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Indian Military News
Indian armed forces place Rs 2,000 crore orders for specialised anti-nuke equipment and systems

Trichy (TN), Sep 21,2007

India's armed forces have placed orders worth over Rs 2,000 crore for specialised equipment and systems to prepare the country against nuclear, biological and chemical weapon strikes.

The equipment and systems to be purchased on fast track, include gear to protect against nuclear and chemical radiation, systems to detect any early threat of nuclear and biological weapons and an advanced medical management system to deal with nuclear fall out, top defence scientist W Selvamurthy said.

"These products are being produced by 30 DRDO and ordnance factories and would be supplied within a period of one year," Selvamurthy, who is the Chief Controller, Research and Design in DRDO told reporters on the sidelines of the annual conference of the Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists here.

He said the products also include nuclear shelters, specialised protective clothing, ruggedised combat weapons, medicines and preventive drugs.

Over 300 top scientists from across the world are participating in the three-day conference that began yesterday.

Selvamurthy also said that DRDO had produced Di-Ethyl Phenyl Acetamide (DEPA) -- which can be used both as body or room spray -- to fight epidemics like chikungunya and dengue fever.
ISRO entrenched in remote-sensing images market
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->HYDERABAD: India has captured 20 per cent of the global market in remote-sensing images, according to K.R. Sridhara Murthi, executive director, Antrix Corporation, which is the marketing agency of the Department of Space.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is well-entrenched in selling remote-sensing images to other countries, he told a press conference ahead of the five-day International Astronautical Congress (IAC) beginning here on September 24.

(The ISRO has launched a series of remote-sensing satellites including Resourcesat and Oceansat by its own Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles and Russian vehicles).

Mr. Sridhara Murthi said, “The PSLV had been well received by international customers” who found it “attractive” for launching their small satellites and there were continuous enquiries about it. It was a versatile and reliable vehicle, and in terms of cost, it compared well with competing vehicles. “So we will certainly see more and more opportunities” for launching satellites using the PSLV. (In April this year, Italy used the PSLV to launch its Agile satellite from Sriharikota and the Antrix Corporation received a handsome fee for it. The PSLV was used earlier for orbiting small, multiple satellites from abroad).

Mr. Sridhara Murthi said there should be more launches of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) to give confidence to the market.

“We need to have more flights of the GSLV and we are looking for enhancing its capability” so that it could orbit a range of satellites which were being made in the world today. “We are in the entry phase [in the international launch market] and we are looking for [a change] in the international-level policies to allow customers to come to India to launch their satellites.”
Issues in business

He said, “Space business is growing in the world although in a punctuated manner.”

There were issues of regulations, access to launch market and flow of technology. “We faced issues relating to technology transfer in this area. We continuously face issues relating to licensing for export of items.”

The international space exhibition, which would be part of IAC-2007, attracted participation by big space industries from the United States, Russia, France, Japan, Spain, Italy and China. “Both competition and cooperation are the facts of the day” in the space industry.

“This is an area where industries are constantly evolving their strategies to come together or compete,” Mr. Sridhara Murthi said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some Himalayan muscle for IAF
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, September 26

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is formulating new strategies for campaigns in the mountains of the Himalayas along Pakistan and China.

As part of its efforts it has not only finalised plans to purchase new attack and heavy lift utility helicopters in a bid to bolster air surveillance and air to ground fighting capabilities in the Himalayas but has also procured and put sensors on board unmanned aerial vehicles as well as its fixed wing assets.

It has also been training hard on the concepts of waging a battle from stand-off distances and recently also conducted a big aerial war games to validate these new concepts.

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Air command Air Marshal P.S. Ahluwalia said here today that post Kargil operations war manoeuvres were being undertaken regularly to validate new concepts in precision attacks, waging aerial campaigns from stand off distance for a more effective interdiction in military campaigns in the mountains.

Briefing reports ahead of the Air Force Day in early October, Air Marshal Ahluwalia said in the recent air exercises carried out in the Himalayan mountains nearly 120 to 130 front line fighters of the IAF, including various versions of the MiGs, Sukhois and UAVs, took part in the week-long manoeuvres.

The IAF is celebrating its platinum jubilee this year on the completion of its 75 years.

Our requirement of high altitude attack helicopters and the purchase of more heavy lift and utility helicopters for the mountains had been submitted to the government, the western air commander said.

Though IAF has a few squadrons of Russian acquired MI-25 and MI-35 attack helicopters, these are not suitable for use in the high altitude areas, as a stop gap measure. The Air force has been using the MI-17 helicopters for armed role in the mountains.

Recently, US aerospace major Boeing put on offer its CH-47F Chinook choppers for the IAF. The Chinook is capable of transporting 55 troops or two combat-equipped vehicles and can be used for medical evacuation, humanitarian efforts and fire fighting.

Incidentally, like the Army, the IAF is also proposing to phase out its Chetak and Cheetah range of high altitude helicopters. The Army in a recent deal has finalised plans to purchase 197 new light helicopters.

Air Marshal Ahluwalia said the IAF wanted new helicopters to replace the aging Chetak and Cheetahs with the capability of operating at heights ranging from 18,000 to 19,000 feet.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
India to develop its own version of GPS
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->September 27, 2007

India will develop its own version of the Global Positioning System by launching seven satellites in the next six years, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan  Nair said in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, expected to be functional by 2012, will be used for surveillance, telecommunications, transport, identifying disaster areas and public safety among others.

The satellites will be placed at a higher geostationary orbit to have a larger signal footprint and lower number of satellites to map the region, he said. The first satellite of the proposed constellation, developed at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore, is expected to be launched in 2009.

Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the 58th International Astronautical Congress, Nair said that India has the capability to launch a mission to Mars  but there were no concrete proposals for research on the Red Planet.

"The technological capability exists. We can use the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle to send a 500 kg payload to Mars," he said. However, a very powerful rocket system was required to propel the spacecraft to the planet. On sending a manned mission to space, he said that the ISRO was preparing a project report on undertaking a human spaceflight. "We will submit the report to the government by March for its approval," said Nair.

He said that the mission objective of Chandrayaan-I, India's first mission to moon, was to find the basic signature of the earth's evolution, explore the terrain, look for minerals and explore the possibility of setting up a base which could be used for future planetary missions.

During the IAC, Nair held bilateral talks with heads of seven space agencies, including that of the US, Russia  and China. "The meetings were sort of a status review of the cooperation that already exists," he said.

Nair said India is respected among the international community for developing its space programme independently. "The world is highly appreciative of our space applications programme and others, including the developed nations, are trying to copy it," he said.

Nair added that most of the space faring nations want to replicate India's success in the field of telemedicine and tele-education. Speaking about the Centre's announcement of launching 60 missions in the next five years, he said the ISRO will be able to achieve that target by outsourcing satellite building operations.

"Currently, we have about five to six launches every year and we can scale it by more and more outsourcing," Nair said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Gen Deepak Kapoor assumes charge as new Indian Army chief
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->30 Sep 2007

NEW DELHI: Declaring that the Indian Army was on "threshold of transformation into an advanced weaponised force", General Deepak Kapoor took over as the 23rd Chief of the Army Staff on Sunday, holding out promise of undertaking modernisation more rapidly.

"My top priority would be to step up the pace of modernisation," Kapoor said in his first order of the day to officers and all ranks of the Army.

Asserting that cutting age technology would be given to soldiers, both for policing the borders or countering internal unrest, Kapoor said soon after taking over from Gen J J Singh.

"I feel immense pride and humility," Kapoor said after taking over the world's most professional and second biggest Army.

His comments assume significance as the Indian Army is upgrading its weaponry, giving more advanced weapons to all its three wings- Infantry, Armour and Artillery.

In recent years, the Army has seen induction of sophisticated and long range nuclear capable surface to surface missiles, supersonic cruise missiles, longer-range multi barrel rocket system, new frontline tanks and unmanned areal vehicles (UAVs).

"On taking over, I vow," the new Army chief said, "to uphold the unparallelled professional standards of valour and unstinted loyalty of the Army to the national tri-colour."

Though as per traditions, Kapoor took over on Sunday, the new Army chief will go through the formalities of paying homage at martyr's memorial at India gate and inspect a guard of honour at South Block on Monday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Indian Army chief says armed forces equipped to fight future battles
New Delhi, Sep 30,2007

Indian Army Chief General J J Singh today said 75 per cent of the country's land forces along with IAF and Navy were equipped and trained to fight battles of the future.

"Only 25 per cent of the army is engaged in counter terrorism operations and border deployment," Gen Singh said as he hung his boots after a career spanning over 43 years.

"We have kept the bulk of our forces free and have by rotation, been training personnel on advanced weapon systems being acquired and to fight battles in nuclear and chemical warfare environment," the Army Chief said as he was given a colouful farewell guard of honour at the lush green lawns of South Block.

The outgoing chief declared that Indian Army had now fully acquired and assimilated night fighting technology and also futuristic weapons systems like network centric radars, sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and other force multipliers.

Gen Singh, who also had more than year-long stint as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee(COSC) said that country's new specialised formations like the Strategic Forces Command, armed to handle the nation's nuclear and missile arsenal, Integrated Defence Staff as well as the Andaman-based Tri-Service Command were fast "coming of age".<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Indian Air Force developing Bareilly as hub for Sukhois
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bareilly, Sept. 30 (PTI)

The Indian Air Force is developing state-of-the-art infrastructure here, including a world class avionics lab, for the most potent fighters in its combat fleet - Su-30MKI squadron - in a bid to counter threats especially from China.

A modern tech flight hangar, the biggest in the country, is also coming up at the base which will house the Sukhois and other allied equipment for its servicing.

"Bareilly is strategically located, and we are in the process of converting it into a major hub for the Su-30MKIs," Chief Administrative officer of the base Group Captain, P V Gadgil, told a group of visiting journalists.

The multi-role Sukhoi fighters, which have a cruising speed range of 3,200 km coupled with advanced beyond-visual range combat capabilities, are capable of striking deep inside China, said another official.

Chief Engineering officer of the base Group Captain, Rajiv Gandotra, said "the defence of the nation requires the aeroplanes to be available all the time and in highest numbers."

Gadgil said the base was strategically very important as "after the Chinese aggression in 1962, it was realised that the area was left out without having any credible air defence capability."

"Our army is in the hills now after that aggression. We had to deploy the army more or less continuously and if there is war, somebody has to support the army, whether it's close air support by fighter aircraft or by helicopters," he said.

Gadgil said the Eight Squadron which is also based at the air force station will be flying Su-30MKI, once they are delivered by Russia.

It would take anywhere from six months to a year to equip the Eight Squadron with Sukhoi fighters though "lot of uncertainties" are involved in it, Gadgil said adding the Eight Squadron exists without any assets here.

India had signed a deal in early 2007 for purchase of another 40 Su-30MKI to tackle the depleting strength of its fighter squadrons. Another 140 of these fighters, will be built at HAL facilities at Nashik by 2013-2014.

He said the upcoming infrastructure here like the new hangar and the avionics lab would be vital for IAF'S operations.

"It is going to be the biggest hangar in the IAF. It's going to be huge. The hangar will house all allied equipment for servicing. We took help from IIT Kanpur and other agencies to design the hangar," Gadgil said.

He said the avionics lab is one of the best in the country. "The highly-sophisticated avionics lab will service almost all the equipment in the Su 30 MKI aircraft".

Gangotra said equipment from Russian, Israeli and French are installed in the lab where third line of maintenance including structured repairs due to battle damages like bullet hits could be carried out.

"Its a vital infrastructure for us. Now we are capable of even repairing the engines of the aircraft. The aircraft can fly the next day itself after facing any kind of problem. Earlier, we have to send the engines to Russia," he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
ISRO looks at n-power to take it deep into universe
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->October 01, 2007

As India’s space programme gets into its second phase, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking to harness nuclear energy to propel its future rockets which will explore distant planets and areas beyond the solar system.

While the Chandrayan-1 mission to moon, and the likely mission to Mars, can be done by using conventional fuel, ISRO is realising that going beyond that would require developing nuclear technology to propel the rockets.

Though such an endeavour in outer space is not going to happen in the near future, ISRO wants to start early and be ready with the technology in time.

“It would not be required before, say 2030 or even beyond that. But yes, ultimately we have to be looking at that,” ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair told The Indian Express.

The technology to propel these rockets would not be very different to what is used in nuclear power plants but the big challenge would be to package this into a small unit and make it completely safe.

Nuclear energy is being seen as the most viable options when undertaking exploration of very distant space and areas outside the solar system because of its ability to pack in a huge amount of energy into small volumes. As the spacecraft goes further and further away from the sun, the option of using solar energy is also not available.

Both the US and Russia have demonstrated the use of nuclear fuel in rockets and have used it for limited purposes in the past. But as of now nuclear energy is not a common fuel used in spacecraft.

ISRO recently announced its intention to send a manned mission to space and has also been talking about the possibility of a Mars explorer in the next decade.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) plans to build warships for Indian Navy
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Oct 2 2007

Going after the government’s planned Rs50,000 crore investment for warships, India’s largest engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) plans to build defence warships and para-military vessels at its proposed shipyard at Kattupalli, in Tamil Nadu, to cater to the needs of the Indian Navy.

“L&T plans to enter the defence shipbuilding sector. The proposed shipbuilding facility at Kattupalli will build defence ships also, apart from general cargo ships and jack-up rigs for the offshore oil industry. L&T is the only entity in the private sector that holds a licence from the government to build warships,” said a person familiar with the thinking, who did not want to be named.

The Union government plans to invest Rs50,000 crore over the next 10 years to build warships for the navy.

Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Goa Shipyard Ltd and Mazagon Dock Ltd are authorized to build warships. All the three yards are state-owned entities controlled by the Union ministry of defence.

Cochin Shipyard Ltd, controlled by the Union ministry of shipping, has licence to build air defence ships.

L&T’s defence division already makes ancillary equipment for ships, such as propulsion steering gears and shafts. “Building ships for the Indian Navy is just an extension of this business,” the same person said.

The dry docks and jetties at the Kattupalli yard, used for building civilian ships, will be utilized for making warships as well. “But the processes and management will be separate and each business will function as an independent cost and profit centre,” said the person.

L&T plans to bid for the navy’s submarine building programme, dubbed Project 75 and 76, which involves building 24 submarines with an investment of $14-16 billion (Rs55,580-63,520 crore).

D. Morada, a spokesman for L&T, declined to comment for this story.

India has already signed a $3.5 billion deal with French-firm DCNS, or Direction des Constructions Navales Services, to acquire six Scorpene class submarines in October 2005, out of the total 24 submarines in the navy’s project.

The project included a licensed production of submarines in India under a technology transfer agreement, which was awarded to the state-owned Mazagon Dock. L&T had unsuccessfully bid for this project.

L&T plans to participate in the project when the navy invites requests for proposals to build the balance 18 vessels locally. L&T may team up with a domestic state-owned firm or a foreign partner if it wins the tender, the person said.

L&T will also form a joint venture (JV) company with the Tamil Nadu government to build the shipyard-cum-port facility at Kattupalli, just 2km from the Union government-owned Ennore port.

The state government will hold 2-3% stake in the JV company that will develop India’s biggest shipbuilding facility, capable of constructing very large crude tankers that can carry 300,000-350,000 tonnes of crude oil and Suezmax vessels, which can carry 120,000 tonnes of dry bulk cargoes such as coal, iron ore and steel, and are called thus because they can pass through the Suez Canal.

L&T will invest close to Rs3,000 crore to build the shipyard-cum-port facility. When fully operational, the shipyard is likely to employ close to 10,000 people.

The port will cater to clean cargoes and also handle project cargoes of the nearby special economic zone being developed by the state government-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp. Ltd.

L&T plans to begin construction of ships by end-2009, with plans to deliver the first ship by 2010-11.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Environmental Survey Vehicle handed over to Indian Navy
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tuesday, Oct 02, 2007

NEW DELHI: An Environmental Survey Vehicle (ESV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was formally handed over to the Navy here on Monday. DRDO chief M. Natarajan handed over the ESV to Vice-Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral Nirmal Verma at a function at the DRDO headquarters.

<b>Laboratory on wheels</b>
Designed and developed by the Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, the ESV is a radiological laboratory on wheels and equipped with state-of-art instruments. It is capable of estimating radioactivity in field conditions in solid, liquids and air.

<b>Suitability of eatables</b>
The ESV will help certify the suitability of eatables and drinkables in field conditions from the radiation safety angle for coastal areas.

It is also capable of measuring alpha, beta and gamma radiation quantitatively and qualitatively at even very low levels of radioactivity.

This will facilitate early detection of any unusual increase in radioactivity in the area.

The ESV is also capable of detecting any intentional or unintentional release of radioactivity in the marine environment. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India-China War 1962 </b>
The Rediff Special/Brigadier (retd) Chitranjan Sawant, VSM
In the summer of 1996, more than 35 years after the 1962 war with China, I had an opportunity to stand on the Chinese side of the Dhola ridge and see our own battleground in NEFA [the North East Frontier Agency, now Arunachal Pradesh].
This was the same Dhola ridge from where the People's Liberation Army of China
had attacked the Indian forward positions and rolled down Sela-Bomdilla till the foothills near Tezpur on October 20, 1962. I was visiting Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, as an independent producer of TV documentaries on Tibet. Having seen NEFA from the Indian side, I asked my hosts if I could have a view of the area from the Chinese side. There was stunned silence in the banquet hall where the Chinese and Tibetan administrators had hosted a dinner for me. Finally, the Tibetan head of administration, on a cue from his Chinese adviser, said:
"Brigadier, you may see, but not shoot." I accepted his suggestion, and next morning Chinese army Mitsubishi Pajeros took me and the crew to the area. Tough terrain indeed. But not tougher than the one on our side, was my silent verdict after a mental comparison. The altitude was high without causing respiratory complications because of thick foliage. And exactly like on our side, local cowherds tended to their flock unawed by our presence. The Chinese military intelligence officer (so I presumed) who doubled as a liaison officer appreciated my desire to take a close look at the imaginary international border and touch the Indian soil with reverence.

"Sying-sying," he said in Chinese mandarin, indicating his okay, and I lost no time in taking a military look at the massive Dhola ridge from where officers and men of the People's Liberation Army descended on the Indian territory using ropes, bypassing our formidable infantry positions and attacking the nerve centre, headquarters of the 7 Infantry Brigade. The brigade commander, Brig John Dalvi, was literally caught with his pants down.

The PLA had taken its first VIP red-tab prisoner of war. Many more other ranks (junior commissioned officers and jawans) were to fall into their net later. It was indeed a disgraceful show and serving subalterns and captains like me felt let down by those who mattered in the military and civilian set-up. On the ground hallowed by selfless sacrifice made beyond the call of duty by many of my brothers-in-arms, I stood in silence for more than the customary two minutes. Many images flashed across my mind as I recalled the dramatis personae, both the living and the dead. They seemed to communicate moments of agony and ecstasy depending on courage or cowardice. There were examples galore of both.  Sipahi (later Naik and in present folklore Captain) Jaswant Singh of the 4th battalion of the Garhwal Rifles manned a post with his light machine-gun on a road bend near Sela top. In that bitter snowfall, when the Chinese attacked his post, wave after wave, he stood his ground with grit and determination. His fellow soldiers fell fighting. Outgunned and outnumbered, he still kept the enemy at bay until he finally succumbed to his injuries. His body was never found, but his memory remains fresh in folklore.

Every evening, successive units at the post prepare a bed for him and food is served for his soul, and the local hill population describe him as 'Captain sahib'. I am told that even now his paltan (battalion) refuses to suffix 'the late' to his name. Then there was Captain (now a retired colonel) S N Tandon, who won a Vir Chakra for gallantry. He and I were gentlemen cadets in the Naushera company of the Indian Military Academy in 1959. He confided in me in the late 1960s that when the soldiers of the PLA captured him as well as his commanding officer, the latter started crying, moaning that he would never be able to meet his wife and children in this life. Tandon being a bachelor had no such emotional outburst. The Chinese commissars, Tandon told me later, devoted a lot of time and energy to brainwashing Indian officers and men in the PoW camps. But this did not cut much ice because of family loyalties, and most of them remained steadfast and committed to the Indian values of life. My reverie was broken by my film crew, who pointed out that it was getting late and time to return to base. Where did you face us in 1962, asked Mr Qiao, one of the Chinese officials, in a light-hearted manner.

"Here, there, and everywhere," I replied, and we all laughed it away. Tomorrow would be another day, I said to myself, and tried to sleep. But sleep eluded me that night. The 1962 debacle of our army kept haunting me. Jawaharlal Nehru's words that China had stabbed India in the back by launching a dastardly attack crisscrossed my mind many a time. Now, four decades after the bitter war, I was their guest. The Chinese always kept emphasizing that they were not the aggressors. Chou En-lai, the then Chinese prime minister, and other Chinese decision-makers had taken Nehru's off-the-cuff statement made in Madras on October 12, 1962, that he had "ordered the Indian Army to throw the Chinese out" very seriously. The PLA in Tibet, where they were entrenched since 1950, mobilized to launch a pre-emptive attack on NEFA. In an academic discussion with my Chinese hosts, I asked them: "Didn't you fire the first shot?" The Chinese hosts replied that after Nehru's provocative statement amounting to a declaration of war, a self-respecting nation like China could not have waited to be attacked. I recall that the Americans were very sympathetic to the Indian Army's debacle in NEFA and were convinced that China was the aggressor. If memory serves me right, the Americans used the term 'Himalayan Pearl Harbour' to describe our discomfiture as akin to their own. The other view was that we Indians got what we had asked for. The author of India's China war, Neville Maxwell, exonerated the Chinese and said blaming them was 'a soothing fantasy' for the Indians.

When I look back over these 40 years of my own experience in the Indian Army as a student of military history, I feel that the last word on the subject has not been said. Perhaps a latter-day historian with an unbiased mind and access to declassified war diaries may arrive at this image-shattering deduction: the unpronounced rivalry between Nehru and Chou En-lai to play a dominant role in Asia was the root cause of the military conflict in 1962. Of course, undefined and undemarcated borders in the high Himalayas were a British legacy that the independent Indian government carried forward. The British imperial military power could sustain the theory of undefined borders and make inroads into Tibet. But independent India, without the backing of a mighty military machine, found the vagueness of borders a heavy burden, which was difficult to carry and not easy to shake off. The Chinese were gaining strength day by day after October 1, 1949, when New China was born.

Consequently, when the PLA moved into almost independent Tibet in 1950, the Indian foreign policy makers did not even whimper, let alone think of an intervention. The remnants of the Indian mission and post office in Lhasa were wound up post-haste. The Indian Tri-colour was never to flutter in the Lhasa breeze again. Reverting to the military operations in NEFA, we find that the 4th Indian military division degenerated into a complete rout without giving a sustained battle to the intruding Chinese. When the PLA launched its first wave of attacks on October 20, 1962, some Indian Army units in Walong on the far eastern side did offer determined resistance. But on the Dhola-Sela-Bomdilla axis it was a complete rout. In all fairness to the Chinese, it must be mentioned that they had offered a ceasefire and a negotiated withdrawal from Indian territory when they met stiff resistance in the Walong sector. But the Indian Army and political leadership --- wishing "to throw the Chinese out" --- found that a humiliating proposition. But throwing the Chinese out remained wishful thinking. On November 15, 1962, some Indian Army units launched a counter attack and gained limited success. There was a short thaw in the battle. Then the PLA inducted more men and new guns to renew a determined onslaught, which totally routed the Indian side. The magnitude of their attack had to be seen to be believed. Rumours in the Indian rank and file aided the Chinese more than their own military tactics. A mere whisper of Chinese soldiers being seen in the vicinity would send rank and file running for cover where none was available. To our eternal shame, the commanding general and his colonels, leave alone the jawans, deserted their posts and gave the Chinese army a free run up to the foothills near the town of Tezpur. Disabled jawans who had lost their limbs in snow and literally walked into Chinese PoW camps cursed themselves and their officers for the sad state. But military strategists all over the world appreciated that the Indian jawans even while retreating from battle, never abandoned their rifles. An unprepared army, ill-armed, ill-clad, and ill-trained for mountain warfare, had been ordered to give battle to seasoned PLA officers and men who had more than a decade's experience of mountain warfare in Tibet. The majority of the Indian soldiers did not have suitable winter clothing and proper footwear for snowbound battlefields. Ammunition was in short supply because quite a few ponies carried commodes for officers instead of ammunition for soldiers. The command and control from corps headquarters downwards was non-functional. Lieutenant General B M Kaul, commanding general of the newly raised 4 Corps at Tezpur, had never commanded an active fighting outfit notwithstanding his Sandhurst training.

Instead of planning military strategy at Tezpur or in forward areas, he wasted crucial days in Delhi nursing a sore throat. While the military situation of the Indian Army was in such a mess, the Chinese once again caught us by surprise by declaring a unilateral ceasefire as they had no visible Indian units to fight. In one stroke they scored a military-cum-diplomatic victory. I shall be failing in my duty, however, if I do not pay tribute to the gallantry of those who fought till the last round and last breath. Among them stands tall Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, commander of the Sela Brigade, who gave a bloody nose to the Chinese even after being cut off from his division headquarters at Bomdilla. He made the supreme sacrifice in action. Subedar Joginder Singh too went beyond the call of duty, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and saving the lives of his men. The nation honoured him with the Param Vir Chakra, the country's highest gallantry award in war, posthumously. They who died for the country still live in their countrymen's memory. We salute our martyrs, cherish their memories, and encourage our young ones to emulate them. Brigadier (retd) Chitranjan Sawant is a Sinologist and a qualified interpreter of Mandarin. He was deputed by the Government of India to study the Chinese language and affairs in California after the 1962 Sino-Indian war, when he was posted in the Ladakh sector. He has visited China and Tibet thrice and produced television documentaries.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bear-F validates INS Dega’s revamped runway

October 2 2007

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian Navy’s largest aircraft Tupolev TU-142, also called Bear-F, landed on the Naval Air Station INS Dega’s extended runway here on Monday morning to test its suitability for operation of Naval aircraft.

It marked a major achievement of enhancing the operational capabilities of Eastern Naval Command (ENC) at INS Dega and providing greater flexibility to Naval air operations.

The TU 142s are Naval maritime reconnaissance (MR) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft larger than an Airbus in size and weight and they can fly non-stop over distances greater than that covered by a Boeing 747.

These huge aircraft were inducted into the Indian Navy at Goa on March 30, 1988 and they form part of the Indian Naval Air Squadron 312 of INS Rajali, Arakkonam.

TU 142M, the largest and the fastest flying turbo-prop aircraft in the world, plays a crucial role in long range ASW and MR operations and has participated in various Naval operations like ‘Operation Cactus’ in Maldives and ‘Operation Pawan’ in Sri Lanka.

The aircraft commanded by Commander Gopal Natarajan, was received by ENC’s Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Commodore LVS Babu.

He presented a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the ENC Flag Officer Commanding - in - Chief Vice-Admiral RP Suthan, to Commander Gopal Natarajan and INS Dega Commanding Officer Captain G Prakash.
Kargil war hero missing in Nanda Devi snowstorm

New Delhi, October 4: A hero of the Kargil war, decorated with the Vir Chakra for fighting back pakistani army and terrorists at Siachen Glacier during Operation Vijay, is part of an Army mountaineering team that has been missing for over a week while climbing the Nanda Devi peak in the Garhwal Himalayas.

Major Shyamal Sinha, who won the gallantry award for courageous action against pakistani army and terrorists on the Southern Glacier in May 1999, was leading a five-member team to the 7,434-m high summit of the treacherous mountain when they lost contact with base camp during a severe snowstorm in the area.

Army sources said the last radio call from the team was received on September 26 afternoon saying that they were making their way back to a lower camp due to bad weather.

However, no word was received after a heavy snowfall and blizzard hit the entire Garhwal region. One JCO and three jawans, whose names have not been released, were also part of the team.

Army officers are hoping that Sinha, an experienced climber with an instructor grading from the Army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), managed to find cover for his team during the storm.

While search operations were initially hampered due to bad weather, an Air Force helicopter inserted specialised ground search teams from HAWS on Wednesday after a break in the snowfall.

“We carried out several sorties in the area but the snowfall has wiped out any traces,” an IAF officer said. Officials confirmed that regular sorties were being carried out in the area and a helicopter from the Army Aviation Wing had been kept on standby for rescue missions.

“Three ground based parties from HAWS are carrying out a thorough search operation in the area. We are hoping that they found some kind of cover to escape the storm,” an Army officer said.
Dhruv to be used to fight terror

Srinagar, Oct. 4 (PTI): After successful trials in the icy heights of Siachen, the indigenously-developed helicopter Dhruv has been inducted in the army for providing logistic support to the ground troops during counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

This multifaceted helicopter will provide a new capability to the security forces in the state and can also be effectively used for disaster relief, search and rescue operations and casualty evacuation, a defence spokesman said today.

Dhruv, the multi-role advanced light helicopter, would be stationed at army's state-of-the-art aviation base at Manasbal in Ganderbal district.

Developed by Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, this versatile new generation helicopter is capable of carrying out multiple tasks at the same time.

A scintillating display of formation flying, high gravity manoeuvres, slithering operations and high speed small team insertion operations were given by a team of Dhruv helicopters led by commanding officer of the squadron Colonel Rakesh Kapoor at the inauguration of the Manasbal aviation base on Monday, the spokesman said.

The Dhruv helicopters had successfully conducted test trials in the Siachen in February this year.

After its induction, Dhruv will join the Mi-17, Chetak, Cheeta and Chetan helicopters, which fly daily in Siachen skies for logistic, communication, casualty evacuation and supply support.
India Ready To Sell Supersonic Brahmos Missile To Malaysia

October 04, 2007

NEW DELHI - India is ready to sell to Malaysia the supersonic Brahmos missile that is being produced under a joint venture with Russia.

Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd's chief executive officer Dr A. Sivathanu Pillai said India would only sell the sophisticated missiles to countries that are friendly and those considered as strategic partners in India's security equation.

"We have made a list of countries which are interested in our product and those with the defence budget to spend. In that list, definitely Malaysia is one of them because we have seen the interest shown by the country at our exhibitions in Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur," he said.

"So we are in a good understanding but this is not sufficient. What is needed is that the government of Malaysia should write officially to the government of India to form a strategic partnership," he told Bernama in an interview at Brahmos' headquarters here.

Indian and Russian scientists have designed and developed the cruise missile which is said to be three times faster and more accurate in hitting enemy targets than the American-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.

The missile, with the acronym Brahmos derived from India's Brahamputra River and Moscow River, comes from a joint venture between India's reputable Defence Research and Development Organisation and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.

The project had started in 1998 and the first missile was test-fired in 2001.

Following that, at least six other tests were carried out without any flaw discovered.

The versatile missile can be launched from multiple platforms -- land, sea, sub-sea and air. It can also be installed on the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet.

Malaysia had purchased 18 Russian-made Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft in 2003.

The Brahmos missile, primarily an anti-ship missile, is capable of carrying warheads of up to 660 pounds and easily reach enemy target at a distance of 290 kilometres.

"We sell weapons to create strategic relationships, and both countries become very dependent when an important weapon is sold. I sincerely hope that Brahmos is going to build very strong relationships between India and many other countries," Pillai said.

Industry sources said that besides Malaysia, countries like Chile, Kuwait, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates have expressed interest in the Indian-Russian-made missile.

At least 1,000 of these high supersonic missiles are expected to be sold to friendly countries and the first export could be next year.
IAF seeks govt nod to take part in 'Red Flag' war games
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->5 Oct 2007

NEW DELHI: In a move that could raise the hackles of the Left parties, the Indian Air Force has sought the government's nod to take part in the world's most advanced aerial combat training exercises, ironically labelled "Red Flag", hosted by the US.

The IAF wants to take part in the exercises slated for January 2008 and has sought government's clearance, Air Force Chief Fali Homi Major said here on Friday.

If the government gives the nod, this would be the second time in months that the Indian armed forces would be engaged in war games with US and its NATO allies.

Last month Indian warships conducted war maneouvers with ships, submarines and fighters from US, Australia, Japan and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal, which triggered widespread protests from left parties.

"We have bid to take part in the exercises in 2008, which are most sought after by air forces the world over," Major told reporters during an interaction here.

The Red Flag exercises are conducted in four to six cycles a year by the 414th Combat training squadron of the US Air Force to train fighter pilots from US, NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations by using live hardware and ammunition.

The exercises are conducted within the Nellis range complex, located northwest of Las Vegas, which covers an area of 60 nautical miles by 100 nautical miles approximately half the area of Switzerland.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
IAF to look a new force within next five years
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->5 Oct 2007

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force expects to regain its optimum fighting capability of 39 fighter squadrons within the next five years, air force chief Fali Homi Major said on Friday.

In next five years, Major said the country's air force would have longer reach fighters in the shape of new Multi Role Combat Aircraft, new line of helicopters and transport planes, armed and anti-radiation Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAV) and new range of offensive and defensive missiles.

A major revamp is underway, which will see reduction of the variety of fighters in IAF's arsenal and a comprehensive tone up of its air defence with induction of AWACS, medium and high powered radars and new range of ground to air missiles.

Outlining measures to boost IAF's reach, Air Chief Marshal Major said global tenders had been floated for purchase of four more air to air refuellers.

"We are awaiting the response to these". IAF already has inducted six Uzbekistan made IL-78 mid air refullers. However, Major did not indicate whether IAF would go for the same aircraft or prefer purchasing American or French tankers.

He said India was close to inking the deal for joint development and manufacture of the fifth generation fighter and multi role transport aircraft with Russia.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
“Do Not Let Any Terrorist Escape” : Last Words Of Martyr Major D Raghuraman
The mortal remains of martyr Maj D Raghuraman of 34 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) were consigned to flames here today. A large number of serving and veteran officers, jawans and their families paid tributes to the brave officer.

A wreath was placed on behalf of Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor. Lt Gen KPD Samanta, Director General Rashtriya Rifles and Brig HPS Dhillon, Station Commander Delhi were also present. Officers from 34 Rashtriya Rifles, 19 JAT (parent unit of the officer), Army HQ and his course mates spoke about his life and achievements in glowing terms.

Maj Raghuraman was a company commander in 34 RR. On hearing about the initial contact he rushed to the site and engaged the militants, nine of whom were killed eventually in this encounter.

A product of National Defence Academy, he is the son of an ex-serviceman. His only sibling, Surgical Lt (Miss) Aparna is a doctor serving the Navy at INHS Patanjali at Karwar. His wife, Mrs Latha is an employee of TCS and was on an assignment in London till recently. She is expecting her first child in two months time.

On being injured, Maj Raghuraman was evacuated by a helicopter to Army’s Base Hospital at Srinagar. Till then in his senses, the brave officer told his Commanding Officer, Col Harjinder Singh that he should not let any terrorist escape. These were his last words.

Veteran Sub Maj (Hony Capt) S Krishnamurty, his father said that while he was proud to be the father of a martyr, despite having lost his son in the service of the nation he would still advise his grand child, who is yet to be born, to join the Army and serve the nation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Dhruv flown at 27,500 feet
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv is doing wonders at the newly opened high-altitude airbase at Manasbal (Srinagar) close to the Siachen area.

Three of its pilots were the first to take the ALH to heights higher than Manasbal, which was also the first time an Indian helicopter was taken to that height.

C D Upadhyay, Unni Pillai and M U Khan flew the ALH at an incredible altitude of 27,500 feet in the Siachen area braving icy winds.

Upadhyay describes that flight: "We started climbing stage by stage... 20,000 feet, 23, 24, 25, 26 and then 27,500. It had never been done before. We were hovering and watching a Cheetal (another helicopter) land just below us at 25,100 feet. Landing at that height isn’t easy. We were ready to pick up the pilot if something went wrong.

"Naturally, we had to be at a higher altitude. It was cold and we were wrapped in woollens. There wasn't a single rattle at 27,500 ft... We'd worked out if the Cheetal could make 25,000 feet, the ALH could do more. We hadn't tried it on the Siachen Glacier. We succeeded."

Upadhyay and his co-pilots tried out the copter at that height above the Leh runway and the hills before taking on the glacier.

Minutes before the flight, Upadhyay said: "We checked the engine, then the software. It was fine. We were confident the copter would perform 100 per cent. Then we checked on the oxygen. At 27,000 feet, you need pressurised oxygen and a continuous supply. We ensured that. We did all the checks. We just took-off. The ALH was a beauty."

Upadhyay and his co-pilots were the first to put the ALH through the glacier. They flew it in extreme cold conditions. They flew it after an overnight soak. Then in chilly winds, almost blizzard-like conditions.

Upadhyay and co. did not have risk on their mind. "We didn't have the time to think. So there was no worrying. In any case, flying is part of our life. We have done it before and we'll keep doing it in future. If you love what you do, you don't think of what turns out for you. You learn to expect that in a pilot's life."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Something amiss in the 1971 story </b>
Second Opinion: HP Hande
Former Army Chief Gen JJ Singh's suggestion that the records of 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars be made public is pertinent. Recently some articles appeared in the media exposing the guarded secrets in the sinking of INS Kuthar and the way Indian Navy hijacked the credit for shelling oil depots at Karachi and scooped up gallantry awards that were rightfully due to IAF Hunter Pilots.

In the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the Pakistan Air Force was virtually grounded by the IAF within 48 hours. Pakistan's air defence became ineffective and their 'fighters' scared despite possessing lethal and high-tech aircraft. Their bombers would sneak in during the night, dump the bombs in the wilderness of the Thar desert and report back claiming to have bombed IAF bases and installations. A plum opportunity to completely destroy Pakistan's military machine and war potential was irrevocably lost by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

I was one of the five officers of the 'Bomber Operations Cell' at Air Headquarters during the 1971 conflict. On the penultimate day of the war, we received orders to send only one Canberra bomber with six 1000-pound bombs to be dropped over Skardu and Gilgit, which had become Divisional Headquarters of Pakistan Army in PoK. We were shocked on receiving this foolish instruction. This was no way to fight a war when we had at least 40 Canberra bombers, loaded with eight 1000-pound bombs each, poised to demolish Pakistan Army concentration at Skardu and Gilgit. That would have taught their Army a lesson.

<b>In a war there are no runners up. Either you love properly or hate properly. No doubt, some would try to defend the then leadership saying that the US's Seventh Fleet was breathing down our neck. If that was the reason to pull our punches, the then leadership was indeed paranoid. Granting that the Government lacked the will power, it could have called off the air operations altogether, instead of ordering a one-bomber raid.</b>

<b>As a retired Air Force flier having given the prime of my youth to the nation, I wrote to one of the former Chiefs of Air Staff requesting him to let the nation know who bungled on Skardu and Gilgit. He said something to the effect that it was not worth delving into the matter at this belated stage as long as we learnt the lessons. It must now come out in the open. The country has the right to know</b>

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