PM clears 17000 cr air defence missile deal with Israel

PM Narendra Modi clears Rs 17,000 crore Air Defence Missile Deal with Israel

PM Shri Narendra Modi has given the green-signal to purchase an Air Defence Missile System from Israel as part of a plan to protect India from enemy aircraft.

PM, microstatIndia will acquire the Medium Range Surface to Air Defence Missile (MR-SAM) system from Israel at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore.

As part of the plan, the Army will induct more than five regiments of MR-SAM, which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles.

“In a meeting of the cabinet committee on security headed by the Prime Minister, the proposal for procuring the MR-SAM air defence system for the Army was approved,” India Today quoted an official as saying.

The MR-SAM system, jointly developed by DRDO and Israeli Aircraft Industry, reportedly can shoot down enemy aircraft between 50 to 70 km range.

“The delivery of the first system for the Army units will begin in 72 months of the signing of the contract and they would be ready for deployment in field areas by the year 2023,” the report said citing sources. India and Israel are jointly developing similar systems for the Air Force and the Navy.

WHAT’S NEW?

As per the proposal cleared by the government, the Army will induct over five regiments of the MR-SAM missile which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles of the system. “The delivery of the first system for the Army units will begin in 72 months of the signing of the contract and they would be ready for deployment in field areas by the year 2023,” said the sources.

A DRDO laboratory under scientific advisor to defence minister and missile systems head G Sathish Reddy has been instrumental in developing the target homing system with the Israeli firms and involves a lot of make in India element in the programme. India and Israel are jointly developing similar systems for the Air Force and the Navy.

The Air Force had got clearance for its MR-SAM programme in 2009 and the deliveries will begin after delays in the project. The Navy programme is known as Long Range Surface to Air Missile system (LR-SAM) and would be set on its warships.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamis Limited will produce the missiles of the system while many other Indian industries like Bharat Electronics Ltd, Larsen and Toubro, TATA group will contribute in the production for many systems and sub-systems in it. A new production facility to deliver 100 missiles a year has been established for such type of long and medium range surface-to-air missiles at BDL.

The Army will deploy these air defence systems to provide protection to vital assets and points across the country.

-February 23, 2017, New Delhi

Russia to lease second nuclear submarine to India: Report

Russia to lease second nuclear submarine to India: Report

Russia agreed to lease a second nuclear attack submarine worth $2 billion to India. Other major defence deals also were inked during the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa last week, a report said.

Russia

A report written by Alexei Nikolsky, a columnist with Russian daily Vedomosti, quoted an unnamed person from Russian defence ministry as saying that an agreement was signed in Goa for “leasing multipurpose nuclear submarine of Project 971 from the Russian Navy”.

Project 971 is the Russian Akula class submarine, on which India’s indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant is based.

The agreement was not announced by the two sides during the summit, where India and Russia also signed contracts worth around Rs 60,000 crore for S-400 Air Defence Systems, Ka-226T helicopters, and frigates which will be made in India.

The Indian Navy and the Defence Ministry have not commented on the report yet.

On Tuesday, asked about leasing a second nuclear submarine from Russia, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition in Indian Navy Vice Admiral G.S. Pabby had refused to comment on its status.

The Indian Navy already operates one Akula 2 class nuclear submarine, Nerpa, now called INS Chakra, which was leased by Russia for 10 years.

It was commissioned in the navy on April 4, 2012. Meanwhile, indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has been inducted in the navy as well amidst secrecy.

Built in the Soviet Union as the Bars Class 971, Akula is the NATO reporting name for the submarines.

-19 October 2016 | IANS | New Delhi

Seeker to revolutionise Indian Defence

Seeker to revolutionise Indian Defence

India and Israel are expected to ink a significant Defence deal worth over Rs50,000 crore for Seeker technology ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tel Aviv later this year. The cutting-edge technology will help India take a giant leap forward in manufacturing smart weapons within the country and rapidly modernise missile and rocket system used by the IAF, Army and Navy.

The talks for wrapping up the deal are in advanced stage between the two countries and Israel has agreed to transfer the expertise to develop and manufacture Seeker technology. It will enable the Defence forces to identify, acquire and then destroy an enemy missile or aircraft at long range or beyond visual range.

In simple terms, it means a warship can fire a missile at a hostile target at more than 200 km distance without visually sighting it as compared to the present 50 to 60 km. Seeker technology will also revolutionise the armoured corps as tanks will hit a target at a greater distance and same will be the case for fighter jets. In fact, this technology will cover the entire gamut of missiles ranging from Akash to Long Range Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) used by the three Services.

Elaborating upon the importance of this proposed deal, officials said here on Saturday the countries including the US and some European countries are reluctant to transfer Seeker technology to India resulting in the country’s missile system lagging behind by at least two generations.

Against this backdrop, Israel has given a clear signal that it will provide the critical ‘know why’ instead of ‘know how’. Starved of  the state-of-the-art technology, the Indian industry depends on know how or technology transfer but has not been able to master entire process of manufacturing a smart weapon from scratch. In turn, it hampers the faster modernisation of the armed forces as they are using weapons which are at least 15 to 20 years behind in terms of technological advancement as compared to the US, China and NATO countries.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be the lead agency in developing this technology. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had given an “in-principle” approval for setting up of an Rs6,000-crore facility by the DRDO for air missile defence systems last year.

Besides the Seeker technology deal, the two countries are likely to ink a Rs10,000-crore deal for joint development of a medium-range surface-to-air missile system for the Indian Army.

The other pacts include procurement of 164 laser-designation pods or ‘Litening-4’ for IAF fighters like SU-30s and Jaguars as well as 250 advanced ‘Spice’ precision stand-off bombs capable of destroying  fortified enemy underground command centres. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by the Prime Minister may clear it next month, sources said.

Talks are also underway to finalise a Rs3,200-crore contract for 321 ‘Spike’ anti tank guided (ATGM) systems and 8,356 missiles. The Army is in urgent need for third-generation ATGMs, with a strike range of over 2.5-km and fire-and-forget capabilities, to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units.

The NDA Government in 2014 had selected the Israeli Spike ATGM over the US Javelin missile system, but the actual contract could not be inked due to some issues. The project involves an initial off-the-shelf induction, followed by large-scale indigenous manufacture by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).

The proposed medium range surface to air missile (MRSAM) project between DRDO and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), too, is a big ticket item, officials said. The initial order is for one MRSAM regiment, with 16 firing units along with their multifunction surveillance and weapon control systems. BDL will manufacture these missiles. DRDO and IAI are already engaged in a project worth over Rs13,000 crore for Navy and IAF for developing similar missiles.

Incidentally, the Israel Defence industry is closely involved with the DRDO in more than 30 projects, including development of radars, electronic warfare systems and satellite based command and control systems for the three Services.

Moreover, Israeli made Greenpine radars are successfully integrated into the Agni missiles systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Israel is now the third largest weapon supplier after the US and Russia to India since diplomatic ties between the two nations were established in 1990.

-28 February 2016 | Rahul Datta | New Delhi

DAC clears Rs65,000-cr Defence procurements

DAC clears Rs 65000-cr Defence procurements

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday cleared procurements worth over Rs 65,000 crore — including purchase of S-400 Triumf air Defence system worth over Rs 39,000 crore from Russia, six new Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher regiments costing Rs14,600 crore and five support ships to the tune of Rs9,000 crore.

Chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the DAC also gave its nod for procurement of 571 bulletproof vehicles worth Rs310 crore for the Army for its counter-insurgency operations and 120 trawls to clear anti-tank mines. These trawls to be bought from Russia will be fitted on to T-72 and T-90 tanks.

The most important clearance, however, was for the five units of S-400 missile systems for the IAF as it is a critical operational requirement.

This Russian-made air Defence missile system is rated to be the most advanced equipment in the world as it can track and shoot down a missile or a hostile aircraft at a distance of more than 400 km.  Incidentally, China has already placed an order for ten such systems from Russia.

It had inducted these missiles in 2007. Officials said the final price of the S-400 system will be decided during price negotiations expected to start sometime next year. They also said induction of S-400s will increase air Defence capability manifold as it can ward off a threat from long range.

The deal is likely to figure during summit level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin during Modi’s visit to Moscow later this month.

Among the other deals, the DAC okayed raising of six more Pinaka regiments. The deal is under the ‘Make-In-India’ category and the Army will procure these rocket launchers from Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). The Army already has two regiments and two more are in process of getting raised. One regiment has 18 multi-barrel rocket launchers.

In an effort to provide more security to troops engaged in anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir, the DAC approved procurement of 571 light bulletproof vehicles under the ‘Buy Indian’ category. Private manufacturers specialising in this field of bulletproof vehicles will figure prominently in this project, officials said.

Another proposal to enable the Army to effectively monitor enemy communication in mountainous region — including interception, better communication and jamming, the DAC approved procurement of two electronic warfare system sets. The project will cost Rs 425 crore and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) will manufacture it.

The Navy was given the go-ahead for five fleet support vessels to provide logistic back up to warships operating far from shore. The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HAL) will build these ships which double up as tankers and workshops and each ship will weigh more than 30,000 tonnes. The DAC last year had approved this project under ‘Buy India’ category through open tender but changed it to ‘Make in India’ on Thursday, officials said. The IAF got the nod for a project worth over Rs 1,200 crore for digitisation of its 24 Pichora air Defence missile system. This proposal falls in the category of ‘Buy and Make in India,’ officials added.

-18 December 2015 | PNS | New Delhi

India test-fires interceptor missile

India test-fires interceptor missile

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Sunday test-fired an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile from Abdul Kalam island in Odisha’s Balesore district on Sunday.
The flight test of the improved version of indigenously developed endo-atmosphereic interceptor missile was conducted against an electronic target from the Kalam Island at Dhamra at about 9.40 a.m., said DRDO sources.
 
After getting signals from tracking radars, the interceptor roared through its trajectory to destroy the incoming missile mid-air, defence sources said.
“We are analysing the data received through the radars to ascertain the impact of the missile,” a DRDO official said.
Radars were stationed at Konark and Paradip coast to monitor the behaviour of the interceptor missile, sources said.
It was the 11th development test by DRDO. Earlier, of the 10 tests eight have been successful.
-22 November 2015 | IANS | Bhubaneswar

‘India’s nuke programme among largest in developing nations’

‘India’s nuke programme among largest in developing nations’

Stating that India has “one of the largest nuclear power programmes” among developing nations, a US-based think-tank today said by the end of 2014 India had enough weapon-grade plutonium to possess an estimated stock of atomic weapons in the range of 75-125.
'India's nuke programme among largest in developing nations'
“An estimate of India’s nuclear arsenal can be derived by considering its weapon-grade plutonium stock. The resulting estimate has a median of 138 nuclear weapons equivalent with a range of 110 to 175 weapons equivalent,” a report released by Institute for Science and International Security said.
“However, the actual number of nuclear weapons India built from its stocks of weapon-grade plutonium must be less. When accounting for the amount of plutonium in the weapons production pipelines and in reserves, it is reasonable to assume that only about 70 per cent of the estimated stock of weapon-grade uranium is in nuclear weapons,” the report said.
“Thus the predicted number of weapons made from its weapon-grade plutonium at the end of 2014 is about 97 with a range of 77-123. These values are rounded to 100 nuclear weapons with a range of 75-125 nuclear weapons,” the report co-authored by David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini said.
Notably, Albright had led anti-India campaign both at the Congress and among the think-tanks against the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.
The report ‘India’s Stocks of Civil and Military Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium, End 2014’ concludes that India has “one of the largest nuclear power programmes among developing nations”.
The report estimated that India has made 100-200 kilogrammes of weapon-grade uranium for nuclear weapons.
“Faced with a lack of information but evidence that India has produced HEU (highly enriched uranium) for nuclear weapons, it is assumed that India has made 100-200 kilogrammes of weapon-grade uranium for nuclear weapons. Of course, this estimate is highly uncertain,” the report said.
“It has a substantial stock of nuclear weapons made from weapon-grade plutonium, and perhaps some thermonuclear weapons that rely on both weapon-grade plutonium and weapon-grade uranium,” the report said.
Noting that an estimate of India’s nuclear arsenal can be derived by considering its plutonium and highly enriched uranium stocks, the report said India separates plutonium produced primarily in a set of small, dedicated reactors and a smaller amount produced in nuclear power reactors.
“However, India also has a growing gas centrifuge programme capable of producing significant amounts of HEU mostly for naval reactor fuel and perhaps for nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons,” it said and alleged that India is not transparent about its fissile material stocks.
The report estimates India’s stocks of separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium as of the end of 2014. India’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons is much less than that of neighboring Pakistan, according to a recent report.

After Air Force, Navy opens doors to women pilots

After Air Force, Navy opens doors to women pilots

Women officers of the Indian Navy marching during the 66th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi. Photo: S. Subramanium
Women officers of the Indian Navy marching during
the 66th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath in New Delhi. Photo: S. Subramanium

Days after the Indian Air Force announced that it will induct women as fighter pilots, the Navy has decided to allow women pilots in various streams. However, for now they will be shore-based till necessary infrastructural needs are addressed. The Army and Navy are also looking into the issue of appointing women in combat roles.

“All flying areas in the Navy will be opened for women except where it requires staying overnight on ships like carriers and so on,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said while interacting with the media after addressing the Naval Commanders Conference which began on Monday. “We want to give women equal status as long as there are no logistical, infrastructure and training issues.”

In a major decision at altering the status quo in the male dominated military, the Defence Ministry had last week announced that by June 2017 the first batch of women fighter pilots would be serving the Air Force.

On the issue of Permanent Commission (PC) to women in the Navy, Mr. Parrikar observed that there was “no gender bias” in the Navy. Last month, in a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court granted PC for women and pulled up the Navy and the Defence Ministry for “sexist bias” to block women’s progress.

Clarifying that the 1991 Order on PC was gender neutral, Mr. Parrikar said that it only stated that there can be no PC for Short Service Commission (SSC) officers. He added that in 2008, PC was granted for women officers in three streams — education, law and construction.

New maritime strategy

On the occasion of the Naval Commanders Conference, the Navy unveiled a new maritime strategy, changing it in tune with “perspectives and challenges”. We will be aggressive in defending our interests, said Mr. Parrikar in response to a question. The current Maritime Doctrine was promulgated in 2009 but the dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region have vastly changed since.

– (The Hindu), DINAKAR PERINEW DELHI, October 26, 2015