Archive for October, 2013

The 8th Land, Naval & Internal Security System Exhibition better known as DEFEXPO INDIA is going to be organized by DEO (Defense Exhibition Organization) from 06th February to 09th February 2014 at Pragati Maidan, Delhi.

Earlier, the seventh edition of Defexpo India was held in March 2012 with the same venue witnessed an overwhelming response of numerous participants from many countries worldwide, attended by the largest number of official delegations with 63 delegations from 58 countries and leaving with number of seminars and conferences conducted as comparing to the previous editions of Defexpo India.

The exhibition conducts an international platform and provide a good space to the leading Defense firms and organization to showcase and promote their latest military weapons, equipment etc.

The four-day exhibition – secured as one of Asia’s largest defense shows – is expected to attract the participation of over 30 countries worldwide. The event which is expected to grow 40% this year, spread over 25000 sqm. with more than 200 exhibitors from 25 countries and delegates from 40 countries around the world offering new and future defense technology and enabling defense organizations to display their land, sea and air capabilities at a single exhibition

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SOURCE: THE ASIAN AGE

The Union ministry of forests and environment has been sitting on the environmental clearance for the pollution-free missile launching and testing facility proposed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) close to Nagayalanka near Machilipatnam in Krishna district for two years now.

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The ministry had, however, given environment clearance to generate pollution-oriented coal-based 20,000 MW power close to the coast within a radius of 20 km near Krishnapatnam in SPSR Nellore district.The DRDO had been on the lookout for two such facilities in the country for strategic reasons as well as to take up multiple launches. In this backdrop, it had zeroed in on Nagayalanka since the land had safety advantages in case of calamities or tsunamis because of its nose-like projection into the sea. Also, the missile laboratory located in Hyderabad is just four-and-a-half hours by road to the location.

Sources say that there are hardly any habitants, except 100-odd illegal migrants in the area.
However, clearance has not been given on the pretext of threat to mangroves and forests in the area.
Interestingly, Indian Space Research Organisation’s Satellite Launch Centre, Shar, in SPSR Nellore district, is located in the midst of ecologically sensitive mangroves, the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary and the Pulicat Lake.
Clearance has also been given for a major port at Dugarajapatnam in SPSR Nellore district in the same region. Sources say that they can’t fathom how a missile launch centre, which is similar to ISRO’s rocket launching centre, would affect the environs.

In fact the prestigious missile project would soothe the frayed tempers in Seemandhra region, where people are agitating against bifurcation of the state, to some extent since the public sector unit is certain to generate employment and boost the economy in the region.

According to information, the proposed facility at Nagayalanka will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to over 5,000 people.Unfortunately, the state government or MPs of the region have failed to take initiative for the missile-launching project.

“They would have lobbied if it was a private project since they would have got other benefits,” said noted environmentalist and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma.
He added that DRDO had a good track record with respect to eco-friendly measures in all their units across the country.
A DRDO source said, “The research centre Imarat in Hyderabad, which is located over 2,300 acres, is a shining example of DRDO’s commitment to protect and nurture nature.”

SOURCE: PTI

Mahindra Aerospace, the aircraft and components manufacturing arm of Mahindra group, will start producing the first eight-seater aircraft in India in the next two years.

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“You can expect that within a time-frame of two years, we will have a full-fledged eight-seater aircraft being manufactured in India,” said Hemant Luthra, President of Mahindra Systech — of which Mahindra Aerospace is a part, during the inauguration of its new aerostructure manufacturing facility here.

The company presently manufactures eight-seater — GA8 utility aircraft, in its Australia-based companies Aerostaff and GrippsAero which it acquired in 2010 to get into the aviation sector.

It has so far exported from Australia around 250 planes, which are used for tourism, humanitarian aid, adventure sports and other activities in the US, Canada, Europe and other countries.

Mahindra is also producing 10-seater GA10, which is under certification process and is likely to available for commercial operations by 2014. The company is working on development of 18-seater GA 18.

Inaugurating the facility, Mahindra Group CMD Anand Mahindra said he aims to turn India from “a global consumer in aviation sector to global producer” and the manufacturing facility was an attempt make India’s entry into the global aerospace industry and “leave a footprint in global aerostructure supply chain”.

“It is the first aerostructure facility (in private sector) in India. Our utility aircraft are capable of landing in rugged terrains where no one has reached. It will be like our Mahindra jeep, which used to tread rugged terrain without roads and where no other vehicle used to go,” Mahindra said.

A $ 15 BILLION (92000 CRORE) DEAL TO BE FINALIZED BY INDIAN AIR FORCE. AS PER THE IAF OFFICIAL THE DEAL OF 126 RAFALE FIGHTER JETS FROM FRANCE’S DASSAULT AVIATION (AVMD.PA) WILL BE DONE BY THE END OF FISCAL YEAR 2013-2014.

RAFALE WAS PICKED IN JANUARY 2012 AFTER A BIDDING CONTEST AGAINST EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON AIRCRAFT, MADE BY A CONSORTIUM INVOLVING EADS, FINMECCANICA AND BAE SYSTEMS. BUT THERE WERE DIFFERENCES OVER THE ROLE OF INDIA’S STATE-RUN HINDUSTAN AERONAUTICS LTD IN MANUFACTURING THE JETS.

AS PER THE DEAL 18 READY-MADE JETS WOULD BE PROVIDED BY DASSAULT AND THE REST WOULD BE MANUFACTURED IN INDIA.

INDIA’S GOVERNMENT WANTS TO ENCOURAGE INDIAN COMPANIES TO PARTNER WITH FOREIGN SUPPLIERS TO REDUCE ITS RELIANCE ON IMPORTS AND BOOST A DOMESTIC DEFENSE INDUSTRY THAT IS DOMINATED BY UNDERPERFORMING PUBLIC SECTOR COMPANIES. LEADING TO THIS HINDUSTAN AERONAUTICS WILL BE THE LEAD MANUFATCURING PARTNER IN THE SAID DEAL. HINDUSTAN AERONAUTICS IS IN TRY TO DEVELOP A LITTLE COMBAT AIRCRAFT FROM A LONGER PERIOD WITH NO SUCCESS SO FAR.  EARLIER DASSAULT HAD EXPRESSED DOUBTS IN ABILITY OF THE LOCAL PARTNER TO MAKE SUCH A CLASSY AIRCRAFT. 

At least half a dozen bilateral agreements, including a big ticket deal on the lease of a nuclear submarine are expected to be signed at the 14th Indo-Russian annual summit in Moscow on October 21.

At least half a dozen bilateral agreements, including a big ticket deal on the lease of a nuclear submarine are expected to be signed at the 14th Indo-Russian annual summit in Moscow on October 21, key officials involved in the negotiations (which are still going on) said.India has been looking to take a second nuclear submarine on lease from Russia and talks are believed to have progressed well. The two sides are keeping budget-level secrecy on this subject. The issue is likely to dominate discussions between Singh and Putin during a restricted meeting where the two principals meet with select aides.

Normally, sensitive subjects like nuclear submarines are not announced formally. It is yet to be seen whether the subject will find a mention in the Joint Statement to be released after the visit but a broad framework on defence and scientific cooperation is likely to be unveiled after the talks.

The only nuclear submarine with the Indian Navy currently, INS Chakra, has also been taken on lease from Russia. The boat joined active service in the Indian Navy in April 2012. The ten-year lease has cost India almost a billion dollars.

The Indian Navy personnel are quite satisfied with the leased nuclear submarine as the 80-personnel capacity boat can remain under water as long as human endurance allows. Another operational advantage of the boat is that its noise level is virtually zero which enhances its stealth qualities.

The second nuclear submarine lease is likely to cost considerably more. Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh is scheduled to hold a press conference on Manmohan Singh’s visit to Russia and China during which she would inevitably be asked questions about the second nuclear submarine lease plans.

Defence ties ::
Government-to-government route, comparable to the American Foreign Military Supplies (FMS) programme, is being actively considered to repair the strains in Indo-Russian defence relations from the Russian viewpoint.

Russia has been complaining to India for losing out on several defence deals over the past two years largely because of India’s radically changed Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) which puts greater emphasis on indigenization.

But despite some recent setbacks, Russia still tops the list of foreign defence suppliers, having secured orders worth $16 billion in orders during the three-year period of April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013. This amounts to almost 40 percent of the Indian defence imports in this period which totaled $38 billion. Currently Russian arms factories are working on cumulative Indian orders worth $20 billion, enough to keep them busy for years.

Energy, trade, investment issues ::
The October 21 summit will be dominated by energy, trade and investment issues.

On the energy front, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s 3rd and 4th units and Indian concerns about ONGC’s loss-making investment in Imperial Energy which is engaged in mineral extraction in western Siberia would be the main talking points at the summit, officials said.

It is a work in progress on the tricky issue of KNPP 3 and 4 and no agreements are likely to be signed during the summit. The matter is currently at the technical talk’s stage.

The two sides’ prime focus will be on giving a much-needed impetus to the bilateral trade, currently at a below-par $11 billion with a target of taking it to $20 billion by 2015. The leaders will be tightening bolts and screws of a mechanism of deepening cooperation in multiple and diverse sectors such as information technology, fertilizers, infrastructure and aviation.

The two leaders are likely to discuss the idea of Russians producing passenger aircraft SSJ-100 and Irkut in India for India to keep the cost of production considerably lower. Again, an agreement is unlikely to be signed during the summit in this context because the matter is being discussed by technical experts from the two sides.

Fertilizer sector is another highly important area that promises rich returns as Russia is a leading producer and India a major importer of the commodity. The two sides are likely to agree to intensify their cooperation in this area which can give billions of dollars to Russia in the long run.

By : INDRUS

A leading German naval defence firm is eyeing India’s booming market with its latest weapons, equipment and combat systems at a time when the Indian Navy is looking to shore up its resources.

A leading German naval defence firm is eyeing India’s booming market with its latest weapons, equipment and combat systems at a time when the Indian Navy is looking to shore up its resources.Atlas Elektronik, which opened its Indian subsidiary this year to target the the country’s growing defence market, showcased its latest torpedo, SeaHake mod4 ER, as among the fastest and most effective heavy weapons which could be used by the navy to boost its firepower.It has a proven speed of well in excess of 50 knots and a range of 140 km and is also the safest, Atlas Electronic India CEO Khalil Rahman said.

He said technology is much safer than the high-test- peroxide (HTP) oxygenized propellant and thermodynamically driven Russian anti-surface torpedoes in the Kilo class submarines, which are used by India, and the safety advantages with their torpedoes are tremendous.

“Its safe electrical propulsion system not only offers tactically equivalent speed in comparison to the dangerous thermodynamically driven torpedoes but also markedly superior range, all while generating far less noise,” he said.

The company had supplied SUT torpedoes for Indian Navy’s four Shishumar Class submarines in 1980s which it has been now contracted for lifetime extension.

Navy is hunting for heavy torpedoes and though it had reportedly come close to choosing Black Shark, which is made by Italian company WASS, for French submarine Scorpene, it has not taken any decision yet. Atlas had also competed for the deal.

Atlas Elektronik is the only company, it claims, which owns intellectual rights over all components of torpedo manufacturing.

“The inherent stealth and quietness of the electrically propelled torpedo also offers obvious tactical advantages over the loud thermodynamically propelled torpedoes,” he said.

Another equipment which the company is keen on selling to India is ASW (anti-submarine warfare) sonars.

By : PTI
India’s Defence Ministry has decided to award a US $1.2 billion contract to Kangnam Corp. for eight mine-countermeasure vessels in India’s first big-ticket defense program with South Korea.

India’s Defence Ministry has decided to award a US $1.2 billion contract to Kangnam Corp. for eight mine-countermeasure vessels in India’s first big-ticket defense program with South Korea.The deal has been cleared ahead of Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s planned visit to Seoul later this year, and will help boost defense ties with South Korea, an Indian MoD official said.

The finalization of the contract was delayed after Italy’s Intermarine, which was competing for the contract, approached India’s anti-fraud agency, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), with issues related to the transparency of the procurement. The CVC cleared the purchase last year, but the MoD has since dragged its feet in deciding to award the contract, the source said.

India is reaching out to friendly nations in the region, including Japan and South Korea, as part of its Look East policy in a bid to contain the rising influence of China, said defense analyst Mahindra Singh.

The Indian Navy is likely to give additional orders to the South Korean company for the countermine ships, since the service has a requirement for more than 24 minesweepers, an MoD source said. The Indian Navy operates 12 aging Pondicherry and Karwar-class minesweepers.

The purchase of the new countermine ships is part of a long-term plan to acquire vessels for littoral warfare, including large landing platform decks, fast attack craft and advanced offshore patrol vessels.

In 2008, India sent bids for the countermine ships to Kangnam, Intermarine, Northrop Grumman, Izhar of Spain and DCN International of France.

The Navy has wanted new minesweepers for more than 13 years, but delays in procurement due to bureaucratic red tape have been holding back the order.

According to the deal, the first two minesweepers will be constructed at Pusan, South Korea, and the remaining six will be built at the Goa Shipyard through technology transfers.

South Korea has become a big-ticket supplier of weapons to India — along with Russia, Israel, the United States and France — and is aggressively tapping India’s $100 billion weapons market.

Samsung has jointly developed a howitzer gun with Indian private-sector company Larsen & Toubro, and it is likely to put up a tough fight against Russia’s Rosoboronoexport in the quest to supply 155mm/52-caliber tracked guns.

The Larsen & Toubro-Samsung team is competing with Rosoboronexport, and with state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), which has partnered with Slovakian company Konstrukha.

The Indian Army wants to buy 100 tracked guns valued at more than $750 million. The tender, issued in 2011, was a rebid of a 2007 tender, which went to India’s Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro, BEML and Rosoboronexport.

South Korean firm Doosan has also been given a tender this year for the purchase of 104 self-propelled gun missile systems to replace aging Russian Kvadrat systems.

Indo-South Korean defense ties began in 2005, when the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on defense logistics and supplies.

In 2007, the defense ministers of the two countries met to hash out a defense cooperation plan, which was followed in 2010 by the signing of a declaration of strategic partnership.

Joint exercises in general combat and mountain warfare will form part of the two-week-long 5th Indo-Nepal war games, which began in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand today.

Joint exercises in general combat and mountain warfare will form part of the two-week-long 5th Indo-Nepal war games, which began in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand today.The joint military exercise will also include anti-insurgency operations in hilly terrains and relief and rescue operations at the time of natural disasters.

The military exercise will conclude on October 6, an Indian Army source said.

“Over 900 Indian and Nepali troops are taking part in this exercise being conducted in mountainous terrains of the area shared by the geography of both the countries in this part of Indo-Nepal border,” an Indian army spokesman said.

He said the exercise would prove to be another link of cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

“The joint military exercises between Indian and Nepal began at platoon level, which has now reached at company level. This shows that both the countries are heading towards higher level of cooperation in the direction of sharing military methodology,” the spokesman said.

According to Army sources, after having joint exercise at different locations in the state, Army jawans from the both the countries will present cultural programmes on the concluding night of October 6.

By : PTI
Army troops of India and Russia will hold wargames codenamed ‘Ex INDRA’ in the deserts of Rajasthan starting from October 18 to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Army troops of India and Russia will hold wargames codenamed ‘Ex INDRA’ in the deserts of Rajasthan starting from October 18 to enhance bilateral cooperation.”Exercise INDRA 2013 is the latest in series of planned Indo-Russian joint military exercises involving mechanised forces, which is scheduled to be conducted at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges,” defence spokesperson Colonel SD Goswami said.

The exercise will be held from October 18 to 28 under the aegis of Jaipur-based headquarters of South Western Command.

The event is aimed to improve defence cooperation between both armies and enhance their ability to operate as integrated forces in a well-coordinated manner at the tactical level, within the framework of UN peacekeeping operations, he said.

Mahajan Field Firing Range in South Western Command has been developed into a world class training node in the last three years and is being used extensively for carrying out joint exercises with friendly countries like Russia, USA, UK, France, Thailand and Kazakhstan.

The exercise will be conducted in semi-desert terrain conditions, with troops of Russian Army operating along with Indian troops of South Western Command in an exercise to support peacekeeping operations.

Defence Ministry is planning to issue a show cause notice soon to Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland for cancellation of its over Rs 3,600 crore helicopter deal in view of bribery charges against it.

Defence Ministry is planning to issue a show cause notice soon to Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland for cancellation of its over Rs 3,600 crore helicopter deal in view of bribery charges against it.The Ministry is going to take the step as it has obtained some “important evidence” during investigations going on in the case since February, highly placed government sources said.

The government has already frozen the contract for supply of 12 AW-101 VVIP choppers to the IAF after allegations that Rs 360 crore were paid as bribe in which two top officials of the company were accused.

IAF has already received three helicopters and delivery of the rest has been put on hold.

The company last week said it has invoked arbitration proceedings against the Defence Ministry for “unilaterally” freezing the deal.

The sources claimed that the government had been preparing to issue the notice for cancellation much before AgustaWestland took the step.

The Defence Ministry had earlier issued a show cause notice to AgustaWestland on February 15 asking it to explain within seven days the bribery allegations against it after the alleged scam was exposed in Italy.

In the notice, the company was asked why the Rs 3,600 crore deal of 2010 should not be scrapped.

In its reply, AgustaWestland had denied the allegations.

Former IAF chief S P Tyagi is among those under cloud in connection with the kickback charges.

The CAG also recently highlighted loopholes in the deal.

Soon after the arrest of the firm’s former CEO, Guiseppe Orsi, in Italy in connection with the case, Defence Minister A K Antony had suspended the payments to be made to it along with the delivery it was due to make to IAF of the remaining nine choppers.