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Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - ravicv - 06-22-2011

[quote name='Arun_S' date='21 June 2011 - 07:35 PM' timestamp='1308713248' post='112022']

qubit: I would like to plead with you to please note use terms like "Maharaj" and "Web Master", I will be grateful.


Please accept my sincere apologies. Use of "honorific" terms will not be employed again by me.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Raj Malhotra - 06-22-2011

[quote name='Arun_S' date='22 June 2011 - 09:05 AM' timestamp='1308713248' post='112022']

Please note that the next war will be on two fronts and one of that front will involve operating at high altitude airfields like Leh and Daulat Baag O. Currently these airfields operate few combat aircraft types that IMHO will retire in about 5 years and that will leave only Mirage2000 capable of operating there. [/quote]

There were hotly debated web reports (refer keymags) that UAE found French AESA RADAR being offered wanting in comparison to their older F-16 radars. France offered to upgrade the radar to be comparable with F-16's. Further it seems that GaNs modules may be facing teething problems and I wonder if France has licked it? lastly as I understand software is very very important part of AESA radars and can France match USA?

And yes I understand the importance of Leh, take off, landing, maneuver issues (in lay man terms) but I just wanted to know if French are offering enough or it would be high price for mediocre goods?

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 06-23-2011

[quote name='Raj Malhotra' date='22 June 2011 - 07:10 PM' timestamp='1308749557' post='112025']

There were hotly debated web reports (refer keymags) that UAE found French AESA RADAR being offered wanting in comparison to their older F-16 radars. France offered to upgrade the radar to be comparable with F-16's. Further it seems that GaNs modules may be facing teething problems and I wonder if France has licked it? lastly as I understand software is very very important part of AESA radars and can France match USA?

And yes I understand the importance of Leh, take off, landing, maneuver issues (in lay man terms) but I just wanted to know if French are offering enough or it would be high price for mediocre goods?


Comparison of French Rafael and the US teens which are in reality baby boomer (viz retiring generation) I am assuredly say that overall Rafael is head and shoulder above the teens, and that the value for its high price is very much worth it.

Big down sides of the teens is as follows:

  1. Radar and Avionics:
    • US does not give the source core for AESA, and more importantly all the avionics in their crafts (including the data-fusion and net centric framework) to allow IAF to create its own net-centric warfare solution that is meaningful for IAF threat perception, doctrine and tactic.
    • Teens are trojen horse, that allow US to remotely be updated (in real time) of what the aircraft is doing, and it can be shut down or even behave contrary to pilot input. One does not have to recall Op-Parakram when the Indian navy ships left their petrol station and came back to home port. They were spoofed by a western power system to belive that they have been ordered to come back home. Their AESA is cable of exceptionally high data rate communication with sats above and just one beam glace is enough, that the airbourn user will not get to know.
    • US mil R&D and products are now frozen in time for a long time to come due to serious economic problem. French and Indian effort will better them even further (even if it not already done).
  2. Air performance: (Endurance, range, max take off weight, high altitude takeoff, air combat maneuver, mission payload, SEAD, air defense)
    • Is truly a base function of engine thrust to weight ratio and airframe strength and its weight. No matter how much makeup teens put in the frame is from bygone era that is truly baby boomer age. Rafale is OTOH top noth and lots of room to grow and improve. The engine is similarly closely developed and mated during airframe definition time, and there is only so much change one can do on engine envelope before all the rough edges start to show up. Again eth Rafael outshines teh teens big time
  3. serviceability and availability
    • Rafale again is much superior compared to teen design that 30-40 years old.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Raj Malhotra - 06-27-2011

My guess is that US will simply tap into Indian C3I/C4I network and play the show from there. In any case, with P-8s being bought for wide area surveillance, that horse has already bolted!

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 06-28-2011

[quote name='Raj Malhotra' date='27 June 2011 - 11:52 AM' timestamp='1309155253' post='112052']

My guess is that US will simply tap into Indian C3I/C4I network and play the show from there.[/quote]

That is correct, and no different from any foreign country trying to break an opposing nation's C3I. It has to spend time (and money) to do that, and while it is chasing he clock, Indian systems continue to work correctly. And this cat and mouse game forces India to keep changing encryption to deter enemy access to real time information. That precisely is the point.

OTOH if India buys Trojan horse, there is no black-out time and unkill can kill you at will, every time.

Quote: In any case, with P-8s being bought for wide area surveillance, that horse has already bolted!

True. Screwed at sea, at least IAF stays in action and free of infection.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - gangajal1 - 06-28-2011

[quote name='Arun_S' date='28 June 2011 - 02:24 AM' timestamp='1309207579' post='112055']

Screwed at sea, at least IAF stays in action and free of infection.


Can't India change the instruments in P8i in order to sanitize the aircraft?

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 06-30-2011

[quote name='gangajal1' date='28 June 2011 - 09:39 AM' timestamp='1309233695' post='112056']

Can't India change the instruments in P8i in order to sanitize the aircraft?


Are you saying:

  1. India has obtained P8i interface specification to replace instruments, and also command control computer cluster
  2. India has communication specification, and source code running in the CC computer cluster (which is crown jewels of US military warfare)
  3. Indian companies have competence to develop the algorithms and code for Command Control system
  4. Indian companies have competence to make hardened communication cluster equipment

IMVHO "Na Nou Man Tel Hoga, Na Radha Nachey-gi ||"

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 07-14-2011

July 13, 2011 19:01 IST | Updated: July 13, 2011 19:01 IST

Centre approves $3 billion upgrade of Mirage fleet

PTI [Image: INDO-US_JOINT_AIR_F_692903e.jpg] The Hindu File photo of a pair of Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000 aircraft. The government on Wednesday cleared proposals worth over $3 billion for upgrading the fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

As per the proposals, French firms Dassault and Thales will upgrade the aircraft, which will add 20-25 years to the life of the Mirages, inducted by the IAF in the mid-80s.

“The proposals related to upgrade of the Mirage 2000 were cleared by a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS),” a Defence Ministry official told PTI in New Delhi.

Two different proposals, one for the upgrade of systems of the aircraft and the other for over 400 MICA missiles for the upgraded fleet, were placed before the CCS.

Under the deal, the French firms will help in upgarding the avionics, navigation systems, mission computers, electronic warfare systems and radars bringing the aircraft to the Mirage-2000-5 standards.

The French companies will have to invest over $900 million into the Indian defence sector as defence offsets.

As per the Indian defence offsets policy, foreign vendors bagging deals worth over Rs. 300 crore have to invest at least 30 per cent of the worth of the deal back into the Indian defence, civilian aerospace and homeland security sectors.

The deal had been hanging fire for the last five years as the two sides have been involved in extensive negotiations including the price of upgrade quoted by the French side.

As per the agreement, India will first send two of its aircraft to France for upgrades and thereafter the rest would be upgraded at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited facilities in New Delhi, company sources said.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 08-01-2011

BTW there is new CoAS after retirement of ACM PV Naik. ACM NAK Browne is now at helm.

Let us see if he has the balls to take decision that will stop erosion of IAF (not just aircrafts, but multidimensional: capability, cost effectiveness, people, information security and organization)


Quote:India: For the record. Indian Defence Ministry officials signed a $2.4 billion deal with French companies Thales and Dassault Aviation on 29 July to upgrade their fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 fighters, company officials said. The Indian Air Force inducted Mirages in the mid-1980s. [color="#A0522D"]The aircraft will serve 20-25 more years[/color].

Comment: In the inventory of more than 700 fighters and attack aircraft, the Mirage 2000s were the only multi-role fighter capable of effective offensive operations at high altitudes during the 1999 Kargil War against Pakistan. The Air Force intends to retain that capability, upgraded and modernized.

Afghanistan: During an unannounced visit to Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, Admiral Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave a pep talk to the allied forces in which he mocked the significance of the recent assassinations of key Afghan officials in the south, including President Karzai's half-brother, Wali Karzai. He said some believe this is all the Taliban can do, thereby quoting but not owning a highly controversial statement.

Special comment: The US military, for understandable reasons of morale, continues to put a positive spin on security developments, but Readers need to know that the facts continue to run in the other direction. The US military is engaging in a perception management operation apparently for English and American speakers. The message is the job is getting done and it's time to leave.

It is time to leave because the US civilian political leadership has made that decision and is holding the military leadership to their agreement in 2008 that they could make significant gains in 18 months. The time has passed; the gains are local and impermanent, according to every tactical-level interview; and the Taliban know it. Resident reporters have described the situation in Kabul as a fragile structure waiting to collapse.

[color="#FF0000"]Assassination of stalwarts of the Karzai regime cannot be minimized. If Wali Karzai, Jan Mohammed and Hamidi can be assassinated, so can President Karzai.[/color]

[color="#FF0000"]This is a warning: the Taliban and other anti-government fighting groups are engaged in their own decapitation campaign … without drones, but up close and personal in Kabul and Kandahar. They appear to be capable of killing anyone they decide to target[/color].

Yemen: President Saleh is ready to transfer power through an early election, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said on 29 July. He described the deal negotiated by the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council as not practical and said if elections do not take place before the president resigns, a constitutional vacuum will exist.

The government is trying to negotiate with the opposition a reasonable date for an election under regional and international supervision, al-Qirbi said. Al Qaida benefits most from anarchy in Yemen, which could lead to a takeover of Abyan province, he added. Failure to reach an agreement could lead to a civil war.

Comment: Saleh's position remains unchanged. Nevertheless, his commitment to elections and a constitutionally prescribed manner of transferring power is noteworthy, despite his manner of rule.

Turkey: Turkey is experiencing stress because the Chief of the General Staff, the Commander of the Land forces, the Air Force Commander and the Navy Commander resigned on 29 July to protest the anti-military actions of Prime Minister Erdogan's government.

General Isik Kosaner, the Chief of the General Staff, said he resigned from his post in protest of the jailing of military officers in a variety of court cases. Kosaner reportedly said it is impossible for him to continue in his post because he is unable to fulfill his responsibility to protect the rights of his personnel.

The senior officers who resigned with Kosaner are Land Forces Commander General Erdal Ceylanoglu; Air Force Commander General Hasan Aksay; and Navy Commander Admiral Esref Ugur Yigit.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul signed a decree appointing Gendarmerie Commander General Necdet Ozel as Chief of Land Forces. A reporter said Ozel would later be appointed the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish armed forces in the place of General Kosaner.

Comment: The overarching issue is civilian control of the Turkish armed forces. Control of promotions and promotion policy is central to any military leadership structure. The resignations were as a reproach and a challenge to the Erdogan government for meddling in the military promotion system.

Kosaner's position and that of the other service chiefs is that officers under arrest but no brought to trial should be promoted on schedule because they have committed no crime. There are some 400 officers in this condition as the result of the AKP government's discover in 2007 of a coup plot in 2003 that never took place. This is the Ergenekon or Sledgehammer coup plot by the military to overthrow the pro-Islamist AKP government a year after its election.

Since coming to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has worked to break the political power of the armed forces and to erode its ethos as the guardian of the secular traditions of Ataturk. It has used a rising standard of living, relative prosperity and application for membership in the European Union, increased influence in Europe and the Middle East and promotion of more devout Islamic practices in public to marginalize the armed forces.

Outside the cities, the mass of Turks have proven in two elections that they support pro-Islamist and fundamentalist policies. The AKP has won both elections easily.

It also has used the Ergenekon investigation to keep the military leadership on the defensive and in the barracks under threat of arrest and prosecution for supporting a coup, now eight years ago. Respect for the military has declined significantly as a result.

Today's resignations are without precedent and appear aimed at arousing sentiment against the strongly Islamist tendencies of the government. Grand gestures such as resignations almost always are sophomoric and fail to make a difference because no one is inexpendable and replacements, such as General Ozel, are always waiting for their chance to lead.

[color="#A0522D"]The exceptions are when mass military leadership resignations are precursors to popular uprisings or to a military takeover of the government. There are no signs and no chances of a popular uprising in support of the armed forces. The time for a coup would seem to have passed, but analysts said that about Pakistan in 1999 right before General Musharraf overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government.[/color]

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 10-03-2011


[url=""]Kalaikunda fighters in charge of Andaman and Nicobar Islands defences[/url]

Quote:[url=""]Jayanta Gupta[/url], TNN | Oct 3, 2011, 06.22AM IST KALAIKUNDA: The [url=""]air base at Kalaikunda[/url] will now play an extremely crucial role in the country's defences.

Aircraft based here will be involved in air defence over the strategic [url=""]Andaman and Nicobar Islands[/url] and the Bay of Bengal. The tri-services command at the A&N Islands will be in charge of the squadrons of Su-30 MKIs and other advanced aircraft based at Kalaikunda for this specific purpose. This decision was taken when plans for basing Sukhois in the Andamans got scuttled after the 2004 tsunami in which the [url=""]IAF[/url] lost assets. "Till now, Kalaikunda - while performing several other duties - has been a bridge with the Andamans. The role of the base will grow and aircraft based here will play a vital role in patrolling the skies over the Andamans and the Bay of Bengal. Kalaikunda will play several roles that include air defence, training and building better co-operation in the region[size="3"] for a possible Nato-like alliance with India playing the pivotal role[/size]," an official said.

The Kalaikunda airbase is nestled among forests of Sal in the Maoist badlands of West Midnapore. Set up by the Americans for its Superfortress bombers operating during the [url=""]Burma[/url] campaign, the facility has grown steadily in importance over the years. "A large area falls within the responsibility of this base. There are several bases in the northeast but along the eastern coast, the closest one is in Chennai. It is our job to handle the defences along the coast and the Bay of Bengal region. We play host to several foreign air forces interested in joint exercises with the IAF," the official added.

"This is a very compact base built in classical American style. The Americans used to operate flights from Kalaikunda, Dudhkundi and Salua. Today, we have a radar station at Salua and Dudhkundi has been converted into an air-to-ground firing range. Over the years, Kalaikunda has developed into a major location for international air exercises. Soon, we shall have the Republic of Singapore Air Force visiting Kalaikunda. The base is close to Bay of Bengal where air-to-air firing can take place," says Air Commodore R Radhish, AOC, Air Force Station, Kalaikunda.

But Kalaikunda goes well beyond an exercise hub. Apart from the MiG-27 ground attack aircraft and MiG-21 Fn fighters of the OCU, squadrons of Su-30 MKIs and other advanced varieties from the IAF's fleet call on Kalaikunda on a regular basis. A squadron of Su-30 MKIs is now at the base.

Over the last few years, Delhi has started to realize that China is as great a threat as [url=""]Pakistan[/url] and there has been a rush to upgrade facilities in the eastern and northeastern sector. Fighters from Kalaikunda can fly to the Andamans and beyond for longrange patrols. Unlike older aircraft, the Su-30 MKIs can fly at very slow speeds (nearly that of a helicopter) and carry out surveillance before zooming away at twice the speed of sound.

[color="#800080"]"In case of some mischief by our northern neighbour, this is the place where our defences can fall back to. Also this base is playing a crucial role in developing regional cooperation. There may come a time when a Nato-like organization develops here with India playing the role of the US. If this happens, our assets would no longer have to be on their toes for 365 days a year. Pilots of the Nato countries have to be on active duty for only 90 days at a stretch," an IAF official said.[/color]

Tathaastu !


Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 10-27-2011


New Delhi : October 25, 2011

A massive search operation has been launched by the IAF to search for the missing Mig-29 aircraft and its pilot Sqn Ldr DS Tomar that crashed on the night of 18 Oct 11 in the mountainous area of Lahaul Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Till date 132 sorties have been flown towards search and rescue (SAR) operations. Considering the remote, high altitude treacherous snow clad mountainous region at elevations extending from 15000 ft to 20000 ft above mean sea level and the fact that no radio call was received from the pilot of the missing aircraft has made the search effort very demanding. All available data including that from other aircraft flying in the area, inputs from the formation leader, data on his aircraft as well as reports from civil police received through villagers in the area were collated to ascertain the probable crash site.

While analysing the data, a coherent plan for mounting SAR operations was conceptualised and the search aircraft were airborne on the first light on 19 Oct. Within first 24 hours a total of 22 sorties were mounted that flew over 41 hours. These included SU-30, Jaguar, RPA, Cheetah, Cheetal and An-32 aircraft which searched the probable areas by high tech electro optical eqpt and visual means covering wide extensive search for wreckage and deep intensive search to locate the missing pilot. The search patterns were planned for each type of sensor employed depending on the height and time of the day. The data collected from these are being analysed by specialist in imagery interpretation. Team of these specialists are constantly at work since the occurrence on 18 Oct. The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) has been approached to make available data of the probable search area that may have been covered by any of the satellites. This effort was important as no radio call was received from the crashed aircraft and early sighting of the missing pilot and the ac wreckage was important.

On subsequent days similar search effort by air were launched maintaining the tempo and refining the search based on inputs received from data collected the previous day. The effort was augmented by the ground search parties of air warriors and Indian Army. The aircraft involved in search are being launched from Leh, Udhampur, Jammu, Bareilly etc where the specialised equipment is located to cover the large area of search in the mountains.

Alongside search by air, ground parties were airlifted with specially trained and acclimatised troops. [size="3"][color="#800080"]Gp Capt PK Sharma VM was assigned the Task Force Commander for the search effort ex ‘Kelylong’ in ‘Lahaul’ area[/color][/size]. ‘Thirot’ village Sarpanch with help of villagers brought a few wreckage components which were identified to be that of MiG-29 aircraft. However the entire area came under fresh snow following a spell of bad weather.

Even though the combat Exercise has got over, the HQ WAC has remained focused to the task of SAR which is being undertaken on a war footing. The Ladakh Scouts and other elements of Indian Army, the air warriors of IAF mountaineering team are being utilised for the ground search effort. IAF has also employed local mountaineers who are best suited for undertaking search operations in the snowbound, high altitude regions for extended period.

The aviation accident experts who have flown over the area are of the opinion that the ground party is likely to be most effective since the aircraft may have disintegrated after the impact and the debris is spread across the slopes on either side of the ridge line. Nothing can be said with certainty at this stage until the crash site is conclusively identified and flight data recorder (black box) is recovered and analysed.

Since the time of the occurrence, IAF authorities are in constant touch with the family of the missing pilot providing them inputs on the progress of the search and rescue effort.

Tomorrow we will see news update on this crash site and salvage. I think pilot loss is a foregone conclusion given that the flight was at night. My salute to brave IAF pilot Sqn Ldr DS Tomar.

"Amar Bhava"

Sadness and pride.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 10-27-2011


Press Information Bureau

Government of India

Ministry of Defence

[size="2"][right]27-October-2011 17:51 IST [/right][/size] [center] [url=""]Missing MIG-29 Crash Site Located[/url]


Quote:Missing MIG-29 Crash Site Located Yesterday, on 26 Oct 2011, the [size="3"]Task Force Commander Gp Capt P K Sharma VM[/size], coordinating the search for the missing MiG-29 aircraft and pilot, confirmed locating crash site at 15000’ AMSL above ‘Chokhang’ village in ‘Lahaul’ area. He informed that several components of the aircrafts have been recovered after digging under the snow and rubble. These are being brought down to base camp for proper identification.

Earlier the crash site was located by aerial search and imageries received from the Remotely Piloted Aircraft and other aircraft which conducted the photo reconnaissance of the area. Though the inputs were correct, however, since the crashed aircraft had disintegrated into small pieces and the debris was spread across the slopes on either side of the ridge it could not be conclusively identified. Subsequently, sarpanch of ‘Thirot’ village had brought back some components with help of locals, identified to be of MiG-29, from the same area. However, the crash site could still not be confirmed as the area came under fresh snow fall. Also, soot and burn marks along the slopes as seen in our recce imagery as well as by villagers also disappeared under the snow.

The IAF search teams were dropped on the ledge 200m above the suspected crash site at an elevation of 15000’ AMSL. This is about 5000’ above the valley base along village ‘Chokhang’. The ground search party was divided in groups to cover the bowl and the slopes on either side of the ridge where the images had indicated presence of debris. At a gradient of 70-80 degree and in an avalanche prone area, the progress could not have been faster. Eight expert mountaineers including three from Army were dropped on the ledge by helicopter. They spent the night on the ledge with just basic survival gear. Visual reconnaissance of the area by helicopter on subsequent days could not confirm the exact crash site since the area was now covered under fresh snow.

Since 19 Oct the search parties have continued to manually clear the snow and digging the earth on these treacherous slopes using shovels and pickaxes in the area along the lines of impact, in search of the debris. In the mean time, a base camp was set up at 13000’ AMSL on a ledge to provide support to the search party. About 55 personnel in all including expert mountaineers from the IAF, Army and some hired mountaineers are involved in the search of the pilot & debris of the missing aircraft.

The task force commander routinely undertook aerial reconnaissance by helicopter to guide the teams to precise locations. The team was under threat from wildlife since fresh snow had claw marks of animals - suspected to be of bear in the area. Also, the bowl had accumulated ice with crevices that were covered under fresh snow, making the progress even slower.

The search team has, since the time of accident, worked under intense pressure battling attitude, weather and steep slopes. The Task Force Commander GP Capt P K Sharma VM particularly praised the missionary zeal displayed by Wg Cdr S K Kutty and Sqn Ldr N Rawat who headed the search teams. He said “it is unthinkable of anyone to agree to be perched on top of the ledge at 15000 feet and stay overnight without even a base camp set up for their support!’ this captures the essence of the camaraderie that airwarriors have displayed in search of their missing colleague.

A total of 149 sorties have been flown toward toward the search and rescue effort till 25 Oct 2011. While considerable time has elapsed since the accident, none the less, search has continued with a missionary zeal. In words of the AOC-in-C WAC, Air Marshal D C Kumaria, “….the search would continue till we reach to the bottom of case and arrive at definite conclusions”.


[color="ThreeDDarkShadow"](Release ID :76875)[/color]

Gp Capt. Praveen Sharma has this serious, challanging and somber task to lead men to recover a fellow air warrior.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 11-06-2011

Looks like French Rafale will earn the IAF MRCA business.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - ramana - 11-09-2011

News Report:

Mig-29 pilot remains found


Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 11-12-2011

[url=""]US hopes India will pick its military choppers[/url]
Quote: By Arun Kumar,

Washington, Nov 11:

After losing out to European competitors in the deal to supply India 126 multi-role combat jets, the United States has evinced strong interest in participating in India's tender for attack and heavy-lift helicopters.

“I have also advocated for our tenders in the attack helicopter and heavy-lift helicopter competitions. We are hopeful that both will be selected,” US Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro told the Defence Trade Advisory Group.

Among the US contenders in the race to supply the Indian Air Force 22 combat and 15 heavy-lift helicopters are Boeing's AH-64 D Apache and Chinook respectively.

The reportedly USD 550 million-tender aims to replace India's ageing helicopter fleet and trials were said to be on in the hot, humid deserts of Rajasthan and the icy Himalayan heights of Ladakh and Leh.

India had in April rejected Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and F-18 aircraft in what’s described as the world biggest defence deal for supply of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for an estimated USD 10.4 billion.

Referring to the setback Shapiro said: “While India unfortunately did not down-select a US aircraft for its MMRCA competition, I believe our relationship with India is much more than one sale.”

At the AeroIndia show in Bangalore in February too, Shapiro advocated for US defence sales, suggesting that Indian acquisition of US defence equipment was woven into the fabric of a stronger US-India strategic partnership.

"We seek a stronger strategic partnership with India, including the promotion of Indian acquisition of US defence equipment. This effort has led to India's acquisition of ten C-17 aircraft and a request for six more C-130J aircraft," he said.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - ravish - 11-13-2011

The helecopter acquisition plan has again hit a road block. This time the Finance department has pointed out that one of the conditions have not been fulfilled by both the machine3s that have netered the last round. This condition involves landing and takeoff after a overnight halt at a helipad located at 5000mtrs.It means further delay and cost escalation.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - ravish - 11-13-2011

The helecopter acquisition plan has again hit a road block. This time the Finance department has pointed out that one of the conditions have not been fulfilled by both the machine3s that have netered the last round. This condition involves landing and takeoff after a overnight halt at a helipad located at 5000mtrs.It means further delay and cost escalation.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - ravish - 11-13-2011

The helecopter acquisition plan has again hit a road block. This time the Finance department has pointed out that one of the conditions have not been fulfilled by both the machine3s that have netered the last round. This condition involves landing and takeoff after a overnight halt at a helipad located at 5000mtrs.It means further delay and cost escalation.

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 11-15-2011

[url=""]US and China: How India must play its cards[/url]

Quote:November 10, 2011 17:27 IST The US is in desperate need to conjure up an ideology-driven relationship with India[url=""][/url], to enable it to boost its arms exports to the Indian market, says M K Bhadrakumar.

[size="5"]A[/size]s to what prompted the United States last week to offer to sell Pentagon's futuristic radar-evading fifth generation fighter F-35 [acronym JSF] promises to be an expose of their 'defining partnership' in the 21st century.

Put simply, a clutch of avant-garde truth diggers among India's smug community of defence analysts came up with a startling 'discovery' that the US was making a virtue out of dire necessity.

According to Robert Scher, US deputy secretary of defence for south and south east Asia, India has not made any request for information on the F-35, but the US's unilateral invitation was an "example of the high regard that we hold for India's military modernisation." The Pentagon offers that "Should India indicate interest in the JSF, the United States would be prepared to provide information on the JSF and its requirementsÂ… to support India's future planning."

But the JSF's development program faces unaffordable rising costs, with a price tag as per current estimate of $150 million (about Rs 750 crore) per aircraft. In sum, the JSF has become a white elephant and cross breeding it with the Indian black elephant might just about make its uncertain progeny an affordable beast of burden.

The tragicomedy underscores the US' desperate need to conjure up an ideology-driven relationship with India, which enables it to boost its arms exports to the Indian market, which is one of the few world markets today remaining with growth prospects of around 7-8 percent.

Getting head examined

In these hard times, Indian think tankers are talking through their hat by choreographing security architectures for India with Australia [ [url=""]Images[/url] ] or Japan [ [url=""]Images[/url] ], riveted around their cold-war alliance with the US, within a newfound strategy to 'contain' China.

The US is "flirting with national solvency", as a noted American scholar Robert Kelly put it, "which will dramatically impact all its alliances" in Asia, including even the robust ones with South Korea or Japan.

Kelly wrote: "The US is now borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends; the deficit is $ 1.5 trillion (160 percent of South Korea's entire GDP); the debt is almost $10 trillion; the International Monetary Fund predicts America's debt-to-GDP ratio will exceed 100 percent by the end of the decade; and integrated US national security spending tops $1.2 trillion, 25 percent of the budget and 7 percent of the GDP. These are mind-boggling figures that all but mandate some manner of US retrenchment from its current global footprint."

Except in the highly unlikely eventuality of the "Wall" protestors in New York or California accepting a still lower standard of living with deep cuts in social welfare programs, US cannot fix its finances without applying the scalpel on its defence spending.

The choice is between butter and guns. The former US defence secretary Robert Gates summed it up brilliantly, as he was leaving office in the Pentagon, that "any future defence secretary who recommends sending a big US army into Asia or Africa again should have his head examined."

Yet, the relative decline of the US is the untold story that Indian think-tankers would lock up in the attic in their fancy for a John-Wayne world of 'Have gun, will travel'.

Of course, India's plight is not as grave as that of South Korea or Australia, which are placed in shark-infested waters with an increasingly difficult geopolitical context and are being called upon to realise the probability of US power receding from Asia in the budgetary environment. Indeed, Washington may conclude at some point that they are no longer central to the US's Asian priorities.

Kelly concluded: "America's political and financial dysfunction will soon force a painful re-prioritisation of US foreign policy. Commitments like Germany [ [url=""]Images[/url] ], Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and others will be scrutinised, and no amount of Korean-American friendship will undo a $10 trillion debt."

Measure of balance

How does it all add up for India? The prominent US diplomat and establishment figure (former ambassador to India) Frank Wisner handed down a check-list during his latest tour of India, explaining with great sophistication how solid business can be combined with airy geopolitics.

He identified Pakistan, China and the US-India bilateral economic approach as the three key 'difficulties' that will shape the US-India partnership ahead.

Wisner made the astounding remark that there is no issue more important to the US-India relationship than the "question of Pakistan" -- that is, jointly devising a "winning strategy" that makes Pakistan a partner.

He said the US would have to focus on building up ties with the Pakistani military while India should press Pakistan to have transparency with regard to terrorism while at the same time persisting with the dialogue to solve differences, including Kashmir [ [url=""]Images[/url] ].

With regard to China, Wisner was unambiguous: "The US and China want good relations, but the problem is not as much with China's economic expansion as it is with China's assertions that we have to be careful about." He cautioned India about developments on the Sino-Indian border and in the South China Sea.

Wisner added, "We [US and India] have to reach out to nations like Japan, [South] Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, among others, to build relations and give a measure of balance."

Now, Wisner is a strategic guru and he happened to echo what the US deputy secretary of state William Burns also said in a major policy speech in Washington recently (where Burns described the Asia-Pacific as the 'strategic pivot' of the US foreign policy and complimented that the US and Indian strategies 'reinforce each other'.)

Think twice

Burns exhorted Indian mandarins to switch from a 'Look East' policy to a new mode of 'Act East' policy. Burns, in fact, thought he saw this transformation already happening.

Indeed, India appears to bestir itself to scale up economic, energy and strategic ties with the Asia-Pacific region (India's 'extended neighbourhood') -- with Japan and Vietnam, in particular.

But bluster is an integral part of the US public diplomacy and separating the chaff from the grain isn't always easy. Two relevant aspects must be noted.

One, it serves Washington's purpose to create some angst in the Chinese mind about an emergent US-Indian strategic axis in the Asia-Pacific, while Delhi [ [url=""]Images[/url] ] loses nothing thereby.

On the other hand, Delhi also may gain something if Beijing's [ [url=""]Images[/url] ] angst translates into the policy domain as accommodative gestures toward India on a host of other geopolitical templates -- especially, the dynamics of Sino-Pakistani relationship or tranquillity of the disputed Sino-Indian border.

Delhi would also expect a helpful stance by China vis-à-vis its quest for a place on the high table – the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, in particular.

The clincher is whether China takes note of an assertive India. A Xinhua commentary on Tuesday would suggest it probably does. However, Beijing seems to be reading tea leaves still.

Xinhua concluded: "There is nothing to be said against its [India's] overtures to others [read Japan and Vietnam] for strategic cooperation. But if it intended to estrange and antagonise its neighbour [China] by taking it as an imaginary enemy and get unwisely involved in affairs which fall within others' backyards, it would hold its national strategies as hostage and put at stake its own national interests.

"It is highly advisable for New Delhi to think twice about the pitfalls in making its foreign policies."

Funnily, Delhi lost no time reacting to the Xinhua's advice. Indian government sources "leaked" to the media that contrary to general impressions, India is yet to respond to two demarches from Vietnam -- namely, to transfer to Vietnam medium-sized warships and to upgrade the strategic port of Nha Trang near Cam Ranh Bay.

But Delhi also left tantalizingly open as to what it proposes to do with regard to another Vietnamese request -- transfer of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. Which, ironically, is an India-Russia joint venture and would actually make it a matter of double hedging of futures and options.

M K Bhadrakumar

Indian Military Aviation News and Discussion - Arun_S - 11-15-2011