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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2004 00:22 
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Old Thread in Trash Can Archive.


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 Post subject: Movies Help
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2004 17:18 
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Hi People

Any suggestions for nice (accurate) movies covering the '71 and '62 wars? I am looking for something that shows the ground realities of war rather than any 'Rambo' sort of stuff. Lakshya was good-accurate to a pretty high degree!

Thanx!

Vikram.


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 Post subject: Re: Movies Help
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2004 11:50 
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vsaini wrote:
Hi People

Any suggestions for nice (accurate) movies covering the '71 and '62 wars? I am looking for something that shows the ground realities of war rather than any 'Rambo' sort of stuff. Lakshya was good-accurate to a pretty high degree!

Thanx!

Vikram.


1962 War : Haqeeqat was good. I heard about Saat Hindustani being good but never seen it. Sangam had some good parts on the 62 War.

1971 War: Vijeta was good. I was told that Hindustan Ki Kasam is another good one on AF. Then there is Aakraman which is again quite good.


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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2004 16:27 
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http://www.orfonline.org/strategic/stnews.htm#2

one of our own


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PostPosted: 06 Dec 2004 18:26 
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Very nice, concise article - very much to the standard I expect from Rupak.


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2004 01:59 
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I think NDTV 24x7 is geting too much for the liberty that they got from the military, now they are into making more sensational news like the many recent evenst like the fake militant surrender, the troop withdrawal etc etc... there are some issues, which are well know, but need to keep under wrap for diplomatic advantage, which these seasoned British fed P Roy lead chaps fail to understand, like how the idiots blasted off the cover abt troop withdrawal as something of their Nobel find.

another one is the Headlines today with that little devil , i say he keeps his view with the girlie stuffs in which he is good and not venture out of his expertise like geoploitical and strategic affairs.

what do u guys think abt the media coverage thats goin on around?


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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2004 13:31 
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Marcos wrote:
I think NDTV 24x7 is geting too much for the liberty...
...what do u guys think abt the media coverage thats goin on around?


I think our media needs to get more mature, specially when it comes to reporting defence news. There is a mad rush between these news channels to get the 'breaking news' and in the bargain all protocols (if any followed by the channels!) are thrown to the wind. Reporting news is fine...but as the saying goes, yeh log bal ki khal nikalte hain.


Some of things I have noticed on news that I think are not appropriate are -
#Court Martial proceedings are followed on a day to day basis on TV;
#Relatives of soldiers killed getting to know about it via TV even before being informed by the respective HQs.
#Stooping to topics like canteen stuff reaching civil markets and MH medicines being sold to civilians is just not the done thing.

Apart from all the moral ethics, these things effect the morale of our soldiers, which of course should be our primary concern.


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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2004 16:43 
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According to NDTV's coverage of the 10 new Mirage-2000H/TH, the delays were apparently the reason why the IAF was "still flying" "old Mirages" and not the new "upgraded" ones, as if a whole new Mirage fleet was arriving. Mistakes are common but such concocted nonsense is becoming a threat.


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PostPosted: 23 Dec 2004 02:29 
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any one who is interested in a free trial subscribtion of Janes please check this url out http://jrew.janes.com/ search for trial subscription ..
enjoy


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PostPosted: 23 Dec 2004 03:18 
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Quote:
any one who is interested in a free trial subscribtion of Janes please check this url out http://jrew.janes.com/ search for trial subscription ..
enjoy


Too complicated yaar. :D

http://www.kanwa.com/etoc992.htm

Is Kanwa reputable, good source?


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2005 11:32 
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Any one read this article on Scrapping the Republic Day Parade by Vikas Singh?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 966818.cms

Write to the editor on your views to edit@timesgroup.com


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2005 20:45 
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X-post

KK's first foray into the world of defense.

From the January 10 issue of Defense News mag.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F= ... C=thisweek

Quote:
India’s Arjun Shows Value of Indigenous Industry

By KAUSHIK KAPISTHALAM

India’s Arjun main battle tank program is perhaps one of the most controversial military research and development projects in recent times. But despite its long and troubled history, world conditions have only underscored the need for India to push through the technical problems and convince those who fear change that this sort of indigenous development is necessary for future security.

Arjun’s critics point to investi-gations of the project by independent agencies and parliamentary committees, which list specific criticisms, such as:

• At 56-plus tons, the Arjun is too heavy for most Indian roads.



• It needs special rail transporters because of its width, therefore hindering strategic mobility.

• Substantial foreign content

• Reliability issues.

• The project took too long and went over budget.

• The armored corpsmen do not like it.

Arjun’s weight needs to be considered in context. The first prototypes weighed a little more than 50 tons. But later prototypes became heavier as further specifications, called Qualitative Requirements (QR), strongly emphasized the need for more armor and firepower while keeping the same weight limit, a nearly impossible task.

Some experts blame the lack of communication between the Army’s Directorate of Weapons and Equipment and the actual users, with the former frequently changing the QRs based on glossy brochures of foreign tanks with little regard for the latter’s views.

The Arjun’s width is a concern, but the fact that the Army has already ordered specialized rail transporters indicates the size issue is not a show stopper. Besides, there isn’t an army in the world that has been able to introduce a new system without adjusting infrastructure or logistics.

The import content of the Arjun is a non-issue. Because this was their first tank-building attempt Arjun’s designers used line replaceable units, which employ module-based subsystems, so they could validate the design and then progressively introduce indigenous subsystems.

Today, the Arjun’s gun-control system, fire control system, transmission, navigation system, tactical radios, battlefield management system and electronics are all Indian designed.

According to Gen. N.C. Vij, the outgoing Army chief, Arjun’s foreign contentshrank to 50 percent today from 70 percent in the 1990s. The ultimate goal is to have less than 20 percent imported content.

To the point about Arjun’s reliability, the 1993-94 Arjun user trials did indeed bring out many problems. But later reports by the same independent agencies touted by Arjun’s critics note that virtually every major problem found during past testing with respect to the Arjun’s gunnery, transmission, engine, fire control system, etc., was fixed.

Regarding budget timetable overruns, it is true Arjun’s designers were perhaps too aggressive in their promises. But they are not solely to blame. A 1996 report by the Indian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence noted that the delays, in part, were due to the frequent changes in the QRs and the Army’s requirement for additional prototypes.

In any case, these two issues are not unique to Arjun, as the Eurofighter and the U.S. F-22 project teams would attest.

The Arjun also has been the frequent target of anonymous criticism by some Army armored corpsmen who do not hide their fundamental dislike of the tank. Many believe the Russian T-72 tank is a successful design, and the Arjun comes as a culture shock as it represents a different concept in armor.

The T-72 uses its mobility and low profile to avoid being hit. But highly mobile infantry armed with potent tank-killing missiles and ultra-sensitive detection devices make this concept obsolete on today’s battlefield. The Arjun, however, is designed for the modern battlefield, with an emphasis on armor, firepower and crew safety; it can shrug off hits and kill its adversary with a single shot.

The Arjun’s interior is spacious, ergonomical and has outstanding crew-protection features, including a homegrown fire-suppression system and ammunition stored in fire resistant, explosion-protected canisters, unlike the Russian tanks, which put the crew right beside incendiary devices without protection.

The few surviving Iraqi T-72 tankers after Operation Desert Storm could point out the necessity of being separated from the ammunition.

Resistance to change is common even in Western armies, as the controversy surrounding the recent American induction of the Stryker indicates. But no sensible military strategist would let the tail wag the dog; future plans cannot be limited to what the troops find comfortable today.

For instance, there were reports that even the T-90 tank acquisition was not welcome in the Indian armored corps. India’s war planners, however, know that if India ever goes to war with Pakistan, the non-upgraded T-72s likely would get blown off the battlefield by the latter’s Al-Khalids and T-80UD tanks.

It also is worth noting that while most Arjun critics mean well, some are lobbyists for foreign defense firms, including the powerful Russian consortiums. Their motives, therefore, are suspect.

Finally, Indian Ministry of Defence strategists have to understand that the armored corps is too heavily invested in Russian systems. While Russia has been a reliable Indian ally, recent trends suggest that such a relationship cannot be taken for granted.

Recently, Russia announced that military ties will be affected unless India signs an intellectual property rights treaty. India sees this as an effort to force it to buy Russian spare parts at exorbitant prices, instead of shopping around or making them locally.

Despite every attempt to kill it, Arjun’s success in trials ensures the tank will enter service. But resistance to change likely will make the induction painful and fraught with controversy.

Nonetheless, it is imperative for India to bite the bullet and accept homegrown systems like the Arjun quickly and work to fix any issues in future versions. Anything else would be parlous. •

Kaushik Kapisthalam is a freelance analyst, based in Atlanta, specializing in defense and foreign policy affairs of South Asia.


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2005 08:35 
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Excellent start Rangudu! Many thanks for a balanced report.


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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2005 15:52 
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And We have another of KKs works. 8)
This time in Rediff.

http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/jan/17spec1.htm

DRDO: Media's whipping boy?

Quote:
January 17, 2005


There has been a spate of 'investigative' reports and analyses in the Indian media of late, which have all taken Indian defence research efforts to task, with special focus on the Indian government funded nodal agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The criticisms range from the mundane to the mind-boggling with the common ones being: The DRDO is a white elephant that does not produce enough output justifying its 'bloated' budget.

Most big projects undertaken by the DRDO to date, such as the Arjun tank, the Light Combat Aircraft etc. have been 'failures.'
The Indian armed forces still have to shop for weapons abroad despite decades of multi-crore government investments in DRDO.

These allegations, some of which have become ingrained in Indian media circles over the years, are now almost accepted as fact by almost every person who wishes to criticise the Indian defence industry.

But how much of this is true?

To find that out, one must establish some quantifiable benchmarks and compare the DRDO's performance with that of the R&D establishments of China, Pakistan and even Western nations.

First, DRDO's total annual budget, in terms of US dollars is around $800 million. That may seem to be a lot, but compare that to China's, which is conservatively estimated to be at 15% of its defence budget or close to $10 billion.

Another point of comparison is with India's major defence deals, which usually run into the multi billion-dollar range. Even at the 30,000 feet level, one can point out that it is naïve to expect an investment of $800 million to yield results worth many times more.

Second, what are the usual objectives for any developing world power when it comes to its native military industry? Most experts would say that the goals for a nation's Defence R&D efforts include:


Self-reliance in terms of key technologies that are simply unavailable elsewhere, such as nuclear, missile and strategic forces
Reduction of imports in terms of technologies available elsewhere but at prohibitive costs. These include systems such as fighter jets, warships, radar, electronics, armour and artillery etc.
Nimbleness in terms to developing unique systems specific to the country's armed forces. In the Indian context, these include devices that help in detecting and preventing infiltration, counter-insurgency weapons etc.
Note that we are not talking about self-sufficiency, which is more of a function of the manufacturing of military products and meeting the services' quantity requirements. In India, they are mainly the responsibilities of the various Defence Public Sector Undertakings such as Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited etc.

DRDO: An investigation

In terms of the above criteria, where exactly does DRDO stand?

When it comes to strategic forces, one needs to look no further than the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) which was initiated in 1983 under DRDO's auspices. While DRDO took care of the R&D, BDL was created for the production of developed products.

In the strategic arena, IGMDP has successfully developed the Prithvi series of short-range ballistic missiles and the Agni series of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, both of which are nuclear capable and in serial production.

The reader may wonder why there are regular tests of these missiles, if they are all ready to use. This is because once a particular system is developed, DRDO has to work with its end user, be it the Army, Navy or the Air Force to fine tune it to meet the user's requirements.

The Prithvi is among the most modern short-range battlefield missiles in the world. It has the highest warhead-weight to overall-weight of any missile in its class, a testament to the ingenuity of the designers.

Prithvi-I is the army variant, last tested in 1994 and currently deployed by the 333rd missile regiment. Prithvi-II is the Air Force variant, last tested in 2003 and currently with the IAF. Prithvi-III is a submarine fired variant, just tested successfully. Dhanush is a surface ship-launched variant, also tested successfully.

The Agni series of missiles have two successful versions in the armed forces inventory today. Agni-II, which confusingly was the first one to be produced, can carry a 1 tonne nuclear warhead to ranges over 2,000 km. Agni-I, which is a Pakistan specific asset, can carry a 1 tonne nuclear warhead to a maximum of 1,200 km range. Both the missiles are rail capable and are equipped with accurate guidance and solid fuel systems ensuring a flight time fast enough for an assured retaliation or a second strike capability. Both are under induction by the armed forces.

Clearly, it is hard to make an argument that DRDO has not delivered on the nuclear/missile front. They did the job when no one else would.

Moving on to the defence systems that are expensive to procure from abroad, one needs to look at the full picture.

For the Army, the systems needed include Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), Artillery, and Radars etc. But so far, the Indian media has exclusively focused on DRDO's Arjun MBT project, which has been deemed a disaster because the Army has still not used it after 30 years and over Rs 300 crores of development cost.

The tank has been trashed in the Indian press through the oft-used 'anonymous' sources at Army HQ. It is said it is 'too heavy' and 'slow' and it's 'too expensive' etc. Other media experts trumpet excerpts from reports by Parliamentary defence committees and the Comptroller and Auditor General pointing out problems with the Arjun project.

One could write a book debunking these claims, but it would suffice to say that the Arjun tank, as it stands today, meets almost all the Army's General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) which is what the designers go by.

But the Army changed the GSQRs repeatedly.

The original requirement was for a 40-ton tank armed with a 105mm gun, and DRDO had to start from scratch. Midway through this process, the Army changed its requirement to a 120mm gun armed heavier tank, capable of going toe-to-toe with the American Abrams tank, which Pakistan, was about to acquire from the United States in the 1980s.

Those were the benchmarks that the Arjun had to meet and the Arjun of today is more than a match for the Abrams and equivalent Western tanks in terms of armour, firepower, mobility and protection. DRDO also successfully test-fired the advanced Israeli LAHAT anti-tank missile, which has a much longer range. Pakistan still does not have missile-firing tanks, by the way.

Now, if the Arjun is not exactly what the armoured corps wanted, the blame goes equally to army officials who set the requirements along with DRDO. Can one place an order with Tata for a Sumo type vehicle, keep changing the specs and expect a vehicle with the Indica's size and cost?

While the Arjun's media trial continues, the project itself resulted in a number of successful spin-offs. For instance, the bulk of India's tank fleet comprises aging T-72 tanks, some 1,700 of which are in India's inventory. One successful upgrade effort includes the mating of the Arjun's turret with the T-72's chassis, christened the 'Karna.'

This includes the Arjun's IGMS, a state-of-the-art, homegrown fire control system, Laser Warning System, Nuclear/Biological/Chemical detection and filtration system, Land Navigation System and night vision gear. Under trials now, the Army has indicated that it could order 300 or more Karnas in the coming years.

DRDO's 125mm piercing-piercing tank round is also a direct spin-off from the Arjun MBT program. These rounds are meant for the T-72 tanks. Over 130,000 such rounds have been produced by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board's (OFB) since 2001, saving the army over Rs 200 crores per year in foreign exchange.

Another Arjun spin-off is the 'Bhim' self-propelled gun, which mates an Arjun chassis with the lethal Denel T-6 turret from South Africa, making it a system that is unmatched in the region in terms of firepower, mobility and survivability. A Rs 2,000 crore deal for 100 such guns is reported to be signed soon.

Most dispassionate observers would agree that the above results are enough not to deem a Rs 300 crore R&D effort to build a tank from scratch a failure. And there are more Arjun spin-offs to come!



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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2005 16:39 
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Good job Rangudu, Keep going on like this and DRDO will themselves call you to give you special access ;)


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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2005 19:22 
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Thanks Jagan. I hope to get access like that soon.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2005 17:57 
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KK's Rediff series - Part 2

http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/jan/19spec2.htm

Quote:
DRDO: A stellar success

January 18, 2005


US-based South Asia analyst Kaushik Kapisthalam examines the Defence Research and Development Organisation's performance in a three-part series:

The Indian media's DRDO bash-fest usually keeps a laser-like focus on the alleged failures of DRDO, like the Arjun tank and the Trishul missile system.

But the reader may be surprised to know that there is a whole slew of DRDO designed and developed products that have proved to be a big hit with the armed services, in addition to saving the exchequer of many crores of rupees. Let us look at some specific examples.

When it comes to military modernisation, some of the priciest systems to modernise are radars, detection and surveillance and electronic warfare equipment. Most cutting edge technologies are simply not available in the market while the available technology is prohibitively expensive.

So how did DRDO respond to the Indian requirements in the above area?

In January 2004, the Indian Army accepted the Samyuktha electronic warfare (EW) system developed by DRDO.

Consisting of 145 vehicles with various subsystems, the Samyuktha provides the army with the ability to detect and jam enemy communications, monitor movements -- an ability that only a few select nations possess. In fact, even though the US imposed sanctions in 1998 could have impaired the Samyuktha project, DRDO scientists overcame the obstacles to develop this state of the art system.

The advanced phased-array radar associated with the Samyuktha, called the Rajendra, was also indigenously developed by DRDO. The Rajendra radar is also part of the Akash medium range surface-to-air missile system, which is currently undergoing advanced trials with the army and air force. A 3D Central Acquisition Radar (3DCAR) is also undergoing trials with users.

DRDO has also leveraged the Rajendra project to develop an advanced Weapon-Locating Radar (WLR), the likes of which would have been invaluable in a war like Kargil, where the Pakistanis had American WLRs and the Indian Army lacked a similar product.

The EW suites for the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, titled Sangraha and Tempest respectively, have also met with great success.

For instance, the Tarang Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), a key aircraft EW component, has been successfully installed in the upgraded IAF MiG-21 fighters, the MiG-27 strike planes and the incomparable Su-30MKI air-dominance fighters. Another EW component, the Tusker Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) pod, is also in IAF service.

In fact, the IAF has been a happy DRDO customer for a long time and now routinely relies on local innovations in the fields of avionics, radar and communications.

The Su-30MKI, for instance is a cut above the similar Su-30MKK that the Russians developed for China because the former relies on cutting edge Indian components such as the Mission Computer, Display Processor, Radar Computer, Integrated communication equipment, Radar Altimeter and Programmable Signal Processors, all designed and developed by DRDO under a project titled 'Vetrivale.'

This avionics suite, built locally, costs less than 20 per cent of Western made systems, which may not even offer the same level of technology to the IAF. The Russians were so impressed by the Vetrivale avionics that they asked to incorporate some of the technology to the Su-30 variants they sold to Malaysia.

DRDO technology was also used in IAF's local upgrade efforts of the MiG-27 and Jaguar strike aircraft, saving millions of dollars in foreign exchange. The IAF has also lavishly praised and ordered DRDO developed Indra-II advanced low-level detection radar.

The IAF is widely using the indigenous multi-mission Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), named Dhruv, developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with support from DRDO. Dhruv has won international accolades and have evoked interest from nations like Chile. It recently set a world record by flying at an altitude of 27,000 feet above mean sea level. The Indian Army and Indian Navy are also acquiring purpose-built Dhruv variants.

The biggest IAF system built by DRDO is the Light Combat Aircraft. While a detailed analysis of the LCA project is beyond the scope of this article, one can safely say that the LCA is a definite success for Indian aviation and has silenced all detractors, at least the ones who stick to facts.

The LCA has also resulted in spin-offs such as the Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT), which was built from scratch in a record time of 22 months and has received accolades from the end user. Efforts are now underway to build an indigenous Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) and a small indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS).

The Indian Navy has even more enthusiastically embraced DRDO products.

Many navy vessels such as the Rajput class and Veer class ships use DRDO's Ajanta Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system. Under the Sangraha EW program, DRDO has completed the development of five types of EW systems. Sanket, an ESM system for patrol boats has already been ordered by the navy. An airborne EW system called KITE has also been successfully tested.

The navy is also testing submarine EW systems, all developed under the Sangraha project. Essentially, thanks to DRDO, the Indian Navy now has airborne, surface ship borne and submarine electronic warfare systems. Given the fact that Pakistan is getting advanced naval reconnaissance systems from the US under the guise of the war on terror, DRDO's work in the Naval EW area goes beyond the savings of millions of dollars.

DRDO has also produced the APSOH, Nagan, Ushus, Humsa and Panchendriya (submarine) sonars for the Indian Navy as well as the SV-2000 maritime patrol radar and the Mihir Sonar for the naval version of the Dhruv helicopter. A lightweight torpedo for helicopter and ship launched attacks on submarines, developed by DRDO, has also been recently cleared for production.

The lethal BrahMos, which is the world's only supersonic stealth cruise missile, was jointly developed by DRDO with Russia. The BrahMos is deadlier than the American Tomahawk missile which flies at a sub-sonic speed. DRDO's contribution to BrahMos includes the onboard navigation system, onboard computer, electronics, fire control system, software and some parts of the propulsion system.

In general, one can see that the navy and air force, which usually don't have the army's big budget to go shopping abroad for everything, have developed an excellent working relationship with DRDO to get whatever they can locally and are satisfied with the results.

Despite the well-publicised 'failings' of the Arjun, the army too has silently built up fruitful partnership with DRDO agencies for systems that are unavailable overseas and India-specific assets for use in counter-insurgency and high-altitude operations.

For instance, the army's aviation wing recently decided to trim its purchase of foreign-made high-altitude helicopters from 198 to 35, reducing the expected bill from $440 million to $80 million, and procure the HAL Dhruv because of the Dhruv's excellent high-altitude performance.

The 5.56mm INSAS fixed-butt rifle, which has been put through one of the most gruelling series of user trials in the history of small arms development, has become a mainstay of the Indian infantry since 1997, with lakhs of units in service. Other versions of the INSAS are now being inducted as well.

The Army has also inducted many counter-insurgency assets developed by DRDO. They include Sujav, a frequency jamming equipment and Safari, a jamming device for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The indigenous battery-powered man portable battlefield surveillance radar (BFSR-SR) weighing 27kg was developed by DRDO in a short period of 24 months. It is capable of detecting crawling men at 500 metres, moving groups of people at 5 km and a group of vehicles at 10 km -- a tremendous asset along the Line of Control with Pakistan.

The army has also ordered DRDO's Nishant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which is fully capable of instantly providing time-sensitive battlefield intelligence to field commanders.

Other unheralded DRDO products for the army include the lethal Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher, the Shakti Artillery Combat Command Control System which connects massed artillery guns and makes them 10 times more effective, the Lakshya pilotless target aircraft, the Bridge Layer Tank on a T-72 chassis, the Sarvatra multi-span bridge, various combat simulators, a mobile Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) decontamination system -- all of which are in production or already in service.

These form just a part of DRDO's products that have proven to be successful with the defence services. Yet all we hear in our media is an endless stream of negativity about India's Defence R&D efforts.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2005 22:15 
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Hey how come I dont see links to KK's articles on rediff main page. we gotta ensure lotsa ppl read it.

Atish.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2005 22:30 
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Post it on blogs and other websites please.


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2005 00:03 
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KK, come tommorrow, and I will link them in the news section. Cant do it immd due to a software bug problem.

cheers

Jagan


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2005 03:13 
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Atish wrote:
Hey how come I dont see links to KK's articles on rediff main page. we gotta ensure lotsa ppl read it.

Atish.


It is on the front page now :)

http://us.rediff.com/index.html


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2005 03:47 
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Rangudu wrote:
Atish wrote:
Hey how come I dont see links to KK's articles on rediff main page. we gotta ensure lotsa ppl read it.

Atish.


It is on the front page now :)

http://us.rediff.com/index.html


Ditto :)

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2005 16:00 
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Jagan wrote:


Jagan, if you want, I will post that article in the news section everyday. :D


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2005 17:25 
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http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/jan/20spec1.htm

Quote:
What's behind the DRDO bashing?

January 19, 2005


US-based South Asia analyst Kaushik Kapisthalam examines the Defence and Research Development Organisation, in a three-part series.

In the previous two parts of this series, the reader would have seen the objective criteria to evaluate the performance of a nation's defence R&D effort as well as some of the Indian DRDO's successful efforts.

If the facts are against it, why then does the DRDO come in for such excoriation in the Indian media? Are all the experts quoted in the desi DRDO critiques flat out wrong? To understand this, one must look at the possible reasons behind the Indian media's negative reportage on local military products.

The first reason is the simplest one to fathom -- namely that many of Indian defence reporters simply don't know what they are talking about. That sounds harsh and the reader may wonder if I'm saying there are no good defence reporters in India -- which is definitely not the case.

For instance, a leading Indian magazine recently featured a cover story claiming that the DRDO is a white elephant.

The report claimed, for instance, that the Indian Navy had to buy Israeli Barak missiles, because the naval version of the Prithvi missile was delayed. That is funny because the Barak is a Surface-to-Air missile while the Prithvi is a Surface-to-Surface missile. This was unlikely to be a one-off mistake because the report went on to call the Nag anti-tank missile a Surface to Air missile as well.

Surely it's the DRDO's fault that India does not have the ability to protect against airborne tanks and sea-borne aircraft!

While the story went on to say that many of DRDO's projects never resulted in products, it did not quote independent investigations which placed the blame for this malaise equally at the feet of the services, which on many an occasion refused to buy products that they asked for even after they agreed that their requirements were met.

The prestigious magazine did not even print any rebuttal story in later issues, instead settling for short letters that conveniently left out the ones exposing their whoppers and egregious false claims. Bashing Indian product makes good copy, so why let the facts stand in the way of a good story?

These are not isolated examples.

Even a casual reading of defence related reports in the Indian media would turn up errors relating to fundamental military concepts and equipment.

There are exceptions of course, such as NDTV's Vishnu Som, The Statesman's Srinjoy Chowdhury and a few others, but it is still a shame that much of the defence reporting in India is left to people who just reproduce what their 'sources' tell them, without doing any fact-checking. That their 'sources' could have an axe to grind seems to be lost with these people. And very rarely do these negative reports contain quotes from those who have an opposite point of view.

The second big source of the local defence industry baiting is the ever-growing club of retired mid level to senior military officers.

Now, these are people who know the field and their views must be taken seriously. A vast majority of retired servicemen and officers want nothing but the best for their colleagues in service and speak out with that good interest at heart. They must be applauded for this. But one must also look for possible ulterior motives in some of the more strident spokesmen.

There are retired officers who are on the payrolls of foreign military firms, which is quite legal, but when one takes in their views on the pluses and minuses of a local made system, one must ask if their judgement isn't clouded by the possibility of their employer landing a lucrative contract.

For instance, the Russian arms lobby would like to see India forever dependent on them for tanks and combat vehicles. It is good business for them, but a bad deal for India in the long run.

And then there are retired senior officers who have become peaceniks. There are two former services chiefs who have taken up DRDO bashing earnestly.

But if one reads their writings carefully, one could see that they are making a general 'guns vs butter' type argument. In other words, they'd much rather spend money on welfare and entitlement programs rather than defence research. One is unlikely to see these gentlemen call for an investigation of loss-making non-military public sector undertakings.

And then there are those ex-servicemen who write with the attitude that they know what's best for the country's military and whenever the government decides to promote all local product that they deem of low value, they start fulminating against it. For instance, there is one television-based defence reporter, who is also a retired military officer, who has long been attacking the DRDO with special focus on the Arjun programme.

When the government recently decided to go ahead with the Bhim artillery system, which uses the Arjun as its basis, this gentleman went ballistic and started trashing the Bhim acquisition.

First, he claimed that India is never going to need this type of self-propelled artillery because it is 'unlikely to fight a war in the near future!' Then he claimed that there are no similar products in the world (there are) and then went on to say that he cannot quote other experts who share his views because he is the expert!

Evidently, the Indian Army's planners have a different idea of what's good for them and they are going ahead with this deal. God save the army! Past reports filed by this gentleman have also blasted DRDO for not delivering products asked for by the army. He used the army's need for a kitchen lorry to serve hot meals to servicemen as an example.

What he failed to point out in his report was that the government itself faulted the army for going to DRDO with a request for a simple system that can be rigged up on the field. It is not very clever of a person to go to a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to solve a 10th standard physics problem, is it?

In fact an independent investigation later on found that the army gave a list of specifications for a kitchen lorry to DRDO and once the latter built a vehicle meeting those needs, the army changed its mind. But this gentleman left out all the facts in these reports.

There are other reporters with military experience too who have perfected the art of passing off their personal opinions as journalism. Real journalism -- be it military-related or otherwise -- involves the setting aside of one's personal views, presenting of facts from both sides and letting the reader make his/her own judgement.

Does this mean that the Indian media should become cheerleaders for the DRDO or local defence products?

Definitely not.

It is the role of the media in a democracy like India to point out government wastage, lack of performance in taxpayer-funded organisations etc. But such criticism should be fact-based and will serve a purpose if it is constructive in nature.

Consider the Light Combat Aircraft as a test case. Virtually every report filed in Indian media on the LCA ends up bemoaning the delays in the project, which is conveniently laid at the feet of the DRDO. But there is hardly a report that puts the LCA in perspective. A 'fair and balanced' report on the LCA would state the facts that:

Few other developing countries in the world have even tried to build a fourth generation fighter from scratch. Compared to them, the LCA is a roaring success.

Many of LCA's current critics had claimed on the past that it would never fly. But they still continue to maintain their credibility for some strange reason.
The post-Pokhran sanctions hit the LCA project very hard but DRDO overcame it by balancing components on its own when it was previously expected from abroad.
Even Western nations have delays in fighter projects despite the fact that hey have had to face fewer budget or access issues. For instance, take the example of the Eurofighter project, which combined the money and technological abilities for the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain and decades of prior military aircraft building experience. The plane was first expected to enter service in the late 1980s and is still facing delays today.
Neutral observers have lauded the LCA's technologies as being on the cutting-edge.

It is not at all hard to write a balanced report, as the above example shows, but once one brings in hard facts, it tends to blunt the report's objective in bashing DRDO. Perhaps this is why most Indian DRDO-bashing reports stick to old myths and fallacies.

In summary, the cup is not necessarily half empty when it comes to India's indigenous defence research and development. In fact, it may even be three-quarters full, when one considers how far our scientists and engineers have come since DRDO was set up in 1958.

There are still many challenges, including the need for better communication between DRDO and the defence services, especially the Army, the bureaucratic delays, the large number of non-productionised projects and the services' continuing reliance on foreign nations for critical defence technology.

The Indian media must keep reporting these issues to keep DRDO on its toes. But the time has also come for the Indian media to bring the defence reporting at an objective level rather than using old shibboleths to tarnish local defence R&D efforts


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 Post subject: FYI
PostPosted: 20 Jan 2005 14:39 
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Now Defunct... but many good articles:

Aakrosh is a quarterly journal published by the Forum for Strategic and Security Studies. Launched in 1998 it is devoted to the study of organized terrorism, and internal conflicts in South Asia, Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics and the Chinese provinces bordering the region. It is Edited by Major General Afsir Karim and has as its advisors, Vijay Karan, former CBI Director and S.K. Singh, former foreign secretary and Vice Admiral K.K. Nayyar, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Chairman, Forum For Strategic and Security Studies.

http://www.stratmag.com/Aakrosh/aabout.htm

Also, http://www.stratmag.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2005 18:07 
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Does anybody besides me have access to the magazine "Armada International"? I had a look in the 2004 issues and they had quite a few articles in where India was not only mentioned but also discussed, these articles were about various subjects, if I remember correctly, fighters and armoured vehicles amongst others. I will see if I can find some scans the next time I got to that school, but that might be a while.

Here is the magazines site - http://www.armadainternational.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 13 Feb 2005 06:22 
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I finally managed to get a copy of the February issue of Vayu. Some very familiar names in there.

To start with there is a massive seven page artilce on the LCA, avionics , airframes and other stuff written by B Harry. And its just Part 1!. Part II will appear in next issue.

There is a four page article written on the Phasing out of the Iskra by yours truly. Purely of Historical interest

Then ofcourse there is the article on UAV Operations taken from BR along with the same pictures.

If you catch them on the last day, the Stall will be distributing the issue by the hundreds and dumping the rest that they cant carry back :D

Cheers

Jagan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2005 18:47 
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Jagan wrote:
the February issue of Vayu. Some very familiar names in there.


Now that I finally got some liesure time to go thru the mag in detail, I find an article "Indian Air Force in the 21st Century" by a certain R Chattopadhyay... Is this issue a BR Special or WHAT? :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 01:22 
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I guess that aerospace magazines have a very poor following in India.

Check out IDR's Feb issue for a best ever paper on the Agni and Prithvi by Arun S and Dr. SBM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 01:51 
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Quote:
I guess that aerospace magazines have a very poor following in India.


Well, they are not India Today or Outlook etc, but they do go to those who matter and retain interest.

So authors like B Harry and R Chattopadhyay are very well received! :)

The funniest thing- I remember reading an excellent article on the Lightnings and their 71 ops and rushing to BR to post, to suggest that BR host it with permission from Vayu.

Then I see the end note- the author is a certain Jagan from BR. That was a D!Oh! moment if there ever was any! :D

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... tning.html

By popular demand we request that the Iskra article be also hosted on BR. :)


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 09:41 
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>>To start with there is a massive seven page artilce on the LCA, avionics , airframes and other stuff written by B Harry. And its just Part 1!. Part II will appear in next issue.

For people who missed this because they don't have a Vayu subscription, any chance of seeing it online? Or any place we can buy the issues in question? Or get photocopies of the article (after paying for it of course)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 11:04 
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hmmm...becoming more urgent to unmask Zorro er Harry....

release the hounds!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 11:56 
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GD... there are very strong possibilities of Harry being from HAL or from IISc... no kidding here... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Feb 2005 16:04 
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Guys

All in humor I know, but Harry values his privacy- lets leave it at that!

I can vouch for the accuracy of what he usually posts so let him be.

Cheers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 02:10 
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Quote:
... there are very strong possibilities of Harry being from HAL or from IISc... no kidding here...


If all those theories were true, why do I have to go to an airshow to do most of my photography?

Quote:
but Harry values his privacy


Like Michael Cretu

Quote:
I can vouch for the accuracy of what he usually posts so let him be.


You mean some "bash"-tards have doubts? :D

Then why do I even bother with stuff like this? :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 05:07 
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Harry, you do not disappoint ! :D .awesome pictures those that you've taken. found the Sea Harrier section to be my fave part of your report. You mentioned that the Sea Harrier despite its shortcomings had performed well against the IAF in DACT. is there a report or anything of that kind that you could write on DACT in the IAF and IN ? could you give us some nuggets on DACT in which the Sea Harriers were pitched against IAF jets ? :) . Plllease...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 08:05 
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The Sea Harrier is probably the one aircraft that in dogfighting can best anything in the sky.The ability of the aircraft to "park" behind a cloud when being pursued, has unnnerved many an opponent.The "VIFFing" capability (vectoring in forward flight),has made it the most manouverable aircraft in service anywhere.It's shortcomings have been slow speed,being subsonic,poor range and payload and the absence of a long range BVR missile and a more powerful and capable radar.That latter shortcoming is being attended to by various upgrades of a sort.However,the aircraft still has many more years of very useful duty ahead of it and should not be stupidly retired early,like the Hunter was.Even in its RAF ground attcak versions,the ability of the Harrier to conceal itself in woods and forests and use small clearings and minor roads for impromptu STOVL takeoffs,made the Harrier ideal for close support for ground forces.The Harrier does not need an airfield for operations and RAF Harriers in Germany during the Cold War exploited this ability.

This ability of the Harrier has come round full circle with the advent of the JSF,which is also being produced in a STOVL version for the USN and Marine Corps.India must also have an aircraft with these capabilities for the future,when air bases are easy targets for long range SSMs,which are proliferating in the arsenals of our two most powerful neighbours.

Regrding the achievements of the DRDO,it is no secret that the oprganisation has had many successes.However,these have been mostly in the field of electronics and the replacement of key components of weapon system.When it has come to replacing entire weapon systems like tanks,aircraft,missiles,etc.,the complexities of the weaponry and the time frame and budgetary restarints within which the DRDO has had to operate have sometimes proved too much for it to handle.Notable failures have been the Trishul missile,the delay and failure has made it neccessary for the IN to purchase Barak.The long journey to "perfect" Arjun has been another,mentioned in detail in the previous posts.

V.Adm.GM Hiranandani,in the latest book on the history of the IN has explained in detail why the IN has had the most success at indigenisation when compared with the oher servcies.For several decades,the IN thanks to strong leadership and a fixed goal to indigenise wherever possible,established its own team of naval architects and constructors ,who worked out a successful realtionship with the key dockyards in building under licence and later indigenous designs,also working alongside foreign yards in integrating both Indian and foeign weapon systems and sensors,all being achieved on shoestring budgets.This has not been the case with the other two services,though the IAF saw the light some time ago and is now enjoying some "fruit" of its labours.The import lobby,especially when it comes to aerospace technology,has been the most active in also delaying our indigenous efforts from greater success.It was well explained that in the field of missile technology,where no advanced country would sell its wares to India,we've had the most success,because these scientists working on these projects have been left well alone!However,going by what one has seen at Aero-India,the large effort at indigenisation across the whol spectrum o weapon systsems for the three servcies,has started a momentum which is only accelerating,especially in the aerospace industry,where there are so many exciting projects both indigenous and joint venture that by the end of the decade we will see as shining successes.The sooner they succeed,the happier we will all be,especially when our very own ATV and ICBM arrive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 08:42 
Kartik wrote:
.........could you give us some nuggets on DACT in which the Sea Harriers were pitched against IAF jets ? :) . Plllease...


They cheat.


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 18:07 
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Karthik, some bits and pieces are here but no specific details like kill ratios etc. This is a apparently a vague topic. Also, nowadays, it may only be INAS-551B that does all the JEs and DACT.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2005 20:05 
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Did'nt notice this at Jagan's WB site,

ImageImageImageImage


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