Tag Archives: Indian

Tender for 56 Indian Naval Choppers Scrapped

By on Monday, October 20th, 2014

A tender for procuring 56 naval helicopters from abroad at an estimated cost of Rs 9,000 crore was on Tuesday scrapped by the Defence Ministry which decided to get them manufactured in India by local players with foreign collaboration.

This is the third helicopter tender in the recent months to have been scrapped by the government since the cancellation of Rs 3600 crore VVIP chopper deal with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland in the wake of bribery allegations on January one this year.

The tender for procuring 56 Naval Utility Helicopters has been scrapped and a fresh acquisition process would be initiated where these choppers would be made in the country involving Indian manufacturers who will be allowed to partner with the foreign vendors, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.

Two contenders were in the race for this Rs 9,000 crore tender including the European Airbus Helicopters and AgustaWestland and they have been intimated about the decision, the sources said.

The Navy had plans of using these choppers for replacing its aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which have been in service for over 30-35 years.

The tender was issued two years ago by the Navy for procuring twin-engine choppers and was sent to major chopper makers including US firm Sikorsky, Eurocopter, Kamov and Italy’s Agusta Westland.

In the tender, the Navy has specified that the 4.5 tonne helicopters should have twin-engines to allow them to operate in rough sea conditions.

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Indian Airforce Chief Concerned By Fighter Delays

Indian top-gun pilots are slowly but surely running out of combat-worthy fighters to fly. Faced with the twin-threat from China and Pakistan, the IAF has once again sounded the red-alert over the huge delays dogging all its three fighter induction projects.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Saturday said the delays in the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project, the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft program and the joint development of the futuristic stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) with Russia, should be a major concern for the entire country.

“Every project, be it acquisition or design and development, is taking longer than it should. We have lost timelines. We have quite a few fleets which are on their last legs. It’s definitely a concern,” said ACM Raha, ahead of the IAF’s 82nd anniversary on October 8.

Down to just 34 fighter squadrons, which includes 14 of ageing and virtually obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s, IAF is obviously worried about its fast-depleting air combat power when both China and Pakistan continue to flex their muscles along the borders. It requires at least 44 squadrons to be at ease against both.

Responding to the military standoff with China in Chumar and Demchok sectors of eastern Ladakh last month, which coincided with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, the IAF chief said it was “mysterious” how such border incursions took place during high-profile visits.

“In diplomacy, some signaling is done. I am not going to guess why it was done. But we are not giving ground to anyone,” said ACM Raha, who is also the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee. He admitted it would take four to five years to plug all operational and infrastructure gaps in Ladakh and the north-east.

The new Modi government is showing “great urgency” in “expediting” processes and projects. With all the three Service chiefs meeting the PM on a one-on-one basis every month, every project is being reviewed and accountability being fixed, he said.

But it will take a lot of doing. The indigenous Tejas fighter, in the making for over 30 years now, for instance is still far from becoming fully combat-ready. Tejas also cannot replace the need for a MMRCA since the light-weight fighter has a shorter-range and less weapon-load carrying capability. It will not, for instance, be capable of deep-penetration attacks into China.

Similarly, the final commercial negotiations for the almost $20 billion MMRCA project — the global tender for which was floated in August 2007 – for 126 French Rafale fighters have proceeded at a glacial pace.

Though the work of three sub-committees dealing with technical maintenance, offsets and transfer of technology has been completed, sources said Dassault Aviation is still reluctant to take responsibility, with warranty and liquidity damages, for the 108 Rafale jets to be made in India by Hindustan Aeronautics.

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Chinese, Indian militaries vow cooperation: Xinhua

Top Chinese and Indian military officials vowed to boost cooperation between the Asian giants during a rare visit by the head of India’s army, state media reported.

General Bikram Singh, the first Indian army chief to visit China since 2005, held talks Thursday with Fan Changlong, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Relations between the rising powers are generally positive but have suffered from lingering distrust over an unresolved border dispute and a brief war a half century ago.

The frontier issue flared up again in April last year with New Delhi accusing Chinese troops of intruding nearly 20 kilometres (12 miles) into Indian-claimed territory, triggering a three-week standoff that was resolved when forces from both sides pulled back.

“Our common interests far outweigh our differences,” Fan told Singh. “Both countries have sufficient wisdom and capability to deal with historical problems.”

Singh stressed that the two countries were not rivals, the report said, and military communication and interaction were important to make sure the border areas were peaceful.

Xinhua said that Singh’s visit, following India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking office in May, “is regarded as a positive signal from India to interact with China’s political and military leaders”.

China’s willingness to stress cooperation with India over their dispute contrasts with the harder line Beijing has taken in maritime disputes in the South China Sea with the Philippines and Vietnam and the East China Sea with Japan.

China and India are both members of the BRICS grouping, along with Brazil, Russia and South Africa, and Singh’s four-day visit follows one last week by Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

Singh also met Fang Fenghui, chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Xinhua said.

Fang said the two sides should expand cooperation in areas including joint exercises, peacekeeping and anti-terrorism, the report said.

“Both sides should strengthen border control to prevent disruptions to the broader military-to-military relationship and bilateral ties,” Fang said.

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India-Russia Missile Successfully Test Fired from Indian Warship

By on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

India’s armed forces successfully test launched a BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, developed jointly with Russia, from the country’s newest warship INS Kolkata, the PTI news agency reported Monday quoting Indian defense officials.

The missile-launch took place earlier this morning off the west coast of India near the Karwar military base in Karnataka. During the test all the requirements were met, the officials said.

The missile was created by the Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace founded in 1998 by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization and Russian rocket design bureau Mashinostroyeniya. The venture was named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra in India and Russia’s Moskva.

Deliveries of BrahMos missiles to the Indian Armed Forces started in 2005. BrahMos, which is the world’s fastest cruise missile in operation, can travel at speeds of up to Mach 3. The missile has a maximum range of 290 km and can carry a warhead of up to 300 kg.

Ground and sea trials of the missile have already been successful. The BrahMos is expected to be deployed with Su-30MKI fighter-bombers jointly developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force.

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Indian arms imports almost triple China, Pakistan: study

PARIS: India remains the biggest buyer of arms in the world, importing nearly three times as many weapons as its nearest competitors China and Pakistan over the last five years, a Swedish think tank said on Monday.

The total volume of arms sales was up 14 per cent in 2009-13 compared to the previous five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111 per cent in the last five years compared to 2004-08. Its share of total global arms imports increased from 7 to 14 per cent, SIPRI said.

India replaced China as the world’s biggest arms buyer in 2010. With its domestic defence industry struggling to manufacture high-tech arms, India is in the midst of a defence spending binge as it struggles to keep up with better-equipped Chinese forces and a range of military challenges in its volatile neighborhood.

The main supplier of arms to India in 2009-13 was Russia, accounting for 75 per cent of all imports — reflecting India’s need to upgrade and modernize weapons systems dating back to their close relationship during the Cold War. India has lately sought to diversify its sources, looking particularly to the United States.

Figures from IHS Jane’s released in February showed that India became the biggest buyer of US weapons last year — with total imports worth $1.9 billion, and a string of large-scale purchases including Boeing’s C-17A transport aircraft and P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

In 2009-13, however, the US still accounted for only 7 per cent of India’s purchases according to SIPRI.

India’s traditional rival Pakistan increased its weapons acquisitions by 119 per cent, growing from 2 per cent of the global total to 5 per cent during that period.

The five largest arms suppliers worldwide between 2009 and 2013 were the United States (29 per cent of global exports), Russia (27 per cent), Germany (7 per cent), China (6 per cent) and France (5 per cent).

They collectively accounted for 74 per cent of total arms exports, SIPRI said.

The world’s top five arms importers were now India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations,” said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program.

“In particular, China and the USA appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region,” Wezeman said.

Arms exports to Africa between 2004-08 and 2009-13 jumped 53 per cent. The three largest importers in the region were Algeria, Morocco and Sudan.

Imports by European nations decreased by 25 per cent between 2004-2008 and 2009-13.

Britain was the largest importer of major weapons in Europe (receiving 12 per cent of deliveries), followed by Azerbaijan (12 per cent) and Greece (11 per cent).

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Measures Implemented to Enhance Safety in the Indian Navy

The Indian Navy, in recent years, has taken a quantum leap in operational ability with the induction of a large number of sophisticated platforms, deployed across all three dimensions. The fast pace of operations, accentuated by increasing complexities often puts men and material under strain, thus requiring stringent adherence to safety procedures.

The Indian Navy is sensitive of the fact that all naval evolutions need to be effectively undertaken within a well-defined safety operating envelope. Accordingly, ‘safety culture’ as a way of life, amongst personnel, traditionally forms a part of naval ethos, and several initiatives have additionally been introduced based on emerging requirements.

To inculcate a ‘think safety’ attitude amongst naval personnel, training in safety is undertaken from the ab-initio stage itself and is reinforced at all stages of the naval career.

In case of a long lay-off such as refits of ships and submarines, which could extend from a few months to a year or more, ‘Safety Checks’ in harbor and at sea are undertaken prior to declaring the ship/submarine ‘operational’. Safety also forms an important aspect during the ‘work-up’ of a ship or submarine which is usually undertaken at least once in two years. Work-up of ships are undertaken by a specialized team of officers and sailors operating under the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST). Similar safety checks are undertaken for submarines, air-squadrons and air bases by their respective Operational Authorities. Safety standards are also ‘checked’ during audit and inspections by the Command Staff, during the Annual Inspections by the Operational Authorities.

To further promote safety culture, it was decided to introduce a framework comprising Safety Class Authorities (SCAs) who essentially are experts in their respective fields. These authorities undertake various safety related measures such as promulgation of analysis of incidents/accidents, policy guidelines on safety, safety awareness programs, etc.

Post recent incidents onboard submarines, safety stand-downs were ordered and extensive checks on weapon related safety systems and audit of Standard Operating Procedures on all operational submarines were ordered. In accordance with current regulations, any incident is thoroughly investigated to not just identify any errors, but more importantly, to address critical areas on material and training related aspects so as to prevent recurrence of incidents. The analysis of all incidents is also being promulgated to the concerned training establishments and Operational Authorities for further dissemination of corrective measures.

As an added step, NHQ directed conduct of safety ‘stand-down’ and a one-time safety audits prior operational deployment of any ship or submarine. This has since been institutionalized as a regular annual audit for all operational units. The procedures involve ‘Safety Audits’ of all operational units by nominated teams at the Command and Operational levels. Safety templates to undertake these audits in respect of ships, submarines, air-squadrons and air-bases have also been promulgated. Besides, water tight integrity and fire-fighting preparedness of units under refit have been ordered once a quarter. A feedback procedure has also been institutionalized and is being nominated at Naval Headquarters.

The Indian Navy is seized of the fact that safety of men and material is vital and is a necessary component of any armed forces organization. The promotion of safety culture and consciousness is however not intended to curb the traditional naval ethos of initiative and boldness. The observance of ‘safety first, safety always’ is therefore intended to strengthen the professional approach to enhance combat capability and to facilitate conduct of naval operations with the desired elan.

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First Indian MiG-29 Fighter Jet Lands on Vikramaditya

By on Monday, February 10th, 2014

An Indian MiG-29 naval jet landed on a refitted former Soviet aircraft carrier Friday, marking the first such operation since the ship was delivered by Russia to the south Asian nation earlier this year.

“An exciting event took place today – the first landing of an [Indian] MiG-29 piloted by an Indian pilot on the Vikramaditya,” Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation vice president Igor Ponomarev told reporters at the ongoing DEFEXPO-2014 exhibition in New Delhi.

The Vikramaditya, formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov, was handed over to the Indian navy on November 16 at the Semvash shipbuilder and arrived at a naval base in Kanwar in the beginning of January.

The process of the ship’s official commissioning will take between three and four months, according to the Indian navy. A team of Russian specialists arrived onboard the ship and will stay in India for a year to fix any possible glitches if needed.

The Indian Navy commissioned its first squadron of MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters in 2013.

The squadron, dubbed the “Black Panthers,” comprises 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs, which Russia supplied under a 2004 contract with the Indian Defense Ministry.

The aircraft have until now been stationed at an airbase in Dabolim, in the state of Goa on India’s west coast.

In January 2010, New Delhi and Moscow signed a deal worth $1.2 billion for the delivery of an additional 29 MiG-29Ks to the Indian navy.

The Vikramaditya is expected to carry up to 24 MiG-29K/KUB fighter jets.

India has built with Russia’s assistance a training facility for naval pilots to practice aircraft carrier operations.

The facility, known as NITKA, features a takeoff ramp and arrestor cables to enable naval aviators to practice high-precision and high-acceleration takeoffs and landings.

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