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SOLE Official Media Partner February-March 2014


Volume 11 No. 1


`100.00 (India-Based Buyer Only)



The ONLY magazine in Asia-Pacific dedicated to Land Forces

In This Issue

DEFEXPO 2014 SPECIAL Visit us at Hall 14 Booth 14.3 Page 6 Modernisation and Acquisition Plans We need speedy induction of 155mm/52 calibre howitzers to replace the present equipment. Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Page 8 Keys to Success: Net-centricity, Command, Control, Synergised Operations There is not only the need to undertake periodic holistic reviews but more importantly technologies available globally must be optimised ensuring required security to enhance our C4I2SR capabilities.

>> Interview

‘The profession of arms is a ‘calling’, rather than being just a job’ photographs: anoop kamath / Sp Guide Pubns

Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch Page 9 India’s Infantry Modernisation The lack of progress of acquiring even the weaponry, which is the easiest and most fundamental, is depressive to say the least because it directly and most adversely affects the soldiers fighting ability in the field. Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Page 11 Decades of Obsolescence Majority of AAD weapon systems are of erstwhile Soviet origin with an average vintage of 30 years. Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand Page 12 Night Vision Technologies Night vision devices comprise an image intensifier tube, a protective housing and a mounting system. Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch Plus Consolidating & Equipping the Special Forces Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch Interview Loïc Piedevache, MBDA, Country Head, India

14 16

Mine-resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


Managing the Land Borders Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the Army Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand SP’s Exclusives / News in Brief

19 21

Communications and electronic surveillance provide critical support in handling of counter-insurgency and terrorist operations. Lt General Nitin Kohli, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Colonel Commandant, Indian Army, in an interview with SP’s Land Forces, gave out details of the role played by the Corps of Signals in the areas of low-intensity conflict and counter-insurgency operation. SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): Can you define the role and give out the charter of duties of the Corps of Signals? Lt General Nitin Kohli (SO-in-C): The Corps of Signals as “Information Warriors” are responsible for providing telecommunication and information connectivity to the Indian Army. It has also been charged with the responsibility of providing substantive communication support to the Indian Air Force and Navy. The Corps, based on

these requirements, is the key enabler of the transformation process of Indian Army towards net-centricity. SP’s: The challenge today is to achieve successful integration of sensors, shooters and the decision-makers, thereby enabling a dynamic, reliable and secure operational decision loop. How far have we achieved this capability? Where we are as far as network-centricity is concerned?

It seems that the Air Force and the Navy are far ahead in this field. May we have your observations and comments on this vital issue? SO-in-C: Net-centricity in functioning of the Indian Army is the ultimate goal given by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). This is to be achieved in three stages. We have already completed the stages of “networking” and “net enabling” the Indian Army. Various applications to achieve the desired

Applied for 1/2014   SP’s Land Forces



>> Interview

Defexpo India 2014, the eighth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition, will be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from February 6-9, 2014. India’s Ministry of Defence believes that Defexpo India is clearly steering the path of steady growth and has been receiving overwhelming and unprecedented international response with each edition. While this maybe true, however this time let us hope that Defexpo has more deliverables at the end. The reason is that there is no discernable forward motion in defence procurements. While the military is anguished at the inordinate delays in procuring new equipment to replace obsolescent hardware, the industry is frustrated at the less than the pedestrian pace at which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is moving. The succeeding paragraphs will give an idea of the frustrations of military leadership.Security, both internal and external, is an area of serious concern for the miltary. The aggression on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by China and the violence on the line of control (LoC) by Pakistan in the past seven to eight months have occupied large media space in recent times. In the case

of LAC, the month of October 2013 saw India and China taking some necessary steps forward in order to end the growing trust deficit on both sides. Of the nine pacts signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese premier Li Keqiang on October 23, 2013, during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit, one of the most important was on maintaining peace and tranquility along the LAC between the two countries. In the context of the violence on LoC, both India and Pakistan on December 24, 2013, decided to ‘re-energise’ existing mechanisms to maintain the ceasefire on the LoC as per the declaration that came at a meeting of the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two sides, who held face-to-face talks for the first time in 14 years at the Wagah border. While efforts to maintain peace and tranquility at the border is advisable and beneficial, it is also indicative of the fact that skirmishes along unresolved borders can break out at any time and this constitutes a challenge as well as a threat. In any case media reports as well as statements from the former army chiefs from 2009 onwards indicate that the army considers that it may have to fight on two fronts simultaneously in a future war. Therefore it has to ensure that a two-front capability exists apart from an internal capability to counter-insurgencies and terrorism by non-state actors and that it is operationally prepared for such eventualities. It is in this context that the unhappiness of the military finds expression. Indian army’s modernization and

net-centricity in functioning are under development. These will facilitate availability of the networks at both the sensor and shooter end in real time. SP’s: Will the Indian Army’s present communications allow it the flexibility required for future operational settings both conventional and fourth-generation wars? SO-in-C: I am confident that the Corps of Signals is ready to meet all the challenges of a conventional or futuristic war.

SP’s: What is your vision for the Corps of Signals? SO-in-C: The vision of the Corps of Signals is to attain and maintain information ascendancy by developing a robust and secure information infrastructure to cater to the network-centric warfare in the digitised battlefield of future times. SP’s: Software defined radio (SDR) is receiving enormous recognition and generating widespread interest in the telecommunication industry and in the military. What is your view on it? SO-in-C: SDR is one of the best technological advancements in the field of electronics and IT which will be adequately harnessed by the armed forces in the near future. It offers a host of benefits such as standard architecture for a wide range of communication products, uniform communication across various users, significant cost reduction, over the air downloads of features and services, advanced networking capabilities, etc. SDR development is an extremely complex process.


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

capability building efforts have been tardy and sluggish to say the least and the political leadership, the bureaucracy and the military themselves are all to blame for this indefensible and unpardonable state of affairs as it directly impacts upon the security of the country. Some details in respect of the army are given in the succeeding paragraphs. Indian Army’s modernisation schemes amounting to over `70,000 crore in the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) alone, have not fructified. The revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) over the years has done little to accelerate the pace of modernisation. A dispassionate analysis would indicate that the voids in equipment and munitions in the Army to fight a modern war together with the lack of modernisation of equipment in virtually all fighting arms of the Army is alarming and has caused a capability gap vis-à-vis our likely adversaries and this is becoming more pronounced day by day. It is in this context that the letter written by General (Retd) V.K. Singh, the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), to the Prime Minister on March 12, 2012, which was deliberately leaked to the media, should be viewed. It highlighted that the mission reliability of mechanised vehicles was poor, the artillery was obsolete and inadequate, air defence was antiquated, armour was unreliable due to regular barrel accidents caused by mismatch between indigenous barrels and ammunition, night-fighting devices were insufficient, aviation corps helicopters needed urgent

‘Interoperability between the three services has always been high on the agenda of all commanders’ The proposed SDR will also have the requisite waveforms to integrate with the existing legacy systems. SP’s: Can you give out the mobile and offensive communication needs of the Army and how are these being met? SO-in-C: Tactical battlefield, characterised by high mobility, is intense and dynamic in nature. Current and futuristic needs require robust, reliable, flexible, scalable, secure, seamless and highly available communications at the tactical level. At present the requirement of mobile and offensive communication is being met by combat net radio (CNR) and army radio engineered network (AREN). Fibre network has also reached the forward edge of our operational locations to handle the high bandwidth communication needs of the field formations. SP’s: What are the developments envisaged in combat net radio? SO-in-C: Combat net radio is the cutting edge communication in tactical battle area.

replacements, and holdings of all types of missiles, anti-tank and specialised ammunition was critically low. Thus pointing out the lack of preparedness to fight and win wars on the battlefields of the 21st century Following this it seems that the Defence Ministry had asked Army Headquarters to fast-track acquisitions and the list of essentials was prepared and sent. However, the situation has not improved but in fact has worsened in the last one year. On the one hand, nothing has come so far, on the other hand, missiles and specialised ammunition holdings which have a shelf life, have dipped further. The government has now sanctioned the Twelfth Five Year Defence Plan as a result of the severe criticism over delays in the past. However, for the Army it is a cosmetic paper exercise as even the Eleventh Plan procurements have not materialised. Thus considering the lack of implementation of the Eleventh Plan and the Army’s modernisation process, the procurement of both Eleventh and Twelfth Plans need to be hastened. The defence budget for 201314 grew by 5 per cent over the previous year, with defence capital acquisitions growing by 9 per cent. But, with inflation averaging more than 5 per cent since February, and the rupee depreciating by 14 per cent against the dollar over the same period, that modest nominal budget increase is actually a real budget decrease and considering the austerity measures required to be undertaken with a slowing economy, and the parliamentary elections

The Corps of Signals is always thinking ahead of ways to usher in state-of-the-art communication technologies to empower the soldier. Our focus is to bring about a paradigm shift in exploiting radio technologies with versatile features. SP’s: How is the interoperability being ensured between the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and other concerned civil agencies, in the absence of integrated development of communications? SO-in-C: Interoperability between the three services has always been high on the agenda of all commanders. This has been given due importance through an important strategic network which will connect important tri services locations across India to provide common fabric for communication and information requirements. This project is under implementation and its completion would form the bedrock of interoperability between the three services. SP’s: With both China and Pakistan being so active in the field of cyber warfare what steps are being taken to ensure cyber security in the Army’s communication networks? SO-in-C: In the cyber domain, threats are continuously evolving and the race between security system designers and those who want to exploit weaknesses is ever prevalent. The only viable option is to plug the weaknesses by being proactive. We are constantly evaluating our security threats and plugging the loopholes on almost daily basis. Organisations with requisite resources are

in May this year it is unlikely that any big-ticket item, like artillery howitzers, air defence guns/ missiles, aviation assets, night fighting aids, sensors of various categories or even basic small arms such as new assault rifles and new carbines for the infantry will fructify. In the meanwhile the Cabinet has sanctioned the raising of a Strike Corps for the mountains and the work on it has commenced. However except for manpower it is not understood as to how will the Army equip this operational level formation which, apart from basic weaponry and communications, requires many types of force multipliers to be effective in the mountains. Moreover what is surprising is that this sorry state of affairs in the field of defence preparedness is not even being talked about by the major political parties in their in their attempts to woo voters prior to the elections in 2014. In fact the current weaknesses need wide publicity so that the people themselves put the pressure on the Government of the day. A country like India, which faces innumerable security challenges, needs a political leadership which is alive to the dangers of not being militarily prepared for future conflicts. The current leadership presents a dismal picture and the future leadership seems blissfully unaware of the dangers.

Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

in place with well-defined charter and standard operating procedures (SOPs). The triad of “people, processes and technologies” is being effectively implemented to achieve the desired end towards securing our networks. SP’s: What are your roles in low intensity conflict like terrorism and insurgencies? SO-in-C: Communications and electronic surveillance provide critical support in handling of counter-insurgency and terrorist operations. These roles have been addressed by the Corps of Signals in the areas where low-intensity conflict and counter-insurgency operations are being prosecuted. We have established an Army owned pilot mobile cellular system which has proved to be a great force multiplier in providing real time information to our ground teams operating in inaccessible areas during the conduct of counter-insurgency operations. Close electronic warfare support is being provided to Special Forces in low-intensity conflict in all the sectors. Electronic warfare system supporting LIC have been tailormade for the specific nature of the conflict with the aim to giving intimate electronic warfare coverage. SP’s: What are the developments for dominating electromagnetic spectrum in future wars? Are we acquiring state-of-the-art equipment in the field of electronic warfare? Are our systems capable of conducting static and mobile operations? SO-in-C: Capability is being acquired to dominate ever wider range or the electromagnetic spectrum over greater stretches

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>> INTERVIEW / profile of our border areas. Our adversaries are using the electromagnetic spectrum both for communication and surveillance. System capable of exploiting the weaknesses of our adversaries’ use of the electromagnetic spectrum in a fast moving battle scenario is being acquired. The electronic warfare equipment being procured is state-of-the-art and targets advance communication and surveillance system acquired by the adversary. Substantial indigenous capabiliy also exists in the field. SP’s: Is the industry geared to provide modern hardware and software technology to support communication requirements in the future? SO-in-C: India is one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world with leading international giants establishing their bases in India. IT is a vital enabler in enhancing reach and productivity in all kinds of verticals. Private industry in India has certainly geared up towards providing robust and scalable software solutions with somewhat limited hardware development infrastructure to support the communication requirements of the Indian Army. As of now, our indigenous capability to manufacture micro-chip is very limited. There is an urgent need to develop research and development (R&D) and production capability to meet requirements of our armed forces if manufacturing of chips in India, keeps pace with the software development, it will go a long way in improving cyber security. There is tremendous scope for the industry to participate in the development and production of systems and technologies for the Indian Army. The participation of the Indian industry in the modernisation, collaborative research and development and equipping of the Indian Army, will provide improved capability and also boost the Indian economy.

SP’s: How does the Corps of Signals keep pace with the fast developing information and communication technologies in the world? Do you have a cell monitoring this important aspect regularly? Are any officers attending courses in the western world? SO-in-C: Continuous training and unflinching endeavour to keep oneself abreast with current development is the only way to keep pace with the rapidly changing technologies in the field of information, communication and technology (ICT). We are thus seized of this challenge and are making multipronged efforts to keep pace with the changing technology. To this end, in our training institutions, viz., Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE) and Signal Training Centres (STCs), environmental scan, evaluation and syllabus upgradation are a continuous process. We also have our officers going to the IITs for doing post-graduate courses. We are also utilising the facilities of government institutes like the Bharat Ratna Bhim

Rao Ambedkar Institute of Telecommunication Training (BRBRAITT) and National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) to provide training to selected trainers. Moreover, implementation of various projects, offers an opportunity to our officers to be exposed to new technical options and upgrade themselves. SP’s: What future role do you envisage for the information warriors of the Corps of Signals? SO-in-C: In the future, we envision the Corps of Signals to be the cutting edge difference for the Indian Army by providing real time, state-of-the-art effective means of communication and decision-making in an evolved net-centric Indian Army. This shall help the Indian Army attain information superiority and ascendancy in the next generation wars. SP’s: The information and communication field is very vast and the demand for quali-

fied personnel is also high in the private industry? How do you ensure that qualified officers are motivated to stay on in the arm? What are the incentives, in your view, which will prevent the younger officers from leaving the Army? SO-in-C: Here I take the view that the profession of arms is a ‘calling’, rather than being just a job. Therefore, the truly motivated will continue to serve in the right earnest. The sense of satisfaction and prestige derived from donning the uniform is much greater than any other monetary/positional aspect. The attraction of career opportunities in the private industry, however, is a live challenge. To address this, we are striving to increase the promotion avenues in our Corps, to meet the career aspirations of the officer cadre. For meritorious officers, who are non-empanelled, there exist lateral avenues to Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), etc on deputation. Also, irrespective of non-empanelment, depending on their proficiency and technical acumen, officers continue to be posted to high-tech appointments, dealing with important projects. Employment in domain expertise appointment also enables us in keeping our officers motivated. SP’s: How are the women officers performing in the Corps of Signals? SO-in-C: The Corps of Signals has been posted with women officers since 1993. Women officers have made valuable contributions to the organisation over the last 20 years. They are holding all positions in the Corps, such as tenanting high-tech appointment, instructors at institutes, staff officers in various headquarters, participation in adventure activities, implementing ICT projects in units/establishments, etc. As on date, the Corps has 189 women officers.  SP

Saab’s Giraffe AMB Radar Systems


nternal disturbance has claimed more lives of India’s security personnel than the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the country. Indian Air Force has been brought in to provide air cover and surveillance services to the paramilitary forces operating out of disturbed areas. There have been instances of paramilitary base camps coming under rocket and mortar attacks within the homeland. Convoys of government dignitaries face increased threats of rocket and mortar attacks in disturbed areas. Given the heightened context for homeland security against any Naxal overreach, India today requires radar systems for Base Protection as facilitated by Giraffe AMB offered by Saab. There have been pirate attacks on the Indian maritime assets which could have been neutralised by surveillance-based timely action. Attack on the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan in the recent past envisages a response like that of US Department of State which bought the Saab Giraffe AMB for infrastructure protection. Saab (including the radar part of Ericsson which Saab acquired in 2006) has since World War II developed and produced advanced radar systems for both seas, air and land applications. Today Saab can offer the most reliable and advanced mobile radar systems, giving multi-mission capabilities and simultaneous use of the system for air defence; situation awareness; military ATC; force protection and coastal surveillance


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

Giraffe AMB – multi-mission surveillance radar With more than 50 years experience in air defence and naval radars Saab has a true multi-mission radar system in full serial production. Giraffe AMB belongs to a long history of successful Giraffe radar systems where advanced technology and Saab’s’ long experience is combined into a powerful and costeffective 3D radar system which also can include an advanced command, control and coordination centre for short- and mediumrange air defence systems. Giraffe AMB builds on the same concept of high mobility and easy operation as earlier generations of Giraffe radars including uncompromising features for: • A  n unparalleled 3D target update rate combined with high altitude coverage and monopulse accuracy in elevation • Simultaneous - automatic air surveillance and tracking including tracking-on-jam with multiple reception beams - automatic surface surveillance and  tracking - automatic weapon and impact location • Modern open-architecture processing for easy integration into GBAD weapon systems or net-centric defence architectures • Military air traffic control • High strategic mobility • High survivability on the battlefield Giraffe AMB has in operation proved

a high reliability and low cost for maintenance. The Giraffe AMB high sensor performance and wide range of command and control functions makes it the best choice for tactical air surveillance, mobile air space management and ground-based air defence from Manpads to medium-range SAM systems as well as for coastal surveillance and coastal defence with surface-to-surface anti-ship missile systems. The Giraffe AMB is specified for operation in extreme climates. Testing and verification have included tests in all different climates, ranging from in-land, coastal and hot desert to arctic snow. A Weapon Location function giving Giraffe AMB capability to detect, track, classify and accurately determine the impact position and the origin of enemy indirect fires, especially rockets and mortars. This function has been used successfully and saved lives among our customer personnel. Giraffe AMB is a modular and scalable product to enable cost-effective tailoring to each specific customer need. The fully equipped Giraffe AMB system is very comprehensive as indicated in the list below. The non-chosen functions also provide future growth potential, should requirements change. • A state-of-the-art 3D surveillance radar for air targets with capacity for both medium range (out to 120 km) surveillance/early warning and highly accurate cueing of ground-based air

defence systems. Extensive integrated ECCM features • Integral sea surveillance • Weapon location and impact warning • Integrated IFF • Netting facility, fusing sensor data from multiple radars to create a real time area air situation picture • An advanced ground-based air defence coordination function • Military air traffic control and airspace control functions by use of flight corridors to enhance air defence operations and air tasking messages to support planning of airborne sorties • Voice and data communication • Remote control and presentation • Integrated simulator training Giraffe AMB was taken into service during 2004 for the Swedish Armed Forces with a very comprehensive communications suite. The Swedish systems are intended for air and sea surveillance as well as groundbased air defence control and co-ordination of I-HAWK, BAMSE, RBS70 and AA guns. It is now in full-scale series production and is subject to continuous pre-planned improvements. The Giraffe AMB system is now widely used by demanding customers around the world, including Swedish Army, French Air Force, British Army (LEAPP programme), Estonian Army, US Department of State and Australian Army and is one of the main components for Saabs offer regarding SRSAM in India.  SP


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Modernisation and Acquisition Plans We need speedy induction of 155mm/52-calibre howitzers to replace the present equipment. Our requirements being so large, the required numbers would not be available even in the world market at short notice and therefore induction itself will be a long-drawn process. photograph: US Army

M777 Light Towed Howitzer

  Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor


s part of its Artillery Modernisation Plan, the Army is looking at inducting several types of howitzers through inter-governmental pacts and global tenders. The last major acquisition of towed gun-howitzers was that of 400 pieces of 39-calibre 155mm FH-77B howitzers with a range of 30 km from Bofors of Sweden in 1987, which got embroiled in political controversy. This gun proved its mettle in the Kargil conflict. After about 25 years of neglect during which the 100mm and 122mm field guns of Russian origin and the indigenously developed and manufactured 75/24 howitzer joined the long list of obsolete equipment, the Army still awaits the procurement of about 1,580 howitzers of 155mm, 52-calibre. Out of these, 400 are to be procured outright and 1,180 manufactured indigenously with transfer of technology (ToT). Trials of a modified Nexter TRAJAN 155mm/52-calibre TGS and Elbit’s refurbished, lighter ATHOS 2052 howitzer were to be held during May 2013 as a part of summer trials in the western Rajasthan desert using the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) manufactured ordnance. These tests will be followed by winter firings and the selection of one system by the Artillery Directorate to proceed to cost negotiations (the estimated budget being $2 billion). These trials constitute the fifth attempt to select a suitable 155mm howitzer for the Indian Army.


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

Nexter is now collaborating with Indian private defence contractor Larsen and Toubro (L&T) while Elbit has partnered with the Kalyani Group, the world’s largest forgings manufacturer headquartered in Pune. The Kalyani Group, better known as Bharat Forge, after one of its more successful subsidiaries has acquired Ruag’s entire artillery manufacturing unit in Switzerland and has set it up in Pune in 2012. Senior Artillery officers point out that Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan (FARP), which was mooted in 1999 envisaged `5,000-7,000 crore procurement of 3,0003,200 of assorted calibre howitzers by the end of the Army’s Fourteenth Five Year Finance Plan in 2027. This plan has been totally wrecked because of inordinate delays in decision-making and procurement. The FARP had envision importing, and indigenously develop and build howitzers by technology transfer agreements to private and public sector joint ventures (JVs) to equip the more than 200 artillery regiments that remain pivotal to the Army’s ‘manoeuvre by fire’ offensive capabilities and revised war-fighting doctrine. Shortages of suitable equipment capable of delivering long-range firepower will adversely affect the Army as it faces the prospect of equipping two newly created mountain divisions in north-eastern India. China’s rapid militarisation in Tibet is worrying the military. Raising an additional Mountain Strike Corps, comprising three divisions by 2017—alongside pos-

sibly a fourth artillery division for deployment along the 4,057-km-long unresolved Chinese border—further complicates the Army’s equipment shortages. The FARP’s proposed acquisitions include: 1,580 new 155mm/52-calibre towed gun systems (TGS); 814 mounted 155mm/52-calibre platforms; 145 offthe-shelf 155mm/39-calibre ULHs. The finance plan also envisages the outright purchase of 100, 155mm/52-calibre selfpropelled tracked (SPT) howitzer and 180 self-propelled wheeled (SPW) howitzers with another 120 to be built locally under a technology transfer agreement. One hundred and eighty pieces of 130mm M46 Russian medium-guns have been successfully “up-gunned” to 155mm calibre with ordnance supplied by Soltam

The Army still awaits the procurement of about 1,580 howitzers of 155mm, 52-calibre. Out of these, 400 are to be procured outright and 1,180 manufactured indigenously with ToT.

of Israel. The new barrel length of 45-calibre has enhanced the range of the gun to about 40 km with extended range ammunition. However, the project for manufacture of ammunition which was to be done by the IAI of Israel has been delayed as the firm has been blacklisted. India has another 300, 130mm M 46 guns. In early 2012, the Army approached the Ordnance Factory Board, Kalyani Group, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Punj Lloyd and Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (SED) with a proposal to retrofit the M46s to 155mm/45-calibre standards under the Defence Procurement Procedure’s (DPP) ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category. Under this dispensation, local public and private sector companies are eligible to formulate JVs with foreign manufacturers to develop and build weapon systems for the Indian military. All four private companies submitted their project feasibility reports on the M46 retrofit to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in March 2012, in response to its restricted request for information (RFI) dispatched to them earlier. They now await the request for proposal (RFP). It is now learnt that when the Bofors 155mm howitzers were procured in 1987, transfer of technology had taken place, and it has now been revealed that the OFB which had been sitting on these designs for the past 25 years, on being coaxed by the Army have now accepted to produce prototypes of 155mm/39-calibre and 45-calibre guns for trials by the Army.

artillery >>

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tion to the 12 AN-TPQ 37 Firefinder WLRs acquired from Raytheon, USA, under a 2002 contract worth $200 million, the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is reported to be assembling 28 WLRs. These radars will be based on both indigenous and imported components and are likely to be approved for introduction into service after extensive trials that are ongoing. The radar is expected to match the capabilities of the Firefinder system and will have a detection range of about 40 km.


Pinaka multi barrel rocket launching system

Six prototypes of the Bofors FH-77B 155mm/39-calibre and 155mm/45-calibre guns built by the OFB’s Jabalpur unit are currently undergoing user trials in Rajasthan, which will be followed by another round of testing at high altitude, later in 2013. This follows several months of successful inhouse firing trials by the OFB after the MoD, under pressure from the Army, approved the acquisition of 114 indigenously built FH77B 155mm/45-calibre towed howitzers in October 2012. Senior Army officers said this order was expected to rise to 200 guns.

Ultra Light Howitzers One hundred and forty five ultra light howitzers (M777) are being procured from the United States through the foreign mili-

tary sales (FMS) route from BAE Systems. This deal has been cleared by India’s Cabinet Committee on Security and trials have also been conducted but the deal has still not fructified. On September 13, 2013, the Defence Acquisition Council headed by the Defence Minister cleared the deal four days before the arrival of the US Deputy Secretary of Defence, Ashton B. Carter.

Counter-bombardment Counter-bombardment (US term counterfire) capability is also being upgraded, but at a slow pace. At least about 40-50 weapon locating radars (WLRs) are required for effective counter-bombardment, especially in the plains; but only a dozen have been procured so far. In addi-

The Army has inducted the Prithvi and the Agni series of missiles and the BrahMos missiles in their operational formations. The Prithvi and the Agni series of missiles are nuclear capable missiles also capable of firing conventional warheads. The Army’s Block III version of the BrahMos missile is capable of trajectory manoeuvres and steep dive with multiple way points using advance guidance system and software.

MBRLs Multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) Pinaka has a range of 37.5 km, can be brought into action within three minutes and can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds. Pinaka can neutralise a target area of 1,000 x 800 metres. Production of rockets is in full swing. Manufacture of 40 launchers, 16 battery command posts, 40 L and 20 replenishment vehicles have been completed and systems have been handed over to the Army. Five lots of restricted high explosive rockets and 23 lots of pre-formed fragmented warhead rockets have been delivered to the Army.

UAVs The Heron, a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Israel, has been acquired in addition to the Searcher I and II UAVs. Four troops of Herons were acquired. Medium-range battlefield surveillance radars (BFSRs) have been introduced into the inventory of the Army’s surveillance and target acquisition (SATA) units for enhancing the medium-range ground surveillance capability of the Army. The long-range observation system (LORROS) provides day and night surveillance capability up to a range of about 11 to 13 km. The artillery combat command and control system (ACCCS) have been successfully developed and have been deployed in a large number of Corps.

Speed Up Acquisitions The recent aggressive moves by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Ladakh region in the North, its claims over Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east and its nexus with Pakistan, poses considerable challenge to our military preparedness. We cannot afford to lower our guard against our likely adversaries. Superior firepower is a war winning factor and currently we are in a weak position in this respect. We need speedy induction of 155mm/52-calibre howitzers to replace the present equipment. Our requirements being so large, the required numbers would not be available even in the world market at short notice and therefore induction itself will be a long-drawn process. Hence there is no time to lose. The lack of decisiveness of our leadership must be arrested if we have to be ready for all eventualities.  SP

1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> net work-centric

Keys to Success: Net-centricity, Command, Control, Synergised Operations There is not only the need to undertake periodic holistic reviews but more importantly technologies available globally must be optimised ensuring required security to enhance our C4I2SR capabilities. This is essential in the face of mounting threats.   Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


he new war paradigm demands integrated and networked decision support systems with space, land, surface and subsurface sensors with state-of-theart weapons and equipment whose potential requires optimum utilisation and synergy to inflict maximum damage on the enemy. The key to success will lie in attaining higher levels of net-centricity; effective command and control across the force, an accelerated decision-action cycle and an ability to conduct synergised operations simultaneously within the defence and security establishment. With speedy technological advancements, command, control, communications, computers, information and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4I2SR) systems provide sterling opportunities for the defence and security establishment acting as important force multiplier for commanders at all levels. From this, it can be surmised that intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) are not stand-alone entities and must be viewed within the ambit of a composite C4I2SR system. Human Intelligence (HUMINT), technical intelligence (TECHINT), signal intelligence (SIGINT), open source intelligence (OSINT) all combine into all source intelligence. Advantages of HUMINT are enormous including in environment of insurgency and terrorism, which cannot be replaced sole reliance on TECHINT. Yet, even the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) with mandate to operate trans-border sources is denied permission to do so and directed to rely on TECHINT. This is the root cause for our inability to cope with irregular and asymmetric threats. Army’s fledgling Technical Support Division (TSD) unit that has been in the news recently too has reportedly been shut down. To top this we are also hampered with poor mapping even within our own territory. Intelligence is the final product of information and information is an operational asset, the strategic value of which has been increasing by the day. At the national level, the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) are efforts to synergise intelligence even though NCTC has not earned consensus because of fears by states of the Centre misusing its powers. It is an established fact that the side which has information advantage has more chances of being the winner. In military terms, acquisition of intelligence or information will depend on a plethora of sensors including HUMINT, processing it speedily and disseminating it in real time or near real time at required levels including commanders and shooters simultaneously. Surveillance implies monitoring activities and changing information on ground essential for responding particu-


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

larly with telescoped time frame required for decision-making. Surveillance has many applications from the operational and strategic to the tactical level. The recent disclosure of the US National Security Agency (NSA) snooping on foreign governments, diplomatic missions, businesses and individuals helps the US manipulate nations in its own national interests. Today, computers, telephones, cameras, social network analysis, biometrics, aerial means, satellites, humans, identification of credentials, global positioning system (GPS) and a host of other devices are all being used for surveillance. Reconnaissance is the military term to gain vital information about enemy forces or features for analysis and/or dissemination. Examples of reconnaissance include observation posts, patrolling by troops/scouts/special forces/intelligence specialists/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aerial, surface and subsurface platforms, etc. In the military, surveillance reconnaissance (SR) is done using binoculars, long-range devices like spotoscopes, night vision devices (NVDs), weapon sights, thermal imagers (HHTIs), radars of all types, UAVs and micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), aerial, surface and subsurface platforms and satellites. The Army is moving towards better surveillance and target acquisition (SATA) equipment with each Artillery Brigade being equipped with a battery and each Corps being given a SATA Regiment with UAVs and radars as the backbone for all SATA Regiments. The Indian military is expected to induct radars worth over $8.5 billion in the next decade. Various indigenous developmental projects for radars and associated equipment as well as international acquisitions are taking place. The indigenous projects include development of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to be fitted on the LCA MK II as well as a ‘through wall imaging radar’. India has initiated integration of the indigenously-built airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system with the Brazilian Embraer EMB-145 aircraft which India is acquiring. The EMB-145I aircraft has been modified to carry the Indian-made Active Array Antenna Unit (AAAU). In addition, new generation of multi-function radars which can be integrated with any weapon system to provide surveillance, early warning, interception guidance and raid assessment are also being developed, including a medium power radar (Arudra), a low-level transportable 150-kilometre radar and a synthetic aperture radar—all capable of being integrated into any weapons system. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing 3D radar systems: the Central Acquisition Radar (CAR) for use with Akash surface-to-air missiles (SAMs); ‘Rohini’ for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and ‘Revathi’ for the Navy. A third variant (3D tactical control radar) for Army reports is also being produced. According

to media, the US firm Raytheon is also talking to the IAF regarding airborne SR radars. Raytheon has received two request for information (RFIs) from the IAF but India has not decided whether to go for an active electronically scanned array system or a mechanically scanned arrangement. Meanwhile, Navy has issued an RFI for 3D radars to enhance surveillance aboard ships more than 3,000 tonnes to provide 360-degree surveillance to detect aircraft, helicopters and incoming anti-ship missiles. No new radars and UAVs have been inducted by the Indian Army. The move to identify and induct MAVs is progressing slowly. The DRDO is designing a range of MAVs (Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak already developed) but are yet to match up with COTS products like the ‘Netra’ by Idea Forge, a spider like MAV suited for all types of operations including counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency or the MAV with an infrared sensor developed by Aurora Integrated System. With respect to C4I2SR, the military is yet to evolve an network-centric warfare (NCW) Doctrine which should have been the start point to develop the NCW architecture. Non-merger of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), lack of operational authority of the former and the lack of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) have contributed to this. Neither voice or data networks nor radio communications of the services are interoperable to the desired degree. Radio sets differ in their frequency bands, wave forms and secrecy algorithms. Networks of the three services do not talk to each other. Common standards and protocols, mutually compatible database structures, development/deployment of interfaces between systems using disparate platforms and commonality of hardware have not commenced. Services cannot exchange individual UAV pictures and the Air Force picture does not come directly into Army’s Operations Rooms. No common secrecy algorithm has been developed. Requirement of a military satellite was first projected by the Navy and later caught on by Army and Air Force. Adequate bandwidth is at premium. Military’s Project Defence Communications Network (DCN), strategically connecting the Corps Headquarters of the Army and equiva-

With respect to C4I2SR, the military is yet to evolve a network-centric warfare (NCW) Doctrine which should have been the start point to develop the NCW architecture.

lents of sister services, Strategic Forces Command and HQ IDS, has been awarded to HCL Infosys in early 2013 for development over two years. However, the project does not include development of requisite software; implying the services and HQ IDS require developing software individually with attendant interoperability problems. Military survey products are primarily Google based maps that hardly measure up to military requirements; 30 years behind meeting routine mapping requirements and large-scale mapping vital for operational information systems (OIS) not done at all. DIA is the central repository for all intelligence inputs pertaining to the three services but we are yet to integrate the aspects of topography with DIA. Within the existing setup, adequate resources in terms of remote sensing, electronic intelligence (ELINT) payloads and cartography are not available to produce high quality fused data. An enterprise geographic information system (GIS) is yet to be developed and a defence spatial data infrastructure (DSDI) is perhaps decades away. Army’s primary focal points for NCW are the tactical command control communication and intelligence system (Tac C3I) system and the TCS aside from the management information system (MIS) and GIS. In case of Tac C3I, artillery command, control and communications system (ACCCS) is already being fielded. A contract with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was concluded in March 2011 for `1,035 crore for equipping CIDSS along with a second contract of `2,635 crore for the BSS but these contracts have not been taken to their logical conclusion in the required time frame. Complete fielding of CIDSS will likely take another seven-eight years and being the hub of the Tac C3I will delay any measure of net-centric capability. Test bed for the air defence control and reporting system (ADC&RS) is yet to materialise though contract with BEL was signed in March 2008. Expression of Interest (EoI) in respect of the BMS has been recently issued. BEL and a consortium of Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Tata Power SED and HCL Infosys Ltd has been selected for making prototype TCS and the best bidder will then execute the project. The Army Strategic Operational Information Dissemination System (ASTROIDS) sanctioned in 1995, to connect Corps HQ upwards to Army HQ, with Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), DRDO as the development agency, but has been recently foreclosed lacking requisite software and faulty security overlay. RFI for a fresh project is under preparation. From the aforesaid it is apparent that there is not only the need to undertake periodic holistic reviews but more importantly technologies available globally must be optimised ensuring required security to enhance our C4I2SR capabilities. This is essential in the face of mounting threats.  SP



India’s Infantry Modernisation The lack of progress in acquiring even the weaponry, which is the easiest and most fundamental, is depressive to say the least because it directly and most adversely affects the soldiers fighting ability in the field. It is therefore clear that the Army is currently grappling with the Phase 1 itself, i.e. the phase in which new infantry weapons with body armour, individual equipment and clothing have to be inducted. photograph: SP Guide Pubns

  Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

attitude and approach to terrorist organisations, even though such organisations pose a danger to Pakistan’s own social and political fabric. Thus India faces a strong likelihood of more intensive low-intensity conflict situations in Jammu and Kashmir in the future. In view of the increasing focus on lowintensity conflicts, the aim of this article is to draw the reader’s attention to the delay in modernisation of India’s infantry and its future infantry soldier programme.


ndia faces diverse threats and challenges. While there is an existential threat of conventional conflicts arising from unresolved borders in the west with Pakistan and in the north and north-east with China, on the other hand, there is the formidable challenge developing within the borders of India. This is from home-grown insurgencies, militancy and terrorism which arise due to a variety of reasons. To add to these two scenarios is the continuing and constant threat from state-sponsored terrorism nursed and nurtured in India’s immediate neighbourhood and its direct and indirect linkages to conventional conflicts, in the region, in the future. All this makes this part of South Asia more volatile and unpredictable. The existence of terrorist camps across the India-Pakistan border and the line of control (LoC) and the likelihood of Pakistani Taliban, who are currently engaged in fighting in their Western provinces and on the Pakistan-


Defence Minister A.K. Antony inspecting an INSAS rifle during Defexpo 2012

Afghanistan border, turning their attention towards the LoC, is a setting that India must

be prepared to face. The continuing infiltrations across the LoC demonstrate Pakistan’s

The future infantry soldier as a system (F-INSAS) had been initiated more than six years ago to make the infantryman a weapon platform with situational awareness, increased lethality and sustainability in the digitised battlefield. F-INSAS was to be effected in three phases: Phase I included weapons, body armour, clothing and individual equipment; Phase II was the target acquisition system and Phase III comprised the computer subsystem, radio subsystem, software and software integration.

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>> modernisation Photograph: US Army

The F-INSAS programme was announced by former Army Chief General J.J. Singh in August 2007 which involved equipping over 3,00,000 infantry troops and around 1,00,000 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Assam Rifles (AR) personnel employed for conventional and counter-insurgency operations or both with a modular, multicalibre suite of weapons, body armour and assorted individual equipment and target acquisition and hand-held surveillance devices, including third-generation night vision devices (NVDs). It includes, as stated in Phase 3, communication apparatus and computers capable of transmitting and uploading voice, data and video clips for on wrist displays for soldiers and ‘planning boards’ for commanders, ‘smart’ vests packed with sensors, integrated ballistic helmets with heads-up display (HUD), miniature radios, global positioning systems (GPS) and portable power packs. So the complete package for the proposed infantry upgrade was impressive. F-INSAS is to be a part of the battlefield management system (BMS) of the Army i.e. battalion level and below. The formations above the battalion level i.e. brigade and above will form a part of the tactical communication system (TCS) of the Army at the Corps level. This part of the project of integrated communications and digitisation of the battlefield comprising command information and decision support systems (CIDSS) is being handled by the Director General Information Systems (DGIS) while the induction of weaponry and equipment of the infantry in the F-INSAS programme is being handled by the Directorate Generation of Infantry. The lack of progress of acquiring even the weaponry, which is the easiest and most fundamental, is depressive to say the least because it directly and most adversely affects the soldiers fighting ability in the field. It is therefore clear that the Army is currently grappling with the Phase 1 itself i.e. the phase which in which new infantry weapons with body armour, individual equipment and clothing have to be inducted. The Indian’s Army’s six-year-old project to upgrade all its infantry battalions and 106 units of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Assam Rifles (AR) units under its elaborate F-INSAS programme, is inordinately delayed. Officials associated with the programme have said that the F-INSAS prototype, modelled on the US Army’s Future Force Warrior and aimed at deploying a fully-networked, all-terrain and all-weather force with enhanced firepower and mobility for the future digitalised battlefield, is delayed by four to five years, if not longer beyond its 2012-13 deadline. Consequently, the overall infantry upgrade, to be accomplished through a mix of imported and locally developed equipment and systems and estimated to cost `25,000 crore (approximately $4.0 billion) may well be deferred beyond 2025. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister and including the three Chiefs (Army, Navy and the Air Force) have approved the induction of a new assault rifle, 5.56 (with capability of switching to 7.62mm barrels if required) along with a new generation carbine to replace the 9mm carbine which has already been weeded out of the Army without getting a replacement.

Carbines There has been some progress in the field of carbines. In August 2012, the process of procuring 44,618 5.56mm close quarter battle (CQB) carbines to replace the outdated 9mm model and 33.6 million rounds of ammunition in a contract worth over `2,000 crore was set in motion. The manufacturers in the race were Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Galil Ace carbine; Italy’s Baretta with its ARX-160, USA’s Colt and


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

could be one of the world’s largest small arms contracts in recent times worth over $5 billion in due course.

Other Equipment A basic equipment of the infantry man is the multi-purpose tool, akin to a Swiss knife, 3,00,000 of which are needed for each upgraded infantry soldiers’ survival kit. This procurement was delayed by the Army despite trials in 2010-11 featuring vendors from Italy, Switzerland and the United States. A major obstacle pertaining to the F-INSAS programme is the stalemate over image intensifier and thermal imaging (TI)-based surveillance and target acquisition systems the lack of which had rendered India’s infantry largely ‘night blind’. The initial proposal is for 45,000 thirdgeneration night vision devices (NVDs) under F-INSAS. Army is currently tackling the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which insists that Army should acquire them from the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), based in Bengaluru. In negotiations with the Army, BEL reportedly wants the Infantry Directorate to reduce its figure of merit (FoM) scale for the NVDs from 1700 FoM, that enables soldiers to see clearly in total darkness to 1400 FoM which provides visibility only at dusk, dawn and in moonlit nights and which the defence public sector undertaking (DPSU) has on offer. Interestingly in 2010 the MoD had, for `100 crore facilitated the transfer of highly restrictive ‘supergen’ technology to BEL from France’s Photonis. The BEL failed to absorb it and develop a more advanced version. Alternate NVDs with 1700 FoM capability have been offered by private defence contractor Tata Power (Strategic Electronics Division) in Bengaluru that reportedly meets the Army’s preliminary qualitative requirements (QRs) and are under consideration. QR’s for critical battlefield communication and navigation equipment—including dead reckoning modules, a miniature, selfcontained, electronic navigation unit that pinpoints the user’s position—digital compasses, assorted computer, dual-band radio sets and soldier-individual power units have yet to be completed. Requests for proposal (RFPs) for some 1,70,000 modular bullet proof vests weighing around 10.5 kg and an equal number of ballistic helmets had been dispatched to domestic manufacturers in June and December 2012 respectively, some four years behind schedule. Tenders for knee and elbow protection pads are awaiting finalisation.

F-INSAS prototype is modelled on the US Army’s Future Force Warrior and aimed at deploying a fully-networked, all-terrain and all-weather force with enhanced firepower and mobility for the future digitalised battlefield

Sig Sauer’s offering the M4 and 516 Patrol models. These weapons have undergone field trials at the Infantry School at Mhow, in Central India, the Thar desert in Rajasthan and high altitude locations in India’s northern and north-eastern regions. The tender for the 5.56mm close quarter battle (CQB) carbines requires each weapon system to weigh less than three kg, fire 600 rounds per minute to a minimum distance of 200 metres and be capable of operating in extreme temperatures. Picatinny railmounted reflex and passive night sights, visible and invisible laser spot designators and multi-purpose detachable bayonets are a part of their qualitative requirements (QRs). The selected vendor will be required to transfer technology to the OFB to licence build 3,80,000-4,00,000 CQB carbines and 5.56mm ammunition, for use not only by the Army, but eventually the Central and state police forces in a programme estimated to ultimately cost over `5,000 crore. Army sources said the carbine and ammunition trial reports were being assessed and it was expected that the deal may witness finalisation by 2015.

Conclusion Assault Rifles Army is also on the lookout for assault rifles (AR) to replace the INSAS 5.56mm Rifles with technologically superior weapons. In the race are assault rifles of the Czech Republic’s Czeca, IWI, Baretta and Colt and Sig Sauer, all weighing around 3.6 kg. The other requirements include the ability to convert from 5.56 x 45mm to 7.62 x 39mm calibres by merely by switching the barrel and magazine for employment in counter insurgency and/or conventional offensive/defensive operations. They also need to be fitted with detachable under barrel grenade launchers and be capable of firing Ordnance Factory Boardproduced 5.56mm x 45 (SS109) ammunition rounds. This procurement will also involve transfer of technology to the OFB to licence-build the assault rifles. Army’s immediate requirement is for around 2,18,320 rifles where as India’s assault rifle requirement is estimated at between two-three million to arm the large Central Paramilitary Forces and the state police. At this scale, India’s assault rifle acquisitions

India’s strategic neighbourhood is one of the most volatile and dangerous regions of the world. It has all the ingredients of becoming a future battleground of treacherous conflicts. With disputed borders in the west, north and north-east and the formidable internal challenges, India faces a wide variety of threats and challenges. Moreover, this nuclearised region also has the dubious distinction of having in its midst the epicentre of international terrorism, nourished and nurtured by Pakistan and its sympathisers in the Arab-Islamic world. Therefore, while likelihood of full-scale state-on-state wars may be reduced, India will more likely face border skirmishes on its unresolved borders and low intensity conflict operations including counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency in the future. This mandates a quick and thorough modernisation of India’s infantry which is clearly not happening despite the rhetoric by the political leadership and military hierarchy. The slow rate of progress of the F-INSAS programme is a reflection of the larger malaise that inflicts modernisation of the armed forces in India for which the blame lies squarely with the Ministry of Defence.  SP

air defence >>

Decades of Obsolescence Majority of AAD weapon systems are of erstwhile Soviet origin with an average vintage of 30 years. To add to the woes of operational readiness, there is shortage of certain types of ammunition which casts its shadow on training. This leads to the dilution of skill of the gun, missile and radar crews. photograph: PIB

  Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand


ttention catching headlines like ‘State of Unpreparedness’ and ‘Leaky Army Air Defence Umbrella’ have been used in the past to explain the current state of preparedness of Army Air Defence (AAD) and to highlight the lack of even rudimentary modernisation in this important pillar of warfighting machine but it seems that nothing can awaken the decision-makers from slumber. In this respect, a review of the current weapon systems held by AAD is given in the following paragraphs:

Gun Systems Bofors 40mm L/70: The 40mm L/70 is the oldest system held with AAD which was inducted in 1964. In its time, it was a good gun which has undergone only marginal upgrade. Its fire control radar has undergone changes and currently it has the upgraded Flycatcher. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have not been able to develop an air defence gun and the quest for a successor system has undergone many futile twists and turns. There are not many new gun systems currently in the global market as the advanced nations are inclined towards missiles and other nations do not need such systems or are carrying on with the old systems. The only suitable system is Rheinmetall AD’s Skyshield which has advanced hit efficiency and destruction technology (AHEAD) ammunition which contains 152 heavy tungsten metal, spin stabilised subprojectiles and ejected by a time fuse. But regrettably, Rheinmetall air defence is at present under the shadow of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), thus there is no way this gun system can be acquired unless MoD does a U-turn, as it did for Barak missile recently. L/70 gun has recently undergone an upgradation carried out by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The upgrade involves electric drive, electro-optical sighting system and a laser-range finder. MoD has given the contract to BEL for about `600 crore. 23mm Twin-Gun: This gun is of erstwhile Soviet origin and is about 25 years old. It is a light weight, mechanical gun which can carry on for some more time provided it is upgraded with electric drive and an electro-optical sighting system with a laser range finder. BEL is also carrying on upgrade of this gun with the help of Israel and field trials are expected shortly. Schilka: Schilka is a highly mobile tank-mounted air defence gun system with fire control radar. It is of erstwhile Soviet origin and has been in service since 1973. Currently, the gun system has some more life left but the radar is obsolete. The engine also needs replacement. Tungusgka was selected as its successor which was also of Soviet origin. It is a gun-missile system but for some reason only a few was imported during 1995 and there was no further acquisition due to unknown reasons. At present only Russia is producing such systems and thus the choice of successor gets limited to them only. Pantsir-S1 is a suitable gun—missile system of KBK (Russia) which can succeed Schilka, but this system is nowhere in the horizon. BEL is carrying out Schilka’s upgrade with Israeli Aero-

OSA-AK weapon system

space Industries providing new radar, electro sights and some other sub systems. Hindustan Powerplus Caterpillar is providing a new diesel engine. The cabin is also being air-conditioned. The system is expected for trials during March 2014. Kvadrat Missile System (SAM-6): This is a tank-mounted missile system which is highly mobile and radar controlled with a range of about 20 km. It has been in service

since 1974. Its successor is supposed to be the Akash system to be developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Akash has been developed but only in static role. It has been accepted in static role by the Army but the void for mobile systems still remains. DRDO had initiated a joint venture with Israel to develop a medium-range surfaceto-air (MR-SAM) but there is not much

development in this. After the clearance of Barak by India, this venture may also move forward. Russia’s BUK-M1 is the only suitable mobile system as other systems like Aster30, Israel’s Barak Next Generation, MBDA’s MICA and Lockheed Martin’s Patriot Advance Capability-3 (PAC-3) will have to be mounted on a suitable platform to make it mobile. Out of all these, PAC-3 seems the most capable. OSA-AK (SAM8): This is also a tankmounted mobile system of Soviet origin. It is of 1980s vintage and was inducted around 1987. It has a range of about eight km and its replacement should be planned now, considering the long gestation period of new acquisitions by India. Trishul was being developed by DRDO as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) but it has not succeeded and thus has been foreclosed. Russia’s TOR M-1 which has a range of 12 km is the only original mobile missile system. The new terminology being used for such a system is quick reaction SAM (QRSAM). A request for proposal (RFP) was issued but no progress was made and it was dropped. It is understood that MBDA is working closely with DRDO to develop maitre (means friendship) which is an offshoot of Mica (range 20 km). It is possible that they will help DRDO in critical technologies like active seeker to have a new avatar of Trishul as QRSAM or maybe a short-range SAM.  SP

1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> Technology

Night Vision Technologies Night vision devices (NVDs) comprise an image intensifier tube, a protective housing and a mounting system. Many NVDs also include sacrificial lenses, infrared illuminators and telescopic lenses. Night vision goggles, night-scopes, night-monocular, night weapon sights are vital to any army. Longer reach and improved resolution promotes the chances of winning. Photograph: Photonis

greater detection distances, improved system performance under low-light conditions and operational life in excess of 10,000 hours compared to 2,0004,000 hours of second generation tubes.  Fourth-generation: In 1998, gated filmless technology was created by removing the ion barrier film and gating power supply enabling substantial increases in target detection range and resolution. The filmless micro channel plate provides a higher signal-to-noise ratio than standard third-generation IITs resulting in better image quality under low-light conditions. Autogated power supply improves image resolution under high light conditions and a reduced halo effect that minimises interference from bright light sources. The reduced Halo maximises the effectiveness of the NVD in dynamic lighting conditions. However, it was found that the same performance results could also be achieved using a third-generation tube with a thinner ion barrier film and an auto-gated power supply.

Subcontinental Scene

The Photonis Group is a global business serving the photo-sensor technology needs of world leading customers in the areas of night vision, industry and science and medical imaging

  Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


he urge for the ability to see by night went up in wartime but today conflict situations are an everyday affair. Night vision devices (NVDs) comprise an image intensifier tube (IIT), a protective housing and a mounting system. Many NVDs also include sacrificial lenses, infrared (IR) illuminators and telescopic lenses. NVDs are being used by the security sector as well as civilians. Night vision goggles (NVGs), night-scopes, night-monocular, night weapon sights are vital to any army. Longer reach and improved resolution promotes the chances of winning.

Types of NVD NVDs are of two types: image intensifiers (II) and thermal imagers (TI). Image intensifiers are more common as their light amplification technology uses the small amount of ambient light like moon, stars-light and converts this light energy (photons) into electrical energy (electrons). These electrons pass through a thin disk that’s about the size of a small coin and contains more than 10 million channels. As the electrons go through the channels, they strike the channel walls, releasing thousands of more electrons. These multiplied electrons then bounce off of a phosphorous screen which converts the electrons back into photons, letting you see even when it’s pitch dark. To understand thermal


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

imaging, it is important to understand that IR can be split into three categories; near IR (0.7 to 1.3 microns wavelength), mid IR (1.3-3 microns wavelength) and thermal IR (three microns to over 30 microns wavelength). The key difference between thermal IR and the other two is that thermal IR is emitted by an object instead of reflected off it. Most thermal imaging devices scan at a rate of 30 times per second, sense temperatures from -20 degree Celsius to 3,600 degree Celsius and can detect changes in temperature of about 0.2 degree Celsius. Thermal imaging devices are generally ‘un-cooled’ or ‘cryogenically cooled’. The un-cooled ones are more common wherein the IR detector elements are contained in a unit that operates at room temperature. These devices are noiseless, activate immediately and have in-built batteries. Cryogenically cooled devices have elements sealed inside a container that cools them to below zero degree Celsius. The advantage of such a system is the incredible resolution and sensitivity that result from cooling the elements. These systems enable identifying whether a person is holding a weapon more than 300 metres away. Thermal imaging can detect persons in near-absolute darkness with little or no ambient light.

Categories NVDs are generally classified into four categories albeit with differing classifications— some classify them as generation zero, one, two, three and four (yet to be defined) while

others classify them as generation one, two, three and four. Advanced version of generation three is also being referred to as generation three ultra. Classification of NVDs depends on what type of image intensifier tube (IIT) is used in the particular device:  Zero-generation: These were sniper scopes used in World War II, not really IITs but image converters requiring a source of invisible IR light mounted on or near the device to illuminate the target.  First-generation: These were Starlight Scopes developed in early 1960s. They produced an image that was clear in the centre of the field of view but suffered from large optical distortion around the periphery.  Second-generation: Development of the micro channel plate (MCP) in the late 1960s ushered the second generation NVDs which are high quality with exceptional brightness and resolution. The MCP accelerated and multiplied electrons substituting coupling of three IIs of the first generation.  Third-generation: Fielded in the early 1980s, these devices saw two major technological improvements; gallium arsenide (GaAs) photocathode and ion barrier coating to the MCP, providing combined increase in resolution, signal to noise ratio and photosensitivity over tubes with a multi-alkali photocathode—increasing sensitivity to light from the near-IR range of the spectrum,

Indian Army has on its inventory in various categories and quantities of NVDs but ideal equipping both in terms of quantity and quality is yet to be achieved. In 2008, media had reported the lack of NVDs in Indian Army particularly in the 3,000-strong tank fleet (only 10 per cent of tanks had night-fighting capability) and soldiers faced glaring shortages of NVDs, with NVDs in service a generation behind what Pakistan already had; Indian Army was holding second-generation NVDs while Pakistan had a range of third-generation NVDs from the US under the War on Terror Pact. Finally in April 2013, The Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved a `2,820 crore proposal to provide NVDs to the Indian Army; 5,000 thermal imagers (TIs) will be procured from the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). Though Pakistan continues to receive modern NVDs from the United States to fight terrorism, its Institute of Optronics (IOP) also manufactures NVDs for Pakistan armed forces; crew served night vision weapon sight (TVS-5A), individual served night vision weapon sight (PVS-4A), driver’s night vision periscope (DNVP-1A) and aviator’s night vision goggle. IOP’s future plans include NVDs for armoured vehicles and helicopters. India’s BEL is understood to have partnered with Photonis after considering extending a relationship with ITT Exelis. ITT Exelis has set up offices to pursue the Indian market post memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Tata at 2012 Defexpo for manufacturing systems using imported US tubes. Reportedly, Qioptiq’s Kite sight has been trialed with India since 2009 with a potential acquisition later this year with demonstrations of the company’s TI and II solutions having begun. Qioptiq also established a joint venture with Rolta in 2009 to pursue opportunities in India. America Technology Network (ATN) says it sold to India MARS 4 and 6 TI weapon sights and the monocular NVM-14 in 2011 for the Army. Similarly, Optix says they have several projects in India, three of which are with the Navy including sales of the twin-tube Diana variant NVG.

Technology >> Photograph: Exelis

South East Asia In South East Asia, the infantryman has had a head or weapon mounted image intensifier (II) with support weapons fitted with a thermal imager (TI) having longer range and better vision. A combination of the two NVDs is currently under examination—integration of the device within a single device or use of clip on thermal devices to existing II devices which appears more affordable and exploits the existing capital investment. Sales of NVDs to South East Asian countries have been reported as follows:  Psyer sold their PNP-MS and PNPMUNS II sights and their PNP-MT and PNP MUNSTI TI sights to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.  Sagem sold their MATIS and OB50 TI sights to Malaysia.  Optix sold their Diana single tube NVGs to Thailand and Exvision Thermal Camera to Singapore.  America Technology Network sold THOR TI sight to Thailand and sold NVG-7 and NVM-14 NVGs to Indonesia and sold monocular, biocular goggles and hand-held sights to Vietnam.  The Electro-Optical Systems Technology met Republic of Korea night vision II requirement using Photonis tubes.  Qioptiq sold 350 VIPR 2 sights for Australia’s Land 125 Phase 2 programme. Trials have been held in Malaysia and Singapore.  Infrared Security Systems sold 35 thermal sighting systems to Malaysia and thermal imaging viewer (TIV) to Malaysia and Thailand.

Choosing NVDs Three important performance parameters that need to be borne in mind are the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), resolution and modular transfer function (MTF) and lifetime of an II. SNR is the measure of the light signal reaching the eye divided by the perceived noise as seen by the eye. Higher the SNR, better the ability to resolve image details under low light conditions. MTF is the maximum line density on a target that can be resolved by human eye. High MTF values at low spatial frequencies provide sharp images with a good contrast. Lifetime of an II is extremely important for night vision applications.

Exelis AN/PVS-14 night vision goggle

COTS Market The global market is awash with NVDs. NOCTURN digital extreme low light CMOS Camera developed by Photonis USA, Inc is a state-of-the-art device for surveillance imaging in 24x7 lighting conditions whose applications include CCTV security and surveillance, man portable vision systems, long-range target identification, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and other reconnaissance, plus 860 and 1064nm laser line detection.  ITL sold Mini SEAS to Australia, Thai-

land and Singapore.  Pulse Inteco sold 800 of its Rantel-2 night vision monocular devices to Thailand.  ITT sold PVS-14 and -7 night vision goggles to Australia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. A number of systems incorporating image

fusion are now available. Clip on devices are gaining ground in the fusion arena. Qioptiq launched a new clip on thermal sight during 2012 for use with the Thales Optronics Lucie-D goggle. Similarly, Vectronix’s 300metre range thermal acquisition clip-on system (TACS-M) which is NVG host agnostic although the company has naturally built in compliance with its Tarsius I2 solution.

Improved Technology Conflict situations demand that we provide the wherewithal to our soldiers to have greater advantage through battlefield transparency by night including through poor visibility due to rain, fog, mist, snow, sandstorm, blizzards. Digital technology should provide improved image quality and enhanced capability to meet battlefield conditions.  SP


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1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> special forces

Consolidating & Equipping the Special Forces In modern Special Forces like the USSF, any induction of new weaponry or equipment into the US Army first goes through the USSF, which also has research and development capabilities to modify commercially available off the shelf (COTS) products to suit specific Special Forces requirement—a capacity yet to be established in Indian Special Forces   Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


ikipedia that earlier listed out some 50 odd Special Forces in India (predominantly police forces) now mentions Para Commandos, Special Frontier Force (SFF), Ghatak Force, Force One, Marine Commandos (MARCOS), Garud Commando Force, 51 Special Action Group (SAG), National Security Guard (NSG), Special Protection Group and CoBRA. But the ambiguity and misunderstanding persists. The Army Special Forces, MARCOS, Garud, Special Groups (SGs) of SFF and 51 and 52 SAG of NSG actually fall within the purview of Special Forces. Ironically, while these Special Forces numerically total up to as many as US Special Forces (USSF), India has failed to optimally employ this potential gainfully as strategic forces, including for creating a deterrent against the sustained proxy war launched by our enemies from across our borders. Unprecedented rapid expansion in sharp contrast to global norms governing such forces, have diluted our Special Forces capabilities including in manpower quality, training and equipping. Being under different chains of command, there is little commonality in equipment even within the Military’s Special Forces. Then is the essential requirement of provisioning ‘packaged equipping’ that is generally ignored. ‘Packaged equipping’ implies that if a subunit of Special Forces is authorised particular weapons and equipment, these must be made available as a package in the required quantities. Packaged equipment is essential because if a subunit does not have the complete authorised equipment, its combat capability will obviously be less. The equipping of Special Forces needs to be viewed to include personal clothing, personal equipment including protection, weapons and fire power, explosives and counter explosives, mobility, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, induction and extraction related equipment, hand-held electronic warfare equipment, etc. In modern Special Forces like the USSF, any induction of new weaponry or equipment into the US Army first goes through the USSF, which also has research and development (R&D) capabilities to modify commercially available off the shelf (COTS) products to suit specific Special Forces requirement—a capacity yet to be established in Indian Special Forces. In terms of personal clothing and equipment, no special preference is being given to Special Forces in terms of quality. Compare this to the ‘Quantum Stealth’ camouflage fabric developed by the Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corporation aimed at making the soldier invisible, which is being planned to be introduced in selected groups in the US and Canadian armies—obviously Special Forces. The fabric is reportedly lightweight, is successful without cameras, batteries, lights or mirrors, and more significantly can work against military infrared (IR) scopes and thermal optics. Unfortunately, indigenous development by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have not been able to provide even the very basic requirements of say rucksacks and rappelling gloves, leave aside weapons, imports being relied upon in case of the latter even by infantry—assault rifles, carbines, light machine guns, etc. Ironically, even the night vision and surveillance devices produced indigenously continue to be inferior to imported counterpart in terms of weight, bulkiness, etc, despite the fact that we still are importing 100 per cent IR tubes, and our own R&D are yet to develop these. Then is the glaring void of light weight hand-held laser designators for which an empowered committee had visited Israel in 2002 but unfortunately Israel had won the bid as L1 while the equipment in question was still in unassembled form under laboratory testing. The French equipment was available but L2 and hence bureaucratic red tape did not


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

permit its procurement. More than a decade has gone by and still the Army’s Special Forces are without these laser target designators. Light weight, heli-transportable allterrain vehicles though authorised, are yet to be procured. Though a Singapore firm was to provide these a decade

back, the firm reportedly came under a ban, as has been happening in scores of cases. Since these occurrences are without having identified another source of procurement, the armed forces and in this specific case Special Forces are at a great disadvantage with respect to capacity building.

Special forces >> Photograph: Wikipedia

Another glaring void is the information system package for communication with all the required entities including calling in required shooters. A Special Operations Command Post (SOCP) that was to be developed has again been delayed by more than a decade despite the fact that single vendor indigenous capability existed and the vendor had actually sold the software to the Special Group of the Special Frontier Force (SFF). Ironically, mired with red tape, development of the SOCP under powers of Army Training Command (ARTRAC) was eventually shelved and the requirement has been dovetailed into the battlefield management system (BMS) which itself has been hiccupping in delays and has recently taken the next step, the expression of interest (EoI) has recently been issued on November 11, 2013. If all goes well then prototype development and fielding for user evaluation is likely to happen by December 2016 and equipping from 2017 if the trials are successful. This schedule is possible only if there are no more hurdles. In general terms, the equipment lacking currently with the Special Forces are light-weight hand-held laser target designators, information system package to communicate with required entities to include voice, data, video streaming, light weight long-range global communications to call multiple weapon strikes, state-of-the-art listening and surveillance devices—from miniature devices hand-held to micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), helicopter transportable all-terrain vehicles, corner shots, goggles/devices to see through walls, hand-held electronic warfare (EW) weapons, state-of-the-art explosive devices with long-term timers, all-terrain light-weight

Para commandos of the Indian Army with Tavor automatic weapons

clothing and load carriage, latest survival equipment, etc. What has also hit equipping of Special Forces is the unprecedented expansion of Special Forces in completed contrast to global norms ignoring the overall dilution including in terms of manpower, training, equipping—all culminated into lowered combat capability. The Army already has eight Special Forces battalions and the ninth such unit is under raising. The tenth one is to be raised after this raising is completed. This is in stark contrast to expansion of Special Forces in foreign armies. The average authorised rate of annual expansion of the USSF remained constant at 1.8 per cent for many

years but was raised to 2.5 per cent in 2011 because of global commitments. In our case, we went in for a 120 per cent increase in period 2001-04 alone including converting 3 x Para battalions to Special Forces and adding the fourth assault team in all Special Forces units. The unprecedented expansion was resorted to by deliberately feeding the hierarchy that 20,000 USSF were operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was untrue since this included 82 and 101 Airborne Divisions of the US. Actually even in the peak period of USSF deployment only 90 x Operation Detachments Alpha (ODAs) were physically used (each ODA is 10-12 strong). This happened because unlike any other

country in the world, the Army’s Special Forces battalions and the Parachute Battalions are grouped in the same regiment and whenever the Parachute Regiment was headed by a Colonel of the regiment without any Special Forces experience, the whole emphasis was to somehow convert the entire Parachute Regiment into Special Forces, in complete disregard to the adverse consequences to the overall Special Forces capability and the concept of the Special Forces. The two star appointment in Military Operations Directorate as Additional Director General (Special Forces) is headed by a paratrooper (not Special Forces) officer since its raising few years ago, which continues till date. To top this, the one star appointment under him designated as Deputy Director General (Special Forces) gets posted by an officer from the unit/regiment of the prevailing Army Chief merely to get a stamp of serving with the Military Operations Directorate. The effect of all this has been that weapons and equipment imported for Special Forces battalions get distributed among normal parachute units. This plus the new raisings in rapid succession is seriously affecting the manpower and in equipping the existing Special Forces battalions. Special Forces battalions that should be holding some nine lakh rounds of ammunition for imported Tavor assault rifles are down to about 40,000 rounds. How this affects even routine firing training needs no explanation. This is just one example. Yet, the hierarchy remains oblivious. There is certainly a need for reflection. What the Special Forces need is consolidation not expansion, and packaged state-ofthe-art equipping.  SP


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1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> Interview MBDA, a world leader in missiles and missile systems, is a multi-national group with 10,000 employees on industrial facilities in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the United States. In 2012, the Group recorded a turnover of 3 billion euros, produced about 3,000 missiles and achieved an order book of 9.8 billion euros, new orders came to 2.3 billion euros. MBDA works with over 90 armed forces worldwide. MBDA is the only Group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems to meet the whole range of current and future operational requirements for the three armed forces (army, navy, air force). Overall, the Group offers a range of 45 products in service and another 15 in development. In an interview with SP’s Land Forces, Loïc Piedevache, MBDA Country Head India, gave details of the programmes.

‘India is at the core of MBDA’s current and future business strategy’   R. Chandrakanth

SP’s Land Force (SP’s): What is the present outlook in India for MBDA considering that decisions may be delayed on several defence programmes including the Mirage fleet upgrade, in view of the impending elections and also due to certain scandals? MBDA: India lies at the core of MBDA’s current and future business strategy so we take a long-term approach regarding the business outlook. Therefore, regardless of election results, we will continue to support India with defence solutions as and when required and to the best of our ability. The MICA contract for the Mirage upgrade is progressing exactly as per schedule and we are discussing a number of other important Indian defence equipment requirements as well as building up our network of Indian industrial partners. So for us, the outlook is very promising. SP’s: MBDA has nearly 50 products on offer, which are the ones where you see an immediate fit/requirement in India and what efforts have been made to market them here? MBDA: MBDA has the most comprehensive product catalogue in the sector and as such is the only company able to meet the guided weapons needs of all three armed forces – air force, navy and army. Currently we have a number of product campaigns underway in India, all of which are aimed at clearly defined requirements in India. These include Mistral MANPADS for the VSHORAD requirement, ASRAAM for the IAF’s Jaguar upgrade and PARS 3 LR to provide the ALH Rudra with its ATGM capability. For maritime operations we are proposing Exocet and Marte for both fixed and rotary-wing platforms. Of course we have a full range of air-to-air and air-to-surface


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

weapons which we are discussing with the IAF to maximise the operational capability of the new MMRCA aircraft. SP’s: One of the major concerns of India is transfer of complex technologies. Could you give details of MBDA’s plans in this direction with specific examples? MBDA: Sovereignty in defence supply and technology is important for a major power. This goes hand in hand with an advanced, indigenous defence industry capability and has clearly been recognised as a priority by India. The transfer of complex technologies will play an important part in India achieving this goal. These technologies must be advanced and complete and involve knowhow that has been developed over many years of working on highly complex weapons programmes, not just basic componentry. This is where MBDA offers a major advantage over its competitors. We have made it clear, and we have domestic governmental support in this, that we are keen to transfer and share technology of the highest level with India. We have shown this with the SR SAM project with the DRDO. At Defexpo 2014 we will also be discussing the possibility of working on a co-development with India on a fifthgeneration combat support missile based on the latest development which MBDA is working on for the French Army – a system known as MMP, a step change in capability with features way in advance of any competing system, current or planned. SP’s: Could you update on the proposed agreement with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to design and co-produce the Short Range SAM system (SR SAM)? Will there be a helicopter version of this? MBDA: The design and performance parameters of SR-SAM, also referred to as Maitri,

have been finalised for quite some time and negotiations were successfully concluded between the Indian and French governments back in February 2013. We are now waiting for the green light which we hope will be given in the very near future. Trishul, which as you rightly say was dropped, was one of four programmes within India’s Integrated Guided Missile Programme which also included Akash, Prithvi and Nag. SR-SAM will be a larger, much more powerful, more technically advanced weapon with significantly greater range and overall capability than Trishul. No helicopter version is planned as SRSAM will be a vertically launched weapon intended for ground tracked/wheeled vehicles for the IAF and on ships for the Indian Navy. It is also highly suitable to meet the Indian Army’s short range air defence requirements as well. SP’s: Are you giving any assistance for India’s Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) project? MBDA: Yes we are very closely involved with this project in proposing MBDA’s Mistral MANPADS system. The fire-and-forget Mistral missile has been remarkably successful around the world and has chalked up a 96 per cent success rate in over 4,600 firings. Deployed in the Mistral MANPADS system, we are confident that its range of features and operational advantages make it the ideal solution for the Indian armed forces. What is more, should the weapon be selected, MBDA is in a position to advance an industrialisation solution which could see the missile produced in India with all the transfer of technology that this implies. Given that this is the same missile as deployed by India’s ALH Rudra helicopter, such a solution would also offer India significant logistics advantages as far as

stockpile management and inventory control is concerned. SP’s: What is the progress on the integration with Jaguar of the Indian Air Force with Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM)? MBDA: We’re making excellent progress with ASRAAM and, as has been reported, this highly advanced air dominance weapon has been selected by the IAF. However, at this moment it is still too early to talk about integration. SP’s: What are your long-term plans for India? How do you plan to nurture the market here? MBDA: Our long-term plans remain unchanged, namely supporting India’s immediate requirements with a range of our most advanced guided weapons solutions while continuing to build on our network of industrial partners, both public and private, within the Indian defence sector. SP’s: There is a move to support Indian students with scholarship for study in France. Could you explain how this would help MBDA? MBDA: As explained, we have a long-term strategy with regard to India, a strategy based on partnership. We recognise that this also means investing in Indian talent. This recently announced scholarship will support Indian students studying at ISEASUPAERO, one of France’s top academic institutions as far as the aeronautics sector is concerned. Of course the immediate benefit will be to the young students themselves, providing a major boost in starting or advancing their careers. However, we would hope that some would eventually work with us as on joint projects with India as we further develop our industrial ties.  SP



Mine-resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles The requirement of MRAPs in India will remain in the foreseeable future. The need is not only to refine our concepts and measures of area dominance but also develop and provision mine-protected vehicles that provide better protection, in line with the increasing capabilities of the terrorists and insurgents. Photograph: SP Guide Pubns

Tata’s MPV

  Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


n this era of insurgencies, terrorism, proxy wars and employment of irregular forces, the use of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles by armies around the world has been on the increase. In such environment, the casualties from mines and improvised explosive devices are usually more than bullet injuries. The Indian Army has been fighting in such environments for over past two decades as in Sri Lanka when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was deployed there. The history of MRAPs is old and in earlier time primarily comprised armoured fighting vehicles deployed for such use. The earliest deployments of armoured fighting vehicles designed to specifically counter mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were during the six-year Bush War in Rhodesia, vehicles that later were developed upon by South African Defence Forces.

Casualties As per the Landmine Monitor, at least 73,576 casualties in 119 countries had occurred between 1999 and 2009. These included at least 5,197 casualties caused by mines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war. The figures for India, during the same period, are mentioned as 2,931. However, it may be recalled that IPKF had to battle extensive network of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) mines and IEDs including claymore mines fitted on trees and in foliage and that while over 1,900 died in the fighting, more were injured, some losing limbs, due to mine and IED injuries. In recent years, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) have been having periodic, sometime

heavy casualties while battling Maoists, the core group of Maoists having been trained extensively in mine, IED and explosives by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), facilitated by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

American Experience America’s MRAP programme is operated under the US Marine Corps Systems Command. The Marine Corps had originally planned to replace all Humvee vehicles in the combat zones with MRAP vehicles, but apparently went for a mix. With the engagements in Afghanistan, $1.1 billion was earmarked to accelerate production of the MRAPs and induct them into Afghanistan. As a result, the number of casualties and fatalities due to roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan came down by almost 90 per cent, partially due to the increased number of MRAPs. These MRAPs were big (14tonne weight) and could withstand most of the then bombs and IEDs the insurgents were using. Over the years, the insurgents have been forced to use heavier IEDs and bombs to target the MRAP but the number of incidents has decreased and the Taliban have resorted more to use smaller antipersonnel bombs that target soldiers on patrol. In June 2009, the US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a production contract for 2,224 MRAP all-terrain vehicles to Oshkosh Defense for immediate induction into Afghanistan and in October 2009, the first M-ATV was shipped to Afghanistan: The US categorises MRAP in three categories: Category I, as mine-resistant utility vehicle (MRUV) that are smaller, Continued on page 20

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1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> border management

Managing the Land Borders Digital imaging technology, miniaturised computers and numerous other technological advances over the past decade have contributed to rapid advances in aerial surveillance hardware such as micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), forward-looking infrared (IR) and high-resolution imagery capable of identifying objects at extremely long distances. Photograph: NAL

  Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch


ndia has a land border with six countries over varied terrain, totalling about 15,072 km; 5,852 km combined with China-Nepal-Bhutan, 3,431 km with Pakistan, 1,452 km with Myanmar and 4,337 km with Bangladesh. A major portion of the land border is along difficult terrain and passes through high and very high altitudes. Then there is a coastline of 7,863 km in addition to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 102 million sq km. We have an unstable neighbourhood and Pakistan as the epicentre of global terrorism has subjected India to cross-border terrorist strikes over the past two decades both across the land border and coastline. Difficult terrain and hostile weather make border security difficult. Infiltration and illegal immigration occur at rapid frequency. The land borders are manned by a mix of forces like the Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Assam Rifles (AR), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), etc—all not operating under the Army or for that matter under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The coastline and EEZ are guarded by the Navy and Coast Guards. Then there is the issue of guarding the airspace to prevent recurrence of incidents like the clandestine arms drop at Purulia. India began fencing the 190-km border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) during 2001. In 2001, some 40-km of fencing was laid and the overall task as per government officials is likely to be completed over the next two years. However, there are many impediments because of firing by Pakistanis and infiltrators using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to make entries for infiltration and clandestinely laying mines to hinder construction. Portions of the fence gets annually destroyed in avalanches, requiring relaying. Heavy snows in North Kashmir during winter also cause major portions of the fence to get buried completely, rendering it ineffective. In the plains sector, Pakistan has resorted to tunnelling under the fence for both purposes of infiltration and smuggling. On the IndiaBangladesh front, of the 3,000-km fencing sanctioned, close to 75 per cent of the work has been completed but disputes between the two countries have arisen over some 180 sites on the border, where fencing needs to be done up to 150 yards of the zero line. Laying of IEDs or mines along the fence is not feasible because of cultivation in many areas permitted right up to the border and locals residing in close proximity to the border. In foreign countries, border fences have extensive provision of floodlighting. Solar panels, rechargeable batteries and diesel generators provide the system with enough power to run off the power grid. Operators can pan and tilt the cameras remotely whenever any suspicious activity is observed. However, such arrangements are not feasible along an active border with an enemy like Pakistan that resorts to unprovoked firing repeatedly. While the ageold tripwires are very much in use, modern electronic surveillance involves detection of movement, and is largely based on seismic,


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

NAL Golden Hawk 450 MAV

acoustic, inductive sensors and infrared sensors. Seismic sensors detect vibration on the ground and they can distinguish between people and vehicles. Inductive sensors detect metal in an object that is moving, while an infrared sensor can detect human body heat from a distance of up to 100 metres. There are many kinds of conventional sensor technologies, each having its advantages and disadvantages. In India, the unattended ground sensors (UGS) are mostly imported but being primarily meant for guarding houses/premises, are rendered ineffective with snowfall. Unfortunately, we have indigenously not been able to come up with one suitable for snow conditions. The fencing along the border has been fitted with cameras and the consoles are with requisite commanders though limitations exist during adverse weather and visibility conditions do exist. This capability is beefed up with night vision devices (NVDs), night vision goggles (NVGs) and hand-held thermal imagers (HHTIs) but these are always in limited supply and not across the board with every boot on ground. Use of radars, as done abroad to detect smugglers as along the US-Mexico border, has the danger of giving away the electronic signatures of the equipment to the enemy. Besides, radars also have a dead zone. Significantly, electronic surveillance with border dogs is a successful mix. Use of UAVs for border surveillance is being done but in limited numbers due to paucity of resources and restrictions on flying multiple UAVs simultaneously in the same area/zone. Additionally, the induction of the battlefield surveillance system (BSS) and battlefield management system (BMS) in the Indian Army are still a few years away and hence, the UAV picture cannot be delivered directly to the cutting-edge soldier on the ground that can prevent the breach or intrusion. The UAV picture goes to the ground control station and only then the information is conveyed to the cutting edge soldier, by when its actionable value may be lost. More importantly, what has been lacking is the delayed induction of the mini-aerial vehicles (MAVs)

that are hand launched and are planned to be inducted into the infantry. Digital imaging technology, miniaturised computers and numerous other technological advances over the past decade have contributed to rapid advances in aerial surveillance hardware such as micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), forward-looking infrared (IR) and high-resolution imagery capable of identifying objects at extremely long distances. America’s MQ-9 Reaper UAV used for domestic operations, carries cameras that are capable of identifying an object the size of a milk carton from altitudes of 60,000 feet, and has forward-looking IR that can detect the heat from a human body at distances of up to 60 km. Britain is working on plans to build a fleet of surveillance UAVs ranging from MAVs to UAVs capable of carrying tasers for crowd control or weapons for killing enemy combatants, latter implying a weaponised drone invaluable against terrorists infiltrating across borders. The US military is developing swarms of tiny unarmed drones that can hover, crawl and even kill targets. These micro-UAVs will work in swarms to provide

In India, the unattended ground sensors (UGS) are mostly imported but being primarily meant for guarding houses/ premises, are rendered ineffective with snowfall. Unfortunately, we have indigenously not been able to come up with one suitable for snow conditions.

complex surveillance of borders and battlefields. Aside from a laser weapon they can also be armed with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision targeting. While our Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing UAVs and MAVs and has produced the ‘Razzler Dazzler’ for crowd control, it would be useful to mate ‘Razzler Dazzler’/ laser weapon with the MAV ab initio rather than looking into this aspect after a few years later. Interestingly, there is a whole range of micro mini-UAVs available off-theshelf that can tremendously boost surveillance capabilities at the cutting edge. For example, the lighter than air surveillance (LTAS) systems have almost unlimited flight time, can carry up to 200 pounds (plenty for a point-and-click SLR camera or full-size high-definition video camera) and can reach up to 2,500 feet in the air. Then there are a range of fixed-wing and rotarywing MAVs that are also available in the world market. For effective coastal surveillance, the coastline necessarily must have a no gap radar and electronic surveillance, satellite cover and also own vessels, Navy, Coast Guard and civilian must be fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) and geo-location devices, RFID being the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. In addition comes the aerial surveillance cover combined with sea patrolling. The requirement really is not only to optimise technology but more significantly coordinating and matching the technology with the human resources deployed at the border. It goes without saying that considering the expanse of our borders, it is undoubtedly an expensive affair. Large defence firms are ready to provide the ‘virtual fence’ that applies software structures to the security system but at an exorbitant price. In our case, a holistic assessment of what technology should be applied where and in what measure must be weighed vis-à-vis national security requirements. It would be prudent to focus on: early induction of the BSS and BMS to enable provision of real-time information at the cutting edge; fielding of MAVs and micro mini UAVs with the infantry; mating indigenous MAVs under development with the ‘Razzler Dazzler’/laser weapon, progressing to a weaponised MAV; develop/provision appropriate UGS for snow conditions; review scaling of night vision devices (NVDs), night vision googles (NVGs) and hand-held thermal imagers (HHTIs) should be reviewed. Faced with infiltration, cross border terrorism and illegal immigration since the past several years, protecting our borders is a vital requirement for our national security. As the asymmetric war is likely to heighten with the implosions within Pakistan and fallout of post-2014 withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan on the region, there is an urgent need to upgrade our border security, using the best technology. Our DRDO and private industry should focus on this aspect. The policy-makers need to review this critical requirement holistically.  SP



Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the Army A global race to develop UAVs is on and as per one estimate, global spending on UAVs is likely to be more than $94 billion by 2021. Army has many roles for the UAVs like reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition, intelligence gathering, damage assessment, search and rescue, aerial command centres and extending the communication links by networking. During peacetime, UAVs are valuable in border management, counter-insurgency operations, urban warfare and anti-terrorism. Photograph: Northrop Grumman

  Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand


here have been attempts in the past to develop a remotelycontrolled aerial platform, as soon as powered flight achieved some maturity, around World War I, which included the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane. During World War II, many more were developed as aerial targets and to fly attack missions. Germany also got into the race and developed and employed some for operations. Jet engines were tested post-World War II like the Teledyne Ryan Firebee I. Other pioneers were Beechcraft with their Model 1001 for the US Navy in 1955. But the development really accelerated during the Vietnam War when the US Air Force became concerned of losing pilots over enemy territory. They were then called remotely-piloted vehicles (RPVs). The pace of development increased with the shooting down off the United States’ spy plane U-2 with Francis Gary Powers as pilot. Israel had the honour of developing the first modern battlefield RPV called Tadiran Mastiff in 1973, which had good endurance for loitering and transmitted live video streaming. The US as usual pioneered all innovative technological drives and RPVs are no exception, which have now developed into a very important pillar of aerial reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering. This was clearly demonstrated during the two Iraq wars and now in Afghanistan. The US has also added the role of an attacking platform by arming them with missiles like Hellfire. In the US, they are extensively used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), defence forces and homeland security. The term unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) came into usage in the early 1990s and replaced RPVs. The US Department of Defense defined it as “A powered aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator and uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expended or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or a non-lethal payload. Ballistic or semi-ballistic vehicles, cruise missiles and artillery projectiles are not considered UAVs.” About 80 countries have acquired UAV technology. China and Pakistan have also developed their own UAVs. China is estimated to have at least 25 separate UAV systems under development. More than 600 programmes are under development worldwide. Iran has developed its indigenous UAV called the ‘Ambassador of Death’, which has a range of up to 960 km. Hezbollah launched an Iranian-made drone into Israeli territory, where it was shot down by the Israeli Air Force in October 2012. A global race to develop UAVs is on and as per one estimate, global spending on UAVs is likely to be more than $94 billion by 2021.

UAVs for the Army Army has many roles for the UAVs like reconnaissance, surveillance and target

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-5B Hunter

acquisition (RSTA), intelligence gathering, damage assessment, search and rescue, aerial command centres and extending the communication links by networking. During peacetime, UAVs are valuable in border management, counter-insurgency operations, urban warfare and anti-terrorism. UAVs come in various sizes depending upon their role. Tactical UAVs can be hand held at platoon level and progressively get bigger as their role enlarges from tactical to operational to strategic role. UAVs are also called unmanned aerial system as it includes the ground control infrastructure. The US Army classifies them as: Tier-I: small UAV like RQ-11B Raven; Tier-II: short-range tactical UAV like RQ-7B Shadow 200; and Tier-III: medium-range tactical UAV like MQ-5A/B Hunter, IGNAT/IGNAT-ER or the extended-range multi-purpose (ERMP) MQ-1C Gray Eagle. AeroVironment’s Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) lightweight UAVs: The RQ11BRaven is a lightweight UAV designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for both military and commercial applications requiring low-altitude reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. Raven can be operated manually or programmed for autonomous operation. Raven B is the standard small UAV for the US Army, USSOCOM, and the US Marines. Over 11,000 Raven airframes have already been delivered to customers worldwide. With a wingspan of 4.5 feet and a weight of 1.9 kg, the hand-launched Raven provides aerial observation, by day or night, at line-of-sight ranges of 10 km or more with an altitude of 30-152 metres AGL. The Raven delivers real-time colour or IR imagery to ground control and remote viewing stations, as well as IR laser illumination of ground targets. AeroVironment’s tactical ISR portfolio also consists of lightweight UAVs like Puma AE, Wasp AE and Shrike vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) designed for providing ISR

and communications, including real-time tactical reconnaissance, tracking, combat assessment and geographic data, directly to a small tactical unit or individual soldier. AeroVironment’s common ground control system for all their UAVs allows the operator to control the aircraft manually or programme it for GPS-based autonomous navigation using operator-designated waypoints-way-points. The UAVs are man-portable and can be assembled and launched in less than five minutes. Puma AE (All Environment) is designed for land-based and maritime operations which is capable of landing on land as well water, with a flight endurance of 3.5+ hours and a communications range of 15 km. Wasp AE is the all-environment version of AeroVironment’s battle proven Wasp III. It is specially designed for maritime and land operations with a communications range of five km and flight endurance of 50 minutes. Shrike VTOL is a man-packable, vertical take-off and landing system, designed for frontline day/night ISR. AAI (an operating unit of Textron Systems) Shadow: The Shadow 200 tactical UAV is a state-of-the-art platform, in service with the US Army and Marine Corps for carrying out reconnaissance, surveillance,

UAVs come in various sizes depending upon their role. Tactical UAVs can be hand held at platoon level and progressively get bigger as their role enlarges from tactical to operational to strategic role.

targeting and assessment. Designated as the RQ-7B by the US Army, the UAV enables brigade commanders to see, understand and act decisively when time is critical. The aircraft can see targets up to 125 km away from the brigade tactical operations centre and recognise tactical vehicles up to 8,000 feet above the ground at more than 3.5 km slant range, day or night. The Shadow ground control station transmits imagery and telemetry data directly to the joint surveillance and target attack radar system, all sources analysis system and advanced field artillery tactical data system in near real time. Northrop Grumman (TRW/IAI) BQM-155/RQ-5/MQ-5 Hunter: The Hunter was based on the Israel Aircraft Industries’ (IAI) Impact UAV. TRW provided systems integration and management of the Hunter in the USA. The BQM-155A takes off from normal runways but boosterassisted zero-length launches are also possible. The major payload items are a combined TV/FLIR sensor and a data relay system. Mission radius for single vehicle flights is about 150 km, which can be extended to 300 km using a second Hunter as airborne relay. Maximum endurance is about 12 hours. The UAV lands like a conventional aircraft (it can optionally use its retractable hook to engage arrestor wires), but a parachute system is available for emergencies. In January 2003, Northrop Grumman developed a repackaged version of their brilliant anti-tank guided anti-armour submunition, which can be deployed by suitably modified Hunters and were delivered to the US Army during 2003. In 2003, Northrop Grumman purchased the Hunter programme from TRW. Subsequently, the company developed the MQ-5B, a Hunter variant which has been further optimised for the multi-mission role. Hunter is to be replaced by MQ-1C Grey Eagle probably by 2014. Northrop Grumman’s Bat UAV: Bat is a family of multi-mission UAVs designed for tactical missions such as counter IED, communications relay, signals intelligence, electronic warfare which has a land and a maritime version. Bat has flown a large variety of payloads such as electro-optical/ infrared (EO/IR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), signal intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare (EW) and communications relay. It is launched from a rail launcher and recovers into a portable net. It can be operated from single laptop that runs the ground control stations. Bat is also beyond line of sight (BLOS) capable. Bat12 version can carry a payload and Communications up to 34 kg, has a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft MSL, maximum speed at level flight 89 knots true airspeed (ktas) and loiter speed of 60 ktas.Bat12+2 has marginally higher capability like it can carry a payload of up to 45.3 kg and the maximum altitude is 17,000 ft. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Gray Eagle UAV: GA-ASI’s Gray Eagle extended range/multi-purpose UAV is an essential part of the US Army’s Aviation

1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> Unmanned / modernisation Modernisation Plan, which is an advanced derivative of the combat-proven Predator. Gray Eagle can carry out the role for persistent RSTA and attack operations. It has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet and carries 488 kg of internal and external payload. The aircraft can carry multiple payloads aloft, including EO/IR with laser designation, SAR, communications relay and four Hellfire missiles. Its mission set includes but is not limited to wide-area intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance, convoy protection, improvised explosive device detection and defeat, close air support, communications relay and weapons delivery missions. IAI’ Searcher UAV: Searcher is a multimission tactical UAV which can carry out the role of surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, artillery adjustment of fire and damage assessment. Searcher has been constantly improved from Mk1 to MkII and MkIII. The Searcher Mk III has multiple operational configurations, SAR/ground moving target indicator (GMTI), SIGINT and EO/IR and is built from composite materials to reduce radar detection. It has a maximum speed of 198 kmph, maximum altitude of 23,000 ft, can carry a maximum payload of 120 kg, has endurance of 18h and the mission radius is 350 km. IAI’ Heron: Heron 2 is the largest medium-altitude long-endurance UAV built in Israel. It has a wingspan of just under 26 metres, length of 14 metres, and the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 4,650 kg with a typical mission payload of 1,000 kg. It has an operational altitude of 45,000 ft and is capable of missions of more than 36 hours duration. The system has been dubbed Eitan

About 80 countries have acquired UAV technology. China and Pakistan have also developed their own UAVs. China is estimated to have at least 25 separate UAVs systems under development. More than 600 programmes are under development worldwide. by the Israel Air Force and is the fourth-generation system based on leading-edge technology with new fully automatic take-off and landing features. It provides deep-penetration, wide-area, real-time intelligence to national agencies, theatre commanders and lower echelons with primary role being intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition. IAI’ Mosquito: Mosquito is a microUAV, providing real-time imagery data in restricted urban areas. The system offers a fully automated flight with GPS based “in flight” way point control. The Mosquito is hand or bungee launched and lands on its belly. The mission radius is three km, endurance 0.7 hour, and ceiling up to 500 ft AGL, loiter speed 33 ktas, max speed 60 ktas and maximum payload weight of 150 gm with a wingspan of 0.35 metre.

China: China is also developing many types of UAVs in the heavy- and mediumrange. China displayed Pterodactyl at the Paris Air Show in 2013, which is its first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). They also have a scaled down version of Global Hawk. PLA Army BZK-006 (WZ-6 or K/JWR6?) tactical reconnaissance UAV was on display during the 60th National Day military parade on October 1, 2009, onboard its launch vehicle. Each station can control two UAVs at a same time. It has a length of 4.3 metres, height 1.5 metres, endurance of 12 hours and uses rocket assisted takeoff and parachute landing. BZK-007 UAV has also been in service with PLA Army and Navy as a tactical reconnaissance UAV (dubbed BZK007). It can carry a variety of equipment including daylight/IR TV cameras, high definition CCD camera, as well as remote sensors of different spectral bands or even SAR. It has a maximum take-off weight of 750 kg, mission payload is 70 kg and the maximum level speed is 240 kmph. Pakistan: A recent press release stated that Pakistan had inducted its first fleet of “indigenously developed UAVs, namely Burraq and Shahpa for the Army and the Air Force. Shahpar is a tactical canard pusher UAV which is claimed to be an autonomous UAV with an eight hour endurance, payload of 50 kg and could relay data in real time out to a range of 250 km. Observers believe that Burraq appears to be a Pakistani variant or a development of the Chinese Rainbow CH-3 UCAV, but little else is known. Reports regarding Pakistan developing an UCAV, named Burraq, dates back to 2009. Burraq based on CH-3 specifications, would be able to carry around 100 kg payload and has an endurance of 12 hour. The payload of the

CH-3 is a pair of AR-1 missiles or a pair of FT-5 small diameter bombs. Thus somewhat similar could be expected on Burraq. China has been helping Pakistan in transferring sensitive military technology to them.


US forces in Afghanistan, there has been criticism and debate of different kinds; comfort levels in various models, menacing size inhibiting locals, logistics of fuel consumption, etc. But the fact still remains that the US troops preferred to travel in the MRAP compared to the Humvee for obvious added protection. However, the new US strategy of ‘no boots on ground’ will imply that the MRAP producing companies in the US will henceforth need to rely mostly on exports.

Indian Perspective India has acquired Heron and Searcher from Israel for its armed forces for ISR. However, it does not have UAVs which could be integrated with brigade and below. Recently, the media reported that the Indian Army plans to buy 49 mini-UAVs for the Northern Theatre. They will provide ISR for border management; ceasefire violations and tracking the infiltration of the terrorists. In addition, it was also reported that the Indian Government has cleared the procurement of around 15 Heron UAVs from Israel at a cost of around `1,200 crore. The earlier fleet of both Searchers and Herons are also likely to undergo upgrades. DRDO is developing Rustom series of UAVs where Rustom-1 is MALE class, Rustom-2 is high-altitude longendurance class and Rustom-2 is an UCAV. Rustom’s-1 prototype is being tested and the other two are under development. DRDO has also developed a tactical UAV called Nishant which is in the production stage. Nishant is a highly mobile, compact and easily deployable system that can undertake day/ night battlefield reconnaissance, surveillance and target tracking. It can also help in correction of artillery fire. With an endurance capacity of 4.5 hours, it can attain maximum speed of 185 km per hour. Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force are already using DRDO’s light weight Netra UAV in the Naxalite region since 2012. It is reported that Nishant will also be acquired by them.  SP

Mine-resistant Ambush...continued from page 17 lighter and designed for urban operations; Category II, as the joint explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) rapid response vehicle (JEERV), designed for missions like leading convoys, troop transport, ambulance, explosive ordnance disposal and combat engineering; Category III, that are heavier with seating capacity of six, meant for force protection and dedicated mine- and IEDclearing functions. Some examples in Category I (MURV) are BAE Caiman 4x4, BAE OMC RG-31, BAE RG-33 4x4, Force Protection Cougar H 4x4, International MaxxPro, Textron M1117 Guardian and Oshkosh Truck Alpha: Examples of Category II (JERRV) include Force Protection Cougar-HE 6x6, BAE RG33L 6x6, GDLS RG-31E, Thales Australia Bushmaster IMV, Protected Vehicles Inc Golan, International MaxxPro XL and BAE Caiman 6x6: Example of Category III MRAP is the Force Protection Buffalo MPCV:

Indian Experience Battling insurgency in Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K); the base and advance base workshops of the Indian Army had been working overtime to produce a mine protection vehicle (MPV). Concurrently, India started importing South African ‘Caspier’ vehicles. Some 185 Caspier vehicles were bought in 1999-2001. These have been used to good effect in J&K. However, bomb making skills of the insurgents like Maoists have improved and there is need to provision improved MPVs to security forces in counter-insurgency operations: Mahindra Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV-1): This 18-passenger capacity, 230 HP diesel engine MPV was developed in 2010 by Defense Land Systems, a joint venture of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited and BAE Systems of the US. Using a V-shaped steel hull, it can withstand 21 kg TNT equiv-


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

alent explosion under the crew compartment and provides protection to passengers from 5.56mm and 7.62 small arms protection from a distance of 10 metres. Its high torque and power to weight ratio enables operations in mountainous terrain. In August 2011, this MPV was inducted with the CRPF battling Maoists in Jharkhand: Tata Motors MPV: This is a 14-tonne MPV called ‘Aria’ is a four-wheel drive can and can seat eight persons. Developed in 2012, the company claims it can withstand bigger blasts because of its greater weight: Ashok Leyland MPV: The Ashok Leyland Defence Systems MPV is a 4x4 multipurpose all-terrain vehicle with high mobility. It offers protection to passengers against 5.56mm and 7.62mm small arms fire, 14 kg TNT blast equivalent under the hull and 21 kg equivalent blast under the wheels. The MPV can be fitted with a remote controlled weapon station armed with up to 12.7mm calibre weapon. The gunner’s position too can be protected with an armour kit. The vehicle has high mobility with a power to weight ratio of 13.5 kW/T and can attain a maximum speed of 90 kmph with a range of 1,000+ km.

Indian FICV Project The Indian Army’s hunt for the future infantry combat vehicle (FICV) intended to replace the Indian Army’s 2,600 BMP-2 vehicles at an estimated cost of `50,000 crore, appears delayed. In early 2010, the MoD invited Tata Motors, the Mahindra Group, Larsen and Toubro and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to submit proposals to develop a FICV. However, the Acquisitions Wing of the MoD had not announced any criteria for selection and going by reports, plans to cancel the tender and go for re-tendering. This implies a delay by few more years by the time the BMP-2 will be replaced.

China is yet to taste real insurgency and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is so far safe from mine and IEDs. But China has already developed and produced the CS/VP3, which is an APC in the MRAP category designed by Chinese Company Poly Technologies. It was showcased in 2012 at a defence exhibition in Malaysia. The CS/VP3 has a carriage capacity of 2 + 10 and is capable of selfrecovery. With a combat weight of 15,000 kg, maximum speed of 100 kmph and range of 800 km, it provides protection from small arms (7.64mm and 7.63 AP) and 16 kg TNT equivalent blast. It can mount twin 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns:

Deployment of MRAPs/MPVs Deployment of MRAP vehicles every time and everywhere is not without problems and not without debate. This has been the case in India too. The induction of MPVs in the Maoist areas brought down Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) casualties but then the insurgents started using greater volume of explosives (up to 80-100 kg), as was the practice with the LTTE and since the core group of Maoists was trained by the LTTE. The other factors were the paucity of security forces in the Maoists areas, which precluded effective area domination and gave time to Maoists to dig, lay explosives and hide all signs at leisure. Maoists have easy access to explosives and detonators because of large-scale mining in the area, both legal and illegal. Availability of MPV also tended the security forces to stick to road and tracks instead of cross country movement, enabling Maoists to plan and lay ambushes. So when casualties of CRPF personnel started mounting with MPVs getting blown up, the Director General (DG) CRPF rightly banned the use of MPVs. In J&K where area domination has been effective, employment of MPVs has given good results. Among the

Future India facing a two-and-half front threat is likely to face greater turmoil with China and Pakistan continuing to wage proxy wars against us, increased radicalisation in Pakistan and its likelihood to export more and more terror with withdrawal of the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces from Afghanistan. India also has a unstable neighbourhood with violence ridden Bangladesh and Myanmar, China arming to the hilt the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Myanmar as its proxy and attitude of the China spawned Maoists of Nepal. All this coupled with numerous terrorist organisations operating within India, already being exploited by our enemies bodes a violent future that may get stepped up in case we cannot ably manage the social change of our large population with 65 per cent population below the 35 years age group.

Conclusion The requirement of MRAPs in India will remain in the foreseeable future. We need to provide maximum security against such threats including in the Maoist insurgency areas. The requirement is not only to refine our concepts and measures of area dominance but also develop and provision MPVs that provide better protection, in line with increasing capabilities of terrorists and insurgents.  SP

Sp’s Exclusives / news in brief >>

Tata motors to unveil ‘WhAP’ at Defexpo 2014

Tata Motors will be unveiling a brand new specialty vehicle, the Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP) at Defexpo 2014 next month. The vehicle platform, developed jointly with the DRDO’s Vehicle Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) in Pune, is a mobility platform featuring a Norwegian-built Kongsberg MCT-30-R medium-calibre remote turret sporting a US-built ATK 30mm/40mm Mk44 Bushmaster automatic cannon as a primary weapon and a secondary FN Herstal M240 7.62mm general purpose machine gun. The vehicle also comes integrated with the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin JAVELIN anti-tank guided missile system and a commander’s independent weapon station fitted with a General Dynamics M2HB 12.7mm machine gun. The Kongsberg turret has been integrated with the Tata vehicle and will be unveiled for the first time at the expo in Delhi. The 22.5-26 tonne vehicle sports an 8x8 wheel configuration, a 600hp engine, a maximum forward speed of 100 kmph, minimum grade climbing ability of 30 degrees and a trench crossing ability of 2,000mm. According to literature shared with SP’s, Kongsberg and Tata Motors have agreed to collaborate to demonstrate the concept of the 30mm remote weapon station on the Tata WhAP armoured 8x8 vehicle. Both companies have investing in technical resources to ensure the smooth integration of the turret to the vehicle, with technical exchanges having taken place at each others factories. Sources at Kongsberg said, “The longterm potential will depend in the end-user requirements for such systems on wheeled or tracked vehicles. This initiative forms part of Kongsberg collaboration plan for India and roadmap to “indianisation”. The exhibition at Defexpo 2014 will demonstrate a joint approach to the Indian user and allow them to study the potential of such an approach.” The remote weapon system concept affords soldier protection and survivability, enhanced situational aware-

India test launches Agni-IV nuclear missile

ness, and has proven itself over 25 million accumulated hours of operation, with over 15 million hours in real battle environments. The unveiling of WhAP will be projected at three different levels: (a) the product as a whole, as the fruits of three-way cooperation between a private company, a state-owned entity and a foreign contractor to demonstrate that this model works and can be speedily done, (b) as a demonstration of the private sector’s ability to field speciality vehicles for the huge Army requirements, and finally, (c) to show that a conglomerate approach is the way forward for advanced systems. As reported earlier by SP’s, the Indian Army requires 3,500 light bullet proof vehicles (LBPV), 2,500 infantry mobility vehicles, an unspecified number of light armoured multipurpose vehicles, 500-600 light specialty strike specialist vehicles and 228 light strike vehicles — a total of over 7,000 vehicles of various kinds, and will conceivably require vehicles like the WhAP as well.

Saab to field biggest team yet at Defexpo 2014

DRDO may unveil 130mm Arjun Catapult at DEFEXPO 2014

After successfully demonstrating the first prototype of the Arjun Catapult system to the Indian Army during automotive and firing trials in 2012, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now all set to unveil the system for the first time at Defexpo 2014. Integrated by the Combat Vehicles R&D Establishment (CVRDE) at Avadi near Chennai, the Arjun Catapult was developed by integrating a Russian-origin M-46 130mm ‘Catapult’ gun to a modified Arjun chassis and automotive system. DRDO sources say, “The product is ready for its debut at Defexpo, but further improvements are under incorporation to firm-up the configuration for production and release to the user, which may take a few more months and final trials.” While the system is not, by any stretch, a long-term solution, it is being pitched by DRDO as an interim gap-filler, to take care of the self-propelled short-

(EOTS) located along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters throughout the flight, while two ships located near the target point tracked the vehicle and witnessed the final event. DRDO DG and Indian Defence Minister’s Scientific Advisor Avinash Chander said the launch is of greater significance as the system was tested in its deliverable configuration with the active participation of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) personnel.”The missile is now ready for induction and its serial production will now begin,’’ Chander said.

Indian Army test launches Prithvi II nuclear capable missile

India has successfully test-launched the 4,000-km range nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-IV, from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. Launched from a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed road mobile launcher, the composite solid fuel rocket motor technology-propelled missile hit the target with two digit accuracy, meeting all mission objectives and proving its capabilities. The test-firing represents the missile’s third consecutively successful trial and the last one in the series of development launches. An array of long-range radars and electro-optical tracking systems

range artillery requirements of at least three regiments while the larger acquisition plan picks up pace for 155mm self-propelled and towed artillery. The Arjun chassis was earlier the basis for the Bhim self-propelled howitzer, based on the Denel T-6 turret. Efforts to replace the gun have yielded no result so far, with an earlier endeavour resulting in a single-vendor situation with the Samsung Techwin K9 turret.

The Indian Army has successfully test-fired the Prithvi-II nuclear capable missile from launch complex III of the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur, off the Odisha coast. Carried out by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) under supervision of the scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the launch achieved all its targeting and technical parametres set out for the training exercise. An SFC spokesperson said the test launch was carried out as a culmination to a strategic training exercise. “The aim of this exercise was to validate our readiness by undertaking launches in various contingencies,’’ the spokesperson said.

Swedish firm Saab, fresh after the delight of winning a major fighter competition in Brazil, will be fielding its largest yet team and display this year at Defexpo 2014. After making a big splash with several new systems at Defexpo 2012, the company returns with a series of products covering the land, air, naval and civil security domains at Defexpo 2014, which will include the RBS 70 NG (which is in the final stages of the VSHORADS competition against the Igla-S of Russia and MBDA Mistral), BAMSE medium range, all-weather capable air defence system, RBS15 longrange fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile, AUV 62-MR, autonomous underwater vehicle for enduring mine reconnaissance, AUV 62-AT autonomous underwater ASW target, SOTACS multispectral camouflage suit for soldiers providing protection against detection from visual observation, night vision devices and thermal sensors, Carl Gustaf multi-role, man-portable shoulder-fired weapon, Small Arms Virtual Indoor Trainer, IDAS EW system designed to provide self-defence in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments, and LEDS 50 active protection for land vehicles.  SP

a 16-tonne capacity heavy drop system (HDS) to enhance the Indian army’s ability to airdrop military stores, including vehicles, supplies and ammunition. Developed by DRDO’s Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), three system prototypes have also met performance parameters during two successful drops at an undisclosed location. Primarily designed for paradropping of military vehicles, including BMP class and ammunition trolleys from IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft, the system is claimed to be an extension of technology developed by DRDO for P-7 HDS, the 7t capacity HDS already accepted by the Indian Army. Indian Defence Minister’s Scientific Advisor and Department of Defence R&D Secretary, Avinash Chander, said the system offers ‘drop and drive’ capability and once inducted, would considerably enhance the capabilities of armed forces.

Visit Of Army Chief General Bikram Singh to Singapore

DRDO Heavy Drop System for Indian Army The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed

The Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh proceeded on an official visit to

—SP’s Special Correspondent For complete versions log on to:

Singapore from January 21-23, 2014. The visit by the Army Chief assumes special significance in the light of enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries and our growing relationship with Singapore. Both sides have indicated a desire to work towards building a mutually beneficial defence cooperation. Military-to-military cooperation between the two countries encompasses joint artillery and mechanised forces exercises held in India, exchange of visits, training courses and attendance in various training events, seminars and conferences. During the visit, the Army Chief will be interacting with the senior hierarchy of Singapore including the Minister for Defence. His discussion with Singapore authorities will cover a range of fields including security and defence engagement. In addition, he will be visiting important Singapore Armed Forces training establishments.

US Army conducts live fire drill using Stryker M1135 NBCRVs The US Army’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (1ABCT) personnel have conducted a live fire exercise using the Stryker M1135 nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicles (NBCRVs) at the Rodriguez live fire complex in South Korea. Primarily aimed at building and maintaining soldiers’ operational readiness and effectiveness in operating NBCRVs, the week-long semi-annual training event prepared the qualifying crews to handle their assigned weapon systems. Around 20

1/2014   SP’s Land Forces


>> news in brief M1135 crews participated in the training, which included 18 crews from 23rd Chemical Battalion, and two crews of the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1ABCT and 2nd Infantry Division.

Israel test launches Arrow 3 ballistic missile The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) has conducted a successful flight test of the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea. Carried out in collaboration with officials from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the launch represents the second flyout test of the interceptor, and did not involve interception of a dummy missile. The test-firing also marks a significant milestone in Arrow-3’s development, and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the emerging ballistic missile threat. An unnamed senior defence source was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying the interceptor obtained hypersonic speed following launch, and reached an altitude of 100 km entering space. “It followed various objects, such as stars, and gained further altitude. Its engine stopped after six minutes,” the source said.

Spanish Army receives two EC135 helicopters

The Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) has taken delivery of two EC135 multi-role helicopters from Airbus Helicopters at its facility in Spain. Representing the first two EC135s delivered as part of the contract awarded by the Spanish armament procurement agency in December 2013, the helicopters are expected to fulfil the army’s pressing requirement to provide its combat pilots with advanced

>> Show Calendar 6-9 February DEFEXPO 2014 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India 19-20 February Defence Logistics 2014 Copthorne Tara, London, UK 19-21 February AUSA Winter Von Braun Center, Huntsville, AL, USA 26-27 February Border Security Conference Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, Sofia, Bulgaria conference/border-security

3-5 March Integrated Air and Missile Defence The Swedish Air Defence Regiment, Halmstad, Sweden 24-26 March Future Artillery 2014 Kensington Close Hotel, London, UK 14-17 April 2014 Defence Services Asia (DSA 2014) PWTC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


SP’s Land Forces   1/2014

training in tactical missions. The contract covers delivery of a total of eight EC135 helicopters, and a logistics package that will support fleet sustainability in future. Airbus Helicopters Espana CEO, Francisco Verge, said: ‘’The EC135 meets the requirements of the Spanish armed forces in full, and this contract is another show of confidence in us on the part of the Spanish Ministry of Defence.’’

Singapore and New Zealand armies conduct exercise Thunder Warrior 2014

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is conducting a joint artillery exercise, codenamed Thunder Warrior 2014, along with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) at the Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand. Around 400 personnel from the 21st and 24th Battalions, Singapore Artillery (SA) are participating in the exercise, which started on 13 January 2014. The SAF troops carried out a battalion live-firing exercise using the Primus self-propelled howitzer (SSPH) in collaboration with the gunners from the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery, (NZDF). The live-fire drill was witnessed by Singapore’s Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing, who also interacted with SAF troops participating in the exercise. The exercise is scheduled to conclude on January 25, 2014.

China plans to establish first joint military command system The Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China is planning to establish a joint operational command for a more coordinated and combat-capable force to efficiently respond to a crisis. China Daily cited the ministry as saying that the joint operational command system establishment is a basic requirement in an era of information, and that the county has therefore initiated positive pilot programmes in this regard. The new joint operational command will be set up in due course, the state media reported, amidst rising PLA’s disputes over territorial claims in the region, according to Press Trust of India. The move follows the Japanese media reports that China is planning to restructure its seven military regions into five. A joint operations command controlling the army, navy and air force, as well as a strategic missile unit will be created by each of the new military regions, the report said. National Defence University of the People’s Liberation Army professor, Ouyang Wei, said that a joint command system would help the military respond quickly to a contingency.

Iraq requests AGM-114K/R Hellfire missiles sale from US The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of AGM-114K/R Hellfire missiles and associated equipment to Iraq. Under the estimated $82 million sale, Iraq has requested supply of a total of 500 AGM-114K/R Hellfire missiles, Hellfire missile conversion, along with blast fragmentation sleeves, installation kits, containers, transportation, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment. The package also covers publications and technical documentation, engineering and logistics support services, as well as other related elements of logistics and programme sup-

port. Apart from enhancing the Iraq Security Forces’ capability to support current ongoing ground missions, the Hellfire missiles are also expected to be used in future contingency operations.The potential sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner, while directly supporting the Iraq Government and serving the interests of the people of Iraq and the US.

Harris to supply additional Falcon III wideband tactical radios to USSOCOM Harris has been awarded a series of contracts for supply of additional Falcon III manpack and hand-held tactical radios to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).Valued at a combined $18 million, the orders cover delivery of Falcon III AN/PRC-117G and AN/PRC-152A tactical radios to support expansion of deployment of a SOCOM-accredited wideband tactical communications network. The network enables the operators to send and receive tactical voice, video and data, resulting in enhanced situational awareness and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Harris RF Communications Department of Defense business unit President George Helm said the Falcon III wideband radio systems are delivering the tactical internet to the battlefield. “This new network is opening up a world of new combat applications such as collaborative chat, biometric enrollments, video conferencing and video ISR,” Helm said. “These are next-generation capabilities, delivered today, using a proven commercial business model that thrives on competition and innovation.”

Diehl Defence demonstrates ground-based air defence system

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal Editor Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Assistant Group Editor R. Chandrakanth Senior Technical Group Editor Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey Contributors India General (Retd) V.P. Malik, Lt General (Retd) Vijay Oberoi, Lt General (Retd) R.S. Nagra, Lt General (Retd) S.R.R. Aiyengar, Air Marshal (Retd) Vinod Patney, Major General (Retd) Ashok Mehta, Major General (Retd) G.K. Nischol, Brigadier (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, Brigadier (Retd) S. Mishra, Rohit Sharma Chairman & Managing Director Jayant Baranwal Executive Vice President (Planning & Business Development) Rohit Goel Administration Bharti Sharma Creative Director Anoop Kamath Design Vimlesh Kumar Yadav, Sonu Singh Bisht Research Assistant: Graphics Survi Massey Sales & Marketing Director Sales & Marketing: Neetu Dhulia General Manager Sales: Rajeev Chugh SP’s Website Sr. Web Developer: Shailendra P. Ashish Web Developer: Ugrashen Vishwakarma Published bimonthly by Jayant Baranwal on behalf of SP Guide Publications Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, photocopying, recording, electronic, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publishers. Printed in India by Kala Jyothi Process Pvt Ltd © SP Guide Publications, 2014 Subscription/ Circulation Annual Inland: `600  •  Overseas: US$180 Email: Letters to Editor

Diehl Defence successfully demonstrated its ground-based air defence system IRIST SLM in the presence of international experts and military representatives from 16 nations at the Overberg Test Range in South Africa recently. The IRIS-T SLM ground-based air defence system is characterised by its modular design and open system architecture. In the current campaign, IRIS-T SLM consisted of the new CEAFAR radar of CEA Technologies, Australia, a tactical operation centre (TOC) employing both the BMD-Flex command, control and communication system of Terma A/S, Denmark, and the Oerlikon Skymaster battle management system of Rheinmetall Air Defence, Switzerland, as well as the IRIS-T SL launching station with Diehl Defence missiles. All elements were integrated into the system by the Diehl Defence Sensor, Fire, and Weapon Control. IRIS-T SLM detected the low flying target drone of type DO DT-25 and established a stable track which was classified as hostile. The missile was launched at a distance of about 20 km and intercepted the target with a direct hit. During the entire flight, target data updates from the radar were provided to the missile through the data link allowing the infrared seeker to lock onto the target in flight for the endgame. All hardware and software components performed flawlessly.  SP

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SP's Land Forces Issue 01 - 2014  

SP's Land Forces Issue 01 - 2014, Defexpo 2014 Special, Interview: The profession of arms is a calling, rather than being just a job, Modern...

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