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Thursday, October 8, 2009


Former Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi is likely to be appointed Director on the Board of the Air India.


Air India has launched Corporate AAA + Package (GOI) Policy scheme for the employees of Government of India with effect from October 1, 2009 for Domestic network. The feature of the scheme: -
i) 4 Coupon Super Saver Booklet in Economy Class - Rs.26, 816/-
ii) Multiple User facility.
iii) 6 months validity from the date of issue.
iv) Booking Class in normal economy class.
For "Further details please contact at GOI Cell at Safdarjung Airport on Tel.No.011-24610693 and 011-24695205, Email ID : Also please note that the Ticketing will be done at any Air India Booking Offices only"


Alok Prasad has been appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat, for a period of two years. He is 1974 batch IFS officer. (whisper)

DRDO to testfire most sophisticated missiles

BALASORE: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will be testing some of the country's most sophisticated missiles in the next two months.

In October, Prithvi and Agni-II missiles will be test fired, while in November it will be the turn of BrahMos and K-15 missiles. The integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore will also host a three-day target simulation exercise, involving pilotless target aircraft (PTA) for the air force from Monday.

ITR sources said scientists at DRDO are leaving no stone unturned for the successful trials of these missiles that are, at present, considered as the country's most powerful arsenal. Though all the tests will be user trials, the focus will be on Agni-II and K-15 missiles.

"The four missiles had already been tested successfully from the ITR. Those have already been inducted in the Indian army, with the exception of K-15. The fresh trials are intended to gauge the accuracy of these missiles that will be tested with some new technologies," a defence scientist said.

Sources said the scientists involved in the Agni-II programme are working overtime to make this mission successful, as their failure in the last user trial on May 19 had fetched them wide criticism.

While the Prithvi, BrahMos and K-15, all of which are land versions, will be test fired from the ITR at Chandipur, the Agni-II missiles will be tested from the Wheelers' Island, off the Dhamara coast in Bhadrak district.

According to defence sources, the 8.56 metre-high and one metre-thick missile, with a launch weight of 4.4 tonnes, excluding the payload, the Prithvi has a strike range of 150 km. The missile has the capability to carry a payload of 1,000 kg, but if the same was reduced to half, the striking range of the sleek missile could be enhanced.

Agni-II missile, which is 20 meters long and one meter thick with a weight 16 tonnes, can carry a payload of around 1,000 kg and its range can be increased to 3,000 km, depending on the payload. It was inducted in the Army in 2004.

BrahMos is a two-stage missile. It is nine metres tall and weighs 3.9 tonnes with the canister. It can be launched from ships, silos and road and rail mobile launchers. It has a strike range of 290 km and can carry a conventional warhead weighing 300 kg.


China Versus India

The commander of the Indian Air Force is openly complaining that China has three times as many warplanes as India (which has 1,700, have of them combat, the rest support). The head of the Indian Navy has been complaining about Chinese warships being more numerous, and more frequently  showing up in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Army is less concerned. Three years ago, India adopted the Russian T-90 as its new main battle tank. There is now local production of about a thousand T-90s over the next decade. India already has imported 310 T-90s. Under this plan, by 2020, India will have 2,000 upgraded T-72s, over 1,500 T90s, and few hundred other tanks. This will be the most powerful armored force in Eurasia, unless China moves ahead with upgrades to its tank force. The border between China and India is high in the Himalayan mountains, which is not good tank country. India's tank force is mainly for use against Pakistan. But if the Chinese should ever cross the border, they had best be prepared to deal with lots of modern tanks.

China says it is not concerned with India's moving two more infantry divisions into northeast India, where the Himalayan mountains form a thousand kilometer long, unfenced border with China. There are boundary disputes between India and China along the Himalayas, but these are now being negotiated (although not settled yet). India is putting those two divisions into Arunachal Pradesh to deal with long term ethnic unrest. India also recently upgraded a primitive airfield (used mainly for helicopters), 25 kilometers from the Chinese border, to one that can handle larger transports. Again, while some Indian politicians proclaim that this is all about defending India from the Chinese menace, it's actually more about local tribal separatists.
Although India lost several border skirmishes to Chinese troops along that border in the 1960s, China was never considered a real threat. That's because there were no Chinese railroads leading to their side of the Himalayan frontier. With only a few roads leading into Tibet, from China proper, the Chinese could never launch a major offensive across the Himalayan border. That changed three years ago when China completed a railroad into Tibet.
So China is now a threat from all sides. India is particularly annoyed at China intruding into the waters surrounding India. It's not called the Indian Ocean for nothing, and the Indians consider these waters sacrosanct. Chinese naval power is not welcome. India has long blamed its defeat in the 1962 war with China over a lack of sufficient air power. This is still the case. Indian air force generals are using that memory, and the continued imbalance between the Indian and Chinese air forces, to make a case for buying lots more modern aircraft.

Centre plans all-out war against Naxals

New Delhi: The Central Government is all geared up and continue the fight against Naxals till they give up violence. Union Home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that the India Air Force (IAF) could take counter measures if attacked.

Chidambaram was responding to questions about the IAF seeking permission to open fire in self-defence if its helicopters came under Naxal attack.

It appears that the beheading of Jharkhand Police officer Francis Induwar is prompting the Union Government to get tough with Naxals and for the first time the IAF may get the right to return fire on Naxals in the event of an attack.

IAF's request and the Centre's battle plan is part of a tough offensive against the Naxals and will be discussed at the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting on Thursday.

The IAF will take effective counter measures. I cannot say anything more than that," said Chidambaram.

While Chidambaram was non committal about the possibility, the CCS is also likely to discuss some contentious proposals of the new Naxal policy such as allowing use of para battalions of the Indian Army like the Rashtriya Rifles to fight the Naxals. It may also allow the use of air power in a way that it does not lead to collateral damage in the states where they will begin the offensive.

All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on tour to Kerala on Wednesday said that to curb Naxalism the government must ensure that development reaches the people.

"The government needs to take development to the people. Where ever you find development is taking place, where ever you find people involved in the political system, involved in the democratic system, Naxalism will not take over," said Rahul Gandhi.

But politics may come in the way of the smooth implementations several Naxal-hit states are ruled by Opposition parties.

"State government's which consider Centre as a nuisance, as interference have suffered because of their attitude. Two examples come to mind, one is West Bengal, the other is Orissa," said Chidambaram.

The Francis Induwar beheading comes when the Centre is set to launch an all out offensive against the Naxals.

Even as the Congress tries to link Naxalism with development or the lack of it, the fact is the United Progressive Alliance has to first find answers on how to boost the morale of the men on the ground and more importantly what to do if more police personnel are held hostage.

Indian nuclear ambitions

India had carried out five nuclear tests on 12 May 1998 amidst fanfare. Ruling BJP proudly declared all the tests successful. Despite US doubts it was claimed that 45 KT yield had been achieved.
Abdul Kalam was rewarded and made President of India. Scientist K. Santhanan who was part of Pokharan II tests and is senior scientist in DRDO, has now revealed after over a decade that yield of thermonuclear explosion was much below expectations and tests were a fizzle rather than a big bang. In other words, it was a failure.
He has urged the government not to sign CTBT since more tests were required for Hydrogen bomb to perfect the device. Although the UPA government and BJP have disagreed with his contention, however, the fact is that he could not have made this revelation on such a sensitive matter without the blessing of policy makers. Anyone with little IQ would discern that the real motive is to pave the way for conducting more nuclear tests and build a full-scale thermonuclear bomb, and also avert signing CTBT.
Indian army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor tried to tickle Pakistan by asserting that India has never been a threat to Pakistan. Till very recent he was breathing fire and giving haughty statements. He has no say in Indian decision making body and remains at the beck and call of Lok-Sabha to do as told to do. Hence his assurance is deceptive and deepens mistrust rather than promoting trust and confidence. His assurance will be worthwhile when Indian forces down grades its force levels which are presently too much in access to actual threat level.
After his so-called assurance he is now seeking a review of India’s nuclear doctrine and wants it to be expanded and upgraded. In his and Indian naval chief view, 70-90 nukes with Pakistan are excessive and go beyond concept of minimum credible deterrence. They say that Pakistan has exceeded minimum nuclear deterrence level. They also claim that Pakistan has improved upon US made Harpoon missiles issued to Pak Navy for use by ground troops. US media too has publicized these concerns. Indian media joined by political hawks, scientists, intellectuals are indulging in heated debates and exerting pressure on the government to review nuclear doctrine and conduct further nuclear tests to maintain superiority over Pakistan. The tirade spearheaded by Indian COAS against suspected expansion of Pak nuclear arsenal is devious and is meant to justify Indian expansionist program and to undermine Pakistan nuclear program.
Soon after Pakistan acquired weapon graded nuclear strength as well as means of delivery, Indo-US-Israeli nexus put their heads together how to deprive Pakistan from this capability which had the potential of preventing India from becoming unchallenged power of South Asia and thus frustrating their future expansionist designs. One of the major objectives of USA to capture Afghanistan was to make use of Afghan soil to disable Pakistan’s nuclear capability and to convert it into a vassal state. With this aim in view, the trio commenced its work in real earnest from 2002 onwards to first weaken Pakistan from within through sabotage and subversion, commit Pak Army in futile war on terror and defame it, degrade ISI and defang it, empower democratic government of its choice under all-powerful civilian president and make it totally subservient to wishes of Washington and then get closer to our nuclear sites and steal them by hook or crook.
Like USA, India also plays up threat posed by religious extremists in Pakistan and harps on the theme that Pak nukes are insecure and are liable to be stolen by terrorists. In order to indicate interest of terrorists in Pak nukes a fake interview was given to a private TV channel by Afghan based so-called Al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid on 22 June. He boasted of using Pak nuclear weapons against the US. It was a clear cut put up show to legitimize takeover of our nuclear assets by US marines. The interview was given in Khost (eastern province of Afghanistan), which inadvertently laid to rest the speculation by western countries and US officials including Hillary Clinton that Al-Qaeda leadership is based in FATA.
Among several deadly plans executed to either make Pakistani leadership willingly hand over our nukes, or to destroy them or hijack them, one of the plans hatched was to make use of RAW trained Pakistani militants. Indo-western media had already sold this story to the world community and had conditioned their minds about such a possibility. To our good luck, our ever vigilant intelligence agencies learnt about the wicked plan in early July that RAW-Mossad had jointly conceived a plan to target Pak nuclear sites with the help of specially trained terrorist squad. India had allocated $25 million to recruit and train 500 terrorists belonging to Baitullah group along with some Afghanis and Indians skilled in specialised operations. The squad was tasked to mount attacks on one or more nuclear sites of Pakistan located in Frontier Province to create a world wide sensation and fright. The idea was to shake the confidence of US Administration about Pakistan’s foolproof nuclear security system.
Phase-2 of the plan envisaged use of small kiloton tactical nuclear bomb against US/Nato installation in Afghanistan to show to the world that Islamic terrorists had managed to steal a bomb as had been feared, and that Pak nukes having become highly unsafe must be secured. In actuality, the bomb had already been stolen from Kaiga Atomic Power Plant in Karnataka through an Indian scientist Lokanathan Mahalingham. The dead body of the scientist was recovered from Kali River on 13 June under mysterious conditions and the matter was hushed up. He had been murdered either to wash off all footprints or else he was about to spill the beans. Ironically, raucous and scandalous Western media did not utter a word about the incident. Premature leakage sabotaged the plan but it has not been shelved.
On 16 May Manmohan Singh told Obama that nuclear sites in Pakistan restive NWFP had partly come in the hands of Islamic extremists. Same day, his telephonic conversation was leaked by Israeli security website Debka and widely publicised. Once Pak Army turned the tide in its favor in Swat and US officials became appreciative and started to change their opinion about the safety of Pak nukes, there was lot of grumbling in India. Efforts are in hand to change perceptions from positive to negative by making wild allegations that Pak troops had indulged in extra judicial killings in Swat and that Pakistan is expanding its nuclear program. Stories of insecurity of Pak nukes are still in circulation. Like India, US leaders are also worried that Pakistan is striving to make qualitative and quantitative improvements in its arsenal.
While making unsubstantiated allegations against Pakistan India ignores the fact that not a single case of theft or accident has taken place in Pakistan. Conversely, 152 theft cases of uranium have taken place in India since 1984. These thefts have been registered by the police. Hindu extremists in league with certain nuclear scientists are involved in the racket to smuggle nuclear technology to Israel and western countries through clandestine means. No eyebrows have been raised in USA or western world which starts making loud noises even on a fabricated story of a possible theft of a nuke from Pakistan arsenal and deem it dangerous for world security.
Indo-US civilian nuclear deal has allowed India unfettered access to nuclear material and technology from all the suppliers. Since it can import nuclear fuel for its nuclear rectors, its indigenous 300 tons of uranium is available for producing fissile material from eight of Candu Type nuclear plants with 220 mw capacities each. These are outside the purview of IAEA safeguards. Indo-US deal doesn’t impose any restriction on further testing by India. India has been exempted from any penalties in case it resorts to nuclear testing. USA has given a blank cheque to India to expand its nuclear arsenal which is already formidable. In US estimate Pakistan has 70-90 nuclear warheads as against current Indian stock of 200 over and above small tactical nukes. With free access to nuclear materials from international suppliers group, India will be in a position to produce 40 nukes annually.
Purpose of ambitious nuclear build up is not to counter Chinese threat which is not there but to render Pakistan nuclear deterrence impotent. Shutting their eyes to nuclearisation of India, USA has now passed a highly insulting Kerry-Lugar Bill in which among many harsh and unreasonable conditionalities to rob Pakistan of its sovereignty, it has added a clause wherein Pakistan will not only prevent proliferation of nuclear related material and expertise but will also dismantle supplier networks relating to nuclear expansion of nuclear stockpile. The US will not provide any assistance that may help in expanding nuclear stockpile. It implies that Pakistan will be debarred from undertaking any kind of up gradation of its nuclear assets even from its own resources.
Kerry-Lugar contemptuous bill prepared under the aegis of Indian and Israeli lobbies and acclaimed as a great diplomatic triumph by PPP leaders has been vociferously resented by people belonging to all walks of life including the army. It is widely seen as a document of surrender. Under massive pressure, the government has reluctantly agreed to discuss it in the parliament. It is hoped that all clauses which are against national interests would be struck off.

J&K: Army choppers hunt for LeT men

SRINAGAR: Security forces killed five militants in separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. 

A police officer said one militant was killed in an encounter that continued for the second day in a forested area near Khrew in south Kashmir's Pulwama district. "Four soldiers were injured in the gunbattle. The encounter was on when the reports last came in,'' he said. 

Defence spokesperson J S Brar said the encounter started early on Tuesday when security forces, on a tip off, laid siege around a terrorist hideout. 

Sources said army has sent more reinforcements to the area to seal off all exit points. 

The defence spokesperson said two militants were killed in another encounter at Zachaldara in north Kashmir's Kupwara district. "The encounter triggered on Tuesday night after security forces raided a terrorist hideout,'' he said. 

A Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was killed in a separate encounter, barely two kms away from Zachaldars. "Abu Hamza was killed in the overnight encounter,'' a police officer said. 

He said a surrendered militant was killed in an encounter with the army at Uri in north Kashmir's Baramulla district. "The slain militant, Abdul Majid Bhat, was associated with Hizbul Mujahideen in the 90s,'' a source said. He is believed to have rejoined the militant ranks after his release in 2000.

IAF can open fire


New Delhi, Oct. 7: Air force personnel in helicopters deployed in the anti-Naxalite offensive will carry firearms and will have the authority to fire in self-defence, a senior defence ministry source said here today. 

Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik said here last week that he had sought government permission to open fire at Naxalites if his personnel and aircraft were fired at. 

The cabinet committee on security, likely to meet tomorrow, may formalise the rules of engagement as the Centre co-ordinates the offensive with the states. A senior air force officer said: “The right to fire in self-defence is the first rule.”

But he said the two types of helicopters being used in the offensive — Mi 17 and the Mi 17 1V — will not be mounted with weapons right now.

Both types of helicopters are being used for troop transport, casualty evacuation and as cargo carriers. While the Mi 17 1V — that has an open rear — has an integral weapon system, the Mi 17 would need to be armed. Both types of helicopters are armoured.

Air force personnel have been asked to wear bullet-proof jackets and carry personal weapons. Authorising them to fire means that every chopper will carry personnel in addition to the crew. The helicopter has a crew of three — two pilots and a flight engineer. Effectively, now each of the helicopters would also carry a gunner.

Despite the increasing involvement of the air force, defence minister A.K. Antony said he did not favour deployment of the armed forces in the offensive.

“The Naxalite problem is an internal security problem and the government wants to minimise central armed forces involvement in tackling such problems. They (the armed forces) are to be used only as an instrument of last resort,” he said.

“It is mainly the duty of state governments to handle it. I have already told you that it is an internal law and order and security issue. We want to minimise these kind of armed forces operations for internal security,” he said.

The defence minister indicated that the views at the Centre had hardened since the beheading of Jharkhand police intelligence officer Francis Indwar. “Nobody can accept this type of brutal violence,” he said.