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Vol VIII, Issue VIII, JANUARY 2018 n `100


Obstacles and roadblocks notwithstanding,
the Indian Army has moved ahead to
indigenise military systems in an effort to
stop imports.

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Tel: +91-11-33123000 Fax: +91-11-25684827 Mail:

Dear Readers,
Greetings of the season and a very happy and prosperous These hitches notwithstanding, the ‘Make in India’
New Year! programme is going ahead to use a naval term, ‘full-
The year has begun on a new note but there are signs steam’. This issue of Geopolitics details how the army has
that the long-awaited modernisation of our armed forces begun procuring India-made artillery guns in the last
could face more roadblocks. How else can one describe year. The move will boost the Indian defence industry in
the cancellation of the order of the army’s Anti-Tank the private sector and technology in the public sector.
Guided Missiles (ATGMs) – despite the fact that our army The Tata Power SED and Bharat Forge tie-up will see
urgently required these missiles? While Geopolitics is not the production of 20 guns of the 155mm Advanced Towed
going into the reasons for the cancellation do we need to Artillery Gun System (ATAGS). In addition, there is also a
tell our readers about the enemy at our borders and how detailed report on the manner in which the Indian Army
they have been ramping up for a showdown? Perhaps, has been emphasising the indigenisation of 18 military
what is most important is the fact that there has been no systems and put an end to imports. The idea behind
formal statement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the move is to ensure that the Indian Army improves its
the status of the Spike ATGM procurement till the time of ‘Make in India’ footprint and enable the creation of local
going to press. Reports indicate that the task of providing industries that can become part of the supply chain so
the army with a new generation ATGM has been given that the country relies less on foreign help for spares and
to the Defence Research Development Organisation replacements of its equipment.
(DRDO). When the final product will make its appearance All these moves of modernisation will help our
is anybody’s guess. army to be prepared for the future when wars will not
The same is the case with the Rafale deal which seems be fought as they were done in the past where attrition
to have hit a huge wave. Charges have been levelled and manoeuvre were used to defeat the army that
about the cost of the programme, the number of fighter chose to fight from a static position. Future wars will
aircraft being procured and Dassault Aviation’s choice of be fought from and on domains that will include space,
Reliance Defence as its key partner for the Rafale India cyber, information, air, land and sea. With China scaling
programme. Perhaps, the only consolation – if at all it up its capabilities to fight future wars in multi-domain
is any consolation – is the fact that the programme has battlefield scenarios, we must also prepare ourselves to
been taken up by a private player who could be cornered counter such multi-domain battles.
and held responsible if the Dassault Rafale ‘Omni-Role’ Geopolitics January 2018 is packed with thought-
fighter aircraft are not delivered on time. Till then, provoking reading material. In addition to our special
charges and counter-charges will be bandied about in stories, we also have our regular features.
the press and other places. Happy and informative reading! January 2018


The dictum goes for the Indian Army too. It has
begun procuring locally-made artillery guns in
the last one year, including some foreign-origin
guns that are to be assembled and produced by
domestic private sector manufacturers.

Indian Army readies to be more Indian 14 One step forward, two steps back 22
Indian Army is emphasising on indigenising military sys- In another case of a procurement roadblock, the Army’s Anti-
tems in an effort to stop imports. It expects Indian industry Tank Guided Missile procurement has misfired. A view of the
to come up with local solutions for its requirements. situation.

FRCV, FICV have a future in the Indian Army 26 MRLS edge over howitzers? 30
Future armoured columns of Army would be infantry combat India is once again boosting its artillery divisions with brand new
vehicles and battle tanks. The first step has been taken to field howitzers. But, is the army pouring resources into a weapon
create the environment to build future armoured vehicles. that is far less capable than multiple rocket launcher systems?

4 January 2018


Future firepower 33 FOCUSED ATTENTION 58
The North East continues to
remain neglected. In the past,
Challenges to fight future wars 35 the neglect was largely due
to a nonchalant government
Prepared response 38 and bureaucracy in Delhi.
But today, with country’s
Army sharpens its attack with ‘Act East Policy’ in full sway,
Northeast India has to be
Apaches 40 developed so that the region

Myth, reality or an avoidable
conundrum? 43 PUBLISHER


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Vol VIII, Issue VIII, JANUARY 2018 n `100

appearing in the magazine cannot be reproduced in whole or in


part(s) without prior permission. The publisher assumes no re-
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“India is a prestigious market for
Obstacles and roadblocks notwithstanding,

reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with all

the Indian Army has moved ahead to
indigenise military systems in an effort to
stop imports.

advertisements without explanation. All advertisements must

the company” 62 comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. The publisher will
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in this issue is 76 come to send their feedback at
policy? 73 January 2018


W e all know that India’s

responsibility of
keeping a strong vigil on sea
to be a maritime nation
but reality is different.
The advantage of a long
is very important as China coastline can serve the
has heightened its activity INDIA’S 212-WARSHIP TARGET country during war but
in the same waters and has FOR 2027 IS FAR AWAY there are many loopholes
India's responsibility as a net security provider for the Indian Ocean region is huge. The only
also sold its submarines force that is capable of taking up that responsibility is the Indian Navy. Being a maritime nation
primarily, India needs a strong navy that befits its size, geographical location and global stature,
that lie deep beneath the
argues this report from Geopolitics bureau
to other listed rivals of surface that is making us
INS Delhi is the lead ship

the country. India’s 212 an easy target for enemies.

of her class of guided-
missile destroyers of the
Indian Navy

AS A PREDOMINANT FORCE IN warship target for 2017 The story was a total eye-
INDIAN OCEAN AND BEYOND’ is far away (Geopolitics, PIB
opener, as it clearly talked
December 2017) story about how we cannot
AVSM, ADC tells Geopolitics

has dealt with the topic I afford to relive the history

how the Indian Navy is n the 70 years since indepen- expanded this truism a little further to If that scenario continues to play out
preparing itself to be a force dence, India has emerged as a state that Indian Navy's responsibility in China's backyard, the situation will
major maritime nation, with a and area of interest would be to go and not be dissimilar in India's backyard,
of the future naval power that is the world's effectively operate across the oceans too. China first ventured into the Indian

in detail. This story on of wars, and with things in

fourth largest in size, but scores and seas, wherever India's economic Ocean region in 2008 on the pretext of
better than those on capabilities. In- and strategic interest lay. This is to sending its warships to patrol the Gulf
dia has fought four major wars with its euphemistically state that Indian Navy of Aden waters close to the Horn of
There has been a realisation that our Navy traditional rivals China and Pakistan, would demonstrate force and power Africa against the Somali pirates. This
has grown to be an effective force, which of which at least two had major naval in waters such as the South China Sea, was a move, albeit at least two years

maritime protection – hand, we are surely falling

can ensure security of our maritime bor- power on display. where India has economic interest in oil earlier than expected, that had taken
ders. Could you elaborate on this steady India's maritime history and legacy and gas exploration. the maritime world by surprise. India
and silent growth of our Navy’s strengths is not what will define its navy's future, That strategic shift in Indian was actually dismayed.
and effectiveness to meet national security but the present and clear dangers Navy's stated operational objectives In the nine years since, China has
lurking in its backyard will. India is definitely going to give headaches heightened its activity in the Indian

which has been dealt short.

Yes, the Indian Navy has, indeed, come
a long way since its inception. We were has always held that its main area of to China that has claimed almost the Ocean region, through increased forays
a small force of a little over 30 vessels interest and responsibility lies in the entire South China Sea as its maritime by its submarines, some even close
at independence. Today, the size of Indian Ocean region stretching from territory and thus led to conflict to India's waters, and much to New
our Navy has grown to 139 ships and the East coast of African continent on situations. This has been clearly Delhi's chagrin. The last straw has been
submarines and 224 aircraft. But it is its western seaboard to the Malacca indicated by Chinese spokespersons the nuclear submarines of the People's

with in past issues also –

not just the numbers that count. Our Straits on the eastern seaboard. time and again, asking India directly Liberation Army (Navy) lurking in the
worthy predecessors kept their focus Indian Navy's former Chief Admiral and indirectly to stay away from South waters close to India and docking at
on developing capabilities required R K Dhowan had during his tenure China Sea. ports all around in India's maritime
for modern naval warfare. We owe it to
their vision that today the Indian Navy

was discussed in a much

is a multi-dimensional force capable of
operating across the full spectrum of
naval warfare – not just surface, sub-
surface and air, but also cyber and Space.
Through this journey over the last 70
14 December 2017

broader and analytical S Maheshwari

years, self-reliance has been the foremost
guiding principle of the Indian Navy. It
is a matter of significant achievement
that our focus on indigenous warship
design and construction has transformed

way. India has been known Chennai, Tamil Nadu

the Indian Navy from being a ‘Buyer’s
Navy’ to a ‘Builder’s Navy’. All 34 ongoing
construction projects for naval platforms
are being progressed in Indian shipyards.
Let us also appreciate that the Navy is not
known only by the platforms it has in its

10 December 2017

T he naval force of our

country has come
S pace, cyber and the
maritime domain
will face a tough time in
time for India to decide
upon its strategic course
of action to counter the

a long way since its the future considering threatening intrusions

inception. Navy Chief STRIKE BOMBER
the disruptive nature from neighbours got a
Admiral Sunil Lanba’s of the present political, bit more clear with the
interview ‘Indian navy diplomatic, military and story. The story very
is recognised as a economic competition brilliantly brought out
predominant force in from the world the fact that it’s now or
With China aiming for a 415-ship navy by 2030, India needs to develop a
maritime strike bomber that can neutralise Chinese fleets far from Indian shores, writes

India Ocean and beyond’


beyond our borders. never for the country.

(Geopolitics, December F
or more than five decades, the battle groups or large flotillas out in the of always being at the IAF’s mercy.)
Indian Navy has deployed a open sea; that is, before they come close Second, the Air Force isn’t waiting to

variety of specialised planes to your shores. respond to a call from the navy. Its fight-

The article, If we do not set our such as multirole combat

fighters and patrol aircraft
Their second – and equally impor-
tant – role is to kick down the door of
ers could already be deployed – or com-
mitted for deployment – in other distant

2017) was the highlight of

but a maritime strike bomber has never coastal air-defence systems, thereby theatres.
figured in its war plans. For a country making it safer for your navy to ap- Third, the Air Force jets lack the

needs comprehensive strategic course in the

building a 200 ship navy – which would proach the enemy’s coast. range required to go looking for war-
make it the world’s fourth largest fleet in And, finally, maritime bombers ships in the vast expanse of the ocean.
the 2020s – this is a glaring omission. can devastate the enemy’s mainland Carrier-borne fighters – whose primary

the month’s special issue.

Long-range naval aviation is a force by launching cruise missiles from safe role is to defend the carrier – have even
multiplier component of all the major standoff distances. shorter ranges. For instance, the MiG-
global powers. The Soviet Navy was the 29K – for safety reasons – rarely takes off
first to see the value in having dedicated Attack is the best defence with a full tank of gas, which severely
land-based bombers to attack sea-borne Besides the obvious need to counter the limits its combat radius to well below its

From team to equipment

targets. The United States, which has a threat from China – which is building a official 850 km range.
forward deployed navy with as many as more modern maritime bomber with an The fourth reason is that scanners
10 aircraft carriers, is currently in the enhanced range – there are other com- on board Air Force jets are not always
process of modifying its B-1 and B-52 air pelling reasons for India to acquire a effective over water. Without special-
force bombers for maritime missions. maritime bomber. ised equipment, an aircraft cannot tell

that has evolved and

The Peoples Liberation Army Air Force If the Indian Navy detects a large en- whether a large contact held by its on-
(PLA Air Force) has a dedicated fleet of emy fleet that needs to be neutralised, board radar is an aircraft carrier or oth-
Xian H-6D strategic bombers armed it cannot expect to call in strikes by er ship configured to simulate a carrier,
with anti-ship cruise missiles. Consid- the IAF at a moment’s notice. First, the a decoy, or a large and perhaps neutral
SEAPOWER SEAPOWER ering India's size, strategic location and chain of command makes this cumber- merchant vessel.

surpassed numbers over

importance, such a capability is a must. some if not impossible. (This is the rea- The fifth reason is that Air Force pi-
The primary task of maritime bomb- son why the Indian Army is raising its lots do not generally train for maritime
ers is anti-access – to destroy carrier own fleet of assault helicopters instead missions. You want crews who do this

time in safeguarding our The Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala

Sitharaman at the commissioning
ceremony of INS Kiltan into the Indian
Navy, at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam
of ocean and SLOCs in the Indian Ocean
Region (IOR). Maritime capabilities
can also act as a counterbalance to the
coast in the west and extends up to the
Mediterranean Sea. It is high time for the
political leadership to define India’s stra-
down the roadmap for development of
capabilities, there is a need to have “to-
getherness in thinking” and vision among
46 December 2017

coasts from intruders,

on October 16, 2017. The Chief of Naval
military superiority of China along the tegic frontier through a national security the political and military leadership. Even
Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and other northern borders. Thus, are the current strategy and provide a direction to the the three services are required to come
dignitaries are also seen maritime capabilities enough to secure capability-building to secure and contest together to build a comprehensive power
India’s maritime interests? If not, what the encroachment if any by China or any projection capability.
should be that capability and what should other extra regional power. Capability building would require
be the roadmap to build such capabilities Geography has dictated the destiny change of outlook and an outward look-

the interview talked of all

is a question that needs an answer. of India and thus it places the country ing strategic vision by discarding the ter-

China has maintained its maritime as a pivotal power in the Northern In- ritorial mindset of fixed geographical

he need for India to have a strike

presence in the Mediterranean, West Asia, dian Ocean, provided the nation realises frontiers. For the political leadership to
Western Pacific Ocean and South/East its potential and political ambition to give direction there is a need to carry out
China Sea. Willy-nilly the entire Chinese play a dominant role in the IOR. If India periodic strategic defence and security

the future plans of one

naval fleet has gained operational expe- does not play a dominant or larger role to reviews (SDSR) to crystallise the threat-
rience as a blue water navy operating si- guarantee security in the northern Indian cum-capability based force structure to
multaneously in two of the biggest oceans Ocean, it is likely to be encroached upon deal with the short and long term security

bomber that could counter

of the globe. In addition, Chinese subma- by China or other regional and extra re- challenges. Simultaneously, a robust de-
rines have been regularly operating in the gional powers. The capability and power fence planning process based on 15-year

of the vital forces of our

Indian and Pacific Oceans familiarising in a current competing environment will long term perspective plans with budget-
with the maritime environment and un- ary support is mandatory to develop the
dersea currents. As per the Globalfirepow- capabilities of the future maritime force

China’s aim of having 415 navy ships, China has 68 submarines while for India. How much power is enough will
India has just about 15 submarines. Sean be determined after the political leader-
Stackley, US Assistant Secretary of the strategic ship has defined the military objectives
not set its ctory

country. The fact that the If India does

Navy said that by 2030, the US will start and the vital national interests to be se-
falling behind China as far as undersea
the correct in cured in the near and distant future. HQ
course in be too late to rega

by 2030 was dealt with in detail in

capabilities are concerned. The Chinese IDS on the basis of operational research
Navy is focusing on effective implemen- now, it willspace that will be or should determine force structure, type
strategic ed upon by China
tation of anti-access (A2) and area denial of ships, formations (divisions, ships,

force has broken gender

(AD). The focus is on stealth, undersea ca- squadrons), ability to absorb new tech-
pabilities (submarine fleet), amphibious encroach neighbours nology, upgradation of old systems, readi-
landing ship tanks and minimum three regional ness profile and sustainability of a force.

Indian navy needs a strike bomber

PIB operational carrier battle groups (West-


ern Pacific Ocean, South China Sea and Maritime capability for future

boundaries and explored

Indian Ocean). The idea is to simultane- Future warfare is not restricted to a single
ously develop near and far sea capabili- service domain. Integrated force struc-
ties. The Chinese Navy is one of the fastest ture is the need of the hour to build near

MARITIME CAPABILITY (Geopolitics, December 2017).

growing naval fleets in the world and is and far sea capabilities to project power.
‘going blue and going deep’. There is a need to take a relook at the cur-
never be given on a platter to India and rent force structure of the navy. Should

opportunities for women

Strategic maritime frontiers of India has to be taken by developing superior India continue to persist building three
If India does not set its strategic course in military power projection capabilities. To aircraft carriers or should India first lay

Despite having many specialised

the correct trajectory now, it will be too do so India need not be a hegemonic mar- down priorities to build on a priority basis
late to regain strategic space that will be itime power but a credible maritime pow- a modern fleet of submarines, stealth and

encroached upon by China or regional er capable of protecting its vital national battleships? In other words, India should

in the force, I as a
It is high time that our leaders ow much power is enough
to protect vital national
national interests spread beyond the ter-
ritorial boundaries?
neighbours. It was Lord Curzon who first
defined the physical frontiers of India. He
interests. How can India play a dominant
role is a big question? The answer lies
lay down priorities to develop A2 AD capa-
bilities against China. To demonstrate the
chalk out a military doctrine interest depends upon India’s growth is propelled by stated that India was geo-strategically po- in securing shared economic interests, maritime capabilities India must ensure

planes in the service, we will be

strategic awareness and energy flow from the Middle East sitioned to exercise a dominant role from ensuring freedom of navigation, secure maritime presence by a flotilla in the Bay
that should be in sync with aspirations of a nation. through sea lines of communication Thailand in the east to Persia in the west SLOCs and humanitarian assistance and of Bengal, Malacca region, Arabian Sea
the national security strategy

woman, was impressed

Comprehensive military capabilities al- (SLOCs), raw material from across the and Afghanistan to Tibet in the north. disaster relief (HADR) in the IOR and rim and periodic presence in Western Pacific
low a nation to defend itself against in- globe and there are approximately six Henry Kissinger outlined the role of India nations. Ocean as part of joint exercises with US,
and military objectives, writes ternal and external threats and, in fact, million Indian diaspora in West Asia from Aden to Singapore, thus literally de- Japan and Australia. A carrier battle group

unable to counter a competitive

are a leverage to deter wars. Space, cyber and North Africa that remit close to $75 fining the geostrategic boundary of India India needs dynamic and outward-looking is certainly an essential requirement but
BRIG NARENDRA KUMAR and maritime domain will see immense billion every year and could become in the Northern Indian Ocean region. In strategic vision in the absence of credible ballistic missile
(RETD). Only then will operating competition in future because of politi- targets of Islamic radicals in the near the two Maritime Doctrines released so Admiral Kailash Kumar Kohli, the former defence and impregnable air defence, a

by what the Chief said in

cal, diplomatic, military and economic future. In addition, India also requires far by the Indian Navy, the maritime in- Western Fleet Commander, had said that carrier battle group remains vulnerable.
environments, threats and competition. All the three domains have military capabilities to counter the terests of India are defined as ‘primary’ "history has taught India two bitter les- Cyber and space has become integral part

rival like China in the future which

the potential of disruptive capabilities collusive threat from Pakistan and and ‘secondary areas’. The ‘primary’ area sons: firstly, that neglect of maritime pow- of a force operating on land, sea and even
opportunities and timelines that may impact growth, development China over unsettled borders. With encompasses the northern Indian Ocean er can culminate in a cession of sovereign- air. There is a need to strengthen marine
for maritime capability-building and strategic autonomy of a state. But such diverse security challenges, India region from Malacca to Red Sea. The ‘sec- ty, and secondly, if maritime capability aviation, air defence for offshore and on-

his interview. Indeed, the

the moot question is what capability needs comprehensive military power ondary’ area of interest defined include building is neglected, it takes decades to shore assets and anti-ship/anti-subma-
will be realised is enough for a nation that has its vital projection capabilities and dominance the Indo Pacific in the east to the African recover and regain the lost power”. To lay rine capabilities. December 2017

29 30 December 2017
had been building a more modern
Navy’s race to becoming maritime bomber with an enhanced
the fourth largest in the range. Are we future ready to meet
world in size was well maritime capability right direction now, it the situation? The story just made
celebrated in the issue. (G eopolitics , December will be too late for us to the ‘No’ sound more apt. Hence, the
2017), provided a regain strategic space need to formulate a strategic plan
Raashi Verma practical solution to that will be encroached of action, keeping in view the right
Patna, Bihar the present situation upon by our traditional investments and a revamp of the
– the comprehensive enemies. fleet in hand. Now is the time that
All correspondence may be
maritime capabilities – our force should start planning in
addressed to: The Editor, Geopolitics, which I found was a well right directions.
D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin East, thought-out plan. The Sameeksha Verma
New Delhi-110013. fact that it’s the crucial Udaipur, Rajasthan Poonam Singh
Or mail to: Gurugram, Haryana

6 January 2018


“After a gap of nearly two decades India has got this kind of a submarine and
Kalvari is a fine example of the ‘Make in India’ testimony. It is also a good model
for international collaboration…In order to make the country self-reliant, the
Government is forging strategic collaborations with private companies. Just like
other western countries we want that even Indian companies should manufacture
everything right from fighter planes to helicopters to tanks and even submarines
on this soil”
NARENDRA MODI, Prime Minister, at the commissioning of INS Kalvari, the first of the six
Scorpene-class submarines built under Project 75 (Kalvari Class)


“HAL has the world class facilities and given the successful integration of BraMos
on Su-30 MKI, 40 more aircraft will undergo such integration. Besides this, HAL
can shift part of its LCA manufacturing at Nashik and there is possibility of FGFA
work happening at Nashik”
Minister of State for Defence, emphasizing the national
importance of HAL’s Nashik facility

“We have a naval air wing, which has 238 aircraft at the moment. It has a combination of
fighters, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft, both – long range and short range. And we
have a plan in a decade’s time this Naval air wing will grow close to 500 aircraft of
different types”
Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, on expansion plans of the Indian Navy

8 January 2018


“The advanced manufacturing and high technology environment in Indiana provides a key element
in our selection. We are excited to leverage the availability of skilled engineering talent as well the
state’s strong education system to meet the growing skill demands of the future”
Vice Chairman, AXISCADES, on the setting up of the North American HQ in Indiana, USA


“Ordnance Factories and vendors may cooperate in a symbiotic fashion. The
idea is to have higher indigenisation of content in the existing ‘Buy (Indian)’ and ‘Buy and Make
(Indian)’ schemes…Defence industry is in a dynamic and evolving mode. Archaic processes and
trappings of unnecessary regulations are being abandoned. The hallmark of the concept of ‘Make
in India’ is public-private partnership”
Deputy Director General, Ordinance Factory Board on the keenness of
Ordnance factories to partner with MSMEs to leverage maximum
output for defence preparedness


“Godrej and BrahMos have been partners for 17 momentous years.
Over that time, we have taken great pride in doing our bit for nation-building through our
contribution to bolstering India’s defense capabilities…the completion of the 100th set of
(BrahMos) airframe assemblies is a proud moment for Godrej, BrahMos and India, and an
assertion of our commitment to serve our country through technologically
driven solutions and indigenous manufacturing”
Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce on the partnership with BrahMos


“The new exhibition will give potential clients an opportunity to learn about the full range
of aviation systems and components produced by Technodinamika Holding. Apart from
off-the-shelf items, we also showcase prospective technologies, new concepts in the aircraft
industry and our truly unique competence in both military and civil segments”
CEO, Rostec State Corporation on the contents of the Moscow showroom of modern aircraft components January 2018


The dictum goes for the Indian Army too. It has, in fact, begun procuring locally-made artillery
guns in the last one year, including some foreign-origin guns that are to be assembled and
produced by domestic private sector manufacturers. Geopolitics Bureau provides an insight
into how the Indian Army artillery modernisation is going desi
Advanced Towed Artillery
Gun System (ATAGS)

ndian Army's artillery modernisa- gun systems. India' artillery systems in the private sec-
tion has gone the 'Make in India' Each of these regiments would exploit tor within the country. Interestingly, the
way. After buying two artillery guns the guns supplied by the two Indian pri- DRDO had displayed the two gun systems
from foreign sources, India is now vate sector companies first to test their during the Republic Day parade down Ra-
going to buy locally-produced guns performance; and based on the response jpath in January 2017, as an indication of
on a large scale to boost Indian industry from the users, the government will go in the promise the systems showcased.
in the private sector and technology in the for buying one of the two guns in large Ahead of this DAC decision, in Sep-
public sector. At a meeting of the Defence scale to meet the requirement of the In- tember 2017, the ATAGS from both Tata
Acquisition Council in December 2017, dian Army's Regiment of Artillery. Power SED and Bharat Forge were tested
the government has decided to procure 20 The present gun purchase programme in the Pokhran Ranges in Rajasthan. Dur-
guns each of the 155mm Advanced Towed will be part of the Indian Army artillery ing those trials, the ATAGS from the two
Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) from the modernisation plan of the government. companies demonstrated the potential to
Tata Power SED and Bharat Forge. That Thus, the DAC decision paves the way be world-beaters. In particular, on Sep-
would make a regiment each of the two- for the commencement of the 'Make in tember 5, 2017, the Tata Power SED ATAGS

10 January 2018

155mm/ 52 Cal
Tracked Self Propelled
(SP) Gun

fired three rounds to a world-record 47.2 have a 23-litre chamber. Thus, this public-private partnership
km from the gun position. The Bharat Forge gun, on the other between DRDO and the private sector de-
The world record was achieved by hand, registered an even longer range at fence firms has worked out successfully
using a special, long-range ammunition 48.074 km from the gun position, surpass- in the development of the ATAGS. For
called the High Explosive-Base Bleed ing the maximum range of 35 km to 40 km the DRDO, engaging the private sector in
(HEBB). In comparison, similar 155mm, range fired by any other artillery gun in the project has resulted in a rich return
52-calibre guns in service globally have this category worldwide. The ordnance on investment. The production order for
fired the same ammunition for up to 45 including barrel and breech mechanism, the guns is expected to be in the range of
km range. Thus, the Indian ATAGS has on both variants of ATAGS, was devel- `30,000 crore, as the requirement of the
displayed the capability to fire at targets oped at Kalyani Group Advanced Artillery Indian Army is quite huge – at least 2,000
two km more than similar guns in service Manufacturing Facility. The achievement guns, once either of the guns is decided to
worldwide. of this historical feat reaffirmed Kalyani be the chosen one. Each of the guns is ex-
The 155mm denotes the bore or the Group’s expertise in metallurgical knowl- pected to cost `15 crore.
width of the gun barrel, while the 52-cali- edge and manufacturing technology. The two guns have already gone
bre refers to the length of the barrel and According to military experts, an ar- through several rounds of intensive field
the chamber size indicates the size of the tillery gun has good characteristics, if it trials and are now ready to go into the ini-
projectile that can be fired. A higher cali- demonstrates range, accuracy and con- tial production of 20 guns each to make
bre enables longer range, which a large sistency. This is because, a longer range up two regiments. The DRDO conducted
chamber and projectile mean greater de- allows the gun to engage more targets, the successful proof firing of armament
struction of the enemy targets. covering a larger area for attack from the for the 155/52 calibre ATAGS in July 2016.
In a previous trial in September 2017, gun position, without having to redeploy Fully integrated, the 155 mm gun fired
the Tata Power SED and the Bharat Forge forward to reach those distances. its first rounds of live ammunition at the
guns are said to have broken the world Developed by the Defence Research Proof and Experimental Establishment
record. The Tata Power SED gun achieved and Development Organisation (DRDO), (PXE) in Balasore, Odisha in December
the feat for firing the High Explosive - the ATAGS is being readied under two par- 2016. It was during the summer trials in
Boat Tail (HEBT) ammunition to a range allel efforts. Two separate prototypes are 2017 that the ATAGS broke the world re-
of 37.2 km. This was possible for the Indi- being developed each by Tata Power (Stra- cord for 155 mm gun by firing the round
an ATAGS, as it had a larger 25-litre cham- tegic Engineering Division) and Bharat to 47.2 km in Pokhran. The winter trials
ber for packing high explosive propellant, Forge. The DAC approval is for 20 each of were due in December 2017 and it was
whereas contemporary 155 mm guns the two ATAGS from Tata Power SED and supposed to be held in Sikkim, though no
such as the ones from France and Israel Bharat Forge. word has been heard on this yet. January 2018


The ATAGS from DRDO and the two

private companies are larger in size than M777 Light
the Bofors Field Howitzer bought by India Towed Howitzer
in 1987 and was the subject of a bribery
scandal that rocked the then Rajiv Gandhi
government. The Indian ATAGS is also the
only gun globally with a six-round burst
in a matter of half-a-minute. That is, the
gun can fire at the rate of one round ev-
ery five seconds and can do so continu-
ously for up to six rounds. This provides a
greater capability to cause damage to the
enemy lines to the Indian Army.
The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun
System (ATAGS) project was started in
2013 by DRDO to replace older guns in
service in the Indian Army with a modern
155mm, 52calibre artillery gun. Arma-
ment Research and Development Estab-
lishment (ARDE) partnered with Kalyani
Group, Tata Power and Ordnance Factory
Board for the project.
The development of the gun took
about five years. The delay in comple-
tion of the project was attributed to the
realisation of ordnance and recoil system
and supply issue with manufacturing of
sub-systems. The gun's production will
start in 2019. The gun consists of a barrel,
breech mechanism, muzzle brake and re-
coil mechanism to fire 155mm 52calibre
ammunitions with a firing range of 40 km.
It has an all-electric drive, compared to
the hydraulic drive most other contem-
porary guns of a similar calibre, to ensure
reliability and minimum maintenance with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for the sup- operations. The 45-km range, 155mm
over a long period of time. It has advanced ply of 100 self-propelled tracked artillery 52calibre K9 gun offered to India is also
features like high mobility, quick deploy- guns for the Indian Army. A month ahead an enhanced version of its South Korean
ability, auxiliary power mode, advanced of winning this contract, L&T had signed variant and has been jointly developed by
communication system, automatic com- a deal with the South Korean company L&T and Hanwha Techwin. The gun that
mand and control system with night ca- Hanwha Techwin for joint manufacture the Indian Army would receive from L&T
pability in direct fire mode. The gun is of the K9 Vajra-T self-propelled tracked would have a 50 percent indigenous con-
two tonne lighter than guns in the same artillery guns in India to meet the In- tent and would be produced at the Hazira
category and is designed to provide bet- dian Army's needs. The approval for the facility of L&T.
ter accuracy and range and is capable of K9 Vajra-T purchase had come from the In April 2017, L&T had signed up with
firing five successive rounds in short du- Cabinet Committee on Security in April Hanwha Techwin after over 10 years of
ration. It is also compatible with ACCCS- 2017. Under the contract's provisions, cooperation between the two companies
Shakti command and control network of L&T will be the prime to carry out deliv- in customising the K9 Thunder into K9
the Indian Army. eries to the Indian Army and the first lot Vajra-T, suitable for the Indian conditions
While ATAGS is going to help the In- of 10 K9 guns would be delivered within and meeting Indian Army requirements.
dian Army with a longer-range artillery 18 months of the signing of the contract, The K9 procurement has given a major
weapon in its inventory, the government which would arrive for acceptance trials boost to the Indian Army, which is in dire
has already taken giant steps in plugging before December 2018. The next lot of 40 need of battlefield guns. It is indeed a
the gaps found in the Regiment of Artil- more guns would be delivered within 30 record of sorts for the Indian ministry of
lery over the last decade or so, by deciding months of the deal and the rest 40 guns defence that within a matter of just over
to buy two foreign-origin artillery guns: within 42 months of the deal. a year since November 2016, it has been
the South Korean K9 Thunder and Brit- The tender for the self-propelled able to conclude three artillery guns deals
ish-American M777 ultra-light howitzer. tracked artillery gun was issued in 2011 for the Indian Army.
However, the bright side to the purchase and L&T, supported by Hanwha Techwin, The November 2016 deal was for 145
of these two foreign-origin artillery weap- had emerged as the sole qualified bid- M777 ultra-light howitzers from the BAE
ons is that these will be made in India for der following a series of technical evalu- Systems to arm the newly raised Moun-
the Indian Army. ations of its joint offering, K9 Vajra-T, tain Strike Corps, headquartered at Pan-
In May 2017, the Indian Defence Min- which has been customised for the Indian agarh in West Bengal, but having an of-
istry signed a contract worth `4,366 crore Army requirement including for desert fensive capability and focus on China's

12 January 2018

systems. Significantly, the most critical
parts of the gun – the barrel and breach –
will be imported.
tiller y
The first time the Request for Propos-

va n ced Towed Aroject als was issued for this type of a gun re-
The Ad m (ATAGS) pr DO to quired by the Indian Army was in 2007. It
Gun Syste d in 2013 by DR e in
was then that L&T had tied up with Sam-

was startelder guns in ser vicodern

sung Techwin. However, under the South
Korean restructuring process, Samsung
replace o n Army with a m gun was integrated with Hanwha Corporation
the India 52calibre artiller y and thus, the company was renamed as
155mm, Hanwha Techwin during these 10 years.
Under the 2007 tender, L&T had emerged
as the top choice. However, the tender
got cancelled. The tender was reissued in
2012, but by then, the two companies had
made a lot of progress in developing the
K9 Vajra-T that is suitable to Indian con-
India broke the Bofors jinx for the
Pakistan and China. first time in November 2016, nearly three
Plans to buy new equipment from decades after the scandal had felled the
overseas have been held back by bureau- Rajiv Gandhi government when it signed
cratic delays and the military's desire to up to buy 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers
balance the needs of troops against efforts under the US government's foreign mili-
to have equipment built domestically un- tary sales route. The M777 comes from
der Modi's 'Make in India' programme. the US arm of the defence company BAE
Since the Bofors guns procurement scan- Systems. The M777 is meant for use by the
dal broke out in the late 1980s, India had Indian Army's newly-raised 17 Mountain
not added a new artillery weapon for the Strike Corps that is an offensive formation
last three decades, crippling its artillery focusing on the hilly northern borders
formations. with China.
The Modi government picked up the The November 2016 deal for the M777
ropes from where the previous govern- is priced at nearly `5,000 crore and was
ment left off on the artillery modernisa- approved by the Cabinet Committee on
non-demarcated Line of Actual Control tion programme that is now already over Security. While the BAE Systems has be-
with India. Under a programme for mod- a decade-and-a-half-old and has pushed gun delivery of the M777 guns to the In-
ernisation of the Indian Army's artillery ahead with guns' contracts with the best dian Army earlier this year, a total of 25
regiments, India is to procure two more in the industry. These procurements are guns would be delivered from the US in
types of guns, including a wheeled self- likely to change the way Indian artillery a fly-away condition. The rest 120 M777
propelled gun. formations fight their wars in the future. guns would be assembled, integrated and
The K9 is likely to be the support The L&T and Hanwha relationship is tested at a facility in India, set up in part-
system for the Indian Army's armoured unique in the sense, it is neither a tech- nership with the Mahindra Group.
fighting formations, considering its ca- nology transfer nor a licenced produc- While the first two howitzers were de-
pability to match the speeds of the battle tion. This was a new model and the first livered within six months of the contract,
tanks and armoured personnel carriers in of its type for the Indian private sector, the rest are to be delivered at the rate of
a battlefield scenario. The K9 will increase which could be a future trend in India. two guns a month. The howitzers that can
the firepower capability of the Indian ar- The tender for the tracked self-propelled be heli-lifted were first proposed to be
tillery units that can pound enemy forma- guns was a global one, and this was the bought from BAE Systems about 10 years
tions and positions, even as it moves high first time ever an Indian prime was bid- ago and the procurement has been made,
speed alongside the battle tanks. Thus, ding for a global tender and winning it. even as the US arm of the global defence
this gun is expected to revolutionise the The K9 Vajra-T was declared the sole manufacturer was preparing to shut down
way India will fight its battle in the plains qualified gun after user evaluation trials its production facility for the guns.
and the desert areas bordering Pakistan. at Pokhran in Rajasthan against a Russian The Army's artillery modernisation
Though the K9 deal between the In- competitor. plan envisages procuring 2,800 guns by
dian Army and the L&T-Hanwha combine L&T will not only manufacture K9 2027. The plan included procuring 1,580
is a done deal, the contract itself was not VAJRA-T in India, with over 50 percent towed guns, 814 truck-mounted guns, 100
inked, as Geopolitics May 2017 edition indigenous content but also provide life tracked self-propelled guns, 180 wheeled
went to print. The K9 procurement is part support to the army with the weapon. self-propelled guns and 145 ultra-light
of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's $250 L&T had contributed at least 13 indig- howitzers. Of these, only the mounted
billion push to modernise the armed forc- enous systems for the Indian version of gun system and the wheeled self-pro-
es and overcome a 30-year lapse in its fire- the gun, including the fire control system, pelled gun are left to be procured. The rest
power procurement programme, as India hull, turret, electronics, NBC systems, au- has fructified in the last three years of the
prepares to counter potential threats from toloaders, air conditioning and direct fire Narendra Modi government. January 2018



The Indian Army is emphasising on indigenising military systems in an effort to stop imports.
It expects Indian industry to come up with local solutions for its requirements. Geopolitics
Bureau takes a look at the 18 systems that the Indian Army wants to indigenise

T-90 Bhishma of Indian Army is fitted with a two-tiered

protection system: first, the composite armour in the
turret; second, the third generation Kontakt-5 ERA

acing criticism over its penchant local capabilities among the Indian in- enable the creation of local industries that
for foreign equipment, the Indi- dustry to develop and produce products can become part of the supply chain so
an Army has moved quickly over for use by its troops. The idea behind the that the country relies less on foreign help
the last three years to focus on move is to ensure that the Indian Army for spares and replacements of its equip-
indigenisation and is building improves its 'Make in India' footprint and ment.

14 January 2018

The Indian Army has identified 18
projects under the 'Make' category for
manufacturing in recent months that
are to be handed over to volunteers from
the Indian industry to try and indige-
nise the equipment critical for military
operations. This has been made possible
by the setting up of a new Army Design
Bureau at Army headquarters directly
under the Deputy Chief of Army Staff in
charge of procurement and perspective
In August 2016, the then Army Chief
General Dalbir Singh formally an-
nounced the establishment of the Army
Design Bureau during an Army Seminar
on 'Make' Projects. In the run-up to the
establishment of the Army Design Bu-
reau, the Indian Army undertook a se-
ries of Army-Industry-Academia inter-
actions since January 2016 which were
spearheaded by the then Deputy Chief,
Lt Gen Subrata Saha, and his team of of-
ficers with a view to promoting aware-
ness about the Army's modernisation
needs, discovering capabilities of the
industry and encouraging long-term re-
search in academia at various regional Smooth Bore Gun Barrel for T-72 and T-90 tanks with Missile Firing and Improved Ammunition
industrial hubs across the country.
Industry captains of major defence
companies, MSMEs, start-ups partici- PROJECT 1: 125mm Smooth Bore Gun Bar- and improvements may be offered by the
pated in these sessions. In addition, the rel for T-72 and T-90 tanks with Missile Fir- vendor as part of contractual obligations,
team carried out interactions with many ing and Improved Ammunition including annual maintenance contract
leading institutes like IITs at Delhi, The current T-72 and T-90 tank barrels are and lifetime product support.
Mumbai, Chennai and Gandhinagar not capable of firing high penetration Ar-
and the PSG Institute of Technology, mour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding PROJECT 2: 1,000HP Engine with Associat-
Coimbatore. These events provided an Sabot (APFSDS) rounds above 600mm ed Peripherals for T-72 tank and its variants
exclusive opportunity to industry and Depth of Penetration (DoP) due to the There is a need to upgrade the engine of
academia representatives to understand limitation of safety margin of 600 Mega the T-72 tanks, the power-to-weight ratio
the requirements and interact with the Pascals. There is a requirement to up- needs to be upgraded from the existing
army to seek clarifications directly from grade a common barrel system and am- 17hp/ton. There is a need to integrate a
the user. munition for existing T-72 and T-90 tanks. newly developed power pack with associ-
In order to streamline the procure- Development of ammunition to provide a ated peripherals in T-72.
ment process further, the Army also ini- capability of penetration and missile fir- The broad specification for the engine
tiated a number of other steps to include ing capability with these barrels also re- is 1,000HP plus 20HP, a power-to-weight
structural changes in the procurement quired to be developed together. ratio not less than 20 HP/Ton, with fuel
organisations and issue of a compen- The broad specification for Barrel/ consumption 750 km and cross country
dium of revised Standard Operating Gun Articles includes equipment barrel 650 km plus 10 km and on road 500 km
Procedures in line with the Defence Pro- (including gun articles) and associated plus 10 km. The ambient temperature for
curement Procedure-2016. systems, integration with T-90 and T-72 all environment condition during opera-
In the last year, for the information tanks with existing Fire Control System tions in the sub-continent should be of
of industry and the research agencies, (FCS), ammunition to include APFSDS, military standards and for evaluation, up
18 projects were identified, including High Energy (Fragmentation), HEAT and to 40-degree Celsius to 45-degree Celsius.
125 mm Smooth Bore Barrel with Gun ATGM. For the APFSDS ammunition, the The life of the engine should be up to 650
Article, improved ammunition for T-72 lethality and DoP of 600 – 800mm of RHA, hours. The Army is looking for a minimum
and T-90 tanks, 1000 HP engines for effective range of 3,000 metres, consis- of 1,000 numbers. The timeline for the
T-72, Individual Under Water Breathing tency less than 35 miles, adaptability with project involves prototype development
Apparatus, Environment Control Unit existing FCS and Armoured Fighting Ve- and trial evaluation by 2018, with produc-
and Auxiliary Power Units for T-90 tanks hicles sights. tion and supply by December 2019. All
Advanced Pilotless Target Aircrafts, Ma- The Army is looking to buy a mini- future upgrades and improvements may
neuverable Expendable Aerial Targets, mum of 1,000 quantities. The prototype be offered by the vendor as part of the
Tracked Light Dozers, Assault Track Way and trial evaluation should be done by contractual obligations, including annual
and Modern Aircraft Refueling Pump. 2019, ready for production and supply maintenance contract and lifetime prod-
Here is the list of the products: by December 2020. All future upgrades uct support. January 2018


1,000HP Engine with Associated Peripherals for T-72 tank and its variants

PROJECT 3: Individual Underwater Breath- ful prototype development is 10,000. The metre while the tank is carrying out me-
ing Apparatus for T-90 tank tentative timeline for induction is two to dium fording operations.
During their operational life, the T-90 three years. The tentative quantity to be procured
tanks are likely to negotiate a variety of after successful prototype development
terrain features including water obsta- PROJECT 4: Environmental Control Unit is 2,108. The tentative timeline for induc-
cles. T-90 tanks have an ability to undergo (ECU) for T-90 Tank tion is two to three years.
deep fording at five metres depth under- The T-90S/SK tank has state-of-the-art
water channels of up to five knots. Dur- features like Computerised Fire Control PROJECT 5: Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for
ing deep fording, in the eventuality of the System, Thermal Imaging Night Sight, T-90 Tank
equipment stalling/switching off, there is missile firing capability, and carriage of The engine of the tank T-90 is the main
no alternative for the crew to escape from missiles. This equipment is highly sensi- source of power for any function, how-
the fighting/driver compartment and tive to adverse weather and dust condi- ever, it is imperative to have an alternate
reach the surface of the water, before the tions and gets degraded under extreme source of power to cater for varied re-
tank is completely flooded. Towards this heat and dust. Although, the tank is de- quirements to enhance the engine life of a
end, the Individual Underwater Breathing signed to operate in temperature condi- tank. Therefore, it is essential to install an
Apparatus (IUWBA) will ensure complete tions up to 500C, however, the ambient APU (Diesel Generator) in the tank T-90,
safety of the T-90 tank crew and ensure temperatures in our desert/semi-desert which would preserve the main engines
survivability. regions rise even beyond that. life without compromising on the opera-
The IUWBA sets would be worn by Resultant to the high temperatures tional capability of the tank T-90.
tank crews during deep fording in the obtaining in the crew compartment the The system should be compact and
fighting compartment, in a manner that it electronic systems/sub-systems are likely ergonomic wherein the existing fitment
does not restrain movement of the crew, to get degraded. There is thus an impera- items in the crew compartment should
foul with other moving parts or hinder the tive requirement of an Environmental not be removed, however, if relocated
functioning of the existing components. Control System for T-90S/SK tanks to same should not compromise the opera-
The IUWBA should provide for positive avoid detrimental effect on the onboard tional efficiency of the tank. The system
buoyancy to each crew member during electronics and optoelectronics. should not change the overall dimensions
the emergency escape procedure which The system should be compact and of the tank in the vertical and horizontal
can be activated on demand. ergonomic wherein the existing fitment plane when viewed from the front. The
The IUWBA should be compact items in the crew compartment should system should not foul with existing fea-
enough to be stowed in the under-stream not be removed, however, if relocated tures on the tank.
crossing equipment (USCE) toolbox of same should not compromise the opera- The APU should be designed to last for
the tank when not in use. The IUWBA tional efficiency of the tank. The system minimum 1,000 engine hours for which
should be separate for each crew mem- should not foul with existing features on vendor should provide a certificate. The
ber having a breathing inlet in the form the tank. The ECU should be able to oper- APU should also be able to concurrently
of a Face Mask or Oral Respirator for each ate from the mains, 24V output and from operate the systems of the tank in silent
crew member. The weight of the IUWBA APU output. mode with the main engine of the tank
should not exceed five kg. The system should be protected by switched off for at least four hours. The
The equipment should be dust, providing a metallic outer casing. The APU should preferably use 5W 50-grade
moisture and leak proof and retain its system should be rugged enough to with- engine oil or any other oil which is com-
efficiency when stored at a temperature stand the hazards of cross-country move- mercially available in India.
range from -50C to 550C. The shelf life of ment in plains and desert terrain. The The APU should have an inbuilt over-
IUWBA should be seven years. The tenta- system should comprise sealed units and load protection system. The APU should
tive quantity to be procured after success- be water resistant up to tank depth of 1.5 have a standby starting system apart from

16 January 2018

the main starting system, that is, it should laying and recovery with manual effort be less than 5,000 metres. The manoeu-
be able to be started by an external power as well as mechanical aids. The expected vrability should not be less than 2-g in a
source, such as another APU/tank. The life of the track material should be 10,000 sustained turn. The launch mode should
systems should have a built-in test facility passes of Class-24 vehicles. The weight of be ground-based and employability radio
to isolate a defect that has occurred in the one roll of track material should not ex- control of up to 75 km or more.
system. The system should provide for a ceed 300 kg. The tentative quantity required by
minimum mean time between overhaul The total requirement will be ap- the Army is approximately 50 a year. The
(MTBO) of 1,000 hours for the APU for proximately 1,000 km and the annual re- tentative timelines for Development/Pro-
which the vendor will give a certificate. quirement will be 20-50 km per year. The duction are two to three years.
The tentative quantity to be procured tentative timelines for development/pro-
after successful prototype development duction are two to three years. PROJECT 8: Armoured Fighting Vehicle Pro-
is 2,108. The tentative timeline for induc- tection and Counter Measure Systems for
tion is two to three years. PROJECT 7: Manoeuvrable Expendable T-90 Tank
Aerial Target (MEAT) Contemporary combat vehicles have on-
PROJECT 6: Assault Track Way Class-24 The Army Air Defence has a variety of board protective-cum-warning systems
The Assault Track Way Class-24 is envis- weapon platforms to include missiles of to warn the crews of impending attacks
aged as a lightweight track material to be varying ranges and gun systems. There is and create physical interference between
employed in Desert/Semi-Desert terrain a recurring requirement of suitable aeri- the vehicle and the hostile threat, thereby
for mobility of wheeled vehicles of the In- al target systems for providing realistic enhancing survival. The existing fleet of
dian Army with load class up to Class-24. training to the crews during the annual vehicles in service with the Indian Army
It is proposed to replace the existing Alu- field firing exercises. The MEAT's maxi- does not offer the crew these enhanced
minum Alloy based Assault Track Way mum speed should not be less than 400 protection measures as on date. There is
Class-12. kmph (111 miles). thus a need to install a modern active pro-
The temperature tolerance of the As- The maximum endurance should not tection system on all Armoured Fighting
sault Track Way should be over 500-de- be less than 30 minutes at Wide Open Vehicles (more than 3,000) of the Mecha-
grees C. The surface finish should be able Throttle (WTOT) at sea level. The mini- nised Forces to significantly enhance
to blend with the terrain without any mum altitude should not be less than 20 their survivability. The estimated quantity
shiny surfaces. It should facilitate ease of metres and maximum altitude should not required by the Army is 1,657.

The most successful
155 mm/52 cal. gun
now available



The Gunner should have an Auto-

matic Target Tracker (ATT) to track the
handed over target or an independent
target he has acquired. The target track-
ing system should able to characterise
targets with respect to sensor resolution
and distances.

PROJECT 10: Third Generation Missile for

125mm Gun Barrels of T-90 and T-72 tanks
As the design of the existing INVAR mis-
sile has been optimised both in terms of
range and Depth of Penetration (DoP),
it is imperative to upgrade to next-gen-
eration missiles with enhanced capabil-
ity. The envisaged third generation gun-
launched missiles should achieve a DoP
of 800-850mm and be capable of Beyond
Line of Sight (BLOS) engagement up to
eight km by day and night with the ability
to carry out pre-flight programmed ma-
noeuvres towards a BLOS target.
The missile should comprise of two
parts: a missile along with booster and
The system should deflect or destroy in the vicinity should not exceed 50m sustainer charge, and the second part
hostile attacks to protect against threats radius from the tank. The normal power should only be a pusher/propelling de-
from guided missiles, rocket-propelled consumption of the system (excluding vice, which can be loaded in the carousel
grenade/rocket launcher (RPG/RL) and peaks) should not exceed 1 KW and the autoloader of Tank T-90S/T-72. The esti-
projectiles fired up to the velocity of 1,000 operating voltage of the system should be mated quantity is 3,000. The broad speci-
metre/second. The system should have compatible with tank batteries. fications include the capability to being
provision for future upgrades to degrade fired from existing gun barrels - 125mm
Kinetic Energy projectiles. The percent- PROJECT 9: Multi-Target Tracking System (Smooth Bore) Barrel, capable of engag-
age of protection against each type of for Tanks ing during both day and night, both static
ammunition must be at least 80 per cent In the present-day scenario with lat- and mobile targets.
from a minimum distance of 75 metres for est technological development and in- The maximum effective range ex-
RPG/RL, 80 per cent for ATGM, and 70 per creased distances between two AFVs dur- pected of the missile is eight km with a
cent for HEAT round from 125mm tank ing operations, handling more than one DoP of 800mm to 850mm. The shelf-life
gun. target at the same time is a high possibil- under controlled conditions should be
The system should function when ity. To achieve this, it is imperative to de- 10 years and shelf life under field condi-
static or on the move and should be ca- velop a high technology tracking system tions should be five years. The hit prob-
pable of all weather, day and night opera- which not only can detect and track mul- ability on a standard NATO tank should
tions. It should give warning when lased tiple targets but also is able to assist com- be greater than 90 percent at targets of
on by incorporation of laser warning de- mander to prioritise targets and align the 2.5-by-2.3 metre.
vices and should provide a protective arc prioritised target smoothly with Gunner's
in azimuth of 360 degrees and in eleva- Main Sight (GMS) to be able to destroy PROJECT 11: Advanced 30mm Cannon Am-
tion at a minimum of minus 60 to plus the target. The commander will have pro- munition for BMP-2/2K
200. The system should be light in weight vision to prioritise and queue the desired Advanced 30mm Cannon Ammunition is
and complete weight should be less than targets. The commander should be able to for replacement of existing ammunition
1,000 kg. take control of the gun and engage targets being fired by 30mm cannon fitted on
The system should detect more than or hand over the prioritized targets to the BPM-2/2K. The ammunition is required
one direction of attack in case of near-si- gunner main sight which should align to for all the BMP-2/2Ks held with Indian
multaneous hostile threat (minimum of a the direction of the target handed over Army. The estimated quantity is nine lakh
0.4-second gap) and neutralise up to two by the commander thus achieving multi- rounds a year.
threats. It should have multi-launcher ca- target tracking and engagement. The ammunition should be capable
pability/autoloading to address threats The system should have a provision of being fired from existing 30mm 2A42
from different directions simultaneously. for image stitching and image enhance- Main Gun without any modification to
The fitting of the system should not affect ment. The video of the targets to be ac- the gun design, feeding mechanism and
sealing of combat vehicle for deep fording quired to ensure the 360-degree field of stowage. The ammunition being offered
and NBC protection. view in azimuth, with the capability to de- should have a minimum penetration re-
The system should be capable of con- tect and track multiple targets. It should quirement of Advanced 30mm AP ammu-
tinuous operation for at least eight hours. provide a user interface to prioritise the nition to be greater than or equal to 30mm
The system should have a high safety targets, with provision for aligning the at an angle of 60 degree at 1,000 metre on
against accidental activation and the dan- selected target to Gunner's Main Sight Rolled Homogenous Armour/specified
ger zone for dismounted troops operating (GMS). target, and new enhanced HE ammuni-

18 January 2018

tion to be equipped with proximity fuse to
engage targets in defiladed position.

PROJECT 12: Fuses for all Variants of Pina-

ka Rockets
The Army wants to indigenously manu-
facture fuses for all variants of Pinaka
Rockets. The types of fuses required for
variants of Pinaka Rockets are:
 For a variable time of the 10-metre
height of burst, the modes of opera-
tion should be through Radio Fre-
quency proximity and point detona-
tion with a disruptive output. It is to
be used in HEPF and RHE Rockets.
 For a variable time of 30 m HoB, the
modes of operation would be RF
proximity and point detonation with
disruptive output. It is to be used in
HEPF and RHE Rockets. The quantity
required for both the variants is 3,360
a year.
 For the electronic time, the modes
of operation are electronic time and
point detonation, with the electronic
output. The time range is between six
to 200 seconds, with a resolution of
0.1 and accuracy of 0.05 Area Denial
Munitions Type 1,2 and 3 rockets that as mentioned here: For Small Size Jacket, ule and high strain to failure, are capable
are under development. The quantity a minimum SAP size of 4,560 sq cm and a of elastically storing an extreme amount
required is 1,620 a year for year for minimum HAL size of 3,220 sq cm with a of energy that can cause the bullet to be
each type. weight of 4 kg; for Medium Size Jacket, a absorbed or be deflected. There is a need
minimum SAP size of 4,800 sq cm and a to carry out further research in the devel-
PROJECT 13: Light Weight Body Armour minimum HAL size of 3395 sq cm with a opment of Lightweight body armour, and
The present and future concept of con- weight of 4.5 kg; and for Large Size Jacket, (c) Thermo Plastic Carbon Fabric Com-
flicts and challenges faced by a soldier a minimum SAP size of 5,190 sq cm and posite (TCF), which are metals having low
dictate him to be equipped with the light- a minimum HAL size of 3,670 sq cm with density, higher strength, and higher shelf
er battle load to face the dynamic and a weight of 5 kg. The tentative timeline life with hypervelocity impact properties.
swift natured battlefield. The Bullet Proof for development of technology and ma-
Jackets presently do not provide adequate turing of technology is within a year. The PROJECT 14: Robotics Surveillance Plat-
protection to all the vital organs of a sol- detailed timelines are to be worked out form for Rashtriya Rifles
dier. The weight is the biggest challenge to subsequently on successful evaluation of Terrorism over the years has evolved
enable the soldier to operate in the field the prototype. to a large extent and as a matter of fact,
with maximum efficiency. At present, the capability with Indian the footprints of terrorism has extended
The threat to the soldier has in- vendors is restricted to Protection NIJ lev- largely from the jungle/rural areas to
creased day-by-day from low-to-me- el III. The current procurement as per lat- the urban areas. The way the situation is
dium and to high-velocity projectiles. est GSQR 1438 is underway. The trials are evolving, it may just be a matter of time,
Therefore, there is a need to equip the in progress. The material used in the BPJs when security forces (SF), and Rashtriya
soldier with lightweight body armour, by vendors is UHMWPE & Boron Carbide. Rifles, in particular, will be facing the
to have adequate protection against the The weight achieved is 10.1 to 11.3 kg. The threat in the built up and super built-up
varying threat levels. BPJ is modular and covers entire vital or- areas. It is hereby proposed that a proj-
The armour must cover vital organs gans of the body of the soldier. The weight ect for Robotics Platform be taken up as
and provide protection against the latest can be further reduced by research and a procurement project under 'Make' cat-
enemy threat. It must be modular and us- development. egory. The estimated quantity is 544.
able in various operations. It should meet Among the few future technologies These robotic surveillance platforms
the requirements of all three services for available are (a) Liquid Body Armour that can be extensively used by the Rashtriya
inter-service operability. consists of Kevlar soaked in either a shear Rifles forces operational in BUA and Su-
The armour must provide protection thickening fluid or a magneto geologi- per BUA for gathering of real-time input
against 7.62 x 51 mm SLR at 10 metre, 7.62 cal fluid, both of which show the unique prior to manual insertion. The sub-com-
x 39 mm AK 47 (mild steel core) at 10 me- behavior of behaving like a liquid under ponents of the system will include a Sur-
tre, 7.62 x 39 mm AK 47 (hard steel core) low or normal pressure and solid under veillance Camera, which will be the main
at 10 metre, 7.62 x 54 mm R (Sniper) at 50 high pressure applied fields, (b) Carbon feeder unit of the system. The camera
metre, 9 x 19 mm Carbine at 5 metre. Nano Tubes (CNT), which, due to their must be able to provide input in both day-
The Surface Area should be of the size unique combination of high elastic mod- and-night modes. January 2018


tection System Sub Components would

include a Ballistic Helmet, which is pro-
posed to protect the entire upper part
of the body, i.e. head and face, both. The
lightweight headgear will be an integra-
tion of many modern devices along with
protection mechanisms (against ballis-
tics, blasts, heat and noise) into a single
system for best possible outcomes during
modern warfare combats, such as sen-
sors, night vision devices and laser range-
The Ballistic Body Suit will be devel-
oped to protect the middle part of the
body from the ballistic impact and pro-
vide necessary inputs about the vitals of
an individual to be controlled. The ballis-
tic shoes will protect the lower part of the
body, which consists of leg and foot from
ballistic impact. The basic principle will
be same as the other component of ar-
mour with greater attention to main parts
of the boots viz sole, toecap and heel seat.

PROJECT 16: Programmable, Pre-Frag-

mented, Proximity Ammunition (3P) Ammu-
nition for 40mm L-70 Gun
With the increase in air threat envelope
In-built transmission system must be vidual protection project is taken up as and multiplicity of air threat platforms,
a part of the platform to provide real-time a procurement project under the 'Make' there is a requirement to enhance the le-
intelligence form with the camera to the category. The estimated quantity required thality and accuracy of the present air de-
user. The ideal range should be up to 200 by the Army is 59,825. fence ammunition of L70 gun system. The
metres. The platform must deliver a suit- The individual protection project ammunition should have multi-target
able ammunition at the intended target, is envisaged to be composed of Sensor handling capability along with capabili-
for example, stun grenade. Based Equipment, which would mean ties of an air burst, proximity, point deto-
Mostly the system will have to be de- the entire system can be divided into the nation and variable and programmable
ployed at a short notice in harsh terrain sensor part (that is, health assessment) provisions. The estimated quantity re-
conditions. Otherwise, also, the approach and the protection part. The Human Pro- quired is approximately 3,30,000 rounds
to the target area will have to be discreet,
that is, on foot to maintain surprise. This
calls for the system to be man-portable
(lightweight) and throw-able. At the same
time, the system has to be shockproof to
withstand the above conditions.
Many times, two or more teams must
operate in conjunction with a single tar-
get area. Thus a second Unit, which can
be operated alongside the first unit by a
single operator with the same remote
(having at least dual display screen)
should also form part of the system.

PROJECT 15: Individual Protection System

- Multi-Applicable Smart Sensor-Based Im-
pact and Blast Resistant Protective Shield
The threat of extremism and militancy
is percolating to a pan-India scale level
whereby it is imperative that the Rashtri-
ya Rifles must be more suitably adopted,
wherein they can be deployed anywhere
according to the need. A vital part of that
adoption will constitute individual pro-
tection gear of the soldiers. Considering
the above, it is proposed that an indi-

20 January 2018

over a period of 12 years. or from Fire Control Radar. ing vintage Antenna Alignment System
The ammunition should be suitable The programmable fuse should not (AAS) needs to be indigenized and digi-
for a variety of targets, to include aircraft, be affected by the Electronic Warfare en- tised. The quantity required is five.
Helicopters, UAVs and soft-skinned ve- route the flight time. Electronic Counter The system to be trailer mounted
hicles. The ammunition should, if pos- Counter Measures (ECCM) should be four-wheeled with an assisted braking
sible, enhance the range of the round. inherent in the ammunition fired. The system suitable to be adapted to prime
It should be capable of achieving three pre-fragmented programmable proximity movers like 6x6 Heavy Mobility Vehicle
to six km ranges for the aerial targets. To round should be developed for use with held by the Indian Army. To be suitably
increase the lethality and hit probability, the QF 40mm L70 Gun system. The fuse designed to be able to be transported on
the munition should be pre-fragmented. size should fit the 40 mm calibre of L70 existing tank transporters of Indian Army,
The fragments design should be such as gun. low bedded Civil Hired Tank Transporters
to cause maximum damage to the aerial/ Fixed type fuse or screwed type fuse. available in open market and by rail on
ground target. The fragments should be of The programmable projectile fuse should wagons (type BOM).
desired metal and shape so as to achieve be compatible with the existing L70 gun Operational and Technical Param-
maximum destruction to the target. ammunition. The dimension of the pro- eters include a transmitter with tun-
The munition should have adequate grammable, pre-fragmented, proxim- able Ku-band frequency for Oscillator
lethality to damage the intended target ity ammunition should be in accordance 1,2 and 3. The Horn should be conical
(ground or air). The ammunition should with the 40mm L70 Gun. The weight with Continuous wave modulation. The
have a system to ascertain the range and of the programmable, pre-fragmented, spatial coverage would be Azimuth +120
distance of target through its integrated proximity ammunition should be such, degrees, Elevation (+)5 to (-)20 degree,
system. It should be able with (+)12-degree level-
to modify distance to be ling. The Antenna sys-
travelled before the am- tem should have a mast
munition is armed. The with 20-metre height
facility of programming without oscillator and
the fuze should be with 20.225 metre with the
an aim to detonate the oscillator. The mast from
munition at the calculat- the ground should be 22
ed range in the intended metre, the collapsible
area. cylindrical section with
The proximity fea- telescopic retraction
ture should be integrat- type and cable retraction
ed into the munitions provided. The antenna
to enhance hit prob- should have a hydraulic/
ability. The miss distance electro-mechanical hoist
should be minimum and power or a combination
the fuse should be so de- of both.
signed to at least cover
a 4-metre distance from PROJECT 18: 1,200-1,500
the target. The muni- HP Modular Engine for T-
tions should be capable Gunner's Main Sight for 90S/SK Tank
of air burst for neutral- main battle tank Arjun The proposed modu-
ising the ground targets. lar engine for T-90S/SK
Airburst will ensure tanks will have a vari-
damage to the target by causing blast in that it should not alter the firing capabil- able power output of 1,200-1,500 HP with
and around it as per the time set on the ity of the 40 mm L70 Gun. multi-fuel to cater for high battlefield
fuse keeping in mind the nature and size A minimum shelf life of 10 years and agility mandated with system/platform
of the target in the operational area. above should be provided in its original level upgrades planned for the T-90S/SK,
Ammunition should be capable to container. It should be able to withstand including its future variants. The system
achieve blast on impact. It should have an the operating and storage extremes in will comprise of a base engine module
effective impact fuse. To ensure the mul- terms of terrain and climatic conditions of 1,200 HP with a capability to add-on
tiple uses of munitions against varied tar- existing in India. additional engine modules including as-
gets, it should have the armour-piercing sociated accessories/peripherals to up-
capability of minimum 100 mm thick ar- PROJECT 17: Antenna Alignment System rate it to 1,500 HP based on operational
mour of the target. This can also be com- for OSA-AK Missile System requirements. The estimated quantity
bined with the delayed fuse to achieve OSA-AK Missile system is of Russian ori- required is 2,011.
penetration. gin and is employed to provide low-level During cross-country performance,
The fuse or the programmable muni- Air Defence cover to the mechanised col- the engine must provide enough power
tions should be able to fire from the exist- umns of Armoured Division. There is a for a maximum gradient of 300, a maxi-
ing gun calibre, that is 40 mm. The system requirement to align the antenna of the mum tilt angle of 250, compression ratio
should be designed to support the pro- OSA-AK Combat Vehicles after the change greater than 15:1, with an engine weight
grammable ammunition to take inputs from transportation mode to combat of less than 1,500 kg. The power-to-
of target parameters from Laser Range mode which is done with the help of an weight ratio should be greater than 25
Finder sight fitted on Upgraded L70 Guns Antenna Alignment System (AAS). Exist- HP/Tonne. January 2018




In another
case of a
the Army’s
Guided Missile
has misfired,
out MIKE While the Army's urgent need for a 3rd generation ATGM has now
been indefinitely delayed, technology has leapfrogged to the 5th
RAJKUMAR generation of ATGMs, such as MBDA MMP and Rafael Spike LR II

he Indian Army has an ur- has been made by the Ministry of De- of missiles. The JV had inaugurated a
gent requirement to induct fence (MoD) on the status of the Spike new production facility in Hyderabad
a new generation anti-tank ATGM procurement till now. It now ap- in August last year. The Kalyani Group
guided missile (ATGM) and it pears that the responsibility of provid- has also partnered with Elbit Advanced
now appears that the service ing a new generation ATGM to the Army Systems of Israel for an army artillery
will need to wait to induct its choice of has been handed over to the Defence requirement. The newest export
ATGM. Media reports emerging in No- Research Development Organisation customer for the Spike missile is the
vember 2017 stated that the Request for (DRDO). Romanian army which completed
Proposal (RFP) for procurement of the Rafael’s Spike ATGM emerged as user trials towards the end of 2017.
Spike missiles had been retracted. In the winner of an army requirement The Romanian army has deployed the
response to the news, a Rafael spokes- for a new ATGM in 2014. The deal was vehicle-mounted version of SPIKE LR
person was quoted by PTI as saying, valued at approximately `3,200 crore on a 30 mm RCWS on the BMP Platform,
“Rafael has not been officially informed for 321 launchers and 8,356 missiles. and the SPIKE ER Missile (8km) on its
of any change in the decision to pur- Additional orders were expected helicopters. The new missiles, are being
chase Spike missiles. Spike is in use keeping in mind the operational delivered with a new modern digital
with 26 different militaries around the requirements of the army to induct a launcher for SPIKE missiles called
world, and was selected by India after new ATGM for its infantry soldiers and Integrated Control Launch Unit (ICLU),
a long and rigorous process, in which it mechanised forces. Kalyani Group and which affords very long-range target
successfully met all the requirements Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had detection capabilities and integration
in a wide variety of combat test scenar- formed a Joint Venture in February to a tactical network. Over 27,000
ios.” Surprisingly, no formal statement 2015 for development and production Spike missiles and systems have been

22 January 2018

Rafael presented its new Spike LR II, 5th generation ATGM to the world for the first time at the 2017 Paris Air Show

supplied to more than 26 countries by month, “the complete functionality of Russian Invar laser beam rider ATGMs
Rafael till date. Nag ATGM along with launcher system which are capable of being fired from
NAMICA has been established and a T-90 MBT. Invar ATGMs have a range
An Indian alternative marked the successful completion of of 5km and deliveries of the missiles
The acquisition of a modern anti-tank development trials of Nag Missile”. as part of the `3,000 crore order are
weapon is a key priority for the army as to be completed by 2020. The Milan-2
it seeks to modernise its mechanised Outdated inventory is a second-generation missile of late
forces to meet the requirements of The army presently uses Russian seventies vintage, produced by BDL
the future battle field and enhance Konkurs-M and French Milan-2T, which since the early Eighties under a Transfer
the fire power capability of Infantry are both second generation ATGMs, of Technology (TOT) arrangement. The
soldiers. In fact, the induction of new manufactured by Bharat Dynamics more modern Milan-2T which is fitted
ATGM has been listed as one of the Limited (BDL). The DPSU also received with a ‘Tandem Warhead’ was first
thrust areas for modernisation of the a contract in August 2013 for supply of ordered (4100 units) a decade ago. When
mechanised infantry. Keeping this
in mind, any delay in the induction of
these missiles is a matter of concern, Fifth generation
as there will be a cascading delay ATGMs use uncooled
in training, operationalisation of seekers and can
the weapon system and set-up of engage targets with
maintenance infrastructure. The army coordinates provided
will need to wait a few years before it from a third party
can look to induct the DRDO’s land-
based Nag (Prospina) ATGM in any
serious quantity. The DRDO developed
4km range ATGM completed successful
trials in June 2017 and is to undergo
user trials with the army this year.
‘Nag’ missiles can also be deployed on
a specially modified BMP-2 Infantry
Command Vehicle (ICV) vehicle
called 'NAMICA'. In September 2017,
the MoD announced that following
two successful flight trails held that RAFAEL January 2018



Army proposes, but DRDO Based on the promise made by the DRDO
to indigenously develop and produce a Man-
guided missile for the army. The Indian Army
had projected a requirement of 845 launchers
disposes. That, in effect, is Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) and 45,000 missiles for making up absolutely
for the Army, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) critical deficiencies in the quickest possible
the story of Indian Army's decided in November last year to cancel time, whereas in August 2017 the deficiencies
bid to arm itself with the the $500-million deal for the Spike anti-tank stood at 68,000 missiles.
guided missile. This deal was said to be the The Defence Acquisition Council, in
Israeli ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided cornerstone of India-Israel bilateral ties and was its meeting in January 2009, accorded the
missile wholly expected to be a done deal by both the
nations, till its cancellation decision.
Acceptance of Necessity for the anti-tank
guided missiles to buy only 321 launchers,

Rafael wanted to keep the technology 8,356 missiles and 15 simulators. The decision
fter nearly 10 years of expressing for the seekers of the Spike anti-tank guided came under the 'Buy and Make' category of
operational criticality of the need to missile as its part of the work so that it held the Defence Procurement Procedure, which
procure the third generation anti-tank some key parts of the missile technology for entailed transfer of technology by the original
guided missile and an eight-year pro- itself. With the cancellation of this procurement equipment manufacturer to Bharat Dynamics
curement process, the Spike missile process though, this technology transfer would Limited and an offsets clause under which the
acquisition has crashed and gone up in flames, not happen anymore. DRDO has not ensured winner of the contract would plough 30 per cent
without hitting the intended target of plugging that this happens, though it is nowhere near of the deal's worth back in the Indian defence
the gaps that the army had identified in its ca- product development, as an alternative to the and aerospace sector through direct purchases
pability. The credit for this disaster should go to Spike missile. or technology transfers. The decision also
Defence Research and Development Organisa- The decision-making authority got carried provided an option to the Indian Army to look at
tion (DRDO), which has not only failed to de- away by DRDO's assertion that importing the the foreign military sales route, which could be
velop a man-portable anti-tank guided missile Spike, a foreign anti-tank guided missile at this exercised simultaneously.
of its own, but has also not allowed the Spike stage would adversely impact the indigenous Based on the Defence Acquisition council
acquisition case to progress, as it still promises programme for the development of the same decision, the Indian Army issued the Request
to develop a successful system to meet the by it. “The DRDO has successfully produced for Proposals to five vendors in April 2010,
Army's need by showcasing a prototype – yes, the Nag and Anamika ATGMs. It is confident but only Rafael responded to it, leaving the
just a prototype – in two years’ time. about providing the Army with an MPATGM of procurement case with a single-vendor
Spike MR is a fire-and-forget, top-attack third generation missile technology, at par with situation. Simultaneously, India issued a Letter
anti-tank guided missile with day-and- Spike, within three to four years. It won't also of Request to the United States for its Javelin
night attack capability, having a range of need any transfer of technology," according to anti-tank-guided missile from the Raytheon-
2.5 kilometres. The Indian Army wanted to Indian Army officials. Lockheed Martin stable.
procure the missile for its infantry units and is This government's decision to cancel The Spike missiles underwent trials,
considered an operationally critical weapon. At the Spike procurement came even though the especially in Israel, for the Indian requirement
present, the Indian Army is employing second- Indian Army chiefs had repeatedly told the in 2011-12. The Ministry of Defence accepted
generation anti-tank guided missiles such as the Defence Acquisition Council meetings in June the trial evaluation in 2013. The US, once
Milan-2T and Konkurs, but the two systems are 2009, January 2011 and October 2014 that again, tried to sell its Javelin to India along
not capable of carrying out night fighting. there was a critical requirement of the anti-tank with the transfer of technology. But the Indian

orders for the Milan-2T were placed in make use of an uncooled seek and in the development of a wide variety
2008, it was also clear that the shelf life can also be integrated into a Network of missiles over the years, and was
of existing stock of Milan-2 ATGMs held Centric Warfare (NCW) environment, largely possible due to Rafael's close
by the army would expire by 2013 itself. with the ability to engage targets cooperation with the users at the IDF
provided from a third party. This is in and other militaries around the world,”
5th generation ATGMs addition to greater range, lighter weight said Moshe Elazar, Executive Vice
Third generation ATGMs have a useful and far improved warhead technology. President and Head of Rafael's Land
range of up to 3 km and make use of a Rafael’s Spike LR II, 5th generation and Naval Systems.
cooled IR seeker. Fourth generation ATGM was presented for the first time The most significant upgrade
ATGMs have ranges nearing 4 km and in at the 2017 Paris Air Show in June. The associated with the Spike LR II is the
addition to lock on after launch facility new missile weighs only 12.7kg and can new electro-optical seeker which makes
against non-line-of-sight targets, some be launched from any SPIKE Launcher. use of a high quality un-cooled IR
systems would also have a dual mode “The development of the SPIKE LR II sensor and an advanced high definition
TV/IR seeker. Fifth generation ATGMs is based on Rafael's vast experience colour day sensor, in addition to two

24 January 2018

Israeli soldier with MR-LR type Spike launcher An image of the Nag missile and the Nag missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA)

government decided to stick with the Israeli and all-weather capability and therefore, operational scenario.
system and decided to clear the single-vendor proposed that the procurement of the Spike As the next step, the Indian Army is waiting
purchase from Rafael for its Spike missiles, in missile be proceeded with to meet the urgent for orders from the government to look at means
a decision at the Defence Acquisition Council in requirements of the Indian Army. to acquire the Spike from Israel. The option
October 2014. This, in effect, was a rejection of The panel also recommended that, however, available to India is to reduce the quantity for
the Javelin offer under the Foreign Military Sales parallel development of the NAG missile by the off-the-shelf purchase of the Spike missile,
route by the United States. DRDO must continue and it must be fielded, for which the Indian Army would have to go
The cost negotiation committee began its as and when it is ready to meet the future back to the Defence Acquisition Council with a
work with Rafael, to arrive at an acceptable price, requirements of the Army or the next phase of fresh proposal and obtain necessary clearance.
in March 2015. This negotiation progressed till acquisition of the anti-tank guided missile by the However, in that case, there could be a shoot
June 2016, when it was concluded, and a price Army. However, the DRDO representatives in up of the cost of the missile itself, as nearly six
was arrived at by the two sides. Surprisingly, the committee had objected to the procurement years have elapsed since Rafael had put in its
after the cost negotiation, the government set up of Spike and favoured NAG procurement by commercial bids to supply the weapon system
an expert committee in February 2017 to check the Army, even though they could assure the to India. But, the Indian government hopes to
if the Spike missile had compliance regarding development of only a prototype in two years bring down the costs of the purchase by not
the Request for Proposals specifications on from now. going in for a technology transfer under the new
Seeker performance, as one of the Seekers had The cancellation of the Spike procurement procurement proposal.
failed to perform during trials held in Israel, and is a huge setback for the Indian Army's efforts to The Spike missile procurement by India
all-weather capability, transfer of technology modernise its infantry formations with a suitable has now become the classical example of the
deliverables validation and evaluation of the anti-tank guided missile. This, even though, the bureaucratic red tape that ensures the Indian
indigenous NAG missile from the DRDO. Army had pressed for the Spike procurement, armed forces are never modernised and are
The committee submitted its report the by highlighting the operational urgency of the always behind the curve when it comes to
same month, within 10 days of being set up, equipment and arguing that the Spike gave it a possessing latest weapon systems, on a par
recommending that the Spike missile met with major capability impetus, especially for troopers with global militaries.
the laid down criteria for Seeker performance deployed on the Line of Control in the current — Geopolitics Bureau

unique warhead configurations: a missions where grid target coordinates spaces. The first batch of 50 missiles
Tandem HEAT warhead configuration, are provided by a third party-target and 20 firing posts for the new MMP
which offered 30% enhanced armour allocation. system, were delivered between 15 and
penetration capability and a new MBDA which has set up a joint 23 in November 2017. The MMP will
multipurpose blast warhead, which venture with Larsen & Toubro called gradually replace the Milan, the HOT
includes controlled fusing by the ‘Larsen & Toubro MBDA Missile missiles mounted on French Army
gunner. As compared to the 4 km Systems Ltd’ has also expressed its VAB Armoured Fighting Vehicles and
range of the original SPIKE LR, ground willingness to offer its new ATGM5 the ERYX for some of these missiles.
launcher fired SPIKE LR II missiles (MMP), which is a fifth generation In addition to equipping French Army
have a range of 5.5 km and up to 10 km anti-tank weapon, whose deliveries infantry and cavalry units, it will
when fired from a helicopter (using have already commenced to the also be issued to Special Forces of the
alternative option of RF Data link). The French Army. The new missile has a Army, Navy and Air Force. MBDA
Spike LR II also features an embedded range of more than 4km and can also will deliver 400 firing posts and 1,750
IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for be safely fired from within confined missiles by 2025. January 2018



Future armoured columns
of the Indian Army would
be state-of-the-art infantry
combat vehicles and battle
tanks. Geopolitics Bureau
details the first step that
has been taken to create
the necessary environment
to build future armoured

he Indian Army is on the
verge of taking a big leap for
its armoured formations and Tata Motors’ FICV concept
mechanised forces, even as it
is faced with a huge responsi-
bility on deciding on the course of action
on the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle dian Army headquarters for further clar- plan, the government would fund the
(FICV) and the Future Ready Combat ification on involving around five Indian prototype development up to 80 per cent
Vehicle (FRCV) projects. While the FICV private sector firms in the project under of the development cost, which is esti-
is an infantry combat vehicle, the FRCV the 'Make in India' initiative of the pres- mated to be about `3,000 crore each. The
will meet India's futuristic battle tank ent central government. one selected would be finally taken up
needs, though it is not to be miscon- The FICV is to equip India's 50-odd for mass production. The Indian Army
strued as the now abandoned Future mechanised infantry units. The Indian had felt that picking five prototypes from
Main Battle Tank (FMBT) project. Army had originally proposed to give the five different companies would escalate
Let's first look at what's going on project to two Indian private firms and the development cost it had planned to
with the FICV programme. The project the Ordnance Factory Board to develop `15,000 crore, instead of the planned
has been mired in controversies and prototypes. Though the OFB prototype `6,000 crore. The total project cost en-
delays since it was kick-started as a ma- would have a chance, the competition visaged for the FICV programme is said
jor modernisation project of the Indian was to be between the two prototypes to be `65,000 crore, which would come
Army's mechanised forces way back in developed by the private firms to see under a strain if five companies were
October 2009 when it was accorded the which one fitted the bill. Once the best chosen to develop the prototypes.
Acceptance of Necessity by the Defence of the two prototypes was chosen, the The decision of the government to
Acquisition Council (DAC). After over Indian Army wanted to give an opportu- ask the Army to reconsider the proposal
eight years in the works –with on-and- nity to the firm that could not clear the came after representations from the left-
off rumours of the project being shelved trials to produce a part of the total order out companies that expressed keenness
– the FICV programme is now back on for FICVs on the same design and cost as to participate in the project. This had
the drawing board, according to officers the chosen one. raised questions over the procedure
with direct knowledge of the develop- The FICV is to replace the ageing followed by the Army to select the two
ment. four-decade-old fleet of BMP-I and BMP- private firms that were to bag the devel-
Soon after Nirmala Sitharaman took II that are in service with the Indian opment project for the FICV prototypes.
over as India's first full-time Defence Army and these infantry combat vehi- The five private sector contenders for the
Minister, the project proposal had gone cles of Russian origin have now been put FICV project are Larsen and Toubro, Ma-
up to the DAC headed by her and it has through an upgrade to extend their ser- hindra, Reliance Defence, Tata Motors-
decided to return the proposal to the In- vice life. According to the Indian Army Bharat Forge consortium and Tata Pow-

26 January 2018

A Russian Army
T-14 Armata tank in
rehearsal for Victory
Day celebrations

er SED-Titagarh Wagons consortium. exercise had taken place soon after the specifications that it had sought. A Re-
The Army had initially planned to in- Indian Defence Acquisition Council had quest for Proposal (RFP) is likely to be
duct at least 835 new FICVs by 2017, with given their nod for the Indian Army's issued in the middle of 2018.
another 1,479 being delivered by 2022. FICV project. The only difference between the
Due to the programme getting back to The FICV is one of the most ambi- RFIs then and now is that the Army is
square one, the entire project has been tious projects of the Indian Army and clear that the FRCV programme would
set back by nearly a decade now, accord- is also a sizeable programme. The FICV be done under the newly promulgated
ing to defence ministry officials, with would enable India to reduce its depen- Strategic Partnership programme un-
knowledge of the timelines. The Defence dence on the Russian-origin platforms der the Defence Procurement Procedure
Ministry has suggested that the FICV for its armoured personnel carrier re- 2016. This would mean that the FRCV
project should now first be considered quirement. The FICV could also help programme would be a 'Make in India'
for a decision by the Defence Production the Indian Army to meet its multi-utility project with participation and technol-
Board, headed by Defence Production platform requirement for land and am- ogy sharing by foreign original equip-
Secretary after the Army has made up its phibious operations, as the project pro- ment manufacturers.
mind. Under normal circumstances, the vides a larger canvas and scope. One fear is that the FRCV project
Defence Acquisition Council decides on While the Indian Army had issued its would sound the death knell of other
procurement matters. first Expression of Interest for the FICV Indian indigenous programmes such as
Even as the Army is grappling with programme to the contending Indian the Arjun main battle tank and the Fu-
the issue of whether to get the five in- companies in 2010, the same was with- ture Main Battle Tank. The Indian gov-
terested parties to develop their proto- drawn after two years in 2012. The proj- ernment may, though, have options for
types, with the government being a ma- ect was resurrected and the Expression its FRCV programme in the Russian T-14
jor funding agency for the project, the of Interest was issued again to 10 com- Armata, the Ukrainian T-84 Oplot, the
US government too, has shown interest panies in 2015 under the 'Make' category French Le Clerc, and the South Korean
in offering the development and produc- of the Defence Procurement Procedure. K2 Black Panther, according to reports.
tion of the armoured personnel carriers The FRCVs are to replace the Indian
under a trilateral venture – also involv- Future Ready Combat Vehicle Army's ageing fleet of the Soviet-era T-72
ing Israel – under its Defence Technol- For the second time in two-and-a-half- armoured fleet. The Indian Army wants
ogy and Trade Initiative. years, the Indian Army had in November to design and develop a new generation,
The matter came up for discussion 2017 issued a Request for Information to contemporary state-of-the-art combat
between Nirmala Sitharaman and US global armoured fighting vehicles man- vehicle platform for the armoured and
Defence Secretary James Mattis during ufacturers seeking to know by January mechanised forces in the next decade.
his visit to India in late September last 31, 2018, if they could help it with the de- The likely induction of the FRCVs is the
year. The US had in October 2009, dur- velopment of what is now known as the 2027-30 period.
ing the joint exercise, Yudh Abhyas, with Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV). The Army has, however, expressed
the Indian Army, showcased their Stryk- The Army had, in June 2015, issued a its intent to populate its armoured fight-
er Armoured Personnel Carriers along similar RFI for the FRCV programme ing vehicle fleet with the FRCV and to
with the Javelin anti-tank missiles. The and had come under criticism for the subsequently develop 10 more need- January 2018


prehensive technologies, including de-

tailed design manufacturing know-how
of the Armoured Fighting Vehicles being
offered by the Original Equipment Man-
ufacturer. In line with the 'Make in In-
dia initiative of the Indian government,
the Original Equipment Manufacturer
is to ensure that all efforts are made to
maximise the Indigenous Content of the
project without any deterioration in Per-
formance Standards.
India is in the process of develop-
ing a vibrant Industrial Ecosystem for
Armoured Fighting Vehicles equipment
including design and manufacture of
cutting-edge components and equip-
ment for use on other projects. Original
Equipment Manufacturers are to maxi-
mise Indigenous Content in the pro-
posed design. The Indigenous Content
will be stipulated in the Expression of
Interest documents and shall not be less
than 40 per cent on the cost basis of the
'Make' portion of the contract.
WIKIPEDIA The Weapons and Sensors integra-
T-84 Oplot-M main battle tank at the Power of Unconquered Exhibition, Ukraine
tion experience shall include Primary
and Secondary Armament System and
based variants in various roles, with the sub-continent including High Altitude Sensors such as Multi-Sensor-Aided Tar-
first 'tracked' variant of the FRCV as the Areas, Deserts, Semi-Deserts, Riverine get Acquisition and Fire Control System,
base vehicle for the future variants. and Mountainous Terrains under varied Integrated Day-Night Vision Devices for
The FRCV fleet could be approxi- temperature conditions. the complete crew, incorporating Fu-
mately 1,770 armoured fighting vehicles It should also be able to: sion Technology and 360-degree Pan-
in various kit combinations and these • Provide Fire Support to Assaulting oramic View for Commander, Data Link,
could be inducted in a phased manner. Forces, when required to do so. Self-Protection Suite, Software Defined
The procurement could also include • Fire while on the move, accurately. Radio, and Identification Friend or Foe
10 years performance-based logistics, • Fire multiple types of Ammunition, responder. The details of weapons and
transfer of technology, engineering sup- including Anti-Tank Guided Mis- nominated equipment shall be intimat-
port package, personnel documenta- siles. ed at a later date.
tion, and spares package for replacing • Include capability to destroy enemy It is an imperative that the Indian
a part of its ageing armoured fighting tanks at ranges higher than he can government sees to it that projects like
vehicles fleet as part of the modernisa- engage us, in a time earlier than he the FICV and FRCV go through the whole
tion plan. can fire at us, with very high first hog. Else, the delays and disruptions in
It will call for rapid dominance in an round hit/kill probability and ac- such projects reflect badly on the gov-
expanded battlespace, characterised by quire targets at a longer range. ernment, and the Indian defence sector
real-time awareness, all-terrain agility • Engage low flying manned and un- in the global market, leading to invest-
and high mobility, precision lethal fire- manned rotary wing aircraft. ment decisions from original equipment
power, multi-layered protection and in- • Engage enemy massed armour led manufacturers shifting to other markets
creasing use of technology. The Future attacks, when part of a defensive lay- where business is bigger, processes are
Ready Combat Vehicle will be required out. easier and decision making is quicker.
to conduct sustained, continuous opera- The Future Ready Combat Vehicle Success in kickstarting and complet-
tions by day and night in all terrain, in will be a tracked fighting vehicle of Me- ing of the FICV and FRCV projects have
various forms where applicable (except dium Weight Class (all up combat weight their benefits to the Indian industry,
in an amphibious role). not to exceed 50 Tonnes ± 15 percent) which has no demonstrated capability
Increased all-around survivability and should present a small target signa- for such programme on their own and
and ability to avoid, and thereafter, re- ture. It should be capable of all weather, would have to depend on foreign origi-
spond to attacks by all kinds of anti-tank day and night operations. All systems nal equipment manufacturers for tech-
threats would be essential. The arma- should be able to operate in an ambient nology. The project not only opens the
ment of the Future Ready Combat Ve- temperature range of minus 30-degree door for defence technology infusion by
hicle should be able to inflict damage on Celsius to plus 50-degree Celsius. The the Indian private sector, but it also en-
all targets, including mobile threats and Minimum Service Life of the Armoured ables the establishment of an ecosystem
static fortifications. Fighting Vehicles is required to be 40 for such hi-tech military equipment in
The Armoured Fighting Vehicle is years to 50 years. India, skills development, inculcating
likely to be employed in varied terrain The Indian government’s Ministry manufacturing processes, and creates a
configuration, as existing in the Indian of Defence is desirous of acquiring com- large-scale export potential.

28 January 2018


After nearly 30 years, India

DOES MRLS HAVE is once again boosting its

artillery divisions with brand
new field howitzers. But is the

THE EDGE OVER army pouring resources into a

weapon that is far less capable
than multiple rocket launcher

HOWITZERS? systems that are better suited

for lightning war, asks

rtillery is known as the God of with a mix of around 3,000 guns over the
War because it is the destruc- next decade.
tive power of artillery regi- In a landmark moment in 2017, the
ments that wins wars. Napo- army received two M177 BAE guns – the
leon, the great exponent of first new state of the art howitzers induct-
land warfare, had declared: “God fights on ed in the army since 1987, indicating the
the side with the best artillery.” extent to which previous governments
Throughout history armies with bet- had run down the army’s war fighting
ter artillery have almost always emerged capability. As many as 25 guns will arrive
victorious. Pulverising the enemy’s troop ready for induction while the remaining
and armour concentrations with sus- 120 will be assembled in India.
tained cannon, mortar and rocket fire is a In August 2016 the Defence Acquisi-
copybook strategy for winning wars. Dur- tion Council (DAC) cleared the purchase
ing the climactic Battle for Berlin in 1945 of 100 ‘K-9 Vajra’ tracked self-propelled
the Russians threw an incredible 41,600 guns at a cost of $750 million. It will be
artillery pieces against Hitler’s defences. produced in India by L&T at its Talegaon
The massive salvo broke the back – and unit in collaboration with a Korean part-
the spirit – of the German Army, leading ner. For the first time, India will be build-
to a quick capitulation. ing a major self-propelled gun hull in
In the 1999 Battle of Tololing, Indian India.
howitzers rained more than 10,000 shells Another big ticket item is the planned
on Pakistani positions. Whenever attack- purchase of 814 mounted gun systems at
ing Indian soldiers found themselves in an estimated cost of `15,750 crore. Of
a seemingly hopeless situation against these, 100 guns are to be imported and
well-entrenched Pakistani troops, all they the rest 714 are to be manufactured lo-
had to do was call for artillery fire. Indian cally under a transfer of technology
Army gunners delivered cannon fire with agreement.
such outstanding accuracy and prompt- Another howitzer that has caused a made available and when the political
ness that artillery alone saved hundreds great deal of excitement in the army is leadership is sympathetic to the military’s
of Indian lives. the DRDO’s ATAGS (Advanced Towed Ar- requirements. However, the army brass
tillery Gun System). During field trials at needs to induct artillery systems keep-
What the FARP! the Pokhran range in September 2017, the ing in mind two factors – the evolving
After more than three decades of setbacks gun fired three shells out to a range of an nature of warfare and the leapfrogging of
– and criminal neglect by the political unprecedented 47.2 km. The army may artillery technology. As well as howitzers,
leadership – the Indian Army is gear- acquire 2,000 units of this weapon. India must look at tube launched rockets
ing up for a major artillery procurement – also known as multiple rocket launcher
spree in order to address the crisis in its Different technologies systems (MRLS) – as a war winning tool.
war fighting capability. It is understandable that after being MRLS can deliver a sustained volley of
The army has laid down a roadmap starved for so long, the army seems to 20-40 rockets within seconds to obliter-
for inducting brand new 155mm weapon- have acquired a ravenous appetite. Plus, ate a targeted area and practically every-
ry, including tracked self-propelled guns, there is a favourable government at the thing that exists in that zone. In contrast,
truck-mounted gun systems, towed artil- centre so why not expedite the acquisi- in battlefield conditions a Bofors type
lery pieces and wheeled self-propelled tions before a new dispensation arrives system can fire at most six rounds a min-
guns. India is likely to spend upwards of and cancels all okayed deals. Better to ute. Wheeled MLRS can shoot and scoot,
$8 billion to equip 169 artillery regiments stock up now while resources are being thereby evading the enemy's fire finder

30 January 2018

radars which heavy non self-propelled ter the battle the Chinese side of the bor- Secondly, artillery should be treated
howitzers cannot do. der resembled Swiss cheese, with the war- as a combat arm rather than as a support
Again, with MRLS you can achieve zone littered with the bodies of 340 PLA arm. The aim should be to concentrate
incremental improvements – in range soldiers. The Indian toll was 65 dead. The artillery fire not only on forward areas but
as well as a payload. This offers several humiliated Chinese left Sikkim and with- in the enemy’s rear as well, leading to a
advantages – if you can hit the enemy drew 3 km from the border. greater scale and magnitude of destruc-
from a range of say, 60 km, he cannot ap- China is an ideological enemy and if tion. India should not only hit the enemy’s
proach you at least up to that distance. Communism collapses there, there is a frontline troops and armour but also de-
It's as simple as that. Even with its current possibility that Beijing will tone down its stroy his supplies, ammunition and urban
range, Pinaka can destroy targets west of harsh rhetoric against India. On the other infrastructure in the hinterland. This is
Lahore and Sialkot. In contrast, howitzer hand, Pakistan, being an existential en- what the Russians did before the Battle
shells on average travel 30 km; even with emy, the strategy must be to break up the for Berlin. Some of their artillery divisions
expensive base bleed shells they cannot country into several small ethnic nation- began their attack on April 20, 1945 and
land beyond 50 km. alities. If that is not possible, and if there is did not stop firing until Germany surren-
The Russians have demonstrated the an all-out 1971-type war, India’s objective dered two weeks later.
destructive power of their MRLS systems should be to destroy Pakistani offensive Heavy and continuous suppressive
fire keeps the opponent in a defensive
posture – hunkered in his foxhole instead
Pinaka 214 mm of taking aimed shots. This, therefore,
multiple barrel limits the enemy's overall firepower. Sup-
rocket launcher
pressive fire also prevents the enemy from
properly assessing the attack and organis-
ing a coherent and coordinated defence
or counterattack.
Another objective of heavy and sus-
tained artillery fire is to place your mech-
anised regiments and infantry in an ad-
vantageous position. That is, your troop
formations are concentrated without
committing them on the ground. This is
known as Manoeuvre by Fire.
In Manoeuvre by Fire, your troop for-
mations may not necessarily advance un-
der cover of the artillery offensive. Rather
they may advance to support the artillery
offensive. This completely transforms
that nature of war fighting and can poten-
tially disorient the enemy and unhinge
his decision making process.
Also, such a strategy is the way to ex-
ecute the Cold Start doctrine where long-
range artillery will have to kick in the door
and clear paths for the army’s Integrated
Battle Groups to pour into Pakistan in the
shortest time possible.

in numerous wars. Current Russian tube capability so that Islamabad cannot start Right mix of shock and awe
launched rockets have ranges over 200 another war for decades. For the army to sustain a high volume of
km. The US Army has also understood the fire its artillery divisions must have large
value of such systems and they are acquir- More artillery units needed numbers of MRLS. Currently, the Indi-
ing 300 km range systems. Currently, the Indian Army has three artil- an Army has just 316 such units. These
lery divisions, signalling a shift in its war mainly comprise the variants of the in-
Strategy for modern wars fighting doctrine – from offensive defence digenously manufactured Pinaka which
Unless war is thrust upon India, the In- to offensive. However, in order to acquire is being produced at the rate of 5000 mis-
dian Army must not start a war it cannot the ability to decide the outcome of a war siles per year:
win. Like the United States, India must before a bullet is fired, India needs to raise  Pinaka Mk1: Inducted (range 30 km)
always go into a war with overwhelming more artillery divisions. Since the civilian  Pinaka Mk2: Induction phase (range
superiority so that the outcome is not in bureaucracy is likely to oppose further 65 km)
doubt. expansion, the least the army can do is  Pinaka Mk3:Under development
Against China, the strategy should be use the current sanctioned number of (range 120 km)
to have enough Mountain Divisions to divisions more effectively. For, the gen- In the best traditions of a successful
defeat Chinese aggression as happened at erals always want the latest weapons but weapon, the range and destructive power
Cho La in 1967. In fact, it was artillery that armies ultimately have to fight with the of Pinaka MRLS is being increased incre-
ensured a resounding Chinese defeat. Af- weapons available. mentally. Both Russia and the US have January 2018


A Russian BM-21 Grad

rocket launcher on
a Ural-4320 chassis

kept improving the range of their own Each Pinaka rocket packs 100 kg of operated by a young DRDO scientist,
similar systems, and today the MRLS sys- high explosives. The launcher has 12 who was injured by Pakistani mortar fire
tems in their arsenal have ranges of up to rockets in its tubes, which can all be fired but continued firing until Tiger Hill was
300 km. The point is that Pinaka has great within 44 seconds. This means a Pinaka cleared of the enemy forces.
potential to become a scare factor for the battery comprising six launchers can The fourth argument is that MRLS
Pakistan Army. launch a coordinated attack on a target takes longer to reload whereas howitzers
With India achieving considerable area, pummelling it with 7.2 tonnes of can keep firing as long as shells are made
success in rocket propulsion (thanks to lethal explosives in under a minute. The available. Because each of the 20 or 40
the advanced stage of development of the rocket’s “pre-formed fragmented” war- tubes have to be individually loaded us-
BrahMos, Agni and Prithvi rockets), we head explodes into 21,000 high-density, ing a crane, the process can take several
have the technology to leverage this pow- tungsten alloy projectiles. minutes. For instance, the Pinaka’s ‘bro-
erful weapons system. In contrast, howit- The second argument against MRLS is chure’ reload time is between four and 15
zer technology has to be imported and it cost. First up, comparing costs is pointless minutes, but in reality it could take lon-
is not yet clear how much technology the because shell firing artillery and MRLS are ger depending on battlefield conditions
South Koreans or BAE will transfer to In- entirely different weapons. Nevertheless, and how far the replenishment trucks are
dia. Or even how much technology Indian back of the envelope calculations show from the battery.
companies would be able to absorb given that the Pinaka Mk1 costs $580,000 per However, enemy forces may well have
the nascent stage of their operations. launcher while the M177 light howitzer been obliterated after a coordinated salvo
costs approximately $5 million per unit. by an MRLS battery and may not be able
Dispelling myths about MRLS The wide gap is because the former is in- to fire back. This is the beauty of an MRLS
Currently, there are several arguments digenous while the latter is mostly made system.
against MRLS. One is accuracy – unlike in the US.
artillery shells, tube launched rockets do MRLS artillery is also more expensive Endgame
not land on a dime. But they don’t have to than standard artillery shells but with vol- Since the Indian Army does not have the
– the reason they are launched in multiple umes will come economies of scale and luxury of an unlimited budget, it has to
salvoes (rather than individually) is to en- because they are made in India, the manu- take a call on how to get the right mix of
sure the complete destruction of a general facturing expenses will continue to drop. howitzers and MRLS (plus mortars and
area. At any rate, like all weapons systems, The third argument against MRLS is tactical ballistic missiles). The bottom
MRLS too has gained in accuracy over the that they offer suboptimal performance line is that in the rush to import or licence
years. at high altitude. This is yet again an argu- build howitzers, the army must not over-
While the older, unguided Mk 1 and 2 ment without any basis in truth because look or underutilise a potential war win-
Pinaka rockets follow a ballistic path and few countries have had the opportunity to ner, the technology for which is readily
are used only against area targets (spread deploy them on the mountains. available at home.
out over 500 square metres), the newer India is perhaps the only country that
guided Mk3 strikes designated targets has used MRLS in high altitude warfare. The author is a New Zealand based
with better accuracy. In tests conducted Not only did the Indian Army use the Rus- journalist who covers defence and
in January 2017 the guided Pinaka struck sian built GRAD BM-21 rocket launcher military history. He is on the advisory
targets over 60 km away with a CEP (circu- against Pakistani soldiers on Tiger Hill, board of Modern Diplomacy, a Europe
lar error probable) of 25 metres. it also deployed the Pinaka, which was based foreign affairs portal

32 January 2018


The 72 MBT continues to remain a vital

component of the Army's armoured
regiments. It is pictured here at one of its
Republic Day appearances

The Indian Army is looking for a next generation main battle tank, writes MIKE RAJKUMAR

he Indian Army has one of the rain, Bridge Layer Tank, Trawl Tank and thereafter, respond to attacks by all kinds
largest Main Battle Tank (MBT) Full Width Engineer Mine Ploughs, Ar- of anti-tank threats would be essential,”
fleets amongst militaries glob- moured Recovery Vehicle, Self-Propelled says the RFI. The Army has asked that
ally and its recent decision to Base Platform for other Arms/Combat the tracked FRCV be in the Medium
procure a new generation, Me- Support Arms. Weight Class (All up combat weight not
dium Weight Class Tank, kicks off the ef- While the specifications for the next- to exceed 50 Tonnes ± 15 per cent) and
fort to find a replacement for its Russian generation combat vehicle platform should present a small target signature.
T-72 MBTs. A Request for Proposal (RFP) are suitably futuristic, the Army has With proposed requirements such as
for the acquisition of approximately 1770 repeatedly failed to successfully complete Multi-Sensor-Aided Target Acquisition
armoured fighting vehicles (in various kit the procurement process for vitally and Fire Control System, Integrated Day-
combinations) is expected to be issued needed equipments such as assault rifles, Night Vision Devices for complete crew,
by mid-2018. This vehicle, which will be carbines, sniper rifles, artillery pieces and incorporating Fusion Technology and
called the Future Ready Combat Vehicle SAM systems to name a few. Cost is likely 360° Panoramic View for Commander,
(FRCV), will form the base platform for to prove a major barrier for the FRCV Data Link, Self-Protection Suite, Software
the Main Battle Tank. Three new genera- procurement as the cost of a new T-90 Defined Radio, Identification Friend
tion MBTs are required to be provided for MBT alone is in the region of `30 crore. The or Foe responder etc; the FRCV will be
user trials and series production rate of RFI asks for a platform that provides real a quantum leap on the T-90 and this is
not less than 150 tanks per year is envis- time awareness, has all terrain agility and likely to reflect in the cost as well. A crew
aged. It is also planned to subsequently high mobility, precision lethal firepower, configuration of four or three has been
develop other need-based Family of Vari- multi-layered protection and the stated. Firepower is critical for an MBT
ants on this platform such as; Light Tank latest technology. “Increased all-round and for its new medium MBT, the Army
– that can operate in obstacle ridden ter- survivability and ability to avoid, and has asked for a smooth bore 120mm/125 January 2018


Tank T-90 (Bhishma)

passes through Rajpath
during the full dress
rehearsal for the
Republic day Parade

mm main gun with secondary armament active protection system. The Army is also still remains classified, though Russian
comprising of a 7.62mm coaxial machine looking to upgrade its T-72 fleet MBT with media reports say that it has been offered
gun and 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine uprated engines and more sophisticated to India.
gun. The tank should be capable of a sights. The greater use of simulation for
rate of fire of 6-8 rounds per minute with tank training has resulted in the Ministry End of the Road for Arjun?
an ammunition stowage capacity of at of Defence (MOD) signing a contract The RFI for the Future Ready Combat
least 40 rounds per tank. The new MBT with Hyderabad based Zen Technologies Vehicle sounds like a death knell for the
must also feature an Active Protection for 104 Driver Simulators for T-72 and indigenous Arjun MBT programme. After
Suite to contribute to the 360° all-round T-90 MBTs at a cost of `223.7 crore. The decades of development the Army placed
protection (including against top-attack). contract was signed in October 2017. orders for only 124 Arjun Mk1 tanks and
It should have both soft and hard kill for some time over the last few years it
capability, to destroy multiple CE and Russia’s New Armata MBT appeared that orders were likely for the
KE threats. A power to weight ratio of not The new Russian Armata (T-14) MBT Arjun Mk2. The Arjun Mk2 is essentially
less than 25:1 HP/Ton, with Full Combat when first unveiled in 2015 represented an Arjun Mk1 with 89 improvements,
Weight and cross-country max speed of a substantial advance from the current which also saw an increase in the weight
45kmph is required. state-of-the-art in MBT technology. It of the tank by five tonne. The cost of the
The mainstay of the Indian Army’s will enter service around 2020. Featuring Arjun Mk2 if it had been ordered would
armoured core presently is the T-90, numerous advancements in terms of have been around `37 crore and would
which is receiving a number of upgrade weight, speed and stealth, the Armata have been fitted with a state-of-the-art
to improve its combat potential. The is unique in having the tank crew at the commander’s panoramic sight with night
T-90s are also to receive a more modern front of the tank, with fully automated vision, an 8Kw Auxiliary Power Unit (APU),
gun launched anti-tank guided missile unmanned turret that makes uses of remote controlled weapon station, anti-
to replace its existing INVAR missile. the latest advances in technology and tank guided missile firing ability from
Presently 18 regiments of the T-90 are sensors. The new generation MBT has the 120mm main gun. In January 2016,
operational with approximately 850 been designed as a universal platform the Defence Research and Development
tanks. An additional 464 T-90s are to that can be made available in different Organisation (DRDO) announced that
be procured for ten more regiments. configurations. Crew protection has been it had successfully conducted test firing
The older T-72s while still capable have afforded high priority and they remain of new tank ammunition Penetration-
now been in service for more than 30 safe inside an armoured box which is Cum-Blast (PCB) and Thermobaric (TB)
years and approximately 2000 have isolated from the fuel and ammunition. Ammunition, specially designed for
been acquired. Uralvagonzavod has According to Russian media, the Arjun Tank which give a quantum jump
offered two T-72 upgrade proposals; the Armata MBT is fitted with a 125-mm in the fire-power of Arjun tanks. As of
first upgrades the T-72s protection for smoothbore tank cannon, a 7.62mm April 2015, only 122 Arjun Mk-I tanks
urban warfare, to cater against anti-tank remote-control PKTM machine gun and have been produced and inducted into
guided missiles and improvised explosive a 12.7mm machine gun. An unmanned Army, with two Armoured Regiments (43
devices (IEDs), while the second upgrade robotic version of the tank is also under and 75 Armoured Regiments) raised and
option offers the fitment of the Arena-E development. Much of the Armata MBT operationalised.

34 January 2018



Wars in the future will be unlike those in the past where attrition and manoeuvre were used
to defeat the army that chose to fight from a static position. Future battles will be fought on a
number of domains. With China ramping up its capabilities to fight future wars in multi-domain
battlefield scenarios, BRIG NARENDRA KUMAR (RETD) points out that the Indian Army needs to
introspect on how the country prepares and structures itself to fight such multi-domain battles

he profession of arms is dy- Future wars will be open warfare. This technology and doctrine but retain the
namic in nature: whatever has open warfare will be different from the moral values and warrior ethos laid down
succeeded in the past may not one that was fought during the first World by the old generation.
succeed in the future. Hannibal War, where attrition and manoeuvre were
lost to Scipio in the battle of used to defeat the army that chose to fight Change with the changing character of warfare
Zama because the young Roman General from a static position (Trench Warfare). Gen. David Perkins of US Training
changed his strategy and Hannibal con- Open wars of the future will be fought in Command writes that “when the nation
tinued with his time-tested strategy that multi-domains that include space, cyber, calls upon the Army to fight and win its
failed him in a crucial battle. Thus the information, air, land and sea. Limited, wars, the operational environment will
Carthage Army lost a decisive battle and incremental adjustments in capabilities, be unlike the circumstances of our recent
Rome laid the foundation of a Mediterra- structures and doctrinal changes will not past experiences. It will be defined by
nean empire. The Indian Army has served suffice; India will be required to carry out an enemy who will challenge our ability
the nation in an exemplary manner dur- in-depth analysis to build an army for to maintain freedom of manoeuvre and
ing peace and war while dealing with the future. What must be kept in mind is superiority across multi-domain”. China is
traditional and non-traditional threats. that the Army should evolve with modern building capabilities to fight future wars in January 2018


multi-domain battlefield scenarios, so the combatants to operate seamlessly to

Indian Army needs to introspect on how enable own forces and disrupt enemy
India prepares and structures itself to fight concentration and actions. The Indian
multi-domain battles. The forecasting of Army will have to start looking at
warfare over the horizon is vital because formalising and setting up structures
the doctrinal changes must happen to achieve cross-domain operational
while preparing for war and not after the expertise. It would require identification
war. It will be a monumental mistake of technologies, development of
to wait for the war to happen to change leadership, joint and integrated training
the doctrines and concept of operations. to understand operational nuances in a
One must remember that multi-domain net-centric environment. It is not a simple
battles are nonlinear in nature and exercise to suddenly move from single
follow the principle of simultaneity. service warfighting method to integrated
It will be a miscalculation to assume multi-domain warfighting. It would
that avoidance of war is war preventive also require an objective assessment to
strategy. War preventive strategy is based evaluate if the Indian Army is suitably
on capabilities and ability of the political equipped and adequately trained to fight
leadership to leverage it in a manner that in an informationalised environment.
dissuades and deters adversaries to take These issues to a large extent can be
the risk of going to war. addressed with the theatrisation of the
The Indian Army has always risen armed forces because it would also allow
to the occasion during conventional multi-domain (integrated) command and
and sub-conventional conflicts, but to control centres to get operationalised.
prepare to fight future wars based on Rooted in ground reality: While
past strategy and tactics will be a mistake preparing for future wars, the Indian
that can be avoided by thinking beyond Army should keep the current ground
the immediate future. A force should be reality in focus. Terrorism in Kashmir
so structured that it takes into account and potential of standoffs along the LAC
threats in the immediate future and with China require a resilient response. Representative image: The future war
capability-building for the long term. Both have different dimensions and scenario will not only change the dynamics
Future wars will not remain restricted to implications and thus the guard cannot of wars but would require new structures,
one domain; simultaneous engagement of be lowered in either case. While dealing technologies, command centres and
a single or multiple domains by air, space, with terrorism, the army requires precise military commanders with understanding of
cyber, land and maritime resources may skills to prevent collateral damage while the application of military power
take place. Cyber, space and information eliminating terrorists along the LOC and
technology has made it possible to fight a in the hinterland while dealing with the
multi-domain war with greater lethality aggressive posturing by China along the India needs technologically-enabled
and impact. The name may appear new LAC the army would require threshold army: The instability around India is
but multi-domain arena of warfighting capabilities and readiness profile to increasing. Boots on the ground have
is as old as the history of warfare. It can counter the rolling strategy of the PLA. The become even more important today than
simply be divided into the physical and threat from China is a reality and Doklam before due to the hybrid nature of the
cognitive domain. The physical domain has proved that the Indian Army should threat. What is needed at this stage is the
consists of land, sea, air and space, be ready to fight local wars today and ability of the army to operate during day
whereas the cognitive domain is cyber theatre and full spectrum war in the next and night to deny and control space. The
information and perception. Cyber per five to 10 years. With an eye to the Chinese effectiveness of the army to fight future
se may not have existed but information PLA restructuring and modernisation, the wars can be enhanced by autonomous
war finds its roots back to Sun Tzu’s ‘Art only way to prevent war is to prepare for weapons, all-weather surveillance
of War’ and ‘Kautilya Arthshashtra’. The war. There is no scope to defer and delay capabilities, precision engagement, secure
nature of warfare has remained constant capability-building. The capabilities that communication and air defence to give
but the character has changed. Thus the require urgent focus are: freedom of manoeuvre to the formations
whole effort should be to change and • Operational infrastructure to in a given area of operation. Cyber and
evolve with the change in the character of support mobilisation and speedy information warfare has the potential to
warfare. concentration at a point of decision in disrupt and degrade the communication.
an organic manner. An effective cyber shield is must to allow
Challenges to fight future wars • Filling of hollowness in surveillance the uninterrupted conduct of the war.
Comprehensive response to multi- capabilities (tactical and strategic), Technology adaptation is a continuous
domain threats: Future wars are unlikely fire support (operational and tactical), process and it should be based on the
to be wars of a single domain. Future air defence, ballistic missile defence, Indian Army’s war-fighting assessment.
wars will be integrated and would require robust communication, cyber This assessment would lay down the
new structures, technologies, command (offensive and defensive capabilities) roadmap for the technological trends
centres and military commanders who and last but not the least infantry and capability imperative to keep in sync
understand the application of military modernisation. It may be a tall order with the capabilities of the adversaries. It
power in an evolved theatre or a battle. but there is no other option left for should look at 10 to 15 years in the future
It would require combatants and non- India under the given circumstances. before incorporating a critical technology.

36 January 2018

is possible and what is not possible.
Building the leadership for the future:
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has
highlighted the significance of military
leadership. He said, “Leadership is a
potent combination of strategy and
character. If you must be without one,
be without the strategy.” Military leaders
are a repository of stratagem and vision
to foresee future contours of conflict. For
an evolving army, it is imperative to create
a leadership that is visionary and has the
grasp of national interests and objectives
that need to be secured. Once this
understanding exists among the military
leadership, it is easy to align military
capabilities to secure a nation against
impending threats and challenges. The
doctrinal course setting should be based
on securing vital national interests rather
than building capabilities to deal with
threats. India has built threat-based
capabilities that at best can deal with
threats that are visible and not over the
horizon. It is one of the most important
functions of the military leadership to
identify and assess the challenges that
may unfold and threaten the vital national
interests in the long-term. What does
the strategically-aware leadership do?
It helps an army to make the transition
from the rigid and highly-structured
organisation to an adaptive and evolving

organisation that is prepared to demolish

the regimented ideas on warfighting
and capability-building. The single most
Professional integrity: Field Marshal to do so they will fail the nation. Military important factor that will prove to be a
Sam Manekshaw during one of his leadership has greater responsibilities cornerstone of developing the Indian
interviews said that India lost the 1962 because they are the one leading their Army for the future is the development of
war for two reasons. The first was that the men into war. They are the ones who will military leadership.
political leadership did not understand deliver defeat or victory in a war. Thus, Vision and intellectual authority is
the military culture and divided the military leaders should put it on the table the cornerstone to develop an army into a
Indian Army into two groups of political what will happen if war takes place today? force that is futuristic in nature. Proverbs
generals and professional generals. The standoff with China can spiral out of 29:18 in the Bible said, “Where there is
Political generals were incompetent control and can lead to a local war. It is no vision, the people perish.” Similarly
and misguided the government on the the responsibility of the military leaders where there is no collective vision in an
application of military power without to carry out an assessment and suggest organisation it will either perish or will
having the knowledge how wars are that with the current state of hollowness stop evolving. Intellectual authority will
planned and fought. And, second, was that it is possible or not possible to maintain be the key to lay down the foundation
a large number of military commanders status quo or deliver victory in a war. stone for the capability-based army to
were “Nalayak” (incompetent) and did Being frank and blunt in peacetime will prepare and fight to win future wars.
not have the moral courage to tell the save embarrassment to the nation during Vision will provide perspective direction
government that wars are not fought on wartime. In the backdrop of the above, for the evolution of the next-generation
whims and fancies. They need a strategy, the Indian Army should lay emphasis army and collective intellectual wisdom
preparations and political objectives. on the development of professional will give doctrinal directions to the army.
Patrick J. Garrity writes in A Note on integrity among military leaders. The Organisational intellect is a deterrence
Strategy: War and the Preparations for War military leadership should put across and will always keep adversaries guessing
that serious political and military leaders the assessment of its capabilities vis-a- what next. The Indian Army should invest
must examine and keep in mind the vis adversaries. A capability audit is a and develop collective and individual
ultimate questions — “What if there is a must or else the political leadership may wisdom and intellectual authority to give
war today, or tomorrow? Who would win”? take politico-military decisions without direction to prepare for future wars.
Military leaders are responsible to apprise knowing the end. Professional integrity
the political leadership of the nation the allows military leaders to do plainspeak The writer is Distinguished Fellow,
answers to the above questions. If they fail and apprise the political leadership what USI, New Delhi January 2018


CBRN response teams require modern equipment and training, reports MIKE RAJKUMAR

of attack/incident that has occurred is

not made. Keeping these requirements
in mind and the threats posed to Indian
cities and critical infrastructure there is
now growing awareness on the need to
invest in the procurement of state-of-
the-art detection and protection gear for
such events. Enhanced training for first
responders, security professionals and
medical personnel is another area where
increasing efforts are being made to in-
crease the pool of trained manpower.
The major players in the CBRN de-
fence market are FLIR Systems, Inc. (US),
Chemring Group PLC (UK), Bruker Cor-
poration (US), Smiths Group plc. (UK),
and Argon Electronics (UK), Avon Protec-
tion Systems (US), Thales Group (France)
and this market is projected to grow from
$14.68 billion in 2016 to $19.15 billion by
2022, at a CAGR of 4.65 per cent from
2017 to 2022. India will remain a growing
and important market as it faces threats
from terrorist groups, and hostile neigh-
bouring countries. According to a 2017
report by Research and Markets on the
CBRN defence market, “The chemical
segment is estimated to account for the
largest share in the CBRN defence mar-
ket in 2017 and is projected to grow at
the highest CAGR during the forecast pe-
riod. The main users of chemical defence
equipment include first responders in
the police, fire safety department, and
Hazmat safety officers in the commercial
and civil sectors. Military users include
CBRN response teams in armed forces.’’
According to the report, the protec-
tive wearables segment is estimated to
account for the largest share in the CBRN
defence market in 2017. Protective wear-
ables equipment designed for use by first
responders such as firefighters and coun-
ter terrorism teams for protection from
CBRN material exposure. The equipment
Kemper Baker of the US Army in a Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology stands while being includes protective clothing, protective

scanned with a chemical agent monitor at Aibano Training Area, Japan, in September 2016 gloves, protective footwear, and protec-
tive masks and hoods. It is a mandatory

requirement of protective wearables for
irst responders and security diological and Nuclear (CBRN) attacks field CBRN officers and Hazmat profes-
professionals have the unen- or HAZMAT accidents. In crowded ur- sionals across the world. The equipment
viable job of often being the ban areas with large populations, such must also be provided to first responders
first trained specialists to reach an incident has the potential to spiral in the police, fire safety department, and
the scene of a terrorist attack out of control if a quick and correct as- Hazmat safety officers.
or suspected Chemical, Biological, Ra- sessment of the situation and the type In May 2017, the US State Depart-

38 January 2018

ment announced that it would proceed
with the sale of CBRN support equip-
ment worth $75 million to India under
the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route.
Items to be delivered following comple-
tion of a contract are 38,034 M50 gen-
eral purpose masks; 38,034 Joint Service
Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology
(JSLIST) which comprise of: suits, pairs
of trousers, pairs of gloves, pairs of boots
and NBC bags; 854 aprons; 854 alterna-
tive aprons; 9,509 Quick Doff Hoods; and
114,102 M61 filters. The order will be ful-
filled by Avon Protection Systems. Look-
ing at the costs of acquiring such equip-
ment, it is not surprising that the Indian
Air Force (IAF) has set up a new facility
at 9 Base Repair Depot (BRD) for repair,
calibration and life extension of its ex-
pensive CBRN equipment. Many more
such facilities will be required to set-up
across the country if costly and sensitive employed by the US Military Joint Servic-
CBRN equipment are to function prop- es, including units within the Army, Navy,
erly when called upon. Air Force, Marines, and National Guard
A leading provider of CBRN equip- Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Sup-
ment is FLIR Systems and recently it port Teams. The programme has been in
announced the launch of its new FLIR development since 2008 with FLIR Sys-
identiFINDER R440 handheld radio- tems as the prime contractor and since
isotope detector and identifier. The the award of the first CBRN DR-SKO IDIQ
identiFINDER R440 delivers quick situ- contract in December 2014, over 100 sys-
ational assessment during radiological tems have been delivered to the U.S. De-
emergencies for homeland security per- partment of Defence. Perimeter security
sonnel with critical infrastructure pro- is of also vital importance and here the
tection and military and first responder FLIR PT-Series HD dual-sensor camera
special teams. It is the industry’s small- system provides superior, long-range
est and lightest radioisotope identifi- perimeter intrusion detection regard-
cation device (RIID) with a 2-inch by less of lighting and environmental con-
2-inch sodium iodide (NaI) detector and ditions. The high-speed, pan-tilt camera
weighs less than 1.5 kilograms. The iden- FLIR identiFINDER R440 provides quick and accurate threat veri-
tiFINDER R440 provides 3.5 times more fication. The FLIR PT-Series HD system
sensitivity than similarly-sized RIIDs, al- is ideal for perimeter security, and ex-
lowing responders the ability to detect FLIR Systems also supplies Chemi- pands FLIR’s broad security product of-
radiation from greater distances and cal, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear ferings. The camera system is available
behind heavier shielding. It also delivers Dismounted Reconnaissance Sets, Kits, with either a cooled or uncooled 640x480
10 percent better resolution than other and Outfits (CBRN DR-SKO) systems for resolution thermal camera with a 1080p
products in the category, while providing the US Army and received a 50 unit ear- HD visible camera. Multiple high-per-
greater accuracy with fewer false alarms. lier in the year, valued at $54.2 million, formance thermal lenses are available,
Because of its extended energy range, with deliveries extending through the including optical zoom lenses up to 14X.
identiFINDER R440 detects gamma ra- second quarter of 2018. “We are hon- The HD visible camera also features a
diation and can indicate the presence oured to continue providing our turn- 30X optical zoom lens with autofocus
of neutrons found in particular nuclear key DR-SKO solution that addresses the and low light capabilities. FLIR also of-
materials. The incorporation of a new, current and emerging threats by equip- fers a comprehensive, enterprise-level
360-degree EasyFinder mode that pin- ping US soldiers with the best-in-class video management solution called Unit-
points the exact location of a radiation technology for their mission,” said Andy ed VMS 8.0 for managing video security
source and instructs the operator as to Teich, President and CEO of FLIR. “This operations. FLIR United VMS 8.0 manag-
where it is located. Wireless communica- delivery solidifies our continued support es large and multi-location video opera-
tion is built in and identiFINDER R440 to provide innovative, mission-critical tions, and delivers a more secure system
meets the American National Standards solutions to keep our country safe and through stronger online security creden-
Institute (ANSI) N42.34 standard. This maintain our stance as a leader in the tial requirements. The United VMS 8.0's
means that it has been drop-tested up CBRN market. open platform design allows for integra-
to one meter and is the industry’s only The CBRN DR-SKO system is a set tion with third party technologies and is
IP67-rated RIID, which means it can of mission specific kits that character- customisable and scalable for any size
withstand rain, splashing and accidental ize and provide full spectrum CBRN dis- deployment, from small retailers to large
submersion. mounted reconnaissance capability. It is enterprises to critical infrastructure. January 2018



Is it desirable for both the
Army and the Air Force to
be equipped with attack
(RETD) analyses the role
played by air power –
comprising fighter-ground
attack (FGA) aircraft, attack
helicopters and combat
drones or UCAVs – during
ground operations on
the modern battlefield
and observes that attack
helicopters need to become a
well-knit and finely integrated
part of the ground battle

n September 2015, the Cabinet
Committee on Security (CCS) ap-
proved the acquisition of 22 AH-
64 Apache attack helicopters and
15 CH-47 Chinook heavy lift he-
licopters from the United States for ap-
proximately $2.5 billion. The contract
signed at that time gave India an option
to buy 11 Apaches and, in addition, four
Chinooks. It was reported in end-August
2017 that India had exercised the option
and decided to acquire six additional
While the first lot of 22 Apaches will
go to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to replace
its ageing Mi-35 attack helicopter fleet,
the six additional Apaches will go to the
Army Aviation Corps. This move is in

40 January 2018

forces had raised CAS/BAS to the level
of a fine art. Air-to-ground strikes were
whistled in more frequently than in any
other war and were delivered with alac-
rity in an unbelievable response time of
15 to 20 minutes.
Hence, the importance of battlefield
air strikes in modern wars must not
be underrated. A few missions of FGA
The Army has not fully grasped aircraft and attack helicopters can de- Airpower dominates the
the value and appropriate liver more ordnance by way of 1,000 lb. battlefield and must be
employment of air power bombs – some of them equipped with employed concentrated to
precision guidance for terminal homing
primarily because the Air Force – in a few minutes on an objective select-
achieve maximum synergy…
itself has been ambivalent in its ed for capture than the 18 guns of a 155 In the inter-Services context,
doctrines. mm Bofors medium artillery regiment this eminently profound article
can deliver in 20 to 30 minutes. of faith has been allowed to
During adverse operational situa-
JASWANT SINGH tions, particularly in fast-flowing mech-
acquire an extended meaning of
former Defence, External Affairs anised operations in the plains, accurate single-service ownership of all
and Finance Minister air force and attack helicopter strikes air assets.
can save the day. The battle of Longe-
wala during the 1971 war with Pakistan,
where a Pakistani armour thrust was GENERAL SHANKAR
consonance with the previous UPA gov- brought to a grinding halt by IAF fighter ROYCHOWDHURY
ernment’s decision to accept the army’s aircraft guided by Army Aviation pilots, former COAS
long-standing demand that attack heli- is a good example. Also, it is a truism that
copters should be integral to the army. A in-your-face air force and attack helicop-
K Antony, then Defence Minister, had di- ter strikes against the enemy in contact
rected that the next set of Apaches should with own troops – strikes that can be cision firepower, delivered from ground-
be given to the army. The army is report- seen by the troops – provide a major psy- based and aerial platforms, can give
ed to have projected a total requirement chological boost to their morale. ground forces a decisive edge in limited
of 39 attack helicopters to support offen- The smooth conduct of electronic wars. Long-range lethal munitions and
sive and defensive operations, particular- warfare and “information operations” precision targeting promise to provide
ly the operations of its three Strike Corps also benefits from air force and attack an immense edge to well-equipped
and Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) dur- helicopter strikes. Alan D Campen in ground forces. According to Robert H.
ing Cold Start operations. his The First Information War, pointed Scales Jr. in The Army’s Operational Con-
Are these acquisitions in order? Is it out: “The targets of the opening shots in cept, “The lesson from the Gulf War is
desirable for both the army and the air Desert Storm were two Iraqi radars lo- clear: in a high intensity war, firepower
force to be equipped with attack heli- cated just inside Iraq’s border with Saudi must break the enemy’s will to resist
copters? In order to answer these ques- Arabia. Hit from army helicopters firing before close combat begins. Firepower
tions, it is necessary to first analyse the Hellfire missiles, these stations went must so weaken the enemy that close-in
role played by air power – comprising silent. Moments later, a stealthy F-117 killing by infantry and armoured forces
fighter-ground attack (FGA) aircraft, at- launched a 2,000 pound laser guided becomes a coup de grace rather than a
tack helicopters and combat drones or bomb on an interceptor control station. bloody battle of attrition.”
UCAVs – during ground operations on Those two attacks opened a door in an The Indian Army’s experience dur-
the modern battlefield. electronic wall through which 668 air- ing the Kargil conflict had also brought
Employed in a synergistic manner in craft were to streak into Iraq.” out a similar lesson. Maximum Indian
conjunction with the ground forces, air Air Cmde Jasjit Singh commented in casualties occurred during initial as-
power can be a substantive force multi- Army 2020: Synchronising Military Power saults on the icy mountaintops occu-
plier that can pave the way for victory. with National Aspirations: “If there is a pied by regular Pakistani soldiers before
Interdiction of targets in depth and the single lesson of warfare for the past hun- the artillery had built up to the level of
provision of sustained close air support dred years it is that land forces cannot being able to concentrate 100 guns on
(CAS, also referred to as battlefield air achieve their strategic, operational and each target in turn. Sustained, accurate
strikes or BAS) to the ground forces are tactical tasks effectively without deep and high volume concentrated artillery
now part and parcel of the tactics, tech- synchronisation, bordering on synergy, firepower eventually won the battle for
niques and procedures (TTPs) of con- between land and air operations. In ef- India by completely decimating enemy
ventional combat on land. fect, air power is the crucial lynchpin sangars and enabling the infantry to as-
The capacity to execute joint Air without which no military objective can sault virtually unopposed. Tiger Hill and
Land operations is considerably en- be achieved; and, hence, the key to joint many other objectives were finally re-
hanced by the ability of the air force to operations.” captured with minimum casualties. Air-
mass firepower quickly and deliver a Another battle-winning factor is the to-ground strikes by the IAF were also
wide range of weapons at the point of possession in abundance of precision- instrumental in weakening the enemy’s
decision. In Gulf War II, the US armed guided munitions (PGMs). Superior pre- resolve. The battle winning capability January 2018


justified grounds for whistling in JAAT

strikes. In situations where attack he-
licopters are “on call” to brigades, for
example to a leading combat command,
immediate JAAT strikes would be easier
to plan and execute. Skilful execution is
necessary to implement the JAAT con-
cept successfully.
Indian attack helicopters must be ca-
pable of night attack and all-weather fly-
ing. These must be able to lay-off in and
operate off small helipads in forward
hides where the pilots can be briefed
in real-time and can return for ammu-
nition replenishment, re-fuelling and
maintenance checks for short durations.
In other words, attack helicopters need
to become a well-knit and finely inte-
grated part of the ground battle environ-
ment with the only difference being that
they launch their lethal payload while
This image demonstrates the unmatched mobility they are airborne.
of the M777 as two CH-47 Chinook helicopters Attack helicopter pilots must eat, live
fly into a drop zone carrying the howitzers and train together with their counter-
USAF parts in the manoeuvre arms. In some
Western armies attack helicopters are
of ground-based and aerially-delivered and provide commanders with useful known as the “fourth squadron” of a
firepower in limited wars was estab- information about enemy dispositions, combat group. That is the level of inte-
lished beyond doubt. locations and activities. The flexibility gration that Indian attack helicopter
of JAAT can be employed to maintain units should aspire to achieve.
Forming joint air attack teams continuous pressure on mobile enemy Finally, while a beginning has been
Fighter ground attack (FGA) aircraft forces beyond the range of ground- made, six attack helicopters will be
have several limitations. FGA aircraft are based weapons, particularly in situa- grossly inadequate to support ground
finding it increasingly difficult to pene- tions of dire emergency such as when a operations across the full spectrum of
trate the dense air defence (AD) umbrel- heliborne force is counter-attacked by the threats and challenges with which
las of manoeuvre forces to launch effec- enemy armour before link-up can take the army will need to cope over the next
tive air strikes. Second, the electronic place. few decades. The remaining 33 attack
warfare (EW) measures adopted by the A JAAT is a composite team of army helicopters that the army requires must
enemy successfully degrade the capa- aviation’s reconnaissance (light) heli- be acquired expeditiously so that the
bility of FGA missions to deliver their le- copters, attack helicopters and air force Army Aviation Corps becomes a potent
thal payload within acceptable limits of FGA aircraft. The team will usually op- force and an effective force multiplier
accuracy. Ideally, FGA missions should erate as the aerial punch of the com- during the next conventional conflict
be integrated with army aviation assets bined arms team. The aviation assets that the army is required to fight. Ideal-
and the indirect firepower of the artil- forming a JAAT may be brought together ly, the 22 Apaches being procured for the
lery. Such a concerted employment of for a pre-planned CAS strike or for im- IAF should be transferred to the army so
air support resources would be a potent mediate CAS requests or during battle- that a single force holds all of them.
combat force multiplier and would re- field opportunities. The ground forces There would be operational synergy
sult in the optimum utilisation of valu- commander, normally the brigade com- in doing so as the army is the primary
able and scarce assets. mander or the GOC of a division, would user of the potent firepower punch that
One method of achieving the levels normally have overall responsibility for the Apaches pack and their employment
of integration and close cooperation the planning, coordination and employ- during war has to be planned in intimate
that are necessary to optimise capa- ment of a JAAT. However, battalion or coordination with the ground forces.
bilities is to form joint air attack teams combat group commanders may request Such a move would also facilitate train-
(JAAT) – an idea whose time has come. JAAT strikes at their discretion. ing and logistics. It was a mistake to have
The JAAT provides the ground formation During meeting engagements and initially decided that the IAF should hold
commander with a highly mobile, lethal tank versus tank battles, spontaneous and man the attack helicopter fleet. In
force capable of engaging enemy forces requests for immediate JAAT strikes other modern armies attack helicopters
beyond the range of ground-based di- would be commonplace. A JAAT can are an integral part of army aviation. The
rect firing weapons, well before the en- also act as an “anvil of fire” in the clas- consequences of historical mistakes do
emy forces establish contact with own sic “hammer and anvil” tactics of de- not have to be endured in perpetuity.
troops or mechanised forces. The JAAT stroying enemy forces. During defensive
can delay, disrupt or destroy enemy ma- operations, enemy actions designed to The writer is Distinguished Fellow,
noeuvre elements in any tactical situa- disrupt the defender’s time frame or to Institute for Defence Studies and
tion, help contain enemy penetrations pose unmanageable threats would be Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi

42 January 2018



Given our relationship
with China and Pakistan,
there could be a time
when we will have to
confront the two in
SINHA (RETD) points
out that our defence
forces and the political
establishments must be
so prepared that such an
exigency does not arise

The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat

interacting with the media, talked about how
the increasing intrusion from China could
hamper the country's boundaries

ust days after Prime Minister Modi tions which could gradually emerge into sector and established a permanent
met President Xi Jinping on the conflict." He further categorically went camp close to the area of confronta-
sides of the BRICS Summit in Chi- on to suggest that given the extremely tion. While we are still not fully clear
na following the Doklam standoff, friendly ties between Pakistan and Chi- about Chinese intentions in forcing the
the Chinese President pointed na and their shared interests we should confrontation, there is no running away
out that the two countries “are each be prepared to fight a two front war. from the fact that China sees in India the
other's development opportunities, not While the Chinese establishment sole opposition to its hegemonic designs
threats”. Yet, just a couple of days later, took umbrage to his statement, the in Asia. This is especially so given our
Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Doklam confrontation, though resolved relative size, economic potential and
while speaking at a Think Tank in Delhi through deft diplomacy, brought us burgeoning growth. It worries too about
stated: “As far as the northern adver- face to face with the stark reality of the our increasingly close relationship with
sary (China) is concerned, the flexing of threats that we face in our neighbour- the United States, Japan and Australia,
muscle has started. The salami slicing, hood. Most analysts seem to believe suspecting that we will increasingly act
taking over territory in a very gradual that attempts such as Doklam cannot be in tandem with them to further Ameri-
manner, testing our limits of the thresh- ruled out in the future. This is borne out can interests. So, it has embarked on a
old is something we have to be wary by reports that suggest that the Chinese systematic effort to neutralise Indian
about and remain prepared for situa- PLA has now strengthened the Doklam influence in the region and restrict it to January 2018


its South Asian neighbourhood. Its con-

certed exertions to woo our immediate
neighbours with whom we share land
and sea borders, Bangladesh, Myanmar,
Nepal and Sri Lanka by providing them
financial incentives is too well known
to bear repetition. As is its’ “String of
Pearls” policy to restrict our freedom of
unfettered navigation by establishing a
string of bases in the Indian Ocean lit-
toral States.
In one sense its efforts to strengthen
its capabilities to effectively operate in
the Indian Ocean is perfectly under-
standable, given the fact that its energy
lifeline traverses through this ocean.
However, its efforts to curtail our influ-
ence within our neighbourhood, as well
as its unrestrained support to Pakistan,
especially in their attempts to bleed In-
dia through Low-Intensity Conflicts cast
doubts about its real intentions towards
us. The manner in which it has gone
about developing the China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor with utter disregard
for our sensibilities and concerns about
infrastructure development undertak-
en through areas of Pakistan Occupied
Kashmir that we claim and its unwill-
ingness to settle the border question
equitably only exacerbate the problem.
To all of this we must also add the co-
vert support it provides to rebel groups
in our North East and the Maoist fac-
tions that operate in Middle India. De- PIB
PM Narendra Modi with President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping at the Summit in China on
spite the fact that while mutual trade is September 5, 2017
burgeoning and it is our largest trading
partner, we still need to be wary of its
intentions and keep our powder dry and chistan is of its own making. While the camps. Simultaneously, the Indian Gov-
deal with it from a position of strength, issue of Jammu and Kashmir may be ernment also clearly indicated that it
despite our vastly unequal economic seen as the unfinished agenda of parti- was willing to go further along the esca-
and military capabilities. tion by them, it appears to be extremely latory ladder and initiate its “cold start”
On the other hand, there is abso- unlikely that either party has the capa- doctrine, by evacuating border villages
lutely no ambiguity where our relation- bility to change the status quo through in Punjab and J&K, in the event of a
ship stands with regard to Pakistan. the use of force, despite rhetoric to the Pakistani response to the cross-border
After four wars, an ongoing Low Inten- contrary. The Kargil conflict proved this strike. Clearly, this Indian Government
sity Conflict and numerous terrorist at- quite forcefully for Pakistan. is less susceptible to nuclear blackmail,
tacks, by Pakistan-sponsored terrorist Yet, Pakistan has continued to use though it must know that such punitive
groups, our relationship has reached its terror as a means to achieve its designs actions are of limited value as this in-
nadir. The only way it can go any lower in Jammu and Kashmir whilst simulta- surgency is primarily fuelled from with-
is if we were to be involved in another neously keeping the Line of Control ac- in and can only be resolved through
full-fledged war due to Pakistani prov- tive through intermittent shelling. It is a substantive political solutions accept-
ocation, such as another terror attack strategy that ensures that the Pakistan able to the local population.
on the scale of the Mumbai attacks of Army remains uncommitted and un- In such circumstances, given our
26/11, for example. While the Pakistan touched, while the Indian Army contin- adversarial relations with both China
Army, for its own reasons, has success- ues to bleed. It worked on the promise and Pakistan and given their close
fully pushed the narrative of an evil In- that India would not respond militarily friendship with each other, our defence
dia bent on Pakistan’s dismemberment to avoid escalation, especially given the chiefs have little choice but to be pre-
and destruction, this is a far cry from nuclear dimension and Pakistan’s con- pared to tackle the worst case scenario,
the truth. It was not Indian perfidy but stant threats in this regard. However, that of Pakistan and China confronting
its own internal contradictions that led Pakistan has now learnt, to its cost, that us jointly, however unlikely such a de-
to the formation of Bangladesh, an issue there is a limit to such a strategy as the velopment may actually be. The govern-
that continues to rankle the Pakistani Indians responded to the Uri outrage ment too, has little choice but to provide
polity. Similarly, the situation in Balu- with a cross-border strike on terror the necessary resources that would be

44 January 2018


required for our forces to be able to deal Not only should we be blessed with an needs, it is militarily unsound, gives us
with such a threat effectively. It goes apolitical military, but more impor- no flexibility and is not a credible deter-
without saying that preparing for a two- tantly we need the politicians to keep rent.
front war would be an expensive propo- politics out of military matters as well. The often talked about issues such
sition as it would impinge on our efforts For example, the decision of this gov- as integration of domain experts from
to focus on economic development and ernment to only implement the most within the Services into the Ministry,
enhance living standards, undoubtedly innocuous of recommendations made radical pruning of civilian establish-
a more important priority for any gov- by the Lt Gen Shekatkar Committee and ments that are a part of the Ministry, the
ernment. claim that it will transform our military appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff
Add to this the fact that we have is nothing more than just another facile as a single point advisor to the Defence
very limited options available to cut attempt to hoodwink the Nation and Minister and the raising of Joint Theatre
down manpower within our army by has little credibility or meaning. Some- Commands are inescapable and can no
providing them high technology weap- thing not just this government, but even longer be postponed. Importantly, our
on systems or equipment. This is be- the earlier ones, has been routinely border management process, especially
cause a substantial part of our borders complicit of. in the mountains, needs to be complete-
are along mountainous high altitude It is in this very context that the po- ly revamped. The emphasis on enhanc-
terrain where technology has serious litical directive that is the very lynchpin ing border infrastructure must be main-
operational limitations and cannot of our national strategy and military tained as must the need for the ‘Make in
be relied upon. Thus, a large standing doctrine needs to be reconsidered and India’ initiative.
Army is unavoidable, which in turn will revised. Since Independence and, even Given the fact that only limited wars
adversely impact the revenue to capi- more so, post the 1962 Sino-Indian con- can be undertaken under the shadow
tal expenditure ratio and our ability to flict, there is an unequivocal, but in all of the existing nuclear capabilities on
keep it equipped with state-of-the-art all sides,our politico-military lead-
weapons systems and equipment with- ership needs to carry out a realistic
out seriously impinging on our national threat assessment and arrive at what
budget. One also needs to factor in the offensive force capabilities need to be
ial relatio n
incontrovertible truth that our defence maintained to provide deterrence. In
a dver sa r
Given our China and Pakis dship
budget is only one fifth of that of China this context the Army needs to rethink
and we will continue to be at a military its deep strike options in our Western
with bo th e frie n
their clos
disadvantage well into the foreseeable Theatre and reconsider the necessity to
future. Thus one would not be wrong
and given other, our defenct to be maintain three strike corps. If moun-
in concluding that our leaders are faced
with ea c h hoic e bu tains are going to be the decisive battle-
ve little c t case
chiefs ha to tackle the wors
with a Hobson’s choice of primarily fo- grounds of the future surely some of the
cusing either on our security needs or redundant formations earmarked for
on economic development, because we prepared the plains can be reorganised for em-
just do not have the funds to cater for
both requirements.
scenario ployment in mountains. The raising of a
second Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) is
It goes without saying that choos- certainly an operational necessity given
ing either of the above options or doing our frontages. However, the existing
nothing, which has historically been MSC, as well as any other raised, must
our default mode, plays into the hands be tailored for air mobile operations as
of those who wish us ill. We, therefore, in its existing manpower heavy configu-
find ourselves in a dilemma with little ration it is not in a position to carry out
choice but to look for unconventional likelihood an unwritten political direc- its allotted task due to infrastructural
solutions that are inherently risky but tive in place that requires our Army to constraints.
can pay tremendous dividends if suc- defend every inch of our territory abi- Our MSC(s), along with reconfig-
cessful. This will require clear articula- nitio. Sound strategic and tactical de- ured Special Operations Forces, must
tion of vision, hard-headed and realistic fensive deployment based on terrain pose a potent threat to the Tibetan Au-
understanding of the capabilities and considerations and a willingness and tonomous Region, if they are to act as
limitations of our potential enemies, capacity to undertake the offensive in credible countervailing forces. Finally,
and most importantly, a determined the event of a hostile act, such as any in- given its extensive experience and do-
focus to speedily push through the nec- gress into our territory, have been given main knowledge in extreme high alti-
essary corrective measures required to the go-by. Our forces are strung out all tude operations the Army must shed
ensure that our enemies advantages are along our borders, especially along the its conservative hidebound operational
neutralised, however, unpalatable some LOC/LAC, with numerous defensive philosophy and layers of command, re-
of the required measures may well be. positions established in tactically un- duce its dependence on numbers and
A start can only be made once our tenable areas that are dominated by wholeheartedly adopt new technologies
entire political class is willing and able our adversaries. Such a “Maginot Line” and tactics that will allow it to conduct
to change perceptions, mindsets and mindset involving a linear deployment operations in greater depth, with speed
attitudes that it displays towards secu- not only requires the utilization of larg- and flexibility.
rity matters. This is one aspect of gover- er number of troops, but also increases
nance where there are neither shortcuts our vulnerability if sufficient uncom- The writer is a military veteran and
nor brownie points to be made and po- mitted reserves are not available. All in consultant with the Observer Research
litical gamesmanship must be avoided. all, while it clearly meets our political Foundation January 2018


The IAF’s Mi-8 ‘Pratap’
helicopters and MiG-27 ML
‘Bahadur’ ground attack
aircraft have been phased
out of service, reports

he Indian Air Force (IAF)
has formally retired the
last of its Russian built Mil
Mi-8 ‘Pratap’ medium lift
helicopters. Less than a
handful of Mi-8s were operational at
the time of their retirement from IAF
service. The Air Force also phased out helicopter pilots within the IAF, and the
its non-upgraded MiG-27 ML ‘Bahadur’ unit has passed out a record 119 pilot
ground-attack aircraft from service in courses, 89 Flight Engineer courses and
December 2016. The last Mi-8 of the IAF 57 Flight Gunner courses. Over the last
received a special send off with Air Chief few years, the IAF had begun to transfer
Marshal (Retd) F H Major at the controls all of its remaining Mi-8s to Yelahanka.
of the helicopter on its final flight. This The Mi-8 helicopters, when first
is apparently the only instance of an delivered from Russia, was one of
IAF aircraft retiring from service with the most modern ’copters of its time
a former service chief at the controls, and was a quantum leap ahead of the
who was also type-rated on the aircraft. piston-powered Mi-4 helicopters then
ACM Major was the first helicopter pilot operational with the IAF. The first Mi-
to rise to the rank of Chief of the Air 8s arrived at the docks in Mumbai in
Staff in the IAF and on the day of the 1971 and the helicopter was inducted
final flight had accumulated over 4900 into service in 1972, going on to serve maintenance, casualty evacuation, aid
flying hours on the Mi-8. Air Marshal in ten operational helicopter units. to civil power and special heliborne
Jasjit Singh Kler, VM, Commandant Mi-8 helicopters were also extensively operations. The basic Mi-8/17 model is
NDA, the seniormost MI-8 helicopter used for VVIP transport. Between the cargo version, which can transport
pilot serving in the IAF was also 1971 and 1990, 107 Mi-8 helicopters up to 4,000 kg of various kinds of cargo
present at the ceremony, which had Air were inducted into the IAF; 83 Mi-8 either inside the cabin or on an external
Marshal SRK Nair PVSM, AVSM, VSM, helicopters between 1971 and 1980 and sling.
AOC-in-C, Training Command, as the a second batch of 17 Mi-8 helicopters The Mi-8 was the most capable
Chief Guest. The Mi-8 fleet was phased were added between 1981 and 1990. helicopter operational with the IAF
out at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Then Wing Commander, FH Major had until induction of the much-improved
Bengaluru, where the last few aircraft commanded the first Mi-17 squadron Mi-17 helicopters started in 1984. An
were operated by 112HU for training of the IAF. The Mi-8 along with the Mi- estimated 100 Mi-17 helicopters were
of trainee pilots who would graduate 17 fleet undertook transportation of procured between 1984 and 1989. Over
to operate medium lift helicopters in troops and supplies, communication the last four decades the helicopters
the IAF. 112HU is the alma mater of support, logistic support including air from the famous Mil design bureau

46 January 2018


based at Hashimara Air Force Base

The Indian Air Force has been forced to retain the in West Bengal have been retired. No.
venerable MiG-21 years past its retirement date. 22 Squadron ‘Swifts' was the last IAF
Pictured is Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa PVSM
squadron flying non-upgraded MiG-27
AVSM YSM VM ADC in a MiG-21 Type 96 trainer
MLs, following the retirement of No.
18 Squadron ‘Flying Bullets’, in April
2016. The Swifts transitioned to the
swing-wing ground attack aircraft in
1990 and the final flight of the type was
led by the Commanding Officer Group
Captain S L Mahajan. At its peak, the
MiG-27 equipped seven squadrons of
the IAF and the last of the MiG-27 UPGs
are likely to soldier on till 2020. The IAF
also number plated another MiG-21
Type 96 fighter squadron in December
2017, when 108 Squadron, ‘Hawkeyes’
retired its aircraft from service. Air
Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa PVSM AVSM
YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff,
flew the last sortie of the squadron. The
squadron was based at the frontline
Nal air force base. The IAF is to retire
10 Squadrons of MiG-21s and MiG-27s

by 2024 on completion of their Total
Technical Life (TTL).
The last swing-wing fighters now
made up more than 60 per cent of the operational with the air force comprise
IAF rotorcraft inventory; distributed of two MiG-27 UPG squadrons with
across seven different types which are 40 aircraft. The MiG-27 upgrade
used for medium (Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-17 1V, was undertaken by the Defence
Mi-17 V5,) and heavy (Mi-26) airlift and Research Development Organisation
attack (Mi-24 and Mi-35) operations. (DRDO) and HAL and was focussed
The Mi-8 was used in all major IAF on an avionics, cockpit and weapons
operations over the last 40 years and upgrade. The MiG-27 ML was inducted
took part in Operation Meghdoot (1984) into the IAF in 1984 and replaced the
in the Siachen Glacier and Operation Sukhoi Su-7 and HAL Ajeet. A total of
Pawan (1987) in Sri Lanka. It was also 165 aircraft were manufactured under
operated extensively in humanitarian license at HAL’s Nasik facility. The last
and disaster relief operations across MiG-27 was delivered by HAL in 1997.
the length and breadth of the country Established in the year 1964 for licence
and its last operation before retirement manufacture of the MiG-21 family,
was participating in relief operations HAL’s Aircraft Division Nasik has gone
during the 2015 Chennai floods. on to manufacture other MiG variants;
The Mi-8/17 series is one the most MiG-21M, MiG-21 BIS, MiG-27 M and
successful helicopters in history, with is now producing the Su-30 MKI. HAL
more than 12,000 Mi-8/17 helicopters produced an estimated 657 MiG-21
have been produced. This is the highest fighter jets. In addition to their tactical
number of any twin-engine helicopter With the retirement of the older non-upgraded strike and ground-attack role, the MiG-
type to be manufactured anywhere in swing-wing MiG-27ML fleet from IAF service, only 27 ML was equipped with recce pods
the world. These helicopters have been two upgraded MiG-27 UPGs remain operational for the photo-reconnaissance role. The
sold to over 100 countries worldwide MiG-27 ML could attain maximum

and the total flying time on these speed of Mach 1.6 and carried one
helicopters has crossed 100 million integral 23 mm six-barrel rotary
hours. Updated Mi-8/17 helicopters are cannon in addition to up to 4000 kg
still being built at Ulan-Ude Aviation ‘Bahadur’ swing-wing ground attack of external armament such as guided
Plant and the Kazan Helicopters aircraft from service in December 2017. and unguided munitions, bombs and
factory in Russia with the following The service had its MiG-27 ML fleet rockets. The swing-fighter aircraft have
modelspresently being produced: Mi- split into upgraded (MiG-27 UPG) and proven troublesome in service with a
8AMT, Mi-8MTV-1, Mi-171, Mi-171A1 non-upgraded (MiG-27 ML) versions, higher than average accident rate and
and Mi-172. that were based on the Western premature airframe and Tumansky
(Jodhpur) and Eastern (Hashimara) R-29 engine failures. The R-29 had a
Bahadur fades away borders respectively. The last of two Time Before Overhaul (TBO) of 550
The IAF phased out its MiG-27 ML non-upgraded MiG-27 ML squadrons hours and a TTL of 1500 hours. January 2018



The Rafale deal has hit turbulence as the IAF battles to restore the strength of its combat fleet,

he Dassault Rafale ‘Omni- September 2016 between the Government Operational Clearance (FOC) will be
Role’ fighter aircraft deal of India and French Republic, the obtained for the 1st Rafale squadron
saw a substantial amount of contract involved cutting edge air-to-air in 2021-22. According to the MOD, the
turbulence in the later half of and air-to-ground weapons, long-term new Rafale deal negotiated resulted in a
2017 and much of the political maintenance support, simulators along substantial 350 million price reduction
muckraking surrounding this important with 10 years of annual maintenance and for 36 aircraft in flyaway condition and
fighter acquisition is likely to continue associated equipment. In its justification better terms. The IAF Rafale’s will be in
as the country heads to general elections for the procurement, the Ministry of the latest F3-R standard, whose deliveries
in 2019. Questions have been raised on Defence in a recent reply to Parliament to the French Air Force start this year
the cost of the programme, the number stated, “The Medium Multi Role Combat and has two major equipment upgrades:
of fighter aircraft being procured and Aircraft (MMRCA) proposal was for the MBDA METEOR missile and TALIOS
Dassault Aviation’s choice of Reliance procurement of 126 aircraft in which designation pod. There is no substitute
Defence as its key partner for the Rafale 18 aircraft were direct fly-away aircraft for state-of-the-art military platforms,
India programme. and 108 aircraft were to be License keeping India’s security environment
Manufactured in India. In the present in mind. “You do need top of the line
Meeting an urgent need procurement, 36 Rafale aircraft are being equipment to win the deep battle, in an
Citing urgent Indian Air Force (IAF) procured in direct fly-away condition air combat the asymmetry between high
operational requirements, Dassault under Inter-Governmental Agreement and low technology is quite stark. You can
Aviation was awarded a 36-aircraft Rafale between the Government of India and afford for things to come in later, so if they
contract in September 2016. After the French Republic. In the IGA, better terms are no wars, we can wait for indigenous
end of its nine-year search for a new have been achieved in terms of better solutions to come in time,” said Air Chief
combat aircraft, the IAF will now receive pricing, better maintenance terms and Marshal B S Dhanoa in a 2016 lecture in
sufficient Rafales to equip two squadrons, better delivery schedule.” The IAF will Bengaluru.
a far cry from the 126 MMRCA, originally now receive its first Rafale in September
projected by the service. As per the Inter- 2019 and deliveries of all 36 aircraft are Procurement conundrum
Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed in to be completed by April 2022. Final The IAF and MoD, are now looking for

48 January 2018


The Egyptian Air Force was the

first export customer for Rafale
with orders for 24 airplanes.
Deliveries are underway

a new imported single-engine fighter, formally withdrawn on 24th June 2015.”

at what will be an enormous cost to the Since the first IAF indication that it
Indian tax payer. Could the original
al needed to replace its MiG-21 fleet in the
MMRCA contract have been split into
e n t IAF operation tion year 2000, its fighter squadron strength
g ia
two separate fighter competitions as has
Citing ur ents, Dassault Av tract has gone into free fall mode. As per MOD
requiremrded a Rafale con e end
eventually taken place? Surely, a highly information given to parliament, the IAF

was awa ber 2016. After tha 126

professional and combat hardened air will have 32 Fighter Squadrons and 39
arm like the IAF would have known Helicopter Units by 2020. However, are
the actual timelines for the Tejas as in Septeme-year search for receive things as dire as they are made out to
compared to the optimistic projections of its nin , the IAF will now be? Three squadrons of MiG-21s are to
bandied about by Defence Research be phased out by 2020 itself and will be

36 Rafale
& Development Organisation (DRDO) replaced by two Rafale squadrons and
officials. In fact, many senior IAF officers at least one Tejas Mk-1 squadron. The
we have interacted with over the years, IAF will have 13 Su-30 MKI squadrons
have been dismissive of the Tejas and the by 2020 and an additional buy to keep
aircraft was never seriously considered the line open is very likely. Of course, in
as a major part of the IAF’s combat fleet. terms of pure capability, performance,
It is not hard to fathom the IAF’s disdain weapons load, survivability and flight
for the Tejas; of the 20 Tejas Mk-1 IOC (RFP) for procurement of 126 MMRCA, line availability, one Rafale squadron can
standard aircraft ordered in 2006, only issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) likely be considered the equivalent of at
five aircraft had been delivered as of in August 207. The RFP set off a frenzy least 2.5 MiG-21 Bis squadrons. By 2024,
December 2016. amongst combat aircraft manufacturers a total of 10 IAF Squadrons flying MiG-21s
The MMRCA saga actually started in in the USA, Europe and Russia. Each and MiG-27s are reserved to retire by 2024
the year 2000, when the IAF initiated a of the manufacturers, felt they were in on completion of their Total Technical
case for procurement of 126 Mirage 2000 with a strong chance with solid backing Life (TTL). The MiG-27 retirements will
fighter aircraft as replacement for the MiG- from their respective nations (or partner be more than adequately compensated
21 fleet. At that time, the IAF was largely a nations in the case of Eurofighter). After by upgraded Jaguars, new Su-30 MKIs and
tactical air force. The first sign of the IAF the Rafale and Eurofighter were found to also the AH-64E Apache attack helicopters,
shift to a strategic air arm with longer be technically compliant in mid-2012, which carry a formidable weapons load
reach, was evidenced with the November following an extensive in-country flight (to be inducted in 2019). Considering the
1996 orders for eight Su-30K and 32 evaluation programme, the proposal of ‘Swing Role’ nature of the Rafale, deeming
upgraded Su-30 MK multi-role fighters, Dassault Aviation for 126 Rafales was it as a 1:1 replacement for MiG-21s
followed by the first su-30 MKI order opened as the L1 vendor and negotiations and MiG-27s, is not only simplistic but
in December 1998. Following a seven- started in November 2011. According inaccurate. While the Mirage 2000 was
year delay, the Mirage 2000 requirement to the MoD, “The Contract negotiations considered as a ‘Multi-Role’ fighter unlike
morphed into a Request for Proposal had reached an impasse and the RFP was the MiG-29 which was an interceptor January 2018


Dassault Rafale F3-R in

air defence configuration

and the
Jaguar ground attack
aircraft; Rafale is a ‘Swing Role’
combat aircraft that can undertake a
number of roles proficiently. Unlike in the
French Air Force, where Rafale replaced
several older types of aircraft, the IAF is to
operate the Rafale alongside aircraft such
as the Su-30 MKI, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, aircraft. Named ‘Toofani’ in IAF
Jaguar, Tejas Mk-1, MiG-27 (until 2024) service, the Ouragans were phased
and MiG-21 (until 2024). out in 1967. The IAF then acquired
There is also the matter of the fifth agreement in 104 MYSTERE IV A aircraft, starting
generation Sukhoi T-50 fighter aircraft the procurement from 1957 and these aircraft remained
being developed by Russia and one that of the 36 Rafales, though the provision operational till 1973. Dassault Aviation
has already been offered to India for joint of 50 per cent offsets has been retained. was also involved in the development of
development and production. Towards that end, it is indeed surprising the Sepecat Jaguar which was ordered by
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited that there has been no government the IAF in 1978 and is still in service and
(HAL) already has enormous built- study mandated to study the efficacy now being upgraded. The IAF is the last
up infrastructure at the Nashik Su-30 of ToT, related to other aircraft license Jaguar operator globally. In fact, the IAF
MKI manufacturing line and the fifth production programmes such as the Su- is acquiring mothballed French Air Force
generation Sukhoi T-50 is the logical 30 MKI, Hawk Mk-132 or even the older Jaguars as a source of spares for its ageing
choice for manufacture here (as was the Jaguar strike fighters by HAL. Such a study in-service fleet. Dassault Aviation scored
original plan to manufacture Rafale at would have provided decision makers in a major success in 1982, when the IAF
HAL’s Bengaluru complex). For those who the corridors of power with information chose the Mirage 2000, which was one of
forget, the IAF’s Russian origin aircraft as to the benefits of ToT and whether the most expensive fighters in the world
(MiG-21, MiG-27, Su-30 MKI) are license those funds would be better allocated to at the time. Between 1982 and 1986, the
produced and overhauled at HAL Nashik fund indigenous research developments IAF placed orders for 42 single seat Mirage
while Western origin aircraft (Jaguar, or indeed blue-sky research. In any case, 2000 H (Hindustan) and seven Mirage
Hawk, Mirage 2000) are license produced the ToT requirements needed can be met 2000 TH (Trainer Hindustan) twin-seat
and overhauled at HAL’s Bengaluru by the Sukhoi T-50 programme. trainers. An additional 10 aircraft were
facility. The penchant for Transfer of ordered in 2000 (4 H and 6 TH). All three
Technology (ToT) is also another matter Dassault’s India connection IAF Mirage 2000 Squadrons: Tigers, Battle
to be explored. “TOT is a no-brainer in Dassault Aviation’s India connection goes Axes and Wolfpack, were based at Gwalior.
my opinion, as no original manufacturer back 65 years and Independent India was The IAF then went in for an expensive $2.4
will ever part with his niche and critical Dassault Aviation’s first export customer, billion upgrade for its Mirage 2000 fleet,
technologies – without which there can when it ordered 71 Ouragans for the IAF in which was contracted in July 2011. The 49
never be a ToT in the true sense,” says June 1953. Deliveries were completed in remaining Mirage 2000 aircraft are being
a senior industry observer. Thankfully March 1954 and India went on to order 33 upgraded to Mirage 2000 I/TI (India/
there is no Transfer of Technology (ToT) second-hand Ouragans for a total of 104 Trainer India) standard and will have a
Thales RDY fire-control radar, upgraded
cockpit and avionics and MBDA MICA
air-to-air missiles. Including the Rafale
order, Dassault Aviation has sold almost
300 fighter aircraft to the IAF over the last
65 years. Rafale is slated to be the French
Armed Forces prime combat aircraft until
2040 at least. It entered French Air Force
service in 2006 and made its first combat
deployment in March 2007. Four batches
of 13, 48, 59 and 60 aircraft have been
ordered by the French MoD, totalling
132 aircraft for the French Air Force (63
Rafale B two-seaters and 69 Rafale C
single-seaters) and 48 Rafale M naval
single-seaters for the French Navy. Egypt,
Pictured is Air Chief Marshal
Qatar and India have signed contracts for
YSM VM ADC after a Rafale respectively 24, 36 (24+12) and 36 Rafales,
sortie at a French Air Base bringing firm orders to 276 aircraft. It
is also working on a future Rafale F4
standard which was announced by the
French government in March 2017 and is
expected to be ready by 2023.

50 January 2018


HAL moves forward on
the LCA Mk-1A production
following the IAF’s Request
for Proposal for 83 fighters,

he Indian Air Force (IAF)
has started the process for When the IAF finally places firm orders for 83 Tejas
additional acquisition of Mk-1A fighters, it will mark the end of a long bale to
Hindustan Aeronautics Lim- get the service to commit to the light fighter
ited (HAL)-built Tejas Mk-1A
fighter aircraft with the issuance of a
formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to
the state-owned airframer in Decem- Conscious about the fact that the It is unlikely that these figures will be
ber 2017. HAL already has production IAF is unhappy with the Tejas Mk-1 in improved upon by the Tejas Mk-1A.
orders in hand for 40 Tejas Mk-1 fighter Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) The Tejas Mk-1A will be more
aircraft and till date five series produc- and Final Operational Clearance expensive, but much of the purchase
tion aircraft have been delivered by (FOC) configurations, HAL and the cost will be utilised in developing a
HAL to the IAF. Tejas SP-7 completed Aeronautical Development Agency home-grown aerospace capability,
its maiden flight in December and will (ADA) are working to ensure that employing Indian citizens as compared
be the sixth aircraft to be delivered to development of the Tejas Mk-1A is to an imported aircraft. The Tejas Mk-
No. 45 Squadron 'Flying Daggers'. The completed in time so that production 1A is estimated to cost `270 crore ($41.5
production of the remaining 15 aircraft can commence on completion of million) per fighter as compared to the
(11 fighters and 4 trainers) will be com- series production of the first batch of approximately `190 crore ($30 million)
pleted by 2019. 20 IOC standard Tejas Mk-1s. Initial per aircraft for each Tejas Mk1 built as
The IAF decision to issue an RFP for Operational Clearance-1 (IOC-I) for per IOC standard. The government has
procurement of 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters, Tejas Mk-1 was obtained in January already accorded budgetary approval
is a significant shot in the arm for the 2011 and seven years later, FOC has yet for the `50,000 crore ($7.7 billion) it will
indigenous fighter programme that has to be obtained. cost to build 83 Tejas Mk-1A aircraft
been beset with time overruns. The The IAF has asked that the Tejas Mk- that will also include the establishment
lack of timely and sizeable orders has 1A be flown this year and if the HAL/ of the complete ecosystem for the six
often impacted indigenous projects ADA combine manage to achieve this, squadron build-up, infrastructure for
and it is indeed a healthy sign to see then a 103-aircraft production run, first and second line servicing and
that important home-grown defence will realistically allow HAL to ramp-up establishing facilities for fourth line
products are receiving sizeable orders production to the 16 aircraft per year servicing, ground support and engine
as evidenced from orders placed by the mark by 2020-21. As compared to the infrastructure for support at bases. The
armed forces for the BrahMos supersonic Tejas Mk-1, the Mk-1A will have 40-odd Tejas Mk-2 was to have been production-
cruise missile and Akash surface-to-air modifications, in addition to an Israeli ready by 2026 with a higher thrust
missile (SAM) system and many other Elta AESA radar, self-protection jammer GE414 engine or a redeveloped Kaveri
products. As of December 28, 2017, the pod, newer weapons and improved engine along with an internal EW suite,
Tejas development effort had completed maintainability. Tejas Mk-1 aircraft have On-Board Oxygen Generating System
3714 flights. Worryingly, the Navy NP1 a ferry range of 1700 km and Radius of (OBOGS), updated avionics and Flight
and NP2 prototype aircraft have not Action of upto 500 km depending upon Control System (FCS). The path forward
flown since end of May 2017. the nature and duration of actual combat. for Tejas Mk-2 remains to be finalised. January 2018



Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters have come a long way since WWII when they performed
numerous tasks: hunting submarines and rescuing personnel from torpedoed ships. While such
choppers were an indispensable part of navies in the western world, the Indian Fleet got its first he-
licopter 14 long years after Independence, writes CMDE LALIT KAPUR (RETD) in this short history

hen thinking of helicop- Seaking taking off of
ters, people visualise a INS Viraat
sleek, powerful machine
capable of racing through
the air and doing diverse
jobs, including rescue, transfer, search,
electronic warfare, anti-ship strike and
much more. The Anti-Submarine War-
fare (ASW) helicopter of today is, along
with fixed wing maritime patrol aircraft,
amongst the most effective tools available
to the fleet commander at sea to counter
the submarine threat. As it operates in the
air while the submarine is in the water, it
cannot be detected by the submarine un-
less the helicopter gives its own position
away by active sonar transmission. This
also means it cannot be targeted by the
submarine’s weapons and can operate
almost with impunity (although systems
under development such as the Interac-
tive Defence and Attack System for Sub-
marines, IDAS, may redress the current
balance which is totally one sided in fa-
vour of the helicopter).
Operating in teams of two or more,
helicopters can search large areas quick-
ly, using tactics to spook any submarine
that might be in the area. It’s dipping so-
nar overcomes the disadvantages of hull

mounted sonars on surface ships, as the

transducer can be lowered to the desired
depth, eliminating the submarine’s ability
to hide ‘below the layer’. When a subma- battle fairly early. They patrolled areas enemy submarines with greater accuracy.
rine’s presence is suspected, judicious use close to the coast in an attempt to locate Further, helicopters could also be used to
of active and passive modes of the sonar German submarines, whose threat rap- rescue personnel on torpedoed ships by
by a team of helicopters can be used to idly assumed colossal proportions. Their lowering a dinghy to them, or by hoisting
drive it in a desired direction. Finally, its limited range coupled with the huge them up from the water. He was able to
on-board weapons, including active hom- trans-Atlantic gap stretching over 5000 bring these thoughts to the USCG.
ing torpedoes, can be delivered with con- km meant there were large areas of the Helicopters were then being devel-
siderable accuracy, enabling a higher kill ocean that remained out of reach of air- oped for the US Army. The Commander
rate. Small wonder that ASW helicopters borne surveillance. One person who saw of the US Coast Guard, V Adm Russel
have proliferated in all navies aspiring to their potential was Lt Cdr Frank Erickson, Waeche sought to borrow two helicopters
counter submarines. The fact that heli- USN, who opined that any vessel that from the Army for a demonstration. He
copters were developed for ASW, however, could mount a 30 square foot platform was so impressed by their performance
is a tribute to the vision of a few men from could be used as a potential carrier for that he spoke to Admiral Ernest King,
the United States Coast Guard (USCG), helicopters, which would enable surveil- the Chief of Naval Operations and Com-
which shared the burden of escorting lance of the area ahead. It could thus do mander-in-Chief of the US Fleet, who set
convoys with the USN and Royal Navy the job of USN and USCG convoy escorts. up a programme to test, evaluate and de-
(RN) during the Battle of the Atlantic. He also visualised that the helicopter’s velop the helicopter for ASW, using three
Aircraft had taken on a role in the ability to hover would enable it to bomb helicopters provided by the US Army. The

52 January 2018


vision was that the helicopter would carry Majumdar and Flt Lt Neil Todd) for heli- completion of the workup.
a depth charge, search ahead of the con- copter training. Ships in the IN, however, Three Alouettes had been ordered
voy and on sighting the submarine or on were not suited for helicopter operations. from France for Vikrant’s SAR flight, but
its detection by sonar carried by destroy- The largest were frigates Tir and Khukri, their delivery was expected only in 1964.
ers, it would drop the depth charge on the followed by sloops Sutlej, Jumna, Kistna To cover the period 1961-1964, two Amer-
submarine and kill it. and Cauvery and they had no space for a ican Sikorsky S-55 helicopters were taken
The first test of the helicopter’s ability helo deck. All other ships were of corvette on loan from the Indian Air Force (these
to land on the deck of a ship took place size or smaller. The Hunt class destroy- were part of the five helicopters the IAF
on May 7, 1943, aboard a tanker named ers Godavari, Ganga and Gomati were procured from Sikorsky in 1954, India’s
Bunker Hill. Col Frank Gregory of the acquired from the RN in the early 1950s. first helicopters). The first two Alouettes
US Army (flying what was, after all, a US The new construction Leopard class frig- arrived in Bombay from France in crates
Army helicopter), did several takeoffs and ates Brahmaputra, Beas and Betwa were in early 1964 and were assembled as IN
landings from a 78-foot long strip of deck to join the IN from 1958 to 1960, as were 131 and IN 132 (they were later re-num-
on Bunker Hill. Shortly after these tests, the Type 12 Whitby class ships Trishul bered IN 401 and IN 402 in 1967). The
Erickson pointed out that the helicopter and Talwar. Again, none of these were Air Force needed them urgently for high
could fly in weather that would ground equipped for helicopter operations. Thus, altitude operations. The Navy’s Alouettes
fixed wing aircraft and could thus fly on while helicopters were becoming an in- were, therefore, diverted to the Air Force
overcast days with low cloud ceilings. He dispensable part of navies in the western and the Sikorskys continued to fly with Vi-
also pointed out that the utility of the heli- world, the Indian Fleet would wait for krant till mid-1964, when additional Alou-
copter lay in being the eyes and ears of the nearly 14 years after independence to get ettes were received.
convoy escort: the Navy’s biggest problem its first helicopter. The first three helicopters were im-
was finding the submarine, not killing it ported from France. The government had
and in any case less than half per cent of decided on a common light helicopter for
all depth charges dropped had the requi- the Indian Navy and Air Force. In June
site destructive effect. He thus thought 1962, India signed a licence agreement
that the helicopter should carry radar, with M/s Sud Aviation (this company was
and perhaps sonar equipment, instead of merged with Eurocopter in 1992 and re-
the depth charge. named Airbus Helicopters in 2014) for
For the next part of the trials, mer- manufacture of the Alouette III. The In-
chantmen SS Daghestan and Governor dian version was called the Chetak, and
Cobb were converted to carry one heli- the first Chetak manufactured from in-
copter. A three phase trial was decided digenous raw materials was delivered in
upon. The first phase would comprise 1969. The Alouette/Chetak was, therefore,
calm water operations, to familiarise pi- the first helicopter to be flown by the In-
lots with shipboard takeoff and recovery. dian Navy.
The second phase was to be in the open After Vikrant, the next ship to embark
sea, to determine how ship motion im- helicopters was the survey ship Darshak,
pacted on helicopter operations. The the first indigenously built ship of the
final phase would be an actual convoy Indian Navy. Darshak entered service in
operation to Europe and back. A dipping 1964. A small helicopter maintenance
sonar was added to the helicopter in April unit was set up at INS Kunjali in Mumbai
1944. The war ended before development to cater for Vikrant and Darshak. How-
could be completed. The ground had, Lt Cdr Frank Erickson ever, Darshak first embarked a helicopter
however, been laid for the emergence of only in 1970 to help during a survey of the
the helicopter’s ASW role. Given that acquisition of platforms Gulf of Kutch.
By the 1960s, helicopters had become was then entirely from UK, it was perhaps The Fleet Tanker, Deepak, commis-
an integral and indispensable part of natural that the first helicopter type to be sioned in 1967, was the next IN ship de-
blue water navies, carrying out a variety considered for induction was the light signed to embark an Aloutte. Deepak’s
of tasks such as Vertical Replenishment, utility helicopter from a Western source. flight was to provide the Navy with vital
transfer of personnel and mail between SUD Aviation had already made a name learning at a heavy cost, when the ship
ships at sea, search and rescue, anti-sub- for itself by producing the World’s first sailed out from Bombay to R/V INS Uday-
marine, reconnaissance etc. The Indian turbine powered helicopter, the Alou- giri, returning after attending the Queen’s
Navy, however, had none. Indian naval ette II. With the commissioning of INS Silver Jubilee Review of the Fleet at Spit-
officers could not have been oblivious of Vikrant in 1961, the need for helicopters head on June 28, 1977. After establish-
the vital role that helicopters were playing could no longer be ignored. Aircraft car- ing VHF contact with Udaygiri, Deepak
in naval operations even at the time India rier operations necessitated the presence launched her helicopter to locate the
gained independence in 1947. More so, of a Search and Rescue (SAR) flight to res- ship. The fact that they were in VHF con-
as India’s first helicopter pilot was an In- cue pilots of aircraft that ditched in the tact gave the flight commander, Lt Sudhir
dian Naval officer: Lt Cdr YN Singh went water. Two French Alouette helicopters Bali, the confidence to disregard his pre-
through a helicopter conversion course at were thus taken on loan from France for flight briefing and open out beyond visual
Gosport, UK, in 1951 and became a quali- the ship’s workup off Malta. The pilots range from Deepak. He was never able to
fied helicopter pilot at least two years received their initial training with the In- find either ship, remaining in VHF con-
before the Indian Air Force selected its dian Air Force, and later in France. The tact till he ran out of fuel about two hours
first batch of pilots (comprising Flt Lt SK helicopters were returned to France on later and was forced to ditch in the water. January 2018


aircraft. It is noteworthy that apart from

UK, the Sikorsky S-61 Seaking was licence
produced by Canada (United Aircraft of
Canada), Italy (Agusta) and Japan (Mit-
subishi). It is one of the official helicop-
ters of the President of the United States
and is operated by the USMC in that role.
The acquisition of 12 Seakings was
proposed by the Indian Navy in 1968 and
sanction for six was accorded in 1969.
An order for the first six Seaking Mk 42
was placed in 1970, for delivery in 1971.
Concurrently, an order was also placed
for Mk 44 Anti-submarine torpedoes. On
April 17, 1971, with arrival of the first two
Seakings, the Seaking Squadron was com-
missioned as INAS 330 (Harpoons). Com-
mander MP (Minnie) Wadhawan was the
commissioning Squadron Commander.
12 Seaking Mk 42 were eventually ac-
quired, numbered IN 501- IN 512.
The training of the first batch of pi-
A Soviet Ka-25 lots in UK commencing on September
anti-submarine helicopter
27, 1970 was limited to conversion and
familiarisation. They were given no tac-
The helicopter with four naval officers on delivery platform that could exploit tical flying experience. A second batch
on board was never found. The incident the enhanced detection capability. The of pilots was urgently deployed to rectify
highlighted the risks of flying at sea to all Chetak helicopter in the Multi-role Anti this limitation. More, the performance of
naval officers. Submarine Torpedo Carrying Helicopter the 195 dunking sonar did not come up to
By March 1969, Logistic Support had (MATCH) configuration provided such a expectations in the initial stages. Conse-
been added to the Alouette’s SAR role. platform. A fledgling anti-submarine role quently utilisation of 330 Sqn during the
The helicopter was used in SAR flights of was thus added to the earlier SAR and lo- 1971 Indo-Pak war was largely ineffective
Vikrant, Deepak, Hansa and Garuda. On gistic support roles of the Chetak. Essen- and defensive. It was only after the loss
March 15, 1969, the SAR flights of these tially, the MATCH carried out a vectored of Khukri that they were deployed to an
four units were combined to form the attack (VECTAC), guided by a trained he- abandoned airfield at Diu and staged a
first Indian Naval Helicopter Squadron, licopter controller in the ship’s operations few ASW searches.
INAS 321, commissioned at INS Hansa, in room, to drop a Mk 44 homing torpedo or Two of the first six Seakings were based
Goa. Lt Cdr V Ravindranath was the first depth charges in the vicinity of a contact at INS Garuda (Cochin) and the remain-
Squadron Commander. detected by ship borne sonar. ing four at INS Kunjali (Mumbai). Service-
The requirements of helicopters on The transfer of USS Diablo to Pakistan ability and utilisation of the helicopters
board ships continued to grow. In Octo- and her commissioning as PNS Ghazi on remained low and inefficient due to lack
ber 1966, the keel of the first major war- June 1, 1964, coupled with the impending of spares or workshop facilities and limit-
ship to be built in India from the keel up acquisition of Daphne Class submarines ed maintenance. Serviceability gradually
was laid at Mazagon Docks Limited. The by Pakistan, made the Indian Navy in- improved between November 1972 and
ship, INS Nilgiri, was commissioned on creasingly conscious of its shortcomings July 1973. A team of British experts was
June 3, 1972, and designed to carry a HAL- in anti-submarine capability, particularly called in to rectify the poor sonar perfor-
built Chetak helicopter. of the airborne variety. In the 1960s, air- mance and took nearly an year to do so.
The advent of Nilgiri brought about a borne anti-submarine capability with A second batch of six Seaking Mk 42 was
quantum change in the anti-submarine India comprised the Alize turboprop ordered and deliveries began in August
capability of the IN. Till then, submarine carrier-borne aircraft. In the absence of 1973, with the last helicopter arriving in
detection capability was limited to short the carrier, the fleet lacked effective ca- July 1974. The second Seaking Squadron,
range sonars such as the Type 174 and pability against submarines. The familiar INAS 336, was commissioned on Decem-
Type 170, fitted on the Blackwood class source for such capability was UK. ber 20,1974, Cdr DK (Chiefy) Yadav was
frigates Khukri, Kirpan and Kuthar, as In December 1946, America’s Sikor- the first Squadron Commander.
well as the Whitby class frigates, Trishul sky licensed UK’s Westland Aircraft to By this time, serviceability of the he-
and Talwar. The primary anti-submarine produce Sikorsky’s S-51 helicopter as the licopters had improved considerably. Co-
weapon carried by them was the Limbo, Dragonfly. In 1950, Westland purchased ordinated ASW training between helicop-
or Mortar Mk X, which had an effective rights to manufacture and sell Sikorsky’s ters, surface vessels and fixed wing aircraft
range of 400 to 1000 yards. Nilgiri was S-55 as the Whirlwind. The license agree- became frequent and tactics improved ac-
the first Indian warship to be fitted with ment was extended to cover the Sikorsky cordingly. The Seaking Mk 42 embarked
medium-range variable depth sonar, the S-61 Seaking soon after its first flight in Vikrant from May 1975 onwards. On July
Westinghouse 505/Graseby 750, which 1959. In June 1966, the Royal Navy se- 19, 1979, the Seaking Flight and Tactical
could detect a submarine at around 6000 lected the Seaking to meet a requirement Simulator (FATS) was commissioned at
yards. There was evident need of a weap- for an ASW helicopter and ordered 60 INS Garuda in Cochin. INAS 336 became

54 January 2018


the Navy’s Seaking Training Squadron. INS Shivalik

On May 16, 1980, the Indian Navy
commissioned INS Taragiri, a stretched
version of the Nilgiri class. The second
ship of this class, INS Vindhyagiri, was
commissioned on July 8, 1981. These
ships were designed with hangar and
flight deck facilities for a Seaking heli-
copter. Orders for three new Seakings
equipped with Recovery Assist Secure
and Traverse (RAST) to enable operation
from their relatively small helicopter deck
had been placed in 1977. The version was
called Seaking Mk 42A, delivered in No-
vember 1979 and numbered IN 551-553.
In the early 1980s the Indian Navy
heralded the arrival of the new ‘Godavari’
class of ships. Three ships were eventually
built, Godavari (commissioned December
10, 1983), Ganga (commissioned Decem-
ber 30, 1985) and Gomati (commissioned
June 16, 1988). These ships were designed into a separate helicopter flight, initially bered IN 571 – 577. The Ka-25 Squadron
to operate two Seaking equivalent heli- known as the Indian Marine Security commissioned as INAS 333 at INS Hansa
copters. Keeping in mind their needs as Force (IMSF) Flight, commissioned in on 11 December 1980, with Cdr Piyush
well as the requirement to supplement/ January 1989, exclusively for use in Ma- Jha as the first Squadron Commander.
replace older Seaking aircraft, a global rine Commando operations and training. All of these have now been retired, due to
tender for 20 new ASW/ASV helicopters The flight, now renamed as “The Zap- age. The initial deal was followed up by a
was floated in 1982. Shortlisted candi- pers”, also caters to day/night SAR and separate order for 13 helicopters, includ-
dates were the French Super Puma and general logistics. ing three trainer variants, of the improved
the upgraded British Seaking. The ASV re- Following the 1962 Sino-Indian con- Ka-28. This was the export version of the
quirement called for an anti-ship missile flict, India felt the need to rapidly expand Ka-27ASW and rescue helicopter of the
to be integrated with the helicopter. The and modernise its Armed Forces. The Russian Navy sold to China, Cuba, India,
French were unwilling to supply the AM- first attempt was to continue and expand Vietnam, Syria and Yugoslavia. The Ka-28
39 Exocet due to a commitment made to upon the historical supply line from the was a quantum leap over its predeces-
Pakistan at the time they had supplied the West, particularly UK. When India failed sor KA-25 in terms of ASW capability and
missile for Pakistani Seakings. The Brit- to secure arms transfer agreements with versatility, given the 20 year technology
ish were unwilling to integrate their Sea the West, it turned to the USSR. Conse- gap between the two. They were induct-
Eagle missile with the Super Puma. Due quently, the Indian Navy received Foxtrot ed into 333 Squadron in 1984. A second
to this, as also existing operational experi- Class submarines, Petya class ships, the squadron, INAS 339, which initially op-
ence, training and infrastructure, the In- submarine tender INS Amba and Osa erated Seakings, was converted to Ka-28
dian Navy opted to go in for the upgraded class missile boats, equipped with the helicopters in March 1993. These heli-
Seaking, which became known as Seaking P-15 anti-ship Styx missiles. The Osa class copters are currently being upgraded in a
Mk 42B. A total of 21 aircraft were built boats were employed in the immensely two step process, where first the aircraft’s
for India (one crashed before delivery), successful attack on Karachi during the life and performance will be enhanced in
with a customised avionics and arma- December 1971 Indo-Pak conflict. Russia, and subsequently new sensors are
ment fit that included Marconi Hermes None of these could embark helicop- to be added.
ESM, Thomson CSF HS 12 dunking sonar, ters, which had to wait till the next batch The status of helicopter procurement
Whitehead A 244S torpedoes and BAe Sea of ships arrived. This included the Kashin in the IN is too well known to bear repeti-
Eagle anti-ship missiles. Software inte- class destroyers, Rajput, Ranjit and Rana. tion. The number of ships requiring he-
gration was entirely developed by an In- The ships were modified with the fitment licopters to carry out their mission has
dian team which was positioned in UK for of a helicopter deck for the Ka-25 (NATO increased manifold. Today, the aircraft
inspection and modification. Hormone) helicopter to strengthen their carrier Vikramaditya, destroyers of the
A commando variant Seaking Mk 42C ASW capabilities. The helo deck replaced Rajput, Delhi and Kolkatta Class (as also
was ordered at the same time. The first the 76mm/60 AK 762 gun mounting in the the Visakhapatnam class in the pipeline);
order in July 1983 was for 12 Seaking Mk ‘Y’ position. frigates of the Shivalik, Talwar and Brah-
42B and six Mk 42C (numbered IN 555 to The KA-25 came equipped with maputra classes, and corvettes of the Ka-
560). Eight more Mk 42B were ordered search radar, dunking sonar, magnetic morta class, all require ASW helicopters.
later. The Mk.42A and Mk.42B variants anomaly detector, sonobuoys, torpedoes The hope is that these will arrive before
continue to be operated by INAS 330 at and depth charges. For training, a few na- the life of the ships expires!
Mumbai and INAS 336 at Cochin and as val aviators were sent to Kacha, in Georgia
an integral air element aboard the carrier (erstwhile USSR). The first helicopter en- The writer is a veteran with nearly 40
INS Viraat, for ASW, ASV, training, SAR, tered IN service with the commissioning years service in the Indian Navy. He writes
communication, utility and other miscel- of INS Rajput in March 1980. Seven Ka- extensively on international maritime
laneous roles. The Mk.42C was inducted 25’s were eventually acquired and num- issues and military history January 2018



DR. GURNAD SODHI, Managing Director, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems India points out that
his company has full support for ‘Make and Made in India’ policy that would entail a ‘no-hold
barred’ transfer of technology
Please share with our readers, thyssen-
krupp's best offer to India for its Project
75(I) and what would be its USP to bag
this contract?
thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has re-
sponded to the RFI for Project 75(I)
within the given timeframe, and is
keen to continue its participation in
India’s submarine programme. We are
fully confident that we will be able to
fulfill all requirements of the Indian
Navy under P-75(I) programme. thys-
senkrupp Marine Systems is the world
leader in non-nuclear submarine de-
sign and manufacturing, with a strong
and proven track record of building
abroad and providing seamless Trans-
fer of Technology (ToT). One of the most
crucial requirements of the P-75(I) sub-
marines is the AIP system. We are the
only manufacturer with an operation-
ally-proven Fuel Cell AIP technology
in the world at present; several navies
are currently operating our submarines
with this technology while additional
submarines have been contracted. This
technology, used in submarines de-
signed and produced by thyssenkrupp
Marines Systems, is seen as leading be-
cause it enables our submarines to stay
submerged and operate undetected for fully support India’s ‘Make and Made realisation of local construction with
longer periods. thyssenkrupp Marine in India’ policy, which would encom- an indigenous prime contractor.
Systems is also ready to integrate any pass inter-alia ToT, training and meet-
type of weapon system, including Indi- ing applicable Indigenisation Content India has the experience of indigenously
an indigenous systems, onto the latest (IC) obligations. We would rather de- building two Shishumar class submarines
HDW Class 214 submarines customised fine this as a ‘no-hold barred’ transfer in an Indian shipyard. Most of the experi-
for the P-75(I) project requirements. of technology in line with PM Naren- ence there has now been lost. What does
dra Modi government's 'Make in India' thyssenkrupp Marine Systems feel would
How prepared is thyssenkrupp Marine push. Overall in addition to offering the be the commonality in the platform India
Systems to do Project 75(I) under a Stra- most capable platform, we offer a host has operated and what would be on offer?
tegic Partnership programme and what of strategic benefits for India, which The Indian Navy has been our customer
does that preparation entail? encompasses value for money and a ro- for over 30 years, and our ongoing co-
For meeting the requirements under P- bust industrial partnership. As one of operation dates back through those
75(I), we look forward to partner with the leading European system providers three decades. Over this period, we
any Strategic Partner (SP) that the In- for non-nuclear submarines and high- have demonstrated our commitment to
dian Defence Ministry selects to bring end naval vessels, thyssenkrupp Ma- the Indian Navy as it has been operat-
the most advanced technologies that rine Systems possesses outstanding ex- ing the four HDW Class 209/1500 Shi-
are currently available in the world. We pertise in system integration and in the shumar class submarines. These sub-

56 January 2018


Shishumar class submarine

marines continue to perform well, and whole system of systems under project systems built in India, into the P-75(I)
the Indian Navy has been satisfied with 75(I)? programme, thereby supporting India’s
their performance, despite their vin- Transfer of Technology (ToT) would ambition of a self-reliant and sustain-
tage. They remain regarded as the ‘first certainly be an integral part of our of- able defence programme. Our ability
of their class’. The very fact that INS fer for the P-75(I) programme. thys- to build highly capable submarines in
Shalki and Shankul were made in India senkrupp Marine Systems stands for both our home shipyard and in our cus-
by a local shipyard under a technology tomers’ local yards – when required,
transfer agreement is proof that thys- has contributed significantly to the
senkrupp’s heritage and experience continued success of our high-end
has been supporting India’s indigenous products.
defence industry for over a quarter of a
century. What is the progress made on the up-
n our
We have also been providing full,
ian N avy has beers, grade of the Shishumar class submarines
The Ind for over 30 yea on
uninterrupted logistics support to the in the Indian Navy fleet for which thyssen-
krupp Marine Systems was awarded the
customer ngoing cooperati ree
Indian Navy for the same, in terms of
spares and components for these boats. contract. Please provide an overview of
Since the submarines have been and our o k through those th the upgrade programme and the contract
successfully operated for almost 30 dates bac details and how it is being implemented?
years, we are presently exploring op-
portunities to upgrade the Shishumar decades In June last year, we signed a key con-
tract for the upgrade of the Indian Na-
class Type 209/1500 submarines with a vy’s Shishumar Class submarines to fire
special refit. thyssenkrupp Marine Sys- the Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control
tems is also in discussion with the In- System (AHWCS) anti-ship missiles.
dian Navy about integration of weapon The retrofit of the new weapon suite
systems - we have the capacity to inte- will be carried out in two of the four SSK
grate most weapon systems that are se- submarines (INS Shankul and Shalki)
lected by the Indian Navy into the exist- at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and is
ing Shishumar class submarines. more than 175 years of accumulated backed by a training package to support
cutting-edge technology and art of en- and operate the system. In fact, such
thyssenkrup Marine Systems companies gineering ‘Made in Germany’, and is customised integrations have been suc-
have the capability for building the whole well-equipped to build the whole sys- cessfully carried out by our company in
Float, Move, Fight Systems for a subma- tem under P-75(I). However, we are similar types of submarines for many
rine. Would the group consider doing the also confident to integrate indigenous other Navies of the world. January 2018



The North East continues to Indian flag situated at one of
the North-Eastern state border
remain neglected. In the past, guarded by BSF

the neglect was largely due to

a nonchalant government and
bureaucracy in Delhi. Today,
however, the situation is quite
different. With the country’s
ambitious ‘Act East Policy’
in full sway, North-east India
has to be developed so that
the region prospers, writes

n a highly telling scene in the movie,
‘Chak de India’, the team manager
is shown reproving a probable from
the North East that only Indian girls
were eligible for selection. With ob-
vious hurt, she retorts that she too is an
Indian. Apparently, the manager had been
misled by her mongoloid features. A few a whole. Even after seven decades of In- communications.
years back, a Naga girl studying in a Delhi dependence, India has not been able to Although Arunachal Pradesh is In-
college went to the railway station to book integrate its frontier areas physically and dia’s largest frontier state in the North
a seat on student concession. The book- emotionally. The Indian leadership has let East sharing the international border with
ing clerk curtly told her that only Indian the people of the North East down. Bhutan, China and Myanmar, the average
students were eligible for the said conces- India is guilty of deliberate neglect of road density is a mere 25.74 km per every
sion. She felt humiliated – to be treated as the development of the North East under 100 square km of area against the na-
an alien in one’s own country is the worst misplaced security concerns. The back- tional average of 142.68 km. This, despite
affront. Sadly, it is a trauma that the citi- wardness of these areas has become more the fact that roads are the sole means of
zens from the North East often face. pronounced in view of the enormous in- communication in mountainous ter-
Due to the remoteness of the North frastructural development achieved on rains. There are four district headquar-
East, there is considerable lack of appreci- the other side of the Indo-China border. ters which do not have all-weather roads.
ation of India’s cultural and ethnic diver- As a result, there is an acute sense of ne- Worse, 34 administrative centres and 2453
sity amongst most countrymen. Because glect and alienation among the local pop- villages are yet to be connected by road.
of their distinct features, North Eastern ulation. During the Dalai Lama’s last visit Railways have a token presence and the
Indians are often mistaken by many to be to Tawang, the weather was so bad that he state does not have an airport for its capi-
foreigners from East Asian countries. It had to travel by road. Since the road was tal. It has one of the poorest health condi-
will be incorrect to apportion the whole in an appalling state, it took him hours tions in the country, with life expectancy
blame to the team manager or the book- of bumpy travel to reach Tawang, there- of 54.05 years being the lowest among the
ing clerk. The failure is of the nation as by exposing the pitiable state of surface major states.

58 January 2018


parative geographic isolation due to long

distances from the population centers.
Some areas may even remain cut-off for
r to Delhi as the
prolonged periods due to seasonal rea-
sons. Due to the lack of adequate infra-
u e close
structure and industry, such areas are Ever y isste attention where ved
generally identified with little develop- immedia of areas far remo e to
ment and the economy is usually based
problems heartland continu
from the glect
on a few specific resources or activities.
Further, they are normally inhabited by
tribal and ethnic minorities, resulting in a suffer ne
cultural divide.
Neglect of outlying areas has been
a part of Indian psyche for ages. Rulers
cared little for the distant areas. They took
to battle only when the invaders reached
the doorsteps of their capitals. Every
battle of Panipat was fought when Delhi
was threatened. Otherwise, the rulers at For socio-economic development of
Delhi cared little for the outlying areas. an area, extensive surface communica-
Non-use of air power (though India was tions is a prerequisite. Due to rugged,
favourably placed) during the Indo-China inaccessible and inhospitable terrain,
War of 1962 was due to a fear in the minds extension of rail and road network poses
of the rulers that the use of the air force a huge challenge. To expedite road con-
would bring the war closer to the heart- struction in the remote areas, Border
land. According to their perception, it did Roads Organisation (BRO) was raised on
not make sense to risk the heartland for 07 May 1960. It was assigned the chal-
the sake of remote and frontier areas. lenging task of road construction in unex-
Unfortunately, such an attitude per- plored areas where no other agency dared
vades even today. Every issue closer to to venture. Through sheer dedication,
Delhi gets immediate attention whereas commitment and drive, BRO has amply
the problems of areas far removed from proved its mettle.
the heartland continue to suffer neglect. However, over a period of time, cer-
Being sparsely populated, frontier areas tain distortions in the role definition of
send very few representatives to the par- the BRO crept in. Instead of confining it-
liament. As they count for little in deter- self to its primary task of constructing and
mining majority, they carry little political maintaining surface communications in
clout. No mainstream party considers it frontier areas, it was asked to undertake
worth the effort to traverse undeveloped tasks in the hinterland as well. This ill-
areas for the sake of a handful of parlia- advised role expansion made BRO lose its
mentary seats. Regional parties with high- focus. As a result, its work in the frontier
ly localised agenda proliferate to occupy areas suffered. Numerous roads are lying
the vacant political space and the central incomplete and a large number of critical

leadership remains ignorant of the issues bridges have got mired in design infirmi-
Frontier Areas faced by these people. ties. Bureaucratic impediments posed by
It is not possible to define frontier areas Worse, most of the bureaucrats who non-issuance of timely environmental
in absolute terms. However, during the rise to occupy top posts at the centre clearances and non-acquisition of land
early period of settlements and colonisa- are those who manage their careers well by the civil authorities have added to the
tion, the term indicated a region at the by staying closer to Delhi. Without any woes of BRO.
edge of a settled area. Over a period of tenure in the remote areas, they lack
time, frontier areas have broadly come to firsthand knowledge of the ground con- Way Forward
be accepted as borderland or areas close ditions. As a result, their involvement re- China has been laying claims on large
to inter-country boundary. It is an expe- mains limited to the allotment of funds to tracts of Arunachal Pradesh. For decades,
dient way of differentiating between the the state governments for development the Indian leadership feared that road
heartland-hinterland and the areas on the projects. Thereafter, it is left to the state connectivity up to the international bor-
fringe. Heartland refers to a region that is governments to expend them without any der would help an aggressor to develop
the economic centre of a country while oversight. Local leaders exploit centre’s a line of communication for its advance
hinterland is the region that provides the abdication of responsibility and lackadai- into the plains of India. Therefore, a de-
resources for the heartland. Thus, a fron- sical attitude to misappropriate funds. A liberate decision was taken to keep the
tier area is generally a region that is well few families prosper and there is little vis- border areas devoid of road network.
away from the heartland-hinterland of a ible improvement in infrastructure. The However, the Indo-Chinese War of 1962
country and hence far removed from the common man feels disillusioned as his demolished the delusion of impregnabil-
mainstream of a nation. life continues to be a struggle for survival ity of the Himalayas. Thus, India achieved
Frontier areas also suffer from com- as usual. nothing except depriving the area of fruits January 2018


A BSF Jawan on Duty


of development. nomic benefits, domestic tourism will to the neighbouring states. Similarly,
Further, fearing ingress of elements expedite social and emotional integra- the areas have huge confirmed min-
inimical to national interests, the gov- tion of the areas with the rest of the eral deposits of crude oil, natural
ernment decided to keep the border ar- country. However, while framing poli- gas, coal, iron, limestone, dolomite,
eas out of bounds to visitors. ‘Inner Line cies, due attention must be paid to the graphite, granite and many precious
Permit’ scheme has effectively kept these preservation of ethnic, cultural and and semi-precious stones. However,
areas isolated. By closing border areas to physiographical heritage of the areas. their exploitation depends on the de-
visitors, India not only deprived the area • Two, due to availability of ample land, velopment of surface communication
of immense economic benefits but also sparse population, congenial climate network.
stalled social and emotional integration. and unique terrain, frontier areas are For the success of India’s ambitious
Worse, instead of showcasing the region ideally suited for academic activities. ‘Act East Policy’, North-east India has to be
as an integral part of the country through Although Guwahati has an Indian developed. It is the gateway to the coun-
free movement of foreign visitors, India Institute of Technology and Shillong tries of South-east Asia through Myan-
harmed its own interests by imposing ban has an Indian Institute of Manage- mar. It also shares borders with China
on their entry. Therefore, as a first step, ment, much more can be done. The and Bangladesh. As trade and economic
‘Inner Line Permit’ system should be to- central government should formulate development are inter-dependent, cross-
tally abolished. a long-term plan to develop the sev- border trade with neighboring countries
It is a well understood fact that hilly en states of the East as the academic would help generate profitable activities,
areas do not lend themselves to rapid hub of the country. A large number of especially as the area suffers disadvan-
infrastructural development, especially institutions of excellence should be tages of a long transport lead from the
with respect to the construction of air- established in the state capitals. Pri- heartland and consequent heavy trans-
fields, railways and highways. However, vate educational trusts should also be port costs.
such areas possess immense potential in encouraged through land allotments Finally, every country strives to assim-
many other aspects. It is for the govern- and subsidies in the initial stages. ilate its frontier areas into the heartland
ment to exploit them. Here are three sug- Such an initiative will cost little but through expeditious economic progress
gestions: offer huge returns. Arrival of students and deeper integration, thereby expand-
• One, tourism is considered to be from the hinterland will give a boost ing the hinterland to the borders. Isola-
one of the most potent catalysts for to the local economy and promote tion and deprivation of vast frontier areas
economic development. Nature has better understanding with the local do not augur well for national unity and
bestowed India’s frontier areas with population. well-being. More importantly, India’s se-
exceptional scenic beauty and varied • Three, it is generally estimated that curity interests would be best served by
terrain. Adventure tourism can be de- the frontier areas possess close to assimilating the frontier areas into the
veloped with minimal investment and 100,000 MW of hydropower potential. mainstream through extensive infrastruc-
considerable returns. Existence of one When fully exploited, it can provide tural development and emotional inte-
of world's twelve hot spots (biosphere effective stimulus for local industrial gration.
reserves) can be used to promote bio- activity. Considerable revenue can be
tourism. In addition to immense eco- earned by supplying surplus power The author is a retired Major General

60 January 2018


CAS addresses commanders of training 100th set of

command BrahMos airframe
A ir Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa,
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS),
addressed all commanders of
Training Establishments of Training
Command, during the Commanders’
Conference held at Headquarters
G odrej Aerospace has handed
over the 100th set of airframe
assemblies to BrahMos Aerospace Pvt
Training Command (HQ TC). The CAS Ltd (BAPL) for use in its missile systems,
interacted with all air warriors and continuing the company’s tradition of
civilian staff of HQTC. CAS inspected contributing toward building India’s
an impressive Guard of Honour defence capabilities. Sudhir Mishra,
presented by the Air Warriors of CEO & MD, BrahMos Aerospace, visited
HQTC. Godrej Aerospace to celebrate this
The CAS accompanied by landmark achievement and was handed
Kamalpreet Dhanoa, President, Air for improving the quality of training the completion documents of the
Force Wives Welfare Association and maintenance. He emphasised 100th BrahMos Airframe by Jamshyd
(AFWWA) arrived at HQTC and was the need to improve the training N Godrej, Chairman and Managing
received by Air Marshal SRK Nair, infrastructure, preservation of air Director, Godrej & Boyce.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, assets and team building. The CAS Jamshyd N Godrej said, “Godrej
Training Command and Geethanjali endorsed the vision of training and BrahMos have been partners for
Nair, President, Air Force Wives command to train professional air 17 momentous years. Over that time,
Welfare Association (Regional). warriors and ingrain them with the we have taken great pride in doing
During his address, the Chief core values of the Indian Air Force, our bit for nation-building through
advised the commanders to retain ‘Mission, Integrity and Excellence’ to our contribution to bolstering India’s
their sharp focus on trainees and be the backbone of the fourth largest defence capabilities. Therefore, it
trainers and urged them to strive air force in the world. gives me great pleasure to hand over
the completion document for the
100th set of airframe assemblies to

Project Eagle takes flight Mishra. This is a proud moment for

Godrej, BrahMos and India, and an
assertion of our commitment to serve

A irbus Helicopters
has gone a
step further in the
our country through technologically
driven solutions and indigenous
experimentation of Sudhir Mishra said, “Godrej
its Project Eagle, with over the years has made immense
the in-flight validation contribution to BrahMos and Indian
of the innovative defence sector. The delivery of the
on-board image 100th set of combat worthy missile
processing system. airframes marks another milestone in
Performed on our long relationship. Going forward,
an H225 flying test I am confident our partnership will
bed, the trials have continue to set new benchmarks
demonstrated the and serve as inspirational role model
system’s ability to for indigenous development and
select a small ground production of sophisticated weapon
“target” from ranges of up to 2 miles Autonomous Guidance and Landing systems.”
and to automatically track it during the Extension), the research project aims to The BrahMos missile is a stealth
approach performed by the pilot. The federate the entire helicopter’s image universal supersonic cruise missile
flight tests have also validated Eagle’s processing functions and feed them into that can be launched from ships,
architecture and main components, the avionics system, thus improving the submarines, aircraft and land based
such as the gyrostabilised optronics crew’s situation awareness and reducing platforms. It can be used for precision
package and the processing unit. The the pilot’s workload by automating strike to destroy targets on land and
next steps of the testing campaign and securing approaches, take-off sea. Godrej Aerospace has been
will focus on coupling Eagle with the and landing in the most demanding associated with BrahMos programme
automatic flight control system to fully environments. The system is designed since its inception in 2001. Godrej is a
automatise the approach to a selected to be integrated on a variety of existing dominant contributor manufacturing
landing area. and future Airbus vertical take-off and most of the metallic sub systems in the
Codenamed Eagle (Eye for landing (VTOL) vehicles. BrahMos missile. January 2018


“India is a prestigious market for the company”

MOHAN KAKDE, Director Projects, Rohde & Schwarz, emphasises that the company has
been constantly striving to be innovative. He talks about the new body scanner, its ease of use
and its technology in this conversation
How is R&S business globally? What are What is the technology used in R&S solu-
the updates? tion? How safe is it for the human body and
Across its business fields, R&S is doing are there any apprehensions on its use?
satisfactory progress. Especially for Body scanners were developed in the
Software Defined Radio, the company early 1990s, operating in the X-ray
has seen huge success with the German range, later in microwave range and now
Armed Force. The company has added on millimeter wave. Previously, body
new business fields like Media solutions, scanners were designed to generate
IP based Voice Communication System, images but this led to emotionally charged
Cyber Security solutions, Counter UAV public debate that forced authorities
System, Body scanner, etc. In addition, in the US and Europe to change their
the company is consistently striving to be acceptance regulations. It is now
innovative on technology development, forbidden to display photo-like images
share all the updates with their clientele, at checkpoints. The challenge was to
media. develop a method of detecting suspicious
objects fully automatically; millimeter
Please tell us what the current security wave technology is the solution, which
aspects are and why the need of the body has rapid image processing system that
scanner? could reliably filter out anomalies from
The twenty-first century has witnessed the measured data for display on an Avita.
unprecedented transformation of that states can reduce insecurity by either
security dynamics in the world. Terrorism reducing vulnerability or decreasing From your experience, what are expecta-
and extremism have changed the threat threats. How the security measures are tions of passengers at the airport and how
perception of states. The old security planned and actually implemented can body scanners improve on that front?
paradigms are giving way to new ones depends on the region, country and The typical air traveler has conflicting
in which many governments now view the authorities. In this perpective, body feelings about security. According to a
global security concerns at the domestic scanner is of key need, which helps representative survey, most passengers
level. Insecurity reflects a combination human efforts by automated, faster and favour the extensive use of security
of threats and vulnerabilities, implying accurate analysis/results. technology, including body scanners. At

Equal opportunities for start-ups: Defence Minister

D efence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
told industry leaders that start-
ups will probably have an opportunity
24 projects were in the process of coming
through the Technology Acquisition and
Development Fund.
to bid equally along with big players. Speaking about other major
“Even though the defence sector is now initiatives by the Government in Defence,
open, we are very clear that the benefits Sitharaman told industry that her Ministry
have to reach the SMEs of India,” she was also identifying organically grown
said addressing the 90th Annual General small scale industrial units producing
Meeting of FICCI (Federation of Indian components for a wide range of Defence
Chambers of Commerce and Industry). needs, from heavy vehicles to aerospace,
Sitharaman informed industry that to engage with them. The Defence
the government had made sure that every Minister said many of these units had
private sector investment was on a data gets activated. Under the Technology sprung up alongside industrial corridors
pool and the government would benefit Acquisition and Development Fund as in Hosur and Ennore and held great
from this exercise. The Defence Minister which has been created, eight projects potential to develop as critical parts of the
called for more meaningful engagement have almost fructified and were about supply chain for the Defence sector – from
with FICCI on start-ups so that this sector to be sanctioned while close to another armoured vehicles to aircraft.

62 January 2018


the same time, they are annoyed about a hence no stoppage of operation for Last but not the least, how will you sum-
variety of inconveniences, ranging from calibration, it can work continuously marize R&S solution and what are the plans
the restrictions on carry-on luggage and and it is noiseless. It uses modern for India?
having to take off various items of clothing technology of multistatic principle Rohde & Schwarz opens a new chapter
at security checks, to the unnatural familiar from radar technology, where for body scanners. Innovative hardware
posture required by conventional body the reflected transmit signal is applied and software solutions satisfy the
scanners and the pat-downs by security to a large number of receiver antennas requirements of operators responsible for
officers, compounded by the long waits at simultaneously; it should provide better airport security while meeting passenger
security checkpoints. Since it is unlikely illumination of the scanned individual, expectations to the greatest extent
that security standards will be relaxed leading to an improved quality of possible. Operators can integrate the
any time, it is up to technology to find detection. R&S has used their core space-saving devices into the checkpoint
answers to this dilemma. The goal is to strength of RF technology and German area without barriers to ensure high
maintain the highest level of security engineering in their solution. passenger throughput. Passengers
while preserving the greatest degree experience a comfortable and non-
of convenience to the people and R&S Will you please elaborate on the RF tech- discriminatory scan procedure. Body
solution meets all these aspects. nology you have mentioned? scanners have immense applications and
Traditional microwave scanners need in other segments e.g. parliament,
What about the shape and convenience at illuminate objects at frequencies below state assemblies, defence and security
the airports? Do body scanners consider 30 GHz. In contrast, R&S system achieves organisations, key establishments,
emergencies, evacuations, etc. What is the higher spatial resolution as it operates exhibitions and seminars, hospitality, etc.
overall convenience? in the millimeter wave frequency band Rohde & Schwarz already having
The tight spaces common with booth between 70 GHz and 80 GHz, the band increasing appreciation and success for
solutions are outdated. R&S solution also used by vehicle parking sensors. At their Quick Personnel Scanner (R&SQPS)
has visually appealing, space-saving about 1 mW, the peak transmit power is solution in the west and is prepared to
flat panels that can be integrated approximately three orders of magnitude bring the benefits to the East. India is a key
without barriers into the checkpoint lower than that of cellphone emissions and prestigious market for the company.
area. The open design gives security and is almost undetectable in the spot We will continue our partnership
personnel an unobstructed view of the where the scanned person stands. approach with our customer rather than
entire checkpoint. The scan procedure, aiming for short term, one time business.
considered unpleasant with traditional How has the technology been adopted glob- Our main task is educate and give
equipment, is because passengers are ally? What is R&S success? correct advice to our customers with
required to hold their hands up in the Any change takes some time, depending practical test cases. We are explaining why
air as if being stopped by police is now on the area of implementation, the requirements are to be evaluated with
significantly more comfortable for economics it will take short, moderate or life cycle cost: it not only ensures long-
passengers. Arms are slightly spread long time. Body scanners are fast adopted term commitment from the companies,
in a natural pose that is possible even in America, Europe and now picking also creates true comparison considering
for physically impaired individuals and up in Asia. The benefits of R&S solution capital and maintenance cost.
is considered ethically correct across are well understood and appreciated by We are committed to India, our teams
cultures. the end users and decision makers, the are ready to conquer this yet exciting
R&S solution has no moving parts success rate is picking up. segment of body scanner.

GE, Tata enters strategic partnership for LEAP

G E and Tata Group, India’s
leading global enterprise has
signed an agreement to manufacture
sector, and we look forward to working
together to meet the growing demand
for LEAP engines. Our collaboration in
Under the strategic partnership,
GE Aviation and Tata Sons’
subsidiary, Tata Advanced Systems
CFM International LEAP engine building innovative technologies will Limited (TASL), will join forces
components in India, for the global support the ‘Make in India’ vision of for manufacturing, assembling,
supply chain. The two companies the Indian government,” said John L integration and testing of aircraft
also announced their intention to Flannery, Chairman and CEO, GE. components. A new Centre of
jointly pursue military engine and “We look forward to working Excellence (COE) will be established
aircraft system opportunities for the with GE to build more expertise to help develop a robust ecosystem
India market. The LEAP engine is and strengthen India’s defence for aircraft engine manufacturing in
the world’s leading jet engine known manufacturing capabilities,” said India and build related capabilities.
for its technological superiority, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata GE military engines have a
efficient fuel consumption and Sons. “Tata group’s partnership strong history in India. GE currently
performance for powering single- with GE will help drive synergies in provides the jet engines and marine
aisle commercial jets. defence manufacturing and focus gas turbines for many Indian
“Tata group is a leader in the on innovation to support our armed military applications.
Indian defence and aerospace forces.” January 2018


IAF fleet B oeing congratulated the Indian Air

Force and 81st ‘Skylords’ Squadron
for the C-17 Globemaster III fleet
and internationally.
The Indian Air Force operates 10
C-17 strategic airlifters, delivered

achieving 12,000 flight hours since by Boeing in 2014. Boeing had been
induction in 2014. The C-17 fleet has working with the Indian Air Force
been a vital part of the Indian Air to provide sustainment services

12,000 hours
Force strategic airlift capability, which and modernisation of its C-17s that
has successfully conducted relief and contribute to high mission capable
humanitarian missions domestically rates.

INS Kalvari gets a nod

I n the presence of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, along
with Defence Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman, Maharashtra Chief
Minister Devendra Fadnavis,
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral
Lanba, CMD MDL Commodore
Rakesh Anand (Retd.) and
several other dignitaries, the
Indian Navy commissioned INS
Kalvari, first of P75 SCORPENE-
class submarine totally built by
Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock
Shipbuilders Limited (MDL)
through technology transfer and
partnership with Naval Group on
December 14, 2017. INS Kalvari is
the first of six Indian submarines
under indigenous construction
in Mumbai through the P75
The Kalvari class submarine
is based on the Scorpene class
diesel-electric attack submarines
designed by Naval Group and built Group, has been produced in India “Naval Group is proud to have
by MDL. As a part of the ‘Make in in the frame of indigenisation. The contributed to the commissioning of
India’ initiative, the Group has commissioning of INS Kalvari also INS Kalvari, which achieves our vision
set up a sound defence industrial marked the celebration of 50 years to strengthen strategic partnership
ecosystem for the indigenous of Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm in in India. Naval Group has been
content of the P75 submarines. A 2017. operating in India for more than
significant part of the high-tech Hervé Guillou, Chairman of Naval decade and along with its partner
equipment supplied by Naval Group, shared the joy and expressed: MDL, is fully committed to the ‘Make

64 January 2018


Six start-ups shortlisted for Airbus BizLab

A irbus BizLab in Bengaluru has
launched the third season of its
acceleration programme. Of 140
CATS Global, Block Armour,
Hindustan Magnesium.
“Apart from the acceleration
applications from seven countries, programmme for the selected
six shortlisted start-ups will form the start-ups, the BizLab in India has
third group of the programme. The formed a community of over 2,300
programme has been designed not start-ups from India, South-East
only for aerospace start-ups but it Asia and Israel. We would be actively
also encourages ones with innovative, engaging with the community to
new-age solutions that can be share challenges and identify more

Mritunjay Singh is CEO,

adapted for the aviation sector. This innovative start-ups to work with.
includes Data Analytics, Artificial We truly believe that the start-up
Intelligence, Factories of the Future, ecosystem in India is one of the most
Smart Energy, Cybersecurity, Supply
Chain/Blockchain, Space Tech, Urban
promising around the world and
are excited by some of the on-going AXISCADES
Air Mobility, etc.
The applications were reviewed on
the basis of business concept, level of
projects at the BizLab in Bengaluru.”
said Bruno Gutierres, Global Head -
Airbus BizLab. “Our goal is to simply
P roduct Engineering Solutions
Company AXISCADES recently
announced the appointment of
innovation, scalability and potential foster innovation and create more Mritunjay Singh as the Chief Executive
to solve real-life problems in aviation. opportunities for start-ups to work Officer (CEO). Singh joined the board on
The six start-ups selected are: ZASTI, in the aerospace and defence sectors January 2, 2013 as an Executive Director,
Orxa Energies, Airpix Geoanalytics, and vice versa.” subject to approvals.
Commenting on the appointment,
Sudhakar Gande, Vice Chairman,
entering an exciting phase of growth
and has a tremendous opportunity in
in India’ initiative paving way for Beside India, four such submarines creating synergies between Engineering,
self-reliance of Indian Navy. We are are under construction at Itaguai Automation & IoT (Internet of Things).
convinced that such partnerships in Brazil. The Board was unanimous in its choice
based on trust and quality is The Scorpene is a 2000 of Mritunjay with his background and
the key to long term success for tons conventional-propulsion experience of managing large operations
Indian defence industry and its submarine designed and developed and businesses at Infosys and leading
sovereignty.” by Naval Group for all types growth in his last position at Persistent
The first of its class, INS Kalvari, of missions, such as surface including new markets. Mritunjay
set afloat on October 27, 2015, vessel warfare, anti-submarine has the right credentials to steer the
started its sea trial in 2016. She warfare, long-range strikes, company in this new phase.”
successfully test fired an MBDA special operations or intelligence “I am very excited about joining
SM39 anti-ship missile and torpedo gathering. Extremely stealthy and AXISCADES. At a time when Industry
and thus is combat-ready. fast, it has a level of operating 4.0 is driving new age industrialisation,
Khanderi, the second of automation that allows a limited coupled with IoT, it will usher in a new
Kalvari class submarines, was number of crew, which reduces era of connected products. Engineering
launched in Mumbai on January its operating costs significantly. will change forever as everything will
12, 2017 and has been undergoing Its combat edge is highlighted be driven by software. India is poised
several phases of sea trials. All by the fact that it has six weapon to become a powerful democracy and it
the remaining submarines are in launching tubes and 18 weapons can happen only if we were to become
different stages of construction and (torpedoes, missiles, mines). self-sufficient in aerospace and defence
will be delivered at a rate of at least With 14 submarines sold technology. I am extremely excited
one every 12 months. internationally by Naval Group, the about our opportunities in Aerospace
INS Kalvari is also the fifth Scorpene is an essential reference & Defence sector. Looking forward to
Scorpene-class submarine product in the area of conventional build a new age engineering technology
commissioned around the world. attack submarines (SSK) for navies powerhouse that we all can be proud of,”
Naval Group has already delivered across the globe. The product is said Mritunjay Singh.
two of such submarines to Chile easily adapted for improvements Mritunjay Singh (Munjay) was
and Malaysia. INS Kalvari is requested by any naval customers. Executive Director and President of
unique in its way being the first The progressive improvement Persistent Services Business and Head of
of such complex submarine being through dedicated and experienced Financial Services Application Services
built at a customer country under designers of Naval Group ensures Delivery and Pune Development centre
constructive and qualified transfer the seamless advances and modern of Infosys. He holds the degree of a
of technology from Naval Group. technology integrations. B.Tech (Electronics and Communication)
from IIT BHU in 1992. January 2018


Russian Helicopters readies digital HAL receives RFP for

production of choppers LCH
with the details adjustment.
The leading production preparation
H AL has received a Request for
Proposal (RFP) for 15 Limited
Series Light Combat Helicopters (LCH)
divisions of JSC U-UAZ have already from the IAF and the Indian Army.
analysed and elaborated the received This comes close on the heels of HAL
schematic electronic construction receiving RFP for supply of 83 LCAs
documentation on three aggregates: (Light Combat Aircraft).
a half of the flight deck, the middle LCH is a 5.5 tonnes class, combat
part and the rear tail unit. Projects of helicopter designed and developed
guidance technological materials were by HAL. It is powered by two Shakti
prepared according to the elaborated engines and inherits many technical
aggregates. Part of the construction features of the Advanced Light
documentation for manufacturing the Helicopter. The features that are
equipment devices has been put into unique to LCH are sleek and narrow
production. fuselage, tri-cycle crashworthy landing

T he Russian Helicopters Holding

Company has created the
technological production model of the
To locate the construction line
of the Ka-226T, construction work
was conducted on the territory of the
gear, crashworthy and self-sealing
fuel tanks, armour protection and
low visibility features which makes
Ka-226T helicopters at the Ulan-Ude aggregate assembly facility and in the LCH lethal, agile and survivable.
Aviation Plant. The digital construction the final assembly shop, according to The helicopter would have day/night
documentation received from JSC the elaborated planning. The general targeting systems for the crew including
Kamov through the online channel assessment of the volume of the the Helmet pointed sight and Electro-
was used to create programmes for preparation of the Ka-226T production optical pod consisting of CCD camera/
the production equipment. Besides, has been conducted. Preliminary FLIR/Laser Range Finder(LRF)/Laser
U-UAZ has completed the first stage distribution of work on cooperation Designator(LD). The LCH is fitted
of production modernisation which was conducted. There was also active with Self Protection Suite consisting of
will allow launching the two parallel preparation of the production site for the Radar/Laser Missile warning systems
production lines of the new Mi-171A2 assembly of the Ka-226T fuselage. and Countermeasures dispensing
and Ka-226T helicopters. The two “The main criterion for choosing system. Presently, four technology
models are planned to be launched with the U-UAZ site to create the duplicative demonstrators have been under flight
the help of digital production methods. production of the Ka-226T was the testing. LCH has the distinction of
New technologies and equipment company’s experience in the production being the first attack helicopter to
will be used for the production of the of helicopters with the centerline land in Forward Bases at Siachen,
Ka-226T. The assembly equipment for scheme of bearing screws - the Ka- 5400 m above sea level. On August 26,
the helicopter will be manufactured 25. Moreover, with the Mi-171A2 as 2017, the Defence Minister launched
and installed with the help of laser an example, the facility has already the production of LCH at Bengaluru
technology with a laser tracker. mastered the production of the new and IOC documents of the basic
Using modern machines with digital generation technologies”, Andrey version were handed over to HAL by
programmes management will allow to Boguinsky, CEO of company holding Center for Military Airworthiness and
minimise the manual labour connected Russian Helicopters pointed out. Certification (CEMILAC).

HAL holds global vendors’ meet

O ver 80 business partners from
India and abroad participated at
HAL’s fifth Global Vendors’ Meet on
of our programmes. HAL is looking to
produce 100 basic trainer aircraft HTT-
40 soon once spin tests are completed
December 12, 2017. In his inaugural in the coming months. On rotary wing
address, T Suvarna Raju, CMD, segment, our efforts are on to achieve
outlined HAL’s key achievements basic certification of LUH by the
and progress made on important middle of 2018”, he added.
projects and impressed upon the The vendors were updated on
vendors to participate in various HAL’s procurement procedures and
projects for mutual benefit. “Given improvements made by HAL towards
our large number of platforms with ease of doing business. Presentations
Indian Defence Forces, we remain were made on variety of subjects open forum held on the occasion gave
committed to increase the scope of such as e-procurement, supply-chain opportunities to vendors to put-forth
work to our vendors to ensure success management challenges etc. The their issues and views.

66 January 2018


HAL invites private entities for

manufacturing ALH Dhruv
S ubhash Bhamre, Minister of State
for Defence, assured HAL that the
workload for Nashik will continue to
flow even after Su-MKI manufacturing
and production activities conclude in
the next few years. “HAL has the world
class facilities and given the successful
integration of BraMos on Su-30 MKI,
40 more aircraft will undergo such
integration. Besides this, HAL can shift of Dynamatic Technologies Limited partners with more than 30 per cent
part of its LCA manufacturing at Nashik (Bengaluru) symbolically handed over of HAL’s man-hours being outsourced
and there is possibility of FGFA work 100th ship set of Su-30 MKI assemblies. including several critical work
happening at Nashik”, he said at Public Bhamre in his speech pointed packages, he added.
Private Partnership (PPP) Summit out that the delivery of the 100th Bhamre further said that it
under ‘Make in India’ held at HAL empennage assemblies also affirmed was a welcome move that private
Nashik on December 9, 2017. the successful public-private organisations including MSMEs
T Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL said partnership in outsourcing of aircraft were being engaged in design and
the company would continue to assemblies, for the first time in the developments of products and
encourage private partnership in all country, which has become a role technologies. “I request all the
its activities and as a major step, it model under the `Make in India’ stake holders of this aerospace and
would like to offer the indigenous programme. This should be future defence manufacturing eco-system
helicopter ‘ALH Dhruv’ (civil version) model not only of HAL but other to contribute,” he added. Expressing
for manufacturing to select Indian companies too. The minister said that concern over HAL’s order book beyond
private companies through Transfer of there was a need for a larger ecosystem 2020-21, he said HAL’s facility was of
Technology. HAL will float RFI soon for of private enterprises to transform national importance and could not be
identifying the Indian private agency themselves for greater participation allowed to be idle. With the availability
that can produce Dhruv helicopters in in the aerospace sector to support of state-of-the art infrastructure
future. Considering the increasing need the ‘Make in India’ initiative. HAL and expertise built over the years,
of helicopters in civil operations of the had been instrumental in nurturing additional orders to HAL would help
country, this will be a mega deal from a competitive aviation eco-system IAF bridge the gap between the existing
HAL which is the OEM and Licensor. in India by way of collaborating with and desired squadron strength in the
Udayanth Malhatra, CEO and MD private industries as outsourced shortest possible time.

Bell completes 5,000th aircraft

B ell Helicopters, a Textron Inc.
company, has announced that the
company’s Canadian facility located
lbs. (22.5 kg) of payload capability,
coupled with a new M250 Rolls-Royce
engine that improves performance
in Mirabel completed its 5,000th and fuel efficiency delivering class-
aircraft. The aircraft, a Bell 407GXP, leading hot and high performance.
will be owned by China’s Shaanxi The Bell 407GXP is also equipped with
Helicopter Co. Ltd. (SHC), which had new avionics features such as hover
signed a purchase agreement for 100 performance calculator improvement,
Bell 407GXPs earlier in 2017. as well as transmission TBO extension
“This is an incredible milestone for of +500 hours that is designed to
Bell Helicopter and a testament to the lower maintenance costs. The Bell
talent and dedication of everyone here 407GXP integrates reliability, speed,
at Mirabel and across the company,” performance and maneuverability
said Cynthia Garneau, President, with a cabin configurable for an array
Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd into service in China and ensure the of missions and payloads. There are
(BHTCL). “We are confident this smooth delivery of the rest of the 407s almost 1,400 Bell 407s in operation
new 407GXP will live up to the high on order.” around the world today performing a
performance that SHC expects from The Bell 407GXP, launched in 2015, myriad of missions in the corporate,
the aircraft and we look forward to was an upgrade to the Bell 407 product Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
working with SHC to bring this aircraft line that provides an additional 50 (HEMS) and energy space. January 2018


Artificial intelligence to help planners Russian Helicopters

understand conflict tests Mi-171E
R aytheon BBN Technologies has
planned to explore artificial
intelligence and machine learning
other modeling and visualisation
tools, may provide military planners
a clear view of the potential
techniques to develop tools that may repercussions of various courses of
enable military planners to understand action.
how cultural and other factors “Using artificial intelligence,
combine to cause conflicts. we can potentially understand
Raytheon BBN aims to use its what causes conflict,” said David
machine reading system – a computer Lintz, Vice President, Raytheon
system that reads prose and converts
it to language understandable by
artificial intelligence – to analyse
BBN Technologies. “When military
planners understand the root
causes, they may be better able to
R ussian Helicopters has started
flight tests of the Mi-171E
multipurpose helicopter with
the causal factors behind events and recommend the best course of action upgraded power unit and rotor system
the relationships between them. for any given situation.” at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP).
These factors and relationships will The work is being done under an Due to innovations, the economic
be represented in semantic graphs, award from the Defense Advanced efficiency of Mi-171E helicopter was
providing information in ways that Research Projects Agency’s Causal enhanced significantly.
both people and computers can Exploration of Complex Operational Mi-171E helicopters are equipped
understand. This, in conjunction with Environments programme. with a new rotor and X-shaped tail
rotor with blades made of polymer
composite materials, upgraded swash
plate, Russian-made VK-2500PS-03
engine with a FADEC-type digital

PZL Warszawa-Okecie to modernise control system, and with modified

stabilizer and keel beam. “Equipment

Orlik TC-I
of Mi-171E helicopter with a new
carrier system allowed to increase the
maximum speed, increase the flight
range and external sling payload, and

T he Polish Air Force’s fleet of

earlier generation PZL 130 Orlik
TC-I trainer aircraft will undergo a
avionics with modern systems.
The modernisation permits
the introduction of “on-condition”
to make flights in the thin air of high
altitudes and in high temperatures
more reliable. Also, a new form of
radical modernisation that will bring instead of calendar-based mainte- blades of tail and main rotor makes
them up to the latest global aviation nance, and half as frequent checks, it possible to significantly reduce
standards and allow them to operate resulting in major operating cost the noise level. We hope that the
for decades to come. savings. modernized helicopter will appeal
Under the terms of a contract Manuel Heredia, President and to both traditional buyers and
awarded by the Polish Defense CEO of PZL said: “This programme new clients,” said Leonid Belykh,
Ministry, PZL Warszawa-Okęcie will will provide a cost-effective route Managing Director of JSC UUA.
perform extensive structural and for Poland to train its future mili- All components of the carrier
avionics upgrades on the 12 aircraft tary pilots in an advanced aircraft system are lighter, their resources
before returning them for service as that meets all equipment require- are increased and maintenance
effectively new machines. ments to fly in today’s regulated and complexity is decreased. Digital de-
Designated Orlik TC II Advanced, controlled airspace while remaining icing system for composite blades
the modernised aircraft will join 16 a fully aerobatic trainer permitting of main and tail rotor is also a new
similar aircraft currently being up- the latest instructional techniques feature.
dated from the more recent Orlik TC “Furthermore, the aproduction capa- Resources of the VK-2500PS-03
II standard in a uniform fleet. bilities that we gain during this work engines with emergency mode power
Work has began and the aircrafts will lay the ground for the resump- of 2700 HP are increased by 1.5 times.
will re-enter service at 42 Air Train- tion of series production of the Orlik FADEC-type digital engine control
ing Base, Radom between mid-2019 for export customers for which we system adapts controls to external
and October 2020 with lives of 12,000 see excellent possibilities.” conditions, significantly reduces the
flight hours ahead of them. Earlier this year an additional weight and volume of the electronic
The two-part work package contract was signed to develop for units of the system and connecting
includes first the provision of new the Polish Air Force an Orlik full cables, ensures synchronisation of the
wings, tails, engines and propellers, flight simulator which will complete engine working mode by turbocharger
and then the complete replacement the suite of required instructional rotation frequency. It allows optimum
of the cockpit instrumentation and aides. performance of engines with minimal
fuel consumption.

68 January 2018


Airbus, UK MoD tie-up for RAF Puma2

A irbus Helicopters and the UK
Ministry of Defence(MoD) have
signed a Follow-on Support Arrange-
ment contract to provide support
to the Royal Air Force(RAF) Puma
2 f leet over the planned service life
of the aircraft. The contract, worth
an initial £100 million, was the first
of two pricing periods which will
see Airbus Helicopters provide full
technical support and logistics until
March 2022. The contract has the
facility to be extended until the cur-
rently planned out of service date of
March 2025, subject to the agree-
ment of both parties.
As part of the company’s sup-
port offering, Airbus Helicopters will
provide repair and overhaul services
in addition to a parts-by-the-hour
programme, helping to ensure high
availability with stable, value for
money maintenance costs. The
contract also includes the provision The contract, awarded under very demanding conditions.”
of training to all Puma avionics and single-source regulations, follows From the outset, Puma 2 has
mechanical technicians as well as on from the previous very successful delivered the UK Armed Forces a sig-
engineering managers. Interim Support Arrangement, which nificant capability which has been
Harriett Baldwin, Defence Minis- has seen Airbus Helicopters support exploited during its very successful,
ter said, “This £100 million invest- the aircraft since the first upgraded and ongoing, deployment to Afghan-
ment will ensure our Puma helicop- Puma 2 entered service in 2012, re- istan under Operation TORAL. More
ters continue to transport British cently reaching 20,000 f light hours. recently, during the UK’s disaster
troops and kit to the front line – help- Ian Morris, Head of UK defence relief Operation RUMAN in the wake
ing us provide vital support quickly programmes at Airbus Helicopters, of Hurricane Irma, the Puma dem-
in rapidly evolving situations. The said, “This follow on contract re- onstrated another of its strengths as
deal – part of our £178 billion Equip- affirms the confidence that the MoD an ideal support helicopter capable
ment Plan – will not only give our has in the aircraft and in Airbus to of rapid deployment by C17, with
Armed Forces the kit they need to continue to provide a cost effective minimal build up required on arrival
deal with intensifying global threats, and highly capable solution that prior to starting operations making it
but will also sustain British jobs at will allow the Puma to continue to a clear choice for contingency opera-
Airbus Helicopters.” support our forces on operations, in tions world-wide.

A400M refuels F-18 fighters

A irbus A400M has successfully
refueled six Spanish Air Force
F-18 fighters in a single mission as
and belonged to the Spanish Air
Force Test Centre (CLAEX) and the
12th Operational Wing based at
part of an air-to-air refueling (AAR) Torrejón. A total of 11.4 tonnes of
human factors certification flight. The fuel was dispensed using both the
mission featured a complex series under wing pods and the centre
of AAR scenarios such as changes hose refueling unit. Certification
of area, receivers with unknown authorities on board confirmed good
priorities, and unexpected increases simulated a fleet of eight. The F-18s results and the flight validated the
in numbers of receivers. Through included the first Spanish operational A400M two-crew cockpit concept for
multiple contacts the six aircraft fighters to be refueled by the A400M tanker missions. January 2018


Airbus, Williams Advanced explore CityAirbus marks next

technology collaboration milestone
A irbus and Williams Advanced
Engineering, the innovative
engineering and technology
at the pinnacle of motor racing,
where lightweight materials and
structures are crucial, Williams is
T he CityAirbus programme has reached
another important milestone: the completion
and “power on” of the “iron bird” ground test
business of Williams Grand Prix now developing these technologies facility in Taufkirchen, Germany. This enables
Engineering, has come together and finding innovative solutions to the verification of the entire electric propulsion
to explore potential areas of weight saving. system of CityAirbus, developed by Airbus’
technological collaboration. Jana Rosenmann, Airbus Head E-Aircraft Systems unit.
Under the terms of a newly of Unmanned Aerial Systems said: The first full electric propulsion test bench has
signed MoU, the two companies “At Airbus we have enormous the capability to operate the propulsion system
will examine in particular respect for Williams Advanced chain from flight controls to the dynamic loads of
applications that may combine Engineering’s technical expertise the propellers. This allows the verification of the
Williams’ innovation culture, and achievements. Both Airbus electric, mechanical and thermal dynamics. After
lightweight composites and battery and Williams are always looking being maturated and verified on the iron bird,
expertise with Airbus‘ Zephyr High to recruit talented engineers and the propulsion system will be embedded on the
Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) we hope that this joint activity demonstrator by mid-2018.
programme. illustrates the terrific opportunities The test bench configuration reflects the
Zephyr is a record-breaking, we offer to work in the kind of CityAirbus architecture including motors, power
solar-powered, unmanned technologies that will be critical to electronics and distribution boxes developed
aerial system (UAS), with unique future transportation.” and produced by Siemens in the frame of the
communications and surveillance Craig Wilson, Managing cooperation agreement between Airbus and
capabilities. It will fly at more than Director of Williams Advanced Siemens on electric propulsion.
65,000ft, above commercial air Engineering said: “Airbus is Meanwhile the development of the CityAirbus
traffic, for months at a time. a name synonymous with demonstrator itself is on-going. The first structural
As sole battery supplier to the innovation and technology in the parts have already been produced and are on
FIA Formula E championship industry. As such, we are delighted the way to being assembled. These important
since its inception, Williams to be working with them on this development steps pave the way to the CityAirbus’
Advanced Engineering’s battery project, and hope to share some first flight before the end of 2018.
technology has been tried and of our expertise in electrification, CityAirbus is a multi-passenger, self-piloted
tested, and its world-leading battery systems and advanced battery-powered vertical take-off and landing
expertise in electrification has lightweight materials, as well as vehicle designed for urban air mobility. It is
become core to the business. And learn from their vast experience in designed to carry up to four passengers over
with four decades of experience aerospace.” congested megacities in a fast, affordable and
environmentally friendly way.

Elbit Systems’ USV meets tactical maneuvering exercise

and sailed information with the

British and Israeli Navy Navy vessels and British RN’s

In addition to MCM

E lbit Systems Unmanned Surface

Vessel (USV), the Seagull
participated in a recent joint exercise
capabilities, the Seagull features
switchable, modular mission
payload suites and can perform
between the Israeli Navy and the British Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Royal Navy (RN) in Haifa Bay. During missions, Electronic Warfare
the exercise the USV performed a Mine (EW), Maritime Security
Counter Measure (MCM) mission, (MS), Hydrography and other
scanning and charting a secure path for missions using the same vessel,
HMS Ocean, the RN helicopter carrier. mission control system and data
Once encountering Mine-Like-Objects, links. Seagull offers navies a
the Seagull alerted HMS Ocean to avoid true force multiplier delivering
them, thus securing its safe route. enhanced performance to naval
The Seagull performed the mission operations, reducing risk to
while being remotely operated from human life and dramatically
a Mission Control Station onshore. cutting procurement and
Additionally, the Seagull took part in a operating costs.

70 January 2018


Airbus delivers first Tiger HAD to French Army Aviation

A irbus Helicopters has delivered the
first Tiger retrofitted into the HAD
version to the French Army Aviation, after
“We are pleased to have achieved
this first delivery in accordance with
the specifications of our customer” said
having previously completed its formal Alexandra Cros, head of governmental
acceptance process with the French affairs France at Airbus Helicopters. “This
Defence Procurement Agency (DGA). Tiger retrofit program will give the French
This retrofit from the HAP to the HAD Army Aviation the additional capabilities
version involves performing over 100 they require in order to perform their
airframe modifications and installing over most demanding operational missions”,
1500 new parts and 250 electrical cables. she added.
Compared with the previous HAP The Tiger HAD has been Airbus
version, HAD Tiger benefits from an Helicopters’ multi-role attack helicopter.
increased maximum take-off weight It was designed to perform armed
(MTOW), and has been equipped with both teams from its Military Support reconnaissance, air or ground escort,
two new enhanced MTR 390 E engines Center France and from its Tiger serial air-to-air combat, ground firing support,
and with a new STRIX roof mounted sight production Final Assembly Line. “This destruction and anti-tank warfare, day or
system complete with a laser designator retrofit is considered a priority for night and in adverse conditions.
that allows the Hellfire II air-to-ground the French Army and will allow us to The Tiger attack helicopter has
missile to be fired. have a perfected weapon system and a proven its capabilities during operational
This retrofit was the first of 36 retrofits homogenous fleet. The first HAD Tigers deployments in Afghanistan, the Central
from HAP to HAD ordered by the French have been combat-proven since 2014 African Republic, Libya and Mali. In
Ministry of Defence. and have shown their wide range of service with the armed forces of France,
For this Tiger retrofit programme, capabilities daily in demanding theatres Germany, Spain and Australia, the global
Airbus Helicopters has set up a new of operation” said the French Army Tiger fleet has logged over 92,000 flight
industrial organisation, combining Aviation Command. hours to date.

Collins’ upgrade for Boeing 767 receives certified

R ockwell Collins has announced
that its large format flight display
upgrade for Boeing 767 aircraft has
since the large-format displays enable
flight information to be portrayed
according to personal preferences.”
received European Aviation Safety “By collaborating with Rockwell
Agency (EASA) type certification. Collins to offer the Large Display
The upgrade and certification were System (LDS), we’re able to assure
completed for Star Air through a our 757 and 767 operators increased
collaborative effort between Rockwell operational cost efficiencies and
Collins, Boeing, Atlantic Aviation Group integrate new capabilities for future
and L2 Aviation. airspace mandates and upgrades,” said
The new 767 and 757 flight display Robert Dankers, Director for Avionics
system, also certified by the Federal Modifications, Boeing Global Services.
Aviation Administration, brings a “Providing a modern, integrated flight
series of innovative technologies that deck solution with commonality to 737
dramatically enhance situational MAX and 787 Dreamliner brings further synthetic and enhanced vision
awareness, improve reliability five- efficiencies in operations, training systems.
fold, decrease line maintenance and sparing costs for many of our  Complete replacement of all older
actions by 80 per cent, provide positive customers.” displays and majority of older line-
return on investment and decrease The upgrade features three large- replaceable units (LRUs).
avionics weight. All this plus mitigating format 15.1-inch LCD displays that  Engine-indication and crew-
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) obsolescence replace six CRT displays and numerous alerting system (EICAS) displays
challenges positions the aircraft for analog instruments to provide replaced and integrated into the
future airspace evolutions. operators with a number of benefits, LDS system.
“This upgrade brings new life to including:  Reduced pilot training due to
the flight deck and makes the aircraft  Boeing collaboration and support alignment with Boeing flight deck
immediately ready for future airspace to ensure Boeing flight deck philosophy on its most modern
operations,” said Steve Timm, Vice philosophy is maintained. aircraft, including Boeing 787
President and General Manager, Air  A platform to incorporate future Dreamliner and 737 MAX.
Transport Systems for Rockwell Collins. safety-enhancing technology such  The only certified system that is
“Greater situational awareness for the as airport taxi maps, data link fully integrated and eliminates all
pilots is a key benefit of the upgrade weather, surface guidance, and the older EDUs from the cockpit. January 2018


New modern aircraft components on show from Rostec Rockwell Collins, the Most
JUST Company in 2017
R ostec has unveiled a showroom
for aviation components made by
its subsidiary, the Technodinamika
equipment and accessories - kinetic
airplane areas, areas of prospective
engines, auxiliary power units, R ockwell Collins has been named
America’s Most JUST Company
Holding Company. The modern- parachute production, power supply in the Aerospace & Defence
looking showroom is situated at systems, fuel metering equipment, industry, according to Forbes and
Technodinamika’s new Head Office in fuel pumps, flexible ducts, filters, JUST Capital, a nonprofit that
Moscow covering an area of more than electro-mechanical drives, landing ranks the largest publicly traded
1200 sqms. gears, fire protection systems, oxygen corporations in the United States
The products on display include systems, kinetic helicopter, burning on the issues Americans care about
at least 200 samples of aviation systems as well as a separate area for most. The second annual JUST
equipment from 15 Rostec’s aircraft MC-21. 100 ranking compares America’s
enterprises, specialising in the Technodinamika showcases its companies head-to-head, based
development and production of serial products that were already being on the priorities of the American
various systems for helicopters, manufactured for Russian aircrafts people.
military and civilian aircraft. Tu-204, Il-76 and Il-112B, helicopter The rankings are based on
“The new exhibition will give Ka-226, engines PD-14 and PD-35 as one of the most comprehensive
potential clients an opportunity to well as advanced accessories for the surveys ever conducted on public
learn about the full range of aviation program of Su-57, a medium tactical attitudes toward corporate
systems and components produced transport aircraft and a prospective behavior, involving 10,000 American
by Technodinamika Holding”, said long-range aviation complex. respondents in 2017 and more than
Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State A separate section of the 72,000 over the past three years.
Corporation. “Apart from off-the-shelf demonstration room accommodates Rockwell Collins wasrecognised
items, we also showcase prospective military products made by NPP for outperforming its peers on
technologies, new concepts in the Start. They include transport-loading the criteria deemed to be most
aircraft industry and our truly unique machines for air defence missile important, including worker
competence in both military and civil systems, air missile starter units and pay and treatment, job creation,
segments.” shipboard launchers. healthy products and communities,
The centre has been fitted out “Our objective in creating this environmental impact, and more.
with the latest technical solutions: centre was to promote products that “At Rockwell Collins, we have
interactive multi-touch catalogues, are currently in the highest demand a culture that values relationships,
AR-technologies, panoramic screens in the Russian and global markets. commitment, innovation and
and projections, interactive sensor And even before the construction was integrity,” said Kelly Ortberg,
interfaces, multimedia kinetic completed, our partners expressed an Chairman, President and CEO.
installations. interest in visiting the showroom and “We’re proud to be recognized
There are also 20 thematic areas, taking a look at our products”, said as one of America’s Most JUST
divided according to the use of Igor Nasenkov, CEO, Technodinamika. Companies as it demonstrates our
dedication to these values.”

KC-390 achieves IOC

T he new Embraer KC-390 military
transport and aerial refueling
has completed a relevant milestone,
requirements for transport aircraft.
“We are pleased to announce
the achievement of this important
various systems. The structural tests
campaign is nearing completion,
with only the full-scale fatigue test
with Embraer demonstrating to milestone for the KC-390 remaining.
the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) the Programme,” said Jackson Schneider, According to the schedule, in
attainment of the Initial Operational President and CEO of Embraer 2018, the final Type Certificate will
Capability (IOC). Defense & Security. “The certification be issued by ANAC. Additionally,
The achievement of the IOC campaign has progressed as planned in-flight tests of various military
ensures that the necessary conditions and the tests performed have been functionalities will be completed,
have been met for the aircraft to start very successful, proving the maturity including the remaining aerial
operations, in accordance with the of the aircraft and confirming the refueling and cargo dropping tests,
scope agreed upon with the FAB. As performance and the anticipated to fulfill the requirements to receive
part of the IOC, Embraer obtained a capacities.” the final military certification of the
KC-390 Provisional Type Certificate To date, the tests campaign aircraft with the achievement of the
from the Brazilian National Civil has accumulated more than 1,500 Final Operational Capability (FOC).
Aviation Agency (ANAC), a testament flight hours with 2 prototypes The delivery of the first series
to the adequacy of the design in and more than 40,000 hours of aircraft to the FAB was scheduled to
fulfilling the demanding certification laboratory testing of the aircraft’s take place in 2018.

72 January 2018



In his latest book, ‘Sharpening the Arsenal: India’s Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy’,
BRIG GURMEET KANWAL (RETD) examines the efficacy of India’s declared nuclear doctrine
of credible minimum deterrence with a no first use posture and surveys the nuclear arsenals of
India, China and Pakistan. The book points out the futility of and the risks inherent in Pakistan’s
acquisition of tactical nuclear warheads (TNWs), analyses India’s Cold Start doctrine and takes
stock of the state of strategic stability in South Asia. Other issues covered in the book include
the threat of nuclear terrorism, BMD, nuclear CBMs and NRRMs, the implications of the Indo-
US nuclear deal for deterrence, non-proliferation challenges and nuclear disarmament. It ends
with a series of recommendations to sharpen the arsenal. An extract from the book:

Crucial role for nuclear deterrence Sharpening the Testing of Warheads and Missiles
Though India is a reluctant nuclear pow- As India has conducted only six nuclear
er, nuclear deterrence will continue to
Arsenal: India’s tests, the country’s nuclear warhead
play a crucial role in India’s national se- Evolving Nuclear designs are based on only a small da-
curity strategy over the next few decades. Deterrence Policy tabase. Hence, despite the availability
The current international trend is to- Author: Brig of sophisticated computer simulation
wards more modern, high quality nuclear Gurmeet Kanwal and modelling techniques for improved
forces, even though the present efforts warhead design, India must retain the
of US and Russia to reduce the number (Retd) option to carry out further nuclear tests
of warheads and missiles will continue. Publisher: as and when it is considered techni-
Both China and Pakistan are engaged HarperCollinsIN cally necessary by AEC scientists and is
in the upgradation of their nuclear war- politically feasible to do so. Therefore,
head and delivery systems capabilities. Pages: 272 signing the CTBT is not a viable policy
With some nations and various terror- Price: `599 option for India in the near future. How-
ist groups expressing their nuclear am- ever, as a responsible nuclear power,
bitions openly and the possibility of a India must continue to honour all the
political-military meltdown in Pakistan, provisions of the CTBT.
even though the probability is low, the given high R&D priority. Similarly, India’s IRBMs have been
proliferation of nuclear weapons around For a nation that has adopted a ‘no inducted into service after only a lim-
India remains a cause for concern. In line first use’ nuclear posture and is willing ited number of flight tests. Additional
with the emerging trends, India too, must to absorb a nuclear strike that may cause tests of the Agni series of missiles should
endeavour to modernise its nuclear war- large-scale destruction and cripple part continue – both to inspire confidence
heads and delivery systems and keep its of its nuclear forces, genuine deterrence among the users manning these mis-
option to test open – if it ever becomes can be provided only by a robust, infal- siles as well as to enhance the credibili-
necessary in the future. In particular, In- lible and potentially insuperable nuclear ty of India’s nuclear deterrence by show-
dia must close the missile technology gap deterrent capability including SSBNs casing their technological maturity and
with both China and Pakistan as early as armed with nuclear-tipped SLBMs. It is accuracy of delivery. Indian diplomacy
possible, or else the credibility of India’s imperative for India to make all efforts to must endeavour to add value to credible
nuclear deterrence will remain suspect. acquire and operationalise its SSBNs as deterrence through appropriate inter-
The recommendations made and the early as possible. While INS Arihant was ventions in international fora.
foreign policy imperatives mentioned be- reported to have been inducted in Octo-
low merit the government’s attention. ber 2016, INS Aridhaman is expected to Technological Developments
be launched in September 2017. Togeth- The deployment of effective BMD sys-
Effectiveness of Delivery Systems er, these two SSBNs will substantively tems to defend value targets and provide
India must step up efforts to acquire enhance the quality of India’s deterrence. point defence to important installations
missiles with a range between 5,000 Till such time as SSBNs enter service will considerably enhance the quality
km and 10,000 km for better long-range with the Indian Navy, a small number of of India’s deterrence. Endeavours must
deterrence against China. The Agni-5/ surface combat ships in both the east- continue to acquire this capability ex-
Surya programme, which can benefit ern and the western naval fleets must be import.
from the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles to
(PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satel- add to the uncertainties of the direction of (Excerpts from the concluding
lite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), needs to be launch that an adversary must consider. chapter of Gurmeet Kanwal’s book) January 2018



t is no more business as usual for the Indian Army Pakistan Army’s patrol party from the 59 Baloch Regiment,
along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in Jammu in which at least one of their soldiers was killed. Soon after,
and Kashmir. The business has changed since the In- to finish off the remaining survivors from the patrol party,
dian Army openly and publicly announced that it has the five-member Indian Army ‘Ghatak’ team moved in
carried out a cross-LoC strike on terror camps in Pakistan- quickly to shoot down the rest.
occupied Kashmir in September 2016, probably the only It was a short-distance and short-duration operation
time ever that the nation has acknowledged a covert opera- unlike the surgical strike last year. “Whatever Pakistan does
tion of this magnitude. to us, we will do the same,” the official said, warning that
The result of the September 2016 ‘surgical’ strike, as the more such operations would be conducted if Pakistani forc-
cross-LoC terror camps elimination was called, is an almost es continue targeting Indian troops.
four-fold increase in the number of ceasefire violations by These developments do not augur well for the peace
the Pakistan Army to hit at Indian Army camps and installa- and tranquility on the borders between India and Pakistan.
tions on the Indian side of the LoC, as well as the number of But India cannot stay a mute spectator to the killing of its
soldiers India has lost in 2017. soldiers by the Pakistan Army. The violent actions from
A Government of India estimate, shared with Parlia- both sides, come as it may in the winter months, seem to
ment in mid-December 2017 by junior home minister indicate a much more violent 2018.
Hansraj Ahir, put the number of ceasefire violations at 881 It is quite possible that the Kashmir hinterland too
along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu could get hot with infiltration by terrorists, pushed into In-
and Kashmir. These Pakistan Army violations of the No- dia by Pakistan, going up soon after the winter snow begins
vember 2003 ceasefire agreement between India and Paki- to melt. The real worry for the Indian security forces would
stan, has already killed 30 people, including soldiers, on this be the summer months of 2018. The summer months usu-
side of the LoC. ally witness a rise in the number of infiltration attempts and
In comparison, there were only 228 ceasefire violations terror strikes by the anti-India forces and elements, as has
in 2016 and 152 in 2015. The Army has lost 14 soldiers in been witnessed in 2017 too.
ceasefire violations on the LoC this year, while 17 soldiers But the experience of 2016 and 2017 surprise attacks on
have died to counter-infiltration bids from the Pakistani military bases, in a suicide mission, has made the Indian
side. A total of 59 militants have been killed while attempt- security forces wiser. The government has put in a mecha-
ing infiltration into the Indian side of the LoC from Paki- nism to strengthen the perimeter security around military
stan-occupied Kashmir this year, in comparison to 37 and bases that are vulnerable to terror strikes of the kind wit-
30 militants killed in 2016 and 2015 respectively. nessed in Pathankot and Nagrota in the last two years.
As recently as December 23, 2017 India lost a Major In July 2017, the Ministry of Defence delegated substan-
from the Indian Army and three other soldiers in what was tial financial powers to the Armed Forces for undertaking
described by India as “an unprovoked” sniper firing on In- works for perimeter security of sensitive military installa-
dian posts along the LoC in Keri sector of Jammu and Kash- tions. The Vice Chiefs of the three Services have been em-
mir’s Rajouri district by the Pakistan Army. It was described powered to place orders, procure equipment and carry out
as a ceasefire violation by the Indian Defence Ministry’s the works in this connection.
public relations directorate representative at Indian Army’s A detailed `1,000-crore plan has been devised by the
Northern Command headquarters at Udhampur. The In- Ministry of Defence in November 2016 to put up the three-
dian Army Major was identified as Moharkar Prafulla Am- layered perimeter security for Army garrisons and military
badas. The other soldiers killed were Lance Naiks Gurmail installations in the sensitive border states such as Jammu
Singh and Kuldeep Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh. and Kashmir. The procurement is to be stretched over a
The killing of the four Indian Army personnel triggered three-year period.
what is now being described as a “tit-for-tat” operation With such plans in place, what is needed and is an im-
just two days later. In information coming from the Indian perative is quick decision-making and execution of secu-
Army headquarters, it is learned that five highly-trained rity plans to counter not only the ceasefire violations by
Indian Army commandos sneaked into the Pakistan-occu- Pakistan military and infiltration bids of armed militants
pied Kashmir for about 300 metres across the LoC to kill at but also to prevent loss of lives of Indian soldiers to enemy
least three Pakistani soldiers on December 25 night. attacks, be it on the LoC or during terror strike by the anti-
Though officials, who did not want to be identified, India forces.
described the Indian Army strike as a “tactical retaliatory
strike” decided by a local Brigade commander, the action
reminded the nation of the September 2016 surgical strike.
Reportedly, the Indian Army first triggered a blast on the

74 January 2018

RNI No. DELENG/2010/35319

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