilisation, thus, playing a vital role directly and indirectly. As we all know that the oceans exist because of the mountains in an irrefutable geophysical cycle that affects mankind in every way. Unfortunately, both these elements have been exploited to the point of disruption by mankind and all are facing the consequences with a paradox like the floods in the Sahara desert and the ghastly reality of fires in the jungles of California and heatwaves in the heart of Europe. Global warming, much as US President Donald Trump would want to deny its existence, is taking its toll in many ways including rapid melting of glaciers in the mountains and the rise in ocean levels threatening island-nations and coastal habitats even as geopolitics, instigated upheavals leading to mass migrations, and natural disasters have contributed to an all-pervasive flux. In the midst of all, there is the long-held belief among nations with a predeliction for political expansionism that control of the ocean spaces and denial of the use of the same makes for global domination. Hence, the growth of navies with capabilities of projecting power on the surface, in the air and under water. The Indian Navy, the sphere of influence of which extends from the chokepoints on the western Arabian Sea to the troubled waters of the Pacific Ocean, too is aspiring for “bluewater” capabilities to be able to project sea control in the Indian national interest, and sea denial to navies inimical to our world view. The pre-eminence of the Indian Navy in maritime matters is the result of the devastating attack on Mumbai by terrorists using the sea route on 26 November 2008. While compiling these lines, we are remembering the ten-year-old Mumbai attack on Hotel Taj which happened due to the laxity in the security setup to the emerging threat from the seaward side. I would also like to share with you, dear reader, that the initiative to launch the DSA in October 2009 was triggered by all the shortcomings in our security network. Unfortunately, the situation is still the same. Though some serious efforts have been taken by the current government but they are inadequate as compared to the enormity of the threats to our national security. So, it has become very important that we remain ‘Alert’ on the threats from any direction, be it the seas or even the mountains. On the occasion of the Indian Navy Day, I wish all success to every soldier in whites! Happy reading! Jai Hind!

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

Pawan Agrawal




An ISO 9001:2015 Certified Magazine

Indian Navy – Combat Readiness Team DSA


SSBMs-SLBMs: India’s Necessity V Adm Arun Kumar Singh PVSM, AVSM, NM (Retd)


Land-based, Aerial Refuelled Wins Air Mshl Anil Chopra PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM (Retd)


Poland’s International Alliance Dominika Cosic


Advanced Future Skills in Navies Dr Vijay Sakhuja


Conventional Capabilities of Indian Navy and IAF Cmde Ranjit B Rai (Retd)


The Sino-Indian Naval Dynamics Prof Harsh V Pant


China sends a clear signal Dr Krzysztof Kuska


Technology Induction – National Security PM Heblikar


KAMOV Ka-226T DEAL AND NAVY’S NUH NEED Gp Capt AK Sachdev (Retd)


Naval AssetsTechnology Driven Prof Arvind Kumar


December 2018 Defence AND security alert


maritime security geo-strategic milieu

Indian Navy – Combat Readiness “... The Indian Navy is fully cognisant of the changes in our it’s strategic environment as well as the evolving nature of threats, both traditional and nontraditional. The Indian Navy aims to be a balanced, capability-driven force, capable of safeguarding our maritime interests, wherever they may be.” - says CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba in an exclusive interview.

Defence and Security Alert: India celebrates the naval task force strike on Karachi harbour at the dead of night on 4 December 1971 as Navy Day; 47 years later, has anything changed in the subcontinent? How do you view the geo-strategic ambiance?

Chief of Naval Staff: The prevailing geo-strategic environment is characterised by simultaneous competition and cooperation wherein great power competition has assumed centre-stage while regional powers continue to assert themselves. This has resulted in a complex, uncertain and dynamic strategic environment, where nations are required to embrace a highly flexible and responsive outlook. The Indo-Pacific region is at the vortex of the evolving geo-strategic landscape. The Indian Navy maintains a very high degree of mission-readiness and combat capability at all times to respond to current and future strategic challenges. Our task groups are deployed on nearcontinuous bases in vital areas and our shore-based air-assets are ever-ready to deploy across our areas of maritime interest, to address any emerging threat


or contingency. This readiness and forward presence of our potent combat platforms also serves to deter potential adversaries from any misadventure. Our multi-pronged approach, allowing efficient and effective use of our significant capabilities, in close coordination with our partners across the region, have enabled the establishment of a safe and secure maritime environment across the IOR.

DSA: The 26 November 2008 terror strike in Mumbai has led to a massive increase in the role of the Indian Navy in seaboard security. How is it being handled? CNS: Since the 26/11 attack, the government has taken a number of measures to strengthen coastal, offshore and maritime security. Broadly, these measures include capacity augmentation of maritime security agencies for surveillance and patrol of the nation’s maritime zones, enhanced technical surveillance of coastal and offshore areas, establishment of mechanisms for inter-agency coordination, increased regulation of activities in the maritime zones and

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


progressive integration of coastal and fishing communities in the coastal security architecture. Consequently, security of maritime zones has been considerably strengthened. The Indian Navy is responsible for overall maritime security including coastal and offshore security. Consequently, the Navy, Coast Guard and State Maritime Police, as a three-tiered cover, along with other agencies such as Customs and Port Trusts, patrol India’s maritime zones, island groups and adjacent seas using ships and aircraft to detect and check infiltration through sea-routes. Additionally, electronic surveillance of these areas is undertaken using a chain of coastal and offshore radars, the National Automatic Identification System chain, and Long Range Identification and Tracking System. Together, these enable generation of comprehensive maritime domain awareness among all stakeholders. Furthermore, the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network, linking 51 nodes of the Navy and Coast Guard, has been operationalised allowing a rapid, coordinated response to any emerging situation. In coordination with the Coast Guard, we regularly conduct coastal security exercises involving all stakeholders, to assess the effectiveness of our mechanisms, and to address any gaps

9 which may be identified. The National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security, under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary, monitors the progress of maritime and coastal security initiatives.

DSA: What is the progress in nuclear powered submarines?

CNS: INS Chakra, the nuclear powered submarine (SSN), inducted into the navy in 2012, added further teeth to our already potent underwater warfare capability. The indigenously built nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), Arihant, has put the navy in a select league of nations capable of operating SSBNs and operationalised the sea leg of our strategic deterrence triad. Our Nuclear Submarine programme is being progressed in accordance with national policy as well as our maritime security strategy.

DSA: Given the rapidly changing outlines of geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region, what kind of force structure needs to be put in place for simultaneous operations at the Pacific end and the Persian Gulf choke point?

CNS: Our force structure is aligned to our maritime strategy articulated as part of the Indian Maritime Security Strategy 2015. Further, capability induction and modernisation programmes are being progressed in accordance with the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan and the Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan. The Indian Navy is fully cognisant of the changes in our strategic environment as well as the evolving nature of threats, both traditional and non-traditional. The Indian Navy aims to be a balanced, capability-driven force, capable of safeguarding our maritime interests, wherever they may be. Keeping in view the changing geopolitical situation in the Indian Ocean Region, and to safeguard our national interests in the maritime domain, Mission Based Deployments were implemented by the Indian Navy in

2017. These deployments involve deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft in critical Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) and choke points in the Indian Ocean Region. Presently, 34 ships and submarines are under construction for the navy, of which 32 are being built in various Indian shipyards. These include the indigenous aircraft carrier, modern destroyers, frigates, corvettes as well as a range of specialised and support vessels. In addition, our existing submarines are being progressively modernised and the new Kalveri class boats have started joining the fleet. In addition to these projects, Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) has been accorded for 53 ships and six submarines. These platforms will replace existing ships and submarines while also augmenting our force levels. Contracts have also been signed for procurement of four additional P8I, 12 Dornier Aircraft, 16 ALH and eight Chetak helicopters. Further, AoN for 24 Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) and 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) has also been accorded. The NUH will be the first acquisition to be pursued under the Strategic Partnership Model.


These would, to a significant extent, address our existing and likely operational requirements across our areas of maritime interest.

DSA: What is the future of the ‘quadrilateral arrangement’ or QUAD in the Indo-Pacific context? CNS: Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs participated in consultations with their counterparts from Australia, Japan and US on 12 November 2017, on issues of common interest in the Indo-Pacific Region. These were focussed on avenues for cooperation based on our converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in this increasingly important and inter-connected region. The navy has continued to deepen and expand its cooperation with navies of these nations, through multilateral and bilateral exercises, professional interactions and training exchanges, among others. We are committed to an Indo-Pacific Region that is free, open, prosperous and inclusive so as to serve the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.

Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


undersea warfare Mastering SLBMs


India’s Necessity For India, though the maiden deterrence patrol of Arihant was a historic milestone, it is premature to pop the champagne bottle yet. India has a long way to go. We need additional funds to open a second production line for SSNs, while the first SSBN production line graduates to building larger, more capable SSBNs. In the meantime, it is vital that our scientists design and produce for the 6,000 tonne INS Arihant and her sister SSBNs, an SLBM with a range of over 4,000 km. INS Arihant needs long range SLBMs and India also needs SSNs


his article is being written by me on 10 November 2018, a few weeks before India marks the tenth anniversary of the horrendous 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai by sea-based Pakistani terrorists. Also, the Indian Navy (IN) celebrates its Navy Day on 4 December 2018 and its Submarine Arm Day on 8 December 2018. There has been no sea-borne or land-borne terror attack in the last few years, and the Indian Navy (along with the Indian Coast Guard, Marine Police, Intelligence Agencies) has kept a large number of its ships and aircraft at sea on counter maritime terror and counter piracy operations. Naval ships have showed the Indian tricolour in distant lands and participated in various exercises in Russia, Japan, Pearl Harbour (USA), Australia, South Africa, Oman and ASEAN.

New Acquisitions

While acute shortages continue in conventional submarines, Mine Counter Measures Vessels (MCMVs),


INS Arihant successfully testfires dummy missile.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

9 ship-borne helicopters, the good news is that India is inducting four more Russian origin Talwar class frigates (two to be imported and two to be made in Goa Shipyard Ltd.), while media reports indicated that another Akula class nuclear submarine-submarine killer (SSN) may be contracted for on a 10-year lease from Russia. Also, after decades of wait for a viable Submarine Rescue Capability, some good news came recently when the first of the UK-built DSRV’s (Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel) carried out its first test dive-off Mumbai to a depth of 666 m as per media reports. The second DSRV (for the east coast) is expected shortly and two DSRV ‘mother ships’ (one for each coast) are being built at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. and should be delivered by 2022-23. On 5 November 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the indigenous nuclear-propelled ballistic submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant had completed her maiden deterrence patrol. This article deals primarily with India’s need for SSBNs with long range sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) for strategic deterrence and also the need for SSNs for conventional war fighting tasks at sea, given the growing threats posed by a rapidly expanding and modernising PLAN (Chinese Navy)

in every type of conventional and nuclear submarine in service with the Indian Navy today and also embarked tactical attack nuclear submarines (SSNs) of different types in service with the Soviet / Russian, French and US navies.

Types of Submarines

Conventional subs are difficult to detect, but modern nuclear subs are almost invulnerable as they cannot be detected, and hence are the preferred choice of advanced nations for sea-based nuclear deterrence with ballistic missiles (SSBNs) and also for conventional war (SSN/SSGN) – the submerged SSN fires its weapons (torpedoes and cruise missiles) from it 53 cm diameter torpedo tubes, whilst the SSGN has additional larger tubes of 80 to 90 cm diameter, to launch heavier land attack or anti-ship cruise missiles from underwater. Secondly, all the five nations who operated nuclear subs, before India joined this P5 club are members of the UN Security Council and they (with the exception of France, which was the first to make an SSBN) first made SSNs before making SSBNs (strategic subs), possibly because each had to master the art of underwater SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles).

India is the only country to have made an indigenous SSBN first and has yet to make an SSN; though we are operating a Russian built SSN which is adding 25 warships and subs annually to its fleet, and has a permanent presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Preamble I begin this article with a few preambles. Firstly, during my four decades in the Indian Navy, I was associated with or embarked or sailed


Deterrence First India is only the second country to have made an indigenous SSBN first and has yet to make an SSN; though we are operating a Russian built SSN. Thirdly, SSBNs are not warfighting weapons but are invulnerable, sea-based, second strike national weapon platforms meant for strategic deterrence (our land-based nuclear

V Adm Arun Kumar Singh PVSM, AVSM, NM (Retd)

The writer retired in 2007. The important appointments he held, apart from command of submarines, warships and Eastern Fleet, included DGICG, CINCAN and finally FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command.

tipped missiles like Agni series and nuclear capable fighter bomber aircraft like Mirage 2000 and SU 30 are detectable by enemy satellites, and can be destroyed in a pre-emptive first nuclear strike by the enemy). On the other hand, SSNs / SSGNs (nuclear powered guided missile submarines) are normal war fighting weapons, which seek out and destroy enemy ships, subs and coastal targets using torpedoes and cruise missiles with conventional warheads. Fourthly, normally all nuclear submarine operating navies have two to three times the number of SSNs/SSGNs as compared to SSBNs. And finally, some countries like North Korea and now Pakistan, are introducing the ‘poor man’s sea-based deterrent’ by using conventional submarines to launch nuclear tipped 1,000 km range SLBMs (North Korea has demonstrated this) or nuclear tipped 500 km range sub launched Babur cruise missiles (Pakistan Navy is getting this capability on eight Yuan class Chinese conventional subs – four

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


undersea warfare Mastering SLBMs

Pak Navy Ship SAIF in 5th PN-PLA(N) Bilateral Exercise held at Shanghai, China.

to be imported and four to be made in Karachi) – the Yuan class subs are not invulnerable as they can be detected, if India invests sufficiently in its ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) capability. The Pak Navy has also demonstrated the nuclear tipped 500 km Babur cruise missile firing from its Chinese origin frigates (these ships are easily detectable and can be destroyed in war time).

Arihant on Guard

On 5 November 2018, Prime Minister Modi made a series of tweets about India’s first indigenous SSBN having completed her maiden deterrence patrol. Google will show that Project 932 was initiated in the 1970s by India to make a nuclear submarine, and later became the ATV (Advanced Technology Project). I met few members of this Project 932 team in 1982, when undergoing basic training under BARC scientists for our deputation to Vladivostok - USSR (1983-86) for training on a nuclear submarine. My 30 months in Vladivostok, along with another 160 odd submariners, exposed us to the task of mastering nuclear physics, reactor physics,


radiation safety and of course, a year of sea training on the anti-ship cruise missile firing Charlie class Project 670 SSGN submarine which used a PWR (Pressurised Water Reactor) and was later commissioned in the Indian Navy on 5 January 1988 on a three year lease, as INS Chakra (not to be confused with the Russian Akula class Project 971 SSN, also named INS Chakra which was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2012, and is presently serving on a 10 year lease). The 30-month (1983-86) nuclear submarine training, in freezing Vladivostok where winter temperatures dropped to minus 32 degrees centigrade, was invaluable, as it laid the foundation of the future nuclear submarine force of India.

Nuke-oriented Infrastructure

The lessons learnt from training (1983-86) in USSR and operating the SSGN INS Chakra in India (1988-91) were put into good use by the ATV project which involved BARC (for the reactor), numerous private companies to make the parts

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

(pumps, pipes, cables, hydraulics etc.), PSUs (to make propulsion turbine, generators etc.), Larsen & Toubro (Hazira - Gujarat) to fabricate hull sections, which were transported to a new Submarine Building Facility run by the Indian Navy, where the SSBN was assembled and subsequently launched in June 2009, by the wife of former PM Manmohan Singh. The submarine underwent ‘fitting out’, reactor was then made critical followed by extensive harbour trials and she finally commenced sea trials in end 2014, reportedly commissioned as INS Arihant in 2016 as per media reports (carried out weapon trials), and then completed her maiden ‘deterrence patrol’ by 5 November 2018. Completion of ‘deterrence patrol’ means that the INS Arihant is fully ready for her role as a strategic deterrent. This entire process, from steel cutting in about 1998 to completion of deterrence patrol took about 20 years. It is expected that the next lot of SSBNs will drastically reduce this time, based on the experience gained.

9 ‘Triad Logic’ Three more SSBNs are reported to be under construction and should join in a decade to complete the ‘triad’ as four SSBNs are needed to keep one at sea for 2-3 months, with another in port getting ready while the third and fourth undergo short duration and long duration repairs respectively. The Arihant presently is reported to embark 700 km range nuclear tipped SLBMs, while another SLBM with a range of 3,500 km has been undergoing sea trials and should be ready soon. China has 5 SSBNs, each capable of launching 12 JL-2 SLBMs (in first two SSBNs) and 16 JL-2 SLBMs in subs 3 to 5, each JL-2 has a range of 7,000 km, and is expected to carry multiple nuclear warheads (known as MIRVs, so that a single SLBM can hit 3 to 5 targets with nuclear warheads). American, Russian, French and UK SSBNs, have SLBMs with ranges of 10,000 km.

Further Improvements

Clearly, the 6,000 tonne Arihant and her three follow-ons (which maybe slightly larger as per media reports) are insufficient to meet the needs of simultaneously deterring Pakistan and China. An SSBN operating in the northern Bay of Bengal would be 2,500 km from Pakistan and 3,600 km from


5,000 – 6,000 km is in the plans. In addition to the four large SSBNs, India will need a force of six to eight tactical attack nuclear submarines (SSNs) to track Chinese–Pakistani subs and warships prowling the Indian Ocean, and also to patrol the distant waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Media reports do indicate some movement

Navy’s share of the defence budget is at an all-time low of about 12 per cent of the defence budget Beijing. However, to retain its stealth and avoid detection, an SSBN needs to operate from a larger sea area, and hence would need SLBMs with far greater range than what Arihant and her successors will possess. Press reports do indicate that a much larger SSBN with SLBMs having ranges of

here also, but the same is not reflected in the Indian Navy’s share of the defence budget, which is at an all-time low of about 12 per cent of the defence budget (the defence budget, also in terms of GDP, is the lowest since the disastrous 1962 India-China War). A lot still needs to be done after Arihant has completed her first deterrence patrol. China has realised the importance of undersea warfare and is producing one SSBN or SSN every year, in addition to three conventional subs annually and has invested heavily into unmanned subs.

More Funds Needed

PM Modi at the Combined Commanders Conference on board INS Vikramaditya, at Sea, off the coast of Kochi.

For India, though the maiden deterrence patrol of Arihant was a historic milestone, it is premature to pop the champagne bottle yet. India has a long way to go. We need additional funds to open a second production line for SSNs, while the first SSBN production line graduates to building larger, more capable SSBNs. In the meantime, it is vital that our scientists design and produce for the 6,000 tonne INS Arihant and her sister SSBNs, an SLBM with a range of over 4,000 km. The internet shows that by 1963, the US Navy had tested and inducted the Polaris A3 SLBM (range 4,600 km, with 3 nuclear warheads) on their 5,600 tonne SSBNs.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


Indian Navy combat


Aerial Refuelled Wins The US Department of Defence (DoD) is conscious that the effect of a single Chinese cruise missile hitting a US carrier, even if it did not sink, would be politically and psychologically catastrophic. Same will be true for India. It is clear that aircraft carriers may not be the most effective way to exert control over the oceans. Long-range aircraft with added aerial refueling can reduce the need for a floating base.


ver since air power has become the primary means of prosecuting war, armies and navies around the world are more inclined to invest in aircraft than tanks and ships or submarines. Competing claims for limited budgets and shrinking resources have often resulted in a tussle with air forces questioning the rationale for armies and navies seeking to have their own air power organic to them. In this back drop, there has been a raging debate for many decades on the relative capability of power projection between the shore-based aircraft vis-a-vis aircraft carriers. Indian Navy’s (IN) first naval air station, INS Garuda, was commissioned in Cochin on 11 May 1953, along with formation of the No.550 Squadron, with Short Sealand and Fairey Firefly aircraft. Indian Army wrested control of the erstwhile Air Observation Post (AOP) flights from Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1986 to form the Army Aviation Corps. Six additional Boeing AH-64E Apache heavy attack helicopters, estimated cost of $930 million have


been cleared for Indian Army’s Aviation Corps (AAC) and expected to be delivered by 2020. They will include a complement of anti-tank weapons. Indian Navy already has years of experience with all categories of aerial platforms. Currently, the Indian Navy is seeking 57 carrier based aircraft and will soon invite Request for Proposals (RFP) for `95,000-crore tender. Meanwhile, response to Request for Information (RFI) for IAF’s 114 fighters was received in July 2018. The IAF had been keen to have a single engine

Boeing AH-64E Apache Heavy Attact Helicopter.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

fighter, but the scope had to be expanded to increase competition and also to purportedly bring possible commonality with IN to have a larger numbers for Make-In-India. Also, Indian Navy has an ambitious aircraft carrier building programme.

History of Indian Naval Aviation

The year 1960 saw induction of Sea Hawks. The very next year (1961), the first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (formerly HMS Hercules) was acquired. It operated the British

9 Sea Hawk fighter-bombers and the French Alize anti-submarine aircraft. It played an important role in liberation of Goa and the India-Pakistan War in 1971. It was decommissioned in January 1997 and turned into a museum ship. In 1977, Ilyushin IL-38 aircraft were acquired. The BAE Harrier vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft were inducted in the 1980s and operated from INS Viraat until 6 March 2016.

Present Air Assets and Future

The Mikoyan MiG-29 K was acquired when it was decided to acquire and refurbish Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and renamed it INS Vikramaditya. The aircraft started arriving in 2009. The Indian Navy has acquired 12 Boeing P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft armed with Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges. The navy has inducted Hindustan Aeronautics

Ltd (HAL) Dhruv and numbers will grow to 120 soon to replace the Chetak helicopters in service for multi-utility role, including search and rescue (SAR), armed patrol with night vision devices. The navy may induct 20 Rudra armed variants. Kamov Ka-25, Ka-28 and Ka-31 are used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and real-time network-centric warfare for the Indian Navy. Westland Sea King and Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King are used for ASW and search and rescue roles. The navy operates at least two squadrons of Heron and Searcher Mk-II UAVs. There are plans to acquire more. The UAVs are controlled from ships to increase the range of surveillance. There are also plans to introduce rotary UAVs.

Tejas Rejected

In December 2016, the navy rejected the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) aircraft stating that it is too heavy and with the underpowered engine and unsuitable for carrier operations. It operates Hawk trainers. The navy


Air Mshl Anil Chopra

PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM (Retd) The writer was a pioneer of the Mirage 2000 fleet and commanded a Mirage Squadron, two operational air bases and the IAF’s Flight Test Centre ASTE. He was the Team Leader of an aircraft upgrade project in Russia. He was head of IAF in J&K and Inspections in IAF, and has been member of the Armed Forces Tribunal, and JNU Executive Council.

INS Vikramaditya with top-of-the-line U.S. technology to boost their range and potency, a move widely perceived as a bid to counter China’s military influence in the region.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


Indian Navy combat

Gagan Shakti-2018. LCA Tejas matching raw power with the Big Boys of the Indian Air Force.

has issued an RFP for six mediumrange maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft. It intends to acquire 12 ShinMaywa US-2 amphibian aircraft for conducting long-range search-and-rescue operations. The navy is also processing the purchase of 57 multi-role carrier borne fighters. They could have short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) or catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) or both. The main contest is between Boeing F/A18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Rafale-M. IN is also looking for 123 naval multi-role helicopters (NMRHs) and 111 naval utility helicopters (NUHs), and unmanned helicopter capable of conducting ISR missions. US administration has cleared sale of 22 Sea Guardian drones to India. The question of course is where is the money?

Shore-based Facilities

Flag Officer Naval Aviation (FONA) controls training, maintenance and other functions of naval aviation. Aircraft maintenance yards are at Kochi and Dabolim, and for Helicopters at Mumbai. The new naval base at Visakhapatnam is expected to be able to harbour two aircraft carriers, including the planned new Vikrant-class aircraft


carrier. INS Rajali at Arakkonam is an important naval air station operating the P-8I aircraft. Kochi has an airfield. There are naval airfields in Andaman and Nicobar Islands including the southernmost at Cambell Bay.

Aircraft CarrierAutonomous Entity

An aircraft carrier is essentially a seagoing military airbase. It has a full-length flight deck, with all facilities for storing, preparing, launching and recovering armed military aircraft. A big carrier is a tank farm, an ammunition dump and an airfield all rolled into one tight package. This is a highly inflammable combination. It represents huge investment in terms of money, materials, skilled manpower and time. A carrier is, therefore, a valuable target for the enemy. Landmarks in carrier operations include the 14 November 1910, first experimental take-off of a Curtiss pusher airplane from the deck of a US Navy ship. Early in World War I, Imperial Japanese Navy conducted the world’s first successful shiplaunched air raid on 6 September 1914. The aircraft carrier

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

dramatically changed naval combat in World War II. Pacific Ocean saw real action between two powerful US and Japanese navies. This newfound importance of naval aviation forced nations to create aircraft carriers. The aircraft carrier is the most significant ship of the fleet that allows a naval force to project air power in high seas without depending on shore-based aircraft.

Gunboat Diplomacy

Modern carriers are nuclear powered warships that carry many fighter-bombers, helicopters, and Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft. The aircraft carrier is often the centerpiece of modern combat fleets. Tactically or even strategically, it is the flagship of a fleet. One of its great advantages is that, by sailing in international waters, it does not interfere with any territorial sovereignty and thus, obviates the need for over-flight authorisations from third party countries, reduce

9 the times and transit distances of aircraft and therefore, significantly increase the time of availability on the combat zone. “The countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers. An aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy”, said Henry Kissinger. As of October 2018, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by 13 navies. The US Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered carriers with over 80 fighter jets each. US Navy’s combined deck-space is over twice that of all other nations combined. China, France, India, Russia, and the UK each operate large/ medium-size carrier, with capacity from 30 to 60 fighter jets. Italy operates two light fleet carriers and Spain operates one. Future aircraft carriers are under construction or in planning stage by Brazil, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Liaoning: China’s aircraft carrier during a training mission.

ski-jumps to assist the plane in getting airborne. Carriers steam at speed, up to 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) into the wind during flight deck operations to increase wind speed over the deck to a safe minimum. Some ships are designed to be helicopter carriers.

“The countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers. An aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy” said Henry Kissinger Categorised Capabilities

Carriers with CATOBAR generally carry the largest, heaviest, and most heavily armed aircraft for offensive strikes and power projection. All CATOBAR carriers in service today are nuclear powered. STOBAR carriers generally carry lighter fixed-wing aircraft with more limited payloads such as Sukhoi Su-33 and Mikoyan MiG-29K which are often geared primarily towards air superiority and fleet defence roles. Short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft carriers operate aircraft such as Harrier jump jet and Yak-38 and now, the F-35B. Some carriers like Indian Vikramaditya have


Indian and Chinese Carriers China, currently, has one STOBAR 57,000 tonne carrier Liaoning commissioned on 25 September 2012. It operates Shenyang J-15 fighters. A second carrier was launched on 26 April 2017. She is the first to be built domestically modified Kuznetsov-class carrier and is under sea trials. She is scheduled to enter service in 2020. A third carrier is being constructed in the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard. She will be the first Chinese aircraft carrier to use CATOBAR. India’s 45,500 tonne

STOBAR carrier INS Vikramaditya was formally commissioned on 16 November 2013. Thirty-four aircraft can be accommodated, typically 24 MiG-29K and 10 helicopters. The ASW platform is the Westland Sea King and AEW, the Ka-31. It is not capable of operating fixed-wing AEW aircraft. India started the construction of a 40,000-tonne Vikrant-class aircraft carrier in 2009 in Cochin shipyard. The new carrier will operate MiG-29K class fighters. A second 65,000 tonne Vikrant-class carrier INS Vishal is likely to be nuclearpowered with CATOBAR system to launch and recover heavier aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft. The Indian Navy evaluated the US Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The EMALS takes up less space and is far more efficient. But it is still work-in-progress. Vishal will enter service only by 2030 due to the technical challenges involved in assimilating and integrating several advanced technologies for the first time in an Indian carrier.

Carrier-Based Aircraft

If you need air cover a thousand miles from the nearest land-based runway, the carrier-based aircraft win by default. Carrier-based aircraft are designed for operations from

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Indian Navy combat

aircraft carriers and can launch in a short distance and are sturdy enough to withstand the abrupt forces of launching from and recovering on a pitching deck. In addition, their wings are generally able to fold up, easing operations in tight quarters. Carrier fighters are usually twin-engine which add a certain cost in drag and weight but is important for long over-water flights. They are around 15-20 per cent more expensive for their class. They can take on many maritime roles including air-to-air combat, surface attack, anti-shipping and submarine warfare. Search and Rescue (SAR), Reconnaissance and Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) roles. Naval helicopters can operate from variety of ships. Boeing F-18 variants, Rafale-M, Grumman C-2 Greyhound, Lockheed Martin F-35B/C Lightening II, McDonnell Douglas AV-8V Harrier II, MiG-29K, Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, Sukhoi Su-33, and Chinese Shenyang J-15 are some of the fixed wing maritime aircraft. MQ-25 Stingray is a planned aerial refueling drone as part of the Carrier-

allows for folding wings. In general, land-based fighter planes are almost always superior to naval versions, for the simple reason that they weigh less, and thus, better thrust-to-weight ratio/performance. A land-based fighter could be lighter, faster, longerranged and/or better-armed than a carrier-based equivalent. Carrierbased aircraft can use land bases but land-based aircraft cannot routinely use carriers. Therefore, trade-offs are made between the two choices. The distances travelled for combat in the open ocean tended to be farther, and the risk of running out of fuel presented a much greater concern for naval aviators. Mostly, there are no alternative landing places. Most navies can afford only a single aircraft carrier out at sea. In case of a hit on a carrier, or a major snag, effectively the carrier is unavailable for rest of the operations. Therefore, there is a need for an effective land-based alternative. The total air power launch and punch rate from a carrier is relatively very small. It worked well where asymmetry is of very high order, as was the case with Americans in the Middle East.

The idea of land-based ‘aircraftcarriers’ needs more consideration in the age of missiles or bomb-laden unmanned drone swarms Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) programme, evolved from the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) programme. It is under development.

Limitations of Carriers A carrier aircraft has to be of rugged construction to withstand landing and arrestor hook loads; better forward visibility to facilitate deck landing approaches; and a structure that


Operational Considerations

A carrier task force could be an incredible concentration of force. But the number of ships required to protect the carrier are considerable. Aircraft carriers also must operate according to strict launch cycles and cannot remain on station indefinitely. Carriers can surge to temporarily generate additional sorties, but must eventually shut down. Carrier once built has a

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finite size, in contrast, the facilities at a land-based airfield can be expanded and are available for use 365 days a year, as they never have to return to port or refuel. The fact that land-based airpower is very effective against active shipping and naval forces has been amply demonstrated and well understood. WW II statistics indicate that landbased aircraft sank 2.5 times enemy maritime tonnage with less than a third of the sorties devoted to the mission. In the 1982 Falkland War, Argentina with just four Super Etendard aircraft armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles, penetrated British Task Force and sank destroyer HMS Sheffields and a supply ship. Seventy-five per cent of British Task force was either damaged or sunk. It is clear that aircraft carriers may not be the most effective way to exert control over the oceans. Long-range aircraft with added aerial refueling can reduce the need for a floating base. The US Department of Defence (DoD) is conscious that the effect of a single Chinese cruise missile’s hitting a US carrier, even if it did not sink, would be politically and psychologically catastrophic. Same will be true for India. Many believe a powerful submarine force could be much more effective against enemy shipping vis-a-vis the aircraft carrier. A significant part of the carrier-based air effort has to be utilised to defend the naval task force itself. Therefore, offensive airpower for maritime interdiction gets restricted.

Ground Reality

Indian Air Force (IAF) has a large number of SU-30 MKI. Many have been assigned for maritime role. Unrefueled range of the aircraft is over 3,000 km. The range with refueling becomes considerably more. In the recent exercise Gagan Shakti, IAF demonstrated air dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian



USS George Washington (CVN 73) underway in formation with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kongou-class guided-missile destroyer JS Kirishima (DDG 174) during exercise Keen Sword 15

Ocean Region (IOR) in support of the Indian Navy by employing combat enablers like the IL-78 aerial refueler in conjunction with IAF’s maritime fighter aircraft carrying potent long distance anti-shipping weaponry. Missions were flown to address both near and in depth targets with Su-30 and Jaguar fighter aircraft equipped with the potent BrahMos and Harpoon anti-ship missiles respectively. In the long range strike concept validation, the SU-30s, airborne from a base on the east coast near Kolkata engaged multiple targets, in the Western seaboard, at distances beyond 2,500 km, and landed at a southern base, thus covering a total distance of 4,000 km, in a single mission. Missions were also flown to simulate strikes over A&N Islands from the mainland.

“Floating Status Symbols” Standing on the deck of the aircraft carrier, US’ George HW Bush, when it visited Haifa in

July 2017, Israel’s PM Netanyahu commented: “We are here on a mighty aircraft carrier ...and a few miles from here is another mighty aircraft carrier - it is the state of Israel”. The idea of land-based ‘aircraft-carriers’ needs more consideration in the age of missiles or bomb laden unmanned drone swarms. There is a reason to worry about the vulnerability and cost of building, maintaining, and protecting them. Some call them ‘Floating status symbols’. The Vishal will be extremely expensive; may cost close to US $6 billion. The aircraft and weapons onboard would be extra. For this amount, nearly 200 SU-30 MKI can be bought. Carriers can deliver only a modest fire-power for their very high price and their operational endurance is limited without local base facilities. China is targeting four aircraft-carriers, but it has

four times defence budget. The land bases, including at islands may not be able to move, but are far cheaper and they can’t sink. India needs alternatives. It can make a huge strategic complex at Andaman and Nicobar Islands with much less than the cost of the aircraft-carrier. The operational value of these islands, next to the Malacca Strait choke point between the Pacific and Indian Oceans is phenomenal. The islands would also allow force projection into Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. Australia plans to upgrade the airfield at Cocos Islands. China has reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, and is making tie-ups with nations in the Indian Ocean by leasing ports and airbases. India needs similar tie-ups and needs to explore reclaiming some islands in Lakshadweep.

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It is enough to say we would like to see the Prime Minister of India visit Poland; it would be a first visit in almost 40 years.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

16 Poland PM.indd 16

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11/29/2018 4:35:11 PM




International Alliance Dominika Cosic

“Political and geographic position of Poland is different than India’s. While we understand India’s desire to balance between major powers in order to augment its own strategic autonomy and advance national interests, Poland’s security and prosperity is grounded in strong partnership with the US and membership in the European Union and NATO. We actually find Poland’s strong position in the EU and alliance with the US as an opportunity for stronger cooperation with India on number of regional and global challenges.” - opines Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.

For centuries Poland has been close to, if not the epicenter, of events that have had longlasting effect on geopolitics in Europe and the world. Do current events evoke a sense of déjà vu? An old saying, or rather a curse, goes: may you live in interesting times. The times that we live in are definitely interesting. But we are still lucky that current day cannot be even slightly compared to the horrors of the past, of the Great War that ended 100 years ago, through

atrocities of Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, and then the communist regime. Another saying goes that the history is life’s teacher, so we should never cease to be wary that these horrors may repeat – but luckily the situation is much safer now than it was for the most of 20th century.

It has been said that geography has been Poland’s worst curse. With the return of shades of the Cold War, how does Poland view the prospects of peace and

The writer is a journalist and political correspondent of Polish Television TVP in Brussels. She specialises in NATO and European Union affairs and has authored books like From Horizon to presidency: Polish way to European Union and novel: Smile of Dalida. She is correspondent (Europe) of Defence and Security Alert (DSA) magazine.

stability for itself and the rest of Europe? We are where we are – and it determines our geopolitical positon. That is why we remain devoted member of NATO and EU, two greatest alliances of the western world. The first one is the best military protection one can get – the second, a political community, driven by common interests to protect our citizens and develop our economies. At the same time we keep close ties with the US. There are many critics of America around the world, especially of the current president, but we have no doubt that it is the United States that guarantee world peace, and the situation is unlikely to change in the coming years. There are some political tensions now and then, but – rhetoric aside – geopolitical interests remain largely unchanged.

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Dominika Cosic, correspondent (Europe) of Defence and Security Alert, in conversation with Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.

Given the prospects of the Russia-Germany oil entente and the US under President Trump insisting that allies share a greater part of the cost of the NATO alliance, how does Poland view these developments?

Poland is one of the few NATO countries that actually deliver on their commitment to common security. We spend 2% of our GDP on it – and the GDP is rising fast, so the expenditure increases as well. Maybe the GDP growth is not as high as the one of Indian GDP, but we keep it around 5%, leading the EU. Mr Putin’s pipeline worries us very much. Some politicians in the West do not recognise Russia genuinely as a threat – which we, Poles, consider very well. We often hear that Nord Stream 2 is purely a business project that it is only for profit. Well, it is not. Putin uses economic weaponry as good as conventional one. Poland and other Central European countries faced


closing the gas tap in the past and we know very well how dangerous it may be not just to the economy, but to functioning of the State as a whole. That is why we insist on diversification of resources, and I am happy to say that it works much better now than it was with Nord Stream 1 over a decade ago. Many more people in Europe than before see it as a threat – and I would not be so sure that the second pipeline is going to function as Mr Putin had planned.

Poland is one of the most active members of NATO. Are you convinced that NATO is efficiently protecting Poland? I think mostly on NATO troops and activity on eastern borders of Poland and Baltic States? As I said, there is no other alliance that can guarantee Poland’s safety – or the safety or any Central European country – as good as NATO. Polish government has actively worked on increasing presence of the alliance on its

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eastern flank and it has been very effective. In 2016 Warsaw Summit, NATO has made a breakthrough decision on establishing permanent presence of the allied forces in Poland and Baltic countries. The battalions are being deployed on a rotational basis – which leads to even more multinational responsibility for the joint security in eastern and central Europe.

If we talk about eastern borders, we have to talk about Russia. Ten years ago, just after Russian aggression on Georgia Polish President, Lech Kaczyński told that now Russia, later Ukraine, and then maybe Baltic States and Poland. Do you think he was right? He was 100% right. What happened in Ukraine is self-evident. We are watching the situation very closely, and Russian involvement in this conflict is undisputed. The annexation of Crimea, illegal occupation of eastern Ukraine – just recently there was another bogus

9 election carried out there – it all shows that Russia never ceased to be an aggressive country, using all means to achieve its goals. They will not stop unless they face united resistance of the EU and NATO.

India has recently reinforced its relations with Russia by signing the deal for S-400 surface-to-air missiles in spite of American opposition. Can this attempt at “balance” become the new norm in international relations? Can Poland parlay its geography

India-Poland relations date back to the Mughal Empire and were marked with empathy for the tragic events in Poland during and after the Second World War. Could you please illustrate the growth of India-Poland relations? Though first Indo-Polish contacts are centuries old, we just celebrated 60th anniversary of official diplomatic relations a few years back. We developed strong and friendly ties during the Cold War, underpinned by vibrant

India is already the first investment destination for Polish companies in Asia and we are pleased that India is also an important investor in Poland to achieve some sort of balance between traditional foes and the US, the NATO fulcrum?

Political and geographic position of Poland is different than India’s. While we understand India’s desire to balance between major powers in order to augment its own strategic autonomy and advance national interests, Poland’s security and prosperity is grounded in strong partnership with the US and membership in the European Union and NATO. We actually find Poland’s strong position in the EU and alliance with the US as an opportunity for stronger cooperation with India on number of regional and global challenges. For instance, we share Indian commitment to peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan (where Polish troops assist the Afghan army), as well as to free and fair trade and international rules-based order.

economic cooperation and frequent high level visits as well as peopleto-people contacts. These robust relations were a little less nurtured after the end of Cold War, as both our countries entered a path of


economic transition and focussed on neighborhood and relations with major powers in foreign policy. Since then Poland has joined the EU and NATO and became again a more willing partner to reinvigorate ties with India and other countries in Asia and Africa. India is one of Poland’s key partners in the IndoPacific region, especially when it comes to economic cooperation. Our bilateral trade grows considerably in recent years; it went up by 45% in 2016 and in 2017, it reached US $3.2 billion. India is already the first investment destination for Polish companies in Asia and we are pleased that India is also an important investor in Poland. Naturally, we would like to see even more progress on the economic front as we believe the potential is still untapped. Though we are happy to see more frequent exchange of visits among sectoral ministries and robust contacts between regions of both countries, more meetings at the highest level would help to boost cooperation. It is enough to say we would like to see the Prime Minister of India visit Poland; it would be a first visit in almost 40 years.

ECE 2018. Forum for economic cooperation India-Poland.

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A very significant portion of India-Poland relations incorporates cooperation in value-addition to existing ex-Soviet weapons platforms including air defence, tanks and battlefield sensors. Is it possible to transit to joint ventures for original equipment required for warfare in the twenty-first century?


Defence cooperation and selling of military equipment have always been important part in our bilateral relations. We used to sell training aircrafts, ships and armaments to India. However, changes in military-industrial complex in Poland over the last three decades attest to the fact that we must reinvent our cooperation in this field. We remain open

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for discussion with India about possible export of our new military products, modernisation of existing equipment or technology transfer. We are aware of the requirements related to the “indianisation� of the military production for the needs of the Indian Army. Polish companies have advanced military technologies and equipment, and we are certainly open to

9 imports. Will the American Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, CAATSA be a hindrance in Indo-Polish cooperation?

Polish companies have advanced military technologies and equipment, and we are certainly open to joint ventures and joint research in defence

joint ventures and joint research in defence. We must only look carefully to different avenues of cooperation and find the most advantageous ways to move them forward.

India’s “Make in India” project needs to move beyond licenced production of foreign weapons platforms or massive

I do not see such a threat. As you might have noticed, US President Donald Trump in his speech at the recent UN General Assembly in September this year named India and Poland among four countries that are great nations and partners for the US. This offers some unexplored ground for our cooperation not only in defence or military areas. As you know, Poland is one of the closest allies of the US, so CAATSA cannot be a hindrance for our cooperation. In fact, our close cooperation with the US and India’s reengagement with America creates a conducive context for our cooperation. We also hope for an accession of India to the Arms Trade Treaty, a step that would strengthen India’s position as a country promoting responsibility in international arms trade.

In 2004, the Deputy Defence Minister of Poland, Janusz Zemke, had suggested that Poland could use its geographic location to enable Indian exports to markets in Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia and the Baltic States. Any progress? That is already progressing very well. As part of the EU, Poland is actually a gate to over 500-millionpeople strong European market. You can see this in sharp increase in Indian export to Poland, which grew several times since 2004. Poland is a major investment destination for Indian companies in different sectors, from IT and BPO to electrical equipment and


machinery. Poland, with its huge internal market and skilled labour force, is a competitive place to do business in EU. With Brexit approaching, Poland can become an even more favourable place for Indian business in Europe.

What are the prospects of greater North/South connectivity by road and rail which has the potential of conjoining Eurasia with the Indo-Pacific?

There is a huge potential for connectivity in the South-North direction and India-Poland cooperation in this regard. As you may know, Poland is actively promoting the idea of the Three Seas Initiative (TSI), which is to better connect northern and southern parts of Central Europe: between the Baltic, the Adriatic and Black Sea. This is a fully complementary project to the Indian plans of new routes to Europe, like the International North-South Transport Corridor. The challenge for this initiative may be the fact that it goes through Iran, which is now again coming under international pressure over its nuclear programme. We can work, however, in cooperation with the EU to see what is possible at the moment and prepare for implementation of those big ideas in the future. Poland, as the easternmost member of the EU is a suitable partner to create better links and connectivity between India and Europe. When it comes to connectivity, I can also mention that we work with Indian partners to open direct flights between Warsaw and Indian cities, which will give another boost to people-to-people and business-tobusiness ties and bring our nations even closer.

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naval warfare robotic brain

Advanced Future Skills in Navies Modern day soldiers carry micro-UAVs as portable gear and this falls into the category of wearable technologies. Finally, disruption would be the key feature of future naval environment and navies will seek innovative technologies, evolve creative tactics and develop new concept of operations to support disruption caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolutions


echnological advancements have shaped naval warfare through the ages. During the First Industrial

Revolution, steam power replaced wind / sail power to move ships, and coal fired steam engines made debut. The Second Industrial Revolution marked the arrival of cannons onboard ships and wooden hull ships were clad with

iron. Later, steel was used for building the entire ship. During this period, internal combustion engine evolved, and radio for communication was introduced. The Third Industrial Revolution featured information and communication technologies, and navies transitioned from platformcentric to network-centric warfare. The ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution is led by disruptive technologies and use of smart,

Black Hornet Nano Helicopter UAV.


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intelligent, predictive and cognitive systems and devices are defining future naval warfare. There is already a strong evidence of some navies shifting from networkcentric to algorithm-led naval warfare which showcase autonomous platforms such as intelligent machines, drones in swarms, robots that will be both offensive and defensive, wearable and embedded sensors and computers worn by humans. At the heart of these are disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Augmented Intelligence, Cognitive Computing (CC), Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE). Significantly, these technologies are transforming operations at sea, in the air, underwater, ashore and even in the outer space. This paper illustrates at least four facets of disruption in naval warfare which are at various stages of development. The paper also makes note of the new skill-sets that navies will have to introduce in their curriculum and operational exercises.

9 Dronefare

The arrival of drones has added a new dimension to warfare. Among the many significant features of drones are stealth, low cost and the ability to carry a variety of ordnances (air-dispersed explosives and IEDs) and sensors (highdefinition cameras and miniaturised electronic sensor suites). The drones can be launched and recovered from different terrains, thus offering enormous surprise. Another important facet of drones is their deployment in ‘swarms’. These can be organised in sub-swarms to carry out coordinated and distributed attacks and penetrate adversary’s A2/AD (anti-access / area denial) strategy. In essence, the swarms are a game changer in military and naval operations. These are being put to use by both the militaries and also non-State actors. China is a leader in commercial drone production. It has showcased its ‘swarm’ or ‘sub-swarm’ capability by launching hundreds of drones and making them ‘dance’ in the air through

complex maneuvers. Similarly, a Chinese company showcased through a video in which 56 small unmanned boats in ‘swarm formation’ conducted swift operations. The drones can be armed with ammunitions / explosives and offer immense combat advantage. According to a Chinese naval analyst, “Once equipped with weapons, unmanned small combat vessels can attack the enemy in large numbers, similar to drones.” The PLA Navy has successfully conducted operational maneuvers using unmanned assault boats in swarm formations in the South China Sea. China has developed Wing Loong II, a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which has been sold to Pakistan and Myanmar and a variety of other Chinese origin drones are in the inventory of the militaries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Underwater Warfare

Sub-marines, mini sub-marines and midgets have been the platform of choice among the navies and have been put to operational use


Dr Vijay Sakhuja The writer is Director, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi.

to attack surface ships, search and kill enemy sub-marines, and for landing saboteurs in enemy territory. These platforms continue to be in the inventory of several navies and many others are acquiring them to build a three dimension naval force. There are concurrent development of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to augment counter sub-

US Naval Maneuvers in the Malaysian Waters.

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naval warfare robotic brain

INS Arihant - all set for Operations.

marines, underwater intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), target identification, designation and battle damage assessment. These also ensure low-levels of human exposure during mine hunting operations, clearance of underwater explosives and other types of ordnance, support search, location and recovery of objects, and underwater communications. A number of navies are planning to acquire advanced Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Unmanned Underwater Vessels (UUVs) and notable among them are the navies of Russian, US, British and China. The Russian Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6 nuclear delivery vehicle has a range 6,200 miles, speed over 56 knots and an operating depth of 3,280 feet below sea level. It is “essentially a drone-type device fired underwater that can potentially travel thousands of miles and strike US coastal targets such as military bases or cities.”


The US’ Upward Falling Payload (UFP) is an ‘unmanned, non-lethal distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years’ and can be remotely triggered / recalled to the surface when needed. The US Navy’s Unmanned Underwater Vehicle UUVs can be launched from a submarine through the torpedo tube “to create the same kind of picture of the undersea space that satellites, radars and UAVs can create of airspace.” The US Navy is also planning to develop underwater drones to detect explosives and sea mines. China has developed undersea glider Haiyior (Sea Wing) for real time collection and transmission of data. It has set up a deep-sea sensor communication network at depths of over 400 meters below sea level to ‘continuously transmit data to satellites through a grid of solar-powered buoys.’ China also has a number of other autonomous

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platforms such as the Jiaolong (successfully positioned the Chinese flag at 3,700 meters under the sea in 2010), unmanned deep-sea sub-marine Qianlong 1 can dive to 6,000 meters, and the unmanned submersible Hailong (with cable) can take samples from the sea-bed. The British Royal Navy is working on Nautilus 100 mothership which features speed and stealth, and would have the capability to operate at depths of over 1,000 meters. The vessel will have ‘anechoic coatings’ giving it a scale-like skin and would be controlled and operated by using cognitive technology. The 20-member crew ‘would use a neuro-interface to communicate with multiple systems in the ship’s command at once.’ Besides, an ejectable ‘autonomous sensor pods which can dissolve on demand when their mission is complete’ is also under development.

9 Naval Exercises

As part of the operational strategy, the navies operate in concert and partnerships to respond to crisis through joint operations. In this context, inter-operability has been high on the agenda of the navies to counter asymmetric threats and challenges. Likewise, interoperability is critical at the functional operational levels and some navies have taken lead. For instance, in October 2016, the British Royal Navy along with 18 other navies conducted Joint Warrior 2016 training exercise which focussed on autonomous vessels. During the exercises, the US fielded 10 promising technologies. Again in 2017, the British Royal Navy introduced a new Artificial Intelligence system called STARTLE designed to enhance situational awareness of potential threats and response times of various insecurities at sea. The software of the system is designed to perform the way the human brain works and reacts to ‘human fear’. One of the important technologies for demonstration during the exercises was Airborne Computer Vision (ACV), a semi-autonomous targeting system aboard a Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and according to its owners, it can potentially “affect future naval operations significantly.”

New Skills

Artificial intelligence specialists believe that machines will match human intelligence by 2029 and will surpass by 2045. Further, much of the human tasks will be conducted by robots who would be everywhere—crawling, flying, sailing or swimming. Their numbers would surpass humans living on the earth and it is plausible that their combined intelligence could be far higher and superior than that of the human population. It is estimated that by 2020, “50 billion objects will be connected to the internet. This

will result in a smart integrated system of sensors, data and internet enabled devices that manage our lives. Over the next 25 years, through technological convergence, the ‘Internet of Everything’ will enable us to manage all aspects of our lives in real time.” Amid such predictions, there are fears that humans will be made redundant. Be that as it may, till then, the role of humans in the coming transformation will remain inescapable.


Likewise, the focus should be on building human skills in areas where robots can’t do well such as strategic thinking, empathy and ethics.

Concluding Thoughts

Since ages, warfare has witnessed changes and in contemporary times, smart, intelligent and autonomous systems, and, devices are finding relevance in offensive and defensive naval operations. They are also making warfare more efficient and

The focus should be on building human skills in areas where robots can’t do well such as strategic thinking, empathy and ethics The Royal Navy acknowledges the fact that the “pace and scale of technological change in the world today is breathtaking. The Royal Navy is no less affected than anyone else by the challenges of cheap, smart phone computing power with high-grade encryption. And, more is coming in the Internet of Things…artificial intelligence, robotics, automation and quantum computing are all future uncertainties. As a result, the Royal Navy, priding itself on its long history of world-leading innovation, is focussed on the implications for maritime and littoral warfare in the Information Age.” Many navies have established cyber commands or cyber units; however, they would soon have to set-up specialist units to train for a robot-led warfare. It is argued that the developments in AI and related technological developments and advancements must be followed very carefully and it is incumbent on the part of the militaries to understand what AI can do and what it cannot.

accurate with less collateral damage in which soldiers and civilians will be at less risk as also liberating them from any moral consequences of killing or for self-defence. Navies are keen to harness the benefits of the ongoing transformation and integrated robotics and artificial intelligence is now becoming part of their war fighting menu. At another level, many of the new technologies – smart watches, smart glasses, monitors, and activity trackers – are commercially available and are supported by existing 4G and 5G high-speed networks making them cheaper to acquire. For instance, modern day soldiers carry micro-UAVs as portable gear, and this falls into the category of wearable technologies. Finally, disruption would be the key feature of future naval environment and navies will seek innovative technologies, evolve creative tactics and develop new concept of operations to support disruption caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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nuclear triad expanding policies

Conventional Capabilities of

Indian Navy and IAF The government and the Indian Navy will have to review India’s maritime and ship-building policy for economy and increase the strength of platforms. The government also needs to swiftly move and provide the funds for expansion of navy’s infrastructure and rethink its refit policy and transfer it to the ship-builders.


very year, Indian Navy celebrates Navy Day on December 4, with Navy Week when it opens its ships to visitors and schools. The date commemorates the day in 1971 when the Osa-class missile boats struck Karachi in Op Trident with their long range Rangout radars and Styx missiles, and sank three ships off Karachi in the opening bell of the war for the liberation of Bangladesh. The navy repeated the attack with Op Python on December 8 and reignited the fires in the Keiamari oil tanks that IAF Hunters from Jamnagar had set by happenstance, on the morning of 4 December 1971. India’s Navy has not looked back since in service of the nation, and it contributed to the 1999 Kargil War in Op Talwar by assembling the Eastern and Western fleets as a missile force in being off Pakistan, called the ‘Doctrinal Naval Manoeuver’. Navy week is time to take stock of the maritime scenario and achievements in the year gone by, and plans for the future.


GSL and Naval Group Partner join hands to produce shore-based simulators for Scorpene class submarines.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

9 Forty-seven years later, the Indian Navy has made strides to become the sixth largest navy in the world. It has 137 ships and its major platforms are armed with single ‘kill shot’ BrahMos and Barak missiles and includes an aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Ex Gorshkov) with powerful KH-35 missiles armed Mig-29K aircraft, 13 aging submarines, 2 underwater nuclear propelled boats INS Arihant and Chakra and 1 modern Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari with Subtics command and control system and Exocet SM-49 underwater launched missiles. The INS Kalvari, the first of six, was commissioned by PM Narendra Modi on 14 December 2017. Two HDW-1700 are being fitted with Harpoon missiles.

(MR) planes for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The planes are fitted with nose mounted Raytheon APY-10 and belly mounted Telephonics APN-143(V) airborne radars for attack capabilities with Mk 84 Harpoons and Mk 52/48 torpedoes supplied by USA. Four more P8is are slated to join at INS Rajali near Arkonam. The Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) centre at Gurgaon fuses the maritime picture in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Major fleet ships connect with GSAT 7 satellite for encrypted data pictures and voice transmission for operations. The navy has set a target in its Maritime Capability Plan to have 200 ships and 400 aircraft by 2027.

Doubling Up Numbers

In the 21st century, the Indian Ocean plays a crucial role in India’s national security and economic prosperity, as the waters of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) wash the shores of over 40 countries. Ninety per cent of India’s trade by volume and 85 per cent of oil imports are carried over the seas. Besides these statistics, half

The navy’s air arm comprises 200 diverse aerial platforms which includes helicopters and 13 Heron and Searcher UAVs. The air fleet includes 17 BAE 142 Hawks operating from INS Dega for jet conversion at Vishakhapatnam looking East, and 8 ultra-modern P8i Boeing 737 Maritime Reconnaissance


Cmde Ranjit B Rai (Retd) The writer is a naval analyst and author of a book titled “The Modern & Future Indian Navy”.


of the world’s container and more than one-third of world’s cargo traffic including energy passes through this region’s vulnerable choke points. Ambitious China, which is India’s large immediate nuclear neighbour is equally dependant on the Indian Ocean for traffic of its resources. This is becoming challenging in geo-strategic terms, especially as interests clash with China’s truck with Pakistan. India’s has over 1,000 small and big island territories and a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.4 million sq km to police and is slated to expand as per United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) guidelines. This makes it clear that the security and stability of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and India’s extended maritime neighbourhood falls on the shoulders of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

Indo-Pacific Scenario

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Indian leadership has accepted that for India to rise, it has to be a maritime power commensurate to its size and economy, and India’s growth as a maritime nation is inextricably linked to the seas, especially as the centre of gravity and economy of the

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nuclear triad expanding policies

world has to the Indo-Pacific. India’s Navy has witnessed fair growth in its size and technology with nuclear submarines and powerful missiles and has extended its footprints in exercises with friendly nations to distant shores to provide an environment of stability and peace in the IOR and provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). India is furthering its interests in the Indo-Pacific as expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2018 Shangri-La dialogue at Singapore with the statement, “We are advancing a comprehensive agenda of regional co-operation through Indian Ocean Rim Association. And, we also work with partners beyond the Indian Ocean Region to ensure that the global transit routes remain peaceful and free for all to ensure freedom of navigation enshrined in the UNCLOS 1982.” PM Modi has also expressed his maritime vision as ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ in SAGAR, the acronym meaning the Seas in Hindi.

Net Service Provider

With the above in view, the Indian Navy is dubbed the Net Security Provider (NSP) in the IOR, not only for India and its maritime neighbours but the world’s commons to keep the peace for trade in the Indian Ocean through collaboration and cooperation with like-minded and friendly nations in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). Indian Navy is mindful that China and its PLA (Navy) is steadily increasing its footprint in India’s neighbourhood with regular ship and submarine patrols to the Horn of Africa and Djibouti. China has increased its maritime power to over 300 ships with two large aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shadong with homemade J-20 fighters which may be replaced by the safer J-31s and over 52 conventional and nuclear submarines and is adding 18 platforms every year. It is also transferring two ships and eight submarines to Pakistan where it controls the port of Gwadar


INS Vikramaditya in Arabian Sea.

for connectivity to Central China. The port of Ormara is coming up as a submarine base with Chinese help, with a joint listening post at Jiwani and Turkey is supplying and helping Pakistan build Mil-gem frigates.

Strategic Architecture

The security architecture in the maritime domain has led USA, Japan, Australia and India to form a consultative QUAD to cope with the rise of China. The USA has renamed the US Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific

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Command in Hawaii and Indian Navy is positioning a naval officer in US Central Command’s Bahrain base where UK’s Royal Navy has joined. China has a base in Djibouti and India has interests at Chahbahar in Iran where USA has understandably waived sanctions to enable India to invest in allotted jetties to support Afghanistan and connectivity to Central Asian Republics. This will add to Indian Navy’s responsibilities in the years ahead, as Chahbahar is next to Gwadar.



Joint Exercises

Ambitious China, which is India’s large immediate nuclear neighbour, is equally dependant on the Indian Ocean for traffic of its resources

The list of exercises is long and the major bilateral exercises in 2018 included Varuna with the French Navy that navy hosted off Goa from March 20. The 22nd edition of Malabar-2018 with INS Sahyadri, Shakti and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet under RADM D K Tripathi, exercised at and off Guam from June 7-16. The 3rd edition of JapanIndia Maritime Exercise (JIMEX-18) was held at and off Visakhapatnam from October 8-15 with Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier Kaga and the destroyer Inazuma. JIMEX-18 was an improvement in ASW operations over Malabar to enhance interoperability, and imbibe the best practices followed by the two forces under the command of Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukada. The sixth edition of IBSAMAR-18, a joint Multi National Exercise between the Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies, was held at and off Simons town, South Africa from October 1-13. The navy exercised Passexs (exercises during passage) with Iranian Naval Ships; with Bangladesh Navy Ships Nirmul and Ali Haider, the Qatar Navy and Republic of Singapore RSS Resolution and Japan’s JSDMF Amagiri. The Sri Lanka Navy hosted Indian Navy and conducted a major joint exercise SLINEX-2018 at and off Trincomalee from 7-13 September 2018.

With these developments, the IndoPacific is becoming increasingly important as evident by PM Modi’s stress on Sagar and Mausam for connectivity and Sagarmala for maritime development; with maritime co-operation with Japan in his recent summit with PM Abe in Tokyo in October.

Quality First

In the prevailing security scenario, the Indian Navy has based its expansion more on quality than quantity and a deployment philosophy to become proactive and

shape a favourable maritime environment in the IOR and Indo-Pacific regions, in pursuance of India’s national foreign policy interests in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), NSA and PMO with delegated powers. The navy deploys its Eastern and Western Fleet assets and long range aircraft in near and far waters to the West and East in a planned manner with inter-Service exercises like Tropex and Tri-Shakti in Indian waters. The navy conducts regular exercises around India’s island territories, and with IOR navies and in the Indo–Pacific with friendly nations.

The exercises help in testing the operational and combat tactics. The Director, Flag Officer Doctrine and Concepts (FODC) at Mumbai validates procedures and issues classified tactical publications (ATPs) and updates Indian Navy Fighting Instructions (INFIs) in consultation with NHQ. Both Fleets are also tested through a series of sea exercises and reviewed by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba who is double hated as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).

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nuclear triad expanding policies


During navy week, the navy looks back on achievements of the year gone by and while no major ships were inducted in 2018, the year will be marked for the technological progress made in improved sonars, operationalisation of the Barak 8 missiles on Type 15 Kochi class with M/F Star Elta radar and order for 7 more sets for the Type 17A Shivalik frigates being built three at Garden Reach Ship-builders and Engineers (GRSE). The navy inducted the first of two LR8 James Fisher Deep Submarine Rescue Vessels (DSRV) from UK and successfully married it on a platform’s stern in preparation to carry out dummy rescue trials. Indian Navy earlier had contracted the US Navy for this service on payment.

Modernisation Slowed

Citing fund crunch and increasing cost of building ships in PSU shipyards and the spending for the army post the 73-day Doklam standoff with China in 2017, 36 Rafales for `50,000 crore from France’s Dassault and S-400 air defence missiles from Russia, the navy’s futuristic plans seem slowed. The opening of

bids for four amphibious Landing Platform Dock (LPDs) by MOD was postponed. The eight Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) negotiated with Kangnam of South Korea were reissued. In an RFI and the 16 multirole helicopters and Indian Navy’s third 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier Vishal being designed with US help in the Defence Technology Transfer Initiative (DTTI) were slowed.

The navy has set a target in its Maritime Capability Plan to have 200 ships and 400 aircraft by 2027 Nuclear Triad Complete In a path-breaking achievement on 5 November 2018, India joined the P-5; US, Russia, China, UK and France as a nation completing and proving India’s nuclear triad and PM Modi announced it to the world called nuclear signalling. Indian’s home built SSBN INS Arihant which can fire 750 km Kalam-15 underwater nuclear missiles returned from an

Dassault Rafale.


extended Nuclear Deterrence Patrol in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea undetected. Not to be construed as a War Patrol, it was received by PM Modi on November 5, at Vishakhapatnam’s Ship Building Centre (SBC) and spoke to the crew as the Captain presented a cap. The transmission of encrypted signals with codes ordered from the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) in PM’s custody must have been

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sent via navy’s Very Low Frequency (VLF) station INS Kattabomman near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Commanding Officer INS Arihant would have received the instructions under water from an antenna trailing supplied by Neredis of France and the CO would have fed the code after decryption and entered the target coordinates provided and reported launch of the land attack missile from



PM Modi with the all-Women circumnavigation team on an expedition named Navika Sagar Parikrama.

a canister and reported success. It provides a strong message to Pakistan which has been nuclear blackmailing India for quite some time.


The navy conducted a Mid-Career Interaction Programme (MCIP) 2018 in the Western Naval Command’s Maritime Warfare Center, Mumbai from October 30 to November 1, as recommended in the Kargil report. The theme for officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Administrative, Police and Forest Services was ‘Need for a Unified Maritime Approach to National Opportunities and Challenges’ A team of six women naval officers led by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi completed a historic safe Sagar Parikarma circumnavigation of the globe from Goa in the sail ship INSV Tarini, a boat built

by Aquarius Boat Builders Ltd at Goa. The President and PM personally met and congratulated the women officers for what is no mean feat to make India proud. Circumnavigation attempts were goaded by retired Vice Admiral MP Awati who breathed his last on November 5 and will long be remembered.


The navy’s plans are normally classified but it can be tabled that the first two of four Type 15B destroyers: the Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Paradip and Porbandar have been launched at Mazagon Dock and Shipbuilders Ltd (MDSL) and the last of the four Kamorta class ASW corvettes Kavaratti is due to commission GRSE. Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) emerged as the lowest bidder for navy’s eight ASW Shallow Water Craft (SWC) `5,400 crore project and eight

additional will be built by GRSE. MOD has awarded a contract for design, and supply of four 110 metre long Survey Vessels at GRSE Kolkata. The contract was signed by Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager Sh Ravi Kant on behalf of MOD and Cmde S Nayyar for valued at `2,435 crore. The vessels will be equipped with advanced hydrographic equipment and sensors and accommodate one Advanced Light Helicopter. In conclusion, it can be said the government and the Indian Navy will have to review India’s maritime and ship-building policy for economy and increase the strength of platforms. The government also needs to swiftly move and provide the funds for expansion of navy’s infrastructure and rethink its refit policy and transfer it to the ship-builders.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


China’s expansion NAVAL DYNAMICS

The Sino-Indian

Naval Dynamics On the 11th of July 2017, China sent military troops to Africa, who headed to the naval base in Djibouti to help set up the newly constructed facility. The two vessels carrying Chinese troops departed from China’s Zhanjiang port were the Jinggangshan and Donghai Island; the former is an amphibious transport vessel, able to load helicopters, special troops and serve in protective convoys, and the latter is capable of rescue missions and assistance in ship repair. This is the first military base built abroad by China, a move possibly pushing the limits of its own foreign policy, but also signalling Beijing’s resolve to emerge as a major player in the larger Indian Ocean Region (IOR).


hina’s expanding footprint into the IOR is now widely recognised. China’s presence in the IOR will continue to grow in the coming years even though Modi government’s foreign and security policy is aimed at countering such an eventuality

Anti-Piracy Ploy

China has made substantial efforts at trying to address the safety and security of its sea-borne energy supplies. Beijing’s oil imports from the Middle East range from oil to natural gas to power its economy. China’s naval activity in the IOR has been underway for more than a decade. The Indian Ocean conduces itself to the conduct of submarine operations due to its unique undersea topography and hydrographic features allowing for the concealment of submarines within


Chinese Warship.

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9 the littorals. This survey identifies the most critical measures of the People Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Its naval deployments initially started with counter-piracy operations in the 2000s, particularly in the Gulf of Aden. Starting in 2008, for the first time in its naval history, Beijing sent its warships to participate in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. And, therefore, it is not surprising that China has set-up a permanent naval base in Djibouti, which also hosts an American base.

Gwadar Coup

However, the most critical naval agreement has been with Pakistan since 2001 over the Gwadar Port Facility. As a deep sea port, Gwadar offers the perfect site for basing Chinese nuclear submarines. It is a natural deep sea facility and its depth has been deliberately augmented to start fresh projects and has a phenomenal capacity to sustain SSNs and SSBNs. It provides a potent deterrent against India or any other major sea-power. It gives Beijing a substantial capability to deter economic warfare, a maritime blockade against its energy supplies or a limited naval war. Karachi serves as a major logistical supply hub, apart from


Salalah. Aden, Djibouti in the northwestern Indian Ocean. Pakistan’s principal port city already has facilities compatible with the PLAN’s needs such as significant repair and maintenance facilities, and spare parts supply that are common to the PLAN and Pakistan Navy’s Chinese-built frigates.

CPEC to avoid Sea Route

The $55 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would link China’s Muslimdominated Xinjiang Province to the Gwadar deep-sea port in Pakistan. Despite the rhetoric, Beijing’s priority in pumping huge sums into a highly volatile Pakistani territory is not to provide economic relief for Pakistan’s struggling economy or to promote regional economic cooperation.

Malacca Chokepoint

Another of Beijing’s successes in potentially projecting naval power in the Indian Ocean has been in turning Myanmar into a major transport hub. Sino-Myanmar relations since the 1990s have witnessed substantive evolution.

CCP’s first overseas military base in Djibouti, Africa.

Prof Harsh V Pant The writer is Director, Studies & Head of Strategic Studies Programme at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Defence Studies and the India Institute at King’s College London as Professor of International Relations. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow with the Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC. His most recent books include Indian Nuclear Policy (Oxford University Press), The US Pivot and Indian Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan), and Handbook of Indian Defence Policy (Routledge).

Beijing’s quest to develop alternative routes for the supply of energy and oil has meant that it has converted its Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar as a gateway for greater strategic engagement with the Indian Ocean. The Chinese today have an operational transport link over the Yunnan-Yangon Irrawaddy rail/rail/river corridor. Beijing sees its extensive transport and infrastructure investments in Myanmar as a way to mitigate its reliance on the Malacca Straits through which most of its energy

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China’s expansion NAVAL DYNAMICS

transportation flows. Yet, Chinese analysts have also noted that it could have a security role.

Sri Lanka

China’s naval foray into the IOR has expanded to include Sri Lanka. The most prominent Chinese investment is the port town of Hambantota on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. However, China has not concluded a basing agreement and nor has Colombo obliged. Beijing’s construction related investment in Hambantota stands at over a billion US dollars. Hambantota could potentially serve as a major logistics supply hub in order for the PLAN to operate with greater ease in the event of conflict. With Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreeing to sell a 70 per cent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports Holdings last week, Sri Lanka finally concluded its $1.12 billion agreement with the state-run

Chinese firm to operate the port in the southeast of the country in August 2017. The government gave its consent almost six months after the framework agreement was signed as the deal got bogged down in local protests, setting stage for China Merchants Ports Holdings to run the workings of the newly constructed port over a 99-year lease. For China, the Hambantota port has long been a strategic priority given its Maritime Silk Road ambitions and Beijing has been quite active in trying to salvage this deal. Sri Lanka is located on the critical sea route for oil shipments travelling from the Middle East, making energy security an important reason for China to invest.

India’s Moves

Deep concerns have animated Indian strategic managers and policymakers about the intent behind China’s development of ports and

maritime cooperation in the IOR. New Delhi has undertaken a set of measures, albeit more modest than China’s heavy infrastructural investments in port facilities among the IOR States. Yet, India has stepped up maritime and defence cooperation with the IOR countries, particularly post-2011 and has struck some important agreements with the littoral States. Since the mid-2000s, while Chinese infrastructural investments in Sri Lanka have grown significantly relative to India, India has invested in Trincomalee port by upgrading it through the Indian Oil Corporation. Sri Lanka made the initial offer of investing in Hambantota to India. New Delhi for its part turned it down, because of its investments in Trincomalee and concluded that its refusal to accept the offer would not diminish Indian influence in Sri Lanka. After the Sirisena government came to power in 2015, it was quite vocal in its desire to reduce Sri Lanka’s reliance on China, but financial pressures became too hard to ignore. With the island nation’s total debt standing at $64 billion, almost 95 per cent of all government revenues go towards debt repayment. China presented itself as an easier lender of last resort.

PM Modi-President Xi shake hands during a meet.


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India, along with other States like the US and Japan, had also raised the issue of security with Colombo. Sri Lanka has assured India that there are no security issues over the port, which it says will only be used for commercial purposes. The revised deal with China provides for the formation of two companies to split the operations of the port in which China will run the company that will be in charge of business while Sri Lanka will have a major stake in the firm dealing with security. This is an attempt to allay Indian concerns.

9 Sri Lanka’s case is a text-book example of the Chinese modus operandi in pursuing its strategic interests. Other countries have also faced similar dilemmas. Cambodia’s external multilateral public debt, for example, now stands at US $1.6 billion, while its bilateral public debt with China is US $3.9 billion. And, 80 per cent of this is owned by China. China has emerged as Cambodia’s largest military and economic partner, having disbursed about US $3 billion in concessional loans and grants to Cambodia since 1992. Questions are also being raised in Malaysia about Chinese investments and their future.

“Dept Trap Diplomacy”

Using its own brand of “debt trap diplomacy,” China has been forcing smaller states to abide by its dictates. This will have pernicious consequences for these states and is likely to bounce back on China. But for India, China’s growing presence around its periphery will continue to pose challenges. India has also been moving beyond bilateral engagements to configure its profile in the Indian Ocean. The first of these most consequential developments have been with its immediate island neighbours – Sri

Lanka and the Maldives. In October 2011, for the first time, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives at the First National Security Advisor (NSA) level Meeting in Male to confabulate about


these developments, India also expanded defence and security cooperation with Seychelles and Mauritius.

cooperating in the IOR. Building on

India as Security Provider

this development, in 2013, India

Under the Modi government, India is more willing to counter Chinese moves into the Indian Ocean Region. The Modi government has been paying special attention to developing ties with India’s neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region.

concluded a Trilateral Cooperation on Maritime Security Agreement with Maldives and Sri Lanka. The ostensible purpose of the agreement related to quotidian concerns about

The Modi government is starting to take up its role as a regional security provider seriously maritime threats and challenges that could be overcome through cooperation. The agreement included four elements of cooperation: Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), Merchant Ship Information System (MSIS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS). In March 2014, the same triad of States met under the aegis of National Security Advisors. Two key IOR States, Seychelles and Mauritius joined the meeting as observers. Subsequent to

Leaders of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at 3rd NSA level meeting.

It is starting to take up its role as a regional security provider seriously and so the engagements with its maritime neighbours are getting stronger by the day. Modi has argued that the “Indian Ocean Region is at the top of our policy priorities. Our vision for Indian Ocean Region is rooted in advancing cooperation in our region; and, to use our capabilities for the benefit of all in our common maritime home… Those who live in this region have the primary responsibility for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indian Ocean.” As China’s economic juggernaut continues to roll against the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is more important than ever for India to build durable partnerships with the island nations in the region. Getting ready to challenge China’s profile by enhancing its own regional role as an economic and security actor is the need of the hour for India. At a time when China is strangling India in the north with its attempts to change facts on the ground and its relatively successful ‘salami slicing’ tactics in the South China Sea, it is imperative for India to strategically think of using the maritime sphere to break Beijing’s growing dominance in its periphery.

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naval rivalry CHINA’S GAMEPLAN

China sends a clear signal The most important aspect of this show of force is that at this point no Chinese task forces were sailing through the seas the way the Americans used to do it. Now, the US has to take into account that there is a new contender who can be met while operating in the region. The planners will have to think about it when drawing the routes for next operations.


arlier this year, China has conducted a massive naval exercise which was tracked by main media outlets but without providing explicit photographs or video material of them. Later on, in late March, Reuters prepared a story with satellite images showing a substantial fleet sailing across the South China Sea including an aircraft carrier and sub-marines. In late May, the Chinese Internet started to buzz with a video prepared by the China Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy and showing


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9 the vessels used in the mentioned training. After a while, the material went viral and started to spread in the Western defence analysts’ community. This very well prepared, one can even say Hollywood style, clip presents a fleet steaming with full speed ahead, and detailing the ships that we could only spot as tiny objects on the previous photos published by Reuters. The core of the fleet is China’s first operational aircraft carrier surrounded by supporting vessels and sub-marines able to launch missiles.

Carrier-led Task Force

The video was made for the local market and intended to boost the morale and pride of the population of China but the second goal was a clear signal to the United States and other countries in the region. China has shown that it is present at the seas; it is developing its forces and can push out a task force with an aircraft carrier at its core. This means that it has reached in some areas at the level of US Navy.

The most important aspect of this show of force is that at this point no Chinese task forces were sailing through the seas the way the Americans used to do it. Now, the US has to take into account that there is a new contender who can be met while operating in the region. The planners will have to think about it when drawing the routes for next operations.


We also have to remember that this is only the first step. Although it is a real game changer in the Pacific, it is just a start. The next vessel which is on its way to the service, and the rumors about the third one with a CATOBAR system are circling the internet for a very long time. Of course, China will have to learn how to operate with such a significant task force efficiently. It will also have to learn how to properly train its crews while still maintaining operational readiness of the ships. Although very important, these are details, which sooner or later, will be ironed out. At the same time, a constant strengthening of the power that China can project on the high seas can be expected.

One can only assume that it is only a matter of time when this force will show itself in the Indian Ocean Of course, we cannot compare apples to oranges. The new American Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers will be far superior to Chinese Liaoning type vessels. Even the older Nimitz class is way more capable in every aspect, but we should not focus on technical matters or sheer numbers of ships at hand. With time, those aspects will become less and less relevant as China builds up its force and at some point launches a full-blown CATOBAR ship.


Into Indian Ocean One can only assume that it is only a matter of time when this force will show itself in the Indian Ocean. Why would that happen? China has some strong ties with Pakistan which open the road to a safe operational base in the region in the port of Gwadar. Speculations about building a base in that harbour are appearing in the media from time to time, and such a move makes perfect sense. It would form a middle point allowing

Dr Krzysztof Kuska The writer is editor and analyst in the field of military aviation, defence, modern warfare and security, military historian.

for refueling and resupplying while on the way towards Africa. We have to remember that China is continuously building up its presence on that continent and already has a base in Djibouti. Further growth in that region can be safely assumed which would mean securing supplies and Chinese interests and a strong navy is the best tool to do it. Furthermore, Pakistan is an essential country in China’s plan to overcome the ‘Straits of Malacca’ problem and diversify its trade routes. Of course, the above can be seen as a long-term goal. In the short term, the aircraft carriers will be used to push American forces out of the South China Sea. They will be a perfect addition to the artificial islands that are now operational and serve both as military airfields and harbours protecting Chinese interests in the region. The newly established capabilities will also be a challenge to Taiwan which since its establishment is in constant conflict with China.

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naval rivalry CHINA’S GAMEPLAN

It is an arduous task to compete with such a severe adversary that in the last decade has started to increase the amount of newly built ships significantly. Since 2006, there is a steady growth in not only the number of ships but also in their displacement with China surpassing even the US. Thanks to rapid development in the electronic realm; China is also quickly gaining new capabilities which are very rapidly transferred to the armed forces. New radars and other electronic equipment suitable to conduct modern info-centric warfare is built onto the ships and aircraft used in the Chinese Navy further straightening its capabilities.

Navy’s Laser Weapons.

Amphibious Operations

It is worth mentioning that in the presented video, Chinese Navy has also shown that it has capabilities to conduct a marine landing if needed. Transport ships with hovercraft were shown with Chinese marines which indicates the capability to not only defend its home territory in the form of artificial islands but also allows to gain new one when the situation requires that. On top of that, we could also observe live firings of various types of missiles from ships accompanying the aircraft carrier.

Laser Weapons

What’s interesting for a short moment—a small turret was shown which resembles a laser system allowing to blind or even shooting down smaller objects in the air. China is known to intensely work on such solutions which in a few years


might be supplemented by rail guns that are already tested onboard a Chinese experimental ship.

Indian Reaction

All of this must raise a question whether India will take any steps to strengthen its presence on the high seas and will be able to react to a task force with an aircraft carrier as the backbone sailing through the Indian Ocean towards Pakistan or Africa. If China will decide to extend its power and influence around the world further, it is only a matter of time when India will have to take into account foreign and not necessarily friendly fleets sailing close to its borders. The situation gets even more difficult when taking into account the close ties between China and Pakistan with both countries being the most severe threats to India demanding from the nation to be prepared to wage war on two fronts possibly.

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Indian Armed Forces are currently facing many challenges and need rapid modernisation in many areas with sea capabilities being one of the most important of them. The recent steps which might lead to a further acquisition of P-8I which were first inducted in 2013 and allow for the monitoring of the vast ocean areas surrounding the country might be a good move forward. If we add them to the Vikramaditya and Vikrant aircraft carriers, they might form a solid foundation for a deterrence force securing the Indian waters and countries’ interests, but as mentioned earlier, China is already building a CATOBAR carrier. From the Indian perspective, it might be hard to take part in a race with such a massive economy as China has. There is also the need for securing proper aircraft that could be used from India’s new ship. The best possible solution would be to use a homegrown fighter jet, but the road to this goal seems very long. The recent media reports indicate that Boeing is taking the lead in that race as Russia made aircraft might not be the most suitable on a modern battlefield. Their recent deployment to Syria has proven that launching operations

9 from a carrier need the best possible equipment accompanied by highly trained personnel. In the end, no matter what aircraft types will be used on the future Indian vessels, there is a danger that the currently used might not be used to their full potential. Without a catapult launch capabilities, there is always a need to balance the range and the armament when taking off from carriers like the ones in possession of India, China, and Russia. It is questionable whether it would make sense to replace the MiG-29K already available in the inventory.

Where Is The Money?

Soon, the Indian government will be faced with some tough decisions as it is highly unlikely that there will be enough money to cover all needs of the armed forces. Therefore, the Indian Navy might not receive the needed fundings as the P-8I programme has already taken a massive chunk

of available money and its further growth might endanger other needed investments. This means that the future of Vikrant might not be as bright as the navy commanders would expect it to be. All in all, it would need a fleet of 57 aircraft to operate which, in turn, would take a considerable amount of money from the budget. On the other hand, when inducted into


Indian aircraft carriers could have any significant influence in a possible conflict with Pakistan. With the more and more intense development of A2/AD bubbles, the striking force of a carrier with such a small fleet of aircraft would be minimal. The situation might change if the vessels would be used deeper in the sea.

This means that the future of Vikrant might not be as bright as the navy commanders would expect it to be the fleet, it would be an appropriately

As we can see, the Chinese move

sized vessel able to balance the new

towards the sea brings many

Chinese CATOBAR ship that is already

problems to India and the Indian

in the works.

Navy and the government planners will have a tough time to establish

In the end, there is another question

a plan that will not ruin the

that needs to be raised whether such

countries budget and make to most

small vessels like the already used

out of the available resources.

India’s first homemade aircraft carrier: INS Vikrant.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


internal security ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY

Technology Induction –

National Security The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) is an important interlocutor for security managers and service providers. It has several innovative schemes dealing with police modernisation and ushering technology in realm of policing and law enforcement. Time has come now to elevate this think-tank to the level of an Adviser to the Home Minister as in the case of the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. The primary task of this elevated body must be to look at ways to inducting cutting edge technology into the functioning of the security establishment.


n India, and perhaps elsewhere, traditional concept of national security was understood in military terms. It was focussed on physical infrastructure and

defending against specified enemies


or combatants that are visible. However, the threats to national security have undergone rapid changes because of the evolution of technology. The modern day threats are no longer confined to the physical realm but also extend

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

to financial systems as well as to networks that now maintain communications. The changing face of national security has also led to the introduction of the term Critical Information Infrastructure (CII), which includes systems necessary

9 for delivery of essential services to the public in various key sectors such as energy, water, finance and banking, information and communications, security, emergency services and transportation. Cyber-attacks on CII often occur without warning and have tremendous potential for contagion and can disrupt daily lives and threaten nation’s security and possibly bring a country to standstill.

Current Situation

There is unanimity when it comes to assessing that India continues to be vulnerable to threats and challenges from traditional or non-conventional sources. Though this aspect has been largely addressed by the central government and its various institutions, through experience and expertise gathered over decades of dealing with insurgencies, militancy, terrorism, extremism and political violence, the vulnerabilities remain high and get accentuated on a daily basis. The use of technology has been limited. There is deferred awareness that technology is dynamic and constantly changing and must be harnessed to address threats to national security. It must be noted that the general societal psyche and government policies have not kept up with developments that require technology in the security domain. Obviously, there is an urgent need to accelerate the induction of technology into national security management and also make provisions for skills development and capacitybuilding. The “battalion” approach or mathematical solutions in deploying large manpower to address internal security problems has no real value in contemporary times. Mind-sets and training methodologies must change and look for innovative solutions.

Tripartite Responsibilities In the Indian scenario, we have three variables namely the Central government, the State governments and the industry, and they share and

are responsible for safety, stability, security and economic development. They are inter-related in many ways and need each other to deliver services to the people and community. The Government of India is the lead agency in national security management and responsible for internal security — a responsibility it discharges through the Home Ministry and its several institutions. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM), the Union government, through its umbrella scheme, Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF), has approved financial outlay for three years (2017-18 to 2019-20) which is `25,000 crore out of that its share is `18, 636 crore and the rest (`6,424 crore) will be borne by the State governments. This expenditure is primarily for internal security, law and order, women’s security, modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters among others. Technology is not mentioned in this list. There are other agencies such as National Security Guard (NSG), Special Protection Group (SPG), Railway Protection Force (RPF), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), and Enforcement Directorate; to name a few, that have critical security responsibilities and must, therefore, become part of a technology modernisation programme on national scale.


PM Heblikar The writer retired as Special Secretary, Government of India, in September 2010 after 38 years of service specialising in intelligence and national security issues. He continues to be associated with the subject in different capacities as head of a think-tank, resource person at several universities and think-tanks both in India and overseas. He is a regular contributor to magazines on subject of national interest.

Apex Body

The Home Ministry is also the apex body for purposes of assessing threats and challenges to national security, there are others too that need to be brought on to one common platform. The evolution of a unified policy is crucial in this direction. Most of our institutions of governances are based on sector-specific knowledge systems and are, hence, unable to collaborate in delivering multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial responses. This has been demonstrated earlier in several cases. The need to increase salience of sharing knowledge, experience and solutions must be emphasised among not only law enforcement agencies but also those institutions that are associated with development of cutting edge technologies. There is a need to strengthen institutions that directly address national security issues.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


internal security ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY

Twin Challenges

Presently, there are twin challenges before the government. The first one relates from cyber threats to national security and the other is social media. The National Cyber Policy-2013 is an important policy document; it is available in public domain, sets out the aims and objectives and underlines the need for skills development, capacity-building and next generation technology. The other document, which is also in public domain, is the National Telecom Policy-2018. Both documents need to be acted upon in tandem to obtain maximum results. The impression generated so far, from interaction with relevant authorities, is that the gap between theory and practice is very large especially in the internal security space.

and forensics. The combined budget of all State governments and union territories is huge and can accommodate induction of technology for law enforcement purposes. The gap between availability of technology and its requirements need to be analysed and solutions worked out accordingly.

Public-Private Partnership

The role of industry associations such as Federation of Industry and Commerce of India (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Indian Electronics and Semi-Conductor Association (IESA), to name a few, in this direction needs to highlighted. The private security industry too has a major role to play

There are some tried and tested systems in the market that meet the operational requirements of the BSF. The other border guarding organisations can induct same into their operational plans First Responders

The State governments and union territories are the first responders, through their State police forces, to threats to law and order, safety and security in their respective jurisdictions. Each State has its own mechanism to deliver law enforcement and each has its unique features. A majority of them have experienced different shades of threats and challenges, which have become pan-India for several reasons. They comprise the largest market for security products including technology ranging from training, skill development, capacitybuilding, electronic surveillance, digital monitoring, data analytics


in buttressing the efforts of the State. It has to step up to the plate and create templates for this purpose and its vast technology pool must provide solutions to help the State in not only areas such as man-guarding and protecting its assets from espionage, subversion and sabotage. The recent report of the FICCI entitled “Indian private security industry report-2017” has captured the picture cogently and has provided interesting thoughts for the future. The role of umbrella organisations such as All India Management Association (AIMA) and Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) must include element of security and safety in their curriculum and create

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

facilities where key managerial and supervisory personnel are made aware of the importance of technology in safeguarding data and information. It is crucial that the public-private cooperation must create templates to encourage the industry to sanitise its internal security mechanism from threats and challenges.

Elevate BPR&D

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) is an important interlocutor for security managers and service providers. It has several innovative schemes dealing with police modernisation and ushering technology in realm of policing and law enforcement. Time has come now to elevate this think-tank to the level of an Adviser to the Home Minister as in the case of the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister. The primary task of this elevated body must be to look at ways to inducting cutting edge technology into the functioning of the security establishment. The need of the hour is to make the government agencies more receptive and forthcoming in interaction with private sector entrepreneurs in diverse areas. The BPR&D has a major role in this direction. The BPR&D may also consider the need to fund security related “start-ups” to encourage entrepreneurs to come up with solutions to meet requirements of the Central Police Organisations, law enforcement agencies and policy-makers under the “Make in India” initiative. There are young entrepreneurs who have developed interesting “homeland security” solutions and are looking for “angel investors” to take the innovations to logical conclusions. The BPR&D should get the MHA to allot funds for “start-up” purpose; this will be in addition to its own initiatives. The other avenue is to engage with Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) to look at homeland security in a dedicated and organised manner.



Special Forces Personnel.

There is a need to provide unmanned aerial surveillance platforms (UASP) to the government forces operating in counter-insurgency roles in Left Wing Extremist dominated areas and in the northeast region of the country. The UASP will have the ability to detect, deter, and destroy actions of inimical elements before they actually unfold. This requires technology capable of detecting improvised explosive devices, thermal imaging and foliage penetration sensors. Several of our start-ups have the technical prowess to provide solutions to some of the complex law and order situations in Jammu and Kashmir, LWE dominated areas and maritime security. The Border Security Force (BSF) has an ambitious border management programme which has provisions for induction of technology for surveillance across several diverse and hazardous operational terrains.

Commonality of Equipment

There are some tried and tested systems in the market that meet the operational requirements of the BSF that can provide real time intelligence, reduce troop deployments and also

save expenditure which can be utilised in other areas. The other border guarding organisations can induct same into their operational plans. The technology can be used by a number of entities such as maritime police forces of State governments, government and private-owned oil and gas companies, civil aviation sector, ports and dockyards, large sports stadia, condominiums and others in vulnerable areas. Government Owned Public Sector Undertakings too can be brought into this ambit.

Cyber Threats

In the internal security space, there is no doubt the inescapable need to develop most effective and credible cyber deterrence strategies. It is commonly acknowledged that vulnerabilities in Indian context significantly out-weigh the existing infrastructure. The ability to analyse and assess the first strike deterrence is important as is the ability to demonstrate the potential to deter would-be aggressors. In this scenario, it is important to pursue a collaborative process of a national cyber security network involving

multiple stakeholders in consultation with industry, private think-tanks, academia and government to craft flexible and adaptable policies. A common fund will be useful. The government must encourage setting up of small research and teaching or knowledge out-sourcing think-tanks in the country either in the form of a Centre of Excellence or Centre of Cyber Studies. The venue could be any of the top five central universities or private or autonomous educational institutions that can dedicate logistics for the purpose. The existing network of the Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) must become capable of creating a pool of trained manpower to meet national cyber security requirements. Crowd Sourcing platforms are one way forward. It is important to set in motion a series of initiatives that will provide immediate and medium-term solutions such as cyber foot-soldiers and act as research and development labs to develop systems to counter over the horizon threats. India does not need to look outside for solutions; it has a rich technical manpower resources within the country and among the Diaspora.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


naval helicopters KAMOV Ka-226T DEAL

KAMOV Ka-226T DEAL AND NAVY’S NUH NEED Any discussion on military helicopter fleets is inevitably linked to indigenous capability in helicopter design and development. The Ka 226T deal and its linkage to HAL show that it is unlikely that the aerospace manufacturing industry in India would move substantially away from public sector towards a free market environment. Therefore, it is impossible to hope that we would produce advanced rotary wing platforms because transfer of technology would be minimal and licence production (albeit with up to 30 per cent indigenous content of insignificant technological level) would continue to self-perpetuate. Leading edge helicopter technology advances in the years to come would thus remain beyond the reach of HAL, and hence, India.


hile the Rafale deal and, by association, the shortfall in Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) combat squadron strength, have hogged the limelight in recent months, helicopter shortfalls in all the three Services have escaped the attention they deserve. This is especially so in the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) segment which has been dominated by the Alouette family for the last six decades. The Chetak is a licencebuilt Alouette III while the Cheetah is a version of the SA 315B Lama, single-engine helicopter that combines the lighter Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and power plant. The Alouette III was certified airworthy in December 1961 and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) started manufacturing these helicopters in 1962 through an agreement with m/s SUD-AVIATION, (later Eurocopter, and presently,


Airbus Helicopters); the first Chetak (Alouette III) in ‘fly away’ condition was delivered in 1965. The age of the helicopters, coupled with the fact that technological advances in rotary wing space have rendered the Alouette family obsolescent, has been a matter of concern for the three Services. Accidents have been occurring at disturbingly frequent intervals, and numbers have been dwindling, despite several replacement options being available. As far as the IAF and Indian Army are concerned, the Kamov Ka226T has been finalised as the new procurement solution and the process of getting the first of these delivered to the IAF is underway, albeit at an agonisingly slow pace. This article addresses significant elements of the deal and the pertinence of the Kamov Ka-226T to the Indian Navy’s needs.

Navy’s Need

The Chetak entered service with the navy in 1961 as a Search And Rescue (SAR) helicopter on INS

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Vikrant; it later served in SAR roles on other vessels. Logistic Support was added to its roles included by 1969 and it entered survey duties (embarked on INS Deepak, the tanker) in 1970. Experiences in the 1971 War encouraged the navy to acquire more Chetaks. The Multi-role Anti-Submarine Torpedo Carrying Heliopter (MATCH) role was first given to navy’s Chetaks in 1972 and flights were sanctioned for four Leander class vessels and two frigates (INS Trishul and INS Talwar). SAR Chetaks were also sanctioned for frigates INS Brahmaputra, INS Beas and INS Betwa, training ship INS Tir and new survey ships. A total of 85 were inducted up till 2002 and according to World Air Forces 2018 published by Flight International, Indian Navy currently has 34 Chetak helicopters in service. The fast dwindling number is woefully short of the navy’s requirements and it has been struggling to make up the shortfall for a long time.

9 Characteristics Demanded

A Request For Proposal (RFP) for 56 utility helicopters was issued in November 2013 to replace its then Chetak holding of 60; the date of submission was January 2014 and an expected date of entry into service early 2016. Eight OEMs (AgustaWestland, Bell, Eurocopter, Kamov, Kazan, MD Helicopters, Sikorsky and HAL) were approached. The RFP stipulated a four-seat twin-engine helicopter (for two pilots and one assistant / winch operator), with foldable rotor blades and a maximum take-off weight of 4,500 kg or less. The range required was 200 nm with the maximum payload of 500 kg and the offensive capability for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) requirement included a light torpedo or depth charge and a mount for 12.7-mm machine guns or two rocket launchers on either side. Some missions to be undertaken by the new LUH fleet included search-and-rescue, casualty evacuation, under slung loads, limited observation and surveillance, and anti-terrorism / anti-piracy missions with small arms. The bid stated that the helicopter should be able to operate in adverse weather by day and night from small decks, as well as the larger decks of aircraft carriers.

Helicopters (NUH). The quest is aimed at finding a helicopter for use in attack missions, search and rescue, surveillance operations, medical evacuation and possibly ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) / ESM (Electronic Support Measures) roles. The Request For Information (RFI) was issued in August 2017 and the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AON) and approved funding of $3.2 billion for this purchase in October 2017. The criteria are essentially the same as for the previous RFI; the twinengine helicopter, with a two man crew, will need to have a wheeled landing gear and bladefold capability for deck operations. The first 16 helicopters would be bought in flyaway condition from a foreign military contractor, and the remaining 95 will be built in India by a domestic firm, in collaboration with a foreign manufacturer, possibly with 40 per cent indigenous content. Prominent contenders for the programme include Russian Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, Sikorsky and Bell and maybe AgustaWestland. Airbus Helicopters has offered AS565MBe Panther as a high end option and the H135M as a


Gp Capt AK Sachdev (Retd) The writer holds M Phil, M Sc, MA and MBA degrees and was on Defence Services Staff College faculty for 3 years. He was a Senior Research Fellow in IDSA, New Delhi for two years and has published a book, a monograph and numerous articles.

low cost one. Sikorsky S76, Bell 429 and a new variant of the AgustaWestland AW109 LUH are the other contenders. The MoD is yet to decide about allowing AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Leonardo of Italy, to participate in the selection process because

Air Force-Army Needs Met

However, the process, like several other defence procurement processes in India, came to naught. Meanwhile, the process for procurement of 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters for the IAF and Indian Army was under way and the navy also went through the process of assessing it. Having reached the conclusion in July 2017 that it did not meet navy’s requirements, it restarted the proceedings for procurement afresh, this time with a larger number (111) and with the terminology Naval Utility

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naval helicopters KAMOV Ka-226T DEAL

Light Utility Helicopter in service.

of pending corruption allegations against AgustaWestland in its 2010 contract for VVIP helicopters, which was finally cancelled in 2014.

The Kamov Ka-226T

The Chetak is a 2.2 tonne All Up Weight (AUW) helicopter and can carry five (in addition to a two-man crew). The Ka-226T was designed by the Kamov Design Bureau, part of the Russian Helicopters company and was introduced in 2001 as a multi-purpose helicopter. It is now serially manufactured at KumAPP (Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise). Ka-226T is a light, twinengine, multi-role, utility helicopter offered by Russian Helicopters with a coaxial, contra-rotating main rotor design (which permits compact dimensions). An interesting feature is that its 580 HP, FADEC-equipped Arrius engines are from the French power plant producer Turbomeca (SAFRAN). It has an AUW of 3.6 tonnes with internal load and 3.8 tonnes with under slung load and can carry seven passengers or up to 1.05 tonnes of cargo in cabin or 1.1 tonne under slung. The helicopter can fly at a maximum speed of 250 km/h and cruise speed of 220


km/h. It has a maximum flight range of 600 km with main fuel tanks. The operational and hover (Out of Ground Effect or OGE) ceilings of the helicopter are 6.1 km and 4.6 km respectively. The Ka-226T model is fitted with updated navigation and automatic control equipment, as well as an interchangeable mission pod, which allows for flexible equipment configurations. It is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and performs surveillance, reconnaissance, search and rescue, targeting, and transportation of cargo and troops. It can operate in temperatures ranging from -50°С to +50°С with a relative humidity of 100 per cent, and does not need to be kept in a hangar. The advantage it holds over the Chetak is its twin engine design which is significant from the point of view of survivability in hostile conditions and flight over sea. Its cruise speed (220 kmp/h) is higher than the Chetak’s which is 185 kmp/h and its range (600 km) is higher than the Chetak’s 500 km. Its fuselage length is just 8.1 metres as compared to the much lighter Chetak which is 10.03 metres long due to the tail boom required to accommodate the tail rotor – a design feature not

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required in a coaxial rotor design. The coaxial main rotor system and absence of a tail rotor not only makes it safer on the ground and in the air, but also makes it possible to use the Ka-226T in spaces with scant room for manoeuver, as the fuselage does not extend beyond the area swept by the rotors. Additional safety is afforded by the rear opening door the use of which is uninhibited due to the absence of a tail rotor.

Foldable Rotors Available

As mentioned earlier, during 2017, the navy had assessed the Kamov Ka226T as its production was planned in India. However, the navy had found it unsuitable for its needs, largely due to the fact that at that time the Kamov Ka-226T had not been certified for an option of foldable blades. Since then Russian Helicopters has offered the version with foldable blades for which the helicopter has been certified; its small dimensions make it suitable for deployment on ships and low displacement vessels. During DefExpo 2018, the right noises were being made about a Ministry of Defence (MoD) delegation visiting Kamov Design Bureau of Russian Helicopters Holding Company (part of Rostec) in order to



participate in the demonstration flight of a light utility Ka-226T rotorcraft and to familiarise themselves with its ship-based version. Thus, Kamov Ka226T is still in the reckoning for the navy’s NUH hunt.

Indo-Russian Joint Venture

The 200 Ka-226T deals for the IAF and Indian Army involves 140 being built in India and a facility is coming up near Tumkur (100 km from Bangalore) where a firm called ‘Indo-Russian Helicopters Private Limited’ (IRHPL) in which Rostec has a 49.5 per cent stake while HAL holds 50.5 per cent will undertake the manufacturing activity. Russian Helicopters believes it has a compelling case for a commercial deal for building the 111 NUH required by the navy. Rosoboronexport, the Russian state-run nodal agency for military exports, has declared it will be participating in the tender process of the Indian Navy, making the point that if India decides to go for an additional 111 Ka-226Ts, it will reduce the maintenance cost due to the synergy with the 200-helicopter project already under way.

Russian Helicopters signs a deal with India to deliver 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters.

not be consummated. The 200 helicopters are expected to take nine years to be produced, if all goes well. However, going by HAL’s past record, all may not go well and there could be delays. Even if the 200 get produced in nine years, the dovetailing of navy’s immediate requirement of 111 will be on tenuous grounds and may be delayed inordinately (except the 16 to be bought in fly away condition).

The navy will also consider the fact that, reportedly, the unit cost of the ‘Make In India’ Ka-226T is expected to be 2.5 times the cost of the 60 being built in Russia Indigenisation Conundrum The second prototype of HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) was presented at the DefExpo 2018; the LUH has not elicited much interest from the three Services and it may be destined only for civilian use, at least in its initial years. The IAF and Indian Army are already slated to get IRHPL produced Ka-226Ts and the Indian Navy could also have a look at it. However, the synergetic advantage flagged by Rosoboronexport may

The navy will also consider the fact that, reportedly, the unit cost of the ‘Make In India’ Ka-226T is expected to be 2.5 times the cost of the 60 being built in Russia. On balance therefore, the advantage offered by IRHPL synergy may be offset against the high cost. Any discussion on military helicopter fleets is inevitably linked to indigenous capability in helicopter design and development.

The strategic partnership content of the Defence Procurement Procedure holds the option of a private player partnering with a foreign OEM. Indeed, even for the 200 IAF/ Army deal, there were initial hopes of a private Indian partner for Rostec but the HAL lobby stoutly thwarted such initiatives. The Ka 226T deal and its linkage to HAL show that it is unlikely that the aerospace manufacturing industry in India would move substantially away from public sector towards a free market environment. Therefore, it is impossible to hope that we would produce advanced rotary wing platforms as transfer of technology would be minimal and licence production (albeit with up to 30 per cent indigenous content of insignificant technological level) would continue to self-perpetuate. Leading edge helicopter technology advances in the years to come would thus remain beyond the reach of HAL, and hence, India. Against this background, should the navy select a helicopter other than the Ka-226T, and should the strategic partner be a private player, significant gains could accrue for the Indian aerospace industry in the long run.

December 2018 Defence AND security alert


modernisation NAVAL COMPETeNCE

Naval Assets-

Technology Driven The prospects for India’s naval modernisation seem to be good. Undoubtedly, it has overcome a number of challenges and is in the process of transformation which could help India not only to protect its vital maritime interests but also cooperate with others in maintaining peace and stability. The seamless nature of the maritime domain will keep posing newer type of challenges in the 21st century and hence, the modernisation of India’s naval capability has to be given top priority by the key policy community.


ndia’s key national security requirement has been to gain knowledge and enhance the understanding of all on-going activities, events and trends in a number of domains including

land, air, maritime and outer space across the spectrum. The knowledge would help in building Domain Awareness which could potentially help in preventing adverse events. The Domain Awareness in maritime sector

would give Indian Navy a fair idea on the evolving maritime challenge and the growing complexities of the littoral environment. India’s naval modernisation has been an imperative for its protection of national security interests. Such modernisation of naval assets would be essential for creating Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). India’s role in maritime domain will keep increasing in the foreseeable future.

Nuclear Submarine INS Arihant during its commissioning.


December 2018 Defence AND security alert

Fulcrum for Peace

The Indian Navy remains a very important maritime means to ensure that the use of the sea is done for the promotion of national interest and in the maintenance of India’s national security by having a good order at sea. The Indian Navy has evolved over the decades and has robust presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The strategic positioning of the Indian Navy in the IOR has been mainly on achieving peace and stability. It is being used to engage with a number of other maritime nations and promote friendship and cooperation. The Indian Navy has geared itself with all the capabilities to deter the potential adversaries from a real conflict to happen. However, the emerging geopolitical dynamics is such where the modernisation of Indian naval capabilities becomes imminent. The modernisation of India’s naval capabilities is mainly focussed on power trajectory which would help in both the preparation for a possible conflict as well as

9 having a deterrent posture that ensures peace. The objective of the modernisation has been the fulfilment of strategic deterrence.

Protecting SLOC

The modernisation of Indian Navy is also linked with the recognition of India’s strategy that the sea lines of communication (SLOC) remain critical to its economic growth and to the global community where the world trade is largely sea-borne. The protection and security of the sea lines of communication becomes a priority for India. The nations which have been a part of Indian Ocean littorals and are becoming more and more dependent on the waters of the Indian Ocean for their trade and energy supplies always look to the Indian Navy for all help and have got confidence that it would ensure stability and tranquillity in the region. The priority is always accorded to ensure good order at sea and is perceived as a legitimate duty of the Indian Navy. Hence, Indian Navy would require enhanced capabilities and also cooperation and interoperability with regional and extraregional navies. Indian Navy has to be proactive all the time and undertake the constabulary role in their maritime area of interest. In addition to combating piracy and terrorism at sea, the Indian Navy has got the responsibility of surveying the waters and also provide search and rescue facilities to those in distress. The coordination of navigational warnings over a vast oceanic area also requires a good amount of technology.

Improving Domain Awareness

It is, therefore, important for India to enhance its naval capabilities and address wherever it has a role in the region. India in its naval modernisation programme has been putting emphasis on achieving force multipliers, hi-tech electronic devices, sensors and weapon systems in addition to


building the network of networks of various relevant platforms. India has been driving itself to achieve critical capabilities and obviously not believing in terms of having more number of ships or aircrafts. The Indian Navy, by and large, has remained self-reliant and come up with an indigenisation plan. To a larger extent, the Indian Navy has been harnessing national technological strengths in ship constructions, engineering, electronics, and space and information technology. Over the decades, indigenisation remained a priority for the Indian Navy. However, it also kept the option open to meet all the imperatives for combat readiness. Hence, the import option for specific operational requirements in a limited manner has been kept open. This option is also applicable to the import of warships if needed. As a part of modernisation drive, the Indian Navy has improved its Maritime Domain Awareness. Such capability has been of great significance because it provides the ability to detect, locate, track and identify the presence of likely targets in an uncertain and unpredictable maritime domain. It must be emphasised here that building domain awareness is not that easy. It involves national technical means (NTM) for surveillance, means for identification and networking of units for the exchange of data. India has been making significant progress in long range unmanned air vehicles (both ship-borne and shore-based) and has also acquired maritime reconnaissance aircrafts and helicopters. The Maritime Domain Awareness also got strengthened because India has got joint and single Service identification systems, which have an ability to discern between friend and foe and supplement the surveillance effort.

Prof Arvind Kumar The writer is professor of Geopolitics and International Relations at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE).

The modernisation of Indian naval capabilities has also driven the significant improvements in networking technologies and has provided large bandwidth connectivity for sharing multi-media data. Such capabilities synergise the strengths of all the naval assets which ultimately would multiply the overall combat capability. Interoperability of such naval networks with those of the Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard and all the other governmental agencies dealing with the maritime domain will be ensured.

Intelligence Gathering

There is no denying the fact that intelligence information remains integral to situational awareness. The gathering and sharing of real-time intelligence information will always be a prerequisite for creating a situational awareness. India has witnessed tremendous improvement in gathering intelligence information mainly with the help of technology. The advances in the field of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Communication Intelligence (COMINT) have been in conformity with the

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modernisation NAVAL COMPETeNCE

modernisation drive. The requirements of the Indian Navy are met with these means of technology used for gathering intelligence.

IT based systems is needed though it is generally believed that India possesses design capabilities of these critical sub-systems and components.

Ship Design

Limited Indigenisation

There have been remarkable improvements in the ships design over the years. Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design may have designed roughly 80 ships since the beginning of indigenous shipbuilding programme in the 1970s. It is estimated that as of now, there are 48 state-of-the-art ships and submarines under construction in Indian shipyards. The Indian Navy has embarked upon development of ship-borne systems by harnessing the R&D potential of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and also through the Transfer of Technology (ToT) with industry partners. Undoubtedly, there is still a large gap in the development of critical technologies especially in the field of high-tech components and enhanced manufacturing processes. The performance enhancement in the field of under-water weapons and sensors, multi-function radars and


It is a well-known fact that the naval assets and systems are inherently technology intensive. It would require substantial investment of time, money and resources. With regard to the building of submarine equipment and systems, India’s success towards indigenisation has been limited. The major items required for both shipbuilding and submarine equipment and systems are still being imported in all categories of core competencies – Float, Fight and Move. It will take its own course in experiencing complete indigenisation. Becoming selfreliant completely in all the areas of development in the naval based assets will certainly be of vital importance for both strategic and economic reasons.

Private Sector

The involvement of private industry in manufacturing missile, rocket and torpedo launchers is becoming increasingly important. The private

December 2018 Defence AND security alert

companies are becoming integral to India’s naval modernisation plan. A number of missile handling equipment has been manufactured by industry and is being used on board ships. However, there is an emerging need of larger participation of private sector companies. Some of the companies such as, Mahindra Defence, Larsen and Toubro and Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division have been successfully working with Indian Navy in the development of launchers and handling equipment. The advances in technology have changed the nature of warfare. The likely nature of warfare will be mostly characterised by the deployment of unmanned weapon systems, robotic soldiers and other sophisticated machines which can operate in all environments. There will remain strong linkage between the advances in outer space, cyber space and all form of asymmetric dimensions with the naval based assets. Hence, India would require to have a comprehensive understanding of these many developments and fine tuning its naval requirements.

9 Information Technology The future warfare will be mostly based on high degree of jointness in an integrated manner, interoperability and the speed of information flow. The nation-States will compete for achieving superiority in the field of technology to have both information assurance and information dominance. If India has to emerge as a global power, it will have to become self-reliant in all spheres of technological domain.

No First Use policy. During the case of any eventuality, both land and air based assets become highly vulnerable and it will be only seabased assets which would guarantee India its second strike capability. The INS Arihant is now ready to prowl the deep seas carrying ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. It has significantly enhanced India’s deterrent capability. The second submarine in the series INS Arighat is now undergoing sea trials after which it will also be inducted.

The effectiveness of naval operations can only be realised when India becomes capable of analysing the data from multiple sources Over the decades, the IOR has witnessed the proliferation of a variety of undersea forces. The Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations have gained momentum in this regard because such operations become significant at all levels – strategic, operational and tactical. The induction of modern submarines by potential adversaries and their dependence on a strategy of sea denial make ASW a priority area and may be a preferred part of India’s strategy. India would require to enhance its ASW capabilities for conducting deep sea operations as well as making its adversary antiaccess/area denial (A2AD) capability completely irrelevant.

Nuclear Triad Complete

India declared its nuclear triad operationalised after the success of its indigenously built ballistic missile nuclear submarine INS Arihant’s first deterrence patrol. It is something which India needed badly mainly because of its stated No First Use doctrine. Such capabilities are required to complement India’s

Computational Capability India has witnessed remarkable progress in its on-going naval modernisation programme. The need for the improvement in support infrastructure is being felt because of the progress made in the performance enhancement of various technologies in the naval domain. The effectiveness of naval operations can only be realised when India become capable of analysing the data from multiple sources. The data fusion at data centre needs to be collated and inferred with the help of technology. One can discern from the emerging trends in technology that there will be a huge impact of computation in all the future naval operations. Computation will be the primary enabler for achieving and exploiting complete situational awareness and will provide more and more computational power to the processing and interpretation of all the sensor signals.


undertake the full spectrum of all the maritime operations. Undoubtedly, it has overcome a number of challenges and is in the process of transformation which could help India not only to protect its vital maritime interests but also cooperate with others in maintaining peace and stability. India will, of course, need to constantly review the emerging threats in the maritime domain and address it to the best of its ability. The seamless nature of the maritime domain will keep posing newer type of challenges in the 21st century and hence, the modernisation of India’s naval capability has to be given top priority by the key policy community. Through India’s naval modernisation drive, the Indian Navy would possibly build a favourable and positive maritime environment and also becomes net security provider to all the countries in its neighbourhood as well as extended neighbourhood.

The prospects for India’s naval modernisation seem to be good. The Indian Navy has got the capability to

December 2018 Defence AND security alert



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Defence & Security Alert December 2018 Edition  

The December 2018 edition of DSA is focused on: Indian Navy Special

Defence & Security Alert December 2018 Edition  

The December 2018 edition of DSA is focused on: Indian Navy Special