IKB-DEF-MAR 08, 15

Indicia Knowledge Brief
A Daily Assessment on Indian Defence and Internal/Homeland Security
March 08, 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
Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) ‘National
Programme on Mini-Micro Unmanned Air Vehicle’ has led to the
disbursement of Rs 40 crore in the last one year to various research labs
and engineering colleges. The major chunk of the disbursal has gone to 60
projects initiated by engineering colleges spread across the country.
Unfortunately, India may not have the funds to seal the deal with Dassault
Aviation to purchase $12 billion Rafale fighter planes, as India’s plans to
boost defence spending by almost 8 percent is likely to fall short of
The government’s efforts at a major restructuring of the Border Roads
Organisation as it rushes to accelerate the long overdue construction of
strategic roads along India's frontiers, still face several key challenges.
I. National Defence and Security:
DRDO to review all unmanned air vehicle projects; disburses 40 crore:
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) through its ‘National
Programme on Mini-Micro Unmanned Air Vehicle’ has disbursed Rs 40 crore in
the last one year to various research labs and engineering colleges. “The major
chunk of the disbursal has gone to 60 projects initiated by engineering colleges
spread across the country,” Dr K Tamilmani, DG (Aero), DRDO told Business Line.
“This month DRDO will be conducting a review of all the projects. The thinking in
DRDO is that construction of less than 100 kg Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) for
civil application be reserved to research institutes and engineering colleges,” he
added. DRDO is planning to encourage research institutes and engineering
colleges to partner with private companies to co-develop UAVs. The successful
models are to be commercially made available. Talking about defence application
of UAVs, Dr Tamilmani said DRDO’s ADA have already successfully test-flown the
Rustom UAV and work is on for naval version. “We have the expertise to develop
UAVs and this is for the first-time that all the defence institutions are coming
together to develop a rotary UAV. Developing a rotary UAV is a challenging task,
especially for India Navy. The use and application is different. Given the fact that
UAV has to land on a moving ships.” Earlier, speaking at a seminar on ‘2nd
national UAV Technologies’ organised by Rotary Club of Bangalore and Jain
University, Dr Tamilmani said “The DRDO’s thrust is to encourage all indigenous
companies to manufacture parts and sub-systems, which go into the making of
UAVs.” “At present engines and payloads for manufacture of UAVs are being
imported,” he added. Encouraging the engineering students to utilise
laboratories and other scientific facilities of NAL, he said “Scientists at NAL are
there for all of you to experiment and test your ideas.” Ram Kumarr Seshu,
president Rotary Club of Bangalore, said seminar and air show is to encourage
and foster young minds from rural background to interact and with flyers of
UAVs. Rotary Club has been partnering with various companies for over a
decade. “In the one last decade, we have partnered with TTK, Indo-American
Hybrid Seeds, ICICI and now State Bank of India to promote community-based
programmes,” said Kumarr Seshu. Under TEACH (a Rotary India Literacy
Mission) to wipe out illiteracy in the country, Rotary Club has taken up
construction of four primary and middle schools including toilet blocks in Malur
taluk in Kolar district. “So far have spent around Rs 1 crore and we plan to spend
Rs 2 crore this calendar year,” said Kumarr Seshu. As a support to TEACH
initiative, Kumarr Seshu said “Rotary Club of Bangalore has also taken up
‘Learning in Comfort’ to distribute desks for primary class schools. So far 1,000
desks have been distributed. Today in Kanakapura we distributed 125 desks.
Indian Budget Casts Doubt on Rafale Deal:
India may not have the funds to seal the deal with Dassault Aviation to purchase
$12 billion Rafale fighter planes, according to an Air Force source. While India
plans to boost hike defense spending by almost 8 percent, defense analysts and
military officers say it falls short of expectations and isn't enough to buy fresh
weaponry. India will spend US $40.4 billion on defense in the April 1 2015-March
31 2016 financial year, according to the Feb. 28 proposal to Parliament. That's an
increase of 7.74 percent over the previous year. The previous year's budget went
up 12.4 percent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave no additional funds in the
"Capital Account Head" of the budget proposals, which is earmarked to buy fresh
weapons. The budget included the same amount as last year: $15.5 billion. "With
the stagnation in capital expenditure, I believe there is very little left in the
budget to cater to new contracts," said Laxman Behera, research fellow at the
Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses think tank in New Delhi. Amit
Cowshish, retired Defence Ministry finance adviser and defense analyst, said: "It
is unlikely that the allocation [under Capital Account] would cater for only
committed liabilities." Said an Air Force officer: "With no fresh money it is
unlikely if we can contract the $12 billion Rafale fighter deal with Dassault
Aviation of France, nor buy additional aircraft in the next financial year." The
contract is to be paid in installments, with 15 percent due at the signing of the
deal. At best, a $2.5 billion deal finalized two years ago to purchase attack and
heavy lift helicopters from Boeing could be inked as the US company has
threatened to hike the price if the deal is delayed, the official added. "The budget
allocation may not be sufficient even for contracted projects as they are carry
over from the 2014-15 budget on capital account," said Rahul Bhonsle, retired
Indian Army brigadier general and defense analyst. The Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) promised during that election to modernize defense and meet weapons
requirements, said defense analyst Nitin Mehta. "The first full budget of the new
government announced Feb. 28 is a let down on expectations," he said. "There
are serious concerns over government's commitment to fully budget India's
defense and security needs despite statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on modernization of the armed forces," he said.....
Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaking-news/2015/03/06/indian-budget-casts-doubt-onrafale-deal/24377511/
LCA MK-II with GE's F414-INS6 Engine on schedule:
GE Aviation is expecting certification of the F414 engine for the Light Combat
Aircraft (LCA) Mark II fighter by this year-end, said Mr Nalin Jain, CEO of GE
Transportation and Aviation. GE F414 engine contract which was signed in 2011,
features improved Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC), single
Crystal blade design, single engine safety features and other electronic advances.
The LCA Mk II will feature advanced equipment, such as the active electronic
scanned array (AESA) radar, upgraded avionics and electronic warfare suite,
while also being capable of carrying a larger payload than the Mk I LCA. GE’s
F404 engine already powers LCA Tejas Mark I fighter. Nalin Jain briefed on GE
aviation’s contracts with the Indian government. “We had collaborated with
Aeronautic Development Agency (ADA) for the demonstration program of the
Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas, started back in 1985.” In spite of the length of
time, handover of the first Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) series-production
Tejas—aircraft SP-1—to the Indian air force on Jan. 17 was hailed as an
achievement. To accomplish this, the industry had to conquer hurdles related to
U.S. sanctions over India’s nuclear testing that interrupted access to key
suppliers in the middle of development, resulting in delays and cost increases.
The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program began in 1983 with a budget of around
5.6 billion rupees ($91 million), which has escalated to almost 250 billion rupees
over the last three decades. Series-production aircraft may now cost 1.6 billion
rupees each—still a fraction the price of a Western fighter. SP-1 was delivered in
the Initial Operation Clearance 2 (IOC-2) configuration released at the end of
2013. This addressed performance, readiness and weapons limitations
associated with IOC-1, released in 2011. The upgraded aircraft is capable of highangle-of-attack flight, faster turnarounds and deployment of R73E Archer
infrared air-to-air missiles and 1,000-lb. laser-guided bombs in air-superiority
and offensive air support missions. A second series-production aircraft is in
flight-testing, and the first three of the initial batch of six are expected to be
delivered by June, with the remaining three likely to be handed over before the
end of March 2016. HAL plans to produce six Tejas in fiscal April 2015-March
2016 and subsequently scale up to eight and then 16 aircraft per year. The air
force is aiming to form its first squadron of 16-18 Tejas in three years’ time,
based at Sulur in southern Tamil Nadu. The service has ordered an initial 40 Mk.
1 aircraft, 20 of which will be delivered in IOC-2 configuration. Final Operation
Clearance (FOC) is now anticipated by year-end. HAL expects the air force
ultimately to induct around 14 squadrons to replace approximately 250 MiG-21s
still in its fleet. LCA test pilot Grp. Capt. Suneeth Krishna says the first Tejas
delivered to the air force is combat-ready. “The aircraft presented to the air force
is a weaponized version. It is an all-weather aircraft and can handle cold, heat
and mountainous conditions. It meets the requirements of any such aircraft in its
class,” he says. “The IOC-2 aircraft do not require major structural changes to be
converted into FOC aircraft. Besides augmenting a few weapons capabilities, the
upgrades are mostly in the software,” says Krishna. In a step toward FOC, a sixth
prototype of the air force Tejas made its first flight last November. PV-6 is the
final prototype leading to a series-production two-seat trainer and incorporates
all of the modifications resulting from flight testing since 2001.....
Source: http://www.defencenews.in/defence-news-internal.aspx?id=41zKsd8nwRw=
GE’s F414-INS6 engine for Tejas MK-II on Schedule: CEO of GE
Nalin Jain. President and CEO of GE’s Transportation and Aviation business in
South Asia region in his latest Interview have confirmed that GE’s F414-INS6
engine which will be used on Tejas MK-II aircraft is currently on schedule in
development and testing. He also added that GE’s F414-INS6 engine includes a
Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) and added single-engine safety
features which will be crucial for Tejas MK-II. Engine will also produce more
thrust than previous versions. Ge will start supplying first batch of engines from
2016 onwards and the rest will be manufactured in India under transfer of
technology arrangement. Jain also said that GE’s Multi-Modal Facility (MMF)
based in Pune which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will play
a crucial role in global supply chain for GE and is largest manufacturing facility
outside USA. GE also is supplying LM2500 Gas turbines for Indian navies P-17
Stealth Frigates and will also integrated with INS Vikrant, India’s first locally
developed aircraft carrier. Ge will also be supplying T700-701D engines for
Boeing AH-64E Apache which has been selected by India for IAF.
Source: http://idrw.org/archives/59400
Army warfare training in J&K takes a hit:
The Army’s training in warfare, especially in artillery fire — a winning factor in
conventional wars — has been severely affected in the insurgency-hit J&K, which
shares its borders with China and Pakistan. After the previous NC-Congress
coalition government refused to renew lease deeds of Kalith and Tosa Maidan
firing ranges in June and October last year, respectively, the Army’s training in
warfare has been adversely hit, said top defence sources. As a last resort, the
Army since early January this year has started sending its troops along with
artillery guns and other weapons and ammunition from J&K to firing ranges in
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, they added. It may be stated that the Army has
deployed several artillery units in counter-insurgency operations across J&K. “In
a last resort, we are now sending artillery regiments with artillery guns and
ammunition to Mahajan and Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan and Bobina
field firing range in Madhya Pradesh for perfecting artillery fire, tank fire and
other high calibre weapons,” said a defence source. One artillery regiment has
three batteries and one battery comprises 132 men and has six artillery guns.
Pulling out one artillery regiment (396 men) from counter-insurgency
operations in the state for undergoing training in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
along with their weapons and ammunition takes a mammoth effort. It takes over
a month for the regiment to complete training and come back. However, it
creates a vacuum in the security grid from where the regiment is pulled out, the
sources said. The process of booking trains, ferrying artillery regiment with men,
guns and ammunition is not only tedious but also weakens our security grid in
the militancy-hit J&K where Pakistan and China keep engineering activities
inimical to India, they added. Keeping in mind the security scenario, the Army
has been sending its troops for training in a phased manner. On August 14 last
year, the then Brigade Commander of 52 Brigade, Brigadier RS Bathuria, had
regretted the delay in renewing the lease. To date, the lease has not been
renewed. All units under 16 Corps (White Knight Corps) used to undergo
training at Kalith while units under 15 Corps (Chinar Corps) used to undergo
training at Tosa Maidan. Tosa Maidan in Budgam and Kalith range in Akhnoor
were used by the Army since 1965.
DRDO Scientist Claims Innocence:
A senior scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation
(DRDO) is facing sexual harassment charges by a junior woman researcher.
According to official sources, the woman, who joined the DRDO’s Delhi-based
Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) in December last,
filed a complaint with the head of the organisation in February. In her plaint to
Dr Shashi Bala Singh, director, DIPAS, the woman accused senior scientist Dr D
Majumdar, 59, of making sexual advances towards her and alleged that he used
to sexually harass her on his office premises. More than 40 other fellow
researchers also came out in support of the complainant and gave their
representation against Majumdar. Subsequently, her complaint was forwarded
to the DRDO headquarters and a five-member committee headed by Hina
Gokhale, director HRD, DRDO, was formed to look into the allegations, as per the
Supreme Court-formulated Vishakha Guidelines. Majumdar, who is retiring by
2015-end, has been transferred to a Gwalior-based laboratory where he has
been asked to report by March 16. When contacted, Majumdar defended himself
and said the allegation was a conspiracy. “I completely deny such allegations and
it is a conspiracy to defame me. Surprisingly, hours after appearing before the
committee on March 3, I received my transfer orders from the headquarters,”
said Majumdar, Scientist-G of the DRDO, which is equivalent to a Joint Secretaryrank officer. While deposing before the committee, he reportedly handed over
six testimonials from junior scientists in his favour. However, the complainant
didn’t comment. When contacted, Shashi Bala Singh said, “I will not be able to
make any comment on it. Please contact my headquarters.” DRDO spokesperson
Ravi Gupta said, “We (DRDO) follow strict regulations, whenever such
allegations come out in the department. Since a committee has been already
constituted and looking into the matter, it would be inappropriate for me to
comment on its proceedings.” DIPAS was recently in the news for carrying out a
study for faster deployment of troops in high-altitude operations in a war-like
situation. However, it was rubbished by the Army. In fact, the Army severely
criticised the methods adopted by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied
Sciences scientists to collect data samples for its study.
Govt pushes for road projects along China border:
The government has begun a major restructuring of the Border Roads
Organisation as it rushes to accelerate the long overdue construction of strategic
roads along India's frontiers, but senior Army officials and defence experts say
the projects face several key challenges and the overhaul in itself is an uphill
task. The Defence Ministry has undertaken several measures to fast-track the
laying of border roads since former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar took
charge of the department in November. "Regulations for border infrastructure
have handicapped the construction of roads leading to the country's borders,"
Parrikar admitted at the Confederation of Indian Industries' Investment Summit
recently. The BRO is especially worried about the slow pace of work on road
projects along the Indo-China border. In Ladakh alone, of the 14 roads that were
sanctioned to be built along the China border, only two have been completed.....
Homeland Security
Mufti Sayeed government set to release hardline Hurriyat
separatist from prison:
Masrath Alam, leader of the hardline- faction of Hurriyat, who had spearheaded
the stone-pelting agitations in the valley in 2008 and 2010, was reportedly
released from prison following the new government's policy of freeing political
prisoners who do not face criminal charges. The orders for the release of 42year-old Alam, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Muslim League, has been issued by
the Home Department and he is technically free, said a top police official in
Baramulla, where he is lodged in the prison. Earlier in the day, formalities
remained to be completed and he would be released once they are over, he said.
A number of lives were lost during the stone-pelting agitation in the Valley. DGP
K Rajendra had said Alam was being released and that the police would comply
with the directions of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who has sought
release of all political prisoners who do not face any criminal charge. "Yes, all the
directions issued by the government (on release of political prisoners from jails
in the state) will be complied with. Let us be assured about it," Director General
of Police (DGP), J&K, K Rajendra Kumar told reporters in Jammu. He was asked
whether the process of release of political prisoners has begun at the level of the
police. "Any direction coming from the the government would be looked into and
would be worked out," the DGP said. In a meeting with the police chief on,
Sayeed had asked the police to initiate a process of releasing all political
prisoners in the State against whom no criminal charges have been registered.
He had also directed the DGP to prepare a comprehensive plan for the
rehabilitation of surrendered and released militants. Asked whether police has
formulated any plan for release of separatists, including those who took part in
stone pelting in 2008 and 2010, like separatists Masarat Alam and Qasim Faktoo,
he said, "We will get back to you. We will come back with our views when we are
ready with the blue print." "At the moment, we will not be able to say much on
Home Ministry Warns Bengal on Possible Terrorist Air Strike:
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) alerted the West Bengal government of
possible air strikes by terrorist groups on the state’s heritage buildings and
industrial establishments. State Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Home Secretary
Basudev Banerjee held a meeting with senior police officials and representatives
of Central agencies to review security measures and decide how to tighten them.
The state government received a written memo about plans by Islamic terrorists
to fly small aircraft at low heights to evade detection by radars and bomb well
known heritage sites and industrial establishments. The memo said drones may
also be used to carry out the attacks. Security was beefed up at the Netaji
Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum and also at the
Bagdogra airport in North Bengal. Various stations of the Indian Air Force,
including the bases at Kalaikunda in West Medinipur, Barrackpore in North 24
Parganas and Hasimara in Alipurduar districts have been put on alert. The IAF
will carry out sorties along the Bangladesh border to thwart any attempts by
terror groups based in districts that have borders with West Bengal. The Indian
Coast Guard has also been alerted and its helicopter gunships will fly over the
Bay of Bengal in case any attempt was made to fly into the state through the air
space over it. Last month, the Central government issued alerts to all state
governments after the Islamic State (IS) was banned, but this alert has been
sounded to caution just West Bengal. Last November, the MHA had issued a
similar warning to the state on terror attacks at its ports by Islamist outfits, with
help from a section of the Pakistan Navy. According to intelligence reports the
terrorists who planned to reach the ports on small boats via the Bay of Bengal
were also likely to target important security and industrial units in the adjoining
areas of ports. After the latest MHA memo, the state government informed the
Eastern Command of the Army, while the BSF and CISF, which guards industrial
installations in the state, have been directed to increase vigil and initiate
preemptive action.
Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Home-Ministry-Warns-Bengal-on-Possible-TerroristAir-Strike/2015/03/07/article2701831.ece
Indicia solicits comments and advice from readers on any aspect of the report. It believes
that cross-fertilisation of knowledge invariably leads to better knowledge
Indicia Research & Advisory
Fusion Knowledge in Indian Defence and Strategic Affairs
C – 79, Basement, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi – 110 017
T&F: + 91 11 4579 2922, email: [email protected]