Sunday, 18 September 2011

Eighteen Pakistani Official Mercenaries And Troops Killed As Militants Attack Khyber Checkpost

At least eighteen people were killed when Taliban militants attacked a checkpost manned by pro-government tribesman and security forces in northwest Pakistan, officials said on Sunday.

Armed with assault rifles and hand grenades, the militants killed four ethnic Pashtun tribesmen and a paramilitary soldier in the late Saturday attack.

Members of a tribal militia and security forces retaliated, killing 10 militants, said a senior government official in the Khyber region near the Afghan border, where the incident took place.

“A large number of weapons from the militants were also confiscated,” said the official, Rehan Khattak.

Pakistan’s Taliban have stepped up attacks on Pashtun tribes who have raised militias to help security forces.

At least 40 people were killed and 68 wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a funeral of a member of a pro-government tribe in the northwestern Lower Dir district on Thursday.

Militants also claimed responsibility for an attack on a school bus on Tuesday which killed five people, saying the children on the bus were from a pro-government tribe.

The Taliban are also holding more than 20 young men hostage from a pro-government tribe in an area straddling the Afghan border and have demanded the release of scores of prisoners and an end to support of military offensives against them.

Pakistani authorities have been encouraging the Pashtun tribes to revive traditional militias to counter the growing number of militants fighting the Pakistani state.

Under a centuries-old tradition, the tribes raise the militias, or lashkars, in their semi-autonomous regions to fight criminal gangs and enforce their tribal codes.

Pakistani Army And ISI Backed Militants Battle For Drone Wreckage

Pakistani soldiers fought with Taliban militants on Sunday over the wreckage of a remotely-controlled U.S. drone which crashed near the Afghan border, intelligence officials said.

The Pakistani Taliban militants, who are close to al Qaeda, claimed they had shot down the aircraft over the South Waziristan region on Saturday. Security officials could not confirm the cause of the crash.

The Taliban have previously made similar claims which were never confirmed. The United States usually does not comment on the drone program it says is highly effective against al Qaeda and other militant groups.

Pakistani security forces launched an operation against the Taliban on Sunday morning in a bid to recover the debris.

At least two militants were killed, security officials said. One army officer was injured.

Missile-armed drones have been playing a greater role than ever in U.S. counterterrorism operations in Pakistan's northwest, which President Obama has described as "the most dangerous place in the world."

Abu Hafs al Shahri, a Saudi national who had been the senior figure in al Qaeda's central command, was recently killed by a drone strike in the area, two U.S. officials said.

Drone strikes have been a major source of friction in ties between the United States and Pakistan, which are at their worst since U.S. special forces killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a secret raid in a Pakistani military town in May.

While Pakistan publicly opposes the strikes, it has privately allowed them and cooperated with the United States in determining targets.

U.S. to deploy ballistic missiles in Poland by 2018

The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018, the U.S. and Poland said in a joint statement on Thursday.

"The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective of September 15, 2011," the statement said.

The system will be located at the Redzikowo military base, the statement added, calling it "a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability."
Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat.

NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the threat of missile attacks from Iran.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network | STRATFOR

By Sean Noonan and Scott Stewart
For many years now, STRATFOR has been carefully following the evolution of “Lashkar-e-Taiba” (LeT), the name of a Pakistan-based jihadist group that was formed in 1990 and existed until about 2001, when it was officially abolished. In subsequent years, however, several major attacks were attributed to LeT, including the November 2008 coordinated assault in Mumbai, India. Two years before that attack we wrote that the group, or at least its remnant networks, were nebulous but still dangerous. This nebulous nature was highlighted in November 2008 when the “Deccan Mujahideen,” a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks.
While the most famous leaders of the LeT networks, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, are under house arrest and in jail awaiting trial, respectively, LeT still poses a significant threat. It’s a threat that comes not so much from LeT as a single jihadist force but LeT as a concept, a banner under which various groups and individuals can gather, coordinate and successfully conduct attacks.
Such is the ongoing evolution of the jihadist movement. And as this movement becomes more diffuse, it is important to look at brand-name jihadist groups like LeT, al Qaeda, the Haqqani network and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan as loosely affiliated networks more than monolithic entities. With a debate under way between and within these groups over who to target and with major disruptions of their operations by various military and security forces, the need for these groups to work together in order to carry out sensational attacks has become clear. The result is a new, ad hoc template for jihadist operations that is  not easily defined and even harder for government leaders to explain to their constituents and reporters to explain to their readers.
Thus, brand names like Lashkar-e-Taiba (which means Army of the Pure) will continue to be used in public discourse while the planning and execution of high-profile attacks grows ever more complex. While the threat posed by these networks to the West and to India may not be strategic, the possibility of disparate though well-trained militants working together and even with organized-crime elements does suggest a continuing tactical threat that is worth examining in more detail.

The Network Formerly Known as Lashkar-e-Taiba

The history of the group of militants and preachers who created LeT and their connections with other groups helps us understand how militant groups develop and work together. Markaz al-Dawa wal-Irshad (MDI) and its militant wing, LeT, was founded with the help of transnational militants based in Afghanistan and aided by the Pakistani government. This allowed it to become a financially-independent social-service organization that was able to divert a significant portion of its funding to its militant wing.
The first stirrings of militancy within this network began in 1982, when Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi traveled from Punjab, Pakistan, to Paktia, Afghanistan, to fight with Deobandi militant groups. Lakhvi, who is considered to have been the military commander of what was known as LeT and is awaiting trial for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, adheres to an extreme version of the Ahl-e-Hadith (AeH) interpretation of Islam, which is the South Asian version of the Salafist-Wahhabist trend in the Arab world. In the simplest of terms, AeH is more conservative and traditional than the doctrines of most militant groups operating along the Durand Line. Militants there tend to follow an extreme brand of the Deobandi branch of South Asian Sunni Islam, similar to the extreme ideology of al Qaeda’s Salafist jihadists.
Lakhvi created his own AeH-inspired militant group in 1984, and a year later two academics, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zafar Iqbal, created Jamaat ul-Dawa, an Islamist AeH social organization. Before these groups were formed there was already a major AeH political organization called Jamaat AeH, led by the most well-known Pakistani AeH scholar, the late Allama Ehsan Elahi Zaheer, who was assassinated in Lahore in 1987. His death allowed Saeed and Lakhvi’s movement to take off. It is important to note that AeH adherents comprise a very small percentage of Pakistanis and that those following the movement launched by Saeed and Lakhvi represent only a portion of those who ascribe to AeH’s ideology.
In 1986, Saeed and Lakhvi joined forces, creating Markaz al-Dawa wal-Irshad (MDI) in Muridke, near Lahore, Pakistan. MDI had 17 founders, including Saeed and Lakhvi as well as transnational militants originally from places like Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories. While building facilities in Muridke for social services, MDI also established its first militant training camp in Paktia, then another in Kunar, Afghanistan, in 1987. Throughout the next three decades, these camps often were operated in cooperation with other militant groups, including al Qaeda.
MDI was established to accomplish two related missions. The first involved peaceful, above-board activities like medical care, education, charitable work and proselytizing. Its second and equally important mission was military jihad, which the group considered obligatory for all Muslims. The group first fought in Afghanistan along with Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wal-Suna, a hardline Salafist group that shared MDI’s ideology. Jamil al-Rahman, the group’s leader at the time, provided support to MDI’s first militant group and continued to work with MDI until his death in 1987.
The deaths of al-Rahman and Jamaat AeH leader Allama Ehsan Elahi Zaheer in 1987 gave the leaders of the nascent MDI the opportunity to supplant Jamaat al-Dawa al-Quran wal-Suna and Jamaat AeH and grow quickly.
In 1990, the growing MDI officially launched LeT as its militant wing under the command of Lakhvi, while Saeed remained emir of the overall organization. This was when LeT first began to work with other groups operating in Kashmir, since the Soviets had left Afghanistan and many of the foreign mujahideen there were winding down their operations. In 1992, when the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was finally defeated, many foreign militants who had fought in Afghanistan left to fight in other places like Kashmir. LeT is also known to have sent fighters to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Tajikistan, but Kashmir became the group’s primary focus.
MDI/LeT explained its concentration on Kashmir by arguing that it was the closest Muslim territory that was occupied by non-believers. Since MDI/LeT was a Punjabi entity, Kashmir was also the most accessible theater of jihad for the group. Due to the group’s origin and the history of the region, Saeed and other members also bore personal grudges against India. In the 1990s, MDI/LeT also received substantial support from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) and military, which had its own interest in supporting operations in Kashmir. At this point, MDI/LeT developed relations with other groups operating in Kashmir, such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Unlike these groups, however, MDI/LeT was considered easier to control because its AeH sect of Islam was not very large and did not have the support of the main AeH groups. With Pakistan’s support came certain restraints, and many LeT trainees said that as part of their indoctrination into the group they were made to promise never to attack Pakistan.
LeT expanded its targeting beyond Kashmir to the rest of India in 1992, after the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque during communal rioting in Uttar Pradesh state, and similar unrest in Mumbai and Gujarat. LeT sent Azam Cheema, who Saeed and Iqbal knew from their university days, to recruit fighters in India. Indian militants from a group called Tanzim Islahul Muslimeen were recruited into LeT, which staged its first major attack with five coordinated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on trains in Mumbai and Hyderabad on Dec. 5-6, 1993, the first anniversary of the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque. These are the first attacks in non-Kashmir India that can be linked to LeT. The group used Tanzim Islahul Muslimeen networks in the 1990s and later developed contacts with the Student Islamic Movement of India and its offshoot militant group the Indian Mujahideen.
The Student Islamic Movement of India/Indian Mujahideen network was useful in recruiting and co-opting operatives, but it is a misconception to think these indigenous Indian groups worked directly for LeT. In some cases, Pakistanis from LeT provided IED training and other expertise to Indian militants who carried out attacks, but these groups, while linked to the LeT network, maintained their autonomy. The most recent attacks in India — Sept. 7 in Delhi and  July 13 in Mumbai — probably have direct ties to these networks.
Between 1993 and 1995, LeT received its most substantial state support from Pakistan, which helped build up LeT’s military capability by organizing and training its militants and providing weapons, equipment, campaign guidance and border-crossing support in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. LeT operated camps on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border as well as in Kashmir, in places like Muzaffarabad.
At the same time, MDI built up a major social-services network, building schools and hospitals and setting up charitable foundations throughout Pakistan, though centered in Punjab. Its large complex in Muridke included schools, a major hospital and a mosque. Some of its funding came through official Saudi channels while other funding came through non-official channels via Saudi members of MDI such as Abdul Rahman al-Surayhi and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, who reportedly facilitated much of the funding to establish the original Muridke complex.
As MDI focused on dawah, or the preaching of Islam, it simultaneously developed an infrastructure that was financially self-sustaining. For example, it established Al-Dawah schools throughout Pakistan that charged fees to those who could afford it and it began taxing its adherents. It also became well-known for its charitable activities, placing donation boxes throughout Pakistan. The group developed a reputation as an efficient organization that provides quality social services, and this positive public perception has made it difficult for the Pakistani government to crack down on it.
On July 12, 1999, LeT carried out its first fidayeen, or suicide commando, attack in Kashmir. Such attacks focus on inflicting as much damage as possible before the attackers are killed. Their goal also was to engender as much fear as possible and introduce a new intensity to the conflict there. This attack occurred during the Kargil war, when Pakistani soldiers along with its sponsored militants fought a pitched battle against Indian troops in the Kargil district of Kashmir. This was the height of Pakistani state support for the various militant groups operating in Kashmir, and it was a critical, defining period for the LeT, which shifted its campaign from one focused exclusively on Kashmir to one focused on India as a whole.
State support for LeT and other militant groups declined after the Kargil war but fidayeen attacks continued and began to occur outside of Kashmir. In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, there was much debate within LeT about its targeting. When LeT was constrained operationally in Kashmir by its ISI handlers, some members of the group wanted to conduct attacks in other places. It’s unclear at this point which attacks had Pakistani state support and which did not, but the timing of many in relation to the ebb and flow of the Pakistani-Indian political situation indicates Pakistani support and control, even if it came only from factions within the ISI or military. The first LeT attack outside of Kashmir took place on Dec. 22, 2000, against the Red Fort in Delhi.

The Post-9/11 Name Game

In the months following 9/11, many Pakistan-based jihadist groups were “banned” by the Pakistani government. They were warned beforehand and moved their funds into physical assets or under different names. LeT claimed that it split with MDI, with new LeT leader Maula Abdul Wahid al-Kashmiri saying the group now was strictly a Kashmiri militant organization. Despite these claims, however, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi was still considered supreme commander. MDI was dissolved and replaced by Jamaat-ul-Dawa, the original name used by Saeed and Iqbal’s group. Notably, both al-Kashmiri and Lakhvi were also part of the Jamaat-ul-Dawa executive board, indicating that close ties remained between the two groups.
In January 2002, LeT was declared illegal, and the Pakistani government began to use the word “defunct” to describe it. In reality it wasn’t defunct; it had begun merely operating under different names. The group’s capability to carry out attacks was temporarily limited, probably on orders from the Pakistani government through Jamaat-ul-Dawa’s leadership.
At this point, LeT’s various factions began to split and re-network in various ways. For example, Abdur Rehman Syed, a senior operational planner involved in David Headley’s surveillance of Mumbai targets, left LeT around 2004. As a major in the Pakistani army he had been ordered to fight fleeing Taliban on the Durand Line in 2001. He refused and joined LeT. In 2004 he began working with Ilyas Kashmiri and Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami. Two other senior LeT leaders, former Pakistani Maj. Haroon Ashiq and his brother Capt. Kurram Ashiq, had left Pakistan’s Special Services Group to join LeT around 2001. By 2003 they had exited the group and were criticizing Lakhvi, the former LeT military commander.
Despite leaving the larger organization, former members of the MDI/LeT still often use the name “Lashkar-e-Taiba” in their public rhetoric when describing their various affiliations, even though they do not consider their new organizations to be offshoots of LeT. The same difficulties observers face in trying to keep track of these spun-off factions has come to haunt the factions themselves, which have a branding problem as they try to raise money or recruit fighters. New names don’t have the same power as the well-established LeT brand, and many of the newer organizations continue to use the LeT moniker in some form.

Operating Outside of South Asia

Organizations and networks that were once part of LeT have demonstrated the capability to carry out insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, small-unit attacks in Kashmir, fidayeen assaults in Kashmir and India and small IED attacks throughout the region. Mumbai in 2008 was the most spectacular attack by an LeT offshoot on an international scale, but to date the network has not demonstrated the capability to conduct complex attacks outside the region. That said, David Headley’s surveillance efforts in Denmark and other plots linked to LeT training camps and factions do seem to have been inspired by al Qaeda’s transnational jihadist influence.
To date, these operations have failed, but they are worth noting. These transnational LeT-linked plotters include the following:
  • The Virginia Jihad Network.
  • Dhiren Barot (aka Abu Eisa al-Hind), a Muslim convert of Indian origin who grew up in the United Kingdom, was arrested there in 2004 and was accused of a 2004 plot to detonate vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices in underground parking lots and surveilling targets in the United States in 2000-2001 for al Qaeda. He originally learned his craft in LeT training camps in Pakistan.
  • David Hicks, an Australian who was in LeT camps in 1999 and studied at one of their madrassas. LeT provided a letter of introduction to al Qaeda, which he joined in January 2001. He was captured in Afghanistan following the U.S.-led invasion.
  • Omar Khyam of the United Kingdom, who attended LeT training camps in 2000 before his family brought him home.
  • The so-called “Crevice Network,” members of which were arrested in 2004 and charged withattempting to build fertilizer-based IEDs in the United Kingdom under the auspices of al Qaeda.
  • Willie Brigette, who had been connected to LeT networks in France and was trying to contact a bombmaker in Australia in order to carry out attacks there when he was arrested in October 2003.
While these cases suggest that the LeT threat persists, they also indicate that the transnational threat posed by those portions of the network focused on attacks outside of South Asia does not appear to be as potent as the attack in Mumbai in 2008. One reason is the Pakistani support offered to those who focus on operations in South Asia and particularly those who target India. Investigations of the Mumbai attack revealed that current or former ISI officers provided a considerable amount of training, operational support and even real-time guidance to the Mumbai attack team.
It is unclear how far up the Pakistani command structure this support goes. The most important point, though, is that Pakistani support in the Mumbai attack provided the group responsible with capabilities that have not been demonstrated by other parts of the network in other plots. In fact, without this element of state support, many transnational plots linked to the LeT network have been forced to rely on the same kind of “Kramer jihadists” in the West that the al Qaeda core has employed in recent years.
However, while these networks have not shown the capability to conduct a spectacular attack since Mumbai, they continue to plan. With both the capability and intention in place, it is probably only a matter of time before they conduct additional attacks in India. The historical signature of LeT attacks has been the use of armed assault tactics — taught originally by the ISI and institutionalized by LeT doctrine — so attacks of this sort can be expected. An attack of this sort outside of South Asia would be a stretch for the groups that make up the post-LeT networks, but the cross-pollination that is occurring among the various jihadist actors in Pakistan could help facilitate planning and even operations if they pool resources. Faced with the full attention of global counterterrorism efforts, such cooperation may be one of the only ways that the transnational jihad can hope to gain any traction, especially as its efforts to foster independent grassroots jihadists have been largely ineffective.

Reprinting or republication of this report on websites is authorized by prominently displaying the following sentence, including the hyperlink to STRATFOR, at the beginning or end of the report
Read more: The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network | STRATFOR

Navy to get 8 amphibious assault vessels

New Delhi:  Strengthening Navy's operational capabilities, the government has cleared an over Rs. 2,170-crore proposal to build eight amphibious assault vessels for the maritime force.

The proposal to build eight Landing Craft Utility (LCUs) was cleared in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) held earlier this week and the vessels would be built by the defence undertaking Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata, sources said here.

The eight new vessels with a displacement of around 500 tonnes will be built and delivered to the Navy in the next three to four years, they said.

The new vessels will be used to replace the existing fleet of six amphibious boats already in service, they said.

The LCU is a boat used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore and are capable of transporting combat vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to shores. Its current fleet of LCUs is capable of carrying 35 armed troops right up to the beach and land.

The clearance to Navy's proposal is part of India's efforts to develop its amphibious warfare capabilities.

It is also planning to develop the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a major amphibious warfare hub by setting up full-fledged training facilities and basing a sea-and-land fighting unit to provide teeth to its capability to take the battle into enemy shores.

India is in the process of building own large-size amphibious warfare vessels and has also procured a warship from the US now christened INS Jalashwa to augment its capabilities in this regard.

No mercy for foreign militants: Lt Gen Syed Atta Hasnain

The commander of the Indian army in Kashmir said on Friday that his force did not ask foreign militants trapped during an operation to surrender, but went straight for the kill.

“We decided to eliminate LeT's (Lashkar-e-Tayaba commander) Abdullah Uni the very moment we received reports that he was hiding in a Sopore house.

He was not asked to surrender,” GOC 15th Corps, Lt Gen Syed Atta Hasnain said at a public meeting in the Trehgam area of the frontier Kupwara district.

“The army never asks any foreign militant to surrender,” he said.

The general claimed that the Lashkar-e-Tayaba had been finished as a fighting force in Kashmir with the killing of 25 of its top commanders.

“It is now calling up fresh blood from Pakistan to shore up its activity,” he said.

Gen Hasnain said that around 500 Kashmiri youth were imprisoned in various jails in Pakistan.

“Kashmiri youth no longer go to Pakistan for militant training, nor do they want to take the path of violence now,” he said.

The general said that the army was engaged in strong efforts to bridge the gulf with the common people in Kashmir and that its public meetings with the masses had shown positive results.

According to the general, the army would be holding a ten-day recruitment rally in the Behama area of Kupwara from September 26.

Video: ISRO Static Test Fire of GSLV Mk III Solid Booster S200

Second successful static test of solid booster S200 conducted at SDSC, SHAR on September 04, 2011. ( five different camera angles ) The GSLV-III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III , is a launch vehicle currently under development by the Indian Space Research Organization. GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4500 to 5000 kg. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO, LEO, Polar and intermediate circular orbits. GSLV-Mk III is designed to be a three stage vehicle, with 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes. First stage comprises two identical S200 Large Solid Booster (LSB) with 200 tonne solid propellant, that are strapped on to the second stage, the L110 re-startable liquid stage. The third stage is the C25 LOX/LH2 cryo stage. The large payload fairing measures 5 m in diameter and can accommodate a payload volume of 100 cu m. The development work on Mk III is progressing as per schedule for a launch in 2012.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lakshya Test Fired Successfully Shaurya ,P-II And Agni-II to follow soon

The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) personnel on Monday flight-tested a digital version of PTA ‘Lakshya’ from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Orissa coast.

“The micro-light aircraft fitted with an advanced remote controlled engine was test flown at about 12.50 pm from the launching complex-II. It was successful as we tested several developments made in the digital version of the unmanned aircraft,” said a defence official.

This time the aircraft flew over 30 minutes during which all the parameters were tested, he said, adding that another round of trial will be carried out in a day or two. Earlier both the sea and land recovery versions of the PTA have been test flown successfully.

The PTA, a sub-sonic and re-usable aerial target system, is remote controlled from the ground and designed to impart training to both air-borne and air-defence pilots.

Apart from this, a series of nuclear- capable missiles will be test-fired this month. While preparation for the tests is in full swing, hundreds of DRDO scientists are camping at two test facilities of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Orissa coast.

The missiles which will be put under trial include land version of K-15 missile dubbed as ‘Shaurya’, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II and Agni-II.

While Shaurya has been slated for tests any time between September 17 and 18, Prithvi-II may be tested from September 22 to 24 followed by Agni-II on September 30.

The DRDO scientists are working overtime to ensure successful trials of the Shaurya and 2000-km range Agni-II this time. While Agni-II had developed technical snags during its previous test
leading to the postponement, ‘Shaurya’ is being tested for the second time.

Sources at the ITR said the 600-km range ‘Shaurya’ missile will be test-fired from an underground silo with a depth of nearly 30 feet at the Chandipur test facilities. The missile that was first tested in November 2008 is the land variant of sub-marine based ballistic missile (SLBM) K-15.

A user trial of the Agni-II missile to be conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army on August 29 was aborted at the last minute as the missile developed technical glitches and ignition problem.

The SFC will also carry the user trial of indigenously developed Prithvi-II to gauge the effectiveness and performance of the weapon during a real time situation. While Agni-II missile will be test-fired from the Wheeler Island-based launching complex (LC)-IV, ‘Shaurya’ and ‘Prithvi-II’ were launched from the Chandipur-based LC-III.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Russian T-90 tank versus German Leopard 2A6 tank

Russian Army Will Start Receiving New Classified Tanks From 2014

The Russian military is planning to carry out a large-scale rearmament of its armored units with new-generation main battle tanks (MBT) in 2014-2020, the Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
“At present, the Russian scientists are developing a new-generation tank, and in 2014-2020 we are planning to replace the current fleet with new tanks on a large scale, so that the new models will constitute 70% of the total,” Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Sergei Vlasov said.

According to leading Russian military experts, two models, tentatively dubbed the T-95 and the T-99, are being developed. Both projects are highly classified, and it is still unknown which model will be selected for mass production.

The new tank will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than the T-90 MBT.

The Russian Ground Forces are equipped with T-72, T-80 and T-90 MBTs and their variants. The existing state arms procurement program envisions a thorough overhaul of T-72 tanks until 2014.

The T-72 is one of the most widely produced post-World War II tanks, second only to the T-54/55 family, and its basic design has been further developed as the T-90.

“A fully modernized T-72 can easily compete with the most advanced MBTs of our time,” Vlasov said.

INS Airavat in Orissa to tackle flood situation

The Eastern Naval Command based here has dispatched a Landing Ship Tank (Large) for relief operations along Mahanadi river on the request of Orissa government.

The ship INS Airavat, with a Chetak helicopter on its board, is also carrying three diving teams along with rescue equipment and medical supplies to tackle the situation, a defence release said today.

The ship will be joined further by divers and two more boats from the Naval officer-in-charge-Orissa, it said.

According to the release, INS Airavat is scheduled to reach Paradip tomorrow morning and will coordinate with the Disaster Management Authority of Orissa in the relief operations in the seven districts affected by floods following incessant rains and discharge from Hirakund reservoir.

Ulfa, NSCN(K) In Panic As Myanmar Army Closes In

Ulfa and NSCN (Khaplang) militants have pressed the panic button and are planning to shift their camps in Myanmar amid reports of a crackdown by the Myanmarese army on Indian rebel outfits holed up there.

The NSCN (K) claimed that about 400 Myanmarese soldiers have moved into the area where its headquarters is located.

The outfit said its chairman , S S Khaplang, was safe. Ulfa, whose military chief Paresh Baruah shifted to Myanmar after Bangladesh launched a similar offensive in late 2009, has asked the NSCN (K) fighters to move to safer places.

CAG Report On Indian Air Force and Indian Navy


The total expenditure of the Defence Services during 2009-10 was ` 1,45,781 crore. Of this,
the Air Force and Navy spent ` 33,259 crore and ` 22,935 crore respectively. The combined
expenditure of the two services accounts for 38.54 per cent of the total expenditure on the
Defence Services. The major portion of the expenditure of the Air Force and Navy is capital
in nature, constituting almost 56.77 per cent of their total expenditure.

Some of the major findings arising from test audit of transactions of the Air Force, the Navy,
and associated units of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Military
Engineer Services included in the Report, are discussed below:

I Delayed acquisition of armaments for a frontline fighter aircraft

Flawed approach in acquiring 16 MiG-29K aircraft, at a cost of ` 3,405.61 crore without
finalising the associated package with the procurement of the aircraft, in January 2004, led to
delivery of six aircraft in December 2009 without weapons. Subsequently, five more
aircrafts were delivered in May 2011. The armament for the aircraft were contracted for only
in March 2006 which led to non delivery of weapons till October 2010, adversely affecting
the operational capabilities of the aircraft. Besides, the Beyond Visual Range missiles
contracted for the aircraft, at a cost of ` 93.68 crore, has had an unsatisfactory track record
with Indian Air Force
(Paragraph 2.1)

II Extra expenditure on procurement of Low Level Transportable Radar

Acquisition of critical requirement of air defence surveillance system was beset with delays
at each stage in the pre-contract finalisation process. Further, avoidable additional payment of
` 57.46 crore was made by the Ministry to M/s Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) without
justification due to inadequate negotiations during procurement.
(Paragraph 2.2)

III Extra expenditure on operation of a surveillance system

Indian Air Force procured two vital surveillance systems at the cost of ` 676 crore. One of
the system met with an accident and has become non operational since May 2009. It is not
likely to be available to IAF for another two years. The accident was attributable to failure in
keeping track of weather changes, inadequate supervision of the ongoing snubbing activities Report No. 20 of 2011 -12 (Air Force and Navy)and follow up on maintenance activities. Besides, the fabric used in both the systems have also started decaying prematurely causing excessive leakage of helium resulting in extra
expenditure on operation cost.(Paragraph 2.3)

IV Procurement of unsuitable communication sets

Air Defence V/UHF links play a vital role in all air operations. Ministry / IAF accepted
communication equipment, designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
(HAL), even though the equipment did not meet technical requirements. Despite spending
` 116 crore and considerable period of time, IAF’s critical requirement for communication
equipment is yet to be fulfilled.

(Paragraph 2.4)

V Abnormal delay in procurement of Precision Approach Radar

Indian Navy inordinately delayed the procurement of Precision Approach Radar resulting in
an additional expenditure of ` 2.01 crore over and above the initial quote. The radar intended
to be purchased on fast track basis was commissioned in April 2009, eight years after
initiating the procurement process. Post commissioning, the performance of the radar has
been erratic.
(Paragraph 2.5)

VI Delay in procurement of urgent aviation stores through Indian Embassies

Procurement of critical and urgent aviation stores/spares through Indian Embassies was beset
with delays at each stage. The decision-making even at Air HQ was slow and led to delay in
conclusion of contacts. The contract delivery schedules were significantly longer, thereby,
undermining the urgency of procurement.
(Paragraph 2.7)

VII Avoidable expenditure on procurement of spares

Failure in placement of supply order under option clause resulted in an avoidable expenditure
of ` 4.29 crore in the subsequent procurement of spares. Besides, due to delay in
procurement, established infrastructure remained idle for want of spares for considerable
(Paragraph 3.1)

VIII Unfruitful expenditure on procurement of flare cartridges

Out of 20,000 flares procured for use on the MiG 21 Bison aircraft upgradation project,
19,540 flares costing ` 3.09 crore exhausted their shelf life of seven years in store. Thus
procurement of flares was rendered unfruitful due to expiry of flare cartridges before being
placed with operating squadrons, where they could have been put to use.
(Paragraph 3.2)

IX Avoidable expenditure in procurement of spares for a helicopter

There was abnormal delay in processing the case for procurement of spares for KA-31
helicopters. Further, Indian Navy's failure of to get the validity of the quote of a firm
extended resulted in an avoidable expenditure of ` 10.71 crore.
(Paragraph 4.1)

X Avoidable expenditure in procurement of Winch Reel Hydraulic

Lack of due diligence by the Tender Evaluation Committee at the initial stage in processing
of tenders for procurement of Winch Reel Hydraulic led to delay in procurement and an
avoidable expenditure of ` 9.73 crore.
(Paragraph 4.2)

XI Extra expenditure in procurement of Gas Turbines

Breaking up the procurement order of nine gas turbines by Indian Navy led to an extra
expenditure of ` 2.49 crore as the subsequent procurement of five gas turbines was at a
higher cost.
(Paragraph 4.3)

XII Inordinate delay in installation of SPL Plotting Tables on submarines

SPL Plotting Table is a navigation and tactical plotting system which can plot the ships own
position as well as it can plot the data received from the unit sensors. Four SPL Plotting
Tables procured at a cost of ` 6.05 crore could not be installed onboard the submarine for
about four years after their receipt. Continued disuse meant that, these Plotting Tables lost
their warranty cover in September 2008 without these being utilised.
(Paragraph 4.4)

XIII Tardy progress in execution of a Water Supply Scheme

There was an inordinate delay on part of the Military Engineer Services (MES) for over
seven years in execution/commissioning of Water Supply Scheme at Visakhapatnam. The
expenditure of ` 4.53 crore did not serve the objective of providing adequate and clean water
to Defence Personnel.
(Paragraph 4.6)

XIV Loss of stores in transit

Failure of Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) to comply with the extant orders
for insuring against loss or damage in transit resulted in a transit loss of stores worth ` 10.63
crore meant for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme.
(Paragraph 5.1)

XV Savings/recoveries at the instance of audit

An amount of ` 1.31 crore was recovered/adjusted in two cases in respect of Navy and
` 31.56 crore in three cases in respect of Air Force was saved only after having been pointed
out by audit.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

India Awaits The Arrival Of the Fifth Giant C-130J

Courtesy FightGlobal
Lockheed Martin Informed the press that the fifth Aircraft in the contract for 6 C-130J Tactical tactical transport has been handed over to the IAF and is on its way to Hindon Airbase.

"India's sixth C-130J will be delivered in October," said Lockheed, adding that the fifth aircraft was being handed over "well ahead of schedule".

Deliveries of the stretched-fuselage transports started in December 2010.
The defence giant expects to receive a follow-on deal from India for a further six C-130Js.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Indian Army To Induct RUDRA The Weaponized Version Of Advanced Light Helicopter

Army's aerial firepower capabilities will get a boost as it is soon going to induct the attack version of indigenously-built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Rudra'.

The 'Rudra' is the first weaponised chopper built in the country and will be inducted into the Army Aviation Corps in the current financial year, army officials said here.

Armed with an array of guns, rocket pods, air-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles, the fleet of the weaponised helicopters, the "heavily-loaded" ALH, has been approved for induction as part of modernisation and capability development efforts by the government, they said.

Integration of the weaponised aerial platform into the army will provide the field commanders the ability to apply decisive combat power at critical times anywhere in the battle field, they said.

Rudra is an armed variant of the ALH Dhruva chopper and "necessary changes have been made in the airframe of the chopper to give it agility and speed to make it a suitable support weapon for the ground troops".

The chopper has been named 'Rudra', one of the names of Lord Shiva who is worshipped as the destroyer of enemies, to signify the helicopter's firepower and capabilities. .

The HAL is also in the process of developing a Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) which will be inducted in both the Army and the Indian Air Force.

The 5.5 tonne class twin engine chopper has a number of advanced features such as Automatic Flight Control System, Integrated Dynamic System, Full Authority Digital Electronic Control can cruise at speeds of 250 km per hour.
(Source PTI)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Indian Black Panther Squadron Will Be At Its Peak Capacity By 2012

Commander B Hota, Commander-in-Chief of the squadron, informed us that the Russians will finish the delivery of 16 MiG-29K by the end of this month and the rest 29 will follow soon. By 2012 this Squadron will be fully operational and will be renamed as Squadron 303.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a press conference organised to announce golden jubilee celebrations of Naval base 'INS Hansa', located at Vasco, about 40 km from here, Hota said Black Panthers would be renamed Squadron 303.

MiG-29Ks based at INS Hansa are attached to aircraft carrier 'INS Vikramaditya', which will be commissioned in the Navy shortly.

MiG-29K is one of the most versatile and formidable carrier-borne fighter aircraft in the world. It is designed to destroy aerial targets, enemy's surface and shore targets, Navy officials said.

Commodore Ravneet Singh, Commanding Officer of INS Hansa, said the state-of-the-art simulator for MiG-29K would be ready within a couple of months.

Both the MiG-29K (single seat) and MiG-29KUB (double seat) aircraft are the "4++" generation multi-role fighters intended for air-defense missions of naval forces, air superiority gaining, sea & ground targets destruction with the high precision guided weapons day and night and in any weather conditions.
Main technical and technological innovations, applied on the MiG-29K/KUB fighters are the following:
– improved airframe with about 15% composite materials application;
– folding wing with upgraded high-lift devices improving take-off/landing performance;
– fly-by-wire control system with quadruple redundancy;
– significantly reduced signature in radar range;
– increased weapons load, stored at eight external hard points;
– increased internal fuel capacity and in-flight refueling possibility;
– possibility of other aircraft refueling being equipped with "PAZ-1MK" refueling unit.
The power plant includes two engines RD-33MK with increased thrust power, equipped with smokeless combustion chamber and new electronic control system (of FADEC type). Engines are of the module structure and have increased reliability and service life.

The airborne avionics is of the open architecture based on MIL-STD-1553B standard.

The MiG-29K/KUB will be equipped with Phazotron-NIIR Corporation's Zhuk-ME radar, which has a range of 150 km in detection mode and 130 km in tracking mode, against a target with a RCS (Radar Cross Section) of five square meters and can also fire missiles at four different targets simultaneously. The radar will have functions for operations in air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, using Thales' TopSight E helmet-mounted targeting system. Both variants will incorporate a ShKAl wide-angle monochrome HUD (Head-Up Display) and the 'K' variant will feature three MFI-10-7 high-performance liquid-crystal multi-function displays, while the 'KUB' variant will have seven such displays. The ShKAl HUD offers a 26° field of view, which allows the pilot to keep an eye on a much wider sector of airspace and use his weapons more effectively in that sector. The 6" x 8" liquid-crystal display has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and can illustrate a digital terrain map & tactical situation data (information about aerial and ground/surface targets), thus enabling the pilot to maintain situational awareness.

The pilot is seated on a 10º inclined Zvezda K-36D-3.5 zero-zero ejection seats zero/zero ejection seat under rearward hinged transparent blister canopy in a high seat cockpit. This new ejection seat offers a G load during ejection limited to 3.5 and thus reduces the risk of spinal injuries without compromising safety. The cockpit has a sharply inclined one piece covered windscreen and three internal mirrors provide the rearward view. MNPK Avionika developed the BLP-3.5-2 ejection sequencing module for the trainer variant and this module rules out ejection seat collision during a simultaneous ejection, from an aircraft whose cockpits are enclosed by a common canopy.
Length, m17,317,3
Wing span, m*11,9911,99
Height, m4,44,4
Take-off weight, kg:
- standard18 55018 650
- maximum24 50024 500
Maximum flight speed, km/h:
- near ground14001400
- at high altitude22002100
Service ceiling, m17 50017 500
Maximum G-load88
Ferry range, km:
- without drop tanks20001700
- with 3 drop tanks30002700
- with 3 drop tanks & one in-flight refueling55005500
Take-off thrust, kgf2х90002х9000
Number of external stations88
"A-A" missiles:
- middle range6хRVV-AE6хRVV-AE
- short range8хR-73E8хR-73E
"A-S" missiles:
- anti-ship4хKh-31A, Kh-35E4хKh-31A, Kh-35E
- anti-radar4хKh-31P4хKh-31P
Guided bombs4хKAB-500Kr4хKAB-500Kr
Air gun, 30 mmGSh-301GSh-301

It Happens Only In India, Vital Tejas Parts Go Missing And Still Untraced Even After More Than 2 Years

Private Contractors Swindled 60 Billion USD Meant For War Effort In Afghanistan And Iraq

Read the full and final report of commission for wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It clearly mentions how inefficient was the wartime system adopted by the Americans in its war on terror when it came to private firms.

CWC Final Report Lowres

Russia To Test New Engine For T-50 in 2018

Friday, 2 September 2011

Russia Has Started Sea Trials Of INS Teg

Uploaded with
Russia on Thursday commenced sea trials of the India Navy's first of the three advanced stealth frigates in the Baltic Sea and the first of these warships will be delivered by early next year.

'Teg', the frigate of the Project 11356, also known as Talwar Class, is first of the three frigates ordered by the Indian Navy in 2006 under a 1.5 billion dollar deal with Russia.

India Navy already operates three of these stealth frigates and had ordered three more to bolster its fleet.

The two other warships of the same class - the 'Tarkash' (Quiver) and the 'Trikand' (Bow) are at various stages of construction at the "Yantar" naval shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

The Teg is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in the beginning of 2012 to be followed by the 'Tarkash' in the same year and finally the "Trikand" in 2013, according to 'Yantar' shipbuilder.

Initially, Russia was to deliver the three frigates by the end of this year, but due to lack of qualified workforce and problem of networking with sub-vendors the deliveries were delayed.

Earlier in the last decade, Russia's another Baltiisky Zavod shipyard in St Petersburg had built first three of the stealth frigates -INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar.

The new frigates will be armed with deadly BrahMos cruise missiles, capable of destroying enemy ships and land targets, local media reported.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

China Has Deployed Advanced Next Generation Nuclear Missiles on Indian Border

China has deployed more advanced and survivable solid-fuel nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles against India as a 'deterrent posture', Pentagon has said warning that a high degree of mistrust continues to strain their bilateral ties.

The PLA has replaced liquid-fueled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fueled CSS-5 MRBM systems to strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India, the Pentagon has said in its annual report on Chinese military build up to the Congress.

Pentagon said that New Delhi remains concerned by China's close military ties with Pakistan and its growing footprints in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa.

The report noted that Pakistan continued to be China's primary customer for conventional weapons and sales to Islamabad included newly rolled out JF-17 fighters with production facilities, F-22P frigates with helicopters, early warning and control aircraft, tanks, K-8 trainers, F-7 fighters, air-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles and missile technologies.

Country: People's Republic of China
Alternate Name: DF-21
Class: MRBM
Basing: Road mobile
Length: 10.70 m
Diameter: 1.40 m
Launch Weight: 14700 kg
Payload: Single warhead, 600 kg
Warhead: Nuclear 250 or 500kT, HE, submunitions, or chemical
Propulsion: 2-stage solid
Range: 2150 km
Status: Operational

The CSS-5 is a tactical missile system, though it has a few strategic applications. While its payload and accuracy are sufficient to destroy civilian population centers, it lacks the range to reach key Russian or US cities. The CSS-5 can be effectively used as a deterrent against India, which is increasing its nuclear arsenal. It can also strike a number of key US bases and allies in the region. However, it is capable of being used against large targets such as airports, seaports, or key staging areas. It is reasonably effective against these targets even if not deployed with a nuclear warhead, making it an effective tactical system. In the case of an attack on Taiwan, CSS-5 missiles with conventional warheads will almost certainly be used to soften the island prior to an invasion by striking defensive forces.

Pakistan Has Completed Production of 26 JF-17 Fighters

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has completed production of 26 JF-17 Thunder aircraft at Pakistan Aeronautical complex Karma so far during a period of two years.

A senior PAF official, while replying to a query of member of Special Public Accounts Committee (PAC) here on Tuesday, said that the PAF achieved the target regarding production of JF-17 Thunder in the country.

The committee was informed that Pakistan had kicked off its serial production of the multiple jet fighter JF-17 Thunder in collaboration with the People’s Republic of China two years back.

Iran May Face Preemptive Strikes Soon Warns Sarko

Photo Courtesy 
French President Sarkozy warned Iran of an impending pre-emptive attack due to the dangerous policies it is following."Its military nuclear and ballistic ambitions constitute a growing threat that may lead to a preventive attack against Iranian sites that would provoke a major crisis that France wants to avoid at all costs," he said.

It has been long feared and rumored that Israel is willing to attack Iranian Nuclear sites if it gets the full backing of USA. Some experts believe that US president Bush was very willing to do so. After President Obama took over a rethink of this policy has caused delays.

Unfortunately due to these delays an indecisiveness of Obama regime, Iranian nuclear program is maturing and expanding, making it nearly impossible to attack and destroy in a single pre-emptive strike.

The French leader placed the blame for the crisis on Iran, which insists it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon, and is merely enriching nuclear fuel for medical research and a domestic atomic energy program. "Iran refuses to negotiate seriously," he told an annual meeting of French diplomats. "Iran is carrying out new provocations in response to the challenge from the international community for it to provide a credible response."

Pakistan Humiliated Again As It Fails To Get Stay Against Kishanganga Project

In what appears to be some egg on our dear neighbors face, they have been rebuffed by the International Community once again. Pakistan failed in its nefarious designs to stop India from continuing with the kishanganga project.

Pakistan wanted a stay from the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) against India's construction of the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Power Project (KHEP).

At the ICA hearing at The Hague, Pakistan aimed to obtain a stay order to put a halt to the KHEP, which it said would seriously hinder its own Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project (NHJEP).
However, it failed to get stay against India’s KHEP construction, Dunya News reports.

According to sources, the arbitrary court judge asked India to submit a report on environmental effect caused by the construction of the dam. The Indian delegation informed the court that it would submit the report on October 07.

Pakistan has been objecting to the construction of the Kishanganga hydropower project on the Ganga River in Kashmir, which is called the Neelum upon entering Pakistan.

Last year, Pakistan instituted proceedings in the ICA to resolve the dispute with India

Earlier in November 2009, Pakistan had proposed both the establishment of a court of arbitration and the appointment of neutral experts to resolve the Kishanganga Dam dispute with India as soon as possible.

“The establishment of a court for arbitration and the appointment of neutral experts would be proposed to India, as New Delhi had failed to satisfy Pakistan in matters related to the dispute during negotiations between the Indus water commissioners of the two countries,” Pakistan Indus Water Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah had said.

The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), inked between India and Pakistan in 1960, provides appointment of a neutral expert by the World Bank as a last option to resolve water related issues between both the countries.

Noted lawyer Fali S Nariman, is leading the Indian legal team. Nariman is being supported by international law expert Shankar Das during the hearings in the seven-judge bench international court of arbitration.

Chinese Warship Confronted Indian Navy Vessel In International Waters

A Chinese warship aggressively confronted an Indian naval vessel shortly after it left Vietnamese waters in late July in the first such reported encounter between the navy's of the two countries in the disputed South China Sea.

The unidentified Chinese warship demanded that the India's INS Airawat, an amphibious assault vessel identify itself and explain its presence in the South China Sea, a newspaper reported.

The London-based paper said, that the Indian warship was in international water after completing a scheduled port call in Vietnam.

It termed the actions of the Chinese warship as the latest example of Beijing's assertiveness which had irked India and Vietnam.

China claimed that South China Sea in its entirety, rejecting claims by other nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan over the resource rich region.

The paper said that Vietnamese foreign ministry has acknowledged that the Indian warship had visited the country from July 19-22 but said, it had no information about the incident.

The newspaper said, that Chinese defence and foreign ministries declined comment as did the Indian government.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently condemned acts of intimidation in the international waters in an apparent reference to mounting tensions in the South China Sea.