Archive for July, 2014

Defense is in the air again. There is a palpable sign of excitement amongst the Industry players who are suddenly awake to new sense of anticipation as far as defence sector is concerned. After a lull of almost a decade where inaction at large and negative action to some extent was the norm, the industry is looking forward to slew of measures from the new government to kick start the sector out of its deep slumber. And so far government has made right kind of noises. In fact, the new BJP led government’s manifesto explicitly envisages India as an exporter of defense equipments over the next decade. Government has already stuck a right note by increasing FDI in defence to 49% and also enhanced capital expenditure budget by 20%. Well, what it means for domestic defence players? Let’s take a deep breath and soak in the following facts:

a) According to a recent report by a reputed financial house, given Mr. Narendra Modi’s push to reduce import dependence in defence equipments and also to make India self-reliant, India’s likely defence outlay is estimated at USD 248 billion over next decade.

b) According to another report by KPMG, the defence budget is likely to grow at CAGR of 8% to reach $64 billion by 2020. The growth is to be primarily driven by capital expenditure.

The above figures suggest a huge opportunity for not only foreign players but more significantly even for domestic players, given the present government intent to promote the domestic defense industry as also to reduce dependence on imports.

Now, are these mere numbers or are we staring at a tremendous business opportunity?

The anecdotal data as well as common sense approach suggest, the later.

a) NDA has always been known to promote private business enterprise and the current PM is known for his “Gujarat Model” that has a strong place for private enterprise.

b) BJP intends to have a clear focus on Indian Defence with a vision to make it self- reliant & import independent.

c) Govt also clearly intends to promote domestic defence manufacturing that serve three purposes:

  1. It revs up the Indian Manufacturing sector and help aid our economy
  2. Create much needed employment for youth and
  3. Takes a significant step towards its ultimate goal of being self-reliant in defence.

stsplNo doubt that Indian top business houses like TATA, RIL, Mahindra, L&T are aggressively eyeing defense as a sunrise sector for coming decade. It is noteworthy that currently Indian Domestic defence manufacturing is distinctly dominated by Public Sector (DPSU) & Govt (OFB) which together account for 90% of defence manufacturing. Here, it is also noteworthy that opening up of largely govt dominated sectors in the past has meant huge business opportunities for private sector, teleocm, media and Aviation being the cases in point.

The above argument clearly suggests a huge door (not window) of opportunities for private enterprises in this now rightly called “Sunrise Sector”.

India’s SU-30MKI fighter-bombers are the pride of its fleet. Below them, India’s local Tejas LCA lightweight fighter program aims to fill its low-end fighter needs, and the $10+ billion M-MRCA competition is negotiating to buy France’s Rafale as an intermediate tier.

India isn’t neglecting its high end SU-30s, though. Initial SU-30MK and MKI aircraft have all been upgraded to the full SU-30MKI Phase 3 standard, and the upgraded “Super 30″ standard aims to keep Sukhoi’s planes on top. Meanwhile, production continues, and India is becoming a regional resource for SU-27/30 Flanker family support.

India’s Flanker Fleet ::
India originally received standard SU-30MKs, while its government and industry worked with the Russians to develop the more advanced SU-30MKI, complete with innovations like thrust-vectoring engines and canard foreplanes. The Su-30MKI ended up using electronic systems from a variety of countries: a Russian NIIP N-011 radar and long-range IRST sensor, French navigation and heads-up display systems from Thales, Israeli electronic warfare systems and LITENING advanced targeting pods, and Indian computers and ancillary avionics systems.

Earlier-model SU-30MK aircraft and crews performed very well at an American Red Flag exercise in 2008, and the RAF’s evident respect for the SU-30 MKIs in the 2007 Indra Dhanush exercise is equally instructive. The Russians were intrigued enough to turn a version with different electronics into their new export standard (SU-30MKA/MKM), and even the Russian VVS has begin buying “SU-30SM” fighters.

So far, India has ordered 272 SU-30s in 4 stages:

1. 50 SU-30MK and MKIs ordered directly from Russia in 1996. The SU-30MKs were reportedly modernized to a basic SU-30MKI standard.
2. Another 40 SU-30MKIs, ordered direct in 2007. These machines have reportedly been upgraded to the “Phase 3″ standard.
3. A license-build deal with India’s HAL that aims to produce up to 140 more SU-30MKI Phase 3 planes from 2013-2017
4. An improved set of 42 HAL-built SU-30MKI “Super 30s”. A preliminary order was reportedly signed in 2011, but the final deal waited until December 2012.

The Super 30 represents the next evolution for the SU-30MKI. Upgrades are reported to include a new radar (probably AESA, and likely Phazotron’s Zhuk-AE), improved onboard computers, upgraded electronic warfare systems, and the ability to fire the air-launched version of the Indo-Russian BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

India may eventually upgrade its earlier models to this standard. For now, they represent the tail end of HAL’s assembly schedule, as the assembly of standard SU-30MKIs continues. The big challenge for HAL is to keep that expansion going, by meeting India’s production targets.

Based on 3rd party sources, IAF SU-30MKI squadrons currently comprise:

2 Wing’s 20 Sqn. “Lightnings” & 30 Sqn. “Rhinos”, at Lohegaon AFS in Pune (W)
11 Wing’s 2 Sqn. “Winged Arrows”, based at Tezpur AFS (NE, near Tibet)
15 Wing’s 8 Sqn. “Eight Pursuits” & 24 Sqn. “Hawks”, at Bareilly AFS (NC, near W Nepal)
14 Wing’s 102 Sqn. “Trisonics”, at Guwahati AFS (NE, near Tibet)
34 Wing’s 31 Sqn. “Lions”, at Halwara AFS in Punjab (NW)
45 Wing’s 21 Sqn. “Ankush”, based at Sirsa AFS in Haryana (NW, pending, MiG-21 conversion)
The IAF was scheduled to raise its 8th SU-30 squadron by December 2012 at Sirsa, close to the Pakistani border, but public sources don’t show that yet. This is part of a larger balancing of India’s force structure. Initial SU-30 MKI squadron deployments had been focused near the Chinese border, but the new deployment will even things out.

A squadron will also reportedly be based at the new airfield in Thanjavur, across from Sri Lanka. The airfield required extensive refurbishment, and was formally opened in May 2013. Its SU-30MKIs will offer India comfortable strike coverage of Sri Lanka, including the major southern port of Hambantota that’s being built with a great deal of Chinese help.

Source : Defense News

NEW DELHI: India should be more aware of cyber security threats and the time to act in this regard is now, an Israeli security solutions firm has said even as it averred that the two countries have many common “opponents”.

“I believe India should be more aware of cyber threats. I am sure that once India will be aware of cyber threats, the necessary steps would be taken,” Zori Kor, vice president of Israeli firm ASERO Worldwide, said here.

Stressing on the importance of having cyber security, Kor said it was “unfortunate” that the Indian public is not fully aware of threats in this field, which can even have a ripple effect on the economy.

“As the public still doesn’t understand how complex the challenge is, may be some decision makers are hesitating whether to take the necessary steps in order to meet the future challenges,” said Kor, who is on a visit to India in connection with an upcoming homeland security conference in Israel.

“My recommendation is to start dealing with it (cyber security needs) now because it takes time,” said Kor, who recently retired from Israeli Security Agency after 25 years of service in a number of counter-terrorism and protective security posts.

Adding that cyber security is not an area where one size fits all as the environment and threats keep changing from time to time, he said, “If we answer only the current situation, it might not be good enough. We have to think what the bad guy’s next step would be in order to answer that.”

Talking about the salient features of Israeli security capabilities, he said the country believes in partnership and in sharing knowledge and experience regarding implementation of technological platforms for internal security.

“We are in the same boat. Many of our opponents are unfortunately yours as well because we have good ideas and creativity and so do you. So, whoever is trying to steal good ideas from us might want to steal it from you as well,” he said while opining that India was one of the “few friends” that Israel had.

India is now the main export target of the Israeli defence industry; however, both countries avoid revealing details about the scale and nature of their security trade.

In 2012, the Israeli defence ministry announced that the country’s defence exports stood at an annual USD 7 billion of which homeland security accounted for about USD 1.5 billion.


Source  : The Economics Times

Even as pro-Palestinian protestors take to the streets of London and Paris, Israel’s ties with the world’s largest democracy are on the upswing. For the first time in a decade, New Delhi appears ready to suggest publicly what many officials already acknowledge privately: A burgeoning strategic partnership with Israel matters more to India than reflexive solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

  • India’s new warmth toward Jerusalem is unmistakable. Two days after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8, India’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the “tragic loss of civilian lives” in the Gaza Strip. But it also signaled alarm at “cross-border provocations resulting from rocket attacks” on Israel.
On Monday, the government of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to bow to pressure from communist and Congress lawmakers to censure Israel in Parliament. Eight years ago, a previous Parliament had no trouble condemning Israel in a one-sided resolution passed during its war with the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.Why the change? To begin with, the Modi administration arguably has more natural affinity with Israel than any previous Indian government. Mr. Modi visited Israel as chief minister of the western state of Gujarat and has spoken publicly about emulating the Jewish state’s remarkable economic success. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj used to head an India-Israel “friendship forum” in Parliament. Several parliamentarians and intellectuals aligned with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have traveled more than once to Israel.

Unlike India’s leftists, who tend to view Israel as a “neoimperialist aggressor” oppressing the Palestinians, most BJP supporters see the Jewish state more like most Americans do—as a doughty democracy standing up to terrorism in a rough neighborhood. Both countries face a threat from Islamist terrorists.

To be sure, the pursuit of closer ties with Jerusalem is hardly a BJP monopoly. Congress Party Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao ended India’s Cold War hostility toward Israel by establishing full diplomatic relations in 1992.

But Mr. Rao acted when the Nehru-Gandhi family’s sway over Congress was at its lowest ebb. India’s founding Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was an outspoken partisan of the Palestinians. Under his daughter, Indira Gandhi, bear hugs for the blood-soaked Palestine Liberation Organization’s Yasser Arafat became commonplace in India.

In 2004, when Congress returned to power under Sonia Gandhi after ousting the BJP, India-Israel ties turned frosty. Instead of simply maintaining its longstanding support for a two-state solution, India threw its weight behind the Palestinian demand for East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. High level government visits between India and Israel lost momentum, though bilateral trade, defense and intelligence ties set in motion by previous governments quietly continued to grow.

Though dressed up in principle, Congress’s tilt toward the Palestinians was all about domestic politics. It assumed that India’s 150 million Muslims are almost uniformly hostile to Israel and care more about the issue than do other Indians.

By the reductionist logic of Indian politics, you don’t win votes by backing Israel but you can lose Muslim votes if your support is too obvious. Two years ago, on the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked an opponent for allegedly promising to make a drought-stricken region bloom like the Israeli desert, a dog whistle aimed at Muslim voters.

For India, an end to the so-called Muslim veto is unambiguously good news. Indian farmers of all faiths can benefit from Israeli expertise in drip irrigation. Startups in Bangalore and Hyderabad see Israeli firms like Check Point (software) and Teva (pharmaceuticals) as role models. The rise of radical Islam across South Asia and the Middle East has raised the stakes for intelligence sharing between Jerusalem and New Delhi. The global norm that Israel is fighting to uphold—that terrorism has consequences—directly benefits India.

In terms of military cooperation, few countries have backed New Delhi as Israel did by supplying artillery shells during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. Since then, Israel has emerged as India’s second biggest arms supplier after Russia.

The arguments put forward against closer ties with Israel—India’s dependence on energy supplies and worker remittances from the Gulf—date to the 1970s. They downplay the facts that oil and gas are freely traded international commodities, and that Gulf economies that rely on Indian labor are hardly doing India a favor by employing its workers.

Many ordinary Indians instinctively grasp the natural confluence of interests with Israel. Last week, as the conflict in Gaza intensified, the hashtag #IndiaWithIsrael trended on Twitter in India, and a group linked with the BJP organized a rally in Delhi in support of Operation Protective Edge.

The challenge for India’s new government is to consolidate this positive sentiment toward Israel to ensure that no future administration can backslide again. It can start by scheduling a visit by Mr. Modi to Israel—which would be the first by a sitting Indian prime minister.

Inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit New Delhi, perhaps as chief guest at next January’s Republic Day parade, is also long overdue. It’s time to finally bring the India-Israel relationship out of the closet—for good.

Source : Defense News

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has exercised its options for a further six Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft under a USD564.7 million contract modification announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 18 July.

The deal includes field service representatives and three years of post-delivery support after the first aircraft delivery, and is set to run to 30 April 2020. Once delivered, these new aircraft will be based at Panagargh in eastern India, the proposed headquarters of the Indian Army’s new XVII Mountain Strike Corps.India received the first of its initial batch of six C-130J-30 aircraft in February 2011, with the remaining five arriving in-country by September of that year. Operated by the specially formed 77 Squadron at Hindon Airbase, near New Delhi, these aircraft are used primarily for special forces operations. In August 2013 a C-130J-30 demonstrated the type’s ability to support Indian military operations in the far north of the country when it landed on the world’s highest airstrip in the Himalayan Ladakh region bordering China.

With six aircraft already in service, the IAF signed a letter of offer and acceptance for the additional six platforms in December 2013. The total value of these six new platforms, including engines, spares, and support is USD1.1 billion, bringing the cumulative value of India’s C-130J-30 buy to USD2.06 billion.

In May 2014 an IAF C-130J-30 crashed on take-off near Gwalior, around 370 km southwest of New Delhi, killing all five crew members. Official sources ascribed the cause of that incident to wake turbulence, rather than any mechanical fault with the aircraft.

The IAF’s contract to procure additional C-130J-30 platforms is part of a wider recapitalisation and build-up of India’s airlift capability. Over recent years, the country has signed for 10 (and received 8 to date) Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft, and is developing with Russia a tactical twin-engined jet transport aircraft, known as the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).

Also, the IAF has received 12 Dornier Do-228 light transport aircraft manufactured indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and has launched a competition to buy 56 light/medium tactical transport aircraft. The frontrunners for that requirement are the Airbus DS C295 and Alenia Aermacchi C-27J aircraft. Finally, in 2009 the IAF signed a USD398 million contract with Ukrspetsexport, the Ukrainian state defence export agency, to upgrade the IAF’s fleet of Antonov An-32 ‘Cline’ transport aircraft to extend their service lives from 20 to 40 years.

Source : Defence News
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to reduce import dependence in defence equipment, India’s likely defence outlay is estimated at $248 billion over the next 10 years, according to the report.

  • Mumbai: Defence could be the sunrise industry of the next decade for Indian companies, according to a report released by Edelweiss Securities Ltd on 18 July. And Indian conglomerates such as the Tata group, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), and Mahindra Group are increasingly forging partnerships with global defence companies, and are “heavily enhancing production bases in the defence and aerospace businesses as India is on the cusp of a major spending drive to modernise its armed forces”, the report said. 
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to reduce import dependence in defence equipment, India’s likely defence outlay is estimated at $248 billion over the next 10 years, according to the report. In the budget unveiled on 10 July, the government proposed to raise the foreign direct investment limit in defence production to 49% from 26%. 

On Saturday, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that the government cleared procurement proposals worth over Rs.21,000 crore and also approved a project for the production of transport aircraft, which is open only to Indian private sector companies. Among the major proposals to receive approval is a Rs.9,000 crore tender to provide five fleet support ships for the Indian Navy, for which the request for proposal (RFP) would be issued to all public and private sector shipyards, defence ministry officials said. 

The majority of the proposals cleared would involve only Indian public and private sector firms and are aimed at increasing the indigenization of military hardware, PTI reported. The Indian defence sector will be a significant opportunity for both foreign and domestic players, given the government’s intent to promote the domestic defence industry via a fresh dose of defence reforms. 

The minimum opportunity for domestic entities is worth $75 billion, given the 30% offset requirement, the Edelweiss report said. India’s defence offset policy mandates that foreign contractors source components and systems from local vendors for at least 30% of the value of orders worth more than Rs.300 crore that they get from India. Other industry experts have a similar view. 

According to KPMG, the defence ministry expects the defence budget to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 8% to touch $64 billion in the financial year 2020. The growth will primarily be driven by capital expenditure, the component of the defence budget used for creation of assets and expenditure on procurement of new equipment. The offset opportunities are expected to be around $15 billion within the next 10-15 years, assuming that the proposed acquisitions which are under different stages are completed on time, according to KPMG. 

“The new BJP-led government’s manifesto explicitly envisages India as an exporter of defence equipment over the next decade. The government has done away with the requirement of licences for defence manufacturing for all but 16 items. Further, in Budget 2014-15, it has increased FDI (foreign direct investment) in defence to 49% and also enhanced capital expenditure budget by 20%,” the Edelweiss report said. Domestic defence manufacturing is dominated by defence public sector undertakings (DPSU) and Ordnance Factories Board (OFB), which together have an 80-90% share of domestic defence manufacturing. 

However, various private sector companies have been involved in a small way with several defence projects over the past years. Larsen & Toubro, the Tata group, Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Ltd, among others, have tied up with global defence companies and have created infrastructure required to take on bigger roles in the defence space. 

“These companies are yet to make a significant impact given the tardy processes involved in bagging defence orders…(However,) we believe defence could be the sunrise industry of the next decade for Indian companies,” the Edelweiss Securities report said. For instance, Mukesh Ambani-controlled RIL has been nurturing its ambitions in the defence space over the past few years and is likely to be a formidable entity in the aerospace business with several tie-ups in place, according to the research report. 

The report said RIL is currently incubating the defence business, which looks promising. RIL did not offer any comments for the story. RIL had set up two defence subsidiaries—Reliance Aerospace Technologies and Reliance Security Solutions—in 2011. The group is set to enter the defence space by investing and signing new deals with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) primarily towards offset arrangement of defence equipment, the report said. RIL had recently signed an agreement with Dassault Aviation (France) for medium-multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) towards the offsets clause. RIL has also signed agreements with Raytheon Co. and Boeing Co. of the US and Siemens AG of Germany for homeland security systems. 

Rival Tata group has also further fortified its presence in the defence space. “Chairman Cyrus Mistry’s strategy is to increase the Tata group’s footprint in the sectors opened up by the government, namely, defence and aerospace,” the Edelweiss report said. In June, Mint had reported that the $100 billion Tata group’s strategic aerospace and defence arm, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), has scaled up operations across its seven lines of manufacturing and was preparing to bid for building full aircraft in the next three to five years. 

To start with, TASL is eyeing a defence ministry contract to manufacture 56 military transport planes to replace an ageing fleet of Avro jets with the Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs.11,900 crore. The Mahindra Group began its Mahindra Defense Systems division in 2000; this was later carved out as a separate company in July 2012. The group expects most of the projects to come from artillery systems and armoured vehicles. It hopes to ramp up revenues to $430 million by FY16E from the current $51 million.

Source : Defense News

Among the major proposals to receive approval is a Rs 9,000 crore tender to provide five fleet support ships for the Navy, for which the Request for Proposal (RFP) would be issued to all public and private sector shipyards, Defence Ministry officials said.

Pressing ahead with its policy to promote domestic military industry, the government today cleared procurement proposals worth over Rs 21,000 crore and also okayed a project for the production of transport aircraft which is open only to Indian private sector companies. Among the major proposals to receive approval is a Rs 9,000 crore tender to provide five fleet support ships for the Navy, for which the Request for Proposal (RFP) would be issued to all public and private sector shipyards, Defence Ministry officials said. Also read: FM reiterates govt’s plan on financial inclusion   The majority of the proposals cleared would involve only Indian public and private sector firms and are aimed at increasing the indigenisation of military hardware, they added. Chairing his first meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, “There are many proposals in the pipeline for the defence forces and, today, we have tried to expedite quite a few of them.” Thus, a proposal for supply of 32 HAL-built Advanced Light Helicopter, ‘Dhruv’, to the Coast Guard and the Navy at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore was also okayed, officials said. Under the proposal, state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd will supply 16 helicopters each to the Coast Guard and the Navy and also provide maintenance for the machines to ensure the “highest level of operational maintenance and efficiency”. DAC also cleared an IAF proposal for issuance of a tender for construction of 56 transport aircraft by private industry players to replace the force’s fleet of Avro aircraft, they said. “This is going to be a significant project in which the private sector would be the sole player and lead to capacity- building in the private sector,” Jaitley said in reference to the tender for replacing the Avro aircraft.

Source : MoneyControl

Two months after Narendra Modi took charge as Prime Minister, his pre-poll promise of quicker decisions on arms purchases was put into action, with Finance-cum-Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday chairing his first military acquisition meeting that cleared procurement, cumulatively worth `34,260 crore, at one go.
NEW DELHI: Two months after Narendra Modi took charge as Prime Minister, his pre-poll promise of quicker decisions on arms purchases was put into action, with Finance-cum-Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday chairing his first military acquisition meeting that cleared procurement, cumulatively worth `34,260 crore, at one go.

And the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave the go-ahead for purchase and tendering of military ware for all the three services, of which a majority were warships meant for the Navy and the Coast Guard, according to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources.

The meeting, held in the middle of the Budget session, was attended by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, Army Chief Bikram Singh, IAF Chief Arup Raha, Navy Chief Robin Dhowan, Defence Secretary R K Mathur and other Department Secretaries of the MoD. According to sources, the DAC cleared a `15,000-crore tender for the purchase of 56 transport aircraft, to replace the obsolete Avro planes of the Air Force to be a ‘private sector only’ venture.

The Avro replacement tender was issued in May 2013, but was put on hold by the then Defence Minister A K Antony-led DAC in December, following protests from his ministerial colleagues for keeping the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) out of the bidding process. The argument against the ‘private sector only’ clause was that none of the Indian private sector firms involved in aerospace had adequate manufacturing facilities for an Avro-sized plane. The small requirement for such planes made the huge investments on building a production unit unviable, in terms of profitability.

Under the tender clause, an original equipment manufacturer of foreign origin should bid for the contract after tying up with an Indian Production Agency, which should be an Indian private sector company. The first 16 planes would be manufactured abroad by the winning foreign vendor, but it has to transfer technology to its Indian partner for manufacturing the remaining 40 planes. Jaitley-led DAC also decided to push through the Naval requirement for five fleet support ships at a cost of `9,000 crore, apart from patrol vessels and fast patrol vessels, numbering five each, for the Coast Guard, at a cost of `2,000 crore and `360 crore respectively, sources said. Apart from these, the Navy and the Coast Guard’s proposal to buy 32 Advanced Light Helicopters, Dhruv, from HAL, worth `7,000 crore, got the DAC nod.

The requirement for Army, Navy and IAF, for search and rescue equipment worth `900 crore were also cleared. Jaitley had, in the general budget announced earlier this month, allocated `94,588 crore for defence capital expenditure.

Source : Defense News


A file photo of INS Vikramaditya patrolling in Indian waters. (PTI Photo)

Sardar KM Panikkar rightly said, “To other countries, the Indian Ocean is only one of the important oceanic areas, to India it is a vital sea. Her lifelines are concentrated in that area, her freedom is dependent on the freedom of that water surface. No industrial development, no commercial growth, no stable political structure is possible for her unless her shores are protected.” This is one of the reasons why India has to strengthen its coastline.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on July 16 informed Rajya Sabha that significant steps have been taken by the Indian Coast Guard for round-the-clock monitoring and patrolling of eastern and western coasts post 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

In a written reply, the Home Minister said that the coastal security has been subjected to multi-level inter-Ministerial review by the Government and it will make maximum efforts to ensure coastal security.

Source : PIB, Info-graphic by Ankur Raina

An Economic Times report quoted Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju as saying, “The Upper House was also informed on how entire coastal security situation has been reviewed post-Mumbai terror attack and several steps have been taken to ward off threats from the sea.”

Taking forward the implementation of UPA Government’s initiation of Phase-II of Coastal Security Scheme (CCS) — implemented from April 1, 2011 onwards at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore — the NDA Government listed out steps and decisions to enhance the Coastal Security.

According to a PIB report, the Union Government will provide assistance to States having coastline to set up additional coastal police stations, to purchase high-speed boats, recruit security personnel and procure high-tech gadgets under CCS-Phase-II programme.

In an exclusive discussion with Niti Central, Pushpita Das, Associate Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) said, “Since 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the Government has become more active in keeping a check on all such movements. It is spreading awareness about the potential terror attacks through several mediums.”

Source : PIB, Info-graphic by Ankur Raina

Speaking about what led to 26/11 attack in India, she said, “It was a complete intelligence failure. The attack could have been avoided if there was a proper patrolling done.”

Discussing the pro-activeness of the new Government, she said, “The Government is conducting Coastal Security exercises on regular basis, which have helped in proper training for such a situation. The Indian Navy along with other State and Central agencies actively organise community programmes, especially in the fishermen villages. These community-based programmes are also quite successful as both the Government and the villagers are well-informed about their surroundings.”

Pushpita Das said that State-of-the-art radars and automatic identification systems have been placed according to the requirement and, several assets have been procured to avoid any untoward incident in future.

Source : PIB, Info-graphic by Ankur Raina

When asked which all States are vulnerable and can be targeted by terrorists, she said, “West Bengal and Odisha are living in perception that they cannot be attacked. The State of West Bengal is more of a concern and has not done anything on this front.” In another shocking revelation, she said, Maharashtra has not learnt anything from 26/11. It has not even allocated land for setting up a Coastal Security Centre. The Coast Guards currently operate out of a container in the State.”

“As far as other States are concerned, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are doing well. The Gujarat is running Swan Operation and  Operation Tasha in Tamil Nadu,” Das informed.

On comparison with the International Maritime norms, she said, “We are following all the international norms without fail.”

Speaking about the expectations from the new Government at the Centre, Pushpita Das said, “The first priority of the Modi Government should be to revive a dialogue between the States and the Centre, which had completely broken down during UPA Government. Moreover, Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, which also happens to have the longest coastline of about 1,600 km, and hence can very well understand the dire need of such a dialogue for the security of the country.”

Meanwhile, several reports quoted MoS Rijiju as saying that Indian Coast Guard has established nine additional stations, including ones at Karwar and Ratnagiri, adding that preparation of National Population Register (NPR) for coastal population has been initiated. Besides, issuance of Multi-purpose National Identity Cards (MNICS) to all those living in the coastal villages including fishermen, registration of all types of fishing vessels have been initiated.

He also informed Rajya Sabha that sustained deployment of about 19-22 ships per day at sea has been arranged for, and about 100 Coastal Security exercises and 117 Coastal Security Operations have been conducted from January 2009 to June 2014.

Source : niticentral

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence is all set to approve its earlier proposal to involve only Indian private sector firms in the manufacture of a replacement for 56 Avros transport planes.

  • At its first-ever meet under the new government on Saturday, the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley-headed Defence Acquisition Council will give its nod for the tendering process. The tendering process had got stuck in November following objections from then Heavy Industries Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel and some others over keeping out Public Sector Undertakings such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The high-level panel is also set to approve the extension of the bidding process for this key Indian Air Force acquisition till August 28.

In 2013, the UPA government gave approval to acquire 56 new transport planes worth `15,000 crore, of which 16 would be bought off the shelf from a foreign vendor, and the rest would be produced by an Indian company at its domestic facilities, following a technology transfer from the original equipment manufacturer.

The new cargo planes will replace the IAF’s near-obsolete fleet of Avro planes.

Among the foreign original equipment manufacturers that have got the tender papers are Ilyushin of Russia, Antonov of Ukraine, European consortium’s Airbus, Brazilian Embraer, Italian major Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi, American firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin and Swedish Saab. One of the unstated intention behind the government keeping this tender an “Indian private sector only” venture is to establish an domestic competitor to HAL, which has the only aviation manufacturing facility in the country.

Foreign original equipment manufacturers are to tie up with Indian companies. The ministry, under A K Antony, had decided to review its ‘private sector only’ tender to build 56 military transport planes. It had also extended the last date for the submission of bids by foreign original equipment manufacturers till a call was taken on including public sector companies as production agencies.

Source: Defense News