The intent of the government at the Centre has been very clear – to aggressively indigenise the Indian defence industrial sector. But from ‘intent’ to ‘delivery’ there is a huge mismatch, primarily because the bureaucracy has been playing spoilsport.
The military is undoubtedly a powerful instrument of state policy for securing vital national interests. Military diplomacy is symbolic of strategic signaling and ability of a nation to use the military as a tool of national power. Joint military training, multinational exercises, port calls by naval ships, military to military dialogues, imparting training and cross-attachment of military personals is part of military diplomacy and military to military engagement.
India-Russia defence ties, a critical pillar of Indo-Russian strategic partnership, have come under scrutiny and some stress in recent times. Despite some irritants, the Indo-Russian partnership is time tested and rests on very strong strategic foundations. It is a relationship that is based on mutual trust, and a long history of strategic interdependency that has been strengthened by people to people interactions in social, cultural, scientific, economic, and technological domains.
Why not go for MiG-35?
By Rohit Srivastava
Fighter programme - India needs consistent strategy
By M Matheswaran
Military modernization has been part of military writings of Chinese scholars for many centuries. Technology played its role from the battles of Guiling and Maling in ancient China to the Gulf War of the 1990s. Chinese military strategist Sun Bin directed Qi’s military forces to deploy crossbows in large scale for the first time against Wei army in mid-fourth century BCE. The book titled ‘Six Secret Teachings’ associated with Chinese scholar Taigong has different descriptions of military equipment.
The recently concluded 2018 edition of the ‘Zhuhai Air Show’ in China proved to be an exemplary demonstration of China’s aerospace industry’s high-tech competence and maturity in design, development and manufacturing of aircraft, drones, weapons, and sensors. While the Indian media provided very scant or no coverage, China watchers across the world were deeply impressed with the airshow. The Zhuhai airshow is held every two years and is part air-show and part arms-expo for new weapon systems developed by defence contractors.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a significant technological tool to achieve superiority in global military competition. China’s military has focused on the development of AI-based military technologies to address its security challenges in the 21st century. AI-based defence technologies are expected to provide an advantage to China to overtake the United States in producing advanced weapon system for future military conflicts. China’s Top leadership has highlighted AI and its various applications multiple times in their speeches.
An Engineers’ Conclave was held for three days, October 5 – 7, at Lonavala. It was heartening that one of the themes adopted by the Industry was “Defense Manufacturing”. I addressed the participants on the shifts required in defence research and development (R&D) from the users’ perspective. I interacted with defence scientists and industrialists. A major issue which struck me was that many tend to see research or manufacturing as an end to itself.
Commercial and cultural relations between Russia and India have a long history and are grounded in civilisational affinities going back thousands of years. In the 19th century, Russian rulers and elites took a keen interest in India and sometimes caressed the idea of pushing the British colonial power out of the subcontinent as part of the Great Game.
S-400 is all over in the media space. High decibel, high frequency breaking news (es) are at work to make their audience believe the many combat virtues of this "one solution for all ills" weapon system. Many sweeping statements are doing the rounds; it will provide an "impregnable missile shield" over our skies; it will care of "all aerial attacks" from our western or northern borders; no aircraft/ missile dare attack us now - we have S-400!
After much discussion and debate and ignoring all the sceptics, India, on September 6, signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with The United States (US) during the inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue held in New Delhi. Though postponed for various reasons, the signing of the COMCASA now begins a new era of Indo-US defence co-operation.
After the Defence Acquisition Council’s nod to the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) procurement programme under the Strategic Partnership Model, the road for the acquisition of 111 helicopters is open for Indian Navy. The Rs 21,000 crore (USD 3 bn) programme is not only going to energise the India defence sector but will also bring in the much-required technology.
Four systems are covered under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ model - submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks. Logically, Artillery Guns, which are a major firepower component of any Armed Force should have been part of this model. However, they are not. Why? The reason is that the Indian Artillery is undergoing dramatic changes.
On August 25, Ministry of Defence (MoD) gave its consent to the proposal for procurement of “111 Utility Helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs. 21,000 crore.” The decision was taken during a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the topmost procurement body of the ministry, chaired by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
India is planning to acquire National Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) from the United States. Reportedly, the system will provide protection to Indian capital against a range of threats from aircraft to drones to cruise missiles. Indian capital will be the world’s third capital, after the US’ Washington DC protected by NASAMS II and Moscow by Buk missile system, to have such an air defence shield.
India, though one of the largest economies, has a dubious distinction of being one of the largest importers of the weapon systems of the world. India, also, has been trying to boost its own arms industry through Offset obligations imposed on its foreign suppliers. There have been several panels, task forces and think tank sessions that fine-tuned Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) to leverage our advantageous position as a buyer to seed technologies within the country. These initiatives have generally failed to achieve the desired objective of self-reliance.