Monday, December 17, 2007
In what could provide India greater strategic depth, the government on Wednesday announced its plan to develop 6,000-km range Agni-IV missile which will be capable of destroying targets deep in China.
The announcement is seen as a move to send out strong signals to countries in the neighbourhood. Any missile with a range of more than 5,000 km stationed in south or central India would be out of the range of most capable missiles in Pakistan's arsenal while it would be able to hit targets in eastern and northern China with cities like Beijing and Shanghai in its ambit.
The 3,500-km Agni-III, which was successfully test-fired in April, will not be able to reach cities like Beijing unless it is deployed in eastern states near the Chinese border.
Top scientist V K Saraswat of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said the Agni-IV project was in the design stage and its trials and development could take a few years.
Saraswat said the DRDO would carry out three more tests of Agni-III over the next year with the second trial of the missile slated by June. The 3,500-km range missile, which has the capacity to carry a nuclear payload of upto 1.5 tonnes, is likely to be inducted into the forces by 2009 after at least three successful tests.
The DRDO scientist said India would have a complete ballistic missile defence (BMD) system in three years — ready and deployed. The system will have interceptor missiles that can hit targets 50-km above the atmosphere and supersonic interceptors that can eliminate endo-atmospheric targets 15-km within the atmosphere.
Believed to be superior to America's Patriot, the BMD system has been in development for the last eight years. As part of the programme, the Prithvi air defence missile was tested in November 2006 while advanced air defence interceptor was tested this month.
The development of 6,000-km Agni-IV also indicates that the country has shelved plans to develop Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles which would have hit far away targets.
There had been speculations of India developing an ICBM named Surya with a range of more than 10,000-km. However, in light of the ongoing negotiations on Indo-US nuclear deal, it is quite possible that India may not like to annoy US.
India says it has carried out its first successful test interception of a ballistic missile, using a second missile to shoot down an incoming rocket, the defense ministry said.
If the interceptor missile, the medium-range and nuclear-capable Prithvi II, can be transformed into a viable defense system, it would push India into an elite club of nations with working missile shields.
Such a system would vastly boost India's defensive capabilities, especially against neighboring Pakistan. The longtime rivals are both nuclear-armed.
According to the ministry, the first missile, a modified Prithvi II simulating the "adversary's missile," was launched from the Chandipore test range about 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Bhubaneswar, capital of India's Orissa state.
The interceptor, also a Prithvi, was fired one minute later from the Wheeler's Island missile testing center. The island is in the Bay of Bengal, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Bhubaneswar.
In July, India reported a successful test firing of the longer-range Agni II nuclear missile for a full day before acknowledging the test failed, with the missile plunging into the sea short of its target.
But this time Defense Minister A. K. Antony was quick to convey "his heartiest congratulations" to the development team, the statement said.
The test caught observers by surprise, particularly the use of the Prithvi, which until now had been used only as surface-to-surface missile.
A successful missile kill would represent a major advance for India, analysts said.
"The technology is hard and you have to be working for years," said Robin Hughes, the deputy editor of Jane's Defence Weekly. "If they have done that in the first test, it is an exceptional advance in technology."
However, the true capabilities could only be known once India revealed further details about the system, he said.
Most of the technology was home grown and was "validated through this successful mission," the defense ministry statement said.
The nuclear-capable Prithvi II can carry a conventional payload of up to 500 kilograms (1100 pounds) and has a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles). The move to modify it comes after the repeated failure of India's Trishul anti-missile project.
Monday's test also represented a victory for India's domestic missile program.
"This has great political significance for the DRDO since the recent avalanche of failures, so this success is important for them," said Gen. Ashok Mehta, a retired officer and military commentator.
However, he noted that it was only the first step in a process that would require at least 30 successful tests before the system could be brought online.
India has also been in talks with the Israel, the U.S. and Russia to buy a proven anti-missile defense system, and the Press Trust of India news agency quoted an unnamed defense officials as saying India would still pursue such options.
Mehta said the test was also a message to Pakistan, which does not any similar capacity.
The interceptor test comes a week after the firing of a single Prithvi II missile, and 10 days after Pakistan carried out a similar test of its nuclear-capable Ghauri missile, also known as the Hatf 5.
The competing missile tests came after the countries concluded a crucial round of peace talks in New Delhi aimed at resolving their differences, including the thorny issue of their territorial dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
India routinely test-fires missiles it is developing for military use, as does Pakistan. Both countries are usually informed ahead of time of the other's tests.
The official said that some 3,000 people from five villages within a radius of 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Chandipore were temporarily evacuated as a precaution while the test took place.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Pakistan-based terror outfits have formed a strong nexus with militants in Bangladesh and are taking advantage of the porous border to carry out attacks in India, according to the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF).
'A strong nexus has emerged between Pakistan-based terror outfits like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) with Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) of Bangladesh,' A.K. Mitra, director general of the BSF, told IANS.
'We have authentic reports that militants are using Bangladeshi territory for entering India clandestinely through porous borders and have information about their involvement in terrorist activities in India.'
Mitra said that Bangladeshi nationals are being trained to be terrorists in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The BSF official said the paramilitary force had recently apprehended 11 militants while they were crossing over the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal.
'During investigations it was found that these 11 militants were a part of LeT, JeM and JMB. This suggests that they were on some joint mission.'
Mitra said there were also reports of women being involved in terror activities. 'It is a great cause of concern and the force is maintaining a strict vigil over the developments.'
Mitra's admission of terrorists using the border with Bangladesh to sneak into India is in line with the belief of Indian intelligence agencies that HuJI militants in connivance with JeM ultras are conducting terror strikes here at the behest of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
Intelligence agencies strongly suspect HuJI's hand behind the synchronised bombings that ripped across three prominent Uttar Pradesh towns leaving 13 dead and 80 wounded last month.
'The e-mail warnings sent to some private TV channel offices minutes before the blasts (in Uttar Pradesh) suggest a HuJi hand in the blasts,' an intelligence official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
'The e-mail id, firstname.lastname@example.org, from which the mail was sent has an indication of HuJi involvement as the name Guru had first sprung up during the interrogation of alleged India HuJi chief Babu Bhai, arrested in Lucknow last June.'
'Babu Bhai had referred to a contact man in New Delhi as Guru, who could not be tracked down, therefore the e-mail id could have something to do with the same person,' he pointed out.
Intelligence officials also claim that HuJI was behind the bombings in Malegaon last year, and Ajmer and Hyderabad this year.
Mitra said infiltration along the India-Bangladesh border could not be completely plugged since the frontier was porous.
'We can't completely control infiltration through the India-Bangladesh border as it is very much porous and many areas are not fenced because of geographical barriers,' Mitra said.
India shares a 4,096 km border - 2,979 km of land and 1,116 km of rivers - with Bangladesh. The BSF has been able to fence only 66 percent of the land border. Also, only 277 km of the border area is covered under floodlights and even this is affected by frequent electricity failures and rainfall.
According to BSF figures, a total of 6,617 Bangladesh nationals were apprehended during the first 10 months this year compared to 9,679 during the year 2006.
'The decrease in interception of illegal Bangladeshi migrants is due to ongoing border fencing and construction of roads, and the setting up of floodlights along the border,' he added.
While fencing has reduced the infiltration problem to a large extent, the border can still be breached. 'We want floodlights everywhere in the complete border area,' he said, adding that a proposal regarding this was sent to the home ministry.
Mitra said that during the India-Bangladesh border coordination meeting in Dhaka this year, a list of 141 camps of anti-India insurgent groups was handed over to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).
'Last year, the number was 176, which shows that some of the camps have been destroyed or have been shifted due to selective action by the forces,' Mitra said.
'However, Bangladeshi authorities maintained their official stand that Bangladesh doesn't allow its territory to be used for any prejudicial activity against any other country.'
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The all weather, day and night MSOV features an accuracy-assuring GPS/INS navigation and guidance system. State-of-the-art avionics enables on-the-ground or in-flight program loading for an autonomous glide profile, optimal direction of approach and target attack.
MSOV has a maximum range of about 100 km. Its unique design, folding wings, 30-inch suspension lugs, and powerful, flexible capabilities make it compatible with the strike mission needs of fighter A/C such as F16s, F-4s, F-15s and others.
The Corner Shot has already been acquired by police and special forces units around the world.
The key to Corner Shot is the swing-hinge front section of the system, a state-of-the-art device that houses the handgun and a compact detachable color video camera. The unique lateral (both left and right) swinging mechanism enables the user to safely sweep, search or engage targets ‘around the corner' with the camera transmitting what it sees directly to a video monitor. Both the video monitor and the remote trigger control for firing the pistol, together with all system operating switches, are fitted to the frame held by the user.
Shooting Around Corners
Conceived and designed by veteran counter-terrorism warfare specialists, the innovative Corner Shot is the outcome of a meticulous and thorough R&D process.
For the very first time, the Corner Shot offers a truly effective, state-of-the-art weapon system that may be deployed with deadly accuracy, at a lateral angle, from "around the corner", from behind a shelter, a cover or a barricade. The unique lateral traversing mechanism will not affect normal firearm performance.
Shooting From Cover
The Corner Shot may be employed to search spaces or engage targets "in the next room" or "down the street", with a high degree of accuracy, from "around the corner" or from a shelter, without exposing the user. It may be used in securing such openings as doors, windows and hatches with maximum effectiveness and minimum risk.
The Corner Shot adapts to fit most automatic handguns currently in use.
Detachable, quick connecting color video camera
Color video monitor with visible fixed crosshairs
Monitor hood and sleeve
Video out socket
Tactical light source and beam shaper
Quick-change battery housing
Upper universal accessory rail
Dust-tight and protected against water jets
Complete with tactical soft carry case, user's manual and a set of maintenance and cleaning tools
Various camera and lens options (fisheye, low light, auto focus and others)
Video color monitor with electronic crosshairs adjuster and power level indicator
Visible and IR laser designator
Video transceiver and portable monitor kit in various frequencies and ranges
Quick change, rechargeable battery pack and charger
IR filter for tactical light
Detachable, collapsible bipod
Special purpose stock
Matching tactical vest and soft attachable carry case
Sturdy, waterproof carry case
Optional Weapon Accessories
Red dot sight
Corner Shot 40™'Around the Corner ' 40mm Personal Grenade Launcher
The new Corner Shot 40™ is an 'Around the Corner' 40mm Personal Grenade Launcher (PGL) based on the outstanding features and capabilities of the original Corner Shot™ system. The new model offers the increased firepower extended range, and enhanced cover fire of a 40mm launcher. This system is also available to police and other law enforcement agencies in 37mm.
The Corner Shot 40™ personal grenade launcher system includes a small, high-resolution video camera and monitor, through which the operator can view targets located 'around the corner' in real time. The video camera enables the operator to scan the area 'around the corner' or 'in the next building' prior to pinpointing and engaging the targets therein. Alternately, the video image may be transmitted to other elements or up linked to a rear area command post or central command.
Corner Shot Panzerfaust
Dynamit Nobel Defence of Germany and Corner Shot of Israel have combined their talents to create the Corner Shot Panzerfaust (CSP) tactical system. The system addresses the problems of threats that "lurk around corners", especially in urban warfare scenarios. CSP is a portable, easily operated and accurate weapon system that has a purpose-built collapsible monopod and sighting system to literally shoot around corners. It allows the firer to remain behind cover and can even be used for surveillance. Based on the RGW-60 recoilless grenade weapon, CSP is a disposable system that can be armed with two types of shaped-charge warhead - HET and HEAT-Mp - to engage armoured vehicles, and the squash-head HESH round for structures and light vehicles.
Harpy is a "Fire-and-Forget" all-weather, day/night autonomous weapon system, launched from a ground vehicle behind the battle zone or from ship based launchers.
HARPY effectively suppresses hostile SAM and radar sites for long duration, by detecting, attacking and destroying radar targets with a very high hit accuracy.
HARPY provides the most effective solution to the hostile radar problem, at the lowest price. HARPY is in production, is already operational with several nations Air Forces, and is currently available.
Weighs 135 kg, 2.1 meter long, 2.7 meter span and with range of 500 km. It is sealed in its sealed launcher/container, to endure harsh battlefield conditions. It can be fueled or defueled in the launcher, therefore retaining its readiness at all time. The system uses periodical built-in test to maintain full readiness.
The Harpy mission is planned and programmed in the battery ground control center, as an independent mission, or planned in accordance with other manned or unmanned systems. The drone flies autonomously enroute to its patrol area its radar seeker head constantly search for hostile radars. Once suspicious radar is acquired, Harpy compares the signal to the library of hostile emitters, and prioritizes the threat. If the target is verified, the drone enters an attack mode, as it transitions into a near vertical dive, homing on the signal. The drone is set to detonate its warhead just above the target, to generate the highest damage to the antennae, and surrounding facilities. If the radar is turned off before Harpy strikes, the drone can abort the attack and continue loitering. If no radar was spotted during the mission, the drone is programmed to self destruct over a designated area. Follow-on systems which are already proposed to foreign clients, are calling for a combination of seeker and killer drones that will enable visual identification and attack of targets even after they turn off their emitters.
Harpy Delivered to Turkey
In a deal dating back to 1999, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have taken delivery of a number on Harpy lethal unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. (IAI). The exact number is unknown, but reports suggest that more than 100 lethal UAVs were delivered.
IAI's MBT Division develop and produce the Harpy system, which is an attack UAV used in the suppression of enemy aerial defences (SEAD) role. It is a ‘Fire-and-Forget' all-weather, day/night autonomous weapon system, launched from a ground vehicle mainly against hostile radar emitters, amongst others.
In June 1999 MBT and Raytheon Missile Systems teamed to market the more advanced Combat UAV Target Locate and Strike System (CUTLASS), based on the proven Harpy's UAV type airframe.
Harpy is currently operational with several Air Forces globally.
Harpy Delivered to India
According to media reports, the Indian army has purchased a number of the armed Harpy drone, produced by Israel Aircraft Industries.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
KALI (kilo-ampere linear injector)
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (Barc)'s powerful electron accelerating machine named
''Kali-5000`` which, its scientists say, can potentially be used as a beam
Bursts of microwaves packed with gigawatts of power (one gigawatt is 1000
million watts) produced by this machine, when aimed at enemy missiles and
aircraft, will cripple their electronics systems and computer chips and
bring them down.
According to scientists, ''soft killing`` by high power microwaves has
advantages over the so called laser weapon which destroys by drilling
holes through metal.
According to Barc scientists, the Kali machine has for the first time
provided India a way to ''harden`` the electronic systems used in
satellites and missiles against the deadly electromagnetic impulses (Emi)
generated by nuclear weapons.
The Emi wrecks havoc by creating intense electric field of several
thousand volts per centimeter. The electronic components currently used in
missiles can withstand fields of Just 300 volts per centimeter.
While the Kali systems built so far are single shot pulse power systems
(they produce one burst of microwaves and the next burst comes much
later), Kali-5000 is a rapid fire device, and hence its potential as a
According to Barc-published reports, the machine will shoot several
thousand bursts of microwaves, each burst lasting for just 60 billionths
of a second and packed with a power of about four gigawatts.
The high power microwave pulses travel in a straight line and do not
dissipate their energy if the frequency falls between three and ten
According to Barc scientists, a microwave power of 150 megawatts has
already been demonstrated in earlier versions of Kali.
India and Russia signed an inter-governmental agreement earlier this month to jointly develop and produce the futuristic multi-role stealth fighter on the basis of Sukhoi Corporation's super secret PAK-FA project.
"The deadlines have been set - it must take to the skies in 2012 and enter service in 2015," Russian vice Air Chief Lt Gen Igor Sadofyev was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Commenting on the FGA agreement signed on October 18 in the presence of visiting Defence Minister A K Antony, Gen Sadofyev said that the bilateral cooperation on the project would significantly boost the development of fighter capable of taking on the US-British Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35.
"International cooperation and joint development efforts will certainly expedite the process. It's a path the whole world is taking now a days, and we are no exception," Gen Sadofyev said.
India is a signatory to international treaties for the elimination of chemical and biological weapons and Army Chief Generally Deepak Kapoor was forced to admit that chemical weaponry still exists.
“The chemical weapons aspect is still in the domain of discussions going on at an international level,” Kapoor said.
By its own acknowledgement, the Indian Army is still operationally committed to chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction or WMDs. While India has never declared an arsenal of biological weapons, it is under a treaty obligation to destroy its chemical weapons by the end of this year.
For a long time, the custody of India's chemical weapons was in the hands of the scientific community. The military was not even aware that these existed. Now that India is committed to destroying this arsenal, the military is finally in the loop. Not only is this a reflection on India's strategic culture, what is also clear is that the threat of biological and chemical warfare in this region is real.
The question that remains unanswered is: Why is the Indian Army still doctrinally committed to weapons that are now international contraband? For India, which has always advocated elimination of WMDs, this caustic disclosure is embarrassing.
For the record, Pakistan has declared a zero stockpile.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Successive US governments even sanitised reports on Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions and capabilities by their own intelligence agencies by either rewriting them or destroying all evidence painstakingly collected to enable Islamabad achieve its nuclear goals clandestinely, the book claims.
Evidence was destroyed, criminal files were diverted, the US Congress was repeatedly lied to, and in several cases, in 1986 and 1987, presidential appointees even tipped off the Pakistan government to prevent its agents from getting caught in the US Customs Service stings that aimed to catch them buying nuclear components in America, the authors claim.
The so-called rouge nations, Iran, North Korea and Libya, described by US President George W. Bush as the “Axis of Evil,” got their nuclear technology from Pakistan, the authors added. Describing Pakistan as a rouge nation at the epicentre of world destabilisation, the book claims that Pakistan was still busy selling its nuclear secrets in the world market.
In a chilling warning to the world, the authors say: “It will only be a matter of time before the rising tide of Sunni extremism and the fast-flowing current of nuclear exports find common cause and realise their apocalyptic intent. There are plenty of ideologues, thinkers and Islamic strategists who are working towards precisely that goal, and here is a regime in Islamabad that has no hard and fast rules, no unambiguous goals or laws, and no line that cannot be bent and reshaped.”
Describing the genesis of nuclear Pakistan, the authors have written: “It all started with an ambitious young man who could not get a job.” Abdul Qadeer Khan, a metallurgical engineer and the future Father of the Pakistan Bomb, wrote to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1974 offering highly classified blueprints for a radical new nuclear process being developed by a consortium of British, Dutch and German scientists called URENCO.
Smarting over the American refusal to act as Pakistan’s security guarantor against a nuclear attack by India, which had tested its bomb in Pokhran on May 18, 1974, Bhutto grabbed the offer and in October 1975 A.Q. Khan “brought to Pakistan designs, instruction manual and lists of suppliers for both the CNOR and G-2 prototypes” of centrifuges developed by URENCO scientists. Khan, who had given himself a seven-year deadline to build the bomb, chose Kahuta, outside Islamabad, as the site of the enrichment facility, the Engineering Research Laboratories, codenamed Project 706.
The construction of the nuclear facility started in the autumn of 1976. The CIA, the book says, reported about the intense activity in Kahuta to its regional headquarters in Tehran. “Something strange is happening at Kahuta. Construction work is going on at a pace quite uncharacteristic of Pakistan. One can see day-to-day progress.” Western nations kept disregarding warnings about Khan and Pakistan’s network of agents who had begun shopping in Europe and North America for equipment needed for the nuclear facility at Kahuta.
The first warning came from a colleague of his at URENCO’s Almelo centrifuge project, Frits Veerman, in 1975, and then Nico Zondag, who tipped off the Dutch intelligence service. However, there was no response to both the complaints. However, most of the components that Khan and Pakistani agents were buying were not on any IAEA list of nuclear-sensitive equipment due to the fact that the centrifuge technology itself was new at the time. “Greed, lax customs inspections, an overly bureaucratic IAEA, governments’ pursuit of their national interests, and antiquated legislation were all being exploited ruthlessly, and clearly Western governments and suppliers underestimated Pakistan,” say the authors.
The US in 1976 had offered Bhutto a deal to stop his reprocessing project (Pakistan was in talks with France over a reprocessing plant) and offered to share products from a US-supplied facility in Iran. Even at that point, a report ordered by the US State department had concluded that “Pakistan’s nuclear industry is not worrisome now.”
It was only after March 1979, when a German TV channel unmasked A.Q. Khan as the head of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, that then US President Jimmy Carter ordered the CIA to investigate. With the imposition of a Communist government in Afghanistan in 1978 and the Soviet invasion of that country the following year, and the overthrow of the pro-US Shah of Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1979, Mr Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski lobbied for a change in US non-proliferation policy in order to fight the Soviets through a proxy war by Afghan rebels. The US by now had a detailed picture of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, but had decided to go on the backfoot to protect its strategic interests in the region. However, the real deceit on the Pakistan nuclear issue began with the Reagan administration.
“US officials converged on Islamabad carrying cash (for the proxy war in Afghanistan routed through the ISI) and with the message that America would ignore Pakistan’s growing nuclear programme,” say the authors. President Reagan insisted that non-proliferation remained a key policy, they add. Reagan officials went on the offensive to prevent any opposition in Congress to its plans to use Pakistan as “a staging post to bleed the Soviets.”
In order to get Congress to agree to unprecedented aid for Pakistan, Reagan advisers began promoting the theory that the “way to gain assurance that A.Q. Khan would roll back the nuclear programme was to give Islamabad F-16 jets and money.” The theory rapidly bloomed into a complex conspiracy as the US State department officials started “actively obstructing other arms of government which could not help but fall over intelligence about Pakistan’s nuclear trade.”
The LCA fired a Russian R-73 air-to-air missile during a technology demonstrator flight. It was the most significant milestone for the 'Tejas' programme.
The historic flight was done on Tejas prototype vehicle PV-1, piloted by the Chief Test Pilot of the National Flight Test Centre ADA, Gp Capt N Harish. The test-firing was done at 7 km altitude and 0.6 Mach.
The flight test was conducted from the mobile telemetry vehicle where all the aircraft, systems and weapon data were closely monitored.
Quick analysis of the data revealed that it was a ‘text book’ launch where the systems performance matched the predictions well.
The historic event marks the beginning of weaponisation, which is the focus of the current initial operational clearance (IOC) phase of the programme, he said.
A Defence Ministry official said the much-delayed indigenous fighter is now almost ready for flight certification. The initial operational configuration for the fighter is expected between 2011-12 and the aircraft will be fully operational by 2013.
Air-to-air missile integration and testing, especially on a fly-by-wire aircraft, is a very complex task involving interfaces with aerodynamics, engine air intake, control laws, flight control system, avionics system, electrical and other general system of aircraft.
The Indian Air Force has already placed orders for 20 LCAs with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with a provision for buying another 20 in the same contract.
Tejas successfully test-fires R-73 air-to-air miss
New Delhi: In a major breakthrough, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas, on Thursday successfully test-fired for the first time a close combat air-to-air missile off the Goa coast.
The LCA fired a Russian R-73 air-to-air missile during a technology demonstrator flight off the Goa coast.
Hailing it as a "milestone", a Defence Ministry spokesman said this heralds the start of the weaponisation of Tejas.
The much-delayed indigenous fighter is now almost ready for flight certification, officials said.
The initial operational configuration for the fighter is expected between 2011-12 and the aircraft will be fully operational by 2013.
The Indian Air Force has already placed orders for 20 LCAs with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with a provision for buying another 20 in the same contract.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Jet fighters began to be equipped with airborne radars in the early 1960's. Radars provided better detection capability than human eyes and facilitated guidance of air to air missiles which could be used to attack enemy fighters at ranges considerably larger than the few hundred yards that aircraft cannons were effective up to.
Dish Antenna Radars
Early jet fighter, like the MiG-21, employed mechanically steered concave reflector antennas colloquially referred to as dish antennas. A concave reflector antenna is a simple and effective solution for generating a shaped radar beam as well as efficiently gathering any reflected energy from it.
Dish antennas, however, have their limitations. Their to and fro steering mechanisms are expensive to fabricate to the high accuracies required. Such steering mechanisms are also prone to frequent failures. In other words they have a relatively short Mean Times Between Failure (MTBF) of around 60 to 300 hours.
Another problem with dish antennas radars is that they have fairly large side-lobes which leads to signal losses and reduces their sensitivity.
Finally, dish antennas do a good job not just of shaping their transmitter beams and gathering reflected energy from it but they are equally efficient at reflecting radar energy from enemy radars! In other words they are as good with detecting the enemy as they are with letting the enemy detect them.
The Evolving Threat
Initially jet fighters were equipped with airborne radars purely for air to air combat. As long as the threat that a fighter aircraft was attempting to counter were enemy fighter aircrafts, first generation radars with dish antennas were effective. However, the introduction of long cruise missiles by the former Soviet Union in the 1970s changed the equation dramatically. The smaller size of the cruise missile, and the consequent reduced radar signature gave cruise missiles a good chance of penetrating the fighter air cover over US carrier groups and hitting home with devastating effects.
In order to effectively engage cruise missile the detection and guidance capability of an airborne radar needed to be stepped up dramatically.
As the threat evolved so did airborne radars. In order to reduce the sidelobes associated with dish antennas as well as reduce their reflectivity planar or slotted array antennas began to be developed in the 1970s.
Planar Array Antennas
Planar array antennas, like dish antennas, are also mechanically steered but they use a flat rather than concave receiver to gather the reflected radar energy. A flat panel reflector scatters the radar energy impinging on it from hostile radars, rather than sending it back as a well focused beam.
Planar arrays use an array of very simple slot antennas. They achieve their focusing effect by introducing and manipulating a time delay into transmissions from each antenna. A complex network of microwave waveguides on the rear surface of the array is used to achieve this. The controlled time delays result in a desired fixed beam shape with much smaller sidelobes compared to a concave reflecting antenna. The key to slotted array antennas is the time delay caused by waveguides. The signal that they transmit is in phase.
Since a planar array antenna is a flat plate, it tends to act like a flat panel reflector to impinging transmissions from hostile radars and thus produce a lower radar signature than a concave antenna.
However, mechanical steering of planar array antennas continued to be a problem.
The Zhuk-ME radar developed by Phazotron-NIIR design burea and fitted on the MiG 29 is an example of slotted array antenna radar. Similarly the AN/APG-65/73 radar fitted on the F/A-18A and the APG-66 radar fitted on the F-16A are slotted array radars.
The AN/APG-65 radar is an all-weather multimode slotted array radar fitted on F/A-18A. It is used for both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.
Phased Array Radars
The key to improving radar capability lay in electronic steering of the radar beam a technique that first began to be employed in ground based anti missile radars in the 1970s. Such radars employ a group of antennas in which the relative phases of the respective signals feeding the antennas are varied in such a way that the effective radiation pattern of the array is reinforced in a desired direction and suppressed in undesired directions. Such radars are referred to as phased array radars, since they employ an array of antennas that work using a shift in the signal phase.
By the early 1980s the technology had been mastered to an extent where it could be employed in airborne radars.
Electronic steering and shaping of a beam provides unprecedented beam agility - beam shape and direction can be digitally controlled by a computer within a matter of tens of milliseconds. Such beam agility makes it possible for one phased array radar to act as multiple radars each with its own beam shape and scan pattern! This is referred to as interleaving radar modes. The same radar can be tracking for airborne threats using one beam shape and scan pattern while searching for ground targets using another beam shape and scan pattern.
The Russian NIIP N-011M Bars radar fitted on the Su-30MKI and the NIIP Bars-29 radar proposed to be fitted on the MiG-29M2 being offered to the IAF are examples of phased array radars. The B-1B Bone has flown since the 1980s with an AN/APQ-164 radar, fitted with an electronically steered array. The B-1A Batwing also exploits this technology in its AN/APQ-181 multimode attack radar.
NIIP N-011M Bars radar fitted on the Su-30MKI is capable of detecting and tracking up to 15 air targets, while simultaneously attacking four of them
Phased array radars also referred to as passive array radars, represent a big leap forwards. Using beam steering they provide stealth, interleaving modes and reliability. However, the shift in phase of the radar signal comes at a cost. High-power phase control leads to losses in the signal and a consequent reduction in radar sensitivity. Typical total losses in early systems resulted in a factor of 10 reductions in radiated power; in modern systems these losses are still in the factor of 5 ranges.
An Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) takes the concept of using an array antenna a step further. Instead of shifting the phase of signals from a single high power transmitter AESA employs a grid of hundreds of small "transmitter-receiver (TR)" modules that are linked together by high-speed processors.
Each TR module has its own transmitter, receiver, processing power, and a small spikelike radiator antenna on top. The TR module can be programmed to act as a transmitter, receiver, or radar. The TR modules in the AESA system can all work together to create a powerful radar, but they can do different tasks in parallel, with some operating together as a radar warning receiver, others operating together as a jammer, and the rest operating as a radar. TR modules can be reassigned to any role, with output power or receiver sensitivity of any one of the "subsystems" defined by such temporary associations proportional to the number of modules.
AESA provides 10-30 times more net radar capability plus significant advantages in the areas of range resolution, countermeasure resistance and flexibility. In addition, it supports high reliability / low maintenance goals, which translate into lower lifecycle costs. Since the power supplies, final power amplification and input receive amplification, are distributed, MTBF is significantly higher, 10-100 times, than that of a passive ESA or mechanical array. This results in higher system readiness and significant savings in terms of life cycle cost of a weapon system, especially a fighter.
The use of multiple TR modules also means failure of up to 10% of the TR modules in an AESA will not cause the loss of the antenna function, but merely degrade its performance. From a reliability and support perspective, this graceful degradation effect is invaluable. A radar which has lost several TR modules can continue to be operated until scheduled downtime is organized to swap the antenna.
AESA technology has not been easy to acquire. It has come from years of research and heavy investments. Improvement of gallium arsenide material and the development of monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) have been key enablers to the development of AESA technology.
Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 AESA radar for the JSF fitted on a BAC-1-11 testbed aircraft.
Two prominent early programs in X-band AESA technology development have been the Army family-of-radars program (which provided the basis for the X-band AESAs in the THAAD and GBR radars for theater and national missile defense systems, respectively), and the Air Force programs to produce X-band AESAs for the F-15 and the F-22. The investments in JSF radar technology have also fostered pivotal advances in reducing cost, weight, and mechanical complexity. JSF transmit/receive (T/R) modules are referred to as "fourth generation" T/R module technology.
As can be expected, the technology comes at a cost. Each TR module is an independent radar. Initial cost of a TR module was reportedly around $2000. Fighter radars are usually in the 1000 to 2000 modules size range. In other words just the radar antenna could cost as much as $4 million.
Copyright © Vijainder K Thakur.
Indian defence scientists have taken up a new cruise missile development programme. The missile named Nirbhay (The Fearless) is in the same class as the US's Tomahawk and will have a range that is 300km longer than Pakistan's Babur.
Nirbhay is India's seventh missile development project after the Agni series, the Prithvi series, Brahmos (in a joint venture with Russia), Akash, Trishul and Nag. The last three were part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme founded by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Nirbhay is being developed alongside Astra, an air-to-air missile designed to hit targets beyond visual range.
A cruise missile can be guided to a target. A ballistic missile is fired at a pre-determined target. Nirbhay will carry onboard a terrain-identification system that will map its course and relay the information to its guidance and propulsion systems. â€œEvery modern military needs to have missile options. The requirement for Nirbhay was projected by all three armed forces to fill a gap in our missile programme,â€ Avinash Chander, the director of the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, who is in charge of the project, told The Telegraph in Delhi today.
Nirbhay will be a terrain-hugging missile capable of avoiding detection by ground-based radar. It would have a range of 1,000km. We have Brahmos, which is a supersonic cruise missile and the need was felt for a subsonic cruise missile that will be capable of being launched from multiple platforms in land, air and sea, Chander said.
In the schedule drawn up for Nirbhay, a technology demonstrator is slotted for early 2009. Chander said the design for the system is complete and hardware preparations are onâ€. He said Nirbhay would weigh around 1,000kg and travel at 0.7 mach (nearly 840kmph) and would be capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads. The Pakistani subsonic cruise missile Babur (also called Hatf VII) has ranges of 500 to 700km. The US's Tomahawk has many versions, the latest of which has ranges in excess of 1,500km.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
October 19, 2007 13:20 IST
Terrorism in India is a growing concern. And while the security agencies are busy dealing with this problem, another headache has cropped up in the form of hackers hacking into sensitive information such as military data and also e-mails of key persons in the government.
Sources in the National Informatics Centre say they have been getting reports regarding this issue and are doing everything in the book to secure the system.
An official in the NIC said they had managed to track down the IP addresses of the hackers and preliminary investigations revealed that it could be the handiwork of some Chinese people.
Reports state the cyber attacks, which are being mounted from dial Internet connections, allegedly from China mainly targeted the e-mails of ministers and top army officials.
Sources say the e-mails contained sensitive material regarding national security.
Sources in the cyber crime wing say that a lot of damage could have been done as reports suggested that Indian servers were targeted at least thrice a day. Sources also add that at least 200 e-mails of ministers were targeted by the hackers.
Key information that could have been exposed: An officer in the cyber crime cell on condition of anonymity said that the information that the hackers were trying to target mainly concerned defence deals that India was entering into with other countries.
This included the purchase of weapons, future plans and also military strategy. However, only the minor deals and details have been targeted while the major ones remain secure, officials say.
This is largely because India is not as tech savvy as compared to the other nations. There is still a lot of file and paper-work going on here, when it comes to the larger deals.
There are still some in the government who consider file and paper documentation as a safer measure.
The government at present not only has the headache of rectifying the flaws, but will also have to make slight changes in previous defence deals.
Why China? Although none in the government want to officially confirm that the hackers are based in China, cyber crime cell officials say that the IP addresses has been tracked down to China.
They do not rule out the possibility of these hackers having government support as unlike in India, IP addresses are allotted to each person in China by the government itself.
China has been in the eye of storm in past too when the US, Germany [Images] and UK too blamed them for hacking.
Sources say that this could be part of a larger business strategy by the Chinese who are trying to make an entry into the software market.
It is said that China intends exposing the weak security system present in these countries so that they could pump in security based products into these markets.
However, the Indian intelligence is not taking this lightly and feels that it could be a larger design rather than just a marketing gimmick.
The IB says another motive could be to cripple the systems in the Indian government.
This almost amounts to cyber terrorism, the IB says.
It sure has come as a shock to the Indian government. Director General of NIC B K Gairola says that the situation has been brought under control and an effective mechanism is in place.
He said there was no need to panic as sensitive data had not been lost.
C K Swaminathan, an expert on the subject of cyber crime, says there is no point in playing the blame game at the moment.
India should thank its stars that no major information has gone out.
At present there is a secure system in place, claim the officials. But that does not mean that we can take matters lying down.
There is every chance of the hackers attacking our systems once again in the future.
A dedicated team ought to be put on the job to continuously monitor the security of our systems, Swaminathan also added.
Friday, October 19, 2007
While more than 60 Indian pilots have already been trained on the Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) at the RAF Valley in Wales, the first two aircraft to be based at the IAF Flying School at Bidar airbase will arrive next month after a 12-day ferry flight from the UK.
“A lot of things have to be organised but the target date of leaving of the first two is November 7. Depending on various factors, six aircraft should be arriving in India by the year-end,” Guy Douglas, Head of Communications, Middle East & India, BAE Systems, confirmed.
The Bidar airbase, which currently houses the Kiran Mk II trainers, has been upgraded to receive the new aircraft. “New infrastructure, like a special tarmac, a new hangar and parking bay has been set up at the airbase. The runway has also been extended to facilitate training,” an IAF officer said. He added that a formal induction ceremony would be conducted later this year at the airbase.
India had ordered 66 trainers from BAE—24 will come in a ready to fly configuration while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will manufacture the rest at Bangalore.
The AJT’s will bridge a crucial gap in the third stage of the IAF’s fighter training programme by replacing the accident-prone MiG 21 FL aircraft that were phased out last month. The MiG 21 had the reputation of being a very unforgiving aircraft with an extremely low margin for error that was unsuitable for training.
Like most defence procurements, the AJT deal has faced numerous complications, delays and promises of indigenous development. IAF first floated its requirement for the aircraft in 1985 but the programme went into a deep freeze till 1999 when two vendors—BAE and Dassault— were short-listed.
However, the contract was finalised by the NDA Government only in 2003 after public criticism on the increasing number of accidents involving the MiG 21s that were being used in a training role.
Holding that the impending acquisition of 197 light helicopters to replace the ageing Cheetah and Chetak fleets in the fledgling Army Aviation Corps (AAC) is just the beginning, defence ministry sources said Army had projected "concrete" requirements for the 11th (2007-2012), 12th and 13th Five-Year Plans.
While IAF will continue to have its "strategic role", the Army wants its own air force for "tactical" roles. As per plans, AAC wants to have a mix of reconnaissance, utility, tactical battle-support, armed and attack helicopters as well as tactical airlift fixed-wing aircraft.
IAF, of course, is aghast at all this. Senior IAF officers contend that "air assets" are "scarce resources" which should not be frittered away by a force (read Army) which lacks "air mindedness".
But the 1.13-million strong Army holds that IAF does not fully understand concepts like "close air support" for its troops on the battlefield, which incidentally led to bitter arguments between the two forces during the 1999 Kargil conflict.
The Army obviously wants "full command and control" over "tactical air assets" for rapid deployment as per its needs. The plan is to have aviation brigades "integral" to its six regional commands, with at least a squadron of utility helicopters with each of the 13 corps.
The three "strike" corps, the principle offensive formations of Army with HQs at Mathura (1 Corps), Ambala (2 Corps) and Bhopal (21), will get much more.
They will each have two squadrons of attack helicopters, one utility helicopter squadron and two reconnaissance and observation squadrons.
At present, the main focus is on the induction of the 197 light helicopters, which will be procured from a foreign manufacturer at a cost of over $600 million.
Primarily meant for operations in mountains and high-altitude areas like Siachen, 67 of these helicopters will be bought off-the-shelf, while the rest will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under transfer of technology.
The Army is also looking for around 80 medium-lift utility helicopters like the Russian Mi-17V-5s, which can swiftly react and transport 20-25 fully-equipped soldiers to the combat zone.
Next on the list is progressive induction of the indigenously manufactured 'Dhruv' advanced light helicopters. The AAC already has three Dhruv squadrons, with three more planned for induction in the 11th Plan and the seventh one in the 12th Plan.
The AAC is also gearing up to induct "armed" Dhruvs, with the "weaponisation" of these helicopters already underway and the delivery target being set for 2009-2010.
The aim is to induct six such squadrons for anti-tank and close air support operations. Full-fledged "attack" helicopters, in turn, are planned for the 12th Plan to provide "dedicated support" to mechanised forces with tanks and infantry combat vehicles.
"Father of All Bombs" is the nickname of a Russian-made air-delivered thermobaric weapon that is claimed to be four times more powerful than the U.S. military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB or the "mother of all bombs"), making it the most powerful publicly-known conventional (non-nuclear) weapon in the world. It was successfully field-tested in the late evening of September 11, 2007, when it was apparently dropped from a Tupolev Tu-160 heavy bomber with a parachute and exploded. Defense analysts question both the yield of the bomb and whether it could be deployed by a Tupolev bomber. Photos and video of the bomb suggest that it is designed to be deployed out of the back of a slow moving cargo plane, and bomb-test video released by the Russians never shows both the bomb and the Tupolev bomber in the same camera shot.
Russia says the weapon yields the equivalent of 44 tons of TNT using 7.8 tons of a new type of high explosive, claimed to be created applying "nanotechnology". In comparison, the MOAB produces the equivalent of 11 tons of TNT from 8 tons of high explosive. The blast radius of 300 m is twice as large as the MOAB.
Although its effect has been compared to that of a nuclear weapon, it is comparable only to the lowest yield settings of the lowest yield nuclear weapons. The M-388 Davy Crockett, one of the smallest nuclear devices deployed, had a selectable yield between 10-20 tons of TNT (smaller than the FOAB) to up to 500 tons of TNT (over ten times larger than the FOAB). The FOAB only has around 0.3 percent of the power of the atomic bomb used against Hiroshima (a yield of 13 kilotons of TNT), which itself is considerably smaller than most modern nuclear weapons (which are usually measured in the hundreds of kilotons range, upwards into the megaton range).
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Volumetric weapons include thermobaric and fuel-air explosives (FAE). Both thermobaric and FAE operate on similar technical principles. In the case of FAE, when a shell or projectile containing a fuel in the form of gas, liquid or dustexplodes, the fuel or dust like material is introduced into the air to form acloud. This cloud is then detonated to create a shock wave of extended duration that produces overpressure and expands in all directions. In a thermobaric weapon, the fuel consists of a monopropellant and energetic particles. The monopropellant detonates in a manner simular to TNT while the particles burn rapidly in the surrounding air later in time, resulting an intense fireball and high blast overpressure. The term "thermobaric" is derived from the effects of temperature (the Greek word "therme" means "heat") and pressure (the Greek word "baros" means "pressure") on the target.
Thermobaric munitions have been used by many nations of the world and their proliferation is an indication of how effectively these weapons can be used in urban and complex terrain. The ability of thermobaric weapons to provide massed heat and pressure effects at a single point in time cannot be reproduced by conventional weapons without massive collateral destruction. Thermobaric weapon technologies provide the commander a new choice in protecting the force, and a new offensive weapon that can be used in a mounted or dismounted mode against complex environments.
The USAF and USN are actively pursuing conventional weapons technology to destroy Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) and support/storage facilities while retaining or destroying the agents within the structure and minimizing collateral damage including fatalities. Thermobaric weapons use high-temperature incendiaries against chemical and biological facilities. The USN is working on an Inter-Halogen Oxidizer weapon while the USAF is pursuing a solid fuel-air explosive using aluminum particles. Both of these weapons use an incineration technique to defeat and destroy the CB agents within the blast area.
The Thermobaric Weapon Demonstration is a proposed Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD). Under this program, prototype weapons are to be tested under operational conditions for their performance, and leave-behinds are to be delivered to the customer. The program aims to develop a validated means of delivery to/into a tunnel adit [entrance]. Technical risks include the extent to which candidate thermobaric payloads do not perform substantially better than existing high explosives in tunnels.
The Thermobaric [TB] Weapon Demonstration will develop a weapon concept that is based on a new class of solid fuel-air explosive thermobarics.The weapon could be used against a certain type of tunnel targets for a maximum functional kill of the tunnels.
Most of the Hard and/or Deeply Buried Targets (HDBTs), namely tunnels in rock, are so deep that the developmental and current inventory weapons cannot penetrate to sufficient depths to directly destroy critical assets. One of the warfighter's options is to attack the tunnel portals with weapons that penetrate the thinner layer of rock above the portal, or though the exterior doors, resulting in a detonation within the tunnel system. Penetrations through the door systems have the potential to place the warheads deep within the facility. Detonations within a tunnel, even only in a few diameters, have a significant increase in airblast propagation into the facility compared to external detonations. Tunnel layouts range from long, straight tunnels to various types of intersections, expansions, constrictions, chambers, rooms, alcoves, and multiple levels. All of these configurations affect the propagation of airblast.
Air blast propagation within a tunnel system has the potential to cause significant damage to critical equipment and systems. If the critical equipment within a facility can be damaged or destroyed, then the function of the facility can be degraded or destroyed, resulting in a functional kill. Depending on the purpose of the facility and the level of damage, a functional kill can be as permanent as a "structural kill," in which the facility is destroyed in a more traditional manner.
Functional kill from air blast loads is predicated on the ability to accurately determine the blast environment from an internal detonation. The response of critical equipment cannot be calculated without accurate blast loads. Unlike free-field blast loads, a detonation within a tunnel system can have a significant dynamic pressure component. This dynamic pressure component, in conjunction with the overpressure component, makes up the entire pressure-loading history necessary to predict component response.
Thermobaric compositions are fuel rich high explosives that are enhanced through aerobic combustion in the third detonation event. Performance enhancement is primarily achieved by addition of excess metals to the explosive composition. Aluminum and Magnesium are the primary metals of choice. The detonation of Composite Explosives can be viewed as three discrete events merged together. All three explosive events can be tailored to meet system performance needs:
- The initial anaerobic detonation reaction, microseconds in duration, is primarily a redox reaction of molecular species. The initial detonation reaction defines the system’s high pressure performance characteristics: armor penetrating ability.
- The post detonation anaerobic combustion reaction, hundreds of microseconds in duration, is primarily a combustion of fuel particles too large for combustion in the initial detonation wave. The post detonation anaerobic reaction define the system’s intermediate pressure performance characteristics: Wall/Bunker Breaching Capability.
- The post detonation aerobic combustion reaction, milliseconds in duration, is the combustion of fuel rich species as the shock wave mixes with surrounding air. The post detonation aerobic reaction characteristics define the system’s personnel / material defeat capability: Impulse and Thermal Delivery. Aerobic combustion requires mixing with sufficient air to combust excess fuels. The shock wave pressures are less than 10 atmospheres. The majority of aerobic combustion energy is available as heat. Some low pressure shock wave enhancement can also be expected for personnel defeat. Personnel / material defeat with minimum collateral structure damage requires maximum aerobic enhancement and the highest energy practical fuel additives: Boron, Aluminum, Silicon, Titanium, Magnesium, Zirconium, Carbon, or Hydrocarbons.
Thermobaric materials can provide significantly higher total energy output than conventional high explosives. The majority of the additional energy is available as low pressure impulse and heat.
Against this bleak backdrop, it is a small mercy that for the first time, the Union Government has shown a willingness, albeit gingerly and tentatively, to have a central agency to investigate federal crimes. “Let the concept floated … not be brushed aside. Let it be carefully looked into”, said Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. For a country that, next only to Iraq, is the worst victim of terrorism, this is a rather curious approach. India remains the only country of its size and awesome internal security threats without an appropriate instrument to combat them, largely because of the states’ “sensitivities” about their “rights”. Ironically, the Group of Ministers that oversaw the implementation of the Kargil Committee’s report had, in February 2001, rooted for such an agency, but nothing happened.
The only mechanism to “coordinate” such stray counter-terrorism measures the state governments take is a committee, headed by the Union Home Secretary and consisting of Home Secretaries of all states. It meets once in a blue moon because these overworked officials can barely cope with the daily avalanche of crises in their respective domains. Why is this function not devolved on their deputies, with a duty constantly to report to the “principals”, as is customary elsewhere? No wonder the country lacks a coherent nationwide strategy to cope with a problem that is literally a matter of life and death for it. In any case, state governments cannot possibly deal with the diabolical involvement of Pakistan and Bangladesh in the vile acts of terrorism across India.
From all accounts, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI) has been the principal perpetrator of the Hyderabad horror. At present largely based in Bangladesh and closely linked with Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyba, Jaish-e-Mohammed et al, under the benign patronage of the ISI, it was born in Pakistan. The prime accused in this case, Bilal, originally belonging to Hyderabad, is known to be in Karachi. But, as in the case of the Mafia super-don, Dawood Ibrahim, Islamabad blandly denies Bilal’s presence on Pakistan soil. About the two other accused reportedly arrested in Bangladesh Dhaka remains coy.
After Andhra Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy’s doleful confession that the state government does not have the wherewithal to combat terrorism, especially that of foreign provenance, isn’t it time to appoint a committee of state chief ministers to recommend how best to defeat terrorism, together with accompanying crimes of smuggling of weapons, RDX and narcotics; circulation of counterfeit currency, money laundering and hawala; illegal immigration and so on?
The multiplicity of the brands of terrorism afflicting India is staggering. Apart from jihadi terrorism, there is the Naxalite terrorism that is, in fact, the most widespread and apparently the most immune from official counter-action. In the Northeast, a rash of ethnic terrorism has gone on longer than anyone can remember, and the horror of horrors is that the crimes of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), which is of relatively recent origin, hardly register themselves in the capital’s corridors of power.
However, it is the jihadi terrorism that understandably has become the most tormenting. Doubtless, the matter is delicate for it involves religion and arouses conflicting passions. Few are therefore prepared to discuss it objectively. Political correctness (or is it political calculation?) comes in the way. Polarisation of the polity worsens the situation. The BJP’s refrain of the Congress being “soft” on terror because of the “vote bank politics” is matched by the Congress’ counter-charge of the saffron party’s “communal and divisive agenda”. Each of them carries conviction only to the already converted.
Let there be no reluctance to recognise that there is some local support for foreign-inspired jihadis but only from a very small fraction of the minority community. Yet, Hindutva hotheads blandly blame almost all Indian Muslims, numbering nearly 150 million, which is not a digestible digit. Not many leaders of the Muslim community or organisations, for their part, take a strong enough stand against the merchants of terror, hate and murder. To play partisan politics with the grave problem and doing nothing even to comprehend all its ramifications is surely an invitation to disaster.
Come to think of it, in the ultimate analysis, jihadi terrorism, with its global reach, is a manifestation of the fight within Islam — between moderates on the one hand and the extremists on the other. The struggle is complicated by the bitter Shia-Sunni divide. Modernity is the only route to making any community moderate and enlightened. But how does one modernise those a huge majority of whom is abysmally poor, woefully uneducated and lives in festering ghettos?
At the same time, prompt, drastic and effective action has to be taken to prevent terrorism to the extent possible and punish it when necessary. Examples of other countries might be worth studying and following. The humongous surveillance and security measures the United States has adopted have doubtless made life difficult for visitors and citizens alike. But that country has so far averted any terror attack after 9/11. Britain has demonstrated that closed circuit TV and other advanced technology, if properly utilised, can be of great help in detecting and deterring the potential troublemakers.
Sadly, this is precisely where our worst and totally unpardonable weakness comes in. It is, to put it bluntly, the incredible incompetence and limitless corruption that have made the nearly entire Indian administrative system, not just the police, dysfunctional. At a time when indiscipline by MPs disrupts Parliament on most days, and measly cheques issued from the Prime Minister’s Rs.3,750–crore Vidarbha “package” continue to “bounce”, what else can you expect? It is unrealistic to believe that while governance in all other areas has gone to the dogs, any counter-terrorism agency to be set up on some distant date would be a paragon of efficiency, competence and integrity.
Article published in
| By Shaikh Azizur Rahman |
Indian scientists are turning to an ancient Hindu text in their search for the secrets of effective stealth warfare.
(We) do not for a moment think that the idea is crazy
Professor SV Bhavasar
They believe the book, the Arthashastra, written more than 2,300 years ago, will give Indian troops the edge on their enemies.
India's Defence Minister George Fernandes has approved funding for the project, and told parliament recently that experiments had begun.
The research is being carried out by experts from the Defence Research and Development Organisation and scientists from the University of Pune and National Institute of Virology in western India.
The book includes the recipe for a single meal that will keep a soldier fighting for a month, methods of inducing madness in the enemy as well as advice on chemical and biological warfare.
Powders and remedies
The book was written by military strategist Kautilya, also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, a prime minister in the court of India's first emperor Chandragupta Maurya, in the fourth century BC.
"All of us are excited about the possibilities and do not for a moment think that the idea is crazy," said Professor SV Bhavasar, a space scientist who has spent many years researching the Arthashastra.
"Decoding ancient texts is not an easy task but we are very hopeful of success," he added.
According to a Pune University report, the book says that soldiers fed with a single meal of special herbs, milk and clarified butter can stay without food for an entire month.
Shoes made of camel skin smeared with a serum made from the flesh of owls and vultures can help soldiers walk hundreds of miles during a war without feeling tired.
A powder made from fireflies and the eyes of wild boar can endow soldiers with night vision.
Kautilya wrote in the Arthashastra that a ruler could use any means to attain his goal, and Book XIV touches on aspects of chemical and biological warfare.
The book says that smoke from burning a powder made from the skin and excreta of certain reptiles, animals and birds can cause madness and blindness in the enemy.
The book also provides the formula to create a lethal smoke by burning certain species of snakes, insects and plant seeds in makeshift laboratories.
"Our focus at present is on how humans can control hunger for longer durations and walk for longer period without experiencing fatigue,
Project leader Dr VS Ghole, head of the environmental engineering department of Pune university, said the team was now focusing on the methods of controlling hunger and increasing stamina.
"Once we have made some headway we will go into researching Kautilya's notes on night vision and other fields," he said.
Professor SV Bhavasar said the team also had plans to research other ancient Hindu texts.
These include manuscripts which "claim to provide secrets of manufacturing planes which can not be destroyed by any external force, could be motionless in the sky and even invisible to enemy planes."
Prithvi Missile productionisation was concurrent. Post the first flight of the Prithvi, around 1988 – 90, the customer, an Indian Army unit for Prithvi was posted to Hyderabad. The officer commanding was Colonel Kumar. As with all new projects, the first task for the Colonel was to figure out the accommodation for the unit. The Prithvi team headed by Dr. VK Saraswat, were busy accommodating the army team, from kitchen needs to the tents. The unit was next shifted to premises of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, the production agency. Saraswat was still the nodal point.
The Colonel was very demanding, training, user documentation, progress on hardware, readiness of the ground systems, workshops, maintenance and their pound of flesh, i.e., Prithvi missiles in required numbers.
A Russian business news sources “Vedomosti” reports that on 10 Oct, 2007 (Wednesday), Rosoboronexport and HAL signed a contract to supply India for 40 Air Force fighter aircraft Su-30MKI machinery worth more than 1.6 billion dollors, reported the newspaper “Vedomosti” with a reference to the source in the government of the Russian Federation. Vedomosti mentions that the source is close to the Ministry of Defense.
The “Rosoboronexport ” and corporation “Irkut”, at Irkutsk plant which they will manufacture these planes before their final assembling in India at plant HAL, categorically refused to comment.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Iran has presented what it claims is a new medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), dubbed Ghadr-1 (Power-1), with a declared range of 1,800 km.
However, experts examining the footage of the 22 September parade in Tehran where the missile was being displayed say that it appears identical to a previously shown Shahab 3 MRBM variant. The annual parade, which commemorates the anniversary of the beginning of Iran's 1980-88 war with Iraq, has been used to present weapons developed by Iran. The official announcer said that the new missile's range - 1,800 km - is "sufficient to put US bases in the Middle East and Israel within its reach".
Uzi Rubin, former director of Israel's Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation, said: "It appears to be the same Shahab 3, with a 'baby bottle'-shaped re-entry vehicle [RV], which appeared in the 2004 parade and was then claimed to have a range of 2,000 km. The pictures indicate no justification for announcing a new missile."
Other defence sources also affirmed that they do not recognise any new missile. The older Shahab 3 variant, with a conical, 'dunce cap'-shaped RV, was claimed this time to have a range of 1,300 km. "Since they have already claimed to have a Shahab missile with 2,000 km range, I don't see the rationale of declaring a new missile for 1,800 km," said Rubin.
India has increased its defence spending by about 13% to Rs620 billion ($13.3 billion) for Fiscal Year 2001-02 (FY01-02) to enable it to replace obsolete weapon systems and build a credible nuclear deterrent based on a triad of aircraft, mobile-based missiles and sea-based assets.
When adjusted against inflation, the real increase in spending is about 7.9%. The defence budget is 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Pakistan's defence budget is 2.8% of GDP, while that of China is estimated at around 3% of GDP.
"The increased provision is to meet enhanced expenditure on pay and allowances and modernisation of defence forces," the Ministry of Finance said in its budget document.
Departing from previous budget presentations, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha made no reference to defence expenditure in his speech to parliament. Local analysts interpreted this as an effort to avoid fears of an arms race.
However, India's nuclear rival Pakistan reacted sharply to India's increased defence spending, saying it would upset South Asia's military balance. "The massive acquisition of armaments by India is a cause for concern for Pakistan as the bulk of its army is deployed along our border," said a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman.
Indian defence officials said around a third of the budget will be spent on equipment programmes. The Indian Air Force (IAF) will receive Rs151.72 billion, or 24.% of the total budget. Officials said the increase in the IAF's capital outlay from Rs19.91 billion last year to Rs49.45 billion is for the purchase of aircraft and engines and indicates the purchase of 66 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers is likely to be finalised soon
Later this year the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is to begin upgrading its first of 125 MiG-21bis (NATO reporting name: 'Fishbed') fighters with Russian, French and Israeli help in a project expected to cost $500 million-$700 million. The IAF is also negotiating mid-life upgrades for its MiG-27M ('Flogger-J'), MiG-29 ('Fulcrum'), SEPECAT Jaguar and Dassault Aviation Mirage 2000H fighters. The Mirage will form part of India's nuclear deterrent
The army receives Rs374.98 billion in the budget - 60.4% of the funds - a minimal increase over last year, to enable it to close negotiations with Israel for unmanned air vehicles and to acquire artillery-locating radar and surveillance devices for use along the border with China and Pakistan.
The Indian Navy (IN) has been allocated Rs91.38 billion, or around 14.7% of the budget. The service is finalising the acquisition of the Admiral Gorshkov, the 44,500-tonne former Soviet carrier for the price of its refit estimated at around $700 million. More than 40 carrier-based MiG-29K fighters are expected to cost an additional $1.2 billion. The IN has also opened negotiations with France for six submarines, is planning to lease a Russian nuclear-powered submarine and is awaiting government approval to revive its own submarine-building facilities.
There is no specific indication in the budget statement of expenditure on India's nuclear deterrent, estimated to be $500 million annually in recent years. Local defence analysts said it had been "cleverly hidden". However, official sources said one indication could be the capital expenditure of Rs82.46 billion on unspecified "other equipment" for the services, with the army getting Rs47.36 billion.
In January India successfully test-fired its Agni II intermediate-range ballistic missile. Officials said the nuclear missile would likely be introduced into service later this year. India is also developing the 3,500km-range Agni III
The allocation for ordnance factories has been increased nearly five times to Rs11.82 billion, signalling a move to increase self-sufficiency and improve the output of India's sluggish defence industry. The government will spend Rs9.16 billion on research and development, an increase of Rs915 million.
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