The old French tactic

Security Wise

Defense News (US) recently carried a story that the French negotiators had upped their stance on the Rafale combat aircraft, now insisting that the $8.9 billion govt-to-govt contract be first signed for 36 planes before the supplier company, Dassault Avions, even considers signing a 50% offset deal, with 30% of the offsets allocated for “futuristic military aerospace programs” — whatever this phrase means, and 20% for producing Rafale components to satisfy its ‘Make in India’ obligation. The French firms Safran, Thales and MBDA along with Dassault are reportedly committing to transferring stealth tech, radar, thrust vectoring for missiles, and materials to DRDO units.

A few days earlier, an Indian pink paper carried another related story sourced from the French Embassy about Safran helping revive the waylaid Kaveri engine project, completing the 30% remaining work to bring it up to 90 kN power level at a cost to France of 1…

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India is courting peril by aligning militarily with the United States

Security Wise

Image result for pics of trump and Modi

The nixing of the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Paris Agreement are only some of the many ways that the United States has alienated its closest allies.1 President Donald Trump has already roiled the milieu by demanding that allies do more for themselves and rely less on his country.2 The United States, an inconsistent and unreliable friend even under prior US administrations, has increasingly become a feeble and feckless ally. Increasing military alignment, let alone a strategic partnership, with the United States would be a liability for India.

The dangers of partnering with the United States have only grown during the Trump administration. Trump’s decision-making method is, according to one former US intelligence official, based “less on fact and evidence and more on feeling, preference, emotion, grievance, tribe, loyalty”.3 Trump’s belief system sees the United States being “ripped off” in multilateral forums and that…

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US arm-twisting India to buy Patriot-3 systems instead of Russian S-400

Security Wise

Image result for pics of the Pac-3 INTERCEPTOR

[PAC-3 FIRED!]

Late last year, the Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a Burqan-2 missile (a Scud variant) aimed at the international airport in Riyadh some 600 miles  to the northeast. The missile got to its target alright but due to the strains in the metal canister induced by the flight, blew apart with the debris  littering parts of the runway and the  road outside the airport. The Saudis, however, claimed that they had fired five Patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) interceptor at the intruder and had destroyed the Houthi Burqan.

US President Donald Trump visiting Saudi Arabia not long after that event crowed that  “Our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world.” Trump is a loud, less than, credible snake oil salesman at the best of times. As promoter of…

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India needs a reasonable small arms policy

Security Wise

Image result for pics of small arms

Army marches on its stomach, but needs an uninterrupted supply of small arms and ammunition to fight. Besides the army, seven para-military organizations, and innumerable state police forces, as also military Special Forces and in the states, have to be equipped. Some two million pieces, ranging from 5.56mm to 12mm, and hundreds of thousands of tons of matching ammunition, are required every year by all armed forces in the country. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) seems incapable of meeting this demand or satisfying its customers in terms of product quality (INSAS 5.56mm rifle) or quantity.

Frustrated armed services, paramilitary units, and Special Forces have learned to buy weapons of their choice to supposedly meet time-critical needs by importing them in small enough tranches at high prices to avoid censure. It has multiplied hard currency expenditures and logistics headaches owing to the sheer diversity of weapons, and highlighted the absence of…

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Satisfied with small concessions

Security Wise

Image result for pics of modi and Xi

[Still no doubts, Mr Modi?]

One cannot but admire how smoothly and with what relish the supremo-for-life, Xi Jinping, and his Zhongnanhai are playing Modi, aided and abetted by the Çhina-wallahs — the Mandarin-speaking section of the country’s diplomatic corps headed by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale. This mini-summit on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Chingdao was supposedly to further the “Wuhan” agenda. Chingdao confirmed what was evident after Wuhan — the last one-on-one meet by the East Lake-side — that Delhi is being taken for a ride.

At Wuhan, so at Chingdao, if Prime Minister Modi raised any troubling issues — unbalanced and unequal trade, and the matter of the de facto Chinese recognition of Pakistan’s claims on Gilgit-Baltistan and, by extension, on all of Jammu & Kashmir in contravention of Beijing’s commitment vide the 1963 Ayub Khan-Zhouenlai agreement. The territorial compromise Pakistan made was to  cede certain…

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Slumping Modi needs thermonuclear tests

Security Wise

Image result for pics of modi in repose

Modi’s political stock is falling. From being hailed as invincible just a few months back to now being considered vulnerable to a straggly unified opposition front in the 2019 general elections is a reflection of his rapid decline and his government’s failure marked by big talk and small achievement.  Over-confidence in Karnataka followed by a series of BJP Lok Sabha by-election defeats in UP following the earlier trouncings in Phulpur and Gorakhpur — under the disastrous RSS selection as chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, that he endorsed, has had no little role in oiling Modi’s slide.

The appointment of RSS pracharak Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana and the ‘Yogi’ in Lucknow marked the beginning of the downward spiral for the PM. His calculation that some level of communal polarization is electorally helpful in the 2014 general elections and since didn’t reckon with the mayhem precipitated by the dark forces unleashed by…

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Project 75i submarine — How defence monies are squandered

Security Wise

Image result for pics of Project 75i submarine

(an illustration of a possible 75i sub)

India has indigenously designed and built (mostly in the private sector) the Arihant-class nuclear powered ballistic missile firing submarine (SSBN), the most potent weapon system in any arsenal. And yet the Government has agreed with the Navy that India cannot build the 70 per cent less complex conventional diesel submarine (Project 75i) and that another Scorpene-like exorbitantly-priced contract costing tens of billions of dollars is necessary.

In 1998, the country obtained the Kilo-class boats from Russia for Rs 100 crore each, but
subsequently forked out Rs 6,000 crore per French Scorpene submarine (Project 75) put
together by the defence public sector unit (DPSU), Mazgaon Dockyard Ltd (MDL). It took
15 years to build the first Arihant SSBN, and only 12 years to construct the second of this
type (Arighat), exactly the time taken by MDL to deliver the first Scorpene submersible
(Kalvari). This…

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