Friday, 23 December 2011

Year End Defense Review By MoD


Indian Ministry Of Defense has issued year end review of all the projects and purchases. Some points are given below
NEW WEAPONS
  • The successful test launch of the 3,500 km range Agni-IV Ballistic Missile on Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011 was the highlight of the year. A press conference was organised the next day, viz Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 for DRDO chief Dr. VK Saraswat, which was widely covered by the media, on the launch of Agni-IV from Wheeler island off Orissa coast.
  • Sixth successful test launch of Agni-AI Ballistic Missile from Wheeler Island on Thursday, Dec 1, 2011 by Armed Forces.
  • Successful launch of Dhanush and Prithvi Missiles by the Strategic Forces Command from Interim Test Range, Chandipur, Orissa and a warship off Orissa Coast on March 11, 2011.
  • Successful launch of new Surface to Surface Tactical Missile ‘PRAHAAR’ by DRDO on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
  • Successful flight testing of Surface to Surface Strategic Missile AGNI (A-II) on Friday, September 30, 2011, from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Orissa Coast.
  • Successful flight testing of Surface to Surface Strategic Missile PRITHVI (P-II) on Monday, September 26, 2011, from ITR, Chandipur. In collaboration with DRDO, DPR also organised a press briefing on the strategic significance of the event on the same day.
  • Successful flight test of the 700- km range SHOURYA Missile from Launch Complex III of Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off Orissa Coast on Saturday, Sep 24, 2011.
  • Successful launch of Prithvi (P-II) missile on Thursday, June 09, 2011
  • The DRDO conducted the 5th successful flight of UAV ‘Rustom I’ near Hosur, Karnataka on Friday, Nov 11, 2011.
  • Initial Operational Clearance Ceremony to LCA (Tejas) at Bangalore on January 10, 2011. Defence Minister Shri AK Antony formally handed over the release to service certificate of Tejas Aircraft to the chief of Air Staff, Air chief Marshal PV Naik.
  • Successful Engine Ground Run of LCA Tejas at Bangalore on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011.
  • Kaveri engine being developed by the DRDO for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft successfully completed the first phase Flying Test Bed trials mounted on a modified IL-76 aircraft in Russia during April.
  • Defence Minister Shri AK Antony inaugurated the DRDO’s state-of-the-art composite propellant processing facility – ACEM (Advanced Centre for Energetic Materials) at Nasik in Maharashtra on Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011.
  • Indian Naval crew began training in Russia in April aboard the new Aircraft Carrier Admiral Gorshkov, being rechristened INS Vikramaditya, to be inducted into the Indian Naval fleet.
EXPORT ORDERS / ACQUISITIONS / CAPACITY BUILDING / OPERATIONS
  • Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma commissioned INS Satpura, the second in the Shivalik class of warships, at a function at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai on Saturday, Aug 20, 2011.
  • Commissioning of Fleet Tanker “Deepak” at Mumbai by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in January, 2011.
  • Induction Ceremony of C-130J -30 Super Hercules Tactical Aircraft at Air Force Station, Hindan on Feb, 05, 2011.
  • The down select of two aerospace companies for the MMRCA contract was the highlight of the last week in April. Commercial bids were opened on Friday, Nov 04, 2011 for the contract related to procurement of 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircrafts (MMRCA) for the IAF.
  • Smt. Mamatha, wife of Minister of State for Defence Dr MM PallamRaju, launched the second indigenous ‘Anti-Submarine Warfare’ (ASW) corvette ‘Kadmatt’ at a function at the Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata on Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011.
  • Commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Station at Mundra in Gujarat by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Dir Gen, Indian Coast Guard on Thursday, May 19, 2011.
  • Foundation stone laying ceremony of Indian Coast Guard Academy at Azhikkal in Kannur district of Kerala by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on Saturday, May 28, 2011.
  • Foundation stone laying ceremony for the National Institute for Research and Development (NIRDESH) in Defence Shipbuilding at Kozhikode, Kerala by the Defence Minister, Shri A K Antony on 4th January 2011.
  • The new Officers Training Academy (OTA) at Gaya, Bihar was inaugurated by Lt Gen K SurendraNath, GOC-in-C, Army Training Command on Monday, July 18, 2011 and later by the Army Chief Gen VK Singh on Monday, Nov 14, 2011.
  • Commissioning of a Fast Attack Craft, INS Kabra, at Naval Base Kochi by Vice Admiral KN Sushil on Wednesday, June 08, 2011.
  • Commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) C-152 by Dr Vijayalakshmy K Gupta, Secretary (Defence Finance) at Okha, Gujarat on Saturday, June 18, 2011 and later ICGS C-153 at Porbandar, Gujarat by Director General, Indian Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra on Saturday, Oct 22, 2011.
  • Commissioning of the two Indian Coast Guard Ships C-150 and C-151 by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Director General Coast Guard at an impressive ceremony in Kochi on Monday, March 28, 2011.
  • Commissioning of hi-tech 3G connectivity services in the Air Force in March for enhanced operational efficiency.
  • Re-induction of upgraded AN-32 tactical transport Aircraft into IAF in June, after the aircraft underwent total technical life extension (TTLE), overhaul and re-equipment at Ukraine.
  • Dr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DGR&D, inaugurated an integrated microwave tube development unit in Bangalore on Saturday, April 09, 2011.
  • DRDO dedicated Integrated Thermally Regulated Shelters for use of the Indian Army in Leh, Ladakh on Thursday, June 16, 2011.
  • Indian Army introduced in April better habitat for its personnel at high altitudes.
  • A US-based firm signed a licensing agreement in New Delhi on Monday, April 25, 2011 with the DRDO to acquire the technology of Explosive Detection Kit developed by the High Energy Material Research Lab (HEMRL), Pune.
  • An intensive anti-piracy operation was launched by Indian Navy during the week ending Friday, March 18, 2011.
  • Indian Navy warships apprehended an Iranian boat 400 nautical miles off Lakshadweep, rescuing 12 Iranian and 4 Pakistani crew and detaining 16 pirates in a daring operation on Saturday, March 26, 2011.
  • A press release and photos were released to the media on Friday, May 6, 2011 on the Indian Navy foiling a piracy attempt on a Chinese ship in the Arabian Sea, 100 NM off Karwar.
  • On March 11, 2011 Indian Navy Warships assisted a damaged Egyptian registered Ship take to the sea again that was released by pirates off Somalia
SECURITY ISSUES / POLICY / PROCEDURES
  • Formal unveiling of Defence Production Policy and Defence Procurement Procedure – 2011 by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on January 13, 2011.
  • Defence Minister Shri AK Antony convened a high level meeting of all stakeholders on Coastal Security in New Delhi on Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011 and another on Monday, Aug 29, 2011. Shri Antony called for concerted efforts to avoid incidents like the grounding of MT Pavit on July 31 and MV Rak a week later off Mumbai coast. He also reviewed operationalising Phase-II of Coastal Security.
  • Defence Minister Shri AK Antony visited the Desert sector (Rajasthan) of Southern Army on Monday, May 2, 2011 to review the operational preparedness of the Indian Army.
  • Defence Minister Shri AK Antony visited the North East on February 18-19, 2011. He reviewed the security situation during his visit to Military installations at Chabua in Assam, Rangapahar in Nagaland, Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh and Leimakhong in Manipur.
  • Defence ministry ordered a reality check on all defence land at the ground level, to be undertaken by the Directorate General of Defence Estates. In this context, a CD containing database on all defence land records was formally released by the Defence Minister at New Delhi on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
  • Ministry of Defence decided to go for open bidding to select an event manager for the Seventh edition of Land, Naval and Internal Security System Exhibition (Def-Expo India 2012) scheduled to be held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from March 29 to April 01, 2012, says press release on Monday, Oct 10, 2011.
  • Improvement of rations supplied to the Junior Commissioned Officers and others in the army, says a press release on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Nixon, Kissinger's And Their Personal Jehad Against India

US President Richard Nixon is on the phone with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, hours after Pakistan launched simultaneous attacks on six Indian airfields, a reckless act that prompted India to declare war.

Nixon: So West Pakistan giving trouble there.
Kissinger: If they lose half of their country without fighting they will be destroyed. They may also be destroyed this way but they will go down fighting.
Nixon: The Pakistan thing makes your heart sick. For them to be done so by the Indians and after we have warned the bitch (reference to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi). Tell them that when India talks about West Pakistan attacking them it's like Russia claiming to be attacked by Finland


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Indian Army To Go Ahead With M-777 Howitzers Deal

Rubbishing all reports that deal for M-777 ultra light howitzers has run into rough weather. Defense ministry officials made it clear that India is going ahead with the deal. This deal was for 145 guns at a total cost of 650 million USD.

Antony told the Indian parliament on Dec. 12 that India is looking at buying the guns through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales program.

The procurement was stalled after a report on the trials was released, but the program is back on track now, Antony said.

"The field evaluation trial report of the guns was a confidential document. Four pages of draft field trial report were received in an anonymous envelope by the Army headquarters. An enquiry in the matter is underway," the minister said.

The Ultralightweight Field Howitzer (UFH), designated M777 in the USA, was selected in 1997 by a joint US Army / Marine Corps initiative to replace the existing inventory of M198 155mm towed howitzers. The first of five EMD systems was delivered in June 2000. The US Marine Corps is to procure 380 systems and the US Army 273 systems. A low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for 94 systems was awarded in November 2002.

Operational testing with the USMC, during which nearly 12,000 artillery rounds were fired by four production systems, was completed in December 2004. A contract for full-rate production of 495 systems was awarded to BAE Systems in April 2005. In May 2005, the USMC began fielding the M777 with the 11th Marines unit at Twentynine Palms in California.

The first 18 systems were delivered to the US Army's 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery in Hawaii in October 2006.

The M777 will be the artillery system for the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT). The systems fitted with the digital fire control system are designated M777A1, and those with the software update which allows the firing of the Excalibur projectile, M777A2. M777A2 received full material release in July 2007, clearing the upgrade for fielding. All M777A1 systems will be upgraded to the A2 standard.

The M777 was deployed by the US Army and Marine Corps to Afghanistan in December 2007 and to Iraq in 2008.

In July 2008, Australia requested the foreign military sale of 57 M77 howitzers.

BAE Systems has developed a mobile version, the M777 Portee, which is mounted on a purpose-built 8x6 Supacat vehicle. The vehicle was first shown at Eurosatory in June 2006.

This gun is half the weight of all 155mm howitzers in the world but matches their fire power making it a deadly weapon in the hands of good artillery unit.

The maximum firing range is 24.7km with unassisted rounds and 30km with rocket-assisted rounds. The M777A2 will fire the Raytheon / Bofors XM982 Excalibur GPS / Inertial Navigation-guided extended-range 155mm projectiles using the Modular Artillery Charge Systems (MACS). Excalibur has a maximum range of 40km and accuracy of 10m.

The LRIP systems employ an optical sighting system for direct and indirect firing by day or night. Full production systems will be fitted with the General Dynamics Armament Systems Towed Artillery Digitisation (TAD) system. LRIP systems will be retrofitted with TAD.

The M777 is able to deliver up to five rounds a minute.

The TAD digital fire control system provides onboard ballistic computation, navigation, pointing and self-location, providing greater accuracy and faster reaction times. The TAD system also includes a laser ignition system, electric drives for the howitzer's traverse and elevation and a powered projectile rammer.


Type
Ultra light howitzer
Country users
United States, Canada, India
Designer Company
BAE Systems 
Crew
5 to 8 soldiers
Accessories
Digital fire control system
a
a
a
Gun
155 mm 39 calibre
Weight
3,175 kg
Rate of fire
5 rounds/minute
Firing Range
30 km maximum, 40 km with Excalibur munition 
Dimensions
Lenght, 9,275 m; Width, 2,770 m; Height, 2,26 m in towing mode
Lenght, 10,21 m; Width, 3,720 m; Height, 0,65 m in firing mode mode

INS Teg With Brahmos On Board Ready For Indian Navy

INS Teg is the first of six Talwar (Krivak) class frigates to be equipped with the 290-km BrahMos missiles jointly developed by India and Russia. The first three Talwar class warships -- INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar -- that were inducted in the Indian Navy in 2002 and 2003 do not have the BrahMos, but are equipped with Klub class missiles.

Apart from INS Teg, two other frigates, being built by the Kaliningrad-based Yantar shipyard -- all three constituting the second line of Talwar-class ships -- will also have the BrahMos missiles integrated.

"With the successful test of BrahMos, INS Teg is now ready to sail to India. It is awaiting its Indian Navy crew, who are expected later this month or early in January 2012," sources here told IANS.

"The Indian Navy plans to induct the warship by March 2012," they added.

The Russian Navy, which had conducted the sea trials of INS Teg in September, test-fired the BrahMos from the ship's bow in the first week of December. Telemetric data indicated that all of its systems performed optimally, the sources said.
India and Russia had in July 2007 signed a $1.6 billion contract for the three follow-on Talwar class frigates under the Indian Navy's Project 11356.

INS Teg and the other two warships -- INS Tarkash (delivery likely in July 2012) and INS Trikand (January 2013) are expected to bolster the Indian Navy's growing blue water capabilities and ambitions.

The Indian Navy giving top priority to these guided missile frigates to maintain its combat worthiness and organizational ability to deploy warships at immediate notice.
The previous vessels of the Talwar class have been deployed by Indian Navy in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and have proved themselves worthy of being mean fighting machines by achieving "kills" of pirate mother ships.

Packed with sensors, weapons and missile systems and stealth due to highly-reduced radar, infra-red, noise, frequency and magnetic signatures to beat enemy detection, each of these warships is equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil air defence system, two Kashtan air defence gun and missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo tubes, and an anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

BrahMos Aerospace is an India-Russia joint venture established in 1998 for the joint development of the eponymously-named supersonic cruise missiles. The missiles, said to be the fastest in their class, are now under production and have been successfully inducted into the Indian Army and Indian Navy. The two countries are also developing the air-launched version of the missile that can cruise at speed of Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound, for the Indian Air Force's Sukhoi S-30 MKI air superiority combat planes.

A hypersonic version of BrahMos with Mach 7 speeds to boost aerial strike capability is under development and is expected to be ready by 2016.

Friday, 16 December 2011

US Navy To Squeeze China Harder

The US Navy said it would station several new coastal combat ships in Singapore and perhaps in the Philippines in coming years, moves likely to fuel China's fears of being encircled and pressured in the South China Sea dispute.

Regional defence analysts said the ships were small, but agreed the symbolism of the moves, which come after Washington announced it was increasing its engagement in Asia, would upset Beijing.

Last month the United States and Australia announced plans to deepen the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, with 2,500 US Marines operating out of a de facto base in Darwin in northern Australia.

In coming years, the US Navy will increasingly focus on the strategic "maritime crossroads" of the Asia-Pacific region, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert wrote in the December issue of Proceedings, published by the US Naval Institute.

He said the navy planned to "station several of our newest littoral combat ships at Singapore's naval facility", in addition to the plans announced by President Barack Obama for marines to be based in Darwin from next year.

"This will help the navy sustain its global forward posture with what may be a smaller number of ships and aircraft than today," he wrote.

Littoral combat ships are shallow draft vessels that operate in coastal waters and can counter coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines and small, fast, armed boats.

"If we put this into context, it's a fairly small scale of deployment and the combat ships are relatively small vessels," said Euan Graham, senior fellow in the Maritime Security Programme at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

"Encirclement is a phrase that does come up in Chinese debate about the US strategy. They won't be happy about it, but there's nothing much that they can do to stop it."

Greenert wrote the ships would focus on the South China Sea, conducting operations to counter piracy and trafficking, both of which are endemic in the area.

"Similarly, 2025 may see P-8A Poseidon aircraft or unmanned broad area maritime surveillance aerial vehicles periodically deploy to the Philippines or Thailand to help those nations with maritime domain awareness."

One source briefed on navy plans said there has also been discussion about stationing ships in the Philippines.

BIGGEST THREAT The disputed ownership of the oil-rich reefs and islands in the South China Sea is one of the biggest security threats in Asia. The sea is claimed wholly or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

The shortest route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, it has some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. More than half the globe's oil tanker traffic passes through it.

Obama told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a regional summit in November that the United States wanted to ensure the sea lanes were kept open and peaceful. Wen was described by US officials as being "grouchy" later at the summit, when other Asian countries aligned with Washington.

The Chinese premier said "outside forces" had no excuse to get involved in the complex maritime dispute, a veiled warning to the United States and other countries to keep out of the sensitive issue.

"A modest marine presence in Australia - 2,500 marines is not a large offensive force by any means - and ships in Singapore do not mean it's all about China," Paul Dibb, the head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, told Reuters.

"But having said that, China is being increasingly assertive on the high seas. So while I don't see the US as encircling China, it would be silly to say China wasn't part of it."

CLOSELY WATCHED These developments on the littoral combat ships (LCS) are being closely watched by Lockheed Martin Corp, Australia's Austal, General Dynamics Corp and other arms makers that are building two models of the new warships for the US Navy, and hope to sell them to other countries in coming years.

"Because we will probably not be able to sustain the financial and diplomatic cost of new main operating bases abroad, the fleet of 2025 will rely more on host-nation ports and other facilities where our ships, aircraft, and crews can refuel, rest, resupply, and repair while deployed," Greenert wrote in the naval magazine.

Ernie Bower, who is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the emerging strategy for Southeast Asia would be far different from the big US bases established in Japan and South Korea in the past.

"We're exploring a new arrangement with a smaller footprint, that is mission-specific, and culturally and politically more palatable to countries," he said, adding it would be difficult for Washington to drum up much political support for big bases in the region. Forward-stationing versus permanent bases would also save the navy money, he said.

Greenert did not provide a timetable for the LCS stationing in Singapore.

In the Philippines, a US ally that has clashed several times with China over the South China Sea dispute, the moves were welcomed.

"We're together in Asia Pacific and we face common security challenges," said defence spokesman Peter Paul Galvez.

"We see several security challenges where we actually need inter-operability and interplay exercises including disasters, threats of terrorism, freedom of navigation, piracy and human trafficking. We cannot deny that we need their assistance in that aspect."

Friday, 9 December 2011

Indian Defense Forces Done In By Corruption... AGAIN

The Indian Army's imagery interpretation capabilities, critical to providing information on the locations of enemy troops and their military assets, have been compromised by flawed contracts placed with a company that has failed to provide critical software upgrades.

Demo Trials Of Pinaka

Famous for its exploits during Kargil and  indigenously built multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) ‘Pinaka’ was tested from the defence base at Chandipur-on-sea, near here on Wednesday. The test was jointly conducted by the defence scientists and the Indian Army.

Defence sources said four rounds of Pinaka rockets were fired from the launcher kept inside the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), a part of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The exercise termed as ‘demonstration trial’ was carried out during noon. One rocket was used in each round.

The Pinaka MBRL, capable of acting as a force-multiplier, will gradually replace the current artillery system.

The tests were aimed at assessing its stability in flight as well as accuracy and consistency. The rocket launcher, which is also known as the Weapon Area System (WAS), can fire rockets with a range of 39-40 km and also launch 12 rockets with 1.2 tonne of high explosives within 40 seconds.

A scientist said Pinaka can neutralise a target area of 350 square km and is meant to supplement the existing artillery system at a range beyond 30 km. It can be fitted with a variety of warheads ranging from blast-cum-pre-fragmented high explosives to anti-tank mines.

“Its quick reaction time and high rate of fire provides the Army an edge during low-intensity war-like situations. The unguided rocket system put under trial here could be used to neutralise a higher geographical area with its salvo of rockets,” he added.

Pinaka, which has undergone several tough tests from 1995 and is in its advanced stage of development, was successfully used during the Kargil War.

The Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment has successfully produced the Pinaka system for the Indian Armed forces, to give it concentrated high volume firepower to destroy enemy targets.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

"Suicide" Drones for U.S Army

A miniature "kamikaze" drone designed to quietly hover in the sky before dive-bombing and slamming into a human target will soon be part of the US Army's arsenal, officials say.

Dubbed the "Switchblade," the robotic aircraft represents the latest attempt by the United States to refine how it takes out suspected militants.

Weighing less than two kilos, the drone is small enough to fit into a soldier's backpack and is launched from a tube, with wings quickly folding out as it soars into the air, according to manufacturer AeroVironment.

Powered by a small electric motor, the Switchblade transmits video in real time from overhead, allowing a soldier to identify an enemy, the company said in a press release last month.

"Upon confirming the target using the live video feed, the operator then sends a command to the air vehicle to arm it and lock its trajectory onto the target," it said.

The drone then flies into the "target," detonating a small explosive.

The California-based firm also said the drone can be called off at the last moment, even after a kill mission has been ordered. That feature provides troops with "a level of control not available in other weapon systems," it said.

The United States currently uses larger Predator and Reaper drones to hunt down suspected militants in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The robotic planes fire powerful Hellfire missiles and drop heavy bombs that can cause civilian casualties and extensive damage, which has fueled popular anger with the United States in Pakistan.

In the war in Afghanistan, US and coalition troops fighting the the Taliban can call in artillery fire or air strikes from fighter jets and attack helicopters. But the heavy firepower has been blamed by Afghan leaders for claiming the lives of innocent civilians and strained US relations with Kabul.

The Switchblade, however, is touted as a way to avoid killing bystanders.

"Flying quietly at high speed the Switchblade delivers its onboard explosive payload with precision while minimizing collateral damage," the company said.

The US Army in June approved a $4.9 million contract for AeroVironment to supply the new drones as soon as possible. Officials have not said how many Switchblade drones were ordered or when the robotic weapons would make into the hands of US forces.

Human rights groups have raised concerns that the use of drones by the CIA has allowed the conduct of a secret assassination campaign abroad without public scrutiny and little oversight by lawmakers in Congress.

Indian Navy Hit By Delays

Even though Indian Navy has been repeating the word "BLUE WATER" like a kinder garden kid who has learnt a new nursery rhyme but that capability remains a pipe dream with many major projects delayed. This will effect the Indian Navy's grandiose dreams of taking on China in South China Sea and beyond.

Many strategic projects of the Indian Navy, ranging from expanding a major naval base on the west coast and manufacturing of many more killer submarines, are nowhere close to realisation.

Now we have been informed that the much touted indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) sea trial has been put off by six months. The 40,000-tonne carrier being constructed at the Cochin Shipyard is now expected to go for the sea trial by the middle of 2012. Just imagine such an important project being delayed due to its gear boxes and generators had not arrived in time as a result of which the time plan was rescheduled, said Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma.

The Navy ordered 45 carrier-borne fighters, MiG-29K, for the IAC and the Russian-origin “INS Vikramaditya”. The delivery of the first batch of 16 fighters would be completed by March. But in the absence of any carrier, the fighters are now cooling their heels in Goa.

The Navy’s ambitious second phase expansion plan of Karwar naval base is also stuck. The Rs 20,000-crore project has not yet received the Finance Ministry approval after getting the defence ministry nod.

The phase-II envisages constructing more than twenty additional piers so that the base can house more than 40 ships and submarines at any point of time. Both carriers – “INS Vikramaditya” and IAC – will be based at Karwar, which would release pressure on Mumbai. A top Navy officer said the nuclear reactor on-board “INS Arihant” submarine had not yet gone critical and a certificate from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board would be required before the reactor is fired. The Navy chief, however, assured that the boomer would be on patrol duty before 2012 ended.

Another big-time project to have a second assembly line of six conventional submarines (75I) is also not anywhere close to the starting point as the Navy was trying to avoid a “single vendor” situation. In the initial phase, the project took time, because of issues in “defining the technology” and “creating more stealthy features,” which may include air-independent propulsion that allows conventional diesel-electric submarines to stay longer under water.

The first submarine assembly line under construction at Mazgaon dock is already delayed by close to three years. The first Scorpene submarine is now expected only in 2015 rather than the original target date of 2012.

The Naval satellite too is not on the radar, but the responsibility lies primarily with Isro, which encountered a series of failures with its geo-stationary satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).

Saturday, 3 December 2011

INS Arihant To Start Sea Trials Soon

The sea trials of India's indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant are scheduled in a few months from now and it is likely to be inducted into the navy by the end of 2012, when it will lurk in the deep seas awaiting its prey.

Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said at the force's annual press conference Friday ahead of Navy Day on Dec 4 that the process of readying the nuclear-powered submarine was "on track".

"By and large we are on track. A firm date can be given when we go for sea trials that will hopefully happen in a few months from now," Verma said when he was asked about his last Navy Day promise that INS Arihant will go out on high seas patrols by 2012-end.

India had launched the 6,000-tonne submarine into the waters at Visakhapatnam Naval Dockyard on July 26 in 2009. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were present on the occassion.

INS Arihant has been built under the navy's advanced technology vessel (ATV) programme at a cost of $2.9 billion. The vessel is critical for India possessing the capability to launch nuclear weapons from an underwater platform.

With India's declared "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons, the country's weapons system must survive a first strike for retaliation. To that effect, INS Arihant's primary weapon is stealth as it will be able to lurk in ocean depths of half a kilometre or more and fire missiles from under the sea.

The submarine is powered by an 85 MW nuclear reactor and can acquire surface speeds of 22 to 28 kmph or 12 to 15 knots, apart from a submerged speed of 44 kmph or 24 knots.

With a crew of 95, it will be armed with torpedoes and missiles including 12 ballistic missiles. Four more nuclear-powered submarines of this class have already got government's nod, adding to navy's underwater combat potential in the years to come.

On the safety of the nuclear submarine, the navy chief said there was a requirement of a regulatory authority and Baba Atomic Research Centre will play a major role in this.

He said the issue was not about nuclear safety while the vessel is at port but while it is at sea and hence the modalities for that and basing of specialist on board the vessel are under consideration.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Russia Rubbishes Claims Of Fraud In T-90 Dealings With India

Moscow is puzzled over Indian media rumors claiming that Russia refuses to fulfill a decade-old contract on licensed production of T-90S main battle tanks in India, a Russian defense industry source said.

“The Russian side is timely and completely fulfilling all agreements with India on the licensed production of T-90 tanks, including the delivery of all necessary components and the transfer of technical documentation,” the source said on Tuesday.

India’s Business Standard said on November 28 that the licensed production of T-90 tanks was “hamstrung by Moscow’s obstruction in transferring technology and the Russian-built assemblies needed even for the India-built tanks.”

“It is difficult to say why these allegations have emerged,” the Russian source said, adding that all controversial issues on the arms contracts with India are promptly resolved by the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation.

Russian diplomatic sources in India believe that the media rumors reflect the attempts by the Indian side to shift the responsibility for its own inability to manage the production of sophisticated military equipment.

India ordered 310 T-90s in 2001 following delays in the manufacturing of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank and Pakistan's decision to purchase the T-80 from Ukraine. A contract was also signed for the licensed production of another 1,000 T-90s.

Initial disagreements with Russia over transfer of technology were resolved at the end of 2008, according to official statements on both sides.

Only 150 T-90S have been built so far at the Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Chennai.

Russian Duplicity At Its Best Or Clear Case Of Swindling

The following report was published in one of the defense blogs and now I know why India went for Arjun tanks and not T-90. This report clearly shows why slowly but surely Russia is loosing defense market of India to the French,Americans and The Israeli's

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pakistan Stops NATO Supplies In Response To Murder Of 25 Pak Soldiers By NATO

Pakistani authorities blocked the vital supply route for Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan on Saturday after a cross-border air strike killed 25 Pakistani troops, local officials said.

Trucks and fuel tankers were stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar, hours after the raid, officials said.

“We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud,” Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters.

Another official said the supplies had been stopped for security reasons.

Nato helicopters from Afghanistan intruded into northwest Pakistan and attacked a military check post near the border, killing up to 25 troops and wounding 14, Pakistani military officials said.

A senior Pakistani military officer said efforts were under way to bring the bodies to the headquarters of Mohmand tribal region from their post.

The attack would have serious repercussions as they without any reason attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep, a senior military officer said.

The attack took place around 2 a.m. in the Baizai area of Mohmand, where Pakistani troops are fighting Taliban militants.

Pakistani security and military officials in Mohmand said an army major was among the dead.

A spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said the coalition there was aware of “an incident” and was gathering more information.

The incident occurred a day after US General John Allen met Pakistani Army Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is often poorly marked, and differs from maps by up to five miles in some places.

A similar incident on September 30, 2010, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of one of Nato’s supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days.

Nato apologised for that incident, which it said happened when Nato gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack.

Pakistan is a vital land route for 49 per cent of Nato’s supplies to its troops in Afghanistan, a Nato spokesman said.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Watch Out This New Year Deadlier Arjun MK-II Will Be Unleashed.

It is official by Jan-2012 Arjun MK-II will go for trials and once it passes those trials it will be inducted into the Indian Army.

Readers of this blog might remember the controversy generated by Arjun Mk-I. After long delays it was sabotaged during trials forcing DRDO to put a black box. Once it was given a level playing field, it not only out-performed T-90's but gave it a good spanking. Army was so impressed they immediately ordered 124 of these tanks. Follow up order was in pipeline if some improvements were made to the original. So started the story of Arjun MK-II. 93 modifications had to be made with 19 major ones.

One of the heavy criticism of Arjun MK-I was its weight which came to somewhere in the range of 62-63 tons yet the surprising aspect of the major modifications is that Arjun MK-II is now 3-4 tonnes heavier. Historically Army has been complaining about the unsuitability of Arjuns to the road and railways infrastructure of India yet it has accepted the increased weight due to the comparative benefits.

CVRDE chief, Dr P Sivakumar, an award-winning transmission specialist, is jubilant. “Earlier the army was criticising my Arjun [for weighing too much]. But, after seeing its cross-country performance, even compared with a lighter 40-tonne tank like the T-90, they realise that the Arjun moves like a Ferrari. Even at 65-66 tonnes, it will beat any MBT in the desert,” he promises.

The first major modification is the addition of ERA plates to give it more protection increasing the weight by 1.5 tonnes then comes the mine plough fitted at the front of the tank which churns up the ground infront of the tank while moving blowing up deadly mines which otherwise had blown up the tank.

In 2004 it was proven that LAHAT missiles can be fired from Arjun now the sighting and control systems are being integrated into the gunner’s sight by its vendors, OIP Sensor Systems (Belgium) and SAGEM (France).

Next big improvement is the tank commander’s thermal imaging (TI) night sight, which will replace the outdated ay only sight of Arjun MK-I. Giving this monster the ability to hunt at night. This feature has been aptly named as “hunter-killer” mode --- the commander as hunter; and the gunner as killer. The commander scans the battlefield through his new TI sight; targets that he spots are electronically allocated to the gunner to destroy, while he returns to hunting for more targets.

The Mark II also equips the driver with a new night vision device based on “un-cooled thermal imaging”, allowing him to clearly see 300-500 metres, even on a pitch-dark night. The “image intensifier” device in the Mark I required some ambient light. A DRDO laboratory, Instrument R&D Establishment (IRDE), Dehradun, has built the new driver’s sight.

Tank's hydro-pneumatic suspension have been changed which is now capable of handling a 70-tonne load. This also incorporates some newly-developed technologies to overcome occasional problems that the Arjun Mark I has grappled with during its development period: grease leakage and track shedding.

Israel Military Industries (IMI), designers of the renowned Merkava tank, talking to Indian Army generals after a “third-party evaluation” of the Arjun declared that the Arjun, especially ruggedised for Indian conditions, would outrun any competition.

The big modification to be incorporated later in 2012 is laser counter measure. This system detects the laser which an enemy missile is following and within a split second it creates a smokescreen around the tank thereby making the enemy missile gunner blind.

Unfortunately there is one drawback while the MK-I can achieve top speed of 70kmph this giant can go upto only 60mph.Even though it is slower yet army believes that a tank needs agility and firepower, it is seldom used for sustained cross--country top speed.

Next big problem is the cost which is a whopping 37 crore each.

RAF Tests Typhoon Tranche 2 Aircraft's in War Games With Malaysia

Pilots and ground crew from Number 6 Squadron have gained priceless experience in operating the Tranche 2 Typhoon aircraft in unfamiliar conditions during Exercise Bersama Lima in Malaysia.

This was the first overseas deployment of Tranche 2 Typhoon aircraft and the first deployment of 6 Squadron since it reformed at RAF Leuchars in September 2010.

During the exercise, four 6 Squadron Typhoons, representing the Royal Air Force, flew mock combat sorties alongside Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18s, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) MiG-29s and F/A-18s, and Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SGs and F-16s.

6 Squadron successfully completed more than 70 sorties during the detachment, amounting to 164 flying hours. Moreover, the squadron delivered 100 per cent of the sorties it planned during the exercise itself.

Severe thunderstorms and the effect of the extremely long distance on the supply chain provided engineering challenges, but the overall assessment is one of resounding success for the squadron.

Officer Commanding 6 Squadron, Wing Commander Roddy Dennis, said:

"From my perspective as a Squadron Commander, Exercise Bersama Lima provided an excellent opportunity to prove Tranche 2 Typhoon's expeditionary capabilities and its ability to not only operate in tropical weather conditions and high humidity, which it did without impact, but also to conduct air operations with nations that we do not routinely train with.

"In addition, the opportunity to 'fight' against the RMAF MiG-29 Fulcrum was first class and saw Typhoon very well-placed, allowing the 6 Squadron pilots to take great confidence in the performance of Typhoon and it's [its] weapon system.

"It was also extremely useful to operate closely with the deployed RAAF F/A-18s from 75 Squadron who use similar operating procedures and tactics."

Exercise Bersama Lima marked the 40th anniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) between the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Established in 1971, the FPDA is a commitment undertaken by the five nations to consult in the event of an attack on Singapore or Malaysia. It is the only multilateral defence agreement in South East Asia with an operational element.

The joint exercise saw the participation of around 4,000 troops, 68 aircraft, 18 ships, two submarines and various support elements from the FPDA member nations.

The four RAF Typhoon aircraft from 6 Squadron flew to the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Butterworth, Malaysia, from their base at RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scotland, to take part in Exercise Bersama Lima.

The 7,000-mile (11,265km) trip took the pilots four days with stops in Jordan, Oman and Sri Lanka, supported throughout by engineers and ground crews as well as a VC10 aircraft of 101 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton.

War Games Center To Be Set Up By Indian Air Force

India is setting up a war gaming centre for its Air Force to enable the aerospace power train for warfare anywhere in the world by simulating scenarios at the strategic and operational levels.

The Delhi-based War Gaming Centre (WGC), as the Indian Air Force (IAF) would call it, will be up and functioning in about three years from now and will be more advanced than the Gwalior-based Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE), a top IAF officer said here.

The WGC will be modelled on the Indian Army's Delhi-based WARDEC or War Gaming Development Centre, but would go much beyond the latter's role to develop warfare doctrines for strategic reach, he said.

"The system will be able to generate scenario and simulation at strategic and operational levels in collaboration with other agencies, both military and civil, at the national level," the officer said.

"The facility will have the capability to play the war game in coordination with or independently from varied locations across the country," he said.

"The centre will paint scenarios anywhere in the world," he added.

Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne had, in his first press conference as IAF Chief on October 3, pointed out that his force's area of responsibility is beyond the Indian Ocean region and wherever India's strategic interests lie.

Apart from taking into account the current fleet of aircraft, helicopters and infrastructure of the IAF, the centre will also cater to future inductions of aircraft and systems.

The WGC will be capable of playing out scenarios of being a neutral power, apart from planning for high number of contingencies and missions, and address issues like application of air power.

"Most importantly, the centre will provide and incorporate out-of-area contingencies, and include Army and naval forces deployment in the overall simulation models, to help in planning and execution of joint operations," the officer said.

The WGC will carry out strategic and operational doctrinal selection, integrate aerospace elements in the planning, and allow for execution of the war game in "real and turbo" time.

With a seamless integration of existing tactical war gaming tools and packages in the IAF, the centre, once established, will undertake creation of a bank of scenarios and objectives, including secondary ones, of various types for use in all planned exercises of the IAF.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

India Welcomes Israeli Air Force Chief

Even though Israel is looking for military solution to end Iran's ambition for nuclear weapon and India is looking for a diplomatic way out, yet India and Israel continue to silently expand their already expansive ties in the fields of defence and homeland security.

Israeli Air Force commander-in-chief, Major-General Ido Nehushtan, is the latest in the series of high-level visits to India, which are kept under the radar due to political sensitivities, to further bolster the "bilateral strategic partnership''. This comes close on the heels of the visit by Israeli Minister of public safety to expand counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing mechanism with India.

Maj-Gen Nehushtan, on his part, discussed military cooperation with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne on Monday, and is slated to meet his naval and army counterparts and other MoD officials on Tuesday.

Interestingly, India is all set to order another two advanced Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), capable of detecting hostile aircraft, cruise missiles and other incoming aerial threats far before ground-based radars, at a cost of over $800 million.

Israel has steadily become the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia. Recently it has bagged many big ticket orders. Most of the UAV's and drones used by the Indians are being supplied by the Israeli's. If total is calculated then Israel easily sells more than !billion worth of defense goods to India every year. As reported earlier DRDO and IAI are going to field Barak 8 pretty soon too. Plus Israel is very wary of Pakistani nukes too, it believes that Pakistan is the main black marketeer of nuclear weapons. It has urged India many times in the past to take decisive action against Pakistan.

Short Bio of Israeli Air Chief

"Major General Ido Nehushtan, the sixteenth Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force, enlisted in the IDF in July 1975. He volunteered for pilot training, and graduated as a combat pilot with honors. Following the course, he served as a pilot in a Skyhawk Squadron, and in 1978 he was transferred to fly Phantom aircraft, in the "Knights of the Orange Tail" Squadron.


In 1979, he was appointed as a Flight School instructor, and was a member of the school's aerobatic staff.


In 1983, he was retrained to fly the F-16 "Netz" and was placed in the "Negev" Squadron, where he became second-in-command.


In 1989, Nehushtan was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and was appointed as commander of the "Golden Eagle" Squadron. In 1991 he commanded the "Scorpion" Squadron.


In 1993, he was appointed as head of the Armament Branch of the Weaponry Department in IAF headquarters, and in 1994 he was promoted to the rank of colonel and appointed head of the IAF Planning and Organization Department. In 1997 he was appointed commander of the Hatzor Airbase.


In 2000, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and appointed head of the Intelligence Group, in 2002 he was appointed head of the Air Group and in 2004 he was appointed head of Air Force Headquarters.


In August 2006 Nehushtan was promoted to the rank of major general and served as head of Planning Directorate in IDF General Headquarters.


In May 2008 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force.


Major General Nehushtan graduated with honours from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied Mathematics and Computer Science and earned an MBA from the Kellogg-Recanati International Executive MBA Program, a joint program of Tel Aviv University, and Northwestern University, Chicago. He is also a graduate of Harvard University's Advanced Management Program."

Monday, 21 November 2011

Two Big Ticket Projects Cleared For IAF

Two important defense deals will get a final nod within a week or so. Both the deals are worth nearly 5000cr and are meant to beef up IAF. First one pertains to acquiring 75 Swiss turbo-prop aircraft to train novice pilots and second one is for 450 advanced French missiles to arm upgraded Mirage-2000 multi-role fighters.

Defence ministry sources say the two deals have now been "sent" to the Cabinet Committee on Security for the "final nod" after "clarifying all objections" of finance ministry. "The contracts will be inked after the CCS clears within a week or so," said a source.

IAF wants to induct trainers before the induction of MMRCA to train new pilots. The situation has been aggravated by the fact that IAF's 114 HPT-32 jet trainers have been grounded since 2009 due to repeated engine failure.

"We want to begin our first course on the Pilatus trainers from July 2013," said a senior officer. IAF, of course, is already inducting 123 British Hawk AJTs (advanced jet trainers), at a cost of around Rs 16,000 crore, but they are meant for "advanced'' combat training. The contract for the around 450 fire-and-forget, all-weather MICA (interception and aerial combat missiles) systems with French company MBDA, too, has been in the pipeline for quite some time.

You might recall that earlier this year it was agreed that Mirage-2000s will be upgraded by Dassault costing a whopping 10,947 Cr Rs.

First two fighters are being sent to France next month for the upgrade, the remaining 49 will later be "souped up" with new avionics, radars, mission computers, glass cockpits, helmet-mounted displays, electronic warfare suites, weapon delivery and precision-targeting systems by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in India. The overall upgrade project cost will go beyond Rs 15,000 crore over the decade it will take to be completed. Down to just 33-34 fighter squadrons (each has 16 to 18 jets) from a 'sanctioned strength' of 39.5

mica_ds

For an interactive presentation click here or visit http://www.mbda-systems.com/e-catalogue/#/solutions/air/27/introduction

Some of the new deals being done by IAF are
1) 63 MiG-29s are to be upgraded under a $964 million deal inked with Russia in March 2008.
2) 126 MMRCA
3) IAF is also inducting 272 Sukhoi-30MKIs contracted from Russia for around $12 billion.
4) The first batch of the around 120 indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft will join IAF from end-2013 onwards.
5) India plans to induct 250-300 stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft co-developed with Russia from 2020 onwards, in what will be its biggest-ever defence project at around $35 billion.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Indian Army Has No Stomach For A Fight With China

Bharat Karnard in one of his articles criticized the Indian Army as being completely clueless when it comes to China and he believes they have become more like the Government Of India weak in the mind and knees. Do you agree with his viewpoint or is the Indian Army trying to survive and do its best because Delhi is being ruled by weak dreaming incompetent impotent government. LEave your comment with your take on it.

Isolation Ends For Myanmar

Good article about the prospects for India with Myanmar emerging from its isolation. Will it herald a better future for our people living on the border states and how can we leverage the situation to our advantage.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Mahindra And Telephonic plan joint venture for radars, surveillance systems

Indian transport vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra on Thursday announced a joint venture (JV) with US aviation communications equipment major Telephonics Corporation to produce radars, surveillance systems, and communications solutions for the Indian defence ministry and civilian sector.

The JV was announced at a press conference here by Mahindra Defence Systems chief executive Brig. (retd.) Khutub Hai and Telephonics Corporation CEO and president Joseph Battaglia.

Khutub Hai said the US firm will bring in 26 per cent investment for the JV, while his company will bring the rest 74 per cent.

Apart from the radars, surveillance systems and friend-or-foe identification systems, the joint venture will manufacture air traffic management services, and equipment for homeland security and other emerging surveillance requirements.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pakistani Sub-Standard JF-17 Crashes Killing A Squadron Leader


Pakistan’s ambitions to sell JF-17 fighter jets to prospective buyers suffered a setback on Monday when one of the aircraft in the ‘Thunder’ fleet crashed in Attock district during a routine flight, killing the pilot.

The tragic incident took place a day after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) exhibited the jets for sale at the Dubai Air Show, at a price almost one third of conventional F-16 fighter jets.
The jet crashed near Mansar Town after taking off from Kamra Airbase.
Although PAF officials did not offer any comments on the crash, several media reports highlighted that the jet was a frontline JF-17 Thunder combat manufactured with cooperation of China.

An official statement released by PAF authorities, however, did not mention the make of the plane. “A PAF jet aircraft, while on a routine training mission, crashed due to technical malfunction,” it said.

The PAF is in process to equip itself with two squadrons of JF-17 jets at present and planning to raise another squadron by early next year.

Media reports suggested that the pilot, Squadron Leader Muhammad Hussain, was killed as his parachute did not open after he bailed out of the aircraft. The pilot’s body was found about two kilometers from the site of the crash.

“The pilot was fatally injured. No loss of civilian life or property has been reported on ground,” added the statement.

The law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area after the incident. PAF rescue teams have launched an operation to clear the debris after dispatching helicopters and rescue teams to the crash site.

Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has ordered an inquiry into the mishap, a PAF official told The Express Tribune. JF-17 Thunder was jointly manufactured by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra and China Aero-technology Import Export Corporation.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2011.

Dirty Game Of Pakistan in Afghanistan: A Look From Inside

Author Amir Khan Maseed
The ISI, the Intelligence agency of Pakistan, has played a very dangerous role in Afghanistan, from arming unsavoury figures to flooding the country with weapons during the civil war. The ISI has done all it can through any means to keep Afghanistan weak and on its knees. The ISI is the main obstacle in the way of progression in the region; it has interfered, meddled and forced its way into Afghan affairs right from the beginning. The author will discuss the role of the ISI in Afghanistan in more detail.

The ISI has always favoured the Islamists in Afghanistan over any other dissident faction or group because Pakistan was founded on Islamist ideals; having political Islamists running Afghanistan would allow the ISI to meddle more easily in Afghanistan under the pretext of the Muslim brotherhood.

Since the 1970s, Pakistan has protected the Islamists in Afghanistan and provided them with shelter, training and weapons. At that time, Afghanistan was slowly changing into a modern progressive society; women were beginning to show their faces, there was more equality between the genders and cities were being modernised through development. The ISI on the other hand, were planning new tactics to counter this progression, and so the “Peshawar Seven” were born.

The Peshawar Seven, aided by the ISI and the Islamic Middle East, started to promote the “Islam is in danger” war cry just as Afghanistan was leaving behind the backwardness and tribalism that had plagued its society since its creation as a state. The ISI knew very well that a radical form of Islam could counter a strong Afghanistan so they worked on people’s emotions and spread propaganda such as “Afghan women are wearing skirts and not wearing the Burqa” through radio, mosques and loudspeakers all over the refugee camps in Pakistan.

While Pakistan enjoyed a secular lifestyle with a moderate Islamic law system, under which women were permitted to sing songs about Pakistan and promote Punjabi Pakistani culture and arts, the ISI had other plans for the people of Afghanistan; these plans were not nice and were extremely two faced.

On 27th November, 1979 a call for jihad was made by the ISI-led “resistance parties”. The ISI had run out of patience, and wanted to start the war quickly while there were no Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan. The ISI wanted to start some form of rebellion in the name of Islamic Jihad because they knew full well the Afghan government would call upon Soviet assistance, as it had done in the past, especially when Pakistan blockaded Afghan trade routes.

Pakistan sidelined any groups opposed to the Socialist Government of Afghanistan that did not hold or follow an Islamist belief; and that is how the Peshawar Seven came into being. All the members of this group were chosen by ISI/Islamabad. The groups within the Peshawar Seven were all radical Islamists; they were as follows:-

· Hizbul-Islami-Afghanistan led by Hekmatyar
· Hizbul-e-islami Afghanistan led by Maulvi Younas Khalis
· Jamiet-e-Islami Afghanistan led by Prof Burhan Ud Din Rabbani
· Ittehad-e-Islami Afghanistan led by Abdul Rabb Rasool Sayaf
· Mahaz-e-Millie e Islami Afghanistan led by Syed Ahmed Gilani
· Jabha De Nijat e Milli-e-Afghanistan led by Prof Sibghatullah Mujaddidi
· Harkat-e-Inqilab e Afghanistan led by Maulvi Muhammad Nabi Muhammadi
The Peshawar Seven were opportunists who were looking for any opportunity to enter Afghan politics, and they were assisted by the ISI who felt it would benefit them. Take the example of Daud’s coup in 1973; at the time, Burhan ud Rabbani offered Daud assistance from the Islamic movement on the condition that he left his communist comrades. Daud knew that this was an attempt by Pakistan to place their proxies in the Afghan government; Daud refused and many Islamists were arrested.

Afghanistan was constantly attacked by a revolution that was started in Pakistan and funded by the ISI. The Arab world also wanted a piece of the pie, and found the idea of an Afghanistan under Islamists quite attractive; that’s why the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Umar Salasani, visited Peshawar in October 1982 to show his support for the likes of Hekmatyar and for the Islamic revolution in Afghanistan.

The Islamists, had always turned to the Pakistanis for help and assistance; even during the rule of Sardar Daud, Younis Khalis, the leader of the Khalis group, would visit ISI-led Islamic Madrassahs such as the Darol Ul Haqqania in Akora Khattak, Nowshera district, to seek knowledge and education in implementing what the author would refer to as “Arabisation through radical Islamic doctrine”. In addition Younis Khalis formed a group that was against obscenity that went the name of “Hebz-Tawabin” in Ningrahar and Kabul. Younis Khalis also had a weekly magazine entitled “Gaheez” in 1968, which was used to produce materials in support of a radical Islamic system. Again, he was funded by and linked with the Aala-Al Maudoodi, then the Chief of Jama at-e-Islami in Pakistan.

The ISI knew very well, that if other Islamist groups were to emerge, they would find it very difficult to control and organise them, so they gave ultimatums that a failure to join one of the recognised Peshawar Seven groups would mean no weapons, and, without weapons and funding, the Islamists would be powerless in their Jihad against Afghanistan. The ISI developed a special cell by the name of the Afghan Bureau, which assisted and helped Islamist fighters in Afghanistan, provided those arms and weapons, and forged links with warehouses to provide constant supplies to bring about a radical Islamist revolution in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has two faces and suffers from self-denial; there have been countless times that Pakistan has denied any link or connection with Islamists in Afghanistan but then has been exposed. Pakistan would always deny it was arming Afghan refugees, and state that the fighters were in the tribal areas just to prevent it being seen to break any UN rules; however, everyone knew the Pakistanis were arming the Islamists, recruiting and brainwashing them in refugee camps through scare mongering tactics, and funding Islamists to spread propaganda. However, according to Brigadier Mohammed Yousaf of the Pakistani Army:

“During my four years some 80,000 Mujahedeen were trained, hundreds of thousands of arms and ammunition were distributed, several billion dollars were spent on this immense logistic exercise and ISI teams regularly entered Afghanistan alongside the Mujahedeen”. [1]

Pakistan remains a corrupt double dealer and two-faced hypocrite to this day. It is double dealing its own allies, on one hand taking dollars from the Americans, but on the other hand using those dollars to train suicide bombers to kill innocent Afghans through the Haqqani network and so to get even with India on Afghan soil.

Pakistan’s main goal in Afghanistan was to create a Pan Islamist entity, and a federation for which Pakistan’s Punjab would be the capital. US representative Wilson stated that the Pakistanis were committed to Hekmatyar as they predicted, just like Zia ul haq did, a world conflict between Muslims and Hindus. However, what makes the author astonished but not surprised is Zia Ul Haq’s plans to turn Afghanistan into another province. Wilson recalls Zia Ul Haq giving him a map “in which overlays indicated the goal of a confederation embracing first Pakistan and Afghanistan and eventually Central Asia and Kashmir”. [2]

The ISI was instrumental in forming these plans for a Pakistani-led confederation that would imperialise other countries in the region and radically Islamize their societies as a counter-strike against any rebellion against Pakistani control. Pakistan has a very long record of using Islam as a shield for its strategic interests in the region, and Afghanistan is a very good example of this.

The whole anti-Soviet war was not a war for the liberation of the Afghan people, but a war for ISI/Pakistan’s Islamic interests. Dr Marwat recalled an Islamist Afghan refugee leader stating the following:-

“We will try to make Pakistan and Afghanistan one country with a new name of Islamistan, and if not possible, then we will make a confederation of the two countries”[3]

Pakistan used radical Islamic beliefs and teachings to turn Afghanistan into a province so that if an attack by India occurred the Pakistanis would have easy access to station its troops and citizens in Afghanistan. The author feels that another reason why Pakistan required a defenceless Afghanistan to exploit was so that it could use the terrain and the people as proxies, or allow the establishment of militant groups for the liberation of Kashmir from India.

The traitorous and backward-minded sell-out Mullahs, not only supported taking anti-progressive measures, but also sold Afghanistan piece by piece to the Pakistanis. Even in May 1991 when the UN produced a five point peace plan for Afghanistan that promoted a ceasefire, fair elections and an end to all arms supplies, the bickering Mullahs and their Islamist supporters rejected the plan, and Hekmatyar requested the Pakistani government to formulate a new plan to satisfy the Mujahedeen. As usual, the Islamists begged Pakistan to defend them and their criminal ways.

To save its Islamist assets and secure Pakistan’s dominance over a future Afghanistan, in April 1992 Nawaz Sharif made the Peshawar Seven sign an accord to create a Mujahedeen government in Kabul. Nawaz Sharif, ISI general Nasir Ahmed, Army Chief of Staff General Asif Nawaz Janjuwa and Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal all came to show their support to this interim government.

The real reason for this interim government was to secure both Pakistani and Radical Wahabist Arab interests in Afghanistan. The ISI knew that uniting the factions under a pan-Islamist ideology with allegiance to Pakistan would prevent the bickering Mullahs from fighting one another. However, as usual, the author feels the Mullahs were only interested in money, as Nawaz Sharif gave President Mujaddedi a cheque for 250 million rupees.

As time progressed, the accord failed due to infighting and constant bickering on who should be involved in sharing power; the Islamists had no idea nor knowledge of how to run a country, in the same way the Taliban had no understanding nor knowledge of how to run Afghanistan during the 90s. Due to this disturbance, on 7th March 1993 the Pakistanis, Saudis and Iranians brought all the Mujahedeen leaders to Islamabad, Pakistan to sign a power sharing plan called the Islamabad accord.

The Peshawar Seven/Islamists proved to be useless leaders and men of no value with regard to making Afghanistan stable and strong. The Afghan people, especially the refugees, were mistreated and forced to join the Peshawar Seven. People in most camps were required to become a member of one of the Peshawar Seven groups to be entitled to an identity and ration card from the Afghan refugee’s commissionrate. These were later called the “ration card parties” and they were led by Maliks/Mullahs who made money on the miseries of the Afghan people.

Pakistan’s intentions towards Afghanistan have always been cruel and self-centred. According to Dr Qaudir Amiryar, a professor at George Washington University, Pakistan supported the radical islamization of Afghanistan and favoured the Islamists, while rejecting the Secularist/Nationalists; they resorted to rejecting their visas and even denied a visa to King Zahir Shah.

The ISI could not see Kabul in peace or modernised. Most of the American aid destined for the Islamists went straight into the pockets of the Punjab/ISI elite in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Zia Ul Haq made it quite clear, that all American assistance to the Mujahedeen/Islamists should go directly through Pakistan alone. Pakistan used the aid first to modernise and strengthen its army along the Indian-Pakistani border and secondly to provide a share of the aid to its most favoured Islamist elements in Afghanistan.

The ISI was never an organisation that wanted to see Afghanistan in peace; in fact the same General Akhtar Abdur Rahman of the ISI stated that “Kabul must burn”.[4] The ISI’s intention was to secure a future Islamist Afghanistan that would be recruited to serve the interests of Pakistan in the name of Islam and Al Jihad, even though most of Pakistan was living a different lifestyle to the one proposed and promoted by the ISI in Afghanistan. The ISI needed its Islamist assets to counterattack Secularism/Pashtun Nationalism in Afghanistan. It supported Islamist culture, such as suicide bombing camps, public lashings for minor crimes and the abolishment of indigenous culture and music, while Pakistan itself promoted a different kind of lifestyle on its own soil, with hardly any rebellion or objection from the Islamist parties, such as JUI which was more focused on destroying the well-being of Afghans than Pakistanis.

More years went by and peace was never brought to the land of Afghanistan. The same Mujahedeen, which had claimed at the start that is was bringing liberty to the Afghan people, started fighting one another for power. The ISI and other agencies were the main orchestrators of the mess, especially during the civil war. Pakistan’s Afghan policy started to face many problems, one being unaccomplished missions and another being the expense of funding particular under-performing proxies.

Hekmatyar and Dostum failed to capture Kabul and it eventually became too expensive for the Pakistanis to fund their activities. Rabbani become difficult to overthrow in Kabul and had sided with the Iranians, Russians and India. With the Kashmir front also being fought for by the ISI and the Pakistanis, the ISI found it difficult to organise its proxies and keep them intact due to the fact that most of the aid from the West stopped after the end of the Cold War. Pakistan had successfully destroyed Afghanistan, dismantled its infrastructure and turned its people into its “Jihadis of fortune”.

With the on-going dispute between Ahmed Shah Masood and Pakistan over aid and arms, the Pakistanis were in desperate need to formulate a new strategy to keep its influence intact in Afghanistan. This new strategy was the Taliban. The ISI, with the assistance of the JUI party, started to recruit young boys from well-known Islamist Madrassahs all over Pakistan; Darol ul Haqqani/Binori Masjid being one of the main recruiting centres.

Pakistan also started creating divisions by ethnicity and couldn’t resist turning the conflict into a Pashtun vs. Tajik war. The author can recall how Pakistanis used false propaganda and scare mongering tactics about a decline in Pashto usage in Afghanistan and the country being ruled by minorities. This spread into the minds of gullible Pashtuns all over the Pashtun region, but in fact it was Pakistan that had reduced Pushto’s importance by replacing it with Urdu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. This is the same Pakistan that armed the non-Pashtuns under Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Masood to counter Pashtun Nationalism. Now the tides had turned in a different direction and the ISI took full advantage of it.

The Taliban followed a radical Islamist ideology that brought Afghanistan back into Pakistan’s sphere of influence. Most of the Northern Alliance realised, regardless of its Islamist past, that Pakistan was a double dealer and an untrustworthy friend. Former assets of Pakistan within the Peshawar Seven started to turn their guns on Pakistani interests, which led to Pakistan’s ISI trying to find some way to take control once again. The Taliban, under the pretext of “bringing peace and order”, was assigned the likes of Col Imam and Col Faizan by the ISIS to assist Taliban military gains and to take control of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

However, the author feels, there was another reason why the ISI and the Pakistanis invented the Taliban that the media and most readers never discuss; to show this, the author would like to point out the events that took place after Kandahar was taken by the Taliban. During the Zia Ul Haq government, Zia himself had always dreamed of an Islamist union with Pakistan as the leader, as mentioned earlier. Zia ul Haq really wanted to provide Pakistan with access to Central Asia, especially through the trade that goes through Afghanistan. The author feels the purpose of the Taliban was to secure this trade route through Afghanistan, as well as bringing order and preventing attacks from rivals or enemies of Pakistani interests.

General Babar, who was a Pakistani commander in the frontier corps, was the man who developed the Afghan trade development cell that had the task of facilitating a trade route to Central Asia. However, the author feels that Pakistan favoured its own economic interests over the so called peace they claim to have brought to Afghanistan through the Taliban. Pakistan was very much involved in projects in Afghanistan such as Pakistani Telecom setting up a microwave telephone network for the Taliban in Kandahar, which then became part of the Pakistani telephone grid.

Civilian Pakistani engineers from the Public Works Department and the water/power development authority worked on making road repairs and supplying electricity to Kandahar. Pakistan was once again, working to integrate Kandahar as a Pakistani city by providing development packages; however, the Pakistan Army was also involved, and was tasked to help the Taliban set up an internal wireless network for its commanders in the field. The PIA (Pakistani International Airlines) and the PAF (Pakistani Air Force) sent technicians to Kandahar airport to repair it along with the MIG fighter jets and helicopters captured by the Taliban.

When the Taliban captured Herat, the Pakistanis became joyful and decided to send a ten-man team led by the Director-General of the Afghan Trade Development Cell by road from Quetta to Turkmenistan. Those with him included men from the civil aviation, Pakistan Telecom, PIA, Pakistan Railways, Radio Pakistan and the National Bank of Pakistan. The individuals and their ministries were encouraged to fund and support the Taliban from their budgets.

The author feels the Pakistanis used the Taliban to extend their influence into Central Asia through an Islamist ideology. The Pakistanis knew very well that the society would become weak due to religious conflict, and with a Pakistani presence in the region they could somehow enter the politics and social life of the inhabitants through the name of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Pakistanis have their own interests, and couldn’t care less whose lives they destroy. Pakistan aimed to imperialise Afghanistan, and make Afghanistan dependent on its projects and development packages, and sooner or later planned to fully integrate it as a province led by Islamists.

Those vile and gullible supporters of Taliban must realise the Taliban were/are proxies of the Pakistani ISI and government. If NATO had not disrupted the Taliban network and operations in the region, the whole of Afghanistan would have become another province of Pakistan flooded by Islamist elements from abroad.

Pakistan armed, supported and provided assistance to the Taliban from its creation and throughout its time ruling Afghanistan; now one must ask what if NATO had not attacked the Taliban? What would the policy of the Taliban towards Pakistan be? Pakistan infected the fabric of Afghan society with the poisonous Islamist Ideology and anti progressive militancy. The Taliban supporters can use all the justifications they can come up with, but the fact remains that it was due to Pakistan that the Taliban become what they are today.


By

Amir Khan Maseed

References

Dr Fazal-Ur-Rahim Marwat. (2005). The Illusory "Peshawar Seven" Tanzimat (Parties). In: Dr Marwat From Muhajir to Mujahid. Peshawar: University of Peshawar. 59-99.

M. Hassan Kakar, Mohammed Kakar (1997). Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982. USA: University of California Press. 291.

William Maley (2001). Fundamentalism reborn?Afghanistan and the Taliban. UK: C. Hurst and Co Ltd. 84-86.


[1] Dr Fazal-Ur-Rahim Marwat. (2005). The Illusory "Peshawar Seven" Tanzimat (Parties). In: Dr Marwat From Muhajir to Mujahid. Peshawar: University of Peshawar. 59-99.


[2] Dr Fazal-Ur-Rahim Marwat. (2005). The Illusory "Peshawar Seven" Tanzimat (Parties). In: Dr Marwat From Muhajir to Mujahid. Peshawar: University of Peshawar. 59-99.


[3] Dr Fazal-Ur-Rahim Marwat. (2005). The Illusory "Peshawar Seven" Tanzimat (Parties). In: Dr Marwat From Muhajir to Mujahid. Peshawar: University of Peshawar. 59-99.


[4] M. Hassan Kakar, Mohammed Kakar (1997). Afghanistan: The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979-1982. USA: University of California Press . 291.