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artillery moderniSation Modernisation of the artillery arm of the Indian Army is long overdue I Sk Chatterji MARITIME CAPABILITY

indian navy: Submarine woeS With an SSBN almost ready to go into sea trials and SSN in the fleet, IN’s plans seems ambitious I anil jai Singh june 2013

defence and SecurIty of IndIa


volume 5

ISSue 5

` 250

With expansive national interest, aerospace modernisation is a large arena of commercial opportunities I Sumit mukerji

Our business is making the fi nest ballistic protection systems in the industry.

Photo courtesy of the US Army

Our mission is saving lives.

DEFENDER 速 multi-hit body armor ceramic plates along with the Seamless Ballistic Helmet (SBH) provide proven performance and lifesaving ballistic protection for alliance warfighters around the world.

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ome time in the 1980s, the Chinese leadership decided that to keep up with their force modernisation plans, their domestic defence industrial architecture needed urgent overhaul and made infinitely more quality conscious and supremely efficient. So they took the strategy of throwing big money to them. Of course, they also wielded the stick so that the chunks of money were not wheedled away for some people’s personal gratification. The result was the J-20 and J-31, the fifth generation fighters that are ready to give the US-made F-35 a run for its money. The result was also the Varyag (Liaoning) aircraft carrier that was refitted and refurbished by the Chinese, though the process took 13 years. But then the ship was a piece of junk bought from Ukraine to be made into a floating casino, left moored at China’s sin city, Macau. On the other hand, look at the Indian cooperative ventures like the Project 75 for Scorpene submarines, or the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft or the 155 mm howitzer stories. They are narratives of foreign vendors conflicting with domestic industries; inadequate funding; and politicobureacratic and military machinations. Defence minister, AK Antony has sought to end all that with one ‘magic bullet’ – make and buy in India. In the recent past he has even walked the talk. The Defence Procurement Procedure 2013, (DPP ’13) released recently, is a major boost to Indian private and public sector. The placement of the phrase ‘private sector’ to be situated before the ‘public sector’ was a conscious choice because the minister has finally evened the playing field for the long neglected domestic private companies. They had been complaining for long that the ministry’s bias in favour of the slothful and overloaded public sector is hurting their chances. Antony has listened to that and has given them a big leverage by allowing them access to the armed forces ‘Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan’ (LTIPP) – this would allow the Indian private sector to plan ahead for the next 15 years – up till 2027. It is time to see whether the private sector of a handful of large players and an ever increasing numbers of small and medium enterprises (SME) can accompany him on his walk to greater glory. But one still has to see whether Antony and the defence ministry has got the big idea right: to do what the Chinese did – throw money to the domestic industry, both public and private, and wield a big stick to see that they deliver as promised. The SME sector in India, which has always worked quietly and has done some tremendous tasks should become more profitable ancillaries that populate the “ecosystem,” to borrow a word from the recently retired Scientific Adviser to the minister, VK Saraswat’s lexicon.

Pinaki Bhattacharya


AK Antony has listened to domestic companies and has given them a big leverage by allowing them access to the armed forces ‘Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan’ (LTIPP) – this would allow the Indian private sector to plan ahead for the next 15 years – up till 2027.




INDIAN AEROSPACE OPPORTUNITIES : CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS With increased area of interest for the expansive Indian national interest, modernisation of the aerospace sector is a large arena of commercial opportunities with their attendant tests.


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fighting in darkness AERIAL WATCH

The importance of being able to fight in the night is increasing as the adversaries undertake asymmetric methods


eVOLUtiOn Of india’s airbOrne isr Indian Air Force has been involved in surveillance and reconnaisance activities ever since its inception in 1930s.



artiLLery MOdernisatiOn and UPgrades Modernisation of the artillery arm of the IA is long overdue. Last induction of a major artillery gun were the Bofors 155 mm in mid-1980s. To get new ones, the time‘s now



india in sMaLL arMs Market The country is a much sought after purchaser of small arms from the international bazaar, who needs to access the best of technology money can buy 3



indian naVy: sUbMarine wOes With an SSBN almost ready to go into sea trials and a SSN in the fleet, IN’s plans seem ambitious






Anil Bhat, was commissioned into 19th Battalion, The Madras Regiment in 1972. A former Defence Ministry Directorate of Public Relations he is recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal.He was Research Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (2001-2003), working on a new subject, Public Information and National Security. With research papers, articles and book reviews in many edited books, newspapers, magazines and journals, he is a syndicated columnist.

Commissioned in Jan 1981, Commodore Anil Jai Singh joined the submarine arm in Mar 1982 and had five afloat commands and a wide array of appointments ashore. He was also the Indian Naval Adviser in London and part of the perspective planning and force development process in HQ IDS. He takes keen interest in matters maritime and has written and spoken on the subject in India and abroad.

Brigadier SK Chatterjee commanded a brigade in deserts and also in areas with active insurgency, which was followed by handling the Army’s media engagement operations. He has written a book called Vintage Guns of India, a Macmillan publication, which is to be published and include a chapter named Encyclopaedia of Indian Army. He headed the Corporate Social Responsibility and Media Communications function of a corporate group and has over 150 articles in various national and international newspapers and journals, to his credit.

Air Ma rshal Sumit Muk erji was commissioned in 1972. A Qualified Flying Instructor (Cat ‘A’), a Fighter Combat Leader, he first commanded a MiG-29 Squadron, the second a MiG-25 Squadron and the third, the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment of which he was the Commodore Commandant for 5 yrs. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra for Gallantry (peace time) in 1981 and the VSM in 1997. He was appointed the Air Officer Commanding-inChief, Southern Air Command in 2009.

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defence and security of india JUNE 2013 VOLUME 5, NUMBER 5 S KRISHNASWAMY


Air Chie f Marshal S K rishnasw amy is a former Chief of the Air Staff and headed the Air Force during 2002-2004. He has held many senior appointments in the IAF – that includes Deputy Chief, Vice Chief and Commanderin-Chief of three operational Air Commands of the Air Force. He initiated and headed major inductions and programs for the IAF. He is recipient of many decorations and awards, among them the ‘Agni Award’ for outstanding contribution to aeronautics.

Ajai Shuk la works in both the visual and the print medium. He is Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for Business Standard and has been Consulting Editor (Strategic Affairs) for NDTV, a reputed news broadcaster in India, for which he has anchored prime time news and special programmes. He is currently working on a book on Sino-Indian frontier policy.

RAHUL BEDI 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.

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INDIAN AEROSPACE OPPORTUNITIES : CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS With increased area of interest for the expansive Indian national interest, modernisation of the aerospace sector is a large arena of commercial opportunities with their attendant tests.


Tejas flying team after one of the many test flights

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Key Points n India is increasingly expanding its areas of national interest, thus creating newer footprints. n Air Force is also trying to keep pace with these changed circumstances by taking on a strategic role.

Key joint ventures between Indian private sector units with PSU giants are paving the way for a take-off n


outh Asia, in the last decade, has developed as one of the most unstable regions in the world, essentially because of the war on terror being conducted by the Americans against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the increasing effect of fundamentalism being preached by such groups and the perpetual political instability in India’s neighbor states of Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The “creeping in” of terror elements and Maoists

to create internal strife and the associated influx of narcotics and small-arms maintain a steady pressure on the Government of India to be ever watchful and alert. The tense environment due to the requirements of internal security and the need to maintain a sharp vigil against anti-national elements is a maxim common to India and its immediate neighbours. Amidst this pressure to provide a certain level of security and instill confidence amongst the population, India is also confronted with unfriendly neighbours who, notwithstanding friendly peace moves which happen at infrequent intervals, continue to be belligerent and the shadow of conflict always looms large and dark with respect to Pakistan and China. A much maligned government at the centre has only compounded the problem by taking some rather weak steps on border issues with China and other political issues with Pakistan, clearly indicating that its foreign policy and consequently its overtures, are at their lowest ebb.



In such a precarious scenario, the vulnerability of the country is certainly exposed and under the circumstances there is a crying need to ensure that the Armed Forces, or the ‘final bastion’ as one would say, remain fortified. Aerospace Modernisation A few years ago our Prime Minister very expansively declared that India’s area of interest stretches from the Gulf of Hormuz to the Straits of Malacca and from south of the Siberian plains to the Indian Ocean. The growing economy and industrialization as also India’s thrust towards attaining a seat in the UN Security Council are all symbolic of the emergence of India as a regional power and the Prime Minister’s statement is amply justified in its geopolitical aspirations. With its reach and fire-power, its flexibility and mobility and its rapidity of deployment, aerospace power, naturally, has become the political choice of Armed Force to display its power projection across the stated domain. The Indian Air Force, the fourth largest Air

AEROSPACE SECTOR Force in the world, has grown in stature over the years. From carrying a legacy of aeroplanes, radars and weapon systems acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union, it is today poised to branch out internationally, acquiring state-of-the-art systems from across the globe. Military assets go through a determinate life cycle and in the case of aviation assets, aeroplanes typically last for a period of 30 years and radars about 20 years (at least the 3rd generation breed). This, however, does not mean they are discarded at that time. Almost all assets have an inherent growth architecture which permits the equipment to be upgraded, in terms of software and systems and in some cases, the hardware too. At around 2/3 its life cycle, systems are generally upgraded which effectively resuscitates a flagging system and re-energizes it as a virtual “new model”. It must be appreciated that upgradability has to be built into the weapon system at the design stage itself and therefore an upgradation can be undertaken by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) only. This is clearly indicative of the dependency of a country which imports most of its weapons systems as against one that is self-reliant on its indigenous capability. Modernisation essentially entails infusion of contemporary technologies which, in all likelihood, have long gestation periods and require large capital outlays. Therefore, adequate forward planning and initiation is done. In the Indian Armed Forces a Long Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) is drawn up by each service, spanning 15 yrs or more. Since the introduction of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) into the procurement process, LTPPs from all services are integrated for purposes of commonality and interoperability and put up as a Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) to the Government. It also becomes incumbent on each individual service to “look into the future” and predict with a certain level of accuracy of “things to come” with respect to modern war, thereby justifying their procurement needs and the demands of enormous funding from the Government. Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) Since enough has been written about the DPP over the years, this chapter will not belabor the subject but just present the types of procurement for ease of connectivity and perspective. The acquisition scheme in the

DPP is covered under the following categories : (a) Buy (i) Buy Indian:- Indicates an outright purchase from Indian vendors only. (ii) Buy Global:- Outright purchase from Global vendors. (b) Make Systems which are to be designed, developed and produced in India. (i) For Strategic or Security Sensitive systems – which necessarily have to be an “in-house” procedure, undertaken by DRDO. (ii) High Technology Systems – undertaken by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) or the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) or a consortia of Indian industries. (c) Buy and Make – A method whereby a limited quantity is bought outright from a foreign vendor followed by licensed production in India. (d) Buy and Make (Indian) – A system which permits procurement from Indian vendors or Indian Joint Venture (JV) Companies which have have been granted licensed production arrangements from foreign OEMs. A mandatory 50% indigenous content on cost basis must be met, in this process. (e) Under Inter-Governmental Agreement – A provision in the DPP allows for procurements from friendly foreign countries wherein the procurement need not follow the standard procedure but can be conducted under mutually agreed procedures. Indigenisation in Aerospace Business The Industrial Revolution which enveloped the western world enhanced economy and productivity and saw growth and advancement in technology, with a natural extension to military application. The British rule in India ensured that while they progressed, no industrial development really took place in India. In fact, resources were siphoned off to bolster their own industries. So while the rest of the world was being industrialised, India continued the path of agrarian or village based development. Thus, on attaining independence, India, with its very low industrial base and faced with hostile neighbours, had to establish, de novo, a military industry and embark on a path of self-reliance. Without compromising its


operational imperatives, the need for the Air Force was to find the optimum mix of direct imports, licensed production and indigenous development. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), thus created, had a daunting task and decided to look at these three paths towards future self-reliance. In its early years, the IAF (unlike the Navy) decided not to have an organic D&D capability, despite there being no other agency with such capability in this field. To add insult to (self-inflicted) injury, the IAF also decided to give up design certification and quality assurance / inspection during production and acceptance functions –always the prerogative of the user. Having relinquished such important responsibilities to the bureaucrats, the IAF is now suffering the consequences. It is now mandatory to not only seek the advice of various D&D, certification and inspection agencies while formulating the basic Air Staff Requirements (ASRs), but also to include these agencies as participants during field trials and evaluations. One can imagine the conflict when a specialist’s role is undermined by bureaucrats.

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Multirole fighter aircraft Rafale is India’s choice as medium combat aircraft

The Industrial Revolution which enveloped the western world enhanced economy and productivity and saw growth and advancement in technology, with a natural extension to military application.The British rule in India ensured that while they progressed, no industrial development really took place in India.

Major IAF Assets 2020-2040 The last decade has seen a systematic reduction in the strength of combat aeroplanes and effective radar systems in the IAF. The steady draw-down has been a little alarming as the operational fighter squadron strength reduced to as low as 60% of the authorized figure. Faced with a two-front threat scenario, this state of affairs is most undesirable. The state-of-the-art Rafale from Dassault, which has been selected as the MMRCA for the IAF, along with the SU30MKI will form the backbone of the Indian Air Force, taking it well into the middle of the 21st century. The SU-30MKI, license produced by HAL, has firmly established itself as the torch-bearer of the IAF’s fighting elements. Its swing role capability and awesome performance makes it a formidable weapon system, the envy of any foreign Air Force. The production line to supplement the large numbers required by the IAF is well established and HAL has its supply chain firmly in place. Because it did not meet the desired specifications and the time period of delivery, the IAF has ordered only 40 Tejas (LCA) from



HAL. However, it is hoped that in due course, once the operationalisation commences, greater trust and faith in HAL will prompt the IAF to complete its commitment to purchase 200 such aeroplanes. India has entered an ambitious plan to jointly develop the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) with Russia which will form the fourth major fighter aircraft in the IAF inventory. Although the pogram was entered into quite late in its development (It is believed Russia was already 80% into the development program), India will get its share of components and technology to develop, as time goes by, thereby offering immense opportunities to industry. The FGFA will fill the void left behind by the upgraded MiG-29s and Mirage-2000s. There has hardly been any scope of developing transport aircraft in the Indian aviation industry. Therefore, they have all, invariably, been purchased outright and we are wholly dependent on the OEM in supply chain management and sustenance. The recent acquisition of the C-130 and the C-17 from Lockheed Martin and Boeing, respectively, and the expected acquisitions of the replacement for the aging AN-32s and HS748s will bring huge opportunities to industry. Similar opportunities will be afforded in the likely development and procurement of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which have immense potential for growth. India is also likely to see a massive influx of helicopters, not only in the armed forces but also with the paramilitary and in the civil sector. With such a wide variety of inductions and the numbers involved, there is a need to increase the training capacity of the IAF. From the recent outright purchase of the Pilatus PC-7 as the basic trainer (because HAL could not produce a suitable replacement for the HPT-32 –not surprising) to the need for simulators and other training devices, the IAF has a large requirement of procuring such systems for its pilots and engineers. The Way Forward in Acquisition It is necessary that we keep in mind a few things. Firstly, no country in the world, including the USA, can afford to replace its equipment in large swaths. Every system, designed with growth architecture for upgradation must be used to its full potential and as long as considered safe or viable. Secondly, the spares and component parts are manufactured by “Small and Medium Engineering Enterprises”, globally


India’s first Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas during an Initial Operational Clearance Procedure distributed and form an intrinsic part of business methodology, with a strict control of quality and no compromise on security. Thirdly, there is a necessity of developing indigenous capability and self-reliance, in both D&D and manufacture, so as to obviate abject dependency on a foreign country and face embarrassing fallouts in contingent conditions. Fourthly, the clauses of “Offsets” and “Transfer of Technology” have become ‘de rigueur’ or virtually synonymous with the acquisition process. One also does not need Nostradamus to predict that in the forthcoming future the Indian defence acquisition process, especially aviation related, will continue the route of “Buy and Make” to maintain a balanced equation with operational needs and commitments, with the “Indian” component showing gradual increments. Offsets and Business Avenues The “Offset” clause in the Defence Procurement Procedure was first introduced

in DPP 2006. A support organization, for Offset facilitation, was set up in the Acquisition Wing of the MoD, called Defence Offset Facilitation Agency (DOFA). All Requests for Proposal (RFPs) since the issue of DPP 2006 have had the Offset clause incorporated. But the Govt of India has been hesitant in taking any bold step in the direction of Offsets, primarily because of its inexperience in this trade regime. Defence Offset agreements, the world over, are legal trade practices in the aerospace and military industries and are subject to each country’s offset laws / public regulations / internal offset policies. Often defence offsets are more motivating than the primary defence acquisition, for personal or political reasons. This may seem irrational but it is a part of commerce. As anyone can understand, the seller will include the cost of the “Envelope B”, i.e. of the offset and an added value for the purchaser, in its total cost. In other words, the client will pay for the offset –there is no free lunch!!!


“Transparency International” summarizes the risks of corruption of offsets as marketing tools, which make it “an ideal playground for corruption”. There are three main categories of corruption risk from offsets that we need to be wary of:(a) Improperly influencing the need for a particular defence acquisition in the first place. (b) Influencing the competitive decision for the main contract in non-transparent ways. (c) Allowing favours to be repaid to corrupt government officials via the offset contract. Appendix ‘D’ to DPP 2011 clearly lays down the guidelines for defence offsets with respect to our acquisition process, wherein it stipulates that other than cases so determined by the government, offsets would form part of the RFP. A separate offset contract would be drawn up (monitored by the newly re-structured DOFA, now called the Defence Offsets Management Wing –

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Defence Offset agreements, the world over, are legal trade practices in the aerospace and military industries and are subject to each country’s offset laws / public regulations / internal offset policies. Often defence offsets are more motivating than the primary defence acquisition, for personal or political reasons.This may seem irrational but it is a part of commerce. As anyone can understand, the seller will include the cost of the “Envelope B.”

DOMW) and would run co-terminus with the main contract. The methodology is also clearly defined in the clauses under “Avenues for Discharge of Offset Obligations” (para 3.1 of Appx ‘D’). Some of these are:(a) Direct offsets (with a list of products and services eligible). (b) FDI in Joint Ventures with Indian enterprises. (c) Investment in “kind” e.g. Transfer of Technology to Indian enterprises. (d) Indirect offsets. (e) Technology absorption by the DRDO in areas of High Technology. It is amply evident that the Govt of India is keen to promote trade in the defence business and is facilitating participation by the industry. Having shed the shackles of DRDO / DPSUs etc and venturing into the private sector has been a most positive step. A Clear Roadmap – Joint Ventures The burgeoning defence industry in India is throwing up immense possibilities for private

industry. As the tenth largest investor in defence with an annual defence budget of $37 billion (almost 2% of GDP), India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world. The huge inductions in the aviation sector, with 126 MMRCA, 200+ FGFA co-developed with Russia, LCA (and later MCA), Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA), C-17 Heavy Tactical Aircraft (HETAC), P-8 Poseidon for the Navy, additional C-130 / SU-30MKI / AWACS, more than 150 helicopters (the list seems endless), makes it the most lucrative. In fact India is expected to spend more than $150 billion on platforms only in the next 1015 years. The government has determined that that the best form of creating partnerships for business and co-development of products, especially in high technology areas, is through Joint Ventures (JVs). However, these are to be established by the Defence PSUs. While the private players feel the DPSUs have an unfair advantage since they enjoy a monopoly for first rights on all



contacts, given the massive off-takes (in billions of dollars), the need for transparency and fair play offered by the DPSUs cannot be over-emphasized. In the immediate future the induction of the MMRCA (Rafale), as an example, will offer huge offset and joint venture opportunities. With a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) having been executed between Dassault and Reliance Industries, some of the companies vying for other offset opportunities are :(a) Tata Power, Tata Advanced Systems, Rolta Thales –Avionics, Network Centric Systems, C4ISR. (b) Mahindra Aerospace –Aero structure components, assembly of aircraft subsystems. (c) Larsen & Toubro –Airborne assemblies and systems. (d) Punj Llyod Aviation / Dynamatic Technologies / Taneja Aerospace –Precision manufacturing, parts and accessories of aircraft. (e) SNECMA HAL, Turbomeca India –Aero-engines. (f) Magnum Aviation –Engine spares, maintenance repair and overhaul facilitation. (g) Infotech Enterprises / Safran Engineering Services –Life Cycle Support, engineering and design. Some major partnerships and joint ventures which are on-going in the defence arena are :(a) HAL / United Aircraft Corporation / Rosoboronexport (ROE) –Multi-Role Transport Aircraft. (b) Tata Sons / Augusta Westland –AW 119 helicopters. (c) BEL / Terma –Naval Radars, aircraft self-protection systems. (d) Axis Aerospace / ROE –Avionics equipment for MiGs. (e) Tata Advanced Systems / ELTA –Radar, communications, electronic warfare. (f) Mahindra & Mahindra / Telephonics –Radar, surveillance, communication systems. (g) Tata Advanced Systems / Lockheed Martin –Aero structures manufacturing, D&D. (h) Ashok Leyland / Paramount Group –Mine protected vehicles. MoUs will be the road for future joint ventures and developing R&D or training centers will build long term relationships in the industry.





Indian Air Force has been involved in surveillance and reconnaisance activities ever since its inception in 1930s.


One of the four EMB-1451 AEW&C aircraft manufactured for the Indian Air Force


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Key Points n Indian Air Force was established by the British colonial power to be tasked immediately for ISR on NWFP. n 'Intelligence failure' has been found to be the reason each time India was dragged into war, without advance info. n The advent of the AWACS and indigenous AEWs have improved the situation substantially.


ir Power evolved in the Indian subcontinent following similar milestones as had occurred elsewhere in the world, but India missed the balloon era for any serious usage. ‘Observation from the Air’ was the very first employment of airmedium for military purposes. It provided the advantage of maximum area to observe with minimal obstruction and in relative safety. The first recorded recce from a balloon was done over Austria by the French in 1794. Soon small bi-planes took over and the exercise gradually got bloody and planes started shooting each other down. During World War-I, Air Recce operations had the highest mortality rate and many of the crew



did not even have parachute. Indian Air Force formed in 1932 and got its first operational squadron in 1933. The very first operational deployment of the Air Force was reconnaissance over North West Frontier Province to observe movement of tribesmen. In Feb 1942, the Squadron was moved to Burma and assigned to fly tactical recce missions with Lysanders. Towards giving a positive direction to the military in India, Baron Chatfield chaired an Expert Committee in 1938 on Defence of India and recommended that India’s defence should be re-focused more on her sea communications and less on her North Western Land Frontier. This was probably the very first ‘strategic decision’ on defending peninsular British colony (India) from seaborne threat. It was decided to raise five flights on voluntary basis to defend the principal ports. Five Coastal Defence Flights were established one each at Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Karachi and Cochin; later a sixth was formed at Vizag. These were equipped with ex-RAF Wapitis. The IAF Volunteer Reserve (VR) was given dilapidated machines like Audaxes and Blenheims which eventually moved to patrolling Rangoon. Thus was born the first Maritime Patrol Flights of Indian Military.

AERIAL WATCH Canberra PR57. These carried sophisticated array of cameras and had an accurate navigation system. The aircraft, designed in 1946 could fly at such altitude that many fighters of the day could not reach. Typically, photo missions were done at 40,000 ft and above. The Indian Air Force utilized this force extensively for 50 years during which few more were added and some improvements were done on the Recce system. The SR Force was augmented with

be analysed painstakingly. A sizable organization backed the effort with professional analysts and an effective storage and retrieval system. Technological advances have now replaced films to digital media that could record and instantaneously transmit to a ground station without having to spend hours on film process and analysis. The sensors utilized on these legacy systems could function only in day-light conditions and in clear weather. The SR Force was always

An aerostat balloon as the airborne platform to support communications relay


Dire Needs In India’s experience with nationhood, protecting national territory became a challenge and an emotional issue since such threat occurred many times in its brief history. The country had to go to war a couple of times to defend its territory and had unsettled boundary with practically all its neighbors. Indian citizens in border-towns adjoining these countries lived uncomfortably. Thus, protecting national territory became the single military strategy for India; in modern world rarely any country of similar size faced such severe pressures as India in guarding its territorial integrity. Interestingly, attacks on India’s border or coastline occurred most surreptitiously with little warning. In 1948, Pakistani troops dressed as local Mujahideens invaded Kashmir and again 1965 it was once again similar with simultaneous incursion in Kutch. In 1999 Pakistani troops walked into Kargil. There have been number of border disputes with Bangladesh. China forcibly annexed some 40,000 sq km of territory in 1962 and their moves were not anticipated. There have been other innumerable occasions that led to tension at the borders and cross-border terrorist attack on Indian soil in recent times. Gone were the days of Baron Chatfield view of sub-continental strategy that threat to India would be invasion (Japanese) from the sea. The threat now is multi-prong attacks to capture territory across Himalayas and serious nuisance and attrition from sea-borne threat. Besides, India’s prestige among nations especially in the region has taken a beating. ‘Intelligence Failure’ was termed as the cause for India being surprised repeatedly by adversaries. Extensive and intense collection of adversarial dispositions, activities and analysis of likely intention are aspects of Intelligence gathering. Organization and elements that are involved in these activities must be of state-of-art and well trained which obviously require continued effort. In the Indian context, these have been at best sporadic. Some of the key elements that provide the desired intelligence form part of Aerospace Surveillance. In recent times, India has substantially upgraded capabilities in this area. The priority is to avoid costly military engagements through timely information on the intention of potential aggressors. A Strategic Reconnaissance (SR) Force was created in 1957 with the induction of

modified light transport aircraft and executive jets that carried special cameras and sensors. The next major addition came 25 years later – the MIG-25. The ‘tri-sonic’ aircraft, that could fly close to three times the speed of sound flew at twice the altitude of Canberra but had much lower endurance. It carried special cameras and for the first time, electronic sensors were added on the Strategic Recce package. These aircraft brought back huge rolls of films that had to


manned by professional and dedicated members known for skills and courage. In 1959, a CanberraPR57 was shot down in Pakistan close to Rawalpindi while on an SR mission. In the world of SR, history is full of outstanding effort and achievements. Famous among them were the U-2 missions flown by USAF and CIA. Garry Power was shot down near Moscow that caused most severe tension between the two superpowers. Interestingly, he took off from

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Pakistan on his long mission into Soviet Union. The USAF recce missions exposed Russian missiles deployed across Cuba that were capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The exposure had dramatic ripple effect but proved effective in preventing nuclear confrontation between US and Soviet Union. The most highly decorated officers of Indian Air Force belonged to SR community who had displayed extraordinary skills and courage. Secrecy prevented bringing out

The country had to go to war a couple of times to defend its territory and had unsettled boundary with practically all its neighbors. Indian citizens in border-towns adjoining these countries lived uncomfortably. Thus, protecting national territory became the single military strategy for India; in modern world rarely any country of similar size faced such severe pressures as India in guarding its territorial integrity.

details of work done by them but they certainly laid the tradition that is now pursued. In terms of equipment, major advances have taken place. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is advanced groundmapping radar with amazing resolution that takes ‘pictures’ as good as conventional photo systems. The SAR could be used at night and also over thin clouds. These should be in service of the Air Force by now. Maritime Recce(MR) missions are similar

to SR but the recce is done of all that floats and moves under-surface at Sea. These aircraft have long endurance; some can stay as long as 24hrs on mission! They transit long distances and have special features like shutting off an engine during patrolling to improve endurance. They carry special sensors like radar tuned to detect sea-targets such as Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), Sonobuoys, Electronic Support Measure (ESM) sensors and environment sensors which are integrated to get a comprehensive picture and a massive data-base to compare and label each one of these. They also carry flares and can launch torpedoes and other armament against sea-targets. In early 50’s, the Indian Air Force flew refurbished Liberator bombers on MR missions over long duration missions. These were subsequently replaced by L-1049 Super-constellation that were acquired from Air India and modified. Indian Navy took over these aircraft and started to independently operate MR missions. Russian IL-38 MR aircraft were introduced in early 80s which gave an insight to Russian MR Technology and operations. These were improved through modifications, much of it indigenously to extract maximum benefit out of the old airframe. This was followed in 1988 by an order for eight TU-142 MR aircraft from Russia. These were upgraded with Israeli radar and other improved sensors that would keep the aircraft operationally viable till about 2016. Indian Navy continued to explore better MR aircraft and consequently has recently acquired eight P-8I MR aircraft, one among the most sophisticated MR aircraft in the world. This would also carry the latest advanced Harpoon-II air-to-sea missiles. The MR carries almost all sensors carried by an SR aircraft but optimized for sea surveillance. Managing MR Force require sophisticated and expensive network centers that would also process and analyze results on-line. This is important to quickly evaluate the scenario and analyze threats. MR operations could equally be challenging as SR. One of Pakistani Atlantique aircraft on a recce mission was shot down by the Indian Air Force over Kutch in 1999 when it entered Indian airspace. Glorious Past Fighter Recce (FR) is the more glamorous end of reconnaissance. Two Squadrons Vampire-55 were specially modified to carry photo-recce equipment in place of the seat



on the right. Subsequently, a flight of Hunter aircraft was modified carrying cameras on the nose-cone. Mystere IVA was similarly modified and a squadron was converted to FR role. Extensive work was done on MIG-21 to adapt to FR role. A famous test pilot, who flight tested the modification at the commencement of 1971 war, flew this aircraft singly with no escort, crisscrossing Pakistan territory! That required skills and plenty of courage and he had both! Some of the Sukhoi-7s were fitted with FR cameras and these did impressive work. Significant work was undertaken to give night FR capability. Hunters and few other aircraft were modified to carry Infra-Red-Line-Scan cameras. These imposed severe restriction on speed and maneuvers to assure high quality of picture. FR pilots were trained differently; they are expected to observe and describe the target on landing in great detail. The training was intense but during 80s, the skills could not be focused as dedicated FR squadrons gave way to dispersion of FR assets to many routine operational units. The UAVs inducted in early 2000 were the new addition of providing intelligence over short ranges. DRDO is experimenting long range UAV and UCAV that may take a while to reach flight stage. There is a strong case for UCAV to operate over the hills of Himalayas but the turbulence levels are too high for UAV mission to be safe and effective. Serious research would be necessary for effective operation of UAVs in the mountains. UAV helicopter could possibly have a more effective utilisation for logistics support. So far, it is only a concept. SR and FR work merges during operations. The pressure is the time gap between sensors to shooter. The Recce is the sensor and shooter is the strike force which is expected to engage targets obtained from the Recce report. Traditional methods required a day to analyze the results and identify target to engage; but never less than about 8hrs. In Afghanistan and Iraq, US forces achieved sensor-shooter timing less than 8 minutes or less! This was made possible by advanced sensors, analysis and communication systems. Some Fighter aircraft like the SU-30MKI could fly as long as 10 hrs with in-flight refueling and could function as good as an SR vehicle. Pictures could be downloaded including navigation data while the aircraft is in flight and analysed within minutes. These are some of the major advances that



An aerostat being launched

have taken place recently. It is a challenge to reduce the sensor-shooter time gap in Indian context due to structures that tend to work in traditional silos lacking integrated approach. Major upgrade would be necessary in communication network and procedures. Electronic Support and Counter Measures Electronic Surveillance/Electronic Support Measures are a part of Electronic Warfare on which major upgrade has taken place. The Air Force operates dedicated long endurance aircraft fitted with Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) equipment and special operators on-board the aircraft. In addition, ground-based ESM units pick up transmissions and serve as gap-fillers and are transportable. The combined assets gather detailed information on adversaries’ electronic transmissions that include various kinds of radars and command and communication network. Just as SR, ESM information is downloaded to groundcenters for further analysis and action. In the current inventory of aircraft, each combat aircraft is equipped to gather certain relevant ESM information which helps to confirm and consolidate. This requires extensive and well integrated organisational support that would traverse multiple organizational structures. The military operates Aerostat balloons that are tethered to carry ELINT/Surveillance

Fighter Recce (FR) is the more glamorous end of reconnaissance. Two SquadronsVampire-55 were specially modified to carry photo-recce equipment in place of the seat on the right. Subsequently, a flight of Hunter aircraft was modified carrying cameras on the nose-cone. Mystere IVA was similarly modified and a squadron was converted to FR role.

payload at a height of around 15,000ft. These provide extended range and are effective. However, stormy weather could adversely affect the tether and during operations, these have to be well defended. Among EW suit is the more sophisticated Jammers – that could jam radars and communication network over brief periods.


Our armed forces do possess these but require constant upgrade and validation. Combination of SR, FR and ESM operations provide good information for choosing targets for strike elements. During the wars that the IAF participated, a sizable number of missions failed due to incorrect information of targets, some did not even exist. Some aircraft were lost due to heavy enemy ground fire or air opposition that were not anticipated. Attrition was quite high because the aircrew hung around too long to search for targets and were ill informed about target defences. It is sincerely hoped that the improved and upgraded system would, besides reducing sensor-shooter time, would also address detailed target information and defences. The latest in the inventory that would enhance effectiveness is the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and Airborne Early Warning (AEW). The AEW is less sophisticated and smaller. Both carry surveillance radar fitted on the airframe that helps to detect enemy air activity deep inside his territory. These elements pass on realtime information to own defences and interceptor aircraft. AWACS has additional control function to perform. The aerial platform is linked to ground operations centre and to aircraft in air. The AWACS control fighters on interception (of enemy aircraft) and warn own defences and bases of the approach of enemy aircraft. These also carry a good array of ESM that provide complete picture of the enemy’s dispositions. The Air Force has three of these. When India had no access to acquire AWACS due to denial-regimes, the DRDO initiated a project to learn to design and develop such aerial platform. The first experiment was to mount a radome on a HS-748 airframe. BAE Systems designed the radar head and gave other design support. The project was successful. This was later extended to mount radar inside the radome. During one of the trials, the radome came off and the aircraft crashed killing all on-board. This was a tragedy that should have been avoidable. This project had no direct contribution to developing AWACS or AEW indigenously. In 2004, DRDO and IAF jointly embarked on a project to develop an AEW and mount it on airframe (Embraer aircraft). By this time, DRDO had learnt the art of phased-array technology and were confident to develop the AEW. India expects six AEW to join the inventory of IAF through DRDO design.



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ARTILLERY MODERNIs Modernisation of the artillery arm of the IA is long overdue. Last induction of a major

Many countries have adopted Nexter’s CAESAR artillery system


JUNE 2013



artillery gun were the Bofors 155 mm in mid-1980s. To get new ones, the time‘s now


Key Points n The first major induction into the artillery arm was the Russian 130 mm medium field gun. n The 155 mm Bofors gun was the perfect long range artillery gun that came into hands of the Indian Army.

Ever since the controversy with the gun, the country has not been able to procure modern artillery. n



ontrary to the often misquoted popular perception that Artillery’s first usage in the Indian subcontinent was in the Battle of Panipat, the guns actually roared first in 1368 AD under the Bahmani Kings of Deccan. Modern Indian Artillery units were raised by the Britishers during World War I. Postindependence, the British Indian artillery assets were sub-divided with both India and Pakistan inheriting a mix of calibre in terms of motors, guns and howitzers. The Indian artillery continued with its assorted inventory to fight the battle in Kashmir in 1948 and thereafter the inglorious Sino–Indian conflict, 1962. The same mix of artillery was used in the Indo-Pak conflict, 1965. Early Modernisation Efforts The first major new equipment induction was the 105mm Field Gun that ranged a maximum of 17 km. A lighter variant, the Light Field Gun was manufactured for the mountain divisions. During this era the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was the mainstay of our defence


preparedness. The Russian 130 mm Medium Gun became the standard equipment for medium artillery regiments. A robust gun that hurls a projectile weighing over 30 kg to almost 27.5 km, the 130 mm continues to remain our primary medium artillery gun. Rocket artillery was inducted with BM 21 Grad Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers. The equipment has 40 tubes that can fire the entire salvo in 20 seconds to a maximum distance of 21 km. At this stage, the surveillance radar remained the Stentor with its maximum range of 60 km, while mortar locating radar FAX150 was gradually being replaced by the British Cymbeline Mortar Locating Radars. Induction of 155 mm FH 77 B Bofors Gun Also in the inventory were a host of guns like the 3.7 inch, 5.5 inch, and 7.2 inch howitzers, 120 and 160 mm Mortars, 122 mm Field Guns, 75/24 Pack Howitzers. The equipment at this stage was old and required a major overhaul. It was in the mid-1980s that the first major modernisation of guns was undertaken with the induction of 155mm FH77B Field Howitzers (Bofors) of Swedish origin. The induction of the Bofors gun with its computerised fire control equipment was a quantum leap for Indian Artillery. Notwithstanding the storm that the kickback allegations blew up, till date nobody has questioned the versatility and robustness of this equipment. A total of 410 pieces were purchased that served to raise approximately 21 medium regiments which were assigned to either mountain or mechanized formations.


elbit systems

Elbit System’s ATMOS 2000 getting ready to fire

The Bofors kickbacks soon rose to cast its shadow over big-ticket defence equipment procurement plans. The storm that it created led to a hands-off approach, shunning even the technology transfer agreement that was integral to the Bofors deal. Revolution in Military Affairs and Artillery The induction of technology in the battlefield enhanced the pace of Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Battlefields were becoming more transparent with surveillance providing real time engagement possibility. Wars were transforming into shorter engagements with rapid deployment of forces. The contact, intermediate and depth battle had to be fought simultaneously. The emphasis was shifting to winning the depth battle first. Resources of the nation as a whole had to be mobilised. RMA also imposed a new set of requirements for Artillery in battlefield. The necessity of fighting the depth battle called for enhancement in ranges. Transparency

of battlefield required varied platforms for deployment of surveillance resource. Increased lethality called for precision munitions. Mobility required a variety of terrain specific equipment. Changing Nature of Conflict and Artillery The changing nature of conflict also needs attention before deciding on a modernisation programme. There is a decline in probability of conventional conflicts and simultaneous spurt in nonconventional conflicts. However, the possibilities of territorial disputes leading to border wars that quickly escalate will need to be catered for. Conventional forces, hence, especially in Indian circumstances will need to be maintained at high states of readiness. Thus the likelihood of major wars being fought in the mountains remains a greater probability. Territorial gains will remain a priority of all contestants in such cases. Operations in mountains call for overwhelming superiority in firepower. Assault by fire will need to precede the


attempts by manoeuvre elements to wrest territorial objectives. In a defensive scenario, artillery will need to interdict the enemy’s movement in depth and fire assaults will attempt to break his force cohesion before he is able to initiate his contact battle. Our conventional battles will be fought under a nuclear overhang. Deep penetrations may breach the opponent’s nuclear threshold. Attrition in depth by firepower would be the more viable alternative. To achieve these requirements there would be need to acquire targets in depth, allocate the correct platforms for engagement and use smart munitions to ensure attrition. There is also a requirement to upgrade the first salvo effectiveness to ensure an enemy capable of rapid evasive action is attrited adequately. Such ability calls for a higher percentage of smart ammunition, a reliable communications based on an Artillery Command, Control and Communications System that is ably

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It was in the mid-1980s that the first major modernisation of guns was undertaken with the induction of 155mm FH77B Field Howitzers (Bofors) of Swedish origin.The induction of the Bofors gun with its computerised fire control equipment was a quantum leap for Indian Artillery. Notwithstanding the storm that the kickback allegations blew up, till date nobody has questioned the versatility and (its) robustness.

NORINCO’s SH1 control elements that may be 155mm/52-calibre identified as organs intrinsic to 6*6 self propelled gun the enemy’s Centre of Gravity. on display The systems have to be provided adequate information and intelligence through a battle field surveillance Artillery Weapons Philosophy Globally, 155mm is today accepted as the system with surveillance platforms that are optimum calibre. Our requirement of ground, aerial, shore and sea based. Finally, an integration of the sensors and destruction vis-à-vis neutralisation of yesteryears leads us to adoption of 155 mm as shooters through a decision making agency the basic calibre. However, we have to capable of resource manipulation and acquire a whole family of variants to allocation, authorising engagement of hostile specifically address our diverse terrain and targets is essential. This link would have to operational needs; light howitzers for be provided by the Artillery Command mountains, towed variety for plains, tracked Control and Communication System and self-propelled version for deserts and functioning in a networked environment. mortars especially in our mountain formations to enable reverse slope The Current and not-so-current Acquisition Initiatives engagement using their high trajectory. Rocket artillery with its enhanced range is The Field Artillery Modernisation Plan was important to our inventory to fight the initiated in 2000. All 220 artillery regiments intermediate and the depth battle. Missiles of the Indian army were to undergo need to be a part of the arsenal to undertake modernisation by 2025. Notwithstanding the destruction of economic targets in depth, stagnation experienced in procurement of interdiction of deep chokepoints, guns, rocket artillery has received a boost. The communication nodes and command and indigenous 214 mm multi-barrel rocket supported by a responsive battlefield surveillance system in a net centric environment.


launcher Pinaka was inducted in the Army in 1996. The launcher has 12 tubes that range upto 39/40 km. Pinaka also led to the private players playing a substantial role in the defence sector. In 2005, the Army placed an order for 40 Pinakas on TATA Power and L&T. Russian Smerch heavy multiple barrel rocket launchers was also inducted. The system fires a 300mm rocket weighing in the region of 285 kg to a distance between 70 to 90 km. A major weakness has been our capability in locating enemy artillery. While the British Cymbeline provided the capability in detection of mortars, it did not locate guns. The induction of a good gun locating radar was delayed for various reasons including the sanctions post Pokharan tests of 1998. It was only in July 2002, when it was realised that 80% of our casualties in Kargil operations were on account of enemy artillery fire that an order for eight ANTPQ 37 Gun Locating Radars were placed through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme of the US. Later, the order was increased to 12.

MODERNISATION Towed Guns Induction The Towed guns procurement initiative was set in motion in 2002. Four hundred pieces of 155 mm calibre were to be purchased, however, by the end of the firing trials all three competitors, BAE Systems, Soltam and Denel, failed to meet accuracy They returned with parameters. improvements next year, however, Soltam, reportedly, had other major problems related to another contract, while Denel’s account books spelt gloom for the company and were a cause for concern to a major buyer. Effectively, a single vendor situation had precipitated. The MoD inevitably tries to keep out of single vendor situations. Finally, a corruption charge emerged against BAE System, and the whole process froze. The towed gun induction attempts were restarted in 2007 through competitive bidding. This attempt also seemed to be jinxed. By 2009, it had been put on the backburner with corruption charges reverberating, leaving only one bidder in the contest. The current status looks surprisingly healthy. The OFB has realised after almost three decades that it has been sitting on the designs of 155 mm/ 39 calibre guns since the equipment was inducted as part of the technology transfer agreement. They have been asked to field their prototype for trials. The DRDO is also in the process of making a 155 mm / 52 calibre.

Simultaneously, DRDO, BEL along with LRDE were tasked to produce a gun locating radar. As of now, the BEL product is also in service. It’s mounted on a high mobility 8X8 Tatra vehicle and remains efficient up to 16,000 ft altitude. The first UAVs to be inducted by the artillery were the Israeli Searcher Mark I. Searcher Mark II, with a capability of operating up to 16,000 ft, followed. Finally, Heron with an operating ceiling of 30,000 ft was inducted. The usefulness of an UAV is dependent on its payload. ELINT and SAR have been procured. DRDO has been attempting indigenous models. The first one was the Nishant. Rustom I followed. Unlike Nishant, where recovery was by a parachute, Rustom I takes off and lands from runways. Rustom II is scheduled for 2014 and should meet the requirement of medium altitude long endurance UAVs. Serious efforts at replenishing our depleting assets of guns started in 2002 when the Request for Proposal (RFP) for 180 towed 155mm 52 calibre guns were floated. However, the story thereafter has been a saga of RFPs being issued, subsequent field trials, reports of bribery, and finally, the process being junked along with companies being blacklisted, followed again by fresh RFPs that went on to retrace the same cycle. The support agreement with Bofors howitzers expired in 2001. As of January 2009, we were left with 200 operational 155/39 calibre guns. The requirement of 155 mm guns, as visualized based on RFPs issued is as under:Model

M777 155 mm/ 39 Calibre Ultra-Light How 155mm/52 Calibre Towed How 155mm/52 Calibre Tracked Self-propelled How 155mm/52 Calibre Wheeled Self-propelled How 155mm/ 52 Calibre Mounted How Total

Induction of Ultra-Light Howitzers The last RFP had posed the requirement at 145 pieces of 155 mm 39 calibre howitzers. Singapore’s Pegasus was the only vendor left in the field till ST Kinetics was slapped a Quantity

Adequate to Equip

Procurement From OEM

Domestic Production



7 Regiments



80 Regiments



5 Regiments



9 Regiments



40 Regiments

1025 Howitzers

2084 Howitzers

151 Regiments (18 Howitzers make a Regiment)


ten-year ban. It has now been decided to take the FMS route to purchasing the 145 pieces from BAE Systems. However, there could yet be a slip between the cup and the lips. The trials are yet to be undertaken, while the possible fallouts of Pegasus’ court case could prove difficult. Notwithstanding the possible blockages, MoD has cleared contract negotiations. Self-Propelled Tracked Howitzers Attempts to procure a tracked 155mm version again remain elusive. An earlier attempt to mount a Denel 155 mm Gun on an Arjun tank chassis came to naught when corruption charges were raised in 2006. In 2007 another RFP was floated. The attempt was again aborted when all the competitors were blacklisted. Press reports indicate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Russian Rosobornexport being the contenders, as on date. L&T is reportedly in collaboration with South Korean Samsung Techwin, based on the latter’s K9 Thunder model.

JUNE 2013


ones, ranging between 600 to 1800 kg, has passed all tests. Media reports and statements of MoD indicate the raising of a missile group with Agni III integral to it.

Soldiers fire an M777 lightweight howitzer during a live-fire mission Self-Propelled Wheeled Howitzers The estimated requirement of such a variety is 180 pieces. The 155mm/52 calibre variant being sought is best suited for plains and semi-desert terrain. As on date, there is not even an RFP seeking response, nor has the DRDO been tasked to get into the business. Apparently, nothing much can be expected in the next five years, even if DRDO was to be successful in delivering its current mandate. Vehicle Mounted Howitzers There is also a requirement perceived of truck mounted 155 mm howitzers. As of now no RFPs asking for any details are out. TATA has displayed a truck mounted version using a Denel barrel. It can range up to 40 km. Upgunning of 130mm Guns The process of upgunning went quite smoothly with Soltam providing the kit for Russian 130mm to 155mm/ 52 calibre, thus enhancing the range to 40 km. A total

of 180 guns have been upgraded. The programme has faced hurdles with Soltam coming under a cloud; however, the process needs to continue to upgrade 300 more guns. A decision to open the contract to private players has also been taken by the Defence Acquisition Council. If completed, it will be a shot in the arm for the artillery. Induction of Missiles The induction of missiles has definitely been quite impressive. Given the fact that the missiles were indigenous, it definitely calls for doffing the hat to DRDO. For a change the organisation has offered products and not just promises. Prithvi missile regiments are functional. Their phased induction in 1995-2000, has paid off. The phased induction of Brahmos was also started in 2007 with three operational regiments now. Agni III, the nuclear-capable, 3,500 km range missile, capable of carrying a large variety of warheads from decoys to nuclear


bAE systEms

Artillery Command, Control and Communication System The system is already under deployment and provides the network required to cut down on deployment time, firepower allocation and integration of sub-systems. The Way Ahead The recent Chinese incursion near Daulat Beg Oldie, Ladakh and the increasingly proximate timelines of International Security Assistance Force’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, paint a picture of enhanced threat. The Army and the MoD have tried to address the issues; however the much needed vigor is barely obvious. The old workhorse of the artillery remains a good, versatile, long range, standardised calibre gun. The deficiencies are conspicuous enough in this area, to be rated as alarming. Among certain steps underway and measures considered essential are:• The OFB’s 155 mm/ 39 calibre gun based on transfer of technology as part of the Bofors deal should be put through trials process and inducted as a replacement for off road 155 mm guns. • OFB to speed up the design of a 155 mm/ 52 calibre gun. Private players like TATA, L&T with requisite expertise need to be brought into the ambit. • Upgunning of 130 mm guns to be rapidly pursued for the entire lot, preferably through private players. • Closing the deal for 155 mm light field howitzers with the US government. • Policy decision on percentages of precision ammunition holdings and its procurement. • Authorizing RPVs to SATA Regiments. • Enhance UAV assets and cater for arming Herons with state of art missile systems to convert the UAVs to Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles. • Indigenous production of bi-modular charge systems to economise on ammunition and reduce barrel wear. Laydown timelines percentages of precision ammunition holdings. • Bring in accountability in DRDO. • Integrate MoD with the service HQ in letter and spirit for the Defence Minister to get his inputs from professionals.


An Indian policeman stands alert during an encounter in Srinagar


JUNE 2013


IndIa In

Small armS market The country is a much sought after purchaser of small arms from the international bazaar, who needs to access the best of technology money can buy


Key Points n Indian Army needs to equip about 400 battalions with small arms potentially costing billions of dollars. n Israel appears to be a good bet for procuring close quarter battle weapons and assault weapons. n The DRDO is believed to have failed to deliver an effective assault weapon.



he Indian army plans on equipping its 359 infantry battalions, over 100 counter insurgency units and Special Forces (SF) with a modular, multi-calibre suite of small arms through imports and local licensed manufacture in one of the world’s largest such contracts worth $7-8 billion. Acquiring these weapon systems is part of the army’s long-postponed Future-Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) that aims at deploying a fully-networked, all-terrain and all-weather force with enhanced firepower and mobility for the digitalised battlefield. The paramilitaries, deployed against Maoists and Kashmiri insurgents too are similarly are


seeking to replace their obsolete small arms albeit in smaller numbers. Following delayed field trials last summer at the Infantry School at Mhow, Pokhran and Leh, the army is presently evaluating four 5.56mm close quarter battle (CQB) carbines of which it will acquire 44,618 to replace its outdated 9mm model and 33.6 million rounds of ammunition for around Rs 20 billion. The army’s immediate requirement is for 160,080 carbines. Concurrently, the army is technically assessing five competing multi-calibre 5.56mmx45mm assault rifles (ARs) ahead of trials expected sometime later this year. Urgently in need of 218,320 ARs, it aims to import 66,000 of them from one of the competing vendors for around $300 million to replace the locally developed Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56mmx45mm AR which it has reluctantly employed since the mid-1990s, but now discarded. The army chief, General Bikram Singh has accorded high priority to procuring both weapon systems swiftly. The requirement for these two basic infantry weapons is expected to increase to around 2-3 million pieces as they would eventually be issued to most paramilitary

SMALL ARMS units and even provincial police forces. In due course both forces are expected to employ the same weaponry as the army as part of the revamped national security grid for deployment on counter insurgency (COIN) duty. Contenders for the CQB carbine contract feature Israel Weapon Industries (IWIs) Galil carbine, Baretta of Italy’s ARX-160 and USA’s Colt and Sig Sauer’s M4 and SG516 patrol rifle’s respectively. Military sources said one of these four carbines is likely to be down-selected by the year-end and a contract inked thereafter. The deal includes a transfer of technology (ToT) to the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to locally build 380,000400,000 carbines. Each weapon is expected to weigh less than 3kg and be capable of firing 600 rounds per minute to a minimum range of 200m in extreme cold and hot climates. The short-listed carbine will also be equipped with Picatinny rail-mounted reflex and passive night sights, visible and invisible laser spot designators and multi-purpose detachable bayonets. Competing for the AR contract are Baretta’s ARX-160, Colt’s Combat Rifle, Czeca of the Czech Republic’s CZ805 model, IWI’s ACE1 and Sig Sauer’s SIG 570MBR. The November 2011 tender for the AR’s requires the weapon system to weigh no more than 3.6kg, fire both 5.56x45mm rounds-including the Indian OFB’s SS109and 7.62mmx39mm projectiles with a barrel and magazine switch for employment in a stand-alone defensive or suppressive fire role. Fitted with Picatiny Rail-mounted reflex sights the ARs are also required to be equipped with day scopes and 40mm lowvelocity under barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs). Armament industry sources said other than Baretta’s ARX-160 which is in service with the Italian, Mexican, Chilean, South African and Canadian armies, the other four competitors have specially developed the multi-calibre ARs for the Indian tender. Launched in 2008 initially for the Italian armed forces as part of the Soldato Futuro (Future Soldier) programme, the caliber of the ARX-160 mated with the GLX-160 companion single-shot 40mm NATO lowvelocity UBGL (weighing under 1kg) can be effortlessly changed without tools from 5.56mmx45mm to 7.62x39mm or 7.62x51mm even in complete darkness. The weapon's unique features include

ambidextrous safeties, magazine catches and charging handle and the ability to fluently switch which side spent casings are ejected. And, last year the Border Security Force (BSF) began inducting some 37,000 Baretta Mx4 Storm 9x19mm submachine guns (SMGs) it acquired after extensive field trials. Earlier in mid-2011 the Home Ministry acquired some 12000 Heckler and Koch (H&K) MP5 SMGs for not only the National Security Guard but also paramilitaries like the Central Reserve Police Force, the IndoTibetan Border Police and the Central Industrial Security Force. Like the carbine, the selected AR vendor too will transfer technology to the OFB to build the rifle under licence; both are also mandated to indigenously defray 30 per cent of the total contract value in offsets under India’s Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP). Private sector defence industry manufacturers, however, have expressed


‘disappointment’ over licensed manufacture of the AR’s and the CQB carbines being undertaken by the OFB despite the Ministry of Defence’s (MoDs) repeated assertions of privatising the country’s military-industrial sector. “The narrative of importing materiel as opposed to the DRDO designing and the equally inefficient OFB building even fundamental weapon systems is best illustrated in the tortuous saga of ARs and carbines” former Lieutenant General Vijay Kapoor said. Attempts to indigenise even this basic requirement essential to the infantry soldier, he lamented, has failed. In December 2012 Defence Minister A K Antony told parliament that the INSAS AR would be replaced as over years “technological development had created more superior rifles”. A few months later in February 2013 he reiterated that maximum indigenisation of military hardware was the ultimate answer

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Acquiring these weapon systems is part of the army’s long-postponed Future-Infantry Soldier as a System that aims at deploying a fullynetworked, all-terrain and all-weather force with enhanced firepower and mobility for the digitalised battlefield.The paramilitaries, deployed against Maoists and Kashmiri insurgents too are similarly are seeking to replace their obsolete small arms albeit in smaller numbers....(at) delayed field trials last summer... the army is presently evaluating four 5.56mm CQB carbines

An Indian army (CBI) and a Joint Parliament to “avoid controversies and to ensure that the Indian taxpayer’s soldier stands guard Committee (JPC). Despite Antony’s ambitious money is not lost to greedy players with a Light Machine Gun (LMG) at a pronouncements, the Indian in the arms business”. border village army faces little choice but to To boost the indigenous availability of military goods the MoD is soon imminently import carbines and ARs as its expected to announce a revised DPP which torturous association with the INSAS favours a level playing field for private sector programme has proven operationally manufacturers. Raising the foreign direct disastrous. For its part the army had investment in the military sector from 26% repeatedly objected to inducting the INSAS to 49% too is reportedly under consideration. AR in the mid-1990’s to replace the heavier Antony urged the Services, whose and outmoded range of 7.62mm FNFAL selfoperational requirements and equipment loading rifles being manufactured locally modernisation plans were frequently delayed under licence. Its objections were centered by weapon import scandals, to source their round the ARs bulging barrels, frequent equipment needs locally. “Import should be breakdown of moving metal parts and cracks the last resort” Antony categorically declared in in its composite material and plastic response to alleged improprieties in the $750 magazines when employed in Kashmir’s million import of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 freezing climate and Rajasthan’s searing hot helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The temperatures. But, as always the army was presented a helicopter procurement is presently under inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation fait accompli by the MoD and forced into


inducting into service the troublesome INSAS AR that took the DRDO over eight years to design and the OFB another three to begin manufacturing. Front line infantry and Rashtriya Rifles (RR) units deployed on COIN duties, however, preferred the tested Kalishnikov-designed 7.62x39mm AK47 of which 100,000 were imported from Bulgaria in the early 1990s for $8.3 million as a ‘stop gap’ measure till the INSAS AR became fully operational. The DRDO’s decision to develop the INSAS range of weapons in the early 1980’s followed a proposal by the MoD to import around 8000 5.56x39mm ARs for select parachute regiments that later converted to SF. Germany’s Heckler & Koch with its G41 AR, Steyr of Austria’s AUG model and UK Royal Ordnance’s-later BAE Systems-SA80 were short-listed for trials. All three offered a transfer of technology on easy terms if their product was selected.


Thereafter, the army’s requirements doubled and India’s cash-strapped federal government rejected the import proposal worth a mere $4.5 million. Meanwhile, the DRDO, claiming to have made progress in developing its own 5.56x45mm AR at its Armaments Research and Development Establishment in Pune stepped in and amidst great fanfare undertook to make good the army’s small arms requirements under the INSAS programme. The project also included developing a light machine gun (LMG), carbine and sniper rifle, all of which were abruptly abandoned. It eventually took nearly 15 years for the INSAS AR project to fructify and experts claimed the weapon system that emerged was an ‘amalgam’ of several models-the Russian AK47, the G41, AUG and SA80 designs. It was also not in consonance with modern engineering production techniques which, in turn rendered it expensive as producing it necessitated importing expensive machinery. The project was delayed further by at least 2-3 years after the DRDO inexplicably insisted on developing OFB SS-109 an


Indian paramilitary troops from Central Reserve Police Force are seen with assault rifles extended variant of the SS-109 NATOstandard 5.56mm cartridge aimed at achieving marginally longer range, wholly unnecessary for a close quarter battle weapon. This time consuming superfluity pushed back the programme as it necessitated the import of specialised and expensive German machinery besides compelling the ‘stop gap’ import of millions of rounds of 5.56mm ammunition from Israel. The INSAS AR was eventually priced at around INR 20,000 per rifle compared to the imported Bulgarian AK 47’s which at the time cost around $93 or Rs 2790 each. “The INSAS AR remained a non-competitive weapon system and the army became a tied customer with little choice but to pay the asking price for it however high that might be and despite whatever operational objections it had to the rifle” former Major General Sheru Thapliyal said. For, unlike the financially accountable private sector, the OFB's costing is flexible; being governmentowned their manpower is considered "free" and cost, delays and technological overruns matter little, he added. The INSAS ARs inadequacy also became a


contentious issue between India and Nepal in August 2005 when the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) claimed the rifle supplied to it to battle Maoist guerilla’s repeatedly malfunctioned, resulting in heavy casualties. The RNA claimed that the AR “became too hot” and unusable for sustained firing during a particular firefight at Pili in Kalikot district, 600km west of the capital Kathmandu in which 43 soldiers died. Reacting irately to these charges, Indian officials said the INSAS rifles might have failed due to poor maintenance and the RNA’s lack of experience in using them aggravating tension between the neighbouring defence establishments. With the INSAS AR proving itself inefficient, the army in 2002 inked a deal to import around 3070 Israeli Weapon Industries (IWI) 5.56x45mmmm Tavor-21 AR (TAR-21s) with reflex sights and 40mm under slung grenade launchers for its SF for around $22 million that were eventually inducted into service 6-7 years later following contractual complications. An add-on order for another 1000 TAR-21’s followed in 2008 and like the earlier imports came with

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‘modifications’ to their bull pup design. Sights were supplied by Israel’s International Technical Lasers whilst Turkey provided the 40mm M203 UBGLs. Earlier, Israel Military Industries (IMI)whose small arms division was privatised in 2005 to become IWI-had supplied 300-400 TAR-21’s with UBGLs for around $2 million to India’s Special Frontier Force (SFF). The SFF is a quasi-military SF unit employed by the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau for clandestine missions. The Central Reserve Police Force too received some 1500 TAR-21’s around the same time. Meanwhile, by mid-2013 the army is expected to re-tender for around 1200-1500 12-guage shotguns and around 1100-1200 sniper rifles for its SF. Earlier tenders for both were scrapped due to a combination of imprecise General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) or technical parameters and administrative errors by the MoD following trials conducted locally and overseas between 2010 and 2011. Under its Integrated Combat System, the Indian Navy too is seeking to procure some 200 sniper rifles which will also be covered by the proposed RFP. The deadline under the MoDs Fast Track Procurement (FTP) to import sniper rifles for the SF expired in December 2010 with Finland’s bolt-action SAKO TRG-22/24, IWIs semi-automatic Galil 7.62x54mm sniper model and Sig Sauer of USA’s SSG 3000 boltaction, magazine-fed rifle, vying for the $10-12 million contract. Of the three rival models the SF and the SFF had imported 130 Galil sniping rifles and some 450,000 rounds of ammunition in 2005 for over $1.4 million. Comparative trials for the rival sniper rifles were conducted in late 2010 in the respective countries by an Indian army team led by a two-star officer and additional orders were anticipated to augment India’s antiinsurgency operations. Sig Sauer, however, under a special MoD dispensation carried out firing trials at the Infantry school, Mhow in April 2011 but even then its SSG 3000 model was reportedly not tested to the required optimum range of 800-1000m in both day and night conditions. Thereafter, the entire sniper acquisition project was inexplicably shelved despite its FTP status under which procurements in keeping with DPP/MoD guidelines are to be affected in 12-14 months after the RFP is dispatched as the operational requirement for it is urgent. A fresh RFP in support of the

sniper rifles is expected soon. Army sources said the GSQRs outlined for the sniper rifles in the August 2009 RFP were at best imprecise as they failed to mandate an accuracy standard at a minimum strike range of 800m but surprisingly required the weapon systems to be fitted with a bayonet. The RFP also did not differentiate between a bolt-action or semi-automatic model. Instead, it demanded an undefined capability requiring the rifle to fire either one or five rounds, a facility open to interpretation by vendors producing either of the two models to suit their commercial interests.

Earlier, Israel Military Industries (IMI)- whose small arms division was privatised in 2005 to become IWI-had supplied 300-400TAR21’s with UBGLs for around $2 million to India’s Special Frontier Force (SFF).The SFF is a quasi-military SF unit employed by the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau for clandestine missions

In the related procurement of single barrel, pump action 12-gauge shotguns of which the SF are acquiring around 800 for around $ 4.4 million, two Baretta subsidiaries-Beneli in Italy and Stoeger in Turkey-competed in a shootout in August 2010. But a clerical error in the RFP defining the exact shotgun gauge in mm rendered the trials for them infructuous. Alongside, the purchase of 1536 Brugger & Thomet 9mm submachine guns (SMG) for select “Ghatak” infantry commando platoons and 1.3 million rounds of accompanying



ammunition for an estimated $4.4 million initiated nearly three years ago also under FTP procedures, too awaits closure. The Swiss-made SMG was selected in 2011 followed by price negotiations and the inking of a contract, but the army is yet to take delivery of the weapons despite their supposed urgent operational requirement. The army is also imminently dispatching a global RFP for some 1500-2000 light weight anti-materiel or ‘bunker busting’ rifles, eight years after earlier imports of 700 such systems and 398,000 rounds of ammunition from Denel of South Africa were summarily cancelled following allegations of kickbacks. Denel was consequently blacklisted. The army had inducted only 300 of 700 NTW-20 Anti Materiel Rifles (AMR) contracted for when allegations of wrongdoing by Denel in securing the contract surfaced in mid-2005. The newly elected Congress Party-led federal coalition ordered a CBI probe into reports of Denel having used proscribed defence agents to facilitate the deal. Over years little emerged from the CBI inquiry, but Denel continues to be banned from conducting business in India, limiting for the army the number of varied military equipment suppliers particularly with regard to howitzers. In 2007-08 the Ordnance Factory Trichy with the Defence Research Development Organisation collaboration developed a limited series of the reverse engineered NTW-20 AMRs called ‘Vidhwansak’ (Destroyer) capable of firing three different types of ammunition-12.7x108mm, 14.5x114mm and 20x82mm by changing the rifles barrel, bolt and scope. But the manually actuated bolt-action AMR with ranges varying between 1300m and 1800m weighed like its original over 31 kg requiring a twosolider crew to transport and operate it. It was rejected by the army on grounds of being too cumbersome. The GSQR for a new AMR, meanwhile, requires the system to weigh 15kg and be capable of destroying enemy bunkers, other field fortifications, “soft-skinned” armoured vehicles and lowflying helicopters 1000m away. Army sources said an unspecified number of AMRs will be acquired off the shelf and the remainder built under licence, in all probability by the OFB. Infantry units also require over 14,000 7.62x51mm light machine guns-40 for each battalion-with a strike range of 800-1000m but lighter than the ones weighing 7.3kg currently in service.



ITT Exelis was the sole supplier of the PSQ-20 but is competing with four potential suppliers for supply the follow on SENVG devices

fighting in

darkness 30

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The importance of being able to fight in the night is increasing as the adversaries undertake asymmetric methods


Key Points n Like so much of many other war making technologies, the Germans were the pioneers of night vision tech. n The early NVDson T-72 tanks installed were a failure as the devices made the tanks easy targets. n Now is the time when the country is thinking big of equipping all arms with NVDs.


he first commercial night vision device was developed by Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin working for the Radio Corporation of America and was intended for civilian use. At that time infra-red was commonly called black light, a term later restricted to ultraviolet. It was not a success due to its size and cost. Developed by AEG since in 1935, the first military night vision devices were introduced by the German army in 1939. In mid 1943, first tests of infrared night-vision (Nacht Jager) devices and telescopic rangefinders mounted on the Panzer tank came into being. Sperber FG 1250 (Sparrow Hawk), with range up to 600 m, was made up of one 30 cm infrared searchlight and image converter operated by the commander. From late 1944 to March 1945, some Panzerkampfwagen V Panzer Ausf G (and other variants) mounted with FG 1250, were successfully tested. By the end of World War II, the German army had equipped approximately about 60 Panzer tanks, which saw combat on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. The "Vampir" manportable system for infantrymen was being used with Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles.

Development of night vision systems began in the USA too with the M1 and M3 infrared night sighting devices, also known as the "sniperscope" or "snooperscope", introduced by the US Army in World War II and also used in the Korean War, to assist snipers. They were active devices, using a large infrared light source to targets. Their image intensifier tubes functioned using an anode and an S-1 photo-cathode ray tubes, made primarily of silver, caesium, and oxygen and an electrostatic inversion with electron acceleration were used to achieve gain. In India the various clients for night vision devices (NVDs) are Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, all of which come under the Defence Ministry. The Army being the largest of clients needs NVDs for its tanks, infantry combat vehicles, artillery, air defence, engineers and for infantry, every soldier must have a NVD. Under Ministry of Home Affairs the many clients requiring NVDs are the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal, Central Industrial Security Force and state police forces. On the priority list for getting equipped with NVDs are police forces of states under threat of Left Wing Extremism, i.e. Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Karanataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Police of other states also in need of NVDs are Jammu and Kashmir and the North Eastern states, particularly, Manipur, Assam and Nagaland. For the Indian Army, which, equipped with World War II vintage tanks, in two wars of 1965 and 1971 caused severe attrition of then quite modern US made Patton tanks doled out to Pakistan army, with British Centurian tanks. All actions involving firing of


tanks’ main guns were during daylight. Earlier, during the first India-Pakistan war of 1947-48, the few American Stuart tanks transported by road to Zoji La and French AMX-13 tanks similarly transported to high altitude during the 1962 Sino-Indian war, were also not involved in any night firing mode. However, post 1971 it was felt that Indian Army’s tanks must have night firing capability and for the first time infra-red night sights were acquired and fitted on the indigenously produced Vijayanta and Soviet Russian T-54 and T-55 tanks. Apart from the short range, the infra-red sights were active – in other words, they could be detected once they were switched on. Even with the acquisition of the very capable T-72 tanks, Indian Army remained quite handicapped for night vision capability. The reasons for this major deficiency lasting for decades are mostly to do with the lack of strategic vision, apathy and dithering by the politico-bureaucratic establishment, which became even more of an obstacle after the Bofors scam and over a decade later, the Tehelka non-scam (a ‘sting’ operation, without an actual sale or purchase). Excerpt of an article in USA Today demonstrates the advantage night vision capabilities provided to US troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It was Christmas Eve 2007, and US Army Rangers were searching for suspected Al-Qaeda members in Mosul, Iraq. Using their night vision goggles to avoid alerting the enemy, the Rangers found 2 Al-Qaeda suspects who were holding an 11-year-old Iraqi boy hostage. Thanks to their night vision capabilities, they were able to shoot the suspects without harming the boy. After that encounter, a firefight erupted between the Army rangers

NIGHT VISION and Al-Qaeda insurgents, with 10 insurgents killed, including the head of an assassination cell. Army ranger losses was zero. As former General Barry McCaffrey, commander of the US Army’s 24th Infantry Division in the 1991 Desert Storm conflict, commented: ‘Our night vision capability provided the single greatest mismatch of the war’.” Former Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor, was quoted by Frontier India saying: “Indian Army’s tanks have a night vision capability of 20 percent while Pakistanis have 80 percent and China has 100 percent”. At long last, in early April 2013, India’s Defence Ministry approved a Rs 2,820 crore (Rs 28.2 billion) proposal to provide night-vision devices to the Army to enable its tanks and infantry combat vehicles to have capability to fight in both day and night conditions. Reportedly, a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister A K Antony also approved proposals to upgrade the 130 mm artillery guns of the Army along with amendments in procurement procedure to boost indigenisation in defence production. India’s mechanized forces remained deprived of full-fledged night fighting capability for decades after 1971. After infrared came the image intensifier (II), that too only for the tank commander catering for a mere 500 metres of vision range. BMPs did not have gunner’s sights and only some of them had thermal imagers (TI) for launching missiles only. The T-72s initially had no night sights for the gunner. It is only in the past 3 to 4 years that they have been provided with the Thermal Imager Stand Alone Sight (TISAS). It is this government sanction, which will fulfill the important requirement of an effective night sight for the T-72 tank commander. In the T-90 (an improved version of T-72), the current tank commander’s night sight, which can only be effective for 500-700 metres, will be able to achieve a visual range of 4000-5000 metres with the new NVDs. And what will be more important is that with this night sight, the tank commanders will be able to fire the main gun themselves from their seat at ranges of 4000-5000 metres. Indian Army currently has about 20 regiments of T-90 tanks and over the next 7 to 8 years may have 8 -9 more regiments. Out of the over 2400 T-72 tanks, 40-50% have been combat improved as Ajeya, with better communications systems and explosive reactive armour.

Post 1971 it was felt that Indian Army’s tanks must have night firing capability and for the first time infrared night sights were acquired and fitted on the indigenously produced Vijayanta and Soviet RussianT-54 andT-55 tanks. Apart from the short range, the infra-red sights were active – in other words, they could be detected once they were switched on. Even with the acquisition of the very capableT-72 tanks, Indian Army remained quite handicapped for night

Inaugurating a two day Seminar on Night Fighting Capability organized by the Dehradun based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory ‘Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE), in the last week of April 2013, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh had said: “There is a need to change the approach from ‘acquiring technology’ to ‘development of technology’ in order to achieve desired level of indigenisation. The aim should be to equip the Indian Armed forces with state-of-theart equipments to bring them at par with the world leaders.” He was addressing a galaxy of senior officials from armed forces, production agencies, industry from India and abroad and scientists from DRDO and academia. Appreciating the strides made in indigenous design and development and production of equipment to enhance night fighting capabilities, Mr. Singh emphasised on selfreliance in the field of instrumentation and to reduce the import content to a minimum. He also emphasized the need of greater


Thales optronics Lucie-D imagery goggle synergy among different stakeholders in the process of development i.e. DRDO, Public sector & private industry. Stressing on the need to further improve indigenous capabilities in this area, he said, “we are facing incursions from across the land borders and there is need to have early warning systems to handle such situations more effectively.” A monograph on Electro Optical/Infra Red technologies brought out by

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BAE Systems have been awarded contracts of over $1 billion since 2004

Target Designator were the main equipment exhibited by IRDE. Mr. Anil Kumar, CMD, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) that has been contracted for this NVD project, conveyed the industry perspective and assured that BEL centres are always ready to support the indigenisation efforts of the country and will deliver the quality instruments in time to the armed forces. One of the major collaborators for producing the required NVDs with BEL is the Bengaluru based Alpha Design Technologies (ADTL). In all, approximately 5,000 night-vision sights are set to be supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited. About 2,000 of these will be used in combination with T-72 Main Battle Tanks, while a further 1,200 will be used in T-90 Main Battle Tank operations. The remaining 1,780 thermal imaging systems will be allocated to the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle fleet. Based on an estimated four-year delivery timeframe, it is expected that the last lot of NVDs for Indian Army will be supplied by about 2017. BEL has collaborated with ADTL, which in turn has been involved in a joint venture with International Technology Lasers, Israel (now known as ITL Optronics), for passive night vision sights/hand held thermal


IRDE, Dehradun was released by Mr. Singh on this occasion. Tracing the development of NVDs by DRDO from its earliest days, Dr. V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDO highlighted the achievements of DRDO in the field of electrooptics. He also mentioned about the development of Thermal Imaging based commander’s sight for T-72 and T-90 tanks as well as BMPs. Mentioning about the progress made by IRDE in this critical area, he gave the example of recently developed Integrated Multi Function Sight that weighs within 3.5 kg, as compared to the 1st generation devices of similar nature that used to weigh around 55 kg. He emphasised the need to strengthen the country’s manufacturing infrastructure so that systems like advanced Thermal Detectors could be produced indigenously, for which he said, “Our biggest weakness is the availability of infrared imaging detector fabrication facilities.” Attending this seminar were senior officers from the Armed Forces, Ordnance factories, PSUs like Bharat Electronics and private sector partners. Eight foreign firms from France, Belgium, Greece, Israel, Netherlands & USA also participated and exhibited their products. A variety of Thermal Imagers covering wide range of applications for Army, Navy & Air force. electro-optic fire control systems (EOFCS) for navy, HHTI (hand-held thermal imager) with LRF (laser range finder), Commander’s Thermal Image sights for T-72, T-90 & BMP, Commander’s panoramic sight for Main Battle Tank, Holographic sight and Lightweight Laser




FLIR has developed a range of scopes for assault rifles, support weapons and sniper rifles

imagers for infantry soldiers and vehicles. ADTL will supply to BEL this night vision binocular as well as fully finished, semi knocked down and completely knocked down kits for NVDs. In an earlier seminar organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), the requirements of various armed forces were discussed and analysed. In that seminar, information provided included that BEL, the biggest supplier of night vision equipment to the armed forces, in 2007 signed a memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Elbit Systems Electro Optics ELOP Ltd, for the local production and support of thermal imaging systems. Although BEL recently supplied 30,600 passive night sights for rifles, rocket launchers and light machine guns, passive night vision binoculars and passive night vision goggles to the Army, the forces still remain woefully short and are looking for the latest 3rd generation technology to reduce weight and extend the life of NVDs. Similarly, information was also provided that the infantry was looking for Thermal Imaging sights for medium machine guns and sniper rifles. Request for Information for night sights for AK-47 assault rifles and other small arms have also been floated. During an interaction of this writer with retired Lt Gen Prakash Katoch, he had

explained that whether it is war or fighting insurgency or terrorism, most of the fighting happens at night as it enables the element of surprise for the enemy. Hence, NVDs are critical for operational success, as the soldier is able to see his enemy and can fire at him and fire effectively. “Every soldier must have a NVD�, said Katoch, who in an article, had referred to what is planned for the Future Indian Soldier System (F-INSAS) program. He had stated, the core systems of F-INSAS included helmet and visor, clothing, weapons and accessories. The helmet in that form is an integrated assembly equipped with helmet mounted flash light, thermal sensors and night vision device, digital compass, video cameras, computer and nuclear, chemical and biological sensors, with audio headsets. The visor is intended to be integrated and to act as a heads-up display monitor equivalent to two 17-inch computer monitors. Supplementing the Indian night vision systems, other new equipment soon expected to be supplied to Indian Army includes 15 Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavylift helicopters, which will be used to relocate military equipment into hard-to-access parts of the mountains. Amongst the most innovative new technologies recently pressed into Indian Army service is the DRDO Daksh: a robot that specialises in locating, manipulating and destroying


improvised explosive devices and other personnel hazards. For the future, the procurement of new assault rifles and carbines for the Indian Army, replacing the INSAS currently used, will obviously require hundreds of thousands of sights, night vision sights and clip-on viewers, creating a significant drive for foreign companies to establish production in the country. The new rifles will also become part of the future infantry weapon system to be fielded by the Indian military and special forces. Of the many foreign companies in the fray for providing the large demand of NVDs for armed forces and para-military, central and state police forces, some others than those mentioned are: Photonis Night Vision, one of the world leaders in the design and manufacturing of state-of-the-art Image Intensifier Tube for military, space and commercial applications. Photonis Night Vision products are in use in all NATO countries and are largely deployed worldwide. Finmeccanica, who won orders for a combined value of approximately EUR 175 million through its companies DRS Technologies, SELEX Sistemi Integrati, SELEX Galileo, Ansaldo Energia and SELEX Communications. Another Israeli company to benefit from the Indian demand is SDS that received significant orders for its new lines of 12 weapon sights.


INdIaN Navy:

SUBMaRINE woES With an SSBN almost ready to go into sea trials and a SSN in the fleet, IN’s plans seem ambitious



JUNE 2013

Key Points n Indian Navy’s blue water ambitions require the correct mix of surface and sub-surface platfoms. n The navy, with its 30-year plan of contracted, combat ships is poised to be one of the world’s best navies. n Submarine element of IN is burdened by mostly old vessels that would be mothballed in couple of decades.


Russia has handed over the nuclear-powered attack submarine Nerpa after delay of more than two years

n effective and credible undersea warfare capability is an integral element of a maritime nation’s national security architecture. This is even more significant in India’s case with the Indian Navy aspiring to blue water capability and the country looking towards a larger regional role in what has not only been termed the Asian century but also the maritime century. During the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Indian National Defence University at Binola near Gurgaon on 23 May 2013, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s speech clearly articulated India’s oceanic aspirations when he said “…we have also sought to assume our responsibility for stability in the Indian Ocean region.We are well positioned therefore to become a net provider of security in our immediate region and beyond.” India has clearly understood and articulated its regional power status in the Indian Ocean region. As an aspiring permanent member of the UN Security Council and a stable mature democracy in a region termed’the most dangerous place on earth’ by President Obama and an arc of instability by the French, it is clearly determined to be a force for stability and good order in the region. The tenor of the PM’s address reinforced the strategic underpinnings of India as a maritime nation despite our perceived continental tilt owing to our pre-occupation with our not-sofriendly neighbours across the high Himalayas and the sands of Thar. The Indian Navy, as the principal exponent of India’s maritime power thus becomes a vital instrument of articulating our global and regional footprint and must therefore be accordingly structured to fulfill



its mandate. This requires an effective blue water force with adequate reach and power projection capability to protect India’s interests wherever and whenever it may be called upon to do so. The Indian Navy’s emphasis on capability-based force development over the last two decades or so is reflected in the current force composition and its future plans. The present and future warship building programme is amongst the most robust in the world and the emphasis on developing this indigenously is a laudable objective. In the sub-surface dimension too, the plans for enhancing capability are well thought-out and articulated but their implementation or lack of it is a matter of concern. Submarines are the most potent platforms in a navy’s arsenal across the entire spectrum of the strategic, the operational and the tactical. As a declared nuclear weapon power with ‘No First Use’ being the cornerstone of our nuclear doctrine, it is essential that we have an effective, invulnerable and credible second strike capability. The most effective of the land, sea and air triad of strategic deterrence is without any doubt the submarine. India’ Strategic Deterrent The Arihant, India’s indigenous attempt at building a SSBN was launched with much fanfare in July 2009. Building a SSBN within the country is indeed an outstanding achievement and a major technological achievement of great significance. However the immediate announcement thereafter that India has joined an exclusive club of nations with this capability was and the submarine would be operational within two years was premature and yet another case of putting the cart before the horse. The media went to town with the news but the pragmatic were more circumspect about the operationalisation of this capability in this limited timeframe. Four years later, the submarine has yet to put to sea and is still some way from being deployed in its primary role. This is not alarming and should have been anticipated as part of the development cycle. A nuclear submarine is an extremely complex marvel of engineering and sophisticated high-end technology which challenges even the most experienced nuclear submarine builders across the globe when designing a new class

STORMY WATERS of submarine. HMS Astute, the Royal navy’s latest nuclear submarine is still undergoing sea trials more than three years after being commissioned. In early May 2013, Dr VK Saraswat, the recently retired DRDO boss stated that the Arihant will put to sea within a few weeks. That is encouraging news. The first sortie of the submarine is eagerly awaited and it is hoped that the country will be able to deploy its first SSBN on a deterrence patrol within the next three years or so by which time its primary weapon would also be proven on board. Earlier this year, the successful underwater launch of the K5 missile from a pontoon was also a major step forward towards fulfillment of this capability. Rechristened the B05, this weapon is presently of limited range and should lead to better and more powerful weapons for this capability to realise its full potential. It is understood that the second and third submarines are also on the anvil. An effective deterrent capability requires a minimum of three submarines to ensure one on patrol at all times. The current capacity for building these submarines is limited and therefore it is unlikely that this number would be reached before the middle of the next decade at the earliest. Future submarines would have to be larger, more capable and more potent. If this is to happen, it is incumbent upon the government to take immediate measures to enhance the national capacity for developing this technology without narrowminded and parochial interests shaping policy and decision-making. The Attack Submarine – A Blue Water Asset In early 2012, the Navy leased an Akula class nuclear powered submarine from Russia for a period of ten years. Commissioned as INS Chakra, it will provide the navy the expertise to operate and maintain these sophisticated platforms. The attack submarine (SSN) is a nuclear powered but conventionally armed platform. It is very versatile , extremely effective and is an integral part of a blue water navy. It has the speed, stealth and endurance to greatly enhance a navy’s offensive options, both independently and as part of a Carrier Task Force or an expeditionary force. Armed with lethal land attack capable missiles besides the traditional torpedoes, it enables maritime

manoeuvre in support of land operations. The spectacular success of the US Navy SSNs with their Tomahawk missiles bears testimony to their effectiveness. The Indian Navy, despite its blue water posturing and its force development centred around a concept of sea control, is bereft of this critical element and still has a long way to go towards building its own SSNs. Conventional Submarines – Area of Concern While the SSBN and SSN force will form the strategic and operational focus of the navy of the future, it is the conventional submarine (SSK) that will form the cutting edge of the navy’soffensive capability in the current and emerging regional security scenario. The SSK scores over its larger and more powerful stable-mates in the littoral where the effectiveness in relatively shallow water is the most important criteria. The SSK is optimised for stealth and its weapon and sensor fit is designed for effective operations close to the shore both in offensive and defensive deployment. The Indian Navy’s current inventory of 14 SSKs comprises 10 Sindhughosh class (Russian Kilo class) and four Shishumar class (German Type 209) submarines. Eight of the Sindhughosh class were commissioned between 1986 and 1991 whereas the ninth and tenth were acquired in 1999 and 2000 respectively. The tenth submarine, INS Sindhushastra was the first Indian submarine to be fitted with the Torpedo Tube launched anti-ship missile 3M-54E ( Klub ) – a potent force multiplier providing stand-off capability to the submarine. The first two of the four Shishumar class were acquired from Germany in 1986. The remaining two were built in India under license at the Mazagon Docks Ltd, Mumbai and commissioned in 1992 and 1994 respectively. The indigenous construction was a significant breakthrough but the programme was discontinued thereafter due to narrow political gain and at tremendous cost to the country in terms of human, material and monetary resource. The effects of that decision are reverberating even today as the country struggles to rebuild that core national competence. Even though modernisation has kept these submarines in fine operational fettle, they are ageing and with their replacements still some distance away, there is cause for grave concern.


INS Chakra, a Charlie I class SSN was decommissioned in 1992

The Indian Navy’s current inventory of 14 SSKs comprises 10 Sindhughosh class (Russian Kilo class) and four Shishumar class (GermanType 209) submarines. Eight of the Sindhughosh class were commissioned between 1986 and 1991

The saga of Indian submarine acquisition has been one of fits and starts resulting in the waxing and waning of capability. Eight submarines were acquired between Dec 1967 and Dec 1974 – a long hiatus followed till 1986. Between 1986 and 1991, ten submarines were commissioned followed by two in 1992 and 1994 and another two in 1999 and 2000. Since then there has been no addition to the submarine force. Towards streamlining the submarine acquisition process, a 30-year plan for indigenous submarine construction was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the highest decision making body in the land, on security issues. A well-

JUNE 2013

thought out plan, it addressed major issues like indigenous construction, phased replacement and credible capability with an objective of building 24 submarines by 2030 so as to have a contemporary force of at least 20 submarines at any given time. The first phase of the plan had envisaged the construction of 12 submarines on two production lines under a ToT arrangement with two global submarine builders, followed by the second phase of which serial production of an indigenously designed submarine on these two production lines to ensure a modern and credible SSK force. However, not all has gone quite according to plan and the Indian Navy is facing a submarine capability deficit, which is likely to snowball further unless tackled with alacrity and decisive action. The likelihood of that happening given the existing trend in the MoD appears highly unlikely. The first part of the first phase (Project 75) is currently underway at MDL Mumbai. Six submarines of the Scorpene class are at various stages of construction with the first one likely to enter service by 2017. By this

time ten of the present 14 submarines would be over 27 years old and the remaining four between 17 and 23 years old. By the time the last submarine of this programme is delivered, a substantial number of the older lot would have been decommissioned or on their last legs. The first four of the Project 75 submarines are not being fitted with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System, which is in itself a serious operational constraint in the contemporary maritime battle-space and the choice of missile also limits the submarine’s stand-off capability. The torpedo which is expected to equip this submarine has been eclipsed by more modern weapons and is not even in the service of the navy of its origin. The delay in this project, if realistically re-assessed could perhaps be optimised to review and update the submarine’s potential. The second part of the first phase for six more submarines to be built under ToT from a global OEM, called Project 75(I), should have been at an advanced stage running almost concurrently with Project


75. However, that project, to put it mildly, is in the doldrums and lack of progress is going to have a serious impact on the navy’s submarine warfighting capability. It is 30 months since the much delayed Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) was accorded and the RFP, which should have been issued within months of that, is still awaited. The reasons for this are hard to understand given the state of our submarine force where we can illafford any delays. The AoN for this project acceded to the navy’s request to purchase two submarines outright from the selected OEM so that force levels could be maintained but took the strange decision to nominate MDL for building three submarines and HSL Visakhapatnam for construction of just one submarine. This would mean that a complete production line would be established initially for just one submarine; if the intent is to develop HSL as a submarine builder, the effort should begin now and a long-term view be taken. HSL’s current track record at repairing submarines is abysmal to say the very least,



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STORMY WATERS and if costed, its effect India ordered in terms of not only six SS O'Higgins money and resources Scorpene but also in terms of submarines, built non-availability of a by DCNS and Mazagon Docks submarine to the navy has been colossal. If the existing delay is not disturbing enough, the statement by the SA to RM after the successful launch of a Brahmos missile from an underwater pontoon that this missile could be fitted on the Project 75(I) programme should set the alarm bells ringing. If at all there is a plan to launch this version of the Brahmos from a vertical launch system on board a conventional submarine, it should be incorporated on the indigenous programme in the second part of the 30Year plan. Incorporating it in project 75(I) would require all the potential OEMs to go back to the drawing board to include this additional compartment in their design. This will not only further delay the programme but also limit the navy’ options on choice of OEMs. For the sake of the navy, it is hoped that political and other extraneous considerations will not drive this project. If a conservative timeline were to be suggested and if the RFP is issued soon and the entire procurement process proceeds on schedule, the first submarine of this line would not enter service before 2024-25. By that time, the navy would at best have six Scorpene class and two vintage (by then) Sindhughosh class. This is hardly the capability worthy of a blue water navy. Indigenous SSK programme The second part of the 30-year-plan envisages the construction of 12 submarines designed indigenously on the two production lines established for the Project 75 and Project 75(I) submarines. This would mean that the earliest an indigenous submarine could be constructed is after the Project 75(I) is well underway and perhaps nearing completion. Not very much is known in the open domain about the progress made in the indigenous SSK design but one could safely assume that it would take considerable time to do so, given the complexity of the platform and the lack of availability of a proven indigenous weapon, sensor and equipment fit. It is quite evident therefore that given the current state of the capacity and capability available in the country and the MoD’s parochial bias towards the DPSUs, the

Indian Navy’s SSK inventory is at the edge of a precipice and needs to be hoisted to safety. The Way Ahead Life Extension Programme. The delays in the SSK programme would need to be offset by ensuring the operational longevity of the existing 14 submarines. The older amongst these would soon be due for major repairs and modernisation. A considered decision would have to be taken by the navy on the expected life span of these boats and work out a refurbishment and modernisation plan that would be cost–effective without compromising the combat capability over a ten year period. The Naval Dockyards have the necessary wherewithal to do so and at the same time the private shipyards could be brought on board to create the necessary infrastructure and skill sets to develop a base for future submarine construction programmes

The Indian Navy’s current inventory of 14 SSKs comprises 10 Sindhughosh class (Russian Kilo class) and four Shishumar class (GermanType 209) submarines. Eight of the Sindhughosh class were commissioned between 1986 and 1991 whereas the ninth and tenth were acquired in 1999 and 2000 respectively.The tenth submarine, INS Sindhushastra was the first Indian submarine to be fitted with theTorpedoTube launched anti-ship missile 3M-54E (Klub).


Building capacity One of the areas where we could have been proud ourselves is the progress made in indigenising warship construction. Other than in the area of weapons and sensors, the level of indigenisation could be broadly assumed to be over 60-65%. There is a vibrant domestic private industry which has achieved global standards in technology and manufacturing skills. State of the art shipyards with huge capacity like the Pipavav Shipyard in Gujarat provide best international practices and should be integrated into the ship and submarine building programme through mechanisms such as Joint ventures and collaborative arrangements. The MoD needs to shed its inherent suspicions about the private sector and encourage their inclusion while simultaneously creating an ecosystem of fair competition to incentivise the DPSUs to adopt global standards and best practices. Submarine design and development should be jointly encouraged. If the private sector shipyards are allowed to come on board this process, it will provide a wider manufacturing base and effect a substantive reduction in both, timelines and cost to the navy besides creating capability. The Indian Navy needs to seriously review its submarine programme. A force level of three to five SSBNs, six SSNs and about 20 SSKs is the minimum required for it to fulfil its mandate as the blue water navy of a regional maritime power.


JUNE 2013


DEFENCE BUZZ An Update on Defence News

Manmohan Singh Inaugurated Indian National Defence University

since rules were imposed restricting the export of weapons systems and other equipment. Experts say the aircraft must be classed for civilian use if it is to comply with Japan’s 1967 selfimposed ban on arms exports, part of the post-World War II anti-militarist drive. Japan had been recalcitrant about India’s NWS status.

Japan For Sale Of Amphibious Plane To India Japan will be supplying amphibious planes to India, a report said in what would be the first sale of hardware used by the military since a weapons export ban was imposed on Japan. During a four-day visit to Tokyo by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,

the two sides firmed up plans for Delhi to purchase the US 2, a domesticallydeveloped aircraft used by Japan’s armed forces. The sale, reported by the Nikkei business daily, would be the first of a finished product made by Japan’s home-grown defence industry

India Commissions Large OPV; To Be Built Indigenously Indian Coast Guard Ship Vaibhav, the 3rd in the series of 90 meters class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was commissioned at Tuticorin by Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, Director General Indian Coast Guard. This 90 metres long OPV has been designed and built indigenously by M/s GSL and is fitted with the state-of-theart navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The features include an Integrated Bridge System(IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS), High Power External Fire Fighting System (ABS Fi-Fi Class-1) and one indigenous Close Range Naval Gun (CRN-91) along

with an optical fire control system. The ship is designed to carry one helicopter and five high speed boats for search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to combat oil spill at sea. The ship is fitted with advanced Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) making it an apt platform to carry out search and rescue operations in Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR). The increasing strength of the Coast Guards is to be viewed in the context of the country’s clear and present danger from non-state actors breaching it coastal security.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Indian National Defence University (INDU) at Binola, Gurgaon. INDU would be a unique autonomous Institution of national importance. "It is a great privilege for me to join you today on this auspicious occasion of laying the foundation stone for the Indian National Defence University. This is an idea that has been long in the making and I am very happy that today we are witnessing the first step towards its becoming a reality. It may be recalled that after the Kargil conflict, the government had set up a Review Committee, headed by eminent strategic expert K Subrahmanyam, which had recommended establishment of a university to exclusively deal with defence and strategic matters. The aim of INDU would be to provide military leadership and defence and security concerned civilian officials, knowledge based higher education for management of the defence of India.

DEFENCE BUZZ India Successfully Fires BrahMos Cruise Missile From Frigate India has successfully testfired a 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from its latest frigate, the INS Tarkash, off the coast of Goa. The submarine-launched version of the missile was successfully tested underwater just two months ago.

JUNE 2013

"The launch was carried out by the Navy as part of Acceptance Test Firing (ATF) of the ship," BrahMos Aerospace chief, Sivathanu Pillai was quoted as saying. The missile performed the high-level 'C' manoeuvre in the pre-determined flight path and successfully hit the target flying at a speed of Mach 2.8.Brahmos is now a verstile world beating cruise missile.

INS Vikramaditya Undergoing Final “Cosmetic” Repairs

Raising FDI limit key to defence sector growth: SAAB India

SAAB has pitched for raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in defence to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent, if India wants to attract more companies in the sector. “FDI at 26 per cent does not work. There are very few companies which will be willing to come with technology at 26 per cent. But, if you go up to 49 per cent, there are many countries in Europe, like Sweden, which will not have any restrictions,” Lars-Olof Lindgren, Chairman, Saab India Technologies Pvt Ltd, told recently. Saab Technologies is a 100 per-cent subsidiary of SAAB. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has also indicated that the Government could consider increasing FDI limit in the defence sector. Without giving specifics of areas where SAAB will be investing, Lindgren said the company will be interested in setting up production facilities in India.


Boeing Delivers First P-8I Aircraft To Indian Navy The Indian Navy took delivery of its first Boeing Poseidon-8I aircraft at its air station INS Rajali. Vice admiral B K Varma, chief of staff, Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy, said, "The aircraft is to be used for broad-area maritime and anti-submarine operations. The aircraft is going to be a unique part in our anti-surface warfare, surveillance and intelligence capacities".

He added that "it is capability based planning, not a threat based planning, that India follows to enhancement of maritime border security". For an effective understanding of the maritime related issues in Indian waters, a Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) campaign is now being designed to coordinate with 17 maritime agencies in the country. The heightened awareness is to enhance security.

The Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, has been put in a dry dock at Russia’s Sevmash shipyard for “cosmetic” repairs ahead of final sea trials and delivery to the Indian navy later this year, the company announced. “The work is underway to repaint the hull under the waterline,” said Sergey Novoselov, head of defense export projects at Sevmash. In addition, much of the interior finish has yet to be completed, the official said. Special attention will be dedicated to the cabins for the commanding officers of the vessel, which will be refitted with better DEX-O-TEX fireproof flooring, new wall panels, more comfortable furniture and sophisticated audio and video equipment.

AgustaWestland VVIP Choppers Resume Flying The air force’s AgustaWestland VVIP choppers have resumed regular flying, after some hiccups due to unavailability of essential spares.

A top IAF source said the defence ministry had agreed to an air force proposal to order the release of spares that had been gathering dust at a warehouse.



JUNE 2013


India Issues RFP For $2.6 billion Light Transport Aircraft

India To Add Navy Bases, Expand Coastline Security Addressing the top commanders of the Indian Navy in June, Defence Minister A.K. Antony announced that additional naval bases and air stations are required to extend the Navy’s reach. “Antony said the construction of additional bases and naval air stations in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands is necessary to further extend our operational reach,” said a Defence Ministry statement. India is concerned about the growing Chinese maritime presence in the Indian Ocean, said an Indian Navy official, adding that the Navy will be strengthened with additional submarines, surveillance helicopters and amphibious vessels. The IN, he said, will have a new image in the next 10 to 15 years with “long legs” and a force of 150 warships and more than 500 aircraft.

The Indian MoD has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the procurement of 56 light transport planes to replace Avro aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force. Lockheed Martin, Embraer, Boeing, Airbus, Alenia Aeromachi, Illyushin and Antonov are among the vendors who could be the likely contenders. The cost of

this mega procurement is expected to be Rs 1,300 billion (US$ 2.6 billion). The RFP calls for 16 aircraft to be brought outright with the remaining 40 being

manufactured in India. However, the manufacturing in India is to be done by an Indian private company with technology transfer from the international vendor.

L&T, Rosoboronexport Final Competitors In Indian Howitzer Competition

New Air Force Station At Thanjavur

L&T and Rosoboronexport are now in direct competition to supply 100 self-propelled howitzers to the Indian Army in a deal expected to be worth over Rs 2,000 crore. The contest to supply the howitzers to the Army and the trials of the two guns are

slated to begin in June-July time-frame this year, according to reports.The guns are being procured by the Army as part of its more than Rs 20,000-crore artillery modernisation programme, which has been stuck since the Bofors gun deal.

India To Procure 100 Self-Propelled Howitzers

Indian Parliament, Antony said the recent amendment to Defence Procurement Procedure-2011 aims at giving higher preference to indigenous capacity in the defence sector. “A case for procurement of 100 tracked guns of 155mm/52 Calibre (self-propelled) is in progress wherein three Indian vendors, including two private sector companies, have been selected for trials of their equipment," Antony said.

The Indian Army is planning to procure 100 self-propelled artillery howitzers and three Indian vendors, including two private companies, have been selected for equipment trials, Defence Minister A K Antony sand. In a written reply in to a lawmaker's question in the


Defence Minister A.K. Antony dedicated to the nation the New Air Force Station at Thanjavur at a brief function. Speaking to reporters Antony said the operationalisation of the Air Force Station, Thanjavur would strengthen the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force in general and the Southern Command, in particular. He said various sensitive, strategic, industrial, aerospace and economic assets are coming up in the Southern Peninsula and the Station will play a vital role in providing protection to those assets. Station will also help protect our island territories and Sea Lines of Communication in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The event was attended among others by the COSC and the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and the AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Air Marshal RK Jolly.

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JUNE 2013


“We cannot indeginise hundred per cent of everything” Recently retired DG of DRDO and Scientific Adviser to the defence minister, Dr VK Saraswat in conversation with Ajai Shukla on the future of defence industry. Q. The new DPP-2013 promotes indigenisation by placing the categories of Buy (Indian), Buy & Make (Indian) and Make (Indian) at a higher priority than Buy Global or Buy & Make. Will this benefit the DRDO or the private sector? A. Preference to the Buy (Indian) and Buy & Make (Indian) categories would promote R&D by the DRDO as also by industry. Buy & Make (Indian) will result in industry manufacturing many products that have been developed by the DRDO. The production agency should not be nominated by the MoD, but chosen competitively, with both public and private sectors bidding on a level playing field. This will bring competitiveness and improve industry participation. There is now a great opportunity for industry to demonstrate their commitment by funding the development of new products through in-house R&D. Q. You have often talked about creating an eco-system for developing defence systems. How can that be done? A. Three things are required. Firstly, the military must allow the DRDO and Indian industry enough time to develop defence systems that it would need. The military cannot raise a new requirement and say that it must be imported immediately unless the DRDO delivers it in 18-24 months. Most complex defence systems take 7-8 years to develop and we must be allowed that time. Besides, we have seen that the time needed for importing a defence system is between 4-6 years. If trials are required, the time goes up even further. And then if some investigation starts, the procurement gets cancelled and everything begins afresh. So the army must plan ahead. We should look at our Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP),

identify exactly what we want to indigenise, and the level to which we will require indigenous components. Then we must publicly declare that these are the items that the ministry of defence will buy from Indian industry only.

manufacture the next generation of systems. As the Scientific Advisor to the Raksha Mantri, and as one of the many people who are taking these decisions, I say that the 50% should include only product costs, not life-cycle support. If we accept what the international vendors argue – which is that the indigenous component should be just 30% – we will only indigenise C-Grade (lower-tech) items. So we are insisting on minimum 50% indigenisation, and also that this should not include C-Grade items. So my first point is that the defence industry eco-system has to be deliberately built by the MoD. When the ministry specifies and lays down the percentage and areas of indigenisation, market forces will drive investment, development, collaboration, and the formation of joint ventures etc.

Q. Does Indian industry have the capability to meet all the military’s demands, even with 6-7 years of advance notice? A. I realize that we cannot indigenise 100% immediately. If the country is to indigenise in full, we need 10 times the industrial infrastructure that we have today, and five times the R&D facilities that the DRDO has. Only then can you talk about building everything ourselves. Instead, we must demand that, on all major defence platforms that we buy, we must have at least 50% value addition in India. This value addition must include design and manufacture of the basic platform itself. Otherwise we will find that the 50% will consist only of auxiliary streams like product support, training, maintenance packages, etc. The life cycle cost of the weaponry we buy is enormous; and vendors can easily fulfil the 50% “indigenisation” requirement through annual maintenance contracts (AMC), transfer of maintenance technology (MToT), overhauls, etc. But that will not prepare us to design, develop and

Q. And your second recommendation for developing indigenous capability? A. My second recommendation is to make our users (i.e. the military) accept capability-based deployment of systems; and we must adopt the concept of “spiral development.” In development programmes the world over, equipment capability develops incrementally as the design process proceeds. For example, if the military wants a radar system that can detect enemy fighter aircraft 500 kilometres away, it may not be possible for the DRDO to develop a radar of that range right away. Initially, it may come up with a radar that can detect only 300 kilometres. The military should accept and deploy that system and develop expertise in operating it. Based on their feedback, the scientists would gradually enhance the capability to 500 kilometres. “Capability based deployment” means starting to use a “Mark I” system, while a “Mark II” version with better performance is developed.



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