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January 19, 2017

Relationship with Pakistan extraordinarily complicated: US


Describing the US' relationship with Pakistan as extraordinarily complicated, the outgoing Obama administration has hoped that President-elect Donald Trump would deepen counter-terrorism cooperation with the country to make America a safer place.

"Obviously, the United States has an extraordinarily complicated relationship, particularly when it comes to national security with Pakistan," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday.

"There are some areas where the United States and Pakistan have been able to effectively cooperate to counter terrorism and to fight extremism, and that's served the interest of both countries, and obviously, tragically, Pakistan is a country where many victims of terrorism have been claimed," he said.

He said that Obama is certainly interested and hopeful that the next administration will be able to deepen that cooperation with Pakistan as it would enhance security in Pakistan and make America safer too.

Responding to a question on Afghanistan, Earnest said it will be the kind of issue that historians spend a lot of time looking at when evaluating President Obama's presidency.

"What President Obama promised to do when taking office was to refocus our attention on the threat from Al-Qaeda that emanates in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and President Obama put in place a strategy, working closely with his national security team at the state department and the intelligence community, and of course the Department of Defense," he said.

"Over the course of several years, in part relying on some new capabilities, succeeded in decimating core al-Qaida that previously menaced the United States from hideouts in the Afghanistan- Pakistan region," he added.

But the threat in that region of the world has not been eliminated and there continue to be a smaller number of US service members keeping us safe, engaging in counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, Earnest said. "They're also working closely with thousands of troops from our NATO partners who are also there doing the same thing," he said.

"And I know there has been a question raised about how important a role NATO has played when it comes to counter-terrorism. You have to look no further than Afghanistan to assess just how valuable a contribution that they have made to that effort," he added. Asserting that the situation in Afghanistan continues to be a concern, Earnest said the President would acknowledge that it is an area where the US has made important progress that has made the American people safer.

"...but there's still important work to be done in this region of the world and this is a responsibility that the incoming President will assume," he said.

timesofindia

India Has Just Bought $3 Billion Worth Of Emergency Weapons And Ammunition


In a move with tremendous strategic import, India has been on a secretive weapons shopping spree on an emergency footing, buying up anti-tank missiles, tank engines, rocket launchers and various kinds of ammunition, from Israel and Russia. The purchases amount to more than $3 billion, persons close to the development said, asking not to be named. Deliveries have begun even as new orders are still being placed.
From Russia, India has bought a few thousand anti-tank guided missiles, several T-90 tank engines and critical tank components. The Russia-made T-90 is the Indian Army's mainstay battle tank. The Russia list also includes multi-barrel rocket launchers that operate with the artillery against advancing columns and soft skinned targets, and large quantity of various kinds of ammunition.
From Israel, India is getting sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles and several thousand missiles, mainly for the Indian Navy.
HuffPost India is withholding the exact nature and quantity of the arms and ammunition because of its sensitive nature. But to give a broad idea, the purchases are to shore up the stocks of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. They include high explosive bombs, protective armour for troop-carrying vehicles and tanks, and anti-personnel grenade launchers, among other things.
Top sources in the government confirmed that two separate teams of an "empowered committee" led by senior officials were rushed to Russia and Israel towards the close of 2016 to make these "off-the-shelf purchases"—a procedure of buying resorted to only when there is an emergency. Empowered committees can take on-the-spot decisions to buy and negotiate prices, cutting down lengthy negotiation processes.
Much of the equipment that India decided to buy is now on its way. They are being airlifted in special flights from various ports in Russia and Israel to India.
Top military sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity cited the situation across the border and the aggressive maneuvering by the Pakistan military after the surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by the Indian Special Forces as reasons for the emergency purchases. "It is wise to be prepared," a senior officer said. Others senior officials accepted that stocks of some very critical war fighting items need to be increased. "The emergency purchases are aimed at replenishing and maintaining a minimum level of preparedness for any eventuality," a senior official at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
The MoD did not offer a comment for this article.
Speaking to the media earlier this month, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat had said that level of "hollowness" in the Indian Army—a military term to describe both lack of stocks of critical items and obsolescence in weapon platforms—"in case of a two-front war is of concern." A two-front war is a situation where India will have to engage Pakistan and China simultaneously. He went on to add that the military was comfortably stocked to handle the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has also given more financial powers to the military to buy critical equipment, he said.Sources also said that another empowered committee is headed to Russia to procure items for Indian Air Force. The Indian Air Force too suffers from hollowness and deficiencies.

 huffingtonpost

Modi's leadership brought India, US closer; Obama worked hard for India's NSG bid

 

The outgoing US Ambassador Richard Verma, had some positive things to say about the US-India relations during President Obama's tenure.

In less than two days, Richard Verma will step down as the US ambassador to India. In a special episode of To The Point and his only farewell interview to television, the departing ambassador spoke to Karan Thapar of India Today. Verma shared his two-years' experience in India, his successes as well as the unfinished tasks, the journey that lay ahead, the challenges and how he feels the state of relationship between the US and India is as he steps down from ambassador's post.Verma stressed particularly on two big breakthroughs during his tenure that brought the two countries together - Clean energy and climate change deal and the improvement of India-US economic and trade relationship. The Paris climate agreement, said Verma, stood out as one of the signature global agreements India and the US were able to achieve together.
"If you were to ask President Obama today, how did we achieve Paris deal, he would say it is because of the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bringing on a number of countries. His work together, closely with Prime Minister Modi..that was a breakthrough. No one thought this was possible to have the US and India to come together the way they did. Also, in this area, was our breakthrough in civil nuclear cooperation. It was a breakthrough that got past the liability issue," said Verma.

TOUGH LINE WITH PAKISTAN ON TERROR"The threat and the scourge of terror is one of our chief security threat of the day, confronting the United States, India and the people of Pakistan and the broader region. No one nation can stop it on its own. It's a collective response and takes law enforcement, intel, military, economic and social tools. We are working on all of that front. On specific regional issues, we have taken a very tough line with Pakistan over the need to shut down safe havens, hold the perpetrators accountable. We have been very tough and new restrictions put on the Haqqani network, LeT and JeM. We have worked with our Indian colleagues in United Nations to put additional sanctions on terrorist leaders," said Verma.

INCREDIBLE HONOUR"I never thought it was awkward. It's been an enormous sense of pride for me, particularly because I was able to travel back to Jalandhar in Punjab where my mother and grandmother were raised, or to DAV college where my father went to school. It wasn't that long ago that our family was here in this country, surviving every day like everyone else, uncertain of what the future might hold, but I also the impact they had on their community. I went to the government girls school where my grandmother taught at across from a slum area in Jalandhar. I went to the flat where my grandmother lived, where I went and stayed with her. We had no running water inside. We had one TV on the block. No refrigerator or a stove, other than an open fire pit in the kitchen. Those are my memories, and to come back 50 years later in this capacity, to represent the United States, represent the president, I know what a long shot that is," he said.
CLASSIC IMMIGRANT STORY "Mine is a classic immigrant story. I'm so proud of that. I also know I didn't get here on my own. I asked my dad, why did you leave India in 1963, you didn't have to go. I left because of you. I wanted you to have more opportunities and better future. They worked so hard there and here in India. For me to be able to come back is an incredible honour," said Verma.

 indiatoday

January 18, 2017

To counter China-Pakistan axis, India must join hands with US, Japan, Australia, Vietnam


Membership of NSG is not a farewell gift for the outgoing American Administration to hand out to India' said China on 16 Jan 2017. This country China with double standards was responsible for handing over nuclear bomb design to Pakistan and later on testing the Pakistani bomb in its own facilities.

Now, it is putting in technical hurdles in the path of India becoming a full-fledged NSG member. We should also not forget that twice in 2016, China blocked the process of declaring Pakistani jihadi Masood Azhar and his organisation Jaish-e- Mohammad as terrorists in the UN. They are responsible for last year's Pathankot air base attack in India. 
 China is hell bent on supporting Pakistan at any cost. Reason is that Pakistan has sold its soul to China in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor agreement in which China is investing $46bn. In actual fact China is investing only 11 billion dollars from its coffers. The rest of 35 billion dollars are coming from Chinese PSUs for which Pakistan will have to pay 27% interest. This interest rate is so high that even Pakistan's current generation, their children and children's children will not be able to pay back this money.
In other words, Pakistan will be a Chinese colony for generations to come. China is so confident of its investments in Pakistan that it has gifted two battle ships to Pakistani navy to guards the Gawadar port. Two more ships are also coming. In a futuristic perspective, Pakistan will also be getting eight submarines from China. The deal has been signed almost a year back.
All said and done, now India has no option but to expand its Navy at a fast pace. The current level of 137 ships with Indian Navy should rise to 200 at the earliest. At the same time it must join hands with US, Japan, Australia, Vietnam and anybody else who wants to counter China-Pakistan axis in Indian Ocean, South and East China Sea as also Arabian ocean.
Let us not forget that China is already patrolling Indian Ocean on the pretext of anti-piracy activity. It is also ringing up India by establishing bases called ring of pearls in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar.


merinews



India needs to work on 2 more military pacts: US Commander



A top US military Commander on Wednesday said India and the US need to work on two more military agreements in addition to the logistics exchange memorandum of agreement (LEMOA), which was signed in October last year. Admiral Harry B. Harris who heads the US Pacific Command (PACOM) was delivering the Raisina Dialogue ‘The new normal’ in New Delhi. The Ministry of External Affairs organised the dialogue in collaboration with the think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
 “The LEMOA allows us to work together. This is one of the three foundational agreements. I want us to work on the other two,” the Admiral said. “One is called the CISMOA. It deals with communication inter-operatability and second one called the BECA is on geo-spatial mapping. The foundational agreements are important as India has to set the pace and we will be with you," the Admiral said while adding that “Where we have come the past 15 years is an example but we have to overcome some areas we have to be persistent”. He cited defence technology trade initiative (DTTI) saying it allows us to work together.  “The US and India can script the new normal as our partnership will be defining moment of 21st century. The US India relationship is not to balance China,” he said. 
“We both are uniquely poised in the region to script the new normal,” the PACOM Commander said. He said a hindrance to free flow of navigation in Indian Ocean can disrupt economies. The threat to freedom of navigation is the biggest threat, he said later while answering a question. “Freedom of navigation is not a privilege that can be withdrawn. India accepted a ruling to resolve the maritime dispute with Bangladesh,” he said. “The threat of Islamic State (IS) is big threat we have seen fighters return to their home country can be dangerous. The IS wants to carry out attacks in this country. The way IS is spreading, we need to work together. A nuclear tipped missile in the hands of North Korea is a threat to US and its allies,” the US Commander said.

 tribuneindia

Why India–Vietnam Military Relations Disturb China – Analysis


The Chinese official newspaper, the Global Times (January 11) in an article entitled “Indian arms same to Hanoi disturbing if aimed at China”, warned New Delhi that India must desist from doing to China what China does to India.
The Chinese official article was in response to Indian media reports on discussions between Indian and Vietnam on supplying India made Akash surface-to-air missiles to (25 Km range) to Vietnam.
Some Indian media speculated that this agreement could be a reaction to China arming India’s neighbours especially Pakistan which has fought at least three wars with India, and engaged in regular terrorist attacks against India, sometimes with China’s blessings.
China’s propaganda establishment must understand how the free Indian media functions. They attack the government and criticise even the prime minister. In China, this is unthinkable. The print media, television channels and radio have to follow the line laid down by the communist Party and the government. Any perceived misdemeanour is treated harshly. Therefore, the Chinese commentators must listen to what the Indian government says.
Having said that, Indian journalist, commentators and members of think tanks are not fools. They understand what is happening around and the rising threat from China. The Indians are not blind, the Global Times should know.
The Global Times article further warns that if the Indian government “genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing it will only create disturbance in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed.” It also warns India against creating alliances or partnerships with some countries at the exclusion of some others, or else its development will be hurt severely. If India wants to grow as a great power it needs more cooperation with others.
The article advises or even warns India to forget about competition with China and for bids it to expanding its footprints and influence especially in areas over which China claims suzerainty historically. Because it then goes on to suggest that India should join China’s Belt and Road initiative which will not only promote the development of the region but also “solve the India-Pakistan contradictions”. Basically, be a ‘good boy’ and subservient to China.
The article was completely silent on what China has been doing in Pakistan over the decades since 1976. China helped construct Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme, which was openly centred against India. China gave Pakistan the blueprint for a nuclear bomb; Pakistan’s first nuclear bomb was tested in China’s Lop Nor nuclear testing site. China set up all of Pakistan’s nuclear enrichment and plutonium plants.
The papers that Alpha Project (at King’s College, London) published last year, reveals several Chinese entities involved in clandestinely providing Pakistan with advanced nuclear weapons technology, components and material. It may also be recalled that in the 1990s Chinese front companies were used to procure heavy earth moving equipment to dig siles for parking securely nuclear weapons/warheads.
 Lastly, no one can forget the clandestine supply of 5000 ring magnets to Pakistan in 1995 required for Uranium enrichment.
In 1991-92, China supplied Pakistan with the M-11 nuclear capable missiles (range=300 km), capable of reaching New Delhi. This was followed by massive transfer of technology, material and expertise for Pakistan’s medium range nuclear capable missiles. The supply of battle ships, aircraft, conventional missiles, submarines and other weapons are arming the Pakistani military. These are not play things. Most importantly, the Chinese Navy is deploying a naval detachment at Pakistan’s Gwadar Port paid for and built by China.
The Global Times may like to reply whether China’s militarization of Pakistan, including with nuclear weapons, were “responsible” acts as they claim? Incrementally, Beijing created a nuclear flash point in South Asia, debilitating moves by India towards reconciliation with Pakistan and fighting international terrorism. India’s move to list Pakistan based terrorist Masood Azhar in the UN Committee has only encouraged Pakistan’s deep state to continue with their foreign policy laced with terrorism with countries like Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh.
Beijing leaders must realise that their double-edged policy on Pakistan sponsored terrorism has not gone down well with SAARC member countries. These countries declined to attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan last year on this very ground.
With the release of its white paper “China’s Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation” (state Council Information Office, January 11), Beijing unveiled its hegemonic map of the region. Although primarily aimed at US President-elect and his incoming administration, the blue-print indirectly targets countries like India, which in China’s political ecology, does not belong to the Asia-Pacific region. But the new definition of “Indo-Pacific region” challenges the antiquated nomenclature.
The white paper cautions “some small and medium-sized countries uphold US hegemony over the Asia-Pacific region, but in fact, it is at the cost of their own interests”.
For years the Chinese officials propaganda machinery tried to spread apprehension among India’s neighbours including in South East Asia about New Delhi’s hegemonic ambition. Periodically, India was warned that if India entered Central Asia and South East Asia with seriousness especially military relations than “China will not sit idly by”. This is being acted upon in the India-Vietnam military relations case.
The white paper makes another critical statement that “the country will build a strong national defence force that, is commensurate with China’s international standing”. This is a shift from its earlier position that its defence build-up was based on its own defence needs. This new position is a significant shift, in tune with their super power status quest. Divide the world in China’s domain and the US domain.Such a division cannot be allowed for a new cold war with Chinese characteristics. India is neither countering China nor encircling China. The people of India will not allow their government to cede India’s interests based on international laws. China cannot hold India back from its destiny.

 eurasiareview

After Waiting For Decades, Army Jawans To Finally Get Their First Modern Helmet


For the first time ever, each and every jawan of the Indian Army will be equipped with a world-class helmet, an essential piece of kit that can be the difference between life and death during military operations. NDTV has learnt that an Indian company, the Kanpur-based MKU Industries has been contracted to manufacture 1.58 lakh helmets in a deal worth Rs. 170 and 180 crore, and the production of the new helmets is now beginning. This is the first large scale order of helmets by the Army in more than two decades.

The new helmets will be delivered within three years by MKU Industries, which is a world leader in the manufacture of body armour (bulletproof jackets and helmets) which it exports to armed forces around the world.
The new helmets are designed to bear the impact of 9 mm ammunition fired from a short range. This meets the global standard for protection among leading armed forces. They are also designed to be comfortable and many of them can be integrated with communications devices.  More than a decade back, the Indian Army's elite para special forces were equipped with an Israeli OR-201 helmet made of Glass Reinforced Plastic. However, regular soldiers in infantry formations had to make do with heavy domestically-made helmets which were not comfortable to wear during combat situations. A unique and often preferred solution for Indian Army soldiers, particularly during counter-insurgency operations, is wearing a bulletproof 'patka', though these have severe limitations since they offer protection only on the forehead and the back of the head. In addition to this, they weigh more than 2.5 kilograms.

In March last year, the government signed an 'emergency contract' to purchase 50,000 new bulletproof jackets from Tata Advanced Materials Limited after a delay of more than 10 years. This is a stand-in acquisition - the Army is in the process of evaluating far more advanced jackets which can provide soldiers a greater degree of protection from enemy bullets or shrapnel in the battlefield.

 ndtv

January 13, 2017

More Rafales for India Still Likely


Contrary to some previous indications, India is considering an additional 36 Dassault Rafales, a senior Ministry of Defence official said. The contract is likely to be signed in 2019 with deliveries to start by 2022, when the existing $8.8 billion order for 36 Rafales is completed, AIN has learned from sources close to the long-running procurement process. The two orders would add five squadrons of new fourth-generation fighters to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
What seems to have been disjointed planning for future fighters in India is now becoming clearer. India has recently been exploring again the local production of a foreign fighter with OEMs under its “Make in India” policy, this time a single-engine design. But that does not preclude buying more twin-engine Rafales, nor their production in India, it seems. Late last year, Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier told the French newspaper Sud Ouest that “we have the will and the strategy to establish ourselves in India.” There is a 50-percent offset stipulation in the first contract for 36 Rafales, that Dassault will partly fulfill by establishing a parts production and support facility with its local partner, the Reliance Group. “This would be [further] developed if other contracts were signed,” Trappier said. In the protracted and eventually abandoned negotiations for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement, only 18 Rafales would have been produced in France, with the other 108 assembled in India.
The Indian Navy is also likely to view with favor the carrier-capable Rafale-M on grounds of commonality, having recently rejected the naval version of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) because of excess weight and other factors.
On January 3, Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar said that the single-engine fighter would be a government-to-government project, that would include some aircraft in fly-away condition and the rest produced in India. The company that offers the best technology deal and financial terms will get the contract, he said. “During the current year, the decision, tender and closure should tentatively be over,” he added.
The Saab Gripen and Lockheed Martin F-16 are both in the fray, both OEMs having indicated an interest in transferring their entire manufacturing and assembly lines to India. The chosen fighter would supplement the LCA Mk1, 83 of which have been ordered by the IAF. But according to a retired IAF official, “The LCA has no deterrent capability. It is more of a matter of optics.”
Saab has offered to provide help with an improved LCA Mk II. This could be fitted with the same GE F414 engine that powers the Gripen E/F, the version that Saab has confirmed it would offer to India. The LCA Mk1 has a GE 404 engine, which does not provide enough power. And while any Gripen E/Fs sold to the IAF would carry the Leonardo (ex-Selex) AESA radar as standard, Saab is separately offering for the LCA, the new radar technology that it is developing at Gothenberg.
India’s military has too many aircraft types that do not make maintenance and spares cost effective. To overcome this, the MoD has formed a committee to explore synergies in procurement,” Kabir Bogra, associate partner at Delhi-based law firm Khaitan & Co. told
 AIN.

Ordering of 155/52 self-propelled gun in final stages: Parrikar


 
After successfully completing field trials of indigenously-developed howitzer Dhanush, another self-propelled gun 155/52 is in the final stages of being ordered, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday.

The 155mm/45-calibre Dhanush howitzer has been tested and field trials have been completed, he said at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar.

Also, the 'Pinaka' rocket, which used as an area destruction weapon that can virtually decimate 900 square metres of area, has been tested for 65 km range on Thursday, he said.

"That gives a tremendous boost to the capability of the armed forces once it goes in production. So why do we need to get worried about technology beingUS-engineered," he said.

Indian army has not had a new 155mm artillery gun inducted since the Bofors scandal of 1987. 'Dhanush', also known as 'desi Bofors', is indigenously-developed 155mm gun with 45 calibre having advanced features with a strike range of 38 km. The towed howitzer 'Dhanush' has larger range than 27-km of the imported Bofors.

"India after more than 30 years has successfully developed its own gun. No new artillery gun was introduced for 30 years in the Army. For the first time we have successfully developed and tested, field trial has been completed for Dhanush which is 155/45 Howitzer. Another self-propelled gun, 155/52 is in the final stages of being ordered," he said.

More than 50 per cent of the components of the self- propelled gun, being made by a joint venture of Larsen & Toubro and Samsung of Korea, are made in India, he said.

"The first lot will be ordered probably in the current financial year. This is one of the Make in India project. It is one step ahead of the Make in India. It is designed, developed and Made in India," he said.

Stating that India needs "to go a few steps further", he said these few steps further possibly would come through "a very strategic chapter in DPP (Defence Procurement Procedure, i.e, strategic partner. Which we expect to come out very soon. That will be a game changer for big time manufacturing in India and I expect it to be operational very soon.

Later talking to reporters, Parrikar said Dhanush is a gun manufactured by Ordinance Factory Board. The concept is based on the Bofors gun.

"Bofors gun was 155/39, this is 155/45 and larger range. First six guns have been sent for trial and it has been successfully trialled and so we asked for manufacturing them."

At the Summit, the minister said there is lot of potential for exports. "For the first time Ordinance items have been identified for private sector manufacturing and we are in the process of finalising the items as well as terms and conditions."

Initial tender has already been floated and RFI has already been floated and extensive discussion with industry has taken place.

Exports, he said, have grown 3-4 times but it is not adequate.

"India does need Ordinance Factory Board because in defence sometimes you have to keep capacities idle only on condition that you have to suddenly ramp it up. It's very difficult task for a private sector to be kept holding because the interest payment becomes a problem. There is a requirement of Ordinance factory," he said.

Parrikar said licensing procedures have been relaxed. "Offsets are piling up at a very fast pace. They are almost more than $8 billion and I expect it to very soon touch $8-10 billion in the next 10 years."
 
business-standard

January 12, 2017

China likely to pressure Vietnam leader to stop missile deal with India


Vietnam leader Nguyen Phu Trong, who arrives in Beijing on Thursday, will be under pressure to call off reported negotiations with India for purchase of a missile system, sources said. The Indian media has reported that Hanoi is in discussion with Indian authorities to purchase the Akash surface-to-air missile system from New Delhi.

China, which has emerged as a major arms seller, is reluctant to allow another Asian nation to enter into competition, sources said. This is one reason why Beijing has been objecting to India's entry into Nuclear Suppliers' Group, which has the potential of enlarging India's nuclear industry. The focus of Nguyen's talks with Chinese leaders is regional security ahead of the Donald Trump presidency in the United States, which has caused a lot of strain in Beijing. Any move to buy military equipment from India would make Beijing very nervous, sources said.

"If the Indian government genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing, it will only create disturbances in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed," Global Times, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, said in a commentary on Wednesday. On the face of it, China does not mind military ties between Vietnam and India, it said. "Yet such ties should be built for the sake of peace and stability in the region, rather than stirring up troubles or anxiety for others," the paper said betraying the concerns in Beijing.

India provided Vietnam a credit line of $500 million for buying military equipment during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Hanoi in September last year. India is already training the Vietnam Navy personnel in operating the Russian-origin Kilo-class submarine. The government has also asked BrahMos Aerospace, which produces the BrahMos missiles, to accelerate sales to a list of five countries topped by Vietnam.

The Beijing-based paper did not mention the fact that China has been arming Pakistan, which has no other reason to accumulate arms other than planning to use against India, with sophisticated military equipment. But it rapped countries who feel comfortable about dealing with India. "Due to geopolitical factors, some nations have been cozying up to India over the years, which to a large extent contributed to India's fruitful development," it said. "New Delhi understands that the best strategy for itself is to continue its collaboration with all parties, instead of picking a side and turning hostile to one another. Otherwise, it might not only turn others' troubles to its own puzzles, but also suffer enormous losses of development opportunities," the commentary said hoping to dissuade India from signing up Hanoi on the missile deal.

Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and other leaders during his four-day visit to China. He is also expected to discuss the South China Sea dispute. Vietnam is one of the half a dozen countries disputing Chinese claims to much of the South China Sea islands. "In the past two months, tensions have ratcheted up in the Asia-Pacific region and around the globe, and this will deeply influence the relations between Vietnam and China, the US, and the Southeast Asian nation," Zhuang Guotu, dean of the School for Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University told the local media. "So in this trip, Nguyen is expected to ascertain the actual situation of China and find a way of developing bilateral relations that both sides can accept," he said.

"India has a dream to grow into a great power. But under today's international circumstances, it will be extraordinarily hard to achieve the goal on its own. What India needs is more pragmatic cooperation with other countries," Global Times added.

 timesofindia

Khanderi launched in water: 10 interesting features


Khanderi, the second Kalvari class Scorpene submarine, was launched into water - or 'undocked' - by the Union minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) today. The submarine will undergo rigorous tests and trials on the surface and underwater before it is commissioned into the Indian Navy as "INS Khanderi" at the end of the year in December.

Here's a look at some of its special features:
10. As per Indian Navy tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy are brought alive again after decommissioning. The first ship "Khanderi" was commissioned on December 6, 1968 and decommissioned in October 1989, before it was "reincarnated" by MDL as a powerful predator for the deep waters, to guard the vast maritime interests and territories of Ind

 timesofindia

January 10, 2017

Dhanush hits trial target

In what could be the last step before indigenous artillery gun Dhanush is ready for induction, the Army has been carrying out ‘user-validation’ trials in the Himalayas.The exercise is being conducted under the aegis of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps and the Leh-based 14 Corps. The 15 Corps is tasked to face Pakistan while the 14 Corps is dual-tasked to face Pakistan as well as China. A total of six guns are being tested-fired in snow and in conditions where temperatures are presently hovering at minus 10 degrees.A production-level prototype is being tested and this is supposed to be the last lap of trials before the Ordnance Factory Board starts it bulk production. “The guns are doing well, but results in a tabulated form are awaited,” sources said.Dhanush 155 MM/45 calibre gun is based on the 1980s’ Bofors FH-77B/39 Calibre artillery gun design and aided by the transfer of technology (ToT) clause signed with the Swedish company.The ordnance board, an organisation under the Ministry of Defence, first unveiled the Indian version of the gun in February 2014 and handed it over to the Army for intensive tests. These were successfully conducted.The first three guns of the production-level prototype underwent four-month trial from June to September. Three more other guns were to be added and the entire lot will be tested in high-altitude winter conditions. The Indian version has several improvements to make Dhanush compatible with today’s modern communication techniques. The Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, drawn in 1999, aims to acquire 2,800-3,000 155 mm/52-calibre guns of all kinds and 155 mm/39-calibre lightweight howitzers by 2027.India has partially broken the ‘Bofors jinx’ and cleared, in November 2016, a deal to get 145 ultra-light howitzers for US$737 million (Rs 5,023.65 cr). In a way, this was the first new 155 MM artillery guns since March 1986 when 410 pieces of the Swedish company Bofors’ FH-77B 155mm/39 calibre howitzers were purchased for Rs 1,500 crore.

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Home-grown gun in last lap of testing before bulk production begins In what could be the last step before indigenous artillery gun Dhanush is ready for induction, the Army has been carrying out ‘user-validation’ trials in the Himalayas.The exercise is being conducted under the aegis of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps and the Leh-based 14 Corps. The 15 Corps is tasked to face Pakistan while the 14 Corps is dual-tasked to face Pakistan as well as China. A total of six guns are being tested-fired in snow and in conditions where temperatures are presently hovering at minus 10 degrees.A production-level prototype is being tested and this is supposed to be the last lap of trials before the Ordnance Factory Board starts it bulk production. “The guns are doing well, but results in a tabulated form are awaited,” sources said.Dhanush 155 MM/45 calibre gun is based on the 1980s’ Bofors FH-77B/39 Calibre artillery gun design and aided by the transfer of technology (ToT) clause signed with the Swedish company.The ordnance board, an organisation under the Ministry of Defence, first unveiled the Indian version of the gun in February 2014 and handed it over to the Army for intensive tests. These were successfully conducted.The first three guns of the production-level prototype underwent four-month trial from June to September. Three more other guns were to be added and the entire lot will be tested in high-altitude winter conditions. The Indian version has several improvements to make Dhanush compatible with today’s modern communication techniques. The Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, drawn in 1999, aims to acquire 2,800-3,000 155 mm/52-calibre guns of all kinds and 155 mm/39-calibre lightweight howitzers by 2027.India has partially broken the ‘Bofors jinx’ and cleared, in November 2016, a deal to get 145 ultra-light howitzers for US$737 million (Rs 5,023.65 cr). In a way, this was the first new 155 MM artillery guns since March 1986 when 410 pieces of the Swedish company Bofors’ FH-77B 155mm/39 calibre howitzers were purchased for Rs 1,500 crore. Tribuneindia
In what could be the last step before indigenous artillery gun Dhanush is ready for induction, the Army has been carrying out ‘user-validation’ trials in the Himalayas.The exercise is being conducted under the aegis of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps and the Leh-based 14 Corps. The 15 Corps is tasked to face Pakistan while the 14 Corps is dual-tasked to face Pakistan as well as China. A total of six guns are being tested-fired in snow and in conditions where temperatures are presently hovering at minus 10 degrees.A production-level prototype is being tested and this is supposed to be the last lap of trials before the Ordnance Factory Board starts it bulk production. “The guns are doing well, but results in a tabulated form are awaited,” sources said.Dhanush 155 MM/45 calibre gun is based on the 1980s’ Bofors FH-77B/39 Calibre artillery gun design and aided by the transfer of technology (ToT) clause signed with the Swedish company.The ordnance board, an organisation under the Ministry of Defence, first unveiled the Indian version of the gun in February 2014 and handed it over to the Army for intensive tests. These were successfully conducted.The first three guns of the production-level prototype underwent four-month trial from June to September. Three more other guns were to be added and the entire lot will be tested in high-altitude winter conditions. The Indian version has several improvements to make Dhanush compatible with today’s modern communication techniques. The Army’s Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, drawn in 1999, aims to acquire 2,800-3,000 155 mm/52-calibre guns of all kinds and 155 mm/39-calibre lightweight howitzers by 2027.India has partially broken the ‘Bofors jinx’ and cleared, in November 2016, a deal to get 145 ultra-light howitzers for US$737 million (Rs 5,023.65 cr). In a way, this was the first new 155 MM artillery guns since March 1986 when 410 pieces of the Swedish company Bofors’ FH-77B 155mm/39 calibre howitzers were purchased for Rs 1,500 crore.

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