Page 1

February-March 2015

See page 12


Volume 12 No. 1


`100.00 (India-Based Buyer Only)



The ONLY magazine in Asia-Pacific dedicated to Land Forces

In This Issue

>> Cover Story

Aero India 2015 Special: Meet us @ Hall B (B3.7)

photograph: PIB

Page 5 Modernisation of Army Air Defence

India’s land-based AD weapons have alarming gaps and the proverbial AD umbrella is leaking heavily which needs immediate rectification Lt General Naresh Chand (Retd) Page 7 Military Helicopters in India The operational diversities of the Indian Military coupled with variety of terrain (from sea level to Siachen Glacier) underline the need for state-of-the-art, modern technology helicopters capable of operating both by day and night Lt General B.S. Pawar (Retd) Page 10 Chinese Military Continues Developing High-altitude Western Frontier The Chinese Government promulgated the ‘Great Western Development’ strategy in 1999, and since then has systematically invested heavily on the logistics and infrastructure development all through western China Dr Monika Chansoria Page 11 The Islamic State — Self-styled Caliphate ISIS has rapidly expanded its control over Iraq and Syria by seizing towns and cities near major supply routes, critical infrastructure and border crossings Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd) Plus SP’s Exclusives News in Brief

14 15

MBT Arjun MK-I tank

Modernisation of the Indian Army The capital budgets, which are meant for procurement of equipment, when analysed for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15, seem to suggest that no significant changes in equipment status of the Army will come about in the near future   Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)


eneral V.K. Singh (Retired), the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), wrote a letter regarding the status of equipment in the Army to the Prime Minister on March 12, 2012. 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 replacements, and holdings of all types of

missiles, anti-tank and specialised ammunition was critically low. 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 two years or so. Adding to the existing shortages is the new raising of the Mountain Strike Corps for our Eastern theatre, which is expected to reduce the army’s reserve stocks called “War Wastage Reserves” in terms of equipment and munitions further. The capital budget, which is meant for procurement of equipment, when analysed for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15, seem to suggest

that no significant changes in equipment status of the Army will come about in the near future. The notable features of arm wise modernisation required in the army and the steps taken, as known through open sources, are given in the succeeding paragraphs with respect to armour, mechanised infantry, artillery, and infantry. Army aviation and Army Air Defence (AAD) have been included in separate articles on military helicopters and modernisation of Army Air Defence respectively.

Armour The Army had equipped two regiments with Arjun tanks out of the 124 Arjun

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Message / Cover story >>

Message on 50 Years of SP Guide Publications

Chief Minister Uttarakhand


It gives me immense pleasure to know that SP Guide Publications is completing 50 years as a publication house regarding aviation and defence sectors. I hope the published article will be useful for the readers and will encourage youth to join our defence forces. I convey my best wishes to the Editor and the staff of the SP Guide Publications for the successful publication of the magazines.


Harish Rawat

The security threats and challenges facing India have increased enormously since the end of the Cold War in 1989 and break up of the erstwhile Soviet Union two years later and finally the economic rise of China, which the Chinese like to term as Peaceful Rise of China. While the old adversarial threats due to unresolved borders remain and have got accentuated in recent times, new threats and challenges like international terrorism, proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir and home-grown insurgencies have been added to the old inventory. Thus the Indian military continues to stress the need

to prepare itself for the full spectrum of warfare. Unfortunately the past decade or so has eroded our preparedness and capabilities due to the complete neglect of the military by an uncaring political leadership and a self-serving bureaucracy. Even military leadership has acquiesced by not protesting strongly enough for political leaders to act. This has led to a situation where the Army is required to face the future challenges and threats with growing obsolescence in virtually all arms of the Army, including armour, artillery, infantry, army air defence and army aviation. Instead of acquiring capabilities for the future we are hard put to maintain the current force levels. A dispassionate analysis would indicate that the voids in equipment and munitions in the Army and lack of modernisation precludes the ability to fight modern wars against well prepared adversaries. Unfortunately the Indian military, at a time when the budgets

main battle tanks (MBT) ordered by it earlier. As a result of the satisfactory feedback by the units and from the tank crews, an additional 124 Arjun Mark II tanks have been ordered subject to satisfactory development of the upgraded Mark II version of the tank for equipping two more regiments. These tanks will have substantially upgraded capabilities of firepower, mobility and protection. The development of Arjun Mark II tank with 43 improvements has commenced and limited technical trials incorporating the improvements have been carried out in Rajasthan. However, due to unsuccessful trials especially concerning the main armament of the tank in which problems are being encountered in integrating the anti-tank guided missiles to fire through the main 120mm tank gun. Further delay is expected in series manufacture of the Arjun Mk II. T-90 tanks have now been fully operationalised and integrated in the armoured regiments. As per media reports the Army

are tight, also continues to be besieged by a mindset regarding the viability of conventional wars in the future despite the Kargil experience in mid-1999 wherein they did not even cross the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir for fear of escalating the conflict. Later on, consequent to the December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament, Operation Parakram was launched wherein the entire Indian military got deployed and postured for a possible conflict on the Western front against Pakistan. However, after remaining at the borders for 10 months the forces pulled back. Senior military officers often express their opinion that state to state, all out wars are a phenomenon of the past and are least likely to occur, yet our planning reflects that we are still stuck in the quagmire of conceiving and war-gaming scenarios of conventional wars as was done in the past. The only difference is that we now call such conventional conflicts as ‘Limited

has till now inducted around 780 T-90 tanks out of a total 1,657 T-90S tanks it eventually wants. The defects in the fire control systems of T-90S tanks due to excessive heat in the turrets during the summers is being remedied through air conditioning of the interior. On September 13, 2013, a major deal was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for the manufacturing of 236 additional T-90 tanks for the Indian Army, worth over `6,000 crore ($940 million). This will be executed by the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory that already has a license from Russia to manufacture T-90 tanks from kits purchased from Russia. Another contract, worth about $470 million has been signed for the deliveries of the Invar missiles, installed on Russianbuilt T-90 tanks. According to local media reports, India plans to purchase 25,000 Invar missiles for its T-90 tanks, including 10,000 to be procured directly from Russia and 15,000 more to be manufactured domestically under a Russian licence.

Wars’. But the reality is that all the wars that India has fought till date since independence were Limited Wars and therefore our thinking and our concepts have not really changed. This is also a result of the lack of a national security strategy from which the national military strategy would flow thus giving us the guidelines for equipping ourselves and for building future capabilities. Operationally the military in India functions in a vacuum with no worthwhile inputs from the political leadership. The nation has recently announced the raising of a Mountain Strike Corps for the Eastern Theatre. However, without adequate equipment and force multipliers to ensure its mobility and firepower in mountainous terrain in the future such an exercise is futile. With large voids existing in the inventory of the Army how would raising another large formation help? Our planners need to seriously re-examine and review the entire issue in light of the delays

Improvements in the Existing Fleet of Tanks The T-72 M1 modernisation programme under Project Rhino will extend the service life of the MBT by 20 years; enhance their accuracy with new fire control system (FCS) whose trials are under way. This will give night-fighting capability through a thermal imager integrated with the tank’s fire control system. This contract is in an advanced stage of being finalised. In the meanwhile 600 T-72 tanks of the Army have been fitted with thermal imaging stand-alone sights (TISAS). Thus about 1,000 remaining T-72 tanks will be fitted with more modern integrated fire control systems. The T-72 tanks are additionally being equipped with new type of explosive reactive armour (ERA) panels which will provide protection against kinetic energy as well as tandem warhead, chemical energy projectiles, along with a laser warning system and new radio sets for better and more secure communications.

which keep occurring with tiresome regularity in our decision making and procurement system. Moreover, the delays in procurements will keep increasing the backlog and will force reorganisation of our force levels and therefore it would be prudent to carry out a holistic review of our requirements based on the availability of money for defence and if need be lower our aims and aspirations and accept the existential reality. This issue of SP’s Land Forces is focused on modernisation of the Indian Army, and includes articles on military helicopters, modernisation of army air defence, China’s development of high-altitude western frontier, and the Islamic State – Self-styled Caliphate.

Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

A new power-pack is also under consideration to further enhance mobility in view of the heavy ERA packages that are being strapped on. An auxiliary power-pack for environmental control and integrated fire detection and suppression system are also being introduced. Gun barrels capable of firing conventional munitions and guided missiles are likely to replace the existing barrels. The modernisation of the T-72 is way behind schedule due to complicated procurement procedures exacerbated by delayed decision-making and in-house disagreements. The T-90, the improved T-72 M1 tanks and Arjun tanks, will constitute India’s armour might in the future till a new MBT is chosen or designed indigenously.

Mechanised Infantry The mechanised infantry is currently equipped with the BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle (ICV) named Sarath. Over 1,500 of these have been manufactured since 1987. A number of variants including

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>> Cover Story photographs: PIB, US army

mortar carries, command posts, ambulances, armoured dozers and engineer and reconnaissance vehicles, including NBC reconnaissance vehicles have been made. The vehicle’s chassis is also modified and developed into versions such as the Nag anti-tank missile carrier (NAMICA) and the Akash air-defence missile system. The Indian Army will upgrade its entire Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty-2 (BMP-2)/2K infantry combat vehicle fleet in an effort to enhance their capability to address operational requirements, then Defence Minister A.K. Antony had announced. In a written response to the Lok Sabha (Parliament), Antony said the estimated `800 crore ($140 million) project involved armament upgrade of BMP-2/2K infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to BMP-2M standard, and acquisition of a new power-pack for the IFV. Upgrades include integration of latest generation fire control system, twin missile launchers and commander’s thermal imaging panoramic sights, anti- tank guided missiles, as well as automatic grenade launchers, upgrading its existing NBC System, fire detection and suppression system, and ERA panels to provide extra protection and a new power-pack. The BMP-2 is also called Sarath in the Indian Army, and is manufactured by Ordnance Factory at Medak under licence from Russia.

Tank T- 90 Bhishma

School at Mhow, in Central India, the Thar desert in Rajasthan and high-altitude locations in India’s Northern and Northeast region. It is learnt that the inking of the import of 44,618 carbines with technology transfer, which have been undergoing an unending series of trials since August 2012, may take longer than expected. The carbine trials were expected to conclude by mid-July 2014 followed by a staff evaluation by the Army to grade the vendors on the performance of their systems. Thereafter, the MoD will open their respective commercial bids, submitted over two years earlier and begin price negotiations with the lowest qualified bidder — or L1 — before inking the deal. This process is likely to be protracted, despite the high expectations of efficiency from the Narendra Modi Government.

Arty Firepower As 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. 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 artillery modernisation continues to stagnate. 155mm towed guns. 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). Over the last few years, several RfPs that were floated for this project were cancelled due to various reasons and then new tenders were floated. Trials have been underway since October 2013. 145




which were being procured from the US through the foreign military sales (FMS) route from BAE Systems, also came under a shadow. The deal is reportedly stuck for want of agreement on the offsets obligations and upward revision in the price intimated to Congress by the US Government from $647 million to $885 million.

Indigenous efforts to manufacture 155mm howitzers by Ordnance Factories

Board to produce a 45-calibre 155mm howitzer based on ToT obtained from Bofors in the 1980s, are now underway. The DAC approved a proposal from the OFB to manufacture 144 pieces of 155mm/45calibre howitzers with the option to acquire another 400 provided the prototypes successfully meet the Army’s GSQR in user trials. Meanwhile, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has embarked on its own venture to design and develop a 155mm howitzer in partnership with a private sector company. The acquisition of 814 truck-mounted guns that has been approved by the Defence

Minister recently will be undertaken under the ‘Buy and Make Indian’ category with ToT. While the first 100 guns will be imported, the remaining 714 will be produced in India. The total project cost is estimated to be `15,750 crore.


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Assault Rifles M777 A2 Howitzer

Senior Artillery officers point out that Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan (FARP), which was mooted in 1999 envisaged the then `5,000-`7,000 crore procurement of over 3,200 of assorted calibre howitzers by the end of the Army’s 14th Five-Year Finance Plan in 2027. This plan has been totally wrecked because of inordinate delays in decision making and procurement.

Infantry The Defence Acquisition Council had approved of a new assault rifle, 5.56mm calibre and a new generation carbine to replace the 9mm carbine which had been weeded out of the army without getting a replacement. The Army’s immediate requirement is for around 1,60,080 close

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 artillery modernisation continues to stagnate

quarters battle (CQB) carbines and over 2,20,000 assault rifles through a combination of imports and licensed-manufacture by the OFB. Some details are given in the succeeding paragraphs

Carbines In August 2012 the process of procuring 44,618, 5.56mm out of a total requirement of about 1,60,080 close quarter battle carbines to replace the outdated 9mm model was set in motion because the Indian Army since 2010 was without a carbine as the Ordnance Factory Board had ceased manufacture of all variants of the WWII 9mm carbines, including ammunition. The tender for the 5.56mm carbines requires each weapon system to weigh less than 3 kg, fire 600 rounds per minute to a minimum distance of 200 m and be capable of operating in extreme temperatures. Picatinny rail-mounted reflex and passive night sights, visible and invisible laser spot designators and multi-purpose detachable bayonets complete their QRs. The selected vendor will be required to transfer technology to the OFB to licence-build CQB carbines and 5.56mm ammunition, for use not only by the Army, but eventually the Central and State police forces. The global manufacturers in the race for the new CQB carbine were Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Galil Ace carbine, Italy’s Beretta with its ARX-160 and USA’s Colt and Sig Sauer. However, the US subsidiary of Swiss gun maker Sig Sauer, which was originally part of the tender with its 516 Patrol Rifle, failed to turn up at the ongoing carbine trials and hence only three manufacturers are currently in the race. These weapons have undergone field trials at the Infantry

Army is also on the lookout for assault rifles (AR) to replace the INSAS 5.56mm Rifles with technologically superior weapons. The MoD issued the tender for 66,000, 5.56mm multi-calibre assault rifles out of a total requirement of 2,20,000 assault rifles in November 2011 to 43 overseas vendors. Five vendors responded positively. The assault rifles were required to weigh no more than 3.6 kg and to have a singular platform with changing parts to convert readily from 5.56 x 45mm to 7.62 x 39mm merely by switching the barrel and magazine for employment in counterinsurgency or conventional roles. In the race are the Czech Republic’s CZ 805 BREN model, Israeli IWI’s ACE 1, Baretta’s ARX 160, Colt’s Combat Rifle and Sig Sauer’s SG551. The latter’s participation, however, remains uncertain as Sig Sauer is under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A transfer of technology to the OFB to locally build the selected rifle is part of the tender.

Light Machine Gun Another weapon under technical evaluation is the 7.62 light machine gun (LMG) which will then be subjected to extensive trials before staff evaluation and further progress. Hence the wait for the new LMG is likely to be longer.

Conclusion It is encouraging to note that India’s security concerns have, for the first time, converged with international security concerns which makes global community understand the need for India to develop and modernise its military capabilities. Defence of a nation and development are complementary. If India aspires for high economic growth and to be a regional/global economic power, its military power must reflect that desire through its ability to protect its interests.  SP



Modernisation of Army Air Defence India’s land-based AD weapons have alarming gaps and the proverbial AD umbrella is leaking heavily which needs immediate rectification   Lt General Naresh Chand (Retd)


rmy Air Defence (AAD) is an important component of modern warfare as air power and air threat is developing rapidly due to improved aeronautics, avionics and armament. UAVs have added another dimension to the threat which started with reconnaissance and surveillance, and has now manifested into armed platforms. The employment of cruise and ballistic missiles make any adversaries’ airpower formidable. The security environment in India’s neighbourhood is always on a dangerous threshold and a short fuse which is proven by the active LOC and IB in the recent past thus it is essential to continuous update and modernise AAD weaponry and manpower.

Current AD Scenario AAD is holding systems of varying vin-

tage ranging from about 50 years old (L70 gun) to the youngest being 20 years old (Tangushka). The remaining gun and missile systems are also more than two decades old. The technology, especially in the field of ammunition, missiles, sensors and active seekers, has advanced very rapidly thus it is necessary to upgrade and replace the existing AD weapon systems at least every 15-20 years so that they remain current. Apart the aspect of weapon obsolescence, there is a factor of shelf life of ammunition and missiles which effects their lethality, accuracy and safety. Considering the vintage, the current AAD picture is rather dismal when reviewed system by system.

L/70 Gun system L/70 is the mainstay of AAD and has been the war horse of AAD since 1964. It was to be replaced by 2000 however there is no

progress. The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) development effort also kept its replacement at a limb for about two decades. Not many gun systems are currently available but a possible choice was Skyshield of Rheinmetall AD but unfortunately the company has been blacklisted by India thus there is no hope even in the distant future for a successor system. Even if a gun is shortlisted, it may take at least five years for the delivery to start. Notionally if 10 regiments have to be provided with the new guns then at the rate of one regiment per year, it will take 10 years to equip all the 10 regiments provided there is no spillover. Thus if new guns are inducted by 2030 the current guns, which are already obsolete, will have to provide AD till then which is impractical. Currently L70 is also being upgraded jointly by BEL and Ordnance Factory, Jabalpur; with electric power lay, and electro-optical sighting

system. The process of induction of this upgraded system is in progress.

23mm Twin gun This is a fair weather gun system which is of more than three decades old however its rate of firing is very good (2,000 rounds per minute).It is suitable for mobile role and employment in the mountains. It is being upgraded by BEL. The upgrade includes power lay and electro-optical sighting system which will enhance its capability manifold and also provide it with night-firing capability.

Schilka System It is a highly mobile system for supporting armour formations and is in service since the early 70’s. Its successor was Tangushka, one regiment of which was procured, but there were many twists and turns for buying additional mounts. The result is that the AAD is stuck with limited equipment which is obso-

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>> modernisation photographs: Rafael, saab

lete and difficult to maintain. The Schilka upgrade has been carried out jointly by BEL with Elbit of Israel which includes a new more powerful engine, digital computer, better electro-optical sighting system and a new fire control radar. The four barrel 23mm gun with a rate of fire of 3,400 rounds per minute has been retained and there is a provision for firing shoulder-fired missiles. The induction has also started. Meanwhile possibilities should be explored for induction of a better system through ‘Joint Venture’ route.

Spyder-SR+SpyderMR launcher

Quick Reaction SAM (QR SAM) System The current system is OSA-AK which is a highly mobile system for the air defence of armour formations. This system is more than 20 years old and needs to be replaced. DRDO’s effort to develop Trishul system did not succeed and a RFP had been issued twice. Hopefully the current RFP will be taken to its logical conclusion.

Systems Available Globally Saab’s ASRAD (Atlas short-range air defence) system -R is a vehicle mounted system which is suitable for the protection of armoured and other units on the move

Spyder SHORAD Missile System of RAFAEL – IAI (Israel) Spyder name is a combination of PYthon and DERby missiles which are integral to the Spyder system. Python has an IR dual waveband electro-optical imaging seeker with lock-on after launch, with infrared counter-countermeasures. Derby has an active radar seeker, lock on before launch and advanced programmable ECCM. Spyder has a maximum range of 15 km and altitude of ZO-9,000 m, can carry out simultaneous engagement of multiple targets, carry out ripple firing, is all-weather and highly immune to countermeasures. The system is claimed to effectively counter all modern aerial threats including aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, UAVs and precision guided weapons. The two operational missiles complement each other in their target detection, tracking and pursuit profile. The surveillance radar EL/M-2106NG ATAR 3D can simultaneously track and engage up to 60 targets, at a range beyond 35 km. and is a part of the CCU. Indian Air Force has already acquired the system. ASRAD-R SHORAD missile system of Saab (Sweden) Saab’s ASRAD-R (Atlas short-range air defence) system is a vehicle-mounted system which is suitable for the protection of armoured and other units on the move. It is designed and produced by Saab in cooperation with Rheinmetall Defence Electronics of Germany. ASRAD-R uses the same unjammable laser guidance Bolide missile of combat-proven RBS 70 system. It can be mounted on almost all type of wheeled and tracked vehicles. ASRAD-R carries ready to fire, four missiles which can be fired within a few seconds of coming to halt. The missiles can be reloaded in less than a minute. Bolide missile is laser beam-riding which provides reliable all-target capability with an intercept range of 8,000 m and an altitude coverage of 5,000 m. The laser-beam guidance is almost impossible to jam, enables short reaction times, engaging multiple targets, has head-on capability with high kill probability at long range and almost ground level altitude. The maximum velocity of the missile is Mach 2. The new Bolide missile, the ASRAD-R system can counter all types of targets, including hard ground targets. Each ASRAD-R unit is equipped with Saab’s HARD radar which is an X-band 3D search and acquisition radar whose small size and lightweight makes it easy to integrate with all type of vehicles. Typically each ASRADR battery has three to four ASRAD-R firing units but can be tailored as per the requirement of the user.


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Tor M1 9M330 SHORAD Systemdesigned by Almaz-Antey of Russia The Tor-M1 SHORAD (SAM-15) is a classic mobile Russian system designed especially for air defence of armoured and other mobile formations. Tor is successor to OSAAK SHORAD (SAM-8) System. It can engage targets from medium to very low altitudes, against many type of aerial targets like helicopters, fighters, UAVs, guided/cruise missiles and precision guided weapon; in an intense jamming environment. A typical Russian air defence battalion consists of 3-5 companies, each equipped with four transporter launcher vehicle (TLVs). Each TLV is equipped with 8 ready to launch missiles, associating radars, fire control systems and a battery command post. The combat vehicle can operate autonomously and can also fire on the move. The system can be brought into action in three minutes and typical reaction time, from target detection to missile launch, could range from 3.4 seconds for stationary positions to 10 seconds while on the move. Each fire unit can engage two separate targets. It has a search radar, a monopulse tracking and engagement radar, and automatic command to line of sight guided missiles. Tor M1 can detect and track up to 48 targets at a maximum range of 25 km. It can engage two targets simultaneously at a range of 1 to 12 km and altitude of 10-6,000 m with a kill probability of 92-95 per cent. It is in service with Russia, China and Iran amongst many others. Tor M2 is a improved version of Tor M1. It is claimed that it can deflect massive enemy air raids in an intense jamming environment and entered service in 2008. Tor M2E is an export version of the Tor M2.

Surface launched advanced mediumrange air-to-air missile (SLAMRAAM) SLAMRAAM is a key player in Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ state-of-theart integrated air and missile defence systems which can counter current and future cruise missile threats, and a wide range of air breathing threats. SLAMRAAM is capable of defending manoeuvring land forces, high-value fixed assets and mass population centres. SLAMRAAM is the US Army’s domestic variant of the Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system (NASAMS system). SLAMRAAM system uses the AMRAAM fire-and-forget missile, a surveillance radar, a fire distribution centre (FDC) and AMRAAM launchers. The SLAMRAAM launcher mounts six AMRAAM missiles on a turreted high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle which provides 360° coverage. The US Army uses the Raytheon AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar to carry out the surveillance and target search, acquisition, identification and tracking functions. The electronically scanned phased array radar uses range gate pulse doppler operation at X-band, has a scan rate of 30 rpm and range of 75 km. The system is integrated with a FDC, mounted on a high mobility vehicle which provides tactical operational control including target detection, identification, threat assessment, target designation and damage assessment. Hawk-AMRAAM air defence system.

Raytheon and Kongsberg Defence have jointly developed the HAWK-AMRAAM air defence system, which combines the capabilities of HAWK and AMRAAM missiles by integrating the system with FDC. The system can include the Sentinel radar and

the HAWK AN/MPQ-61 high power illuminator for target tracking and illumination, although it is possible to hook up with any number of radars and missile systems to the FDC. It has been reported that HAWK has been upgraded and named HAWK21 with the FDC developed by Kongsberg as part of NASAM system. Raytheon jointly with Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, continue to integrate new capabilities into NASAMS to develop and field highly capable and fully integrated solutions. Comparative trials have been carried out on some of the systems like Spyder SHORAD Missile System of RAFAEL – IAI (Israel), ASRAD-R SHORAD missile system of Saab (Sweden), Tor M1 9M330 SHORAD System—designed by Almaz-Antey of Russia but seems to be no further development. Maybe the NDA Government has to take stock of the situation. Medium range SAM (MRSAM) system.

Kvadrat is the current system which is more than 35 years old and has the technology of early 1960’s thus an RFP has been issued but later on withdrawn due to poor response. As DRDO’s Akash has not been found suitable for mobile role, a few regiments of Akash has been contracted for semi-static role. Meanwhile, DRDO has signed a MOU with Israel for the joint development of a missile system of about 70 km. It is meant for Army, Navy and the Air Force. Meanwhile in the interim phase, the AAD may explore the possibility of importing a few regiments of Patriot Advance Capability-3 (PAC-3) from the US through the FMS route. PAC-3 is the obvious choice as it is war proven; has hit to kill technology; can engage aitcrafts, helicopters, UAV’s, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles. It is also deployed with many nations including the US. Shoulder-fired SAM systems. The current system is Igla which is also in service with the Indian Navy and the Air Force. A tri-service RFP was issued and comparative trials have been carried out during 201112 including Saab’s RBS70-NG but there has been no further development.

Conclusion With the rapid development in air power due to fifth-generations fighters, armed UAVs and cruise missiles, it is essential that the complete AD system which includes land, sea and air-based AAD weapons, develops matching ‘anti’ capability. India’s landbased AD weapons have alarming gaps and the proverbial AD umbrella is leaking heavily which needs immediate rectification.  SP

helicopters >>

Military Helicopters in India The operational diversities of the Indian military coupled with variety of terrain (from sea level to Siachen Glacier) underline the need for state-of-the-art, modern technology helicopters capable of operating both by day and night   Lt General B.S. Pawar (Retd)

Present Status

oday military helicopters are an integral part of the land, sea and air operations of modern armies and are being increasingly employed in subconventional operations (counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations) the world over. A typical military helicopter force should have all class of helicopters ranging from light observation to utility/lift (light, medium and heavy) including for specialised roles (attack/armed), as per the operational requirement of a country’s armed forces. The operational diversities of the Indian military coupled with variety of terrain (from sea level to Siachen Glacier) underline the need for state-of-the-art, modern technology helicopters capable of operating both by day and night, in a complex battlefield environment of future. As per reports the armed forces are looking to induct as many as 1,000 helicopters in the coming decade ranging from attack/ armed and high altitude reconnaissance to medium and heavy lift.

Presently the Indian military holds in its inventory approximately 600 helicopters of all types and class including some specialised ones. However, they are mostly old and vintage and few in numbers, far from the quantity required. The light observation helicopters (Chetak and Cheetah) held with the Army, Navy and Airforce have outlived their utility and need immediate replacement.The latest attempt to replace these ageing and obsolescent helicopters has met a similar fate to that of the earlier procurement project of 2004 cancelled in 2008. The trials for the current project were completed in 2013— in fray were the Airbus AS 550 C3 Fennec and the Russian Kamov-Ka 226T helicopters. The decision to cancel this critical project was taken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in August last year after allegations of corruption and technical deviations in the selection process, surfaced during the ongoing VVIP helicopter probe. A fresh RFI has been issued in October last year with the aim of identifying probable Indian vendors including Indian companies forming joint ventures (JVs) with foreign com-


panies. Indian majors like Tatas, Reliance, Mahindra, Bharat Forge, are likely to enter the fray looking at JVs with foreign majors like American-Bell and Sikorsky, RussianKamov, Italian-AgustaWestland and European-Airbus Helicopters. The Navy is also looking to replace its current fleet of Chetak/ modified Chetak-MATCH (midair torpedo carrying helicopter) with a twin engine, 4.5tonne helicopter capable of operating from warship decks, as well as being armed with rockets/guns and lightweight torpedoes. RFI for these has also been floated along with that of the reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH). In the light utility category, the ALH has already entered service with all three Services and Coast Guard. The ALH has also been test evaluated for high altitude operations with the fitment of a more powerful engine ‘Shakti’ being produced jointly by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and French firm Turbomeca. This is a major achievement and will give a boost to helicopter operations in high altitude areas especially Siachen. The induction of the armed version of the ALH (Rudra) has

already commenced with a unit currently under raising for the army – however a major drawback in the Rudra presently is the lack of a suitable anti-tank guided missile in its weapon arsenal. In the mediumlift category the air force holds the MI 8 and the MI 17 Russian helicopters. While the MI 8 fleet is in the process of being replaced by MI-17s, the majority of the existing MI-17 fleet has been upgraded/refurbished in respect of avionics and night capability. Currently 80 MI-17 V5 helicopters are being acquired from Russia—these helicopters are upgraded versions, with glass cockpit, night capability and armament package and will boost the armed forces lift capability. In the heavy-lift category there is nothing worthwhile held with the Indian military, barring a few Russian MI 26 helicopters whose high-altitude capability is poor. Based on the Army’s requirement of a suitable helicopter capable of lifting under slung the ultra-light howitzer being acquired from the United States for deployment in mountains, the process for acquisition was set into motion. Trials for the same have been completed with the American Chinook CH

1/2015   SP’s Land Forces


>> helicopters photographs: IAF, boeing

47 scoring over the Russian MI-26. Fifteen numbers are planned for induction. The weakest link is in the Indian military inventory is the holding of specialised helicopters like the attack and anti- submarine warfare. (ASW). The MI 25/MI 35 attack helicopters held are vintage and require replacement on priority. Even the Sea King ASW helicopters held with the Navy need upgrade/replacement with a state-of-the-art modern ASW helicopter. In the recent trials conducted for acquisition of attack helicopters the American Apache Longbow has been selected over the Russian MI-28 (Havoc). The induction of 22 Apaches Block III (latest upgraded version) is likely to commence this year. The Army has also put in its requirement for 39 Apaches Block III for its three strike corps – in-principle approval for the same has already been given by the MoD. The Navy had also conducted extensive trials for replacement of its multi-role Sea King fleet with the European NH-90 and American Sikorsky 70B in fray in the recent Defence Acquisition Council meeting the selection of Sikorsky 70B has been approved.

Kamov-31 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopters from Russia in the 1990s has proved a versatile platform for airborne operations at sea—more numbers are likely to be inducted. The Navy has successfully conducted the trials for acquisition of multi-role helicopters (NMRH project) to replace its ageing fleet of Sea King’s. As brought out earlier Sikorsky’s S-70B has been selected and while 16 helicopters are planned to be inducted initially, the total requirement is of approximately 60 such platforms. Navy along with the Army is alsoclosely monitoring the HAL proposed joint venture for the10/12-tonne class multi-role helicopter project.

HAL Ventures for Indian Military

Mi-17 helicopter

Boeing AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter

Future Requirements/Acquisitions Army Aviation The Army Aviation Corps today holds the largest number of helicopters amongst the three services, the majority being of the light observation class (Cheetah and Chetak). Their vintage and non-availability of spares is making their maintainability a nightmare—a fact acknowledged both by the HAL and the military. The latest Cheetah accident in Nagaland on February 2 this year has once again put the spotlight on safe operations capability of now ageing and obsolete Cheetah/Chetak fleet. This has followed in close proximity of the fatal Cheetah helicopter accident that occurred late last year at the Bareily Army Aviation Base, killing three officers. In the accident of February 2 the helicopter crashed immediately after take-off with the possible cause being engine failure. It is to the credit of the two pilots in handling this critical emergency, that the Corps Commander and three other officers (including the two pilots) survived the crash with minor injuries. These frequent occurrences of mishaps have an uncanny resemblance to what is happening with the MiG-21 fleet in the Airforce. The cancellation of the most important and critical project for acquisition of 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH) has left the services bereft of a suitable helicopter to replace the ageing Cheetah/Chetak fleet and will no doubt affect the overall operational capability of the Army, especially in high-altitude areas where the Cheetah helicopter is the lifeline of troops deployed on those icy heights. This unnecessary cautious approach to cancel the project was taken despite the fact that an oversight committee appointed by the MoD during the previous Government had cleared the trial process of any irregularity. It is also pertinent to note that the trials for replacement helicopters were conducted by a joint team of specialists and professionals from both Army and Air Force and hence no single entity could have influenced the outcome. In the utility/lift category the induction of indigenously manufactured ALH commenced in 2002. Since then 60 helicopters have been inducted and operationalised so far—another 60-70 are planned for induction in the coming decade. The latest version of ALH fitted with the more powerful ‘Shakti’ engine, has also entered service. Another variant of the ALH is the armed version called the ‘Rudra’, which was officially handed over to the Army during the last Aero India show in February 2013— the first unit is already under raising with the army planning to induct a total of 60 helicopters for its Pivot Corps. Rudra is a


SP’s Land Forces   1/2015

typical armed helicopter with an array of weapon systems including gun, rockets, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, along with a modern sighting system and integrated electronic warfare self-protection suite. However, in its present configuration it has not been integrated with a suitable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), as the air version of Nag ATGM ‘Helina’, being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation is not yet ready. As an interim measure, the MoD had cleared the fitment of three initial Rudra units with an ATGM ex import. Accordingly trials were carried out and completed two years back —in contention are the PARS 3 of MBDA France and SPIKE-ER of Israel. No decision has been taken on this project so far with the Rudra remaining without an ATGM – this delay is also likely to impact the light combat helicopter (LCH) project of HAL. The ATGM is the main weapon system of an armed/attack helicopter and without it the helicopter merely remains a gunship, inhibiting the exploitation of its full potential. The Army is also looking to acquire a suitable helicopter in the 10/12-tonne class for special operations as well as enhancing its overall tactical lift capability. The HAL is looking at the feasibility of a joint venture with a foreign vendor for a 10/12-tonne class multi-role helicopter whose variants would also be available to the Navy and Air Force. However very little progress has been made on this project so far. With the decision of the MoD on the ownership issue of attack helicopters in Army’s favour, the army has projected its own requirements of attack helicopters – 39 Apache Mk III for its Strike Corps. It is understood that the latest version of the upgraded Apache Block III (Guardian) is to be inducted into the Indian military, which demonstrates many of the advanced technologies being considered for deployment on future attack helicopters.

Air Force The Air Force is also in the process of modernising its helicopter fleet. In addition to the problem of being left stranded with an obsolete fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters, the Air Force’s main concern remains the medium-(MI-8 and MI-17) and heavy-lift (MI-26) helicopters. While the MI 8 is obsolete and needs phasing out, the existing MI-17 holding is not adequate. The existing MI-17 helicopters held have been refurbished/upgraded for night capability and 80 x MI-17V5 helicopters (upgraded version) with glass cockpits, night capability and hard points for fitment of weapon pods are in the process of being inducted. Order’s have also been placed for additional 59 x MI17V5 helicopters with Russia to cater for the phasing out of certain older MI-17 helicopters—this also includes the requirements of the Border Security Force which has a mini air force of its own under the Home Ministry. In the heavy-lift category fifteen American CH-47F Chinook are in the process of being inducted—this will greatly enhance intratheatre troop movement/logistical support during critical phases of the battle, especially on our northern borders.

Navy The Indian Navy operates a helicopter fleet consisting of the Sea King (ASW), Kamov (anti-surface vehicle) and the modified Chetak-MATCH (Mid Air Torpedo Carrying Helicopter). In addition they have a fleet of Chetak helicopters for ship borne operations. These helicopters are old and need replacement/upgrades. The Navy is already looking at overhauling its fleet air arm including helicopters. With the earlier acquisition process for 56 naval utility helicopters (NUH) for replacement of Chetak helicopters cancelled, a fresh RFI has been issued in October last year on the same lines as for the Army/Air Force RSH – requirement is for 56 twin-engine 4.5tonne class of helicopters. The acquisition of

The HAL has embarked on a number of ventures for the Indian military, the most significant being the development of the light combat helicopter (LCH). The LCH is stated to be a state-of-the-art attack helicopter with capability to operate at high altitudes (16,000 feet) and would meet the unique requirements of the Indian military. The LCH uses the technology of the existing ALH and its configurations except that the fuselage is suitably modified and streamlined for tandem seating. A number of development flights have taken place since its maiden flight on March 29, 2010, and HAL hopes to achieve initial operational clearance by September this year – this seems a tall order as the trials are yet to commence. Both the Air Force and Army are the potential customers for the LCH. The HAL has also undertaken the development and manufacture of a three tonne class light-utility helicopter (LUH). This is to cater for the light utility class (reconnaissance & observation) of all three services and is over and above the 197 replacement helicopters for Cheetah/Chetak — as per reports the design freeze stage has been reached. As per original plan HAL was to supply 187 LUH to Army and Air Force – this is likely to undergo a change in view of the new developments. HAL’s plans for development of a 10/12tonne class MRH, a concept being adopted by the militarie the world over is presently at a nascent stage with no progress in sight. In a significant development the private sector has recently entered the rotorcraft industry, thus challenging the exclusive preserve of the HAL. A Tata firm, Tata Advanced Systems Limited has tied up with the helicopter giant Sikorsky and established a major hub at Hyderabad for producing the S-92 Super Hawk helicopters. Presently only the cabins are being manufactured at this facility but the project envisages the assembly of the entire NH-92 in the near future. The new government’s ‘Make in India’ policy and thrust on indigenisation has given a fillip to the private industry to enter the defence and aerospace market. The case of the Avro transport aircraft replacement project and the two RFIs issued for the RSH and NUH projects are a clear pointer in this direction. These are very positive developments which will generate competition and go a long way in fostering growth in the aerospace industry, especially helicopters. Moreover, HAL will have to keep in mind the developing future helicopter technology and incorporate the same in its future projects for the armed forces, even if it involves joint ventures, if it wants to stay relevant in the helicopter market.

Conclusion Military helicopters will play a vastly enhanced role in any future conflict. Their crucial role in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations cannot be over emphasized—the operations in Afghanistan have fully corroborated this aspect. The non-replacement of the Cheetah/Chetak fleet has very serious operational and safety implications and there seems to be no immediate solution in sight. The armed forces and MoD, along with HAL need to address this issue on priority.  SP

TOR – TODAY AND TOMORROW AIR DEFENSE In competitive development of air attack means and air defense equipment it has long ago become apparent a tendency when domain of confrontation of these armaments transfers to near ground level. That particular tendency stipulates for definition of requirements to short range surface-to-air systems: - hitting high precision weapon (anti-radar missiles, guided aerial bombs, cruise missiles), manned and unmanned aerial vehicles; - high probability of hitting high-speed, diving, maneuvering and low-flying targets; - ability to hit the targets flying with a great course parameter; - high noise immunity; - short reaction time (time between appearance of the first target mark and launch of missile); - availability of target and missile channels (ability to hit several targets simultaneously); - sufficient missile ammunition to solve combat missions. Short range SAM systems of the TOR family produced by IEMP KUPOL, such as Tor-M2E, Tor-M2K and Tor-M2KM, meet in full all the requirements. They were designed to struggle against various

up-to-date air attack means and intended to destruct HPW (anti-radar missiles, guided and gliding aerial bombs) and high-speed, diving, maneuvering manned and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of flying within 24 hours at extremely low, low and medium altitudes at a velocity of up to 700 m/s and using active and passive jamming. These SAM systems were designed as the systems of final position being the basic battle means to fight against m a s s i ve s t r i ke s of H P W j u s t a b ove t h e b a t t l e f i e l d . They ensure effective air defense of military units on the move and in cantonment areas, during any modern mobile combat action, as well as defense of key state and military installations. Nowadays the Tor SAMS is the only weapon all over the world that can hit four missiles on the principle of: one missile - one target. The best demonstration of leading positions of the Tor family SAM systems on the world-wide arms market is the result of firing tests carried out both on territory of foreign states and Russian fir ing ranges. From September 30 to October 17 of 2014 in testing area of the Russian Ministry of Defense

KapustinYar tests and demonstration firing (in cluding missiles launches) were undertaken within the tender process for procurement ofTorM2KM SAMS under conditions of military- technical cooperation. Demonstration launches became the culminating moment. The fire were held in two phases. Accord ing to conditions of the first task a target, function of which was fulfilled by the SAMAN missile, was fired by two missiles simultaneously in daylight hours. The target was hit by the first missile over a distance of more than 10 km. Another missile was self-destructed. The second test phase anticipated pursuit engagement of small-size target in night time. The target was an UAV. This target was hit by one missile too. The system came through the firing test brilliantly demonstrating one hundred percent successful result, besides it underwent comprehensive running tests on the road prepared specially and all the tests confirming uninterrupted failuresfree operation. Such results are natural consequence of high quality of the equipment, high-skill job of combat crew and perfect organization of the tests. The tender committee highly appreciated operation of the Tor-M2KM system. The manufacturer’s experts say about great prospects for the Tor-M2KM SAM system. Nowadays it is the only system that is capable of providing defense of big cities inside of its boundary, vital military, industrial and public facilities, railway stations, naval bases, airfields, arsenals etc. The designers managed to develop a compact, independent combat module mountable on various platforms including truck chassis, semi-trailers, trailers, railway platforms and decks of low-tonnage vessels. Besides it can be mounted on special frames and used in stationary mode. Today the modular construction principle of WME is adapted by designers in many countries.However there are simply no counterparts of the Tor-M2KM SAM system today. The launches proved once again unsurpassed engineering and combat characteristics of Russian SAMS Tor-M2KM as well as its absolute superiority over similar systems produced in other countries.As the experts of KUPOL note, experience of the TorM2KM SAM system production and the executed tests results enable to develop new modifications of the system.

Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern, JSC 121471, Moscow, Vereyskaia st., 41 Tel.: (495) 276-29-65, fax: (495) 276-29-69 E-mail:

Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol, JSC Russia, Udmurt Republic, Izhevsk, Pesochnaia st., 3 Tel.: (3412) 903211, fax: (3412) 726819 E-mail:

>> neighbourhood

Chinese Military Continues Developing High-altitude Western Frontier The Chinese Government promulgated the ‘Great Western Development’ strategy in 1999, and since then has systematically invested heavily on the logistics and infrastructure development all through western China photograph:

  Dr Monika Chansoria


he posturing of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the border regions shared with India surfacing in the backdrop of its shifting strategy from continental to peripheral defence tends to underline the Chinese military’s doctrinal intent of resolving to “fight and win local wars on its borders.” What appears to emerge is that the Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping is continuing the previous administration’s policy of ensuring that the western development strategy continues, which further would guarantee its firm control over regions in western China. Upon his return from India in September 2014, Xi was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency, “Headquarters of all People’s Liberation Army forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology.” Besides, a senior officer with the PLA’s General Staff Headquarters, Wu Xihua, affirmed earlier at a press conference in Beijing that the basic duty of the armed forces is to fight wars, while its mission in times of peace is to prepare for war. In a series of capability-enhancing initiatives, the latest one came in the form of China upgrading the status of Major General Tang Xiao, the political commissar of the Tibet Armed Police Corps, to that of becoming head of a Corps-size military body. What is noteworthy is while that the Tibet Corps itself has not been upgraded, the elevation of the Police Corps, has been hailed as a major decision “based on the special environment and strategic position of the Tibet Armed Police”, none less than by Niu Zhizhong, Chief of Staff of the Armed Police of Tibet. Before the setting in of winter in Tibet, transportation regiments of the QinghaiTibet Corps of the PLA undertook massive cargo transportation in October 2014 for the PLA troops stationed here. Chinese state-controlled media reported a motorcade of a truck transportation regiment parked for being loaded with cargoes at a troop’s warehouse near the Nachitai army service station, crossing the Tuotuo River and the Tanggula Mountains Pass on the Qinghai-Tibet Highway in the Anduo County, south-west of the Tibet Autonomous Region. These efforts for sure shall accentuate the enhanced ability of the PLA towards becoming a more mobile and better-equipped fighting force, which can be deployed faster and sustained over a longer period of time across the high altitudes of the Tibetan plateau and provide all-inclusive support for any potential offensive operation outside of its mainland. The Chinese Government promulgated the “Great Western Development” strategy in 1999, and since then has systematically invested heavily on the logistics and infra-


SP’s Land Forces   1/2015

structure development all through western China. From a military perspective, this infrastructure and logistics build-up shall double up critically as base support for the PLA and be vital in improving the rapid deployment capability of China’s integrated forces, particularly the ability to swiftly manoeuvre heavy equipment to and from the region. Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC)—the highest state military organ commanding China’s entire armed forces, has averred that the military should prioritise addressing issues that affect their most immediate interests. While speaking at a meeting in Beijing devoted to addressing the cause of bolstering the PLA’s role in the development of China’s west, Xu “ordered the military to make utmost efforts to maintain border security, enhance solidarity between the military, local governments and the public, as well as to uphold ethnic solidarity.” In this reference, Xu Qiliang’s comment that “the prosperity, development and stability of western regions are of strategic importance to national security and development” only tends to regurgitate that thought. The strategy to accentuate development of China’s western frontier, which crucially includes the Tibetan Autonomous Region, has been well conceived and executed. Today, the 13th and 14th combined Corps falling under the Chengdu Military Region vouches PLA’s firm grip over Tibet. In fact, Xu Qiliang urged the military to be fully aware that helping develop China’s

west will boost the military’s capacity to carry out diversified tasks. The Xi Jinping Administration further holds that fundamentally, the diversified employment of the armed forces is meant to safeguard national territorial sovereignty, as well as provide firm security guarantees. The diversified employment of Chinese armed forces aims to contain crises, strengthen combat-readiness, readily respond to and resolutely deter any provocative action which undermines China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and firmly safeguard China’s core national interests. The Chinese Politburo of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the CMC have outlined that combat effectiveness is the sole fundamental criterion for the management and use of military expenditure. Having completed construction of the fifth-generation barracks of the Simhana Frontier Defence Company under the Xinjiang military area Command (MAC), the PLA activities in the high-altitude military terrain have received a boost. According to the Housing Office of the PLA’s Xinjiang MAC, the fifth-generation multifunctional barracks are available in all frontier defence companies with an elevation of 3,000 metres and above. Given the fact that most frontier defence companies and sentry posts are stationed on snow-capped mountainous terrain including plateaus at altitudes of over 3,000 metres, the fifth-generation barracks, costing China over 14 million yuan, comes in as a critical achievement at those heights.

Earlier, incomplete domestic installations and lack of heat preservation in the older barracks posed difficulties vis-à-vis credible frontier defence. The decision to invest in constructing and renovating logistics facilities of high-altitude companies including at Shenxianwan, began way back in 2007 as per directives of the CMC and the General Headquarters of the PLA, the Lanzhou military area command and the Xinjiang MAC. Moreover, the newly constructed and commissioned barracks of the Biedieli frontier defence company are equipped reportedly with “ten major systems” including direct-drinking water purification system, solar-powered and boiler bathing system, solar-powered and diesel engine generating system, boiler heating and a solar heating system. It has been reported by the PLA that all grassroots companies have been equipped with satellite televisions and availability of Internet in nearly 90 per cent of the organic battalions and companies. That field operations’ living support enhances and improves combat effectiveness is a given, it is very crucial to note that the PLA has already implemented the “oxygen-inhaling project” in PLA’s plateau troop units. The past few years have witnessed exceptional PLAAF activity on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, with the PLAAF in the Chengdu Military Area Command holding live ammunition drills, during which it carried out surgical strikes at night by testing the multi-role J-10 fighter jets, in a “first operation of its kind.” China’s state-controlled media reported that the ground crew of the J-10 regiment fuelled the fighters and loaded ammunition on the 3,500-metrehigh plateau at temperatures below -20 degree Celsius. The J-10 fighters attacked targets with conventional as well as laserguided bombs, in what could be interpreted as circumspect strategy for air space denial capability. In addition the PLA Army has already been rehearsing capture of mountain passes at heights beyond 5,000 metres with the help of armoured vehicles and airborne troops. In fact, the Chinese Ministry of Defence declared this in an official report, describing the exercise as the “first joint actual-troop drill of the PLA air and ground troops under information-based conditions in frigid area with a high altitude”. Needless to reiterate that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is preparing for a potential conflict situation especially in its high-altitude areas, with the Military Transportation Department of the PLAAF Logistics Department overseeing the movement of “combat readiness materials” to Tibet – reflecting a growing PLAAF role in maintaining security along the Sino-Indian border in the Tibetan area.  SP Dr Monika Chansoria is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi, and a columnist on foreign policy and strategic affairs for The Sunday Guardian newspaper.

middle east


The Islamic State – Self-styled Caliphate ISIS has rapidly expanded its control over Iraq and Syria by seizing towns and cities near major supply routes, critical infrastructure and border crossings Illustration: Vimlesh Kumar Yadav

  Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)


he Islamic State started as an Al Qaeda splinter group. It was previously called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It has declared itself as a caliphate and claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world. It is an unrecognised state and in its self-proclaimed status it aspires to bring most of the Musliminhabited regions of the world under its political control beginning with territory in the Levant region which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey. It has been designated as a foreign terrorist organisation by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The United Nations and Amnesty International have accused the group of grave human rights abuses. As a result of alleged economic and political discrimination against Iraqi Sunnis, ISIS has significantly gained support, in Iraq, under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now reportedly killed in a US air attack in Iraq. After entering the Syrian civil war, it has established a large presence in Syria. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has estimated in September 2014 that in both countries it has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters. ISIS had close links to Al Qaeda until February 2014 when, after an eight-month power struggle, Al Qaeda cut all ties with the group, reportedly for its brutality. The IS currently controls hundreds of square kilometres of territory and it ignores international borders. It has a presence from Syria’s Mediterranean coast to south of Baghdad. It rules by Sharia law. Its fighters are mostly Saddam Hussein’s military (former Iraqi soldiers ) which was disbanded and were unable to serve under the new Iraq Government. The aim of ISIS is to create an Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and in Syria. Its long-term objective is the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate, reflected in frequent media reports by means of images of the world united under a ISIS banner.

Territory ISIS has rapidly expanded its control over Iraq and Syria by seizing towns and cities near major supply routes, critical infrastructure and border crossings. Over the summer of 2014, the group has penetrated deeper into Syria, regaining some territory it had lost to other rebel groups and capturing several government military bases. It is still trying to consolidate its control along the border between Iraq and Syria. They have experienced some setbacks in Iraq, where American airstrikes helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces reclaim the Mosul Dam and the Turkmen city of Amerli.

Money Supply to the Islamic State Millions of dollars in oil revenue have made ISIS one of the wealthiest terror groups in

patched to help Iraqi forces but Obama does not want them to get involved in ground combat to avoid a repeat of the Iraq War begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

International Coalition formed against ISIS

history. Experts estimate the value of the output from the dozen or so oilfields and refineries under its control in Iraq and Syria at $1 million to $2 million a day. The Islamic State is reportedly selling oilstored or produced in areas under its control at a steep discount to market prices. Truck loads are being smuggled through the border with Turkey. The group controls many of Syria’s eastern oilfields. In July 2014, ISIS fighters took control of the country’s largest oilfield, Omar, which was producing about 30,000 barrels a day when it was fully functioning. Recently it was producing about a third of that or less. On August 21, 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the extremist group ISIS, already a formidable military force, has enhanced its power by amassing huge piles of cash, thanks in part to individual donors from the Middle East. Fabius said that beyond military support, Western and Middle East countries must agree on measures to dry up the Islamic State’s finances because the Islamic State’s vast cash resources have allowed it to remunerate foreign fighters who have joined its cause and to secure weapons, ammunition and food supplies to function like a full-fledged army.

ISIS Armaments ISIS armaments are predominantly a mix of veteran Soviet tanks; large, advanced US-made systems; and black market arms. Tanks acquired from the Syrians included T-72, a relatively modern Soviet design, and the T-55, a post-World War II model. They have also captured Chinese copies of Soviet field and anti-aircraft guns from the Iraqi and Syrian armies. Both countries are known to have bought directly from China over a decade ago. According to Brown Moses, a UK based blog, that has emerged during the Syrian civil war as the foremost authority on the weapons used in that conflict, ISIS has now obtained rocket launch-

ers, grenade launchers and American-made M60 machine guns from Croatia through Saudi Arabia. ISIS has managed to infiltrate Iraqi bases in Mosul, gaining access to sophisticated US weaponry. They have apparently taken enough US weapons from the Iraqi military in Mosul. According to various media reports, ISIS can’t really use many of the modern US weapons that fell into its possessions, and knows it and has therefore destroyed much of the heavy equipment it captured in Iraq: M1 tanks, M113 armoured personnel carriers, MRAP heavy armoured trucks, and other multimilliondollar pieces of equipment which they knew they couldn’t use. Many of the advanced pieces of US equipment have been destroyed so that the Iraqi Army cannot use them in the future, according to media reports.

US War Efforts against IS President Barack Obama has vowed that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq, seeking to reassure Americans about the level of US involvement after General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff,, suggested combat troops could be deployed against ISIS forces. President Obama, who has spent much of his presidency distancing himself from the Iraq War, stressed during a speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa that air strikes would be the central US contribution to the fight against ISIS, along with coordinating a coalition that he said now includes more than 40 countries. Commander Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “As of December 11, 2014, the total cost of operations related to ISIL since kinetic operations started on August 8, 2014, is $1.02 billion and the average daily cost is $8.1 million.” The Pentagon’s latest statistics show that as of December 19, 2014, the US and its coalition partners had flown 1,371 airstrikes in both countries – 799 in Iraq and 572 in Syria. More than 1,600 American advisers have been dis-

The United States-led coalition to fight the Islamic State militant group continues to grow, with numerous nations providing varying levels of backing in the form of military equipment, aid and political support. In his speech to the United Nations on September 24, 2014, President Obama said, “Already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition.” But on September 23, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry said more than 50 nations have agreed to join the coalition. And in a document released by the State Department, 62 nations (including the European Union and the Arab League) are listed as providing support to the US-led coalition. The strongest allies in the coalition are those providing air support to the United States, while others are offering delivery services and some are providing humanitarian aid. The extremist group is believed to have recruits from 51 countries.

A Fractious Coalition Strategic analysts are not at all confident of the coalition formed by the US for war against the ISIS. The basic doubts arise from the true intention of all coalition partners. The difficulties faced by coalition partners dictate the duplicity of their actions. Iraq has a new government of Haider al-Abadi, who has pledged to fight ISIS and to be more inclusive than the previous regime. But it urgently needs to improve military performance and to win the support of alienated Sunnis. Syria, for effective action against ISIS strongholds, will need to be backed up by more effective Syrian rebel capabilities on the ground – creating a tricky situation for the US, UK and other western backers. Turkey, NATO’s only Muslim member, is prepared to support only humanitarian actions. Jordan is nervous about direct involvement in US-led effort. It worries about domestic backlash from Sunni extremists. Lebanon fears and attacks from Syria-based extremists and consequent de-stabilisation. It is already hosting millions of Syrian refugees. Hezbollah actively supports Syrian forces and blames the US for not being serious about fighting ISIS and being too close to the Gulf countries. Saudi Arabia is clearly intimidated by ISIS and stung by international criticism that it has created the monster. It has agreed to US request to train Syrian rebels and is reportedly prepared to use air power against ISIS. It is worried about strengthening Assad and Iran. UAE is wary of the threat from Islamists ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to Al Qaeda and ISIS and is happy to blur the huge differences between them. It is believed to have offered to use its air force to attack ISIS. Qatar is the wealthiest emirate that has backed the Muslim Brotherhood across the Arab world, especially in Egypt, and used Al Jazeera TV as a cheerleader for the changes of the Arab Spring. Like the Saudis, it has

1/2015   SP’s Land Forces


>> middle east ardently backed anti-Assad Islamist rebels in Syria and is now being attacked for supporting ISIS. Kuwait is under pressure to cut off private donations to ISIS. Wealthy businessmen have played a big role in funding anti-Assad rebels. Bahrain has been host to a conference on how to cut off funding to ISIS. Egypt backs the campaign against ISIS but wants a wider international effort against the jihadis of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, an Al Qaeda affiliate operating in Sinai. It has complained about the non-delivery of US Apache helicopters to fight its own ‘war on terror’. Apparently using the ISIS crisis to advance its own interests. Egypt’s grand mufti condemned the terror group as un-Islamic. But there are signs that it sees Assad as the lesser evil in Syria.

Analysis of ISIS

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria controls territory greater than many countries and now rivals Al Qaeda as the world’s most powerful jihadist group. Consequent to their geostrategic gains, the cruelty and violence resorted to by IS against their opponents indicate a strong ideological force behind the supporters of the organisation. Mass executions, crucifixion and torture are their hallmark which snuffs out local dissent. These activities are similar to the listed terrorist organisations around the world. This serves two purposes. One is that through their activities dissent is suppressed and an aura of legitimacy is created. This in turn leads to strategic gains. The ease with which IS has expanded through Iraq owes a large part to the resentment held by the Sunni minority towards Shia strongman Nouri al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister of Iraq. This resentment has been the product of poor policies and political choices that have led many to believe that he was manipulating the political system for personal gains at the expense of the Sunni minorities. Joshua Brown in his article on “Islamic State: A Geopolitical Analysis” writing for the Australian Institute of International Affairs says. “This resentment within the Sunni communities has allowed IS to incite sentiments of victimisation, as well as notions of cultural redemption. Hence, this has, at the least, resulted in largescale apathy towards the organisation’s expansion and, more worryingly, brutal forms of fanaticism in their supporters. Although the crisis is not specifically t h e

other countries outside the region with few options beyond the usual ‘wait and watch’.

Global Efforts to Halt Movement of Terror Recruits In the meanwhile, the world is waking up to the perils of allowing terrorist organisations like the ISIS to flourish. The UN Security Council, at a meeting chaired by President Obama, unanimously passed a resolution on September 24, 2014, cracking down on the flow of foreign fighters to militant organisations such as ISIS. The council voted 15-0 to compel countries to make it a crime for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militants or recruit other people to do it. Obama is the only American President to chair a Security Council meeting. He also did it in 2009. He said that resolutions alone would not be enough because prom-

ises on paper can’t keep us safe. He further said that lofty rhetoric and good intentions would not stop a single terrorist attack and they needed to be translated into action.

Indian Connection In mid-2014, it was reported that there were 39 Indians who are captives of IS in Iraq. Since then contradictory reports have been received over their safety. The government continues to believe that they are alive but is not aware of their location. In August 2014, parents of three Muslim boys in three different Indian states reported to the police that their sons – aged between 18 and 30 – had left home, leaving notes behind that announced they were joining the ISIS to fight in Iraq and Syria. There is a view that given the benign form of Islam followed by such Indian

Islamic hotspots as Kashmir, IS will not get very far. But it was an Al Qaeda affiliate that launched an attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001. It was a Muslim of Kashmiri origin who was hanged for that attack. Media has reported the dispatch of Syed Asif Ibrahim, Director, Intelligence Bureau, for a week-long trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss radicalisation of Muslim youth over the Internet. He has been instrumental in breaking up of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and arresting Yasin Bhaktal the co founder of IM. It seems that Saudi Arabia has assured India that it will not allow any Haj pilgrims to stray into Syria or Iraq. Incidents have also been reported by the media of seperatist elements flying the IS flag in Srinagar. It is now high time for the Central Government to take note of the IS activities in India.  SP

M U TH ST E BU M Y O ST FO result of the SunniSO R T Shia split, it seems as if Maliki is trying U HE to take advantage of it by G mobilising his Shia allies. If H IN he is successful, the implications T are broad for the region.” A DU The Iranian response to the situaFT S tion is also a result of this. It has given them ER TR an opportunity to extend their support to the Shia community in Iraq in the hope of extending their regional influence in Iraq. D YK ES E In the meanwhile Maliki claimed that IS is secretly being funded by the Gulf countries, TI EN suggesting vested interests from the south N T that run contrary to Iran’s wishes. A O In this ensuing turmoil, the Kurdish TI W Peshmerga have also managed to solidify O A long held territorial claims. Ironically, while N R this directly challenges the territorial holdS D ings of IS; this move also complicates TurkSU S ish and Iranian positions and influences in the area, with both now being forced into CHBU tentative negotiations with the minority group. The current state of affairs in this A SIN region is also being seen as the US’s neglect S E of responsibilities to stabilise the region IN SS after the Iraq invasion. This scenario has left D I IA N 12 SP’s Land Forces   1/2015

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lmaz-Antey Air Defense Concern nowadays combines over 50 enterprises, scientific research institutes and design bureaus being Russia’s leading producer and developer of the modern air defense systems. The Concern products has been supplied to the Russia’s armed forces in quantities being simultaneously of a constant demand at the world market. According to the international experts in 2013 Almaz-Antey conquered the 14th place on the defense sales volume among the top 100 world largest defense companies. The huge variety of products is among the key features of the Concern success story. The product line includes:   ground-based air defense missile complexes and systems: – long-range: S-400 Triumph, S-300 PMU2 Favorit, S-300VM Antey-2500; – medium-range: Buk-M1-2, Buk-M2E, S-125 Pechora; – short-range: Tor-family, Osa-AKM;   ground-based short-range gun-missile air-defense complexes: Tunguska-M/ M1, Shilka-M4;  ship-borne missile air-defense complexes:

Rif-M (long-range), Shtil-1 (mediumrange), Klinok, Gibka (short-range);   automated control systems: Universal1E, Baikal-1ME, Fundament, KrymKTE, PPRU M1-2;   aerial targets detection radar systems: 55Zh6ME, 55Zh6UME, Nebo-SVU, Gamma-S1, Gamma-DE, Protivnik-GE, Kasta-2E2, 1L121, 1L122, Demonstrator;   ground reconnaissance radar stations: Fara-VR, PSNR-8M, SNAR-10M1, Aistenok, Zoopark-1;   integrated missile systems: Club-M, Club-S; One of the main Almaz-Antey Concern activities is the variety of services on after-sales support for all its products being spread over 50 countries worldwide. While the export of Concern ready-made products has been carrying out exclusively through the Rosoboronexport (Russia’s sole state mediator in defense trade), Almaz-Antey has been entitled to provide the foreign customers independently with the equipment spare parts supply, repair and upgradation as well as personnel training.  SP Yan V. Novikov, Almaz-Antey Concern Director General

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1/2015   SP’s Land Forces


>> Sp’s Exclusives Arjun Mk.II Tank Clears All Army Trials The Arjun Mk.II main battle tank has cleared all user trials with the Indian Army successfully and now awaits a maintenance evaluation by the Army and, crucially, a detailed evaluation by the Director General of Quality Assurance (DGQA). The Army has on order 118 tanks that will begin delivery once these two final evaluation processes are complete, likely by mid-2015. The Phase IV user trials demonstrated trench crossing and step climbing capabilities of the Mk.II tank starting in September 2014. Last year, dynamic trials of 120mm penetration-cum-blast (PCB) ammunition for MBT Arjun Mk II were conducted successfully at the Proof and Experimental Establishment at Chandipur. The Arjun Mk.II will conceivably begin entering service in 2016. With the already inducted fleet of 124 Arjun Mk.I tanks in two regiments in Rajasthan, the Army will be set to operate a total of four Arjun regiments. But the good news for the Arjun programme potentially ends right here. As SP’s reported earlier, there are unlikely to be further orders for the Arjun tank of any type. The total number (242 tanks) on order is far from good news: The DRDO has said that any order below 500 tanks (in a mix of Mk.I and Mk.II) makes Project Arjun a dead loss. This is precisely what it is likely to be, which is why products based on the Arjun chassis (bridge-layer tank, selfpropelled artillery) or Arjun turret (TankX) are being pushed too. But for the Arjun tank itself, the fresh order could be a death knell. The Army is keen that the DRDO focuses on a futuristic main battle tank. Of couse, this Army-DRDO conversation continues at a time when the very efficacy of armoured land force is being questioned at the macro war-fighting level in the region.

Army still awaits ‘cornershot’ weapon capability for pistols The Indian Army, which made known its requirement for a corner-shot capability that allows it to mount in-service 9mm pistols for firing from around a corner, a capability widespread with tactical special units in the US and Israel, has still not been able to progress the requirement. The Army is seeking the capability specifically for its Rashtriya Rifles units deployed in Jammu & Kashmir, units regularly involved in firefights with militants holed up in residential areas. After expressing initial interest in such a capability in 2009 and 2012, the Army is now understood to be interested in giving this capability to its standard issue 9mm pistols, which include the Austrian Glock 17, Italian Beretta 92 and German-Swiss Sig Sauer P226. The capability involves an enhancement kit integrated with an existing weapon system with a certain degree of dismantling. A video camera and monitor allows the user to point the weapon at a fulcrum around a corner and use the weapon to survey, target and fire accordingly. The Army also wants the cornershot capability for use with in-service underbarrel grenade launchers (UBGLs). The US-Israeli firm Cornershot is understood to have demonstrated the capability to the Indian Army on at least two occasions. The Indian paramilitary forces, particularly those engaged in anti-Maoist operations, have also evaluated the capability. Questions about the capability were also raised with infantry weapons providers at Defexpo in 2014 and Aero India in 2013.

Para (SF) Urgently Require General Purpose Machine Gun Para (SF) units of the Indian Army require an unspecified number of general purpose machine guns (GPMG) on a fast-track basis for which an RFI is expected shortly.


SP’s Land Forces   1/2015

The new general purpose machine guns will be for its Parachute (Special Forces) battalions to augment and later replace the licence-built Belgian MAG-58 and Soviet-era PKM GPMGs currently in use by the battalions. The weapon needs to be fully interoperable with the current weapons in terms of ammunition compatibility with a barrel life of at least 20,000 rounds. The army has stipulated that it requires a 7.62mm x 51mm calibre weapon to serve as both a light and medium machine gun. The Army is looking for a weapon with greater range than an LMG and lighter than an MMG, with a maximum effective range of 1,000 metres. Expectedly, the Army would prefer parallel supply of telescopic sights by the OEM, but definitely wants standard Mil 1913 picatinny rails on the weapon to mount different types of sighting systems. As with the two current weapons in service, the army will be looking to use the new GPMGs in multiple modes: as an infantry weapon in different profiles, vehicle mounted and heliborne operations. In 2010 and 2014, the Army said it was also interested in looking at a new 12.7 x 99mm heavy machine gun for use on a light strike vehicle/infantry fighting vehicle and in a ground role while mounted on vehicle and tripod respectively. The fresh RFI is expected to be published in March this year, with the Army looking to move quickly for a contract.

Army revives interest in Light Specialist Vehicle Unable to bring to fruition a six-year quest for a light specialist vehicle, the Army plans to announce afresh its interest in procuring an undisclosed number of a common light specialist vehicle (LSV) for all arms in a 3,500-kg unladen weight class category with a payload capacity of 900-1,200 kg. The Army had originally expressed its interest in such vehicles back in August 2010. The Army has stipulated in its information request that the LSV needs to be capable of performing reconnaissance and patrol roles for all arms, provide space and cross mobility in all terrains (including high altitude and deserts) to small parties/teams (approximately six) and operately independently in the battlefield. The Army has so far been given an opportunity to try out a series of LSVs both Indian and foreign-made. Indian contenders are likely to include the Mahindra Axe and Tata LSV, while the foreign offerings include the Defender series from Land Rover. Trials will be conducted across terrain in three different theatres since the selected vehicles are likely to be purchased in large numbers for use across arms. Variants of the LSVs with weapons fitment capabilities will also be incorporated once the tender is finalised this year. Sources say that the size of the order also means it would make eminent sense to purchase a vehicle developed and built in India to the Army’s specifications. There is a possibility that the requirement may be clubbed with additional similar requirements by the Home Ministry.

Indian Army for Heavy Recovery Vehicle The Indian Army is looking to procure an unspecified number of heavy recovery vehicles to recover stalled, overturned or broken down heavy or armoured vehicles of the forces. The Army is looking for a vehicle capable of providing recovery cover for vehicles over 15 tonnes in all terrain (desert, plains, marshy ground, rocky ground and to a limited extent in mountains up to 4,500 metres above sea level). It needs to be capable of un-ditching, uprighting, extricating and pulling wheeled vehicles up to 26 tonnes. It needs to have

a lifespan of over 1,00,000 km. With a great deal of inductions ahead of heavy and armoured vehicles, the Army requires a great deal of back-up crash support in all theatres. BEML’s HRV AV-15 will be a contender in any competition that is announced. As reported earlier by SP’s, the Army is in the process of inducting over 7,000 new vehicles: 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, in addition to tanks and utility trucks.

terrain. Interested vendors, looking to respond to the Army’s requirement, will not be allowed to visit Area 2 & 3 for any kind of mapping activity. No particular scale has been assigned for the project. However, all details as available from submetre resolution satellite imageries are to be picked up. The project will be executed (other than field activities of Area-1) at ADMC, Bengaluru. The air-conditioned space will be provided. However, all other infrastructure required for the execution of the project will be established by the vendor at ADMC, as per the existing security policies of Indian Army.

Raven UAV to be pushed under Indo-US DTTI

Army for Night Sight for Automatic Grenade Launcher systems

Considered one of the most combat-proven tactical surveillance mini drones in current operations, the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven is not new to the Indian armed forces. In 2009, during the Yudh Abhyas at Babina in Uttar Pradesh, the Indian Army got a firsthand look at Raven operations in a combat scenario. US Armymen from the 14th Cavalry Regiment, Strykehorse, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, demonstrated use of the RQ-11 to soldiers and officers from the Indian Army’s 94th Armoured Brigade and other units under the 31st Armoured Division. The demonstrations were part of preliminary familiarisation both of the drone technology itself, as well as combat tactics involving hand-launched surveillance drones, a capability still unavailable to the Indian Army’s infantry. While a slew of requirements have popped up over the years for hand-launched mini and micro surveillance unmanned air systems, none have been inducted. While several indigenous programmes exist, the US sees the RQ-11 Raven as a ‘low hanging fruit’ for co-production in India under the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) pushed by the Obama Administration. The infantry’s requirements of such technology, and the fact that it is perceived as an easy deliverable -- the US does not have strict export controls on the very modestly capable Raven, as it does with higher performance unmanned systems like the Global Hawk and Predator -- and will be looking to use it as a door-opener to other, more complex co-development and production understandings. Primarily used by the US military (including the US Air Force, Marines and Special Forces), the Raven has been exported widely, with close to 20,000 airframes delivered to date.

Indian Army for large-scale mapping project The Indian Army’s Military Survey (GSGS) is planning to map certain areas of the country on large scale. As a test bed three areas have been selected for large scale mapping. All the areas are required to be mapped using latest digital mapping techniques, including GIS creation. The mapping of the areas as a pilot project is with the aim to evaluate various modern techniques/technology and resources available for large-scale mapping and GIS creation as also to assess the capability of Indian industry in large-scale mapping (including GIS creation) with and without ground control points and ground visits. Two of these areas would be of approx. size 100 km x 50 km each and the third area is 25km x 25km in size. Area-1 (100 km x 50 km) and Area-3 (25 km x 25 km) are in general area Mahajan (Rajasthan). These have flat terrain. Vendor will be allowed to visit Area-1for control point provision, ground verification and attribute date collection. Area-2 (100 km x 50 km) is in general area Devlali (Maharashtra). It has undulating

The Indian Army is looking to procure thermal imaging sights for its in-service 30mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL17)/automatic grenade system (AGS-30) systems. Part of its expanded drive to fight night-blindness across equipment stocks in operations, the Army has stipulated, “The thermal imaging sight desired by the Infantry should be a light weight and ruggedized device to enable accurate engagement of target by use of 30mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL-17)/ automatic grenade system (AGS-30) at night/hours of darkness/poor visibility at an effective range of 1,700 metres.” Interested vendors have been called upon to specify the mount design and details of the thermal imaging sight, the type of reticle pattern, the zeroing mechanism for the sight, whether the sight has been provided with optical magnification or digital zoom along with the corresponding field of view, detection, recognition and Identification ranges varying from clear night conditions to pitch dark conditions and adverse weather conditions (specify adverse weather conditions) and also the interpretation of detection, recognition and identification ranges in relation to the type of target. Also suggest methodology for field evaluation of the above stated parameters.

Army to make MMGs night-capable The Indian Army is looking to procure thermal imaging sights for its 7.62mm medium machine guns in service. The Army has stipulated that “the thermal imaging sight desired by the Infantry should be a lightweight and ruggedised device to enable accurate engagement of human target by use of 7.62 mm medium machine gun at night/hours of darkness/poor visibility at an effective range – 1,800 metres.” Interested vendors have been called upon to specify the technology of thermal imaging sight meeting the requirement for the 7.62mm MAG-58 2A1 medium machine gun, the FPA and pitch of the detector being offered, whether the sight has been provided with optical magnification or digital zoom alongwith the corresponding field of view of the thermal imaging sight in Azimuth (horizontal) and elevation (vertical), specify detection, recognition and identification ranges varying from clear night conditions to pitch dark conditions and adverse weather conditions (specify adverse weather conditions). Also, specify the interpretation of detection, recognition and identification ranges in relation to the type of target, and type of controls that will be made available on the thermal imaging sight for user application in operations.  SP —SP’s Special Correspondent For complete versions log on to:

news in brief >> US Army negotiating new AH-64 Apache agreement with Boeing

The US Army is reportedly in talks with Boeing regarding a new multi-year agreement for the acquisition of an additional 240 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from 2017 to 2021. US Army Apache Program Manager Colonel Jeff Hager was quoted by Reuters as saying that army acquisition chief Heidi Shyu recently signed a document for the two sides to start work on an agreement, with the aim of receiving approval from the Defence Secretary by March 2016. Boeing attack helicopters business development head Mark Ballew said it could include options for foreign military sales of 100 Apaches. The US Government has already approved Apache sales to Qatar and Indonesia, Ballew added, noting that the helicopter has also drawn interest from other countries. According to Reuters, lawmakers generally ask military services to demonstrate significant savings compared to the cost of negotiating purchases on a yearby-year basis. Meanwhile, Pentagon chief arms buyer Frank Kendall reportedly told the House Armed Services Committee that he favoured multi-year agreements because they allow programme managers to focus on performance, rather than annual contract negotiations. Powered by two GE T700-701D engines, the AH-64 Apache is primarily used for distributed operations and deep precision strikes against relocatable targets. It can also provide armed reconnaissance when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions.

AirTronic partners with Chemring to develop US-manufactured RPG-7 rockets AirTronic USA has signed a new teaming agreement with Chemring Ordnance to develop different versions of US-manufactured RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launchers. Engineers and project managers from both companies will immediately start research, development and testing, with

>> Show Calendar 22–26 February IDEX 2015 ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE 23–25 February Border Management Summit Rennaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, USA 3–5 March Global Security Asia Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore 16–18 March Integrated Air & Missile Defence NH Collection Sevilla, Seville, Spain 23–25 March Future Artillery 2015 Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa, London, UK

production scheduled for the first quarter of 2016. Commenting on Chemring Ordnance, AirTronic COO Richard Vandiver said: “Their experience, resources and expertise in the 40mm munitions space is unequalled and complements AirTronic’s own capabilities. This agreement forms the industry’s best team and brings a shoulderfired recoilless rifle system (launcher and rockets) to the market that we believe will be superior to anything available globally. The shoulder-launched RPG-7 anti-tank weapons are manufactured by Russia, but AirTronic USA has recently developed a US version, called Amerikansky RPG-7. In December 2014, the company secured a safety release from the US Army for its US-manufactured 40mm variant. The safety release permits the company to conduct a shoulder-launch of the RPG-7 USA launcher at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments Spiral J event, scheduled to be conducted by the Army Manoeuvre Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia, from January to March.


Tatra Trucks will present itself for the first time at one of the most important defence exhibitions in the world, IDEX in Abu Dhabi. The firm is the new owner of Tatra automotive company, based in Koprivnice. The relation with the Middle East countries is very important for this famous Czech automotive company, and IDEX is a traditional place where the news about company products are presented to customers. Tatra Trucks will bring two exhibits to IDEX that will start to serve as demo vehicles in Saudi Arabia, as well as other vehicles that will be introduced to countries within the Middle East region. Tatra Phoenix was introduced in 2011 as a result of cooperation with DAF Trucks NV. This product line will be presented at IDEX for the very first time. The producer has decided to show this new model as an all-wheel-drive 6x6 tractor for different purposes. The base of the truck is Tatra unique chassis with independent swinging half axles suspended by air. The comfortable cabin is supplied by DAF. It is available in a ‘day cab’ version, as well as a ‘sleeper cab’ version. Four power versions of the water-cooled 12.9l engine PACCAR MX are available. These are 265 kW, 300k W, 340 kW, and 375 kW. They can be completed with ZF 16-speed manual or automated gearbox. A full automatic gearbox is also available on demand. Tatra Phoenix is further equipped with Tatra transfer case that brings the power to the driveline inside of Tatra backbone tube. The second exhibit is the model Tatra 815-7, which is also available in the drive version 6x6 with a platform as a cargo/ troop carrier. This vehicle is built on Tatra unique chassis, all axles suspended by air. The solution allows the vehicle to travel at a high speed, even in a rough terrain. The model is equipped with a Cummins ISLe 375 engine, which has a 276 kW output, and a Tatra 10-speed automated gearbox. Wheels on the vehicle are equipped with a central tire inflation system that allows the tyres to be filled in/by the driver from cabin. The cabin is produced in Tatra, and due to its design can be very easily armoured.

More Autonomy to DPSUs and OFBs for Better Performance: Defence Minister, Parrikar Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently said MoD would be bringing about major changes in the Defence Procurement Procedure and the Defence Production Policy to provide greater autonomy to the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) units for their expansion and diversification. Addressing the Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, he said, we need to delegate powers to DPSUs to enable them to take decisions so that they improve the serviceability of the platforms available to the armed forces. “Every machine in operation is like adding an additional equipment. DPSUs will be provided support but they must think like a commercial organisation”, he said. Referring to the ‘Make in India’ Procedure in defence, Parrikar said it needs further improvement. Defence industry in India is a unique industry where the only customer is the Services. The meeting discussed in detail the performance of the 41 ordnance factories and nine DPSUs. Taking part in the discussions, Members of Parliament wanted to know whether the government has drawn up a clear roadmap to reduce defence imports. Some members felt that there was a concerted campaign to denigrate the public sector and to promote the private sector. They felt that unlike consumer products, the design and development of defence product has a long gestation and the contribution of DPSUs has to be appreciated in that light. They expressed the view that the private sector must be promoted in a big way, but not at the cost of the public sector. The Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur; Secretary Defence Production G. Mohan Kumar; Secretary, ESW, P.D. Meena also attended the meeting.

India Conducts first Canister-based Trial of Agni-V Ballistic Missile The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully conducted the first canister-based trial of the Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. Launched from a canister-mounted on a road-mobile launcher from the integrated test range’s launch complex-IV, the nuclear-capable missile climbed to a height of more than 600 km in its parabolic trajectory and accurately hit the designated target point in the Indian Ocean after 20 minutes. The missile’s parameters were monitored by radars and electro-optical systems, while the ships located in mid-range and at the target point tracked the vehicle and witnessed the final event. DRDO Missiles and Strategic Systems Director General and Agni Programme Mission Director Dr V.G. Sekaran said: “All mission objectives have been achieved, down-range ships have confirmed final splashdown, the mission is a great success and it is a momentous occasion.” It is India’s first ever ICBM launch from a canister and is a giant leap in country’s deterrence capability. The road-mobile canister-version will enable Agni-V to be fired from stop-tolaunch within a few minutes and ensure higher reliability, longer shelf-life and reduced maintenance. In addition, it is expected to provide the Indian armed forces with the operational flexibility to swiftly transport and fire the missile from their preferred locations. Capable of carrying a 1.1-tonne payload, the 17-metrelong Agni-V is an indigenously developed ICBM with a strike range of 5,000 km. It has proven its capabilities in two previous open configuration launches. The missile is expected to undergo one joint trial before entering service with the Indian Army by the end of this year, reported The Hindu.  SP

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal Editor Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd) Senior Editorial Contributor Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) Senior Technical Group Editor Lt General Naresh Chand (Retd) Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) Assistant Group Editor R. Chandrakanth Contributors India General V.P. Malik (Retd), Lt General Vijay Oberoi (Retd), Lt General R.S. Nagra (Retd), Lt General S.R.R. Aiyengar (Retd), Major General Ashok Mehta (Retd), Major General G.K. Nischol (Retd), Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd), Brigadier S. Mishra (Retd), 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, 2015 Subscription/ Circulation Annual Inland: `600  •  Overseas: US$180 Email: Letters to Editor For Advertising Details, Contact: SP GUIDE PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD Corporate Office A 133 Arjun Nagar, Opp Defence Colony, New Delhi 110003, India Tel: +91(11) 24644693, 24644763, 24620130 Fax: +91 (11) 24647093 Regd Office Fax: +91 (11) 23622942 Email: Representative Offices Bengaluru, INDIA Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) 204, Jal Vayu Vihar, Kalyan Nagar, Bengaluru 560043, India. Tel: +91 (80) 23682204 MOSCOW, RUSSIA LAGUK Co., Ltd, Yuri Laskin Krasnokholmskaya, Nab., 11/15, app. 132, Moscow 115172, Russia. Tel: +7 (495) 911 2762, Fax: +7 (495) 912 1260 RNI Number: DELENG/2008/25818

1/2015   SP’s Land Forces


SP's Land Forces Issue 1 - 2015  

SP's Land Forces February - March 2015, Aero India 2015 Special, Modernisation of the Indian Army, Modernisation of Army Air Defence, Milita...

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