Archive for September, 2013


In what may further enrage the fuming Russians, India and the US have  decided to take their defence ties several notches higher through joint development and production of weapons and equipment that has hitherto remained Moscow’s exclusive turf.

Signalling that they are well on their way to cement a new bond, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama said they would in the next year identify specific military technologies to cooperate and collaborate on.

Manmohan and Obama met in the White House in Washington on Friday ahead of the former’s New York visit to attend a United Nations General Assembly meeting.

In a joint statement, the leaders emphasised the need for “more intensive defence cooperation” and reaffirmed the desire to further strengthen defence trade and enhance partnership in defence technology transfer, joint research, co-development and co-production.

The declaration specifically mentioned that the transfers would include the most advanced and sophisticated technology, a major victory for India which has been complaining about the US’ export controls.

The two nations will also work to improve licensing processes and, where applicable, follow expedited licence approval processes to facilitate cooperation.

The growing defence trade between New Delhi and Washington is being resented by Russia, India’s largest arms supplier, as the US has bagged nearly `62,000 crore’s worth of deals in the last decade and is slated to win `30,000 crore’s worth of deals in the next two years.

The US reaffirmed its commitment to fully support India’s full membership in the four international export control regimes, which would further facilitate technology sharing.

The four regimes are the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for the control of nuclear-related technology, the Australia Group for control of chemical and biological technology that could be weaponised, and the Missile Technology Control Regime for the control of rockets and other aerial vehicles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. The US president encouraged US firms’ participation in India’s efforts to enhance defence capacities, and welcomed India’s decision to participate in the “Rim of the Pacific” naval exercise hosted by the US’ Pacific Command in 2014.

Building on ongoing consultations between India and the US on east Asia, central Asia and west Asia, and the trilateral dialogue mechanisms with Afghanistan and Japan respectively, the two sides also agreed to expand their consultations to include a dialogue on the Indian Ocean region.

This is expected to deepen their coordination on issues such as maritime security and conservation of natural resources.

The US last year announced a shift in its strategic focus from the Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific region.

US’ Deputy Defence Secretary recently visited Delhi to announce his nation’s intention to share high-end defence technologies to India by easing its export control regimes. He had also said that under the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative, the US was willing to transfer technology and ease export processes, and look for partnerships.


Assessing India’s rotary wing programmes and requirements

semco tech


Vietnam’s Vice Minister of National Defence and Chief of the General Staff Sr Lt Gen Do Ba Ty, who is on a five-day visit to India, today metAir Chief N A K Browne during which they discussed issues such as enhanced defence cooperation and capacity building.

They also discussed joint projects and reviewed the growing Vietnam-India defence relationship, said an official statement.

Sr Lt Gen Ty is heading a 14-member delegation.


Japanese firm ShinMaywa Industries is eyeing the Indian Navy for the sale of its amphibious search and rescue aircraft, US-2.

At the NAMEXPO-2013 here, Kanji Ishimaru, who heads ShinMaywa’s aircraft division, told ‘Express’ that they were awaiting the RFP (Request For Proposal) from the Indian Navy.

Ishimaru said they have been working out various options, including possible joint ventures, subcontracting and formulating consortium, to deal with the mandatory 30 per cent offset.

“Matters related to pricing, repair, maintenance and overhaul can be worked out only after the RFP is issued. Being an amphibious aircraft which can be used for search and rescue, disaster management and relief operations, the ShinMaywa US-2 will be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy,” he said. The aircraft, with its amphibious nature, can give access to isolated islands without a runway, pointed out Yasuo Kawanishi, general manager, business development, aircraft division, ShinMaywa.

Access to much further places than helicopters, high speed and ultra-low speed flight by the boundary layer control system are some key features. Realising its potential during his recent visit to Japan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a decision along with his Japanese counterpart “on setting up a joint working group to explore modality for cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft”.

It was in 2011 that the RFI (Request For Information) was sought, said Ishimaru.  “There are a lot of things to be worked out. Once the RFP is issued, we will get only three months to sort out matters, including the final pricing, how many aircraft would be required and so on.

Currently, ShinMaywa delivers US-2 to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) at $100 million. However pricing for the Indian version could be finalised based on the final requirements only,” Ishimaru said.

Dealing with the 30 per cent mandatory offset would be another major issue to be worked out.

Though RFI has been issued for nine US-2 aircraft, the numbers would be finalised at the time of RFP only.   Apart from the Indian Navy, the Air Force and Coast Guard have also expressed interest in US-2, he added.


India and Malaysia will explore ways to strengthen their military ties during the five-day visit of Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi to Kuala Lumpur starting Monday, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.As part of its “Look East” policy, India has been increasing strategic ties with countries like Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

During his visit, Joshi is expected to meet the top Malaysian defence leadership including his counterpart Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar and discuss a wide range of bilateral issues on defence cooperation, a Navy official said.

Malaysia has been a close ally of the Indian armed forces and the two sides have several common equipment such as the SU-30MKI aircraft and Scorpene submarines.

The Navy chief is also expected to visit some important military installations of the Malaysian armed forces.

The Malaysian Navy has reportedly been seeking training in submarine operations from Indian personnel and has also evinced interest in procurement of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.


Defence and security company Saab (STO:SAABB) has received two orders from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India, for serial production of an integrated electronic warfare self-protection system for installation on the Indian Army’s and Air force’s Advanced Light Helicopter. The orders have a total value of approximately SEK 216 million (USD 33 million).

Saab’s Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) protects crew and aircraft and enhances the survivability in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments. The system provides a timely warning against different types of threats including radar, laser and missile approach warning; and automatically deploys the appropriate countermeasures.

“Saab has an unbeaten capability in the field of electronic warfare and self-protection. The IDAS system is one of our flagship products sold to customers around the world,” says Micael Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab’s business area Electronic Defence Systems.

These orders follow initial serial production orders received in 2008 and further established Saab as a local partner to the Indian Industry and provider of high tech products and systems to the Indian Armed Forces.

“With these orders we continue to build on our very successful partnership with HAL. The fact that HAL and the Armed Forces have continued to show faith in the IDAS system is a testimony of the effectiveness and reliability of the solution,” says Lars-Olof Lindgren, Head of Market Area Saab India.

Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2014. Development and production of the IDAS system will take place at Saab in Centurion, South Africa (Saab Grintek Defence).

The system has a long and successful history with proven capability on many airborne platforms such as the Saab 2000, Agusta-Westland A109, Super Lynx 300, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Denel Rooivalk and Oryx, Eurocopter Cougar, Puma & Super Puma, NH Industries NH90, C-130 and L100 Hercules, Sukhoi Su-30MKM. Deliveries are ongoing for the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Advanced Light Helicopter.


The United States has offered to develop the next generation aircraft carrier technology with India, visiting deputy secretary of defence Ashton Carter said Wednesday.The technology on offer, Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System, will be a quantum leap for the Indian Navy that currently relies on the Russian ski-launch technology.

Both Indian carriers, INS Vikramaditya, coming in November, and INS Vikrant, being built in Kochi, can ski-launch only light fighter aircraft. But EMALS would make it possible to launch heavy aircraft, including early warning systems, refuellers and transporters, from future ships. India has yet to freeze the design of the second indigenous carrier it plans to build after Vikrant.

Carter said the US is keen to develop and co-produce defence equipment with India on the lines of Brahmos, a missile developed jointly by India and Russia and which is on offer for export to a third country. One such technology that can be shared under the Defence Technology Initiative is EMALS, Carter said. “The US is developing and fielding that system and is offering the technology to India which has an aircraft carrier and is considering making more,” he said.

Also on offer for joint development is the next generation anti-tank guided missile, Carter said.

The Javelin system has been on offer to India for years but it never managed to make the cut due to restrictions imposed by US law on transfer of technology, a critical factor guiding most of India’s new defence acquisitions. But Carter said work has been done to amend bureaucratic processes and new version of this system can be jointly developed.

He emphasised that the US wishes to replicate, in part, the Russian model of cooperation with India. “That is exactly the same kind of thing where two industry teams are involved in the whole product life cycle; where the product is both co-produced and developed.”

He dismissed concerns that such collaboration can be hampered due to India’s refusal to sign the so called frameworks agreements.


It is a matter of satisfaction that the second test-firing of India’s Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-V went off very smoothly last Monday. The inaugural test launch last year had also been flawless.

The point behind multiple testing is that our armed forces should have the confidence that there will be no operational glitches in the eventuality of having to use this sophisticated weapon system. So there are four more tests planned over the next two years before induction into the Army’s Strategic Command. The effective deterrence value of a missile relies exclusively on it being on target.
Agni-V has a range of 5,000 kms. This brings any city in our difficult neighbourhood within reach and makes for effective deterrence against a potential adversary. It also boosts the capability of the armed forces and the morale of the people.
After the first test-launch of this missile, there was malign speculation in Chinese circles that the Indian missile had a range of 8,000 kms and was in reality an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The purpose of the exercise was to raise suspicions in Western Europe and America about the reach of the Indian missile. However, any serious observer of the scene knows that India’s military posture is defensive in nature. In any case, Europe and America are not part of it.
The Agni-V can carry a nuclear or a conventional payload. In the latter case, especially, it will count for something if it is accurate enough to land within 10 metres of the target, not otherwise. This is what needs to be
established in the next two years before the induction of the weapon system by the armed forces.
Along with the Agni series, India has worked on shorter-range missiles — the Prithvi series. These will be required for targets at closer range. But attention also needs to be paid to the development of Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) that offer a payload containing several warheads, each capable of hitting one of a group of targets. MIRVs have a better chance of beating missile shields.
With nuclear-capable nations in our neighbourhood that are not democracies, Indian security planners have little choice but to keep deterrence capabilities ready. There is also the factor of non-state actors getting hold of loose nukes. The Indian doctrine is to offer a strong riposte to any country from whose territory a nuclear attack is launched against us. An efficient missile system with sufficient range, and capable of carrying the appropriate payload, is thus a requirement. The country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, conceived in the early ’80s, was rooted in this thinking.




The United States is working on giving India the same status as some of its “very closest allies” in the area of technology and export controls by getting the bureaucratic hurdles out of the way, says a top Pentagon official.

As part of its efforts to take the India-US defence relationship to the next level and help New Delhi raise the indigenisation of its of its defence systems, the Pentagon has initiated several India-specific steps, details of which have not been revealed so far.

Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton B Carter will be in India with a number of co-production and co-development projects to New Delhi to see whether India would be interested in them and could further be discussed when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President Barack Obama on September 27. ”So what we’re doing is in the technology and export controls area, working so that India has the same status as our very closest allies and that our system is operating on a time scale that’s consistent with the needs for the Indian side to make decisions,” Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton B Carter told PTI.

Carter, who leads the US side for the Defence Technology Initiative, will have discussions with officials in India on the DTI. National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon leads the Indian side.

Asserting that the US and India are destined to be partners in the world stage even though their interests do not coincide always, Carter said the Obama Administration is keen to take the India-US defence relationship to the next level and help New Delhi increase indignation of its defence system.

“Many find our foreign military sales programme cumbersome, and many of my Indian colleagues say the same thing to me, and I readily acknowledge that we need to get better at making it more user-friendly,” Carter told PTI. ”So co-production and co-development projects…I’m bringing a number of them to India to present and say only you know whether you’d be interested in these, but what I can tell you is, I’ve gotten the bureaucratic obstacles out of the way,” Carter said.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon is leading the Indian side in this initiative, which many say is going to be path-breaking. ”It obviously has many dimensions. We’re working very, very hard on it, as are our colleagues in India. This is a long-term project, but it has a number of very short-term excellent prospects for doing things the way India would like to do it, which is an emphasis on co-production, co-development, technology-sharing, and digitisation, and so forth,” he said.

“We hope to have some of that ready so that when the Prime Minister comes and meets with President Obama. I’m sure they’ll be discussing the idea, but they’ll also have some specific examples, in addition to the C-130J and the things that are already going on and the things that we might be able to do in the future together,” Carter said.

“The goal is to make it so that the only limitations on what we can do together as two defence establishments are limitations that arise from our different interests or different policies, but that there otherwise isn’t any mechanical or bureaucratic impediment to doing things together that we want to do,” Carter said.

SOURCE: Ajai Shukla  |

The US Deputy Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, who arrives in India on Monday for a two-day visit, has masterminded a proposal that could dramatically boost US-India defence relations.

The US Department of Defence (Pentagon) has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) proposing that the two countries collaborate in jointly developing a next-generation version of the Javelin anti-tank missile.

India has been offered a specific share of the development programme and requested to respond by a specific date. The Pentagon is going ahead with this progamme on its own if India chooses not to participate.

Last year, Carter had proposed that US companies could join hands with Indian partners in setting up manufacturing facilities for five major systems in India. These include the MH-60 Romeo multi-role helicopter, built by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin; a delivery system for scatterable mines; and the M-45 127 millimetre rapid-fire naval gun. Later, the US proposed co-producing the Javelin missile, which is built by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin;

New Delhi has not yet responded to the co-manufacture proposal. Now Carter has raised the ante with his proposal for co-developing the next-generation Javelin.

India has a successful co-development project with Russia for the Brahmos cruise missile, and with Israel for the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) and Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MR-SAM). But with the US, India has only bought equipment over-the-counter. American equipment has not even been manufactured in India with technology transfer, far less co-developed.

US officials, speaking anonymously, confirm that the co-development proposal will be on Ashton Carter’s discussion agenda during his meetings in New Delhi on Tuesday. Carter will be meeting a range of Indian officials, including National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon.

Top Indian MoD sources confirm to Business Standard that the US co-development proposal for the next-generation Javelin has been received and is being evaluated.

A senior DRDO source also confirmed the US offer, but played it cool. He said, “The DRDO welcomes co-development of advanced weapon systems, provided there is real technological collaboration involved. India needs to fill its technology gaps and co-development should ensure that both partners build upon their mutual strengths.”

Carter’s proposal is part of a 15-month-old American push to intensify its defence relationship with India. Earlier, in response to New Delhi’s interest in the Javelin, the US State Department had observed that fulfilling India’s requirement would “alter the regional military balance.” Worse, Washington refused to transfer key technologies that New Delhi insisted upon as a part of the deal.

That approach changed dramatically since June 2012, when then US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, nominated Ashton Carter, to break down the bureaucratic barriers in Washington that impeded the US-India defence relationship — which Washington had determined was pivotal to America’s future in Asia. A formal mechanism called the DTI — tellingly, the US called it the Defence Trade Initiative, while India referred to it as Defence Technology Initiative — was set up. Carter co-chairs it along with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon,

A close watcher of the Pentagon says Carter has pushed the US bureaucracy hard to change their approach to India. Earlier, US officials regarded India as just another non-NATO country — one with which America did not even have a formal alliance, and which was unwilling to sign cooperative agreements with the US.

“Before Carter got to work, releasing technology to India required a comprehensive justification to be made out. By April 2013, Pentagon officials needed to justify why a particular technology could not be released to India,” says the Pentagon watcher.

The Javelin is now a focus area for Carter. At one stage, the Indian MoD was close to buying a rival missile, the Israeli Spike, for its $1-1.5 billion tender for 8,400 missiles and 321 launcher units for the army’s 350-plus infantry units. But the MoD, wary of a single-vendor buy, ordered a “technology scan” to ascertain that there was no missile on the market other than the Spike.

The FGM-148 Javelin, jointly built by US companies, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, is the world’s premier man-portable, anti-tank missile. It gives infantrymen, highly vulnerable to enemy tanks on the battlefield, a weapon with which to destroy heavy armoured vehicles from a distance of 2.5 kilometres.

But the Israeli Spike, while not nearly as capable, is likely to be a good deal cheaper. If the MoD chooses price over capability, the Spike is likely to emerge the winner.

“But if the MoD agrees to Washington’s co-development proposal, the Javelin would become the clear front-runner for the $1-1.5 billion Indian contract. That is now a realistic prospect,” says a well informed member of the US defence industry.