India's R&D in Defence DRDO, PSUs and Private Sector

JCage
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Postby JCage » 24 Jun 2007 20:41

Abhisham, comments? Comes at the right time, wot?

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Postby kit » 25 Jun 2007 00:12

Does the Power Finance Corporation have any infrastructure to build up a defence industrial capability ?

JCage wrote:Finally...

http://www.domain-b.com/industry/genera ... vratna.htm

BEL, HAL and PFC get `Navratna' status
23 June 2007

Mumbai: The government has conferred Navratna status on three PSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Power Finance Corporation – giving them more freedom in financial and administrative matters.

.

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Postby JCage » 25 Jun 2007 01:25

Well, it doesnt sound like it. I sure hope BEL hikes R&D spend upwards.

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Postby Ananth » 25 Jun 2007 01:57

kit wrote:Does the Power Finance Corporation have any infrastructure to build up a defence industrial capability ?


PFC is a financial company with express puporse of financing electrical projects like rural electrification, UMPP, power tranmission etc. Its just a coincidence that it got navratna status along with 2 DPSUs.

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Postby skher » 26 Jun 2007 01:50

What's the current status of Hypersonic Test Vehicle research project{2007}?
Is it still online and on course?
Last edited by skher on 26 Jun 2007 01:59, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby skher » 26 Jun 2007 01:51

The President back in the 50's had designed an indigenous hovercraft.Wonder what happened to it?

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1425/14251070.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnBvuahUyCc
Kalam joined the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in 1958 and served as a senior scientific assistant, heading a small team that developed a prototype hovercraft. Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon rode in India's first indigenous hovercraft with Kalam at the controls. But for reasons never explained, the project, which would have been a considerable international achievement in those days, was not encouraged. This was probably one of the reasons why he moved out of DRDO in 1962 and joined the Indian space programme.


**edited**
Last edited by skher on 26 Jun 2007 02:06, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby JCage » 26 Jun 2007 01:55

Sonar this is a thread meant to catalogue existing projects, not discuss stuff like this. Please post it in other threads.

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Postby krishnan » 26 Jun 2007 09:43

SonarDeshi wrote:The President back in the 50's had designed an indigenous hovercraft.Wonder what happened to it?



If you want to known the answer, read "Wings Of Fire"

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Postby Abhisham » 27 Jun 2007 20:31

JCage wrote:Abhisham, comments? Comes at the right time, wot?


AFAIK the engine under trials was an uprated version of the older 780hp powerpack. Whereas, the cost associated with the upgrade in the article points towards a totally new engine. Interesting development!!

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Postby gopal.suri » 28 Jun 2007 11:43


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Postby Kartman » 28 Jun 2007 16:31

Abhisham wrote:
JCage wrote:Abhisham, comments? Comes at the right time, wot?


AFAIK the engine under trials was an uprated version of the older 780hp powerpack. Whereas, the cost associated with the upgrade in the article points towards a totally new engine. Interesting development!!


At Rs 4500 crore for < 1800 T-72s, that's approx. Rs. 2.5 crore/powerpack. IIRC, this was approx. the same cost range as that for the T-90.

Now, even if this BEML powerpack is the CVRDE uprated 780hp powerpack, the upgraded T-72s would IMHO get new-build uprated engines since it's not that straight-forward to uprate the engine+tranny on an assembly-line basis. Esp. since the old T-72 engine has a life of only ~2500 km, and considering these are old workhorses with their engines probably nearing the end...

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Postby JCage » 28 Jun 2007 20:31

Abhisham/ Kartman,

This appears to be a Bumar project which BEML has joined up on.

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Postby A Sharma » 29 Jun 2007 06:35

ECIL News from 2006

Old but good info on Brahmos command and control, actuators for RPV and mention of RUSTUM

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Postby Vishy_mulay » 30 Jun 2007 11:02

Indian Armed Forces are used to import Defence systems from abroad and use them mostly for training and during operations whenever necessity rises. Most of these systems are in free flow production in their respective countries and sometimes inducted by their Services.


Read full article at :

http://frontierindia.net/indigenous-defence-research-looking-through-drdo-prism/

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 30 Jun 2007 12:25

There is article in recent India Today on Pvt Sector participation in defence Sector. There is small blurb that IA is looking for 8000 light vehicles. As usual the slothful babudom infested OFB & BMEL are offering Land Rovcer, UK or Hummer, USA while it is left to Mahindra and Mahindra to offer to sexy new powerful looking indigenous vehicles.

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Postby Kartman » 02 Jul 2007 14:19

Raj Malhotra wrote:As usual the slothful babudom infested OFB & BMEL are offering Land Rovcer, UK or Hummer, USA while it is left to Mahindra and Mahindra to offer to sexy new powerful looking indigenous vehicles.


Pls. clarify what you mean here... are OFB and BEML really offering Land Rovers and Hummers ?

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Postby JCage » 02 Jul 2007 14:43

Sumeet wrote:Looking for following info on Link-2


http://www.bel-india.com/BelWebsite/ind ... tionid=217

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 02 Jul 2007 17:27

Kartman wrote:
Raj Malhotra wrote:As usual the slothful babudom infested OFB & BMEL are offering Land Rovcer, UK or Hummer, USA while it is left to Mahindra and Mahindra to offer to sexy new powerful looking indigenous vehicles.


Pls. clarify what you mean here... are OFB and BEML really offering Land Rovers and Hummers ?


Yes! as per the article

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Postby Kartman » 02 Jul 2007 17:51

Then die Hunky and Tuffy :P

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Postby MN Kumar » 02 Jul 2007 20:42

Kartman wrote:Then die Hunky and Tuffy :P


Those were just prototypes developed by the Army workshop by modifying the existing chasis and not completely new built ones. They didnt go much further after that.

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Postby chandan » 03 Jul 2007 17:08

hi everyone here ...
just came back from BHEL , BHOPAL after my summer training their . here are some of the things which i came to know there .

1. BHEL , Bhopal will commence manufacturing defence control equipments in a couple of years from now on .

2. They are also also readying themselves to produce Arjuns GUN CONTROL SYSTEM . saw the facility , getting into shape .

Thanx.

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Postby JCage » 03 Jul 2007 18:38

Chandan,

Thanks thats great news. BHEL has indeed been earmarked as the GCS manufacturer for the Arjun iirc with tech transfer from the original German manufacturer, along with some unit/s developed by BHEL itself.

Can you share any more details about both pieces of news? Ie what defence items they are aiming to manufacture, and any details about the GCS facility/ plans/ local development angle..

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Postby chandan » 03 Jul 2007 21:18

sorry boss..that was all that i could extract from workers n managers out their . anyways also ....theys are making marine turbines for INS GANGA n one more ship. forgot the name ...saw them ready to be shipped to GRSE .

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Postby JaiS » 04 Jul 2007 00:07

Goa Shipyard Launches Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel


The Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) will build a 105 meter Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Launched by Dr. (Smt) Sushmita Dutt, wife of Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt, in Goa today, the AOPV, named ICGS Samrat is the biggest vessel designed and being constructed by the GSL.

The AOPV, which will have berthing facility for an Advanced Light Helicopter, is totally indigenous and will be built by GSL using state-of-the-art technology. The vessel will have a range of 6,500 nautical miles and reach a speed up to 24 knots. It will be armed with a 30 mm gun, maneuvered by a fire control system.

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Postby gashish » 04 Jul 2007 05:38

India Today Article:

Raksha Udyog Ratnas(RURs)

[quote]DEFENCE: PRIVATE SECTOR


The Private Arms Race

With private companies gaining entry in the defence sector, there is hope for ramping up competition and achieving self-sufficiency in the field, but the Left is not convinced yet


By Sandeep Unnithan

It sits nearly two feet off the ground and effortlessly bounces over boulders and fords streams with a tug of its 4,000-cc engine. Made by Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS), a subsidiary of the auto giant, the Axe, India’s first private sector project designed for the armed forces, is a response to the army’s requirement of nearly 8,000 Light Specialist Vehicles to carry troops, anti-tank guns, machine guns and missiles. Designed in just two years, it will compete with the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which is tying up with General Motors to bring in the US army’s Hummer, and Bharat Earth Movers Limited, which will bring in the UK’s Range Rover. The irony is hard to miss—a private sector firm, which has designed an indigenous vehicle, is up against PSUs which are importing technology.



PICTURE SPEAK


TATA GROUP
WORKING ON: Samyukta electronic warfare systems, Pinaka multi-barrelled rocket launchers (above) and trucks. Three of its companies— Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power and Tata Motors are on the RUR list.
VYING FOR: Upgrading 155 mm Bofors howitzers.
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
WORKING ON: Contract for 8,000 Light Specialist Vehicles (above) and mine-proof vehicles for the army. It will manufacture 300 lightweight sea mines for the navy.
VYING FOR: Diversification into naval weapons with a dedicated six-acre factory near Pune.



LARSEN & TOUBRO
WORKING ON: Hull fabrication of India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine based on the Russian Charlie class SSGN (above), and 1,500-tonne offshore patrol vessels.
VYING FOR: Project 75 India—six conventional submarines for the navy worth over 3 billion Euros.
GODREJ
WORKING ON: Assembling airframe components of Brahmos missiles (above), supplying launchers to ISRO and equipment for civil and military nuclear reactors.
VYING FOR: Aerospace contracts, technology offsets from the estimated $9-billion contract for 126 multi-role fighters.


On June 6, the Probir Sengupta Committee handed Defence Minister A.K. Antony a list of 12 private sector firms (and a PSU, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), with a turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore, to be called Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RURs), or defence production jewels. rurs will now be treated on par with defence public sector units (DPSUs), given financial support to develop weapon systems and handed designs by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The firms, a veritable who’s who of Indian industry—from Larsen&Toubro (L&T) and HCL to Wipro—will be formally notified after the Defence Acquisition Council approves the proposal for the involvement of the private sector in defence.


“The entry of RURs in the field of defence production will infuse competition.â€

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Postby Sumeet » 04 Jul 2007 07:03

Indian may allow ToT to fullfil offset obligations
Jon Grevatt, JDW 20th June 07

*India's MoD considering ToT as way of meeting offset obligations.
*Kiran Chadha, chair of Defense offset facilitation agency says so.
*Foreign Company will have to outline what tech its willing to transfer & its net value.
*This value can then be added to other conditions to meet 30% offset.
*Decision on this proposal likely in 4-6 months.
*This ToT proposal is one of several ways being evaluated by DOFA.
*Other ways not revealed.
*FDI on PSUs capped at 26%. All news otherwise is BS.

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Postby JCage » 04 Jul 2007 13:32

Image

The new Mahindra AXE from India-Today.

[/img]

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Postby MN Kumar » 04 Jul 2007 15:14

JCage wrote:Image

The new Mahindra AXE from India-Today.

[/img]


Looks like an All Terrain Vehicle. With 4WD and a 4000CC engine should have decent performance. Most useful in Desert ops.

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Postby JCage » 04 Jul 2007 15:44

What I cant understand is BEML competing with a Hummer against this- is there a stripped version Hummer?

Hope M&M win. They should be given preference on account of local origin and if its not fully upto spec, they should be helped by IA and DRDO etc to get it upto spec.

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Postby Gerard » 04 Jul 2007 16:15

Those were just prototypes developed by the Army workshop by modifying the existing chasis and not completely new built ones. They didnt go much further after that.


And tom-tommed by the DDM as "showing up" the "incompetent" DRDO who had yet to produce a "hunky" or a "tuffy"

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Postby MN Kumar » 04 Jul 2007 17:38

JC I dont think it would be difficult to modify this for an Urban Environment with a completely covered and bullet proof cabin like the Hummer. But overall looks impressive.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 04 Jul 2007 20:30

This picture shows the bare bones built and it would be possible to built it in various versions.

Note the angles in the floor of the vehicle to deflect the mine & IED explosions. 4000cc would give ample power to even the bullet proof versions.

Now I wonder what excuse Army would find to kill, delay and procastinate

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Postby Kartman » 04 Jul 2007 21:07

Are those real IA soldiers in that M&M jeep ? If so, might that mean it is in actual trials, and in serious contention ?!? The pic is too small to tell...

Most likely, though, they're just random extras from Bollywood, hired for Rs 50/- per day :P

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Postby JaiS » 06 Jul 2007 22:02

IAF is keen to build partnership with Indian Industry

Indian Air Force is looking at new partnerships with Indian Industry and opportunities to explore the growth in defence aviation, said Air Chief Marshal FH Major, PVSM, AVSM, SC, VM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff at a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Tuesday. He said that aerospace sector is going through historical change and there is an unprecedented growth in civil and defence aviation.

At the session Air Chief Marshal FH Major announced organization of the 2nd International Conference on Energising Indian Aerospace Industry to be organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) on October 25 – 26, 2007 in New Delhi.

He said that Indian aviation sector is growing faster at a rate of 7.7% compared to the global growth of 4% but lacks infrastructure and latest technology. Indian Defence will explore and build partnership with private companies to develop infrastructure but mutual trust will be the key to such tie-ups, said the Chief of Air Staff.

Air Chief Marshal Major said, “The development of aviation sector will contribute to national development and government has laid down a comprehensive defence procurement procedure with a possible investment of $50 billion in next 20 yearsâ€

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Postby Cybaru » 06 Jul 2007 22:56

Prestigious Brahm Prakash Memorial Medal award for Dr VS Arunachalam

Bangalore: Dr VS Arunachalam, who pioneered India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), as also the light combat aircraft (LCA) and the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) programmes, in the decades of the 1980's has been awarded the prestigious Brahm Prakash Memorial Medal for 2007 by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi.

The award, carries a medal and an honorarium of Rs10,000, and is awarded once every three years to a scientist or an engineer for their outstanding contribution in the field of engineering and technology.

Dr VS Arunachalam, former scientific adviser to the defence minister and a distinguished technocrat, is currently chairman of the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, a city-based think-tank.

A Tribute
In his address to a conference on "An Indian Century: Science, Technology And Policy" at the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, in 2005, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, President of the Republic paid the following tribute to Dr VS Arunachalam.

In his address to the conference the President said, "This conference is definitely a fitting tribute to Dr VS Arunachalam on his 70th birthday, who has been actively engaged in the formulation of science and technology policy for the nation apart from his unique contribution in the material science, research and teaching….

…The period 1982-1992 was an important decade for the DRDO. During this period three major programmes were sanctioned due to the leadership of Dr. Arunachalam. One was the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), second was light combat aircraft and the third was ATV programme.

This is the first time the DRDO budget was increased from 2% of the defence budget to four per cent of the defence budget. This was the time innovation in management was also brought in DRDO. A Board of Management structure was created for IGMDP, a society structure was created for LCA and a hybrid structure was created for ATV.

DRDO graduated in this period from an import substitution establishment to a full-fledged system design and development organization. Scientists' strength of DRDO also grew to six thousand. Dr. V.S. Arunachalam was responsible for injecting these innovations in DRDO. When others were thinking of small projects Dr. Arunachalam thought of big programmes for the DRDO….

…Many programmes which he envisioned in the eighties have now fructified in to full fledged systems. The visionary action taken by Dr. Arunachalam has resulted in two of the strategic missile systems being led into production. The Armed Forces have deployed the systems."

The previous winners of this award include S Banerjee, Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Deekshatalu, former Director of the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA).

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Postby JCage » 09 Jul 2007 02:11

http://aeroindianews.com/mahindra_interview.html

Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy, Program Manager-Aerospace Group, Mahindra Engineering Design & Development Company Ltd.


AeroIndianews.com: Can you explain about your business expansion plan?

Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy: Right now we are investing on a five-acre aerospace manufacturing unit at Malur near Bangalore.



AeroIndianews.com: Please tell us something about your tie up with National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).

Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy: We have tied up with NAL to develop a five-seater civilian aircraft. This multi-role aircraft can be used for air taxi service, courier service, cargo, tourism, low-end corporate travel and as a mini air ambulance. Both the company has 50% stake each. We have three years schedule to complete the project. We hold the global rights of producing and selling the aircraft.

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Postby JaiS » 09 Jul 2007 02:43

Part of defence acquisition could be made within India: DRDO chief

New Delhi, July 7 (PTI): As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sought the avoidance of delays in supply of weapon systems to the armed forces, a suggestion was mooted to ensure that a part of defence acquisitions be made from domestic suppliers as was the global practice.

"We feel the government has a clear responsibility to ensure that certain percentage of acquisitions, particularly of products developed indigenously with enormous efforts, are compulsorily sourced by the services from within the country," M Natarajan, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, said while welcoming the Prime Minister at a Defence Research and Development Organisation award function here.

He asserted that this practice was being followed in "the most advanced countries".

In the midst of a changing global scenario and shrinking defence markets worldwide, it was important that while the services were granted the freedom to choose equipment they required to meet their perceived needs, it was equally important that indigenously developed equipments were "given a fair share of acceptance by the services," Natarajan said.

In his speech, the Prime Minister said the rapidly changing international defence and security environment "did not always provide us the luxury of developing weapons systems over long gestation periods" and the risk of obsolescence of the weapon systems persisted.

"Causing delays at the stage of production mean that our armed forces are deprived of timely deliveries, which often compel the Government to look for external procurement to fill emerging gaps in our inventories," he said.

The DRDO, therefore, must strive for highest standards of performance and delivery, the Prime Minister said while assuring Goivernment's committment to help the organisation for adapting rapidly changing global scenario.

"Our resources, our capabilities and our infrastructure, including intellectual capital in both the public and private sector, have to be fully mobilised and utilized," Singh said.

The Prime Minister asked the DRDO, Indian industry and the armed forces to work jointly to enhance and modernize the country's defence capabilities.

"It is not often that we have been able to strike the right balance amongst the competing priorities of the developers, producers and users of advanced weapons systems in our country," Singh said.

Natarajan had suggested in his speech that the DRDO would like to undertake all futuristic development in respect of tactical systems by deliberately providing the stake holding of the armed forces and industries by reducing its own stakes from 100 per cent to 70 per cent.


"This, we believe, would bring in the necessary synergy in decision making right through the development process and also would compel the stake holders to determine the threshold levels of acceptance in a more pragmatic manner," he said.

The DRDO Chief also chose the occasion to highlight the hefty pay packages that its scientists receive from multinationals. "We have made our submission to the Sixth Pay Commission. We intend having one more session with them to make some out of box suggestions for employment of highly talented professional," Natarajan said.

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Postby vina » 09 Jul 2007 14:46

Cross Posting : Compare US Navy's hands on involvement, vs IAF and IA's couldn't give a damn attitude

Article in NYT Navy Reasserts Control Of Shipbuilding . Familiar stories, much of that is directly replicated in the Indian experience. Maybe the DDM nitwits need to take a look at this.. See, even Unkil is not immune to tech and cost overruns and problems. It is just that they have a system to handle it. Compare the quality of this NY Times article with what DDM writes. Something that they should watch, read and learn! . But actually "learning" anything would be expecting too much of out of the desi dorks like Pandit, Aroor , Shukla et al

The New York Times
Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

July 9, 2007
Navy Reasserting Control of Shipbuilding
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 4:44 a.m. ET

BATH, Maine (AP) -- Stung by cost overruns, the Navy is looking to return to a past when it controlled the shipbuilding process from beginning to end. The change follows a period when the Navy told shipyards what it wanted the ships to do and then let them deliver rather than getting mired in design details.

But that approach failed to control costs in construction of the speedy Littoral Combat Ship for close-to-shore operations and in the design of the stealthy DDG-1000 destroyer, the successor to the mainstay Arleigh Burke destroyers built at Bath Iron Works and at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi.

The growing cost of warships in recent years has led the Navy to reduce its orders, and the resulting loss of economies of scale has driven costs of individual warships even higher. That spiral has left everyone unhappy, including the Navy, members of Congress, defense contractors -- and shipbuilders who fear for their jobs.

The Navy recently took the unusual step of punishing Lockheed Martin for cost overruns on the smaller vessel -- the Littoral Combat Ship -- by canceling the second of its two ships. Lockheed's first ship had grown from $275 million to between $350 million and $375 million. Lockheed, which accepted responsibility, isn't expected to take a big financial hit. In April, the company reported it earned $690 million in the first quarter, beating Wall Street's expectations, and raised its full-year financial forecast.

Construction hasn't begun on the new destroyer, but its cost already has ballooned from early estimates of about $2 billion for the lead ship to more than $3 billion apiece for the first two, according to Ron O'Rourke of the Congressional Research Service. As the ship has grown bigger, more complicated and more expensive, the Navy scaled back the number to be built to just seven.

The Navy's fleet, meanwhile, has shrunk to 276 ships, down from nearly 600 during President Reagan's defense buildup. The Navy, which blames the cost of ships in part for the low orders that cut back the fleet, has a goal of 313 ships.

''The Navy obviously needs to do something. The plan we've been on has resulted in a shrinking, aging Navy,'' said Winslow Wheeler, military analyst for the Center for Defense Information, a Washington-based think tank.

Some say cost overruns are inevitable as the Navy launches new classes of warships.

Unlike other defense contractors like aircraft makers and tank builders, shipbuilders don't have the luxury of building prototypes. The first warship of a new class is the prototype of sorts and thus prone to unexpected problems during design and construction.

But the Navy isn't letting shipyards off the hook.

Starting in the spring, Navy Secretary Donald Winter has been making the case for what he describes as ''tough love'' for the shipbuilding industry.

''The Navy must reassert its control over the entire shipbuilding acquisition process. The Navy owns the fleet, and the Navy is the customer. Sometimes one has the impression that this tiny distinction has been forgotten,'' Winter wrote in an essay last month. He declined to elaborate to The Associated Press on his comments.

The tough talk follows a lean period for the shipbuilding industry. The six shipyards that build the Navy's largest ships -- aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines -- have lost 24,000 jobs since 1991.

Earnings in the shipbuilding divisions of General Dynamics Corp., Bath's parent company, and Northrop Grumman, parent of Mississippi's Ingalls shipyard, have lagged compared to their aerospace divisions, according to analysts.

At Bath Iron Works, things appear fine on the outside. Two 510-foot destroyers are berthed in the Kennebec River: The Sampson has been delivered to the Navy, while outfitting continues on the Sterett. Another destroyer, the Stockdale, is taking shape nearby.

The clanging and grinding of metal and sparks from welders in the shipyard's buildings indicate steady work on the massive jigsaw puzzle pieces that'll eventually be put together to create another three destroyers in the next few years.

But the shipyard now has 5,800 workers, down from a peak of 12,000 during the Reagan years. Workers fear that the slow but steady trend of pink slips will continue until the Navy gets serious about rebuilding its aging fleet.

Bath shipbuilders are competitive, but morale has suffered because there's so little additional work in the pipeline, said Mike Keenan, president of Local S6 of the Machinists union, which represents 3,300 shipyard workers.

The shipyard is scrambling to fill a potential gap in work as the Arleigh Burke program wraps up and the DDG-1000 ramps up between 2008 and 2010. It is considering bidding on smaller Coast Guard cutters and a ship called the ''joint high speed vessel'' for the Army and Marines.

''This pier should be lined with (more) ships,'' Keenan said. ''If they want competition, they got it. The men and women of Bath Iron Works have no problem competing against anybody. The problem is when you have nothing to compete for.''

Critics say the Navy should shoulder some of the blame for escalating costs for asking for too many features on its ships. Also, shipbuilders account for only a portion of a ship's cost. Much of it is devoted to high-tech weapons systems made elsewhere.

The Littoral Combat Ship, 55 of which are to be built, was rushed under an expedited process using smaller shipyards. The Navy wants a ship that's capable of operating in shallow, coastal waters to meet emerging threats, including modern-day pirates and terrorists.

Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute, said it made no sense to order ships and set prices without a final blueprint, which is what happened as shipbuilders moved quickly to build a ship that the Navy wanted fast.

The Navy wants defense contractors to be efficient like the commercial sector, but that process wouldn't have flown in the commercial sector, Thompson said.

''Toyota wouldn't do that,'' he said.


Paul Nisbet, an analyst at JSA Research Inc. in Newport, R.I., said the Navy and the shipyards collaborate in setting up contracts they can't live with. Shipyards make low bids to win, and the Navy wants low bids to get through Congress, he said.

''It's all part of politics,'' he said.

The Navy agrees that it's not without blame, and has decided to take more control over the shipbuilding process. It doesn't plan to create preliminary contract designs, as it did before the first Arleigh Burke warship was launched in 1989, but to be involved in every step from design through construction.

Eager for more work, Bath Iron Works will work with the Navy regardless of whether there's a hands-on or hands-off philosophy, said Kendell Pease, vice president for government relations and communications for Bath's parent, General Dynamics.

''We'll build ships whichever way the Navy wants us to. And the more ships, the better,'' he said. ''Just keep the ships coming.''

Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 10 Jul 2007 10:27


ramana
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Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2007 10:40

vina, A lot of folks will be hurt by what I am saying now.

The Indian armed forces are not an ideological force. I really do not know what makes them fight except their regiment and what not. The 1971 War did have an ideological component to it on the Eastern Theater- the Bangaldesh militants. In the West they fought to a stalemate despite all the well laid plans of the DMO. In Kargil the govt made the issue ideological by sending the casualties home. Thats why they won or else it would be another glorious stalemate.


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