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DSI Cover june final print 03.06:cover-feb3.qxd 04/06/10 3:36 PM Page 1

MILITARY HISTORY

WHY THE PAST MATTERS

Bureaucratic indifference and political apathy are destroying India's war histories I SATISH NAMBIAR AEROSPACE POWER

SYNERGISTIC DEPLOYMENT

Aerospace power can decisively fulfill foreign policy objectives I KAPIL KAK JUNE 2010

DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA

DSI VOLUME 2

ISSUE 6

Rs 250

Why is the modernisation of the Indian infantry being neglected ? ASHOK K. MEHTA


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Letter from the Editor.qxd:contents-aug.qxd 04/06/10 1:59 PM Page 2

JUNE 2010

LETTER FROM THE

editor

F

or many, military history is the centre of a nation’s history. It’s crucial to understanding warfare, its practice and particulars, and imperative for our perceptions about modernity. This history is what makes us into the nation we are today. Most of our collective memory about our nation is influenced by what we learn at school, from books or from the media. And a lot of our understanding is authenticated by what official accounts say, especially important when you are recalling the narrative of battles, won and lost. But what happens if these records are kept under wraps, even after the 30-year official secrecy clause legislated by Parliament, has lapsed? Worse, what happens when military records are willfully wiped out? Recent media reports suggest that the history of the 1971 India-Pakistan war will never be fully written because crucial documentation has been destroyed. For the armed forces, it means that valuable lessons from the war have been lost. For the general public, it means a lack of authenticated history. DSI requested Satish Nambiar, a former member of the Military History Review Committee, to examine the importance of declassifying official documents and preserving the military’s legacy for posterity. The F-INSAS programme, announced in 2005, was put in place to make India’s 350,000 infantryman into a lean, mean fighting machine. The plan was to enhance survivability, sustainability, mobility and situational awareness for the digitised battlefield of the future so that the image of the foot soldier, walking in canvas shoes in sub-zero temperatures, outfitted with only the most basic of equipment during the Kargil battle, was a thing of the past. Years later, the much-publicised modernisation plan has failed to take-off although there has been some sporadic movement. DSI examines the fate and the future of the over-hyped soldier modernisation programme. India is on the cusp of substantially opening up its defence market to European suppliers who are busy enlarging their India operations to tap into the $80 billion that New Delhi has earmarked for defence procurement. In doing so, India will move away from the dominance of Russian, Israeli and, increasingly, American suppliers. In a special report we detail how the commerce between India and European defence manufactures is poised for take-off. As usual we look forward to your continued feedback and suggestions. Write to us at dsidelhi.feedback@gmail.com. Should you want to subscribe, contact us at dsisubscriptions@mtil.biz or look us up on our new website defencesecurityindia.com.

Mannika Chopra EDITOR Defence & Security of India

1

DSI

The F-INSAS programme, announced in 2005, was put in place to make India’s 350,000 infantryman into a lean, mean fighting machine. Years later, the muchpublicised modernisation plan has failed to take-off.


JUNE 2010

COVER STORY

10

COURSE CORRECTION The infantry has carved a niche in the art and skill of combat like no other fighting arm. It rules the battlefield. Yet, there has been a curious neglect to its modernisation and high casualty toll: its lack of fire-power, agility and mobility is compensated by sheer numbers of soldiers.

MILITARY HISTORY

WHY THE PAST MATTERS By not declassifying military documents relating to war the government is showing an appalling disregard of history and the country’s military legacy. It is also depriving the armed forces of any credit for their contribution to national security. The only way out is for civil society and the strategic community to press for documents, pertaining to security, to be placed in the public domain.

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE 18

HIGH STAKES European defence suppliers are increasing their India operations to tap into the $80 billion that New Delhi has earmarked for defence procurement. If successful, India will balance the dominance of Russia and Israel as its main defence suppliers.

AEROSPACE POWER

26

Will the impending meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan represent any movement in the neighbours’ fractured relationship? So far the Indo-Pak dialogue has tended to follow a predictable trajectory. But perhaps the impasse between the two nations can be broken by some out-of-the- box initiatives that will lead to a paradigm shift in their bilateral relationship.

Air power, given its unique attributes and characteristics, can play a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy and national objectives.

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE 32

THE KINDEST OF CUTS The Eighth NPT Review Conference was a landmark event but not for reasons debated in the conference itself. 3

36

MIXED MESSAGES

SYNERGISTIC DEPLOYMENT

2

DSI

06

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT

AFP

CONTENTS

Contents-April 2010.qxp:contents-feb-R.qxd 04/06/10 4:11 PM Page 1

Cover Photo : AFP


JUNE 2010

COVER STORY

10

COURSE CORRECTION The infantry has carved a niche in the art and skill of combat like no other fighting arm. It rules the battlefield. Yet, there has been a curious neglect to its modernisation and high casualty toll: its lack of fire-power, agility and mobility is compensated by sheer numbers of soldiers.

MILITARY HISTORY

WHY THE PAST MATTERS By not declassifying military documents relating to war the government is showing an appalling disregard of history and the country’s military legacy. It is also depriving the armed forces of any credit for their contribution to national security. The only way out is for civil society and the strategic community to press for documents, pertaining to security, to be placed in the public domain.

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE 18

HIGH STAKES European defence suppliers are increasing their India operations to tap into the $80 billion that New Delhi has earmarked for defence procurement. If successful, India will balance the dominance of Russia and Israel as its main defence suppliers.

AEROSPACE POWER

26

Will the impending meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan represent any movement in the neighbours’ fractured relationship? So far the Indo-Pak dialogue has tended to follow a predictable trajectory. But perhaps the impasse between the two nations can be broken by some out-of-the- box initiatives that will lead to a paradigm shift in their bilateral relationship.

Air power, given its unique attributes and characteristics, can play a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy and national objectives.

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE 32

THE KINDEST OF CUTS The Eighth NPT Review Conference was a landmark event but not for reasons debated in the conference itself. 3

36

MIXED MESSAGES

SYNERGISTIC DEPLOYMENT

2

DSI

06

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT

AFP

CONTENTS

Contents-April 2010.qxp:contents-feb-R.qxd 04/06/10 4:11 PM Page 1

Cover Photo : AFP


Contributors-final.qxd:contributors-aug.qxd 04/06/10 2:00 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

CONTRIBUTORS

DSI

DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA JUNE 2010 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 6 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

SATISH NAMBIAR

ASHOK K. MEHTA

RAHUL BEDI

KAPIL KAK

K. SUBRAHMANYAM

Satish Nambiar PVSM AVSM VRC (retd) was commissioned into the Maratha Light Infantry in 1957 and has served in the 1965 and 1971 war operations. He retired as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff in 1994. A recipient of the Vir Chakra and a Padma Bhushan, he was part of the Military History Review Committee set up to examine war histories. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Peacekeeping Training Programme.

Ashok K. Mehta was commissioned into the Fifth Gorkhas in 1957 and has been part of the 1965 and 1971 wars. He has served extensively in J&K, the North-East and was part of UN Peacekeeping Force in the Congo in 1962. His last assignment was as General Officer Commanding of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (South) in Sri Lanka. A TV and radio commentator, he has written extensively for leading publications and also authored two books—War Despatches: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Royal Nepal Army: Meeting the Maoist Challenge.

Rahul Bedi is the New Delhi correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, UK and contributes to it on a diverse range of security and military related matters. He is also the India correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, London and the Irish Times.

Kapil Kak, Vice Marshal AVSM VSM (retd), is a wellknown defence and security affairs analyst, who earlier served as Deputy Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. A post-graduate in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Universities of Madras and Allahabad, he has authored more than 40 major book chapters and journal articles on a variety of strategic, national security and defence issues. He is currently Additional Director, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

K. Subrahmanyam is a highly-regarded international strategic affairs analyst and commentator. Joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1951, he was Secretary, Defence Production till becoming the founding Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in 1968. He has chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee in New Delhi. A Nehru Fellow and a Visiting Professor, St.John's College, he has also been a consulting editor with The Econmic Times and TheTimes of India. He has served as the Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board and Chairman of the Kargil Review Panel. During his career, he has authored and edited 16 books.

SUSHANT SAREEN

EJAZ HAIDER

S. NIHAL SINGH

Sushant Sareen is currently Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation and Consultant to the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on the Pakistan Project. Formerly, editor of Public Opinion Trends, a news agency that monitored news in South Asia, he writes regularly on developments in Pakistan in the national and international media.

Ejaz Haider is the National Affairs Editor of Newsweek, Pakistan. Formerly the executive editor of Daily Times and Consulting Editor, Friday Times, he writes extensively for Pakistani and foreign publications on politics, nuclear strategy, security and civil-military relations. A visiting fellow at the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution in Washington, he regularly lectures at the National Defence University, Islamabad and National Institute of Public Administration, Lahore.

S. Nihal Singh, a seasoned journalist, started his career as a sub-editor and went on to become the editor for two of India’s leading newspapers: The Statesman and the Indian Express. A recipient of the International Editor of the Year Award in New York in 1978 for his role as editor of The Statesman during the Emergency, Singh is also the founding editor of The Indian Post. He has written many books including The Yogi and the Bear: A Story of Indo-Soviet Relations and Blood and Sand: The West Asian Tragedy.

Maneesha Dube EDITOR

Mannika Chopra CORRESPONDENT

Mangala Ramamoorthy ART DIRECTOR

Bipin Kumar DESIGN

Sandeep Sharma MANAGER INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

Vishal Mehta COORDINATOR

Ronald Micah CIRCULATION & DISTRIBUTION

Ashwani Rai PRODUCTION & PRE-PRESS

Sunil Dubey, Ritesh Roy, Devender Pandey MEDIATRANSASIA INDIA LIMITED

323, Udyog Vihar, Ph-IV, Gurgaon 122016 Ph: +91 0124-4759500 Fax: +91 0124-4759550 FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

Puneet Nanda PRESIDENT

Xavier Collaco CHAIRMAN

J. S. Uberoi GLOBAL SALES REPRESENTATIVES Australia Charlton D'Silva, Mass Media Publicitas Tel: (61 2) 9252 3476 Email: cdsilva@publicitas.com France/Spain Stephane de Remusat, REM International Tel: (33) 5 3427 0130 Email: sremusat@aol.com Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Italy/UK Sam Baird, Whitehill Media Tel: (44-1883) 715 697 Mobile: (44-7770) 237 646 E-Mail: sam@whitehillmedia.com Israel/Turkey Liat Heiblum, Oreet - International Media Tel: (97 2) 3 570 6527 Email: liat@oreet-marcom.com Russia Alla Butova, NOVO-Media Ltd, Tel/Fax : (7 3832) 180 885 Mobile : (7 960) 783 6653 Email :alla@mediatransasia.com, allbbo@online.sinor.ru Scandinavia/Benelux/South Africa Tony Kingham, KNM Media Tel: (44) 20 8144 5934 Mobile: (44) 7827 297 465 E-Mail: tony.kingham@worldsecurity-index.com Singapore/Malaysia/Brunei/Indonesia/China Dr. Rosalind Lui, TSEA International Tel: (65) 6458 7885 Mobile : (65) 9886 3762 E-Mail: drrosalind@tsea.com South Korea Young Seoh Chinn, Jes Media Inc. Tel: (82-2) 481 3411/13 E-Mail: jesmedia@unitel.co.kr USA (East/South East)/Canada Margie Brown, Margie Brown & Associates. Tel : (+1 540) 341 7581 Email :margiespub@rcn.com USA (West/SouthWest)/Brazil Diane Obright, Blackrock Media Inc. Tel: +1 (858) 759 3557 Email: blackrockmedia@cox.net Defence and Security of India is published and printed by Xavier Collaco on behalf of Media Transasia India Limited. Published at 323, Udyog Vihar, Ph- IV, Gurgaon 122016 and printed at Paras Offset Pvt Ltd, C176, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi. Entire contents Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Reproduction and translation in any language in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Requests for permission should be directed to Media Transasia India Limited. Opinions carried in the magazine are those of the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material or for material lost or damaged in transit. All correspondence should be addressed to Media Transasia India Limited. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Defence and Security of India is obtained by subscription. For subscription enquiries, please contact: dsisubscriptions@mtil.biz

www.mediatransasia.in/defence.html www.defencesecurityindia.com


Contributors-final.qxd:contributors-aug.qxd 04/06/10 2:00 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

CONTRIBUTORS

DSI

DEFENCE and SECURITY of INDIA JUNE 2010 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 6 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

SATISH NAMBIAR

ASHOK K. MEHTA

RAHUL BEDI

KAPIL KAK

K. SUBRAHMANYAM

Satish Nambiar PVSM AVSM VRC (retd) was commissioned into the Maratha Light Infantry in 1957 and has served in the 1965 and 1971 war operations. He retired as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff in 1994. A recipient of the Vir Chakra and a Padma Bhushan, he was part of the Military History Review Committee set up to examine war histories. Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Peacekeeping Training Programme.

Ashok K. Mehta was commissioned into the Fifth Gorkhas in 1957 and has been part of the 1965 and 1971 wars. He has served extensively in J&K, the North-East and was part of UN Peacekeeping Force in the Congo in 1962. His last assignment was as General Officer Commanding of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (South) in Sri Lanka. A TV and radio commentator, he has written extensively for leading publications and also authored two books—War Despatches: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Royal Nepal Army: Meeting the Maoist Challenge.

Rahul Bedi is the New Delhi correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly, UK and contributes to it on a diverse range of security and military related matters. He is also the India correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, London and the Irish Times.

Kapil Kak, Vice Marshal AVSM VSM (retd), is a wellknown defence and security affairs analyst, who earlier served as Deputy Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. A post-graduate in Defence and Strategic Studies from the Universities of Madras and Allahabad, he has authored more than 40 major book chapters and journal articles on a variety of strategic, national security and defence issues. He is currently Additional Director, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

K. Subrahmanyam is a highly-regarded international strategic affairs analyst and commentator. Joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1951, he was Secretary, Defence Production till becoming the founding Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in 1968. He has chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee in New Delhi. A Nehru Fellow and a Visiting Professor, St.John's College, he has also been a consulting editor with The Econmic Times and TheTimes of India. He has served as the Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board and Chairman of the Kargil Review Panel. During his career, he has authored and edited 16 books.

SUSHANT SAREEN

EJAZ HAIDER

S. NIHAL SINGH

Sushant Sareen is currently Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation and Consultant to the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses on the Pakistan Project. Formerly, editor of Public Opinion Trends, a news agency that monitored news in South Asia, he writes regularly on developments in Pakistan in the national and international media.

Ejaz Haider is the National Affairs Editor of Newsweek, Pakistan. Formerly the executive editor of Daily Times and Consulting Editor, Friday Times, he writes extensively for Pakistani and foreign publications on politics, nuclear strategy, security and civil-military relations. A visiting fellow at the Foreign Policy Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution in Washington, he regularly lectures at the National Defence University, Islamabad and National Institute of Public Administration, Lahore.

S. Nihal Singh, a seasoned journalist, started his career as a sub-editor and went on to become the editor for two of India’s leading newspapers: The Statesman and the Indian Express. A recipient of the International Editor of the Year Award in New York in 1978 for his role as editor of The Statesman during the Emergency, Singh is also the founding editor of The Indian Post. He has written many books including The Yogi and the Bear: A Story of Indo-Soviet Relations and Blood and Sand: The West Asian Tragedy.

Maneesha Dube EDITOR

Mannika Chopra CORRESPONDENT

Mangala Ramamoorthy ART DIRECTOR

Bipin Kumar DESIGN

Sandeep Sharma MANAGER INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

Vishal Mehta COORDINATOR

Ronald Micah CIRCULATION & DISTRIBUTION

Ashwani Rai PRODUCTION & PRE-PRESS

Sunil Dubey, Ritesh Roy, Devender Pandey MEDIATRANSASIA INDIA LIMITED

323, Udyog Vihar, Ph-IV, Gurgaon 122016 Ph: +91 0124-4759500 Fax: +91 0124-4759550 FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

Puneet Nanda PRESIDENT

Xavier Collaco CHAIRMAN

J. S. Uberoi GLOBAL SALES REPRESENTATIVES Australia Charlton D'Silva, Mass Media Publicitas Tel: (61 2) 9252 3476 Email: cdsilva@publicitas.com France/Spain Stephane de Remusat, REM International Tel: (33) 5 3427 0130 Email: sremusat@aol.com Germany/Austria/Switzerland/Italy/UK Sam Baird, Whitehill Media Tel: (44-1883) 715 697 Mobile: (44-7770) 237 646 E-Mail: sam@whitehillmedia.com Israel/Turkey Liat Heiblum, Oreet - International Media Tel: (97 2) 3 570 6527 Email: liat@oreet-marcom.com Russia Alla Butova, NOVO-Media Ltd, Tel/Fax : (7 3832) 180 885 Mobile : (7 960) 783 6653 Email :alla@mediatransasia.com, allbbo@online.sinor.ru Scandinavia/Benelux/South Africa Tony Kingham, KNM Media Tel: (44) 20 8144 5934 Mobile: (44) 7827 297 465 E-Mail: tony.kingham@worldsecurity-index.com Singapore/Malaysia/Brunei/Indonesia/China Dr. Rosalind Lui, TSEA International Tel: (65) 6458 7885 Mobile : (65) 9886 3762 E-Mail: drrosalind@tsea.com South Korea Young Seoh Chinn, Jes Media Inc. Tel: (82-2) 481 3411/13 E-Mail: jesmedia@unitel.co.kr USA (East/South East)/Canada Margie Brown, Margie Brown & Associates. Tel : (+1 540) 341 7581 Email :margiespub@rcn.com USA (West/SouthWest)/Brazil Diane Obright, Blackrock Media Inc. Tel: +1 (858) 759 3557 Email: blackrockmedia@cox.net Defence and Security of India is published and printed by Xavier Collaco on behalf of Media Transasia India Limited. Published at 323, Udyog Vihar, Ph- IV, Gurgaon 122016 and printed at Paras Offset Pvt Ltd, C176, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase I, New Delhi. Entire contents Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Reproduction and translation in any language in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Requests for permission should be directed to Media Transasia India Limited. Opinions carried in the magazine are those of the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited material or for material lost or damaged in transit. All correspondence should be addressed to Media Transasia India Limited. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION Defence and Security of India is obtained by subscription. For subscription enquiries, please contact: dsisubscriptions@mtil.biz

www.mediatransasia.in/defence.html www.defencesecurityindia.com


DECLASSIFYING MILITARY HISTORY02.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:13 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

MILITARY HISTORY

WHY THE PAST MA TTERS

War histories remain under wraps mainly due to the lack of historical perspective on side of the bureaucracy and the indifference on the part of political leadership

SATISH NAMBIAR

KEY POINTS

Some bureaucrats are obstructing the publication of the commissioned compilation of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 war histories. n Every ten years or so, boards of officers are convened in units at headquarters to destroy old files and documents for lack of storage space. n There are mechanisms in place to rectify aberrations of this nature. n

06

AFP

T

Indian Army officers and soldiers stand on a captured Pakistani tank near Rajasthan border during the India-Pakistan 1971 war

DSI

he compilation of war histories of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 operations by the Indian armed forces are commissioned works that were undertaken by non-military historians at the instance of the History Division of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Despite this fact, some sections of the civilian bureaucracy within the ruling establishment continue to obstruct publication of these documents. This is further compounded by the indifference of the post-Independence political leadership about military matters. The observation is possibly reinforced by a quick peep into the not-too-distant past. During World War I, nearly 1.2 million Indians were recruited into service in the British Indian Army. When it ended, about 950,000 Indian troops were serving overseas. According to some official estimates, between 62,000 and 65,000 Indian soldiers were killed in that war. In World War II, the Indian Army saw action on fronts ranging from Italy, North and East Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. In South East Asia alone, 700,000 Indian troops joined the effort to oust Japanese armies from Burma, Malaya and Indo-China. By the time the war ended, the Indian Army numbered a massive 2.5 million men, the largest all-volunteer force the world had ever seen.

07

The irony today is that it is not just foreigners who are unaware of the Indian military’s legacy in the British colonial period. India’s own post-colonial political class and civilian bureaucracy deliberately induced a collective national amnesia about the country’s rich pre-Independence military traditions. Our foreign policy establishment still largely pretends that India’s engagement with the world began on August 15, 1947. This leads us to the recent report in the media about the alleged ‘willful’ destruction of documents pertaining to the 1971 war at Eastern Command headquarters in Kolkata. Since we are not aware of the exact facts of the case we can only speculate. But if my experience in the Indian Army serves me right, it could well be just a case of sheer incompetence or negligence induced by an utter lack of awareness or disregard for history. All of us who have served in the armed forces are aware that every ten years or so, boards of officers are convened in units at headquarters to destroy old files and documents for lack of storage space rather than anything else. Essentially, we have no concept of a historical perspective. If the destruction of documents pertaining to the 1971 war was deliberate, one can only say that it is unforgivable. The operations undertaken by the forces in the Eastern theatre, both prior to the declaration of open hostilities and after, were outstanding in military terms and have been the subject of study at many foreign institutions. It is indeed a matter of regret that it was due to the inability of our establishment to acknowledge the role of our troops prior to the declaration of open hostilities that it did not received any formal recognition and allowed the distortion of history. It is no secret that the Indian government gave political support to the “Government in Exile” (based in Writers Building in Kolkata as it was) and provided the Mukti Bahini with arms and equipment and conducted training for their cadres. What is not, however, officially acknowledged though well known the world over, is that elements of the Indian


DECLASSIFYING MILITARY HISTORY02.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:13 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

MILITARY HISTORY

WHY THE PAST MA TTERS

War histories remain under wraps mainly due to the lack of historical perspective on side of the bureaucracy and the indifference on the part of political leadership

SATISH NAMBIAR

KEY POINTS

Some bureaucrats are obstructing the publication of the commissioned compilation of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 war histories. n Every ten years or so, boards of officers are convened in units at headquarters to destroy old files and documents for lack of storage space. n There are mechanisms in place to rectify aberrations of this nature. n

06

AFP

T

Indian Army officers and soldiers stand on a captured Pakistani tank near Rajasthan border during the India-Pakistan 1971 war

DSI

he compilation of war histories of the 1962, 1965 and 1971 operations by the Indian armed forces are commissioned works that were undertaken by non-military historians at the instance of the History Division of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Despite this fact, some sections of the civilian bureaucracy within the ruling establishment continue to obstruct publication of these documents. This is further compounded by the indifference of the post-Independence political leadership about military matters. The observation is possibly reinforced by a quick peep into the not-too-distant past. During World War I, nearly 1.2 million Indians were recruited into service in the British Indian Army. When it ended, about 950,000 Indian troops were serving overseas. According to some official estimates, between 62,000 and 65,000 Indian soldiers were killed in that war. In World War II, the Indian Army saw action on fronts ranging from Italy, North and East Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. In South East Asia alone, 700,000 Indian troops joined the effort to oust Japanese armies from Burma, Malaya and Indo-China. By the time the war ended, the Indian Army numbered a massive 2.5 million men, the largest all-volunteer force the world had ever seen.

07

The irony today is that it is not just foreigners who are unaware of the Indian military’s legacy in the British colonial period. India’s own post-colonial political class and civilian bureaucracy deliberately induced a collective national amnesia about the country’s rich pre-Independence military traditions. Our foreign policy establishment still largely pretends that India’s engagement with the world began on August 15, 1947. This leads us to the recent report in the media about the alleged ‘willful’ destruction of documents pertaining to the 1971 war at Eastern Command headquarters in Kolkata. Since we are not aware of the exact facts of the case we can only speculate. But if my experience in the Indian Army serves me right, it could well be just a case of sheer incompetence or negligence induced by an utter lack of awareness or disregard for history. All of us who have served in the armed forces are aware that every ten years or so, boards of officers are convened in units at headquarters to destroy old files and documents for lack of storage space rather than anything else. Essentially, we have no concept of a historical perspective. If the destruction of documents pertaining to the 1971 war was deliberate, one can only say that it is unforgivable. The operations undertaken by the forces in the Eastern theatre, both prior to the declaration of open hostilities and after, were outstanding in military terms and have been the subject of study at many foreign institutions. It is indeed a matter of regret that it was due to the inability of our establishment to acknowledge the role of our troops prior to the declaration of open hostilities that it did not received any formal recognition and allowed the distortion of history. It is no secret that the Indian government gave political support to the “Government in Exile” (based in Writers Building in Kolkata as it was) and provided the Mukti Bahini with arms and equipment and conducted training for their cadres. What is not, however, officially acknowledged though well known the world over, is that elements of the Indian


DECLASSIFYING MILITARY HISTORY02.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:09 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

MILITARY HISTORY

one’s imagination to suggest Army operated in lungis, A Indian soldier sits by together with the Mukti one of the several newly that they could have set the stage for victory over the Bahini, for some weeks prior to installed gun positions the declaration of open alongside the road near Pakistani forces on their own. The comprehensive defeat of hostilities. This was due to Drass during the 1999 the Pakistani forces and the persistent attacks along the Kargil conflict liberation of Bangladesh was border by Pakistani forces and the pressures induced by the arrival of achieved by the members of the Indian over ten million refugees into West Bengal armed forces, no doubt with some invaluable assistance from the Mukti Bahini. and neighbouring states. As an individual who operated in lungis History must record this and to that extent and with some success, if one may add, it is we should have no qualms about the utterly unbelievable that the establishment inclusion of such details in the official history finds it difficult to acknowledge the fact and release it for publication without delay. The same can be said about the 1965 war after almost four decades. Every security analyst in the international community is history on which the delay is really that the aware of this involvement of ours, as are bureaucracy finds it expedient to play up our Pakistani counterparts. In fact, this is the differences about the respective roles of why they have tried to pay us back in the the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force: a same coin in Jammu & Kashmir, but with good tool for generating inter-Service little or no success, because the political dissension but hardly something that and ground conditions are not similar. should preclude publication. That notwithstanding, our inability to acknowledge publicly the role played by 1962 Operation our armed forces personnel, some of who As far as the 1962 operations are concerned, even scarified their lives, has allowed a I can presume to comment with some distortion of history. conviction as I was an impressionable With all respect to the members of the young officer with five years commissioned Mukti Bahini who fought with us in the service at that time and was deployed on Eastern theatre it will really be stretching the then cease-fire line in the Uri-Baramulla

08

sector in Jammu & Kashmir. As such, I did not physically engage in military action against the Chinese forces. But many of my friends and colleagues in the Armed Forces did so and to that extent I was privy to the events of the time. Though China inflicted a military defeat on India, we who served in the armed forces at that time did not find it a humiliating experience or a trauma as is often made out. The reason being that almost without exception, the junior leadership and rank and file acquitted themselves most creditably. The setback in 1962 was, in the view of most of us, attributable to questionable political judgement, false bravado, debatable senior military leadership at that time and lack of proper weapons and equipment brought on by years of neglect. Now, this brings to the latest news about the judgement on May 17, this year, by an Armed Forces Tribunal, which has said that, “Extracts given in paragraphs 37 and 38 of the Army Headquarters, Military Operations Directorate, OP VIJAY— Account of War in Kargil, Volume III, should be moderated.” It is an embarrassment for the Army, no doubt. But we can take comfort from the

A Pakistani soldier mans a position on the top of a hillock, while two officers look on, in captured Biar Bet area in the disputed Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, during the 1965 India Pakistan war

AFP

AFP

The report on the Kargil operations is a compilation of the events by the operational staff at the Army Headquarters. It was as much to keep a consolidated record of events of the time before institutional memory is lost, as it was to derive the lessons learnt. A compilation of an official history will hopefully be undertaken when the government formally commissions a historian for the task.

DSI

fact that there are mechanisms in place to rectify aberrations of this nature. An important point that needs to be underscored is that the report on the Kargil operations is not an official history. It is a compilation of the events by the operational staff at the Army Headquarters. It was as much to keep a consolidated record of events of the time before institutional memory is lost, as it was to derive the lessons learnt. Compilation of an official history of the Kargil operation will hopefully be undertaken when the government formally commissions a historian for the task. Unfortunately, given the past experience, it is unlikely to see the light of day for another five decades or so. So far as war histories are concerned, it is possible to make the following observations based my personal involvement in the last couple of decades. The histories of the 1962 and 1965 wars, as compiled by the historical section of the MoD, were referred for comments to the Military Operations Directorate when I was in that organisation, initially as the Additional Director General and then as Director General. I distinctly recall that we cleared both histories for publication without any caveats whatsoever.

In late 2001, I was nominated as a member of a Military History Review Committee set up by the Ministry of Defence to examine the 1962, 1965 and 1971 war histories and make recommendations on whether these should be published. The Chairperson of the Committee was N.N. Vohra, presently Governor of Jammu & Kashmir. The other member was the former head of the historical section of the Ministry of Defence, who was in fact the author of one of the histories, Dr. S.N. Prasad. The committee studied the three documents in great detail, as also comments submitted by various organs of the government, including the Ministry of External Affairs, the three Service Headquarters, the Intelligence organisations and so on. In mid-2002, after coming to the conclusion that there was no case for withholding the histories from public domain, the committee recommended that they be released for publication. Not much action appeared to have been initiated on the basis of the committee’s recommendations because a couple of years later, the Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research (CAFHR), which was established

09

in December 2000 under the aegis of the United Service Institution (USI) of which I was the Director, was asked to review the histories for factual correctness and editing where necessary. The USI-CAFHR carried out the task using the services of senior members with established credentials who had a sense of history and personal knowledge of the operations and resubmitted the histories with recommendations that they be published. It is a measure of the ‘cussedness’ of the bureaucracy and the indifference of the political leadership regarding military that war histories remain under wraps. The political leadership does not have the time or inclination to attend to such mundane aspects as military history. And the bureaucracy, which has a stranglehold on administration without accountability, is single-minded in its determination to deprive the armed forces of any credit for their contribution to national security. The only way this stranglehold can be broken is by civil society in general and the strategic community in particular, raising their voices for the release into the public domain of documents pertaining to the security of our country.


DECLASSIFYING MILITARY HISTORY02.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:09 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

MILITARY HISTORY

one’s imagination to suggest Army operated in lungis, A Indian soldier sits by together with the Mukti one of the several newly that they could have set the stage for victory over the Bahini, for some weeks prior to installed gun positions the declaration of open alongside the road near Pakistani forces on their own. The comprehensive defeat of hostilities. This was due to Drass during the 1999 the Pakistani forces and the persistent attacks along the Kargil conflict liberation of Bangladesh was border by Pakistani forces and the pressures induced by the arrival of achieved by the members of the Indian over ten million refugees into West Bengal armed forces, no doubt with some invaluable assistance from the Mukti Bahini. and neighbouring states. As an individual who operated in lungis History must record this and to that extent and with some success, if one may add, it is we should have no qualms about the utterly unbelievable that the establishment inclusion of such details in the official history finds it difficult to acknowledge the fact and release it for publication without delay. The same can be said about the 1965 war after almost four decades. Every security analyst in the international community is history on which the delay is really that the aware of this involvement of ours, as are bureaucracy finds it expedient to play up our Pakistani counterparts. In fact, this is the differences about the respective roles of why they have tried to pay us back in the the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force: a same coin in Jammu & Kashmir, but with good tool for generating inter-Service little or no success, because the political dissension but hardly something that and ground conditions are not similar. should preclude publication. That notwithstanding, our inability to acknowledge publicly the role played by 1962 Operation our armed forces personnel, some of who As far as the 1962 operations are concerned, even scarified their lives, has allowed a I can presume to comment with some distortion of history. conviction as I was an impressionable With all respect to the members of the young officer with five years commissioned Mukti Bahini who fought with us in the service at that time and was deployed on Eastern theatre it will really be stretching the then cease-fire line in the Uri-Baramulla

08

sector in Jammu & Kashmir. As such, I did not physically engage in military action against the Chinese forces. But many of my friends and colleagues in the Armed Forces did so and to that extent I was privy to the events of the time. Though China inflicted a military defeat on India, we who served in the armed forces at that time did not find it a humiliating experience or a trauma as is often made out. The reason being that almost without exception, the junior leadership and rank and file acquitted themselves most creditably. The setback in 1962 was, in the view of most of us, attributable to questionable political judgement, false bravado, debatable senior military leadership at that time and lack of proper weapons and equipment brought on by years of neglect. Now, this brings to the latest news about the judgement on May 17, this year, by an Armed Forces Tribunal, which has said that, “Extracts given in paragraphs 37 and 38 of the Army Headquarters, Military Operations Directorate, OP VIJAY— Account of War in Kargil, Volume III, should be moderated.” It is an embarrassment for the Army, no doubt. But we can take comfort from the

A Pakistani soldier mans a position on the top of a hillock, while two officers look on, in captured Biar Bet area in the disputed Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, during the 1965 India Pakistan war

AFP

AFP

The report on the Kargil operations is a compilation of the events by the operational staff at the Army Headquarters. It was as much to keep a consolidated record of events of the time before institutional memory is lost, as it was to derive the lessons learnt. A compilation of an official history will hopefully be undertaken when the government formally commissions a historian for the task.

DSI

fact that there are mechanisms in place to rectify aberrations of this nature. An important point that needs to be underscored is that the report on the Kargil operations is not an official history. It is a compilation of the events by the operational staff at the Army Headquarters. It was as much to keep a consolidated record of events of the time before institutional memory is lost, as it was to derive the lessons learnt. Compilation of an official history of the Kargil operation will hopefully be undertaken when the government formally commissions a historian for the task. Unfortunately, given the past experience, it is unlikely to see the light of day for another five decades or so. So far as war histories are concerned, it is possible to make the following observations based my personal involvement in the last couple of decades. The histories of the 1962 and 1965 wars, as compiled by the historical section of the MoD, were referred for comments to the Military Operations Directorate when I was in that organisation, initially as the Additional Director General and then as Director General. I distinctly recall that we cleared both histories for publication without any caveats whatsoever.

In late 2001, I was nominated as a member of a Military History Review Committee set up by the Ministry of Defence to examine the 1962, 1965 and 1971 war histories and make recommendations on whether these should be published. The Chairperson of the Committee was N.N. Vohra, presently Governor of Jammu & Kashmir. The other member was the former head of the historical section of the Ministry of Defence, who was in fact the author of one of the histories, Dr. S.N. Prasad. The committee studied the three documents in great detail, as also comments submitted by various organs of the government, including the Ministry of External Affairs, the three Service Headquarters, the Intelligence organisations and so on. In mid-2002, after coming to the conclusion that there was no case for withholding the histories from public domain, the committee recommended that they be released for publication. Not much action appeared to have been initiated on the basis of the committee’s recommendations because a couple of years later, the Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research (CAFHR), which was established

09

in December 2000 under the aegis of the United Service Institution (USI) of which I was the Director, was asked to review the histories for factual correctness and editing where necessary. The USI-CAFHR carried out the task using the services of senior members with established credentials who had a sense of history and personal knowledge of the operations and resubmitted the histories with recommendations that they be published. It is a measure of the ‘cussedness’ of the bureaucracy and the indifference of the political leadership regarding military that war histories remain under wraps. The political leadership does not have the time or inclination to attend to such mundane aspects as military history. And the bureaucracy, which has a stranglehold on administration without accountability, is single-minded in its determination to deprive the armed forces of any credit for their contribution to national security. The only way this stranglehold can be broken is by civil society in general and the strategic community in particular, raising their voices for the release into the public domain of documents pertaining to the security of our country.


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:13 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION

DSI

The infantry rules the battlefield yet there’s been a curious insensitivity to its modernisation and high casualty toll

A heavily-loaded Indian Army soldier runs after a gun battle takes place at Aglar, south of Srinagar in April 2009

ASHOK K. MEHTA

KEY POINTS

F-INSAS was conceived in August 2005 as part of Infantry Vision 2020. It mandated that infantry soldier capabilities would be enhanced in lethality, situational awareness, survivability, sustainability, communications and mobility. n It is unlikely that the first version of the F-INSAS will be fielded by 2012. It will be delayed by at least three to five years. n

“ An Army is considered only as good as its infantry. ” —Field Marshal Montgomery

AFP

T

COURSE COR RECTION 10

11

he foot soldier or the infantryman has dominated the battlefield throughout the history of warfare. The infantry has carved a niche in the art and skill of combat like no other fighting arm. The Indian infantry’s written history goes back to the era of the East India Company when the first infantry battalion was raised in the Bengal Army in 1758 and was to become the backbone of the British Indian Army. Twelve of the 17 Victoria Crosses in World War I and 20 of the 27 Victoria Crosses awarded to the Indian Army in the Burma campaign were won by the infantry. The Indian Army came into being in 1947 and within weeks infantry soldiers landed in Srinagar to save Jammu & Kashmir from being captured by Pakistani tribal raiders. Since then, the infantry has not ceased fighting. In the wars, it has won 80 percent of all gallantry awards and


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:13 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION

DSI

The infantry rules the battlefield yet there’s been a curious insensitivity to its modernisation and high casualty toll

A heavily-loaded Indian Army soldier runs after a gun battle takes place at Aglar, south of Srinagar in April 2009

ASHOK K. MEHTA

KEY POINTS

F-INSAS was conceived in August 2005 as part of Infantry Vision 2020. It mandated that infantry soldier capabilities would be enhanced in lethality, situational awareness, survivability, sustainability, communications and mobility. n It is unlikely that the first version of the F-INSAS will be fielded by 2012. It will be delayed by at least three to five years. n

“ An Army is considered only as good as its infantry. ” —Field Marshal Montgomery

AFP

T

COURSE COR RECTION 10

11

he foot soldier or the infantryman has dominated the battlefield throughout the history of warfare. The infantry has carved a niche in the art and skill of combat like no other fighting arm. The Indian infantry’s written history goes back to the era of the East India Company when the first infantry battalion was raised in the Bengal Army in 1758 and was to become the backbone of the British Indian Army. Twelve of the 17 Victoria Crosses in World War I and 20 of the 27 Victoria Crosses awarded to the Indian Army in the Burma campaign were won by the infantry. The Indian Army came into being in 1947 and within weeks infantry soldiers landed in Srinagar to save Jammu & Kashmir from being captured by Pakistani tribal raiders. Since then, the infantry has not ceased fighting. In the wars, it has won 80 percent of all gallantry awards and


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:14 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION Conventionally, India’s policy is one of employing minimum force in counterinsurgency with the use of heavy weapons and air power unthinkable. Even during Kargil, the Air Force was used inordinately late and then only on our own side of the Line of Control (LoC). The government had declared that the Indian forces would not cross the LoC. These factors combined to make the task of infantry units vacate the Kargil heights, which were occupied by Pakistani infiltrators, uphill and casualty heavy. Infantry fought with what it had and what it had was very little, on account of fitful modernisation. It was then the Army Chief General Ved Malik famously said: “We will fight with what we have.” In 1992, a Special Committee on Review of Combat Echelons was constituted, which examined various models of an infantry battalion. Token improvements were made in surveillance, transport and fire power. In 1999, following Operation

Vijay, a further review of the infantry led to the creation of the Ghatak (Commando) Platoon and enhancement of counterinsurgency capabilities. In 2003, in the first serious attempt at modernisation, a Rs 30 million proposal to upgrade the infantry in five focus areas—firepower and lethality; communications; surveillance and night vision devices; mobility and additional equipment for battalions committed in counter-insurgency and deployed on LoC—was undertaken. The new weapons authorised were 5.56 mm rifles, under barrel grenade launchers, rocket launchers, anti-material rifles, automatic grenade launchers, sniper rifles, multiple grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles. Communications between the section and platoon level and company and battalion level were augmented with Very High Frequency radio sets with ranges of five to sixkm and 25km respectively. While the 5.56 mm rifle is to stay, a search

AFP

An Indian Army soldier looks through the sights of a rocket launcher at the Great Rann of Kutch near the India-Pakistan border

taken 75 percent of the casualties. Either ways, it rules the battlefield. Yet, there’s been a curious insensitivity to its modernisation and high casualty toll: its lack of fire-power, agility and mobility has been compensated by sheer numbers of soldiers. Another factor for its neglect was the preoccupation with raising mechanised and armoured formations for maintaining an edge in conventional war when it was clear, at least since 1971, that future conflicts on the Subcontinent would be clandestine and of low intensity. Even after Pakistan launched the proxy war in the late 1980s, there was little by way of course correction. In the mid-1980s, the Army Chief, General K. Sundarji, made a pioneering attempt to modernise the Army. He was given to flamboyance and had a penchant for deep thrusts, employing mechanised formations. In his judgment, the infantry was so marginal to maneuvered battles that it figured on the sidelines of his modernisation drive. He ignored the crucial man-machine mix that sadly was continued by his successors. The balance between high

Conceived in 2005, F-INSAS was approved by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor in January 2009.Why it took four years to move from Sena Bhavan to South Block is a mystery confined to the Infantry Directorate.Today, the F-INSAS is at the Request for Information stage before the General Staff Qualitative Requirement is made.

12

ticket deterrence weapons and 24X7 in-use infantry was never reached.

Modernisation Process Only when the Indian Peace Keeping Force soldiers in Sri Lanka, armed with 7.62mm rifles, encountered AK-47 equipped LTTE and the insurgency in J&K picked up, was a tentative effort made to improve the infantry, again forgetting that modernisation is a continuous process. After some tinkering, came the F-INSAS (Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System)—India’s programme to equip the infantry with state-of-the-art equipment. In the last four years, it has been bogged down at the conceptual stage. When, not whether it will evolve, progress and take off and, more importantly, foot the bill for the future nature of war, is something only time, the wisdom of Field Commanders and the acquisition of the appropriate infantry model will tell. The high intensity insurgency in Afghanistan including the employment of multiple suicide bombers must surely influence the model of F-INSAS.

www.amgeneral.com

13

DSI

is on for a new close-quarter battle carbine to replace the World War II 9 mm sten carbine and the Light Machine Gun. Night vision and surveillance devices like hand-held thermal imagers, unattended ground sensors, spotter scopes with the capability to transfer digital photographs in real time through existing communication data links, digital compasses, passive night-vision binoculars and goggles, night-vision devices and battlefield surveillance radars have been introduced. Also inducted were mine protection vehicles, light bulletproof vehicles and lightweight bulletproof jackets. Special Forces battalions have been reorganised into terrain-specific models and appropriately modernised. According to the 2003 plan, the bulk of the 350 plus infantry battalions have been upgraded, especially those in the LoC and J&K. The highly controversial (on account of kickbacks) anti-material rifle, which is meant for bunker-busting, has not proved


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:14 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION Conventionally, India’s policy is one of employing minimum force in counterinsurgency with the use of heavy weapons and air power unthinkable. Even during Kargil, the Air Force was used inordinately late and then only on our own side of the Line of Control (LoC). The government had declared that the Indian forces would not cross the LoC. These factors combined to make the task of infantry units vacate the Kargil heights, which were occupied by Pakistani infiltrators, uphill and casualty heavy. Infantry fought with what it had and what it had was very little, on account of fitful modernisation. It was then the Army Chief General Ved Malik famously said: “We will fight with what we have.” In 1992, a Special Committee on Review of Combat Echelons was constituted, which examined various models of an infantry battalion. Token improvements were made in surveillance, transport and fire power. In 1999, following Operation

Vijay, a further review of the infantry led to the creation of the Ghatak (Commando) Platoon and enhancement of counterinsurgency capabilities. In 2003, in the first serious attempt at modernisation, a Rs 30 million proposal to upgrade the infantry in five focus areas—firepower and lethality; communications; surveillance and night vision devices; mobility and additional equipment for battalions committed in counter-insurgency and deployed on LoC—was undertaken. The new weapons authorised were 5.56 mm rifles, under barrel grenade launchers, rocket launchers, anti-material rifles, automatic grenade launchers, sniper rifles, multiple grenade launchers and anti-tank guided missiles. Communications between the section and platoon level and company and battalion level were augmented with Very High Frequency radio sets with ranges of five to sixkm and 25km respectively. While the 5.56 mm rifle is to stay, a search

AFP

An Indian Army soldier looks through the sights of a rocket launcher at the Great Rann of Kutch near the India-Pakistan border

taken 75 percent of the casualties. Either ways, it rules the battlefield. Yet, there’s been a curious insensitivity to its modernisation and high casualty toll: its lack of fire-power, agility and mobility has been compensated by sheer numbers of soldiers. Another factor for its neglect was the preoccupation with raising mechanised and armoured formations for maintaining an edge in conventional war when it was clear, at least since 1971, that future conflicts on the Subcontinent would be clandestine and of low intensity. Even after Pakistan launched the proxy war in the late 1980s, there was little by way of course correction. In the mid-1980s, the Army Chief, General K. Sundarji, made a pioneering attempt to modernise the Army. He was given to flamboyance and had a penchant for deep thrusts, employing mechanised formations. In his judgment, the infantry was so marginal to maneuvered battles that it figured on the sidelines of his modernisation drive. He ignored the crucial man-machine mix that sadly was continued by his successors. The balance between high

Conceived in 2005, F-INSAS was approved by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor in January 2009.Why it took four years to move from Sena Bhavan to South Block is a mystery confined to the Infantry Directorate.Today, the F-INSAS is at the Request for Information stage before the General Staff Qualitative Requirement is made.

12

ticket deterrence weapons and 24X7 in-use infantry was never reached.

Modernisation Process Only when the Indian Peace Keeping Force soldiers in Sri Lanka, armed with 7.62mm rifles, encountered AK-47 equipped LTTE and the insurgency in J&K picked up, was a tentative effort made to improve the infantry, again forgetting that modernisation is a continuous process. After some tinkering, came the F-INSAS (Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System)—India’s programme to equip the infantry with state-of-the-art equipment. In the last four years, it has been bogged down at the conceptual stage. When, not whether it will evolve, progress and take off and, more importantly, foot the bill for the future nature of war, is something only time, the wisdom of Field Commanders and the acquisition of the appropriate infantry model will tell. The high intensity insurgency in Afghanistan including the employment of multiple suicide bombers must surely influence the model of F-INSAS.

www.amgeneral.com

13

DSI

is on for a new close-quarter battle carbine to replace the World War II 9 mm sten carbine and the Light Machine Gun. Night vision and surveillance devices like hand-held thermal imagers, unattended ground sensors, spotter scopes with the capability to transfer digital photographs in real time through existing communication data links, digital compasses, passive night-vision binoculars and goggles, night-vision devices and battlefield surveillance radars have been introduced. Also inducted were mine protection vehicles, light bulletproof vehicles and lightweight bulletproof jackets. Special Forces battalions have been reorganised into terrain-specific models and appropriately modernised. According to the 2003 plan, the bulk of the 350 plus infantry battalions have been upgraded, especially those in the LoC and J&K. The highly controversial (on account of kickbacks) anti-material rifle, which is meant for bunker-busting, has not proved


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:14 PM Page 5

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION In the last four years, it has been bogged down at the conceptual stage.When, not whether it will evolve, progress and take off and, more importantly, foot the bill for the future nature of war, is something only time, the wisdom of Field Commanders and the acquisition of the appropriate infantry model will tell. The high-intensity insurgency in Afghanistan including the employment of multiple suicide bombers must influence the model of F-INSAS.

effective and a replacement is being sought. Besides the modernisation package, infantry soldiers were to be provided the Improved Combat Kit to replace the extremely inefficient personal gear of infantry soldiers. The Army has also embarked on a project to reduce the battle-load carried by infantry, which is currently around 27 kg and includes a 3.6 kg 5.56 mm INSAS rifle. This weight goes up to almost 35 kg in high-altitude areas. The aim is to have a battle-load of around 25 kg that can be progressively brought down to 20 kg.

F-INSAS Fine Print

AFP

A soldier keeps vigil at the Indo-Pakistan border at Siachen located at an altitude of over 7,000m

14

In order to put the infantry soldier at par with other armies F-INSAS was conceived in August 2005 as part of the Infantry Vision 2020. The Vision Statement reads: “To field in battle by 2020, infantry soldiers who can read the battle environment instantly and respond either individually or as a tactical team with speed, precision, lethality, agility and exploiting optimally all the supporting combat components.” It is based on lessons gained from conflicts world-wide to make the Indian

15

DSI

soldier a self-contained fighting machine. It perceives the soldier as part of a system—a multi-mission, multi-role war fighter consisting of an individual soldier, along with his integrated soldier’s system that contains numerous modular but integrated components honed into a highly survivable and lethal entity. Infantry soldier capabilities will be enhanced in lethality, situational awareness, survivability, sustainability, communications and mobility. The F-INSAS programme focusses on five essential sub-systems: l Weapon: An integrated robust and modular weapon system to include four variants—carbine/micro-assault rifle, assault rifle and light machine gun capable of reconfiguring with the next generation integrated sight to meet mission requirements. l Helmet: A state-of-the-art lightweight helmet with head-up display. Outputs from soldier’s personal computer and other sensors will appear on a display unit. l Personal computer: This will be attachable to a backpack frame and can be connected to a personal radio and GPS. l Protective clothing: This will vary from terrain to terrain and climate conditions and will include mine-protected boots, a smart vest and a physiological monitoring system. This artist’s impression of F-INSAS, which is intended to equip infantry soldiers with hi-tech gadgets that will significantly improve their operational performance and capabilities but will not increase the load they carry, was discussed at the first-ever Army-Industry partnership conference in 2006 under the chairmanship of Army Chief General J.J. Singh. The plan was to field by 2020, ‘super-soldiers’ who can read the battle environment instantly and respond effectively. By 2012, the Army was to field the first version of F-INSAS based on available technology. While F-INSAS is being evolved, modernisation of the infantry has gathered pace with the new Army Chief, General Vijay Kumar Singh, providing fresh impetus. The infantry is scouting for a new heavy machine gun, which can fire high explosive incendiary and armour-piercing rounds at a rapid clip to boost the fire power. The global tender has been floated for a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun with a range of 2,000m at a rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute limited to 40 kg in weight. The search is on for a man-portable mini and micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for short range surveillance to be


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:14 PM Page 5

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION In the last four years, it has been bogged down at the conceptual stage.When, not whether it will evolve, progress and take off and, more importantly, foot the bill for the future nature of war, is something only time, the wisdom of Field Commanders and the acquisition of the appropriate infantry model will tell. The high-intensity insurgency in Afghanistan including the employment of multiple suicide bombers must influence the model of F-INSAS.

effective and a replacement is being sought. Besides the modernisation package, infantry soldiers were to be provided the Improved Combat Kit to replace the extremely inefficient personal gear of infantry soldiers. The Army has also embarked on a project to reduce the battle-load carried by infantry, which is currently around 27 kg and includes a 3.6 kg 5.56 mm INSAS rifle. This weight goes up to almost 35 kg in high-altitude areas. The aim is to have a battle-load of around 25 kg that can be progressively brought down to 20 kg.

F-INSAS Fine Print

AFP

A soldier keeps vigil at the Indo-Pakistan border at Siachen located at an altitude of over 7,000m

14

In order to put the infantry soldier at par with other armies F-INSAS was conceived in August 2005 as part of the Infantry Vision 2020. The Vision Statement reads: “To field in battle by 2020, infantry soldiers who can read the battle environment instantly and respond either individually or as a tactical team with speed, precision, lethality, agility and exploiting optimally all the supporting combat components.” It is based on lessons gained from conflicts world-wide to make the Indian

15

DSI

soldier a self-contained fighting machine. It perceives the soldier as part of a system—a multi-mission, multi-role war fighter consisting of an individual soldier, along with his integrated soldier’s system that contains numerous modular but integrated components honed into a highly survivable and lethal entity. Infantry soldier capabilities will be enhanced in lethality, situational awareness, survivability, sustainability, communications and mobility. The F-INSAS programme focusses on five essential sub-systems: l Weapon: An integrated robust and modular weapon system to include four variants—carbine/micro-assault rifle, assault rifle and light machine gun capable of reconfiguring with the next generation integrated sight to meet mission requirements. l Helmet: A state-of-the-art lightweight helmet with head-up display. Outputs from soldier’s personal computer and other sensors will appear on a display unit. l Personal computer: This will be attachable to a backpack frame and can be connected to a personal radio and GPS. l Protective clothing: This will vary from terrain to terrain and climate conditions and will include mine-protected boots, a smart vest and a physiological monitoring system. This artist’s impression of F-INSAS, which is intended to equip infantry soldiers with hi-tech gadgets that will significantly improve their operational performance and capabilities but will not increase the load they carry, was discussed at the first-ever Army-Industry partnership conference in 2006 under the chairmanship of Army Chief General J.J. Singh. The plan was to field by 2020, ‘super-soldiers’ who can read the battle environment instantly and respond effectively. By 2012, the Army was to field the first version of F-INSAS based on available technology. While F-INSAS is being evolved, modernisation of the infantry has gathered pace with the new Army Chief, General Vijay Kumar Singh, providing fresh impetus. The infantry is scouting for a new heavy machine gun, which can fire high explosive incendiary and armour-piercing rounds at a rapid clip to boost the fire power. The global tender has been floated for a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun with a range of 2,000m at a rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute limited to 40 kg in weight. The search is on for a man-portable mini and micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for short range surveillance to be


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:15 PM Page 7

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION The greatest fear is setbacks that may occur due to the probity bug. Infantry-watchers outside the Army environment feel that the infantry need not ape soldier modernisation programmes of the US and other countries. Indian infantry requires a swadeshi flavour focussing on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and counter-Naxal skills incorporating lessons learnt from the Indian experience.

Counter-insurgency troops climb to their positions to try and flush out militants from the Indian side of the Line of Control during the Kargil battle

inducted in infantry battalions by 2017. Special Forces are to get stealth drones for covert missions beyond enemy lines for counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations. The Mumbai attack has also energised the modernisation programme. Already, the Ghatak Units has been enhanced by 15 items to be procured off-the-shelf. Additional mine-protection vehicles are being procured. Also, a government sanction for 18 new infantry battalions was received in September 2009.

AFP

Current Status

16

Conceived in 2005 the F-INSAS was approved by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor only in January 2009. Why it took four years to move from Sena Bhavan to South Block is a mystery confined to the Infantry Directorate. Today the F-INSAS is at the Request for Information (RfI) stage before the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) is made. The neglect of infantry modernisation over the years is placed squarely at the door of the Army, especially successive infantry Army Chiefs who took the infantry, with its ageing and legacy equipment, for granted.

It is highly unlikely that the first version of the F-INSAS can be fielded by 2012. Already, the delay by current reckoning is three to five years and going by the pace of acquisitions—make or buy—the programme is destined to encounter difficulties in the future. Officers in Infantry Directorate are paranoid about ‘probity’ and say no one is prepared to take chances given that a former Naval Chief and former Defence Minister are being investigated for misappropriation and fraud. Operational preparedness, they say, is suffering due to political vendetta and lack of political will to locate probity in the right context of national interest. Almost everyone is agreed that funding is not the problem—it is how to spend it on time. Is the infantry on the right track for its hi-tech modernisation? Most people think it is, though no one is sure of the interim version of F-INSAS. The greatest fear is setbacks that may occur due to the probity

bug. Infantry-watchers outside the Army environment feel that the infantry need not ape soldier modernisation programmes of the US and other countries. Indian infantry requires a swadeshi flavour focussing on counter-insurgency, counterterrorism and counter-Naxal skills incorporating lessons learnt from the Indian experience. Not long ago, a former US NATO Commander, speaking at an international conference on deterring non-state actors said: “This business of fielding infantry in multi-mission, multi-role and netcentric warfare on a digital battlefield is fine; but for God’s sake, our soldiers are being blown up by Improvised Explosive Devices in Afghanistan. We must prepare them to fight today’s war before plunging them into the next.” Indian infantry will have to prepare for both without getting carried away by gadgetry and network-centricity frills. The GSQR stage will be critical for a sober,

DSI

realistic and cost-conscious model of the future infantry soldier. Indian industry with whom a partnership was initiated in 1995 by the Army has failed to take off due to a lack of any follow-up action and initiatives by the government. The infighting between the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the users and the peripheral contribution of local and foreign defence industry, along with acquisition hassles, are bound to hit the F-INSAS programme. Making the infantry soldier adept on every terrain and local battlefield environment is the primary challenge in shaping the basic F-INSAS model. The add-ons—modulars—should cater to the soldier engaging in the complete spectrum of high-intensity conflicts without overloading him with excessive gadgetry. Those charged with constructing the GSQR must get the basics of F-INSAS right.

DEFENDER® Armor Safeguards against Lethal Threats Ceradyne DEFENDER® armor protects warfighters against the most dangerous ballistic threats. With vertically integrated manufacturing, state-of-the-art materials and progressive engineering, Ceradyne has been the leader in advanced lifesaving technology for more than forty years. - Rugged lightweight individual combatant protection - Vehicle crew survivability armor application - Lightweight aircraft armor protection systems - Custom vehicle armor defense systems - Naval vessel modular composite armor

Defending Warfighters around the World

MAY TAN PVT. LTD., New Delhi, India Telefax: 011-26493333 Email: rmohan19@hotmail.com www.ceradyne.com

17


SOLDIER MODERNISATION.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:15 PM Page 7

JUNE 2010

SOLDIER MODERNISATION The greatest fear is setbacks that may occur due to the probity bug. Infantry-watchers outside the Army environment feel that the infantry need not ape soldier modernisation programmes of the US and other countries. Indian infantry requires a swadeshi flavour focussing on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and counter-Naxal skills incorporating lessons learnt from the Indian experience.

Counter-insurgency troops climb to their positions to try and flush out militants from the Indian side of the Line of Control during the Kargil battle

inducted in infantry battalions by 2017. Special Forces are to get stealth drones for covert missions beyond enemy lines for counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations. The Mumbai attack has also energised the modernisation programme. Already, the Ghatak Units has been enhanced by 15 items to be procured off-the-shelf. Additional mine-protection vehicles are being procured. Also, a government sanction for 18 new infantry battalions was received in September 2009.

AFP

Current Status

16

Conceived in 2005 the F-INSAS was approved by Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor only in January 2009. Why it took four years to move from Sena Bhavan to South Block is a mystery confined to the Infantry Directorate. Today the F-INSAS is at the Request for Information (RfI) stage before the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) is made. The neglect of infantry modernisation over the years is placed squarely at the door of the Army, especially successive infantry Army Chiefs who took the infantry, with its ageing and legacy equipment, for granted.

It is highly unlikely that the first version of the F-INSAS can be fielded by 2012. Already, the delay by current reckoning is three to five years and going by the pace of acquisitions—make or buy—the programme is destined to encounter difficulties in the future. Officers in Infantry Directorate are paranoid about ‘probity’ and say no one is prepared to take chances given that a former Naval Chief and former Defence Minister are being investigated for misappropriation and fraud. Operational preparedness, they say, is suffering due to political vendetta and lack of political will to locate probity in the right context of national interest. Almost everyone is agreed that funding is not the problem—it is how to spend it on time. Is the infantry on the right track for its hi-tech modernisation? Most people think it is, though no one is sure of the interim version of F-INSAS. The greatest fear is setbacks that may occur due to the probity

bug. Infantry-watchers outside the Army environment feel that the infantry need not ape soldier modernisation programmes of the US and other countries. Indian infantry requires a swadeshi flavour focussing on counter-insurgency, counterterrorism and counter-Naxal skills incorporating lessons learnt from the Indian experience. Not long ago, a former US NATO Commander, speaking at an international conference on deterring non-state actors said: “This business of fielding infantry in multi-mission, multi-role and netcentric warfare on a digital battlefield is fine; but for God’s sake, our soldiers are being blown up by Improvised Explosive Devices in Afghanistan. We must prepare them to fight today’s war before plunging them into the next.” Indian infantry will have to prepare for both without getting carried away by gadgetry and network-centricity frills. The GSQR stage will be critical for a sober,

DSI

realistic and cost-conscious model of the future infantry soldier. Indian industry with whom a partnership was initiated in 1995 by the Army has failed to take off due to a lack of any follow-up action and initiatives by the government. The infighting between the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the users and the peripheral contribution of local and foreign defence industry, along with acquisition hassles, are bound to hit the F-INSAS programme. Making the infantry soldier adept on every terrain and local battlefield environment is the primary challenge in shaping the basic F-INSAS model. The add-ons—modulars—should cater to the soldier engaging in the complete spectrum of high-intensity conflicts without overloading him with excessive gadgetry. Those charged with constructing the GSQR must get the basics of F-INSAS right.

DEFENDER® Armor Safeguards against Lethal Threats Ceradyne DEFENDER® armor protects warfighters against the most dangerous ballistic threats. With vertically integrated manufacturing, state-of-the-art materials and progressive engineering, Ceradyne has been the leader in advanced lifesaving technology for more than forty years. - Rugged lightweight individual combatant protection - Vehicle crew survivability armor application - Lightweight aircraft armor protection systems - Custom vehicle armor defense systems - Naval vessel modular composite armor

Defending Warfighters around the World

MAY TAN PVT. LTD., New Delhi, India Telefax: 011-26493333 Email: rmohan19@hotmail.com www.ceradyne.com

17


INDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:17 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT

DSI

HIGH

STAKES European defence manufacturers are enlarging their India operations to tap into expanding defence modernisation and procurement plans

RAHUL BEDI

KEY POINTS

n By turning to European providers of defence material, New Delhi is redressing the dominance of Russian and Israeli suppliers. n European defence manufacturers are enlarging their Indian operations. n France’s tacit backing of India’s emergence as a nuclear weapon state has also helped in inking future defence deals.

I

ndia is increasingly eyeing European defence equipment as it endeavours to modernise and augment its arsenal by replacing predominantly obsolete Soviet and Russian weaponry and emerge as a regional military power. By turning to European materiel providers, albeit in limited measure, New Delhi seeks to balance the prevailing pre-eminence not only of Russian suppliers but also those from Israel and the US, fast gaining ascendancy. Russia heads the military vendors list with annual military sales of around $1.5 billion to India

followed closely by Israel which has provided materiel averaging around $1 billion each year since 1999. In third place is France followed by Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and to a limited extent East European states like Poland and the Czech Republic. Countries like Spain, Finland, Austria, Belgium too have, over decades registered restricted defence equipment sales but perceiving substantial opportunity are eager to enlarge their presence by establishing liaison offices and engaging lobbyists to hustle their wares in military, bureaucratic and political circles. Understandably, European defence manufacturers are enlarging their Indian operations to tap into the $80 billion New Delhi has earmarked for defence modernisation and procurements till the end of the 13th Plan in 2022, but also to retrieve some semblance of the pre-eminence some of them enjoyed in the years immediately after Independence in 1947. British and to a limited extent French defence equipment with a smattering of US supplies almost exclusively armed free India’s military till the early-1960s.

18

Tiger, Eurocopter’s attack helicopter

Thereafter, it abdicated to Soviet and later Russian-supplied materiel, triggered by Cold War strategic imperatives and India’s military debacle with China following their 1962 border war over a territorial dispute that remains unresolved.

Bilateral Forums But despite this dependency—some 6570 percent of India’s military inventory is Moscow-sourced-materiel—commerce between India and European defence manufacturers has continued apace.

Over the past four decades this has included fighter and trainer aircraft, combat and light observation helicopters, submarines, howitzers, anti-tank missiles and fixed, rotary wing and main battle tank (MBT) engines in addition to force multiplier equipment and consultancies on systems integration for various weapon systems and platforms. Potential future European sales, many of which are under tender or trial or both, broadly comprise similar items. And in recent years, given the erratic

and evolving turbulent geopolitical security architecture and an era of acute financial crises and industrial decline, these sales have been systematically backed by joint committees on defence cooperation like those with Britain, France and Germany to upgrade security ties. “European states collectively or individually lack the political and diplomatic muscle of either the US, Russia or Israel to push their military wares into India,” former Major General Sheru Thapliyal said. In many instances, especially with

19

regard to big ticket military items, these influences are an essential ingredient for success and through these security forums the Europeans hope to further their interests, he added. These bilateral forums convene annually to review the functioning of military exercises—increasing in frequency— doctrinal exchanges, joint ventures and the concomitant transfer of defence technology, reciprocal visits by senior defence officials and the predominant European agenda: weapon purchases.


INDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:17 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT

DSI

HIGH

STAKES European defence manufacturers are enlarging their India operations to tap into expanding defence modernisation and procurement plans

RAHUL BEDI

KEY POINTS

n By turning to European providers of defence material, New Delhi is redressing the dominance of Russian and Israeli suppliers. n European defence manufacturers are enlarging their Indian operations. n France’s tacit backing of India’s emergence as a nuclear weapon state has also helped in inking future defence deals.

I

ndia is increasingly eyeing European defence equipment as it endeavours to modernise and augment its arsenal by replacing predominantly obsolete Soviet and Russian weaponry and emerge as a regional military power. By turning to European materiel providers, albeit in limited measure, New Delhi seeks to balance the prevailing pre-eminence not only of Russian suppliers but also those from Israel and the US, fast gaining ascendancy. Russia heads the military vendors list with annual military sales of around $1.5 billion to India

followed closely by Israel which has provided materiel averaging around $1 billion each year since 1999. In third place is France followed by Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and to a limited extent East European states like Poland and the Czech Republic. Countries like Spain, Finland, Austria, Belgium too have, over decades registered restricted defence equipment sales but perceiving substantial opportunity are eager to enlarge their presence by establishing liaison offices and engaging lobbyists to hustle their wares in military, bureaucratic and political circles. Understandably, European defence manufacturers are enlarging their Indian operations to tap into the $80 billion New Delhi has earmarked for defence modernisation and procurements till the end of the 13th Plan in 2022, but also to retrieve some semblance of the pre-eminence some of them enjoyed in the years immediately after Independence in 1947. British and to a limited extent French defence equipment with a smattering of US supplies almost exclusively armed free India’s military till the early-1960s.

18

Tiger, Eurocopter’s attack helicopter

Thereafter, it abdicated to Soviet and later Russian-supplied materiel, triggered by Cold War strategic imperatives and India’s military debacle with China following their 1962 border war over a territorial dispute that remains unresolved.

Bilateral Forums But despite this dependency—some 6570 percent of India’s military inventory is Moscow-sourced-materiel—commerce between India and European defence manufacturers has continued apace.

Over the past four decades this has included fighter and trainer aircraft, combat and light observation helicopters, submarines, howitzers, anti-tank missiles and fixed, rotary wing and main battle tank (MBT) engines in addition to force multiplier equipment and consultancies on systems integration for various weapon systems and platforms. Potential future European sales, many of which are under tender or trial or both, broadly comprise similar items. And in recent years, given the erratic

and evolving turbulent geopolitical security architecture and an era of acute financial crises and industrial decline, these sales have been systematically backed by joint committees on defence cooperation like those with Britain, France and Germany to upgrade security ties. “European states collectively or individually lack the political and diplomatic muscle of either the US, Russia or Israel to push their military wares into India,” former Major General Sheru Thapliyal said. In many instances, especially with

19

regard to big ticket military items, these influences are an essential ingredient for success and through these security forums the Europeans hope to further their interests, he added. These bilateral forums convene annually to review the functioning of military exercises—increasing in frequency— doctrinal exchanges, joint ventures and the concomitant transfer of defence technology, reciprocal visits by senior defence officials and the predominant European agenda: weapon purchases.


INDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:17 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT One such imminent lucrative contract is in support of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) requirement of 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) for an estimated $10 billion for which European vendors like France’s Dassault with the Rafale, Eurofighter with Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab with its JAS 39 Gripen are competing against US and Russian models. MRCA trials are nearing completion and the evaluation process over the next 12-18 months will be followed by price negotiations for the selected fighter and inking the contract around 2012-13. It is anticipated that the MRCA deal will eventually increase to 200 aircraft costing over $16 billion. Alongside, Eurocopters’ Tiger is competing for the $1.3 billion contract for 22 attack helicopters to replace an equal number of ageing Soviet vintage Mi35s acquired by the IAF in the 1980s. Here, too, it faces competition from US and Russian rivals. Official sources have indicated that trials were coming up for the attack helicopters that will be deployed for reconnaissance, escort, air-to-air combat, ground firing support and anti-tank warfare as part of the IAF’s ‘Transformation Process’ in keeping with its revised doctrine propagating jointmanship with the two other Services. In addition, Europe’s NHIndustries, Eurocopter and Agusta-Westland are vying for the Indian Navy’s (INs) tender for the outright purchase of 16 10-tonne multi-role helicopters armed with cruise missiles and lightweight torpedoes for advanced anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare for around $500 million. They will replace a similar number of Westland Sea King Mk42Bs and Sea King MK42Cs that face retirement.

Flying High Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore is also in the process of reissuing its tender for an overseas partner—potentially AgustaWestland or Eurocopter—in addition to US and Russian manufacturers to indigenously develop the 10-12 tonne Indian MultiRole Helicopter (IMRH) for all three Services and the Coast Guard. An estimated 80-100 IMRHs will initially be built over the next 5-8 years. Military sources say that the IMRHs exhaustive qualitative requirements demand the Army Aviation Corps (AAC) and IAF versions have the capability to

Negotiations have reportedly concluded with Dassault to upgrade the Mirage 2000H fleet for an estimated Euro 1 billion to impart the IAF an operational edge in a turbulent neighbourhood. Military officials indicate the agreement is likely to be confirmed sometime ‘soon’ during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s anticipated visit to India.

Three Mirage 2000H squadrons will be retrofitted to Mirage 2000-5 levels with superior avionics

20

The 197 LOHs will replace the military’s ageing Chetak (Alouette III) and Cheetah (SA-315B Lama) fleet, also of French origin but constructed locally under license by HAL. For decades these redoubtable helicopters, operating far in excess of their operational envelope, were a lifeline for Army units deployed along the mountainous Kashmir frontier at heights above 4200m, ferrying supplies from the plains and the sick and wounded from the icy heights to safety.

French Connection

ferry troops, cargo and materiel including light weight 155mm howitzers to high altitudes and perform combat rescue tasks. Meanwhile, in March 2010 AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica AngloItalian subsidiary, signed a Euro 560 million deal with the IAF for 12 medium-lift AW101 helicopters to transport VIPs like the country’s President, Prime Minister and other senior dignitaries. The AW101, also known as the EH101, will replace Soviet Mi-8 helicopters at the IAF’s VIP squadron at Palam Airport in Delhi which were acquired in the early 1980s for search and rescue missions before being diverted to VIP transportation. The procurement, delayed by over a year following objections from the Finance Ministry over their high cost, requires the first two helicopters to be delivered within 24 months and the remaining 10 within the next year. The helicopters are expected to remain operational for at least 30 years. Eight of the AW101s, with their stateof-the-art, open-architecture communications suites, will be utilised for VIP transportation with a maximum load of ten passengers each. The remaining four helicopters will ferry Special Protection Group commandoes as escort and each carry up to 30 personnel.

DSI

AgustaWestland that has a long standing presence in India, having supplied the IN its first lot of Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters in the early 1970s, has recently formed a joint venture with the Tatas, one of India’s larger defence contractors, to jointly produce the AW119 Koala as a “wider platform” for regional growth. With its AW119 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter AgustaWestland is also competing for the Indian military’s contract for 197 Light Observation Helicopters (LOH), for which the first winter round of trials concluded in February.

However, media reports, citing defence ministry sources, maintain that AgustaWestland competing against Eurocopter’s AS 550 Fennec and Russia’s Kamov Ka-26 is out of the reckoning as it reportedly fielded a civilian and not a military version of the helicopter for the trials. This, however, could not be independently confirmed from the helicopter manufacturer. Hot weather test flights for the LOH were ongoing at Bhatinda in Punjab where the AAC is headquartered. Trials for the outright purchase of the LOHs—133 for the AAC and 64 for the IAF—followed the December 2007 can-

cellation of the $600-650 million order for Eurocopter’s AS 550C3 Fennec helicopters claiming ‘discrepancies’ in the evaluation process. Eurocopter that prevailed over the rival Bell-Textron’s Bell 407 model was accused by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of not only utilising an agent to secure the deal—an arrangement outlawed under Indian law—but also of fielding its AS 350B3 Ecureuil civilian variant for extended hot weather and high altitude trials in 2004 and 2005. French fury and remonstrations over the contracts annulment were casually dismissed by India further fuelling Paris’ ire and frustration.

21

France has been a steady provider of military hardware to India since 1953 when Dassault Aviation sold the newly formed 10-squadron IAF some 100 Ouragan fighters, followed by Mystere IVAs a few years later. Before that the IAF was equipped solely with British Spitfire, Hunter, Tempest and Vampire combat aircraft and later the agile Folland Gnat’s and Canberra bombers. In the mid-1980s, Dassault once again sold the IAF some 50 single and dual-seat Mirage 2000Hs that constitute a crucial strategic component of the force’s fighter fleet and one that was effectively employed during the 1999 Kargil operations to deliver precision guided munitions with deadly accuracy, decidedly influencing the battle’s outcome. Negotiations have reportedly concluded with Dassault to upgrade the Mirage 2000H fleet for an estimated Euro 1 billion to impart the IAF an operational edge in a turbulent neighbourhood. Military officials indicate the agreement is likely to be confirmed sometime ‘soon’ during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s anticipated visit to India. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament in April 2008 that the IAF’s three Mirage 2000H squadrons will be retrofitted to Mirage 2000-5 levels with superior avionics, extending their operational lifespan by 25 years. The retrofit will include equipping the fighters with an advanced navigation system, mission computers and a pulse doppler radar capable of identifying objects up to a distance of 70nm. The first two Mirage 2000Hs—of which the IAF inducted 42 single-seat and eight trainers in the mid-1980s and acquired an additional ten in 2005—will undergo the retrofit in France in which HAL engineers will participate. The upgrade will also feature an electronic


INDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:17 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT One such imminent lucrative contract is in support of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) requirement of 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) for an estimated $10 billion for which European vendors like France’s Dassault with the Rafale, Eurofighter with Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab with its JAS 39 Gripen are competing against US and Russian models. MRCA trials are nearing completion and the evaluation process over the next 12-18 months will be followed by price negotiations for the selected fighter and inking the contract around 2012-13. It is anticipated that the MRCA deal will eventually increase to 200 aircraft costing over $16 billion. Alongside, Eurocopters’ Tiger is competing for the $1.3 billion contract for 22 attack helicopters to replace an equal number of ageing Soviet vintage Mi35s acquired by the IAF in the 1980s. Here, too, it faces competition from US and Russian rivals. Official sources have indicated that trials were coming up for the attack helicopters that will be deployed for reconnaissance, escort, air-to-air combat, ground firing support and anti-tank warfare as part of the IAF’s ‘Transformation Process’ in keeping with its revised doctrine propagating jointmanship with the two other Services. In addition, Europe’s NHIndustries, Eurocopter and Agusta-Westland are vying for the Indian Navy’s (INs) tender for the outright purchase of 16 10-tonne multi-role helicopters armed with cruise missiles and lightweight torpedoes for advanced anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare for around $500 million. They will replace a similar number of Westland Sea King Mk42Bs and Sea King MK42Cs that face retirement.

Flying High Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore is also in the process of reissuing its tender for an overseas partner—potentially AgustaWestland or Eurocopter—in addition to US and Russian manufacturers to indigenously develop the 10-12 tonne Indian MultiRole Helicopter (IMRH) for all three Services and the Coast Guard. An estimated 80-100 IMRHs will initially be built over the next 5-8 years. Military sources say that the IMRHs exhaustive qualitative requirements demand the Army Aviation Corps (AAC) and IAF versions have the capability to

Negotiations have reportedly concluded with Dassault to upgrade the Mirage 2000H fleet for an estimated Euro 1 billion to impart the IAF an operational edge in a turbulent neighbourhood. Military officials indicate the agreement is likely to be confirmed sometime ‘soon’ during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s anticipated visit to India.

Three Mirage 2000H squadrons will be retrofitted to Mirage 2000-5 levels with superior avionics

20

The 197 LOHs will replace the military’s ageing Chetak (Alouette III) and Cheetah (SA-315B Lama) fleet, also of French origin but constructed locally under license by HAL. For decades these redoubtable helicopters, operating far in excess of their operational envelope, were a lifeline for Army units deployed along the mountainous Kashmir frontier at heights above 4200m, ferrying supplies from the plains and the sick and wounded from the icy heights to safety.

French Connection

ferry troops, cargo and materiel including light weight 155mm howitzers to high altitudes and perform combat rescue tasks. Meanwhile, in March 2010 AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica AngloItalian subsidiary, signed a Euro 560 million deal with the IAF for 12 medium-lift AW101 helicopters to transport VIPs like the country’s President, Prime Minister and other senior dignitaries. The AW101, also known as the EH101, will replace Soviet Mi-8 helicopters at the IAF’s VIP squadron at Palam Airport in Delhi which were acquired in the early 1980s for search and rescue missions before being diverted to VIP transportation. The procurement, delayed by over a year following objections from the Finance Ministry over their high cost, requires the first two helicopters to be delivered within 24 months and the remaining 10 within the next year. The helicopters are expected to remain operational for at least 30 years. Eight of the AW101s, with their stateof-the-art, open-architecture communications suites, will be utilised for VIP transportation with a maximum load of ten passengers each. The remaining four helicopters will ferry Special Protection Group commandoes as escort and each carry up to 30 personnel.

DSI

AgustaWestland that has a long standing presence in India, having supplied the IN its first lot of Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters in the early 1970s, has recently formed a joint venture with the Tatas, one of India’s larger defence contractors, to jointly produce the AW119 Koala as a “wider platform” for regional growth. With its AW119 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter AgustaWestland is also competing for the Indian military’s contract for 197 Light Observation Helicopters (LOH), for which the first winter round of trials concluded in February.

However, media reports, citing defence ministry sources, maintain that AgustaWestland competing against Eurocopter’s AS 550 Fennec and Russia’s Kamov Ka-26 is out of the reckoning as it reportedly fielded a civilian and not a military version of the helicopter for the trials. This, however, could not be independently confirmed from the helicopter manufacturer. Hot weather test flights for the LOH were ongoing at Bhatinda in Punjab where the AAC is headquartered. Trials for the outright purchase of the LOHs—133 for the AAC and 64 for the IAF—followed the December 2007 can-

cellation of the $600-650 million order for Eurocopter’s AS 550C3 Fennec helicopters claiming ‘discrepancies’ in the evaluation process. Eurocopter that prevailed over the rival Bell-Textron’s Bell 407 model was accused by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of not only utilising an agent to secure the deal—an arrangement outlawed under Indian law—but also of fielding its AS 350B3 Ecureuil civilian variant for extended hot weather and high altitude trials in 2004 and 2005. French fury and remonstrations over the contracts annulment were casually dismissed by India further fuelling Paris’ ire and frustration.

21

France has been a steady provider of military hardware to India since 1953 when Dassault Aviation sold the newly formed 10-squadron IAF some 100 Ouragan fighters, followed by Mystere IVAs a few years later. Before that the IAF was equipped solely with British Spitfire, Hunter, Tempest and Vampire combat aircraft and later the agile Folland Gnat’s and Canberra bombers. In the mid-1980s, Dassault once again sold the IAF some 50 single and dual-seat Mirage 2000Hs that constitute a crucial strategic component of the force’s fighter fleet and one that was effectively employed during the 1999 Kargil operations to deliver precision guided munitions with deadly accuracy, decidedly influencing the battle’s outcome. Negotiations have reportedly concluded with Dassault to upgrade the Mirage 2000H fleet for an estimated Euro 1 billion to impart the IAF an operational edge in a turbulent neighbourhood. Military officials indicate the agreement is likely to be confirmed sometime ‘soon’ during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s anticipated visit to India. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament in April 2008 that the IAF’s three Mirage 2000H squadrons will be retrofitted to Mirage 2000-5 levels with superior avionics, extending their operational lifespan by 25 years. The retrofit will include equipping the fighters with an advanced navigation system, mission computers and a pulse doppler radar capable of identifying objects up to a distance of 70nm. The first two Mirage 2000Hs—of which the IAF inducted 42 single-seat and eight trainers in the mid-1980s and acquired an additional ten in 2005—will undergo the retrofit in France in which HAL engineers will participate. The upgrade will also feature an electronic


2ndINDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxP:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 3:21 PM Page 5

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT warfare systems, including new radar warning receivers with instantaneous wide-bank receivers and an integrated missile warning receiver with continuous time-to-impact information. New jammers and countermeasure systems and enhanced fuel capacity will be provided in addition to full mission simulators. The retrofitted Mirage 2000Hs will also be armed with Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority’s medium-range stand-off AGM-142 Raptor/Have Nap/Popeye airto-surface launched cruise missile specially configured for the IAF with an 80100km range. Codenamed Crystal Maze by the IAF, the missile is powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and has an inertial guidance system equipped with a data-link and TV/imaging infra-red homing device. French avionics systems are also fitted onto around 125 recently upgraded MiG21bis ground attack fighters—of which four have already been lost in accidents— that are expected to remain in service till 2017 and the multi-role Su-30MKI fleet that forms the backbone of the IAF’s offensive formations. The IAF will eventually operate around 280-300 Su-30 MKIs of which around 150 are being constructed under license by HAL. Defence officials in Delhi said Paris’ abiding interest in India stemmed from a survey undertaken by French ambassadors in the late 1990s in which they identified it as one of the “future powers” of the 21st century along with Russia, China and Japan. A largely forgotten episode, dating back to France’s support for India’s 1998 nuclear tests in the face of international condemnation and sanctions by Washington, had the IAF in advanced negotiations to singly source its 126 MRCA requirement from Dassault by procuring Mirage 2000-5 fighters. At the time the IAF, citing ‘commonality’ with the Mirage 2000Hs, wanted 36 Mirage 2000-5s to be delivered in completed form with the remainder to be assembled locally under licence by HAL. But much to Paris’ chagrin the proposal was abandoned around 2002 in favour of a wider MRCA vendor base. Tacit French backing for India’s emergence as a nuclear weapon state, however, contributed towards the IN inking the $4.11 billion contract in October 2005 with Amraris—a joint venture of France’s Direction des Constructions Navales

One such imminent lucrative contract is in support of the Indian Air Force’s requirement of 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) for an estimated $10 billion for which European vendors like France’s Dassault with the Rafale, Eurofighter withTyphoon and Sweden’s Saab with its JAS 39 Gripen are competing against US and Russian models.

Dassault’s Rafale is a multi-role combat aircraft

The British Are Coming (DCNS), Thales and Spain’s Navantia (formerly IZAR) to build six Scorpene diesel-electric patrol submarines at Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. The Scorpenes were also to be fitted with Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia (MBDA) sea-skimming Exocet SM-39 missile with a 50km-range procured under a separate agreement for Rs 10.62 billion. The now-delayed Scorpene programme also kick-started MDL’s submarine building capability, created at great expense in the 1980s but badly depreciated after the IN’s fourth and last German HDW Type 1500 SSK submarine was assembled there in 1994. The HDW boats are the most recent of the IN’s ageing and fast depleting underwater fleet.

22

4,000 advanced Milan 2T ATGMs over the next three years. The Army’s newly acquired 647 Russian T-90s Bhishma Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) which are under import and local assembly since 2001 in addition to another 1000 that are to be built locally at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi near Chennai, too are equipped with Thales’ Catherine Thermal Imaging (TI) camera, that is at the heart of the tank’s fire control system. More recently, in March 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved payment of an additional $ 413 million to France’s DCNS for the import of varied crucial components essential for the Scorpene’s stalled construction like engines, generators, varied components and sub-assemblies and raw material like special steel. Contentious price negotiations with DCNS over these items since end-2006 delayed the Scorpene programme by at least two-three years to 2014-2015. France is also linked to India’s locally designed and HAL constructed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv that is powered by the SNECMATurbomeca TM 333 2B2 engine some 72 of

which have been acquired so far. These engines will eventually be replaced by the PM 333B Shakti power pack, a HALSNECMA-Turbomecca joint development which successfully powered the maiden test flight in March 2010 of the indigenously developed, Dhruv derivative light combat helicopter. The Indian Army, too, is not without its share of French equipment deploying the Milan/Milan 2 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) which since 1983 has been manufactured by the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad. Last year, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inked a deal with MBDA to transfer technology to BDL to build some

Earlier, in 2004, the IAF acquired 66 BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers (AJTs) from the UK for $ 1.1 billion. Plans to acquire another 57 AJTs—40 more for the IAF and 17 for the IN—include, other than BAE, possible European vendors like the Czech Republic’s Aero Vodochody’s L159 and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M 346 besides Korean and Russian models. The Hawk procurement followed the July 1979 acquisition of 40 IS/IB ground attack Jaguars from BAE followed by another 108 built under licence by HAL comprising the backbone of the IAF’s ground attack fleet. The IAF also operates the Jaguar IM version that has been locally modified for maritime operations but has lost some 40 of these fighters in accidents.

23

DSI

With the Jaguar acquisition, India’s association with Rolls-Royce deepened after HAL began manufacturing under licence the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk 804/Mk 811 engine that powered the ground attack fighters. More recently, Rolls-Royce installed and tested its Adour Mk 821 turbofan in a Sepecat Jaguar as part of a bid to win a contract to re-engine the IAF’s 120-strong Jaguar fleet. With India as its third largest customer for military equipment, Rolls-Royce, which has maintained a local presence for 54 years, is also collaborating with HAL to build engines, gas turbines and associated equipment. HAL is a contributor to Rolls-Royce’s civil aviation business after it began supplying ring forgings for its Trent family of engines around 2003. Rolls-Royce that currently has 1,0001,300 military aircraft engines in operation across India has also launched its new wholly-owned subsidiary—Rolls-Royce Operations India Limited—in Bangalore to manage and develop the growing volume of engineering work that it is increasingly outsourcing to India. Meanwhile, INS Viraat (ex-HMS Hermes) the IN’s lone Centaur class aircraft carrier and its air-arm, comprising BAE Systems Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51 fighters that began entering service 1983 onwards and are presently undergoing a limited upgrade, were also a central part of India’s UK-supplied military inventory. Earlier, the IN’s first second-hand carrier, the Majestic class INS Vikrant (formerly HMS Hercules) was retired in 1997 after 36 years of service. Some 80-100 UK-based defence companies like Pearson Engineering too were involved in building mine ploughs—with the State-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited—for the T-72M1 MBT fleet whilst others were developing tactical communication systems for the Army, nuclear biological and chemical detection and protection kits, tank tracks, artillery calibration instrumentation, remote motion censors and multi-spectral camouflage nets. More recently, the MoD has approached the US Government to acquire 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39 calibre Light Weight Howitzer (LWH) and SELEX Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems evaluated at $647 million via the foreign military sales programme. BAE systems was also fielding its 155mm/52 calibre FH 77 B05 L52 howitzer for trials in support of the Army’s


2ndINDO-EUROPEAN DEFENCE.qxP:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 3:21 PM Page 5

JUNE 2010

DEFENCE EQUIPMENT warfare systems, including new radar warning receivers with instantaneous wide-bank receivers and an integrated missile warning receiver with continuous time-to-impact information. New jammers and countermeasure systems and enhanced fuel capacity will be provided in addition to full mission simulators. The retrofitted Mirage 2000Hs will also be armed with Israel’s Rafael Armament Development Authority’s medium-range stand-off AGM-142 Raptor/Have Nap/Popeye airto-surface launched cruise missile specially configured for the IAF with an 80100km range. Codenamed Crystal Maze by the IAF, the missile is powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and has an inertial guidance system equipped with a data-link and TV/imaging infra-red homing device. French avionics systems are also fitted onto around 125 recently upgraded MiG21bis ground attack fighters—of which four have already been lost in accidents— that are expected to remain in service till 2017 and the multi-role Su-30MKI fleet that forms the backbone of the IAF’s offensive formations. The IAF will eventually operate around 280-300 Su-30 MKIs of which around 150 are being constructed under license by HAL. Defence officials in Delhi said Paris’ abiding interest in India stemmed from a survey undertaken by French ambassadors in the late 1990s in which they identified it as one of the “future powers” of the 21st century along with Russia, China and Japan. A largely forgotten episode, dating back to France’s support for India’s 1998 nuclear tests in the face of international condemnation and sanctions by Washington, had the IAF in advanced negotiations to singly source its 126 MRCA requirement from Dassault by procuring Mirage 2000-5 fighters. At the time the IAF, citing ‘commonality’ with the Mirage 2000Hs, wanted 36 Mirage 2000-5s to be delivered in completed form with the remainder to be assembled locally under licence by HAL. But much to Paris’ chagrin the proposal was abandoned around 2002 in favour of a wider MRCA vendor base. Tacit French backing for India’s emergence as a nuclear weapon state, however, contributed towards the IN inking the $4.11 billion contract in October 2005 with Amraris—a joint venture of France’s Direction des Constructions Navales

One such imminent lucrative contract is in support of the Indian Air Force’s requirement of 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) for an estimated $10 billion for which European vendors like France’s Dassault with the Rafale, Eurofighter withTyphoon and Sweden’s Saab with its JAS 39 Gripen are competing against US and Russian models.

Dassault’s Rafale is a multi-role combat aircraft

The British Are Coming (DCNS), Thales and Spain’s Navantia (formerly IZAR) to build six Scorpene diesel-electric patrol submarines at Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. The Scorpenes were also to be fitted with Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia (MBDA) sea-skimming Exocet SM-39 missile with a 50km-range procured under a separate agreement for Rs 10.62 billion. The now-delayed Scorpene programme also kick-started MDL’s submarine building capability, created at great expense in the 1980s but badly depreciated after the IN’s fourth and last German HDW Type 1500 SSK submarine was assembled there in 1994. The HDW boats are the most recent of the IN’s ageing and fast depleting underwater fleet.

22

4,000 advanced Milan 2T ATGMs over the next three years. The Army’s newly acquired 647 Russian T-90s Bhishma Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) which are under import and local assembly since 2001 in addition to another 1000 that are to be built locally at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi near Chennai, too are equipped with Thales’ Catherine Thermal Imaging (TI) camera, that is at the heart of the tank’s fire control system. More recently, in March 2010, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved payment of an additional $ 413 million to France’s DCNS for the import of varied crucial components essential for the Scorpene’s stalled construction like engines, generators, varied components and sub-assemblies and raw material like special steel. Contentious price negotiations with DCNS over these items since end-2006 delayed the Scorpene programme by at least two-three years to 2014-2015. France is also linked to India’s locally designed and HAL constructed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv that is powered by the SNECMATurbomeca TM 333 2B2 engine some 72 of

which have been acquired so far. These engines will eventually be replaced by the PM 333B Shakti power pack, a HALSNECMA-Turbomecca joint development which successfully powered the maiden test flight in March 2010 of the indigenously developed, Dhruv derivative light combat helicopter. The Indian Army, too, is not without its share of French equipment deploying the Milan/Milan 2 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) which since 1983 has been manufactured by the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad. Last year, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inked a deal with MBDA to transfer technology to BDL to build some

Earlier, in 2004, the IAF acquired 66 BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers (AJTs) from the UK for $ 1.1 billion. Plans to acquire another 57 AJTs—40 more for the IAF and 17 for the IN—include, other than BAE, possible European vendors like the Czech Republic’s Aero Vodochody’s L159 and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M 346 besides Korean and Russian models. The Hawk procurement followed the July 1979 acquisition of 40 IS/IB ground attack Jaguars from BAE followed by another 108 built under licence by HAL comprising the backbone of the IAF’s ground attack fleet. The IAF also operates the Jaguar IM version that has been locally modified for maritime operations but has lost some 40 of these fighters in accidents.

23

DSI

With the Jaguar acquisition, India’s association with Rolls-Royce deepened after HAL began manufacturing under licence the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk 804/Mk 811 engine that powered the ground attack fighters. More recently, Rolls-Royce installed and tested its Adour Mk 821 turbofan in a Sepecat Jaguar as part of a bid to win a contract to re-engine the IAF’s 120-strong Jaguar fleet. With India as its third largest customer for military equipment, Rolls-Royce, which has maintained a local presence for 54 years, is also collaborating with HAL to build engines, gas turbines and associated equipment. HAL is a contributor to Rolls-Royce’s civil aviation business after it began supplying ring forgings for its Trent family of engines around 2003. Rolls-Royce that currently has 1,0001,300 military aircraft engines in operation across India has also launched its new wholly-owned subsidiary—Rolls-Royce Operations India Limited—in Bangalore to manage and develop the growing volume of engineering work that it is increasingly outsourcing to India. Meanwhile, INS Viraat (ex-HMS Hermes) the IN’s lone Centaur class aircraft carrier and its air-arm, comprising BAE Systems Sea Harrier FRS Mk 51 fighters that began entering service 1983 onwards and are presently undergoing a limited upgrade, were also a central part of India’s UK-supplied military inventory. Earlier, the IN’s first second-hand carrier, the Majestic class INS Vikrant (formerly HMS Hercules) was retired in 1997 after 36 years of service. Some 80-100 UK-based defence companies like Pearson Engineering too were involved in building mine ploughs—with the State-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited—for the T-72M1 MBT fleet whilst others were developing tactical communication systems for the Army, nuclear biological and chemical detection and protection kits, tank tracks, artillery calibration instrumentation, remote motion censors and multi-spectral camouflage nets. More recently, the MoD has approached the US Government to acquire 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39 calibre Light Weight Howitzer (LWH) and SELEX Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems evaluated at $647 million via the foreign military sales programme. BAE systems was also fielding its 155mm/52 calibre FH 77 B05 L52 howitzer for trials in support of the Army’s


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DSI

Earlier, in 2004, the IAF acquired 66 BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers (AJTs) from the UK for $ 1.1 billion. Plans to acquire another 57 AJTs—40 more for the IAF and 17 for the IN— include possible European vendors like the Czech Republic’s Aero Vodochody’s L159 and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M 346 besides Korean and Russian models.

BAE Systems’ M777 155mm/39 calibre Light Weight Howitzer

requirement for 400 guns. In the late 1980s Bofors of Sweden—later acquired by BAE systems—had supplied the Army 410 155mm/39 calibre FH-77B howitzers, the majority of which need upgrading. And in early 2005, India launched its indigenous aircraft carrier programme by signing two contracts with Italy’s Fincantieri SpA for its design and propulsion system integration. The $30-40 million agreement with Fincantieri

Naval Vessel Business Unit also includes providing engineering and design capability for the 37,500 tonne indigenous aircraft carrier Project 71 under construction at Cochin Shipyard Limited. Fincantieri is also contracted to provide assistance during the vessel’s construction, tests and sea trials. The technical part of the contract will last around two years, but assistance will continue until commissioning. In February 2010, Finacantieri launched the

24

first of two fleet tankers it is building for the IN at the Muggiano shipyard in north-west Italy. Earlier, the Italian shipbuilders has constructed Sagar Nidhi— an oceanographic vessel for India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai which was delivered in end-2007. German materiel, too, has a not insignificant presence in India’s military providing the MTU 838 Ka-510 1400 HP diesel engine and gun control system for the DRDO-developed Arjun MBT, 248 of which are under induction into service and some 126 Dornier 228-101 logistic air support aircraft for the IAF, IN and the Coast Guard of which around 83 had been built locally under license. HDW is also seeking additional contracts for the IN’s additional submarine programme as are other German shipbuilders to design frigates, mine counter measure vessels. Nearby, Spain’s Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA, which forms part of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) conglomerate, is in the running to supply the IAF six Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport whilst its leading state-owned shipbuilder Navantia is upgrading its profile in India as a precursor to bidding for several imminent IN projects.


DSM new.qxd:Advertorial 03/06/10 1:33 PM Page 2

DSM DYNEEMA - WITH INDIA WHEN IT MATTERS!

DSM Dyneema is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® is an ultra-reliable polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight, and is finding an ever-increasing array of uses in the high-performance demanding life protection sector. Dyneema® has been available to the market for many years in UniDirectional sheet (UD) form for use against ballistic threats. DSM Dyneema has been progressively developing and innovating this UD technology for different threats and applications. In June 2008, DSM Dyneema extended their product capability for vehicle protection of the future with the introduction of a new technology platform that provides further material options to customers. This technology platform is anticipated to provide the material of choice for future light to medium weight tactical and utility vehicles that have a highly challenging balance to make between mobility and protection. In the life protection sector, key applications for Dyneema® are highly diverse and range from bullet-resistant vests and inserts to helmets and antiballistic protection for military and police vehicles. All personal and vehicle protection applications using Dyneema® benefit from its unique combination of light weight and high protective ability. Dyneema® UD used in personal protective equipment and clothing

provides increased comfort due to its lower weight, and is therefore comfortable to wear in extreme circumstances and over long periods of time. In particular, for bullet-resistant vests, the use of Dyneema® Soft Ballistic material enables full freedom of movement. Additionally armor plates made with Dyneema® Hard Ballistic material can be molded to fit the shape and size of the body which can then be inserted into garments. Using Dyneema® UD enables a light weight insert without compromising stopping power, which provides an opportunity to enlarge the protective area covered by an insert. This allows for products to be made that enhance both confidence and wearing comfort for those in the line of fire. Furthermore Dyneema® UD is used to make helmets. This enables a helmet manufacturer to go beyond the protection level conventional helmets provide to include even rifle threats. Dyneema® Hard Ballistic material can also help to provide optimal protection against fragments at substantially lower weight, allowing the latest developments in communication equipment to be carried without weight increase for the helmet. Currently, Dyneema® Hard Ballistic material is being used by the US, UK and other NATO forces to up-armor those vehicles that are exposed to the most difficult and emerging threats in theatre. Dyneema® has proven to be one of the very few ingredients with the capability to offer effective protection with low additional weight. ADVERTORIAL

Q. Please share an overview on DSM Dyneema and USP of its various products pertinent to the India scenario. A. DSM Dyneema is a valuesbased organization in which we rely on teamwork and collaboration to match our performance to our Govind Khetan ambitions. Driven by creativity and Country Manager, committed to our customers, the DSM Dyneema India way we work together is based on the common foundations of trust, support and respect. Dyneema® is respected as the premium brand for Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMwPE), and we manufacture and sell products in several forms including fiber, tape and uni-directional (UD) sheets. The Dyneema® brand is used in a wide and ever-increasing range of applications such as medical sutures, commercial fishing and aquaculture nets, ropes, slings, cut-resistant gloves and apparel, vehicle and personal ballistic protection. Technological Innovation is at the core of DSM Dyneema’s business strategy. n Dyneema® is strong yet light: On a weight-forweight basis, it is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers. n Dyneema® is extremely durable: It can withstand the harshest environments for a longer time. n Dyneema® floats:  This property, combined with low specific gravity, makes the material ideal for armor solutions in and around water. n Dyneema® is easy to process: It can be easily moulded into various shapes. These properties – and many more – make Dyneema® the ideal material for armoring solutions for India that are safer, stronger and lighter. Dyneema® products are available in different forms and grades. While each product has been developed to deliver the optimal balance of protection and weight, certain products are more appropriate for designated threats. HB and SB products are based on our fiber technology while BT is based on our innovative tape technology. Q. Any plans for expansion, product diversification in the near future? A. DSM Dyneema has engaged on a route to Innovation which is promoted by “We will never stop improving the world strongest fiber™.” We have innovative HB & SB products, in various stages of development, in the pipeline. Q. Please elaborate on DSM Dyneema’s achievements and activities towards strengthening the national security especially in the wake of terror threats from anti social outfits. A. DSM Dyneema provides the most advanced raw materials and expertise to the Indian Defense industry for protection of personnel and vehicles. Our customers supply innovative solutions made using Dyneema® to the Indian armed forces, para-military forces & police forces. One of the many examples is Mine Protected Vehicles (MPVs) of the Indian army that use Dyneema® as a part of the armoring solution. DSM Dyneema is committed to the Indian market by providing dedicated expert advice and tailored solutions. DSM Dyneema engages end-users to better understand their unique needs and requirements. This understanding of the end-users’ needs provides input to our product and application innovation efforts.


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AEROSPACE POWER

the former US Secretary of State, once averred, “Military power provides an umbrella under which effective diplomacy can take place.” Diplomacy acquires far greater gravitas through availability of military force, especially aerospace power force, in which the implicit threat of use or actual employment furthers foreign policy objectives. The obvious connotations are promotion of har monious relations, sustaining regional stability and enhancing influence. National interests today—generally categorised as critical, vital, major and peripheral—occupy a broad spectrum. These range from security and territorial integrity to key economic, energy and trade interests as components of geo-economics. The observation of Lord Wavell, India’s Viceroy in 1944, quoted in Sir Olaf Caroe’s book, The Wells of Power, was indeed prescient, “There are two main material factors in the revolutionary change that has come over the strategic face of Asia in the 20th century. One is air power, the other is oil.” It would be useful to underscore that in nearly seven decades since Independence, Indian air power has repeatedly demonstrated its salience in safeguarding and projecting both national interests and foreign policy objectives. AFP

An Indian Air Force helicopter is set to land at the scene of the recent Naxal railway attack as part of rescue operations at Sardiha, 135km from Kolkata

KEY POINTS

Aerospace power, the most usable and effective component of military force today, has the wherewithal to undertake discrete strikes, with highprecision weapons, at long ranges. n Indian air power has demonstrated its salience in safeguarding and projecting both national interests and foreign policy objectives. n It was during the 1971 India-Pakistan war that air power began to be perceived in its appropriate strategic and foreign policy context. n

KAPIL KAK

SYNERGISTIC

DEPLOYMENT

Air power can play a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy and national objectives 26

T

here is a widely prevalent misperception that air power is synonymous with the Air Force, even though it is true that the latter is its predominant stakeholder. The attributes of reach, speed, lethality, minimal collateral damage and bloodletting, and strategic effect seek to make air power politically the most acceptable force employment option. Furthermore,

leveraging of space for reconnaissance, communications, navigation and precision targetting has immensely enhanced the strategic force-application effect of air power. The usage of the term aerospace power thus finds increasing acceptance, quite apart from the fact that ‘air’ and ‘space’ have always constituted a seamless medium. Thus, as for any emerging global player, India’s aerospace power or capability can be termed as the synergistic employment for mandated political objectives of air, space and information— cyberspace systems that include all aviation and space resources, civil and military, public and private, potential and existing. Given its unique attributes and characteristics, aerospace power is unquestionably the first violinist in the national strategic orchestra. On the other hand and relationally, the objectives of India’s foreign policy primarily focus on the pursuit and protection of its national interests in a global and regional framework through the tool kit of diplomacy. George Shultz,

27

DSI

Evolutionary Impact Military force, especially aerospace capabilities, is generally seen in the context of military goals, roles and missions alone. It is, however, the employment of military force for strategic effect in the 1971 IndiaPakistan War that air power began to be perceived in its appropriate strategic and foreign policy context. One dramatic event merits recall: the decision of the Governor of the then East Pakistan province to surrender and end the war was greatly influenced by the successful direct hits by Indian MIG-21 combat fighters on the building where he was taking a meeting. We could gainfully recall the gamechanging, strategic and foreign policy impact made decades earlier in 1947 by Independent India’s fledgling air power through its emergency induction within a few days of an Army brigade entering Srinagar, which prevented the capture of Kashmir Valley by Pakistani forces. Likewise, the daring aerial induction of troops in May 1948 by Air Force Dakotas, landing on an improvised airstrip on the Indus riverbed saved Ladakh. Jammu and Kashmir State may not have been a part of


INDIAN AIR POWER .qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 3:03 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

AEROSPACE POWER

the former US Secretary of State, once averred, “Military power provides an umbrella under which effective diplomacy can take place.” Diplomacy acquires far greater gravitas through availability of military force, especially aerospace power force, in which the implicit threat of use or actual employment furthers foreign policy objectives. The obvious connotations are promotion of har monious relations, sustaining regional stability and enhancing influence. National interests today—generally categorised as critical, vital, major and peripheral—occupy a broad spectrum. These range from security and territorial integrity to key economic, energy and trade interests as components of geo-economics. The observation of Lord Wavell, India’s Viceroy in 1944, quoted in Sir Olaf Caroe’s book, The Wells of Power, was indeed prescient, “There are two main material factors in the revolutionary change that has come over the strategic face of Asia in the 20th century. One is air power, the other is oil.” It would be useful to underscore that in nearly seven decades since Independence, Indian air power has repeatedly demonstrated its salience in safeguarding and projecting both national interests and foreign policy objectives. AFP

An Indian Air Force helicopter is set to land at the scene of the recent Naxal railway attack as part of rescue operations at Sardiha, 135km from Kolkata

KEY POINTS

Aerospace power, the most usable and effective component of military force today, has the wherewithal to undertake discrete strikes, with highprecision weapons, at long ranges. n Indian air power has demonstrated its salience in safeguarding and projecting both national interests and foreign policy objectives. n It was during the 1971 India-Pakistan war that air power began to be perceived in its appropriate strategic and foreign policy context. n

KAPIL KAK

SYNERGISTIC

DEPLOYMENT

Air power can play a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy and national objectives 26

T

here is a widely prevalent misperception that air power is synonymous with the Air Force, even though it is true that the latter is its predominant stakeholder. The attributes of reach, speed, lethality, minimal collateral damage and bloodletting, and strategic effect seek to make air power politically the most acceptable force employment option. Furthermore,

leveraging of space for reconnaissance, communications, navigation and precision targetting has immensely enhanced the strategic force-application effect of air power. The usage of the term aerospace power thus finds increasing acceptance, quite apart from the fact that ‘air’ and ‘space’ have always constituted a seamless medium. Thus, as for any emerging global player, India’s aerospace power or capability can be termed as the synergistic employment for mandated political objectives of air, space and information— cyberspace systems that include all aviation and space resources, civil and military, public and private, potential and existing. Given its unique attributes and characteristics, aerospace power is unquestionably the first violinist in the national strategic orchestra. On the other hand and relationally, the objectives of India’s foreign policy primarily focus on the pursuit and protection of its national interests in a global and regional framework through the tool kit of diplomacy. George Shultz,

27

DSI

Evolutionary Impact Military force, especially aerospace capabilities, is generally seen in the context of military goals, roles and missions alone. It is, however, the employment of military force for strategic effect in the 1971 IndiaPakistan War that air power began to be perceived in its appropriate strategic and foreign policy context. One dramatic event merits recall: the decision of the Governor of the then East Pakistan province to surrender and end the war was greatly influenced by the successful direct hits by Indian MIG-21 combat fighters on the building where he was taking a meeting. We could gainfully recall the gamechanging, strategic and foreign policy impact made decades earlier in 1947 by Independent India’s fledgling air power through its emergency induction within a few days of an Army brigade entering Srinagar, which prevented the capture of Kashmir Valley by Pakistani forces. Likewise, the daring aerial induction of troops in May 1948 by Air Force Dakotas, landing on an improvised airstrip on the Indus riverbed saved Ladakh. Jammu and Kashmir State may not have been a part of


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AEROSPACE POWER

An Expanded Mandate Today, it is a truism that India’s comprehensive national power is a function of its aerospace capacities. Global reach, lethality and speed of response can make for achieving foreign security policy objectives across the world, in a region of security interest as also in shaping the extended strategic neighborhood. With

India rushed relief supplies by IndianAir Force IL-76 aircraft to Little Rock,Arkansas (US) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans. Similar airlifts were undertaken for earthquake relief in Pakistan, Indonesia and China during 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, for the Philippines mudslide of 2006 and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during 2008.

policy circles because international defence exercises, air shows and related deployment postures serve as excellent foreign policy tools for improved relations and confidence building among nations.

Coercive Power

AFP

India but for the exploits of its nascent air power at that time. Indeed, India’s foreign policy may well have taken an entirely different turn. Over four decades later, during the Gulf War in 1991, our national interests demanded the emergency evacuation of Indian nationals from the conflict area. In a three week period, nearly 1,75,000 people were flown back home by aircraft of the Indian Air Force, Indian Airlines and Air India (there were no private Indian airlines flying then) in the most massive airlift in human history since the Second World War. A similar airlift, though on a far lower scale, took place in 2006 during the crisis in Lebanon, demonstrating India’s commitment for protection of the diaspora with all means available including the nation’s air power. Developments elsewhere too illustrate how air power has played a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy objectives. It has been the key component of force application in 21 foreign interventions since World War I. Moreover, having undergone a game-changing techno-operational transformation over the last two or three decades, aerospace power, today the most usable and effective component of military force, has the wherewithal to undertake discrete strikes, with high-precision weapons, at long ranges. The last aspect is important, as greater the reach, the stronger the ability to influence events far away. Besides, transportability, entailing the airlift of large bodies of personnel and heavy equipment and goods, at nearly the speed of sound, to far corners of the world constitutes yet another capability dimension that touches foreign policy. The wide range of missions could merge with space on one side and have expanded roles for miniaturised unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the other end. The verticality dimension of air—near the exosphere, space, cyberspace—missile defenses as also bilateral cooperation in commercial satellite systems are thus all interconnected for the foreign policy domain.

with great alacrity US, Japan high-end, forces-in-being, Indian Air Force and Australia in Operation other nations look up for personnel load relief Sea Wave to employ oceanic support in crises in which a material onto a special aerospace power and degree of dependency on one plane bound for the maritime forces in rushing side increases the ability to Pakistani earthquakerelief supplies to Indonesia, influence foreign policy on the hit area at New Delhi’s Sri Lanka and Maldives other. Some have also alluded Palam Airport affected by the tsunami tidal to the Clausewitzian synergy conjunction between war and politics disaster in 2004 when southern India too defined by institutional rationality in which was affected. A year later, India rushed relief the relationship between means and ends is calculated to advance commensurate supplies by Air Force IL-76 aircraft to Little national interests. Aerospace power has a Rock, Arkansas (US) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans. key role in such a dispensation. The world witnessed how India joined Similar airlifts were undertaken for

28

earthquake relief in Pakistan, Indonesia and China during 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, for the Philippines mudslide of 2006 and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during 2008. There was yet another instance when the Indian Air Force dispatched a large complement of Su-30 MKI combat fighters, IL-76 transport aircraft and IL-78 aerial refueller aircraft trans-continentally to the US for participation in the prestigious ExRed Flag. Demonstration of this capability and its subtle impact on future security and foreign policy was not lost on Indiawatchers in the international foreign

There are occasions and pressures when foreign policy goals may require application of coercion as an instrument of state policy. The unique attributes of aerospace power, and the credible deterrence it provides, makes it a highly effective coercive weapon. For this, high levels of situational awareness by way of surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence become vital pre-requisites. Besides, coercion could have limited value in situations of near force symmetry between nations, notably so if it is so in aerospace power. Past lessons appear to suggest that coercion in the aerospace domain is best achieved through synergy with foreign policy. This could include economic sanctions, aerospace force pooling for operations by coalitions of the willing— with or without the United Nations mandate, depending on national interest imperatives—and exclusion zone operations, popularly termed, ‘no fly zones.’ The United States Air Force

29

DSI

undertook 300,000 missions in Iraq for such exclusion zone operations during the period 1998-2003. In India’s own case, air dropping of rice and food supplies at Jaffna (Sri Lanka) in June 1987—the so-called rice bombing—by Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft, escorted by Mirage 2000 combat fighters, was perceived world-wide as a demonstrable case of coercion that directly led to the signing of the India-Sri Lanka Accord a month later. As an interesting example of countercoercion, we would do well to recall how a decade-and-a-half earlier, India remained resolutely undeterred by the coercive sailing of the USS Enterprise in the Bay of Bengal during the India-Pakistan War of 1971. India’s air power sustained the bombing campaign against air bases in the then East Pakistan rendering them unusable, perhaps as part of an anti-access strategy, against any landings that may have been planned at the bases.

Space—the High Ground Space assets and their relevance for national development and aerospace force application constitute another foreignsecurity policy dimension. Even commercial leveraging of space globally could create inter-State dissonances and generate conflict situations making for the need for multilateral cooperation in the management of the universal commons of space and cyberspace. This is particularly relevant in grappling with the challenge of space debris that would eventually affect all space-faring nations. Nothing drove home this imperative more tellingly than the Chinese antisatellite missile test of January 11, 2007. It raised new concerns internationally on the security of satellites—civil and military— and their protection. Clearly, this aerospace compulsion lies squarely in the international cooperation domain of foreign policy. Significantly, India has in place bilateral cooperation agreements in the commercial space sector with over a dozen countries. These include the US, Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Israel, Indonesia and the Maldives. The programmes include satellite launch, remote sensing, spacecraft systems, sub-systems, mission support, spacecraft testing and training consultancy. This aspect of aerospace soft power has the potential to offer rich dividends in foreign policy through expansion of areas of commercial space cooperation and joining in of new countries for such cooperation.


INDIAN AIR POWER .qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 3:04 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

AEROSPACE POWER

An Expanded Mandate Today, it is a truism that India’s comprehensive national power is a function of its aerospace capacities. Global reach, lethality and speed of response can make for achieving foreign security policy objectives across the world, in a region of security interest as also in shaping the extended strategic neighborhood. With

India rushed relief supplies by IndianAir Force IL-76 aircraft to Little Rock,Arkansas (US) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans. Similar airlifts were undertaken for earthquake relief in Pakistan, Indonesia and China during 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, for the Philippines mudslide of 2006 and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during 2008.

policy circles because international defence exercises, air shows and related deployment postures serve as excellent foreign policy tools for improved relations and confidence building among nations.

Coercive Power

AFP

India but for the exploits of its nascent air power at that time. Indeed, India’s foreign policy may well have taken an entirely different turn. Over four decades later, during the Gulf War in 1991, our national interests demanded the emergency evacuation of Indian nationals from the conflict area. In a three week period, nearly 1,75,000 people were flown back home by aircraft of the Indian Air Force, Indian Airlines and Air India (there were no private Indian airlines flying then) in the most massive airlift in human history since the Second World War. A similar airlift, though on a far lower scale, took place in 2006 during the crisis in Lebanon, demonstrating India’s commitment for protection of the diaspora with all means available including the nation’s air power. Developments elsewhere too illustrate how air power has played a decisive role in fulfilling foreign policy objectives. It has been the key component of force application in 21 foreign interventions since World War I. Moreover, having undergone a game-changing techno-operational transformation over the last two or three decades, aerospace power, today the most usable and effective component of military force, has the wherewithal to undertake discrete strikes, with high-precision weapons, at long ranges. The last aspect is important, as greater the reach, the stronger the ability to influence events far away. Besides, transportability, entailing the airlift of large bodies of personnel and heavy equipment and goods, at nearly the speed of sound, to far corners of the world constitutes yet another capability dimension that touches foreign policy. The wide range of missions could merge with space on one side and have expanded roles for miniaturised unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the other end. The verticality dimension of air—near the exosphere, space, cyberspace—missile defenses as also bilateral cooperation in commercial satellite systems are thus all interconnected for the foreign policy domain.

with great alacrity US, Japan high-end, forces-in-being, Indian Air Force and Australia in Operation other nations look up for personnel load relief Sea Wave to employ oceanic support in crises in which a material onto a special aerospace power and degree of dependency on one plane bound for the maritime forces in rushing side increases the ability to Pakistani earthquakerelief supplies to Indonesia, influence foreign policy on the hit area at New Delhi’s Sri Lanka and Maldives other. Some have also alluded Palam Airport affected by the tsunami tidal to the Clausewitzian synergy conjunction between war and politics disaster in 2004 when southern India too defined by institutional rationality in which was affected. A year later, India rushed relief the relationship between means and ends is calculated to advance commensurate supplies by Air Force IL-76 aircraft to Little national interests. Aerospace power has a Rock, Arkansas (US) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans. key role in such a dispensation. The world witnessed how India joined Similar airlifts were undertaken for

28

earthquake relief in Pakistan, Indonesia and China during 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, for the Philippines mudslide of 2006 and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar during 2008. There was yet another instance when the Indian Air Force dispatched a large complement of Su-30 MKI combat fighters, IL-76 transport aircraft and IL-78 aerial refueller aircraft trans-continentally to the US for participation in the prestigious ExRed Flag. Demonstration of this capability and its subtle impact on future security and foreign policy was not lost on Indiawatchers in the international foreign

There are occasions and pressures when foreign policy goals may require application of coercion as an instrument of state policy. The unique attributes of aerospace power, and the credible deterrence it provides, makes it a highly effective coercive weapon. For this, high levels of situational awareness by way of surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence become vital pre-requisites. Besides, coercion could have limited value in situations of near force symmetry between nations, notably so if it is so in aerospace power. Past lessons appear to suggest that coercion in the aerospace domain is best achieved through synergy with foreign policy. This could include economic sanctions, aerospace force pooling for operations by coalitions of the willing— with or without the United Nations mandate, depending on national interest imperatives—and exclusion zone operations, popularly termed, ‘no fly zones.’ The United States Air Force

29

DSI

undertook 300,000 missions in Iraq for such exclusion zone operations during the period 1998-2003. In India’s own case, air dropping of rice and food supplies at Jaffna (Sri Lanka) in June 1987—the so-called rice bombing—by Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft, escorted by Mirage 2000 combat fighters, was perceived world-wide as a demonstrable case of coercion that directly led to the signing of the India-Sri Lanka Accord a month later. As an interesting example of countercoercion, we would do well to recall how a decade-and-a-half earlier, India remained resolutely undeterred by the coercive sailing of the USS Enterprise in the Bay of Bengal during the India-Pakistan War of 1971. India’s air power sustained the bombing campaign against air bases in the then East Pakistan rendering them unusable, perhaps as part of an anti-access strategy, against any landings that may have been planned at the bases.

Space—the High Ground Space assets and their relevance for national development and aerospace force application constitute another foreignsecurity policy dimension. Even commercial leveraging of space globally could create inter-State dissonances and generate conflict situations making for the need for multilateral cooperation in the management of the universal commons of space and cyberspace. This is particularly relevant in grappling with the challenge of space debris that would eventually affect all space-faring nations. Nothing drove home this imperative more tellingly than the Chinese antisatellite missile test of January 11, 2007. It raised new concerns internationally on the security of satellites—civil and military— and their protection. Clearly, this aerospace compulsion lies squarely in the international cooperation domain of foreign policy. Significantly, India has in place bilateral cooperation agreements in the commercial space sector with over a dozen countries. These include the US, Russia, France, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Israel, Indonesia and the Maldives. The programmes include satellite launch, remote sensing, spacecraft systems, sub-systems, mission support, spacecraft testing and training consultancy. This aspect of aerospace soft power has the potential to offer rich dividends in foreign policy through expansion of areas of commercial space cooperation and joining in of new countries for such cooperation.


INDIAN AIR POWER .qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:29 PM Page 5

JUNE 2010

AEROSPACE POWER

DSI

AFP

Indian Army soldiers transport relief material from an Army aircraft at the Car Nicobar Airport for victims of the 2004 tsunami

United Nations Peacekeeping Since the dawn of Independence, India has been a consistent advocate of UN peacekeeping in pursuit of international security and peaceful resolution of conflicts and has contributed forces to 43 missions. Nearly 10,000 Indian armed forces personnel currently serve in 7 of the 18 on-going peace missions worldwide. Air power is finding increasing use in such missions, for both the helicopter-gunship (Mi-35/Mi-25) operations and logistics support (Mi-17). Congo and Sudan today have presence of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in both segments. Interestingly, it is not unusual for the IAF in UN missions supporting ground actions of co-located Pakistan Army peacekeeper troops. An early case of combat air power furthering foreign policy objectives in UN peacekeeping occurred in 1961-62 when India had to dispatch a force of Canberra bomber-interdictors to Congo, nearly 8,000km away. A small force of armed light aircraft flown by Belgian mercenaries for secessionist rebels was wreaking havoc on

In India’s own case, air dropping of rice and food supplies at Jaffna (Sri Lanka) in June 1987 by Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft, escorted by Mirage 2000 combat fighters, was perceived world-wide as a demonstrable case of coercion that directly led to the signing of the IndiaSri Lanka Accord a month later.

30

the deployed Indian brigade. The Canberras successfully decimated the opposing air force for the UN peacekeepers to ensure integrity of the state. In sum, aerospace power has the versatility, unique attributes and characteristics to undertake a wide range of missions in pursuit of foreign policy objectives. These could entail force application, energy security and trade protection, capability and transportability projection at long ranges, coercion, military and commercial space sector cooperation, diaspora protection, emergency assistance to friendly countries facing threats or natural disasters, UN peacekeeping and a variety of hard and soft power applications that help shape the strategic neighborhood and enhance Indian influence. Given the trend lines of uncertainty and fluidity which characterise the international system today, and would do so in the years ahead, India’s aerospace power-foreign policy dyad must acquire far greater dynamism.


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NUCLEAR REVIEW CONFERENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:30 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE

THE KINDEST OF CUTS

DSI

K. SUBRAHMANYAM

The Eighth NPT Review Conference was a landmark event but not for reasons debated in the conference itself

KEY POINTS

Eighth Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in progress at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

n This is the first NPT Review Conference where it has been recognised that a nuclear war between two nations has a lower probability today than the threat of a nuclear weapon being used by non-state terrorist actors. n Meaningful issues do not come up for discussion in the NPT Review Conference which has been reduced to a ritual.

AFP

N

32

o one expected that the final declaration from the Eighth NonProliferation Treaty Review Conference would set the East River on fire, the banks of which the UN headquarters, where the conference was held from May 4 to 28, is situated. What came out is a mildly worded, platitudinous statement which will not make a difference to any of the 189 participant nations or the four nonparticipants—Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Unlike in 2005, this time under the chairmanship of the Philippine ambassador, Libran Cabactulan, the conference was able to adopt a final document. Nevertheless, it was a landmark conference for reasons not debated in the conference itself. This is the first Review Conference after President Obama declared, “Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history— the risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of nuclear attacks has gone up…Terrorist networks such as the Al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they succeeded, they would surely use it. Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world—causing an extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow to global peace and stability.” In other words, this is the first Review Conference where it has been recognised that a nuclear war between two nations has a much lower probability today than the

33

threat of use of nuclear weapon or device by non-state terrorist actors. This is also the first conference in which the United States declared its arsenal as 5,113 warheads and United Kingdom as 225. In 1970, when the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, US had 26,119, USSR 11,643 and the UK 280 nuclear warheads. According to the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) Agreement, signed on April in Prague, both US and Russia will reduce their arsenals to 1,550 warheads. Though every nuclear warhead is one too many, there is no doubt that the trend in the world is towards reduction. This conference came after the new Nuclear Posture Review of US which said the US would use nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the US, its allies and partners.

Towards a Nuclear-Free World President Obama in his Prague speech last year declared that he was committed to a nuclear weapon-free world, though he recognised, realistically, it may not come in his life time. Yet while non-nuclear weapon states pressed for the nuclear weapon states to agree to timelines for the elimination of weapons, nuclear weapon states were firm in their refusal to meet that demand. The 28-page final document said the five recognised nuclear-weapon states— Britain, China, France, Russia and the US—commit to “accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament,” and also take steps to further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons and report back on progress by 2014. “In implementing the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear- weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the nuclear-weapon states commit to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed through various agreements.” This is the maximum the non-weapon states could wring out of the weapon states.


NUCLEAR REVIEW CONFERENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:30 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE

THE KINDEST OF CUTS

DSI

K. SUBRAHMANYAM

The Eighth NPT Review Conference was a landmark event but not for reasons debated in the conference itself

KEY POINTS

Eighth Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in progress at the United Nations Headquarters in New York

n This is the first NPT Review Conference where it has been recognised that a nuclear war between two nations has a lower probability today than the threat of a nuclear weapon being used by non-state terrorist actors. n Meaningful issues do not come up for discussion in the NPT Review Conference which has been reduced to a ritual.

AFP

N

32

o one expected that the final declaration from the Eighth NonProliferation Treaty Review Conference would set the East River on fire, the banks of which the UN headquarters, where the conference was held from May 4 to 28, is situated. What came out is a mildly worded, platitudinous statement which will not make a difference to any of the 189 participant nations or the four nonparticipants—Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Unlike in 2005, this time under the chairmanship of the Philippine ambassador, Libran Cabactulan, the conference was able to adopt a final document. Nevertheless, it was a landmark conference for reasons not debated in the conference itself. This is the first Review Conference after President Obama declared, “Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history— the risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of nuclear attacks has gone up…Terrorist networks such as the Al Qaeda have tried to acquire the material for a nuclear weapon, and if they succeeded, they would surely use it. Were they to do so, it would be a catastrophe for the world—causing an extraordinary loss of life and striking a major blow to global peace and stability.” In other words, this is the first Review Conference where it has been recognised that a nuclear war between two nations has a much lower probability today than the

33

threat of use of nuclear weapon or device by non-state terrorist actors. This is also the first conference in which the United States declared its arsenal as 5,113 warheads and United Kingdom as 225. In 1970, when the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force, US had 26,119, USSR 11,643 and the UK 280 nuclear warheads. According to the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) Agreement, signed on April in Prague, both US and Russia will reduce their arsenals to 1,550 warheads. Though every nuclear warhead is one too many, there is no doubt that the trend in the world is towards reduction. This conference came after the new Nuclear Posture Review of US which said the US would use nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the US, its allies and partners.

Towards a Nuclear-Free World President Obama in his Prague speech last year declared that he was committed to a nuclear weapon-free world, though he recognised, realistically, it may not come in his life time. Yet while non-nuclear weapon states pressed for the nuclear weapon states to agree to timelines for the elimination of weapons, nuclear weapon states were firm in their refusal to meet that demand. The 28-page final document said the five recognised nuclear-weapon states— Britain, China, France, Russia and the US—commit to “accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament,” and also take steps to further diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons and report back on progress by 2014. “In implementing the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear- weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, the nuclear-weapon states commit to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed through various agreements.” This is the maximum the non-weapon states could wring out of the weapon states.


NUCLEAR REVIEW CONFERENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:31 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE

DSI

Iran held out to the end UN Secretary-General Ban mass destruction.” It called on on the issue of disarmament Ki-moon (right) looks on as Israel to sign the NPT and to and finally gave in and Iran’s President Mahmoud place “all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeaccepted the draft. In a Ahmadinejad (left) signs guards of the International speech after the document the guest book during the Atomic Energy Agency was adopted, Ali Asghar Review Conference (IAEA).” The document also Soltanieh, the Iranian envoy, listed at least nine ways in which Iran urged the Democratic People’s Republic of thought the document was weak. He noted Korea to return “at an early date” to the sixthat a proposed 2025 deadline for the party talks and to carry out obligations elimination of all nuclear weapons had under the talks. Those obligations include been scuttled by the nuclear weapons states the “complete and verifiable abandonment a had a proposal for a legally binding of all nuclear weapons and existing commitment from states with nuclear nuclear programmes.” weapons not to use them against those without. “It is of course far from our The Unmentionables expectations, but at the same time it is a step While there was no difficulty in naming forward towards our goal of disarmament,” North Korea in the document as it had no Soltanieh told reporters. Iran had also supporters in the conference, there were pushed for more stringent language considerable difficulties in mentioning demanding that Israel join the non- Israel since it went against the convention proliferation treaty. of not mentioning individual states in the The final document also called on the UN final document. But this was insisted on by Secretary-General and co-sponsors of the the Arab countries and Iran. Finally the US, 1995 Middle East Resolution to convene a the strongest defender of Israel, had to conference in 2012, “to be attended by all yield to avoid a failure to adopt the final states of the Middle East, on the document as happened in 2005. Even establishment of a Middle East zone free of while yielding on the conference floor, nuclear weapons and all other weapons of President Obama issued a separate

34

statement regretting the specific naming of Israel in the final document. Though there are calls in the document on the countries not signatory to the treaty to join the treaty and make it universal India and Pakistan have not been specifically named. The final document also calls on states to fully comply with the NPT to uphold the treaty’s integrity and the authority of its safeguards system, but it fell short of accusing Iran of violating safeguard agreements with the IAEA. The recommendations in the section ‘Non-Proliferation’ call on all nations to apply comprehensive IAEA safeguards to all source and special fissionable materials, to bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols, to maintain highest possible standards of security of physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, to improve their national capabilities to detect, deter and disrupt illicit trafficking of nuclear materials through their territories to become party to the Inter national Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and other ancillary measures to ensure the security

AFP

AFP

According to the new START Agreement signed on April in Prague both US and Russia will reduce their arsenals to 1,550 warheads.Though every nuclear warhead is one too many, there is no doubt that the trend in the world is towards reduction.This conference came after the new Nuclear Posture Review of the US which said the it would use nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances to defend its vital interests.

of nuclear materials. It Russian President Dmitry Terrorist Instrument was evident that the Medvedev and the US Nuclear weapons have not Washington Nuclear President Barack Obama been used, after their first Security Summit of address a Joint Press use in 1945. President President Obama and its Conference after signing the Ronald Reagan and Soviet action plan had a powerful START Agreement in Prague General Secretary Mikhail influence on the partGorbachev in a joint icipants of the Review Conference. statement in 1985 stated that a nuclear war On the peaceful uses of nuclear cannot be won and should not be initiated. energy, the conference affirmed to The nuclear weapon is not a warrespect each country’s choices and winning weapon but a terrorist decisions in the field of peaceful uses of instrument. As the world is getting nuclear energy without jeopardising its increasingly globalised, the probability of policies or international cooperation a nuclear confrontation is becoming less agreements and arrangements for and the risk of its terrorist use is increasing. peaceful uses of nuclear energy and its The NPT did not slow down fuel cycle policies. It also stressed the role proliferation: deft alliance management and of the IAEA in promoting cooperation in extended deterrence did. The proliferation peaceful uses. Among its various of today is the result of proliferation by recommendations, it also called on states nuclear weapon powers and their to put in force a civil nuclear liability surrogates. China proliferated to Pakistan, regime by becoming party to relevant North Korea and Iran. Pakistan proliferated international instruments or adopting to Iran and North Korea and attempted to suitable national legislation, based upon do so to Libya. France proliferated to Israel the principles established by the main and the latter to South Africa. pertinent international instruments. In Secondly, Pakistan, North Korea and this section of recommendations and Iran have regimes which are extremely action plan the influence of the worried about externally induced regimeWashington summit was apparent. change and seek nuclear weapons to insure

35

themselves against it. Today, Pakistan and North Korea are using the nuclear arsenal as a shield to pursue their use of terrorism as a state policy. Unfortunately, these real issues do not come up for discussion in the NPT Review Conference which has been reduced to a ritual. Nuclear weapons are decaying as a currency of power. Because of the mystique deliberately sought to be vested on them over the last five decades, it will take some time for the credibility in their use as weapons of war to wane. The nuclear weapon powers also want to extract as much political mileage out of them as possible. In these circumstances one cannot expect much out of 2012 Conference on Middle-East Nuclear Weapon–Free Zone. There may be further cuts in the arsenals of the two major nuclear powers by 2014 but that will not be as a response to the demand of the present Review Conference. Nuclear weapons will decay in their relevance and progressively diminish in numbers and importance but that will not be due to the NPT or assorted NPT Review Conference statements.


NUCLEAR REVIEW CONFERENCE.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:31 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

EIGHTH NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE

DSI

Iran held out to the end UN Secretary-General Ban mass destruction.” It called on on the issue of disarmament Ki-moon (right) looks on as Israel to sign the NPT and to and finally gave in and Iran’s President Mahmoud place “all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeaccepted the draft. In a Ahmadinejad (left) signs guards of the International speech after the document the guest book during the Atomic Energy Agency was adopted, Ali Asghar Review Conference (IAEA).” The document also Soltanieh, the Iranian envoy, listed at least nine ways in which Iran urged the Democratic People’s Republic of thought the document was weak. He noted Korea to return “at an early date” to the sixthat a proposed 2025 deadline for the party talks and to carry out obligations elimination of all nuclear weapons had under the talks. Those obligations include been scuttled by the nuclear weapons states the “complete and verifiable abandonment a had a proposal for a legally binding of all nuclear weapons and existing commitment from states with nuclear nuclear programmes.” weapons not to use them against those without. “It is of course far from our The Unmentionables expectations, but at the same time it is a step While there was no difficulty in naming forward towards our goal of disarmament,” North Korea in the document as it had no Soltanieh told reporters. Iran had also supporters in the conference, there were pushed for more stringent language considerable difficulties in mentioning demanding that Israel join the non- Israel since it went against the convention proliferation treaty. of not mentioning individual states in the The final document also called on the UN final document. But this was insisted on by Secretary-General and co-sponsors of the the Arab countries and Iran. Finally the US, 1995 Middle East Resolution to convene a the strongest defender of Israel, had to conference in 2012, “to be attended by all yield to avoid a failure to adopt the final states of the Middle East, on the document as happened in 2005. Even establishment of a Middle East zone free of while yielding on the conference floor, nuclear weapons and all other weapons of President Obama issued a separate

34

statement regretting the specific naming of Israel in the final document. Though there are calls in the document on the countries not signatory to the treaty to join the treaty and make it universal India and Pakistan have not been specifically named. The final document also calls on states to fully comply with the NPT to uphold the treaty’s integrity and the authority of its safeguards system, but it fell short of accusing Iran of violating safeguard agreements with the IAEA. The recommendations in the section ‘Non-Proliferation’ call on all nations to apply comprehensive IAEA safeguards to all source and special fissionable materials, to bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols, to maintain highest possible standards of security of physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, to improve their national capabilities to detect, deter and disrupt illicit trafficking of nuclear materials through their territories to become party to the Inter national Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and other ancillary measures to ensure the security

AFP

AFP

According to the new START Agreement signed on April in Prague both US and Russia will reduce their arsenals to 1,550 warheads.Though every nuclear warhead is one too many, there is no doubt that the trend in the world is towards reduction.This conference came after the new Nuclear Posture Review of the US which said the it would use nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances to defend its vital interests.

of nuclear materials. It Russian President Dmitry Terrorist Instrument was evident that the Medvedev and the US Nuclear weapons have not Washington Nuclear President Barack Obama been used, after their first Security Summit of address a Joint Press use in 1945. President President Obama and its Conference after signing the Ronald Reagan and Soviet action plan had a powerful START Agreement in Prague General Secretary Mikhail influence on the partGorbachev in a joint icipants of the Review Conference. statement in 1985 stated that a nuclear war On the peaceful uses of nuclear cannot be won and should not be initiated. energy, the conference affirmed to The nuclear weapon is not a warrespect each country’s choices and winning weapon but a terrorist decisions in the field of peaceful uses of instrument. As the world is getting nuclear energy without jeopardising its increasingly globalised, the probability of policies or international cooperation a nuclear confrontation is becoming less agreements and arrangements for and the risk of its terrorist use is increasing. peaceful uses of nuclear energy and its The NPT did not slow down fuel cycle policies. It also stressed the role proliferation: deft alliance management and of the IAEA in promoting cooperation in extended deterrence did. The proliferation peaceful uses. Among its various of today is the result of proliferation by recommendations, it also called on states nuclear weapon powers and their to put in force a civil nuclear liability surrogates. China proliferated to Pakistan, regime by becoming party to relevant North Korea and Iran. Pakistan proliferated international instruments or adopting to Iran and North Korea and attempted to suitable national legislation, based upon do so to Libya. France proliferated to Israel the principles established by the main and the latter to South Africa. pertinent international instruments. In Secondly, Pakistan, North Korea and this section of recommendations and Iran have regimes which are extremely action plan the influence of the worried about externally induced regimeWashington summit was apparent. change and seek nuclear weapons to insure

35

themselves against it. Today, Pakistan and North Korea are using the nuclear arsenal as a shield to pursue their use of terrorism as a state policy. Unfortunately, these real issues do not come up for discussion in the NPT Review Conference which has been reduced to a ritual. Nuclear weapons are decaying as a currency of power. Because of the mystique deliberately sought to be vested on them over the last five decades, it will take some time for the credibility in their use as weapons of war to wane. The nuclear weapon powers also want to extract as much political mileage out of them as possible. In these circumstances one cannot expect much out of 2012 Conference on Middle-East Nuclear Weapon–Free Zone. There may be further cuts in the arsenals of the two major nuclear powers by 2014 but that will not be as a response to the demand of the present Review Conference. Nuclear weapons will decay in their relevance and progressively diminish in numbers and importance but that will not be due to the NPT or assorted NPT Review Conference statements.


PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (eijaz haider).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:39 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

DSI

THAW OR STAUS QUO?

Does the impending meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan represent any forward movement in the two neighbours’ fractured relationship?

EJAZ HAIDAR

A trust deficit is blocking progress in the Indo-Pak dialogue. n India's policy is to inform the world that it wants to normalise relations with Pakistan but its good intentions can only succeed if Pakistan acts as a responsible state fully in control of its territory. n Pakistan, facing internal trouble, realises that its negotiating space may be shrinking. n

P

akistan-India relations remind one of the topsy-turvy heavens in Ted Hughes’ Apple Tragedy—the serpent is the creator, God the interloper, “and everything [in the end] goes to hell.” The mid-April meeting between the Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Bhutan, is being tipped as the ‘Thimphu Thaw’. Is it? It was the first substantive meeting between the two heads of government since they met and issued a joint declaration July 16 last year in Sharm el-Sheikh, then on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit. Both have since commented positively on the hour-long

meeting in Thimphu, stressing the need to take measures to reduce the trust deficit that is blocking progress. India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, is now scheduled to visit Islamabad, arriving July 15. Progress? Consider the delicacy of what the two sides are dealing with.

Sideline Summits Meeting on the sidelines of this or that conference is now the norm. India has shown no interest in a direct summit-level meeting between the principals. Nor is there an agreed framework for doing so. Neither side trusts the other: the measures required to build trust are precisely what the two sides are most reluctant to undertake because they don’t trust each other. This is the classical paradox of confidence-building measures (CBMs)— they work best when they are least needed. States need to have reached some minimum level of trust before such measures can be effective. Also, states must accept that there is a greater pay-off in remaining engaged and continuing with the CBMs than abrogating them, especially in crisis situations. The January 2004 dialogue framework failed when the real test came. India’s immediate reaction to the Mumbai episode was to consider the Pakistani state complicit until Islamabad could prove its

36

AFP

KEY POINTS

innocence, and, pending that, stall the dialogue process. Without prejudice to India’s sentiments over the Mumbai attacks, it should be evident that its policy hindered rather than helped the two sides move forward, both in the narrower context of Mumbai and the broader context of bilateral normalisation. A crisis situation is precisely the point at which more, not less, engagement is required through established mechanisms. That did not happen. And for all the optimism about the ‘Thimphu Thaw’ and

the expected July visit of the Indian Prime Minister Balochistan India accepted Indian foreign minister, Manmohan Singh with the Pakistani concerns in the Pakistan-India relations his Pakistani counterpart text of the Sharm el-Sheikh remain hostage to a crisis Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Joint Declaration. That move situation, particularly one during their meeting at earned the Indian premier the generated by a spectacular Sharm-el-Sheikh ire of the Opposition. Clearly, terror attack on India’s soil. domestic compulsions can Does Pakistan want to normalise with often be the albatross around foreign India? Yes. But it also wants to walk the talk policy’s neck. on the disputes, Kashmir topping that list. Pakistan is facing internal trouble and Pakistan also accuses India of fomenting realises that the negotiating space for it trouble in Balochistan and the Federally may be shrinking. A stalled dialogue Administered Tribal Areas. At least on process, a mounting internal security

37

threat and grave external security concerns mean Pakistan is unlikely to take any radical steps unless India makes a positive move. Would it?

Two Frameworks That depends on what value India assigns to normalising relations with Pakistan, along what timeline and in what context. India could tackle the issue through two sets of arguments, one using the cooperative framework, the other, the realist. Let’s consider both in that order.


PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (eijaz haider).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:39 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

DSI

THAW OR STAUS QUO?

Does the impending meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan represent any forward movement in the two neighbours’ fractured relationship?

EJAZ HAIDAR

A trust deficit is blocking progress in the Indo-Pak dialogue. n India's policy is to inform the world that it wants to normalise relations with Pakistan but its good intentions can only succeed if Pakistan acts as a responsible state fully in control of its territory. n Pakistan, facing internal trouble, realises that its negotiating space may be shrinking. n

P

akistan-India relations remind one of the topsy-turvy heavens in Ted Hughes’ Apple Tragedy—the serpent is the creator, God the interloper, “and everything [in the end] goes to hell.” The mid-April meeting between the Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Bhutan, is being tipped as the ‘Thimphu Thaw’. Is it? It was the first substantive meeting between the two heads of government since they met and issued a joint declaration July 16 last year in Sharm el-Sheikh, then on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit. Both have since commented positively on the hour-long

meeting in Thimphu, stressing the need to take measures to reduce the trust deficit that is blocking progress. India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, is now scheduled to visit Islamabad, arriving July 15. Progress? Consider the delicacy of what the two sides are dealing with.

Sideline Summits Meeting on the sidelines of this or that conference is now the norm. India has shown no interest in a direct summit-level meeting between the principals. Nor is there an agreed framework for doing so. Neither side trusts the other: the measures required to build trust are precisely what the two sides are most reluctant to undertake because they don’t trust each other. This is the classical paradox of confidence-building measures (CBMs)— they work best when they are least needed. States need to have reached some minimum level of trust before such measures can be effective. Also, states must accept that there is a greater pay-off in remaining engaged and continuing with the CBMs than abrogating them, especially in crisis situations. The January 2004 dialogue framework failed when the real test came. India’s immediate reaction to the Mumbai episode was to consider the Pakistani state complicit until Islamabad could prove its

36

AFP

KEY POINTS

innocence, and, pending that, stall the dialogue process. Without prejudice to India’s sentiments over the Mumbai attacks, it should be evident that its policy hindered rather than helped the two sides move forward, both in the narrower context of Mumbai and the broader context of bilateral normalisation. A crisis situation is precisely the point at which more, not less, engagement is required through established mechanisms. That did not happen. And for all the optimism about the ‘Thimphu Thaw’ and

the expected July visit of the Indian Prime Minister Balochistan India accepted Indian foreign minister, Manmohan Singh with the Pakistani concerns in the Pakistan-India relations his Pakistani counterpart text of the Sharm el-Sheikh remain hostage to a crisis Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Joint Declaration. That move situation, particularly one during their meeting at earned the Indian premier the generated by a spectacular Sharm-el-Sheikh ire of the Opposition. Clearly, terror attack on India’s soil. domestic compulsions can Does Pakistan want to normalise with often be the albatross around foreign India? Yes. But it also wants to walk the talk policy’s neck. on the disputes, Kashmir topping that list. Pakistan is facing internal trouble and Pakistan also accuses India of fomenting realises that the negotiating space for it trouble in Balochistan and the Federally may be shrinking. A stalled dialogue Administered Tribal Areas. At least on process, a mounting internal security

37

threat and grave external security concerns mean Pakistan is unlikely to take any radical steps unless India makes a positive move. Would it?

Two Frameworks That depends on what value India assigns to normalising relations with Pakistan, along what timeline and in what context. India could tackle the issue through two sets of arguments, one using the cooperative framework, the other, the realist. Let’s consider both in that order.


PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (eijaz haider).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:40 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

DSI

India’s stability and progress is linked to a stable, democratic Pakistan. India has shown impressive economic and social progress but has to cover a long distance still and must be able to focus its energies to reach that goal. Argued thus, India will have to re-evaluate the cost-benefit calculus in resolving bilateral disputes—– some give here could result in much take overall and in the longer run. Essentially, this would also require reviewing the question of terrorism in terms of the direction of causality. Does terrorism take place in a vacuum or is it contextual? Most studies of terrorism and its causes show that a “terrorist” not only operates in and through a context but strives to change that context. Any such review would require India to contextualise terrorism rather than treating it as an independent variable that needs to be tackled upfront and separately from everything else. Corollary: India begins to negotiate with Pakistan in good faith, extending cooperation in several areas and fasttracking issues that have historically troubled relations. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Now let’s consider the realist framework. India wants to have good relations with Pakistan, but such relations must be on terms dictated by India. Stability is important, but it may be achieved fully in

AFP

Without prejudice to India's sentiments over Mumbai attacks, it should be evident that its policy hindered rather than helped the two sides move forward, both in the narrower context of Mumbai and the broader context of bilateral normalisation. A crisis situation is precisely the point at which more, not less, engagement is required.

US—and insist that the longer term while An Indian National Security Pakistan is not a viable accepting the relative costs Guard examines the charred state because it cannot of cycles of instability in carriage of the blast-hit the short to medium term. Samjhauta Express train in that control a section of its population and large This premise will lead runs from Delhi to Lahore chunks of its own to a more familiar argument. The best way to tackle the territory. Pakistan needs “help”. And help Pakistan problem is to exacerbate it. means multilateral intrusion, monitoring Pakistan is going through one of the worst of Pakistan and dilution of its sovereignty. India cannot do it singly, or attack crises in its history. It is under pressure from the United States; it is facing a mounting Pakistan. But it can help the situation get to a internal security threat which also impacts point where other, stronger state parties can and threatens its external security; its Army take care of Pakistan. Delhi’s narrative is is stretched thin; its political system is weak already in sync with Washington’s. and unstable; its federating units have a Pressure, from India’s viewpoint, could be tenuous relationship with the Centre; its the US forcing Pakistan to undertake more economy is in a shambles. India can wait, military operations inside its territory or use add its own pressure on Pakistan to the its own military strength to launch limited world’s, and get to the point where strikes within Pakistan. Like the United States, it is in India’s benefit to demand Pakistan succumbs. India’s policy would be to inform the that “terrorism” be treated without any world that it wants to normalise with reference to its causes. Pakistan but its good intentions can only Does this framework promise succeed if Pakistan acted as a responsible normalisation and progress? No. Is it likely state fully in control of its territory. Given to change? No. Reason: India seems to the situation in the northwest of the want a final solution in and through region, India knows what a tough call this is a conflictual model. And the current for Pakistan. India also knows that Pakistan situation, arguing within the realist is fighting a full-blown insurgency and framework, offers it a great opportunity. facing multiple terrorist attacks on its own Whether this model can succeed soil. But it would insist on terrorism as the according to a neat script is of course main problem that the Pakistani state must another question. —The views expressed are the author’s own tackle and then turn around—à la the

38


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PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (sushant sareen).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:41 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

MIND THE GAP

DSI

Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna (right) with Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi at the SAARC Summit in Thimphu

The impasse between India and Pakistan can be broken by some bold, out-of-the-box initiatives which may lead to a paradigm shift in their bilateral relationship

KEY POINTS

n The spin that is being put out by the Indian side is that the dialogue between the two foreign ministers in July will focus on bridging the trust deficit. n The question is how will the two sides bridge this gap and reach a level of confidence that allows them to move on to substantive negotiations. n Official circles are puzzled over the reasons for the keenness being displayed by either side for resuming the dialogue.

F

or over a decade, India-Pakistan political dialogues have tended to follow a boringly predictable trajectory: successive Indian Prime Ministers, suffused with a sense of being recognised as visionaries by posterity, but without any sense of timing or even appreciation of ground realities, reach out to Pakistan, which, as it subsequently turns out, duplicitously grabs the ‘hand of friendship’. The two sides start engaging each other but without either side having any new idea to break the logjam; the glacial pace of the dialogue runs counter to the unrealistic expectations and hype that surrounds it. The Pakistanis run out of

patience and there is invariably a spectacular incident—Kargil, an attack on Parliament and the 26/11 assault—that effectively kills the peace initiative, until next time, when the cycle repeats itself. Chances are that things will be no different with the latest peace move initiated by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. This time around, the buzzword or the ‘core issue’ is ‘trust deficit’, which according to the Indian Prime Minister is the biggest problem between the two countries. The spin that is being put out by the Indian side is that the dialogue between the two foreign ministers in July will focus primarily on bridging this trust deficit. The Pakistanis, on the other hand, are crowing about how the Composite Dialogue (CD) is back on track, albeit under a different nomenclature and perhaps a different structure. To the extent that when two countries enter into a political dialogue, a host of issues of interest to either side— terrorism for India; Kashmir, water and alleged Indian involvement in Balochistan for Pakistan are bound to be discussed—it might be termed as a return to the CD. But without a structured dialogue on the sectoral track, which forms part of the CD, India can always claim that it has continued to hold out on the CD process. However, this won’t obviate the need for some sort of

40

AFP

SUSHANT SAREEN

an agreement on a road map for continuing the foreign ministers’ talks, without which the initiative will be declared a failure, something that neither side wants. Anything more will be a bonus.

US Intervention There is a body of opinion which feels that with the United States dragging the two countries by their ears to the dialogue table, there are good chances of a breakthrough. But there are limits as to how much even the US can push India and Pakistan. In any case, the US is

mistaken if it thinks that improved atmospherics between India and Pakistan will allow Pakistan to shift its focus from the eastern to the western border. If this didn’t happen between 2004 and 2008 when relations between India and Pakistan were the most relaxed in decades, it is unlikely to happen now when the two sides have barely started trying to put together another peace process. In order to kick-start the dialogue, the Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna has indicated his willingness to ‘trust’ Pakistan on the issue of terrorism. This ‘trust’

however flies in the face of a flood of reports about how the jihad factory in Pakistan is back in business. There is also rock-solid intelligence about the involvement of Pakistani intelligence agencies in directing attacks against Indians in Afghanistan. Recent incidents of attacks on the Indians in Afghanistan like the attack on Indian consulate staff in Jalalabad are being kept under the wraps, lest the political environment gets sullied before the talks. But this pusillanimous attitude will become politically unsustainable as soon as terrorist strikes take place in India.

41

Worse, in keeping with the proclivity of Indian leaders to provide an alibi for their Pakistani counterparts, Krishna has explained Pakistan’s failure to take credible action against terrorists operating against India by blaming Pakistan’s ‘fiercely independent’ and ‘assertive’ judiciary. Needless to say, Krishna seems to have turned a blind eye to the quality of evidence, or rather the lack of it, which the Pakistani authorities presented against the LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. Small wonder then that the Indian foreign office could do little except mumble a rather apologetic


PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (sushant sareen).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:41 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

MIND THE GAP

DSI

Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna (right) with Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi at the SAARC Summit in Thimphu

The impasse between India and Pakistan can be broken by some bold, out-of-the-box initiatives which may lead to a paradigm shift in their bilateral relationship

KEY POINTS

n The spin that is being put out by the Indian side is that the dialogue between the two foreign ministers in July will focus on bridging the trust deficit. n The question is how will the two sides bridge this gap and reach a level of confidence that allows them to move on to substantive negotiations. n Official circles are puzzled over the reasons for the keenness being displayed by either side for resuming the dialogue.

F

or over a decade, India-Pakistan political dialogues have tended to follow a boringly predictable trajectory: successive Indian Prime Ministers, suffused with a sense of being recognised as visionaries by posterity, but without any sense of timing or even appreciation of ground realities, reach out to Pakistan, which, as it subsequently turns out, duplicitously grabs the ‘hand of friendship’. The two sides start engaging each other but without either side having any new idea to break the logjam; the glacial pace of the dialogue runs counter to the unrealistic expectations and hype that surrounds it. The Pakistanis run out of

patience and there is invariably a spectacular incident—Kargil, an attack on Parliament and the 26/11 assault—that effectively kills the peace initiative, until next time, when the cycle repeats itself. Chances are that things will be no different with the latest peace move initiated by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. This time around, the buzzword or the ‘core issue’ is ‘trust deficit’, which according to the Indian Prime Minister is the biggest problem between the two countries. The spin that is being put out by the Indian side is that the dialogue between the two foreign ministers in July will focus primarily on bridging this trust deficit. The Pakistanis, on the other hand, are crowing about how the Composite Dialogue (CD) is back on track, albeit under a different nomenclature and perhaps a different structure. To the extent that when two countries enter into a political dialogue, a host of issues of interest to either side— terrorism for India; Kashmir, water and alleged Indian involvement in Balochistan for Pakistan are bound to be discussed—it might be termed as a return to the CD. But without a structured dialogue on the sectoral track, which forms part of the CD, India can always claim that it has continued to hold out on the CD process. However, this won’t obviate the need for some sort of

40

AFP

SUSHANT SAREEN

an agreement on a road map for continuing the foreign ministers’ talks, without which the initiative will be declared a failure, something that neither side wants. Anything more will be a bonus.

US Intervention There is a body of opinion which feels that with the United States dragging the two countries by their ears to the dialogue table, there are good chances of a breakthrough. But there are limits as to how much even the US can push India and Pakistan. In any case, the US is

mistaken if it thinks that improved atmospherics between India and Pakistan will allow Pakistan to shift its focus from the eastern to the western border. If this didn’t happen between 2004 and 2008 when relations between India and Pakistan were the most relaxed in decades, it is unlikely to happen now when the two sides have barely started trying to put together another peace process. In order to kick-start the dialogue, the Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna has indicated his willingness to ‘trust’ Pakistan on the issue of terrorism. This ‘trust’

however flies in the face of a flood of reports about how the jihad factory in Pakistan is back in business. There is also rock-solid intelligence about the involvement of Pakistani intelligence agencies in directing attacks against Indians in Afghanistan. Recent incidents of attacks on the Indians in Afghanistan like the attack on Indian consulate staff in Jalalabad are being kept under the wraps, lest the political environment gets sullied before the talks. But this pusillanimous attitude will become politically unsustainable as soon as terrorist strikes take place in India.

41

Worse, in keeping with the proclivity of Indian leaders to provide an alibi for their Pakistani counterparts, Krishna has explained Pakistan’s failure to take credible action against terrorists operating against India by blaming Pakistan’s ‘fiercely independent’ and ‘assertive’ judiciary. Needless to say, Krishna seems to have turned a blind eye to the quality of evidence, or rather the lack of it, which the Pakistani authorities presented against the LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. Small wonder then that the Indian foreign office could do little except mumble a rather apologetic


PAKISTAN-INDIA BACK ON TRACK (sushant sareen).qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 2:41 PM Page 3

JUNE 2010

INDO-PAK DIALOGUE

DSI

‘disappointment’ on the release of Hafiz Saeed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Bridging the Gap

Perhaps all this reflects the lack of trust that Dr. Manmohan Singh has been talking about. But then the big question is how the two sides propose to bridge this trust gap and reach that level of confidence in each other which allows them to ‘move to substantive negotiations’? Clearly, the sort of cosmetic Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) that have been undertaken so far are not going to help. Truth be told, the CBMs between India and Pakistan have done everything except build confidence between the two sides. The problem, however, is that neither side seems to have figured out what it thinks it must and can do to gain the trust of the other side. It is not even clear if, short of their maximalist positions, either side has worked out the building blocks that it thinks the other side must bring on the table to bridge the trust deficit. There is also a degree of befuddlement in official circles over the reasons for the keenness being displayed by either side for

AFP

The two sides start engaging each other but without either side having any new idea to break the logjam; the glacial pace of the dialogue runs counter to the unrealistic expectations and hype that surrounds it.The Pakistanis run out of patience and there is invariably a spectacular incident—Kargil, an attack on Parliament and the 26/11 assault—that effectively kills the peace initiative, until next time, when the cycle repeats itself.

resuming the dialogue, as also Hafiz Saeed (in white), without trust, bold initiatives what the other side hopes to the head of the banned are not possible, but how do achieve from the dialogue. you build trust without bold Jamaat-ud-Dawa and As things stand, nothing founder of Lashkar-einitiatives. The lack of public short of India disbanding its Taiba, leaves the court and political support in India Army and handing over after a hearing in Lahore for re-engagement with Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan, and vice-versa, will Pakistan is likely to end Pakistan’s self- inhibit the two governments from created and self-serving paranoia of India, deviating too much from their stated much less satisfy the Islamists who national positions. There are also serious dominate the Pakistan Army and polity. questions over whether the current On India’s part, unless Pakistan Pakistani Government is a credible dismantles the jihad factory operating interlocutor. Dr. Singh seems to believe that against India, renounces its irredentist Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s claims on J&K, reforms its educational position has strengthened after the passage curriculum which indoctrinates children of the 18th Amendment in Pakistan. But the with the stereotyping of Hindus in reality is completely different. The civilian government is merely a particular and non-Muslims in general, and most of all, ends the pernicious show-boy when it comes to Pakistan’s influence of the Army and intelligence India policy. It dances to the tune played agencies on the affairs of State, it is by the Pakistan Army, which remains unlikely that India will develop any trust implacably and inveterately opposed to in Pakistan. What are the chances of any India. In other words, the civilians in Pakistan are in no position to deliver on of this happening? Theoretically, the impasse can be broken any deal they strike with India, which in by some bold, out-of-the-box initiatives that turn means that this initiative will lead to a paradigm change in their bilateral ultimately end up like its predecessors— relationship. But this is a Catch-22 situation: in the dustbin of history.

42


216X276.indd 1

5/25/10 3:36:55 PM


SAARC.qxd:INDO-PAK.qxd 04/06/10 3:14 PM Page 1

JUNE 2010

NEIGHBOURS

DSI

Even after 25 years, South Asian leaders admit that their regional club, SAARC, has not had any lasting impact

Leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries during the closing ceremony of the 16th Summit in April 2010 held in Thimphu, Bhutan

S. NIHAL SINGH

KEY POINTS

n As usual, the spotlight at Thimphu was hogged by the meeting of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the summit. n SAARC’s value is in providing leaders the opportunities to meet informally to discuss contentious issues. n Bilateral differences have not been restricted to India and Pakistan. India has had differences with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

AFP

T

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 44

he best thing that can be said about the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which turned 25 in April this year in the splendid setting of Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, is that it would have had to be invented if it did not exist. The summit was only the 16th one, signifying the fact that eight summits have not been held. Yet, it was a courageous decision of the then Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman to make the original proposal in May 1980, to be met with skepticism in Pakistan and India for different reasons. It was only in August 1983, at a meeting of South Asian Foreign Ministers in Delhi, that a framework was decided on the basis of excluding contentious bilateral disputes and arriving at unanimous conclusions. In a sense, this shackling proviso has been the proverbial Banquo’s ghost haunting every meeting of SAARC—with the regional grouping remaining hostage to Indo-Pak animosities and differences in particular—what has changed is the growing impatience of other members, which was forcefully expressed by the Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed at the 16th Summit when he declared: “I hope the neighbours can find ways to compartmentalise pending differences, while finding areas on which they can move forward.

45

I am specifically referring to differences between India and Pakistan.” Bilateral differences have not been restricted to India and Pakistan. India has had differences with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. There is obviously a built-in asymmetry in the size and potential of India and its neighbours. There is a prevailing sense of disappointment over SAARC’s achievements on its silver jubilee—Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the SAARC glass “half empty”. But with groupism and now the Afghanistan issue very few things have been going for it.

Propitious Circumstances For one thing, circumstances could hardly have been more propitious at the 16th Summit. Civil war had ended in Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Army had chosen to take a back seat in governing the country, a popularly-elected government was in place in Bangladesh, the Maoist-anti-Maoist conflict in Nepal had ended, however tenuous the resultant peace has been, and the United Progressive Alliance earned a second term in office in New Delhi. The spotlight at Thimphu was hogged by the meeting of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the summit. It can, of course, be argued that SAARC’s value is in providing opportunities to leaders to meet informally to discuss contentious issues and Thimphu did provide a stepping-stone to rebuild a damaged bilateral equation. But India was not prepared to bite the cherry offered by Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf at the 12th Summit, where he said, “We must expand the SAARC Charter to discuss bilateral issues at the regional level. There can be no development in the absence of peace. There can be no peace so long as political issues and disputes continue to fester.” Throwing open deep bilateral fissures and disputes hold their own hazards and participants have, therefore, contented themselves with taking baby steps towards regional cooperation. An agreement on a SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) was signed in 1993 and the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was endorsed by the 16th Summit. Then there is the SAARC Development Fund, the SAARC


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Even after 25 years, South Asian leaders admit that their regional club, SAARC, has not had any lasting impact

Leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries during the closing ceremony of the 16th Summit in April 2010 held in Thimphu, Bhutan

S. NIHAL SINGH

KEY POINTS

n As usual, the spotlight at Thimphu was hogged by the meeting of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the summit. n SAARC’s value is in providing leaders the opportunities to meet informally to discuss contentious issues. n Bilateral differences have not been restricted to India and Pakistan. India has had differences with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

AFP

T

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 44

he best thing that can be said about the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which turned 25 in April this year in the splendid setting of Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, is that it would have had to be invented if it did not exist. The summit was only the 16th one, signifying the fact that eight summits have not been held. Yet, it was a courageous decision of the then Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman to make the original proposal in May 1980, to be met with skepticism in Pakistan and India for different reasons. It was only in August 1983, at a meeting of South Asian Foreign Ministers in Delhi, that a framework was decided on the basis of excluding contentious bilateral disputes and arriving at unanimous conclusions. In a sense, this shackling proviso has been the proverbial Banquo’s ghost haunting every meeting of SAARC—with the regional grouping remaining hostage to Indo-Pak animosities and differences in particular—what has changed is the growing impatience of other members, which was forcefully expressed by the Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed at the 16th Summit when he declared: “I hope the neighbours can find ways to compartmentalise pending differences, while finding areas on which they can move forward.

45

I am specifically referring to differences between India and Pakistan.” Bilateral differences have not been restricted to India and Pakistan. India has had differences with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. There is obviously a built-in asymmetry in the size and potential of India and its neighbours. There is a prevailing sense of disappointment over SAARC’s achievements on its silver jubilee—Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the SAARC glass “half empty”. But with groupism and now the Afghanistan issue very few things have been going for it.

Propitious Circumstances For one thing, circumstances could hardly have been more propitious at the 16th Summit. Civil war had ended in Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Army had chosen to take a back seat in governing the country, a popularly-elected government was in place in Bangladesh, the Maoist-anti-Maoist conflict in Nepal had ended, however tenuous the resultant peace has been, and the United Progressive Alliance earned a second term in office in New Delhi. The spotlight at Thimphu was hogged by the meeting of Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the summit. It can, of course, be argued that SAARC’s value is in providing opportunities to leaders to meet informally to discuss contentious issues and Thimphu did provide a stepping-stone to rebuild a damaged bilateral equation. But India was not prepared to bite the cherry offered by Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf at the 12th Summit, where he said, “We must expand the SAARC Charter to discuss bilateral issues at the regional level. There can be no development in the absence of peace. There can be no peace so long as political issues and disputes continue to fester.” Throwing open deep bilateral fissures and disputes hold their own hazards and participants have, therefore, contented themselves with taking baby steps towards regional cooperation. An agreement on a SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA) was signed in 1993 and the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was endorsed by the 16th Summit. Then there is the SAARC Development Fund, the SAARC


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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani at the recent SAARC Summit

Food Bank and the proposed South Asian University. Lest we forget, there is the Social Charter, the convention on fighting terrorism, a blueprint for poverty alleviation and setting up of the SAARC development goals. The Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration was high on rhetoric and low on mandatory mechanisms. Combating terrorism, global warming and the need for water management figured high as also the framing of a Vision Statement and forming a South Asian Forum of eminent persons. Twenty five years offer a benchmark for honest introspection. During the first term of the United Progressive Alliance

government, India had come to the conclusion that it would be best to set contentious political issues aside and leverage the country’s impressive economic performance in seeking the cooperation of other members. The agreement with Sri Lanka was held out as a model of engagement.

Asymmetric Concessions SAARC is a useful avenue for promoting regional cooperation because it implies New Delhi’s offer of asymmetric concessions to smaller neighbours in an arrangement that will obviously benefit them. But Pakistan, for one, has its own

46

What has changed is the growing impatience of other members, which was forcefully expressed by the Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed at the 16th Summit. “I hope the neighbours can find ways to compartmentalise pending differences, while finding areas on which they can move forward. I am specifically referring to differences between India and Pakistan,” he said.

potential in a changing world. If the world’s major powers take SAARC seriously in what it can achieve, there must be merit in the organisation’s rationale. The rationale is that, despite the poverty and under-development that stalks large areas of the region, SAARC represents a balance of forces that can tilt the world towards sanity or chaos.

Great Responsibility

India has great responsibility in steering SAARC to safe waters. It is by far the biggest and most developed economy among the member States. New Delhi does not have to sacrifice its national self-interest in unveiling a generous blueprint for neighbours. But it requires the will to take bold decisions in encouraging cross-border movement of peoples and goods. Even assuming that Pakistan might slip in a few spies in the guise of faculty staffing the South Asian University; opening up the recruitment process is worth the risk. The non-official sprouts SAARC has spawned are all to the good because they encourage greater interactions among peoples, except that initiatives such as ‘Aman ki Asha’, sponsored by the Times of India and Pakistan’s Jang group, should guard against seeking to built a friendlier relationship by romanticising the past

AFP

reservations although Islamabad has lately been more forthcoming in increasing the list of tradable commodities with India. But in the end trade and economic cooperation has its limits. A second and more recent Indian proposal for “connectivity” has had a slow start. It is obvious that the capitals of SAARC countries should be connected with each other as a first step in promoting friendship and so-called people-to-people dealings. Although connectivity has improved, it is far from universal, depending as direct connections are on their commercial viability, apart from the political questions involved. Time and again, cooperation among member States collapses because of what is expressed in the cliche—“trust deficit”. Free movement of peoples cannot take place because of mutual suspicions. For instance, if Pakistan cannot stop the flow of subversives across the border, how can India give a carte blanche? And the question of illegal migration from Bangladesh is a sensitive political issue in India and militates against the free flow of people from Bangladesh. Before we become involved in a circular chicken and egg argument, it is best to benchmark a few salient ideas that can help take SAARC forward. Introducing contentious political issues into the official agenda will take the grouping nowhere because it would only factionalise SAARC. The organisation’s fondness for sonorous, high-sounding declarations should be curbed because, in the end, they do not amount to much. Rather, agreed proposals should be coupled with enabling measures and deadlines to ensure compliance. IndoPak gatherings and, to a more limited extent, Indo-Bangladesh get-togethers engender a high degree of emotions and sentimentality, particularly among the older generation. Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have a great capacity to romanticise the past and gatherings of long-lost friends are convivial occasions, but they produce little lasting result. Memories filtered through lost time are unreliable guides and new generations have grown into adulthood without the memories the old live by. In other words, old memories cannot be translated into better relations between countries, however much the old might treasure a bygone age. SAARC should take heart from the growing number of influential observers it has attracted, indicating the group’s

DSI

member States of the for reasons that have been King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar bane of terrorism, given already enunciated. How Namgyel Wangchuck (left) that Pakistan itself is often have we watched the shakes hands with Maldivian becoming a target of spectacle of long-lost friends President Mohamed Nasheed terrorists, despite the crying over each other’s ahead of their meeting on the shoulders revert to their sidelines of the SAARC Summit terrorists and terrorist outfits it has nurtured. governments’ worldview as Afghanistan’s membership, of course, soon as they are on home soil. Besides, India and Pakistan must evolve a brings a new urgency to the connection more satisfactory mechanism of organising between terrorism and the usurpation of high-level meetings without detracting from State power. How effective these SAARC summits. Perhaps the two countries declarations will be in curbing terrorism should schedule such meetings after the remains to be seen. The Thimphu summit will have summit while enjoying the attractive attributes of Bhutan or the Maldives—the achieved a signal success if it would have setting for the next summit—to let the helped infuse greater realism into organisation and its conclusions take centre discussions among member States. stage. SAARC should thank President Bhutan’s Prime Minister, Lyonchen Jigme Nasheed for bluntly expressing Yoser Thinley, talked eminent sense in his the smaller members’ frustrations in seeing interventions at the summit and in his the organisation being hijacked by India and dealings with individual delegations. He had his feet firmly planted on the ground. Pakistan meeting on the sidelines. Perhaps the 16th SAARC Summit The region would wish more strength to reflected a greater awareness among his elbow in his year-long presidency.

47


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NEIGHBOURS

AFP

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani at the recent SAARC Summit

Food Bank and the proposed South Asian University. Lest we forget, there is the Social Charter, the convention on fighting terrorism, a blueprint for poverty alleviation and setting up of the SAARC development goals. The Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration was high on rhetoric and low on mandatory mechanisms. Combating terrorism, global warming and the need for water management figured high as also the framing of a Vision Statement and forming a South Asian Forum of eminent persons. Twenty five years offer a benchmark for honest introspection. During the first term of the United Progressive Alliance

government, India had come to the conclusion that it would be best to set contentious political issues aside and leverage the country’s impressive economic performance in seeking the cooperation of other members. The agreement with Sri Lanka was held out as a model of engagement.

Asymmetric Concessions SAARC is a useful avenue for promoting regional cooperation because it implies New Delhi’s offer of asymmetric concessions to smaller neighbours in an arrangement that will obviously benefit them. But Pakistan, for one, has its own

46

What has changed is the growing impatience of other members, which was forcefully expressed by the Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed at the 16th Summit. “I hope the neighbours can find ways to compartmentalise pending differences, while finding areas on which they can move forward. I am specifically referring to differences between India and Pakistan,” he said.

potential in a changing world. If the world’s major powers take SAARC seriously in what it can achieve, there must be merit in the organisation’s rationale. The rationale is that, despite the poverty and under-development that stalks large areas of the region, SAARC represents a balance of forces that can tilt the world towards sanity or chaos.

Great Responsibility

India has great responsibility in steering SAARC to safe waters. It is by far the biggest and most developed economy among the member States. New Delhi does not have to sacrifice its national self-interest in unveiling a generous blueprint for neighbours. But it requires the will to take bold decisions in encouraging cross-border movement of peoples and goods. Even assuming that Pakistan might slip in a few spies in the guise of faculty staffing the South Asian University; opening up the recruitment process is worth the risk. The non-official sprouts SAARC has spawned are all to the good because they encourage greater interactions among peoples, except that initiatives such as ‘Aman ki Asha’, sponsored by the Times of India and Pakistan’s Jang group, should guard against seeking to built a friendlier relationship by romanticising the past

AFP

reservations although Islamabad has lately been more forthcoming in increasing the list of tradable commodities with India. But in the end trade and economic cooperation has its limits. A second and more recent Indian proposal for “connectivity” has had a slow start. It is obvious that the capitals of SAARC countries should be connected with each other as a first step in promoting friendship and so-called people-to-people dealings. Although connectivity has improved, it is far from universal, depending as direct connections are on their commercial viability, apart from the political questions involved. Time and again, cooperation among member States collapses because of what is expressed in the cliche—“trust deficit”. Free movement of peoples cannot take place because of mutual suspicions. For instance, if Pakistan cannot stop the flow of subversives across the border, how can India give a carte blanche? And the question of illegal migration from Bangladesh is a sensitive political issue in India and militates against the free flow of people from Bangladesh. Before we become involved in a circular chicken and egg argument, it is best to benchmark a few salient ideas that can help take SAARC forward. Introducing contentious political issues into the official agenda will take the grouping nowhere because it would only factionalise SAARC. The organisation’s fondness for sonorous, high-sounding declarations should be curbed because, in the end, they do not amount to much. Rather, agreed proposals should be coupled with enabling measures and deadlines to ensure compliance. IndoPak gatherings and, to a more limited extent, Indo-Bangladesh get-togethers engender a high degree of emotions and sentimentality, particularly among the older generation. Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have a great capacity to romanticise the past and gatherings of long-lost friends are convivial occasions, but they produce little lasting result. Memories filtered through lost time are unreliable guides and new generations have grown into adulthood without the memories the old live by. In other words, old memories cannot be translated into better relations between countries, however much the old might treasure a bygone age. SAARC should take heart from the growing number of influential observers it has attracted, indicating the group’s

DSI

member States of the for reasons that have been King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar bane of terrorism, given already enunciated. How Namgyel Wangchuck (left) that Pakistan itself is often have we watched the shakes hands with Maldivian becoming a target of spectacle of long-lost friends President Mohamed Nasheed terrorists, despite the crying over each other’s ahead of their meeting on the shoulders revert to their sidelines of the SAARC Summit terrorists and terrorist outfits it has nurtured. governments’ worldview as Afghanistan’s membership, of course, soon as they are on home soil. Besides, India and Pakistan must evolve a brings a new urgency to the connection more satisfactory mechanism of organising between terrorism and the usurpation of high-level meetings without detracting from State power. How effective these SAARC summits. Perhaps the two countries declarations will be in curbing terrorism should schedule such meetings after the remains to be seen. The Thimphu summit will have summit while enjoying the attractive attributes of Bhutan or the Maldives—the achieved a signal success if it would have setting for the next summit—to let the helped infuse greater realism into organisation and its conclusions take centre discussions among member States. stage. SAARC should thank President Bhutan’s Prime Minister, Lyonchen Jigme Nasheed for bluntly expressing Yoser Thinley, talked eminent sense in his the smaller members’ frustrations in seeing interventions at the summit and in his the organisation being hijacked by India and dealings with individual delegations. He had his feet firmly planted on the ground. Pakistan meeting on the sidelines. Perhaps the 16th SAARC Summit The region would wish more strength to reflected a greater awareness among his elbow in his year-long presidency.

47


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JUNE 2010

JUNE, 2010

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u p d a t e

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defencebuzz

RAHUL BEDI

C-17 Globemaster III Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft

India’s Mega-Military Deal with the US THE US Defence Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress regarding the potential $5.8 billion sale of 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft (VHLTA) to India via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, as part of burgeoning materiel commerce between the two countries. Once confirmed, the sale, which will be India’s biggest ever military deal with the US, includes the supply of 45 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines (40 installed and five spare), 10 AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispensing systems, 10 AN/AAR, 47 missile warning systems, crew armour, training for Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and associated support and equipment. The C-17s will replace the IAF’s fleet of dozen-odd Russian-origin Ilyushin IL-76 Gajraj transporters and supplement around 104 medium-lift Russian-built Antonov-32 twin-engine turboprop planes that were undergoing an upgrade in Ukraine under a $400 million contract. The proposed C-17 acquisition will also make the IAF its second largest user after the US Air Force. Around 212T-tailed C-17s, capable of transporting large equipment including tanks, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain during day or night, are in service around the world including Australia, Britain, Canada, Qatar and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries. Operated by a two-man crew and one loadmaster, it is capable of seating two observers.The C-17s can also double as aerial ambulances. Since 2002, India, which has emerged as a close strategic and military ally of the United States, has under the FMS programme acquired materiel

48

worth over $5 billion. This includes six C-130 J Super Hercules’ aircraft, eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft (repeat orders for both platforms are anticipated) and three wide-bodied Boeing Business Jets for the IAF’s VVIP squadron to transport officials like the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries. The Army had also acquired 12 Thales/Raytheon Systems AN/TPQ-37(V) 3 Firefinder artillery for locating radars. The Indian Navy (IN) has also acquired the USS Trenton, renamed INS Jalashwa—a 16,900-tonne refurbished Austin-class landing platform dock and six embarked second-hand UH-3H Sea King helicopters. The Indian Army is presently seeking clearance from the Congress regarding the sale of 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39 calibre howitzers with Laser Inertial Pointing Systems for around $647 million. Alongside, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 IN Falcon fighter and Boeing’s F/A 18 Super Hornet are competing with four other European and Russian vendors for the IAF’s estimated $10 billion contract for 126 multi-role combat aircraft, trials for which are nearing closure. Lockheed Martin is also in discussions with the Indian Army to supply it Javelin anti-armour missiles and 8,000-12,000 rounds of Hellfire II modular missile systems for its aerial and ground–based platforms. The MH-60 Romeo attack helicopter, developed jointly by Sikorsky, the US Navy and Lockheed Martin, is to undergo summer trials later this year in support of the IN’s requirement for 16 helicopters to replace an equal number of ageing Sea King Mk-42Bs and Sea

King MK-42Cs. Lockheed Martin has also responded to a recent Defence Ministry Request for Information (RfI) for six multi-role tanker transport for the IAF and received inquiries from the IN for carrier-based fighters. The sale of US military equipment to India eased considerably in July 2008 after the two agreed to the long pending End-Use Monitoring Agreement, mandatory under US law, before authorising defence exports. The agreement is yet to be inked. The concomitant Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), however, remains under negotiation. Under US law, both pacts need bilateral confirmation to ensure client compliance with sensitive technology control transfers. Indications in India’s political and military circles are that Delhi will eventually concur to CISMOA too, as it increasingly looks to source sophisticated military equipment from the US in its endeavour to become a regional power and execute out-of-area operations. US companies, for their part, are keen on cashing in on India’s projected $30 billion outlay on importing defence equipment till 2017, an amount expected to rise to $80 billion by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan in 2022.

Re-vamping DRDO THE MoD has recently announced a long overdue overhaul of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) whose major projects are an accumulated four decades behind schedule and some $1.6 billion over budget.The DRDO revamp, based on the recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee, set up three years ago, includes the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission headed by the Defence Minister

DRDO’s Insignia

DSI

Phalcon Ilyushin IL-76TD Airborne Early Warning and Control for overall monitoring, de-centralisation of the DRDO’s management, de-linking three of its 51 laboratories and launching a commercial arm with a seed capital of Rs 20 million. DRDO’s laboratories are to be re-jigged into five clusters: electronics, armaments, avionics, missile systems and a dedicated or specialised research grouping. Each cluster is to be accorded a large degree of autonomy but it will also be accountable for failures and delays. A tri-Services cell will also be set up within the DRDO to oversee all development projects from the conception stage. Headed by a three-star officer on a rotational basis from each Service, every unit will also be staffed by an equal number of two-star officers to oversee developmental projects from their respective Service, an arrangement that is currently non-existent. Private sector involvement and foreign collaborations will be encouraged to hasten development and meet normally extended deadlines. But amongst military circles that consider these reforms as a case of ‘too-little-too-late’ there is widespread skepticism whether they will in any way change the hidebound DRDO that employs a work force of around 40,000 of which around 8,000 are scientists rendering it capable of delivering capable weapon systems and staying abreast of the revolution in military affairs. Till now the DRDO, has according to the Rao Committee, expanded its remit to ‘beyond manageable limits’. One of its laboratories in Tezpur in northeastern Assam, for instance, grew orchids and mushrooms while another in Pithoragarh was engaged in developing new strains of

49

Angora rabbits, tomato and capsicum. One of the DDRO’s recently acclaimed achievements was the development of salty herbal tea. “There is a total lack of accountability in the DRDO as it is not answerable to anyone. It has been preventing the import of urgently needed military systems by making confident assertions and promising indigenous products in the required time frame,” says former Major General Mrinal Suman. Not one promise has been fulfilled and no one has been taken to task for misleading the Defence Services, at times with grave consequences, he added. It’s hoped that things will now change.

Ilyushin IL-76 to fly into India THE IAF will take delivery of the third Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Phalcon Ilyushin IL-76TD Airborne EarlyWarning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft by year-end. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the IAF will procure additional AEW&C aircraft over the next three financial Five-Year Plans, till 2027 but did not provide details. In 2004, the IAF signed an estimated $2 billion trilateral deal for three AEW&C platforms—the Uzbek IL-76 A50 heavy transport aircraft upgraded by Russia and mounted with IAI-made Phalcon ‘aireye’ radar aircraft. Two of them have already been delivered. The IAF had also forwarded its requirement for a follow-on purchase of three additional IAI-constructed AEW&C platforms to the Ministry of Defence for clearance to further augment its surveillance capability in a turbulent neighbourhood and


Defence Buzz.qxp:DSI Defence Talk-May09.qxd 04/06/10 2:46 PM Page 1

DSI

JUNE 2010

JUNE, 2010

a n

u p d a t e

o n

d e f e n c e

c o m m e r c i a l

n e w s

defencebuzz

RAHUL BEDI

C-17 Globemaster III Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft

India’s Mega-Military Deal with the US THE US Defence Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress regarding the potential $5.8 billion sale of 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft (VHLTA) to India via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, as part of burgeoning materiel commerce between the two countries. Once confirmed, the sale, which will be India’s biggest ever military deal with the US, includes the supply of 45 Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 engines (40 installed and five spare), 10 AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispensing systems, 10 AN/AAR, 47 missile warning systems, crew armour, training for Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and associated support and equipment. The C-17s will replace the IAF’s fleet of dozen-odd Russian-origin Ilyushin IL-76 Gajraj transporters and supplement around 104 medium-lift Russian-built Antonov-32 twin-engine turboprop planes that were undergoing an upgrade in Ukraine under a $400 million contract. The proposed C-17 acquisition will also make the IAF its second largest user after the US Air Force. Around 212T-tailed C-17s, capable of transporting large equipment including tanks, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain during day or night, are in service around the world including Australia, Britain, Canada, Qatar and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries. Operated by a two-man crew and one loadmaster, it is capable of seating two observers.The C-17s can also double as aerial ambulances. Since 2002, India, which has emerged as a close strategic and military ally of the United States, has under the FMS programme acquired materiel

48

worth over $5 billion. This includes six C-130 J Super Hercules’ aircraft, eight P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft (repeat orders for both platforms are anticipated) and three wide-bodied Boeing Business Jets for the IAF’s VVIP squadron to transport officials like the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries. The Army had also acquired 12 Thales/Raytheon Systems AN/TPQ-37(V) 3 Firefinder artillery for locating radars. The Indian Navy (IN) has also acquired the USS Trenton, renamed INS Jalashwa—a 16,900-tonne refurbished Austin-class landing platform dock and six embarked second-hand UH-3H Sea King helicopters. The Indian Army is presently seeking clearance from the Congress regarding the sale of 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39 calibre howitzers with Laser Inertial Pointing Systems for around $647 million. Alongside, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 IN Falcon fighter and Boeing’s F/A 18 Super Hornet are competing with four other European and Russian vendors for the IAF’s estimated $10 billion contract for 126 multi-role combat aircraft, trials for which are nearing closure. Lockheed Martin is also in discussions with the Indian Army to supply it Javelin anti-armour missiles and 8,000-12,000 rounds of Hellfire II modular missile systems for its aerial and ground–based platforms. The MH-60 Romeo attack helicopter, developed jointly by Sikorsky, the US Navy and Lockheed Martin, is to undergo summer trials later this year in support of the IN’s requirement for 16 helicopters to replace an equal number of ageing Sea King Mk-42Bs and Sea

King MK-42Cs. Lockheed Martin has also responded to a recent Defence Ministry Request for Information (RfI) for six multi-role tanker transport for the IAF and received inquiries from the IN for carrier-based fighters. The sale of US military equipment to India eased considerably in July 2008 after the two agreed to the long pending End-Use Monitoring Agreement, mandatory under US law, before authorising defence exports. The agreement is yet to be inked. The concomitant Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), however, remains under negotiation. Under US law, both pacts need bilateral confirmation to ensure client compliance with sensitive technology control transfers. Indications in India’s political and military circles are that Delhi will eventually concur to CISMOA too, as it increasingly looks to source sophisticated military equipment from the US in its endeavour to become a regional power and execute out-of-area operations. US companies, for their part, are keen on cashing in on India’s projected $30 billion outlay on importing defence equipment till 2017, an amount expected to rise to $80 billion by the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan in 2022.

Re-vamping DRDO THE MoD has recently announced a long overdue overhaul of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) whose major projects are an accumulated four decades behind schedule and some $1.6 billion over budget.The DRDO revamp, based on the recommendations of the Rama Rao Committee, set up three years ago, includes the establishment of a Defence Technology Commission headed by the Defence Minister

DRDO’s Insignia

DSI

Phalcon Ilyushin IL-76TD Airborne Early Warning and Control for overall monitoring, de-centralisation of the DRDO’s management, de-linking three of its 51 laboratories and launching a commercial arm with a seed capital of Rs 20 million. DRDO’s laboratories are to be re-jigged into five clusters: electronics, armaments, avionics, missile systems and a dedicated or specialised research grouping. Each cluster is to be accorded a large degree of autonomy but it will also be accountable for failures and delays. A tri-Services cell will also be set up within the DRDO to oversee all development projects from the conception stage. Headed by a three-star officer on a rotational basis from each Service, every unit will also be staffed by an equal number of two-star officers to oversee developmental projects from their respective Service, an arrangement that is currently non-existent. Private sector involvement and foreign collaborations will be encouraged to hasten development and meet normally extended deadlines. But amongst military circles that consider these reforms as a case of ‘too-little-too-late’ there is widespread skepticism whether they will in any way change the hidebound DRDO that employs a work force of around 40,000 of which around 8,000 are scientists rendering it capable of delivering capable weapon systems and staying abreast of the revolution in military affairs. Till now the DRDO, has according to the Rao Committee, expanded its remit to ‘beyond manageable limits’. One of its laboratories in Tezpur in northeastern Assam, for instance, grew orchids and mushrooms while another in Pithoragarh was engaged in developing new strains of

49

Angora rabbits, tomato and capsicum. One of the DDRO’s recently acclaimed achievements was the development of salty herbal tea. “There is a total lack of accountability in the DRDO as it is not answerable to anyone. It has been preventing the import of urgently needed military systems by making confident assertions and promising indigenous products in the required time frame,” says former Major General Mrinal Suman. Not one promise has been fulfilled and no one has been taken to task for misleading the Defence Services, at times with grave consequences, he added. It’s hoped that things will now change.

Ilyushin IL-76 to fly into India THE IAF will take delivery of the third Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Phalcon Ilyushin IL-76TD Airborne EarlyWarning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft by year-end. Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Parliament that the IAF will procure additional AEW&C aircraft over the next three financial Five-Year Plans, till 2027 but did not provide details. In 2004, the IAF signed an estimated $2 billion trilateral deal for three AEW&C platforms—the Uzbek IL-76 A50 heavy transport aircraft upgraded by Russia and mounted with IAI-made Phalcon ‘aireye’ radar aircraft. Two of them have already been delivered. The IAF had also forwarded its requirement for a follow-on purchase of three additional IAI-constructed AEW&C platforms to the Ministry of Defence for clearance to further augment its surveillance capability in a turbulent neighbourhood and


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DEFENCE BUZZ

Each Arjun Main Battle Tank will cost Rs 16.8 crore to enhance its capacity to undertake outof-area operations. In 2004, the Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the development of an indigenous AEW&C system by 2011 for $400 million, five years after the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed a airborne surveillance platform (ASP) that crashed in early 1999. The revolving dorsal ASP rotodome mounted atop a modified Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-built HS-748 aircraft fell off around 5km short of the runway as it was about to land at the IN station at Rajali in southern India. All eight people, including four DRDO test pilots and four military scientists involved in the ASP programme, died in the accident. Defence industry sources said the DRDO has been working on mating its locally developed phased array radar with the EMB 145 jet from Embraer of Brazil. Meanwhile, in a related development with regional ramifications, Pakistan recently took delivery of its second Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C aircraft that will be operated by three squadrons based at Chaklala in the country’s north-eastern region. The first of four similar aircraft was delivered last December but delivery schedules for the remaining two remain unknown.The Erieye will be data-linked with Pakistan’s F-16 fleet but not the rest of its ageing Mirage fighter fleet.

platform recently ‘outgunned and outran’ the Russian-origin T-90s MBT in extended comparative trials held recently. The new order will be “over and above” the existing one for 124 Arjuns which are presently being inducted into two regiments in India’s desert region. Armament industry and military sources, however, estimate the cost of each Arjun will be around Rs 16.8 crore, some Rs 6 crore more than the imported and provenT-90s, the Army’s favoured and future MBTs of which 657 have been ordered and another 1,000 are to be built, under licence, at the Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) at Avadi. According to the State-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that developed the Arjun, future models, including the newly ordered 124 MBTs, will be capable of firing anti-tank guided missiles through their 120mm rifled guns. They will also be fitted with additional, indigenously developed explosive reactive armour (ERA) and thermal imaging panoramic sights amongst numerous other improvements. The DRDO, however, admits that additional ERA plates will increase the Arjun’s weight by some two tonnes to around 60 tonnes. But the organisation is confident

that its German MTU 838 Ka-510 1,400 HP diesel engine will be capable of managing the additional weight. The Army has repeatedly voiced concern over Arjun’s excessive weight which they claim will require special rail wagons for transportation and new assault bridges in border regions as the existing ones will not be able to take its weight. Under severe criticism over developing Arjun, approved 36 years ago but still not operationally accepted by the Army, the DRDO is anxious for additional orders for the MBT in order to maintain “continuity’ in its production line at the HVF. Around 60 percent of Arjun’s components, including its engine connected to a German-built RENK semi-automatic transmission system, fire control and gun-control systems and numerous other components and subassemblies are being imported.

Sea Trials for SSN Almost Complete SEA trials of the Russian K-152 Nerpa Akula-II (Bars)-class nuclear powered submarine (SSN) are nearing completion ahead of its imminent transfer to the IN on a ten-year lease, nearly two years behind schedule. The 12,000 tonne SSN’s induction will make India the world’s sixth country after the five nuclear weapon states of Britain, China, France, Russia and the USA to operate such a vessel. The SSN—to be christened INS Chakra— which is being leased for $650-700 million was inducted in the Russian Navy last December for user trials prior to its commissioning into the IN.The low-acoustic SSN will eventually be based at a special facility under construction at Rambilli on India’s east coast, official sources said. An IN crew that has been jointly sailing with the Russians is to take delivery of the SSN. Earlier scheduled for transfer to the IN two years ago and then again in August 2009

New Orders for Old Arjun MBTs THE Indian Army (IA) has ordered an additional 124 Arjun Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) after the indigenously designed

Russian K-152 Nerpa Akula-II nuclear-powered submarine

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DEFENCE BUZZ the Nerpa’s induction was delayed after an onboard accident in November 2008 during trials in the Sea of Japan. Twenty people including sailors and technicians died and 21 others were injured after Freon gas reportedly leaked from the submarine’s fire extinguishing system. Thereafter, Prime Minister Vladmir Putin took charge of the programme, personally visiting, in May 2009, the cash-strapped Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipyard where the SSN had been built and was undergoing repairs and releasing funds to complete the project. India had originally signed a lease for two Akula-class SSNs as part of a secret agreement concluded in January 2004 alongside the public one to procure Admiral Gorshkov, the 44,750 tonne Kiev-class aircraft carrier and 16 MiG-29Ks. But for now the IN was exercising the option to lease just the Nerpa that was originally laid down in 1986 but abandoned due to a financial crunch. International treaties forbid the sale of SSNs but leases were permitted provided the vessels were not armed with missiles with ranges of over 300km. The Akula SSN lease will be the IN’s second from Moscow. The first in 1988 was a Soviet Charlie I 670 Skat series class SSN—christened INS Chakra—leased for three years to gain operational experience on nuclear submarines. Options to clinch similar

agreements for additional SSN’s were circumscribed by the Soviet Union’s break-up. The complement of weaponry being provided on the Nerpa was for the moment unknown, although its armaments comprise four 650 mm torpedo tubes with 12 torpedoes and four 533 mm tubes with 28 torpedoes. The IN, however, cannot be prevented from arming the submarine with indigenously developed cruise missiles with a range of around 1,000km that are under development by the DRDO under a classified programme.

Howitzer Test-Runs THE long-postponed trials for the import of 400 155mm/52 calibre Howitzers for the Indian Army (IA) and the local, licenced production of another 1,180 units have started in Rajasthan. The estimated $1.77 billion contract has Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) with its FH-2000 gun competing with BAE systems fielding its FH-77 B05 L-52 Howitzer. Official sources said the FH-2000 trials at Pokhran using Indian ammunition and a gun crew comprising former Indian Army gunners will be followed by similar test firing by the FH-77 B05 L52 gun. Cold weather trials of the two rival weapon systems are scheduled sometime after October in mountainous terrain. STK is partnering with Punj Lloyd, a private sector company that is providing the

M777 155mm Light Weight Field Howitzer

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logistics and technical support for the trials. In the event of securing the contract it will be responsible for building significant parts of the FH-2000 at its facility at Gwalior. Rival BAE Systems has a similar agreement with Mahindra Defence Systems, one of India’s larger private defence contractors, with whom it recently formed a joint venture (JV) that focussed on armoured vehicles with Rs 1 billion equity on a 26:74 basis favouring the latter. If successful in bagging the contract, the JV will construct the gun locally at its facility on the outskirts of Delhi. Army sources said that accompanying evaluation trials to acquire 180 wheeled/ mounted 155mm/52 cal howitzers featuring the RheinmetallWheeled Gun and Slovakia’s ShKH Zuzana was also expected to be held alongside. The proposed procurement of these guns is valued at around $900 million. The spate of ongoing and upcoming howitzer trials is a much-deferred response to the Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan. This aims by 2020-25 to import and locally build a mix of around 3,600 lightweight 155 mm/39-calibre and 155 mm/52-calibre towed guns, along with wheeled and tracked artillery to equip around 180 of 220 artillery regiments for an estimated $3-5 billion. The Army is also seeking 100 selfpropelled (SP) guns mounted on tracked vehicles to augment the fire power of its three ‘strike’ corps and to counter around 150 American M109A2 SP guns in service with the rival Pakistan Army. Additionally, the indigenous construction of another 300-400 SP guns remains under consideration to eventually arm around 30 mechanised infantry regiments. Alongside, the Ministry of Defence has approached the US Government to acquire 145 BAE Systems M777 155mm/39 cal lightweight howitzers in addition to Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems evaluated at $647 million via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. These lightweight howitzers will equip the Army’s two new mountain divisions that are presently under raising for deployment along the north-eastern Chinese frontier. The Army is also expected to conduct ‘confirmatory’ trials of the M777 at the Mahajan Ranges in Rajasthan using local ammunition merely to validate the FMS agreement under process. Industry sources anticipate the deal being inked by the end of FY 2010-11 next March. Thereafter, M777 howitzer deliveries will begin within 18-24 months.


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DEFENCE AND SECURITY OF INDIA - JUNE/JULY 2010