IKB-DEF-MAR 18, 15 - Indicia Research & Advisory

Indicia Knowledge Brief
A Daily Assessment on Indian Defence and Internal/Homeland Security
March 18, 2015.
Primary aims of Indicia Daily Brief are two-fold. First, it distills infinite information into a
capsule form, thus saving precious time of its clients. Second, it tries to link micro-events
to larger strategic canvas through its analyses, thus providing support knowledge for
better understanding and decision-making.
Indicia Analysis of the Day
A fresh trial of beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAM) Astra was
deferred, due to a technical snag. The missile could not be launched
though an unmanned aerial vehicle which was to be used as a target for
the missile was flown from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha
coast.
The ‘Project 75’ for the construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy
has been in the pipeline for long time now. ThyssenKrupp Marine
Systems (TKMS) India, which is one of the companies in fray for the order,
talks about what the company has to offer to India.
The Union defence ministry has asked public sector undertaking
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to examine whether it is feasible to
set up a helicopter manufacturing unit in Goa. Speaking to mediapersons
from Goa at south block in the defence ministry at Delhi, defence minister
Manohar Parrikar said that he has asked HAL to put "a business plan"
before the defence ministry for the purpose.
I. National Defence and Security:
Astra Missile doesn’t fire up due to snag in latest test:
A fresh trial of beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAM) Astra was
deferred, reportedly, due to a technical snag. The missile could not be launched
though an unmanned aerial vehicle which was to be used as a target for the
missile was flown from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast. Defence
sources said the missile was initially planned to be tested on March 12 but was
rescheduled. A defence official associated with the mission said though the
pilotless target aircraft (PTA) was flown as per schedule, the missile could not be
fired due to technical glitches in the system. ITR Director MVKV Prasad said
there is a possibility of the trial either. As part of induction phase trials, the test
was aimed at checking the control system and its stability which would have
propelled its quick induction into the Armed forces. However, it is not for the
first time that the missile has developed problem. In 2011, the missile had failed
twice but in 2012 and 2014, a series of developmental tests, captive flights and
trials from fighter aircraft was successful. On May 20, 2011 the missile had fallen
down immediately after it took off from a ground launcher. Next day, though the
scientists associated with the project had rectified the glitches, the missile did
not perform as expected. The weapon system got disintegrated mid-air after
attaining a certain height. On June 20 last year, Astra was test-fired successfully
from fighter aircraft Su-30MKI by the Air Force from a Naval range off Goa coast.
The indigenously developed Astra is designed for an 80-km range in head-on
mode and 20 km-range in tail-chase mode. A complex missile can intercept fastmoving aerial targets at supersonic speed of 1.2 to 1.4 Mach. As an anti-aircraft
missile, it can be fired after receiving a signal from a far away target through its
onboard manoeuvres based on radio frequency.
Source: http://idrw.org/archives/60124
*
Sukhoi for Bengaluru? DRDO hunts for a supersonic Flying Test
Bed:
A Sukhoi for India's Aviation Capital -- Bengaluru? If the Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) has its way, an aircraft that can reach
supersonic speeds would enter Bengaluru's celebrated list of fighters enjoying
permanent residency. Sources confirm to OneIndia that the DRDO has already
moved a paper to acquire a supersonic aircraft that will act as a FTB (Flying Test
Bed). The FTB is an aircraft being used for testing the performance of systems
and sub-systems in airborne conditions. The systems can range from engines,
radars, data links, EW (electronic warfare) suites, radio altimeters among others.
DRDO says the FTB reduces the cycle time for the development of airborne
systems. Also, more FTBs under their command could reduce the dependency on
foreign agencies. In May 2014, the DRDO had acquired a FTP Nabhrathna -- a
modified and custom-made Dornier (DO-228) aircraft, built by Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Nabhrathna was rolled out from the hangars of
HAL's Kanpur-based Transport Aircraft Division. Sukhoi is the best bet as FTB A
committee has already been set up to look into the possibilities of acquiring the
FTB. In addition to members from the DRDO, the committee has representatives
from the Indian Air Force and HAL. While Sukhoi is leading the fray, the
advantages of MiG 29 are also being considered by the committee.
Source:
http://www.oneindia.com/india/sukhoi-for-bengaluru-drdo-hunts-for-a-supersonic-flying-testbed-1685485.html
*
ThyssenKrupp ready to transfer knowhow to India for
submarines:
The ‘Project 75’ for the construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy has
been in the pipeline for long time now. Dr Gurnad Sodhi, Managing Director,
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) India, which is one of the companies in
fray for the order, talks about what the company has to offer to India.
Q. What has prompted TKMS to participate in one of the lndia’s largest Defence
tender for the construction of six submarines under Project 75 India (P-75 (I) for
the Indian Navy?
A. The Ministry of Defence is expected to issue the P-75 (I) RFP for which we are
planning to offer the Type 214 submarine, which combines best-in-class
underwater endurance and diving depth. Besides its highly regarded anti-surface
and anti-submarine operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
capabilities, the HDW Class 214's proven fuel cell-based Air Independent
Propulsion system is the best available in the market and offers exceptional
operational advantages to the Indian Navy. Since the Indian Navy has been our
customer for over 30 years, we have established a strong working relationship
with them and are in a position to fully satisfy their requirements.
Q. Has TKMS short-listed any Indian shipyard for collaboration or alliance?
A. A high-level committee has been formed by the MoD and is currently
evaluating the Indian shipyards. It is expected that this Committee will submit its
report shortly.
TKMS respects the decision by the MoD in short-listing the most capable
shipyard(s) without any bias. Thereafter, we will commence our negotiations
with the shortlisted shipyard(s).
Q. Will TKMS adhere to India’s new policy of ‘Make in India’?
A. We are committed to the ‘Make and Made in India’ policy. This would
encompass inter alia robust Transfer of Technology (ToT), training, meeting the
offset obligations etc. TKMS is willing to bring its expertise in cutting-edge areas
to India and co-develop solutions with local partners to meet the country's
needs. Besides the most capable submarine, best value for money and a strong
industrial partnership, TKMS is offering extensive ToT to India.
Q. Could TKMS throw some light on the present status of its four submarines
which were commissioned in the late eighties and early nineties?
A. TKMS has been a trusted partner of the Indian Navy for over 25 years. The
Indian Navy has operated successfully the HDW Type 209 since their induction
in 1986. The very fact that INS Shalki and Shankul were made in India by an
Indian Shipyard under a technology-transfer agreement is proof that TKMS has
been supporting India’s indigenous defence industry for over a quarter of a
century. We can proudly claim that all our four submarines are performing well
without any inherent problems....
Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/business/thyssenkrupp-ready-to-transfer-knowhow-to-indiafor-submarines/54542.html
*
HAL to study feasibility of setting up copter unit at Goa:
Parrikar:
The Union defence ministry has asked public sector undertaking Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to examine whether it is feasible to set up a
helicopter manufacturing unit in Goa. Speaking to mediapersons from Goa at
south block in the defence ministry at Delhi, defence minister Manohar Parrikar
said that he has asked HAL to put "a business plan" before the defence ministry
for the purpose. If set up, it could be the country's second helicopter
manufacturing unit, he added. At the Goa investment summit 2015 held last
month, Parrikar had expressed interest to set up a helicopter manufacturing unit
in the state. Setting up defence-related projects in the state has been emphasized
in the Goa investment policy which was finalized by Parrikar, when he was chief
minister of the state. Parrikar had also said that according to a study carried out,
Goa was found to be a suitable place for setting up of helicopter manufacturing
unit. Recently, the defence minister had cleared the construction of eight
minesweeper ships at the Goa shipyard limited (GSL) at an estimated cost of
32,000 crore.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/HAL-to-study-feasibility-of-setting-up-copter-unit-atGoa-Parrikar/articleshow/46589633.cms
*
ON A WING AND A SPARE:
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha burst a cluster bomb at the last combined
commanders conference on October 17, which was Prime Minister Narendra
Modi's first. If the government wanted his force to guard the frontiers with
Pakistan and China well, he would need at least 45 squadrons of fighter jets; he
had hardly 34! Raha, soft-spoken and not known for theatrics, stunned the prime
minister and the entire security establishment. This was probably the first time
that an Air Force chief had told the government, after Shashindra Pal Tyagi wrote
to the government eight years ago and leaked his letter, that his force was in
such a bad state that he would not be able to do his duty. With the decision on
the long-demanded 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft getting delayed,
there is no hope of augmenting the fleet in the near future. Though there is an
overall increase of about Rs25,000 crore in the defence budget, there is a drastic
cut in the money allotted for aircraft purchase. The allocation to the IAF for
buying aircraft and aero-engines has been slashed from Rs21,461.39 crore to
Rs18,866.01 crore. Money can be allocated only after a purchase decision has
been approved, and, as of now, there is none on the IAF's plate. “The explanation
for the delays in procurement should not be asked of the man in uniform,” said
retired air chief marshal P.V. Naik. “The bureaucracy is responsible for procuring
equipment for the services.” With its squadron strength depleting fast, the IAF
has no go but to progressively scale down the magnitude of its mandated tasks.
There was a time in the early 2000s when the force, flush with the victory in the
Kargil war and with the prospect of several squadrons of lethal Sukhoi-30MKIs
flying in, talked of being equipped for a two-front war with China and Pakistan. A
realistic assessment since then has made the marshals realise that such a
doctrine would require at least 60 squadrons of ultra-modern war jets. That is
about 1,200 fighter planes. Ambitions have since been scaled down, for several
reasons. As the flush of the Kargil win receded, the defence ministry was back to
the same old lethargy in procurement. Purchase decisions got entangled in
bureaucratic red-tape and ministerial caution against allegations of corruption.
“The IAF is still awaiting the induction of the medium multi-role aircraft,” said
Naik. Then came the economic downturn, dashing any hope of a big jump in the
budget for the services' capital purchases. Moreover, the Chinese began upping
their air power and ground facilities in Tibet at such a fast pace that there was no
way the IAF could match war jet for war jet. In just about a decade, China added
more than 300 brand-new Russian Sukhoi-30MKKs and Sukhoi-27s, and
homemade J-10 and J-17s. As the 'ground' reality struck the Indian air staff, their
operational doctrines became less ambitious. “The current operational directive
from the office of the defence minister, issued in 2009, asks the armed forces to
be war-ready on the Pakistan border, and prepare for holding operations along
the China border,” a ministry official told THE WEEK. Simply put, it means adopt
an offensive posture on the Pakistan front, and a defensive one against the
Chinese. But even such a modest war doctrine is now looking too ambitious. As
Raha told the combined commanders' conference, he would need 45 squadrons
to hold back the Chinese while waging a reasonably credible offensive against
Pakistan; and he had just 34. “The situation is precarious,” pointed out retired air
marshal A.K. Singh, former chief of the Delhi-based western air command that
takes care of the entire theatre of operations against Pakistan. “If tomorrow we
have to face the eventuality of both Pakistan and China putting pressure on us on
the borders, we would be in a grave situation.”....
Source:
http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgibin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekContent.do?contentId=18553475&programId=1073755753&tabId=
13&categoryId=-225861
*
Defence sector opening up to startup technology:
Conservative and security sensitive outfits like the Indian Defence are opening
up to explore startup technology. While startup Threye has partnered with the
Indian Air Force (IAF) to build mobile games to make youth excited about the
IAF, startup Inforich is helping the Indian Navy with technical documentation.
Similarly, Mobiliya is collaborating with the Indian Army to provide them with
tamper-proof secure mobile phones. "It was a bit of luck that we were able to get
the tender with the Indian Air Force," says Sidhant Rahi, VP business
development of Threye, who along with co-founders Anurag Rana and Sameer
Joshi started the company two years ago. Threye has developed `Guardians of the
Sky', an air combat mobile game for the IAF. Both Rana and Joshi are avid
aviation enthusiasts."We were developing our own game called Morning Glory,
which deals with military operations, around the same time that the Air Force
released a tender seeking to build a mobile game to excite the youth about the
field.Though it was a long shot, we won the tender," says Rahi. He adds that
while the defence sector is opening up to startup technology, the slow moving
pace in government bodies, and the revenue structure is a hindrance for
startups. The game released in two phases is nearing two million downloads....
Source:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/emerging-businesses/startups/defence-sectoropening-up-to-startup-technology/articleshow/46593842.cms
*
India hands over 3 HAL Built Chetak helicopters to Suriname:
The air force has three helicopters at its disposal. The three HAL Chetak
Helicopters were handed over by Indian ambassador to Suriname Mrs. M.
Subashini, to Defense Minister Lamure Latour. “A memorable moment,” said
Latour as he reflected that it took seven years of negotiations to get the
helicopters to Suriname and operational. He said that the aircraft will prove
valuable in executing control and civil aviation support tasks. The helicopters
were ordered in 2009 with a US$13.5 million price tag; the Indian Government
had provided a US$16 million line of credit, but delivery was held up by financial
and administrative obstacles. The helicopters, manufactured by Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL India) were manufactured, inspected and tested in
India, then taken apart and shipped to Suriname. Indian technicians came to
Suriname and helped put them back together. They also provided training to the
pilots of the Suriname air force. Current plans call for one Chetak to be based at
Paramaribo’s Zorg en Hoop airport, Nickerie’s Majoor Henry Fernandes Airport
and Albina Airstrip. Maintenance will be carried out by Indian ground support
personnel, 8 of whom have been detached to Suriname. The HAL Chetak is a
license-manufactured version of the 1960s-vintage Aérospatiale SA-316 Alouette
III, a durable design especially suited for hot-and-high operations.
Source: http://idrw.org/archives/60131
*
Kutch:
UAVs, ATVs soon to shore up BSF patrolling power in Rann of
An array of modern Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), fast-attack craft and allterrain vehicles (ATVs) will soon bolster the dominion power of the BSF
deployed to guard the marshy and arid Rann of Kutch region along the Indo-Pak
border. The country's 'first line of defence' is also planning to station some allweather floating vessels near the disputed waters in the region including around
Sir Creek and Harami Naala areas, a top BSF commander said. "The border
guarding force is vigorously pursuing to get UAVs and we are very hopeful that
very soon we will be able to get these," BSF Inspector General (Gujarat Frontier)
Santosh Mehra said. Mehra said, as of now, routine sorties by UAVs are being
carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on the request made by BSF along the
850-km stretch on the Indo-Pak border. The patrolling in the marshy Kutch
region, which is currently being done by foot soldiers and four all-terrain
vehicles, will further be enhanced with the induction of more all-terrain vehicles
(ATVs), the IG said. The demo of the ATVs have been taken and some
customisations are being done by the supplier firm as per the suggestions made
by the BSF, Mehra said, without disclosing the exact number of procurements to
be made. "We have projected requirement for getting more ATVs. I would not
like to mention the exact number, but a very large number of ATVs will be
coming, not only in terms of numbers but varieties also," Mehra said. Also in the
pipeline are fast-attack craft that the force has been seeking for sometime to
facilitate quick action along the vast stretches of the Great Rann. "We are also
getting fast-attack craft very shortly. A team has recently visited the United
States of America. It had been in the pipeline for quite some time but maybe in
the next three-four months we will be able to get fast-attack craft that will be
able to move at very short notice," Mehra said....
Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/uavs-atvs-soon-to-shore-up-bsf-power-inrann-of-kutch-115031700202_1.html
II
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