Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Indian Warship Vs Somali Pirates, Any Guesses Who Wins

An Indian warship has successfully warded off a pirate attack on a Greek merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, where it is on anti-piracy deployment, in coordination with a German warship, the Indian Navy said Tuesday.

The Indian frigate, INS Godavari, was escorting four merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden July 16 (Saturday), when the Greek cargo vessel MV Elinakos sent out a distress call. Soon after, the Indian marine commandos were rushed in aid of the Greek ship, the navy said in a press release here.

An eight-member Somali pirate team had made the attempt on the Greek ship and they were spotted by the commandos on a skiff near the cargo vessel.

The marine commandos on board their speed boats approached the pirate skiff, by which time the sea brigands dumped their arms and ammunition, and other piracy implements into the sea, the release said.

The pirates later sped away, a naval officer said.

The German naval ship Niedersachsen also coordinated with INS Godavari in the operation.

Since its deployment in the Gulf of Aden in May this year, INS Godavari has safely escorted 219 ships of various countries. Last week, it escorted a Pakistani ship, MV Islamabad, with an all-Pakistani crew of 38 in the pirate-infested waters of Gulf of Aden.

India has deployed its warships in the region since 2008 in anti-piracy role and has since escorted 1,665 cargo vessels successfully.

(source IANS)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Indian Air Force Looking For Laser Guided Bunker Busters

To smoke out enemy troops fortified inside concrete shelters, the Indian Air Force is looking to procure bunker-buster laser-guided bombs (LGBs) from global vendors.

The IAF plans to induct more than 100 bunker-buster LGBs that will be equipped on its fighter aircraft fleet to destroy strongly fortified enemy targets, sources told a news agency here.

They said the IAF had issued a global Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purpose earlier this year, and defence majors including American Lockheed Martin and Raytheon along with an Israeli missile manufacturer have submitted their bids for the tender.

"We recently submitted bid in response to the RFP for LGBs," Lockheed Martin India head Roger Rose said, confirming the participation of his company in the race.

The two American companies are offering their respective versions of the Paveway LGBs manufactured by them separately.

With their capability to pierce hard surfaces, the bombs can also be used to destroy enemy's concrete runways and fortified locations.

LGBs are guided projectiles that use lasers to strike a designated target with greater accuracy than a gravity bomb and were used with high accuracy by the IAF against Pakistani Army posts during the Kargil war in 1999.

Around the same time, the US had supplied some Paveway bombs to India which could be launched from the Jaguar and Mirage 200 jets for accurately striking enemy targets.

(source PTI)

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Latest News And Video Of Poseidon For Indian And US Navy

Pakistan to Buy More F-16s And US to Gift a Frigate to Pakistani Navy

Pakistan is going to buy 18 more F-16 Block 52 fighters doubling its fleet of advanced variant of Flying Falcons.The latest Fighting Falcons rolling off the Lockheed Martin's production line in Fort Worth, Texas, are advanced Block 50/52 and lately, Block 60 versions. These production series represent the largest configuration change in the F-16 history, offering additional fuel and payload capacity, new or improved avionics and sensors, color cockpit displays with enhanced pilot/vehicle interfaces. Nine countries have already ordered Advanced Block 50/52/60 F-16s, including the USA, Greece, Israel, UAE, Chile and Poland.

Earlier in 2006 18 planes of this variant were delivered and sarcastically named as "Peace Drive 1". This contract which had a price of $3billion had an option of 18 more fighters if Pakistan needed them.

Turkey is upgrading the F-16/A/B block aircrafts of Pakistan to Block 40 standard through the Mid-Life Update program.

Advanced Engines
Advanced Block 50/52 aircraft have a common engine bay that allows customers a choice of engines in the 29,000-pound thrust class. The Block 50s and are powered by the General Electric F110-GE-129 and have the Modular Common Inlet Duct (known as the large mouth inlet). Block 60 aircraft (for the UAE) are fitted with GE F-110-GE-132 engine, a derivative of the F-110-GE-129 that is rated at 32,500 pounds of thrust. The Block 52s are powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 Improved performance Engine (IPE) which also has 29,000 pounds of thrust. The engine is configured with the Normal Shock Inlet (also known as the small mouth inlet). The aircraft is also equipped with an on-board oxygen-generating system replaces the liquid oxygen system of earlier versions to provide breathable air to the pilot. The system improves mission rate, maintainability, deployment flexibility and safety.

Targeting and Weapon Systems
For air/air missions, the aircraft is equipped with medium range missiles such as the AIM-120A AMRAAM. For close range combat, the aircraft can support the AIM-9X, IRIS-T, Python 4 and Python 5. The aircraft also retains the capability to use the six barrel 20mm Gatling gun. Block 52 configurations are also equipped with an advanced version of the APG-68 radar - the (V)9, while F-16E/F is fitted with the new APG-80 Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) system. These new radars have improved performance, higher processing speed and memory capacities and improved high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mode which allows the pilot to locate and recognize tactical ground targets from considerable distances. In conjunction with inertial aided weapons, the advanced F-16 gains an enhanced capability for all-weather precision strike from standoff distances. Modern F-16s of the advanced Block 50/52 can accommodate various targeting systems, including the Lockheed Martin Sniper XR/Pantera, and Northrop Grumman/RAFAEL Litening. These pods are used for target identification, acquisition and designation for smart, GPS guided munitions or laser guided bombs such as GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), SPICE guided weapon, and CBU-103/104/105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD). The later can also be cued by target data provided directly from the radar, in low visibility conditions. On recce missions, advanced F-16s can also carry autonomous reconnaissance pods on the centerline, on intelligence gathering penetration or standoff sorties.

Navigation Systems
A navigation pod, such as LANTIRN/Pathfinder and digital terrain models are contributing to a safe, accurate low level flight. The aircraft is also equipped with various navigation systems such as tactical air navigation (TACAN), VHF omnidirectional receiver (VOR), distance measuring equipment (DME), and instrument landing system. An integrated precision navigation suite consisting of a ring laser gyro inertial navigation system (INS), global positioning system (GPS), and digital terrain system (DTS) are also standard.

Cockpit Configurations
The standard configuration of an Advanced Block 50/52 cockpit features helmet-mounted cueing system, which allows the pilot to direct sensors or weapons to his line of sight or to help him find a designated target. Head-Up Display and several color multifunction displays and advanced recording and data-transfer equipment is used to reduce pilot workload in every phase of the mission. The cockpit is compatible with night vision goggles. A common configuration includes multi-channel VHF/UHF/HF/Data communications, satellite communication and tactical data link systems (such as the NATO-standard Link 16), in addition. Link 16 provides secure, jam-resistant, high-volume data exchange on a multi-node network. Also standard is the combined friend from foe interrogator/ transponder, which permits autonomous identification to maximize launch ranges of radar-guided air-to-air missiles at distances beyond visual range (BVR).

The upgraded aircraft will be equipped with the ITT Systems AN/ALQ-211 (v)9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) electronic warfare pod.The $49,097,182 firm fixed price Foreign Military Sales contract will provide systems software and support equipment 18 pods, four pod shells, two antenna coupler sets, two lab test benches, and data.

There may also be new equipment for the Pakistan Navy. There was no news as of yet on acquiring additional pair of P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to replace those destroyed in the May 22 terrorist attack on PNS Mehran in Karachi.

However, there was a very strong possibility another Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate would be transferred to Pakistan when it was retired from USN service later this year. Intended to protect amphibious landing forces, supply and replenishment groups, and merchant convoys from submarines, they also later were part of battleship-centric surface action groups and aircraft carrier battle groups/strike groups.Fifty-five ships were built in the United States: 51 for the United States Navy and four for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). In addition, eight were built in the Republic of China (Taiwan), six in Spain, and two in Australia for their navies. Former U.S. Navy warships of this class have been sold or donated to the navies of Bahrain, Egypt, Poland, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Terrorist Are Planning To Hit India's Bhakra Dam

Intelligence inputs indicate terrorists are planning to target the Bhakra Nangal Dam in Himachal Pradesh.

Intelligence Bureau sources on Saturday said an advisory has been sent to the Himachal government to tighten the security at the dam.

It is believed that the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah groups are likely to carry out the strike during the Monsoon, during which water level is very high in the dam.

Damage to the facility at that time could cause havoc in the areas downstream.

But we must remember it is not easy to blow up a dam though it might sound simple enough specifically dam of this size, it is not a small check dam. To blow it up you will need extreme amounts of explosives or some weapon which can penetrate the thick walls.

Work Begins On The Second Indian Nuclear Submarine

Construction of India’s second nuclear submarine has begun at a classified facility in Visakhapatnam, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

This project was launched just 24 months after India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was commissioned.

“The second programme took far lesser time than Arihant to reach the shipyard from the drawing board. This time we had a clear plan and we had learned a lot from our mistakes,” top sources told the daily.

Though exact details of the submarine’s progress have not been made public yet, it is learnt that fabrication of the hull and body has begun. The reactor is being constructed with Russia’s help.

The project is expected to be ready for sea trials by 2015. By that time India would have a Russian submarine and INS Arihant deployed.

The Akula-II class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, to be renamed INS Chakra, will be handed over to Indian Navy by Russian Navy in November-December on a 10-year lease.

Prahar India's Answer To Pakistani Nasr

Prahaar, a new quick-reaction, short-range tactical missile, which will fill the gap for a battlefield weapon system in India’s missile arsenal, is all set to be flight-tested on Sunday. It had been under development for the last four years.

The gap that needs to be plugged is between 37.5km (the Pinaka MBRL's range) and the Smwerch-M's quoted range of 90km. And the only way to plug this gap is by procuring 155mm/52-cal self-propelled field artillery howitzers (motorised and tracked) firing rocket-assisted projectiles out to 61.4km, as demonsrated a decade ago by both the Bhim tracked SPH and the Caesar motorized SPH.

The Smerch-M is an area saturation weapon and although it can deliver guided sensor-fuzed munitions, it still does not count as a precision strike weapon. The Indian Army has since 2002 been asking for hypersonic missiles with depressed flight trajectories for high-accuracy (not pinpoint accuracy, mind you) strikes against hostile fixed static targets like POL storage areas (for Brigade- and Divisional-level formations), and transportation infrastructure nodes located along interior lines of communication (consequently making the Prahaar Pakistan-specific).

As such targets are plenty in number, only a limited inventory of 'Prahaars' will be required, like 80 missiles per missile group, which works out to 240 missiles for the three existing missile groups, plus three reload rounds, working out to 720 missiles. In terms of both the cost-benefit ratio and techno-economic matrix, the Prahaar will be extremely cost-effective as it will the free up the IAF's strike aircraft assets to launch strategic and tactical air interdiction sorties, instead of undertaking the extremely hazardous task of battlefield air interdiction. This in turn will dramatically reduce blue-on-blue engagements (which were plenty in the 1965 and 1971 wars) and also dramatically reduce the sensor-to-shooter time-gap that presently prevails as far as the Army's field artillery formations are concerned. In other words, the emphasis is on effects-based operations, and not on the tonnage of TNT dropped in and around the targeted areas.

It has greater accuracy as compared to other unguided missiles India has developed so far with a strike range of 150 km. Moreover, it can handle several targets at once and allow mixture of different kinds of missiles in just one launcher.This solid fueled missile can be launched within 2-3 minutes without any preparation providing significantly better reaction time than liquid fueled Prithvi ballistic missiles.

Terming ‘Prahaar’ as an excellent weapon, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director- General VK Saraswat said it would be equipped with omni-directional warheads and initially handled by the Indian Army.

The missile appears to be India’s response to Pakistan’s Nasr, a 60-km range tactical nuclear missile which was tested on April 19.

Defence sources said preparation for the first test at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 15 km from here, has reached final stage. Weather permitting, the test will be conducted on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the defence authorities have initiated steps to temporarily shift people residing in the 2-km radius of the test range. A meeting in this regard will be convened with the district administration on Friday to decide the pay package for the people to be displaced for a day.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

India Under attack, Mumbai Hit By Three Serial Blast

Just two days after the fifth anniversary of 7/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, another serial blasts rocked the city of Mumbai on Wednesday, Jul 13 evening. Three bomb blasts occurred in different parts of Mumbai.
Live Update:
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Till the last report as of 10:45 PM 21 Indian have been killed

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

USD 1 billion for India's Homeland Security

India will be spending a whopping USD one billion on internal security modernisation, a senior government official today but the industry sought concrete budgetary figures in this regard.

"The government of India will be investing around USD 1 billion on the internal security modernising programmes," S Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary (Police Modernisation) in the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

Speaking at the 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Internal Security: Integrating Technologies for Internal Security, he said security forces account for around 60-70 percent of the overall procurements of equipment and solutions for security.

M K Chhabra, IG (Modernisation), BPR&D observed that given the geographical diversity and multiplicity of threats, India is uniquely placed as far as its internal security requirements are concerned. "Therefore, we need customised security solutions as per the expectations and requirements of the Indian security forces."

Meanwhile, the industry requested the government to come out with concrete budgetary figures about the internal security requirements.

"The quantification would help the industry to make its business plans and enter into internal security market with unprecedented vigour," Rothin Bhattacharyya, chairman CII (Internal Security Committee) said.

Gurpal Singh, Deputy Director General and Head Defence, Aerospace and Security, CII said, SMEs are the real source of innovations and therefore, have remained the integral part of the security solutions.

With the defence offsets being extended to internal security and civil aviation, new areas of opportunities have been opened to the Indian industry and SMEs will be the biggest beneficiaries, he said.

Singh pointed out that over the past decade, India's internal security landscape has seen dramatic changes.

He said the need of the hour is effective and intelligent information management.

Effective information management enables security agencies to reduce costs by minimising waste and duplication and using information gathering resources more efficiently.

This, he said can remove unnecessary recording, enable security agencies to share services and systems, help create intelligence from disparate pieces of information, allow for better use of analytics to support decision-making and ensure specialist law enforcement skills are utilised effectively in the community.

"The best, actionable and prompt intelligence on internal security often comes from police stations. Information management also increases the effectiveness and performance of public safety services in a number of ways," he said.

(source PTI)

China Testing DF-21D Missile To Take On U.S. Carrier Battle Groups

China's ambitious new long range ballistic missile with a range of 2,700 km dubbed as carrier-killer is undergoing tests, a top military official has said.

Chen Bingde, chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff acknowledged that China is developing Dongfeng-21D with an ability to strike moving targets - including aircraft carriers - at sea.

"The missile is still undergoing experimental testing and will be used as a defensive weapon when it is successfully developed, not an offensive one," Chen was quoted as saying during his rare interaction with media coinciding after talks with Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff here yesterday.

"It is a high-tech weapon and we face many difficulties in getting funding, advanced technologies and high-quality personnel, which are all underlying reasons why it is hard to develop this," he said about the ballistic missile which has a maximum range of 2,700 kilometers.


The development of the missile caused considerable in US as it was believed to have been developed to target aircraft carriers.

Chen also said the first Chinese aircraft carrier, Varyag a refurbished version of an old Ukrainian ship will be used for research.

"I have nothing more to say about Chinese aircraft carriers, since prominent media outlets have already reported on them so much. Our American friends all know that China bought an old aircraft carrier, the Varyag, from Ukraine. It's very valuable for us to research these things this way," he said.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Pakistan army says it is capable of operations sans US aid

The Pakistani military said Monday it was capable of fighting without American assistance, adding that it had not been informed officially of a US decision to suspend $800 million worth of aid.

“The army in the past as well as at present, has conducted successful military operations using its own resources without any external support whatsoever,” military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas wrote.

“We have not received any official intimation or correspondence on the matter,” Abbas wrote.

President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, William Daley, confirmed in a television interview on Sunday that the United States has decided to withhold almost a third of its annual $2.7 billion security assistance to Islamabad.

Relations between the key allies in the war on Al Qaeda drastically worsened after US commandos killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 in Pakistan.

Abbas referred AFP to an extraordinary statement from army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani on June 9 recommending that US military aid be re-directed towards civilians.

The suspended aid includes about $300 million to reimburse Pakistan for some of the costs of deploying more than 100,000 soldiers along the Afghan border, according to the New York Times.

Pakistan says it has 140,000 soldiers in the northwest, more than the 99,000 American troops in Afghanistan, fighting a local Taliban insurgency.


India on Monday welcomed the US decision to suspend $800 million worth of military aid to its Pakistan.“It is not desirable that this region had to be heavily armed by the US, which will upset the equilibrium in the region itself,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said, according the domestic PTI news agency.“To that extent, India welcomes this step,” he said.

Don't meddle in South China Sea dispute, Beijing warns US


Taking strong exception to US navy''s proactive presence in the oil rich South China Sea, China which is grappling to resolve maritime disputes with several ASEAN countries today asked it to stay out of the region.

"It''s not a proper time for the US to conduct military drills in the region with the Philippines and Vietnam," Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People''s Liberation Army (PLA) said.

Chen made direct reference to US navy''s recent war games with the militaries of the two countries which raised strong objections to China''s claims of sovereignty over the oil rich disputed islands.

Beijing has warned other countries to stay out of the South China Sea dispute -- but insists it will not use force in its standoff with Vietnam.

With tensions rising in the South China Sea, Beijing has warned other countries not to meddle in its standoff with Hanoi while saying China will not use force to address the problem.

"The recent situation in the South China Sea was due to unilateral actions taken by some countries, which damaged China's sovereignty and marine interests. These countries made groundless and irresponsible remarks in an attempt to expand and complicate the South China Sea issue. That is the cause of the problem," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday (Jun. 14).

"China is committed to a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea issue through bilateral dialogues and consultations with related parties. We will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force," he said. "China is safeguarding its own legitimate rights, not infringing upon others."

Beijing's statement followed Vietnam's live-fire drill in the South China Sea on Monday.

"This is the most serious [situation] ever in terms of bilateral relations since 1991 when countries agreed to put past issues aside and start to build good relations," said David Koh, a Vietnam expert at Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, according to the US-based National Public Radio (NPR).

Hanoi accused a Chinese patrol boat of cutting the cable of a Vietnamese boat which was conducting seismic research about 120 nautical miles off Vietnam's central coast on May 26. Hundreds of Vietnamese people on June 5 and 12 gathered in Hanoi to protest outside the Chinese embassy. Vietnam held a live-fire naval drill Monday (Jun. 13) in the disputed area where China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei have sovereignty claims.

China's foreign ministry said Chinese fishing boats were chased away by armed Vietnamese ships while near the Nansha (Spratly) Islands in the South China Sea and called for a peaceful resolution to the dispute.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year said the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is a national interest of the US, a statement which angered Beijing. The South China Sea and Strait of Malacca is a vital international shipping route.

The United States has sent the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington from its home port of Yokosuka in Japan to patrol the western Pacific, including the South China Sea.

US Senator Jim Webb, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, on Monday urged Congress to pressure China over the issue, saying, "I think we in our government have taken too weak of a position on this. We should be working in a multilateral forum to solve these problems," according to Agence France-Presse.

The Philippines announced Monday that it has started to use the name "West Philippine Sea" to refer to the South China Sea to assert its own territorial claims in the area.

The Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of China's armed forces, meanwhile warned "unrelated" countries to back off from weighing in on the dispute. "China resolutely opposes any country unrelated to the South China Sea issue meddling in disputes and it opposes the internationalization of the South China Sea issue," the newspaper said.

"The US seems to have sketched out vague security guarantees for countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines. Washington therefore is able to further flare up conflicts in the South China Sea so as to counter China," Ji Qiufeng, a professor at the School of Foreign Relations at Nanjing University, told Global Times, a state-run Chinese daily noted for its nationalistic editorial line.

Chen''s comments came as Mullen chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, asserted that US is a Pacific power and would remain so.Mullen in his address to the Renmin University yesterday has declared that Washington''s enduring presence in the Asia-Pacific Region is important and it will continue to be so."This means China has to deal with the reality of growing US involvement in the region in the long run.

Indian Air Force No. 7 Squadron Battle-Axes


Crest

It was in the autumn of 1960 that the " Battle-axe " logo was approved by airforce heraldic committee. Although No 7 Sqn had been (unofficially) using this for years and wore it proudly on their flying suits. Mythology has it that the Battle-Axe (or "Farsha" as it is known in Sanskrit) was the choice weapon of Parshuram. Parshuram was one of the few Brahmin 'Guru' who were also masters of hand to hand combat. He was considered at par with Dronacharya, The Guru who instructed the Pandavas in the epic of the Mahabharat. Karan, half brother of Pandavas took instruction in weaponry from Parshuram, a disciple of lord Shiva and was known to have trible temper, having lost his father to the evil "Asuras". Prashuram in his anger got rid off from "Kshatriya", the martial races of the earth, seven times over.The farsha or " Battle-Axes" was known to have super natural powers. It had four cutting edges, one on each end of the blade head and one on each end of the shaft. The farsha was also known as the most lethal close combat weapon of the epics. No. 7 Squadron 'Battle -Axes' emblem had two unfolded wings adorning the weapon and the symbolic number seven attached to the shaft. Below this crest, on a scroll were the letters "Shatrunjay" or simply " Vanquish the enemy". This logo was officially approved by President on 26th Septeber 1960, and has adorned aircraft that No. 7 Squadron has flown since and proudly is worn by all officers and men of the Squadron.

Squadron History

No. 7 Squadron (BATTLE-AXES) was formed on Dec 1942 at Vizagapatnam equipped with Vultee Vengeance dive bomber. Sqn Ldr HN Chaudhary was the first Commanding Officer and the personnel were drawn from No. 104 General Reconnaissance and 353 Squadron of RAF plus No. 3 Calcutta) and No. 6 (Vizagapatnam) Cost Defence Flight, under Air Headquarters formation, order 268 of 19 Nov 1942.

More than a half a century of existence of No. 7 squadron has been characterised by pioneering off new aircraft and weapons systems into the service and being the cutting edge of the air arm in various theatres of battle. BATTLE-AXES have always displayed skill and elan in the skies above the Indian subcontinent from the time they flew gull winged dive bombers bursting the jungle tree tops, to the contemporary classic delta inceptor flighter which they fly today at the edges of space. Most of the pioneers of no. 7 squadron are now gone, but theinheritors of the banner maintain the tradition with professionalism and pride.

Special Achievements

Waziristan Operation

To quell the uprising of tribesman of NWFP(North Western Frontier Province), the Sqn was first assigned operational task of bombing. On 03 Dec 1943, reconnaissance flights were carried out this was followed with bombing by two aircraft element of Vengeance. Squadron carried out bombing and strafing with exceptional accuracy although it was newly equipped with Vengeance dive bomber.

Burma Operation 1944

The squadron was placed on operational readiness on 04 March 1944. On 28 March 1944, a six aircraft formation led by CO, Sqn Ldr HN Chaudhary, carried out their first bombing strike. In a period of first three days, thirty four bombing sorties were carried out with devasting accuracy. During the next month, tactical and strategic targets were engaged with precise bombing and strafing.

Squadron continued operating from the Kutcha airstrips in rain and slush under adverse condition and still flew 1400 hrs operational flying. This tremendous flying efforts maximum in its group commended by AOC 221 group.

After successful complition of operation on Chindwin front the squadron moved to Imphal front. Operating from Sin, the Air Strip near Imphal, the Squadron flew 1200 hrs of operational flying in span of two months. This consisted of bombing, strafing, fighter reconnaissance and message dropping. Once again Sqn flew maximum in its group.

Kashmir Operations 1948-49

Equipped with spitfire, the Sqn flew 600 operation hours inspite of the adverse weather in the valley, poor servicing facilities and poor living conditions. During these operation the squadron kept enemy on its toes by continuously bombing, strafing, firing rockets at a relentless rate.

Indo-Pak Operations 1965

In these operations the squadron destroyed two sabres in aireal combat. In air to ground missions the squadron destroyed/damaged numerous bridges, tanks and gun positions. equipped with thunders.The squadron flew 437 operational missions maintaining a record serviceability of over 90% throught the period. This serviceability was maintained despite heavy rectifications required due to battle damage.

For its impressive record in the air as well as on ground, the squadron received commendations from the Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, the Defence Minister Shri YB Chavan and Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh.

Indo-Pak Operation 1971

At the outbreak of this war the squadron was at Bagdogra and flew 40 missions of offensive air support and counter air support in three days on Hunter aircraft. Subsequently the squadron moved to Western front where it remained till cease-fire. Gaining the unique distinction of operating on both eastern as well as western fronts. The squadron largely flew close support air missions of Army, in addition strike sorties over PAF bases and important installations, were carried out with good results.

Sri Lanka Operations 1987

The squadron was once again entrusted with the unique task of escorting transport aircraft in ex Poomalai in Jun 87. Five AN-32s carrying food and relief supplies for the besieged tamil people at Jaffna were escorted all the way upto Jaffna. The ground and air opposition was encountered and all the air craft returned safely.

Maldives Operations 1988

In Nov 1988 the Maldives state Government was under threat from Tamil Guerillas. Overnight the Sqn flew to a base in Southern part of the country to standby for support to Maldives Government. On 04 Nov 1988, two ac formation made a pass over Hulule Airport in Maldives as a show of force and moral booster for the besieged government. However, Battle-Axes were disappointed as the need for the actual operation did not arise.

AirCraft flown by the Sqn

Wapiti
Before arrival of Vengeance bomber aircraft the Wapitis of No. 6 Coastal Defence flight (CDF) had the honour of being No. 7 Squadrons, first air craft. This aircraft was powered by 4450 hp Bristol Jupiter VII engine and armed with one fixed 0.303 Vickens machine gun forward and one 0.303 Lewis machine gun in the rear cockpit. Wapiti could carry upto 500 lbs bomb on under wing racks. Pilots found Wapiti, tough and stable, responding easily to controls.




Vengeance
Inspired by Stuka dive bomber of Luffwaffle the Vultee Vengeance dive bomber was ordered by British Purchasing Commision in 1940 to meet the urgent demands of Royal Air Force, then battling a Nazi occupied Europe.

Equipped to full standards, the Vengeance was redesigne of the A-35A, with four 50 inch machine guns in the wings and two .30 caliber brewing guns in the cockpit. Bomb load was two 500 pounds internally and another 500 pounder under each wing. Powered by 1700 hp wright R 2600-B piston radial engine, 562 Vengeance were assigned to Britain for eventual equipment of RAF and Royal Australian Air Force.

Hawker Hurricane
It was the world's first eight gun fighter and the best of all, an overall total of 14,533 examples being built. TheHurricane was already legendary,, having flown over France and bearing he onslaught in the Battle of Britain, where it claimed 80% of their kills. Powered by 1200 hp rolls Royce Merlin XX engine with stage supercharger and could carry upto 1000 lbs of bombs, or rockets. Contrary to popular belief, the Hurricane was superbly manoeuverable, even better so than the spitfire, despite slightly heavy controls. The only designs drawback was that it, lacked speed.

Spitfires
It has been probably the best known fighter of all time, the paragon of elegance in aircraft design, first flown in March 1963. Spitfire almost single-handedly won the Battle of Britain which was turning point against Hitler's Third Reich. With as much as 52 variants a total of 22759 spitfires were built.








Tempest
The Sqn moved on 17 April 1947 to Risalpur for conversion on the Tempest MK II. Performance of Tempest was superior in terms of speed below 20,000 ft than the other allied fighters including the Mustang III, Spitfire XIV. Messerchmitt Mc 109 G And Focke Wulf FW 190A but so in manoeuverability.






Vampire
Vampire, a single seater fighter aircraft had many variants including a trainer and night fighter. It was powered by a de Havilland Gobin (MK-II) turbo jet. It could achieve the max speed of 882 Kmph and had a combat range of 1963 Kms. It could carry four Hispano 20 mm Canons, eight rockets or two 1000 lbs bombs. This aircraft was in service form 1948 to 1972.




Hunter
The first prototype Hunter, powered by the Rolls Royce Avon, flew on July 20th 1951. Continued modification led to hunter MK6 which had four hard points for carrying a varient of stores, 1000 lb bombs, 24x3m. rockets 100 gallon napalm cannister drop tanks. The Hunters is a transonic aircraft and has a maximum speed ( at sea level) of 715 mph or Mach .938, service ceiling of 99,000 feet and a combat range of 1840 miles.

MIG-21
Mig-21, a single seater fighter aircraft having many varients including a twin seater trainer, was manufactured by Mikyan Gureywich (Erstwhile USSR). It is powered by a single R-11 F-2 S-300 engine. It has a max speed of 2.1 Mach and a max range of 1800 kms. It can carry one 23 mm machine gun and two Air to Air missile and various other loads. This aircraft came in service in 1983 and is still in use.




Mirage-2000
It is an Air Superiority fighter used for various roles like interception, ground attack, AD and EW escorts. It is powered by a Snecma M-53 P-2 turbofan engine rated at 9700 kgs. It has a max speed of 2.2M at 11,000m and a combat radius of 7000 kms. It carries two 30mm Defa 554 cannons and 6500 kgs of external load. This aircraft came in service in 1985 and till date is amongst the best aircraft on IAF inventory.






(source Official Indian Air Force Site)
(images wikipedia)

US 'considering' further missions inside Pakistan

The US is so concerned about security in Pakistan that it is considering plans to enter the country to prevent extremists getting hold of nuclear material, the BBC's Newsnight programme has discovered.
Relations between the two countries seem to be at an all-time low, with Pakistan ordering US personnel to leave the country this past week.



Saturday, 9 July 2011

US Military Chief On A 4 Day Visit To China

courtesy Reuters

The top U.S. military officer begins a four-day trip to China on Sunday in another sign of warming military ties between the two countries after a break in relations following a $6.3 billion U.S. arms deal with Taiwan.

"Admiral Mullen looks forward to continuing the engagement and dialogue that began during General Chen Bingde's visit to the United States in May," said Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan.

Mullen had a wide range of meetings scheduled with senior military officials, including visits to PLA military units, Lapan said. He also is scheduled to speak to students at Renmin University in Beijing.

Mullen's visit to China is the first by a chairman of the Joint Chiefs since his predecessor, General Peter Pace, went there in 2007. Mullen's last visit to China also was in 2007, when he Chief of Naval Operations.

U.S.-China military ties were severed in January 2010 after President Barack Obama's administration announced a $6.3 billion arms deal with Taiwan that included Patriot anti-missile systems and Apache attack helicopters.

Military links remained severed through much of the year, even as Mullen and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who resigned last week, called for regular contacts to improve trust and avoid misunderstands that could spin out of control.

U.S. officials have watched with concern as China has displayed a growing military assertiveness and begun developing weapons that could be used to undermine U.S. strengths in the region, from anti-satellite missiles to radar-evading jet fighters.

But the admiral's trip coincides with a joint naval exercise set for Saturday with the US, Japanese and Australian navies in the South China Sea, where China has asserted territorial claims.

US and Japanese officials said the exercise will include the Japanese destroyer Shimakaze, an American destroyer -- the USS Preble -- and a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat.

The ships will carry out communications training and other drills off Brunei, officials said.
The US Navy played down the exercise, with a spokeswoman calling it a small-scale, "low-level" activity on the sidelines of an international defense exhibition in Brunei.

China has objected to previous US naval drills in the South China Sea, and tensions in the strategic and resource-rich area have mounted in recent weeks.

The Philippines and Vietnam have expressed concern over what they call China's increasingly assertive stance in the area.

As tensions in the South China Sea have mounted, the pace of China-US military exchanges have also picked up, with the former US defense secretary Robert Gates meeting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie in Singapore in early June, following a January visit by Gates to Beijing.

Gates warned last month that clashes could erupt in the South China Sea unless nations with conflicting territorial claims adopt a mechanism to settle their disputes peacefully

Taiwan Missile Test A Big Flop Again And A Huge Embarrassment



It was sold as a demonstration of Taiwan’s high-tech defenses against a rapidly rising China. But Tuesday’s firing of 19 air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles before an audience of top government officials and reporters might end up having another equally important effect for Taiwan: scoring pity points with China hawks in Washington.

That’s because the test was a flop. Six of the missiles missed their targets. One, a Sparrow air-to-air missile, “cascaded harmlessly into the South China Sea less than 30 seconds after launch,” according to the Associated Press.

The country's media had been invited to watch the exercise which was designed to show that Taiwan was capable of defending itself against a possible attack from China.

An embarrassed President Ma told reporters: "I'm not satisfied with the results. I hope the military will find out the reasons and improve its training."

Taiwan's defence ministry on Tuesday confirmed reports that a new supersonic anti-ship missile had missed its target during a routine naval drill, in the latest in a series of setbacks.

Analysts say the Hsiung Feng (Brave Wind) III missile, designed to cruise at a maximum speed of Mach 2.0, or twice the speed of sound, and with a range of up to 130-kilometres, is difficult to defend against.

But the defence ministry said the weapon, the island's first locally developed supersonic anti-ship missile, had failed to hit its objective during the drill due to a computer glitch.

"The ministry will improve on the screening of hardcore facilities... to ensure the quality of the missiles," it said in a statement.

Taiwan started to deploy the Hsiung Feng III on its warships last year in response to China's rapid naval expansion.

But the island's military leaders were left red-faced after two failed missile tests earlier this year that earned rare criticism from President Ma Ying-jeou, who urged the armed forces to practice more.

The Taipei-based China Times said the latest failure was particularly embarrassing for Taiwan's navy, since it "coincided" with Beijing's much-publicised military drills in South China Sea in mid-June.

The missiles are estimated to cost Taiwanese taxpayers at least Tw$100-million ($3.45-million) each, the report said.Ties between China and Taiwan have improved since Ma became the island's president in 2008 on a China-friendly platform.

But China still regards Taiwan as part of its territory waiting to be reunified by force if necessary, although the island has governed itself since 1949 when a civil war ended.

In 2001, Washington agreed to sell Taiwan $6 billion in new weapons, including four destroyers, a dozen P-3 patrol planes and eight submarines. So far, only the destroyers — revamped U.S. Navy models from the ’80s — have been delivered. The planes have been stalled until around 2015. The submarines became such a political hot potato that nobody would agree to build them.

The same thing happened in 2006, when Taiwan requested 66 new F-16 fighters to bulk up its aging, shrinking air force. In principle, Washington agreed to the sale. But politics have indefinitely held up the actual transfer.

The botched missile test could help Taiwan make its case for the new fighters. “The Taiwan government may be using this exercise to send a message to the U.S. that its air defense is facing mounting pressure as China continues to develop the new generation of fighter jets,” Wang Kao-cheng, from Taiwan’s Tamkang University, told the AP.

(source AFP)

Hillary Clinton To Visit Turkey,Greece And India Between July 15-July 19

courtesy Telegraph.co.uk

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accompanied by a delegation of senior U.S. officials will pay visits to Turkey, Greece and India July 15-19, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday.

On July 15-16 Clinton will be in Turkey to discuss bilateral ties as well as the conflicts in Libya and Syria with President Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other top officials. She will also take part in a Libya contact group meeting, Nuland said.

The U.S. politician will arrive in Greece on July 17 and remain for a day there. She will meet with President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Georgis Papandreou.

Clinton will finally head for India on June 19. In New Delhi she will take part in the second round of the U.S.-India strategic dialogue.
(source Rio Novosti)

Iranian Long Range Missiles Now Hit Targets In Indian Ocean

A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced the successful test-firing of Iran's long-range missiles, saying that the IRGC has succeeded in targeting vessels in the Indian Ocean from a location in Iran's Northern province of Semnan.

Speaking to reporters, Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the test of long-range missiles was conducted in February.

"In Bahman of the last (Iranian) year (January 21- February 20) two IRGC long-range missiles with a range of 1,900km were fired from a region in Semnan province at specified targets in the entrance of the Indian Ocean," Hajizadeh announced.

The commander said that the test was conducted at a time when American forces were also present in the region, and added, "Of course, we had declared that we were having drills in the area and we had closed that specific.

"We even allowed the US spy planes to be present in the region, although they never made an announcement about this issue," he continued.

Following the recent exercises, IRGC Commander Major General Ali Jafari said that his forces demonstrated just part of their capabilities during the military drills.

"Firing missiles from underground silos, hiding the missiles from the enemy, scattering missile stocks and using the element of surprise against the enemy… are issues that have been important for us and we have been working on them for several years… and a part of these capabilities were shown in the Great Messenger drills," Jafari stated on Monday.

Jafari said increasing the capabilities of the Armed Forces has strengthened Iran's deterrent power because of which the enemy was not able to carry out its threats over the past 2-3 years.

The Iranian commander added that Iran would not confine itself to blocking the Strait of Hormuz if any act of aggression was committed against the country.

The Iranian commander said Iran is after plans to fully exploit its defensive potential in the high seas, and added, "… if the enemy attempts to threaten Iran outside the Strait of Hormuz, the country has the power to retaliate and this strategy is currently on our agenda".

ran usually tests its missiles in extensive deserts in the heart of the country, so the firing into the Indian Ocean is an unusual move, aimed to prove Tehran’s longstanding claims it can hit targets beyond its borders.

Television showed a missile being fired but the announcer did not specify if the pictures were of the Indian Ocean test-firing. No pictures were shown of a target being hit at sea.

The announcement came after a 10-day military exercise by the elite Guards that was designed to deter Iran’s enemies by showing Iran is ready and able to hit back at US bases in the Middle East and at Israel.The United States and Israel have not ruled out military strikes on Iran if necessary to stop it getting nuclear weapons.

Iran says it has home-made missiles with a range of 2,000 km, designed specifically to hit US interests and Israel. But it denies it is seeking nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them.

Ordnance factory develops system to airlift Light Field Guns

Indian Army may be soon able to chopper-lift artillery guns to its mountain posts. The Army along with the ordnance factory has developed an indigenous system for lifting the lighter 105mm light field gun (LFG). The equipment has been tested successfully and the ordnance factory which developed it hopes to bag a bulk production order.

The equipment, 'apparatus airlift', was developed at the century old Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur. The factory also manufactures the LFGs. These guns are currently the most deployed 'howitzers'of the Army. Developed indigenously in 1980s, the LFG has a range of 17 kms which can be extended up to 20 kms by making a slight modification in the artillery shell. The 155mm howitzer guns have almost double the range.

At present the Army moves the guns to its mountain posts by road on trucks or on mule-back after dismantling the LFGs. The airlift equipment has been tested successfully and it is expected that the Army will soon place orders for this product, said SP Yadav, general manager of GCF.

The equipment can be attached to Army's MI-17 helicopter as well as Navy's Sea King. Although it looks like an ordinary attachment on which the gun is air lifted, the engineering skill lies in ensuring that the gun is lifted along its centre of gravity only. This ensures the stability of both the gun and the chopper. The gun has to be lifted by keeping it in the same position as when it is placed on the ground. The gun should be placed in the same position through out or else the gun may get damaged if it is offloaded in the wrong position. Also, if the gun wobbles while being airlifted it can affect the stability of the chopper which can cause the chopper to crash, said the official.

The 105mm LFG weighs around 2,100kg, and the ultra light guns of 155mm calibre which the Army plans to purchase are almost double the weight. The present 155mm Bofors gun weighs almost 12 tonnes.

The indigenously developed equipment is only capable of helping airlift 105mm guns. Army will be buying the equipment for airlifting 155mm ultra light guns along with the weapon.

The ordnance factory has also developed a mounted version of the 105mm gun. The gun can be placed on a truck and fired. This increases its mobility and enables it to be fired even while shifting positions. The gun was test-fired recently and the ordnance factory hopes that the Army may place an order for its bulk production, said Yadav.

Recently, the factory had developed an indigenous barrel for Russian T-90 tanks. A barrel has to be changed after around 200 to 250 shells are fired. Earlier, the Army had to completely depend on Russia for the supply of the barrels but now it won't be needed as the factory has finally developed the T-90 barrels, he added.

(source TOI)

West Bengal The New Sanctuary And Command Center For Maoists

Maoist are planing something big as they have found the safest place to increase their ranks, re-organize, recuperate and train new cadres. In her infinite wisdom Ms Banerjee has decided to stop all anti-Maoist operations in West Bengal. According to agency sources this has helped the Maoist in a big way and have given them a center for operation. In all Maoist effected areas in the state any shred of law or government control has dissapeared with Maoist cadres taking over large part of the state.

Some analyst believe that it is just matter of time before the Maoist armies move from villages, toward cities in Bengal and the present Government will help them instead of hindering them. Either Ms Banerjee lacks the will to fight or she is hand in glove with Maoist. That is exactly what the CPI/CPM had alleged. They had clearly pointed out at a nexus between Maoist and Trinamool Congress.

Despite the fact that West Bengal has 36 companies of CRPF, 18 companies of Cobra and 6 of that of Naga, Interlocutors believe that Mamata would first have to create a congenial atmosphere for dialogue.

"If Mamata is serious about talks, she will have to create a congenial atmosphere and instill confidence among Maoists so that they can come forward to talk," Maoist sympathiser and poet Varvara Rao told reporters.

He said that to create confidence among Maoists, the state government would first have to withdraw the joint forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations in Junglemahal, lift the Unlawful Activities (Prevent) Act, and release all political political prisoners from jail.

"The government should release Maoist Central Committee members like Sushil Roy and Patipaban Halder--a demand which has repeatedly been made by Kishenji (Mallojula Koteswara Rao) and Azad, who was treacherously killed," he said.

Citing the example of Andhra Pradesh which in 2004 withdrew the elite Grey Hound forces before inviting Maoists for talks, Rao said, "If the West Bengal government is keen to solve the Maoist problem, it will have to take some positive steps."

Dandapani Mohanti, the interlocutor who played a crucial role in facilitating the release of Orissa's Malkangiri District Collector from the clutches of Maoists, said, "The Orissa government promised to release 47 prisoners, but what about 2000 prisoners in jail without trial.

Somehow all this seems one-way, with the Government ceding territory to the rebels and the rebels not doing a thing in return. More pragmatic approach would have been to withdraw only after the Maoist cadre agreed to dis-arm. Once Government forces withdraw and Maoist cadres are disarmed then the talks can continue. Experts are of the view that Maoist central committee is in no mood for any real talks, it just wants to buy time for its armies to increase in size and sophistication. More time we give them the bigger the threat will become, unfortunately Ms Banerjee lacks vision to look at the broader picture, she sees everything in relation to Bengal and believes the Maoist problem can be solved easily, forgetting that Maoist are an organisation bent upon overthrowing the democratic government of India and are in no way a localized phenomena. Her strategic blunder may bring peace in Bengal for few months but it will cost India dear in long run.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Karachi Burns In Sectarian Riots As Pakistani Security Forces Watch Helplessly

courtesy mostdangerouscities.org
Incidents of violence continued in Karachi on Friday as 13 people were killed in fresh incidents of firing in Pakistan’s largest city.

The current wave of violence has brought the total number of dead to 81 in the last four days.

The violence ensued as firing continued in different parts of the city on Friday. The affected areas include Kharadar, Orangi Town and New Karachi where several people were shot dead and many wounded.

Shops and fuel stations were shut and public transport idled in Karachi on Friday after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced a day of mourning against the latest surge in violence in the country’s financial and commercial hub.

Although the MQM announced that it would stage what it said would be a peaceful protest, quashing rumours about a strike call by the party, panic gripped the city Thursday evening amid reports of violence in different parts of the city that forced closure of fuel stations and markets in several areas.

Moreover, police and paramilitary troops were ordered on Friday to shoot on sight after 70 people were killed in three days of ethnic and political violence in Karachi.

“We have issued orders to the security forces to shoot anyone involved in violence on the spot,” Sharjeel Memon, the provincial information minister, told Reuters.

courtesy AP/BBC
“In addition to the police and Rangers, another 1,000 personnel of the Frontier Constabulary will be deployed in the city to control the violence,” he said, referring to another paramilitary force.

“Thirty-seven people were killed yesterday alone,” he said.

Karachi, home to more than 18 million people, has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who arrived here after midnight on instructions of the prime minister, told reporters at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport: “Let me make it very clear that there is no operation planned.”

“But definitely there will be targeted actions in the affected areas and I have ordered deployment of 1,000 FC troops to enforce law in the city,” Malik said.

Also on Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over a meeting on the law and order situation. The meeting, attended by police and Sindh Rangers authorities, ended with shoot-at-sight orders to enforce the writ of the government.

“During the past two days we pointed out strife-torn areas and gathered intelligence,” City Police Chief Saud Mirza said on Thursday.

“Now we will definitely move against them (terrorists) with credible information in hand. I can assure you that the situation will start turning better from Friday.”

Violence in the metropolis has claimed eleven more lives till Friday morning since midnight, Geo News reported. Miscreants attacked several houses with rockets and hurled hand grenades into residential area of Baldia Town, injuring four people including a woman and a child. Terror gripped the area after the attack.

Residents of these areas took to the streets and staged protest demonstration against the attacks. They said that law enforcement agencies have failed to control law and order situation.

Meanwhile, police conducted raids in these areas and held five suspects. Police also recovered weapons and motorcycle from the miscreants.

According to police sources, one man was killed in Iqbal Market of troubled Orangi Town while one was injured.

Firing incidents also took place in Dalmia, Kharadar, Baldia Town, killing three people while a child also lost his life in the firing incident.

Two persons were shot dead in Lee Market and North Karachi areas of Karachi while one was killed in Orangi No.10.

Miscreants have also burnt eight shops of Aligarh Market in Orangi Town early on Friday morning, president of Aligarh Market told Geo News.

Russia Catches A Chinese Spy Trying To Smuggle Parts Of Su-27 And Mig-29 To China

courtesy wikipedia
China is at it again, trying to steal what is not its. This time it is the Russian fighter plane parts. I wonder what they are up to in India

Customs authorities in Russia's Far East have launched a criminal case against a Chinese citizen who attempted to smuggle spare parts for Russian MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters last year, a customs' spokesperson said on Friday.

The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was caught at one of the border checkpoints in Transbaikal region in July last year. Customs officials found six stepping motors, two piston pumps, 54 connectors, an elapsed-time meter and other parts in the trunk of his car.

"It took experts from the Defense Ministry almost a year to prove that the confiscated equipment is part of assembly kits for MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter jets," Yulia Philipova said."A criminal case has been opened," she said.

It is the second attempt by Chinese nationals to smuggle spare parts for fighter jets from Russia in the past three years.

A Chinese man was detained at the same border checkpoint in 2009 while trying to smuggle power supply circuits for Su-27s.

China is notorious for producing copycat versions of military equipment from all over the world.
Russia has accused China of producing its own clones of some Russian-made weaponry, including the Su-27SK fighter jet, in violation of intellectual property agreements.

(source Rio Novosti)

Russia To Pump $730 Billion In New Weapons

courtesy scrapetv.com
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced his government plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons modernization by 2020. In his address to parliament earlier this year, Putin said Russia must be strong enough to fend off any threats from abroad, so missile production will double starting in 2013. Analysts in Moscow say this ambitious plan is intended mainly to preserve the government's domestic and regional influence.

Upgrade

Russia plans to spend $730 billion by 2020 to upgrade and re-arm its military. That's nearly $20 million a day.

The new state arms procurement program includes purchases of eight missile-carrying strategic submarines equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles. Plus 600 aircraft and S-400 and S-500 air defense systems. The arms purchases, both at home and abroad, would allow Russia to raise the proportion of modern weaponry in its arsenal to 70 percent by 2020.
Independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer says upgrading the strategic nuclear forces is at the top of the list, but the rest of the military needs a boost as well.
"Then there's of course the air force, the air defense system, the army - actually, everything needs re-arming because right now they say that [only] 10-15 percent of our weaponry is modern," Felgenhauer noted.

Budget increase

As Russia exports weapons worth billions of dollars abroad, the country's armed forces are mostly equipped with outdated Soviet-era weaponry. In the last 10 years the government has increased the defense budget tenfold, says Felgenhauer, but still failed to bring the military up to date.

"Now the present defense minister says that there was massive misappropriation of funds," Felgenhauer added. "The Russian defense industry, which is also downgraded, and its capabilities are much smaller than in Soviet times, responded to more funding by just raising prices. They are producing the same several fighters or missiles, but for a much bigger price."
Foreign threats

Prime Minister Putin says it is necessary to spend billions on re-arming the military due to the need to fend off foreign threats. But while that will demonstrate Russia's military might, analysts say the main goal really is to create more business for the country's military-defense complex ahead of next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

"Russia has inherited a large military-industrial potential and unfortunately, no real conversion from the military production to the civil production has occurred," noted Yevgeny Volk, a political analyst Yeltsin Foundation in Moscow. "So [the military spending plan is necessary] in order to provide more working places, more jobs, more people involved in this production who are really the electorate for Mr. Putin pending the parliamentary and presidential elections in Russia."

The new proposed arms import plan is expected to come in two stages. In the first, Russia would purchase equipment and licenses, and in the second, it would set up joint ventures with Western arms providers, and begin production of Western-designed weapons systems inside the country.
In post-Soviet Russia, analysts say, "military" mostly means "business" - no matter what ideological wrapping it has.

(source Voice Of America)

Indian Navy And Turkish Navy To Hold Wargames Beginning Sunday

Indian and Turkish navies will embark on a two-day major war game in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai beginning Sunday, when four warships from each side will match their sea battle skills, an Indian Navy officer said Wednesday.

The four Turkish warships that will join the exercise are scheduled to make a port call in Mumbai Thursday, reaching here from Karachi port in Pakistan where they had docked a week earlier.

Frigates TCG (Turkish Republic Ship) Barbaros, TCG Gelibolu, and TCG Gemlik, supported by a fleet tanker TCG YBK Gungor will be the Turkish ensemble for the war game, the officer said.
Incidentally, Barbaros runs on the same engine as that of India's latest indigenous stealth frigate INS Shivalik that was commissioned last year in Mumbai. The other two Turkish frigates are of the Gabya class.

The warships are in India in the last leg of their Indian Ocean deployment and this Turkish Naval Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral A. Sinan Ertugrul.

Indian Navy will be represented in the drill by INS Mumbai, a Delhi-class guided missile destroyer, INS Betwa and INS Brahmaputra, both Beas-class frigates, and a Shishukumar-class HDW diesel-electric submarine. The air element in the exercise will be an Indian Navy Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, the officer said.

'The exercise will include anti-submarine warfare, coordinated strike and interdiction drills, besides other manoeuvres in the seas that are expected to be fairly rough,' he added.

The Turkish Navy, which is part of the anti-piracy Nato-sponsored Combined Task Force-151, has led the mission a number of times. A Turkish navy frigate TCG Giresun was recently part of a joint effort with Indian Navy Dornier aircraft in thwarting a pirate attack on a Chinese-owned bulk carrier MV Full City in the Arabian Sea in the first week of May.

Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma was in Turkey from June 13 to 16, while the Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik was there in April 2010. Turkish Naval Forces commander Admiral Esref Yugur Yigit visited India in December 2010 on a reciprocal visit.Turkey has a fairly respectable naval ship-building industry and India sees a possibility of mutual cooperation in this area.

(source IANS)

Chinese Influence On the Rise In the Indian Ocean, India Worried


China, seeking to gain influence in the Indian Ocean, has reportedly increased its aid to Sri Lanka dramatically since 2005, a US Congressional report has said.

“In the view of some analysts and observers, China is seeking to gain influence with the Sri Lankan government as part of a ‘string of pearls’ naval strategy to develop port access in the northern reaches of the Indian Ocean,” said the report by bi-partisan and Congressional Research Service.

Indian defence planners are reportedly particularly concerned with Chinese efforts to develop ports in the region, the eight-page rare report on Sri Lanka said. China is reportedly investing significantly in the development of a port in Hambantota in Sri Lanka on the country’s southeastern coast.

“China is also reportedly helping to develop port facilities in Gwadar, Pakistan; Chittagong, Bangladesh; and Sittwe, Burma. Colombo was also reportedly upset with Western calls for a truce in the lead up to their defeat of the LTTE in May 2009,” the report said.

It also said that Sri Lanka offers a test case of how to respond to a brutal military victory over a violent ethnic nationalist separatist movement.

The report said that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a firm hold on government and popular support among the Sinhalese majority for his leadership in presiding over a military victory over the LTTE in 2009.

“The government’s reluctance to seriously entertain notions that the Sri Lanka army’s conduct was in any way suspect at the conclusion of the war raises questions about whether public international condemnations of what appear to be heinous war crimes can be effective,” it said.

It informed the lawmakers that the UN Security Council is unlikely to meet the demands of the human rights bodies and several countries about the need to set up an enquiry into war crime victims in Sri Lanka, because of the opposition from two veto wielding members.

“The Security Council would have to request the ICC (International Criminal Court) to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka. Russia and China, as permanent members, have veto power in the Security Council and are thought to oppose formal Security Council involvement in the matter,” it said.

At the same time the report noted that some have observed that a strong effort by the United Nations and the international community to force a criminal investigation into war crimes could be counter-productive as it would likely further bolster Rajapaksa’s popularity on the basis of Sinhalese nationalism.

PTI

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cyber Attack On South Korea and US Was A Test Run-McAfee

courtesy  www.nytimes.com
North Korea or its sympathizers were likely responsible for the cyberattack against South Korean government and banking websites earlier this year, according to a new analysis that said it also appears to have been linked to the 2009 massive computer-based attack that brought down U.S. government Internet sites.

A study by computer security software maker McAfee Inc. concludes that the attack that targeted more than two dozen sites in South Korea was a type of reconnaissance mission to see how quickly South Korea's government detected the problem and recovered from it. The McAfee report, expected to be released Tuesday, said clues in the code suggest that the attack was probably engineered by North Korea or its sympathizers.

The cyberattack started over the Fourth of July weekend, when hackers targeted the Web sites of the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Treasury, and several other U.S. government organizations. Some reports suggest the White House's Web site may have even been a target, though its functionality did not appear to be affected. The FTC's site, however, was one of several offline as late as Monday.

McAfee security researcher Georg Wicherski deemed the attacks "an armed cyber reconnaissance operation of sorts" aimed at assessing defenses and reaction times of South Korean government and civilian networks.

"Knowing that would be invaluable in a possible future armed confrontation on the peninsula, since cyberspace has already become the fifth battlespace dimension, in addition to land, air, sea, and space," Wicherski said.

The DDoS attacks were made by usurping control of virus-infected computers in South Korea to overwhelm targeted websites with simultaneous requests for pages or information.

Tactics used in the attacks were more destructive than typically seen when legions of infected computers are commanded in "botnets" by hackers, according to McAfee.

The botnet in South Korea was programmed to perform DDoS attacks for 10 days and then self-destruct, frustrating investigators by overwriting or deleting files and codes to the extent the computers could not be booted up.

While the Match attacks were underway, encryption algorithms were used to mask parts of malicious code and stymie analysis by defenders. "This wasn't a surgical strike; it was more like a sledgehammer, as most DDoS attacks are," the McAfee report said.

"The attackers relied on the encryption to buy them more time against reverse engineering until the DDoS attack window expired."

Steps were taken to ensure that the mission was executed without interruption, within the predefined attack window, and then all vehicles of attack would be destroyed, the report concluded.

South Korean prosecutors said North Korean hackers were behind the so-called denial-of-service attack early this spring, but The North's Ministry of the People's Armed Forces denied it.

Because of the difficulties in determining exactly who launched the attack, there is no way to declare it an act of war by another country or an act of cyberterrorism, espionage or more basic crime by a militant group or others. International officials, in fact, are still trying to define cyberwar.

The Defense Department is poised to release its new cybersecurity strategy which declares cyber as a warfighting domain and begins to lay out how the U.S. can respond to cyberattacks. And U.S. officials are working with allies and international organizations to develop guidelines governing the use of computer-based capabilities as weapons.

President Barack Obama signed execute orders a few months ago that provide commanders guidance on how they can use cyber operations as part of their military arsenal.

Saudi Arabia To Go Nuclear To Match Iranian Nuclear Weapons

Saudi Arabia will build nuclear weapons if Iran does, warned a Saudi prince.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior diplomat and scion of the ruling Saudi royal family, told senior NATO officials that Riyadh would not stand idle in the event that Tehran developed nuclear arms, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper of Britain.

Proof of the existence of Iranian atomic weapons, he said, "would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences".

A Saudi official in Riyadh backed Turki’s statements, telling the paper: "We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't. It's as simple as that. If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit."

Turki reportedly made his comments earlier this month at RAF Molesworth, an airbase in Cambridgeshire, England often used by NATP as an intelligence-gathering site.

According to the Guardian, Turki told NATO officers, that Iran is a "paper tiger with steel claws" that is "meddling and destabilizing" across the Middle East.

Turki added: "Iran … is very sensitive about other countries meddling in its affairs. But it should treat others like it expects to be treated. The [Saudi] kingdom expects Iran to practice what it preaches.

Moreover, diplomatic cables secured by Wikileaks, reveal that Saudi’s King Abdullah has already warned US politicians that if Iran started constructing nuclear weapons "everyone in the region would do the same, including Saudi Arabia".

Turki also blasted Iran of meddling in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain, where Saudi soldiers have been sent to protect the royal family. (Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim power, while Iran is Shia). In addition, Turki told the Molesworth delegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will cling to power till the last Syrian is killed". "The loss of life [in Syria] in the present internal struggle is deplorable. The government is woefully deficient in its handling of the situation," Turki said at that meeting.

This proxy conflict extends to more unexpected places. Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, said Karasik. They are rivals in West Africa, especially in Nigeria, and in Latin America the two nations compete when it comes to building mosques and distributing sectarian literature.

William Hague, Britain's foreign secretary said that Iran has recently conducted covert tests of ballistic missiles as well as at least three secret tests of medium-range ballistic missiles since October.

Iran and the west remain in dispute over its nuclear programme. The US and its allies insist Tehran aims to develop atomic weapons, a charge that Iran rejects.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Comes Under Fire For Saudi Tank Deal

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Germany's centre-right coalition on Tuesday came under increasing fire from both the opposition and Angela Merkel's own conservatives for a controversial arms deal to supply 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia despite its questionable human rights record.

News agency Reuters reported that most of the parliamentary leadership of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) raised objections to the sale at a meeting on Monday. The environmentalist Greens planned to raise the issue in the Bundestag on Tuesday.

News magazine Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that the German government had given the green light to the sale of Leopard 2 battle tanks, which would reap more than €1 billion for the country’s arms industry but reverse its long-held policy not to supply heavy weaponry to the Arab kingdom.

Reuters reported that key members of the party’s parliamentary group raised vocal concerns, including the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, Bundestag president Norbert Lammert and the party’s human rights expert Erika Steinbach.

They argued that breaches of human rights by Saudi Arabia raised questions about the sale. Lammert pointed out Saudi Arabia had recently deployed tanks to help suppress the anti-government protests in neighbouring Bahrain.

Concerns about Israel's safety have also been expressed.

The Greens’ parliamentary leader, J├╝rgen Trittin, said the supply of tanks to the autocratic regime would breach the tradition of Germany’s Middle East policy.

“Such equipment is not usually supplied to such areas,” Trittin told public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday morning.

Saudi Arabia had only recently been involved in “steamrolling” the pro-democracy movement in the gulf state of Bahrain, he added. On top of additional arms supplies to Algeria valued at about €10 billion, the government was entering dangerous new territory. “It shows that there is no red line any longer for the federal government in Middle East policy,” Trittin said.

Der Spiegel reported that the deal had been approved by the government’s Security Council, a cabinet group made up of the chancellor and key ministers and which examines all major arms deals. The government has so far declined to comment.

Reuters also reported that Saudia Arabia has already purchased 44 battle tanks from Germany.

Merkel’s junior coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) has also raised concerns. The party’s defence expert, Elke Hoff, told broadcaster ARD: "They may do it. The question is whether it is accompanied by the necessary political sensitivity and how it is received by the public."

At an emergency debate in the Bundestag, the German government has refused to explain allegations that it approved a tank deal with Saudi Arabia. The opposition accused Berlin of supporting repression in the Middle East.

Facing the German parliament on Wednesday, Hans-Joachim Otto, the state secretary for Germany's economics ministry, defended Germany's business alliance with Saudi Arabia amid media reports that Berlin approved the sale of 200 Leopard tanks to the Gulf State

Merkel's government refuses to comment on matters discussed confidentially within the federal security council which determines export guidelines. For 20 years, Germany has not exported heavy weapons - including tanks - to Saudi Arabia, due to concerns over its repression of its own citizens.

A Saudi security source confirmed the deal earlier in the week, saying 44 of the 200 tanks ordered had already been bought.

The source declined to give a value for the purchase, saying it was a multi-billion euro deal involving the German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall. KMW declined comment on the deal but said it was "not aware of any changes to trade regulations covering military exports."

The purchase follows a $93 billion stimulus package from Saudi King Abdullah in March to beef up police and security forces in response to unrest sweeping through the Arab world.

Germany's opposition has accused Merkel's cabinet of hypocrisy, charging that Berlin - which publicly supports the Arab Spring pro-democracy movements - shouldn't be sending battle tanks to a country that used tanks to help Bahrain quell anti-regime demonstrations in March.

Outside the Bundestag on Wednesday, hundreds of protesters held up banners recalling dictatorships that used tanks to crush activist movements. Using the examples of East Berlin, Prague, Beijing, and Damascus, demonstrators urged parliamentarians inside not to sell heavy weapons to regimes infamous for the repression of their own people.
The Local/djw/AFP