Archive for April, 2016

None of the 56 licensed private sector companies has commenced production

Despite efforts by the government to increase share of private sector participation in defence manufacturing the total value of its contribution remained a little over Rs.2,500 crore for the year 2014-15, out of a total of Rs.49,531 crore that was procured from within India, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday.

The total procurement for the three services for the year 2014-15 was Rs.78,754 crore, out of which the procurement from indigenous sources was Rs.49,532 crore.

Most of it went to public sector units. “The value of production of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories in the same year was Rs.46,936 crore,” Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. This puts procurements from the private sector at Rs.2,595 crore.

The government has issued 75 industrial licenses to 56 Indian companies for manufacture of various defence items. “Till date, none of these companies has reported commencement of production,” Mr. Singh said. On a larger scale, since the opening of defence manufacturing sector for private sector participation in 2001, 333 Industrial Licenses have been issued by the Government to 201 Indian companies.

Of this, Mr. Singh said that so far 51 Companies, covering 81 industrial licenses, have reported commencement of production.

Source: The Hindu


The Indian Army has the cruise missile Brahmos Block-III, one of the most lethal weapons systems that currently exist in the world, the publication ‘Defence News’ writes. This cruise missile is capable of flights at supersonic speeds, making it hard for enemy radar to track, as well as being practically invulnerable to modern anti-missile and air defence systems.

Brahmos Block-III is a joint Russian-Indian project, which is based on the P-800 Oniks missile, which is exported under the name ‘Yakhont’. This, however, has not stopped the specialists at ‘Defence News’ from comparing it with its Chinese analogue; the DF-21; and finding major advantages in the Russian-Indian missile.

The Brahmos Block-III is superior to the DF-21 in all respects, and is likely to soon capture the global market, say experts. Both these missiles are designed as destroyers of ships, with the Chinese DF-21 often being called the “killer of aircraft carriers”.

Pyotr Topychkanov, senior researcher at the Safety Centre of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations RAS, said there is an important point in making such comparisons; the DF-21 project has gone much further, in terms of development, in contrast to the Brahmos Block-III, which is still in the prototype stage.

“Accordingly, it is not yet clear when, and in what form, the Brahmos Block-III will be placed into service. Perhaps, according to the announced specifications, it really is superior to the DF-21, but how this project will finally evolve in real terms is difficult to say, and thus comparing these two missiles is very difficult,” said Topychkanov.

The expert notes that the Brahmos is a joint-venture project between Russia and India, and the Indians, according to the documents that form the core of this project cannot go it alone on this missile, including in the development of any or all of its components.

“From this perspective, we cannot say that the Indians are venturing out on their own, and creating their own missile,” said Topychkanov.

The Indians are calculating, the expert notes, that the Brahmos Block-III missile will become one of their best-selling exports.

“At the same time, according to the original agreement signed between Russia and India, it was assumed that this rocket would be purchased not only by India, but also by Russia. However, a while ago, Moscow began rethinking this decision, as Russia has its own Oniks system, and this has become a stumbling block in the path of manufacturing and selling of the Brahmos Block-III missiles on the world arms market.”

There is another precedent that may be recalled; the multi-functional fighter Su-30MKI. It was designed exclusively for Indian military requirements, but then, there was a decision to also purchase it for the needs of Russia’s Aerospace Defence Forces.

The same fate probably awaits the Brahmos Block-III, especially since it is closely connected with the Su-30MKI project.

“Now that Russia has decided to buy the Su-30MKI aircraft, the Brahmos missiles have a good chance of coming into service with the Russian Armed Forces. The fact is that this year, they are planning to carry out the first live testing of the Brahmos air-based missiles that were designed just for the Su-30MKI fighter jets. So this project is being implemented, in one way or another, in the interests of the armed forces of both India and Russia,” said Topychkanov.

Based, therefore, on the fact that Russia is going to buy the Su-30MKI, according to Topychkanov, it may be easily concluded that Moscow is considering arming these aircraft with the Brahmos Block-III missiles.

This project again displays how this military cooperation with India is beneficial also for Russia, in the case of both the Su-30MKI, and Brahmos-Block-III.

In addition, we must not forget about the export version of the T-50 platform; the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA fighter jet) which, in the coming years, will be developed for the needs of the Indian Air Force.

This project will yield for Russia a new version of the fifth-generation fighter, which will be significantly different from the aircraft which will enter into service in the Russian armed forces this year.

Source: Defence News

India and the United States will conclude talks on three vital defence pacts during the three-day visit of Defence Secretary Ashton Carter beginning in Goa from Sunday.

The three agreements are the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) on military cooperation, Communication Inter-operability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CIS MO A) on transfer of technology, and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on sharing mapping data and imagery. The three deals are to be formally signed later.

US Defence Secretary Carter arrives in Goa on April 10 and will visit navy base INS Kadamba at Karwar with defence minister Manohar Parrikar the next day.

Carter will take a tour of India’s biggest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. In turn, Parrikar will accompany Carter to the US Pacific Fleet’s command vessel, the USS Blue Ridge, at Mormugao harbour. The 45-year-old vessel is the oldest ship in the US Seventh Fleet and remains its command and control post.
Carter will arrive in Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his senior colleagues only on April 12.

Top sources told Hindustan Times that the primarily naval LSA ag reement will allow Indian and US ships to pick up fuel and supplies from each other’s bases for humanitarian purposes, disaster relief, coordinated exercises, antipiracy patrols as well as for protecting sea lanes. Special permission will, however, have to be sought by both US and India in case their ships are on wartime missions.

India is also expected to okay the CISMOA document as it will help the US transfer high-end technology, particularly on aircraft carriers. India plans to build its third air defence ship (ADS) in collaboration with the US; a bilateral joint working group has already been created.

Discussions on these three agreements are expected to feature in the joint statement after Carter concludes his India visit.
Defence minister Parrikar is expected to travel to Beijing, China, on April 17-18. He will call on Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as his counterpart, Chang Wanquan.

Barring some incursions south of the Depsang Plains in eastern Ladakh, Chinese intrusions across the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control have gone down.

China has been proactive in extending its reach in the South China Sea.

Source: Defence News

Pakistan said on Thursday it is ready to discuss arms control and restraint measures with India to avoid unnecessary arms race in the region.

“We have taken note of President Obama’s call on both Pakistan and India to work together with a view to ensuring that military doctrines do not move in the wrong direction,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.

Zakaria said “our proposal of strategic restraint regime” can provide basis for mutually agreed restraint measures and avoidance of unnecessary arms race in the region. Pakistan is opposed to nuclear and conventional arms race and strongly believes in peace and stability in the region, he said. “We are committed to minimum deterrence,” Zakaria said, adding that Pakistan’s nuclear capability was solely for self-defence.

Obama had on Friday identified South Asia, in particular India and Pakistan, as one area where there is a need to make progress in nuclear security and reduction of nuclear arsenal.

Zakaria claimed that there is increased understanding at the international level of Pakistan’s genuine concerns regarding rapidly growing Indian conventional and nuclear capabilities and their offensive military designs such as cold start doctrine. Zakaria said Pakistan has strong credentials to become a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as a non-NPT state. The NSG is still deliberating upon the issue of membership for non-NPT states, he said.

“We have been running a safe, secure and safeguarded civil nuclear programme for more than 42 years. We have the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy,” he said. Zakaria said that 4th Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington, which concluded last weekend, was a significant event from Pakistan’s perspective.

Source: Defence News

PANAJI: The Quality Council of India plans to cover 26,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the next two years under Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) model of which 6,000 would be from defence sector, a senior official said today.

“For two years, we have a target of 26,000 MSMEs out of which 6,000 MSMEs are in defence sector alone which needs to be targeted,” QCI Secretary General Dr Ravi P Singh said on the sidelines of Defence Expo in South Goa.

“During the 12th plan period, government has promised us to give subsidy up to 70-80 per cent depending on what kind of and what size of MSME it is and they will go through this entire exercise of certification,” he said.

Singh said with the new Defence Procurement Procedure recently released by the government, there is a huge opportunity for the Indian MSMEs to contribute to the ‘Make In India’ campaign.

“There is no better tool than ZED to provide them the competitiveness and competence to manufacture not only for the country but for the whole world,” he said.

“The new Defence Procurement Procedure already in place due to which there is a huge amount of procurement that is happening in defence sector,” he said.

“What we expect that all these bigger companies which want to invest in India will have to source their small components from the Indian small and medium industries,” Singh said.

“That is where the model like ZED would be most essential. We will have to prepare same parts and components which the foreign players require. We do understand that India is not competitive in defence manufacturing but once these companies start coming in there is onus on small and medium enterprises to step up, to increase their processes so that there is no defect in parts and components that you are making as well as you don’t impact the environment,” he said.

The QCI during the ongoing Defence Expo launched ZED Maturity Assessment Model which is tailor-made for the companies in Defence sector.

“When Prime Minister spoke about Zero Defect Zero Effect, we took it upon ourselves and we have looked across all the models of quality intervention across the world and we have made very homogeneous, very expansive and very holistic model which covers the best practises of entire world,” he said talking about the ZED model.
“It is a maturity model because we know that we have to hand-hold these MSMEs from one stage to another and than to reach the maximum stage which is world class quality,” Singh said.

He feels that 1.25 million MSMEs are going to be covered with the ZED model in the next five years.

He said, in all the 25 Make in India sector this model is there. “Defence is an additional model and for defence it is strategically very essential to have this kind of model because we cannot afford to have any failures in the defence either in ammunition or equipment,” he said

The QCI Secretary General pointed out that in the past most of the models were ISO which were quality management system but there was no holistic model. “Over the last decade, India has been able to get to 5,000 MSMEs in all, across all the sectors,” he added.

What is helping the cause of ZED is that ‘Make in India’ has come. Entire eco-system is going to be built around it. If you need to export, you need to have same quality of product which is accepted in the importing countries. That is where ZED kind of model is very helpful, he said.
Singh said ZED in the long run will provide more competitive edge if you adopt it or you will end up building something which may not be required by the industry.

Responding to a question, Singh said currently the QCI is asking government not to make ZED compliance mandatory.

“We are confident that if we have pulls and pushes, it will take shape as a voluntary model. It has to come from within. If you force something, it might give you push initially but it is not a sustainable model,” he added.

Source: The Economic Times

Kalyani Group and Fabbrica D’armi Pietro Beretta SpA of Italy are in advance level of talks to forge a strategic partnership for providing small arms to Indian security forces.

“We want to provide solutions in the small arms segment so that our security forces are equipped with the best in the world,” Chairman of Kalyani Group, Baba Kalyani said.

The Group, which has been an active supplier of indigenous solutions to security forces, has decided to forge a strategic partnership with Beretta for the same, he said

The Pune-based Group is participating in the ongoing ‘Defence Expo’ at South Goa.

“Beretta’s advanced technology will be complemented with our world-class manufacturing capabilities, which include niche technologies like 3D printing. This will be a perfect example of ‘Make in India’ solutions,” Kalyani said.

Fabbrica D’armi is part of Beretta Defence Technologies (BDT).

Franco Gussalli Beretta, President of Fabbrica D’armi Pietro said his firm is committed to transfer of technology to India and give a push to ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“We are committed to the Indian market through transfer of technology to enable India to be self-sufficient for their small arms requirements in line with PM’s vision of Make in India. We have already executed similar projects in a number of countries,” he said.