Archive for September, 2015

NEW DELHI: In the wake of frequent incursion bids by Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) will be establishing a new command at Leh and the process of setting up over 40 modern border outposts in the icy heights of Ladakh has been initiated.

The ITBP, which mans the 4,086km long Sino-Indian border from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, has decided to establish a sector command which will be headed by an inspector general of police rank, official sources said on Monday.

ITBP, which is the first point of response to any incursion by the PLA, earlier had a Frontier headquarter headed by two deputy inspector generals based at Leh and Srinagar. Both these officers reported to an inspector general based at Chandigarh.

The government has accepted the demand of the ITBP for creation of a sector command to facilitate taking decisions at crucial times without any loss of time, the sources said.

“The inspector general’s office has been shifted from Chandigarh to Ladakh where the Army Corps Commander sits. This has been done for better coordination between the two forces present to secure the China border areas,” a senior official of the ITBP said.

The Army, which carved out a separate corps after the Kargil intrusion in 1999, had been demanding operational control over the ITBP, which has been time and again rejected by the government.

In a related development, work has been initiated for setting up 40 border outposts in the icy heights of Ladakh to be manned by ITBP jawans who guard the border of the country in hostile weather at many places where the mercury slips to minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Source: PTI

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NEW DELHI: India on Monday inked the $3.1 billion contracts for 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters, taking the total worth of defence deals inked with the US well past $13 billion just since 2007.

The deliveries of the helicopters will begin in three years, said officials. The contract for the Apache attack helicopters was a “hybrid” case, with the defence ministry inking one part of it with Boeing for the choppers and the other with the US government for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.

Apart from the 22 Apaches, the contract involves the acquisition of 812 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire-II missiles, 245 Stinger Block I-92H missiles and 12 AN/APG-78 fire-control radars, among other things.

The contract for the 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, in turn, was signed as a direct commercial deal with Boeing. The Chinooks are capable of “internal transport” of 55 armed troops or two combat-equipped jeeps. They are also capable of “external transport” of 11,100kg of equipment like 155mm howitzers.

As was reported by TOI, the Cabinet committee on security on September 22 had approved the long-pending deals for the AH-64 Apache gunships and the CH-47F Chinooks, which had outclassed their Russian rivals, Mi-28 Havocs and Mi-26s, in extensive field trials held by IAF since the entire competition began six years ago.

The Apaches will add to IAF’s ageing fleet of 15 Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters, which have already undergone life extension upgrades. The Army, too, is demanding 39 Apaches of its own, which was approved “in principle” by the previous UPA government.

The Chinooks, in turn, will help IAF in its heavy-lift chopper capabilities. Having inducted four gigantic Mi-26s from Russia in the late-1980s, IAF is now left with only two of them. The Mi-26s, incidentally, have been used to lift artillery guns to the Kargil heights during the 1999 conflict as well as bulldozers during the Uttarakhand floods in 2013.

Source: TNN

NEW DELHI: A major breakthrough could be imminent in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal with the French side agreeing to an Indian condition that calls for investing 50% of the deal value in ‘Make in India’ projects in the defence, security and aerospace sectors.

A top team from Paris, led by Engineer-General Stephane Reb, director of the International Directorate of the DGA (General Directorate for Armament) of the French ministry of defence will be in Delhi on Tuesday to work out final price negotiations and take the deal to the final stage, sources familiar with the development told ET.

The French manufacturers of the Rafale fighter will commit to making investments worth $4.5 billion in the Indian industry as part of the deal. Sources aware of the matter told ET that while the French side has accepted in principle a 50% offset clause, which requires the Rafale manufacturers to invest half the deal value in India, the government will also liberalise its stringent defence offsets policy to address some specific concerns of the manufacturer.

A final pact could be ready within a month. Negotiations had been stalled over these offset conditions.

The two sides are now working to finalise the draft Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) that will be signed as part of the deal after the logjam over offsets and pricing was broken following top-level political intervention from New Delhi and Paris. Air Marshal SPB Sinha, the deputy chief of air staff, will lead the final price discussions from the Indian side. As reported by ET, the Rafale deal had been delayed following differences on pricing as well as the offsets clause between the two sides.

The logjam has been broken with a broad agreement on hybrid offsets in which French investments in other Make in India projects will also be considered as meeting offset obligations.

The investments in India could include civilian projects that companies like Dassault and Thales are pursuing. One of the Make in India investments is likely to be in the manufacturing of components of the French Falcon executive jets as well as in the smart city projects of Thales.

On September 1, the Indian negotiating team had been given a go-ahead to conclude the deal following a top-level defence acquisition meet in the Capital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his French counterpart in the US on Monday and is expected to discuss the state of the negotiations.

The deal, clinched in principal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Paris trip in April, has since been stuck for over four months now.

Source: Defence News
 In the run-up to today’s meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, New Delhi and Washington have taken significant steps to enhance their burgeoning military-security ties. In doing so, the Obama administration has ignored repeated warnings from Pakistan that the US’s strategic embrace of India has upset the “balance of terror” between South Asia’s nuclear-armed states.

The US and India inaugurated a new “Strategic and Commercial Dialogue” at a meeting in Washington last Wednesday between US Secretary of State John Kerry, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, plus Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The “Joint Statement” issued at the meeting’s conclusion claimed that, “ties between the United States and India have never been stronger.” It reaffirmed previous commitments for a five-fold increase in India-US trade, as well as the “Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region” that Modi and Obama issued last January when the US president visited New Delhi. US officials view “the Vision” statement as a major diplomatic coup for the US, not least because it contains US-drafted language regarding the conflict between China and the US and its allies over the South China Sea.
Last Wednesday’s “joint statement” also outlined a series of steps to further enhance Indo-US strategic ties, including multilateral cooperation with US allies.

Also Wednesday, in an action clearly timed to coincide with the initial “dialogue” meeting, India’s Bharatiya Janarta Party (BJP) government announced approval of a major weapons deal with US-based Boeing. India is spending $2.5 billion to buy 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The Apaches and Chinooks were selected in preference to Russian-made helicopters. Their purchase is a major step towards the US displacing Russia as India’s principal arms supplier.

According to Reuters, the Chinooks will be used to strengthen India’s military capabilities along its contested border with China.

Issued under Kerry’s and Swaraj’s signatures, the “Joint Statement” lauded India’s decision to invite Japan to participate in “Malabar,” the annual bilateral Indo-US Indian Ocean naval exercise. Japan participated in the 2007 Malabar exercise, but after China objected strenuously, India’s government did not repeat the invitation till this summer.

The US has been pressing New Delhi to join tri- and quadrilateral military-security exercises and planning with its principal Asia-Pacific allies, Japan and Australia.

The statement issued Wednesday, announced that for the first time ever the Indian, Japanese, and US foreign ministers will hold a joint meeting. It is to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this week.

No less significant was the statement’s announcement that India and the US will “enhance cooperation in peacekeeping capacity building” with “a focus on training aspects for UN peacekeepers, especially in identified African countries.” The statement did not name the African countries involved, but Kerry later said that there are potentially six. It is speculated that the “joint” initiative may involve providing training to military forces from Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Togo and Ghana—all countries where US Special Forces troops are already acting as “trainers” and “advisors.”

Even if initially it is being done in the name of UN peacekeeping, India’s commitment to working jointly with the US military in Africa marks a qualitative change in Indo-US strategic ties. It goes far beyond the ad hoc Indo-US cooperation seen in various disaster-relief missions since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In recent years the US has mounted a major push to expand its military capabilities in Africa, so as to offset growing Chinese influence. India also views China as a major competitor for African oil and other resources. Next month Indian Prime Minister Modi is to host a summit of African government leaders—an initiative the Indian media is openly touting as a significant step in countering Beijing.

For the past decade, a central objective of US world strategy has been to transform India into a “frontline state” in its drive to strategically isolate, encircle, and if necessary wage war on China. As part of its campaign to harness New Delhi to its strategic agenda, Washington has offered New Delhi numerous blandishments and perks, including a “global strategic partnership” and pledges to support India in becoming an Indian Ocean and south-east Asian power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Recently the Pentagon revealed that it has established an India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC), the only one of its kind dedicated to a single country. According to IRCC head Keith Webster, its mission is to facilitate the expansion of India-US military ties, especially the implementation of the plans outlined in the recently negotiated Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) to develop joint production of weapons and weapon systems.

In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B. Harris, declared that, “India presents a wonderful opportunity for us.” He praised the DTTI, saying that it was enabling the US to make a significant contribution to the development of India’s “aircraft carrier capability.” Like Admiral Harris, David Shear, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, emphasized the role India could play in shoring up the US strategic dominance of the high seas, “because we have very strong common interests.”

The US views control of the Indian Ocean—across which almost half of all world sea-borne trade passes—as vital to its global power and especially, in the event of open conflict, its ability to sever China’s crucial trade routes.

Led by the Hindu supremacist Narendra Modi, India’s 16-month-old BJP government is seeking to leverage New Delhi’s rapidly expanding strategic partnership with Washington to pressure and bully India’s arch-rival Pakistan. Modi and his government have repeatedly spurned talks with Pakistan, demanding that it “change its behaviour” as the precondition to any resumption of the long-stalled India-Pakistan comprehensive peace dialogue. The BJP government has also instructed India’s military to assume a more aggressive posture in border skirmishes.

Earlier this month, Indian and Pakistani military leaders exchanged war threats. Moreover, there continue to be frequent, often fatal, artillery exchanges across the Line of Control that separates Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the former princely state that is claimed by both countries.

In recent weeks, Pakistani officials have issued repeated and increasingly alarmed warnings about the dangers of a full-scale military conflict. There have been two recurring themes in these warnings. First, that India is seeking to derail the recent Chinese announcement of plans to build a $46 billion economic corridor from western China to Gwadar, a Pakistani Arabian Sea port. Second, that the US’s embrace of India is dramatically tilting the strategic balance in South Asia in India’s favour and consequently forcing Pakistan to build up its military capacities. This includes both its thermonuclear arsenal and its plans to develop and deploy tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons.

In a September 17 special briefing to the Senate, the upper house of the Pakistan’s parliament, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz underscored the destabilizing impact of what he called the “US tilt towards India.”

“It is becoming clear,” said Aziz, “that America is preparing India to reduce the influence of China in the region.” He added that Pakistan has repeatedly without success cautioned Washington that the “conventional and non-conventional” military-strategic “imbalance” in the region must be taken into account when the US enters into “any sort of defence cooperation with India.”

Aziz claimed that Pakistan has prepared a “formal dossier regarding Indian interference in Pakistan,” including the intelligence agency RAW’s support for Baluchi separatists and other “terrorist groups,” and that Islamabad plans to submit this dossier to the UN.
Source: Defence News

Before I commence going into the intricacies of the headline that I have put up and start substantiating, I would like to salute the valiant spirit of the people of Nepal who have endured a long struggle, innumerable sacrifices and cultural diversity to eke out real democracy for themselves. It may have taken more than 7 years but, it is the end that inspires me more than anything. It sounds like a dramatic fairy tale filled with action, drama and emotions but more than that it’s a tale of fortitude and of the will to let democracy triumph against all odds. Today, Nepal has joined the league of those nations where people will be true sovereign and not any traditional king.

The Nepalese constitution is a land mark document containing the dreams and aspirations of the people of the Himalayan nation. It is a glimmer of hope for millions who had dreamt of the day when they could be the masters of their destiny in every possible way, when Nepal will move as per the aspirations of it’s masses and the day has indeed come. One cannot help but equate the sense of triumph with the one that our people knew when they framed the lengthiest constitution of the world. A secular republic which is extremely diverse in it’s own right has made a dash to the coveted path of democracy.

But, amidst all the good features of the constitution, Nepal is gripped by conundrum and violence as Madheshis and some others feel left out. What complicates the situation is #The Back Off India campaign in Nepal. The campaign comes in the backdrop of India expressing concern due to unrest very close to India’s border. Both the timing and the interpretation of India’s concerns have been misrepresented in Nepalese and our own media. India could have definitely drafted a better note but none of our intentions were towards undermining Nepal’s rights as a sovereign nation. The situation in Nepal is indeed intense and warrants Nepal’s attention and definitely Nepal can and will do everything it can to make sure that Madheshis get their voices heard. What they are saying is also absolutely right given the fact that they stand debarred from constitutional positions in spite of championing the cause of Nepal’s prosperity and democracy but this constitution provides ample flexibility to accommodate public opinion and when I say public opinion I strictly mean that of the people of Nepal irrespective of ethnicity and not India’s.

Today the situation is such that everybody is leaving no stone unturned in branding India as the country that is actively pursuing interventionist agenda and hampering the sovereignty of Nepal. China is being projected as a messiah for democracy. Pakistan too is being viewed with the same lens and nothing can be more tragic as it neither respects Nepal’s religious diversity nor it’s own people and has been more of a dictator than a democracy. So, who is being who vis –a-vis Nepal? Who is playing the interventionist? Let us first understand the paradigms of interventionist behaviour to make things clear.

What is interventionist behavior: Interventionist behavior is indicated and dictated by pure strategic goals and has no regard for human values, ethnic and national identities. It prospers at the cost of the intervened state notwithstanding the aspirations of the home state, enjoys playing it against it’s closest friends , isolates it and uses it to harm it’s own interests by sabotaging it’s relations with the countries with whom the intervened share the closest bond. All in all, it destroys the very cordiality which benefits it’s people by creating misleading impressions and doles out money just till the time it loses it’s real friends and leaves it in the lurch after that.

Now, let me make this task somewhat easier by providing some grinding facts that can make the job of an average Nepalese and for that matter anybody in the world to make the right judgement.

In the 19th century, China did not support Nepal against the British as the colonial forces invaded Nepal twice, despite the fact that the Chinese were bound by a treaty to render help during external aggression. If this betrayal is too old to remember, let us look at China’s foreign policy since the installment of Mao’s regime in China and subsequently. The Chinese have pursued a relentless policy of military expansion and border claims on their neighbours. Tibet’s forcible annexation was a direct threat to Nepal’s sovereignty. The ‘back off campaign’ must also figure out that merely sending congratulatory note does not mean that China is all gung ho about democracy in Nepal. It was never in favour of Nepal’s transition to democracy. So much so, it provided sophisticated arms to the King in quelling the revolutionary movement in Nepal. It is the same country that has stood as a marauding force against cultural synthesis and diversity. The Chinese atrocities in Tibet and the denial of freedom of religion are a well established fact. They have spared no stone unturned in the ethnic cleansing of cultural minorities like the Uighurs and the Tibetan Buddhism and there are significant instances of girls from these groups being forcibly married off to the ethnic Hans to obliterate the very identity of the ethnic minorities in China. China does not treat Nepal more than a counterweight to settle strategic goals and foment unrest in the family like Indo-Nepal relations. The classical saying of divide and rule is being employed by the dragon and the outright loss will be to Nepal and India both, in the long term. Can a country that tolerates no dissent in it’s own territory love to see the blossoming of democracy in another? How can the very government that has effaced multi-cultural identity of ancient China be a natural partner of the Nepalese people, who are extremely diverse and have a culture worth being proud of? Or Can the country that has tried to sabotage the whole process of democratic transition in Nepal be really trusted and called non – interventionist? Ironically, the crusaders of Nepalese democracy fell to the Chinese supplied bullets and yet, China claims that it welcomes democracy in Nepal. Perplexing and befuddling.

On the contrary, India not only took the responsibility of assisting Nepal in securing itself from Mao’s grand expansion but also sought to orient Nepal towards development by providing transit points and port facilities for ensuring smooth foreign trade for Nepal. As our PM rightly pointed out that India indeed has a relation of Roti and Beti with Nepal, Nepalese people in India and Indian people in Nepal have selflessly worked for the cause of each other. We are all aware of the brave Gurkhas and their stellar role in the defence of these two nations who have more similarities than differences. For us in India , the people of Nepal are more like our family members and hence, our businesses, our colonies, shops, companies , public sector, private sector and defence forces have welcomed people from across the physical border with alacrity and treated them at par with native Indian citizens. This is unique considering the fact that this is not reciprocated in Nepal and is a significant support to lakhs of families who find India as the land of their dreams. This has come neither at the cost of ethnic pride nor at the cost of self respect and strangely enough, India has been branded interventionist. This has come out of sheer love for our Nepalese brethren, our historical ties and not due to economic considerations. An average Indian donated in the aftermath of massive earthquake not because we were told by our government to do so, but, because we were driven by the feeling of affinity for people of Nepal and the need to stand with them in their grief. The immediate relief work was more motivated by the need of humanity and not interventionist agenda. It was not to brag that we had done something great but to help a country in desperate need, the country for whom we have worked ceaselessly and whose people have served India as the shield of Iron whenever we have faced aggression.

Conclusion ::

An interventionist state tries to break apart factions, play them against one another and anybody who has closely followed struggle for democracy in Nepal can vouch for my claim that it was India that brought warring parties together to negotiate and pave way for democracy in Nepal. China was sitting and watching the democrats slay the communists and vice versa for it had nothing to lose in another bloody civil war in Nepal for the blood flowing in the streets would have been alien. India’s ‘taking note’ is simply to convey that equal opportunity and citizenship will transform Nepal true to the ideals of it’s democratic struggle where no caste, no ethnicity, no cultural barriers, no socialist, no democrat, no Nepali, no Madhesi and no Tharu mattered ,but, what mattered was love for Nepal and driving it towards people’s rule.

Mere congratulatory notes from despotic regimes do not convey the right intentions. The incoherence in stated and hidden motives conveys very well that neither Pakistan nor China would like to see a strong democracy in Nepal. Their aid..like the beef food is just a tool to lure Nepal in their trap. How hypocritical of China to arm the king’s forces to murder democracy and now acting like a saint. But, they don’t realize that the bonds between the people of our two great sovereign nations will withstand this test of time as Nepal will figure out the dragon’s interventionist agenda and continue to strengthen itself economically, socially and democratically. We wish all the best to Nepal and congratulate it’s people in their endeavor to make democracy a roaring success.

Source: Defence News

NEW DELHI: Indian Army will hold its largest ever multi-nation military exercise in Pune next year, in which all the ten member states of ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners including China, Japan, Russia and the US will participate.

Army sources said for the period of 2014-17, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had developed a roadmap to build common understanding to achieve interoperability in the fields of Humanitarian Mine Action and UN Peacekeeping Operations in the region.

“For the first time in the history, Indian Army will be conducting one of the largest multinational exercise in March 2016 in Pune,” one of the sources said.

The sources added that the Field Training Exercise (FTX-2016) would involve participation from 18 ASEAN plus nations for a period of one week.

The countries that will take part in the joint exercises are the ASEAN’s 10 member states and eight dialogue partner countries which are China, Japan, South Korea, the US, India, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

“The FTX-2016 would promote practical cooperation and give opportunity to share and learn good practices from each other,” a source said.

The Exercise Planning Conference for the FTX-2016 will start at Pune from tomorrow and end on September 30, and members from ASEAN Headquarters, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea and India would plan and coordinate the exercise events. Indian delegation is being led by Brigadier Ashok Narula from Army Headquarters, the sources said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organisation of ten Southeast Asian countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ASEAN and India reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and advance the strategic partnership earlier this year and agreed to step-up cooperation.

Source: Defence News

Armed Forces and other security agencies in the country will now have enhanced hazard detection capabilities as the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO’s) indigenous robot Daksh has not just become lighter, faster and rugged, but has also been equipped with Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) hazard detection mechanisms.

Daksh, which has been developed by DRDO’s Pune-based lab Research and Development Establishment, Engineers (R&DE) located in Vishrantwadi, is primarily designed to detect and recover Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). It was inducted in the Indian Army around 2011.

A senior DRDO scientist said, “When Daksh was inducted into the Army, they already had imported Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). The performance of Daksh has been at par with the imported ones. In some aspects, it is even better. As per our information, as many of 40 IEDs have been neutralised in the insurgency-affected areas in the North-East India with the help of Daksh so far. But from the beginning, we were aware of the limitations of this robot. One of the most important was the speed, another was its weight.”

As per the information given by scientists from the R&DE, the newer version of Daksh is made of aluminium alloy as against the older version, which was made of steel. “The use of new material has not just reduced the weight but has also made it more rugged. Use of custom-made motors has increased the speed by three times as compared to the older version,” said Mridukant Pathak, a scientist with the R&DE.

The new Daksh has been integrated with DRDO’s Unmanned Areal Vehicle (UAV) Netra, and the integrated system is being called CBRN Remotely Operated Platform (ROP). “In case of a radiation hazard, the radiation detection unit fitted on Netra can be flown to the affected area. Netra model being used for this platform has an increased range of four kilometres and double the flying time. The new-age warfare will be way different from the conventional one and we need to have capabilities to detect CBRN attacks. Now that these capabilities are indigenous, we do not have depend on foreign suppliers,” said another DRDO scientist.

“This system will not just be useful for the armed forces, but also the paramilitary forces operating in areas where the nature of conflict is different. There will be demand for this new version of Daksh from the security agencies. The manufacturing of these units will be done by Pune-based Bharat Electronics Ltd and three private companies on the Transfer of Technology (ToT) basis,” said Alok Mukherjee, assistant director of the R&DE.

Jamal Khan, the Commandant of the Institute of IED Management of the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) located in Talegaon near Pune said, “The faster, lighter version of the devise will definitely have an added advantage. The enhanced capabilities will certainly be useful in the backdrop of changing nature of warfare in insurgency affected areas, especially with increased threat of dirty bombs, which use radioactive material.”

Source: Defence News

Top 10 quotes of PM Modi at UN summit

Posted: September 26, 2015 in Semco Group

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a strong pitch for reforms in the UN security council while addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. Here are his top five quotes…

* We must reform the UN, including its Security Council, so that it has greater credibility and legitimacy.
* We should a create a world where everyone feels protected and respected.*

* Eradicating poverty is the top priority for us. We have launched several programmes to empower the poor. Education and skill development are priorities for us.

* For the people of India, it is a matter of satisfaction that there are many similarities between the path India has chosen for development and the UN goals for sustainable development.

* The world talks of public and private sector. We are looking at the personal sector. This means individual enterprise, innovation…

* We are working towards making agriculture more productive and helping farmers suffering from natural adversities.

* The world is connected and dependant on each other. Our international partnerships need to be centred on progress of humanity.

* I represent a culture where the earth is considered our mother. We see the entire world as one family.

* If we all want the world to be peaceful and development for the world, poverty needs to be tackled.

* PM Modi ended his speech with a mantra from the Upanishad: ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः, सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः । सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् (May all be happy, may all be healthy, may all see welfare, may no one have any sorrow).

Source: Defence News

HONG KONG: Bullish on growing trade ties with China, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government is very keen to see the border dispute getting resolved expeditiously, even as he said India’s border with China has been “far more peaceful” than the western borders.

“India-China trade has increased significantly. Trade has brought the two countries much closer… We have some contentious issues of the past between us, but even while those issues would be resolved in the due course, I think our economic relations have become a symbol of strength and therefore mutual investments in each other’s country will be a win-win situation for both of us,” he said.

Jaitley, who is here to meet foreign investors, also said China has established its place as a low-cost manufacturing brand globally and India is now trying to build its Made in India brand with the Make in India campaign.

“Great economies do compete with each other and that does not mean they become opponents,” he said during his media interactions here.

On border issues, Jaitley rejected the suggestions that it was proxy war-like situation. “I don’t think that is the correct expression to use. There is a border dispute and there is a mechanism in place since 2003 in order to look at that dispute,” he noted.

“We will be very keen to see that the border dispute is resolved very fast. In fact, the border with China has comparatively been far more peaceful than our western border itself,” he said.

On opportunities for India to attract FDI after China slowdown, the Finance Minister said, “I see an important opportunity for India and I see that opportunity because the relative slowdown in China does not impact India as such.”

Source: Defence News
Defense Company Uralvagonzavod of Russia, manufacturer of defense products as main battle tank is ready to look at possible exports of the new-generation tanks, T-14 Armata, to foreign buyers. The T-14 Armata is the latest generation of Russian-made main battle tank which was unveiled for the first time to the public during the military parade in Moscow, May 9, 2015.

“We had a lot of talks with various delegations in the framework of the recent Russian Arms Expo (RAE-2015) – all demonstrated interest in buying these products,”Uralvagonzavod’s director general Oleg Siyenko, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

“But so far, it is beyond the current agenda. Our priority is to equip our own armed forces with state-of-the-art hardware. But from the point of view of the economy, undoubtedly, we would like to export these products in future.”

He said among potential buyer could be countries with big defense budgets, such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar. “Sure, there is interest from Europe too,” he noted.

Earlier, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov said Russia was ready to discuss with its foreign partners possible supplies of Armata tanks after 2020, when Uralvagonzavod was through with the orders under the state armaments program.

The T-14 main battle tank is based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform. The Armata has more firepower than the latest generation of main battle tank T-90. The Armata is fitted with a new unmanned remote weapon station turret. Russian experts believe that the appearance of the remotely controlled gun would eventually lead to the development of a fully robotic tank which could be deployed as part of a spearhead in the offensive.

The new unmanned remote turret of Armata T-14 is equipped with new generation of 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun with an automatic loader and 32 rounds ready to use. The main gun can fire also new laser-guided missile with a range from 7 to 12 km.

The T-14 Armata is equipped with the Active Protection System (APS) Afghanit which seems similar to the Israeli Trophy able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets.The system is designed to work against all types of anti-tank missiles and rockets, including handheld weapons such as rocket propelled grenades.

Source: Defence News