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October-November 2015

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Volume 12 No. 5


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The ONLY magazine in Asia-Pacific dedicated to Land Forces

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In This Issue

photograph: Northrop grumman

Page 4 Defence and Security Cooperation with Myanmar

Both India and Myanmar share a land border of 1,643 km and maritime domain in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Further, Myanmar has a long border with China in the north which is contiguous to the disputed border between India and China. Brigadier Vinod Anand (Retd) Page 5 Parrikar to Visit USA Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the US in December is expected to propel the Indo-US relationship to a new level. Ranjeet Kumar Page 6 Expert Committee on Defence Procurements in 2015: An Appraisal With a view to streamline the process, DPP 2002 has been subjected to seven major reviews during the last 13 years. Major General Mrinal Suman (Retd) Page 8 A Case for Developing Concept Driven Platforms Armies who design weapons to suit their operational concepts and terrain are what may be termed as concept driven armies. Major General R.P. Bhadran (Retd) Page 9 India’s Military Exercises with Friendly Foreign Countries The aim of these exercises is to acquaint both the forces with each other’s operating procedures, weapon systems, operational drills, in addition to increased understanding and interoperability between the two armies and forging closer partnership. SP’s Correspondent Page 10 DSEI 2015 – Promoting Defence and Security Technologies R. Chandrakanth Plus

SP’s Exclusives News in Brief

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Global Hawk UAVs have been used extensively in Afghanistan for ISR

UAVs: Enhancing Combat Potential and Emerging Trends UAVs, with their inherent characteristics to provide the flexibility to operate in the extended battle space, enable the ground forces to see first, understand first, act first and finish decisively   Lt General B.S. Pawar (Retd)


nformation is an element of combat power and a combat multiplier in the hands of a commander. Field commanders require an organic, responsive, economically viable, multisource, long endurance, near real time reconnaissance capability to collect, process and report intelligence throughout the level of conflict 24x7. The answer lies in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with their inherent characteristics to provide the flexibility to operate in the extended battle space, thereby enabling the ground forces to see first, understand first, act first and finish decisively.

It is difficult to imagine how any future operation would be conducted without commanders both in the front line and rear having their situational awareness enhanced 24x7 by near real time video feeds. In the past decade UAVs have progressed from being minor players in the intelligence and situational awareness (ISA) role to being a key part of combat operations as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, with single platforms now capable of achieving the entire find, fix, track, engage and assess kill chain. Unmanned vehicles are low cost, low risk and high payoff ISR systems which are not impeded by restraints imposed on manned systems, where both the aircraft

and crew could be lost. In fact they are increasingly being employed for missions that were hitherto the domain of manned aircraft. The UAVs today are also providing exclusive capability to forces engaged in subconventional operations, especially in the global war on terrorism – in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Current technologies, especially in sensor suites, make today’s UAVs more sophisticated than ever and are expanding their role in combat operations. As range, altitude and loiter time increase the UAVs are providing beyond line of sight reconnaissance, fires and over watch. This support enables rapid movement, target identification and engagement with enhanced

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>> lead story

While addressing the annual Combined Commanders, Conference in November 2013, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had listed some serious challenges facing not just the armed forces but the entire national security structure of the country. He then, before concluding, spoke about civil-military relations. He said: “There have been concerns that have been raised in recent times about the nature of civil-military relations in our country. Let me assert, clearly and unequivocally, that the political leadership of India has the highest faith in its military and its institutional rectitude within the democratic framework. The apolitical nature of our military and its proven professionalism are the envy of the world and have also nurtured the Indian democratic experience. Our democracy and institutions have proven their ability to deal

with any issues or doubts that may arise.” He was obviously referring to the ugly age related spat that had occurred between the government and General V.K. Singh, the former Chief of the Army Staff. The readers will recollect that one national newspaper had even alluded to a coup attempt. This news raised the heckles of all serving and retired service personnel of the armed forces as to them it seemed that the bureaucracy was once again at work to tarnish the image of the armed forces. One of the publications reported: On top of all this, members of the armed forces are furious about what they see as eroding pay, pension, and status in comparison to their civilian counterparts. However, with the retirement of the former Chief the matter went into the background. With the election of the NDA government with an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha, the Services felt more confident that achhe din would arrive and that the long-delayed modernisation completely put off the rails by the UPA Defence Minister A.K. Antony would now see adequate progress and the other longpending issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand would also fructify. This was a strong

battle damage assessment making this weapon system a true force multiplier. By extending future battle space coverage, UAVs will provide greater situational awareness that not only enhances force protection and survivability but will also generate greater lethality. The revolution in unmanned warfare has been a long time coming and it got its impetus with the Israelis demonstrating how UAVs could be effectively used in operations in the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Interest in the UAVs further intensified following their successful employment on the battlefield in Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005 the tactical and theatre level unmanned aircraft alone had flown 1,00,000 flight hours in support of the above operations. In Afghanistan the Global Hawk and Predator UAVs have been used extensively in carrying out all types of missions both ISR and combat. Today technologically advanced militaries across the world have incorporated UAVs as a new critical and combat enhancing component of their inventory. While Israel and the US have been the pioneers in UAV development, at least 14 other countries including China and India are now using/developing over 76 different types of UAVs for all types of ISR missions including combat.

Employment Philosophy/Role Current military UAVs perform reconnaissance as well as attack missions. Though intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillances mission still remain the predominant roles, other areas of employment include electronic attack, strike missions, suppression and/or destruction of enemy air defence, network node or communications relay and combat search and rescue. The combination of loiter time and layered employment of UAVs provides the critical capability needed to support network-centric operations. UAVs are often preferred for missions


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belief in the ex-servicemen community in view of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally prior to the elections. But as usual they were not aware of the forces at play. The modernisation of the armed forces is moving forward, if we can say that, at a snail’s pace. ‘Make in India’ seems to have caught the fancy of all without any clarity about what it means. Till date there is no implementable policy that has emerged in this regard. As far as the armed forces are concerned they are still going by the Make Procedure in vogue since 2008 in the Defence Procurement Procedure. This procedure allows a minimum indigenous content of 30 per cent with an imported content of 70 per cent in the manufacture of any system within the country. Out of the three Services, the Army is the worst affected service with literally no modernisation in any arm of the service and nothing in the pipeline, at least not in the next few years. Apart from the nonchalant approach in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Army has to be apportioned a certain percentage of the blame because equipment and related systems must be dealt by officers who are competent in the field of understanding modern tech-

nology of army related systems. They should be capable of taking/ recommending decisions related to modernisation of all equipment used in the army and pushing the cases forward with competence and vigour. A pedestrian approach in this regard will invariably lead to inaction and delays which is what is happening. As regards the OROP, the government, after protracted discussions with all concerned, made the much awaited announcement on the implementation OROP on September 5, 2015. However, as usual some major flaws were found in the official announcement made by the Defence Minister which led the United Front of Ex-Servicemen (UFESM) to point out seven serious shortcomings of the formal announcement made by the Defence Minister which are on the Internet. Thereafter despite many other letters including the one signed by 155 all ranks (including 80 retired Generals) addressed to the Prime Minister have not been acknowledged by the government. We have also learnt that the earlier letters written by the former Chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force to the President have also not been acknowledged. The mentality and the disposition of the powers that

photograph: sp guide pubns

DRDO developed Rustom-1 UAV prototype

that are too dull, dirty or dangerous for manned aircraft. The concept of killer/ hunter UAVs for strike missions is a reality in Afghanistan. The Predator, carrying two ‘Hellfire’ missiles has been extensively used by the US forces for strike missions against the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas. These UAVs are being piloted for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan from halfway across the world in Nevada and California more than 12,800 km from the killing zone, providing real time video feeds to troops on ground. However, the vast majority of roughly 1,500 UAVs flying in Iraq and Afghanistan are much smaller, controlled by soldiers and marines on the ground. The smallest is the ‘Raven’, about the size of a large model airplane with a wingspan of three feet, which is sometimes mistaken for a bird flying high in the sky.

terrorist (CI/CT) operations require timely, responsive and accurate intelligence to succeed and the UAV is the best suited weapon platform for this task. The UAV is capable of operating in a permissive as well as non-permissive (within another country’s sovereign airspace) environment and with a variety of sensors suitable for single or multi-mission operations. The sensor can transmit information based on detection, identification and location of militant groups to intelligence agencies or to surveillances teams. UAVs could also provide support to troops on the ground during the operations in terms of real time image or signal intelligence via a secure downlink. An armed UAV overhead could provide timely on scene firepower, a situation regularly being played out in Afghanistan and tribal areas of Pakistan.

Subconventional Operations

Successful use of UAVs and their combat enhancing potential has generated the interest of militaries across the world. China and Pakistan are adding UAVs of

UAVs are providing exclusive capabilities for forces engaged in the global war on terrorism. The counter-insurgency/counter-

Developments in India

be towards to the uniformed community are there for all to see. On October 26, 2015, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the notification for OROP will be issued soon after the Bihar elections, and possibly before Diwali. It remains unclear whether the shortcomings pointed out by the ex-servicemen will be taken into account. We would not be doing justice to the matters related to OROP if we do not highlight the part played by the media. In the initial days of the relay hunger strike of the ex-servicemen from July through September 2015, the media was very active and supportive of the ex-servicemen, however this stopped suddenly from end September onwards because the relay hunger strikes are still being undertaken with the same gusto as before. Many are of the view that unwritten instructions from the government are responsible for this media blackout. If this be true, it reflects poorly on the much touted press freedom and the bravado of our media men.

Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

various capabilities to their inventory and have expressed interest in developing and procuring UAVs with enhanced capabilities, including armed versions. During the last couple of years China has unveiled more than 25 different models of UAVs, prominent among them being the WJ600 combat UAV. The WJ600 is said to be capable of carrying several missiles – as per reports China is currently also working on the development of a stealth UAV/UCAV. India too has not been left out of the global UAV push, with a major thrust of its armed forces modernisation plans focusing on augmenting their current meagre resources—the Israeli Searcher II and Heron (MALE) UAVs. India has developed a smaller UAV, the Nishant (catapult launch and parachute recovery) which has already entered service with the Army. In addition, India is undertaking a development programme for a UAV in the Heron / Predator class of MALE UAVs, called the ‘Rustom’—a 1,100-1,300 kg UAV, with a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet and range of 300 km. The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) along with Bharat Electronics are slated to design and build this UAV. However, India’s most prized indigenous drone programme is the development of the autonomous unmanned research aircraft (AURA). The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has embarked on the development of the AURA unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) which is stated to be a high speed stealth UCAV, capable of autonomously seeking, identifying and destroying targets, with missiles, bombs and precision guided munitions – as per DRDO the first flight is expected by end this year. In the interim the government has cleared the acquisition of 10 missile armed ‘Heron TP’ UCAVs from Israel – these are similar to the well-known US UCAV ‘Predator’. Although large size UAVs have been procured by the armed forces there has been no movement on the micro and mini UAVs including man pack, which are essen-

lead story >> tial for the tactical battle area and CI/CT operations. Reports indicate that the Indian Army is also on the lookout for miniature UAVs (MAVs), which can evade enemy radar, are easy to handle, can be launched without runways and are also capable of carrying explosives to act as killer drones for small but high value targets. The main aim is to use them for monitoring mountainous terrain, conflict zones and congested urban areas. The MAVs would be very useful in CI/CT operations in J&K and the North East. The MAVs could weigh as less as 2 kg and have an endurance of 30 minutes at a stretch. However, in the recent past there has been some positive moves by the government in this direction with the focus shifting to the private sector in the ‘Make in India’ thrust. A number of private firms have been given the go-ahead to build this segment of UAVs with partnership with foreign OEMs if required – licences have been issued to some of them. Also, earlier this year the joint development and co-production of the next-generation mini-handlaunched UAV ‘Raven’ was one of the four pathfinder projects agreed to, during the Obama-Modi summit – the present generation of Ravens have proved their worth in operations in Afghanistan. These are very positive developments for the UAV industry in India and the Indian military.

Future Trends The increasing demand and reliance on UAVs in warfighting and peacekeeping operations has doubled the pace of UAVrelated research and development in recent years. UAVs today, with enhanced capabilities, are able to play a greater role in critical

missions. Achieving information superiority, minimising collateral damage, fighting effectively in urban area against widely dispersed forces, striking autonomously and precisely, are areas where UAVs will be increasingly indispensable. The three major thrusts in UAV development are growth in size of strategic UAVs for better endurance and payload, reduction in size of tactical UAVs, weaponisation of UAVs to offer lethal capability in combat missions and autonomy—commonly defined as ability of the machine to take decisions without human intervention. Armed forces worldwide are beginning to explore the possibilities offered by unmanned systems as both sensor and weapon platforms. The promise of an autonomous, highly survivable and absolutely fearless UAV will usher in a new paradigm in which the ultimate consideration is no longer the value of pilots lives, but the mission and costeffectiveness of UAVs. The advent of light airborne precision weapons, autonomous target acquisition and recognition technologies will push UAVs towards becoming armed and lethal unmanned platforms. UAVs with the ability to pick out targets in attack autonomously with persistent presence over areas of interest will come of age in the near future and become indispensable weapons of war for commanders. The continued development of strategic and tactical UAVs follows the line of employing UAVs as multi-role multi-mission platforms. UAVs will see progressive developments towards both extreme ends of size spectrum. Strategic UAVs will see growth in size for better endurance, reliability and payload capacity, while the mini and

Today technologically advanced militaries across the world have incorporated UAVs as a new critical and combat enhancing component of their inventory micro UAVs will grow smaller, lighter and more expendable. The tactical close range platforms will become more versatile with multi-role multi-mission capability. Passive and low signature sensors are essential to boost stealth and survivability of UAVs. Noteworthy advances include hyper-spectral imaging, laser radar, synthetic aperture radar and moving target indicator. Increasing demand of better performance and higher reliability will escalate the development and production costs of UAVs. Whether the platform is designed to be even more reliable than an aircraft depends on its application, the payload it carries, mission pay off and cost effectiveness. It must be appreciated that for strategic high value UAVs to perform as well as manned systems will have higher acquisition costs. The development of larger size UAVs (fixed-wing and rotary) in the cargo carriage role is already underway, with the lead being taken by US companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Some of these systems like Lockheed Martin’s

unmanned K-MAX helicopter has been successfully deployed in Afghanistan to augment Marine Corps ground and air logistics operations – as per available data its performance has been exceptional. As per reports Sikorsky in cooperation with the US Army has successfully demonstrated optionally piloted flight of a ‘Black Hawk’ helicopter— the programme is called MURAL (manned/ unmanned resupply aerial lifter). This is a significant development towards not only providing autonomous cargo delivery capability but also gives the commander the flexibility of launching crewed or uncrewed operations depending on the situation. The navies the world over are closely monitoring these developments—rotary UAVs capable of operating from ship decks will be force multipliers.

Conclusion Technology is driving the military application of UAVs into remarkable areas, with the possibilities seemingly endless. A crucial piece of technology that is required to take UAVs to the next level is a robust ‘sense and avoid’ system allowing unmanned planes to fly safely in a congested airspace. UAVs are a critical combat multiplier that is rapidly becoming an organic necessity for all modern armies. While the UAV is an innovative weapon system, but it is not yet capable of replacing the manned aircraft, the main drawbacks being the situational awareness and the ability to analyse its operational environment. The way forward is to integrate manned and unmanned platforms and satellite-based sensors in order to attain an integrated operational picture.  SP

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Defence and Security Cooperation with Myanmar Both India and Myanmar share a land border of 1,643 km and maritime domain in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Further, Myanmar has a long border with China in the north which is contiguous to the disputed border between India and China. photograph: PIB

  Brigadier Vinod Anand (Retd)


ecently in October 2015 India’s National Security Advisor witnessed the signing of peace accord between the Myanmar Government and eight of the 15 ethnic armed groups. China, Japan, Thailand, the United Nations and the European Union were the other witnesses to the accord. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoy for the North East R.N. Ravi and former Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, a former rebel, were also present on the occasion. However, the Myanmarbased National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) (NSCN-K) stayed away from signing the National Ceasefire Agreement; it is the same group that was responsible for ambushing the Dogra battalion troops of the Indian Army in June. As a response Indian Special Forces had carried out a raid in the transborder region against the NSCN(K) meeting with a degree of success. Three years back S.S. Khaplang, a Burmese Naga, had signed a state-level ceasefire pact with Sagaing Region Minister for Security and Border Affairs in 2012, which is technically still in operation though he pulled out of a 14-year-old ceasefire pact with India in April this year before launching a series of offensives against the security forces in Nagaland and Manipur of which ambush on the Dogra battalion was the most serious. Not signing an accord with Burmese NSCN(K) by the Myanmar Government is being viewed as a positive development as far as the Indian Government is concerned and should be welcome. Both India and Myanmar share a land border of 1,643 km and maritime domain in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Further, Myanmar has a long border with China in the north which is contiguous to the disputed border between India and China. These borders have been used by China earlier and several Indian insurgent groups for smuggling of arms, narcotics and other wherewithal to fuel the insurgency in the North-eastern parts of India.

Developments in Defence Relationship and Political Context The military to military relations between India and Myanmar gained traction with the goodwill visit of the then Chief of Army Staff, General B.C. Joshi to Myanmar in May 1994. Supply of some military hardware followed. Momentum to the defence relationship was further imparted when in January 2000 when a military delegation led by the then Indian Army Chief, General V.P. Malik, visited Myanmar and met Myanmar’s senior military elite to forge a military to military relationship which over the years has proved very fruitful. Since 2000, after the return visit of General Maung Aye to India, bilateral annual border meetings between the two armies have been taking place regularly. India has also supplied a range of military hardware since then. The scope for expansion of defence and security cooperation which had been limited earlier due to the nature of the dispensation in Nay Pyi Taw improved after opening up of Myanmar with ushering in of democratic reforms in 2010.


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Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, U Wunna Maung Lwin, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on July 15, 2015

Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Myanmar in April 2012 after a gap of 25 years was recognition of the fact that the positive changes occurring on Myanmar’s political firmament had created conditions for enabling such a high level visit. A dozen memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed after the visit also indicate the diverse fields in which India is engaging Myanmar. Both leaders emphasised the need for enhanced cooperation between security forces and border guarding agencies for securing peace, security and stability in the border areas, which was crucial for overall development. Earlier, the first meeting of the bilateral Regional Border Committee had been held which was useful in promoting such cooperation and understanding for better border management. Politically, reestablishment of formal relations with Aung San Suu Kyi was seen as one of the major gains of the visit. While she had close linkages with India in the past including active support by the Indian Government to the democracy movement in the 1980s, there was a break in this relationship due to geopolitics of the region. Though there were informal linkages and India had been pressing both sides, the military junta of the past and Suu Kyi-led NLD to reconcile their differences, Suu Kyi had maintained a public distance from New Delhi. Prime Minister Modi’s visit in November 2014 to Myanmar to attend ASEAN-India and East Asia Summit and thereafter a bilateral with Myanmarese political leadership have further added substance to not only India’s ‘Look East’ policy or rather ‘Act East’ policy but also strengthened the strategic relationship with Nay Pyi Taw. Modi’s meeting with Suu Kyi in November 2014 also denotes continuance of a policy that lays emphasis on engaging all sections of the political spectrum.

Connectivity and Beyond Myanmar’s strategic salience as a land bridge to China on the one hand and to the South East Asia on the other hand cannot be overemphasised. While approaches from China through Myanmar are important from military security and economic point of view the

connectivity to South East Asia is relevant from the economic and strategic point of view. Security and stability in the border areas is an imperative for overall development and establishment of multi-modal corridors linking India and Myanmar and beyond. Both Indian and Myanmar leaders have assured each other that territories of either country would not be allowed to be used for activities inimical to the other, including for training, sanctuary and other operations by terrorist and insurgent organisations and their operatives. Evidently, where Indian officialdom needs to pay attention is in implementation of the decisions taken on some of the projects and schemes. The record in respect of execution of projects has not been very satisfactory so far.

Developments in Defence and Security Cooperation The Indian Prime Minister during his visit to Myanmar in April 2012 had also stressed on the need for maritime security cooperation and observed that both India and Myanmar need to “expand our security cooperation that is vital not only to maintain peace along our land borders but also to protect maritime trade which we hope will open up through the sea route between Kolkata and Sittwe.” In February 2012 Myanmar Navy had taken part in joint naval exercises conducted by India with the participation of 14 nations’ navies (Milan series of naval exercises). The visit of India’s Defence Minister to Myanmar in January 2013 was a continuation of trend that has marked the growing defence cooperation between the two countries. After a degree of democratic reforms in Myanmar that were ushered in 2010, many military dignitaries from both sides have exchanged visits to enhance military to military cooperation and address mutual border security threats and challenges. In fact, in last three years or so the three Indian services chiefs have visited Myanmar to forge a closer defence relationship with Myanmar. In January 2013, the Defence Minister was accompanied by Army Commander of Kolkata-based Eastern Command and Vice Chief of Indian Navy which

highlighted the fact that India was keen to further address its concerns regarding land and maritime security concerns in coordination with Myanmar armed forces. It is important for India to build up capacities of the Myanmar’s armed forces especially in relation to developing its prowess in fighting the insurgents. Since the year 2000 there have been off and on coordinated operations along the borders to flush out the insurgents. The insurgents take advantage of the difficult terrain along the borders and lack of adequate controls along the borders to carry out attacks and then cross over to Myanmar. The border management problems are further complicated by some of the existing trading arrangements for border trade. Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Myanmar in 2013 had come in the background of clashes between the Kachin insurgents and the Myanmar armed forces; a lasting ceasefire is yet to be achieved though a nationwide ceasefire with all the insurgents expected to be achieved before the 2015 elections. Kachin Independent Organisation has been known to have cross-border linkages with Indian insurgent groups like the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in the shape of having provided shelter and advance military training to ULFA cadres. Further, NSCN(K) as mentioned above is another active insurgent group which has trans-border affiliations with Myanmarese Nagas of Sagaing division opposite Indian states of Manipur and Nagaland. There have also been reports that a variety of North-eastern insurgent groups have joined together to coordinate their anti-India activities. In May 2014 India and Myanmar signed a MoU on border cooperation which provides a framework for security cooperation and exchange of information between Indian and Myanmar security agencies. An important provision is that of conduct of coordinated patrols on their respective sides of the international border and the maritime boundary by the armed forces of the two countries. India has been providing training facilities to Myanmar armed forces in professional and technical courses; the vacancies in such courses for the Myanmar defence forces are being regularly enhanced. Maintenance of some Russian origin equipment is also being provided by the Indian defence forces. Building of defence infrastructure in the border areas has been another proposition which may fructify soon. This would facilitate quick movement and deployment of Myanmar forces to tackle insurgents and maintain law and order in border areas. Looking at the multilateral platform for defence cooperation, both Myanmar and India are members of ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus forum where shared defence and security concerns are discussed and joint exercises are carried out especially in the areas of non-traditional security. The basic objective of creating such a framework was to bring about cooperative security, especially in the areas of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations. Therefore, scope for further defence and security cooperation between the two nations


Parrikar to Visit USA Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the US in December is expected to propel the Indo-US relationship to a new level photograph: PIB

  Ranjeet Kumar


he impending visit of the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the United States on December 9 and 10 would build on the already deep engagement between the two sides in defence and strategic arena. It is significant that the visit has been scheduled within six months of the visit to New Delhi of the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter in June this year during which the path for long-term defence and strategic partnership between the two largest democracies had already been cleared. Parrikar’s visit would be expected to propel the relationship to a new level. The visit is taking place on the back of reported US decision to sell F-16s and Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan. This US decision has irked India as it intends to rearm India’s arch rival with sophisticated military aircraft. which certainly are not meant for use against terrorists or the Taliban. US arms supplied to Pakistan have always been used against India and once again the Pakistani Army has been successful in blackmailing the US leaders. According to the latest US Congressional Report, the Pentagon has cleared military hardware worth $5.4 billion after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US Defense Headquarters in Washington DC and the World Trade Center in New York. This includes the sophisticated F-16 fighters. Interestingly, the military hardware were supplied to Pakistan in the 10-year framework, for which the logic given was that Islamabad needs capacity building to fight terrorists in its border areas. However, Pakistan has always been successful in duping the US Administration, though, experts also say that the US has never been oblivious of the actual use of the weapon systems and platforms supplied to Pakistan. Though, both US and India claim to be strategic partners, US has never listened to Indian cries of arming Pakistan at the cost of India’s security. Parrikar would take forward the decisions reached between the two sides and further discuss ways and means to promote the ‘Make In India’ programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the defence sector. The US has also evinced keen interest in asking its defence sector to manufacture in India for its armed forces and export them too to Third World countries. Sources in the Indian Ministry of Defence said that the US and India would discuss the possibilities of raising the level of bilateral exercises and review the progress made in the joint working group on

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to US and expected meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter may kickstart new dimensions in US-India relationship

aircraft carrier as well as identify technologies that could be obtained by the Indian armed forces under the foreign military sales programme of the US Government. To create ground for the interactions between India and the US, two high level Indian delegations would be visiting the US. The IndiaUS Defence Policy and Procurement Group will meet in Washington on November 13, in which Asha Ram, the Director General (Acquisition) would be leading the Indian side. The India-US Defence Policy Group will meet four days later, when the Indian Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar will have a meeting with the US Under Secretary of Defense Policy Christine E. Wormuth. During the last visit of Ashton Carter four major issues were agreed upon. The first one was the New Defence Framework, which will build upon the earlier one and would give direction to the bilateral defence and strategic partnership for the next decade. Regarding projects the two sides finalised the joint development of Mobile Electric Hybrid Power sources and the Next Generation Protective Ensembles. The two sides had also agreed to pursue projects of co-development and co-production that will offer good possibilities for US defence sector to build defence partnership with Indian companies including the proposed ‘Make in India’ programme. The two sides had also agreed to take forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft carrier design and construction, etc.

During Carter’s visit, the two sides had discussed India-US strategic partnership and had also exchanged views on emerging regional security dynamics. During the

forthcoming Parrikar visit to Washington, the two sides would carry forward the discussion on issues ranging from the current situation in South China Sea where the US Navy had dared the Chinese Navy to challenge, when the American warships had ventured very near to the artificial island created by China for military purposes and expanding its territorial limits in the South China Sea. Afghanistan, Central Asia, West Asia and India-Pakistan relations are also expected to figure during the talks. By ordering the 15 Chinook and 22 Apache helicopters, the Indian Government has already impressed the US Administration with its seriousness in engaging with the US defence firms. The US is already eyeing more orders from India. Boeing has offered the F-18 Super Hornets to be manufactured in India to fulfill the needs of the Indian Air Force for the medium multi-role combat aircraft. Also, Boeing has already announced that either Apaches or the Chinooks would be assembled in India. If these developments materialise, USIndia relations will assume new dimensions as the US companies would for the first time enter Indian defence sector directly. During Parrikar’s visit to the US, all these issues will certainly be explored.  SP

...continued from page 4 has been enhanced under the aegis of ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting.

Concluding Observations From Indian perspective there is a need for enhancement of bilateral ties in all fields, including defence. The following areas need particular attention: l Improvement of mechanisms for coordinating patrolling by the Army along the land borders to prevent infiltration of insurgents. l Similar arrangements for patrolling maritime boundaries to curb activities of insurgent groups. l Ensuring that neither side allows the insurgents to use their territory for activ-

ities detrimental to each other’s security. l Additional vacancies for training of

Myanmar Army personnel in Indian training academies. l Repair and training cover for Myanmar defence forces equipment of Russian origin. Despite the recent opening up to the US and the West due to its nascent democratic and economic reforms China’s strategic influence in Myanmar is considerable. India’s engagement with Myanmar and the western interest in Myanmar would contribute to moderating China’s influence.  SP The author is a Senior Fellow with the Vivekananda International Foundation

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Expert Committee on Defence Procurements in 2015: An Appraisal With a view to streamline the process, DPP 2002 has been subjected to seven major reviews during the last 13 years. Unfortunately, all review committees restricted themselves to suggesting procedural changes only photograph:

  Major General Mrinal Suman (Retd)


onsequent to the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued detailed guidelines for capital acquisitions and the first Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) came into being in February 1992. However, it suffered from some major deficiencies which affected its implementation. As recommended by the Group of Ministers constituted in the wake of the Kargil conflict, a fresh and far more comprehensive DPP was issued in December 2002. With a view to streamline the process, DPP 2002 has been subjected to seven major reviews during the last 13 years. Unfortunately, all review committees restricted themselves to suggesting procedural changes only. They lacked courage to suggest radical overhaul of the system, fearing its outright rejection by the decision makers. No holistic study of all facets of the defence procurement regime has ever been undertaken. No serious thought has ever been given to providing an impetus to indigenous production. Resultantly, we have acquired the shameful tag of being the largest importer of conventional weapons in the world. Therefore, constitution of an expert committee under Dhirendra Singh in May 2015 was viewed with considerable optimism. The committee was tasked to evolve a policy framework to facilitate ‘Make in India’ in defence manufacturing and align the policy evolved with DPP 2013. It was also asked to suggest requisite amendments in DPP 2013 to remove the bottlenecks in the procurement process and to simplify/ rationalise various aspects of defence procurement. The committee submitted its report to MoD recently. The committee’s recommendations are three-pronged: achievement of ‘Make in India’ mission streamlining of the procurement process; and strengthening of the indigenous defence manufacturing base through the integration of the private sector. A number of measures have been suggested to create a genuine level playing field for both the public and the private sectors. Further, the committee has desired that Indian manufacturing industry be assured of a fair treatment vis-à-vis the global players. Recommendations of the committee can be grouped under four subheads: conceptual ladder for ‘Make in India’ mission; amendments to DPP 2013; integration of the private sector; and supplementary issues. Their salient aspects have been discussed hereunder.

For ‘Make in India’ Mission Being one of the key terms of reference, the committee has spent considerable effort in suggesting a road map to achieve the envis-


SP’s Land Forces   5/2015

Pinaka 214MM multi-barrel rocket launcher system developed by DRDO

aged objective of ‘Make in India’. A conceptual ladder has been evolved to represent progressive development of competence level in the defence industry, from the very basic level of repair and maintenance to the level of acquiring ability to design, develop, manufacture and test systems/equipment. Different stages in the ladder have been well correlated with various categories of the capital procurements as obtaining today. It is an innovative suggestion. The report rightly cautions that ‘Make in India’ campaign should not be allowed to degenerate into ‘Assemble in India’ programme. To prevent falling into such a trap, it suggests higher indigenous content across all defence purchases and upgradation of in-service equipment under the ‘Make’ category. The committee is of the view that the indigenous content in the procurements should be increased from the current levels of about 35 per cent to nearly 70 per cent in a phased manner. The committee feels that by encouraging Indian industry to undertake upgradation of in-service systems, the process of familiarisation by the industry with the technologies, operating environment as well as user requirements can be accelerated. It suggests ‘Industry in the Lead, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a Partner’ model for quicker and more efficient realisation of the objectives. If considered necessary, a foreign technology partner could also be considered. Although small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are universally accepted as engines that drive technological progress in all industrial sectors, their importance in the defence sector gets further enhanced due to the fact that defence industry is highly technology-intensive. As SMEs lack resources to compete with big players, the commit-

tee has suggested hand-holding by the government. It wants MoD to make necessary finance available to them on easy terms. The committee has made two suggestions to improve the functioning of the public sector entities. First, it has reiterated the often heard demand for the corporatisation of the management structure of the Ordnance Factory Board. Secondly, the committee has recommended that the four shipyards under MoD be merged into one corporate entity, retaining the yard facilities in their present geographical locations but working under one single management.

Suggested Amendments to DPP 2013 The committee has made a number of rec-

The report rightly cautions that ‘Make in India’ campaign should not be allowed to degenerate into ‘Assemble in India’ programme. To prevent falling into such a trap, it suggests higher indigenous content across all defence purchases and upgradation of in-service equipment under the ‘Make’ category.

ommendations with respect to the provisions of the procurement procedure. As DPP keeps referring to the term Indian vendor recurrently, the committee felt the need to define the term in unambiguous terms to avoid misinterpretations and confusion. According to the committee, the essential ingredient of the criterion is the controlling stakes of the Indian entity except cases where the foreign direct investment (FDI) above 49 per cent has been allowed to an entity for a particular defence product and the entity is competing for the supply of that product. Considering the above, the committee has suggested that the definition of Indian vendor should read: “For defence products requiring industrial licence, an Indian entity/partnership firm, complying with, besides other regulations in force, the guidelines/licensing requirements stipulated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion as applicable. For defence products not requiring industrial licence, an Indian entity/partnership firm registered under the relevant Indian laws and complying with all regulations in force applicable to that industry”. Another key recommendation pertains to the current provision of DPP 2013 wherein report of the Technical Evaluation Committee is approved at the Vice Chief/Deputy Chief/Director General level in the concerned Service HQ and forwarded to DG Acquisition for acceptance. The same procedure is followed in the case of the Staff Evaluation Report. The committee is of the view that once the above two reports are approved at senior levels in the Service Headquarters, there should be no need for their ‘acceptance’ by MoD. It is a welcome suggestion and will not only avoid duplication of effort but also inject an element of trust. Some of the other major changes recommended by the committee in DPP 2013 are as follows: l Validity period of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Buy (Global)’ be reduced to six months as Services Qualitative Requirements (SQR) for such cases are finalised prior to the accordance of AoN. l With a view to lend rationality, clarity and transparency to the process of categorisation of capital acquisition proposals, defining attributes of each category should be incorporated in DPP. l The Defence Procurement Board (DPB) should be authorised to approve minor deviations in SQR which do not materially alter the character of the request for proposals (RFPs) in terms of capability being sought, associated deliverables or have major commercial implications. l The minimum threshold of the percentage of indigenous content for ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Make’ categories should be revised to 40, 60 and 40 per cent respectively.



photographS: sp guide pubns

Further, there should be a biennial upward revision of indigenous content across the board. l Retraction of RFP in cases where a single vendor situation develops after technical evaluation of the bids should be avoided in ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ cases, since the commercial quotes would have been submitted earlier in a competitive environment. l ‘Performance Based Logistics’ should be preferred over ‘Annual Maintenance Contract’ model. l ‘Total Cost of Acquisition’ model should be adopted for all platforms/systems where major elements of cost are quantifiable and verifiable, either on time basis or on running-hour basis. l Contents of ‘Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap’ should be more specific as regards the nature of equipment/systems that would be required to be inducted/upgraded during the next 15 years. l Details of all schemes included in fiveyear Services Capital Acquisition Plan should also be shared with the industry.

Encourage Open Registration The committee was asked to peruse draft policy on employment of agents by foreign vendors. Accepting the need to regulate the functioning of agents, the committee has concurred that the process of registration should be considerably simplified to encourage open registration. As engagement of agents by foreign vendors could either be omnibus for all their products in the region or for handling specific RFP, guidelines must cater for both the situations. To avoid any ambiguity in interpretation, uniformity of the texts of all clauses pertaining to agents in DPP must be ensured.

Debarment Must Take National and Public interests into Account The committee was also asked to peruse the draft policy on debarring vendors for alleged misdemeanours. It concurred with the underlying philosophy that misdeeds of an entity or its employees should not be visited on the equipment/system/platform which had been carefully chosen by the Services following the prescribed procedure. Further, pragmatism demand that the issue of putting on hold, suspension and debarment of the entities be decided taking national and public interests into account.

Integration of the Private Sector While stressing the need to integrate the private sector in the defence industry, the committee has recommended a number of measures for the provision of level playing field to the private industry vis-à-vis the public sector and the foreign vendors. The Kelkar Committee had propounded the concept of nominating select private sector industrial entities as Raksha Utpadan Ratna (RUR), to be treated at par with the public sector for all defence equipment purposes. Somewhat on similar lines, the Dhirendra Singh Committee feels that the strength of private industry can be harnessed only through well defined partnership models, depending upon the strategic needs, quality criticality and cost competitiveness. It has suggested the creation of three types of partnership models with the private sector. ‘Strategic Partnership’ Model: For platforms of strategic importance, ‘Strategic Partnership’ model has been suggested. It aims to create capacity in the private sector on a long-term basis; over and above the capacity and infrastructure that exists in the public sector. The primary focus of strategic partners would be to support sustainability and incremental improvements in capability of platforms through technology insertions over their lifetimes. The committee has identified six segments for the pur-

(Top) DRDO developed Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile; (above) MBT Arjun Mk II

pose – aircraft; warships; armoured fighting vehicles; complex weapon systems that rely on guidance; C4ISTR (command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance); and critical materials. ‘Development Partnership’ Model:

This model has been proposed for cases where quality is critical and vendor base is very narrow. Given the quality criticality of the product required, the number of such partners in any particular area (equipment/system) would depend upon the size of the market but would typically be limited. Many ‘Development Partners’ could aspire to attain the status of ‘Strategic Partner’, depending upon their core competence and capacity. It would be a ‘fluid’ space which the industry can navigate by building their competence, capacity and quality of the product. The ‘Competitive Model’: This model is akin to the traditional concept as is in force at present. All products that are outside the purview of strategic and development partnerships would fall in the competitive category. In addition to the above mentioned partnership models, the committee has recommended the following measures to assist the private sector: l Grant of exchange rate variation protection to Indian vendors. l Making available government’s proof firing ranges and trial avenues to private players on payment basis. l Rationalisation of taxes, levies and duties. l Grant of benefits of ‘deemed exports’ for transactions with respect to offset contracts arising from ‘Buy (Global)’ category cases.

l Grant of incentives for R&D and infra-

structure investments.

Supplementary Issues The committee has offered a number of interesting recommendations that fall outside the purview of DPP. After carrying out a scan of the acquisition structures evolved by the developed nations, the committee has reached the conclusion that India needs a separate organisation to promote indigenous defence industry and manage defence acquisitions. Citing the successful models of the Departments of Atomic Energy and Space, the committee has suggested creation of a distinct organisation under MoD with sufficient authority and flexibility. It could either be an attached office or an autonomous entity; but should preferably be located away from MoD as the defence security zone leads to severe limitations of access.

The committee concurred with the underlying philosophy that misdeeds of an entity or its employees should not be visited on the equipment/ system/platform which had been carefully chosen by the Services following the prescribed procedure

Further, the committee has stressed the need to inject professionalism in India’s acquisition regime. With a view to equip the workforce with requisite skills in diverse fields (appreciation of technology, trial procedures, commercial negotiations and legal issues in contractual matters, estimation of costs, financing structures, project management and data analysis), the committee has suggested institutionalised training at induction level and through career for all stakeholders. It advocates evolution of a tiered system of educating the workforce with all functionaries getting longer tenures. The committee is of the opinion that acquisition functionaries are wary of taking bold decisions as they dread being subjected to subsequent inquests. It has suggested that an environment of confidence should be built to provide a safety net to the acquisition officials. Four suggestions have been made by the committee. One, Technical Oversight Committee should be retained to ascertain adherence to the laid down procedure during the technical evaluation phase for select cases. Two, the concept of Eminent Persons Group should be reintroduced to examine observance of all prescribed processes and procedures in the course of commercial negotiations for acquisition proposals in excess of `300 crore and any other case recommended by DPB. Three, a system of Ombudsman should be set up for advice as regards grant of technical/commercial deviations and for post-contract consultations. Finally, it has been suggested that the Comptroller and Auditor General should carry out concurrent/pre-audit of major defence negotiations and contracts. As the proposed offset policy permits three routes for the discharge of offset obligations (direct offsets, technology transfer and skill development), the committee has suggested laying down of separate guidelines for the committees managing the three avenues. After perusing the draft offset policy, the committee feels that the ongoing offset contracts as well as those in the pipeline should be allowed to run their course under the provisions of earlier DPPs. Further, the committee has sought incentives for SMEs. More importantly, it cautions that the new offset policy should be outcome-oriented rather than process-oriented.

Conclusion MoD deserves credit for making the report public. It is a path-breaking initiative. However, expectations from the Dhirendra Singh Committee were very high, especially due to the reputation of its Chairman. It was expected to suggest radical measures to overhaul the current acquisition dispensation which has been a total failure. Sadly, all hopes have been belied. It has turned out to be a routine periodical review of DPP – a damp squib. The report is symptomatic of the bug of consensus that afflicts all Indian policy initiatives. It appears that the committee asked every stakeholder to make its submissions on the issues that impact it. Needless to say, every stakeholder has tried to ensure that his turf remains inviolate. Any committee that tries to accommodate all interest groups can never be objective in its report. Most disappointingly, the Dhirendra Singh Committee report is more ‘status-quoist’ than reformist; and that is its biggest limitation. Finally, although expert committees are constituted for well thought-through and holistic specialised guidance, it is for the serving officials to accept or reject the recommendations. If the past experience is any indicator, MoD will accept only those recommendations that suit it and strengthen its stranglehold on the acquisition regime. All ‘uncomfortable’ suggestions will be consigned to the dustbin. For example, corporatisation of the ordnance factories will remain a pipe dream and DRDO will continue to evade accountability.  SP

5/2015   SP’s Land Forces


>> modernisation

A Case for Developing Concept Driven Platforms Armies who design weapons to suit their operational concepts and terrain are what may be termed as concept driven armies photographS: sp guide pubns

  Major General R.P. Bhadran (Retd)


We could also examine the viability of using newer materials which are finding application as armour in many other fields, like graphene. Experiments show that the ability of graphene to disperse the kinetic energy of a projectile is far superior to fibreepoxy materials. Controlled layering of graphene sheets could lead to lightweight, energy-absorbing materials. The potential of available technologies for adaptation as above can be realised only through intimate interaction with the user community to know their mind. Therefore, in order to take forward the ‘Make’ projects as a viable and sustainable venture, both parties — the armed forces and the industry — have to reach out to each other, beyond the formal podiums, and understand each other’s aspirations, concerns and constraints. Industry must strive to comprehend the true import of the contents of the ‘operational requirements’ articulated in the PSQR and EOI rather than ignoring this section altogether just because it didn’t make sense on first reading. For example, a statement like “72 hours of continuous day and night operation” in the context of a weapon platform leads to much more than providing a good night sight and large quantities of fuel to increase the endurance. The statement has design implications on ergonomics, automotive systems, task sharing features for crew members, level of automation in each system, etc.

istorically, developing countries, dependant on imported weapons, have been seeking affordable technologies and adapting their tactical concepts to best leverage the capabilities of the weapon. This has been, and continues to be, the practice universally, including in India. Classical example of such instances are the conversion of the Indian Armoured Corps from the vintage T-55 tanks to the relatively sophisticated T-72s and subsequently to the T-90s. Armies of such nations can be termed as technology driven armies, i.e. they adapt their operational concepts to the technological capabilities of their weapons.

Concept Driven Platforms Developed nations, on the other hand, have been designing weapons to suit their operational concepts and terrain. The UDES series of tank destroyers developed by Sweden, T series of tanks by Russia, etc, exemplify this approach. Sweden has borders which are thickly forested and so they require a highly manoeuvrable platform that can meander past the dense tree lines. The erstwhile USSR, on the other hand, had the concept of mass employment of tanks in battle and as such accuracy of weapon of individual tanks was not crucial – survivability, to a reasonable degree, was assured through mobility and low silhouette. Armies of this kind are what may be termed as concept driven armies.

Strive for a Balanced System Configuration

‘Make’ Category in DPP Nearly a decade ago, the Government of India ushered in the ‘Make’ category of acquisitions in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). Over a period of time, the ‘Make’ procedure (Chapter 3 of DPP) has undergone numerous changes and refinements in the hands of expert committees. The spirit behind the ‘Make’ procedure is to custom develop military hardware to suit the concepts of the Indian armed forces (as articulated through a Services Qualitative Requirement). Keeping in mind the level of sophistication of military systems, industry is allowed to have considerable import content in these systems – up to 70 per cent; at least in the initial prototypes. The stress therefore is not on indigenous technology per se, but on putting all these technologies together to meet the aspirations of the armed forces. While there have been no takers yet in the Navy and the Air Force for projects under the ‘Make’ category, the Army has been proactive in this respect. The Tactical Communication System (TCS) and the Battlefield Management System (BMS) projects are already in the anvil with the participating industry consortiums. A few months ago, the Army went further and issued the expression of interest (EOI) for design and development of a futuristic infantry combat vehicle—the maiden venture of the armed forces to acquire a weapon platform under the ‘Make’ category. Earlier it had published a request for information (RFI) for a future ready combat vehicle (FRCV). If the industry is successful in giving shape to either, if not both, it will be a turning point in the


SP’s Land Forces   5/2015

Viability of Using Newer Materials

(Top) Indian Army’s T-90 Bhishma tank and (above) T-72 equipped with full width mine plough

country’s efforts to attain self-reliance in military hardware.

How to Convey the User Requirements to the Industry Unfortunately, neither the EOI nor the RFI nor for that matter the Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQR) manage to convey the requirements in a comprehensive manner to the uninitiated industry body. The true aspirations of the services are buried beneath a verbose articulation of ‘Operational

Experiments show that the ability of graphene to disperse the kinetic energy of a projectile is far superior to fibre-epoxy materials. Controlled layering of graphene sheets could lead to lightweight, energyabsorbing materials.

Requirements’ the import of which the industry has no idea. Hamstrung thus, the industry focuses solely on the ‘Technical Characteristics’ where the specifications of individual systems are described. ‘Empowered’ with this latter inputs alone, the industry goes about on a hunting expedition to seek out suitable foreign collaborators who can offer systems which match the technical characteristics. This leads to a collection of disparate systems which are onerously integrated with the attendant reliability and fidelity issues; yet failing to meet the user aspirations. User aspirations are not met through integration of disparate systems, but through adaptation of applicable technologies to meet the operational requirements of the armed forces. For example, in this era of autonomous, connected cars, would it be expedient to incorporate semi-autonomous driving in our combat platforms as a feature and thereafter even connect these platforms though the BMS? Here we are looking at adapting available technology rather than integrating systems. The positive fallout of such a facility is in enhancing crew endurance during sustained combat. Similarly, could we have independent controls for the gun and missile of the FICV, with the facility for the gunner and commander to engage targets independent of each other? If implemented, the firepower component of the FICV would be enhanced significantly.

The armed forces on their part would do well to focus on the essential ingredients of a balanced system configuration than an ideal system incorporating the best in each of the individual subsystems. Taking the example of the combat platform itself, the challenge, as all would agree, is in arriving at a balanced design with optimum firepower, protection and mobility. So far, the weightage for each has been a matter of individual’s perception rather than a scientific assessment. However, today, we could have computerised analytical war-gaming models to simulate combat situations and arrive at far more objective assessment of the relative importance of these cardinal factors. What is more, these values could be identified separately for different terrain conditions and threat assessment. In fact, a software application of this type will help us define the contours of the FRCV; whether it is viable, and if so, how many manifestations it may assume to meet the end-user requirement. Similar analytics could be undertaken for other systems and weapons as well. In conclusion, it must be noted that capital projects of the nature undertaken under the ‘Make’ category have long gestation. Looking at subsystems in isolation would be a mistake one should consciously avoid. It would be advisable to look at technology trends and analyse those trends to identify the takeaways for the systems under development rather than buying off the system itself.  SP The author is a former Deputy Director General, Information Systems.

military exercises >>

India’s Military Exercises with Friendly Foreign Countries The India Army conducts joint exercises with a large number of friendly foreign countries. The aim of these exercises is to acquaint both the forces with each other’s operating procedures, weapon systems, operational drills, in addition to increased understanding and interoperability between the two armies and forging closer partnership. photographS: Mod, US Army

  SP’s Correspondent

Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2015 The fifth joint exercise between Indian and China, named Hand-in-Hand 2015, commenced at Kunming Military Academy, Yunnan Province, China, on October 12, 2015. The 12-day exercise laid emphasis on joint handling of counter terrorism operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The opening ceremony commenced with an impressive parade by both contingents wherein national flags of both countries were brought on parade, followed by national anthem of both countries. The combined parade was commanded by Lt Colonel Ruchir Pant of the Indian Army. A weapon and equipment display was organised to familiarise with each other’s weapon systems at subunit level. This was followed by a demonstration of skills by the Indian contingent, which enthralled the audience with a spectacular display of yoga training, energetic tribal dances of Nagaland and unarmed combat skills. The Chinese contingent displayed combat shooting and obstacle negotiation skills within the military academy premises. Lt General Zhou Xiaozhou, head of the Chinese Observer Delegation, stated that the joint exercises play an important role in deepening mutual cooperation and forging a closer development partnership. He said that the exercise would expand the scope of military interaction, facilitate exchange of best practices in counter terrorism operations, enhance mutual understanding and trust and further promote friendly relationship between both militaries. Ashok Kantha, the Indian Ambassador to China, emphasised the need to tackle terrorism jointly and stressed on expanding defence cooperation at all levels. Lt General Surinder Singh, head of the Indian Observer Delegation, expressed confidence that the exercise will become a landmark in the history of bilateral relations of both countries and we will continue to work together and take our traditional friendship to new heights. He stated that both countries shared common perspective regarding countering terrorism in all its manifestations. He welcomed the proposed visit of Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission to India in November 2015. The exercise Hand-in-Hand 2015 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military as also facilitate in tackling the worldwide phenomenon of terrorism.

Exercise Mitra Shakti 2015 The third India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise Mitra Shakti 2015 culminated on October 12, 2015, after a grand closing ceremony held at Aundh Military Camp, Pune. The 14-day joint training included understanding of transnational terrorism, developing interoperability and conduct of joint tactical operations controlled by a Joint Command Post. Brigadier Tapan Lal Sah of the Indian Army and Brigadier K.P. Aruna

(Top) A Chinese soldier analysing bullet hits on target fired the Indian INSAS rifle during Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2015; (above) Indian Army and US Army soldiers during Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2015

Jayasekera of the Sri Lankan Army jointly reviewed the parade commanded by Major Ashish Kumar of the Indian Army. The Reviewing Officers as well as the Sri Lankan participating contingent were amazed when Major Ashish Kumar gave the report and sought permission to commence the proceedings from Brigadier Jayasekera in chaste Sinhalese. Martial skill display by the Indian Army added colour to the impressive parade by the joint contingent. Brigadier Jayasekera, after addressing the parade, declared the joint training closed. Observers of both the nations which included senior military officials, were unanimous in their praise for the professionally conducted training which has resulted in instilling confidence in each other’s capability to counter the common threat of ter-

ror. The exercise demonstrated the determination of the two armies in working closely with each other to eradicate the menace of terrorism in all its forms.

Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2015 The India-US combined military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2015 was held from September 9 to 23, 2015, at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), USA. The exercise brought together troops of an infantry subunit and a formation headquarters of the Indian Army with a similar participation from the US Army for the joint training. The annual bilateral exercise started on September 9, 2015, and finished on September 23. It focused on combined US and Indian Army training while promoting an enduring partnership and joint interoperability. Par-

Exercise Indra-2015 Indra series of exercises are held every year by the Indian Army and Russian Army on counter terrorism alternatively in India and Russia respectively. This year’s exercise will start on November 8. A 250-member-strong Russian Army contingent would arrive in Bikaner for the joint exercise to be held from November 7 to November 20. Exercise Indra-2015 is the seventh edition in a series of bilateral exercises under this banner. Detailed report on the exercise with pitures will be published in SP’s Land Forces issue 6/2015.

ticipating soldiers trained together in lowintensity, counter-insurgency actions; civic assistance missions; and operations of quick reaction teams. Participating in the exercise were soldiers from the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), 1-23 Infantry Battalion, 593rd Expeditionary Support Command; California National Guard and 100th Troop Command. In all, about 225 American soldiers participated in the exercise with most coming from the 3-2 SBCT. From the Indian Army, soldiers from the 9 Mountain Brigade as well as from 6 Kumaon Battalion participated. About 150 Indian soldiers flew into JBLM aboard a C-17 aircraft to participate in the exercise. This was the 11th exercise in the Yudh Abhyas series, which started in 2004 under US Army Pacific partnership programme. This exercise has strengthened and broadened interoperability and cooperation between both the armies and complements a number of other exchanges between the two forces. Over the years, the two countries have decided to progressively increase the scope and content of the combined training. The exercise has provided an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences in military operations in urban terrain, under the UN mandate. Commanders and Staff Officers of both sides worked in close coordination to receive and collate intelligence and to issue suitable operational orders to the combined field training components, who in turn executed these orders on ground. The exercise curriculum was planned progressively where the participants were initially to be made familiar with each other’s organisational structure, weapons, equipment and tactical drills. Subsequently, in joint tactical exercises, battle drills of both the armies were rehearsed. As the concluding part of the exercise a consolidation and validation exercise was witnessed by senior officers and observers of both armies, in which troops of both nations carried out subunit level operations in urban insurgency and military operations in urban terrain.

Indo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise The sixth Indo-Maldives joint training exercise commenced on August 31, 2015, with an impressive opening ceremony at Pangode Military Station, Thiruvananthapuram. The aim of the joint exercise was to acquaint both the forces with each other’s operating procedure in addition to increased understanding and interoperability between the two armies. A total of 45 soldiers each from the Maldivian National Defence Force and the Indian Army (Bihar Regiment) took part in this exercise. Varied training activities were conducted to enhance interoperability and jointness between the two forces. The joint training concluded with a tactical exercise. The closing ceremony was held on September 13, 2015, and involved cultural displays by various military display teams besides aerial acrobatics display by Sarang team.  SP

5/2015   SP’s Land Forces


>> show report

DSEI 2015 – Promoting Defence and Security Technologies photograph:

  R. Chandrakanth


he Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2015, held from September 15 to 18 in London, a biennial event, has become a must visit for defence personnel keen on knowing what are the latest weapons and equipment that are entering the market. It has been aptly summed up by the UK Defence Minister Philip Dunne, who described how leading defence and security companies from around the world increasingly point to Defence and Security Equipment International as the best platform to promote their latest technology and capabilities. Event organisers, Clarion Events, accommodated 1,500 exhibitors representing over 50 countries, 32,000 visitors, 300 programmed delegations and over 2,800 VIPs within the halls of ExCeL London. Dunne, who is the Minister responsible for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, explained that DSEI is unique in that it doesn’t just address the needs of the domestic audience. “Delegates come to this country, to DSEI, primarily to meet global industry,” he said: “It is the most global of all the defence shows”. Speaking at a DSEI reception for parliamentarians, the military and wider industry, Dunne highlighted the important role that the biennial exhibition plays in showcasing British manufacture and British supply chains. Indeed, there are more SMEs operating in the UK’s defence manufacturing sector than in France, Italy, Germany and Spain combined. The ministers attending the market leading event for land, sea and air applications of defence and security products, technology and services include the Rt Hon Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence; Penny Mordaunt; Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare & Veterans; Julian Brazier, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence; Rt Hon Anna Soubry, Minister of State for Small Business, Industry & Enterprise; and John Hayes, Security Minister at the Home Office.

mines. Thales will have the responsibility for the design, manufacture and fitting of the equipment modification to introduce wideband technology into Sonar 2093.

Smallest Helicopter – Black Hornet

Black Hornet nano helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle

UK Government Support Rear Admiral Simon Williams, Chairman of DSEI organisers Clarion Defence & Security, said, “The support we are receiving from the UK Government is solid evidence of their commitment to the nation’s defence and security sectors. It is very pleasing that our industry’s performance and potential in key areas such as innovation, technology development and exports are being recognised in this way. Ministers and industry have both demonstrated their wholehearted support for the defence growth partnership, and DSEI is an ideal platform to see this partnership in action.” The three new strategic conferences highlighted the increased level of content of this year’s event, and coupled with over 300 seminar sessions and keynotes which took place over four days, DSEI firmly stamps its mark as one of the industry’s most influential platforms for the discussion of agenda-topping issues. Representatives from think tanks, military, government and industry will provide a full spectrum of fascinating perspectives across the diverse range of issues currently facing the sector from future maritime strategy and UAV technology to counter terror initiatives, and medical innovation.

Who’s Who Prime Defence Contractors The exhibitor line-up was a Who’s Who of the prime contractor sector, featuring such industry giants as Airbus Defence & Space,

BAE Systems, Bell Helicopters, Boeing, CAE, Finmeccanica, General Dynamics, L3, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Northrop Grumman, Rafael, Rolls-Royce, Saab and Thales.

Cobham Cobham showcased many of its solutions to the industry. Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance, the RF specialist company, has announced the development of a powerful, flexible, new software-defined radio platform (designated SOLO8SDR) as the cornerstone of its next-generation of wireless surveillance products. This means that a device running on the platform can run multiple apps, much like a smartphone and, in effect, run whatever transmission applications the user requires at the time.

Thales Thales launched an upgrade to its unique variable depth minehunting sonar with wideband technology to improve operational performance, operability and support. Sonar 2093 is a multi-frequency variable depth sonar system designed to counter the threat of modern mines in both deep and shallow water, and is used by navies worldwide in demanding operational conditions. The upgrade will be fitted to all Royal Navy (RN) Sandown class minehunters, in a 60-month programme, to enhance system performance against low target strength

The Black Hornet (also called PD-100) is the smallest helicopter drone in the world, it was used in Afghanistan by the British armed forces. The PD-100 is the first airborne and commercially available Personal Reconnaissance System. It provides endusers with a highly mobile sensor system providing an immediate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. The Black Hornet 2 nano sensors are inherently safe and pose virtually no risk to other air vehicles or personnel, allowing the system to be operated almost anywhere at any time without prior airspace coordination. The Black Hornet’s small size and electric motors makes it virtually inaudible and invisible beyond short distances.

Marine Power Moored in the dock adjacent to the halls were eight outstanding examples of maritime capability. The UK Royal Navy was represented by the Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke, Hunt class MCMV HMS Hurworth and River class OPV HMS Tyne. The other vessels were the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax class frigate HMCS Winnipeg; Belgian Navy coastal patrol vessel BNS Castor; German Navy K130 class corvette FGS Ludwigshafen; Indian Navy Talwar class frigate INS Trikand and from France the Sea Owl Naval Training Ship VN Partisan. DSEI 2015 saw the largest land zone to date. Land domain exhibitors included such leading players as BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Esterline, Jankel Armouring, JCB Government & Defence, Land Rover, Patria Oyj, Rheinmetall, Streit and Supacat. A powerful new feature was the Future Soldier Showcase highlighting innovation in this important area. Security was another growth area with the Security Zone incorporating the highest ever number of first time exhibitors and providing a broad spectrum of security and counter terrorism products, equipment and technologies for police and paramilitary organisations.  SP

>> Sp’s Exclusives

Indian Army For New Silenced Pistol

The Indian Army is scouting an unspecified number of silenced pistols for its Special Forces and limited number of infantry units. The new request for information (RFI) makes it clear that the Army is looking for a new platform along with the suppressor/silencer add-on. The only detail the Army specifies is that the proposed


SP’s Land Forces   5/2015

silenced pistol is to be used in all kinds of operational scenarios, standard language in RFIs now. Leaving the floor open for specifics in terms of calibre, it seems likely it will want the calibres it is currently using. While the RFI does not make any specifications compulsory, it’s clear the Army wants a product that deploys combat sights with luminous dots, integral picatinny rail to enable attachments like tactical light and laser aiming device. The Army also clearly would prefer a pistol that comes supplied with a tactical light, laser aiming device; thigh, hip and shoulder holster, cleaning kit and tool repair kit – an important stipulation, given experiences the Army has had with handgun procurements in the recent past. Interestingly, the Army also asks vendors to specify if silencer is an integral part of the weapon or an add-on. The Army currently has ongoing

requirements for handguns, corner-shot weapons, silencer add-ons, pistol accessories and other items for special forces and infantry modernisation.

Army Beefs Up Mini-UAV Requirement The Army has a long-standing procurement process on to acquire new mini-UAVs, and has just decided it wants a separate additional requirement met by an Indian platform. The IAF has therefore published an RFI dovetailing its requirement to include Indian vendors. The requirement includes three aerial vehicle (AV) or platforms, one man portable ground control station (MPGCS), one launch and recovery system (where required), one remote video terminal (RVT), 3 complete sets of sensor package (all-weather day & night capability), 2-way airborne data relay (to control UAV beyond line of sight), spare AV batteries (three sets

per AV) and two spare batteries each for MPGCS and RVT, a portable COTS generator for charging and operating all UAV components without the need for any external power requirements of minimum 1 KVA, suitable battery chargers to enable charging the batteries from AC mains and vehicle battery. The mini-UAV and subsystems must fulfil relevant EMI / EMC requirements as per MIL STD 461 E, as stipulated by the Indian Army. The system must be operable by a maximum of two persons, and should be deployable from transportable condition within 30 minutes. Additionally, the Army wants that all components of the mini-UAV system must be interchangeable.

Indian Army Gets Going On New Future Tank Platform Post its major announcement that has had major repercussions for the armoured

Sp’s Exclusives / news in brief >>

fleet—the Indian Army had revealed in August that it is planning to design and develop a new-generation, state-of-theart combat vehicle platform for populating its Armoured Fighting Vehicle fleet in the coming decade—a huge amount of industrial interest has become visible from India’s private sector. This vehicle, the Army says, will be called the future ready combat vehicle (FRCV), and will form the base platform for the main battle tank (MBT) planned to replace the existing T-72 tanks in the Armoured Corps. It is also planned to subsequently develop other need-based variants on this platform, which would presumably include bridgelaying vehicles, autonomous self-propelled tracked artillery, independent troop carriers, etc. The Indian Army reveals that it wants to induct a vehicle within the next 10 years, that is, by 2025-27. “This fighting vehicle needs to be developed on a modular concept as part of a family of combat vehicles. The tracked main battle tank will be the primary/base variant,” the Army says in its announcement. Following its

experiences with the T-90 and Arjun platforms, the Army wishes to imbue lessons with its next concept platform.

120mm AMP round for Abrams tanks

tember. “While genuine complaints serve the objective of ensuring probity and transparency in the [defence] procurement process…non-genuine complaints have the potential to divert resources, delay procurement cases and cause loss to the buyer,” the MoD document states.

Indian Army Revives Light BP Vehicle (LBPU) Need

After a series of stops and starts, the Army has got its requirement for light bullet-proof vehicles going again and is hoping it leads to a definite procurement this time. While the Army has never specifically mentioned numbers, it is understood to be around 100-120 vehicles as part of a final order. The vehicle will be used for move of small parties with battle loads in a counter-insur-

First Guided tests of Miniature Pike munitions Orbital ATK has received a contract with options for the first phase of development of the 120mm advanced multi-purpose (AMP), XM1147 high explosive with tracer cartridge. The new tank ammunition produced under the $16 million contract is expected to provide Abrams main battle tank crews with a multi-purpose round that replaces four existing rounds, offering greater mission flexibility and main-gun capability through a single munition for multiple engagement scenarios. Primarily designed to provide bunker and light-armour defeat, obstacle reduction and dismount engagement, AMP also offers an added capability to tank crews to breach reinforced walls, and engage antitank crews and dismounts at ranges up to 2,000 metres.

Streamline Procurement Complaints India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued guidelines to fast-track procurements by disregarding anonymous complaints regarding equipment purchases and imposing penalties on ‘frivolous’ objections raised by disgruntled competitors. Crucial materiel purchases have been delayed for decades over such complaints, but the MoD aims to eliminate them through the introduction of ‘Guidelines for Handling Complaints’, which was issued in late Sep-

>> Show Calendar

Raytheon has completed successful test firing of its new Pike 40mm precision-guided munitions from a standard tube grenade launcher during flight tests at Mile High Resources in Texas, US. Both rounds are said to have landed within the targeted impact area after flying more than 2,000 metres. Pike weighs less than 2 lbs, measures 16.8 in in length, and can be fired from a conventional, single-shot grenade launcher, such as the M320 enhanced grenade launching module, specifically the H&K M320 and the FNH Mk13. Claimed to be the world’s only handlaunched, precision-guided munition, Pike can travel about 2 km and hit within five metres or less of a target, minimising collateral damage. The miniaturised laser-guided munition’s rocket motor is able to ignite 2-3 metres after launch and is nearly smokeless for reduced launch signature.

Indian Army Impressed with Tata Kestrel

17-20 November Milipol 2015 Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, France 8-10 December Gulf Defense & Aerospace – Kuwait Kuwait International Fair, Kuwait 7-10 December BRIDEX 2015 BRIDEX International Conference Centre, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Tata Motors appears serious about its defence business and it recently gave us the opportunity to sample the Kestrel, an 8×8 wheeled armoured amphibious fighting vehicle which could soon be providing

gency operational area. The vehicle must offer protection against small arms fire (NIJ protection level III on all sides or better) and enable aforementioned detachment to move and operate effectively and safely allowing effective use of weapons while on the move. The LBPV must be a robust vehicle able to withstand rough usage and be able to operate on un-metalled roads. In the operational scenario in J&K and the North East (especially Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) close to the Myanmar border, the Army is looking to procure these vehicles quickly. The vehicles will principally be for fast pursuit and storming operations, the requirement for which has been highly felt in post-encounter operations especially in near built-up areas. The Army has also stressed on ease of maintenance, as it tries to overhaul its entire after-sale philosophy for high-utility vehicles in operational areas.  SP —SP’s Special Correspondent For complete versions log on to: protected mobility and firepower to our troops. They not only move troops, but are also built with a modular architecture that enables them to be altered to suit a particular mission. The Kestrel weighs 22.5 to 26 tonnes depending on the configuration and it’s powered by a Tata Cummins diesel engine that makes 600 bhp (608 PS). Tata refuse to share the torque figures but claim it’s quite high. The Kestrel can carry up to 10 soldiers and a crew of two. Seats for the troops are equipped with an energy attenuating mechanism that shields them from the effect of blasts. The seats actually move and absorb the impact of the initial blast as well as the secondary slam down of the vehicle, reducing the severity of injuries to the spine and brain. In the style of the Russian army, the seating for soldiers is back to back, allowing them to use the 4 gun ports on each side. The Kestrel has four-wheel steering on the front two axles and a relatively short turning radius of 19 metres. All the eight tyres have run flat capability with central inflation as standard. The amphibious propulsion employs rear mounted twin waterjets that do not require any preparation before entering water. The Kestrel can achieve 100 kmph on land and 10 kmph in water. It can be armed with a 30mm remotely operated cannon, a single 7.62mm coaxial MMG (medium machine gun) and an automatic grenade launcher.

India Likely to Purchase Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems In what would certainly set alarm bells ringing in China and Pakistan, India is planning to buy Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, reports said rcently. The Indian administration is expected to soon take up the proposal with Russian authorities. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Russia in December, where he is expected to take up the matter with President Vladimir Putin. Also, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to visit India’s neighbour in the near future. The S-400 is a new generation anti-aircraft system, which can be equipped with very long-range missiles (up to 400 km), long-range (250 km) and medium-range (120 km). The S-400 Triumf is capable of countering all air attack weapons, including tactical and strategic aircraft, ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets such as the US F-35 fighter jet. India is likely to purchase a dozen S-400s. The S-400 can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously with as many as 72 missiles at altitudes of five metres to 30 km.  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

5/2015   SP’s Land Forces


SP's Land Forces Issue 5 - 2015  

SP's Land Forces Issue 5 - 2015, UAVs: Enhancing Combat Potential and Emerging Trends, Defence and Security Cooperation with Myanmar, Parrik...

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