February 23, 2017

Kashmir an internal affair: EU team

Human rights ‘violations’ in Jammu and Kashmir must be resolved internally in India, says a visiting delegation of Members of European Parliament, accepting that the conflict in the State is an internal Indian matter.
“The reports of breaches of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir have to be settled through Indian institutions. The conflict is a very sensitive issue, we know sensitive it is. Delegations of MEPs visited both sides of Kashmir in 2003-04. This has to be settled through domestic Indian institutions,” said David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the EU Parliament, clearly ruling out the need to “internationalise” the Kashmir issue.
Mr. McAllister was responding to a question from The Hindu about a previous visit this week of MEPs, who had warned that human rights agencies were trying to “rake up” the Kashmir issue in the European Parliament.

Visa denial
However, while giving India its full support on the human rights issue, the delegation will take up two other thorny issues: India’s denial of a visa to a member of their delegation, and recent Home Ministry action against NGOs in India.
“As far as the case of our colleague from the U.K. is concerned — Amjad Bashir — he hasn’t been granted a visa on time … I will of course, also address this issue [with the officials we meet],” Mr. McAllister said, ahead of meetings with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh and others on Thursday.
The External Affairs Ministry refused to comment on the diplomatic incident caused by the visa denial.
Mr. Bashir, a British MEP of Pakistani origin, had reportedly taken a strident position on violence in Jammu and Kashmir, calling it a “stain” on India’s “record achievements” in other spheres, when the EU Foreign Affairs Committee met the Indian Ambassador to the EU in Brussels, Manjeev Puri, on February 9.
In a heated exchange Mr. Puri told Mr. Bashir and another member of Pakistani origin, “My suggestion to you would be to tell the country of your birth to stop fomenting terror, stop being an epicentre of global terrorism and stop trying to export it across,” agencies reported.
EU officials confirmed that Mr. Bashir was due to travel with them, but that the Indian High Commission in London had not issued him the papers.
“If I have been banned because of sincerely-held beliefs that is regrettable and counter-productive. Surely the way to solve the long-running problem of Jammu and Kashmir is to have open dialogue and allow a diversity of views — not to ban dissenters from entering the country,” Mr. Bashir was quoted telling Pakistan’s The News.

Curbs on funding
On the issue of NGOs operating in India, the EU delegation said it was concerned about strictures on funding and the functioning of rights organisations, that had also been brought to the EU parliament’s notice.
“Human rights are universal, and we don’t understand why the government wants to block the activities of organisations dealing with human rights. The only restriction can be blocking terror organisations. But when it’s about women’s rights, children’s rights, it’s very important to explain this approach,” said Cristian Dan Preda, MEP, said adding that European governments had funded some of those organisations, and they would discuss this with Minister of Women and Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi.
Mr. Preda is the head of a committee preparing a comprehensive report on political relations between India and the EU, building off their strategic partnership launched in 2004, including the issue of human rights, which the members said were an “integral part” of the EU’s foreign relations. Officials said they had also discussed “security cooperation and counter-terrorism issues” in New Delhi.


State-of-the-Art Defense: One Russia's S-400 Worth Four US Patriot PAC-3

Commenting on reports that have recently appeared in Indian media that New Delhi wants to speed up the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defense system, Russia's military expert Viktor Litovkin explained to Sputnik why many countries are so eager to buy Russia's state-of-the-art systems and why they are winning over their US counterparts.

"India and Russia will start final negotiations on the five firing units of the S-400 air defense system next month," the Mumbai-based daily The Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

If the contract is signed within a year, deliveries worth of $5.8 billion could start by 2019-20.

To speed up the purchase, New Delhi might forego the offset clause, which fits in with the Make in India program and mandates foreign companies to invest at least 30 per cent of the contract value in the Indian aerospace and defense sectors, the outlet says.

Viktor Kladov, director of international cooperation at Rostec, the Russian state-owned company that controls sales of the S-400 system told the newspaper that offsets could delay deliveries by as much as two years.

"As far as I have heard, there is no offset package for the program. It is a strategic project and is very important for the two countries," the outlet quotes him as saying. "Offset packages should not get in the way."

He nevertheless said that Russia would comply if India insisted on an offset package. But, "It may delay delivery by one-two years and that is why a deal with no offsets package is the best choice."

Kladov also commented on the delivery terms of the contract, estimating that signing the deal will take a year and it will take another two years for the delivery.
"The Indian side invited us to negotiations in March. So, if we start negotiations in March, it will take another year to prepare the contract. I do hope it will happen this year or maybe the first half of next year," he said.

Commenting on the upcoming deal, Russian military expert, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin explained to Sputnik why many countries are so eager to buy Russia's state-of-the-art systems and why they are winning over their US analogues.

"It is really the state-of-the-art system of Russia's defense industry. It is a very efficient, high-tech, advanced system," he told Radio Sputnik.

No other country in the world has in their possession such a system, he said. Not even the Americans, he said, who are advertising their armaments all over the world, pushing other countries into purchases.

He further elaborated that the US' most efficient air defense system is the Patriot PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability), but it is not even a match for Russia's S-300, let alone S-400. The expert explained that Patriot PAC-3 missiles are launched from an inclined plane while S-400 missiles are launched vertically and only then take the direction of the approaching target.

Because the Patriot has to be pointing in the direction of the missile, he said, one of Russia's systems can defend an area that would require at least four American ones to cover.

Besides, he said, Russia's S-400, unlike the US system, is able to shoot down any flying objects, cruise and ballistic missiles, fighter jets, bombers and attack aircraft – virtually everything that can fly is threatened by the S-400.

Litovkin also noted that Russia is planning to supply its S-400 system only to India and China, even though many states would like such a system.

"We have made first deliveries to China. But we have sold the system only after the completion of the Russian state program on deliveries of such systems to our Armed Forces. Only afterwards we have supplied the system to China," he said.

The expert said that among those countries who are eager to get Russia's S-400 is Turkey, Algeria and many Middle Eastern countries.

He further noted that the full name of the system is S-400 Triumph, a particularly appropriate name for this system, considering its success to date.


PM Modi clears air defence missile deal with Israel for Rs 17,000 crore

Giving a strong push to India-Israel defence ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cleared a mega deal for the Army worth Rs 17,000 crore to acquire the Medium Range Surface to Air Defence Missile (MR-SAM) system from Israel to protect India's airspace from enemy aircraft and drones.

"In a meeting of the cabinet committee on security headed by the Prime Minister, the proposal for procuring the MR-SAM air defence system for the Army was approved and these would be deployed by the Army," senior government sources told Mail Today.

The air-defence system developed jointly by the DRDO and Israeli Aircraft Industry can shoot down enemy aircraft, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS planes at the strike range between 50 km to 70 km in the sky and will help the country in filling gaps in air defence, the sources informed.


As per the proposal cleared by the government, the Army will induct over five regiments of the MR-SAM missile which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles of the system. "The delivery of the first system for the Army units will begin in 72 months of the signing of the contract and they would be ready for deployment in field areas by the year 2023," said the sources.

A DRDO laboratory under scientific advisor to defence minister and missile systems head G Sathish Reddy has been instrumental in developing the target homing system with the Israeli firms and involves a lot of make in India element in the programme. India and Israel are jointly developing similar systems for the Air Force and the Navy.

The Air Force had got clearance for its MR-SAM programme in 2009 and the deliveries will begin after delays in the project.

The Navy programme is known as Long Range Surface to Air Missile system (LR-SAM) and would be set on its warships. Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamis Limited will produce the missiles of the system while many other Indian industries like Bharat Electronics Ltd, Larsen and Toubro, TATA group will contribute in the production for many systems and sub-systems in it.

A new production facility to deliver 100 missiles a year has been established for such type of long and medium range surface-to-air missiles at BDL. The Army will deploy these air defence systems to provide protection to vital assets and points across the country.


Another Super Hercules damaged in Ladakh, India now has only four

  • Six Super Hercules were inducted at the Hindon airbase
  • In 2004, the IAF had lost another C-130J in a crash near Gwalior
  • A high-level court of inquiry has been ordered into the mishap
A C-130J 'Super Hercules' aircraft being flown by the commanding officer of the elite 'Veiled Vipers' squadron of IAF has been left badly-damaged after it crashed into a pole and other structures while taxing on the tarmac in the high-altitude Thoise airfield in Ladakh recently.

Sources say the IAF is now conducting a high-level court of inquiry (CoI) into the unusual mishap after relieving the pilot, Group Captain Jasveen Singh Chatrath, of his command of the 77 Squadron (Veiled Vipers) based at Hindon airbase on the outskirts of New Delhi.

The accident has currently left the IAF with only four of the six C-130J tactical airlifters, which are configured for `special operations', inducted from the US from February 2011 onwards. The IAF had earlier lost a C-130J during "a tactical low-level training sortie" after it crashed near Gwalior in March 2014, killing the five personnel on board.

Group Captain Chatrath, along with his co-pilot and weapons systems operator, in turn, was on a night sortie on the C-130J to the military airfield at Thoise, which is the staging area for the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region, when the accident took place on December 13.

The IAF, which has kept the incident under wraps till now, refused to say anything on the matter. Sources, however, said the pilots apparently failed to keep the C-130J on the "centreline of the taxiway" after landing at the airfield at an altitude of over 10,000-feet.

"They mistook another line to be the centreline (which provides obstacle clearance) at the airfield which has restricted space for manoeuvre. One of the wings and propeller of the aircraft then hit the pole and some other objects with great impact. Whether the centreline and other lines were marked properly and all other factors are being examined by the CoI," said a source.

Group Captain Chatrath himself has a good reputation in the IAF for his professional competence, and has held important postings during his career, including project management of the AN-32 aircraft upgrade in Ukraine. "It's a freak accident, which has no bearing on his professional competence," said an officer.

In all, India has ordered 13 C-130Js from the US for over $2.1 billion. While the first six planes were inducted at the Hindon airbase, the rest are earmarked for the second C-130J squadron to be based at Panagarh in West Bengal for the eastern front with China.

In conjunction with 10 C-17 Globemaster-III gigantic aircraft, also acquired from the US for $ 4.1 billion, the C-130Js have provided strategic airlift and power-projection capabilities to India, which can now swiftly transport combat-ready troops and weapons to the border with China in times of conflict.

In August 2013, for instance, a C-130J had for the first time landed at the rudimentary airstrip in Daulat Beg Oldi (eastern Ladakh) at an altitude of 16,614-feet, the highest such advanced landing ground in the world that overlooks the strategic Karakoram Pass and is just about 7-km from the Line of Actual Control with China. The rugged C-17s and C-130Js have also been extensively used for providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief in India as well as the extended neighborhood.


February 21, 2017

Aero India 2017: Russia pitches for Make in India

At the air show in Bengaluru, a confident and assertive Russia displayed over 300 exhibits ranging from static models of fifth generation aircraft to electronic warfare suits, from next generation jet engines to sensors that protect highly sensitive installations.

The just concluded Aero India 2017 International Air Show at the Yelahanka Air Force Station near Bengaluru was no doubt a colourful event displaying the robust aviation industry of the host country, which is poised to become a major air power in the coming decades. We will not talk about contracts signed or those that remained unsigned. This is about the ‘subjective takeaway’ from the five-day event.
More than 750 foreign and domestic participants took part in the biennial event considered Asia's premier air show. This year's event had a special ambiance as foreign vendors were in the fray for bagging hefty orders amid the estimated demand of Indian Air Force (IAF) for 400 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), most of them through Make in India route.
Vying for Indian orders, Lockheed Martin fielded its vintage F-16, piloted by flying officers from the U.S. Pacific Command. The American company promised to shift its assembly plant to India, however, the attention was focused on Swedish SAAB JAS Gripen, the latest single engine MMRCA, which also has expressed readiness to set shop in India.
The latest Russian MiG-35 was on the minds of many Indians after discourse in the social media took a turn in its favour, thanks to comments from Manohar Parrikar. While responding to a question on the F-16, the Indian Defence Minister told Lockheed Martin to “first talk to their government.” He was referring to President Donald Trump's policy of keeping jobs in the U.S.
Although Russia did not display its latest twin engine MiG-35 top-of-the-line MMRCA unveiled on Jan. 27 at RAC MiG's Lukhovitsky plant (Moscow Region), Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has declared Moscow's readiness to produce it in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India programme.
Russia was the biggest foreign participant at Aero India 2017. It has the richest experience in Make in India, beginning from the supersonic MiG-21 over 600 of which were produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Nasik plant under license, to the currant production of state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighters at the same facility.
The Indo-Russian BrahMos Aerospace JV is a trailblazer for others to follow.
The Russian defence industry had another feather in its cap. The MiG-29 and Su-30SM (equivalent of Indian Sukhois) fighters became “battle proven” during Moscow's Syria campaign.
At the air show in southern India, a confident and assertive Russia displayed over 300 exhibits ranging from static models of fifth generation aircraft to electronic warfare suits, from next generation jet engines to sensors that protect highly sensitive installations.
“Russia pulls out all stops for Aero India 2017. Amid the din, in Hall A at the air show, the Russians showed that they have arrived in force,” leading Bangalore daily the Deccan Chronicle wrote, describing the Russian participation in the air show. 
The 300-strong Russian delegation was led by Vladimir Drozhzhov, Deputy Director General of Federal Service for the Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), which is the top arms export controller. The Russian delegation also included Viktor Kladov, Head of the International Cooperation Department of the Rostec defence industry holding and Sergei Goreslavsky, Deputy Chief Executive of Rosoboronexport.
Due to broadly negative coverage of Russia in the mainstream Western media and the troll-infested social media, the joint press conference of the senior officials from Moscow turned out to be a crucial interface for the Indian media in the jam-packed conference hall of the Yelahanka Air Force Station.
Noting that India is Russia's biggest defence partner with total orders worth $4.6 billion executed in 2016, Sergei Goreslavsky said that in view of new upcoming projects the order book would further rise this year.He underscored that Russia was ready to offer the full range of weapons and platforms to India.

BrahMos and MKI

Drozhzhov, who identified the BrahMos joint venture as the most successful example of Make in India, said work on integration of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles on the Su-30MKI platform is proceeding successfully and once the trials are complete, foreign buyers would be offered this missile.
In a first, the Russian Air Force, which also operates Su-30 fighters would also be offered this jointly developed missile, he said.


Frankly speaking, Aero India 2017 was all about India's quest for MMRCA as the original tender for 126 aircraft was scrapped after its winner Dassault Rafale failed to meet its commitments and a stopgap agreement to buy 36 ready to fly fighters was inked. The IAF has asked international manufacturers to express their interest.
Russia is ready to offer its latest MiG-35, and is waiting for the specifications and requirements of the IAF to send a matching order.
“This is a totally new state of the art plane, much more advanced than the prototype sent for the MMRCA tender,” Vice President of the United Aircraft Corporation Alexander Tulyakov said, adding that it was a “totally different aircraft.”
Many experts, who did not want to be named as they would be accused of lobbying for Russia, are of an opinion that with Russia's past record it would be prudent for India to go for a cheaper twin engine MiG-35, which in the long run could also replace the older MiG-29 without drastic logistic and infrastructure expenditures.
The best part is that any defence deal with Russia is politically risk-free, as Moscow never uses sanctions in bilateral relations.

India needs fighters more than factories

Visitors to Aero India this year could be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu. Back in 2011, the soundtrack to the show was the roar of fighter aircraft as eager bidders put their jets through their paces.
The noise was much the same this time around, with a number of repeat participants in the air display as the Dassault Rafale, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab Gripen all took to the skies.
Added to that was the familiar chatter from salesmen promising combat capability and, crucially, industrial partnerships.
Six years ago, Aero India saw the climax of the country’s medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition for 126 aircraft. This long-running saga had six actors, and featured plot twists and turns worthy of the most serpentine Bollywood epicThe Rafale eventually won, but after years of tortuous negotiations, New Delhi ditched MMRCA altogether over disagreements about technology transfer. Instead, 36 Rafales were ordered in a flyaway condition.
Meanwhile, the fleet of Cold War-era MiGs that MMRCA was supposed to replace have steadily decayed, eroding the air force’s capabilities.
The other fighter that was meant to be a substitute for some of these aging assets, the Hindustan Aeronautics Tejas, has been a poor performer for years.
It is slowly entering service after decades of development. Measured against its own low levels, the Tejas is making progress. However, by international standards it is already obsolete.
This year’s show saw MMRCA veterans battling for several requirements, namely an ill-defined order for up to 100 single-engined fighters, plus a navy request for information for 57 carrier-borne jets.
Expect two things from both deals. First, a clunky MMRCA-style acronym will be applied to each. Second, the industrial participation, and technology transfer, required of manufacturers will be exceedingly high.
Local workshare is not all bad, and highly skilled aerospace jobs are the delight of politicians globally. That said, New Delhi appears to place far too much emphasis on the industrial value of buying fighter aircraft, rather than the military purpose of their acquisition.
Strategic imperatives cannot be comprised for the sake of economic benefit. If India’s new fighter acquisitions fail as dismally as MMRCA, the Indian air force will be staring at obsolescence.
In wartime, a nation’s industrial policies will be cold comfort to a pilot parachuting from a crippled jet.


Army looks to fast track process of acquiring anti-tank missiles for Rudra helicopter

Seeking to provide more firepower to its aviation fleet, the Indian Army is on a hunt for missiles which can be fired from the indigenous ALH Rudra chopper to destroy enemy tanks under the fast track procedure for urgent acquisition.
The Army is moving a proposal worth over Rs 1,300 crore before the crucial meeting of the defence acquisition council to buy a limited number of anti-tank guided missiles from global vendors for its Rudra helicopter, which is a weaponised version of the ALH Dhruv manufactured by the HAL, sources told Mail Today.
The Army is moving a proposal worth over Rs 1,300 crore before the crucial meeting of the defence acquisition council to buy a limited number of anti-tank guided missiles from global vendors for its Rudra helicopter, which is a weaponised version of the ALH Dhruv manufactured by the HAL, sources told Mail Today.
The ATGMs would be fired from helicopters which would be used by both the Army and Air Force and would also be equipped with the indigenous HELINA missiles when they are ready for operational deployment in future.
Sources in the Defence Ministry said the Army needs missiles which can hit enemy tanks at a distance of seven kilometers in all conditions claiming that the indigenous HELINA can't do so but there is doubt whether any foreign-origin missile can achieve the strike distances from a helicopter.

The programme to utilise the weaponised version of the ALH was started over five years ago by the HAL and it handed over the first chopper to the Army in 2013. The force had initiated a tender to procure helicopter-fired ATGMs earlier also in which private firms from Israel, Sweden and France had participated and their trials were also held at foreign locations.
However, none of the vendors could meet the Indian requirement of providing twin-tube missile launchers as world-over the attack helicopters fire from fourtube launchers.
"The previous tender had to be scrapped in 2015 as the twin-tube solutions could not be found and having a four-tube launcher would have resulted in the boom touching the ground while landing as the Rudra is not a genuine attack machine," sources in the Army said.
However, the continuous delays in the project also have resulted in the Army postponing its plans to utilise the choppers in antitank role due to the lack of attack choppers in its inventory. "We are taking clearance from the Defence Ministry under the fast track procedure to buy these ATGMs as they are required urgently for our choppers," Army sources said.
The Indian Army and the Air Force together are looking to acquire a fleet of 76 weaponised Rudra choppers which would be fitted with 70mm guns and rocket pods along with four anti-tank missiles with two each fitted on both sides.
The HELINA missile, is a heli-borne version of the NAG missiles developed in the 1980s.


Russia To Start Deliveries Of KA-226T Helicopters To India In 2019

Russia will start initial deliveries of military helicopters to India in 2019, with assembly and manufacturing to follow in Asia's fastest growing economy, the chief executive of state-owned manufacturer Russian Helicopters said on Monday.

India and Russia signed an agreement in October to jointly manufacture 200 of the KA-226T helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces.

Both countries have agreed to cooperate in energy and defence as India seeks to modernise its armed forces and build a nuclear industry and sanctions-hit Russia looks for investment and new markets.

"The joint venture is in process and the first delivery will start in 2019. After-sales service will also be provided in India," said Andrey Boginsky, who took over as CEO in January.

Some 60 helicopters will be delivered to India and the remaining 140 will be assembled or manufactured in India, he said at the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

The company has started production of the advanced medium multirole Mi-171A2 helicopter, with four deliveries set for Russia this year, he said.China has shown an interest in the Mi-171A2, he added, without elaborating.

Overall sales in 2017 are expected to grow at least 15 percent as demand for civil helicopters increases.

"We expect to sell 220 helicopters this year," he said compared to 190 sold in 2016. Military helicopters account for two thirds of sales.

"There is demand for civil helicopters and we plan to increase volumes," he said, adding that a key market is Iran, where there is demand from the oil and gas sector.


Another Technology Transfer to India

The opportunity for the transfer of a missile technology to India will be explored within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding recently signed with Thales, with the support of the United Kingdom.

India’s Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a government enterprise has signed an MOU with Thales, a French group specialising in defense, to assess the opportunity for the transfer of technology of the STARStreak missile capability to India with the support of the UK.

Through the MoU, Thales and BDL seek to jointly offer a “Make in India” solution to help service growing international demand for this product, according to Thales’s website.

The STARStreak missile is in service in the UK army and has been procured by the defence forces of a number of countries worldwide.

The missile has the capability to defeat any air target, even armoured helicopters as the last line of defence.

The STARStreak, which is the fastest missile in its category, is equipped with three laser-guided darts, which cannot be jammed by any known countermeasure. The missile operates at a speed in excess of Mach 3 to defeat fast-moving threats and those with short unmasking times. The three-dart ‘hittile’ configuration maximises lethality. The highly-accurate laser beam riding guidance enables engagement of low-signature targets and is immune to all known countermeasures.

The missile system has already been integrated with a wide range of Radar, IR Sensors, and Command and Control systems. It can be used in a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS) role as a single or multi-launcher configuration and is also available integrated into both light and heavy High Mobility Vehicles.

This initiative has the support of UK government, in the spirit of cooperation between the two countries, including under the Indo-UK Defence Equipment Cooperation MoU.

The association will play a strategic role not only in supporting the “Make in India” vision of the India but also in giving a boost to the bilateral relations between India and the UK.

Alex Cresswell, Executive Vice President for Land & Air Systems activities at Thales, said: “We are thankful to the government of the UK for their strong support to this initiative. Sharing technology has been one of the key ingredients of Thales’ strategy for India. We would continue to work in this direction and realise our objective to make in India and export from India through such endeavours.”


To speed up deliveries, Russia's S-400 Air Defence System may come without offset package

The defence ministry may forego the offset clause to speed up deliveries of a Russian air defence system designed to deter Pakistani fighters and provide a missile shield for major cities, said people with knowledge of the matter.

India and Russia will start final negotiations on the S 400 air defence system next month with the deal value pegged at Rs 39,000 crore. The offset clause, which fits in with the Make in India programme, mandates foreign companies to invest at least 30 per cent of the contract value in the Indian aerospace and defence sectors.

The S 400 is an advanced air defence system that has already been ordered by China, which is likely to get its first deliveries later this year. India and Russia began talks after the government accepted an air force proposal to purchase five firing units of the system to protect both the northern and eastern borders.

A top Russian official told ET that offsets could delay deliveries by as much as two years.

"As far as I have heard, there is no offset package for the programme. It is a strategic project and is very important for the two countries," said Viktor N Kladov, director of international cooperation at Rostec, the Russian state-owned company that controls sales of the S 400 system. "It should not be played around with some offset packages."

He said Russia would comply if India insisted on an offset package. But, he said, "It may delay delivery by one-two years and that is why a deal with no offsets package is the best choice."

According to analysts, the offset clause typically adds 10-15 per cent to the value of a contract on account of the domestic investment required. Also, the non-compliance rate is very high as companies find it difficult to discharge the offset within the rules.

Sources have told ET that while the defence ministry has approved the purchase of five firing units of the S 400 system for an estimated Rs.39,000 crore, two may be ordered in the initial phase. This could be increased based on performance, they said.

If the contract is signed within a year, deliveries could start by 2019-20.

"One year for the contract plus another two years for delivery. That will be the timeframe," Kladov said. "The Indian side invited us for negotiations in March. So, if we start negotiations in March, it will take another year to prepare for the contract. I do hope it will happen this year or maybe first half of next year."

China will likely get the system this year itself after signing up to be the first export customer. Designed to counter a variety of threats from hypersonic cruise missiles to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), airborne early warning aircraft, stealth fighters and even precision-guided munitions, the S 400 is the latest in a range of air defence systems that have posed a formidable threat to western aircraft across the world.


February 17, 2017

Tata Motors front-runner for Rs 60,000-cr combat vehicle programme

Tata Motors is among the frontrunners for the Defence Ministry’s 60,000-crore Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme.
“This $10-billion FICV programme is mobility-oriented, as is established by the fact that three of the five core technologies and 19 of the 34 critical technologies are mobility related, such as engines, transmission and running gear, which are core to Tata Motors,” said Vernon Noronha, Vice-President, Defence and Government Business, Tata Motors.
The company is also rooting for the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) project that will replace the T-72 battle tank, as well as for the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT), to replace the Army’s main battle tank, the Russian built T-90.
In addition to this, Tata Motors has submitted a proposal to supply 3,200 Tata Safari Stormes as a replacement for the ageing and iconic Maruti Gypsy, the order size for which is pegged at about ₹400 crore.
Said Noronha: “The Tata Safari Storme provides an option of a diesel variant,with a powerful 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine. It also comes with both 4x2 and 4x4 options, which helps the SUV wade through marshy lands, desert, snow, gravel and every kind of terrain in our country.”
While a decision is awaited on these key orders, the company continues to deliver 6x6 high mobility multi-axle trucks, with MHC (material handling crane) based on a larger orders bagged by Tata Motors for over 1,800 such vehicles, received between June 2015 and April 2016.
Order book

With a current order book of 1500 crore, company is buoyed by the new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP).
“The acceptance of single-vendors under certain conditions is a step in the right direction, and will give a good boost to the industry.
“The DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) can now select partners before they design a product, and this helps private firms to exert reverse pressure on DRDO to speed up the developmental process. The policy will prove to be a catalyst with the end beneficiary being the Indian Army,” said Noronha. 


Raytheon signs MoU with TASL for co-production of Stinger missile components


Raytheon Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) to engage in the co-production of Stinger air defence missile components.
“Our agreement with Tata Advanced Systems deepens our industrial partnership in India with a global technology leader and will expand the range of options and capabilities for US and coalition forces to achieve their missions,” said Duane Gooden, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems Vice-President.
As part of the agreement, TASL will produce components of the Stinger missile in India. Stinger has both surface-to-air and air-to-air applications against a variety of airborne targets.
“This collaboration with Raytheon is in keeping with other partnerships that TASL has with global leaders in the defence and aerospace sector. We look forward to becoming a key contributor to the Stinger missile for India,” said Sukaran Singh, chief executive officer and managing director of TASL.
“We will seek to expand our relationship to other missile systems and technologies, and contribute to the progressive implementation of the ‘Make in India’ initiative to address multiple objectives of the government, such as value-addition, employment, and control over key technologies,” added Singh.
In 2016, India was one of three international customers to order Stinger missiles. India will equip its AH-64 Apache helicopters soon to enter service with the Indian Air Force.